The Bible: The Authority on Jesus

Glory

How can religion quickly be understood? One could answer, by it’s people. And sadly while that would be a great answer it’s not entirely practical, as often times from any religion comes a facet of extremism or liberalism that violates the religion itself. Perhaps another answer could be, by it’s sacred texts. For the Hindu’s the Vedas, for Islam the Quran and us as Christians the Bible. This is a highly accurate answer, but it’s only half the answer. Taken by itself and the nature of the sacred writings, it often takes time and effort before the sacred text can be understood correctly. So what is the answer then?

I would state the person, prophet and central figure of those sacred texts. Looking at a person, their life and what they have accomplished or done, is highly relatable to us as humans. And for understanding Christianity, there is only one person, one figure and that is the person of Jesus Christ. While there may be a plethora of sources regarding Jesus Christ, the final authority on who Jesus is, His life and what He did is the Bible.

Let’s turn to Hebrews 1 and gain a glimpse of Jesus.

Verse 1:
Literal Understanding of Verse:In the past, during different times and in different ways, God spoke to man by the prophets.
Explanation: There are two interesting things to note here, (a) Division and (b) Adaptation. Firstly, God spoke to His people at different times of history. Here is God breaking up His messages, across periods (or blocks) of time. These are divisions. Examples of these would be, God speaking to Adam and Eve in the garden and telling them to not eat the fruit. Another message and division by God would be Him speaking to Moses, and enabling him to lead Israel out of captivity.

In terms of our second point around Adaptation, we can look at the use of the word “manner” – the ways in which God acted. This speaks to God adapting how He said what He needed to say at different times. Examples of this; is Jeremiah who laments at God’s pending judgement. Another manner is the Holy Spirit working within us to teach us.

While the times may vary and the manner, the method remained the same (review latter part of verse 1). The method was always the Prophets.

Verse 2:
Literal Understanding of Verse: God in these last days times (that includes the time we are in); speaks to us by His Son. It is this Son, who God legally entitled to all things, and who also made our universe.
Explanation: Remembering in verse 1 while we saw the time and manner vary in which God worked, the method was always the same. In verse 2, we see a deviation in God’s method from Prophet; to God the father using His own Son – Jesus Christ. This change is dramatic and notable and reflected in the difference in the pages of the New Testament.

Next part of the verse indicates that this same Jesus is heir of all things. Heir is defined to mean, legally entitled, but also a person who inherits and continues the work of a predecessor.

A final and profound statement is made in the next part of the verse – that God not only used Jesus to be the method in these last days, but also used Jesus to create the worlds. Not only is He a method of God, our propitiation, our Lord God, but also the creator of all around us!

Verse 3:
Literal Understanding of Verse: Jesus is the immediate image of God. Jesus holds together all things word of his power. Jesus wiped away our sins. Jesus thereafter sat down on the right hand of God the father.
Explanation: This verse is so beautiful in capturing who Jesus Christ is. God’s glory when it shines forth, that shine, that awe, that light is Jesus Christ. Secondly, the direct image of the person of Great and Mighty God is Jesus Christ Himself. They are one. Thirdly, the Bible doesn’t say by the power of His (Jesus) words, but the word (singular) of His Power (the Father’s power). That’s an interesting read. Jesus Christ upholds all things, by the promise of God the Father’s power. Then it goes on to depict how Jesus himself, purged our sins. Purged there means “to cleanse or purify by separating and carrying off whatever is impure”.? And lastly, as a fifth point, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God in heaven. Wow, our Lord God is amazing!!!

Finally….

In three simple verses of Hebrews 1:1-3 we have seen such bold and definitive statements about who Jesus Christ IS. The central figure of the Bible is Jesus Christ. He permeates it’s pages, and it’s pages embody Him. Without Jesus Christ as the centre of the Bible, Christianity is not christianity, merely another fairy tale. Without Jesus Christ, there is no salvation, and no hope in death. He is the essence of all things by Him do all things exists.Friends, the simple message this morning is this, the Bible is the final authority on Jesus. Not men. Not historic records or personal accounts. Not men filled in the Spirit. Not in other books. And while these alternate sources have their legitimacy and efficacy, only the Bible defines Jesus Christ authoritatively. For it is the authority on the man, on the God, Jesus Christ

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Called to Be An Apostle

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Paul was “called to be an Apostle”. Quite clearly we as the current day church are not, and that is self-evident given the requirements in being an Apostle and the cessation (fading away) of signs and wonders that were used by God to convict the hearts of the Jews surrounding the Messiah (1 Corinthians 1:22, 14:22). Today, I would like us to look at our “calling”, as the church of Christ, what that is and what it means. Before we take any steps, lefts get our terminology right.

 

Webster defines a “call” as a divine vocation or summons. Perhaps even more elaborate “a summons from heaven”. More specifically “called” means invited, summoned, invoked, appointed.

 

Paul uses the word “called” 10 times in Romans alone, and while there are more references strewn across Romans and the New Testament we will aim our laser focus to here (Romans) on verses relevant to the church. This to give us a little deeper insight into our calling as the bride of Christ, that is those who are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Romans 1:6 “Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ”


Paul draws our attention in this the introduction, that yes he is called to be an apostle, given a divine vocation to be a witness of the Gospel to the Gentiles. However, so is the Church at Rome, or rather the Church as a whole. Note the calling, our divine vocation as members as saved individuals is not a calling from men, nor a calling of men, but a divine calling of Jesus Christ. Our instructions, our purpose, our direction does not come from elders, deacons, charismatic preachers or a Pope, but directly of Jesus Christ.

 

Note how beautifully scripture ties us to Christ? Do you see it? Scripture doesn’t say “Among who are ye also the called by Jesus Christ”, as if we are off at a distance and Christ is calling us. Quite the contrary, it uses the word “of”. The definition of “of” is – expressing the relationship between a part and a whole. Friends, what a wonderful revelation, that though we were sinners, sinful and wretched yet Christ redeemed us by His death, His blood atonement, and considers us to be His own, related, Father to son, Father to daughter, children of the living God. How truly blessed we are to be “called of Jesus Christ”.

 

Romans 1:7 “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ”.

 

We are called, appointed, invited, summoned from heaven to be “saints”. A saint is a person sanctified (set apart); a holy or godly person. What is a saint set apart to? Christ of course. Note, without Christ someone cannot be sanctified, and without being sanctified one cannot be a saint. A saint isn’t a title, it’s a state of being, it’s a person whose life is given unto the Lord. Saints are not men or women different from mere mortals, but are mere mortals who in the everyday normalcy of life, choose to be directed by Christ and live life through Christ.

 

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

 

This “called” does not separate the church. but unifies it. Some are not called to a higher purpose from others; though we may have different roles our purpose is never higher than another’s. A Pastor is never above the church, nor is the church above the Pastor, different roles, and both needed to the functioning of the body.

 

Purpose is so vital to the human life, for when life loses it’s purpose, it loses it’s way. Being born into the family of God, doesn’t leave us without direction, in fact it highlights it even more. From a broadened wide-angle to a narrow tunnel. Christ has called us unto His purpose, unto His glory and unto His desire. The question then that should rest on each of us, is what is our purpose in light of who we are, in light of the son’s and daughter’s we have become in Christ, and how best can we reflect His Glory unto the world. “If ye seek me, ye shall find me, if ye shall search for me with all thine heart”.

 

Romans 8:30 “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.“

 

God’s foreknowledge precedes election or predestination (Rom 8:29). God does not randomly of His own accord decide who will be pre-destined to heaven or hell, but rather in knowing a man and woman’s past, present and future, and in line with that person’s free will choice, He calls those to a higher purpose, His purpose. But it’s not enough for them to be “called” of God, that does not cover their sins or atone for it, but being the perfect and most righteous judge God; justifies those “called” through the death of Jesus Christ (His blood being the payment that covers the mercy seat).

 

Romans 9:24 “Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

 

It’s amazing to consider how God opened the doorway to allow the Gentiles to also be called, as Israel (the Jews) were “called” as a special nation. The difference here, is that we are called as a spiritual body, and they as a physical one. We are not bound by blood or race, but by the shedding of blood (Jesus Christ on calvary) and grace (faith in Jesus Christ).

Thank you Lord!

 

Romans 9:26 “”And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”

 

This is not a vocation, this is a noun, a name, a title – “children of the living God”. Friends, for a moment, consider that? We are children of God. We are adopted into His family, warts and all. Despite our color, our perspectives, our differences, our broken-ness, our mistakes, our failures – when we come to Jesus Christ in belief of His work on Calvary as THE atonement for all my sin (past, present and future), then we are adopted into His family, but not called “adopted”, oh no, called His own “children”.

 

For a moment we may forget to see that beautiful word “living” in the verse above. We are not just children of God, we are children of God who is real, but more so active in our lives. Though not visible, He is ever working out His purposes in our own lives, to the glory and honor of His name. His glory revealed in and through us, makes for a life worth living, a life of purpose.

 

How blessed we are to be “called” of God.

 

Cessation of Spiritual Gifts:

http://www.bible.ca/tongues-ceased-perfect-come-intro.htm

 

Qualifications for An Apostle:

http://www.gotquestions.org/apostleship.html

 

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What a day!

(written by Dane Balia)

T’was a Sunday morning,
when life seemed rather down,
life had no real meaning,
and church – a ritual mound.
Never stopping to think that there was more to life you see,
I stumbled forward on the altar to proclaim I’m free.

Little off my knowing,
Little of my mind,
And a little sprinkling of Jesus to calm the guilty bind.
I didn’t really know him, I didn’t really see,
that my heart was filled with sinful, jealous, simple agony.
Hidden in religion, hidden in its web,
Walking straight and narrow not living, but dead.

The preacher got up that day,
and thus began to shout,
there is a Saviour rich in mercy, simply calling out.
He was crying in the wilderness, you need redemption now,
sinless and imperfect, hell will soon abound.
Reach out now to Jesus and believe He will down pay,
the weight of all your sins, from now to eternal noon day.

Gasping up for air, I soon began to cry,
my heart was drenched in sorrow, as if I was going to die.
I confessed the name Lord Jesus, and His Resurrection true,
and instantly my life turned a leaf; simple and brand new.
I glimpsed up to heaven, and my eyes betrayed me so,
There was standing a glorious, Saviour white as snow.

Eyes of flaming fire, sword of double-edge,
Mighty, magnificent, glorious, a sight to behold.
He kneeled beside me gazing into the depths of my soul,
He took my worldly clothes of, off fashion and design,
and placed on me His riches of heavens paradigm.
Oh what a glimpse of glory, what a rapture true,
To be standing in His presence, BORN A NEW.
I’m destined for Heaven, I’m destined for that land,
not so much for the milk and honey,
but to hold His precious HAND!!!!!!

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The Reference Point is Christ

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LightBulb Moments….

As Christians we often get “discouraged” or “hurt” by the words or actions of others, and based on those very “words and action” we then determine our behaviour towards these people. Their actions determine our actions. Their words determine our words. And it doesn’t matter how right we consider this, it isn’t. The reference point for our actions as Christians is never the individual, never society and it’s norms; never the government and it’s charms. 

Colossians 3:23 orchestrates this point by explaining how we are too act and behave; “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”. Two points here and very key ones (a) In whatever we do, whatever manner or capacity we are to do it “heartily”, that is genuinely, warmly, sincerely. The second point (b) is that in determining our actions and words, we are to do them as if it’s unto Jesus Christ Himself. So HE is our reference point, not them! That’s sobering.

The scary part is that as much as we may try downplay this verse, or deceive ourselves in our actions towards others; Colossians 3:24-25 makes clear God’s position – HE will JUDGE righteously and our actions and words will not escape.

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is NO RESPECT OF PERSONS.”

With God, WRONG IS WRONG, Child of God or NOT!

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Why did God create “flawed” humanity?

LightBulb Moments….

It’s often overheard “Why did God create us humans to be sinful?”. Usually when that question is asked, it’s someone struggling with the character and nature of God, and the blame often goes to God’s failed DESIGN. It’s indeed a tough question to answer, and often avoided or swept under the carpet by Christians. However, recently I re-read a book that just struck me and gave a really good and logical answer.

God initially programmed and designed “creation” (through scientific law and reason). In fact, it was perfect, it was “mechanical and fixed to precise innate laws”. The physical universe did not have capacity to make choice, it would never disappoint Him or surprise Him. However God wanted a self-portrait, as a painter desiring to express Himself, “He fashioned an image of Himself, to extend His own self-consciousness, He formed a being who, like Himself would stand completely apart from nature, above all other creation”. “When God gave way to self-expression, generating the human race, He was duplicating His own independent personhood.Thus when He exhaled his breath into Adam’s lungs it was the end of the Creator’s control. God stepped back, and before Him stood a creature made of the essence of God, an independent, self-determining, personal soul, distinct from all others, including God.” With this came free-will, came choice and it’s expression thereof. So “why did God create the human race to be sinful?”, He didn’t. He granted the embodiment of Himself, on a finite-level, the freedom to act, behave and choose as God-himself would, and what man did with that freedom, was entirely his own, as it was God’s. We are reflections of our CHOICE, not our DESIGN.

References:

All italics and the majority of this thought, is found in the book

By Divine Design – Michael Pearl

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God’s Intent: Charity

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One of most commonly mis-quoted portions of scripture is found in 1 Corinthians 13 – where the use of “charity” is replaced with the word “love”. This is most often seen in cards given to people, or even in modern-day bibles. But the King James Bible I believe has it right, and even before that, the Tyndale bible did the same. Why you say?

Is “charity” supposed to be love?

Because there are 28 references to the word “charity” in scripture, and secondly because God did not make a mistake, instead what He was trying to do, was draw our attention to a different facet of love, and that being “charity”. To call “charity” love, is to call an engine a car. Sometimes we need to pay attention to a specific part of a car like the engine, so we can figure out what’s wrong to get the car to work again. You get my point 🙂

Charity the Definition:

Webster’s 1828 defines it as, “In a general sense, love; more specifically – that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favourably of their fellow men and to do them good.”

Google defines it in it’s old use as “Christian’s love for one’s fellow”.

If you not completely sold, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;”. Notice the direction of charity – is in the direction of those around you. But that sounds like love? True. But I can love God, that’s one direction, I can love my wife, that’s another direction, both with different needs and responsibilities, and so too “charity” is a facet of love, but in the direction of “others”.

For further evidence consider this; Galatians 6:2,“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Note, bearing one another’s burdens, fulfils the law of Christ. So then consider this; 1 Timothy 1:5, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, …..”. I’m sold! Charity is the end of the commandment, and it involves bearing one another’s burdens. It’s a love for “others”.

What Charity is Not:

Charity is not however what modern day society considers it – that is giving of alms to the poor. It is not charitable organisations doing good work. How so? We go to scripture for the answer. 1 Corinthians 13:3 “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”. So friend, charity is not giving to the poor it’s so much more. I hope this clarifies it.

What Does Charity Look Like:

If you looking for a deeper understanding to what Charity looks like, read 1 Corinthians 13:3-8, but far more when you reading verses, consider it in relation to your dealings with others. Upon reading it, I understand how much more “charity” needs to be present in my life. Be blessed – 1 Corinthians 16:14 – “Let all your things be done with “charity”.

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God’s Division: Dispensations

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God’s Division: Dispensation

One of the greatest failures in the modern church today is the belief that all Bible’s are the same. As we have looked in previous studies, if there is One God, and He so closely identifies Himself as His Word (John 1:1, 14 “past”; 1 John 5:7 “present”; Revelation 19:13 “future”), then there must be One Word (they all don’t say the same thing, you need only compare them verse by verse).

That’s a side note, only to leap frog to the next point, that in our modern church today; there is a secondary hindrance to understanding the Bible, and that is “Dispensations” (Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:25).

What Is A Dispensation?

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it as: “Distribution; the act of dealing out to different persons or places. Said differently, a Dispensation is simply a set of commands or instructions given to a group of people for a time. Put more biblically, a Dispensation is God giving instruction to a group of people for a period of time.

What Point Are You Making?

In order to correctly divide the Word of God, you need to ensure you know who God is talking to and what He requires. One of the biggest mistakes we can make, is believe that as God spoke to Adam, He speaks to us; or what God required from Israel He requires from us. There is some truth and principals that can be applied, but in reality, when God said to Adam “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” (Genesis 2:17) – that couldn’t possibly be for us “literally”? How would we keep that command?

However that instruction was to Adam and it was for him – in regards too how he could continue to have eternal life. But as we know – Adam ate of the fruit of the tree and was soon cursed by God. He did not die spiritually; but death passed upon him (Romans 5:12) – he lost eternal life (Genesis 3:24). Now if it isn’t obvious enough, God’s instructions to Adam is different from ours today, as he was not conceived of a woman and being the first created of men (or the first Adam) by God.

So what’s the point? The point is that in reading our Bibles we need to acknowledge the different ways God deals with groups of people, and His different instruction to them, so as to not apply an instruction for another to ourselves. Imagine in a time of war your Colonel leaves you with a letter of instruction on his desk, vital to yourself and the safety of your men, as you embark onto enemy territory. A most vital instruction wouldn’t you agree? But instead of picking up the right letter, you pick up another meant for a separate battalion with a different timing, which then leads to the death of hundreds of your soldiers – all because the instruction was not meant for you. Do you see the necessity of instruction, it’s timing, and it’s audience; this heeding of instruction is called a “Dispensation”. Loosely speaking a dispensation has the following characteristics: God’s Instruction in regards to Salvation (Eternal Life) for the people of that period God’s Instruction in Regard to Morality (I will skip (b) for sake of length) God’s Character (that is, in every dispensation, a part of God’s character is revealed or emphasized)

An Overview of The Dispensations:

This is an overview to the dispensations which is broken down in 8 parts across the entire Bible. In each part or Dispensation, God deals with man differently, expects something different from Him and gives clear instruction for salvation (eternal life), that is different in itself. Two theme’s remain the same through the entire Bible however; (a) Only through Jesus Christ can sin be ‘removed’. That is in certain dispensations, “works” or “keeping God’s instruction or law” may lead to salvation; that is, the promise of eternal life; but eternal life is only given or attained upon belief (faith) in Jesus Christ and His death on Calvary (Matthew 26:28) (b) Secondly, through every dispensation, “Faith” in God is a requirement (Hebrews 11:7).

Age of Innocence (Genesis 1-3) [Time of Adam] Salvation: Faith + Keeping God’s Instruction (do not eat fruit of the tree of good and evil) God’s Character Emphasized: God’s Goodness (creation)

Age of Conscience (Genesis 3-12) – [Time of Noah] Salvation: Faith + Keeping God’s Instruction (obeying conscience and instruction from previous generation) God’s Character Emphasized: God’s Long suffering

Age of Government (Genesis 12-Exodus 20) – [Time of Abraham] Salvation: Faith + Keeping God’s Instruction God’s Character Emphasized: God’s Just

Age of Promise (Exodus 20-Matthew 26) – [Time of Moses] Salvation: Faith + Keeping God’s Instruction (Ten commandments) God’s Character Emphasized: God’s Faithfulness

Age of Law (Matthew 26- Acts 2) – [Time of Jesus] Salvation: Faith + Keeping God’s Law + Sacrifices God’s Character Emphasized: God’s Holiness

Age of Grace (Acts 2 – Revelation 4) [Time of the Apostles] Salvation: Only Faith God’s Character Emphasized: God’s Grace

Age of Tribulation (Revelation 5-19) [Time of Judgement] Salvation: Faith + Keeping God’s Instruction God’s Character Emphasized: God’s Wrath (anger)

Age of the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20-22) [Jesus’ Physical Reign on this Earth] Salvation: Faith + Keeping God’s Instruction God’s Character Emphasized:God’s Righteousness

Now this may seem rather vague to you perhaps, but it demands a little study, and a little opening of one’s eyes as you read the Bible – understanding that when God speaks, how necessary it is to know, to whom is He speaking, and in what dispensation? That way, you can better understand the bible, and secondly, not misapply an instruction meant for someone else.

God bless you in your desire to understand Him more.

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Some Basic Drawings I’ve Done

I’ve been working on a Gospel Tract, one that is representation of how I present the Gospel on the streets; makes it easier to remember and understand if they go home and read it, after you have spoken to them. Kind of give’s it context, or so I think.

Needless to say, here are some “drawings” I made for it, it will be for a Black and White Tract (it’s cheaper to print), so I was looking for a clipart kind of look. Can’t wait to finish the tract and put it online, maybe someone could benefit from it, or praise God, “believe on the LORD Jesus Christ”.

(a)The Knight – My Favorite (these are old)

Knight

 

(b) The Horse Of The King

Horse

 

 

(c) Judge’s Hammer

Judge

 

 

 

(d) Calvary In Shadow

Calvary

 

 

 

 

(e) Marriage 

Marriage

 

 

 

 

 

 

(f) Why will Jesus Let You Into Heaven?

Stop

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Is the “Kingdom of God” different to the “Kingdom of Heaven”?

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Setting the Table:

The kingdoms (“God” and “Heaven”) are fundamental to dividing scripture correctly, and a failure to do so results in many modern day doctrines that are wrong, divisive and more so, fail to provide a CLEAR understanding to God’s complete time line (past, present and future). The offshoots from the inability to hold to a literal kingdom (Kingdom of Heaven) are seen in the doctrines of “replacement theology”, post-millennialism and a-millennialism.

 

Again this bears repeating; though we may not separate over such doctrines – this lack of seeing these two kingdoms as different prevent the “right division” of scripture and a “common sense” understanding to the Bible – so grasping this is not non-fundamental, but in essence a necessity.

 

Let’s investigate.

 

The Stumbling Block:

There is a simple foundation that is necessary to going forward, and if that is not in place, then the readers surveying of this article will both prove pointless and an exercise in time wasting. The “stumbling block” to understanding the scriptures, is a false view of what the focus of scripture is; and it often times comes in these forms of thought; 

  • The Bible is about YOU (get over yourself)
  • The Bible is about CALVARY (get over yourself)
  • The Bible is about SALVATION (get over yourself)
  • The Bible is about the CHURCH (get over yourself)

 

So what is it about then? It’s about “Kingdoms”, it’s about Satan’s attempt to take that which is not his, to remove dominion and authority over that which God has handed down to another man, or that which God Himself is the authority over. That’s ridiculous you say…..

 

As the facts are presented below and if you choose to not believe them – so be it; but I implore you NOT to continue reading this if you don’t agree that’s its about “Kingdoms” for I’m sure that you the reader would find your time better spent elsewhere; and I mean that with all sincerity and respect to you.

 

If you unsure however, here is some supporting evidence, if sure, skip this part:

  1. At some moment of early history, prior to the earth in it’s current state, the LORD GOD created the “anointed cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:14) – Satan. He was placed in a role of authority; he was perfect, and his own beauty was his weakness (Ezekiel 28:17). In the multitude of his sin, his hearts desire became that which was not his, but that of the Kingdom of God (the Spiritual Kingdom in Heaven), Isaiah 14:13 says “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God”. Satan at that point desired the Kingdom of God, and like any good King, Jesus Christ, banished Satan and his followers out of Heaven. Right at the outset, before the creation of MAN, Satan, desired and wanted to rule the Kingdom of God. His aims, his schemes, his plans and his goals are always to that end; to rule and to reign that which Christ has the authority over, or that to which Christ has handed authority over to man by way of Kingdom.
  2. We know biblically the next set of events was that of the creation of man, and Adam was given authority (Genesis 1:28) over the garden “eastward IN Eden”, now known as modern day Iraq. Adam was given full “dominion” and “authority” – ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”. As we know, Satan thwarted this kingdom, over which Adam was head. Not a kingdom you say? Hebrews 2:7 “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet, he left nothing that is not put under him”

 

To cut a long story short, we see authority given by God, and we see authority corrupted and taken by ‘force’ by Satan (Please read Matthew 11:12), as he leads the ‘sons of God’ to copulate with the daughters of men (Genesis 6:1-4); as he attempts to corrupt the seed of men to subvert the prophesied literal reign of Christ (Genesis 3:15, that’s not Calvary, that’s the Literal Reign!). Again, we see a new start with Noah, and similar words used, as given by God to Adam; “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered”. But like Adam, Noah was naked and he sinned. The Kingdom of Heaven was now again taken (remember, “heaven” in it’s predominant use in scripture, refers to that which is physical that the LORD created, not heaven where the LORD dwelleth).

 

Again and again, we see Satan thwart “man” at his attempt to thwart Christ’s foretold literal reign – with the Tower of Babel, with Noah by corruption of seed (angels fornicating with “man”) then with Abraham in his corruption of seed through Ishmael; in Jacob with the promise of a “literal kingdom”, with Moses and the promise but the wickedness of the people; with the reign of King Saul and his failure, with the reign of King David and that promise but thereafter a split in the kingdoms; to which we further see Israel scattered through history; then in 1948 being re-assembled in the physical land-mass (Israel) where Christ is prophesied to return from the East. It is this promise of Christ’s literal reign (the Messiah) – that was the desire then, and is still the desire now of God’s Chosen People (Elect as a Nation) – the Jews. This is satan’s strategy – to do everything in his power to prevent the “literal reign” of Jesus Christ, to hinder his authority – is this not his original sin in challenging the authority of GOD? Is it not also peculiar, that the set of events that soon follow this, is “satan” once and for all being cast into the lake of fire, and defeated – leaving an end to his reign over the earth, but more so an end to his “kingdoms”(Revelation 20:10).

 

The Bible is many things, and dear to us by margins untold by any man, there is many products to Christ’s work at Calvary, His plan for Israel and the Church; but these are parts to the Bible, they are not the theme of the Bible – rather it’s a book dealing with kingdoms, and their authority.


Plan

 



















Why is the Kingdoms not made plain?

I’ve met many men who struggle with understanding the Kingdoms and to be fair, even the author himself has struggled to come to terms with it, but through prayer, support from wise godly men and more especially a peace from God, the matter is settled and hence the desire to share, what is rarely taught, considered or even questioned. In reviewing the Kingdoms, it is obvious to understand why one would take the position of it being the same; the Bible lends itself to almost appearing that way; as they (KoH vs KoG) are used inter-changeably. But we know there are some truths in scripture, some doctrine that is not “made” plain to the intent of sifting the chaff from the wheat. A great example of that is “Election”; to which many would mis-construe by the language of the King James, that God elected individuals prior to salvation prior to creation; but a deeper understanding and study of scripture will reveal (if the readers heart be pure and open); that Election is true; but Election is found IN CHRIST whereby individuals are saved according to God’s foreknowledge. Unsure, reference the past article “Understanding Election”.

 

The point friend, is that somethings in scripture are not as “plain” as they appear to be, and require a further deeper study and a seeking of God. Perhaps the greatest questions any student of God’s Word can ask is;

  1. Does the doctrine/truth I see in scripture, speak to the Character and Nature of the God in the Bible?
  2. What is the impact of the position I believe scripture is teaching? What does it mean as a ripple affect to the rest of scripture?

 

The Kingdoms dear friend are indeed a mystery, in fact they make up the 12 Mysteries found in our Bibles which are listed below. Remember, a mystery, is simplistically, that which is revealed in part, and that which in part is hidden. We are “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1), and sadly this “mysteries” are rarely taught or preached. They are:

 

  1. Mystery of the Kingdom of God (Col 1:26)
  2. Mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 13:11)
  3. Mystery of God becoming Flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)
  4. Mystery of Salvation By Faith (Romans 16:15)
  5. Mystery of Eventual Oneness Of All Created Beings (Ephesians 1:9-10)
  6. Mystery of Gentiles in the Same Body (Ephesians 3:3)
  7. Mystery of Christ and His Bride (Ephesians 5:30-32)
  8. Mystery of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51)
  9. Mystery of Iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:6-12)
  10. Mystery of the Seven Churches (Revelation 1:20)
  11. Mystery that Israel will be blinded for a while and then restored (Romans 11:25)
  12. Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:1-5)

 

Surveying these list of 12, you will quickly see a list that is true to scripture but more so, truths that more often that not people struggle with, and from which “cults” deviate to form. These “mysteries” though now revealed in scripture, require a little more digging and a little more “kneeling”!

 

One More Thing

Before we get into the meat of our topic; one more thing, to help make the picture clear and crisp; and that of “Parables”. Many suggest (as I myself was taught); that parables are spiritual allegories (earthly story with a heavenly meaning) – left unto interpretation by application with one predominant truth. That’s partially true. Some also suggest that “parables” were used by Jesus Christ (our LORD and soon to be King) to help the “hearers” understand scripture. Thirdly many suggest that the parables are non-doctrinal, and meant for “application”. All three suggested thoughts are false.

 

  1. Firstly, the parables have a common base and a common message. Most parables are based on a man who is in authority, and that man typifies Christ or God. Quote from Eight Kingdoms “There is no parable where the man in authority is anyone other than Deity”.
  2. The Parables were all used by Jesus Christ to confound the Jews, who now had rejected the “literal kingdom” and thus the LORD made the understanding more difficult. 

Not sold? 

Matthew 13:10 “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given”

Luke 8:10 “And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand”

  1. Parables are “doctrinal” 

Matthew 7:28 “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine

Mark 4:2 “And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,….”

 

Why is this important? Because there are 12 “parables” in Matthew 13-25 have direct application to the Kingdom of Heaven. By understanding them, we can understand the Kingdom of Heaven; the author suggests that a study be made of this for a deeper understanding. 

 

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The Kingdom of Heaven and The Kingdom of God is Not The Same

 

If they are so inter-changeable as we would like them to think how do we get by the fact that the “Kingdom of God” is considered “spiritual”?

 

Luke 17:20-21 “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you”.

Romans 1:7 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”

1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”

 

Obviously, and there is no need to get into (common knowledge); but there is a promised “literal kingdom” all the way from the Old Testament to the New; which is clearly outlined in Matthew and Revelation specifically (1000 year reign of Christ, the Millennium, where the Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven will be one). A physical kingdom, where Christ will sit, and reign – this is the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

However, to say the Kingdoms are the same prior the actual physical reign of Christ, is then to say, the literal and spiritual Kingdom are one through out history; which is then to imply that the Kingdom foretold in the Old Testament and promised to the Jews, had the same message (gospel) that is now preached to the Gentiles or vice versa; which then naturally leads to the belief that the message of gospel has been the same throughout all of the history of man……and this goes on and on, removing dispensational truth in it’s extreme (Jesus died 2000 years ago, message was not the same, the method for atonement definitely is, but not the message), and eventually leading to the understanding that the Church, is the continuation of Israel (only one “people”, the elect, given different names but the remnant of God throughout – which is incorrect). This is both dangerous and a violation of truth found in the King James Bible. 

 

Added to that; why is it that only Matthew makes use of the term “Kingdom of Heaven”? We know this book to be predominantly Jewish focused (as an audience), but also emphasizes on the attribute of Christ as King (whereas Mark focuses on Him as Servant, Luke on Him as Man, and John on Him as Deity -God). Not only that, the rest of the other 3 gospels have a focus on Gentiles as their “audience”.

 

Further more; there has to be two different Kingdoms, because there is two different messages; at the time of Christ and John the Baptist. The bible clearly records John the Baptist preaching “the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 3:2), and that is all he preached. Note as well, both Kingdoms required “repentance”, but only the Kingdom of God, required “belief” (Mark 1:15). Entrance into the “Kingdom of heaven” was accepting Christ as Messiah and turning from sin to good works; whereas, entrance into the “Kingdom of God”, (is/was) – water birth (physical) and Spirit birth (John 3:3-5).

 

Jesus preached both “kingdoms” after John the Baptist had been imprisoned; as the Bible goes on to record (Matthew 4:12, Mark 1:14). Jesus took up the role to offer the kingdom to the Jews and had they received Christ, He would have commenced His reign on earth, and the two kingdoms would have been immediately instituted as “Christ’s kingdom”. However the difference is that Jesus only called the Kingdom of God as the gospel, not Kingdom of Heaven. And after His resurrection, He only dealt with the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). Again friend, are these differences in wording and nature just an inter-change of words to reflect the same thing; or is there something that the Holy Spirit desires us to take note off?

 

Interesting to note again, Jesus commanded the disciples not to preach the Kingdom of Heaven to Gentiles. But it is only the Kingdom of God that is preached by the disciples after Christ’s death. 

 

I do intend writing a second part, Lord willing to deal with the parables and how they relate to each individual kingdom, but these are just a foundation and some thoughts on why the Kingdoms can only be considered – as two different things as opposed to the same thing. It Because both Kingdoms are present at the Millennial, that makes scripture appear to be making them the same.

 

Why the use of the two so inter-changeably in scripture?

A passing thought, as the author tried to grapple with this truth of the Kingdoms – a question kept popping up ; “Why are there parables found in Matthew and in the other Gospels, where Kingdom of God is inter-changed with Kingdom of Heaven, surely that must mean their the same?”. The author found peace in the following assertion:

  1. The perspectives of the each man (disciple) was different. Again for Matthew, what he was relating to what Christ said, was in a Jewish context, and what spoke to his heart, was the Jews rejection of their King. To John, he was more caught up with Christ’s power and His deity. Different emphasis, based on personality, and what God desired.
  2. Secondly, if this Book, our Bibles was formed by the minds of “men” I would most certainly consider both as the same; but it’s not, the book is inspired, it is God-breathed, God-led, God-fed, and God-directed. No word or letter is out of place, but is directly all that God intended it to be.
  3. Thirdly, if you look at the parables more intently, you will see that there are differences of emphasis in them; they are not verbatim; but make different points, for different purposes –  that is. they are applicable to the different Kingdoms. Again, these men didn’t take “liberty” with Jesus Christ’s words, there was something specific that was intended, and given by the Holy Spirit.

 

I pray this may aid you.

 

References:

 

To not read and take in perspective of others is myopic and foolish; and the author has made all final decisions based on a “peace from God” and “illumination from Spirit”; but has heeded both sides, by reading both sides as an additive to the only true source of truth – Scripture. I

 

Holds To Position of Kingdoms Being The Same:

  1. Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven: Is there a difference? – Ward Fenley [1] 
  2. The McCarthur Bible Commentary – John McCarthur [4]

 

Holds To Position of Kingdoms Not Being The Same:

  1. A Sure Word of Prophecy – Peter S Ruckman [6]
  2. Eight Kingdoms – Michael Pearl [2]

 

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