Part I of the Kingdom of God and of Heaven
@ChristineCane posted a very interesting and challenging Tweet yesterday the 16th of September. (Her reputation precedes her in the Church as one of the most dynamic women dedicated to helping and empowering women to be all they can be for Christ). Here is the Tweet:
‘There’s no question: God is building His Kingdom on earth. The question you need to ask is, “How has He called me to help Him?”‘
The Kingdom of God, also known as the Kingdom of Heaven, is the Millennial Kingdom, when we (the born again believers since the Day of Pentecost). will reign with Christ Jesus, the King of kings, for 1,000 years. This is when the King from Heaven, the Lord Jesus, establishes his kingdom upon the earth in Jerusalem. This will not be accomplished until after the Battle of Armageddon. This is the theme Jesus preached about during his earthly ministry, but as yet has not come to fruition. 2 of Jesus’ disciples once posed a similar request:
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.
36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?
37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
Then, when they didn’t get the answer they wanted, they brought their mother to propose it for them!
Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
Then we have several Scriptures concerning who will be the greatest and who will be the least in the Kingdom:
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus believed this kingdom was imminent in Mark 1:15, saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Where are Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob? Are they with us? Are we sitting down with them?
Is there still no question that “God is building His Kingdom on earth, now?”
For more on this subject see: http://thelivingtruthfellowship.org/jtltf/bible-teachings/articles-by-topc/administrations/41-in-the-kingdom-now
Part V of Identifying the False Prophet; the Predecessor of the Antichrist
As you have seen from the previous four segments the end is not yet. It could be said and has been said by many that “we are definitely in the end times.” As I have said before, there will be things leading up to the apokalupto of the False Prophet, but what they will be no one knows for sure. And I don’t believe anyone can tell you with absolute certainty that we are in the end times. I have shown you what will happen after being Caught Up, harpazoo, of 1Thess. 4:17, but no one knows what will be going on prior to that.
There are no prophecies concerning this Age because none of the prophets before Paul knew anything about this age. This age was kept a secret by God:
Rom 16:25-27 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel (Paul’s) and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the secret which has been kept silent since the world began but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the (Christian) prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;
Eph 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy (Christian) apostles and prophets by spirit; (How many Old Testament apostles can you name?)
Since none of them, no one, had any knowledge of this Secret Age, they could not have prophesied anything about it, particularly what to expect before the Gathering Together of the saints! In other words no one has any idea when this will occur. There are no worldly events which will indicate when it will happen.
Now, if I am wrong about the Rapture and there is none as many believe, at least you know what to look for concerning the False Prophet.
So, when will “the end” come? Let’s see what 1 Cor 15:20-26 says:
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep (dead). 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the standing up from the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, (Remember the 5 parts of the Parousia, coming, in Part IV?) This is addressing the dead, those who are asleep.
24 then comes the end, when He, Jesus, hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death (death is not destroyed until Rev. 20:14, after the Millennial Kingdom.) NASU
When all of the “whens” have occurred, then comes the end!
Part III of Identifying the False Prophet; the Predecessor of the Antichrist
The only other place in the Christian Scriptures that something of this magnitude is spoken about is in 2 Thess 2:1-10: Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him, we ask you 2 not to be quickly shaken in your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by […]
Illustrations by Rev. Clarence Larkin who died 90 years ago, which represent Oikonemia in Scripture
This picture represents what the prophets (including Jesus Christ) could see and know from the Scriptures. As you can see here the Prophets could not know or understand anything about the Church Age because God kept it a Secret from everyone until it was revealed to Paul and the other Apostles by the ascended Christ.
And to Him who is able to establish you, according to my good news, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the secret, in the times of the ages having been kept silent,
26 and now having been made manifest, also, through prophetic (Christian) writings, according to a command of the age-during God, having been made known to all the nations for obedience of faith —
27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to him [be] glory to the ages. Amen.
3 that by revelation He made known to me the secret, according as I wrote before in few [words] —
4 in regard to which ye are able, reading [it], to understand my knowledge in the secret of the Christ,
5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it was now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the spirit —
1 Cor 2:7-8
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a musterion, secret, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
This one represents the Church of the Body of Christ versus the Kingdom of God and Christ. The resulting affect of this hidden wisdom is that the coming Kingdom which Jesus and the apostles expected soon after his ascension, would be put on hold or held in abeyance. As you can see, the Kingdom most Christians speak about as if it existed today, will not exist until after the Great Tribulation. As for now, Jesus is our Lord, not our king.
2 Peter 3:14-18
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
This revelation is NOT to be ignored; you do so at your own destruction.
Will you be found blameless?
Are you among the untaught (unteachable) and unstable?
Are you being lead astray by the error of unprincipled men?
Are you growing in knowledge as well as grace?
The Last Week of Christ’s Life
One of the more important times of the Christian calendar is what we call Easter, yet for as much as we think we know about it, there is much to be learned. Approaching the subject seems as exhaustive as an hour of the suffering that the Lamb of God, Jesus the Messiah, experienced. It seems to me that such an important time, culminating in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, more time should be spent than a few hours in Sunday School when we were children. A key ingredient that has led to some misunderstanding, in general, of the Bible is that it is an Eastern Book, written from the mindset of an Easterner as opposed to a Westerner.
In the East a new day begins at Sunset and the pre-day at dusk. The weekly Sabbath of Saturday, for those who observe it, are in a hurry to get home on Friday, before sundown, so they can observe that holy day properly. In the West we chose 12 midnight to begin our days because it is probably a lot more consistent. 12 midnight is always 12 midnight; while sunset changes 365 days a year, not too consistent. This makes it real easy for those of us who read the Bible to lose 12 hours and sometimes even 24 of a timeline, from here and there.
Because the last week of Jesus’ life is such a detailed study I am going to pass it off to one of my Teachers, John Schoenheit, of Spirit and Truth Fellowship International.
Another related teaching of John’s is , “Did God Really Forsake Jesus Christ on the Cross?”
Enjoy Holy Week, as never before!
WHAT IS A PERSON?
This is a question that I never imagined would need answering in my Christian walk with God and my Lord, Jesus Christ.
First of all, how is “person” defined? In my “American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language” it is defined as:
- A living human being, especially as distinguished from an animal or thing.
- The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality.
- An individual of some specified character.
- The living body of a human being
- (my addition) consists of flesh and bones, have a body and are called people
From here we need to define “individual:”
- a. Of or relating to a single human being. b. By or for one person
- Existing as a distinct entity; single; separate.
- Distinguished by particular attributes; distinctive.
- Indivisible as an entity; inseparable
The reason this question has arisen is because of the subject of the Holy Spirit. There is an overwhelming amount of misunderstanding on this subject. The primary reason for this misunderstanding is because of a three letter word that is called an article in English grammar. An “article” is defined as:
- Any of a class of words used to signal nouns and to specify their application. In English the articles are a and an (indefinite articles) and the (definite article).
Yes, you guessed it we are talking about the article “THE.” The misplacement of this little word has caused no end of confusion. Translators are responsible for this and they will one day answer for it. What the definite article “the” does when it comes to the subject of holy spirit, is determine the capitalization or not, of the words that follow it. Some people might say, “what’s the big deal, what difference does it make?” Well, in biblical circles it is a really big deal. For example, when there is no article “the” before the words pneuma hagion, spirit or ghost and holy, it should not be capitalized, distinguishing it from when the article does appear. The difference between the Holy Spirit and holy spirit, is the Giver and the gift. God is holy and God is spirit = the Holy Spirit and that which God gives to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is holy spirit, his gift. God gives what “HE” is.
This brings us to defining spirit, what is it? In the Greek it is the word pneuma from which we get the word pneumatic. Pneuma is used 379 times in the New Testament and it means;
- NT:4151 from NT:4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy Spirit: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Pneumatic tools are powered by compressed air. Air is everywhere and generally it is invisible, untouchable and unseen. Why is God called the Holy Spirit? Because there are a lot of Unholy spirits. All spirits are not holy, which is why God distinguishes “Himself” from them, with the use of Holy. You will notice how I have been putting male pronouns in reference to God in quote marks. The reason I am doing this is to note that these references are in fact figures of speech. God is spirit and spirit has not flesh and bones as people have: Jesus says in Luke 24:37-39:
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
The figure of speech Anthroopatheia or Condescension, is ascribing to God what belongs to human and rational beings. Furthermore, Moses tells us that “God is not a man (‘iysh, a man as an individual or a male person), that he should lie; neither the son of man (‘adam, a human being), that he should repent.” Nu 23:19. Any and all human characteristics attributed to God or the Holy Spirit is a figure of speech and not literal.
Therefore there is no way in God’s creation that The Holy Spirit, The Giver, who is God Himself can be a Person, a living human being with flesh and bones. To believe that a spirit of any kind, holy or not, is a person, is foundational-less thinking. It is completely illogical and God is all about logic.
Okay, let us take a look at the first usage of the words “Holy Spirit or Ghost” used together, Matt 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. KJV You will notice that I italicized the words added by the translators. The article “the” before the words Holy Ghost was added, therefore it should read “she was found with child of holy spirit.”
Let’s look at the 2nd usage in Matt 1:20b “….for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Here again “the” was added. It should read, “for that which is conceived in her is of holy spirit.”
Let’s look at the 3rd usage (you can see that I am not “cherry-picking” verses to support my position). Matt 3:11: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”It should read: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with holy spirit and fire:” If we were baptized by the Holy Spirit, we would be disintegrated! Instead we are baptized with a part of that which He is, not “He Himself.” (Note here another misunderstood concept, holy spirit and fire is the figure speech Hendiadys, which means Two for One; two words used but one thing meant).
Now let’s look at what we get from God who is the Holiest of the Spirits: Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? KJV There is no article “the” in the texts so it should read “give holy spirit,” the gift. Luke 1:15 says John the Baptist would be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. No article “the” there either. He was filled with the gift of holy spirit. The words “holy ghost” are used 90 times and it’s your job to figure out how many of these are the Giver and how many are the Gift.
You need a Greek Interlinear or a PC Bible program like mine from Biblesoft in order to see these fraudulent errors that Satan has perpetrated through translators of the Bible. Our Bibles today are not the Word of God as God originally moved holy men of God, who wrote it, but with Computer Bible software, we can get back to the original God-breathed Word. This is one reason why the Church needs Teachers like me who have a ministry to convey the truth. It is not my responsibility that you learn anything, that is up to you and God. I plant and I water, but it is God who gives the increase.
You can reject everything I say but once I have said it and once you have read it, you are responsible to God for it, just as I am. You can be rewarded at the Bema for believing it or suffer loss for rejecting it. The majority will not rule at the Judgment Seat of Christ as we will all stand alone. You will not be able to blame what you believed here on earth on your pastor, your spouse or anyone else.
To see more on Figures of speech in the Bible go to the link below to see that I am not the only good Teacher around:
The Birth of Christ–Out in the Cold Stable or In a warm House?
(The guestchamber in those days was a room adjacent to the house for the lodging of guests. These days some people have Guest-houses, while others may have Guest-rooms. The Greek word this is translated from is used 1 other time in Luke and once in Matthew. In both instances it is translated “guestchamber” in the King James Version: Mark 14:14
And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
KJV; Luke 22:11
And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? KJV)
Joseph and Mary were not out in the cold with no place to go. They were at a friend’s house or at the very least a friend of a friend. They were like royalty, direct descendants of King David and they were in the city of David. They didn’t just arrive but had been there at least a few days already . Anyone would have been glad to have them in their home, let alone the fact Mary was in her 9th month of pregnancy. John Schoendeit of Spirit and Truth Fellowship adds this light on the subject:
“Another thing we must understand about houses in the East is that it was common for people to bring their animals, such as the family donkey, a couple of milk goats, or a cow or two, into the home at night. Such animals were very valuable, and the people brought them in at night to keep them from being stolen and to protect them from harm. Also, the animals added heat to the house, which would be very welcome on chilly nights. The woman in Endor who King Saul visited at night had her calf in the house with her: “And the woman had a fat calf in the house” (1 Sam. 28:24, KJV).  Of course, if the family were shepherds or herdsmen, they would not bring the whole flock or herd into the house, but would have a family member or hired guard watch them in the field, just as the shepherds were in the field on the night Jesus was born.
It was a common practice to raise the floor of the part of the house where the family lived, and keep the animals in an area that was a little lower.  Knowing this helps us understand Luke 2:6 and also where that idea that Jesus was born in a stable came from. Jesus was laid in a manger, which is an open trough, box, or bin, where the animal food was placed so the animals could feed easily. In Western society, mangers are in barns or stables, so if Jesus was laid in a manger it made sense he was born in a stable. However, in Eastern society, where the animals grazed outside during the day and were brought into the house at night, the manger was in the house. Having the manger in the house kept the animals calm and contented in the tighter quarters of the house, just as many modern farm animals have a feeding trough in their stall stay calm and content.
Everyone knew the manger was in the house, so when the Bible says that Jesus was laid in a manger “because” there was no space in the guest room, any Easterner would understand perfectly that the guest room was full so Jesus was born in the main part of the house where the family and animals stayed. Sometime after his birth he was safely placed in the manger, which would have been filled with clean hay or straw and would have been the perfect size for him. This was not to demean him in any way, but to care for him. The protective walls of the manger kept him safely guarded and away from busy feet and a bustling household, as well as warm and protected from any drafts or cold air in the home.
Another thing that helps us understand the Christmas story is understanding Eastern hospitality. In the East, guests were given special treatment of all kinds, including behavior that seems very extreme to us. For example, in the record of Lot and the two strangers, Lot would have handed over his own daughters to the mob before surrendering his guests (Gen. 19:8). Similarly, the people with whom Joseph and Mary stayed would never displace their guests from the guest room, but instead would inconvenience themselves, graciously bringing the couple into their living space.”
See more athttp://www.truthortradition.com/articles/retelling-the-christmas-story.
Mature Christian or Babe in Christ?
I received a revelation the other day through the teaching of another believer that allowed me to see why most of what I say and write falls on deaf ears. It enabled me to understand why I get so few comments on my posts. This revelation comes from Hebrews 5:11 and following. Here the apostle Paul has just been talking about Jesus Christ as a priest after the order of Melchizedek. He says in verse 11:
” Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. NASU These believers who should have been able to understand what Paul was saying about this could not because they were still immature in their walk with God.
They were dull, nothros, of hearing, akoe. Nothros means sluggish or literally lazy; figuratively, stupid. It is translated as slothful, also. Akoe refers to hearing, as in receiving oral instructions.
Paul continues: Heb 5:12
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food (deeper truths).
If you have been in the Word for any length of time like 3 years or more, it is time to get off the bottle. Babes in the Word, like real babies require their mother’s milk for a couple of years, but after that it is time to move on to some more solid food, to stimulate proper growth. Paul says, you fellows ought to to be teachers by now, but instead you need to have someone teach you basic principles all over again. This is reproof. Laziness leads to being satisfied with milk, less difficult truths.
The problem as I see it is that there are not many in the church teaching this. If there are, not many are receiving what is being taught. This brings me to the elementary principles verse 12 speaks about. Elementary principles are the words arche stoicheion, which mean fundamental, initial or the first things you should have learned as a babe, like the alphabet. NT:4747 any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise; an element, first principle (from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.) The basic teachings about Christ, found in the 4 Gospels!
Heb 5:13 For everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant (an immature Christian,) is unskilled in the word of righteousness. NRSV
Unskilled is the word apeiros. It is only used 1 time in the Bible giving it singular importance. It means inexperienced, ignorant. It is not ignorance of just any old thing, but ignorance of the word of righteousness! How long are you willing to remain this way? I hear so many believers who say they are content with sticking to the basics. Were you happy in diapers, with poop in your pants? isn’t it time to grow up?
Righteousness in the 4 Gospels was only possible through good works. The free gift of righteousness, by the grace of God and the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, was not available in the gospels.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age (mature), even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. KJV
Full age, Mature, teleios, means complete in labor, growth, mental and moral character; lacking nothing necessary to completeness.
Use, hexis, = habit, practice; senses, faculties of perception.
exercised, trained, gumnazoo, to exercise vigorously in body or mind. This is where we get the word for gymnast. Think if the mental and physical training a gymnast puts themselves through to be great. We need to have a similar drive to excel in the deep things of God and His word.
But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to discern both good and evil. AT
If you are not complete, you are incomplete because of contentment and laziness. Remember, it’s Christ in you; his sight behind yours, his sense of smell behind yours, his touch behind yours, etc. Exercise your spiritual 5 senses. Why? To be able to tell the difference between a liar and someone telling you the truth; between an impostor and a pastor; between a true prophet of God and a false prophet!
Solid food or strong meat is not found in the gospels. Here is a little of what The Bible Exposition Commentary* has to say about this:
“Unskillful in using the Word (v. 14). As we grow in the Word, we learn to use it in daily life. As we apply the Word, we exercise our “spiritual senses” and develop spiritual discernment. It is a characteristic of little children that they lack discernment, A baby will put anything into its mouth. An immature believer will listen to any preacher on the radio or television and not be able to identify whether or not he is true to the Scriptures. Just as our physical bodies have senses without which we could not function, so our inner “spiritual man” has “spiritual senses.” For example: “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8). “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear” (Matt 13:16). As we feed on the Word of God and apply it in daily life, our inner “spiritual senses” get their exercise and become strong and keen. Paul called this process exercising ourselves unto godliness (1 Thess 4:7-8).”
The world is full of physical exercising fanatics, who are missing the boat. Most Christians are missing the boat as well from not exercising themselves unto godliness, being like GOD. See the last line of the preceding paragraph? It contains the key to everything I am saying.
More scriptures on exercising ourselves unto godliness:
1 Tim 4:7-9
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Moving forward, exercising ourselves unto godliness, is described as grievous chastening. Chastening here means education, training and implies disciplinary correction! Grievous implies a painful process. And it will be if you choose to do it.
Back to Hebrews, Paul continues in the next verse:
Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: a) repentance from dead works, b) faith toward God, c) instruction about baptisms, d) resurrection of the dead, e) eternal judgment. NRSV
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, NOT laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. NASU
This is where the rubber meets the road for many immature Christians. They say they believe God and His Word, yet when it comes to really doing it, it is quite another thing. Here we are told if we want to be skilled, mature Christian that we have to leave the elementary teaching and principles of the gospels behind, if we are going to move forward to perfection, being all we were called to be. “Be all you can be,” for Christ.
I know these will be some difficult truths form some to swallow, but it is still the Word. If you want to be the best leader you can be for others or the best Christian you can be, you have to move on to exercising yourself unto godliness; anything else is just religion.