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 God's Word Two

To say that the "in Christ" aspect of us can sin
would be to say Christ
(God) can sin.
~ 1 John 3:6; 5:18

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

Man's Commentaries
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Excerpt from:

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Had Ye Believed Moses, Ch. 1

Had Ye Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood, Ch. 1, Pg. 2

Man is often quick to check the commentaries, to see what another man has to say about a matter in Scripture.  But going to that which man has to say is checking that which is lifeless in an effort to shed light upon that which is living.  Something of this nature is like trying to set the celestial chronometer by the timepiece in Greenwich.  Neither is done, and the inverse of both must always be the case.

It matters not what man may think about the Word or about that which it has to say.  Man’s thoughts are totally immaterial.  The only thing of any moment whatsoever is the Word’s own testimony about itself or about any matter with which it deals, with the Word understood in the light of itself, under the guidance of the indwelling Spirit.

Note:  My title, not Arlen's.

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

Commentaries and Man by Arlen Chitwood.docx Commentaries and Man by Arlen Chitwood.docx
Size : 48.188 Kb
Type : docx

Biblical Perfection Numbers:

Three -- divine perfection

Seven -- spiritual perfection

Ten -- ordinal perfection

Twelve -- governmental perfection

The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom
Parts I, II, III and IV
By Arlen L. Chitwood of
Lamp Broadcast

Part I

Significance of that Seen in Matthew 16:28-17:5

“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him.

Then appeared Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 16:28-17:5).

The scene on the Mount, in Matthew 17:1-5, depicts that stated in the last verse of the preceding chapter — “the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:28). This is not a foreview of or something like Christ’s return in possession of the kingdom at this time (cf. Daniel 7:13-14). Rather, exactly as the text states, some standing there saw “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” God can deal with time and with events during time in this manner if He so desires.

God can move man back in time, or forward in time (e.g., He moved Ezekiel back in time and John forward in time [Ezek. 8:1ff; Rev. 1:10ff]). As well, God can change time as we know it if He so desires ( Joshua 10:12-14; Isa. 38:7-8; Amos 8:9; Matt. 24:22; 2 Peter 3:8). Then God can deal with events occurring during the time in which man has been placed.

The Scene in Matthew 17:1-5

The time when the Son of Man will come in His kingdom is seen to occur “after six days,” which places it in complete accord with all related Scripture — on the seventh day, the seventh 1,000-year period.

This is the way matters are presented, at the very beginning of the Old Testament, in the opening two chapters of Genesis, (Genesis 1; 2) establishing a foundational basis for that about to be revealed.

And, as well, this is the way matters are presented at the beginning of the New Testament, in the opening two chapters of John’s gospel (John 1; 2) again setting forth the same foundational basis previously seen beginning Genesis for that about to be revealed.

(Ref. the author’s pamphlet, “Genesis and John by Arlen Chitwood,” showing why John must be seen as the gospel beginning the N.T., not Matthew.)

The location used to depict the Son of Man coming in His kingdom was “an high mountain.” “A mountain” is used in Scripture to depict a kingdom. And Christ didn’t select just any mountain to depict that in view. Rather, Christ took three of His disciples up into “an high mountain.”

Note how “a mountain” is used in a metaphorical respect in Isa. 2:1-4 to depict not only Christ’s kingdom but lesser kingdoms on earth in that coming day — “the mountain of the Lord’s house [Christ’s kingdom] shall be established in the top of the mountains [all the subordinate world kingdoms, referred to in this respect later in the verse through the use of ‘hills’].”

Or, Dan. 2:35, 44-45, as Rev. 11:15, shows the matter after a slightly different fashion. In these sections of Scripture, the kingdom of Christ alone is seen, with all of the lesser world kingdoms seen as forming part of the worldwide kingdom of Christ.

In Daniel 2:35, 44-45, Christ is seen smiting the final form of Gentile world power at the time of His return (which will be a worldwide power under the Beast, Antichrist). And “a great mountain” is used to depict the kingdom of Christ as it will exist following the destruction of that depicted by the image. Then Rev. 11:15 simply states the same thing at the same time, apart from the use of metaphors:

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever,” (Rev. 11:15 NASB).

Those present on the Mount were Christ, Moses, Elijah, and three of the twelve disciples (Peter, James, and John).

Christ was “transfigured” before the disciples (enswathed in the Glory of God).

Moses and Elijah “appeared in glory” with Christ (evidently enswathed in Glory as well [Luke 9:31]), and “a bright cloud” overshadowed all present on the Mount (which could only be the Glory seen in an overall respect in the kingdom).

Then Peter, James, and John — though not enswathed in Glory, as the Others — were present within the overall scope of the Glory overshadowing everyone.

And Peter recognized this scene to be exactly what was being depicted. He suggested building three “tabernacles,” one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. This would be an allusion to the feast of Tabernacles, the seventh and last of the Jewish festivals, depicting offerings and a time of rest at the termination of that set forth by the previous six festivals (foreshadowing offerings during the earth’s coming Sabbath, the Messianic Era).

(These seven festivals form the prophetic calendar of Israel, having to do with events which will transpire following Christ’s return at the end of the Tribulation, leading into the Messianic Era. Refer to the author’s pamphlet, “The Seven Jewish Festivals by Arlen Chitwood.”)   Also see in this site: The Seven Jewish Festivals and Israel from Death to Life.

Jesus, Moses, and Elijah

When Jesus returns to the earth — that is, when the Son of Man comes “in his kingdom” — He will be accompanied by “the armies…in heaven,” seen and identified elsewhere as “angels” (cf. Matt. 24:31; 2 Thess. 1:7; Rev. 19:14). As well, according to the scene on the Mount in Matt. 17:1-5, Christ will be accompanied at this time by Moses and Elijah.

The matter can’t possibly be viewed after any other fashion. That which has already occurred in the respect depicted in Matt. 17:1-5 cannot be changed. Attempting to see Christ returning at the end of the Tribulation — “the Son of man coming in his kingdom” — apart from seeing Moses and Elijah accompanying Him would be the same as attempting to change something in past history.

The scene in Matt. 17:1-5 is simply future history which has already been depicted (has already occurred in one respect), though it will occur at a yet future date. And it must occur in the future exactly as it occurred in the past.

This will explain why two men were present on the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter one (Acts 1, specifically Acts 1:10) when Christ ascended, for He is to return in exactly the same manner that He went away. Two men were present when He went away, and two men will be present when He returns. And these two men are identified in Matthew 17:1-5.

(Why will these two particular men be with Christ at the time of His return? Aside from the simple fact that this is the way Biblical revelation presents the matter, there are evident, inseparably related reasons why they will be present [ref. Part III following].)

Peter, James, and John

One thing should be kept in mind about the scene set forth in Matt. 17:1-5. The scene, first and foremost, is Jewish. It is like and akin to the scene at the time of His ascension. Christ ascended with His hands raised, blessing the disciples (Luke 24:50-51). And, returning in the same manner that He went away, He will have His hands raised to bless, not just the disciples, but the entire Jewish nation.

This would be seen in Matt. 17:1-5 by the three disciples not only on the Mount in Christ’s presence but also overshadowed by God’s Glory. As at the ascension, blessings would move beyond them to the entire Jewish nation.

Then something not seen in Matt. 17:1-5, though dealt with in related Scripture, would be those down at the foot of and removed from the mount in all directions — the nations. Blessings will flow out from the Mount through a restored and blessed Jewish nation to those comprising all of the Gentile nations (Gen. 12:3).

The Church and Matthew. 17:1-5

Within the scope of the events as they are depicted in Matt. 17:1-5, the Church can be seen only in a secondary respect. The scene presented in these verses has to do with Christ’s return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation. The scene is Jewish, with the nations in view; and Christians will not be with Christ when he returns to the earth at this time to deal with Israel and the nations.

At least two of the types deal with this aspect of the matter.

In Gen. 45:1ff, when Joseph dealt with His brethren in Egypt, at the time he revealed himself to them, his wife (Asenath) was not with him. Rather she was in another part of the palace.

In Ex. 4:19ff, when Moses returned to Egypt to deal with Israel, his wife (Zipporah) only went part way with him. She was not with him in Egypt when he dealt with Israel through their religious leaders.

And Moses’ dealings with these religious leaders was with a view to his subsequent dealing with the leader of the Gentile world power of that day concerning the departure of the Jewish people from Egypt.

When Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, Christians, exactly as in the two referenced types, will not return to the earth with Him. [Those*] Christians, seen as Christ’s bride in that day, about to become His wife, may, as Zipporah, come part way (possibly remaining in the new Jerusalem in the heavens above the earth [the place from which Christ and His wife will reign during the Millennium]).

Or, as Asenath, the bride could be in another part of the palace when Christ deals with His brethren (again, possibly in the New Jerusalem above the earth).

Many individuals look upon the presence of Moses and Elijah in Matt. 17:1-5 as representing two types of Christians following the rapture — those who had died during the previous 2,000-year dispensation and had been raised from the dead, and those removed from the earth without dying.

Moses had died (Deut. 34:5-8), and it is evident from his appearance with Elijah on the Mount that God had later raised him from the dead (cf. Jude 1:9). And Elijah had been removed from the earth without dying (2 Kings 2:11).

In a secondary respect, one could draw a teaching from Matt. 17:1-5 concerning two types of Christians at the time of the rapture — the dead raised, the living removed without dying — but teachings of this nature drawn from this passage would have nothing to do with the primary interpretation of these five verses.

These verses have to do with “the Son of man coming in his kingdom,” accompanied by Moses, Elijah, and angelic armies (seen in corresponding Scripture).

Christians simply will not be thereMatthew 17:1-5 is Jewish, with the nations in view. And this must be recognized in order to properly understand that which is in view.

[*Added "Those"  = called out of the called as discussed in Part II.]

Part II

Seeing Christ in His Greatest (Regal) Magnificence

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I must put off this tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

Morever I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty [Gk., superlative; lit., ‘His greatest (regal) magnificence’].

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with him in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:12-18).

Peter wrote his second epistle about 60 A.D., which would have been almost three decades beyond the events on the Mount, seen in Matthew 17:1-5. And these events had been of such a nature that after all these years they were still uppermost in his mind.

At the end of instructions and exhortation pertaining to present Christian living with a view to that which lies out ahead (2 Peter 1:1-9), Peter called attention to the Christians’ “calling and election” (2 Peter 1:10). And, within context, a Christian’s “calling and election” have to do with “exceeding great and precious promises,” to be realized in the coming “kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:4, 12), which Peter goes on to deal with through that which he, James, and John had seen when they were with Christ ”in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:16-18).

Calling and Election”

Individuals are to give diligence to make their “calling and election sure.” The word “election” could be better translated called out. The words translated “calling” and “election” in this verse are from the same root forms as the cognate words in the Greek text translated “called” and “chosen” in Matthew 22:14, which should literally be translated,

 “For many are called, but few are called out.”

(Both an individual’s calling and out-calling have to do with the same thing. His calling can’t have to do with the Christian’s presently possessed salvation, for he can’t make that anymore “sure” than it already exists. Salvation by grace through faith has already been made “sure,” based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary.

An individual has been saved for a purpose; and that “purpose” would equate to his calling, as “realizing that purpose” would equate to his out-calling.

Both have to do with a future salvation, the salvation of the soul; and both have to do with Christians one day being called out of the called and realizing positions as co-heirs with Christ in His kingdom.)

The word “diligence” in verse ten (2 Peter 1:10) is from the same word also translated “diligence” in verse five (2 Peter 1:5).

With the same intensity that a person is to abundantly supply in his faith virtue…, he is to make his calling and out-calling “sure.” The word “sure” is the translation of a word which means “certain,” “firm,” “secure.” And to make his calling and out-calling “sure,” a Christian would have to be knowledgeable concerning that which is in view (note epignosis [Gk.], “mature knowledge,” in 2 Peter 1:8).

(There can be no such thing as following Biblical guidelines surrounding the purpose for one’s salvation and, at the same time, ignoring one’s calling and out-calling. The entire concept widely promulgated in Christian circles today which states or teaches that the one really important thing is just to be saved has no basis in Scripture whatsoever. Scripture places the emphasis on the purpose for one’s salvation. It is man who has turned this around and placed the emphasis back on salvation itself.)

The entire purpose for the present dispensation is to procure a bride for God’s Son, with a view to the coming age when the Son will reign over the earth with His consort queen (procured during the present dispensation).

God has set aside an entire dispensation lasting 2,000 years for this purpose. He sent His Spirit into the world at the beginning of the dispensation with specific instructions (seen in the type in Genesis 24:3-9). And the work of the Spirit throughout the dispensation, though it includes breathing life into the one who has no life (salvation of the unsaved), is primarily concerned with procuring a bride for God’s Son. And the bride is to be taken from the saved, not from the unsaved (seen in the type in Genesis 24 through the specific instructions which Abraham gave his servant and that which the servant did once he was in Mesopotamia — went to the city where Abraham’s kindred resided, and went to Abraham’s kindred in that city [Genesis 24:3-27]).

The whole of the matter surrounding the reason for the Spirit being sent into the world at the beginning of this dispensation has to do with one’s calling and out-calling. And Christians are to be knowledgeable concerning God’s plans and purposes for the present dispensation, making their calling and out-calling “sure.”

“In the Holy Mount”

Peter, following his exhortation to Christians pertaining to making their calling and out-calling sure (2 Peter 1:10), with a view to an abundant entrance into the kingdom (2 Peter 1:11), then states that he would “not be negligent” to keep those to whom he is writing “always in remembrance of these things.” And Peter was going to do this even though these Christians were already “established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12ff).

Peter knew that these Christians already possessed a firm foundation (literal understanding of the Greek text) in the things that he was proclaiming (2 Peter 1:12b). But that was of no moment to Peter. In time past he had seen something which they hadn’t seen; he had witnessed something which they hadn’t witnessed. He knew something from firsthand experience — the importance of keeping the whole overall teaching surrounding that awaiting Christians at the time of Christ’s return before them at all times.

Peter went on to state that he, along with others (James and John), had seen, with their own eyes, that of which he spoke. He had been on the Mount with James and John years earlier and had seen “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” He had seen, with his own eyes, the Son of Man in “His greatest [regal] magnificence” (2 Peter 1:16).

And God announced at this time, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Peter 1:17).  “Sonship” implies rulership. Only “Sons” can rule in God’s kingdom. That’s the way it has always been, and that’s the way it will always remain.

This announcement by God at this time — at the time when Peter saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom — is simply an announcement stating which Son God recognized as the One possessing the right to hold the earth’s sceptre.

In this respect, “Satan,” the incumbent ruler, was/ is a rejected son of God (“a son of God” because of creation, as are all angels). Christ though, at the time Satan tested Him for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:1-11), showed that He was the One possessing the right to hold the sceptre, in Satan’s stead. Christ showed that He, as God’s Son, was fully qualified to take the sceptre as the second Man, the last Adam (note Satan’s repeated statement, “If thou be the Son of God…” [Matthew 4:3, 6]).

Where Adam had failed, Christ could not fail. And that which Adam had lost in the fall Christ would redeem [which included both man and the forfeited domain].

(The redemptive terms for man are set forth early in Genesis — death and shed blood — pointing to Christ’s finished work at Calvary.

The redemptive terms for the forfeited domain [the earth] though are set forth in Revelation 5:1ff, a passage drawing principally from two O.T. types dealing with the subject [Ruth 4:1ff; Jeremiah 32:1ff].

For information on the preceding, refer to the author’s books, (Salvation by Grace through Faith by Arlen Chitwood and/or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 8 and Ch. 9).

Again, relative to sonship and rulership, note God’s statement concerning Christ following His baptism, immediately before being tested by Satan (Matthew 3:17). It is exactly the same as His statement in Matthew 17:5:

“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Then note Peter’s statement in Matthew 16:16, responding to Christ’s question, concerning Christ’s identity:

“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

It would not have been possible for Peter to have responded in a more accurate and complete manner.

This is why Jesus, in response, said, “Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”  (Matthew 16:17).

Peter had identified Christ through saying, in effect, “You are the One Who will rule and reign, the Son Whom God recognizes to possess this right.”

It was shortly after the preceding though that Peter was chastised by the Lord because of something which he stated in a completely opposite respect, which came from below, not from above.

The Lord, following the announcement concerning building His Church (Matthew 16:18-19) began revealing to the disciples approaching events pertaining to His death, burial, and resurrection. Peter, only a short time before, having made the statement concerning Christ’s Sonship and reign, couldn’t understand this at all. And, as a result, Peter took the Lord aside and “began to rebuke Him” (Matthew 16:20-21).

Jesus, in response, associated Peter directly with Satan:

“Get thee behind me, Satan…”  (Matthew 16:23)

Peter’s actions shortly before this had emanated from above, from God; now his actions emanated from below, from Satan.

(In reality, these are the only two spheres from which a person’s actions can emanate. A person, in his actions, can either be brought forth “from above” or “from below.” There is no middle ground [Luke 11:23].)

Six days later though the Lord allowed Peter, along with James and John, to have an experience pertaining to his confession concerning Christ’s identity which he would never be able to get away from or forget. And that is the experience recorded in Matthew 17:1-5.

The Lord allowed Peter to see something which would change his outlook on life completely. The Lord allowed Peter to see that toward which all of Scripture moves — “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

And almost three decades later, having seen Christ in “His greatest [regal] magnificence” had so impacted Peter that he could never get away from it. This is the one event in his life that he referenced to reveal why he was going to keep on hammering away at teachings surrounding Christ’s coming reign, even though the people whom he addressed were already well-grounded in these truths.

Because of the importance of that which Peter knew — Christians keeping their eyes fixed on that which he had personally witnessed — he was going to keep on proclaiming things pertaining to Christ’s coming kingdom to the point that they could never forget it. He was going to proclaim this message to the point that even after he was dead and gone they still couldn’t get away from it.

Part III

Moses and Elijah in That Day (I)

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto 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 shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”  (Mal. 4:4-6).

Different, though similar, expressions are used in Scripture to depict the whole of Scripture e.g., “To the law, and to the testimony” (Isa. 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, the whole of Scripture is once again in view. The Law was given through Moses, and Elijah was one of the prophets.

The same thing is seen through Moses and Elijah’s appearance together in Matt. 17:1-5 and Acts 1:9-11; also, because of that which is involved, evidently the two unidentified men at the empty tomb in Luke 24:4-7 were also Moses and Elijah.

(For information on the preceding, refer to the author’s pamphlet, “Two Men at the Empty Tomb by Arlen Chitwood.”)  Or in this website:  Two Men at the Empty Tomb.

Then there are a series of events of equal significance concerning these two men which 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 (Rev. 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 [Zech. 4:1-14, Zech. 4:14].

Because of the importance of Elijah’s future ministry to Israel, as seen in Mal. 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 Rev. 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 [Rev. 11:6].) 

Then, following the Tribulation when these two men return with Christ — i.e., when these two men, depicting the complete written Word [which is living], return with this Word manifested in the form of flesh [again, the living Word] — according to Biblical typology, there will be a continuation and conclusion to their preceding ministry during the Tribulation (Ex. 5:1ff; I Kings 17:1ff). That stated concerning Elijah’s ministry in relation to the Jewish people and the theocracy, seen in Isa. 40:1-5 and Mal. 3:1-4; 4:5-6, must be brought to pass.

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 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, through the ministry of the two witnesses, 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.

(For additional information on “signs” in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s three pamphlets, “Arlen Chitwood's Signs, Words and Miracles I, 2 and 3.”  Also Exodus and Revelation in this site adds to the preceding commentary.)

John 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 (Matt. 11:10-14; 17:10-13). But there was an “if” in connection with John being identified as Elijah by Christ in Matt. 11:14 — “if ye will receive…”

“In the Holy Mount”

Peter, following his exhortation to Christians pertaining to making their calling and out-calling sure (2 Peter 1:10), with a view to an abundant entrance into the kingdom (2 Peter 1:11), then states that he would “not be negligent” to keep those to whom he is writing “always in remembrance of these things.” And Peter was going to do this even though these Christians were already “established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12ff).

Peter knew that these Christians already possessed a firm foundation (literal understanding of the Greek text) in the things that he was proclaiming (2 Peter 1:12b). But that was of no moment to Peter. In time past he had seen something which they hadn’t seen; he had witnessed something which they hadn’t witnessed. He knew something from firsthand experience — the importance of keeping the whole overall teaching surrounding that awaiting Christians at the time of Christ’s return before them at all times.

Peter went on to state that he, along with others (James and John), had seen, with their own eyes, that of which he spoke. He had been on the Mount with James and John years earlier and had seen “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” He had seen, with his own eyes, the Son of Man in “His greatest [regal] magnificence” (2 Peter 1:16).

And God announced at this time, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Peter 1:17). “Sonship” implies rulership. Only “Sons” can rule in God’s kingdom. That’s the way it has always been, and that’s the way it will always remain.

This announcement by God at this time — at the time when Peter saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom — is simply an announcement stating which Son God recognized as the One possessing the right to hold the earth’s sceptre.

In this respect, "Satan," the incumbent ruler, was/is a rejected son of God (“a son of God” because of creation, as are all angels). Christ though, at the time Satan tested Him for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:1-11), showed that He was the One possessing the right to hold the sceptre, in Satan’s stead. Christ showed that He, as God’s Son, was fully qualified to take the sceptre as the second Man, the last Adam (note Satan’s repeated statement, “If thou be the Son of God…” [Matthew 4:3, 6]).

Where Adam had failed, Christ could not fail. And that which Adam had lost in the fall Christ would redeem [which included both man and the forfeited domain].

(The redemptive terms for man are set forth early in Genesis — death and shed blood — pointing to Christ’s finished work at Calvary.

The redemptive terms for the forfeited domain [the earth] though are set forth in Revelation 5:1ff, a passage drawing principally from two O.T. types dealing with the subject [Ruth 4:1ff; Jeremiah 32:1ff].

(For information on the preceding, refer to the author’s books, Salvation by Grace through Faith by Arlen Chitwood Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 8 and Ch. 9.)

Again, relative to sonship and rulership, note God’s statement concerning Christ following His baptism, immediately before being tested by Satan. It is exactly the same as His statement in Matthew 17:5:

“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Then note Peter’s statement in Matthew 16:16, responding to Christ’s question, concerning Christ’s identity:

“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

It would not have been possible for Peter to have responded in a more accurate and complete manner.

This is why Jesus, in response, said, “Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).

Peter had identified Christ through saying, in effect, “You are the One Who will rule and reign, the Son Whom God recognizes to possess this right.”

It was shortly after the preceding though that Peter was chastised by the Lord because of something which he stated in a completely opposite respect, which came from below, not from above.

The Lord, following the announcement concerning building His Church (Matthew 16:18-19) began revealing to the disciples approaching events pertaining to His death, burial, and resurrection. Peter, only a short time before, having made the statement concerning Christ’s Sonship and reign, couldn’t understand this at all. And, as a result, Peter took the Lord aside and “began to rebuke Him” (Matthew 16:20-21).

Jesus, in response, associated Peter directly with Satan:

“Get thee behind me, Satan…”

Peter’s actions shortly before this had emanated from above, from God; now his actions emanated from below, from Satan.

(In reality, these are the only two spheres from which a person’s actions can emanate. A person, in his actions, can either be brought forth “from above” or “from below.” There is no middle ground [
Luke 11:23].)

Six days later though the Lord allowed Peter, along with James and John, to have an experience pertaining to his confession concerning Christ’s identity which he would never be able to get away from or forget. And that is the experience recorded in Matthew 17:1-5.

The Lord allowed Peter to see something which would change his outlook on life completely. The Lord allowed Peter to see that toward which all of Scripture moves — “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

And almost three decades later, having seen Christ in “His greatest [regal] magnificence” had so impacted Peter that he could never get away from it. This is the one event in his life that he referenced to reveal why he was going to keep on hammering away at teachings surrounding Christ’s coming reign, even though the people whom he addressed were already well-grounded in these truths.

Because of the importance of that which Peter knew — Christians keeping their eyes fixed on that which he had personally witnessed — he was going to keep on proclaiming things pertaining to Christ’s coming kingdom to the point that they could never forget it. He was going to proclaim this message to the point that even after he was dead and gone they still couldn’t get away from it.

Part IV

Moses and Elijah in That Day (II)

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto 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 shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse (Mal. 4:4-6).

As seen in Part III of this document, Moses and Elijah will be very instrumental in events surrounding Christ’s return, both immediately preceding His return (during the Tribulation) and at the time of and immediately following His return. Christ will return, not only accompanied by angels (for particular, revealed reasons), but also accompanied by Moses and Elijah (for particular, revealed reasons as well).

Angels accompanying Christ will be sent out to regather the Jewish people from a worldwide dispersion (Matthew 24:29-31). And they will evidently be instrumental in His numerous dealings with the Jewish people at this time, as angels were instrumental in God’s numerous dealings with His people in the past (cf. Gen. 18:1ff; Ex. 23:20-23; Deut. 33:2; 2 Kings 19:35; Ps. 68:17; 78:25; Dan. 6:22; Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2)

Moses and Elijah accompanying Christ will be instrumental in events occurring in two realms:

1) The nations, under the Assyrian (the Beast, the Antichrist) ruling the world in that day.

2) Israel, scattered among these same nations.

Moses, as in the type in Exodus, will evidently be instrumental in God’s dealings with the nations at this time. And Elijah, as in the type in I Kings, in line with that prophesied concerning Elijah in Mal. 3:1-3; 4:5-6, can only be seen as instrumental in God’s dealings with the Jewish people at this time.

A Seventy-Five-Day Period

Something often overlooked in Biblical prophecy is a seventy-five-day period seen in the closing three verses of Daniel’s prophecy.

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

But go thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (Dan. 12:11-13 NASB).

Numerous events relative to Israel and the nations will occur between the time of Christ’s return and the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom. Little thought is usually given to these events, though the matter is dealt with extensively in Scripture. Too often a somewhat blended picture of central events occurring at this time is seen — Christ’s return, His dealings with Israel (the national conversion, resurrection of O.T. saints, and the restoration of the nation), and the overthrow of Gentile world power.

Scripture though, as previously stated, provides a wealth of information pertaining to the numerous events surrounding Christ’s return. And, within this information, there is a sequence to the order in which these events will occur.

The setting up of “the abomination that maketh desolate,” referred to in Dan. 12:11, is a reference to the actions of the Assyrian breaking his covenant with Israel and desecrating the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt temple. This will occur at the exact mid-point of the seven-year Tribulation (cf. Dan. 8:9-14; 9:26-27; 11:30-32; Matt. 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Rev. 11:1-2; 12:4-6, 13-16), a period comprised of 2,520 days, or two equal 1,260-day periods (Dan. 7:25; 9:24-27; 12:7; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5).

Daniel 12:11 takes one thirty days beyond the end of the Tribulation, and the next verse (Daniel 12:12) takes one an additional forty-five days beyond the initial thirty, totalling seventy-five days. Then the next verse (Daniel 12:13), the last verse in Daniel, concludes the matter by revealing the time in relation to these seventy-five days when Daniel would be allowed to stand in his “lot” (i.e., be raised from the dead and realize his inheritance in the land [cf. Num. 26:55; 34:13; 36:2-3; Josh. 14:2; Dan. 12:1-3]).

Thus, the resurrection and restoration of Israel can only be placed toward and at the end of this seventy-five-day period. Numerous events, having to do with both Israel and the nations will occur before this time. Elijah will be instrumental in events having to do with the Jewish people during this time, and Moses will evidently be instrumental in events having to do with the nations during this same time.

Elijah and Israel

The type which one can draw from pertaining to Elijah has to do with his experiences with Ahab (the king in Israel during Elijah’s day, who had married Jezebel, a pagan king’s daughter) and his subsequent experiences with the prophets of Baal and with unbelieving Israel on Mount Carmel.

This was one of the darkest periods in Israeli history. Ahab had led Israel into Baal worship, along with other forms of idolatry; and during his reign the city of Jericho was rebuilt (a curse rested upon anyone rebuilding this city [cf. Josh. 6:26; I Kings 16:34]).

Scripture states that

 “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (I Kings 16:30-34).

This was the situation when Elijah appeared on the scene, beginning a sequence of events — lasting three and one-half years, during which no rain fell throughout the land — which was climaxed by belief in Israel, the prophets of Baal being slain, and rain falling in torrents (I Kings 17:1-18:45; James 5:17-18).

And when Elijah appears to Israel following the Tribulation, it will be after three and one-half years of a rule of the most corrupt and wicked Gentile king that the world will have ever known, one who will seek to destroy Israel from off the face of the earth.

And Elijah, possibly after a similar fashion, will once again bring about that which he brought to pass on Mount Carmel.

He will bring about conditions of a nature which will cause the hearts of the people to turn to the Prophets and the hearts of the Prophets to turn to the people, i.e., bring about belief among the Jewish people where unbelief had previously existed, belief and adherence to that which the Prophets had previously stated (cf. I Kings 18:37-39; Mal. 4:5-6).

Then, in conjunction with the preceding, Elijah is going to bring about a people ready to receive their Messiah when He subsequently reveals Himself to them.

Two complete chapters in the Book of Revelation, extending into part of a third chapter (Rev. 17; 18; 19a), are given over to depicting Israel in the kingdom of Antichrist and that which will happen as a result of Elijah’s ministry immediately following the Tribulation. Israel’s harlotry is seen at an apex and then quickly brought to an end in these chapters. And Scripture elsewhere, having to do with Elijah’s future ministry, tells how this will be done (ref. the author’s pamphlets, The Beast and the Woman by Arlen Chitwood, Part I, Part II and Babylon and Jerusalem by Arlen Chitwood, Part I and Part II).

Moses and the Nations

The things having to do with that which will evidently be Moses’ ministry as it pertains to the nations during this same time also occupies several chapters in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 8; 9; 16).

When the sixth seal of the seven-sealed scroll (Revelation 5) is opened in Rev. 6:12, events being depicted will occur near and at the end of the Tribulation. The kingdom of the Assyrian is seen in utter chaos, a decimated kingdom. Then the heavens are opened (exactly as in Rev. 19:11ff, for they are two depictions of the same scene), with God’s Christ coming forth as “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” though described in a different manner in Rev. 6:16 (as One seated “on a throne”).

And those on the earth — from governmental rulers on thrones to individuals in prisons — will seek to distance themselves from the One coming forth. The kingdom of this world will be in shambles at this time, and those on the earth will evidently have some understanding of what the presence of the One coming forth means, for they will seek to hide themselves and say to the “mountains and rocks”:

“Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.

For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:16-17).

The seventh seal has yet to be broken at this point in time, containing the climactic judgments, the seven trumpet and seven vial judgments (which are the same judgments described two different ways, in the same manner that the two depictions of the heavens being opened and Christ coming forth are seen and described in the book two different ways).

(Note that Scripture is quite often structured in the preceding manner, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation [e.g., the first thirty-four verses of Genesis cover the whole of Scripture in a skeletal framework; then commentary is provided, adding the sinews, flesh, and skin; or, in the Book of Revelation, note that Rev. 1:10-11 and Rev. 4:1-2 describe exactly the same scene; or that Rev. 10:1-7 and Rev. 16:17-21 describe exactly the same end].

Refer to the author’s book, The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood, where this structure of Scripture, as seen particularly in the Book of Revelation, is discussed different places.)

The judgments under the seventh seal (the seven trumpet and seven vial judgments) have to do with judgments upon the kingdom of the Assyrian of that day, which will already be a decimated kingdom when the seventh seal is broken and these judgments commence. And these judgments parallel the ten plagues which befell the kingdom of the Assyrian in history (Ex. 7-12).

Both seven and ten are complete numbers, showing complete judgment befalling the kingdom of the Assyrian in both history and prophecy.

And the reason why judgment of this nature will befall the kingdom of the Assyrian in prophecy can only be the same as the reason why it befell the kingdom of the Assyrian in history.

The Assyrian in history was not only seeking to destroy the Jewish people but he would not allow them to leave Egypt in order to realize the rights of the firstborn in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And the Assyrian in prophecy will do exactly the same thing relative to the Jewish people scattered worldwide, scattered throughout his kingdom.

(God’s power, of course, could easily have overridden the Assyrian’s power in history, as will be the case with the Assyrian’s power in prophecy as well [that is, God could have simply removed His people/ can one day simply remove His people through Divine power, regardless of the Assyrian’s attitude, with that being the end of the matter].

But that is all beside the point. God has chosen to exhibit His power after another fashion entirely. God has chosen to bring matters to pass His way, through His means, resulting in an even greater manifestation of
Divine power
[cf. Ex. 9:15-16; Rev. 17:16-17].)

In history, Moses and Aaron confronted the Assyrian, with one message from God. And, in prophecy, evidently Christ Himself and Moses will confront the Assyrian, with the same singular message:

“Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

And I say unto thee, Let my son go that he may serve me [realizing the rights of the firstborn, in another land]: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn” (Ex. 4:22-23).

In history, the Assyrian’s kingdom was decimated following Moses and Aaron’s appearances before him, with the Assyrian and his armed forces destroyed in the Red Sea following Israel’s removal from Egypt.

And in prophecy, matters will occur exactly the same way.

The Assyrian’s kingdom will be even further decimated (following Christ’s return, with His and evidently Moses’ appearance[s] before him), with his kingdom completely destroyed after Israel has been removed from that which Egypt typifies, from a worldwide dispersion (Isa. 63:1-4; Ezek. 38-39; Joel 2:1ff; 3:1ff; Rev. 19:17-21).

(Ref. the author’s book, The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood , Chapters 16-19, or in this site The Time of the End, for information on the completion of God’s judgment upon the kingdom of the future Assyrian after the preceding fashion.)

Lamp Broadcast by Arlen Chitwood

Arlen Chitwood's Coming in His Kingdom which includes not only the four parts above, but also Two Men at the Empty Tomb which follows. 

 The Whole of Scripture Summarized:
Creation - Ruin - Restoration - Rest
 

Two Men at the Empty Tomb
That Which Scripture Reveals About These Two Men
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher bringing spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

And they entered and found not the body of Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold two men stood by them in shining garments” (Luke 24:1-4).

Comparing the four different gospel accounts having to do with events at and surrounding an empty tomb, it is evident that there were at least two men present, and possibly at least two or three angels as well. To render announcements and provide explanations pertaining to Christ’s resurrection, two men are seen in Luke 24:4 and either men or angels are seen in the other three gospel accounts. That seen in the account in Luke pertaining to two men at the empty tomb is the key to understanding the whole panorama of that stated in the gospel accounts surrounding Christ’s resurrection. And that stated in the account not only shows that these two individuals were men (not angels) but reveals their identity as well.

Then, since men are being dealt with in Luke 24:4 (as will be shown), the issue needs to be raised about the possible identity of those referred to as “angels” in Matthew’s account (Mat.28:2-7), further down in Luke’s account (Luke 24:23), and in John’s account (John 20:12), or the “young man” referred to in Mark’s account (Mark 16:5).

Conceivably, only the two men in Luke 24:4 could be in view throughout these accounts — one referred to in Mark’s account, and both referred to as “angels" in the other two gospel accounts.

Aggelos

Aggelos is the word translated “angel” in the New Testament, though “angel” is more of a transliterated form of the word than a translation (there is a Greek word for “angel” [angelos], though it is not used in the N.T.).

Aggelos means “messenger” or “announcer.” And the word, within its basic, primary meaning, would have no more reference to angels than to man, or vice versa. The word would simply refer to a messenger.

Aside from at least six references (Matt. 11:10; Mark. 1:2; Luke 7:24, 27; 9:52; James 2:25 [aggelos translated “messenger” each time, referring to men]), and possibly the cited references surrounding Christ’s resurrection in the gospel accounts, the remaining usages of aggelos would appear to refer to “angels” as God’s messengers. Other words are usually used when referring to messengers in the human realm.

Anthropos, Aner

Anthropos and Aner are the two main words used for and meaning “man” in the Greek New Testament. Anthropos appears over five hundred times and aner over two hundred times. And any distinguishable difference between the two words would be quite minute.

A plural form of aner is the word translated “men” in both Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 (two men seen at both the tomb following Christ’s resurrection and on Mt. Olivet at the time of Christ’s ascension).

Aner is never used in the New Testament to refer to other than “men,” unless Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 form exceptions, as some Bible students and commentators attempt to teach (though aner is used in this manner in the Septuagint [ref. Gen. 18; 19]).

However, as will be shown, the thought that aner references angels in Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 is incorrect. Those seen in both passages are not only clearly revealed to be men, but they are clearly identified as well.

Clearly Revealed to Be Men

To properly understand the full thrust of the way in which the men in Luke 24:4 were arrayed (which is the previously mentioned key to the whole of the matter), it will be necessary to draw some background material from Genesis. And this would have to do with the purpose for man’s creation, fall, and restoration.

Man was created to take the earth’s sceptre from a disqualified provincial ruler (Satan), his fall resulted from this ruler’s attempt to continue on the throne, and his restoration (redemption, beginning with Adam and Eve, continuing today) has to do with man ultimately realizing the purpose for his creation in the beginning. All of this is laid out in the opening thirtyfour verses of Genesis, with the remainder of Scripture simply forming commentary on these opening verses.

In the preceding respect note man’s fall, that which he lost at the time of the fall, and that which must be regained before man can occupy the position for which he was created in the beginning.

When man sinned in the garden in Eden, the complete being of man spirit, soul, and body became in a fallen state. God had commanded Adam concerning the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17).

After Satan had deceived Eve into eating of the fruit of this tree, she then “gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Immediately following this, “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:1-7).

At the time of the fall, Adam and Eve lost something; and it is clearly stated in Scripture that both immediately recognized this fact. That which they lost could only have been a covering of pristine glory which had previously clothed their bodies, for they, following the fall, found themselves in a twofold condition:

1) Naked.
2) Separated from God.

God is arrayed in a covering of “light,” connected with “honour and majesty.” And man, created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, could only have been arrayed in a similar manner prior to the fall.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art covered with [‘you have put on’] honor and majesty.

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain” (Ps. 104:1-2).

Recognizing the loss of this covering, realizing that they were naked, explains why Adam and Eve immediately sought to clothe themselves following the fall. They tried to replace the covering which had been lost with a work of their own hands, with fig leaf aprons. And then, apparently realizing the utter inadequacy of this covering, they, in their fallen state, sought to hide from God.

God, finding Adam and Eve in this condition, completely rejected the works of their hands. God completely rejected their feeble efforts to atone for their own sin through seeking to replace the covering of pristine glory with fig leaves.

Then, to bring His fallen creature back into a right relationship (although not in complete keeping with their previously unfallen state — something still future even today), God provided a covering consisting of animal skins (Gen. 3:21). This necessitated death and the shedding of blood; and herein lie basic, unchangeable truths concerning the state of fallen man and the means which are necessary to effect his redemption.

Unredeemed man is a fallen creature, alienated from God; and two things are necessary to effect his redemption:

1) Divine intervention.
2) Death and shed blood.

These truths have forever been set forth in the opening chapters of Genesis and can never change.

(Two different words are used for “naked” in the Hebrew text of Gen. 2:25 [before the fall] and Gen. 3:7 [after the fall]. In the latter [Gen. 3:7], the word has to do with absolute nakedness, but not so in the former [Gen. 2:25].

Remaining within the way a person dressed in the East at the time Moses wrote Genesis, and at later times as well, the word used relative to nakedness pertaining to Adam and Eve preceding the fall [Gen. 2:25] could be used to describe a person clothed in a tunic [inner garment] but lacking the mantle or cloak [outer garment]. In the preceding respect, prior to the fall, Adam and Eve were clothed in the Glory of God but had yet to possess the regal, outer garments worn by kings [fulfilling the reason for man’s creation — to rule the earth (Gen. 1:26-28)].

Then, following the fall, no longer clothed in the Glory of God, Adam and Eve were no longer in a position to be further clothed in regal garments, realizing the purpose for their creation. They, apart from the inner garment [the Glory] could not wear the outer garments [royal apparel].

Adam, prior to the fall, never wore regal garments or held the sceptre. In this respect, he never moved beyond the description given in Gen. 2:25 — a “naked” condition, “naked” in relation to the reason for his creation [lacking the outer regal garments].

Thus, if man, now separated from the Glory, is to ever fulfill the purpose for his creation, God must act. Redemption has to occur; and this, of necessity, has to include the complete man — spirit, soul, and body — with a view to not only a restoration of the Glory but to regality beyond this restoration.)

See Coverings of Glory, Adam and Eve's and Adam and Eve Questions Answered in this site.

The preceding furnishes the background material to properly understand that revealed in Luke 24:4 concerning the manner in which the two men at the tomb following Christ’s resurrection were arrayed.

First and foremost, they were arrayed in a covering of Glory. The word “shining,” describing their “garments” is the same word in the Greek text (astrapto) which Luke had used earlier in his gospel to describe Christ’s garments at the time He was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James, and John on the Mount — “…his raiment was white and glistening” (Luke 9:29). As well, Moses and Elijah, on the Mount with Christ, had the same type raiment (Luke 9:30-31).

(There is one difference in the word astrapto as seen in both Luke 9:29 [trans. “glistening”] and Luke 24:4 [trans. “shining”]. In Luke 9, relative to Christ, the preposition ek is prefixed to the word. This preposition means, “out from,” and provides an added emphasis on the Glory shining out from Christ.)

The raiment seen on Christ, Moses, and Elijah while on the Mount had to do with a covering of Glory, the covering which Adam and Eve lost at the time of the fall.

The preceding is evident from that depicted by the scene on the Mount — the Son of Man coming in His kingdom, with power and great Glory.

And this is how the two men at the tomb were arrayed as well. They were arrayed in a covering of Glory, something reserved for man, not angels. Only man, among those in God’s creation, has been created in the “image” and “likeness” of God; and man was created in God’s “image” and “likeness,” arrayed in Glory, for a purpose, which is regal.

Angels simply do not occupy a position of this nature in relation to God’s “image” or “likeness.” They are seen associated with God’s Glory but never in a covering of Glory. That is reserved for man alone, which provides the means to know and understand that the two individuals at the empty tomb in Luke 24:4 have to be looked upon, exactly as Scripture states, as “men.”

Clearly Identified

Then, beyond the preceding, these two men can be identified. They can be identified by name as well.

There are only three men in all of human history that could have been clothed in Glory at the time of the events leading into Calvary — Enoch, Moses, and Elijah — for all others had died and have yet (unlike Moses [Jude 1:9]), even today, to be raised from the dead, providing bodies to be clothed (and those raised during Christ’s earthly ministry or following His resurrection cannot be considered; none could have possessed a body enswathed in glory).

(Note that even Christ was not raised in a body with a covering of Glory. The Glory did not enswathe His body until forty days later, when a Cloud received Him out of the disciple’s sight, when He was caught up into Glory [Acts 1:9; I Tim. 3:16].

Rather He was raised in a spiritual body as opposed to the natural — the same body which had been placed in the tomb but with the life-giving, animating principle being the Spirit rather than the blood.

His blood is presently on the mercy seat in heaven.)

Nothing is revealed about Enoch in relation to a covering of Glory, just Moses and Elijah. Moses and Elijah were with Christ on the Mount in Matt. 17:1-5. Thus, they also had to be the ones present on the Mount of Olives when Christ ascended. This is plain from the fact that Jesus is going to return exactly as He went away (Acts 1:11). And since He will return with Moses and Elijah, as seen in Matt. 17:1-5, the two men present when He went away can only be identified as Moses and Elijah.

Then, in an inseparable respect, it would only have been natural for Moses and Elijah to have appeared at the empty tomb in this same manner, for Christ was raised on the third day, as He will be raised on the third day yet future (the third 1,000-year period).

And Moses and Elijah will be with Him in that coming day.

(For additional information on Matt. 17:1-5, refer to the author’s book, “Arlen Chitwood's Coming in His Kingdom” or in this website The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom.)

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

 Wealth without righteousness leads to unhappiness because riches cannot fulfill us.

The Seven Jewish Festivals
The Prophetic Calendar of Israel
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

The seven festivals in Leviticus 23 constitute what could be called, “The Prophetic Calendar of Israel.”

(These seven festivals are Jewish, not Christian. They were given to Israel, through Moses, and have to do with the Jewish people alone.

A secondary application of that seen in these festivals — that foreshadowed by the events, along with the sequence in which these events occurred — can be seen in the history of the Church, but that is neither here nor there. These festivals are Jewish, they have to do first and foremost with the Jewish people, and this must be recognized.)

These seven festivals outline in chronological order a sequence of events about to transpire in the camp of Israel, and are all unfulfilled insofar as Israel is concerned. The fulfillment of Israel’s national Passover (the first of the seven festivals) in the antitype of Exodus 12 is yet future, as are events in the other six festivals.

Events surrounding the Passover must occur first, and this feast of the Lord will not be fulfilled until the end of the Tribulation.

The progression of events in these seven festivals reveal a progression of events which will occur in the camp of Israel when Christ returns as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek to deliver His covenant people:

a) Passover (Leviticus 23:4-5):

This festival has to do with the national conversion of Israel, when the nation looks upon the Pierced One.

The Lamb has already died, the blood has been shed (Ex. 12:6), but Israel has yet to apply the blood (Ex. 12:7).

In this respect, the festival was partially fulfilled almost 2,000 years ago, but the complete fulfillment awaits a future date. Israel today dwells between the statement ending Ex. 12:6 and the statement beginning Ex. 12:7, and this festival can be fulfilled only when the nation acts in accordance with that stated in verse seven:

“…the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it [the paschal lamb, foreshadowing the Paschal Lamb which Israel slew 1,500 years later] in the evening [lit., ‘between the evenings,’ which is part way between noon and 6 PM].

And they shall take of the blood [that which Israel has yet to do]…” (Ex. 12:6b - Ex. 12:7a).

Note in the type that the Passover occurred while Israel was still in Egypt. In the antitype Israel will have her national Passover while the nation is still scattered throughout the Gentile world (“Egypt” is always a type of the world in Scripture). This is the time when “they [the Jewish people] will look upon” their Messiah, and a nation will be “born at once” (Zech. 12:10; Isa. 66:8).

b) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-8):

This festival has to do with the removal of sin from the house (house of Israel) after the Passover. Of what sins is Israel guilty?

Israel is guilty of disobedience over centuries of time, with an apex of this disobedience seen in Israel’s harlotry out among the nations.

Then the Jewish people climaxed their sins by crucifying their Messiah when He appeared to the nation.

And, because of this climactic act, Israel is presently unclean through contact with the dead body of the nation’s Messiah, and will remain unclean for two days (2,000 years). After two days, on the third day (on the third 1,000-year period [after the Tribulation, which will end the two days]), Israel is going to acknowledge her sins in the presence of the very One Whom she crucified (cf. Gen. 44:16). Israel will then put sin out of the house (out of the house of Israel).

c) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:9-14):

This festival has to do with resurrection. Christ was raised from the dead on this day, and Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead at this time, fulfilling this festival. The first fruits of the resurrection of Old Testament saints occurred after Christ was raised (Matt. 27:52-53). The main harvest will follow.

d) Pentecost [Feast of Weeks] (Leviticus 23:15-22):

Note what began to occur on the day of Pentecost, 33 A.D. (Acts 2:1ff). Joel’s prophecy began to be fulfilled, and this prophecy would have been completely fulfilled had Israel done what Peter told the Jews to do in Acts 2:38 — national repentance, followed by national baptism.

However, Israel did not repent, the nation was subsequently set aside for a dispensation, and any fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy has also been set aside with Israel for a dispensation. Joel’s prophecy cannot be fulfilled today, even in part. But it will be fulfilled immediately after the resurrection of Old Testament saints (Joel 2:27-32).

e) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25):

This festival has to do with the regathering of Israel. Christians await a trumpet calling them into the heavens before the Tribulation; Israel awaits a trumpet calling the nation back into the land after the Tribulation, following Christ’s return (Matt. 24:29-31; I Thess. 4:16-18).

f) Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32):

This festival has to do with a cleansing from sin for a people who will have already availed themselves of the blood of the Passover Lamb. Activities on this day have to do with blood on the mercy seat and cleansing from sin (sins previously acknowledged and put out of the house [the house of Israel]), fulfilling the festival of unleavened bread.

Atonement is to be provided for Israel’s sin of crucifying her Messiah (the same blood shed at Calvary, now on the mercy seat). Note the order in Ezek. 36:24-25 — a regathering before cleansing from sin.

g) Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-44):

This is the last of the festivals and has to do with offerings made unto the Lord and a time of rest at the conclusion of the preceding feasts of the Lord. This points forward to the millennial offerings (Ezek. 45:15ff; 46:2ff) and a time of rest in the coming age after the conclusion of events surrounding the first six feasts of the Lord.

This festival lasted for seven days — a complete period of time — pointing forward to the complete duration of the Millennium.

Following the return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation, as previously seen, there will be a seventy-five-day period between the end of the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy and the beginning of the Millennium (Dan. 12:11-13). It appears evident that the events set forth in the first six feasts of the Lord, leading up to events in the terminal festival, the feast of Tabernacles, will transpire during this time.

Then the feast of Tabernacles itself will be fulfilled during the ensuing millennial reign.

The Seven Jewish Festivals by Arlen Chitwood

Also see Israel from Death to Life in this site.

Described in Leviticus 23, The Feast of Weeks is the second of the three “solemn feasts” that all Jewish males were required to travel to Jerusalem to attend (Exodus 23:14–17; 34:22–23; Deuteronomy 16:16). This important feast gets its name from the fact that it starts seven full weeks, or exactly 50 days, after the Feast of Firstfruits. Since it takes place exactly 50 days after the previous feast, this feast is also known as “Pentecost” (Acts 2:1), which means “fifty.”

Also see The Trumpet of Pentecost regarding the first Pentecost and Trump, in this site.

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

Who are the Two Witnesses in the book of Revelation?

By Got Questions

(Note:  Being a student of both Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast and Charles Strong of Bible One I'm convinced the Two Witnesses are Moses and Elijah!)

There are three primary viewpoints on the identity of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-12:

(1) Moses and Elijah, (2) Enoch and Elijah, (3) two unknown believers whom God calls to be His witnesses in the end times.

(1) Moses and Elijah are seen as possibilities for the two witnesses due to the witnesses' power to turn water into blood (Revelation 11:6), which Moses is known for (Exodus 7), and their power to destroy people with fire (Revelation 11:5), which Elijah is known for (2 Kings 1). Also giving strength to this view is the fact that Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3-4). Further, Jewish tradition expected Moses and Elijah to return in the future. Malachi 4:5 predicted the return of Elijah, and the Jews believed that God’s promise to raise up a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18) necessitated his return.

(2) Enoch and Elijah are seen as possibilities for the two witnesses because they are the two individuals whom God has taken to heaven apart from experiencing death (Genesis 5:23; 2 Kings 2:11). The fact that neither Enoch or Elijah have experienced death seems to qualify them to experience death and resurrection, as the two witnesses experience (Revelation 11:7-12). Proponents of this view claim that Hebrews 9:27 (all men die once) disqualifies Moses from being one of the two witnesses, as Moses has died once already (Deuteronomy 34:5). However, there are several others in the Bible who died twice — e.g., Lazarus, Dorcas, and the daughter of the synagogue ruler—so there is really no reason why Moses should be eliminated on this basis.

View (3) essentially argues that Revelation chapter 11 does not attach any famous identity to the two witnesses. If their identities were Moses and Elijah, or Enoch and Elijah, why would Scripture be silent about this? God is perfectly capable of taking two "ordinary" believers and enabling them to perform the same signs and wonders that Moses and Elijah did. There is nothing in Revelation 11 that requires us to assume a "famous" identity for the two witnesses.

Which view is correct?

The possible weakness of (1) is that Moses has already died once, and therefore could not be one of the two witnesses, who die, which would make Moses a contradiction of Hebrews 9:27. Proponents of (1) will argue that all of the people who were miraculously resurrected in the Bible (e.g., Lazarus) later died again. Hebrews 9:27 is viewed, then, as a "general rule," not a universal principle.

There are no clear weaknesses to view (2), as it solves the "die once" problem, and it makes sense that if God took two people to heaven without dying, Enoch and Elijah, it was to prepare them for a special purpose.

There are also no clear weaknesses to view (3).

All three views are valid and plausible interpretations that Christians can have. The identities of the two witnesses is an issue Christians should not be dogmatic about.

Also see Two Witnesses in The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom, Part III, and Two Men at the Empty Tomb in this site .

 Got Questions - Who are the Two Witnesses in Revelation?

We must come to 'good works' by faith, we can't come to 'good works' by self. 

What should we learn from the life of Elijah?
By Got Questions

The Prophet Elijah is one of the most interesting and colorful of all biblical characters, yet his life was so filled with turmoil that today we might say he was up one day and down the next. Because Elijah was at times bold and decisive and at other times fearful and tentative, we have much to learn from him. In the narratives in which Elijah is the central character, we find principles that demonstrate the victory in the life of a believer as well as defeat and recovery. There are ways in which Elijah demonstrated the power of God and an instance where he plumbed the depths of depression.

Elijah, a prophet of God whose name means, “my God is Jehovah,” came from Tishbeh in Gilead, but nothing is known of his family or birth. We first see Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1 where he suddenly appears to challenge Ahab, an evil king who ruled the Northern Kingdom from 874 to 853 B.C. Elijah prophesies a drought to come upon the whole land as consequence for Ahab’s evil choices (1 Kings 17:1-7). Warned by God, Elijah hides near the brook of Cherith where he is fed by ravens. As the drought and famine in the land deepen, Elijah meets with a widow, and through her obedience to Elijah’s request, God provides food enough for Elijah, the woman and her son. Miraculously, her barrel of flour and jar of oil never run out (1 Kings 17:8-16). The lesson for the believer is that, if we walk in fellowship with the LORD and obey Him, we will be open to His will, and when we are in God’s will, He fulfills all of our needs and His mercy to us never runs short.

We next see Elijah as the central character in a face-off with the prophets of the false god Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-40). The prophets of Baal call upon their god all day long to rain fire from heaven to no avail. Then Elijah builds an altar of stones, digs a ditch around it, puts the sacrifice on the top of wood and calls for water to be poured over his sacrifice three times. Elijah calls upon God, and God sends fire down from heaven, burns the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones and licks up the water in the ditch. God proved He was more powerful than false gods. It was then that Elijah and the people kill all of the false prophets of Baal. Such supernatural evidences of God’s power are not seen today. However, we have access to the same power as God’s Word works through us and demonstrates the power of His Spirit in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:7). Elijah is an illustration that it is not the vessel but God in the vessel that demonstrates power.

After the great victory over the false prophets, rain once again falls on the land (1 Kings 18:41-46). However, in spite of victory and provisions from the LORD that he receives, Elijah enters a period of wavering faith and depression (1 Kings 19:1-18). Hearing that Ahab’s wife Jezebel has made a vow to kill him, Elijah feels sorry for himself, hides in a cave, and even comes to believe that he alone was left of the prophets of God. He got his eyes off of God and onto the details. It is then that the LORD instructs Elijah to stand on the mountain as the LORD passed by. There is a great wind, an earthquake, and then fire, but God is not in any of those. Then comes a still, small voice in which Elijah hears God and understands Him. When Elijah stopped focusing on the fear of what men could do and his feelings of being alone, God’s voice was heard, and Elijah went on to be taken up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:1-11).

Just as for Elijah, when the believer focuses on the noise and the tumult of life in this world, we may get our eyes off of the LORD. However, if we listen for His still, small voice and walk in obedience to His Word, we find victory and reward. Each biblical character we study has a lesson for us to use in our walk as believers. Elijah was filled with human frailties yet was used mightily of God.

While he is not the author of every article on Got Questions, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.

Got Questions - What should we learn from the life of Elijah?

The following may also be of interest:

Got Questions - Was John the Baptist really Elijah reincarnated?

Got Questions - Why did God take Enoch and Elijah to heaven without them dying? 

The nation of Israel is God’s son because of creation,
and God’s firstborn son because of a subsequent adoption.

God's Firstborn Sons
A Study about Sons, Firstborn Sons, Adoption and Inheritance
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Introduction and Foreword

Introduction

God presently has two firstborn Sons — Christ (Hebrews 1:6) and Israel (Exodus 4:22-23). Christ is God’s firstborn Son through procreation (John 3:16), and Israel is God’s firstborn son through adoption (Romans 9:4). And God is about to bring into existence a third firstborn son through adoption — the Church (Romans 8:14-15, 19, 23).

“Sonship” implies rulership. Only Sons hold regal positions in God’s kingdom — past, present, or future. That’s the way God established matters in the beginning, and that which God has established in this respect never changes.

In the human realm though, something additional was added -- a "firstborn" status.  In the human realm, unlike the angelic realm, an individual has to be a firstborn Son in order to rule and reign in God's kindgom.

Angels alone (sons of God because of creation) have ruled throughout God’s kingdom in time past (both over this earth and elsewhere in the universe). But, with man’s creation — an entirely new order in the universe, an individual created in God’s image, after His likeness — a change in the order of rulers within God’s government was made known. Man was created for regal purposes (Genesis 1:26-28); and, though sin subsequently entered, resulting in a ruined creation (Genesis 3:1ff), God did not and will not change His mind concerning the reason He brought man into existence (Romans 11:29).

The whole of man’s salvation has this high end in view, whether salvation past (the spiritual birth, presently possessed by all Christians) or salvation present and future (the saving of the soul, not presently possessed by Christians but awaiting realization). Man has been, is being, and is about to be saved for a revealed regal purpose.

A new order of “sons” is about to be brought forth (Romans 8:19; cf. Hebrews 2:5). And only then will God’s purpose for man’s creation (in the beginning) and His reason for man’s subsequent salvation (following his ruin) be realized.

Foreword

When referring to firstborn sons in the human realm, only one son can be in view through the natural process of procreation.  But, in the divine realm, the whole of the matter is seen from a different perspective.

Though God possesses only one firstborn Son through procreation (Jesus), as in the human realm (cf. John 3:16; Hebrews 1:6), He can possess other firstborn sons through adoption (i.e., God taking a son and adopting that son into a firstborn status).

And this is exactly what God has done with one son and will do yet future with another son.

The nation of Israel is God’s son because of creation (Isaiah 43:1, 7), and this nation is God’s firstborn son because of a subsequent adoption (Romans 9:4):

Thus says the Lord: Israel is My son [because of creation], My firstborn [because of a subsequent adoption]. (Exodus 4:22b)

Then God is about to bring another firstborn son into existence.  God, through His Spirit, is presently leading Christians from immaturity to maturity through what is seen in Hebrews 12:5-8 as “child-training” (the Greek word, used in both noun and verb forms in this passage, is from a form of a word referring to a young child — thus, the translation, “child-training”).  And this word, contextually, has to do with “instruction” or “teaching,” which is the manner in which the translators of the KJV, NASB, and NIV translated the word in a similar context in 2 Timothy 3:16.

And those Christians who allow “child-training” (or “instruction,” “teaching”) are referred to in a present sense as sons, something possible because of a prior creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; cf. Ephesians 2:10).

Then, the present child-training of sons is with a view to adoption yet future, in order that these sons (through this future adoption) might be placed in the position of firstborn sons, allowing them to exercise the rights of the firstborn (Hebrews 12:16-17, 23).

And the preceding is with a view to God, in that day, having three firstborn Sons (Christ, Israel, and the Church) to occupy positions of power and authority in His kingdom.

Only Sons can rule in God’s kingdom.  And, within the human realm, only firstborn Sons can rule.

Sons rule the earth today (“angels” — sons because of creation), but God is about to remove the present order of sons and give the kingdom to a new order of Sons — three firstborn Sons — from the human realm.

Those forming the nation of Israel, presently God’s firstborn son but also a disobedient son, will, following the nation being brought to the place of repentance, occupy positions of power and authority over the nations from the earthly land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Those forming the Church, following the adoption into a firstborn status (as seen in Hebrews 12:23), will occupy positions of power and authority over the nations from a heavenly sphere, that heavenly sphere presently occupied by Satan and his angels.

And Christ, God’s only begotten firstborn Son, will rule the nations from both spheres of the kingdom.  He will rule from David’s throne in the midst of His people, Israel (God’s firstborn son), on the earth; and He will rule from His own throne with His co-heirs (God’s firstborn son) in the heavens.

The whole of Scripture moves in this direction, beginning in the book of Genesis and ending in the book of Revelation.  And that is what this book, God's Firstborn Sons by Arlen Chitwood, is about.

(See Christ - God’s Firstborn Son in this site that follows and reference Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's God's Firstborn Sons, Ch. 2 and Ch. 3.) 

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's God's Firstborn Sons, Foreword  

Christ - God’s Firstborn Son
From God's Firstborn Sons by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

God presently has two firstborn Sons — Christ (Hebrews 1:6) and Israel (Exodus 4:22-23). Christ is God’s firstborn Son through procreation (John 3:16), and Israel is God’s firstborn son through adoption (Romans 9:4). And God is about to bring into existence a third firstborn son through adoption — the Church (Romans 8:14-15, 19, 23).

CHRIST

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?

But when He again brings [lit., “And when He shall again bring in] the firstborn into the world [“the inhabited  world”], He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:1-6)

God has many “sons.”  Angels, because of their special and individual creation, are viewed as “sons of God” (Genesis 6:4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7).  The first man, the first Adam, for the same reason as seen in the angelic realm — a special and individual creation — was also viewed as God’s “son” (Luke 3:38b).  Adam’s descendants though, following the fall, were not viewed in this same manner.  Rather, they were viewed as sons of Adam, or sons of his progeny.  They were revealed to be sons of a fallen individual, or sons of his descendants (cf. Genesis 5:3ff; 11:10ff; Luke 3:23-38).

(The word “son” only appears once in the Greek text throughout the genealogy in Luke 3:23-38 — at the very beginning, in Luke 3:23a [“the son of Joseph”].  The structure of the Greek text though [a list of articular genitives, beginning in Luke 3:23b] necessitates that the thought of son, though not shown in each succeeding generation, be continued from its introductory usage and understood throughout the genealogy.  This is why translators have shown the word in italics in each generation, following its introductory usage, all the way back to Adam, “the son of God.”)

In the divine realm, the one created (whether an angel or a man) is viewed as a “son.”  In the human realm, the one begotten is viewed as a “son.”  In the former realm, “sons of God” are in view; in the latter realm, “sons of a fallen creature” are in view. 

Within God’s economy, “sonship” is inseparably connected with regality, in both the angelic and the human realms.  Angels, “sons of God,” were created to have a part in God’s government of the universe.  And man, a “son of God,” was created for exactly the same purpose — to first replace the incumbent ruler of this earth (Satan, a disqualified ruler), and then to subsequently occupy regal positions beyond the earth, in God’s universal kingdom.  “Sonship,” in this respect, implies rulership.

But “sonship” among Adam’s descendants following the fall is another matter, which cannot be connected with regality in this same respect.  Descendants of Adam, following the fall, could no longer be looked upon as “sons of God.”  Rather, they could only be looked upon as sons of a fallen individual, possessing the same fallen nature as their father (cf. Genesis 5:3ff).

Thus, following man’s fall, redemption became necessary if man was to ever realize the purpose for his prior creation.  This was something that God brought to pass immediately following man’s sin, something involving death and shed blood.  And once God had established matters in this respect, no change could ever occur.  Redemption at any subsequent point in Scripture would always be the same — that brought to pass on the basis of death and shed blood.

But redemption itself has nothing to do with “sonship.”  Adam, as Satan, was a “son of God” before his fall; and he remained a “son of God” following the fall.  Adam’s fall wrought no change in his position as God’s son (though he was no longer in a position to exercise that which is portended by sonship — regality).

And, relative to Adam’s descendants, who are not “sons of God,” the converse of matters pertaining to redemption and sonship are equally true.  The redemption of Adam’s descendants does not restore the sonship standing possessed by Adam.  One (redemption, or even the fall itself, necessitating redemption) has nothing to do with the other (with sonship).

“Sonship” results from creation alone, not redemption.  This was something originally established in the angelic realm and then subsequently seen in the human realm in Genesis 1; 2.  And, as the established means for “redemption” never changes throughout Scripture, the established means for bringing into existence “a son of God” never changes throughout Scripture as well.

Thus, in order for God to place Adam’s progeny back into the position for which man was created — to rule and to reign — fallen man must not only be redeemed but creation must again be involved, for only sons of God can rule in God’s kingdom.

That is to say, God must not only redeem fallen man but He must also perform a special creation of a nature that would place man back in the position of “God’s son.”  Apart from this dual act, man would forever be estranged from the reason God brought him into existence.

Then, because of the rights of primogeniture (rights of the firstborn) that God established in the human realm (seen in the position that Christ holds as God’s Son — that of Firstborn, through being begotten by the Father), the one to hold the scepter must be more than just God’s son to realize these established rights.  He, as Christ, must be a firstborn Son of God.

And God accomplished/will accomplish this through the process of adoption (Greek: huiothesia, “son-placing”).  Adoption in Scripture is connected with sons, not with children.  The process has to do with taking one who is already a son (because of creation) and placing that son in a firstborn status (through adoption).

Viewing the entire matter from the beginning, man is saved via the birth from above.  The Spirit breathes life into the one having no life, on the basis of death and shed blood, allowing man to pass “from death to life” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1).  This has been God’s only means of salvation for fallen man since the matter was introduced in the opening three chapters of Genesis.

Only then do matters having to do with sonship, or a subsequent firstborn status within sonship, enter into the matter.  Creation must be involved in the former and adoption in the latter.  And neither creation nor adoption enters into matters surrounding the birth from above.  Both are always subsequent to the birth from above.

Creation during the past dispensation had to do with Jacob and his descendants through his twelve sons, for God took Jacob and performed a special creative act — one which, as the Adamic creation preceding the fall, had to do with the physical man and could be passed on from father to son (Isaiah 43:1-10).

Creation during the present dispensation has to do with an individual’s positional standing “in Christ.”  God takes an individual who has been born from above and places him “in Christ,” resulting in an entirely new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) — something that occurs at the time of the birth from above, though subsequent to this birth.  And because this has to do with the spiritual man rather than the physical, these things cannot be passed on from father to son.  Rather, an individual has to himself believe and experience these things personally.

And adoption then follows these two creative acts.  Israel has already been adopted and is presently God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22-23).  The adoption of Christians though is future (cf. Romans 8:15, 23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

Thus, because of “creation,” Christians can presently be viewed as sons (cf. Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26; 4:6-7; Hebrews 12:5-8 [the Greek word huios, “son,” is used in these passages); but, because the “adoption” is still future, Christians cannot presently be viewed as firstborn sons.

(The preceding briefly introduces this three-part series on “God’s Firstborn Sons,” showing the why and necessity of sonship and adoption with respect to regality.  As previously shown, God presently has two firstborn Sons [Christ and Israel] and will one day have a third firstborn son [the Church, following the adoption].  And only when God’s third firstborn son has been brought into existence can man realize the regal purpose for his creation revealed at the beginning, in Genesis 1:26-28.

Both “creation” with respect to sonship and “adoption” with respect to a firstborn standing, in relation to both Israel and Christians, is dealt with more fully in Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's God's Firstborn Sons, Ch. 2 and Ch. 3.  The remainder of chapter 1 will deal with God’s Son from eternity, the One possessing a standing as Firstborn, through birth, providing Him with the rights of primogeniture within the human realm in relation to His position as the second Man, the last Adam.)

God’s Son from Eternity

There has never been a time when Christ was not God’s Son.  He has been God’s Son from eternity, always co-existing and being co-equal with the Father.

But, though there has never been a time when the Son did not exist and occupy the position of God’s Son, being co-equal with the Father, there has been a time when the Son did not occupy the position of Firstborn in the human realm.  God, at a point in time, took His Son and, through birth, placed Him in the position of Firstborn (God’s “only begotten Son”) — a necessary position for His Son to realize the rights of primogeniture as the second Man, the last Adam.

Thus, when dealing with the incarnation, far more is involved than Christ becoming a Man in order to redeem fallen man.  Salvation that fallen man possesses today is only the beginning of the matter.  Salvation is for a revealed purpose, which has to do with man ultimately being placed back in the position for which he was created.  In this respect, the reason for the incarnation covers the whole panorama of the matter — from the new birth to the adoption of sons.

Note what Jesus told Pilate in John 18:37 in response to the question, “Are You a king then? [lit., ‘So you are a King!’ (a statement, or a statement in the form of a question, worded in the Greek text in a manner expecting a ‘Yes’ response)].”  And Jesus responded in complete keeping with that which Pilate had stated.  Rather than as in the KJV — “Thou sayest that I am a king…” — the translation should be more along the lines of “Yes!  You say truly that I am a King” (Ref. Weymouth).  Jesus then went on to say, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…”

Christ was born King (Matthew 2:2), but He came into the world for purposes surrounding the complete panorama of redemption.  The incarnation was for purposes foreshadowed by God’s work throughout the six days in Genesis 1, and the incarnation has its fulfillment in that foreshadowed by God’s rest on the seventh day in Genesis 2.

Then there will be a further fulfillment beyond that in the eternal ages beyond the seventh day of rest, which Scripture deals with only sparingly.  Man in that day beyond the Messianic Era will exercise power of a universal nature, for this power will emanate from “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1, 3), a throne from which universal rule will emanate.

At the time Jesus appeared before Pilate, shortly after the interchange with Pilate relative to His Kingship, the Jews accused Christ of making Himself  “the Son of God” (John 19:7b; cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-14).  This resulted in Pilate becoming even “more afraid” (John 19:8), for he apparently knew, in complete keeping with his previous conversation with Jesus, the implications involved if Christ were truly God’s Son.

As previously shown, “sonship” implies rulership; and this is clearly seen in the Jewish religious leaders’ next accusation, which immediately followed their statement relative to Christ’s claim to be God’s Son:  “Whoever makes himself a king [i.e., a statement in complete keeping with their previous accusation — Christ had ‘made Himself the Son of God’ (John 19:7)] speaks against Caesar” (John 19:12b).

The picture is similar to that seen in Exodus 4:22-23.  God had instructed Moses to tell Pharaoh, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”  And Pharaoh was expected to understand from Moses’ statement that God recognized this lowly nation of slaves (the Israelites) in subjection to the most powerful Gentile nation of that day (the Egyptians) as His firstborn son, the nation in possession of the rights of primogeniture, the nation which God recognized as possessing the right to hold the scepter.

In John 18; 19, God’s firstborn Son, Christ, stood before Pilate and was falsely accused by God’s firstborn son, Israel; and Pilate himself became increasingly afraid surrounding the entire matter.  The fear that Pilate exhibited, as seen in the text, could only have been a mild description of how Pilate would possibly have responded had he known the full scope and implications of that which was transpiring on that day, for he was using his power to subjugate one son and to ultimately condemn the other Son.  And both of the Sons being mistreated that day were the Ones possessing the right to hold the scepter, not Pilate.

The Heir of All Things

The book of Hebrews opens by introducing Christ as the One whom God has placed at the center of all things in the outworking of His plans and purposes.  God spoke “in time past to the fathers by the prophets,” but, “in these last days,” God has spoken “to us by His Son.”  In both instances, God is the One doing the speaking.  In the former instance, God spoke in the person of the prophets; in the latter instance, God has spoken in the person of His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2a).

The record then continues with references to the Son, not to the prophets.  The Son is the One whom the Father “has appointed Heir of all things”; and the Son is the One through whom the Father “made the worlds [lit., ‘made the ages’]” (Hebrews 1:2b).  The Father designed the ages around the person and work of the One whom He “has appointed Heir of all things,” with the outworking of that seen in the Son’s heirship occurring within the framework of these designed ages.

Reference is then made to Christ’s person, His finished work at Calvary, His ascension to the Father’s right hand, and His position relative to the angels following His ascension (which was different than His position before His ascension [cf. Hebrews 2:7, 9]).  Then the thought immediately moves back to the subject previously introduced — Christ as the “appointed Heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2-4).  And this second statement surrounding Christ’s heirship is used to introduce seven Messianic quotations from the Old Testament (Hebrews 1:5-13).

The way in which the book opens introduces the subject matter in the book — something seen in the structure of all the books in Scripture, along with Scripture as a whole in the opening verses of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-2:3).  The subject matter in Hebrews, shown through the manner in which the book is introduced, is about that coming day when God’s appointed “Heir of all things” holds the scepter and rules the earth with “a rod of iron” (cf. Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:26-27).

Through the arrangement of these seven Messianic quotations (a number showing the completion of that which is in view), “heirship” is immediately connected not only with sonship but with a firstborn status as well.  It is God’s Firstborn Son, the appointed “Heir of all things,” whom the Father will one day “again bring into” the inhabited world (Hebrews 1:5-6).

These seven Messianic quotations are introduced in verse five and begin with a quotation from Psalm 2:7:

You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

This verse is quoted three times in the New Testament — once in Acts 13:33) and twice in Hebrews 1:5; 5:5).  And in all three passages, as in Psalm 2:7, the verse is used in Messianic settings.

The reference in each of the four appearances of the verse is to the Father begetting the Son at the time of the incarnation.  This was an absolute necessity if the Son was to be God’s Firstborn, allowing the Son to hold the scepter as the Father’s appointed “Heir of all things.”

Note how all of this is set forth in the Psalm 2.  Though a present application to Psalm 2:1-3 is made in Acts 4:25ff, the reference in these verses is more specifically to events at the end of Man’s Day, progressing into the Messianic Era.

The Gentile nations are seen at this time in “rage” and imagining “a vain thing.”  They are seen allied “together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).  And in their alliance, they are seen saying, “Let us break their chains…and throw off their fetters [the restraining and authoritative power of the Father and Son in Psalm 2:2]” (Psalm 2:3, NIV).

This is a picture of Gentile world power in a day not far removed from the present day.  The Gentile nations at that time will be as “the sea” in Jonah, raging; they will imagine that which will not be possible — to continue holding the scepter under the present world ruler, Satan (cf. Daniel 10:13-20; Revelation 13:2); and, under Satan’s leadership, they will counsel together concerning how they can stay God’s hand and prevent the fulfillment of that foretold by the prophets centuries before this time.

But all will be in vain.  The One seated in the heavens will laugh, He will scoff at the puny efforts of the Gentile powers, and He will then speak to them in His anger and wrath (Psalm 2:4-5).

This will be followed by that seen in the continuing text of Psalm chapter two:

Yet I have set My King on My holy hill [or, ‘mountain’ (Hebrew: har)] of Zion.

I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.

Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations [Gentiles] for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:6-9)

The Gentile nations under Satan, in the end time, will be unable to do any more than Satan found that he could do when he sought to exalt his throne at a time in the distant past (Isaiah 14:12-17; cf. Ezekiel 28:14-19).  Satan’s prior efforts proved utterly futile, resulting in God’s wrath; and exactly the same thing will result from the actions of the Gentile nations at the end of Man’s Day.

Satan, seeking to exalt his throne, found himself disqualified to continue holding his appointed position, and his kingdom was reduced to a ruin (Genesis 1:2a).  And, at a time yet future, with the Times of the Gentiles brought to an end, the Gentile nations will find themselves no longer qualified to hold their appointed positions.  At that time, their power and kingdom will be reduced to a ruin (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45; Joel 3:9-21; Revelation 19:11-21; cf. Isaiah 2:1-5).

Now, note the context on either side of Psalm 2:7.  Immediately before (Psalm 2:6), God is seen placing His King on the holy mountain called Zion; and immediately after (Psalm 2:8-9), God is seen referring to the King’s inheritance and possession.  But the thought of the Father begetting the Son between these two Messianic statements is a reference to an event occurring over 2,000 years in the past, allowing God’s Son to become His Firstborn, making these events possible.

In one frame of reference, God is saying in Psalm 2:7, “You are my Son; today [i.e., for this day, to allow this day to be brought to pass] I have begotten you [at a time in the past, making You more than My Son, making You My Firstborn Son].”

And this would be borne out by the structure of the Greek text in Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5.  In each verse, the word “begotten” appears in the perfect tense, pointing to action completed in past time, with the results of that action continuing into the present and existing in a finished state.

In Acts 13:33, it is an action that precedes Christ’s resurrection, anticipating that day when Christ comes into possession of “the sure mercies [lit., ‘the holy things’] of David [which are regal]” (Acts 13:33-34).  In Hebrews 1:5, it is an action set at the beginning of seven Messianic quotations from the Old Testament.  And in Hebrews 5:5, it is an action anticipating Christ one day exercising the Melchizedek priesthood — as the Great King-Priest in Jerusalem (Hebrews 5:5-10; cf. Psalm 110:1-4).

This is that which Scripture reveals concerning God’s Firstborn Son, Jesus, the One who, in a coming day, will bring to pass that which continually eludes man today — effecting peace in the troubled Middle East, a peace that can only follow that seen in Psalm 2:1-5.

(See God's Firstborn Sons in this site preceding this commentary and reference Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's God's Firstborn Sons, Ch. 2 and Ch. 3.) 

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's God's Firstborn Sons, Ch. 1, Christ - God’s Firstborn Son

There are Jews, Gentiles, and Christians; and that’s the way it must remain,
with each of the three creations looked upon
as separate and distinct from one another.

Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians
By Charles Strong of Bible One from The Study of Scripture by Arlen Chitwood

Jew, Gentile, Christian

Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the Church of God.  (1 Corinthians 10:32)

The Word of God divides the human race into three separate and distinct groups of individuals, forming three creations. There are the Jews, the Gentiles, and those comprising the Church of God, the Christians; and these three creations, brought into existence at different times, will exist separate and distinct from one another throughout not only the present dispensation but also during the coming Messianic Era and the endless ages comprising eternity that follow.

Mankind began and remained as only one creation for two millenniums. Then, a second creation was brought into existence after the first two millenniums had run their course, and a third creation followed after two more millenniums.

But within the plans and purposes of God, all three were seen in the beginning, prior to the creation of Adam. In the beginning, when God made and arranged the ages around the preplanned work of His Son within the framework of these ages (Hebrews 1:2), He had these three divisions of the human race in view.

And nothing can ever thwart the plans and purposes of God. Man — ignoring God’s revealed plans and purposes through the three segments into which He has divided mankind — talks about the human race in a global, oneness sense, with time and conditions as we know them today going on and on indefinitely. But God deals with the matter in His Word after a completely different fashion. God deals with the matter through three separate and distinct groups of individuals on a 6,000-year redemptive timetable, with a seventh 1,000-year period lying beyond the 6,000 years (with this seventh millennium to be followed by an unending sequence of ages, comprising eternity).

God established and revealed His timetable, along with His redemptive work within this timetable, at the very beginning of His Word. But the ones to whom God revealed His plans and purposes after this fashion have, for the most part, ignored them. Resultantly, man in this respect, remaining ignorant of God’s plans and purposes — goes about following his own plans and purposes, little realizing that his own plans and purposes will shortly and suddenly be interrupted and be completely done away with (cf. 2 Peter 3:3-8).

When man ignores the revealed Word of God, tragic consequences always follow. Such consequences may not be ushered in immediately. In fact, they seldom are. But consequences of this nature must always ultimately follow unbelief.

There is a God-established law of the harvest — sowing and reaping — which must come to pass. A person always reaps what he sows, a person always reaps more than he sows, and the reaping occurs at a later time than the sowing.

The 6,000-year history of man is replete with examples, but the climactic consequence, climaxing the entire 6,000 years, awaits a future day. The coming “time of Jacob’s trouble” will affect not only Israel but the entire Gentile world (Jeremiah 30:7; Revelation 6:1-17). And during this time — God, through bringing to pass a time of trouble “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21-22) — will climax His dealings with man during man’s 6,000-year day.

The Gentiles

God began the human race through the creation of one man. Then He put the man to sleep, removed a rib from his side, built a woman from the rib, and presented her back to the man in order to complete the man and to provide a helpmate for the man (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 18, 20-25).

Thus, in the beginning there was simply the man, Adam, the woman, Eve, and their progeny that followed. And any thought of a division within mankind had to wait 2,000 years of human history, though certain events during this period did portend the divisions that followed.

1) Saved and Unsaved

A division after a fashion could be looked upon through viewing man as either saved or unsaved during this time, but, this was not the same type division that God later effected through bringing into existence a second creation within mankind, and then a third creation. Rather, viewing a distinction between saved and unsaved individuals during the first 2,000 years of human history would be similar to viewing a distinction between saved and unsaved individuals among the Gentile nations during the coming Tribulation.

The salvation of Gentiles during the coming Tribulation will not separate them from their Gentile heritage in the same sense that it does during the present dispensation (cf. Galatians 3:28). During the present dispensation, when a Gentile (or Jew) is saved, that person becomes part of an entirely new creation, the one new man, the new creationin Christ.” But during the coming Tribulation — which will be the fulfillment of the last seven years of the previous dispensation (ref. 5) Ages and Dispensations in this site) — this will not be the case.

Though individuals will be saved during the Tribulation exactly the same way man has always been saved — through the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life, on the basis of death and shed blood — these individuals will not become part of the new creation “in Christ” (as any believing Jew or Gentile becomes today). The new creation “in Christ” (God’s third creation in the human race) will have previously been removed from the earth, leaving only two creations — Jew and Gentile — on the earth.

Thus, a Gentile being saved in that coming day, remaining on earth, could not become part of a creation no longer present on the earth. Consequently, he will simply remain a Gentile, though saved. And if he survives the Tribulation he will be among those Gentiles entering into the kingdom, forming a part of the Gentile nations that will populate the earth at the beginning of the millennium.

And so will it be with unsaved Jews at the end of the Tribulation who look upon their Messiah, believe, and are saved. They will not relinquish their national identity, as does a believing Jew today. Rather, they will remain Jews (as during Old Testament times), forming a part of the Jewish nation (along with resurrected Jews from Old Testament days) who will enter the kingdom here on the earth.

In this respect, during the first 2,000 years of human history, though there was a division between saved and unsaved segments of mankind, a type division such as God later brought into existence (Jew and Gentile; then, Jew, Gentile, and Christian) did not exist. There was simply man in his fallen state (saved or unsaved) belonging to one creation, the only one that existed.

And this one creation in which mankind found itself was not really “Gentile” per se, though it was later looked upon as Gentile after God brought a second creation (through Jacob) into existence (Isaiah 43:1), forming two divisions within mankind. Following that, Jacob and his progeny were looked upon as a separate and distinct creation, and all the other nations comprised the creation that had existed throughout the prior 2,000 years.

Only after God produced a special creation in the person of Jacob did a division exist in the human race of a nature that allowed the word “Gentile” to be used — a name referring to someone outside the lineage of Jacob through his twelve sons, later calledJews.”

And going 2,000 years beyond that to the time God brought a third creation into existence — the new creation “in Christ” — the word “Gentile” then distinguished that one segment of mankind from two other segments both Jews and Christians. A “Gentile” was then/is now looked upon as someone who was/is not a Jew or a Christian.

2) Portending, Divisions, Types, and Antitypes

Though there were no divisions within mankind per se during the first 2,000 years of human history (other than saved and unsaved, as previously discussed), there is the matter of certain events occurring during this time that portended the existence of the nation of Israel, prior to its actual existence.

Those comprising the nation of Israel are Semites, descending from Shem, one of Noah’s three sons. And following the Flood, Shem was the only one of Noah’s sons said to have a God, with God’s blessings to either of the other two sons flowing only through Shem, as they dwelled “in the tents of Shem” — i.e., as they came in contact with and associated themselves with Shem, the only one with a God and the only one through whom God had and has chosen to channel His blessings for mankind (Genesis 9:26-27).

Though this seeming division within mankind can be seen following the Flood, portending the existence of the nation of Israel centuries later, all three sons of Noah remained of the same creation. Again, the separate and distinct creation, forming two divisions within mankind, did not exist until Jacob appeared.

That which is revealed in Genesis 9:26-27 though sets forth a central purpose surrounding Shem’s descendants, the nation of Israel, which would form a second creation within mankind. With respect to that seen in this section of Scripture, the nation of Israel was called into existence to be the channel through which God would bless all the Gentile nations. Following Noah’s statement in Genesis 9:26-27, there can be no such thing as blessings flowing out to the remainder of mankind except through Shem and his descendants.

Then, viewing the matter after a different fashion, though the whole of mankind comprised only one group during the first 2,000 years of human history, both the second and third groups (yet to be brought into existence) can be seen in different accounts of the history of the first group (which formed types of the second and third groups).

For example:

Israel can be seen in the account of Cain slaying Abel, foreshadowing Israel slaying Christ (Genesis 4).
Or, Israel can be seen again in the account of Noah passing safely through the Flood, foreshadowing Israel passing safely through the coming Tribulation (Genesis 6; 7; 8).

Or, note the previously mentioned account of Noah’s sons, Shem and His God-appointed position relative to Ham and Japheth following the Flood; this foreshadows Israel’s future God-appointed position among the nations following the Tribulation (Genesis 9).

Then, the Church, as Israel, can be seen in this same manner before its actual existence as well.

Note the account of Eve being removed from Adam’s body and presented back to Adam to reign with him as his bride, as consort queen, foreshadowing the called out group of firstborn sons (Hebrews 12:23) who will be removed from Christ’s body and presented back to Christ to reign with Him as His bride, as consort queen (Genesis 2).

Or, the Church can be seen again in the account of Adam finding Eve in a fallen state and partaking of sin to affect her redemption so that both together might one day eat of the tree of life. This foreshadows Christ finding His bride in a fallen state and being made sin to affect her redemption so that both the Redeemer and the redeemed together might one day eat of the tree of life (Genesis 3) — with the tree of life providing the required wisdom and knowledge to rule and to reign for those Christians forming Christ’s bride in that day (ref. the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 5).

Or, the Church can be seen again in the account of Enoch being removed from the earth alive preceding the Flood, foreshadowing the Church being removed from the earth alive preceding the Tribulation (Genesis 5).

The Jews

The beginning of the nation of Israel is usually looked upon as originating with Abraham, the father of the nation. He is the one who was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, crossed the Euphrates, and was the first person to be called an “Hebrew” (thought to mean, “the one who crossed over,” i.e., the one who crossed the Euphrates in route to the land of Canaan [cf. Genesis 14:13; 40:15; Joshua 24:2-3]).

1) Abraham and Isaac

Abraham though became the father of many nations after he entered the land of Canaan. He fathered a son by Hagar (Ishmael [Genesis 16:16]), through whom, for the most part, the present-day Arabic nations sprang. Then he fathered a son by Sarah (Isaac [Genesis 21:5]), through whom the nation of Israel sprang. And, following the death of Sarah, he fathered six sons by Keturah (Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah [Genesis 25:1-2]), through whom other Arabic nations sprang (though, for the most part, apparently later assimilated into the Ishmaelite Arabic nations).

Then Abraham’s grandson, Esau, became the father of the Edomites (Genesis 36:9), a nation whose history can be traced up to but not beyond the first century A.D.

Abraham was the person whom God called out of Ur to be the channel through whom He would bring His plans and purposes surrounding man to pass.

a) To bring forth the Redeemer.

b) To give man the Word of God.

c) To be the channel through which blessings would flow out to mankind.

And these plans and purposes were to be realized through one nation, the nation of Israel.

But to complicate the matter somewhat, Abraham, as previously stated, became the father of many nations. Scripture though leaves no room to question which of the nations God recognized as “Abraham’s seed” insofar as His plans and purposes were being brought to pass.

God rejected Abraham’s firstborn, Ishmael, at the time Isaac’s birth was announced (Genesis 17:15-19); He again rejected Ishmael following Isaac’s birth, at the time Isaac was weaned (Genesis 21:5-12); and nations descending from the sons of Keturah or the Edomites descending from Esau, though all Abraham’s seed, are not seen in Scripture as even being mentioned relative to the matter (as was Ishmael).

From the birth of Isaac forward, the Old Testament centers on one nation — the nation descending from Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons. Nations descending from the other sons of Abraham, along with the Edomites, though Semitic nations, were looked upon as being among the Gentile nations. And these nations, as all the other Gentile nations, occupy a place in Scripture only as they come in contact with and/or have dealings with the nation of Israel.

(The preceding, for example, is why modern-day Russia is mentioned extensively throughout two chapters in Ezekiel 38-39, but the United States — a nation that has befriended Israel over the years — if mentioned at all, is mentioned only in an indirect way in one verse in these chapters [Ezekiel 38:13]. Russia is the nation that will lead an invasion into the land of Israel during the Tribulation, but the United States will not be directly involved. The United States, if the nation’s origin can be traced to one of the nations listed in Ezekiel 38:13, will, with other nations, voice a protest; but before action can be taken, God will intervene and take care of the matter Himself, personally.

Thus, assuming that the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38:13 do include the United States, since this nation will not have a direct part, the United States is not mentioned except for the one small part that the nation will play.

And today, since the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy waits for that time when God begins dealing with Israel on a national basis once again — though the United States has had and presently continues to have a direct part in the Gentile nations’ dealings with Israel, prophecy does not cover the matter. Prophetic revelation of a nature that covers events in the Middle East today — allowing the United States to be mentioned — simply does not exist, contrary to the attempt by some to make Scripture say and mean things that it doesn’t say and mean at all.)

There is a special creation involved insofar as the nation of Israel is concerned; and accordingly, as in Adam’s creation, the time when two divisions within mankind would exist had to, of necessity, await that day when a divine work could be wrought in a particular person at a particular time.

Such a creation could not have been brought to pass in the person of Abraham, for he was the father of many nations. Thus, had God performed a special creative act at this point in the genealogy, it would have resulted in all of the Semitic nations descending from Abraham being looked upon as separate from the Gentile nations. That is, all of Abraham’s descendants — through Ishmael, Isaac, and the sons of Keturah — would be part of a separate (single) creation, separate from all the other nations.

Accordingly, this special creative act could not have been brought to pass in Abraham’s son, Isaac, for he had one son (Esau) outside the correct lineage. Had God performed a special creative act in the person of Isaac, the descendants of Esau as well as the descendants of Jacob would form a separate (single) creation, separate from the remaining nations.

2) Jacob

Such a creative act, of necessity, awaited Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. And this special creative act, which occurred just as much within a physical sphere as Adam’s creation, was then passed on to his descendants.

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

Following the point in time referred to in Isaiah 43:1, mankind found itself divided into two segments — those in Adam and those in Jacob. The special creation in Jacob (as the later special creation “in Christ,” forming a third creation within mankind) wrought no change in man’s fallen condition inherited from Adam (retention of the old sin nature, with all of its ramifications).

Whether dealings with the Jews, Gentiles, or Christians, when the old sin nature is in view (which is associated with and can only result in death), the matter is always taken back to Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22).

But in God’s separate and distinct creation surrounding Jacob, though it produced a change in the physical realm, the old sin nature inherited from Adam was retained (as it is today by Christians). And this change that God brought to pass in Jacob is passed on through procreation from one generation to the next.

Thus, by means of this special creation, because it had occurred in the physical realm, God could bring forth a nation through which His plans and purposes would be realized. The nation emanating from Jacob would be separate and distinct from all the other nations (now looked upon as Gentile nations in the true sense of the word), and God would bring His plans and purposes to pass through this nation. In this respect, though the nation of Israel looks back to Abraham as the father of the nation, the special creative act — separating this nation from all the surrounding nations — did not, it could not, occur until Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, appeared.

From Jacob sprang twelve sons. And from these twelve sons sprang the twelve tribes of Israel, forming the nation through which God gave man the Redeemer, the written Word of God, and through which all blessings for mankind have flowed and will continue to flow.

(Of interest to note: The name “Israel” is derived from a combination of two Hebrew names — Sarah and El. The name Sarah means “princess,” and El is the Hebrew singular form for “God” [Elohim is the plural form found throughout the Old Testament].

El is a common ending for many Hebrew names, combining different meanings of names with the word for God [e.g., Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel]. Thus, the meaning of “Israel,” as seen in Genesis 32:28 is derived from the name meaning: “a prince,” who has “power with God and with men” [power with men because of power with God].

And, with this in mind, note the typology of Genesis 21; 22; 23, where Sarah, the wife of Abraham, is seen as a type of Israel, the wife of God.

Regal implications are seen throughout, whether in the type in Genesis or in that which the type foreshadows. It is “Israel” who is destined to one day possess princely [regal] “power with God and with men” [cf. Genesis 35:10-12].)

The Church of God

This then brings us to the third and last of the special creative acts of God within the human race, leaving mankind divided into three separate and distinct segments rather than the previous two. And this creation, rather than occurring in the physical realm, occurred in the spiritual realm. The former two creations (Jew and Gentile) could be passed on through one’s progeny, but not the third creation (Christian).

1) Purpose for

Before seeing the different things about this creation as Scripture presents them, a purpose for the new creation’s existence needs to be seen. After all, God’s plans and purposes, resulting in spiritual blessings for mankind, were to be realized through Abraham and his seed (something that could never change). So, why call a third creation into existence?

And, again, if this third creation is to be placed, after any fashion, as another channel (as Israel) through which God’s plans and purposes are to ultimately be realized, this creation must somehow be “Abraham’s seed,” though, at the same time, be separate and distinct from the nation of Israel (or the Gentiles). Such a relationship must exist, for spiritual blessings can flow out to mankind only through the seed of Abraham. And a separation from Israel (or the Gentiles) must exist as well, with this third creation being separated from the creation in Jacob (or in Adam) and existing solely as a separate and distinct creation, a new creation in Christ.”

The purpose for the existence of the third creation in the human race goes all the way back to the beginning within the mind of God, when He made and arranged the ages around the preplanned work of His Son within the framework of these ages. This is why the third creation (along with the second) is seen time after time in Old Testament typology. But the working out of matters and the bringing into existence of this third creation — the one new man in Christ” (Ephesians 2:13-15) — did not occur until Israel’s Messiah had been sent to the earth, had offered the kingdom of the heavens to the nation of Israel, had been rejected, had been crucified, and had been raised from the dead.

In the Old Testament, Israel was made the repository for both heavenly and earthly promises and blessings. And these promises and blessings — to be realized by Israel, resulting in the Gentile nations being blessed — were to flow out to the Gentile nations through Abraham and his Seed from two spheres, heavenly and earthly (Genesis 12:1-3; 14:17-22; 22:17-18).

This is the manner in which God decreed the matter to exist, it has been established in this manner, it can never change, and there can never be an exception.

When Christ appeared on earth the first time, His message to Israel (a message proclaimed first by John the Baptist, followed by Christ and His disciples) was,

Repent you [a plural pronoun, referring to the entire nation]: for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand. (Matthew 3:1-2; 4:17; 10:1-8)

That would be to say, the nation was called to national repentance in view of the Israelites occupying proffered positions in heavenly places in the kingdom; and these positions were to be occupied at a time in the immediate future (the kingdom was “at hand [or, ‘had drawn near’]”), for the King Himself was present, proclaiming the message and extending the offer. And the establishment of the proffered kingdom was contingent on the nation’s positive response to the King’s call.

Then it must be recognized that the passing of this part of the kingdom (the heavenly realm, then in the hands of Satan and his angels, as it is today) into the hands of the seed of Abraham could only have been accompanied by the earthly part of the kingdom being established as well (necessitating the overthrow of Gentile world power, also under Satan). It is one kingdom with two realms or facets, and there could have been no such thing as one realm of the kingdom being established without the other realm also being established.

The nation as a whole though was not interested in the proffered heavenly portion of the kingdom. And regardless of what the people of Israel understood or didn’t understand relative to the complete scope of the proffered kingdom (one kingdom with two parts, which must be established together), the nation subsequently not only rejected the offer but the Jewish people crucified the One who made the offer.

All of this provides the backdrop for the new creation in Christ” that was brought into existence.

Israel’s rejection of the proffered kingdom provides the reason for God bringing a third creation within the human race into existence. This third creation, the new creationin Christ,” the “Church of God,” was brought into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected, i.e., the heavenly sphere of the kingdom (cf. Matthew 21:43; 1 Peter 2:9-10).

Then, again, there is another side to the matter. Israel’s rejection of the heavenly sphere of the kingdom allowed God to bring a third creation into existence. This new creation, occupying the position “in Christ,” was Christ’s body; and Christ was the Head of the body (Ephesians 1:22-23). And according to the original type (seen in Adam and Eve [governing all subsequent types, along with the antitype]), Christ’s bride — the one who is to reign as consort queen with Him from the heavens over the earth during the coming age — is to be removed from His body (cf. Genesis 2:21-23; Ephesians 5:23-32).

This was something not possible for Israel (for Israel was God’s wife and did not comprise Christ’s body). And no Gentile nation could even come under consideration (for all the Gentile nations were further removed yet, without God, and without hope [Ephesians 2:12]).

Thus, a third creation had to be brought into existence.

And that’s exactly what God did following the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son. God brought the one new man “in Christ” into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected, and He performed this act in such a way that His Son’s bride could also be removed from this new creation, in accord with the original type in Genesis 2:21-23.

Christ, God of very God, knew at the time He offered the kingdom of the heavens to Israel that Israel would not — the nation could not — accept the offer, though a bona fide offer was made.

This is why the Son could tell the religious leaders in Israel that the sin they had committed, in Matthew 12, attributing Christ’s power to perform miraculous works to Satan rather than to the Spirit of God (referring to a miraculous work performed in connection with the proffered kingdom), would not be forgiven Israel for two ages the present age [Man’s Day], and the coming age [the Lord’s Day], the Messianic Era (Mat 12:22-32).

This is also why Christ could later call Peter’s attention to the fact that the Church was about to be brought into existence (Matthew 16:18).

And this is why Christ could still later announce to the religious leaders in Israel that the kingdom (the proffered heavenly portion) would be taken from Israel and given “to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43).

2) In Christ

The existence of the one new man “in Christ” could not be just another creation, separate from Israel and the Gentile nations. As previously stated, the new creation had to be both Abraham’s seed and Christ’s body.

This new creation had to be the former (Abraham’s seed) because the heavenly sphere of the kingdom, as the earthly, could not be inherited by individuals who were not of Abraham’s seed. Blessings during the Messianic Era are to flow out to the Gentile nations from both heavenly and earthly spheres, and Scripture is very clear that blessings of this nature can flow out to the Gentile nations after this fashion only through Abraham’s seed (Genesis 12:2-3; 22:17-18).

Then this new creation had to be the latter (Christ’s body), for the bride who is to reign as consort queen with Christ from heavenly places is to be taken from His body (cf. Genesis 2:21-24; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49; Ephesians 5:22-32).

And, along with the preceding, this new creation could be neither Jew nor Gentile, though it had to be removed from one or both of the former creations. And, in this case, as the second creation (Jew) was removed from the first (Gentile), the third creation (Christian) was/is removed from the previous two (both Jew and Gentile).

Fifty days following His Son’s resurrection, God established this creation at events surrounding Pentecost (Acts 2:1ff). Events on this day occurred in connection with a Jewish festival portending the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy and with individuals being filled with the Spirit in keeping with Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:4 [ref. the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's From Acts to the Epistles, Ch. 1]).

But this is the point as well where God began a work, through His Spirit, which also included the Gentiles (note the words “all flesh” in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17). And though there was a re-offer of the kingdom to Israel during about the first thirty years of this new dispensation (in keeping with a beginning fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy [cf. Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21]), with the message “to the Jew first,” the message was now “also to the Greek [‘Gentile’]” (Romans 1:16; 2:9-10).

The latter is why God chose and called Paul about five years following Calvary. Paul was chosen and called forth to proclaim the message to “the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15; Galatians 2:2, 7).

Apart from a new creation, the message could not have been “also to the Greek [‘Gentile’]” after the manner seen (Gentiles brought in after such a fashion that they found themselves associated with heavenly positions in the kingdom). There was a baptism, an immersion, in the Spirit (Acts 1:5); and, aside from its connection with Joel’s prophecy in Acts 2:4 (because the kingdom was being re-offered to Israel), this immersion in the Spirit that occurred on the day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. could only have been the same as the Christian experience today — bringing into existence the one new man “in Christ” on that day (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 2:15).

(Note that those baptized [immersed] in the Spirit on the day of Pentecost were not unsaved individuals. The immersion in the Spirit had nothing to do with eternal salvation then; nor does it have anything to do with eternal salvation today. The work of the Spirit relative to eternal salvation — salvation by grace — was set forth in an unchangeable manner at the beginning, in Genesis 1:2-5 [2b] and Genesis 2:7; 3:21; 4:8-10 and, accordingly, this work of the Spirit has always been the same.

Salvation by grace is affected through the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life, on the basis of death and shed blood. The baptism [immersion] in the Spirit is something additional [peculiar to the present dispensation], which, today, could only have been seen as occurring in conjunction with and at the same time as the Spirit’s work surrounding salvation.

One produces life [the Spirit breathing]; and the other brings about the new creation [immersion in the Spirit], placing the person “in Christ.”)

In this respect, the bringing into existence of the new creationin Christ,” the beginning of the present dispensation, or the beginning of the fulfillment of the antitype of Genesis chapter twenty-four ([Gen. 24] the Spirit’s search for a bride for God’s Son) can only be placed in Acts chapter two [Acts 2].

But aside from the preceding, and looking at the matter as it has existed throughout the present dispensation, a Jew or a Gentile can become a new creation “in Christ” simply by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31). Through believing, as the Spirit breathes life into the one possessing no life, he passes “from death unto life.” And the person — whether Jew or Gentile — is, at the same time, immersed in the Spirit, allowing him to occupy a positional standing “in Christ.” The person becomes a new creation, in the spiritual realm under discussion; and, within this realm, he is no longer associated with his prior creation (whether Jew or Gentile).

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

If he were a Jew prior to the time of belief, he ceased to be a Jew. He relinquished his national identity and became a new creation “in Christ.”

Old things [having to do with the old creation in Jacob] have passed away,” and “all things [having to do with the new creation ‘in Christ’] have become new.” The latter part of the verse should literally read, “. . . behold, he has become new [i.e., he has become a new creation].”

On the other hand, if he were a Gentile prior to the time of belief, exactly the same thing occurred as happened to a believing Jew. He relinquished his national identity and became a new creationin Christ.” And 2 Corinthians 5:17 applies to him in exactly the same fashion as it applies to a believing Jew.

Both believing Jews and believing Gentiles become part of the one new manin Christ,” where there is neither Jew nor Gentile. And together they become “fellow-heirs [in relation to heavenly promises and blessings], and of the same body [Christ’s body]. . . .” (Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 2:13-15; 3:1-6).

A Jew, relinquishing his national identity, relinquishes his place among a nation destined to one day realize earthly promises and blessings. But, by so doing, he comes into possession of a higher calling. He now finds himself part of a nation destined to one day realize heavenly promises and blessings (1 Peter 2:9-10).

A Gentile, relinquishing his national identity, relinquishes his place among the nations without God and without hope (Ephesians 2:12). Thus, by so doing, he simply comes into possession of a calling, having possessed no previous calling. He, as the believing Jew, now finds himself part of a nation destined to one day realize heavenly promises and blessings (Ephesians 3:5).

And this has all been made possible because, being in Christ [who is Abraham’s Seed],” individuals are looked upon as being “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise [heavenly, not earthly]” (Galatians 3:16, 29).

“In Christ” is the key expression involving the one new man. This is a positional standing, wrought through a baptism (an immersion) in the Spirit, which occurs at the same time that the Spirit breathes life into the one having no life, on the basis of the Son’s finished work at Calvary.

Thus, the matter surrounding the new creation “in Christ” is spiritual, and the matter surrounding the prior two creations (in Adam, in Jacob) is physical, or natural. The first two creations can be passed from one generation to the next via the natural birth, but the latter creation cannot. The latter is spiritual, completely separate from the natural, and it must be experienced on an individual basis through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Accordingly, the Spirit’s work in the individual — breathing life into the person on the one hand and bringing about the new creation on the other — results in no change in the physical. Paul, a new creation “in Christ,” could also refer to himself as “an Israelite” (Romans 11:1; 2 Corinthians 11:22), “a Jew” (Acts 21:39; 22:3), and “a Hebrew” (2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:5). The former (the Spirit’s work) had to do with his identity through being in Christ,” associating him with that which was spiritual, that which was from above; and the latter (natural birth) had to do with his identity outside of Christ, associating him with that which was natural, that which was from below.

(Note that the old sin nature is associated only with the latter [the natural], never with the former [the spiritual]; and being born from above, brought forth out of God [John 1:13; 3:3; 1 Peter 1:3, 23; 1 John 3:9; 5:1] is associated only with the former [the spiritual], never with the latter [the natural].)

Within a type-antitype framework, the former [the spiritual] had to do with “Isaac” and the latter [the natural] with “Ishmael” — individuals typifying the man of spirit and the man of flesh respectively, which cannot co-exist harmoniously or after an inseparable fashion with one another (cf. Genesis 21:9-10; Galatians 4:22-31). That’s why there can be no such thing as a Jewish Christian or a Gentile Christian, for that would be placing Ishmael and Isaac together, as a single entity.

Rather, there are Jews, Gentiles, and Christians; and that’s the way it must remain, with each of the three creations looked upon as separate and distinct from one another.

See 6) Jew, Gentile, Christian in this site. 

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

Once man passes from “death into life,” God’s dealings with man then move to that which lies out ahead.
God never again deals with man relative to the salvation that he presently possesses.

11/18/2013

Salvation for the Jews in Scripture
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Recently I received the following email from my mentors and friends, Mark and Carol:

Hi Pat,
 
You have said before that you would be willing to research questions that we might have. :)  One came up in Sunday School yesterday that we need help with:
 
We are wondering about salvation for the Jews, and if it may have been possible through the sacrificial system even during Jesus' day. It would seem that they WERE saved by the blood placed on the doorposts before they came out of Egypt and crossed the Red Sea.  Yet Korah and others died for disobedience in the wilderness.  So they seemed to have lost their reward and not entered the Promised Land, but were eternally saved....?
 
But in Jesus' century, if Paul had died before his Damascus Road experience, would he have been saved?
 
Another thing, In John 8:24, Jesus told the Jews, "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins,  for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."  The entire chapter 8 is about Jesus and his confrontation with the Pharisees, and Jesus seems to be saying that they are damned because they do not believe He is who He is telling them He is.  If they are damned, why didn't the sacrificial system they grew up following work for their salvation?
 
I have asked this question of several people, and so far have only come up with a blank stare.  Perhaps Charles or Arlen have some input on this, if you don't already have an answer.
 
Thank you so much for looking into this when you have some time.
 
God bless!
 
Mark and Carol

I emailed the request to Charles Strong and the following was his response along with Arlen Chitwood's commentary on the questions of Mark and Carol:

Pat, Marsha, Mark, and Carol,

Regarding your recent interchange/discussion pertaining to "salvation," as you know I have long been a strong (no pun intended) supporter of Arlen Chitwood's ministry, which in fact occupies most of my website.  Well, as you also know I asked him to supply comment regarding your concerns.

Attached is his response in "pdf" format.  But I have also converted it into MSWord, which would conform to most of the documentation on my site, and this is also attached.  As to the books he mentions in his document, pdf or MSWord, I believe you can access them in total from my or his site.

I will soon place your questions and Arlen's reply to them on my site.

If I can be of any further assistance, please write.

Charles of Bible One

Cc:  Arlen

Arlen's response is the following commentary:

All the ramifications of the different issues raised in your couple of e-mails are addressed in several of my books, mainly in From Acts to the Epistles by Arlen Chitwood, Signs in John's Gospel by Arlen Chitwood and God's First Born Sons by Arlen Chitwood.

(All three of these books have been revised, though I’m not sure that you [Charles] have the revisions for all three on your web site.  The first two revisions are on my site; the revision for God’s Firstborn Sons has not been uploaded to the site yet.  You might have the revised version on your site though:  Bible One by Charles Strong)

Covenants

On the salvation issue in Scripture, first of all it would probably be best to forget the two divisions of Scripture (Old Testament & New Testament) and simply see Scripture as one continuous book. “Testament” is simply another way of saying “covenant” (Greek: diatheke [translated both “testament” and “covenant” in the New Testament, King James Version]; Hebrew: Berith [translated almost exclusively “covenant” in the Old Testament, King James Version]), and Scripture is not a covenant per se.  Rather, all Scripture is a revelation from God to man.

Aside from the preceding, beyond Genesis 12, covenants are made with Israel (Romans 9:4).  No covenant has been made or ever will be made with the Church.

The Old Covenant (Mosaic, inseparably associated with the Abrahamic) was made with Israel; and the New Covenant, replacing the Old, will be made with Israel.  Both have to do with the theocracy, as do all covenants made or to be made with Israel (Davidic, Palestinian, New).

None of the covenants have anything to do with eternal salvation. All are made with a people already saved.  And, in reality, all could be classed as “The Magna Charta for the Kingdom,” with the Mosaic having to do with the rules and regulations governing the people of God in the theocracy.

Creations, Sonship

Nor do “creations” — the Adamic (Genesis 1:26-28), the old creation in Jacob (new at the time [Isaiah 43:1]), or the new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) — have anything to do with salvation. Nor does “sonship” have anything to do with salvation.

(“Sonship” has to do with creation.  Adam was God’s son because of creation [Luke 3:38].  This status did not change following the fall.  Israel is God’s son because of creation [firstborn son because of a subsequent adoption] and remains God’s son [God’s firstborn son] today, in an unsaved state.  And Christians are God’s sons because of creation as well [new creations in Christ, still separate from salvation (nothing about death and shed blood in “creation”), though occurring at the same time].
 
To further illustrate the point in relation to salvation, note that all angels are God’s sons because of their individual creation, and that position remained unchanged in relation to Satan and his angels following their fall [Genesis 6:2].  All angels remain God’s sons today — fallen or unfallen.)

Nor, in the first two creations (Jew and Gentile), can a person move from one creation to the other.  That is, a Gentile cannot become a Jew (he can do no more than become a proselyte); nor can a Jew become a Gentile.  And the reason for that is simple: Both have to do with the physical man.  That which is physical simply cannot change.

The third creation, of course, is formed from the first two.  A Jew or a Gentile becomes a new creation in Christ through “belief.” And a person can move from one creation to the other in this respect because the spiritual man rather than the physical man is involved.

Believing Jews or believing Gentiles remain in their respective creations physically (that cannot change; again because it is physical), but both can become new creations in Christ — Christians — spiritually.

As well, since “the physical” is involved with Jews and Gentiles, the creation can be passed from father to son through procreation.  But such cannot occur at all for Christians, for “the spiritual” is involved — a realm where man cannot operate, a realm that has nothing to do with natural procreation.

Salvation in One Book

Now, with all of that in mind, let’s look at the salvation issue in one Book, not two Testaments, for the salvation issue never changes throughout Scripture.

The whole of the matter is set forth and established in an unchangeable manner in the opening chapters of Genesis. The manner in which God would restore ruined man (i.e., “dead in trespasses and sins” [Ephesians 2:1]), a ruined creation, was set forth in these opening chapters of Genesis; and no change can ever occur.  And the matter was established perfectly in the beginning.

The first thing we read relative to the restoration of a ruined creation is: the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, light came into existence, and God formed a division between the newly existing light and the remaining darkness (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]).  And the latter — the remaining darkness — would tell you that there is something more to the restoration of a ruined creation, foreshadowing man’s salvation, than that which is primarily seen by and through events on day one (something that is seen in events on days two through six, with a view to the seventh day [Genesis 1:2-2:3]).

Thus, the divine work seen on day one foreshadows God’s work pertaining to man’s eternal salvation (a beginning restoration of ruined man).  And the divine work seen beyond this (in days two through six, a continuing restoration of ruined man) foreshadows God’s dealings with saved man in relation to the seventh day, which Scripture later reveals is related to the saving or loss of the soul, the life, of a man who has passed from death unto life.

But, let’s stay mainly with the work on day one. Note something though in passing. Once God had finished with His work on the first day, He didn’t go back and re-deal with anything from this day.  Rather He began to deal with that which was remaining, as it pertained to the complete restoration of the ruined creation seen in that which is foreshadowed by God’s work during the subsequent five days.

Thus, exactly as in the type, God does not go back and re-deal with saved man relative to anything having occurred in his passing from “death into life” (John 5:24). Rather, He now deals with man on the basis of that which has occurred (but not relative to that which has occurred), having to do with dispelling the remaining darkness, with a view to the seventh day.

Now, moving from this initial information in Genesis chapters three and four (Genesis 3-4) , we see several things pertaining to that which was initially occurring on day one in Genesis 1:2-5 [2b].  In chapter three, man falls.  Now another ruined creation is involved.  And how does God restore a ruined creation?  The answer, of course, along with the purpose for restoration, is seen back in the opening thirty-four verses of Genesis — that which is foreshadowed by God’s restoration of the ruined material creation.

In chapter three (Genesis 3) a man acts (Adam, typifying Christ 4,000 years later, partook of the fruit of the tree, bringing about the fall; Christ, in complete conformity to the type, became sin, to effect redemption [2 Corinthians 5:21]).  Then a clear inference to death and shed blood are introduced later in the chapter by and through God clothing Adam and Eve with animal skins (by and through the fall they had lost the covering of Glory).

(Note again that man at this point is not placed completely back in the position that he had occupied before the fall [a restoration of the covering of Glory, which, in subsequent Scripture, is seen restored only on the seventh day].)

Then in chapter four (Genesis 4), more information is added.  Man, seen acting in the previous chapter, would be the one to die and shed his blood (Cain slaying Abel, Israel slaying Christ).  And putting all of this together from these four chapters, the complete salvation picture is seen, a picture that never changes.

Eternal salvation is a divine work, performed by a Man (who has to be God), with death and shed blood involved.  All fallen man can do is simply receive that which has been done on his behalf. Nothing more can enter into the matter.

And note again that once man passes from “death into life,” God’s dealings with man then move to that which lies out ahead.  God never again deals with man relative to the salvation that he presently possesses.

In that respect, note the absurdity of saying that a saved man can lose his salvation.  How could he lose something that he had nothing to do with obtaining, particularly since God is no longer dealing with him relative to the matter?

Now, I’ve spent a lot of time on this for the simple reason that these foundational truths pertaining to salvation are needed in order to understand the subject at hand —  salvation as seen later in Scripture, particularly as it is seen in the camp of Israel on both sides of Calvary.

Events in Genesis chapter twenty-two (Genesis 22) or chapter thirty-seven (Genesis 37) further illustrate and provide additional information for that which is seen in the opening four chapters of Genesis, but let’s move on to Exodus chapter twelve (Exodus 12).

In this chapter we have that which is previously illustrated from several types in Genesis brought together in the institution of the Passover.  A lamb from the flock was to die in a vicarious manner in the stead of the firstborn in the family.  And a lamb dying in this manner, with the blood caught and properly applied, as the sacrifices or other types seen back in Genesis, pointed to the Paschal Lamb dying at Calvary, shedding His blood.

Now, the question: Did God recognize death and shed blood, in relation to man’s eternal salvation, in all these sacrifices throughout man’s 4,000-year history preceding the events of Calvary?  Certainly He did!  After all, He is the One having instituted them, with man only carrying out that which God had previously instituted.

All of these sacrifices were inseparably associated with the One actually slain before man even fell, or before one sacrifice was ever even offered.  Christ was “slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), which takes matters back to the beginning of the restoration of the ruined earth, preceding man’s creation, in Genesis 1:2b (Revelation 13:8).  In reality, all of the Old Testament sacrifices foreshadowed an event that God looked upon as having already occurred (Ecclesiastes 3:14-15; Isaiah 48:3ff).

At the time Christ was here on earth, the Jewish people were still sacrificing the passover lamb.  In this respect, the Jewish people at Christ’s first coming could only have been just as saved as the Israelites during Moses’ day, or anyone else, having availed themselves of God’s provision during succeeding years or during the preceding 2,500 years of human history.

These Jews in view at Christ’s first coming would have been those who were having a part in the sacrifice of the paschal lambs year after year (which could only have been the nation at large, else Christ could not have come to this nation and dealt with them relative to spiritual values, offering to the Jewish nation the kingdom of the heavens).

Salvation on Both Sides of Calvary

Now let’s look at both sides of Calvary and the re-offer of the kingdom of the heavens to Israel after Christ’s ascension.  Again, bear in mind that which is stated in Revelation 13:8.

(But first a word about events in John chapter eight (John 8):  Don’t try to read saved-unsaved issues into this chapter.  Christ was dealing with saved Jews being brought forth from below rather than from above, doing the work of Satan rather than the work of God.

The issue in this chapter, as the issue in the book as a whole, is not eternal salvation.  Rather, the issue has to do with the message being proclaimed to Israel at that time, which pertained to the kingdom.)

Question: Jews rejecting Christ, responsible for the events of Calvary, were they saved or unsaved?  Then another question: If saved — which they, of course, were — did that status change once the Paschal Lamb had died, with God then no longer recognizing animal sacrifices as before, nullifying their salvation?

How could it change?  God has previously established and recognized animal sacrifices in this respect; and, according to the original type in the opening two chapters of Genesis (Genesis 1; 2), or any other type, once the man had passed from “death into life,” God never again dealt with the person on that basis again.  All of God’s dealings with the person, beyond availing himself of the blood sacrifice, were now focused on that which lay ahead, never on that which was lying behind.

Had not the status of these Jews remained the same (i.e., just as saved following Calvary as they had been before Calvary), there could have been no re-offer of the kingdom to Israel, as seen throughout the book of Acts.  And had God continued to recognize animal sacrifices beyond Calvary, the re-offer of the kingdom could conceivably have continued indefinitely (as long as Israel remained in a position to, and continued to, sacrifice the paschal lambs year after year).

But, following Calvary, God recognized only the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, not the sacrifices of paschal lambs as before.  And, on the basis of Revelation 13:8, one might say that God, in reality, had recognized only the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb since before man fell, though seen and foreshadowed in all the other paschal lambs slain up to Calvary.

Thus, the re-offer of the kingdom could remain open as long as a saved generation of Jews remained on the scene (not Christians, but saved Jews [individuals still rejecting Christ; thus, they could not have been new creations in Christ).  But once this generation had passed off the scene, there could be no continued re-offer of the kingdom.

The preceding is why the re-offer ceased after some thirty years (from 33 AD to about 62 AD). The saved generation of Jews was rapidly passing off the scene, leaving unsaved Jews to replace them.  And that having spiritual values could not have been offered to individuals separated from spiritual values.

And, aside from the preceding, a new entity had been brought into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected.

(By way of summation, note the Jews saved on the day of Pentecost, or Paul saved enroute to Damascus.  Neither account should be thought of with respect to eternal verities.  Along with Jews reached throughout the book of Acts, both should be thought of in the sense of the conversion of individuals already saved, i.e., saving the saved [like past and present aspects of salvation, with a view to the future, seen in the lives of Christians today].

The preceding is evident from that which is stated in Acts 2:38 on the day of Pentecost.  And it would be somewhat absurd to think of Paul, a zealous Pharisee, not having previously availed himself of God’s sacrificial provision.

Also, on another note, unsaved Jews today [and it has been this way for over 1,900 years] are looked upon exactly as unsaved Gentiles relative to eternal salvation.  Both have to be saved exactly the same way — through faith in the Paschal Lamb who died — not through faith in some unknown coming Messiah, etc. The matter is exactly as stated in Acts 4:12:

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

In this respect, there are only two types of people in the world today — Saved [Christians] and Unsaved [Jews and Gentiles].)

The preceding should address the issues raised. Again, refer to the three books that I mentioned at the beginning.

Lamp Broadcast by Arlen Chitwood

Arlen Chitwood's Scripture Index to his Books

Also see Charles Strong's expanded answer to salvation for the Jews:  Redemption of Man, From Creation to Now by Charles Strong of Bible One in this site.

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

It’s the WORD, the WORD, the WORD!
Christians have been given nothing else; nor do they need anything else.

All Scripture is Theopneustos
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

2 Timothy 3:16 in the KJV reads,

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine [teaching], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

The words, “given by inspiration of God,” are a translation of the one Greek word, theopneustos, meaning “God-breathed.” This is a compound word comprised of Theos (“God”) and pneuma (“breath” in this particular usage [this is also the word used for “Spirit” in the New Testament — the Holy Spirit, man’s spirit, and the use of spirit in general; also “wind” in John 3:8]).

That which is meant by and the implications of Scripture being God-breathed are given in a somewhat simple manner in Scripture, but one has to look at and compare related parts of both Testaments before he can really begin to see and understand that which is involved. A person has to reference passages in both Testaments, studying passages from one in the light of passages from the other. He has to compare Scripture with Scripture, i.e., he has to compare “spiritual things with spiritual.”

Note first of all Hebrews 4:12a:

For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. . . .

Now, the question: Why is the Word of God “living,” “powerful,” and “sharper than any two-edged sword”? The answer: Because of its origin. The Word is “theopneustos”; the Word is “God-breathed.”

But, what does that mean? And why is the Word “living” because of its origin? This is where one has to go back to beginning points in the Old Testament and find the first mention in Scripture of God bringing a matter to pass through the use of His breath.

This is necessary not only because of the need to compare Scripture with Scripture but also because of a principle of biblical interpretation, called, “the First-Mention Principle.”

This principle has to do with unchangeableness, and it centers on an unchangeable structure of the Word given by the unchangeable God. Because of the inherent nature of the Word, the first time a subject is mentioned in Scripture, a pattern, a mold is established at that point that remains unchanged throughout the remainder of Scripture.

Remaining within this principle, the first time one finds the breath of God mentioned in Scripture is in Genesis 2:7, in connection with life imparted to man; and, consequently, at this beginning point, this verse connects life with the breath of God after an unchangeable fashion. God formed and fashioned man from the dust of the ground, but man was not created alive. Life was subsequently imparted through God breathing into man’s “nostrils the breath of life,” resulting in man becoming “a living being [soul, KJV].”

Thus, at this point in Scripture the unchangeable connection between God’s breath and life is established and set. Only God can produce life, and any time life is produced beyond this point it must always be through the one means set forth at the beginning, revealed in Genesis 2:7.

The whole of the matter can be illustrated after a simple fashion from a later Old Testament passage, the vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven (Eze. 37).

The bones are presented as lifeless, and the question is asked in verse three, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Then note in verse five how life is to be affected: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.”

And Eze. 37:8, revealing their condition following “sinews,” “flesh,” and “skin” covering them, but prior to God acting, states, “there was no breath in them.” Then there is a cry in verse nine for “breath” so that “these slain . . . may live.” And the end of the matter is then given in verse ten: “. . . breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”

(Ezekiel 37, in its entirety, outlines events of a yet future day. It has to do with that time when Messiah returns and life is restored to “the whole house of Israel, which includes both those alive at that time [those already possessing natural life, but not spiritual life] and resurrected Old Testament saints [those already possessing spiritual life, but not natural life] [Exodus 13:19; cf. Ezekiel 36:24-28].

The remnant in the land today comprises only a small portion of “the whole house of Israel”; and this remnant, in relation to God’s breath, can only be described after the same fashion as Jews anywhere else in the world — spiritually lifeless. Then, beyond that, the dead from the past dispensation must be included [Scripture presents “the whole house of Israel” remaining dead for the entire two days — 2,000 years — of the present dispensation (John 11:6-7, 43-44)].

The whole house of Israel” is pictured today after one fashion in Scripture — very dry bones, without breath. But they will one day live. When?

“After two days [after 2,000 years] will He revive us: in the third day [in the third 1,000-year period, the Messianic Era] He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight” [Hosea 6:2].)

Thus, there is the information from the Old Testament to show what is meant by the statement in 2 Timothy 3:16 (“All Scripture is God-breathed . . . .”), to show the connection between this verse and Hebrews 4:12 (“For the Word of God is living . . . .”), and to show the full implications involved by what is further stated about the whole of Scripture in both passages.

(Note also Luke 8:55; James 2:26; Revelation 13:15. The word pneuma appears in each verse, referring to “life”; and the word should be understood as “breath” in these passages.)

Then there is the inseparable connection between the Spirit (the Pneuma) and the Word:

For prophecy [referring to written revelation (Eze. 37:20)] never came by the will of man, but holy [set apart] men of God spoke as they were moved [borne along] by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

The Word is “God-breathed,” and thus “living,” because of the Spirit’s inseparable connection with the Word. He is the One who gave the Word to man through man, and He is the One presently in the world to guide man “into all truth” through the use of this Word (John 16:13).

The Pneuma (Spirit/Breath) is not only the One who gave the Word after this fashion in past time, but He is also the One who effects man’s regeneration after a similar fashion during the present time. It is the present work of the Pneuma (Spirit/Breath) in man’s regeneration that produces life (there must be breathing in for man to pass “from death to life” [cf. Genesis 1:2; 2:7; John 3:6-8; 5:24]). And the Pneuma (Spirit/Breath) not only produces this life (based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary), but He presently indwells the one to whom He has imparted life in order to lead and guide that person into an understanding — from immaturity to maturity — of the God-breathed Word that He Himself previously imparted to man through man.

Thus, it is the breath of God producing life in unregenerate man today, through the instrumentality of the Spirit, based on the Son’s finished work. And that new life is nurtured and sustained by a continued work of the Spirit, through the use of that which is itself the breath of God, and, accordingly, living.

The Holy Spirit uses only that which is living to nourish and nurture that which has been made alive. Spiritual growth from immaturity to maturity requires spiritual nourishment, which is derived from only one source. There’s no other way for spiritual growth to occur.

That’s why pastor-teachers have been exhorted to “Preach the Word,” and that’s why Christians have been exhorted to “study” this same Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 4:2). A person’s ability to function in the spiritual realm is inseparably connected with that person’s knowledge of and ability to use the Word of God.

It’s the WORD, the WORD, the WORD! Christians have been given nothing else; nor do they need anything else.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Study of Scripture, Ch. 1, Pg 4.

 Or see 1) Foundational Prerequisites in this site.

Received or Turned Away
Matthew 24:40-44 is NOT The Rapture
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

"Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.

"Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

"But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.

"For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. (Mat. 24:40-44)

"But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luk. 21:36)

The words in the text, “one will be taken and the other left,” are often misunderstood by expositors.  And through this misunderstanding, some mistakenly teach that these verses refer to the rapture, with one removed from the earth and another left behind on the earth.  This though is not at all what is in view.

The mistake comes from thinking that the ones left remain in the field or at the mill, while the others are removed from these places.  Reference to the Greek text, the context, and parallel Scripture though will show that this cannot possibly be the case.  These verses reveal the Lord’s dealings with two Christians who will be in the field and two other Christians who will be grinding at the mill (representative individuals, places, and occupations) when He returns to reckon with His servants; and this reckoning will occur, not in the field or at the mill, but before the judgment seat of Christ in heaven following the rapture.  The time and place of this reckoning are always the same in Scripture.

The word “taken” (Mat. 24:40-41) is a translation of the Greek word paralambano.  This is a compound word comprised of para (“beside,” or “alongside”) and lambano (“to take,” or “to receive”).  Thus, the word goes a step beyond just simply taking or receiving.  It is taking or receiving the person alongside or to oneself (cf. Matthew 17:1; 20:17 where paralambano is used).  This would be the word used referring to the reception of an individual as an “associate” or a “companion,” which is actually what is involved in this passage.

Then, the word “left” (Mat. 24:40-41) is a translation of the Greek word aphiemi, which is used in an antithetical respect to paralambano.  In the light of the way paralambano is used, aphiemi could possibly best be understood by translating the word, “turn away.” 

That which is involved in this passage has to do with Christians before the judgment seat either being received in an intimate sense or being turned away in an opposite sense.

And the parable of the Householder and His servant, which immediately follows, is given to help explain these things.  These verses are not referring to the rapture at all, but to faithful and unfaithful Christians in different walks of life as they appear before the judgment seat in heaven.

Reference to the parallel passage in Luke’s account of the Olivet Discourse shows this same thing:

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36).

Some expositors have also taken this verse as a reference to the rapture (usually those attempting selective rapture); but, again, such is not correct.  This verse is actually the parallel in Luke’s gospel for not only Matthew 24:40-44 but also for the three parables that follow, covering the remainder of the Christian section of the discourse (the parable of the Householder and His servant [Mat. 24:45-51], the parable of the ten virgins [Mat. 25:1-13], and the parable of the talents [Mat. 25:14-30]).

Again, reference to the Greek text, the context, and related Scripture will show exactly how this verse is to be understood.  The main problems in translation and interpretation lie in the words “that you may be counted worthy” and “escape all these things.”

The words, “that you may be counted worthy,” could be better translated, “that you may prevail over [in the sense of being strong and winning a victory]”; and the words, “escape [lit., ‘escape out of’] all these things,” refer back to the immediate context, dealing with “surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life” (Luke 21:34-35).  This verse is, thus, exhorting Christians to watch and pray relative to deliverance from involvement in the ways and practices of the world (Ephesians 6:18; cf. Ephesians 6:10-17).

Weymouth, in his translation of the New Testament, captures the correct thought from the Greek text about as well as any English version presently available (also see the NASB):

Beware of slumbering; at all times pray that you may be fully strengthened to escape from all these coming evils, and to take your stand in the presence of the Son of Man.

Note also Wuest’s “Expanded Translation”:

But be circumspect, attentive, ready, in every season being in prayer, in order that you may have sufficient strength to be escaping all these things which are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

The words “watch” and “pray” are in a present tense showing linear (continuous) action in the Greek text.  The thought is that of Christians continually watching (always being alert, on guard) and continually praying for the strength necessary to escape out of the ways and practices of the world.

“Escape out of” is the translation of an aorist infinitive in the Greek text, showing deliverance viewed as eventual (i.e., viewed as the result of Christians continually watching and praying).  And, viewed as a whole (as in Weymouth’s translation), this deliverance would occur on particular occasions at different times.

Contextually, this deliverance is not a one-time event (as the rapture), but repeated occurrences (as in Wuest’s translation).  And the goal of the entire process is Christians ultimately being privileged to “stand before the Son of Man.”

(Aorist and present tenses in the Greek text are often misunderstood and misused.  In fact, a lot of false doctrine has resulted from a misunderstanding and misuse of these tenses.

The word “aorist” is simply an anglicized Greek word, aoratos, which means “unseen,” “invisible” [aoratos is the word horatos, meaning “to see,” negated by the prefix “a,” making the word aoratos mean just the opposite — “not to see”].  And this word, used relative to “tense” in Greek grammar, refers to the “action” of the verb [unseen action].

Action in the aorist tense is presented simply as occurring, without reference to its progress [which, from the verb itself, cannot be seen].  And this action, seen contextually, can be very linear [continuous, occurring over time] or punctiliar** [occurring at one or more points in time].

[A misunderstanding and misuse of the aorist tense usually occurs by attempting to see what the meaning of the name of the tense itself clearly states can’t be seen — action occurring, which is invariably and erroneously viewed as punctiliar.

This action is represented on paper [in grammar books] by a dot, simply because it can’t be seen to describe the type of action (whether linear or punctiliar).  And this dot is what often misleads people, thinking that punctiliar action is being described by the dot, which isn’t the case at all].

On the other hand, the present tense, where action is seen, serves to show both linear and punctiliar action.  The general rule is that if punctiliar action is not shown by the context, then linear action is to be understood.

For example, “believes” in John 3:15-16 is the translation of a present participle in the Greek text; and, except for the context [John 3:14], the word in both verses would be understood in a linear respect.  The context though shows that both words are to be understood as punctiliar i.e., simply believe at a point in time, not keep on believing [it was look and live in the type (John 3:14), and it is, as well (it cannot be any other way) look and live in the antitype (John 3:15-16)].

Then note “believes” in Romans 1:16, also the translation of a present participle in the Greek text.  But this time the context doesn’t show that the present tense is to be understood any way other than linear.  Thus, the thought presented in the verse would be to keep on believing, keep on exercising faith [note, contextually, that this verse has nothing to do with eternal salvation; rather, it has to do with belief, faith, exercised by those who are already saved].)

Standing before, or in the presence of, the Son of Man in the passage from Luke’s account of the Olivet Discourse (Luke 21:34-36) is synonymous with being received in an intimate manner by the Lord in the parallel section in Matthew’s account of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:40-44).

The thought is presented another way in Psalms 24:3-4:

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.

Psalm chapter twenty-four is a Messianic Psalm; and the expression, “to stand before the Son of Man” in Luke 21:36, is Messianic as well.  Ascendingthe hill [referring to the ‘kingdom’;  note Psalms 2:6] of the Lord” or standing “before the Son of Man” are reserved for “associates” or “companions” who will rule as co-heirs with Christ (cf. Hebrews 1:9; 3:1, 14;  “fellows” [Hebrews 1:9, KJV] and “partakers” [Hebrews 3:1, 14] are translations of the same Greek word [metochoi], which could be better rendered, “associates” or “companions”).

(A similar statement to that which is seen in Luke 21:36 is seen in God’s promise to those in the Church in Philadelphia, in Revelation 3:10 — “I also will keep you from the hour of trial.”

For information on this verse (Rev. 3:10), refer to Chapter 10, “A Pillar, A City,” in the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 10.)

 ** Blue Letter Bible - Greek Verbs

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet, Ch. 10

Prophecy on Mount Olivet by Arlen Chitwood

Judgment Seat of Christ by Arlen Chitwood

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch. 10 

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

The kingdom is the focal point toward which the entire program of God,
as it pertains to man, has been moving since the creation of Adam.

Prophecy on Mount Olivet
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

A Study About End-Time Events Having to Do with the Jews, the Christians and the Gentiles.

Foreword

To properly understand the message that Christ delivered to His disciples, recorded in Matthew 24; 25, one must understand the overall framework of events in Matthew’s gospel. The subject at hand throughout this gospel is the King and the proffered Kingdom. With the King present in Israel’s midst, the Kingdom of the Heavens (the heavenly portion of the Messianic Kingdom — a rule from the heavens over the earth) was offered to and rejected by Israel. With Israel’s rejection, the kingdom of the heavens was taken from Israel with a view to the kingdom being offered to a separate and distinct “nation.” The house of Israel, rejecting the King and the Kingdom, was then left desolate (Matthew 21:33-43; 23:38-39).

The discourse that Christ delivered to His disciples on Mount Olivet was given immediately following His pronouncement of desolation upon the house of Israel, two days prior to the time Israel would climax the nation’s rejection by crucifying “Jesus, the King of the Jews” (cf. Matthew 23:38; 26:2; 27:37). Christ had previously mentioned the Church, anticipating that which was about to occur (Matthew 16:18). He then alluded to the previously mentioned Church (though the Church was not yet in existence) shortly before His discourse on Mount Olivet as the “nation” that would be allowed to bring forth fruit in the realm where Israel had failed (Matthew 21:43; cf. Matthew 21:18-19). And the Church was about to be called into existence to be the recipient of that which had been rejected by and taken from Israel.

Christ’s discourse on Mount Olivet takes into account all things that had previously occurred during His earthly ministry (anticipating the existence of the Church) and concerns not only Israel and the Church but also the Gentile nations. This discourse, delivered in a tripartite manner, deals:

1) With the house of Israel (apart from the kingdom of the heavens) during and following the Tribulation.   (Mat. 24:4-39)

2) With the Church (in relation to the kingdom of the heavens) during and following the present dispensation. (Mat. 24:40-25:30)

3) With the saved out of the Gentile nations (in relation to the kingdom) following the Tribulation.
(Mat. 25:31-46)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet (Word Format)

Concluding Remarks in 'Introduction':

The kingdom is the focal point toward which the entire program of God, as it pertains to man, has been moving since the creation of Adam; and the Olivet Discourse comprises a dissertation of God’s terminal dealings with the three divisions of mankind — Jew, Christian, and Gentile — immediately preceding and leading into this kingdom.

The Jewish section has to do with Israel in the Tribulation, followed by the return of Israel’s Messiah and the re-gathering of Israel, anticipating the kingdom.

The Christian section has to do with the present faithfulness or unfaithfulness of Christians and the coming judgment seat, anticipating the kingdom.

The Gentile section has to do with all the saved, living Gentiles being dealt with immediately following God’s completion of His dealings with Israel, anticipating the kingdom.

Prophecy on Mount Olivet by Arlen Chitwood

 Pray to the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Providing for You

This is a time of abundance in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment. I delight in providing it for you.

Sometimes My children hesitate to receive My good gifts with open hands. Feelings of false guilt creep in, telling them they don’t deserve to be so richly blessed. This is nonsense-thinking, because no one deserves anything from Me. Eternal life is not about earning and deserving; it’s about believing and receiving.

When a child of Mine balks at accepting My gifts, I am deeply grieved. When you receive My abundant blessings with a grateful heart, I rejoice. My pleasure in giving and your pleasure in receiving flow together in joyous harmony.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  (Psalm 23:5 KJV)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  (Luke 11:9-10)

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  (Romans 8:32)

~~Author may be known only to God

The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:9-13
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Although there is a commentary-document entitled “Biblical Prayer” on the website (Bible One - Charles Strong's Biblical Prayer), what is most often referred to within Christendom as “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13 [Luke 11:2-4]) is not covered in the document, a model prayer that incorporates essentials that our Lord would have Christians address in their prayer life.

This prayer is given by Christ while He was seated up on a mountain and teaching His disciples, a discourse often referred to as “The Sermon on the Mount,” a lengthy dissertation that deals with entrance into or exclusion from the kingdom of the heavens (Matthew 5; 6; 7).

The kingdom of the heavens is the heavenly portion of Christ’s 1,000 year reign over the earth, i.e., His Millennial Kingdom, which is established after the seven-year tribulation period upon the earth — a relatively brief period of time that is preceded by “The Rapture” (Christ’s return in earth’s atmosphere to retrieve the living and the dead who have believed in Him, an event that takes place at the end of the present dispensation of grace [1 Thessalonians 4:13-17]).

It is during this period of instruction on the mountain that Jesus warns his disciples against allowing hypocrisy to characterize their spiritual lives as to their charitable deeds (Matthew 6:1-4), their prayers (Matthew 6:5-15), and their fasting (Matthew 6:16-18) — all activities of their life before God to which they could perform either publically or privately.

As to prayer, Jesus first stated the following in verses five through eight of chapter six:

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Matt. 6:5-8)

Here Christ confirms that prayer should be a private communication, an expression of one’s praise and needs before God, which should never be expressed (flaunted) before others in order to acquire their admiration.  And this malady of prayer-hypocrisy is as evident today, as it was then.  One need only attend almost any local Christian church to witness members who routinely make it a practice to pray loud and long at various times during the service.

And should this not be sufficient, then there is always a “prayer meeting,” where one may suitably exercise his/her flair and stamina in conversing with God.  Unfortunately, such presentations may only be for the recognition and approval of other members within the congregation; and, therefore, may be quite worthless to God.

As to this manner of “public prayer,” Jesus assures His disciples that the only “reward” one who prays in this manner will receive is recognition from man, not God.  On the other hand, should the one praying ensure his prayer is conducted secretly before his Father (God), then his Father (God) will reward him openly (lit. publicly).

Christ also confirms that the use of “vain repetitions” during prayer, which only serve to extend the length of prayer for the endorsement of others is wrong and unnecessary, since God  “knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

It is then that Christ instructs His disciples to pray in the following manner:

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matt. 6:9-13)

And although this prayer is repeated from memory and in unison by participants in various religious meetings, or by individuals within one’s prayer regiment, the elements should not be considered “vain repetitions” as mentioned in verse seven; that is, as long as the one praying consciously understands the meaning of each element and purposely recites it. 

This is a companion passage to Luke 11:2-4, in which is Christ’s answer to the disciple’s request, “Lord, teach us to pray . . . .”  It is the only time where Jesus personally outlines specific elements of prayer.  Each element is quite specific and indicates a facet of one’s spiritual life that every Christian should recognize and address when talking with God.  Each will be considered, as follows:
________________________________________________________________________

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (Matthew 6:9)
________________________________________________________________________

Prayer is to be addressed primarily to God the Father.  Although there may be no harm in addressing a prayer to Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit, this would be outside the pattern set by Christ in His directed prayer.  The use of the word “Father” implies a relationship, which is the relationship between God and man that exists once a person is “born again” (i.e., spiritually, “from above”) by faith alone in Christ alone

From the “birth from above” experience onward, a permanent, personal and loving relationship exists between the believer and God.  From that point on he may and should call God his Father.  It should also be recognized that God is in heaven, an acknowledgment that the believer’s Father is in fact God Almighty who is sovereign over the universe.

And, the believer’s prayer should begin with worship, ascribing praise and honor to his Heavenly Father.
________________________________________________________________________

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
________________________________________________________________________

The believer should specifically pray for the return of Jesus Christ to earth to establish His Millennial (1,000 years) Kingdom, just as the apostle John prayed, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” in Revelation 22:20.  The fulfillment of this prophetic promise is what all believers should daily look forward to in eager anticipation (1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20).  In fact, the thought of Christ’s return should be a modifier of his every action throughout his life.
________________________________________________________________________

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)
________________________________________________________________________

After putting God first in prayer, the believer is to acknowledge his dependence upon God for his daily needs, both physical and spiritual.  Just as the Children of Israel in the wilderness looked to God for daily manna from heaven, the child of God during his sojourn on earth is to look to his Father for all temporal and eternal needs.  As a person depends on Christ in the execution of the salvation experience, he is subsequently to depend on his Heavenly Father for sustenance in both his physical and spiritual growth. (Matthew 4:4; John 6:33, 35, 48)
________________________________________________________________________

And forgive us our debts [trespasses, sins], as we forgive our debtors [those who trespass, sin against us]. (Matthew 6:12)
________________________________________________________________________

This does not refer to “judicial forgiveness” from the penalty of sin, which was permanently obtained by faith in Jesus Christ.  It refers to “parental forgiveness,” which is necessary for continued fellowship with God the Father.  The person who accepts by faith alone Christ alone is born again and at that moment is indwelt by and sealed with the Holy Spirit.  As time goes on and as the new believer makes wrong decisions by giving into the still remaining “sin nature,” which remains in him, rather than submitting to the inner voice of the Spirit, he thereby “quenches” the Holy Spirit and hinders his fellowship with God.  To restore this fellowship and the ability for control by the Spirit, the believer must confess (acknowledge) all known sin in his life.  Upon doing this, the promise of God is that not only is known sin immediately forgiven, but all unknown or forgotten sin is also forgiven (1 John 1:9) — resulting in the reestablishment of control by the Spirit in the believer and the restoration of his fellowship with God.

But there is also a principle expressed in this element of The Model Prayer that is further explained by Christ in Matthew 18:21-35, which is that God expects His children to forgive others as He forgave them.  If the believer is unwilling to forgive others of their trespasses, then the Heavenly Father will be unable to forgive the believer his trespasses.  This is further confirmed in verses 14 and 15.
________________________________________________________________________

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)
________________________________________________________________________

A believer is not wrong to ask of his Heavenly Father for “smooth sailing.”  This is only natural and is to be expected.  Even Christ was troubled when the time came for Him to face the cross.  Although God will not personally tempt anyone (James 1:13), He will allow Satan to test His children, to undergo trials, adversity and affliction from time-to-time in order to refine them, to encourage them and to strengthen their faith in Him.  God has promised that He will not allow His children to be tested beyond what they can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The believer should always understand that Satan—the serpent (Genesis 3:4), the devil (Matthew 4:1), the tempter (Matthew 4:3), the wicked one (Matthew 13:19), the ruler of darkness (Ephesians 6:12), the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), the prince of this world (John 14:30), the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), the Christian’s adversary — like a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).  Without God’s permission, Satan cannot touch a believer.  But for various reasons — out of fellowship, spiritual testing, etc.— God may allow Satan access to a believer.  It is proper for a believer to ask God to deliver him from Satan on a daily basis.  This is the prayer of anyone who desires to be kept from sin by the power of God.

This last phrase of The Model Prayer is omitted in the Roman Catholic and many Protestant Bibles since it is not in many manuscripts; however, it is in the majority of ancient manuscripts and it is totally consistent with all other Bible doctrine.  This doxology is a perfect ending to the prayer, and the believer should always express his recognition and worship of God Almighty as the Originator of all that is good and eternal.

Bible One - Charles Strong's The Lord's Prayer

Bible One by Charles Strong

Bible One's Bible Study Resource Links 

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

To be “filled” by the Holy Spirit
is to be fully empowered by the Holy Spirit.
This condition allows the Holy Spirit to control
the believer in all matters, even prayer.
But since God never takes away a believer’s “freedom of choice” (his will),
the believer may make choices that will quench or “limit”
the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. 

Two Types of Fruit
“Gold, Silver, Precious Stones” or “Wood, Hay, Stubble”
By Arlen L. Chitwood of
Lamp Broadcast

Two lands are contrasted in Heb. 6:7-8. The first (Heb. 6:7) brings forth “herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed,” and this land “receiveth blessings from God.” The second (Heb. 6:8) beareth “thorns and briers,” and this land is “rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”

The land of Canaan and the land of Egypt are set forth after a similar contrast in Scripture.

The land of Canaan is set forth, on the one hand, corresponding to the land of Heb. 6:7, associated with blessings from God; then it is set forth, on the other hand, as being sharply contrasted with the land of Egypt, which corresponds to the earth under a curse. And though the curse will be lifted for one thousand years (during the coming Messianic Era), at the end of this time “the earth…and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (cf. II Peter 3:10-13).

It is the land of Egypt which corresponds to the land in Heb. 6:8 — that which bears “thorns and briers… whose end is to be burned [set in sharp contrast to the land and its related fruit in Heb. 6:7].” And “the land of Egypt” is a type of the world in which man presently lives — a world under a curse, which brings forth “thorns also and thistles” (Gen. 3:17-18).

Whether it be the earth under a curse or natural man connected with the earth, insofar as God is concerned, there can only be total, complete rejection. “That which beareth thorns and briers is rejected.”

The reference in Hebrews though is not to unredeemed man on the earth (although he has been rejected). The reference is to redeemed man who looks to that land which bears “thorns and briers” (Heb. 6:8) rather than to that land which brings forth “herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed” (Heb. 6:7). The reference is to the antitype of those Israelites under Moses at Kadesh-Barnea who believed the evil report of the ten spies concerning the land of Canaan, causing them to look back to Egypt rather than out ahead to the land of their calling (Num. 13:31-14:4).

These Israelites looked back to a land which bore “thorns and briers” rather than out ahead to a land which brought forth “herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed.” And their subsequent overthrow in the wilderness was completely in line with that which God had to say about Egypt, the land to which they had sought to return. Relative to their calling and the land set before them (called out of Egypt to dwell in the land of Canaan as God’s firstborn son, within a theocracy), they were “rejected.” They were overthrown in the wilderness, short of this goal.

And the warning to Christians is that they can, by following the same example, only suffer the same fate. Eternally saved? Yes! But, just as the Israelites under Moses were overthrown on the right side of the blood at a place short of the goal of their calling, so can Christians under Christ be overthrown at the same place, for the same reason, after the identical fashion (cf. I Cor. 9:24-10:11).

Righteous Lot

The experiences of “righteous” Lot (II Peter 2:7-8) form another Old Testament type — from a different perspective — concerning redeemed man’s calling from the world to a land removed from the world. And, within this account, the type is quite instructive concerning the inability of a carnal, worldly person (though redeemed) to act in any depth at all within the “spiritual” realm.

Lot was among those whom Abraham rescued in the battle of the kings in Genesis 14. And, from the record, it seems apparent that Lot was with Abraham when Melchizedek came forth with bread and wine following this battle.

However, it was Abraham alone who was blessed by Melchizedek and was allowed to understand enough about that which was happening to make him lose all interest in the things which the world had to offer (Gen. 14:18-24).

(One aspect of the preceding type would prevent Lot from entering into these experiences, for he was not of Abraham’s seed. But the aspect of the type being viewed is that of two saved individuals in Melchizedek’s presence, not God’s covenant dealings and promises to Abraham and his seed.

Note one facet of teaching from this aspect of the type relative to Christians in the coming kingdom. All will be present when Christ exercises the Melchizedek priesthood, but not all will be blessed.)

Abraham and Lot, in this respect, would fit within the framework of Heb. 6:1-6. One was allowed to go on into an understanding of the things surrounding Melchizedek, but not so with the other. Viewing their individual backgrounds, the reason becomes evident; and viewing that which occurred in the lives of these two men in subsequent years, the end result is quite instructive.

Abraham lived in “the plains of Mamre,” near Hebron, located in the mountainous terrain of the high country (Gen. 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; 23:17-19; 35:27).

Lot, on the other hand, lived in Sodom, in “the plain of Jordan,” in the low-lying country (Gen. 13:10-12; 14:12; 19:1).

The difference in these two places would be similar to the difference between Jerusalem and Jericho. Jerusalem was located in the mountainous terrain of the high country, but Jericho was located near the lowest point in the land (actually, on earth), near the Dead Sea at the southern end of the Jordan plain (where Sodom and the other cities of the plain are believed to have once existed).

Jerusalem and Jericho are set in sharp contrast to one another in Scripture. One is “the city of the great King,” from which blessings for the nations of the earth will flow during the coming age (Ps. 48:2; Zech. 14:1-21); but “a curse” rests upon the other (Joshua 6:18, 26). And the two places where Abraham and Lot lived are set in similar sharp contrast.

Lot’s downward path can be seen in different places from Gen. 13:10 to Gen. 19:1 (Genesis 13-19), and the results of his downward path can be seen in Gen. 14:12-24; 19:1-38.

Lot “lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere…” He then “chose him all the plain of Jordan…dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” And in the process of doing this, he separated himself from Abraham (Gen. 13:10-12). That is, the carnal believer separated himself from the spiritual believer.

The day came when Lot got into trouble and had to be rescued by Abraham (Gen. 14:12-16). But his long association with the cities of the plain could only have prevented him from seeing beyond the “letter” when Melchizedek subsequently appeared, following the battle of the kings (Gen. 14:18-24); and his failure to see beyond the “letter,” coupled with his long prior association with the cities of the plain, eventually resulted in his not only again living in Sodom but also in his being actively involved within the affairs of the city (Gen. 19:1 [affairs of a city were carried on by men seated at the gate, as was Lot]).

Abraham though, during this same time, dwelled in the high country, removed from the cities of the plain. And, apart from instances such as his rescue of Lot and his intercession on behalf of the righteous in Sodom (Gen. 14:14-16; 18:23-33), the affairs of the people in the Jordan plain were of no moment to him.

Thus, when the day arrived for the destruction of the cities of the plain — as the day will arrive for the destruction of the present world system — two completely contrasting saved individuals can be seen.

And that’s what is in view in Heb. 6:7-8, along with fruit bearing in each sphere — one of value, the other worthless (cf. I Cor. 3:12).

Some Christians have been allowed to go on and see that which is taught concerning Melchizedek. Consequently, their interest doesn’t lie in the things of the Jordan plain but in the things of the high country. And they dwell where their interest lies.

Other Christians though, as Lot, have not been allowed to go on and see that which is taught concerning Melchizedek (and, invariably, for the same reason set forth in Lot’s life). Consequently, their interest doesn’t lie in the things of the high country but in those things of the valley instead. And they too dwell where their interest lies. (See Who was Melchizedek? in this site.)  

Escape from Sodom

The Jordan plain with four of its cities was destroyed during Abraham and Lot’s day by “brimstone and fire” from heaven (Gen. 19:24-25; cf. Deut. 29:23). And though Lot was delivered from Sodom prior to this destruction, his deliverance was, as in the words of I Cor. 3:15, “so as by [‘through’] fire.”

Prior to this destruction, Lot was placed outside Sodom and commanded, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed”  (Gen. 19:17).

Note what’s involved in this four-part command.

First, “Escape for thy life [‘soul’].” This is the saving of the soul/life. Physical life in this instance? Yes! But far more than just the physical is involved, as becomes evident from the remainder of the command.

The next three parts relate how the soul/life can be saved:

1) “Look not behind thee” (cf. Luke 9:62; Heb. 12:1-2)

2) “Neither stay thou in all the plain” (don’t remain in the low-lying country [equivalent to Egypt]).

3) “Escape to the mountain” (a “mountain” is used in Scripture symbolizing a kingdom, particularly Christ’s coming Kingdom [cf. Isa. 2:1-5; Dan. 2:35, 44-45; Matt. 17:1-5]).

(Note: Contrary to some English translations,

the word “mountain” in the Hebrew text of Gen. 19:17 is singular, as in the KJV. The reference is to a “mountain” symbolizing a kingdom, not to “mountains” symbolizing kingdoms. A distinction between “mountain” and “mountains” in this respect can be seen in Isa. 2:2-3,

“…the mountain of the Lord’s house [the kingdom of Christ] shall be established at the top of the mountains [all the individual earthly kingdoms]…”)

The escape from the plain to the mountain is an escape from Egypt to Canaan — to that land associated with the coming kingdom. This is where one’s attention is to be centered. This is where he is to dwell.

Then this four-part command is followed by that which will happen to a person should he not follow that which the Lord has to say in this respect: “lest thou be consumed.” That is, he will be consumed by that which will itself be consumed; and, as a consequence, he will lose his soul/life.

Lot though had no concept of that which was being stated; and, in reality, even though the Lord had given him this four-part command, he couldn’t follow it.

His spiritual senses had not been sufficiently developed or exercised. He could do no more than act after a carnal fashion, which he did (Gen. 19:19-20). And this is the apparent reason why the Lord, apart from remonstrance, honored his request to be allowed to go to Zoar instead of the mountain (Gen. 19:21-23).

However, Zoar — a city in the plain, spared for Lot — wasn’t the last stop. After the destruction of the other cities of the plain, Lot became afraid to dwell in Zoar and moved out into the mountain to which he had previously been commanded to escape.

But, unlike Abraham, Lot dwelled on the mountain in “a cave” (Gen. 19:30) rather than standing in a place “before the Lord” (Gen. 19:27; cf. Gen. 18:22). He, in effect, dwelled in a place of shame rather than in a place of honor.

And therein is the account of two pilgrims who governed their lives after two entirely different fashions, one day arriving at the same destination and finding themselves occupying diametrically opposed positions, completely commensurate with the fashion in which they had governed their lives during their previous pilgrim journey.

Thus will it be with Christians on the Mountain in that coming day.

Arlen Chitwood's Two Types of Fruit

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 Sanctification is the highway to joint heirship with Christ.

Kingdom Basics!
By Susan Cockran

(Charles Strong's note:  Although this article contains few scriptural references, it presents the essence of the “word of the kingdom” [the kingdom message], which is the dominant message throughout the entire Word of God.)

To understand the future Kingdom of Christ, we must understand a few basic facts from the Scripture:

God created Satan and the angels to be rulers in the universe.  Satan was assigned rulership over the earth.  But Satan was not satisfied with his position so he rebelled against God.  God judged Satan for his rebellion.  Part of Satan’s judgment was that he would lose his position as ruler over the earth.  And this is why God made man and woman (Adam and Eve)—to replace Satan as rulers over the earth.  You can see this in Genesis 1:26 where God says:

 “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over . . . all the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

But God did not immediately place Adam and Eve in that position of rulership.  God wanted to test Adam and Eve to see if they would be obedient to Him before allowing them to begin their rule.  Satan knew that God was testing Adam and Eve so he interfered by tempting Eve to sin (by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree).  When Eve sinned and caused Adam to join her in that sin, both of them became disqualified to rule the earth.  This meant that Satan would continue ruling the earth temporarily until God produced another replacement ruler who would prove, through obedience, to be worthy of this position.  And not only did man lose the right to rule over the earth, but man also came under the eternal judgment of God for sin (hell or the lake of fire).

But it was God’s intention for man to rule over the earth and God was not willing to let man be destroyed.  So God provided a way to save man — a way to free man from the judgment of eternal hell and bring him back into the position of rulership for which he was created.

And this salvation for man came through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  And according to God’s plan, anyone who believes in Jesus, is freed from the judgment of everlasting hell and will live in eternity with God, enjoying His blessing.

And this freedom from eternal hell into eternal blessing with God is given to us as a free gift when we believe in Jesus.  It is something that we do not have to work for and we can never lose.

But bringing man back into the position of rulership over the earth would be different.  Because before any man can rule, he must first be tested — just as Adam and Eve were tested.  So once a person believes in Jesus and has eternal life with God, then God begins testing that believer to see if they will qualify to rule with Christ over the earth.  And this testing has to do with obedience to the Word of God.  Believers who live their lives in obedience to God’s Word will inherit positions of rulership in the coming Kingdom of Christ.

This Kingdom will operate in two spheres.  One sphere will be earthly.  Jesus will have a city, a temple, and a throne on the earth in Jerusalem.  And He will also have a throne in the heavenly sphere where Satan and his angels now reside.  The Scripture tells us that “the heavens do rule” (Daniel 4:26).  This means that the ultimate rule over the earth comes from this heavenly sphere.  Those who sit on these thrones in the heavenly sphere will be those who have total authority over the earth.  And Jesus is not going to rule from the heavens alone.  And neither will He rule alone from His throne on the earth.

The nation of Israel is going to be exalted to rule with Christ upon the earth over all the other nations that will exist during this time.  And Christians who qualify through obedience to God’s Word will rule with Jesus from the heavens.  They will rule over Israel, over all the nations, and over all God’s angels.

Most Christians don’t even realize that such a privilege in being offered to them.  They think that believing in Christ and being saved from an eternal hell is the end of God’s salvation for them.  But in reality, it is just the beginning.  God doesn’t just want us to escape the judgment of hell.  He wants to restore us to the purpose for which we were created — rulership.  But the privilege of rulership is not automatically ours simply because we have believed in Christ and are saved for eternity.  Eternity and the Kingdom age are two different segments in God’s economy.  Life with God in eternity is given to us as a free gift when we believe in Christ.  But life with Christ in the Kingdom age must be earned through faithful obedience to God and His Word.

Satan is still presently ruling as “the god of this age,” but because he disqualified himself through sin, he will not continue to rule.  Once Christ returns to establish His Kingdom, the day of Satan’s rule will be over and God will replace Satan with Christ and those believers who have proven themselves worthy to rule with Him.  And according to the signs Jesus gave us in His Word, we are presently on the verge of His coming.  And when He comes, He will come first for the church in the rapture.  And in the rapture we will be taken into heaven to be judged at what the Scripture calls the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is a judgment for believers only.  And in this judgment Christ is going to examine the life of every Christian to determine whether or not that Christian qualifies to rule with Him in His Kingdom.  If a believer has lived his life in such a way as to qualify to rule with Christ, then that believer will be honored before the Father and the angels in the judgment.  And in addition to that, this faithful believer will be given a resurrected, glorified body that is like the body Christ Himself possesses.  And best of all, this believer will be joined to Christ as His bride which means that this believer will have the honor of being in Christ’s presence — living with Him, working with Him, and sharing in His joyful bliss.  This believer will be a co-heir with Christ.  This means he will inherit on an equal basis with Christ all that Christ possesses — and the Scripture says that Christ is the “possessor of heaven and earth”— so this is quite an inheritance — more than our minds can comprehend.  The Scripture also tells us that to receive this inheritance with Christ will bring true and complete happiness to the believer’s soul.  We are told that apart from ruling with Christ, there will be no happiness, no satisfaction, and no joy.

But what about the believer who is not faithful during this lifetime and does not qualify to rule with Christ?  When the unfaithful believer is judged at the Judgment Seat, his rebellion will be exposed before the Father and the angels.  He will be rebuked by Christ and publicly shamed.  And then the Scripture tells us that the unfaithful believer will be denied entrance into the Kingdom.  He will not only be denied a position of rulership with Christ, but he won’t even be allowed to enter the Kingdom and enjoy its blessings.

Instead of entering the Kingdom, this believer will be “cast out” of the Kingdom into a place called “outer darkness.”

The Scripture describes outer darkness as a place where disobedient believers will “weep” and “gnash their teeth.”  There will be weeping because the believer who goes to outer darkness will experience 1,000 years of bitter grief — the most extreme sorrow.  And “gnashing of teeth” is a biblical expression that portrays great anguish and profound regret.  The unfaithful believer experiences all of this for 1,000 years.  This believer spends 1000 years weeping in bitter anguish over his wasted life — suffering profound regret for the choices he made.  This weeping and gnashing of teeth is so horrific that the Scripture describes it as the loss of a believer’s soul.  And his soul is lost in the sense that it is emptied of all happiness — utterly stripped of satisfaction — deprived of all joy.  This believer’s soul suffers in darkness for the entire length of the Kingdom.  This believer has forfeited his inheritance with Christ.  He had forfeited the position of rulership for which man was created.  And in forfeiting all this, he will suffer the chastening judgment of God in outer darkness.  

And where is outer darkness located?  Some speculate that it is in the heart of the earth.  What we do know from Scripture is that it is not in the Kingdom.  The earth at this time will be filled with the light of the glory of Christ.  Therefore, this outer darkness is located somewhere not upon the earth.  And perhaps the worst part about being in outer darkness is that you are separated from Christ.  You can not see Him, be with Him, talk with Him, enjoy Him — you are cut off from Him and you are cut off from your fellow believers who qualified to enter the Kingdom and rule with Him.  In this life, it is often easy for believers to live their daily lives cut off from fellowship with Christ —or in a very shallow relationship with Him.  We have so many distractions that fill our soul —things that entertain us, keep us busy, bring us pleasure, etc.  But in the day of His Kingdom, there will be nothing else.  No television, no music, no careers, no hobbies —Christ will be the center of everything and all happiness will come from being close to Him.  In that day we won’t have substitutions for Christ to comfort us as we do now.  Instead we will feel the full force of the pain of complete emptiness.

Then, after the 1,000 years are fulfilled, the unfaithful believers will rejoin Christ and their faithful brethren to enter into eternity.  In eternity there will be no more chastening and all Christians, faithful and unfaithful, will enjoy the blessing of God forever.

The Scripture tells us clearly how to avoid the outer darkness and obtain a co-inheritance with Christ.  We are to give up our self-centered lives and focus on God and His Word.  We are to strive to live holy lives of separation from sin and worldliness.  We are to make righteous choices and deny our fleshly desires.  Jesus said that very few Christians would even try to do this.  He said that most Christians will find themselves disinherited at His Judgment Seat.  The apostle Paul said entering the Kingdom is like being in a race.  And the Kingdom inheritance is the prize.  Paul said that our one goal in this life is to obtain that prizeWe must run to win!

Bible One - Susan Cockran's Kingdom Basics 

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What is Replacement Theology?
By Got Questions

Replacement theology essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. All the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel can be divided into two camps: either the church is a continuation of Israel (replacement/covenant theology), or the church is completely different and distinct from Israel (dispensationalism/premillennialism).

Replacement theology teaches that the church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian church, not in Israel. So, the prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are “spiritualized” or “allegorized” into promises of God's blessing for the church. Major problems exist with this view, such as the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries and especially with the revival of the modern state of Israel. If Israel has been condemned by God, and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1900 years?

The view that Israel and the church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. Biblically speaking, the church is completely different and distinct from Israel, and the two are never to be confused or used interchangeably. We are taught from Scripture that the church is an entirely new creation that came into being on the day of Pentecost and will continue until it is taken to heaven at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). The church has no relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, promises, and warnings are valid only for Israel. Israel has been temporarily set aside in God's program during these past 2000 years of dispersion.: 

(Added note: Those baptized [immersed] in the Spirit on the day of Pentecost were not unsaved individuals. The immersion in the Spirit had nothing to do with eternal salvation then; nor does it have anything to do with eternal salvation today. The work of the Spirit relative to eternal salvation — salvation by grace — was set forth in an unchangeable manner at the beginning, in Genesis 1:2-5 [2b] and Genesis 2:7; 3:21; 4:8-10, and, accordingly, this work of the Spirit has always been the same.

Salvation by grace is affected through the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life, on the basis of death and shed blood. The baptism [immersion] in the Spirit is something additional [peculiar to the present dispensation], which, today, could only have been seen as occurring in conjunction with and at the same time as the Spirit’s work surrounding salvation. ~Arlen Chitwood)

One produces life [the Spirit breathing]; and the other brings about the new creation [immersion in the Spirit], placing the person “in Christ.”After the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), God will restore Israel as the primary focus of His plan. The first event at this time is the tribulation (Rev. 6-19). The world will be judged for rejecting Christ, while Israel is prepared through the trials of the great tribulation for the second coming of the Messiah. Then, when Christ does return to the earth, at the end of the tribulation, Israel will be ready to receive Him. The remnant of Israel which survives the tribulation will be saved, and the Lord will establish His kingdom on this earth with Jerusalem as its capital. With Christ reigning as King, Israel will be the leading nation, and representatives from all nations will come to Jerusalem to honor and worship the King—Jesus Christ. The church will return with Christ and will reign with Him for a literal thousand years (Revelation 20:1-5).

(Added Note:  Contrary to that which most teachers preach, the body of Christ and the church are not the same throughout eternity. Instead the church is taken out of the body of Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ, forming two bodies. This in no way corrupts the scriptural teaching that the body is one, as taught in Ephesians 4:4. For both bodies are still the one invisible body of Christ in the spirit. Notwithstanding, the visible body of Christ in this present time is but one body and is called the church. However, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, this body will become two visible bodies, when God calls-out (Gr. ‘eklektos’) of this body, the church. The very word “‘church” itself means an out-calling (Gr. ‘ekklesia’), or those who have been called out of the called.

The “out-called” or those who have been called out of the called [chosen] are the selected ones who will rule and reign with Jesus Christ in His coming kingdom. ~Gary Whipple)**

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament support a premillennial/dispensational understanding of God's plan for Israel. Even so, the strongest support for premillennialism is found in the clear teaching of Revelation 20:1-7, where it says six times that Christ's kingdom will last 1000 years. After the tribulation the Lord will return and establish His kingdom with the nation of Israel, Christ will reign over the whole earth, and Israel will be the leader of the nations. The church will reign with Him for a literal thousand years. The church has not replaced Israel in God's plan. While God may be focusing His attention primarily on the church in this dispensation of grace, God has not forgotten Israel and will one day restore Israel to His intended role as the nation He has chosen (Romans 11).

Got Questions

**Divisions at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Ch 8, Pgs 98, 99, from Beyond the Rapture by Gary Whipple.

Also see Two Basic Divisions at the Judgment Seat of Christ! in this site.

 “Resurrected Bodies” and “Bodies of the Resurrection”
Excerpts from Beyond the Rapture by Gary Whipple

Resurrected bodies are bodies of flesh and bones animated by blood, whereas
bodies of the resurrection are bodies of flesh and bones animated by the Spirit.

Resurrected Bodies


Righteous Israel

Ezekiel 37:7-17:  In this Old Testament passage God tells us of the righteous ones of Israel who lived and died prior to the church age and during the coming tribulation period (after the church is raptured). These will be raised from their graves and then immediately enter and live in the land of Israel. This will occur at the beginning of the millennium. Here the Word gives us a graphic view of this future raising. It speaks of bones coming together, sinews, flesh and skin coming on the bodies, and finally their spirits returning by the breath of God.

Notice that they will not receive spiritual bodies as the church will have (bodies animated by the Spirit). Instead their bodies will be like Adam’s body before he sinned (a natural [soulical] body animated by blood but not subject to death). Instead of heavenly blessings, they will have earthly blessings under the fulfilled Abrahamic covenant. They will live in the land together with the righteous ones of Israel who never died during the tribulation period.

Tribulation Saints

In Revelations 20:4 we see two groups of people (divided in the text by a colon). The first group is the bride of Christ being given thrones from which to rule. The second group is the tribulation saints who will be killed during the great tribulation because of their testimony. They are not part of the church since they will not be saved until after the rapture. However, John says he saw their souls and they lived (Gr. ‘zao,’ meaning to live). There is nothing in this verse that indicates that they were raised into a spiritual body like that of the church even though their reward is to rule with Christ here on the earth. It is Gary Whipple’s opinion that they will have bodies like raised Israel and thus be numbered with the “gleanings”. Our Lord likens the resurrection of the church as the harvest (Matt. 13:30), with Himself being the firstfruits of the harvest (1 Cor. 15:23). This is the anti-type of the law of the harvest of Israel and teaches us much about the resurrection. This law is given in Leviticus.

In Leviticus 19:9; 23:22 God told Israel not to harvest all of their fields at harvest time, but rather leave the corners and the gleanings to the poor and strangers. This law of the harvest is clearly a pattern of truth that points to the harvest of the church. The leaving of the four corners unharvested plainly speaks of God’s earthly saints, Israel. These saints were scattered to the four corners of the earth (AD. 70) after they lost their heavenly blessings by rejecting the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 21:42-43). Their purpose in the future is to be a spiritual blessing to the poor and strangers of this world (the field is the world, see Matt. 13:38). This will occur in the tribulation period (the 144,000 Jewish preachers to the nations) and the millennium (Israel sent to all of the nations). Also numbered with the four corners are the gleanings. The gleanings are the wheat plants that come up in the harvested section of the field, after the harvest is past. These represent the tribulation saints, out of every nation and tongue (Rev.7:9-14), who will be saved by the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, and then killed after the rapture of the church and during the great tribulation. They too will be a future blessing to the world in spiritually feeding the poor and stranger along with Israel, most likely during the millennium. And, since they will die for Christ, they will reign with Him in some capacity. They will have resurrected and redeemed bodies likened unto Adam’s body, before he sinned.

Millennial Saints

Revelation 20:12, a much overlooked verse of scripture in Revelation, tells us of the raising up and judgment of those who will be saved during the millennium. The reason this resurrection is missed by many Bible teachers is their assumption that this verse is a part of the resurrection of the lost that is recorded in the next verse (Rev. 20:13). However, after a careful study of this 12th verse, not only are books opened to judge their works, but also the book of life is opened to reveal their names. Also this resurrection and judgment is completed all within the 12th verse. When we reach the 13th verse it becomes obvious that this is a different resurrection.

Why does this 12th verse have to necessarily represent the millennial saints and not some other group? Because, at this point in time, all of the righteous of God will have already been judged except for the millennial saints.

Another point to stress is that the expression “the small and the great” is only used by God to identify saints, while in heaven. As an example, “the small and the great” is used to identify the saints and prophets at the time of resurrection and reward of the prophets (Rev. 11:18) Also, “the small and the great” are identified with the servants of God in heaven just before the marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:5).

Finally, in the text before us, we see the “small and the great” stand before the Great White Throne of Judgment just prior to the judgment of the lost. The meaning of this expression probably has nothing to do with how great or small they were in the affairs of this life, but rather their relationship to God. In this 12th verse God also seems to be silent concerning the outcome of this judgment.

Unrighteous

“…and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

In the very next verse (Rev. 20:13) we have the second group to be judged. These are the lost who will be raised in bodies likened unto Adam, after he sinned. That is, their bodies will be in the same sin condition as they were when they died. They will be raised from their graves and their souls will be raised from hell (Hades compartment of Sheol). These will be united at the Great White Throne where they will be judged according to their unrighteous works, and then cast into the lake of fire. Again, this is a separate group and a separate judgment from that which is in verse 12. And it is to determine the degree of everlasting punishment for the lost.

In verse 14 of this same chapter (Rev. 20:14) we are told when this resurrection will occur. It will be at the end of this world when our Lord not only casts those who are lost into the lake of fire, but also death and hell (Hades) which are no longer needed. This means that after this last judgment, the saved will enter into the eternal ages with no more death or no more place where the dead go. Our Lord refers to this time as the “kingdom of the Father” (Matt. 13:43).

Raising of Angelic Beings Who died in the Flood

“…And the sea gave up the dead which were in it…” (Revelation 20:13a).

God shows us this special judgment just prior to the judgment of the lost. This is described as the “sea giving up the dead who were in it”. The dead in the sea cannot be lost men since the lost are said to be resurrected from their graves. The graves of men can be on earth, in the sea, or in outer space, or in any place there is a dead body of a human being. Thus, graves are for men. But here God says seas are a different place than the grave. It was in the seas that the giants were killed during the flood. These giants are the unholy offspring of angels and daughters of men (Gen. 6:4). Their bodies will remain in the sea until they are resurrected at the Great White Throne. Then the sea shall give up their dead bodies and they shall be judged, and cast into the lake of fire.

God tells us that the angels who fathered these giants left their first estate (rebelled against God) in order to perform this rebellious act. They are now being held in chains under everlasting darkness unto the great day of judgment (Jude 1:6). Peter adds to this by telling us the name of the place where these angels are being held (2 Peter 2:4). This place, translated “hell” in the English, is the Greek word “tartaroo” which means the deepest pit of Hades. It is worthy to note that these angels cannot be the angels that are presently with Satan ruling over this earth. Satan’s ruling angels are free and have not yet been confined.

Finally, it will be during this end time judgment (after the earth is destroyed), that Satan himself will be cast into the lake of fire, along with his angels.  

Bodies of the Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:22-26 reveals three orders in which men are raised:

1. “Christ the firstfruits;
2. afterward, they that are Christ’s at His coming,
3. Then [cometh] the end (the end of the millennium)…” 

Note:  the word “cometh” is not in the original Greek text.

“Christ the firstfruits”

Leviticus 23:10-11:  God tells Moses that at the harvest of Israel’s first crops, to instruct that one sheaf from the firstfruits was to be brought into the priest. The priest would then wave it before the Lord to be accepted for Israel. This was to be done on Sunday, not Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the week, the day Jesus arose from the grave.

This instruction to Moses was written for our admonition (1 Cor.10:11) and is a perfect spiritual pattern (type), teaching that the sheaf of the firstfruits represented the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The acceptance of this sheaf by God, for Israel, was the evidence of God’s approval of His death for our sins. Remember, that which was waved before the Lord was Christ the firstfruit, not Christ the firstfruits. The sheaf representing Christ was taken from the harvested firstfruits. The question may be asked, “Who are the rest of the firstfruits?” They cannot be the firstfruits that represent the church for those firstfruits could not be harvested until fifty days later, i.e. at Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-17). For it was at Pentecost, not the cross, that the church began. Therefore, since they were harvested fifty days before Pentecost and along with the first sheaf, they must represent saints of the Old Testament.

In the type, these firstfruits were possibly the barley grain which came to fruition first, and thus were harvested fifty days before the main harvest. In the antitype these firstfruits are seen as the resurrection of Christ (the sheaf), as well as an elected group of the Old Testament saints (the remainder of the firstfruits). However, even though these Old Testament saints were a part of this “first order” of the resurrection, they were not raised at the same moment that Christ was raised.

In Matthew 27:51-53 we get a clear view of the firstfruits of the resurrection. In verse 51 (Mat. 27:51) we see that this resurrection could not be possible until a new way to approach God was made by the death of Christ. Notice the order of events. First, Christ’s death as evidence of the new way and the rending of the veil of the temple. This ended the old way and established the new way through Christ (the veil of the temple is a type of Christ’s flesh... see Heb. 10:20). Secondly, to give evidence of this, certain saints of the Old Testament came out of their graves, went into the holy city and showed themselves. However, they could not be resurrected until Christ was resurrected first! This is so because He had to be the firstfruit (first sheaf of firstfruits). Notice the word “after” in verse 53 (Mat. 27:53), ”...the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Mat. 27:52-53).  Those who arose here, after Christ’s resurrection, apparently represent a small group called out of Israel, and who did not lose their rewards as Israel did (Matt. 21:43). They may be the same ones that are mentioned by our Lord that will be sitting down in the kingdom when others from the east and west (the church) enter in. And even the children of the kingdom themselves (Israel) will witness this event, but will not be a part of it. They will be cast out because of their unbelief (Matt. 8:11-12).

A Heavenly View of These Firstfruits

In Revelation 14:1-4 God shows us these same firstfruits on the heavenly mount in heaven (Mt. Sion, pronounced see-ahn’) with the Lamb (notice the word firstfruits in verse 4). They number 144,000  (not the same as those found in Rev. 7:4 ). They follow the Lamb (Jesus) wherever He goes and they sing a new song that no one else can learn. A careful study will show that these represent a different group from those 144,000 sealed ones recorded in Revelation 7. Whereas, these 144,000 are called “firstfruits” and are redeemed from the earth (the grave) and from among men, those of Revelation 7 do not carry the title of firstfruits and are redeemed from the twelve tribes of Israel exclusively. There is no doubt that these firstfruits were an elected group out of Israel and are composed of righteous Jews and Gentiles (from among men). They could include people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, John the Baptist, the prophets, and a small group of Gentiles saved during these times. This could include Adam, Shem, Noah, Melchizedek, etc.

(Note Arlen Chitwood's different belief:  The 144,000 Jewish Evangels by Arlen Chitwood, Part I Part II Part III.)

The Friends of the Bridegroom

This elected group of firstfruits could also be those that make up the “friends of the bridegroom” at the wedding of Christ to His bride. We see this possibility by these following truths: Whereas, the bride of Christ will be called out (out-resurrection) from the body of Christ after the Judgment Seat of Christ, so the firstfruits have been called out (out-resurrection) from Israel after the judgment of Israel by Christ. Whereas, the “bride of Christ” will be mostly a Gentile bride called out of the body of Christ, so the “friends of the bridegroom” will be mostly Jewish, called out of Israel. Apparently, John the Baptizer was the last one to be called the friend of the bridegroom (John 3:28-29). Whereas the bride of Christ, called out from the body, will enter the kingdom, the friends of the bridegroom, called out from Israel, will also enter the kingdom.

To add to the evidence of the resurrection of the firstfruits God tells us in Eph. 4:8 that when Jesus arose from the grave, He led captivity captive, i.e. moved the righteous that were in the paradise section of Hades to the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4). This occurred apparently after He first descended into the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:9). Then after three days in that place, He literally arose from the grave bringing all of its occupants with Him. In emptying this section of Hades Jesus not only moved all of the righteous souls to the third heaven, but also raised 144,000 of them as the firstfruits.

“...afterward, they that are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23b).

This second order is the antitype of the whole harvest of grain (except for the corners) found in Leviticus 23:22. As we study this harvest we will come to see that it will be made up of “two companies of believers” who will not be revealed until the Judgment Seat of Christ, i.e. the threshing floor where the wheat is separated from the chaff. The wheat plants that have fruit as opposed to those who do not bare fruit will represent these two companies.

But first these two companies of believers must be raised up (harvested). This raising will occur at Christ’s coming, i.e. the rapture of the church. When will this be? The scripture says “afterwards....” The word “afterwards” in this 23nd verse (1 Cor. 15:23)  means a period of time after the firstfruits of the harvest. And so far, it has been approximately two-thousand years. Nevertheless, when the rapture (harvest) does occur, all of the bodies of this order of believers will come up out of the wave, or be translated, into bodies likened unto that of the “first Adam before he sinned.” That is, they will be given “redeemed natural bodies” that do not have old sin natures. These bodies, both raised and translated, will be caught up to be with Christ in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-17) and then move into the heavenlies, for the purpose of appearing before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Here they will be judged by Christ Himself and adjudicated on the basis of their works done in their bodies, after they were saved (2 Cor. 5:10). Every thought, motive and action will be taken into account!

One may ask, “Is the coming of the Lord the same as the appearing of the Lord?” The answer is sometimes, but not all of the time. The word “coming”, as used in the rapture (1 Thess. 4:15), is the Greek word parousia which means “an arrival and a consequent present with”. However, there are visible and invisible parousias of Christ. The rapture is one that is invisible, whereas the same word “coming” in 1 John 2:28 is visible and is connected to His appearing. Hence all Christians will be raised at His invisible coming, but only those who are out-resurrected from the Judgment Seat of Christ will have a resurrection body like His at His visible coming and appearance. Therefore the invisible raising up will produce a body like that of Adam before he sinned, and the visible resurrection will produce a body like that of Jesus Christ. Hence those Christians who experience the out-resurrection will be of a different company than those who will suffer loss.

Our text which says “…Afterwards, they that are Christ’s at His coming…” then must mean that there are two divisions to the second order of the resurrection. This would be the rapture and the out-resurrection. Therefore those believers who gain rewards will experience the rapture and the out-resurrection, whereas those who do not gain rewards will only experience the rapture. Then at a later time, one-thousand years later, they will be raised and translated out of Gehenna and outer darkness to make up the third order of the resurrection.

“.. then {cometh} the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” (1 Corinthians 15:24)

This third order begins with the word “then” (Gr. eita, meaning a particle of succession in time or logic). This word has two senses. It means either “at that time,” or “afterwards.” It is in the later sense that it is being used here. If it were the other, where would be the millennium? No, there are at least one thousand years between the second order and the third order. But how are we to know that there is a third order? Because the text demands it! You might say that the word “then” means afterwards. Hence, after the second order (one thousand years after), there is another resurrection at the end of the millennium.

When is the end? Our text says that it is when Jesus puts all enemies under His feet. This includes all power and authority in the universe as well as death itself (1 Cor. 15:26). This will be at the time of the destruction of the earth by fire, and the judgment of the lost. For at that time, death and hell will have been cast into the lake of fire. And there will be no more dying (1 Cor. 15:26). Finally, Jesus will deliver up the kingdom to the father, and they will become all in all throughout the eternal ages, together with the saints of God. During this progression of end-time events, it is not clear exactly when this second resurrection of the saved will be. Gary Whipple leans toward the time just after the millennium and just before the raising of the lost to be judged. There are two reasons for this position. First, we do not believe that God would leave the bodies of the saints in the grave while He raises the lost and judges them. We believe the entire body of Christ will be witnesses to that great judgment. Secondly, their sentence in Gehenna will be over at the conclusion of Christ’s kingdom on the earth. And we do not believe that God will allow them to stay there in confinement and in the grave one second more than is required. Thus, this resurrection will have to happen before Christ destroys death itself, since His saints cannot remain in the grave once this happens.

Bible One - Gary Whipple's Beyond the Rapture, Chs 12, 13.

See following Resurrections Chart!.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Resurrection Chart/Table 

Rapture vs. Second Coming Chart/Table 

The  following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Pornography and sex itself are addictions. Why can't an aberrant sexual practice like homosexuality be treated like alcohol and drug addictions? What a person does sexually is a choice. If people can kick the drug and alcohol habits and people can beat their sex addiction problems, then the same should be true for same-sex sexuality.

Homosexuality
By Charles Strong of Bible One

(Taken from the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary – 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee.  At the time of the writing of this article, Jerry A. Johnson was the Dean of Boyce College, of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.)

Homosexuality is the sexual relations between people of the same sex.  When discussing homosexuality, the biblical emphasis is on behavior and the verdict is always that it is sinful.

Homosexuality is a consequence of rejecting the created order.  The prima facie case against homosexuality in the Scripture is found in God’s creative plan for human sexuality.  God created mankind as male and female, to procreate within the context of marriage (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18-24).  This creation order for human sexuality received the endorsement of both the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 10:6-9; Matthew 19:4-6) and the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:31).  On the surface, homosexual behavior should be recognized as sinful because it violates God’s original plan for heterosexual monogamy.

Against this background of God’s creation scheme for human sexual expression, Paul makes a theological argument in Romans 1:18-32 that homosexuality is one consequence of rejecting God as Creator and His created order.  Paul indicates that both male homosexuality and female lesbianism result from a denial of God.  He begins by showing that through rejection of the “creation” (Romans 1:20) and “the Creator” (Romans 1:25) women “exchanged natural sexual intercourse for what is unnatural” (Romans 1:26 HCSB).  He adds also that the men “left natural sexual intercourse with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another.  Males committed shameless acts with males” (Romans 1:27 HCSB).  Paul’s argument:

Because these people reject God, He gives them over to the desires of their own sinful hearts.  In the course of this text, Paul uses several other negative terms to describe homosexuality, such as “uncleanness,” “dishonor,” “vile passions,” “error,” “debased mind,” and “not fitting.” In addition, homosexuality is included here in a serious list of vices that are deserving of death, not only for those who practice but also for those who approve (Romans 1:32).

As to modern notion of “homosexual orientation,” a scriptural perspective will view any same sex inclinations at least as harmful as proclivities toward any other sin, as negative consequences of fallen human nature that is inclined towards sin.  In light of Romans 1, homosexual predisposition may also be an indication and outworking of earlier and other sin/s.

Homosexuality is a sin that results in judgment.  The first mention of homosexuality in the Bible depicts God’s judgment upon it as sin.  It was the outstanding transgression of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The severity of the judgment, which came because of homosexuality, indicates the seriousness of this sin (Genesis 19:1-11).  Both cities were destroyed as “the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire” (Genesis 19:24 NASB).  The New Testament commentary on this event is that these two cities were turned to ashes as a matter of God’s holy wrath, specifically because their inhabitants had given themselves to “sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh” (2 Peter 2:6-7; Jude 1:7 NKJV).

(NOTE:  The author, Jerry A. Johnson, then devotes three paragraphs refuting pro-homosexual interpretations pertaining to the judgments of Sodom and Gomorrah, such interpretations according to this website editor as somewhat unnecessary due to the clarity of Scripture regarding the subject. ~ Website editor Bible One by Charles Strong.)

Homosexuality is a violation of Old Testament law.  The Holiness Code, which conveyed God’s demands for ordering the life of His covenant people, contained two clear prohibitions against homosexual activity.  In a large section on sexual morality which should be viewed as an extension of the seventh commandment, “The Lord spoke to Moses saying . . . ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female”” (Leviticus 18:1, 22 NASB).  Then later, repeating with Leviticus 18:22 that homosexuality is an “abomination,” (Leviticus 20:13 adds, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them . . . shall surely be put to death.”

Homosexuality is a violation of New Testament ethic.  In 1 Timothy 1:8-10 Paul discusses the value of the Old Testament law in the present era, if used wisely.  It is to be used to judge “sinners.”  Then he includes “homosexuals” (arsenokoital) in his vice list, which delineates those who are “the ungodly.” Also in 1 Corinthians 6:11 “homosexuals” appear in a similar vice list, and Paul comments that anyone who continues in these sins will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Arsenokoites refers to the active partner in the homosexual act.  However, in addition to “homosexuals” in 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul adds a second word, “effeminate” (malakoi).  Malakoi refers to the passive member in the homosexual relationship.  The point is that both passive and active kinds of “homosexual” behavior are sinful, ungodly, and disqualify one from entrance into the kingdom of God.

Homosexuality is forgivable and changeable through Jesus Christ.  However ungodly and undeserving of heaven any homosexual might be, there is the opportunity to be forgiven, changed, and declared righteous through Jesus Christ, Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 6:11 HCSB to say, “Some of you were like this.” The Corinthians church evidently contained some former homosexuals who had been converted.  Furthermore, Paul adds of them, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  The homosexual who repents and believes receives the same cleansing, sanctification, and justification as every other believer who turns from sin to Christ.

(NOTE:  It should be noted that Mr. Johnson apparently interprets the “inheritance” of the “kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6) as “entrance into heaven” (i.e., receiving “eternal life;” or more correctly, the “salvation of one’s spirit”).  In reality, a Christian’s “inheritance” speaks of a Christian’s entrance into the Millennial Kingdom, the thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth just after the Tribulation Period (7 years), which is the “salvation of the soul.”  The reader is encouraged to read the book Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation of the Soul.)

_________________________________________


The following paragraph is taken from an article on the biblical teaching on sex in the Holman Illustrated Dictionary, written by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President and Professor of Christian Theology of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky:

Just as the biblical writers present marital sex as holy and natural, all other forms of sexual activity are presented as condemned and sinful.  In addition to adultery and fornication, the Bible expressly forbids homosexuality, bestiality, incest, prostitution, rape, pederasty, and all other forms of sexual deviance (Exodus 22:16-17, 19; Leviticus 18:6-18, 22-23; 20:15-16; Deuteronomy 27:21; Proverbs 7:1-27; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13).


Applicable Scripture Passages (NKJV)

Genesis 1:27-28

Genesis 2:18, 21-24

Genesis 19:1-11, 24 (cf. 2 Peter 2:6-7)

Leviticus 18:22

Leviticus 20:13

Matthew 19:4-6 (cf. Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:31)

Romans 1:18-32 (cf. 1 Timothy 1:8-10)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (Please see the “Note” above. ~ Editor of Bible One by Charles Strong.)

Jude 1:6-7

Bible One - Jerry A. Johnson's Commentary on Homosexuality

(See 11) The Goal and Christendom Today! in this site for additional commentary.)

 

I've been talking about you a lot with the Lord,
There was so much I wanted to say,
I told Him how thankful and helpful you are,
how I treasure you more every day.
I tried to describe how just having you there
can make things more special and fun.
I said how loyal you are to your friends,
and I thanked him for making me one.
And I told him how much I keep learning from you,
how your faith is inspiring to see.
Then I asked Him if He'd let you know how I feel,
and He said you should hear it from me.
~~ Author known only to God! 

 

 Creation to Eternity Diagram

Note:  Souls of those spiritually saved who are being filled with the Holy Spirit, and consequently killing the old man in themselves, are the ones whose souls are being saved.  See in this site Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! for more commentary on this subject.

Holy Spirit Indicators!
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Pervasive throughout the world today is a vast charismatic movement that many, who are associated with the movement, attribute to the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. In many, if not all, of the assemblies and conferences of this movement there are vivid emotional displays, the production of unintelligible sounds called “speaking in tongues,” and exhibitions of “miraculous” healings and other paranormal activities, all of which fall under the umbrella of “charismatic manifestations.” Attendees at such affairs and individuals within numerous religious denominations believe these manifestations (or signs) reflect true spirituality and mirror those signs that occurred on the Day of Pentecost in the second chapter of the book of Acts. They believe that such signs prove the validity of “spirituality,” and that those who exhibit such signs are being “led” or “filled” by the Spirit of God.

It is not the objective of this study/article to provide extensive and detailed evidence to discredit the charismatic movement. Should anyone be interested in obtaining such evidence, this writer suggests that he type in the words, “charismatic movement” in an Internet search engine such as “Google” and follow the leads that come up. Although the movement, which is characterized by different designations such as Pentecostal, Charismatic, Vineyard, World-Faith, Holy Laughter and others, embodies an appearance of sincere worship and praise, this writer finds no evidence within God’s Word for such a movement and personally believes that it redirects attention away from the gospel message, the true reason for Christ coming to earth. The reader should understand the writer’s position at the onset.

Likewise the reader should understand that this writer personally believes that the tongues spoken of in the New Testament refers to (1) the sign promised by God to the Nation Israel (Isaiah 28:11; 1 Corinthians 14:21-22) of their impending judgment for refusing Jesus Christ as the Messiah and (2) the use of foreign established languages of earth to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ at the start of the Church Age (Acts 2:7-11).

All scriptures within the New Testament, contextually, categorically, isagogically and exegetically, fit perfectly within this framework of interpretation. Paul had to face the unwarranted emphasis on glossolalia (Greek for “speaking in tongues”) and the confusion caused by the same in the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 14). In recent history even more confusion exists over the use of unknown tongues (believed by many to be ecstatic heavenly languages) in the Church today.

This writer has dear friends who, due to their experiences, disagree with him over this position on “speaking in tongues.” Fortunately, the doctrine of tongues is not a major doctrine within the Word of God, and Christians need not break fellowship over it. But what is for certain is that God would have His children place their faith in the sure Word of God, regardless of and especially not in “personal emotional experiences.”

It is this writer’s contention that the canonical record, the Holy Bible, which contains 66 individual epistles, is God’s finished and complete record for doctrine and practice; and that any doctrine or belief, in order to be valid, must be consistent with it. This writer further contends that the warning regarding any additions or subtractions from the book of Revelation (Rev. 22:18-19) also applies to the Bible as a whole. If anyone sincerely desires to know the truth pertaining to any doctrine or belief by any organization or any one, he need only study God’s Word for the answer. 
 

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11)

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)

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. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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)

 

 And even though there is great emphasis in the New Testament on the concept of love and “unity” between all members of the Body of Christ, no sacrifice of (acquiescence to) love, acceptance and unity is acceptable at the altar of false doctrine. Even though Paul wrote the greatest chapter on love in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 13), he was also an ardent defender of the faith.
 

Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed. (Galatians 2:11)

But the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. (Philippians 1:17)

This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. (Titus 1:13)

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)

 

But even in light of this position, many Christians will continue to hold to their subjective experiences over the sure Word of God, believing that their experiences are born of the Holy Spirit. This being the case, it is worthwhile to distinguish exactly what the Bible says are indicators and works of the Holy Spirit.

First, a quick review of some of the works of the Holy Spirit relevant to the child of God (believer) is warranted.

Works of the Holy Spirit 

1. Baptizes (spiritually immerses) a person into the Body of Christ when that person is born again (from above) by faith alone in Christ alone.
(Matthew 3:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 27; Romans 6:3)

2. Dwells (lives) with and in the believer.
(John 14:17; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1John 2:27)

3. Abides with the believer forever.
(John 14:16)

4. Teaches the believer Bible doctrine and what to say on any occasion.
(Luke 12:12; John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 John 2:27)

5. Informs the believer of things to come.
(John 16:13)

6. Empowers the believer for service.
(Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 4:31-33; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Ephesians 3:16; 1Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:7)

7. Bears witness with the believer’s spirit regarding salvation’s certainty.
(Romans 8:16)

8. Assures the believer that he is a child of God.
(Galatians 4:6)

9. Assures the believer that he is united with Christ.
(1 John 3:24; 4:13)

10. Seals the believer unto the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 4:30)

11. Leads the believer for the purpose of Christian service.
(Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18; Acts 10:19-20; 13:2; 16:6)

12. Gives both spiritual and physical life.
(John 6:63; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Peter 3:18

13. Prays for the believer.
(Romans 8:26-27)

14. Provides spiritual gifts to the believer for Christian service.
(1 Corinthians 12:8-11) 

 

Knowing the major works of the Holy Spirit and knowing that the Holy Spirit is with (lives in) the believer from the believer’s birth as a child of God, the believer may then also know what are the indicators of the Holy Spirit during any event he experiences during his life. This goes for any emotion, any personal experience, and any contact with persons or organizations. And such indicators are few!

Indicators of the Holy Spirit (i.e., when the Holy Spirit is present)

• He speaks of, speaks about and points to Jesus Christ.
(John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 1:16; 6:14)

• He glorifies Jesus Christ.
(John 16:14-15)

• He honors Jesus Christ.
(John 5:23)

• He mirrors the image of Christ through specific spiritual fruit.
(Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9)

Note: This writer suggests that when the Holy Spirit is speaking about honoring and glorifying Jesus Christ, He does so without confusion and in unambiguous simplicity.
 

Conclusion

All human beings crave emotional experiences.  All wish to escape the mundaneness (ordinary and boring) of life through intense encounters.  The flagrant use of drugs and immoral ventures in our world gives witness to this.  But such occurrences, experiences and ventures, regardless of how good they make one feel, should never take the place of the sure Word of God.  So, place your trust in God’s Word; not in your emotions.
 
When a work, a demonstration, a meeting, a manifestation, a program, an organization or whatever is the product of the Holy Spirit, then you may be certain it will focus on, will honor, will glorify and will clearly emphasize the Lord Jesus Christ.  There will be no ambiguity, no confusion and no doubt.  The Holy Spirit will NOT draw attention to Himself.  He will NOT emphasize the Father.  He will NOT bring attention to an individual believer or any gift the believer appears to demonstrate.  He will spotlight, credit and bring honor to the Son of God and His sacrifice on Calvary for eternal salvation; and He will do the same regarding the believer’s sanctification (Colossians 2:6; Galatians 2:20)—a faith-walk in Christ that will evidence the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9).

Holy Spirit Indicators  

Basic Timeline of the Bible!
By Got Questions

In the most basic sense, the Bible timeline is endless and eternal, as it chronicles creation (date unknown; Genesis 1:1-31) and the end of ages (Matthew 28:20). From a more practical viewpoint, the Bible timeline on which most scholars agree begins with Abram’s birth, renamed Abraham by God (Genesis 17:4-6) in the year 2,166 (B.C.) and ends with the writing of the book of Revelation in approximately 95 A.D. Prior to Abraham’s birth, the Bible timeline beginning in Genesis contains a rich history of creation, Adam and Eve, the Fall of Man, extensive genealogies, stories of human travails leading up to Noah and the Great Flood (date also unknown), and much more. As an interesting side note, reading Genesis and noting at what age these patriarchs had children, we find that Adam was still alive when Noah was born.

Of course, this raises the question of how literally to interpret dates and other statements in the Bible. Genesis says that God created the world and everything in it in six days (Genesis 1:31). Yet the Bible also says that with God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8). And as Jesus told His disciples to forgive people not only seven times but seventy times seven times (490), the context seems clear that Jesus exhorts us to offer limitless forgiveness to those who trespass against us (Matthew 6:9-13). So, the most accurate and practical way to regard biblical time is that only God knows the true beginning and end of His universe (Mark 13:32).

Yet, within the period between Abraham’s birth and the Apostle John’s writing of the book of Revelation in A.D. 95 from his exile on the island of Patmos shortly before his death, history clearly documents and verifies many of the events and people addressed in the Old and New Testaments. For example, Moses was estimated to be born in 1526 B.C., Joshua entered the Promised Land approximately 1,400 B.C., and the period of Israel’s 10 judges lasted until 1,050 B.C, or until the onset of King Saul’s reign, when most scholars agree concrete historically-verifiable dating was possible. 

From there, Israel’s first king, Saul, the famous King David—from whose family Jesus Christ would be born—and David’s son, wise King Solomon, presided over a united kingdom until 930 B.C. After King Solomon’s reign, Israel experienced a divided kingdom. Kings ruled the north (kings of Israel) and the south (kings of Judah) until the fall of the northern kingdom in 722 B.C. and the fall of Jerusalem (southern kingdom), which resulted in the Jews being exiled to Babylonia in 586 B.C. 

This exile lasted until 538 B.C. when Persian King Cyrus directed Ezra to return to Israel and build a temple for God at Jerusalem in Judah (Ezra 1). The Jews restored Israel between this time and approximately 432 B.C., when the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) was written. What followed next was a period of approximately 430 years, often referred to as “the time between the testaments.”

In approximately 6 B.C., Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, was born in Bethlehem and left soon thereafter for Egypt. After the death of Herod the Great in 4 B.C., Jesus and His parents left Egypt and returned to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23). Nothing is recorded for the next 10 years, until we see Jesus astounding the teachers in the Temple at age twelve (Luke 2:40-52). This was followed by approximately 19 years of silence until Jesus began His public ministry in circa 27 A.D., which included His baptism (Matthew 3:13-17), temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13), first miracle in Cana (John 2:1-12), the first cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13-25) and early Judean ministry (John 3:1–4:43). The following year in Galilee, He called His disciples (Luke 6:13-16), preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1–8:1), spoke in parables, did many miracles, including healings (Matthew 8:23–9:34), and sent forth the twelve (Matthew 9:35–11:1). 

In the period 29-30 A.D., Jesus spent most of His time in Judea, preaching, teaching, performing miracles—including the raising of Lazarus from the dead—and further equipping the disciples to continue on after His death. Early in the year 30 A.D., He set His face toward Jerusalem. During the last week of His life, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His friends, where He instituted the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:14-20) and gave His farewell discourse, including His High Priestly prayer (John 17:1-26). Finally, He was betrayed, arrested, tried, crucified and resurrected (Matthew 26:36–28:8). After that, the risen Christ began a 40-day ministry, was seen by many, and finally ascended to heaven (Acts 1:3-11; 1 Corinthians 15:6-7). 

Shortly after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, His apostles and followers wrote what we now call the New Testament, a collection of books composed comparatively soon after His earthly ministry. Many scholars proficient in studying ancient texts believe that the concurrency of accounts plus the enormous number of copies produced and replicated over subsequent years makes the New Testament the most historically reliable document of all ancient texts. The first book of the New Testament (either Galatians or James) could have been written as early as A.D. 49, or within two decades of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This meant that the original texts were written by eyewitnesses providing first-hand accounts of what took place. The final book of the New Testament, Revelation, was written in approximately 95 A.D.

Got Questions - Timeline of the Bible  

 A Prayer of Blessing!
May God remember you like Noah
favor you like Moses
honor you like Mary
fight for you like the Israelites
prosper you like Isaac
promote you like Joseph
intervene for you like Esther
protect you like Daniel
use you like Paul
heal you like Naaman
answer you like Elijah
anoint you like David
and keep you safe like
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
~~Author known only to God!

 

 

 Quick Bible Review!

God made.
Adam bit.
Noah arked.
Abraham split.
Joseph ruled.
Jacob fooled.
Bush talked.
Moses balked.
Pharoah plagued.
People walked.
Sea divided.
Tablets guided.
Promise landed.
Saul freaked.
David peeked.
Prophets warned.
Jesus born.
God walked.
Love talked.
Anger crucified.
Hope died.
Love rose.
Spirit flamed.
Word spread.
God remained.

Sanctification differs from justification in several ways. Justification is a one-time work of God, resulting in a declaration of “not guilty” before Him because of the work of Christ on the cross. Sanctification is a process, beginning with justification and continuing throughout life. Justification is the starting point of the line that represents one’s Christian life; sanctification is the line itself leading down the highway to joint heirship with Christ.

Sanctification!**
By Nancy Missler

[Editor’s note: Sanctification, also known as the soul-salvation, is that process that takes place in a person who has placed faith alone in Christ alone for his/her eternal salvation, also known as spirit-salvation, which is performed by the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the believer’s will. All remarks made within brackets are those of Charles Strong.]

Sanctification (Gk: hagiasmos, Strong’s 338) is “the process by which God conforms us back into His image,” the image that was lost when Adam and Eve sinned (Romans 8:29). It’s the means God uses to set us apart and to make us holy, prepared and “fit” for the coming kingdom (John 17:19). The process of sanctification purifies us, separates us from sin and consecrates us to God (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). This is how our soul is saved. God has chosen us “to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit . . . .”

Sanctification is the lifelong process by which we become those “overcomers” who inherit the Millennial Kingdom.

Sanctification means being cleansed of any sin or self that would contaminate our soul. It’s that time where we are emptied of our “self,” and then filled back up with Christ’s life. It’s the process of learning to exchange lives with Christ. As we give Him ours, He gives us His (1 John 1:5-6, 9; 2:1-2). Sanctification refers to an inward change (a metamorphosis) brought about apart from the natural strength of the individual (Romans 12:1-2). This inward change is brought about by His Spirit. “For this cause I have raised you up to show in three My power” (Exodus 9:16). It’s His power that sanctifies us, that changes us and that makes us new creations, but it’s our choice that allows God to accomplish it. It’s not automatic (1 John 2:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16).

Sanctification is when God’s Spirit highlights the self-centered things we do and then shows us how to replace them with His [Christ’s] life. Our fulfillment, our meaning and our significance in this life and the next, all rest upon this transformation process. God’s will is that we might show by our actions (our “Spirit-led” works) that we are “new creations” in Him and that He lives in us. This demonstrates that we have not only applied the blood to the doorposts of our house, we have also expelled the leaven.

God’s will is that our new spirit be freed from all soulish influences so that His Spirit can freely direct our lives (James 1:19-22). Second Corinthians 7:1 (2 Cor. 7:1) validates this: “Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (Leviticus 20:7; Romans 12:1). Sanctification is the process that makes this happen (Colossians 1:12).

God’s purpose for sanctification is that we might be “conformed into the image of Christ” [Romans 8:29]. The Greek word for “conformed” is summorphos (Strong’s #4832), which means to be jointly formed or fashioned unto. It’s from the root word sun, which means union, resemblance or completeness, and morphe, which means adjustment or shape. Sanctification is the process by which we are shaped or fashioned into His [Christ’s] resemblance.

God wants us conformed into His image so that we might produce the “fruit” that will make us “prepared” and “fit” not only to attend the wedding festivities in heaven [Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 19:7-9], but also to rule and reign in the Millennial Kingdom here on earth [Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6].

The measure of our usefulness to the Lord in the future kingdom will be found in the measure of our sanctification here and now.

Sanctification, therefore, is God’s will for every one of our lives. First Thessalonians 4:3 (1 Thess. 4:3) again validates this: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” The teachings surrounding the sanctification of the soul are the central subject of most of the epistles from Romans to Jude. Sanctification is how our souls are transformed and saved: “Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). [Spiritual growth to spiritual maturity can only come by the believer’s consumption of spiritual food, i.e., the Word] Apart from this sanctification process, it’s very difficult to properly understand the central message of the epistles (Hebrews 2:3; 10:35-39; 1 Peter 1:9). In other words, when God speaks of the “saving of souls,” it’s not necessarily the “new birth” He is referring to. He is speaking about the cleansing, renewing and transforming of those who already believe.

God’s will is that we might make the constant “choice” to let Him sanctify us. If we make this choice, He will give us the power to make it happen in our lives. For this to occur, however, we must make 1 John 1:9a major part of our lives: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Then God can constantly renew and transform us. Following our new birth, God deals with us on an entirely different plane — as servants, with a view towards the kingdom. Sanctification is the highway to joint heirship with Christ.

**The Kingdom Power & Glory, The Overcomer’s Handbook, Nancy Missler, The King’s High Way Ministries, Inc., 2008, pages 259-261

Bible One - Charles Strong's Sanctification 

The King's High Way Ministries by Nancy Missler

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

The Beast — In the Book of Daniel
From Arlen Chitwood's book The Time of the End in this site.
A Study About the Book of Revelation

Chapter Twenty-four, The Beast — In the Book of Daniel

The book of Daniel is about the kingdom of this world during the Times of the Gentiles, to be succeeded by the kingdom of Christ at the end of the Times of the Gentiles. In this respect, Daniel deals with the last 2,600 years of Man’s Day, and then projects matters into the following 1,000-year Lord’s Day.

The Times of the Gentiles exists for two basic reasons:

(1) because of Jewish transgression and

(2) to bring the Jewish people to the place of repentance, by and through Gentile persecution.

The Times of the Gentiles began about 605 B.C, with Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of the southern kingdom of Judah (completing that which began over one hundred years earlier by the Assyrian invasion of the northern kingdom of Israel). At this time the Jewish people began to be uprooted from their land and transported to Babylon in the Mesopotamian Valley. The scepter was removed from Israel’s hands and placed in the hands of the Gentiles at this time, and the scepter has remained and will continue to remain in the hands of the Gentiles until the appearance and destruction of the beast’s kingdom, Antichrist’s kingdom, yet future.

Antichrist’s kingdom, as Nebuchadnezzar’s, will be centered back in the Mesopotamian Valley. He will be the last king of Babylon. And once the Jewish people have been removed from his kingdom and placed back in their own land, the scepter will be taken from the hands of the Gentiles and placed back in Israel’s hands. At this time, Gentile world power will be destroyed, and Israel will be elevated to the head of the nations, within a theocracy. Then, with the destruction of Antichrist’s kingdom, the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to a close.

The book of Daniel is the one book in Scripture that deals with this complete sequence of events, and the whole book is given over to revelation having to do, after some fashion, with this subject. That which is depicted by the “great image” in chapter two and the four “great beasts” in chapter seven deal with the same thing from two different vantage points. These two sections of Scripture deal with Gentile world power throughout the Times of the Gentiles (throughout that time when the scepter is held by the Gentiles), and the overthrow of Gentile world power at the end of the Times of the Gentiles. And these two sections of Scripture, together, form the foundation upon which the remainder of the book rests.

The Great Image
The Four Great Beasts

The “great image” in Daniel chapter two (divided into four parts [Dan. 2:31-43]), and the “four great beasts” in chapter seven (Dan. 7:1-8), are viewed by most premillennial students of the Word as representing four successive world kingdoms. These four kingdoms, as seen by most, begin with Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar and end with a revived Roman Empire under Antichrist. But is this the correct way to view the matter?

Note a summary view of the four parts of the “great image” and the four “great beasts” in the preceding respect:

1) The head of gold (Dan. 2:32, 38) and the first great beast (Dan. 7:4) have to do with the kingdom of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar and his successor, his son, Belshazzar (605 B.C. to 538 B.C.)

2) The breast and arms of silver (Dan. 2:32, 39) and the second great beast (Dan. 7:5) have to do with the Medo-Persian kingdom, beginning with Darius and Cyrus, rulers of Media and Persia at the time of the conquest (538 B.C. to 330 B.C.).

3) The belly and thighs of brass (Dan. 2:32, 39) and the third great beast (Dan. 7:6) have to do with the Grecian kingdom (330 B.C. to 323 B.C. and beyond), beginning with a conquest of the Medo-Persian kingdom by Alexander the Great, who died seven years later (323 B.C.). The kingdom was then divided into four parts, with Alexander the Great’s four generals each commanding a part. And the kingdom, over time, gradually faded from existence as a world power.

4) The legs of iron and feet part of iron and part of clay (Dan. 2:33, 40-43) and the fourth great beast (Dan. 7:7-8) have to do with the Roman Empire, forming a Roman kingdom (27 B.C. to 476 A.D.), followed by a revived Roman Empire, forming a future Roman kingdom.

This would be the position set forth in the Scofield Reference Bible footnotes for example, a position followed by most premillennial commentators.

The only part of the prophecy where the interpretation is really in question, aside from understanding that there is an inseparable connection with Babylon throughout, would be the fourth part of the image and the corresponding fourth beast. Viewing the great image and the great beasts together, Daniel identifies the first three parts of the image and the corresponding first three beasts as particular nations that either began in Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom) or later came in and conquered the nation(s) ruling in Babylon (the Medes and the Persians, and then Greece). And this part of the prophecy has been fulfilled and is a matter of history (cf. Dan. 2:38; 5:18, 22-31; 8:3-8, 20-22).

But should the fourth part of the image (or the fourth beast) be identified as Rome? There are two main reasons why people interpret the prophecy after this fashion:

(1) Rome was the next world power following Greece; and

(2) the words, “and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary,” in Daniel 9:26, are usually associated with a Roman destruction in history (under Titus in 70 A.D.) and a Roman prince (Antichrist) in prophecy — both connected with the fourth part of the image or the fourth beast.

Greece was the third kingdom (represented by the belly and thighs of brass on the image, or by the third beast), and the fourth kingdom (represented by the legs of iron, and in its final form by the feet part of iron and part of clay, or by the fourth beast) would, from history, appear to be Rome, with the final form looked upon as a revived Roman Empire.

Then, this interpretation would appear to be substantiated by Daniel 9:26. In this verse, “the prince who is to come” is Antichrist, and “the people of the prince” are said to be the Romans destroying Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. Following this sequence, Antichrist is said to be a latter-day Roman prince (“his people” being the Romans in history) who will rule a revived Roman Empire.

Thus, understanding the interpretation of the fourth part of Daniel’s image in this respect, all of the image except the feet would have a historical fulfillment. The legs would represent the Roman Empire in history, and the feet would represent the revived Roman Empire during the Tribulation.

And the same would hold true for the corresponding description set forth by the “four great beasts” in Daniel chapter seven. The first three beasts would have a historical fulfillment, and the fourth would have a partial fulfillment in history. The fourth beast would represent the Roman Empire in both history and prophecy, corresponding to the legs and feet of the image.

Is the preceding though the way Scripture sets forth that which is represented by the fourth part of the image and the fourth beast? Or is this an attempt to interpret biblical prophecy through events in secular history rather than interpreting prophecy by comparing Scripture with Scripture? The answer is easy to ascertain if one remains solely within that which Daniel and related Scripture elsewhere reveal about the matter.

1) One Kingdom of this World in Babylon

Rather than the four parts of the great image and the four great beasts representing four world kingdoms, they actually represent one world kingdom (Babylon) under different national powers, over time. As previously seen, the “head of gold” has to do with the kingdom of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar and his successors prior to the conquest of the kingdom by the two nations represented by “breast and arms of silver” (Dan. 2:37-38). The “breast and arms of silver” have to do with the Medes and the Persians coming in and conquering this Babylonian kingdom (Dan. 2:39; 5:28, 31). And the “belly and thighs of brass” have to do with the Grecians coming in and conquering the kingdom ruled by the Medes and the Persians (Dan. 2:39; 8:5-7, 20-21).

The mechanics of the preceding, of course, is the interpretation held in common by anyone reading Daniel. This is simply what the record in Daniel states, along with secular history.

But note something often overlooked about the preceding. Daniel’s image is seen standing in Babylon (Dan. 2:31). One kingdom is in view, and the kingdom represented by the image is Babylonian throughout all four parts of the image. The powers represented by the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, and the belly and thighs of brass all reigned from Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar and his immediate successors reigned from Babylon. Then, when the Medes and the Persians came in and took the kingdom in 538 B.C., they reigned from Babylon and were still there when Alexander the Great came over in 330 B.C., 208 years later. Then, when Alexander the Great took the kingdom, he also reigned from Babylon. In other words, the image is not seen lying down, with the head of gold in Babylon, the breast and arms of silver in Media and Persia, and the belly and thighs of brass in Greece. That’s not the picture at all. The image is seen standing in Babylon. It is Babylonian in its entirety.

This is one place where those who view a Roman Empire next in the prophecy go astray. Rome had nothing to do with a reign from Babylon in history. The capital of the Roman Empire was Rome, not Babylon. And Rome is not Babylon. If there were such a thing as a revived Roman Empire though, there could possibly be room for the final form of the Roman Empire to be associated with Babylon, for Babylon, back in the Mesopotamian Valley, will be the capital of the earth during the last half of the Tribulation. Such though will not be the case, for this prophecy has nothing to do with a Roman Empire in history or a revived Roman Empire yet future.

Those viewing Rome as representing the fourth part of the image try to press secular history into biblical prophecy at a point where it seems to possibly fit, but really doesn’t. Then they further complicate the matter by a misunderstanding of the timing surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem in Daniel 9:26 (to be discussed later in this chapter).

The most interesting thing about the whole matter is the fact that Daniel identifies all four parts of the image, and he identifies the fourth part as being other than the Roman Empire. Daniel, in his identity, has Antichrist coming into power following a four-way division of the kingdom after the death of Alexander the Great; and he rises out of a part of this Greco-Babylonian kingdom, not a succeeding Roman kingdom. The kingdom under Antichrist follows the Grecian kingdom and is represented first by the legs of iron, and then by the feet part of iron and part of clay in its final form.

As previously noted, the first part of the image is identified in Daniel 2:37-38. Then, following this, the remaining three parts of the image are given, though not identified. The identities of the other three parts are then given in the vision of the “four great beasts” and the interpretation of this vision in chapters seven and eight. The four beasts are said to represent four kingdoms (four sequential kingdoms forming the one Babylonian kingdom [Dan. 7:17; cf. Dan. 7:23]), and beginning with the second beast, the last three are identified in chapter eight.

For the identity of the second, compare verses three and four with verse twenty (Daniel 8:3-4, 20, cf. Daniel 5:28, 31); for the identity of the third, compare verses five through eight with verses twenty-one and twenty-two (Daniel 8:5-8, 21-22); and for the identity of the fourth, compare verses nine through fourteen with verses twenty-three through twenty-six (Daniel 8:9-14, 23-26).

Note that the identity of the second is Media and Persia (corresponding to the breast and arms of silver on the image), the identity of the third is Greece (corresponding to the belly and thighs of brass on the image), and the identity of the fourth is the kingdom under Antichrist (corresponding to the legs of iron and the feet part of iron and part of clay on the image). Rome is simply not in the prophecy!

Following Alexander the Great’s death, the kingdom was divided among his four generals (Dan. 8:8, 22). The prophecy in Daniel though does not cover events during the reign of these four generals following this division. Rather, the vision goes immediately into the days of Antichrist yet future (the “little horn” in Daniel 8:9 is not Antiochus Epiphanes [as is often taught], but Antichrist [see parallel verses, Daniel 8:23-26]); and, though Alexander the Great’s kingdom will have long since ceased to exist, Antichrist is seen coming out of one of the four divisions of this kingdom.

A couple of hundred years following Alexander the Great’s death and the four way division of his kingdom, Rome appeared on the scene as a world power, but not as a world power connected with Babylon or fulfilling any part of Daniel’s prophecy. This prophecy will not again continue to be fulfilled until Antichrist appears during Daniel’s Seventieth Week. Then, and only then, will the fourth part of the image in Daniel 2 and the Daniel 4 beast in Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 come into existence.

Now, what about “the people of the prince who is to come” destroying Jerusalem and the Temple in Daniel 9:26? Doesn’t that refer to a past destruction in 70 A.D. and to the Romans being Antichrist’s people in history?

Not at all!  First note the expression, “the people of the prince who is to come,” and compare this with a similar expression in Daniel 7:27 — “the people, the saints of the Most High.” Who will take the kingdom according to Daniel 7:18-27? Note in verse eighteen that it is “the saints of the Most High,” and in verse twenty-seven it is “people, the saints of the Most High.” The latter is the translation of a Hebrew idiom which is equivalent to the former. And it is the same in Daniel 9:26. The “people of the prince” in Daniel 9:26 is a reference to the prince himself. Failure to recognize this idiom and properly interpret its usage in Daniel 9:26 has resulted in confusion.

The destruction of Jerusalem in Daniel 9:26 is not a reference to the destruction that occurred in 70 A.D. but rather a reference to a future destruction under Antichrist in the middle of the Tribulation. This is the same destruction referred to in Luke 21:20-24 (cf. Revelation 11:2). The destruction in Daniel 9:26 must occur during time covered by the Seventy-Week prophecy, and contextually it occurs in connection with Antichrist breaking his covenant with Israel in verse twenty-seven. Both the text and context in Luke 21:20-24 show that this section also has to do with the same time as Daniel 9:26 — the coming Tribulation, rather than with events in 70 A.D.

(Refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 12, “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks,” or Daniel’s Seventy Weeks in this site, for additional information on Daniel 9:26.)

2) Emphasis on the Fourth part of the Great Image and the Fourth Great Beast

The emphasis in Daniel is exactly where it is seen in all other parts of Scripture where the subject is dealt with. It is upon the final form of the kingdom seen depicted by the fourth part of the great image in Daniel 2 and the fourth great beast in Daniel 7.

And, in a respect, all of the remainder of Daniel is commentary on that which is depicted by the great image and the great beasts in chapters two and seven, with the book, particularly from chapter seven forward, centering on the final form and destruction of this Babylonian kingdom.

The types in Scripture having to do with this Babylonian kingdom deal with the final form of the kingdom and center on the Jewish people, the last king of Babylon, and the utter destruction of this kingdom (refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The time of the End, Ch. 22 or The Beast — In the Types in this site.)

The Psalms and the Prophets, when referring to this kingdom, do the same. Their message, as well, deals with the final form of the kingdom and centers on the Jewish people, the last king of Babylon, and the utter destruction of this kingdom (refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 23 or The Beast — In the Psalms, the Prophets in this site.)

And the Book of Revelation, providing summary Scripture, as well, deals with exactly the same thing — the final form of the kingdom, the Jewish people, the last king of Babylon, and the utter destruction of this kingdom (Revelation 6-19; refer to Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 25 or The Beast — In Revelation in this site.)

The book of Daniel is the one book in Scripture providing a complete, overall view of the kingdom of Babylon, dealing with all four parts, showing the complete picture of the kingdom of this world, from beginning to end. But, as elsewhere in Scripture, the emphasis in Daniel is on the final form of this kingdom.

In Daniel’s reiteration of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the great image in chapter two, Scripture devotes four verses to the dream itself — two verses describing the image (Dan. 2:32-33) and two more verses stating that which would happen when the final form of that which is depicted by the image appeared (Dan. 2:34-35).

Then, in the interpretation of that which is depicted by the great image, Scripture devotes one verse to the head of gold (Dan. 2:38), one verse to both the breast and arms of silver and the belly and thighs of brass (Dan. 2:39), but three verses to the legs of iron and the feet part of iron and part of clay (Dan. 2:40-43). Then the image is seen struck at this final form (in both the dream and the interpretation) by a “Stone . . . cut out of the mountain without hands.” The complete image is destroyed, and the Stone then becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth (Dan. 2:44-45; cf. Dan. 2:34-35).

Years later, in Daniel’s reiteration of his own subsequent dreams and visions about the four great beasts in chapter seven, Scripture devotes one verse each to the first three great beasts (Dan. 7:4-6). Then, beginning with verse seven and continuing through the remainder of the chapter (Dan. 7:7-28), Scripture deals with things surrounding the fourth great beast, the Stone from chapter two, and the destruction of the kingdom represented by this fourth great beast.

Then, in the interpretation of that which is depicted by these four great beasts, the first beast is passed over without mention because that part of the image was about to become history. Though Belshazzar still ruled at the time of this vision (Dan. 7:1), the Medes and Persians would shortly conquer the kingdom (Dan. 5:30-31). Thus, the interpretation begins with the second great beast, by picturing a ram with two horns in chapter eight (Dan. 8:3-4, 20). Then the third great beast is depicted by a male goat (Dan. 8:5-8, 21-22). And quite a bit of space is devoted to information concerning this male goat, apparently because the ruler associated with the fourth great beast (the “little horn” [Dan. 7:8]) is seen coming out of a part of his kingdom (Alexander the Great’s kingdom).

Then, along with the latter part of chapter seven, the remainder of the book has to do with different aspects of revelation that mainly center on or have something to do with this man and his kingdom.

The Little Horn
The Prince of the Covenant

The little horn in Daniel 7:8, 20; 8:9 is none other than the future world ruler when the final form of the great image or the great beasts is seen — the Antichrist, the man of sin, the beast. This is the man whom the Lord will raise up, will place in the highest of regal positions, and will use to bring the Jewish people into such dire straits that they will have nowhere to turn other than to the God of their fathers (cf. Exodus 3:1ff; 9:16; Daniel 4:17, 25-26).

This is the man whom God will use to bring Israel to the place of repentance. The Caesars during the time Rome ruled the world couldn’t do it. The different Pogroms, Crusades, and Inquisitions during the Middle Ages couldn’t do it. The Third Reich during modern times couldn’t do it. But the man about to appear on the scene will be able to do it.

Jewish persecution under this man will far exceed anything that has ever occurred in the past, resulting in the actions of the wandering and persecuted Jewish people closing out 2,600 years of a human drama in which no Jewish person has wanted to participate but in which all Jewish individuals had to participate.

As previously seen, this little horn will rise from one of the four divisions of Alexander the Great’s kingdom — the northern division, which covered what is today northern Iraq and parts of Iran, Syria, and Turkey (Daniel 8:9). This is the part of the world from which this man will rise, not from Europe but from the Middle East.

This man’s ten-kingdom federation is referenced by the use of “ten horns,” referring to “ten kings,” in Daniel 7:7, 24. And he is said to subdue three horns, three kings (Dan. 7:8). But these subdued horns, kings, couldn’t be three of the ten, for these ten horns, ten kings, are to reign with this man (Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17:12). Rather, let Scripture interpret Scripture, and the matter becomes clear.

Note the parallel verse in Daniel 8:9, referring to the four parts into which Alexander the Great’s kingdom was divided. The three horns, three kings, which he subdues can only be those who ruled the other three parts of the kingdom (the matter is viewed as if this kingdom still existed when the little horn comes into power [cf. Daniel 2:44-45; 7:12], else he couldn’t be seen coming out of one part of the kingdom, then subduing those ruling the other three parts [Dan. 7:23-24; Dan. 8:8-10, 21-23]).

The kingdom of Babylon, which was divided four ways at the time of Alexander the Great’s death, must be seen as one undivided kingdom in its final form. Thus, the first thing mentioned is the “little horn” subduing three kings — referring to those ruling the other three parts of the kingdom — showing the kingdom being brought back together under one ruler again.

Then the covenant that this man will make with “many” in Israel, along with his breaking this covenant, occupies a central place in these latter chapters in Daniel. This covenant lies at the center of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy in chapter nine, and it is seen again through a large part of chapter eleven (Dan. 11:21-45).

(The word “covenant” appears seven times in the book of Daniel, all in chapters nine and eleven [Dan. 9:4, 27; Dan. 11:22, 28, 30 (twice), Dan. 11:32].)

From that which is revealed, this future covenant will undoubtedly center on the Mosaic Economy with its Temple. The Jewish people will be allowed to live in some type of semblance of peace in the midst of their Moslem neighbors, with a rebuilt Temple on the Temple Mount (a major feat in itself, one which is unattainable today) and the entire Mosaic Economy re-instituted.

Once the covenant is broken by this man entering into the rebuilt Temple and declaring himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4; cf. Daniel 9:26-27; 11:30-39), the most horrific time this earth has ever seen will break out overnight. It is at this moment in time that the Jewish people living in the land are told to not take time to pick up anything but to run for their lives, with only that which they have on their person (Matthew 24:15-22).

This man is going to have an affiliation with those who forsake the covenant; he will pollute the sanctuary, take away the daily sacrifice, and make it desolate. He will “corrupt with flattery” those who side with him against the covenant. He will “do according to his will,” exalting and magnifying himself “above every god” (Daniel 11:30-32, 36; cf. Daniel 9:27; Matthew 23:37-39). He will not regard any God [the true God, or false deities of the Gentiles). Rather, he will “honor a god of fortresses [power]” (Daniel 11:36-38).

But, after all has been said and done — following this man’s reign of terror, with the nations in ruin, and millions on top of millions slain — this man is going to “come to his end, and no one will help him” (Daniel 11:45; cf. Isaiah 14:15-17; Jeremiah 4:23-28).

The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood and Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 24, or see in this site 24) The Beast — In the Book of Daniel.

Also see Arlen Chitwood's Great Image Great Beasts, Part 1, Part 2 in this site.. 

The little horn in Daniel 7:8, 20; 8:9 is none other than the future world ruler when the final form of the great image or the great beasts is seen — the Antichrist, the man of sin, the beast. This is the man whom the Lord will raise up, will place in the highest of regal positions, and will use to bring the Jewish people into such dire straits that they will have nowhere to turn other than to the God of their fathers.

The twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne can only depict
the angels who did not go along with Satan in his rebellion relinquishing their crowns,
with a view to those comprising the bride wearing these crowns during the Messianic Era.

Crowns Cast before God’s Throne [1]
Identity of the 24 Elders
By Arlen Chitwood of
Lamp Broadcast

(Editor’s Note: This study and the study to follow will deal with material in Revelation 4; 5 respectively [this study with material in Revelation 4 and the study to follow with material in Revelation 5]. Properly understanding certain things in both Revelation chapters four and five, within context [following that seen in Revelation 1; 2; 3 but preceding that dealt with in Revelation 6 and following], is crucial to a proper understanding of the book of Revelation as a whole. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized.)

Immediately following events seen in Revelation 2; 3), attention is again called to that previously seen in Revelation 1 — John being removed from Man’s Day and placed in the Lord’s Day (cf. Revelation 1:10; 4:1-2a). Scripture in its structure has a way of repeating things at times in order to provide a base for supplying additional details on a subject. And repeating that seen in chapter one at this later time in the book, in Revelation 4 [following events seen in chapters Revelation 1:1-3 {1b}], would have to do with Scripture providing additional details relating to the Church following events surrounding the judgment seat.

In Revelation 1, immediately after John was removed from Man’s Day and placed in the Lord’s Day, along with being moved forward in time, he was shown the complete Church in Christ’s presence, with Christ presented in His future judicial role, not in His present high priestly role. And, since this is clearly a judicial scene following the rapture, that which is dealt with in these verses can only refer to one thing. These verses in chapter one can only refer to:

      1) The complete Church, all Christians throughout the dispensation (shown by the number of the Churches [seven, showing the completeness of that which is in view]), being removed from the earth at the end of the dispensation (shown by John’s removal).

      2) The complete Church appearing in Christ’s presence to be judged (shown by Christ appearing as Judge, with the seven candlesticks [the seven Churches] appearing in His presence).

Then, simply continuing from chapter one, the central subject of the subsequent two chapters has been established. This central subject, continuing into chapters two and three, clearly has to do with Christians before the judgment seat. But the manner in which the churches are set forth in these two chapters — beginning with Ephesus which left its “first love” (Revelation 2:4) and ending with Laodicea which is described as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17) — it is also evident that a history of the Church throughout the dispensation is shown in these chapters as well.

And, with these things in mind, the Spirit of God leading John to begin chapter four at the same point as seen in chapter one would not only provide a base for additional revelation surrounding Christians following the judgment seat but it would also provide a means for setting forth the same thing clearly taught a number of other places in Scripture — the removal of the complete Church at the end of the dispensation.

That is, viewing Revelation 2; 3 from a historical perspective (depicting a history of the Church throughout the dispensation), Revelation 4, beginning at the same point as seen in Revelation 1, shows the removal of the complete Church at the end of the dispensation. And this is something that can be seen in a clearer respect in Revelation 4 than it can in Revelation 1 because, from a historical perspective, the complete dispensation is seen immediately preceding, in Revelation 2; 3. Then, the removal of the Church at this point in time would also show the removal of the Church before the beginning of the Tribulation (seen beginning in Revelation 6). And this, as well, would be in complete accord with that seen elsewhere in Scripture.

The Heavenly Scene

Immediately after attention has been called to the same event seen in Revelation 1:10 (in Revelation 4:1-2a), John, rather than seeing a judicial scene (as in Revelation 1), now sees a rainbow encircled throne, with God seated on the throne (Revelation 4:2-3 [2b]). And surrounding this throne, John sees twenty-four other thrones and twenty-four crowned “elders” seated on these thrones (Revelation 4:4).

 (The significance of attention called to a rainbow encircling God’s throne at this point in the book can be seen in the first mention of a rainbow in Scripture [Genesis 9:13-17]. The rainbow appeared in Genesis following the completion of God’s judgment [the Flood], and the same thing is seen in Revelation 4:3 relative to the completion of the judgment of Christians in Revelation 1; 2; 3 [1b].)

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
 
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
 
And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
 
Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold . . . .
 
The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne . . . .
(Revelation 4:1-4, 10)

At this point in the book, events pertaining to the dispensation in which the Spirit spent 2,000 years searching for a bride for God’s Son are complete (Revelation 2; 3, viewed from a historical perspective). As well, events surrounding the judgment seat are also complete (Revelation 1; 2; 3 [1b], viewed from the manner in which Revelation 2; 3 are introduced in Revelation 1b). And, because of the reason for the dispensation and the judgment seat, and because of the point toward which all Scripture moves, the logical place where one would expect activity to now be centered at this point in the book would be concerning bringing about the realization of that stated in Hebrews 2:

      For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. (Hebrews 2:5)

And events having to do with bringing to pass that which is stated in this verse is exactly what can be found in Revelation 4; 5.

In the latter part of Revelation 4:2, immediately following the repetition from chapter one concerning the removal of the Church (Revelation 1:10 (in Revelation 4:1-2a), John, rather than seeing a judicial scene (as in Revelation 1:1-2a), John begins to describe various things about God’s throne, which he both sees and hears — “lightnings,” “thunderings,” and “voices” coming out of the throne, and “lamps of fire were burning before the throne” (Revelation 4:5). And “in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne” John sees four living creatures who “do not rest day or night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come”; and these living creatures “give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever” (Revelation 4:6-9).

Then the scene returns to the twenty-four elders, who arise from their thrones, fall down before God, worship Him, cast their crowns before His throne, and express adoration to the One worthy “to receive glory and honor and power” (Revelation 4:10-11).

If an apex is to be found in the book of Revelation, aside from Christ’s return in Revelation 19, the action of these twenty-four elders would have to be considered. Their action — relinquishing their crowns to the One who originally placed them in regal positions — is significant beyond degree in relation to the central message of this book.

Crowns, Regality, Government

“Crowns” have to do with regality, and the government of the earth is in view throughout the book of Revelation. At this point in the book, the judgment of Christians, with a view to regality, will have just occurred; and, with a view to this same regality, Christ, following this, is seen as the One about to redeem the forfeited inheritance through taking the seven-sealed scroll from God’s right hand and breaking the seals (Revelation 5:1ff).

Angels have ruled over the earth since time immemorial — since that time when God established the government of the earth in the beginning. Angels will still be exercising rulership over the earth at this point in the book, following the judgment of Christians. And angels will continue ruling until Christ and His co-heirs (forming His bride) take the kingdom, following Christ’s return to the earth.

Accordingly, neither Christ nor Christians will receive the crowns that they are to wear during the Messianic Era until after Christ returns to the earth at the end of the Tribulation. The crown that Christ will wear during the Messianic Era is presently being worn by Satan, as he continues to exercise power over the earth. And the crowns that Christians will wear in that day are presently being worn by two segments of angels — the angels presently ruling with Satan, and the angels who refused to follow Satan when he sought to exalt his throne.

When Satan sought to exalt his throne — following his being placed over the earth, with a large contingent of angels ruling the earth with him — only one-third of these ruling angels followed Satan and fell with him, with the other two-thirds refusing to follow him (cf. Isaiah 14:12-14; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:3-4).

(For example, note the account of Saul and David, forming a type of Satan and Christ.

Saul, though disqualified, retained his crown and continued to reign until David was not only present but ready to ascend the throne. Then, Saul’s crown was taken, given to David; and David, along with certain faithful men, ascended the throne and reigned in the stead of Saul and those who had ruled with him [2 Samuel 1; 2 ].

And it will be exactly the same in the antitype. Satan, though disqualified, will retain his crown and continue to reign until Christ is not only present but ready to ascend the throne. Then, Satan’s crown will be taken, given to Christ; and Christ, along with certain faithful individuals, will ascend the throne and reign in the stead of Satan and those who had ruled with him, both before and after his fall [Revelation 19:11-20:6].)

(Note the way Revelation 12:4a is worded:

And his [the dragon’s, Satan’s] tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven [referring to angels (cf. Job 38:7; Revelation 1:20)] and did cast them to the earth . . . .” This “third part,” after millenniums of time and separation [separation of one-third from the other two-thirds], is still recognized at this future time as only part of a larger group, only part of all the angels originally ruling with Satan.)

And though the angels not following Satan didn’t continue ruling with him, they could not immediately relinquish their appointed positions. Rather, they had to retain their positions for a time, remaining crowned.

A principle of biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler retain his crown until the one replacing him is not only on the scene but ready to ascend the throne. Only then can an incumbent ruler relinquish his crown.

This same established principle must prevail relative to both the angels refusing to follow Satan in his attempt to exalt his throne and those who did follow him. This entire contingent of angels (both fallen and unfallen) must retain their crowns until those who are to replace them, those who are to wear these crowns, are not only on the scene but ready to ascend the throne.

These relinquished crowns though will be worn only after Christ returns to the earth at the end of the Tribulation, overthrows Satan and his angels, and forcibly takes their crowns. Only then will Christ be in possession of all the crowns that He and His bride are destined to wear as they ascend the throne and rule the earth.

This entire scenario of events, as it pertains to the government of the earth, is introduced in Revelation 4. It is introduced immediately following events surrounding the judgment seat when, for the first time in the history of the earth, those who are to ascend the throne with God’s Son will have been made known and revealed. Those shown worthy to take the crowns worn by Satan and his angels up to this point in time will now be on the scene, ready to ascend the throne. And for the first time in the history of the earth, angels can now relinquish their crowns.

This is the first order of activity seen in the book of Revelation occurring immediately following issues and determinations at the judgment seat. And so it should be, for, according to Romans 8:19-23, the entire creation (as it pertains to the earth, both the material creation and redeemed man) presently groans and travails, awaiting “the manifestation of the sons of God” (a new order of sons — taken from among redeemed man, not angels).

Revelation 4 is the point in the book where this manifestation of a new order of sons has its beginning. It begins here by the relinquishment of crowns, making possible a later full manifestation of regal activity by man at the time of Christ’s return.

Thus, with the introduction of crowns cast before God’s throne in Revelation 4:10-11, only one group of individuals could possibly be in view (if one remains within context and keeps in mind the earth’s government in both history and prophecy). These twenty-four elders can only represent angelic rulers (cf. Hebrews 2:5). Angels alone will possess crowns in relation to the government of the earth at this time (as they do during the present time).

(Some Bible students, on the basis of the pronouns used in Revelation 5:9-10 — “us” and “we” [KJV] — have understood the twenty-four elders to represent redeemed men, not angels. However, the majority of the better Greek manuscripts omit the pronouns in Revelation 5:9 and render the pronouns in Revelation 5:10 as “them” and “they” [ref. ASV, NASB, NIV, Wuest, Weymouth].

But the matter is really not left to manuscript evidence alone. That the pronouns “them” and “they” are correct is evident from the context. Note that the song in Revelation 5:9-10 is apparently sung not only by the “twenty-four elders” but also by the “four beasts [‘living creatures’]” as well. Then, other angels join them in Revelation 5:11ff, with all of the angels together voicing additional, related statements.

Aside from the preceding, it would make absolutely no sense whatsoever to understand these twenty-four elders as referring to a segment of redeemed man. Man couldn’t possibly be crowned at the time of events in Revelation 4; 5, else he would be crowned before Christ is crowned [note that Christ is to wear the crown which Satan presently wears, which Satan will still be wearing at this time]. Also, man is to wear the crown he receives, not relinquish it before God’s throne as seen being done by the twenty-four elders.)

And at this point in the book, through the action of the twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne, the way will be opened for God to transfer the scepter from the hands of angels into the hands of man. In this respect, these crowns cast before God’s throne can only have to do with the government of the earth. And, at this point in the book, crowns can be worn by angels alone. The Son will not yet have taken the kingdom, though the Father will have previously delivered it into His hands (cf. Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 19:12, 15; Revelation 11:15; 19:11ff).

These crowns are relinquished to God (cast before God’s throne) — with a view to man ruling in the kingdom — so that God can appoint those who had previously been shown qualified through decisions and determinations at the judgment seat [Revelation 1b-3] to positions of power and authority with His Son; and those whom the Father appoints will wear these crowns in His Son’s kingdom.

These crowns are cast before God’s throne (cf. Revelation 4:1-4; 5:1-7) because the Father alone is the One Who places and/or removes rulers in His kingdom (Daniel 4:17-37; 5:18-21). He alone is the One Who placed those represented by the twenty-four elders in the positions which they occupied; and He alone is the One who will remove those represented by these elders from the positions in which He originally placed them and assign other individuals to positions in the kingdom, in their stead (Matthew 20:20-23).

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

Christ and His bride, in that coming day, will rule the earth in the stead of Satan and his angels. And, in the process of ruling in this manner, they will wear all the crowns worn by Satan and his angels prior to his fall — both angels who did not follow Satan and those who did follow him.

Action of the Elders

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

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

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

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

(The fact that angels represented by the twenty-four elders are not presently ruling with Satan can be shown not only by their present position — in God’s presence, in heaven — but by the Greek word which is used for the type crown which they are seen wearing.

There are two words in the Greek text for “crown” — stephanos, and diadema. Comparing Scripture with Scripture, with regality in view, one major distinction stands out concerning how these two words are used. Diadema refers to the type crown worn by a monarch, one presently exercising regal power. Stephanos, on the other hand, is used in an opposite sense. It is used to show someone crowned but not presently exercising regal power.

For example, the crown seen on Christ’s head in Revelation 14:14, preceding His reign, is referred to by the word stephanos in the Greek text. A crown on Christ’s head at this time could only anticipate His impending reign. Then, when Christ returns to the earth to take the kingdom, He will have many crowns upon His head; and the Greek text uses diadema rather than stephanos to refer to these crowns, for Christ will be returning as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” [Revelation 19:12, 16].

The twenty-four elders in Revelation 4 cast crowns referred to as stephanos before the throne, indicating that, though crowned, these elders were not exercising regal power. And the many crowns that Christ will have on His head at the time of His return are undoubtedly these same crowns [Revelation 19:12]. But, anticipating that day when Christ reigns, the book of Revelation uses the word diadema to refer to these crowns, for Christ will be exercising regal power, with Satan about to be overthrown.

The crowns on Christ’s head at this time though will not be worn by Christ when He rules the earth, for He is to wear the crown presently worn by Satan [the incumbent ruler] in that day. Rather, these crowns will be given to those forming the bride [whom the Father will previously have appointed to various positions of power and authority with His Son]; and this will occur following that time when the remainder of the crowns having to do with the earth’s government are forcibly taken from Satan and his angels.)

Twenty-Four, Thirty-Six

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

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

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

But, this structured perfection will one day again exist in the earth’s government. When Christ and His bride ascend the throne together, crowns worn by those represented by all three sets of twelve will be brought together again. Then, divine perfection will once again exist in the government of the one province in God’s universe where imperfection has existed for millennia (cf. Colossians 1:16-20).

Crowns Cast Before God’s Throne by Arlen Chitwood, Part 1,  Part 2

[1] Taken from “The Heavenly Calling,” Vol. XXXIV, September, October 2008, # 5, The Lamp Broadcast, Inc., by Arlen Chitwood   

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

 A Jewish businessman in Chicago decided to send his son to Israel to absorb some of the culture of the homeland.  When the son returned, the father asked him to tell him about his trip.

The son said, "Pop, I had a great time in Israel. By the way, I converted to Christianity."

"Oy, vey," said the father. "Vot haf I dun?" He decided to go ask his friend Jacob what to do.

Jake said, "Funny you should ask. I too sent my son to Israel and he also came back a Christian. Perhaps we should go see the rabbi and ask him what we should do." So they went to see the rabbi.

The rabbi said, "Funny you should ask. I too sent my son to Israel. He also came back a Christian.  What is happening to our young people? Perhaps we should go talk to God and ask him what to do."

The three of them prayed and explained what had happened to their sons and asked God what to do.

Suddenly a voice came loud and clear from Heaven.

The Voice said, "Funny you should ask. I, too, sent my Son to Israel . . . . . 

Do You Know How The 13 Apostles Died?

This is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor
compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles
(and many disciples) during their time for the sake of the Faith.

 

Breaking of Seals plus Trumpet and Vial Judgments LINK

The following link in Table Format is Safe to open:

Seal – Trumpet – Vial.docx Seal – Trumpet – Vial.docx
Size : 59.26 Kb
Type : docx

Salvation Aspects -- Spirit, Body and Soul
By Got Questions

My note: When is each aspect saved:

Spiritually upon Belief – Body at Rapture – Soul (if Overcomer) at Judgment Seat

(Also my note:  The following three commentaries do not reference the salvation of the body aspect which occurs at the rapture.  Also, as a trichotomist, I have no doubt there are three separate aspects of salvation – Spirit, Body and Soul.  The number three is defined as "Divine Perfection."  The number two affirms that there is a difference -- there is another.)

How were People Saved before Jesus Died for our Sins?

(Note:  This first commentary does not reference the soul aspect of salvation, only the spiritual aspect.)

Since the fall of man, the basis of salvation has always been the death of Christ. No one, either prior to the cross or since the cross, would ever be saved without that one pivotal event in the history of the world. Christ's death paid the penalty for past sins of Old Testament saints and future sins of New Testament saints.

The requirement for salvation has always been faith. The object of one's faith for salvation has always been God. The psalmist wrote, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:12). Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed God and that was enough for God to credit it to him for righteousness (see also Romans 4:3-8). The Old Testament sacrificial system did not take away sin, as Hebrews 10:1-10 clearly teaches. It did, however, point to the day when the Son of God would shed His blood for the sinful human race.

What has changed through the ages is the content of a believer's faith. God's requirement of what must be believed is based on the amount of revelation He has given mankind up to that time. This is called progressive revelation. Adam believed the promise God gave in Genesis 3:15 that the Seed of the woman would conquer Satan. Adam believed Him, demonstrated by the name he gave Eve (Gen. 3:20) and the Lord indicated His acceptance immediately by covering them with coats of skin (Gen. 3:21). At that point that is all Adam knew, but he believed it.

Abraham believed God according to the promises and new revelation God gave him in Genesis 12 and 15. Prior to Moses, no Scripture was written, but mankind was responsible for what God had revealed. Throughout the Old Testament, believers came to salvation because they believed that God would someday take care of their sin problem. Today, we look back, believing that He has already taken care of our sins on the cross (John 3:16; Hebrews 9:28).

What about believers in Christ's day, prior to the cross and resurrection? What did they believe? Did they understand the full picture of Christ dying on a cross for their sins? Late in His ministry, “Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (Matthew 16:21-22). What was the reaction of His disciples to this message? “Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’” Peter and the other disciples did not know the full truth, yet they were saved because they believed that God would take care of their sin problem. They didn't exactly know how He would accomplish that, any more than Adam, Abraham, Moses, or David knew how, but they believed God.

Today, we have more revelation than the people living before the resurrection of Christ; we know the full picture. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Our salvation is still based on the death of Christ, our faith is still the requirement for salvation, and the object of our faith is still God. Today, for us, the content of our faith is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Got Questions - How were People Saved before Jesus Died for our Sins?


Do we have Two or Three parts? Body, Soul, and Spirit? Dichotomy or Trichotomy?

Genesis 1:26-27 indicates that there is something that makes humanity distinct from all the other creations. Human beings were intended to have a relationship with God, and as such, God created us with both material and immaterial parts. The material is obviously that which is tangible: the physical body, bones, organs, etc., and exists as long as the person is alive. The immaterial aspects are those which are intangible: soul, spirit, intellect, will, conscience, etc. These exist beyond the physical lifespan of the individual.

All human beings possess both material and immaterial characteristics. It is clear that all mankind has a body containing flesh, blood, bones, organs, and cells. However, it is the intangible qualities of mankind that are often debated. What does Scripture say about these? Genesis 2:7 states that man was created as a living soul. Numbers 16:22 names God as the “God of the spirits” that are possessed by all mankind. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life,” indicating that the heart is central to man’s will and emotions. Acts 23:1 says, “Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, ‘My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.’” Here Paul refers to the conscience, that part of the mind that convicts us of right and wrong. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” These verses, and numerous others, refer to the various aspects of the immaterial part of humanity. We all share both material and immaterial qualities.

So, Scripture outlines far more than just soul and spirit. Somehow, the soul, spirit, heart, conscience, and mind are connected and interrelated. The soul and spirit, though, definitely are the primary immaterial aspects of humanity. They likely comprise the other aspects. With this is mind, is humanity dichotomous (cut in two, body/soul-spirit), or trichotomous (cut in three, body/soul/spirit). There are arguments for both views. A key verse is Hebrews 4:12:

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This verse tells us at least two things about this debate. The soul and spirit can be divided, and the division of soul and spirit is something that only God can discern.

Got Questions - Do we have Two or Three parts? Body, Soul, and Spirit? Dichotomy or Trichotomy?


What is the Difference between the Soul and Spirit of Man?

The soul and the spirit are the two primary immaterial aspects that Scripture ascribes to humanity. It can be confusing to attempt to discern the precise differences between the two. The word “spirit” refers only to the immaterial facet of humanity. Human beings have a spirit, but we are not spirits. However, in Scripture, only believers are said to be spiritually alive (1 Corinthians 2:11; Hebrews 4:12; James 2:26), while unbelievers are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13). In Paul's writing, the spiritual was pivotal to the life of the believer (1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:1; Ephesians 1:3; 5:19; Colossians 1:9; 3:16). The spirit is the element in humanity which gives us the ability to have an intimate relationship with God. Whenever the word “spirit” is used, it refers to the immaterial part of humanity that “connects” with God, who Himself is spirit (John 4:24).

The word “soul” can refer to both the immaterial and material aspects of humanity. Unlike human beings having a spirit, human beings are souls. In its most basic sense, the word “soul” means “life.” However, beyond this essential meaning, the Bible speaks of the soul in many contexts. One of these is humanity’s eagerness to sin (Luke 12:26). Humanity is naturally evil, and our souls are tainted as a result. The life principle of the soul is removed at the time of physical death (Genesis 35:18; Jeremiah 15:2). The soul, as with the spirit, is the center of many spiritual and emotional experiences (Job 30:25; Psalm 43:5; Jeremiah 13:17). Whenever the word “soul” is used, it can refer to the whole person, whether alive or in the afterlife.

The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable (Hebrews 4:12). The soul is the essence of humanity’s being; it is who we are. The spirit is the aspect of humanity that connects with God.

Got Questions - What is the Difference between the Soul and Spirit of Man?

Some Manifestations of the Flesh 

 More Comfortable in a Saddle than a Pew!

Reaching out to those people who feel far more comfortable in a saddle than a pew.

Some people in Texas were having trouble with all those shalls and shall nots in the 10 Commandments. Folks there just aren't used to talking in those terms. So, some folks in east Texas got together and translated the "King James" into the "King Ranch" language:

Ten Commandments, Cowboy Style.
Cowboy's Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, TX

(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No telling tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.

This is cowboy church — straight-shooter, sinner-saved-by-grace theology throwing a rope out to the lost, the lonely and those who long for an unvarnished faith.

No fancy duds. No politicized preaching.
No denominational hair-splitting.
It's come as you are, in spirit, spurs and Stetsons.
It's bucking bulls and plumbing Bibles in a dusty arena or dropping a hard-won dollar in a boot on the back table after a punchy sermon.

Fundamentally, it's an attitude, whether you ride a bronc or a computer keyboard.

What is church really?
A transmission vehicle to let people hear about the saving grace of Jesus.
 

The Day He Died!

Jesus died during a Passover Festival in the early part of the first century. Which Passover? Which year?

By Roger Rusk, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Tennessee, where he taught from 1943 to 1971.
Christianity Today, March 29, 1974

The Passover was instituted when the children of Israel were in Egypt, on the eve of their flight. The account is in the twelfth chapter of Exodus. Let us look at the time elements in the instructions. The month in which it happened was to be called the first month of the year. The sacrificial lamb was to be selected on the tenth day of this month and. "kept up" until the fourteenth day, when it was to be slain. It was to be eaten that night. Since the Hebrew day began at sunset, the eating of the Passover Iamb took place in the early hours of the fifteenth day of the month, which was called the first day of unleavened bread. This fifteenth day was to be observed by a holy convocation. No work was to be done. It was regarded as a Sabbath.

When did the year begin? The Hebrews observed a lunar calendar: twelve lunar months made a year of 354 days, eleven days short of the normal year. In order to keep the calendar in step with the seasons, some years had thirteen months. This was the case in seven of every nineteen years.

Not having the accurate astronomical tables of modern times, the priests announced the beginning of each new year after they saw the new moon near the vernal equinox. In the clear atmosphere of Palestine, the crescent moon could be seen much sooner than we are accustomed to seeing it in North America. So rigid were the requirements and attention given to this work that the priests could observe a pale, thin crescent of the moon in the twilight sky immediately after sunset even if it had been a new moon as late as noon of the very same day. This fact, found in the Jewish Encyclopedia, is astonishing to us today, for we ordinarily do not observe a crescent moon until it is at least two days old. To take care of cloudy times, and for the benefit of Jews living away from the environs of Jerusalem, the priests used tables, somewhat crude by modern standards.

The traditional view is that Jesus was crucified on a Friday in a year near AD. 30. The Roman Catholic Church has insisted upon Friday, April 7, A.D. 30, as the day. Protestant scholars have differed from this and among themselves. Does this date accord with the rules governing the observance of the Passover and the astronomical data as well?

Two aspects of the traditional view call for investigation. About one-third of the Gospels is taken up with the record of the events of the last week of the life of Christ. We might infer that such a detailed account is intentional and is designed to relate all the events of this short time with the utmost of detail. Yet in order to preserve the hypothesis of the Friday crucifixion, all harmonies of the Gospels call for an entire day on which there is no account of any activity whatever on the part of Jesus, a day of silence in the midst of this very busy week, a day usually designated as Wednesday.

The Gospels say nothing about such a day of silence. It is an invention designed to support the Friday thesis. The accompanying assumption is that a small part of Friday, all of Saturday. and a small part of Sunday fulfill all that Jesus taught concerning three days and three nights in the earth and a resurrection on the third day. According to this principle, the time interval between 11 :59 P.M. Friday and 12:01 AM. Sunday, which is twenty-four hours and two minutes, can be called these days and three nights. Really? Is this not just another supposition made to support a theory?

Now if Jesus fulfilled to the letter the stipulations as our Passover Lamb, then he was selected on the tenth day of the first month, called Nisan, kept shut up until the fourteenth day, and slain in the afternoon of the fourteenth day. What event constituted his selection on the tenth day? The most likely is his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when his followers hailed him with palm branches and cries of "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." This happened the day after a sabbath, a day we commemorate as Palm Sunday. There is no event recorded the following day, a Monday, that would qualify as a "selection."

If Palm Sunday was the tenth day, then the four teenth day was Thursday, not Friday. This would mean that all the events usually assigned to Thursday should be moved back to Wednesday, and there would be no need to designate Wednesday a day of silence. This also would mean that all the events usually assigned to Friday really occurred on Thursday, and Friday would be a day of silence while the body of Christ lay in the grave. In this way, all the time from Jesus arrival in Bethany on the previous Friday until the resurrection would be accounted for.

According to the instructions in Exodus, the fifteenth day of Nisan was to be observed as a day of convocation, a day of rest, a sabbath. One of the keys is in John 19:31, which reads, "The day of that sabbath was a high day." The important point is that the fifteenth day of Nisan, observed as a Sabbath, could fall on any day of the week. If the crucifixion occurred on a Thursday, then Friday would be the Sabbath of the Passover, followed immediately by the Sabbath of the week on Saturday. There would be two Sabbaths, hack to back, in that week. Another key is in Matthew 28:1, which uses "sabbaths" (plural) in the Greek. There would be no call for this unless more than one Sabbath was involved.

From these considerations we can construct a plausible chronology:

FRIDAY. Jesus came to Bethany six days before the Passover. John 12:1.

SATURDAY. The Sabbath. Presumably spent in Beth-any. The curious crowd came to see Jesus and Lazarus. John 12:9.

SUNDAY. The Triumphal Entry. The Passover Lamb selected by believers on the tenth day of Nisan, four days before the Passover.

MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY. Jesus appeared in Jerusalem many times, always within a "sabbath day s journey," spending nights in Bethany. The Lamb "kept up.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT. The Last Supper.

EARLY THURSDAY. Before dawn, Jesus Was examined by the high priest and the elders and condemned to die. Since the day began at sunset on the previous evening, this would be within the fourteenth day.

THURSDAY. Jesus executed by the Romans, dying about 3 P.M., toward the evening of the fourteenth day of Nisan, called the day of preparation in all four Gospels. He was buried hastily by Joseph and Nicodemus as the Sabbath drew on, which would begin at sunset. This would be the sabbath of the Passover, the fifteenth day of Nisan, the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, and could occur on any day of the week.

FRIDAY, SATURDAY. The fifteenth day of this particular month would be Friday. Jesus lay in the grave all Thursday night, all Friday and Friday night, all Saturday and Saturday night.

SUNDAY. He was resurrected before dawn early Sunday morning, exactly three days and three nights from the time the death sentence was passed upon him. The women who could not get to the tomb because of the two consecutive Sabbaths, and the disciples, saw Jesus alive on this, the third day since his death. See Luke 24:21.

In this chronology, all the time is accounted for, all the requirements of the Law governing the Passover are met, and all the types of the Passover Lamb are fulfilled.

A few evangelicals support a Wednesday crucifixion. They must get rid of some time between Palm Sunday and the Last Supper, or claim a Triumphal Entry on a Sabbath. Moreover, they must allow for a secular day, Friday, on which the women could have gone to the tomb. This theory calls for a Saturday-evening resurrection, and a Saturday night during which the resurrected Christ revealed himself to no one. It is difficult to see how the gospel record can support this theory.

The Passover has not always been kept in strict conformity to the Law of Moses. In the time of Hezekiah, a Passover was observed an entire month later than specified. When Josiah was king, a Great Passover was kept that closely followed the instructions in Exodus. In the account of this in Second Chronicles 35, the idea of "preparation" is repeated throughout. Is there any Scripture indicating that the day before the Sabbath of the week was ever preceded by a day of preparation?

After the return from the Babylonian exile, the regulations imposed by the rabbis became quite elaborate, particularly with regard to the evening meal at the time of Passover. This meal became long and ceremonial. It involved three cakes of unleavened bread, one of which was divided, half being kept aside until the end of the meal and then distributed to those present. There were four cups of wine for each participant, at least one of which was passed around. Only men attended, and they ate in a reclining position, a symbol of free men. The Last Supper was such a meal.

Was there a double observance of Passover in New Testament times? A hint is given in the lewish Encylopedia in the article entitled "Seder." The statement is made that Seder is the name given by Eastern European Jews in later centuries to the home service on the first night of Passover, "which, by those who kept the second day of the festivals, is repeated on the second night." These two meals are identical in modern practice. The problem posed by the language in the Gospels concerning which day was regarded as the "Day of Preparation" might be resolved in the light of a possible double observance in rabbinical law, but this is a problem somewhat independent of the timing of the Passover as set by the original instructions given by Moses in Exodus.

In which year did these events occur? By taking certain lines of data from Goldstine s New and Full Moons, and determining the days of the week from commonly published tables such as are in the World Almanac, we can compile a table of pertinent information. The times have been changed from the local time at Baghdad to the local time at Jerusalem.

Notice that in none of these years is a Wednesday crucifixion possible. Neither can the year of the crucifixion be shifted to just one or two years earlier or later than AD. 30. There is no year when the fourteenth of Nisan fell on a Thursday between AD. 26 and A.D. 34 except A.D. 30. A Friday would be possible in AD. 26, but this is regarded as too early. The fourteenth of Nisan also occurred on a Friday in A.D. 33, but this is late. The historical evidence is against it. Can the evidence in Scripture support a Friday crucifixion in any year ?

The rules governing the observance of the Passover and the astronomical limitations governing the application of these rules combine to make Thursday, April 6, A.D. 30, the most plausible of the dates suggested for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Texas Cyber - The Day He Died  

Genesis and John!
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

The Parallel Message Seen in Both Books

When studying the Scriptures — whether the Old Testament or the New Testament — one is studying about Jesus the Christ, Whom God has “appointed heir of all things” (Luke 24:25-27; Heb. 1:2). There is nothing in the New Testament that is not seen after some fashion in the Old. The New Testament is simply a revealing, an unveiling, of God’s Son, as previously introduced in the Old Testament Scriptures.

“Jesus” is the Word made “flesh,” referring, in an inseparable sense, to both the Old Testament Scriptures and to God becoming “flesh” in the person of His Son. “Jesus” is not only God manifested in the flesh but the Old Testament Scriptures manifested in the flesh as well.

There is “the written Word,” inseparably identified with “God,” and there is this same Word manifested in the form of “flesh,” with life and inseparability seen throughout.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And the Word was made [‘the Word became’] flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” John 1:1-2, 14).

Thus, “studying Scripture,” one is simply studying about God’s Son. And note that the Word became “flesh” after the whole of the Old Testament had been penned but before a single word of the New Testament had been penned. In that respect, one would have to conclude that there is nothing in the New that is not seen after some fashion in the Old, else God’s Son — the Word becoming “flesh” — would have been incomplete at the time of His incarnation.

Then, in John 1:14, the Word becoming “flesh” is seen in connection with two things:

1) Christ’s Glory.

2) Christ’s Sonship, God’s Firstborn (“sonship” implies rulership, and it is firstborn sons who rule in the human realm).

All of this can only take one back to the beginning of God’s revelation of His Son, back to the opening verses of Genesis. That which God desires man to know about His plans and purposes, which He will bring to pass through His Son, begin at this point.

And everything from this point forward is regal. Everything has to do with God’s Son, God’s Firstborn, Who has been “appointed heir of all things.” And everything moves toward that day when God’s Son will come forth in all His Glory and realize this inheritance.

The Old Testament opens this way, providing the complete story in the opening book. And the New Testament opens exactly the same way, providing commentary on the manner in which the Old Testament opens, providing the complete story, after another fashion, in one book as well.

Scripture begins in Genesis with, “In the beginning… [lit., ‘In beginning…’],” and the New Testament begins exactly the same way, though a problem exists because of the manner in which man has arranged the four gospels beginning the New Testament.

The Gospel of John is the only gospel which begins the same way Genesis begins, “In the beginning… [lit., ‘In beginning…’], along with the fact that both Genesis and John parallel one another completely, from beginning to end.

Thus, if the Gospel of John occupied its proper place in the arrangement of books in the New Testament, both books, Genesis and John, would not only introduce each Testament exactly the same way but both of these books would relate the complete story of each Testament — the complete story of Scripture as a whole — at the beginning of each Testament.

(John’s gospel, over the years, has been the one gospel among the four which has provided problems for those arranging the order of the four gospels introducing the New Testament. New Testaments have been printed in the past with John occupying different places among the four, even placed at the beginning of the four gospels.

However, the Gospel of John is presently in the wrong place in relation to the other three [placed after the other three rather than at the beginning]. And this, along with Christians not understanding the structure of both Genesis and John — paralleling one another, introducing each Testament, and relating the complete story of Scripture — can only be responsible, in no small part, for an existing Biblical ignorance among Christians concerning the central message of Scripture.

And a purported late date for the writing of John’s gospel [usually seen as about 90 A.D.] has not helped matters in the preceding respect. John’s gospel, of necessity, by its own internal evidence, had to be written much earlier. Since the gospel was directed to the Jewish people during the reoffer of the kingdom of the heavens to Israel [evident by the signs (cf. I Cor. 1:22) in conjunction with that stated in John 20:30-31 concerning the purpose for these signs], it could not possibly have been written after about 63 A.D. [when this reoffer closed] and may have been written as early as about 45 A.D. [an early date accepted by a number of scholars on the basis of late manuscript evidence]. In fact, because of the place which John’s gospel occupies in relation to the other three [paralleling the place which Genesis occupies in relation to the other four books of Moses], it is very likely that John’s gospel was written first, before the other three.

For additional information on the preceding, refer to the author’s book, Bible One - Signs in John's Gospel , particularly Chapters I, XVIII, “Purpose for John’s Gospel” and “These Are Written, That…”) 

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Signs in John's Gospel, Ch. 1 and Ch. 18

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. 1:2b-25).
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).

John, in the opening two chapters, begins with:

1) A creation at a beginning point (John 1:1-3).
2) A subsequent ruin of the creation (John 1:4-5).
3) A restoration of the ruined creation (ruined man), through Divine intervention, over six days time (John 1:6-2:1 [John 1:29, 35, 43; 2:1]).
4) Man seen as redeemed at the end of six days, following all of God’s restorative work, for a revealed purpose having to do with the seventh day (John 2:2-11).
5) God resting on the seventh day, following all of His work (John 2:2-11).

Genesis is built around numerous types, and John is built around eight signs.

The types in Genesis have to do centrally with Abraham and his seed through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s progeny through his twelve sons — the nation of Israel. And all of these types provide different facets of God’s present restorative work, ending at the same place as His past restorative work, on the seventh day, the seventh 1,000-year period.

The signs in John have to do with and are directed to the seed of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s progeny through his twelve sons — the nation of Israel. And all of these signs, exactly as the types in Genesis, provide different facets of God’s present restorative work, ending at the same place as His past restorative work, on the seventh day, the seventh 1,000-year period.

(Scripture was established in this type structure at the beginning of each Testament. And, within this structure, the relationship of John to Genesis is typical of the relationship of the whole of the New Testament to the whole of the Old Testament. The New Testament, through various means [signs, parables, metaphors, other means] simply provides commentary, opens up, that previously seen after some fashion in the Old Testament [types, metaphors, the Prophets, etc.].)

The whole of Scripture is about Jesus the Christ. And the whole of Scripture moves toward a seventh day, a seventh 1,000-year period, when God’s firstborn Son, God’s Christ, will come into possession of His inheritance, and, with Israel [presently God’s firstborn son (Ex. 4:22-23)] and the Church [to be revealed as God’s firstborn son in that coming day, following the adoption (Rom. 8:14-23; Heb. 12:22-23)] will realize that seen in the opening chapter of Genesis at the time of man’s creation — “… let them have dominion [Heb. radah, ‘rule’; ‘…let them rule’]” (Gen. 1:26, 28).

Lamp Broadcast by Arlen Chitwood and Genesis and John by Arlen Chitwood 

Also Bible One - Signs in John's Gospel

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The Gospel of John is presently in the wrong place in relation to the other three [placed after the other three rather than at the beginning]. And this, along with Christians not understanding the structure of both Genesis and John — paralleling one another, introducing each Testament, and relating the complete story of Scripture — can only be responsible, in no small part, for an existing Biblical ignorance among Christians concerning the central message of Scripture.

(Ref. Chapters 2, 3 in Prophecy on Mount Olivet, where events in Revelation 7; 12; 14 are discussed. Also, see a fuller discussion in the author’s book, The Time of the End, Chapters 21, 26.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet, Ch. 2 and Ch. 3 

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet (Word Format)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 21 and Ch. 26, or see in this site 21)  A Woman, a Dragon, a Male Child and 26)  The One Hundred Forty-four Thousand.

Who will be alive on this earth at the Beginning of the Millennium? And who will Christ's co-heirs rule over (on this earth) at the beginning of the Millennium?

Excerpt from Prophecy on Mount Olivet, Ch. 23 by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

CHRIST’S BRETHREN

Gentiles being judged at the time of Christ’s return will be individuals from the nations of the earth saved during the immediately preceding Tribulation. They will have been saved mainly as a result of the ministry of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists called forth by God to proclaim the “gospel of the kingdom” to the nations of the earth during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation. These Gentiles will also be those who escaped the wrath of Antichrist as he sought their destruction, along with the destruction of Israel.

Satan’s final, climactic effort to thwart God’s plans and purposes, established in eternity past, “before the foundation of the world,” will be carried out through Antichrist. Satan, following his being cast out of the heavenly realm from which he presently reigns, will give to a man (the Antichrist, the beast — actually, his son [Genesis 3:15]) “his power, his throne, and great authority.” He will give to Antichrist that which he previously offered to Christ (cf. Luke 4:5-6; Revelation 13:2).

And through this man, seated upon his throne, Satan will do everything within his power to prevent a future manifestation of the kingdom of Christ. In this respect, he will turn his attention toward both the Sovereigns (God’s firstborn Sons, with his wrath vented particularly against Israel during the Tribulation) and those having anything to do with any of the Sovereigns (saved Gentiles befriending Israel during those days, destined to realize an inheritance in the kingdom as well), for man inheriting the kingdom will mean an end to Satan’s rule.

The book of Revelation, from chapter six through the opening verses in chapter nineteen (Revelation 6-19), relates events that will occur on earth during the seven-year Tribulation. This portion of Scripture, though relating some events that will occur during the first three and one-half years of this period, is given over almost entirely to events beginning in the middle of the Tribulation and extending throughout the last three and one-half years, followed by the return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation. Consequently, this is the section of Scripture to which one must go in order to properly understand certain things about Christ’s judgment of the Gentiles on the basis of their activity during the Tribulation.

The most instructive portions of Scripture in this respect are Revelation chapters seven, twelve, and fourteen (Revelation 7; 12; 14). These chapters deal with the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will proclaim the gospel of the kingdom throughout the world during the Tribulation, with the innumerable multitude of Gentiles who will be saved as a result of their ministry, and with Satan’s efforts to prevent or hinder everything associated with their ministry.

Satan and his angels, immediately following their being cast out of the heavens onto the earth near the middle of the Tribulation, will direct their attention toward Israel.  The reason given in Scripture is because Israel, at that time, will be about to bring forth the 144,000 evangels (a first-fruit of the nation [Revelation 14:4]), who will carry the message of salvation and the coming kingdom to the Gentiles throughout the earth during the last half of the Tribulation; and Satan will seek to destroy the 144,000 as soon as they appear, seeking to prevent the proclamation of this message (Revelation 12:4).

His efforts though will be in vain. The 144,000, after they are brought forth, will be supernaturally removed from the earth to escape Satan’s wrath (this is the reason they are seen in heaven in Revelation 14:1-5) and shortly thereafter will be sent back to the earth to deliver their message during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:5, 17).

Satan, immediately following the removal of the 144,000 into heaven, will then vent his wrath upon the nation of Israel. God though will supernaturally intervene and prepare (or will have already prepared) a place in “the wilderness [the mountainous terrain of the land of Israel]” for the Jewish people, to which a remnant will flee, where they will remain safe from Satan’s wrath for the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:13-16).

Elsewhere in the world, anti-Semitism will become rampant. Jews will come under the sentence of death, and conditions will deteriorate far beyond those seen in Europe during the years 1939-1945. Many Jews though, as in Europe during the World War II years, will survive this time. These are the ones who will be re-gathered “from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” by angels at the time Christ returns. And the shortening of the days of the Tribulation will occur first and foremost for these particular Jews (Matthew 24:22, 31).

The Israeli nation presently existing in the Middle East, from which the remnant fleeing into the mountainous terrain of the land will come (cf. Matthew 24:16; Revelation 12:6, 14), comprises only a part of world Jewry (about two-fifths). The majority of Jews reside outside the land today, and the majority will probably still be outside the land when Antichrist appears. This segment of Jewry will remain scattered throughout the world during the Tribulation, with those Jews presently in the land (approaching 6,000,000 today) being uprooted in the middle of the Tribulation and scattered out among them (save for the remnant which will escape to a specially prepared place in the land that God will have prepared for them).

And the 144,000 Jewish evangelists will proclaim their message to Gentiles throughout the world where Jews presently reside and where Jews in the land of Israel will be driven when Antichrist enters with his armies in the middle of the Tribulation (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10).

“Christ’s brethren” in Matthew 25:40, 45 are the Jewish people (Genesis 37:14, 16-17; 45:1-4); and the treatment extended to Christ’s brethren by Gentiles would evidently refer to treatment extended to Jews other than the remnant escaping into the mountainous terrain of the land of Israel. This remnant of Jews will be in a specially prepared place and be supernaturally protected by God Himself.

The situation for Jews scattered throughout the earth in that day can only be viewed as grave beyond description. They will be hunted, killed, and sold as slaves throughout the Gentile world Isaiah 14:2; Joel 3:7; Matthew 24:9); and numerous saved Gentiles worldwide will befriend these Jews, along with befriending the 144,000 Jewish evangelists proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom.

The mark of the beast will be given during this period, and no one will be able to “buy or sell” apart from having received this mark.  But those receiving the mark will find themselves under a far greater condemnation (Revelation 13:15-17; 14:9-12).

Two-thirds of the Jews throughout the earth will die during this time, along with an innumerable host of saved Gentiles (Zechariah 13:8; Revelation 7:9-17).  Saved Gentiles befriending both saved and unsaved Jews being hunted and killed will undoubtedly find themselves in similar straits as well (e.g., note that which awaited those aiding Jews during WWII in Europe).  This will be a time when matters surrounding saved people befriending Christ’s brethren will be quite different than they are today.

(According to present figures regarding the world’s Jewish population, about twice as many Jews will be slain in less than half the time as were slain in Europe by the Third Reich during the years 1939-1945 [they will be slain during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, but note a shortening of these days for the sake of the Jewish people (Matthew 24:22)].

The Third Reich had trouble disposing of 6,000,000 Jewish bodies over the space of about seven years, building giant crematoriums and burying others together in common, mass graves.  Far more horrific conditions can only exist in this one realm alone during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation.)

We’re really not given details concerning how Gentiles under the sentence of death who cannot purchase food or trade after any other fashion in the commercial world will be in a position to befriend Jewish people in similar straits.  The prevalence of anti-Semitism during this period — placing Jews in an altogether different position than Gentiles — would possibly provide one explanation (ref. “Anti-Semitism,” in the appendix of this book Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet, Appendix 1).

For a segment of Jewry, the type of ministry that the 144,000 Jewish evangelists will have would possibly provide other thoughts surrounding the problems Gentiles will have befriending Jews in that day.  These Jewish evangels will be in the public eye and have to travel about; and in the course of their travels they will have to acquire food and lodging, at times in unfamiliar surroundings. 

They will be carrying on a ministry during extremely difficult times — times unlike anything ever seen in man’s 6,000-year history; and God will use saved Gentiles (saved as a result of the ministry of the Jewish evangels), occupying a different position relative to the public, to befriend, minister to, these Jews in order to insure the worldwide proclamation of their message.

One though does not need to understand all the details of the preceding matter.  It falls our lot only to believe that which God has revealed.  The facts as given clearly state that saved Gentiles will befriend, minister to, Jews during the Tribulation; other saved Gentiles though will not do so.  And at the time of Christ’s return all of these Gentiles will be judged on the basis of their prior treatment of the Jewish people, with a view to an inheritance in the kingdom.

Genesis 12:3a states,

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you . . . .

And this statement concerning Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob, which God gave Abraham 4,000 years ago and, through His Spirit, moved Moses to record 3,500 years ago, sets forth the fundamental principle in Scripture that will govern the judgment of saved Gentiles coming out of the Tribulation.

They will be blessed because they had been a blessing to the Jewish people.  And, further, it will be revealed to them that the treatment that they extended to “Christ’s brethren” was actually treatment extended to Christ Himself, for Christ, as well, is a descendant of Abraham.  In this respect, Christ will say to saved Gentiles in that day,

“Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it to Me.” (Mat 25:40)

This is a statement resting on an unchangeable principle that is no less true today than it will be in that coming day.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet, Ch. 23

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Prophecy on Mount Olivet (Word Format)

[Note: My "Main Squeeze" Marsha [my wife] and I were questioning to whom would the blessings through Israel flow, and also who would Christ's co-heirs rule on this earth, at the start of the Millennium Kingdom, especially considering the "mark of the beast."  Hence, the commentary.] 

Do Pets Go to Heaven?
Some thought-provoking answers to the age-old question.
by Michelle Shannon

Our dog, Sable, died late last night, May 24, 1998. She was just over 9 years old.

We had taken her to the vet on May 18, just six days earlier, and a tumor was found. But the vet said she was otherwise in great health. So, we decided to have the tumor removed after our camping trip that weekend.

When we returned Sunday, Sable was dying. She struggled to greet my husband, Steve, and then slumped down, breathing laboriously. She would not get up again.

We knew she would not make it through the night, so we stayed with her, gently stroking her fur and scratching her favorite places, until she was gone — just before midnight.

What a blessing it was to us to be able to be there for her in her last moments. We are greatly comforted that she was not alone.

Seeking an Explanation

It’s been a long time since we lost a pet. This time, though, we had a 5-year-old who would need an explanation. But, we knew what to say. It would be “easy,” regardless of our tears because we ourselves believed what we would say: “Yes, honey, Sable is in heaven with the Lord Jesus, and He is taking great care of her. And, yes, one day we will see her again.”

Over the past few years, it has been very disappointing to hear what other Christians have to say about animal death. One source said, in referring to the New Earth (our eternal abode), “there will be no animals at all . . .” Another said, “The Bible does not give us any reason to say yes to the question of whether or not a pet goes to heaven.”

Well, I have a problem with these conclusions. While it is true that the Bible is about Man, not animals, and that there is much about animals we are not told, God has given us just enough to comfort us.

God cares for the animals He created —

• Revelation 4:11 tells us that all things were created for God’s pleasure.

• Matthew 10:29 says that even when a little sparrow falls to the ground, God notices.

• Luke 12:6 says that God never forgets about the animals.

• Psalm 104:21-30 and Matthew 6:26 describe how God Himself feeds the animals.

• Proverbs 12:10 declares that a righteous man cares for the needs of his animals.

• Job 12:10 assures us that “In His hand is the life of every creature.”

Man’s sin brought death and suffering to animals. God had decreed in Genesis 1:29-30 that green plants and fruit were to be the diet for all creatures. People and animals alike were to be strictly herbivores. Carnivorous activity necessitates death and suffering, which, of course, in the beginning, would have had no part in the beautiful creation God had called “very good” (Genesis 1:25).

Man was given the responsibility of serving as overseer of the animals. In fact, it wasn’t until after the flood experienced by Noah that animals became afraid of people (Genesis 9:2). When Man chose to rebel against God, Man brought down not only himself but also all those for whom he was responsible. In Genesis 3:17 God told Adam: “Cursed is the ground because of you . . .” According to Hosea 4:3 this curse affected animals too: “Because of [the sins of Man], the land mourns, and . . . the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying.” Paul confirmed this in Romans 8:20 when he wrote: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it . . .”

But there is good news! Animals share in and even look forward to the redemption of Mankind accomplished by Jesus on the Cross. Because God cares for His animal creations, as seen above, they also reap the benefits of the redeeming Cross of Jesus. When He returns, the creation will be restored to its original “very good” state, and carnivorous activity will cease. This promise is found in This promise is found in Isaiah 11:6-11 where God says, “the wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox . . . They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord . . .” (Isaiah 65:25).

In his allegorical book, The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis gives us a beautiful picture of a redeemed lady arriving in Heaven with a glorious processional of animals. An observer asks his angelic teacher:

“And how . . . but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat — two cats — dozens of cats. And all those dogs . . . why, I can’t count them. And the birds. And the horses.”

“They are her beasts.”

“Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.”

“Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.”

I looked at my teacher in amazement.

“Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young. It has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.”[1]

And, so, Sable, we know exactly where you are . . . in the caring palm of your Maker, bringing Him the pleasure for which you were created.

We look forward to seeing you in our processional.

Michelle Shannon lives in Houston, Texas. She is the mother of three children. She and her husband, Steve, attend Garden Oaks Baptist Church.

Notes:
[1] C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), pp. 106-107
 

Faith vs. Fear – What does the Bible say?
By Got Questions

Faith and fear cannot exist together. Faith is described in Hebrews 11:1 as being "certain of what we do not see." It is an absolute belief that God is constantly working behind the scenes in every area of our lives, even when there is no tangible evidence to support that fact. On the other hand, fear, simply stated, is unbelief or weak belief. As unbelief gains the upper hand in our thoughts, fear takes hold of our emotions. Our deliverance from fear and worry is based on faith, which is the very opposite of unbelief. We need to understand that faith is not something that we can produce in ourselves. Faith is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) and is described as a fruit (or characteristic) which is produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The Christian's faith is a confident assurance in a God who loves us, who knows our thoughts and cares about our deepest needs. That faith continues to grow as we study the Bible and learn the attributes of His amazing character. The more we learn about God, the more we can see Him working in our lives and the stronger our faith grows.

A growing faith is what we desire to have and what God desires to produce in us. But how, in day-to-day life, can we develop a faith that conquers our fears? The Bible says, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). The careful study of God's Word is of primary importance in developing a strong faith. God wants us to know Him and completely rely on His direction in our lives. It's through the hearing, reading and meditation in the Scriptures that we begin to experience a strong, confident faith that excludes worry and fear. Spending time in prayer and quiet worship develops a relationship with our heavenly Father that sees us through even the darkest of nights. In the Psalms we see a picture of David, who, like us, experienced times of fear. Psalm 56:3 reveals his faith with these words: "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." Psalm 119 is filled with verses expressing the way in which David treasured God's Word: "I seek you with all my heart" (v. 10); "I meditate on your precepts" (v. 15); "I have hidden your word in my heart" (v. 11). These are revealing words which speak wisdom to us today.

God is kind and understanding toward our weaknesses, but He requires us to go forward in faith, and the Bible is clear that faith does not mature and strengthen without trials. Adversity is God's most effective tool to develop a strong faith. That pattern is evident in Scripture. God takes each one of us through fearful situations, and as we learn to obey God's Word and allow it to saturate our thoughts, we find each trial becomes a stepping stone to a stronger and deeper faith. It gives us that ability to say, "He sustained me in the past, He'll carry me through today and He'll uphold me in the future!" God worked this way in David's life. When David volunteered to fight against Goliath, he said, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine" (1 Samuel 17:37). David knew the God who had sustained him through dangerous situations in the past. He had seen and experienced God's power and protection in his life, and this developed within him a fearless faith.

The Word of God is rich with promises for us to take hold of and claim for ourselves. When we face financial trouble, Philippians 4:19 tells us, "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." If we are anxious about a future decision, Psalm 32:8 reminds us that God will "instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." In sickness we can remember that Romans 5:3 says, "Tribulation works patience." If someone turns against us, we can be comforted by the words in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us who can be against us!" Throughout life we will continue to face various trials that would cause us fear, but God assures us that we can know a calm peace through every situation, "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” which He has promised will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

While he is not the author of every article on GotQuestions.org, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.

Got Questions - Faith vs. Fear – What does the Bible say? 

Sanctification is the lifelong process by which we become
those “overcomers” who inherit the Millennial Kingdom.
Bible One - Charles Strong's Sanctification
 

Faith and Works – Not Contradictory
Justification by Faith, Justification by Works
Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? . . .

But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 

Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 

And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 

You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:14, 20-24).

[My note, not Arlen's: There are three aspects/facets of salvation – spirit, body and soul .]

James 2:14-26 has been an enigma over the years for many individuals studying the salvation message in Scripture. But that should not be the case at all, unless a person tries to see the salvation that we presently possess — the salvation dealt with in Ephesians 2:8-9 — as the salvation or justification being dealt with in James.

Faith and works in relation to salvation or justification in James is completely consistent with and perfectly in line with the overall salvation message taught elsewhere in Scripture.  James is dealing with the salvation of the soul (James 1:21), not with the salvation that we presently possess; and, unlike the absence of works in connection with man in the salvation that we presently possess, works are presented after a different fashion in Scriptures dealing with the salvation of the soul, for man now appears in an active rather than a passive sense in the matter.

In James 2:14, two self-answering questions are asked.  The negative used in the Greek text (me) necessitates that the two questions be understood in a “no” respect.  A proper translation of the verse into English, with the Greek negative me in view, would read along these lines:

“My Brethren, though a man say he has faith, but does not have works, he cannot profit, can he? Faith [i.e., faith apart from works] cannot save him, can it?”

And further down in the chapter, comments and examples are given concerning faith and works in relation to salvation.  In James 2:21, Abraham is seen as having been justified by works when he had offered his son on the altar, as seen in Genesis 22:1ff.  And, calling attention to Genesis 15:6, it is further stated in James 2:23 that Abraham, at this same time, acted by faith; and God reckoned Abraham’s faithfulness to Hebrews 11:17 him for righteousness.

The same account, Abraham offering his son, is referenced in .  And in this verse, faith to a saving of the soul, as in James, is inferred from the way this chapter is introduced in the last two verses of the previous chapter.

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 [lit. ‘but of faith to a saving of the soul’]. (Hebrews 10:38-39)

With these two verses leading into and introducing Hebrews 11, providing the subject matter, each reference to “faith” in the chapter should be understood in line with these verses, as faith to a saving of the soul.  This chapter, as James 2:14-26, has to do with present and future aspects of salvation, not with the past aspect.  And this chapter, exactly as in James, has to do with faith and works in relation to this salvation.  And, as in James, so in Hebrews — the actions of individuals in relation to the salvation of the soul are seen.

[See Key of Three / Hope of Glory Class Documents LINK, and then click on Biblical Trichotomies for additional commentary on the past, present and future aspects of salvation.  Also see Make-Up of Man and Mark and Carol Miller's Key of Three Study, all in this website.] 

Actually, in Scripture, there is no such thing as salvation apart from works, whether past, present, or future aspects of salvation.  As well, in Scripture, there is no such thing as salvation apart from grace and faith.  The wording in Ephesians 2:8, “by grace . . . through faith,” would apply not only to the past aspect of salvation, as seen in this verse, but to present and future aspects of salvation as well — the salvation of the soul (ref. the author’s book, Salvation of the Soul by Arlen Chitwood).

(Both “grace” and “faith” are seen in relation to the salvation of the soul in 1 Peter 1:9:

Receiving the end [‘goal’] of your faith — the salvation of your souls.” “Grace” in relation to the salvation of the soul in 1 Peter 1:9 is seen in 1 Peter 1:2,10,13; and “faith” in relation to the salvation of the soul is seen in 1 Peter 1:5, 7-9.)

The salvation that we presently possess is wrought through divine works — the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life — and is based on a finished, divine work, the finished work of God’s Son.  Unsaved man is spiritually dead and cannot function in the spiritual realm.  He can do no more than allow God to do a work on his behalf.

But, once man has passed “from death to life,” coming into possession of spiritual life, he can then be active in the spiritual realm.  And, as the ruined earth was able to bring forth in Genesis 1 after the Spirit of God had moved upon the face of the waters, God had spoken, and light had come into existence (Genesis 1:2-3, 11 [2b], ruined man, as well, is able to bring forth following a divine work on his behalf (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Once man possesses spiritual life [spiritual aspect] and is able to function in the spiritual realm, as in Hebrews 11 or James 2 , he, as the earth in Genesis 1:11, can bring forth.  But faith must precede and be inseparably connected with man bringing forth, producing works.  And to understand how this all comes together, a principle from the Old Testament must be understood first.

An Old Testament Principle

To understand the proper relationship between faith and works in the lives of the people of God, one must understand a principle set forth a number of places in the Old Testament.  And this principle is presented in a dual sense in Genesis chapters eighteen and nineteen.

1) Genesis 18; 19

Genesis chapter eighteen begins with the Lord, accompanied by two angels, appearing to Abraham in the plains of Mamre.  The Lord had come down to personally see if the report that He had heard about the things happening in Sodom and Gomorrah were true (Genesis 18:20-21).

(The Lord, in His omniscience, didn’t need to come down in this manner, for He already knew.  But this is simply the manner in which Scripture, at times, presents matters of this nature.)

But, though the Lord said, “I will go down,” He remained with Abraham while the two angels accompanying Him went on down into the Jordan plain, into Sodom (Genesis 18:21-22).

In that respect, did the Lord go down into the Jordan plain, as He said that He would?  Or did the two angels alone go down into the plain?

To address these questions, note something very similar, presented after a different fashion, in Genesis 19.  The two angels, having seen first-hand that which was happening in Sodom, told Lot to take his family and leave the city.  Sodom, along with three other cities of the plain (Deuteronomy 29:23), was about to be destroyed.

For we [the two angels] will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it. (Genesis 19:13)

Further down in the chapter, after Lot and his family had lingered in the city, the two angels took them by their hands and led them outside the city (Genesis 19:15-16).  Once this had been done, and Lot and his family were subsequently safe in Zoar, a nearby city that was spared (Genesis 19:17-23]),

Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. (Genesis 19:24)

Who destroyed the cities of the plain?  First the angels said that they would destroy Sodom (with the other three cities not mentioned at this point), and they further stated that the Lord had sent them to destroy Sodom.  But, at the time of the destruction, the Lord is seen destroying Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other two cities (cf. Deuteronomy 29:23).

Did the angels bring about this destruction, as they said they would do?  Or did the Lord bring about this destruction, as the text goes on to state?

The principle seen in these two chapters has to do with angels acting under God’s fixed laws, with their actions being seen as the actions of the One who established these laws.  Thus, matters can be stated either way, as seen in the chapter — the two angels going down into Sodom is also seen as the Lord going down into Sodom, or the two angels destroying the cities of the plain is also seen as the Lord destroying the cities of the plain.

God governs the universe through angels in this manner.  Angels, placed by the Lord in regal positions throughout the universe, govern the universe under fixed laws.  And, through so doing, their actions are seen as the Lord’s actions.

To see the converse of this, note Satan’s actions at the time of his fall.  Satan had been placed over the earth, as the earth’s ruler.  But the day came when he stepped outside the fixed laws under which he ruled and, on his own, sought to occupy a higher regal position than the one in which God had placed him.  His actions thus ceased to be God’s actions and were being his own.  And this resulted in his fall and subsequent judgment (cf. Isaiah 14:12-17; Daniel 4:17, 25).

2) Numbers 13-14; Joshua 6-8

This same principle is seen again in the account of the Israelites under Moses at Kadesh-Barnea, and again thirty-eight years later under Joshua after the Israelites had crossed the Jordan River.

The Israelites, in both instances, were to go into the land and slay or drive out every single inhabitant (Deuteronomy 7:1ff).  The Israelites, going into the land with this goal in view, were to “diligently keep the commandments of the Lord . . . His testimonies, and His statutes” (Deuteronomy 6:17).  And they were to go into the land believing that God would do that which He had stated that He would do:

And the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.

But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed.

And He will deliver their kings into your hand, and you will destroy their name from under heaven; no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. (Deuteronomy 7:22-24).

God had commanded His people to go in and take the land, and He had told them what He would do as they entered the land to take it.  Going into the land, they were to act completely by faith, believing God (cf. Hebrews 11:29-30).  And remaining in the realm of faith, their actions would be the Lord’s actions.

Though the Israelites would be slaying the enemy, acting within the realm of faith, the Lord would be slaying the enemy.  The Lord would be going ahead of them and delivering the enemy into their hands.  It is the same picture, seen from a different perspective, as the angels acting under fixed laws in Genesis 18; 19.

Under Moses at Kadesh-Barnea though, failure rather than success is seen.  Twelve spies had been sent into the land to spy out the land.  After forty days and nights they brought back a report concerning the land and the people therein — a land flowing with milk and honey, inhabited by a strong people, some of gigantic stature.

Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, then rendered a positive statement concerning entering the land, with Caleb calming the people and exhorting them, saying,

Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. (Numbers 13:30b).

But the other ten followed with a negative and false statement concerning entering the land. They said,

We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. (Numbers 13:31b).

The people believed the false statement of the ten spies, began to murmur against Moses, and sought to appoint a new leader and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4).  And, as a result, in the words of Hebrews 6:4-6 (which, drawn from the account in Numbers 13; 14, has to do with Christians doing exactly the same thing in the antitype relatively to the heavenly land of their calling and its inhabitants [Satan and his angels]), the Israelites fell away at Kadesh-Barnea; and it was then impossible “to renew them again to repentance [to a change of mind].”

At this point in the account, the Israelites committed a sin referred to in Numbers 15:30 as a presumptuous sin and in Hebrews 10:26 as a sin for which there was no sacrifice, with nothing but judgment then awaiting the nation.  And, because of the particular nature of this sin, God wasn’t going to repent; that is, God wasn’t going to change His mind (this is the “repentance” also referred to in the antitype, in Hebrews 6:6).

The very next day, the generation of Israelites under Moses repented, changed their minds, and sought to enter the land and defeat the enemy.  But God didn’t repent, didn’t change His mindGod couldn’t change His mind and, at the same time, remain true to His Word.

God was no longer among them with respect to their entering and taking the land.  God would no longer go before them and deliver the enemy into their hands.  And, as a result, the Israelites attempting to enter the land the next day and overthrow a stronger enemy were themselves overthrown and driven back.

Their actions were their own, not the Lord’s (Numbers 14:40-45).  And their actions were performed separate from faith, for they went forth contrary to that which God had told them.  Thus, defeat, not victory, could only have been their lot.

As a result of that which occurred at Kadesh-Barnea, over the next thirty-eight years the entire generation of Israelites twenty years old and above, save Caleb and Joshua, died in the wilderness, outside the land.

Then, once these years had passed and those in the previous generation had died, Joshua, about to lead the second generation of Israelites into the land, sent two spies into the land ahead of the nation.  And upon their return, they said to Joshua,

 “Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.” (Joshua 2:24b).

The Israelites this time, unlike the previous generation under Moses, believed God and prepared to enter the land and trust the Lord to deliver the enemy into their hands.

After crossing the Jordan River, the first battle involved the destruction of Jericho.  And the Israelites, believing God, experienced victory.

The next battle involved the destruction of Ai.  The city was not deemed large enough to require the entire Israeli army, so only about three thousand men were sent to take and destroy Ai.  But, unlike the battle of Jericho, the Israelites were soundly defeated and driven back, with a number being slain (Joshua 7:1-5).

Joshua, seeking the Lord’s face concerning the reason for this defeat, was told by the Lord, “Israel has sinned . . . .” Then, seeking that referred to by the Lord, Joshua found an Israelite (Achan) who had kept forbidden spoils from the previous destruction of Jericho.  There was sin, unfaithfulness, in the camp.  The matter was taken care of, and then the inhabitants of Ai could be defeated, with the Lord delivering the city into the Israelites’ hands (Joshua 7:6ff).

Thus, as long as the Israelites went forth in the realm of faith, the Lord gave the victory. The battle was the Lord’s.  It could be said that the Israelites destroyed Jericho and Ai, along with their inhabitants; and it could also be said that the Lord destroyed these two cities, along with their inhabitants.

3) 1 Samuel 17

This same principle is seen again in the account of David slaying Goliath.

David was an unproven “youth” in battle (probably in his late teens), going up against “a man of war from his youth.” This man of war, Goliath, was the Philistine army’s champion and stood between nine and ten feet tall (1 Samuel 17:4, 33).

Goliath, to meet David, came out with full armor, carrying a spear and a sword, with a shield-bearer moving with him.  The coat on his armor alone weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds and the head of the sphere weighed about fifteen pounds (1 Samuel 17:5-7, 41ff).

On the other hand, David refused to wear armor as he went forth, for “he had not proved” himself in battle.  He went forth to meet Goliath without armor or a shield-bearer and with only a sling and five smooth stones that he had picked up in a nearby brook and placed in his bag (1 Samuel 17:39-40).

He though would need no armor or shield-bearer and would need only one of the five stones.  And the reason is seen within David’s words to this gigantic champion of the Philistine army:

You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17:45-47 [45b]).

David went forth by faith.  He went forth believing God, knowing that God would remain true to His Word and deliver the Philistine into his hands.

Acting apart from the Lord, David would have been powerless.  He would have easily been defeated and slain by the Philistine.  But, acting by faith, David could only be victorious; acting by faith, David easily defeated the Philistine champion.

David slew Goliath.  But it could also be said that the Lord slew Goliath.  It is the same principle seen in the actions of the two angels in Genesis 18; 19.  Acting under fixed laws, the actions of these angels were seen as the Lord’s actions; and acting by faith, David’s actions were seen as the Lord’s actions.

Thus, comparing these accounts in Genesis, Numbers, Joshua, and 1 Samuel, acting by faith can only be seen as acting under a fixed divine law that cannot change.

From Faith to Faith

“Faith” is simply believing that which God has to say about a matter.  And, in the realm of faith and works, acting by faith is not acting in a realm where one seeks to go out to do a work for the Lord.  Rather, acting by faith is completely stepping aside from one’s own self and allowing the Lord to do a work through the one exercising faith.  And the work done through the one exercising faith will be the Lord’s work; it will be a work emanating out of faith and performed in the spiritual realm, completely apart from the man of flesh.

The Christians’ works tried at the judgment seat will fall into two categories, described by “gold, silver, precious stones” and “wood, hay, stubble” (1 Corinthians 3:12ff).

The former works (described by “gold, silver, precious stones”) will emanate out of faith and will be works that the Lord performed through the individual.  These works will endure the testing through fire, for they will be the Lord’s works.

The latter works (described by “wood, hay, stubble”), on the other hand, will be those performed separate from faith, by the individual himself, through the energy of the flesh.  The Lord will have had nothing to do with them, and they will be burned by the fire.

The Christian life is one where two things must be operable throughout:

“grace” and “faith.”

“Grace” can be defined as that which God is able to do entirely apart from human intervention

And “faith,” as previously stated, is simply believing that which God has to say about a matter.

If one moves outside the realm of “grace,” he moves outside the realm where God can be active in his life, for God always acts in the realm of grace; and if one moves outside the realm of “faith,” he moves outside the realm where he can be acceptable to God, or where God can be pleased with his actions (Hebrews 11:6).

As previously shown, both “grace” and “faith” are seen operable not only in the salvation that we presently possess (Ephesians 2:8-9) but also in the salvation of the soul, the present and future aspects of salvation (1 Peter 1:2ff).  Thus, it should be a simple matter to see and understand that “grace” and “faith” must always be operable at any point in the overall salvation message — past, present, or future.  Man has been saved by grace through faith; man is being saved by grace through faith; and man is about to be saved by grace through faith.

But, since man’s works cannot enter into the realm where God’s grace exists, how can grace and works co-exist in connection with the saving of the soul in James 2:14ff?  Note Romans 11:6:

And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

It is man’s works that cannot enter (Ephesians 2:8), not God’s works.  And God’s works must always enter into the matter.

(Note: Salvation by grace we [the saved] presently possess.  This salvation is a divine work [the Spirit moving, God speaking, light coming into existence], which is based on another divine work — Christ’s finished work at Calvary.  And since a continuing work of grace is also involved in the continuing aspect of salvation [the salvation of the soul], God’s works, not those of man, must likewise be seen throughout.)

Romans 4:1-4 clearly reveals that works emanating from the flesh, from man (Romans 4:1-2) cannot enter into the realm of either “faith” (Romans 4:3) or “grace” (Romans 4:4).  The works must be God’s works being performed through an individual exercisingfaith,” as in James 2:21-24 and Hebrews 11:17.  And since they are God’s works, “grace” can enter into the matter; and since they are works being done through man, “judgment” on the basis of works can occur.

The whole of the matter surrounding faith and works is that simple to understand.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Faith and Works

 Also see Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! in this site. 

The following Word Document is Safe to open:

Confusion about Salvation
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

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. 

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The Church has entered a rather strange era during the past several decades.  The clear, simple message of salvation by grace through faith has come under attack, not from without, but from within the ranks of what is looked upon as fundamental Christianity itself; and the distorted message being promulgated, rather than being rejected, is finding ready acceptance.

In essence, individuals are being told that more is required than simple belief.  They are being told that a person must go beyond this and make Christ Lord of his life; he must possess saving faith, which will result in works; he must live after a certain fashion, bring forth fruit, etc.

And the converse of the preceding is often brought into the picture.  Christians are being told that if works do not follow a person’s profession of faith, if that person doesn’t live a certain way, if he doesn’t bring forth fruit, then he has never possessed saving faith.  That is to say, the person has never been saved.

Then, usually in connection with the preceding and to further complicate the matter, the expression “easy believism” is being thrown around.  Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is made to be something completely alien to that which Scripture teaches.  That is, “believing” is made to be difficult, or the word “believe” is being redefined to make it mean something that it doesn’t mean at all.

Why do these problems exist within the ranks of that segment of Christianity where there should be a clear understanding and proclamation of the message surrounding salvation by grace through faith?  The answer is really very simple, though it is an answer involving matters not understood at all by numerous Christians, allowing the problems to exist.

By Grace through Faith

At the outset of this study, before looking at the central problem, note that which Scripture teaches about salvation by grace through faith.

The clear gospel message, the good news, is:

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3)

And that which Christ has done on our behalf allows God, through His Spirit, to impart life to unredeemed man, who is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).  It allows God, through His Spirit to breathe life into the one having no life, with the person then passing “from death to life” (John 5:24).

The Spirit breathes life into lifeless man solely on the basis of that which Christ has done on man’s behalf.  And unsaved man can do no more than receive that which has already been done for him.  Nothing else enters into the matter.

When Christ referred to His finished work immediately before His death on the Cross, He cried out in “a loud voice” — Tetelestai — one word, which has been translated in the English text, “It is finished” (John 19:30; cf. Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46).  Tetelestai is the perfect tense form of the Greek verb, teleo, which means “to bring something to an end or completion.”  This word in the perfect tense could be more accurately expressed and translated, “It has been finished,” or “It has been completed.”

That to which Christ referred in John 19:30 was His work of redemption.  The perfect tense that He used refers to a work completed in past time, with the results of that work extending into and existing during present time in a finished state.  At the moment Christ cried out, announcing that His work had been completed, there was then no reason for His death to be prolonged.  The blood of the Passover Lamb had been shed, and God had “laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6, 12; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21).  Thus, at this time, He bowed his head and gave up His spirit [lit., comparing the other gospel accounts, ‘He breathed out,’ i.e., He expired, willingly giving up His life]” (John 10:17-18; 19:30).

Redeemed man has been saved by grace through faith solely on the basis of that which Christ referred to when He cried out from the Cross, “Tetelestai.”  The words “are you saved [lit. ‘you have been saved’]” in Ephesians 2:8 — “For by grace you have been saved . . . .” — are also the translation of a perfect tense in the Greek text.  The reference, as tetelestai, is to a work completed in past time, with the results of this work extending into the present and existing in a finished state.

At the moment a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ (places his trust, reliance in Christ, i.e., receives, by faith, that which Christ has done on his behalf), the Spirit not only breathes life into that person but the Spirit also takes up His abode in the individual (cf. Genesis 1:2b; 2:7; Ezekiel 37:1; 1 Corinthians 6:19).  Through this means, the man passing “from death to life” becomes a new creationin Christ,” a part of the one new man (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:1, 15).

Redeemed man thus possesses a salvation wherein everything pertaining to works/actions is past.  The work necessary to effect one’s salvation (Christ’s work) is past and complete, and the work effecting one’s salvation itself (the Spirit’s work) is past and complete.  The latter (the Spirit’s work) is based on the former (Christ’s work).  Thus, divine intervention on man’s behalf is the only work seen throughout.

Relative to one’s presently possessed eternal salvation, redeemed man did nothing in the past, nor can he do anything present or future.  Salvation was and remains of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).

Redeemed man possesses a present, completed salvation based on the past, completed work of Another.  Both man’s present salvation and Christ’s past work exist in a finished state, and neither can ever be altered, changed, added to, taken from, etc.  One’s salvation is just as complete and secure as the work upon which it rests.

(For divine intervention throughout the work surrounding Man’s presently possessed eternal salvation, along with the corresponding complete absence of any action on man’s part, refer to the original type in Chapter 1 of this book Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation by Grace through Faith, Ch.1 [“As Seen in the Earth’s Restoration,” pp. 5-8], which all subsequent types on the subject, along with the antitype, must follow.)

Easy Believism

“Easy Believism” is a rather strange expression, especially when one considers the manner in which it is used today.  Scripture presents salvation after one fashion alone — by grace through faith (i.e., through believing) — and no place in Scripture is believing on the Lord Jesus Christ ever presented as something difficult.

Man, in his perversion of the clear teaching of salvation by grace through faith, has sought to make believing difficult; and he has coined the expression, “easy believism,” which, in reality, reflects, in a negative way, on that which Scripture teaches in this realm.

Such is also part and parcel with what has come to be called, “Lordship Salvation.”  This expression is actually a misnomer, for there is no such thing as “Lordship Salvation.”  Salvation is one thing, and Lordship is another.  Christ exercising control over one’s life, as the word “Lordship” portends, can never be used in conjunction with eternal salvation.  Such must always be subsequent to one’s salvation experience.

An unsaved person is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).  He is incapable of making Christ Lord of something that he doesn’t even possess.  He must first pass “from death to life” (John 5:24).  Then, and only then, can the matter of “Lordship” enter into the matter.

Nor would it be correct to say that unsaved man, in order to be saved, has to believe to the extent that Christ becomes, after some fashion, at the moment of belief or at some subsequent time, Lord of his life.  That is, as it is sometimes expressed, “True belief will result in a salvation that cannot be separated from obedience.”

Such a thought would be absurd.  Life being brought into existence on the one hand and obedience on the other (the one having been made alive following the leadership of the Lord as He exercises control over that life) are two different things entirely.  Both could not possibly be brought to pass at the same time.

Scripturally, spiritual control of one’s life always appears in connection with maturity in the faith, not in connection with initially exercising faith, resulting in salvation.  And a Christian may or may not experience spiritual growth in this respect, which can have nothing to do with a prior belief, which allowed him to pass “from death to life.”

A servant within a household in the world today may or may not submit to his master’s wishes, but such submission has nothing whatsoever to do with his being or not being a servant.  It has to do with his being a faithful or an unfaithful servant.

And this is exactly the way Scripture presents the matter.  Becoming a servant in the Lord’s house is one thing, but submission as a servant in the house is something entirely different.  The latter is always subsequent to — never in connection with — the former.

There is nothing difficult about believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, becoming a Christian, entering into servitude.  Grace on God’s part and difficulty on man’s part are incompatibles in the message pertaining to eternal salvation.  Difficulty on man’s part arises only after he becomes a Christian, only after he possesses a life in which such difficulty can manifest itself.

How easy is it for an unsaved man to exercise faith, resulting in salvation?  It’s just as easy as it was for the Israelites in Egypt during Moses’ day to apply the blood of a slain lamb to the door posts and lintel of the houses in which they dwelled (Exodus 12:3-7); or it’s just as easy as it was for these same Israelites, later in the wilderness, to look upon the brazen serpent that had been raised up on a pole (Numbers 21:5-9).

Christ our Passover” has been “sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7), and the blood can be applied through a simple act of faith; or Christ, as the serpent in the wilderness, has been lifted up, “That whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

How simple and easy is salvation?  It was during Moses’ day and remains today.   Look and live (Num. 21:9).  It’s that simple and easy.

[Note the following from Believer's Bible Commentary re Numbers 21:5-9:  Once again the people complained about their living conditions, with the result that God sent fiery serpents among them. Many of the people . . . died, and many more were dying. In answer to the intercession of Moses, God commanded that a bronze serpent of brass be lifted on a pole and promised that whoever looked (faith) at the bronze serpent would be healed (live) of the snakebite. This incident was used by the Lord Jesus to teach Nicodemus that Christ must be lifted up on a pole (the cross), so that sinners looking to Him by faith might have everlasting life (John 3:1-16).

 Also note page 23 of Arlen Chitwood's book Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation by Grace through Faith, Ch.1:

Carrying these same truths over into Christ’s finished work at Calvary, man, under the sentence of death, is just as helpless as the Israelites who had been bitten by the serpents, necessitating Another to act on his behalf.
 
In the type, serpents were responsible for the condition of the Israelites, and a serpent was brought forth as the remedy.
 
In the antitype it is the same.  A man was responsible for the condition, and a Man was brought forth as the remedy.  The first man, the first Adam, was responsible for the condition; and the second Man, the last Adam, provided the cure (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:45-47).
 
And just as Moses performed all of the work on the Israelites’ behalf in the type, with the people under the sentence of death being told simply to look and live, so it is in the antitype.  Christ has performed all of the work on man’s behalf, and the only thing which man can do, as in the type, is look and live.
 
The serpent being formed from brass, in accordance with God’s instructions, is in perfect keeping with that which is seen throughout the type.  “Brass” in Scripture speaks of judgment (cf. Exodus 27:1-8; 30:18-21; Revelation 1:15).  God judged sin in the camp of Israel during the wilderness journey, and He also judged sin at Calvary; and sin was judged after such a fashion, in both instances, that God was satisfied.
 
The Israelites looked; and, by so doing, they, at the same time, through looking, exercised faith.  They believed what God had said, and their acting on this belief (looking, as God had commanded) was the act of faith that God required (Acts 16:30-31; cf. Hebrews 11:6).
 
Nothing more was required then, and nothing more is required today.  It was look and live then, and it is look and live today.
 
It was look toward the place sin had been judged in that day, believing that God meant exactly what He had said, resulting in God’s satisfaction; and it is look toward the place sin has been judged today, believing that God means exactly what He has said, resulting in God’s satisfaction.]

Why Then the Problem?

Becoming a Christian and growing spiritually in the Christian life is likened in Scripture to a child being born in the world and growing in the physical realm.  There is a specific bringing forth as a newborn baby, which is to be followed by growth from immaturity to maturity in both instances (John 3:16; Hebrews 5:12-14; 1 Peter 2:1-2; 1 John 2:12-14).

In the physical realm, a child grows from a newborn baby to a mature adult in order to fulfill a purpose in life.  He grows physically through a proper diet and mentally through years of training — both within and without the home.  He exercises his body and his mind as he receives a proper diet and training, growing after this fashion.  Ideally, the better he is prepared both physically and mentally, the better he will be able to function in life.

In the spiritual realm, matters are identical.  A newborn babe in Christ is to grow from immaturity to maturity for a purpose.  His food for proper growth is spiritual, for it is a spiritual growth.  It is the Manna from heaven, the Living Word of God.  He is to begin with “milk” and progressively move to “meat” and “strong meat” (cf. 1 Peter 2:1-2; Hebrews 5:12-14).

Inseparably connected with the reception of the Word is training at the hands of the Father (Hebrews 12:5-11).  The words “chastening,” “chastens,” and “chastisement” (KJV) in these verses have to do with a training process, not with the Christian being disciplined per se, though the training process may involve discipline (cf. Hebrews 12:7).

(The words “chastening,” “chastens,” and “chastisement (KJV),” in Hebrews 12:5-8 are translations of noun and verb forms of a word referring to young children [paideia and paideuo], and these words refer to the instruction or training of children.  And, contextually, this is a training of those whom God views as “sons,” looking out ahead to these sons one day being elevated into positions of power and authority with God’s Son in His kingdom.

For additional information on Hebrews 12:5-8 and child-training, with a view to sonship in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's God's Firstborn Sons, Ch. 3 or God's First Born Sons by Arlen Chitwood.)

The entire process allows the indwelling Holy Spirit to progressively work the transformation (Greek: metamorphoo, a metamorphosis) of Romans 12:2 in one’s life — a transforming work, beginning from within.  And the more one progresses spiritually within the scope of the metamorphosis, the better prepared he will become, the better equipped he will be, to realize and fulfill his calling in life.  [See Sin - What the Spiritually Saved can do to Sin Less! in this site.] 

Every Christian is a servant in the Lord’s house, and every Christian has been called to exercise some particular sphere of responsibility therein (Matthew 25:14ff; Luke 19:13ff).  Household servants have been placed in charge of their Lord’s goods, which are of a spiritual nature, not material.  And the proper use of that which is spiritual within the house requires training in spiritual matters.  This is why there must be a progressive work of the Holy Spirit in one’s life, effecting the metamorphosis.  This is why there must be a progression from immaturity to maturity in the faith.

To achieve this end, God has placed pastor-teachers in His Church.  They are the ones who have been commissioned to lead the household servants from immaturity to maturity in spiritual matters in order that the servants might properly function within the scope of their individual, particular callings.

And He Himself gave 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 [Greek, epignosis, mature knowledge] of the Son of God, to a perfect [‘a complete’] man . . . . (Ephesians 4:11-13a).

(The words “pastors and teachers” in Ephesians 4:11 are structured in the Greek text in a manner that requires that the two nouns refer to the same individual — pastors, who are teachers, i.e., pastor-teachers.)

There though has been a breakdown within God’s order in Christendom; and this breakdown is of such a nature that, resultantly, gross error has supplanted biblical truth to the point that it has reached even into the very realm of soteriology itself (the doctrine of salvation).  Pastor-teachers, over the years, have failed to fulfill their calling.  The saints have not been led from immaturity to maturity.  Household servants are in no position to handle that which is spiritual, for they lack the necessary spiritual training; and as a result, the house is in disarray.  Churches today are filled with immature Christians who can be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).  It is that period of Church history depicted by the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-21), the terminal period of the present dispensation.

This is not something that has occurred overnight, or even in the past few years or decades.  It has been occurring ever since the woman in the parable in Matthew 13:33 placed leaven in the three measures of meal, depicting an act of Satan, which could only have occurred very early in the dispensation; and the leaven has been doing its corrupting, damaging work since that time.

Leaven works best in a place where the temperature is not too hot or too cold.  Note the “lukewarm” condition of the church in Laodicea in this respect (Revelation 3:16).  The leaven, after numerous centuries of deteriorating work, is being brought into the advanced stages of its action and is doing its most damaging work within the lukewarm confines of the church in Laodicea near the end of the present dispensation, during the very time in which we presently live.

The working of this leaven is going to be so complete by the end of the dispensation that the Lord, while upon earth, looking centuries ahead, asked a question concerning conditions on the earth at the time of His return:

. . . when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith [the faith] on the earth? (Luke 18:8b)

The response to the question, designated by the wording of the Greek text, is negative.  The Son of Man will not find “the faith” (an expression peculiarly related to the Word of the Kingdom) on the earth when He returns.  Rather, He will find conditions as depicted in Revelation 3:14ff.

1)  The Faith

The Master of the house has gone back to heaven in order to receive a kingdom from His Father (Luke 19:12).  God rules over all.  He is the One who places and removes rulers within the kingdom (Daniel 4:17, 25), and He will one day remove Satan from the position that he occupies (Revelation 12:4, 9; 20:1-3) and will place His Son in this position (Daniel 7:14; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:4-6).

During the time between the Son’s departure to receive the kingdom and His return in possession of the kingdom, Christ has left His business to servants in charge of His household, for a particular purpose.  And this purpose involves the kingdom He has gone away to receive.

The coming kingdom of Christ will require numerous regents and vice-regents to ascend the throne and to hold positions of power and authority with Christ as He reigns over the earth.  And God has set aside an entire dispensation, lasting approximately 2,000 years, in order to acquire these rulers.  God is presently dealing with household servants in relation to the kingdom that the Son has gone away to receive, with a view to their one day filling positions of power and authority with Christ in the kingdom.

From a Scriptural standpoint, this should be the central purpose behind all activity in the Lord’s house today.  But the working of the leaven has changed matters completely in this respect.

(Note that the central purpose for the present dispensation, seen from God’s standpoint in the antitype of that which is foreshadowed through events in Genesis chapter twenty-four, would be the Spirit’s search for and procurement of a bride for God’s Son.  And this search for and procurement of a bride for God’s Son is part and parcel with a search for and procurement of individuals to fill the numerous positions of power and authority with Christ in His kingdom, for Christ’s bride will be made up of individuals who will fill these positions, as the bride reigns as co-regent alongside the Son.

For additional information on Genesis 24, refer to the author’s book, Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Search for the Bride.)

The Lord’s household servants have been promised remuneration commensurate with their faithfulness, and this remuneration has to do with their being elevated from positions of servitude in the house to positions as co-rulers in the kingdom.  After Christ has returned, having received the kingdom, He will call His servants forth to reckon with them.  A servant having been judged and shown faithful to previously delegated responsibility will hear his Lord say,

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (Matthew 25:21; cf. Matthew 25:19-23; Luke 19:15-19).

(Note one of the laws of the harvest seen in the preceding — always reaping more than was sown — which can be seen in the following concerning the unfaithful servant as well.)

[See Five Parables regarding the Kingdom in this website.]

Servants in the house though have also been warned that unfaithfulness in the discharge of their assigned household duties will result in loss.  Not only will they be denied positions in their Master’s kingdom, but they will also suffer rebuke and chastisement.  Such a servant, having been judged and shown unfaithful to previously delegated responsibility, will hear his Lord say,

You wicked and lazy servant . . . . (Matthew 25:26a; cf. Matthew 25:24-30; Luke 19:20-26).

Within the scope of carrying out one’s responsibilities as a servant in the house, a spiritual warfare rages (Ephesians 6:10ff).  Satan and his angels have allied themselves together against the Lord and His household servants.  Though the battle is the Lord’s (1 Samuel 17:47), He is physically absent today; and with the Lord absence in this respect, the attack centers on the Lord’s servants, those of His household.

The present spiritual battle is one involving kingly power from the heavens over the earth.  Satan and his angels presently rule in the kingdom, and Christ, along with His co-heirs, will one day take the kingdom.

This warfare is very real.  Christ is the One who is destined to one day replace Satan in the kingdom; and Christians are the ones destined to, at the same time, replace angels presently ruling with Satan.  During the coming age, Christ will wear the crown presently worn by Satan, and Christians will wear crowns presently worn by other angels in Satan’s kingdom (cf. 2 Samuel 1:10; Hebrews 2:5; Revelation 4:10; 19:12).

Satan knows these things.  He also knows that the primary mission of the Holy Spirit in the world today is to call out a bride from among the household servants to reign as consort queen with the Son after He receives the kingdom (cf. Genesis 24:3-4).  And, knowing all of this, he is presently doing everything within his power to thwart God’s plans and purposes by bringing about disruption within the house among household servants.

Christians engaged in the present warfare have been called upon to:

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called . . . .  (1 Timothy 6:12a)

Both textually and contextually, this verse could be better translated,

Strive in the good contest of the faith; lay hold on life for the age, whereunto you are also called . . . .

The word “strive” in the latter rendering is a translation of the Greek word agonizomai, from which we derive our English word, “agonize”; and the word “contest” is from the Greek word agon, the noun form of the verb agonizomai.

(Also, the change from “eternal life” to “life for the age” in the latter translation results from a contextual translation of the Greek word aionios, the word translated “eternal” in the verse.

The Greek language does not contain a word for “eternal.”  The word aionios has to do with a long period of time, with the length of that time determined from the contextual usage of the word.  The long period of time, to which aionios refers, can be understood as “eternal” if the context permits.  However, the context of 1 Timothy 6:12 has to do with an age, the coming Messianic Era [aionios is often used referring to “an age”].  Thus, the preferred translation would be, “life for the age.”)

The same thought pertaining to “strive,” as seen in 1 Timothy 6:12, is also set forth in Jude 1:3.  Because of apostasy among servants in the Lord’s house, Christians are exhorted to:

. . . contend earnestly for the faith . . . .

The words “contend earnestly” are a translation of the Greek word epagonizomai, an intensified form of the word agonizomai.  The passage could be better translated,

. . . earnestly strive for the faith . . . .

And understanding of this passage in the light of 1 Timothy 6:12, this is a striving, not to defend “the faith” as some expositors suggest, but a striving with respect to the faith.  Such a striving has to do with remaining faithful to one’s calling within the house during a day of apostasy (see the author’s book, Jude - Acts of the Apostates, Ch. 2, by Arlen Chitwood and/or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Jude - Acts of the Apostates, Ch. 2).

The words, “the faith,” are an expression used in the New Testament referring to biblical teachings surrounding the Word of the Kingdom, the saving of the soul, not salvation by grace.  This is the message that the Lord will not find being proclaimed in Christendom when He returns, as revealed in Luke 18:8.  Rather, He will find Christendom in a state of apostasy, which has to do with Christians occupying positions diametrically opposed to the exhortation, “Strive in the good contest of the faith . . . .”

(The English word “apostasy” is simply a transliterated form of the compound Greek word, apostasia, which means “to stand away from” [apo meaning “from,” and stasis meaning “to stand”].  True apostasy is a standing away from something previously held — a previously held truth, etc.

Note that apostasy in Scripture has to do with the saved, not with the unsaved.  Only the saved can stand away from previously held truth, i.e., apostatize [cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14].)

According to Luke 18:8, along with related Scripture, when Christ returns, He will find Christians, standing away from “the faith” (or, estranged from “the faith” after another fashion), not earnestly striving with respect to “the faith.”

(Standing away from “the faith,” in the true sense of apostasy, would really not be possible for the vast majority of Christians today.  Most Christians today know little to nothing about “the faith,” and they could not stand away from something with which they possessed no previous association.  Thus, for most Christians today, the matter would have to be as stated in the parenthetical section of the preceding paragraph — an estrangement from “the faith” after another fashion.)

2)  THE RESULT

The result of Satan’s disruptive work in the Lord’s house during the present dispensation is evident on every hand.  Striving with respect to the faith in relation to a kingdom is something that Christians don’t seem to know anything about; and the whole of Christendom is in such a state — described in Revelation 3:15-17 — that very few Christians even manifest the slightest interest when the subject is raised.

Christians, by large, see only one issue today — the issue dealing with eternal verities in relation to salvation or damnation.  All Scripture is somehow pressed into this mold, and, resultantly, verses that have nothing whatsoever to do with eternal salvation or damnation are made to teach something other than what they deal with.  They are made to teach issues concerning one’s eternal destiny.

Take, for example, the parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23), the parables of the talents and pounds (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27), the Lord’s teaching about the vine and its branches in John 15:1-8, the warning passages in Hebrews 2:1-5, et al, that being taught about faith and works in James 2:14-26, being born of God in 1 John 2-5, or the overcomer’s promises in Revelation 2; 3.

These sections of Scripture — along with numerous other similar sections — are not dealing with one’s eternal destiny at all.  Rather, they are dealing with issues pertaining to those who are already saved; and these issues have to do with the coming kingdom.  It is sections of Scripture such as these that are being taken out of the realm of teaching in which they belong by certain Christians today and brought over into a realm of teaching in which they do not belong.

Once this has been done — once passages pertaining to Christian living, with a view to the coming kingdom, have been removed from their contexts and made to apply to salvation by grace — the things that these passages deal with (Lordship, fruit-bearing, etc.) then appear to come into the salvation picture.  And the end result is twofold:

a) The clear, simple message of salvation by grace through faith becomes corrupted.

b) The door is then closed to the truth of that which these misapplied passages actually do teach.

In this respect, more is involved than just corrupting one message; in the process, another message is done away with.

Thus, the “why” of a corrupted salvation message within the ranks of what is looked upon as fundamental Christianity today, and its wide acceptance, is no mystery.  Scripture is being misinterpreted and misapplied.  Individuals not understanding the message having to do with the salvation of the soul, the Word of the Kingdom, etc., are taking portions of Scripture dealing with these issues and bringing them over into the realm dealing with the salvation of the spirit, eternal life.

And the reason this is happening can be traced back to the failure of the shepherds to properly care for the sheep.  Such a failure was not only caused by the leaven but it has allowed the leaven to do its deteriorating work, unchecked, resulting in the present chaos in the Lord’s house.

“A corrupted message” concerning salvation by grace through faith on the one hand and “the absence of a message” concerning the Word of the Kingdom on the other hand mark that which can be seen in certain quarters under the guise of fundamental Christianity today.  This is how complete the leaven has done its deteriorating and damaging work.

(Carrying matters back even farther though, the underlying problem behind the whole of the matter, resulting in current conditions in Christendom among those called to be pastor-teachers, is given in chapter 1 of this book.  It is man’s failure to begin where God began [with Moses and the Prophets] and view Scripture after the manner in which God progressively revealed Himself, His plans, and His purposes [beginning with Old Testament history, which is highly typical in nature].

And man’s failure to do this has been occurring for decades extending into centuries of time, resulting in the current state of Christendom.)

The Only Answer to the Problem

The only possible means to effect correction where existing problems wrought by the working of the leaven manifest themselves is given in the message to the Church in Laodicea; and the means, revealed through this message, would be the same no matter what doctrinal errors or heresies surfaced in the Church.

This is as it should be, for the church in Laodicea depicts Christendom as a whole after the leaven has done its damaging work near the end of the dispensation, without regard to any particular group of individuals, erroneous doctrines, or heresies.  Thus, those mishandling Scripture to the point of teaching a corrupted gospel — and, in the process, closing the door to the Word of the Kingdom — would have to be included, regardless of their purported association with fundamental Christianity.

After all, the Scribes and Pharisees (the fundamental legalists in Israel 2,000 years ago) sat “in Moses’ seat”; but they suffered a far greater condemnatory rebuke at the hands of Christ than any other religious group in Israel, even the Sadducees (the more liberal group of that day).

And the reason for this, lay in the position that the scribes and Pharisees held and the attitude that they took toward both Christ and the message being proclaimed.  The scribes and Pharisees formed the largest of the religious sects in Israel; and, because of their numbers, they exerted control over the religious life of the people.  The scribes and Pharisees (along with the Sadducees at times) followed Christ about the country, seeking, at every turn, to both cast reproach upon the Messenger and counter the message being proclaimed.  And by doing this, along with exerting control over the religious life of the people, they “shut up the kingdom of the heavens against men [‘before men,’ ‘in front of men’].”  They had no interest in entering this kingdom themselves, and they did everything within their power to see that others didn’t enter the kingdom either (Matthew 23:1ff). 

The Lord described the church in Laodicea as being “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).  The thought behind this description, in the light of the Greek text and the next verse Revelation 3:18, is that those in this church, in a spiritual respect, were miserable individuals who were to be pitied because of their poor, blind, and naked condition.  They had no understanding at all of that which Scripture taught on the matter at hand, which centered on the Word of the Kingdom.

Then in verse eighteen, the Lord took the three characteristics (“poor,” “blind,” and “naked”) marking those whom He had described as miserable, pitiful individuals and issued an exhortation:

Concerning their being poor, the Lord stated, “I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich.”

Concerning their being naked, the Lord stated, “. . . and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed.”

Concerning their being blind, the Lord stated, “. . . and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

The Lord then went on to state, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)

The word “rebuke” from the Greek text contextually has to do with exposing, showing one his fault; and the word “chasten” is the translation of the same Greek word used in Hebrews 12:5-11 (translated “chastening,” “chastens,” and “chastisement”), referring to child-training, child-instruction.  The teaching from this verse reveals that the Lord, in a situation of this nature, exposes that which is wrong and provides training in that which is right (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17);  and, in view of the fact that He would act after this fashion among the Christians in Laodicea,  He exhorted those in this church to “repent” (i.e., in the light of the context, they were exhorted to realize their condition, change their minds, and submit to the truth that the Lord would provide).

Then the Lord pictured Himself as standing at the door of the church in Laodicea, knocking.  If anyone in the church would hear His voice and open the door (hear and heed that which He had said in Rev. 3:18-19, He would come in and fellowship with that person (Rev. 3:20), for a Christian opening the door after this fashion would allow child-training, child-instruction, which would progressively deliver him from the described position of poor, blind, and naked.

(Note that Revelation 3:20 has nothing whatsoever to do with the message of salvation by grace through faith, as often taught.  This verse has to do, not with Christ coming into the heart of an unsaved person, but with Christ coming inside the church in Laodicea to a saved individual.

This verse has to do with a Christian in the condition described in verse seventeen, who heeds the Lord’s exhortation in verses eighteen and nineteen, allowing fellowship to exist between himself and his Lord;  and the entire matter is with a view to overcoming and one day being allowed to ascend the throne with Christ in His kingdom [Revelation 3:21]. 

Using Revelation 3:20 as a salvation text is a good example of why there is mass confusion concerning salvation by grace through faith on the one hand and mass ignorance concerning the Word of the Kingdom on the other hand in Christendom today.  Such a use of this verse not only results in an erroneous view of salvation by grace through faith but it also closes the door to that which is actually taught in this passage, which concerns the Word of the Kingdom.)

The critical issue is thus one’s reception of correct instruction from the Word of God.  And such instruction in Revelation 3:19, contextually, would have to center on a forward look to things of the kingdom, not a backward look to things surrounding salvation by grace through faith.  The issue at hand is not eternal life but overcoming with a view to ascending the throne with Christ (Revelation 3:21).

In this respect, the heart of the matter actually centers around one coming into an understanding of that which Scripture teaches about the purpose for our salvation, the coming kingdom, etc.  And it is apparent that those in Laodicea had no concept of these things.

Once a Christian can look ahead and clearly understand that which Scripture teaches about the coming kingdom, he is in a much better position to also look back and clearly understand that which Scripture teaches about salvation by grace through faith.  Nothing will clarify issues surrounding salvation by grace through faith more than having a clear understanding of that which Scripture teaches concerning the coming kingdom, for only through such an understanding can works, discipleship, fruit-bearing, etc. be seen in their correct perspective, occupying no place at all in the simple salvation message having to do with unsaved man passing “from death to life.”

Salvation by Grace through Faith by Arlen Chitwood, Ch. 2 and/or

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Salvation by Grace through Faith, Ch. 2. and

Why does Christ Judge the Saved and What does He Judge? in this website.

The Crimson (Tola) Worm

But I am a worm and not a man, A reproach of men and despised by the people. (Psalm 22:6)

The word "worm" referred to is unique in Scripture. In the Hebrew it is a particular female worm, which is called the "crimson worm." It is not until you begin to study the characteristics and the life cycle of the crimson or scarlet worm that you begin to see the tremendous truth revealed by this Scripture.

See The Metamorphosis in this site for a related subject.

Insectman - Biblical Crimson Worm 

The following two Word Documents are SAFE to open:
Crimson The Worm by Calvin Ray Evans.docx Crimson The Worm by Calvin Ray Evans.docx
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Crimson Tola Worm by Lori Pagel.docx Crimson Tola Worm by Lori Pagel.docx
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God's "Path to Glory" Plan DIAGRAM (legal size)

This Path to Glory diagram was designed using architectural software.  It challenged my patience, but I endured.  Be sure to use legal size paper with landscape setting if you should desire to print. The document is safe to open.

God's Plan for Believers Final LEGAL SIZE.docx God's Plan for Believers Final LEGAL SIZE.docx
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The following is linked directly to the architectural version.  For some printers the default settings must be changed to legal size and landscape view (just temporarily for this one document.)  The document is safe to open.

God's Plan for Believers.PL1 God's Plan for Believers.PL1
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Hope

The one who has been saved through faith in Christ (i.e., the salvation of his spirit), but who fails to realize, pursue, and realize the salvation of his soul (culminating at the Judgment Seat of Christ), will not be able to experience the full scope of the hope intended for him, which is to say that he will not be able to co-reign as a coheir with Christ throughout His coming millennial (1,000 year) reign over this earth. He will though regain stature upon the conclusion of the Messianic Era and throughout the eternal ages that follow.

On the other hand, the Christian, who by faithfulness to Christ in this lifetime [filling of the Holy Spirit] achieves the salvation of his soul, will experience the full measure of the hope that awaits him, as a co-reigning coheir with Christ during the Millennium, and throughout the eternal ages that follow.

Dispensations
As Distinguished from “Ages”
By Arlen L. Chitwood of
Lamp Broadcast

“Dispensations” is the term used in Scripture to show distinctions in God’s dealings with different groups of mankind during Man’s Day and the following Messianic Era. The term “dispensations” though is not synonymous with ages. One age covers the whole of Man’s Day, and another age covers the succeeding Messianic Era; but there are more than two dispensations within the scope of these two ages.

The word “dispensation” is the translation of the Greek word, oikonomia. A cognate form of the word is oikonomos, which is made up of two words — oikos (house) and nemo (to manage).

Thus, oikonomos has to do with the management of a house — a central person placed in charge, with others holding responsible positions in the house under this person. And oikonomia (the word used for “dispensation”) carries the same basic meaning.

Oikonomia has been translated “stewardship” in three instances in the New Testament (Luke 16:2-4, KJV); and the word actually only appears six other times, translated “dispensation” (KJV) four of the six times (I Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2, 9; Col. 1:25; I Tim. 1:4).

“Stewardship” has to do with household management.

Christians are stewards in this respect since they are members of a household, have been placed in charge of a portion of the Owner’s goods, and are expected to manage those goods within the household (under the leadership of the Holy Spirit) after such a fashion that there will be an increase (cf. Matt. 25:14ff; Luke 19:12ff).

Thus, “a dispensation” simply has to do with the management of the Lord’s household affairs through those whom He has placed in His house (stewards). And when there is a stewardship change within God’s dealing with mankind, there is, correspondingly, a change in the dispensation. This would have to be the case, for stewardship and dispensation are synonymous in this respect.

Within the scope of the 7,000 years set forth through that foreshadowed by the seven days in Gen. 1:1-2:3, there are at least four different dispensations. There is a present dispensation (during which God is dealing with Christians), there were at least two past dispensations (one in which God dealt with Israel, and the other in which He dealt with mankind at large prior to His dealings with Israel), and there is a future dispensation (the Messianic Era).

Then, the period prior to the creation of Adam in which Satan ruled over the earth apart from a successor being present could probably be called a dispensation in the strict sense of the word (for a stewardship did exist, one in which Satan rebelled against the Lord within his assigned position and trust). And on the other side of the 7,000 years a similar situation will exist with respect to the thought of dispensations, with man, at that time, occupying positions in God’s government of the universe.

However, time and events both before and after the 7,000 years are spoken of in Scripture only to an extent which will allow man to properly understand time and events during the 7,000 years. Scripture deals with the latter almost exclusively, having very little to say about the former.

Thus, to speak of dispensations outside the framework of the 7,000 years is doing little more than surmising. There is very little revelation to work with in this respect, and the subject has been mentioned only to carry some continuity of thought from the past age or ages into the 7,000 years, and then from the 7,000 years into the future ages.

The Normal Dispensational Outlook

When referring to dispensations, The Scofield Reference Bible is usually looked to more than any other source, for its references follow, to a large extent, a dispensational framework set up different places in the footnotes. And this is the same dispensational framework which is usually taught in Bible colleges and seminaries when viewing Scripture after a dispensational fashion.

Footnotes in The Scofield Reference Bible call attention to seven dispensations:

1)  Innocence, from the creation to the fall;

2)  Conscience, from the fall to the Flood;

3)  Human Government, from the Flood to the call of Abraham;

4)  Promise, from the call of Abraham to the giving of the Law at Sinai under Moses;

5)  Law, from Sinai to Calvary;

6)  Grace, from Calvary to the Kingdom; and

7)  Kingdom, the 1000-year Messianic Era.

The preceding though, in The Scofield Reference Bible, is based on an incorrect understanding of what constitutes a dispensation. In this reference Bible, a dispensation is defined as “a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God” (footnote for heading of Gen. 1:28ff).

Then, relative to “the dispensation of the fulness of times” in Eph. 1:10, a footnote in the The Scofield Reference Bible states, “This, the seventh and last of the ordered ages which condition human life on the earth…”

(The preceding quotations were taken from The Scofield Reference Bible of 1909, the original edition. The same definition of a dispensation was retained by the editors in The New Scofield Reference Bible of 1967, the updated edition; but the footnote commenting on “the dispensation of the fulness of times” in Eph. 1:10 was deleted in the later edition.)

Thus, in both editions of The Scofield Reference Bible, there is an incorrect definition of a dispensation. And in the original edition, in the footnote commenting on Eph. 1:10, “dispensation” and “age” are looked upon as synonymous, i.e., the seven dispensations are set forth as seven ages.

This is probably the point to which a high percentage of the existing confusion concerning both dispensations and ages can be traced, for footnotes in The Scofield Reference Bible, rather than Scripture itself, have established the mold for much of the dispensational thought in Christendom today. And this is also probably why the present dispensation is, more often than not, erroneously called “the Church Age” by many Christians.

The Scriptural Divisions

Using the strict definition of the Greek word oikonomia (dispensation), Scripture will logically divide itself into four dispensations during the 7,000 years extending from the creation of Adam to the end of the Messianic Kingdom. In I Cor. 10:32, mankind is divided into three groups, and God’s dealings with these three groups — separately during Man’s Day, and together during the coming Messianic Era — establish the only Biblical, dispensational scheme of the matter.

“Give none offence [‘do not be offensive,’ or ‘do not provide a cause for stumbling’], neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.” (I Cor. 10:32)

God deals with mankind in cycles of time. There were, for example, 7-year, 70-year (7X10), and 490-year (7X7X10) cycles in which He dealt with Israel (Ex. 31:13-17; Jer. 25:11-12; Dan. 9:2, 24-27), and these cycles occurred within a larger 2,000-year cycle in which He dealt (and will deal) with the nation (seven years yet remain — the seven years comprising the coming Tribulation, Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week — to complete not only a final 490-year cycle but the full 2,000-year cycle).

There are actually three of these 2,000-year cycles (though only one pertains to Israel); and the three 2,000-year cycles, comprising the whole of Man’s Day — covering God’s dealings with the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Church of God (His dealings with each occurring separately within one of the 2,000-year cycles) — is followed by the last cycle of time, lasting 1,000 years. This will be the 1,000-year Messianic Era in which God will deal with the Jews, the Gentiles and the Church of God together at the same time. And all of this has been foreshadowed by the seven days which God placed at the very beginning of His revelation to man, in Gen. 1:1-2:3.

That would be to say, God, throughout the 6,000 years comprising Man’s Day, deals with the three divisions of mankind on an equal-time basis — for 2,000 years each. Then, following the 6,000 years, He will continue His dealings with these three divisions on an equal-time basis. He will deal with all three together, at the same time, for 1,000 years. And these divisions (three divisions of mankind, dealt with during four time periods) form the dispensational divisions which Scripture itself provides. This is how four dispensations logically fit into the 7,000-years, foreshadowed at the beginning, in Gen. 1:1-2:3.

God began His actions after this fashion through dealing with mankind at large — through what would be considered His 2000-year dealings with the Gentiles — though during the first 2,000 years of human history there was, in the strict sense of the word, no such thing as Gentiles. “A Gentile” in Scripture is simply someone who is not a Jew (or today, when the expression “in Christ” is used, not a Christian as well [Gal. 3:28]); and prior to the call of Abraham and the separate creation which emanated from his seed through Isaac and Jacob (Isa. 43:1), a division within mankind of this nature did not, it could not, exist.

However, God’s dealings with mankind in general during the first 2,000 years of human history was, in the main, with those who would later be looked upon as Gentiles. And His dealings with this division of mankind must either be placed in the first 2,000-year period or not be placed at all.

Or, to turn that around, the first 2,000-year period must either relate to the Gentiles or not relate to any one of the three divisions of mankind.

Then God dealt another 2,000 years (seven years yet remain) with those called Jews, or Hebrews. 

(Abraham was not a “Jew” [a name derived from Judah], but he was the first person in Scripture called a “Hebrew,” with his descendants being called “Hebrews” [a name thought to mean “the one who crossed over,” i.e., crossed over the Euphrates enroute to the land to which he had been called, with his descendants looked upon as having crossed over with him, in his loins — Gen. 14:13; 40:15; 43:32; Ex. 2:11; Joshua 24:2-3]).

After that, which brings us into the present 2,000 years, God is dealing with a new creation “in Christ” — with Christians — called into existence for a specific, revealed purpose. And we are today living very near the end of the present two millenniums, which would also place man (Jew, Gentile, and Christian) very near the end of the entire triad of three 2,000-year periods.

That which will end the 6,000 years though, as previously shown, is not the completion of the present 2,000-year period, but the completion of the previous 2,000-year period (for seven years yet remain to complete that period, which will occur after the completion of the present period).

This previous 2,000-year period will be completed through the fulfillment of Daniel’s full Seventy Weeks. One Week — the Seventieth Week — remains, which comprises the coming seven-year Tribulation.

Then, and only then, will God deal with all three divisions of mankind together, at the same time. And He will, at that time, deal with these three divisions after this fashion for 1,000 years, completing the full 7,000 years.

Thus, Scripture begins with a 2,000-year dispensation having to do with God’s dealing with the Gentiles; it continues with another 2,000-year dispensation having to do with God’s dealings with the Jews; it continues with another 2,000-year dispensation having to do with God’s dealings with Christians; and it concludes the full 7,000 years with a 1,000-year dispensation in which God will deal with all three groups of mankind together at the same time.

This is the manner in which Scripture naturally divides itself in a dispensational respect, which is in perfect keeping with the framework of time foreshadowed by the six and seven days opening the Book of Genesis. And following these natural divisions is really the best way to divide the whole of Scripture to show an overall dispensational picture which can be easily understood:

1)  From Adam to Abraham (2,000 years).

2)  From Abraham to Calvary, plus the future seven-year Tribulation (2,000 years).

3)  From Calvary to the Tribulation (2,000 years).

4)  Then 1,000 years toward which everything will have moved since God, in the beginning, “made the worlds [‘the ages’]” (Heb. 1:2).

Lamp Broadcast by Arlen Chitwood 

Arlen Chitwood's Dispensations, As distinguished from Ages or 5) Ages and Dispensations in this site.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

Scripture begins with a 2,000-year dispensation having to do with God’s dealing with the Gentiles; it continues with another 2,000-year dispensation having to do with God’s dealings with the Jews; it continues with another 2,000-year dispensation having to do with God’s dealings with Christians; and it concludes the full 7,000 years with a 1,000-year dispensation in which God will deal with all three groups of mankind together at the same time.

Get off the Sinking Ship
By Chuck Baldwin
December 5, 2013

My column dated November 21, 2013, created a firestorm of outrage and venom from hundreds of pastors and Christians. It was a rude awakening for me, for sure. I have long maintained that the vast majority of today’s pastors and church members are smugly content in abject apathy and indifference. However, after the vehement reaction to the above-mentioned column, I can now state dogmatically that the problem is actually much, much worse than I realized. Today’s churchmen are not merely content to not being involved; they are absolutely committed to not being involved. It goes much deeper than apathy; it is apostasy.

See my November 21 column here:  This Pastor Proves My Point

My email inbox and mailbox filled with vitriolic rebukes from pastors and Christians. I was called just about every dirty name in the book and relegated to the depths of the damned--and those were the mild ones. At the heart of these feelings of contempt is the rejection of Natural Law. It’s not only that today’s pastors and Christians have not been taught the Biblical principles of Natural Law and, therefore, don’t understand it; today’s churchmen have developed a willful and stubborn conviction against Natural Law.

I will even go so far as to say that the majority of our pastors and church leaders today are monarchists at heart. The lack of instruction and understanding of the Biblical principles of Natural Law have created a generation of churchmen who are more than willing to submit to the unnatural laws of tyranny and oppression. Until two weeks ago, I didn’t truly comprehend the depth of this volitional slavery.

The statements being made by today’s pastors and Christians are so nonsensical and asinine that it is extremely difficult to believe that any person, much less pastors and Christians, could even utter them. Here are just a few examples of what pastors have said:

“If federal agents or troops came to my house and put my wife on the kitchen table and raped her, Romans 13 tells me I could not interfere.”

“If government forces came to my home intent on harming my wife and children, I would not resist; I would simply tell my family to run.”

“America’s Founding Fathers were rebels against God. They had no right to fight a war for independence. Subjection to a king, even a tyrannical one, is God’s Will.”

“Anyone who resists civil government is going to hell.”

“There is no such thing as natural law, and anyone who promotes it is of the devil.”

Dear reader, trust me: the comments above are reflective of the majority of pastors and Christians I have heard from over the past couple of weeks. Truly did Jesus say, “Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6:39 KJV) That is exactly what is happening in America today: the blind are leading the blind into the ditch of tyranny and oppression.

Last Sunday, I delivered a message entitled, “Biblical Evidence For Natural Law.” I invite readers to watch the archived video of that message here:  Biblical Evidence For Natural Law

Listen to the Scripture:

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” (Romans 2:14-15 KJV)

The great theologians and Bible scholars of yesteryear all understood the Biblical teaching of Natural Law. Here are a few samples of some of church history’s greatest Bible commentators on this passage in Romans 2.

Albert Barnes: “The expression means clearly by the light of conscience and reason, and whatever other helps they may have without revelation. It denotes simply, in that state which is without the revealed will of God. In that condition they had many helps of tradition, conscience, reason, and the observation of the dealings of divine Providence, so that to a considerable extent they knew what was right and what was wrong.”

John Wesley: “The Ten Commandments being only the substance of the law of nature.”

Adam Clarke: “Do, without this Divine revelation, through that light which God imparts to every man, the things contained in the law--act according to justice, mercy, temperance and truth, the practice of which the revealed law so powerfully enjoins; these are a law unto themselves.”

John Gill: “The matter and substance of the moral law of Moses agrees with the law and light of nature…which they have by nature and use, and which natural reason dictates to them.”

Matthew Henry: “They had that which directed them what to do by the light of nature: by the force and tendency of their natural notions and dictates they apprehended a clear and vast difference between good and evil. They did by nature the things contained in the law. They had a sense of justice and equity, honour and purity, love and charity; the light of nature taught obedience to parents, pity to the miserable, conservation of public peace and order, forbade murder, stealing, lying, perjury, etc. Thus they were a law unto themselves.”

Think about it:

Man did not have the written, revealed laws of God for some 2,500 years of recorded history. Yet, they did have the Law of God “written in their hearts,” or Natural Law.

Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England were, without a doubt, among the most influential writings upon America’s founders. In his commentaries (second section), Blackstone said,

“Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct: not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute or limited. And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker's will.

“This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.”

In that same second section of his commentaries, Blackstone further said,

“This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other--It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”

Amen!

Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not kill,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not steal,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not steal.” How is it, and since when is it, that pastors and Christians do not understand this?

Natural Law, by its very definition, demands procreation, protection, provision, and prohibition. From the very act of Creation, Adam and Eve were given in their hearts (by God) the desire to procreate. Does anyone deny that those who produce children have a right and duty to protect and provide for their children? Does not all of nature have an innate desire to produce young then protect and provide for the young that they produced? The bird and the beast build a nest or den for its young; it catches or hunts food for its young; and it uses every means in its power to drive away predators from its young.

How, in the name of God, can today’s pastors and church leaders say they would not protect their own families from harm? How can they treat so flippantly the duty and responsibility to provide safety and security for home and community? Does a badge give a person the right to act like a predator? You mean to tell me that God would have us bring our children up in the “fear and admonition of the Lord” only then to sit back and do nothing while human beasts with badges devour and enslave them? What nonsense! What rubbish!

Beyond that, prohibition is as intrinsic to Natural Law as is procreation, protection, and provision. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were given great authority over the entire natural kingdom--yet, they were also given jurisdictional prohibition: they were not allowed to eat of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Even in that state of perfect innocence, when Adam was the absolute master of all that God had created on earth, he had limited jurisdiction. And when Adam violated that jurisdictional prohibition, there were consequences that had to be paid. And that was the pattern for all human authority.

There is only one Sovereign:

The Creator-God. All human authority, be it vocational, familial, ecclesiastical, or political, is limited and jurisdictional. Anytime human authority oversteps its jurisdictional borders, Natural Law (God’s Law “written in our hearts”) demands resistance. And the amount and type of resistance is commensurate to the amount and type of usurpation.

When the “kings of the nations” seized property not belonging to them and kidnapped some of Abram’s family, he did not quote Romans 13 and sit complacent. He gathered his armed servants (who were already trained in the art of war) and pursued the oppressors. He put together a military strategy and attacked the predators and destroyed them. Not only that, when he returned, he was blessed by Melchizedek, who was “the priest of the most high God.” (Genesis 14)

Hebrews 7 says Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ. Many Bible scholars believe that Melchizedek was actually a Christophany, meaning a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Christ. Think of it: Christ Himself (or a priest who is clearly a type of Christ) blessed Abram after he attacked and destroyed the usurpers who had transgressed their jurisdictional authority. And exactly where was it written that Abram should do this thing? It was written in his heart. Again, the resistance was commensurate to the transgression.

And those who say that violent resistance to tyrannical government is unbiblical and sinful should tear the entire Book of Judges out of their Bibles. Where in the Mosaic Law were the laws of insurrection recorded? They weren’t. Yet, for a period of over 300 years, champion after champion felt the call of God in his heart to resist with violence the tyrants who were subjugating his country. Furthermore, Hebrews 11 places men such as Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah in the great “Hall of Faith.” And, remember, Romans 15:4 says that the Old Testament was written “for our learning.”

Western Civilization is rooted in Natural Law. Scholars in and out of the Church have historically accepted the Natural Law principles of the rights and duties of procreation, protection, provision, and prohibition as being “self-evident.” In his book, “Political Obligations,” University of Virginia political science professor George Klosko wrote,

“[I]t is generally held that obedience to government is not unconditional. Though we have significant moral requirements to obey, these can be overridden by countervailing factors. For instance, a government that becomes tyrannical can lose its right to be obeyed, while obligations to obey specific laws that are unjust can also be not binding.” (George Klosko, Political Obligations, Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford, 2005, 11)

Klosko’s philosophy matches the philosophy of the vast majority of Christian and non-Christian scholars including Sir Edward Coke, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, Emerich de Vattel, Samuel Rutherford, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, and Thomas Aquinas (to name a few).

Compare the Natural Law teaching of history’s great scholars (many, if not most, of whom were Christians) to the teaching of so many of today’s pastors and church leaders. The differences are stark. The great preachers, theologians, and scholars of history produced a thirst for both God and freedom and gave birth to the greatest free land the world has ever known. And what are today’s pacifist preachers producing? An apathy and indifference that has brought our country to the brink of a modern-day Dark Ages. Everything that America’s colonial pastors such as John Leland, John Witherspoon, John Peter Muhlenberg, James Caldwell, and Jonas Clark fought so bravely to bequeath to us is being surrendered by the cowardice and apostasy of the modern pulpit.

As I said, after reading the voluminous pieces of correspondence touting absolute submission to the state, I am convinced that a majority of pastors and church leaders today are monarchists at heart. Accordingly, so many of America’s pastors today are not shepherds; they are slaves. They have repudiated the faith of our fathers; they have repudiated the inspiration and sacrifice of thousands of years of history; they have repudiated sound scholarship and reason; they have repudiated the values and virtues that protect everything that is sacred; and they have repudiated the Biblical Natural Law principles of liberty and justice.

Ichabod is written over the establishment church.  (Who was Ichabod by Got Questions added)

I am further convinced that the only way liberty and justice can be restored to America is for Christians to get out of these idolatrous government churches and form tens of thousands of independent, non-affiliated, non-establishment churches and home-churches. It must happen; it’s going to happen!

I pray that God will use whatever time I have left on this earth to be part of the prophecy that famed Bible teacher A. W. Tozer uttered before his death in 1963. Tozer said:

“I hear Jesus saying…Matthew 23:37-38, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left to you desolate.’

“As the Church now stands, the man who sees this condition of worldly evangelicalism is written off as somewhat fanatical. But the day is coming when the house will be left desolate and there will not be a man of God among them. I would like to live long enough to watch this develop and see how things turn out. I would like to live to see the time when the man and women of God--holy, separated and spiritually enlightened--walk out of the evangelical church and form a group of their own; when they get off the sinking ship and let her go down in the brackish and worldliness and form a new ark to ride out the storm.”

I agree with Tozer. Get off the sinking ship, folks. Form a new ark to ride out the storm. Pastors and churches that have repudiated Biblical Natural Law principles--including the duty of self-defense--should themselves be repudiated.

Get off the Sinking Ship by Chuck Baldwin

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Seven Days
From Believer's Bible Commentary
Genesis 1:1-2:3

Creation

Gen. 1:1   "In the beginning God . . . ." These first four words of the Bible form the foundation for faith. Believe these words, and you can believe all that follows in the Bible. Genesis provides the only authoritative account of creation, meaningful for people of all ages but exhaustible by no one. The divine record assumes the existence of God rather than seeking to prove it. The Bible has a special name for those who choose to deny the fact of God. That name is fool (Psa.14:1 and Psa. 53:1). Just as the Bible begins with God, so He should be first in our lives.

A Ruin of the Creation

Gen. 1:2a   One of several conservative interpretations of the Genesis account of creation, the creation-reconstruction view, says that between verses 1 and 2 (Gen. 1:1-2a) a great catastrophe occurred, perhaps the fall of Satan (see Eze. 28:11-19). This caused God's original, perfect creation to become without form and void (t–hû wãv–hû). Since God didn't create the earth waste and empty (see Isa. 45:18), only a mighty cataclysm could explain the chaotic condition of verse 2. Proponents of this view point out that the word translated was (hãyethã) could also be translated "had become." Thus the earth "had become waste and empty."

A Restoration of the Ruined Creation

Gen. 1:2b   The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters, preparatory to the great creative and reconstructive acts to follow. The remaining verses describe the six days of creation and reconstruction which prepared the earth for human habitation.

Gen. 1:3-5   On the first day God commanded light to shine out of darkness and established the Day and Night cycle. This act is not to be confused with the establishment of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day. In 2 Cor. 4:6 the Apostle Paul draws a parallel between the original separation of light from darkness and the conversion of a sinner.

Gen. 1:6-8   Prior to the second day, it seems that the earth was completely surrounded by a thick layer of water, perhaps in the form of a heavy vapor. On the second day God divided this layer, part covering the earth with water and part forming clouds, with the atmospheric layers (firmament or "dome") between. God called the firmament Heaven—that is, the expanse of space immediately above the earth (not the stellar heavens, nor the third heaven, where God dwells). Verse 20 (Gen. 1:20) makes it clear that the heaven here is the sphere where the birds fly.

Gen. 1:9-13   Then God caused the dry land to appear out of the waters that covered the face of the planet. Thus were born the Earth and the Seas. Also on the third day He caused vegetation and trees of all kinds to spring up in the earth.

Gen. 1:14-19   It was not until the fourth day that the Lord set the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens as lightbearers and as means for establishing a calendar.

Gen. 1:20-23   The fifth day saw the waters stocked with fish and the earth stocked with bird-life and insects. The word translated birds means "flying ones" and includes bats and probably flying insects.

Gen. 1:24-25   On the sixth day God first created animals and reptiles. The law of reproduction is repeatedly given in the words according to its kind. There are significant variations within "kinds" of biological life, but there is no passing from one kind to another.

Gen. 1:26-28   The crown of God's work was the creation of man in His image and according to His likeness. This means that man was placed on earth as God's representative, and that He resembles God in certain ways. Just as God is a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), so man is a tripartite being (spirit, soul, and body). Like God, man has intellect, a moral nature, the power to communicate with others, and an emotional nature that transcends instinct. There is no thought of physical likeness here. In contrast to animals, man is a worshiper, an articulate communicator, and a creator.

There is an allowance for or even an intimation of the Trinity in verse 26: Then God [Elohim, plural] said [singular verb in Hebrew], "Let Us [plural] make man in Our image . . . ."

The Bible describes the origin of the sexes as a creative act of God. Evolution has never been able to explain how the sexes began. Humanity was commanded to be fruitful and multiply.

God gave man a mandate to subdue creation and have dominion over it—to use it but not abuse it. The modern crises in the earth's environment are due to man's greed, selfishness, and carelessness.

Gen. 1:29-30   It is clear from these verses that animals were originally herbivorous and that man was vegetarian. This was changed after the Flood (see Gen. 9:1-7).

Were the six days of creation literal 24-hour days, or were they geological ages? Or were they days of "dramatic vision" during which the creation account was revealed to Moses? No scientific evidence has ever refuted the concept that they were literal solar days. The expression "the evening and the morning" points to 24-hour days. Everywhere else in the OT these words mean normal days. Adam lived through the seventh day and died in his 930th year, so the seventh day could not have been a geological age. Wherever the "day" is used with a number in the OT ("first day," etc.) it means a literal day. When God commanded Israel to rest on the Sabbath day, He based the command on the fact that He had rested on the seventh day, after six days of labor (Ex. 20:8-11). Consistent interpretation here requires the same meaning of the word "day."

A difficulty, however, is that the solar day as we know it may not have begun until the fourth day (Gen.1:14-19).

As far as the Bible is concerned, the creation of the heavens and the earth is undated. The creation of man is undated also. However, genealogies are given, and, even allowing for possible gaps in the genealogies, man could not have been on the earth for the millions of years demanded by evolutionists.

We learn from Joh. 1:1, Joh. 1:14, Col. 1:16, and Heb. 1:2 that the Lord Jesus was the active Agent in creation. For the inexhaustible wonders of His creation, He is worthy of endless worship.

Gen. 1:31   At the end of the six days of creation God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

Rest

Gen. 2:1-3   God rested from His creative activity on the seventh day. This is not the rest that follows weariness but the rest of satisfaction and completion of a job well done. Although God did not command man to keep the Sabbath at this time, He taught the principle of one day of rest in seven.

Another sources:  Arlen Chitwood's Without Form and Void and in this website Without Form and Void.

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To whom are we to pray? Father, Son, Holy Spirit?
By Got Questions

All prayer should be directed to our triune God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that we can pray to one or all three, because all three are one. To the Father we pray with the psalmist, “Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray” (Psalm 5:2). To the Lord Jesus, we pray as to the Father because they are equal. Prayer to one member of the Trinity is prayer to all. Stephen, as he was being martyred, prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59). We are also to pray in the name of Christ. Paul exhorted the Ephesian believers to always give “thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20). Jesus assured His disciples that whatever they asked in His name—meaning in His will—would be granted (John 15:16; 16:23). Similarly, we are told to pray to the Holy Spirit and in His power. The Spirit helps us to pray, even when we do not know how or what to ask for (Romans 8:26; Jude 1:20). Perhaps the best way to understand the role of the Trinity in prayer is that we pray to the Father, through (or in the name of) the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. All three are active participants in the believer’s prayer.

Equally important is whom we are not to pray to. Some non-Christian religions encourage their adherents to pray to a pantheon of gods, dead relatives, saints, and spirits. Roman Catholics are taught to pray to Mary and various saints. Such prayers are not scriptural and are, in fact, an insult to our heavenly Father. To understand why, we need only look at the nature of prayer. Prayer has several elements, and if we look at just two of them—praise and thanksgiving—we can see that prayer is, at its very core, worship. When we praise God, we are worshipping Him for His attributes and His work in our lives. When we offer prayers of thanksgiving, we are worshipping His goodness, mercy, and loving-kindness to us. Worship gives glory to God, the only One who deserves to be glorified. The problem with praying to anyone other than God is that He will not share His glory. In fact, praying to anyone or anything other than God is idolatry. “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).

Other elements of prayer such as repentance, confession, and petition are also forms of worship. We repent knowing that God is a forgiving and loving God and He has provided a means of forgiveness in the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. We confess our sins because we know He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) and we worship Him for it. We come to Him with our petitions and intercessions because we know He loves us and hears us, and we worship Him for His mercy and kindness in being willing to hear and answer. When we consider all this, it is easy to see that praying to someone other than our triune God is unthinkable because prayer is a form of worship, and worship is reserved for God and God alone.

Whom are we to pray to? The answer is God. Praying to God, and God alone, is far more important than to which Person of the Trinity we address our prayers.

Got Questions - To whom are we to pray? The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit? 

Had Ye Believed Moses
(Excerpts from Had Ye Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast)

Foreword

When Christ was on earth the first time He referred to or drew from the writings of Moses, along with other Old Testament prophets, on a number of occasions. Dealing with a blinded and disbelieving Jewish crowd on one occasion, Christ said,

“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47).

Then, following His Resurrection, Christ dealt with two disciples on the Emmaus Road after a similar fashion. Their “eyes were holden [their vision was held, preventing them from recognizing Him],” and He revealed Himself to them through calling their attention to the Old Testament Scriptures. He used the Written Word to reveal the Living Word.

“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

Moses had previously written about all the various facets of the person and work of Christ. And an Israelite believing that which Moses had previously revealed would have found it quite natural to believe the things surrounding Christ. The two — that which Moses had revealed, and the things surrounding Christ — were exactly the same.

However, disbelief or unfamiliarity with that which Moses had previously revealed would have resulted in the inverse of the preceding. Such a person in Israel would have been in no position to properly understand the things surrounding Christ. That would be to say, a person in Israel not understanding earlier revelation would have been in no position to understand later revelation.

And this was exactly the prevailing situation throughout Israel when Christ came the first time. The Jewish people, for the most part, were unfamiliar with that which Moses had written. They held to the letter of Moses’ writings, but they didn’t understand the spirit of his writings at all (cf. II Cor. 3:6-18). In this respect, they had little understanding of the revelation which God had given to them.

This, in turn, led to their not understanding this same revelation manifested in another form — the Word made flesh, resulting in their rejection and crucifixion of the nationʼs Messiah, something which Moses had also foretold.

And exactly the same problem which existed in Israel 2,000 years ago exists in Christendom today. The letter of the Word is generally known, but the spirit of this same Word is, for the most part, unknown. Resultingly, conditions which prevail in Christendom near the end of the present dispensation are identical to conditions which prevailed in Israel near the end of the preceding dispensation. Christians possessing an improper understanding of earlier revelation simply cannot possess a proper understanding of later revelation.

Christians possessing an improper understanding of earlier revelation (beginning with Moses) simply cannot possess a proper understanding of later revelation (that which draws from and is built upon Moses). They can’t even possess a proper and correct understanding of Christ Himself, for, again, He is the Word made flesh, a Word which they do not understand.

The “letter” has to do with the exact wording of the text; and the “spirit” has to do with the way in which God has structured His Word, requiring the Holy Spirit to open up and reveal that which is spiritual (John 16:12-15). The “words of the Lord” are not only pure words (Ps. 12:6), but God has magnified His Word and His Name above all things (Ps. 138:2, ref. NIV); and the Old Testament Scriptures, particularly the writings of Moses, were structured in a highly typical manner — forming word pictures — which deal with all the various facets of the person and work of Christ (cf. Rom. 5:14; I Cor. 10:6, 11).

And any correct study of Christ from the Scriptures must begin with these word pictures which God has set forth in the Old Testament.

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Had Ye Believed Moses, Foreword

Back Cover

As the Church nears the end of the present dispensation, the damaging work produced by the leaven placed in the three measures of meal very early in the dispensation (Matthew 13:33) has resulted in the prophesied Laodicean state of the Church (Revelation 3:14-21).  This, in turn, has resulted in a generation of Christians who know not Moses (cf. Exodus 1:8).

The foundational material, the basics, for every biblical doctrine can be found in the writings of Moses, more specifically in the book of Genesis.  And when earlier revelation is not known or understood, an individual lacks the proper foundation to correctly understand later revelation.  Such an individual finds himself in a similar position to that seen among the Jewish people in Israel at Christ’s first coming.

Jesus speaking to the Jewish people at this time said,

For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.

But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (John 5:46-47).

Moses not only wrote about Christ, but the things that he wrote were about and perfectly in line with the things that Christ was proclaiming to the Jewish people.  Or, to turn that around, the things that Christ was proclaiming to the Jewish people were about and perfectly in line with that which Moses had previously written.

That seen in the writings of Moses and that seen in the New Testament (the Gospels, the book of Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation) deal with exactly the same thingThe foundational material is to be found in the writings of Moses, and the New Testament writers simply wrote about the same thing that Moses had previously written about, building upon previously revealed foundational material.

Thus, to properly understand either section of Scripture — Moses or the New Testament — one must be studied in the light of the other, comparing Scripture with Scripture.

Had Ye Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood 

Cremation
What does the Bible say about cremation? Is it wrong to cremate a person's body?"
By Got Questions

The Bible does not give any specific teaching about cremation. There are occurrences in the Old Testament of people being burned to death (1 Kings 16:18; 2 Kings 21:6) and of human bones being burned (2 Kings 23:16-20), but these are not examples of cremation. It is interesting to note that in 2 Kings 23:16-20, burning human bones on an altar desecrated the altar. At the same time, the Old Testament law nowhere commands that a deceased human body not be burned, nor does it attach any curse or judgment on someone who is cremated.

Cremation was practiced in biblical times, but it was not commonly practiced by the Israelites or by New Testament believers. In the cultures of Bible times, burial in a tomb, cave, or in the ground was the common way to dispose of a human body (Genesis 23:19; 35:4; 2 Chronicles 16:14; Matthew 27:60-66). While burial was the common practice, the Bible nowhere commands burial as the only allowed method of disposing of a body.

Is cremation something a Christian can consider? Again, there is no explicit scriptural command against cremation. Some believers object to the practice of cremation on the basis it does not recognize that one day God will resurrect our bodies and re-unite them with our soul/spirit (1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). However, the fact that a body has been cremated does not make it any more difficult for God to resurrect that body. The bodies of Christians who died a thousand years ago have, by now, completely turned into dust. This will in no way prevent God from being able to resurrect their bodies. He created them in the first place; He will have no difficulty re-creating them. Cremation does nothing but “expedite” the process of turning a body into dust. God is equally able to raise a person’s remains that have been cremated as He is the remains of a person who was not cremated. The question of burial or cremation is within the realm of Christian freedom. A person or a family considering this issue should pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and follow the conviction that results.

Got Questions - What does the Bible say about Cremation?

Moses and John
A Study About Parallels Between the Five Books of Moses and the Five Books of John
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

BOOK COVER

Scripture deals with man centrally in relation to regality, the earth, and 7,000 years of time. This was all set forth in the opening thirty-four verses of Scripture (Genesis 1:1-2:3), forming a foundation upon which the whole of subsequent Scripture rests.

Scripture deals sparingly with that which occurred prior to and/or following these 7,000 years. Events occurring during time in these two realms are dealt with in Scripture, but only to an extent that will allow man to tie the whole of the matter together (i.e., allow man to understand the reason for his existence, the reason for these 7,000 years, and that which will occur after these seven millenniums have run their course.)

Scripture also deals sparingly with fallen man relative to eternal salvation, though because of man’s fall in Genesis chapter three (Genesis 3), this is where matters must begin (as previously seen in Genesis 1:2-5). Scripture, in the main, deals with man after He has passed “from death to life,” i.e., after he has been eternally saved. And Scripture, dealing with man in this respect, as previously stated, deals with him relative to regality and the government of the earth — a position and domain that man was created in the beginning to occupy, one which he will one day occupy, during the seventh and last of the seven millenniums.

This is the message that one should hear from the pulpit of any church in the land Sunday after Sunday, though, because of the working of the leaven throughout the dispensation (Matthew 13:33; cf. Revelation 3:14-21), this is the message that one almost never hears in any church in any land on any Sunday.

This was Moses’ message throughout the five books beginning Scripture. And, some 1,500 years later, this was John’s message — written in a parallel fashion to that which Moses had previously written — in the five books that the Spirit moved him to write.

As well, this is at the center of the subject matter seen in that which any other writer of Scripture penned, though not in the same parallel fashion seen in Moses’ and John’s writings.

FOREWORD

Some form of the following statement is what one invariably hears in almost any so-called fundamental church of the land, or in books dealing with salvation written by men associated with these churches, or from like-minded Christian groups or organizations.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, put your faith, your trust in Him, allowing you to pass ‘from death to life’ — be saved — and one day spend eternity in Heaven with God and His Son rather than spending eternity in Hell with Satan and his angels.”

It all sounds very good to many Christians, and there are usually a lot of “amens” with these type of statements.  The problem is that these type of statements are partly right, partly wrong, and very misleading.

The preceding statement is correct with respect to there being only one way to be saved believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31) — and it is correct with respect to the eternal destiny of any and all who do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, though Scripture calls this place “the lake of fire,” not Hell (John 3:18; Acts 4:12; Revelation 20:11-15).

The statement is incorrect and very misleading with respect to where the saved are going to spend eternity.  The thought that saved man will spend eternity in heaven with God and with His Son is not only completely out of line with anything taught in Scripture but such a teaching serves to obscure and do away with that which Scripture actually does teach about saved man’s future destiny.  And this false ideology is so ingrained within man’s way of thinking that one often hears it from individuals who, in reality, know better.

Man’s creation in the beginning had to do with regality.  Man’s creation had to do with his ruling the earth in the stead of Satan and his angels (the incumbent powers and authorities), a rule to occur during that time foreshadowed by the seventh day (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:1-3).

Man’s fall had to do with Satan bringing about man's disqualification to occupy the throne, allowing the incumbent rulers to continue occupying the throne (Genesis 3:1ff).

And, by and through any sound method of biblical interpretation, God effecting man’s salvation could only have to do with man ultimately being brought back into a position where he could one day realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning, which has to do with ruling the earth during a seventh millennium in the stead of Satan and his angels (Genesis 3:21ff).

And by and through the manner in which God had previously established matters during 6,000 years of redemptive work (foreshadowed by the six days of restorative work involving a ruined creation in Genesis 1:2b-25, this rule for Christians will be as co-heirs with God’s Son.

(For a more complete picture of the matter, refer to the author’s book, God's Firstborn Sons by Arlen Chitwood.)

Then, beyond the 7,000 years (which had been foreshadowed in Genesis 1:1-2:3 by the complete picture of Creation, Ruin, and Restoration throughout six days, followed by Rest on the seventh day), one finds a new heavens and a new earth.  God, His Son, and redeemed man will dwell on this new earth; and God’s continued universal rule will emanate, not from heaven as we know it today, but from the new earth.  “The throne of God and of the Lamb” will rest on the new earth, and God with His Son will rule from this throne, with redeemed man exercising regality from this throne as well (Revelation 21; 22).

During the Millennium, man’s rule will have to do with the earth; but during the succeeding eternal ages, man’s rule will evidently have to do with the universe itself.

Thus one can easily see the problems involved by the erroneously promulgated thoughts so prevalent today that saved man is destined to spend eternity in heaven with God.  Such a teaching, not being even remotely biblical, could have a very damaging effect on one’s present Christian life as it is viewed in relation to the future.

The truth of the matter is set forth at the beginning of Scripture, in the five books of Moses; and this is equally what the five parallel books of John are about.  And, as well, this is what any other part of Scripture can only be about, for all subsequent Scripture must be completely in line with the way matters are set forth at the beginning, in line with that which is revealed by and through Moses.

Moses and John by Arlen Chitwood

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Moses and John

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A Modern Exodus
By Chuck Baldwin
December 19, 2013

God’s deliverance of the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage is the great recurring theme of the Old Testament. Time and again, God’s prophets would remind the Hebrews of this great deliverance. Moses, himself, recounted The Exodus with the children of Israel over and over again.

Hear Moses:

“I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.” (Lev. 26:13 KJV)

Make no mistake about it: it was a real deliverance. It was real bondage; real slavery; real tyranny; real whips; real chains; real beatings; and real death. And while there is certainly a spiritual correlation between the deliverance Christ extends to the soul and the deliverance of the children of Israel under Moses, let’s not forget that The Exodus recorded in the Old Testament book named after the event was a literal, physical, and, yes, political reality. Real men and women were taken out of real slavery and given real freedom. It was not merely spiritual freedom; it was physical and political freedom. Men and women didn’t just march out of Egypt in their hearts; they marched out of Egypt on their feet.

Is there any professing Christian today who would disparage what the children of Israel did when they walked out of Egypt? Who is the pastor or church leader who would dare question the legitimacy and rightness of what Moses did in bringing the Hebrews out of bondage?

For that matter, all of the Old Testament events that are lauded and extolled by New Testament writers as being “ensamples” for us, were literal events. There is certainly nothing wrong with making spiritual correlations to these events but not at the expense of denying or denigrating the literalness of the events. David used a real sling and killed a real giant and took a real sword and cut off his real head. Gideon, Barak, Jephthah, and Samson led real revolts against real oppressors. Queen Esther violated a real law and risked her real life to intercede for real people. After Esther’s real bravery, the Hebrews were given real swords and real spears and successfully defended themselves against real enemies really intent on killing them. The list is endless.

I say all of this, because it seems that the vast majority of pastors and Christians today do not equate the real-life stories of Biblical history with practical reality in modern life. Everything is spiritualized away. But Bible history is the story of one exodus after another, one separation after another.

Noah was separated from the antediluvian world; Abram was separated from his country and kin; Joseph was separated from his family and country; Israel and his children were separated from their homeland; Moses was separated from the throne he was set to inherit; David was separated from his place and position--and even his own throne; the Apostle Paul was separated from his profession, his home, and his friends; and none of us really knows the amount of separation that the rest of the apostles endured. From the Book of Genesis where God told Abram, “Get thee out of thy country,” to the Book of The Revelation where God declared, “Come out of her, my people,” the divine call of separation was not merely mystical; it was literal.

Until people of faith are willing to walk with their feet, nothing will happen. We can spiritualize all we want, but nothing will happen until we literally WALK.

Martin Luther walked up to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and used a real hammer and nails to post a real 95 Theses* on a real church door. Zwingli took a real sword into a real battle and died a real death in defense of real liberty. The pilgrims walked out of one European country after another until they climbed into real boats that sailed over a real ocean and landed in a new land in search of real freedom. Our patriot forebears wrote a real Declaration of Independence and fought a real revolutionary war in order to bequeath to their posterity real liberty. Dietrich Bonhoeffer separated from the German Church and formed a real protest movement known as the Confessing Church and collaborated with a real conspiracy to rid a real tyrant from his country. Again, the list is endless.

To, again, quote Bonhoeffer, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Yet, all over America, Christians refuse to walk away from those churches that are, through their silence, facilitating the enslavement of their very own children and grandchildren. Worse yet, they refuse to walk away from churches that actively promote the political policies that would enslave their posterity.

Many Christians have written me in an attempt to justify them remaining in churches that refuse to take a stand for liberty. For some, it is a matter of tradition. For the life of them, they cannot imagine themselves separated from their liturgies or denominations--as if somehow their acceptance before God depends on them. It doesn’t! For others, it is an unwillingness to separate from friends. To them, church is mostly a social institution. Still others are addicted to programs. They have been deluded into thinking that somehow religious programs equals spirituality. They don’t! Then there are those who think that the spiritual message somehow trumps everything else. As long as their pastor preaches “the Gospel,” nothing else matters. Of course, many of these same people have jumped from church to church over any number of issues: music, children’s programs, youth programs, building programs, the pastor didn’t visit them when they were sick, etc., etc., etc. Yet, when it becomes obvious that their pastor will not take a stand for liberty, they continue to support the pastor because “he is preaching the Gospel.”

And I have had sincere believers approach me saying that they are willing to overlook their pastor’s silence, because they believe the pastor is simply ignorant and just doesn’t understand the issues. I will admit that this is a valid point. All of us were enlightened at different rates of speed. None of our eyes were opened to these things overnight. But the real question is how open is your pastor to the truth? Is he open at all? Or, does he dismiss out-of-hand any attempt to make him aware of reality? The sad truth is the vast majority of pastors seem to be “willingly ignorant.” Not only are they not aware of what’s going on; they don’t want to be aware of what’s going on.

How long are you going to wait for your pastor to wake up? How many links must be added to the chains of oppression before you decide you might need to find a pastor and church that are engaged in the liberty fight? How long are you going to support your pastor’s indifference and ignorance? Let me be blunt: as long as your pastor is preaching to a packed church, as long as the offering plates are full, as long as his ministry is “successful,” you are going to be waiting for a long, long time for him to awaken. As far as he is concerned, God is blessing his efforts. The church is full; the offering plate is full; new buildings are planned; he is popular. You can give him all of Chuck Baldwin’s video sermons you want; you can urge him to listen to Alex Jones all you want; you can give him all of the DVDs and articles you want. He won’t read or watch them, and if he does, he won’t act on them. Why? He is content to be ignorant. Life is too good.

Folks, I know I have said this before, but I say it again: until Christians by the droves remove themselves from these establishment churches that refuse to join the liberty fight, there is little hope for freedom. Without the patriot-pastors in Colonial America, there would have been no Lexington Green, Concord Bridge, Bunker Hill, Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, or United States of America. It was the combined efforts of pastors such as Jonas Clark, John Witherspoon, Ebenezer Baldwin, and James Caldwell as much as it was the efforts of political figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, and Patrick Henry that brought the American colonies out of British bondage.

It is not the presence of political parasites that are destroying our country; it is the absence of patriot-pastors.

Moses and the children of Israel literally walked out of bondage. So must God’s people today. If your pastor and church are content to let you and your family live in bondage, walk out. If he is unwilling to engage the liberty fight, walk out. God’s command to Abram to “Get thee out of thy country” was no less painful than the Holy Spirit’s command to us to “Get thee out of thy church.” And one of the final appeals of Heaven to believers is, “Come out of her, my people.” The “her” here is the Babylonian world system, of course. But need I remind readers that the Babylonian world system is a system that enslaves people? It always has; it always will. So, why would a believer stay in a supposed church that refuses to resist the Babylonian world system that seeks to enslave them?

Why?

Besides, the true Gospel message always leads to action. Always! The Gospel requires action. Natural Law is little more than the practical application of the Gospel. The call to preach the Gospel is a call to action. For a pastor to say he is called to preach the Gospel then do nothing to teach and train his people how to apply the Gospel in Natural Law and practical life (including our political life) is to not understand (or to deny) the Gospel he is called to preach.

The Gospel is more than the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The Gospel is “the whole counsel of God.” We would have a very thin Bible if the only verses in it were those which specifically deal with Christ’s death and resurrection. If that’s all the Gospel God wanted us to know, why did He give us the rest of Holy Writ?  And why do we have the law of God “written in our hearts”?

The children of Israel walked out of a country that had put them in bondage; the spiritual children of Abraham today (all who believe on Christ) need to walk out of a church that would put them in bondage. The good news is the exodus has already begun.

*Got Questions - 95 Theses of Martin Luther follows next.

A Modern Exodus by Chuck Baldwin

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What are the 95 Theses of Martin Luther?
By Got Questions

The “95 Theses” were written in 1517 by a German priest and professor of theology named Martin Luther. His revolutionary ideas served as the catalyst for the eventual breaking away from the Catholic Church and were later instrumental in forming the movement known as the Protestant Reformation. Luther wrote his radical “95 Theses” to express his growing concern with the corruption within the Church. In essence, his Theses called for a full reform of the Catholic Church and challenged other scholars to debate with him on matters of church policy.

One of the major issues that concerned Luther pertained to the matter of church officials selling “indulgences” to the people as a means of releasing them from having to exact penitence for their misdeeds. Indulgences were also claimed by the Church to limit the amount of time the purchaser’s loved one would have to spend in Purgatory. “As soon as the penny jingles into the money-box, the soul flies out [of purgatory].” Luther felt that these church officials were teaching people that they could literally buy their way into the kingdom of God or buy God’s favor. His belief was that the papacy had deteriorated to the point that the people were being led to believe in man-made doctrines. The Pope had the power to limit or do away with penances imposed by the clergy, but he did not have the power to bring about the interior contrition that leads to salvation. Only God could do that. Indulgences are positively harmful, according to the Theses, since they induce a false assurance of peace, and cause the recipients to neglect true repentance.

Luther published his “95 Theses” fully realizing that he faced excommunication and even death for protesting the traditions and beliefs of the Catholic Church. To do so was considered heresy against God. Luther’s “95 Theses” became highly sought after by the populace and were soon translated into German for the common people to read. The printing press then enabled the wide distribution of the Theses, provoking in the people more disenchantment with the ways of the Catholic Church.

In 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther from the Catholic Church and declared him a heretic. Luther was so despised by the church that a death warrant was issued, giving anyone permission to kill him. However, Luther was given protection by Prince Frederick of Saxony, a staunch defender of Luther. Hidden in one of Frederick’s castles, Luther began producing a translation of the Bible into the German language. Ten years later it was finally completed.

It was in 1529, some 12 years after Luther had nailed his Theses to the church door, that the word “Protestant” became a popular term describing those who supported Luther’s protests against the Church. These opponents of the Church declared their allegiance to God and protested any loyalty or commitments to the emperor. Thereafter, the name “Protestant” was applied to all who argued that the Church be reformed. Luther died in 1546 with his revolutionary Theses forming the foundation for what is known today as the Protestant Reformation.

Got Questions - 95 Theses of Martin Luther

Also see A Modern Exodus by Chuck Baldwin above!

To this world you might just be another person,
but to one person you just might be the whole world.

Jesus in all the books of the Bible
By Jesus Plus Nothing

Scripture links:

Genesis:  Gen. 3:15, Luke 1:34-35, Gen. 12:3, 17:19, 28:14, Luke 3:23-34, Gen. 49:20, John 1:49, Gen. 14:18, Gen. 22, Gen.37

ExodusEx. 12, John 1:29, 36, Ex. 16, John 6, Ex. 17, 1 Cor. 10:4, Gen. 25-30

Leviticus:  Lev. 1-7, Lev. 16, 23, Lev. 16:7-9, Lev. 16

Numbers:  Num. 24:17, 21:8-9, Num. 20

Deuteronomy:  Deut.18:15-19, John 6:14, Deut. 32:43, Luke 2:13-14, Deut. 4:41

Joshua:  Josh. 5:13-15

Ruth:  Ruth 4:12-17, 2:1

1 & 2 Samuel:  1 Sam. 2:10, Matt. 28:18, 2 Sam. 23:2-3, 1 Cor. 10:4, 1 Sam. 22, 1 Sam. 18:1-4

1 & 2 Kings:  2 Kings 4:42, 2 Kings 5

1 & 2 Chronicles:  1 Chron. 5:2, Luke 3:23-32, 2 Chron. 9:22

Ezra:  Ezra 4

Psalms: Ps. 2:7, 12, Matt. 17:5, Ps. 16:8-10, Acts 13:30-37, Ps. 22:6-8, 14, Luke 23:21-23, Matt. 27:35, Ps. 69:4, Luke 23:13-22, Ps. 110:1, 5, 1 Pet. 3:21-22, Ps. 110:4, Heb. 6:17-20, Ps. 118:22, Matt. 21:42-43, Ps. 2, 8, 16, 22, 45, 69, 89, 109, 110, 118

Proverbs & Ecclesiastes: Prov. 8:22-23, John 17:5, Prov. 30:4, Matt. 3:16-17, Prov. 8:22-31

Isaiah:  Isa. 7:14, Luke 1:35-36, Matt. 1:21-23; Isa. 9:6, John 10:30, Isa. 11:1-2, Matt. 3:16-17, Isa. 35:5-6, Mark 10:51-52, Isa. 40:3, Luke I:17, Isa. 42:6, John 8:12, Isa. 49:7, John 10:20, Matt. 27:23, Isa. 50:6, Matt. 26:67; 27:26, Isa. 53:10, John 18:11, Mark 16:16

Jeremiah & Lamentations:  Jer. 23:6, John 13:13, Jer. 23:5, 1 Cor. 1:30

Ezekiel:  Eze. 34:23-24, Matt. 1:1

Daniel:  Dan. 7:13-14, Luke 1:31-34, Dan. 9:25, John 12:12-23, Dan. 9:26, Matt. 27:35, Dan. 2:34, 44, Dan. 3:25

Hosea:  Hos. 3:1-5

Joel:  Joel 2:32, Rom. 10:12-13, Joel 2:28-32

Amos:  Amos 8:9, Matt. 27:45-46

Jonah:  Jon. 1:17, Matt. 12:40

Micah:  Mic. 5:2, Matt. 2:1-2, Rev. 1-8

Habakkuk:  Hab. 3:3

Haggai:  Hag. 2:6-9, Luke 2:27-32

Zechariah:  Zech. 6:12-13, Heb. 8:1, Zech. 9:9, Matt. 21:6-9, Zech. 11:12-13, John 12:45, Zech. 12:10, John 19:34-37

Malachi:  Mal. 3:1, Mark 11:15-16, Matt. 4:5, Matt. 3:1-2

Matthew:  Matt. 1:1, Matt. 2:2, Matt. 2:15, Matt. 9:15

Mark:  Mark 1:24, Mark 10:45, Mark 15:32

Luke:  Luke 1:69, Luke 2:25

John:  John 1:14, 18, John 1:29,36, John 6:35, John 8:1, John 8:58, John 10:7,9, John 10:11, John 11:25, John 14:6, John 15:1

Acts:  Acts 3:15, Acts 10:42, Acts 7:52, Acts 28:20

Romans:  Rom. 9:33, Rom. 11:26, Rom. 14:9, Rom. 15:12

1 & 2 Corinthians:  1 Cor. 15:23, 1 Cor. 15:45

Galatians:  Gal. 1:3

Ephesians:  Eph. 1:22, Eph. 2:20

Philippians:  Phil 2:9

Colossians:  Col. 1:15, Col. 1:18. Col. 1:27

1 & 2  Thessalonians:  2 Thess. 3:16

1 & 2 Timothy:  1 Tim. 1:17, 1 Tim. 2:5

Titus:  Titus 2:13

Philemon:  Phil. 3

Hebrews:  Heb. 1:2, Heb. 2:17, Heb. 12:2

James:  James 2:1, James 5:9

1 & 2 Peter:  1 Peter 2:4, I Peter 5:4

1, 2 & 3 John:  1 John 1:2, 1 John 2:1

Jude:  Jude 1:25

Revelation:  Rev. 1:17, 22:13, Rev. 5:5, Rev. 19:13, Rev. 19:16, Rev. 22:16

Who Is The Bride of Christ?
By John Lanham

When asked this question, almost everyone answers “The Church,” or “The Body of Christ,” meaning of course, all saved people.  However, they never give Scripture to back this statement, nor is it possible for them to do so; for nowhere in the Bible is the Church called the Bride of Christ.  The Church is called His Body in Ephesians 1:22-23; but the Body and the Bride are not synonymous as has been and is supposed. 

If we observe the “rule of first mention,” a term referring to a biblical principle of interpretation with which many students of the Bible are familiar, and keeping in mind that the things written in the Old Testament contain numerous types (examples) for our learning (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11), we can readily perceive that the Bride is taken from (out of) the Body.  Two examples from the Old Testament (and there are others) illustrate this truth:

[1] The first bride, Eve, was not the body of Adam (a type of Christ [Romans 5:14]) but was only a small part of it, which was taken out of his body (Genesis 2:21-23); and

[2] In Genesis 24 we have the story of Abraham who sent his servant to take a bride for his son, Isaac.

Although many believe this account to be a type of God the Father sending the Holy Spirit into the world to call out the Church, a truth in itself, this is an erroneous type-antitype interpretation.  Whereas according to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15) the Holy Spirit ministers the Gospel to the entire world, the account of Abraham, his servant, and Isaac in Genesis 24 does not reflect this truth.  Abraham (a type of God) instructs his servant (a type of the Holy Spirit) not to go to the Canaanites (a type of the entire world) but to go only to his own people (a type of the family of God [the Church, the Body of Christ]) and take a bride for his son (a type of Christ).  When the message of eternal salvation for the lost (those dead in trespasses and sin) goes forth, it goes to all; but when God calls for service, surrender, fellowship, purity of life, love, devotion and many other terms that apply to the word “bride,” He calls not to the world but to His own people, His family.

Our Lord used the term “family” because of its meaning in our temporal life.  We are born the first time into a physical family.  When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (trusting Him who died in our place), we are “born again” into the family of God.  The word “body” is used in the same sense as the word “family.”  While there is a distinct relationship between all members of the family and the intended groom, there is a familiarity and an intimacy that is not shared by the rest of the family. With this in mind, we can see how the Lord calls those who are His to come up closer.  It is not to this world, but to His own that He says,

 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.   And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Many Christians will not heed this urgent plea.  Many who posses eternal salvation never experience intimacy with the Lord Jesus; and like Esau will forfeit future spiritual rewards for present carnal gratifications (Hebrews 12:16-17).

Paul informed the Corinthian Christians that they were “betrothed” to one husband (i.e., promised in marriage or “engaged,” as was Mary to Joseph before they came together in Matthew 1:18) with the further (future) possibility of being presented “as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2).  In this he reveals that all Christians are foundationally qualified (eternally saved) but not guaranteed to become the Bride of Christ.  This is made clear as Paul continues by expressing his fear that they may be “deceived” and become “corrupted” (2 Corinthians 11:3) toward this end.  And, unfortunately, this is the state of many Christians today.  In addition to this possibility, numerous other New Testament passages indicate the probability that most Christians will fail to achieve the spiritual maturity qualification necessary to be called-out to be the Bride of Christ.

This failure to qualify for inclusion into the Bride does not mean the loss of salvation.  In Revelation 16:15 we read, “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” This referral to garments does not refer to Christ’s righteousness with which He clothes individuals for salvation (Isaiah 61:10), but to garments of good works that may be maintained with a profitable result, or which may be lost to their shame and loss of rewards at His appearing (1 Cor. 3:12-15, 1 John 2:28, Titus 3:8, 2 John 1:8).  Revelation 19:7-8 reveals that the bride makes herself ready for the marriage and the marriage supper by providing herself a garment of “righteous acts” (good works).   In the days when this was written, a bride literally made her wedding garment, putting many hours of hard work into it.  All Christians do not work for Christ; therefore all will not be the Bride.  The absence of this garment will cause an unfaithful Christian to be taken away and cast into “outer darkness,” in the darkness outside the wedding feast where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13).   Outer darkness is not representative of the traditional concept of “hell,” for unprofitable servants will be assigned there.  It is the darkness outside the feast where the unfaithful will be, while those who have been faithful will be enjoying a communion and fellowship not shared by all.  This same lesson is found in Matthew 25:14-30 where the Lord is dealing with His own servants and the unprofitable servant is cast into the darkness outside.  This unprofitable servant would not be there if he did not belong to the Lord.  This has to do with that time after the rapture of the Church when Christians will give an account of the deeds done in the body whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).  No doubt unconcerned, unfaithful Christians will weep over their failures for it is only after the Millennial reign of Christ that God will wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 21:4).

Revelation 3:18 instructs Christians to buy white raiment that they may be clothed and that the shame of their nakedness not be revealed.  As is already seen, the white raiment represents righteous acts (good works) of God’s people.  The word buy is used to indicate to the child of God that it will cost him to be among those who make up the Bride of Christ. Yes, a separated and surrendered life is costly but the reward will be for those who dare to pay the price.  Isaiah 55:1 speaks of buying without money, a cost that does not refer to money; but the Christian who has purposed in his heart to live completely for the Lord Jesus Christ knows that it costs plenty.  It may cost one friends; for many do not walk the separated way.  It will cost in hours of studying Scripture, prayer, witnessing, and denying various pleasures of the flesh. 

The word “body” is used to show unity.  Today Christians are scattered throughout the world; yet there is only one Body.  One day (very soon) the Christ will come and take all His children out of this world to be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).  Then they will give an account of their lives and be rewarded accordingly (2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 10:30).  Christians work and serve the Lord in varying degrees and will be rewarded in this manner.  Some do not serve Him at all and these will suffer loss. Those who have not provided themselves a wedding garment will be spiritually naked and ashamed but not lost.  However, Titus 3:8 tells us that to maintain good works is profitable.  The profit or loss, as the case may be, will be manifested at the Judgment Seat of Christ where every Christian will give an account of the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad (1 Corinthians 3:15-18).

Salvation is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).  It is eternal and cannot be lost.  Reward, crowns, and inheritance in the kingdom are based upon faithfulness to Christ.  The reward is to be among those who make up the Bride of Christ.  This is a figurative term and simply refers to those who have been clean, pure, yielded to Him and who have lived in communion and fellowship with Him; in other words, those who have been to their Lord all that is implied in the word “bride.”

It was this to which Paul referred in Philippians 3:11-14.  He certainly had no fear of missing the resurrection but he desired to be among those called out from among those resurrected (the “out-resurrection”) to receive “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” which is a referral not to eternal salvation, a gift.

Again, the Church is one Body, made up of all believers in Christ.  It is to the Church that the epistles are written.  The church at Corinth, as well as all other churches, was composed of two classes of believers, the carnal and the spiritual (1 Corinthians 3).  And this dual condition will always exist in the Church.  Those Christians who remain carnal until the end will be saved “yet so as through fire,” but they should not entertain any thought of being part of the Bride of Christ.

Who then is the Bride?  Those who are providing themselves a wedding garment of good works [by allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them and produce those good works*]. 

*Added

This article primarily reflects the work of John Lanham, Pastor Emeritus, Calvary Bible Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It has been edited by Bible One by Charles Strong.

Bible One - Who is the Bride of Christ? 

One is not necessarily a Christian who is one outwardly,
but one is a Christian who is one inwardly!

The Story of the Three Trees
word4life.com/threetrees.html

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said, "I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!" The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. "I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world! The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.

Years, passed. The rain came, the sun shone and the little trees grew tall. One day three wood cutters climbed the mountain. The first wood cutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. "Now I shall make a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" the first tree said.

The second wood cutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It's perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last wood cutter looked her way. She stood straight, tall, and pointed bravely to heaven. However, the wood cutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the wood cutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, or treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. The second tree smiled when the wood cutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and awed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river, instead she was taken to a little lake. The third tree was confused when the wood cutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."

Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him." Her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful." She said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and a thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awoke. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten wood pile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hand to her. She felt ugly, harsh, and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

The next time you feel down because you didn't get what you wanted, sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.

"To this world you might just be another person, but to one person you just might be the whole world."

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Commentary on the Four Parts of the Great Image and the Four Great Beasts.

Daniel Chapters Two, Seven, and Nine
The Time of Jacob’s Trouble

By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Chapter Three, The End of Gentile World Power

The most widely held position among students of the Word concerning Daniel’s “great image” in Daniel 2 (or the “four great beasts” in Daniel 7) views the four parts of the image (or the “four great beasts”) as representing:

1) Babylon

2) Media-Persia

3) Greece

4) Rome

This would be the position set forth in the Scofield Reference Bible footnotes for example, a position followed by most commentators.

1) Daniel 2; 7

The only part of the prophecy really in question would be the fourth part of the “great image” (Daniel 2), or the fourth “great beast” (Daniel 7). Daniel identifies the first three beasts (and, correspondingly, the first three parts of the image) as particular Gentile nations forming world kingdoms whose governmental rule had been established in Babylon (the first by conquering the Assyrian Empire [the beginning of the Babylonian kingdom under Nebopolassar, then several years later under his son, Nebuchadnezzar], and the latter two by conquering Babylon itself), and this part of the prophecy has been fulfilled and is a matter of history.

But should the fourth part of the image (or the fourth beast) be identified as Rome? There are two main reasons why people interpret the prophecy after this fashion:

1) Rome was the next world power following Greece.

2) The words, “and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary,” in Daniel 9:26, are usually associated with a Roman destruction in history (by Titus in 70 A.D.) and a Roman prince in prophecy (the beast of Revelation 13, Antichrist).

In this respect, both the historical and prophetic aspects, as they are said to relate to Rome, are connected with the fourth part of the image (or the fourth beast).

Greece was the third kingdom (represented by the belly and thighs of brass on the image); and the fourth kingdom (represented by the legs of iron, and in its final form by the feet part of iron and part of clay) would, from history, seem to be Rome — the next world power following Greece — with the final form of the image looked upon as a revived Roman Empire. And this interpretation would appear to be substantiated by Daniel 9:26.

In this verse, as previously shown, “the prince that shall come,” would be Antichrist; and “the people of the prince [understood as ‘his people’],” who would one day destroy the city of Jerusalem, are looked upon as a reference to the Romans destroying Jerusalem in 70 A.D. under Titus. Thus, Antichrist is said to be a latter-day Roman prince who will rule a revived Roman Empire.

In this respect, all four parts of Daniel’s “great image” except the feet would have a historical fulfillment. The legs would represent the Roman Empire in history, and the feet would represent the revived Roman Empire during the Tribulation.

And the same would hold true for the corresponding description set forth by the “four great beasts” in Daniel 7. The first three beasts would have a historical fulfillment, and the fourth would have a fulfillment in both history and prophecy. The fourth beast would represent the Roman Empire in both history and prophecy, corresponding to the legs and feet of the image.

Is the preceding though the way Scripture sets forth the fourth and final part of this Babylonian kingdom? Or is this an attempt to interpret biblical prophecy through using events in secular history rather than interpreting prophecy by comparing Scripture with Scripture? The answer is easy to ascertain if one remains solely within that which Daniel (and related Scripture) reveals about the whole matter.

Note first of all that Daniel’s image is seen standing in Babylon (Dan. 2:31). This image has to do with a Babylonian kingdom from beginning to end. The “head of gold” has to do with the kingdom of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar and any immediate successors prior to the conquest of the kingdom by Gentile power(s) represented by the breast and arms of silver (Dan. 2:37-38). The “breast and arms of silver” have to do with the Medes and the Persians coming in and conquering the preceding kingdom (Dan. 2:39; 5:28, 31). And the “belly and thighs of brass” have to do with the Grecians coming in and conquering the kingdom ruled by the Medes and the Persians (Dan. 2:39; 8:6-7, 20-21; 10:20).

The mechanics of the preceding, of course, form the interpretation held in common by almost anyone reading Daniel. This is simply what the record in Daniel states, along with secular history.

But note something often overlooked about the preceding:

This kingdom is Babylonian throughout. The powers represented by the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, and the belly and thighs of brass all reigned from Babylon.

When the Medes and the Persians came in and took the kingdom in 538 B.C., they reigned from Babylon and were still there when Alexander the Great came over in 330 B.C., two hundred and eight years later. Then, when Alexander the Great took the kingdom, he also reigned from Babylon. In other words, the image is not seen lying down, with the head of gold in Babylon, the breast and arms of silver in Media and Persia, and the belly and thighs of brass in Greece. That’s not the picture at all. The image is seen standing in Babylon. It is Babylonian in its entirety.

(Note that “Babylon” in history was a city-state, which, from biblical prophecy, will evidently exist once again when the final form of Daniel’s image appears [i.e., Babylon existing as a city-state yet future as well]. In this respect, Babylon is used in Scripture referring to both the city and the state, which included [and evidently will include] a number of Middle Eastern cities or countries; cf. Jeremiah 51:29-32, 42-43].)

The fact that the image in Daniel chapter two (Daniel 2) is Babylonian in its entirety is one place where those who view a Roman Empire next in the prophecy go astray. Rome had nothing to do with a reign from Babylon in history. The capital of the Roman Empire was Rome, not Babylon. And Rome is not Babylon, regardless of the attempts by some individuals to see certain things moved from Babylon to Rome in time past, seeking to align and identify Rome with Babylon in this respect.

Those viewing Rome as representing the fourth part of the image try to press secular history into biblical prophecy at a point where it seems to possibly fit, but really doesn’t. Then they further complicate the matter by a misinterpretation of Daniel 9:26.

But the most interesting thing about the whole matter — the central thing that voids all thought of Rome having a part in the prophecy — is the fact that Daniel identifies all four parts of the image, and he identifies the fourth part as being other than the Roman Empire. Daniel, in his identity, has Antichrist coming into power following a four-way division of the kingdom after Alexander the Great’s death. The kingdom under Antichrist follows the Greco-Babylonian kingdom and is represented by the legs of iron, and in its final form by the feet part of iron and part of clay.

(No break in time is seen in the book of Daniel between powers represented by the third and fourth parts of the image, similar to no break in time subsequently being seen in the book between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy [Dan. 9:24-27]. However, it is evident from both biblical and secular history that a break in time exists at these respective points in both prophecies, though no break in time precedes these in either prophecy.

This break in time though between the third and fourth parts of the image doesn’t lead to, and end with Rome. Rather, it leads to, and ends with a kingdom in the Middle East, the kingdom of Antichrist. As with Daniel’s subsequent prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, events seen occurring within the prophecy itself cannot occur during the break in time not seen in the prophecy. Events seen in the prophecy must occur within time covered by the prophecy.

For example, the destruction of Jerusalem in Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks [Dan. 9:26] must occur within time covered by the prophecy itself, not outside of this time [as the destruction under Titus in 70 A.D. would be]. If this destruction didn’t occur during time covered by the first sixty-nine weeks [which it didn’t], then it must occur during time covered by the seventieth week. And events foreshadowed by the things stated about the great image and the great beasts [Daniel 2; 7] must be understood the same way.

In the preceding respect, it is just as impossible to fit Rome into the prophecy regarding the great image and the great beasts [Daniel 2; 7] as it is to fit Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem into the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks [Daniel 9].)

The first part of the image is identified in Daniel 2:37-38. Then, following this, the remaining three parts of the image are presented, though not identified at this point in the book. Then, note the prominence given to the fourth part — two verses cover the first part (Dan. 2:37-38), one verse covers the next two parts (Dan. 2:39), but six verses are devoted to the final part, along with its destruction (Dan. 2:40-45). And such prominence relative to the fourth part is true elsewhere in Daniel as well (see Daniel 7; 8; 11).

Why would such prominence be given to Rome and not to nations associated with the first three parts of the image? It’s not! Rather, it’s the kingdom of Babylon under its last king (Antichrist) that occupies the forefront in the book of Daniel.

The identities of the other three parts of the image, beginning with the breast and arms of silver, are given in the interpretation of the vision of the “four great beasts,” and this interpretation is provided in chapters seven and eight. The “four great beasts” are said to represent four kingdoms (four sequential kingdoms forming the one Babylonian kingdom [Dan. 7:17; cf. Dan. 7:23]), and beginning with the second beast, the last three are identified in chapter eight:

For the identity of the second, compare verses three and four [Dan. 8:3-4] with verse twenty [Dan. 8:20] (cf. Daniel 5:28, 31).

For the identity of the third, compare verses five through eight [Dan. 8:5-8] with verses twenty-one and twenty-two [Dan. 8:21-22]

For the identity of the fourth, compare verses nine through fourteen [Dan. 8:9-14] with verses twenty-three through twenty-six [Dan. 8:23-26].

Note that the identity of the second is Media and Persia (a dual kingdom, corresponding to the breast and arms of silver on the image), the identity of the third is Greece (corresponding to the belly and thighs of brass), and the identity of the fourth is the kingdom under Antichrist (corresponding to the legs of iron and the feet part of iron and part of clay).

Where is Rome? Rome is not in the prophecy!

Following Alexander the Great’s death, the kingdom was divided among his four generals (Dan. 8:8, 22), and the vision then goes immediately into the days of Antichrist yet future (the “little horn” in Dan. 8:9 is not Antiochus Epiphanes, but Antichrist [see parallel verses, Dan. 8:23-26]).

So, what happened? The kingdom under Alexander the Great’s four generals gradually faded from view. And though the prophecy in Daniel chapter eight covers this division of the kingdom following Alexander the Great’s death (Dan. 8:8b), it does not cover events during the reign of these four generals following this division. Rather, following this division of the kingdom, Daniel’s prophecy in chapter eight goes immediately into the power represented by the fourth part of the image (or the power represented by the fourth beast), i.e., into the days of Antichrist (Dan. 8:9ff).

(The same prophetic scene is repeated in Daniel 11:3-4a, 21ff, providing additional details. And whether the verses lying between the division of Alexander the Great’s kingdom in this section [Dan. 11:4a] and the appearance of Antichrist [Dan. 11:21] — i.e., Dan. 11:4-20 [4b] — are looked upon as depicting events during the years following Alexander the Great’s death or depicting events during the several years immediately preceding Antichrist’s rise to power is immaterial insofar as the matter at hand is concerned. Exactly the same thing is seen in chapter eleven as was previously seen in chapter eight. The kingdom seen following the four-way division of Alexander the Great’s kingdom is the same in both chapters — Antichrist’s kingdom, not a Roman kingdom [cf. Dan. 8:8-9, 21-23; 11:4, 21].

The preceding has been worded in the manner seen in order to show, regarding the matter under discussion, that it wouldn’t really make a difference which interpretation of Daniel 11:4-20 [4b] was followed. But to clarify matters regarding the proper interpretation of these verses, Daniel 11:4-20 [4b] has to do with events yet to occur in the future, not with events that have already occurred in the past. These verses provide commentary on previous verses in Daniel having to do with Antichrist’s rise to power during the first half of the Tribulation — subduing, conquering, three kings [Dan. 7:7-8, 24; 8:8-10; 11:4], then three others [Dan. 11:5-20], with Antichrist arising as the seventh [Dan. 11:21ff], exactly as seen in Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17:8-11.

The first three kings conquered in Daniel chapter eleven [Dan. 11:4] have to do with Alexander the Great’s kingdom following his death [the kingdom was divided among his four generals]. The beast, Antichrist [the “little horn” of Daniel 8:9], coming out of the northern division of this kingdom, is seen subduing “three kings” [cf. Daniel 7:7-8, 24; 8:9-10]. That is, from the standpoint of the way that the matter is set forth in Daniel, he will be seen controlling this northern division of the kingdom and conquer the three kings controlling the other three parts of the kingdom [a kingdom still seen in Scripture as possessing life, still seen as existing, in Danthe end times (cf. Daniel 2:35; 7:12)]. And, conquering these three other kings will give the “little horn,” Antichrist, control of the entire kingdom — something necessary if he is to control the governmental power depicted by the complete image.

Thus, Antichrist’s kingdom [a yet future kingdom, existing during the Tribulation] will emanate out of Alexander the Great’s kingdom [depicted by the third part of the “great image” (Daniel 2) or the third “great beast” (Daniel 7)], not out of that which is depicted by the fourth part of the “great image” or the fourth “great beast.” Knowledge of this fact alone, clearly stated in Daniel, will show that Rome can have no part in the entire matter.

Through the progression of events seen in the book of Daniel, necessitating that they be the same in the book of Revelation, the kingdom of the beast becomes the fourth kingdom, a kingdom that will not exist in any visible form before this man appears on the scene. And this kingdom, of necessity, will be a Middle Eastern kingdom (cf. Psalms 83; Daniel 11), not a Roman kingdom as is so often taught.

For additional information on the preceding, refer to Chapter 25, “The Time of the End by Arlen Chitwood,” in the author’s book, or Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of the End, Ch. 25 or The Beast — In Revelation in this site.)

About two hundred and eighty years following Alexander the Great’s death (about 40 B.C.), Rome appeared on the scene as the succeeding world power, but not as a world power fulfilling any part of Daniel’s prophecy surrounding the kingdom of Babylon. This prophecy will not again continue to be fulfilled until Antichrist appears during Daniel’s Seventieth Week. Then, and only then, will the fourth part of the image from Daniel chapter two and the fourth beast in Daniel 7 come into existence.

2) Daniel 9

Now, what about “the people of the prince who is to come” in Daniel 9:26? Does that not refer to a destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and to the Romans being Antichrist’s people in history?

Not at all!

First note the expression, “the people of the prince who is to come,” and compare this with a similar expression in Daniel 7:27 (KJV) — “the people of the saints of the most High [lit. ‘the high places’ (also plural in the Hebrew text in Dan. 7:18, 22, 25b)],” who will one day take the kingdom (Dan. 7:18).

Note in verse eighteen (Dan. 7:18) that the ones who will one day take the kingdom are said to be “the saints of the most High [‘the high places’],”and in verse twenty-seven (Dan. 7:27) they are said to be “the people of the saints of the most High [‘the high places’].” The expression, “the people of the saints of the most High [‘the high places’]” in verse twenty-seven (Dan. 7:27)  is, contextually, a reference to the saints themselves from verse eighteen (Dan. 7:18).

And this same type of expression in Daniel 9:26 should be understood in the same way that interpretation has already been established in the previous chapter of the book. The expression, “the people of the prince” in Daniel 9:26, contextually, has to be understood as a reference to the prince himself (and possibly also including those ruling with him). Failure to recognize the book’s own built in interpretation for Daniel 9:26 has resulted in confusion.

The destruction of Jerusalem in Daniel 9:26 (a destruction occurring outside the scope of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy), as previously seen, is not a reference to the destruction that occurred in 70 A.D. but rather a reference to a future destruction under Antichrist in the middle of the Tribulation. This is the same destruction referred to in Luke 21:20-24 (cf. Revelation 11:2). Also note that Matthew 24:15ff and Luke 21:20ff parallel one another, depicting events in and around Jerusalem beginning in the middle of the Tribulation. Matthew’s gospel centers on one aspect of the matter (the rebuilt Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem), and Luke’s gospel centers on another aspect of the matter (the city of Jerusalem itself).

The destruction in Daniel 9:26 must occur within the framework of time covered by the Seventy Weeks. This destruction has to do with events occurring in connection with Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy-Weeks and can only occur during time covered by this prophecy, and contextually it occurs in connection with Antichrist breaking his covenant with Israel in Daniel 9:27 (cf. Daniel 11:22-32; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 6:3-4).

And where this man’s actions will then lead is outlined in detail in both the books of Daniel and Revelation, along with a number of other books and numerous sections of Scripture. This is the man whom God, in the final analysis, will use to bring His plans and purposes surrounding Israel to pass. Despite this man’s goals, aims, ambitions, and aspirations — as he exercises power and great authority from Satan’s throne itself (Revelation 13:2) — God, in His sovereign control of all things, will use this man to bring both Israel to the place of repentance and Gentile world power to the place of destruction.

This will be followed by God’s judgment falling upon this man, on the basis of the unchangeable principles set forth in Genesis 12:3.

Then, God’s firstborn Sons — Christ, Israel, and the Church (following the adoption) — will occupy their proper places on and over the earth during the ensuing Messianic Era.

The Time of Jacob's Trouble by Arlen Chitwood

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Time of Jacob's Trouble, Ch. 3

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

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).  ~~Arlen Chitwood

The following does not match the excellence of Carol Miller's presentation on this subject to her and The Trickster Mark's Bible Class on January 5, 2014.  See Thank You! Letter to Mark and Carol Miller re Trickster nickname.

Jesus, the True Vine
John 15:1-11
From e-Sword's Believers Bible Commentary

John 15:2  "Every G3956 branch G2814 in Me that does not bear G5342 fruit G2590, He takes G142 away G142; and every G3956 branch that bears G5342 fruit G2590, He prunes G2508 it so G2443 that it may bear G5342 more G4183 fruit G2590.

G142 αἴρω airō ah'ee-ro
A primary verb; to lift; by implication to take up or away; figuratively to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind); specifically to sail away (that is, weigh anchor); by Hebraism (compare [H5375]) to expiate sin: - away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up).

John 15:1   In the OT, the nation of Israel was depicted as a vine planted by Jehovah. But the nation proved unfaithful and unfruitful, so the Lord Jesus now presented Himself as the true vine, the perfect fulfillment of all the other types and shadows. God the Father is the vinedresser.

John 15:2   Opinions differ as to what is meant by the branch in Him that does not bear fruit. Some think that this is a false professor. He pretends to be a Christian but has never really been united to Christ by faith. Others think it is a true Christian who loses his salvation because of his failure to bear fruit. This is clearly impossible because it contradicts so many other passages which teach that the believer has an eternal salvation. Others think that it is a true Christian who becomes a backslider. He gets away from the Lord and becomes interested in the things of this world. He fails to manifest the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

Exactly what the Lord does to the unfruitful branch depends on how the Greek verb airo is translated. It can mean “takes away” as in the King James tradition (also translated that way in John 1:29). Then it would refer to the discipline of physical death (1Cor. 11:30). However, the same word may mean “lifts up” (as in John 8:59). Then it would be the positive ministry of encouraging the fruitless branch by making it easier to get light and air, and hopefully, to bear fruit.

The branch that bears fruit is the Christian who is growing more like the Lord Jesus. Even such vines need to be pruned or cleansed. Just as a real vine must be cleaned from insects, mildew, and fungus, so a Christian must be cleansed from worldly things that cling to him.

John 15:3   The cleansing agent is the word of the Lord. The disciples had originally been cleansed by the word at the time of their conversion. Just as the Savior had been talking to them, His Word had had a purifying effect on their lives. Thus, this verse may refer to justification and/or sanctification.

John 15:4   To abide means to stay where you are. The Christian has been placed in Christ; that is his position. In daily walk, he should stay in intimate fellowship with the Lord. A branch abides in a vine by drawing all its life and nourishment from the vine. So we abide in Christ by spending time in prayer, reading and obeying His Word, fellowshipping with His people, and being continually conscious of our union with Him. As we thus maintain constant contact with Him, we are conscious of His abiding in us and supplying us with spiritual strength and resources. The branch can only bear fruit as it abides in the vine. The only way believers can bear the fruit of a Christ-like character is by living in touch with Christ moment by moment.

John 15:5   Christ Himself is the vine; believers are vine branches. It is not a question of the branch living its life for the Vine, but simply of letting the life of the Vine flow out through the branches. Sometimes we pray, “Lord, help me to live my life for You.” It would be better to pray, “Lord Jesus, live out Your life through me.” Without Christ, we can do nothing. A vine branch has one great purpose—to bear fruit. It is useless for making furniture or for building homes. It does not even make good firewood. But it is good for fruit bearing—as long as it abides in the vine.

John 15:6   Verse 6 has caused much difference of opinion. Some believe that the person described is a believer who falls into sin and is subsequently lost. Such an interpretation is in direct contradiction to the many verses of Scripture which teach that no true child of God will ever perish. Others believe that this person is a professor—one who pretends to be a Christian but who was never born again. Judas is often used as an illustration.

We believe that this person is a true believer because it is with true Christians that this section is concerned. The subject is not salvation but abiding and fruitbearing. But through carelessness and prayerlessness this believer gets out of touch with the Lord. As a result, he commits some sin, and his testimony is ruined. Through failure to abide in Christ, he is thrown out as a branch—not by Christ, but by other people. The branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. It is not God who does it, but people. What does this mean? It means that people scoff at this backslidden Christian. They drag his name in the mud. They throw his testimony as a Christian into the fire. This is well illustrated in the life of David. He was a true believer, but he became careless toward the Lord and committed the sins of adultery and murder. He caused the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. Even today, atheists ridicule the name of David (and of David's God). They cast him, as it were, into the fire.

[Note:  My belief is the person described above (John 15:6) is carnal, having not entered the standing grace gate, and therefore, at the judgment seat, his works will be burned up by fire and he will be cast into the outer darkness to remain there during the millennium, the 1,000 years before entering eternity.]

John 15:7:   Abiding is the secret of a successful prayer life. The closer we get to the Lord, the more we will learn to think His thoughts after Him. The more we get to know Him through His Word, the more we will understand His will. The more our will agrees with His, the more we can be sure of having our prayers answered.

John 15:8:   As the children of God exhibit the likeness of Christ to the world, the Father is glorified. People are forced to confess that He must be a great God when He can transform such wicked sinners into such godly saints. Notice the progression in this chapter: fruit (John 15:27), more fruit (John 15:2), much fruit (John 15:8).

“So you will be My disciples.” This means that we prove to be His disciples when we abide in Him. Others can then see that we are true disciples, that we resemble our Lord.

John 15:9   The love which the Savior has for us is the same as the love of the Father for the Son. Our hearts are made to bow in worship when we read such words. It is the same in quality and degree. It is “a vast, wide, deep, unmeasurable love, that passeth knowledge, and can never be fully comprehended by man.” It is “a deep where all our thoughts are drowned.” “Abide in My love,” said our Lord. This means we should continue to realize His love and to enjoy it in our lives.

John 15:10   The first part of verse 10 tells us how we can abide in His love; it is by keeping His commandments. “There is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” The second half of the verse sets before us our Perfect Example. The Lord Jesus kept His Father's commandments. Everything He did was in obedience to the will of God. He remained in the constant enjoyment of the Father's love. Nothing ever came in to mar that sweet sense of loving fellowship.

John 15:11   Jesus found His own deep joy in communion with God His Father. He wanted His disciples to have that joy that comes from dependence upon Him. He wanted His joy to be theirs. Man's idea of joy is to be as happy as he can by leaving God out of his life. The Lord taught that real joy comes by taking God into one's life as much as possible. “That your joy may be full,” or “fulfilled.” Their joy would be fulfilled in abiding in Christ and in keeping His commandments. Many have used John 15:1ff to teach doubts concerning the security of the believer. They have used the earlier verses to show that a sheep of Christ might eventually perish. But the Lord's purpose was not “that your doubts may be full,” but that your joy may be full.

Some links in this site that may add to the subject:

Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling!

Saved once, Saved always?

Doorway to Inheritance of the Great Salvation 

God's Path to Glory Plan DIAGRAM

The following Word Document is SAFE to open:

The Crown Jewel of Christian Doctrine
The Doctrine of Salvation -- Redemption Plan of God for Man
By Charles Strong of Bible One

The Focus

I believe it is fair to say that when one views Christianity as a whole, he may equitably conclude that it is an assortment of doctrinal policies and methodologies, with several that contradict one another, and some with no apparent basis in Scripture, but which are only anchored in and by the traditions to which they belong.

This study is not to address all the variances publicized by the numerous doctrinal assertions, but its purpose is to highlight and clarify the doctrine of salvation, which is central to all of Scripture and which indeed frames the purpose and goal for man’s creation and existence.  This biblical teaching, herein called The Redemption Plan of God for Man, is the crown jewel of all Christian dogma; and, a correct understanding of it will insure sound footing for all else that is revealed by God within His written Word.

There is no doctrine more central to the proliferation of Christian tenets than the “salvation of man.”  For without this most basic creed, nothing else matters.  This of course is contingent upon the belief that man has lost his way or “fallen” in the first place, an article of faith that is assumed by most, if not all, Christian religions, the result of man’s action revealed in the book of Genesis chapter three (Genesis 3).

The Challenge

But the task one must face when addressing this matter is not unlike the difficulty one faces when addressing other doctrinal issues, i.e., understanding and dealing with definitive confines placed on them by their denominational creeds.  The doctrine of salvation is normally placed into two theoretical camps, i.e.,

(1) Arminianism — the teachings of Jacobus Arminius, a Dutch theologian of the 1500’s, who stressed that “free will” ruled the concept of salvation, or

(2) Calvinism — the teachings of John Calvin, a Swiss Protestant reformer of the 1500’s, who stressed the sovereignty of God and His fixed selection of those who are to be saved.

Although both camps (positions/views) accept the depravity (fallen nature) of man, Arminians essentially maintain that the offer of salvation is extended to all men, may be faith-accepted or rejected by man, but may be subsequently lost should a life of “good works” fail to follow one’s faith-acceptance of the offer (salvation is therefore ultimately obtained, not by faith alone, but by “faith plus works”); whereas, Calvinist fundamentally believe that God has selected a limited number for salvation, that God will insure the faith-acceptance of salvation by those selected, but should a life of “good works” fail to follow the decision of faith, this would only prove that the initial decision of faith in Christ wasn’t genuine in the first place.

The establishment of various Christian denominations derived from these two basic positions (i.e., salvation by faith alone vs. salvation by faith plus works) is not surprising given the fact that each view utilizes several key passages of Scripture, from which emerge firmly contradictory interpretations.  But if one will study these passages of Scripture, utilizing correct contextual principles and comparing Scripture with Scripture under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), he will discover that there is no contradiction whatsoever; and, will come to the realization that God’s plan of redemption for man is not only the thread that ties all Scripture together but also reflects the purpose and goal of man’s creation and existence.

“Conflicting” Passages of Scripture

The following are a few of the passages that represent the conflict existing between the two camps previously mentioned, i.e., (1) Arminianism and (2) Calvinism.

Arminianism

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved [sozo - verb tense refers to a present, continuous action] 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, (2) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:2)

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? . . . (17) Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. . . . (24) You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:14, 17, 24)

Calvinism

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God . . .  (5) But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness (Romans 4:2, 5)

For by grace you have been saved [este sozo, a “periphrastic perfect” indicating action completed in past time, with the results of this action extending into present time and existing in a finished state ] through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.  (2 Timothy 1:9)

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18)

The conflict, as seen in the scriptural passages and arguments above, are resolved once a Christian understands the composition of man and how the redemption plan of God affects each part of man.

The Composition of Man

The topic of salvation addressed in Scripture, contrary to the narrow view propagated by most Christian organizations, encompasses the totality of man, i.e., each of man’s components with each employing its own separate process and goal.  This being the case, it is fundamental that one understand the tripartite composition of man, which is expressed by the following passages of Scripture.

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 [body], and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

It should be emphasized that the Author (Holy Spirit) of Scripture selected very specific words within the original language (Koine Greek) employed in the New Testament (pneuma [spirit], psuche [soul], soma [body]) to describe man’s composition. 

And aside from the convoluted attempts by various “theologians” to reduce the composition of man from a trichotomy (three components) to a dichotomy (two components, e.g., physical and spiritual), one should clearly understand that the Author of Scripture never confuses these selected words anywhere in Scripture, but in fact specifically selected them for a designed purpose.

The tripartite nature of man in fact only confirms the Genesis account of man’s creation.  Man was created in the “image” of God, according to His “likeness,” in accord with the Tripartite Nature of God.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . .” (27a) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him . . . . (Genesis 1:26-27a [26a])

Not only does the name (elohiym) utilized by the Author of Scripture in the initial chapters of the book of Genesis indicate a “plurality,” but this plurality — Trinity of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) — is also unmistakably evident by numerous passages within the New Testament, which may be further studied by activating the link: Bible One - Charles Strong's The Trinity.

Therefore, to understand God’s redemption plan for man, one must understand how it affects each component of the tripartite nature of man. 

By doing this, one may then realize that there are no contradictory passages of Scripture regarding the total concept of man’s salvation; and, that this multifaceted dogma is indeed the crown jewel of Christian doctrine.

The Redemption Plan of God for Man
Salvation — Past, Present, Future [1]

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit [lit. “for the sake of the ones about to inherit”] salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)

“Salvation” in the Word of God is spoken of in three tenses — past, present, and future:

 1)  Christians have been saved.
 2)  Christians are being saved.
 3)  Christians are about to be saved.

The previously quoted verses provide examples of how Scripture deals with each of these three tenses or aspects of salvation.

In Ephesians 2:8-9, salvation is a past, completed act.

In 1 Corinthians 1:18, salvation is a present, continuous work.

In Hebrews 1:14, salvation is a future, inherited possession.

Since the Word of God presents salvation in a framework of this nature, it is vitally important in Scriptural interpretation to first ascertain to which of these three aspects of salvation any given passage pertains.

In the past aspect of salvation, dealt with in Ephesians 2:8, the words in the corrected text, “you have been saved,” are a translation of two Greek words that form what is called in the Greek text a “periphrastic [per-uh-FRAS-tik] perfect.”  The “perfect” tense refers to action completed in past time, with the results of this action extending into present time and exist