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God's Word Four

I present God's Word as best I can, and leave the results to God! 

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This website exists to enlighten those who wish to digest
the "strong [solid] meat," not just "the milk or meat,"
of the Word of God. ~
Hebrews 5:12-14

Abraham, Summary and Time Chart
By Robert I. Bradshaw

Biblical Training Library - Nuzi Tablets in this site may be of interest.

Links like the following are found throughout this website.  They take one to Word Documents in my computer which has virus protection.  They are SAFE to open!

“Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews)
is a war of religion and faith. Long Live Fatah!”
Echoing Article 7 of the Hamas Charter of 1988,
“Hamas has been looking forward to implementing Allah’s promise,
whatever time it might take.
The prophet [Muhammad] said, "The time (of Resurrection) will not come
until Muslims will fight the Jews; until the Jews hide
behind rocks and trees, which will cry,
'0 Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!’”

Islamic Hatred:
The Foundation of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

from the July 08, 2014 eNews issue

The beauty, more aptly stated, the ugly in writing about the Middle East is nothing really changes. You could do a piece today or a decade ago about a homicide bomber, or “peace talks” being broken off for some reason or other, or violence escalating. The dictates fueling this contention remain the same.

Arafat Turns Down Peace

The following is a summation according to Dennis Ross, the senior adviser to President Clinton at the Taba negotiations in 2000:

1) Yasser Arafat presented no ideas at Camp David.

2) The Taba talks would have happened in late September if not for the outbreak of violence. Arafat knew the US was ready to make a proposal and thus promised to control the violence, but didn’t. (I think he was hoping that he could leverage the violence into political gain.)

3) All of Gaza and a net of 97% of the West Bank were offered at Taba.

4) The West Bank area offered was contiguous, not “cantons.”

5) The Jordan valley would be under Israeli patrol for only 6 years.

6) The Palestinians were offered a capital in eastern Jerusalem.

7) There would be a “Right of Return” to the nascent Palestinian state.

8) A $30 Billion fund to compensate refugees would be set up.

9) Taba was rushed due to Clinton’s, not Barak’s, end of term.

10) Members of the PA delegation thought Taba was the best they could hope to get and encouraged Arafat to accept it.

11) Arafat accepted everything he was given at Taba, but rejected everything he was supposed to give.

Arafat scuttled the Camp David offer. Arafat scuttled the Taba offer. Arafat scuttled the Mitchell plan. Arafat scuttled the Tenet plan. Arafat scuttled the Zinni plan.

Most looking for a “just” solution to this age-old conflict would agree with Ross on this one. But equally the old adage, “the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” also came into play 8 years later.

Abbas Turns Down Peace

On September 16, 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert presented Mahoud Abbas with a similar plan for a two-state solution: He offered to make Jerusalem the capital of two states—Israel in the western part and a Palestinian capital in the east. The Old City of Jerusalem would be administered by a committee made up of so-called wise people including Palestinians, Jordanians, Saudis, Americans and Israelis. Surprising to some but not to others, Abbas likewise turned it down.

Short of total Israeli capitulation on all topics of concern, it’s evident these issues—including statehood itself—are not what’s driving this conflict. If it was, a compromise could have been reached 66 years ago when the Arab world turned down the creation of a free, democratic, Palestinian state to live peacefully alongside its nascent sibling, the Jewish state of Israel.

Foreshadowing the future, the night before the U.N. was to vote on Partition, September 16, 1947, Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha, as would his successors in years to come, rejected compromise and statehood opting instead for war. What was his motivation? Why would Arafat and Abbas later follow suit?

For anyone not named Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or George W. Bush for that matter, it’s not difficult to ascertain. This is not and never was a secular dispute.

Islamic Hatred of Jews

The underlining issue here is indoctrinate enmity of Jews taught to generations of Palestinians, past, present and most likely future.

As moms and dads get ready to send their kids off to summer camp to participate in boating, camping, and sports, Palestinian parents are sending nearly 10,000 boys at a time to another type of camp in the Gaza Strip.

At this camp some of the crafts taught are how to kidnap an Israeli soldier. Children between the ages of 6–16 are enriched by learning the fine art of crawling under barbed wire. The final activity for the day is a game of jumping over burning tires and ducking for cover behind sandbags as counselors fire live rounds over their heads.

The detestation of Jews, not just Israelis, is intrinsic in the Islamic world. No Pollyanna, political spin can deny this. To be certain, the hatred is populist, it’s ubiquitous amongst the Palestinian people, the vast majority of which are adamantly opposed to any rapprochement with Israel.

What animus can be greater than a mother happily sending her children to commit suicide for the sake of a cause?

At the funeral of Izz Al-Din Al-Masr, the infamous homicide killer that blew up the Sbarro restaurant killing 15 people in 2001, his mother had this to say:

By Allah, today is the best day of my life. I feel that our Lord is pleased with me, because I am offering something [my son] for Him. I wish to sacrifice more [sons] for Allah’s forgiveness, and for the flag of Islam.

Juxtapose this admonition with that of Naphtali Fraenkel’s mother, one of the kidnapped [and murdered] Israeli teenagers: “We just want to embrace our children.” It’s unmistakable, the Palestinian mindset indicates a theological clash of civilizations, not a secular dispute.

Such rancor is beyond the limits most rational people can fathom. Yet it’s the reality of the Middle East conflict. As they’ve pressured and cajoled Israel into unrequited tangible concessions, it’s perplexing that the Obama Administration doesn’t distinguish or doesn’t care to recognize that from the Palestinian standpoint, this is a holy war. Palestinian mothers aren’t sending their kids off to meet Allah because some guy extended his porch in a Jewish settlement.

More likely they are responding to the invocations of a moderator at a Fatah event in 2012 who proclaimed: “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of religion and faith. Long Live Fatah!” At least he’s honest. Lauding the “moderate” faction of the new “unity” government, the speaker was just echoing Article 7 of the Hamas Charter of 1988:

“Hamas has been looking forward to implementing Allah’s promise, whatever time it might take. The prophet [Muhammad] said: ‘The time (of Resurrection) will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry:

"0 Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!’” — Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985

This quote and countless others come from scriptures in the Koran and the words of the Prophet Muhammad found in the Hadith.

The crux of this conflict goes even beyond dar-al Islam, the Islamic concept which doesn’t allow for a non-Muslim country to exist on land claimed by Islam. The expressed aims of Hamas, Hezbollah, and their offshoots isn’t just to banish Israelis from Israel, or even to return them to submissive dhimitude, it’s to kill Jews—plain and simple. Political correctness aside, that’s the bottom line that even the Left in Israel is grudgingly beginning to acknowledge.

As stated earlier, when speaking of the Middle East conflict, nothing ever changes except employing modern tools, and resurgent Islam is once again on the move. For those willing to remove blinders from their eyes it’s not difficult to ascertain that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is just one battle in a religious war being fought by Muslim zealots throughout the world. In defeating Islam at the battle of Tours in 732, Charles Martel recognized this. Hopefully, before it’s too late Western leaders will see it as well today.
________________________________________
Jerry Sobel is a writer specializing in the Middle East conflict. For the past 40 years his essays have appeared in hard copy and cyber publications throughout the world. The Israeli Advocate goes out to 26,000 people, once a month.

K-House eNews by Chuck Missler, Islamic Hatred: The Foundation of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Nuzi Tablets
By Biblical Training Organization Library

NUZI [nōō’ zĭ]

A town occupied by Hurrians in the second millennium B.C. The name is always written in cuneiform [an ancient wedge-shaped script] as Nu-zi, and has not yet been found in any case other than the genitive [the case expressing ownership].

(Note: Where [Audio] follows a name, click on for Audio Pronunciation.)

LOCATION AND IMPORTANCE

The remains of Nuzi were buried in the mound of Yorghan Tepe, about nine miles west of the modern town of Kirkut in northeastern Mesopotamia. It was excavated in 1925-1931 by the American Schools of Oriental Research in conjunction with the Harvard University Museum. The importance of Nuzi for the Bible student results from the fact that the 4000 clay tablets found there probably give a fuller picture of the life of the individual citizens of the place than can be gained for any other town in the ancient Near E, with the possible exception of Mari. However, at Mari most of the tablets deal mainly with the royal family and its political activities, while at Nuzi there were found records of the life and activity of hundreds of ordinary citizens. Still more important to the Bible student is the fact that at many points the customs evidenced in these tablets show a remarkable similarity to those described in the Book of Genesis. Thus the Nuzi material is valuable for corroborating the accuracy of Genesis and also for giving a better understanding of its meaning. This article will pass over the many references to features of life that probably were common in most parts of Near E at that time, but will note particularly a few that are valuable for throwing special light on the Book of Genesis.

RELATION TO GENESIS

Connection with Haran

Haran in northern Mesopotamia, is important in Biblical history. It was here that Abram lived for many years before moving on to Canaan. Many of his relatives remained in Haran. Rebekah was brought from Haran to marry Isaac. Jacob returned to the home of his uncle Laban in Haran and spent many years there.

Although Nuzi is far to the east of Haran, both cities were a part of the region occupied by the Hurrians during the second millennium B.C., and it is therefore not surprising to find that many of the customs and laws evidenced in Nuzi between 1500 and 1400 B.C. are reflected in the activities of the patriarchs at a somewhat earlier period.

The importance of written documents

There was a time when it was widely held that the Pentateuch could not have been written by Moses because it was thought that at that time writing had not been invented. While there is now abundant evidence to the contrary from various sources, it is of particular interest to note that at Nuzi at this early time written documents were extremely important and a great many of them were produced.

Adoption

Dozens of adoption tablets have been found at Nuzi. Israelite law, so detailed on many subjects, contains no regulations for adoption, and the history of the Hebrews in Palestine after the Conquest, as recorded in the OT contains no evidence of such a practice. But, at Nuzi, it was customary, if a man had no children, to adopt someone to carry on his name and inherit his property. This seems to be reflected in the statement of Abraham, before Isaac was born, that unless the Lord should give him a child, Eliezer [Audio] of Damascus would be his heir (Gen 15:2).

Teraphim, or household gods

The incident of the Teraphim [Audio] (Gen 31:17-35) was extremely puzzling before the discovery of the Nuzi documents. When Jacob determined to leave his uncle Laban [Audio], Rachel stole Laban’s teraphim or household gods. Returning to his home, Laban was greatly excited, not simply because his daughters and his son-in-law had left without notice, nor because of the great amount of property that they had taken with them, which Jacob had amassed during his sojourn in Haran but primarily because of the loss of the household gods.

Jacob, with his great number of flocks and herds, must have had a sizable number of shepherds, and it would have required a considerable force to overcome the resistance that he could offer. Laban pursued Jacob three days, taking with him a sufficient number of supporters to cause Jacob to be terrified at his approach. Thus the pursuit of Jacob was a very expensive proposition for Laban. In the Middle Ages students wondered why Laban would have gone to so much expense and trouble on account of these household gods. It was suggested that the teraphim might have been made of gold. Even if this were the case their intrinsic value would hardly have been enough to pay for Laban’s expedition, since they were very small. This was evident from the fact that Rachel was able to hide them in the saddle-basket on which she was sitting in her tent. Though her father searched the tent most thoroughly, he never suspected their presence.

The mystery became still greater when it was noticed that Jacob was utterly shocked at the idea that he might have stolen the teraphim. When Laban was unable to find them, Jacob bitterly rebuked him for his suspicion (Gen 31:36-42).

Previous to the discovery of the Nuzi documents, the whole situation was obscure, and it would have been equally so at the time of the Israelite kingdom when, according to the critics, the story would have been composed. The tablets from Nuzi show that according to Hurrian custom at that early time, if a man desired to appoint a son-in-law as his principal heir he would turn over to him his household gods. After the man’s death, appearance in court with the household gods would be accepted as proof of such a disposition. Rachel was trying to secure all of Laban’s property for her husband, and Jacob was rightfully indignant at being accused of attempting such an underhanded trick. The whole incident becomes understandable in the light of these facts, and it becomes clear why Laban, still suspicious, desired that a boundary stone be put up at Mizpah, and that Jacob should swear that he would not pass over this boundary in order to do him harm (Gen. 31:44-53, especially Gen. 31:52). The Nuzi tablets make it clear that a great part of Laban’s reason for this was his desire that at his death, the remainder of his property should go to his own sons and not be taken away from them by Jacob. It is good to note that later Jacob demanded that any strange gods in the hands of his people be buried (Gen. 35:2-4), and that at no time did Jacob try to make false use of these teraphim.

Sisterhood

To the modern reader it seems strange that Abraham should have said that Sarah was his sister instead of stating what to Pharaoh was the more important fact, that she was his wife (Gen. 12:11-20). It is still stranger that he should have repeated this act in the land of Abimelech [Audio] (Gen. 20:1-18), and perhaps even more so that Isaac should later have followed his example (Gen. 26:6-16). It has been suggested that light may be thrown on these perplexing incidents by the discovery at Nuzi, as evidenced by many legal contracts, that a position called “sisterhood” was there considered to be of even more importance than that of a wife, and that a wife was sometimes elevated by a special act to this superior position. In view of the evidence that this was the custom in the area in which Abraham had spent many years, it is not impossible that Abraham and Isaac may have felt that they were giving their wives a more important and secure position by calling them sisters. Since such a custom was evidently unknown to Pharaoh or to Abimelech an unfortunate situation resulted. Yet, although Pharaoh and Abimelech accused the patriarchs of misrepresentation, there is no evidence in the Scripture of Abraham and Isaac having felt guilty or of God having condemned them for their words. God punished Pharaoh and Abimelech for what they had done, but, as far as we know, He did not rebuke Abraham. Therefore it is not impossible that it was a case of misunderstanding rather than of misrepresentation. The incident is quite understandable from this viewpoint in the light of the Nuzi documents. In such a case it is hard to imagine that the story could have originated in the time of the Israelite kingdom when this custom would have been completely unknown.

Hagar

There is a similar situation in the events concerned with Hagar and Ishmael. It might seem strange that Sarah should have requested Abraham to impregnate her maidservant Hagar in order that she might raise up a son for Sarah (Gen. 16:2). Again the Nuzi documents show that what occurred was exactly in line with the customs at Haran. In the Hurrian society, where the son was so very important, if a wife did not have a son it was regular practice for her to provide her husband with a slave-wife for this purpose.

Prior to the discoveries at Nuzi a certain amount of light had been thrown on this incident by somewhat similar regulations in the Code of Hammurabi, which was discovered in 1901. Yet this did not entirely solve the problem, for in that Code (paragraph 144) only a priestess is specifically given this right, and she is not entitled to claim the concubine’s children for herself.

The maidservants of Leah and Rebekah

Until recently critical students have been united in declaring that the statements in Genesis 29:24, 29 that Laban gave a named maidservant to each of his daughters were clearly later interpolations from the P document [the Priestly source (P): hypothetically written 500 BCE by Kohanim (Jewish priests) in exile in Babylon] and out of harmony with the rest of the story, which they attributed to an earlier document. It is evident, however, from the Nuzi tablets, that at the time of Jacob it was in that civilization a normal part of a marriage agreement that the father-in-law should give the bride a maid, her name being regularly specified in these documents.

The Habiru

Nuzi tablets are also of importance because of the continuing discussion as to the origin of the term Heb. Genesis 14:13 mentions “Abram the Hebrew,” and in Genesis 40:15 Joseph tells the Egyptians that he was stolen out of “the land of the Hebrews.” These occurrences make it seem unlikely that the term originally meant simply a descendant of Jacob, or even a descendant of Abraham. Nuzi is only one of various sources in the Near E where ancient documents refer to a people called the Ha-bi-ru who seem to have been landless wanderers, sometimes entering into voluntary servitude. Although Nuzi material contains a number of such references, they are insufficient to solve the problem, but may form an important link in its examination. See Habiru, Hapiru.

Other points of contact

Since the contracts, wills, memoranda and other types of material in the Nuzi documents give a varied and extensive picture of many phases of life, scholars point out still other similarities between its customs or laws and those of Genesis. Some of these represent features common to other portions of ancient Near Eastern civilization. Others are equally true of later periods of Biblical history. In this article the attempt has been made to confine the discussion mainly to such matters as are peculiar to the time of the patriarchs, which therefore may provide strong support for the idea that the Genesis narrative is true, and also that it was written at an early time, before Hurrian customs and laws had disappeared as a result of the on-march of the Assyrian conquerors.

Biblical Training Library - Nuzi Tablets

Also Abraham, Summary and Time Chart in this site may be of interest. 

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:
Nuzi Tablets.docx Nuzi Tablets.docx
Size : 53.505 Kb
Type : docx

The Complete Purpose for Israel’s Existence Realized
Excerpt from Judgment of the Great Harlot by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

God called Israel into existence to be the channel through which He would deal with mankind at large.  The Word of God would be given through Israel, a Redeemer for fallen man would arise out of Israel, Israel would be God’s witness to the nations, and Israel would rule the nations within a theocracy, with the nations being blessed through Israel.

Israel has given mankind the Word of God, and a Redeemer has arisen out of Israel.  But the remainder of God’s purpose surrounding Israel’s existence awaits a future fulfillment.

The past theocracy under the old covenant never approached the heights surrounding the reason for Israel’s existence, but the future theocracy under the new covenant will.  In that day, God will “cleanse” the nation, give the nation “a new heart,” and place “a new spirit” within the Jewish people.  In that day, God will cause them to walk in His “statutes” and keep His “judgments” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).  In that day, God will put His law “in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.”  And in that day, the one true and living God will be Israel’s God, and the Jewish people will be His people (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

The 144,000 Jewish evangels (Revelation 7, Revelation 12, and Revelation 14) will form a first fruit of the nation during the Tribulation and will carry God’s message to the Gentiles worldwide during this time.  This will result in the conversion of “a great multitude,” which no man will be able to number, “of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9).

Then, following the conversion of the entire nation when Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, the main harvest will appear.  And the entire nation will then go forth with God’s message to the Gentile nations throughout the earth.

As well, the theocracy will be restored to Israel.  And a restored nation will hold the scepter, ruling the Gentile nations, with the Gentile nations, in turn, being blessed through/by Israel (cf. Zechariah 8:20-23).

This is what awaits Israel and the nations of the earth following the horrors that will befall those upon the earth during the Tribulation.  And this will occur by and through the “Sun of righteousness” arising “with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:1-2).

(For commentary concerning the beast and Israel [the harlot woman] in Revelation 17; 18; 19a, refer to The Time of Jacob's Trouble by Arlen Chitwood.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 28, The Complete Purpose for Israel’s Existence Realized

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Crowned Rulers — Christ, Christians
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

When Christ returns to the earth at the conclusion of the Tribulation, He will have many crowns upon His head (Revelation 19:12).  But these crowns, by comparing this section in Revelation with other passages of Scriptures on the subject, are not crowns that Christ will wear during the Messianic Era.  Christ is destined to wear the crown that Satan presently wears; and at the time Christ returns to the earth, Satan will still be in possession of his crown.  Satan’s crown will have to be taken from him (by force) and given to Christ before Christ can actually sit upon the throne and occupy, in its fullest sense, the position depicted in Revelation 19:16:

“KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Saul and David, Satan and Christ

Certain things concerning crowns, especially relative to the crown that Christ is to wear, can possibly best be illustrated by referring to the typology of Saul and David in the books of 1, 2 Samuel.

Saul had been anointed king over Israel, but Saul rebelled against the Lord and was rejected (as king) by the Lord (1 Samuel 10:1ff; 15:1-23).  David was then anointed king in Saul’s stead (1 Samuel 16:1-13).  However, Saul did not immediately relinquish the throne; nor did David make an attempt to immediately ascend up to the throne.  Saul, even though rejected, with his anointed successor on hand, was allowed to continue his reign.

Affairs continued after this fashion in the camp of Israel until David eventually found himself in exile, living out in the hills (e.g., in the cave of Adullam).  During this time, certain individuals who were dissatisfied with existing conditions in the camp of Israel under Saul gathered themselves unto David (1 Samuel 22:1-2).  They separated themselves from affairs in the kingdom under Saul and lived out in the hills with David.  He became “a captain over them”; and they were faithful to him, anticipating the day when Saul would be put down and David would take the kingdom.

The day eventually came when this occurred.  Saul, following a battle and an attempted suicide, was slain by an Amalekite.  His crown was taken and given to David (1 Samuel 31:1-13; 2 Samuel 1:1-10).  Then, David and his faithful men moved in and took over the government (2 Samuel 2:1ff).

The entire sequence of events depicting Saul and David typifies great spiritual truths concerning Satan and Christ:

Just as Saul was anointed king over Israel, Satan was anointed king over the earth.

Just as Saul rebelled against the Lord and was rejected, Satan rebelled against the Lord and was rejected.

Just as David was anointed king while Saul continued to reign, Christ was anointed King while Satan continued to reign.

Just as David did not immediately ascend the throne, Christ did not immediately ascend the throne.

Just as David eventually found himself in a place removed from the kingdom (out in the hills), Christ eventually found Himself in a place removed from the kingdom (heaven).

Just as David gathered certain faithful men to himself during this time (anticipating his future reign), Christ is presently gathering certain faithful men to Himself (anticipating His future reign).

Just as the day came when Saul was put down, the day will come when Satan will be put down.

Just as Saul’s crown was taken and given to David, Satan’s crown will be taken and given to Christ.

And just as David and his faithful followers then moved in and took over the government, Christ and His faithful followers will then move in and take over the government.

Purpose for the Present Dispensation

A principle of divine government set forth in the type of Saul and David shows the necessity of an incumbent ruler, although rejected, continuing to reign until replaced by his successor.  The government of the earth is a rule under God by and through delegated powers and authorities.  In this respect, Satan rules directly under God (though a rebel ruler), and a great host of subordinate angels rule with him.

Even though Satan and his followers have been rejected, they must continue in power (as Saul and those ruling with him) until replaced by Christ and His followers (as when David and his faithful followers took the kingdom).  God will not, at any time, allow conditions to exist upon the earth in which there is no divinely administered government by and through delegated powers and authorities.  Even though the government of the earth is in disarray today, because of Satan’s rebellion, it is still under God’s sovereign power and control (Daniel 4:17-34).

The present dispensation is the time during which the antitype of David’s faithful followers being gathered to him occurs.  As during David’s time, so during the present time — there must be a period, preceding the King coming into power, during which the rulers are acquired, called out.  David’s men were the ones who occupied positions of power and authority with him after he took Saul’s crown.  Thus will it be when Christ takes Satan’s crown.  Those who are being called out during the present time are the ones who will occupy positions of power and authority with Him during that coming day.

Satan will be allowed to continue his reign until God’s purpose for this present dispensation has been accomplished.  Then, he and those ruling with him will be put down, and an entirely new order of rulers will take the kingdom.  Christ will enter into the position previously occupied by Satan, and Christians will enter into positions previously occupied by angels ruling under Satan.

And since Christ (replacing Satan) will wear the crown presently worn by Satan, it only naturally follows that Christians (replacing subordinate powers and authorities) will wear crowns presently worn by angels ruling under Satan.  All of these are crowns that neither Christ nor Christians can come into possession of until Satan and his angels have been put down at the end of the Tribulation.

Angelic Rule About to End

The originally established angelic rule over the earth has continued uninterrupted since the beginning, preceding man’s existence on the earth.  However, with the creation of Adam, God announced that a change was in the offing.  Man, an entirely new creation, made after the image and likeness of God, was brought into existence to take the governmental reins of the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).  But the first man (the first Adam), through sin, was disqualified, necessitating the appearance of the second Man (the last Adam) to effect redemption and the ultimate realization for man’s creation.

The price has been paid, but redemption includes far more than that which presently exists.  Redemption includes the complete man (body, soul, and spirit), it includes the earth (presently under a curse), and the goal of redemption will be realized only when man has been brought into the position for which he was created (ruling over a restored earth).

Scripture clearly attests to the fact that the “world [‘inhabited world’] to comewill not be placed in subjectionto angels (Hebrews 2:5).  Man is the one to whom power and authority will be delegated.

This is clearly seen by and through the action of the twenty-four elders in Revelation 4:10, removing themselves from their thrones (Revelation 4:4) and casting their crowns before God’s throne.  Their activity can only be with a view to the fact that the government of the earth, at this point in the sequence of events depicted in the book, is about to change hands.

These twenty-four elders can only be a representative group of heavenly beings (angels) who, up to this time, had held positions within a sphere of governmental power and authority relative to the earth.  And at this point in the book, by and through the action of these elders, the way will be opened for God to transfer the government of the earth from the hands of angels to the hands of man.

(These crowns are cast before God’s throne [cf. Revelation 4:1-4, 10; 5:1-7] because the Father alone is the One who places and/or removes rulers in His kingdom [Daniel 4:17-37; 5:18-21].  He alone is the One who placed those represented by the twenty-four elders in the positions that they occupied; and He alone is the One who will place individuals in particular positions in the kingdom of Christ [Daniel 4:17, 23-25; Matthew 20:20-23].

These crowns cast before God’s throne can only have to do with the government of the earth.  And, at this point in the book, they can be worn by angels alone, for the Son will not yet have taken the kingdom [cf. Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15].  These crowns are relinquished to God at this time [with a view to man, rather than angels, ruling in the kingdom] so that He can appoint those who had previously been shown qualified at events surrounding the judgment seat [Revelation 1; 2; 3] to positions of power and authority; and those whom God appoints will wear these crowns in Christ’s kingdom.)

The transfer of the government of the earth, from the hands of angels into the hands of man, in reality, is what the first nineteen chapters of the book of Revelation are about; and, as well, this is what all of Scripture preceding these nineteen chapters is also about.  In this respect, these twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne forms a key event that one must grasp if he would properly understand the book of Revelation and Scripture as a whole.

Christ and His bride, in that coming day, will rule the earth in the stead of Satan and his angels.  And, in the process of ruling in this manner, they will wear all the crowns worn by Satan and his angels prior to Satan’s fall.

Thus, that which is depicted by and through the action of the twenty-four elders in Revelation 4:10-11 is contextually self-explanatory.  This has to do with the government of the earth, it occurs at a time following events surrounding the judgment seat (Revelation 1; 2; 3) but preceding Christ being shown worthy to break the seals of the seven-sealed scroll (Revelation 5), and it occurs at a time when Satan’s reign is about to be brought to a close.

After events in Revelation 1; 2; 3 have come to pass, for the first time in man’s history, the person (the bride) who is to rule with the One to replace Satan (Christ) will have been made known and shown forth.  And events in Revelation 4 reflect that fact.

Only one thing could possibly be in view at this point in the book, for the bride will not only have been made known but will be ready for events surrounding the transfer of power to begin.  The twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne can only depict the angels who did not go along with Satan in his rebellion; and they will willingly relinquish their crowns, with a view to those comprising the bride wearing these crowns during the Messianic Era.

But the crowns worn by Satan and those angels presently ruling with him are another matter.  These crowns will have to be taken from Satan and his angels by force when Christ returns to overthrow Gentile world power at the end of the Tribulation (a power exercised during Man’s Day under Satan and his angels [Daniel 10:13-20]).

The identity of the twenty-four elders is shown not only by their actions and the place in which this occurs in the book but also by their number.  Comparing Revelation 4 and Revelation 12 (Rev. 4:4, 10-11; 12:3-4), it appears evident that the government of the earth — originally established by God prior to Satan’s fall — was representatively shown by three sets of twelve, thirty-six crowned rulers.  “Three” is the number of divine perfection, and “twelve” is the number of governmental perfection.

Those angels who did not follow Satan in his attempt to exalt his throne would be represented by the twenty-four elders — two sets of twelve, showing two-thirds of the original contingent of angels ruling with Satan.  And the angels who did go along with Satan, presently ruling with him, would be represented by a third set of twelve, showing the other one-third of the original contingent of angels ruling with Satan (Revelation 12:3-4).

In this respect, these three representative sets of twelve would show divine perfection in the earth’s government.  And, also in this respect, this same perfection in the structure of the earth’s government has not existed since Satan’s attempt to exalt his throne.

But, this structured perfection will one day again exist in the earth’s government.  When Christ and His bride ascend the throne together, crowns worn by those represented by all three sets of twelve will be brought together again.  Then, divine perfection will once again exist in the government of the one province in God’s universe where imperfection has existed for millennia.

Stephanos, Diadema

There are two words in the Greek text of the New Testament which are translated “crown” in English versions.  The first and most widely used word is stephanos (or the verb form, stephanoo), referring to a “victor’s crown” or a crown denoting certain types of “worth” or “valor.”  The other word is diadema, referring to a crown denoting “regal authority,” “kingly power.”

Stephanos (or the verb form, stephanoo) is the only word used for “crown” in the New Testament outside the book of Revelation.  This, for example, is the word used referring to the “crown of thorns” placed upon Christ’s head immediately preceding His crucifixion (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2, 5).  This is also the word used throughout the Pauline epistles, referring to “crowns” awaiting faithful Christians (1 Corinthians 9:25; Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 2:5; 4:8).  James, Peter, and John also used stephanos in this same sense (James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10; 3:11).  The writer of Hebrews used this word (the verb form, stephanoo) referring to positions that will ultimately be occupied by Christ and His co-heirs in “the world [‘inhabited world’] to come” (Heb. 2:5, 7, 9).  Then John used the word six additional times in the book of Revelation in several different senses (Rev. 4:4, 10; 6:2; 9:7; 12:1; 14:14).

Diadema, the other word used for “crown” in the New Testament, appears only three times; and all three occurrences are in the latter part of the book of Revelation (Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 19:12).  The first two references have to do with power and authority possessed by incumbent earthly rulers immediately preceding and within the kingdom of Antichrist, and the latter reference has to do with power and authority that Christ will possess at the time He returns and takes the kingdom.

The way in which these two words are used in the New Testament relative to the government of the earth must be borne in mind if one is to properly understand the Scriptural distinction between the use of stephanos and diademaDiadema (referring to the monarch’s crown) is used only where one has actually entered into and is presently exercising regal powerStephanos is never used in this respect.  The word appears in all other occurrences, covering any instance where the word “crown” is used apart from the present possession of regal power (though the possession of such power at a past or future date can be in view through the use of stephanos).  Then, as previously seen, diadema is used when one actually comes into possession of this power.

An understanding of the distinction between stephanos and diadema will reveal certain things about the twenty-four elders that could not otherwise be known.  They each cast a stephanos before the throne, not a diadema.  This shows that they were not then occupying regal positions, though crowned and seated on thrones.

At one time they would have occupied such positions (wearing diadems); but with the disarray in the governmental structure of the earth, resulting from Satan’s rebellion, they ceased exercising regal power (for, not participating in his rebellion, they no longer retained active positions in his rule).  Their crowns could then be referred to only through the use of the word stephanos; and these crowns would, of necessity, have to be retained until the time of Revelation 4:10.

In this respect, overcoming Christians have been promised a stephanos (victor’s crown), never a diadema (monarch’s crown); but the promised stephanos will become a diadema at the time overcoming Christians assume positions on the throne with Christ.  There can be no such thing as either Christ or His co-heirs wearing a stephanos in that day.  They can only wear the type crown referred to by the word diadema.

Then, note that the One who, in time past, wore a crown of thorns (a stephanos), will one day come forth with many diadems upon His head, for the Father will not only have delivered the kingdom into His Son’s hands but the Son will, at that time, have a consort queen and be ready to ascend the throne (cf. Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 19:7-9).  And because of this, when He comes forth, the announcement can be sounded for all to hear:

 “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16).

(Crowns to be worn by Christ and His bride, in that coming day, will include the crowns relinquished willingly in Revelation 4:10 [undoubtedly the crowns on Christ’s head in Revelation 19:12, which can, at this point in the book, be referred to as diadems] and the crowns subsequently taken by force from Satan and his angels.)

Christ, at that time, will have entered into His long-awaited regal position.  And the first order of business will be the putting down of the beast, the kings of the earth (Gentile world power, as it will exist in that day), and Satan and his angels (Revelation 19:17-20:3).  Satan and his angels cannot be allowed to reign beyond the point Christ assumes regal power.  Their crowns (diadems) must, at this time, be taken and given to others — those to whom they will then rightfully belong.

(For additional information on the preceding, refer to Crowns Cast Before God’s Throne!, Why did God Create Man? and The Ranks Of The Crowns! in this site.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, Appendix 2

God's Seven Spiritual Gifts

In God's great gift of salvation, we have a number of benefits and responsibilities.  Gifts of the Spirit are benefits to each believer [one gift per believer], but they come with responsibilities.

There are two Greek words that are primarily used to describe the gifts of the Spirit. Pneumatika refers to their source, the Holy Spirit (pneuma) of God, and charismata refers to the fact that they are granted as an act of God's grace (charis). Since they are given by grace, we are reminded that they are not based on our worthiness or personal abilities, but on God's sovereign choice. Since they are given by the Spirit of God, they are a part of the new life granted to us in Christ (and may be drastically different from our perceived capabilities or desires prior to salvation).

See Romans 12:6-8 [gifts], Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:28 [ministries], 1 Corinthians 12:6-10 [effects].

(Note:  Different Gifts applied to different Ministries produce different Effects [results].)

Serving through Spiritual Gifts (Romans 12:3-8)

Paul speaks through the grace that was given to him as an apostle of the Lord Jesus. He is going to deal with various forms of straight and crooked thinking.

First he says that there is nothing in the gospel that would encourage anyone to have a superiority complex. He urges us to be humble in exercising our gifts. We should never have exaggerated ideas of our own importance. Neither should we be envious of others. Rather, we should realize that each person is unique and that we all have an important function to perform for our Lord. We should be happy with the place God has dealt to us in the Body, and we should seek to exercise our gifts with all the strength that God supplies.

The human body has many members, yet each one has a unique role to play. The health and welfare of the body depend on the proper functioning of each member.

That is how it is in the body of Christ. There is unity (one body), diversity (many), and interdependency (members of one another). Any gifts we have are not for selfish use or display but for the good of the body. No gift is self-sufficient and none is unnecessary. When we realize all this, we are thinking soberly.
Our gifts differ according to the grace that is given to us. In other words, God's grace deals out differing gifts to different people. And God gives the necessary strength or ability to use whatever gifts we have. So we are responsible to use these God-given abilities as good stewards.

The following is by Dr. Robert Jeffress, First Baptist Church of Dallas.

Spiritual gift – One per Christian.  God's spiritual gift gives one the desire and power to achieve His purpose.  Gifts help perfect the body of Christ.  Exercising our gift causes us joy.

Prophecy – convict people of sin – Peter at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-47)
Serving – meeting practical needs of others – Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-41)
Teaching – ability to present and clarify biblical truth -- pastors
Exhortation – comes along aside another Christian to help solve their problems using the Word
Giving – desire and ability to use person assets to further the cause of Christ
Lead – coordinating activities of others to achieve a common goal
Mercy – identify with and comfort those who are hurting

Seven Christians around a dinner table – hostess walks in with a dessert tray and spills the tray.

Also see Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts Test  in this site.

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The whole of Scripture moves toward that coming seventh day when
Christ and His co-heirs will take the scepter and rule the earth
in the stead of Satan and his angels.

God's Transition of Satan's Kingdom to Christ's Kingdom
Excerpts from Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast Commentaries

The Kingdom of Satan

The kingdom of Satan is actually a part of the overall kingdom of God. Angels rule domains throughout God’s kingdom, and their rulership over domains is looked upon and referred to as the rule over a kingdom. Delegated power and authority of this nature has to do with numerous kingdoms within one overall kingdom.

Satan, in time past, was among the angels given a kingdom and dominion. However, dissatisfied with the extent of his delegated power and authority, Satan sought to “exalt” his throne and “be like the most High [be like God Himself, the supreme Ruler over all].” And today Satan is a rebel ruler within his kingdom, along with one-third of his original contingent of ruling angels, who followed him in his attempt to increase his hold on power and authority [cf. Isa. 14:12-14; Rev. 12:4].

Satan’s present kingdom is referred to as the kingdom of this world or his kingdom. Christ, at His first coming, called attention to both the resent kingdom under Satan and His coming kingdom when he said, “My kingdom is not of this world [lit., ‘not out of this world,’ referring to the present world kingdom under Satan]” [John 18:36a]. And this will explain that which is involved in I John 2:15ff, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…”

It is this present kingdom under Satan which will one day become “the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ” [Rev. 11:15, ASV; 16:10; cf. Matt. 6:10]. And it is this kingdom, which Christ and His co-heirs will rule with a rod of iron for 1,000 years in order to bring the kingdom back into conformity with the way God has established individual kingdoms within His overall kingdom [cf. Ps. 2:6-9; I Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 2:26-28].

The Present Kingdom

The earth is a province in the kingdom of God, and Satan holds the position of Messianic Angel (the provincial ruler) over the earth.  He has held this position since the time of his appointment by God in the beginning, prior to his fall; and he (along with angels ruling under him) will continue holding this position until he is one day replaced by Man — the second Man, the last Adam, with His co-heirs, redeemed from the lineage of the first man, the first Adam (Ezekiel 28:14-16; Hebrews 2:5-10).

Satan’s fall produced no change in his appointed position, for a principal of biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler hold his appointed position until his successor not only appears but is ready to take the scepter.  There is no such thing as God removing a ruler from a province in His kingdom and not, at the same time, appointing another ruler.

Though Satan’s fall produced no change in His appointed position, it did bring about a change in the kingdom over which he ruled.  The material kingdom itself was reduced to a ruin.

The earth was [‘But the earth became’] without form, and void; and darkness was [‘and darkness became’] upon the face of the deep.” (Genesis 1:2a; cf. Ezekiel 28:18b)

From that time until immediately prior to the creation of Adam, though Satan continued to occupy his appointed position, he ruled over a ruined kingdom shrouded in darkness.

Then, approximately 6,000 years ago God restored the earth, along with the light of the sun and moon, and brought man into existence with a view to man taking the scepter held by Satan.  This is the way Scripture begins.

1. A creation.

2. A ruin of that creation, resulting from Satan’s sin.

3. A restoration of the ruined creation through divine intervention, over six day’s time.

4. Then, the creation of man to take the scepter, in the stead of Satan.

However, the incumbent ruler, Satan, brought about the first man’s fall; and this necessitated the appearance of the second Man to provide redemption before fallen man could one day hold the scepter, as God had originally intended.  Satan, bringing about the first man’s fall, followed by God’s redemption of fallen man, follows the pattern previously established in Genesis 1:

1. A creation.

2. A ruin of the creation, resulting from Satan’s intervention.

3. A restoration of the ruined creation through divine intervention, over six days (6,000 years) time.

4. Then, redeemed man ultimately holding the scepter in the stead of Satan, realizing the reason for man’s creation in the beginning.

The earth had been brought into existence for a purpose — “to be inhabited,” i.e., to be an inhabited province in God’s kingdom (Isaiah 45:18); and, following its ruin, the earth was restored in order that God’s purpose for the earth might be realized.

Man, likewise, had been brought into existence for a purpose (Genesis 1:26-28); and following man’s ruin, God began a work of restoration in order that His purpose for man’s existence might be realized.

As God (following Satan’s fall) restored the ruined material creation over a six-day period, He (following man’s fall) is presently restoring another ruined creation — ruined man — over the same length of time, with each day in the latter restoration being 1,000 years in length.  Then, as God rested for a day following the prior restoration (Genesis 2:1-3), He will rest for a day, for 1,000 years, following the present restoration (Hebrews 4:4-9).

The pattern concerning how God restores a ruined creation was set at the very beginning, in the opening verses of Genesis.  And man, a subsequent ruined creation, must be restored in exact conformity with the God-established pattern. 

As this restoration pertains to “time,” it will occur over six days, over six thousand years (cf. Matthew 16:28-17:5; 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:3-8).  And there will then be a day of rest that will last for one day, for one thousand years.  This is the earth’s coming Sabbath, toward which every earthly Sabbath pointed and every earthly Sabbath anticipated (Exodus 20:8-11; 31:13-17; Hebrews 4:4-9).

The whole of Scripture, progressing through six days of redemptive work, moves toward that coming Sabbath of rest.  The skeletal structure was set in perfect form in the beginning, and the whole of Scripture beyond that point must rest on this structure.  The whole of Scripture moves toward that coming seventh day when Christ and His co-heirs will take the scepter and rule the earth in the stead of Satan and his angels.

(For additional details concerning a correct interpretation and understanding of Genesis 1:1-2:3, refer to 2) The Septenary Arrangement of Scripture, 3) Beginning and Continuing, and 4) Building on the Foundation in this site or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Study of Scripture, Ch. 2, Ch. 3, Ch. 4.)

From what realm though do Satan and his angels presently rule?  It is clear from both Old and New Testament Scriptures that they rule from a heavenly realm over the earth.  Satan and his angels have access to the earth (Genesis 6:2-4; Job 1:7; 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8; Jude 1:6), but they do not rule on the earth.

1)  Location of Satan’s Rule — Old Testament

Daniel 10 presents certain insights into how the present kingdom of Satan is structured, along with the location of those administering power and authority in the kingdom.  In this chapter, a heavenly messenger who had been dispatched to Daniel on the earth from that part of the heavens where God resides and rules (the northernmost point in the universe in relation to the earth [Isaiah 14:13, ASV]) was detained at a point in route.  This messenger was detained in the heavens above the earth by “the prince of the kingdom of Persia.”  Then Michael was dispatched from heaven, and the messenger remained there with “the kings of Persia” while Michael fought with the prince of Persia for his release (Daniel 10:13).

The picture presented is that of powerful angels in the kingdom of Satan ruling the earth from a heavenly realm through counterparts in the human race on earth.  There was a prince (ruler) of Persia in the heavens, and there was a prince (ruler) of Persia on the earth.  Then, in the heavens, there were lesser rulers associated with Persia (the kings of Persia); and the same would have been true in the earthly kingdom (cf. Daniel 2:39; 5:28-31; 7:5; 8:3-6, 20).

Then beyond that “the prince of Greece” is mentioned — another heavenly ruler, the angelic heavenly ruler over the Grecian kingdom on earth (Daniel 10:20).  And the reason why attention is called to this heavenly ruler is easy to see and understand.  Daniel, throughout his book, deals with the kingdom of Babylon, from the days of Nebuchadnezzar to the days of Antichrist; and Daniel 10:20 (“…the prince of Greece will come”) anticipated that day when Alexander the Great in the Grecian kingdom on earth would conquer the kingdom of Babylon under the Medes and the Persians (cf. Daniel 2:39; 7:6; 8:7, 8, 21-22).

Thus, there is not only a breakdown of powers in the heavenly kingdom under Satan corresponding to a breakdown of powers in various earthly kingdoms under fallen man but there is also a shifting of powers in the heavenly kingdom corresponding to a shifting of powers in the earthly kingdoms.  In this respect, any person occupying a position of power in any Gentile earthly kingdom during the present age is merely occupying a position of power under Satan and his angels, as they rule from the heavens through counterparts on the earth.

(Note that the nation of Israel is the lone exception among nations on earth whose rulers presently hold positions of power and authority under fallen angels in the kingdom of Satan.  The prince over Israel is “Michael” [Daniel 10:21], an angelic prince in the heavens who is not numbered among those ruling in Satan’s kingdom, as Israel is not numbered among the nations [Numbers 23:9.)

2)  Location of Satan’s Rule — New Testament

The book of Ephesians presents the same picture of Satan’s present kingdom as the book of Daniel, though from a different perspective.  Ephesians is a book dealing with the heavenlies, pointing to the place where the Christians’ future inheritance lies (Ephesians 1:3-23).  Christians have been saved with a view to realizing an inheritance as co-heirs with Christ in a heavenly kingdom at a future date.  That is one of two central messages in this book.

The other central message has to do with the present inhabitants of that heavenly sphere — Satan and his angels (Ephesians 1:21; 3:9-11; 6:11ff).  They are said to reside “in heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10), and Ephesians 6 presents an existing, ongoing warfare between Christians and these angels.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places [KJV: high places]. (Ephesians 6:12)

(The words “in heavenly places” [Ephesians 3:10] and “in high places” [Ephesians 6:12] are both translations of the same Greek words, referring to a heavenly sphere.  The reference, in both instances, is to angels exercising positions of power and authority from places in the heavens within the kingdom under Satan — the present existing kingdom of the heavens.

For additional information concerning the present existing kingdom under Satan, along with the coming kingdom under Christ, refer to The Most High Ruleth by Arlen Chitwood.)

Thus, there is a present existing warfare between the heavenly rulers and Christians; and that warfare rages because Satan and his angels know the reason that the “one new manin Christ has been called into existence (cf. Ephesians 3:9-11).  The one new man will comprise the co-heirs ruling with Christ in that coming day, following the time Satan and his angels will have been put down.  And Christ, with His co-heirs, ruling in the stead of Satan and his angels, will exercise power and authority from the same realm where Satan and his angels presently rule.

Thus, the warfare rages because Satan and his angels will do everything within their power to prevent this transfer of power and authority; and it will continue to rage until Christians have been removed from the earth, anticipating Satan and his angels being removed from their heavenly realm (“threw them to [‘unto,’ ‘upon’] the earth” [Revelation 12:4, 7-10; cf. Ezekiel 16; 17; 18; 19]) with a view to Christ and His co-heirs taking the kingdom (Revelation 19:11-20:6; cf. Revelation 11:15).

These things will occur at the end of the present dispensation (which has lasted almost 2,000 years) and near the end of the present age (which has lasted almost 6,000 years).  Then, and only then, will redeemed man realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning — “. . . let them have dominion” (Genesis 1:26-28).

(The present dispensation covers time between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy [Daniel 9:24-27], though not time related to the prophecy itself.  The present dispensation comprises a 2,000-year period separate from time in Daniel’s prophecy

God’s chronometer, marking time in the prophecy, has, so to speak, stopped, allowing the present dispensation to run its course.  Then, once the present dispensation has been completed, the Church will be removed, and God will complete His dispensational dealings with Israel by and through the fulfillment of that which is seen in Daniel’s prophecy.

God’s chronometer relating to the Jewish people will then mark time in Daniel’s prophecy once again, fulfilling the final week, the final seven years. This final unfulfilled week is the coming seven-year Tribulation.  And the fulfillment of this final week will not only complete seven unfulfilled years of the previous dispensation but also the final seven years of the age covering “Man’s 6,000-year Day.”

For more information on Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, refer to “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks,” in this site..

For information on distinctions between ages and dispensations, refer to 5) Ages and Dispensations in this site.)

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From Time to Eternity
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done!” . . . .  (Revelation 20:11-21:6a)

The closing verses of Revelation 20 form a climax for events during the whole of Man’s Day and the succeeding Lord’s Day, and the events beginning Revelation 21 form a new beginning, moving matters into the eternal ages that follow — which Scripture calls, “the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12).  And though there are sharp contrasts between the two, both sections of Scripture need to be studied together.

Events at the end of Revelation 20 make way for and allow events at the beginning of Revelation 21 to occur.  And there are certain things in each that cannot be properly understood unless viewed in the light of one another.  Thus, the chapter break is being ignored, and these two series of events are being placed together in this chapter of the book Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 35, or see From Time to Eternity in this site.

Moving into the Eternal Ages

Satan’s rule, with his angels, is from the heavens over the present earth.  Satan and those ruling with him were placed in this position by God in the beginning, though later disqualifying themselves to continue ruling the earth (Ezekiel 28:14-16).  This resulted in the earth, Satan’s kingdom, being reduced to a ruin (Genesis 1:2a).

But God later restored the kingdom during six days of restorative work (Genesis 1:2-25)[2b].  And God restored the kingdom with a view to man, whom He created on the sixth day after He had restored the ruined creation, ruling the kingdom in the stead of Satan and his angels (Genesis 1:26-31).  Then God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-3).

Satan though, knowing the reason for man’s creation, by and through subtlety and deception, brought about his fall and disqualification to rule (Genesis 3:1ff).  And if man were to ever hold the scepter in accordance with God’s original intent; his fall would require restoration, which could only be accomplished by and through a divine redemptive work.

And this is exactly what occurred, with a redemptive work continuing to occur today.  God set about to restore the subsequent ruined creation, ruined man (Genesis 3:15, 21ff), who would be restored in exact accordance with the manner in which the ruined material creation had previously been restored.  God would perform a redemptive work lasting six days, 6,000 years; and then God would rest the seventh day, for 1,000 years, completing the septenary arrangement of time set at the beginning.

At the end of six days, at the end of 6,000 years, man, through a divine redemptive work, would find himself in a position to rule the earth in the stead of Satan and his angels.  And Man’s rule over the earth at this time would be accomplished through the second Man, the last Adam, who, with His co-heirs, would replace Satan and his angels and rule the earth for 1,000 years during the coming Sabbath of rest awaiting the people of God (Hebrews 4:1-9).

Man today finds himself very near the end of six days of redemptive work.  And the 1,000-year rule of Christ and His co-heirs lies just ahead.  This 1,000-year period, fulfilling the seventh day foreshadowed in Genesis 2:1-3, will complete the septenary arrangement of time in relation to man and the earth, set at the beginning of Scripture.

Then, matters can turn to God’s final dealings with Satan, his angels, and unbelieving man in relation to this earth during the whole of the septenary arrangement of time, during the complete 7,000 years.  And once God has dealt with Satan, his angels, and unbelieving man in this respect, all matters in relation to the present heaven and earth will be past (the heaven associated with this earth, or with this one solar system; not the heavens comprising the whole galaxy, or the universe at large).  Then God will destroy the present heaven and earth and create a new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell.

The present heaven and earth will remain in existence until God’s final dealings with Satan and his angels, along with the unbelieving Gentiles whom Satan will lead astray after he has been loosed following the Millennium (Revelation 20:7-10).  And the present heaven and earth will apparently pass out of existence immediately prior to the judgment of the unsaved dead at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).  This is something seen both at the end of Revelation 20 (in connection with the Great White Throne Judgment) and at the beginning of Revelation 21 (in connection with the new heaven and the new earth being brought into existence).

The Great White Throne Judgment

As previously seen, man was created in the beginning to rule the earth in the stead of the incumbent ruler, Satan, who had disqualified himself to continue holding the scepter.  And this will be realized yet future when Satan and his angels have been put down and Christ and His co-heirs ascend the throne, holding the scepter of the earth.

But the rule of Christ and His co-heirs over the domain that Satan and his angels will have previously ruled is for one age only the Messianic Era, lasting 1,000 years.  In a larger respect though, man was created to rule not just the earth but to rule out in the universe.  And the latter will be realized during the ages following the Millennium.

(Man’s rule during the ages following the Millennium is developed more fully in The Eternal Ages in this site.  Note also closing remarks in the present chapter.)

The preceding has been dealt with briefly at this point in these studies for a purpose.
 
Understanding the reason for man’s creation in the beginning (regal) and the fact that this remains uppermost in God’s mind — not only during time (during 6,000 years of redemptive work and a subsequent 1,000 years of rest) but also during eternity (the eternal ages beyond the Millennium) — is necessary if one is to properly understand judgments occurring both before and after the Millennium.

All judgments, premillennial or postmillennial, have to do with the purpose for man’s creation, which, as well, is the purpose for God’s redemptive work following man’s fall.

All judgments occurring before the Millennium (the judgment of Christians [Revelation 1:10-3:21], Israel [Ezekiel 20:34-44], saved Gentiles surviving the Tribulation [Matthew 25:31-46], and Tribulation martyrs [Revelation 20:4-6]) have to do with the place each individual being judged will occupy in relation to Christ’s rule during the Millennium.

Many of those being judged will be found worthy to occupy regal positions of varying degrees in the kingdom, depending on their faithfulness, which will have resulted in works; but many others, because of unfaithfulness, resulting in the lack of works, will be found unworthy and will be denied such positions.

There will be no judgment per se at this time for the unsaved who survive the Tribulation and subsequently enter into the Millennium.  The Millennium itself will serve as their judgment, for the Millennium will be 1,000 years of judging as Christ and His co-heirs rule the earth with a rod of iron.

Other than the Millennium itself, the only judgment of the unsaved is seen following the Millennium, proceeding the eternal ages.  A judgment of the unsaved simply does not, it cannot, precede the Millennium, for all judgments preceding the Millennium have to do solely with the saved in relation to the Millennium.  Millennial issues could have nothing to do with a judgment of the unsaved.  Thus, their judgment does not occur until after the Millennium, as seen in Revelation 20:11-15.

And this judgment of the unsaved following the Millennium will have to be all-inclusive since it does not occur until this point in time.  Thus, this judgment will have to include all of the unsaved dead throughout the entire preceding 7,000 years, extending all the way back to man’s creation, along with those whom Satan will have led astray after the 1,000 years, following his release from his confinement in the abyss.

And this judgment will evidently have to do with man alone, not with both man and angels.

It seems clear, from comparing Scripture with Scripture, that where Satan goes, his angels go.

Sometimes Satan, in relation to his present rule, is spoken of alone; but at other times the angels ruling with him are seen as well (cf. Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 25:41; Luke 4:6; 10:18; Revelation 12:3-9).

And the counterpart to this would be that sometimes Christ, in relation to His coming rule, is spoken of alone; but at other times those ruling with Him are seen as well — His co-heirs, Israel, saved Gentiles coming out of the Tribulation, and Tribulation martyrs (cf. Joel 2:27-32; Matthew 25:34, 46; Luke 1:31-33; Romans 8:17-19; Hebrews 1:9; 3:14; Revelation 11:15; 20:4-6).

In short, when Satan is cast into the abyss before the Millennium, his angels will evidently be cast in with him; when he is loosed following the Millennium, his angels will evidently be loosed with him; and when he is cast into the lake of fire, his angels will evidently be cast in with him.  And the preceding, at least in the final analysis, could only include the angels seen loosed when the sixth trumpet is sounded and the corresponding sixth bowl (KJV: vial) is poured out in Revelation 9:13-21; 16:12-16 (cf. 1 Peter 3:18-20; Jude 1:6).

Attention is called to this fact because of some who attempt to teach that angels will be judged along with man at the Great White Throne Judgment.  The thought of angels also being judged at this time is derived mainly from the statement, “the sea gave up the dead who were in it,” in Revelation 20:13a.  And a basis for seeing Satan’s angels in connection with the sea would be Job. 26:5, where Rephaim tremble beneath the waters (Rephaim is another name for the Nephilim in Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33 [ref. NASB, with Rephaim translated “spirits” in Job 26:5; both Nephilim and Rephaim are transliterated Hebrew words]).

To further support the thought of angels being judged at this time, attention is called to the fact that all of the dead in the human realm would be taken care of by the expression that immediately follows a mention of the sea giving up the dead — “and Death and Hades [‘hell’ in the KJV; ‘Hades,’ the place of the dead] delivered up the dead who were in them” (Revelation 20:13b).  And the question is asked: Why single out the sea separate from death and Hades unless individuals from outside the human realm are being referenced?

But, if Satan’s angels had previously been cast into the lake of fire with him (which would evidently have occurred), there could be no basis for the thought that they would be present and would be judged, along with man, at the Great White Throne Judgment.

And that would be substantiated by noting how the word “sea” is used in this passage.  The word “sea” is not only used in Revelation 20:13 but also in Revelation 21:1, at the time that the new heaven and the new earth are brought into existence.  And, contextually, it appears evident that the word is used the same way in both verses not in a literal sense, having to do with a place of angelic confinement, but in a metaphorical sense, depicting something other than a literal sea, which would be very much in keeping with the extensive use of metaphors throughout Revelation.

The expression, “the sea,” when used in a metaphorical sense refers to either the Gentiles or the place of death (e.g., Jonah 1:11-2:10; 1 Corinthians 10:2; Colossians 2:12; Revelation 13:1).  In both Revelation 20:13 and Revelation 21:1, contextually, death would be in view.  In both places, “the sea” appears in a parallel respect to death (cf. Revelation 20:13a, 13b, 14; 21:1, 4).  A reference to “the sea” giving up the dead (Revelation 20:13a) is simply another way of saying the same thing as the text goes on to relate — to “Death and Hades [KJV: ‘hell”]” giving up the dead (Revelation 20:13-14).  The two references form parallel statements, saying the same thing two different ways, providing an emphasis on the finality of the matter — an emphasis having to do with the end of death.

(Parallels of the nature seen here are very common in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament.  And, though less common in the Greek text of the New Testament, contextually, it is quite evident that a parallel of this nature exists in both places in this section of the book of Revelation.)

The Great White Throne Judgment depicts a final judgment of all the unsaved dead.  Those present in that day will have rejected God’s redemptive work and, as a result, can have no part in God’s regal statements regarding man at the time of his creation.  Now they can only be consigned to the same place prepared for the Devil and his angels — a place prepared for those who, not only in the beginning but throughout Man’s Day and at the termination of the Lord’s Day, had rejected God’s supreme power and authority.

In the beginning, Satan had sought to occupy a higher position than the one in which he found himself, the position in which God had placed him; and one-third of the angels ruling with him went along with his God-dishonoring aspirations.

During Man’s Day, Satan and his angels have worked continuously to subvert not only God’s redemptive work but the purpose for this work; and following the Millennium, Satan and his angels will attempt a final work in this respect immediately before they are cast into the lake of fire, where they will reside throughout the endless ages of eternity.

And man, rejecting God’s redemptive work, will, in the final analysis, find himself in this same place, for the same duration, for basically the same reason — residing in the lake of fire throughout the same endless ages of eternity, for he will have rejected God’s redemptive work and the reason for this work.

The Great White Throne Judgment will bring about an end to sin and death in relation to man, whom God had created to rule in His kingdom.  In the preceding respect, this judgment has to do with removing from God’s kingdom all remaining vestiges of sin and death in the human realm prior to the new heaven and new earth being brought into existence.

This judgment appears to occur at a time following the destruction of the present heaven and earth but preceding the existence of the new heaven and earth.  In Revelation 20:11, the earth and the heaven are seen to flee away from the face of the One seated on the throne — “from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away” (cf. Revelation 21:1).  The Greek word pheugo, translated “fled away” in this passage, could be understood in the sense of “disappear,” or “vanish.”

This judgment appears to occur out in space, with the present earth and heaven possibly having passed out of existence at this time, leaving no place for those appearing before the throne to go.  Regardless, they will be left at the mercy of the One seated on the throne, though there will be no exercise of mercy, only justice.

Following their judgment on the basis of works (Revelation 20:12), for that is the only basis upon which they could be judged (they will have already been judged on the basis of non-belief surrounding God’s Son [John 3:16-18]), they will be cast into the lake of fire, joining the beast, the false prophet, and Satan and his angels.

And, when this has been accomplished, sin and death will have been done away with, allowing the new heaven and the new earth to be brought into existence.

The New Heaven and Earth

With the introduction of the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation 21:1, two parallel sections of Scripture follow, taking one to the end of the book.

The first section is rather brief, beginning with the New Jerusalem “coming down out of heaven from God,” followed by conditions that will exist during the eternal ages (Revelation 21:2-6a).  And this section ends with an overcomer’s promise and corresponding warnings, which would relate back to conditions during the previous Messianic Era, not to conditions during the eternal ages (Revelation 21:6-8).

The second section begins the same way as the first, with the New Jerusalem “coming down out of heaven from God.”  And this second section provides numerous descriptive details concerning the New Jerusalem that are not provided in the first.  In fact, descriptive details concerning the New Jerusalem comprise almost all of this part of the section (Revelation 21:9-22:5).  Then, as in the previous section, this part about the New Jerusalem is followed by a section having to do with overcoming, rewards, and blessings, with the converse of the preceding dealt with as well.  And this section, having to do with conditions in the previous Messianic Era, takes one to the end of the book (Revelation 22:6-21).

(That the two parallel sections forming these closing two chapters of the book are to be divided in the previous manner is obvious.  Conditions depicted in the latter part of each section cannot possibly exist during the eternal ages.  And the converse of that which is concerning the opening parts of these two sections is equally true.)

The first thing mentioned relative to the eternal ages is God bringing into existence a new heaven and a new earth to replace a previously destroyed heaven and earth.  Then, relative to the new heaven and the new earth, Scripture states, “there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1).

The “sea” would have to do with the whole of the new creation, both the new heaven and the new earth.  And used in the same metaphorical sense as is seen in the previous chapter (Revelation 20:13) — as a reference to death, paralleling a subsequent statement concerning death (Revelation 21:4) — the one thing brought to the forefront relative to the new heaven and the new earth is the absence of death, and accordingly the absence of sin.

The previous heaven and earth — the heaven and the earth that exist now had/has sin in both realms, with a corresponding death in the earthly realm.  Sin invaded the heavenly realm in an age preceding the creation of man, when Satan sought to occupy a higher regal position than the one in which he had been placed.  Then, sin invaded the earthly realm when Satan brought about man’s fall, affecting both man and the earth (note that sin would also have been associated with the previously ruined earth following Satan’s fall).

Preceding the Messianic Era, because of sin in the heavenly realm, the heavens will have to be cleansed before Christ and His co-heirs can rule from the heavens over the earth (Job 15:15).  And, as well, there will have to be a restoration of the ruined earth once again (cf. Genesis 3:17-19; Isaiah 35:1ff; Acts 3:21; Romans 8:19-22; Colossians 1:20).

But the destruction of the present heaven and earth at the end of the Millennium and a new heaven and a new earth being brought into existence will result in an end to numerous things that had existed in the past heaven and earth.  This termination of things will begin with sin and death, as seen in Revelation 21:1.  And, as seen in Revelation 21:4, this will include tears, sorrow, crying, and painNone of these things will exist in the new heaven and the new earth.

(The new earth may or may not have bodies of water that we know today as seas.  Viewing the use of “sea” in Revelation 21:1 correctly, there is really no Scripture that deals with the matter.)

During the Messianic Era, the New Jerusalem will apparently be a satellite city of the present earth.  In this respect, there will be a Jerusalem above and a Jerusalem below.  Christ and His co-heirs — his wife — along with certain others, will dwell in the Jerusalem above the earth, which will probably be viewed as the capital of the earth; and the Jerusalem on the earth, in which Christ will dwell as well, will form the capital city of restored Israel in the nation’s own land.

After the destruction of the present heaven and earth and the bringing into existence of a new heaven and a new earth, the New Jerusalem is seen coming down to rest upon the new earth (Revelation 21:2, 10, 23-27; 22:1-2).  The “great and high mountain” upon which John stood as he witnessed this scene is apparently a metaphorical reference to the greatness of the kingdom as it will exist in that day (note the millennial scene in this same respect in Isaiah 2:1-4 and Daniel 2:35, 44-45).

The thought of the New Jerusalem standing on the new earth, as not only the apparent capital city of the new earth but, as will be shown, the center of universal government, sets forth another thought.  The size of the New Jerusalem — about 1,500 hundred miles square, and about 1,500 miles high — would dwarf the present earth.  Thus, the new earth will apparently be much larger than the present earth, with the land area in the Abrahamic covenant being extensively increased in size, for this land will accommodate the New Jerusalem.

Regardless, as seen in The Eternal Ages, this city will house the center of government for the entire universeGod Himself will dwell in this city, seated with His Son on “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1, 3).  And God, along with His Son, will administer the government of the universe from this place through the whole of mankind, and through angels.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 35, which also can be seen in this site: From Time to Eternity.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Idolatry, Some Modern Forms of
By Got Questions

(Note:  Some changes have been made to the 'Third' form.)

All the various forms of modern idolatry have one thing at their core: self. We no longer bow down to idols and images. Instead we worship at the altar of the god of self. This brand of modern idolatry takes various forms.

First, we worship at the altar of materialism which feeds our need to build our egos through the acquisition of more “stuff.” Our homes are filled with all manner of possessions. We build bigger and bigger houses with more closets and storage space in order to house all the things we buy, much of which we haven’t even paid for yet. Most of our stuff has “planned obsolescence” built into it, making it useless in no time, and so we consign it to the garage or other storage space. Then we rush out to buy the newest item, garment or gadget and the whole process starts over. This insatiable desire for more, better, and newer stuff is nothing more than covetousness. The tenth commandment tells us not to fall victim to coveting: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor" (Exodus 20:17). God doesn’t just want to rain on our buying sprees. He knows we will never be happy indulging our materialistic desires because it is Satan’s trap to keep our focus on ourselves and not on Him.

Second, we worship at the altar of our own pride and ego. This often takes the form of obsession with careers and jobs. Millions of men—and increasingly more women—spend 60-80 hours a week working. Even on the weekends and during vacations, our laptops are humming and our minds are whirling with thoughts of how to make our businesses more successful, how to get that promotion, how to get the next raise, how to close the next deal. In the meantime, our children are starving for attention and love. We fool ourselves into thinking we are doing it for them, to give them a better life. But the truth is we are doing it for ourselves, to increase our self-esteem by appearing more successful in the eyes of the world. This is folly. All our labors and accomplishments will be of no use to us after we die, nor will the admiration of the world, because these things have no eternal value. As King Solomon put it,

“For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:21-23).

Third, we idolize mankind—and by extension ourselves—through naturalism and the power of science. This gives us the illusion that we are lords of our world and builds our self-esteem to godlike proportions. We reject God’s Word and His description of how He created the heavens and the earth, and we accept the nonsense of evolution and naturalism. We embrace the goddess of environmentalism and fool ourselves into thinking we can preserve the earth indefinitely when God has declared the earth has a limited lifespan and will last only until the end of time.  Then, He will destroy all that He has made and create a new heaven and new earth.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:10-13).

As this passage so clearly states, our focus should not be on worshipping the environment, but on living holy lives as we await the rapture with the hope of ruling and reigning with Christ.

Finally, and perhaps most destructively, we worship at the altar of self-aggrandizement or the fulfillment of the self to the exclusion of all others and their needs and desires. This manifests itself in self-indulgence through alcohol, drugs, and food. Those in affluent countries have unlimited access to alcohol, drugs (prescription drug use is at an all-time high, even among children), and food. Obesity rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed, and childhood diabetes brought on by overeating is epidemic. The self-control we so desperately need is spurned in our insatiable desire to eat, drink, and medicate more and more. We resist any effort to get us to curb our appetites, and we are determined to make ourselves the god of our lives. This has its origin in the Garden of Eden where Satan tempted Eve to eat of the tree with the words “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). This has been man’s desire ever since—to be god and, as we have seen, the worship of self is the basis of all modern idolatry.

All idolatry of self has at its core the three lusts found in 1 John 2:16:

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)

 If we are to escape modern idolatry, we have to admit that it is rampant and reject it in all its forms. It is not of God, but of Satan, and in it we will never find fulfillment. This is the great lie and the same one Satan has been telling since he first lied to Adam and Eve. Sadly, we are still falling for it. Even more sadly, many churches are propagating it in the preaching of the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel built on the idol of self-esteem. But we will never find happiness focusing on ourselves. Our hearts and minds must be centered on God and on others. This is why when asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). When we love the Lord and others with everything that is in us, there will be no room in our hearts for idolatry.

Got Questions - Idolatry, Some Modern Forms of

Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts Test
By Bill Gothard
December 13, 2008

3 STAGES OF DISCOVERING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT

1. You are NOT sure what your gift is…

There may be several reasons for this including the tendency to confuse a ministry gift with a motivational gift.

2. You ARE sure what your gift is…

At this stage, you enjoy having fellowship with others who have the same gift. Beware of isolating yourself from interacting with all the gifts, since you will then tend to have a limited response to a given need or situation.

3. You demonstrate ALL the gifts…

By learning to see a need or situation from the perspective of all seven gifts, you will greatly enhance the exercise and effectiveness of your own spiritual gift.

TAKE THE TEST!

(Note:  If you find this commentary of interest and desire to take the following test, the best way is to download the test from the word link at the bottom left of this document so it can be printed.)

The following is a test I would like you to take to help you determine what motivational gift you possess. Check yes or no to each question below. Say “yes” to the questions that sound the most like you and “no” to the ones that don’t.

Ok, now it is time to tally it up. Please note that some “persons” have more questions than others. This should not raise too much of a problem. First, count the answers and push aside the persons with the most “no’s.”

Now, count the persons with the “yes’s.” Which person has more? Whichever person has more “yes’s,” that is most likely your spiritual gift.

If you have a person with 11 questions and got 10 “yes’s” and then a person with 10 questions and got all 10, in that case, it would be the person that has all “yes’s.”

Person 1 - Teacher      Teacher
Person 2 - Organizer   Organizer
Person 3 - Prophet      Prophecy
Person 4 - Mercy         Mercy
Person 5 - Exhorter     Exhorter
Person 6 - Server        Server
Person 7 - Giver          Giver

Also see God's Seven Spiritual Gifts in this site.

Bill Gothard - Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts Test 

Muslims and Infidels
By The Religion of Peace Organization

Does the Quran really contain dozens of verses promoting violence?

(Note: Where [Audio] follows a name, click on for Audio Pronunciation.)

The Quran [Audio] contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.

Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Quran.

The context of violent passages is more ambiguous than might be expected of a perfect book from a loving God, however this can work both ways. Most of today's Muslims exercise a personal choice to interpret their holy book's call to arms according to their own moral preconceptions about justifiable violence. Apologists cater to their preferences with tenuous arguments that gloss over historical fact and generally do not stand up to scrutiny. Still, it is important to note that the problem is not bad people, but bad ideology.

Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad's own martial legacy - and that of his companions - along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran have produced a trail of blood and tears across world history.

The Quran:

Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing...

but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)" (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). The use of the word "persecution" by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution - "idtihad" - and oppression - a variation of "z-l-m" - do not appear in the verse). The actual Arabic comes from "fitna" which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until "religion is for Allah" - i.e. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

Quran (2:244) - "Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things."

Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not." Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

Quran (3:56) - "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."

Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority." This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (i.e. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be 'joining companions to Allah').

Quran (4:74) - "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward." The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, who were led meekly to the slaughter. These Muslims are killed in battle as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah. This is the theological basis for today's suicide bombers.

Quran (4:76) - "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…"

Quran (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

Quran (4:95) - "Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward." This passage criticizes "peaceful" Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah's eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that "Jihad" doesn't mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is the Arabic word used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man's protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad and this is reflected in other translations of the verse).

Quran (4:104) - "And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain..."  Is pursuing an injured and retreating enemy really an act of self-defense?

Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them."  No reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.

Quran (8:15) - "O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16) Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end."

Quran (8:39) - "And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah." Some translations interpret "fitna" as "persecution", but the traditional understanding of this word is not supported by the historical context (See notes for 2:193). The Meccans were simply refusing Muhammad access to their city during Haj. Other Muslims were allowed to travel there - just not as an armed group, since Muhammad had declared war on Mecca prior to his eviction. The Meccans were also acting in defense of their religion, since it was Muhammad's intention to destroy their idols and establish Islam by force (which he later did). Hence the critical part of this verse is to fight until "religion is only for Allah", meaning that the true justification of violence was the unbelief of the opposition. According to the Sira (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 324) Muhammad further explains that "Allah must have no rivals."

Quran (8:57) - "If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember."

Quran (8:59-60) - "And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah's Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy."

Quran (8:65) - "O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight..."

Quran (9:5) - "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them." According to this verse, the best way of staying safe from Muslim violence is to convert to Islam (prayer (salat) and the poor tax (zakat) are among the religion's Five Pillars). This popular claim that the Quran only inspires violence within the context of self-defense is seriously challenged by this passage as well, since the Muslims to whom it was written were obviously not under attack. Had they been, then there would have been no waiting period (earlier verses make it a duty for Muslims to fight in self-defense, even during the sacred months). The historical context is Mecca after the idolaters were subjugated by Muhammad and posed no threat. Once the Muslims had the power, they violently evicted those unbelievers who would not convert.

Quran (9:14) - "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace..."

Quran (9:20) - "Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah's way are of much greater worth in Allah's sight. These are they who are triumphant." The Arabic word interpreted as "striving" in this verse is the same root as "Jihad". The context is obviously holy war.

Quran (9:29) - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." "People of the Book" refers to Christians and Jews. According to this verse, they are to be violently subjugated, with the sole justification being their religious status. This was one of the final "revelations" from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad's companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in the next 100 years. Islam is intended to dominate all other people and faiths.

Quran (9:30) - "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"

Quran (9:38-39) - "O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place." This is a warning to those who refuse to fight, that they will be punished with Hell.

Quran (9:41) - "Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew." See also the verse that follows (9:42) - "If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long, (and weighed) on them" This contradicts the myth that Muslims are to fight only in self-defense, since the wording implies that battle will be waged a long distance from home (in another country and on Christian soil, in this case, according to the historians).

Quran (9:73) - "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination." Dehumanizing those who reject Islam, by reminding Muslims that unbelievers are merely firewood for Hell, makes it easier to justify slaughter. It also explains why today's devout Muslims have little regard for those outside the faith.

Quran (9:88) - "But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper."

Quran (9:111) - "Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme." How does the Quran define a true believer?

Quran (9:123) - "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."

Quran (17:16) - "And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction." Note that the crime is moral transgression, and the punishment is "utter destruction." (Before ordering the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden first issued Americans an invitation to Islam).

Quran (18:65-81) - This parable lays the theological groundwork for honor killings, in which a family member is murdered because they brought shame to the family, either through apostasy or perceived moral indiscretion. The story (which is not found in any Jewish or Christian source) tells of Moses encountering a man with "special knowledge" who does things which don't seem to make sense on the surface, but are then justified according to later explanation. One such action is to murder a youth for no apparent reason (74). However, the wise man later explains that it was feared that the boy would "grieve" his parents by "disobedience and ingratitude." He was killed so that Allah could provide them a 'better' son. (Note: This is one reason why honor killing is sanctioned by Sharia. Reliance of the Traveler (Umdat al-Saliq) says that punishment for murder is not applicable when a parent or grandparent kills their offspring (o.1.1-2).)

Quran (21:44) - "We gave the good things of this life to these men and their fathers until the period grew long for them; See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?"

Quran (25:52) - "Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness..."  "Strive against" is Jihad - obviously not in the personal context. It's also significant to point out that this is a Meccan verse.

Quran (33:60-62) - "If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter." This passage sanctions the slaughter (rendered "merciless" and "horrible murder" in other translations) against three groups: Hypocrites (Muslims who refuse to "fight in the way of Allah" (3:167) and hence don't act as Muslims should), those with "diseased hearts" (which include Jews and Christians 5:51-52), and "alarmists" or "agitators who include those who merely speak out against Islam, according to Muhammad's biographers. It is worth noting that the victims are to be sought out by Muslims, which is what today's terrorists do. If this passage is meant merely to apply to the city of Medina, then it is unclear why it is included in Allah's eternal word to Muslim generations.

Quran (47:3-4) - "Those who reject Allah follow vanities, while those who believe follow the truth from their lord. Thus does Allah set forth form men their lessons by similitude. Therefore when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners." Those who reject Allah are to be subdued in battle. The verse goes on to say the only reason Allah doesn't do the dirty work himself is in order to to test the faithfulness of Muslims. Those who kill pass the test. "But if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost."

Quran (47:35) - "Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost (Shakir: "have the upper hand") for Allah is with you,"

Quran (48:17) - "There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom." Contemporary apologists sometimes claim that Jihad means 'spiritual struggle.' Is so, then why are the blind, lame and sick exempted? This verse also says that those who do not fight will suffer torment in hell.

Quran (48:29) - "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves."  Islam is not about treating everyone equally. There are two very distinct standards that are applied based on religious status. Also the word used for 'hard' or 'ruthless' in this verse shares the same root as the word translated as 'painful' or severe' in verse 16.

Quran (61:4) - "Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way" Religion of Peace, indeed! The verse explicitly refers to "battle array" meaning that it is speaking of physical conflict. This is followed by (61:9): "He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist." (See next verse, below). Infidels who resist Islamic rule are to be fought.

Quran (61:10-12) - "O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment. That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of 'Adn - Eternity ['Adn (Edn) Paradise], that is indeed the great success." This verse refers to physical battle in order to make Islam victorious over other religions (see above). It uses the Arabic word, Jihad.

Quran (66:9) - "O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end." The root word of "Jihad" is used again here. The context is clearly holy war, and the scope of violence is broadened to include "hypocrites" - those who call themselves Muslims but do not act as such.

From the Hadith:

Bukhari (52:177) - Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."

Bukhari (52:256) - The Prophet... was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." In this command, Muhammad establishes that it is permissible to kill non-combatants in the process of killing a perceived enemy. This provides justification for the many Islamic terror bombings.

Bukhari (52:65) - The Prophet said, 'He who fights that Allah's Word, Islam, should be superior, fights in Allah's Cause.'  Muhammad's words are the basis for offensive Jihad - spreading Islam by force. This is how it was understood by his companions, and by the terrorists of today.

Bukhari (52:220) - Allah's Apostle said... 'I have been made victorious with terror'.

Abu Dawud (14:2526) - The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, "There is no god but Allah" and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist).

Abu Dawud (14:2527) - The Prophet said: Striving in the path of Allah (jihad) is incumbent on you along with every ruler, whether he is pious or impious.

Muslim (1:33) - the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

Bukhari (8:387) - Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah'. And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally."

Muslim (1:30) - "The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah."

Bukhari (52:73) - "Allah's Apostle said, 'Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords'."

Bukhari (11:626) - [Muhammad said:] "I decided to order a man to lead the prayer and then take a flame to burn all those, who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes."

Muslim (1:149) - "Abu Dharr reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause..."

Muslim (20:4645) - "...He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa'id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!"

Muslim (20:4696) - "the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: 'One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any desire (or determination) for Jihad died the death of a hypocrite.'"

Muslim (19:4321-4323) - Three separate hadith in which Muhammad shrugs over the news that innocent children were killed in a raid by his men against unbelievers. His response: "They are of them (meaning the enemy)."

Muslim (19:4294) - "When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him... He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war... When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them... If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them."

Bukhari 1:35 "The person who participates in (Holy Battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed)."

Tabari 7:97 The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, "Kill any Jew who falls under your power." Ashraf was a poet, killed by Muhammad's men because he insulted Islam. Here, Muhammad widens the scope of his orders to kill. An innocent Jewish businessman was then slain by his Muslim partner, merely for being non-Muslim.

Tabari 9:69  "Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us." The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.

Tabari 17:187  'By God, our religion (din) from which we have departed is better and more correct than that which these people follow. Their religion does not stop them from shedding blood, terrifying the roads, and seizing properties.' And they returned to their former religion." The words of a group of Christians who had converted to Islam, but realized their error after being shocked by the violence and looting committed in the name of Allah. The price of their decision to return to a religion of peace was that the men were beheaded and the woman and children enslaved by the caliph Ali.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 484: - “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 990: - Lest anyone think that cutting off someone's head while screaming 'Allah Akbar!' is a modern creation, here is an account of that very practice under Muhammad, who seems to approve.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992: - "Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah." Muhammad's instructions to his men prior to a military raid.

Saifur Rahman, The Sealed Nectar p.227-228 - "Embrace Islam... If you two accept Islam, you will remain in command of your country; but if your refuse my Call, you’ve got to remember that all of your possessions are perishable. My horsemen will appropriate your land, and my Prophethood will assume preponderance over your kingship." One of several letters from Muhammad to rulers of other countries. The significance is that the recipients were not making war or threatening Muslims. Their subsequent defeat and subjugation by Muhammad's armies was justified merely on the basis of their unbelief.

Additional Notes:

Other than the fact that Muslims haven't killed every non-Muslim under their domain, there is very little else that they can point to as proof that theirs is a peaceful, tolerant religion. Where Islam is dominant (as in the Middle East and Pakistan) religious minorities suffer brutal persecution with little resistance. Where Islam is in the minority (as in Thailand, the Philippines and Europe) there is the threat of violence if Muslim demands are not met. Either situation seems to provide a justification for religious terrorism, which is persistent and endemic to Islamic fundamentalism.

The reasons are obvious and begin with the Quran. Few verses of Islam's most sacred text can be construed to fit the contemporary virtues of religious tolerance and universal brotherhood. Those that do are earlier "Meccan" verses which are obviously abrogated by later ones. This is why Muslim apologists speak of the "risks" of trying to interpret the Quran without their "assistance" - even while claiming that it is a perfect book.

Far from being mere history or theological construct, the violent verses of the Quran have played a key role in very real massacre and genocide. This includes the brutal slaughter of tens of millions of Hindus for five centuries beginning around 1000 AD with Mahmud of Ghazni's bloody conquest. Both he and the later Tamerlane (Islam's Genghis Khan) slaughtered an untold number merely for defending their temples from destruction. Buddhism was very nearly wiped off the Indian subcontinent. Judaism and Christianity met the same fate (albeit more slowly) in areas conquered by Muslim armies, including the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe, including today's Turkey. Zoroastrianism [Audio], the ancient religion of a proud Persian people is despised by Muslims and barely survives in modern Iran.

So ingrained is violence in the religion that Islam has never really stopped being at war, either with other religions or with itself.

Muhammad was a military leader, laying siege to towns, massacring the men, raping their women, enslaving their children, and taking the property of others as his own. On several occasions he rejected offers of surrender from the besieged inhabitants and even butchered captives. He actually inspired his followers to battle when they did not feel it was right to fight, promising them slaves and booty if they did and threatening them with Hell if they did not. Muhammad allowed his men to rape traumatized women captured in battle, usually on the very day their husbands and family members were slaughtered.

It is important to emphasize that, for the most part, Muslim armies waged aggressive campaigns, and the religion's most dramatic military conquests were made by the actual companions of Muhammad in the decades following his death. The early Islamic principle of warfare was that the civilian population of a town was to be destroyed (ie. men executed, women and children taken as slaves) if they defended themselves. Although modern apologists often claim that Muslims are only supposed to attack in self-defense, this is an oxymoron that is flatly contradicted by the accounts of Islamic historians and others that go back to the time of Muhammad.

Consider the example of the Qurayza Jews, who were completely obliterated only five years after Muhammad arrived in Medina. Their leader opted to stay neutral when their town was besieged by a Meccan army that was sent to take revenge for Muhammad's deadly caravan raids. The tribe killed no one from either side and even surrendered peacefully to Muhammad after the Meccans had been turned back. Yet the prophet of Islam had every male member of the Qurayza beheaded, and every woman and child enslaved, even raping one of the captives himself (what Muslim apologists might refer to as "same day marriage").

One of Islam's most revered modern scholars, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, openly sanctions offensive Jihad: "In the Jihad which you are seeking, you look for the enemy and invade him. This type of Jihad takes place only when the Islamic state is invading other [countries] in order to spread the word of Islam and to remove obstacles standing in its way." Elsewhere, he notes: "Islam has the right to take the initiative…this is God’s religion and it is for the whole world. It has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form of institutions and traditions … it attacks institutions and traditions to release human beings from their poisonous influences, which distort human nature and curtail human freedom. Those who say that Islamic Jihad was merely for the defense of the 'homeland of Islam' diminish the greatness of the Islamic way of life."

The widely respected Dictionary of Islam defines Jihad as "A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Qur'an and in the Traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam and of repelling evil from Muslims…[Quoting from the Hanafi school, Hedaya, 2:140, 141.], "The destruction of the sword is incurred by infidels, although they be not the first aggressors, as appears from various passages in the traditions which are generally received to this effect."

Muhammad's failure to leave a clear line of succession resulted in perpetual internal war following his death. Those who knew him best first fought to keep remote tribes from leaving Islam and reverting to their preferred religion (the Ridda or 'Apostasy wars'). Then, within the closer community, early Meccan converts battled later ones. Hostility developed between those immigrants who had traveled with Muhammad to Mecca and the Ansar at Medina who had helped them settle in. Finally there was a violent struggle within Muhammad's own family between his favorite wife and favorite daughter - a jagged schism that has left Shias and Sunnis at each others' throats to this day.

The strangest and most untrue thing that can be said about Islam is that it is a Religion of Peace. If every standard by which the West is judged and condemned (slavery, imperialism, intolerance, misogyny, sexual repression, warfare...) were applied equally to Islam, the verdict would be devastating. Islam never gives up what it conquers, be it religion, culture, language or life. Neither does it make apologies or any real effort at moral progress. It is the least open to dialogue and the most self-absorbed. It is convinced of its own perfection, yet brutally shuns self-examination and represses criticism.

This is what makes the Quran's verses of violence so dangerous. They are given the weight of divine command. While Muslim terrorists take them as literally as anything else in their holy book, and understand that Islam is incomplete without Jihad, moderates offer little to contradict them - outside of opinion. Indeed, what do they have? Speaking of peace and love may win over the ignorant, but when every twelfth verse of Islam's holiest book either speaks to Allah's hatred for non-Muslims or calls for their death, forced conversion, or subjugation, it's little wonder that sympathy for terrorism runs as deeply as it does in the broader community - even if most Muslims personally prefer not to interpret their religion in this way.

Although scholars like Ibn Khaldun, one of Islam's most respected philosophers, understood that "the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force", many other Muslims are either unaware or willfully ignorant of the Quran's near absence of verses that preach universal non-violence. Their understanding of Islam comes from what they are taught by others. In the West, it is typical for believers to think that their religion must be like Christianity - preaching the New Testament virtues of peace, love, and tolerance - because Muslims are taught that Islam is supposed to be superior in every way. They are somewhat surprised and embarrassed to learn that the evidence of the Quran and the bloody history of Islam are very much in contradiction to this.

Others simply accept the violence. In 1991, a Palestinian couple in America was convicted of stabbing their daughter to death for being too Westernized. A family friend came to their defense, excoriating the jury for not understanding the "culture", claiming that the father was merely following "the religion" and saying that the couple had to "discipline their daughter or lose respect." (source). In 2011, unrepentant Palestinian terrorists, responsible for the brutal murders of civilians, women and children explicitly in the name of Allah were treated to a luxurious "holy pilgrimage" to Mecca by the Saudi king - without a single Muslim voice raised in protest.

For their part, Western liberals would do well not to sacrifice critical thinking to the god of political correctness, or look for reasons to bring other religion down to the level of Islam merely to avoid the existential truth that this it is both different and dangerous.

There are just too many Muslims who take the Quran literally... and too many others who couldn't care less about the violence done in the name of Islam.

The Religion of Peace - Muslims and Infidels - Violence

TheReligionofPeace.com Home Page

Gaming Israel and Palestine
from the July 29, 2014 eNews issue of K-House

We have long argued that the Arab-Israeli conflict is inherently insoluble. Now, for the third time in recent years, a war is being fought in Gaza. The Palestinians are firing rockets into Israel with minimal effect. The Israelis are carrying out a broader operation to seal tunnels along the Gaza-Israel boundary. Like the previous wars, the current one will settle nothing. The Israelis want to destroy Hamas’ rockets. They can do so only if they occupy Gaza and remain there for an extended period while engineers search for tunnels and bunkers throughout the territory. This would generate Israeli casualties from Hamas guerrillas fighting on their own turf with no room for retreat. So Hamas will continue to launch rockets, but between the extreme inaccuracy of the rockets and Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, the group will inflict little damage to the Israelis.

War Without a Military Outcome

The most interesting aspect of this war is that both sides apparently found it necessary, despite knowing it would have no definitive military outcome. The kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers followed by the incineration of a Palestinian boy triggered this conflict. An argument of infinite regression always rages as to the original sin: Who committed the first crime?

For the Palestinians, the original crime was the migration into the Palestinian mandate by Jews, the creation of the State of Israel and the expulsion of Arabs from that state. For Israel, the original sin came after the 1967 war, during which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. At that moment, the Israelis were prepared to discuss a deal, but the Arabs announced their famous “three nos” at a meeting in Khartoum: no negotiation, no recognition, no peace. That locked the Israelis into an increasingly rigid stance. Attempts at negotiations have followed the Khartoum declaration, all of which failed, and the “no recognition” and “no peace” agreement is largely intact. Cease-fires are the best that anyone can hope for.

For Hamas, at least — and I suspect for many Palestinians in the West Bank — the only solution is Israel’s elimination. For many Israelis, the only solution is to continue to occupy all captured territories until the Palestinians commit to peace and recognition. Since the same Israelis do not believe that day will ever come, the occupation would become permanent.

Under these circumstances, the Gaza war is in some sense a matter of housekeeping. For Hamas, the point of the operation is demonstrating it can fire rockets at Israel. These rockets are inaccurate, but the important thing is that they were smuggled into Gaza at all, since this suggests more dangerous weapons eventually will be smuggled in to the Palestinian territory. At the same time, Hamas is demonstrating that it remains able to incur casualties while continuing to fight.

For the Israelis, the point of the operation is that they are willing to carry it out at all. The Israelis undoubtedly intend to punish Gaza, but they do not believe they can impose their will on Gaza and compel the Palestinians to reach a political accommodation with Israel. War’s purpose is to impose your political will on your enemy. But unless the Israelis surprise us immensely, nothing decisive will come out of this conflict. Even if Israel somehow destroyed Hamas, another organization would emerge to fill its space in the Palestinian ecosystem. Israel can’t go far enough to break the Palestinian will to resist; it is dependent on a major third-party state to help meet Israeli security needs. This creates an inherent contradiction whereby Israel receives enough American support to guarantee its existence but because of humanitarian concerns is not allowed to take the kind of decisive action that might solve its security problem.

We thus see periodic violence of various types, none of which will be intended or expected to achieve any significant political outcome. Wars here have become a series of bloodstained gestures. There are some limited ends to achieve, such as closing Palestinian tunnels and demonstrating Palestinian capabilities that force Israel into an expensive defensive posture. But Hamas will not be defeated, and Israel will make no concessions.

Sovereignty and Viability Problems

The question therefore is not what the point of all this is — although that is a fascinating subject — but where all this ends. All things human end. Previous longstanding conflicts, such as those between France and England, ended or at least changed shape. Israel and Palestine accordingly will resolve their conflict in due course.

Many believe the creation of a Palestinian state will be the solution, and those who believe this often have trouble understanding why this self-evidently sensible solution has not been implemented. The reason is the proposed solution is not nearly as sensible as it might appear to some.

Issues of viability and sovereignty surround any discussion of a Palestinian state. Geography raises questions about the viability of any Palestinian polity. Palestine has two population centers, Gaza and the West Bank, which are detached from one another. One population center, Gaza, is an enormously crowded, narrow salient. Its ability to develop a sustainable economy is limited. The West Bank has more possibilities, but even it would be subordinate to a dynamic Israel. If the Palestinian workforce is drawn into the Israeli economy, both territories will become adjuncts to Israel. Within its current borders, a viable Palestine is impossible to imagine.

From the Israeli point of view, creating a Palestine along something resembling the 1967 lines (leaving aside the question of Jerusalem) would give the Palestinians superb targets, namely, Tel Aviv and Haifa. Given its history, Israel is unlikely to take that risk unless it had the right to oversee security in the West Bank in some way. That in turn would undermine Palestinian sovereignty.

As you play out the possibilities in any two-state solution, you run into the problem that any solution one side demanded would be unbearable to the other. Geography simply won’t permit two sovereign states. In this sense, the extremists on both sides are more realistic than the moderates. But that reality encounters other problems.

Israel’s High-Water Mark

Currently, Israel is as secure as it is ever likely to be unless Hamas disappears, never to be replaced, and the West Bank becomes even more accommodating to Israel. Neither of these prospects is likely. Israel’s economy towers over its neighbors. The Palestinians are weak and divided. None of Israel’s neighbors pose any threat of invasion, a situation in place since the 1977 neutralization of Egypt. Jordan is locked into a close relation with Israel, Egypt has its peace treaty and Hezbollah is bogged down in Syria. Apart from Gaza, which is a relatively minor threat, Israel’s position is difficult to improve.

Israel can’t radically shift its demography. But several evolutions in the region could move against Israel. Egypt could change governments, renounce its treaty, rearm and re-enter the Sinai Peninsula. Hezbollah could use its experience in Syria to open a front in Lebanon. Syria could get an Islamic State-led government and threaten the Golan Heights. Islamists could overthrow Jordan’s Hashemite monarchy and pose a threat to the east. Turkey could evolve into a radical Islamic government and send forces to challenge Israel. A cultural revolution could take place in the Arab world that would challenge Israel’s economic superiority, and therefore its ability to wage war. Iran could smuggle missiles into Gaza, and so on.

There is accordingly an asymmetry of possibilities. It is difficult to imagine any evolution, technical, political or economic, that would materially improve Israel’s already dominant position, but there are many things that could weaken Israel — some substantially. Each may appear far-fetched at the moment, but everything in the future seems far-fetched. None is inconceivable.

It is a rule of politics and business to bargain from strength. Israel is now as strong as it is going to be. But Israel does not think that it can reach an accommodation with the Palestinians that would guarantee Israeli national security, a view based on a realistic reading of geography. Therefore, Israel sees little purpose in making concessions to the Palestinians despite its relative position of strength.

In these circumstances, the Israeli strategy is to maintain its power at a maximum level and use what influence it has to prevent the emergence of new threats. From this perspective, the Israeli strategy on settlements makes sense. If there will be no talks, and Israel must maintain its overwhelming advantage, creating strategic depth in the West Bank is sensible; it would be less sensible if there were a possibility of a peace treaty. Israel must also inflict a temporary defeat on any actively hostile Palestinian force from time to time to set them back several years and to demonstrate Israeli capabilities for psychological purposes.

The Palestinian position meanwhile must be to maintain its political cohesion and wait, using its position to try to drive wedges between Israel and its foreign patrons, particularly the United States, but understanding that the only change in the status quo will come from changes outside the Israeli-Palestinian complex. The primary Palestinian problem will be to maintain itself as a distinct entity with sufficient power to resist an Israeli assault for some time. Any peace treaty would weaken the Palestinians by pulling them into the Israeli orbit and splitting them up. By refusing a peace treaty, they remain distinct, if divided. That guarantees they will be there when circumstances change.

Fifty Years Out

Israel’s major problem is that circumstances always change. Predicting the military capabilities of the Arab and Islamic worlds in 50 years is difficult. Most likely, they will not be weaker than they are today, and a strong argument can be made that at least several of their constituents will be stronger. If in 50 years some or all assume a hostile posture against Israel, Israel will be in trouble.

Time is not on Israel’s side. At some point, something will likely happen to weaken its position, while it is unlikely that anything will happen to strengthen its position. That normally would be an argument for entering negotiations, but the Palestinians will not negotiate a deal that would leave them weak and divided, and any deal that Israel could live with would do just that.

What we are seeing in Gaza is merely housekeeping, that is, each side trying to maintain its position. The Palestinians need to maintain solidarity for the long haul. The Israelis need to hold their strategic superiority as long as they can. But nothing lasts forever, and over time, the relative strength of Israel will decline. Meanwhile, the relative strength of the Palestinians may increase, though this isn’t certain.

Looking at the relative risks, making a high-risk deal with the Palestinians would seem prudent in the long run. But nations do not make decisions on such abstract calculations. Israel will bet on its ability to stay strong. From a political standpoint, it has no choice. The Palestinians will bet on the long game. They have no choice. And in the meantime, blood will periodically flow.

George Friedman is the Chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996 that is now a leader in the field of global intelligence and is an excellent source of situational analysis. More about Stratfor.

K-House eNews by Chuck Missler - Gaming Israel and Palestine from the July 29, 2014 eNews issue

Black Sheep
By David Jeremiah

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? (James 2:25)

Most families have a "black sheep" somewhere in the family. How that person is viewed depends on distance. If the person is a faint memory, he is seen as a laughing matter, a faint shadow in the past. But if the person remains a fresh memory, then there is no mention of him or her in polite company.

Such distinctions are made only among those who place great pride in human respectability. But in biblical terms, there are no white sheep! We are all black sheep in the family of humanity. None of us deserves mention in the holy company of heaven -- except for the grace of God. That grace is demonstrated by God sending His own Son to be born as the descendant of human sinners. They ranged from a harlot like Rahab (Matthew 1:5) to a deceiver like Jacob (Matthew 1:2); to occasional sinners like Abraham, kings that struggled to rule righteously; and Joseph, a seemingly good man. But they were sinners all, chosen by God to play a role in His grand purpose of redemption.

Because all have sinned, all can be forgiven in Christ and all can serve. Don’t ever let your human past keep you from imagining a redeemed future.

No creature that deserved redemption would need to be redeemed. C. S. Lewis

The Origin of Religion
By Got Questions

From the earliest times, humans have looked around and above them and wondered about the world, the universe and the meaning of life. Unlike animals, humans have a built-in desire to understand how we got here, why we are here and what happens after we die. Adam and Eve knew God personally (Genesis 3) and spoke of Him (Genesis 4:1). Their children brought sacrifices to the Lord (Genesis 4:3-4). And during the time of their grandchildren, “men began to call on the name of the LORD” in corporate worship (Genesis 4:26).

In all of history and in every culture, people have felt a need to worship what they perceive to be the source of life. The Bible explains why—we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), and God has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We were created to be in relationship with our Creator. The rituals and practices of religion began as an expression of the creature’s desire to worship the Creator.

Biologist Julian Huxley dismissed the existence of religion as a vestige of past ignorance and superstition: “Gods are peripheral phenomena produced by evolution.” In other words, primitive man invented the idea of God in an ancient, superstitious time, and theism has no relevance in today’s society. Theories based on an evolutionary premise imagine that man’s belief in God was first expressed in animism, ghost-worship, totemism, and magic. Not all scholars have reached this conclusion, however. The Rev. Wilhelm Schmidt presents evidence of a monotheistic faith being the first religion practiced by men and offers many powerful arguments in support. Man began with a belief in one God, and then his theology degenerated into a belief in multiple gods.

(For more information, see Answers in Genesis - Schmidt.)

The Bible says that after the flood God initiated the unconditional covenant between Himself and Noah and his descendants (Genesis 9:8-17). Men disobeyed God’s command to spread out and fill the earth, and they built a city and began making a monumental tower instead. God confused their language and forced them to disperse (Genesis 11:1-9). After that time, many polytheistic religions sprang up around the world. Later, God made Himself known to Abram and introduced the Abrahamic Covenant (circa 2000 B.C.).

After God redeemed Israel from Egyptian bondage, He gave them the Mosaic Covenant and later the Davidic Covenant. In all of these events, it is God who reached down to His people, drawing them into relationship with Him. This is unique in the history of world religions.

With regard to Christianity, God Himself was responsible for introducing the New Covenant—an unconditional promise to unfaithful Israel to forgive her sins on the basis of pure, undeserved grace through the sacrifice of the Messiah. This New Covenant also opened up the way for Gentiles to be saved. In all of this, it is God who initiates the relationship. Biblical religion is based on the fact that God reached down to us; it is not man’s attempt to reach up to God. Biblical religion is a response to what God has done for us, not a code of conduct that we must perform for God.

One reason we have so many different religions is the deception imposed on the human race by the enemy of our souls, who seeks glory and worship for himself (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Timothy 4:1). Another reason is man’s inherent desire to explain the unexplained and to make order out of chaos. Many of the early pagan religions taught that, to prevent disasters from befalling them, they needed to appease their fickle, petulant gods. Through the centuries, religion has often been hijacked by kings and rulers in order to subjugate their people in a state-run “church” system.

The true religion that God initiated thousands of years ago with Israel pointed forward to a coming Messiah who would provide the way for all people to be reconciled to their Creator. After Christ came, Christianity spread by word of mouth as the disciples of Jesus took the gospel to the world and the Holy Spirit changed lives. God’s Word was also preserved in writing and is available today throughout the world.

Got Questions - The Origin of Religion

Pastors Deliberately Keeping Flock In The Dark!
By Chuck Baldwin

Research Confirms What I Have Been Saying For Years

George Barna is the foremost researcher of modern Christianity in the country. He recently spoke about a two-year research project studying why modern-day pastors and churches are so silent regarding political issues. The result of his research only confirms what I have been trying to tell people for years. But there was one thing his research uncovered that did somewhat surprise me. OneNewsNow.com covered the story:

“On Thursday, George Barna--research expert and founder of The Barna Group--shared with American Family Radio's ‘Today's Issues’ about new information he's compiling at American Culture and Faith Institute over the last two years, gauging where theologically conservative pastors are at politically.

"‘What we're finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues. Then we ask them: Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?--and the numbers drop...to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.’

“When researchers ask those pastors what else they are willing to do to get their people active in the political process, Barna said ‘it's almost nothing.’

"‘So the thing that struck me has been that when we talk about the separation of church and state, it's that churches have separated themselves from the activities of the state--and that's to the detriment of the state and its people,’ stated the researcher.”

That 90% of America’s pastors are not addressing any of the salient issues affecting Christian people’s political or societal lives should surprise no one--especially the readers of this column. It has been decades since even a sizeable minority of pastors have bothered to educate and inform their congregations as to the Biblical principles relating to America’s political, cultural, and societal lives. But the part of the research that did somewhat surprise me was this statement by Barna: “What we're finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues. Then we ask them: Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?--and the numbers drop...to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.”

Did you get that? Ninety-percent of America’s pastors say they KNOW that the Bible speaks to all of these issues, but they are deliberately determined to NOT teach these Biblical principles. That is an amazing admission!

It would have been one thing if the pastors had said that these political issues were not relevant to scripture, and, therefore, they didn’t feel called to address them. But the pastors are admitting that, yes, they KNOW that the scriptures DO relate to our current political issues, but they are deliberately choosing to NOT teach those scriptural principles. Holy heads-in-the-sand, Batman!

I confess: this statistic caught me off-guard. So we can forever dismiss ignorance as justification for pastors remaining silent.

Now, all of the church members out there who have been forgiving of their ministers for not speaking out on the issues by saying things like, “He really doesn’t understand what’s going on,” need to reevaluate their leniency--if they are intellectually honest, that is--and if they truly care about the future of their country.

Church member, admit it: that pastor of yours who refuses to speak out on the issues KNOWS the Bible speaks to these issues, and he is DELIBERATELY refusing to teach those Biblical principles to you and your family.

So we are not dealing with IGNORANT pastors; we are dealing with DELIBERATELY DISOBEDIENT pastors. They are PURPOSELY CHOOSING to remain silent. Will that make any difference to the Christians in the pews who say they want their pastor to take a stand but are willing to overlook his “ignorance?” Probably not. But at least, we now know what the real issue is, don’t we?

The report goes on: “Why the disconnect? According to Barna, the answer is simple. He suggests asking pastors how someone would know if their church is ‘successful’--which he did.”

"‘There are five factors that the vast majority of pastors turn to [when asked that question],’ he explained. ‘Attendance, giving, number of programs, number of staff, and square footage.’”

There you have it: pastors are more concerned about being “successful” than they are being truthful. They believe if they tell their congregations the truth, their churches will not be “successful.” And it is so refreshing to see Barna directly ask pastors what “success” means to them. So, now we know (as if we didn’t know before; but at least now there is definitive research to back it up). The vast majority of pastors believe church success lies in:

*Attendance
*Giving (money)
*Number of programs
*Number of staff
*Square footage (of facilities)

Shazam! Where did pastors come up with this definition of “success?” You know where: from men such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, et al.

The megachurch phenomenon of the last several decades transformed how pastors think and behave. Pastors read the “successful church” books and publications; they attend the “successful church” conferences; they watch the “successful church” videos, etc. They, then, try to mimic the tactics and strategies they have been taught. And if there is one constant theme promulgated by the likes of Osteen, Warren, and Hybels, it is pastors must avoid controversy like the plague. Again, one must realize that the goal is NOT being faithful to Biblical principles; the goal is building a “successful” church as noted above.

It is time for Christians to acknowledge that these ministers are not pastors; they are CEOs. They are not Bible teachers; they are performers. They are not shepherds; they are hirelings. It is also time for Christians to be honest with themselves: do they want a pastor who desires to be faithful to the scriptures, or do they want a pastor who is simply trying to be “successful?” BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF, CHRISTIAN FRIEND.

Barna’s research blows the “ignorance” excuse out of the water. Again, it is not ignorance; it is deliberate disobedience.

Barna goes on to say, "Now all of those things [the five points of success listed above] are good measures, except for one tiny fact: Jesus didn't die for any of them.” Wow! You nailed it, George!

See the report: Barna: Many Pastors Wary Of Raising ‘Controversy’

Where do you find anything in the New Testament that measures a pastor’s success by the number of people attending his church? Or by how large his offerings are? Or by how many programs his church has? Or by how many staff members he has? Or by how large his facilities are? In fact, the early New Testament church didn’t even own property or buildings.

When the Apostle Paul listed his ministerial pedigree, here is what it looked like (II Cor. 11):

*Stripes above measure
*In prisons frequently
*In deaths often
*Beaten with rods
*Stoned
*Perils
*Weariness
*Painfulness
*Hunger and thirst
*Cold and nakedness

I don’t see attendance, offerings, programs, staff, or square footage in that list at all, do you?

When Paul wrote his own epitaph, it read, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (II Timothy 4:7). He didn’t say, “I had a large congregation, we had big offerings, we had a lot of programs, I had a large staff, and we had large facilities.”

In the world of Osteen, Warren, and Hybels (and 90% of America’s pastors), the Apostle Paul’s ministry must have been a dismal failure. And how many church pulpit committees would even consider the pastoral résumé such as the Apostle Paul wrote above?

Please understand this: America’s malaise is directly due to the deliberate disobedience of America’s pastors--and the willingness of the Christians in the pews to tolerate the disobedience of their pastor. Nothing more! Nothing less!

Oh, and get this: according to the survey conducted by Barna, guess what the number one reason is why pastors choose to be “successful” and not “controversial?” You guessed it: fear of the IRS 501c3 tax-exempt status. Who would have thought it? (Yes, that question is deliberately facetious.)

The release of this research by George Barna could not have come at a more opportune time. I announced just last week that we have officially launched the Liberty Church Project, whereby we will be helping people around the country to establish non-501c3 churches. I invite folks (pastors or laymen) who are serious about starting new non-501c3 churches--or helping to resurrect patriot pulpits within existing churches--to fill out our online application. We already have several groups that we intend to help and are looking for others. If you are someone who is serious about such an endeavor, and seeks our assistance, please fill out the online application here:

I want to commend George Barna for his research. I suspect that the vast majority of pastors and churches will ignore it, but at least now we know the painful truth of the matter: by in large, pastors are deliberately choosing to not teach Biblical truth to their congregations for the selfish goal of being “successful.” But as we come to grips with this reality, we must also acknowledge that pastors are simply (and shamelessly) putting their fingers to the wind and finding that the people in the pews are more interested in their churches being “successful” than faithful to the teaching of Holy Scripture. As Barna noted, it is the churches, themselves, that have chosen to separate from the political affairs of their country.

In the end, it always comes down to We the People, doesn’t it? If you want a church where the pastor is willing to teach the Biblical principles that relate to our everyday lives--including our political lives--you might have to vote with your feet and go find one. That is, if that kind of thing is truly important to you.

Pastors Deliberately Keeping Flock In The Dark by Chuck Baldwin

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

The Marriage of the Lamb Festivities
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come [‘came’], and His wife has made herself ready.

And to her it was granted to be arrayed [‘array herself’] in fine linen, clean and bright and white: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)

Events in Revelation 19:7-9 are not to be confused with the marriage, which will have already occurred.  These verses have to do with the festivities that follow the marriage.

The bride will have previously been revealed through events surrounding the judgment seat (Revelation 1; 2; 3), and the marriage will have previously occurred at the time Christ redeems the inheritance (Revelation 6-18).  Then, immediately preceding Christ’s return to take control of the domain that He will have previously redeemed (Revelation 19:11ff), time is set aside for the festivities surrounding the marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9).

These marriage festivities are dealt with several places in Scripture, more notably in Matthew 22:8-14; 25:1-13.  There is nothing in these passages about the marriage itself.  Rather, these passages deal solely with the festivities that follow the marriage.  And the emphasis, as in the book of Revelation, is upon these festivities.

(The book of Revelation, as the parables in Matthew 22; 25, does not really deal with the marriage per seNothing is said in chapters six through eighteen [the time during which the marriage occurs] about Christ’s marriage to the bride who had previously been revealed at the judgment seat [Revelation 1; 2; 3].  Rather, the marriage occurring in these chapters, through Christ redeeming the inheritance, is seen and dealt with elsewhere in Scripture.  Following exactly the same chronology of events that would later be set forth in the book of Revelation, the marriage is seen and dealt with in biblical typology, in the book of Ruth.

In order to understand how the revealed bride in the book of Revelation 1; 2; 3 becomes the Lamb’s wife [Revelation 19a], one has to go to the book of Ruth 3; 4.  The book of Revelation forms the capstone to all previous Scripture, beginning in Genesis.  And an individual can’t begin reading Scripture in the book of Revelation and expect to arrive at any semblance of a correct understanding of this book, for he will have no foundation upon which he can build.

(Reference Ruth by Arlen Chitwood.)

Rather, he is to begin where God began and understand foundational truths after the same fashion in which God revealed them.  And when an individual with this type of knowledge of Scripture arrives at Revelation 6-18, he will understand that which is occurring through Christ’s redemption of the inheritance [Christ’s marriage to the previously revealed bride], though it is not even mentioned in this part of the book.  And this understanding will be derived, not from the book of Revelation, but from previous Scripture.

The person who has an understanding of the foundational truths from the Old Testament — knowing what is happening as Christ redeems the inheritance in Revelation 6-18 — probably wouldn’t give a second thought to the fact that there is no mention of Christ’s marriage to His bride in these chapters.  Why should he?  The marriage, occurring at this time, will have already been dealt with in previous revelation, and he would know this.  He would be able to compare the types with the antitype, run all the checks and balances, and see exactly what is happening in this respect.  For such an individual, it would be superfluous material to reread the matter in the book of Revelation.)

But because most Christians in the world today lack a background of this nature from Old Testament typology, man’s systems of biblical interpretation generally do not follow biblical guidelines at all when the marriage festivities in Matthew 22:8-14; 25:1-13; Revelation 19:7-9 are dealt with.  And not understanding that which is being dealt with, individuals, more often than not, attempt to read eternal verities [eternal salvation, damnation] into events surrounding these marriage festivities; and any semblance of sound interpretation through comparing Scripture with Scripture is, as a result, thrown to the winds.

Within man’s system of biblical interpretation in this respect, the wedding garment is declared to be the righteousness of Christ (showing one’s eternal salvation), entrance into the festivities (through possessing a wedding garment) is declared to be synonymous with eternal salvation, and exclusion from the festivities (through lack of a wedding garment) is declared to be synonymous with eternal damnation.

But these are man’s thoughts and ideas, not those emanating from Scripture.  Such teachings have nothing to do with that which is being dealt with in matters surrounding these festivities.  The saved alone are in view;  and from among the saved, two different groups are in view:

1) those forming the wife of the Lamb; and

2) those not forming the wife of the Lamb.

The former will be invited to participate in activities surrounding the marriage festivities.  But this will not be the case with the latter at all.  Rather they will be denied entrance into the place where these festivities will occur.

In Matthew 22:8-14, these two groups of individuals are dealt with in a parable having to do with the marriage festivities: There were “the guests [lit., ‘reclining ones’ (the bride)],” and there were the ones not allowed to enter into and participate in the activities attendant the bride (represented by the man appearing without a wedding garment, who was cast into the darkened courtyard outside the banqueting hall).

In Matthew 25:1-13, these same two groups of individuals are dealt with in another parable having to do with the marriage festivities, through presenting the activity of five wise and five foolish virgins: Those who had properly prepared themselves, the five wise virgins, were allowed to participate in the marriage festivities.  But those who had not properly prepared themselves, the five foolish virgins, were denied entrance into the place where the festivities were occurring.  They were left at a place outside the door leading into the festivities.

And the parable that follows — the parable of the talents — is given to explain and shed additional light upon the parable of the ten virgins.  This parable begins with the Greek words Hosper gar, meaning “For just as.”  These connecting words tell the reader that the parable about to follow is just like the parable that preceded.  And this parable ends with the unfaithful servant cast into the darkness outside (Matthew 25:30).

Thus, in the explanatory parable of the talents, the place outside the door to the marriage festivities in the previous parable, the parable of the ten virgins, is seen to be exactly the same place outside the marriage festivities in Matthew 22:8-14 — the darkness outside, or the darkened courtyard outside the banqueting hall.

But in the final summation of the matter in Revelation 19:7-9, only things surrounding the wife are dealt with.  Those not allowed to participate in these activities are not dealt with at this point in the book (as they are in Matthew 22; 25).  Rather, the matter in the book of Revelation is set forth exactly as it is in the book of Ruth.  In the type, from the book of Ruth, only the wife is dealt with at this point in the book.  And the matter is the same in the antitype in the book of Revelation.

(For a full discussion of “The Outer Darkness,” refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ, Appendix.)

Christ’s Return

Following the marriage festivities, the heavens will be opened, and Christ will come forth on a white horse as the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”  He will return to the earth “with His mighty angels” and complete the overthrow of Gentile world power under Satan, along with the overthrow of Satan and his angels.

Man’s Day will end, and the Lord’s Day will begin (Joel 3:9-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Revelation 19:11ff).  Then the way will be opened for Christ and His wife to ascend the throne — He as King, and she as consort queen.

There are numerous events connected with Christ’s return, both preceding and following the time when the heavens are opened in Revelation 19:11ff.  This is the way in which the book of Revelation is introduced.  It is a book about “The Revelation [Gk., Apokalupsis, ‘Revealing,’ ‘Unveiling,’ ‘Appearance’] of Jesus Christ…”  It is a book about that day when He comes “with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him…” (Revelation 1:1-7).

The book of Revelation is a book dealing with Christ’s return, and Scripture deals with the overall subject surrounding Christ’s return in a manner quite different than man is usually inclined to view the matter.  Man usually sees Christ’s return as a single event, occurring at a point in time (e.g., Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 1:7; 19:11ff).  But Scripture deals with Christ’s return in a broader sense than this.  The whole of the book of Revelation is about Christ’s return.  Revelation 19:11ff simply records the apex of the matter.

And His return in this book begins with events occurring at least seven years prior to the time when the heavens are opened and He comes forth on a white horse.  Events in this book begin with Christians being removed from the earth at the end of the dispensation, with events surrounding the judgment seat following (Revelation 1; 2; 3; 4).  The book then continues with Christ’s redemption of the inheritance (Revelation 5-18), God completing His dealings with Israel during Man’s Day (Revelation 6-18), and the marriage festivities being brought to pass (Revelation 19 a).  Only then is the apex reached, with the heavens being opened (Revelation 19 b).

All these things are inseparably connected with Christ’s return.  This is why, for example, in Luke 17:30-31, that an event occurring in the middle of the Tribulation (Luke 17:31; cf. Matthew 24:15-22) is directly associated with Christ’s return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation (Luke 17:30).  This is also why resurrections and judgments occurring at “His appearing and His kingdom” (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23; 2 Timothy 4:1) — though separated by time — are dealt with in these two singular senses, i.e., either at his appearing, or in his kingdom.

In the book of Revelation, in the antitype, exactly the same sequence of events is seen.  A particular event will occur before Christ redeems the inheritance and takes the bride as His wife.  A prepared bride will appear on Christ’s threshing floor (at His judgment seat).  Only then will Christ redeem the inheritance and, in the process, take the bride as His wife (which will occur during Daniel’s Seventieth Week, the Tribulation).

Then, in the book of Revelation, all seven churches are seen in Christ’s presence at this time, showing all Christians in His presence during events surrounding the judgment seat, preceding the time in which He redeems the inheritance (preceding the Tribulation).  And the types show exactly the same thing (ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Search for the Bride, Ch. 12.)

Understanding the reason why all Christians must appear before Christ at this time is simple.  Aside from Christians having nothing to do with the Tribulation (which will be the last seven years of the previous dispensation, during which time God completes His dealings with Israel, not with Christians), events surrounding the judgment seat occur preceding the Tribulation (plainly shown from both the type in the book of Ruth and the antitype in the book of Revelation).  And Scripture is quite clear that all Christians must be present, at the judgment seat:  “…we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10b).

(The fact that some Greek manuscripts and English translations have “judgment seat of God” in Romans 14:10 would have nothing to do with the identification of this judgment seat.  The Father “has committed all judgment to the Son” [John 5:22], and it matters little whether the Son’s judgment seat is called the judgment seat of Christ or the judgment seat of God.  It’s still the same judgment seat, with the same person doing the judging.)

Comparing type and antitype (Ruth 3; 4 and Revelation 1-19), the clear teaching is that all Christians will be removed from the earth and appear before Christ’s judgment seat preceding the Tribulation, before the inheritance is redeemed and the marriage occurs.  And the whole of the matter is in connection with Christ’s return, with the apex reached when the heavens are opened in Revelation 19:11ff.

It is a serious matter when Christians ignore that which has been laid down in Moses and the Prophets (cf. Luke 24:25-27; John 5:45-47), following teachings that are contrary to established foundations.  One simply cannot ignore the foundations that God has set forth in His Word and expect to survive theologically.  It is not possible.

The Messianic Era

After Christ returns back to the earth and completes His overthrow of Gentile world power, along with Satan and His angels, numerous events will occur preceding the beginning of the millennium.  And these events, as well, must be viewed in connection with Christ’s return.

Again, everything beginning with the removal of the Church in Revelation 1 to the end of the Messianic Kingdom in Revelation 20 must fall within two major categories seen in Scripture — “His appearing and His kingdom.”  This is the way in which Scripture sets the matter forth, and this is the way in which man must view the matter as well.

In the type in Genesis 24; 25, after the son married Rebekah inside his mother’s tent, Abraham again took a wife.  Abraham married Keturah, who bore him six sons (Genesis 24:67-25:2).  Keturah was very fruitful in the realm where Sarah had been barren.

In the antitype, after the Son marries His bride inside Israel’s tent, the Father will restore His wife, Israel.  And restored Israel will be very fruitful, unlike Israel in the past, represented by a fig tree with leaves, but no fruit (Matthew 21:18-19).

The present restoration of a remnant to the land under a Zionistic movement is, of course, not the restoration spoken of in the type in Genesis 25:1-2 or in other parts of Scripture bearing on the subject (e.g., Deuteronomy 30:1-3; Ezekiel 20:34-37; 36:24-28; 37:1ff; Matthew 24:30-31).  The present restoration is a partial restoration, in unbelief, which has occurred during the present dispensation, prior to the nation’s repentance.  The restoration spoken of in Scripture has to do with the entire nation returning, in belief, following the nation’s repentance, which will occur not only following the present dispensation but following the fulfillment of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy.

Nor can the nation return while Christ is exercising the office of High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary, throughout the present dispensation.  It is clear from the typology surrounding the cities of refuge in Numbers 35 that Israel, as the slayer, has to await Christ’s completion of His present high priestly ministry before the Jewish people can return to the land of their possession.

(For a discussion of Numbers 35 in this respect, ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Let Us Go On, Ch. 1, “From Aaron to Melchizedek.”)

For individuals to fail to recognize the truth concerning the present return of a remnant to the land is to fail to recognize that Israel is the slayer typified in Numbers 35.  And for Israel to attempt to return while Christ is presently exercising His high priestly ministry during the present dispensation is, according to the type, to invite death and destruction upon the nation.

And the latter is exactly what is about to occur, for the Jewish people have attempted to return before the time, in an unbelieving and unrepentant state.  In the middle of the coming Tribulation, a Jewish nation (as it is known today) will cease to exist in the Middle East.  The remnant comprising the nation will be uprooted at that time.  A segment of the nation will escape to a place in the wilderness, specially prepared by God for them (Revelation 12:6, 14); but the remaining Jews will either be killed or sold as slaves throughout the Gentile world, with the Jewish people worldwide coming under the sentence of death (cf. Exodus 1:8ff; Daniel 3:19-20; Joel 3:6-8).  And Jerusalem, throughout this time, will be “trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20-24; Revelation 11:2).

Nor will any attempts to effect Middle East peace be successful during Man’s Day.  There is a problem that man fails to recognize, which has its roots going back 4,000 years in history.  And, beyond that, only the One Who has brought about Israel’s present sickness, because of the nation’s disobedience, can effect healing (cf. Leviticus 26:14ff; Deuteronomy 28:15ff; Isaiah 1:1-26).  Others can try, but they will all fail.  Only the One Who has torn can heal (Hosea 5:13-6:2).

Peace will come only at the end of Man’s day, when “the Sun of righteousness” arises “with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2).  These are the things seen in Abraham’s remarriage, which cannot occur until after the Son takes the bride as His wife, inside Israel’s tent.

(Note also in the type that Ishmael [the father of the Arabic nations surrounding Israel in the Middle East] died only after Abraham remarried [Genesis 25:1-2, 17].  In this respect, Middle East peace will be out of the question until the coming Messianic Era, when the man described in Genesis 16:12 will pass from the scene.)

And that is the way in which conditions will exist at the beginning of the millennium.  The Father will have a restored wife; and the Son, who will be King over all the earth in that day, will have acquired a wife, allowing Him to rule and to reign in complete accord with the reason for man’s creation in the beginning and in complete accord with that which God established in the beginning relative to the man and the woman reigning together.

And Middle East peace, which man vainly attempts to effect today, will be brought to pass in that day — when the King, with His consort queen, rules the earth for 1,000 years.

(See additional commentary on Ruth - Israel and the Church in this site.) 

Bible One – Arlen Chitwood's The Marriage Festivities, Search for the Bride, Ch. 15

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

The book of Ruth, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with the Church.
And the book of Esther, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with Israel.
Ruth presents a complete overview of the history of the Church,
and Esther presents a complete overview of the history of Israel.
But the emphasis in each book is not so much on the past and present as it is on the future.

Ruth - Israel and the Church
Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

 (Note: Where [Audio] follows a name, click on for Audio Pronunciation.)

Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.

The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion-Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. (Ruth 1:1-2)

There are two books in Scripture bearing the names of women who appear as principal characters in the books — the books of Ruth and Esther.  These are the only books in Scripture named for women; and an element of mystery surrounds both, for no one knows the identity of the person who wrote either book.

The book of Ruth has to do with events occurring during the days of the judges (Ruth 1:1).  Events during the days of the judges began following Joshua’s death and lasted until the time of Samuel the prophet, a period covering about three hundred years (which followed a period covering “about . . . four hundred fifty years,” going back to the birth of Isaac [Acts 13:17-20 NASB]).  Events in the book of Ruth though cover a much smaller part of the time of the judges, occurring during the latter part of this period (Ruth 4:13-22), during about the middle or latter part of the twelfth century B.C.; and events in the book occurred both in a Gentile land (Moab) and in the land of Israel.

The book of Esther, on the other hand, has to do with events occurring about seven centuries later, in Persia (following not only the Babylonian captivity [about 605 B.C.] but also following the time when the Medes and the Persians conquered the kingdom of Babylon [about 538 B.C.]).  Events in the book of Esther would appear to have occurred during the first half of the fifth century B.C., about sixty years after the Medes and the Persians conquered Babylon (Esther 1:1; 2:5-6).

The book of Ruth, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with the Church.  And the book of Esther, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with Israel.  Ruth presents a complete overview of the history of the Church, and Esther presents a complete overview of the history of Israel.  But the emphasis in each book is not so much on the past and present as it is on the future.

Ruth 2; 3 deal with the past and present; but Ruth 3; 4 deal almost entirely with future events, beginning with events surrounding the judgment seat at the end of the present dispensation.  And these events, along with subsequent events seen in Ruth 4, immediately precede and lead into the Messianic Era.

Esther 1 deals with the past and present; but Esther 2-10 deals entirely with future events.  These last nine chapters deal with Israel mainly during seven unfulfilled years that remain in God’s dealings with this nation in order to complete Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, ending with the restoration of Israel and the ushering in of the Messianic Kingdom.

In the preceding respect, the books of Ruth and Esther together provide a complete overview of God’s dealings with His people — both the Church and Israel — throughout the last 4,000 years of Man’s Day, leading into the Messianic Era.  Certain things are opened up and revealed in these two books after a manner not seen in other Old Testament books.  And these things form an integral part of God’s complete word pictures pertaining to both the Church and Israel in the Old Testament, providing different facets of information, apart from which these word pictures would be incomplete.

Then, insofar as the end of the matter is concerned — the realm where the emphasis is placed in both books — these two books together cover exactly the same period of time and deal with exactly the same events seen in the first twenty chapters of the book of Revelation.  Ruth covers matters relative to the Church during this period of time, and Esther covers matters relative to Israel during this same period.  And, in this respect, if an individual would properly understand that which has been revealed in these chapters in the book of Revelation, he must go back to the books of Ruth and Esther, along with sections of numerous other Old Testament books that would have a direct bearing on the subject (e.g., Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel).

There is no other way to properly understand the book of Revelation (or, for that matter, any other part of the New Testament).  All of the things opened up and revealed in the New were previously set forth, through various ways and means, in the Old.  Different Old Testament books deal with varying and particular facets of the matter — “here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:10).  And since the New Testament has an inseparable connection of this nature with the Old, an individual must continually look back to and draw from the Old if he would properly understand the New.

The whole of the matter is by divine design, and only through viewing the whole together — after running all of the checks and balances through comparing Scripture with Scripture — can a person see the complete picture (comprised of word pictures dealing with both the Church and Israel), exactly as God would have man see it.

Historical Setting for Ruth

Events in the book of Ruth, occurring during the latter part of the time when the judges ruled, appear to cover a period lasting no more than about two decades.  And, since King David (Israel’s second king) was the great grandson of the two principle individuals in the book — Boaz [Audio] and Ruth (Ruth 4:17) — one can know that most of the events in the book occurred during the second generation preceding the ascension of Israel’s first king, Saul.

Saul ascended the throne about the middle of the eleventh century B.C. (about 1050 B.C.) and reigned for forty years.  This would thus place events in the book of Ruth occurring about the middle or latter part of the preceding century.

The period of the judges, during which events in the book of Ruth occurred, is marked by two things: 

(1) disobedience on the part of the Jewish people, and

(2) God’s reaction to their disobedience (which had to do with anger, followed by a chastisement of the Jewish people to bring about their repentance; and this was followed each time by God raising up one or more individuals [one or more judges] to deliver His people).

During Moses and Joshua’s day, God had commanded His people to drive out all of the Gentile nations inhabiting the land.  But, following Joshua’s death, the Israelites gradually began to cease driving these nations out (cf. Deuteronomy 7:1-2, 16, 22-24; Joshua 23:1-5; Judges 1:1, 19, 21, 27-33).  Then, disobedience at this point resulted in other forms of disobedience — something that the Lord had previously called to the people’s attention and had warned them about (cf. Exodus 23:33; Deuteronomy 7:4, 16; 12:30).

God, through Moses, had laid down the rules and regulations (the Law) that His people were to follow within the theocracy.  But, after failing to drive the Gentile nations out of the land, that which God had warned His people about began to occur.  The Jewish people, over time, found themselves gradually being influenced and conforming more and more to the ways and practices of the pagan Gentile nations dwelling in the land with them.  And, as a result, rather than the Jewish people following that which God had stated in His Word, this period is marked by a departure from the Word.  Scripture reveals one central manner of living on the part of God’s people during this time:

….everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6; 21:25)

And God reacted accordingly.  God reacted in exact accordance with that which He had previously revealed in His Word through Moses.

There is a repeated sequence in the book of Judges relative to the Jewish people’s disobedience and God’s reaction to their disobedience.  In Judges 2, this sequence is given, setting the stage for that seen throughout the remainder of the book:

a) Israel’s action:

Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals;
and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers . . . and they followed other gods .
. . (Judges 2:11-12a)

b) The Lord’s reaction:

And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers . . . and He sold them into the hands of their enemies . . .

Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them . . . . (Judges 2:14-15a [14a])

c) Israel’s reaction:

And they were greatly distressed [which would lead to repentance]. (Judges 2:15b)

d) That which the Lord then did:

Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. (Judges 2:16)

When the Israelites fell into sin, God reacted through using that which had resulted from His people’s previous failure — Gentile nations remaining in the land, contrary to His command — as a means to bring about their repentance.  He delivered the disobedient Israelites into the hands of the same pagan nations that they had previously failed to drive out (Judges 2:21-23).  And, following His people being brought to the place of repentance through a judgment of this nature, God then raised up one or more individuals to deliver them out of the hands of the Gentiles.

Beginning in Judges 3, when God raised up the first judge to deliver his people, repentance on Israel’s part is seen first.  That is, God delivered His people into the hands of the Gentiles, the people repented, and God then raised up an individual to deliver them out of the hands of the Gentiles.  And this same order is continued through eleven of the fourteen judges whom God raised up (Judges 3:7-9, 12-15; 4:1-4; 6:1-14; 10:6-18; 11:1ff).

Then, following the death of the eleventh judge (Judges 12:15), though the same sequence is seen beginning again (with Israel’s disobedience), certain changes occur in the complete cycle of events this time:

Again the children of Israel did evil . . . and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. (Judges 13:1)

For the first time there was a forty-year period in which the Israelites found themselves in subjection to the Gentiles.  “Forty” is one of several numbers used in Scripture to show completeness, and the number appears numerous times in Scripture in this respect (e.g., Moses’ life is divided into three separate and distinct forty-year periods, Moses was on Mount Sinai forty days and nights, the disobedient Israelites under Moses wandered in the wilderness for forty years, each of Israel's first three kings reigned for forty years, Christ was tempted by Satan for forty days and nights, and Christ had a forty-day post-resurrection ministry prior to His ascension).

In this respect, because of Israel’s disobedience, God gave His people into the hands of the Gentiles (the Philistines) for a complete period of time.  And this complete period could only have followed a completion of Israel’s disobedience over the years.  That is to say, Israel’s cup of iniquity had apparently become full (cf. Genesis 15:16), with God acting accordingly.

However, there is no record of the Israelites repenting and crying out for deliverance during these forty years.  Nevertheless, God raised up Samson during this time as the twelfth judge, stating that he would “begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5b).  Full deliverance though could not occur until after the Israelites had repented, something not seen until the days of Samuel the prophet, the fourteenth and last judge (following Eli [1 Samuel 7:3-15]).

It was sometime during the latter part of the period of the judges that events in the book of Ruth occurred.  These events occurred during the latter time of these repeated cycles of Israel’s disobedience, the Lord’s anger being manifested, repentance occurring on Israel’s part, and one or more individuals being raised up to deliver the Jewish people.  And these events occurred during a time when probably less and less thought was being given to repentance by the Jewish people (having progressively been hardened to sin over time, as their cup of iniquity continued to fill).  But God always remained faithful and raised up deliverers nonetheless.

(E.g., note events surrounding Christ’s first coming.  Though the Jewish people were unrepentant at this time [with deliverance contingent upon repentance], God still sent a Deliverer [knowing, in His omniscience, that these unrepentant people would reject and crucify this Deliverer — following a pattern seen in Jewish history, but resulting in the direst of consequences this time (Matthew 23:34-39)].)

Typical Structure of Ruth

Events in the book of Ruth relate different facets of exactly the same story told over and over, time after time, during the days of the judges — sin, followed by deliverance.  This is the way in which the book both begins and ends, dealing in this respect with not only Israel and the Gentile nations but with the Church as well.  And the book, though beginning with the former, centers on the latter.  The book is centrally about Christ and the Church, not about God and Israel.

The book of Ruth begins by showing a Jewish family driven from their own land into a Gentile land because of a famine in the land of Israel (which could only be traced back to Jewish disobedience [cf. Deuteronomy 28:1-25]).  Then, prior to anything being stated about the family returning to the land, death began to overtake them.  Three members of the family died.  The father, Elimelech [Audio], and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion [Audio], died in the land of Moab (Ruth 1:3, 5).

But the complete family was spared from death in a Gentile land.  One person, Naomi, remained to return back to the land of Israel when the famine was over.  Naomi, in a Gentile land, heard that “the LORD had visited His people by giving them bread” (Ruth 1:6); and she returned to the land of Israel, where Boaz resided (a near kinsman, in charge of a field [which points to the world cf. Matthew 13:38], who would prove to be the deliverer).

This brief account relates the complete history of Israel, beginning with the people’s disobedience during the days of Moses and later repeated over and over as recorded in the book of Judges.  Because of disobedience, numerous times in history, along with the present time, the Jewish people found/find themselves without bread.  And, as in the experiences of the family of Elimelech during the days when the judges ruled, the nation today finds itself not only without bread but uprooted from the land, scattered among the Gentile nations, and at the mercy of these same nations.

During this time in the type, as previously noted, three Jews died in a Gentile land.  “Three” is a complete number in Scripture, showing divine perfection.  In this respect, in the type, the death of three Jews in a Gentile land showed a completeness in God’s judgment because of Israel’s disobedience.

The length of time during which divine perfection in God’s judgment would be carried out is also given following the death of Elimelech:  “. . . And they dwelt there [in Moab] about ten years” (Ruth 1:4b).  “Ten” is the number of ordinal completion, showing that they remained in Moab for a complete period of time.

And it would be exactly the same today for the Jewish people scattered among the nations.  There will be no visitation from the Lord, providing bread, until there is a completeness in God’s judgment, resulting from a past disobedience of the Jewish people.  And, as shown by the number “ten” in the type, this judgment will occur during a complete period of time — a set period, predetermined by God in the beginning.  Israel will remain scattered among the nations during a complete, predetermined period, which is part and parcel with the Seventy-Sevens that God has “determined” upon the Jewish people in Daniel 9:24-27. In the case of the Seventy-Sevens, the Seventieth Seven (a concluding period of seven years) will complete the period of God’s judgment upon His people because of their disobedience.

(Note something about the death of three Jews in a Gentile land in the type and the death of millions of Jews, throughout centuries of time, in Gentile lands in the antitype:

There should be no Jewish graves in Gentile lands.  The Jewish people were not called out of Egypt to dwell in and eventually die in Gentile lands. But the Jewish people and the Jewish graves are there today, scattered throughout Gentile lands worldwide.  And they are there for a single reason:  Israel’s disobedience.  And they bear testimony to one thing:  God has remained faithful to that which He stated in His Word relative to Israel’s disobedience.

[God has done exactly what He stated that He would do (Leviticus 26:33-39; Deuteronomy 28:37, 64-67).  One can stand in the middle of a Jewish cemetery in a Gentile land, with an open Bible in his hand, and view the history of Israel from the days of Moses to the present day two different ways.  He can view this history from the pages of Scripture, or he can view this history from the perspective of the Jewish graves surrounding him.  Both bear testimony to and relate exactly the same story.]

Had the Jewish people remained faithful and obeyed that which God commanded, they would have remained in the land within a theocracy.  Occupying this position in the land, they would have been established at the head of the nations, with the nations being ruled by and blessed through Israel.

But unfaithfulness and disobedience marked the route that the Jewish people took, time after time.  And time after time God allowed the Gentile nations in the land [nations that Israel had failed to drive out] to subdue and rule over them, with deliverance following each time.

All these things occurred in the land itself, but the day finally arrived when Israel’s cup of iniquity became full, in a sense beyond that [or typified by that] seen in the forty-year period of Judges 13:1 [note previous remarks on this forty-year period in the light of Genesis 15:16].  Then, when this time arrived, God allowed Gentile nations from outside the land to come into the land and uproot His people, carrying them captive into surrounding Gentile lands.  And from these surrounding lands, the Israelites were subsequently scattered throughout all lands, scattered among the Gentile nations of the earth.

This uprooting and scattering of the Jewish people began to occur over 2,700 years ago (with the Assyrian captivity [about 722 B.C.], continuing with the Babylonian captivity [about 605 B.C.]), with the Israelites still remaining scattered among the nations today.  And throughout this time, Jewish graves have appeared in Gentile lands worldwide, during centuries of time, bearing witness to that which has been done by both Israel and the God of Israel.

But this is not where matters end.  God’s faithfulness to His revealed Word (cf. Psalm 138:2) must not only involve Israel’s uprooting and scattering but the nation’s eventual restoration as well.  The complete outworking of all God’s plans and purposes surrounding Israel can be brought to pass only with a restored nation dwelling in the land covenanted to Abraham and his progeny and, in this land, fulfilling that which God called Israel to do in the beginning.

In this respect, the goal toward which everything moves relative to Israel will occur when the Deliverer one day appears [reappears in Israel’s case], and there will once again be bread in the land.  This is seen occurring with respect to one family in the book of Ruth, and it is seen occurring in the book of Judges during a time when the story was repeated over and over with respect to the entire nation.)

As previously stated though, this story of Israel (with which the book opens) is not really the central message of the book of Ruth.  Esther is the book that centers on Israel, not Ruth.  But, unlike Esther, Ruth also opens with events surrounding Christ and the Church.  And though Israel, of necessity, must remain in the picture throughout this book, revelation in the book centers on Christ and the Church, not on God and Israel.

Israel is introduced in a typical manner at the first of the book.  Then, Israel is seen in this same typical manner throughout the book for reasons which, from a Scriptural standpoint, can only be obvious.

Apart from Israel, nothing revealed in the book relative to Christ and the Church could exist.  “Israel” is the pupil of God’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:8-10; Zechariah 2:8 [“apple,” KJV, should be translated “pupil” in both references]).  God, in this respect, views His complete dealings with mankind through the nation of Israel.

God revealed early in the book of Genesis that He would deal with mankind at large through a particular segment of mankind.  Among the three sons of Noah, God singled out Shem immediately following the Flood as the one through whom such dealings would occur (Genesis 9:26-27); and slightly over four centuries later, God singled out a particular descendant of Shem, Abraham, through whom His dealings with mankind would continue to be worked out (Genesis 11:10-26; 12:1-3).

And matters of this nature must be carried out in the manner that God has decreed or they cannot be carried out at all.  God has decreed that all spiritual blessings are to flow through Abraham and his seed, which is revealed to be through Isaac, Jacob, Jacob’s twelve sons, and their progeny — i.e., through the nation of Israel; God has provided mankind with a Jewish Savior, whose lineage can be traced back to Abraham and Shem; all things about this Savior were foretold in a Jewish book (God’s revelation to man, given through Jewish prophets); and Christians have been grafted into a Jewish trunk, having become “Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” through their positional standing “in Christ,” who is Abraham’s Seed (cf. Genesis 12:1-3; Psalm 147:19-20; Matthew 2:2; Romans 11:17; Galatians 3:29; Ephesians 2:11-15).

Thus, it becomes a simple matter to see and understand that none of the things revealed about Christ and the Church could exist apart from Israel.  And this is why events in the book of Ruth, though not dealing centrally with Israel, cannot occur apart from Israel being seen someplace in the picture throughout the book.

1)  Chapters One and Two

Relative to the central message of the book, Ruth 1; 2 outline events extending from the time two Gentile women (Ruth and Orpah) become members of a Jewish family to the time one of these women (Ruth) is seen gleaning in the field of a near kinsman (Boaz) during the time of barley and wheat harvest.

a)  Type

Following Elimelech’s death, Mahlon and Chilion both married Moabite women — Ruth and Orpah [Audio], respectively.  Then, sometime later, Mahlon and Chilion died, leaving Naomi with her two daughters-in-law.

Though death had dissolved the marriage relationship, the family relationship continued.  Ruth and Orpah were still members of Naomi’s family.  They were still Naomi’s “daughters-in-law” (Ruth 1:4-6; 2:20).

Thus, the book opens with two Gentile women who had become members of a Jewish family through marriage.  And, following the death of their husbands, this family relationship with Naomi then had a connection with death.

Everything following this point in the account is based on an existing family relationship of this nature (widowed Gentile women, who are members of a Jewish family, where death is involved in the family relationship).  Matters had to be established in this manner first.  Only then could Ruth and Orpah occupy their respective positions seen in the story. 

The story through the book though is centrally about Ruth, not about both Ruth and Orpah.  Only Ruth chose to cleave unto Naomi and to her God, traveling with her to another land.  Orpah chose to turn back to the Moabite people and to their gods, in the land where she dwelled (Ruth1:15-17).

Ruth traveled with Naomi to Bethlehem (the house of bread), in another land (Ruth 1:18-22); and in that land she found herself working in the field of a near kinsman, Boaz (Ruth 2:1ff).  It was the time of barley and wheat harvest, and the whole of Ruth 2 is taken up with Ruth working in Boaz’s field from morning until evening, from the beginning to the end of the harvest.

b)  Antitype

As two Gentiles in the type occupied a family relationship with Naomi following the death of their Jewish husbands, Gentiles throughout the present dispensation occupy a family relationship with the one which Naomi typifies, Israel, through the death of a Jew.  Individuals are saved by Christ’s death and shed blood; and they, through a work of the Spirit during the present dispensation — an immersion in the Spirit — occupy a positional standing “in Christ.”  And, within this positional standing, because Christ is Abraham’s Seed, they become “Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).

Then, as in the type, Christians find themselves in a position where they can govern their lives in one of two fashions.  They can either look out ahead toward another land (a heavenly) and glean in the field (the world) belonging to the Near Kinsman (Christ), or they can look back to and involve themselves in the things of this present world system.  The choice is theirs to make.  They can, as Ruth, turn to the things that have a connection with the Jewish people, a land, and a Redeemer; or they can, as Orpah, turn back to the things of this present world system, with its god (Satan). Regardless, their family relationship will remain unaffected, but not so with that seen throughout the remainder of the book of Ruth.

2)  Chapters Three and Four

Relative to the central message of the book, Ruth 3; 4 outline events extending from the time Ruth prepared herself for meeting Boaz on his threshing floor, relative to both her widowhood and a forfeited inheritance, to the time Boaz had not only redeemed the inheritance but, through this redemptive process, had taken Ruth as his wife as well.

a)  Type

With a view to her widowhood and the redemption of a forfeited inheritance — an inheritance belonging to Naomi’s family — Ruth prepared herself for meeting Boaz (a near kinsman) on his threshing floor.  And she prepared herself in a threefold manner.  She washed herself, anointed herself, and properly arrayed herself (Ruth 3:3).

On the threshing floor, because of laws governing the Jewish people and because of Ruth’s identity and proper preparation, Boaz was under obligation to do as Ruth requested (which she made known, through her actions, once on the threshing floor in Boaz’s presence).

Then the remainder of the story is taken up with Boaz’s redemptive act at the gate of the city (Ruth 4:1ff).  Boaz redeemed the inheritance, Ruth became his wife in the process, and the book ends with a brief account of the lineage of this union, extending to King David.

b)  Antitype

Proper preparation for meeting Christ on His threshing floor (at His judgment seat [Matthew 3:12]) would occur during the present dispensation.  Christians, working in the field (Ruth 2:1ff) in a proper manner would also be properly preparing themselves in the same threefold manner seen in Ruth 3:3.

Washing oneself has to do with cleansing (keeping oneself clean from the defilement connected with this present world system), anointing oneself has to do with the filling of the Spirit, and putting on raiment has to do with the wedding garment.  This is the threefold manner in which Christians are to presently be preparing themselves, with a view to meeting Christ on His threshing floor.

It is here that faithful Christians, typified by Ruth, will find themselves in the same position in which Ruth found herself on Boaz’s threshing floor.  And Christ, in like manner, typified by Boaz, will find Himself at this future time in the same position in which Boaz found himself.

A redemption of the forfeited inheritance will then occur (which will have to do with a territory, as in the type [a “field,” i.e., the world, the earth; cf. Ruth 4:5; Matthew 13:38]); and Christ, as Boaz, will take the one typified by Ruth as His wife in the process (cf. Ruth 4:9-13; Revelation 5:1-19:9).

Then, through carrying Boaz and Ruth’s genealogy to King David, regality is seen beyond this point in the type.  And this is where matters will end in the antitype as well — when a descendant of Boaz, the one greater than David, takes the kingdom and, with His wife as consort queen, reigns over the redeemed inheritance, reigns over the earth.

(Refer to previous The Marriage of the Lamb Festivities in this site.  Also reference Ruth by Arlen Chitwood for a more detailed account of these events.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Ruth, Ch. 1

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

The book of Esther, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with Israel.
And the book of Ruth, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with the Church.
Esther presents a complete overview of the history of Israel
and Ruth presents a complete overview of the history of the Church.
But the emphasis in each book is not so much on the past and present as it is on the future.

Esther: A Book of Mysteries
By Chuck Missler of K-House
(Commentary from K-House eNews)

Esther is an obscure book to many, even though it is a story of romance and palace intrigue set in the glory days of the Persian Empire. A Jewish maiden, elevated to the throne of Persia as its queen, is used by God to preserve His people against a Hitler-like annihilation. Even the works of Shakespeare's dramatic genius cannot compare with the drama and irony in this captivating epic.

To this day, the Feast of Purim is held to commemorate these events. Instituted by Mordecai to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews from extermination, Purim (from Akkadian [Audio], puru, "lots") is so called after the lots cast by Haman in order to determine the month in which the slaughter was to take place. Held on the fourteenth day of the Jewish month of Adar, Purim is one of the most joyous days of the year.

The book of Esther chronicles real historical events. It deals with the Jews escape from genocidal annihilation after their return from Babylonian captivity. Chronologically, Esther makes possible Nehemiah. It was Esther's marriage to the king of Persia that ultimately leads to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and enables the chain of events that led to the appearance of the Messiah five centuries later.

Orphaned as a child and brought up by her cousin Mordecai, Esther was selected by King Ahasuerus to replace the queen when Vashti was disgraced. Haman, the prime minister, persuaded the king to issue an edict of extermination of all the Jews in the Persian Empire. Esther, on Mordecai's advice, endangered her own life by appearing before the king [without being invited] in order to intercede for her people.

Seeing that the king was well disposed toward her, she invited him and Haman to a private banquet, during which she did not reveal her desire but invited them to yet another banquet, thus misleading Haman by making him think that he was in the queen's good graces. Her real intention was to take revenge on him. During a second banquet, Queen Esther revealed her Jewish origin to the king, begged for her life and the life of her people, and named her enemy.

Angry with Haman, King Ahasuerus retreated into the palace garden. Haman, in great fear, remained to plead for his life from the Queen. While imploring, Haman fell on Esther's couch and was found in this ostensibly compromising situation upon the king's return. He was immediately condemned to be hung on the very gallows which he had previously prepared for Mordecai. The king complied with Esther's request, and the edict of destruction was then changed into permission for the Jews to avenge themselves on their enemies.

It is a fascinating story, but one full of Biblical mysteries. There is no mention of the name of God in the book. There is no reference to worship or faith. There is no mention or prediction of the Messiah; no mention of heaven or hell; there is nothing "religious" about it. It is a gripping tale, but why is it here in the Bible? Martin Luther believed it should not be part of the Canon, however the name Esther gives us a clue: it means "something hidden." In studying this book we have discovered that there are numerous surprises hidden behind, and underneath, the text itself.

See following Esther for detailed commentary.

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Esther
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

(H635,'estêr, of Persian derivation; Ester, the Jewish heroine: - Esther [Audio].)

(Note: Where [Audio] follows a name, click on for Audio Pronunciation.)

Content:

 

Foreword

The book of Esther contains a wealth of information relative to Israel and the nations, having to do mainly with activity occurring at the end of and following the Times of the Gentiles.

Esther 1; 2, within the typical structure of the book, relate the complete history of Israel — from God’s call surrounding this nation during Moses’ day to that future day when this call will be realized under the One greater than Moses, with Israel then occupying the nation’s proper place, in the Messianic Kingdom.

Then the remaining seven chapters (Esther 3-10) form commentary material for the first two chapters, centering attention on that future time when God will resume His national dealings with Israel, at the end of Man’s Day, terminating at the same place as the first two chapters — Israel occupying the nation’s proper place, in the Messianic Kingdom.

Esther 3 begins with the rise of Haman to a high position of power in the kingdom, typifying the future rise of Antichrist to a position of world power in the kingdom near the middle of Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week. And the remainder of the book reveals Antichrist’s activities (typified by Haman’s activities) as they relate particularly to Israel (typified by both Esther and Mordecai [Audio]), that which Israel will do because of these activities, Antichrist’s ultimate fall (which marks the end of the Times of the Gentiles), and Israel’s subsequent rise to the position that the nation was called to occupy almost 3,500 years ago when God called the Israelites out of Egypt under Moses.

In the preceding respect, Esther 3-10 parallel Revelation 6-20. And, when studying either book, to gain a proper understanding of the book, it is vitally important that Scripture be compared with Scripture. One book must be studied in the light of the other, among other books (Old Testament and New Testament) containing related subject matter as well.

This is simply one of the ways in which God has structured His Word, necessitating comparing Scripture with Scripture in order to gain a correct understanding of that which has been revealed. God, through this means, has provided man with a complete revelation of Himself, His plans, and His purposes.

This complete revelation though can be seen only in one place — in the complete Word. And it can be properly seen and understood through only one means — through comparing parts of this revelation with other parts of this revelation, through “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:9-13), viewing and studying the whole of Scripture in this manner.

In this respect, the book of Esther is an integral and vital link to seeing and understanding the complete word picture that God has provided. Not only must Esther be viewed and studied in the light of related Scripture (e.g., Exodus, Daniel, Revelation, among numerous other books and places in Scripture) but related Scripture must be viewed and studied in the light of Esther as well.

And the importance of Esther in this respect is self-evident. This book is about Israel and the nations, and understanding God’s dealings with Israel in this respect is a central key to understanding the whole of Scripture.

Understand the message of the book of Esther (comparing Scripture with Scripture), and you can understand what has happened, is happening, and is about to happen relative to Israel and the nations. It was all foretold in the small book of Esther almost two and one-half millennia ago.

(Reference the book Esther by Arlen Chitwood for a more detailed account of these events. Also see the following Haman, in the book Esther in this site.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Esther, Forword

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Historical Setting for Esther

The events seen throughout the book of Esther occurred in the southern part of the country known today as Iran. “Iran” is a name of more recent origin. The country was known as “Persia” prior to 1935, reflecting on the racial identity and history of the people inhabiting the land — descendants of the ancient Persians.

Though the people inhabiting this land during modern times are of Persian descent, which carries all the way back to the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians during Ahasuerus [Audio] and Esther’s day, the name change in 1935 reflected another racial characteristic of the Persian people — that of Aryan descent. The name Iran is derived from “Aryan [Audio],” a reference back to the Aryan tribes in that part of the world (as distinguished from the Middle East Semitic [Defined] tribes); and the Aryan tribes would include the descendants of the ancient Medes and Persians, among other tribes in that region.

Iran today though only covers a small part of the kingdom as it existed during Ahasuerus and Esther’s day in the book of Esther. The kingdom during that day extended all the way from India west to Ethiopia (Esther 1:1). It was the world kingdom of that day, represented by the breast and arms of silver on Daniel’s image in Daniel 2:32, 39.  (See The Great Image in this site.)

This kingdom, represented by the breast and arms of silver, was a dual kingdom — the Medo-Persian kingdom — throughout the time of its existence as the center of world power (from about 538 B.C. to about 330 B.C.). This was the kingdom that conquered Babylon (the kingdom that conquered the world power represented by the head of gold on Daniel’s image); and the Medo-Persian Empire formed the kingdom that, in turn, was conquered slightly over two hundred years later, in Babylon, by Alexander the Great and his armies (which then brought into existence the third part of Daniel’s image, that represented by the belly and thighs of brass [cf. Daniel 2:32, 39; 8:3-8].

The Medes were the dominant power at first. But, according to secular history, about the time that the Medo-Persian Empire became the center of world power, the dominance in power shifted from the
Medes to the Persians. And the Persians continued as the dominant power throughout the empire’s status as the world power of that day.

(Following the Medo-Persian kingdom being depicted by the second part of the image in Daniel 2, this dual kingdom was later depicted in the book through a bear raising itself up on one side [Daniel 7:5], which is subsequently explained by the horns on a ram in the next chapter. The ram had two high horns [representing “the kings of Media and Persia” (cf. Daniel 8:3, 20)], “but one was higher than the other, and the higher [the king of Persia] came up last” [Daniel 8:3].)

The Persian kingdom had become the dominant power long before the time of Ahasuerus’ reign, as seen at the beginning of the book of Esther. Note that this world power is referred to as that of “Persia and Media” at this time (i.e., Persia mentioned first, in accord with the power-structure of the kingdom [Esther 1:3; cf. Esther 1:18-19]). And the time of his reign — several generations following the captivity under Nebuchadnezzar [Audio] (Esther 2:5-6) — would be in complete accord with the probable identity of Ahasuerus (a title or family name, similar to “Herod” in the gospel accounts). Ahasuerus in Esther was probably Xerxes [Audio] (the son of Darius in Daniel 5:31), who ruled the Medo-Persian Empire during the years 486-465 B.C.

(There is one exception to Persia being mentioned before Media in the book of Esther, and that occurs in Esther 10 where mention is made of “the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia” (Esther 10:2). However, it would only naturally follow that Media should be mentioned first when this book was referenced, for this book contained records dating back to the time when Media rather than Persia was the dominant power. In this respect, attention was called to the original title or way in which the book was known, not to the present status of power among the two nations forming the kingdom.)

Thus, the book of Esther has to do with the most powerful of all the kings on earth ruling over the world empire of that day. In conjunction with his reign, his queen is brought to the forefront different places throughout the book. And the queen is brought to the forefront in this manner for a revealed reason, set forth and established in an unchangeable fashion in chapter one of the book.

This is the setting for the book of Esther, a book fraught with types and meaning.

(Reference the book Esther by Arlen Chitwood for a more detailed account of these events.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Esther, Ch. 1, Historical Setting for Esther

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Typical Structure of Esther

Events in the book of Esther occurred almost a millennium after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt (a type of the world); and these events occurred during a time when the Israelites were once again under Gentile subjection, awaiting that time when the One greater than Moses would return to lead the people out from a worldwide dispersion (i.e., awaiting that time when Christ will return at a yet future date to lead the Israelites out from that typified by the Exodus from Egypt under Moses).

Thus, events in the book of Esther occurred at a mid-point between the actions of Moses in the type and the actions of Christ in the antitype. And, at this juncture in the history of Israel and the nations, God, through bringing circumstances and events to pass among Israel and the nations over a period of centuries and millennia, could take the current events of that day and use these events to reveal great spiritual truths concerning both history and prophecy surrounding the same nations carrying out these events.

God’s sovereign control over all things throughout Man’s Day has allowed Him to take Old Testament history and, through divine design, structure this history in a manner that is highly typical in nature. Only an omniscient and omnipotent God, who possessed perfect knowledge of all things — the beginning, the end, and all that lay between — could, within His sovereign control over all these things, reveal His plans and purposes in this manner.

And, accordingly, only through studying God’s revelation after the manner in which God has structured this revelation can man come into a proper understanding of the revealed Word.

1) Chapters One and Two [Esther 1; 2]

The whole of the story as it pertains to Israel — typified by the queen (Vashti, then Esther) — is set forth in the opening two chapters of the book. The remaining chapters (Esther 3-10) simply provide commentary for that previously revealed in the opening two chapters.

But first, the type, as it is set forth in each of these opening two chapters:

a) The Type — Chapter One [Esther 1]

Chapter one begins with the king making a great feast. Mention is made of his power and the riches of his kingdom, with those in positions of power in the kingdom being invited to the feast. The feast was proclaimed “in the third year of his reign”; and, during this time, “he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all [six months]” (Esther 1:3-4).

Then the king made a feast to all who were present — to all the people “from great and small” — for “seven days.” And, “on the seventh day,” the command was given “to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown.” And this was to be done in order “to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold” (Esther 1:5, 10-11).

But, “Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command.” And, because the queen refused to come, after the king had commanded her to come, “the king was furious, and his anger burned within him” (Esther 1:12).

Then the remainder of the events in chapter one surround that which was to be done concerning Vashti because she had refused to come at the king’s command. The king consulted his advisors. And because the actions of the queen had wronged not ony the king but everyone in the kingdom as well, a decree, in keeping with her actions, was issued.

This decree was “a royal decree,” which had been “recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes.” And the decree, because it was recorded among national law, could not be altered. The decree stated the matter simply and clearly:

. . . that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. (Esther 1:19b; cf. Esther 1:15-19a)

This decree, in turn, was to be published throughout all of King Ahasuerus’ empire, in the various languages of all those throughout the empire. This was done because other women in the empire might be inclined to follow Vashti’s lead.

Then, something additional was written in the decree concerning Vashti’s actions. Because that which Vashti had done reflected negatively on the king’s authority and brought dishonor to the king, it was decreed “that each man should be master in his own house.” This would turn matters around and result in wives honoring, not dishonoring, their husbands (Esther 1:17, 20-22).

b) The Type — Chapter Two [Esther 2]

Chapter two begins with the king’s wrath being appeased and his remembering Vashti, “what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.” Then the king’s servants suggested that a search be conducted for one to replace Vashti — a “young woman who pleases the king,” who would “be queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:1-4).

The search was begun; and Mordecai [Audio], whose great grandfather had been carried away in the captivity (under Nebuchadnezzar [Audio], which began about 605 B.C.), had a cousin named Hadassah [Audio], whose Persian name was Esther. And Esther was among those “taken to the king’s palace” to later appear before the king (Esther 2:5-8).

Proper preparations would be made for meeting the king over one year’s time, divided into two equal periods of six months, with different things regarding preparation being accomplished during each period. It was only at the end of this time — after complete and proper preparation had been made — that a young women would be taken in before the king (Esther 2:9-14).

When Esther’s turn finally came, she was taken in before the king “in the tenth month . . . in the seventh year of his reign.”

The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. (Esther 2:17)

The king then “made a great feast,” which was proclaimed to be the “Feast of Esther.” And he “proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.” (Esther 2:18)

At the same time, “Mordecai sat within the king’s gate.” And, while in this position, he became aware of a plot against the king. Mordecai then made the matter known to Esther, who told the king. An inquisition was conducted. And, as a result, the two men involved in the plot were “hanged [impaled] on a gallows” (Esther 2:19-23).

c) Antitype of Chapters One and Two [Esther 1; 2]

In different parts of chapters one and two, reference is made to various time-periods in connection with festivities, showing the honor of the king’s majesty, showing the riches of the kingdom, and bringing the queen before the king. In chapter one, reference is made to “the third year,” “one hundred and eighty days [six months],” “seven days,” and “the seventh day” (Esther 1:3-5, 10). And in chapter two, reference is made to “the tenth month” and “the seventh year” (Esther 2:16).

The whole of the matter has to do with different ways of viewing part or all of a single time-period in the antitype, set forth and established in an unchangeable manner in the foundational framework at the very beginning of Scripture, in Genesis 1:1-2:3. And that which is revealed in the book of Esther has to do with commentary on these opening verses in Genesis (as does all other Scripture subsequent to these opening verses), providing additional sinews and flesh necessary to clothe the skeletal, foundational framework established at the beginning (cf. Ezekiel 37:1ff).

(I.E., the opening verses of Genesis establish the pattern for the whole of subsequent Scripture — God taking six days to restore a ruined creation [the earth], followed by a day of rest. And this points to God taking six more days [6,000 years] to restore a subsequent ruined creation [man], to be followed by a day [1,000 years] of rest [ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Study of Scripture, Ch. 2, or 2) The Septenary Arrangement of Scripture in this site].)

Israel was called into existence to occupy a particular position before the King — before God Himself — at a time designated by the number three, following a time designated by the number six, and during a time designated by the number seven. All of these are seen in the first chapter of Esther. Then, in chapter two, the number ten is brought into the picture in connection with another reference to the number seven.

Time, through the use of numbers in the preceding respect, is dealt with different ways in Scripture. But, as previously stated, the whole of the matter must be in line with the foundational framework established at the beginning, i.e., in line with six days of restorative work, followed by a seventh day (a Sabbath) of rest. And in the opening two chapters of Esther, one finds various ways in which Scripture deals with time in this respect.

In the third year” (Esther 1:3) points to the seventh day in the respect that Israel had been called into existence two days (2,000 years) before the nation was destined to be raised up to live in God’s sight on the third day, which, using the full reckoning of time, would be the seventh day (cf. Hosea 5:13-6:2 [Audio]).

Israel was called into existence after two days (after 2,000 years) of human history; and, according to Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, the Messianic Era would be ushered in at the end of the Jewish dispensation, 2,000 years following Abraham’s birth, 4,000 years following Adam’s creation.

But the present dispensation (during which time God deals with the one new man “in Christ” another two days, another 2,000 years, with Israel set aside) must fit into the equation. The present dispensation is not seen within either Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy or Hosea’s reckoning of time, though it would relate to the fifth and sixth days (covering the complete six days, the complete 6,000 years) in the opening verses of Genesis. And that which occurred during and following the complete six days in the opening verses of Genesis is that which is in view through events occurring during and at the end of the six months in Esther 1:4-5.

Then the “seven days,” with the crowned queen being called into the king’s presence on “the seventh day” (Esther 1:5, 10-11), is self-explanatory. This, in the antitype, has to do with the entire seven days in Genesis 1:1-2:3, with Israel being called into existence during the six days in order to realize a particular position on the seventh day — the Sabbath day, pointing to the seventh millennium.

And “the tenth month” and “the seventh year” in chapter two (Esther 2:16), in connection with the crown being placed on Esther’s head (Esther 2:17), point to exactly the same thing. “Ten” is the number of ordinal completion, and all things will be brought to completion when that seen in these verses is brought to pass on the seventh day.

Then, Mordecai seated in the king’s gate completes the type — the Jews one day possessing the gate of the enemy (Genesis 22:17).

Israel in the Old Testament was called into existence to occupy a particular position at a particular time. Israel refused, and the nation was set aside. That’s what Esther 1 is about.

However, the day is coming when God will once again turn to Israel and complete His dealings with this nation, establishing Israel in the position to which the nation was called, during a time that God has established. That’s what Esther 2 is about.

Thus, in the preceding respect, the opening two chapters of Esther cover the complete history of Israel — from the time of the nation’s inception to the time when the nation realizes her calling, in the Messianic Kingdom.

2) Chapters Three through Ten [Esther 3-10]

These eight remaining chapters in the book of Esther provide commentary, filling in details, for the complete story that has already been told in chapters one and two. This commentary, when seen in the antitype, fits into the latter part of the time covered by chapter one and ends at the same place where chapter two ends.

The arrangement of God’s revealed Word after this fashion — a complete sequence of events, followed by commentary — is something seen quite often in Scripture. Actually, as previously seen, viewing Genesis 1:1-2:3 in connection with subsequent Scripture, the whole of Scripture has been structured in this manner (cf. Matthew 17:1-5; 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:1-8).

Revelation chapter twelve (Revelation 12) would be one of the more classic examples of a section of Scripture structured after this fashion. The complete sequence of events is given in verses one through six (Revelation 12:1-6). Then verses seven through seventeen (Revelation 12:7-17) provide commentary for that which has already been stated in the opening six verses.

And this is the manner in which the book of Esther is structured — the complete story is given first, and commentary then follows. And the latter (commentary on Esther 1; 2) is exactly what the last eight chapters deal with.

a) The Type — Chapters Three through Ten [Esther 3-10]

Chapter three (Esther 3) begins with the king promoting Haman to a high position of power. From information provided in the book, his position of power appeared to be second only to the king himself. And Haman (a Gentile), rather than Esther or Mordecai (both Jews), held this position of power.

Haman was placed over “all the princes that were with him.” And “all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate” were commanded by the king to honor Haman in the position to which he had been appointed, bowing before him (Esther 3:1-2a).

But Mordecai, also at the gate, “would not bow or pay [Haman] homage.” And this infuriated Haman to the extent that he, knowing Mordecai was a Jew, sought to not only slay Mordecai but all the Jews throughout the entire kingdom (Esther 3:2-6 [2b]).

And this sets the stage for that which occurs throughout the remainder of the book.

Haman, seeking to bring about the destruction of the Jews, instead, ultimately brought about his own destruction, along with that of his house as well. Haman had built a gallows upon which he planned to have Mordecai hanged (impaled). But, through God’s providential control of all things, the tables were turned, with Haman himself subsequently being hanged (impaled) on the gallows. And not only was Haman hanged (impaled) on the very gallows that he had built for Mordecai, but his ten sons were subsequently slain and hanged (impaled) on this same gallows as well (Esther 3:8-9:14).

(Relative to the preceding, the English text in most versions refers to being hanged on a gallows, as the two men were hanged on a tree at the end of chapter two. The thought though, in all instances throughout the book, has to do with being hanged in the sense of being impaled, whether on a tree or on a gallows.)

Then, following Haman’s overthrow, instead of a Gentile continuing in power, a Jew was promoted to the position that Haman had held. The house of Haman was given to Esther the queen; and Esther, in turn, placed Mordecai — who had been promoted to a position of power directly under the king — over the house (Esther 8:1-7; 10:3).

b) The Antitype of Chapters Three through Ten [Esther 3-10]

The account of Haman, his love for both recognition and power, his hatred for the Jewish people, his ignominious end, and the ultimate triumph and exaltation of a Jew to the position of power previously held by a Gentile have to do with that future time when God turns back to and completes His dealings with the Jewish people. These dealings will complete the full time seen in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, bringing “the times of the Gentiles” to a close (Luke 21:20-24). And the long-awaited Messianic Era will then follow.

“Haman” typifies the man of sin (Antichrist), who, in the middle of the coming Tribulation (Daniel’s Seventieth Week), will find himself occupying the same position in Satan’s kingdom that Haman occupied in Ahasuerus’ kingdom. Satan (ruling the present world kingdom under God, though a rebel ruler) will give to this man the same thing that He offered to Christ in the temptation account (Luke 4:5-6). Satan will give to this man “his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2).

Though giving his throne to Antichrist, Satan will still hold the same regal position to which he was appointed in the beginning. God alone can appoint or remove rulers, and Satan will be removed from his present position only after Christ returns (cf. Daniel 4:17, 25; Revelation 19:17-20:3). But, regardless, the man of sin will still exercise power emanating from God’s throne through Satan’s throne in the same manner in which Haman exercised power emanating from Ahasuerus’ throne.

Scripture deals with matters surrounding the emergence of this man at the end of Man’s Day in a manner far more extensive than many realize. Numerous types and prophecies have to do with the day when this man will be upon the earth; and most also continue into the end of the matter, into the Messianic Era.

The book of Esther forms a good illustration of the preceding. Note that the larger part of this book has been given over to the emergence of this man, that which he will do, and that which will resultantly occur. Then matters end with conditions that foreshadow the coming Messianic Era.

This man was on the scene in type at the time of the inception of the nation in the book of Exodus. There was an Assyrian Pharaoh ruling Egypt in that day (the Assyrians had conquered Egypt, and an Assyrian Pharaoh ruled Egypt). And this Assyrian Pharaoh foreshadowed the future Assyrian (the man of sin, who will arise from within the territorial boundaries of the old Assyrian kingdom, which covered parts of present day Iraq, Iran, and Turkey [cf. Isaiah 10:5; 14:25; 30:31; 31:8; 52:4; Daniel 8:22-25; Hosea 11:5
]).

And this man will be on the scene when God completes His dealings with the Jewish people at the end of Man’s Day (Revelation 13:1ff). The type in Exodus, having to do with not only this man’s activities but his destruction in the Red Sea as well, foreshadows that which will occur when this man emerges in the antitype. And that which occurred relative to the Jewish people — beginning with the appropriation of the blood of the slain paschal lambs in chapter twelve (Exodus 12) and continuing with their departure from Egypt — foreshadows that which will occur in the antitype as well.

Almost the entire book of Exodus deals with prophecy in this respect. That which is about to happen has all been foretold in this manner in various Old Testament books. And each part of the Old Testament where these matters are dealt with provides another, slightly different, part to the complete word picture.

And the book of Esther is one of these books, providing part of the complete word picture. This book centers on the Jewish people and the great enemy of the Jewish people in the end times. And this book relates the matter from God’s standpoint, revealing those things that God chose to reveal, after the manner that He chose to use.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Esther, Ch. 1, Typical Structure of Esther

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Haman
Excerpt from Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End

After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.

And all the king's servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage. . 

When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.

But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone [he scorned the thought of laying hands on Mordecai alone], for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus-the people of Mordecai. (Esther 3:1-2, 5-6)

The opening two chapters of Esther (Esther 1; 2) deal with the complete, overall scope of the history of Israel — past, present, and future — as seen typically through the experiences of Ahasuerus [Audio] (the king), Vashti (rejected as queen), and Esther (replacing Vashti as queen). Then the book takes eight more chapters (Esther 3-10) to provide details surrounding events during a minute part of this overall history, yet future.

Esther 3-10 deal centrally with Ahasuerus, Haman, Esther, and Mordecai [Audio]. And, from a typical standpoint, events seen in these chapters have to do with God, the beast, and Israel during the last three and one-half years of the Times of the Gentiles, with events leading into the Millennium.
This section of the book opens with Haman being promoted to a position in the kingdom above all others, a position directly under the king (Esther 3:1).

This foreshadows the beast coming into power as world ruler in the middle of the Tribulation, with Satan giving to this man his power, throne, and great authority. And this will place the beast in exactly the same position seen in the type — a position directly under the King, under God, as the Lord’s anointed (cf. Ezekiel 28:14).

All in the kingdom were to bow and reverence Haman. But Mordecai, a Jew seated in the king’s gate (Esther 2:19, 21), refused to bow before or reverence him (Esther 3:2b).

(From the standpoint of the overall type, Mordecai, a Jew seated in the king’s gate, portends that which is seen in Genesis 22:17-18 — the seed of Abraham possessing the gate of the enemy. The “gate” was the place where business or governmental affairs were conducted in a city or kingdom. And possessing the gate in the manner seen in Genesis 22:17-18  is a manner that Scripture uses to signify governmental control.

Mordecai seated in the king’s gate in the type is another picture of the same thing seen in Revelation 12:1 — the woman wearing “a crown of twelve stars.” Both foreshadow Israel in waiting, destined to take the kingdom, possess the gate.)

And when Haman saw Mordecai seated in the King’s gate, refusing to bow and reverence him, he was enraged. As a result, Haman’s hatred for not only Mordecai but the whole of the Jewish people in the kingdom became such that his goal was seen to be the same as previously exhibited by the Assyrian in Egypt. Haman sought to destroy all the Jews throughout the kingdom (Esther 3:6).

And the remainder of this book is about Haman’s efforts to do away with the Jewish people, along with that which resulted from his efforts.

The more Haman turned his hand against the Jewish people, the worse conditions become for him. He was humiliated by having to publicly exalt Mordecai, whom he had planned to slay and impale on a gallows that he had built (Esther 5:14; 6:1-14). And then he himself was slain and impaled on the gallows that he had built for Mordecai (Esther 7:1-10), followed by his ten sons being slain and impaled on the same gallows as well (Esther 9:10-14).

These events were then followed by the king giving Esther all that had belonged to Haman (Esther 8:1, 7) and promoting Mordecai to the position that Haman had previously held (Esther 8:2;10:2-3).

The whole of the account, typically, has to do with the aspirations of the beast during the last half of the Tribulation, that which God will bring to pass concerning this man and his ten-kingdom federation as a result, and that which God will then bring to pass concerning the nation of Israel.

This account is simply another part of an overall word picture surrounding the beast and Israel, with the emphasis placed in a particular realm. And the account shows once again the working out of God’s unchangeable principles regarding Israel as set forth in Genesis 12:1-3.

(Refence Esther by Arlen Chitwood for a more detailed account of these events.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Haman in Esther excerpt, from The Time of the End, Ch. 22 or The Beast — In the Types in this site.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Esther, Summary [My title.]

Mordecai’s Rise and Greatness

So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.

And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them. . . .

And King Ahasuerus imposed tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea.

Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?

For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen. (Esther 8:15-17; 10:1-3)

Esther 1; 2 tells the complete story of the Jewish people in a brief, minute form.

Then, throughout Esther 3-10 (forming commentary material for Esther 1; 2), the thought of the Jewish people ultimately occupying their God-ordained place on earth — as seen in the opening two chapters (a place having to do with regality) — is continually brought to the forefront.  And, as the sequence of events depicted in the book relative to Israel and the Gentile nations draws to a close, information surrounding the Jewish people occupying their proper place within God’s economy is brought to the forefront in an ever-increasing manner.

Throughout Esther 3-10, which have to do mainly with a time near and following the end of Gentile world power (foreshadowing events during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, progressing on into the Messianic Era), regality relative to Israel is shown a number of times, several different ways.  And when one arrives at the last four chapters of the book (Esther 7; 8; 9; 10), this is seen even more so, with the book ending by taking two whole chapters (Esther 8; 10) to foreshadow Israel holding the scepter during the Messianic Era.

Mordecai, at different times throughout the first part of the book, is seen seated “within the king’s gate” (Esther 2:19; 3:2-3; 4:2, 6; 5:9, 13; 6:10, 12), an act portending regality (cf. Genesis 22:17-18; 24:60).  Esther in Esther 5 is seen appearing before the king in “royal robes” on the third day, which is the time when Israel will appear in the King’s presence arrayed in this manner — after two days, on the third day;  after 2,000 years, in the third 1,000-year period (cf. Hosea 6:1-2).

And following Haman’s death (Esther 7), the whole of Esther 8 is given over to thoughts surrounding the Jewish people and regality.  Then, following Haman’s ten sons being slain (Esther 9), the whole of Esther 10 is given over to thoughts surrounding the Jewish people and regality once again, which is how the book ends.

Events surrounding Haman’s death at the end of Esther 7 foreshadow the destruction of Gentile world power (headed up under Antichrist) at the end of Man’s Day, resulting in the end of the Times of the Gentiles.  God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will have been realized, for the Jewish people will have been brought to the place of repentance.

Then, in Esther 9, another word picture is given concerning the end of the Times of the Gentiles.  Haman’s ten sons (foreshadowing Antichrist’s ten-kingdom confederacy) are slain and impaled upon the same gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai, the same gallows upon which Haman had previously been impaled.

Thus, the whole of that seen in Esther 7; 9 foreshadow the destruction of Antichrist and his ten-kingdom confederacy, depicting the destruction of Gentile world power at the end of Man’s 6,000-year Day.

But in Esther 8; 10, quite another story is seen.  The Jewish people are seen occupying their proper God-ordained place in relation to the kingdom and regality.  And this place is seen to be the highest of all positions in the kingdom on earth — next unto the King (Esther 10:3).

Insofar as the book of Esther itself is concerned, Esther 7; 9 together present a complete picture of the end of Gentile world power, and Esther 8; 10, together present a complete picture of Israel in the Messianic Era, following the destruction of Gentile world power.  And this is where the book ends — Gentile world power destroyed, Israel holding the scepter, the theocracy restored, and the Messianic Era ushered in.

And as the book progresses more and more toward that day, Israel is seen being moved more and more from the shadows into the spotlight.  Then as the book is brought to a close, following the overthrow of Gentile world power, it is the Jewish people alone who are seen in relation to regality, ruling directly under the King.

ANTICIPATING THAT COMING DAY

Israel though is presently scattered among the nations and has been since the days of Nebuchadnezzar [Audio], about 2,600 years ago.  And, throughout this period, the Times of the Gentiles has been allowed to continue.  The Gentiles, during this time, have been allowed to hold the scepter; and, throughout this same time, the Gentiles have been allowed to persecute the Jewish people whom God has scattered among them.

Israel must first be brought to the place of repentance.  Only then can the Times of the Gentiles be brought to an end, for the entire purpose for the Times of the Gentiles is to bring Israel, through Gentile persecution, to the place of repentance.  Only then, following Israel’s repentance and the end of the Times of the Gentiles, can the things depicted at the end of the book of Esther be brought to pass.  Only then can Israel, as God’s firstborn son, hold the scepter directly under the King.

And to show all these things in what would be considered the commentary section of the book of Esther (Esther 3-10), God begins at the very heart of the matter.  Viewing Esther within a type-antitype framework, God begins very near the end of Man’s Day and details a sequence of events, lasting three and one-half years, which brings Man’s Day to a close.  Then, following this sequence of events, which completes Man’s Day, the Messianic Era is ushered in.

This sequence of events begins with the rise of Antichrist to a position of world power near the middle of the coming Tribulation.  This will be the man who, as the antitype of Haman, brings Israeli persecution to an apex — attempted worldwide genocide.  And, as also seen in the type, this will be the man whom God will use, through this intensified persecution, to bring Israel to the place of repentance.

Thus, the reason God begins at this point in the book is evident.  The book of Esther throughout centers on Israel in relation to a future regality.  But Israel must first be brought to the place of repentance; and Gentile world power (which cannot end before Israel has been brought to this place) must then be destroyed (after Israel has been brought to this place), allowing repentant Israel to hold the scepter.

Accordingly, Esther 3-10 begin very near the end of the Times of the Gentiles, showing the final outworking of God’s plans and purposes surrounding the Times of the Gentiles.  God simply moves to near the end of the matter (not only here but numerous other places in Scripture as well) and reveals a concluding sequence of events at the end of 2,600 years of Gentile persecution during the Times of the Gentiles.

The purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will ultimately be realized.  Israel will ultimately be brought to the place of repentance.  Then, Gentile world power will be destroyed, Israel will take the scepter, and Israel will be elevated to the nation’s proper place on the earth.

But, until that day arrives, matters relative to Israel and the nations will remain unchanged.  The Gentiles will continue to hold the scepter, and the Jewish people will remain scattered among and persecuted by these same nations.

1)  ISRAEL, TODAY

Thus, Israel in the world today still finds itself in exactly the same position that the Jewish people have occupied since the days of Nebuchadnezzar — living during the Times of the Gentiles, scattered among the nations, persecuted by these nations, and still unrepentant.  And, these conditions will, they must, persist until God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles has been realized.

During the Times of the Gentiles, there have been two restorations of remnants of Jews to the land of Israel.  The first occurred during the years following the Babylonian captivity, forming the remnant in the land when Christ came the first time; and the second has occurred during modern times, forming the remnant that is not only presently in the land but will be in the land when Antichrist appears.

The first remnant returning to the land (near the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles) ultimately found itself uprooted from the land and scattered among the nations.  And this exact same fate awaits the second remnant returning to the land (near the end of the Times of the Gentiles).  This remnant too is about to be uprooted from the land and scattered among the nations, where most of world Jewry still resides (about one-third of world Jewry is presently in the land, with the remaining two-thirds still scattered among the nations).

The first remnant was uprooted in this manner through the actions of Titus and his Roman legions in 70 A.D.  Titus marched against Jerusalem, besieged the city, and ultimately destroyed both the city and the temple.  And more than one million Jews perished in this destruction, with the remainder subsequently driven into Gentile lands.

The second remnant, in the land today, will be uprooted in a similar manner by Antichrist and his armies.  Antichrist, after three and one-half years (in the middle of the Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th Week), will turn against the Jewish people, break his seven-year covenant with Israel, and destroy both Jerusalem and the rebuilt temple (cf. Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24).  And, in the process, above one million Jews in the land will be slain (Zechariah 13:8), with the remainder (other than the remnant that escapes into a specially prepared place in the mountainous terrain of the land [cf. Matthew 24:16-20; Revelation 12:6, 14]) being uprooted and driven into Gentile lands.

Then, for the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, Jerusalem will be “trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (cf. Luke 21:24; Revelation 11:2).  And it will be during this period that Israel’s suffering at the hands of the Gentiles will reach such extremes (cf. Matthew 24:21-22) that the Jewish people will be left without a choice other than to cry out to the God of their fathers, fulfilling the type seen in Exodus 2:23; 3:9 (among numerous other types and prophecies in Scripture).

God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will then be realized.  Israel, through Gentile persecution, will be brought to the place of repentance.  It will have taken 2,600 years of Gentile rule and Jewish suffering at the hands of the Gentiles to bring this to pass; and Jewish suffering will have been climaxed by the Holocaust in Europe during the reign of Hitler and a succeeding worldwide Holocaust during the reign of Antichrist.

Thus, in that coming day, preceded by Jewish persecution and suffering over millennia of time, God’s plans and purposes surrounding Israel and the nations will have been worked out.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [without a change of mind]. (Romans 11:29)

The context of Romans 11:29 has to do with Israel’s future deliverance at the time of Messiah’s return (Romans 11:24ff).  Israel will have been brought to the place of repentance, and the Times of the Gentiles will have been brought to an end.  God is not going to change His mind concerning the reason He called man, then the nations, and then Israel into existence.  God is not going to change His mind concerning the reason He brought the Times of the Gentiles to pass.  God’s plans and purposes surrounding individuals and nations, occurring during time, will ultimately be realized.

The Infinite God, unlike finite man, does not get in a hurry in matters of this or of any other nature.  Nor does God do things as man might seek to do them.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God is often seen taking millennia to bring His plans and purposes to pass.  He is seen working with man in general, with Israel and the nations, and with the Church in this manner.  God, in this respect, brings matters to pass within His own set times, with one thing clear and certain.  God’s plans and purposes — that which He has decreed and revealed in His Word — will ultimately always be brought to pass.

2)  THE REMNANT PRESENTLY IN THE LAND

As previously seen, the Jewish people in the world today can be divided into two categories: 

(a) those in the land, forming the present nation of Israel; and

(b) those remaining scattered among the Gentile nations.  Only a remnant though has returned to the land, with the majority of the Jews remaining outside the land and scattered among the nations.

But why is there a segment of world Jewry back in the land today?  There has been no repentance on Israel’s part, neither the people nor the land has been healed, and man is still living during the Times of the Gentiles.

Is this somehow the beginning of God’s restoration of the Jewish people back to their land, as foretold by the prophets, anticipating their repentance and that seen at the end of the book of Esther?  Or, is this something else?

Note a short history of Israel during modern times, bringing the matter somewhat up-to-date in this respect:

The present existing Jewish nation in the Middle East is the end result of a Zionistic [Audio] movement that had its beginning during modern times through the efforts of Theodor Herzl (and other Jewish leaders) during the closing years of the 19th century.  Herzl (1860-1904), who became the first president of the World Zionist Organization in 1897, was a Hungarian-born Jew who would presently be looked upon as the father of modern-day Zionism [Audio].  Herzl, and other Jewish leaders of his day, opened the door to a renewed Zionism among Jews worldwide, Jews scattered among and persecuted by the Gentiles.

Then, at the beginning of the 20th century, Britain figured prominently in the matter.  Britain, throughout the years leading into and during World War I (1914-1918), was sympathetic toward the Zionistic aspirations of the Jewish people.  But it was only near the end of World War I that all of this was brought out into the open, with the British government acting on the matter.  And a Russian-born Jew, Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952), who had become a British subject prior to the war, figured prominently in that which the British government did in this respect near the end of the war.

Chaim Weizmann, a chemist, had been placed in charge of the Laboratories of British Admiralty during the war.  And, as director, he discovered a process for synthesizing acetone, a substance necessary for the manufacture of high explosives — something that helped, in a major way, to bring about an Allied victory in the war.

Weizmann was an ardent Zionist.  And the British government, near the end of the war, exercised governmental control over Palestine (though they were not officially given the mandate by the League of Nations until 1922).  Thus, the stage was set for that which then occurred.

Weizmann, because of his contribution to the war effort, in a manner of speaking, was in Britain’s debt.  And, with Britain both in governmental control of Palestine and looking favorably upon Jewish Zionistic aspirations, Weizmann, through his influence in the British government, brought Zionism to the forefront.

Weizmann was the person largely responsible for Arthur James Balfour (Foreign Secretary in Britain’s government during the war), on Nov. 2, 1917, issuing what later became known as “The Balfour Declaration.”  This declaration, in essence, set the course for future actions that the British government took toward Jewish Zionistic aspirations of that day.  The declaration read, in part:

“His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object . . . .”

Britain though, seeking to carry matters forward in this respect in the Middle East, immediately ran into the same problem that the Jews have experienced in the land for the past half century.  The British government found itself in the middle of and adding fuel to a 4,000-year old conflict between two half brothers.  And, seeking to appease both participants in the conflict (Arabs and Jews alike), the British began to issue what were called “White Papers,” sharply limiting Jewish immigration.  And the issuance of these papers all but closed the door during the ’20s and ’30s to the Jewish dream of a national homeland in Palestine.

Then in the late ’30s, World War II, with its Holocaust, began to envelope Europe.  And, because of that which occurred during these years (1939-1945), with a Zionistic base already well-established in the Middle East, the flood of Zionism among Jews worldwide following World War II was unstoppable.  Regardless of the White Papers and continued British control and rule in Palestine, nothing was now going to stop the Jewish people from establishing a national homeland within the boundaries of the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

And the nation in the land today can be traced back to the succeeding events of May 14, 1948, when David Ben-Gurion stood beneath a picture of Theodor Herzl in the Tel Aviv Museum Hall and, shortly before sunset, declared Israel’s independence.

Events beginning with Theodor Herzl and continuing through men such as Chaim Weizmann paved the way and opened the door for that which occurred in Tel Aviv May 14, 1948.  And the Jewish frame of mind, worldwide, at the conclusion of World War II was the central driving thrust that brought all that had preceded into reality.

So, again the question:  Is the remnant presently in the land today (approaching 5,000,000 strong) somehow the beginning of God’s restoration of the Jewish people back to their land, as foretold by the prophets, anticipating that seen at the end of the book of Esther?  Or, is this something else?

To address the issue, note two simple facts:

(a) The Times of the Gentiles presently continues, and

(b) Israel has yet to be brought to the place of repentance

And, as has previously been shown, an inseparable relationship exists between the two.  The reason for the Times of the Gentiles is to bring about Israel’s repentance through the Jewish people being scattered among and persecuted by the Gentiles.

And, in keeping with the preceding, Scripture clearly reveals when God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to pass — under the reign of Antichrist yet future, at the end of Man’s Day.  Only then and not before, will God heal His people, heal their land, and restore His people to their land within a theocracy.

The remnant presently in the land is there as a result of Zionism, which, in this case, is little more than finite man’s efforts to help an infinite God fulfill His plans and purposes — an effort to push God’s plans and purposes ahead of His timetable.  Thus, from a Scriptural standpoint, under no stretch of the imagination could this remnant be said to exist in the land in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning God restoring the nation to its land.

For the latter to be true, God would be violating His own Word — an impossibility.  He would be ignoring the purpose behind the past 2,600 years of Jewish history — the scattering of a disobedient people among the Gentiles in order to bring about their repentance.  He would be re-gathering a disobedient and unrepentant people back to a desolate land, during the Times of the Gentiles, before His purpose for scattering these people among the Gentiles had been realized (e.g., Isaiah 1:4-15).

Thus, God re-gathering His people in fulfillment of the restoration foretold by the Old Testament prophets is simply not what is presently occurring.  According to Scripture, both Israel and the land must first be healed.  Only then can the prophesied restoration occur (e.g., Isaiah 1:16-2:5).

In more ways than one, the remnant presently in the land has returned before the time.  Not only has this remnant returned before God has completed His purpose for the Times of the Gentiles, but this remnant has returned while Christ is still exercising His high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.  And, according to the type in Numbers 35, the slayer (Israel, in the antitype) cannot return to the land of his possession (the land of Israel, in the antitype) until the death of the high priest (which, in the antitype, could only have to do with the termination of Christ’s present high priestly ministry after the order of Aaron, when He departs the heavenly sanctuary and comes forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek).

According to the type in Numbers 35, for Israel to return to the land before the time foreshadowed by the death of the high priest is to place the nation in great danger.  It is to place the nation in danger of being slain.  And this danger is not only very real but it is about to be realized.

When Antichrist rises to power in the immediate future, he will attempt to slay the slayer.  He will break his covenant with Israel, uproot the remnant presently in the land, and attempt to destroy all of the Jews worldwide.

Hitler attempted to bring about a Jew-free Europe, and Antichrist will seek to bring about a Jew-free earth.  Failure marked Hitler’s efforts, and failure will mark Antichrist’s efforts (cf. Jeremiah 31:35-37).  And, as a nation arose from the ashes of the first Holocaust, so will a nation arise from the ashes of the latter Holocaust, with the latter being the restoration foretold by the prophets.

Thus, to bring matters to pass, a remnant of Jews has been allowed to return to the land near the end of Man’s Day, not as part of the prophesied Old Testament restoration of the Jewish people, but as a Zionistic undertaking that has occurred under God’s sovereign control of all things.  God, in His sovereignty, has allowed this remnant to return in order to bring about a conclusion to the outworking of His plans and purposes surrounding the Times of the Gentiles and Israeli repentance.

(For a detailed discussion of the slayer in Numbers 35, reference Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Esther, Appendix 1, Death of the High Priest.)

WHEN THAT DAY ARRIVES

The day of Israel’s prophesied restoration to the land will be following Israel’s repentance, following Christ’s return and the overthrow of Gentile world power, and following the healing of both the people and the land.  This is simply what the Old Testament prophets have revealed about the matter, and this is what must be followed.

Further, Israel will be restored to the land in accord with the seven “feasts of the Lord” in Leviticus 23.  These festivals form the prophetic calendar of Israel and detail the chronology of events, as they will have to do with Israel, from the time of Christ’s return to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom (a period, which, according to Daniel 12:11-12, will apparently be seventy-five days in length).

The first festival, the Passover, has to do with Israel’s national conversion after Christ returns and the Jewish people (still scattered among the nations) look upon the One “whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).  The Jewish people, in that day, will look upon the Aleph and the Tau (the first and last letters in the Hebrew alphabet, as Alpha and Omega in the Greek alphabet [cf. Revelation 1:8; 21:6]).  These two letters form an untranslated word in the Hebrew text of Zechariah 12:10, which follows and refers back to “Me [Christ]” in the verse.

Israel has slain the Lamb, but the Jewish people have yet to apply the blood.  Thus, insofar as Israel is concerned, not a single festival from Leviticus 23 (festivals that must be fulfilled in the order given) has been fulfilled.  But, in that coming day, following Christ’s return, these festivals will be fulfilled, beginning with the Passover (during what would appear, from Daniel 12:11-12, to be a seventy-five-day period).

But note within this order where Israel’s restoration is placed.  It is seen in events surrounding the fifth festival, the Feast of Trumpets (which follows Israel’s national conversion [fulfilling the first festival], among other events set forth through the intervening three festivals).  It will be then, not during the present day, that the fulfillment of verses such as Deuteronomy 30:3; Ezekiel 37:11-14; Matthew 24:31 will occur.

Then, a restored nation, in a restored land, during the Messianic Era, is seen through events surrounding the seventh and last festival — the Feast of Tabernacles.  And it is toward this day that the whole of Scripture moves.

1)  NEXT UNTO THE KING

Israel in that coming day will be the restored wife of Jehovah, with the theocracy restored to the nation.  “God” will be King; and “Israel,” a nation separate and distinct from the Gentile nations (cf. Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 7:6), will be queen.

Israel will be placed back in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (a healed nation placed back in a healed land).  Israel, in that day, will occupy her proper, God-ordained place at the head of the nations.  The Times of the Gentiles will be past, Israel will hold the scepter, and the Gentile nations of the earth will be ruled by and blessed through Israel.

In that day, Israel is going to go forth in the antitype of Joseph’s brethren after his reappearance to and their acceptance of him.  Joseph’s brethren, in the type, went forth with the message, “Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:1-4, 9, 26).  And Jesus’ brethren, in the antitype, are going to go forth with the same message:  “Jesus is yet alive, and He is Governor over all the earth.”

The Jewish people, in that day, will fulfill the one thing that they have yet to fulfill surrounding their calling.  They, as Jonah following his being raised from the dead after two days, on the third day, will carry God’s message to the Gentiles.  And, as in Jonah’s experience, the Gentiles will hear and take heed (cf. Isaiah 43:1, 10; Jonah 1:17; 2:10-3:10).

2)  GREATNESS, ACCEPTANCE, WEALTH, PEACE

The end of the matter is seen in both Esther 8 and Esther 10.  Chapter eight depicts one facet of Israel’s royal position during the Messianic Era — arrayed in a regal manner (Esther 8:15); and Esther 10 depicts another facet of the matter, with four words used to describe Israel in that coming day — greatness, acceptance, wealth, peace (Esther 10:3 KJV).

The only word that probably needs any comment at all is the word “wealth.”  This is the translation of a Hebrew word that has to do with “good,” or a reference to “the welfare of the people.”

Israel in that day will be great (at the head of the nations, rather than as today), the Jewish people will be accepted (the present-day situation will be reversed), the Jewish people will do that which is good (looking out for the welfare of all), and there will be worldwide peace (cf. Luke 1:31-33; 2:13-14).

And it will be in that day, in accord with Esther 8:17 — “. . . many of the people of the land became Jews, because the fear of the Jews fell upon them” — that the Gentiles are going to recognize the Jew in complete accord with his true identity and calling:

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”  (Zechariah 8:23).

“Ten” is the number of ordinal completion, pointing to all of the Gentiles, calling attention to that which the future holds for both Israel and the nations (Psalm 122:6; 126:1-6; Isaiah 60:1-22).

(See preceding Esther: A Book of Mysteries for a simplified summary.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Esther, Ch. 9, Summary

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Israel, During the Old Testament Theocracy and At Christ’s First Coming
Excerpts from Esther by Arlen Chitwood of
Lamp Broadcast

Content:

 

During the Old Testament Theocracy

Following Adam’s fall, God waited 2,000 years before he brought forth the man — Abraham — through whose lineage the nations of the earth were to be blessed. Then, 500 additional years passed before God was ready to begin fulfilling his promises to Abraham concerning a seed and a land, through a nation emanating from his loins (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:13-21; Exodus 6:3-8; 12:40-41).

Twenty-five hundred years beyond the creation of Adam, during the days of Moses, the nation emanating from the loins of Abraham found itself exactly where the same nation (because of disobedience) finds itself today. The Israelites found themselves in a Gentile land (in “Egypt,” a type of the world in Scripture), ruled over and persecuted by a Gentile power.

God called the nation out of Egypt under Moses, to dwell in the land that had been covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were to dwell in this land as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” And, in this position, they were to be placed “above all people,” with the Gentile nations of the earth being blessed through Israel (cf. Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 6:23; 7:6; 28:13).

However, unbelief and disobedience marked the history of the Israelites — from the days of Moses to that time centuries later when God allowed Gentile powers to come into the land, uproot his people, and carry them away captive into Gentile land.

A theocracy existed in the land of Israel for about eight centuries, which reached its heights during David’s reign, extending into part of Solomon’s reign. But this theocracy, because of Israel’s disobedience, never rose to the heights that God had intended. It never became a theocracy in which the nations of the earth could be ruled by and blessed through Israel.

During the latter part of Solomon’s reign, things began to go even further awry. And about fifty years after his reign, Elijah [Audio] appeared, followed by Elisha [Audio], calling attention to sin, disobedience.

But matters remained unchanged. And, to remain true to His Word, God was left with only one recourse. The Israelites were to find themselves occupying a position diametrically opposed to the position that God had called them to occupy.

The Israelites would be removed from their land and scattered among the Gentile nations; they would find themselves under subjection to these nations and mistreated by these nations in every conceivable way, exactly as God had promised (cf. Leviticus 26:21-22, 27-28, 33-39; Deuteronomy 28:25, 30, 37, 65-67).

In 722 B.C. the Assyrians were allowed to come into the land and take the northern ten tribes into captivity. And slightly over one hundred years later, about 605 B.C., the Babylonians were allowed to come into the land and take the southern two tribes into captivity. These were captivities from which only remnants of Jews have ever been allowed to return, more particularly at two different times — one that began seventy years following the Babylonian captivity, and the other that began in 1948, during modern times.

The nation itself has never been allowed to return from the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. Rather, because of disobedience, the nation has remained scattered among and persecuted by Gentile nations. And that which happened in Europe during particularly the years 1939-1945 — 6,000,000 Jews slain as a result of Gentile persecution — is simply an extreme outworking of that which God promised would happen to His people if they did not obey His voice. In short, the Holocaust was the direct result of two things:

(1) Jewish disobedience, and

(2) God keeping His Word.

But the Holocaust also had to do with something else relative to God keeping His Word. Though the Gentile nations may seek to carry out genocidal activities surrounding Israel, this nation cannot be destroyed.

As the bush burned during Moses’ day, apart from being comsumed (Exodus 3:2-3), the nation of Israel will continue to be persecuted by the Gentiles, apart from being destroyed. For, as God was in the midst of the burning bush during Moses day (Exodus 3:4), or as a fourth person was seen in the fiery furnace during Daniel’s day (with the three Israelites [Daniel 3:19-25]), God has always resided in the midst of His people, Israel (even today, in their disobedience). Thus, to destroy Israel, God Himself would have to be destroyed.

Two things relative to Israel in the preceding respect are contingent entirely upon God fulfilling that which He has promised in His Word. One has to do with the position in which the nation of Israel finds itself today (scattered among and persecuted by Gentile nations), and the other has to do with the fact that Israel will continue as a people until God’s purpose for calling this nation into existence has been realized.

At Christ’s First Coming

Christ’s first coming occurred about six centuries following that time when the complete nation (northern ten tribes and southern two tribes) had been removed from their land, carried away by Gentile powers, and scattered among the Gentile nations. And His first coming occurred at a time slightly over five centuries following the return of remnants (allowed by Cyrus) under Zerubbabel [Audio] and Ezra.

These remnants formed the original nucleus for that segment of the nation that was in the land, under Roman dominion and persecution, at Christ’s first coming. Most of the Jews at this time were still scattered throughout Gentile lands (Acts 2:8-11), and even the ones in the land of Israel found themselves under subjection to a Gentile power.

Christ’s first coming occurred during “the times of the Gentiles,” which began about 605 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar [Audio] was allowed to come into the land and begin carrying the remaining southern two tribes into captivity; and this time will continue until the heavens are opened, Christ returns, overthrows Gentile world power, and places Israel in the position to which the nation was called in the beginning.

Jerusalem was being trodden down of the Gentiles when Christ came the first time, and it will be trodden down of the Gentiles for the three and one-half years immediately preceding Christ’s return (Luke 21:20-24; John 19:10-15; Revelation 11:2). Then, “the times of the Gentiles” will end, for Israel, in that day, will be brought to the place of repentance.

In this respect, note the message of John, Jesus, the twelve, and the seventy at Christ’s first coming. It was a simple message: “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand” (cf. Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; Luke 10:9). There was a call for national repentance, and this was to be followed by national baptism (showing exactly the same thing that the Red Sea passage during Moses day depicted relative to the entire nation in the type [ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Search for the Bride, Ch. 6).

And this call for repentance, followed by baptism, was voiced by Peter on the day of Pentecost, after the promised Spirit had been sent: “Repent and be baptized every one of you [the entire nation of Israel] . . .” (Acts 2:38a).

This was the beginning of the re-offer of the kingdom of the heavens to Israel (which lasted until about 62 A.D.). During the original offer (during Christ’s earthly ministry), the message was to the Jew only (Matthew 10:5, 6; 15:24). But, during the re-offer, the message was to the Jew first, not to the Jew only. And, during this time, it was also to the Gentile (Romans 1:16; 2:9-10, 16).

However, Israel refused to repent during both the offer and the re-offer of the kingdom. During the offer, the Jewish people climaxed their unbelief and disobedience through rejecting the message and the Messenger, pledging their allegiance to a pagan Gentile king, and then crucifying the true King (John 18:19-23; 19:14-15). This was then followed by continued rejection during the re-offer of the kingdom (Acts 2:37-41; 3:19-4:3, 10-21; 5:17-33; 7:51-8:4; 9:20-29).

This left God with only one recourse — to continue fulfilling in the lives of the Jewish people that which He had stated in His Word relative to the consequences of disobedience (e.g., allowing a Gentile power to destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D., followed by a scattering of the remnant in the land, followed by continued Gentile persecution). Though the nation was set aside for a dispensation, there must be a continuation of the outworking of the principles that God has laid down in His Word surrounding Israel (for Jew or Gentile, as seen in Genesis 12:3).

Man is living today during a time when Israel remains in an unbelieving and disobedient state. And God’s Word, relative to Israel in this state, must be fulfilled. That’s what most of the book of Esther is about. The matter is introduced in chapter one, and the remaining chapters present the full and ultimate end of the matter — the unparalleled sufferings that the nation is about to undergo, followed by the glory to then be revealed.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Esther, Ch. 2, Israel, During the Old Testament Theocracy and At Christ’s First Coming

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

The Two Destructions of the Nations Coming Against Christ and Israel
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

(Note: Where [Audio] follows a name, click on for Audio Pronunciation.)

Content:

The First Destruction - The Great Supper of God

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,

that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

And the rest were killed with the sword that proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:17-21)

Revelation 19 presents two suppers that will occur following the close of the Tribulation (deipnon, the Greek word translated “supper,” in both instances refers to the principle meal of the day, usually observed toward evening).

In the first part of the chapter, immediately following the shouts of hallelujah and praise in heaven at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 19:1-6) — a jubilation, mainly because of Israel’s repentance and the Son’s impending reign — the marriage supper of the Lamb occurs (Revelation 19:7-9).

Then immediately afterwards the heavens are opened, and Christ, as “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” comes forth with His armies to tread “the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” And this treading of the winepress on earth allows “the supper of the great God [lit., ‘the great supper of God’]” to occur (Revelation 19:11-21).

Thus, two successive suppers are seen in chapter nineteen — one in heaven preceding Christ’s return, and the other on earth following His return. And the two suppers are completely different in nature, though both are inseparably connected with the Son’s impending reign over the earth.

(The adjective, “great” [Greek: megas] in Revelation 19:17, describing a supper [describing God in the KJV] is used eighty-two times in the book of Revelation, describing numerous things [e.g., Revelation 1:10; 2:22; 5:2, 12; 6:4, 10, 12-13, 17]. The word megas though is never used to describe God in this book, unless this verse in Revelation 19 is the exception.

A couple of Greek manuscripts do have the word megas describing “God” rather than “supper” in this verse [including the Textus Receptus, the main Greek text used for the KJV, accounting for the KJV translation]. However, the vast majority of manuscripts have the word megas describing “supper,” accounting for the translation, “the great supper of God,” in almost any English translation since the 1901 ASV.

The word megas appears one-hundred fourteen times throughout the rest of the New Testament [Matthew through Jude], and the word is used only seven times throughout this part of the New Testament to describe Deity — three times to describe Christ in Messianic passages [Matthew 5:35; Luke 1:33; Titus 2:13], twice to describe Christ as High Priest [Hebrews 4:14; 10:21], once to describe Christ as the great Shepherd of the sheep [Hebrews 13:20], and once by the Jewish people to describe Christ as a great Prophet [Luke 7:16].

The Septuagint [Audio] [Greek translation of the Old Testament] uses megas mainly for a translation of the Hebrew word gadol. This word is used some five hundred times in the Old Testament, but, as in the New Testament, the word is used only sparingly to describe Deity [e.g., Exodus 18:11; Deuteronomy 7:21; 10:17; Psalm 47:2; 99:2; 138:5].)

In connection with Christ returning through an opened heaven as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” to tread the winepress, an angel is seen standing in the sun (Revelation 19:17). And this angel cries out with a loud voice to all the birds of the air (land animals as well in the same scene from Ezekiel 39:17) to come, gather together, and partake of “the great supper of God” — a supper that will consist of “the flesh of captains . . . mighty men . . . horses . . . all people, free and slave, both small and great . . . the kings of the earth, and their armies” (Revelation 19:18-19a).

(In both Ezekiel 39:17 and Revelation 19:17, the cry is to “all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven,” not just the carrion birds. And the same is true of the land animals in Ezekiel 39:17 — “every beast of the field.”

According to the scene presented when the third and fourth seals have been broken in Revelation 6:5-8, depicting conditions during the latter part of the Tribulation, particularly near the end, hunger existing among animal life at that time may be such that even non-carnivorous animals will be found partaking of this “great supper.”)

The angel standing in the sun, uttering this cry, stands within that which is used in a metaphorical sense in the book of Revelation to symbolize the center of governmental power (cf. Revelation 6:12; 8:12; 12:1; 16:8). And the symbolism use in Revelation 19:17 is introduced by and reflects back on the previous six verses, depicting Christ returning through an opened heaven as “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”

The right to take the scepter and rule the earth at this time will have previously been given to the Son by the Father (Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15; cf. Daniel 4:17, 25; 5:18-21; Matthew 20:23). And the angel standing in the sun — standing in that which symbolizes the central governing authority — is seen announcing this fact.

(A similar scene occurring at the time of Christ’s return was depicted earlier in the book, in Revelation 10:1-2 — the angel with the seventh trumpet, whose “face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire,” coming down from heaven and placing “his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land.”

Refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End. Ch. 19, pages 235-236 or The Opened Scroll in this site, for comments on the actions of this angel.)

Then, from this point, the call goes out to all the birds of the air to come and feast upon that which is about to remain of Gentile world power when it comes against the King in Jerusalem, seeking to prevent Him from taking the scepter and assuming the throne, seeking to prevent Him from assuming that which will then be rightfully His.

Following this call, both the beast and the false prophet are taken and cast alive into the lake of fire. Then the Gentile armies of the earth — which will have dared to follow the beast, as he led them against the King in Jerusalem, along with restored Israel in the land — will be trodden under foot as Christ treads the winepress (Revelation 19:19-21; cf. Revelation 14:14-20; 16:13-16).

These armies will consist of such vast numbers in that day — myriads of myriads, referring to large indefinite numbers (Revelation 9:16; ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 18, or Silence in Heaven (3) in this site) — that blood will flow in places to a depth coming up to a horse’s bridle. And this slaughter will extend over a distance of about one hundred and eighty miles (Revelation 14:20).

This is how the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to a close when Christ returns — centrally because of the outworking of the principles set forth in Genesis 12:1-3 and Israel’s God-appointed position among the nations in Genesis 9:26-27; Exodus 4:22-23. And the manner in which this will occur results in that which Scripture refers to as “the great supper of God,” with trampled Gentile world powers left on the mountains and plains of Israel for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field to devour.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 32, or The Great Supper of God in his site.

The Second Destruction – Following the Millennial

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison

and will go out to deceive the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.

They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10)

Certain parallels exist between the seven-year Tribulation and the one-thousand-year Millennium that follows. And these parallels have to do with events during and immediately following the Tribulation and with events during and immediately following the Millennium.  (See The First Destruction - The Great Supper of God and The Second Destruction – Following the Millennial in this site.)

The Tribulation will be a time when God’s righteous judgment falls upon those residing on the earth. During this time of judgment, a first fruit of the Jewish nation (144,000 Jewish evangels) will go worldwide to the Gentiles with God’s message.  (See The 144,000 Jewish Evangels in this site.)

Then, immediately following the Tribulation, the nations of the earth — under Satan, as he heads matters up through the beast — will be gathered together against Christ and the Jewish people, with Jerusalem being the focal point. The beast and false prophet will then be taken and cast into the lake of fire, followed by the destruction of the nations formerly under the command of the beast (cf. Isaiah 34:11). Satan will then be chained, cast into the abyss, and the abyss will be sealed over, allowing the Millennium to ensue.

The Millennium will be a time when those dwelling on the earth will experience God’s righteous judgment through His Son, as the Son, with His co-heirs, rule the earth. The Millennium, in this respect, will be 1,000 years of judgment (Psalm 2:6-12; 110:1-7). And during this time, the entire Jewish nation (as the 144,000 previously) will go worldwide to the Gentiles with God’s message, as seen in Isaiah 53.

Then, events occurring immediately following this 1,000-year period (the Lord’s Day) will end exactly like events occurring immediately following the previous seven-year Tribulation (the last seven years of Man’s Day). Immediately following the Millennium, the nations of the earth — under Satan, who will have been loosed from the abyss — will be gathered for exactly the same reason and to exactly the same place seen 1,000 years earlier. They will be gathered to the land of Israel, with Jerusalem, once again, being the focal point for those coming against Christ and the Jewish people.

And the end of the matter will be the same as before the Millennium. The leader — Satan — will be taken and cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and false prophet will still reside (the leadership under Satan during the counterpart to this battle before the Millennium). Then the Satanic-led nations, as before, will be destroyed.

(In Revelation 20:10, note that the word “are” is in italics [“where the beast and the false prophet are,” KJV; NKJV], indicating that the word has been supplied by the translators. The fact that the beast and false prophet are still there though is seen in the words “shall/will be tormented.” These three words [KJV; NKJV] are a translation of one word in the Greek text, and this word is in the third person plural: lit.,they will be tormented,” referring to more than Satan alone, which, textually, can only include the beast and the false prophet. Thus, after 1,000 years the beast and false prophet will still be there when Satan is cast into this place.

And, following Satan being cast into the lake of fire, an expression is used pointing to continuous, unbroken time extending throughout the eternal ages that are to follow, providing the duration that Satan, the beast, and the false prophet will remain in the lake of fire — “day and night forever and ever [‘day and night with respect to the ages of the ages’],” i.e., continuous, unbroken time throughout the endless ages of eternity.)

Immediately following the Tribulation, the armies from the nations of the earth, gathered to the land of Israel, are referred to as “Gog, of the land of Magog” (Ezekiel 38:2). And the matter is expressed the same way in Revelation 20:8 relative to the nations of the earth gathered to the land of Israel once again at the end of the Millennium (worded, “Gog and Magog,” followed by an explanation concerning the land, as seen preceding the name “Magog” in Ezekiel 38:2).

The reason for the gathering of these nations into the Middle East both times will be the same, and this reason is echoed in verses from Psalms 2 and Psalms 83 (verses having to do with the first gathering, but the reason for the nations being gathered is the same both times):

Why do the nations [Gentiles] rage, and the people plot [KJV: imagine] a vain thing?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,

“Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us. [the restraining and authoritative power of the Father and Son].”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh [a contemptible laughter]; the Lord shall hold them in derision.

Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.”
(Psalm 2:1-6).

For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head [they carry their head high, exalt themselves].

They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones [the latter is a parallel part of the verse, referring to the Jewish people previously mentioned, those protected by God; cf. Psalm 27:5].

They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You. (Psalm 83:2-5)

Both before and after the Millennium, the reason for such an endeavor by the nations under Satan will be the same; and the end result will, as well, be the same. The nations of the earth, under Satan, will march into the Middle East against Christ and Israel. Then, the leadership will be taken and dealt with, and those under their command will be destroyed.

The first destruction of the nations coming against Christ and Israel will occur by and through a treading of the winepress. And this destruction will be followed by the great supper of God and by Satan subsequently being bound and cast into the abyss, which will then be sealed over, for 1,000 years. See The First Destruction - The Great Supper of God.

The second destruction of the nations coming against Christ and Israel follows Satan being loosed and deceiving the nations. And this destruction will occur by and through fire coming down from God out of heaven (note that fire from heaven is also associated with the first destruction as well [Ezekiel 38:22; 39:6; cf. 2 Peter 3:10]).

Comparing the manner in which the reference to “Gog and Magog” is used in both Ezekiel 38:2 and Revelation 20:8, understanding exactly what is meant by these two names used together is a simple matter (cf. Genesis 10:2; 1 Chronicles 1:5; 5:4).  In Ezekiel 38:2, “Gog” refers to a people (other than Israel — the Gentiles, with the leadership of the nations particularly in view), and “Magog,” as seen in the text, refers to a land (Hebrews erets, understood as one or more “lands” or the whole “earth,” depending on the context).  In Revelation 20:8, that which is referred to by both words is the same as seen in Ezekiel — “the nations [referenced by ‘Gog’] in the four quarters of the earth [referenced by ‘Magog’].”

It is evident that “Magog” in Ezekiel 38:2 should be thought of in the same sense seen in Revelation 20:8 — more than just the land of one or more named countries; rather, contextually, the reference is to the lands of countries worldwide, the entire earth.

The battle seen in Ezekiel 38; 39 occurs after Israel has been restored to the land, following Messiah’s return at the end of the Tribulation. Thus, these two chapters simply form another description of the same battle seen in Revelation 14:14-20; 19:17-21, the Battle of Armageddon.

(For additional information on how “Gog and Magog” is used in Ezekiel 38:2, along with an overall view of Ezekiel 38; 39 in this respect, refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 32.  Also see Wikipedia - Armageddon.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 34, or Following the Millennial n this site.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

(Aside:  God reveals the beast to us, through His Holy Word, the Bible. In the Word, God describes an unholy trinity, one that may already be in the making at this point in history. But, the beast will not rise to power until the latter days, known in general, as the Tribulation, the last seven years of human history as we know it.

This unholy trinity is that of Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet. In the scriptures, God reveals Antichrist as the Beast, who derives his power from Satan, the Dragon. Together, they will use the False Prophet, the Second Beast, to help them accomplish their evil works on planet earth. The Bible also tells us that in the end of days, the Antichrist will rule over the entire human race with an ecumenical and apostate global religion, in addition to ruling the planet through a global government, and economy. No person living at that time, will be able to escape his evil rule. Revelation 13:1-18.) 

Atheists Forgetting the Meaning of Freedom
By Ben Carson
August 19, 2014

Many people in this country were shocked when the U.S. Navy recently announced the removal of all Bibles from military hotels under their control. This was in response to pressure from the  Freedom From Religion Foundation, a well-known atheist group.

The surprise is not the hypocritical stance of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but rather the fact that an established bulwark of American strength and patriotism caved to a self-serving group of religious fanatics. This last sentence may seem out of place if you don’t realize that atheism is actually a religion. Like traditional religions, atheism requires strong conviction. In the case of atheists, it’s the belief that there is no God and that all things can be proven by science. It is extremely hypocritical of the foundation to request the removal of Bibles from hotel rooms on the basis of their contention that the presence of Bibles indicates that the government is choosing one religion over another. If they really thought about it, they would realize that removal of religious materials imposes their religion on everyone else.

Some atheists argue that there should be a library or cachet of religious material at the check-in desk of a hotel from which any guest could order a Bible, Torah or Koran for their reading pleasure. No favoritism would be shown through such a system, and those who reject the idea of God would not have to be offended. This is like saying there shouldn’t be certain brands of bottled water in hotel rooms because there may be guests who prefer a different type of water or who are offended by bottled water and think that everybody should be drinking tap water. The logical answer to such absurdity would, of course, be that the offended individual could bring his own water or simply ignore the brand of water that he does not care for.

As a nation, we must avoid the paralysis of hypersensitivity, which will allow us to get nothing done because virtually everything offends someone. We need to distribute “big boy” pants widely to help the whiners learn to focus their energy in a productive way. We must also go back and read the Constitution, including the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion. It says nothing about freedom from religion and, in fact, if you go back and look at the context and the lives of those involved in the crafting of our founding documents, it is quite apparent that they strongly believed in allowing their faith to guide their lives. This has nothing to do with imposing one’s beliefs on someone else.

Those of us who do believe in God can hope and pray that at some point, the secular progressives will come to understand that they must abide by the same rules with which they attempt to control others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the philosophy of “live and let live.” America was designed to be a free country, where people could live as they pleased and pursue their dreams as long as they didn’t infringe upon the rights of others. By continually broadening the definition of infringement on the rights of others, the purveyors of division will succeed in destroying our nation — but only if we continue to cater to their divisive rhetoric.

Liberty and justice for all has worked extremely well for an extended period of time, and there is no reason to upset the equilibrium by endowing the hypersensitive complainers in our society with more power than everyone else. Thankfully, the Navy quickly realized its mistake and restored the Bible to its lodges. Maybe now we can deal with the real issues that threaten our safety.

Ben S. Carson is professor emeritus of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and author of the new book “One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future” (Sentinel).

Washington Times – Atheists Forgetting the Meaning of Freedom by Ben Carson

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Rapture Critics and Myths
By Dr.Thomas Ice

Critics

Rapture critics like to claim that the word "rapture" is not located in the Bible. It may not be in the King James, but the word "rapture" is found in the Bible, if you have the Latin Vulgate produced by Jerome in the early 400s. The Vulgate was the main Bible of the medieval Western Church until the Reformation. It continues to this day as the primary Latin translation of the Roman Catholic Church. It was Protestants who introduced the word "rapture" into the English language from the Latin raeptius. It was Jerome's Vulgate that translated the original Greek verb harpazo used by Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which is usually translated into English with the phrase "caught up." The leading Greek Lexicon says that harpazo means "snatch, seize, i.e., take suddenly and vehemently." This is the same meaning of the Latin word rapio "to seize, snatch, tear away." It should not be surprising to anyone, that an English word was developed from the Latin which we use today known as "rapture."

Rapture Ready - Rapture Critics by Thomas Ice

Myths

Hardly a week goes by that I don't receive material opposing the pre-trib rapture which is filled with all kinds of error, both Scriptural and historical. For example, I ran across an article entitled "Origin of the Secret Rapture Theory." The first sentence said, "It may surprise and even shock you that neither the word 'rapture' nor the teaching of a secret rapture is not mentioned in ANY Christian literature prior to 1830-including the Bible!" I am hardly surprised or shocked that anyone could pack so much error into a single sentence, but there we have for all to see. This month I want to deal with some of the popular myths about the pre-trib rapture teaching that Dr. LaHaye and I very much believe is taught in the New Testament Scriptures.

The Term "Rapture"

First of all, the word "rapture" is found in the Bible, if you have the Latin Vulgate produced by Jerome in the early 400s. The Vulgate was the main Bible of the medieval Western Church until the Reformation. It continues to this day as the primary Latin translation of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, as we shall see later, it was Protestants who introduced the word "rapture" into the English language from the Latin raeptius. [1]  It was Jerome's Vulgate that translated the original Greek verb harpaz used by Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which is usually translated into English with the phrase "caught up." The leading Greek Lexicon says that harpaz means "snatch, seize, i.e., take suddenly and vehemently." [2] This is the same meaning of the Latin word rapio "to seize, snatch, tear away." [3]  It should not be surprising to anyone, that an English word was developed from the Latin which we use today known as "rapture."

In Europe, during the Middle Ages and Reformation periods, the theologians were from various countries and therefore spoke different native tongues. However, the single language of the church, both Catholic and Protestant was Latin. In fact, many of the first books written and published in the American Colonies during the seventeenth century were in Latin. For example, Cotton Mather's famous history of the American Colonies during the seventeenth century was written in Latin and called Magnalia Christi Americana, or The Great Works of Christ in America. [4]  Because it was done in Latin it could be read throughout Europe by the educated class. Thus, it should not be surprising to anyone that many new words came into the English language from a Latin source, especially in the realm of theology. Rapture is just such a word.

While it is technically true that the word rapture does not appear in the English Bible, it does, nevertheless, appear in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. Certainly the notion of a rapture appears many times in the Bible. Translators of the Bible into English could have been justified had they translated "caught up" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 with the English word "rapture." They also could have translated it by the word "snatch." We could just as easily call the rapture "the great snatch."

I have in my personal library at least 50 commentaries on 1 Thessalonians. Virtually all of them use the word "rapture" to describe the event in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. They do not appear interested in using it in a derogatory way nor do any of them go on an excursus about how this word does not appear in English translations. Most of these commentators do not hold to a pre-trib rapture view. They merely use the word because they know that it is one of the many Latin words that have made it into the English theological vernacular. Sorry that some have not yet heard.

The rapture does occur in the Bible, especially if you read the Latin Vulgate. However, there is no doubt that the Greek word harpaz in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, usually translated into English "caught up," conveys the rapture concept.

"Rapture" Usage

Our anti-rapture diatribe noted earlier said, "the word 'rapture' nor the teaching of a secret rapture is not mentioned in ANY Christian literature prior to 1830." Oh really! It is not hard to find out when English words were first introduced into the language. One needs only to check The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and it will cite examples of the history of the usage of the word. The oldest word in the "rapture" family is "rapt." OED cites examples of rapt occurring in 1400 in English literature.[5] The earliest instances of "rapture" in secular English literature are cited as 1605, 1607, and 1608.[6] OED provides seven nuances of the word Rapture. The fourth entry is the biblical one defined as "The act of conveying a person from one place to another, especially to heaven; the fact of being so conveyed."[7] Two examples of this use are cited from the seventeenth century. The first by a writer named Ward in 1647 and the other by J. Edwards (not the American Jonathan) in 1693.[8] It does not take long to realize that these examples are well before 1830.

Joseph Mede (1586-1638), considered in his day, a brilliant English exegete wrote a commentary on Revelation in 1627 called Clavis Apocalyptica (Key of the Revelation). In it he said, "Therefore, it is not needful that the Resurrection of those which slept in Christ, and the Rapture of those which shall be left alive together with them in the air . . ."[9] While Mede was a premillennialist, he did not hold to a pre-trib rapture. Nor did the commentator and theologian John Gill (1697-1771) who wrote around 1745 the following in his commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:17: ". . . and to which rapture will contribute, the agility which the bodies both of the raised and changed saints will have: and this rapture of the living saints will be together with them; . . ."[10]

To admit that the word rapture was used in the English language at least a couple of hundred years before J. N. Darby came along does not in the least mean that one believes in pretribulationism. The Greek word harpaz is used fourteen times in the New Testament. In addition to 1 Thessalonians 4:17, it is used at least three more times of one being raptured to heaven (2 Cor. 12:2, 4; Rev. 12:5). So there is no need to get upset over the use of the Latin based, English word "rapture." It is a biblical word.

The "Secret" Rapture Myth

Included in the above tirade is an equation of the so-called "secret" rapture with pretribulationism. Sorry, but this is another mistake, another myth. In all my reading of pretribulationism and discussion with pretribulationists, I have never, that I can recall, heard a pre-trib rapturist use the nomenclature of "secret" rapture to describe our view. I have only heard the phrase "secret" rapture as a pejorative term used exclusively by anti-pretribulationists. Why? Apparently they enjoy fighting with a straw man.

Anti-pretribulationist, Ken Gentry declares, "On the very surface it is remarkable that one of the noisiest verses in Scripture is said to picture the secret rapture." [11] The truth of the matter is that Gentry wrongly assumes that pretribulationists characterize their view of the rapture as "secret." We do not!  However, there are anti-pre-trib rapture advocates, like Dave MacPherson who have taught this myth. As a result, unwitting critics like Gentry have absorbed this myth into their rhetoric without doing their homework.

Very likely it was Dave MacPherson who has spread this myth that equates pretribulationism with a secret rapture. "In 1880 William Reid, in his book on Brethrenism," declares MacPherson, "stated that 'Edward Irving contributed the notion of the secret rapture of the saints.'[12]" [13]  MacPherson later concludes, "The pretrib rapture eventually became known as the 'secret rapture.' This label was based on the presupposition that only certain persons would have privileged visibility or knowledge during the occurrence of this catching up."[14]  MacPherson does not actually reference anyone who believes in a pre-trib rapture when he makes these statements. It is through slight of hand that he slips such an assumption into his plot of fictional myths about the origins of pretribulationism.

In fact, Brethren researcher R. A. Huebner refutes MacPherson's misinformation about the pre-trib rapture and its supposed association with a secret rapture teaching.[15] Huebner notes that supposed relation of pretribulationism and a secret rapture are built upon the following false historical assumptions: First, the "erroneous notions are the result of the myth that the Irvingites held a pretribulation rapture and also results from trying to link J. N. D. with this falsified Irvingism."[16] Second, when speaking of events transpiring in the 1830s, Huebner says, "the Secret Rapture as used at that point in time did not refer to the pretribulation rapture."[17] Third, "it seems that up to this point in time [the 1830s, T. D. I.], 'Secret Rapture' referred to a rapture at the appearing [the second coming, T. D. I.]."[18] Fourth, "I am not aware if JND ever thought that the rapture would be 'secret.'"[19]

It was the Irvingites, and not the Brethren, who believed in the secret rapture. Since the secret rapture and pretribulationism are not the same, this is where much of the confusion resides. The Irvingite view of the secret rapture was a belief that a few enlightened ones would be taken right before the second coming at the end of the tribulation. This is what Irvingite, Margaret Macdonald's revelation is about. It is impossible to find a pre-trib rapture of any kind in her vision.[20]

Conclusion

I am sure that this call to anti-pre-trib rapture advocates will not result in much of a reduction of their zealous proclamation of mythological falsehoods about our blessed hope. It seems that too many are blinded by their zeal to oppose the biblical teachings of the any-moment hope of the rapture for them to take time to get their information straight. No wonder Columba Graham Flegg, in his scholarly work on the Irvingites spoke specifically of Dave MacPherson's work as "less scholarly." Flegg said, the "conclusions reached in this work and the rationale behind them are hardly convincing." [21] Now why is an expert on the Irvingites not impressed with MacPherson's work? Because Flegg has a thorough knowledge about the times in which MacPherson writes and realizes that he is spinning out myths. Maranatha!

Rapture Ready - Rapture Myths by Thomas Ice

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The Prophets and the Apostles have recorded in written form a portion of the oral teaching of the Old Testament in Hebrew and Aramaic as well as the New Testament in Greek. These are the original languages of the Holy Bible from which all the translations have been derived.

The Bible: Its Original Languages and English Translations
Rev. George Mastrantonis

THE BIBLE - GREATEST MONUMENT OF MANKIND

There are distinguished persons and distinguished monuments which stand out in the annals of history. Their lives were full of adventure as they faced the tremendous opposition of their contemporaries as well as accepting enormous sacrifice in their own lives. One of the monuments, the greatest in the history of the world, is the Bible. It has met great challenges of its literal expression as well as its trials over its validity and accuracy. The critical scrutiny of the Bible is the most thorough effort and examination that has ever been made of a literary work from the beginning of time, an examination challenging its integrity and meaning. Its words, thoughts and personalities have been the subject of controversial discussion and debate through the centuries, both in its original language and its translation. From approximately 12 centuries before the Christian era through 20 centuries since (the former for the Old Testament and the latter for both the Old and New Testament), its construction, correction and restoration was achieved. The Bible is stronger today than ever before, despite the "scientific" effort to replace it with human elements of the laboratory and technology. The Bible is so different from other literary works of famous writers whose names are mentioned in the history of scientific findings that only a Superhuman Providence has kept it alive through its orbit of destiny. The Bible has been inscribed on stone, papyrus, lamb skin, in the memories of men and in the hearts of the people.

This extraordinary adventure of the Bible, a written document of historical validity, is so because its content and mission are different from all other examples of human literature, regardless of their valuable content of knowledge and human wisdom. The Bible was written by different writers over an extensive period of time, especially the Old Testament. The writers of the Old Testament began with Moses, covering 12 centuries before Christ and continuing through the writers of the historical, poetical, instructive and prophetic books, together with the writers of the New Testament, writing over a period of 50 years. They find themselves in agreement on thoughts, purpose, destination and mission. The readers of the Bible are overwhelmed and astonished to find these harmonious elements of destiny and purpose. No other literature of this kind exists. A close coherence of the Old and New Testaments, keeping their content intact, their continuity in "promises" and "fulfillments," links them together so closely. The various writings of the Old and New Testaments witness one Editor with Authority that permeates their thoughts.

The literature of the Bible is an epic monument which influences the thinking of man and the molding of his character. "The Bible carries its full message, not to those who regard it simply as a heritage of the past or who praise its literary style, but to those who read it that they may discern and understand God's Word to man. That Word must not be disguised in phrases that are no longer clear, nor be hidden under words that have changed or lost their meaning. It must stand forth in language that is direct and plain and meaningful to people today."

THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGES - THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD

The Gospel of Christ and, in general, the Holy Bible are written with the inspiration of God. The Prophets and the Apostles have recorded in written form a portion of the oral teaching of the Old Testament in Hebrew and Aramaic as well as the New Testament in Greek. These are the original languages of the Holy Bible from which all the translations have been derived. God's inspiration is confined to the original languages and utterances, not the many translations. There are 1,300 languages and dialects into which the Holy Bible, in its entirety or in portions, has been translated. This does not mean that the translations do not convey the meaning of the Bible for spiritual uprightness of the readers in their own language. On the contrary, the Bible should be spread and preached to "all nations." The missionaries in foreign lands learn the language or the dialect of the new area into which they bring the Bible and other religious teachings. For example, the missionaries from Constantinople, Saints Cyril and Methodios, sent to Christianize the Slavic peoples in the 9th century, first translated the Bible and the ritual books into the language of the people.

Translations of the Bible are very necessary, but are not sufficient for formulating dogmas and doctrines of the Church, which requires reference to the original languages. The translations depend upon the genius and knowledge of the translator in the selection of the proper words and phrases to render meaning as close as possible to the text of the original language. It is well-known that a new translation is more or less a new interpretation. This is obvious when the Bible is translated in the same language, but in different expressions and words. For instance, in the English language there are many translations and renderings with different words and phrases, which imply that one translation differs from the other. The many translations in the same language are justified in that new renderings are different from the previous ones. The fact that there are many translations in the same language indicates that the first translation is not understood after many centuries. For instance, the first translation into the English language from the original New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew by John Wycliffe in the fifteenth century is incomprehensible to the reader today in English.

Unique characteristics such as idioms and colloquialisms make it impossible for an accurate translation of the meaning of the original language. Therefore, the translations should be used for the spiritual guidance of the believers, but not for the formulation of dogmatic teaching of the Church. This is why it cannot be said that the translations are "the inspired word of God." Only the original language is "the inspired word of God." It should be repeated, however, that the translations of the Bible are necessary for the spreading of the Revealed Truths of God among the people in all languages. This is the great commandment of God and the mission of His Church, for Jesus Christ Himself commissioned the Apostles to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you", Matthew 28:19-20. This is to be in many languages of the nations, especially to nations which have never heard the Christian Message.

THE TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE

The many translations are necessary for spreading the word of God without any obstacles in communication. However, this should not diminish the significance of the original languages of the Bible, the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament, and the language of the era when the books of the Scriptures were written. The study of the original languages is imperative for the correct understanding of the meaning of the Bible. The knowledge of the original languages is also imperative in order to translate the Scriptures into the vernacular. The knowledge of the original language is especially necessary for the doctrinal teaching of the Bible.

The individual Christian is urged to read the Bible in his own language for his spiritual enrichment, but not to use the translation in arriving at personal conclusions. One should read the Bible against the background of the interpretation given it by the Church as a whole, not on one's own interpretation. It is profitable, however, for one who studies the Bible to use short commentaries of the Church and to leave the dogmatic and systematic teaching to the Church, which is the authoritative and infallible body. Taking a Biblical verse out of context often is misleading and is the basic cause of the Christian Church being separated into many parts, each interpreting according to their own opinions and thoughts.

It is not the Bible itself that divides Christianity, but its interpretation based on personal premises. That is the weakness of the human element. This weakness of the human element is reflected in claims that the Holy Spirit has inspired the individual to interpret the Bible according to his own premise. This is where the fallacy lies-the claim that the Holy Spirit is the author of his own personal interpretation, a claim that all make. The fact that so many persons have claimed that the Holy Spirit has spoken to and chosen them personally should be clear and unmistakable proof that the interpretation of Scriptures lies only in the authority of the Church as a whole, and not with individuals. It should be stressed that the Bible is written on the background of the life of the Church, which has kept the Christian Message, Sacred Tradition, the words and deeds of Jesus Christ, undefiled. The Church, not individuals, was and remains the infallible interpreter of the written word, the Holy Bible. The mistake is even greater when the interpretation of the Bible depends upon the translations instead of the original Hebrew and, especially, the New Testament Greek text. The fact that there are variations in the translations of the Bible indicates most clearly the need for a common edition of the Greek New Testament on which other translations will depend.

A comparison of the text of this edition with that of the edition of the official New Testament text of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople shows approximately 2,000 variations. But most of them do not change the meaning of the New Testament. All the variations between these two texts are found in the apparatus of the critical edition of 1966, issued by the five Bible Societies. The text of the Patriarchate was prepared by a commission in 1904, and it also has approximately 2,000 variations compared to the Common Edition, Textus Receptus, prepared much earlier. Despite these efforts, there is still no one common edition of the New Testament Greek accepted by all. It must be recognized, though, that the edition issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople depended mainly upon the passages and verses designated by the Church to be read during the celebrations on Sundays and feast days, and for this reason, these passages were kept intact with fewer changes. It is evident that greater efforts involving all the Christian churches must be made to arrive at one common edition in the original language recognized by all Christians. This effort will be a step in unifying the Christian Church as Christ meant it to be, One Body, Undivided.

THE NEED TO KNOW THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGES

A critical examination of the text of the original Hebrew and Greek languages of the Bible is indispensable, for through the centuries, many words were added or omitted. This was especially so before the printing press when there was only manual copying on rough lamb skin and papyrus. The scholarly study of the original languages is a valuable aid in correcting the mistakes and reestablishing intact the original texts from which the translations should be made. The prime purpose of such a valuable work is not only to make the Bible free from any and all changes and mistakes, but even more to make the original context and meaning available for translations in many languages for reading by all Christians. The simple purpose of the Bible is to be read and known by all the peoples of the world, in their own languages and in its pure and true form in its original languages and in its many translations.

The individual Christian should read the Bible as the Revelation from God Himself for his enlightenment and salvation. He should read the Bible with the fear of God and with true faith. The reader invokes the Holy Spirit to help him understand its deep meaning for his own personal and practical life. The Christian should read the Bible for his spiritual rebirth and divine assistance in order to understand its sacred content carried by the letter, which is a human organ and tool. Nevertheless, it is the spirit that gives life to the reader, for it is "not of the letter (of the new covenant) but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life", 2 Corinthians 3:6b; that is, "spiritual and not literal", Romans 2:29b.

Because the Bible took its literal form in the Christian community, which kept it intact, this community-the Church-was and is the treasurer and interpreter of the Revealed Truths of Christ. This Revealed Truth, taught orally by Christ and His Apostles, is the Sacred Tradition, a part of which later became the written New Testament. Therefore, when the Christian reads the Bible, he must read it against the background of this Sacred Tradition at large. The reader should also have in mind that the various parts of the Bible were not written systematically, but occasionally. Therefore, the Christian needs a guide to properly understand the meaning of the Scriptures. The guide is the interpretation given by the Church as a whole, which is infallible. The example that one needs to help him understand the Bible was given when Philip the Apostle asked the minister of Candace who was reading the Prophet Isaiah, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And the minister answered, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" Acts 8:30 (cf. Acts 8:26-40). In order for the Bible to be read and understood by the people, it should be translated into the various languages of the people, using the interpretation made by the Church as a whole. This is the correct guide.

THE TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE INTO ENGLISH

The translation of the Bible into the English language coincided with the invention of the printing press and the period of Reformation (15th -16th centuries). Before this time, the use of the Bible in the West was forbidden in any language other than Latin. The Latin translation, from the original Hebrew and Greek, was made by St. Jerome in the fourth century. It became the authoritative Bible for the Western Church and was known as the Vulgate. The reading of the Bible, even in the Latin, was forbidden the lay people without permission. This denial by the authorities of the Western Church was one of the main reasons for the Protestant Reformation. Therefore, the first act of the first reformer, Martin Luther, was the translation of the Bible into German in 1522, which translation was the main factor in the establishment of the German language. Before the Reformation and the printing press, various parts of the Bible had been translated into English from the Latin Vulgate.

The Western Church was very strict in the use of Latin not only for the Bible, but also for the ritual worship of the Church, which was incomprehensible to the people. It should be noted that before the Reformation, there was no complete translation of the Bible in English. The only translation in English, from the Latin and not the original Greek language, covering only the New Testament and some parts of the Old, was that attributed to John Wycliffe of England. Despite the fact it was made with the knowledge of the authorities of the Church, its use was forbidden without special permission, according to the decision of the Synod of Oxford of 1407. The first translation of the Bible into English from the original languages, Hebrew and Greek, and the first which was printed was that of William Tyndale in c. 1523. Before this translation, the only printings of the Bible were the Vulgate (first printing, 1456), the Hebrew text of the Old Testament (1488), the text of the New Testament Greek by Erasmus (1516), with four revisions through 1535, and the literal translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin (1528). The translation of the New Testament into English from the original Greek text depended on the initiative of Tyndale (c. 1523), without the sponsorship or permission of the Bishop of London. Tyndale was denounced and forced to flee to Germany, where he probably met Martin Luther. Tyndale started to print the New Testament in English in Cologne, but was again forced to flee to another city, Worms.

In Worms, he finally completed the printing of the English translation of the New Testament in its entirety. This translation was reprinted many times in Holland. Copies of this translation reached England, where it aroused the anger of his enemies. Nevertheless, Tyndale continued his work and undertook to translate and print the books of the Old Testament. He first printed the five Books of Moses, the Pentateuch, in Antwerp in 1529-30. Over the next few years, he printed the other books of the Old Testament. Tyndale later printed the New Testament and the Pentateuch together with marginal notes reflecting the Protestant views. This further incensed his enemies, who had him condemned as a heretic. He was burned at the stake in Holland in 1536. Tyndale's translation, especially that of the New Testament from the original Greek, marked the beginning of many other English translations from the original Greek, using Tyndale's translation as a guide. Unfortunately, the original Greek New Testament edited by Erasmus in 1516, which was used by Tyndale for his English translation, contained many mistakes. Still, Tyndale's English translation of the Bible was a pioneer work and an independent effort. Much of his translation is used in the King James Version of 1611.

TYNDALE'S TRANSLATION AND THE KING JAMES VERSION

Tyndale's English translation of the entire Bible was the basis for the many other English translations that followed. The subsequent English versions are Coverdale's Bible, 1535; Thomas Mathew's Bible, 1537; the Great Bible, 1539; the Geneva Bible, 1560; and the Bishop's Bible, 1568. Also the Rheims-Duae's in 1582 was translated from the Latin Vulgate. Within approximately 50 years from the time of Tyndale's first printed translations, the above six translations were made. It must be noted, however, that none of these English translations were accepted as an authorized English version because of general dissatisfaction with them and the many mistakes found in them. Therefore, after 30 years, another attempt to translate the Bible anew into English was made by a conference in England, where a new version of the Bible was suggested to King James. King James was convinced of the need for a new English translation of the Bible. He appointed 54 scholars to undertake the task. These scholars used the Bishop's Bible of 1568 as a basis, but earlier English versions were also taken into consideration, especially Tyndale's.

These 54 scholars, appointed to translate a new, original English version, failed because they used the earlier English translation, which had many mistakes. Thus, theirs was a new revision, not a new translation. Regardless, this new version was received with great enthusiasm and happiness, and within a generation, it displaced all other English translations. This new version became known as the King James Version, or the Authorized Version. This King James Version was printed in 1611 and has become the familiar form of the Bible for many English-speaking generations. The King James Version was the only version that bore the royal authority and was "appointed to be read in churches." It is characterized as "the noblest monument of English prose." The King James Version has played a prominent role in forming the personal character of the church and institutions of the English-speaking people.

Yet, even this King James Version was neither well-received nor free of criticism by some. Nevertheless, it has prevailed through the centuries and is still held in great esteem today, both by preachers and lay people, despite its defects, which were noted more clearly in the mid-nineteenth century and more so today. The Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible possessed today were unknown to the 54 scholars of the King James Version. The manuscripts of the Bible which were found later pointed out more clearly the serious defects of the King James Version. This fact convinced the Church of England in 1870 to make a revision of the King James translation. This revision was published in 1881 (N.T.) and 1885 (O.T.) and was known as the English Revised Version of the Bible, which included the Apocrypha, printed in 1895. However, to its detriment, this committee of revisers included only Anglican scholars. This version was not accepted by the vast majority of local churches and people, who cherished the King James Version.

THE REVISED STANDARD VERSION

The dissatisfaction with the new English Revised Version led scholars in America to once again attempt to issue another English translation based on this English Revised Version. The American scholars, who cooperated with the English revisers, made amendments in the English Revised Version and published it in 1901, calling it the American Standard Version. Numerous other new English translations were published over the years. Among those worthy of mention are: The New Testament by R. F. Weymouth, 1902; The New Testament, 1913, and The Old Testament, 1924, by J. Moffatt (complete Bible revised in 1935); The American Translation of the New Testament by E. G. Goodspeed, 1923; the Old Testament by J. M. Powis Smith, 1935; the Apocrypha by Goodspeed, 1938; The Westminster Version of the Holy Scriptures by the Catholic Church, 1935; a Revised Catholic Version by R. A. Knox (New Testament, 1945, Old Testament, 1949); The Basic English by S. H. Hooke (N. T., 1945, O.T., 1949); and The New Translation of the Bible in Modern English, by the Church of Scotland (including only Protestant churches), 1947.

Between 1881 and 1901, when the English Revised Version (1881) and the American Standard Version (1901) were published, there was an unhappy lack of agreement on an English translation acceptable to all. Therefore, the task of a new English translation was again undertaken by the International Council of Religious Education in 1937. This Council appointed a committee of scholars to study The American Standard Version for further revision. The committee studied this question for two years and concluded that there was need for a thorough revision of the American Version of 1901, using the Tyndale Version as well as the King James Version in light of today's knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek texts and their meaning, and also using present understanding of the English language. The Council thereupon authorized an English revision of the Bible.

A committee of 32 scholars was appointed to make the new revision in cooperation with an advisory board of 50 representatives of all the denominations which had agreed to its need. The committee was then divided into two groups, one for the Old Testament and the other for the New. Each group submitted its work for the scrutiny of the other, with each change being made by two-thirds vote of the entire committee. The work of the committee covered approximately 10 years. The new revision was unanimously adopted by the advisory board and participating Protestant denominations. The result of this great effort is the Revised Standard Version of the Bible (RSV). The New Testament was first printed in 1946. The complete Bible, Old and New Testaments, was authorized by vote of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America in 1951.

FINDING OF ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS OF ORIGINAL LANGUAGES

The Greek text of the New Testament used for the King James Version was that of Beza in 1589. Beza had two Greek manuscripts of great value of the fifth and sixth centuries, but he did not use them because they were different from the Greek text made by Erasmus (1516-1535). The manuscripts used by Erasmus were from the tenth century on, and he made little use of them. The discovery of many ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, especially after 1931, provided the committee of scholars with important new sources, including the information which recent discoveries have provided for a better understanding of the vocabulary and idioms of the Greek New Testament language. Since 1870, when the official undertaking of the revision of the King James Version took place, an enormous number of papyri have been unearthed in Egypt, containing private letters, official reports, petitions, business accounts and various other records of the activities of the first centuries. These findings were thoroughly studied by Adolf Deissmann, and his results were published in 1895. His study proved that many of the Greek words of the New Testament were used in the everyday life of the people of the first centuries and were not special words which belonged to what was considered Biblical Greek. These discoveries provided the committee of scholars of the Revised Standard Version with valuable material not available to previous translators. Another factor promoting the decision to revise the King James Version was that its archaic form of expression of English was not clearly understood by contemporary people. The use of such words as "thou," "thee," "thy" and "thine" and the verb endings, "est," edst," "eth" and "th," made it difficult for most people to understand it. More than 300 words in the King James Version are misleading in light of today's understanding. This was one of the reasons that led the Council to revise the King James Version. It must be noted that the Revised Standard Version is not a new translation, nor is it a paraphrase of the English language; it is a revision of the King James Version.

THE NEED OF A COMMON ENGLISH VERSION

There is a tendency today by churches, Bible societies and scholars to adopt one English translation of the Bible as a common, authoritative one. For the first time, even the Roman Catholic Church adopted the Revised Standard Version in 1966 to be used with the addition of the "Apocrypha" (books of the Old Testament designated by the Church "as worthy to be read," which are incorporated in the Hebrew text in the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, and the Latin Vulgate). When the Catholic Church adopted the Revised Standard Version, it received permission from the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America, which holds the copyrights of this Version, to include its own explanatory notes in an appendix.

The Eastern Orthodox Church officially uses the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament which was translated from the original Hebrew language into Greek in the third century B.C. The Septuagint of the Orthodox Church contains all the Canonical Books and the Anaginoskoinena Books "worthy to be read" (called Apocrypha in the English Versions). For the New Testament, the original Greek text is used by the Greek Church, while the other Orthodox Churches have translated the Bible into their own native languages from the original Greek, with the Slavonic translation the oldest. The Orthodox Church has not, as yet, translated the Bible into English and so has no official English translation. In the meantime, the Orthodox are temporarily using both the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version.

THE BIBLE - THE REVEALED WORD OF GOD

The Bible, the inspired word of God, is a living monument in that it goes above and beyond being just a historical document or just a classic piece of literature. It is the Revelation of God Himself and His Will. The Bible is a divine account of God's Design for the salvation of man; it is an account of the Incarnation of the Logos in the Person of Jesus Christ Who became flesh and dwelt among man. It was written to be read with reverence and faith. The Revelation and Message of the Bible should not be hidden or altered by words and phrases that have lost or changed their meaning over the years. The Bible was given to man so he might know the True God and His Revealed Truths, for without the Bible, Christ would be unknown to man. God speaks to man through the Bible. Therefore, the written word in its original context is indispensable for belief in Christ and for living His Commandments. The important words of the Holy Bible are:

"written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31)

The Bible: Its Original Languages and English Translations

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Heavenly Father and 5 Tips for Becoming a Best Father
Father
By David Jeremiah of
Turning Point

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. (Matthew 6:9)

English "father" was vader in Dutch, fader in early German, vater in later German, and fader in Middle English. And all those words were built on Latin pater, which was very close to Greek pater. But all those Western spellings were a radical departure from Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. He would have pronounced "father" as abba, derived from Hebrew ab.

In fact, Jesus' use of "father" represented a major shift in how the Hebrews used the term -- almost exclusively to refer to human fathers. God was rarely called Father by the Jews (Isaiah 63:16; 64:8; Jeremiah 31:9; Malachi 2:10), but Jesus called God "Father" (Abba -- Matthew 11:26) and taught His disciples to do the same (Matthew 6:9). But this was not the formal, Victorian "father" of the English language. This was the abba of the Hebrew family unit -- the "papa" or "daddy" used by children the world over today (Mark 14:36). Jesus introduced a new way to relate to God -- a familial way of fondness and closeness.

However you view and address your earthly father, feel free to address your heavenly Father the way Jesus did -- as Abba Father.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
(Romans 8:14-17)

The name Jehovah carries majesty in it; the name Father carries mercy in it. ~Thomas Watson


Five Tips to Becoming the Best Dad
Focus on the Family

1)  Guide your children toward a relationship with their heavenly father.  Show them the love of the God you serve by being a godly man yourself.  Let them see you praying, reading His Word and living the faith you claim.  Walk the talk.

2)  Show genuine respect and love for the mother of your children.  Nothing will make your children feel more secure in your love and acceptance than seeing you cherish their mom.  Boys, especially, need to see how a godly man loves a woman.

3)  Remember that love is the motivation for discipline.  Dads discipline because they love.  The two are inseparable.  Seek to guide, mold and correct – all with a gentle spirit of fairness and acceptance.

4)  Spend time with your children.  In your children's eyes, time spent with them is the measure of your love.  Show them they're high on your list by giving them your time.  There is no substitute.

5)  Demonstrate your affection.  Hug, kiss and offer a kind word.  Every day.  Tell your children you love them – and then show you mean it with your actions.

(Aside:  A father needs to "bless" each and every one of his children.  A child not receiving the blessing of his/her father is left inhibited in some way, often difficult to overcome [for me lack of confidence and fear].  My father didn't bless me and I didn't bless my two children. Predictably, by others, my children have nothing to do with me. Pat)

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Creation is All about God
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Romans 11:36
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Exodus 20:11a
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them . . . .

Exodus 31:17
It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.

Nehemiah 9:6
You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.

Psalms 8:3
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained.

Psalms 33:6-9
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. (7) He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. (8) Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. (9) For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

Psalms 89:11-12a
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all its fullness, You have founded them. (12) The north and the south, You have created them . . . .

Psalms 102:25
Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.

Psalms 136:5-9a [5a]
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens . . . (6) To Him who laid out the earth above the waters . . . (7) To Him who made great lights . . . (8) The sun to rule by day . . . (9) The moon and stars to rule by nigh . . . .

Psalms 146:6a
Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them . . . .

Isaiah 42:5
Thus says God the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it.

Isaiah 44:24
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself.”

Jeremiah 10:12-13
He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. (13) When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: and He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, He brings the wind out of His treasuries.

Jeremiah 51:15-16
He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding. (16) When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.

Zechariah 12:1
The burden of the Word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.

John 1:3
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Acts 14:15b
. . . We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them.

Acts 17:24
God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.

Colossians 1:16-17
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (17) And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Hebrews 1:2-3, 10
[God] has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; (3) who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (10) And: “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”

Hebrews 2:10
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Revelation 4:11
You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.

Revelation 10:6
and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer.

Revelation 14:7
saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Romans 1:18-23
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (19) because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, (21) because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Professing to be wise, they became fools, (23) and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Bible One - Charles Strong's Creation is All About God

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Hebrews 6:3-8
From Let Us Go On by Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Content:

 

If They Shall Fall Away

And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:3-6).

The line of teaching thus far in the third of the five major warnings in Hebrews— in perfect keeping with the things set forth in the first two warnings — is with constant reference to that coming day when Christ will reign over the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. The day is coming, during the Great Tribulation, when an angel will sound the last of seven trumpets; and at that time, “great voices in heaven” are going to be heard, announcing, “The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ: and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15, ASV).

The whole of God’s revelation to man, beginning with the opening two chapters of Genesis (Genesis 1; 2), progressively moves toward the same goal — that coming day announced in Revelation 11:15. And revelation throughout the Book of Hebrews, in perfect keeping with revelation as a whole, views that future day as central in all matters surrounding the past or present.

THE WARNING PASSAGES

The first of the five major warnings in the Book of Hebrews deals with “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3), which is the greatest thing God has ever designed for redeemed man. This salvation has to do with Christians being elevated from this earth and placed in the heavens on the throne as co-heirs with the King of kings and Lord of lords; and the time when this will occur is revealed to be in that coming day when Christ fulfills the things which are stated in the seven Messianic passages making up most of Hebrews 1, leading into the first warning.

Also in connection with the first warning there is a revealed angelic ministry. Angels, who at one time ruled in the kingdom of this world (under Satan, in his unfallen state), are presented as presently ministering on behalf of Christians (Hebrews 1:13-14; 2:5); and this ministry is with a view to Christians wearing the crowns presently worn by these angels when they one day rule in the kingdom under Christ (see Because of the Angels in this site or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's So Great Salvation, Ch. 2 ).

The second of the five major warnings (Hebrews 3; 4) begins by addressing those to whom the warning applies: “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling…” (Hebrews 3:1). The parallel is then drawn between Israel’s earthly calling and the Christians’ heavenly calling, with the writer drawing extensively from the type (surrounding Israel’s calling) for all his spiritual lessons (concerning the Christians’ calling).

The land of Canaan during Moses and Joshua’s day was occupied by the Nephilim, who had infiltrated and corrupted the Gentile nations in the land (Numbers 13:32-33 [the word, Nephilim, literally meaning, “fallen ones,” is a name used in Scripture for the offspring resulting from a co-habitation of “the sons of God” with “the daughters of men”; cf. Genesis 6:4]); and the Gentile nations, infiltrated and corrupted by the Nephilim, were there at the pre-planned direction of Satan and his angels (who ruled from the heavens through the Gentile nations on earth [Daniel 10:13, 20; cf. Luke 4:6; Revelation 13:2]) to contest Israel’s right to enter into and take possession of this land.

That heavenly land to which Christians have been called, on the other hand, is presently occupied personally by Satan and his angels (the one-third who went along with Satan in his attempted coup, separate from the two-thirds who refused [who presently minister on behalf of Christians]). And at the heart of all teachings surrounding the second warning is a type-antitype parallel between the Israelites under Moses (and later Joshua) and Christians under Christ.

The Israelites, in the type, were called to leave an earthly land (Egypt) and dwell in another earthly land (Canaan) as “a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.” They were to dwell in that land, as God’s “firstborn son,” within a theocracy (cf. Exodus 4:22-23; 40:34-38; Joel 2:27ff). And in this fashion, with God dwelling in Israel’s midst, the Gentile nations were to be ruled by and blessed through the seed of Abraham, in perfect keeping with Genesis 12:2-3; 14:18-19; 22:17-18.

Christians, on the other hand, in the antitype, have been called to leave this earth and dwell in the heavens, as “kings and priests” and a “holy nation.” And they are to dwell in that heavenly land within a theocracy, seated on the throne with Christ (cf. I Peter 2:9-10; Revelation 2:26-27; 5:10). And in this fashion, with Christians occupying positions of rulership with Christ, the Gentile nations are to be ruled by and blessed through the seed of Abraham from a heavenly sphere as well (Galatians 3:29), also in perfect keeping with Genesis 12:2-3; 14:18-19; 22:17-18.

And Satan and his angels are present in that land today — as the Gentile nations infiltrated and corrupted by the Nephilim were present in the land of Canaan during Moses and Joshua’s day — contesting the Christians’ right to one day enter and take possession of the land. This is what the “manifold wisdom of God” being made known “by [‘through’] the Church” to “the principalities and powers in heavenly places” is all about in Ephesians 3:9-11, and this is what the warfare in Ephesians 6:10ff is also all about.

The announcement has gone forth, “through the Church,” to Satan and his angels in the heavens, that they are about to be replaced. Both “Christ,” the Head, and the “Church,” the body, are on hand, waiting for that day. And Satan, through knowledge of this fact, can only know that his time is short and his days are numbered.

Christ has shown Himself fully qualified to take the kingdom (Matthew 4:1-11), He has paid redemption’s price to redeem fallen man so man can be brought back into the position for which he was created in the beginning (cf. Genesis 1:26, 28; 3:15; John 19:30), and the Holy Spirit is in the world today calling out the bride who will ascend the throne with the Son in that coming day.

And Satan and his angels don’t any more like the thought of Christ and Christians one day occupying the heavenly places which they presently occupy than the Gentile nations in the land of Canaan almost 1,500 years ago (under Satan’s direction and control) liked the thought of the Israelites coming in and occupying that land in their stead. Thus, the warfare of Ephesians 6:11 rages.

And, because of this warfare, Christians are called upon to make the necessary preparations. They are called upon to properly array themselves for the ongoing “battle,” a battle which is very real. And there is a “prize” in view, which is also very real — that of one day being accorded the privilege of occupying a position as co-heir with Christ in His kingdom (cf. Philippians 3:10-14); and this prize can be either won (through overcoming in the battle) or lost (through being overcome in the battle).

Then the third major warning in Hebrews (Hebrews 5; 6) centers around Genesis 14:18-19 for its spiritual lessons — the only historic account of Melchizedek in the entire Old Testament (Psalm 110:4, the only other reference to Melchizedek in the O.T., draws from Genesis 14:18-19). And though the account is very brief, it is fraught beyond compare with spiritual significance. The whole of that which is taught in the spiritual lessons in Hebrews 5-7 draws primarily from the whole of that which is taught surrounding Melchizedek in this one Old Testament passage.

Melchizedek was a king-priest in Jerusalem (cf. Genesis 14:18; Psalm 76:2), and though Christ is presently “a priest after the order of Melchizedek,” as He is presently “King [He was born ‘King of the Jews’],” He has yet to occupy either office (cf. Matthew 2:2; Hebrews 5:10; 6:20; 7:11). He is presently ministering in the heavenly sanctuary, on the basis of shed blood, after the order of Aaron. It will only be when He leaves His present position in the sanctuary and comes forth as “King” that He will exercise the office of King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek” (ref.  Angelic Ministry in Heirs of Salvation in this site or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's So Great Salvation, Heirs of Salvation, Ch. 1.)

The writer of Hebrews dealt with this subject (Hebrews 5:1-10), then he dealt with spiritual babes “in Christ” who were not mature enough to understand these things (Hebrews 5:11-14), and then he exhorted these immature Christians to leave the foundational truths and go on unto maturity (Hebrews 6:1-2).

And there is no getting around one central truth in this section of Scripture: Maturity in the faith, as it is set forth in Hebrews 5:1-6:2, has to do with coming into a knowledge and understanding of those things which the Word of God reveals concerning that future day when Christ reigns over the earth as the great King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek.” That which is stated in Hebrews 6:3 (“And this will we do, if God permit”) and the heart of the warning itself in Hebrews 6:4-6 (“For it is impossible…”) MUST be understood within the framework of that which has proceeded. These verses must, contextually, be understood as having to do with Christians coming into a knowledge and understanding of the things surrounding Christ’s coming reign over the earth.

Reading the thought of salvation by grace through faith into Hebrews 6:4-6 (as so many do) is not only completely out of line with the context but it is also completely out of line with any Scriptural teaching concerning salvation by grace through faith, beginning with the opening two chapters of Genesis. The context has to do with Christian maturity (which centers on coming into an understanding of specific future things, for a revealed purpose); and salvation by grace through faith centers around the Christians’ present possession (based on two finished works of the Triune Godhead:

1) the finished work of the Son at Calvary, and

2) the finished work performed in the life of the believer [performed on the basis of and made possible through the Son’s prior finished work]).

Hebrews 6:4-6 has to do strictly with God’s present and future work in the lives of Christians, not with His past work, effecting their present position, “in Christ.” This section of Scripture is written to and has to do solely with those who are already saved, and it has to do specifically with bringing these saved individuals into a mature knowledge and understanding of the things surrounding Christ’s coming reign over the earth, as King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek.”

AND THIS WILL WE DO, IF…

Hebrews 6:3 should be taken at face value. That is, “We will go on unto maturity [Hebrews 6:1-2], if God permits us to go on.” And one is then left with the thought that God may not permit some Christians to go on unto maturity.

Leading into Hebrews 6:3, the writer had previously reprimanded a group of Christians for their lack of spiritual maturity. They had been saved for a sufficient length of time that all of them should have been well enough grounded in the Word that they could do two things:

1) be able to understand teachings surrounding the coming Melchizedek priesthood of Christ, and

2) be able to teach others these things as well (Hebrews 5:10-14).

Then, following the reprimand, the writer exhorted these same Christians to leave “the first principles [the rudimentary things of the Christian faith]” and “go on unto perfection [maturity in ‘the faith’]” (Hebrews 5:12; 6:1-2).

Then after this comes the statement that going on unto maturity is conditional. It is conditioned on God allowing the person to go on. But bear in mind that this is not maturity in what might be considered a general sense; rather, the reference is to maturity in a specific sense. This is maturity in that which Scripture calls “the faith” or “the word of the kingdom” (cf. Matthew 13:19; I Timothy 6:12; Jude 1:3) — maturity in things surrounding Christ’s coming reign over the earth “after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:10ff).

Thus, the writer is dealing with a specific realm of Biblical teaching which is little understood in Christendom today. And this would provide a basic explanation (in conjunction with the working of the leaven in Matthew 13:33) for the existing situation. Not only is there a present lack of knowledge (much less an understanding) concerning this whole overall message in Christendom but something even beyond this exists. Along with the lack of knowledge (and understanding), an overt aversion — more often than not — is exhibited toward any teaching on the subject.

(Note, by way of passing, that an aversion of this nature invariably emanates from two spheres: 1) ignorance rather than knowledge, and 2) immaturity rather than maturity.)

And, projecting the matter out to the end of the dispensation, this is the message Christ will not find being taught to Christians in the Churches at the time of His return. Though this is the central message which Christians are supposed to hear once they have been grounded in the rudimentary things of the Word, Christ stated that by the end of the dispensation, at the time of His return, conditions will have become so completely contrary to the way they should exist that He will not find “faith [lit., ‘the faith’] on the earth” (Luke 18:8).

The reason why God will not allow certain Christians to go on into an understanding of these truths is given in the verses which immediately follow (Hebrews 6:4-6), which comprise the heart of the warning itself. Verse three forms a connection between that which has preceded and that which follows; and this verse must, accordingly, be understood in the light of the complete context — verses both preceding and following.

Very briefly, note the verses leading into Hebrews 6:3 before going on to the explanation. These verses explain the matter from the standpoint of one type, and then the explanation explains it from the standpoint of another type.

Hebrews 5 draws its spiritual lessons from Genesis, chapter fourteen (and Psalm 110, which also draws from Genesis 14). The subject has to do with Abraham meeting Melchizedek following the battle of the kings.

Melchizedek, at this time, brought forth “bread and wine” and blessed Abraham, “of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:17-19). This, of course, points to that day in the antitype, following the battle of the kings (Revelation 19:17-21), when Christ comes forth with “bread and wine” — as King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek” — to bless Abraham and his descendants, both heavenly and earthly (Matthew 26:29).

Now note something about the type, which must carry over into the antitype. Abraham, after meeting Melchizedek, no longer manifested any interest in the things of this world. The king of Sodom offered him goods, but his response was completely negative. Abraham said to the king of Sodom:

“I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, ‘I have made Abraham rich’: Save only that which the young men have eaten…” (Genesis 14:22-24).

Having met Melchizedek, Abraham manifested total disinterest in that which the king of Sodom had to offer. He had found something so far greater than the things this world could offer that he refused to take anything (other than food) from the king of Sodom. Rather, his interest was focused on the things surrounding Melchizedek (cf. Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus… [lit., ‘Looking from (the surrounding things of the world) unto Jesus…’]”).

Abraham, through this experience, could only have gained a whole new perspective on the present in relation to the future, and vice versa. Thus, Abraham, relative to the magnanimous offer of the king of Sodom, in a word, told the king, No! “I have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth…”

And that is where Christ comes into the picture in prophecy as the great King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek.” The Father — “the possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:22) — has given all that He possesses unto the Son (cf. Genesis 24:36; 25:5; John 16:13-15); and in that coming day, with the Son occupying both His Own throne in the heavens and David’s throne on the earth, blessings will flow out to the Gentile nations through the seed of Abraham (“possessor of heaven and earth [through inheritance]”) from both heavenly and earthly spheres.

And when a Christian sees Christ, within this framework, as King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek,” this should drive him to manifest the same attitude toward the things of this world as Abraham manifested toward the things of the world after he met Melchizedek. In the words of the song, “the things of this world” should “grow strangely dim.” The Christian should possess an entirely new perspective on the present in relation to the future, and vice versa.

But, how often is the preceding really the case in the lives of Christians? How many really understand these things? Or, how many really view matters within the framework of “the light of His glory and grace”?

And therein lays the secret to questions surrounding Hebrews 6:3. We are dealing with the very choicest of God’s choice things which He has set aside for Christians, and God has placed certain conditions around allowing Christians to move into a knowledge of the Son in this realm (cf. Philippians 3:10-14). God knows what is in man; and He also knows what man coming into knowledge and understanding of these things will, too often, do.

God knows that numerous Christians, after coming into knowledge and understanding of Christ as King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek,” would not manifest the same attitude at all toward the world as Abraham manifested after he met Melchizedek. They would, instead, either continue in or one day return to their worldly interest and involvement (cf. 1 John 2:15-17), which is within a world presently ruled by Satan and his angels. And by so doing, such Christians could only bring shame upon Christ’s name (this will be further dealt with later in the chapter within the framework of that which is stated in Hebrews 6:6).

The matter surrounding God allowing or not allowing a Christian to go on unto maturity though should be viewed more within the framework of man’s attitude toward these things than it should within the framework of God’s omniscience per se. Scripture clearly states, “If any man will do [‘is willing to do’] His will, he shall know of the doctrine…” (John 7:17).

That is, do you really want to know Christ as “author [‘source’] of eternal salvation [salvation for the age (the Messianic Era)]”? (Hebrews 5:9). Are you serious about the present warfare and one day coming into a realization of the proffered inheritance? If so, there should be no reason why God would not allow you to go on into knowledge and understanding of the various things surrounding His Son’s coming reign over the earth.

But, if on the other hand, interest in and seriousness about the matter are not present, there is no Biblical reason why God should allow such a person to go on into a knowledge and understanding of these things. In fact, within a Biblical perspective, the opposite would exist instead. From a Biblical perspective, God would not allow such a person to go on, for a revealed reason.

And with this in mind, we’re ready to go on into the heart of the warning and see the explanation to verse three from the perspective of another type.

FOR IT IS IMPOSSIBLE…

Hebrews 6:4-6 is looked upon by numerous Christians as probably the most difficult, and sometimes controversial, passage in all Scripture. And the reason why the passage is looked upon after this fashion is because of an erroneous interpretative approach. The passage is invariably approached from the standpoint of teachings surrounding the Christians’ presently possessed eternal salvation — salvation “by grace through faith.”

The passage though, as previously stated, doesn’t deal with this subject. And, not dealing with this subject, it is understandable why those who seek to interpret the passage from the standpoint of teachings surrounding salvation by grace through faith find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings. And not only is this the case, but they also invariably find themselves being forced into erroneous views concerning salvation.

Then, beyond the preceding, the correct subject matter is not even being dealt with. Rather, through this erroneous interpretative approach, the correct subject matter is, instead, being completely obscured. And such can only foster the present work of the enemy as it is outlined in 2 Corinthians 4:4 ASV — blinding the minds of Christians relative to “the gospel of the glory of Christ”.

Contextually, Hebrews 6:4-6 must be looked upon as dealing with four basic issues surrounding Christians, from the standpoint of possibility:

a) Christians coming into a mature knowledge and understanding of the things surrounding Christ as King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek,”

b) the same Christians falling away (apostatizing),

c) that which would befall such Christians, and

d) how such an act on the part of Christians would negatively reflect upon Christ Himself.

These four issues will be dealt with under two subsequent headings. Issues under “a” and “b” will be dealt with under the first; then issues under “c” and “d” will be dealt with under the second.

1. ONCE ENLIGHTENED…BUT FELL AWAY

Certain descriptive words appearing in Hebrews 6:4-5 make it virtually impossible to look upon these verses as describing unsaved people.

There is the word, “enlightened” (Hebrews 6:4), which is used in Hebrews 10:32, translated “illuminated.” And according to 1 Corinthians 2:14, “the natural man” cannot be enlightened or illuminated in spiritual matters. Then, beyond that, the passage is dealing with things other than the “milk” of the Word; it is dealing with “strong meat” (Hebrews 5:12-14). Then there is the word, “tasted” (Hebrews 6:4-5). This is the same word used for Christ tasting death “for every man” in Hebrews 2:9. The experiences entered into by those in Hebrews 6:4-5 must be looked upon as a tasting to the same extent that Christ tasted “death” at Calvary. The latter was full and complete, and the former must be also.

And the last descriptive word is “partakers” (Hebrews 6:4). This is the same word translated “fellows” in Hebrews 1:9 and “partakers” in Hebrews 3:1, 14. This is the word metochoi, which could be better translated, “companions.” It is used in Hebrews 1; 3 describing Christ’s co-heirs, His companions, in the coming day of His power.

Being “enlightened,” tasting “of the heavenly gift,” being made “partakers of the Holy Spirit,” tasting “the good word of God,” and tasting “the powers of the world [‘age’] to come” form a description of Christians progressively coming into a mature knowledge and understanding of the things surrounding Melchizedek from Hebrews 5. It, thus, has to do with Christians coming into a mature knowledge and understanding of Christ’s coming reign over the earth, with His companions.

Then, spiritual lessons surrounding the possibility of Christians falling away after coming into this mature state is drawn from the type dealt with prior to the introduction of Melchizedek in Hebrews 5 — the account of the Israelites under Moses (Hebrews 3; 4).

The Israelites under Moses passed through similar experiences within the framework of their earthly calling, climaxed by their hearing the report of the twelve spies and tasting the actual fruits of the land which they had brought back with them. And that which happened to the Israelites at this point (in the type) is where one must go in order to understand the falling away and accompanying statements (in the antitype) in Hebrews 6:6.

The Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea were in possession of the Word of God (received at Sinai), God dwelled in their midst (in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle, built and erected at Sinai), they had heard the report of the spies, and they had tasted the actual fruits of the land (brought back by the spies). And occupying this position, they were then ready to enter the land, conquer and possess the land, and subsequently realize their calling in the land as God’s firstborn son.

They, at this point, were in possession of what could only be looked upon as a mature knowledge of the whole matter. They understood their calling and that which lay out ahead. And it is at this point that they fell away and, within the framework of that stated in the antitype in Hebrews 6:4-6, found it impossible to be renewed “again unto repentance.”

2. IMPOSSIBLE TO RENEW AGAIN…BECAUSE…

The report which the spies brought back concerning the land was both positive and negative. It was a good land, flowing with “milk and honey”; but the inhabitants, which included the Nephilim, were strong and lived in walled cities (Numbers 13:26-29, 32-33).

Caleb and Joshua, exhorting the people, said, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” But the remaining spies said, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we” (Numbers 13:30-31).

The people of Israel heard the report and both exhortations, but they believed the evil report of the ten spies rather than the true report of Caleb and Joshua. And their resulting actions said it all. They wept, began to murmur against Moses and Aaron, and then looked back to Egypt, wishing that they had never left. Then, to climax matters, they sought to appoint another leader and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4).

They, in the words of the antitype, fell away. They had turned their backs upon God, and God, correspondingly, turned His back upon them. Because of that which had transpired, the most severe judgment possible was pronounced upon the entire accountable generation. Every single individual comprising that generation, twenty years old and above, save Caleb and Joshua, was to be overthrown in the wilderness.

And once this apostasy had occurred (with its corresponding pronounced judgment), there could be no renewal “again unto repentance” (as in the antitype). And the reason, drawing again from the antitype (“crucify to themselves the Son of God”), is because they had brought shame and reproach upon the One (God) dwelling in their midst, Who was to have led them victoriously into the land.

(“Repentance” simply means a change of mind. And in both the type and antitype, the change of mind is on the part of God, not on the part of the Israelites [type] or on the part of Christians [antitype].)

The Israelites, the very next day, repented (changed their minds). They “rose up early” and sought to “go up unto the place” which the Lord had promised. But the Lord didn’t repent (He didn’t change His mind). He was no longer with them relative to their entering the land and victoriously combating the enemy; and, consequently, the Israelites, trying to enter apart from the Lord’s leadership, were smitten and driven back (Numbers 14:40-45).

And that’s what Hebrews 6:4-6 is about. If God allows a Christian to come into a mature knowledge of His Son’s coming reign as King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek,” and that Christian apostatizes, the same thing will occur as that which occurred with the Israelites under Moses (it would have to, for the antitype must follow the type in exact detail).

The Christian would be cut off insofar as those things surrounding his calling were concerned. He would not be allowed to subsequently enter that heavenly land to which he had been called and victoriously combat the enemy therein. He could never be brought back to the position which he had previously occupied. Which is to say, he could not be renewed “again unto repentance.”

Though the Christian may later change his mind about the matter (as the Israelites did), God would not change His mind (as in the type). The Christian, like the Israelites, would be overthrown on the right side of the blood but on the wrong side of the goal of his calling.

And the reason for such severe judgment on God’s part results from the fact that, through this act, such a Christian could only bring shame and reproach upon the name of Christ. Note the entire expression, “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh [‘afresh’ is not in the Greek text, though implied], and put him to an open shame” (Hebrews 6:6). The thought has to do with the shame and reproach surrounding Calvary, not with subjecting the Son to a second crucifixion, for such an act is impossible (Hebrews 7:27).

But subjecting the Son to this same type shame and reproach at the hands of the world is very possible today; and such shame and reproach can result from the act of any Christian falling away in the antitype of the Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea.

A Christian though, to fall away after this fashion, would have to do two things:

a) He would first have to come into a mature knowledge and understanding of the things surrounding Christ’s coming reign over the earth, and

b) he would then have to apostatize after the same fashion in which the Israelites apostatized (looking away from Moses and the land [an earthly land], back to Egypt; i.e., looking away from Christ and the land [a heavenly land], back to the world).

And doing this, a Christian would be subjecting God’s Son to the same type humiliation and shame which He experienced at Calvary. The expression, “crucify to themselves,” is actually explained by the remainder of the verse — “put [expose] Him to an open shame.” It is subjecting the world’s coming Ruler to humiliation and shame through the one “in Christ” turning from that which lies out ahead and focusing his attention back on the present world system under the incumbent ruler, Satan.

And this is something which God will not allow. Thus, the verse, “And this will we do [we will go on to maturity in the things surrounding Christ’s coming reign over the earth], if God permit [if God permits us to go on].”

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's If They Fall Away, Let Us Go On, Ch. 5

Bible One - Hebrews 6:3-8, Reproduction of Chs. 5-6 of Let Us Go On by Arlen L. Chitwood

Two Kinds of Growth

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessings from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned (Hebrews 6:7-8).

The subject matter, contextually, must center around that which has preceded. The writer uses an illustration drawn from nature which corresponds to that which he has been discussing. It is an illustration concerning two kinds of growth, resulting in two types of fruit.

This illustration would refer back to the immediate context, which deals with maturity in the faith. It deals with Christian growth or nongrowth and a corresponding fruit-bearing in relation to each. The two types of fruit presented though are quite different, with one type being looked upon as barrenness in other passages of Scripture (cf. Mark 11:13 ASV; James 2:20 ASV [ref. ASV; some manuscripts have the word arge, “barren,” rather than nekros, “dead,” in this verse. Regardless though, “dead” or “barren,” in the sense spoken of here, would be the same]).

The unsaved are not in view in Hebrews 6:7-8; nor is one’s eternal destiny in view. The passage deals strictly with those who are already saved, those in a position to bring forth fruit.

Drawing from the type in the context, the passage deals with things beyond Exodus 12 — with man at a point beyond the death of the firstborn. It deals with man in a position to bring forth fruit relative to the hope of his calling.

Preceding events surrounding the death of the firstborn, there is no such thing as man being placed in a position of this nature. Prior to the point of salvation, a person is connected only with the earth. He is connected with Adam, who was made from “the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7). And at the time of the fall, the dust of the ground came under a curse: “…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee…” (Genesis 3:17b-18a).

Fallen man is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). And insofar as works or fruit-bearing are concerned, he can only do two things:

1) He can only produce works or bring forth fruit in association with the earth, with which he finds himself connected (which is under a curse), and

2) he can only be active after this fashion within the sphere of the one life he possesses (“natural,” i.e., “soulical” [cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14ff]).

He could never, in an eternity of time, rise above his connection with the earth; nor, in the same eternity of time, could he remove himself from the “natural.” Thus, he, in and of himself, could never bring forth anything acceptable to God. All which he, in his fallen state, might consider as “righteous” would only be looked upon by God after one fashion — “as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

Man has a spiritual problem, which had its origin in the fall. Man, at that time, found himself separated from God; and, apart from Divine intervention, resulting in redemption, that’s where he would not only continue to remain today but for all eternity as well.

Unredeemed man’s association with the “natural” leaves him alienated from God; and his association with the “earth” leaves him destined for destruction.

This is the reason man MUST be born from above, which is a spiritual birth. There is no alternative. If he would escape the state in which he presently finds himself, he must escape it through God’s provided means.

Unredeemed man has no capacity whatsoever to act either relative to or within the “spiritual realm.” Insofar as spiritual matters are concerned, unredeemed man has no more ability to act than any person in any graveyard has the ability to act physically. Both are dead — one spiritually, the other physically. And, apart from Divine intervention, neither could ever make even the most minute move conceivable — one in the spiritual realm, the other in the physical realm.

Unredeemed man, to escape his present state, thus must be made alive spiritually (John 3:6). He must be brought from his dead, alienated state to a living, nonalienated state. That is, he must be removed from his present state and be placed in an entirely different state. He must pass “from death unto life” (John 5:24).

That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again [lit., ‘born from above’]” (John 3:7). This is the great imperative. A man can make no move toward the Red Sea and the things lying beyond (Exodus 13ff) until he has first settled the matter surrounding the death of the firstborn (Exodus 12).

Until he has settled this matter he can never be associated with anything other than Egypt and the things of that land. But once he has settled this matter, a new land comes into view. Once he has settled this matter, he finds himself associated with a land removed from Egypt.

But, there is still a problem.

And that still-existing problem is what Hebrews 6:7-8 is about. Though redeemed man finds himself associated with a land removed from Egypt, the land of Egypt is not done away with. The land of Egypt remains in existence.

And, correspondingly, though redeemed man possesses a new nature, the old nature is still present. It is as in the original type in Genesis 1:3-5 when God “commanded the light to shine out of darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The darkness remained, though light now shined forth out of that darkness (ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's From Egypt to Canaan, Ch. 7).

Redeemed man thus finds himself in a position where he can go in either of two directions. He can either fix his attention on the land out ahead, or he can turn and fix his attention on the land from which he was called.

Insofar as his eternal destiny is concerned, it could never make one iota of difference which direction he takes. But, insofar as the hope of his calling — the purpose for his salvation — is concerned, it would make every difference.

Hebrews 6:7-8 presents man with a dual capacity in this realm. That is, he possesses the capacity to go in either direction. Thus, not only contextually, but textually as well, it is evident that the passage is dealing only with those who have passed “from death unto life.” Those remaining “dead in trespasses and sins” do not possess this dual capacity and cannot be in view at all.

(Man must be made alive “spiritually” [John 3:6] because “God is spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” [John 4:24 NASB, NIV]. Consequently, in order for man to find himself in a nonalienated state once again, he must, through Divine intervention (for he himself is powerless to act), be restored “spiritually”; and this can be accomplished only through the spiritual birth from above.

John 4:24 has nothing to do with God in a physical sense, as the verse is often understood [stating, on the basis of this verse, that God does not have a physical existence]. The word “spirit” is anarthrous in the Greek text, referring to God’s character rather than to His identity. The expression is used in the same sense as another expression by John,

“God is love” [1 John 4:16].

And the latter has no more to do with the physical than the former, or vice versa. Both refer to God’s character.

This is the reason that the natural man finds himself alienated from God. He, within the framework of his character, acts in the “natural”; and that is the only sphere in which it is possible for him to act. But God, within the framework of His character, acts in the “spiritual,” never the “natural.” And one is totally incompatible with the other. Ishmael cannot act within the sphere occupied by Isaac. It is impossible.

Thus, the “natural man” cannot worship God “in spirit and in truth”; nor can he exercise “faith,” apart from which it is impossible to please God [Hebrews 11:6]. Only the person having experienced the spiritual birth from above is in a position to do either.

But, such a person may or may not conduct his affairs in the realm of the spiritual, though Scripture, time after time, exhorts him to so do. Those things which characterize his life may or may not be in line with those things which characterize God, though they should be. He still possesses the old nature [the natural (soulical) man, connected with the earth], though he [unlike unredeemed man] also possesses the new nature [the spiritual man, connected with God, another land, etc.]. And a Christian is fully capable of following either nature, going in either direction.

And for this reason Scripture is filled with spiritual lessons, exhortations, and warnings concerning the overall matter surrounding the Christians’ calling. And herein, as well, lies the reason for the necessity of proper spiritual growth unto maturity, for redeemed man lives within the sphere of which ever nature is cultivated, nurtured, and fed.)

BLESSINGS FROM GOD

Several lines of teaching can be drawn from Hebrews 6:7-8. One would have to do with redeemed man in relation to two lands — one earthly, the other heavenly. Another line of teaching would contrast the two lands themselves — one land having to do with our natural birth and the other with our spiritual birth. However, the latter (referring to the two lands) would still have to be understood in conjunction with the former (referring to redeemed man), for one cannot be separated from the other.

1. THE LAND OF CANAAN

That heavenly land to which Christians under Christ have been called (in a place removed from the earth) is typified by the earthly land to which the Israelites under Moses were called (Canaan). And the land from which the Israelites were called (Egypt) would typify the land from which Christians have been called (the earth).

Just as the Israelites were to separate themselves from Egypt and fix their attention on the land set before them, Christians are to separate themselves from this world and fix their attention on the land set before them. Both callings thus concern two lands — one from which the person has been called, and the other to which the person has been called; and God draws spiritual lessons from the former calling (the Israelites under Moses) to teach His people great spiritual truths concerning the latter calling (Christians under Christ).

The land of Canaan was the place wherein the Israelites under Moses could realize both a “rest” and an “inheritance” (Deuteronomy 12:9). God said of the land of Canaan, “But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:11-12).

“Rain,” in this respect, is associated with God’s blessings. In Deuteronomy 32:2, the Lord states, “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.”

Then during the coming Messianic Era the presence or absence of “rain” is associated with the presence or absence of blessings. On the one hand, the prophesied “latter rain” is associated with blessings for Israel, which will result in blessings for the nations (Joel 2:23); and, on the other hand, the absence of “rain” is associated with a withholding of blessings from the nations (Zechariah 14:17-19).

(Though the land of Canaan is part of the earth, which is under a curse, it is used in an eschatological sense within the framework of the type [referring to that day when the earth will be removed from the present curse]. In this respect, it is used of both the rest set before us [to be realized in that coming seventh day, earth’s coming Sabbath] and a land contrasted with Egypt. In the latter respect, the land of Canaan would be associated with “the spiritual” and the land of Egypt with “the natural.”)

Thus, the land of Canaan corresponds to the land of Hebrews 6:7, which “drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it,” which “receiveth blessings from God.” And the land of Canaan (to which the Israelites under Moses were called) is set forth as a type of that heavenly land (to which Christians under Christ have been called).

Contextually, this verse would have to do with those who have been allowed to go on unto maturity within the framework of Hebrews 6:1- 6, remaining faithful to their calling. The blessings in view would have to do with being enlightened concerning the things out ahead — tasting “of the heavenly gift…the good word of God, and the powers of the world [‘age’] to come” — and with being made “partakers [‘companions’] of the Holy Spirit” in these matters, as He leads individuals “into all truth” (Hebrews 6:4-5).

And further, contextually, the verse would have to do with that coming day when Christ will be the great King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:5-14). That will be the day when the blessings of God will find their ultimate fulfillment insofar as man on the present earth is concerned. In that day the blessings of God will flow out through the Seed of Abraham to the Gentile nations from both heavenly and earthly spheres. And the Seed of Abraham, in that day, will dwell in these lands (heavenly and earthly), corresponding to the land of Hebrews 6:7.

2. CALEB AND JOSHUA

Caleb and Joshua — two of the Israelites under Moses at Kadesh- Barnea, and two of the twelve spies sent in to obtain a report concerning the land of Canaan — had a proper respect for God’s calling and the land set before them. All twelve of the spies first presented a uniform report to Israel concerning the land (a land flowing with “milk and honey [they had brought back some of the actual fruits of the land for the people to see],” but strong Gentile nations, infiltrated by the Nephilim, dwelled in the land). Then Caleb and Joshua, apart from the other ten, “stilled the people before Moses” and exhorted them after a positive fashion: “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:26-30; cf. Numbers 13:33).

Though the enemy was stronger and more numerous than the Israelites, Caleb and Joshua believed that which God had to say concerning their calling and the land set before them. They had seen God’s previous dealings with the Egyptians the night of the Passover (Exodus 12:29ff), they had seen God’s miraculous parting of the waters of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22), they had seen God’s destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:23-28), they had seen God’s provision of food and water in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4-18; 17:1-7), and they had seen God’s continued provision of victory over anyone who stood in the way of their march toward Sinai and their subsequent march toward the land of Canaan (Exodus 17:8-14).

(In fact, God’s attitude toward anyone standing in Israel’s way was such that He not only completely destroyed the Egyptian army which moved into the sea after Israel [“there remained not so much as one of them” (Exodus 14:28)] but He pronounced a terminal, annihilating judgment upon the “first of the nations” [Numbers 24:20] to war against Israel in the wilderness. God said to Moses: “Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” [Exodus 17:14; cf. Deuteronomy 25:17-19].

The Amalekite nation existed for hundreds of years following the Exodus under Moses; but, during the days of Hezekiah, this nation was finally destroyed after the fashion which God had previously stated at the time of the Exodus centuries before [1 Chronicles 4:39-43]. And, as a consequence, the only available record today that this nation ever even existed can be found only one place — in the pages of Scripture. Secular history knows nothing of the Amalekites, for God destroyed this nation to the extent that man, in his secular world, can find no trace of it whatsoever.)

Caleb and Joshua had seen and experienced these things; and they knew that it was through the Lord’s strength and power, not their own, that deliverance or provision had been forthcoming at every point. The Lord had slain the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12:12), the Lord had destroyed the Egyptian army, and the Lord was the One who warred with Amalek (eventually blotting him out of existence [Exodus 17:14-16]). And the Lord was the One Who, as well, over the previous one and one-half years, had miraculously provided food and water in the wilderness for the Israelites (Exodus 16:4; 17:5-7).

Thus, for Caleb and Joshua (and it should have been the same for the remainder of the nation), it was really a simple matter to look out ahead to the land set before them and believe, regardless of the strength of the land’s inhabitants or the comparative weakness and seeming inability of the Israelites, that the people of Israel could “go up at once, and possess it.” The people of Israel would be “well able to overcome it,” but not in their own strength and power. They, as before, would have to rely upon the Lord, with His strength and power; and by so doing, through faith in the Lord, nothing could stand in their way as they marched into the land and victoriously engaged the enemy.

But there was another side to the matter, and that was the attitude exhibited by the ten remaining spies, with their “evil report.” They, in a faithless manner, overlooking all God’s works which had proceeded, said to the Israelites, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we” (Numbers 13:31).

It is these two reports, with the resulting action of Caleb and Joshua on the one hand and the remainder of the nation on the other, which establish a basis for much of that which is taught in Hebrews 3; 4; 5; 6. And nearing the end of this whole section in Hebrews 6:7-8, these two totally incompatible ways in which the Israelites viewed the land set before them typifying the two totally incompatible ways Christians can view the land set before them) are set forth in a very simple illustration, drawn from nature.

Within one sphere, there are acceptance and blessings; within the other, there are rejection and curses. And no middle ground lies between the two (cf. Matthew 12:30). Thus, these two verses outline the only two options open to any Christian:

a) that of one day coming into a realization of his calling (Hebrews 6:7), or

b) that of one day being overthrown short of the goal of his calling (Hebrews 6:8).

REJECTED…

The land of Canaan is set forth, on the one hand, corresponding to the land of Hebrews 6:7; then it is set forth, on the other hand, as being sharply contrasted with the land of Egypt, which corresponds to the earth under a curse. And though the curse will be lifted for one thousand years (during the coming Messianic Era), at the end of this time “the earth…and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (cf. II Peter 3:10-13).

It is the land of Egypt which corresponds to the land in Hebrews 6:8 — that which bears “thorns and briers…whose end is to be burned [set in sharp contrast to the land of Hebrews 6:7].” And the land of Egypt is a type of the world in which man presently lives — a world under a curse, which brings forth “thorns also and thistles” (Genesis 3:17-18).

Whether it be the earth under a curse or natural man connected with the earth, insofar as God is concerned, there can only be total, complete rejection. “That which beareth thorns and briers is rejected.”

The reference in Hebrews though is not to unredeemed man on the earth (although he has been rejected). The reference is to redeemed man who looks to that land which bears “thorns and briers” (Hebrews 6:8) rather than to that land which brings forth “herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed” (Hebrews 6:7). The reference is to the antitype of those Israelites under Moses at Kadesh-Barnea who believed the evil report of the ten spies concerning the land of Canaan, causing them to look back to Egypt rather than out ahead to the land of their calling (Numbers 13:31-14:4).

These Israelites looked back to a land which bore “thorns and briers” rather than out ahead to a land which brought forth “herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed.” And their subsequent overthrow in the wilderness was completely in line with that which God had to say about Egypt, the land to which they had sought to return. Relative to their calling and the land set before them (called out of Egypt to dwell in the land of Canaan as God’s firstborn son), they were “rejected.” They were overthrown in the wilderness, short of this goal.

And the warning to Christians is that they can, by following the same example, only suffer the same fate. Eternally saved? Yes! But, just as the Israelites under Moses were overthrown on the right side of the blood at a place short of the goal of their calling, so can Christians under Christ be overthrown for the same reason, after the identical fashion (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:11).

1. RIGHTEOUS LOT

The experiences of “righteous” Lot (2 Peter 2:7-8) form another Old Testament type — from a different perspective — concerning redeemed man’s calling from the world to a land removed from the world. And, within this account, the type is quite instructive concerning the inability of a carnal, worldly person (though redeemed) to act in any depth at all within the “spiritual.”

Lot was among those whom Abraham rescued in the battle of the kings in Genesis, chapter fourteen. And, from the record, it seems apparent that Lot was with Abraham when Melchizedek came forth with bread and wine following this battle. However, it was Abraham alone who was blessed by Melchizedek and was allowed to understand enough about that which was happening to make him lose all interest in the things which the world had to offer (Genesis 14:18-24).

Nothing like that which Abraham experienced is recorded concerning Lot. Though he, in all likelihood, was present with Abraham at this time, he apparently saw and understood little or nothing beyond the “letter” of the matter.

(Note one facet of teaching from this aspect of the type relative to Christians in the coming kingdom. All will be present when Christ exercises the Melchizedek priesthood, but not all will be blessed.)

Abraham and Lot, in this respect, would fit within the framework of Hebrews 6:1-6. One was allowed to go on into an understanding of the things surrounding Melchizedek, but not so with the other. Viewing their individual backgrounds, the reason becomes evident; and viewing that which occurred in the lives of these two men in subsequent years, the end result is quite instructive.

Abraham lived in the “plains of Mamre,” near Hebron, located in the mountainous terrain of the high country (Genesis 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; 23:17-19; 35:27). Lot, on the other hand, lived in Sodom, in the “plain of Jordan,” in the low-lying country (Genesis 13:10-12; 14:12; 19:1).

The difference in these two places would be similar to the difference between Jerusalem and Jericho. Jerusalem was located in the mountainous terrain of the high country, but Jericho was located near the lowest point in the land, near the Dead Sea at the southern end of the Jordan Plain (where Sodom and the other cities of the plain are believed to have once existed).

Jerusalem and Jericho are set in contrast to one another in Scripture. One is “the city of the great King,” from which blessings for the nations of the earth will flow during the coming age (Psalm 48:2; Zechariah 14:1-21); but “a curse” rests upon the other (Joshua 6:18, 26). And the two places where Abraham and Lot lived are set in similar contrast.

Lot’s downward path can be seen in different places from Genesis 13:10 to Genesis 19:1, and the results of his downward path can be seen in Genesis 14:12-24; 19:1-38.

Lot “lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere…” He then “chose him all the plain of Jordan…dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” And in the process of doing this, he separated himself from Abraham (Genesis 13:10-12). That is, the carnal believer separated himself from the spiritual believer.

The day came when Lot got into trouble and had to be rescued by Abraham (Genesis 14:12-16 [numerous spiritual lessons could be drawn from this account]). But his long association with the cities of the plain apparently prevented him from seeing beyond the “letter” when Melchizedek subsequently appeared (Genesis 14:18-24); and his failure to see beyond the “letter,” coupled with his long prior association with the cities of the plain, eventually resulted in his not only again living in Sodom but also in his being actively involved within the affairs of the city (Genesis 19:1 [affairs of a city were carried on by men seated at the gate, as was Lot]).

Abraham, during this same time though, dwelled in the high country, removed from the cities of the plain. And, apart from instances such as his rescue of Lot and his intercession on behalf of the righteous in Sodom (Genesis 14:14-16; 18:23-33), the affairs of the people in the Jordan Plain were of no moment to him.
Thus, when the day arrived for the destruction of the cities of the plain — as the day will arrive for the destruction of the present world system — two completely contrasting saved individuals can be seen.

And that’s what’s in view in Hebrews 6:7-8, along with fruit-bearing in each sphere — one of value, the other worthless (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:12).

Some Christians have been allowed to go on and see that which is taught concerning Melchizedek. Consequently, their interest doesn’t lie in the things of the Jordan Plain but in the things of the high country. And they dwell where their interest lies.

Other Christians though, as Lot, have not been allowed to go on and see that which is taught concerning Melchizedek (and, invariably, for the same reason set forth in Lot’s life). Consequently, their interest doesn’t lie in the things of the high country (concerning which they have little to no knowledge) but in those of the valley instead. And they too dwell where their interest lies.

2. ESCAPE FROM SODOM

The Jordan Plain with its cities was destroyed during Abraham and Lot’s day by “brimstone and fire” from heaven (Genesis 19:24-25). And though Lot was delivered from Sodom prior to this destruction, his deliverance was, as in 1 Corinthians 3:15, “so as by [‘through’] fire.”

Prior to this destruction, Lot was placed outside Sodom and commanded, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed” (Genesis 19:17).

(Note what’s involved in this five-part command. First, “Escape for thy life [‘soul’].” This is the saving of the soul/life. Physical life in this instance? Yes! But far more than just the physical is involved, as becomes evident from the remainder of the command.

The next three parts relate how the soul/life can be saved:

a) “Look not behind thee” (cf. Luke 9:62; Hebrews 12:1-2),

b) “neither stay thou in all the plain” (don’t remain in the low-lying country [equivalent to Egypt]), and

c) “escape to the mountain” (a “mountain” is used in Scripture symbolizing a kingdom, particularly Christ’s coming Kingdom [cf. Isaiah 2:1-5; Daniel 2:35, 44-45; Matthew 17:1-5]).

(Note: Contrary to some English translations, the word “mountain” in the Hebrew text is singular, as in the KJV. the reference is to a “mountain” symbolizing a kingdom, not to “mountains” symbolizing kingdoms. A distinction between “mountain” and “mountains” in this respect can be seen in Isaiah 2:2-3 — “…the mountain of the Lord’s house [the kingdom of Christ] shall be established at the top of the mountains [all the individual earthly kingdoms]…”)

The escape from the plain to the mountain is an escape from Egypt to Canaan — to that land associated with the coming kingdom. This is where one’s attention is to be centered. This is where he is to dwell.

Then the last part relates what will happen to a person should he not follow the Lord’s command in this respect: “lest thou be consumed.”  That is, he will be consumed by that which will itself be consumed; and, as a consequence, he will lose his soul/life.

Lot though had no concept of that which was being stated; and, in reality, even though the Lord had given him this five-part command, he couldn’t follow it.

His spiritual senses had not been sufficiently developed or exercised. He could do no more than act after a carnal fashion, which he did (Genesis 19:19-20). And this is the apparent reason why the Lord, apart from remonstrance, honored his request to be allowed to go to Zoar instead of the mountain (Genesis 19:21-23).

However, Zoar — a city in the plain, spared for Lot — wasn’t the last stop. After the destruction of the other cities of the plain, Lot became afraid to dwell in Zoar and moved out into the mountain to which he had previously been commanded to escape. But, unlike Abraham, Lot dwelled on the mountain in “a cave” (Genesis 19:30) rather than standing in a place “before the Lord” (Genesis 19:27; cf. Genesis 18:22). He, in effect, dwelled in a place of shame rather than in a place of honor.

And therein is the account of two pilgrims who governed their lives after two entirely different fashions, one day arriving at the same destination and finding themselves occupying positions completely commensurate with the fashion in which they had governed their lives during their previous pilgrim journey. Thus will it be with Christians on the Mountain in that coming day.

[Aside: The writer of Hebrews gives ample encouragement to believers, but there are five solemn warnings we must heed. There is the danger of neglect (Hebrews 2:1-4), the danger of unbelief (Hebrews 3:7–4:13), the danger of spiritual immaturity (Hebrews 5:11–6:20), the danger of failing to endure (Hebrews 10:26-39), and the inherent danger of refusing God (Hebrews 12:25-29). And so we find in this crowning masterpiece a great wealth of doctrine, a refreshing spring of encouragement, and a source of sound, practical warnings against slothfulness in our Christian walk. But there is still more, for in Hebrews we find a magnificently rendered portrait of our Lord Jesus Christ—the Author and Finisher of our great salvation (Hebrews 12:2).]

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Two Kinds of Growth, Let Us Go On, Ch. 6 

Bible One - Hebrews 6:3-8, Reproduction of Chs. 5-6 of Let Us Go On by Arlen L. Chitwood

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When our Lord comes back
He will “bring to light the hidden things of darkness
and reveal the counsels of the hearts.
Then each one’s praise will come from God” (1 Cor. 4:5).
On that day our works will be tried and we may suffer loss,
but we will not be judged for sin (1 Cor. 3:11-15).
God will see what Christ has done for us.
He “will not remember [our] sins.” ~David Roper

The Great White Throne Judgment
From The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Man was created in the beginning to rule the earth in the stead of the incumbent ruler, Satan, who had disqualified himself to continue holding the scepter. And this will be realized yet future when Satan and his angels have been put down and Christ and His co-heirs ascend the throne, holding the scepter of the earth.

But the rule of Christ and His co-heirs over the domain that Satan and his angels will have previously ruled is for one age only — the Messianic Era, lasting 1,000 years. In a larger respect though, man was created to rule not just the earth but to rule out in the universe. And the latter will be realized during the ages following the Millennium.

(Note: Man’s rule during the ages following the Millennium is discussed in The Eternal Ages in this site, or  Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 36.)

Understanding the reason for man’s creation in the beginning (regal) and the fact that this remains uppermost in God’s mind — not only during time (during 6,000 years of redemptive work and a subsequent 1,000 years of rest) but also during eternity (the eternal ages beyond the Millennium) — is necessary if one is to properly understand judgments occurring both before and after the Millennium.

All judgments, premillennial or postmillennial, have to do with the purpose for man’s creation, which, as well, is the purpose for God’s redemptive work following man’s fall.

All judgments occurring before the Millennium (the judgment of Christians [Revelation 1:10-3:21], Israel [Ezekiel 20:34-44], saved Gentiles surviving the Tribulation [Matthew 25:31-46], and Tribulation martyrs [Revelation 20:4-6]) have to do with the place each individual being judged will occupy in relation to Christ’s rule during the Millennium.

Many of those being judged will be found worthy to occupy regal positions of varying degrees in the kingdom, depending on their faithfulness, which will have resulted in works; but many others, because of unfaithfulness, resulting in the lack of works, will be found unworthy and will be denied such positions.

There will be no judgment per se at this time for the unsaved who survive the Tribulation and subsequently enter into the Millennium. The Millennium itself will serve as their judgment, for the Millennium will be 1,000 years of judging as Christ and His co-heirs rule the earth with a rod of iron.

Other than the Millennium itself, the only judgment of the unsaved is seen following the Millennium, proceeding the eternal ages. A judgment of the unsaved simply does not, it cannot, precede the Millennium, for all judgments preceding the Millennium have to do solely with the saved in relation to the Millennium. Millennial issues could have nothing to do with a judgment of the unsaved. Thus, their judgment does not occur until after the Millennium, as seen in Revelation 20:11-15.

And this judgment of the unsaved following the Millennium will have to be all-inclusive since it does not occur until this point in time. Thus, this judgment will have to include all of the unsaved dead throughout the entire preceding 7,000 years, extending all the way back to man’s creation, along with those whom Satan will have led astray after the 1,000 years, following his release from his confinement in the abyss.

And this judgment will evidently have to do with man alone, not with both man and angels.

It seems clear, from comparing Scripture with Scripture, that where Satan goes, his angels go.

Sometimes Satan, in relation to his present rule, is spoken of alone; but at other times the angels ruling with him are seen as well (cf. Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 25:41; Luke 4:6; 10:18; Revelation 12:3-9).

And the counterpart to this would be that sometimes Christ, in relation to His coming rule, is spoken of alone; but at other times those ruling with Him are seen as well — His co-heirs, Israel, saved Gentiles coming out of the Tribulation, and Tribulation martyrs (cf. Joel 2:27-32; Matthew 25:34, 46; Luke 1:31-33; Romans 8:17-19; Hebrews 1:9; 3:14; Revelation 11:15; 20:4-6).

In short, when Satan is cast into the abyss before the Millennium, his angels will evidently be cast in with him; when he is loosed following the Millennium, his angels will evidently be loosed with him; and when he is cast into the lake of fire, his angels will evidently be cast in with him. And the preceding, at least in the final analysis, could only include the angels seen loosed when the sixth trumpet is sounded and the corresponding sixth bowl (KJV: vial) is poured out in Revelation 9:13-21; 16:12-16 (cf. 1 Peter 3:18-20; Jude 1:6).

Attention is called to this fact because of some who attempt to teach that angels will be judged along with man at the Great White Throne Judgment. The thought of angels also being judged at this time is derived mainly from the statement, “the sea gave up the dead who were in it,” in Revelation 20:13a. And a basis for seeing Satan’s angels in connection with the sea would be Job. 26:5, where Rephaim tremble beneath the waters (Rephaim is another name for the Nephilim in Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33 NASB [ref. NASB, with Rephaim translated “spirits” in Job 26:5 NASB; both Nephilim and Rephaim are transliterated Hebrew words]).

To further support the thought of angels being judged at this time, attention is called to the fact that all of the dead in the human realm would be taken care of by the expression that immediately follows a mention of the sea giving up the dead — “and Death and Hades [‘hell’ in the KJV; ‘Hades,’ the place of the dead] delivered up the dead who were in them” (Revelation 20:13b). And the question is asked: Why single out the sea separate from death and Hades unless individuals from outside the human realm are being referenced?

But, if Satan’s angels had previously been cast into the lake of fire with him (which would evidently have occurred), there could be no basis for the thought that they would be present and would be judged, along with man, at the Great White Throne Judgment.

And that would be substantiated by noting how the word “sea” is used in this passage. The word “sea” is not only used in Revelation 20:13 but also in Revelation 21:1, at the time that the new heaven and the new earth are brought into existence. And, contextually, it appears evident that the word is used the same way in both verses — not in a literal sense, having to do with a place of angelic confinement, but in a metaphorical sense, depicting something other than a literal sea, which would be very much in keeping with the extensive use of metaphors throughout this book.

The expression, “the sea,” when used in a metaphorical sense refers to either the Gentiles or the place of death (e.g., Jonah 1:11-2:10; 1 Corinthians 10:2; Colossians 2:12; Revelation 13:1). In both Revelation 20:13 and Revelation 21:1, contextually, death would be in view. In both places, “the sea” appears in a parallel respect to death (cf. Revelation 20:13a, 13b-14; 21:1, 4). A reference to “the sea” giving up the dead (Revelation 20:13a) is simply another way of saying the same thing as the text goes on to relate — to “Death and Hades [KJV: ‘hell”]” giving up the dead (Revelation 20:13b-14). The two references form parallel statements, saying the same thing two different ways, providing an emphasis on the finality of the matter — an emphasis having to do with the end of death.

(Parallels of the nature seen here are very common in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. And, though less common in the Greek text of the New Testament, contextually, it is quite evident that a parallel of this nature exists in both places in this section of the book of Revelation.)

The Great White Throne Judgment depicts a final judgment of all the unsaved dead. Those present in that day will have rejected God’s redemptive work and, as a result, can have no part in God’s regal statements regarding man at the time of his creation. Now they can only be consigned to the same place prepared for the Devil and his angels — a place prepared for those who, not only in the beginning but throughout Man’s Day and at the termination of the Lord’s Day, had rejected God’s supreme power and authority.

In the beginning, Satan had sought to occupy a higher position than the one in which he found himself, the position in which God had placed him; and one-third of the angels ruling with him went along with his God-dishonoring aspirations.

During Man’s Day, Satan and his angels have worked continuously to subvert not only God’s redemptive work but the purpose for this work; and following the Millennium, Satan and his angels will attempt a final work in this respect immediately before they are cast into the lake of fire, where they will reside throughout the endless ages of eternity.

And man, rejecting God’s redemptive work, will, in the final analysis, find himself in this same place, for the same duration, for basically the same reason — residing in the lake of fire throughout the same endless ages of eternity, for he will have rejected God’s redemptive work and the reason for this work.

The Great White Throne Judgment will bring about an end to sin and death in relation to man, whom God had created to rule in His kingdom. In the preceding respect, this judgment has to do with removing from God’s kingdom all remaining vestiges of sin and death in the human realm prior to the new heaven and new earth being brought into existence.

This judgment appears to occur at a time following the destruction of the present heaven and earth but preceding the existence of the new heaven and earth. In Revelation 20:11, the earth and the heaven are seen to flee away from the face of the One seated on the throne — “from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away” (cf. Revelation 21:1). The Greek word pheugo, translated “fled away” in this passage, could be understood in the sense of “disappear,” or “vanish.”

This judgment appears to occur out in space, with the present earth and heaven possibly having passed out of existence at this time, leaving no place for those appearing before the throne to go. Regardless, they will be left at the mercy of the One seated on the throne, though there will be no exercise of mercy, only justice.

Following their judgment on the basis of works (Revelation 20:12), for that is the only basis upon which they could be judged (they will have already been judged on the basis of non-belief surrounding God’s Son [John 3:16-18]), they will be cast into the lake of fire, joining the beast, the false prophet, and Satan and his angels.

And, when this has been accomplished, sin and death will have been done away with, allowing the new heaven and the new earth to be brought into existence.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 35, or From Time to Eternity in this site.

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The New Heaven and Earth
From The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

With the introduction of the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation 21:1, two parallel sections of Scripture follow, taking one to the end of the book.

The first section is rather brief, beginning with the New Jerusalem “coming down out of heaven from God,” followed by conditions that will exist during the eternal ages (Revelation 21:2-6a). And this section ends with an overcomer’s promise and corresponding warnings, which would relate back to conditions during the previous Messianic Era, not to conditions during the eternal ages (Revelation 21:6-8 [6b]).

The second section begins the same way as the first, with the New Jerusalem “coming down out of heaven from God.” And this second section provides numerous descriptive details concerning the New Jerusalem that are not provided in the first. In fact, descriptive details concerning the New Jerusalem comprise almost all of this part of the section (Revelation 21:9-22:5). Then, as in the previous section, this part about the New Jerusalem is followed by a section having to do with overcoming, rewards, and blessings, with the converse of the preceding dealt with as well. And this section, having to do with conditions in the previous Messianic Era, takes one to the end of the book (Revelation 22:6-21).

(That the two parallel sections forming these closing two chapters of the book are to be divided in the previous manner is obvious. Conditions depicted in the latter part of each section cannot possibly exist during the eternal ages. And the converse of that which is concerning the opening parts of these two sections is equally true.)

The first thing mentioned relative to the eternal ages is God bringing into existence a new heaven and a new earth to replace a previously destroyed heaven and earth. Then, relative to the new heaven and the new earth, Scripture states, “there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1).

The “sea” would have to do with the whole of the new creation, both the new heaven and the new earth. And used in the same metaphorical sense as is seen in the previous chapter (Revelation 20:13) — as a reference to death, paralleling a subsequent statement concerning death (Revelation 21:4) — the one thing brought to the forefront relative to the new heaven and the new earth is the absence of death, and accordingly the absence of sin.

The previous heaven and earth — the heaven and the earth that exist now — had/has sin in both realms, with a corresponding death in the earthly realm. Sin invaded the heavenly realm in an age preceding the creation of man, when Satan sought to occupy a higher regal position than the one in which he had been placed. Then, sin invaded the earthly realm when Satan brought about man’s fall, affecting both man and the earth (note that sin would also have been associated with the previously ruined earth following Satan’s fall).

Preceding the Messianic Era, because of sin in the heavenly realm, the heavens will have to be cleansed before Christ and His co-heirs can rule from the heavens over the earth (Job 15:15).  And, as well, there will have to be a restoration of the ruined earth once again (cf. Genesis 3:17-19; Isaiah 35:1ff; Acts 3:21; Romans 8:19-22; Colossians 1:20).

But the destruction of the present heaven and earth at the end of the Millennium and a new heaven and a new earth being brought into existence will result in an end to numerous things that had existed in the past heaven and earth. This termination of things will begin with sin and death, as seen in Revelation 21:1. And, as seen in Revelation 21:4, this will include tears, sorrow, crying, and pain. None of these things will exist in the new heaven and the new earth.

(The new earth may or may not have bodies of water that we know today as seas. Viewing the use of “sea” in Revelation 21:1 correctly, there is really no Scripture that deals with the matter.)

During the Messianic Era, the New Jerusalem will apparently be a satellite city of the present earth. In this respect, there will be a Jerusalem above and a Jerusalem below. Christ and His co-heirs — his wife — along with certain others, will dwell in the Jerusalem above the earth, which will probably be viewed as the capital of the earth; and the Jerusalem on the earth, in which Christ will dwell as well, will form the capital city of restored Israel in the nation’s own land.

After the destruction of the present heaven and earth and the bringing into existence of a new heaven and a new earth, the New Jerusalem is seen coming down to rest upon the new earth (Revelation 21:2, 10, 23-27; 22:1-2). The “great and high mountain” upon which John stood as he witnessed this scene is apparently a metaphorical reference to the greatness of the kingdom as it will exist in that day (note the millennial scene in this same respect in Isaiah 2:1-4 and Daniel 2:35, 44-45).

The thought of the New Jerusalem standing on the new earth, as not only the apparent capital city of the new earth but, as will be shown, the center of universal government, sets forth another thought. The size of the New Jerusalem — about 1,500 hundred miles square, and about 1,500 miles high — would dwarf the present earth. Thus, the new earth will apparently be much larger than the present earth, with the land area in the Abrahamic covenant being extensively increased in size, for this land will accommodate the New Jerusalem.

Regardless, as seen in The Eternal Ages, this city will house the center of government for the entire universe. God Himself will dwell in this city, seated with His Son on “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1, 3). And God, along with His Son, will administer the government of the universe from this place through the whole of mankind, and through angels.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 35, or From Time to Eternity in this site.

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When He shall come with trumpet sound,
oh, may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne.

Sleep Well
By David Jeremiah of Turning Point

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. (Psalm 63:6)

Scientists and researchers aren't sure why we sleep. When we don't sleep, we are tired, less alert, irritable, and have poorer memory. So we sleep to prevent those things from happening. We do know this: The mind is active while we sleep. Many believe it is helpful to give the mind positive and peaceful thoughts while drifting off to sleep.

And what could be more positive and peace-inducing than thoughts of God's love and care? Meditating on Scripture before going to sleep is encouraged by verses like Hebrews 4:12

"Scripture is alive and active, able to separate soul from spirit, able to reveal the thoughts and intents of the heart" (paraphrase). (Hebrews 4:12)

Why not give our mind "food for thought" that is alive and active, truth the Holy Spirit can use even as we sleep to create ideas, desires, insights, and motivations for our life? And if we awake from sleep in the night with a troubled heart, a whispered prayer to God for rest and peace is better than tossing and turning (Philippians 4:6-7).

Give your mind and body the rest it needs by sleeping peacefully in the knowledge that God is at work in you for His own good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

We sleep in peace in the arms of God, when we yield ourselves up to His providence. ~François de la Mothe Fénelon

Sleep Well by David Jeremiah

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TRUTH
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Truth — the concept, the quality, the reality — is paramount to a balanced and contented life, a life anchored in stability and moral strength.  Without the foundation of truth, there can only be physical and emotional disruption and pain.  The existence of truth assures forward direction and enhancing progress, whereas its absence creates distraction and disorder.  To put it in other words, truth is uniquely and inimitably fundamental to a state of well-being in any existing relationship, in any situation or plain of existence, with God or with human — the ultimate quality of a proper, a beneficial, and a rewarding life.

The essential concept of “truth” is anything that represents fact, i.e., that which is totally trustworthy and which exists in reality, substance and information that cannot be refuted.  Yet, today, it is most unfortunate that such is rare within most all facets of society, e.g., personal relationships, politics, advertising, media broadcasts, economic opportunities, and religion.  And it is regarding the latter that this study is directed, because if this aspect of life is correct, all else can and should appropriately follow.

The term “truth” represents “that which actually exists” and “that which is communicated.” The first would be creation itself, e.g., space, substance, and time.  To deny such is futile.  The material and laws that make up the Universe are indeed true.  They exist, they are real, and any attempt to refute such leads to absurdity.

“Truth” stems solely from God (Exodus 34:6).  His truth is eternal (Psalm 117:2).

And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6)

For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 117:2)

Furthermore, since God is true, so is His Word — it is real, permanent, and absolute (Psalm 119:160; cf. John 17:17; 2 Samuel 7:28; Psalm 43:3; 119:142, 151).  Scripture is the very Word of truth and is to be handled correctly (2 Timothy 2:15).  And central to Scripture is the gospel — God’s good news for mankind — which indeed is true (Galatians 2:5, 14; 5:7; Ephesians 1:13).

The entirety of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

. . . that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. (Galatians 2:5b)

God’s Word became flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ.  He indeed was truth incarnate, the One who unequivocally stated that He was centrally “the Truth” (John 14:6), for He was “the Word” [clear expression] of God who was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14, 17).

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of [lit. complete, to the brim with] grace and truth. (17) For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:1, 14, 17)

. . . the truth is in Jesus. (Ephesians 4:21b)

Not only in God’s time was God’s Word manifest in the flesh, but it was given in written form by means of the Holy Spirit through chosen men prior to and after the time of its manifestation for the benefit of mankind.

For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . . (2 Timothy 3:16a)

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

God’s Word, inscribed and in the flesh, has always been “the Truth” for the salvation of man:

1)  Salvation of the Spirit — eternal salvation based solely on the work (sacrifice) of Christ on the cross — salvation that emanates from the grace of God that is grounded in and based solely on Christ’s payment for sin while on the cross at Calvary, which may only be apprehended by faith in Christ (never by any work/s of man) and which, when received by faith, can never be withdrawn or nullified by man or God.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

2)  Salvation of the Soul — an inheritance that may only be achieved by a Christian who faithfully follows Christ during this temporal life, a salvation that may only affect his entrance and participation with Christ during His Millennial Kingdom reign of 1,000 years over the earth — reserved for those Christians who achieve spiritual maturity (sanctification) via God’s Word and who thereby produce “good works” for which they were “created in Christ Jesus.”  And although a primary aspect of this salvation is “faith,” it is the quality of a Christian’s faithful works, credited at Christ’s Judgment Seat, which will secure his placement in the coming Kingdom, a placement that will be forfeited should a Christian remain “carnal (‘babes [spiritually immature] in Christ’) and devoid of “good works” during this lifetime.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (26) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (27) For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Matthew 16:24-27)

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. (10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (11) Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . . . (2 Corinthians 5:9-11a)

Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (39) But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:38-39)

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:24)

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)

Receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:9)

[Note:  Man is a tripartite being composed of spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12).  Scripture addresses the salvation of each.  To study this complete redemptive doctrine more thoroughly, it is recommended that the reader read Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation of the Soul.] 

In addition to the “actuality of existence” as truth, Scripture lays great emphasis on the necessity of communicating the truth.  To put it another way, God would have man to strictly and always tell the truth.  Scripture is quite firm on this issue. 

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16; cf. Deuteronomy 5:20)

You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. (Exodus 23:1)

You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. (Leviticus 19:11)

Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue. (Psalm 120:2)

He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit. (Proverbs 12:17; 14:5)

Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25; cf. Colossians 3:9)

In this regard, the opposite of telling the truth is to tell a lie, an act that God hates.

These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: (17) a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, (18) a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, (19) a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19; cf. Proverbs 19:5, 9; cf. Zechariah 8:16-17)

“And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:3; cf. Isaiah 59:4)

. . . no lie is of the truth. (1 John 2:21b)

Finally, it is your responsibility and privilege to represent, to live by, and to always tell the truth.  If your reputation is one where others declare that “your word is your bond” and that “your handshake is better than a contract,” you are most blessed.  In this day and age where a lie is preferred over the truth (at every level), you would be a rarity.  Be one for Christ and you will not be disappointed at His Judgment Seat! 

Bible One - Charles Strong's Truth

Political Issues the Bible Addresses

While political issues such as the size/scope of government and economic systems are not explicitly addressed in Scripture, there definitely are some political issues the Bible does address, such as abortion (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6; Exodus 21:22-25; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5) and gay marriage (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). For the Bible-believing Christian, abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose. It is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image. Endorsing gay marriage is giving approval to a lifestyle choice the Bible condemns as immoral and unnatural. Therefore, Bible-believing Christians should support issues/candidates that are pro-life and should support issues/candidates that oppose gay marriage and uphold the biblical/traditional understanding of marriage.

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Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians (2)
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Salvation

God’s redemption plan for man is far more intricate than most Christians realize. It is normally understood as a singular concept, which would be the salvation of the spiritual part of man from sin with the end-result being heaven. Most verses of Scripture dealing with man’s salvation are generally attributed to this one linear dimension. This may be attributed to “illegitimate totality transfer” (the error that arises, when the “meaning” of a word [understood as the total series of relations in which it is used in the literature] is read into a particular case as its sense and implication there), [1] which results in the most prominent aspect of salvation for the Christian as discussed in the New Testament being almost unknown within Christendom today.

To illustrate this, any Christian can easily understand that subsequent to his placement of faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross for his eternal salvation (i.e., being “born [from above] again” as mentioned in John 3:3-7), his body continues to exist in a state of degradation (i.e., death), only to be redeemed (saved) at its resurrection.

As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:48-54)

In this case the salvation of the body is quite different (i.e., transpires later) than the spiritual salvation of man that comes instantaneously upon his faith-based decision to accept God’s grace-gift of salvation in Christ. But what is not so well understood by a vast majority of Christians is that besides the salvation of the body there are two other distinct aspects of a Christian’s salvation, both of which are spiritual in character. One is immediate, eternal in scope, and complete while the other is initiated, millennial in scope, and progressive (or regressive, as the case may be) upon the person’s faith-decision in Christ.

That which is immediate, eternal in scope, and complete (never to be abrogated by man or God), which is based solely upon the finished work of Christ upon the cross, is the salvation of the spirit (that part of man’s composition [to be discussed later] that connects him to God). Many if not most Christians see only this aspect of salvation in Scripture.

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” . . . For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:5-7, 16-17)

And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31)

If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:15)

Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:5)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

But the aspect of salvation (and its related doctrinal components) that is addressed much more in both Testaments than the salvation of the spirit is that which is initiated at the “new birth” and is either progressive or regressive throughout a Christian’s life. And rather than eternal, it is millennial in scope. This salvation, which is little understood but often known as “sanctification,” is described in the New Testament as the salvation of the soul (that part of man’s composition [to be discussed later] that represents his life lived as a Christian, which connects him to the material world, and which is adjudicated at the Judgment Seat of Christ with only millennial varieties in view).

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20)

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)

Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart. (1 Peter 1:22)

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. (1 Peter 2:11)

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Matthew 16:24-27 [Mark 8:34-36; Luke 9:23-25; 17:33])

But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel that I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

Furthermore, this error of interpretation (illegitimate totality transfer) has led to a major division within the realm of soteriological [Audio] theology (the doctrine of salvation), with respect to the “eternal security of the believer” and which is reflected in the teachings of the French Protestant reformer John Calvin (Calvinism) and the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius (Arminianism). “The issue that is paramount is whether the saving work of Christ on the cross includes the safekeeping of the one who trusts Him, or not. This is the central and precise issue in the controversy.” [2] And this division, along with other differences in less significant doctrines, has led to a proliferation of variant beliefs and denominations within Christendom.

It should be noted that Scripture is precise in the use of the Greek words, which are translated “spirit” (pneuma) and “soul” (psuche), never the two being confused in meaning or use. Furthermore, it should be said that both the past and future aspects of salvation (i.e. spirit and soul) are based on worksspirit-salvation on the finished work of Christ upon the cross (which is personally acquired solely by believing God’s Word about His Son, Jesus Christ) and soul-salvation on the works (i.e., fruit) of the *individual believer. The salvation of the soul should never be associated with the past aspect of salvation. Scripture carefully distinguishes between the soul and the spirit, never using the words interchangeably in this respect (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). Salvation in relation to the spirit is always dealt with in a past sense, but not so with the salvation of the soul. Rather, the salvation of the soul is always dealt with in a future sense.  [*Note: The editor of this site believes the works of the individual believer referenced must be of the Holy Spirit working through the individual.]

The basis for the contrast in the two theological positions (Calvinism / Arminianism) previously mentioned, and thereby the reason that the most prominent use of the words “salvation” and “save” in the New Testament (i.e., salvation of the soul) is almost universally unknown within Christendom today, can be attributed to ignorance of

(1) the purpose for the creation of man,

(2) the relevance of the skeletal structure and type-antitype relationship of Scripture,

(3) the relevance of the composition of man as a tripartite being to his redemption,

(4) the three Greek tenses used of salvation in Scripture,

(5) the aspect of inheritance and hope in God’s redemptive plan,

(6) the correct rendering of the Greek word normally translated “eternal” in Scripture, and

(7) the contextual setting of salvation passages in the New Testament.

The Purpose for the Creation of Man

When one studies the Word by beginning at the “beginning” (the book of Genesis), which is how it should be, only then will he be able to understand why God created man and how this purpose bears upon and is relevant within the panorama of salvation. The importance of beginning in this fashion is well stated by Arlen L. Chitwood, as follows:

The Old Testament opens with the statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”; and the gospel of John opens with a parallel simple statement, “In the beginning was the Word . . . All things were made by Him . . .” (John 1:1, 3a [1a]). Both references go back to the same point in time — the beginning of God’s creative activity relative to the heavens and the earth.

The first five verses of Genesis (Genesis1:1-5) can be paralleled with the first five verses of John’s gospel (John 1:1-5). But, beginning with verse six (John 1:6), John moves millennia ahead and continues with events during his day, though he still continues to reference events of prior days.

The gospel of Matthew, opening the New Testament, immediately references the Old Testament after another fashion —“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). And in the gospel of Luke, the matter of Christ’s genealogy is carried all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:23-38).

The Old Testament leads into the New after an inseparable fashion. The latter forms a continuation and completion of that which was begun in the former; and both together constitute one continuous, complete revelation that God gave to man over a period of about 1,500 years through some forty different Jewish writers, revealing His plans and purposes in relation to man, the earth, and the universe at large.

Consequently, one must be understood in the light of the other, apart from precedence given to either. It is no more or no less valid to interpret the Old Testament in the light of the New as it is to interpret the New Testament in the light of the Old. One is to be interpreted both in the light of itself (other parts of the same Testament) and in the light of the other (the New in the light of the Old, or the Old in the light of the New).

The interpretative method laid down in Scripture is very simple:

. . . not in words that man’s wisdom teaches but that the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:13b)

One part of the Word (at any point in the Old or New Testaments) is compared with another part of the Word (at any point in the Old or New Testaments) under the leadership of the indwelling Spirit.

Then, again, many of the distinctions that Christians often view between the Old and New Testaments simply do not exist. A basis for calling the two parts of Scripture by these names could be derived from verses such as 2 Corinthians 3:6, 14; but to see one Testament as Jewish and the other as Christian, as is often done, is about as far removed from biblical reality as one can get.

The word “testament” is a translation of the Greek word for covenant (diatheke). The word appears thirty-three times in the New Testament, and, in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, it has been rendered “covenant” twenty times and “testament” the other thirteen (cf. Hebrews 9:4, 15). Either translation is correct so long as one understands that the thought has to do with two different covenants.

And confusion often arises at this point through the erroneous thought that the new covenant has been made with the Church. That simply is incorrect. Covenants are not made with the Church. They never have been, and they never will be.

Since the call of Abraham 4,000 years ago, God, within His covenant relationship to mankind, concerns Himself with one nation alone — the nation of Israel (Romans 9:4). The old covenant was made with the house of Israel during the days of Moses, and the new covenant will be made with the house of Israel when the One greater than Moses returns (Hebrews 8:7ff; cf. Jeremiah 31:31ff).

During the interim, Christians are ministers of the new covenant in the sense that the shed blood of Christ is the blood of this covenant, and the entire basis for any Christian’s ministry has to do with this blood — blood shed at Calvary, presently on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies of the heavenly tabernacle (Matthew 26:28; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 9:14-22). But the fact remains. The new covenant has not been — nor will it ever be — made with the Church.

The new covenant will replace the old, and it will be made with those in possession of the old. And, apart from being ministers of the new during the interim (for the blood has been shed, and this is the basis for all ministry during the present time), the Church has no more to do with the establishment of the new covenant than it did with the establishment of the old covenant.

Thus, when one talks about “New Testament doctrine,” “New Testament theology,” etc., the expressions cannot extend beyond the thought of doctrine or theology that has for its basis the shed blood of Christ; and this is something that cannot be understood at all apart from the Old Testament.

Revelation surrounding the shedding of blood for the remission of sins begins in Genesis 3 immediately following man’s fall; and the entire Old Testament sacrificial system that followed pointed toward the One — of whom the prophets spoke (cf. Isaiah 53:12; Zechariah 12:10; 13:6) — who would one day come and take away “the sin of the world” through the sacrifice of Himself (John 1:29).

The foundations have been established in the Old Testament, and both Testaments together comprise one continuous, complete revelation of all the various facets of the person and work of Christ. And the only way one can grasp the complete picture is to look at the whole of Scripture after this fashion. [3]

And it is in Genesis 1:26-28 where one may find the purpose of man’s creation as stated by God Himself.

(26) Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”. . . (28) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Man, along with his bride (his co-equal partner), were to have dominion over the earth. They were to rule over all the land and all that moved in and about it. And this purpose for man, which was restated by God after the Flood, has never changed.

But following the “fall of man” in the Garden and although God’s purpose for man to rule the earth never changed, its fulfillment continued in a damaged state. Instead of a rule in which man and creature existed in tranquility and harmony, the fear and dread of man has been on every beast of the earth (Genesis 9:1-2) since that time.

But God’s ultimate intent relative to His purpose for man will not be thwarted. The day will come when man will indeed rule upon the earth after the fashion as it was set in the beginning, where the earth will prosper and bloom and man and animal will thrive and coexist in peace together (Isaiah 11:6-9).

And it is this facet of God’s redemption plan for man that is often overlooked when one considers the subject of his salvation. It is in fact a predominant theme throughout both Testaments. It is foremost in the field of eschatology (the division of Systematic Theology that is concerned with things to come [prophecy]). To overlook this is to miss a major portion of the teachings throughout the entirety of God’s Word. And further, to miss this is to misunderstand a major facet of man’s salvation.

The Relevance of the Skeletal Structure and Type-Antitype Relationship of Scripture

Scripture is unique beyond all other writings upon earth. It is God-breathed and structured in a precise fashion. Nothing can compare to its accuracy and unity. Although it consists of sixty-six separate books penned by over forty authors over a period of several thousand years, it is an integrated message organism, i.e., it is “alive” with every passage, every word, every number, and every subject skillfully designed and integrated within the whole. It is of extraterrestrial origin. And it continues to defy the efforts of man to discredit it.

Although Scripture is primarily taken upon the basis of faith, should one address the subject with a genuinely unbiased outlook, its divine origin can be mathematically and scientifically proven. Two notable prior-atheists have compiled substantial evidence to this end. One is the award-winning journalist for the Chicago Tribune, Lee Strobel, who through years of research became absolutely convinced that the God of the Bible was in fact for real. He came to this revelation through extensive research in modern biology, physics, cosmology, and astronomy. He chronicles his journey from spiritual skepticism to a profound faith in God by means of 21st century science in both book and video formats; each entitled “The Case for a Creator.”

The other distinguished atheist turned believer after his many years of intense analysis of the Bible is Ralph O. Muncaster, a professor at Vanguard University of Southern California. Among many of the arguments that he so skillfully advances in support of Scripture as being divine in origin is the following one that deals in mathematical probabilities and is most compelling.

Can we ever “prove” anything? Apart from mathematical proofs, many critics would say no, especially regarding history or even regarding the world around us.

However, statisticians and most other scientists agree there is a point when the probability of something happening is so remote that it becomes absurd or essentially impossible. As a guideline, scientists accept that anything with a probability of less than one chance in 10 to the 50th power (1 followed by 50 zeros) is “impossible.” If such an “impossible” event happens to occur, it may be concluded that it required God’s action or some other supernatural action outside of the dimensions of time and space.

For example, suppose a friend correctly foretold the winning number in a state lottery with one single prediction (like buying one ticket). The odds of that is about one in 10,000,000 (or 1 in 10 to the 7th power). You might be extremely impressed, but you probably wouldn’t claim he had “divine insight.” Now suppose he did it a second consecutive time — again with one single prediction. The odds immediately jump to one in 100,000,000,000,000 (1 in 10 to the 14th power). Suddenly it would seem impossible without some trick or supernatural information. Imagine someone successfully picking three consecutive lotteries (one chance in 10 to the 21st power). Such an “impossible” feat would likely end lotteries forever — because the odds of such a chance occurrence are nil.

The miraculous insights in the Bible occurring by chance has a probability far more remote than that of winning dozens in the manner described above. Only supernatural inspiration can account for it. “Statistical proof” of God’s inspiration comes in at least three ways:

Scientific insights — Scientific information in the Bible that was written hundreds, even thousands of years before modern science had the knowledge to recognize the Bible was correct. These insights are in the areas of physics, biology, engineering, and medicine, among others.

Concealed evidence — Cross-referenced information contained in books of the Bible that were written hundreds of years apart by very different authors in different situations in different parts of the world.

Prophecy miracles — The future foretold with precision and total accuracy. Over 1000 specific prophecies are recorded in the Bible, of which 668 are historical. None have errors. All types of prophecies are included — about people, places, and events. Irrefutable evidence exists that these prophecies could not have been contrived. [4]

Muncaster arrived at the conclusion that “all Bible prophecies,” which through exhaustive research were shown to be absolutely accurate, had a mathematical probability of 1 in 10 to the 999th power. This alone substantiates the divine origin of Scripture. To conclude otherwise would be beyond all reason.

Taking the Bible as truly the Word of God, it is then contingent upon the student of the Word to study it with proper recognition and attention to its skeletal and type-antitype structure. In this regard, Chitwood says it best, as follows:

Then He said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the
prophets have spoken:
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?”
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
(Luke 24:25-27)

Now these things were our examples [Now these things happened as types for us], to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted . . . .
Now all these things happened to them for examples
[Now all these things happened to them for types’]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [the ages] are come. (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11)

Three things above all else must be adhered to in the study of Scripture.

1) A person must recognize that all Scripture is God-breathed.

2) A person must begin where God began.

3) A person must study Scripture after the fashion in which it was written.

God gave His Word to man through man in a particular manner:

. . . holy men of God spoke as they were moved [borne along] by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21b)

The manner in which God revealed Himself, His plans, and His purposes in His Word (a God-breathed revelation, penned as the Spirit moved men to write) is what makes Scripture different from all other writings. Scripture stands in a category solely by itself, completely alone; and all other writings stand in a completely separate category.

Then, in the process of giving to man, through man, the God-breathed Word, at the very outset God set forth a skeletal structure covering the whole panorama of revelation that was to follow, along with foundational building material. And if a person would understand Scripture correctly, he must begin where God began and follow that which God has set forth, after the manner in which He Himself established the matter.

The person must follow the skeletal structure and build upon this structure after the manner in which God Himself began and set matters forth, establishing them in a particular manner at the outset. At any point in the whole of Scripture, any teaching must have a connection with and be in complete agreement with the God-established skeletal structure and subsequent foundational material set forth at the beginning.

Then, beyond that, God structured His revelation to man after a particular fashion, alluded to in Luke 24:25-27, 44 and stated in so many words in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11. Scripture not only deals with a completely accurate history of certain events surrounding God’s dealings with the earth, angels, and man, but biblical history has been recorded after such a fashion that it is highly typical as well. God has established His primary means of teaching, not through history per se, but through inherent types (seen in past history) pointing to antitypes (seen in later history and/or prophecy).

The manner in which God revealed Himself to man is as stated in 1 Corinthians chapter ten:

Now all these things happened to them for examples [Greek: tupos, for “types”] . . . . (1 Corinthians 10:11a)

The reference is to events during Moses’ day, drawing from the wilderness journey of the Israelites. But the reference would, of necessity, have to go far beyond simply the specific events listed in verses one through ten (1 Corinthians 10:1-10), preceding the statement in verse eleven (1 Corinthians 10:11a). In the light of other Scripture, as becomes increasingly evident when one views the whole of Scripture, the reference would have to be enlarged to encompass not only all biblical history during Moses’ day but all biblical history beginning with Genesis 1:1.

That would be to say, God has structured His revelation to man after a fashion in which not only true, correct history is presented, but this history is presented in such a manner that it is highly typical in nature. God, within His sovereign control of all matters, brought things to pass after such a fashion (within the history of the earth, angels, and man) that He could, at a later time, have these events to draw upon in order to teach His people the deep things surrounding Himself, His plans, and His purposes. And this would be accomplished mainly through types and corresponding antitypes.

Thus, God draws not so much from history per se as He does from the spiritual content set forth in the historic accounts — the great spiritual lessons, taught mainly from types pointing to corresponding antitypes.

Anyone can understand facts within revealed biblical history (saved or unsaved man). This would pertain more to the letter of the matter. But only saved man can go beyond the letter to the spirit of the matter (2 Corinthians 3:6-16). Only the saved can understand the spiritual lessons drawn from history. Only the saved can look within biblical history and see spiritual content (1 Corinthians 2:12-16).

For the unsaved, things beyond the simple, historical facts are completely meaningless. They can’t see these things; nor can they know them. Spiritually, they are dead; and these things are “spiritually discerned.” They can view Scripture only from a “natural [‘soulical’]” standpoint (1 Corinthians 2:14).

But for the saved, the matter is entirely different. They, through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, have been made alive spiritually. The Spirit has breathed life into the one having no life, and they have “passed from death unto life.” And they have this same Spirit — the One who gave the Word to man through man — indwelling them to lead them “into all truth” (John 16:13-15; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20; 1 John 3:24). Accordingly, the saved possess the ability to see beyond the facts of history and view the spiritual lessons inherent therein.

This is what is meant by “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” It is within this facet of Scripture that man can see the things which “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard . . . .” It is within this facet of Scripture that “God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).

And it is within this complete, overall thought that one finds the whole of biblical history filled with types and meanings. This is the manner in which God has structured His Word. It has been given to man after this fashion, and if man would properly understand that which God has revealed in His Word, he must study it after the fashion in which it was given. [5]

As one studies Scripture in this manner, it soon becomes apparent not only is Christ the central Person of Scripture but that there is an aspect of salvation that has nothing to do with heaven per se. Rather it has to do with man’s purpose that God intended for him at his creation. In fact, one who studies in this fashion soon learns that this aspect of salvation is the most prominent facet of that subject addressed in Scripture.

This most prominent aspect of salvation, which centers on the central Person of Scripture, Jesus Christ, has to do with the coming literal kingdom and glory of Christ. Again, Chitwood explains it as follows:

As all Scripture revolves around a central Person, all Scripture also revolves around a central focus, which has to do with the central Person. Scripture concerns itself with time, and, in the main, this time has to do with the 7,000 years portended by the seven days opening Scripture. And, within this time, there is the thought of creation for a purpose, redemption for a purpose, and God’s work throughout the 6,000 years covering the present age (Man’s Day) for a purpose.

The purpose surrounding man’s creation has to do with the seventh day, a seventh 1,000-year period; and so does redemption; and so does God’s work throughout the six days, the 6,000 years of Man’s Day. The whole of Scripture moves toward that coming seventh day, a pattern established in the skeletal outline set forth at the very beginning.

Thus, the central focus of Scripture looks to that seventh day when the central Person of Scripture will be revealed in all His glory to bring about that for which man was created in the beginning and for which he has been redeemed. The Son is to exercise dominion over one province in His Father’s kingdom — for a revealed purpose (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) — and man is to have a part in this dominion.

In this respect, biblical history, within its established historic-typical framework, becomes largely prophetic within its scope of fulfillment. Biblical history, in this respect, revolves around the central Person and the central focus of Scripture.

And the central Person and the central focus of Scripture are so inseparably related that at times they are spoken of either in synonymous terms or both are understood to be in view though only one is mentioned.

Examples of both facets of the matter can be seen in Daniel 2:34, 35, 44-45 and Hebrews 12:1-2:

1) DANIEL 2:34-35, 44-45

The Stone, “cut out of the mountain without hands,” in one respect refers to Christ and in another respect to the kingdom of Christ.

The Father will give the Son “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom” (Daniel 7:13-14). He will be the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” in the kingdom. He, as the King, as the Stone, will be the One who personally smites the image at its feet (Revelation 19:11-21).

But Daniel 2:44-45, interpreting Daniel 2:34-35, also refers to the kingdom of Christ itself breaking in pieces and consuming all the kingdoms comprising the one world kingdom of that day (cf. Revelation 11:15). The Stone, after smiting the image, will become “a great mountain” and fill the whole earth.

In this respect, the King of the kingdom is not to be thought of apart from His kingdom. All the various facets of His person and work, set forth in detail throughout Old Testament Scripture, have an end in view; and that end is the day when He will rule and reign over the earth.

Christ’s finished work at Calvary and His present work as High Priest — foretold in the Old Testament — have the same end in view. The Savior, who is presently exercising the office of High Priest, was born King (Matthew 2:2).

And the coming King and His Kingdom, in the overall scope of the matter, become inseparable; and this is the reason they can be spoken of in synonymous terms as in Daniel 2.

2) HEBREWS 12:1-2

Hebrews 12:1-2, in the light of other Scripture, presents the same picture. In this section of Scripture a person is told to look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” The thought from the Greek text is literally to look “from [from the things in the surrounding world system, the present kingdom under Satan] unto Jesus . . . .” But yet other Scriptures exhort us to look from this present world system “to the mountain [signifying the coming kingdom of Christ (Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 2:35)]” (cf. Genesis 13:10-12; 19:1, 17).

Are we to look unto Jesus? Or are we to look unto the Mountain? The correct biblical answer would center on the thought that a person, within a proper biblical perspective, cannot look to one apart from looking to the other. That would be to say, in a proper biblical perspective, we cannot really look “from unto Jesus” apart from seeing Him in connection with His coming kingdom; and, conversely, we cannot really fix our eyes on “the mountain,” the kingdom, apart from seeing the King of the kingdom.

When Hebrews 12:2 states, “Looking unto Jesus . . . .,” the thought would have to include, as well, the same thing contained in the remainder of the verse. Christ,

. . . for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame [considering it a thing of little import in comparison to the joy set before Him], and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrew 12:2)

The “joy that was set before Him” had to do with that day when He would rule and reign (cf. Matthew 25:21, 23). Christ had His eyes fixed on that day as He endured present sufferings; and we are to fix our eyes on the One who left us an example, after this same fashion, as we endure present sufferings.

Christ, at the time of His sufferings on Calvary, had His eyes fixed on the coming kingdom, the day of His exaltation and glory. And that is exactly the place — the same place — we should have our eyes fixed as we look “from unto Jesus” during present sufferings. He left us an example that we “should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). His eyes were fixed on that which lay ahead.

And, as has been demonstrated, in the true biblical sense of the command, there can be no such thing as a Christian fixing his eyes on Jesus apart from seeing both the King and His Kingdom. [6]

The Relevance of the Composition of Man as a Tripartite Being to His Redemption

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

For the Word of God is living [lit. God-breathed] and powerful, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

The use of language by the Holy Spirit in Scripture is quite precise. As Dr. Chuck Missler has said:

“Although the Bible consists of sixty-six separate books penned by over forty authors over a period of several thousand years, it is an integrated message system. Every passage, every word, every number, and every place name is there for a specific reason.” [7]

Scripture well establishes that man is comprised of three components — spirit, soul, and body. The effort of commentators to equate the “spirit” with the “soul,” and thereby advance the notion that man is a dichotomous (two-part) being, will not stand the tests of linguistics and exegesis. The tripartite nature of man is well documented by Arlen L. Chitwood, as follows:

Man is a tripartite being comprised of spirit, soul, and body; and the salvation of man within its complete scope (past, present, and future) pertains to the salvation of man with respect to his complete being. In the study of Scripture it is revealed that each of these three parts of man is subject to salvation at different times. Thus, to understand salvation in its complete scope, one must first understand certain things about man’s tripartite nature. Then, salvation in relation to this tripartite nature becomes the issue.

Chapter one of Genesis (Genesis 1) reveals that man was created in the “image” and “likeness” of God. The word translated “God” in the Hebrew text of this statement is Elohim. This is a plural noun, which, in complete keeping with related Scripture, would include all three members of the GodheadGod the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (e.g., cf. John 1:1-3).

Since Elohim is a trinity, for man to be created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, he too must be a trinity. Unlike the dichotomous animal kingdom (created apart from the “image” and “likeness” of God) possessing only bodies and souls, trichotomous man (created in the “image” and “likeness” of God) is a triune being. Man not only possesses a body and a soul, but he also possesses a spirit as well.

Jesus is Elohim manifested in the flesh; and having been made in the “likeness” of man (but apart from man’s fallen nature), He, as man, must also be a trinity (John 1:14; Philippians 2:7). This tripartite nature of Christ, in whom “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), was clearly revealed at the time of His death. At this time Jesus yielded up His spirit, which went back into the presence of His Father in heaven (Luke 23:46; cf. Ecclesiastes 12:7; Acts 7:59); His soul went into Hades, the place of the dead, housed inside the earth at this time (Acts 2:27); and His body was removed from the cross and placed in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb (Matthew 27:57-61). This threefold separation persisted until the soul and spirit re-entered the body at the time Christ was raised from the dead.

Thus, God, Elohim, is a trinity; Jesus, Elohim, manifested in the flesh, is likewise a trinity; and man, created in the “image” and “likeness” of Elohim, can only be a trinity as well. Accordingly, a complete redemption provided by the triune, God must, of necessity, pertain to man as a complete being. Man’s complete redemption must encompass spirit, soul, and body. [8]

The Three Greek Tenses Used of Salvation in Scripture

Salvation is expressed in three tenses — past, present, and future — within the New Testament as they apply to the three differing components of man. Again, Chitwood handles this in a most compelling manner, as follows:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit [lit. “for the sake of the ones about to inherit”] salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)

Salvation in the Word of God is spoken of in three tenses — past, present, and future:

(1) Christians have been saved,

(2) Christians are being saved, and

(3) Christians are about to be saved.

The previously quoted verses provide examples of how Scripture deals with each of these three tenses or aspects of salvation.

In Ephesians 2:8-9, salvation is a past, completed act; in 1 Corinthians 1:18, salvation is a present, continuous work; and in Hebrews 1:14, salvation is a future, inherited possession. Since the Word of God presents salvation in a framework of this nature, it is vitally important in Scriptural interpretation to first ascertain to which of these three aspects of salvation any given passage pertains.

In the first aspect of salvation, dealt with in Ephesians 2:8, the words, “you have been saved,” which is a correct translation, are a translation of two Greek words that form, what is called in the Greek, a “periphrastic perfect.” The “perfect” tense refers to action completed in past time, with the results of this action extending into the present and existing in a finished state. The “periphrastic” construction places additional emphasis on the present, finished state and refers to the persistent results during present time of the past, completed work.

Salvation in this verse is wrought by grace through faith, accomplished completely in past time, and is the present possession of every believer. This present possession, in turn, constitutes an active, continuing, ever-abiding salvation. The eternal security of the believer cannot be expressed in stronger terms than the periphrastic construction of the perfect tense in Ephesians 2:8, for the present results of the past action, in this case, can only continue unchanged forever.

However, in 1 Corinthians 1:18, dealing with the second aspect of salvation, things are presented in an entirely different light than seen in Ephesians 2:8. Rather than the tense in the Greek text referring to a past, completed act, the tense refers to a present, continuous work. The former has already been completed, but the latter has yet to be completed.

Then, in Hebrews 1:14, dealing with the third aspect of salvation, matters are presented yet in a completely different light. The wording in the Greek text of this verse refers to something that is about to occur. Nothing is past or present; the reception of this salvation, in its entirety, is placed in the future.

Further, the salvation referred to in Hebrews 1:14 is not only to be realized in the future, but it is also an inherited salvation. And the thought of inheritance further distinguishes the salvation in this verse from the salvation previously seen in Ephesians 2:8, for the salvation that Christians presently possess is not an inherited salvation.

Rather, our present salvation was obtained as a free gift during the time we were alienated from God. And, as aliens (outside the family of God), we were in no position to inherit salvation, for inheritance in Scripture is always a family matter.

In the Old Testament, “sons” were first in line to receive the inheritance, with “daughters” next. If there were no sons or daughters in the immediate family, the inheritance was passed on to the nearest family member or members, designated by the law of inheritance (Numbers 27:8-11).

Consequently, an individual must first be a family member before he can be considered for the inheritance, which, during the present dispensation, is restricted to “children” or “sons” of the Owner. That’s why the statement is made in Romans 8:17, “If children, then heirs . . . .” And that’s also why, in Hebrews 1:14, that an inherited salvation pertains to those who have already been saved, those who are no longer alienated from God but are presently family members.

In this respect, the complete scope of salvation — past, present, and future — has a beginning point, with an end in view. It involves the Spirit of God breathing life into the one having no life and thereby effecting the birth from above. And this has been done with a purpose, with an end in view. This has been done so that the Spirit can take the one who now has spiritual life and perform a work in the life of that individual, with a view to an inheritance that will be realized at a future time.

Thus, one should immediately be able to see the importance of proper distinctions being drawn and observed in the realm of these three aspects of salvation. And depending on how one approaches and deals with the different salvation passages in Scripture, either difficulties can be avoided on the one hand or insurmountable problems can result on the other.

Past, Present, Future . . . Spirit, Soul, Body

When man sinned in the garden in Eden, the complete being of man — spirit, soul, and body — became in a fallen state. God had commanded Adam concerning the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). After Satan had deceived Eve into eating of the fruit of this tree, she then “gave to her husband with her; and he ate.” Immediately following this, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:1-7).

At the time of the fall, Adam and Eve lost something; and it is clearly stated in Scripture that both immediately recognized this fact. That which they lost could only have been a covering of pristine glory that had previously clothed their bodies; for they, following the fall, found that they were in a twofold condition:

(1) naked and

(2) separated from God.

God is arrayed in a covering of “light,” connected with “honor and majesty.” And man, created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, could only have been arrayed in a similar manner prior to the fall.

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with [You have put on] honor and majesty,

who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.” (Psalm 104:1-2)

Recognizing the loss of this covering, realizing that they were naked, explains why Adam and Eve immediately sought to clothe themselves following the fall. They tried to replace the covering that had been lost with a work of their own hands, with fig leaf aprons. And then, apparently realizing the utter inadequacy of this covering, they, in their fallen state, sought to hide from God.

God, finding Adam and Eve in this condition, completely rejected the works of their hands. God completely rejected their feeble efforts to atone for their own sin by seeking to replace the covering of pristine glory with fig leaves. Then, to bring His fallen creature back into a right relationship (although not in complete keeping with their previously unfallen state — something still future even today), God provided a covering consisting of animal skins (Genesis 3:21). This necessitated death and the shedding of blood; and herein lays basic, unchangeable truths concerning the state of fallen man and the means that are necessary to effect his redemption.

Unredeemed man is a fallen creature, alienated from God; and two things are necessary to effect his redemption:

(1) divine intervention, and

(2) death and shed blood.

These truths have forever been set forth in the opening chapters of Genesis and can never change.

(Two different words are used for “naked” in the Hebrew text of Genesis 2:25 [before the fall] and Genesis 3:7 [after the fall]. In the latter [Genesis 3:7], the word has to do with absolute nakedness, but not so in the former [Genesis 2:25].

Remaining within the way a person dressed in the East at the time Moses wrote Genesis, and at later times as well, the word used relative to nakedness pertaining to Adam and Eve preceding the fall [Genesis 2:25] could be used to describe a person clothed in a tunic [inner garment] but lacking the mantle or cloak [outer garment]. In the preceding respect, prior to the fall, Adam and Eve were clothed in the Glory of God but had yet to possess the regal outer garments worn by kings [fulfilling the reason for man’s creation — to rule the earth (Genesis 1:26-28)].

Then, following the fall, no longer clothed in the Glory of God, Adam and Eve were no longer in a position to be further clothed in regal garments, realizing the purpose for their creation. They, apart from the inner garment [the Glory] could not wear the outer garments [royal apparel]. Adam, prior to the fall, never wore regal garments or held the scepter. In this respect, he never moved beyond the description given in Genesis 2:25 — a “naked” condition, “naked” in relation to the reason for his creation [lacking the outer regal garments].

Thus, if man, now separated from the Glory, is to ever fulfill the purpose for his creation, God must act. Redemption has to occur; and this, of necessity, has to include the complete man — spirit, soul, and body — with a view to not only a restoration of the Glory but to regality beyond this restoration.)

a) Spirit

Man’s sin in the garden in Eden produced death. Man died the day he ate of the forbidden fruit. Since his body continued to live, revealing that his soul — the life-giving principle in the blood (Leviticus 17:11; cf. Genesis 9:4) — remained unchanged with respect to life (natural life), it is evident that it was his spirit that died.

The spiritual nature is that part of man that links him directly with God. “God is spirit,” and man’s worship of God must be “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). The death of Adam’s spirit separated him from God (establishing the primary meaning of “death” in Scripture — separation from God), and this death (this separation from God) “passed upon all men” (Romans 5:12).

Scripture speaks of an unsaved person as being “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). With an unredeemed, inanimate spirit (spiritually dead), he is alienated from God, separated from God (Ephesians 2:12).

But once the person has been born from above, he is then spoken of as having passed “from death to life,” as having been “quickened” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:5). Possessing an animate spirit, possessing spiritual life (having been made alive spiritually), he is no longer separated from the One who Himself is “Spirit” (John 4:24).

This aspect of salvation is brought to pass through the Spirit of God breathing life into the one having no life, based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary; and once this has been accomplished, everything surrounding the work effecting this aspect of salvation has been completed, with this work existing in a finished state (as previously seen through the use of the perfect tense in Ephesians 2:8). Thus, the salvation experience that man enters into at the time of the birth from above is a work of the Spirit, based on a previous work of the Son. It is a spiritual birth and has to do with man’s spirit alone:

 “. . . that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6b).

b) Soul

The salvation of the soul, on the other hand, should never be associated with the past aspect of salvation. Scripture carefully distinguishes between the soul and the spirit, never using the words interchangeably in this respect (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). And Scripture also carefully distinguishes between salvation in relation to the spirit and salvation in relation to the soul. Salvation in relation to the spirit is always dealt with in a past sense, but not so with the salvation of the soul. Rather, the salvation of the soul is always dealt with in a future sense:

Receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:9)

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe [are faithful] to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)

The statements and exhortations in these verses pertain to Christians alonethose whose spirits have already been saved and whose souls are in the process of being saved, with the salvation of the soul being realized only at a future time.

c) Body

The salvation of the body presents very few problems for the majority of Christians. Very few Christians contend, contrary to Scripture, that the body has either already been redeemed or is in the process of being redeemed. Scripture places the redemption of man’s body entirely in the future (Romans 8:23).

The Christian’s body is presently in a continuous state of deterioration. The body grows old and weakens with time; and the body is subject to sickness, disease, and eventually death. This must ever remain the case as long as the body remains unredeemed. The “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and the unredeemed body must pay the price that sin requires.

Within this unredeemed body are two opposing entities, each seeking dominion — a redeemed spirit, and an unredeemed soul. The unredeemed soul is housed in an unredeemed body, and the two are mutually compatible. But the redeemed spirit housed alongside an unredeemed soul in an unredeemed body experiences no compatibility with either of the other two at all. Compatibility is not possible, for “what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness, and what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). This heterogeneous union is what produced the cry of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:24:

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [9]

The Aspect of Inheritance and Hope in God’s Redemptive Plan

Unless one recognizes how inheritance and hope, particularly as the former is seen in the Old Testament, relates to the redemption of man, it is difficult to understand a major facet of salvation. Again, Chitwood covers the topic in a most persuasive manner, as follows:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved [‘preserved’] in heaven for you,

who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Peter in his epistles, as James in his epistle (or any of the other writers in their epistles), directs his message to the regenerate, not to the unregenerate. Peter’s message is for the “elect,” those who have been “begotten” from above, those in a position to receive the Word of God into their saved human spirits, those who have been calledout of darkness into His marvelous light,” those who have “obtained mercy,” those who are “strangers and pilgrims” on the earth, those who have “obtained like precious faith with us” (1 Peter 1:2-3, 23; 2:1-2, 9-11; 2 Peter 1:1).

The epistles of 1 and 2 Peter have been written to encourage Christians, who are being tried and tested, through holding up before them prizes, rewards, compensations. The subject matter in these epistles, set forth at the very beginning, concerns a present “living hope,” a future “inheritance,” and a future “salvation”; and encouragement for proper conduct in trials and tests is derived from “a knowledge” of God’s revelation concerning these things (cf. 1 Peter 1:2-9; 2 Peter 1:2-8).

A Present, Living Hope

Christians have been “begotten” from above unto “a living hope” through “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Christ lives, and Christians will live with Him. But this fact is not the object of one’s hope. Hope is described as “living” because of Christ’s resurrection, but a Christian’s hope lies in things beyond His resurrection. And these things are revealed in the text to be an “inheritance” and a “salvation.”

“Hope,” “inheritance,” and “salvation” are inseparably linked in Scripture. It is only because we are saved (past, salvation of the spirit) that we can possess a “hope.” And this hope looks ahead to the reception of an inheritance within a salvation (future, salvation of the soul) to be revealed.

Christians are commanded,

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15b)

Since this hope pertains to a future inheritance and salvation, the “reason” for this hope must also be futuristic in scope. Thus, to respond in accordance with 1 Peter 3:15, Christians must be knowledgeable concerning scriptural teachings pertaining to present and future aspects of salvation, for their hope is inseparably linked with the salvation of their souls.

The Christians’ hope is a subject found numerous places throughout the Pauline and general epistles (Hebrews being included in the general epistles). Two of the best books to help Christians understand exactly what is involved in the hope that they possess are the books of Titus and Hebrews. Both books deal with the same subject matter as 1 and 2 Peter, or any of the other epistles for that matter.

1. “Hope” in Titus

The epistle of Titus centers on the Christians’ relationship to both “hope” and “the coming age,” for it is in the coming age that the hope of our calling will be realized. Hope in Titus 2:13 ASV is called “that blessed hope” and is associated with the “appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (ASV). The structure of the Greek text shows the “appearing of the glory” as the object of one’s hope (through placing both “blessed hope” and “appearing” under one article). Christians are the ones who possess this hope, as they are the ones who are to be partakers of Christ’s glory when it is revealed. In this respect, participation in the coming glory of Christ will be the realization of the Christians’ present hope, for one cannot be separated from the other.

The word hope is also used in this same framework within its two other appearances in Titus 1:2; 3:7. In Titus 1:1-2, hope is associated with a “mature knowledge” [“acknowledgment” (Titus 1:1) is epignosis (mature knowledge) in the Greek text] of truth, and with “(aionios) life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2). Then, in Titus 3:7, this “hope” is reserved for the justified alone, and it has to do with a future inheritance:

That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal [aionios] life. (Titus 3:7)

The Greek word aionios appearing in Titus 1:2; 3:7, translated “eternal” in most English versions, does not itself mean “eternal.” The Greek language actually contains no word for “eternal.” Aionios can be, and many times is, used in the sense of “eternal”; but this meaning is derived from its textual usage, not from the word itself. Aionios refers to “a period of time,” usually thought of as “an age.”

The only way the Greek language can express “eternal,” apart from textual considerations, is by using the noun form of aionios (aion) in the plural (“ages” [e.g., Luke 1:33; Hebrews 13:8]), or by using aion twice in the plural (“unto the ‘ages [aionas]’ of the ‘ages [aionon]’” [e.g., Revelation 1:6, 18; 4:9-10; 5:13-14; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5]). A person using the Greek language thinks in the sense of “ages,” with eternity being thought of in the sense of “endless ages,” i.e., “aeons,” or “the aeons of the aeons.”

Aionios life in Titus 1:2; 3:7 — a hope associated with an inheritance set before the believer — must be understood contextually to mean “age-lasting,” referring to the coming age, the Messianic Era. “Eternal life” cannot be in view at all. Neither “hope” nor “inheritance” is used pertaining to eternal life that Christians presently possess; but both words are used numerous times concerning Christians and their relationship to the coming kingdom (with its glory), which is what is in view in the book of Titus. The hope (the blessed hope) set before every Christian is simply that he/she may, at the judgment seat of Christ, be found qualified to occupy one of the numerous, proffered positions with Christ in His kingdom. A Christian — already in possession of eternal life — may or may not realize this hope, for such depends entirely upon one’s faithfulness during his present pilgrim walk.

2. “Hope” in Hebrews

In Hebrews 6:11-12 a Christian’s hope is associated with faith, patience [patient endurance; a lengthy waiting during the pilgrim walk for postponed promises], and the inheritance set before Christians. This hope is to be held with “diligence” until “the end,” with “full assurance” that the hope of one’s calling will be realized. The “end [Greek: telos]” in this passage is the same “end” set forth in 1 Peter 1:9: “Receiving the end [Greek: telos] of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” The end in both instances has to do with faith brought to perfection, brought to maturity, brought to its goal, through “works” (cf. James 2:22).

In Hebrews 6:18-20 “the hope” set before Christians is stated to be “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.” Christ Himself presently resides beyond the veil in the Holy of Holies; but His future ministry, “after the order of Melchizedek,” rather than His present ministry (after the order of Aaron), is in view in Hebrews chapter six (Hebrews 6:20; cf. Hebrews 5:6-11).

An anchor, firmly secured, will moor a ship that it might withstand the movements of currents, winds, etc., and remain in a certain place; and the anchor of our souls, firmly secured in the very presence of Christ beyond the veil, provides protection from the onslaught of the enemy in order that we might be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). The salvation of our souls is in view; and just as a ship in mooring is continually being drawn toward the place where its anchor lies, we are continually being drawn toward the place where our anchor liesunto Christ and His Melchizedek priesthood.

The book of Hebrews is built around five major warnings; and, prior to the writer’s comments concerning “hope” in Hebrews 6, he had previously introduced the Christians’ “hope” in the second warning (Hebrews 3; 4) by showing the relationship between hope and faithfulness. The central portion of the second warning, introducing “hope,” is in Hebrews 3:

But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:6)

This hope within the text has to do with the house of Christ; and within the context (Hebrews 3; 4), in order to teach Christians the deep things of God in this realm, the Spirit of God draws a parallel between the house of Christ (present) and the house of Moses (past). This parallel constitutes a type-antitype treatment of Israelites under the leadership of Moses with Christians under the leadership of Christ. The experiences of the Israelites under Moses have their counterpart in the experiences of Christians under Christ. And all these things have been “written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).

Christians are presently members of the house of Christ in the same sense that those who appropriated the blood of the paschal lambs in Egypt during the days of Moses were members of Moses’ house. An earthly inheritance lay before the Israelites under Moses, and a heavenly inheritance lies before Christians under Christ. Through unfaithfulness to their calling, the majority of Israelites within the accountable generation under Moses were overthrown (cut off from the house of Moses); and through unfaithfulness to their calling, the majority of Christians under Christ will also be overthrown (cut off from the house of Christ).

Neither the type nor the antitype has to do with eternal verities. The faithless Israelites were overthrown on the right side of the blood in the type, and thus will it be for faithless Christians in the antitype.

Many are called [as the entire accountable generation under Moses], but few are chosen [lit. “called out,” as Caleb and Joshua]. (Matthew 22:14)

The key words in Hebrews 3:6 pertaining to hope are “confidence” and “rejoicing.” The Greek word translated “confidence” (parresia) has to do with being “bold,” or “courageous”; and the Greek word translated “rejoicing” (kauchema) has to do with “the object of boasting,” “a thing of pride.” Christians are to be bold, courageous as they journey toward their heavenly inheritance; and they are to exult in the hope set before them. They are to display this hope as the very object of the salvation that they possess in such a manner that the One who secured this hope for them will receive the praise, honor, and glory.

A Future Inheritance

The future inheritance of the saints (1 Peter 1:4), mentioned numerous times in Scripture, must be understood from the standpoint of the inheritance surrounding the birthright, having to do with firstborn sons. The word translated “birthright” in the New Testament is from the Greek word prototokia, a plural noun that should be properly rendered, “the rights of the firstborn.” And the rights of firstborn sons consists of a plurality of rights, which are inherited rights.

The rights of firstborn sons in the Jewish economy in the Old Testament consisted of three things:

(1) ruler of the household under and for the father,

(2) priest of the family, and

(3) the reception of a double portion of the father’s estate.

Every Jewish firstborn son was in line to receive this threefold inheritance; but, according to that which God has revealed in His Word, this inheritance was forfeitable. The positional standing as a firstborn son did not itself guarantee that the inheritance would be received. A firstborn son, through rebellious actions, could forfeit the rights of primogeniture.

Two classic examples of the forfeiture of the rights belonging to firstborn sons are given in the book of Genesis, the book wherein the roots of all biblical doctrine lie. One is the account of Esau, and the other is the account of Reuben.

1. Esau and the Birthright

Esau, the firstborn of Isaac, forfeited his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob. Esau forfeited his birthright to satisfy a fleshly gratification. He sold his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob, for a single meal (Genesis 25:27-34).

Since the rights of the firstborn had ultimately been promised to Jacob (Genesis 25:23), some doubt that Esau ever actually possessed these rights. However, Esau was no pretender to the rights of the firstborn. The Greek word translated “sold” in Hebrews 12:16 (referring to Esau and the birthright) is inflected in a tense implying that the article sold belonged to Esau alone, and he was fully aware of his actions when he sold his birthright to Jacob.

In Genesis 25:34 we read that Esau “despised his birthright.” The Greek word in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament translated “despised” implies that Esau regarded the birthright as a paltry, a mere trifle. Esau regarded the birthright as practically worthless, and sold his rights as firstborn with the thought in mind that what he was selling was of no real value.

It was only later, at a time when it was too late, that Esau realized the value of that which he had sold. Though the forfeiture of the birthright did not affect Esau’s sonship, it did affect forever blessings surrounding his relationship to Isaac as firstborn.

After Jacob had been blessed as the firstborn in the family, Esau, apparently for the first time, realized the value of that which he had forfeited. Esau then tried to retrieve the birthright, but the Scripture records that “he found no place of repentance.” After Esau realized the value of the birthright and the finality of that which had occurred, he pleaded with his father, Isaac, to change his mind and bless him also. Esau cried out to Isaac:

Have you but one blessing, my father: bless me, even me also, O my father.

And it is recorded,

Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. (Genesis 27:38)

(The way in which Genesis 27:38 is worded in the Hebrew text shows that Esau was literally beside himself with grief at this time, apparently from not only coming into a full realization of the value of that which he had forfeited but from realizing the finality of his previous actions as well.)

The word “repentance” means to change one’s mind. Esau sought to effect a change of mind on the part of his father, but “he found no place of repentance,” i.e., Esau was unable to get his father to change his mind.

In this respect, in the light of that which Esau was seeking to accomplish, the American Standard Version of the Bible (ASV, 1901 ed.) has possibly the most accurate rendering of Hebrews 12:17 ASV to be found in any of the translations presently available. This verse in the American Standard Version reads,

For you know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place for a change of mind in his father, though he sought it diligently with tears. (Hebrews 12:17 ASV)

Isaac could not change his mind. The birthright had been forfeited, the blessing had been bestowed upon Jacob, and the rights belonging to the firstborn were now beyond Esau’s grasp forever.

2. Reuben and the Birthright

Reuben, as Esau, was in direct line to inherit the rights of primogeniture; but because of one grave sin committed during his life, Reuben forfeited these rights. Reuben’s sin, resulting in the forfeiture of his birthright, was sexual impropriety of a nature that dishonored and shamed his father: “Reuben went and laid with Bilhah his father’s concubine” (Genesis 35:22).

Because of this one sin, years later when Jacob called his twelve sons into his presence (shortly before his death) to relate that which would befall not only them but their descendants “in the latter days,” Reuben heard the words:

Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.

Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it — he went up to my couch. (Genesis 49:3-4)

Not only did Reuben not excel, as Jacob prophesied, but the tribe of Reuben did not excel. Reuben’s forfeiture of the rights of the firstborn affected not only himself but his descendants as well. No judge, prophet, or king ever came out of the tribe of Reuben.

That which Reuben lost, he lost forever. But he himself remained a son of Jacob and was blessed in measure, but not as the firstborn.

Reuben’s birthright was divided among three of his brothers. The tribal rulership was bestowed upon “Judah”; the priestly office was bestowed upon “Levi”; and the double portion of the father’s estate was given to “Joseph.” The tribe of “Judah” became the kingly line; the tribe of “Levi” became the priestly line; and the tribe of “Joseph” received the double portion through Joseph’s two sons, “Ephraim” and “Manasseh,” who each received a full inheritance (1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

During the Messianic Era the status created by Reuben’s sin will still abide. The King will be of the house of Judah (Revelation 5:5); the priests will be of the house of Levi (Ezekiel 44:15-16; 48:11); and the double portion will be held by the house of Joseph, through Ephraim and Manasseh (Ezekiel 47:13; 48:4-5).

3. Christians and the Birthright

Every Christian is presently a firstborn child of God awaiting the adoption, to be followed by the reception of the inheritance belonging to firstborn sons. As in the Old Testament, this inheritance consists of three things:

(1) a position as ruler,

(2) a position as priest, and

(3) the reception of a double portion of the Father’s estate.

The position of ruler has to do with occupying a position of “power over the nations” with Christ during the coming age (Revelation 2:26-27). God’s original purpose for the creation of man in the beginning involved rulership over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28), and following the complete redemption of man (spirit, soul, and body) and the removal of the earth from its present position (under a curse), this purpose will be realized.

Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion [let them rule]. (Genesis 1:26)

The gifts and calling of God are without repentance [without a change of mind]. (Romans 11:29)

God will not change His mind concerning the reason He brought the earth out of its ruined state and called man into existence in Genesis 1. Redeemed individuals from the lineage of the first Adam will, in the coming age, with the last Adam, rule over a restored, inhabited earth.

The position of priest has to do with a combined kingly-priestly function that will be exercised by Christians at the same time they are given “power over the nations.” Christians are presently “priests,” but are not presently “kings and priests.” This position is reserved for the coming age (cf. 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 5:10). Our present ministry as priests, as Christ’s present ministry as High Priest, is connected with the tabernacle in heaven (cf. Hebrews 9:11-12; 10:19-20; 1 John 1:5-2:2). But this status of existing conditions will continue only until the end of the present dispensation. During the coming dispensation (the Messianic Era) Christ’s ministry on behalf of Christians will no longer be connected with the tabernacle. He will, prior to that time, come out of the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, judge Christians, and subsequently appear to Israel on earth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek.

And the Christians’ ministry at that time will also be no longer connected with the tabernacle. Christians in that day will appear with Christ in glory. They will appear in the position of “kings and priests” with the great “King-Priest” and will rule with Him during the day of His power.

The reception of a double portion of the estate can only have to do with the dual sphere of the kingdom that is to be inherited — both heavenly and earthly. Christians are to rule from the heavens over the earth as joint-heirs with Christ. Occupying such positions really means possessing an inheritance that is associated with both the heavens and the earth. God has promised His Son,

Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations [the Gentiles] for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. (Psalm 2:8)

This earthly inheritance and possession is open only to God’s Son and those who rule from the heavens as “joint-heirs” with Him. Thus, a rule from the heavens over the earth will incorporate this double portion.

Every Christian is in line to receive the inheritance belonging to the firstborn; but, according to that revealed in Scripture, this inheritance is forfeitable. The positional standing of Christians “in Christ” places all Christians in a position wherein God can deal with them in relation to the inheritance awaiting firstborn sons, but this positional standing does not itself guarantee that this inheritance will be received. A firstborn child of God, through rebellious actions, can, as firstborn sons in the Old Testament, forfeit the rights of primogeniture.

The fifth and last of the five major warnings to Christians in Hebrews 12:14-17 concerns the account of Esau and the forfeiture of his rights as firstborn. This warning has been placed in the book of Hebrews in a type-antitype arrangement, as the wilderness journey of the Israelites in Hebrews 3; 4, to sternly remind and warn Christians that the things that befell Old Testament saints can also befall New Testament saints.

Esau, Isaac’s firstborn son, was in line to receive the rights belonging to the firstborn, but he, through disobedience, was rejected. Esau was denied the rights of primogeniture — his rightful inheritance within the family.

The Israelites in the wilderness — forming God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22-23) — were in line to go in, conquer, and take possession of the land. They were in line to realize their earthly inheritance. But the entire accountable generation, twenty years old and above, save Caleb and Joshua, was overthrown in the wilderness, short of the goal of their calling.

And Christians on their pilgrim journey, with a heavenly inheritance in connection with the rights of the firstborn in view, can, through disobedience, also be overthrown and be denied their inheritance “reserved in heaven.” This is seen in both the type dealing with Esau and the type dealing with the Israelites under Moses, together forming the foundational material for all five of the major warnings in Hebrews.

“To deny the parallel is to overthrow inspiration: to ignore the parallel is to silence Scripture: to admit the parallel is to disclose a momentous peril to the believer in Christ.”— D. M. Panton

A Future Salvation

The underlying theme throughout the epistles of Peter involves our present hope, which is centered in the salvation to be revealed, wherein Christians will realize the inheritance “reserved in heaven” for firstborn sons. During our present pilgrim walk, anticipating “that blessed hope” set before us, we are being “kept [guarded] by the power of God through faith” for the purpose of realizing the salvation of our souls and occupying positions as joint-heirs with God’s Son during the coming age. The entire program of God for Christians today moves toward this end.

As the living hope possessed by Christians and the inheritance “reserved in heaven” for Christians have their respective counterparts within teachings drawn from the five major warnings in Hebrews, so does the salvation “to be revealed in the last time.” Hebrews 1:14 speaks of a future salvation that is so intimately associated with the inheritance of the saints that “salvation” itself is said to be inherited; and Hebrews 2:3 calls this future salvation, “so great salvation.”

It is the greatest thing God could ever design for redeemed man, for it consists of the recipients exercising power and authority from the heavens over the earth with God’s Son when He rules as “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Through coming into possession of this future salvation, Christians will realize the very purpose for their present salvation — the goal of their calling, the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls.

However, the first warning in Hebrews, as the other warnings in this book, gives two sides to the overall picture; and the lessons at the very beginning, as in subsequent warnings, are drawn from Old Testament history. The object lesson beginning these warnings surrounds the experiences of the Israelites in the wilderness:

For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward [retribution or penalty];

How shall we escape, if we neglect so a great salvation . . . ? (Hebrews 2:2-3a)

The “just recompense of reward” is receiving exactly what an individual deserves. All of the Israelites who left Egypt under Moses were saved (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). All of these Israelites had availed themselves of the substitutionary atonement in Egypt through the death of the paschal lambs. The death of the firstborn was past and could never be their lot, for the paschal lambs had previously died in their stead.

The danger that the Israelites faced was not that of being returned to Egypt and being removed from the safety of the blood. Such an act was an utter impossibility, for the firstborn had died (via a substitute), and God was satisfied.

Rather, the danger that the Israelites faced lay in the fact that they could be overthrown in the wilderness and not realize the purpose for their deliverance from Egypt. Through obedience they would realize this purpose, but through disobedience they would fail to realize this purpose. In either instance, they would receive a “just recompense of reward” — receiving exactly what they deserved, based upon faithfulness or unfaithfulness to their calling, whether positive or negative.

The same is true for Christians today. All Christians have availed themselves of the substitutionary death of the Passover Lamb. The death of the firstborn is past and can never be their lot, for the Passover Lamb has already died in their stead.

The danger that Christians face is not that of being removed from the safety of the blood. Such an act is an utter impossibility, for the firstborn has died (via a Substitute); and God, as in the type, is satisfied.

Rather, the danger that Christians face is the same as that which the Israelites under Moses faced: Christians can be overthrown in their present position and fail to realize the purpose for their salvation.

Through obedience, which involves a “living” faith — connected with faithfulness in carrying out the works that the Lord has outlined for one’s life — an individual will realize this purpose. But through disobedience, which involves a “dead” faith — connected with unfaithfulness in carrying out the works that the Lord has outlined for one’s life — an individual will fail to realize this purpose.

In either instance, Christians will receive “a just recompense of reward.” They will receive wages exactly commensurate with services rendered as household servants in the Lord’s house, receiving exactly what one deserves in this respect, based upon faithfulness or unfaithfulness to their calling, whether positive or negative.

The “so great a salvation” in Hebrews 2:3, synonymous with the salvation to be inherited in Hebrews 1:14, is, within the context, associated with the inhabited earth to come:

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. (Hebrews 2:5)

Angels occupy positions of power over the nations during the present age. But, during the coming age, angels will not occupy these positions. Satan and his angels will be removed from their positions of power at the end of the present age; and Christ, with His “companions” (cf. Hebrews 1:9; 3:14), will exercise power over the nations during the coming age.

The writer of Hebrews clearly states that this coming inhabited earth under the rule of man is what the preceding verses are dealing with. The inherited salvation (Hebrews 1:14), the so great salvation (Hebrews 2:3), has to do with the coming age when a new order of rulers — a new order of sons (Hebrews 2:9-10; cf. Romans 8:18-19) — will be crowned and will exercise regal power and authority over the earth.

The books of Hebrews, James, and 1, 2 Peter all deal with the salvation to be revealed, the salvation of the soul; and these epistles, as all of the other epistles (which also deal with this same subject), must be interpreted within this same framework. The warnings in Hebrews and works in James have to do with the same thing as the text in 1 Peter 1:3-5 — a “just recompense of reward” to be realized in the coming age. [10]

The Correct Rendering of the Greek Word Normally Translated “Eternal” in Scripture

Although this point was covered previously, it bears repeating. The Greek word aionios translated “eternal” (or its equivalent, “everlasting”) in most English versions, does not itself mean “forever without end.”

The Greek language actually contains no word for “eternal” seen in this fashion. Aionios can be, and many times is, used in this sense; but this meaning is derived from its textual usage, not from the word itself. Aionios refers to “a period of time,” usually thought of as “an age.”

The only way the Greek language can express “eternal,” apart from textual considerations, is by using the noun form of aionios (aion) in the plural (“ages” [e.g., Luke 1:33; Hebrews 13:8]), or by using aion twice in the plural (“unto the ‘ages [aionas]’ of the ‘ages [aionon]’” [e.g., Revelation 1:6, 18; 4:9-10; 5:13-14; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5]).

A person using the Greek language thinks in the sense of “ages,” with eternity being thought of in the sense of “endless ages,” i.e., “aeons,” or “the aeons of the aeons.”

The Contextual Setting of Salvation Passages in the New Testament

When interpreting which facet of salvation is under consideration within the New Testament, the context is fundamental in making the determination. Of course, this should go without saying regarding any passage under study. Nevertheless, it is one rule of interpreting Scripture that routinely goes unheeded, usually because it is so easy to approach Scripture with preconceived and preprogrammed theological positions and because pride will allow no other approach.

A prime example of how ignorance of context leads to misinterpretation of Scripture would be how most commentators view the book of Hebrews. The book draws richly from the Old Testament in order to present truth. Note Chitwood’s comments, as follows:

Melchizedek is introduced in Scripture as a king-priest in Jerusalem, and he forms a type of Christ as King-Priest in Jerusalem during the coming day of His power, during the coming Messianic Era. This is clearly seen to be the case through both the two Old Testament references to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-19; Psalm 110:4) and the place that Melchizedek occupies in Hebrews 5; 6; 7.

Both Old Testament references are Messianic in their scope of fulfillment, as are the references in the book of Hebrews. In this respect, Christ is not presently exercising a priestly ministry after the order of Melchizedek, for Melchizedek was also a king in Jerusalem as well. Rather, Christ is presently exercising a priestly ministry after the order of Aaron, who ministered in the sanctuary on the basis of shed blood, on behalf of a redeemed people. Christ is presently ministering in the sanctuary (the heavenly), on the basis of shed blood (His Own), for a redeemed people (for Christians).

Christ is presently a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, as He is presently King (He was born King [Matthew 2:3]). Christ though has yet to exercise either office; and Scripture presents His exercise of both offices as occurring at the same time, during the coming age.

In keeping with the manner in which Scripture has been structured, Melchizedek appears in Genesis 14 in a particular setting and at a particular time; and, within this setting and time, God established foundational truths from which He could later draw spiritual lessons in order to teach His people deep spiritual truths surrounding the various things having to do with His Son's coming reign over the earth.

These foundational truths were established during Abraham’s day through the record of that which occurred in Genesis 14. Then the writer of Psalm 110 drew from this account, as did the writer of Hebrews 5; 6; 7.

Thus, in all three of these sections of Scripture, the three different writers dealt with issues surrounding Christ in relation to the Messianic Era, not in relation to the present age. And sections of Scripture such as Hebrews 6:4-6, contextually, must be looked upon and interpreted in this same light.

There is a logical progression in thought as one moves through the five major warnings in the book of Hebrews. And all the warnings are directed to Christians alone, centering on the same subject matter — Christians either realizing or failing to realize the salvation of their souls/lives, synonymous with Christians either realizing or failing to realize the rights of the firstborn; and this salvation has to do strictly with the position that Christians will occupy in the coming Messianic Era (Hebrews 6:12, 18-20; 10:36-39; cf. James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:9).

In the first warning, the salvation set before Christians is called "so great salvation," and is specifically stated later in the epistle to be “the saving of the soul.” This is the greatest thing God could ever design for redeemed man, for it centers on man being removed from the earth, placed in the heavens, and occupying the throne as co-heir with the “Heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2-2:5; 10:39; cf. Hebrews 3:1).

Then the second warning outlines the route that one must travel during his pilgrim journey if he would one day come into a realization of so great salvation. The route is from Egypt to Canaan.

Spiritual lessons are drawn from the historic account of the Israelites under Moses, forming the type. And these spiritual lessons are seen in the antitype surrounding the experiences of Christians under Christ. The Israelites under Moses had been called out of Egypt and were being led toward an earthly land, wherein their calling was ultimately to have been realized. And Christians under Christ have been called out of the world and are being led toward a heavenly land, wherein their calling is ultimately to be realized.

With these things in mind, the third warning then continues with one major overriding thought:

Let Us Go On! (Hebrews 6:1).

The thought has to do with moving from immaturity to maturity; and this maturity, contextually, centers on Christians coming to a knowledge and understanding of the things surrounding the land set before them, for a revealed purpose.

In other words, so great salvation has been set before Christians (warning one), and the route that Christians must travel to realize this salvation has been well marked (warning two); then, with these things as an established background, the writer exhorts Christians to go on to a mature knowledge and understanding of those truths that God has revealed concerning the land set before them (warning three).

Entering into that land and realizing the rights of the firstborn therein is the goal of the Christians’ calling. And pressing toward any goal apart from knowing and understanding certain things about the goal, or things that may lie in the pathway preventing one from reaching the goal, would be unheard of.

This is easy to see from the manner in which Christians are commanded to array themselves for the spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:11ff, for they cannot properly array themselves apart from a knowledge and understanding of that which lies out ahead.

The “helmet of salvation,” for example, is identified as the “hope of salvation” (cf. Ephesians 6:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:8); and the “hope of salvation” has to do, not with the salvation that Christians presently possess, but with the salvation of the soul (Hebrews 6:12, 18-19; 10:36-39), which is the central message of the book of Hebrews.

The “helmet of salvation” cannot be possessed apart from a “hope” based on knowledge and understanding. But it is only one part of the armor, and the possession of other parts of the armor requires a similar knowledge and understanding surrounding the goal of the Christians’ calling. And, apart from being properly arrayed for battle after the fashion revealed in Ephesians 6:11ff, Christians will suffer defeat time after time and ultimately fail to realize the goal of their calling.

Drawing from the previous two warnings in order to understand the third is the progressive manner in which the things in this book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Let Us Go On, have been structured; and this is also the progressive manner in which any correct exposition of Hebrews 5; 6 must be viewed.

Scripture must be understood in the light of Scripture. There is first the near context, and there is then the far context. The near context, in this case, takes one back to the previous two warnings; and the far context takes one to the various other related points in Scripture throughout both the Old and New Testaments. One must compare “spiritual things with spiritual” if he would come into a correct knowledge and understanding of the things that God has revealed to man in His Word (1 Corinthians 2:9-13). [11]

A Final Word on Salvation

The following would be an overview of salvation by Chitwood:

The Bible is a book of redemption; and basic, unchangeable teachings surrounding redemption are set forth in Scripture, at the very beginning, revealing a purpose in view.

In Genesis 1 God sets forth the unchangeable manner in which He, in His infinite wisdom and knowledge, restores a ruined creation. There is a restorative work which follows a specific pattern, and the matter is accomplished entirely through divine intervention. And within this unchangeable pattern set forth at the very beginning, God reveals how any subsequent ruined creation would, of necessity, have to be restored. It would have to be restored after a certain order, entirely through divine intervention, over a six-day (six-thousand-year) period.

Thus, to establish correct thinking relative to the fundamentals of salvation, one must begin in Genesis. If all those holding erroneous views had begun in Genesis 1 and understood and adhered to that which God set forth at the very beginning concerning how a ruined creation is to be restored, not a single erroneous view concerning salvation would exist today. Such couldn’t exist.

And, going to more specific thoughts concerning salvation, the preceding would equally apply to not only the salvation of the spirit but the salvation of the soul as well. Within the structure of this foundational framework, the salvation of the spirit (the salvation that we presently possess) is realized at the very beginning of the six days; but the salvation of the soul (a salvation occurring at the end of one’s faith, or as the goal of one’s faith [1 Peter 1:5, 9]) is an on-going process and is to be realized only at the end of the six days, on the seventh day.

In this respect, the unchangeable basics pertaining to redemption in relation to the whole of that which, in reality, is the man himself (both spirit and soul) have been set forth at the very beginning of Scripture, in Genesis 1:1-2:3. And if a person would understand salvation within its correct perspective, avoiding all error, he must begin here. Here — and only here — can a person see the unchangeable foundation, setting forth the unchangeable basics, laid down at the very beginning.

Salvation of the Spirit

Hebrews 4:12 reveals a division being brought to pass between man’s soul and his spirit. And this is a teaching drawn from the very opening verses of Genesis (as seen earlier in this same section in Hebrews relative to the “rest” set before “the people of God” [Hebrews 4:4, 9]). The Spirit of God moves in Genesis 1:2b, and God speaks in Genesis 1:3. In relation to man’s salvation, it is at this point (in what would be referred to as the foundational type) that a division is made between man’s soul and his spirit (in what would be referred to as the antitype).

In the type, the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, and light came into existence. Genesis 1:2-3 [2b] records the initial act of the Triune Godhead in bringing about the restoration of the ruined material creation, an act in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each participated — the Spirit moved, God spoke, and then note that nothing can come into existence apart from the Son (John 1:3).

In the antitype, within the framework of man’s salvation experience, the matter is identical. There must be an act of the Triune Godhead, for this is how God worked to restore a ruined creation in the Genesis account, establishing an unchangeable pattern for a later work. Thus, as in the type, so in the antitype — the Spirit of God moves, God speaks, and light comes into existence.

Everything is based on the Son’s finished work at Calvary. The Spirit moving and God speaking are both based on that which occurred almost 2,000 years ago. When the Son cried out from the Cross, “It is finished [lit., ‘It has been finished’]” (John 19:30; cf. Luke 23:46), He meant exactly that; and when the Word of God reveals that we have a salvation of divine origin, based entirely on the Son’s finished work, the Word of God means exactly that.

When man sinned in the garden, he died spiritually; and when unregenerate man, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), is made alive today, he is made alive spiritually. The movement of the Spirit (Genesis 1:2b) and God speaking (Genesis 1:3) in order to restore the ruined creation are simultaneous events. It is the Spirit using the God-breathed Word to effectually perform a supernatural work in unredeemed man. It is at this point — through the inbreathing of God — that life is imparted to that which previously had no life. God breathes into dead man (the Spirit using the God-breathed Word, based on the finished work of the Son), and man is “quickened [‘made alive’]” (Ephesians 2:1, 5).

At this point, light shines “out of darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6), a division is made between the light and the darkness (Genesis 1:4), and the darkness has no apprehension or comprehension of that which is light (John 1:5; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14).

It is at this point in man’s salvation that the spirit is separated from the soul. The “spirit” in unsaved man is dead. It is a part of the totally depraved man, with his “body of . . . death,” in which there dwells “no good thing” (Romans 7:18, 24). With the movement of the Spirit, using the God-breathed Word, man’s spirit is made alive and, at the same time, separated from his soul.

The “soul” remains within the sphere of darkness, which is why “the natural [Gk. psuchikos, ‘soulical’] man” cannot understand “the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14). That which remains in the sphere of darkness can have no apprehension or comprehension of that which has shined out of darkness. There is a God-established division between the two that cannot be crossed over (cf. Luke 16:26).

(Note that the preceding forms a foundational part of the reason why Christ becoming one’s Lord [cf. Luke 6:46] cannot be an integral part of salvation by grace.)

Salvation of the Soul

The preceding process is the manner which God uses to deliver the spirit from its fallen state, resulting from Adam’s sin. And because the spirit has been delivered, there can once again be communion with God. Man can now comprehend spiritual things, and there can now be a progressive, continued work by the Spirit of God within man so that he can ultimately be delivered to the place which God has decreed that he occupy at the end of six days, at the end of six thousand years.

Within the framework of the type in Genesis 1, this is the very first thing which is foreshadowed. This had to be set forth first, for man has to first be made alive — he has to first pass “from death unto life” — before anything else in the restorative process can occur.

Thus, this is foreshadowed at the very beginning of the six days that God, in accordance with the established pattern, would use to bring about man’s complete restoration — spirit, soul, and body (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

To briefly illustrate how God’s complete restoration of man is patterned after God’s complete restoration of the material creation in Genesis 1, note three things:

1) Where the complete restorative process began (on day one, as previously mentioned).

2) That which occurred on each succeeding day (days two through six).

3) Where the whole of the restorative process was leading (the seventh day, the Sabbath, a day of rest following six days of work).

Within a type-antitype framework — pertaining to man’s salvation in the antitype — that which occurred in the type on day one pertains to the salvation of man’s spirit, and that which occurred in the type on days two through six pertains to the salvation of man’s soul, with the whole of that revealed leading to the seventh day.

The salvation of the spirit is an instantaneous event where one passes “from death unto life,” but not so with the salvation of the soul. It is a progressive event. It is an event that begins at the point one is made alive spiritually, and it will not be completed and realized until the end of that foreshadowed by the six days of restorative work — 6,000 years of restorative work.

(The issues of the judgment seat of Christ at the end of the present dispensation — which will occur at the end of the six days, at the end of the 6,000 years — will have to do with issues surrounding the salvation [or loss] of the soul/life. It will be at the judgment seat — not before — that man will realize [or fail to realize] the salvation of his soul/life.)

Since the salvation of the spirit cannot occur apart from an exact duplication in the antitype of that which occurred in the type during day one of the restoration in Genesis, it should be evident that the salvation of the soul and its relationship to that which occurred on days two through six must be looked upon the same way. The latter must follow the pattern to the same degree as the former. There can be no difference in this respect.

And since this is the case, note what occurred on days two through six in the restoration of the ruined material creation in Genesis. Then, to see the overall picture of that which must be done to bring about the salvation of redeemed man’s soul, these same events can be viewed in relation to God’s present continuing restoration of man, a subsequent ruined creation.

Events on days two and three (as events on the first day) have to do with divisions. On the second day God established a division between the waters (Genesis 1:6-8), and on the third day He established a division between the dry land (with its vegetation) and the waters (Genesis 1:9-13).

Then events on days four through six belong together as another unit, depicting things beyond the divisions previously established. On the fourth day God placed lights in the heavens to give light upon the earth (Genesis 1:14-19), on the fifth day He created birds that could soar above the earth and marine life that could move throughout the depths of the sea (Genesis 1:20-23), and on the sixth day He created the land animals, which included great creatures capable of roaming the earth (Genesis 1:24-25).

And, as previously noted, the whole of God’s restorative work relative to the material creation in Genesis foreshadows the whole of God’s restorative work relative to man today. After man has “passed from death unto life,” wherein the spirit is separated from the soul — wrought entirely through divine intervention — redeemed man finds himself in a position and condition where a continued divine work not only can occur but must occur if he is to realize the salvation of his soul. And only through this continued divine work can the whole of God’s restorative work, as it pertains to man, be realized.

(Man, as the material creation, must be completely passive in relation to the salvation of the spirit [he is dead, rendering him incapable of acting]; and man, as the material creation [“And the earth brought forth . . . .”] must be active in relation to the salvation of the soul [he now has spiritual life, allowing him to act in the spiritual realm]. But, as in the restoration of the material creation, the entire salvation process [spirit and soul, and ultimately the body] is a divine work. “Salvation is of the Lord” [Jonah 2:9].)

Events occurring during the first three days in Genesis 1 would point to elementary things or the basics in one’s spiritual life and growth. Events occurring during day one would point to a division between the soul and the spirit, having to do with the impartation of life. Then events occurring during days two and three would point to divisions and distinctions as one begins to progressively grow within the framework of the new life brought into existence on the first day. One would learn to distinguish between the soulical and spiritual, spiritual and carnal (fleshly), Jew, Gentile, and Christian, the dispensations, etc.

Only when one learns the divisions and distinctions depicted by that which was brought to pass on days two and three is he in a position to move on into the things depicted by that which was brought to pass on days four through six. On these three days, light was restored to the sun and moon (day four, Genesis 1:14-19); sea life and the birds of the air were created (day five, Genesis 1:20-23); and then God created all the living creatures that roam the earth, followed by His creation of man (day six, Genesis 1:24-27).

That depicted by the work of the Triune Godhead during these three days points to things beyond elementary truths in the antitype. After one has passed “from death unto life” and has been instructed in the elementary truths (days one through three — after he has grown to a degree in his Christian life — he can then begin to view with understanding deeper spiritual truths of the Word. He can then begin to view with understanding those things in the Word depicted by events on days four through six of Genesis 1.

An individual in this position can begin to sink deep shafts down into the Word and mine its treasures. He can look into the Word and understand that depicted by the lights in the heavens. He can, in the true sense of the Word, “mount up with wings as eagles . . . run, and not be weary . . . walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31), as he scales the heights; or he can scale the depths of the Word, as the sea creatures plunge to the depths of the sea; or he can roam through the Word, as the land creatures roam the earth.

Christian maturity and spiritual victory — bringing to pass the salvation of the soul — go hand-in-hand. And the entire process of God’s restoration work throughout the six days is with a view to that which lies beyond, on the seventh day. It is with a view to the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God. [12]

________________________________________

[1] James Barr, The Semantics of Biblical Languages (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 218.

[2] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. 3. (Kregel Publications, Inc., 1993), p. 274.

[3] The Study of Scripture by Arlen Chitwood, pp. 1-3.

[4] Ralph O. Muncaster, Does the Bible Predict the Future? (Harvest House Publishers, 1984), pp. 8, 9.

[5] The Study of Scripture by Arlen Chitwood, pp. 123-126.

[6] The Study of Scripture by Arlen Chitwood, pp. 136-138.

[7] Dr. Chuck Missler, Learn the Bible in 24 Hours (Thomas Nelson Publishers), pg. 1.

[8] Salvation of the Soul by Arlen Chitwood, pp. 3, 4.

[9] Salvation of the Soul by Arlen Chitwood, pp. 1-8.

[10] Salvation of the Soul by Arlen Chitwood, pp. 81-94.

[11] Let Us Go On by Arlen Chitwood, Back cover & Foreword.

[12] Salvation by Grace through Faith by Arlen Chitwood, pp. 46-52

(Also see in this site The Old ManHoly Spirit – Ministries and Filling!, Christians vs. Angelic Rulers Presently!, Christians and the World, SOULICAL SPIRITUAL or CARNAL MAN, Bodies, Natural and Spiritual, The Spiritual Warfare, and Satan, Great Enemy of Christian Life!.)

Bible One - Charles Strong's Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians (2)

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

The Old Man
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Pat,

Regarding your inquiry, i.e. as follows:

There’s something I’m overlooking, but I’m confused about the ‘old man.’

When we’re spiritually saved, the ‘old man’ dies in us – he’s crucified.  Since the ‘old man’ is the ‘soulical man,’ it would seem our soul would die.

Previously, before dwelling on this, I thought that either the ‘old man’ didn’t die or if he did, was then made alive.  But that didn’t make sense.  I’ve thought for the longest that the ‘old man’ was still in us and was the one who sinned, not the new man in Christ.  Therefore I thought as we were ‘be being’ filled with the Holy Spirit, in an inverse proportion, the ‘old man’ was dying.  Dwelling in the Word was the main work to accomplish this filling.

Do we saved still have a soul?  It would seem we do since some of us are running the race for soul salvation.

Does my question make any sense?  I’ve spent a number of hours researching without finding the answer, or probably don’t recognize the answer.

Charles:

I can only answer as I understand the concept of “old man” as Paul uses it in Scripture, e.g. as follows:

Romans 6:5-14

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, (6)  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (7) For he who has died has been freed from sin. (8) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, (9) knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. (10) For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (11) Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. (13) And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (14) For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

(Essentially, Paul’s argument relevant to the “old man” and “his” affect upon corporeal men and women [and in this case, specifically the Christian person] extends through the middle of Romans 8.)

Ephesians 4:20-24

But you have not so learned Christ, (21) if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: (22) that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, (23) and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (24) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Colossians 3:8-10

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (9) Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, (10) and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

The concept of and the dealing with the “old man” are in fact relevant to soul-salvation; but, to equate “old man” with “soulical man” may be somewhat incorrect; although, I do agree that the objective (purpose) of the “old man” is to produce a non-spiritual influence and life within a person.

Part of the difficulty is in the understanding of the soul-component of man.  There is little difficulty in comprehending the body-component of man, since it is tangible and touchable every waking moment of one’s life.

As for the spirit-component of man, it is my belief that this aspect of man is what totally died within man when he sinned soon after his creation (Genesis 2:16-17).  It is this component of man that allows connectivity (union, if you please) with God.  From Adam onward man has been born with a dead spirit, a component that can only be revitalized (“born from above”) upon one’s faith in Christ (John 3:7, 16); but, when resuscitated, can never more die.

Then there is the soul-component of man, man being a tripartite being (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12).  And frankly, I believe it is quite difficult for man to adequately understand the composition of the soul.  It has been stated that this aspect of man is the seat of self-consciousness, mentality, volition, emotion, and conscience (norms and standards).  To be sure, the soul encompasses these features, for it is the soul of man that allows connectivity with the non-spiritual world.  In another study, I have stated the following regarding the soul-component of man.

On the other hand, the soul is the identity of the person, the one who resides in the package, i.e., the body.  It is the life-giving principle, which actually resides in the blood (Leviticus 17:11; cf. Genesis 9:4).   The soul comprises the intellectual and emotional assets of one’s identity, without which, the body cannot properly function.  It is the body’s engine, and, its identity.  In brief, a person cannot meaningfully exist without the union of body and soul; nor, for that matter, can any non-human (e.g., animal) so exist without the same.  Christ pointed out the difference between these two distinct elements when He said in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Having offered this explanation, it must be stated that this account may be somewhat lacking as to the complexity and totality of not only the differences between body and soul, but also as to their connectivity.  As one views the various passages of Scripture that apply to these two components of God’s air-breathing creatures, one can only be certain that they do exist, have their separate function, and transition separately at death, which is seen in the death of Christ on the cross of Calvary.

In any case, I am not certain that any man can fully appreciate and understand the complexity of God’s crowning creative act, i.e., man, just as man is totally unable to fully appreciate and understand the existence and nature of God.  Still, man is to accept both by faith, for this is the only avenue established for man that will lead him to the only constructively divine destination for man.

It is my belief that when Paul uses the designation, “old man,” as to an element of man, he uses it as a synonym for the “sin nature,” which dominates man in the “lost state” (non-Christian), but which can be overcome by man in the “saved state” (Christian).  And when he refers to the “old man” as having been crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6), he is referring to the sin nature’s ability to dominate a person, a power that no longer exists unless (and this is key) the person allows it — this power was crucified/terminated on the cross, meaning that once a person accepts Christ in faith, he is no longer under the unyielding thumb of the sin nature, its dominance.

In addition to the designation “old man,” Paul uses the word “sin,” “flesh,” and “law” throughout his discourse in Romans 6; 7; 8, to refer to and to explain this force, to clarify that although we as Christians were once dominated by this force toward evil, we are to now realize that it has been put to death (may now be rendered inoperable “by faith”) on the cross of Christ, a condition that now, as Christians, we may take advantage of “by faith” throughout our temporal life (Romans 6:6-7, 12, 14; 7:5-6; 8:1-2, 12-13 [Romans 6:6b]) to lead a holy life, to the saving of our souls.

This theme continues throughout the New Testament, as you may also see in some of his other epistles, e.g., Ephesians and Colossians (above).  Bottom line, as Christians we are no longer under the rule of our old nature, a nature that was defeated at the cross, unless, we so choose to be

Daily, we have a choice to make.  We may choose to put on the “old man” and be dominated by the force of evil; or, we may choose to put on the “new man” and be led in righteousness.  When we were without Christ, we had no choice.  As Christians, God always gives us this choice.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal [age-lasting] life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

(You may wish to read my commentary on this verse in my site Bible One - Charles Strong's Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians (2).  Or one can read in this site Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians (2).)

Well Pat, I hope some of this helps you in your quest for an answer to your question.  The subject is rich but most valuable to a life for Christ.  As I do on many of my replies regarding spiritual matters, I also send a copy to Arlen L. Chitwood of  Arlen Chitwood's Lamp Broadcast .  Should he wish to correct me or clarify an issue (which I always appreciate) regarding this subject, I will be certain to pass his comments on to you.

Charles

(Also see in this site Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians (2)Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling!, Christians vs. Angelic Rulers Presently!Christians and the WorldSOULICAL SPIRITUAL or CARNAL MANBodies, Natural and SpiritualThe Spiritual Warfareand Satan, Great Enemy of Christian Life!.)

Follow up by Charles Strong re Arlen Chitwood's Response.

Pat,

The following input regarding the matter is from Arlen Chitwood, who always endeavors to understand/interpret New Testament doctrine by comparing such with antitypes in the Old Testament (a method of study specified by Paul in the New Testament [1 Corinthians 2:13]).  I have always found that such from Arlen always makes an issue more clear; and, at times helps me to see the error of my understanding.  In this case, I see agreement, but the issue is clearer in my mind.

Bottom line:  The darkness remains in all of us, but we may always choose to walk in the Light—please see Colossians 2:6; John 8:12; 12:46, AND always remember that the only way we can walk in Christ the Light is through His (written) Word (Colossians 3:16).

Charles


Arlen Chitwood:

Try "back to basics" on the original type, in Genesis 1.

(See Eternal Salvation As Seen in the Earth's Restoration by Arlen Chitwood.)
 
Saved man and unsaved man are both tri-part beings.
 
In unsaved man, there is only darkness, with both spirit and soul housed in a body.
 
In saved man, the prior existing darkness remains, but light now shines out of that darkness.  The spirit, through the inbreathing of the Spirit, is no longer dead but alive, with soul and body still connected with the darkness.
 
In saved or unsaved man, none of the three parts comprising his being is that darkness per se.  In the type, the earth was one thing, the darkness another.  And so it is with man.
 
The earth existed within total darkness until light shined out of darkness (day one), allowing for an on-going restoration of the earth (days 2-6), with a view to that seen at the end of day six (a completely restored earth, man, the seventh day).
 
You can do the antitype relative to man.
 
Also, "crucifixion" could be used and understood in more than one respect.  Christ was crucified hours before He died.  The old man has been crucified with Christ, but is the old man dead?  Compare Romans 6 and Colossians 3.  The old man could only be very much alive, though to be kept affixed to the cross, in the process of dying.
 
The old man would be associated with that remaining in darkness, the new man with that no longer in darkness.  And the darkness itself is not gradually changed or ever done away with.  The darkness remains, unchanged, until . . . Revelations 22:5.

Charles Strong:

Reread your response and you state that in “saved man . . . The spirit . . . is no longer dead . . . .”  Another question.  Are you suggesting that the “old man” of Romans 6 (also in Ephesians and Colossians) is comparable to the “darkness” in Genesis?

Arlen:

I would rather stay with the word I used -- "associated."
 
One can't do anything with the darkness, though one could do something with the old man.  But neither can be done away with.
 
The are only two reals -- light and darkness -- as there are only two realms seen in verses such as Matthew 12:30 or I John 3:9.  (Added by editor: 1 John 3:6; 5:18.)

(On Arlen Chitood's site see Natural and Spiritual Bodies by Arlen Chitwood.)

(See following next Eternal Salvation As Seen in the Earth's Restoration by Arlen Chitwood.)  

(Also see in this site Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling!, Christians vs. Angelic Rulers Presently!, Christians and the World, SOULICAL SPIRITUAL or CARNAL MAN, Bodies, Natural and Spiritual, The Spiritual Warfare, Battles between a Christian's New and Old Natures and Satan, Great Enemy of Christian Life!.)

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Eternal Salvation
As Seen in the Earth’s Restoration

By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

The Bible is a book of redemption; and basic, unchangeable teachings surrounding redemption are set forth at the very beginning of Scripture.

In the opening verses of Genesis God sets forth the unchangeable manner in which He, in His infinite wisdom and knowledge, restores a ruined creation. There is a restorative work which follows a specific pattern, and the matter is accomplished entirely through Divine intervention.

And within this pattern set forth and established in a perfect God-ordained fashion at the very beginning, God reveals how any subsequent ruined creation would, of necessity, have to be restored. It would have to be restored in complete accord with the established pattern. In this respect, it would have to be restored after a certain order, and it would have to be restored entirely through Divine intervention.

Thus, to establish correct thinking relative to the fundamentals of salvation (restoration), as previously stated, one must begin where God began — in the opening verses of Genesis 1.

In these opening verses, God begins by revealing His creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Then, immediately following this, in the first part of the second verse (Genesis 1:2), God reveals that the earth became a ruin (which, as subsequent Scripture reveals, could only have resulted from God’s actions following Satan seeking a higher regal position than the one which he held [the God-appointed ruler over the earth (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:14-16)] and be “like the most High” [be like the Ruler over the entire universe, like God Himself (Ps. 103:19)]).

Then, immediately following the statement in Gen. 1:2a concerning the ruin of the material creation, God reveals the means which He used to restore this ruined creation (Gen. 1:2b ff) — a restoration accomplished entirely through Divine intervention.

The importance of understanding that which is revealed in these opening verses cannot be overemphasized, for man, a subsequent creation of God, also fell into a ruined state because of Satan’s actions (Gen. 1:26-28; 3:1ff). And if ruined man was to be restored (as the ruined material creation had previously been restored), it would have to be accomplished exactly in accordance with the previously established pattern.

It would have to be accomplished exactly in accordance with the method which God revealed at the beginning of His Word concerning how He restores a ruined creation.

This is the first of numerous unchangeable ways in which God has revealed Himself, His plans, and His purposes to man in His Word.

Once God establishes a pattern, no change can ever occur. And He has forever established, once for all, at the very beginning of His Word, exactly how He goes about restoring a ruined creation.

Genesis 1:2-3 [2b] records the initial act of the triune Godhead in bringing about the restoration of the ruined material creation — an act in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each participated.

In this foundational pattern, forming a type, the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, and light came into existence (note that nothing can come into existence apart from the Son, Who is “the light of the world” [John 1:3, 9; 9:5]).

And in the antitype, within the framework of man’s salvation experience, the matter is identical. Salvation can occur only through a work of the triune Godhead, and this Divine work follows an established pattern.

Thus, there is an initial past work of the triune Godhead which foreshadows an initial present work of the triune Godhead:

In God’s initial past work of restoring the ruined material creation in Genesis 1, the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, and light came into existence.

In God’s initial present work of restoring ruined man, the Spirit of God moves, God speaks, and light comes into existence.

This is the manner in which God began/begins His unchangeable, restorative work.

And, relative to God’s present restorative work, foreshadowed by the foundational pattern surrounding His restorative work on day one in the type, everything within the outworking of that revealed in this pattern is based on one thingthe Son’s finished work at Calvary almost 2,000 years ago (progressively opened up and brought to light in subsequent types).

(Note that God’s initial restorative work, seen on day one in the Genesis account, is the only part of His six-day restorative work which has to do with salvation by grace. There had to be an initial work, producing light shining out of darkness, before God could continue His restorative work.

And exactly the same thing is true concerning ruined man today. Ruined man has to initially be made alive spiritually — pass “from death unto life,” light has “to shine out of darkness” [John 1:5; II Cor. 4:6] — before God can continue a restorative work.

Man today [saved man] has a redeemed spirit dwelling alongside an unredeemed soul, with both housed in an unredeemed body. That foreshadowed by God’s work on day one in the Genesis account had to do with man’s spirit, and that foreshadowed by His work on days two through six had to do with man’s soul, with the body to be redeemed at the end of that foreshadowed by God’s work throughout the entire six days.)

When the Son cried out from the Cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30; cf. Luke 23:46), He (the living Word) meant exactly that; and when God’s Word reveals that we have a salvation of Divine origin, based entirely on the Son’s finished work, this Word also means exactly what it states.

When man sinned in the garden, he died spiritually; and when unregenerate man, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), is made alive today, he is made alive spiritually. The movement of the Spirit (Gen. 1:2b) and God speaking (Gen. 1:3) in order to restore the ruined creation are simultaneous events. It is the Spirit using the Word — the written Word and the Word which became flesh (cf. John 1:1-3, 14) — to effectually perform a supernatural work in unredeemed man.

It is at this point — through the inbreathing of God — that life is imparted to that which previously had no life. It is at this point that God breathes into lifeless man (the Spirit imparting life, in accordance with the God-breathed Word, based on Christ’s finished work), and man is “quickened [‘made alive’]” (Eph. 2:1; cf. Gen. 2:7; II Tim. 3:16).

At this point, light shines “out of darkness” (II Cor. 4:6), a division is made between the light and the darkness (Gen. 1:4), and the darkness has no apprehension or comprehension of that which is light (John 1:5; cf. I Cor. 2:14).

The “spirit” of unsaved man, associated with “darkness,” is dead. It is a part of the totally depraved man, with his “body of… death,” in which there dwells “no good thing” (Rom. 7:18, 24). But, with the movement of the Spirit — breathing life into unsaved, lifeless man — man’s spirit is made alive and, at the same time, separated from his soul (Heb. 4:12).

The “soul” remains within the sphere of darkness, which is why “the natural [Gk., psuchikos, ‘soulical’] man” cannot understand “the things of the Spirit of God” (I Cor. 2:14).

That which remains in the sphere of darkness can have no apprehension or comprehension of that which has shined out of darkness. There is a God-established division between the two which cannot be crossed over (cf. Luke 16:26).

Thus, the unchangeable method which God uses and the pattern which He follows to restore a ruined creation have forever been set forth at the beginning of His Word, through the account of God’s restoration of the ruined material creation.

Then, in Genesis 3, God’s new creation, man, finds himself in a ruined state. But he is not to be left in this state, for man, at this point, becomes the object of a new Divine restorative work.

And this work, as seen in the latter part of chapter three and subsequent types, follows that which had already been set forth in an unchangeable fashion in Genesis 1.

“What must I do to be saved?  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31).

Eternal Salvation As Seen in the Earth's Restoration by Arlen Chitwood

(See all of Arlen Chitwood's Salvation Tracts / pamphlets.)

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Battles between a Christian's New and Old Natures
By Got Questions

The new nature battles with the “tent” in which it resides—the old man, old nature, flesh.

The first problem that comes up is one of semantics. For example, many prefer "sin nature," others prefer "sinful nature," and still others prefer the ambiguous "flesh." Whatever the specific names used for the warring parties, what is relevant is that an ongoing battle rages within the Christian.

The second problem is the actual definition of "nature." How this significant word is defined determines how one sees the distinction between the “old man” and the “new man” and its relevant outworking in the life of the Christian. One way to view "nature" is to understand it as a "capacity" within a believer. Thus, the old man is interpreted as the former way of life, that of an unbeliever. In this sense, the Christian has two competing capacities within him—the old capacity to sin and the new capacity to resist sinning. The unbeliever has no such competition within; he does not have the capacity for godliness because he has only the sin nature. That’s not to say he cannot do “good works,” but his motivation for those works is always tainted by his sinfulness. In addition, he cannot resist sinning because he doesn’t have the capacity to not sin.

The believer, on the other hand, has the capacity for godliness because the Spirit of God lives within him or her. He still has the capacity for sin as well, but he now has the ability to resist sin and, more importantly, the desire to resist and to live godly. When Christ was crucified, the old man was crucified with Him, resulting in the Christian's no longer being a slave to sin (Romans 6:6). We “have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:18).

At the moment of conversion, the Christian receives a new nature. It is instantaneous. Sanctification, on the other hand, is the process by which God develops our new nature, enabling us to grow into more holiness through time. This is a continuous process with many victories and defeats as the new nature battles with the “tent” in which it resides—the old man, old nature, flesh.

In Romans 7, Paul explains the battle that rages continually in even the most spiritually mature people. He laments that he does what he doesn’t want to do [disicipline] and, in fact, does the evil he detests. He says that is the result of “sin living in me” (Romans 7:20). He delights in God’s law according to his “inner being,” but he sees another law at work in “the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members” (Romans 7:23). Here is the classic example of the two entities, whatever terms they may carry. The point is that the battle is real, and it is one Christians will wage throughout their lives.

This is why believers are encouraged to put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13), to put to death that which makes a Christian sin (Colossians 3:5), and to put aside other sins such as anger, wrath, malice, etc. (Colossians 3:8). All this to say that the Christian has two naturesthe old and the newbut the new nature needs continual renewing (Colossians 3:10). This renewing, of course, is a lifetime process for the Christian. Even though the battle against sin is constant, we are no longer under the control of sin (Romans 6:6). The believer is truly a “new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and it is Christ who will ultimatelyrescue [us] from this body of death. Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24–25).

(Also see in this site Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling!Christians vs. Angelic Rulers Presently!Christians and the World SOULICAL, SPIRITUAL or CARNAL MANBodies, Natural and SpiritualThe Spiritual Warfare,  and Satan, Great Enemy of Christian Life!.)    

Got Questions - Battles between a Christian's New and Old Natures  

God's Plan, Exceedingly Oversimplified!

God's angel, Satan, God-appointed ruler of the earth, desired rulership over the entire universe, like God.  He, and 1/3 of all the angels under him, rebelled against God in an attempt to gain that rulership.  (Isaiah 14:12–14; Ezekiel 28:11–19)

God reacted by making the earth uninhabitable -- without form and void. (Genesis 1:1-2a)

God then restored the earth and created man, and man's wife, to replace Satan and his angels who continue to rule the earth (Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]; Isaiah 45:18) 

God made man [Adam], and man's wife [Eve], to rule the earth together.  God required the earth be ruled by man and his wife (Genesis 1:26-28).  In the antitype Christ is the man and overcomers His wife.

God began preparing Adam and Eve -- make them ready (Revelation 19:7) -- to rule.  Before completion, Satan interceded and enticed Eve to sin.  Since Adam could not rule without Eve, Adam sinned also. (Genesis 3:1ff)  Had Adam and Eve eaten of the tree of life, not the tree of good and evil, they would have received the wisdom and knowledge to rule and therefore be ruling the earth now.  (Proverbs 3:13-18; Revelation 2:7).

God then began a restoration process for fallen man, exactly as He had for the earth, but man was not faithful [as Adam and Eve weren't], not even national Israel, who is God's wife. So God placed His Son on earth as the Living Word with the focus on Jewish repentance first and salvation of the Gentiles second (Romans 1:16; 2:5-16). The Jews refused the offer (Matthew 23:37; John 3:1-3) and God, following His Son’s resurrection, set them aside. (Matthew 21:43; 28:19; Acts 13:46; 18:6; 28:28)

 Fifty days following His Son’s resurrection, God established "a new creation" at events surrounding Pentecost (Acts 2:1ff).  Those at Pentecost, all saved, became "new men in Christ" [called / saved] and out of the called some will be chosen [called out of the called (saved)] to become Christ's wife.  Christ's wife will rule and reign with Christ during the 1,000 year rest, the Millennial Kingdom, which is the same plan as for Adam and Eve before they fell. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 2:15)

Jesus' works of shedding blood and dying for our sins, brought grace into play.  To be spiritually saved by grace, one has only to believe and receive Jesus' works on the cross -- becoming "a new man in Christ."  No works of man are required since Jesus' works on the cross satisfied God. 

Believing and receiving Jesus' works places one in a position to enter and run the race for a future inheritance.  The winners will receive that awaiting inheritance -- become Christ's wife to rule and reign as co-heirs with Christ in His Millennium Kingdom.  (Philippians 3:13-14)

However, without a continuing impartation of spiritual truth flowing into one's saved spirit, one remains immature and fleshly [carnal], following the fleshly impulses of their soul.  Therefore, one spiritually saved must be controlled by the Holy Spirit, not the soul, necessitating a moment-by-moment filling of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit must have His way relatively ungrieved in the life of the spiritually saved so he/she can fulfill his/her role in God's plan:  Qualifying the spiritually saved [new man in Christ] for the awaiting inheritance -- salvation of the soul - leading to ruling and reigning with Christ. (Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:16; Galatians 2:20)

Those spiritually saved who through self seek to bring about this change will always affect outward change rather than inward change.  At the time of the birth from above the Holy Spirit began a work that He will continue until the Judgment Seat.  No works on the part of the spiritually saved can help the Holy Spirit effect this change.

When there are enough overcomers (qualified to rule) to replace Satan's angels, all Christians will be raptured to appear at the Judgment Seat.

At the Judgment Seat, the place all those spiritually saved appear, each is judged by the amount of 'righteous fruit' they have allowed the Holy Spirit to produce through them.  Those with enough righteous fruit to please Christ will be "out resurrected" to rule and reign with Christ, as His wife, in His Kingdom.  Those without enough righteous fruit will be sent to 'outer darkness' during the time of His Kingdom, one millennium, 1,000 years, before entering eternity.

Gold, silver, precious stones vs. wood, hay, straw.  (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

God will then bring about the Tribulation, causing Jewish repentance and restoration so that during the millennium all blessings to the nations will flow through Israel.  Satan and his angels will have been put down and replaced by Christ and his wife, as planned for Adam and Eve before they fell.

(Remember: Satan and his angels presently rule the earth, and will until Christ's Second Coming.  See Satan, Great Enemy of Christian Life! in this site.)

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GLOSSARY OF SELECTED TERMS
From Bible One - Gary Whipple's Beyond the Rapture

A DAY WITH THE LORD IS AS A THOUSAND YEARS: A Prophetic time-scale of human history showing that one-day represents one-thousand years.

ABOVE WISDOM: Spiritual truths connected to the Second Coming of Christ and of His kingdom (also above knowledge, Gr. ‘epignosis’).

ADOPTION: Placing your own child as your son. To the Jewish family this occurred on their child’s thirteenth birthday. In the spiritual realm, it occurs immediately after the redemption of the body at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

A JUST RECOMPENCE OF REWARD: Receiving exactly what one deserves.

BLACKNESS OF DARKNESS: A place in the realm of Gehenna reserved for apostate believers for one thousand years.

BODY OF SIN AND DEATH: The body we live in this present life.

CALLED: Saved.

CHOSEN: Called out of the called (saved).

CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN: Those believers of the church age who will experience the first resurrection (gain entrance into the kingdom).

CUT ASUNDER: Cut into two pieces (bisect).

DISINHERITED: A believer losing his reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

FEAR OF THE LORD: A reverential and spiritual exercise of fear by mature believers of the judgments that they could suffer at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY: All of the saved of the church age who will not enter the kingdom (those who will lose their reward).

GEHENNA: A region in the heart of the earth where the bodies of apostate believers will be destroyed for one thousand years.

GREAT SALVATION: Incorporates all salvations of man and includes the redemption of the earth and its creatures. It will last for one thousand years.

HOPE: Anticipation of reward at the coming of the Lord in His kingdom. Hope is not faith and makes no guarantees that the believer will gain a reward.

INHERITANCE: The reward received at the Judgment Seat of Christ for believers who will rule and reign with Christ in His coming kingdom.

JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST: The judgment of all Christians immediately after the rapture of the church. This judgment will determine if a Christian will gain a reward, or suffer loss for one thousand years.

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: A one thousand-year period of time in which Jesus Christ will rule over the earth.

KINGDOM OF THE FATHER: The eternal ages, which will begin at the close of the kingdom of heaven.

LAST TRUMP: The trumpet that sounds last (the furthest in time). It will sound at the second resurrection.

MEAT DOCTRINES: Biblical doctrines connected to the Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom.

MILK DOCTRINES: Biblical doctrines connected to the first coming and the work on the cross.

MILLENNIUM: A period of one thousand years in which Christ rules and reigns over the earth.

SALVATION OF THE SPIRIT: A salvation that is a work completed in the past, with its finished results extending into the present time (Gr. present tense). This is the salvation that guarantees eternal life to all who trusts Jesus Christ as Savior.

STANDING GRACE: A continuous grace that is given to a believer who allows his life to be Christ-controlled.

THE FIRST GATE: An experiential entrance through faith into salvation (the salvation of the spirit).

THE SECOND GATE: An experiential entrance by faith into a life that is controlled by Christ (the beginning of the salvation of the soul).

THE THIRD GATE: A future literal entrance by works (works of the Holy Spirit through the believer) into the kingdom. To qualify to enter this gate, one must have had his soul saved.

THE WIDE ROAD AND BROAD WAY: The way of the world for a believer that will end in destruction (the loss of all reward).

THE THIRD HEAVEN: The abode of God above the physical universe and the present location of paradise.

THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH: The catching out of the church in secret in the air, at the coming of Christ. Both the dead in Christ and those who are alive will be raised.

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: The public appearing of Christ when He returns to rule over the earth. This event will occur approximately seven years after the rapture of the church.

TRICHOTOMY OF MAN: Man is composed of three parts: body, soul, and spirit.

WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH: The anguish of a believer who loses his reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Christians and the World
From We Are Almost There, Ch. 7
By Arlen L. Chitwood of
Lamp Broadcast

THE BIBLICAL RELATIONSHIP OF CHRISTIANS TO THE WORLD

I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. (John 17:14-17).

Christians live in a world governed and controlled by Satan and his angels. It is a world in which Satan and his angels continue a rule, which they have held since time immemorial, since a time preceding Satan’s fall, along with one-third of his original contingent of angels ruling in lesser positions of power under him. And this, in turn, would date back to the time following the creation of the heavens and the earth when God appointed and placed Satan and his angels in the positions of power that they, since that time, have occupied (cf. Ezekiel 28:14ff; Daniel 4:17ff; Romans 13:1).

Then, since man’s creation and fall 6,000 years ago — an individual created in God’s image, after His likeness, created to take the scepter in the stead of Satan and his angels (Genesis 1:26-28 [though the fall, requiring redemption, has delayed man from occupying this position]) — Satan and his angels, continuing to rule, have carried out this rule by and through fallen man, by and through rulers among the nations (Daniel 10:12-20).

And since the bringing into existence of the nation of Israel over two millennia following man’s creation (descendants of Jacob, a special creation, separate from the nations), the rule of Satan and his angels through fallen man has been restricted to the Gentile nations. Israel’s ruling angel is Michael, with undoubtedly a large contingent of angels ruling under him. And Michael, with his angels, is not part of Satan’s kingdom (Daniel 10:21).

(Ref. the author’s book, The Most High Ruleth by Arlen Chitwood or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Most High Ruleth for a more complete, overall picture of the preceding.)

A World That Hates Christians

The preceding, according to John 17:14, describes a world that hates Christians, for a revealed reason — a world presently governed and controlled by Satan and his angels.

Something though is evidently wrong in today’s world, for there is no presently existing hatred between the world and Christians. The world and Christians appear to get along with one another just fine. The conflict described in Scripture, for all practical purposes, simply doesn’t exist in today’s world.

So, what is this all about?

The answer is simple. All a person has to do is read the first part of John 17:14, then take a look at Christendom in the world today. And doing so, that person can know, solely from a Scriptural standpoint, what is wrong. He can know, solely from a Scriptural standpoint, why Christians are not hated by the world today.

Note the verse again:

I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them . . . .(John 17:14)

The world either hates or does not hate Christians, the world either gets along with or does not get along with Christians, on one basis alone — the Word. Christians holding to the Word, proclaiming the Word, will not find the world to be their friend. On the other hand, Christians not holding to the Word, not proclaiming the Word, will have no problem with the world. The two can walk hand-in-hand.

Stated another way, there can be no such thing as Christians holding to, proclaiming the Word, and, at the same time, being loved by the world. And the inverse of that would have to be equally true. The world would have no basis for hating Christians not holding to the Word, not proclaiming the Word.

The base for the entire matter is singular. It’s the Word, the Word, the Word, nothing else. It’s not aids to devotions, it’s not so-called Christian music, it’s not anything connected with any type of so-called Christian activity. Rather, it’s the WORD, with that being the end of the matter.

Why?

The “why” of the world’s hatred for Christians holding to and proclaiming the Word is very simple. Satan could only have an extreme hatred for what the Word reveals about where matters are headed. Satan is “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4), he and his angels rule through and control the nations, and the nations could only follow suit concerning what the Word has to say about that which the future holds for Satan, his angels, and unsaved man under his control and sway.

But, if the Word is removed, then nothing is left. Apart from the Word, there would be no basis for an existing enmity between the world and Christians.

Again, it’s the Word, the Word, the Word, nothing else.

So, What Has Happened?

The Church and the world find themselves today at the very end of a 2,000-year dispensation in which God has been dealing with the new creation “in Christ.” Israel was set aside for a dispensation, a new creation was called into existence, and the Spirit of God has been performing a special and particular work throughout the dispensation. He has been calling out a bride for God’s Son, who will reign as consort queen with Him — co-heir over all things — following Satan and his angels being put down.

Satan and his angels know these things, which form the heart of the message to be proclaimed by and heard in the churches of the land today. But how many Christians know anything about or have ever even heard these things proclaimed?

The answer to that question will explain the “why” of the problem presently existing throughout Christendom.

1) In Christendom

In the chronology of Church history, as depicted in the first four parables of Matthew 13, or in the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2; 3 (the only two places in the New Testament where this complete history is revealed), the Church at the end of the dispensation is seen in two descriptive ways:

a) As completely leavened (Matthew 13:33)

b) As wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17b).

In the latter, the Church has been deceived into believing that it is “rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17a). Yet, the state of the completely leavened Church at the end of the dispensation is seen by God in a completely opposite respect.

Why is this the case? The answer, part and parcel with the working of the leaven, is very simple. The Church has progressively strayed from the pure, unadulterated proclamation of the Word (John 16:9-11), the Church has progressively gone the way of the world, and the world has won the Church over.

Accordingly, the world has disarmed the Church, stripping the Church naked of the armor that God has provided (Ephesians 6:11-17 [again, note the end result of this “naked” condition in Revelation 3:17b]).

If a person doesn’t believe that this is the case, all he has to do is open his eyes and look around. There is no hatred between the world and the Church; and it is difficult to know whether we have a worldly Church or a Churchly world — probably both. Equally difficult is to know where one begins and the other ends in the world today.

2) In the World

The world though, by disarming the Church, has sealed its own fate. In a respect, the nations comprising the world, by and through disarming the Church, have committed genocide.

The Church, possessing the Word, believing and proclaiming this Word, is in possession of a restraining power for all that exists among the nations. But a disarmed Church, having ignored the Word, is another matter entirely. Note how such a Church is aptly described in Matthew 5:13-16.

The Church, in this passage, can be seen as the “salt of the earth” which “loses its flavor” and is now “good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” The Church can be seen as the “light of the world,” though now “put under a basket.” And, occupying this position, there is no longer a shining light that can glorify the “Father in heaven.”

The restraining power of such a Church is gone. And apart from this restraining power, there is nothing withholding “the god of this age” from taking the nations under his control and sway to heretofore unseen depths of degradation — e.g., homosexuality and same-sex marriage running rampant, uprisings in nations worldwide, etc.

The Church has allowed this to occur on the one hand; and the world, under Satan, has brought it to pass on the other. And the end result will be far from anything that anyone might desire.

3) The End of the Matter

The principle pertaining to all of that which exists is seen in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. This passage, dealing with an already working “mystery of lawlessness,” has to do with things that will occur, yet future, after an existing restraining power has been removed.

Once this restraining power has been removed, the man of sin (the Antichrist) is going to be revealed, one whose coming is after the “working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” This man, seated on Satan’s throne, will take the nations of the earth, including Israel, to the very brink of complete destruction (Matthew 24:22; Revelation 13:2).

And, leading into this man’s rise, paving the way for him to put the finishing touches on all that is seen happening in the world today, is the worldly Church no longer holding to or proclaiming the Word, opening the door for the world under Satan and his angels to become fully engaged in the madness seen all around us.

The world, spiritually speaking, is dead; and the Church, the only means through which the world could possibly find life, for all practical purposes, has become like the world. And the same fate awaits both (1 Corinthians 11:31-32).

Note from the preceding two verses that it is possible for Christians who do not judge themselves during the present time to one day be judged by the Lord after a fashion that they will be “condemned with the world.” For the Christian, this would have to do with his calling, with millennial verities in view; but for the world, without life or a calling, this could only have to do with eternal verities.

And that brings matters back to the existing problem. The Church, by forsaking the Word (progressively brought about by the working of the leaven), has allowed a friendship with the world to ensue (cf. James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17), sealing its own fate in one respect; and the world, having disarmed the Church, has sealed its own fate in another respect.

How much worse will it become on both fronts before the Lord steps in and removes the Church? Only time will tell. But when the Church is removed, and the existing flicker of light, though under a bushel, is gone — with nothing but darkness and death remaining — things will begin tumbling completely out of control.

And you don’t want to be here, but you will be if unsaved; and you don’t want to be among Christians at Christ’s judgment seat, “condemned with the world,” but you will be if . . .

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's We Are Almost There, Ch. 7

We Are Almost There by Arlen Chitwood

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Fate of Non-Overcomers in Outer Darkness
Excerpt from The Time of the End, Ch. 36, The Eternal Ages
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

To what extent, if any, will rewards realized by overcoming Christians during the Millennium carry over into the eternal ages beyond? The question is really unanswerable.

The wiping away of all tears at the conclusion of the Millennium (Revelation 21:4) and the fact that the overcomer’s promises are millennial only in nature would clearly indicate that distinctions that existed during the millennial age between overcoming and non-overcoming Christians will not exist during the eternal ages beyond the Millennium. But, to take matters beyond this point and say that no rewards exercised by overcoming Christians during the millennial age will extend over into the eternal ages following the Millennium (or have any bearing on the place which they will occupy following the Millennium) would be carrying matters beyond Scriptural grounds. Scripture simply does not deal with the matter. 

(Scripture re Outer Darkness: Mathew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30, and Overcomer: 1 John 5:4-5, Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7.)

And the position that man (all of saved mankind) will occupy in this universal rule is unrevealed, though, as previously seen, it appears clear that man’s rule in that day will be universal since power will emanate from “the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Possibly this rule will have to do with, or include, positions under God over provincial rulers (angels) in the multiplied billions of provinces scattered throughout the multiplied billions of galaxies comprising the physical universe. But, again, we’re not told. This is something yet to be revealed.

(Ref. Cast Outside into Outer Darkness in this site.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 36, or The Eternal Ages in this site.

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Judgment, Two Resurrections (One Before and One After Millennium)
Excerpt from The Time of the End, Ch. 33, The Millennial Reign
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Revelation 20:4-6 deals with individuals executing judgment from thrones, and with two resurrections. As will be shown, executing judgment from thrones in this text is synonymous with reigning from thrones; and the two resurrections are inseparably related and occur at two different times, 1,000 years apart. And it is clearly revealed from the context that this judgment and one of the two related resurrections are events that have to do with the 1,000 years, also spoken of in these verses.

Judgment from Thrones

“Judgment” is sometimes used in a synonymous sense to reign. For example, in Matthew 19:27-28, note Peter’s statement and question, along with Christ’s response to not only Peter but to all twelve disciples:

Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”

So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:27-28)

During the Millennium, the twelve disciples will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (which can only be viewed as extensions of Christ’s throne, with the power emanating from His throne [Revelation 3:21]). And, in this respect, the Millennium can be viewed as 1,000 years of judging, with Christ and His co-heirs ruling the nations with a rod of iron (cf. Psalm 2:6-9; Revelation 2:26-27).

But who are those seated on thrones in Revelation 20:4, to whom regal power and authority will have been given at this time? Those allowed to ascend these thrones are referred to only as “they,” and there is seemingly no antecedent to the pronoun to tell us who is being referenced.

Pronouns, such as “they” in this verse, are used in the place of preceding, identifying substantives. And a pronoun, used in this manner, could not stand alone in Scripture. There would have to be an antecedent, for Scripture has not been structured in a manner where man is left to his own interpretation, which the absence of an antecedent would necessitate. God has simply not put His Word together in this manner.

The verse goes on to tell the reader who is being referenced by “they.” It is the Tribulation martyrs in the latter part of the verse, seen back in the latter part of Revelation 7:9-17, also briefly referred to in chapters twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen (Revelation 12:11; 13:15; 14:12-13; 15:2-4). And, in relation to the antecedent of the pronoun being that far removed from those being referenced, bear a couple of things in mind.

Those having previously been slain (referred to by “they,” and identified in the remainder of the verse) had been slain throughout the time covering the latter part of the Tribulation, throughout the past three and one-half years. Thus, in relation to time, events in Revelation 20:4 occur very shortly after the conclusion of time covering the Tribulation saints being martyred.

Then, something else should be considered. With God, both the past and the future exist during present time. Thus, with God, the antecedent of a pronoun could only be something existing during the same present time seen in the pronoun, not something removed from the pronoun by time. Note Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 in this respect:

I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever: nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.

That which is has already been [the past seen as present], and what is to be has already been [the future seen as past, which makes it present as well]; and God requires an account of what is past [lit., “and God seeks that which has been pursued” (which again makes it present)]. (Ecclesiastes 3:14-15)

Thus, the identity of those occupying thrones in Revelation 20:4, to whom “judgment” will be given, is easily determined. The complete text, along with the context, makes this quite clear.

Two Resurrections

Revelation 20:4-6 deals with two resurrections, one occurring before the Millennium and the other occurring after the Millennium. And, as will be shown, the thought of bodily resurrection is not what is in view by the use of the Greek word anastasis, translated “resurrection” in Revelation 20:5-6.

(The word anastasis appears forty-three times in the Greek New Testament. And, as in Revelation 20:5-6 [which is the only place this word appears in the book of Revelation], it is the word translated “resurrection” in different places throughout the New Testament.

Anastasis is a compound word formed by prefixing a preposition [ana, meaning “up”] to stasis [meaning, “to stand”]. Thus, the word anastasis means “to stand up,” with the thought behind the English word “resurrection” having to do with the impartation of life, allowing the dead to stand up. And, when used in the sense of being raised from the dead in the New Testament, the word applies only to the body, to the material part of man [for that is the only part of man that dies today]. The body stands up, with the thought of life understood within the meaning of the word anastasis itself.)

Anastasis is used three different ways in the Greek New Testament.

1) The word is used referring to the resurrection of the body. With only several exceptions (cf. Hebrews 11:35), this is the way that the word is used throughout the New Testament.

2) The word is used in Luke 2:34,  translated “rising,” referring to a spiritual deliverance of the Jewish people.

3) The word is used in Philippians 3:11,  translated “resurrection,” but with an additional preposition (ek, meaning “out of,” not seen in most English translations) prefixed to the word (forming exanastasis [in Greek, the letter ‘k’ becomes ‘x’ when prefixed to a word beginning with a vowel]).

Philippians 3:11 is the only place in the New Testament where anastasis appears with the preposition ek prefixed to the word, making the word to literally mean “to stand up out of.” And, contextually, the word has nothing to do with bodily resurrection in this text. Rather, the word has to do with one group of individuals standing up out of another group of individuals, with the context clearly relating the matter to that which awaits both faithful and unfaithful Christians at the judgment seat. One group (the faithful, the overcomers) will stand up out of the other group (the unfaithful, the non-overcomers).

(Anistemi, the verb form of anastasis [formed from ana (“up”) and histemi (“to stand”), which can only carry the same meaning as anastasis] is used one hundred eleven times in the Greek New Testament. And, unlike anastasis, the word anistemi refers to bodily resurrection only about thirty of these times. In most instances the word does not refer to the dead at all but to living individuals rising up in both literal and non-literal senses [e.g., Matthew 9:9; 12:41; 17:9; 20:19; 22:24; 26:62].)

As will be shown, textually and contextually, one group of Christians standing up out of another group of Christians in Philippians 3:11 is exactly what is in view in Revelation 20:4-6 relative to one group of Tribulation saints standing up, with the remainder of the Tribulation saints not being allowed to stand up at this time, though they will be allowed to stand up at a later time (after the 1,000 years).

Bodily resurrection is in view in these verses only in the sense that it is understood to have occurred prior to the exercise of judgmental rule in verse four — the same as that which is seen in the judgment of the unsaved at the end of the Millennium in subsequent verses (Revelation 20:11-15), where no mention of bodily resurrection is made either, though it would be understood to have occurred prior to judgment.

Neither the judgmental rule of the Tribulation martyrs nor the judgment of the unsaved dead (Revelation 20:4, 11-15) can occur apart from a resurrection of the bodies of those in view. Individuals simply will not rule or be judged apart from the complete person being present, which necessitates a resurrection of the body (Daniel 12:2-3; John 5:29; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 1:10-20).

In this respect, the word “lived” in Revelation 20:4-5 is not a synonym for bodily resurrection, as it is often understood, for “lived” in these verses occurs subsequent to resurrection and judgment. Contextually, the word has to do with living and reigning with Christ during the 1,000 years.

Also, note John 5:29:

and come forth [all in the graves] — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

The word “resurrection” in this verse is used in connection with both “life” and “condemnation [lit., ‘judgment’].” It is evident that neither word (life, judgment) refers to or has to do with bodily resurrection. Life and judgment are opposite counterparts, and both must be seen having to do with the same thing — both having to do with Christ’s reign, not with the resurrection of the body (for that would necessitate seeing “judgment” associated with life).

The word “lived” in Revelation 20:4-5 would be separated from a resurrection of the body in this same sense, which is the sense seen through Christ’s words in John 11:25 — “I am the resurrection and the life” (cf. Acts 2:24). The manner in which this is worded in the Greek text, “resurrection” and “life” are not synonymous, though “life” has to be involved in resurrection (pertaining only to the body). But life in connection with the physical body is not the thought by and through the subsequent use of the word “life,” for this word (Greek: zoe, used one hundred thirty-four times in the New Testament) is not only used in a separate sense from “resurrection” but is used throughout the New Testament pertaining more to the whole man, not just the body.

The word “lived” is not only associated with Christ’s reign in Revelation 20:4 but is referred to as “the first resurrection” in Revelation 20:5. That is, it is referred to as one group of previously judged individuals standing up in relation to Christ’s rule and reign, with another group of previously judged individuals not being allowed to stand up at this time, being denied a part in Christ’s rule and reign.

A second standing up — those not being allowed to stand up before the Millennium, “the rest of the dead” — non-overcomers -- is clearly stated in Revelation 20:5. And this standing up will occur only after the Millennium.

The word “again” (KJV, NKJV) in verse five should not be in the translation. That is, the verse should read:

But the rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:5)

(The word “again” appears in a couple of Greek texts, including the Textus Receptus, the main Greek text used for the KJV, which accounts for the KJV translation. However, the vast majority of Greek manuscripts do not have the word “again” in this verse. And, resultantly, almost any English translation since the 1901 ASV does not include the word.

Beyond the preceding, contextually, it is evident that the word does not belong in the text. If in the text, the words “lived” and “resurrection” would have to be viewed as synonyms and relate to bodily resurrection, for living bodily would be something that the individuals in view would do again. But this is not the case in the text. These individuals had never lived in the sense seen here. But they will live in this sense after the 1,000 years.

Saved individuals not living and reigning until following the 1,000 years is dealt with in the concluding chapter of this book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 36, or see The Eternal Ages in this site.)

Then, further textual evidence that “lived” is not synonymous with bodily resurrection in these verses can be seen in a mention of “the second deathnot having power over those who live and reign with Christ, though there is a clear inference that it will have power over those not living and reigning with Christ [non-overcomers].

The phrase “the second death” was previously seen in the book of Revelation in connection with Christians overcoming or being overcome in the message to the church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:11). The promise given to this church was that overcoming Christians would “not be hurt by the second death.” But, the clear inference in the promise to overcoming Christians was that non-overcoming Christians would be hurt by the second death.

And exactly the same thing is seen in Revelation 20:4-6 relative to Tribulation saints and “the second death.” Tribulation saints who had died, been raised from the dead, and judged are in view. Those overcoming Christians (as seen in Revelation 20:4-6) will be the ones standing up, with “the second death” having no power over them. And exactly the opposite will be true for those Christians not overcoming in this manner. They will not be allowed to stand up (in a regal respect) until after the 1,000 years, and it is clearly inferred that “the second death” will have power over them (cf. Romans 8:13).

(Note that millennial verities, not eternal, are in view throughout Revelation 20:4-6. The passage is dealing with two types of saved individuals coming out of the Tribulation, just as Revelation 2:11 is dealing with two types of Christians removed from the earth before the Tribulation. And in relation to both groups, judgment pertains to individuals either overcoming or being overcome, the second death either not having or having power over them, and the entire matter is with a view to these individuals either ruling and reigning or not ruling and reigning with Christ for 1,000 years. Matters pertaining to eternal salvation are simply not dealt with in either passage.

For additional information on “the second death” in the previous respect, refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Appendix 4, or The Second Death in this site.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 33, or The Millennial Reign in this site.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:
So Great Salvation
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

CONTENT;

 

Foreword

The writer of Hebrews began his epistle by very briefly calling attention to how God had spoken to His people both “in time past” and “in these last days.” In “time past,” God spoke to the Jewish people by means of the Prophets; and in “these last days” God has spoken to the Jewish people, and then to Christians, by means of His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2a).

Whether “in time past” or “in these last days,” the same unchangeable Word, with the same unchangeable message, is in view.  The message has to do with God’s “appointed Heir of all things” awaiting that day when He will come into possession of His inheritance (Hebrews 1:2b).

The writer takes up this message in the epistle by showing the proper connection between Christ’s finished work at Calvary and His God-appointed position as “Heir of all things”:

. . . when he had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:3b)

And exactly the same thing seen in this verse (in conjunction with Hebrews 1:1-2) is seen again in the opening part of Hebrews 12:

. . . for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2b)

Both verses have to do with Christ suffering the ignominy [Audio] and shame of Calvary, with a view to the glory and exaltation that lay ahead.  And both verses call attention to that which would follow Christ’s sufferings by referring to that which is seen in Psalm 110.

This Psalm, a Messianic Psalm — in the latter part of verse one, along with verse two — carries the reader forward into that coming day.

Note these two verses:

The LORD said to my Lord [i.e., the Father said to His Son], “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.  Rule in the midst of Your enemies!  (Psalm 110:1-2)

The Son is today seated at His Father’s right hand, and He is waiting for His Father to bring matters to pass in such a manner that His enemies will be made His footstool, i.e., His enemies will be brought into complete subjection to the Son.  And when this has been brought to pass, God’s Son will then rule in the midst of His enemies.  He, in that day, will realize the position that He presently occupies as His Father’s “appointed Heir of all things” as He realizes “the joy” placed before Him at Calvary — both referring to the same thing.

In that day, the same scenes that witnessed His sufferings and humiliation will witness His glory and exaltation.

This is the manner in which the book of Hebrews opens in the first three verses.  Then, “angels” are brought into the picture (Hebrews 1:4-7), contextually, for several reasons:

1) Angelic rule over the earth is about to end (Hebrews 2:5).

2) Angels minister during the present time for those about to inherit with the Son (Hebrews 1:14; cf. Hebrews 1:9; 3:14).

3) Angels will minister rather than rule in that coming day, in Christ’s kingdom (Hebrews 1:6-7).

And, in conjunction with angels being brought into the picture, the writer records seven Messianic passages from the Old Testament, concluding at the same place where he had ended before beginning these quotations — with that stated in Psalm 110:1 (Hebrews 1:3-13 [3b]).

This, in brief form, is what the first chapter of Hebrews is about, relating, at the outset, the subject matter of the book.  The book has to do with the coming reign of Christ, with His co-heirs (introduced, as well, in the first Hebrews 1:9, 14]); and the five major warnings in the book, accordingly, have to do with this same thing.

The phrase, “so great a salvation,” seen in the first of these five warnings, is the same salvation, deliverance, seen throughout all of the warnings.  It is realizing the greatest thing God could ever design for redeemed man,occupying a position as co-heir with His Son in the coming kingdom.

Rear Cover

The words, “so great a salvation,” in Hebrews 2:3 is not the salvation that we presently possess.  Rather it is a future salvation, and it is clearly set forth as such in the immediately preceding context, in the text itself, and in the context that immediately follows.

The immediately preceding context (Hebrews 1:1-14) has to do with Christ exercising the rights of the firstborn during the coming Messianic Era and with Christians exercising these same rights as companions, co-heirs with Him.  It has to do with that time when God will again bring His firstborn Son (the One who is to exercise the rights of primogeniture), the “Heir of all things,” into the inhabited world (Hebrews 1:2, 5-6); and it has to do with those redeemed individuals who are to appear as His companions, inheriting with him in that day (Hebrews 1:9, 14).

The text itself (Hebrews 2:1-4) begins by referring back to material in chapter one (Hebrews 2:1a), and the text, which comprises the first of five major warning to Christians in this book — “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation . . .?” — has its basis entirely in this introductory material.  The salvation in Hebrews 2:3 is the same as the salvation in Hebrews 2:14 of the introductory material.  That is, coming into possession of “so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3) is the same as inheriting “salvation” (Hebrews 1:14); and inheriting salvation (or realizing “so great a salvation”) is the same as realizing the rights of the firstborn, inheriting as companions with Christ (God’s Firstborn, His “appointed Heir of all things” [Hebrews 1:2, 5-6, 9]).

Then the context that immediately follows (Hebrews 2:5ff) has to do with a rule in the inhabited world to come (Hebrews 2:5), when many sons will be brought to glory to realize the rights of the firstborn with God’s firstborn Son, Jesus (Hebrews 2:10).  In short, it has to do with man, after 6,000 years, finally being brought into the position that he was created to occupy in the beginning.  Christ, “the second Man,” “the last Adam,” will take the kingdom and ascend the throne, along with numerous companions from among those whom He has redeemed.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's So Great Salvation, Foreword

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Chapter One

Heirs of Salvation

But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:13-14).

The writer of Hebrews opens his epistle after a similar fashion to the way Christ, following His resurrection, opened His conversation and dealt with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and the eleven later in Jerusalem.

Christ, on the road to Emmaus and later in Jerusalem, called His disciples’ attention to certain things about H