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    by Published on 02-04-2017 01:50 AM     Number of Views: 83 
    1. Categories:
    2. Regeneration

    Overcoming the Accuser

    In view of what we have said we can now turn to face the enemy, for there is a further aspect of the Blood which is Satan-ward. Satan’s most strategic activity in this day is as the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12.10) and it is as this that our Lord confronts him with His special ministry as High Priest “through his own blood” (Heb. 9.12).

    How then does the Blood operate against Satan? It does so by putting God on the side of man against him. The Fall brought about a state of affairs in man which gave Satan a footing within him, with the result that God was compelled to withdraw himself. Man is now outside the Garden—beyond reach of the glory of God (Rom. 3.23)—because he is inwardly estranged from God. Because of what man has done, there is that in him now which, until it is removed, renders God morally unable to defend him. But the Blood removes that barrier, and restores man to God and God to man. Man is in favor now, and because God is on his side he can face Satan without fear.

    You remember that verse in John’s first Epistle—and this is the translation of it I like best: “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.”∗ It is not exactly “all sin” in the general sense, but every sin, every item. What does it mean? Oh, it is a marvelous thing! God is in the light, and as we walk in the light with Him everything is exposed and open to that light, so that God can see it all —and yet the Blood is able to cleanse from every sin. What a cleansing! It is not that I have not a profound knowledge of myself, nor that God has not a perfect knowledge of me. It is not that I try to hide something, nor that God tries to overlook something. No, it is that He is in the light and I too am in the light, and that there the precious Blood cleanses me from every sin. The Blood is enough for that! . . .

    ∗1 John 1-7: Marginal reading of New Translation by J. N. Darby.

    Since God, seeing all our sins in the light, can forgive them on the basis of the Blood, what ground of accusation has Satan? Satan may accuse us before Him, but, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8.31) God points him to the Blood of His dear Son. It is the sufficient answer against which Satan has no appeal. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that shall condemn? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:33-34). Thus God answers his every challenge.

    So here again our need is to recognize the absolute sufficiency of the precious Blood. “Christ having come a high priest . . . through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption” (Heb. 9.11-12). He was Redeemer once. He has been High Priest and Advocate for nearly two thousand years. He stands there in the presence of God, and “he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2.1-2). Note the words of Hebrew 9.14: “How much more shall the blood of Christ . . . cleanse your conscience.” They underline the sufficiency of His ministry. It is enough for God.
    by Published on 12-05-2016 03:21 AM     Number of Views: 98 
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    2. Messianic Judaism

    The Judaizers

    I know thy tribulation, and thy poverty (but thou art rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
    (Rev. 2.9)

    Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. (Rev. 3.9)

    In both the letter to the church at Smyrna and the letter to the church at Philadelphia, our Lord shows us how the Jews disturbed both churches. How seriously has Christianity been tampered with by Judaism. A slight carelessness will bring in Judaism. The priests of the Old Testament become our pastors today. Law regulates our behavior. Festivals are made mandatory of us. All this began at Smyrna and was practiced in Philadelphia. In the nineteenth century a group of people in the Church rose up and overcame the Judaizers. But up to the present, there yet remain the works of the Judaizers in the Church. The Protestant Church succeeded the Roman Church, but neither have their communicants been freed from the bondage of Judaism either. Let us therefore spend time to show new believers how to deal with this influence. In this message today we will deal with the Judaizers in the Church from the perspective of their attitude towards the law.

    Of the Ten Commandments, the fourth one concerns the Sabbath day, which is Saturday. It is a mistake, say certain Judaizers, to observe it on the Lord’s Day. Let us see if this notion is in accordance with the teaching of the Scriptures, as is claimed by its adherents.

    First of all, what do the Scriptures teach about the law? God never gave it to the Gentiles. He gave it to the nation of Israel: “He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his ordinances, they have not known them. Praise ye Jehovah” (Ps. 147.19-20). It is the explicit teaching of the Bible that the Gentiles do not have the law: “When Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves” (Rom. 2.14).

    (1) How about the Gentiles after they are saved? Acts 15.5 reads: “there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying, It is needful to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.” Nevertheless, the decision of the council at Jerusalem was: “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you [Gentile believers] no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, it shall be well with you” (Acts 15.28-29). The Gentiles do not have the law before they are saved, and they are not required to keep the law after they are saved. For God has not given the law to the Gentiles.

    (2) How about the Jews? The law was given to the Jews. They are born under the law. “Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished” (Matt. 5.18). The Lord has no intention of destroying the law among the Jews, for they are under the law. “To fulfil” (5.17) means to fill it to the full. For example, formerly it was: “Thou shalt not kill”; today, says Jesus, it is: Thou shalt not hate. This is to fill the law to the full.

    (3) Many Jews have believed in the Lord. How about their relationship to the law? When the Jews become Christians, they belong to the Church in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile (see Col. 3.11). Paul illustrates it this way: “are ye ignorant, brethren (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law hath dominion over a man for so long time as he liveth? For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband. So then if, while the husband liveth, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the husband die, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be joined to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7.1-4).

    For a Jew to believe in the Lord is like a woman getting married. How can she be freed from the former husband, the law? There is only one way—if the husband dies. But here is a problem: As we have read already, heaven and earth may pass away, but one jot or one title of the law shall not pass away till all things be accomplished. What can be done if the law never dies? Well, even if the law does not die, you can die. How? “Ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ.” So the teaching of Romans 7.1-4 is that though the law cannot die, God has caused us to die with Christ, and thus we are freed from the law. Through the death of Christ we are set free from the law. We are raised from the dead with Christ and then married to Him. This death is real death. Hence, in being joined to Christ, we are no adulteress. God uses the death of Christ to include our death. How assured this is. And resurrection is also sure.

    Hence, a man (even a Jew) who has formerly been under the law has died and been raised in Christ to receive new life. He is not under law anymore since he has already died. “Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6.14). Furthermore, “now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter” (Rom. 7.6). In believing in the Lord, one is discharged from the law. The position of a Christian is that he has died. It is a position of death, he having been crucified with Christ. The law has no relationship with him, it having only a relationship with the old man.

    (4) We must show new believers why God gave the law. There is a good reason for it, made clear in the Scriptures. “Now this I say: A covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law, which came four hundred and thirty years after, doth not disannul, so as to make the promise of none effect…. What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise hath been made; and it was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator…. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could make alive, verily righteousness would have been of the law…. But now that faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Gal. 3.17,19,21,25).

    These words explain why the law was given and how we are delivered from the law. Four hundred and thirty years before God gave the law He had already promised to Abraham that “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12.3b). Abraham believed God and was thus reckoned to be righteous. His descendants also shall be saved through faith, for the promise of God is according to the gospel of grace. Before the gospel of grace is accomplished, there is first the promise. Yet to receive grace, there must also be transgressions. For if men have no need, they cannot accept grace. Yet in the sight of God all are sinners. But men themselves do not know that they are sinners. They need to sin before they know themselves to be sinners. How can they know they have sinned? By giving them the law. With the coming of the law comes also a knowledge of transgression. For example, there has been coveting, but to man it is not known to be sin. But after God says, “Thou shalt not covet” (Ex. 20.17a), coveting transgresses the law, thus becoming sin. The use of the law is to expose to man the sin of man. “Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image . . . ; thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them” (Ex. 20.4a-5a). Man’s making a hundred golden calves as images is not known to be sin, not till the law was proclaimed by God to the people from the heavens (see Ex. 20.1-6, 20-23).

    Abraham was reckoned by God as righteous because of his faith. This too was the covenant of the Lord, the Abrahamic Covenant. Yet, as Paul has said, how untrustworthy were men. Accordingly, four hundred and thirty years after that covenant was made, God gave men the law. The law was to be kept, and yet it did not disannul the covenant God had made with Abraham and his descendants. Then what is the use of the law? “What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise hath been made” (Gal. 3.19). With the law added, there comes transgression. Thus God is able to put His covenant into effect. Sin was originally present, but the sinner could not receive the grace of God because he had no knowledge of his sin. Now, though, he has sinned against the law; and so, he is able to receive grace. The law will continue on till the Lord Jesus shall come. “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (Matt 11.13). The function of the law is to fulfill the promise. The end is grace, and the means is law. The law must be used to bring people into grace.

    Do law and grace oppose each other? No. Wrote the apostle Paul: “before faith came, we were kept in ward under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. So that the law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3.23-24). The law is God’s servant, leading us to Christ. Once we touch Christ, we are no longer under the tutor anymore, that is, under the law. Hereafter we do not live under law, nor do we follow it any longer. For the more we keep the law, the more hopeless we are. Nevertheless, it has led us to Christ. The law, therefore, is not to be considered a hindrance.

    (5) Some argue that even though we are saved by Christ and not by the law, we still need to keep the law after we are saved. Let us again look into the Letter to the Galatians and discover how it deals with such people. The apostle Paul maintains that as it was useless for man to keep the law for justification, so it is equally needless for man to keep the law after being justified through faith in Christ. Some Judaizers had urged the Galatian believers to keep the law. “I marvel,” said the apostle Paul, “that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel: only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1.6-7). If you were not able to keep the law before, you are still unable to keep it now. Paul went further by saying, “If any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema” (v.9). “Anathema” means “accursed.”

    “If I build up again those things which I destroyed, I prove myself a transgressor” (2.18). Whoever is to preach a gospel of another kind is to be cursed. If I build up this other and false gospel, I am a transgressor. For Christ has died to the law so that I might live unto Him. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me” (v.20a). Only one who is living can again be put under the law. Since I have died with Christ, who will possibly be put under the law save Christ who lives in me? It is absolutely impossible. So I who now live unto Christ can never again be put under the law. The law speaks to the natural man; it cannot speak to the man who is dead.

    “O foolish Galatians, who did bewitch you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified? . . . Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now perfected in the flesh?” (3.1,3) The law has its demand upon the flesh, but you are in the Spirit. It would be going backward if you try to be perfected by keeping the law.

    “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there no law” (5.22-23). “Against such there is no law” may also be interpreted as “against which there is no control of the law.” For the fruit of the Spirit is not under the control of the law. That which violates the law is the flesh; that which keeps the law is also the flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is beyond the reach of the law. If you try to keep the law, it is your flesh that attempts it. As the law enters in, the Holy Spirit ceases to be active. The moment you think of keeping the law, immediately the flesh comes forth. It is far better if you do not try to keep the law, for the object of the law is the flesh. So this is Christianity.

    Since the law cannot give us justification, how can we who have been justified in Christ return again to the law? If we are not careful, we may easily be Judaized. People who do not understand God’s plan and arrangement of salvation always attach themselves to the law. When God gave the law to men, His purpose was not for them to keep the law for the law’s sake. It did not say that keeping the law would satisfy His heart. The reason for asking them to keep the law was to obtain the righteousness according to the law. To not covet, to honor father and mother, and to not worship idols—all these are reckoned as righteousness. So the keeping of the law is not for the sake of honoring the law, but rather for the purpose of attaining to the righteousness according to the law.

    Here we have (i) the keeping of the law, (ii) the righteousness according to the law, and (iii) the receiving of life before God. The righteousness according to the law comes through the keeping of the law, but who is able to keep the law? Now through Christ we have received life. After we have received life the Judaizers would tell us we must still keep the law. Yet this is recalling the old man back to life. We are saved because God has put us into the death of Christ. We are reckoned righteous through the blood of our Lord. In Him we receive a new life which is not subject to the keeping of the law. In order to again keep the law the flesh must be revived to keep it. For this new life has no need of keeping the law. When we receive life, the righteous requirement of the law is already fulfilled in us. There is no need for us to keep it. “That the ordinance [mgn: “requirement”] of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8.4). “Do not covet” is the law. “Not coveting” is righteousness. We today refrain from coveting because of the righteousness which comes from the life of Christ. We do not need to keep the law, and yet we have the righteous requirement of the law. This is the gospel. Christians do not covet—yet this does not come from the law that says: “Do not covet”; it comes from the righteousness of the Holy Spirit. This truly is the gospel!

    The law does not end in itself. It ends in righteousness. But now apart from the law, God has used another means to produce righteousness. We are not justified by keeping the law; therefore, once being justified we have no obligation to keep the law. Now because life does not come from keeping the law, so it is useless for us to keep the law after we have been saved and received new life. We have been crucified with Christ. We are not justified by keeping the law. The righteousness of God comes to us through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Having begun in the Holy Spirit, we now must be perfected in the same Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who works in us that righteousness.

    “But now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again?” (Gal. 4.9) “For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage” (5.1). “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7.4). Everyone who has received life is joined to Christ. Through the death of Christ a Christian is raised from the dead that he might be joined to Christ. He not merely receives life; he actually is joined to the life of Christ. So a saved person is one who has been raised from the dead and is joined to Christ. He is married to Him. Whoever tempts him to go back to law makes him an adulteress. This is to be accursed.

    In the latter part of Romans 7.4 it says: “that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.” It does not say, do not worship idols. It says that we bear or bring forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and one of the fruits is not worshiping idols. We are not to produce the righteousness according to the law by keeping the law, but to fulfill the righteousness of the law through the fruit of the Holy Spirit. There is the righteousness of the law without the need of keeping the law.

    Now concerning the keeping of the Sabbath, we have seen in the days of the local church at Smyrna that the Judaizers came in. Later, during the ascendancy of the Roman Church, Judaism and Christianity became deeply intertwined. For over a thousand years the Lord’s Day was called the Christian Sabbath. Furthermore, a century ago the Judaizers came into the Church again and commanded people to keep the Sabbath. They even hung the text of the Ten Commandments in church buildings. They considered the Sabbath, which is Saturday, to be the Lord’s Day. Yet Saturday is the Sabbath of the Jews, while Sunday is the Lord’s Day of the Christians. The Christians do not keep the Sabbath day of the Fourth Commandment. It is highly improper to change the Sabbath, which is the seventh day of the Jewish week, to the first day of the week. The real issue, however, does not lie in which day of the week it is. It rests in the fact that Christians do not keep the Sabbath, for we believers are not under the law.

    Let us see what the Scriptures teach about the Sabbath: (1) The first mention of it is found in Genesis 2.3: “God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.” From that time, for the next two thousand five hundred years nothing further was heard about the Sabbath. (2) After leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, God gave the Sabbath to them in the wilderness: “See, for that Jehovah hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day” (Ex. 16.29). (3) The Sabbath became law: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Ex. 20.8-11). (4) You as the people of God must keep My Sabbath day for this is a sign between you and Me throughout the generations. So instructs the word of God in the Old Testament: “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily ye shall keep my sabbaths: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Jehovah who sanctifieth you. . . . It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Ex. 31.13,17)—“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah that sanctifieth them” (Eze. 20.12). (5) To keep the Sabbath is the salvation of the Jews. It is quite evident that the Sabbath is given to the Jews as a sign.

    What does Paul teach concerning the Sabbath? He maintains that the Sabbath is a thing that has passed away: “having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross . . . Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s” (Col. 2.14,16-17). “The bond written in ordinances” refers to the entire law. On the cross our Lord has blotted out the entire law. This is because the law attacks us and demands us to be holy. But we are sinful. So the Lord was crucified for us. The Judaizers argue that what has been blotted out is the ceremonial law, but that the moral law was not taken away. Feast days, new moons and Sabbath days are not classified by them as being under ceremonial law. Therefore, they must be kept, even as the moral law under the Ten Commandments.

    However, the Scriptures do not make such a distinction. All the ceremonial laws are for moral purposes. To offer sacrifice is for a moral reason. Colossians shows us that what has been blotted out is not merely the ceremonial law. “The bond written in ordinances” refers to the total contract God made with Israel. It is the same as when we sign a contract today. In Exodus 19.5 we read: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be mine own possession from among all peoples: for all the earth is mine.” And in verse 8: “all the people answered together, and said, All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do.” There is the bond written in ordinances. It refers to moral and not only to ceremonial law. So let us cause new believers to see that for us Christians it has already been nailed to the cross.

    In Romans 7.7 we see the presence of the law: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Howbeit, I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” But in Colossians 2.14 we see that the law has been taken out of the way, having been nailed to the cross. Verse 16 follows verse 14. Because the law has been taken out of the way, therefore meat or drink or feast day or new moon or sabbath day have all passed away. According to Exodus 19.8, there is no reason to divide the law into ceremonial and moral law. Christians therefore are not subject to these laws. The Judaizers immediately retort that the Sabbath day mentioned in Colossians 2.16 is not a regular Sabbath day. It is the Sabbath day of a feast. But the Greek original shows the number to be plural here: “sabbaths.” It therefore includes the Sabbath days of the weeks as well as the Sabbath days of the feasts; otherwise, why should the Sabbath be mentioned after citing the feast, which already includes its Sabbath day? Accordingly, no one has the authority to say that the Sabbath day of the week is excluded from the meaning of Colossians 2.16.

    Furthermore, the Judaizers in Colosse were not as interested in the Sabbath days of the feasts as they were concerned with the Sabbath days of the weeks. That is why Paul wrote the letter to the Colossians in order to show them that all these things had passed away. Only in modern days have people tried to separate the Sabbath days of the weeks from the Sabbath days of the feasts.

    In the same verse (2.16) the apostle declares, “Let no man therefore judge you . . .” In other words, these things are not worthy to be judged; for these things are “a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s” (v.17).

    “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7.4). As Christians we have been discharged from the law of the former husband. The Judaizers, however, debate the point and remonstrate that the law here refers only to ceremonial law. How absurd is their reasoning. In verse 7 Paul notes this: “I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” This is one of the Ten Commandments. It is moral, not ceremonial. So “if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband” (Rom. 7.2b). “The law of the husband” is the law of the Ten Commandments.

    “For if the ministration of condemnation hath glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. . . . For if that which passeth away was with glory, much more that which remaineth is in glory. . . . And [we] are not as Moses, who put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away ... But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which glory was passing away: how shall not rather the ministration of the spirit be with glory?” (2 Cor. 3.9,11,13,7-8)

    Here we see the difference between the ministration of the law and the ministration of the Spirit, the difference between the ministry of Moses and the ministry of Christ. The law condemns, brings in death, and is passing away. This distinctively points to the law written and engraved on stones. The Judaizers again use their sole argument, they saying that the law that ministers death refers to ceremonial law. But we all know that what were inscribed on the stones (the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments) were moral laws. Today the law of the Spirit is written upon our hearts. In verse 3 we only see the contrast between the tables of stone and hearts of flesh. Thus have we been absolutely freed from the law. God has made Christ our righteousness through the Holy Spirit. There is no need for us to keep the law. Therefore the question of the Sabbath is a thing of the past.

    “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that eateth, eateth unto the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, unto the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks” (Rom. 14.5-6). Here, two matters are being dealt with: (a) keeping or not keeping a day, and (b) eating or not eating meat. Some people eat vegetables and not meat. Paul says that this person is one who is weak in faith. Likewise, there are people whose conscience bothers them if they do not keep a day. These, again, are weak in faith (see v.1).

    In the Old Testament time, a person who did not keep the Sabbath day was to be stoned to death. In the New Testament time, the Jews wanted to kill the Lord for His not keeping the Sabbath. They were not able to carry out their plan because miracles through Jesus were definitely being performed. In the days of Paul, the apostle maintained that “every day [was] alike.” Here must have been a change in dispensation. The Sabbath day is a shadow of things to come. There is in the law a portion which serves as type. In the Old Testament, commands to keep the Sabbath day are frequently given. Even in the millennial kingdom the Jews will still offer sacrifices. Yet in the New Testament writings of Paul he did not exhort people to keep the Sabbath day, not even once. It would really be strange if the Sabbath day was to be kept and yet was not mentioned at all. Thus we realize that the dispensation has changed.

    According to Acts 15.22, at the council in Jerusalem the apostles and elders were all present. If the Sabbath day was important, surely it would have been taken up and decided on by the council. But this was not addressed. For the law and the prophets prophesied until John. Christ is now the sum of the law. Hence in the New Testament there is no command that we need to keep the Sabbath day. In Colossians we are told that the Sabbath day has passed away. Paul also maintained—in Romans 14—that to keep or esteem a day or not is something optional.

    Finally, nothing in the New Covenant needs to be completed with the help of the Old Covenant. The Roman Church teaches that keeping the Lord’s Day is keeping the Sabbath day of Christianity. Yet this is to blend together Judaism and Christianity. Here come the Judaizers who try to bring the entire system of Judaism into Christianity. Yet if we must keep the Sabbath day, then we are no longer Christians. By accepting the Jewish system, we drop the status of being Christians and turn into pure Jews—even as the apostle Paul declared: “Ye observe days, and months, and seasons, and years. I am afraid of you, lest by any means I have bestowed labor upon you in vain” (Gal. 4.10-11).

    The Book of Acts is a continuation of the history of Christ as presented in the Gospels. Yet Acts gives facts but no explanations. It is only history and not teaching as well. The completion of the establishment of Christianity came in about 96 A.D. (the date of the writing of the Book of Revelation), that is to say, by the end of the first century. Then was fulfilled what the Lord had predicted: “Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he shall guide you into all the truth” (John 16.13a). All these Jewish influences of which we have been speaking gradually dropped off, Christianity evolved step by step, so that in the Epistles we finally have Christianity in its more complete form. It is important for us to know and to recognize the progress of Christianity. In the Jerusalem council told about in Acts 15 James and the others did not argue over the matter of keeping the Sabbath day. In fact, it never came up. They discussed circumcision. Paul himself had entered the Jerusalem temple to declare the fulfillment of the days of purification. There is nothing surprising for a Jew to be circumcised. However, we hope the brethren today will see the progress and completion of Christian teachings. Then we shall know what Christianity truly and fully is.

    When our Lord was on earth He kept the Sabbath day and received circumcision. But the Letter to the Galatians puts an end to this matter of the Sabbath. The same is true with circumcision. Only after 70 A.D. (the Roman destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple) could the letters of Paul stand on the pure ground of Christianity. Before that time the Temple and the priests were still present. It was easy to sit on the fence and enjoy both the lamb and the Lamb of God. For this reason we were given the Letter to the Hebrews. The following verse therein points to this changing time: “There remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins” (10.26). Thereafter, people could no longer straddle the fence. Furthermore, Christianity has developed to the point where a word of God resolves all the problems of the past.

    If the Jewish Temple existed today we would still have difficulties, for these Judaizers would bring forth such midway things as have been discussed. A fundamental principle to be recognized is that nothing in the Scriptures can be decided midway. These matters of the Sabbath day and the law are both midway things. They cannot be resolved without going to the Epistles. The final word on the teaching concerning the Sabbath is found in Colossians 2.14, which declares: God has “blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us; and he hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.”
    by Published on 11-28-2016 05:10 AM     Number of Views: 80 
    1. Categories:
    2. Trinity

    Jesus teaches the Trinity in Matthew 22.41-45 to the Pharisees.

    They ask Him whose Son is the Messiah? They thought the "Anointed One" was David's son. So Jesus asked them, "How is it then that David, inspirited by the Spirit, calls Him 'Lord'?" (v.43). Jesus then quotes Ps. 110.1 where David said, "The Lord declared to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet" (Matt. 22.44). Jesus asked, "If David calls Him 'Lord', how then can the Messiah be his [David's] Son?" (v.45)

    The first Lord is God the Father. The second Lord is the Messiah Jesus Christ. The third Lord is the Spirit. David's Lord is Jesus who hasn't even been born yet in David's time and Who is the Son of the Father since He is not the son of David. All 3 Persons of the Trinity are revealed here.

    The Pharisees had nothing else to say, yet they continued to shut their minds down, putting their heads in the sand, to who Jesus was, is, and always will be.
    by Published on 10-20-2016 01:41 AM     Number of Views: 115 
    1. Categories:
    2. Islam, Muslim, Koran,
    3. Revelation 14,
    4. 2023 to 2030

    I've never seen anyone who made this connection of a dirty nuclear bomb upon the Vatican City. Why is this prediction useful? Well, you don't want to be anywhere near the nuclear fallout when it happens in the next decade. But the other reason is to know God's judgment upon the evils of the Roman Catholic Church which leads many astray so it must be destroyed. It is not redeemable. It cannot be refined or fixed.

    "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Rev. 14.8).

    "Fallen" is repeated twice because it points to both religious Rome (Roman Catholic Church) in Rev. 17 and political Rome (European Union) in Rev. 18. Jesus returns in Rev. 19. The first fallen will be the destruction of the Vatican City, the smallest country in the world, that takes place in the first half of the 7 year Tribulation. In the second half the EU is destroyed also.

    "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (Rev. 17.16).

    "Eat her flesh, and burn here with fire" is a nuclear explosion. The Malachy Prophecy says the current Pope is the last Pope.

    It's that simple. I do not know who will do it, but it happens nonetheless, because Satan hates any system that even uses the term Trinity, or Jesus died for the sins of the world, or Jesus resurrected Himself, or mentions Hell for the unsaved, etc. God hates any system that masquerades as the body of Christ which is not.
    by Published on 10-03-2016 01:06 AM     Number of Views: 93 
    1. Categories:
    2. Spiritual Christian Life

    When I read this I am left in awe!

    Man was to destroy all the powers of Satan and be crowned with glory and honor that he might rule over God’s creation. But man had fallen and was thus not able to rule. It was for this cause, then, that the Lord Jesus came. He took upon himself man’s body of flesh and blood and became the “last Adam” (1 Cor. 15.45b).

    Continuing with Hebrews 2, we next read this: “that by the grace of God he [Jesus] should taste of death for every man” (v.9b). The phrase “every man” in Greek can be translated “every thing.” The Lord Jesus was born as a man and accomplished the work of redemption—yet not just for men but for all created beings, except the angels. Hence He occupies two positions. In the first, towards God, Jesus is the original man, the man whom God has foreordained; in the second, towards men, He is the Saviour. On the one hand, the Lord Jesus is the man whom God had foreordained to have dominion and to overturn Satan. And this man is now seated on the throne! For hallelujah! this man has already overthrown the powers of Satan. This is the man of God’s expectation and possession. On the other hand, this man is also related to us. We have sinned and fallen, but God set forth Jesus to be a propitiation. He not only became our propitiation, He also was judged for all created things. This fact is demonstrated by what happened at Jesus’ crucifixion with the renting of the veil in the Temple sanctuary (see Mark 15.38). For according to Hebrews 10.20 that veil points to the flesh of the Lord Jesus. On the sanctuary veil had been embroidered cherubim who were representative of created things. So that inherent in the flesh of our Lord Jesus were all created things. And on the day the Lord died, the veil, we are told, was rent into two from top to bottom. Naturally, the cherubim embroidered on the veil were also rent. Hence, in the death of the Lord Jesus, all created things were judged. He has thus tasted death not only for every man but also for every thing.

    Reading further in Hebrews 2, we learn this: “For it became him [God] for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory” (v.10a).

    Isn't it amazing that I know I am one of His sons because I accepted who Jesus is, while many refuse or reject Him; thus, they could not be called "sons of God".
    by Published on 09-14-2016 07:10 AM     Number of Views: 140 
    1. Categories:
    2. Dividing Spirit, Soul, Body

    The Spiritual Man, CFP, Vol. 3, Part 10 THE BODY, Ch. 3, by Watchman Nee

    WE NOTED earlier how our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. What arrests our attention is the special emphasis the Apostle Paul gives to the body. The common concept is that the life of Christ is for our spirit, not for our body. Few realize that the salvation of God reaches to the second after He gives life to the first. Had God desired that His Spirit live solely in our spirit so that only it might be benefited, the Apostle would simply need to have said that “your spirit is the temple of God” and not mention the body at all. By now, however, we should understand that the meaning of our body as the temple of the Holy Spirit is more than its being the recipient of a special privilege. It likewise means being a channel for effective power. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit strengthens our inner man, enlightens the eyes of our heart and, makes our body healthy.

    We have also noted how the Holy Spirit makes alive this mortal frame of ours. To wait until we die before He raises us up is not necessary, for even now He gives life to our mortal body. In the future He will raise from the dead this corruptible body, but today He quickens the mortal body. The power of His life permeates every cell of our being so that we may experience His power and life in the body.

    No more need we look upon our outer shell as a miserable prison, for we can see in it the life of God being expressed. We now can experience in a deeper way that word which declares that “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” Christ has presently become the source of life to us. He lives in us today as He once lived in the flesh. We can thus apprehend more fully the implication of His pronouncement: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10.10). This more abundant life suffices additionally for every requirement of our body. Paul exhorts Timothy to “take hold of the eternal life” (1 Tim. 6. 12); surely Timothy is not here in need of eternal life that he may be saved. Is not this life that which Paul subsequently describes in the same chapter as “the life which is life indeed” (v.19) ? Is he not urging Timothy to experience eternal life today in overcoming every phenomenon of death?

    We would hasten to inform our readers that we have not lost sight of the fact that our body is indeed a mortal one; even so, we who are the Lord’s can verily possess the power of that life which swallows up death. In our body are two forces in action: death and life: on the one side is consumption which brings us nigh to death; on the other side is replenishment through food and rest and these support life. Now extravagant consumption weakens the body because the force of death is too powerful; but by the same token excessive supply reveals signs of congestion because the force of life is too strong. The best policy is to maintain these two forces of life and death in balance. Beyond this, we should understand that the weariness which believers often experience in their body is in many respects distinct from that of ordinary people. Their consumption is more than physical. Because they walk with the Lord, bear the burdens of others, sympathize with the brethren, work for God, intercede before Him, battle the powers of darkness, and pommel their body to subdue it, food and rest alone are insufficient to replenish the loss of strength in their physical frame. This explains in a measure why many believers, who before the call to service were healthy, find themselves physically feeble not long afterwards. Our bodily strength cannot cope with the demands of spiritual life, work, and war. Combat with sin, sinners, and the evil spirits saps our vitality. Solely natural resources are inadequate to supply our bodily needs. We must depend on the life of Christ, for this alone can sustain us. Should we rely on material food and nourishment and drugs we will be committing a serious blunder. Only the life of the Lord Jesus more than sufficiently meets all the physical requirements for our spiritual life, work, and war. He alone furnishes us the necessary vitality to grapple with sin and Satan. Once the believer has truly appreciated what spiritual warfare is and how to wrestle in the spirit with the enemy, he will begin to realize the preciousness of the Lord Jesus as life to his body.

    Every Christian ought to see the reality of his union with the Lord. He is the vine and we the branches. As branches are united with the trunk, so are we united with the Lord. Through union with the trunk the branches receive the flow of life. Does not our union with the Lord produce the same results? If we restrict this union to the spirit, faith will rise up to protest. Since the Lord calls us to demonstrate the reality of our union with Him, He wishes us to believe and to receive the flow of His life to our spirit, soul, and body. Should our fellowship be cut off, the spirit most assuredly will lose its peace, but so will the body be denied its health. Constant abiding signifies that His life continually is filling our spirit and flowing to our body. Apart from a participation in the life of the Lord Jesus there can be neither healing nor health. The call of God today is for His children to experience a deeper union with the Lord Jesus.

    Let us therefore recognize that, though phenomena do occur to us in the body, they are in truth spiritual matters. To receive divine healing and to have our strength increased are spiritual and not purely physical experiences, although they do take place in the body. Such experiences are nothing less than the life of the Lord Jesus being manifested in our mortal frame. As in the past the life of the Lord caused this dead spirit of ours to be resurrected, so now it make alive this mortal body. God wants us to learn how to let the resurrected, glorious and all-victorious life of Christ be expressed in every portion of our being. He calls us to renew our vigor daily and hourly by Him. This is precisely our true life. Even though our body is still animated by our natural soul life, we no longer live by it because we have trusted in the life of the Son of God Who infuses energy into our members far more abundantly than all which the soul life could impart. We lay great stress on this “life.” In all our spiritual experiences this mysterious yet wonderful “life” enters into us abundantly. God desires to lead us into possessing that life of Christ as our strength.

    The Word of God is the life of our body: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4.4). This substantiates the thought that God’s Word is able to support our body. Naturally speaking man must live by bread, but when the Word of God emits its power man can live by it too. Herein do we behold both the natural and the supernatural way of living. God does not say that henceforth we need not eat; He simply informs us that His Word can supply us with life which food cannot. When food fails to produce or to sustain the desirable effect in our body, His Word can give us what we need. Some live by bread alone, some by it and the Word of God. Bread sometimes fails, but God’s Word never changes.,
    God hides His life in His Word. Inasmuch as He is life. so also is His Word. Should we view God’s Word as a teaching, creed or moral standard, it shall not prove very effective in us. No, God’s Word must be digested and united with us in the same manner as is food. Hungry believers take it in as their food. If they receive it with faith the Word becomes their life. God claims His Word is able to sustain our life. When natural nourishment fails we can believe God according to His Word. Then shall we perceive Him not only as life to our spirit but as life to our body as well. Christians nowadays experience great loss in not noticing how bountifully God has provided for our earthly tent. We confine God’s promises to the inner spirit and overlook their application to the outer flesh. But do we realize our physical requirement is no less needful than that of the spiritual?
    by Published on 08-26-2016 11:17 PM     Number of Views: 133 
    1. Categories:
    2. Dividing Spirit, Soul, Body

    The Ark of the Covenant in Our Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hallas
    Quote Originally Posted by Parture
    If the Bible says it and I sense it by the Holy Spirit and the body of Christ agrees then it must be true.
    Do you think the "Holy Spirit", would have given you this sensing of these exact things, if you had never read or were told about these words in this Book? I have always been curious about why you never hear of this particular god, planting thoughts into non-Christian peoples minds that match, in any way, the words in the bible. Isn't that a curious thing? It seems to me that all revelations of biblical knowledge, come only to people who know it's contents first. Would you care to explain that to us non-Christians.
    When I came to Christ I never read the Bible, nor did I own a Bible. That's interesting. It was only after I was born-again that I began to read God's word.

    God is love and indwells His loved ones, not those who do not love Him. That's not to say the Holy Spirit can't work upon other people, for He certainly does (called prevenient grace, and common grace Rom. 1.20). But the intimate relationship of having His uncreated life in us is to grow in Him and walk in His ways, eventually reaching a state of complete selflessness and sinlessness. Satan works from outer to inner, but God works from inner to outer. So be careful of "so-called" planting thoughts into the mind of our outerman they are not always of God. Non-Christians receive God's suggestions that draws them to Christ. He will use environment and all kinds of means. His ways are greater than our ways.

    The Holy Spirit is always working even in those who are not saved, but the Holy Spirit doesn't indwell the spirit (innerman) of a person unless they are born-again. This is seen in the Temple. The outer court represents our body. It is where Jesus died on the altar. The Holy Place with its utensils represent the functions of our soul (mind, will and emotion). Within the Holy Place is the Holy of Holies which represents your spirit. Nobody was allowed enter except the High Priest once a year.

    When Jesus died on the cross the veil was rent between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. From that point on those that were saved or born-again can directly commune with God by having access to the Holy of Holies where the Holy Spirit comes down upon the mercy seat and indwells the spirit of a believer. Inside the Holy of Holies is the law in the ark which judges according to God's will in our conscience. The blood is sprinkled upon the mercy seat where God receives our worship (commune with God).

    “My conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 9.1). Heb. 9.4 states that the Ark contained "the golden pot that had manna (represents communion), and Aaron's rod that budded (represents intuition), and the tablets of the covenant (represent conscience)." Rev. 11.19 says the prophet saw God's temple in heaven opened, "and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple." Such is an even clearer picture of how our spirit, soul and body work when Jesus returns.

    "The word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4.12). God wants your spirit, soul and body divided to not confuse your tripartite nature to walk by your spirit primarily and not your outerman of soul and body ("soulical body" 1 Cor. 15.44 original). Joints point to movement and marrow points to our senses.

    If you get lost in The Spiritual Man all will be made clear.




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