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God's Word Three

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

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Man is quite selfish from birth. This may be easily seen when one attempts to retract a toy from a child. And to train a person from birth to adulthood to be considerate of others is often a most prodigious task. Unfortunately, once a person becomes a child of God through faith in Christ, he retains the “old nature,” the selfish nature with which he was born. And it is only through the maturation process utilizing the Word of God that one may subdue this nature and live a life of love toward God and man.

But, if this will be done, the Christian will find that his love for God and man will fully implement all the proper actions toward God and man, which will insure his position in the “bride of Christ,” co-ruling with Christ during His millennial reign upon the earth, soon to come. ~Charles Strong

A must read for those, like myself, who are seeking more than the "dos and don'ts" of God's Word! Also it's commentary by one of my mentors! ~Pat

The Crown Jewel of Christian Conduct
By Charles Strong of Bible One

The understanding of what I believe to be the “crown jewel of Christian conduct” came to me after a long life consisting of a faith-acceptance of, a lengthy rejection of, an eventual return to, and several years of service to God.  The following is an account of this journey, which led to this revelation, and its exposition.  You may wish to skip the journey and review only the “The Crown Jewel,” near the end of this study; but, if so, you will miss the foundation that led me to its encounter.

It was at approximately two o’clock in the morning of December 25th in the year 1959 while lying on my bed that I made the decision to place my trust in Jesus Christ (His work on Calvary) for my eternal salvation.  The instant I made that decision God transformed (activated, made alive) my spirit from its existing spiritual condition of being “dead in trespasses and sin” to possessing “everlasting [perpetual, eternal] life” through the “birth from above;” the spiritual reality of the Holy Spirit placing [baptizing, immersing] me within the “body of Christ” by entering and sealing me (my spirit) as the guarantee of my inheritance until the day of its redemption to the praise of Christ’s glory.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sin. (Ephesians 2:1)

Do not marvel that I [Christ] said to you, “You must be born again [from above].”. . .   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.  (John 3:7, 16)

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)

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)

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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks [Gentiles], whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. . . . Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:13, 27)

At this, I turned to the side and went to sleep; never realizing the changes this decision would produce in my life.  Furthermore, I didn’t realize at the time, or for that matter until years later, that I had entered a race, which could be won or lost, dependent upon how I would build upon the foundation of (decision of faith in) Christ, at the impending Judgment Seat of Christ.

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.   to listen Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.   If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.   If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.   And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.   Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.   But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.   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.   Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . . . (2 Corinthians 5:9-11a)

The decision of that night quickly changed my entire outlook on life and death.  I almost immediately became interested in the Word of God, the Holy Bible, and that which was affected by and emanated from it.  Unfortunately, and even though I became associated with what is known as an evangelical assembly of believers, I never was fortunate enough to be exposed to systematic (meat-based) Bible instruction revealing the purpose for man’s redemption.  Instead, I was constantly fed various denominational (milk-based) doctrinal positions, emanating from the pulpit and the church’s (Sunday) school.

Still, I was enthusiastic and attempted to convince all around me to place their trust in Christ while never fully realizing that such an accomplishment was only the beginning of one’s spiritual existence, which must be followed by a process of spiritual maturation (development), utilizing the “meat” of God’s Word rather than the “milk,” transforming the “babe” in Christ to an “adult.”

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.  I fed you with milk and not with solid food [meat]; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2)

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food [meat].   For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.   But solid food [meat] belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Furthermore, during those early and enthusiastic years “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17) I recall how combative I and fellow Christians were when it came to our representation of the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ, ready at a “drop of the hat” to point out how incorrect a person’s doctrinal position was when it differed from ours.  It really didn’t matter that we were unable to adequately reconcile various inconsistencies from passages of Scriptures that appeared to contradict each other; we were always able to contort the context of most to our muted satisfaction — always endeavoring to focus on the milk, instead of the meat, of the Word.  “Spirituality” to us during these early years was not only measured by how many we could “convert,” but also by how many “convictions” (social beliefs/opinions) we possessed and arrogantly displayed, e.g., don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t dance, don’t go to movies, etc.; somewhat similar to the display of merit badges sown on a Boy Scout’s uniform.

Over the ensuing years, after attending a conservative Christian college and seminary and pastoring an evangelical local church, I found myself spiritually unfilled and turned my back on Christ, drifting ever downward until I become agnostic in terms of my spiritual beliefs.

To shorten this account I will only say that God, through various means and trials over many years, brought me to a moral, rational, and emotional end.  It was then that I had no further reason to live and made an attempt to end my life.  But as I was endeavoring to do so, a very strong question popped into my mind, which was, “How did I come to this pathetic end, this tragic and hopeless condition?”  And as abruptly as the question appeared, the answer erupted in my mind, i.e., “Because I turned my back on God!”

Because of this I made the decision to stop denying the existence of God; but, because by this time I had become a rather firm agnostic (i.e., uncertain who or what was God), it took a lengthy period of time to make the return to a solid belief that God was indeed a supreme and personal Being, the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.  But even accepting this could not take the emptiness that had engulfed me for so long.

It took many more months for me to again realize and fully understand that an accurate and truthful (foundational) understanding of God could only be achieved by and through an accurate knowledge of and belief in Jesus Christ — that Christ was indeed God revealed in human flesh, that in this form He became the propitiation (satisfaction of the demands of the offended holiness of God) for the sins of all mankind as He became their sins and paid for their sins on the cross of Calvary.

And He [Jesus Christ] Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. . . . In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 2:2; 4:10)

For He [God the Father] made Him [God the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Once God brought me back to this fundamental and central truth, the vacuum in which I existed vanished.  But I also had one other revelation at this time.  I came to realize that even though I had been eternally “saved” (given eternal life) on December 25th of 1959, I had never fully come to understand the complete redemptive plan of God for man, i.e., the purpose for man’s redemption.  So from that time forward I openly and honestly admitted to God that I was indeed ignorant of much of His Word and that I was “now” entirely dependent upon Him, through His Spirit, to accurately teach me the various truths contained in His Word.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. . . .  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth . . . . (John 14:26; 16:13a)

This candid position before God then resulted in several years of silent study while attending various local churches and study groups, later discovering that members of such assemblages thought I was “stuck up,” because of my quiet demeanor and purposeful separation.  It was during this time, when I refused to simply accept a denominational doctrinal position but rather to listen to the Spirit of God to convey His truth, that I was exposed to several other “pastor-teachers” of the Word, whom were used of God to help me find the way, i.e., correct doctrinal truth.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers [lit. pastor-teachers], for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Of particular interest, I learned that both testaments (Old & New) were intrinsically linked together, each focused on God’s redemption and purpose for mankind; and, each centered on Jesus Christ — the New Testament is simply a revealing, an unveiling, of God’s Son, as previously introduced in the Old Testament.  In fact, one is assured when considering the various and prodigious “types” in the Old Testament alongside their “antitypes” in the New, that there is nothing in the New Testament that is not seen after some fashion in the Old. 

I believe the apostle Paul had this in mind when he mentioned one of the principles of biblical interpretation, i.e., “comparing spiritual things with spiritual [things]”— which is to say that Scripture is to be interpreted in light of Scripture (many of the teachings in the New Testament must be understood in light of Old Testament typology.

These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual [things]. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type [Gk. tupos] of Him [Christ] who was to come. (Romans 5:14)

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, (2) all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, (3) all ate the same spiritual food, (4) and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. (5) But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. (6) Now these things became our examples [Gk. tupos, types], to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. . . . (11) Now all these things happened to them as examples [Gk. tupos], and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 11)

I further learned that the manner in which God began His revelation to man, i.e., His creation of the “heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), followed by its fall (Genesis 1:2a) and then its restoration (Genesis 1:2ff) in the first two chapters in the Old Testament, all for a revealed purpose, was indeed a pattern established by God reflecting the ruin and restoration of mankind, represented in various facets throughout the remainder of the Old Testament, and which is revealed by Jesus Christ and His work in the New Testament — an example of the type to antitype arrangement of Scripture.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned — For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him [Christ] who was to come. (Romans 5:12-14)

This interpretive principle pertaining to the Creation/Restoration as seen in the book of Genesis is described by Arlen L. Chitwood, as follows:

The New Testament forms a continuation and completion of that which was begun in the old; 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. . . .

In this respect, one Testament (Old or New) must be understood in the light of the other (Old or New), 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). . . .

Genesis, in the opening two chapters, begins with:

1)  A creation at a beginning point (Gen. 1:1).

2)  A subsequent ruin of the creation (Gen. 1:2a).

3)  A restoration of the ruined creation (material creation), through divine intervention, over six days’ time (Gen. 1:2-25 [2b]).

4)  Man created on the sixth day, following all of God’s restorative work, for a revealed purpose having to do with the seventh day (Gen. 1:26-31).

5)  God resting on the seventh day, following all of His work (Gen. 2:1-3).

And this septenary, foundational overview, seen in the opening two chapters of [the] book, relates the complete story of Scripture.  Each of the six days of God’s restorative work . . . , has to do with days of 1,000 years each (cf. 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:3-8).  That is to say, God is presently working six days, 6,000 years, to bring about the restoration of both man and the material creation.  Then, at the conclusion of His work, man will be in a position to realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning.  Man will be in a position to rule a restored earth with the second Man, the last Adam, during the seventh day, during the seventh 1,000-year day.

(Taken from Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Study of Scripture, Ch. 1 and the Foreword.)

And then, in addition to coming to an understanding of this precise interpretative concept, I needed to face certain passages of Scripture that dealt with the doctrine of “salvation,” which appeared to negate or contradict passages that I generally clung to and utilized to support my view that salvation was not only a product of (only) faith but that it was endless in nature.  In other words, I had to face the issue as to weather of not it was “faith” or “faith plus works” that affected man’s salvation.  A few of the passages, which became the vanguard to this dilemma, are as follows:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

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)

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which 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)

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)

For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation . . . (Hebrews 2:2-3a)

Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 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. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:21-22)

But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? . . . You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:20, 24)

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11)

If I followed man’s lead, only the following two positions were possible:

(1) the Arminian view — teaches that man is saved by grace through faith; but, that he may lose this salvation by and through subsequent works, or

(2) the Calvinistic view — teaching that once a person is saved by grace through faith, he can never lose salvation; but, should he not follow this faith with proper works, it is proof that he was never truly saved with an efficacious faith in the first place.

I eventually found that “man” didn’t have the answer, but God did.  And discovering the truth regarding God’s plan of redemption (salvation) of man, I became the recipient of the following:

1)  A strengthened faith.
2)  An effective path for spiritual maturity.
3)  A superior confidence in the Word of God.
4)  An accurate understanding of the purpose for my (man’s) salvation.
5)  An enhanced and enriched anticipation for the return of Christ.
6)  A heightened desire to serve Jesus Christ.
7)  A spiritual peace that truly passes all understanding.

This all resulted when I came to the understanding

(1) that man is a triune being composed of a spirit, a soul, and a body, made in the image and according to the likeness of God, who is a Triune Being (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit);

(2) that man was created for a specific purpose — to have dominion over the earth;

(3) that God’s redemption of man, once his faith is centered in Jesus Christ, not only affects each component of man at a different time but also in a different way — that indeed, the word “salvation” may portend different facets of man’s redemption throughout Scripture (i.e., salvation of the spirit [spirit-salvation]; salvation of the soul [soul-salvation]; salvation of the body [body-salvation]);

(4) that the complete and comprehensive salvation of man is intended to follow the septenary pattern as established by God when He restored the earth, outlined in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis; and

(5) that the final stage of man’s redemption, represented in Genesis by the seventh day of rest in the restorative process, is the fulfillment of the purpose for which God created man, and which will be realized by man as part of the bride of Christ as he reigns with Him during the kingdom age established by Christ upon His return to earth.

God created man as a triune being for a specific purpose.

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.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 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.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

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 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)

God’s redemption of man affects each component of man in a different way and at a different time.

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. [spirit-salvation]

2)  Christians are being saved.  [soul-salvation]

3)  Christians are about to be saved. [body-salvation]

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.

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.

(Taken from Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation of the Soul, Ch. 1.)

The complete and comprehensive salvation of man is intended to follow the septenary pattern as established by God when He restored the earth.

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? . . .  Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. . . . For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” (Hebrews 3:18; 4:1, 4-5)

The final stage of man’s redemption, represented in Genesis by the seventh day of rest in the restorative process, is the fulfillment of the purpose for which God created man, and which will be realized by man as part of the bride of Christ as he reigns with Him during the kingdom age established by Christ upon His return to earth.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17)

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)

This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. . . . (2 Timothy 2:11-12a)

And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, 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 they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Revelation 19:8-9a; 20:4b; cf. Matthew 19:28-30; 22:1-14)

To the above revelations, God led me to the understanding of one additional but vital truth — that not every Christian would be the recipient of (participate in) the glory of the coming seventh day of rest, i.e., the millennial (1,000 year) kingdom that Jesus Christ will establish upon His return to earth subsequent to the 7-year Tribulation, which itself will begin immediately after Christ withdraws the Church (all Christians) from the earth.

This interpretation, allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture, is fundamentally seen in God’s plan to regulate His creation in the book of Genesis.  Just as Eve was taken from Adam’s body to be his wife and his co-ruler over all of God’s creation (the type), so it will be when the bride of Christ (those who will be judged as overcomers at the Judgment Seat of Christ) will be taken from (the “out-resurrection”) Christ’s body (all Christians) to co-rule with Christ during the coming Messianic Era/His millennial kingdom (the antitype).

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:4-5)

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks [Gentiles], whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. . . . But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. . . . Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:13, 20, 27)

But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. Then the king said to the servants, “Bind him hand and foot, take him away” . . . For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:11-14)

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)

The “out-resurrection” is well-explained by Arlen Chitwood in Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Bride in Genesis, Appendix, as follows:

If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection [out-resurrection] from the dead. (Philippians 3:11).

In Philippians 3:10-14, the “resurrection [lit., ‘out-resurrection’]” in verse eleven appears in connection with “the prize of the high calling [NKJV: ‘upward call’] of God in Christ Jesus” in verse fourteen.

“A prize” necessitates a conflict, which has to do with the present conflict between Christians and the world-rulers of the darkness of this age (Ephesians 6:12ff); and the reception of this prize requires victory in the conflict.  Consequently, the “out-resurrection” of Philippians 3:11 cannot be the resurrection of Christians to which Paul refers in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, for all of “the dead in Christ” — both the overcomers in the conflict and those who have been overcome in the conflict — will be raised from the dead at the time referred to in these verses.

The regular Greek word for “resurrection” appearing throughout the New Testament is anastasis.  This is a compound word comprised of ana, which means “up,” and stasis, which means “to rise,” or “to stand.”  Thus, anastasis means “to rise up” or “to stand up.”  When used relative to those who have died, the exact meaning of the word would be, “a resumption of life, allowing one to rise up or stand up from the place of death.”

The Greek word appearing in Philippians 3:11, erroneously translated “resurrection” in most English versions of Scripture, is exanastasis.  This word is made up of three parts (ex-ana-stasis).  The latter two parts of the word (ana-stasis), as has been shown, mean “to rise up,” or to stand up.”  But the preposition ex (from ek) prefixed to anastasis adds further meaning to the word.  Ex (the form “ek” takes when prefixed to words beginning with a vowel) means “out of,” making exanastasis mean “to stand up out of [‘out-resurrection’].”

The resurrection (anastasis) of Christians will be a separation of “the dead in Christ” from the remainder of the dead, whether Old Testament saints or the unsaved dead.  The out-resurrection (exanastasis) will be a further separation beyond this point.  It is the “standing up” of a particular group “out of” all those previously raised from among the dead (“out of” all Christians).

At the time of the resurrection (anastasis), Christians will be separated from non-Christians; but at the time of the out-resurrection (exanastasis), certain Christians will be separated from other Christians.  A smaller group will be separated from the larger group.  The called out will be removed from the called, from the complete body of Christians.

Understanding exanastasis in the light of its context in Philippians 3:11 will clearly reveal that a resurrection per se (a rising from the dead) is not what is in view at all.  The subject at hand is “overcoming,” “winning a prize in a conflict”; and these things are associated with the issues of the judgment seat and the coming kingdom.  Exanastasis has to do with certain Christians (the overcomers) being elevated to a status above — “a standing up out of” — the status occupied by the remaining Christians (the non-overcomers).

At the judgment seat of Christ, certain Christians will be shown to have overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil — the three great enemies presently confronting every Christian.  And the remaining Christians will be shown to have been overcome.

Overcoming Christians will then be elevated to a standing above Christians who were overcome and, in this manner, will be set apart for the distinct purpose of occupying positions with Christ in the kingdom.  They will realize the “prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).  The overcomers will “stand up out of” (exanastasis) the entire group that had previously “stood up” (anastasis) from among the dead.

These are the ones who will realize life during the Messianic Era, as opposed to those who will not (Romans 8:13).  And this life will be in connection with a new order of sons (comprising a firstborn son, following the adoption) that God will bring forth at that time (Romans 8:14ff).

Christians have been saved for a revealed purpose, which has to do with future regality, as co-heirs with Christ in His coming millennial kingdom.  And coming to this understanding, along with all it involves, was indeed a spectacular awakening to me.  All of sudden, the entirety of Scripture became much clearer to me, the inconsistencies between various passages that referenced salvation, which before had me stumped, were now crystal clear, embodying no ambiguity or inconsistency.  I was brought to a higher level of maturity in God’s Word, able now to go beyond its “milk” and digest its “meat.”

Additionally, with the understanding of this revealed purpose for my salvation, I now embody an exhilarating and on-going hope, which daily brings me an eager and delightful anticipation for the return of Jesus Christ, always praying and looking for His extraction of His body, all Christians, from the earth.

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)

The Crown Jewel

Having obtained the above foundational structure, my subsequent and now primary concern was/is how should I live (conduct myself) so that my appearance before Jesus Christ at His judgment seat will be most rewarding.  An examination throughout God’s Word, from Genesis to Revelation, unquestionably indicates that God expects His children to live holy lives, in accordance with His established moral law.

And keeping this obligation in mind, a search throughout the Word of God points out time and time again that there is one mode of overall conduct, which in fact covers and which most certainly will insure compliance with the entire scope of rules and commandments set forth by God for man; and, which I believe is the crown jewel of conduct required of Christians.  Yet, unfortunately, even in light of its profusion throughout the Word, it seems that most often it is either minimized or ignored by word or deed altogether by Christians today, not to mention throughout the history of the Church.

Throughout my some 40 odd years as a Christian, I have come to know and associate with a wide range of Christians in various stages of Christian involvement and leadership — some quite conservative, and some not.  In most cases they have declared their dedication to Christ and have established their commitment in service to Him.  For quite some time I too was an active participant in what I deemed was a proper service to Christ.  But it is my considered observation and opinion that not only myself, but most of those with whom I have had close association in service to Christ, “missed the mark” as far as the crown jewel of Christian conduct is concerned.

Furthermore, it has been my experience that I, as well as most others, have been more concerned with making sure that those outside recognized Christian circles are doctrinally correct, often engendering emotions and forces within us that are quite in contrast with what I believe is the crown jewel of Christian conduct. Often, we labor with “pride” to make certain that others know that we are conducting ourselves within prescribed limits, that we are indeed right in how we follow Christ.  And, by so doing, are often more concerned with looking inward toward ourselves, instead of outward toward others.

To make it clear as to what I believe is the crown jewel of Christian conduct, I believe Christ said it best, as follows:

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40)

Essentially, a Christian can be assured that he will honor all the moral “dos and don’ts” of God, all of God’s moral law, if he will ensure that his life conforms to what Christ has stated is the “great commandment,” to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and the “second,” to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  To do this is in fact, the crown jewel of Christian conduct.  All else in God’s moral law is embodied in these two commandments.

Unfortunately, when I was saved, this aspect of holy living was never stressed.  Frankly, it is rarely stressed, since it appears to be much easier for ministers of the Word to rail on against individual violations of God’s moral law.  But when one tries to keep all the “requirements” that often are issued from the pulpit, the foundational muscle that will enable such endeavors is missing.

The highest form of holiness is described by one word — love.  For when one indeed loves, there is then absolutely no room for evil or the production of evil.  To attempt holy living on any other foundation is fruitless.  Indeed, the apostle Paul stressed this when he wrote:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

What I am hoping to get across is that the only way you will be able to achieve a holy walk, “righteous acts [works]” that will be necessary for your attire (“fine linen, clean and bright”), allowing you to become part of the “bride of Jesus Christ,” which will be determined at the Judgment Seat of Christ, is to truthfully “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”  For by doing so will insure that everything else, emanating from this footing, will be the products of the Spirit of God, i.e., offerings of “gold, silver, precious stones” to our Lord in that Day when we appear before Him.

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 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. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Now if anyone builds on this foundation [Jesus Christ] with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13)

You may ask, “What kind of love is referred to by Christ?  One may go to the Koine Greek language, the original language of the New Testament, and discover that the primary word used to refer to God’s love for man and the love man is to have for God and others is agapao or agape, the same word in different forms.  A study of this key word reveals essentially that it is a word that is not about self, but about others, i.e., a high degree of unselfishness that exists for the ultimate good of others.

Man is quite selfish from birth.  This may be easily seen when one attempts to retract a toy from a child.  And to train a person from birth to adulthood to be considerate of others is often a most prodigious task.  Unfortunately, once a person becomes a child of God through faith in Christ, he retains the “old nature,” the selfish nature with which he was born.  And it is only through the maturation process utilizing the Word of God that one may subdue this nature and live a life of love toward God and man.

But, if this will be done, the Christian will find that his love for God and man will fully implement all the proper actions toward God and man, which will insure his position in the “bride of Christ,” co-ruling with Christ during His millennial reign upon the earth, soon to come.

The apostle Paul put it this way:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

Succinctly, I can assure you that should you trust the Lord to increase this love of Him and others within you, your life as a Christian, a representative of Jesus Christ, will lead to God’s satisfaction, and to your reward.

As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord [by/through faith], so [in the same manner] walk in Him. (Colossians 2:6) 

Most of the Passages of Christian Love in the New Testament

The remainder of this study will simply be a listing of most of the (overwhelming number of) passages within the New Testament that emphasize the necessity for a Christian to maintain a proper love for God and man, the study of which, I am certain, will further enlighten one who desires to truly follow Christ.

Matthew 22:35-40:

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, (36) “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” (37) Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (40) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (cf. Mark 12:28-31; Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 30:6; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:16-19; Luke 10:25-37; John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:13-14; James 2:8)

Mark 12:28-33:

Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” (29) Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. (30) And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. (31) And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (32) So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. (33) And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (cf. Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Matthew 22:35-40; Luke 10:25-37; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:13-14; James 2:8)

Luke 10:25-37:

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (26) He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” (27) So he answered and said,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (28) And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” (29) But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (30) Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. (31) Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (32) Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. (33) But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. (34) So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (35) On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ (36) So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” (37) And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (cf. Matthew 19:16-19; Matthew 22:35-40; Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

John 13:34-35:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (cf. Leviticus 19:18; John 15:12, 17; Ephesians 5:2; 1Thessalonians 4:9; James 2:8; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 2:7-8; 3:11, 23; 4:20-21)

John 15:12-13, 17:

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (13) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. . . . (17) These things I command you, that you love one another. (cf. John 13:34; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 3:11; 16; 4:21)

Romans 12:9-10:

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. (10) Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. (cf. Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 1:22; 2:17; 3:8; 2 Peter 1:7)

Romans 13:8-10:

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. (9) For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is  any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (10) Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (cf. Matthew 22:38-40; Mark 12:31; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:14; 1 Timothy 1:5; James 2:8)

1 Corinthians 13:1-13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (4) Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; (7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (8) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part. (10) But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. (11) When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (12) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (13) And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (cf. Philippians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Matthew 6:1-2; Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Psalm 10:3; Romans 1:32; 2 John 1:4; Romans 15:1; Galatians 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:24; 1 Corinthians 8:2; 1 John 3:2)

Galatians 5:14:

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (cf. Matthew 22:38-40; Mark 12:31; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:14; 1 Timothy 1:5; James 2:8)

Galatians 5:22-23:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (cf. John 15:2, 4; Romans 15:14)

Ephesians 5:2:

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (cf. John 13:34; 15:12; Galatians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 John 3:11; 3:16, 23; 4:21)

Philippians 2:1-4:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, (2) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (3) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (4) Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (cf. Galatians 5:26; Ephesians 5:21; Colossians 3:12; Romans 12:10, 16; 15:5; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 10:24; 13:5; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 1:27; 3:16; 4:2; 1 Peter 3:8)

Colossians 2:2:

That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ. (cf. Philippians 3:8; Colossians 1:9; 3:14)

Colossians 3:12-15:

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; (13) bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (14) But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  (cf. John 13:34; Romans 13:8; Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:2-3, 24, 32; 5:2; Philippians 4:7; Colossians 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 3:23; 4:21)

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12:

But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; (10) and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; (11) that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, (12) that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. (cf. Matthew 22:39; John 13:34; 15:12; Ephesians 5:2; Colossians 2:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:21)

1 Timothy 1:5:

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. (cf. Romans 13:8, 10; Galatians 5:14; 2 Timothy 2:22)

1 Timothy 4:12:

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (cf. Titus 2:7, 15; 1 Peter 5:3)

Hebrews 13:1:

Let brotherly love continue. (cf. Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22; 2:17; 3:8; 4:8; 2 Peter 1:7; 1 John 4:20-21)

James 2:8:

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well. (cf. Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39; Romans 13:8-9; Galatians 5:14)

1 Peter 1:22:

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. (cf. Romans 12:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 2:17; 3:8; 4:8; 2 Peter 1:7; 1 John 3:18; 4:7, 21)

1 Peter 2:17:

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. (cf. Proverbs 24:21; Matthew 22:21; Romans 12:10; 13:7; Philippians 2:3; Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 1:22)

1 Peter 3:8:

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous. (cf. Romans 12:10, 16; 15:5; Ephesians 4:32; Philippians 3:16; Colossians 3:12; Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 2:17)

1 Peter 4:8:

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. (cf. Proverbs 10:12, Col 3:14; Hebrews 13:1)

2 Peter 1:5-7:

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, (6) to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, (7) to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. (cf. Romans 12:10; Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 5:15; 1 John 4:21)

1 John 2:9-11:

He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. (10) He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. (11) But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (cf. John 12:35; 1 Corinthians 13:2; 2 Peter 1:7, 9; 1 John 3:14-15)

1 John 3:10-11, 14-18:

In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (11) For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another . . . (14) We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. (15) Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (16) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (17) But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? (18) My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (cf. John 13:34; 15:12; Romans 12:9-10; Ephesians 5:2; James 2:15-16; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 2:9-11; 3:23; 4:7, 8, 20-21; 2 John 1:5)

1 John 3:23:

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. (cf. Matthew 22:39; John 6:29; 13:34; 15:12; 17:3; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 2:8, 10; 3:11; 4:21)

1 John 4:7-8, 16, 20-21:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. . . . (16) And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. . . . (20) If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (21)  And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (cf. Matthew 22:37, 39; John 13:34; 15:12; 1 John 2:4; 3:10-11, 17, 23; 4:8, 12)

2 John 1:5-6:

And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. (6) This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. (cf. John 13:34; 14:15, 21; 15:10, 12; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 2:5, 7-8, 24; 3:11, 23; 5:3)

Bible One - Charles Strong's The Crown Jewel of Christian Conduct

Note:  The following in this website has proved beneficial in improving my relationships with others:           

Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! 

“Soul-winning” has to do with winning those who are already saved
to a life of faithfulness to the Lord.
“Soul-winning” is winning one’s life.
This involves winning Christians (those possessing “life”)
to be occupied with the Lord’s business
during His time of absence, anticipating His return.

Soul-winning!
Excerpt from Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 5 by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Soul-winning in the New Testament is largely misunderstood in Christian circles today.  The common terminology, which is not at all correct, is to equate soul-winning with carrying the message of salvation by grace to the unsaved.  In fact, equating soul-winning with the message of salvation by grace serves only to obscure both issues, leaving one hopelessly mired in a sea of misinterpretation.  Soul-winning is one thing, and proclaiming the message of salvation by grace is another.  The former has to do with the saved, and the latter has to do with the unsaved.  The messages involved in both issues MUST be kept separate and distinct, which necessitates Christians understanding proper distinctions in these two realms.

Salvation by grace, carried to the unsaved, is the presentation of the simple gospel message.  The unsaved are to be told “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2; 15:3).  Christ has paid the penalty for sin.  The work of redemption has been accomplished on man’s behalf, and God is satisfied.  Provision has been made for unredeemed man to be saved by receiving that which Christ has done on his behalf.  And he does this by simply believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).

Redeemed man, on the other hand, is to hear an entirely different message.  He is to be taught the reason for his salvation.  He is to be told that Christ has gone away “to receive for Himself a kingdom”; he is to be told that during the time of his Lord’s absence he is to be busy with the talents and pounds that the Lord delivered to and left in charge of His servants (Christians); he is to be told that a day of reckoning is coming; he is to be told that the Lord will return to judge His servants on the basis of their faithfulness in carrying out His business during His time of absence; and he is to be told that the outcome of this judgment will determine every Christians’ position in the coming kingdom (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27). 

And it is within this overall message to the saved that one finds the salvation of the soul taught in Scripture, not within the message of salvation by grace, proclaimed to the unsaved.

“Soul-winning” has to do with winning those who are already saved to a life of faithfulness to the Lord.  “Soul-winning” is winning one’s life.  This involves winning Christians (those possessing “life”) to be occupied with the Lord’s business during His time of absence, anticipating His return.  And more specifically, this involves winning Christians to be occupied in this manner with that portion of the Lord’s business delivered to them personally.

Illustrated in the parables of the talents and the pounds, one servant was responsible only for bringing forth an increase in the talents or the pounds that had been placed in his possession, not in those that had been placed in another servant’s possession.  Issues and determinations resulting from the judgment seat will be based strictly on the evaluation of works performed by Christians in complete keeping with that set forth in these two parables.

Direct references to the salvation of the soul are found in New Testament passages such as Matthew 16:24-27; Hebrews 10:38-39; James 1:21; 5:19-20; 1 Peter 1:9-11 and are always spoken of in a future sense within a context dealing with those who are already saved.  Soul-winning is associated with the righteous acts of the saints, with overcoming, and with one day being extended the privilege of eating of the tree of life.  This is the reason that soul-winning is found within a context of this nature in Proverbs 11:30.  It is the wise who win souls (win lives). 

Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3) 

Judgment Seat of Christ by Arlen Chitwood  and/or  Bible One - Arlen's Judgment Seat of Christ - Ch. 5 

The following two Word Documents are Safe to open:

The Tree of Life
Excerpts from the Judgment Seat of Christ by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Excerpted from Ch. 5

Man’s rule over the earth must wait for the time when Revelation 2:7 will be brought to pass.  He that “overcomes” will realize the salvation of his soul (life), realize that blessed hope, come into possession of the required wisdom and knowledge necessary to rule as a co-regent with Christ in the kingdom, and be shown to have a wholesome tongue [a tranquil tongue] in this rule.

This is what Scripture teaches concerning the presence of the tree of life in Eden, the absence of the tree of life in the world today, and the coming inheritance of the saints, when Christians will be allowed to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

Excerpted from Ch. 7

When overcoming Christians go forth to rule with Christ in the kingdom, everything will be in a state of readiness.  By and through the provision of the tree of life, the hidden manna, the white stone, and the new name, Christians will be properly equipped for every facet of life in the kingdom as they rule the nations with Christ

They will be given wisdom and knowledge to rule in equity, justice, and righteousness; they will be provided with the necessary sustenance (physical and/or spiritual) to equip them for the office that they are to hold; they will be given identifying stones, showing their victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil; and the One with whom they are to rule as co-heirs will know them by a new name.

Through God’s provision, a perfect rule will issue forth when man is once again brought back into the position for which he was originally created.  All authority in that day will emanate from one throne (cf. Revelation 2:26-27; 3:21), and nothing short of an absolute rule will suffice.

Scripture:

The tree of life is mentioned nine times in Scripture, in three different books — three times in Genesis (Gen 2:9; 3:22, 24), four times in Proverbs (Proverbs 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4), and twice in the book of Revelation (Rev 2:7; 22:2).  But what was the original purpose for the tree of life (seen in Genesis), which will be realized yet future (seen in the book of Revelation)?

And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.  The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden . . . . (Genesis 2:9a)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)

Wisdom, Understanding

Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding;

For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver and her gain than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.

Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her. (Proverbs 3:13-18)

Fruit of the Righteous

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he who wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30)

Hope Realized

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)

A Wholesome Tongue

A wholesome [‘tranquil’] tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)

Judgment Seat of Christ by Arlen Chitwood  and/or  Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 5,  Ch. 7

Also see: The Out-Resurrection and The Tree of Life and The Tree of Life in Genesis, Proverbs, and Revelation  in this site.

The Tree of Life in Genesis, Proverbs, and Revelation
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

(Please remember here we are referencing the Tree of Life, not one of the three Books of Life.)

The “tree of life” is mentioned nine times in Scripture, in three different books — three times in Genesis 2:9; 3:22, 24, four times in Proverbs 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4, and twice in the book of Revelation 2:7; 22:2. But what was the original purpose for the tree of life (seen in Genesis), which will be realized yet future (seen in the book of Revelation)?

The tree of life was one of the numerous trees in the garden in Eden. And Adam, with Eve, was commanded to eat of all these trees, with the exception of one — the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”  (Genesis 2:9, 16-17). Adam, the first man, had been created for the specific purpose of assuming the rulership over the earth, and the fruit of the tree of life was singled out as a specific provision for man as he exercised this rule.

An evident connection between man’s rule and his partaking of the tree of life can be seen by noting the appearance of this tree in the beginning when man was in a position to rule, the absence of this tree during the entire period when man is not in a position to rule (aside from the tree being referenced in Proverbs), and the reappearance of this tree in the book of Revelation when man will be brought back into a position to rule (cf. Genesis 1:26-28; Revelation 2:26-27).

The period during which man has been barred from eating of the tree of life began following Adam’s fall, resulting in his disqualification to rule; and this period will end following the issues of the judgment seat, at which time man will once again find himself in a position to rule.

Adam, following the fall, was driven from the garden to prevent his partaking of the tree of life. Adam could not be permitted to eat of this tree in a fallen condition, for had such occurred, Adam, in a fallen state, would have realized that which fruit from this tree was meant to provide. Thus, not only did God remove Adam from the garden, but He placed a “cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way,” [to prevent fallen man from reentering the garden and partaking of this tree]” (Genesis 3:22-24).

Studying Genesis 3:22-24 apart from the context and related Scripture could lead one to believe that the purpose for the tree of life in the beginning, in Genesis, was to provide perpetuity of life for Adam in his unfallen state. However, such could not have been the case at all. “Death” did not enter into the picture until after Adam’s sin (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:6ff; cf. Romans 6:23), at which time he was barred from the tree of life.

Adam had lived in an undying state prior to his sin, as he continued to live in an antithetical dying state following his sin; and to say that the tree of life was given to Adam in his unfallen state to provide perpetuity of life, preventing death, cannot possibly be correct. Nor could it possibly be correct to say that the tree of life would have had anything to do with providing physical life (keeping Adam alive physically) following the fall. A tree can produce only “after its kind” (Genesis 1:11-12). In this respect, fruit from the tree of life simply could not have produced one result before man’s fall and another following man’s fall.

In Revelation 2:7, partaking of the tree of life has been promised to the overcomers from among those already possessing eternal life. Consequently, in this passage, the tree of life can have nothing whatsoever to do with perpetuity of life; and it is the same in the Genesis account when man was first brought upon the scene to rule and to reign.

The tree of life in both Genesis chapters two and three (Genesis 2; 3) and Revelation chapter two (Revelation 2) appears in a different setting entirely. The tree of life reserved for Christians in Revelation 2:7 is associated peculiarly with a provision for those who will rule and reign as co-heirs with Christ; and viewing Adam’s position in the Genesis account — created to rule and reign, in possession of an unending life, with the fruit of the tree of life at his disposal — the same thought concerning regality in connection with the tree of life would hold true. Thus, Adam in a fallen state, no longer in a position to rule, could not be allowed to eat of the tree of life, for fruit from this tree would provide “life” in relation to regality.

This whole overall thought concerning the tree of life in Scripture would have to hold true, for that which is seen relative to this tree in Revelation chapter two is drawn from that which was first seen relative to this tree in Genesis chapters two and three. The fruit of the tree of life was in the past (seen in the book of Genesis) and will be in the future (seen in the book of Revelation) a provision for the rulers in the kingdom. This is an evident fact that must be recognized.

And, in that coming day following the Millennium, the tree of life will be for “the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2). The Greek word translated “healing” is therapeia, from which the English word “therapy” is derived. This is a medical term that has to do with restorative healing. In that day, God will restore all of saved mankind to the original place that man occupied at the time of his creation. And, consequently, the whole of saved mankind, with regality in view, will have access to the tree of life.

During the preceding Messianic Era, the tree of life will have been made available to overcoming Christians (Revelation 2:7), those ruling and reigning as co-heirs with Christ. And this tree will probably be made available to certain others at this time as well, others occupying regal positions with Christ in His reign from the heavens over the earth (e.g., certain Old Testament saints, Tribulation martyrs [Matthew 8:11-12; Revelation 20:4-6]).

But following the Messianic Era, in the eternal ages, this tree is seen being made available to the nations of the earth, something that would have been completely out of place during the Millennium. And this will be an apparent end result of Israel’s evangelistic endeavors during the Millennium, along with Christ’s rule with a rod of iron during this time.

Man was created in the beginning to rule and to reign. And though only a part of saved mankind will have been brought back into a position to occupy the throne at the beginning of the Millennium (with the tree of life made available to them at this time), at the end of the Millennium the whole of saved mankind will be brought back into this position (with the tree of life made available to them at this time).

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Bride in Genesis, Appendix, Excerpt

The Bride in Genesis, Appendix Two Excerpt, by Arlen Chitwood

Also see The Out-Resurrection and The Tree of Life  in this site.

“Dead” is equated with "Defiled."
 "L
iving" is equated with “Not Defiled.”

Dead . . . Not Defile

From the Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 9 by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast.

The thought of many of those in the church in Sardis described as living, but being dead, must be looked upon in an opposite sense to the thought of a few in the church having garments that were “not defiled” (Revelation 3:1, 4).  In this sense, “dead” would be equated with defiled, and “not defiled” would be equated with living.  Christians alone are in view, those capable of producing works pleasing to the Lord (Revelation 1; 2, cf. Ephesians 2:10).

“Death” in a spiritual sense is associated with both the unregenerate and the regenerate.  The unregenerate are spoken of as being “dead in trespasses and sins” because of unbelief (Ephesians 2:1); and the regenerate can be spoken of in the sense that they are presented in Revelation 3:1 — living, but being dead —  because of unfaithfulness (cf. 1 Timothy 5:6; James 5:5), associated with what James calls a dead faith.

(Note that the words “faith” and “believe” are cognate words in the Greek text.  The former is a noun and the latter a verb.  And either word can be used to refer to the same thing [e.g., Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8].)

James is the great epistle dealing with faith and works in the sense that they are presented in the messages to the seven churches in Revelation chapters two and three (Revelation 2; 3).  Works emanate out of faith; and James 2:14-26 refers to a dead faith that is incapable of producing the type of works necessary to bring faith to its proper goal, the exact condition of those in Sardis whose existing state (“dead”) was associated with works.  They possessed works, but these works did not emanate from a living, active faith.  Rather, such works emanated from a dead, inactive faith and were the type of works that would be burned at the judgment seat (works described in 1 Corinthians 3:12 by three combustible materials, “wood, hay, straw”).

The distinguishing characteristic between those who were dead and those with undefiled garments in the message to the church in Sardis is, thus, in their “works.”  This is really the overriding subject matter in each of the seven messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2; 3.  Each message, following descriptive aspects of Christ as Judge in the midst of the churches (in keeping with the description given in Revelation 1), begins the same way:  “I know your works . . . .” (Revelation 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15).

And to properly understand the entire matter, along with the review and manifestation of two types of works at the judgment seat of Christ, one must understand the relationship between faith and works in James 2.

James, as all of the New Testament epistles, deals centrally with the future salvation of the soul rather than the salvation that we presently possess, the salvation of the spirit (cf. James 1:12, 21-22; 5:19-20).  Both are wrought on the basis of works.  Our present salvation (salvation of the spirit) has been wrought on the basis of Christ’s past, completed work; and our future salvation (salvation of the soul) will be wrought on the basis of the present works of those who have been justified on the basis of Christ’s past, completed work.  The review of works at the judgment seat will be to determine the type of works, with a view to the salvation or loss of the soul.

James 2:14-26 opens with two self-answering questions, and the structure of these questions in the Greek text requires that both be answered in the negative (the Greek negative “me” appears in the latter question [designating a “no” response], and the integrally, inseparable nature of the two questions shows that the first must be answered in the same sense).  The first question presents the relationship between faith and works in connection with profit, and the second question presents the relationship between faith and works in connection with salvation.

These two questions could possibly be better understood by translating the verse,

My brethren, if any one says he has faith, but does not have works, he cannot profit, can he?  Faith cannot save him, can it? (James 2:14)

“Profit” and “salvation” are linked together in such a manner in James 2:14 that one cannot be realized apart from the other.  That is, apart from an accrual of “profit,” salvation cannot be realized; or, to state it another way, an accrual of “profit” leads to (is for the purpose of) the realization of salvation (at a future date).  And James specifically states that neither can be realized by faith alone.  Works must enter in and have their proper place in the matter.

One cannot profit apart from an initial investment, and one is in no position to procure the salvation of which James speaks apart from presently possessing salvation.  The Greek word translated “profit” is derived from a root word that means “to increase”;  and the thought of an “increase” does not enter into the picture until one has an initial supply, making an “increase,” or “profit,” possible.

“Profit” is always something in addition to that which one already possesses.  Initial investments, from which individuals can profit, are possessed only by the Lord’s own servants (Christians).  There is no such thing as the word “profit” being used in this sense in connection with the unsaved, for they have no initial investment in this realm.

The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27) provide two of the best Scriptural examples concerning “profit” on an initial investment in relation to the Lord’s servants during the present day and time.  As brought out in these parables, the Lord has delivered all His goods to all His servants and has left them with the command, “Do business till I come” (Luke 19:13).

The servants of the Lord are to trade and traffic in the Lord’s business during His time of absence.  Those who do so, under the leadership of the Lord, will realize a “profit” (cf. Matthew 25:15-17, 19-23; Luke 19:15-19).  And by realizing a profit, or increase, on the initial investment, they will experience the salvation of their souls (cf. Matthew 16:24-27).  On the other hand, those who refuse to use the initial investment will not only remain profitless but they will, as a consequence, suffer “loss” (cf. Matthew 25:15, 18-19, 24-30; Luke 19:15, 20-26).  They will experience the loss of their souls (cf. Matthew 16:24-27).

Consequently, that which is involved in James 2:14, as explained in subsequent verses, is simply faithfulness to one’s calling (resulting in works), or unfaithfulness to one’s calling (resulting in no works [or valueless works not associated with faith]).  Works of the nature referred to in this verse emanate out of “faith” and bring faith to its proper goal, which is the salvation of one’s soul (James 2:22; 1 Peter 1:9).  Apart from such a manifestation of faith, giving rise to works, there can be no profit; nor can the inherently connected salvation follow (the salvation of the soul).

In the message to the church in Sardis in Revelation 3, two types of works are in view.  The first type has to do with works not emanating from faith, and the second type has to do with works of the opposite kind, those emanating from faith.

The first type of works are those performed by Christians apart from the leadership of the Lord.  Faith, associated with the Lord’s leadership, is not involved; and such works are invariably done under the leadership of man for the praise, honor, and glory of man.

The second type of works are those performed by Christians under the leadership of the Lord.  Faith, associated with the Lord’s leadership, is the primary factor; and such works always redound to the praise, honor, and glory of the Lord.

Both types of works [as seen in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15] will be very evident at the judgment seat — those that are worthless (comparable to “wood, hay, straw”) and those of intrinsic value (comparable to “gold, silver, precious stones”).

The result of the manifestation of works at the judgment seat will be twofold:

          1) The revelation of an accrual of profit, resulting in the salvation of the soul on one hand.

          2) The revelation of no profit, resulting in the loss of the soul on the other hand.

Such will be the end of all works viewed in the seven messages to the seven churches.

Judgment Seat of Christ by Arlen Chitwood and/or 

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ - Ch. 9 

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

True fundamentalism in Christianity would necessitate an adherence
to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, which, of necessity,
would have to center around the Word of the Kingdom.

Christendom Today!
Excerpted from Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 11 by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Christendom today, from a humanistic standpoint, can be seen in all types of stages, covering a wide panorama of differences.

For example, there are churches that are either exclusively homosexual or churches openly accepting homosexuals into their fellowship, both seeing homosexuality as simply an alternate lifestyle [in line with the world’s view];  then there are very liberal churches that bear little resemblance to that which Scripture teaches;  there are more orthodox-type churches that are seemingly teaching correct biblical doctrine in a number of areas;  there are churches that pride themselves on their fundamentalism, etc.

But there is one thing that, with rare exception, all of them have in common, revealing their true identity — as being Laodicean [Rev. 3:14-22], not Philadelphian [Rev. 3:7-13].  None of them, with rare exception, either know anything about or will have anything to do with the Word of the Kingdom, the central message of Scripture that the leaven has been centering its attack on for two millennia.  In fact, many of the churches that pride themselves on their fundamentalism, unlike many of the more liberal churches that are out of the mainstream of things in this respect, will often go out of their way to fight teachings surrounding the Word of the Kingdom.

And, because of the working of the leaven over two millennia of time, the preceding is perfectly understandable.  The leaven knows no boundaries within Christendom, only one object — destroy any and all teaching surrounding the Word of the Kingdom.

True fundamentalism in Christianity would necessitate an adherence to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, which, of necessity, would have to center around the Word of the Kingdom.  This is the way it was in Ephesus [the first of the seven churches in Revelation 2; 3], until they left their first love.  And this is the way it must be in any church today that would look upon itself as Philadelphian rather than Laodicean — which would be an adherence to or a return to that which is taught and believed in Ephesus, to true fundamentalism, before the Church left its first love.

Between these two points, there is no middle ground.  A person, or a complete church, is either for Christ or against Christ [Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23].  A Church is either Philadelphian [centers its teaching on the Word of the Kingdom] or Laodicean [centers its teaching on other than the Word of the Kingdom].  And the latter, regardless of how fundamental they might appear to be, are still Laodicean, not Philadelphian.

Judgment Seat of Christ by Arlen Chitwood and/or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 11 

Also see Bible One - Charles Strong's  Homosexual Behavior — The Gay Agenda and American Vision - Stop Twisting the Bible … to Make it Fit Same-Sex Marriage by Gary DeMar.

In the coming kingdom, Christ will rule in Satan’s stead,
and Overcomers ruling with Christ will rule in the stead of angels presently ruling with Satan.
 

Satan, Great Enemy of Christian Life!
Excerpted Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 4 by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Christians are to always be watchful and exercise a well-balanced judgment in the race of the faith, for Satan stands ever ready to bring about defeat in their lives through his “wiles"  [crafty, deceitful ways] (Ephesians 6:11).

Why is Satan so intensely interested in bringing about defeat in the lives of Christians today?  Why has Satan expended so much time and energy throughout almost two millennia in efforts to bring Christianity into the apostate condition in which it presently finds itself?  What is so special about Christianity, attracting Satan’s attention after this fashion?   The answer is very simple, but it is one which goes almost completely unrecognized within the confines of the lukewarm, apostate Laodicean Church of today.

To properly understand the present warfare between Satan and Christians, one must go back to the creation of man and understand certain things concerning the reason for man’s creation.  Adam was brought into existence to rule the earth, and Eve was removed from Adam’s body, by and through the process revealed in Genesis 2:21-23, to reign as consort queen with him (Genesis 1:26-28).   And the dominion to be exercised by Adam was the one which Satan held at that time (and continues to hold today).

Satan had previously been brought into existence to rule the earth. He was the “anointed cherub"  [messianic angel].   He held the chief position among a great host of angels who, along with him, ruled the earth under the one True and Living God, in a complete structural breakdown of powers and authorities (cf. Ezekiel 28:14-16; Luke 4:5-6; Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:7-9).

But the day came when Satan rebelled against the Lord and succeeded in leading one-third of the angels ruling with him at that time in this rebellion.  Satan sought to elevate his throne (increase his delegated power and authority) and “be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).  Satan sought to become the ruler over all the provinces throughout the universe — the position held by God Himself — rather than continue ruling only the province over which he had originally been placed.

As a result, Satan’s kingdom was reduced to a ruined state, but he himself retained his position as ruler of the kingdom.  And he would be allowed to retain this position until that day when his God-appointed successor appeared on the scene, ready to take the scepter (Genesis 1:2a, 26, 28; Psalm 110:1-2).

This is the reason Satan was so intensely interested in bringing about the fall of Adam.  Adam had been created to occupy the position that Satan held.  The wrecked domain (the earth) had been restored, and the one created to rule in Satan’s stead had been created from the very dust of the restored domain.  Satan’s replacement was present, on a restored domain, though he had yet to take the scepter.

Thus, following Adam’s creation, the only hope that Satan possessed was to bring about Adam’s disqualification through sin, as he himself had previously been disqualified through sin.  Otherwise, Adam would ultimately take the scepter, and Satan’s reign would end.

However, such was not to occur.  Satan, by tempting Eve, brought about the first man, the first Adam’s fall and disqualification.  This allowed Satan to continue his reign, necessitating the appearance of the second Man, the last Adam [Jesus*] at a later date (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:45)).

The second Man, the last Adam not only had to be brought on the scene, but He had to meet Satan face-to-face in order to show that He was fully qualified to act in the realm for which man had originally been created.  Then, the last Adam provided redemption for fallen man, with a view to man ultimately occupying the position for which he had originally been created.

Christ’s virgin birth (He must be God as well as Man, for the triune God alone can act in the realm of redemption [Genesis 1; 2; 3; 4]), His face-to-face encounter with Satan in the wilderness, and His vicarious death at Calvary, have all come to pass.  However, He has yet to wrest the governmental reins of the earth from Satan’s hands.  He has yet to take the scepter and rule the earth in Satan’s stead.

An interval of time exists prior to His taking the kingdom in order that He, by and through the Holy Spirit, might call out a bride to reign as consort queen with Him.  This is the reason for the present dispensation, a fact little recognized and understood in Christendom today.

As the first Adam possessed a bride removed from his body to reign with him (proceeding the time he was to take the scepter), so will the last Adam.  This bride is presently being called out from among the redeemed, and for the past two millennia, Satan has been doing all within his power to thwart God’s purpose for the present dispensation.  His attack today is directed specifically and intently against Christians for one simple, revealed reason.  Christians are the ones destined to be placed as consort queen with Christ in His reign.

Christ is presently at the right hand of God, and Satan cannot touch Him; but Christians are presently upon the earth, and Satan walks “to and fro on the earth . . . back and forth on it” (Job 1:7; 2:2; cf. 1 Peter 5:8), venting his wrath against them, seeking at every turn to bring about their defeat and consequent disqualification to occupy a position with Christ during the coming day of His power.  Satan, at every turn, seeks to overcome Christians, rather than allowing Christians to overcome him.

In the coming kingdom, Christ will rule in Satan’s stead, and Christians ruling with Christ will rule in the stead of angels presently ruling with Satan.  The entire matter surrounding the present warfare between Satan and Christians has the coming kingdom in view.  Overcoming Christians will occupy the numerous proffered positions of power and authority with Christ in the kingdom, but the Christians who are overcome will be denied these positions.  Future positions with Christ in the kingdom, presently being offered to Christians, are for the overcomers alone.

“There exists a government of the universe conducted by great angels and their subordinates.  Many of these have fallen from their original allegiance to God and prostitute their offices and powers to corrupt His realms.  It is therefore inevitable that a rearrangement shall come in that heavenly government.  This will be effected by Christ and His glorified followers being invested with the whole of that heavenly authority. For it is written that ‘not unto the angels hath God subjected the inhabited world to come’” (Hebrews 2:5).” ~ G. H. Lang, World Chaos, 1944

*Added

See Judgment Seat of Christ by Arlen Chitwood and/or  Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 4 .

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

The primary purpose of a local church service is [should be]
to systematically teach those who have been saved the entire Word of God,
with the ultimate goal of allowing immature Christians
to become mature Christians and increasing the growth of mature Christians
to ever higher levels of spiritual maturity.

The Home Church!
By Charles Strong of  Bible One

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus . . . Likewise greet the church that is in their house. . . . (Romans 16:3, 5)

The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. (1 Corinthians 16:19)

Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house. (Colossians 4:15)

to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house. (Philemon 2)

The initial Christian local churches were home churches, which is to say that they were assemblies of believers in Christ who met in home residences for instruction and fellowship.  And although the apostles taught and preached “Jesus as the Christ” daily in the temple, they also taught and preached Him in “every house” (Acts 2:46; 5:42).  It was the apostle Paul who said the following:

“. . . You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you . . . how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 20:18, 20)

The word for “house” in the above Scripture references and in many other references within the New Testament is the Greek word oikos, a term usually designating a local “dwelling” or “home.”  And although the Greek word ekklesia (lit. assembly), translated “church” is used at various times within the New Testament to designate all believers (i.e., the “body of Christ” [Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:27, 29; Colossians 1:24]), often, and specifically in the above Scripture references, it refers to a local “assembly” of believers.

But over time, as the various home assemblies increased in number, many of them deemed it advantageous to unite and meet outside such homes in larger accommodations, much like what today are considered local churches.  And over time due to individual interpretations over points of biblical doctrine, many of these now larger “local churches” split, a process that has led to the various “denominations” existing today.

Many Christian denominations believe the Divine Record, consisting of both the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Holy Bible), was given over a period of time through holy men who were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).  They believe the Bible to be consistent, not contradictory; but then, generally only in accord with the established doctrine of their own unique denomination, and that only after their “approved” theological authorities have signed off on the doctrine.  Regrettably, over time, this way of thinking has somewhat, if not greatly, encouraged the prevention of lay-Christians from personally arriving at the truth taught in Scripture.

One only needs to attend many of the various local churches throughout the land, evangelical and otherwise, to find that very little on-going and systematic doctrinal instruction is being taught from the pulpits.  Rather, attending Christians are subject to messages most likely consisting of three points in support of an intended superficial theme and often followed by an invitation to come to Christ in faith.  This is particularly true on the evangelical side of the Church (all Christians).  And the shame of it is that the primary responsibility of pastors is to be a teacher of God’s Word, i.e., biblical doctrine.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastor-teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. (Ephesians 4:11-14) 

(The words “pastors and teachers” in Ephesians 4:11 refer to one group of individuals, not two groups.  They are pastor-teachers, not “pastors and teachers,” as translated in many English versions.

This is seen in the structure of the Greek text.  There are two nouns in the same case form, connected by kai [and], with a definite article preceding the first noun but not repeated before the second noun.  In a structure of this nature, the second noun [didaskalos, “teacher”] is seen as simply a further description of the first noun [poimen, “pastor,” “shepherd”].

The pastor [shepherd of the flock] is to be a teacher [teacher of the flock].  He is to lead the flock through the proclaimed Word.)

Christ declared that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4); and, indeed, the apostle Paul made certain to teach the “whole counsel of God,” instruction regarding “the gospel of the grace of God” and “the kingdom of God,” from “house to house” (Acts 20:20, 24-25, 27).  And to Timothy, the apostle Paul clearly stated,

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 3:16-4:1-4)

But then the deterioration and degradation of the Church, represented by the diverse number of Christian denominations and their local churches, over the past two thousand years should not be surprising to a dedicated student of God’s Word, particularly one who is a student of biblical prophecy.  In addition to prophecies contained in the Old Testament and various warnings throughout the New Testament, the book of Revelation 2; 3 also presents a history of the Church throughout the dispensation, beginning with the “church of Ephesus” that had left its “first love” and ending with the “church of the Laodiceans” that is described as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 2:4, 3:17).

The absence of in-depth doctrinal instruction from the pulpits of Christianity today is one of the primary results of the growth of larger populated churches, some even designated “mega-churches,” throughout this dispensation.  Now it is customary for these types of local churches to relegate “bible instruction” to what many call Sunday School, usually a limited-time (less than an hour) meeting of various classes of individuals that takes place prior to the main service on Sunday mornings.  And the instruction is closely administered by individuals who closely adhere to the express doctrines of each church’s particular denomination.

Then there is the problem of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:15), a development that formed early in Church history and is prevalent in most local churches today.  An accurate description of this particular aspect within local churches throughout the dispensation is given by Arlen Chitwood’s book, Judgment Seat of Christ by Arlen Chitwood, as follows:

Following the warning to the church in Ephesus, reference is made to the “Nicolaitans” (an Anglicized form of the compound Greek word, nikolaites [from nike, “a victor,” “a conqueror”; and laos, “people”]).  Thus, the word “Nicolaitans” means, “to conquer [be victorious over] the people.”

Within Church history, there is no record of a group of individuals known by the name, “Nicolaitans” — in the church in Ephesus [Revelation 2:6], or in any other first-century church (note that a reference to the “Nicolaitans” is also repeated in the epistle to the church in Pergamos [Revelation 2:15]).  And, when coming across a reference of this nature, there is only one thing that can be done in order to understand that which the Lord meant by using this word (whether by Christians during the first century, or by Christians today).  The use of “Nicolaitans” would have to be understood as a reference to the actions of a group of individuals, described by the meaning of the word itself.

From the meaning of the word, a reference to the “Nicolaitans” could only be understood as a reference to individuals forming a hierarchy within the Church, ruling over the people.  And these individuals were undoubtedly responsible, at least in part, for the existing conditions in Ephesus near the end of the first century, as well as the conditions subsequently seen existing in Pergamos (and possibly in one or more of the other five churches, though this is not mentioned).

Sadly, the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans” is seen in the clearly established and ornate hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, a hierarchy somewhat mirrored by certain liberal (in their theology) Protestant denominations; but, unfortunately, is also followed to some degree in many evangelical denominations and their local churches.  It is not uncommon for certain bishops, pastors, elders, deacons, and others to establish a “chain-of-command,” which encourages, even requires a degree of  inordinate “veneration” and “submission” from the “lay” congregation.

That is why, particularly in these last days, it is indeed advantageous for Christians who thirst after the solid food (meat) of God’s Word, which alone leads to righteousness (faithfully believing all of the Word and living for Christ), to endeavor to contact other like-minded Christians and set up a “home church” in one of their residences.  To do this will often provide them the following benefits:

1. An environment free of hierarchical rule.
2. An environment promoting increased communication, fellowship, personal attention, and love among the participants.
3. An environment that promotes serious study of God’s Word at a pace conducive to efficacious assimilation of truth.
4. An environment that will promote spiritual growth, i.e., spiritual maturity.

Many pastors of evangelical local churches, with which this writer is best acquainted, attempt to deliver a pulpit message (motivational sermon) followed by an explanation of the plan of salvation in an effort to reach any lost person (anyone who has never been eternally saved) in the congregation.  This is then most often followed by a call (an invitation) for any who will place their faith in Christ for their personal eternal salvation to so indicate their decision by coming forward (or by some other means).  This procedure is followed due to the pastor’s sincere belief that this order of events is the principal aim or purpose of a local church service.  And although this writer finds no fault with presenting the means of eternal salvation at the end of a church service (in fact it is recommended should there be any doubt as to the spiritual make-up of the congregation), for a pastor to believe this is the primary reason for the service can only mean he is misguided.

The primary purpose of a local church service, be it on Sundays (morning or evening) or any other day of the week, is to systematically teach those who have been saved the entire Word of God, with the ultimate goal of allowing immature Christians to become mature Christians and increasing the growth of mature Christians to ever higher levels of spiritual maturity.

As for “winning the lost” to Christ, this is the responsibility (ministry) of all Christians, not just pastors during their participation in local church services.  And according to the whole of Scripture, this is to be accomplished by word and deed.  In fact, without deeds (a righteous lifestyle — a life lived in accordance with the Word [Colossians 2:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 4:1; Philippians 1:27; Ephesians 4:1-3]), words are ineffective.  And frankly, this is a ministry to be conducted outside and away from the local church, an ongoing activity that should be an essential part throughout every aspect of a believer’s life.  

But to be effective in this ministry a Christian must grow spiritually, which is the only way the Christian will then be able (be empowered) to live a Spirit-filled life — the only way God is able to effectively use one of His children.  Now every Christian has been sealed by the Spirit of God and has the Spirit permanently within (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13-14; James 4:5), but to be filled with the Spirit is another matter.  To be filled with the Spirit is to have the ability to be so spiritually yielded to God that He (Holy Spirit) then is able to divinely work through the Christian in order to accomplish that which is pleasing to Him.  And this state of being is required of all Christians in accordance with what the apostle Paul states in the book of Ephesians.

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20)

The question then is “How does one achieve this state of being?”  The answer is seen in a companion passage of Scripture, also given through the apostle Paul, as follows:

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16-17)

The parallel is clear.  To be filled with the Spirit is to have the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.  And this may only be achieved if a Christian continually avails himself to the teaching of the Word. 

Another key word used in Scripture to convey the process of growing from spiritual immaturity to spiritual maturity (i.e., being filled with the Spirit) is the word “sanctify.”  The Greek word translated sanctify is hagiazo, and it literally means “to set apart” or “to make holy.”  Essentially it is used to represent a process (sanctification) required of Christians, which is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3a).  It is the process that represents a growth from babyhood to adulthood, from spiritual immaturity (the state of a Christian upon his “birth from above”) to ever increasing levels of spiritual maturity.

And the only way for a Christian to experience sanctification is to immerse himself in the Word of God, as is clearly seen in the following passages of Scripture.  The first passage is part of Christ’s prayer for His disciples.

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. . . . Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. (John 17:14, 17)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors-teachers,  for the equipping [lit. perfecting] of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying [lit. building] of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge [lit. full or mature knowledge] of the Son of God, to a perfect [lit. full grown or mature] man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. (Ephesians 4:11-14)

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge [lit. full or mature knowledge] of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge [lit. full or mature knowledge] of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. (Colossians 1:9-11)

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. . . . Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:12-13, 15-16)

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)

But you must continue in the things that you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [lit. God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete [lit. mature], thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless . . . but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:14, 18a)

Every Christian should realize that Scripture (the Holy Bible [Old Testament and the New Testament]) is primarily a book for the believer in Christ, given to be studied and absorbed so that the Christian may please God through continual spiritual growth, which only then will result in the bringing of the “lost” to Christ.

Again, it the pastor of the local church who has the primary responsibility of bringing the Christian to a mature position in Christ.  To this end, Arlen L. Chitwood in his book, Arlen Chitwood's Salvation of the Soul, provided the following cogent remarks:

Thus, a minister with a congregation placed under his care has been charged with a tremendous responsibility.  His central ministry is among the saved, among those capable of grasping spiritual truth; and he is to disseminate spiritual truth to these individuals as it relates to things surrounding present and future aspects of salvation, not to things surrounding the past aspect of salvation.  He, in this manner, is to “feed the flock of God,” looking ahead to Christ’s appearance in all His glory (1 Peter 5:2-4).

This individual is responsible, under the leadership of the Spirit of God, to provide proper spiritual nourishment to and for those Christians placed under his care.  And the only thing that God has provided for him to use as he feeds the flock of God is the Word of God.

As a minister in charge of a flock, he is to expound this Word under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  And Christians placed under his care are to receive this proclaimed Word into their saved human spirits.  Then the Spirit of God can take this “implanted Word” and effect spiritual growth to maturity, with the end result being the salvation of their souls (James 1:21).

The tragedy in Christian circles today is the light regard that pastors of churches have for fulfilling the very purpose of their ministry.  And, the end result of pastors failing to properly “feed the flock” entrusted to their care will be the entrance of innumerable carnal, immature Christians into the Lord’s presence at the end of the present dispensation with redeemed spirits, changed bodies, but wasted and thus unredeemed souls — forfeited lives.  Their eternal salvation will remain unaffected; but, with the forfeiture or loss of their souls, they will be unable to realize the inheritance presently “reserved in heaven” for the faithful (1 Peter 1:4).  Consequently, they will occupy no position among the “many sons” who will be brought to glory (Hebrews 2:10).

Finally, the early established assemblies (local home-churches) of Christians were close-knit groups who not only profited in spiritual (doctrinal) progression but also profited from warm personal friendships that provided extra spiritual support.  Unfortunately, the established local churches of today (a term normally indicating a “building” of/for “worship” [a term that should pervade a Christian’s entire life and not just within a man-made structure] embody large groups of individuals (many of which are Christians) who often are not very well acquainted with one another.

Since most pastors of local churches fail in their primary responsibility of systematically teaching God’s Word to (feeding) their congregation (flock), it is strongly recommended that Christians who recognize this dearth establish and attend a home church in order to properly study the Word of God, which will nurture their spiritual maturity and ultimately result in the salvation of those who do not know Christ in addition to a rewarding personal experience before Christ at His Judgment Seat (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)

Also see Conditions in the Church Today!, Misguided Priorities, Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! and

The Metamorphosis in this site.     

If Children Live With…
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn and be judgmental.
If children live with hostility, they learn to be angry and fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy and withdrawn.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world.
       ~Dorothy Knolte 

What is the significance of the Babylonian Empire in biblical history?
By Got Questions

Babylon rose from a Mesopotamian city on the Euphrates River to become a powerful city-state and later the capital city and namesake of one of the greatest empires in history. The city was located on the eastern side of the Fertile Crescent about 55 miles south of modern Baghdad. Babylon’s history intersected the biblical timeline early and often. The influence of Babylonia on Israel and on world history is profound.

The Founding of Babylon

The Bible’s first mention of Babylon comes in Genesis 10. This chapter is referred to as the table of nations as it traces the descendants of Noah’s three sons. In the genealogy of Ham, “Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth” (Genesis 10:8). Nimrod founded a kingdom that included a place called “Babylon” in Shinar (Genesis 10:10).

The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel is found in Genesis 11. In English it is easy enough to make the connection between “Babel” and “Babylon,” but in Hebrew it is the same word. This chapter cements Babylon’s reputation as a city of rebellion against God. From then on, the biblical writers consistently use Babylon as a symbol of evil and defiance (see 1 Peter 5:13 and Revelation 17:5).

Babylon’s Early Growth

Near the time of Abraham, Babylon became an independent city-state ruled by the Amorites. The first Babylonian dynasty included Hammurabi, the sixth king, known for his code of laws. Hammurabi expanded the kingdom, and the area around Babylon became known as Babylonia. During the second dynasty, Babylon was in communication with Egypt and entered a 600-year struggle with Assyria. After a time of subjugation to the Elamite Empire, a fourth dynasty of Babylonian kings thrived under Nebuchadnezzar I. Then Babylon fell under the shadow of Assyria.

Babylon’s Ascendency

By 851 B.C., Babylon was only nominally independent, requiring Assyrian “protection” and facing many internal upheavals. Finally, the Assyrian Tiglath-pileser III took the throne. The Assyrians and Merodach-baladan, a Chaldean, traded power more than once. During one of his times of advantage, Merodach-baladan sent emissaries to threaten Hezekiah, king of Judah (2 Kings 20:12-19; Isaiah 39). When the Chaldean chief Nabopolassar took control of Babylon in 626 B.C., he proceeded to sack Nineveh, the capital of Assyria.

Nebuchadnezzar II’s Conquest of Judah

Under the Chaldean dynasty, and, arguably, throughout the rest of history, no king surpassed the glory and absolute power of Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign. As the crown prince (son of Nabopolassar), he defeated Pharaoh Necho II, who had come to the aid of the Assyrian army, winning for Babylonia the former Assyrian lands, including Israel. After being crowned king, Nebuchadnezzar forced King Jehoiakim of Judah to “become his vassal for three years. But then [Jehoiakim] changed his mind and rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar” (2 Kings 24:1). The king of Babylon, who did not take kindly to being rebelled against, captured Jerusalem and took the king and other leaders, military men and artisans as prisoners to Babylon (2 Kings 24:12-16). This deportation marked the beginning of the Babylonian exile of the Jews.

Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah to rule Judah. However, Zedekiah, against the prophet Jeremiah’s counsel, joined the Egyptians in a revolt in 589 B.C. This resulted in Nebuchadnezzar’s return. The remaining Jews were deported, Jerusalem was burned, and the temple was destroyed in August of 587 B.C. (Jeremiah 52:1-30).

The Prophet Daniel and the Fall of Babylon

Babylon is the setting for the ministry of the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel, who were both deportees from Judah. Daniel became a leader and royal advisor to the Babylonian and Persian Empires. He had been captured after the battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C. (Jeremiah 46:2-12). The book of Daniel records Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2) and foretells the fall of Babylon to the Medes and the Persians (Daniel 5). Earlier, the prophet Isaiah had also foretold the fall of Babylon (Isaiah 46:1-2).

Conclusion

In the Bible, Babylon is mentioned from Genesis to Revelation, as it rises from its rebellious beginnings to become a symbol of the Antichrist’s evil world system. When God’s people required discipline, God used the Babylonian Empire to accomplish it, but He limited Judah’s captivity to 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11). Then, God promised to “punish the king of Babylon and his nation” (Jeremiah 25:12) “for all the wrong they have done in Zion” (Jeremiah 51:24). Ultimately, all evil will be judged, as symbolized by Babylon’s demise in Revelation 18:21: “The great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.”

Recommended Resource: Daniel - the Key to Prophetic Revelation by John Walvoord.

Got Questions - What is the significance of the Babylonian Empire in biblical history?  

Your (Christian) Coming Judgment
By Charles Strong of Bible One

As I think back over the many years I have been a believer in Jesus Christ, since the 25th of December of 1959, and the numerous local churches and Christian groups I’ve visited and joined since then, I am overwhelmed by the almost total lack of systematic in-depth instruction in and from the Bible, the Word of God, to which I witnessed during those many years.  It has been my experience as a graduate of a recognized evangelical Christian college (now a university), a one-time pastor of an evangelical local church, and a participant in various Christian activities in the United States and several other countries, that throughout most of evangelical Christendom the overpowering emphasis is centered on the repetition of the basic, introductory doctrine within God’s Word, i.e., the gospel of grace, to the exclusion of its “meat” doctrine, i.e., the gospel of glory, reiterated throughout the Word and designed to bring a Christian from immaturity to maturity and secure the goal of his calling.

Having been blessed with an ever-increasing knowledge of the Word in these later years, I have progressively become disconcerted over the belief by so many Christians, and the leadership in so many evangelical local churches, that it is the local church where one who is lost without Christ should be exposed to the gospel of grace.  To this end local congregations are repeatedly fed a diet of simplified messages, void of any concerted theological substance designed to feed the ample supply of spiritual-deficit Christians, but designed to appeal to the lost who may possibly be in the pews.  It appears to me that evangelical Christendom in general has not and will not realize that the primary purpose of the local assembly of believers, the local church, is for the purpose of building up Christians, those who have already believed on Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:23-25), in order that they need not be classified as were the Christians in the book of Hebrews:

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Christ intended Christians to first go out into the fields of the lost and there bring them to Christ; and, then to bring them to the local assembly for intricate and intensive instruction in the Word so that they might advance from immaturity to maturity (Matthew 25:19-20).  The local church is where Christians seriously “go to school,” which is not to mean approximately 30 minutes of parroting from a denominational quarterly once a week, often termed “Sunday School.” Rather, it is up to the pastor-teachers of local congregations to teach the Word of God in-depth (Ephesians 4:11-12), to bring the babe in Christ to maturity in Christ.

To reiterate, the purpose of such a thorough education in the Word of God is to insure that the child of God may transition from spiritual immaturity to maturity, thereby being equipped to routinely and properly make moral decisions that will insure his safe deliverance from evil throughout his temporal pilgrim journey and his eventual achievement of the “goal of his calling.” This spiritual process (transition) centers on a Christian's understanding and acceptance of the “gospel of glory,” the salvation of the soul, which is quite different from the “gospel of grace,” the salvation of the spirit.

Now before my evangelical brethren “go off the deep end” thinking that I have either made up a different salvation doctrine or that I believe a person may lose eternal life, which he has received by believing in Christ, I assure you that this is not the case.  Scripture absolutely guarantees that once a person has believed in Christ, that person will never lose that eternal salvation.  Salvation of the soul differs from the salvation of the spirit only with regard to millennial varieties, not eternal varieties.  Confusion exists because even though both aspects of salvation are evident and separately discussed in the Word, most bible students and teachers believe they are one and the same, always striving to equate the two, which invariably leads to conflicting positions.

Scripture reveals that man is a tripartite (3-part) being (spirit, soul, and body [1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12]) and these three facets of man are never confused or treated as equal throughout the Holy Writ, even though numerous teachers of the Word attempt to violate this principle.  Granted, one’s spirit immediately ascends to God upon physical death of the body (Luke 23:46; John 19:30; Acts 7:59; 2 Corinthians 5:8), but the prognosis of the soul (life) of man is an entirely different matter.  And even though its connection and transition does not alter the eternal varieties of man, it does impact his recognition and position during the coming kingdom of Christ.  

To properly present both of these aspects is not the intent of this discussion.  I strongly encourage the reader to access the book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation of the Soul, which presents the different aspects of God’s redemptive (salvation) plan for man.  It is the purpose of this discussion to present “one facet” of God’s redemptive plan for man, embedded within the “gospel of glory,” which should influence every Christian every day of his temporal life as he proceeds to its end.

And that “one facet” is the clear teaching in God’s Word that once a Christian passes from temporal to eternal life, he will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to face a thorough exposition of his temporal life subsequent to his saving faith in Christ, which will reveal determinations that will affect his recognition (rewards, some or none) and position during the Messianic Era (Christ’s millennial [thousand year] kingdom on earth).

Frankly, this truth receives very little attention in the local churches within evangelical Christendom today.  Even though all Christians agree that they are directed by Scripture to live holy lives, most avoid considering the negative consequences that may await one who neglects this scriptural mandate.  Rather, most wish only to consider what they believe are the positive features of their salvation experience, which are almost always ambiguous expectations presented by the pulpits of evangelical churches.  Most Christians are taught, or simply believe that once this life ends they will immediately go to heaven to live a sublime life with God.

However this is clearly not the case.  Before any Christian will face such an imagined and ambiguous existence, Scripture teaches that Christ will establish His kingdom, which will last for one thousand years upon the earth.  And although the majority of Christians will be excluded from participation within Christ’s kingdom, selected Christians will reign with Him over this domain (Revelation 20:4ff), depending upon the results of their evaluation at His Judgment Seat.  Such will be the product of how each Christian will have built upon his sure foundation:

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

Because of this, the apostle Paul, knowing that Christians are the “workmanship” of God “created in Christ Jesus for good works [the building blocks of “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw”] (Ephesians 2:10), emphatically declared to those who made up the local church in the city of Corinth that his aim was to be “well pleasing to Him,” knowing that all Christians “must appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ.,” which in fact was a most serious (terror-related) matter in his mind.

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.  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.  Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . . . (2 Corinthians 5:9-11a).

This is why the apostle Paul constantly strived to discipline his body, to properly run the race of faith in hopes of gaining the imperishable [everlasting] crown, and to not be disqualified:

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

The truth is that Scripture is replete with the prospect of God’s judgment of all mankind, which most certainly will include “His people,” Christians.  Witness the following:

For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. (Matthew 12:36)

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. (Romans 14:10)

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both 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 Corinthians 4:5)

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” (Hebrews 10:30; cf. Deuteronomy 32:35-36; Psalm 50:4; 135:14; Romans 12:19)

To this end God specifically arranged His Word to include numerous and accurate historical accounts that would convey the seriousness of His judgment upon His people who refused to wholly follow Him, such accounts serving as types in the Old Testament with corresponding anti-types in the New Testament.  One primary example would be the experience of God’s chosen people, the Israelites, upon their deliverance from Egypt under the blood of the sacrificed lamb, resulting in their wayward journey through the wilderness, and their ultimate rejection to enter the Promised Land.

Paul’s fear of being disqualified in the race of the faith and thereby being disapproved to receive the imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 [see above]) is contextually illustrated in the verses immediately following his concern, in 1 Corinthians 10:1-12, the anti-type of the Old Testament type in which Israel is disapproved, excepting only two persons entrance into the Promised Land of Canaan.

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,  all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.   Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.  And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.  Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:1-12)

This passage clearly presents the type/anti-type treatment of the Israelites under the leadership of Moses with Christians under the leadership of Christ, which God uses as “examples” in His Word to teach Christians a most significant spiritual truth concerning their pilgrimage during this life.  And this truth is further emphasized by the two individuals (Caleb and Joshua) that were exceptions to God’s verdict over Israel’s adult population.  Both were allowed by God to enter the Promised Land because they had “wholly followed the LORD."

So the LORD’S anger was aroused on that day, and He swore an oath, saying, “Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the LORD.” (Numbers 32:11-12)

The lesson is quite piercing once a Christian understands that Scripture compares his prospects for entering the coming kingdom of Christ to that foreshadowed and illustrated by Israel’s prospect for entering the coming Promised Land during that bygone era.  It is a lesson that is strongly reinforced in the book of Hebrews, a book directed to Christians, believers in Jesus Christ, not to “non-Christians who professed but were not actual believers in Christ,” as so many attempt to teach. 

The great burden of Hebrews is not that of rescuing the unsaved from the lake of fire, but it is that of delivering Christians, the one’s already rescued, safely through their pilgrim journey to the goal of their calling, which is “bringing many sons to glory” (Heb. 2:10).  Hebrews 3 begins by referring to the “heavenly calling” of believers in Christ.  Then the author calls attention to the journey of the Israelites as they left Egypt and headed towards an inheritance reserved for them in the land of Canaan.

And that which befell the Israelites in their wilderness journey can also befall Christians on their pilgrim journey.  Later, the emphasis is not only upon Christ’s present ministry on behalf of Christians, but also upon His future ministry when the results of His present ministry will be realized — that day when He will rule the earth as the great king-priest according to the order of Melchizedek.  Then the author urges Christians to be aware of the promises of the great recompense (payment) of reward at Christ’s return and to live by faith (Heb.10:35-39).  Finally, Christians are instructed to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares [them], and [to] run with endurance the race that is set before [them]” (Heb. 12:1-2), so that they may obtain the prize (Philippians 3:14).

(For a better understanding of the book of Hebrews, this reader recommends that you access the book, From Egypt to Canaan by Arlen L. Chitwood, at Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's From Egypt to Canaan or Lamp Broadcast - From Egypt to Canaan.  Also see KKK God’s Word in Hebrews by Dr. Mark Miller in this site.)

The bottom line for you, the Christian reader, is that you will most certainly face Jesus Christ as Judge.  Before His Judgment Seat your entire life will be intricately exposed — every motive, every intent, every action.  And based upon Christ’s findings at that time, a determination will be issued that will affect your participation and position during the Messianic Era, Christ’s 1,000 year kingdom-reign upon the earth — the goal of your calling.

Fortunately, God has graciously supplied each Christian a concrete means in dealing with his sin during this lifetime so that it will not be an issue at the time of his judgment, as follows:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

(The word “confess” in 1 John 1:9 is the Greek word, homologeo, which means to “assent to” or “acknowledge.”  Bottom line, Christians are to “name,” “own up,” “take responsibility” for their sins, i.e., make no excuse for them [a trait so prevalent in these times].  But once this is done, they are to most assuredly know that their sins have been forgiven, never to be held against them at the Judgment Seat of Christ.)
 
Additionally, every Christian is assured that they will face no future judgment if they “walk according to [after or in agreement with] the Spirit” rather than according to the flesh.
 
There is therefore now no condemnation [Greek: katakrima, adverse sentence] to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1; cf. Colossians 2:6-7)
 
And although the means for how a Christian may achieve this present goal to “walk according to the Spirit,” which is comparable to being “filled with [controlled by] the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18b), is a subject for another study, this writer recommends that the readers compare the following comparable passages of Scripture for the solution:

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16-17)

The 144,000 Jewish Evangels
A First-Fruit of the Nation During the Tribulation
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Part I

“And there appeared a great wonder [‘sign’] in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

And there appeared another wonder [‘sign’] in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, here she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Rev. 12:1-6).

Revelation chapters eleven and twelve (Revelation 11; 12) must be studied together. The former chapter introduces the latter chapter, and the latter chapter provides additional details and commentary for the former chapter.

Chapter Eleven, Introductory…

Chapter eleven (Revelation 11) began by calling attention to the whole of the seven-year Tribulation, divided into two equal parts, two equal periods of three and one-half years. Events during the latter half of the Tribulation were briefly mentioned first — the Gentiles treading the city of Jerusalem under foot (Rev. 11:2). Then, a single series of events was singled out to cover the first three and one-half years — the ministry of two individuals sent from heaven to earth to bear witness to the Jewish people immediately before they entered into their darkest hour (Rev. 11:3). And part of the chapter was then given over to providing details concerning the ministry of these two witnesses (Rev. 11:4-12).

Then chapter twelve (Revelation 12) picks up where chapter eleven left off and provides details and commentary concerning events surrounding Israel and the nations immediately before and during the time referenced in verse two of the preceding chapter (Rev. 11:2) — during that time when Jerusalem would be trodden under foot by the Gentiles for three and one-half years, during the last half of the Tribulation.

As well, chapter twelve itself is also integrally arranged in a similar manner. The first six verses (Rev. 12:1-6) provide the complete story, with the remainder of the chapter forming commentary. The first three verses (Rev. 12:1-3), forming a continuation from the previous chapter, lead into and form the background for the three verses which follow (Rev. 12:4-6). Then the commentary seen in the remainder of the chapter has to do with these latter three verses.

Verses seven through twelve (Rev. 12:7-12) provide commentary for verse four (Rev. 12:4); verse thirteen (Rev. 12:13) provides commentary for verses four and five (Rev. 12:4-5); verses fourteen through sixteen (Rev. 12:14-16) provide commentary for verse six (Rev. 12:6); and verse seventeen (Rev. 12:17) somewhat covers the whole of the matter and provides commentary for all three of these preceding verses (Rev. 12:14-16).

Then subsequent chapters, particularly chapters thirteen, fourteen, and seventeen through the first part of nineteen, continue this commentary. All of these chapters (chs. eleven through fourteen [Revelation 11; 12; 13; 14], and seventeen through the first part of nineteen [Revelation 17; 18; 19]) are inseparably tied together in this respect and must be studied as a unit, with any one part being incomplete when separated from the other parts.

(For additional information on the two witnesses in Revelation 11, refer to the author’s pamphlets, “The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom” [three parts] and “Two Men At the Empty Tomb.”)

The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom by Arlen Chitwood, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Two Men at the Empty Tomb by Arlen Chitwood

A Woman, Dragon, and Man-Child

Metaphors are used extensively throughout Revelation 12, which is something seen throughout the Book of Revelation and throughout Scripture in general. That is to say, the “woman” is not a literal woman but is descriptive of someone or something else; and so it is with the “dragon” and the “man child.” All three have to do with things which are literal, which, in themselves, are descriptive of that which they are referencing. And that being depicted by all three metaphors is clearly made known in the chapter itself, through comparing Scripture with Scripture.

Metaphors are used in Scripture in a completely consistent manner, and man is never left to his own imagination as to that which God is depicting through the use of metaphors. The texts, contexts, and/or related Scripture elsewhere will always shed light on the matter, revealing how the metaphors are being used.

1) The Woman

The “woman” can easily be identified as Israel through a number of means.

The “woman” — in association with the sun, the moon, and the stars — is presented within the scope of Joseph’s second dream in Gen. 37:9. The typology and the symbolism in this verse in Genesis have to do with Christ and Israel (cf. Gen. 37:10) — Christ ruling over Israel during the Messianic Era, with regality also shown relative to Israel.

In Rev. 12:1, the woman and the symbolism have to do with Israel and the nations (cf. Rev. 6:12-17; 12:3) — Israel ruling over the nations during the Messianic Era, with regality also shown relative to the nations.

Israel in Rev. 12:1, unlike in Gen. 37:9, is seen clothed with the sun (symbolizing the main governing power), the moon under her feet (symbolizing Gentile powers subject to Israel [cf. Ps. 110:1-2; Rev. 6:12-17]), and a crown of twelve stars upon her head (further showing regality through the use of “a crown” and ”twelve stars” [the number of governmental perfection, with the stars also showing governing powers, regality]).

(There are two words for “crown” in the Greek text of the New Testament — stephanos and diadema. The former word [stephanos] would be used of an individual not actually seated on the throne and holding the sceptre, not reigning at the present time, though in a position to reign; the latter word [diadema] would be used of one actually seated on the throne and holding the sceptre, one presently reigning.

The word used for crown in the text of Rev. 12:1 is stephanos, indicating a present nonreigning position for the woman, for Israel, but also indicating that this woman is in a position to hold the sceptre and reign at a future time [cf. Rev. 17:18]. And at that future time the “crown of twelve stars” would no longer be described through the use of the word stephanos but, rather, through the use of the word diadema.

For additional information on the two Greek words for “crown,” along with additional information on the symbolism used with the woman in Rev. 12:1, refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 7 and Ch. 29.  Also see The Ranks Of The Crowns! and Crowns Cast Before God’s Throne! in this site.)

The woman is further seen with child, “travailing in birth,” in pain, awaiting deliverance (Rev. 12:2). This, of course, has to do with the woman in labor, about to give birth, about to bring forth the man-child (Rev. 12:4).

Then the woman, following the birth of the manchild (Rev. 12:5), is seen fleeing into the wilderness where she has “a place prepared of God”; and she would be divinely cared for and protected in this place during the last three and one-half years of the tribulation (Rev. 12:6, 14). This has its parallel in Mat. 24:16-22; Luke 21:21-24, which, as well, has to do with Israel during the last half of the Tribulation.

Thus, in complete keeping with what this part of the Book of Revelation is about — Israel and the nations, as Satan continues his rule through the nations — the identity of the woman is seen at every turn.

2) The Dragon

The identity of the “dragon” in verses three and four (Rev. 12:3-4) is seen in the subsequent commentary part of the text itself. The “dragon” is identified as the Devil, Satan (Rev. 12:9). He is the one seen back in verse three, ruling through the nations in the kingdom of the Beast when this man rises to power as world ruler near the middle of the Tribulation.

In Revelation chapter six (Revelation 6) the Beast is seen riding forth on a white horse, going forth “conquering, and to conqueror.” In this opening part of the Tribulation, he is seen wearing a “crown,” described through the use of the word stephanos. This man’s aspirations at the time are worldwide dominion. But achieving his goal and wearing a crown described by the word diadema awaits a future date. It awaits conquest after conquest.

Then, in chapter twelve, this man is brought to the forefront again and is now seen wearing the diadem which he had sought. Note in verse three (Rev. 12:3) that all seven heads of the Beast are crowned (cf. Rev. 17:9-12), and the word used for “crown” in the Greek text is diadema, not stephanos as used relative to Israel in verse one. Further, the “ten horns,” depicting this man’s ten-kingdom federation, are seen crowned with diadems in the opening verse of the next chapter (Revelation 13).

Thus, the man previously seen riding forth when the first seal of the seven-sealed scroll was broken, wearing a crown depicted by the word stephanos, will now have achieved the power which he had sought three and one-half years earlier — worldwide dominion.

In Rev. 12:3, this man’s kingdom is seen so closely aligned with Satan that the dragon himself is depicted as having the seven crowned heads and ten crowned horns. This is how inseparable Satan, the one ruling through the nations during Man’s Day, is seen aligned with the final form of Gentile world power at the end of Man’s Day. And Satan will give to this man who controls the final form of Gentile world power “his power, and his seat [‘throne’], and great authority” (Rev. 13:2).

3) The Man-Child

Most commentators and Bible teachers dealing with chapter twelve identify the “man child” as Christ, also brought forth by Israel. This is done mainly on the basis of two things said about the man-child in verse five (Rev. 12:5). The man-child is destined “to rule all nations with a rod of iron”; and, following his birth, the man-child is “caught up unto God, and to his throne.” Both would appear to identify the man-child as Christ. Christ, brought forth by Israel (as the man-child was brought forth by Israel), is destined to rule the nations as described in the text (Ps. 2:6-9); and Christ, as well, ascended to the same place described in the text (Ps. 110:1; Acts 1:9; 7:56).

Then again, co-heirs with Christ have a similar connection with Israel, are given the same promise relative to ruling the nations, and will be caught up into heaven as well (Gal 3:29; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 2:26-27). And this has led some commentators and Bible students to associate the man-child with Christians being removed in what they would see as a selective rapture of Christians (though this would be completely out of place, for all Christians will have previously been removed from the earth; and, aside from this fact, selective rapture is not taught in Scripture anyway).

But, after all is said and done, bear something in mind. The “woman” and the “dragon” are identified in the chapter. And the same could only be expected concerning the identity of the man-child as well, which is exactly what can be found. The man-child is unquestionably identified later in the chapter, and a proper identification will open parts of chapters seven, eleven, and fourteen to one’s understanding (plus verses in the Olivet Discourse accounts, along with parts of the O.T.), which would otherwise remain closed.

With that in mind, note what the text and context have to say and teach about the matter.

The reference to a “man child,” used as a metaphor, must be in complete keeping with how both the “woman” and the “dragon” are used as metaphors in the chapter. And doing this would automatically discount any teaching that the man-child is a reference to Christ. If Christ is being referenced, then the expression is not really being used as a metaphor in the same sense that the other two are being used, for Christ was brought forth by Israel as both a “male” and a “child,” or a “son” (literal rendering from the Greek text in Rev. 12:5 is “a son, a male,” with the Greek word for “child” also used in the text and context [Rev. 12:4-5]).

But the preceding, contextually, is really inconsequential. Any thought that the man-child is a reference to Christ is nullified by the context on both sides of the text. Note the timing of the birth of the man-child in verse five (Rev. 12:5). The man-child’s birth occurs after Satan and his angels have been cast out of their abode in the heavens, which places this birth just before or in the middle of the Tribulation (Rev. 12:4); and it occurs immediately before Israel flees into the wilderness at the full end of the 1,260 days covering the first half of the Tribulation (Rev. 12:6). Also, the birth of the man-child will occur either very near or at the time when the two witnesses in chapter eleven are slain, which is also at the full end of the first 1,260 days of the Tribulation.

But how is the man-child identified in Revelation chapter twelve? The man-child is seen following the woman fleeing “into the wilderness” (Rev. 12:14) as “the remnant of her [the woman’s] seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17 [seen also in Rev. 11:13 of the previous chapter]). And that stated about “the remnant” in Rev. 12:17 would also identify them with the 144,000 in chapters seven and fourteen.

Part II

“And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

And I heard a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts [‘four living creatures’], and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits [‘a first-fruit’] unto God and to the Lamb.

And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:1-7).

The individuals who will proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to the ends of the earth during the Tribulation, spoken of by Christ in Matt. 24:14 and Mark 13:10, are revealed in the Book of Revelation to be 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1-5). And, in order to provide additional information, these Jewish evangels are presented after another fashion in chapters eleven and twelve of this book — as “a man child” at the time Israel brings the 144,000 forth (gives birth [Rev. 12:2, 4-5]), and as “the remnant of her [Israel’s] seed” following the nation bringing the 144,000 forth (Rev. 11:13; 12:17).

(Ref. Part I for more information on the manchild and the remnant in Rev. 11; 12, along with how these are descriptive references to the 144,000 in Rev. 7; 14.)

Thus, information in each of these four chapters (Revelation 7; 11; 12; 14) presents different things about the 144,000.

Leading into Chapter Fourteen

Chapter seven (Revelation 7) presents the sealing of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8), along with the results of their ministry — “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations…” (Rev. 7:9-17).

Chapter eleven (Revelation 11) drops back behind chapter seven in time and presents the apparent means by which the 144,000 will hear the message and be saved through the ministry of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:3, 13).

Chapter twelve continues from chapter eleven, providing additional information about the 144,000. This chapter presents their being brought forth as the man-child after all 144,000 have been saved, the timing surrounding their being saved (progressively during the first half of the Tribulation, with the complete number [all 144,000] brought forth, saved, by the middle of the Tribulation), and that which will occur once the 144,000 have been brought forth (Rev. 12:1-17).

(Note that the 144,000 couldn’t be saved near the end of the dispensation in which God deals with the Church, prior to the Tribulation. If saved during the present dispensation, they would be part of the one new man “in Christ” and would be removed at the time of the rapture, preceding the Tribulation. Thus, they will have to be saved following the removal of Christians from the earth.)

Chapter fourteen then presents additional commentary concerning the 144,000 for that previously revealed in chapters seven, eleven, and twelve (Rev. 14:1-7).

When information in all four of these chapters is studied together, allowing Scripture to interpret itself, a developing word picture can be seen concerning the place which these Jewish evangels will occupy in events throughout the entire seven years of the Tribulation.

As previously seen, the 144,000, referred to in chapter twelve as “a man child” and “the remnant” (Rev. 12:5, 17), are presented in this chapter as being brought forth in a progressive manner throughout the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation. The matter is presented as the development and subsequent birth of a child, with “Israel” seen as the mother and “the 144,000” seen as the child (Rev. 12:2, 4-5).

The gestation period for child-birth in the human realm is nine months, but for the man-child it will be three and one-half years. Development of the child in the mother’s womb (Israel’s womb), as it were, will progressively occur over a three and one-half-year period as individuals are saved and added to the number throughout this time. Then, near the middle of the Tribulation when the number is complete, Israel will give birth to the man-child, the 144,000 (Rev. 12:2, 4-5; cf. Matt. 24:8; Mark 13:8).

The 144,000 are referred in Rev. 11:13 as “the remnant” in connection with events occurring immediately following the death, resurrection, and ascension of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:7-13). And this “remnant” is seen again in the next chapter (Rev. 12:17), identifying the man-child seen earlier in the chapter (Rev. 11:5).

(The word “remnant” in both Rev. 11:13 and Rev. 12:17 is a translation of the Greek word loipos, which means “remaining ones.” The word loipos could not refer to the Jewish people in the land as a whole. The nation will exist in unbelief at this time, and those remaining, the remnant, though afraid like the rest of the Jewish people, will give “glory to the God of heaven.” And giving “glory to the God of heaven” would be completely out of place for all of the unbelieving Jewish people still in the land.

The only Jewish people in the land at this time, to whom this could possibly be referring, would be those seen in Rev. 12:17 — “the remnant of her seed [Israel’s seed], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” And this “remnant” in Rev. 12:17, referred to as Israel’s seed, is the identification which the chapter provides for Israel’s seed back in Rev. 12:5, the “man child” [easily identified as the 144,000 in Revelation 7; 14, for they will be the ones having the testimony of Jesus Christ and will be the only ones on earth at this time who could fit the description of the man-child, the remnant, in Revelation 12].)

Following the order of events occurring in the middle of the Tribulation, the Beast (who will, at this time, be the world ruler, the crowned seventh head) will slay the two witnesses (Rev. 11:7). The two witnesses’ bodies will then lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem for three and one-half days, while the world rejoices.

And this rejoicing may very well include many of the unbelieving Jewish people in the land, those guilty of the blood of the prophets, along with others sent unto them, including God’s Son (Matt. 21:33-39; 23:37; Luke 13:33- 34).

Then, after three and one-half days, a day for each year of their ministry, the two witnesses will be raised from the dead and ascend to heaven.

And it will evidently be at the time of and in connection with the death and/or resurrection of these two witnesses that the Beast breaks his covenant with the Jewish people and enters into the Temple, declaring himself to be God (Dan. 11:31; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3-4). At this time he will show his true colors, turn against the Jewish people, and seek to destroy them from off the face of the earth.

The first part of Rev. 11:13 (describing events occurring immediately following the ascension of the two witnesses), in the light of related Scripture, apparently has to do with the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jewish people (events which occur at this time). Then attention is called to “the remnant” — individuals who are afraid but still place first things first and give “glory to the God of heaven.”

Things will happen so fast at this time that the Jewish people in Jerusalem and Judaea are told to run for their lives, without even taking time to enter into their homes to take necessities with them. A segment of the Jewish people will escape to a specially prepared place in the wilderness or in the mountainous terrain, apparently in Moab (Isa. 16:4). And the remainder will either be slain, sold as slaves to the Gentiles, or driven out among the nations of the earth (Joel 3:6-7; Matt. 24:16-21; Luke 21:20-24; Rev. 12:6, 14).

Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed at this time, with the nation of Israel in the Middle East, as the world knows it today, ceasing to exist (cf. Dan. 9:26; Luke 21:22-24; Rev. 11:2). And the Jewish people will not again have a national identity in this respect until Christ returns, removes the Jewish people from the nations, and reestablishes them back in the land Himself (Ezek. 37:21-28; 39:25-29; Matt. 24:30-31).

The present nation of Israel in the Middle East — destined to be uprooted, with the Jews comprising this nation being driven back out among the Gentile nations — includes only a part of world Jewry. This nation was brought into existence through man’s efforts in a Zionistic movement, and it is a restoration of the Jewish people in unbelief, not belief.

But when Christ returns, the restoration of the Jewish people back to the land will occur through Divine activity. Christ will send His angels out to regather all of the Jews from the nations of the earth (Matt. 24:31), and He will then restore them to the land in belief.

The latter, not the former, is that prophesied in Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets concerning Israel’s national restoration.

(For additional information concerning the preceding, refer to the author’s two pamphlets titled, “Time of Israel’s Restoration.”) “Time” of Israel's Restoration by Arlen Chitwood, Pt. I,,Pt. 2

The 144,000, Removed from and Returned to the Earth

Revelation chapter fourteen (Revelation 14) provides the necessary information to explain things surrounding the removal of the man-child from the earth in Rev. 12:5. The man-child, the 144,000, is seen in Rev. 14:1 in Christ’s presence on Mt. Zion in heaven. And further down in the chapter the 144,000 are said to have been “redeemed from the earth” (Rev. 14:3), and “redeemed from among men” (Rev. 14:4). Then they are referred to as “the firstfruits [lit., ‘a first-fruit’ (seen as a corporate group)] unto God and to the Lamb” (Rev. 14:4b).

The 144,000 will comprise a first-fruit of the nation. During the last half of the Tribulation they, as a first-fruit of the nation, will fulfill one of God’s purposes for calling the nation into existence. They will be God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth during this time (I Kings 8:54-61; Isa. 43:8-9).

Then, following the Tribulation, God will deal with the main harvest — the nation as a whole, the nation which brought forth the 144,000. Following the Tribulation, the entire nation will be brought forth (saved through the personal appearance of their Messiah to them). The entire nation will be brought forth “in one day” (Isa. 66:8). And, as a first-fruit of the nation will have carried God’s message worldwide to the Gentile nations during the last half of the Tribulation, the entire Jewish nation will carry God’s message worldwide to the Gentile nations during the Millennium.

(Israel will bring forth a first-fruit of the nation, the 144,000. But how will the entire nation be brought forth?

In Isa. 66:7-8 Israel is seen in travail relative to her own bringing forth. And Israel being brought forth is in connection with “the land" [the land of Israel] also being brought forth [Isa. 66:8, NASB]. Then, this concept of “the land” being brought forth at this time is seen in a larger sense in Rom. 8:19-22 as the entire material creation groaning and travailing together in pain, awaiting deliverance.

In Isaiah, the deliverance of Israel and her land is seen in connection with the nation bringing herself forth:

“As soon as Zion travailed [contextually, a reference to the nation], she also brought forth her sons” [Isa. 66:8b, NASB].

And the reference to “sons” being brought forth is also seen in the travailing and deliverance in Romans chapter eight [Romans 8]. The time when the creation will be delivered from the present groaning and travailing together in pain is the time of “the manifestation of the sons of God” [Rom 8:19]. This chapter in Romans deals more specifically with the adoption of Christians as firstborn sons and their being manifested as such. Israel though has already been adopted and is presently God’s firstborn son [cf. Ex. 4:22-23], though an unbelieving son. And Israel must be brought forth as well [actually first and foremost].

The creation will be delivered from its present groaning and travailing in pain only when the complete contingent of the Sons of God [Christ, Israel, and the Church following the adoption] have been manifested for all to see.) 

Part III

“And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

And I heard a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts [‘four living creatures’], and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits [‘a first-fruit’] unto God and to the Lamb.

And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:1-7).

The timing of the removal of the 144,000 from the earth is seen in both chapters eleven and twelve. In chapter eleven, they are still seen on earth at the time Jerusalem and the Temple are destroyed (or, are in the process of being destroyed), with the Jewish people fleeing for their lives at this time (Rev. 11:13; cf. Matt. 24:15ff; Luke 21:20ff). In chapter twelve, they are seen being removed from the earth following the casting of Satan and his angels out of heaven and at the time that the Jewish people in Jerusalem and Judaea flee for their lives (Rev. 12:4-6). Thus, Satan and his angels will be cast out of the heavens before the middle of the Tribulation, evidently shortly before. And the 144,000, the man-child, will be removed from the earth after the middle of the Tribulation, evidently shortly after.

(Satan and his angels will be cast out of the heavens after all seven heads of the Beast have been crowned. Note, in Rev. 12:3, all seven heads are seen wearing diadems at this time [a “diadem” is a monarch’s crown, a crown worn by one holding the septre (ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 7 and Ch. 12)]. And the seventh head [the final world ruler, the final king of Babylon, Antichrist] will not rise to the position he will aspire [worldwide power and dominion], wearing a diadem, until near the middle of the Tribulation.

Thus, Satan and his angels being cast out of the heavens onto the earth will have to occur very close to the middle of the Tribulation. And the 144,000 will have to be removed from the earth at the same time that the remainder of the Jewish people in the land flee for their lives, for they are placed together in Rev. 12:5-6 [with the escape of the 144,000 from the wrath of Satan and Antichrist being into the heavens, and the escape of other Jews in the land being out into different parts of the earth].)

The 144,000 Removed from the Earth

As previously seen, the man-child — the 144,000 — will be removed from the earth, following birth, to escape Satan’s wrath. And the removal of the manchild would parallel another removal of Israel’s Seed over 2,000 years before — Christ’s removal from the land following His birth, to escape Herod’s wrath.

Israel brought Christ forth through a Jewish woman. Shortly after His birth, He was taken into Egypt to escape Herod’s death decree on all the children in and around Bethlehem, two years old and under. He was taken to a location which was outside Herod’s jurisdiction. Then, at a later time, Christ was brought back into the land to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to Israel for about three and one-half years (Matt. 2:13-21).

Israel will bring forth the man-child through a means other than natural childbirth. Nonetheless, the matter is likened in Scripture to natural childbirth (Rev. 12:2, 4-5). Shortly after the 144,000 have been brought forth, they will be removed from Satan and Antichrist’s jurisdiction, into the heavens (Satan, immediately prior to this, will have been cast out of heaven and will no longer have jurisdiction in the heavens [Rev. 12:4, 7-12]). Then, at a later time, the 144,000 will be sent back to the earth to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to the Gentiles worldwide for about three and one-half years (Matt. 24:14).

And there will likely be another reason for their being removed into the heavens at this time. Unlike Christ during His earthly ministry, they will need training for the ministry which they are to carry out.

Christ, in this respect, removed Paul into the heavens following his conversion and evidently personally taught him the message which he was to proclaim (II Cor. 12:1-7; Gal. 1:11, 12; Eph. 3:1-3). Paul had previously sat “at the feet of Gamaliel” and had been “taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers” (Acts 22:3). But Christ still had to take Paul, who was quite knowledgeable in the Scriptures, and teach him the message which he was to proclaim throughout the Gentile world.

And the 144,000, though many of them will have possibly been taught by the two witnesses, will likely experience the same thing Paul experienced following his conversion. During the time spent in heaven, the 144,000 will evidently be taught the message which they are to proclaim throughout the Gentile world by Christ Himself.

The 144,000 Returned to the Earth

As Christ was taken back into the land to later proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to Israel for about three and one-half years, the 144,000 will be sent back to the earth to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to the Gentiles worldwide for about the same length of time (or, as Paul was also returned to the earth for a corresponding purpose).

The 144,000 being sent back to the earth to proclaim this message — though not stated in so many words in Scripture — is inferred several different ways. The proclamation of this message is seen in Matt. 24:14 and Mark 13:10 as “the gospel of the kingdom” being proclaimed among all nations during what is evidently a time extending to the end of the Tribulation, and it is seen in Rev. 12:17 as individuals possessing “the testimony of Jesus Christ” during the last half of the Tribulation.

Then, the proclamation of this message is connected in a direct manner with the 144,000 in Revelation chapter fourteen. In this chapter, the connection of the 144,000 with the message to be proclaimed is seen after a fashion in keeping with how the Book of Revelation is structured.

Immediately after the 144,000 have been introduced (Rev. 14:1-5), the text reads:

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:6-7).

That proclaimed by the angel in verse seven is not the content of “the everlasting gospel” in verse six. Rather, this is simply an announcement to those dwelling on the earth by the angel appearing with this gospel.

Angelic activity is seen at every turn throughout the Book of Revelation. And, in the light of Israel’s calling, the placement of this angel with a message to those on the earth — “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” — immediately after the verses dealing with the 144,000 (who are about to carry a message to the same people on earth), can be understood only one way.

Israel is the nation which God called into existence to deliver His message to the Gentile nations throughout the earth, not angels. And, in view of Israel’s calling, the reference in these two verses, particularly contextually, cannot possibly have to do with an angel carrying the gospel message worldwide to all the nations on the earth. Rather, it can only have to do with an angel appearing with the message which the 144,000, seen in the immediately preceding verses, are to proclaim.

And the latter, along with Rev. 12:17 (viewed in the overall structure of the chapter) and the Olivet Discourse references (Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10), would necessitate the 144,000 being returned to the earth to proclaim this message.

(Note that the message which the 144,000 will proclaim is referred to as the “gospel of the kingdom” in Matt. 24:14. In this respect, the word “everlasting” in Rev. 14:6 [Gk., aionios] could probably be better translated “age-lasting.” The Messianic kingdom is in view in Matt. 24:14, and this kingdom comprises one age — the seventh day [foreshadowed by the Sabbath in Gen. 2:2-3, following six days of restorative work], the seventh one-thousand-year period in the septenary structure of time, the coming Sabbath of rest in Heb. 4:9 [cf. Heb. 4:4].

Aionios is used in the Greek text of the N.T. to refer to “a long period of time,” often “an age.” The “long period of time” can be understood as “eternal” only if the context so designates.

Neither the Hebrew of the O.T. nor the Greek of the N.T. contains a word for “eternal.” Olam is the word translated “eternal,” “everlasting,” or “perpetual” in English translations of the O.T., and aion [a noun] or aionios [the adjective form of aion] are the words translated “eternal” or “everlasting” in the N.T. [aidios, an older form of aionios, used only two times and meaning exactly the same as aionios, is the only exception (Rom. 1:20 and Jude 1:6)].

Olam, aion, and aionios all have to do with “a long period of time,” which, if the context permits, can refer to “eternity” [e.g., the Aionios God in Rom. 16:26]. But the words standing alone, apart from a context, cannot be understood as “eternal.” Context is the all-important factor to ascertain the length of time in view when these words are used.

Aion and aionios are usually thought of and used numerous times in the N.T. in the sense of “an age.” And a usage of this nature is even brought over into English. For example, the English word “aeon [or ‘eon’]” is derived from the Greek word aion.

The only way in which the Greek text can express “eternal” apart from textual considerations is through a use of aion in the plural [e.g., Luke 1:33; Heb. 13:8, referring to “the ages,” i.e., ages without end, which would comprise eternity] or a double use of aion, in the plural and articular both times [e.g., Rev. 1:6; 4:9-10; 5:13- 14; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5 — referring to “the ages of the ages,” again, ages without end]. Also, the same plural double use of aion occurs in Rev. 14:11 without the definite articles, meaning “ages of ages.”

The preceding lists all occurrences of the plural double use of aion in the Book of Revelation. This plural double use only occurs seven other times in the N.T., all articular [Gal. 1:5; Phil. 4:20; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11; 5:11].)

The Ministry of the 144,000

The ministry of the 144,000 will reach to the ends of the earth over the short space of about three and one-half years — to “all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Rev. 7:9). Many reached with the message will be slain for their faith, with many others, in the words of Matt. 24:13, enduring “unto the end” (the end of the Tribulation) and being “saved” (being physically delivered out of the Tribulation).

Those slain for their faith during this time are described in Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 20:4. Their state during the time between death and the end of the Tribulation is seen in the former two references (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17), and that which awaits them during the Messianic Era is seen in the latter reference (Rev. 20:4).

Following death they are seen in Christ’s presence in heaven, and during the Messianic Era they are seen occupying regal positions with Christ in His kingdom.

Those enduring until the end and being delivered out of the Tribulation are seen in Matt. 25:31-46. And, as seen among those slain during the Tribulation in the larger scope of the passage in Revelation chapter twenty (Rev. 20:4-6), both faithful and unfaithful appear among the saved who endure until the end and come out of the Tribulation alive in Matt. 25:31-46.

A judgment of these individuals who come out of the Tribulation alive, as with those slain in Rev. 20:4-6, occurs when Christ returns. And, exactly as in Rev. 20:4-6, the faithful will be allowed to enter into the kingdom, but the unfaithful will be turned away; and the same metaphorical picture of a burning in relation to the unfaithful, as seen in John 15:6 and Heb. 6:8, is seen in both judgments (in both Matt. 25:31-46 and Rev. 20:4-6).

(For more information on Matt. 25:31-46, refer to Chapters XXII-XXIV in the author’s book, “Prophecy on Mount Olivet” [Revised Edition], The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood and/or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 22, Ch. 23, Ch. 24

For more information on Rev. 20:4-6, refer to Chapter XXXIII in the author’s book, The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood and/or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 33.

(Also see The Two Witnesses in Revelation  following in this site.)

The 144,000 Jewish Evangels by Arlen Chitwood, Part I, Part II, Part III .

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The Two Witnesses in Revelation
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.

But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.

And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. (Revelation 11:1-4)

Revelation 11 opens with introductory remarks concerning the Temple which will be constructed by the Jewish people during the first year of the Tribulation.  Daniel 8:11-14 reveals that sacrifices in a rebuilt Temple will commence seven months and ten days (220 days) following the beginning of the Tribulation, following the man of sin ratifying a seven-year covenant with “many” in Israel.  Then, sacrifices in accord with the Mosaic economy will continue for two years ten months and twenty days (1,040 days) before the man of sin breaks his covenant and stops the sacrifices by and through a desecration and subsequent destruction of the Temple (cf. Daniel 9:26-27; 11:31; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

(To arrive at the preceding figures, subtract the 2,300 days in Daniel 8:14 from 2,520 days [the total number of days in the seven-year Tribulation, using thirty-day months].  This will leave 220 days, or seven months and ten days, the time that it will take to rebuild the Temple, establish the priesthood, and begin offering sacrifices.  The 2,300 subsequent days, the days in Daniel 8:14, form the total time from that point to the end of the Tribulation, which is divided into two parts referred to by “the daily sacrifices” [first part] and “the transgression of desolation” [second part] in the previous verse [Daniel 8:13].

The words “the daily sacrifices” has to do with that part of the 2,300 days during which sacrifices in a rebuilt Temple will be offered [from the time they begin until the middle of the Tribulation, for two years ten months and twenty days, or 1,040 days].

Then, “the transgression of desolation” has to do with the time following the man of sin breaking his covenant, causing the sacrifices to cease, and not only desecrating but destroying the rebuilt Temple.  This will occur exactly in the middle of the Tribulation [after three and one-half years, after 1,260 days, with three and one-half years left, with 1,260 days left].

Thus, the 1,040 days, during which sacrifices will be offered, comprise the first part of the 2,300 days; and the 1,260 days [or, as in the text, “forty-two months”], during which there will no longer be sacrifices, for the Temple will have been destroyed and the Jewish people dispersed, comprise the last part of this period.

And the cleansing of the sanctuary [Daniel 8:14] will occur at the full end of the 2,300 days, which is synonymous with the time Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy in the next chapter ends [Daniel 8:24-27].  This cleansing of the sanctuary will occur at the same time and be inseparably related to the things enumerated in Daniel 8:24 of this subsequent Seventy-Week prophecy.)

Following introductory remarks concerning the rebuilt Temple, Revelation 11  leads into events during each of the three-and-one-half-year parts of the Tribulation.  That which occurs during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation is mentioned first (Revelation 11:2).  This is then immediately followed by a number of verses detailing that which occurs during the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:13-14).  Thus, though this part of the chapter begins by briefly mentioning that which occurs during the last half of the Tribulation, the chapter is centrally about that which occurs during the first half.

Mentioning or dealing with the last first, and the first last (cf. Matthew 20:16) is seen in different ways, at different times, in Scripture.  One way is by and through God rejecting the first and establishing the second (e.g., rejecting the earth’s first ruler and establishing the second, rejecting the first man and establishing the Second, rejecting the first birth and establishing the second, etc.).  But the text concerns itself more with the manner in which things are listed, which can be seen in the manner in which individuals and undoubtedly other things are listed at the beginning of Scripture (e.g., the order in which the birth of sons listed in Genesis 5:32; 11:26 occurred, or the order in which cities listed in Genesis 10:10 were apparently built).

Note that the three sons of Noah in Genesis 5:32; 6:10 and the three sons of Terah in Genesis 11:26-27 are listed in the reverse order of their birth.  The first (oldest son) is listed last and the last (youngest son) is listed first.  This can easily be shown through that stated in other verses about one or more of these sons (cf. Genesis 5:32; 7:6; 10:21; 11:10 for Noah and Genesis 11:26, 32; 12:4 for Terah).

And this same reverse order would apparently hold true as well for such things as the order in which the four cities listed in Genesis 10:10 were built.  All four cities are said to form the beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom, with the last city listed (Calneh) probably being the first of the four built and the first city listed (Babel) probably being the last of the four built.

(To illustrate how knowing the preceding can sometimes help in biblical interpretation, note that this reverse order would exist as well for the order of the birth of the four sons of Ham listed in Genesis 10:6.  “Canaan” is mentioned last.  Thus, Canaan would be Ham’s oldest son, his firstborn.  And this fact is quite evident from Noah’s curse concerning “a servant of servants [i.e., ‘the lowest of servants’]” pronounced upon Canaan, resulting from an act committed by Ham, Canaan’s father [Genesis 9:20-25].

Noah didn’t look down a line of four sons [the way they are listed in Genesis 10:6] and curse the youngest son.  No!  It appears evident that Canaan was the only son that Ham had at this time, which would apparently have been no more than several years following the Flood [giving Noah time to plant a vineyard and grow grapes, and giving Ham time to begat one son].  And knowing that Canaan was Ham’s firstborn [probably born during the Flood (cf. Genesis 7:13; 9:18)] and evidently the only son Ham had at this time is vital to a correct, contextual, understanding of the passage.

Why didn’t Noah curse Ham since he was the one who had committed the act?  The reason is given in the context. God had previously blessed Noah and his three sons [Genesis 9:1], and Noah couldn’t curse the one whom God had blessed.  Thus, Noah did the only thing that he could do.  Noah cursed Ham’s son, Canaan.  And it is evident from the context that this was a curse upon Ham’s entire seed, not just upon his firstborn.

Three inseparably related prophecies are seen in that which Noah stated about each of his sons in Genesis 9:25-27.  These prophecies, as evident from their contextual setting and content — dealing with a new beginning in the human race, necessitating all-inclusiveness — have to do with federal headship and the prophetic destinies of races comprising nations, with the prophecies in this respect not limited to the three individuals in the prophecies but to their descendants as well.

And to understand how God has worked out the preceding in these prophecies, note the prophecies in Genesis 9:26-27 concerning both Shem and Japheth.  Shem is seen as the only son with a God [Genesis 9:26], and Japheth is to be enlarged [Genesis 9:27].  This is seen today in and through a nation descending from Shem [the Jewish people] being the only nation with a God [Exodus 3:6; Psalm 72:18; 96:5; Ephesians 2:11-12], and in and through Japheth’s descendants populating a large part of the globe.

For more information on the preceding, refer to the author’s two pamphlets, Arlen Chitwood's Sons of Noah, Part I, and Part II.)

Forty-Two Months
Twelve Hundred Sixty Days

As previously seen, the expression “forty-two months” is used first in chapter eleven (Revelation 11) relative to events during the last half of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:2).  Then the expression “a thousand two hundred and sixty days” is used last relative to events during the first half of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:3).  These are just two ways of expressing the same length of time, and they should not necessarily be thought of as ways that the Spirit used to show that events having to do with one belongs in a different half of the Tribulation than events having to do with the other.  This is determined and made plain by the events themselves, not by two different ways of saying the same thing.

Remaining within the order seen in verses two and three (the last first, and the first last), Jerusalem is to be trodden under foot by the Gentiles for forty-two months, 1,260 days.  At the beginning of this period (beginning in the middle of the Tribulation), following the man of sin breaking his covenant with “many” in Israel and desecrating the Temple, both the Temple and the city of Jerusalem will be destroyed (Daniel 9:26; ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 12).

Matthew’s and Mark’s Olivet Discourse accounts surrounding events during this time center on the Temple and the people in Judaea (Matthew 24:15ff; Mark 13:14ff).  Luke’s account though is different.  Luke’s Olivet Discourse account centers on the city of Jerusalem, the people of Judaea, and provides information surrounding Jerusalem being trodden under foot by the Gentiles in Revelation 11:2.  Note the way Luke’s account reads:

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.

Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.

For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.

And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24).

The preceding verses are not dealing with events in 70 A.D. (the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and his Roman legions), as advanced by many commentators. These verses in Luke’s Olivet Discourse account parallel the referenced verses in Matthew’s and Mark’s Olivet Discourse accounts, which have to do with events during the future Tribulation.

Aside from the preceding, these verses in Luke have to do with a time when “all things which are written may be fulfilled,” something that didn’t occur through the events of 70 A.D.

And, beyond that, these verses have to do with a time when Jerusalem is going to be “trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” This perfectly parallels Revelation 11:2, which has to do with the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, with the Times of the Gentiles ending with the end of the Tribulation and the corresponding end of Man’s Day.

One need only look at conditions in Jerusalem today to know that Luke 21:20-24 cannot have to do with events of 70 A.D.  From the beginning to the end of events depicted in these verses, Jerusalem is to be trodden down by the Gentiles until the Times of the Gentiles is brought to an end.

Man is still living during the Times of the Gentiles today, and Jerusalem is not presently being trodden down of the Gentiles.  Thus, all that is stated in these verses has to be placed at a future time, in line with that which is seen in corresponding Scripture.

On the other hand, the ministry of the two witnesses can’t occur during the last half of the Tribulation.  There would be no Jews in Jerusalem or the surrounding area to which they could minister during this time.  Their ministry can only occur during the first half of the Tribulation, for their ministry will be to the Jewish people, and it will be centered in the capital of Jewry, in Jerusalem.

This is evident, if for no other reason, by how they are first described in the chapter:

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. (Revelation 11:4)

This is a reference drawn from the fifth of eight visions recorded in the opening part of the book of Zechariah (Zechariah 4:1-14).  These are visions revealed to and recorded by Zechariah following the return of a remnant from the Babylonian captivity.  And the subject matter of the eight visions (Zechariah 1:7-6:8) is governed by the manner in which they are introduced (Zechariah 1:1-6), which, in turn, governs the subject matter of the book itself.

These eight visions are introduced by the Lord’s statement surrounding Israel’s past disobedience, the result of this disobedience, the call for repentance, and that which will occur following Israel’s repentance.

Disobedience resulted in the Times of the Gentiles, and repentance would ultimately be effected by and through Gentile persecution during this period.

Then, the visions begin immediately following this and continue uninterrupted until all eight visions have been completed.

These visions have to be understood in the light of the manner in which they are introduced.  They have to be understood in the light of Israel’s past disobedience, which has resulted in the Times of the Gentiles; and they have to be understood in the light of the reason for the Times of the Gentiles — Israel not only reaping the consequences of her actions, but the nation ultimately being brought to the place of repentance — and that which will occur once God’s purpose for this period is realized.  These visions, understood contextually, must be looked upon as having to do with Israel and the nations during and at the end of the Times of the Gentiles.

Though God drove His people out among the nations, to effect repentance, the principles set forth in Genesis 12:3 remain.  God will use Gentile persecution to bring about repentance, but He will also subsequently judge the Gentiles because of this persecution.

Summarily, these visions bridge the centuries of time between the first and last kings of Babylon during the Times of the Gentiles.  They have to do with different facets of Israeli persecution at the hands of the Gentiles, with the principles set forth in Genesis 12:3 ultimately being worked out and realized.  They have to do with Israel ultimately being brought to the place of repentance, the Times of the Gentiles being brought to an end, and Gentile persecution of Israel being fully dealt with.

Only then will Israel occupy her proper place at the head of the nations in a restored theocracy, with the nations being blessed through Israel.

That, in short, is how the eight visions in Zechariah must be understood.  Each presents a different facet of the matter, and all of the visions together form a composite picture of that which God revealed through Zechariah concerning Israel and the nations.

Thus, knowing that the ministry of the two witnesses will be the fulfillment of Zechariah’s fifth vision, and understanding the subject matter of these visions, one can know that their ministry will have to do with the same people and subject matter as seen in all eight visions.  It will have to do with the Jewish people, their past disobedience and the result, a call to repentance, and that which awaits both Israel and the nations following Israel’s repentance.

Furthermore, the two witnesses appear textually to be the ones directly responsible for the conversion of the 144,000 Jews who will minister worldwide to the Gentiles during the last half of the Tribulation.  And bringing about the conversion of this remnant might very well be the central focus of their ministry.  Note that there is a point when the two witnesses will have finished their testimony (Revelation 11:7), which may very well have to do with the last of the 144,000 being saved and sealed (Revelation 11:1-8).

(Two subsequent chapters in Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 21 and Ch. 26, dealing with material in Revelation chapters twelve and fourteen, center on the ministry of the 144,000 and show an inseparable connection with Revelation chapter eleven.  In one sense of the word, chapter eleven provides introductory material for that seen in these two following chapters.)

Ministry of the Two Witnesses

Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:4-6)

Different, though similar, expressions are used in Scripture to depict all of Scripture — e.g., “To the law and to the testimony” (Isaiah 8:20); “Moses and all the prophets,” “the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms” (Luke 24:27, 44); or “Moses and the prophets” (Luke 16:29, 31).

By placing Moses and Elijah together in the last three verses in the Old Testament, all of Scripture is once again in view.  The Law was given through Moses, and Elijah was one of the prophets.

Then there are a series of events of equal significance concerning these two men that will occur yet future, at two different periods of time.

One has to do with a manifestation of signs by two prophets (the two witnesses) during the Tribulation, along with an evident counter manifestation of signs by the false prophet (Revelation 11; 13).  And, comparing Scripture with Scripture, these two prophets could only be identified as Moses and Elijah.

(These two prophets are “the two anointed ones” in Zechariah’s fifth vision [Zechariah 4:1-14].

Because of the importance of Elijah’s future ministry to Israel, as seen in Malachi 4:5-6, it would appear strange indeed if he were not mentioned someplace in Revelation 6-19a [that section of the book covering the Tribulation].  And, in the light of other Scripture, it would appear equally strange if Elijah appeared unaccompanied by Moses.

And Revelation 11:3-12 is the only place throughout these fourteen chapters of the book where we have two men of this nature appearing to Israel during this time.  Also, signs associated with their ministry reflect back on signs performed by Moses and Elijah [Revelation 11:6].)

Also, inseparably connected with the preceding and inseparably connecting these two men for all time in relation to Israel and the theocracy, there are only two instances in all of the Old Testament (in Moses and the Prophets) where God empowered individuals to perform supernatural “signs.”  The first occurred under Moses and his successor Joshua, and the second occurred under Elijah and his successor Elisha.

The first occurred in connection with the Jewish people and the theocracy — the Jewish people leaving Egypt with a view to realizing an inheritance in a theocracy in another land.  Thus, a first-mention principle was established at this point in Scripture regarding signs, which can never change.  Accordingly, any future manifestation of signs, through individuals empowered to perform these signs, could only have to do with the Jewish people, with the theocracy in view.

Remove either (the Jewish people or the theocracy), and signs of the nature seen in Scripture cannot exist.  Both Israel and the kingdom must be in view together for these supernatural signs to exist.

This is why exactly the same thing is seen by and through a manifestation of signs during Elijah’s and Elisha’s ministries.  This was one of the darkest days in Israeli history.  Ahab and his wife Jezebel had led the people completely away from God, into Baal worship.  The theocracy was in existence, though in a divided kingdom.  And the manifested signs had to do with Israel and the kingdom (a call for the people to return to the God of their fathers).

The same thing was seen in the gospel accounts and the book of Acts during the offer and reoffer of the kingdom to Israel — an unparalleled manifestation of signs.

And the same thing will again be seen during the first half of the Tribulation, by and through the ministry of the two witnesses, by and through the ministry of Moses and Elijah to Israel during this period.  And the signs will, they must, have to do with Israel and the kingdom during this future time.  The kingdom will be in the offing.  The time will be at hand when the kingdom will be restored to a repentant and converted nation.

1)  John the Baptist and Elijah

Many Bible students have trouble understanding that John only came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” and did not fulfill any of the Old Testament prophecies pertaining to Elijah.

John clearly stated that he wasn’t Elijah (John 1:21).  Jesus, on the other hand, said that he was Elijah (Matthew 11:10-14; 17:10-13).  But there was an “if” in connection with John being identified as Elijah by Christ in Matthew 11:14 — “if you will receive . . . .”

Elijah is to be Christ’s forerunner at the time Israel receives her Messiah.  God, in His foreknowledge, knew what the nation would do at Christ’s first coming.  Thus, John was sent “in the spirit and power of Elijah,” but not in fulfillment of any prophecies about Elijah.

(Scripture sometimes has near and far fulfillments of events in the preceding respect.  Note Hosea 11:1 and Matthew 2:15 for example — “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.”  The prophecy in Hosea is clearly about Israel, God’s firstborn son, at the time of the Exodus.  In Matthew though, the prophecy was fulfilled by God’s other firstborn Son, at the time He was removed from Egypt as a child.)

The fulfillment of that which is seen in Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6 can only occur at a time when the Jewish people receive their Messiah.  Note the context of Isaiah 40:3; it is millennial.  Also, note that which Elijah will do in Malachi 4:6, which John didn’t do in his ministry.

Elijah, exactly as he did with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18:25ff, will turn “the heart” of the Jewish people back to their fathers (back to believing the prophets), and “the heart” of their fathers (the prophets) back to the Jewish people.  Note the direct statement regarding this in the historical account following the fire falling from heaven on Mount Carmel (cf. 1 Kings 18:37-39; Malachi 4:5-6.

John, as Christ’s forerunner at His first coming, aside from a near fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3, failed to fulfill any of the prophecies pertaining to Elijah.  Thus, through any sound system of biblical interpretation, John cannot possibly be seen fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies concerning Elijah.

Elijah will come yet future, fulfilling Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6.  And, once again, he will be instrumental in turning the people from unbelief to belief in Israel, possibly in a similar manner to the way he accomplished this on Mount Carmel over 2,800 years ago (1 Kings 18:25-39)

2)  Moses and Elijah, During the Tribulation

When Elijah returns to minister to the Jewish people before “the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” he will be accompanied by Moses, both during the Tribulation and with Christ following the Tribulation.  And his fulfilling the passages in Isaiah and Malachi may very well occur both during and following the Tribulation when both he and Moses return with Christ, for events throughout this period will occur prior to “the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

(For information concerning when the Day of the Lord begins, which will follow the Tribulation and Christ’s return, refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 4 and Ch. 5.

“The great and dreadful day of the Lord” would refer more specifically to that time when Gentile world power is destroyed following Christ’s return.  See Chapter 15, p. 188 in The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood.)

During the Tribulation (first half), Moses and Elijah will minister to Israel.  They will evidently be instrumental in the conversion of the 144,000 Jews who are to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to the Gentiles worldwide during the last half of the Tribulation (Revelation 7; 12; 14).  As well, they will evidently confront Antichrist and his false prophet, through supernatural powers, signs (cf. Revelation 11:3-6; 13:13-15).

But the entire nation being brought to the place which Elijah brought them in history on Mount Carmel will await Moses and Elijah’s return with Christ at the end of the Tribulation.

At the end of their ministry during the Tribulation, Moses and Elijah will be slain.  And this may very well be the time when Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel and turns against the Jewish people in all his fury, as seen in Matthew 24:15ff (cf. Revelation 11:13).

Three and one-half days following their death, Moses and Elijah will be raised from the dead and be removed into the heavens, waiting for Christ’s return three and one-half years later.

(For additional information pertaining to Moses and Elijah returning with Christ at the end of the Tribulation, refer to the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Coming in His Kingdom, Ch. 1 and Ch. 4.)

Biblical prophecy places Israel’s repentance near the end of the Tribulation and the birth of a nation following Christ’s return at the end of the Tribulation.

Moses and Elijah’s ministry to Israel during the first half of the Tribulation may very well be of such a nature that over three years following their ministry, near the end of the Tribulation, in Israel’s darkest hour, their prior ministry will play a part in the entire nation turning to and calling upon the God of their fathers (exactly as seen in the type in Exodus 2:23).  And, exactly as seen in the type, when the Jewish people do this, God will hear, remember His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and send the One greater than Moses back to His people (Exodus 2:24ff; cf. Zechariah 12:10ff).

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 20 

(See The 144,000 Jewish Evangels and Elijah and Elisha in this site.)

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

Elijah and Elisha
By Got Questions

Elijah and Elisha are two of the most well-known prophets of Israel. They both served in the northern kingdom of Israel. Elijah is first introduced in 1 Kings 17 as the prophet who predicted a three-year drought in the land. After being miraculously fed by ravens, he later stayed with a widow and her son, and that family experienced God’s supernatural provision of food.

After Elijah’s defeat of the prophets of Baal when he called down fire from heaven, the drought ended. Rain fell, and Elijah fled from the evil Queen Jezebel, who had vowed to kill him (1 Kings 19). Reaching Mount Horeb, Elijah heard the voice of God tell him to anoint two kings as well as Elisha as a prophet. He did this, and Elisha immediately joined him (1 Kings 19:19–21).

Elijah later condemned King Ahab for murder and the theft of a vineyard and predicted Ahab’s death and that of his wife, Jezebel (1 Kings 21:17–24).

In 2 Kings 1, Elijah called down fire from heaven to destroy two groups of 50 men sent from King Ahaziah. A third group of men was led by a captain who begged for mercy and was spared judgment. Elijah went to Ahaziah and proclaimed the king would die from his sickness, a prophecy that was soon fulfilled.

In 2 Kings 2, Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan River on dry land, and Elisha, knowing that Elijah would not be with him much longer, asked to be blessed with a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elijah was taken directly into heaven by a chariot of fire. Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle and used it to cross the Jordan again on dry land. He received the double portion he had asked for and performed many miracles in Israel. Some of Elisha’s miracles were the turning of bad water into clean water (2 Kings 2:19–22), causing a widow’s oil to fill many jars (2 Kings 4:1–7), and even raising a boy from the dead (2 Kings 4:32–37).

Before he was taken to heaven, Elijah left a letter for King Jehoram of Judah that spoke of judgment against him. It stated, in part, “The LORD will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day” (2 Chronicles 21:14–15). The prophecy soon came true (2 Chronicles 21:18–20).

Elijah and Elisha were both greatly respected by those in the “school of prophets” (2 Kings 2 and 2 Kings 4:38–41) as well as by the kings of their nation. Their impact led to revival among some of the Israelites during a dark stage of its history. During the wicked reigns of Ahab and Ahaziah, God had His men leading the charge for righteousness.

Elijah and Elisha’s combined legacy continued to influence Israel for some time. Even the New Testament speaks of the expected return of Elijah, a role fulfilled by John the Baptist, the forerunner or the one to announce the coming of the Messiah (Mark 1).

Got Questions - Elijah and Elisha

(Also see The Two Witnesses in Revelation in this site.) 

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,
which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world
rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
 

Walk the Walk
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Introduction

Almost everyone has heard the expression, “Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk!” or one similar to it.  The meaning of such a phrase is that one should not only talk a good line (i.e., perform or live properly), but also live it.  To put it another way, a person should mirror (practice) what he preaches.  Hardly anyone will disagree with this maxim; yet, the reality is that adherence to this truth is rarely the norm, among any class of people.

The recognition of the violation of this honorable rule is frequently reserved for the politician, be it the President of these United States or a local city councilman, or some other individual who occupies a recognizable position of authority, whether it be within a local company, a worldwide cooperation, a labor union, or, sadly, a religious institution.

And such recognition is almost always well deserved, since any person who has been selected to exercise authority over others swiftly forgets that he or she is no better or more important than those over whom he or she may rule over.  Furthermore, those of the “ruling class” often cannot perceive being placed under their own dictates, often decreeing exceptions for the “ruling class.” (See America's Ruling Class – And the Perils of Revolution! in this site.)

Such is easily seen in this country’s National Government, at every level and with most every type of elected representative.  Frankly, it appears to be quite easy to forget that one is simply a “citizen” and not a “king.”  Well, such is quite natural when “term limits” are nonexistent.  And the result, over the years, has resulted in an almost untouchable, elite “ruling class” and an atrociously colossal National Government, the likes of which would astound and horrify the Founders of this Republic.  It is little wonder why historically nations fall as a result of the eventual deathblow resulting from an ever increasing takeover (involvements, engrossments) of their central governments.

But this should not astonish any student of God’s Word, since such behavior is the norm for every person of the human race, the natural outgrowth of man’s fallen nature, which is well-documented within the Word.  When Adam violated God’s specific instruction pertaining to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, as the head (representative) of the human race, he died spiritually (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6b-7a); and, this condition was passed on to his progeny (all born after him), with only one exception [because of the virgin birth], Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12ff, 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22).**

**This all gets into a problem which M. R. DeHaan dealt with, from a medical standpoint, in his book, "The Chemistry of the Blood," over fifty years ago.  And I'm sure others have dealt with it since that time as well.

(See link to five DeHaan sermons in Word format at bottom of this document or The Chemistry of the Blood in this site.)

In short, if Christ is not a descendant of Adam, He cannot be the second Man, the last Adam, exercising federal headship in the place of the first man, the first Adam (for He would have to be seen as One from a different type creation, which doesn't and can't exist).
 
Nor could He be the Savior if He were not a descendant of Adam.  The Savior must be a Man from Adam's lineage in order to redeem fallen man, not of some separate creation (again, there is no such creation, there can't be).  This is the "why" of the incarnation, with the following short paragraph the "why" of the virgin birth.
 
And exactly how this could all be possible -- Someone from Adam's lineage, being without sin and able to act in the capacity as Savior -- is dealt with in the book I referenced.  ~Arlen Chitwood

The Christian Walk

The intrinsic merit of the axiom, “Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk!” or, in other words, “Don’t be a hypocrite!” is an unalterable truism of God’s Word, a truth that is not only embedded within God’s instruction for man but which is a foundational element in the pinnacle achievement of Christian living.

The word “walk” as used in Scripture is a term indicating both “direction” and “action,” which leads to a determined objective or end.  It essentially reflects the character of the one walk.  It is an expressive means in describing one’s “devotion” or “allegiance.”  It is a term profusely utilized throughout Scripture to indicate the direction one may take or indeed takes before God.  But for the Christian such a “walk” involves more than simply the adherence to general truth; it in fact defines “ultimate truth,” that which is rooted in and mirrors Almighty God.

In God’s Word to “walk the walk” is shown by (1) examples, (2) content, and (3) consequences.

Examples

Enoch and Noah “walked with God,” the quintessence, the epitome of the manner embodied in the phrase, “walk the walk” as it relates to ultimate truth — the Word of God.    

After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. . . . (24) And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:22, 24)

This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:9)

To “walk the walk” is the foundational element of walking “before” God.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1)

And he blessed Joseph, and said: “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked . . ..” (Genesis 48:15a)

Content

To “walk the walk” is to walk in (according and in obedience to) God’s Law, i.e., His moral judgments, ordinances, and instructions.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.” (Exodus 16:4)

And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. (Exodus 18:20)

You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 18:4)

But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Joshua 22:5)

Consequences

Be assured that to walk “with” or “before” God (“in” His Law) has its consequences, depending of course in which direction one walks.

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them . . . (12) I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. . . . (23) And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, (24) then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. . . . (27) And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, (28) then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. (Leviticus 26:3, 12, 23-24, 27-28)

You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess. (Deuteronomy 5:33)

But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. (15) See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, (16) in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. (Deuteronomy 30:14-16)

A Walk with/in Christ

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows [walks with] Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. (10) But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” (John 11:9-10)

Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. (36a) While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. . . .” (John 12:35-36a)

Christ revealed Himself as being “One with the Father” (John 1:1, 10:30; 17:11, 21-22), the second Person of the Holy Trinity (1 John 5:7).  And to walk “with” or “before” the Father is to walk “with” or “before” Christ — His truths and teachings contained in the written Word, the expression of the Living Word.

As God in the flesh, Christ proclaimed He was the Light — the One who provides the illumination and the path for man to escape the darkness (evil) and to enable man to continue avoiding it, thereby pleasing God.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. (John 8:12)

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8)

(See also:  John 1:4, 9; 3:19; Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 2:8). 

Man only needs to begin the “walk” with/in Christ by means of a genuine act (decision) of faith; and then as a child of God, he needs to continue his journey with/in Christ in the same manner, by faith, as will be seen.

Various Aspects of the Walk Described in the New Testament

Several of the books of the New Testament specifically mention the “walk” that a Christian should take, defining it in various ways, as follows:

It is a walk by faith

. . . For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. (10) How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. (11) And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, (12) and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. (13) For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 49b-13)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.  (2 Corinthians 5:7)

As you have therefore received [solely by faith] Christ Jesus the Lord, so [in the same manner, by faith] walk in Him, (7) rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7)

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

It is a walk in newness of life

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. (16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. (Galatians 6:15-16)

It is a walk in the Spirit, apart from the flesh (the old nature)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. . . . (4) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1, 4)

I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. . . . (25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16, 25)

It is walk of/in love

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. . . . (8) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light . . . (15) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise. (Ephesians 5:2, 8, 15)

This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. (2 John 1:6)

It is a walk of/in good works

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)

It is a walk rooted in knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual understanding (i.e., the Word)

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (10) that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (11) strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; (12) giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. (Colossians 1:9-12)

Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. (Colossians 4:5)

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 1:4)

It is a walk in unity with other Christians

Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. (16) Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. (17) Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (18) For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: (19) whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things. (Philippians 3:15-19)

It is a walk in the light and fellowship with Christ

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (7) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7)

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:6)

Concluding Remarks

It is indisputable that God never condones hypocrisy in His children.  They are not only to “talk the talk” (say what is right) but they are to “walk the walk” (do what is right).  The Christian life is not only grounded in holiness, but must be evidenced by holiness.  Then again, every Christian

(1) retains a “sin nature” (“old man,” “flesh” [Romans 7:18-23; Galatians 5:17]) with its constant appeal and

(2) daily faces a formidable spiritual enemy, the devil, who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

And this being the case, it is challenging for a Christian to live a life in conformity with God’s will, often taking the path of ease, resigning from the arduous route of self-denial and training in the Word, to residing in a state of immaturity.

The apostle Paul had to face the problem of immaturity in the Corinthian local church.  He found that the Christians there continued in their “carnal” state (as immature babies), who could only digest (understand) the “milk,” not the “meat” (solid food), of God’s Word (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).  Sadly, this appears to be the case with a majority of Christians today, even those who fancy themselves as spiritual teachers.

It is as if they have completely lost their way, a condition that ensued soon after they believed in Christ.  Although quick to join a local church, a spiritual diet void of in-depth Bible (doctrinal) study and maturation followed.  Rather, it became customary to simply accept the shallow and redundant presentations from the pulpit and various “Sunday schools,” which could only regurgitate denominational precepts.

Although they have indeed experienced the “salvation of the spirit” (Acts 16:30-31; Ephesians 2:8-9), they know little of the “salvation of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39; 1 Peter 1:9).  Harboring dreams of someday occupying a nebulous “heaven,” they have no idea of the coming Millennial Kingdom and the fulfillment of the very purpose of their salvation, to rule and reign with Christ as His consort queen, His bride, during the Messianic Era (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:4).  And more alarming, they have no idea of or concern for the impending judgment that they will face before Christ when He sits upon His throne (2 Corinthians 5:10) judging their miniscule works of “wood, hay, straw” where they “will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

On the other hand, should a Christian aspire to fulfill the purpose of his salvation, to go beyond spirit-salvation to the salvation of his soul and thereby present works of “gold, silver, precious stones” at the judgment seat of Christ with the end result of being included in the bride of Christ and ruling and reigning with Him during the Messianic Era, he will most certainly adopt the walk as it is outlined in the Word, i.e., one which is anchored in the Spirit of God, which demonstrates love toward God and man, which produces good works, and which truly mirrors Jesus Christ.

Finally, it is clearly seen in Scripture that for one to achieve this quality of life (walk), one must saturate himself in God’s Word, for it is only the Word that is able to convey (effect the change in) a Christian from immaturity to maturity.  This is seen in the following two companion passages of Scripture:

And do not be drunk [controlled] with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled [empowered] with the Spirit, [resulting in] (19) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, (20) giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20)

Let the Word of Christ dwell in [empower] you richly in all wisdom, [resulting in] teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)

(See Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! in this site.)

The inference is that one is “filled” with the Spirit of God as he enriches himself in the Word of God.  To be “filled [empowered by] the Spirit of God is not a secondary and spectacular secondary act after one is “saved,” as many in the Pentecostal movement may teach.  Rather, it is a progressive, transforming, and dynamic process (see the following link: Bible One - Charles Strong's Studying the Word of God), which a Christian is to experience if he is to “walk the walk,” not just “talk the talk.”

Passages of Scripture for Further Study

Genesis 5:22, 24
After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. . . . (24) And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Genesis 6:9
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

Genesis 17:1
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”

Genesis 24:40
But he said to me, “The LORD, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house.”

Genesis 48:15a
And he blessed Joseph, and said: “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked . . .”

Exodus 16:4
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.”

Exodus 18:20
And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.

Leviticus 18:4
You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 26:3, 12, 23-24, 27-28
If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them . . . (12) I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. . . . (23) And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, (24) then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. . . . (27) And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, (28) then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

Deuteronomy 5:33
You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

Deuteronomy 8:6
Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (13) and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good.

Deuteronomy 11:22-23
For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do — to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him — (23) then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves.

Deuteronomy 13:4
You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

Deuteronomy 26:16-19
This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. (17) Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice. (18) Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments, (19) and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken.

Deuteronomy 28:9
The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.

Deuteronomy 30:14-16
But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. (15) See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, (16) in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.

Joshua 22:5
But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

1 Samuel 2:30, 35
Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: “I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.” But now the LORD says: “Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. . . . (35) Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.”

1 Kings 2:1-4
Now the days of David drew near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying: (2) “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. (3) And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; (4) that the LORD may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’”

1 Kings 3:6, 14
And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.” . . . (14) So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.

1 Kings 6:11-13
Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying: (12) “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. (13) And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

1 Kings 8:57-58, 61
May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, (58) that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. . . . (61) Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.

1 Kings 9:4-5
Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, (5) then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, “You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.”

1 Kings 11:38
Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you.

2 Kings 23:3
Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow [to walk after] the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.

2 Chronicles 6:12, 14, 16
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands . . . (14) and he said: “LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. . . . (16) Therefore, LORD God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk in My law as you have walked before Me.’”

2 Chronicles 7:17-18
As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, (18) then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, “You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.”

2 Chronicles 17:3-4
Now the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David; he did not seek the Baals, (4) but sought the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel.

2 Chronicles 34:31
Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow [walk after] the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.

Nehemiah 5:9
Then I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?”

Nehemiah 10:28-29
Now the rest of the people-the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding — (29) these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes.

Psalm 26:3
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.

Psalm 56:11, 13
In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? . . . (13) For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

Psalm 81:13
Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!

Psalm 116:9
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.

Psalm 119:1-3
ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD! (2) Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! (3) They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.

Proverbs 2:7, 20
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly . . . (20) So you may walk in the way of goodness, and keep to the paths of righteousness.

Isaiah 38:2-3
Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, (3) and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Jeremiah 7:23
But this is what I commanded them, saying, “Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.”

Ezekiel 20:19
I am the LORD your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them.

Ezekiel 33:14-15
Again, when I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, (15) if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

Ezekiel 37:24
David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.

Daniel 9:10
We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

Amos 3:3
We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

Micah 4:1-5
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. (2) Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (3) He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (4) But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. (5) For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever.

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

John 8:12
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows [walks with] Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 11:9-10
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. (10) But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

John 12:35-36a
Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. (36a) While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. . . .”

Romans 4:9b-13
. . . For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. (10) How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. (11) And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, (12) and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. (13) For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 

Romans 6:4
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 8:1, 4
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. . . . (4) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 13:13
Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

1 Corinthians 3:3
For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like [walk as] mere men?

1 Corinthians 7:17a
But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. . . .

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 6:16
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

2 Corinthians 10:3
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

Galatians 5:16, 25
I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. . . . (25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 6:15-16
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. (16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Ephesians 2:1-2a, 10
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (2a) in which you once walked according to the course of this world . . . . (10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 4:1, 17
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called . . . (17) This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind.

Ephesians 5:2, 8, 15
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. . . . (8) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light . . . (15) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.

Philippians 3:15-19
Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. (16) Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. (17) Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (18) For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: (19) whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things.

Colossians 1:9-12
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (10) that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (11) strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; (12) giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Colossians 2:6-7
As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, (7) rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 3:6-7
Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, (7) in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

Colossians 4:5
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

1 Thessalonians 2:12b
. . . walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

1 Thessalonians 4:1, 12
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God . . . (12) that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

1 Peter 4:3
For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

2 Peter 2:9-10a
Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, (10a) and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. . . .

1 John 1:6-7
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (7) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 2:6
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

2 John 1:6
This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Jude 1:17-18
But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: (18) how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

Bible One - Charles Strong's Walk the Walk

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 The Whole of Scripture Summarized:

Creation - Ruin - Restoration - Rest

"Analogy of Faith" Defined 

The "analogy of faith" is a hermeneutical principle that has existed since the days of the early church—often simplified as "Scripture interprets Scripture." The “analogy of faith” states that the unclear passages of Scripture must be interpreted in light of the clear passages. In other words, the Bible teaches one message, it does not contradict itself. Knowing this, we can safely deduce that one portion of Scripture will not contradict another portion. As faithful interpreters of the Bible, we must allow the Bible to teach us and not allow ourselves to reinterpret the Bible to fit our own preconceived ideas about what it teaches. 

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Analogy (n. a•nal•o•gy [ -n l  -j ])

Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar.

A comparison based on such similarity. See Synonyms at likeness.

[Middle English analogie, from Old French, from Latin analogia, from Greek analogi , from analogos, proportionate; see analogous.] 

Faith (n. f th)
A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality."

Christianity trust in God and in his actions and promises.

[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman fed, from Latin fid s; see bheidh- in Indo-European roots.] 

Hermeneutics (n. her•me•neu•tics [hûr m -n  t ks])

The branch of theology that deals with principles of exegesis [from Greek hermēneutikos expert in interpretation, from hermēneuein to interpret, from hermēneus interpreter, of uncertain origin]. 

Theology (n. the•ol•o•gy [th - l  -j ])

The rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth.

[Middle English theologie, from Old French, from Latin theologia, from Greek theologi  : theo-, theo- + -logi , -logy.] 

Exegesis (n. ex•e•ge•sis [ k s -j  s s])

Critical explication or interpretation of Scripture [from Greek, from exēgeisthai to interpret, from EX-1 + hēgeisthai to guide]. 

Interpretation (n. in•ter•pre•ta•tion [ n-tûr pr -t  sh n])

A part of the analysis and production phase in the intelligence process in which the significance of information is judged in relation to the current body of knowledge.

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“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (
Deuteronomy 29:29)

Three Types of Bible Knowledge
A Study by Allen Redding

. . . I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal. (Matthew11:25-27 [25b])

In this article we look at the use of three types of knowledge in God’s Word: 

Oida/ Eido, which represent an intuitive knowledge such as the awareness of death, corruption and grief.

Ginosko/Gnosis, which represent an experiential knowledge. We “come to know, recognize, perceive, distinguish and discern” but this knowledge is fragmented and immature.

Epiginosko/Epignosis, which represent a clear and exact understanding of the subject matter. It is the “mature knowledge” that is used by God in relationship to His faithful disciples. It is the “know and knows” of our text.

Christians cannot have a clear, exact and mature understanding of God unless Jesus Christ reveals it to them. The Greek word translated “reveal” in our text is “apokalupto” and it means “to remove a veil or take off the cover."  The noun is “apokalupsis,” which means a “disclosure or revelation.” We say “apocalypse or apocalyptic”. Jesus clearly states that He grants revelation to certain Christians according to His will. He accomplishes this through the Word and the Holy Spirit.

What is this mature knowledge that reveals the hidden things of God? Luke states that he wrote his account of our Lord’s ministry “so that you might know (epiginosko) the exact truth about the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:4). The mature knowledge of God and His Son comes from His Word. Paul prays for the faithful at Ephesus . . . “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation (apokalupsis) in the knowledge (epignosis) of Him” (Ephesians1:17). Wisdom and disclosure comes with this mature knowledge.

Again, Paul prays for the Christians at Philippi . . . “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge (epignosis) and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10). This mature knowledge nurtures and grows love (agape). This mature knowledge recognizes the precious things of God. It prepares a Christian for the judgment of His Church and the selection of His bride.

Again, Paul prays for the faithful at Colosse . . . “For this reason also, since the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge (epignosis) of His Will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge (epignosis) of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:9-12). This mature knowledge gives wisdom and understanding. Without this mature knowledge a Christian cannot enter the narrow way nor produce good fruit.

This mature knowledge must be active and ever growing. It gives strong roots to the faith and the hope of our honored position in His coming Kingdom. Please note that in all three prayers Paul uses the word “may.” Christ reveals this knowledge only to those who keep seeking, keep asking, and keep knocking. It is for the obedient and faithful disciple. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge (epignosis) of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge (epignosis) of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:2-3). This knowledge given to His faithful provides the means to achieve glorious life in His Kingdom.

Continuation

Let’s continue our study of this “knowledge” that Jesus reveals to those who are chosen from His Church by God. As we saw last time from His Word, it is translated from the Greek word “epignosis” and it literally means “knowledge upon knowledge upon knowledge, etc.” or “mature knowledge.” What is it? As always, God will tell.

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its practices and have put on the new self who is being renovated to the true knowledge (epignosis) according to the image of the One who created him. (Colossians 3:10)

And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renovating of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

A Christian must have this “mature knowledge” to please God. We must not be like the world or anything of this age. “. . . of God our Savior, who desires all men (lit. mankind) to be saved and to come to the knowledge (epignosis) of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4 [3b]). Not only does God want the entire human race to accept His free gift of spiritual salvation, He wants redeemed mankind (Christians) to acquire the mature knowledge of the truth. Why? It is the only way to please God. It is the only way to be His disciple. It is the narrow way.

What is “the truth”? “Truth” is translated from the Greek word “aletheia,” which literally means “to not escape notice”. “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods that God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know (epignosis) the truth” (1 Timothy 4:3). “Forbidding” is translated from the Greek word “koluo,” which means “to hinder and to chastise”. “Abstain” is from the Greek word “apecho,” which literally means “to hold back, to be away”. “Believe” is the Greek word “pistos,” which literally means “to be trustful, faithful”. The truth would be the coming marriage of the Son and the absolute necessity of eating meat instead of milk.

Paul writes there will be Christians who will hinder the teaching of His marriage and its purpose for His faithful. Further he states that they will not eat the solid food of maturity. His disciples who trust His promises and who are faithfully obedient do so because they know the truth.
 

who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some . . . But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels . . . with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge (epignosis) of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:18, 23, 25)
 

The truth that comes from having maturity is the meaning of the resurrection for His Church. His faithful will receive their inheritances of honor in the kingdom and His unfaithful will suffer loss of their inheritances with harsh punishment during the kingdom age. “Repentance” is the Greek word “metanoeo,” which means “to think differently, to reconsider.”

Paul writes to Timothy about Christians who have had this knowledge of the truth but have gone astray. 
 

Paul, a bondservant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge (epignosis) of the truth that is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal (lit. age lasting) life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago (Titus 1:1-2).

The truth is that there will be life in the kingdom of the heavens for those Christians who are faithfully obedient, those Christians who actively possess “the faith” and “the knowledge.”  “Chosen” is the Greek word “eklego” and it literally means “to select, elect, pick up” or “to call from out of”.  All Christians have been called but only those to whom the Son wills to reveal the knowledge are chosen.  “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).  But with mature knowledge there must be faithful obedience to all of His Word.  Anything less will result in the loss of one’s inheritance.

Allen Redding, P. O. Box 329, Barksdale, TX 78828

Bible One - Bible Knowledge Types Study by Allen Redding

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

Modern-day science is built on the shoulders of Christian scientists
who believed in the regularity and predictability of the created order
because there was a Creator behind it all.

Islam, Christianity, Atheism, and the Origin of Science
By Gary DeMar
October 2, 2013

If we are to believe evolutionists like Richard Dawkins, religion is the enemy of science. He’s not the first atheist to make this claim. But when Dawkins speaks these days, people listen and react. For example, this tweet about Islam and science got a stern response:

“[A]ll the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”

This is a factual statement. According to Mark Steyn, “Trinity graduates have amassed 32 Nobel prizes, the entire Muslim world a mere 10. If you remove Yasser Arafat, Mohamed ElBaradei, and the other winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, Islam can claim just four laureates against Trinity’s 31 (the college’s only peace-prize recipient was Austen Chamberlain, brother of Neville).”

Surprisingly, a number of people attacked Dawkins for sharing the facts, or maybe not so surprisingly since it’s only open season on Christians these days, figuratively and literally. Here’s one example from a self-avowed “fourth generation socialist” and homosexual Owen Jones of The Independent newspaper:

“How dare you [Dawkins] dress your bigotry up as atheism. You are now beyond an embarrassment.”

How is stating the facts bigotry? I’ll let the atheists battle among themselves over the facts when it comes to modern-day accomplishments in science.

I wonder what Dawkins would say about the Christian origins of science generally and specifically at Cambridge and Oxford?

The facts are, as Loren Eisely points out, the Christian worldview “which finally gave birth in a clear, articulate fashion to the experimental method of science itself.”[1]

The late atheist author Isaac Asimov was honest enough to acknowledge that early scientists were Christians. For example, he mentions John Ray who developed an early classification system for animals. “He declared fossils were the petrified remains of extinct creatures. This was not accepted by biologists generally until a century later.”[2]

Ray did not see that there was a conflict between his Christian beliefs and his scientific work. “In fact, he believed that scientific investigation ‘was a proper exercise of man’s faculties and a legitimate field of Christian inquiry.’” (McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Biography [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973] 9:118. Quoted in Ann Lamont, “John Ray—founder of biology and devout Christian,” Creation Ministries International.)

Ray wrote in his book The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation:

“A wonder then it must needs be, that there should be any Man found so stupid and forsaken of Reason as to persuade himself, that this most beautiful and adorned World, was, or could, be produced by the fortuitous Concourse of Atoms.”[3]

Natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor Robert Boyle (1627–1691), who was born in the same year as Ray, spent a portion of his fortune “to have the Bible translated into various languages.”

In his will and testament, Boyle “addressed his fellow members of the Royal Society of London, wishing them all success in ‘their laudable attempts, to discover the true Nature of the Works of God’ and ‘praying that they and all other Searchers into Physical Truths’ may thereby add ‘to the glory of the Great Author of Nature, and to the Comforter of mankind.’”[4]

The title of one of Boyle’s many books was The Christian Virtuoso, that is, “The Christian Scientist.” Boyle was not a lone Christian voice crying in the wilderness of secular science. The membership of the Royal Society was made up of many Christians who shared Boyle’s view that “the world was God’s handiwork” and “it was their duty to study and understand this handiwork as a means of glorifying God.”[5]

Let’s get back to Cambridge and the religious roots of the educational institution, in particular the Cavendish Laboratory where Francis Crick and James Watson developed their model of DNA.

“The inscription had been placed there at the insistence of the physicist James Clark Maxwell, the first Cavendish professor in 1871. The inscription quotes a Psalm that reads, ‘Great are the words of the Lord, sought out by all who take pleasure therein.’ The inscription summarized Maxwell’s inspiration for scientific study: the thought that works of nature reflect the work of a designing mind. In this belief he had been joined by many of the leading scientists of Western civilization for over four hundred years — Copernicus, Kepler, Ray, Linnaeus, Curvier, Aggassiz, Boyle, Newton, Kelvin, Farady, Rutherford — on and on the list could go.”[6]

Here’s the key to all of this, the key that Dawkins will not — cannot — argue against:

“[M]any of these scientists did not just assume or assert by faith that the universe had been designed; they argued for the hypothesis based on discoveries in their disciplines.”[7]

Modern-day science is built on the shoulders of Christian scientists who believed in the regularity and predictability of the created order because there was a Creator behind it all.

The Godfather - Islam, Christianity, Atheism, and the Origin of Science

Notes:
1. Loren Eisely, Darwin’s Century (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1958), 62. [↩]
2. Isaac Asimov, Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology: The Lives and Achievements of More Than 1000 Great Scientists from Ancient Greece to the Space Age, 3rd ed. (Garden City, NY: 1982), 137. [↩]
3. John Ray, The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation: Heavenly Bodies, Elements, Meteors, Fossils, Vegetables, Animals (1691), 36. [↩]
4. Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the end of Slavery (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 158. [↩]
5. Stark, For the Glory of God, 158. [↩]
6. Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (New York Harper/Collins, 2009), 145. [↩]
7. Meyer, Signature in the Cell, 145. [↩]
 

Newborn’s Prayer!

Dear Lord, I am so newly come,
I do not even know my name.

I do not even know yet, Lord,
If I am glad I came.

Grant me the time to grow in love,
Rejoice that I am here.

Bless those who make me warm and dry,
Lord, keep my mother near.

Today, in America, one of the most dangerous places to be is in the womb of one’s mother.

Abortion
Creation and Formation in the Womb and "Is Abortion a Sin?"
By Believers Bible Commentary and
Got Questions

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. (Psalms 139:13-18)

Psa. 139:13-14   So much then for the omnipresence of God. David now turns to consider His power and skill. And the particular phase of divine omnipotence he chooses is the marvelous development of a baby in his mother's womb. In a speck of watery material smaller than the dot over this i, all the future characteristics of the child are programmed—the color of his skin, eyes and hair, the shape of his facial features, the natural abilities he will have. All that the child will be physically and mentally is contained in germ form in that fertilized egg. From it will develop:

. . . 60 trillion cells, 100 thousand miles of nerve fiber, 60 thousand miles of vessels carrying blood around the body, 250 bones, to say nothing of joints, ligaments and muscles.

David describes the formation of the fetus with exquisite delicacy and beauty. "You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb." Yes, God formed our inward parts; each one a marvel of divine engineering. Think of the brain, for instance, with its capacity for recording facts, sounds, odors, sights, touch, pain; with its ability to recall; with its power to make computations; with its seemingly endless flair for making decisions and solving problems.

And God knit us together in our mother's womb. This aptly describes the marvelous weaving of the muscles, sinews, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels and bones of the human frame.

David bursts forth in praise to the Lord. As he thinks of man, the crown of God's creation, he can only confess that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. The more we think of the marvels of the human body, its orderliness, its complexity, its beauty, its instincts and inherited factors—the more we wonder how anyone trained in natural science can fail to be a believer in an infinite Creator.

Psa. 139:15   Again the psalmist reverts to the time when his body was being formed in his mother's womb. Notice here that he uses the personal pronouns I, my, me to refer to the embryo or fetus. The scriptural view is that human personality exists before birth and that abortion therefore, except in cases of extreme medical necessity, is murder.

David was aware that God knew him through and through from the very beginning. His frame, that is, his skeletal structure was not hidden from God when David was being made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. It cannot mean below the surface of the earth; no one is formed there. In the context it can only mean "inside the mother's womb." A similar expression is found in Eph. 4:9, which speaks of Christ as having descended into the lower parts of the earth. Once again in the context it refers to His entering the world through the ante-chamber of the virgin's womb. It is His Incarnation that is in view.

Psa. 139:16   When the psalmist speaks of his unformed . . . substance, he uses a word that means something rolled or wrapped together. Barnes and others think that the word most aptly denotes the embryo, or the fetus,

"where all the members of the body are as yet folded up, or undeveloped; that is, before they have assumed their distinct form and proportions."

Even in that preliminary phase of his existence, God's eyes beheld the sweet singer of Israel.

And in God's book, all the days of David's life were recorded by the divine Architect before that historic moment when David announced his arrival by that first lusty cry.

Psa. 139:17-18a   The psalmist thinks of God's careful planning in the creation of his spirit, soul and body. How precious . . . are His thoughts—His attention to the minutest details. Andrew Ivy says,

"Each cell almost without exception 'knows' its role in carrying out design or purpose for the welfare of the body as a whole."

Psa. 139:18b   "When I awake, I am still with You." It seems to me that the psalmist is here referring to the moment of his birth. In the preceding verses (Psa. 139:13-18a) he has been emphasizing God's closeness to him during the nine months prior to his birth. But even after he is born the picture does not change; he is still with the Lord as his Sustainer, Protector and Guide. He speaks of his birth as an awaking just as we speak of it as "first seeing the light of day."

e-Sword by Rick Myers and e-Sword Downloads


What does the Bible say about Abortion?
By
Got Questions

The Bible never specifically addresses the issue of abortion. However, there are numerous teachings in Scripture that make it abundantly clear what God’s view of abortion is. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." (Jer. 1:5)

Psalm 139:13-16 speaks of God’s active role in our creation and formation in the womb.

Exodus 21:22-25 prescribes the same penalty—death—for someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb as for someone who commits murder:

"If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. "But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. (Ex. 21:22-25)

This clearly indicates that God considers a baby in the womb to be as human as a full-grown adult.

'Moreover, you shall not take ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death. (Num 35:31)

For the 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 (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6):

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:26-27) 

"Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. (Gen. 9:6)

The first argument that always arises against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about cases of rape and/or incest?” As horrible as it would be to become pregnant as a result of rape and/or incest, is the murder of a baby the answer? Two wrongs do not make a right. The child who is a result of rape/incest could be given in adoption to a loving family unable to have children on their own, or the child could be raised by its mother. Again, the baby is completely innocent and should not be punished for the evil acts of its father.

The second argument that usually arises against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about when the life of the mother is at risk?” Honestly, this is the most difficult question to answer on the issue of abortion. First, let’s remember that this situation is the reason behind less than one-tenth of one percent of the abortions done in the world today. Far more women have an abortion for convenience than women who have an abortion to save their own lives. Second, let’s remember that God is a God of miracles. He can preserve the life of a mother and a child despite all the medical odds being against it. Ultimately, though, this question can only be decided between a husband, wife, and God. Any couple facing this extremely difficult situation should pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) as to what He would have them to do:

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

Over 95 percent of the abortions performed today involve women who simply do not want to have a baby. Less than 5 percent of abortions are for the reasons of rape, incest, or the mother's health at risk. Even in the more difficult 5 percent of instances, abortion should never be the first option. The life of a human being in the womb is worth every effort to allow the child to be born.

For those who have had an abortion, remember that the sin of abortion is no less forgivable than any other sin. Through faith in Christ, all sins can be forgiven (John 3:16; Romans 8:1; Colossians 1:14). A woman who has had an abortion, a man who has encouraged an abortion, or even a doctor who has performed one—can all be forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ.

(My comment: There's a big difference between one's forgiving abortion [murder], as Christians are to do, as opposed to endorsing or promoting abortion [murder] as our government is doing!)

The following is commentary by one of my mentors, Gary Whipple.

The First Book of Life

"Let them be blotted out of the book of the living..." (Psalm 69:28a)

In the first half of this verse in Psalms we see the first of the two books of life. It is called the “book of the living.” This is the book in which every person’s name is written at the moment of conception and is blotted out at the moment of death. It is the book of all of the living, lost and saved, and pertains only to the body of man. David mentioned this book of life when he spoke of his own conception in Psalm 139:13-16. In the 16th verse he tells us that God wrote his name in this book before his bodily members were formed in the womb of his mother. Here we see that God counts us as individual persons with names at the moment of conception. The Jews recognized this truth by counting all of their children as being one year old at birth.

(The powerful internet video 180 You Tube on abortion may be of interest.)

Got Questions - What does the Bible say about Abortion?

Bible One - Gary Whipple's Beyond the Rapture 

e-Sword by Rick Myers 

An Atheist’s View on Life:

I will live my life according to these beliefs

God does not exist
It is just foolish to think
That there is a God with a cosmic plan
That an all-powerful God brings purpose to the pain and suffering in the world
Is a comforting thought, however
Is only wishful thinking
People can do as they please without eternal consequences
The idea that
I am deserving of Hell
Because of sin
Is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power
“The more you have, the happier you will be”;
Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose
In a world with no God
There is freedom to be who I want to be
But with God
Everything is fine
It is ridiculous to think
I am lost and in need of saving.
 
A Christian’s View on Life:
(Now...read from bottom to top to see a different view.)


Carm.org Commentary:

At the time of ancient Israel they did not have as complete an understanding of the universe as we do today. So they wrote in terms with which they were familiar. The Jews spoke of three heavens. The first heaven consisted of the the earth atmosphere where the clouds and birds were. The second heaven was where the sun, stars, and moon was. The third heaven was the dwelling place of God. When Paul said he was caught up to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2), he was referring to the very dwelling place of God.

[As a note, the Mormons erringly teach that the three heavens consist of telestial, terrestrial, and celestial. They divide them into compartments dwelt by people after they die.]

The First Heaven: Earth Atmosphere

Then the LORD's anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce....  (Deut. 11:17)

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands....  (Deut. 28:12)

"O LORD, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water.  (Judges 5:4)

"Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons..... (Acts 14:17)

The Second Heaven: Outer Space

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun... It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;... (Psa. 19:4, 6)

They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens which they have loved and served.... (Jer. 8:2)

The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. (Isa. 13:10)

The Third Heaven: God's Dwelling Place

then hear from heaven, your dwelling place...  (1 Kings 8:30)

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; The LORD scoffs at them.  (Psa. 2:4)

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  (Mat. 5:16)

The highest heaven, the third heaven is indicated by the reference to the Throne of God being the highest heaven:


The Three Heavens
(Two Commentaries)

Cup of Wrath Commentary:

There are three heavens in the bible.

The first two heavens are natural, and the third heaven is spiritual.

Spiritual heaven is referred to as Paradise.

Paul describes being taken to the third heaven in 2nd Corinthians.

There are three heavens in the bible, two physical and one spiritual.

Throughout the bible, heaven is the antithesis of hell; a beautiful paradise where God, his angels, and his holy temple abide,

"The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven" (Psalm 11:4 NASB),

"I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left" (2 Chronicles 18:18 NASB),

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:9-10 NASB).

In the scriptures, however, heaven not only refers to Paradise as we understand it, but can also mean sky (atmosphere), or outer-space. For example, the expression "birds of the heavens" appears frequently, and clearly refers to the sky or atmosphere, not spiritual heaven,

"he who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat" (1 Kings 14:11 NASB)

Also, heaven is spoken of as the domain of the sun, moon, and stars,

"And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven" (Deuteronomy 4:19 NASB).

So biblical heaven can refer to either the sky, outer-space, or Paradise depending on the context in which it is used.

Even though the bible generally identifies all three distinct locations (sky, outer-space, and Paradise) as heaven, it does not teach that they are all the same thing. Instead, it testifies to the existence of different types or levels of heavens,

"Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God" (Deuteronomy 10:14 NASB),

"But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee" (2 Chronicles 6:18 NASB),

"He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things" (Ephesians 4:10 NASB).

The bible identifies various levels of heavens that are distinct and unique from each other.

We are given further insight into this subject when Paul tells us of how he was taken up to the "third heaven", in  (2 Corinthians 12),

"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago -- whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth -- such an one caught up to the third heaven...How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2 Corinthians 12:2-4 NASB).

Paul identifies the place that he was taken up to as Paradise, indicating that the third heaven is Paradise.

If Paul regards spiritual heaven or Paradise as the third heaven, then what are the first and second heavens? Most likely the sky or atmosphere is the first heaven, and outer-space is the second heaven. So while the bible accurately describes the natural world, it remains that we must use context and common sense to determine what is meant by the word heaven(s) in a particular passage.

Cup of Wrath - Three Heavens

Cup of Wrath - Three Heavens Commentary:

At the time of ancient Israel they did not have as complete an understanding of the universe as we do today. So they wrote in terms with which they were familiar. The Jews spoke of three heavens. The first heaven consisted of the the earth atmosphere where the clouds and birds were. The second heaven was where the sun, stars, and moon was. The third heaven was the dwelling place of God. When Paul said he was caught up to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2), he was referring to the very dwelling place of God.

[As a note, the Mormons erringly teach that the three heavens consist of telestial, terrestrial, and celestial. They divide them into compartments dwelt by people after they die.]

The First Heaven: Earth Atmosphere

Then the LORD's anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce....  (Deut. 11:17)

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands....  (Deut. 28:12)

"O LORD, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water.  (Judges 5:4)

"Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons..... (Acts 14:17)

The Second Heaven: Outer Space

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun... It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;... (Psa. 19:4, 6)

They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens which they have loved and served.... (Jer. 8:2)

The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. (Isa. 13:10)

The Third Heaven: God's Dwelling Place

then hear from heaven, your dwelling place...  (1 Kings 8:30)

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; The LORD scoffs at them.  (Psa. 2:4)

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  (Mat. 5:16)

The highest heaven, the third heaven is indicated by the reference to the Throne of God being the highest heaven:

"But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.  (1 Kings 8:27)

To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. (Deut. 10:14)

Carm - What is the Third Heaven?

Jesus' Suffering
By Compelling Truth

Our forgiveness of sins was bought through the death of Jesus Christ. As God and the only perfect man, His death paid for our sin. He had to die for us. But why did He have to suffer so much before He died?

The Bible is fairly descriptive about Jesus' suffering. The abuse began in John 18  after He answered the high priest's question, pointing out that He did everything openly. One of the officers nearby struck Jesus for what he thought was a disrespectful answer. Pilate then interviewed Him. Finding nothing that he could charge against Jesus legally, he offered to the Jewish authorities to let Him go. They refused and insisted Jesus be crucified.

The soldiers were given free rein. They twisted a crown from a vine with very long, sharp thorns and put it on Jesus' head. They flogged Him viciously. They hit Him repeatedly. Jesus was then made to carry the heavy cross-beam of the cross to the hill of Golgotha where the soldiers nailed His hands and feet. For the next several hours, He experienced such pain that He died long before what was standard for crucifixion victims.

There is speculation as to how the suffering came about. Pilate didn't want to crucify Jesus. Jesus was innocent but Pilate had to make a show that he was following the will of the Jewish leadership or risk a rebellion. Some believe Pilate had Jesus tortured in hopes that it would satisfy the Jews and they would back down from their request to kill Jesus. It didn't happen, obviously, and there is nothing in the Bible that directly states this was Pilate's intent. But it did have one unexpected benefit; the loss of blood and general agony caused by the scourging left Jesus so weak that He died on the cross within hours, instead of either hanging there for days or forcing the guards to break His legs as they did the thieves'.

We do know for certain that the torture Jesus suffered fulfilled Old Testament prophecy:

As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind… (Isa. 52:14)

For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest.
Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them.
To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm* and not a man, A reproach of men and despised by the people.
All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
"Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him."
Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts.
Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help.
Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me on the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
They have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
(Psa. 22:1-18)

*  See The Crimson (Tola) Worm  in this site.

But since God is the Author of time, He could have arranged for a different prophecy. Jesus needed to fulfill prophecy to illustrate that He is the Son of God, but that doesn't explain why the prophecy had to be so brutal.

The only Scripture that gives a hard and fast reason as to why Jesus had to suffer is  (Isa. 53:10-12):

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
(Isa. 53:10-12)

So, Jesus had to suffer because it was God's will. Not that Jesus' physical pain was necessary for salvation—"Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied" refers to Jesus' emotional pain when He was separated from God. But we can see what benefit it has on us.

(Note: 

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.  [Mat. 27:45 NASB)

Three Hours of Darkness

All the sufferings and indignities which He bore at the hands of men were minor compared to what He now faced.

From the sixth hour (noon) until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.), there was darkness not only over all the land of Palestine but in His holy soul as well. It was during that time that He bore the indescribable curse of our sins. In those three hours were compressed the hell which we deserved, the wrath of God against all our transgressions. We see it only dimly; we simply cannot know what it meant for Him to satisfy all God's righteous claims against sin. We only know that in those three hours He paid the price, settled the debt, and finished the work necessary for man's redemption. ~Believers Bible Commentary)

The decades after Jesus' resurrection and ascension were brutal for the young church. Christians were stoned, torn apart by lions, and crucified. Legend has it that Peter was crucified upside-down. Every Roman Christian who faced martyrdom would have been able to understand that his Savior also experienced horrible physical pain. Knowing that Jesus willingly faced such anguish would have given them strength to undergo their own.

Jesus' physical pain also serves as a metaphor for His spiritual agony. It wasn't the nails or the strips of flesh torn from His back that caused Jesus to cry out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"  (Mat. 27:46), also  (Mark 15:34; Psa. 22:1)

It was the fact that God couldn't bear to see all humanity's sin on Jesus' shoulders and so turned His face away. For the first and only time, Jesus was removed from the presence of His Father's love.

In our fallen state, we are unable to understand the full weight of being removed from God's presence—we are all born separated from God. What we can understand is torn flesh, thorns, and nails through hands and feet. If we can internalize that pain, we will get a small glimpse of what it really means to have God turn away from us. That insight will help us both appreciate Jesus' sacrifice more and urge us to share the gospel with friends and family who face that separation for eternity.

Finally, Jesus' torture teaches us what we are capable of. Fear, anger, duty, and greed came together in a perfect storm and brought sinful wrath down on an innocent man. We are all well able of acting the same—news stories prove it. Man is wicked. We do not seek God. Which means our connection to the Holy Spirit is not to be taken lightly, and neither is the forgiveness from sins that Jesus offers.

Compelling Truth - Jesus Suffering

Roman Crucifixion Methods: What Did Jesus Endure?
By Jack Wellman

Crucifixion is believed to be the worst kind of death that has ever been invented. What was it like? What did Jesus have to endure so that you and I could have eternal life?

The Worst of All Executions

Perhaps the most cruel, vindictive, torturous death anyone at anytime in history could have ever experienced was to be crucified. There is nothing that is even remotely close to such a barbaric death penalty as crucifixion was. The Romans had stolen the idea from the ancient Persians and Alexander the Great introduced the idea to the Greek Empire but these forms of death were given only to pirates and the worst of criminals. In the Roman Empire, the crucified person would be left hanging on the cross for several hours of torture. They were crucified completely naked and well above the ground and usually on main thoroughfares and on high ground so that everyone could see the penalty for committing crimes or insurrection. It was meant to be a deterrent. At Jesus’ crucifixion, which took place on Golgotha (place of the skull), there must have been thousands who witnessed it. The chances for survival were next to impossible.

Bearing the Cross

The condemned criminals had to carry their cross to the place of execution. Contrary to what is depicted by artists, Jesus likely only carried the cross-arm (called the patibulum) because the upright post (called the stipes) was generally set in the ground already and was used over and over again since there was a shortage of trees in the area and the Roman‘s did not like spending a lot of time with crucifixions. Jesus carried this heavy beam, which would have been rough and splinter-laden to cause even more pain. It must have been about 7-8 feet long and around one foot wide and at least a half of a foot thick. It could have weighed around 100 pounds or more. The fact that Jesus struggled to carry it and needed help was not due to the weight but because of Jesus’ scourging by the Romans who had beaten Him to a bloody pulp. He would have lost so much blood by the time that He was carrying it that He was unable to make it the entire distance.

It should be noted that Jesus' trade required great physical strength. Jesus must have been a very strong man because carpenters in those days had to cut down their own timbers, carry them some distance and cut them to size. Considering that stone masonry was part of carpentry at that time, this also meant that He must have had to quarry and cut stones, transport them, and them lift them into place. Being a carpenter in Jerusalem was the most physically demanding trade in the Roman Empire so Jesus was obviously not the effeminate figure that He appears in so many artistic works.

Nail Placement

The nails were much like railroad spikes but much longer

When we read about the nails that pierced Jesus’ hands and feet, these were not nails as we think of them. They were much like railroad spikes but much longer. They resembled what are called garden spikes and they were about ¾ inch wide and around 6 to 8 inches long. When they were driven through the hands and feet, they were hammered flat on the back side of the wooden beam so that they would keep their impaled victims in place. These nails were not driven into the hands but actually into the wrists because the wrists were considered to be part of the hand and the palms of the hands were insufficient to hold up the weight of a person. There were enough tendons to support the body weight of a man if these were driven through the wrist between the radius and ulna which is where these had to be hammered in order to hold him up on the cross.

As for the feet, they drove one large nail (like a railroad spike) through the top side of the middle of the feet. These were hammered through both feet and they bent the knees of the victim. The victim would have had to push themselves up to breathe, which produced excruciating pain. The feet may have rested on a foot-rest (suppedaneum) but it is unknown if Jesus had one of these.

The Scourging

Scourging was just part of Jesus’ punishment and was more than a severe beating. It involved whips or lashes made of leather thongs which were attached to a handle. These thongs contained metal fragments and pieces of bones that literally tore the flesh off of Jesus. After Jesus was scourged it was recorded to say,

“When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man” (John 19:5)!

What Pilate was really saying was,

“Look at this man! Isn’t this enough? He’s hardly recognizable as a human being. Look at Him!”

Even with this bloody pulp of a Man, they still screamed, “Crucify Him” (John 19:6)!

They also attached a crown of thorns that were likely 1 to 2 inch thorns of briar that were hard as oak and they likely penetrated not only through the skin but penetrated parts of the skull bone. This would have caused a large loss of blood and created severe hemorrhaging of the brain tissues. By the time Jesus went to the cross, He had pieces of His flesh hanging off of Him and He had large open wounds that bled profusely. He also must have been unrecognizable because Isaiah records in 52:14 that

“Just as many were astonished at you, my people, so His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men.” (Isa. 52:14)

What this is saying was that He didn’t even look human anymore and was so marred that no Man has ever been reduced to the pulverized piece of flesh that Jesus was.

The Humiliation

Jesus was spit upon, His beard was plucked out, His teeth were likely beaten in or broken off, and they ridiculed Him, laughed Him to scorn, mocked Him and feigned Him as “the King of the Jews” all the while putting Him to open shame. All the while, Jesus was silent, never raised His voice, never tried to resist. He took the full brunt of all the wickedness of all of humanity for all time. The religious leaders also taunted Him and said if

“You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God! In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him! He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” (Matt 27:40-42)!

Refused Vinegar and Hyssop

In Jesus’ humanity, He must have thirsted like no other human being has ever thirsted. Remember that He had nearly no blood after the overnight trial and was literally dying of thirst. Then,

“they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it” (Mark 15:23).

The wine vinegar was usually given to dull the senses of the condemned criminals as some sort of pain killer to lessen the effects of the torture. Some manuscripts say it was attached to a hyssop which is an herb that grows wild in the Mediterranean region and for centuries has been considered an herbal medicine. Myrrh, which means “bitter” comes from a tree and also has medicinal properties which could dull the senses due to severe pain. The astonishing thing is that “he did not take it” (Mark 15:23). This means that Jesus refused the offer of a pain killing mix of myrrh and wine that would have made His torture somewhat more bearable. His side was pierced with a sword to see if He was dead and water and blood poured out from His side. His internal organs were probably pulverized or like turned to wax.

I believe the reason that He refused this was to take on the full brunt of all of the wrath of God for all of humanity for all time, for all of the sins that humans have committed, were committing, and will ever commit in the future (as in today, some 2,000 years later). Jesus paid a penalty sufficient for all of the sins for all of the humans that had been born, going back into the Old Testament, that had occurred during the New Testament period, and for today, tomorrow, and ages without end. So complete was this supreme of all sacrifices that it covered Abraham’s sins, Moses, Joshua’s, David’s, and for all those living then, for all those living today and in the last 2,000 years, and for all time without end into the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, which will be a government of God without ending because of “the increase of his government and peace there will be no end“ (Isaiah 9:7a). How many of your sins and how many of my sins were ahead of Jesus’ sacrifice when He died and paid the price for them all? All of them! As it is written,

“But when this priest [Jesus] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb 10:12).

The Grave Couldn’t Hold Him

Jesus died the most horrendous death ever contrived by human beings in all of history but the grave couldn’t hold Jesus. Why? It is because Jesus had never sinned and so no grave could hold a sinless God-Man. Since the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) death could not keep Jesus in His grave because He was sinless. It is a historical fact that

“God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24).

This long agonizing day was after an all night vigil without sleep, an illegal trial by night, false witnesses testifying against Jesus, Pilate declaring His innocence, his scourging, and hanging on the cross from 9 A.M. until His death at 3 P.M. I do not believe it is coincidental that at the same time of Jesus’ death, the Passover sacrifice was made. He hung on that cross for some 6 hours in utter agony after being tortured all night. This shows just how much God loved us. To send His own Son to die such a horrific death is just too much to try and describe. Since He died for you, why not place your trust in Him today and then you will never die but have eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. If not, you will face Him as your Judge on that Day (Rev. 20).

What Christians Want to Know - Roman Crucifixion Methods by Jack Wellman

The Scarlet Thread through the Bible
By Dr. Adrian Rogers

Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by … and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him. (Joshua 2:18-19 NASB)

Rahab, the woman spoken to in this passage, was a harlot in the city of Jericho. As the Israelites came to possess the land, her city was destined for destruction—and she along with it. But she was delivered, and her life transformed, simply by tying a scarlet cord in her window.

This cord represented the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it pointed toward the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. In fact, all of the Bible is about Jesus Christ and His blood redemption, and you will find this scarlet thread throughout the Word of God.

The Prophesy of the Blood

From the very beginning of human history, it is revealed. When Adam and Eve sinned, God shed innocent blood in order to make them clothes from animal skins (Genesis 3:21). This is a picture of the covering of righteousness that we receive when the Lord Jesus Christ died for us.

In Genesis four (Gen. 4:1ff) we read that Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. They instinctively wanted to worship God. Cain sacrificed the fruit of the ground. Abel had already learned that God demanded blood, so he brought a lamb. God accepted the blood of Abel’s lamb, but He did not accept Cain’s offering. Why? Because,

“without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin” (Hebrews 9:22 NASB).

And God told Abraham to sacrifice his long-awaited son Isaac (Genesis 22). Just before Abraham plunged the dagger into the quivering heart of his son, an angel stopped him. Abraham saw a ram caught in a thicket. Isaac was set free, but an innocent animal’s blood was shed instead.

Then, God wanted to deliver His people from bondage in the land of Egypt. On the night of the Passover, God instructed each house to slay a lamb and put the blood on their door. God said in Exodus 12:13,

“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”

And in the tabernacle and later in the temple, thousands upon thousands of sheep, oxen, and turtle doves were killed and their blood spilt as sacrifices for sin.

And finally, the Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross. His death was the fulfillment of all the prophecy and promises. He came to die; He planned to die; He lived to die; and He was born to die.

Blood is throughout Scripture, but what does Christ’s blood mean to us?

The Power of the Blood

His blood redeems us. There was a price against us that we could not pay, but the blood of Jesus redeemed us. First Peter 1:18-19 says,

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things … But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Pet. 1:18-19)

His blood brings us into fellowship with God. According to Ephesians 2:13,

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Without the blood of Christ, man is a long way from God.

His blood makes peace with God. Man, by nature, is at war with God; and we can only come to God on His peace terms—the blood atonement. The Bible says in Colossians 1:20,

“And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself …”

His blood cleanses. Not only does it remove the punishment of sin, it removes the pollution. I don’t care what sin you’ve committed;

“the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

His blood gives power over the devil. It’s the blood that Satan fears. Revelation 12:11 says,

“And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb …”

The devil doesn’t want you to learn about the blood. He hates it!

Before this planet was ever swung into space, God had determined in His heart that He would send His Son to die upon the cross. How wonderful it is to trace the scarlet thread of the blood of Christ woven throughout the Bible! How much more wonderful to experience its redemption personally. Praise God for the blood of His Lamb!

One Place Ministries - The Scarlet Thread through the Bible By Dr. Adrian Rogers

Aside: The Crimson (Tola) Worm in this site might be of interest.

Apostasy
If They Fall Away
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

An Apostasy with Far-Reaching Consequences

Hebrews 6:4-6 is looked upon by numerous Christians as possibly the most difficult and/or 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 pertaining to the Christians’ presently possessed eternal salvation — salvation “by grace through faith.”

The passage though, 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 pertaining to salvation by grace through faith find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings.  And not only is this the case, but they often, as well, find themselves being forced into erroneous views concerning salvation.

Then, beyond the preceding, the correct subject matter is not even being dealt with.  Rather, by and through this erroneous interpretative approach, the correct subject matter is, instead, completely obscured.  And such can only foster the present work of the enemy as it is outlined in 2 Corinthians 4:4 — blinding the minds of Christians relative to “the gospel of the glory of Christ” (NKJV; ASV).  Contextually, Hebrews 6:4-6 must be looked upon as dealing with four basic issues surrounding Christians, from the standpoint of possibility (“If they fall away . . . .”):

First, the Christians referred to in this passage must have come into a mature knowledge and understanding of the things pertaining to Christ as King-Priest, “after the order of Melchizedek [a position that Christ will realize only during the coming Messianic Era]” (Hebrews 5:6ff).

Second, these same Christians must fall away, apostatize.

Third, after these Christians fall away, they can never be restored to the position from which they fell.

Fourth, such a falling away would negatively reflect on Christ Himself.

These four issues will be dealt with under two subsequent headings.  The first and second will be dealt with under the first heading, and the third and fourth will be dealt with under the second heading.

Once Enlightened…but Fell Away

Certain descriptive words appearing in verses four and five make it virtually impossible to look upon these verses as describing unsaved people.

There is the word, “enlightened” (Heb. 6:4), which used in Heb. 10:32 is translated "illuminated."  And according   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 the “solid food (KJV: ‘strong meat’ [epignosis])” of the Word (Heb. 5:12-14 KJV).

Then there is the word, “tasted” (Heb. 6:4-5).  This is the same word used for Christ tasting death “for everyone” in Hebrews 2:9.  The experiences entered into by those in Heb. 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 as well.

And the last descriptive word is “partakers” (Heb. 6:4).  This is the same word translated “companions (KJV: ‘fellows’)” in Hebrews 1:9 and “partakers” in Hebrews 3:1, 14.  These are translations of the Greek word metochoi, which could be better rendered, “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 pertaining to Christ as the great King-Priest “after the order of Melchizedek” from Hebrews 5.  It, thus, has to do with Christians coming into a mature knowledge and understanding of Christ and His companions’ coming reign over the earth.

Then, spiritual lessons pertaining to 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 of that which was in view.  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 which is stated in the antitype in Hebrews 6:4-6, found it impossible to be renewed “again to repentance.”

Impossible to Renew Again…Because…

The report that 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, infiltrated by the Nephilim, were strong and lived in fortified (KJV: walled) cities (Numbers 13:26-29, 32-33).

Caleb and Joshua, exhorting the people, said,

Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. (Numbers 13:30)

But the remaining ten spies said,

We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. (Numbers 13:31)

The people of Israel heard the report and both exhortations, but they believed the bad (KJV: 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 on 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 to 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 to the place” that 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 the land 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 the great 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).

That 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 that he had previously occupied, which is to say, he could not be renewed “again to repentance.”

Though the Christian (in the antitype) may later change his mind about the matter (as did the Israelites in the type), God will not change His mind about the matter.  The Christian, like the Israelites, will 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 again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. (Heb. 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 (Heb. 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:

1)  He would first have to come into a mature knowledge and understanding of the things pertaining to Christ’s coming reign over the earth.

2)  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 of humiliation and shame that He experienced at Calvary.  The expression, “crucify again for 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 that God will not allow.  Thus, the verse introducing Hebrews 6:4-6: 

“And this we will 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]” (Hebrews 6:3).

(For additional information on Hebrews 6:4-6, from the perspective of the fourth major warning in the book of Hebrews, in chapter ten, refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Jude, Appendix II.)

Jude by Arlen Chitwood, Appendix I  or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Jude, Appendix I

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Are Melchizedek and Jesus the same person?
A case can be made either way.
At the very least, Melchizedek is a type of Christ, prefiguring the Lord’s ministry.
But it is also possible that Abraham, after his weary battle,
met and gave honor to the Lord Jesus Himself.

Who was Melchizedek?
By Got Questions

Melchizedek, whose name means “king of righteousness,” was a king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest of the Most High God (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6-11; 6:20-7:28). Melchizedek’s sudden appearance and disappearance in the book of Genesis is somewhat mysterious. Melchizedek and Abraham first met after Abraham’s defeat of Chedorlaomer and his three allies. Melchizedek presented bread and wine to Abraham and his weary men, demonstrating friendship. He bestowed a blessing on Abraham in the name of El Elyon (“God Most High”) and praised God for giving Abraham a victory in battle (Genesis 14:18-20).

Abraham presented Melchizedek with a tithe (a tenth) of all the items he had gathered. By this act Abraham indicated that he recognized Melchizedek as a priest who ranked higher spiritually than he.

In Psalm 110, a messianic psalm written by David (Matthew 22:43), Melchizedek is presented as a type of Christ. This theme is repeated in the book of Hebrews, where both Melchizedek and Christ are considered kings of righteousness and peace. By citing Melchizedek and his unique priesthood as a type, the writer shows that Christ’s new priesthood is superior to the old levitical order and the priesthood of Aaron (Hebrews 7:1-10).

Some propose that Melchizedek was actually a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ, or a Christophany. This is a possible theory, given that Abraham had received such a visit before. Consider Genesis 17 where Abraham saw and spoke with the Lord (El Shaddai) in the form of a man.

Hebrews 6:20 says, “[Jesus] has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” This term order would ordinarily indicate a succession of priests holding the office. None are ever mentioned, however, in the long interval from Melchizedek to Christ, an anomaly that can be solved by assuming that Melchizedek and Christ are really the same person. Thus the “order” is eternally vested in Him and Him alone.

Hebrews 7:3 says that Melchizedek was “without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.” The question is whether the author of Hebrews means this actually or figuratively.

If the description in Hebrews is literal, then it is indeed difficult to see how it could be properly applied to anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ. No mere earthly king “remains a priest forever,” and no mere human is “without father or mother.” If Genesis 14 describes a theophany, then God the Son came to give Abraham His blessing (Genesis 14:17-19), appearing as the King of Righteousness (Revelation 19:11,16), the King of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and the Mediator between God and Man (1 Timothy 2:5).

If the description of Melchizedek is figurative, then the details of having no genealogy, no beginning or ending, and a ceaseless ministry are simply statements accentuating the mysterious nature of the person who met Abraham. In this case, the silence in the Genesis account concerning these details is purposeful and better serves to link Melchizedek with Christ.

Are Melchizedek and Jesus the same person? A case can be made either way. At the very least, Melchizedek is a type of Christ, prefiguring the Lord’s ministry. But it is also possible that Abraham, after his weary battle, met and gave honor to the Lord Jesus Himself.

Got Questions - Who was Melchizedek?

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 God grades on the cross, not the curve.

Two Relationships and Five Paths of Life
From Gary Whipple's Beyond the Rapture

[Excerpts with some wording changes and additions, but not context.]

Two Relationships

As a way of introducing the five paths of life, one must have an understanding of two relationships.

The first is the relationship between the “law of God,” and the lost person. The second is between the “commandments of Christ” and the saved person.

The first relationship says “do and have eternal life,” whereas, the second relationship says “do and have millennial life.”

The first relationship says if you fail to keep the law of God, you will suffer forever in the lake of fire, whereas, the second relationship says if you fail to keep the commandments of Christ, you will suffer loss for a millennium in “outer darkness” and possibly “the blackness of darkness.”

Five Paths of Life

By understanding the two relationships, one can see five paths of life and understand where each leads.

The first path leads to the Lake of Fire. All those who are alive to the law of God, when they physically die, will go there.

The second leads to everlasting life. This is given to all who have died through the law while living in this life.

The third leads into the kingdom of heaven. This privilege will be given to all who die through the law, become alive to Christ and keep His commandments.

The fourth path leads to “the outer darkness.” This is a place of obscurity outside of the kingdom for all who die through the law, then fail to become alive to Christ and keep His commandments. Its duration will be for one thousand years.

The fifth path leads to “Gehenna” and the “blackness of darkness” forever (Gr. “aion” meaning age, i.e. millennial age). This is the most gloomy of all places. It is reserved for apostates. That is, those who after they died through the law, turned against the Word and become enemies of God.

Bible One - Gary Whipple's Beyond the Rapture, Chapter 10.

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Freedom, Satan and Armor

(Contains four commentaries.) 

Subjects:

Freedom
By Believers Bible Commentary

So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 4:31-5:1 NASB)

The last verse of Galatians 4 (Gal. 4:31) describes the believer's position—he is free.

The first verse of Galatians 5 (Gal. 5:1) refers to his practice—he should live as a free man. Here we have a very good illustration of the difference between law and grace.

The law would say:

“If you earn your freedom, you will become free.”

But grace says:

“You have been made free at the tremendous cost of the death of Christ. In gratitude to Him, you should stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made you free.”

Law commands but does not enable. Grace provides what law demands, then enables man to live a life consistent with his position by the power of the Holy Spirit and rewards him for doing it.

As C. H. Mackintosh says,

“The law demands strength from one who has none, and curses him if he cannot display it. The gospel gives strength to one who has none, and blesses him in the exhibition of it.”

“Run, John, and live,” the law commands,
But gives me neither legs nor hands;
Far better news the Gospel brings,
It bids me fly and gives me wings.

See Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! in this site. 

Satan’s Present Organization of His Kingdom
By Gary Whipple of Beyond the Rapture

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high {places}” (Eph. 6:12).

According to this verse in Ephesians, Satan’s rule from the heavens over this present earth is organized to accommodate three major ranks. These are:

(1) “Principalities” [Gr.’arche’l, meaning chief or principle ruler. These are the highest-ranking angelic rulers under Satan himself, who rules over portions of his kingdom, i.e. all that he has.

(2) “Powers” (Gr.‘exousia’) meaning magistrates, potentates, or delegated influences. This second highest rank of rulers, are placed in positions of power and rulership under the Principalities, with full power to carry out and enforce the rule of the “Principalities” and Satan.

(3) “Rulers of darkness” (Gr. ‘kosmokrator skotos’) meaning rulers-world who under the “Powers” rules the nations of the world in obscurity. These lesser rulers have authority over the territory of this world only, and are probably princes over the nations and cities of the earth. They are the over-rulers of their flesh and blood counterparts, i.e. presidents, governors, mayors, etc. who unwittingly carry out their plans and directives, not knowing that they are being used by Satan. Daniel refers to two of these princes of Satan as being rulers of Greece and of Persia (Dan. 10:13-21). Here, God tells us that one of them (the prince of Persia) had the power to capture an angel, sent from God to Daniel, for 21 days. Only with the intervention of Michael, the archangel, was he able to overcome him.

The appearance of a fourth rank is not considered by this writer as a ruling rank. This is called “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Gr. ‘pneumatikos poneria’), which means supernatural or spirit beings (probably the demons) who promote wickedness and iniquity on the earth. These spirit beings make up the lowest position in Satan’s kingdom and they have no rule or authority. They occupy the high places, i.e. the heavenly places (Gr. Epouranious), meaning above the sky, i.e., earth’s atmosphere as well as the celestial portion of Satan’s kingdom, and are outside the prominence of Satan’s present rule over this earth.

Bible One - Gary Whipple's Beyond the Rapture, Ch. 8, Pg. 102. 

Spiritual Warfare
By Compelling Truth

There are two primary issues to address regarding spiritual warfare and the Bible. First, does spiritual warfare exist? Second, what does the Bible say about engaging in spiritual warfare?

The Bible is very clear on the existence of spiritual warfare. Peter warns

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

Our adversary or enemy, the devil, refers to Satan, who is a real entity, not a mythical creature or invention. Other titles of Satan include the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5) and the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10).

Three of Satan's titles indicate his authority in this world:

the ruler of this world (John 12:31),

the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), and

the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).

Satan also transforms himself into "an angel of light," a description that highlights his capacity and inclination to deceive (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Spiritual warfare, the idea that humans battle in some way with supernatural powers, is also the testimony of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18. Here, Paul notes that believers battle against the devil's schemes and that this is a spiritual battle, not a physical one. We are to be fully aware of Satan's evil plans (2 Corinthians 2:11). Paul further describes the warfare in which we are engaged as we battle throughout our lives "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). Clearly, such powers exist.

The second question—what does the Bible say about engaging in spiritual warfare?— is somewhat more controversial. The problem typically arises when we either over emphasize spiritual warfare by seeing every occurrence in life as part of it or under emphasizing it by ignoring the spiritual realm altogether.

Several biblical texts inform our understanding of this issue. First, Christians must remember we are already conquerors (Romans 8:37) and that Satan has already been defeated (Colossians 2:15; 1 Peter 3:22). Second, the power of Christ within the believer is greater than the power of Satan (1 John 4:4). We have no reason to live in fear of Satan or evil spirits as believers. Satan can harm, but he cannot defeat the believer in Christ.

Third, we must not forget that Satan can be allowed to attack believers (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; James 1:2-4) in order to fulfill God's perfect plan for His people. This was the case of Paul's thorn in the flesh and was also seen in the example of Job's life (Job 1–3). Satan's power over us is limited, however, to only that which God ordains for His purposes—to bring His children to maturity and bring glory to Himself.

Fourth, Satan's primary strategy is to blind us to God's plan for our lives (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Rather than a supernatural battle between angels and demons that is often portrayed in modern culture, the general tactic used by Satan is to turn our eyes away from God's truth and toward self. However, we cannot blame every temptation on Satan, since the Bible also teaches that we are tempted and enticed by our own evil desires (James 1:13-15).

Fifth, the method to defeat Satan is to resist him and stay near to God. James 4:7-8 instructs, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." A close walk with God is the best protection against Satan's activities.

Sixth, Paul exhorts us to arm ourselves for the spiritual battle which is part of the Christian life by putting on the "whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). This armor includes truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer. These weapons will enable us to "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might" (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Ultimately, spiritual warfare is not about a technique to defeat Satan or demons, but a heart that walks closely with God. When God is first and foremost in our lives, Satan lacks power over us, despite his attempts to weaken our efforts to pursue Christ.

As a final warning, it is important that we do not take our God-given power over Satan as an opportunity to display arrogance. In Acts 19:13-16 we find the account of Jewish leaders who attempted to use God's power to overcome evil for their own benefit and received a harsh punishment for doing so. This stern warning should reveal our need to depend on a humble and personal walk with Christ to overcome evil rather than an external display to feed human pride.

In summary, spiritual warfare is a very real part of the Christian life, but should not be an opportunity for either fear or pride. Instead, the reality of Satan and his evil forces should cause us to draw near to God all the more, realizing His power can conquer any foe we may encounter.

Compelling Truth - Spiritual Warfare 

Also see Battles between a Christian's New and Old Natures and How I Learned to Pray for the Lost in this site.

Full Armor of God
By Compelling Truth

The armor of God is described in Ephesians 6:10-18. In this passage we are told that our primary battles are of a spiritual nature and that we need spiritual armor to be able to stand firm in the midst of these battles. The armor includes the following pieces:

Belt of truth: The belt of truth is the first item in our arsenal. A belt holds the other pieces of clothing and armor together. It secures the outfit and allows a soldier to move freely. Truth both secures us and gives us freedom (John 8:32). One of Satan's greatest offensive tactics is to deceive us; he is the "father of lies" (John 8:44). With the belt of truth around our waists, we are prepared to defend against this. This truth also applies to the way we live our lives. When we live with honesty and integrity, the other pieces of our armor – what could be considered our spiritual selves – stay intact. A life of integrity is not easily torn asunder.

Breastplate of righteousness: The breastplate of righteousness covers our hearts and other vital organs. In a sense, the breastplate covers the most vulnerable areas of a warrior. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." The righteousness that guards a believer's heart is the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Footwear of the readiness of the gospel: Our feet are to be "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace" (Ephesians 6:15 NIV). Because we know the good news of Christ and by that knowledge experience peace in Him (John 14:27), our feet are willing to move. In obedience to Christ, we will flee temptations (1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22) and walk into whatever He has called us to (Psalm 86:11; Isaiah 30:21; John 15:10).

Shield of faith: The shield of faith is used to "extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16). When Satan attacks us, our faith in Christ lessens the blow. We are able to withstand the attack because we know whom we have believed (2 Timothy 1:12).

Helmet of salvation: A helmet protects the brain, basically our minds. It is because of salvation that our minds can be sound. We are assured of our eternities, and made righteous recipients of peace, practitioners of faith, and knowers of truth. Our minds are protected because of Jesus' work on the cross; we have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:12-16). A helmet can also serve as a signifier. When the enemy looks at us, he sees that we belong to Christ. We carry with us the seal of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Sword of the Spirit: The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. This includes God's written Word (the Bible), God's incarnate Word (Jesus as Logos), and God's spoken Word (the Holy Spirit within us). The sword is the one offensive weapon in the list. We are told, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).  2 Timothy 3:16 NIV speaks of Scripture as being "God-breathed." When God spoke creation came into existence. He breathed life into man. There is power in the Word of God; this is why it is our best offense.

Compelling Truth - Full Armor of God

Also see Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! in this website. 

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If I adore You out of fear of Hell,
Burn me in Hell.
If I adore You out of desire for Paradise,
Lock me out of Paradise.
But if I adore You for Yourself alone,
Do not deny to me Your eternal beauty!
~ Rabia al Basri (717 - 801)

Love
The Restoration of Peter (John 21:15-17), Agape [heart] vs. Phileo [head]

G25
ἀγαπάω
agapaō ag-ap-ah'-o

Perhaps from ἄγαν agan (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense): - (be-) love (-ed). Compare G5368.

G5368
φιλέω
phileō fil-eh'-o

From G5384; to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), that is, have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling; while G25 is wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety: the two thus stand related very much as G2309 and G1014, or as G2372 and G3563 respectively; the former being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head); specifically to kiss (as a mark of tenderness): - kiss, love.

Joh. 21:15   It has often been pointed out that two different words for love are used in these verses. We might paraphrase verse 15 as follows: “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these other disciples love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I am fond of You.” Peter would no longer boast that he would never forsake the Lord, even if all the other disciples did. He had learned his lesson.

Joh. 21:15  SoG3767 whenG3753 they had finishedG709 breakfastG709, JesusG2424 *saidG3004 to SimonG4613 PeterG4074, "SimonG4613, son of JohnG2491, do you loveG25 Me moreG4183 than theseG3778?" He *saidG3004 to Him, "YesG3483a, LordG2962; You knowG3609a that I loveG5368 You." He *saidG3004 to him, "TendG1006 My lambsG721b."

Joh. 21:16   For the second time, the Lord asked Peter if he loved Him. Peter replied the second time, with genuine distrust of himself, “You know that I am fond of You.” This time He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” There are lambs and sheep in Christ's flock, and they need the loving care of one who loves the Shepherd.

Joh. 21:16  He *saidG3004 to him againG3825 a secondG1208 timeG1208, "SimonG4613, son of JohnG2491, do you loveG25 Me?" He *saidG3004 to Him, "YesG3483a, LordG2962; You knowG3609a that I loveG5368 You." He *saidG3004 to him, "ShepherdG4165 My sheepG4263a."

Joh. 21:17   Just as Peter had denied the Lord thrice, so he was given three opportunities to confess Him.

This time, Peter appealed to the fact that Jesus was God and therefore knew all things. He said the third time, “You know that I am fond of You.” And for the last time, he was told that he could demonstrate this by feeding Christ's sheep. In this passage, the underlying lesson is that love for Christ is the only acceptable motive for serving Him.

Joh. 21:17  He *saidG3004 to him the thirdG5154 timeG5154, "SimonG4613, son of JohnG2491, do you loveG5368 Me?" PeterG4074 was grievedG3076 becauseG3754 He saidG3004 to him the thirdG5154 timeG5154, "Do you loveG5368 Me?" And he saidG3004 to Him, "LordG2962, You knowG3609a allG3956 thingsG3956; You knowG1097 that I loveG5368 You." JesusG2424 *saidG3004 to him, "TendG1006 My sheepG4263a.

Note that in verses 15 and 16 Jesus asks Peter if he "loves" [G25] Him, but in verse 17 Jesus asks Peter if he "is fond of" [G5368] Him.

(Also note:  Tend [G1006] and Shepherd [verb G4165] both relate to 'feeding', but Tend also means 'ruling over.'

The disciples were not just spiritually saved, but had entered the Standing Grace gate and were running the race to qualify for [win] their awaiting inheritance at the Judgment Seat, the soul aspect of salvation.  [Heb. 12:1; 1 Cor. 9:26]

In my opinion the job of the shepherds is to feed the Word to the sheep and lambs [God’s people] and grow them from the knowledge of the milk of the Word to knowledge of the meat of the Word. [Heb. 5:12-14]  One must have a mature knowledge [epignosis] of the Word to win the race!)

e-Sword by Rick Myers,   e-Sword Downloads:  Believers Bible Commentary and Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries 

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The letters give a consecutive preview of the history of Christendom,
each church representing a distinct period.
The trend of conditions is downward.

Letters from Our Lord (Revelation 2; 3)
By Believers Bible Commentary

In Revelation 2; 3, we have individual letters addressed to the seven churches of Asia. The letters may be applied in at least three ways. First of all, they describe conditions that actually existed in the seven local churches at the time John was writing. Secondly, they give a view of Christendom on earth at any one time in its history. The features found in these letters have existed in part, at least, in every century since Pentecost. In this respect, the letters bear marked resemblances to the seven parables of Matthew 13. Finally, the letters give a consecutive preview of the history of Christendom, each church representing a distinct period. The general trend of conditions is downward. Many believe that the first three letters are consecutive and that the last four are concurrent, reaching to the time of the Rapture.

According to the third view, the epochs in the history of the church are generally listed as follows:

Ephesus: The church of the first century was generally praiseworthy but it had already left its first love.

Smyrna: From the first to the fourth century, the church suffered persecution under the Roman emperors.

Pergamos: During the fourth and fifth centuries, Christianity was recognized as an official religion through Constantine's patronage.

Thyatira: From the sixth to the fifteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church largely held sway in Western Christendom until rocked by the Reformation. In the East, the Orthodox Church ruled.

Sardis: The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were the Post-Reformation period. The light of the Reformation soon became dim.

Philadelphia: During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there were mighty revivals and great missionary movements.

Laodicea: The church of the last days is pictured as lukewarm and apostate. It is the church of liberalism and ecumenism.

Each church has its own distinctive character. Phillips has assigned the following titles, expressing these dominant features:

Ephesus, the loveless church;
Smyrna, the persecuted church;
Pergamos, the over-tolerant church;
Thyatira, the compromising church;
Sardis, the sleeping church;
Philadelphia, the church with opportunity; and
Laodicea, the complacent church.

Walvoord describes their problems as:

(1) losing their first love;
(2) fear of suffering;
(3) doctrinal defection;
(4) moral departure;
(5) spiritual deadness;
(6) not holding fast; and
(7) lukewarmness.

See the next commentary Letters From Our Lord (Revelation 2; 3) Commentary TABLE for more detail on the subject.

The following link is to the Word document. Note: When you click on the document you'll see choices.  Click on Save, then you'll be able to open.  When it opens Click on Enable Editing.  Voila!  (Sometimes one has to Click on VIEW to get to Enable Editing.)

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Apostasy

A Christian, to fall away [become an apostate], would have to do two things:

1)  He would have to have a mature knowledge and understanding [epignosis] of the things pertaining to Christ’s coming reign over the earth.

2)  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).

Letters From Our Lord (Revelation 2; 3) Commentary TABLE
(I know the following is hard to read, but to get it into this website had to make it small. Sorry. The Word document, which is much easier to read, is linked at the bottom.)

Gary Whipple's further commentary:

The careful student of the Word will see in the first four letters a composite picture of the beginning and ending state of an apostate Christian (one falling away from God). Then in the fifth and sixth letters, he will see the growth of a newborn Christian to full maturity. Then in the seventh a falling away of that Christian due to prosperity and the worship of mammon. The apostasy in the first-four letters begins by leaving the Word, whereas the apostasy of the seventh is the result of prosperity of this world.

Notice the three steps of apostasy in the first-four letters:

(1) The loss of their first love, the Word, which caused them to fall into special trials and tribulations for the purposes of bringing them back.

(2) A further fall into accepting a false doctrine called the doctrine of Balaam (Num. 31:16).

(3) The final step is accepting the teaching of spiritual idolatry and fornication to such a degree that the apostate does not want Christ to rule over him. Then notice that in the seventh letter the cause for the first step in the fall (leaving the Word) is prosperity and power in this world.

Also see the preceding commentary Letters from Our Lord (Revelation 2; 3).

The following link is to the Word document which, again, is easy to read.  Note: When you click on the document you'll see choices.  Click on Save, then you'll be able to open.  When it opens Click on Enable Editing.  Voila!  (Sometimes one has to Click on VIEW to get to Enable Editing.)

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We all need a Tree!

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start.
 
While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.
 
When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation.. His face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
 
'Oh, that's my trouble tree,' he replied 'I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children.. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again.'
 
'Funny thing is,' he smiled, 'when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.'
 
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. We all need a Tree!

~~Received from Spoof and Alta

Be dogmatic where Scripture interpretation is exegesis
and avoid being dogmatic where Scripture interpretation is eisegesis.
Through eisegesis too many false doctrines, fads, and gimmicks have crept into the church.

Why Different Interpretations of God's Word?
By Got Questions

Why are there so many different interpretations? If all Christians have the same Bible, and the same Holy Spirit, should not Christians be able to agree?

Scripture says there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). This passage emphasizes the unity that should exist in the body of Christ as we are indwelt by “one Spirit” (Eph. 4:4). In verse 3, (Eph. 4:3) Paul makes an appeal to humility, meekness, patience, and love—all of which are necessary to preserve unity. According to 1 Corinthians 2:10-13, the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:11), which He reveals (1 Cor. 2:10) and teaches (1 Cor. 2:13) to those whom He indwells. This activity of the Holy Spirit is called illumination (spiritual awareness). See Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! in this site.

In a perfect world, every believer would dutifully study the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15) in prayerful dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s illumination. As can be clearly seen, this is not a perfect world. Not everyone who possesses the Holy Spirit actually listens to the Holy Spirit [*allows the Holy Spirit to work through them]. There are Christians who grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30). Ask any educator—even the best classroom teacher has his share of wayward students who seem to resist learning, no matter what the teacher does. So, one reason different people have different interpretations of the Bible is simply that some do not listen to the Teacher—the Holy Spirit [*allow the Holy Spirit to work through them]. Following are some other reasons for the wide divergence of beliefs among those who teach the Bible.

1. Unbelief. The fact is that many who claim to be Christians have never been born again. They wear the label of “Christian,” but there has been no true change of heart. Many who do not even believe the Bible to be true presume to teach it. They claim to speak for God yet live in a state of unbelief. Most false interpretations of Scripture come from such sources.

It is impossible for an unbeliever to correctly interpret Scripture. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). An unsaved man cannot understand the truth of the Bible. He has no illumination. Further, even being a pastor or theologian does not guarantee one’s salvation.

An example of the chaos created by unbelief is found in John 12:28-29. Jesus prays to the Father, saying, “Father, glorify your name.” The Father responds with an audible voice from heaven, which everyone nearby hears. Notice, however, the difference in interpretation: “The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.” Everyone heard the same thing—an intelligible statement from heaven—yet everyone heard what he wanted to hear.

2. Lack of training. The apostle Peter warns against those who misinterpret the Scriptures. He attributes their spurious teachings in part to the fact that they are “ignorant” (2 Peter 3:16). Timothy is told to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). There is no shortcut to proper biblical interpretation; we are constrained to study.  (*Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you……[Col. 3:16])

3. Poor hermeneutics. Much error has been promoted because of a simple failure to apply good hermeneutics (the science of interpreting Scripture). Taking a verse out of its immediate context can do great damage to the intent of the verse. Ignoring the wider context of the chapter and book, or failing to understand the historical/cultural context will also lead to problems.  (See Logos! in this site.)

4. Ignorance of the whole Word of God. Apollos was a powerful and eloquent preacher, but he only knew the baptism of John. He was ignorant of Jesus and His provision of salvation, so his message was incomplete. Aquila and Priscilla took him aside and “explained to him the way of God more adequately” (Acts 18:24-28). After that, Apollos preached Jesus Christ. Some groups and individuals today have an incomplete message because they concentrate on certain passages to the exclusion of others. They fail to compare Scripture with Scripture.

5. Selfishness and pride. Sad to say, many interpretations of the Bible are based on an individual’s own personal biases and pet doctrines. Some people see an opportunity for personal advancement by promoting a “new perspective” on Scripture. (See the description of false teachers in Jude’s epistle [Jude 1].)

6. Failure to mature. When Christians are not maturing as they should, their handling of the Word of God is affected. “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3). An immature Christian is not ready for the “meat” of God’s Word. Note that the proof of the Corinthians’ carnality is a division in their church (1 Cor. 3:4).

7. Undue emphasis on tradition. Some churches claim to believe the Bible, but their interpretation is always filtered through the established traditions of their church. Where tradition and the teaching of the Bible are in conflict, tradition is given precedence. This effectively negates the authority of the Word and grants supremacy to the church leadership.

On the essentials, the Bible is abundantly clear. There is nothing ambiguous about the deity of Christ, the reality of heaven and hell, the Spirit aspect of salvation by grace through faith or the *Soul aspect of salvation by the production of works by the Holy Spirit working through us. On some issues of less importance, however, the teaching of Scripture is less clear, and this naturally leads to different interpretations. For example, we have no direct biblical command governing the frequency of communion or the style of music to use. Honest, sincere Christians can have differing interpretations of the passages concerning these peripheral issues.

The important thing is to be dogmatic where Scripture is (exegesis**) and to avoid being dogmatic where Scripture is not (eisegesis**). Churches should strive to follow the model of the early church in Jerusalem: “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). There was unity in the early church because they were steadfast in the apostles’ doctrine. There will be unity in the church again when we get back to the apostles’ doctrine and forego the other doctrines, fads, and gimmicks that have crept into the church.  (*See Revelation 2; 3.)

*Added

**Exegesis -- A critical interpretation of a text (especially of the Bible).
**Eisegesis -- A personal interpretation of a text (especially of the Bible) using one's own ideas.

(See Logos! in this site.)

Also see Doorway to Inheritance of the Great Salvation, Hope of Glory, The Way of Soul Salvation!, The Hope!  for additional commentary on the Soul aspect of salvation (all in this site).

Got Questions - Why Different Interpretations of God's Word?

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Conception by the Holy Ghost was the only way the Virgin Birth could be accomplished.
Mary contributed the body of Jesus
and He became the "seed of David according to the flesh."
The Holy Spirit contributed the Blood of Jesus.
It was sinless blood. It was Divine blood.
It is Precious Blood for there has never been any other like it.
It is Innocent Blood.

The Chemistry of the Blood
Five Sermons by Martin DeHaan, M.D.

Sermons:

The Chemistry of the Blood
By Martin R. DeHaan, M.D.

"The Life is In the Blood"

Sermon One

"Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people." (Leviticus 7:26-27)

The Bible is a Book of blood and a bloody book. When we are accused of preaching a Gospel of blood, we proudly plead guilty to the charge, for the only thing that gives life to our teaching and power to the Word of God is the fact that it is the blood which is the very life and power of the Gospel. The Bible claims for itself that it is a "living" Book and the only living Book in the world and is able to impart life to those who will believe with their hearts what it teaches. In Hebrews 4, we read these words:

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword.” (Hebrews 4:12a)

The word translated "quick" in this verse is "LIVING" or "ALIVE." The word of God is a living Word, wholly distinct from all other books for just one reason, namely that it contains blood circulating through every page and in every verse. From Genesis to Revelation we see the stream of blood which imparts to this Book the very life of God. Without the blood in the Bible it would be like any other book and of no more value, for the Bible plainly teaches that the life is in the blood. As we begin this brief series of messages, therefore, on the blood, we must begin with one fundamental principle found in the Bible. This fundamental principle is given in Leviticus 17, as follows;

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11)

This same inspired principle is repeated in the 14th verse where we read again,

"For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof." (Leviticus 17:14)

Life, that mysterious something that science has never yet been able to define or fathom, is said by God to be in the blood of the flesh, so that there can be no life without the blood. Now while this is true of all flesh, we are mainly interested in the human blood and particularly in the blood of the man Christ Jesus, because in His blood was not only life as we think of it physically but ETERNAL life as well.

The Physiology (function) of Blood

In the human body there are many different kinds of tissues. We define them as muscle, nerve, fat, gland, bone connective tissues, etc. All these tissues have one thing in common, they are fixed cells, microscopically small and having a specific and limited function. Unlike these fixed tissues, the blood is fluid and mobile, that is, it is not limited to one part of the body, but is free to move throughout the entire body and touch every fixed cell as it supplies it with nourishment and carries off waste products and the ashes of cell activity which we call metabolism. In the normal human body there are about five pints of this fluid, and this blood pumped by the heart circulates through the system about every twenty-three seconds, so that every cell in the body is constantly supplied and cleansed and at the same time is in constant communication and touch with every other cell in that body. This blood is the most mysterious of all tissues, being composed of scores of elements and compounds and strange chemical bodies, whose function is not yet fully understood, but all of which have to do with the mystery of life for the "life is in the blood." Once the blood fails to reach the cells and members of the body, they promptly die and no man ever dies until his blood ceases to circulate. The life is in the blood.

The Blood of Christ

Now all this is true of a physical body, but all points to a greater, deeper spiritual truth. The church of Jesus Christ is called His body and we "are members of His body" and "severally members one of another." In this body Jesus Christ is the head and all believers are the members. These members are related by the blood of Christ. The life of each member depends on His blood and is dependent solely for life, nourishment, cleansing and growth upon the blood of the Lamb of God, for "the life is in the blood." Every born-again believer is a member of that body and lives the common life of every other member by the one thing which unites them and makes them “relatives and brothers,” even the blood of Christ. These members may be widely separated in the body like the hands and the feet. They may differ widely in color; such as the white members-the teeth, and the black members-the hair or pigments of the eyes. They may differ widely in function such as nerves and skin, or differ in structure such as fat and muscle, but they are all members of one body and united by the one tissue, the blood that reaches every member everywhere. Even so it is with the Body of Christ, the true Church. They may differ in color and be white, or negro or yellow. They may differ in function according to their gift and talent. They may differ in their place as far as Eskimos are removed from the Boers in South Africa. They may differ in form as much as Catholics and Plymouth Brethren, but all born-again believers who have trusted the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Body, are brothers by blood, members of one family and body, whether they be Jews or Gentiles, white or black, Catholic or Protestant, kings or peasants. All are one through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

All One by the Blood

Listen, my friends, God cares nothing about our manmade divisions and groups and is not interested in our self-righteous, hair-splitting, and religious, man-made formulas and organizations. He wants you to recognize the UNITY of the body of Christ. Our business is not building denominations and proselytizing men and women from one so-called faith to another, but to preach the truth that "Ye must be born again" and that you are lost no matter what church you belong to unless you have been washed in the precious blood of Christ. Show me the man or the woman who is more interested in getting members for his church than winning them for Christ, and I will show you a person who does not yet know the Unifying and purifying power of the Blood, in making us all ONE in Him, not in form or ritual or mode of worship, but one in common interest to EXALT OUR HEAD, the Lord Jesus, and to love one another. Some folks are so busy defending their pet doctrines and sectarian views and getting church members, that they never win a soul for Christ.

All Related by Blood

All men are related by the blood of Adam, sinful and polluted blood, dead in trespasses and in sins. Scripture teaches that God —

"And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." (Acts 17:26a)

All men have a common origin from Adam. It is Adam's blood which courses in every man's veins, whether white or black, Jew or Gentile, pagan or cultured. This blood carries the sentence of death because of Adam’s sin and, for this reason, all men die a common death, with no exceptions. Now remember that the life is in the blood, and so if man must die it is because there is death in the blood. Whatever the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil was, we know that eating of it caused “blood poisoning” and resulted in death for God had said:

"The day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17b)

So potent was this poison that six thousand years after all who are related to Adam by human birth still succumb to that poison of sin which is transmitted through the blood. A review of the story of Adam’s creation will make clear this truth. We are told that God formed man out of the dust of the earth. Up to this, Adam was a lifeless clump of clay. Materially he was just so much dust, and merely molded into the shape of a man, but without life, he was a mere dummy. Then the record tells us that —

"And [God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7b)

The breath of God put something in man that made him ALIVE. That something was blood. It must have been. It could be nothing else, for we have already shown that the "Life of the flesh is in the blood thereof, and so when life was added by the breath of God, He imparted to that lump of clay in the shape of a man the blood, and a man became a living soul." Adam’s body was of the ground. His blood was the separate gift of God for God is Life and the Author of all life.

Sin and Death

Then man sinned and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and HE DIED. DIED SPIRITUALLY -- and, ultimately, physically. Now since life is in the blood ... when man died, something happened to the blood. Sin affected the blood of man, not his body, except indirectly because it is supplied by the blood. For this very reason sin is not in the flesh, but in the blood and flesh can only be called "sinful" flesh because it is nourished and fed and sustained by sinful blood. Sin is transmitted through the blood and since god "hath made of one blood all nations," the sin is transmitted to all of Adam's progeny. For in that one sinned, all have sinned.

The Virgin Birth

This very fact that sin is in the blood necessitated the VIRGIN BIRTH of Christ if He was to be a son of Adam and yet a sinless man. For this very reason, Christ could partake of Adam’s flesh, which is not inherently sinful, but He could not partake of Adam’s blood, which was completely impregnated with sin. God found a way by which Jesus, "born of a woman" (not man), could be a perfect human being.  Since He had not a drop of Adam’s sin in His veins, He did not share in Adam’s sin. We take up this subject of the virgin birth in another message, but we just anticipated this thought here to further prove the statement that sin is in the blood, and the whole plan of redemption, therefore, revolves around the blood.

The Line of the Blood

Now I am sure that what we have so said so far will answer the question, "Why is the Bible a Book of blood?" Because sin is in the blood, and it follows that if sin is to be atoned for, sinless blood must be provided by someone who is totally unaffected by Adam's sin and yet belong to the human race. So we can trace throughout the Scriptures this line of the blood. The first mention of the blood is in chapter four of Genesis [Genesis 4] where the blood of Abel cried from the ground for vengeance. In the preceding chapter [Genesis 3] the blood, while it is not mentioned by name, is inferred. You remember how Adam and Eve, after their sin, tried to make garments to cover their shame from fig leaves. That is the history of man. Instead of realizing that sin needs not COVERING, but ATONEMENT, man has ever after been trying to save himself by the work of his own hands and by garments of his own manufacture. So he weaves the flimsy fig leaf garment of morality and culture and good works and law works, religion, education and reformation and a social gospel, repeating the error of our first parents when they tried to save themselves by the work of their own hands. They failed us all, [and] since then [mankind] has failed and will fail. Then God comes to them and we read in Genesis 3:21 these words,

"Unto Adam also and unto his wife did the LORD God make coats of skin, and (He) clothed them." (Genesis 3:21)

In this first record of sacrifice, we have the whole story of the blood. Notice three things about this act of God which was a preview of the whole plan of redemption. First, Adam's sin called for God's intervention. It must be God's work and not man's. GOD MADE THE COAT OF SKINS. Salvation must be ALL of the Lord. Second, Salvation must be by the DEATH of an innocent substitute. Since these coats were made of skin, an animal first had to die to provide the covering. A poor substitute (probably a little lamb) had to die that Adam might be saved. Third, it MUST BE BY SHEDDING OF BLOOD, for the animal must be killed to give it's skin, and in this sacrifice it's blood must be shed. Without shedding of blood there is no remission. It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the sole. "The blood of Jesus Christ His son cleaneth us from all sin."

All Through the Book

This principle of blood laid down in this first sacrifice runs like a scarlet line all through out the book. In Genesis 4 Cain and Abel bring a sacrifice each. One is accepted, the other rejected, simply because Cain presented no blood, while Abel did. In Genesis 9 Noah sheds blood of the clean animals out of the Ark and God makes a covenant of grace with him. In Genesis 22 Abraham sacrifices a ram caught in the bushes in Isaac's stead, and the blood of the substitute spares the sinner. In Exodus we have the Passover Lamb. In Leviticus, we have the tabernacle sacrifices with their steams of blood, and all through the rest of the book we follow the line until we trace it to its source and we see on Calvary God's perfect Lamb, of which all the others were but a picture and a type, and we see the one who met the three conditions of the Father:

First -- He was God's own gift,
Second -- He died in the place of others, and
Third -- It was by the shedding of His own precious blood

Oh, friend, have you seen the utter uselessness of making an attempt at saving yourself by your own fig leaf efforts? Remember, "It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Without shedding of blood there is no remission."

 

The Chemistry of the Blood
By Martin R. DeHaan, M. D.

"The Life is In the Blood"

Sermon Two

"For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God."  (Hebrews 9:13-14)

The whole plan of redemption rests upon the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. In a previous message, we pointed out that the blood is the only tissue which is unlimited in its movement within the body. Almost all other body tissues are fixed, such as muscle, bone, nerve, fat, and skin. They remain where they are. The blood is the only tissue which is not fixed, but circulates throughout the body to every living cell. There are other fluid products of the body, such as saliva and gastric juices, tears and bile, but these are not tissues, but secretions and are not parts of the body, but byproducts of that body. The blood alone is the liquid tissue that can reach every single cell in the body and therefore unites all the members with the head and the individual members as well.

Mysterious Structure

Man has learned a great deal about this blood since the discovery of the microscope and the development of blood chemistry, and while much is still a mystery, we quite thoroughly understand its physical structure. The normal human body with its five pints of blood is wholly dependent upon the circulation of this fluid for its life, for the "life of the flesh is in the blood thereof." Simply stated, the blood consists of a liquid vehicle, called the plasma, a colorless liquid in which are suspended the various cellular elements, and in which are found in solution a great many chemical compounds. The solid part of the blood consists mainly of three kinds of cells. These are called platelets, thin transparent cells whose function is still quite obscure. Then there are the red cells or erythrocytes, in the concentration of about 5,000,000 per cubic millimeter. These are the cells which carry the fuel to the tissues in the form of combined oxygen and gives the blood its red color. Then there are the white cells or leukocytes, of which there are several kinds, which have to do particularly with the defenses of the body in combating infection. Then there are the other elements in solution which provide for the clotting of the blood when an artery or vein is severed, and the antigents and antibodies to prevent disease, as well as various salts and elements of lessor interest.

The Erythrocytes

A good deal is known concerning the red and the white cells, since they are the more easily studied. The red cells or erythrocytes are minute disc-shaped cells with their mysterious hemoglobin, an iron compound which has an affinity for oxygen, the fuel of the body. These red cells traveling through the lungs, come in contact with the oxygen in the air we breathe and unite loosely with it to form oxy-hemoglobin, and in that form they carry it to all cells and there discharge its little cargo to the cell, providing it with its vital oxygen for combustion and heat. Then the blood picks up the waste products of tissues, the carbon dioxide, and the ashes of tissue metabolism, which we may well call “the cell garbage,” and discharges this through the kidneys, the skin, the bowels and lungs and then refills with a load of precious oxygen and goes through the whole cycle again, taking about twenty-three seconds for one trip around. The food is carried to the tissues by the blood and in the same vehicle the “garbage” is carried off, and yet there is never any contamination, so perfectly has the great Creator made us. Imagine today our city produce dealers today delivering our foods unpackaged in the same truck in which they haul the garbage. Here is something in which our health departments might wonder at.

Christ Our Supply

As essential then as the blood is to our bodies, so essential is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to the body of Christ. It too is fluid so that it can reach every single member of that body no matter how far those members may be removed one from the other. Just as the blood supplies the food elements for nourishment and life, and then carries off the waste products and poisons due to cell metabolism, so too the Lord Jesus Christ is to every believer the only source of life, the only support and sustenance of life, but also the One who keeps cleansing us day by day, so that our eternal life is really ETERNAL, for the "blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing flood?
Are YOU washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Here is indeed a marvel of divine chemistry. In Revelation we read that the saints of God had washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. Think of it. Washing in blood and becoming white. Try and wash your robes in the blood of a man and see what color they are. It is impossible to wash clothes white in human blood, but God’s chemical laboratory of redemption has found a way to wash away all filth and stain, and wonder of wonders, it is by washing in the BLOOD of the Lamb. His sinless, supernatural blood alone can do that.

The Leukocytes

Now besides the red cells in the bloods plasma, we mentioned the white cells, scientifically called leukocytes.  They are called “white cells” because they are pale or white in appearance, while the red cells, of course, are not. These white cells are somewhat larger than the red cells, but much less in number. They normally occur in the concentration of about four thousand to seven thousand per cubic millimeter, while you remember the red cells have a count of from four to five million. However, the number of these white cells may be very, very rapidly increased in cases of emergency. The seven thousand normal count may be called the regular “standing army” of the blood stream. When an infection occurs anywhere in the body and the body is attacked by an enemy “army” of germs, the news is flashed back to the “camp” where the white cells are manufactured, and immediately the organ turns out a greatly increased number of these white cells and rushes them over to the point of infection.  We might well call this “Conscription of the white army,” in times of emergency. The number of white cells is doubled and then trebled, for the white cells are the “soldiers” of the body. They have the strange power to kill germs and engulf them. So when you prick your finger and a little infection starts, you soon notice a swelling around the wound. This is caused by blood being rushed to the area carrying these little “soldiers,” the white cells. These white cells surround the point of infection completely and lay siege to the bacteria causing the trouble. Millions of “soldiers” are killed and are gathered to one place, where they form what is commonly called “pus.”

So now the battle is turning and the wound which at first was red and angry and swollen now comes to a head. It has been successfully surrounded, and finally the pimple bursts and the pus is expelled. The pus consists of serum and dead “soldiers,” millions of the white cells which gave their lives in the battle for the body, together with countless numbers of germs partly digested by the white cells.

When the “dead” in the form of pus have been expelled, the blood and other white cells come in, clean up the “battlefield” and build new tissues until all is healed, and nothing but a scar remains. The number of white cell “soldiers” during all this time has been greatly increased, but now the battle is over and they return to their normal peacetime number. This is the reason the doctor takes a little of your blood out of your finger for a blood count when he suspects infection anywhere. In doubtful cases of appendicitis he takes a drop of blood and examines it. If the white cells are greatly increased and the “army” is being “conscripted,” as indicated by the increasing number of little white “soldiers,” he knows pretty sure that there is an attack by infection being made upon the body somewhere. Surely in the light of all this we can appreciate the words of David when he said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

Overcoming by the Blood

What the blood in our bodies does for us in times of danger and attack, the PRECIOUS BLOOD of the Lord Jesus Christ does for each and every believer. Right in this connection I must quote a passage from Revelation 12.

"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT. AND THEY OVERCAME HIM BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB and by the word of their testimony." (Revelation 12:10-11)

They overcame him (Satan) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. Now this hath its interpretation, of course to the nation of Israel in the tribulation, but it applies just as well to us today. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He brings charges against us before God, and to be sure there are plenty of charges to be made. But when he comes before God to accuse us, there is One there, even our Great HIGH PRIEST, the Lamb of God, and all He needs to do is to point to the blood that was shed for us and it is enough.

Sometimes Satan also comes to accuse us. He points out our sins and failures, and we see our shortcomings and the sins of the flesh, and he says, “Are you a Christian? Are you saved? You don't look like a Christian.” The result is that often we go down and are defeated when we look at ourselves and our sins. We begin to doubt our salvation and question our redemption. How can we overcome this enemy? How can we overcome this enemy? How shall we meet this infection? There is only one answer: "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb."

I see no good in myself, even less than the Devil sees. I have no hope in myself and have no confidence in the flesh. Then I plead the blood. I look to Calvary and point to Him Who there died for me and shed His blood for me and the light breaks through. I see that it is not my goodness, nor the awful mountain of my sins, but it all depends on His blood. The blood fights for me. It is the army of “white cells” in the blood of Christ which puts the enemy to flight. I acknowledge my sin, I do not deny it, and then I claim the promise,

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS." (1 John 1:9)

"If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 12:11)

Immunity to Sin

We have time for just a word about a few other elements in the blood. In the blood are not only these cells and the clouting elements, but science has discovered in the blood the ANTIBODIES or ANTITOXINS. These are elements which PREVENT INFECTIONS. The white cells fight infection when it occurs, but the ANTIBODIES prevent the infection from getting a foothold. Their nature of these elements is not fully understood, but we know clearly that except for these disease-preventing elements, we would soon perish. An interesting angle is presented when you remember that these antibodies are produced in response to infection. That is, while these bodies which prevent a certain disease may be absent in the blood, AFTER THE PERSON HAS HAD THE DISEASE ONCE, these bodies have been produced in a large amount, and thus prevent the patient from contracting the same disease twice. Some of those antibodies last for life, as in the case of smallpox, scarlet fever and other diseases. Once you have had an attack of these, you will never get it again. Others are only temporary, giving immunity only for a time, so that after a certain period of time the same disease may be contracted again. The thing to notice is this: The body once attacked by disease builds up immunity so that it will not be attacked by that disease again. This immunity is in the blood.

The Blood of Christ

What a lesson in the blood of Christ there is here for every believer in Him!  Even after we have been saved we are still open to the attacks of the world, the flesh and the Devil. Even after being born again we all to often fall prey to temptation and go down. The characteristic of the Christian who fails is that he seeks the cleansing of the blood of Christ and thereafter pleads the blood of Christ and guards against a repetition of the thing that once brought him down. He does not fall into the same sin again and again, for each experience builds up an immunity against that sin.

The difference between the sinner and the saint is NOT that the saint never SINS, but the difference is this:  the saint HATES his sin and pleads the blood of Christ, while the sinner loves his sin and goes back into it. The saint is like a sheep. It may fall in the mud hole, but it is not comfortable there, and will bleat until the shepherd lifts her out, and thereafter will avoid that mud hole by ten rods. The sinner is like a pig. It goes about looking for slime pits, and when it finds one, it slides in with a grunt of glee and will squeal vehement objections if you try to pull it out, and no sooner is it out than it will return to the slime pit again.

The saint may FALL into Sin but he will never remain there and he will be unhappy while in it. Oh Christian, do not despair if you have failed. Our precious Lord knew when He came to die for you what a failure you would be. He knew how hard it would be to remain undefiled in this old world which is “no friend to Grace”. He knew the pitfalls in the way and the deceitfulness of the flesh, and so when He died to save you, He also shed His blood to cleanse you, for He caused John to write:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

My friend, it will do you no good to deny your sins. God says if you do you are only deceiving YOURSELF and nobody else. Your only hope is CONFESSING your sin, and then He sends the “army” of “white cells” of the precious blood of Christ to cleanse you. Then TRUST Him to keep you from Sin through that same precious blood which, in addition to the “white cells” of fighting and cleansing, also contains the ANTITOXIN against further sinning. Do not despair today as you think of how you have failed, but flee to Him who shed His PRECIOUS BLOOD for your salvation, your cleansing and your KEEPING.

The Chemistry of the Blood
By Martin R. DeHaan, M. D.

"The Life is In the Blood"

Sermon Three

"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." (Acts 17:24-26)

One statement in this passage calls for special attention. Paul says that God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." The one thing which relates all men to each other is the blood that flows in their veins. Every other part of man's body differs but little from the body and the flesh of animals, but the blood is distinct and separate from that of all other creatures. ALL MEN OF ONE BLOOD and that ONE BLOOD was the blood of Father Adam, the first man and the progenitor of the whole human race.

It is not Eve's blood which flows in the veins of mankind, but ADAMS. That is why it is ADAM's sin and not Eve's which all men inherit. Sin is in the blood, and transmitted in the blood of man and in the flesh. Since the LIFE is in the blood according to the Scriptures, and the wages of sin was death, sin affected the blood of Adam and caused him to die. Because sin is a disease of the blood, it can be cured by the application of sinless blood, for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. As the first Adam’s sin corrupted the blood of the entire human family, so the pure sinless blood of the last Adam makes atonement for the sin of the world. "For without shedding of blood is no remission . . ." "It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." It was not Eve’s sin which affect us although Eve sinned before Adam did. It was the SIN of ADAM which brought death upon the whole race because it is ADAMS blood that transmits original sin and it is for this reason we are not called the SEED OF THE WOMAN, but we are ADAM'S SEED. ONLY  Jesus is called the Seed of the woman, because He was born of a woman without one drop of human blood in His veins, and thereby could avoid the sin of Adam which is only transmitted through the blood which the male contributes to his offspring. Jesus could have a human body, but one drop of Adam's blood would have made Him a sinner just as you and I. There was then only one remedy for SIN and that was sinless blood and only one could supply this, even the sinless Son of God.

From Genesis to Revelation we have this message of the atoning blood. In the Old Testament we have it in type in the blood of the lambs and the goats which were slain in the bloody ritual of Israel. Long, long before the perfect Lamb of God Himself came, the Lord was preparing the world for Him by the multitudinous types in the Old Testament. Without blood there could be no atonement, and until the blood was presented, the holy law of God demanded justice and death upon the sinner. That is why when God gave the two tables of the law to Moses upon Mount Sinai, the law which called for justice and not mercy, the law which said, "The soul that sinneth it shall die," the Law which demanded PERFECTION or death, when God gave the perfect Holy Law He also gave to Moses in the same Mount the pattern for the Tabernacle, which was indeed built on blood and its whole ritual was bathed in blood. God knew when He gave to Israel the law that they could not keep it perfectly and MUST DIE, and so in mercy He gave the Tabernacle and the altar and the blood so that a sinning people condemned by the Law might have life through the sheltering blood.

The Arc of the Covenant

The central object of the tabernacle was the Arc of the Covenant. This was an oblong box made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. In this box, together with a pot of manna and the rod of Aaron, reposed the Law of God which demanded the death of the Israelites. They had broken that law even before Moses had brought it down from the mountain, and that broken Law demanded death. God had made a provision whereby the guilty ones could be spared from death and the penalty of the law. This provision was a mercy seat which rested on top of the arc which contained the Law of God. This mercy seat was a cover made of beaten gold with two Cherubim overshadowing it. This mercy seat was of no avail until the High priest had taken blood from the altar and sprinkled it on the mercy seat over the arc and then when Jehovah came down upon the arc in the Shekinah cloud, He did not see the law but instead the blood and the law was satisfied. And God was reconciled and instead of the curse of the Law He now brought the blessing of the blood for He had said "When I see the blood I will pass over you." There can only be one escape from the curse of the law and the penalty of sin and that is the blood. Take away the blood and death falls. Remove the blood from the Bible and it dies as surely as when you remove the blood from a human body. There can only be one place of shelter and that is under the blood.

The Men of Beth-Shemesh

God has caused an incident to be recorded from the history of Israel to emphasize this great indispensable proof. You will find the complete record in 1 Samuel 6. Let me give you this setting. Israel had gone forth to battle against the Philistines and had superstitiously carried this Arc with the broken law and blood covered mercy seat with them into battle, hoping it would give them the victory. Instead they were defeated and the Arc of the Covenant was taken captive by the enemy and set up in the house of Dagon the Philistine Fish God. The next morning the Fish God Dagon had fallen down before the Arc, and the following morning the same occurred severely damaging the Philistine's God. Then an epidemic of terrible boils swept over the enemy country, together with a most grievous plague of mice which together with the boils almost drove them frantic. The priest blamed it all on the Arc and suggested sending it back to the land of Israel, which they did with a great deal of elaborate ceremony. When the Arc arrived back in Israel at the city of Bethshem, drawn by two oxen before a brand new cart, the Israelites rejoiced greatly at the return of the Arc. Someone, concerned deeply about the safety of the Arc and its contents, lifted the golden mercy seat from the Arc wherein lay the broken law. For just an instant the blood was removed from over the law and God looked upon the law without the protecting cover of blood, and we read the sad record as found in 1 Samuel 6:19-20:

"An He (God) smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the arc of the Lord, even He smote the people 50,000 and three score and ten men ..... And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this HOLY LORD GOD?"

Because they had removed the blood from over the law, the Lord smote FIFTY THOUSAND and SEVENTY of the inhabitants of the city. Now why is this record given except to emphasize the fact that WITHOUT BLOOD THERE IS NO REMISSION and that the BLOOD is the only guarantee from the curse of the law, even death, and from the wrath of a Holy God. Think of this for a moment. Over fifty thousand men slain by the wrath of God because they looked for only one brief moment upon the law of God without the covering blood.  Now all this, of course, illustrates the plan of salvation. It points forward to the true Lamb of God, The Lord Jesus Christ Himself, whose blood alone was able to make eternal atonement for sin. Please do not overlook the fact that the blood upon the mercy seat in the tabernacle must be applied again and again. Each year on the day of the atonement, the High Priest must repeat the ceremony and present fresh blood to be sprinkled on the Arc. (See in this site: The Seven Jewish Festivals.)  The blood of bulls and goats and lambs could not atone for sin, but merely pointed forward to the one that would come in the end of that age to PUT AWAY SIN by the sacrifice of Himself.

God's Perfect Lamb

So in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son into the world to be born of a woman, and at the end of His life He shed His precious eternal blood ONCE and for all. After that there was no more sacrifice. The blood of the sacrificial animals of the Old Testament was corruptible and decayed and was soon gone, but the blood shed on Calvary was imperishable blood. It is called Incorruptible. Peter says:

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold . . . but with the precious blood of Christ. . . . ."  (1 Pet. 1:18)

The blood of the Lord Jesus is sinless blood, and since it is sinless, it is incorruptible, for sin brought corruption, and where no sin is, there is no corruption. In our next message, we shall point out how the blood which flowed in Jesus’ body was sinless and how He escaped having one single drop of Adam's human blood within Him. Every drop of blood which flowed in Jesus’ body is still in existence just as fresh as it was when it flowed from His wounded brow and hands and feet and side. The blood that flowed from His unbroken skin in Gethsemane, the blood that was smeared about His back as the cruel, weighted thongs cut through His flesh as the flagellator scourged Him, the blood that oozed out under the thorny crown and flowed from His hands, His head, His feet was never destroyed for it was incorruptible blood. David in speaking of Him in the sixteenth Psalm which Peter quotes in Acts 2, says:

"Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."  (Acts 2:27)

Although the body of the Lord Jesus Christ lay in the tomb in death for three days and three nights, no corruption had set in, for that body contained incorruptible blood. Lazarus being dead only one day more was said by his sister to be STINKING with corruption, but this One saw no corruption because the only cause of corruption, SINFUL BLOOD, was absent from His flesh. That blood, every drop of it, is still in existence. Maybe when the Priest ascended into heaven, He went like the High Priest of old into the Holy of Holies in the presence thereof God to sprinkle the blood upon the Mercy Seat in heaven of which the material Mercy Seat and Ark in the Tabernacle were merely copies. In Hebrews 9:23-26 we read:

"It was therefore necessary that the "patterns of things in the heavens (referring to the earthly Tabernacle) should be purified with these (that is, the blood of beasts); but the heavenly things themselves with BETTER SACRIFICES THAN THESE. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the High Priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others . . . but now once in the end of the age hath he appeared to PUT AWAY SIN by the sacrifice of himself." (Hebrews 9:23-26)

(See Mercy and Bema Seats following these five sermons.)

After Christ had made the atonement, He arose from the tomb, and then as the eternal High Priest, ascended into heaven to present the blood in the Holy of Holies where God dwells, and that blood is there today pleading for us and prevailing for us. The priest in the Tabernacle never spoke a word. All he did was PRESENT THE blood, and that was enough. MAYBE there is a golden chalice in heaven where every drop of that precious blood is still in existence, just as pure, just as potent, just as fresh as two thousand years ago. The priest in the earthly Tabernacle needed to repeat the sprinkling again and again, and it is a significant fact that among all the pieces of the furniture of the Tabernacle there was no chair to be found. We read of the altar, the table, the candlestick, and the Ark, but there is no chair in the Tabernacle of Israel. It simply signifies that the work of the earthly priest who sprinkled the blood of animal sacrifice was never done. He could not sit down. His work was never finished. Of the Great High Priest Jesus Christ, we read:

"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God. . . . .  For by one offering he hath perfected FOREVER them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:12, 14)

The blood has been shed. The incorruptible, eternal, divine, sinless, overcoming, precious blood. It availed then, and it avails now and throughout all eternity it shall never lose its power.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose it's power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved, to sin no more.

Because of all this, the blood is called in Scripture by many descriptive names. “It is precious,” says Peter. “It is incorruptible,” says David. “It is overcoming blood,” says John in Revelation "for they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony." No wonder Satan hates the blood and will do anything to get rid of that power of the blood of Christ.

Today, it is as true as in the day of Israel, that there is no remission without the blood. When the men of Bethshemesh looked upon the Law of God without blood, they perished. Today the Law has not changed its character, nor the blood. The Law still is the "ministration of death." (2 Corinthians 3:7). It is still true that "cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." They that are of the works of the law are under the curse. The Law killeth (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Only the Blood

God said to Israel and to us, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." He did not say, “When I see your goodness, your morality, your works, your fervent religious worship, your earnestness in trying to keep the Ten Commandments or observe the Golden Rule." No, it is simply this, "When I see the blood I will pass over you." Do you think that I have made too much of the blood, that I have over-emphasized its importance? Listen, blood is mentioned in the Bible about Seven Hundred Times from Genesis to Revelation, and when we see the redeemed throng in heaven in the book of Revelation, we hear them singing, not about their goodness, not about how they have kept the law and been faithful, but this is the song,

"Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." (Revelation 1:5)

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing blood,
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are your garment spotless, are the white as snow,
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

The Chemistry of the Blood
By Martin R. DeHaan, M. D.

"The Life is In the Blood"

Sermon Four

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that WHICH IS CONCEIVED IN HER IS OF THE HOLY GHOST." (Matthew 1:18-20)

"NOW all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Matthew 1:22-23)

The Virgin Birth

It is strange, is it not, that with such a clear record anyone can deny that the BIBLE TEACHES THE VIRGIN BIRTH. We can understand how men can reject the Bible record, but how men can say that the Bible does not teach the VIRGIN BIRTH is beyond conception.

The Bible teaches plainly that Jesus was conceived in the womb of a virgin Jewish mother by a supernatural insemination of the Holy Ghost, wholly and apart from any generation by a human father. This the Bible teaches so plainly that to the believer there is no doubt. The record cannot be mistaken by the enlightened and honest student of the Word.

Jesus Sinless

The Bible teaches in addition that Jesus was a SINLESS man. While all men from Adam to this day are born with Adam’s sinful nature, and, therefore, are subject to the curse and eternal death, the Man Jesus was without sin and, therefore, DEATHLESS until He took the sin of others upon Himself and died THEIR death. Now while Jesus was of Adam's race according to the flesh, He did not inherit Adam's nature. This alone will prove that sin is not transmitted through the flesh. It is transmitted through the blood and not the flesh, and even though Jesus was of the "Seed of David according to the flesh" this could not make him a sinner.

God has made of ONE BLOOD ALL THE NATIONS of the earth. Sinful heredity is transmitted through the blood and not through the flesh. Even though Jesus, therefore, received His flesh, His body from a sinful race, He could still be sinless as long as not a drop blood of this sinful race entered His veins. God must find a way whereby Jesus could be perfectly human according to the flesh and yet not have the blood of sinful humanity. That was the problem solved by the virgin birth.

Origin of the Blood

It is now definitely known that the blood which flows in an unborn babies arteries and veins is not derived from the mother, but is produced within the body of the foetus itself only after the introduction of the male sperm. An unfertilized ovum can never develop blood since the female egg does not by itself contain the elements essential for the production of this blood. It is only after the male element has entered the ovum that blood can develop. As a very simple illustration of this, think of the egg of a hen. An unfertilized egg is just an ovum on a much larger scale than the human ovum. You may incubate this unfertilized hens egg but it will never develop. It will decay and become rotten, but no chick will result. Let that egg be fertilized by the introduction of the male sperm and incubation will bring to light the presence of LIFE IN THAT EGG. After a few hours it visibly develops. In a little while red streaks occur in the egg denoting the presence of Blood. This can never occur and does never occur until THE MALE SPERM HAS BEEN UNITED WITH THE FEMALE OVUM. The male element has added life to the egg. Life is in the blood according to scripture, for Moses says:

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood." (Leviticus 17:11).
"For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof." (Leviticus 17:14)

Since there is no life in the egg until the male sperm unites with it, and the life is in the blood, it follows that the male sperm is the source of the blood, the seed of life. Think it through.

No Mothers Blood

For this very reason, it is unnecessary that a single drop of blood be given to the developing embryo in the womb of the mother. Such is the case according to science. The mother provides the foetus (the unborn developing infant) with the nutritive elements for the building of that little body in the secret of her bosom, but all the blood which forms in that little body is formed in the embryo itself and only as a result of the contribution of the male parent. From the time of conception to the time of birth of the infant not ONE SINGLE DROP OF BLOOD ever passes from mother to child. The placenta, that mass of temporary tissue known better as “afterbirth” forming the union between mother and child, is so constructed that although all the soluble nutritive elements such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, salts, minerals and even antibodies pass freely from mother to child and the waste products of the child's metabolism are passed back to the mothers circulation, no actual interchange of a single drop of blood ever occurs normally. All the blood which is in that child is produced within the child itself as a result of the introduction of the male sperm. The mother contributes no blood at all.

Testimony of Science

Now for the sake of some of the skeptics who may doubt these statements, let me quote from a few reliable authorities. In Howell’s Textbook of Physiology, Second Edition, pages 885 and 886, I read:

"For the purpose of understanding its general functions it is sufficient to recall that the placenta consists essentially of vascular chorionic papillae from the foetus (the unborn child) bathed in the large blood spaces of the decidual membrane of the mother. The fetal and maternal blood DO NOT COME INTO ACTUAL CONTACT. THEY ARE SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHER by the walls of the fetal blood vessels and the epithelial layers of the chorionic villae."

Or let me quote from Williams’ Practice of Obstetrics, Third Edition, page 133:

"The fetal blood in the vessels of the chorionic villae AT NO TIME GAINS ACCESS TO THE MATERNAL BLOOD in the intervillous space, BEING SEPARATED FROM ONE ANOTHER by the double layer of chorionic epithelium."

And from page 136 of the same recognized textbook:

"Normally there is no communication between the fetal blood and the maternal blood."

Now for the benefit of those of you who may be nurses, let me quote from a textbook which is familiar to you. Quoting from "Nurse’s Handbook of Obstetrics" by Louise Zabriskie, R.N., Fifth Edition, page 75:

"When the circulation of the blood begins in the embryo, it remains separate and distinct from that of the mother. All food and waste material which are interchanged between the embryo and the mother must pass through the blood vessel walls from one circulation to the other."

And from page 82 of the same book:

"The foetus receives its nourishment and oxygen from the mother’s blood into its own through the medium of the placenta. The fetal heart pumps blood through the arteries of the umbilical cord into the placental vessels, which, looping in and out of the uterine tissue and lying in close contact with the uterine vessels, permit a diffusion, through their walls, of waste products from child to mother and of nourishment and oxygen from mother to child. As has been said, this interchange is affected by the process of osmosis, and there is no direct mingling of the two blood currents. In other words, no maternal blood actually flows to the foetus, nor is there any direct fetal blood flow to the mother."

God's Wonderful Provision

How wonderfully God prepared for the virgin birth of His Son. When He created woman He made her so that no blood would be able to pass from her to her offspring. That blood is the result of the male. Since Adam was the federal head of the race, it is HIS BLOOD which transmits Adam's Sin. In order to produce a sinless man and yet be the son of Adam, God must provide a way whereby man would have a human body derived from Adam but have not a drop of Adam's sinful blood. Right here is the scientific biological reason for the sinlessness of the Man Christ Jesus. Some have tried to answer the question, “How could He be sinless and yet born of a woman?” by making Mary the “Immaculate Virgin.” That, however, does not answer the question of how JESUS was sinless since it is through the male that the bloodline runs.

Not only is this a scientific fact, but it is plainly taught in Scripture that Jesus partook of human flesh without Adam's blood. In Hebrews 2:14 we read:

"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood. He also himself likewise took part of the same . . . . "

You will notice that the children, that is the human children, are said to be partakers of FLESH and BLOOD, and then speaking of Jesus it says that He "himself likewise took part of the same." The Word “took part” as applying to Christ is an entirely different word then “partakers” as applied to the children. In the margin of my Bible I read the word translated “took part” implies “taking part in something outside one’s self.” The Greek word for partakers is "KOYNONEHO" and means “to share fully,” so that all of Adam’s children share fully in Adam’s flesh and blood. When we read that Jesus “took part of the same” the word is "METECHO" which means to take "part" but not all. The Children take both flesh and blood of Adam, but Christ took only part, that is the flesh part, while the blood was the result of supernatural conception.

Jesus was a perfect human being after the flesh. He was of the seed of David according to the flesh, but blood is that part of a man which is the divine addition. In the creation of man, Adam’s body was made from the dust of the earth, but God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Since life is in the blood, this act resulted in the formation of blood in Adam’s body, but the first Adam’s blood was corrupted and sin transmitted through it to all mankind. In the last Adam and the second man, new and divine and sinless blood was produced in a body that was the seed of Adam and by this resulted in the production of.......

Divine Blood

Conception by the Holy Ghost then was the only way the Virgin Birth could be accomplished. Mary contributed the body of Jesus and He became the "seed of David according to the flesh." The Holy Spirit contributed the Blood of Jesus. It was sinless blood. It was Divine blood. It is Precious Blood for there has never been any other like it. It is......

Innocent Blood

"I have betrayed the innocent blood" Judas confessed in Matthew 27:4. Our Lord was innocent. He became like unto us in all things — SIN only excepted. Like unto us with ONE EXCEPTION and that exception was that instead of a human father He was conceived by a DIVINE FATHER. As a result biologically, He had DIVINE BLOOD, SINLESS BLOOD. Because this blood is sinless it is......

Incorruptible Blood

Sin made human blood corruptible. Soon after death, decay sets in, and it begins in the blood. That is why meat must be drained well of its blood. That is why embalmers place the embalming fluid in the blood. David said that Jesus’ body should "see no corruption." Though He was dead three days and three nights, His body did not corrupt. Because He was sinless they could not put Him to death, but instead He "laid down His life voluntarily that He might take it up again." He arose by His own power because death had no claim in HIM except the claim of others’ sin, and when that was paid.........

"Death cannot keep his prey, Jesus, my Saviour,
He tore the bars away, Jesus, My Lord.
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes."

Sinner, have you received this Saviour and have you been washed in His PRECIOUS BLOOD? If not, you are still under the curse and the awful sentence of death. Why not accept HIM today and hear Him as he says:

"God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then being now JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD, we shall be saved from wrath through him."  (Romans 5:8-9)

The Chemistry of the Blood
By Martin R. DeHaan, M. D.

"The Life is In the Blood"

Sermon Five

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. (Genesis 9:4)

The Sanctity of Blood

This is part of the very first command which God gave to man after the awful judgment of the Flood of Noah. After the wickedness of man had reached its peak in ante-diluvian days, God, in order to spare the human race from complete corruption, sent a great flood upon the earth and destroyed all men except one family which by the grace of God had still remained "Perfect in his generations." With this new family on a cleansed and renewed earth, the Lord begins a new chapter in the history of humanity. No sooner had God, however, released Noah from the Ark, than He gave him some instructions concerning his conduct, lest another judgment should fall upon them. Chief among these instructions was the commandment “EAT NO BLOOD.” "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." EAT NO BLOOD, says God to man as he emerges on the new earth. Is there not here more than a mere suggestion that the flood may have come in part as the result of man's disregard for the “sacredness of blood?"

We know the earth was filled with violence, and the first overt sin committed after the fall was the sin of the shedding of Abel’s innocent blood. This blood cried for vengeance from the ground. If that innocent blood called for vengeance in the Flood of Noah, shall God not also avenge the blood of those who today are dying because of the latter-day violence which is unquestionably in fulfillment of the words of our Lord when he said,

"And as it was in the days of Noe', so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." Luke 17:26

Yes, one of these days He is coming to put an end to the reign of terror on the earth and cleanse the world, by the judgment of the tribulation of which the Flood was but a type, bringing a kingdom of peace on another renewed and cleansed earth.

Blood Is Sacred

Because life is in the blood, and not in the flesh of God's creatures, He permitted man to eat FLESH, but it must be WITHOUT BLOOD. God is very insistent on this point. In giving the national dietary and ceremonial laws to Israel He repeats the prohibition of Genesis 9:4.

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. (Genesis 9:4)

"Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people." (Leviticus 7:26-27)

The same injunction is repeated at greater length in Leviticus 17. God said, “It is sin to eat any manner of blood.” So serious was this sin that the transgressor was to be cut off from his people. Meat which had not been thoroughly drained of its blood was unfit for food, as well as all things strangled. Today, the orthodox Jew, at least, still remembers this prohibition, and will eat nothing but Kosher meat, that is, meat which is without blood and which has been slaughtered according to the law. Every kosher meat market and every bit of kosher food is evidence of the sacredness of blood.

We Are Under Grace

Now someone will say, “But we are under grace and that command was given to the Jews under the law.” That objection carries no weight. God first gave the command to NOAH and NOAH WAS NOT UNDER LAW. He lived over a thousand years before the Law of Moses was given on Mt. Sinai. More than that, after the law had been fulfilled in Christ and the age of Grace ushered in, God is careful to let us know that this rule still holds: “EAT NO BLOOD.” In the fifteenth chapter of Acts (Acts 15)  we have the record of the first general church council at Jerusalem. A very vexing question had arisen in the early Church after Paul and Barnabas had taken the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Jewish members of the early Church insisted that these Gentile believers become circumcised and that they were to keep the law. A bitter controversy arose and a meeting was called in Jerusalem to decide this question. Paul and Barnabas came down from Antioch for the meeting, and after much disputing they were sent back to the Gentile Believers at Antioch with this message,

"Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and KEEP THE LAW; to whom we gave no such commandment." (Acts 15:24-25)

Please do notice carefully what the apostles said, “WE GAVE NO SUCH COMMANDMENT.” They denied that they ever taught that the Church was under the law or that Gentile believers had to be circumcised. Nineteen hundred years after, the Church is still vexed by these legalists who would make Jews out of us all, but the apostles said No, we are not under the law but under grace. The Christian does not keep the law because he MUST, but he serves God because he is so grateful for having been delivered from the law. Now notice the further instructions of the apostles:

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and FROM BLOOD, AND THINGS STRANGLED, and from fornication.  (Acts 15:28-29)

They were not under the law, but still they were to abstain from the eating of blood, not because they were under the law, but because of the SACREDNESS OF BLOOD, which is the life of all flesh. God gave the commandment to Noah one thousand years BEFORE the law. It held during the age of law and after the age of the Law had passed, it still holds today.

Why No Blood Now?

God’s commands are never arbitrary but always logical and reasonable. Many reasons can be found for abstaining from blood. We might mention the reasons of HEALTH and HYGIENE, but there are two reasons which stand out most prominently.

FIRST, the life is in the blood and LIFE is sacred. It was God’s special gift and the effect of His own breath. Moses tells us in Genesis, this fact,

God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the BREATH OF LIFE ; and man became a living soul.  (Genesis 2:7)

Now follow closely the Biblical argument. Since life is in the blood, all flesh is lifeless without blood. Here then is Adam formed out of the dust. Just a lump of matter without life. God breathed into his nostrils and lo, he lives. Since the LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD, it was BLOOD which God added to that body when He BREATHED INTO HIM THE BREATH OF LIFE. Adam’s body was of the earth but his blood was DIRECTLY FROM GOD. God demands that we respect this fact since it was God’s own breath which filled all flesh with blood. To eat blood, therefore, is to insult the life of God for "the life . . . is in the blood."

The Precious Blood

There is a Second and a more potent reason still. The blood was God’s only purchase price of redemption. When man sinned, something happened to his blood, for "the life . . . is in the blood." Instead of incorruptible and, therefore, deathless blood, Adam’s blood, corrupted through sin, became subject to death. To redeem this DEAD sinner, life must be again imparted. The only remedy for death is LIFE. This life is in the blood and so blood must be furnished which is sinless and incorruptible. Now none of Adam’s race could do this. For in "Adam all died." "All have sinned and come short." The angels could not furnish that blood for they are spirit beings and have neither flesh nor blood. There was only one, yes, ONLY ONE, who could furnish that blood, the virgin-born Son of God, with a human body, but sinless supernatural blood, inseminated by the Holy Ghost. In a previous message we showed scientifically that every drop of blood in an infant’s body is the contribution of the male parent, while the mother furnished all the flesh of that little body. Jesus’ body was of Mary; His blood was by the Holy Ghost. This sinless, supernatural blood was the only price of redemption God could accept, without violating the integrity of His holy nature. Death can only be banished by life. A blood transfusion must be performed and provided.

Blood Transfusions

We hear much today about blood transfusions. Many lives have been saved by this little operation. In cases of hemorrhage, and various diseases, the blood from healthy individuals is put in the veins of the suffering victim and death is cheated of its prey. Well, the greatest of all “transfusions” is performed when a poor sinner dead in trespasses and in sins is transfused by the blood of Christ the moment he believes. The only requisite is Faith in the atoning blood.

Blood Banks

We hear much, too, in these days about BLOOD BANKS. It is the name applied to a storehouse for blood taken from healthy individuals for future use on injured or sick persons. By adding certain preservatives to the blood taken from healthy individuals, it can be kept for future use in sterile containers. This preservative does not affect the potency of the blood so that it can be used at some future date. Persons are asked to come to the hospital or laboratory to donate this blood. There, this blood is taken, treated and filed away. In this way there is always an ample supply of blood for transfusion in any emergency. How wonderful the findings of science. Today, you can give your blood to save the life of some stranger a thousand miles away, a month from now.

God's Blood Bank

This is not one millionth as wonderful as what God did nineteen centuries ago. Then there was one Man who gave ALL His sinless blood on the Cross of Calvary. There a BLOOD BANK was opened and into that bank went the blood of the Lord Jesus. It suits every type, avails for everyone and is free to all who submit to its “transfusion” by the Holy Spirit. All you need to do is apply for it by FAITH. We must add chemicals to the blood in our blood banks to preserve it, and then it eventually deteriorates just the same, but no preservatives need be added to His Precious blood, for it is INCORRUPTIBLE and sinless. Not one drop of that blood was lost or wasted. It is INCORRUPTIBLE.

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with CORRUPTIBLE THINGS, as silver and gold. . . . But with the precious BLOOD of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.  (1 Peter 1:18-19)

That blood CANNOT PERISH.   I do not know where that blood is now, but I suspect it is in heaven somewhere just as fresh and as potent as when it was shed nineteen hundred years ago. When I get to heaven I shall not be surprised to find a diamond studded, golden basin next to the throne with the very blood, the precious incorruptible blood which was shed at Calvary, and as we gaze upon it we will sing,

"Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." (Rev 1:5)

Hallelujah for the Blood! Reader, do you know that blood is as fresh today as it ever was and will be. It cannot perish. There is a hymn which goes something like this,

"Upon the Cross His blood was spilt,
A ransom for our sins and guilt."

That is not true.  Jesus’ blood was not “spilled.” Spilling is the result of an accident. The death of Christ was no accident. He laid down His life and voluntarily shed His precious blood that we might live.

Oh sinner, won't you appropriate that precious blood NOW! There is nothing else which can wash you clean from the guilt and the power of sin. Receive it today and be saved.

You believers who have been grieving over your sin, remember,

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Trust Him Now

"There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains."

The Chemistry of the Blood, Five Sermons, by Martin DeHaan, M.D.

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Footnote

1. From a personal letter received from William Schepp of Schepp Laboratories.
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M. R. DeHaan (1891 – 1965) was a successful physician in western Michigan when he obtained a degree in theology. He left his medical practice to pastor churches and then formed a Bible study ministry. Later he expanded the Bible study to radio and founded Radio Bible Class in 1938. He also began the publication of a daily devotional guide Our Daily Bread, still in circulation today. The broadcasts of a series of lessons about the blood of Christ led to the publication of a NINE CHAPTER book called The Chemistry of the Blood, still available today. You can order The Chemistry of the Blood at Amazon.com below...

http://www.amazon.com/Chemistry-Blood-M-R-DeHaan/dp/0310232910

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Mercy and Bema Seats
By Got Questions

Mercy Seat

The writer to the Hebrews talks about the arrangement of the tabernacle of the Old Testament. The tabernacle was the portable sanctuary used by the Israelites from the time of their wandering in the wilderness after the Exodus from Egypt to the building of the temple in Jerusalem (see Exodus 25-27). Within the tabernacle was the ark of the covenant which included the mercy seat (Hebrews 9:3-5 NKJV).

The ark of the covenant, the chest containing the two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, was the most sacred object of the tabernacle and later in the temple in Jerusalem, where it was placed in an inner area called the Holy of Holies. Also within the ark were the golden pot of manna, such as was provided by God in the wilderness wanderings (Exodus 16:4) and Aaron’s almond rod (Numbers 17:1-13). On top of the ark was a lid called the mercy seat on which rested the cloud or visible symbol of the divine presence. Here God was supposed to be seated, and from this place He was supposed to dispense mercy to man when the blood of the atonement was sprinkled there.

In a manner of speaking, the mercy seat concealed the people of God from the ever-condemning judgment of the Law. Each year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood of animals sacrificed for the atonement of the sins of God's people. This blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat. The point conveyed by this imagery is that it is only through the offering of blood that the condemnation of the Law could be taken away and violations of God’s laws covered.

The Greek word for “mercy seat” in Hebrews 9:5 is hilasterion, which means “that which makes expiation” or “propitiation.” It carries the idea of the removal of sin. In Ezekiel 43:14, the brazen altar of sacrifice is also called hilasterion (the propitiatory or mercy seat) because of its association with the shedding of blood for sin.

What is the significance of this? In the New Testament, Christ Himself is designated as our “propitiation.” Paul explains this in his letter to the Romans: “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Romans 3:24-25 NKJV). What Paul is teaching here is that Jesus is the covering for sin, as shown by these Old Testament prophetic images. By means of His death, and our response to Christ through our faith in Him, all our sins are covered. Also, whenever believers sin, we may turn to Christ who continues to be the propitiation or covering for our sins (1 John 2:1, 4:10). This ties together the Old and New Testament concepts regarding the covering of sin as exemplified by the mercy-seat of God.

Got Questions - Mercy Seat  

Bema Seat

Romans 14:10-12 says, “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…so then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” The Greek word for “judgment seat” is bēma [bay'-ma], which means "judgment-seat, set [foot] on, throne."

In the context, it is clear that both scriptures are referring to Christians, not unbelievers. The judgment seat of Christ, therefore, involves believers giving an account of their lives to Christ. The judgment seat of Christ does not determine salvation; that was determined by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:2) and our faith in Him (John 3:16). All of our sins are forgiven, and we will never be condemned for them (Romans 8:1). We should not look at the judgment seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather as God judging our lives. We will have to give an account of ourselves.

At the judgment seat of Christ, believers are rewarded [or suffer loss] based on how faithfully they served Christ (1 Corinthians 9:4-27; 2 Timothy 2:5). [My belief is they are rewarded or suffer loss depending upon how much righteous fruit they have allowed the Holy Spirit to produce through them.]

(Comment by Charles Strong of Bible One by Charles Strong:  I find it somewhat disconcerting [at least at this point in my Christian experience] that when Christians discuss the Bema [judgment seat] of Christ, they fail to realize that “loss” there will reflect the phobos (terror) of the Lord, a product reflecting His “fiery indignation” toward “His people” for their “willful sins,” which I believe will result in a tenure [a time] in “outer darkness” [1 Corinthians 3:15; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Hebrews 10:26-30; Matthew 22:1-14].)

Got Questions - Bema Seat

Also see (4) The parable of the talents. and  (1) The parable of the wedding feast. in this site.  

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The Eternal Ages
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

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.
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” . . .
And He said to me, “It is done!” . . .
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
(Revelation 21:1-2, 5-6; 22:1-5 [5a-6a]).

Revelation chapter twenty-one (Revelation 21) moves beyond the Millennium into the eternal ages. And the first six verses provide the complete story concerning conditions at the beginning of these ages, conditions that will be brought into existence at that time and continue to exist throughout the endless ages of eternity. This is seen in the text itself, along with the manner in which the passage closes in the first part of verse six (Rev. 21:6a).

Note the words, “It is done [lit., ‘It has been done, completed, brought to pass’]” (Rev. 21:6a). These three words are the translation of one word in the Greek text, a verb in the perfect tense, indicating that the matter has been brought to completion in time past and exist during present time in a finished state.

This, for example, is the same verb tense used of Christ’s finished work at Calvary in John 19:30 (“It is finished [lit., ‘It has been finished’]”), or of the divinely finished work in man’s eternal salvation in Ephesians 2:8 (“For by grace you have been saved through faith”). In the perfect tense usage in the preceding respect, nothing can either be added or taken away from that which exists in a finished state.

The consummation of the whole of the matter throughout Man’s Day and the Lord’s Day — throughout 7,000 years — will have been brought to pass. God’s redemptive work throughout man’s 6,000-year day will be past; the Son’s 1,000-year reign will be past; and the Son will have delivered the kingdom up to His Father, that God might be “all in all [lit., ‘all things in all of these things’]” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28). And the manner in which conditions will exist in that day, seen in Revelation 21:1-5 immediately before the announcement is made that it has all been brought to pass (Rev. 21:6a), is the way in which these conditions will exist throughout the endless ages to follow.

Then, Revelation 21:9-22:5 — a parallel section of Scripture — presents the same scene from another vantage point, with numerous details added. And, rather than ending with the statement, “It is done [’It has been brought to pass’],” as seen at the end of the first of these two parallel sections (Rev. 21:6a), this second section ends with the statement, “and they shall reign forever and ever [lit., ‘and they shall reign with respect to the ages of the ages’]” (Rev. 22:5b). Viewing these two parallel sections together, redeemed man will reign throughout the endless ages of eternity, in the conditions that God will have brought to pass, as seen at the end of the first of these two parallel sections (Rev. 21:1-6a).

The New Jerusalem is extensively described in this second section (Rev. 21:9-22:5). Within this description, “the tree of life” is brought to the forefront, and the leaves of the tree are said to be for “the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2). And information concerning the tree of life and the healing of the nations (the Gentile nations) is placed between two statements concerning “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1, 3). Regality is seen throughout.

The Tree of Life

The “tree of life” is mentioned nine times in Scripture, in three different books — three times in Genesis (Gen. 2:9; 3:22, 24), four times in Proverbs (Pro. 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4), and twice in the book of Revelation (Rev. 2:7; 22:2). But what was the original purpose for the tree of life (seen in Genesis), which will be realized yet future (seen in the book of Revelation)?

The tree of life was one of the numerous trees in the garden in Eden. And Adam, with Eve, was commanded to eat of all these trees, with the exception of one — the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9, 16-17). Adam had been created for the specific purpose of assuming the rulership over the earth, and the fruit of the tree of life was singled out as a specific provision for Adam as he exercised this rule.

An evident connection between man’s rule and his partaking of the tree of life can be seen by noting the appearance of this tree in the beginning when man was in a position to rule, the absence of this tree during the entire period when man is not in a position to rule (aside from the tree being referenced in Proverbs), and the reappearance of this tree in the book of Revelation when man will be brought back into a position to rule (cf. Genesis 1:26-28; Revelation 2:26-27). The period during which man has been barred from eating of the tree of life began following Adam’s fall, resulting in his disqualification to rule; and this period will end following the issues of the judgment seat, at which time man will once again find himself in a position to rule.

Adam, following the fall, was driven from the garden to prevent his partaking of the tree of life. Adam could not be permitted to eat of this tree in a fallen condition, for had such occurred, Adam, in a fallen state, would have realized that which fruit from this tree was meant to provide. Thus, not only did God remove Adam from the garden, but He also placed “at the east of the garden of Eden” a “cherubim . . . and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life [to prevent fallen man from reentering the garden and partaking of this tree]” (Genesis 3:22-24).

Studying Genesis 3:22-24 apart from the context and related Scripture could lead one to believe that the purpose for the tree of life in the beginning, in Genesis, was to provide perpetuity of life for Adam in his unfallen state. However, such could not have been the case at all. “Death” did not enter into the picture until after Adam’s sin (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:6ff; cf. Romans 6:23), at which time he was barred from the tree of life.

Adam had lived in an undying state prior to his sin, as he continued to live in an antithetical dying state following his sin; and to say that the tree of life was given to Adam in his un-fallen state to provide perpetuity of life, preventing death, cannot possibly be correct. Nor could it possibly be correct to say that the tree of life would have had anything to do with providing physical life (keeping Adam alive physically) following the fall. A tree can produce only according to its kind” (Genesis 1:11-12). In this respect, fruit from the tree of life simply could not have produced one result before man’s fall and another following man’s fall.

In Revelation 2:7, partaking of the tree of life has been promised to the overcomers from among those already possessing eternal life. Consequently, in this passage, the tree of life can have nothing whatsoever to do with perpetuity of life; and it is the same in the Genesis account when man was first brought upon the scene to rule and to reign.

The tree of life in both Genesis chapters two and three (Genesis 2; 3) and Revelation chapter two (Revelation 2) appears in a different setting entirely. The tree of life reserved for Christians in Revelation 2:7 is associated peculiarly with a provision for those who will rule and reign as co-heirs with Christ; and viewing Adam’s position in the Genesis account — created to rule and reign, in possession of an unending life, with the fruit of the tree of life at his disposal — the same thought concerning regality in connection with the tree of life would hold true. Thus, Adam in a fallen state, no longer in a position to rule, could not be allowed to eat of the tree of life, for fruit from this tree would provide “life” in relation to regality.

This whole overall thought concerning the tree of life in Scripture would have to hold true, for that which is seen relative to this tree in Revelation chapter two (Revelation 2) is drawn from that which was first seen relative to this tree in Genesis chapters two and three (Genesis 2; 3). The fruit of the tree of life was in the past (seen in the book of Genesis) and will be in the future (seen in the book of Revelation) a provision for the rulers in the kingdom. This is an evident fact that must be recognized.

And, in that coming day following the Millennium, the tree of life will be for “the healing of the nations”  (Revelation 22:2). The Greek word translated “healing” is therapeia, from which the English word “therapy” is derived. This is a medical term that has to do with restorative healing. In that day, God will restore all of saved mankind to the original place that man occupied at the time of his creation. And, consequently, the whole of saved mankind, with regality in view, will have access to the tree of life.

During the preceding Messianic Era, the tree of life will have been made available to overcoming Christians (Revelation 2:7), those ruling and reigning as co-heirs with Christ. And this tree will probably be made available to certain others at this time as well, others occupying regal positions with Christ in His reign from the heavens over the earth (e.g., certain Old Testament saints, Tribulation martyrs [Matthew 8:11-12; Revelation 20:4-6]).

But following the Messianic Era, in the eternal ages, this tree is seen being made available to the nations of the earth, something that would have been completely out of place during the Millennium. And this will be an apparent end result of Israel’s evangelistic endeavors during the Millennium, along with Christ’s rule with a rod of iron during this time.

Man was created in the beginning to rule and to reign. And though only a part of saved mankind will have been brought back into a position to occupy the throne at the beginning of the Millennium (with the tree of life made available to them at this time), at the end of the Millennium the whole of saved mankind will be brought back into this position (with the tree of life made available to them at this time).

(For additional information on the tree of life in the preceding respect, refer to the appendix in the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Bride in Genesis, Appendix. Material in this appendix shows how the tree of life would have provided in the past [preceding man’s fall] and will provide yet future [following God’s redemptive work lasting six days, 6,000 years] the necessary wisdom and knowledge for man to rule and reign.)

Duration of Power and Authority

Scripture clearly teaches that the exercise of governmental power and authority by Christ and His co-heirs will not end when the 1,000-year millennial day has run its course. Rather, the exercise of such power and authority will extend into and last throughout the eternal ages beyond the Millennium. But Scripture does not teach that this rule will continue unchanged into these eternal ages. To the contrary, Scripture teaches just the opposite. The rule by Christ and His co-heirs during the ages beyond the Millennium will be quite different than their rule during the Millennium.

1) Christ’s Throne

Christ’s throne is eternal, but not as a separate entity from the Father’s throne. Conditions of this nature are millennial only (Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 3:21; 22:1, 3). Christ, with His co-heirs, will reign from His own throne until He has put “an end to all rule and all authority and power.” Then, when “all things” have been subjected to Christ (all regal powers, death rendered powerless), the kingdom will be delivered up to “God the Father,” in order that “God may be all in all [that ‘God may be all things in all of these things’]” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

After Christ has delivered the kingdom up to His Father, after the new heavens and the new earth have been brought into existence, and after the New Jerusalem has come down “out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:2), Christ will assume a position on a central throne with His Father, called “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1, 3).

2) Location of Christ’s Throne

During the Millennium, Christ’s throne will be in the New Jerusalem positioned in the heavens above the present earth. During the eternal ages, “the throne of God and of the Lamb” will, likewise, be in the New Jerusalem; but the location of the New Jerusalem will be quite different. The present heavens and earth will be destroyed following the Millennium, and a new heavens and a new earth will be brought into existence.

During the eternal ages, the New Jerusalem will rest upon the new earth, and God Himself will reside therein, sitting on a throne, with His Son alongside. A rule from the heavens over the earth (millennial) will be a thing of the past, and “the throne of God and of the Lamb” will become the central point in the heavens of an eternal rule extending throughout the universe (cf. 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1ff).

3) Manner of Christ’s Rule

During the Millennium, Christ and His co-heirs will rule the nations with “a rod of iron”; but a rule after this fashion would be out of place during the eternal ages. During the Millennium, absolute force will be used to bring and keep the nations under subjection; but such will be unnecessary during the eternal ages. Conditions on the new earth will be quite different than millennial conditions on the present earth. There will be no more sin, death, etc. (Revelation 21:1, 3-4); and this will allow for numerous changes in the manner of the administration of governmental affairs.

Satan will be bound in the abyss during the Millennium, but at the conclusion of the Millennium he will be loosed for “a little while [‘short time’]” (Revelation 20:3). The rebellion evident among nations during the Millennium, necessitating the rule with “a rod of iron,” will be brought to a head at this time. The rebel nations will ally with Satan and under his banner march against Christ and the Jewish people in one final, vain, climactic thrust. The entire matter though will be speedily brought to an end by and through fire “from God out of heaven” (Revelation 20:7-9; cf. Ezekiel 28:18-19 [18b]).

Satan will then be cast into the lake of fire; the judgment of the unsaved dead from throughout Man’s Day will occur, and they, as well, will be cast into the lake of fire; and the time for major changes will then be at hand (Revelation 20:10-15).

It will be at this time that the kingdom will be delivered up to the Father, the present heavens and earth will pass out of existence, the new heavens and new earth will come into existence, the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven to rest upon the new earth, and the throne of God and the throne of Christ will become one throne — “the throne of God and of the Lamb.” The nations will then dwell upon the new earth, with God Himself dwelling in their midst.

(God presently rules from a place in the heavens over the entire universe. Provinces throughout the universe are governed by appointed rulers [angels] who apparently exercise their delegated power and authority from places in the heavens in relation to the provinces being ruled [e.g., Satan (an appointed provincial ruler) and his angels presently rule from a place in the heavens in relation to the earth (cf. Daniel 10:13-20; Ephesians 2:2; 3:10; 6:11-12)], and this structured rule would evidently be the same relative to provinces ruled by angels elsewhere in the universe [i.e., ruled from places in the heavens in relation to the different provinces]. It is in this manner that “the heavens do rule” [beginning with God, the supreme Ruler over all].

During the Messianic Era, Christ and His co-heirs will exercise delegated power and authority over the earth from the same sphere in which Satan and His angels presently rule [seen in the typology of Saul and David, foreshadowing Satan and Christ: ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 31].

Then, during the eternal ages, the new earth will be the place in the heavens from whence universal rule will emanate [the new earth will be located in a heavenly place in relation to the entire universe, as God’s present dwelling place is located in a heavenly place in relation to the entire universe].)

Crowns, Rewards — Millennial or Eternal

Promises to Christians concerning crowns, rewards, etc. are to be realized during the millennial age rather than during the eternal ages. Many conditions surrounding proffered positions with Christ will not exist during the eternal ages, as noted in previous comments concerning differences in Christ’s reign during the Millennium and during the ages beyond.

(Note, for example, the overcomer’s promises in Revelation chapters two and three (Revelation 2; 3). That these promises are millennial only in nature is made plain by several of the promises.

In the overcomer’s promise to the church in Smyrna, it is evident that death will exist during the Millennium [Revelation 2:11; cf. Romans 8:13], but this will not be the case beyond the Millennium, during the eternal ages [Revelation 21:1, 4]. In the overcomer’s promise to the church in Thyatira, ruling with “a rod of iron” is in view [Rev. 2:26-27]. And no such scene as this exists during the present dispensation; nor will such a scene exist during the eternal ages. Then, in the overcomer’s promise to the church in Laodicea, Christ’s throne is in view. Christ is not seated on His own throne today; nor will this throne exist separate from the Father’s throne beyond the Millennium [cf. Hebrews 1:13; Revelation 3:21; 22:1, 3].

Thus, it is plain that the things seen in the overcomer’s promises in Revelation chapters two and three [Revelation 2; 3] can be realized during the Messianic Era alone. They can have nothing to do with the eternal ages beyond the Millennium.)

This, however, does not at all teach that the reign of Christ and Christians will end at the conclusion of the Millennium. This only shows that their reign during the eternal ages will be outside the scope of these overcomer’s promises and quite different than their reign during the preceding Millennium. God’s revelation to man concerns itself with “time” — 7,000 years of time — from the creation of Adam to the end of the Messianic Kingdom. Very little is revealed about that which occurred before the creation of Adam and very little is revealed about that which will occur beyond the Millennium. Scripture does reveal though that the reign of Christ and Christians will continue, and the length of this continuing reign is specifically stated to be “forever and ever [Greek: eis tous aionas ton aionon, ‘with respect to the ages of the ages,’ i.e., ‘throughout the endless ages’]” (Revelation 11:15; 22:3-5).

The activity of Christ and Christians in this continuing reign is not revealed in so many words, but Scripture does present enough information so that several observations can be made:

1) Extent of Christ’s Rule

The rule of Christ itself during the eternal ages will no longer be limited to the earth. Rather, it will extend beyond the earth (the new earth), out into the universe.

Christ will be seated upon a throne from which there will be an administration of power and authority throughout the universe — the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1, 3); and the Christians’ continuing rule “with Christ [“they shall reign”]” (Revelation 22:5) would have to be of a like nature, for the power will no longer emanate from Christ’s throne, but from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In this respect, the rule by Christ and His co-heirs over the earth during the Millennium can only be extended to a rule over worlds throughout the universe following the Millennium.

2) Millennial and Eternal Blessings

To what extent though, 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 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.

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.

All Things New

The Millennium will not, as many envision, be a time of perfection. Such a state awaits the first of the endless ages beyond the Millennium. The restoration of all things will occur before the Millennium, at the end of 6,000 years of time; but all things being made new awaits the completion of the Millennium, at the end of 7,000 years of time (cf. Acts 3:21; Revelation 21:5). Only then will a perfect order exist in all of God’s creation.

As the present age (Man’s Day) has a purpose, so will the millennial age (the Lord’s Day); and the ultimate goal of all will be realized in the ages beyond. The rulers for the millennial age are being acquired during the present age; and during the millennial age these rulers will, as co-heirs with Christ, participate in the age-long work of bringing all things under subjection to Christ.

Such a work, brought to pass through a rule with “a rod of iron,” anticipates the ages beyond the Millennium, in which a rule with “a rod of iron” will no longer be necessary; and the reason for man’s creation will then be realized in its fullest sense.

Man will not only realize the reason for his creation during the Millennium but also during the eternal ages beyond the Millennium. Dominion will be restricted to this earth during the Millennium, but not so during the eternal ages after the new heavens and new earth have been brought into existence. Man’s rule in that day can only extend into places throughout the multiplied billions of galaxies comprising the universe itself, and man will, in this manner, have access to the universe (something that will not be the case at all during the Millennium).

This is the clear teaching derived from Scriptures touching upon the subject.

See 36)  The Eternal Ages in this site or:

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 36

The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood, Chapter 36.

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“Overcomers” are the conquerors, the victors;
they are the ones who will have successfully run the race of the faith;
they are the ones who will have conquered the numerous encountered obstacles along the way.

The Second Death
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Can Christians be hurt by the Second Death?

Exactly what does it mean in Revelation 2:11 for individuals to “be hurt by” the second death?

He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.

Revelation 2:11 is dealing with Christians, relative to overcoming or being overcome.  And in the light of Revelation 20:4-6; 21:7-8, which deals with the same subject, Revelation 2:11 can mean only one thing:

Non-overcoming Christians are going to be “hurt by the second death,” defined in Scripture as having “their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8b).

“Fire” in Scripture is associated with the judgment of the saved as well as the judgment of the unsaved.  And though the Christians’ works will be tried “by [‘in’] fire” at the judgment seat (1 Corinthians 3:12-15), this is not synonymous with Christians having a part in "the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.”

Rather, at this judgment, Christians will be shown to have either overcome or to have been overcome, with the carrying out of decisions and determinations made at the judgment seat occurring at a time following these events.  And it will be at this time, following judgment, that non-overcoming Christians will be “hurt by the second death,” which is associated with the lake of fire.

(Note in the judgment of the unsaved in Revelation 20:11-15 that the second death and the lake of fire enter into the matter only following judgment.  The second death and the lake of fire come into view only following decisions and determinations surrounding the judgment of the unsaved.

And it will be the same for the saved preceding this time.  They will first be judged.  Only then, only following the decisions and determinations surrounding their judgment, do the second death and the lake of fire come into view.)

The Overcomer's Promises

The word “overcome” is a translation of the Greek word nikao, which means “to conquer” or “to gain a victory over.”  The thought inherent in the word nikao (or nike, the noun form of the word) always means to be victorious in a contest or conflict.  The “overcomers” are the conquerors, the victors; they are the ones who will have successfully run the race of the faith; they are the ones who will have conquered the numerous encountered obstacles along the way.**

There are seven different overcomer’s promises in Revelation 2; 3; and each promise is millennial in its scope of fulfillment.  That is, these promises will be realized during the 1,000-year reign of Christ after Christians have had their works tried “by [‘in’] fire” at the judgment seat.

(There can be no such thing as Christians being hurt of the second death beyond the millennium, for Revelation 21:4 plainly declares that there will be no more death during this time.  Former things of this nature will have passed away.

Nor can the Son invite Christians to sit on “My throne” [the seventh and last overcomer’s promise; Revelation 3:21] beyond the millennium, for He will not be seated on this throne at that time.  Instead He will be seated with His Father on “the throne of God and of the Lamb” [Revelation 22:1, 3].

During the millennium, regal power over the earth will emanate from the Son’s throne above the present earth.  But during the ages beyond, regal power over the universe will emanate from the throne of God and of the Lamb on the new earth.)

Christians have been saved with a view to being overcomers and bringing forth fruit.  This matter comprises the very heart of the message that is to be proclaimed to Christians throughout the dispensation.  Israel has been set aside during this time, and God is calling another people — a separate and distinct people — “for His name,” taken mainly from among the Gentiles (Acts 15:14).

Those whom God is presently dealing with comprise an entirely new creation, which is neither Jew nor Gentile, forming one new man in Christ.”  And God is extending to individual members of this one new man, to Christians, the privilege of overcoming and bringing forth fruit, with a view to their occupying positions as joint-heirs with His Son in the heavenly sphere of the coming kingdom.

God has set aside an entire dispensation for this purpose, and judgment at the end of this dispensation will reveal man’s response to this privilege.  Some Christians will be shown to have overcome, possessing works comparable to “gold, silver, precious stones”; but other Christians will be shown to have been overcome, possessing works comparable to “wood, hay, straw.”

The overcomers will, at that time, inherit the promised blessings of Revelation 2; 3; but those shown to have been overcome will be denied these blessings.  This is the subject matter dealt with in the opening three chapters of the book of Revelation (Revelation 1; 2; 3 ).

Being Hurt of the Second Death

That which is in view concerning a non-overcoming Christian one day being hurt of the second death following decisions and determinations at the judgment seat, as previously seen, is explained later in this same book.  The second death for the non-overcomer is having a “part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone”  (Revelation 21:8); and having a part in the lake of fire is explained through God’s dealings with the unsaved in the previous chapter as being “cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).

And seeing individuals cast into “a furnace of fire” in Matthew 13:42, 50 is simply another way of expressing the same thing.

(The parables in Matthew 13 deal with the Kingdom of the Heavens and fruit bearing, not with eternal salvation.  Thus, the subject matter has to do with the saved, not with the unsaved.

Further, In Matthew 13:1, Christ going out of “the house” [a reference to Israel] and down by “the seaside” [a reference to the Gentiles], the one new man in Christ” [about to be brought into existence at the time these parables were given] is seen throughout the first four parables.  In this respect, those who are gathered out of Christ’s kingdom, who “offend” and “do iniquity” and are cast into a furnace of fire, can only be identified as Christians.

Also, the casting into a furnace of fire in Matthew 13:42, 50 occurs before the millennium.  The unsaved cast into the lake of fire in Revelation 20:15 occurs following the millennium.  They are not the same.)

But is the second death, being cast into the lake of fire, something that will be carried out in a literal sense?  Or, is Scripture dealing with metaphors at this point?  And, if the latter, what about the unsaved being cast into the lake of fire at the end of the millennium, in Revelation 20:11-15?

If one is literal, would not the other have to be literal as well?  Or, if one is metaphorical, would not the other have to be metaphorical as well?

Allowing Scripture to Interpret Scripture

In John 15:6 and Hebrews 6:8, saved individuals are spoken of in a metaphorical sense, where a burning with fire is referenced.  And the context of both places has to do with either bearing fruit or not bearing fruit, which is exactly the same thing seen in the Matthew 13 parables.  Or, as the matter is expressed in Revelation 2; 3, either overcoming or being overcome.

And the negative side of the matter is expressed at least two other ways in Scripture — being cast into Gehenna (a reference to the place of refuse outside the city walls of Jerusalem at this time Matthew 5:22, 29-30; 23:15, 33) or being cast into outer darkness (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30).

Overcoming or not overcoming and being unhurt or being hurt by the second death in Revelation 2:11 is expressed a slightly different way in Romans 8:13.

For if you [a reference to “brethren” in Romans 8:12] live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Whether Gehenna or outer darkness in Matthew, a burning with fire in John and Hebrews, being cast into a furnace or lake of fire in Matthew and Revelation, or suffering death or being hurt by the second death in Romans and Revelation, different facets of exactly the same thing are in view.  All of these are used in contexts showing that they have to do with saved people in relation to fruit bearing and the kingdom.

Through comparing Scripture with Scripture, it is plain that these are simply different ways of expressing the same thing.  And since a literal casting into outer darkness, Gehenna, or a furnace or lake of fire could not possibly be in view (for these different places could not possibly be looked upon as referring to the same place in a literal sense), it is evident that metaphors are being used throughout.

But relative to the unsaved and the lake of fire, this is simply not expressed other ways in Scripture as it is with the saved, leaving no room for any thought other than understanding the matter as literal, not metaphorical.

Aside from the preceding, it is clear that all Christians, faithful and unfaithful alike, will be in the kingdom.  This is seen in type in Genesis chapters eighteen and nineteen (Genesis 18; 19).  Both Abraham and Lot, in the final analysis, are seen on the mount (a “mountain” in Scripture signifies a kingdom).  But note the stark difference in the place which each occupied.  Abraham stood before the Lord, where he had always stood (Gen. 18:22; 19:27).  Lot though found himself in a place separate from the Lord, in a place where he also had always stood (Gen. 19:1, 30).

**Aside:  Nike sportswear.

The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood, Appendix 4

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Appendix 4

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“Outer darkness” is simply one realm immediately outside of another realm,
called “outer darkness” by way of contrast to the “inner light.”
Those cast out are removed from a sphere associated with light
and placed outside in a sphere associated with darkness.

Following events of the judgment seat of Christ,
servants having been shown faithful and servants having been show unfaithful
will find themselves in two entirely different realms.

Cast Outside into Outer Darkness
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)

Cast Outside

The nature of the treatment awaiting the unfaithful servant at the hands of his Lord in the parable of the talents has been completely misunderstood by numerous Christians, leading them to conclude that the Lord was dealing with an unsaved person at this point in the parable.

The Lord sharply rebuked the unfaithful servant, commanded that the talent be removed from his possession, and then commanded that he be cast into the darkness outside.

The main problem that most Christians have with the latter part of this parable is the ultimate outcome of the Lord’s dealings with His unfaithful servant — the fact that he was cast into outer darkness. “Outer darkness,” within their way of thinking, is to be equated with Hell (the final abode of the unsaved in the lake of fire). And knowing that a Christian can never be cast into Hell — for the one in whom the Spirit has breathed life possesses a life that can never be taken from him — those equating “outer darkness” with Hell are left with no recourse other than to look upon the Lord’s dealings with the unfaithful servant and the Lord’s dealings with the unsaved as synonymous.

It probably goes without saying that had the Lord treated the unfaithful servant in a somewhat less severe fashion, very few Christians reading this account would ever think about questioning the individual’s salvation, for the response of the unfaithful servant would be perfectly in line with verses such as 1 Corinthians 3:13, 15 and would have presented no indication, in their way of viewing matters, of the status of his salvation. But the Lord’s sharp rebuke, the removal of the talent from his possession, and his being cast into outer darkness constitute what many view as a sequence of events that could not possibly befall a Christian.

Such an outlook on this passage though is completely contrary to any biblical teaching on salvation by grace through faith (seeing the possession or non-possession of this salvation through man’s works, actions). Or, such an outlook on the passage, as well, ignores both the text and the context, resulting in an interpretation that, contextually, is completely contrary to that which is seen in this passage or in any other similar passage in Scripture.

And by forcing erroneous interpretations of the preceding nature on this passage, the door will have been opened for all types of erroneous interpretations in related passages of Scripture.

Just to name a few, the door will have been opened for the introduction of:

1) Erroneous views pertaining to salvation by grace through faith.
2) Erroneous views of the purpose for the present dispensation.
3) Erroneous views of the coming judgment of Christians.
4) Erroneous views of the perfect justice and righteousness of God.

Then, if introducing erroneous views of the preceding nature in different realms of biblical doctrine by and through a forced, non-contextual interpretation is not enough in and of itself, something else should be noted. Such an outlook on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 will, as well, close the door to the correct interpretation of this complete, overall passage, the one which the Lord had in mind when He related this parable in the presence of His disciples.

Error will have fostered error and closed doors, leaving the student of Scripture adhering to erroneous systems of thought and in a position where he cannot possibly understand aright the Lord’s present and future dealings with His household servants. 

A Darkness on the Outside

The expression “outer darkness” only appears three times in Scripture, and all three are found in the gospel of Matthew (Mat. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30). Luke, in his gospel, alludes to outer darkness in a parallel reference to Matthew 8:11-12 (Luke 13:28-29 ASV) but does not use the words. He simply reduces the expression to “without” (ASV).

In the Greek text, both Matthew and Luke use the compound word ekballo, which means to “cast out” (ek, “out”; ballo, “to cast”). Following the use of this word, the place into which individuals in these passages are cast is given in both gospels.

In the gospel of Matthew, the place where individuals are cast is described as “into outer darkness [lit., from the Greek text, ‘into the darkness, the outer,’ or as we would normally say in an English translation, ‘into the outer darkness’].”

(In the Greek text there are definite articles before both the noun and adjective, with the adjective following the noun — “the darkness, the outer.” In a construction of this nature, by a repetition of the article, there is an emphasis placed on the adjective, “outer.” It is not just any darkness, but a particular darkness. It is a particular place of darkness outside and contiguous to a particular place of light.)

Then, in the gospel of Luke, the place where individuals are cast is described as “without,” or “on the outside.” That is, by comparing Matthew’s account, they are cast “without,” or “on the outside” of a place of light; and this place, in the gospel of Matthew, is described as a place of darkness.

Accordingly, many Christians in that day will find themselves in the darkness outside the lighted banqueting hall (Matthew 22:9-13); and these same Christians will, as well, subsequently find themselves outside the scope of the rule and reign of the One who said, “I am the light of the world” (Matthew 8:11-12; 25:19-30; John 9:5). And the expressed thoughts by both Matthew and Luke locate this place immediately outside and contiguous to the region from which those in view are cast. Both passages refer to the same place — a particular region of darkness outside a particular region of light.

The place from which these individuals are cast is one of light. This is possibly illustrated best in Matthew chapter twenty-two (Matthew 22). In this chapter, “outer darkness” is used to describe conditions in an area immediately outside the festivities attendant a royal wedding. Such festivities in the East would normally be held at night, inside a lighted banqueting hall. On the outside there would be a darkened courtyard; and the proximity of this darkened courtyard to the lighted banqueting hall would correspond perfectly to the expression, “the outer darkness,” or “the darkness on the outside.”

A person in the banqueting hall, cast into the courtyard, would be cast out of the light into the darkness. This is the picture, and this is exactly what will occur in relation to that which is being dealt with in Matthew 8:11-12; 22:1-14; 25:14-30 — i.e., cast out of the marriage festivities and out of the kingdom which follows.

“Outer darkness” is simply one realm immediately outside of another realm, called “outer darkness” by way of contrast to the “inner light.” Those cast out are removed from a sphere associated with light and placed outside in a sphere associated with darkness.

Following events of the judgment seat of Christ, servants having been shown faithful and servants having been show unfaithful will find themselves in two entirely different realms.

Servants having been shown faithful will find themselves among those forming the bride of Christ and in a position to attend the marriage festivities. And these individuals will subsequently be positioned on the throne as co-heirs with Christ, forming the consort queen who will reign with the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”

Servants having been shown unfaithful though will not form part of the bride; nor will they be allowed to attend the marriage festivities; nor will they be allowed to ascend the throne with Christ. Rather, they will find themselves in a place outside the realm where these activities occur.

They will be removed from the inner light (be removed from a place associated with events surrounding the marriage supper of the Lamb and the reign of Christ that follows) and be cast into the darkness outside (be cast into a place separated from events surrounding the marriage supper of the Lamb and the reign of Christ which follows).

This is the way “outer darkness” is used in Scripture; and this is the only way the expression is used. Any teaching concerning “outer darkness,” remaining true to the text, must approach the subject only from a textual and contextual fashion of this nature, recognizing the subject matter at hand.

Contextual Considerations

The gospel of Matthew outlines a sequence of events pertaining to Israel and the kingdom, which anticipate the existence of the Church, after a manner not seen in the other three gospels. The central message in the gospel of Matthew, leading up to the events surrounding Calvary, pertains to:

The offer of the kingdom of the heavens to Israel.
The rejection of the kingdom by Israel.
The removal of the kingdom from Israel.

These things, in turn, anticipate the Church subsequently being called into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel rejected.

Matthew presents God dealings with the house of Israel in relation to the kingdom of the heavens, with the house ultimately being left “desolate” because of the nation’s rejection (Matthew 23:2, 13, 38); and Matthew also anticipates God dealings with a house separate and distinct from Israel in relation to the kingdom of the heavens (Matthew 16:18-19; 21:33-43; 24:40-25:30). It is within this framework, along with individual contextual settings, that Christ’s three references to “outer darkness” are to be understood in the gospel of Matthew.

1) Matthew 8:11-12

The first appearance of “outer darkness” in Matthew’s gospel is in Matthew 8:11-12, and the text and context both have to do with the message of the kingdom. Jesus had just finished a lengthy discourse to His disciples, commonly called “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5; 6; 7), which is a connected discourse dealing with entrance into or exclusion from the kingdom of the heavens (cf. Matthew 5:1-12; 6:33; 7:13-27).

Preceding the Sermon on the Mount, the subject matter concludes in chapter four (Matthew 4) with the message concerning the kingdom. Then, the subject matter continues in chapter eight (Matthew 8), following the Sermon on the Mount, with this same message concerning the kingdom.

The message at this point actually picks up where chapter four (Matthew 4) left off — with supernatural, physical healings, and later with supernatural provision. These supernatural, physical healings appear before, in conjunction with, and after the text concerning the kingdom of the heavens and outer darkness in chapter eight (Matthew 8). Then accounts of supernatural material provisions for the people follow (e.g., Mark 6:32-44; John 2:1-11).

These miraculous works of Christ among the Jewish people were signs having to do with “the kingdom” (cf. Isaiah 35:1ff; Matthew 4:23-25; 25; 10:5-8; 11:2-5). They constituted the credentials of the messengers of the gospel of the kingdom and pointed to that which Israel could have — supernatural healing (for both the people and the land [cf. 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 1:4-9]), supernatural provision, and the restoration of the theocracy if the nation would repent. It is within a contextual setting such as this that “outer darkness” first appears in the gospel of Matthew.

Actually, the subject arose after a Roman centurion expressed faith that Christ could heal his servant (who was sick at home) by just speaking the word. Christ used the faith exhibited by this Gentile to illustrate a contrasting lack of faith exhibited by those in Israel. Christ said that He had “not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (Matthew 8:10). He then spoke of a day when many would come “from east and west” and “sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens.”

That is, a separate and distinct group of individuals, taken mainly from the Gentiles, would exhibit faith on the same order as this centurion and enter into the heavenly sphere of the kingdom. But those to whom this heavenly sphere of the kingdom naturally belonged, because of their lack of faith, would be excluded. The “sons of the kingdom [those forming the nation of Israel]” would be “cast out” (Mat. 8:11-12).

The entire scene anticipated Matthew 21:43 where the heavenly portion of the kingdom was taken from Israel in view of a separate and distinct group ultimately occupying that which did not naturally belong to them.

This group would be comprised of those who, at that time, were aliens, without hope, and without God (i.e., Gentiles). But “in Christ Jesus” these conditions would change. They would be “brought near by the blood of Christ.” And, by and through the immersion in the Spirit, those having been “brought near by the blood of Christ” would become new creations in Christ,” part of the one new man, who is “neither Jew nor Greek [‘Gentile’].” Then, by being “in Christ” (who is Abraham’s Seed), they, by and through this positional standing, would become “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise [the heavenly portion of the promise given to Abraham and his progeny, which was taken from Israel]” (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:17-18, 26-29; Ephesians 2:12-15; cf. Genesis 22:17-18).

2) Matthew 22:1-14

The second appearance of “outer darkness” in the gospel of Matthew is in the parable of the marriage festival in chapter twenty-two (Matthew 22). The contextual usage in this passage is in association with the kingdom of the heavens and the activities attendant a royal wedding.

Contextually, the “king” and His “son” (Matthew 22:2) can only be identified as God the Father and God the Son. The “servants” and “other servants” (Matthew 22:3-4) sent “to call those who were invited [Israel]” would refer to the ministries of the prophets.

This offer, however, was spurned, and the messengers were ill-treated. Then, last of all, God sent His Son — with John as His forerunner — saying, “They will respect [KJV: ‘reverence’] my son” (ref. previous parable [Mat. 21:33-39]). But, although God had stated that they would respect His Son, all things that the Jewish people would do were known to Him from the beginning; and this, as foretold, was not to happen.

Jesus, near the conclusion of His earthly ministry, rode into Jerusalem astride an ass, presenting Himself as Israel’s King in fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 (Matthew 21:1-11). And He, too, was rejected, culminating in His crucifixion and death (cf. Matthew 21:37-39; 22:1-6; 23:1-36).

The rejection and impending crucifixion of God’s Son was the final blow. The kingdom was then taken from Israel and extended to a separate and distinct nation (cf. Matthew 21:40-46; 22:8-10; 1 Peter 2:9-10). And, though God used this new nation — the one new man “in Christ” — to re-offer the kingdom to Israel (seen in the book of Acts), rejection on Israel’s part continued (with the re-offer of the kingdom being withdrawn about 62 A.D., at the time of Paul’s announcement in Acts 28:28).

Individuals comprising this new nation are synonymous with those from the “east and west” in Matthew 8:11 and those out in “the highways” in Matthew 22:10. And unbelief on Israel’s part, followed by others being brought in to be the recipients of that which naturally belonged to Israel, leads up to the mention of “outer darkness” in both passages.

At this point though there is a difference in the two passages. Outer darkness in Matthew 8:12 is reserved for “the sons of the kingdom [a reference to Israel in this text],” but outer darkness in Matthew 22:13 is reserved for an individual appearing at the marriage festivities attendant the wedding of God’s Son. He appeared without the proper attire required for entrance into these festivities. He appeared without a wedding garment (ref. Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet, Ch. 13).

Israel had previously been mentioned in verses three through seven (Mat. 22:3-7), with the man appearing without a wedding garment being identified with those called after the kingdom had been taken from Israel (cf. Mat. 22:8-10, 14). This man would, thus, be among those from the “east and west” in Matthew 8:11 or those found in “the highways” in Matthew 8:10.

To reconcile that which is taught in these two passages, bear in mind that at the time of Mat. 8:11-12 the kingdom of the heavens had not yet been taken from Israel; but Matthew 22:1-14 was given at a time following the announcement concerning the removal of the heavenly portion of the kingdom from Israel, with the anticipated offer of the kingdom being extended to another group (Matthew 21:33-43).

In both passages it is the recipients of the offer of the kingdom of the heavens who find themselves associated with the place called “outer darkness.” In Matthew chapter eight (Matthew 8), the offer of the kingdom of the heavens was open to Israel alone, even though the allusion was made to others being brought into this kingdom. But at the time of the events in Matthew chapter twenty-two (Matthew 22), the announcement had previously been made concerning this part of the kingdom being taken from Israel; and now the new recipient of the proffered kingdom was in view (though this new recipient — the one new man “in Christ” [1 Peter 2:9-11] — was yet to be brought into existence [Matthew 16:18]).

Thus, “outer darkness” is used the same way in both passages. It is used in association with those to whom the offer of the kingdom of the heavens was then being extended.

3) Matthew 25:14-30

The third appearance of “outer darkness” in Matthew’s gospel is in a tripartite connected discourse that deals with the Jews, the Christians, and the Gentiles — the Olivet Discourse. The inception of Christianity awaited a future date at this time; but the discourse, given following Christ’s statement that He would build His Church and following the removal of the kingdom of the heavens from Israel, anticipated the one new man in Christ” being brought into existence (Matthew 16:18-19; 21:33-43; cf. Ephesians 2:12-15).

To place the third appearance of outer darkness in Matthew’s gospel in its proper perspective, note a succinct review of the Olivet Discourse over the next several pages, with a particular emphasis on the Christian section of the discourse:

The first part of the discourse (Mat. 24:4-39) deals exclusively with events pertaining to Israel during the coming Tribulation and with the return of the nation’s Messiah at the conclusion of the Tribulation. Israel had rejected the offer of the kingdom of the heavens, and now the nation must pass through the Tribulation and await her Messiah “in the way of Your judgments” (Isaiah 26:8).

The second part of the discourse (Mat. 24:40-25:30) deals with the new recipients of the offer of the kingdom of the heavens. The emphasis throughout this section is upon present faithfulness in view of a future time of reckoning, anticipating the kingdom.

The third part of the discourse (Mat. 25:31-46) deals with judgment upon living, saved Gentiles following Christ’s return at the conclusion of the Tribulation. These would be Gentiles saved mainly under the ministry of the 144,000 of Revelation 7; 14 (cf. Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 20:4-6), who proclaim the “gospel of the kingdom” to the ends of the earth during the last half of the Tribulation (cf. Matthew 24:13-14; Revelation 12:5, 17).

In this fashion, the three sections of the Olivet Discourse reveal God’s dealings with the three segments of mankind — Jew, Christian, and Gentile — either during and/or at the conclusion of the present dispensation.

In the Jewish section of this discourse (Mat. 24:4-39), God’s dealings with Israel are restricted to the time during and immediately following the coming Tribulation. The reason for this is very simple: Israel has been set aside during the present time while God removes from the Gentiles “a people for His name” (Acts 15:14). The time when God will deal with Israel once again awaits the completion of His purpose for the present dispensation. This is the reason why the Jewish section of the Olivet Discourse begins with Israel in the Tribulation. This section begins at the point where God resumes His dealings with Israel once again.

In the Christian section of this discourse (Mat. 24:40-25:30), unlike the Jewish section, God does deal with a people during the present time — a time preceding the Tribulation. And those with whom God is presently dealing are the recipients of the offer of the kingdom of the heavens following Israel’s rejection of this offer, which is exactly what is in view in this section of the Olivet Discourse.

In the Gentile section of this discourse (Mat. 25:31-46), only the Gentiles are in view. God, at that time in the future when these events occur, will have completed His dealings with Israel and the Church.

God will complete His dispensational dealings with Christians first (which includes judgment); and this will be followed by God completing His dispensational dealings with Israel (which includes judgment). Then, God will deal with saved Gentiles coming out of the Tribulation, in judgment, immediately prior to His 1,000-year reign over the earth (which will be 1,000 years of judging — ruling the nations with “a rod of iron”).

With the whole of the Olivet Discourse succinctly summarized in the preceding manner, note where the third and last mention of outer darkness in the gospel of Matthew is seen. This third and last mention of “outer darkness” lies at the end of the parable of the talents, which concludes the Christian section of the Olivet Discourse. However, “outer darkness” is not restricted to the parable of the talents in this section. The parables of one taken, another left (Mat. 24:40-44), the Householder and His servant (Mat. 24:45-51), the ten virgins (Mat. 25:1-13), and the talents (Mat. 25:14-30) are interrelated after such a fashion that the expression “outer darkness” must be looked upon as applicable in parallel passages in all four.

Four parables follow the parable of the fig tree and comments concerning the “days of Noah” (the parable of the fig tree [Mat. 21:19-21; 24:32] and the days of Noah [Mat. 24:37-38] have to do with Israel and the nations during the Tribulation, not today). And the main thought throughout this entire section of Scripture (the parable of the fig tree, the days of Noah, and the four subsequent parables) centers on the due season, watchfulness, and readiness for the Lord’s return, introduced in the parable of the fig tree and comments concerning the days of Noah (the two passages that set the tone for the four parables that follow (one taken, another left [Mat. 24:40-44], the Householder and His servant [Mat. 24:45-51], the ten virgins [Mat. 25:1-13], and the talents [Mat. 25:14-30]).

In the parable about one taken, another left (Mat. 24:40-44), watchfulness, having to do with faithfulness, resulted in the person being ready for the Lord’s return; and this, in turn, resulted in corresponding positive action by the Lord when He did return. But un-watchfulness, having to do with unfaithfulness, resulted in the person not being ready for the Lord’s return; and this, in turn, resulted in corresponding negative action by the Lord when He did return.

And though Christians will not see the days referred to by the parable of the fig tree and the days of Noah, they can see signs on every hand, having to do with both, that the world is rapidly approaching that time referred to by the prophets and these verses in Matthew’s gospel. A remnant of Jews is back in the land (resulting from a Zionistic movement), existing as a recognized nation among nations; and sexual promiscuity, as portended by Noah’s day, has become rampant in our day (though not an open participation of angels in the matter; such awaits the days of the coming Tribulation [both heterosexual and homosexual, for that which occurred during the days of Lot are to mark this time as well]).

Then in the parable of the Householder and His servant, the thought drawn from that which has preceded centers on faithfulness in dispensing “food [KJV: ‘meat’] in due season.” If the servant remains faithful, he will be made ruler over all the Lord’s goods; but if the servant becomes unfaithful, he will be “cut . . . in two” and be appointed “his portion with the hypocrites.”

(Note that by comparing Matthew 24:45-51 with the parallel section in Luke 12:42-46, it is clear that only one servant is in view throughout. The servant either remains faithful or he becomes unfaithful.)

The parable of the ten virgins immediately following begins with the word “Then,” pointing back to the parable of the Householder and His servant. The parable of the ten virgins covers the same subject matter, providing additional information from a different perspective; and this parable concludes in a similar fashion by showing that which awaits both those who are ready and those who are not ready at the time of the Lord’s return.

The parable of the talents, immediately following the parable of the ten virgins, is introduced in the Greek text by the words Hosper gar (“For just as”); and these two introductory words tell the reader that the parable about to follow is just like the parable that has preceded it. In a respect, these two words tell the reader that an explanatory parable for the parable of the ten virgins (and the two parables preceding the parable of the ten virgins as well) is about to be given.

Verse fourteen (Mat. 25:14), introducing the parable of the talents, should literally read,

For it [referring back to the parable of the ten virgins, and, consequently, the parables of the Householder and His servant and one taken, another left] is just as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

The parables, “one taken, another left,” “the Householder and His servant,” “the ten virgins,” and “the talents” ALL center on the same basic issue. ALL present different facets of exactly the same thing.

(Note that “a parable,” by its own definition — from the meaning of the word itself [from the compound Greek word parabole (para, “alongside”; bole, “to cast”)] — is simply one truth placed alongside of a previous truth to help explain the previous truth [i.e., a truth cast alongside (which would necessitate a previous truth)].

In the parable of the talents, a truth is placed alongside of a previous truth [in this case, the parable of the ten virgins, along with the two parables preceding the parable of the ten virgins (since all deal with the same basic issue)]. And the truth being placed alongside [the parable of the talents] is being given to help explain [provide additional light for] that which Christ had previously stated in the preceding three parables.)

In the parable about one taken, another left, the thought from the Greek text regarding the English translation, “one will be taken and the other left” (Mat. 24:40-41) should be understood in the sense of “one shall be received alongside [alongside the Lord], and the other turned away [turned away from the Lord].” The two verbs used in the Greek text are: paralambano and aphiemi.

Paralambano is a compound word, meaning “to take alongside, “to receive alongside” (para, “alongside”; lambano, “to take,” “to receive”); and aphiemi means “to send away,” “to turn away.”

The entire scene is judgmental, as evident from the succeeding three parables — all dealing with different facets of the same thing. In the parable, comparing it with the other parables, faithfulness resulted in a position alongside the Lord, but unfaithfulness resulted in the forfeiture of this position.

(The rapture is seen only indirectly in this parable or in any one of the three succeeding parables. Thoughts in these parables have to do with events preceding the rapture and events following the rapture, not with the rapture itself per se.)

In the parable of the Householder and His servant, faithfulness would result in the servant being positioned as ruler over all the Lord’s goods, but unfaithfulness would result in the servant (the same servant) being assigned a place with the hypocrites.

In the parable of the ten virgins, the faithful servants (wise virgins) were allowed to enter into the marriage festivities, but the unfaithful servants (foolish virgins) were excluded from these festivities.

And in the parable of the talents, the faithful servants were allowed to enter into “the joy” of their Lord, but the unfaithful servant was cast into the darkness outside (i.e., cast into a place of darkness outside Christ’s “joy,” having to do with the things surrounding His reign over the earth, which would include the preceding marriage festivities [cf. Luke 19:16-19; Hebrews 12:1-2]).

Understanding the interrelationship between these parables and comparing them with the parable of the marriage festival in chapter twenty-two (Matthew 22), it becomes clear that “outer darkness” is associated with all four. This is the place where the unfaithful servants found themselves in all of the parables, even though the expression is used only in the parable of the talents. One parable describes the place, and all four describe conditions in this place — whether in a place outside the marriage festivities or outside Christ’s subsequent reign.

Comparing the parable of the Householder and His servant with the parable of the talents, note that positions of rulership are in view in both parables. Only the faithful will be apportioned these positions. The unfaithful will not only be denied positions in the kingdom but they will be apportioned their place “with the hypocrites,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth [an Eastern expression signifying deep grief]” (Matthew 24:51; 25:30 ASV); and this place is referred to as “the outer darkness” (ASV) in the latter parable.

(Note the same expression in Matthew 22:13 in connection with “the outer darkness” [cf. also Matthew 8:12]. Also note that the unfaithful among the ten virgins were excluded from the marriage festivities [Mat. 25:10-12], as was the man without a wedding garment [who was bound and cast into “the outer darkness”] in Matthew 22:11-13.)

HE WENT OUT …

But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard . . .
Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”
But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”. . .
But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”. . .
Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed.
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.
(Matthew 26:58, 69-70, 72, 74-75)

And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. . . .
If we endure
[‘patiently endure’], we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. (2 Timothy 2:5, 12)

Possibly the best illustration given in Scripture showing the downward path that is possible for a Christian to take, ultimately leading into the place of darkness outside the light, is the recorded actions of the apostle Peter immediately preceding Christ’s crucifixion.

Christ had informed His disciples that all of them would “made to stumble [KJV: ‘be offended’]” during the next few hours because of Him; and from that time until the time Peter is seen weeping bitterly because of his offense, there are seven steps recorded in Scripture showing how Peter was brought into the condition in which he found himself at this time (Matthew 26:31-75).

(The words “made to stumble/offended [Greek: skandalizo]” in Matthew 26:31 has to do with something causing opposition, which can result in a fall. This is the same word used in Matthew 13:21, which, according to Luke 8:13, can result in a falling away, apostasy. The words “fall away” in Luke 8:13 are the translation of aphistemi in the Greek text. This is the verb form of the noun apostasia, from which we derive our English word “apostasy.”

Apostasia, a compound word, simply means, “to stand away from.” The word stasis means “to stand”; and the preposition apo, prefixed to the word, means, “from.” Thus, apostasia has to do with standing away from something else [e.g., standing away from a previously held position, belief, etc.].

The disciples — and particularly Peter — in this respect, because of opposition, apostatized. That is, they stood away from the position that they had previously held with Christ, which is exactly what Christ alluded to in Matthew 26:31ff.)

Step One: Peter would not accept Christ’s statement concerning that which the disciples were about to do, as he, on a previous occasion, had not accepted Christ’s statement and had to be rebuked by the Lord (Matthew 16:21-23). Peter then made his boast that he would never allow opposition to bring about a falling away (cf. James 4:13-15); and in response to Christ’s subsequent statement that he would deny Him three times that very night, Peter responded, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You”; and the other disciples responded likewise. But during the next few hours, not only would Peter deny Christ three times,” but “all the disciples” would forsake Him and flee (Matthew 26:33-35, 56).

Step Two: In this boast by Peter and the disciples, a double negative is used in the Greek text, both in verse thirty-three (Matthew 26:33) relative to not allowing opposition to bring about a falling away and in verse thirty-five (Matthew 26:35) relative to denying Christ. The use of a double negative in the Greek text (quite common in the Greek New Testament) is for emphasis, making the thought of “never” or “not” very emphatic. An English translation should be worded after a fashion to show this.

For example:

Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” . . .
Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” And so said all the disciples.
(Matthew 26:33, 35)

Christ then took Peter, James, and John, separate from the other disciples, into a particular place in the Garden of Gethsemane. Once in this place, He told them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” However, when Jesus went aside to pray, rather than watching, the disciples fell asleep. The Lord then had to rebuke them for not watching and praying that they not “enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:36-41).

Step Three: Judas had betrayed Christ to the religious leaders of Israel; and he then led “a band of men and officers,” dispatched by the religious leaders, into the garden to take Christ. Seeing them, Peter drew his sword and resorted to the arm of flesh, to human means, to accomplish his previous boast.

Any battle in which the disciples found themselves engaged was to be spiritual, and it is exactly the same for disciples today. But Peter sought to force his will on others through physical means (the day when Christ will take the scepter and “strike through kings” was future at that time, and it remains future today [Psalm 110:1ff; cf. Psalm 2:1ff]. In this respect, Peter’s actions were completely out of place, as similar actions by Christians would be today).

(Christians can exert far more power through prayer than through any fleshly means possible. In fact, the chasm separating the two is as far as the East is from the West. One has to do with accessing divine, infinite power; the other has to do with accessing humanistic, finite power.)

Peter, in his vain, fleshly effort, cut off an ear of one of the high priest’s servants; but Jesus, completely rejecting his actions, told him to put up the sword, and He then healed the servant, restoring his ear (Matthew 26:47-55; Luke 22:50-51).

Step Four: Then the actions of Peter and the other disciples continued accordingly. The man of flesh had gained the ascendancy, and the disciples were now doing exactly what they had previously stated would not occur. Though having previously boasted of that which they would do, the disciples were found sleeping when they should have been watching and praying; and Peter had resorted to the arm of flesh, as he sought to carry out his previous boast. And this was followed by all the disciples doing exactly what they had previously stated would not occur:

Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled. (Matthew 26:56b; cf. Mat. 26:35)

Step Five: Peter then began to follow Christ “at a distance [KJV: ‘afar off’ ].” He had taken the sword, and it was about to result in his ruin. He had resorted to the arm of flesh and was in the process of reaping that which he had sown (cf. Matthew 26:52; Galatians 6:7-8). Because of his previous actions, the closeness that had been his in Christ’s inner circle, along with James and John, was now gone (cf. Matthew 17:1; 26:37, 58).

Step Six: When Jesus was taken into the high priest’s palace for questioning by the religious leaders, Peter, following Him “at a distance,” remained outside in the courtyard. Rather than identifying himself with Christ on the inside, he sat down with the enemy on the outside (Matthew 26:69; Luke 22:54-55).

Step Seven: Peter’s past actions had now led him to the final point in his fall. When accused of being one of Christ’s disciples, Peter denied his Lord on three separate occasions, followed by the cock crowing a second time just as Christ had foretold. And the Lord, being led at that moment past Peter to “the Praetorium [KJV: ‘the hall of judgment’ ]” (John 18:28), turned and looked upon Peter, awakening him to the stark reality of that which he had done (Matthew 26:34, 69-74; Mark 14:72; Luke 22:61).

The Lord’s look in this passage was far more than a brief glance. The word used in the Greek text (emblepo) points to Christ fixing His eyes upon Peter in an intently searching manner. Peter came under the Lord’s scrutiny for his actions, causing him to remember that which had previously occurred. Peter then “went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62).

(The scene can only be judgmental in nature, portraying that future day when Christ, with “eyes as a flame of fire,” will judge those who are His, as they stand in His presence [cf. Revelation 1:14].)

Peter, because of his past actions, following Christ’s intently searching look, found himself outside, weeping bitterly. And the whole of the matter surrounding Peter presents the whole of the matter surrounding unfaithful Christians and outer darkness.

Peter, because of his actions, following Christ’s intently searching look, found himself in a place comparable to the place that Scripture describes as “the outer darkness,” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (cf. Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30 ASV)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet, Ch. 21
Prophecy on Mount Olivet by Arlen Chitwood
, Ch. 21

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

The natural body, which man began with and which man still has,
is a body of flesh, blood, and bones.
When Christ relinquished His life on Calvary, lit., “he breathed out.”
This is exactly what happens at the time of death to anyone today. We all have natural bodies,
the same type body which Christ had at the time He breathed out.

The Jewish people will be raised in natural bodies of flesh, blood, and bones
and possess bodies of this nature not only throughout the Millennium,
but throughout the following eternal ages as well.

The Church, at the Rapture, will receive Spiritual bodies.

Bodies, Natural and Spiritual
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Pat, I really don’t understand why you would have a question of the nature you have. [1]  It seems that you see God beginning with man after a fashion which you can’t seem to understand Him continuing after (i.e., creating man a natural being but not continuing forever with man in that respect). But all of that is immaterial, for what the Word has to say is the only thing of the moment, and maybe I can give you some thoughts along these lines.

The natural body, which man began with and which man still has, is a body of flesh, blood, and bones. Comparing Gen. 2:7 and Lev. 17:11, there would be an evident relationship between “life” connected with breath and “life” connected with blood. From a natural standpoint, which is what we are talking about, the connection would be evident.

Imparting “life” occurs through breath, as seen in Gen. 2:7; or, on the other hand, terminating life occurs through an opposite act relative to breath (the removal of breath; i.e., expire, which comes mainly from Latin (though Greek would be the same), meaning “out breath,” as inspire means “in breath” [compound words, with the prepositions ek (“out”) or en (“in”) prefixed to the same noun (spiritus, Gk., pneuma or pneo), meaning “spirit,” “breath”]).

For example, on “expire,” when Christ relinquished His life on Calvary, lit., “he breathed out” (the Greek text in Mark 15:37, ekpneo [a compound word — ek means “out,” and pneo means “breath”]).

And the preceding is exactly what happens at the time of death to anyone today in a natural body, the type body which Christ had at the time He breathed out.

But does death occur the instant a man breathes out?

For Christ, it evidently did, for the blood could only have remained unaffected by the absence of breath, for it was the blood of God.

With the natural man though, death may not be that instantaneous. Without breath, the blood would immediately begin to be affected. The oxygen supply would be cut off, and there would no longer be life in connection with the blood within a very short time.

This is why skin-tone begins to change almost immediately when a person stops breathing. The oxygen supply is cut off from the blood; and without that seen in Gen. 2:7, that seen in Lev. 17:11 can’t continue.

And that would show the connection between these two verses.

Adam was created lifeless. Then, God’s breath evidently produced life through allowing oxygen to be carried to the blood. Thus, there is an inseparable connection with “life” in connection with breath and blood in the natural body.

When you get into the spiritual body, of course, the matter is different.

The word for “spirit” is pneuma, which can also mean “breath” (pneuma is derived from pneo, which, as previously shown, means “breath”). Thus, life in the spiritual body is connected entirely with breath, not with both breath and blood.

But going beyond that explanation, suppose we wait and see.

Now, the Jewish people will be raised in natural bodies of flesh, blood, and bones and possess bodies of this nature not only throughout the Millennium but throughout the following eternal ages as well.

That is plain from Luke 1:33.

Christ is going to “reign over the house of Jacob forever.” Jacob is the natural man (as opposed to Israel, the spiritual man), and the word “forever” is a translation of the Greek eis tous aionas, “with respect to the ages.” The word aion (age) is plural here, referring to ages without end in this text (evident from the remainder of the verse).

With that in mind, I’m going to present a side-note on something a little different since we are on the subject.

The Word was given entirely through Jewish writers, descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Now, let me present you with a problem, though it is no problem if looking at the matter correctly.

All of the O.T. was written by those of the old creation in Jacob, but not so with the N.T. The N.T. was written by those of the new creation in Christ, individuals who had, in a respect, relinquished their national identities. They were seen as part of a separate creation from either the Jew or the Gentile (I Cor. 10:32).

So, if a writer of a book in the N.T. was no longer seen as a Jew in the preceding respect, how could he occupy a position among those in Roman 3 to whom were committed the oracles of God? He had to occupy this position, be a Jew, else God could not have revealed His Word through that person. If God did reveal His Word through someone not a Jew, He would be acting contrary to His revealed Word — an impossibility.

Then, to view the matter in a different manner, suppose the new creation in Christ had been a Gentile rather than a Jew. He would have been a new creation in Christ where there was neither Jew nor Gentile… Would he not have been as qualified to deal with the oracles of God — i.e., God revealing His Word through this individual — as the a new creation in Christ taken from the old creation in Jacob? After all, both would be seen as part of the one new man, in which no distinction existed between Jew and Gentile.

Want to work on it awhile? Or, do you already know the answer?

The answer is in Ps. 147:19-20, along with properly understanding what is involved in the new creation in Christ in 2 Cor. 5:17 and Eph 2:15. “He sheweth His Word unto Jacob…” Jacob is the natural man, which doesn’t and can’t change when a person becomes a new creation in Christ.

This positional standing in Christ has nothing to do with the natural man, whether Jew or Gentile. This is why Paul, following his conversion, could refer to himself as an “Israelite” (Rom. 11:1; 2 Cor. 11:22), a “Jew” (Acts 21:39; 22:3), or an “Hebrew” (2 Cor. 11:22; Phil. 3:5). Thus, though a new creation in Christ, Paul still held the required position to handle the oracles of God.

A Gentile, though a new creation in Christ, doesn’t hold the required position to handle the oracles of God. He has no connection with Jacob. And the Word in Ps. 147:20 specifically states that God has not dealt with any Gentile after this fashion.

Thus, there is no need for all the research that sometimes goes into trying to prove or disprove whether Luke was a Gentile or a Jew. Psalm 147:19-20, along with Rom. 3:1ff, does it for anyone who wants to read and believe it.

[1] (Note: The question was "How can the Old Testament saints have resurrected bodies animated by Adam's blood he had prior to his fall?"  Although the question was a dumb one, Arlen clarified some issues by presenting an excellent commentary.  I was confusing 'natural man' with 'natural body',  a puddin' head mistake.) 

See “Resurrected Bodies” and “Bodies of the Resurrection” and Resurrections Chart! in this site.

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Natural  Bodies by Arlen Chitwood.docx Natural Bodies by Arlen Chitwood.docx
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Type : docx

Tripartite Scripture Passages
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Following is a list of New Testament passages that clearly indicate that man, who unquestionably has a body, also possesses both a spirit (Greek: pneuma) and a soul (Greek: psuche).

(Added:  G4151 pneuma [noo'-mah] ghost, life, spirit, mind.   G5590 psuchē [soo-kay'] heart, life, mind, soul.)

Matthew 11:29
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (psuche).

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit (pneuma) indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (cf. Mark 14:38)

Mark 8:34-38
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life (psuche) will lose it, but whoever loses his life (psuche) for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul (psuche)?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul (psuche)?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (cf. Matthew 16:24-26; Luke 9:23-26; 17:33)

Luke 1:47
And my spirit (pneuma) has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Luke 23:46
And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit (pneuma).” Having said this, He breathed His last. (cf. Psalm 31:5; Acts 7:59)

Acts 7:59
And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit (pneuma).” (cf. Psalm 31:5)

1 Corinthians 2:11
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit (pneuma) of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (cf. Proverbs 20:27)

1 Corinthians 5:5
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit (pneuma) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 6:20
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit (pneuma), which are God’s.

1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit (pneuma), soul (psuche), and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:12
For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul (psuche) and spirit (pneuma), and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 10:39
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul (psuche).

James 1:21
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls (psuche).

James 2:26
For as the body without the spirit (pneuma) is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James 5:19-20
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 (psuche) from death and cover a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 1:3-9
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 in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 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 (psuche).

1 Peter 1:22
Since you have purified your souls (psuche) in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.

1 Peter 4:19
Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls (psuche) to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

Conclusion

The following is the "Foreword" of Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation of the Soul, Contents and Foreword:

The salvation of the soul is one of the most misunderstood subjects in Scripture. And it is misunderstood because of the way most Christians view salvation.

Contrary to common belief, the salvation of the soul has nothing to do with man’s eternal destiny. Biblical teachings surrounding eternal salvation are always related to the spiritual part of man, never the soulical, and are centered in one realm alone — in Christ’s finished work at Calvary.

And the salvation message, having to do with Christ’s finished work at Calvary and one’s eternal destiny, is very simple: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved [made possible through that which Christ has done on man’s behalf] . . .” (Acts 16:31).

But the salvation of the soul is dealt with after an entirely different fashion in Scripture. Rather than Christ’s past work at Calvary being in view, His present work as High Priest is in view; and rather than the unsaved being in view, only Christians are in view.

Christ is presently performing a work as High Priest, on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat, to effect a cleansing from sin for the kingdom of priests that He is about to bring forth. And Christ’s present work in this respect relates to Christians and to the saving of the soul.

Scripture deals with the salvation of the soul in relation to the present faithfulness of Christians, and this salvation will be realized only at the end of one’s faith (1 Peter 1:9). And a realization of this salvation is associated with rewards, Christ’s return, and His kingdom (cf. Matthew 16:24-17:5; Hebrews 10:35-39).

“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls [the souls of Christians, those who have ‘passed from death unto life,’ the only ones in a position to received ‘the implanted Word’]” (James 1:21).

Christians talk about soul-winning in connection with the unsaved. And soul-winning conferences are held with this same end in view. But this is not the way Scripture deals with soul-winning at all.

Soul-winning, as seen in Scripture, has to do with reaching those who already possess eternal life (those who have a redeemed spirit, those who have “passed from death unto life”), not with reaching those who are still “dead in trespasses and sins.” Soul-winning, rather than having to do with the free gift of eternal life, has to do with the faithfulness of the saved (resulting in works), a just recompense of reward, and life in the coming kingdom of Christ.

Soul-winning is reaching Christians with the Word of the Kingdom, reaching those who have already believed on the Lord Jesus Christ with the message concerning the purpose for their salvation.

(End of Foreword of Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation of the Soul, Contents and Foreword.)

In this writer’s opinion it is quite unfortunate that almost all evangelical Christian entities (local churches, programs, individuals, etc.) have drifted so far from the ultimate truth (salvation of the soul) of Scripture pertaining to the “purpose for a Christian’s salvation,” which Jesus Christ personally labeled as “mysteries of the kingdom” and the “word of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:11, 19) as He endeavored to teach it to His disciples when He explained the various parables that He shared with the “great multitudes . . . gathered together to Him” on the seashore (Matthew 13).

To understand this doctrine is unquestionably the single most inspiring and persuasive encouragement for a Christian to live a holy life, honoring Jesus Christ; and, which will result in the most significant impact as he stands before His Savior in that future day at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-11; Romans 14:10, 12).

You are therefore encouraged to pursue this truth, the complete and comprehensive redemption program that God has designed for and offered to man.

(This commentary is excerpted from Bible One - Charles Strong's Tripartite Scripture Passages.)

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It is the believer’s body that is holy,
not a meeting hall or building (called “church”)
in which he assembles with other believers.

Misguided Priorities
An Exposition of John 2:16
By Charles Strong of
Bible One

And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:16)

These words were spoken by Jesus Christ to certain merchants who at the time were selling doves in the Temple court in Jerusalem. Immediately preceding these comments Jesus engaged in driving out the cattle and sheep, their tenders and those who engaged in the exchange of money within the Temple court. The actions of Jesus Christ and His specific words have application to the believer in the Church Age, but not necessarily the application and meaning that many well-intentioned Christians jump to upon a superficial reading of the verse.

To gain an understanding and appreciation of what this verse conveys and, just as important, what it doesn’t convey to the believer in the Church Age (the era upon earth starting at Pentecost and ending at the Rapture), it is necessary to understand the following facts.

1.  The specific focus of the verse is governed by the era of the Mosaic Law, that is, the time when God administered to the Israelites by means of His laws and rituals. Christians are no longer under the Law; they are under Grace.

2.  The specific application of the verse pertains to the Jewish Temple. The Temple was an outgrowth of the portable Tabernacle (sanctuary) designed by God and established by Moses as seen in Exodus 25. The primary purpose for the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, was so that God could dwell among His people in the form of the “Shekinah Glory,” which resided above the mercy seat of the Ark of the Testimony between the two cherubim located in the Holy of Holies. The Temple, whose design was by God and given to King David, was patterned after the Tabernacle, except it was twice as big and employed a few additions. It was built by King Solomon.

a) The Mosaic Tabernacle (translated temple, 1 Samuel 1:9; 3:3) lasted around 500 years—up until the first Jewish temple.

b) Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:1-38) lasted nearly 400 years—it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.

c) Herod’s Temple (John 2:14-16) lasted 85 years—it was destroyed by Titus the Roman.

d) A third temple will be erected by the Jews of the “end times” and occupied by the “man of sin or lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

e) The Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 40; 41; 42; 43; 44) will be erected by Jesus Christ upon His return to earth.

f) The Heavenly Temple is the personal presence of God the Father and God the Son in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:3, 22).

3.  In the Church Age, the Age of Grace, God has neither designed nor required a physical structure or accessories of any kind for Christians to utilize in their worship or service. He has ordained water baptism (as an outward symbol of an inner faith experience in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ) and the Lord’s Table (as an act of remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ for all mankind) for Christians to experience, but he has left it up to his children to arrange the details and administer these ordinances.

4.  The Greek word for “church” that is used in the New Testament is ekklesia, which never refers to a structure, building or place of worship. Its exact meaning is “assembly” (of individuals) and it either refers to

(1) all believers that make up the “Body of Christ”—Matthew 16:18; Acts 12:1, 5; 20:28; Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 10:32; 12:28; Ephesians 1:22; 3:10, 21; 5:23-32; Colossians 1:18, 24; etc.,

(2) a gathering of local believers—Acts 2:47; 5:11; 8:1, 3; 11:22, 26; 13:1; 14:23, 27; 15:3-4, 22; 18:22; 20:17; Romans 16:1, 5; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 4:17; 6:4; 11:18, 22; 14:4; Colossians 4:15-16; etc.,

(3) a legal citizens assembly of a Greek city—Acts 19:39 or

(4) an Old Testament Jewish assembly—Acts 7:38.

5.  The Temple in the Church Age refers to the individual believer who embodies the Person of the Holy Spirit and/or it may refer to the Body of Christ—the spiritual union of all believers by means of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Both realities are contingent upon the “second (spiritual) birth,” which is activated by faith alone in Christ alone (John 14:17-20; 17:23; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16, 17; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:20-22; 3:17; Colossians 1:27; 1 John 3:24). Every believer is not only the Temple of God, but he is a Priest for the purpose of serving God (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10).

6.  During the early days of the Church (Body of Christ), the only local churches were those assemblies of believers who met in private homes (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2) or anywhere else (in or outside) they could achieve some privacy in Bible instruction and worship.

With the preceding facts in mind, the following conclusions regarding John 2:16 may safely be determined.

What It Doesn’t Teach

First

It does not teach that any structure employed for worship by any assembly of believers is in the least bit sacred. It is only man in his continued and misguided eagerness to achieve the approbation (approval) of God through “religion” (good works, beautiful buildings and other means of “outward appearance”) who applies a form of holiness to meeting halls. R. B. Thieme, Jr., Pastor of the Berachah Church, Houston, Texas and one of the most astute Greek and Hebrew scholars and Bible expositors of today routinely tells the following account of a visitor to his church. As he was walking outside the visitor approached him and asked the following question, “Sir, could you please direct me to the tabernacle or sanctuary?” Pastor Thieme responded by saying, “Sir, you are looking at it.”

The point is that the only valid tabernacle, sanctuary or temple in the Church Age is the individual believer and/or the spiritual union of all believers, which is also classified as the Body of Christ. Whereas God in His Shekinah Glory abode among His people within a physical Temple under the Old Covenant, He now, under the New Covenant, abides within every believer by means of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is the believer’s body that is holy, not a meeting hall or building (called “church”) in which he assembles with other believers.

Believers may meet in private homes, in parking lots, in warehouses or any physical location. None of them are more notable or worthy than any other. They all are simply a fabrication of wood, stone and other building materials. It is only man in his “religious mode” (which is a product of Satan) that attempts to ascribe something special or sacred to the structure in which the assembly of believers meets.

He will even go farther by insisting that no expense be spared in erecting a monumental edifice with lofty spirals, stained glass windows and an ornate interior so that he may “feel close to God” and “show off his religiosity.” By so doing he brings shame upon himself and dishonor to God. Unfortunately, it is through “misguided priorities” such as this and other superficial spiritual endeavors that the Church in this age has drifted away from God. Man seeks cathedrals; God seeks cardiac involvement, which is to say that God looks at the heart of man (his true motivation) rather than the elitist pretense embedded in religion to which so many aspire.

Second

It does not teach that the offering of Christian material for purchase, which is a ministry in itself, within the confines of an assembly hall (local church) is inappropriate, as long as the motive for such offerings are truly for the blessing and spiritual growth of believers and they do not distract from the worship service within. Because the Temple under the Old Covenant represented the abode of God, the verse cannot strictly be applied to a building or meeting hall today.

What It Does Teach

A proper interpretation of the verse must involve a parallel with the Temple of God of this (Church) Age. As the Scriptures clearly indicate, the believer, both individually and collectively, is/are the Temple of the Living God. In the days of Christ, under the Mosaic Law, the “abode of God” (Temple) had been violated with “religious” interests and activities that dishonored the presence of God. The religious order of the day had forsaken the true purpose of the Temple by turning from “divine good” to “human good” within its very walls. Instead of submitting to and following God’s way, they turned to self-interest, self-efforts and carnal motivations. In so doing they turned God’s abode into a “den of robbers” (Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46) by making it “their” house of merchandise.

After a person accepts God’s gracious gift of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, he is immediately prompted by Satan and his minions in concert with his “sin nature” to return to self-effort (human good works) to please God. In so doing this he corrupts the Temple of God. This is why it is so critical that immediately after the salvation experience, a new-born Christian should be encouraged and guided into Bible doctrine and fellowship in a Christ-honoring and loving local church.

The fundamental application of John 2:16 to the believer today is that above all else he must keep himself pure by following God’s plan for sanctification [*soul salvation], because now he is the Temple of God. God’s way is to turn from religiosity and, just as he accepted Christ Jesus for his personal justification ([*spiritual] salvation), to continue in the same manner for his personal sanctification (spiritual growth [*soul salvation]), which is to turn from self and all self-effort (human good works) and solely trust Jesus Christ to live a life of “divine good” through him (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:6).

*Added

Bible One - Charles Strong's Misguided Priorities

Also see Conditions in the Church Today! and The Home Church! in this site.

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

Those who overcome are out-resurrected without hurt at the Judgment Seat.

Also those who overcome are also granted the privilege of partaking of the tree of life.

The Out-Resurrection and The Tree of Life
From the Appendix of The Bride in Genesis by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

The Out-Resurrection

If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection [out-resurrection] from the dead. (Philippians 3:11).

In Philippians 3:10-14, the “resurrection [lit., ‘out-resurrection’]” in verse eleven appears in connection with “the prize of the high calling [NKJV: ‘upward call’] of God in Christ Jesus” in verse fourteen.

“A prize” necessitates a conflict, which has to do with the present conflict between Christians and the world-rulers of the darkness of this age (Ephesians 6:12ff); and the reception of this prize requires victory in the conflict. Consequently, the “out-resurrection” of Philippians 3:11 cannot be the resurrection of Christians to which Paul refers in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, for all of “the dead in Christ” — both the overcomers in the conflict and those who have been overcome in the conflict — will be raised from the dead at the time referred to in these verses.

The regular Greek word for “resurrection” appearing throughout the New Testament is anastasis. This is a compound word comprised of ana, which means “up,” and stasis, which means “to rise,” or “to stand.” Thus, anastasis means “to rise up” or “to stand up.” When used relative to those who have died, the exact meaning of the word would be, “a resumption of life, allowing one to rise up or stand up from the place of death.”

The Greek word appearing in Philippians 3:11, erroneously translated “resurrection” in most English versions of Scripture, is exanastasis. This word is made up of three parts (ex-ana-stasis). The latter two parts of the word (ana-stasis), as has been shown, mean “to rise up,” or to stand up.” But the preposition ex (from ek) prefixed to anastasis adds further meaning to the word. Ex (the form “ek” takes when prefixed to words beginning with a vowel) means “out of,” making exanastasis mean “to stand up out of [‘out-resurrection’].”

The resurrection (anastasis) of Christians will be a separation of “the dead in Christ” from the remainder of the dead, whether Old Testament saints or the unsaved dead. The out-resurrection (exanastasis) will be a further separation beyond this point. It is the “standing up” of a particular group “out of” all those previously raised from among the dead (“out of” all Christians).

At the time of the resurrection (anastasis), Christians will be separated from non-Christians; but at the time of the out-resurrection (exanastasis), certain Christians will be separated from other Christians. A smaller group will be separated from the larger group. The called out will be removed from the called, from the complete body of Christians.

Understanding exanastasis in the light of its context in Philippians 3:11 will clearly reveal that a resurrection per se (a rising from the dead) is not what is in view at all. The subject at hand is “overcoming,” “winning a prize in a conflict”; and these things are associated with the issues of the judgment seat and the coming kingdom. Exanastasis has to do with certain Christians (the overcomers) being elevated to a status above — “a standing up out of” — the status occupied by the remaining Christians (the non-overcomers).

At the judgment seat of Christ, certain Christians will be shown to have overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil — the three great enemies presently confronting every Christian. And the remaining Christians will be shown to have been overcome.

Overcoming Christians will then be elevated to a standing above Christians who were overcome and, in this manner, will be set apart for the distinct purpose of occupying positions with Christ in the kingdom. They will realize the “prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). The overcomers will “stand up out of” (exanastasis) the entire group that had previously “stood up” (anastasis) from among the dead.

These are the ones who will realize life during the Messianic Era, as opposed to those who will not (Romans 8:13). And this life will be in connection with a new order of sons (comprising a firstborn son, following the adoption) that God will bring forth at that time (Romans 8:14ff). 

The Tree of Life

And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden . . . (Genesis 2:9a)

He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)

The promise concerning those who overcome being granted the privilege of partaking of the tree of life is the first of seven overcomer’s promises in Revelation chapters two and three (Revelation 2; 3). These promises pertain to Christians alone, and the realization of these promises awaits the future Messianic Era.

The time when Christians will enter into the blessings associated with these promises must follow the time set forth in chapter one (Revelation 1) — Christ appearing as Judge in the midst of the seven churches. The Church must first be brought into judgment. Then overcoming Christians will realize that which has been promised.

The Seven Epistles

Overcoming in each of the seven promises is related to existing conditions in the particular church to which the promise is given. One promise though is not to be looked upon as standing alone and being peculiar to only one church.

There are seven promises given to seven churches. “Seven” is a number showing the completeness of that which is in view. In this particular instance, the seven churches show the complete Church of Matthew 16:18 and the seven overcomer’s promises show the completeness of that which has been promised to all Christians.

The seven churches viewed together, as seen in these chapters, comprise an indivisible unit; and the seven overcomer’s promises viewed together, as presented in connection with Christians comprising these seven churches, are indivisibly related in such a manner that one cannot be realized apart from the other.

And viewing the overcomer’s promises in this manner, that which is seen throughout each epistle, would have to be looked upon the same way. Different facets of truth, applicable to all Christians throughout the seven churches, are shown through the Lord’s comments on things that have been singled out in each epistle concerning a particular church.

1) Applicable to All

Viewing one facet of truth after this fashion, in the epistle to “the church of [‘in’] Ephesus,” reference is made to a departure from “your first love” (Rev. 2:4). The command is then given, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works.” This is followed by the warning that if remembrance, repentance, and first works do not follow, the “lampstand [church in Ephesus; cf. Rev. 1:11-13, 20]” will be removed from its place.

And this removal of the lampstand [KJV: candlestick] — this removal of the church in Ephesus, the Christians in Ephesus — is, contextually, millennial in its scope of fulfillment. This removal will occur at the judgment seat; and it has nothing to do with eternal verities, with one’s eternal salvation, etc. Nor do the warnings in the other epistles in Revelation chapters two and three. Rather, millennial verities alone, as they relate to saved individuals, are in view by that which is stated in these warnings.

The time element involved in the warnings would have to be the same as that seen in the overcomer’s promises, for the latter has to do with overcoming or being overcome relative to the former.

And millennial verities alone are clearly revealed to be in view by that which is stated in several of the overcomer’s promises. Conditions seen in several of these promises will not exist beyond the Millennium, during the eternal ages (e.g., Rev. 2:11, 26-27; 3:5, 21).

Following the warning to the church in Ephesus, reference is made to the “Nicolaitans” (an Anglicized form of the compound Greek word, nikolaites [from nike, “a victor,” “a conqueror”; and laos, “people”]). Thus, the word “Nicolaitans” means, “to conquer [be victorious over] the people.”

Within Church history, there is no record of a group of individuals known by the name, “Nicolaitans” — in the church in Ephesus, or in any other first-century Church (note that a reference to the “Nicolaitans” is also repeated in the epistle to the church in Pergamos [Rev. 2:15]).

And, when coming across a reference of this nature, there is only one thing that can be done in order to understand that which the Lord meant by using this word (whether by Christians during the first century, or by Christians today). The use of “Nicolaitans” would have to be understood as a reference to the actions of a group of individuals, described by the meaning of the word itself.

From the meaning of the word, a reference to the “Nicolaitans” could only be understood as a reference to individuals forming a hierarchy within the Church, ruling over the people. And these individuals were undoubtedly responsible, at least in part, for the existing conditions in Ephesus near the end of the first century, as well as the conditions subsequently seen existing in Pergamos (and possibly in one or more of the other five churches, though this is not mentioned).

And the entire matter leads into the promise for those who overcome, i.e., for those who remember, repent, and do the first works. These are the ones who will be allowed to partake of the tree of life during the Messianic Era (Rev. 2:5-7).

All of these things, though directed to those in the church in Ephesus, would be applicable to those in any of the other six churches as well. And the inverse of that is equally true. The things written to those in each of the other six churches would be applicable to those in the church in Ephesus, or to those in any of the churches. That is, the things recorded in each of these seven epistles would be applicable to Christians everywhere.

2) The Dispensation

It is also evident that these seven epistles, by the manner in which they have been divinely arranged and structured, set forth truths within another realm. Viewed together, beginning with the church in Ephesus and ending with the church in Laodicea, it is evident that these epistles set forth a divinely revealed, overall view of Church history, covering the entire dispensation.

In this respect, the message to the church in Ephesus would reveal things concerning the Church at the beginning of the dispensation; the messages to the next five churches would continue from that point and reveal things concerning the Church throughout at least most of the remainder of the dispensation; and the message to the church in Laodicea would reveal things concerning the Church during the closing years of the dispensation.

(Revelation 2; 3 present one of only two places in Scripture where an overall view of the history of Christendom throughout the dispensation is given. The other was also given by Christ, but years earlier during His earthly ministry, preceding Calvary.

The earlier history of Christendom can be seen in the first four parables in Matthew chapter thirteen [ref. the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Mysteries of the Kingdom, Ch. 3, Ch. 4 Ch. 5, Ch. 6]. And interestingly enough, both of these accounts center around a history of Christendom as it pertains to the Word of the Kingdom — something that Church history books written by man never even mention, much less center on.

And until man understands the true nature of Church history, from the standpoint revealed in Matthew chapter thirteen and Revelation chapters two and three, he can never properly understand Church history. He can never properly understand why the Church, after almost 2,000 years of existence, has ended up in its present decadent state. And, as a result, he can do little more than approach the whole matter from a position other than how it is handled in Scripture.)

Near the beginning of the Church’s existence on earth, as shown by the first of the seven epistles in Revelation chapters two and three, there was a departure of Christians from their first love. And this revealed something with far-reaching ramifications that would occur in Christendom during the early years of its existence. The time element is not given in the epistle, but it would have to be seen in conjunction with a general deterioration of spiritual conditions in Christendom, occurring over the first several centuries.

Christians during the early years of the Church were busily engaged in the Lord’s work as they waited, anticipated, and longed for His return. They loved His appearing (cf. 2 Timothy 4:8). But as time went on and the Lord remained in heaven, the leaven that the woman placed in the three measures of meal in Matthew 13:33 began to do its damaging work, resulting in Christians gradually losing their first love. And the end result of the loss of this first love was the onset of what is known in Church history as “The Dark Ages.”

Although Christians departing from their first love emanates out of a sequence of events that fit into a framework of early Church history, this is not something peculiar to that period. Rather, this is something that has continued to exist since that time; and the attendant warning to Christians concerning the possibility of the lampstand being removed must extend throughout the entire period.

The retention or removal of the lampstand is contingent on overcoming or being overcome relative to the matter at hand (Rev. 2:7). Eternal verities are not in view at all. The thought set forth in this passage projects the matter out into that time when Christ will deal with the Church in judgment, and retention or removal of the lampstand anticipates the Church as it will appear following the issues of the judgment seat of Christ.

3) Called, Called Out

The word church in the Greek text is a compound word (ekklesia, from ek and kaleo) which means “called out.” And the word is used in the New Testament in two senses:

a) As the Church appears preceding the issues of the judgment seat (which would be during the present dispensation [Revelation 2; 3], or as the Church is seen before the judgment seat [Revelation 1; 2; 3]).

b) As the Church will appear following the issues of the judgment seat (which would be as the Church is seen in Revelation 19:7-9, as the bride of Christ [cf. Hebrews 12:23]).

Only the “called” (all of the saved) can comprise the Church today (as it is looked upon in Revelation 2; 3), for the “called out” are yet to be revealed and removed from the called. The Church will appear in the true sense of the word itself (ekklesia, “called out”) only after the “called out” have been removed from the “called,” which will occur following Christ dealing with all Christians at His judgment seat (note that all those being addressed in Revelation 2:1-7 are in the Church [as the Church presently appears], but some are in danger of being removed [as the Church will one day appear]).

Christ’s warning concerning the removal of the lampstand in Revelation 2:5 — the removal of the church in Ephesus, the Christians in Ephesus — must be understood in the light of the two ways in which the word “church” is used in Scripture. The message is to individuals in the Church as it appears today, which comprises all of the called, all of the saved, not just the called out (for the Church in the latter sense is yet to be revealed).

And any of the called who leave their “first love” and do not “repent, and do the first works,” cannot be among the called out. They cannot comprise the Church as it will appear in that coming day. Rather, they will be removed, spoken of elsewhere as being disqualified/disapproved (Greek: adokimos [cf. 1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16; Hebrews 6:8]).

These two appearances of the Church present a sharp contrast in Scripture:

The Church on earth immediately preceding its removal to appear before the judgment seat is described as “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (which includes only those Christians alive at that time [Revelation 3:14-18]); but the Church following the issues of the judgment seat is described as the “glorious Church [the Church in her glory (the bride of Christ)], not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (which will include overcoming Christians from throughout the dispensation [Ephesians 5:25-32]). And it is the Church in her glory, the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7-9), which will be extended the privilege of partaking of “the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

The Church as it will exist in that coming day is referred to in Hebrews 12:23

as the “Church of the firstborn.” The thought has to do with a called out group of firstborn sons. This moves matters beyond the adoption (the placement of firstborn sons) and presents the Church as being comprised only of individuals called out of the body, not individuals called out of the world (so to speak), as the Church is seen during the present day and time.

(Paul, in his Church epistles, though he wrote to all of the saved in a particular locality, often worded matters more in keeping with the thought of the Church as it will appear in that coming day [as presented by the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 12:23; e.g., Romans 1:7-8; Ephesians 1:5-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; 5:1-9]. And this would be in complete keeping with Paul’s central message [pertaining to the mystery], which was the central message proclaimed throughout Christendom during the first century.)

The Church as it will exist in that coming day will appear in complete keeping with the type in Genesis 2 — Eve formed from a part of Adam’s body, which had been removed from his body. The bride of Christ, in the antitype — synonymous with the Church as it will appear in that coming day — will be formed from a part of Christ’s body, which will have been removed from His body. All Christians together form the body of Christ, but all Christians cannot form the bride of Christ. Only those removed from the body can form the bride.

The type has been set, and the antitype must follow the type in exact detail. There can be no variance between the two. And the called out, in that day, forming the bride, will be placed as firstborn sons (i.e., be adopted), with a view to their occupying positions with Christ in the kingdom.

(Refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Bride in Genesis, Ch. 1, for a more detailed discussion concerning the bride being removed from the body.

Note that the Church is looked upon in that coming day in two respects in Scripture — as a bride, and as a firstborn son. These are simply two ways in which Scripture presents the matter. On the one hand, Christ must have a bride to reign as consort queen with Him; then, on the other hand, only firstborn sons can rule.

None of this is true in the angelic realm, only in the human realm. Angelic rulers are all sons, but not firstborn sons; and there can be no thought of marriage within the angelic realm itself, for all angels are of the same gender, referred to in a masculine respect.)

In Genesis, Proverbs, and Revelation

The “tree of life” is mentioned nine times in Scripture, in three different books — three times in Genesis (Gen. 2:9; 3:22, 24), four times in Proverbs (Pro. 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4), and twice in the book of Revelation (Rev. 2:7; 22:2). But what was the original purpose for the tree of life (seen in Genesis), which will be realized yet future (seen in the book of Revelation)?

The tree of life was one of the numerous trees in the garden in Eden. And Adam, with Eve, was commanded to eat of all these trees, with the exception of one — the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9, 16-17). Adam, the first man, had been created for the specific purpose of assuming the rulership over the earth, and the fruit of the tree of life was singled out as a specific provision for man as he exercised this rule.

An evident connection between man’s rule and his partaking of the tree of life can be seen by noting the appearance of this tree in the beginning when man was in a position to rule, the absence of this tree during the entire period when man is not in a position to rule (aside from the tree being referenced in Proverbs), and the reappearance of this tree in the book of Revelation when man will be brought back into a position to rule (cf. Genesis 1:26-28; Revelation 2:26-27).

The period during which man has been barred from eating of the tree of life began following Adam’s fall, resulting in his disqualification to rule; and this period will end following the issues of the judgment seat, at which time man will once again find himself in a position to rule.

Adam, following the fall, was driven from the garden to prevent his partaking of the tree of life. Adam could not be permitted to eat of this tree in a fallen condition, for had such occurred, Adam, in a fallen state, would have realized that which fruit from this tree was meant to provide. Thus, not only did God remove Adam from the garden, but He placed a “cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way,” [to prevent fallen man from reentering the garden and partaking of this tree]” (Genesis 3:22-24).

Studying Genesis 3:22-24 apart from the context and related Scripture could lead one to believe that the purpose for the tree of life in the beginning, in Genesis, was to provide perpetuity of life for Adam in his unfallen state. However, such could not have been the case at all. “Death” did not enter into the picture until after Adam’s sin (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:6ff; cf. Romans 6:23), at which time he was barred from the tree of life.

Adam had lived in an undying state prior to his sin, as he continued to live in an antithetical dying state following his sin; and to say that the tree of life was given to Adam in his unfallen state to provide perpetuity of life, preventing death, cannot possibly be correct. Nor could it possibly be correct to say that the tree of life would have had anything to do with providing physical life (keeping Adam alive physically) following the fall. A tree can produce only “after its kind” (Genesis 1:11-12). In this respect, fruit from the tree of life simply could not have produced one result before man’s fall and another following man’s fall.

In Revelation 2:7, partaking of the tree of life has been promised to the overcomers from among those already possessing eternal life. Consequently, in this passage, the tree of life can have nothing whatsoever to do with perpetuity of life; and it is the same in the Genesis account when man was first brought upon the scene to rule and to reign.

The tree of life in both Genesis chapters two and three (Genesis 2; 3) and Revelation chapter two (Revelation 2) appears in a different setting entirely. The tree of life reserved for Christians in Revelation 2:7 is associated peculiarly with a provision for those who will rule and reign as co-heirs with Christ; and viewing Adam’s position in the Genesis account — created to rule and reign, in possession of an unending life, with the fruit of the tree of life at his disposal — the same thought concerning regality in connection with the tree of life would hold true. Thus, Adam in a fallen state, no longer in a position to rule, could not be allowed to eat of the tree of life, for fruit from this tree would provide “life” in relation to regality.

This whole overall thought concerning the tree of life in Scripture would have to hold true, for that which is seen relative to this tree in Revelation 2 is drawn from that which was first seen relative to this tree in Genesis chapters two and three. The fruit of the tree of life was in the past (seen in the book of Genesis) and will be in the future (seen in the book of Revelation) a provision for the rulers in the kingdom. This is an evident fact that must be recognized.

And, in that coming day following the Millennium, the tree of life will be for “the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2). The Greek word translated “healing” is therapeia, from which the English word “therapy” is derived. This is a medical term that has to do with restorative healing. In that day, God will restore all of saved mankind to the original place that man occupied at the time of his creation. And, consequently, the whole of saved mankind, with regality in view, will have access to the tree of life.

During the preceding Messianic Era, the tree of life will have been made available to overcoming Christians (Revelation 2:7), those ruling and reigning as co-heirs with Christ. And this tree will probably be made available to certain others at this time as well, others occupying regal positions with Christ in His reign from the heavens over the earth (e.g., certain Old Testament saints, Tribulation martyrs [Matthew 8:11-12; Revelation 20:4-6]).

But following the Messianic Era, in the eternal ages, this tree is seen being made available to the nations of the earth, something that would have been completely out of place during the Millennium. And this will be an apparent end result of Israel’s evangelistic endeavors during the Millennium, along with Christ’s rule with a rod of iron during this time.

Man was created in the beginning to rule and to reign. And though only a part of saved mankind will have been brought back into a position to occupy the throne at the beginning of the Millennium (with the tree of life made available to them at this time), at the end of the Millennium the whole of saved mankind will be brought back into this position (with the tree of life made available to them at this time).

Wisdom, Understanding

Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding;

For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver and her gain than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.

Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honor.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her. (Proverbs 3:13-18)

Following the introduction to the “tree of life” in the opening chapters of Genesis, there are only four references to this tree throughout Scripture until one arrives at Revelation 2:7. Solomon used the expression, “a tree of life,” four times in the book of Proverbs (Pro. 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4); and it is within this revelation given through Solomon that one finds the connection between the tree of life in the books of Genesis and Revelation. And by putting all of this together, the reason then becomes apparent why this tree, with its fruit, was among the trees provided for Adam and Eve to eat in their unfallen state, and why fruit from this tree is being reserved for overcoming Christians to partake of during the Messianic Era.

(Then, there is also a connection between this tree and the complete restoration of the nations of the earth beyond the Messianic Era, with all of mankind realizing the purpose for man’s creation in the beginning [Revelation 22:2]. For additional information on this subject, refer to the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 36, or 36)  The Eternal Ages in this site.)

In the first of these four passages, wisdom and understanding are said to be “a tree of life."   Viewing this in the light of the wisdom and understanding possessed by Solomon as he ruled over Israel is the association provided by Scripture to correctly understand one facet of the tree of life. Solomon possessed wisdom and understanding as he ruled; and Christians must, in like manner, possess wisdom and understanding as they rule, as would have been necessary for Adam had he ruled.

1) Solomon Properly Equipped

Shortly after Solomon ascended the throne following the death of David, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” Solomon, recognizing that he was but as a “little child” in understanding the affairs of state within the kingdom over which he ruled asked for wisdom and knowledge. Solomon asked God for the ability to judge the people of Israel in equity, justice, and righteousness.

Such a request pleased the Lord, and Solomon was granted not only “wisdom and knowledge” but also “riches and honor.” His ability to rule, his material wealth, and the respect which he commanded — all coming from the hand of the Lord — would later be shown to exceed that of any king upon the face of the earth (1 Kings 3:5-15; 2 Chronicles 1:7-17).

Solomon’s ability to judge among his people in a unique manner through the wisdom and knowledge that the Lord had bestowed began to be displayed through a decision which he rendered concerning two women and a child. These two women dwelled alone in the same house, and both had given birth to sons, one three days before the other. The son born last died one night because his mother lay upon him; and as the other mother slept with her son at her side, the mother of the dead child took the living child from his mother’s side and placed the dead child in its stead. However, upon awakening, the mother now in possession of the dead child realized that the child was not hers and found that her child was still alive and being claimed by the other mother. Not being able to resolve the matter between themselves, their case was brought before Solomon.

Solomon was told what had allegedly occurred; and as he listened to both women claiming the living child, he was unable to ascertain which one was the true mother. He then called for a sword and commanded that the child be divided into two parts, giving half to each woman. Solomon, in his wisdom, knew that the true mother would be revealed by the actions that each woman would take when they heard his decision.

And that is exactly what occurred. The true mother pleaded for the child’s life, telling Solomon to not harm the child but to give him to the other woman. The other woman, whose child had died, on the other hand, insisted that the child be divided. Solomon then knew which of the two women was telling the truth, and the child was returned to his true mother (1 Kings 3:16-27).

Solomon’s wisdom in this matter spread throughout all Israel, and the people “feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.” Not only did God give Solomon wisdom to judge in all matters, but Solomon possessed wisdom of such a nature that it spread throughout the entire known world. His wisdom “excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt . . . and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men . . . and his fame was in all the surrounding nations . . . And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (1 Kings 3:28; 4:29-34). The queen of Sheba came “to test him with hard questions” (1 Kings 10:1ff), and in the end stated,

It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom.

Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: your wisdom and prosperity exceeds the fame of which I heard. (1 Kings 10:6-7 [6b])

2) Christians Properly Equipped

The wisdom and understanding that Solomon possessed as he ruled in the kingdom of Israel (associated with “a tree of life”) provides the central reason why the tree of life is found in association with Adam’s rule in Genesis and with the Christians’ rule yet future.

The fruit of this tree would have provided (for Adam) and will provide (for Christians) the necessary wisdom and understanding to govern in equity, justice, and righteousness.

God’s bestowal of wisdom, understanding, riches, wealth, and honor upon Solomon typifies that which He will bestow upon overcoming Christians during the coming age.

Through the fruit of the tree of life, God will provide the necessary wisdom and understanding to rule in the kingdom; by being co-heirs with God’s Son, Christians will come into possession of unlimited riches and wealth, for all the Father’s possessions will belong to the Son; and in these positions, Christians will realize a status of honor and glory befitting those elevated to such noble rank (Genesis 24:10, 36, 53; John 16:13-15; 1 Peter 1:9-11; 4:12-13; Revelation 4:11; 5:12).

The tree of life in Eden was a literal tree with literal fruit, as will be the tree of life in the new Jerusalem following the Millennium (Revelation 22:2). However, there is a possibility that the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God, reserved for Christians during the Millennium, may not be a literal tree as such. There is a sense in which Christ Himself is the Tree of Life, a Tree upon which Christians will one day feed, similar to the feeding upon Christ as is seen in John 6:48-56.

But, a feeding upon Christ in relation to the tree of life could only be at a future time alone. Scripture associates a present feeding in this respect with “manna,” not with a “tree.” The tree of life is located in the paradise of God and is connected with regality, something from which Christians are presently estranged.

This is not the day when Christians are to rule and reign. That day lies in the future. Thus, any feeding upon Christ today could not be associated with the tree of life. Rather, it would have to be associated with manna.

(As previously seen, in Genesis 1:12, God introduced something concerning trees that is unchangeable. Trees that yield fruit will always yield their fruit “after its kind.”

The tree of life is located in the paradise of God and associated with regality; and fruit born by this tree must be viewed accordingly. The tree will bear fruit “after its kind,” associated with the paradise of God and with regality; and this fruit can be eaten by man only after he finds himself exercising regality in the paradise of God, during the Messianic Era.)

Insofar as a feeding upon manna with respect to Christ, note the third overcomer’s promise (Revelation 2:17) The Israelites fed upon literal manna in the wilderness, but Christ is the Manna upon which Christians feed. Christ is “the bread of life”; and we “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood.” Through this process, we acquire that wisdom that comes from above; or, as Scripture states, “Christ . . . became [‘has become’] for us wisdom . . .” (John 6:48-58; 1 Corinthians 1:30; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:9, 28).

Christ is the Living Word that came down from heaven; and feeding upon the Living Word is accomplished through feeding upon the inseparable Written Word. In Christ are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3); and feeding upon Him, through the Written Word, allows us to develop and grow, becoming more and more like Him by acquiring this wisdom and knowledge.

Wisdom and knowledge acquired during the present time though is not for the purpose of equipping Christians to rule and reign. We are living during the time Christ is in heaven, with the present existing kingdom under the dominion and control of Satan. Wisdom and knowledge presently being acquired is for the sole purpose of equipping Christians to carry on the Lord’s business during His time of absence.

Wisdom and knowledge of a nature that will equip Christians to rule and reign will be acquired only from the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God. If this is a reference to Christ Himself, such a feeding upon Christ can only refer to something that is not available today but reserved for the overcomers during the coming age.

Christians allowed to partake of the tree of life in that day will, by partaking of this tree, be properly equipped for carrying on the Lord’s business following His return when He is revealed as “King of kings and Lord of lords”; and Christians carrying on His business then will do so through reigning as co-heirs with Him.

John, in two of the books that he wrote — the gospel of John and the book of Revelation — deals with the entire matter of saved individuals partaking of manna during the present time and partaking of both the tree of life and hidden manna yet future. Six of the eight times that John deals with man partaking after the preceding fashions have to do with man partaking of manna during the present time, during man’s 6,000-year day. And the seventh and eighth times have to do with man partaking of the tree of life and hidden manna during a future time, during the Lord’s 1,000-year day, during the Messianic Era.

(For more information on “the hidden manna,” refer to the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 7.)

The six partaking references occurring during man’s 6,000-year day are seen in John’s gospel:

1) Life — spiritual life, a passing “from death to life” — derived through the One who said “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 1:4; 10:10; 11:25).

2) Food — the “bread of life” (John 6:35).

3) Water — the “living water” (John 4:14; 7:37).

4) Breath — a continued breathing beyond the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life at the beginning (John 20:22).

5) Light — the “light of life” (John 8:12).

6) Dwelling Place — abiding “in the vine” (John 15:1-5).

But the Lord’s 1,000-year day will follow Man’s Day; and John dealt with man eating during this day through reference to both the tree of life and hidden manna, providing a seventh and an eighth partaking reference of Christ within that which he later wrote, recorded in the book of Revelation:

7) The Tree of Life — related to regality and a future inheritance in Christ’s kingdom (Revelation 2:7).

8) The Hidden Manna — also related to regality and a future inheritance in Christ’s kingdom (Revelation 2:17).

Then, as previously seen, a reference to the tree of life in association with the ages beyond the Messianic Era is also seen at the end of this same book (Revelation 22:2).

Fruit of the Righteous

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30)

The second mention of the “tree of life” in the book of Proverbs is in connection with righteousness and soul-winning. This is the identical connection one will find in the New Testament when studying the Christians’ association with the tree of life.

The “righteous” in Proverbs 11:30 are the ones who will be allowed to partake of the tree of life. With respect to Christians, such a righteousness cannot be looked upon as synonymous with the imputed righteousness of Christ received at the time one was saved, for every Christian possesses this righteousness. But, as is plainly revealed in Revelation 2:7, not every Christian will be allowed to partake of the tree of life. The righteousness in this verse can only have to do with “the righteous acts of the saints,” which form the wedding garment. The “righteous” are those Christians who will be properly clothed at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9 ASV). These are the Christians who will comprise the Church consisting of firstborn sons (Hebrews 12:23) and subsequently enter into the kingdom in positions of power and authority with Christ (Matthew 24:45-47; cf. Mat. 24:48-51).

Soul-winning in the New Testament is largely misunderstood in Christian circles today. This common terminology, which is not correct at all, is to equate soul-winning with carrying the message of salvation by grace through faith to the unsaved. In fact, equating soul-winning with the message of salvation by grace through faith serves only to obscure both issues, leaving one hopelessly mired in a sea of misinterpretation. Soul-winning is one thing, and proclaiming the message of salvation by grace through faith is another.

The former has to do with the saved, and the latter has to do with the unsaved. The messages involved in both issues MUST be kept separate and distinct, which necessitates Christians understanding proper distinctions in these two realms.

Salvation by grace through faith, carried to the unsaved, is the presentation of the simple gospel message. The unsaved are to be told “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2; 15:3). Christ has paid the penalty for sin. The work of redemption has been accomplished on man’s behalf, and God is satisfied. Provision has been made for unredeemed man to be saved through receiving that which Christ has done on his behalf. And he does this through simply believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).

Redeemed man, on the other hand, is to hear an entirely different message. He is to be taught the reason for his salvation. He is to be told that Christ has gone away “to receive for Himself a kingdom”; he is to be told that during the time of his Lord’s absence he is to be busy with the talents and pounds that the Lord delivered to and left in charge of His servants (Christians); he is to be told that a day of reckoning is coming; he is to be told that the Lord will return to judge His servants on the basis of their faithfulness in carrying out His business during His time of absence; and he is to be told that the outcome of this judgment will determine every Christian’s position in the coming kingdom (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27). It is within this overall message to the saved that one finds the salvation of the soul taught in Scripture, not within the message of salvation by grace through faith, proclaimed to the unsaved.

“Soul-winning” has to do with winning those who are already saved to a life of faithfulness to the Lord. “Soul-winning” is winning one’s life. This involves winning Christians (those possessing “life”) to be occupied with the Lord’s business during His time of absence, anticipating His return. And more specifically, this involves winning Christians to be occupied in this manner with that portion of the Lord’s business delivered to them personally.

Illustrated in the parables of the talents and the pounds, one servant was responsible only for bringing forth an increase in the talents or the pounds that had been placed in his possession, not in those that had been placed in another servant’s possession. Issues and determinations resulting from the judgment seat will be based strictly on the evaluation of works performed by Christians in complete keeping with that which is set forth in these two parables.

Direct references to the salvation of the soul are found in New Testament passages such as Matthew 16:24-27; Hebrews 10:38-39; James 1:21; 5:19-20; 1 Peter 1:9-11 and are always spoken of in a future sense within a context dealing with those who are already saved. Soul-winning is associated with the righteous acts of the saints, with overcoming, and with one day being extended the privilege of partaking of the tree of life. This is the reason that soul-winning is found within a context of this nature in Proverbs 11:30. It is the wise who win souls (win lives).

And they that are wise will shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)

Hope Realized

Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12).

The third mention of the “tree of life” in the book of Proverbs is in connection with hope that is realized. There is no tree of life as long as one’s hope is deferred. Only when “the desire comes [hope is realized]” does the tree of life come into view.

This thought from the book of Proverbs is in perfect accord with the Christians’ present hope in the light of the two previous references to the tree of life in this book. Christians have been “begotten” from above to 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 resurrection, but hope itself lies in things beyond resurrection. These things are revealed as an “inheritance” and a “salvation” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

“Hope,” “inheritance,” and “salvation” are inseparably linked in Scripture. It is only because we are saved (passive, salvation of the spirit) that we can possess a “hope.” And the hope that Christians possess looks ahead to the reception of an inheritance within a salvation (future, salvation of the soul) to be revealed.

The “blessed hope” in Titus 2:13 is one of the more familiar passages written to Christians in this respect. This hope is often said to be the return of Christ for His Church, but that’s not what this or any other passage in the New Testament dealing with the Christians’ hope teaches at all. Hope, as in Titus 2:13, is associated with the “appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (ASV).

The construction of the Greek text in Titus 2:13 actually makes hope synonymous with the appearing of Christ’s glory. Christians are the ones who possess this hope, as they are the ones who will 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 one’s present hope, for one cannot be separated from the other.

Christians realizing their present hope, and the overcomers in Revelation 2:7 who will be allowed to partake of the tree of life, are one and the same. This is the reason Proverbs 13:12 teaches that hope realized is “a tree of life.” Those Christians one day coming into a realization of their present hope will be the ones who constitute the rulers in the kingdom, the ones allowed to partake of the tree of life to equip them for service in their respective capacities in the kingdom.

A Wholesome Tongue

A wholesome ['tranquil'] tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4).

The epistle of James in the New Testament forms the commentary for the fourth and last mention of the “tree of life” in the book of Proverbs, demonstrating a number of things about the use of the tongue and showing the connection between Proverbs 15:4 and the three previous references to the tree of life in this book. James is an epistle dealing strictly with the salvation of the soul, providing certain indispensable information necessary for a proper understanding of this all-important subject.

The tree of life, on the other hand, is reserved for those Christians realizing the salvation of their souls; and a proper understanding of the tree of life is integrally related to a proper understanding of this salvation.

James mentions the tongue in chapter one (James 1:26-27) and then goes into a lengthy discourse in chapter three concerning this small member of the body and what it is capable of doing (James 3:1ff):

The tongue . . . boasts great things . . . is a fire, a world of iniquity . . . it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell [gehenna] . . . no man can tame the tongue; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:5-8)

A Christian’s spirituality can be seen through the control of his tongue, for the tongue can be properly controlled only through the use of that wisdom and knowledge that comes from above (James 3:5-8, 13-18). This thought from the epistle of James takes one back to Proverbs 3:13-18, where wisdom and knowledge are associated with the tree of life. And, in this same respect, “a wholesome tongue” also finds its association with the tree of life. A wholesome (tranquil) tongue results from the proper use of divinely imparted wisdom and knowledge.

Concluding Thoughts:

Man’s rule over the earth must wait for that time when Revelation 2:7 will be brought to pass. He that “overcomes” will realize the salvation of his soul (life), will realize that blessed hope, will come into possession of the required wisdom and knowledge necessary to rule as a co-regent with Christ in the kingdom, and will be shown to have a wholesome tongue [a tranquil tongue] in this rule.

This is what Scripture teaches concerning the presence of the tree of life in Eden, the absence of the tree of life in the world today, and the coming inheritance of the saints, when Christians will be allowed to partake of “the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Bride in Genesis, Appendix and/or The Bride in Genesis by Arlen Chitwood 

Also see The Tree of Life and The Tree of Life in Genesis, Proverbs, and Revelation in this site.

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

The Spiritual Warfare
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Commentary by Charles Strong of Bible One

Christians are presently engaged in a battle against powerful angelic rulers in the spirit world. These angels, ruling in the kingdom of Satan, are striving for the souls of men; and the outcome of this conflict, like any conflict, is determined by proper or improper preparation as one engages the enemy.

A properly prepared Christian can enter the conflict and consistently win battle after battle, but an improperly prepared Christian entering the conflict can only experience defeat time after time.

Victory is achieved through engaging the enemy within the framework of the Lord's instructions in Ephesians 6:10ff. A Christian though who engages the enemy after any other fashion is entering the conflict apart from the Lord's instructions, leaving himself in a very vulnerable position, one in which the enemy can consistently achieve victory.

Thus, in this respect, victory on the one hand or defeat on the other is determined by the Christian's preparation for the conflict at hand. A Christian can either heed the Lord's instructions or he can ignore the Lord's instructions. There is no middle ground (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23). The former will produce readiness for battle and result in victory, but the latter will leave the Christian very vulnerable to attack and can only result in defeat.

Victory for the Christian will actually be determined by how badly he wants to win. The overriding thought in Ephesians has to do with individuals being saved for a revealed purpose. Christians have been saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) in order to realize an inheritance in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3, 11, 18; 2:6-7; 3:1-6). The task of a pastor-teacher is to lead Christians into a mature knowledge of this inheritance, a mature knowledge of the things surrounding the purpose for their salvation (Eph. 4:11ff), resulting in their being filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18ff) and being able to engage the enemy after the fashion given at the end of this epistle (Eph. 6:10ff).

How badly do Christians really want to achieve victory over the enemy and one day realize the proffered inheritance with God's Son? That is the question that will determine what a Christian does about the Lord's instructions concerning proper preparation for the battle at hand.

Bible One - Charles Strong's Commentary on The Spiritual Warfare by Arlen Chitwood and The Spiritual Warfare by Arlen Chitwood

Also see Battles between a Christian's New and Old Natures  in this site.

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

Hurt By the Second Death and Sheep and Goats
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Exactly what does it mean “to be hurt by” the second death in Revelation 2:11?  In light of Revelation 20:4-6; 21:7-8, which deals with overcoming and being overcome, this can mean only one thing: Non-overcoming Christians are going to “have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8b).

“Fire” in Scripture is associated with the judgment of the saved as well as the judgment of the unsaved; and, following judgment, non-overcoming Christians will be “hurt by the second death,” which is associated with the lake of fire.

Thus, the time when this will occur is following events at the judgment seat. And though the Christians’ works will be tried in fire at the judgment seat, this is not synonymous with Christians having a part in “the lake that burns with fire and brimstones.”

Rather, at this judgment, Christians will be shown to have either overcome or to have been overcome, with the carrying out of decisions and determinations made at the judgment seat occurring at a time following these events.

(Note in the judgment of the unsaved in Revelation 20:11-15 that the lake of fire and the second death enter into the matter only following judgment. The lake of fire and the second death come into view only following decisions and determinations surrounding their judgment.

And it will be the same for the saved preceding this