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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

LOVE CONQUERS ALL


LOVE CONQUERS ALL

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” John 3:35



John comes to a statement in which he gives the secret for the authority of the Son. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand." Now go back and listen to the herald. "A man can receive nothing, except it have been given him from heaven." He was sent; He received His commission and carried it out. And when he was done, "I must decrease." Now says the evangelist, of the One to Whom John had pointed, "The Father hath loved the Son, and delivered all things into His hand." That accounts for the final authority of the Son. (John 13:1; Matt. 28:18)

The words “Father,” “Son,” and “love” each occur in John’s gospel more than in any other book of the Bible, and there are at least eight references in John to the Father’s love for the Son. That love existed before the creation (John 17:24). The entire creation has been given and all things revealed to Him by the Father (John 3:35; 5:20). The Father especially loves the Son because of His willingness to die for sinners (John 10:15). Love, not hate so prevalent in the world today, conquers all; even the hatred.

Monday, February 27, 2017

GLOBAL CONCEPT WITH CHRIST AS THE RULER


GLOBAL CONCEPT WITH CHRIST AS THE RULER
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."  John 1:3




      If you ponder deeply the original Theocratic conception, retaining its original meaning then associated in external manifestation through David's Son, you will see the reason why passages which in the Old Test. are applied to God are in the New Test, unhesitatingly applied to Jesus (as e.g. Isa. 45:20; comp. with Rom. 14:10, 11; Isa. 40:3 with Matt. 3:1, 3; Zech. 12:10 with John 19:34, 37, etc., etc.); why divine worship which belonged to God as the Theocratic Ruler is also claimed for Jesus Christ (as e.g. John 5:3; Matt. 28:19 ; Phil. 2:11 ; Rev. 5:13 ; Luke 24:52, etc.) ; why perfections which exclusively belong to God are without the least scruple attributed to Jesus (as e.g. John 5:21; Col. 1:17; Heb. 13:8, etc.) so that the declaration is made (John 16:15), "all things that the Father hath are mine." It was under the influence of this Theocratic conception, viz., that the same Lord God who once acted as earthly Ruler would be inseparably identified with the person of Jesus, David's Son, that even creation (John 1:3, 10; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2, etc.) is ascribed to Him; that pre-existence is postulated (John 8:58; John 1:1; Col. 1:17, etc.) of Him; that the love, etc., Tendered to Him are at the same time bestowed upon the Father (John 5:23, etc., 1 John 2:23) ; that no one could know the Father saving the Son and him to whom the Son revealed Him (Matt. 11:27, etc., 1 John 1:18) ; and all this and more because (John 14:10) "I am in the Father and the Father in Me." The least reflection will show, that the Theocratic idea so impenetrates the New Testament portraiture of Jesus bringing forth such a union of the Theocratic God with David's Son-forming the one Theocratic King with one will, power, work, love, etc. (John 5:19-38, etc.) and yet consistently placing the Son in view of the incorporation of David's line and descendant subordinately to the Father (John 5:19; John 14:28, etc.), that it demands unreasonable innocence to imagine that the apostles through their own reason and to sub serve their own purposes, created such a matchless Theocratic likeness, which, without a single flaw, combines the original Theocratic Ruler with the promised Theocratic King in David's line; and, without sacrificing the humanity or exalting it above the Fatherhood, blends the two together into an inseparable Oneness, forming the One Person Jesus the Christ; that in this unity, whoever sees the Son beholds also the Father. Such a conception, so harmonious in all its details, so forcibly adapted to secure the end contemplated, and so perfectly in accord with God's Theocratic Purpose, is, as the Bible justly claims a divine one. Let the reader test this by contrasting it with those plans originated by man, as e.g. Plato's idea of an ideal government and more recently the notions entertained respecting a "Universal Republic" or a "Universal Monarchy." Our opponents themselves concede (leaving out the moral and only looking at the results) that if this portraiture is true, if it could be realized as expressed, it would undoubtedly bring forth the effects attributed to it. We know it to be true for the reasons, already assigned; flowing from the doctrine of the Kingdom, and which in every heir of this Kingdom and co-heir of this Theocratic King is confirmed by the experience of faith, and by the constant and continued fulfilling of events foretold by this Messiah.

Satan has another plan with the desired results that he rules and is worshipped and we see the world on a fast pace to bring about a global society with a one world religion branded by atheism at its core and every breed of Christ except the right One.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

THE AUTHORITY AND CLARITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT


The Authority and Clarity of the Old Testament

“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”  Luke 24:44


                First, for many centuries and until the Christian era, the sole written divine revelation available to men was Old Testament Scripture; and this body of truth was the final court of appeal. This is attested many times by the prophets, by our Lord, by His chosen apostles, and by the Early Church (cf. Luke 24:44; Acts 28:23, etc.).

                Second, early New Testament preaching in the Apostolic Church was tested by its agreement with the Old Testament writings. Thus we find the Berean Jews commended because, after bearing Paul and Silas, they "searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so"; and as a result many were convinced and "believed" (Acts 17:11-12). Furthermore, while defending himself before King Agrippa against the Jewish charges of religious heresy, the Apostle Paul declares that he had said "none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come" (Acts 26:22).

                Third, it was an invariable assumption on the part of our Lord and His Apostles that the Old Testament Scriptures could be understood, at least sufficiently to make their readers and hearers morally responsible for believing their essential demands. Men were commanded to "search" these Scriptures because they testified of Christ (John 5:39). And the Jews' failure to believe on Him is traced back to a failure to believe the Old Testament: "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:46-47). Again, in a remarkable story recorded in Luke 16:20-31, Abraham is heard saying, in answer to the rich man's plea for some warning to his five brothers, that "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them" (Luke 16:29). If they refuse to hear the prophets, they would not believe, even though one were sent from the world of the dead (Luke 16:31).

                Fourth, there is no intimation that the Old Testament writings in general were esoteric in character, incapable of being understood except by the use of some "key" given or discovered centuries after their composition. This does not mean that there were no problems of interpretation in the Old Testament, for the prophets sometimes searched their own writings for meanings. But such problems involved mainly the matter of time in relation to morally conditioned prophecies (cf. 1 Pet. 1:10-11). And this particular problem could only be solved by the historical fulfillment of Messiah's career at His first coming. Furthermore, this coming provided a pattern of literal fulfillment to guard the reader against any misinterpretation of unfulfilled prophecy.           

                Fifth, it is true that the New Testament must always have the last word in deciding problems of Old Testament interpretation. But it should not be forgotten that even the New Testament has its passages which are "hard to be understood" (2 Pet. 3:16). And no New Testament text under question should ever be used to "wrest" or invalidate the clear utterances of the Old Testament prophets. Moreover, where Old Testament problems are settled by an appeal to the New Testament, the deciding voice must be that of the totality of Scripture on the point in question.

                Sixth, if there is difficulty connected with the understanding of the essential doctrines of Scripture - and surely the Kingdom is one such doctrine - the problem must be found in man rather than in the revelation. As Schodde has correctly observed, "The Bible is written for men ... and accordingly there is no specifically Biblical logic, or rhetoric, or grammar. This is why God can hold all men responsible for believing, and meeting the essential demands of the written Word at every stage of revelation. If it is possible for human authors to make what they write sufficiently clear for the understanding of those who read, shall we say that God cannot do as much?” The answer is given by the Apostle John: "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater" (1 John 5:9). What is wrong, then, that men fail to understand the great essential truths of Scripture?

 <law> Torah
<prophets> Nebiim
<Psalms> Kethubim

Saturday, February 25, 2017

TRUE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION


TRUE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION-NOT LIKE TODAY

“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; IIt seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”
Luke 1:1-4



Here Luke reveals the method of his work. First he says that he traced the course of all things accurately from the beginning. That is an important alteration from the old Version, which makes it look as though Luke meant, he knew all from the beginning. He means the exact opposite. He obtained all the material; and then he traced the course of all things accurately. This was the work of scientific investigation of the whole of the stories he had gathered about Jesus. The same for the disciples and their three year journey and ministry alongside Christ, gathering facts, being taught, and coming to conclusions. The wisdom they attained was from above.

                In this connection he employed a word which arrests us. He says he traced the course of all things "anothen." We have rendered that, "from the first." Now, that word in Greek use does sometimes mean "from the first," but it also means "from above." In strict etymology, I think the probability is that it means "from above." Note one or two occurrences of the same word. Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, and said: "Ye must be born anothen." The old Version rendered that "again." The Revisers have rendered it, "anew," and "born from above" in the margin. I am quite sure Jesus meant, "from above." Take another illustration. "The wisdom that cometh down anothen." There it must be "from above." My own view is that when Luke says he traced the course of all things accurately "anothen," he meant from above; and that he was claiming that his scientific work was under the guidance of heaven itself, that he not only brought to bear upon his work his own scientific ability to sift and trace; but he sought guidance from heaven. That is how he prepared his material.

                And then he says he wrote "in order." This phrase "in order" is one word in the Greek, Kathexes, which is the word of the artist. He claims that having obtained his material, and sifted and examined it, and put it in proper relationship; he wrote it in artistic order.

                This preface to Luke is by analogy a remarkable revelation of how inspiration wrought in the producing the historic literature of the Bible. Luke was conscious that he did his work under Divine guidance. His use of the word “anothen” suggests that. This word is translated "from the first" but more accurately "from above." Luke used it in that sense. He was no machine for he used the scientific method to bear upon his material.

                 In this formal preface, Luke is extremely careful to describe his method of researching and compiling material for his gospel. He stresses: (1) the corroboration of eyewitnesses (vs. 2; also cp. 1 John 1:1); (2) scrupulous handling of truth (vs. 2, "handed down," and vs. 3, "carefully investigated"); (3) comprehensive study (vs. 3, "investigated everything from the beginning"; cp. Acts 1:1, "all that Jesus began to do"); (4) correspondence of written material with divine purposes and activities, i.e. the presence of inspiration (vs. 4, "certainty"); (5) orderly presentation (vs. 1, "draw up an account," vs. 3, "orderly account"). Such human care does not in the least lessen the role of the Spirit in directing the writer (for the origin and certainty of prophecy, see 2 Pet 1:19 - 21).

Both the 1917 <Scofield Reference Bible> and the 1967 <New Scofield Reference Bible> point out that the phrase in vs. 3, "from the beginning," is from the Gk. <anothen> (adv., from ano, which can mean "up," "upward," or "above"), which is translated elsewhere, in some cases, by "from above" or similar phrases (John 3:31; 19:11; James 1:17; 3:15,17; but cp. Acts 26:5, where it is translated "for a long time"). According to this view, Luke's use of <anothen> is an affirmation that his knowledge of these things, derived from those who had been eyewitnesses from the beginning (vs. 2), was confirmed by revelation. In like manner Paul had doubtless heard from the Eleven the story of the institution of the Lord's Supper; but he also had it by revelation from the Lord (1 Cor 11:23) and his writing, like Luke's knowledge, thus became firsthand and not simply traditional.

Friday, February 24, 2017

ATONEMENT NOT EASY


ATONEMENT NOT EASY


“And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mark 14:36

 Jesus was willing to take no for an answer to His prayer. He prayed as the Son of Man and not as the Son of God therefore some see weakness in His words not understanding the overwhelming sin that He was about to answer for. Some men think they can atone for themselves by their own goodness. Take a look at this prayer and see what Christ saw of the task He was about to accomplish. He sweat blood over the thought. Some never consider the holiness of God and how He hates even the slightest sins against right and truth.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

REPORTING BACK



REPORTING BACK

“And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.” Mark 6:30

That is an account of how the first apostolic mission ended. After a period of preparation by being with Him, they had been sent out by two and two to do His work, and thus enlarge the area of His activity. They had been successful in all the work to which He had appointed them. As a result of their mission, "His name had become known" more widely. Then they returned to Him, and they came back to report. The picture suggested is a very beautiful one. The Lord Who had sent them, and Who had never been separated from them during their absence, is seen listening to them as they told Him the things that He knew perfectly. The sequel shows that He understood that such work is costly. They were tired, and He called them to rest awhile.
                Are we not a little in danger of missing the real value of this story? We are more apt to report what we have done for Him to each other, and to the world, than to Him. Such reporting is not necessarily wrong. But for our own souls' good, and for our more perfect equipment for further service it is better to report to Him. Yet this is a largely neglected activity. It is not prayer. It is not praise. It is telling Him what we have done and taught. Regularly to do this would be to make us more than ever careful in all our work, and all our teaching.

                In these words we have the account of how the first apostolic mission ended. They constitute the minutes of a meeting for report and review, most probably held in the month of April.
               The story of this first mission of the twelve is told by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, in each case with arresting and notable brevity. Mark and Luke each give a clear and concise statement of the facts, while Matthew gives some particulars.

                It is seen as an interesting and important story. Its brevity is part of its value. There can be no better vantage ground for considering the story, than this report of the gathering which followed the mission.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

STEP BY STEP


STEP BY STEP

“And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”  Mark 4:33-34

 
as they were able to hear it. More was taught to the disciples as they were able to hear and understand the things concerning the Kingdom. Cf. Matt. 13:11. Most of the crowd did not understand because they would not want to apply it if they did understand, so Christ waited until He was alone with His disciples (Mark 4:34) to explain the meaning of His parables. Referring back to the prophecy from Isa. 6:9-10.

all things See 1 Cor. 3:21-23 where all things were gifts from God. See 1 Cor. 15:24-28 to see where all things are headed to the Kingdom of God.

2 types of distinct pedagogic methods. Parables to the public who unable to believe His truth and exposition to the disciples who received all the things the Father wanted His kingdom residents to understand. Step by step. Cf. Matt 13:36-53.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

RICH MEN AND HEAVEN – CAMELS AND NEEDLES


RICH MEN AND HEAVEN – CAMELS AND NEEDLES

“And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God..….”But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”  Matt. 19:24, 26

 
These words of our Lord are capable of two interpretations. They may mean that God is able to do what men cannot. Or they may mean that men are able to do, with God, what they cannot do by co-operation with other men. There is really no doubt that the second is the true interpretation of their meaning. The first is true, and so evidently true that the maxim of it under the circumstances would have solved no difficulty. The second exactly answered the difficulty in the minds of those who were perplexed. If a wealthy man, whose power with his fellowmen is always great, cannot procure the right of entry into the Kingdom of God, then what chance is there for any man? That was the problem. Our Lord's answer immediately revealed the profound mistake which created the problem. A man does not enter into the Kingdom of God by acting with men. He must act with God. When directly he does so, the impossible becomes possible. And that is not only a profound truth; it is the profoundest of all truths in this regard. Man is forever attempting personally and socially to enter into the Kingdom of God by endeavours with men, and he never succeeds. With God, the thing is possible. If the young ruler had shut out all thought of men and acted alone with God, he would have followed Christ at all costs. All those insuperable difficulties of desire, inclination, and fear, are overcome by God within the soul, when man yields himself completely to God in submission and faith. That which a man cannot do alone or acting with men, he can do when he acts with God.

Monday, February 20, 2017

THIRD TIME WAS NOT A CHARM


THIRD TIME WAS NOT A CHARM

“Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.”  Matt. 22:4

 
During His earthly ministry our Lord had specifically foretold of such a reoffer. The prediction is recorded in Matt. 22:1-7, clothed in the form of a parable of "the kingdom of heaven" in which a certain king makes a marriage feast for his son (Matt 22:2). Two calls are sent out by the King, both addressed to a special group of people who had previously been invited, "them that were bidden" (Matt 22:3, perfect tense), a reference to the original and abiding call (perfect) of this nation through Abraham to enjoy the blessings of the Messianic Kingdom, and renewed over and over again in the Old Testament. The first call of the parable was issued by our Lord through His disciples (Matt. 10:1-15; Luke 10:1-9), directed exclusively to the chosen nation; and it was officially rejected (Matt. 22:3). Then there was to be a second call announcing that the dinner is now "prepared" and "all things are ready" (Matt 22:4) - certainly a reference to our Lord's finished work of redemption at Calvary. Such a call could not have gone forth until after the Resurrection. But again the call is rejected, this time by actions which help to identify it in Biblical history: some Jews would turn away with contemptuous indifference, according to the parable, while others would mistreat and kill the messengers (Matt 22:6). This points to the post-Pentecostal offer, as described in the Book of Acts, when the officials of Israel did exactly that. During the gospel period not an official disciple of Christ was killed by the Jews, but during the period of the Acts the terrible persecution and killing of the messengers began. And there is no third call for this generation of Israel, but judgment falls: the King sends forth his armies, destroys the murderers, and burns their city - a parabolic prediction of the awful destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matt 22:7).
But a fourth time to a later generation of Jews when Christ is accepted under the strain of tribulation. And 144,000 Jewish males take the gospel message to the whole world. (Matt. 24:14) Israel finally is the vehicle of blessing to the whole world. (Gen. 12:2-3)

The all-consuming purpose of God in creation was to establish a Kingdom in the earth in which He could display His glory in the Person of His Son. This display of His glory was to be made to creatures made in His image, and therefore capable of appreciating, applauding, and apprehending His glory.

The unfolding drama of the Bible depicts the various movements of God in the accomplishment of that purpose. Both Abraham and Israel were placed in that drama clear back at the beginning. And today we see Israel at the forefront of International news.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

NEAR AT HAND – BUT NOT


NEAR AT HAND – BUT NOT
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." 
Matt. 17:11
 
 
What has been said above, of course, will raise the problem of contingency.

                To put the matter briefly: The immediate establishment of the Kingdom on earth was contingent upon the attitude of Israel toward her Messianic King, for to that nation affected the divine promises and covenants (Rom. 9:4). It is not that the favor of God would terminate upon this elect nation, but rather that through them all the blessings of the Mediatorial Kingdom would flow to the world of nations (Rom 8:28). It should be clearly understood, however, that in speaking of contingency here, we refer to the human factor in history. Certainly our Lord was not caught by something unexpected. There are evidences in His earliest teaching (recalled and recorded by the latest gospel writer, as we might expect, knowing the historical sequence) that indicate at least a veiled reference to His rejection and death (John 2:18-22). But there are also evidences that He believed in the reality of human responsibility and moral decision, which pose the problem of historical contingency.

                To take one example, consider His evaluation of John the Baptist and his career. Every intelligent Jew knew that the final word of the final Old Testament prophet predicted the appearance of Elijah as the precursor of the established kingdom (Mal. 4:5-6). And Christ had declared concerning John the Baptist, "If ye are willing to receive him, this is Elijah, that is to come" (Matt. 11:14, ASV margin). Later, when the events recorded in Matthew 12 have demonstrated the certainty of His rejection and death at the hands of the Jewish nation, our Lord again refers to John; but now the historical situation has changed, the decision has been made, and the die is cast. "Elijah indeed cometh, and shall restore all things," he assures His disciples; but then He quickly adds, "I say unto you, that Elijah is come already, and they knew him not" (Matt. 17:11-12, ASV). We have here a key to one of the most puzzling problems of New Testament eschatology in relation to the Kingdom: How could the Kingdom be "at hand," and yet not near at hand? (Mark 1:15 with Luke 19:11). The true answer is to be found in the word "contingency." The very first announcement of the Kingdom as "at hand" had called upon the nation of Israel to make a decision (Mark 1:15), a genuine decision, a moral and spiritual decision; and they made it, tragically, the wrong way. The fact that all this was "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23) does not in the least detract from its moral and historical reality. Those who fail to see this can make nothing out of certain portions of our Lord's prophetic teaching. There still remains the philosophical problem, of course, but this is nothing new; it being only an aspect of the wider problem of Divine Sovereignty and Moral Responsibility. And for this there is no completely rational solution which does not end by affirming one and denying the other. But the Word of God teaches the reality of both. And if perhaps we shall never wish to give up the search for an answer to the problem, a Christian attitude of intellectual humility will help in some degree to alleviate our uneasiness as we continue the quest.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

INCOMPREHENSIBLE BUT KNOWABLE


INCOMPREHENSIBLE BUT KNOWABLE

 
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”  Matt. 11:27

The INCOMPREHENSIBILITY of God is not the same as the UNKNOWABILITY of God. And at no time in the history of the Church have those who follow the Scriptures ever taught that God is unknowable. To the contrary, the Scriptures teach that God can be known. The natural man cannot know the things of God because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14), but God has made a revelation of things concerning Himself in His word and they can be known by men who are born of God (1 Cor. 2:9-12).

  The Spirit of God knows God completely (Rom. 8:26-27; 1 Cor.2:11), and He has been pleased to reveal many things about God. These we call the attributes of God as set forth in the Bible. As yet no theologian has ever exhausted this volume of information, and never will, for it is God's word. Christ affirmed that the progressive knowledge of God is vitally associated with eternal life (John 17:3). It is affirmed that true believers know God (1 John 2:13-14), and the display of certain characteristics is evidence of knowing God (1 John 2:3-4; 4:6-8). But even though God may be known, and there is room for endless progressive growth in the knowledge of God, it is still true that no finite mind can completely comprehend God.

  There is one exception to this rule, and that is the Godman, Christ Jesus. But His was an infinite mind. "No man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, except the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him" (Matt. 11:27). For the purpose of making known the incomprehensible God, God was manifest in flesh, thus bringing the image of the invisible God within the grasp of men (Col. 1:15). As the Word, Christ became the communication of God to men (John 1:14), ever unfolding the truth of God to men (John 14:6-9; 1:13). "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:20-21).

  In function, Christ is the appointed medium of revelation of God to all created intelligences. That is the sense of the words, "the image of the invisible God." "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him" (Matt. 11:27). As the exact image of God, the Son has been that person of the Godhead through whom God always works in revelation. In His pre-incarnate state God always revealed Himself through Him. It was Christ who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush (Exod. 3:6, 13; John 8:58). The angel of Jehovah who appeared to Hagar (Gen. 21:17), to the parents of Samson (Judges 13:2-3), and watched over the people of Israel (Isa. 63:9) was none other than Christ (cf. Judges 13:15-18 and Isa. 9:6; name Wonderful for both). He is that messenger (angel) of the covenant who will eventually in the plan of God take upon Him humanity to make full revelation of God (Mal. 3:1).

THE PERSON OF CHRIST IS A MYSTERY

It is the Great Mystery of Christian Faith Cf. 1 Tim 3:16; Matt 11:27

Yet the Bible Encourages a Reverent Study of This Mystery

John 20:27; Phil. 3:8; Col. 2:2-3 ARV

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ALL THINGS

ALL THINGS
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him that God may be all in all.” 1 Cor. 15:28


If you are to take a journey through the New Testament looking up all instances of the phrase “all things” you would discover many things. And you would discover that all things culminate in 1 Cor. 15:24-28.  That has to do with death, therefore eternal life from that point on
A phrase especially peculiar to the Apostle John. Matthew and Luke also mention the phrase so it had to be a phrase used by Jesus. Constraint by the Scriptures, foreknown according to John 19:28.
                John explains the phrase in John 19:28: "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst." All things are the glories of Christ made known by the Holy Spirit concerning His three-fold ministry, in the past, in the present, and in the future. Cf. John 13 communion service explanation. This truth is taught through symbols in the communion service.
                Satan attempted to get Jesus to avoid the cross in Luke 4:5-7. There it says "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine." and by that avoidance gain his interpretation of all things. (Side note: Although Satan had this handed over to him, God had not been the One delivering it to him, but that men had handed it to him. Jesus identified him as the "Prince of this world."
                Jesus had all things handed over to His hands in John 13:3, "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God." A further hint concerning these all things is given in John 13:17, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." These things are concerning all things from vs. 3. Again John mentions all things in John 15:15, "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." These all things are here revealed to be doctrine and doctrine from the Father taught by Christ to the Apostles and next we will learn it to be specific doctrine.
                Eph. 1:22 says Jesus had all things placed under His feet (sovereignty) and became the Head over all things to the church who serves Him.
                In John 19:28 we learn "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst." Again as stated at the outset all things are the glories of Christ made known by the Holy Spirit concerning His three-fold ministry, in the past, in the present, and in the future. This truth is taught through symbols in the communion service. That service having been completed is spoken in the 1 Cor. 15:24-28. The mission being completed He was sent on and unfolded in three parts and having done away with death having conquered it He returns to the mystery of the united Trinity.
“And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Cor. 15:28
This passage certainly does not teach that the personality of the Son will ever cease. When His redeeming work is finally complete He will resume absolute sovereignty in the mystery of the Trinity. When He emptied Himself it was in order to redeem, and only as the Son of Man will He be subjected. For redemption the Servant reigns. The final subjection will be that of the passing of the Servant relationship which began in Phil 2:6.
                We serve an amazing Triune God.

Monday, February 13, 2017

ALL IN ALL


ALL IN ALL

 
All means all and that is what all means.
“Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.” 1 Cor. 3:21-23

Ye are Christ’s, Christ is God’s - all things from vs. 21-21 In other words all is God's, even the things that are yours. In John 14:28 Jesus said something which must not be as expressing all truth. Our Lord did say, "My Father is greater than I," but did He not also say in John 14:9, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father?" By bringing these two together you touch the mystery of identity and difference. Moreover, the declaration, "My Father is greater than I," must be interpreted by the whole context, where He was speaking of the witness of God to Himself, as a teacher employing human speech, and needing verification. The term "Son" does not necessarily imply inferiority, for in using it of our Lord we must cancel the limitations of time. The Jews knew Him to be saying He was equal with God. Eternal Fatherhood and Eternal Son ship are both terms which break through the limitations of finite things and leave us in the realm of mystery. The Son is to be subject to the Father only in the sense in which He was the Servant of the Father, accomplishing a mission, after the completion of which God becomes all in all. 1 Cor. 15:24-28.

“Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him that God may be all in all.”

Sunday, February 12, 2017

KINGDOM IN THIS AGE


The Mediatorial Kingdom During the Present Church Age.
 


During this age, from Pentecost to the return of Christ, the Mediatorial Kingdom is in abeyance (temporarily inactive) in the sense of its actual establishment on earth.
1 Cor. 4:8 Christians do not yet reign or Paul would also be reigning.

Acts 1:6 with Rev. 12:10 Note the people involved. Israel . . . "Wilt thou at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?" ”Now is come..... The Kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ!" This is in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel.
      cf. Matt. 6:10 "Thy Kingdom come". This is the prayer being prayed during this age.

However, during this age, we do and should preach "the Kingdom of God," as an essential part of "the whole counsel of God."
1c. Paul preached the Grace of God. Acts 20:24  "to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
2c. Paul preached the Kingdom (ASV. "Kingdom of God" in KJV) Acts 20:21-27 ASV
3c. This message of the Kingdom was a part of the whole counsel of God.

 NOTE a. This is being done when like Paul we deal with the entire prophetic program as it relates both to the Church and the coming establishment of the Kingdom on earth.
NOTE b. It is questionable whether this can be correctly called preaching "the Gospel of the Kingdom." Why not? See Mark 1:14-15.

Because the Gospel of the Kingdom as set forth in Mark 1:14-15 presented the Kingdom as something immediately at hand. At best, it is seven years away, even if Christ should come now for His Church.

But in one sense it might be said that the Mediatorial Kingdom does exist today, even prior to its establishment.
Col. 1:13 "And hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear son".
2 Tim. 2:12 "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him". The Kings of that Kingdom are living right now.
cf. 1 Cor. 4:8 But Christians do not now reign, or Paul would be reigning.
Rev. 3:21 "Will I grant to sit with me in My throne".

 NOTE a. In the sense that the Mediatorial Kingdom is a phase of the Kingdom of God into which we enter by the new birth (John 3:5).
NOTE b. And in the sense that today God is saving and preparing the members of the Royal Family who are to reign with His Son in the coming established Kingdom.
NOTE c. Thus as believers we actually enter the Kingdom before its visible establishment, something so remarkable that it is called a "translation" (Col. 1:13).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

DRUGS AND ADDICTION IN THE BIBLE


DRUGS AND ADDICTION IN THE BIBLE

 


The Bible uses the Grk. word pharmakos which we get the word pharmacy. Rev. 22:15 where we learn that no one who practices this sin will enter God's Kingdom. They are left outside the city: "For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
America has over the years taken a fast pace towards this sin and it has been hidden from the eyes of the adults and kids in the last two to three generations. The TV has helped blossom this trend through the commercials that populate the screen. In the 50's and 60's the commercials have went from Vitalis to Viagra. The GM commercials in that day boasted of a Chevrolet dealership on every corner of America. That is no longer true and what has replaced those dealerships are not 1, not 2, but 3 drug stores. When I was a child if you didn't feel good you were sent outside to work off your ailment. Today the kids see their parents take a pill. And when that child gets older and he certainly has many feelings that are not classified as good, he takes a pill sold by a dealer in his own school system. The trend is so advanced that today they are proposing to educate kids from K-12 on drug education. Training a fallen child from his earliest days on drugs and their usage and see where that will end.
Every program on TV now has drugs to solve all these health issues that people have encountered. They are led to self-medicate or ask their doctors to prescribe this wonder drug that has more side effects that what they are encountering before this supposed miracle remedy.

What the Bible has to say on the subject of drugs, for although this word does not appear in the Standard Concordances, it is in fact present in the original Greek in several places in the New Testament. In order to understand the full significance of the interpretation placed on the use of drugs, the writers of the New Testament let us first read in full the verses in which the word appears before discovering its semantic derivation. The verses, in their order of appearance in the New Testament, are:

     1) "Now the works of the flesh are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal. 5:19-21)

     2) "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." (Rev. 9:21)

     3) "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee; for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived." (Rev. 18:23)

     4) "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars; shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8) 

     "For without are dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and murderers, and idolaters and whosovever loveth and maketh a lie." (Rev. 22:15)

     Parenthetically, it is important to keep in mind that the writer of Revelations was speaking of a future time. When we read the foregoing five verses in context, as they appear in the Books of Gal. and Rev., the entire circumstances therein described seem to be speaking prophetically of the very age in which we find ourselves today.

 Readers of the Books of Gal. and Rev. in the original Greek would never find the words, witchcraft, sorceries, or sorcery. The word is, again, a translator's interpretation of a meaning which was very likely accurate enough in the day in which it was translated, but it is inappropriate in our era. Notably, in every other place in the New Testament where these words appear in English, the true Greek equivalent for "witchcraft," "sorcery," or "sorcerer" is used. But, in the original Greek, we find the word Pharmakon in Rev. 9:21, and not the word "sorceries." The literal meaning of the Greek word is "a drug, i.e. spell-giving potion," according to Strong's Concordance. Similarly, in Rev. 18:21, the Greek word is Pharmakeia which would correctly be translated "druggery." The Greek word in Rev. 21:8 is pharmakeus, the literal translation for which is "druggers," and the original Greek for the word found in Rev. 22:15 is pharmakos, meaning "pharmacist" or “drugger." The Greek word in Gal. 5:20 was also pharmakeia—“druggery”. In addition to Strong, whose Concordance has been known as an unimpeachable source since 1890, we find such others as the renowned Greek scholars, B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort, who wrote a Greek interlinear translation in 1881 in which the literal English translations of the Greek words were set forth immediately below the original Greek and who give the correct literal meaning of the these Greek words, as above.

Friday, February 10, 2017

RETURN IS WHEN


RETURN IS WHEN?



It is a question of time!
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matt. 24:36  God does have a time for the return of His Son – the Second Coming.

But that time has been set in relation to the genuine response of Israel. This will be in accordance to Jewish wedding practices. The groom is away fixing the bridal house at the Father’s residence. See article Jewish Wedding.

His coming will bring fulfillment of all things spoken by the prophets. Acts 3:19b 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.” As well as the restitution of all things Acts 3:21-26 “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. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Cf. Isa. 35:1-10.

This very reoffer of the Kingdom had been foretold in a parable. Matt. 22:1-13.
But Israel still didn’t take the offer. But one day it will and then the Mediatorial Kingdom will be established on this earth, and only after suffering 7 years of tribulation yet to come. See Matt. 24:29-30  "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

POST RESURRECTION COMMISSION


POST RESURRECTION COMMISSION

 
“And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28:18-20

1.       To bear witness of Jesus death and resurrection. The King is gone but coming back in accordance with what the prophets have foretold. This was a necessary part of the covenant made to Abraham and his children.

2.       To preach repentance and remission to all men. Rev. 21:24

3.       Make disciples of all nations. God wants lots of kids. Gen. 1:28 God blessed them at that point and said, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” Rev. 22:4 says “And His name shall be on their foreheads.” Also Heb. 2:13-14.

4.       Baptize all of them. Revealing and symbolizing the Triune movement concerning the mysterious movement by God the Father. See Eph. 3:4-5; 1 Cor. 2:6-9.

5.       Teach them all things. 1 Cor. 2:9 “…..all that God has prepared for those that love Him.” Eph. 1:18 “…...so that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”

John 13:13 “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.”  He is THE TEACHER and THE LORD and all who recognize that fact will take His teaching and find strength from the Spirit to perform what He teaches and commands such as above. Those that are truly “born again” or “blessed” or “happy” however you translate the word makarios will receive and perform those words He shares by grace to them. John 13:17 “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”  Thereby you prove He is the Teacher and the Lord and you love both Him and His words.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

SIX REASONS FOR HIS REJECTION


SIX REASONS FOR HIS REJECTION

 
1.       The requirement was too high for an unsaved individual although some reached to a very high level but still far too short.  Matt. 5:20 says “That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Paul was one of the highest attainders of acceptance according to goodness through the keeping of the law. Phil. 3:4-7, 9 says “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” The adherence to the outward forms of the law was not enough. Matt. 6:2, 5, 16 “Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. And when thou pray, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.”

2.       Because He also refused to set up a Kingdom merely social and political in its nature. Christ refused to be a Judge or Divider of material things possessed. Luke 12:13-15 “And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.”

3.       Because He denunciated mere traditional religion. Luke 11:37-41 “And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner. And the Lord said unto him, now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.” Israel had cleaned up the outside, but never changed the inside, for they refused to take Christ in. Nature abhors a vacuum. If men will not be filled with Christ, then they will be filled with wickedness.

4.       Because He arraigned the ruling classes. Luke 11:42-12:1 and also Matt. 23.

5.       Because He associated with sinners. Luke 15:1-2 “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, this man receives sinners, and eats with them.”

6.       Because of His exalted claims for Himself. John 5:16-18 “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."