What mystery?

Our header reads:  “We teach Jesus Christ according to the mystery kept secret since the world began and revealed to the Apostle Paul.”  The vast majority of you will say: “huh, what mystery?”

Consider these articles a formal invitation from me to you to find out: “what mystery?”, as the vast majority of professing Christians have heard of no such thing.  Follow these postings from one to the next and see for yourself where they lead.  Each will have a link at the bottom to the next.  Please feel free to politely comment and question.  You will receive a reply.  Keep a King James Bible open and test everything you read here against exactly “what” the Bible says, “where” it says it, and “to whom” it is speaking.  I do not ask that you believe a single thing that I write, as I am convinced the Bible alone is Truth in this world.  I believe that understanding “the mystery” is the key to understanding the Bible.

Romans 3:4(a)… “let God be true, but every man a liar;

Did God the Father keep a secret from His creation?  IF we believe the words on the pages of our King James Bible (and we do) it seems that He has indeed kept something to Himself.  Examine Romans 16:25…

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,”

There it is.  A mystery God kept secret from the beginning of time, until the time He chose to make that mystery known by revelation.  Paul is writing this epistle to the Roman believers in and around the Acts 20 time period.  Next verse, 16:26…

BUT NOW is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

Is God choosing this time period (very early in the first century AD) to make known this mystery (whatever it is) and is He revealing it directly to the Apostle Paul?  Paul is calling this information “my gospel” after all and that might be taken as boastful to say the least.  What else does Paul have to say about this gospel he calls his own?  Explaining the “end” of the law “charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: (1 Tim 1:5)” and to whom the law was directed (the lawless, etc…), to his dear friend Timothy (1 Tim 1:11) Paul claims “ownership” once again; “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed unto my trust.”  Did not Jesus Christ Himself commit the gospel unto Peter and the twelve well before Paul was even on the scene?  Speaking to the twelve about the signs and times of the end of the world He exclaims (Mat 24:14)… “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  This is the same gospel message Jesus was teaching in Matthew 4:23 as He had the twelve gathered around Him.  It is therefore the very gospel message He commissioned the twelve to preach in Mark 16:15… “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Clearly, Jesus is speaking of the gospel of the kingdom.

How then does Paul dare to call this gospel his own?  What an ego!?!  This is mysterious… and a seeming conundrum.  Of course, as “actual” Bible believers (we actually believe the words on the page and do not simply believe what we want to believe, or have been taught in denominational churches about the Bible) this would cause one to question the claim that the very Word of God, perfect and without error, inspired and preserved throughout human history, is what we claim it is (and we do make such claim) or is even available to mankind in this 21’st century sans “original manuscripts”.

In trying to determine exactly what this “Pauline” mystery is, let us in the next post examine more closely the nation Israel, why God “chose” them and what Gods plan for His chosen people was from the beginning of time… that which was “spoken” since the beginning of the world.

Acts 3:21… “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

Hmmm… something hidden AND something spoken; both since the beginning of the world.  To quote C.R. Stam: “Things that are different cannot be the same.”

Next Post – “Why Israel?

Doctrinal Attacks Answered.

A brother asked me to read and reply to an article attacking the mid-Acts Pauline doctrine I attempt to explain on this website. Here is a link to it in its entirety from the website “GotQuestions.org”. I will go over it line by line hopefully demonstrating, with contextual rightly divided scripture, its failure and inconsistencies. This is a long but not exhaustive post. I encourage any who have specific questions to post them here or on the “Got Bible Questions” page for direct answers. Quotations in italics are taken directly from the article.

What is mid-Acts dispensationalism?

First sentence… “Dispensationalism is a theological system that recognizes various ages, or dispensations, ordained by God to order the affairs of the world.” Okay, so far so good, I can work with that. The word dispensation is used four times in the Bible (King James only of course – I wonder why?) all in the epistles of Paul (1 Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 3:2, Colossians 1:25). Each time it is used, with one exception, Paul is speaking of something given specifically to him. The one exception is in reference to a future dispensation; that of “the fullness of times”. The other three directly reference some “good news” committed unto him by God. A “gospel” in Biblical terms; for the word gospel simply means good news or “joyful message” according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary.

The word dispensation also carries with it the idea of a transfer of one thing to another. A dispensary is a place or store where medicine and medical advise is given (dispensed) for free. God therefore has given Paul a joyful message that was, prior to Paul’s knowledge of it (simple logic) unknown. It was a “mystery”, a secret hid in God until the “mystery” was revealed to Paul.

Ephesians 3:3-4… “How that by revelation he made known unto ME the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Galatians 1:11-12… “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Also indicated is an aspect of time as well as “change” of some sort. The dispensation of the fullness of times clearly refers to a point in time somewhere in the future. The words “but now” (as we shall see) also directly indicate a change (of something) over time. Simple example; I used to be in my 40’s but now am in my 50’s. My own age changed over time. Back to the article…

Classic dispensationalism sees seven dispensations, starting with the age of innocence in the Garden of Eden and ending with the age of the millennial kingdom.” I’m not going to argue how many dispensations may or may not be. Perhaps in a future post. Suffice to say that we mid-Acts believers do see separate and distinct dispensations in the Bible where God dealt with man in a certain specific way in time and then deals with us in a different way; the author argues this position to be false. Using the above definition of dispensation and a little basic logic let’s look at a scriptural example.

Romans 3:20-21… “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. BUT NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Examining this verse we can see a change taking place. Whereas at one point in time some people (Israel) were required to follow Gods Law to achieve righteousness in His sight… “BUT NOW” (somehow) Gods righteousness is made available without the law. Something changed over time. In the past the nation Israel was required to keep the law. The old covenant IS law keeping via human effort. God the Father taught it to the Israelites who struggled mightily with it; Jesus Christ in the 4 accounts of His earthly ministry taught it to the 12 apostles. The believing Jews were doing it (supernaturally empowered) in the book of Acts (the New Testament actualized). The words Paul writes however (unless one is willfully ignorant or using corrupt “bible” translations) state clearly that Gods righteousness is NOW available without law keeping; and, that the law itself and the prophets that substantiated it were themselves witness to the change in terms.

Back to the article… “The current age, called the age of grace or the church age, is held by most dispensationalists to have begun in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost. At that time, the Holy Spirit came upon the believers and empowered them to fulfill the Great Commission, the church age began.” There are many “Acts 2” dispensationalists. C. I. Scofield is likely the most famous due to the “reference Bible” he annotated. Here is where mid-Acts begin to break away from the Acts 2 position. See also my response to James Perloff regarding his issues with the Scofield Bible. Author continues… “However, mid-Acts dispensationalism sees that event as still part of the dispensation of Law; the “church” in the first part of Acts was a Jewish congregation under Jewish rules, not the church of the church age. According to mid-Acts dispensationalism, the church began with the ministry of the apostle Paul in either Acts 9 (Paul’s conversion) or Acts 13 (Paul’s first missionary journey).

This is a fair representation of the mid-Acts position (Acts 9 makes sense to this believer as Paul “straightway” preached Christ in the synagogues – Acts 9:20). Pentecost is first and foremost a Jewish holy day. Webster’s 1828… 1) “A solemn festival of the Jews, so called because celebrated on the fiftieth day after the 16’th of Nisan, which was the second day of the passover. It was called the feast of weeks, because it was celebrated seven weeks after the passover. It was instituted to oblige the people to repair to the temple of the Lord to acknowledge His absolute dominion over the country, and offer Him the first fruits of their harvest; also that they might call to mind and give thanks to God for the law which He had given them at Sinai on the fiftieth day of their departure from Egypt.” 2) “Whitsuntide, a solemn feast of the church, held in commemoration of the decent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles (Acts 2).”

One has to wonder where “whitsuntide” found its origins because it is certainly not located in the Bible. I found this online… “First recorded in 1175, Whitsuntide is from the Middle English word whitsone(n)tide.”  “The seventh Sunday after Easter.”  “Easter celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or just after the vernal equinox.” Because we all know that’s “precisely” when Jesus was resurrected… the first Sunday after the first full moon past the spring equinox. Yea, right…

Looking at Webster’s second definition, it seems as if our religionist friends have once again created a compilation of Jewish plus pagan ritual to construct some amalgam they deem “Christianity”. A “solemn feast of the church”… which church would that be? It can only be Jewish if one is to believe the Bible. Who is our audience in Acts 2? Who is Peter addressing?

Acts 2:5… “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem JEWS, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:14… “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Our audience is clearly made of Jewish men of every nationality. Not to get way off track chasing “holiday” rabbits but it is apparent that anything which is occurring in Acts chapter 2 has everything to do with Jewishness and not what many today call Christianity. Jews recognized the prophesied Jewish Messiah. Therefore the “Acts 2 dispensational” position has serious problems from the very beginning if it wants to include the Jerusalem church in the body of Christ. These “Kingdom saints” have as yet unfulfilled prophesy to fulfill. They cannot be members of the church which is His body; they belong to the earthly Kingdom yet to come. There are also no holy days according to the mid-Acts perspective. Why would a non-Jew include himself in such activity? Paul is clear on these things.

Colossians 2:16-17… “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Author writes… “Classical dispensationalism sees a biblical distinction between Israel and the church; mid-Acts dispensationalism takes it further, separating the Jewish congregation in Acts 1—8 from the Gentile church (the body of Christ) from then on.

The distinction “classical dispensationalism” makes is that it transforms the Jewish believers into something other than Jewish (this is what pentecostal types call Christianity). That Peter and the 11 (and all the Jews with them) upon believing in Jesus left their Jewish religion and were “converted” to “Christianity”. There is no Biblical basis whatsoever for believing this. These were clearly Jewish men waiting for and finding their Jewish Messiah who showed up at exactly the prophesied time according to the book of Daniel. Clearly there is a difference between Israel and the church, but there is no difference between Israel and the Jerusalem church as the Jerusalem church WAS (believing) Israel. That church (called out assembly) which Jesus called “the little flock” (Luke 12:32). Clearly there is a Jewish church taking care of religious business in the Jewish temple; Peter preaches a murder indictment to them and compels them to repent of their evil deed (Acts 2:22-24, and 37-38). What makes people today (Acts 2 dispensationalists, pentecostals, methodists, baptists, catholics, etc…) think that these men “changed religions” rather than remaining true to their Jewish roots? Examine this scene in the latter chapters of Acts where Paul and James are speaking.

Acts 21:18-21… “And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.”

These men are still zealous of the law, walking after the “customs”; another word for customs is “traditions” and there’s a ton of trouble waiting in the wings of tradition as tradition remains for its own sake, not necessarily that of realities sake. If the church the body of Christ began in Acts 2, where is salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the shed blood of Christ alone? These thousands of believers, James included are following the law! Mid-Acts does indeed “take it further” and rightly separates out that which took place in Jerusalem from that which took place with Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul was hunting these Jewish believers in Christ down to capture and kill them. Paul is the one who scattered the multitudes from Jerusalem; but the apostles remained faithful to what Christ commanded and stayed in Jerusalem. Paul is the one who winds up going out into the world of heathen like me preaching NOT the Kingdom at hand as the 12 were commanded (Matthew 24:14), but the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24)!

Author writes… “According to mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement, the apostles Peter, James, John, and the rest were still operating under the Old Covenant in Acts 1—8.” This statement is flat out wrong. The apostles were operating under the New Covenant/Testament. The OT says man must obey the law to gain righteousness with God. Didn’t work out so well for man. The NT says that God will put His Spirit within the believer and CAUSE him to be able to follow the law (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:26-27, and Hebrews 8:7-11). The author makes the grave mistake of assuming that there is either the OT or the NT in effect at any given time. He misses completely the mystery given to Paul which in essence is NO TESTAMENT whatsoever. The essential nature of grace alone through faith alone is that there are no covenant agreements between man and God at all. Grace is a freely offered gift which men can either freely accept or reject. The mid-Acts position recognizes the “mystery” time period (hidden wisdom – that which was unknown before Paul) between old and new testaments. The OT came to an end, the NT began to happen in early Acts. What the NT’s continuation was dependent upon is ALL Israel recognizing their Messiah which they failed to do; thus was the full implementation of the NT suspended. They were to be a nation of priests to the rest of the world (Exodus 19:5-6). Instead they killed their Messiah (Emmanuel – God in flesh) and God set the nation (temporarily) aside in order to do something new with Paul. But now…

Author writes… “They were still dutifully keeping the Law and still meeting as a Jewish body in Jerusalem. Peter and the other apostles preached repentance to Israel, but there was no church until Paul.” Though the author believes this to be fallacy, this is absolutely correct. God empowered them to keep the law and to perform miracles and they remained with the circumcision (the Jews) in Jerusalem (Galatians 2:7-9). They were a “church” but they were not the church, the body of Christ. A church is a called out assembly of people. Called out for what purpose? The Jerusalem church was called out to administer Gods earthly Kingdom. The church which is His body is called out to take up positions in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).

He continues… “It was Paul, the “apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), to whom the doctrine of the church—and the doctrine of grace—was revealed. It was only after Paul began to minister that the church actually began.” And that is exactly correct. So why does he believe this to be incorrect? His next statement follows the old vs. new testament confusion. “Thus, the only parts of the New Testament that are applicable to believers today are the Pauline Epistles. The rest of the Bible was written for Israel.” While it’s true Paul’s epistles are instructions for today’s church while the Hebrew epistles are not; and yes, both at the same time ALL the Bible (all scripture – 2 Timothy 3:16) is for our learning. The critical mistake the author makes here is that he divides the Bible where Bible publishers divide it, not where God divides it. The Pauline epistles are “No Testament” books. The New Testament does NOT begin in Matthew chapter 1 where Jesus is “born”. It begins with the death of the testator, ends in Acts 28:28 and picks up again post “rapture” (when God eventually rescinds His offer of free grace) in the book of Hebrews…

Hebrews 9:16-17… “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

…and the testator, Jesus Christ does not die until the end of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. When the author claims that the only parts of the NT “section” of the Bible which are for todays church are the Pauline epistles he is correctly identifying the mid-Acts position; but he wrongly believes the NT begins where publishing companies (including those who publish KJB’s) say it does. There is a page in every Bible after Malachi and before Matthew which in bold letters reads New Testament. THAT IS WRONG. A gross oversimplification at least. A satanic deception at worst.

Author makes broad and unsubstantiated claims here I’d encourage any to follow up with challenges. “There are some other problems with mid-Acts dispensationalism. In particular, its views on salvation, water baptism, and the church’s origin are based on misunderstandings of some points of Scripture.” And what might these problems be? Please demonstrate what exactly it is I am misunderstanding. Scripture please.

  1. Salvation – trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as complete and total payment for sin. See Simple Salvation.
  2. Water baptism – ritual cleansing for Jewish priests before entering into priestly duties. Spend some time “here“.
  3. Churches origin – Paul. 1 Tim 1:15-16… “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

The article states… “Mid-Acts dispensationalism wrongly assumes that Paul’s revelation about the church equals the beginning of the church itself.” Recall how we defined a dispensation please. If what God told Paul about the mystery church had never before been revealed; had it been a secret hid in God since the beginning of the world (it was), how could this NOT be the beginning of something new? The nature of a mystery is that no one knows it. It is a secret. It is hidden… until the secret is revealed; in this case, until God revealed the contents of it to Paul. Recall the words BUT NOW… is the author mindless or perhaps just agenda driven?

1 Corinthians 2:7-8… “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, EVEN THE HIDDEN WISDOM, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Col 1:25-26… “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the MYSTERY WHICH HATH BEEN HID from ages and from generations, BUT NOW is made manifest to his saints:

Romans 16:25-27… “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, BUT NOW is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”

It gets better… “Mid-Acts dispensationalism misinterprets Galatians 2:7, “I [Paul] had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised.”

It’s actually the authors perverted bible which does the disservice here. The KJB reads crystal clear.

Galatians 2:7… “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

A single distorted etherial unidentifiable “gospel” in the former. Two clearly different gospel messages to two different groups of people in the later. “Things that are different cannot be the same.” This is why the King James only issue is so critical and so fiercely opposed by so many. The truth is deliberately obscured in “modern” bible versions and expounded perfectly clearly in the KJB. The last thing in the world satan wants a man to know is the mystery revealed to Paul because it demonstrates satan’s utter downfall and Gods perfect manifold wisdom.

Colossians 2:15… “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Ephesians 3:9-12… “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, WHICH FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD HATH BEEN HID in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: TO THE INTENT THAT NOW UNTO THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS IN HEAVENLY PLACES MIGHT BE KNOWN BY THE CHURCH THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

The mid-Acts dispensationalist makes a distinction between a “gospel of circumcision,” taught by Peter, and a “gospel of uncircumcision,” taught by Paul. In reality, Paul is referring to different audiences, not different gospels.

We do make the distinction because the Bible makes the distinction. Your “bible” distorts it. Get a copy of Gods Word and study it. You might learn something satan does not want you to know. Something that will alter your understanding of everything.

The Jews whom Peter ministered to were saved by grace through faith, just as the Gentiles to whom Paul ministered.

Is that why they were still zealous of the law in Acts 21??? Come on man… All are saved by grace through faith but some (the Jews) have works accompanying that faith. What is a covenant at all? It is an if/then contract entered into by two or more parties. If you do “A”, then I’ll do “B”. OT and NT in a nutshell. Grace alone through faith alone by the blood alone is exactly NOT an if/then covenant agreement. It is a gift!

Mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement denies the need for water baptism for believers, thus ignoring Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19.

Exactly, we do deny the need because Jesus was teaching the law to priestly Israel in Matthew 28-19. The mystery had not yet been revealed to Paul. Some very special abilities follow that water baptism in this time period.

Mark 16:15-18… “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Did the author acquire such abilities after his water baptism? Show me a man that has and I’ll show you a liar.

Just above, author states that Jews were saved by grace through faith just as believers are today. Then why is baptism required? That is a work a man might boast in (Ephesians 2:8-9). They were only to go to the rest of the world AFTER they finished up in their own backyard! There is an order to be followed. Jerusalem first as they were a nation of priests!

Acts 1:8… “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Examine Pater’s own words… the final written record of his speaking in the book of Acts.

Acts 15:11… “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” Shall be… Peter is expecting salvation to come in the future which makes perfect sense when we read about “enduring to the end” (Matthew 24:13) and hoping to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you” (1 Peter 1:13). Israel’s national salvation is a future occurrence (Acts 3:19-21).

They exclude water baptism on the basis that the baptism of the Spirit, which occurs at salvation, has replaced water baptism.

Exactly, and here is why. We are not priests that require cleansing. Christ’s shed blood has made me clean! How can water possibly compare?

Ephesians 4:5… “One Lord, one faith, ONE baptism,

Which would ANYONE prefer, water or Holy Spirit? I’ll stay dry thank you very much and thank God He does the baptizing for me. You religionists keep your water baptism. Better yet, follow Paul as Christ commands.

1 Corinthians 1:17… “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” God the Father sent John the Baptist to water baptize; Christ did send forth Peter and the 11 to water baptize (prepare) a nation of priests. Even though Paul water baptized a few, that was not his specific commission as the above verse clearly states.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism overlooks the fact that Gentiles were part of the early church before Paul was converted. Acts 2:10–11 makes it clear that the crowd listening to Peter preach on the Day of Pentecost included Gentile proselytes to Judaism.

We overlook nothing. A Gentile who converts to Judaism becomes what exactly? How about (wait for it, here it comes…) he becomes a Jew. Therefore Peter was preaching to JEWS in the JEWISH TEMPLE.

And Acts 8 shows how Samaritans and an Ethiopian were baptized into Christ before Paul ever started preaching the doctrine of the church or of grace.

Many people were “in Christ” before Christ began the mystery church with Paul. People can be “in Christ” according to prophecy, as the Jews were; or we can be “in Christ” via the mystery as Paul (our pattern) and anyone who hereafter believed was. There are two overarching programs both of which are “in Christ” in effect. Gods earthly program involving the nation Israel and the Gentile nations who bless them; and His heavenly program which involves the church which is His body. Both the heaven and the earth are fallen. Both require redemption “in Christ”. God has both fully under control.

Thus there was a joint church body of Jews and Gentiles before Paul began his ministry.

This is accurate but misleading as the author simply want to mash all the people together under one unspecified mish-mash “gospel”. Any Gentiles who either became Jews or pledged allegiance to Israel according to Gods prophetic instruction could be included in this church. There were a few. This does not mean the Jerusalem church and the body are all the same church. It isn’t. Jerusalem was a church with a different purpose than the church of believers which exist today. They had super powers… we do not. They had those powers in order to enable them to endure to the end of the great tribulation. They are going to need them; things are going to get really ugly.

Genesis 12:1-3… “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: AND I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE, AND CURSE HIM THAT CURSETH THEE: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Cornelius in Acts 10 would be the best example of such a one. He blessed the nation by giving much alms to the people and prayed to God alway. He understood his position under the nation Israel as did the samaritan women that Jesus called a dog (Mat 15:22-28). She too understood her place beneath Israel and the Lord blessed her accordingly.

Most importantly, mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement claims there are “different gospels,” one taught by Peter and one taught by Paul. But the Old Testament (and the first part of the New Testament) does not teach salvation by works; the Jews in Galilee were not saved a different way from the Gentiles in Achaia.

There are many different gospels in the Bible. Abraham has one referencing Genesis 12 in Galatians 3:8. Your “bible” intentionally obscures them that you (author) misunderstand that which satan least of all wants you to understand… the mystery revealed to Paul. To say that the OT does not teach salvation with works is beyond ignorant. It is dishonest. There was 600 plus points of the law to keep and sacrifices to be made if one failed. At the end of the day, this author is not a Bible believer. He’s not even all that bright. He’s an agenda driven religionist who wants people to keep paying tithes to a priest class he himself supports. Religion is just another way for man to control other men.

Galatians 5:1… “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Christ died to free us from the law instituted to prove to man that he is a hopeless sinner who can’t possibly keep it. There is nothing a man can do to earn his salvation. Not baptism, not law keeping, not praying certain prayers, not anything. Such an article demonstrates beyond doubt that we all need to study the right Bible rightly divided or confusion at least, damnation at worst, will be the result.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism is opposed to several elements of orthodoxy.

We are opposed to all of “orthodox religion” actually. We simply believe what the Bible says, to whom it says it. Bible Christianity is the 100% absence of religion… religion defined as that which a man does to either please God or assuage His anger.

Its downplaying of half of the New Testament, its unwarranted exclusion of early Jewish believers from the body of Christ, its disregard of water baptism, and its allowance for a faith-plus-works gospel make the Grace Movement an unbiblical view.

Not downplaying as all scripture is for our learning, merely identifying to whom it was written. For example, who was James writing to?

James 1:1… “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, TO THE TWELVE TRIBES WHICH ARE SCATTERED ABROAD, greeting.

I assume the author is not a member of a Jewish tribe scattered by Paul. The early Jewish believers have their own prophesies and an earthly program which yet remain unfulfilled. They have no business in the heavenly church which is His body. We have Gods specific promises to us and they have the specific promises God made to them. We need to learn the difference between the two. That most people do not know the difference is why there are so many “Christian” denominations and such Biblical confusion in the world.

Matthew 19:28… “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The twelve Jewish apostles to the twelve Jewish tribes of Israel will sit on twelve Jewish thrones in the New Jewish Jerusalem come from heaven to earth, judging those same twelve Jewish tribes who collectively will be the worlds priest class at some point in history’s future. Today’s believers go to heaven to be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Heaven comes to earth “as it is in heaven” to Israel in the future.

We absolutely disregard water baptism as either an aspect of works based salvation or a means of glorifying the flesh which Christ has spiritually crucified (Galatians 2:20, and 6:13). And finally, to say that we allow for works based salvation is just plain idiotic and dishonest when everything we actually say is counter to exactly that. I will leave works based salvation to those the author would prefer we listen to: Jesus, James, Peter and John…

Luke 18:18-22… “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” Jesus preaches commandment keeping and He commands the wealthy man to sell all that he has and distribute to the poor. Does author “follow Christ” by commandment keeping and willful poverty? I thought not…

James 2:24… “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” Paul says the exact opposite in Romans 4:1-5 establishing the mid-Acts position of grace through faith WITHOUT works. Author should re-check his own work and his own thoughts.

1 Peter 1:13… “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” Read that one again. The grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. That’s a future event. Mid-Acts teaches that we have that grace now – without works or endurance till the end (Romans 5:11).

1 Peter 2:12… “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, THEY MAY BY YOUR GOOD WORKS, GLORIFY GOD IN THE DAY OF VISITATION.” In the body of Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:28). Why is Peter speaking to Gentiles? Perhaps it is because he is a JEW. Why do they do good works? That the Gentiles might glorify God through them.

2 Peter 2:20-21… “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” Does that sound remotely like the condition-less eternal salvation mid-Acts teaches? We are COMPLETE in Christ, needing nothing else (Colossians 2:9-10). He did it all for us. We are tangled up in an evil world, and Christ has delivered us from it (Galatians 1:4).

1 John 1:7… “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” IF we walk… that is a conditional statement and thus implies works. In this case “walking in the light”. For, IF we fail to walk in the light, THEN darkness awaits, as we are not cleansed from sin. That is works based salvation.

1 John 2:3… “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” What else does John need to say to complete my argument? Author simply desires to make the mid-Acts position look bad and by doing so, only demonstrates his own ignorance of scripture.

I will close this very long yet still not exhaustive post with two last verses. The first is a verse of warning, the second of admonition. I warn you of Bible teachers in general, myself included though I hope to be helpful. It is you dear reader who must be persuaded in your own mind what is truth (Romans 14:5). No one will stand before God in your place. He wrote a book for each and every person to read and comprehend. Not one of us should listen exclusively to what any man says the Bible says. We need to open the book and let it read us while we read it. Bible study is interaction with the living Holy Spirit of God. That’s as monumental as it gets in this world.

Colossians 2:8… “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

2 Timothy 2:15… “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

GoD and DoG

A piece just a bit off the usual well worn path.  Been a tough couple of days, it has.  I’ve titled this one for a little song written by Wendy Fransisco… let’s listen.  If your heart has strings this will give them a tug.

I study the Bible a great deal.  Not bragging, it’s a thing I love to do.  I’ve heard a lot of preachers say a lot of different things about peoples pets.  None of them truly Biblical.  What I’m going to say is not “necessarily” Biblical either but it’s based on who I know God to be as He has revealed Himself throughout time, in His progressively revealed book that is the Bible.  This is just my (hopefully at least somewhat) informed opinion.

The Bible aside for a moment, seeing this is a post about dogs, I have learned more about my relationship to God from my different dogs throughout the years than I have from any other source, go figure.  People are about as different from dogs as God is different from people.

Gods ways are not mans ways.

Isaiah 55:8…  “ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

Neither are mans ways dogs ways and vise versa.  We’re very different.  Perhaps God and dog have more in common with one another than man has with either?  I wonder…

People, above and beyond all else, are complicated creatures.  Admit it… we are.  Dogs are such remarkably simple creatures; and in my studies, I’ve found that God is a very simple God as well.  He wants us to want to be with Him.  That simple.  Since before the foundations of the world were laid God knew us and had a plan and purpose for His people.  We saved are His children.  A dog as well is happiest simply being with its person.  Wherever I am in my home there are 2 dogs, a Great Dane (Moose) and a Beagle (Tucker Bean), very near by.  They are my canine children.

If you’re saved, you know God asks nothing in return for His great favor.  His love comes completely without cost or contingent.  It is pure love, unconditional in the utmost.  Understand, I’m hardly saying that dogs are little “g” gods but I will say that the love a dog presents its person is as unconditional and uncomplicated as a person is likely to experience in this here corporeal world.  Free of judgement, bias, prejudice, envy, etc. (the human flesh – Gal 5:19-21)… all things which plague the majority of complicated human relationships.  My wife and I experience none of these issues of course…

Our relationship to God (an honest one that is) is one of utter dependence.  Were it not for God, the next breath I took would have been taken in vain.  It is God and God alone who provides any lasting meaning at all to life.  Eternity underlies the essence of meaning.  If existence were not eternal, existence would be vanity.  Of course we have free will and choose to do lots of things which provide daily meaning, sustenance and enjoyment.  Without God however, meaning itself, aside from survival for survivals sake (eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die), life would lose all context.  The saved know there is far more to come after this vapor of a life passes away.  We are joint heirs with Christ who made the world and all things in it.

Rom 8:16-17…  “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

In a similar way is a dog completely dependent upon its person.  It’s he from which not only his daily sustenance comes, but any and all love and kindness the dog receives is person dependent.  That person becomes the dogs entire life.  What a realization when honestly considered.  Is it reciprocated in our relationship with God?

Our human children grow and become independent.  We as parents rightly desire this, that they eventually leave our homes to make their own ways and create their own families in the world.  By this we know we have succeeded as parents and can then enjoy life as older, wiser grandparents.  A dog remains entirely dependent upon its person throughout its entire life and we as people, whether fully realized or not, remain dependent upon God.  Given the choice a dog rarely if ever leaves its person; a person should never leave God but many times does.

Have you ever wondered, with all the trouble we humans are to God, why does He still love us?  What is it exactly we “do” for Him?  What do we provide Him that He would care so much about us?  We sin constantly, disobey, disbelieve…

Psalm 8:4…  “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Acts 17:24-25…  “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

In the same vein, what is it that dogs do for humans?  They poop on the floor, shed all over, bark at nothing, chew on everything, cost a fortune, fart at the most inopportune times…  but, over and above all their trouble, they have become our companions through thick and thin.  Some even have very important jobs tending to the disabled and guarding our lives and property.  They are always there for us no matter what and, as any dog lover knows, we love them no matter what.  They are truly mans best most simple friend in this world.  Might a loving God simply desire our trusting companionship as a loving human desires a dogs?   Can the (human) analogy be drawn that God loves us as we love our dogs?  I’m going out on the limb to say yes.  I personally believe God is trying to show man something about Divine Love in a K9 mutt.  Does a dog, as one of Gods creatures, reflect that loving part of God for man to witness?  I think so.  I witness it time and again personally.  Uncomplicated, uncompromised, unconditional love.  Consider, God gave all the animals to Adam for him to personally name and they had zero fear of him.  What an amazing scene, even though his true life partner had not yet been created.

Perhaps I am just being too sentimental…

The dog I had to put down the other day (Ruby – 13) was a troublemaker from the word go till she turned about 5 years old.  Disobedient, rebellious, self-willed… but somehow completely and totally adorable, as lovable and sweet a dog as ever lived.  She grew into a remarkably wise old dog, but and again, if I’m being honest with myself, I can ask the same questions the psalmist and Paul declare in the above scripture; what does dog do for me that I would love her so?  Cause I’ll tell ya, I loved that dog (and my other two) more than I love most people.  No conditions attached.  She was always thrilled to see me, even if I was gone for only 30 minutes out in the yard, and I was always thrilled to see her when I returned.  Constantly grinning and wagging her tail till the very end.

There’s a lesson here as always.  After Ruby “grew up” and became an adult dog, all she ever wanted to do was to please me.  She knew how much she was loved by the way I treated her and her only desire was to return as much of the same back to me as she was capable. The key word here I believe is TRUST.  As she grew so too did her natural instinct to trust her leader.  I can honestly say that dog would have followed me anywhere.  All throughout the Bible, in situation after situation no matter the situation, God simply asks mans to trust in what He says.  Time after time, man decides to trust in himself and not God; same as that “young” Labrador.  Believers today are asked simply to trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as payment in full for our transgressions.  Why is that so hard for so many?  As I’ve grown personally in Christ, I’ve simply learned to trust what God says in His book; and now that I do, the entire universe just falls naturally into place.  So simple.  Like my relationship with my adult dogs… they understand me.  I understand the Lord.

2 Tim 2:7…  “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

In the beginning we humans had our Creator as a direct Companion.

Gen 3:8(a)…  “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:

Imagine hearing the voice of God our Creator in the perfect garden just as natural as can be in the cool of a beautiful day!  This was/is Gods ultimate intent for us.  As we know, it didn’t last too long.  Demonstrated in these few words however is the entirety of creations purpose.  That God and His creatures might commune one with the other in simple uncomplicated perfection for all time.  This will occur in the future; it is His will for it to be so.

Rev 4:11…  “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

He created us for His own pleasure.  He created us not to be disobedient and defiant but for us to trust in and learn from; to live by and together with Him in His perfect wisdom.  Why did I buy that dog when she was just an 8 week old pup?  I submit that it is for the very same reasons.  My ultimate desire was to provide for that dog a beautiful and loving environment wherein we both might thoroughly enjoy each others company.  I wanted canine companionship as I have always loved dogs.  Me in my capacity as a human, she in her capacity as a canine.  Her capacity as an uncomplicated canine is in providing fun, loving companionship without guile, judgement, confusion or condition and that is no small feat.  Experiencing such here in this world is a rare treat indeed.  Few people are capable of the same in regards to one another.  She made it very easy for me to return the same wonderfully simple companionship to her…

God, because of our sin, can no longer currently dwell physically with man.  (He tried that, we killed him…)  He has put in motion a situation by which all things will eventually be redeemed back to Him in His good time.  Man, if he’s a responsible owner, does live in close physical proximity to his dog.  I didn’t get rid of Ruby when she disobeyed.  I trained her to obey.  Why?  To magnify myself above her?  No, but for her own good, that she might live a long, happy and healthy life; because without me, the dog would have not lasted long at all.  Through my consistent actions of love and rebuke toward her she learned to trust me.  As God knows what’s best for humans, I knew what was better for her than she was capable of knowing.  She, like Adam, didn’t realize the error of her ways when she “broke my commandment” not to run out into the street, for example.  A car could have hit and killed her.  That commandment was given because I loved the dog and wanted her to prosper under my care.  For whatever reasons one cares to speculate, God knew something about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that Adam didn’t, He knew that once eaten, the fruit of it was deadly; yet without it our free will choice (God or self) would be void.

Ruby was lucky that each time she chose to run out into the street a car didn’t hit her and eventually learned not to run out there; to “keep my commandment”.  Good dog.  Because of that she was rewarded with as long and wonderful a life (and an absolutely painless peaceful passing) a Labrador Retriever could have ever possibly imagined.

In this dispensation of grace there are no commandments.  We as humans, by fighting back like rabid dogs against Gods righteous and loving intent for us, have put God in the unenviable position of allowing us to do whatever it is we wish to do in this world.  He’s taken His hands temporarily off the steering wheel if you will.  The “dogs” have been left to fend for themselves, the kennel doors thrown open wide; the “flip side” of free grace; sin abounds.  Does it ever…  He has left the choice out in the open, a man can either choose God or self; God will honor either choice a man makes.  A dog can choose to either bite or lick the hand that feeds it.  Remarkable that so many dogs choose to lick and not bite.  Why do so many people choose to bite?  The answer I believe, is self.  Men look within.  That was the fruits poison.  Dogs have no ego with which to place themselves upon pedestals.  They (animals in general) never ate from the tree.  They suffer in this evil world for our transgression.  Their interest is focused on their person, with rare exception, completely and totally.

And what a rewarding experience it is for that exceptionally lucky person!  Anyone not ever knowing the simple unconditional love a dog can have for a man is truly missing out on one of life’s greatest treasures.  Life’s greatest treasure is knowing the love God has for man.

Rom 8:38-39…  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is a very compelling duality here: between God, man and dog that all of us should take thoughtful personal note of.  I have and I’ve been rewarded, as Wendy notes in her song, with knowledge of that love from both sides of the equation.  It’s truly amazing.

John Hiatt performs one of my favorite tunes.  Pardon the cuss in the intro… but he nails it fairly well perfectly with  this one!

“My Dog And Me”

She marked our trail
Up the back bone ridge
How many times can one dog pee
She keeps me high as an eagle
When I’m on the skids
I guess you gotta come down eventually
Buddy I coulda gone that extra mile
For an extra bark or an extra smile
I never felt so free
It was just my dog and me
Then she gives me that look
Like she’d lay down her life
No doubt she would in a minute, man
She’d face the bullet
Oh she’d face the knife
Just to keep my butt from the fryin’ pan
Now she’s runnin’ up ahead to chase some deer
Comes back to tell me that the coast is clear
It’s a different world I see
When it’s just my dog and me
There’s a rabbit on the run
Man and beast and sky and sun
Who’s talking to the birds in the trees
Why its just my dog and me
Now it looks like we’ve been makin’ tracks
From the crack of dawn
To the end of the day
So its nice and easy down the mountain’s back
She wouldn’t know
Any other way
So its over that ridge for one last mile
‘Til we’re fast asleep by the fire side
Dreamin’ these dreams for free
Just my dog and me
I never felt so free
It was just my dog and me
Me and Doobs

This picture taken an hour before Ruby’s death.  Will you be that happy, even in physical pain?  That dog KNEW she was loved; that nothing bad would happen to her as long as I was there.  I pray I am as I KNOW where I’m going.  I KNOW, as nasty as I am, that I am loved.  Animals are innocent.  Not perfect, but sinless.  Unsaved man is guilty; a saved man is found innocent as he is “in Christ”.  It is man that brought sin and death (selfishness) into this world for which the whole of creation suffers the consequence.  It is God and God alone who provides hope of physical redemption from this evil world into His eventual new creation; freed from mans original transgression into glorious perfect companionship with Him and all other living creatures as it was in the beginning.  I for one cannot wait…

Rom 8:18-22…  “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

What an honor and privilege it is to share the lives of creatures free from petty human selfish desires.  Thank you Father for creating such wonderfully goofy loving creatures and placing them into my care.  Rest in peace Ruby.  I’ll miss you for the rest of my days.  I can’t prove it scripturally, but knowing how absolutely amazing, powerful, loving and creative our God is, I do believe I’ll see you (and Rose and Murphy) again in the magnificently perfect future world God intended all along.  I believe it because as His child, I ask it of God my Father and I don’t believe He would deny His own.  He created everything (man and dog) for the pure pleasure of creating; for simple trusting loving companionship.  I have dogs for the pure pleasure of having dogs; for simple trusting loving companionship.

If any in the DFW area are facing similar end of life decisions for their pets I cannot recommend Dr. Fiona McCord at Compassionate Care Pet Services highly enough.  What a blessing she has been.  Thank you for taking such sweet care of my girl Doc.

Whose Life Is This Anyway?

Salvation is the most critical thing a man can realize.  It is a must.  It is that simple.  While it may sound heretical to some, there is nothing that one HAS to do once saved.  Heck, you don’t even have to be a nice person for God to save you… indeed, the initial part of salvation is realizing that you are NOT a nice person.

Jeremiah 17:9…  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Allow me to get a little personal here.  I came to salvation relatively late in life 7 years ago at age 47.  This post may sound oddly counter intuitive at first but bear with me.  We know Gods will for man is that he get saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:3-4).  Getting saved was such an incredible blessing to me.  What a relief to finally understand, after years of thinking hopelessly “there is no way God is going to allow the likes of me into heaven no matter what I do”, that all the work was already done and God simply offered me salvation as a free gift.

The more I come to the knowledge of the truth however, the more I understand the condition of the world at large, the more at times I think, “God, what did I just sign up for?”  Coming to the knowledge of the truth is far more than a wild ride.  As the title of this post indicates, my life, now that I’m saved, no longer belongs to me.  I’m not sure there’s a person alive that knows what he could be in for the day he gets saved.  I surely did not!  Paul is so funny sometimes in the ways in which he addresses people…

1 Corinthians 6:19…  “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Um, no Paul, actually, the day I got saved I had no idea!  Such is a stunning realization especially with no covenantal law system commanding me to do a darn thing for God in return.  It is the love, the longsuffering forgiveness, the beyond human grace shown to me which is my learned (over time, with study) motivator.  And I readily admit that sometimes I am not near as motivated as I should be.  Amazing as it is, Gods grace is easy to take for granted.  We are so easily distracted by the goings on of daily existence.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15…  “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

At 54, I’ve  lived the vast majority of my life in service to myself.  I’ve always tried to be a “nice guy” but I know I’ve not always, or even usually, succeeded.  I like to think that becoming a saved Christian helped that situation just a little, but that is for others to decide.  I now find myself behind enemy lines in the greatest war ever fought.  A war the vast majority of people have no idea is even being waged.  The war between Absolute Truth and, well, everything else.  Paul explains to Timothy:

1 Timothy 1:18…  “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

Most newly saved people likely believe their own lives are about to improve greatly; that being saved God will now bless their new “earthly” existence.  The reality is actually far different.  He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings IN HEAVENLY PLACES (Eph 1:3).  Our physical blessings come when our old bodies are redeemed for new (Rom 8:23) in the ages to come (Eph 2:7).  The “affairs” of this earthly existence fade (admittedly slowly) to black.

2 Timothy 2:4…  “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

God does not “bless” this earthly flesh (sorry tithers)… He killed it (spiritually).  The “prosperity gospel” is utter nonsense (have these people read about Paul’s life?).

Galatians 2:20…  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Coming to the knowledge of rightly divided Biblical truth can honestly be somewhat shocking!  It is being turned right side up in an upside down world.  The world is literally wrong on all counts.  It is anti-Bible.  I readily admit that at times I find myself far more unprepared than I ought to be for the position God has placed me in.  A saved man, whether he knows it or not, becomes a soldier the instant he gets saved.  And no, we are not out there talking to people about salvation to try to construct an army (we are trying to keep people from spending eternity with themselves in hell) even though that is the result of our efforts. We ambassadors are however a fighting force.

We are not trying to “bring in the Kingdom FOR God” that Christ may return as many unsaved believers tend to think.  God Himself will establish that Kingdom when He is good and ready (and it won’t be pretty when it comes).

Daniel 2:44…  “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

As soldiers, we are building a body of believers that God will someday use in the heavenly places for His own purposes.  While not the subject of this post, members of the body of Christ will take up those positions vacated by the angels which followed satan in pride.

Never once did I imagine how difficult the battle would sometimes be.  The true joys of seeing people saved are few and far between.  Discouragement is real.  I feel it.  I’m sure each and every soldier experiences war in unique ways, but let’s face it, this is a war that we are in and war is never fun.  It involves a fight.  It begins with one person telling another that they are wrong.  Of course a soldier of the grace of God should say what needs to be said as kindly as possible and in the spirit of truth and love.  Most people do not feel “loved” when someone tells them they are sinners destined for an eternity in hell, even though such is quickly followed up with “God took care of this problem for us”!

I am personally very fortunate that my immediate family, my wife and two grown children, came to the saving knowledge of Christ soon after me.  What a dilemma such a situation would present if that fight lasted years and years.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes it doesn’t end at all and loved ones die without Christ.  Even after years of witnessing to my elderly parents I remain very unfortunately unconvinced of their salvation.  Apathy from my father and outright hostility from my mother when even attempting to bring scripture out into an open friendly discussion.  Who would have thought it?  Not me and I was an atheist for much of my youth and confused for much of my adulthood.  And they call themselves “Christian”.  So very sad, but they are grown sovereign individuals and will sleep in the bed they’ve made.  I pray I am wrong about their spiritual condition and will continue to speak with them as I am able and pray for them.

“Christians” are some of the hardest people on earth to get saved, that they become actual Christians.  After all, they go to church from time to time, they give to the charities of their choice, they might even do volunteer community service.  Don’t tell them they are not “good”.  They’ll beat you over the head with their “goodness”.  What was it Jeremiah said about the human heart (see above)?  What does God through Paul say?

Romans 3:12… “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:23…  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

People in America may not yet be persecuted physically for their witnessing as in other parts of the world but make no mistake, talk of such persecution is only becoming more and more “fashionable”.   Ever watch “comedies” on TV or in the movies?  Late night talk shows?  Ever try to have a rightly divided conversation with another “believer” on a blog?  We Bible believers are not portrayed in kind light.  Actions never remain too far behind thoughts.  We are satan’s most ardent enemies and I’m very sure dark spiritual energy is expended trying to discourage and defeat us.  True Bible believing Christians are scoffed at and ridiculed more and more here in America.  They are killed elsewhere.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking it can’t possibly happen here.  This is a war we are fighting and we are the ambassadors of grace and peace in a world that is more and more wrathful, angry, deceived and thus opposed to truth.

While God does not force anyone to battle, He paid an exorbitant price for our admission to it.  Men of older times paid many times with their own lives to to preserve Gods Word in many languages.  Have you read Foxe’s “Book Of Martyrs”?

Does it seem that I’m trying to dissuade you from salvation?  I said this post might seem somewhat counter intuitive at the outset.  Rest assured, I am not.

While the war might be a tough one to fight, fight it anyway.  While people might be sometimes extremely opposed to what you have to tell them, tell them anyway.  The vast majority might be offended and angered by what you stand for.  So be it.  When a door of opportunity opens, stroll right through!  Telling the truth is Godly love.  The truth itself is a very precious gift we possess and as Gods own (not our own), He asks us to share it.

Perverted “bibles” call first Corinthians 13 the “love” chapter.  It is not.  It is the “charity” chapter.  True charity toward our fellow men rejoices in truth.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7…  “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

We are doing what God our Creator and Savior would have us do.  He does not force anyone to participate in the battle for men’s souls, but after the joy of getting saved and the inevitable let-down of your family and friends not following closely after, Gods Word really begins to work in a man, if he studies.  Paul encourages believers that such tribulation builds patience, that patience builds experience and experience builds hope; all by way of realizing Gods love toward us.

Romans 5:1-5…  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

He continues, as the saved are literally made alive again from the dead.  Upon salvation we are moved in an instant from eternal death to eternal life.

Romans 6:13…  “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

With eternity on the line and our lives, from eternities perspective, being so short (James calls our lives a vapor in 4:14) how much does it really matter what people think of us?  If, during our short lives, we have opportunity to reach 100 or 1,000 people with a clear gospel presentation and a single person gets saved, it will have been worth all the trouble for that one eternal soul.  In 10,000 years you or I will look back at what was once our temporal existence and think to ourselves, that was nothing what I went through compared to where I am now!

2 Corinthians 4:16-17…  “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

1 Timothy 6:12…  “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

There are rewards awaiting those who enter into the battle.  Paul was the first “warrior” of grace.  Read about his many tribulations in 2 Corinthians 11.  The guy was battle tested.  I cannot wait to meet him in glory just to say thank you for standing firm!

Colossians 3:24…  “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Romans 8:16-17…  “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Christ is the Creator and thus the eventual inheritor of everything (he will take back the currently fallen heaven and earth which satan usurped).  So too will be those who are saved.  We are joint heirs with Him…!!!  We are laborers together with Him, taking great care how we labor.

1 Corinthians 3:9-16…  “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Note very carefully that he whose work (or lack thereof) is completely and totally burned up, turned into wasted ash, still remains saved for all eternity.  How could one not try even a little knowing such grace and that such potential rewards are at stake?  Note even more carefully that the saved ARE the temple of God on earth with the Spirit dwelling in us corporately and individually.  If any are going to get saved anywhere it is because someone like us reached out with the truth of the simple gospel of grace and preached it to them.  Salvation by “feeling” or “experience” is anything but.

All the world is the “mission field”.  We don’t require a fully funded lifestyle in Tahiti to reach the lost.  Your local church parking lot at 11:01 AM on Sunday morning will do just fine.  I’m only half joking… reach out to anyone in your sphere of influence no matter how small, expanding it as you can.  That is your mission field, the little corner of the world you live in.  It is a sad and potentially discouraging reality that most will think you foolish.  Know that it is not you they mock, it is what God says to them and they mock Him at their own peril.

1 Corinthians 1:18-21…  “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Run the race set before us as one who tries to win.  This is a great physical and spiritual challenge.

1 Corinthians 9:24…  “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?  So run, that ye may obtain.

Paul’s son in the gospel, Timothy, needed much encouragement.  He was not the natural born warrior that Titus was.  People are different.  Paul encouraged him greatly because he required encouragement, as do we all.  Some more than others.

2 Timothy 4:1-4…  “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

That time when few will endure sound doctrine began 2,000 years ago while Paul was trying to explain free grace to the world.  Back then it was pretty bad.  There’s been a lot of waxing worse and worse since then…

2 Timothy 3:12-13…  “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Deception is here in spades now!  It is everywhere and pervades all things.  Politics, science, religion…  Get ready for a battle!  satan is not yet going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (he will be in the great tribulation to come – 1 Peter 5:8), he is currently transformed as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:13-15) telling people they are good.  If that’s your pastor or “priest” he is a minister of the devil and not providing the truth you need.  Let’s be able to say with Paul that at the time of our departure that we did what we could to advance Gods grace in the world, enduring the afflictions which will inevitably come.  Here is encouragement!  Do the work of an evangelist!  It is why we are here in Gods stead.  Our inevitable departure will come quickly enough.

2 Timothy 4:5-8…  “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight…  (magnificent lyric from, “It Is Well With My Soul“)

It is not my life anymore, nor is it your own if you are saved. Paul the Apostle beseeches (implores) us…

Romans 12:1…  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

While my everyday choices are still my own, I belong to God and ought to choose accordingly which means actively choosing Him.  Sometimes it is very hard living in this crazy cursed world in this crazy cursed body, but I’m a bought and paid for child of God till the end, come what may.  If all I do is pen this blog, it was something.  This is my attempt to expand my sphere of influence.  Some of you readers come from places I have never been nor likely will ever be.  It is such a blessing to examine the blog “stats” to see evidence of your visits!  I pray that what I write is somehow a blessing to you.  I try to do more with those I meet in person.  We all should.  Write if you need some encouragement or just to say hi, knowing that your writing would, at the same time, be an encouragement to me.  We ought to encourage one another as Paul so often exhorts.

God is not going to judge our results.  Some plant while others water, God giveth the increase; people have free will to accept or reject what we communicate: He is going to judge our efforts however.

1 Corinthians 3:7-8…  “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

Knowing what He’s done for us, He is so very deserving of our best.  Rewards, while awesome, are the icing on the cake.  Get you some while the gettin’ is good!  Plant some seeds, water the seeds that someone else planted.  We likely will not ever know the effect that our gospel presentations might have on another.  If they have no effect whatsoever, God still ask us to sow it.  It is the only way a lost sinner might be saved… by the foolishness of preaching.

Preach.  It’s what matters most.  It’s our job.  We belong to Him.

 

 

The Man And His Wife…

Genesis 2:15…  “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

The basic foundational principals and building blocks of civilization as God intended are found within these next several verses.  God created the world and everything in it.  God created the man and placed him in its most glorious part, the Garden of Eden and gave man the responsibility and the ability to dress and keep it as it pleased the man.

Genesis 2:19…  “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Adam saw every creature that was made and named each as he saw fit.  The man noticed that there were male and female of every creature, but something was missing.

Genesis 2:20…  “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

There was not a female for the man through which he could create new life himself as all other creatures could.

Genesis 2:18…  “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

God therefore, in His infinite wisdom, created FOR the man, the woman.  An help “meet” for him.  Webster defines “meet” as: “Fit; suitable; proper; qualified; convenient; adapted, as to a use or purpose.”  As Gods desire for all his created beings was to replenish the earth, for the male there must be a female and vise versa.  That God put on display all creatures for the man to recognize and name, not having created the woman as of yet, God must have wanted the man to realize something basic.  He NEEDED help, a partner, to fulfill his ultimate purpose.  Solitude was not functional.  That purpose was to dress and keep the garden and to create children.

Genesis 1:28…  “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Thus we see clearly that the man was responsible for “keeping” Gods created earth and that the woman was given him to assist in his adventure.  Looking carefully at the circumstance surrounding Gods giving the woman to the man we find a very interesting thing… that at one point the man was complete, physically whole (though unable to procreate).  He was formed complete of the dust of the ground into which God breathed the mans living soul.  The woman however was not made directly from the dust, she was taken as an integral physical part of the man.

Genesis 2:21-22…  “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

God took a physical piece of the man, his rib, and created the woman from that physical piece.  In effect, God took the completed man, made him less than what he once was and from that which He removed created something far more beautiful and intricate.  The woman, now joined back together with the man in a marriage union thus completes the man once again.

Genesis 2:25…  “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

His diminished state has added to it not only that which was missing, but something far more valuable, an help “meet” for him.  Another of his “kind” to help complete Gods purpose for him.

Paul (speaking to the mostly Jewish Corinthian believers about customary Jewish head coverings) as always makes a profound observation back to the early scripture he knew so well.

1 Corinthians 11:7-9…  “For a man indeed not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.  For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

As a saved man and woman is returned by faith in the shed blood of Christ to the image and glory of God (2 Cor 3:18), the woman he chooses to wife is the glory of that man.  As the church which is His body brings glory to Christ by its actions, the wife is to bring glory to the husband by her own.  While every saved person is “complete” in Christ (he needs absolutely nothing else for salvation) I personally believe a man remains at least partially incomplete in this world without a woman joined to him.  There is a piece of him missing.  God created the woman to fill that void and allow man to move forward attaining that which God ordained from the very beginning; not that we live any longer in the perfect Garden, but in this present evil world, to work with our own hands providing for ourselves and our children until they can provide for themselves.

Understanding this created order, how ought the man behave toward the woman and the woman toward the man in a marriage arrangement?  Such a question can only be answered by our Apostle Paul and in a book written directly to the strangers of the covenants and promises, us.  He begins by speaking to all of us before focusing in on the marriage relationship.

Ephesians 5:1-2…  “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

He says to follow God as dear children walking in the love of Christ; knowing Christ’s amazing love toward us.  To follow God we must take what He says to us literally, not as some fortune cookie “scripture” but as it is in truth, the very Words of God to us.

1 Thessalonians 2:13…  “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of man, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Following the line of admonition to the body as a whole, Paul continues:

Ephesians 5:14-16…  “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

We know the days are evil because satan is transformed into an angel of false light (2 Cor 11:14) and is busy blinding the minds of the masses to the truth of Gods word (2 Cor 4:4).  The state of deterioration seen in interpersonal and marriage relationships the world over is testament to such activity.  People everywhere are becoming more and more angry and less tolerant of one another, hypocritically, in the name of “tolerance”.  Go figure.

True light comes from the word of God alone as a persons spirit is quickened (made alive) by the working of His mighty power (Eph 1:18-23, Col 2:13).  The foundation of human relationships, especially those of fellow believers and most importantly between a man and his wife begins here:

Ephesians 5:20-21…  “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

The relationship between the man and the woman begins with thankfulness to God, one for the other…

1 Thessalonians 5:18…  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

…and submission to and fear (awesome respect) of God who made them male and female; able to create new life from (almost) nothing at all.  Only God can create ex nihilo.  Similar admonition and instruction is found in Paul’s letter to the Philippian believers.

Philippians 2:3…  “Let nothing be done in strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Specifically, God through our Apostle Paul instruct wives to submit to their husbands in EVERY thing as unto the Lord Himself.  As the church is subject to Christ, so are wives to be subject to husbands.

Epesians 5:22-24…  “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Before going to much further, let’s allow Webster to give us a proper understanding of submission.  Submit:  “To yield, resign or surrender to the power, will or authority of another.  To give up resistance.  To yield ones opinion to the opinion or authority of another.  To be subject; to acquiesce in the authority of another.  To be submissive; to yield without murmuring.”

Christ is the unequivocal head of the church.  What He says, does not just “go”, it “IS”.  Submission to such authority ought to be natural.  The wife should submit in love and trust to her husband because she understands that her husband is her head as Christ is the churches head.  The wife should submit because she understands such love visited upon her by Christ and her husband, knowing that her husband esteems her better than he esteems himself.

Ephesians 5:25-27…  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

A husband must love his wife above himself as Christ so loved the church.  Christ gave Himself to create the new creature that is the church.  The man and his wife give themselves to create the “two become one” that is the marriage relationship.  The love that Christ showed in the cross work He performed on its behalf washed the church clean enough that it it is fit to be presented to God without spot or wrinkle; holy and without blemish.  Thank you Father!  With what does such cleansing take place between the husband and his wife, as we know Christ’s blood cleanses the individual spirit?  Interesting words here… “with the washing of water by the word“.  From this, I take the spiritual baptism by which we are baptized with upon salvation and its quickening of the spirit, that we both can now understand Gods word (1 Cor 2:14).  The washing is the one spiritual baptism (Eph 4:4-6), but it is the word of God that does the actual cleansing of the man and the woman IN THEIR GROWING RELATIONSHIP as they study together and he leads her into deeper understanding.  There is no actual “water” involved because we know such actual water based cleansing is specifically for Israel.

Ephesians 5:28-31…  “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

He must always speak the truth to her in love if they are to grow.  (I could make a comment about loving my own body here, in such condition as it is in, but I will refrain… 😉

Ephesisns 4:15…  “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

In this way the husband lifts the wife above himself as she willingly submits herself to his ordained headship.  As she naturally serves him through submission, he naturally serves her as Christ served the church, giving himself for her.  He must “let this mind be in him…” in order to lead her properly in love.

Philippians 2:4-8…  “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Not that a human man might ever be equal with God, or have to follow Christ to His cross; but we are admonished to let such a mind be in us, serving our fellow believers and most importantly, our wives.  A man must love his wife and put her well being above all else and above all others; come what may.

Paul analogizes the marriage relationship beautifully to that of the stunningly loving relationship that Christ shares with His body, the church.  We are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone.

Ephesians 5:30 again…  “For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bone.

We are the spiritual and physical representatives of Christ on earth, bought with a price and tasked with purpose.  Walk Worthy.

Ephesians 5:32…  “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

The man and the woman have become ONE flesh AS Christ and the church have become ONE flesh.  Talk about a great mystery!  What might the man and his wife be able to accomplish together working toward the same Godly purpose?  Amazing things, truly.

Genesis 2:23…  “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Today, we wait and work together until His glorious appearing assisting one another to the best of our ability as we’ve been ordained to from the very beginning.  The mans every action is toward the benefit of the woman, and thus himself, as the two are quite literally one flesh.  Her every action toward the assistance of the man in his endeavors is, in the same vein, also to the benefit of him and thus herself, again, as the two are one.  Peculiar as that is…

Titus 2:13-14…  “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Why such high standards?  Such extreme submission and such extreme love… we’re only human after all.  True “anti-selfishness”, and admit it, we all tend to be selfish at times.  We all fall short of such standards.  Damn that evil serpent but thank you Lord for giving us the free will to choose what we did and the grace to learn and grow through our mistakes.  How can we who are still stuck in these sinful bodies ever hope to comply?  Simple answer (a lifetime to learn), Gods Word instructs us that we have been raised above sin.  We are a new creature and should walk as such.  That with honest and ardent study we might learn to reckon ourselves to actually be dead indeed unto sin (Rom 6:11) and thus move forward rightly (Phil 3:13-14) in this crazy world.  Walking up the down escalator!

Without doubt we live in a sin cursed world surrounded by sin cursed people which makes such ideal conditions difficult.  But in the confines of a Biblically loving home the two can become very strong if they move together along the new course they have been set upon since salvation.  No longer (hopefully) are they moving along the course of this world, functioning by the instruction of the prince of the power of the air and the vast majority who follow him (Eph 2:2).  They move forward according to Gods instruction to them to the best of their ability.  The more they study and learn the more effective they will be to see Gods will done in and through their lives.  That will being thankfulness in ALL things (1 Thes 5:18) and seeing other men and women saved and coming unto the knowledge of  salvation and the truths of this world (1 Tim 2:3-4).

I want to point out here as a short aside, that these conditions between the man and his wife are not conditional.  “IF he loves me, then will I submit.”  “IF she submits, then will I love her.”  The instructions God gives are to the man and the woman individually.  Of course a mutual coming together in such understanding will be of great benefit.  A saved man or woman should not seek to be yolked together with an unbelieving spouse (2 Cor 6:14). That will be problematic in the long run.

The love of Christ is eternal and bigger than these finite minds can comprehend.  Yet, it is the kind of love a man should show to his wife that she might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:19…  “And to know the love of Christ which passeth all knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Romans 8:38-39…  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That’s love beyond measure.

Again however, why establish such exacting standards of submission and love for us puny humans?  For the answer we must look back to the beginning.  Unto whom did God give authority AND responsibility for the whole of earthy creation?  Even though the wife broke Gods command first, the husband hearkened unto her voice and not the command of God which was given specifically to him (Gen 2:16-17).  Eve was not held accountable.  Adam, as her head, was.  It was him that failed her (and humanity) by listening to her.  Ooops.  It is why satan targeted her, the “non responsible” party.  She was, by her submissive nature, more susceptable to temptation (lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of life – Gen 3:6 which John identifies – 1 John 2:16).  Peter (speaking of course to the poor Jerusalem saints of fading remnant Israel) refers to her as the weaker vessel and he’s not wrong.

Peter 1:3…  “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

But back to the beginning, we see clearly what took place…

Genesis 3:17-18…  “And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for THY sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat of the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Cross referencing scripture with our Apostle Paul…

Romans 5:12…  “Wherefore, as by ONE MAN sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Yup.  The condition of the world is the mans fault.  Not the woman’s.  He was in charge back then.  He is in charge now.  It is the created order and not a power trip for the man as the man should not lord his authority over his wife in an unreasonable, unloving way.  The wife is the mans greatest ministry next to his own self edification (2 Tim 2:15), that she might be made spotless in love and knowledge.

Colossians 2:2-3…  “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

So very critical such wisdom and knowledge. So ignored by most of society.  May we study it always and grow as it works effectually in us.

Paul wraps up his ideas for the man and his wife by saying:

Eph 5:33…  “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Reverence: “Fear mingled with respect and esteem; veneration.  An act of respect or obeisance; a bow or courtesy.  To regard with reverence; to regard with fear mingled with respect and affection.”

It takes a Biblical loving man to deserve such affection.

Winding up, let’s leave a short note to the children of the man and his wife…

Ephesians 6:1-4…  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

…and a note to the body as a whole.  May we all put on the whole armor of God that we all might edify one another to stand against the wiles of the devil.  Webster defines Wile as:  “A trick or stratagem practiced for snaring or deception; a sly, insidious artifice.  To deceive; to beguile.”

Ephesians 6:10-11…  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The devil is out to destroy that natural order which God has established using cunning and subtle deception and he has done a remarkable job.  His wiles are everywhere and in everything.  Let the local assembly of believers strengthen one another in every way possible that each may be strong enough to stand on their own and help others to do the same.

It is the knowledge of His word which empowers us.  As we examine modern society we see more and more that its most basic building block, a man and his wife, has been relentlessly attacked in myriad ways, especially since the 1960’s woman’s liberation movement (Liberation from what exactly?  Biblically loving relationships?  Dang.) and the free love (fornication for all) movement.  Men have more and more abdicated their God given instructions in favor of listening to women of the world as did Adam, leading to an increasingly feminized society, not being her necessary head.  Woman have usurped the natural role of the man to serve her own selfish needs as did Eve.  Natural gender roles have been twisted and this is a very psychologically real satanic process infecting the whole of society. The only way to correct such gender devastation is to get back to the basics of love.  Couldn’t help myself there, enjoy…  🙂

Father, help Godly men and women learn to treat each other the way you set forth in the natural order of things and help them set proper examples for others.  Help us to walk according to who you have made us in Christ; new creatures motivated by the love of Christ for us.

2 Cor 5:14-15…  “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

2 Thessalonians 3:5…  “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Amen.

 

Left behind… now what?

The mid-Acts dispensational position understands that the translation of the body of Christ is the next major move of God in the world.  So, first things first, by all means get saved so you don’t miss it and experience the wrath of God when He begins, once again, to deal with people in terms of judgement and war (not grace and peace).  It will be UGLY.  There will still be earthly salvation available by blessing remnant Israel but it will likely cost you your head.

And no, I’m not going to comment upon the “left behind” series of books even though this is a post speculating upon the same.  While the books are roughly Biblically based, actual Holy writ had little to do with their creation.  Instead, I want to examine what will occur in the realm of dispensational Bible doctrine, post translation of the body of Christ from the world and offer a warning to, and some hope for, those who miss this current grace opportunity.  I’ll examine some things which are absolute fact and add some inductive reasoning of my own.  Such thinking is speculative and not absolute so be convinced in your own mind.  This is a long one, but stay with me here.

We know that to currently teach works based salvation is, in this dispensation, incorrect.  Therefore to teach a man that he must be baptized to be saved, as in…

Mark 16:16…  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

…or, he that endures the great tribulation…

Matthew 24:13…  “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

…or, forbidding to marry, abstaining from meats, or any combination of “time past/ages to come” doctrine offered up in this dispensation of free grace IS a “doctrine of devils”.  Hypocritical lies varnished with partial truth, nothing more.

1 Timothy 4:1-3…  “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Yes, catholocism and the vast majority of protestant denominations teach doctrines of hypocrisy, superstition and devils with varied amounts of “Jesus” sprinkled in for good measure.  They do contain Biblical doctrine; they just happen to be the wrong doctrine for the wrong time period.  The Apostle whom God sent to believers today (Paul) lays no minor charge against those (including angels for good reason, as we will see) who would teach time past or ages to come gospel information today.

Galatians 1:8-9…  “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Today’s spiritual man KNOWS Paul is the Apostle for believers…

1 Corinthians 14:37…  “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

Please pay attention to the commandments God expresses through Paul (free grace!) before the dispensation of grace comes to an end and with it the dispensationally appropriate gospel we currently teach… free grace, through faith and trust in Christ’s finished work.

It is my contention that the last thing in this world that satan wants anyone to know is the gospel of the grace of God as preached by Paul.  he will do anything to prevent and pervert the simplicity of Christ’s gospel of grace, at least in this current dispensation of grace.  Religion itself, defined as mans attempt to please God or assuage His anger, along with its myriad works are satan’s direct response to Gods freely offered grace.  Indeed, I believe we can accurately conclude that it is works based religion and concurrent religious idolatry itself (not necessarily the honky tonk around the corner), that is the “unclean thing” Paul prays we would be separate from.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18…  “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

The vast multitude of people on earth are confused and confounded by anti-dispensational religious teachings.  They are under the incorrect belief that there is something they MUST do for, or in response to, Gods FREE offer of salvation and eternal life.

We know God will one day remove His offer of free grace and His ambassadors will be called home to occupy their heavenly positions.  His wrath will at some point forward of today be poured out on this fallen creation in order to abolish sin once and for all and to remake it in the image He always intended.

Romans 8:22…  “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

My contention (speculation – so feel free to agree or disagree with me on this one) is that it will be at that time that mid-Acts Pauline dispensational doctrine will become “popular” because it will be at that time, “post rapture”, that mid-Acts Pauline dispensational doctrine will have become a “doctrine of devils” as the gospel of the Kingdom now is.

Yes, I am saying that the doctrine I now teach on this website and in Bible study will one day be a doctrine of the devil.  This is why it is so critical that we as believers not only be Biblical, but dispensationally Biblical, knowing what doctrine is appropriate for what time period.

satan, as he uses “time past” doctrine to lead people away from Truth today, will (I believe) naturally begin to use “today’s Truth” as a future lie, and people (in my opinion) will then begin to believe it.  Our “unpopular” grace message will suddenly become popular.  For example, if the pope today told catholics that Christ died for their sins and was raised again for their justification (plus nothing) they’d believe it and the religion would end; so clearly that’s not what the pope says.  He lies.  Most people today believe exactly what they ought not believe.  What will make “tomorrow” any different?  satan uses partial truth to obfuscate his lies.  The current occupant of that papal office has already stated that even unbelievers will go to heaven if they lead “good” lives.  This is an outright lie.

Tomorrow it is a fact that correct Biblical and dispensational doctrine will revert back to the Genesis 12:1-3 program which the gospel of the Kingdom is based upon.  A man will need to understand this in order to be saved from hell.  My speculation is that our gospel of grace will be perverted and used in order to lead people away from “ages to come” Truth for the specific reason that faithful remnant Israel is not assisted in any way in their battle against satan.  In the ages to come it will become dispensationally correct to bless those who hold to Kingdom truth (remnant Israel) as the Kingdom will once again be “at hand”; therefore (naturally, I believe) satan will lead people away from such truth.

At some point in the future we know the “dry bones” of Israel will be resurrected (Ezekiel 37) and faithful Israel will have the answer to the question they have been waiting millenia for, that which they have been promised since the nations inception.  As the twelve asked their Messiah after His resurrection…

Acts 1:6…  “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Answer (post rapture):  YES.  Now is the time.  Wrath, then Kingdom.  Daniel’s 70’th week.  The time of Jacobs trouble.  Christ on the throne.

Daniel 2:44…  “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Gospel truth will no longer be “trust in the crosswork of Calvary and be saved.”  It will once again be “repent and be baptized…” for Jews and Jewish proselytes and “bless them to receive blessing” for the Gentile nations.

I have no idea what publicized form the translation will take from the worlds perspective (I won’t be here to witness such).  I do know that it will happen in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:51-53).  I have the feeling that satan and the world (as per usual) will reverse the situation 180 degrees to favor themselves.  satan counterfeits everything God does.  Again, this is hypothesis only, but right in satan’s wheelhouse nonetheless.  As the papal office is very likely the office of the false prophet, when the translation occurs and fairly large numbers of people very mysteriously but literally vanish from the earth (changed from terrestrial to celestial – 1 Cor 15:40), I imagine that what will resonate from catholic and protestant pulpits the world over is that “god” worked a “miracle” in the world and the wheat was separated from the chaff (Mat 3:10-12).  The religious world will be told that the chaff (those of us who actually believe the Bible) was sent into everlasting fire (we were not) and that all which remain are those who were “good enough” to avoid hell and enter into “gods earthly kingdom”; satan’s false “utopia”.  The “utopia” the one-worlders have been attempting to create since Genesis 11.  The man+satan-made system of total rebellion against the Creator God of heaven and earth.  Babylon rebuilt.

There is no way to know when the translation (rapture) will occur, only that it will occur as God has promised His body.  Christ already suffered Gods just wrath on our behalf.  Saved people are no longer appointed unto wrath (1 Thes 5:9).  I cannot stress enough that it is not sufficient to be “Biblical”, one MUST be dispensationally Biblical or the Bible becomes the most dangerous instrument of deception man can possess.  A man can quote a hundred Bible verses as he falls into hell.  Billions have been deceived by its misuse.  The greatest place to hide a lie is surrounded by truth.  If you, dear reader, failed to accept Gods free gift of grace and find yourself confronted with the fact that people you knew are very suddenly no longer in the world, you need to be prepared for what is soon to come.  Strong delusion in the form of a “peace loving” false god and wrath from the actual God.

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12…  “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

A failure to love truth today is not accepting the fact that we are all sinners in need of a Savior; not accepting Gods free gift of salvation through His Son.  After the “rapture” truth will have changed because God’s dealings with man will have changed.  God has always provided a way to be saved for those who place their faith in Him.  I believe that post rapture will be a time of great (albeit false) peace in the world.  It will appear as if the “forces of evil” have been vanquished, but the opposite will have occurred.  The “forces of evil” were Gods people, Bible believers, and as Gods ambassadors they were called home before the “hot war” breaks out.  There will be very strong delusion in the world and it will be remarkably hard to resist.

1 Thessalonians 5:3…  “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

The actual forces of evil claim their very short 3.5 year “false” victory as the counterfeit one-world communist kingdom has always been man and satans goal.  Those with open eyes see the manifestation of this more every day.  You will be offered the “mark of the beast” and you will not be able to function in the world without it.  At this point it will be better to die then to take that mark.  Believe what God says in His book.  Bless those who struggle against this false god who promises peace but delivers utter destruction.  While the heavenly places are closed to you (having not loved the truth of today) the earthly Kingdom is still open.  You may enter into it by blessing remnant Israel as they fight against what seems to be “good”, strong delusion, the false “peacemaker”, the anti-christ.

There will be those who, despite the wrath of God to come, join against the forces of evil and, while they might lose their physical lives, gain eternal life in Gods earthly Kingdom.  Notice that those Gentiles who enter into the Kingdom actually question how they got there!  The Lord speaks to the gathered nations at the tribulations end to pass judgement upon all…

Matthew 25:32-40… And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The “least of these my brethren” is remnant Israel.  Be the ones who help them through this terrible prophesied time.  Find a Jew who knows Christ came in the past…

1 John 4:3-4…  “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

…who knows that the one calling himself Christ is a fake and bless him any way you can!  Be a sheep and not a goat.  You missed the rapture, don’t miss the Kingdom.  This is the only way to enter in.

During this time it is very likely that the grace message Paul proclaims and that which I teach will be preached.  DO NOT BELIEVE IT!  The gospel message will have CHANGED as it did when God first called Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).  No longer is free grace (the gospel of Christ) available, but the EVERLASTING gospel because a new dispensation will have begun.  The dispensation of grace is ENDED at the “rapture”.

Revelation 14:6-7…  “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

We now see why Paul warned of man AND angel preaching a gospel other than that which he preached!  Remember, satan today is transformed into an angel of light and his ministers the “ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:14-15)!  Worship Him, Jesus Christ and not the false god of this world, the beast.  Bless those He called to rule the earthly realm and God will bless you in return.  His blessings are no longer free in the age to come.  They will likely cost you everything.

Mark 8:36…  “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Lose everything worldly, including your life in order to obtain eternity.  The world will offer itself up to you.  It’s a trap.  It is even today in this age of grace.  This is the last opportunity for man to find favor with God (he will now need to) before ultimate judgement is passed.  This “age to come” (the Kingdom dispensation) will last for 1,000 years and Christ will rule with a rod of iron from the capitol of the world, Jerusalem.

Revelation 19:11-16…  “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.

So why not be saved today and avoid all that?

Just to put a fine point on things here…  with all this talk of wrath, judgement and war we must always keep in mind that this situation is NOT Gods fault, nor does He take pleasure in such.  He currently offers grace and peace (2 Cor 5:19-21) to any and all.  Read the first few verses of each one of Paul’s epistles!  God created this world in perfection.  It is we that broke the perfect world God created for us.  The problem is, the majority of people WANT what satan has to offer, which is the world with satan (the god of their imaginations, not the God of creation) at the top.  Lack of Bible understanding is a big problem…  Gods wrath is just.  Its purpose is to return the world to its former glory that He might dwell with us and us with Him in perfection as He intended from the beginning.  Well, at least those of us who wish to go with Him.

Next Post:  “The Man And His Wife…

Adam and me…

I got to thinking the other day about how things must have been for Adam in the garden.  How simple God made life for man.  God gave to Adam the entire physical creation with carte blanche to dress and keep it as he saw fit.  As God created Adam in His image (Gen 1:27), Adam could, in his turn, make the garden into what he saw fit.  All things displaying the Glory of Creator God. Of course we know God presented Adam with but a single rule and that Adam broke said rule.

I was thinking about this in comparison to the seeming endless complexity of life as it appears in this “modern age”.  Endless numbers of tech gadgets, sports ball games, careers, movies, the ever present TV always there to distract us.  It’s rare that people go out into nature any longer to sit quietly and simply allow it to “declare the glory of God” to them.  When was the last time you watched several hummingbirds at a feeder or butterflies feeding at wildflowers?  Simply amazing!  (Do any of us saved look at one another that way… do we see, in amazement, the glory of Christ in one another (Col 1:26-27)?  Ouch.)  Add the myriad religions to the mix, hundreds of so called “Christian” denominations alone and it’s a wonder indeed to consider Adams most basic human situation.

Death itself was not an issue for our greatest grandfather.  He was presented the ability never to experience its final grip.  The tree of life was in the garden along with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and Adam could have chosen to eat freely of it as God had provided, rather than submitting to his own self will and eating from the tree he believed would make him wise like God.

Yet, with all that said, I don’t think he and I had it all that different.  With all the noise and confusion of today’s world constantly bearing down on each and every one of us, in comparison to the seeming simplicity of Adam’s situation, we each have a remarkably similar choice to make.  Let’s explore…!

What choice exactly did Adam have in front of him?  God placed two very important trees in the garden with Adam.  One would provide knowledge that Adam clearly did not possess, the knowledge of good and evil and the other, life in eternal fellowship with his Creator (and, by default, the knowledge that would bring).  Notice that the one contained BOTH the knowledge of good AND evil.  One tree… knowledge of both aspects of human thought and action.  That tree also brought death itself into the world.  Knowledge of good and evil then equates to sin and death. Yikes…

Clearly, throughout the Bible, God instructs people to “do good”, to be fruitful unto “good works”; why then was the knowledge of “good” paired on the same tree and “forbidden” along with the knowledge of evil?  Did God somehow not want Adam to “know good” that he might “do good” and not evil?  It is easy to understand how and why God would not want Adam to know evil but a far less oft asked question is why God did not want Adam to know “good” as well.

Unless of course you and I are not understanding clearly what God means by “good and evil” which is the far more likely case.  Is it possible that what you and I commonly consider to be “good and evil” are only so because of our particular and individual (read, selfish) human perspectives?  After all, isn’t it so that “Christians = good” and “Muslims = bad” from one perspective; AND that “Muslims = good” and “Christians = bad” from another?  (I’m speaking here hypothetically of course.)

Another question… how did Adam benefit from obtaining the knowledge of good and evil?  Is knowledge, even knowledge of “good”, such a beneficial thing when death was the inevitable and spoken result?

Romans 3:12…  “They are all gone out of the way, they are all together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:23…  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23…  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Perhaps the answer is found, as it usually is, in our own arrogant selves, thinking we know more, in this case about the nature of good and evil, than we actually do.

Isaiah 55:9…  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

In Adams very basic, very good (Gen 1:31) situation, God simply wanted Adams trust placed in Himself rather than in Adams “self”.  It was never about what Adam did or did not “do” as, had Adam NOT eaten from the tree of knowledge, sin and death (the curse) would NOT have come into the world and Adam would have retained his innocence.  His actions, without the effect of sin on them, would have been inherently PURE.  (I deliberately hesitate to use the word “good” right there.)  Adam instead chose to listen to the counsel of his deceived wife (and thus the great deceiver) eventually placing more trust in himself than in the God who created him.  Adam chose worldly knowledge over heavenly (Godly) knowledge, falling for the prideful temptation that he would be “like” the “gods” (Gen 3:1-5).  A lot of good such worldly wisdom has gotten mankind, no?

1 Corinthians 1:19-20…  “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Yes, He has.  Just read His book rightly divided and you will understand that such is abundantly accurate!

So, taking a step back, what then might Adam, living simply in the “very good” garden of Eden, and me (we) have in common?  What is the take away here?

It is that we both (all of us) face the same simple choice Adam faced.  There was no “law” then as that was given thousands of years later to the nation Israel.  Each and every human being born since Christ revealed the dispensation of grace to Paul (thus removing the curse of the law (Gal 3:10-13) from humanities midst) shares in the identical choice Adam faced.  If the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was “worldly” or “human” knowledge, then the tree of life was heavenly or Godly knowledge. The tree of worldly knowledge brought death into the world, the tree of life (had Adam eaten of it) would have brought eternal life and Godly knowledge.  A man today is in the same position.  He can either choose himself as Adam did (mans default position – we are in Adams image – Gen 5:3) following his own conscience, doing whatever he wishes and face certain death, or he can choose God, not in the form of a tree but in the form of the person of Christ and live eternally with his Creator.

Swapping pronouns, I can either trust in me or I can trust in Thee.  As God simply asked for Adams voluntary trust (choose life or death) He asks the same of me today.  Christ is the tree of life; I am the tree of worldly knowledge.  My choice is THAT simple!  God did not ask Adam to “do” a thing.  He simply placed two trees in the garden and gave him a choice.  In today’s world, God does not ask a man to “do” a thing; indeed, “works” for salvation are forbidden (Rom 4:1-5)!  He asks that we choose life by choosing Christ.  That by grace through faith in Christ’s Work alone we, by choice, alter our default position as that choice is available to every man (Titus 2:11).  Christ fulfilled the curse of the law.  He paid its ultimate price.  Sin and the law are not the issue today as it was (and will be yet again) for Israel.  Thus the mystery revealed to Paul.  He sent His Son to “do” it all and asks only that we trust in Him and not ourselves.  Adam’s choice was the same.  God or self.

Ephesians 1:13…  “In whom ye also TRUSTED, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

God gave Adam a single warning…

Genesis 2:16-17…  “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

In those words is the essence of free will.  May the doctrine of Calvinism be forever damned.  Of EVERY tree of the garden could Adam FREELY eat.  God gave him ample warning NOT to eat of the one, but certainly did not prevent Adam from so doing.  As sin had not yet come into existence, so too has God dealt with sin for us today.  Today, where sin abounds, grace that much more abounds (Rom 5:20).  Thank God sin is not our issue!  God, having made Christ to BE sin for us (2 Cor 5:19-21) has put the sin issue completely aside, as if it never even existed, just as in the garden, so that a mans sole decision need only be to eat of the tree of life (Christ)… or not.  The issue is so stunningly simple yet it is buried under an avalanche of worldly religious confusion and outright deception.

God gives us the same simple warning He gave Adam… choose one tree or the other, choose life or choose death.

1 Cor 15:22…  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

If a man is found in Adam’s likeness (by choosing himself and his own “good” works for salvation) he will die.  If the same man is found in Christ’s likeness (by believing the gospel of his salvation – 1 Cor 15:1-4) he will live as Adam would have IF Adam had chosen the tree of life… eternally with his Creator as the Creator originally intended.

King Solomon had the sum of worldly wisdom and knowledge and used it for both good and evil during his life.  (Justin Johnson just completed an amazing verse by verse study of the book of Ecclesiastes that I highly recommend listening to.)  How does Solomon conclude all the teachings he would convey to his own son; what did he ultimately learn from the totality of worldly wisdom?

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14…  “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

“Follow the law.”  Best to trust God, in Solomon’s case by following the law, and not yourself.  Solomon however had no idea what God was going to do with the Apostle Paul.  It was a mystery not yet revealed, he couldn’t have.  All the worldly wisdom extant plus the wealth and power to wield it and Solomon could only conclude that the law must be followed.  The law which can only condemn and ultimately kill.  Vanity indeed Solomon…

1 Corinthians 15:56…  “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

Romans 3:20…  “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 8:2…  “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

The wisest man to have ever lived had zero heavenly knowledge of what God in Christ was going to do for mankind.  How much more has God given us in the totality of His Word?  How much more able are we to know of heavenly things than Solomon was?  How thankful ought we to be that God sent Paul, the Apostle of grace and peace, with the message that would change us from the image of Adam we are born into, back into the image of Christ as was originally intended.  Adam was free to choose.  We are free to choose.  Eternal life is a free gift!

Romans 5:18-19…  “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Adam knew, likely very suddenly, that a perfect and eternal life awaited him and all creation IF he had only chosen God over self.  Prideful human nature stepped in though and instead Adam and Eve stood naked and ashamed before their Holy Creator.  So too do we stand naked before Him when we study His book and IT READS US…

Hebrews 4:12-13…  “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

A perfect and eternal life awaits the man who makes the correct choice today.  Let not pride get in the way.  Become a (little “s”) son of God, as God someday will change this world back into its intended perfected form.  All of creation will once again be made perfect and it is Gods desire that we join Him in eternity!

Romans 8:18-23…  “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Our very bodies will be redeemed (exchanged) for eternal bodies as Adam would have had; as God originally intended.  The risen and glorified Christ today IS the tree of life presented to us as it was to our greatest grandfather, Adam.  Christ gives the Adam in us a second chance to choose life!  The garden shall return… universal!  Adam the first begotten man, Christ the second.  The saved are His body on earth and forever.

We might be “earthy” now, physically “in Adam”, but we too will be physically “heavenly” in the future.  The saved “in Christ” will be physically changed.  Hopefully soon!

1 Cor 15:45-53…  “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changedFor this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

God gave Adam the same simple choice He gives us today.  One tree or the other; life or death.  No strings attached (we’re too stupid for strings…)

May the Adam in us all choose wisely.

2 Corinthians 11:3…  “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Next Post:  “Left Behind… now what?

Are Believers Today New Testament Christians?

Is that a trick question?  I think the vast majority of those who profess Christ today would answer this title question with a resounding “YES, of course we are”.  I have an old baptist friend who likes to say “I understand we are not under the Jewish ceremonial law, but we are under the moral law contained within the new testament”.  To which I always reply… show me the scripture.  He takes me to…

2 Cor 3:6…  “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Paul even reflected Jesus own actions after the manner of the last supper!  (Or did he?)

1 Cor 11:25…  “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

Paul’s epistles are contained within the “new testament” section of the Bible after all and he calls himself and those with him “able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit”.  I’d like to explore this not oft asked question in this post and, as usual, challenge some very common and dearly held beliefs while I’m at it.

Let us look first as to what a testament is and when it actually began in Biblical history.  Noah Webster defines a testament as:  “1)  A solemn authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declares his will as to the disposal of his estate and effects after his death.  A testament, to be valid, must be made when the testator is of sound mind, and it must be subscribed, witnessed and published in such a manner as the law prescribes.  2)  The name of each division of the canonical books of the sacred scriptures; as the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The name is equivalent to covenant, and in our use of it, we apply it to the books which contain the old and new dispensations; that of Moses and that of Jesus Christ.”

Although Webster makes proper note of the existence of Biblical dispensations, in this definition, he fails to note that Jesus, during His earthly ministry “rightly” taught the Law of Moses and thus Webster “wrongly” divides the Word of Truth.  When Jesus is asked what must a man do to inherit eternal life, Christ answers:

Mark 10:19…  “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

Note, He did NOT say (as He said to Paul) “believe that I died for your sins and was raised again for your justification.”  Indeed, He was not yet crucified…  This is the very letter of the law, or old covenant that Jesus is correctly teaching His disciples.

Be that as it may, Webster does render a proper definition of the word testament and equates it with the word covenant.  I am sure we are all in agreement that the Old Testament is the Law of Moses.  It is that covenant agreement that God made with His nation Israel.  If you keep the Law, then will you be blessed (and vise versa).  Very clearly stated:

Exodus 19:4-8…  “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.  Now therefore, IF ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, THEN ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.  And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.  And all the people answered together, and said, ALL that the Lord hath spoken WE WILL DO. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

Boom.  Agreement entered into.  Old covenant written down (on stone tablets, by Gods own finger).  The 39 books of the Old Testament “section” of the Bible, plus Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the first half of Acts all convey the history of Gods first covenant agreement with the nation Israel and their intended relationship to the Gentile nations.  They were to be the channel of blessing from God to the Gentile world (Gen 12:1-3).

Let’s examine the question as to WHEN the New Testament/Covenant began.  Webster, in his definition of testament, rightly notes that a testament comes into effect AFTER a person has died.  If this is true (and of course it is) how is it that the “New Testament” section of the Bible begins with the birth of Jesus Christ?  Methinks this is misleading at least, and deceptive at worst on the part of Bible publishers.  The book of Hebrews is in agreement with Mr. Webster.

Heb 9:15-17…  “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.  For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.  For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Christ alone is the mediator of the New Testament.  As the old or first testament was written in the law (and, continuing in the book of Hebrews, the blood of calves and goats) the new testament is written in the blood of the Lord Himself, Him who fulfilled the law.  Christ, as we all know, did not die until the end of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; therefore, the New Testament, written in His blood COULD NOT have begun with His birth, but must have waited till after His death to be “in effect”.  The new testament, as the above verse demonstrates, was OF NO STRENGTH while Christ was alive and walking among His people.  He rightly taught them to keep the law (the old testament).

Let’s look at WHAT exactly the Bible tells us the new testament actually says.  Continuing in the book of Hebrews which reaches back to Jeremiah 31 we find:

Heb 8:6-10…  “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

We see here several things.  First, that the new is “better” than the old, established upon better promises.  Second, that the first was NOT faultless; meaning there was fault found within it.  WHAT?  How could anything that God established be WITH fault?  Answer: because the old covenant depended upon mans (Israels) ability to keep the agreement; to follow the law.  This new covenant is made BECAUSE Israel failed to continue in the old one (not because God failed).  This new one says that God will PUT the law into their mind and WRITE it into their hearts.  The prophet Ezekiel, in agreement with Jeremiah, says…

Ezekiel 36:27…  “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Note very carefully that these verses are specifically directed at the nation Israel (the house of Israel, the house of Judah).  1)  The old covenant was given specifically to them.  2)  They failed to keep their end of the bargain.  3)  God made a better one for them.  We see this beginning to take place in the early chapters of the book of Acts.  The Spirit comes upon them in Acts 2 and works within them till the book turns from the “Acts” of the twelve toward the “Acts” of Paul.

The new covenant says that it will literally and supernaturally ENABLE people to keep Gods law.  Show me a person alive today who can do such and I’ll show you a liar.  The OT was given to Israel.  The NT was given to Israel.  Where does that leave today’s believers who are not Israel?  Covenantless…  (gasp)

What then does Paul mean when he claims that he (and those with him) are ministers of the new testament???  If there is no one alive today that can follow Gods law (the very promise of the new testament); how can anyone say they are “new testament” believers?  How can any lay claim to such?  It is true that Paul was a Jew and therefore the old belonged to him (see Philippians 3:4-6) but, as we know, God gave him a different message to bring to both Jews and Gentiles (now neither Jew nor Gentile).  That message was NOT the new covenant!  It was the message of grace without works of any kind.  The message that God is no longer (albeit temporarily) recognizing Israels given worldly authority.

Paul says he is such a minister NOT in the letter but in the spirit.  Some may exclaim that this is exactly what the new testament promises as it was the Spirit came upon the Jewish believers, but it can’t be.  None today can keep Gods perfect law perfectly and such was promised to believing Israel, the little flock.  None of us are supernaturally enabled to, as were the believers in early Acts.  (Those phony TV preachers are full of more than garbage.)

The spirit of the New Testament as Paul preaches it, is GODS righteousness made available both to us and to Israel (to any one at all) NOT by way of the law, either by our own failed human effort to keep it OR by Gods supernaturally empowering us to keep it, but by way of freely offered (no strings attached, no “moral law” anywhere to be found) grace.  Pure grace.  Nothing but grace.  All we must do is recognize we are in need of such and accept His most gracious gift.

Rom 3:26…  “To declare, I say, at this time HIS righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

In this dispensation of grace there are NO covenants to be seen, none to be had.  Believers today are in a NON- covenantal relationship with God.  By grace through faith alone, trust in what God did on our behalf, do we believers today receive the gift of Christ’s Own righteous nature imputed to our account by way of His death, burial and resurrection.  Such realization alone, no externat if/then constraints, should cause us to want to accomplish “good works” as that’s what we are created for.  Paul is declaring Gods very righteousness, NOT ours; the righteousness which belongs only to His Son now made personally available to individual believers.  Not “put into” a believer physically as the new covenant explains and specifies to and through the nation Israel in order that they serve their intended earthly purpose, but offered as a free gift if we would but take it, that God might use us to serve His heavenly purpose.

1 Corinthians 6:3…  “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Gods righteousness is provided to us today via grace alone and to Israel in ages to come via the graceful new covenant.  God has always show grace to His believers.  No man has ever been saved without grace.  He asks us to do nothing in order to receive it.  Contrarily, He asks a great deal of Israel.  They are to rule His earthly domain in righteousness as Adam was to have before he gave that dominion over to Lucifer.

John 1:17…  “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Yes indeed!  By grace and covenant promises (beginning with Abraham) does He offer Israel (His earthly children) the ABILITY to do the work intended for them; the work they agreed to do but failed as anyone would have; to follow the law and be His example of righteousness to the entire world.  By grace does He offer believers today (His heavenly children) heir-ship with Christ in all things completely freely.

Romans 8:16-17…  “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We suffered with Him vicariously upon His cross.  We are crucified with Him. We have, by way of Christ, already experienced the wrath of God we so richly deserve.  The grace shown by Christ to take that for us is incomprehensible.

Romans 6:6…  “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Galatians 2:20…  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I live in this sinful body of flesh by His faith and grace alone.  By His grace alone do the earth and heaven eventually return once again to His rightful control; all unrighteousness, physical and spiritual eventually purged, replaced with only His righteousness, through all and in all. What a day… but what a hard time the world, by its own choosing, will have with such.

We are not new covenant believers.  The new covenant is not yet in effect.  This dispensation of grace must come to an end for the new covenant with Gods true Israel to be realized.  The difference between Jew and Gentile will once again need to be recognized and true remnant Israel supernaturally revealed.  The church which is His body must be supernaturally taken home as it is not appointed unto wrath.  Free grace will end and wrath will come as prophesied; as it almost did in Acts 7 when Stephen, in his dying vision, saw Christ STANDING on Gods right hand prepared to return.  Thank you Father for interrupting such and giving us fools a chance by calling Paul with your dispensation of free grace.  May many more of us wake up to this truth before it is too late.  The new testament promise of supernatural physical ability will be an absolute necessity for the very survival of these future believers in the coming great tribulation, when Christ returns in judgement and war against those who fail to love the truth which is Christ Himself, and act according to His just and perfect law.  Here is supernatural ability plus amazing responsibility!

1 John 3:9-11… “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest, AND the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

Mark 16:17-18…  “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

A moments honest reflection, sans wishful thinking, demonstrates abundantly clearly that this worlds peoples have very little love for one another.  We are selfish and deceitful; undeserving of His grace.  And that’s what makes His grace all the more amazing!

Rom 5:20-21…  “Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen and thank you Father for your Son who unbound us from legal covenant agreements and died that we would be freed from the bondage of such.  Any and all religion, mans attempt to please God or assuage His wrath, is today pure human vanity.

Galatians 2:21…  “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Boom again.  Agreement nullified.

Next post… “Adam and me…

Thoughts On Christmas.

I received a lovely letter from a dear sister in Christ the other day.  She is very recently saved and introduced to the Bible rightly divided.  With the Christmas season upon the world she asked me some interesting questions beginning with why I was not keen on celebrating Christmas with the rest of the world.  I sent her an audio teaching by David Reid which I recommend listening to.  Another by Justin Johnson is excellent as well.  This post is a reflection of my replies to her own thoughts and inquiries, reformatted to fit a blog post.

Sister writes:  “I am unconvinced that celebrating Christ’s birth, just because it is not called for in the Bible, is without merit.”

Nowhere in the Pauline epistles is the birth of Christ presented as a cause for celebration.  On the contrary, it is His death, burial and resurrection which Paul (the Apostle Christ sent to believers today) glories in.

Gal 6:14…  “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

If however, by celebrating His “physical birth” (quotes explained further on down) you are intentionally honoring the Lord in truth, go for it.  Every day is a good day to honor our Creator and there is certainly nothing wrong with doing so on Dec 25.  There is no more or less reason given the date on the calendar.  Every day is a day of grace.  As Paul says, each one of us saints does that which our current level of understanding allows.

Romans 14:5-8…  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.  For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

And the saved have ultimate liberty in Christ.

Gal 5:1…  “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yolk of bondage.

1 Cor 10:23…  “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Of course, we ought not use our liberty as an occasion for the flesh which most Christmas celebrations are.

Gal 5:13…  “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

By all means celebrate our Lord however you feel moved to celebrate Him, KNOWING that He took human flesh upon Himself to die for our sin in our place, was buried, and was raised again in glorified eternal flesh for our justification.  For me however, I ask myself a simple but extremely important question: does the celebration of Christmas, as the world celebrates it, serve to bring people closer to the very simple and specific saving knowledge of Christ, or does it lead people farther away from the ultimate truth the world so desperately needs to hear?

What I now (at this point in my own walk) see Christmas to be, is a deliberate attempt by the world (and its god – santa) to lead people away from that simple saving knowledge: Christ died for my sin and was raised for my justification.  Who is santa anyway?  What does he say to people?  “Be good and you’ll get what you wish (pray) for.”  And… “he’s been watching you all year and knows things about you only a “god” would know”.  Perhaps I’m being overly cynical, but that is one of the most prevalent false gospels taught in the vast majority of religious institutions today, no matter the denomination.  Keep the always arbitrary, denominationally dependent law (dogma) and I’ll bless you.  Fail and, well… not so much.

When my kids were small I told them santa was real (little did I know I was right…) and remember joyfully going to the web site “norad santa” to track his progress around the world eagerly awaiting his arrival at our home.  At some time in the future they learned I was lying.  Such is not lost on a young mind.  As they grew older I told them Jesus was real and expected them to believe me.  They did not at first and I no longer wonder why.  Thank God both my kids are saved now and have solid Biblical understanding; their eternal future is secure come what may, but the false “santa clause” I originally provided didn’t help the situation.

Sister writes:  “There are many important behaviors we do as Christians that are not promulgated in the Bible but are practiced because we want to honor the ones we love and proclaim how special they are: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.”

Having just celebrated my sons college graduation, I hear you loud and clear.  We ought to celebrate and honor those we love.  That’s a big part of day to day living, building one another up, celebrating positive worldly accomplishments and having some much needed fun.  (Interestingly enough, a persons birthday is the highest holiday (holy-day) in the satanic bible written by Anton LaVey.)  All these special occasions, generally speaking, have nothing to do with Christ however, unless one includes Him intentionally, which we should.  The world honors people all the time and Christ is nowhere to be found.  The world doesn’t need Christ to say happy birthday… and the world (to my eyes) does not need (nor want) Christ to say merry Christmas.  The world wants presents.  It wants to beat people up on black Friday (a cheery thought in and of itself) to get the best deal on the latest psychologically manufactured commercial craze.  The material aired on television is not called programming for nothing.  If you think such programming does not manipulate you, read Edward Bernays.

Sister writes:  “Why should we exclude the birth of the most important person ever born, just because the date is wrong or some culture group in the past ascribed a different meaning to some of those practices?”

Neither is the main reason I choose not to celebrate Christmas; the fact that it promotes a false gospel is, though both the above examples do have bearing on the issue.  Paganism IS false religion.  Christ”mass” IS a catholic construct.  Catholicism IS pagan religion with elements of Christ added in to attract those people pure paganism could not.  Protestantism IS Catholicism without a pope; catholic-lite.  To answer directly, perhaps it is because I have come to think of Christ as FAR more than the most important “person” ever born.  Jesus Christ IS our Creator God (Col 1:13-17), humbly taking our form (John 1:14), knowing full well that His “best friends” the nation Israel would torture and kill Him; knowing full well that His death, burial and resurrection precipitated the ultimate forgiveness for this ultimate crime and the complete and utter atonement of the totality of mankind’s sin itself, if one would but accept His gift… His physical death for us.

Philippians 2:5-8…  “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Allow me to also mention the fact that Christ existed before the foundations of the world were created by Him.  Jesus does not “become” God in Luke 2 or anytime thereafter.  He is God throughout eternity and the only thing “born” on whatever day He was manifested in the world was the vessel He created which allowed mankind to physically behold his Creator.  Think about that…  Thus Christ was not “born on Christmas day”.  Christ is God and God is eternal.  God manifested Himself (was “born” in human flesh) to a chosen few (Israel) through a fatherless (non-Adamic, thus pure) virgin birth as He promised and Israel’s prophet Isaiah wrote some 700 years prior to that physical manifestation.

Isaiah 9:6…  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

(Son… Father… same verse.  Same Creator God.)

Colossians 2:9…  “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

Let’s take Christ’s birth to Israel in the flesh one further step and examine from another angle.  This next verse is very tricky if one fails to rightly divide the scriptures.

2 Cor 5:16…  “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Paul is saying that we no longer know Christ after the flesh, yet this is what Christmas celebrates.  Christ come in the flesh… baby Jesus (Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel).  What is Paul talking about?  The answer can be found in Romans chapter 15 where the earthly (in the flesh) prophetic ministry of Christ is contrasted with His heavenly “mystery” ministry as given through Paul.  Compare verse 8 with verse 16.

Romans 15:8…  “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

Emmanuel (God with us) was/will again be, a minister to Israel to confirm that which was always promised them, NOT US.  A Messiah.  The heathen were never ever promised a Messiah.  That’s why they (we) were heathen.

Romans 15:16…  “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Paul is the minister to us Gentiles.  Emmanuel was not.

Matthew 15:24…  “But he answered and said, I am not sent BUT unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Amazing what the Bible says when we actually believe it!

Imagine if all the time, energy and money spent surrounding the fables of Christmas was instead focused on communicating the truth of the gospel!!!

Acts 13:39…  “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Rom 3:21…   “BUT NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Sorry santa… I don’t have to “be good” to receive Gods free gift (Rom 5:14-19)!  I’m already no good and the God of the Bible still offers me grace and salvation.

Rom 3:23…  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Yet God altered our reality for us by the death of Christ our kinsman redeemer…

Romans 3:26…  “To declare, I say, at this time HIS righteousness: that He might be just, AND the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Such is the amazing grace of God toward His creation.  I ought to “be good” because I’ve already received such a gift.

His “Christmas” coming to the nation Israel – John 1:11 and earthly ministry (to the nation Israel and those Gentiles who would bless them – Mat 15:24) just kind of fades into the background… not into insignificance by any means, as all scripture is profitable; but into something which, at least to me, just does not compare to the mystery information given to Paul toward an unrepentant evil world (Eph 3); hidden by the worlds false “conditional” religious (Christmas) system of reward and punishment.

While the world constantly praises itself on how good it believes itself to be, especially at this time of year, it misses completely the very fact that in Gods eyes, it is no good at all no matter how hard it tries (see Rom 3:23 above).  That, to me, is kind of depressing to be perfectly honest.  All the love, all the smiles, all the prayers… and they totally miss the “Pauline reason for EVERY season”.  People who believe that they are “good”… they are the ones who will populate hell.  What do they need Christ for?  What do they require salvation from?  They are already “good enough” to “hopefully” go to heaven.  How very sad they don’t understand what He already did…  Willful ignorance reigns.

Where in the worlds celebration of Christmas is 1 Cor 15:1-4…?  It is not lying in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes offering peace and unity to the world at large.  When that little baby grew up He said…

Mat 10:34…  “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night…!  How’s that for a Christmas card?

Understanding the Bible is key to understanding the world at large.  Without the Bible rightly divided there can only be “mass” confusion.

Peace on earth will come only when Christ takes physical possession of it during the millennial reign.  Luke 2 (the Peanuts Christmas story) is a reference to exactly that; had Israel believed the Messiah had come, prophesy would have been fulfilled and Israel would have been restored as the worlds Righteous and Just capital (extremely violently I might add).  Clearly that did not happen which is why Christ must yet divide and conquer via judgement and wrath in the future before He and He alone brings peace to our corrupted world.

While current and very real spiritual peace with God is what all saved people now enjoy, we only enjoy it because of the mystery Christ hid from santa, er, satan and revealed to Paul; Gods longsuffering with a fallen and sinful world (Eph 3 again).  Every day IS a day the world deserves Gods wrath but does not get it because of “the mystery” Christ revealed to Paul alone.  The world hangs by that single thread which I personally believe must be wearing thin.

God/Christ was in a conditional if/then relationship with the nation Israel, but this relationship ended 2,000 years ago.  This is what we see however in the worlds current (false gospel) Christmas message… “be good because santa (god) is watching and you won’t get your wishes (prayers) answered.”  Paul instructs us…

Col 3:1-3…  “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

We (saved) are no longer who we once were.  Things of the earth (religious celebrations) have become far less meaningful, evil even as they lead away from truth.  We are ambassadors of the Most High God who have been given a remarkably serious message to communicate to a world that does not want to hear it (hates it even).  The world wants Christmas (Santa, Frosty, Rudolph, decorations, feel good sermons, presents, etc.) not Christ.  And if Christ at all, a meek and mild baby Jesus singing songs of peace and joy; not a Just Creator who will eventually give the world exactly what it deserves.  The world deserves judgement and war in stark contrast to the free grace and peace offered it today that the world spits on.  If the worldly bogus “Christmas message” keeps people focused away from the gospel of grace and back upon itself and its own sense of “inherent goodness”, then as a Bible believer I must reject it.  Such is a false gospel and an outright lie which will not go unnoticed by Him who sets all things in motion.

Gal 1:8-9…  “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Those are very serious words.  Luke 2 is NOT the gospel men should be preaching today.  Our function is to communicate…

2 Cor 5:19-21…  “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

In time past we saved, as many unsaved still do, invented our own version of what we wanted God to be.  We worshiped the “god of our imaginations” if you will.  Ever hear someone say… “well, my god would never do such a thing”?  I hear that constantly and my constant reply is that your god is not the God of the Bible.  To most of those who profess to “know” Christ, that god is really santa (anagram for satan, the god of this world) to whom they send a list of wishes (prayers).  “god” to the vast majority of religious people (when honestly considered) is santa and santa is not God.

2 Cor 4:3-4…  “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

A false god gives people what they want (worldly “blessings”), not what they need (spiritual blessings, knowledge).

Eph 1:3…  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Today and every day the world has the opportunity to accept the greatest gift ever offered it, and what does it do?  Mostly, it goes shopping or turns on the TV.  Only a few even notice what God wrote to mankind.

2 Cor 9:15…  “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”  Total forgiveness by way of His Son… joint heirs (Rom 8:17) along with the same Son.  The mind reels!  If the world only knew…  (how different would it be?)

Sister writes:  “When Christ is the center of my Christmas celebration,  It really doesn’t matter to me  if ancient druids or martians had lit trees or had coca cola Santa’s. Discernment is the difference. Peace be with you Ted!”

And there is the critical difference between you (Sister) and the world.  You understand what God in Christ did for you, as do I.  It is what I try to celebrate every day (not saying I necessarily succeed either… Lord knows I have more than my own share of struggles).  Celebrate your salvation in Christ as you see fit, IN TRUTH; on Dec. 25, March 3, July 8, Oct 31 and every day, and peace be with you too Sister!  Today is a day of free grace, just like any and every other day that the Lord hath made.  I still wonder, why join the world in a lie it actively promulgates; a lie which leads to the destruction of souls (works based religion), when you know the truth?

Let us attempt to rejoice and be glad in each and every day!  Let us today and every day do something for the sake of Him and His body, the church.  What is special about each day is Gods longsuffering grace with us; the fact that He has not said ENOUGH!  While I personally (selfishly) hope and pray that He calls His ambassadors home ASAP, I am thankful that each day He does not, is a day that someone else can be saved.

Rom 5:1…  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Philippians 4:4…  “Rejoice in the Lord ALWAY: and again I say, Rejoice.

We (saved) are at peace with Him!  He died and rose again FOR US!  I “should” be good but my peace and security with Him is no longer linked to a conditional “santanic” system of “work and reward”.  Now if that’s Merry Christ (no “mass” for me, please and thank you)… I’m all for it    🙂

Go out and find someone to share that gift with today and every day!

Next Post:  “Are Believers Today New Testament Christians?

Christian Zionism, a response to James Perloff

James Perloff is one of my favorite authors and speakers.  I have a great deal of respect for the man.  Understanding the personal history he shares with his readers, he and I share some remarkable commonalities in life.  I’d cherish the opportunity to meet him someday but I don’t get out much.  His book “Tornado In a Junkyard” I recommend to, and purchase for, many people, along with “Truth Is A Lonely Warrior” right in its wake.  Next to the King James Bible itself, I believe that “Tornado” is one of the most important books believers and especially unbelievers alike ought to read.  It demonstrates clealy, in an easy to read package, the total lie which is Darwinian evolution.  How’s that for a recommendation…?

Mr. Perloff recently wrote an article (linked) entitled “The War on Christianity, Part II: The Abomination and Blasphemy of Christian Zionism” which I read carefully and once again found myself in near complete agreement with the conclusions established therein.  I recommend subscribing to James blog posts and I recommend reading that article before continuing on here (it too is long but well worth your time).  I do however find a tragic error of assumption contained in this particular writing.  James assumes he understands correct dispensational theology when in fact he understands false dispensational theology.  In this sense, herein is my reply which hopefully he will examine as thoughtfully as I examine his writings (and not require too many aspirin afterward).

A conundrum James.  I am a dispensationalist, yet I agree with your conclusions regarding the current nation state of Israel.  By your article, such is impossible.  Dispensationalists, according to you, are by nature deceived into supporting the nation state of Israel.  They are, as you state, Christian Zionists.  I do not support the Israel of today, I am not a Christian Zionist.  How is this possible?  This entity (Israel) was created by man for the exact reasons you put forth in your article.  It is a satanic enterprise leading to one world government.

I will not attempt to explain the whole of dispensational theology in this one post as that is the basis of what this entire site teaches; what I will say is that Darby and Scofield are very much mistaken in their views of dispensationalism.  Dispensational theology takes three starting positions, all from the book of Acts.  They are; Acts 2, Mid Acts and Acts 28 (or hyper-dispensationalism).  The Biblially and doctrinally correct position is Mid Acts which is NOT the position of Darby or Scofield.  Darby and Scofield ARE liars and deceivers as they hold to the blatantly incorrect and scripturally illogical Acts 2 position.

My intent here James, is to prove your conclusion entirely correct (as we are in agreement) NOT by blaming some nebulous, unspecific and incorrect definition of dispensationalism, but by actually rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15) between the mystery (that which was kept secret since the world began – Rom 16:25-27) and prophesy (that which was spoken since the world began – Acts 3:21).  What you understand correctly is exactly “what” Israel is up to.  What you can’t know, what you fail to understand thoroughly, because you have been told lies regarding dispensational theology, is “why” Israel is doing what she is doing.  It is not just because they are “unrepentant sinners”.  God had a plan for the nation.  And still does!  Allow me to elaborate.

I’ll try to provide the scriptural explanation for the “Jewish problem” from the Mid Acts dispensationalist position (as I said, without getting into the basics of dispensationalism itself, start at “What Mystery?” for that). Please pardon the length of this post but all scripture is needed to construct the argument.

Talmudic Jews, those who run Israel today are inherently satanic by nature. The Talmud is, very simply, (Jewish) mans perversion of the Torah and other OT prophetic writings. Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, in His earthly ministry came specifically to Israel to teach them their true nature and purpose, which was to be the channel of blessing from God to the whole Gentile world. This is the reason God set up His own nation in the first place, beginning with Abraham; to reach the rest of the world with the knowledge of Himself (see Why Israel?).

Gen 12:1-3… “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and THOU SHALT BE A BLESSING: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: AND IN THEE SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.”

Deut 7:6… “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be A SPECIAL PEOPLE unto himself, ABOVE ALL PEOPLE that are upon the face of the earth.

Exodus 19:5-6… “Now therefore, IF ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, THEN ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me ABOVE ALL PEOPLE: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Note carefully the covenantal IF / THEN nature of this agreement entered into between God and His nation Israel.  Israel failed to keep their end of the bargain.

The book of Acts demonstrates the fall of the nation Israel.  It opens with the twelve asking Jesus a question, as throughout the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the promised (prophesied) Kingdom is “at hand”.

Acts 1:6… “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

To which Jesus replies:

Acts 1:7… “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

The book ends with Paul providing the answer; reminding the Jewish leaders of the timeline when they rejected God the Father (books of Exodus – Malachi), Jesus the Son (books of Matthew – John) and the Holy Spirit as physically manifested in the Apostles (book of Acts):

Acts 28:28… “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

Israel is at this point cut off from God.  God no longer recognizes them as His own.  The Kingdom didn’t come.  This world is still evil.  This is a temporary situation as God has unfulfilled promises to keep with them and God is no liar.  We call this “Time Past”.

Christ came to this world with “two purposes“, one prophesied since the world began, having to do with redeeming the earth (Acts 3:21) and one kept secret since the world began, having to do with redeeming heaven; in order to once and for all defeat satan utterly (Rom 16:25).  Both the earth (human realm) and the heaven (angelic realm) are fallen, both require redemption back to God via Christ.  His earthly ministry (specifically) to the nation Israel was prophesied since the world began. This is the purpose which concerns this post; Israel and the earth.  Christ Himself claims:

Mat 15:24… “But He answered and said, I am not sent BUT to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Christ did not manifest Himself physically in the world for the Gentile nations. (That was Christ’s unprophesied, “secret heavenly” function via the Apostle Paul – compare Rom 15:8 with Rom 15:16.)

John 1:11… “He came unto His own (Israel), and His own (Israel) received Him not.”

Currently, the Israel which now exists, counterfeit Israel, is a curse to all nations; they are as unGodly as any nation on earth but this is a temporary condition.

Zechariah 8:13… “And it shall come to pass, that as ye WERE a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; SO WILL I save you, and ye SHALL BE a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

They have blasphemed the name of the Creator God who formed them throughout the world and God will not allow His name to be blasphemed.

Ezekiel 36:19-23… “And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to THEIR way and according to THEIR doings I judged them.  And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land.  (What horrible representatives of the Living God!  How well do we represent Him?)  But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye wentAND I WILL SANCTIFY MY GREAT NAME, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; AND THE HEATHEN SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”

Notice carefully that God scattered them according to THEIR OWN ways.  Specifically, it is the nation Israel who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of THEIR OWN messiah, the anti-christ and will introduce him onto the world stage as “savior-god”. Speaking to the religious leaders of the country over 2,000 years ago Christ Himself said of them:

John 8:44… “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Absolutely nothing has changed. God did however promise them control over the world; to raise them above all people, IN ORDER TO BE A BLESSING TO IT.  In order that the heathen (you and me) would know the True and Living Creator God!  In the ages to come they will rule the world in Godly wisdom from the “world capitol” Jerusalem.

Zechariah 8:22-23… “Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Mat 19:27-28… “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

The twelve tribes will then judge the Gentile nations with Christ on His rightful earthly throne.

Rev 21:10-12… “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:”

Rev 19:15-16… “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.”

The critical difference in understanding WHY Israel is the way it currently is, lies in the difference between the old and new covenants made specifically with the nation Israel. Covenants are NOT made with Christians today. Christians today who believe they are under covenant agreements with God are in effect messianic Jews.  They have the right idea but in the wrong dispensation.  God NEVER made a covenant with any nation or people BUT those of Israel. Gods grace today, as opposed to the former if/then covenant relationship with Israel, is 100% freely offered to all people.

Romans 5:13-19… “(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.  But not as the offence, so also is the FREE GIFT. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the GIFT BY GRACE, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the GIFT: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the FREE GIFT is of many offences unto justification.  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

THEREFORE as by the offence of one judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the FREE GIFT came upon ALL men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

The old covenant, the Law, God gave BECAUSE of Israel’s worldly blasphemous transgressions.

Gal 3:19… “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added BECAUSE of transgressions (Israel’s near complete unbelief as God miraculously brought them out of Egyptian captivity), till the seed should come to whom the promise was made (promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob from whom came the twelve tribes); and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator (that mediator was Moses).”

They “covenanted” with God to keep the Law by their own efforts…

Deut 6:24-25… ” And the Lord commanded us to do ALL these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And IT SHALL BE our righteousness, IF we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.”

…but could not. No human can. It was meant to be that way. The perfect Law was established to prove to man that he was a hopeless sinner.  Israel never understood that the purpose of the Law was to prove to them that they could not possibly keep it.

Rom 3:20… “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: FOR BY THE LAW IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.”

Jews today reject this utterly (as do many so called “christians”). If one is to keep the perfect Law, one must perfectly keep it.

Gal 3:10… “For as many as are of the works of the law ARE UNDER THE CURSE: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in ALL things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”

Since failure to keep the Law (appropriate sacrifices notwithstanding) resulted in many curses, Israel was punished severely throughout history (Leviticus 26:14-39). I highly encourage any “law keepers” out there to read the above curses which came upon the nation Israel for failure to keep it. Today’s “law keepers” can not claim the blessings promised to Israel and reject the curses… such is absolute hypocrisy; aside from the fact that the Law was never meant to be “kept”, it was given to demonstrate that man, working “righteousness” by his own efforts, was a complete and total failure.

Unbelieving Israel today is one very angry, sick, self-righteous, satanic nation.  (Sounds rather familiar…)  They intend to utterly destroy and corrupt as much as possible before Christ returns in wrath to utterly destroy them and those which serve them. These are the people who will welcome and introduce anti-christ to the rest of the world as “god”!  The deception is extreme!  Those at the very top understand exactly what is to come.  The devil is their father BY CHOICE.  None at the bottom do and for them I feel extremely sorry.  We are to be witnesses unto these people of the free grace of God offered to ALL men everywhere.  We believers today are ministers of reconciliation.

2 Cor 5:18… “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

In the future, the new covenant, begun in early Acts and then temporarily ceased, will supernaturally put the Law into believing Israel’s hearts by way of Holy Ghost “possession” (if you will permit the term) and cause FUTURE “believing” Israel to be able to keep the Law perfectly (miraculously) as the few (the little flock of Luke 12:32 – given the “great commission”) began to do in early Acts (and will during the ages to come when the books of Hebrews through Revelation come into effect).

Ezekiel 36:23-28… “And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (THIS HAS NOT YET HAPPENED. The Israel of 1948 is counterfeit anti-christ Israel because God did not miraculously cause it, men and therefore satan did.) Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. AND I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, AND CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES, AND YE SHALL KEEP MY JUDGEMENTS, AND DO THEM. And YE SHALL DWELL IN THE LAND that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

This is a future (ages to come) occurrence. It has not happened in the past and it is clearly not happening today.  God said very clearly that it would occur and God is no liar.  It will therefore occur.

Heb 8:7-11… “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT (with whom?) WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND THE HOUSE OF JUDAH (this is not us, we are NOT Israel, there is no Israel of God today): Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I WILL MAKE WITH (who?) THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL after those days, saith the Lord; I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND WRITE THEM IN THEIR HEARTS: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall NOT teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”

If the book of Hebrews is for believers today, why does Paul instruct us to study the scriptures as in 2 Tim 2:15?  We would not require study as God would have supernaturally provided us all the knowledge of Him we needed; if, that is, we were Hebrews entering into the time of Jacobs trouble… which we ain’t.  We are NOT grafted in to Israels earthly program nor have believers today replaced Israel.  Believers today are Gods heavenly people… we are of the mystery program (dispensation) revealed to the Apostle Paul.  Nearly the entirety of Christianity today does not recognize the separate and distinct Apostleship of Paul.  As Moses was to the Jews, so too OUGHT Paul be to today’s believers.  But he is not…  😦

Romans 11:13… “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

1 Corinthians 11:1… “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Tim 1:15… “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.”

Currently and clearly, Israel is still unbelieving. They missed their true Messiah. They ARE of their father the devil as God Himself pointed out to them. (No wonder Jews today hate Christ and the Apostles who tried to show them the truth of their condition so vehemently!)

HOWEVER (and here is the WHY of the situation), they are STILL OPERATING under the currently (dispensationally) FALSE pretense that God has given them authority over the world. As they tried (and failed; they refuse to acknowledge this: read Acts) to keep the Law by their own efforts, which WOULD HAVE BEEN their righteousness (if they could have kept it), providing them their promised and prophesied authoritative position above all nations being a blessing to them; they currently by THEIR OWN misguided (satanic) efforts, are in fact trying to control the world, taking for THEMSELVES the authority only God can grant.  Doing such by THEIR OWN efforts is in fact playing right into satan’s hands. God is not behind them, satan is. They are currently NOT Gods people.

Hosea 1:9… “Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.”

They one day will, when the dispensation of free grace is ended at the translation of the church the body of Christ (ambassadors of reconciliation – 2 Cor 5:17-21) who are not appointed unto wrath (1 Thes 5:9) and no longer needed on earth to preach free grace; once again be Gods people BY SUPERNATURAL MEANS.  Post rapture (which absolutely MUST occur, as grace and peace rightly preached today are the polar opposites of wrath and judgement, rightly preached when the Kingdom is at hand…) the Kingdom will once again be supernaturally “at hand”.  Christ returns with His Holy Angelic Armies to clean this earth up BEFORE the Kingdom is established.  Judgement and wrath (not grace and peace as is today) will be poured out on a most deserving world.  Believing Israel will be Gods people once again!  They will be a blessing to the nations which survive the great tribulation.  The twelve WILL sit on twelve thrones, or God is a liar.

Hosea 1:10… “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Romans 11:26-27… “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Israels sins are not yet “blotted out”.  That occurs when the Kingdom comes.

Acts 3:19-21… “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, (why?) that your sins may be blotted out, (when?) when the times of refreshing shall come (what are the times of refreshing?) from the presence of the Lord (Christ with us here on earth).  And he shall send Jesus Christ, (not here now, must come again for second time) which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive (He is there now) until the times of restitution of all things, (thy Kingdom come post tribulation) which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (whole of prophesy).

Note:  Any man alive today can be saved by the gospel of grace freely offered as God has reconciled Himself to the whole world.  Christ was made to BE SIN for us and paid the penalty we owe (2 Cor 5:17-21).  Any man of Israel (any man anywhere) can reconcile himself back to God immediately and experience complete and total forgiveness as I have.

Those who bless “Israel” today are in fact blessing the anti-christ world economic, political and religious “one-world” system as Mr. Perloff describes. There are very few true Christians who understand what is going on here. Christian Zionism, as James points out, is one of, if not the most dangerous error in Christian theology today.

At some point, when this dispensation of grace is ended, God will once again (I personally believe it will occur in the same way as He saved Paul in Acts 9, the Bible is not specific on this) miraculously save 144,000 Jews and send them into the world, speaking in tongues (all languages simultaneously) to once again preach that the earthly Kingdom is at hand. As in early Acts they will once again be able to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, drink deadly things, etc… (Mark 16:15-18) as the anti-christ will be walking physically among the world trying to wipe them out.  Most of the world will be on his side.  It is at this time that the Gentile nations will once again be required to bless Israel as they will desperately need such blessing as food and shelter, clothes and money.  I fear not many will.

Notice very carefully that the nations (sheep (good) and or goats (bad)) do not know how or why they are entering into (or not) Gods Kingdom “come on earth as it is in heaven…”

Mat 25:31-46… “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, WHEN saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? WHEN saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? OR WHEN saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye HAVE done it unto one of the least of these my brethren (the 144,000), ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, WHEN saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it NOT to one of the least of these (the 144,000), ye did it NOT to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

This is Genesis 12:1-3 come to full fruition in the world in the last days (which we are not yet in – we are living in the dispensation of free grace). “I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee.”

Amazing how much sense the Bible makes when its overall construction is understood. It is a book of progressive revelation with Paul (not John) as the final human that God revealed His ultimate plans to.

Colossians 1:25-28… “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the DISPENSATION of God which is GIVEN TO ME for you, to FULFILL the word of God; Even the MYSTERY which hath been HID from ages and from generations, BUT NOW is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Prophesy plus mystery equal satan’s utter destruction from earth (prophesy) and from heaven (mystery).  The manifold wisdom of God has utterly exposed, utterly condemned and utterly destroyed satan’s evil plan of utter corruption of heaven and earth, utterly and openly!

1 Corinthians 2:7-8… “But we speak the wisdom of God in a MYSTERY, even the HIDDEN WISDOM, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they WOULD NOT have crucified the Lord of glory.

Colossians 2:13-15… “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you ALL trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, HE MADE A SHEW OF THEM OPENLY, triumphing over them in it.

The Kingdom has not been “at hand” for some 2,000 years, though it will be again as Daniel’s 70’th week has yet to be fulfilled.  The end of which the LORD GOD will establish HIS Kingdom on earth with ZERO human assistance.

Daniel 2:44… “And in the days of these kings SHALL THE GOD OF HEAVEN SET UP A KINGDOM, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall NOT be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Grace and peace (words from the Lord with which Paul opens his every epistle) is currently “at hand” where God does NOT recognize Jew or Gentile (Gal 3:28). All men have been judged guilty and condemned equally (Rom 3:23). Faith and trust in the atoning death, burial and resurrection of Christ alone is the payment for that guilty verdict (Eph 1:13, 1 Cor 15:1-4, Rom 4:25).

When one does not understand the Bible dispensationally, that is, God (who does not change) dealing with mankind in different (changing) ways during different time periods (dispensations), one has only a partial clue as to what is actually happening in the world around them, and no comprehension as to WHY. To understand the world fully one MUST understand the King James Bible dispensationally.

I hope this makes sense to one and all but especially to you James.  I would consider it an honor to entertain any questions or comments you may have as I understand fully this is a great deal to digest and contrary to what you have up till now learned about the Bible.  I know you have been taught that dispensational theology is fundamentally wrong.  Much of it is.  Correct dispensational theology however, is the only way the entire Bible makes complete and total sense.  As the Bible is full of seeming contradictions (Christ said follow the Law, Paul said we are not under the Law – Rom 6:14) we absolutely must know who is speaking to whom, when and why.

Correct dispensational theology does not lead to Biblical and scriptural error; it clears up every single seeming contradiction within the Bible.  James, I would HIGHLY encourage you to read the little white book I sent you by Justin Johnson titled “Start Rightly Dividing“.  It is not the error laden nebulous illogical dispensationalism you likely expect it to be.  It is clear, concise, utterly logical, contextually scriptural, remarkably simple and stunningly beautiful.

grace and peace to you and yours…

Next Post:  “Thoughts On Christmas.

Standing versus State

There is a rather large disconnect in the Christ professing community regarding our standing “in Christ” and our current physical state of being here in this world.  There are those, most in fact, who believe we should judge whether another is a “Christian” or not based upon his visible fruit.  There are several verses which support such a view.  Here is one.

Matthew 7:20… “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

As a student of Gods Word I must therefore ask the question, if a man today is saved by grace without works of any kind (this is the mechanism of salvation in this dispensation), how then would I know if he were saved or not by the fruit produced by his works?  Or the manor of his living?  The short answer is, I could not.  The long answer follows…

If you have been following along with these posts in the order they were written, you are well aware that the words of Jesus above were spoken to men of Israel who were to be baptized WITH the Holy Spirit and given the supernatural ability to keep the commandments.

Ezekiel 36:27… “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them.

We know that these same men must show endurance through the tribulation in their physical battle with anti-christ to gain the reward promised unto them; namely, Gods earthly Kingdom come from Heaven to earth.

Matthew 10:22… “And ye shall be hated of all men for my names sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

The world, especially Israel, will love the anti-christ and will hate passionately those who go against him and his one world order.  Those who do go against him will eventually reap eternal life with Christ on earth.  This has been the promise of God to believing Israel and those under them from the very beginning.

Examining the standing and state of these men, we see that God supernaturally alters their physical STATE of being via baptism WITH the Holy Spirit.  God, with the new testament promise, gives these men the ability to follow the law perfectly.  He enables them physically to be able to NOT sin.  Such is the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophesy.

1 John 3:9… “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Such is an incredible statement that no one alive today may lay claim to (even though many falsely do).  But this was the reality in the early Acts period and will once again be the reality during that time when God is pouring out His just wrath upon this world of unrighteous people.  In the above verse John is speaking to “little children”; the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14 who go forth and preach the everlasting gospel to every creature.

What is the everlasting gospel?

Revelation 14:7… “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgement is come: and worship Him who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

If you continue reading the verses in Revelation 14 they go on to warn anyone who will listen, specifically NOT to take the mark of the beast, for once that mark is taken, all hope of salvation is lost.  That man has chosen anti-christ, the false prophet and satan formally over God.  There is no further hope for that man.

What does this have to do with standing and state?  Quite a lot I believe.  The physical STATE of these people during this time period is made (present tense) perfect, in order for them to be able to endure the punishing wrath of God. This is why they are given such seemingly strange supernatural powers as they had in the early Acts period.

Mark 16:17-18… “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Why, for instance, are they to be able to drink any deadly thing and live?  There is a very good reason.  A great star falls from heaven during the great tribulation…

Revelation 8:10-11… “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many died because of the waters, because they were made bitter.

The Hebrew believers will be able to drink such poisoned water and live!  They shall also be able to lay hands on those who are made sick and heal them.

Their spiritual STANDING (as opposed to their physical state of being) is TO BE made (future tense) perfect; that is, will be made perfect (sins altogether blotted out) AFTER the wrath is concluded and Christ is seated on His rightful earthly throne.  During this time in which they are “enduring till the end” their spiritual standing is incomplete.  Christ does not yet sit on the throne.  They have not yet fully and faithfully endured to completion that task set before them, their baptism with fire.

Acts 3:19-21… “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

The time of the restitution of all things is that time after the great tribulations conclusion.  After Jacob’s trouble when the desert shall once again bloom as the original garden of God; where the lion shall lay down with the lamb and perfect peace and harmony will once again exist between God,  His chosen and those Gentile nations who choose to bless them.  Only after they endure till the end will their collective sin be blotted out, and all Israel shall finally be “saved” (Rom 11:26).  Their spiritual standing once again made perfect after the faithful endurance of the wrath of God.

(Aside:  Any man self identifying as a Jew can today be saved by grace through the faith of Christ just like any other man.  No human alive today need go through Gods wrath.  Unfortunately, many will.)

This is so very different from the way God deals with us today.  Gods plan of salvation for the world via Israel (Gen 12:1-3); after Israel failed to accept her Messiah, was postponed in favor of the mystery kept secret since the world began and revealed to Paul.  Israel had fallen and God’s formal declaration of free grace to all men everywhere (without the need to bless fallen Israel) had begun.  Today, as we know, men are saved by grace through faith in the finished cross-work of Christ.  Trusting that He died for our sin and was raised again for our justification.

Ephesians 1:13-14… “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation (1 Cor 15:1-4): in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.

We are not baptized physically with the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit “seals” us as Gods own.  We are His purchased possession, bought with the blood of Christ.  We are NOT appointed unto wrath.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10… “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

We have been delivered from this present evil world.  We have only to endure each other (itself clearly not an easy task); we are not to endure the wrath of God.  It was already poured out on His Son on our behalf.

Gal 1:4-5… “Who gave Himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

There is no need whatsoever for God to alter our STATE of being in this present evil world because we have been delivered from the wrath that is to come!  There is no need of supernatural physical empowerment.  God is extending grace and not wrath to the world.  Our state, much unlike the state of the early Acts Jewish believers, is one of imperfection and weakness.  When Paul, also supernaturally empowered, nearing the end of his ministry, asked God for a supernatural healing, what was Gods answer?  No more signs and wonders…

2 Corinthians 12:9… “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Such is so backward to the vast majorities way of thinking!  Christ, the Holy Spirit nor God alters our physical abilities in any way, shape or form in this dispensation.  Religious people are crazy, deluded and/or not possessed of the correct spirit to think such is so.  There is no need.  Because… grace!  Not wrath.  In our human frailty, God’s manifest wisdom and overcoming strength is to shine through to a world in darkness.  The miracle today is that a sinner like me can be saved at all by doing absolutely nothing!  The world mostly ignores the greatest miracle of all.

Our physical state is hopeless until the time of the redemption of the purchased possession.  We are the purchased possession.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20… “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Our physical redemption takes place at the translation of the church the body of Christ (what most call the rapture).  When, as with the Jewish believers baptized WITH the Holy Spirit, our physical bodies shall be changed and we shall go to be with the Lord “in the air”, not here on earth!

1 Cor 15:52-53… “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17… “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Our physical STATE shall then be made perfect!  This is a future occurrence, which leaves only the present spiritual standing of the saved man to examine.

We currently exist in sinful bodies and cannot do the things we wish we could.  (I wish I had the ability not to sin, don’t you?)  There is a battle which rages in the saved man, one which needs reckoning if he is to live a risen life in this world, a life risen with his Lord and Savior, the life our Lord and Savior died to give us.

Galatians 5:17… “For the flesh lusteth after against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The mechanism by which we are to live lays in the knowledge and full understanding of the spiritual standing we have been placed in, by way of Christ’s atoning death, burial and resurrection.  As Christ has been made alive so to must we reckon ourselves made alive in the same way, not physically (yet – rapture) but spiritually so.  God says to us today, through our Apostle Paul, that our standing is NOW made perfect in the eyes of the Lord.  That, while we currently exist in sinful flesh, God no longer recognizes our physical state but only our spiritual standing in His Son, whom He made to BE sin for us and then killed on the cross.  How amazing!  We are crucified with Christ nevertheless we live!

Galatians 2:20… “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

While Israel must wait for her atonement (at-one-ment); enduring faithfully to the end of the great tribulation keeping the commandments, we have NOW received such in our present fallen state!  As Christ is one with the Father, so too have we been made one with the Father spiritually.

Romans 5:10-11… “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have NOW received the atonement.

Romans 6:11, 14… “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Sin no longer has dominion over us.  How is this possible?  God has made us into something new spiritually, not physically.  Something which was not prophesied since the beginning of the world but kept secret.  The new creature, whose great commission is…

2 Cor 5:17-21… “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The “great commission” preaching the Kingdom “at hand” was postponed over 2,000 years ago in favor of the preaching of grace and peace; the reconciling of the world to God by way of the cross!  How many who profess Christ miss this?

Believing Israel’s physical STATE was (in early Acts) and will be once again (during the great tribulation) made supernaturally perfect.  This “Kingdom program” was interrupted by that which God kept secret… the dispensation of grace we find ourselves in today.  Their spiritual STANDING will be made perfect at the tribulations end, after they have endured through the wrath of God faithfully to the end.

Our physical STATE here in this present evil world will remain imperfect until the rapture when we shall all be changed into perfect celestial beings.  When the dispensation of grace is finished and wrath is once more at hand.  Our spiritual STANDING is NOW made perfect in the eyes of a Holy and Just God by faith and trust in the cross of Christ.

We are freed to live our lives unto God without fear or guilt in what our flesh is capable of, and will likely do, before we are either translated out of this world or die in it.

Romans 8:1… “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

No condemnation.  God is not punishing sinful flesh today.  He punished sinful flesh by making Christ to be sin for us and then killing sin on the cross as the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23).

Romans 6:6-11… “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are far more than “born again”.  We are resurrected with Christ and made alive unto God!  Paul knew that his flesh would fail him.  I know my flesh will fail me.  You, reader, ought to know your flesh will fail (has failed) you.  Though these words can be a bit hard to follow, Paul explains: that which he knows he should do, he doesn’t.  Rather, he does what he knows he should not do.  However, understanding his perfect standing in the Lord, he realizes that it is not him that does these evil things, it is his sinful flesh which does.  Since he (spiritual Paul) is crucified with Christ, these flesh issues (physical Paul) no longer matter.  They have been dealt with by the cross.

Romans 7:15-20… “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Paul is telling us our flesh is hopelessly corrupt.  No good thing dwells in it.  God has not altered our flesh (not yet).

Romans 7:24-25… “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

God does not cause us to do or be “good”.  We are to study to shew ourselves approved unto God (2 Tim 2:15) that we would let His Word dwell richly within us.  It is only through the knowledge of what He accomplished on our behalf that we are empowered to walk in the Spirit.  Studying His Word IS walking in the Spirit.  Minding the things of God enables us to put off the things of the old man and to walk in the newness of life Christ died to provide us.

Colossians 3:16… “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Our physical state is fatally flawed.  Our standing is made as perfect as the One which died on our behalf.  Isn’t it about time we began to act like unto that which we have been made?  Again…

Colossians 3:16… “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Galatians 5:16, 25… “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

If we are trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross, we ARE “in the Spirit” no matter how we walk.  Why then walk according to the Spirit?  Because the works of the flesh are ugly and will not inherit the things of God; we have been made so much more.  These are the works of our sinful flesh:

Galatians 5:19-21… “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Praise God that even though we still exist in these bodies of flesh; even though our flesh still takes perverse pleasure in doing these things (that’s what the flesh is – just look honestly at the world in and around you); that God made Christ to BE these things for us and killed them dead on the cross!

1 Corinthians 6:11… “And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

How WERE we these things?  We were once unsaved.  By trusting in what Christ did for us, we are now washed, sanctified and justified!  APART FROM OUR FLESH.  The fruit of the Spirit, NOT OUR UGLY FLESHY FRUIT (as listed above), is beautiful.  These are the fruits of the Spirit (not of our “saved” flesh)…

Galatians 5:22-24… “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The saved mans flesh is crucified, thank God!  Walking in the Spirit, (which is) being saved and allowing the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly; the above fruits of the Spirit will simply begin to manifest themselves in and through our lives without our even trying.  For when “we” try, it is “we” (our flesh) that will fail.  When “we” (our flesh) gets out of the way and allows what we’ve learned through salvation and Bible study to work through us, it is the fruit of the Spirit Himself that will be made manifest to the world through us.  This is what God means when He says that it is his will that all men should be saved and then to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:3-4).  We cannot get to the whole truth without salvation first.

Know for an absolute fact that we (our flesh) is our biggest problem…  We (our flesh) is not capable of “good works”.  To focus on the flesh is to focus on that which is already crucified.  It cost God His Son to do it so this should hardly be overlooked.  To be known by “our” fruit is to be known by the works of the flesh, in which dwells no good thing.  We should not want to be known by “our” fruit!  Far better indeed to be known by the Spirits fruit as we learn to reckon ourselves to be dead indeed, that the Spirit then is capable of working through (in spite of) us!  Let it be so Lord…

During the great tribulation, Hebrew believers will know one another by their physical fruits as they knew one another in early Acts.  They were, and will be once again, physically empowered to produce good works through the supernatural physical baptism WITH the Holy Spirit they had and will have yet again.

Next Post: “Christian Zionism, a response to James Perloff