Shady Oak Baptist Church

Serving Christ & Standing on Scripture (KJV 1611)

Shady Oak Baptist Church

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Kingdom Gospel versus Gospel of Grace

There seems to be some confusion among the body of Christ as to whether or not the gospel Jesus’ preached and that of the Apostle Paul are the same gospel. This is important to us believers as we know we are taught in the scriptures if anyone preaches a different gospel to the church than what the Apostle Paul preached they are to be accursed.

Galatians 1:[8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

How in the world could the Kingdom Gospel and ours be the same? Our gospel is based upon the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus none of which had occurred during the time of preaching the kingdom gospel.

How could the kingdom gospel and ours be the same? The kingdom gospel was preached before the ministry of Jesus had begun as John the Baptist preached it before he had baptized Jesus!

Unfortunately, there are many in the ministry who are not able to rightly divide the word of truth and rather than study the word they just try to combine everything into one gospel. This is like trying to fit square pegs into round circles.

There are also those who cannot accept that God will give them His righteousness and extend forgiveness by simple faith in the shed blood of Jesus. They would rather attempt to help God by their own works in spite of the fact this is repeatedly repudiated in the Pauline Epistles.

The kingdom gospel began to be preached by John the Baptist and then continued through the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ and the disciples before the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord. The purpose of the kingdom gospel was to prepare a Jewish people to receive the earthly kingdom of Jesus Christ the son of David. The purpose of our gospel is to prepare all people for the eternal kingdom of God.

The factors which made up the gospel of the kingdom are these: You had to be a Jew. (This alone eliminates ALL Gentiles from salvation.) You had to receive the baptism of repentance. You had to do the works of the law AND be more devout in your application than the Pharisees. (See Matthew chapters 5 through 7)

The factors which make up the gospel of the grace of God are: You have to be a sinner. (This automatically includes ALL of mankind.) You have to confess to God your sins. You have to accept the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as payment for your sins and hope for eternal life. You have to personally trust in this finished work as sufficient for yourself apart from ANY works.

Let us examine, as all questions of faith should be, by the light of the word of God.

 

The kingdom gospel’s message was for ONLY Jews the gospel of grace is for everyone.

Mt 6: [31] Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

[32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

[33] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Mt. 10: [5] These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

[6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

[7] And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Rom. 10: [8] But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

[10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

[11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

[12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

[13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

The kingdom gospel was one of the sword while our gospel is the gospel of peace.

Matt.10:[34] Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Rom.10:[15] And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Eph.6:[15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

 

The kingdom gospel began with the Baptism of John our gospel began with the Resurrection of the Lord.

Matt.11: [12] And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

[13] For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

1Cor.15:[1] Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

[2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

[3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

[4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

The kingdom was of the law and ours is of grace.

Mt. 19: [16] And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

[17] And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

[18] He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

[19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

[20] The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

[21] Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Gal.2:[16] Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal.5:[4] Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 

The kingdom was of works ours is of grace ALONE.

Mt. 5: [20] For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mt. 5: [29] And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

[30] And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Mt. 5: [48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Mt. 6: [14] For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

[15] But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

Titus 3: [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

[6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

Ep. 2: [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Gal.2:[16] Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

 

 

The kingdom gospel had no Holy Spirit presence while He is the generator of ours (new birth).

John.7:[39] (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Ep. 1: [13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

[14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Rom.8:[9] But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 

 

The kingdom gospel has no eternal security while it is the hope of the gospel of grace.

Mt. 7: [21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

[22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

[23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

Tit.3: [4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

[5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

[6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

[7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 

Mysteries of the Faith

Deut.29:[29] The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

There were certain things God did not reveal to humanity during the days of the Old Testament. These things were hidden among the Godhead. In the revealing of the faith of the New Testament God made these things known to the church. In the Pauline Epistles they are referred to as mysteries.

In no less than four of the Pauline epistles are we told these things have been hidden in God before mankind was created and not revealed until revealed to the church.

Col.1:[26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Eph.3:[5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Eph.3:[9] And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Rom.16:[25] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

1Cor.2:[7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

In Galatians chapter three we find:

Gal.3:[23] But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Just as God revealed Himself through the Old Testament law so He reveals Himself to the church through the revelation of these mysteries.  These mysteries contain the wisdom of God for our Christian faith. It is the essence of our Christian doctrine. Understanding of these mysteries makes for a Christian strong in the faith. The misunderstanding makes for a weak in the faith Christian.

It is these mysteries which may be used to identify true doctrine from false doctrine. The majority of false doctrines stems from no understanding, denial of or a false understanding of these mysteries.

These mysteries establish a person as a steward of God. We find in First Corinthians and First Timothy the following:

1Cor.4:[1] Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

[2] Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

1Tim.3: [8] Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

[9] Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

In future studies we will identify and explain these mysteries and their relevance to the Christian.

2 Timothy Two

2Tim.2:[1] Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

[2] And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

The subject is strong in the grace. Not the legalistic ways of those who would put Christians under the law. Apostle Paul has continuously struggled with the Jews and Christians who wish to place the burden of the Jewish law on believers. The doctrines taught by the Apostle are meant to be followed by the church throughout the centuries.

The first requirement for stewards is faithfulness. If we ourselves are unfaithful then how may we be expected to instruct others?

Verses [3] Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

[4] No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Verses [5] And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

[6] The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

We find three comparisons for the men who are faithful and have been taught. Compared to a soldier, an athlete and a farmer.

As a soldier we must endure the hardships and be dedicated to our cause. (The spreading of the gospel and instruction of believers) Concentrated always on the glory of the Lord. Knowing we are in a spiritual battle with spiritual enemies. Our enemy is not the unsaved but rather their father the devil. Note in this example the purpose to please God.

As an athlete one who has practiced their faith and prepared for the contest providing all things honest in the sight of all men, saved and unsaved alike. You don’t win a race without trying and putting forth maximum effort. This requires training and dedication. Note in this example there is reward for those who do it right.

As a farmer one who plants the seed of the word in speech and deed. Tending to the crops and nurturing the crop. Note again the reward for the work of the Lord is the reaping.

Verses [7] Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

[8] Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

The emphasis here is on the Kingship and the right to the throne of Israel by being of the seed of David and not just Abraham. We Christians are also considered of the seed of Abraham but the emphasis here is on the king of Israel. This being the one of promise to ascend to the throne of Israel forever. Yes the resurrection is our guarantee of victory over death but it is also the guarantee to the nation of Israel that they have a future with the Eternal Son Jesus Christ sitting on the throne of Israel. If Jesus were dead He could never return to occupy His throne and rule over the resurrected nation of Israel.

Acts 2: [29] Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

[30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

[31] He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

[32] This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

[33] Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

[34] For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

[35] Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

[36] Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

[37] Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

[38] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

[39] For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 

Verses [9] Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

[10] Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

There should be NO doubt Paul is speaking of lost people in these verses. Continuing the theme of Israel and Jesus their King. What lost people does the New Testament speak of as “elect”? What people does the Apostle Paul refer to as “elect”? What people does the Apostle Paul want to be converted more than any other? What people will Jesus be a King over?

Rom.11: [28] As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

Rom.9:[1] I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

[2] That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

[3] For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

[4] Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

Read on:

Verse [11] It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

This verse is speaking to the resurrection of the nation of Israel. The time when the nation of Israel will ascend to the ruling of nations and Jesus, the son of David, (verse 8) will sit upon his “father’s” throne in Jerusalem. The “we” being the elect of God, those who are the Jews! This foretold in Isaiah 26:

Isa.26: [19] Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

 

Verse  [12] If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

 

Mt 10: [31] Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

[32] Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

[33] But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

[34] Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Jesus speaking to the Jews and the future war for the nation of Israel when Jesus returns and destroys the anti-Christ and all those who have rejected Him and received the mark of the Beast.

In the future the Jews will once again have the opportunity to receive Jesus as King. Those who during the Tribulation have the testimony of Jesus and the commandments of God. Those who are martyred during the Tribulation. (Rev. 20:5-6-Rev 3:5-Rev 6:10-11) ]

1 Pe 2:4,7     Ps. 118:16-22     Is 28:14-18   Mt 21:42

[13] If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Jesus is a JEW! No denying the chosen people of God for He Himself is one! His promises concerning the Jews have in no way diminished. The covenants, promises and ELECTION are a promise to the Jews, for the Jews and about the Jews!

Rom.11: [28] As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

Read on:

[14] Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

Here the pronoun “them” is used. According to the context of everything so far discussed the “them” is the Jews the unsaved elect. The “they”, “them” and “we” of the proceeding verses are the Jews of which Jesus was born of and King of. (Verse 8 the heir of King David ) They are the “elect” which as yet are unsaved. Timothy is to preach the GRACE of God and not the law. Who was it throughout the early ministry which preached the law for Gentile converts? The Jews who had been converted! Timothy is to remind them the present gospel is of GRACE AND GRACE ALONE NOT OF WORKS.

 

Verse [15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We must in this Age divide scripture between physical promises made to the Jews and Spiritual promises made to Christians. We must rightly divide between Jewish laws and Christian doctrine. Those benefits which have been obtained by Christians through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 1) There is a division of Scripture between Jew and Gentile, Old Testament saint and New testament Christian. All scripture is profitable BUT only if properly APPLIED!

[16] But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

[17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

[18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Certainly it should be obvious Hymenaeus and Philetus did NOT teach the Christian Resurrection had past NOR the end of time Resurrection had past! How stupid would that be? In context of the passage they were saying the resurrection of the nation of Israel had PAST! More likely than not they also taught the nation’s position with God was done and the church had supplanted rather than joined into the blessedness of Israel.

Check these passages: Revelation 20:5-6(Mt 27:52-53//Is 26:19///Hos 5:13-6:3////Jer. 23:1-8////Ez 37:21-28////Ez 20:40-44 (rescued NOT because of their righteousness but because of God’s promises))

Rom.11:[15] For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Isa.49:[6] And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Amos.9:[11] In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

Hos.6:[2] After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.   ( also Ho. 5:14-15)

Is 26:13-19

 

[19] Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

What foundation? The law, the prophets and Old Testament saints was the foundation. Not the foundation upon which the church is built but the nation of Israel and the promises made to them by the Father. The Lord knows which Jews are His and we who are Christians live a separated life. Notice the verse has TWO sentences indicating there is a definite break between God knowing who are His and Christians. We will be united into one household of God. (The sealing of the Jews is spoken of in Revelation 7 along with the raptured Gentiles) After the Rapture there will be 144,000 Jews sealed upon the basis of their righteousness and love for God. This remnant will be the beginning of the Resurrection of Israel as the people of God.

[20] But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

[21] If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

[22] Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

[23] But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

[24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

[25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

[26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

In summation of the chapter Paul instructs Timothy the proper Christian walk and attitude as a teacher of rightly divided truth. Notice the purity of walk is a personal decision not one of God’s imposed will. The foolish insist the Christian walk under the Law of Moses but we who are believers walk in love under the direction and submission to the Holy Spirit within us.

People who oppose themselves are those teaching such things as the law as a means of walk or teaching God is done with Israel.

 

 

 

Money

1Tim.6:[10] For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Money is NOT intrinsically evil. The love of money IS. When we put the pursuit of money above all else it then becomes an evil. Money is a NECESSITY and God knows this but the Christian should maintain a proper perspective on money. Money serves a purpose in each of our lives.

The first need which money satisfies is to eat.

2Thes.3:[10] For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

God doesn’t expect Christians to sit around like a bird and expect Him to provide our sustenance. His people are to be model citizens and as model citizens we are not to be a drain on society by not working but rather to be an industrious people showing others an example of a worker. If you find yourself unemployed for a period then you need to look for employment. This would then be your “job” to find a job.

Secondly we need money to provide for our family.

1Tim.5:[8] But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Christians must provide for their house. Our children need food and shelter. They need to be clothed. They need supplies for their education. We need to supply not only their spiritual needs but their physical needs as well. We might attempt to use this as an excuse to go to excesses in our “providing”. In an effort to provide only the “best” we might lose the proper purpose and begin to neglect certain aspects of our Christian duties and do nothing but work. We are warned to not go after money to excesses in First Timothy Six:

1Tim.6:[6] But godliness with contentment is great gain.

[7] For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

[8] And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

We need to realize money is merely a means to obtain things we need. Discontent was the thing which led many an Israelite astray. Having many lusts and never becoming satisfied with that which God supplied them.

Apostle Paul states in Philippians Four:

Phil.4:[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

So yes, a Christian must work but there must be a point of satisfaction. Never losing sight that we are first and foremost to pursue the will of God in our lives. Never replacing serving God with the drive to get more things.

 

A Christian uses money to show the blessing of God upon His life.

1Corinthians 3:[7] So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Notice God rewards the effort we put forth. God does not bless laziness but rather blesses the efforts of His people to produce. We do not reap if we do not sow.

Another basic purpose which money fulfills in the Christian walk is to have something to give.

Ephesians 4:[27] Neither give place to the devil.

[28] Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

God wants His people to be a giving people and the only way we have something to give is if we earn something. The only way to earn something is to work.

When it comes to giving it must be:

  1. A group effort

2Cor.1:[11] Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

[22] Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

  1. It needs be a growing effort.

2Cor.8:[10] And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.

God wants us to give incrementally. The more He blesses us the more we should give. Each year things become more expensive to purchase and the cost of supplying needs becomes more.

  1. A willing effort.

2Cor.9:[7] Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

[9] (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

God wants His people to have a giving spirit and does not want us to feel compelled. He gave us all and we should be happy to respond with giving back.

 

 

 

Love in Ephesians

The word love is used nineteen times in the book of Ephesians. Though 1 Corinthians 13 is the standard for understanding true godly love it is the book of Ephesians which gives a deep understanding of the scope of love. First let us look at the love of God towards us as expressed in the book of Ephesians.

Eph.2: [1] And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

[2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

[3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

[7] In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

We were all no good worthless hell bound sinners. Through God’s mercy, we who have trusted Christ as Savior have been placed in Christ and made alive. We are now Heaven bound and have experienced the love of God when it was totally undeserved. Not only Heaven bound but in Christ already present in Heaven. We having all of our sins forgiven.

 

Eph 3: [14] For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

[15] Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

[16] That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

[17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

[18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

 [19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,

The love not only of the Father but the love of Christ also. We can never understand why Jesus loves us so but we can comprehend that He does. He experienced all of the humiliation, all of the suffering, the rejection, the agony for the driving force of His love towards us.

 

Eph.5:[2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

The sacrifice which gives a sweet-smelling savour is that of the burnt sacrifice. Jesus not only having suffered on the cross, but literally spending time in Hell for us. Him not only being an offering but a sacrifice.

 

Eph. 5:[25] ……. even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

[26] That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

[27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish

Christ having manifested His love for us for the express purpose of receiving us to Himself as His bride.

His love not only purchasing us but performs a continuous cleansing of us.

 

Let us look at our love. The expectation of God after manifesting His love to us is for us as Christians to manifest our love.

Eph. 1: [13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

[14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

[15] Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

After being born again the love of God manifests itself through His children. It extends outward from us to our brothers and sister in Christ. It is natural. In fact, the Spirit through John wrote if we do not have love for our brothers then we are not the love of the Father in us. Jesus by our love for each other the world may know we belong to Him. It is the Christian love which has no boundaries of race or social status. Rich, poor, black, white, servant, and boss we are to love one another.

 

Eph.3:[17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

[18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

[19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

We are to stand on this foundation of love. We being rooted in love draw nourishment, stability and strength from our love. It is this indwelling love which manifests God to those around us.

 

Eph.4: [1] I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

[2] With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

[3] Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

The knowledge of God’s love is humbling for a wretched sinner and enables us to walk towards other Christians with a greater tolerance. We realize we being so unworthy of the love which God has shed on us may with meekness understand the frailties of others. It is this love which allows us to walk together with our brothers and sisters in harmony we having all experienced the mercy and grace of God.

 

Eph.4: [11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

[12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

[13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

[14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

[15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

[16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

God has given the body ministers who teach and preach the word of God so that we each as individuals may learn of Him and manifest Him to the world. When we speak it is to be to help not to injure. Because we love, when we speak it is truth which we speak. It is love which produces growth. Hate can be a great unifier among the lost but it is our love which unties the brethren together. It is the glue which binds us together.

 

Eph.5:[1] Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

 [2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

We being followers of God who has shown His love to us should walk in love. We are to have a love that is expressed in our willingness to give. It should be a sacrificial love.

 

Eph.6:[23] Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

[24] Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

We love with the assurance of our beliefs. God has promised many things to His children and we having experienced this love in ourselves have the belief that what God has promised He will do. Our love is to be a sincere love. Not put on or conditional but one of true and abiding affection for Christ.

The Rapture

The Apostle Paul was given the ministry of the Grace of God, the gospel of our salvation. Scripture tells us he was the Apostle to the Gentiles. Consequently, the Holy Spirit did NOT give him copious amount of material concerning the time of the Tribulation but rather gave him the Word needed for us to fulfill our duty of living a life of testimony and giving the gospel of salvation to people so we can escape the Tribulation.

The end time prophecy for the world was given to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos. John being one of the three Apostles identified as having a Jewish ministry. This is not a coincidence but rather the design of God. In the book of Revelation there is a limited reference to the church. After the first three chapters of Revelation the word church cannot be found though in the seventh chapter you find the number which no man can number from every tribe of the earth having been rescued from the Tribulation. These are rescued “out of” great Tribulation by an event we call the Rapture.

We learn of the Rapture from the Apostle Paul which was chosen to reveal to the church the seven mysteries of God. This event is not a reference to the Resurrection but a totally before unknown event. This is why it is identified as a “mystery”. The Resurrection of the dead is spoken of many times in the Old Testament and again during the kingdom ministry of Jesus and the Apostles. To qualify as a “mystery” it must be speaking of a previously unrevealed event.

1Cor.15:[51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

[52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

[53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

[54] So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

[55] O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

[56] The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

[57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

[58] Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

What we see is a quick spontaneous calling away of the body of Christ as a whole. A harvesting if you would of not only dead saints of the past but those who are alive at the time of the event. A time when we will receive an eternal body made like Jesus’ glorified body. Verse 58 indicates it is a time when Christians will receive rewards for our labors of this life for the cause of Christ.We find more details of this in First Thessalonians:

1 Th 4: [13] But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

[14] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

[15] For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

[16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

[17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

[18] Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Having written of what is to happen to us which are alive at the time of the Rapture, the Apostle Paul reveals what is to happen to those who have already died in the body of Christ and the order of the Rapture.
First let us notice it is the Lord Himself who comes down to receive us and NOT the angels which are in Heaven. Thus, this is NOT the harvesting spoken of in Revelation nor in the Gospels which speaks of a gathering done by angels.

Secondly it is the dead which come out of the grave before we are taken out and changed.

Thirdly, this occurs in the air and NOT on the earth. At the Second Advent Christ lands on the Mount of Olives and rescues the Jews (Zech 14)

The timing of this event is not expressly given but some details are.

  • We are to be NOW waiting in expectation for an imminent return of the Lord.
  • We are told there will be a falling away first and many shall depart from THE faith.
  • It will occur with the blowing of the Last Trump which is blown in the Jewish Feast of Trumpets.
  • We are told it saves us from the wrath to come.

Romans 5: [8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

[9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

1Thessaloninans 1: [9] For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

[10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1Thessalonians 5: [8] But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

[9] For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

[10] Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

 

Notice “the” wrath not just any wrath but “THE” wrath.

We are waiting for Jesus to return to deliver us from the wrath to come. Which wrath? The wrath of Hell? Surely, we have been saved from that already knowing we are already sitting in heavenly places in Christ.

Any honest theologian would be hard pressed to make this wrath any other aside from the wrath poured out on mankind during the Tribulation.

In Romans chapter eleven we told the blindness of the nation of Israel which exists to this day cannot end until we the body of Gentile believers are harvested home.

Romans 11: [25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

[26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

 

In short the mystery of: the church the bride of Christ, indwelling of Jesus in the believer, the gospel, Israel’s blindness, all culminate in this one event the Rapture.

 

Seven Spirits of God

The seven Spirits of God

The “seven Spirits of God” are mentioned in Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; and 5:6. The seven Spirits of God are not specifically identified, so it’s impossible to be dogmatic but I believe we can always answer Biblical questions with the Bible itself. In other words the Bible is self-explanatory.

Rev 1:4     3:1    4:5    5:6

Rev.1: [1] The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

[2] Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

[3] Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

[4] John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

I think we should take note the word “Spirits” is capitalized in all four usages.

These Spirits are said to be before the throne. They occupy space. They extend grace and peace to the followers of Jesus Christ.

 

Rev.3: [1] And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

[2] Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

They belong to or are possessed by Jesus and are linked here with the seven stars. The seven stars have already been identified in Revelation chapter one as the seven angels of the church.

 

Rev.4: [1] After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

[2] And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

[3] And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

[4] And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

[5] And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Here we are reminded they occupy space in front of the throne and they are represented by burning lamps.

Rev.5: [1] And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

[2] And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

[3] And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

[4] And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

[5] And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

[6] And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Here they are described as the eyes of the Lamb which is Jesus. They are sent throughout the earth presumably to observe, to see, to examine the earth.

So then in summation we have:

  • They are before the throne. (1:4)
  • They belong to Jesus and are linked to the seven angels of the churches. (3:1)
  • They are compared to burning lamps and we are reminded they are before the throne. (4:5)
  • They are the eyes of Jesus and go throughout the earth. (5:6)

I believe we have here enough information to identify what the seven Spirits are. Reading further in Revelation we find the following in chapter eight:

Rev. 8: [1] And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

[2] And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

This verse seems to me to indicate these angels have already been mentioned. By examining the previous chapters we find other than the Lamb the only thing mentioned having been before the throne are the seven Spirits of God. So then, we look at the descriptive verses of the seven Spirits and ask ourselves could these seven Spirits be seven angels?

In Matthew chapter eighteen Jesus tells us:

Matt.18:[10] Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Jesus says there are angels before the throne of His Father.

In both Psalms and Hebrews we find:

Pss.104:[4] Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Heb.1:[7] And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

Here angels are said to be spirits and associated with burning fire.

In Hebrews one we also find:

He. 1:[14] Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Angels are sent into the earth.

In Daniel four we find:

Dan.4: [10] Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.

[11] The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:

[12] The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.

[13] I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;…

[17] This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

[18] This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee……….

[22] It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.

[23] And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

Here we have heavenly beings coming down from Heaven to observe and declare a judgment to the King who has the nation of Israel captive. They are called “watchers” in this passage. (eyes of the Lamb).

In conclusion I believe we have enough foundation here to say the seven Spirits are seven angels which stand before God and His throne.

 

 

After Those Days

Rom.11: [25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

[26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

[27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

[28] As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

[29] For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The gifts and calling of the Jews has not been forgotten by God neither has He repented of their choosing. He promised centuries ago to make a new covenant with them and God is not slack concerning His promises but rather wants not only the Jews but ALL men Jew and Gentile to come to repentance but there is coming a time when the mysteries of the church will reach a termination point and the fullness of the Gentiles will be harvested. We Christians refer to this event as the Rapture. When the mysteries have come to full fruition the mystery of the return of Israel will begin to unfold.

God promised this in Jeremiah chapter 31.

Jeremiah 31: [31] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

[32] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

[33] But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

[34] And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

[35] Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

[36] If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

[37] Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

[38] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.

[39] And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.

[40] And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.

The promises will be fulfilled in a period of time which God calls “after those days”. In Romans we are told they will be fulfilled AFTER the harvesting of the Gentiles. This clearly indicates the “after those days” is speaking of the calling out of a body of Gentile believers before the fulfillment of the promise to the houses of Israel. Look in Acts 15. We find a great discussion over 1) whether Gentiles may be saved and 2) if so, must they keep the law of Moses in order to be saved.

 

Acts.15:[7] And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

[8] And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

[9] And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

[10] Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

[11] But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

[12] Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

[13] And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

[14] Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

[15] And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

[16] After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

[17] That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

[18] Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

[19] Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

 

Here clearly we are told the new covenant will occur AFTER the time of the Gentiles being called by faith. We are told in the passage as a proof Gentiles can be saved the prophets spoke of the saving of Israel and new covenant occurring after the saving of the Gentile through faith. Before the return of the Lord there must needs be a Gentile body saved first. (verses 13-18)

 

The book of Hebrews attests to this as well for we find in Hebrews 8:

Heb.8: [7] For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

[8] For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

[9] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

[10] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

[11] And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

[12] For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

[13] In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Again the new covenant will be after those days and it is not a matter of Jews believing but simply by existing upon the return of the Lord. If they endure to the end of the Tribulation God has promised to make a new covenant with them. One in which He removes their sins and places His law in their hearts. It will usher in the Millennial Reign of Christ. What other time past or future has it been utterly unnecessary to teach about the Lord? When has all of mankind known Him? Only when He physically sits on a throne in Jerusalem and all of the world will be subject to Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

This promise is reiterated in Hebrews chapter 10:

Heb.10:[16] This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

[17] And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

In conclusion the mysteries of the Gentile Age and the Church Age will come to an end when the body of believers are removed. At this time, the nation of Israel will once again seek their God and God will hear their cry. The mystery of iniquity will be full accomplished and Jesus Christ will return to destroy the anti-Christ and establish His kingdom on earth with Jerusalem the capital of the world.

Stone of Stumbling-Stumblingblock

Stumblingblock

Stumbling: Tripping; erring; puzzling

Block- prevent from completion

A great stumbling stone was foretold in the book of Isaiah:

Isa.57:[14] And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.

At a future time the Scriptures foresaw there would come a stumbling block to the Jewish people. Something which prevented them from entering into the promises God had made to them His covenant people. Something which would trip them up on the path of following God. The scripture not only foresaw this but also foresaw the removal of this stumbling block and the restoration of the chosen nation.

The prophets not only identify the fact there will be a stumbling block and a removal but tells the Jewish people who the stumbling block will be for we read in Isaiah:

Is 8: [13] Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

[14] And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

[15] And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

The stumbling block for BOTH houses of Israel will be the Lord Himself. Indeed He came and was crucified and Resurrected becoming a stumbling block to the Jews.

Look at Romans chapter nine:

Romans 9:1-4

The Jews were going along happy and content in what they were doing but along came the Lord in the flesh and they rejected Him and refused Him.

Rom.9:[32] Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

[33] As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

The Jews have indeed stumbled at the crucifixion. Having crucified their Messiah they have placed themselves under the wrath of God for a time. They fell as a nation about forty years after the crucifixion and exited the world stage as a nation for almost two thousand years.

Let us look in First Corinthians chapter 1:

1Corinthians 1:[23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

The church message remains unchanged. We preach Christ crucified as the only means of salvation. This being a stumbling block to the Jews due to their trusting in the law for salvation and placing their security in their own works as a means of being right with God. (Ro. 9:32)

Let us look in the gospel of Matthew chapter 21 where Jesus spoke of the stone.

Mt. 21: [42] Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

[43] Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

[44] And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

This stone has indeed caused the nation of Israel to stumble but has been the salvation of the Gentiles and become the cornerstone of His body the church. We read in Ephesians:

Eph.2:[20] And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

There should be no question as to what or rather Who the stone of stumbling is. The Scripture has clearly identified Jesus Christ, the Lord Himself as the stone which has been rejected and the stumbling of the nation of Israel. This also being foretold in the book of Isaiah. We find in Isaiah 28:

 

Is 28: [14] Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

[15] Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

[16] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

In 1st Peter we read:

1Pet.2:[6] Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

[7] Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

[8] And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

So then this stone which they have rejected has been salvation to untold numbers of Jew and Gentile alike having provided a better way for us. This stone to this day stands as a dividing between the Jews and God. As God continues to call a people through the gospel. There will come a time when this stumbling block is removed and God will once remember His people the nation of Israel and fulfill all of His promises He has made to them.

Having stumbled they have not completely fallen from the thoughts and plans of God but have been temporarily set aside. For we read in Romans:

Rom.11: [9] And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them:

[10] Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Why provoke them to jealousy? For one reason and one reason only. So they might become jealous and desire to return to their God having seen the marvelous grace which God has extended to mankind through the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Continuing in Romans 11:

Ro. 11: [15] For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

[16] For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

[17] And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

[18] Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

[19] Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

[20] Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

[21] For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

[22] Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

[23] And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.[24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

[24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

[25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

[26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

[27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

[28] As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election,

[25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

[26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

[27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

[28] As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

The nation of Israel is to be resurrected and brought into prominence and favor with God again. This cannot happen until the stumbling block be “Cast UP!!!!” When upon the fullness of the Gentiles having been brought in the stumbling block will be removed! (verse 25)

Let us look again in Isaiah 57:

Isa.57:[14] And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.

Notice the peculiar direction in which the stumbling block is cast! It is not cast DOWN but indeed is cast UP!  Why up and not down? Jesus was caught up as indeed when the fullness of the Gentile bride will be brought in it will go UP!!!!

1Thes.4:[17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This casting up will be the return of the nation of Israel into prominence and favor with God. We read further into Isaiah 57.

Is. 57: [14] And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.

[15] For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

[16] For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.

[17] For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.

[18] I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.

[19] I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.

[20] But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

[21] There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

When the body of Christ is brought in the people of Israel will be restored into prominence once again.

As the scripture says, the fullness of the Gentiles will be brought in. The mysteries of Christ will have been completed when we, the body of Christ, are removed and the mystery of iniquity will go forward at full force.

Colossians 1: [24] Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

[25] Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

[26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

[27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Ephesians 5: [28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

[29] For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

[30] For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

[31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

[32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 6: [18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

[19] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Romans 11: [24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

[25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

1Timothy 3:[16] And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Not only is Jesus Himself a stumbling block but also the gospel of His grace and His body the church. With the removal of His body from this world, the stumbling block which has prevented the completion of God’s plans for Israel will also be removed.  We read in Second Thessalonians chapter 2:

 

 

2Thes.2:[1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

[2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

[4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

[5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

[6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

[7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

[8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

[9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

[10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

[11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

[12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

 

Where Do Babies Go?

I would like to address the question where do babies go when they die. Do they go to Heaven? Do they go to Hell? Do they go to some special kind of Limbo? The first question in our search for an answer would be:

 

  • Are we “born” in sin?

The Bible does not say we are BORN IN SINS! Let me repeat that: The Bible does not say WE ARE BORN IN SINS!! I could not count the number of times I have been told “we are born dead in sins’! But this is not in the Bible. It is a MISQUOTE! The Bible indeed teaches us we are dead in sins BUT NOT we are born that way. Here is the quote so often misquoted:

Ephesians 2:[1] And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

This verse does not says we were born that way but we were in that way. It is true we were born in Adam and in Adam we are born with a sinful nature. We being human are bent towards sin and will eventually knowingly commit sin. We will, as humans, chose to sin but until that choice is consciously made we have no sin just a sinful nature.

Romans 7: [9] For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Paul says he was ALIVE before he knew the law. When he became aware of the law and chose sin then HE DIED!

So the Bible does not tell us we are born dead we must obliterate from our minds the thought and realize it is not based upon scripture. If it is not scripturally based then it is man’s tradition and must be rejected. If we are not born dead in sins then the question should be when did you become dead?

 

  • When do we become dead?

Let us look at our forefather Adam from whom we received this sinful nature.

Genesis 2: [7] And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Adam was made then made alive by the breath of God. Here Adam stood in perfect innocence a living soul with no sin. With no sin he was able to have direct communion with the Lord. The Lord told Adam he would die the day he ate of the forbidden tree. The Lord did NOT sya Adam would begin to die but he would DIE that day.

Genesis 2: [16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

[17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

As a side note I would like to draw attention to the fact that Eve had not been made yet so the command was given to Adam directly from God and the command must have been given to Eve through her husband Adam as she has knowledge of it as told in Genesis chapter three.

So here we have Adam a living soul without sin having a command from God which command if broken produces death.

Genesis 3: [6] And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

[7] And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

So Adam rejected the command of the Lord and chose rather to eat and according to the authority of the word of the Lord Adam died the day he ate. He no longer was a living soul but rather a dead one. He did not die an outward death but an inward death. He became dead in sin.

Even the anointed cherub Lucifer was created in perfection until he had sin.

Ezekiel 28: [14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

[15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Let us look again in Romans chapter seven.

Romans 7: [7] What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

[8] But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

[9] For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

[10] And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

[11] For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

The Bible tells us without the law :

  1. There was no knowledge of sin
  2. Sin was dead
  3. With the knowledge came accountability
  4. The knowledge wrought death

Romans 5: [13] (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

The Bible teaches us there is a time when a child does not know right from wrong.

Isaiah 7: [15] Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

[16] For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

               So what do we find? There is no sin without the law giving knowledge. A child has a time when he does not know the choices. Without knowledge there is innocence. Man commits sin when he knowingly rejects what is right and choses to do wrong. When man makes this choice he then dies a spiritual death and is dead on the inside. One might say, then why gives us the law. Man cannot escape the law. Whether it is the Law of Moses, the law of the land or the law of conscience man is under law and bears his own guilt for violation of the law.  

 

  • Where do babies go?

To answer this first let us look at the gospel of Mark.

Mark 10: [13] And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

[14] But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

[15] Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

[16] And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

 

We are told by Jesus we must be like these children. That the kingdom of heaven is made up of children. How so? We must become innocent before God. We must be born again. The only method given to us is through the shed blood of Jesus. By accepting Him as Savior we become born again. That which is dead inside of us is breathed into life AGAIN!

John 3: [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

[7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

[8] The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

 

Look in Second Samuel. Upon the death of his child King David made the following confession.

11 Samuel 12: [21] Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.

[22] And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

[23] But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

Surely King David knew where his child was and also he would someday go to be with him. Let us too have the assurance in the righteousness of God Who will not hold someone accountable for actions done without knowledge of sin

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