For the best user experience, the CHROME browser is recommended.
Also Chrome offers a free app., Read Aloud: A Text to Speech Voice Reader
which converts text to voice.
See CONTENTS  for a complete list of everything in this website.

God's Word Four

A website for those who wish to digest the "strong [solid] meat,"
not just "the milk or meat," of the Word of God.

TOPIC INDEX LINKS:

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

A study about the work of the Spirit during the present dispensation.
Search for the Bride BOOK
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast
FOREWORD

The Spirit of God is in the world today performing a work related to a new dispensation.  Israel has been set aside, and an entirely new entity, a new nation — the one new man “in Christ” — has been brought into existence (cf. Ephesians 2:12-15; 1 Peter 2:9-10).

Why has God sent His Spirit to deal with new household servants (this new nation, this new man)?  One thing is crystal clear about the matter.  God has not sent His Spirit into the world to deal with unsaved man relative to eternal salvation, for two very evident reasons:  First, the Spirit was sent to the saved, to do a particular, revealed work (cf. John 16:7-15; Acts 1:5; 2:1); and second, the Spirit was already present in the world doing a work among the unsaved, a work that He has been performing since Adam’s fall.

Fallen man, because of Adam’s sin, is spiritually dead;  and the Spirit has been in the world throughout Man’s Day breathing life into the one having no life.  And He has done/does this on the basis of death and shed blood, allowing man to pass “from death to life” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1).

The foundational basic teachings for the Spirit’s work in this respect are set forth in the first four chapters of Genesis.  And these foundational basics, set forth at the very beginning, can never change at any point throughout Scripture.  Man’s eternal salvation, necessitated by Adam’s fall, remains exactly the same throughout Man’s Day.  And this necessitates the Spirit performing a work relative to man’s restoration, beginning with man’s fall, and continuing today.

Yet, God sent His Spirit into the world on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., though the Spirit was already in the world performing a work having to do with unsaved man.  Thus, since the Spirit was already in the world dealing with man relative to his spiritually dead state, it is quite evident that God sending His Spirit into the world on the day of Pentecost could have nothing to do with man’s eternal salvation.  The Spirit was already here doing a work in this respect, effecting the birth from above; and nothing could be added to or taken from this continuing work of the Spirit through a work of the Spirit that began on the day of Pentecost.

Rather, God sending His Spirit on this day had to do with a special and particular work among those in whom He had already breathed life (on the basis of Christ’s death and shed blood).  It had to do with a work subsequent to man passing “from death to life.”  And, consequently, everything relating to this special and particular work (e.g., the immersion in the Spirit, the new creation “in Christ,” the one new man, the sealing of the Spirit, the earnest of the inheritance, etc.) can have nothing to do with salvation by grace.

And that should be simple enough to understand, for salvation by grace could only remain unchanged at the time when these things having to do with a work of the Spirit peculiar to the dispensation were brought into existence.  That is to say, the Spirit, at the time of and following events on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., simply continued His work relative to salvation by grace (unchanged); but the Spirit began a new work on this day, peculiar to the dispensation (for those in whom He had already breathed life).

Why is the Spirit performing a work of this nature, a work peculiar to the present dispensation?  Where is the line to be drawn between His work relative to salvation by grace (which continues unchanged throughout Man’s Day) and His work peculiar to the present dispensation (which began on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. and will end when the work has been completed)?

That’s what this book, SEARCH FOR THE BRIDE, is about.  God has brought into existence an entirely new dispensation; and, in connection with this new dispensation, God has brought into existence the one new man “in Christ.”  And God has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to do a particular, revealed work among those comprising this new man.

This book covers all aspects of the matter, drawing from both the Old and New Testaments.  And this book deals with that which Scripture alone, not man, has to say about the matter.
Chapter One
Time of the Search

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.

So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please, put your hand under my thigh,

and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell;

but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac." (Genesis 24:1-4).

There are five chapters in the book of Genesis which form an overall type, comprised of a number of individual types — Genesis 21-25.  These five chapters, in the antitype, present a chronological, dispensational sequence of events carrying one from the birth of Christ to the Messianic Kingdom.  Events in these chapters point to a period covering slightly over 2,000 years within man’s 6,000-year day.  This period begins very near the end of the Jewish dispensation, covers all of the Christian dispensation, and leads into the Messianic Era.

And this is exactly the same period of time covered by revelation in the New Testament.  The New Testament begins with events surrounding the birth of Christ (near the end of the Jewish dispensation) and concludes with events surrounding the Messianic Kingdom (cf. Matthew 1:18-25; Revelation 20:1-6; 22:7-21).

Thus, in this respect, these five chapters in Genesis form a foundational, dispensational, skeletal framework upon which the whole of New Testament revelation can be seen to rest.  And the New Testament, in turn, dealing with exactly the same subject matter in an expanded manner, forms a commentary on that set forth in these five chapters.  The New Testament forms the sinews and flesh that attach themselves to and clothe this skeletal framework (cf. Ezekiel 37:1-10).

This same type relationship between two sections of Scripture is something common to the book of Genesis.  Note that the book opens in this manner, with the whole of Scripture brought into view.  Genesis 1:1-2:3 (Creation, Ruin, Restoration, and Rest) forms the foundational framework upon which all subsequent Scripture rests.  All Scripture beyond Genesis 2:3 simply forms a commentary on that set forth in the foundational framework.  The skeletal framework is set forth at the beginning, and the remainder of Scripture forms the sinews and flesh that attach themselves to and clothe this skeletal framework.

And with Scripture structured after the preceding fashion, one thing should be very evident.  Commentary presupposes a knowledge of that with which the commentary deals.  Sinews and flesh presuppose bones upon which they are to be attached and which are to hold them in place.

All Scripture subsequent to the foundational material set forth at the beginning has been written in a manner that presupposes a familiarity with this foundational material.  This subsequent Scripture has been given in a manner that presupposes that it is going to be read and studied in conjunction with a previously laid foundation.  And when this isn’t done, one finds himself dealing with commentary upon a subject apart from a basic knowledge of that subject.  Or, one finds himself attempting to deal with sinews and flesh apart from a skeletal framework to which they are to be attached and which is to hold them in place.

Thus, the importance of understanding foundational sections of Scripture that God has set forth in His Word cannot be overemphasized.  The structure of Scripture following the foundational passages, relating back to these passages, presupposes an understanding of these passages.  And, apart from an understanding of these foundational passages, subsequent Scripture relating back to these passages cannot possibly be properly understood.

Genesis 21-25

In the Genesis account, “Abraham” is a type of God the Father and “Isaac” a type of God the Son.  This becomes unquestionably clear in Genesis 22 where Abraham offers his son upon one of the mountains in the land of Moriah, pointing to God offering His Son upon one of the mountains in the land of Moriah 2,000 years later.

God was very specific in His instructions to Abraham concerning the place where Isaac was to be offered — “on one of the mountains [in ‘the land of Moriah’] of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2).  And the reason is obvious.  Events surrounding Abraham offering his son form an unchangeable type of events surrounding the Father one day offering His Son.

God’s Son was apparently offered upon this same mount — in “the mount of the Lord” — that Abraham called, “Jehovah-jireh [‘the Lord will provide’]” (Genesis 22:14).  God provided a substitute in this place two different times.  He provided a substitute in this place during Abraham’s day, and He provided a Substitute in this same place 2,000 years later.

With “Abraham” typifying God the Father, it would only follow that “Sarah,” his wife, would typify Israel, the wife of Jehovah.  And this fits perfectly within the typical structure of these chapters in Genesis and that seen in the New Testament commentary.

Sarah was barren; and because she was barren, Abraham and Sarah sought to bring God’s promise concerning a seed to pass through Hagar and their own efforts.  But God always rejects man’s efforts.  Man’s best efforts, in God’s eyes, are no different than his worst efforts.  All emanate from the same source — the man of flesh, which God has rejected (Genesis 16:1-4; 17:18-19; cf. Isaiah 64:6).

God alone does His work in His time.  After Sarah was physically incapable of childbirth, because of her age, God performed a supernatural work in her life, resulting in Isaac’s birth (Genesis 17:17-19; 21:1ff).

Israel later appeared in the same barren condition (Matthew 21:18-19).  And God did something quite similar on the other end of the spectrum in the antitype.  He took a Jewish maiden — a woman who had not known a man and would, thus, through natural means, be incapable of childbirth — and performed a supernatural work in her life, resulting in the birth of the One Whom Isaac typified.  Though Israel was barren (as Sarah had been barren), the nation, through a supernatural work, brought forth (as Sarah had brought forth through the same supernatural means [Matthew 1:18-25]).

Thus, in Genesis 21, the supernatural birth of Isaac typifies the supernatural birth of Christ.  In Genesis 22, the offering of Isaac typifies the offering of Christ.  Then, the next event in the dispensation scheme of matters as presented in these chapters is seen through the death of Sarah in Genesis 23.

Sarah, the wife of Abraham, died following the offering of Isaac.  And this is exactly what is seen in the antitype.  Israel, the wife of Jehovah, died following the offering of Christ.  Israel was set aside for a dispensation and is looked upon during this time as being in the place of death.

This can be seen, for example, in a corresponding type (Jonah dying in the belly of the fish [Jonah 1; 2]) or in the seventh sign in John’s gospel (Lazarus’ death [John 11]).  But in both the type and the sign, Jonah and Lazarus were raised from the dead, as Israel will one day be raised out of the place of death.  And Jonah and Lazarus were both raised on the same day — the third day (Jonah 1:17-2:10 [cf. Matthew 12:39-40; 16:21]; John 11:6-7, 43-44) — pointing to Israel being raised on the third day as well.

The third day is seen in Genesis 22:4.  Events on the mount occurred on the third day, which would involve Abraham receiving his son “in a figurative sense [Gk. parabole, ‘parable’]” (Hebrews 11:19).

The offering of Abraham’s son is looked upon in two senses in Scripture — parabolic and typical.  And though the type is evident, attention is called to the parabolic aspect of the matter in the book of Hebrews.

A parable (a transliterated form of the compound Greek word parabole [from para, “alongside”; and bole, “to cast”]) is simply a subsequent truth placed alongside a previous truth to shed light upon and help explain the previous truth.

A type, on the other hand, points to biblical truth in a reverse sense to that of a parable.  A type appears first and points to a corresponding antitype out ahead (rather than, as a parable, appearing last and pointing to corresponding, previously revealed truth).  But both types and parables are given for the same basic purpose — to shed light upon and help explain that to which they relate.

Abraham offered his son upon the mount of the Lord’s choosing, though death itself occurred in a substitute (a ram caught in the thicket died in Isaac’s stead [Genesis 22:9ff; Hebrews 11:17-19]).  Isaac died “in a substitute,” and Abraham received his son from the dead in a parable (reflecting back on previously revealed truth [e.g., events in Genesis 3; 4, where teachings pertaining to death and shed blood are introduced in Scripture]).  And events surrounding the offering of Isaac, as well, form a type (pointing forward to the antitype, where teachings pertaining to death and shed blood are climaxed in Scripture [Matthew 27:35ff]).

The third day points not only to the resurrection of Isaac “in the type,” or Christ “in the antitype,” but it also points to that time when all of God’s firstborn Sons will be raised.  All of God’s firstborn Sons (Jesus, Israel, and the Church [following the adoption]) are to be raised (elevated to positions of power and authority) on the third daythe third 1,000-year period dating from the crucifixion, the antitype of that seen in Abraham receiving his son in a parable in Genesis 22 (receiving his son from the dead, with death being effected vicariously).

God will restore Israel, one of His firstborn Sons, on the third day.  And this is dealt with through events in Genesis 25, where Abraham marries Keturah following the death of Sarah (Genesis 23) and following the bride being procured for Isaac (Genesis 24).  “Abraham’s remarriage” points to Israel’s restoration, which will occur only following events surrounding the present dispensation (seen through events in Genesis 24).

Abraham, following his eldest servant procuring a bride for his son (Genesis 24), then married Keturah (Genesis 25), who was fruitful where Sarah had been barren.  Keturah bore Abraham six sons, where Sarah, apart from divine intervention, had not borne him any sons.  And this points to Israel’s fruitfulness in that coming day following the nation’s restoration.

Thus, Genesis chapter twenty-five moves matters into the Messianic Era, pointing to Israel’s future restoration following the events seen in chapter twenty-four.  And the events in chapter twenty-four can only point to events of the present dispensation, which occur between two points in time — between Israel being set aside (Genesis 23) and Israel being restored (Genesis 25).  Events in this chapter, in the antitype, occur during that time when Israel lies in the place of death (for two days, for 2,000 years), typified by Jonah and seen in the sign of Lazarus.

In the type, the events seen in chapter twenty-four have to do with Abraham sending his eldest servant into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for His son, Isaac.  And in the antitype these events can only point to one thing.  They can only point to God sending the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son, Jesus.  The whole of chapter twenty-four has to do with God’s purpose for the present dispensation — the search for and procurement of a bride for His Son.

Thus, the events of Genesis 21-25 can easily be seen to form one overall type comprised of five individual types, carrying one, in the antitype, from the birth of Christ to the Messianic Kingdom.

And an understanding of the sequence of events through these five chapters will allow a person to place events during the present dispensation in their proper perspective.  As previously stated, events during the present dispensation occur between two points in time (Israel being set aside [Genesis 23], and Israel being restored [Genesis 25]), and they have to do with God sending His Spirit into the world for a singular purpose — to procure a bride for His Son.

Thus, an understanding of events in God’s dealings with mankind occurring during the present dispensation, from a biblical standpoint, is inseparably linked with an understanding of that which occurred almost 4,000 years ago in Genesis 24.

Much of New Testament revelation surrounding the existence of the Church in the world and the ministry of the Holy Spirit during the present dispensation offers little background explanation per se.  That revealed in Scripture surrounding both, as previously shown, has been given in a manner that presupposes a familiarity with previous, related revelation.

And the preceding is exactly the way in which anyone familiar with the Old Testament types would expect to find all New Testament revelation.  All of the preliminary, foundational material surrounding the existence of the Church and the work of the Holy Spirit during the present dispensation was previously revealed in the Old Testament types.

In this respect, a person could only expect to find New Testament revelation given in a manner that presupposes a familiarity with the basics surrounding that with which this revelation deals — basics revealed in the Old Testament.

Supernatural Birth and Subsequent
Offering of Isaac (Genesis 21; 22)

The supernatural birth of God’s Son actually takes up little more space in the gospel accounts than it does in that which is stated about Isaac’s supernatural birth in Genesis (cf. Genesis 17:15-19; 18:9-14; 21:1-5; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35; 2:1-7).  The matter is only briefly dealt with in both type and antitype.

Comparing the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), the New Testament begins with events surrounding the birth of two individuals — Jesus, and John the Baptist.

Matthew deals only with events surrounding the birth of Jesus, with John not mentioned until about thirty years later when he appeared in the wilderness of Judaea with the message, “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand” (Matthew 1:1-3:12).

Mark doesn’t deal with events surrounding the birth of either Jesus or John but begins his account some thirty years later with John’s ministry.

And Luke begins his account by providing detail concerning events surrounding the birth of both Jesus and John (Luke 1:1ff).

John the Baptist was born about six months prior to the time Jesus was born.  And from the time of his birth, nothing is recorded about John until the day he, as the forerunner of the Messiah, began his ministry in the wilderness of Judaea “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (cf. Isaiah 40:3-5; Matthew 11:13-14; Luke 1:17).

In a similar fashion, except for one brief incident (Luke 2:41-52), nothing is recorded about Christ from events surrounding His birth until that time when He began His earthly ministry.  Jesus began His ministry following the time John began his ministry; and after John had been imprisoned, Jesus took up the same message that John had previously been proclaiming (cf. Matthew 4:17ff; John 3:22ff).

Thus, very little information is given in the gospel accounts concerning events preceding John’s and Christ’s ministries.  And, once John had been imprisoned, the gospel accounts deal almost exclusively with events surrounding Christ’s ministry.  These events lead up to Israel’s rejection of the message and the Messenger, along with the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of the Messenger.

In this respect, the gospel accounts can easily be seen to cover that period foreshadowed by events previously seen in Genesis 21; 22 (though first seen in Genesis 3; 4).  The gospel accounts provide the commentary for these two chapters, the sinews and flesh that attach themselves to and clothe the skeletal framework.

Death of Sarah (Genesis 23)

That typified by the death of Sarah, in the antitype, would have to follow the Son’s crucifixion (Genesis 22) but precede God sending the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son (Genesis 24).  God, at the time of Christ’s death, would have had to still be dealing with Israel as a nation.  Christ was the Paschal Lamb, and Israel alone could slay this Lamb (Exodus 12:1ff).

However, once this had been done, followed by Christ’s resurrection on the third day (also seen in Genesis 22), the events foreshadowed by Sarah’s death in Genesis 23 could then come to pass.  At any time following Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, Israel, in accord with the Old Testament type, could be set aside.

And this had to be effected sometime during the fifty days between Christ’s resurrection and God sending His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, for that which occurred in Acts chapter two began the fulfillment of that foreshadowed by events in Genesis 24.

1)  The Nation Set Aside

Within the gospel narratives, the matter of Israel being set aside in the antitype of Sarah’s death in Genesis 23 is dealt with more fully during Christ’s earthly ministry but not carried out until following His death, burial, and resurrection.  Material extending from the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:22ff to Christ’s announcement in Matthew 21:43 detail the chronology of events that lead up to Israel being set aside following Christ’s resurrection.

In Matthew 12:22ff, the Pharisees accused Christ of using Satanic power to cast a demon out of a man.  Christ though was casting out demons through the power of the Spirit.  And because Israel’s religious leaders were associating this power with Satanic power, Christ announced to them,

Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32).

This act by Israel’s religious leaders in Matthew 12, followed by Christ’s announcement to them, marked the major turning point in Christ’s ministry.  It was shortly after this, on the same day, that Christ (because of that which had occurred) went out of the house, sat by the seaside, and began to speak in parables.  The “house” had to do with the house of Israel, the “seaside” had to do with the Gentiles, and the reason He spoke in “parables” was revealed to be twofold:

Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them [Israel’s unbelieving religious leaders, and extending to those whom they had misled] it has not been given.

For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive;

For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their  ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.'

But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear (Matthew 13:11-16 [11b]).

Parables relate back to previously revealed truth; and in order to understand a parable, one must have an understanding of that to which the parable relates.  The parable is dependent upon the previously revealed truth.

The disciples had accepted and understood the previously revealed truth to which the parables related.  Thus, they would be in a position to understand the parables that Christ gave.  However, this was not the case with Israel’s religious leaders.  They had rejected this previously revealed truth and were in no position to understand the parables.  The parables would, thus, be meaningless to them.

Christ gave four parables outside the house, and He then reentered the house where He gave three additional parables.  The last three parables, though still connected with the Gentiles, had to do with Israel as well.  Thus, Christ had to reenter the house before giving these parables.

However, Christ reentering the house was not an act that signaled a return to conditions as they had existed before He left the house.  Rather, conditions relative to Israel had unalterably changed immediately preceding the time Christ left the house; and though God was still dealing with Israel as a nation, things were taking a sharp turn toward that which was about to occur — Israel being set aside, while God removed from the Gentiles “a people for His name” (Acts 15:14).

God’s future dealing with the Gentiles once again came into view in Matthew 15:21ff through the account of the Syrophenician woman’s daughter being healed.  Then in Matthew 16:18ff, Christ, for the first time, mentioned the Church (which would be comprised mainly of those taken from the Gentiles).

It was following Christ calling attention to the Church that He instructed His disciples to tell no man that He was the Christ (because of events beginning in Matthew 12:22ff [Matthew 12:20]).  Then, for the first time in His ministry the Cross came into full view:

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. (Matthew 16:21; cf. Matthew 17:22-23; 20:17-19; 21:18-9, 38-39).

Though, for all practical purposes, the kingdom was taken from Israel at the time of the events in Matthew 12:22ff, the announcement was not made until shortly before Christ was crucified:

Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. (Matthew 21:43).

Then God continued to deal with Israel until following the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.  Only after these things, according to the typology of Genesis 22; 23, could God discontinue His dealings with Israel.  And, according to the typology of Genesis 24, God must discontinue His dealings with Israel prior to the Holy Spirit being sent into the world to procure a bride for His Son — an event seen to begin in Acts 2.

Israel being set aside can be seen in the gospel accounts after one fashion and in the book of Acts after another fashion.

In Luke 24:13-31, the entire nation is typified by the two disciples on the Emmaus road.  They had been blinded for two days, dating from the crucifixion; and their sight was restored on the third day through Christ personally revealing Himself to them (Luke 24:20-21, 25-31).

This event deals with time during the present dispensation and points to Israel’s present blindness, which will last for two days — 2,000 years.  Israel’s sight will be restored on the third day, the third 1,000-year period dating from the crucifixion; and the nation’s sight will be restored through Christ personally revealing Himself to them (Hosea 5:15-6:2; Zechariah 12:10-14; 13:6; cf. Genesis 45:1ff).

Then in the book of Acts, at the end of a forty-day period during which Christ instructed His disciples in “things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3), they asked Him if the kingdom would be restored to Israel at this time (Acts 1:6).  But Christ directed their thoughts in another direction — to that which would occur ten days hence, when the Holy Spirit would be sent (Acts 1:6-8; cf. Acts 2:1ff).

Israel at this point in time had apparently been set aside, in complete accord with Genesis 23.  And in complete accord with Genesis 24, the Holy Spirit would be sent into the world, with a view to another being called forth to bear fruit for the kingdom.

2)  Another Called to Bear Fruit

In Matthew 21:43, attention is called to that which was about to be taken from Israel — “the kingdom of God” (that part of the kingdom which had been offered, the kingdom of the heavens) — with a view to this kingdom subsequently being offered to “a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”  This is the “nation” referred to in 1 Peter 2:9-10, called into existence on the day of Pentecost, 30 A.D.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)

The kingdom was taken from Israel, and an entirely new entity, which was neither Jew nor Gentile but a new creation “in Christ” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-15), was called into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected.  And this new entity, seen in type through events in Genesis 24, could only have come into existence through that which occurred on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. (Acts 2:1ff).

The Spirit could not be sent, in the antitype of that seen in Genesis chapter twenty-four until Christ had been “glorified” (John 7:38-39).  And this event, contrary to common belief, did not occur at the time of Christ’s resurrection.  Christ was not raised in a glorified body.  He was raised in the same body of flesh and bones that had previously been placed in the tomb (cf. Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39).  And this body, as prior to the crucifixion, lacked the covering of Glory at the time of His resurrection.  This body was not enswathed in Glory until forty days later, when He was “received up into glory” (cf. Acts 1:9; 1Timothy 3:16).

(Note the difference in Christ’s resurrection body without, and later with, this covering of Glory.  The two disciples on the Emmaus road [et al] were able to gaze on this body and not see recognizable differences between this body and that of any other body [cf. Luke 24:15-39; John 20:14-18, 26-28].

But this was not the case at all after Christ’s body was enswathed in the Glory of God.  Paul, for example, was blinded by Christ’s appearance on the road to Damascus, by a brightness above that of the noonday sun [Acts 9:3-5, 9; 26:12-15]; and note the description of the One upon Whom Christians will one day gaze [Revelation 1:16].)

The day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., occurring ten days following Christ’s ascension, is the only time that can possibly be considered as the antitype of Abraham sending his eldest servant into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for his son.  The timing of this event was in exact accord with the type, along with the fact this was the only time when an event of this nature occurred in the New Testament.

And, though God was dealing with a new entity during a new dispensation, with Israel set aside, there was still a reoffer of the kingdom to Israel during about the first three decades of the new dispensation.  This offer was made by the new creation “in Christ,” now in possession of that which had been taken from Israel.  And since Israel was still in view in the preceding respect, signs, wonders, and miracles (as before) accompanied the proclamation of this message.

The book of Acts details this reoffer of the kingdom to Israel.  This reoffer began on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. and extended to the third and last time Paul, in the Gentile world, announced to Israel’s religious leaders, “…the salvation of God [deliverance pertaining to the kingdom] is sent unto the Gentiles…” (Acts 28:28).

Israel, though set aside, held priority in the proclamation of this message throughout that time seen in the book of Acts.  But, unlike the preceding time extending from the preaching of John to the events surrounding Calvary, the Gentiles were now also included.

From the sending of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. until Paul’s statement to the Jewish religious leaders in Rome, recorded in Acts 28:28 (abt. 62 A.D.), the message was “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile” (cf. Romans 1:16; 2:9-10).  However, following Paul’s statement in Acts 28:28, Israel no longer held priority, and the message beyond this point in time was proclaimed to one group of individuals alone.

Beyond Paul’s statement in Acts 28:28, the one new man “in Christ” alone is in view.  This one new man, because his origin (mainly from the Gentiles), is often associated with the Gentiles, or the uncircumcision (as in Romans 1:16; 2:9-10; Galatians 2:2, 7).  But his true identity is separate from either Jew or Gentile (Galatians 3:26-29).  He is one new man “in Christ,” brought into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected and to bring forth fruit where Israel had failed.
Chapter Two
Manner of the Search

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.

So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please, put your hand under my thigh,

and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell;

but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac." (Genesis 24:1-4).

Genesis chapter twenty-four has to do with events during a completely separate and distinct dispensation within God’s dealings with man.  Events foreshadowed by this chapter occur between two points in time, as set forth in the overall type (Genesis 21-25).  They occur between the time God terminated His dealings with Israel (shown through Sarah’s death in Genesis 23) and the time when God will resume His dealings with Israel (shown through Abraham’s remarriage in Genesis 25).

Between the time Sarah died and the time Abraham remarried, Abraham sent his eldest servant into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for his son, Isaac (Genesis 24).  And this, in the antitype, has to do with events occurring during the present dispensation.  Between the time God set Israel aside and the time when He will restore Israel, He has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son, Jesus.

In the type, Abraham sent his eldest servant, whom he had placed in charge of all his possessions, on a journey; and, prior to the servant’s departure, Abraham instructed him concerning the nature of the journey.  The servant had one mission and one mission alone — to go into Mesopotamia and procure a bride for Abraham’s son.

And the servant had been instructed that the bride must come from Abraham’s own people.  Prior to the servant’s departure, Abraham made the servant place his hand under his (Abraham’s) thigh and swear “by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth” concerning the place from whence the bride would be procured, i.e., from the family of Abraham.  The bride was to come from the family alone, not from those outside the family (Genesis 24:1-10a).

The chapter then details the servant’s journey to Mesopotamia, his search for and procurement of the bride, and his departure from Mesopotamia with the bride.  And the chapter ends with events beyond the departure, concluding with the one whom the servant had procured in Mesopotamia (Rebekah) becoming Isaac’s wife (Genesis 24:10-67 [10b]).

All the things seen in the historical account, forming the type in Genesis 24, have to do with things occurring solely during and immediately following the present dispensation.  Israel has been set aside (seen through Sarah’s death in Genesis 23).  God, for a time, has discontinued His dealings with Israel.  This was done because of Israel’s continued disobedience over centuries of time, climaxed by the nation’s rejection of the proffered kingdom and the crucifixion of the King Himself at Christ’s first coming.  And God’s discontinuance of His dealings with Israel at this time has allowed Him to bring to pass the things foreshadowed by the events seen in Genesis 24 (occurring in the type following Sarah’s death and in the antitype following Israel being set aside).

Following Israel being set aside, in exact accord with the type, God could only have placed the Spirit in charge of all His possessions prior to sending Him to the earth.  And again, in exact accord with the type, the Spirit could only have been sent with a singular purpose in view — that of procuring a bride for God’s Son, Jesus.  And once again, in exact accord with the type, the Spirit could only have been sent with the specific instructions to search for and procure the bride from among those within the family of God.  All of these different things form major issues in the type, and they must be seen exactly the same way in the antitype.

The Spirit of God — placed in charge of all that belongs to the Father, which the Father has given to His Son (cf. Genesis 24:36; John 16:15) — has been sent into the world to perform a work among a people separate from Israel, during a dispensation completely separate from God’s dispensational dealings with Israel.  And He is to do this work after the manner seen in the Old Testament type, which is after the manner seen in John 16 in the New Testament:

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:12-15)

The preceding verses clearly reveal the nature of the work of the Spirit during the present dispensation, perfectly in line with that seen in the type.  The means that the Spirit uses in procuring a bride for God’s Son is taking the things in His possession — the things that the Father has given to His Son, revealed in the Word of God — and showing these things to the prospective bride.

And this ministry of the Spirit surrounds a work that can be carried out only among the saved.  Only saved individuals are in a position to be led into all truth in the manner seen in these verses.  Only saved individuals are in a position to be shown “things to come” through the Spirit taking the Word of God, opening this Word to an individual’s understanding, and through this means showing that individual the things belonging to the Son (1 Corinthians 2:14).

God sending the Holy Spirit into the world on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. had nothing to do with the unsaved or with salvation by grace.  Rather, according to the type, this event had to do solely with a search for and procurement of a bride for God’s Son.  Salvation by grace didn’t enter into the matter then, and it has not entered into the matter at any time during the course of the dispensation.  Salvation by grace is an entirely separate work of the Spirit, which had/has nothing to do with the Spirit being sent on the day of Pentecost in the antitype of that seen in Genesis 24.

(The Spirit has always been in the world relative to the salvation of the lost.  See the subsequent section in this chapter, “Salvation by Grace.”)

And this should tell a person something about the book of Acts and the twenty-one New Testament epistles, which form the commentary material for Genesis 24.  This section of Scripture occupies a place in the New Testament in complete keeping with the place that Genesis 24 occupies in the Old Testament in relation to Genesis 21-25.  Both sections of Scripture parallel one another and have to do with God’s dealings with man during that time when Israel is set aside.  Both have to do with a dispensation separate from God’s dealings with Israel, and both have to do with that time when God takes out of the Gentiles “a people for his name” (Acts 15:14).

In this respect, the book of Acts and the epistles that follow — beginning with God sending the Holy Spirit into the world to perform a work with an entity separate from Israel, during a time when Israel is set aside — must deal with the same thing seen in Genesis 24.  This entire section in the New Testament can only center around and deal with all the various things surrounding God sending the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son, as outlined in the Old Testament type.

Thus, the reason why God sent His Spirit into the world on the day of Pentecost is clearly revealed in the foundational material in Genesis.  Revelation seen in the book of Acts and the epistles, beginning with God sending His Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1ff) and continuing into the epistles, has been given in a manner that assumes that the reader possesses a knowledge of the foundational material.

The latter revelation is built upon the former.  The manner in which the latter revelation has been given assumes that the reader has some knowledge of the former.  And if the former is not understood (in this case, the foundational material in Genesis 24), that can only negatively reflect on one coming into a proper understanding of the latter (in this case, the book of Acts and the epistles). 

Both sections of Scripture (Genesis 24 on the one hand, and the book of Acts and the epistles on the other) deal with exactly the same thing.  One (Genesis 24) forms the foundation, the skeletal framework;  and the other (the book of Acts and the epistles) forms the building blocks that rest upon the foundation.  This New Testament section forms the commentary for the foundational revelation, the sinews and flesh that cover the skeletal framework (ref. chapter one of this book).

And all of this carries over into the book of Revelation as well.  The first four chapters of the book of Revelation (Revelation 1-4) have to do solely with Christians.  These chapters have to do with the removal of Christians from the earth at the end of the present dispensation, the judgment seat that follows, and events that immediately follow those surrounding the decisions and determinations emanating from the judgment seat.  These are events previously set forth in the epistles but dealt with at length in these four chapters of the book of Revelation (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:51-58; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:9).

Then, going beyond chapter four in the book of Revelation, the entirety of that seen through the first nineteen chapters of this book (Revelation 5-19) would have to fit within the framework of that seen at the very end of Genesis 24.  Though chapters five through eighteen of the book of Revelation (Revelation 5-18) have to do with God completing his dealings with Israel prior to the nation being restored (seen in Genesis 25), the matter of the redemption of the forfeited possession (the earth — the domain over which the King with His consort queen will rule) must occur prior to the procured bride becoming the Lamb’s wife (Revelation 19:7-9).  And this is the central issue dealt with throughout these chapters, while God completes His dealings with Israel (in accord with that seen in both the books of Ruth and Daniel [Ruth 4:1ff; Daniel 9:24-27]).

(For a detailed discussion of the first nineteen chapters of the book of Revelation in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s book, in this site, Mysteries of the Kingdom BOOK, Chapters 10, 11.)

Salvation by Grace

As previously stated, God sending the Holy Spirit into the world on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. had nothing to do with salvation by grace through faith.  Man’s salvation, man passing from death unto life, is one of the great constants of Scripture.  God’s provision of salvation for fallen man, set forth at the very beginning of Scripture, remains unchanged 6,000 years later; and it will remain unchanged throughout all future time.

God’s work with man, from a dispensational aspect, changes in accordance with the different dispensations.  And the Spirit’s work with man, from a dispensational aspect, also changes in accordance with the different dispensations as well (e.g., the Spirit’s work in connection with His search for a bride for God’s Son during the present dispensation is a work peculiar to this dispensation alone).  But salvation by grace is not a dispensational matter.  Salvation by grace remains completely unaffected by God’s various works with man throughout the different dispensations.  Salvation by grace remains unchanged, regardless of God’s actions within any dispensation.

In order to begin with salvation by grace and the place that the Spirit of God occupies in man’s salvation, one must begin where God began.  He must begin where God, in His Word, laid the foundation concerning the revealed work of the Spirit in this respect.  And God began laying this foundation in Genesis:

In the beginning God created the heaven [‘heavens’] and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Following the creation of the heavens and the earth, God placed Satan (in his unfallen state) over the earth, one of the numerous provinces in His kingdom (provinces in the universe).  But because of Satan acting outside of and contrary to the laws established by God, under which he governed the earth (Satan seeking to exalt his throne and be “like the most High”), the domain over which he ruled was reduced to a ruin, with darkness covering his kingdom (Genesis 1:2a; cf. Isaiah 14:12-17; 45:7; Ezekiel 28:14-19):

And the earth was [‘But the earth became’] without form, and void;  and darkness was [‘and darkness became’ (‘became’ here is not in the Hebrew text, though implied)] upon the face of the deep. (Genesis 1:2a)

Exactly how long the ruined domain lay in this condition is unknown, for Scripture is silent on the matter.  But throughout this period of darkness and ruin Satan continued to hold the scepter, though he could only have ruled over a ruined domain.

(A principle of biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler continue to hold the scepter until the one who is to succeed him is not only present but is also ready to take the scepter and ascend the throne.  This can be seen in the account of Adam and his encounter with Satan, David and his encounter with Saul, or Christ and His encounter with Satan at His first coming [the antitype of the previous two types].)

But the day came when God set about to restore the ruined domain, followed by the creation of man to replace the fallen provincial ruler.  And the manner that God used to restore the ruined domain (ruined creation) establishes a pattern concerning how He would restore any subsequent ruined creation.  Once God establishes a pattern, sets a type, etc., no change can ever occur, for God sets things perfect at the outset.

The beginning of how God works in this restorative pattern is given in Genesis, where the work of the Spirit is introduced in Scripture:

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light:  and there was light [or, ‘Let light be:  and light became’].”

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:2-4 [2b])

Thus, God began a restorative work through one revealed means: the Spirit moving, followed by God Himself speaking.  And this was followed by light coming into existence where only darkness had previously prevailed, with God declaring the light to be good and then making a division between the light and the darkness.

Following five subsequent days of restorative work (Genesis 1:6-25), God created man to replace the rebellious and fallen provincial ruler; and man, an individual created in God’s image, after God’s likeness, was to hold the scepter and rule over the restored domain in the stead of Satan (Genesis 1:26-28).

However, Satan succeeded in bringing about man’s fall, not only resulting in man’s ruin and disqualification to take the scepter but also allowing the scepter to remain in his (Satan’s) hand.  Thus, Satan continued to reign, with man no longer being in a position to replace him.

At this point in time, God once again had a ruined creation to deal with (man, as He had previously found Himself having to deal with Satan under similar circumstances).  Then, because of man’s fall, God once again brought the material creation into a ruined state (as He had previously done at the time of Satan’s fall).

Following God’s actions both times (following His actions surrounding Satan’s fall, and following His actions surrounding man’s fall), He was left with ruined creations.  In the first of these two times, the ruin had to do with the incumbent ruler and his angels, along with the material creation; and in the second of these two times, the ruin had to do with the one created to replace the incumbent ruler, along with the material creation again. 

When Satan fell, along with one-third of the angels ruling with him, which he led astray, there was no restoration provided for Satan or for his angels.  However, when man fell, forming a subsequent ruined creation, matters were markedly different.  God immediately provided a means of restoration for His fallen creature, and the means that God used to restore fallen man (a ruined creation) had previously been set through God’s actions when He restored the ruined material creation immediately prior to man’s creation.

The first act in God’s restoration of the material creation had to do with the Spirit of God moving upon the ruined creation.  And this must, as well, be the first act within the restoration of man, a subsequent ruined creation.  The Spirit of God must move upon ruined man, as He had previously moved upon the ruined material creation.

But, relative to man, a creation quite different than the material creation, exactly how was this to be accomplished?  That is, how was the Spirit to move upon man?  The answer can be seen and understood through the only means that anything can be seen and understood in Scripture — through comparing Scripture with Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).

Another beginning point necessary to understand the Spirit’s work in man’s restoration is seen in Genesis 2:7, where God created man and then imparted life to the one whom He had created.  When God formed Adam from “the dust of the ground,” Adam was created lifeless.  Adam was created an inanimate entity, and life was imparted to him through one revealed means: God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man [Hebrew Adam, meaning ‘man,’ or ‘Adam’] became a living soul.”

God’s action in Genesis 2:7 establishes another unchangeable principle in Scripture (another First-Mention Principle).  How does God impart life to lifeless man?  The answer, seen in this verse, is by means of His breath.  “Life,” in Scripture, is inseparably connected with God’s breath.  God imparts life through breathing into man; and this means of imparting life, never changes throughout Scripture.  Any time life is imparted to man beyond Genesis 2:7, it can only be through one means alone.  It can only be through the breath of God.

Unsaved man today is “dead in trespasses and sins.”  How is God going to impart life to unsaved man where no life presently exists?  There is only one biblical answer to the question, and that answer is found in Genesis 2:7.  God is going to impart life through breathing into the one having no life.

And here is where the work of the Spirit comes into view, which takes one back to Genesis 1:2-5 [2b].  The word for “Spirit” and the word for “breath” are the same in both the Hebrew text (Ruach) and the Greek text (Pneuma).  For example, the word for “Spirit” in Genesis 1:2b and the word for “breath” in Ezekiel 37:8-10 (where God’s breath produces life) are the same in the Hebrew text (Ruach) as well as the Greek text, the Septuagint (Pneuma).

Pneuma is used sparingly for “breath” in the Greek text of the New Testament.  But when pneuma is used in this manner in the New Testament, the word is usually not understood by the reader as “breath,” for the translators have invariably mistranslated the word as “spirit” (e.g., Luke 8:55; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; James 2:26).

God breathes life into unsaved man by means of His Spirit, Who, in this respect, is the Breath of God.  As previously seen, according to Genesis 1:2b the Spirit has to act first in the restoration of a ruined creation.  The Spirit’s actions relative to the restoration of the material creation are seen in Genesis 1:2b, though very little information is given in the text concerning the exact nature of His work in this respect.

But when it comes to an individual created in God’s image, after His likeness, a wealth of information concerning the work of the Spirit is provided.  And the beginning of this wealth of information is seen in Genesis 2:7.  God breathes life into the one having no life, and He does this by means of His Spirit, Who is the Breath of God.  The Spirit moves upon the ruined creation, breathing life into that ruined creation.

Then, according to the type in the opening verses of Genesis, God speaks, light comes into existence, God declares the light to be good, and God divides between the light and the darkness.

Synonymous with the Spirit breathing life into the one previously having no life, on the basis of that which God has stated in His Word, light comes into existence.  Man is made alive spiritually.  Man passes “from death unto life,” but his soul, associated with the natural man (the man of flesh), remains unchanged.  God declares that which has been made alive spiritually, “good”; and God then divides between the spirit and the soul, between that having to do with light and that having to do with darkness (cf. John 3:6; Hebrews 4:12).

Thus, at any point in man’s history, where his eternal salvation is concerned, the Spirit has to be present to move upon the ruined creation, to breathe life into man.  And this continuing presence of and work of the Spirit never changes at any time during Man’s Day, which stretches through three 2,000-year dispensations.

And the Spirit performs this work on the basis of two things also set forth very early in Scripture, which never change as well — death and shed blood.

Death and shed blood are first seen in Genesis 3, immediately following Adam’s sin.  And they are seen again in Genesis 4 — Cain slaying Abel — providing further light on the subject.  Then the entire matter, based on previous revelation, is put together in Genesis 22 — the offering of Isaac.

The means which God uses to effect life where no life exists is breath.  God, by means of His Spirit, breathes life into man.  And He does this on the basis of death and shed blood.  All of this is set forth in the opening three chapters of Genesis, with subsequent chapters providing additional information on the subject.

Thus, the work of the Spirit relative to salvation, the new birth, man passing “from death unto life,” was set at the very beginning of God’s revelation to man, before and at the time of man’s creation (Genesis 1; 2).  Then, the basis upon which the Spirit performed this work was set immediately following man’s fall (Genesis 3).

All of this remains unchanged throughout Man’s Day, and God sending His Spirit on the day of Pentecost had nothing whatsoever to do with the entire matter.  God sending His Spirit on this day was for purposes completely separate from that which had already been an unchanging work of the Spirit for four millennia.

The Spirit was already here when the same Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D.  If not, salvation for fallen man could not have existed prior to Pentecost.  The Spirit must be present to breathe life into the one having no life.  This was true prior to Pentecost, and it remains true following Pentecost.

The Spirit being sent on the day of Pentecost had to do with the Spirit taking up an entirely separate work from His continuing work of salvation by grace.  This work has both a beginning point and an ending point, as does the Spirit’s work surrounding man’s eternal salvation.

The Spirit’s work of procuring a bride for God’s Son will last for one dispensation.  It will last for 2,000 years — from Pentecost until that day when the bride has been procured, followed by the bride’s removal.

And the Spirit’s work of salvation for man, “dead in trespasses and sins,” will last even beyond Man’s Day, into the Lord’s Day.  It will last for 7,000 years, as long as sin and death remain.  It will last from Adam’s fall until the end of the Messianic Kingdom — from the time sin and death were brought into existence through man’s fall until sin and death have “passed away” (Genesis 3:6-7; Revelation 21:4-5).

Acts and the Epistles

Though the Spirit was sent into the world on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., His ministry on that day and for about the next thirty-two years was not limited to His search for a bride for God’s Son.  There was a continuing ministry of the Spirit on this day in connection with the Spirit already being in the world, similar to His continuing presence and ministry relative to man’s eternal salvation.  Beginning with the work of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and ending with Paul’s announcement in Rome in Acts 28, there was a reoffer of the kingdom to Israel.

(Joel’s prophecy began to be fulfilled in Acts chapter two; and Paul in Rome, about thirty-two years later, announced to Israel’s religious leaders for the third and last time “that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it” [Acts 2:16-21; 28:28; cf. Joel 2:28-32; Acts 13:46; 18:6].)

During the original offer of the kingdom to Israel, Jesus performed miraculous works through the power of the Spirit (Matthew 12:28); and, during the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel, miraculous works through the power of the Spirit continued, though Messiah was absent.  And this reoffer of the kingdom to Israel had no more to do with the Spirit’s search for a bride for God’s Son than did the original offer of the kingdom to Israel.  This was simply a continuing work of the Spirit, continuing from that seen in the gospel accounts.  And this continuing work of the Spirit was completely separate from the reason why the Spirit was sent into the world in Acts 2 (in line with salvation by grace being a separate and continuing work of the Spirit, Who was already in the world prior to His being sent).

And this continuing work of the Spirit, relating to Israel and the kingdom, would only last for about the first thirty-two years of the dispensation.  Signs, wonders, and miracles were in evidence during this time, for the kingdom was being reoffered to Israel.  It is the Jew who requires a sign (1 Corinthians 1:22); and signs are always seen associated with two things in Scripture, with both having to be present at the same time in order for signs to exist — Israel, and the kingdom.  If God is not dealing with Israel in relation to the kingdom, signs, wonders, and miracles, from a Scriptural standpoint, cannot exist (ref. the author’s book, in this site, From Acts to the Epistles BOOK, chapters 1, 9).

Following this reoffer of the kingdom to Israel, the work of the Spirit relative to signs, accordingly, ceased.  They had to cease, for Israel was no longer in view.  And though the kingdom remained in view, the message surrounding the kingdom following this time was solely for the one new man “in Christ,” who does not require signs.

Signs, wonders, and miracles have no place whatsoever in the Spirit’s search for a bride for God’s Son, whether during that time when the kingdom was being reoffered to Israel (from 30 A.D. to abt. 62 A.D.) or following that time (from abt. 62 A.D. to the present).  Signs have to do solely with Israel, when the kingdom is in view.  Any other type manifestation of signs, from a biblical standpoint, would be completely out of place.

Some of the epistles were written during the Acts period, which is why signs, wonders, and miracles were being manifested in the church in Corinth — a Gentile church (1 Corinthians 12-14).  The Spirit of God was empowering individuals to manifest supernatural works in a Gentile church of that day, not for the benefit of those in the church, or as a part of His work of searching for a bride for God’s Son, but as a means of seeking to provoke Israel to jealousy (Romans 10:19-11:14).

Less than two percent of the total time that has elapsed during the dispensation was taken up with the Spirit performing this additional work relative to Israel.  And, even during this time, the Spirit was beginning His work in the antitype of that seen in Genesis 24.

This work of the Spirit — searching for the bride — was foretold by Christ during His earthly ministry (John 16:7-15), and various facets of the Spirit’s ministry in this respect are outlined in the twenty-one epistles that follow the book of Acts.  And this is what must be recognized and understood if a person would properly understand the New Testament.
Chapter Three
When He Is Come (1)

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter [Helper] will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

And when He has come, He will reprove [convict, rebuke, bring into light] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

of sin, because they do not believe in Me;

of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;

of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:7-11).

In John 14, shortly before His crucifixion, Christ began to instruct the disciples concerning His soon departure.  He was about to leave them and go back into the place from whence He had come over three decades earlier, back into the heavens, to prepare a place for them.  And though He would be gone for awhile, He would one day return.  He would return in order to take His disciples into the heavens, to the place that He had previously gone away to prepare (John 14:1-3).

Then, continuing His instructions, Christ called the disciples’ attention to something that was about to occur, because of His impending departure into the heavens.  Another would be sent from heaven to be with them during the time of His absence.

Christ told the disciples that He would ask the Father to provide “another Comforter,” Whom He identified as “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17).  Christ was the present “Comforter”; but, following His departure, “another Comforter” would be sent.  The people of God would not be left “comfortless” (John 14:18).

The word “Comforter” (John 14:16) is a translation of the Greek word, Parakletos, which is a compound word meaning “to call alongside” (para, “alongside”; kletos, “to call”).  The thought has to do with one called or sent to someone’s side to help.  Thus, the word “Comforter” is mainly a description rather than a translation of the word, Parakletos.

Then the word “comfortless” (John 14:18) is a translation of the Greek word orphanos, from which the English word “orphan” is derived.  This word, for its correct understanding, would relate back to the Parakletos, the One called alongside to help.

Christ had been sent to the people of God.  He was the One sent into their presence to help.  Following Christ’s departure, the Spirit would be sent to the people of God.  He would be the One sent into their presence to help during the time of the Son’s absence.  The people of God would not be left “orphans” in this respect.  They would not be left without One in their presence Who had been sent from heaven to help in time of need

In John 14:26, Christ continuing to speak to His disciples relative to things surrounding and following His departure, stated that His Father would be the One Who would send the Parakletos into the world.  Then in John 15:26; 16:7, still continuing to speak to His disciples, Christ stated that He Himself would be the One Who would send the Parakletos.  Both statements point to a work that would be carried out by two members of the triune Godhead, having to do with a work to be carried out by a third member of the triune Godhead.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate individuals, yet they are One individual (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4; John 10:30).  Jesus often identified Himself as One with the Father in this manner, though at times this is not seen in the English text because of translation problems.

Mark 13:32 is a verse where both Christ’s true identity and a problem with the translation can be seen.  Christ’s statement in this verse reveals His identification with the Father, but, because of the way that this verse has been translated into English, there is a problem seeing this identification:

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Mark 13:32)

There are two words in the latter part of this verse in the Greek text (ei me) incorrectly translated “but” in most English versions (e.g., KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV).  This part of the verse should literally read, “…neither the Son, if not [or, ‘unless’ (He is)] the Father.”  The thought brought over into the English text would have to be understood along the lines that the Son doesn’t know unless He is the Father, with the verse clearly implying that He is the Father.

Archbishop Trench, one of the great authorities on words in the Greek and English texts, translated this verse:

If I were not God as well as Man, even I would not know the day nor the hour.

Then, in John 18:5-6, Jesus identified Himself with the Father again.  Answering a question concerning His identity, Jesus referred to Himself as “I Am,” not “I am He,” as in the KJV, NKJV, NASB, and NIV.  This equates to the “I Am” from the Old Testament (Exodus 3:4), for there is nothing in the New that was not previously seen in the Old.  And this is also perfectly in line with Thomas’ confession concerning Christ following His resurrection:  “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

More than one member of the Godhead is often seen carrying out the same work.  Christ’s resurrection, for example, was carried out by all three; and God alone is the One Who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9).  The Father raised Christ from the dead (Acts 2:30-32), the Spirit raised Him from the dead (Romans 8:11), and the Son raised Himself from the dead (John 10:18).  And Scripture does not offer an explanation for any of this, other than its own testimony concerning the triune Godhead; nor should man attempt an explanation beyond that which Scripture reveals.

That which God has reserved unto Himself, about Himself, should simply be accepted and believed, with the matter left at that point.  Finite man is in no position to understand and explain that which an infinite God has chosen to leave unrevealed about Himself.  There is a reason why God has chosen not to reveal certain things in this realm, and for finite man to attempt to go beyond that which has been revealed would be completely out of place.

He Will Reprove

Christ’s statement to His disciples, recorded in John 16:7ff, has to do with the work of the Spirit surrounding His being sent on the day of Pentecost, ten days following Christ’s ascension.  And this work of the Spirit, of necessity, would follow in exact accordance with that seen in the Old Testament type, in Genesis 24.  Viewing this work of the Spirit within the framework of the overall type set forth in Genesis 21-25, this work would occur between two points in time.  It would occur following Israel being set aside (typified by Sarah’s death in Genesis 23) but preceding Israel being restored (typified by Abraham’s remarriage in Genesis 25).

Thus, the work of Abraham’s servant in Mesopotamia in Genesis 24, occurring between these two points in time, typifies the work of the Spirit in the world today.  And, in this respect, that which Christ revealed concerning the work of the Spirit during the present dispensation in John 16:7ff forms commentary material for the foundational material that Moses set forth in Genesis 24:1ff, over fourteen hundred years earlier.

In the type, Abraham sent his servant into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for his son, Isaac.  And in the antitype, God has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son, Jesus.  And the carrying out and completion of this work by the Spirit throughout the dispensation will fulfill, in the antitype, that foreshadowed by events in the type.

1)  Work of the Spirit

There are three parts to Christ’s statement to His disciples in John 16:7-11 relative to the future work of the Spirit.  The Spirit, following His being sent, would “reprove the world of [‘concerning’] sin, and of [‘concerning’] righteousness, and of [‘concerning’] judgment” (John 16:7-8).  Then these three parts of the Spirit’s reproving work are explained with brief statements:  “Concerning sin, because…  Concerning righteousness, because…  Concerning judgment, because…” (John 16:9-11).

The word translated “reprove” in the Greek text (elegcho) can be used in a rather broad sense.  The word can refer to “reproving,” “rebuking,” “bringing to light,” “exposing” or “correcting.”  The overall thought behind the use of the word is to bring a person to a knowledge of that which is true and correct — to bring a person to a knowledge of the truth.  And to reach this goal, the work of the Spirit might begin with a “rebuke” in order to subsequently “bring matters to light” within a person’s understanding.

A good example of the former, with a view to the latter, can be seen in that which Paul told Titus in the opening part of his letter to him.  Paul referred to certain individuals (certain Christians) who were not “holding fast the faithful word” which they had previously been taught.  They had become “unruly and vain talkers and deceivers,” and they were subverting (upsetting, overturning, destroying) “whole houses [a church meeting in homes located various places in the city], teaching things that they ought not” (Titus 1:9-11).  And relative to these individuals, Paul told Titus:

Wherefore rebuke [Gk., elegcho] them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith (Titus 1:13).

Titus, doing this rebuking, would be carrying out a part of the work of the Spirit.  He would be acting under the power of the Spirit, using the Word that the Spirit gave, to rebuke certain individuals; and this would be done with a view to these individuals being brought into a position where they would be “sound in the faith.”

Then the end result of the preceding can be seen in Hebrews 11:1, where the noun form of elegcho (elegchos) is used, translated “evidence” (KJV).  The word could be better understood and translated, “bringing to light.”  The Spirit, through the Word, brings to light things that can be seen only by faith.  Such would result in a walk by faith, which, within the context of Hebrews 11:1, has to do with the salvation of the soul (Hebrews 10:35-39).

The Spirit, working among Christians in the preceding respect, searching for the bride in complete accord with the type in Genesis 24, would bring matters concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment to light.  And He would do this with one goal in view — the salvation of the soul, which would allow an individual to participate in activities surrounding the bride.  The Spirit would carry out this work with a view to procuring a bride for God’s Son, remaining completely within the realm of ministry that He had been sent to fulfill.

The work of the Spirit described in John 16:7-11 can have nothing to do with the unsaved.  The ministry of the One sent to help the people of God in time of need would have to do solely with a future work among the saved.  This is what is seen in the type (“…you shall go to my country, and to my kindred…” [Genesis 24:4]); and this is what is seen in Christ’s statement to His disciples, concerning the antitype, as well (“I will send Him to you” [John 16:7]).

(There would be a convicting work of the Spirit among the unsaved at the same time, but this convicting work of the Spirit among the unsaved had already been occurring for four millennia prior to Christ’s announcement concerning sending the Spirit to perform a work that was about to commence.  And the Spirit’s work among the unsaved, in this respect, would simply continue, uninterrupted and unchanged.)

2)  The World

Then it would be “the world” (those in the world) whom the Spirit would reprove, with “sin” mentioned first.  And this reference to “the world” has led many to erroneously conclude that Christ was speaking about the Spirit being sent to reprove unsaved man, in the world, “dead in trespasses and sins.”

The word “world [Gk., kosmos]” though is used different ways in Scripture, and the word must always be understood contextually.  Sometimes the word is used referring to the material world (John 1:9-10); other times the word is used referring to the world system under Satan (John 18:36; 1 John 2:15); and other times the word is used referring to those in the world (John 3:16; 7:7).

When referring to those in the world, the word kosmos is not necessarily a reference to all those in the world, though it could be.  The word may or may not be all-inclusive in this respect.  Again, the word must be viewed contextually to make this determination.

In John 3:16, the word kosmos would encompass all those in the world.  God gave His Son for all.  But in John 18:20, all those throughout the world cannot be in view through the use of kosmos.

In this verse, Christ speaking openly “to the world [‘to the kosmos’]” during His earthly ministry would, of necessity, have had to be referring to a ministry solely to the Jewish people in the land of Israel.  The Gentiles in the world, in the kosmos (either inside or outside the land of Israel), could not have been included (cf. Matthew 10:5-6; 15:24]).

And the use of kosmos in John 16:8 would, contextually, have to be limited after the same fashion as seen in John 18:20.  The reference would be limited to those in the world to whom the Spirit would be sent — to the saved (cf. John 12:19).

The word kosmos is used after the same fashion by Paul in Colossians 1:6, referring to the Word of the Kingdom having been proclaimed to Christians throughout the then known world, the kosmos.  The proclamation of this message during Paul’s day couldn’t and didn’t have anything to do with unsaved Gentiles, though the message was said to have been proclaimed “in all the kosmos.”  This message was (and remains today) a message for the saved alone.

Concerning Sin

Scripture deals with the sin question in relation to the people of God far more extensively than it does in relation to those alienated from God.  The way in which Scripture deals with “sin” is similar to the way in which Scripture deals with the “gospel [‘good news’].”

Above eighty percent of the times that the word “gospel [Gk., euaggelion, euaggelizo (noun and verb forms of the same word)]” appears in the New Testament, the reference is solely to “good news” which is to be proclaimed to the saved.  And the manner in which Scripture handles the whole of the sin question as it pertains to both the saved and the unsaved would be of a similar nature.  Scripture’s message surrounding “sin” is directed centrally to the saved, not to the unsaved.

The Old Testament, beginning with the latter part of Genesis 11, deals mainly with one group of people — Abraham and his descendants, through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons.  And the Old Testament, dealing with “sin,” deals with the matter centrally in relation to the descendants of Abraham, the people of God.

During Moses’ day, when Moses led the descendants of Abraham out of Egypt, the sin question began with events surrounding the slaying of the paschal lambs and the application of the blood (Exodus 12:1ff).  In one respect, the sin question ceased at this point; but in another respect, not so.

Note how this dual aspect of the sin question is brought to pass in the antitype today:

The Paschal Lamb has been slain; and, through the application of the blood of this Lamb, by faith, man passes “from death unto life.”  Man, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, now has life where death had previously existed.  And the sin question in relation to his eternal destiny has ceased to exist and can never again be a factor.

Man’s eternal salvation is based on a past, finished work of God’s Son (encompassing death and shed blood); and man’s eternal salvation was effected by a past, finished work of the Spirit (breathing life into the one who had no life).  In relation to saved man in the world today, both the work of the Son and the work of the Spirit are works performed in past time, finished in past time, and existing during present time in a finished state.  For those who have passed “from death unto life,” insofar as their presently possessed eternal salvation is concerned, the sin question does not exist.

But the sin question for saved man does exist in another realm.  It exists relative to salvation present and future (the salvation of the soul, which has nothing to do with the past aspect of salvation, the salvation of the spirit [other than the fact that the salvation of the spirit places one in a position where he can realize the salvation of his soul]).

The sin question existed for the people of God in this respect during Moses’ day, following the death of the firstborn in Exodus 12.  If it hadn’t, there would have been no need for the priestly work carried on by the Levites, culminating in a work by the high priest year after year on the day of atonement.

And it exists for Christians in this same respect during the present dispensation, following the antitype of the death of the firstborn.  If it didn’t, there would be no need for Christ’s present work as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.

The fact remains that the people of God can and do sin.  Though born from above, they still possess the old sin nature (1 John 1:8-10).  And they will possess this old sin nature as long as they remain in “this body of death” (Romans 7:24).

This fact necessitated a high priest ministering on the basis of shed blood during Moses’ day, and this fact also necessitates a High Priest ministering on the basis of shed blood today.

During Moses’ day, this priestly ministry was for the cleansing of those who had already experienced the death of the firstborn (Exodus 12), with a view to their one day entering an earthly land as “a kingdom of priests” and realizing an “inheritance” therein (cf. Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 3:28; Hebrews 11:8).

And during the present dispensation, this priestly ministry is also for those who have already experienced the death of the firstborn (in the antitype of Exodus 12), with a view to their one day entering a heavenly land as “kings and priests” and realizing an “inheritance” therein (cf. Ephesians 1:3, 11; Colossians 1:5, 12; Revelation 5:10).

In John 13, Christ — reflecting on the past ministry of Aaron and His future ministry after the order of Aaron — took a towel, girded Himself, took a basin of water, and began to wash the disciples’ feet.  Through this act, Christ was showing the necessity of a present cleansing (for a revealed purpose) for those who had already been cleansed in the past (for a revealed purpose).

But when Christ came to Simon Peter, Peter refused to allow Him to wash his feet.  Peter said, “You shall never wash my feet!” (John 13:8a).  And he was very emphatic in his statement, using a double negative for emphasis in the Greek text (ou me).  A more literal English translation of Peter’s statement would read somewhat along the lines, “Thou shalt never, no not ever, wash my feet.”

Jesus, in His response to Peter, then drove home the truth surrounding that which He was doing: “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” (John 13:8b).  If Peter did not allow Christ to do that which this act symbolized — a cleansing work that the Son would perform on behalf of the people of God yet future — Peter could have no part with Him.

That which was in view had nothing to do with eternal life.  Rather, it had to do with the message being proclaimed, the message surrounding the kingdom.  And this message was solely for the saved, not for the unsaved.

The truth being taught had to do with saved individuals availing themselves of Christ’s ministry as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.  It had to do with saved individuals allowing Christ to cleanse them from defilement (typified by Christ washing the disciples’ feet).  And this would have to do with defilement wrought through the old sin nature and contact with this present world in which Christians live (as the disciples’ feet would have become unclean through contact with the ground upon which they walked).

If a person doesn’t avail himself of Christ’s present ministry in the sanctuary, that person cannot have a part with Christ in the kingdom.  And the reason for this has been clearly revealed in Scripture.

According to Ephesians 5:25-27, Christ “gave Himself” for the Church (past [Ephesians 5:25]), “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word” (present [Ephesians 5:26]), “that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (future [Ephesians 5:27]).

Peter, realizing what Christ was talking about (having a part with Him in the kingdom), immediately changed his mind and said, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:9).  But Jesus responded, “He that is bathed [Gk., louo] needs only to wash [Gk., nipto] his feet, but is completely clean” (John 13:10a).

The Greek words louo and nipto used together like this call attention to two different types of washings.  Louo refers to a washing of the complete body, and nipto refers to a washing of parts of the body (hands, feet, etc.).  Nipto is the word that Christ used in John 13:8, referring to that which He was doing (washing the disciples’ feet).

That being taught in John 13:8-10 is drawn from the typology of the Old Testament.  When a priest in the Old Testament theocracy entered into the priesthood, his entire body was washed, never to be repeated.  The Septuagint (Greek version of the Old Testament), describing this washing in Exodus 29:4; 40:12-15, uses the word louo.  And the Septuagint, describing a washing of parts of the body in the priests’ subsequent ministry in the tabernacle (washing the hands and feet at the laver), uses the word nipto in Exodus 30:21; 40:30-32.

And it is the same today for those who would one day be “kings and priests” in Christ’s coming kingdom.  A complete washing (louo) has occurred in the past, which can never be repeated;  but partial washings (nipto) must occur subsequent to the complete washing, if…

A perfect tense of the verb louo is used in John 13:8 relative to Peter’s past washing, showing an act completed in past time and existing during present time in a finished state.  And any subsequent washing of any type could have nothing to do with this past, completed work.

But, a present washing (nipto) must occur if a person washed (louo) is to have a part with Christ in His kingdom.  And the Holy Spirit is in the world bringing this matter to light for Christians.

Christ, referring to this ministry of the Spirit (future at the time of His statement;  present today), said, “Concerning sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:9).  That would be to say, “Concerning sin, because they do not exercise faith in me” (cf. John 14:1; Romans 1:16-17).

“Faith” and “believe” are the same word in the Greek text.  One is a noun (“faith”), and the other is a verb (“believe”).  “Faith” is simply believing that which God has to say.  Or, “belief,” on the other hand, is simply exercising faith in that which God has to say.  This is why Scripture clearly reveals that “faith” can emanate from only one source — “the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

It is faith in the “Advocate [Gk., Parakletos],” “Jesus Christ the righteous,” ministering in the heavenly sanctuary on the Christians’ behalf.  Christ is “the propitiation [Gk., hilasmos, a form of the word for ‘mercy seat,’ referring to Christ’s high priestly work] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).

The Parakletos on earth, preceding God sending His Spirit, was Christ.  Following Christ’s ascension and the sending of the Spirit, the Parakletos on earth was then the Spirit.  But Christ’s work as Parakletos did not end with His ascension.  Rather, it continued with a subsequent work in the heavens.  Christ, throughout the present dispensation, is the Christians’ Parakletos in the sanctuary in the heavens.

Thus, Christians have two Parakletos — Two called alongside to help — One on earth, and the Other in the heavens.  And their respective ministries completely complement one another, both moving toward exactly the same goal.  The Parakletos on earth is performing part of the work; and the Parakletos in heaven is performing the remainder of the work, which allows the work being carried out by the Parakletos on earth to be brought to completion.

Concerning Righteousness

“Righteousness” in the life of a Christian has to do with right living, living in accordance with that revealed in the Word of God.  It is walking by faith, following the man of spirit rather than the man of flesh.

The wedding garment to be worn by Christians will be made up of “righteous acts” (Revelation 19:7-8), which takes one back to right living, conforming one’s life to that revealed in the Word.  And this takes one back to that which Christ stated concerning the work of the Spirit in John 16:10.

Christ, the righteous One, the living Word, has gone back into heaven.  True righteousness, during His time of absence (seen in the person of Christ during His presence), can be seen through only one source today — the written Word.  And the Spirit is presently in the world to call the Christians’ attention to all the various facets of that which the Word has to say in this respect.

To bring matters surrounding “righteousness” to pass during the absence of the righteous One, the Spirit may have to begin with “rebuke.”  But, if so, this would be with a view to subsequent instruction, a bringing of matters to light surrounding that which the Word has to say concerning “righteousness” (the present child-training, with a view to future sonship, seen in Hebrews 12:5-8).  And this would be with a view to the salvation of the soul, which is part and parcel with the Christian possessing a wedding garment and being able to participate in activities surrounding the bride.

Christ, in the heavens, has sat down with His Father on His throne.  This though is temporary, for a period of time described in Psalm 110:1 — until the Father makes the Son’s enemies His footstool.  And it is also for a period of time seen in Genesis 24 — until the Spirit, presently in the world, completes His search for the bride.

Christ, seated on the Father’s throne in the heavens, is presently inviting Christians to one day sit with Him on His Own throne (Revelation 3:21).  Christ will ascend this throne following events of the present dispensation (after the Spirit has procured the bride) and following the completion of Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week (when God will bring matters to pass wherein all will be in subjection to the Son).  And numerous Christians from the present dispensation — who heeded the Spirit’s call and instructions — will find themselves among those allowed to ascend the throne with God’s Son during that coming day.

Concerning Judgment

Christ referred to the Spirit bringing “judgment” to light in His work among Christians “because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11).  “The prince of this world” is Satan, and the wording from the Greek text reveals that Satan has already been judged.  A perfect tense is used for “judged,” and the translation should literally read, “the prince of this world has been judged.”  The reference, through the use of the perfect tense, is to a past judgment, with conditions surrounding this judgment presently existing in a finished state.

Judgment presently awaits all Christians at Christ’s judgment seat.  Christians will be judged according to their “works” (cf. Matthew 16:27; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11), which, within the framework of that revealed in John 16:7-11, will have to do with “sin” and “righteousness.”

The incumbent ruler has already been judged relative to sin and righteousness, and the ones who have been called to inherit the kingdom after Satan has been put down are to be judged relative to sin and righteousness as well.  And the carrying out of decrees surrounding the judgment of both Satan and Christians will occur following the judgment of Christians.

Sin and unrighteousness have resulted in the rejection and disqualification of the incumbent ruler, and exactly the same thing can (and will) result in the rejection and disqualification of numerous Christians called to inherit the kingdom with Christ.  Other Christians though will be shown to have overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil; and these will realize an inheritance in the kingdom, ascending the throne with Christ.

One Parakletos is presently in the world, working among Christians, with an end in view;  and the Other Parakletos is in the heavens performing a companion work for Christians, with the same end in view.

And Christians can either heed or ignore their respective ministries.  Either way, one’s eternal destiny will remain unaffected; but that which awaits Christians during the coming age will be vastly affected.
Chapter Four
When He Is Come (2)

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 

All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:12-15).

Christ’s earthly ministry covered a period of about three and one-half years; and near the end of this ministry, shortly before His crucifixion, He took the disciples aside and provided closing instructions for them.  These instructions began with Christ washing the disciples’ feet in John 13, and they continued with things surrounding His soon departure in John 14 and beyond.

Christ began to provide these closing instructions for His disciples at a time when He was about to complete the work that He had come to perform, depart this earth, and be gone for a lengthy period.  His death, burial, and resurrection lay immediately ahead; and His time on earth following His resurrection would be climaxed by a short ministry lasting forty days.

His entire ministry while on earth (both pre- and post-resurrection) had centered around one facet of truth drawn from the Old Testament.  It had centered around regalityThe Messianic King was present, and a kingdom (in which the King would rule) was being offered to Israel.

The kingdom being offered to the Jewish people by their King had to do with the governmental administration of one province in God’s universal kingdom — the earth upon which man resides (Matthew 2:2; 3:1ff; 4:17ff; 13:19ff; Luke 4:1-13; Acts 1:3).  This was the kingdom over which Satan and his angels had been placed by God in the beginning (Ezekiel 28:14; Luke 4:5-6; Ephesians 3:10; 6:12); and this is the kingdom that  will one day be ruled by Christ and His co-heirs, following that future time when Satan and his angels will have been put down (Luke 19:12-19; Romans 8:14-23; Revelation 2:26-27; 3:21; 12:7-12).

(Scripture, dealing with that future day when Christ takes the scepter, refers to this kingdom as “the kingdom of the world” [Revelation 11:15 NASB, NIV].  The gospel accounts, introducing this kingdom from the Old Testament [e.g., the books of 1, 2 Samuel, or the book of Daniel], refer to the kingdom mainly two different ways: calling it “the kingdom of the heavens,” and “the kingdom of God” [e.g., Matthew 19:23-24].  And these two expressions are self-explanatory.

The former expression [“the kingdom of the heavens”] has to do with the manner in which the kingdom has been established — a rule from the heavens over the earth, beginning with God and progressing through the incumbent ruler, Satan.  And the latter expression [“the kingdom of God”] simply associates the kingdom with God’s universal kingdom [though only a part of this kingdom].  Both expressions refer to the same kingdom, and both are restricted to that part of the kingdom of God having to do with the earth — “the kingdom of the world.”

God rules from a place in the heavens [in relation to the universe], over the entire universe.  Satan also rules from a place in the heavens [but a place in the heavens in relation to the earth, not in relation to the universe], with his rule restricted to the earth.  And God apparently established rulership after the same fashion all other places in the universe where similar kingdoms exist [an established rule from places in the heavens over other provinces in His kingdom (Psalm 103:19-22)].

God, at a time in the past, positioned ruling angels [along with other angels occupying positions under them] over provinces located various places throughout the universe.  And God governs the universe through these ruling angels [Job 1:6ff; 2:1ff].

But a problem arose when one of these ruling angels sought to “exalt” his throne and be “like the most High,” i.e., rule the entire universe rather than the one province in the universe over which he had been placed.  And the manner in which God chose to resolve the resulting problem — through the creation of man, with man destined to take the scepter in this one province in His kingdom — is at the center of His dealings with man throughout His Word.)

Christ was about to leave His disciples and return into the heavens, for a revealed reason.  He was returning into the heavens in order “to receive for himself a kingdom” (Luke 19:12) — the same kingdom in view throughout His earthly ministry, which was (and remains today) under Satan’s rule and control.  This was the kingdom offered to Israel during the past dispensation, and this is the same kingdom being offered to Christians during the present dispensation.

All of these things anticipate a change in the administration of the present kingdom under Satan.  Such a change must occur, for Satan has disqualified himself;  and God will not allow a disqualified ruler to remain on the throne indefinitely.  He, of necessity, must be replaced.

(Nor will God allow a disqualified person to ascend the throne, as Adam [following the fall] was not allowed to ascend the throne in the past, or as numerous Christians [following their being shown disqualified at the judgment seat] will not be allowed to ascend the throne yet future.  Occupying positions of regality within God’s kingdom is limited to qualified individuals — whether those about to ascend the throne, or those already seated on the throne.)

The first man, the first Adam, through an encounter with Satan, found himself disqualified to take the scepter and ascend the throne.  And because of this, it was necessary that the second Man, the last Adam, experience a similar encounter with Satan.  It was necessary that He also meet Satan, with regality in view, in order to show that He was not only fully qualified to redeem that which the first Adam forfeited in the fall (placing man back in a position where he could rule) but to ultimately ascend the throne as well.

This is the “why” of the temptation account at the outset of Christ’s ministry (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).  And that toward which everything points (regality) also forms the reason Christians experience a similar encounter with Satan during the present dispensation (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Satan, “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  And Christians are called upon to resist Satan “steadfast [i.e., ‘standing firm’] in the faith,” with a view to being exalted “in due time” (1 Peter 5:6-9).

And relative to the entire matter surrounding Satan’s actions toward Christians today, note Christ’s promise to Christians in Revelation 3:21:

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

The Son showed Himself fully qualified almost 2,000 years ago, finished the work that He had come to perform, and is now at the Father’s right hand, waiting… (Psalm 110:1ff).  And the day is not far removed when the Father will give the kingdom to His Son, followed by His Son’s return as “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”  Then the Father will remove Satan from the throne and position His Son, along with the Son’s co-heirs (those who [at the judgment seat] will be shown qualified, who will comprise the Son’s bride in that day), on the throne (Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 19:12ff; Revelation 11:15; 19:11-20:6).

With a View to…

With a view to all of this, beginning at Christ’s first coming, Scripture states:

He came unto His own [Gk., neuter word, referring to ‘His Own things’], and His own [Gk., masculine word, referring to ‘His Own people’] did not receive Him (John 1:11).

Christ came unto His Own things.  He was born King (Matthew 2:2), and the things to which He came — things having to do with His regal birth, the Davidic throne, the throne of this earth, etc. — were not realized at His first coming.  The Jewish people to whom He came and offered “the kingdom of the heavens,” rejected Him.  This resulted in the events surrounding Calvary, the people to whom He came (Israel) being set aside, His departure into heaven, the Spirit being sent, and the “one new man,” in Christ, being called into existence.

Very early in His ministry, Christ had called twelve disciples.  These were individuals whom He could instruct and who would have a part in His ministry to Israel (Matthew 4:18ff; 5:1ff; Mark. 1:16ff; Luke 5:1ff; John 1:37ff).  He later commissioned these twelve to carry the same message to Israel that He had been proclaiming (Matthew 10:1ff) — a message that had begun to be proclaimed by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1ff).  And throughout the entire course of His ministry with the disciples, as He and His disciples proclaimed this message to the Jewish people, Christ continued to provide instruction for them (e.g., Matthew 13:1ff; 16:13ff; 17:1ff; 18:1ff).

But near the close of His ministry, though the disciples had been in His presence for over three years, there were still numerous things that they had not been taught.  Christ had purposely not taught His disciples in certain areas, for a revealed reason.

Christ, referring to this matter, told the disciples: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12).  These were things that the disciples yet needed to know and understand, but these were also things that, at that time, they were not able “to bear” (in the sense of the manner in which this same word [Gk., bastazo] is used in Acts 15:10).

Instruction extending throughout Christ’s ministry had not occurred over a sufficient length of time for the disciples to attain the necessary maturity to understand the “many things” of which He spoke.  The disciples, at this point in time, still lacked an understanding of certain things in God’s revelation to man, things that it was necessary for them to understand prior to being taught these additional things.

However, “another Parakletos” would take over at this point (John 14:16), provide additional instruction in the Word, and lead the disciples into an understanding of the things to which Christ referred.  He would lead them “into all truth” (John 16:7, 13).

A comparable (yet different) situation surrounding a knowledge of the Word can be seen in Paul’s experiences, beginning about five years later.  Paul was converted on the Damascus road; and, though he apparently had a vast knowledge of “the letter” of the Old Testament Scriptures (Acts 9:20-22, 29; 22:3), that same knowledge did not extend over into “the spirit” of this same Word (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:6-16).

Paul had been brought up “at the feet of Gamaliel [one of the greatest teachers of Scripture of that day], and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers” (i.e., according to the strict manner in which the Jewish fathers viewed the Old Testament Scriptures).  Paul knew “the letter” of the Scriptures, but not “the spirit” of the Scriptures.  However, knowing “the letter,” he was in a position where he could be taught “the spirit.”

And when his eyes were opened on the third day following his conversion (Acts 9:9-18), Paul possessed a sufficient knowledge of “the letter” of the Scriptures that he, over a very short period of time, was able to begin seeing certain things having to do with “the spirit” of the Scriptures.  Only a few days following his conversion, after his physical strength had returned (resulting from his ordeal, beginning on the Damascus road), Paul went into the synagogues in Damascus and proclaimed “Christ…that he is the Son of God” (Acts 9:19-20).  And he proclaimed this message after the same manner shortly afterwards in Jerusalem as well (Acts 9:21-29).

Paul not only possessed the ability to proclaim this message shortly after his conversion, but he possessed the ability at this time to proclaim this message in such a manner that he could prove to the Jewish people (which could only have been through using their own Scriptures) that “this is very Christ.”  And Paul’s ability to use the Old Testament Scriptures in this manner resulted in the Jews attempting to slay him in both Damascus and Jerusalem , forcing the Christians both places to physically remove Paul from these cities (Acts 9:24-25, 29-30).

Paul, through his prior knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, was able to put certain things together in a correct manner, on his own, to an extent.  Then, because of his knowledge of these Scriptures, the Lord was able to take Paul aside a short time later, personally appear to him, and build upon that which he already knew (over a period of time probably lasting about three years).  And, in this manner, the Lord taught Paul what is called in Scripture, “the mystery” (Romans 16:25; Galatians 1:11-17; Ephesians 3:1-11; Colossians 1:25-29).

“The mystery” had to do with Gentile believers being “fellowheirs, and of the same body” with Jewish believers; and this, in turn, had to do with both (Gentile and Jewish believers), in the same body, occupying proffered positions with Christ in the kingdom (Ephesians 3:1-6).  It was this message that Paul had been called to proclaim throughout the Gentile world (Acts 9:15; Galatians 2:2, 7).

The disciples, though they had been with Christ for over three years, had yet to be taught “many things”; Paul, though he had been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel and taught “according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers,” still needed to be taught the various things surrounding the gospel that he had been called to proclaim; and Christians today, though they have “another Parakletos” Who has been sent to open the Scriptures to their understanding, will always find themselves in a position where they need to be taught.

It is evident from both the testimony of Scripture and one’s own experience that a mature knowledge of the Word of God is not something that a person acquires over a short period of time — weeks, months, or even several years.  Neither the disciples nor Paul came into a mature knowledge of the Word in such a manner.  And it is no different for Christians today. 

Rather, multiplied years of study are involved in Christian maturity.  A proper, mature knowledge of the Word takes time, LOT OF TIME — time which FEW are WILLING to devote to such a study.

The price that one must pay for a knowledge of the Word of God, in this respect, could be stated in two words: Eternal Review.  And FEW are WILLING to pay that price

Note several principles set forth in Isaiah 28:9-10 surrounding the possession of a knowledge of the Word:

Whom will He teach knowledge? And whom will He make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?

For precept [one part of that which God has stated] must be upon precept [another part of that which God has stated;  i.e., Scripture must be compared with Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:9-13)], precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” (Isaiah 28:9-10)

Then, a true and correct study of the Word, in line with the preceding, can only be a study under the ministry of the Parakletos, Who has been sent for this purpose.  And this Word must be studied under the ministry of the Parakletos after the same fashion in which the Parakletos previously gave the word (e.g., Scripture has been built around a septenary structure that was set at the very beginning [Genesis 1:1-2:3; Hebrews 4:1-9], the Old Testament is highly typical in nature [Luke 24:25-27; 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11], and regality is the central focus throughout [with redemption, which enters the picture following man’s fall, always related to regality — allowing man to be brought back into the position for which he was created in the beginning (Genesis 1:26-28; 22:1ff; Exodus 12:1ff; Revelation 2:26-27; 3:21)]).

And it is completely immaterial whether one views the disciples (including Paul) studying under Christ’s ministry or Christians today studying under the Spirit’s ministry.  One group would have no advantage over the other.  Both (the disciples then, and Christians now) must be looked upon exactly the same way — studying under the ministry of the Parakletos (Christ then, and the Spirit now), Who are both One with the Father.

Christ had slightly over three years from a prior dispensation to teach His disciples.  The Spirit, on the other hand, has an entire 2,000-year dispensation in which to carry out this work, along with the lifetime of individuals within the dispensation.

Thus, it can easily be seen and understood why there were things that the disciples were in no position “to bear” at the end of little more than three years of instruction, though having spent this time under the ministry of Christ Himself, one Parakletos.  And it can also easily be seen and understood why these things could subsequently be opened up and revealed to the disciples under the ministry of the other Parakletos, Who would be sent following Christ’s departure.  The coming Parakletos (the Holy Spirit) could not only build upon the work of the prior Parakletos (Christ), but time constraints would be quite different for those receiving instruction under His ministry.

He Will Guide

John 16:12-15 continues the thought from the preceding verses (John 16:7-11), which center around the reproving work of the Spirit (following His being sent) among Christians throughout the present dispensation.  This reproving work of the Spirit would have for its goal “a bringing to light,” for Christians, all matters surrounding His mission in the world.  The Spirit’s mission would center around His search for a bride for God’s Son, with a view to the Son’s coming reign; and, contextually, the Spirit would accomplish this task through calling attention to things in three realms:  sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11 [ref. chapter 3 of this book]).

And these same three realms, about to be used by the Spirit in His dealings with Christians, can be seen encompassing the whole of Christ’s previous ministry to Israel.  In fact, these three realms together are inclusive to the point that they can be seen encompassing the whole of God’s dealings with man at any time throughout man’s history, beginning with Adam.

Relative to sin, righteousness, and judgment, as it pertained to Israel, the nation was sick — “from the sole of the foot even to the head” (Isaiah 1:6) — and this sickness was the direct result of “sin” (Isaiah 1:4).  Because of Israel’s sickness in this respect, the message proclaimed to Israel, beginning with John the Baptist, was “Repent [change your minds (relative to sin, disobedience)]: for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand” (Matthew 3:1-2; cf. Matthew 4:17; 10:5-7).

That which was to follow after the matter of “sin” had been dealt with was “righteousness” — right living.  The Jewish people were living in a manner completely contrary to that which God had outlined in His Word for the nation to follow.  They were living in an unrighteous manner.  And it was this turning about, by means of repentance, which was in view through Christ’s statement to His disciples about “righteousness” at the outset of His ministry:

"For I say unto you, that unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees [reflecting on Israel’s condition through the condition of the nation’s religious leaders], you will by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens” (Matthew 5:20; cf. James 5:19-20).

Then, that which was to follow both “sin” either being or not being dealt with and “righteousness” either being or not being effected (through “sin” either being or not being dealt with), was “judgment.”  Judgment would follow in either case, though the only ones who need fear judgment would be those who had not dealt with sin, with unrighteousness rather than righteousness following.

And to use the words later directed to any Christian who would follow the same example surrounding sin and disobedience, such individuals would one day find it to be “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God [at that future time of judgment]” (Hebrews 10:30-31; cf. Hebrews 10:19-29).

1)  Many Things

The “many things” that Christ had not taught the disciples, cannot be separated from that which He had previously stated about sin, righteousness, and judgment.  And sin, righteousness, and judgment cannot be separated from either Christ’s preceding ministry or God’s dealings with man at any other time in man’s history.  Then, all of this can be seen centering on one thing (regality) and moving toward one goal (that day when God’s Son takes the scepter, with a view to effecting order where disorder had previously prevailed).

Thus, the Spirit subsequently leading individuals “into all truth” could, contextually, center around only one realm — that dealt with in the Scriptures that lead into this section.  And this really goes all the way back to Genesis 24 (the search for a bride for God’s Son), and back behind that to Genesis 1 (the reason for man’s creation in the beginning).

That seen in both Genesis chapters one and twenty-four (the reason for man’s creation in the beginning, and the search for a bride for God’s Son) would reflect on the whole of the mission of the Spirit in the world today.  The sequence of events detailed in Genesis 24 were made necessary because of the sequence of events detailed in Genesis 1.

The Son doesn’t presently possess a wife; and, if the Son is to rule during the coming age, provision must be made at a time prior to that (which Scripture places in the present dispensation) for a wife to be procured.  The Son cannot rule without a wife to rule with Him, for to rule apart from a wife would violate a principle that God Himself established in the beginning (Genesis 1:26).  The man and the woman must rule together — He as King, and she as consort queen.  In this respect, Genesis 1:26 anticipates that seen in Genesis 24:1ff.

Thus, an entire dispensation has been set aside; and God has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to acquire a bride for His Son, with a view to the kingdom that follows.  And the Spirit is to accomplish this task through reproving Christians in the three-fold manner set forth in John 16:8-11.

2)  He Shall Not Speak of Himself

A major problem in Christendom today is not only a magnification of the Spirit by man but also a magnification of the Spirit apart from the true work of the Spirit.  The Spirit though, to the contrary, never calls attention to Himself;  and His ministry is always seen channeled toward one goal — bringing to pass that for which He was sent.

In the type from Genesis 24, Abraham’s servant was careful not to call attention to himself about anything.  The ten camels that he had brought into the land were laden with “all the goods of his master,” which his master had given to his son (Genesis 24:10, 36; cf. Genesis 25:5).  And making known his mission involved two things alone:

1) announcing that he was there to procure a bride for his master’s son (Genesis 24:37ff), and 

2) displaying that which the father had given to his son (Genesis 24:22, 47, 53).

And matters are exactly the same in the work of the Spirit among the people of God during the present dispensation.  They would, of necessity, have to be the same.  The type has been set, and the antitype (the work of the Spirit in the world today) must follow the type (the work of the servant in Genesis 24) in exact detail.

The Spirit in the world today, in accord with the type, does not call attention to Himself.  And He makes known His mission in the world through the same two means seen in the type:

(a) The announcement concerning His mission was made about 4,000 years ago during Abraham’s day, and this was recorded for all to see about 3,500 years ago during Moses’ day.  Then attention was called to this announcement (in complete accord with the type) about 2,000 years ago by Christ during His earthly ministry.  And commentary on the announcement (again, in complete accord with the type) was subsequently given as the Spirit of God Himself moved men to write the book of Acts, the epistles, and the book of Revelation.

Then, continuing to remain completely within the type, the Spirit conducts His ministry during this present dispensation through:

(b) Displaying before the people of God (using the Word in His possession) all the things belonging to the Father, which the Father has given to His Son.

3)  But Whatsoever He Shall Hear

The Spirit, exactly as Abraham’s servant in the type, has all of the Father’s possessions (which the Father has given to His Son) at His disposal.  And, as previously seen, these possessions are opened up and revealed to the prospective bride through the Word, which the Spirit Himself moved different men to pen in time past.

The Spirit takes this Word in His possession and opens the Word to an individual’s understanding.  He takes this Word and spreads before Christians all the “jewelry of silver, and jewelry of gold, and clothing [which can only be an allusion to things having to do with the wedding garment, made up of ‘the righteous acts of the saints’]” (Genesis 24:53; cf. Revelation 19:7-8 NASB, NIV).

Abraham’s servant made known and carried out his mission in exact accord with the instructions that he had previously received from his master (Genesis 24:33ff).  Nothing else was involved in his mission — only those things surrounding a search for and procurement of a bride for his master’s son.

And it is exactly the same in matters surrounding the ministry of the Spirit in the world today.  His mission is being carried out in exact accord with the instructions previously received from the Father.  Nothing else is involved in His mission — only those things surrounding a search for and procurement of a bride for the Father’s Son. 

He Shall Glorify Me

There is a dual emphasis in Christ’s statement to His disciples concerning the future work of the Spirit.  There is an emphasis on (1) the manner in which the Spirit would conduct His ministry (Genesis 24:8-11), and there is an emphasis on (2) that which the Spirit would use as He conducted this ministry in the revealed manner (Genesis 24:13-15).

As previously seen, the manner in which the Spirit presently conducts His ministry has to do with a reproving work surrounding sin, righteousness, and judgment.  And, as also previously seen, that which the Spirit uses in the process of carrying out His ministry in this revealed manner is the Word of God.

It is the Word alone that reveals all that belongs to the Father, which the Father has given to His Son.  And the Spirit glorifies the Son through taking the things belonging to the Son and revealing these things to the people of God.

These are the things to which Christ came approximately 2,000 years ago, having to do with regality (John 1:11).  And these are the things to which He is about to return, having to do with the same regality.

It is a present glorification of the Son by the Spirit through revealing, from the Word, the Son’s coming glory.  It is showing the people of God “things to come” through opening the Word and revealing all that belongs to the Father, which the Father has given to His Son.  And it is through this means that the Spirit leads individuals “into all truth,” with the whole of the matter centering on regality and the Son’s coming glory.

Christ was born King at His first coming, though separated at this time from His glory (Matthew 2:2; Romans 8:3).  He was rejected by the Jewish people, arrayed as a mock King and mocked by the Roman soldiers (along with being spat upon and beaten), and then crucified as “the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:15-37).

But He will return in a completely different fashion than He was seen at His first coming.  There will be no mock King, no crown of thorns, no mockery by the people, no mistreatment, no crucifixion.

Rather, He will return in all His power and glory as the “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” (Matthew 19:11ff).  He, in that day, rather than being rejected by the Jewish people, will be accepted by them;  He, in that day, rather than being improperly arrayed, with individuals bowing the knee in mockery, spitting upon and beating Him, will, instead, be properly arrayed and properly recognized.

He, in that day, will be arrayed in royal apparel, He will have on His head many crowns (diadems), and “every knee” shall bow and “every tongue” confess “that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).  And in that day, the same scenes that witnessed His sufferings and humiliation will witness His glory and exaltation.
Chapter Five
Seeing the Kingdom

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."

Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:1-3).

There is a dual thread of truth surrounding Christ’s ministry and His redemptive work running throughout John’s gospel.  John presents Christ as the One Who would suffer and die, and John also presents Christ as the One Who would rule and reign.  And salvation — as seen in John’s gospel, or anywhere else in Scripture — is connected with both spheres of Christ’s ministry and work.  The entire scope of salvation is not only connected with the death of the firstborn in Egypt (the death of the Firstborn in the world [Exodus 12]), but it is also connected with a deliverance from Egypt, with another land in view (a deliverance from the world, with another land in view [Exodus 14 ff]).

There is salvation past (salvation that man presently possesses, the salvation of the spirit), and there is salvation present and future (salvation that man has yet to possess, the salvation of the soul).  John’s gospel, as any other book in Scripture (Old or New Testament), begins with the former and moves to the latter.  And, also as any other book in Scripture (Old or New Testament), the emphasis in John’s gospel is always on the latter.

Salvation by grace through faith is seen over and over as one moves through John’s gospel.  But salvation by grace through faith is always seen in John’s gospel, as elsewhere in Scripture, as the beginning point in God’s overall redemptive purpose surrounding fallen man.  That would be to say, salvation by grace through faith is not seen as an end in itself but as a means to an end.

As stated in John 3:3, “. . . unless one is born again [‘born from above’], he cannot see the kingdom of God [not see heaven, but see the kingdom of God].”  However, entrance into the kingdom of God (John 3:5) is another matter entirely; and, as Jesus goes on to state, entrance into the kingdom involves things subsequent to the birth from above.  The birth from above (the salvation of the spirit [John 3:3]) places one in a position where he can realize that dealt with in John 3:5 (the salvation of the soul, which will allow one to enter into the kingdom).

(Note the way matters are presented in John 3:3, 5, which is true throughout other parts of John’s gospel as well.  Both the birth from above [John 3:3] and things subsequent to the birth from above [John 3:5] are dealt with in relation to the kingdom, which has to do with Christ’s coming rule over the earth upon which man presently resides.

The thought of “heaven” is in view only in relation to the kingdom.  It is “the kingdom of the heavens” [also called “the kingdom of God” numerous times in Scripture (ref. Part 4 of this series)].  It is the rule of the heavens over the earth, i.e., a rule from a heavenly sphere [the heavens associated with the earth] over the earth.)

A person has been saved (past aspect of salvation, the salvation of the spirit) for a purpose; and that same person is presently being saved and has the prospect of one day seeing the present aspect of salvation brought to fruition (present and future aspects of salvation, the salvation of the soul) for exactly the same purpose as seen in the past aspect of salvation.

Thus, salvation, in any one of its three aspects (past, present, or future), is for a purpose, which has to do with the coming kingdom.  This is the way in which the gospel of John begins (John 1:29, 36, 49-51), continues (John 3:3-5; 4:40-50; 5:5-9; 6:3-14; 9:1-14; 11:4-7; 13:8-10; 18:36-37), and ends (John 19:16-19; 20:30-31).  There is no such thing, in John’s gospel or anywhere else in Scripture, as salvation being effected apart from regality in relation to the earth being in view (i.e., apart from a rule over the earth being in view).

(Further, salvation associated with regality, which has to do with the earth, is dealt with in Scripture centrally in relation to one age — the Messianic Era, lasting 1,000 years [seen numerous times in Scripture, particularly in John’s gospel, as occurring on the seventh day, the earth’s coming Sabbath (the seventh millennium dating from Adam)].  At times, the ages beyond are in view, though not necessarily relative to salvation per se [e.g., in Luke 1:33, “forever” should literally be translated, “with respect to the ages”;  or in Revelation 1:6, “forever and ever” should be translated, “with respect to the ages of the ages”].

But the central thrust of that to which Scripture points is not upon the ages.  Rather, it is upon one age — the Messianic Era.  This central thrust of Scripture was set at the very beginning of Scripture, within a septenary structure established in the opening verses of Genesis [Genesis 1:1-2:3] — a day of rest following six days of restorative work, pointing to a 1,000-year period of rest following 6,000 years of redemptive work.  These opening verses set the pattern for the way in which God would structure all subsequent revelation.  And the whole of Scripture, structured in this manner, must be understood accordingly.

Salvation by grace through faith [salvation of the spirit], though it relates not only to the Messianic Era but to all the ages beyond, is really dealt with in Scripture in a more restrictive sense.  It is dealt with in Scripture exactly the same way Scripture deals with the whole of the matter surrounding salvation, whether dealing with past, present, or future aspects of salvation.

Scripture, in accord with the septenary pattern set at the beginning, focuses issues relating to salvation [or anything else in Scripture] on the Messianic Era, the coming Sabbath of rest awaiting the people of God [Hebrews 4:1-9].  Scripture deals very sparingly with issues beyond the Messianic Era; and, accordingly, Scripture deals with the salvation issue — whether past, present, or future aspects of salvation — exactly the same way.  Scripture deals very sparingly with salvation in relation to the ages beyond the Messianic Era [eternity], though the salvation that man presently possesses extends into and covers all of these ages.

The preceding is why the thought of an age or why the Greek word for age can be used in the New Testament in connection with man’s presently possessed eternal salvation.  And this is really the case throughout Scripture, not only in the New Testament but in the Old Testament as well, for neither the Hebrew text of the Old Testament nor the Greek text of the New Testament contains a word for “eternal.”  Both use words that have to do with a long period of time or with an age, but not with eternity [Heb., olam; Gk., aion or aionios].

The salvation of the soul [having to do with present and future aspects of salvation] is another matter though.  The salvation of the soul has to do with the Messianic Era alone, not with the ages beyond.  Thus, unlike the salvation of the spirit, the whole of the matter is covered when Scripture relates the salvation of the soul to the Messianic Era.  Issues surrounding the salvation of the soul, unlike those surrounding the salvation of the spirit, do not extend beyond the scope of time seen in the septenary structure of Scripture.)

Man was created in the beginning to rule and to reign (Genesis 1:26-28).  But, through Satan’s deception (through the deception of the incumbent ruler, whom man was created to replace), man fell from the position in which he had been created.  And in this fallen state man found himself in a position wherein he could not realize the purpose for his creation.

But God provided redemption for His fallen creature.  And the redemption that God provided can only have, for its ultimate goal, man being placed back in the position for which he had been created in the beginning.  Thus, the whole of the matter surrounding salvation in Scripture (salvation past, present, and future) is seen relating centrally to that future time when man will be placed back in the position for which he was created in the beginning.

The fall was with a view to removing man from this position; and, accordingly, redemption (the whole of the matter — past, present, and future) can only be with a view to placing man back in this position (something that can be clearly seen in Scripture when viewing the whole of God’s redemptive plans and purposes).  Thus, regality forms the crux of the entire matter surrounding both man’s fall and God’s subsequently provided redemption for fallen man.

The first part of John 3 (mainly the first eighteen verses) would show the entire scope of salvation — past, present, and future — along with the reason for salvation, about as well as any place in Scripture.  This part of the chapter recounts an event peculiar to John’s gospel.  It deals with a prominent Pharisee coming to Jesus by night, who raised an issue about the supernatural signs being manifested in the presence of those in Israel and that which the Pharisees knew about Jesus because of these signs.  And Jesus responded to the issue that Nicodemus raised in a manner probably quite different than the response Nicodemus may have expected.

Nicodemus was a “ruler” (in the religious sphere) among the Jewish people (John 3:1).  He was a highly recognized teacher of the Scriptures in Israel (John 3:10 [“master” should be translated “teacher,” and the word is articular in the Greek text, indicating that Nicodemus was a well-known, acknowledged teacher among the Jewish people]).

Nicodemus’ prominence among those in Israel is probably what caused him to approach Christ under the cover of darkness, though that is not specifically stated.  The Pharisees — by far the most prominent religious sect in Israel at that time, the ones who, by their very numbers, controlled the religious life of the people — sought to counter Christ at every turn in His ministry.  And for a prominent leader among them to go to Christ in the manner in which Nicodemus approached Christ — with a positive inquiry rather than with negative statements and accusations — would not have set well at all with the vast majority of the Pharisees.

Nicodemus, coming to Jesus, immediately acknowledged something about the Pharisees that condemned their actions in toto.  Nicodemus acknowledged that the Pharisees knew Jesus had to be “a teacher come from God.”  And they knew this because of the supernatural signs that Jesus was manifesting in the presence of the Jewish people.  The Pharisees knew that no one could perform these signs “except God is with him” (John 3:2).

And, because of these signs, the Pharisees even possessed a more specific knowledge of Jesus’ identity than Nicodemus admitted.  They knew exactly Who Jesus was.  They knew that He was the Heir of the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-45); and this is the reason that they opposed Him at every turn, resulting in His rejection by the Jewish people and ending with the Jewish people crying for and succeeding in bringing about His crucifixion.

(The Pharisees could only have known Jesus’ identity through two related means: 1) that which the Old Testament revealed about the signs being manifested, and 2) that which the Old Testament revealed about the signs of the times.  The Old Testament relates the “signs” being manifested to the theocracy [ref. the next section in this chapter], and the Old Testament clearly revealed that it was time for Messiah to appear [e.g., Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy].

Israel’s religious leaders believed on the one hand [they knew, from the Old Testament scriptures, Jesus’ identity (the only possible way they could have known His identity)], yet they exhibited unbelief on the other hand [they were unfaithful relative to that which they knew (“faith” and “believe” are the same word in the Greek text — one is a noun, and the other a verb)].

The Pharisees believed Moses and the Prophets on the one hand [knowing Christ’s identity through that which was revealed in the Old Testament, but this belief was expressed through unbelief on the other [the Pharisees following Christ about the country, seeking to counter the signs being manifested, and seeking to bring about unbelief on the part of the people].  And the actions of the Pharisees, in the face of that which they knew, made matters even worse, not only for them but for the entire nation [cf. Matthew 16:1-5; 23:1-39; John 5:39-47; James 4:17].)

Signs in Christ’s Ministry

John’s gospel is structured completely different than the three synoptic gospels.  John, throughout the first eleven chapters of his gospel, centers that which he reveals about Christ’s ministry to Israel around seven signs; and Christ’s resurrection in John 20 forms an eighth sign (cf. Matthew 12:38-40), which is followed by a statement having to do with these signs, also peculiar to John’s gospel.

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;

but these [signs] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30-31).

Also, immediately following the seventh sign in John’s gospel (the resurrection of Lazarus [John 11]), the remainder of the book is taken up with events occurring during the six days leading into events surrounding Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  And these events, for the most part, are not only peculiar to John’s gospel but completely different in their focus.  Events covering this same period of time in the three synoptic gospels center around Israel.  But events in John’s gospel have to do with Christ’s closing instructions for and prayer on behalf of His disciples.

Thus, there are two main sections forming John’s gospel.  On the one hand there are the signs, which have to do with Israel; and, on the other hand, there are Christ’s extensive dealings with His disciples immediately preceding His crucifixion.  And the latter have to do with events during the present dispensation, following Israel being set aside.

In John chapter three, the focus is on signs.  It was because of the signs being manifested that Nicodemus had come to Christ.  From the signs being manifested, the Pharisees were able to ascertain Christ’s identity.  And, being able to do this, the Pharisees were apparently also fully aware that these signs pointed out ahead to the kingdom.  The signs were being manifested for those in Israel, for it is the Jew who requires a sign (1 Corinthians 1:22); and the signs in the Old Testament Scriptures had to do with the theocracy.  This is what Israel’s religious leaders should have known and apparently did know.

(The manifestation of signs in the Old Testament — first under Moses and Joshua, and later under Elijah and Elisha — had to do with a manifestation of supernatural powers for the Jewish people in relation to the theocracy.  This is the manner in which signs are introduced in Scripture; and being introduced after this fashion, forming a First-Mention Principle, this is the manner in which they must continue in Scripture.

Signs are for the Jew, and they point to things having to do with the Jewish people in relation to the theocracy.  God must be dealing with Israel in relation to the theocracy for signs to exist.  This is the manner in which Scripture sets the matter forth, and this is what must be kept in mind when viewing the signs in John’s gospel, or signs anywhere else in Scripture [ref. the author’s book, in this site, From Acts to the Epistles BOOK, Chapter 1].)

“Signs” are often thought of in connection with “wonders” and “miracles,” and these three words are used together five places in the New Testament (Acts 2:22; 6:8; Romans 15:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Hebrews 2:4).  Among the three words, “sign” (Gk., semeion) is the main word.  The other two words (“wonder” and “miracle”) relate something about the sign.

The word “wonder” (Gk., teras) has to do with something extra-ordinary, something outside the scope of a normal sequence of events.  The word is used sixteen times in the New Testament and is always used in a verse where semeion (sign) appears.  Teras describes the semeion.  That is, the sign is something extra-ordinary; and, in this case, the sign is something emanating from God, not from man.

The word “miracle” is a translation of the Greek word dunamis, which means “power.”  In this respect, “miracle” is more of a description of dunamis than a translation of the word.  Dunamis further (beyond teras) associates the manifested semeion with a power beyond man’s capability.  Dunamis, in this respect, refers to the sign as a manifestation of supernatural power.

Thus, a sign (a semeion) is something out of the ordinary (teras) in which there is a manifestation of supernatural power (dunamis).  Signs were being manifested in the presence of those in Israel, pointing to different facets of God’s work among the Jewish people in relation to the kingdom (described by “wonders” and “miracles”).

The Beginning Point

That which the Old Testament reveals about signs and that which the Pharisees knew about Christ through the signs that He was performing formed the basis for Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night.  Jesus’ response to Nicodemus though was very similar to His response to an unbelieving group of Pharisees following a sign being manifested in their midst in Matthew 12 (Matthew 12:22).  These Pharisees, not believing the sign being manifested (rejecting the sign, not exercising faith [though undoubtedly knowing far more about the sign and the person manifesting the sign than they were willing to admit]), asked for another sign (Matthew 12:38).  And Jesus, calling attention to their unbelief (“An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign”), told them that no sign would be given (to them, because of their unbelief) but “the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 12:39-40).

Jesus knew that which lay ahead because of the unbelief that had been exhibited by Israel’s religious leaders.  And, apparently because of this, He reacted in a similar manner when Nicodemus (a ruler and leading teacher among the Pharisees) approached Him with a statement about His identity and the signs being manifested.  Nicodemus, though approaching Christ in a manner quite different than that seen among his peers, was dealt with in a manner similar to that seen in Christ’s dealings with the unbelieving Pharisees in Matthew chapter twelve.

Christ began with the basics surrounding salvation by grace, reflecting on a work that He was about to perform at Calvary (Matthew 12:3).  And Christ dealt with the same matter through a type later in His conversation (not that of Jonah as seen in Matthew 12 but that of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness [Matthew 12:14-16]).

1)  The Birth from Above

Christ responded to Nicodemus’ statement by first calling attention to the birth from above.  He dropped back to the beginning point and, through the course of the entire conversation, covered the whole panorama of salvation — past, present, and future.  The emphasis though, in line with the way in which He is seen dealing with the Pharisees in Matthew chapter twelve (because of that which they had done), was on events surrounding the Cross and the birth from above.

It was the cross that lay immediately ahead, and suffering must always precede reigning in Scripture (Luke 24:25-27).  And also, in complete keeping with the septenary manner in which Scripture is structured, the whole panorama of salvation in Jesus conversation with Nicodemus, beginning with salvation by grace, is dealt with in relation to the kingdom (Matthew 12:3, 5).

This is the manner in which teachings surrounding salvation by grace are introduced in Scripture.  They are always introduced first, for this, of necessity, is the first issue at hand.  And teachings surrounding salvation by grace are introduced in this fashion with a revealed goal in view, which is always the same — the kingdom.

This is the way Scripture begins.  Activity surrounding the work of the triune Godhead in ruined (fallen) man’s restoration is introduced (foreshadowed) through the events occurring on the first day of God’s restoration of the ruined material creation in Genesis 1:2-5 [2b].  And this is the manner in which teachings surrounding salvation by grace continue beyond that revealed in Genesis 1:2-5 [2b] as well.

Subsequent teachings build upon and shed additional light upon that introduced in the foundational material.  These additional teachings can be seen, for example, in events surrounding Adam’s act following Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3), events surrounding Cain slaying Abel (Genesis 4), events surrounding Abraham offering his son (Genesis 22), or events surrounding the death of the firstborn (Exodus 12).  

And all these subsequent teachings are presented within the same framework as the matter is first introduced in the opening verses of Genesis — with a goal in view.

a)  The Spirit of God Moved…

The earth was created perfect in the beginning.  It was created as a part of God’s universal kingdom; and a ruling angel (Satan, in his unfallen state, along with subordinate angels) was given the scepter and placed over the earth (Isaiah 45:18; Ezekiel 28:14).

But when Satan moved outside the regal bounds that God had set and sought to exalt his throne (extend his rule), God reduced his kingdom (the earth, a province in the kingdom of God) to a ruin (Genesis 1:2a; Isaiah 14:12-14).  And God’s work surrounding restoring the earth and subsequently creating man had to do with restoring a part of His kingdom and with placing a new ruler over this restored domain.

Everything surrounding that revealed in Genesis 1 has regal implications.  The creation (as a province in God’s universal kingdom), the ruin (resulting from the incumbent ruler seeking to exalt his throne), the restoration (with a view to order once again existing in this province), man’s creation (to rule the province in the stead of Satan), and God resting on the seventh day (pointing to a seventh-day rest, the Messianic Era), all have regal implications.

The creation, ruin, and subsequent restoration of the earth in Genesis chapter one — though comprising an actual historical account of the earth, angels, and man — is fraught with spiritual significance and meaning.  It is highly typical in nature, and it forms the foundation upon which the whole of subsequent Scripture rests.

Note again something that cannot be overemphasized.  Everything in this opening section of Scripture has regal implications — the earth’s creation, ruin, and restoration; man’s creation; God resting on the seventh day.  There is nothing here that is not regal in nature.

Genesis 1:1-2:3, set at the very beginning of Scripture, provides the foundational framework upon which all subsequent Scripture rests (reference the author’s book, in this site, The Study of Scripture BOOK, Chapters 2-4).  And this section of Scripture, providing this foundational material, not only provides details concerning how God would later restore ruined man — a subsequent ruined creation — but it also provides details concerning the purpose for man’s restoration.  Man’s restoration is with a view to the seventh day, the Messianic Era.

And something else that cannot be overemphasized at this foundational point in Scripture is the fact that the whole of the matter does not move beyond the seventh day.  The goal for all that is foreshadowed through events set forth in this foundational material is seen realized on the seventh day.  And this is the way in which the remainder of Scripture is structured as well.

Genesis 1:1-2:3 sets forth once and for all exactly how God goes about restoring a ruined creation.  The pattern, the mold, is set at this point and can never change.  And the restoration of the ruined creation is with a view to a completed restoration and a seventh day — something else set forth at this point, which can never change as well.

The first act of the triune Godhead in the restoration of the earth in the first chapter of Genesis was the movement of the Spirit.  “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2b).  This, in turn, was followed by God speaking, light coming into existence, and God dividing between the light and the darkness (Genesis 1:3-5).

This marked the beginning point in God’s restoration of the ruined material creation, with a view to subsequent restorative work.  And all of this was with a view to a restored kingdom with a new order of rulers — the man and the woman — and a seventh-day rest.

This, as well, shows the beginning point in God’s restoration of a subsequent ruined creation — man, following the fall.  In effecting man’s restoration, the Spirit of God would move, God would speak, light would come into existence, and God would divide between the light and the darkness.  That is, in complete accord with subsequent revelation bearing on the subject, the Spirit of God would breathe life into the one who had no life, effecting the birth from above (cf. Genesis 2:7; Ezekiel 37:1-10).  And the individual, through this means, would pass “from death unto life” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1, 5).

Synonymous with this, in the foundational material, God spoke, light came into existence, and God divided between the light and the darkness.  That is, as this pertains to fallen man, God would divide between the new man and the old man, between that which was spiritual and that which was soulical (Hebrews 4:12).

Then note one thing.  God’s restorative work on the first day in Genesis 1 had just as much to do with the goal in view as His restorative work on any one of the other five days.  All of this restorative work had to follow a certain order, and that performed on the first day was of such a nature that it had to occur first, else the other restorative work could not occur.

And it is the same in man’s restoration.  The birth from above must occur first.  The man must pass “from death unto life” — be made alive spiritually — before God can deal with him relative to other restorative work (in this case, the salvation of his soul, with the body as well, yet to be redeemed).  In order for the subsequent restorative work to be brought to pass, man must first possess spiritual life.

But, in complete accord with that set forth in Genesis 1, the birth from above (past aspect of salvation) has just as much to do with the goal in view as the salvation of the soul (present and future aspects of salvation) has to do with this goal.  

The different facets of salvation, together comprising the whole of the matter, are inseparably linked and have to do with the same goal, which is to be realized on the seventh day.

b)  Genesis 3; 4; 22; Exodus 12

In Genesis 3, Adam’s act of partaking of the forbidden fruit was both redemptive and regal in nature.  A part of his very being was in a fallen state, and he could not now eat of the tree of life as a complete being (the tree that would have provided the wisdom and knowledge to rule and to reign [reference the Appendix in the reprint edition of the author’s book, in this site, The Bride in Genesis BOOK]).

Adam’s act in this respect can be clearly seen by comparing type and antitype.  Christ found His bride in a fallen state and was made sin for exactly the same purpose as seen through Adam partaking of sin in the type (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Revelation 2:7 [set at the very first of the seven overcomers’ promises in Revelation 2; 3]).

And so it is with Cain slaying Abel in Genesis 4, Abraham offering his son in Genesis 22, or the death of the firstborn in Exodus 12.

The account of Cain slaying Abel deals with Israel in the antitype and points to that time when Israel will be restored (during the Messianic Era).  The account of Abraham offering Isaac ends at exactly the same point in the overall type — with Abraham’s remarriage in Genesis 25, pointing to that future day when Israel will be restored.  And the death of the firstborn in Exodus 12 was with a goal in view — the Israelites under Moses ultimately entering into a land set before them, within a theocracy.

2)  NOT SOMETHING NEW

The birth from above, as often taught, is not something peculiar to the present dispensation.  This can not only be plainly seen from the text itself (Christ’s reaction to Nicodemus, in a past dispensation, not understanding things about the new birth), but it can also be plainly seen from the fact that the means of salvation, set forth at the very beginning, never changes (the Spirit breaths life into the one having no life, effecting the birth from above).

And this new birth is always seen as having a purpose and a goalThe purpose is to place fallen man in a position where he can realize the salvation of his soul, and the goal of the entire matter is centered on events surrounding the Messianic Era.

These things have been set forth at the very beginning of Scripture and can never change.
Chapter Six
Entering the Kingdom

Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, [‘born out of water and Spirit’], he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).

The first eleven chapters of John’s gospel have been built around seven signs (from the marriage in Cana of Galilee [John 2] to the resurrection of Lazarus [John 11]).  And an eighth sign is seen in the gospel (Christ’s resurrection [John 20; cf. Matthew 12:38-40]) immediately prior to John stating the reason why he recorded these signs:

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;

but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:30-31).

The signs in John’s gospel all point to events leading into or occurring during the Messianic Era.  And these signs are directed to the Jewish people, for it is the Jew who requires a sign (1 Corinthians 1:22).

These signs were recorded in order that the Jewish people “may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God [the Saviour, Who would rule and reign, with ‘Sonship’ implying Rulership].”  Thus, these signs were recorded to effect belief on the part of the Jewish people, for only though belief could they have “life in His name.”

And life in John’s gospel, seen in connection with these signs, has to do first and foremost with life (salvation) to be realized during the same time as the time dealt with in the signs — i.e., with life during the Messianic Era.  John wrote his gospel, recording these signs, about three decades after the close of the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel; and any thought of life, or salvation, in connection with the Jewish people, at this point in time, would have to begin with salvation by grace.  But the thought of salvation in John’s gospel, though beginning with salvation by grace, would have to include far more.  It would have to include present and future aspects of salvation as well.

Salvation by Grace

Salvation by grace is eternal in nature, though that is really not the way salvation in any one of its three aspects (past, present, or future) is dealt with in John’s gospel.  Rather, salvation in John’s gospel is inseparably connected with the signs, around which the gospel is built.  And these signs point to things surrounding the kingdom, not to things surrounding the eternal ages.

Thus, the thrust of salvation by grace (past aspect of salvation), as the salvation of the soul (present and future aspects of salvation), points to and relates to exactly the same time as that seen in the signs.  And with salvation being dealt with in John’s gospel in connection with these signs — which point to the Messianic Era, not the eternal ages — salvation is presented in this gospel in connection with millennial rather than eternal verities.

And salvation is also seen in this same respect elsewhere in Scripture.  This will explain why Jesus said:

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again [‘born from above’], he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3)

The birth from above — the Spirit breathing life into the one who has no life, effecting a passing “from death to life” — is dealt with in relation to the kingdom of God, not the ages beyond the kingdom.  Though the birth from above provides life that will last for not only the Messianic Era but throughout all the ages beyond that era, it is dealt with in relation to the Messianic Era in John’s gospel for two reasons: 1) This is the way in which matters were set forth in the beginning (Genesis 1:1-2:3), establishing a septenary structure upon which the whole of subsequent Scripture rests; and, as previously stated, 2) salvation in John’s gospel is connected with the signs, which point to events surrounding the Messianic Era alone.

A man must be born from above if he is to see the kingdom (John 3:3).  Then Jesus goes on to deal with that which is necessary if one would not only see the kingdom but enter the kingdom as well (John 3:5).

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit [lit., ‘born out of water and Spirit’], he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5)

Verse three deals with the salvation that saved man presently possesses, the salvation of the spirit (past aspect of salvation).  But verse five moves beyond this and deals with the salvation of the soul (present and future aspects of salvation).  And the whole of man’s salvation (past [John 3:3];  present and future [John 3:5]) is dealt with relative to a single revealed goal — the kingdom.

Saved for a Purpose

Man has been, is being, and will be saved for a revealed purpose.  There is a revealed goal in view, and, relative to salvation, that goal is always the same in Scripture, regardless of what aspect of man’s salvation is in view.  That goal is the same for the whole of man’s salvation — spirit, soul, and body.  That goal is man being placed back in the position for which he was created in the beginning, and that position will be realized during the Messianic Era.

(Thus, salvation, viewed in this respect, is not something peculiar to John’s gospel.  Rather, this is the manner in which Scripture presents salvation throughout, with the unchangeable foundational pattern set in the opening verses of Genesis.

The inhabited world to come will not be placed in subjection to angels, as the present world [Hebrews 2:5].  This is the message seen throughout Scripture.  A new order of Sons is about to be brought on the scene [Romans 8:18-23] — Christ and His co-heirs.  And, from a Scriptural standpoint, man’s salvation centers on that coming day when this new order of Sons holds the scepter and rules the earth.)

Man invariably deals with salvation in relation to eternity and going to heaven, while seldom mentioning salvation in relation to the Messianic Era and the kingdom of the heavens.  Scripture, on the other hand, presents the matter in a completely inverse fashion.  Scripture invariably deals with salvation in relation to the Messianic Era and the kingdom of the heavens.  Heaven (the present dwelling place of God) and the ages beyond are mentioned at times, but not relative to salvation in the same sense that man relates them to salvation.

Man is not going to spend either the Messianic Era or the eternal ages that follow it in the place known today as heaven.  And, in relation to the eternal ages that follow the Messianic Era, God is not going to dwell in this place either.  God is going to dwell on the new earth throughout the ages comprising eternity.

And even when Scripture does deal with saved man in heaven (e.g., Christians following death, or Christians following the rapture) matters are always completely consistent with the way Scripture elsewhere deals with saved man.  If future time comes into view, reference is made to things surrounding the Messianic Era, not the ages beyond (though in several instances the Messianic Era is connected with and seen as the first of these ages, though separate from them [e.g., Luke 1:33; Ephesians 2:7]).

During the Messianic Era, man will dwell either on a restored earth or in the heavens above this restored earth, with there being a Jerusalem above and a Jerusalem below (capital cities both over and on the earth, with Christians [along with certain Old Testament saints] inhabiting the city above, and Israel inhabiting the city below).  During this era, there will be a rule from the heavens over the earth.  And this rule, as today, will originate with God in heaven and progress through rulers placed in the heavens in relation to this earth.

Today, this rule progresses from God through Satan and his angels (though rebel rulers), who reside in the heavens above the earth.  But during that coming day this rule will progress from God through His Son and His Son’s co-heirs, who will reside in the new Jerusalem above the earth.

A rule of the preceding nature, from the heavens over the earth, must continue during the Messianic Era, for this is the manner in which God established the government of the earth in the beginning.  Such a rule must continue as long as the earth remains, which will be until the end of the Messianic Era — to the full end of the seven days, the 7,000 years, set forth in the beginning (Genesis 1:1-2:3).

A rule from the heavens over the earth (one province in God’s kingdom) is not only the way in which God originally established the government of the earth but the way in which He evidentially established His government throughout all other parts of the universe as well (all other provinces in His kingdom).  And this can never change in relation to any one province, for “the heavens do rule” (cf. Daniel 4:25-26).

Thus, God’s Son, with His co-heirs, must rule throughout the Messianic Era in exact accord with the way God established the government of the earth in the beginning.  Such a governmental rule will have to continue during this time, for the present earth will not pass out of existence until the end of the Messianic Era (Revelation 21:1-5).

God’s Son, with His co-heirs, will rule over the earth for 1,000 years — the earth’s coming Sabbath, foreshadowed by the seventh day in Genesis 2:1-3 (cf. Exodus 31:13-17; Hebrews 4:1-9).  They will rule for 1,000 years to effect order where disorder has prevailed for millennia in one province in God’s universe.  And once order has been restored, the kingdom will be delivered up to God the Father, that God might be “all in all [i.e., permeate all, be ‘everything in all things’].”

Then, once order has been restored and the kingdom has been delivered up to the Father, the present heavens and earth will be destroyed.  A new heavens and a new earth will be brought into existence, and the new earth will become the place in the new heavens (as the earth today, suspended at a point in the heavens) from whence universal rule will emanate.  God will move His throne to the new earth, the Son will sit with His Father on this throne (called “the throne of God and of the Lamb”), and saved man will exercise power from this throne as well (2 Peter 3:10ff; Revelation 21:1ff; Revelation 22:1-5).

Therein lies man’s destiny, not going to heaven per se.  Man’s destiny has to do with regality, the earth, and the universe — first, ruling over this present earth from the new Jerusalem above the earth (during the Messianic Era); then, ruling out in the universe from the new Jerusalem on the new earth (during the ages that follow).

Salvation in Scripture is always dealt with in relation to the scope of Scripture; and Scripture deals centrally with everything moving toward a seventh day, a seventh 1,000-year period.  Events during this coming day, the Messianic Era, must be brought to pass first.  And therein lies the reason why Scripture deals with man centrally in relation to this time, with the ages beyond seldom being in view (regardless of which aspect of salvation is being dealt with — past, present, or future).

Only following the Messianic Era can the ages that lie beyond this era be brought into view in all their fullness.  During the present time they are briefly dealt with in Scripture so that man can have some understanding of God’s plan for the ages, where the whole of the matter — 6,000 years, followed by a 1,000-year Messianic Era — will eventually lead.  But only following the Messianic Era will matters move beyond that dealt with extensively in Scripture.  Only then will God begin to open up and fully reveal that which will occur during the period that man thinks of today as eternity.

And the manner in which Scripture presents this whole matter — particularly as it relates to man’s salvation — has become very difficult, practically impossible, for most Christians to see and grasp.  These Christians have been taught wrongly for years — not necessarily concerning how to be saved, but concerning the purpose for salvation and that which lies ahead for redeemed man.  And because this erroneous teaching surrounding salvation has become so ingrained within their way of thinking, attempts to present salvation from the correct biblical perspective usually meet with askance looks, opposition, or antagonism on almost every hand.

When that depicted by the woman placing the leaven in the three measures of meal in Matthew 13:33 occurred very early in the dispensation (which deals with an attempt on Satan’s part to corrupt all biblical doctrine having to do with the Word of the Kingdom), anything related to the Word of the Kingdom began to be adversely affected.  And this working of the leaven, of necessity, would extend even into the biblical scope of salvation by grace.

This would have to be the case because of the inseparable connection salvation by grace has with the Word of the Kingdom.  It is man passing “from death to life” (“salvation of his spirit”) that places him in a position where he can realize the salvation of his soul.

The whole of the matter surrounding salvation simply can’t be divided up, with part relating to the eternal ages and part relating to the Messianic Era.  Scripture doesn’t make such a division, and it is wrong for man to step in and make such a division.  Scripture, first and foremost, relates the whole of the matter (beginning with salvation by grace) to the Messianic Era.

Thus, one way to introduce corruption into correct Scriptural teaching surrounding the Word of the Kingdom is to remove salvation by grace from its correct scriptural setting, relating it solely to the eternal ages, while ignoring the Messianic Era.  And then a corruption of the message surrounding salvation by grace itself is introduced through other means.  The Lordship Salvation teaching, rampant throughout much of Christendom, would be one such means.

Satan, introducing corruption surrounding the Word of the Kingdom through different ways and means, has one revealed goal in view — a corruption of all correct scriptural teaching surrounding the message concerning the coming kingdom.

If salvation by grace is separated from the kingdom and related solely to the ages that follow the Messianic Era, the message cannot be presented within a completely correct scriptural framework.  An element of corruption will have been introduced (even though the simplicity of salvation by grace might be proclaimed in a correct manner), for the kingdom will have been removed from view.

And matters become even more negative surrounding the relationship that salvation by grace has with the kingdom through the message of those advocating Lordship Salvation.  Those proclaiming this message take things having to do with the Word of the Kingdom and seek to bring these things over into and apply them to the message of salvation by grace (i.e., things having to do with present and future aspects of salvation are removed from their respective contexts and applied to things having to do with past aspects of salvation).  And, through this means, those proclaiming this message not only remove the kingdom from view but they do two other things in the process.  They both destroy the Word of the Kingdom and corrupt the message of salvation by grace.

Interestingly enough, those who proclaim a correct salvation message per se but ignore the kingdom and those who proclaim a lordship salvation message (who, through this means, destroy one message and corrupt the other) form two major groups in Christendom today.  Those from these two groups remain at almost complete odds with one another on the salvation message; but when it comes to correctly relating this message to the kingdom, it can only be said of both groups that they have been similarly, adversely affected by the same leavening process that is rampant in the Laodicean church of today.

Out of Water and Spirit

John 3:5 is usually understood as an explanation of that which was previously stated in John 3:3.  However, this can’t be the case.  John 3:3 has to do solely with a spiritual birth, a birth from above.  But John 3:5 begins with a birth out of water.  Further, that stated in verse three is set within a context of seeing the kingdom, and that stated in verse five is set within a context of entering the kingdom.

(Attention should be called to several things about the structure of the Greek text in John 3:5.  There are two nouns [hudor, “water”; Pneuma, “Spirit”] governed by one preposition [ek, meaning “out of”] and connected by a conjunction [kai, meaning “and”;  or the word could be understood as “even,” depending on its contextual usage].  Whenever such a construction occurs in the Greek text, both words must be taken in either a literal sense or in a figurative sense.  One cannot be taken one way and the other another way.

For example, it is quite popular to understand “water” in a figurative or metaphorical sense [usually referring to the Word, or to the Spirit] but, at the same time, understand “Spirit” in a literal sense.  The Amplified New Testament alludes to this type understanding of the two words in an alternate translation [“…born of water, even the Spirit”].  This though would run counter to the rules of Greek grammar.  And so would the common practice of making “water” refer to the Word in a metaphorical sense, while understanding “Spirit” in a literal sense.

All attempts to explain the matter through interpretations of the preceding nature, in reality, originate from another error — attempts to align verse five with verse three rather than looking at the exact wording of the text and coming to the realization that verse five is not dealing with the same thing as verse three at all.  And any interpretation resulting from this error can only produce the same end result — man’s ideas on that which God has stated, with the end of the matter being confusion.)

The fact that seeing the kingdom and entering the kingdom in John 3:3, 5 are not the same can perhaps best be illustrated by reference to the experiences of Moses, and then those of Caleb and Joshua, relative to entrance into the land set before them.

(The expression, “see the land,” was used in the sense of enter the land when God dealt with the Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea [Numbers 14:21-23].  This though was an expression — the word see used in the sense of enter [Numbers 14:24; cf. Joshua 5:6].  But in God’s dealings with Moses, and then with Caleb and Joshua, a sharp distinction was made between seeing and entering.  And only a distinction of this nature could possibly be in view in John 3:3, 5 [where requirements for seeing the kingdom and entering the kingdom are different; cf. Matthew 5:20; 7:21; 18:3; 19:23-24; Mark 9:47; Acts 14:22].)

Moses, because of his striking the rock to which he was told only to speak (Numbers 20:8-12), was denied entrance into the land to which he had led the Israelites.  Immediately prior to God instructing Joshua to lead a second generation of Israelites into the land, God took Moses “to the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah” and allowed him to look over into the land.  Moses was allowed to see the land, but he was not allowed to enter the land (Deuteronomy 34:1-5).

On the other hand, Caleb and Joshua, from the accountable generation overthrown in the wilderness, were allowed to enter the land.  Caleb and Joshua had another spirit within them (that of belief, not unbelief), and they followed the Lord God fully (Numbers 14:24).  And the whole of that set forth in the typology of the Israelites under Moses, and later Joshua — from the death of the firstborn in Egypt, to that which occurred relative to entrance into the land set before them — is what John 3:3, 5 draws from and has to do with.

The Israelites, following the death of the firstborn, had been called out of Egypt (a type of the world) to an earthly land.  Those inhabiting this land (Gentile nations, infiltrated by the Nephilim [cf. Numbers 13:31-33]) were to be overthrown; and the Israelites were to realize an inheritance in this land, within a theocracy.  The Israelites, as the wife of Jehovah, were to be placed at the head of the nations; and the nations were to be ruled by and blessed through Israel as the nation occupied both the position of God’s wife and that of firstborn son.

In the antitype, Christians, following the death of the firstborn, have been called out of this world to a heavenly land.  Those inhabiting this land (Satan and his angels [Ephesians 6:10-18]) are to be overcome, later overthrown; and Christians are to one day realize an inheritance in this land, within a theocracy.  Christians, as both the wife of Christ and God’s firstborn son, are to rule as co-heirs with Christ; and the nations are to be ruled by and blessed through Christ and His co-heirs in this manner.

An individual must go to the types — particularly the type having to do with the Israelites under Moses, and later Joshua — if he would properly understand what John 3:3, 5 deals with.  Ignore the types — i.e., ignore God’s way of explaining the matter — and these verses can never be properly understood.  But pay attention to the types, which have been given to shed light upon and help explain the antitype, and the whole matter will become self-evident.

This is what Nicodemus, a religious ruler and leading teacher among the Jewish people, should have been able to easily see and understand.  Jesus drew from the Old Testament scriptures; and Nicodemus should have been able to go back to the complete overall type, extending from Exodus 12 through Joshua, and easily ascertain the things to which Christ was referring.

John 3:3 draws from the death of the firstborn in Exodus 12.  Then John 3:5 draws from the Red Sea passage and that which lay beyond, detailed in subsequent chapters of Exodus and succeeding books (Leviticus through Joshua).  If a person misses this, he will find himself lost in the same sea of misinterpretation in which so many find themselves today.

And, again, note one thing at this point.  It matters not whether a person is dealing with events in Exodus chapter twelve or with events in subsequent chapters of this book or chapters in subsequent books, the same goal is in view — the land, wherein a theocracy was to be realized.

1)  Out of Water

(The word “born” in John 3:3-8 [Gk., gennao] has to do with a bringing forth.  The word is used throughout the New Testament mainly in connection with birth, but the word is also used at times apart from birth [e.g., Philemon 1:10].  The word is used both ways in John 3.)

Born out of water in the type has to do with the Red Sea passage.  The Israelites (who had experienced the death of the firstborn [pointing to the birth from above]) were taken through the Sea (through the place of death), raised up out of the Sea, and positioned on the eastern banks.  They stood on the eastern banks of the Sea through supernatural means, wherein resurrection power was exhibited; and they stood in this position with a land set before them.

And, in the antitype, this is pictured through the act of baptism.  A Christian who has experienced the death of the firstborn (pointing to the birth from above) is taken through and raised up out of the waters of baptism (through the place of death).  He then, within the symbolism involved, finds himself in the position of having been raised with Christ (Colossians 2:12; 3:1).  And in this position — wrought through supernatural, resurrection power — the Christian is to walk “in newness of life” (Romans 6:4), with a view to a land set before him.

The Israelites, passing through the Sea, had gone down into the place of death.  Only the dead are to be buried, and the death of the firstborn had just occurred.  Thus, a burial must also occur.  But beyond burial, there must also be a resurrection.  The Israelites, through the death of the firstborn, possessed spiritual life.  Thus, they must be raised from the place of death to walk “in newness of life” — something having to do with the spiritual man alone, for this resurrection has nothing to do with the man of flesh.  He is to be left in the place of death.

In the antitype, matters are exactly the same.  It is going down into the place of death because of the death of the firstborn, and it is rising from this place because the person possesses spiritual life.  And this rising has to do with the spiritual man alone, for, again, this resurrection has nothing to do with the man of flesh.  He is to be left in the place of death.

And the symbolism seen in rising from the waters is not only inseparably connected with Christ’s resurrection but in the land set before Christians (as seen in the type in Exodus 14 ff).  In Colossians 2:12-15, Christ, through His resurrection, stripped the present principalities and powers inhabiting this land (Satan and his angels) of their power; and following His resurrection, He openly triumphed over them (Colossians 2:15).  In this respect, His resurrection was inseparably connected with regality, as is that seen in the symbolism of a Christian rising from the waters of baptism.

Christ, following His resurrection, was positioned as “the Head of all principality and power” [Colossians 2:10].  The Father has delivered “all power…in heaven and in earth” unto Him (Matthew 28:18).  And, because of this, Satan and his angels have been stripped of all power (the word “spoiled” in Colossians 2:15 could be better translated and understood as “stripped”), and Christ has openly triumphed over them relative to that which has been done.

However, though stripped of power, with all power having been given to the Son, the time is yet future when this power will be taken from Satan and exercised by Christ.  In the interim, the Son is seated at the right hand of the Father, and the Spirit is in the world calling out a bride for the Son.  The former is with a view to Christ’s enemies being made His footstool; and the latter is with a view to that same time, when the second Man, the last Adam, takes the scepter and rules the earth (Christ must have a wife to rule with Him during this time, else He cannot reign [cf. Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 110:1ff]).

Scripture also presents Christ triumphing openly over the present principalities and powers following His resurrection in 1 Peter 3:18-22.  And baptism is dealt with in the text as well, exactly in the same manner seen in Colossians 2:12-15 (cf. Romans 6-8 where all these things are again seen in a more detailed and expanded sequence).

Relative to Christians and baptism, 1 Peter 3:21 clearly states, “There is also an antitype that now saves us — baptism …” And the statement not only draws from another type — “eight souls” saved through water during Noah’s day — but it occurs in a book that begins by making specific reference to the subject matter of the book, the salvation of the soul (cf. 1 Peter 1:5, 9-10).

How does baptism save (and note that the salvation of the soul is being dealt with, not the salvation that Christians presently possess)?  The reader is not left to his own imagination.  The text goes on to explain how baptism saves, with the physical, outward act of baptism itself (as the Flood itself, or the Red Sea passage itself) having nothing to do with the matter.

The salvation in view is associated, not with “the removal of the filth of the flesh,” but with “the answer of a good conscience [‘proper spiritual awareness’] toward God.”  The salvation in view has to do with walking “in newness of life [something that a man without spiritual life cannot possibly do],” which is inseparably connected with Christ’s resurrection (cf. Romans 6:4-6; 1 Peter 3:21b).

This is why Paul was so completely obsessed with knowing Christ, knowing the power of His resurrection, knowing the fellowship of His sufferings, and being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3:10 [the word for “know” in the Greek text of this verse has to do with a knowledge gained by experience]).

Paul, whatever the cost might have been, strained every muscle of his being (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) as he passed through the experiences associated with being raised from the place of death (born out of water, pictured through rising from the baptismal waters, drawing from the type in Exodus 14), for he wanted to be among those who would “attain to the resurrection [‘out-resurrection’] from the dead” (Philippians 3:11).

2)  Out of Spirit

In John 3:5, Christ not only referred to a birth out of water in the preceding respect, but He also referred to a birth out of Spirit as well.

In the type, this is seen through the Israelites, on the eastern banks of the Sea, being led by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, as they moved toward the land set before them.

And the antitype is evident.  A Christian, raised from the waters to walk “in newness of life,” has the indwelling Spirit to lead him into all truth, as he moves toward the land set before him.

There must be a resurrection in view.  Then, the one raised from the place of death must follow the man of spirit, allowing the Spirit to fill and lead him throughout his pilgrim journey (cf. Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16).

This is why both (“water” and “Spirit”) are set forth side-by-side in John 3:5; and this is why the epistles, drawing from the types, go to such great lengths to call all the various facets of this matter to a Christian’s attention.  Only through this dual means can a Christian be successfully led to the goal of his calling.  Only through this dual means can a Christian enter into the kingdom of God.
Chapter Seven
One New Man

Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He purposed in Himself,

that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both that are in heaven and that are on earth — in Him.

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:9-12; cf. Colossians 1:16-20).

Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God,

the mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:25-27).

Ephesians and Colossians are companion epistles that parallel one another in a number of places.  Both books, in the first chapter of each, refer to things surrounding the revelation of a mystery.  And it is clear that references to these things, in both books, deal with exactly the same body of revealed truth.

This mystery is explained in Ephesians 3:1-6 as Gentile believers becoming “fellowheirs” with Jewish believers.  Both become members “of the same body” (forming the one new man “in Christ” [Ephesians 2:12-15]); and, as members of this body, both together become “partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Ephesians 1:6).

And “His promise in Christ” has to do with that coming day when “all things” will be brought under the headship of Christ, whether things “in heaven” or things “on earth” (Ephesians 1:10).  That will be the day when Christ’s glory will be revealed for all to see, and that will be the day in which Christians will “inherit the promises”; they, in that day, will become co-heirs with Christ, realizing the hope presently set before them (Ephesians 1:11-12 [“first trusted” in Ephesians 1:12 should be translated “before hoped”]; cf. Romans 5:2; Titus 1:2; 2:12-13; 3:7; Hebrews 3:6; 6:11-12; 10:23; 1 Peter 1:13; 3:15).

Ephesians 1:10 presents the antithesis of that which is set forth in John 1:11.  Note the two verses together:

He came to His own [referring to ‘things’ (neuter plural in the Greek text)], and His own [referring to ‘people’ (masculine plural in the Greek text)] did not receive Him (John 1:11).

That in the dispensation of the fulness of the times He might gather together in one all things [neuter plural in the Greek text, a direct allusion back to John 1:11] in Christ, both that are in heaven, and that are on earth — in Him (Ephesians 1:10; cf. Acts 3:19-21).

Christ came unto His Own things at His first coming (having to do with things surrounding regality, which began with a regal birth — “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” [Matthew 2:2a]).  He came apart from His glory to His Own things, and His Own people (the Jewish people) rejected Him.  This led to a shame and humiliation that was brought to a climax through the events surrounding Calvary.

When Christ returns, it will once again be to His Own things and to His Own people, exactly as at His first coming.  However, this time He will come in all His glory, not apart from His glory as at His first coming.  He will come, not simply as One born King, but He will come in what Scripture calls, “His greatest regal magnificence” (2 Peter 1:16 [literal translation from the Greek text, where a superlative is used]).

He will return to the same place from where He ascended — to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4; Acts 1:10-11; Revelation 19:11ff) — and the Jewish people, in that day, rather than rejecting Him, will receive Him.  And the same scenes that had previously witnessed His shame and humiliation will, in that day, witness His glory and exaltation.

During that coming day, in which the Son will be revealed in “His greatest regal magnificence,” all things will be brought under subjection to the Son.  And the ultimate goal will have to do with the Son being able to present a restored kingdom (both heavenly and earthly realms) back to His Father, in order that the Father might be “all in all [lit., ‘all things in all of these things,’ or ‘all things in every way’]” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

That is, during the Messianic Era, that seen in Ephesians 1:10 will be brought to fulfillment relative to the Son and this earth.  Then, during the eternal ages, after the Son has delivered a restored kingdom back to His Father, the same thing seen in Ephesians 1:10 will be universally fulfilled relative to the Father.

Then, this mystery is explained in Colossians as “…Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27b).  The mystery is introduced immediately prior to this explanation as something that had been concealed up to a certain point in time (which would include being concealed from both angels and man, for “ages” is used in the verse [Colossians 1:26]; and Man’s Day covers only one age [the last of the ages in view]).  But, at a time toward the end of these ages, during the latter part of the last age, the mystery was made known.  And, as it had previously been concealed from both angels and man, it has now been made known to both angels and man (cf. Ephesians 3:3, 9-11; 1 Peter 1:9-12).

Thus, the mystery has to do with God making known something that had been concealed during time extending throughout both an unrevealed number of ages and the first sixty-two generations of the human race (from Adam to Christ [cf. Genesis 5:1-32; 11:10-26; Matthew 1:17]).  God, at the end of all this time and these generations, called one man out of the nation of Israel for purposes surrounding the mystery.  God called Paul, brought about his conversion, took him aside, and over a period of time — possibly as long as three years (Galatians 1:11-12, 18; Ephesians 3:1-7) — made the mystery known to him.  However, the mystery being made known to Paul was not for purposes surrounding Israel.  Rather, it was for purposes surrounding the Gentiles, though revealed in complete keeping with Psalm 147:19-20 (Acts 9:15; 13:46-48; 15:14; Romans 1:13; Galatians 2:2, 7).

The whole of the matter is summed up in Colossians 1:27, which ends with a very concise explanation of the mystery:

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

The reference to “Gentiles” in this verse could not be to unsaved Gentiles, for unsaved Gentiles were estranged from God and without hope in the world (Ephesians 2:12).  Further, unsaved Gentiles were “dead in trespasses and sins,” and completely incapable of understanding spiritual truth (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Rather, the verse, of necessity, would have to be referring to saved Gentiles.  These Gentiles would have to be individuals who had “passed from death unto life,” who were no longer estranged from God, who now possessed a hope, and who were now capable of understanding spiritual truth (Ephesians 2:13-15).

In Colossians 1:27, note the words, “which is,” connecting that which precedes with that which follows.  The mystery being made known “among the Gentiles” is explained to be, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Then note the words “among” and “in” in the verse (“among the Gentiles,” and “Christ in you”).  Both words are translations of the same word in the Greek text — the word en.

When translating en into English, the thought usually has to do with “in” or “into.”  However, “among,” as it is translated the first time that the word appears in this verse, is another way that en is quite often understood as well.  The contextual usage of the word would have to be the determining factor concerning how the word is to be understood.

It is evident that the translation “among the Gentiles,” rather than “in the Gentiles,” is correct for the first usage of en in the verse.  And it is also evident that this same translation of en should carry over into the latter part of the verse as well, for this part of the verse is an explanation of the first part of the verse.

The latter part of the verse should read, “Christ among you, the hope of glory.”  And, with the complete verse in view, that which is meant by the explanation of the mystery in the latter part of the verse becomes quite clear.  Drawing from the first part of the verse — God making known “the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles” — the translation, “Christ among you,” can only be understood, contextually, in the sense of “Christ [being proclaimed] among you [Gentiles].”

And this proclamation of Christ among the Gentiles centers on the Gentiles now having a hope (from which they had previously been estranged [Ephesians 2:12]), which is connected with Christ’s coming glory (cf. Romans 5:2; Titus 1:2; 2:12-13; 3:7).  Thus, this proclamation of Christ among the Gentiles can only have to do with things surrounding that which had been revealed about the mystery — that the Gentiles are now “fellowheirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6).

The mystery has to do with believing Gentiles becoming “fellowheirs” with believing Jews, in the same body.  And exactly how God brought this to pass is a central subject of the New Testament as one moves from the gospel accounts into the book of Acts and then into the epistles.

Revelation of the Mystery
Anticipated

Beginning with John the Baptist and continuing with the earthly ministry of Christ and His disciples leading into the events of Calvary, there was an offer of the kingdom of the heavens to Israel.  However, Israel not only rejected the proffered kingdom, but the Jewish people climaxed this rejection by crucifying their King.  And because of this, a few days before His crucifixion, Christ made an announcement with far-reaching ramifications.  His announcement had to do with the kingdom, with Israel, and with a nation separate from Israel.  His announcement anticipated that which is seen in God’s revelation of the mystery:

Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. (Matthew 21:43).

Then following Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, there was a reoffer of the kingdom to Israel (beginning on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. [Acts 2:1ff] and ending about thirty-two years later with Paul in Rome [Acts 28:17ff]).  And this reoffer, of necessity, was made by the new nation to which Christ had previously referred, brought into existence immediately prior to that time when the kingdom began to be reoffered to Israel.

This new nation, separate from Israel, had to be brought into existence prior to the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel.  Messiah Himself had gone back into heaven; and, since the kingdom had been taken from Israel, no one who was a part of the nation of Israel could possibly make this reoffer.  Thus, another nation had to be brought forth, which would not only be placed in possession of the kingdom but could assume the responsibility of offering the kingdom to Israel once again.  This new nation would now be the repository for the kingdom, as Israel had previously been the repository.

(Note though that the kingdom in view is not the whole of the kingdom, which has both heavenly and earthly spheres.  Rather, that which is in view is the heavenly sphere of the kingdom only, the kingdom of the heavens — that part of the kingdom that had been offered to and rejected by Israel.  The earthly sphere of the kingdom, the kingdom covenanted to David, can never be taken from Israel [2 Samuel 7:12-16; Luke 1:31-33].)

Thus, Acts 2 centers on two events:  1) God bringing into existence a new nation, and 2) the beginning of the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel by this new nation.  However, the emphasis in this chapter in Acts is not on God bringing into existence a people through whom the kingdom could be reoffered to Israel.  This is simply the way in which this new nation is introduced.  Rather, the emphasis is on God bringing into existence a nation that could be accorded opportunity to bring forth fruit for the kingdom where Israel had previously failed, even though God used this new nation for a time (for about the first thirty-two years of the dispensation) to reoffer the kingdom to Israel.

Revelation of the Mystery
Realized

Now, how does all this fit within the scope of the mystery?  It is very simple.  The mystery centers on the new nation to which Christ referred in Matthew 21:43, a few days prior to His crucifixion.  And, after this new nation had been brought into existence, a full revelation of the mystery became necessary.

Only through such a revelation could numerous Old Testament Scriptures be opened up and properly understood.  Thus, a few years following the events in Acts 2, God called one man out of the nation of Israel for this purpose.  God called Paul, brought circumstances to pass that resulted in his conversion, later took Paul aside, and revealed the mystery to him.  Then Paul took the revelation of the mystery that had been committed to his trust out into the Gentile world (cf. Romans 16:25; Galatians 1:11-12, 16; Ephesians 6:19; Colossians 1:28-29).

That which had been committed to Paul’s trust had to do with a work begun by the Spirit a few years earlier.  It was all part and parcel with the Spirit’s work surrounding the reason why He had been sent.  In this respect, the mystery had to do with a work of the Spirit, peculiar to the dispensation in which we live.  It had to do with a work surrounding the reason why the Father sent His Spirit into the world — to search for and to procure a bride for His Son.

And in order for the Spirit to procure a bride for God’s Son, He had to begin this work by first bringing into existence a people separate from either Israel or the Gentile nations.  This was necessary for the simple reason that the bride couldn’t be taken from any existing nation — Israel, or the Gentile nations.  Aside from Israel being the wife of Jehovah, that part of the kingdom in which the bride was to rule as consort queen with Christ had been taken away from Israel (Matthew 21:43); and the Gentile nations couldn’t even come under consideration, for they were alienated from God, without hope in the world (Ephesians 2:12).

The preceding would be to say, apart from God bringing into existence an entirely new nation — which is looked upon in Scripture as one new man “in Christ” (Ephesians 2:13-15) — there could be no search for the bride by the Spirit during the present dispensation.  Thus, the mystery had to do with a new and different work of the Spirit, which involved not only bringing this new nation, the one new man, into existence but leading the individuals comprising this one new man “into all truth.”  It was a work that began on the day of Pentecost, fifty days following Christ’s resurrection; and it was a work that would continue throughout a 2,000-year dispensation.

The one new man “in Christ” is comprised of new creations “in Christ” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:13-15).  The key expression is in Christ.  But the key to the whole of the matter, allowing that seen in the mystery to be realized — which pertains not only to the existence of the one new man but to the reason for his existence as well — is twofold:  1) the Spirit’s work throughout the dispensation (in relation to the one new man), and 2) Christ’s identity (a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah).

1)  A New Nation

Because of God’s Own previous decrees, this new nation [Matthew 21:43; 1 Peter 2:9-10], brought into existence on the day of Pentecost, had to meet certain qualifications.  God had previously decreed through Moses — some 1,400 years prior to the time Christ announced that another nation would be accorded opportunity to bring forth fruit for the kingdom — that all spiritual blessings were to flow through Abraham and his seed alone (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:17-18).  And it was not just any seed of Abraham.  Spiritual blessings of this nature were limited to Abraham’s seed through Isaac:  “…in Isaac shall your seed be called” (Genesis 21:12).

That would be to say, none of the Gentile nations could qualify to occupy the position spoken of in Matthew 21:43.  And this would include even those Gentile nations which could trace their origin back to Abraham through either Ishmael or one of the sons of Keturah.  These descendants of Abraham could be blessed because they were Abraham’s seed (Genesis 17:20; 21:13), but they could not be the channel through which these blessings would flow.  A status of this nature was reserved for Abraham’s lineage through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons (cf. Genesis 21:12; 26:4; 28:14; 49:1ff).

It was God, in the person of His Son, Who made the announcement in Matthew 21:43.  Certain things concerning how matters were to be brought to pass had already been revealed (e.g., Matthew 3:11; John 16:7-15), but the full revelation of that which had previously been revealed awaited events that occurred on the day of Pentecost, fifty days following Christ’s resurrection, as seen in Acts 2.

Since all spiritual blessings were to flow through Abraham and a designated seed of Abraham (through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons), it is clear that the nation of which Christ spoke in Matthew 21:43 had to possess this connection — i.e., not only be Abraham’s seed but be within the correct lineage as well.  Apart from this dual connection, such a nation could not be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected, for blessings are involved.  That is, individuals comprising this new nation were to one day hold the heavenly positions promised to Abraham’s seed in Genesis 22:17-18, reside in heavenly places, and be the channel through which blessings would flow out to the Gentile nations of the earth from these heavenly places.

Then, not only must this new nation possess a connection of this nature with the seed of Abraham, but this new nation could not be of Abraham’s natural lineage.  The kingdom had been taken from Israel, and any nation identified with Israel in a racial manner could only be looked upon as being part of Israel, part of the nation from which the kingdom had been taken.

How could such a nation be brought into existence?  How could God bring into existence a nation that had the required genealogical connection with Israel, but yet not be a part of that nation?

God’s work in this respect is what is seen through the events in Acts 2.  On this day, in 30 A.D., God, through a work of the Holy Spirit Who had been sent, brought into existence a nation with the proper Jewish identity, though not Jewish itself.  God, on this day, brought into existence a nation possessing the proper lineage from Abraham, though separate from Israel.

How did God do this?  It’s all very simple.  A group of disciples — those who had believed on Christ, apparently the same one hundred twenty mentioned in Acts 1:15 [cf. Acts 2:1]) — were made one new man “in Christ” through being immersed in the Spirit (Acts 1:4-5; 2:2-4; cf. Matthew 3:11).

And this new nation, brought into existence in this manner, forming the one new man “in Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-15), was seen to be comprised of individuals occupying a positional standing “in Christ,” constituting Abraham’s seed through the correct lineage (Galatians 3:28-29).  Christ is Abraham’s greater Son, through Isaac and Jacob (within the lineage wherein all spiritual blessings lie); and, through Jacob’s son, Judah, Christ is David’s greater Son (within the lineage wherein all regal promises lie).

This new nation, brought into existence on the day of Pentecost — possessing a positional standing “in Christ” — has the proper connection with Abraham to realize spiritual blessings, which extend into regal promises through David (with the two being inseparably linked).  And this new nation, through being Abraham’s seed in this manner, is not part of the nation of Israel, from which the kingdom of the heavens was taken; nor is this new nation part of any Gentile nation, which can have nothing to do with spiritual blessings or the kingdom of the heavens in this respect.

Rather, this new nation is one new man, which is “neither Jew nor Greek.”  In fact, within this new nation’s positional standing “in Christ,” all distinctions of the human race have ceased to exist.  This new nation is also “neither bond nor free,” and “neither male nor female.”  And because this new nation is none of the preceding, this new nation, “in Christ,” can be all which God requires.  Because of the nature of this new nation, it can be looked upon as comprised of individuals who are “heirs according to the promise [which would be heavenly, not earthly]” (Galatians 3:28-29).

2)  A New Creation

Not only is this new nation described in Scripture as one new man, but Scripture further describes those comprising this one new man as new creations “in Christ.”  And, in this respect, it is the existence of new creations “in Christ” that makes the existence of the one new man possible.

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).

The key expression is “in Christ.”  It is “in Christ” that old things have passed away.  If the individual was a Jew before being immersed in the Spirit, placing him “in Christ,” then he is no longer a Jew.  He has become a new creation “in Christ.”  If the individual was a Gentile before being immersed in the Spirit, placing him “in Christ,” then he is no longer a Gentile.  Rather, he (the believing Gentile), as the one who was previously a Jew, has become a new creation “in Christ.”  And “in Christ” there is “neither Jew nor Greek,” but one new man.

The words concluding the verse, “all things have become new,” should literally read, “behold, he has become new.”  That is, the individual, through the immersion in the Spirit, has become a new creation “in Christ.”

The words, “he has become,” are a translation of a perfect tense in the Greek text.  This points to divine action occurring during past time, which exists during present time in a finished state.  Nothing can be added to or taken from the Christian’s positional standing in Christ.

It is as the Spirit’s work effecting salvation itself — breathing life into the one having no life, on the basis of Christ’s finished work at Calvary.    A perfect tense is used relative to Christ’s finished work at Calvary (John 19:30), and a perfect tense is used relative to the work of the Spirit in salvation as well (Ephesians 2:8).

That is to say, everything surrounding the whole of the matter — one’s eternal salvation, and one’s positional standing “in Christ” — have to do with past divine works that presently exist in finished states.  Nothing can be added; nothing can be taken away.  Both a Christian’s eternal salvation and his positional standing in Christ are just as finished and complete as Christ’s finished work at Calvary, making it all possible.

3)  Christ’s Body

Then there is another component part to the revelation of the mystery that must be brought to pass within the overall work of the Spirit during the present dispensation.  Those comprising the one new man “in Christ” must also comprise Christ’s body, of which He is the Head.  This must be the case, for the bride — the one for whom the Spirit searches during the present dispensation — has to be taken from Christ’s body.

This is set forth in a foundational type in the Genesis 2.  And once God, in the beginning, had established the matter after this fashion through His sovereign control of all things, no change could ever occur.  According to the type, the Spirit must acquire the bride from Christ’s body; and further, according to the type, the bride must be brought into existence from only a part of the body, not all of the body.

Adam was a type of Christ.  Not only is all of the Old Testament about Christ, but Adam is specifically stated to be a type of Christ in Romans 5:14 (where the Greek word tupos [“type,” translated “figure,” KJV] is used of Adam, in relation to Christ).

Adam, in Genesis, was the first man, the first Adam; and Christ, 4,000 years later, was seen as the second Man, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-48).

Experiences surrounding Adam foreshadowed experiences surrounding Christ.  There is an existing type-antitype relationship between the two.  And any correct study about Christ must begin where God began, in the opening chapters of Genesis, not in the Gospel accounts of the New Testament.

To properly understand the antitype, one must have a proper understanding of the type.  The truth of the matter, seen in the antitype, can be fully comprehended only through studying the type and the antitype together.  This is the way in which God set matters forth in His Word, and one must study this Word after the manner in which it has been structured.

Accordingly, any proper study about the bride of the second Man, the last Adam, must begin in Genesis 2 in order to see how God brought forth the bride of the first man, the first Adam.  Only when this has been seen and understood does a person find himself in a position to properly see and understand things concerning how the bride of the second Man, the last Adam, will be brought into existence.

The first man, the first Adam, was put to sleep, his side was opened, and God removed the part (a rib) from Adam’s body that He used to form a bride for Adam (called “Woman” before the fall and “Eve” following the fall [Genesis 2:21-23; 3:20]).  And the matter surrounding Adam’s creation, with Eve being removed and fashioned from his body in this manner, forms foundational truths that can never change — truths that must be seen in a parallel fashion in matters surrounding the second Man, the last Adam, and His bride as well.

Eve was created in Adam in the beginning.  But it was only later that God put Adam to sleep, removed a part from his body, and formed Eve.  Then, after God had formed Eve, He presented Eve back to Adam; and Eve was not only to be a helpmate for Adam, but Eve was to also complete Adam.

Apart from Eve, Adam was incomplete, for she was a part of his very being — bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2:23).  And when God presented this part of Adam’s being back to him, the first man was then, once again, a complete being.

(This same relationship between the man and the woman is seen in marriage today, reflecting back on that which occurred relative to Adam and Eve, and looking out ahead to that which is about to occur relative to Christ and His bride [Ephesians 5:22-32; 1 Peter 3:7].

And this is why God doesn’t look lightly upon any form of perversion pertaining to this relationship [Romans 1:26-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10].  A man cannot complete a man;  nor can a woman complete a woman.  Completion is derived only through the union of a man and a woman, and any deviation is a perversion that reflects negatively upon that which God has to say about Christ and His bride, which begins in Genesis 2.)

As in the type, so in the antitype.  The second Man, the last Adam, was put to sleep (at Calvary), His side was opened, and from this opened side God took the elements (blood and water) that He is using to form the bride during the time of the Spirit’s present search.  And, exactly as in the type, once the bride has been formed, the Father will present the bride to His Son for a helpmate (to rule with Him as consort queen, as Eve, in the type, was to have ruled as consort queen with Adam).  And the bride, exactly as in the type, will complete the Son, for the bride will be a part of His very being (Hebrews 2:10).

And as the bride was created in Adam, so the bride of Christ has existed in the Son from eternity.  It was only at points in time that the sides of both the first man and the second Man were opened, with the elements being removed, which God used to form Adam’s bride and which He is presently using to form Christ’s bride.

Thus, the one new man “in Christ” must form the body of Christ as well (Ephesians 5:30; Colossians 1:18), for the bride comes from the body in the type, which must hold true in the antitype.  Everything set forth in the foundational framework in Genesis must hold true in the Spirit’s search for the bride throughout the present dispensation.
Chapter Eight
An Awaiting Inheritance

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

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

Ephesians 1:13-14 deals mainly with a work of the Spirit that occurs at the time of man’s salvation — an immersion in the Spirit (cf. Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5), referred to as a sealing with the Spirit in Ephesians 1:13.  And this work of the Spirit, though occurring at the time of man’s salvation, has nothing to do with man’s salvation.

When this work of the Spirit was introduced on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., of necessity, it was seen occurring at a time subsequent to salvation (for those immersed in the Spirit on that day had already been saved prior to this time).  And this same order in the work of the Spirit would also have had to occur at other times during these opening years of the dispensation (for numerous individuals, saved prior to Pentecost, were converted to “the faith” during this time [e.g., Acts 2:41, 47; 6:7; 11:14-16; ref. the author’s book, in this site, From Acts to the Epistles BOOK, chapter 4]).

However, beyond these opening years of the dispensation (beyond the time when there were individuals living who had been saved prior to Pentecost), Scriptures such as Ephesians 1:13-14 present this work of the Spirit as something brought to pass at the time of salvation.  That is, at the time of the birth from above — when the Spirit breathes life into the one “dead in trespasses and sins” — there is also an accompanying work of the Spirit, an immersion in the Spirit.  The former (the birth from above) imparts life, allowing the latter (the immersion in the Spirit) to occur.  And it is the latter alone that results in a new creation “in Christ,” allowing the saved person to be part of the one new man.

(Note, in the preceding respect, that the birth from above is not something peculiar to the present dispensation.  The birth from above — the Spirit breathing life into an unsaved individual — is something that has been occurring without change throughout Man’s Day, going all the way back to Adam.  Apart from the birth from above and the Spirit bringing this birth to pass, there could have been/could be no salvation at any time or in any dispensation during Man’s Day.

But the immersion in the Spirit is something peculiar to the present dispensation, which is separate from “salvation by grace.”  The only connection between the two at all would be the necessity of the Spirit breathing life into an individual prior to the occurrence of any other work of the Spirit.  That is, only the one made alive spiritually can be immersed in the Spirit, allowing the Spirit to complete the task that the Father sent Him to accomplish.)

The particular work of the Spirit that began on the day of Pentecost didn’t occur before the present dispensation, and it will not occur following the present dispensation.  It is a work that has beginning and ending times, extending throughout one dispensation alone — the dispensation in which Christians presently live.  And this work of the Spirit is for a revealed purpose.

The immersion in the Spirit is a work which allows the same Spirit performing the work to subsequently search for and to procure a bride for God’s Son.  And once the Spirit has procured the bride, there will no longer be a need for individuals to be immersed in the Spirit, making the search possible.  Consequently, the Spirit’s present work in this respect can only cease once the search has been brought to a successful completion.

(Though this work of the Spirit, as a whole, will not extend beyond the present dispensation, there is an element of this work that will exist beyond the dispensation, during the coming Messianic Era.  Note that on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two, this work of the Spirit, at its beginning point, also had to do with a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy [Acts 2:4, 16-21; cf. Joel 2:27-32].  Because of the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel, the Spirit’s work in relation to Joel’s prophecy was introduced as part of His work beginning on the day of Pentecost.  However, with the termination of this reoffer [about 32 years later], any fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy was set aside with Israel, awaiting Israel’s future conversion and the Messianic Era.

But that part of the Spirit’s work having to do with a search for a bride for God’s Son continued beyond the termination of the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel.  This is that part of the Spirit’s work, peculiar to and extending throughout the present dispensation, seen in Ephesians 1:13-14.)

And it is a simple matter to see that this work of the Spirit, peculiar to the present dispensation, can have nothing to do with “salvation by grace.”  If it did, something would have changed at the beginning of the dispensation relative to “salvation by grace.”  And a change of this nature, at this time or at any other time during Man’s Day, would have been/would be completely out of place.

“Salvation by grace” can never change throughout Man’s Day.  “Salvation by grace” is seen throughout Scripture only one way — being brought to pass on the basis of two unchangeable things, established at the beginning: death, and shed blood.

The basis for God’s restoration of fallen man in this respect is introduced in Scripture in the opening chapters of Genesis (Genesis 3; 4 [death and shed blood, seen in connection with Adam; and death and shed blood, seen in connection with Abel]).  God established the matter in these foundational types at this early point in His Word, and no change can possibly ever occur in that which God established after this fashion.

The Spirit has always been present in the world throughout Man’s Day to breathe life into the one having no life, else there could be no salvation for fallen man.  This fact was set forth in types previous to those seen in Genesis chapters three and four.  The work of the Spirit, in this respect, was introduced in the Genesis chapters one and two (Genesis 1:1-5; 2:7; cf. Ezekiel 37:1-10).

Accordingly, the whole of the salvation picture is set forth in Genesis 1-4.  The Spirit in Genesis 1; 2 is seen doing a work on the basis of that seen in Genesis 3; 4.  And if man today would view salvation from the unchangeable perspective in which God established matters in these opening four chapters of His Word, all of man’s false soteriological ideologies would crumble in the light of the Word of God.

Truth would exist where error presently exists.  Clarity would exist where confusion presently reigns supreme.  In short, light would “shine out of darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

If the unchangeable nature of “salvation by grace” was not only established but operative in the opening chapters of Genesis — which it was — then the Spirit being sent on the day of Pentecost, along with anything connected with the reason for His having been sent, could not possibly have had anything to do with salvation by grace.

If it did, then God, on that day, added something to the whole soteriological foundational structure that He previously established 4,000 years earlier, recorded by Moses some 1,400 years earlier; and, had this been the case, the work of the Spirit relative to salvation would have been incomplete for the first 4,000 years of man’s existence — throughout two-thirds of the whole of Man’s Day.

The problem surrounding man’s erroneous views of the entire matter lies with man being unable to see past salvation by grace in Scripture, seeking to relate everything to salvation by grace, including the work of the Spirit that began on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D.  “Salvation by grace” is one thing, and the work of the Spirit that began on this day, a work peculiar to this present dispensation, is something else.  That is to say, the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life is one thing; and the individual, with life now imparted, being immersed in the Spirit (something peculiar to this present dispensation), is a work that — though occurring at the time of the Spirit’s work of imparting life — is separate from His work of imparting life.

The Spirit’s work in the latter respect has to do with bringing the one in whom He has imparted life (through His breath) into a state where that individual can meet all the qualifications set forth for the bride in the Old Testament.  And this work of the Spirit, bringing the individual into this state, would be twofold: 1) bringing the saved person into a position where he can qualify to be dealt with by the Spirit with respect to His search for the bride (the individual becoming a new creation “in Christ” through the immersion in the Spirit, forming a part of the one new man, with all which that involves [ref., chapter 7]); and 2) the Spirit dealing with the one placed in this position (leading him into all truth — from immaturity to maturity, from gnosis to epignosis — with a view to that person realizing the purpose for his salvation).

Saved, Immersed in the Spirit,
For a Purpose

The direction toward which all things are moving through the work of the Spirit during the present dispensation is seen in Scripture within that body of revealed truth referred to as “the mystery.”  This body of truth — the mystery — details matters being brought to pass in such a manner that Gentile believers have become “fellowheirs” with Jewish believers.  And, through being members “of the same body” in this respect, they become “partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6).

Things surrounding the mystery lie at the center of that which the Spirit, in the world, is presently making known to Christians.  And He is making these things known for a revealed purpose.  The Spirit is presently in the world seeking a bride for God’s Son; and the bride — taken mainly from Gentile believers, though Jewish believers are included as well — will reign as co-heir with Christ during that coming day when He is revealed in all His glory.  Christ will reign as King, and His bride will reign as consort queen.

Christ and His bride (a bride who will be comprised of multitudes of individuals, occupying various assigned positions of power and authority) will replace the incumbent rulers in the kingdom of the heavens (Satan and his angels).  And these things are not only being made known to Christians throughout the dispensation, but they were made known to Satan and his angels at the beginning of the dispensation as well.

These things are presently being made known to Christians by the Spirit, Who is both present in the world and indwells Christians (John 14:17; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19); and they have been made known to Satan and his angels through the Church (Ephesians 3:9-11), leading into the reason for the dual way in which Paul ended his letter to the Christians in Ephesus: 1) revealing the spiritual warfare on the one hand (because the mystery had been made known to Satan and his angels [Ephesians 6:10-18]), and 2) revealing the necessity for a bold proclamation of the message surrounding the mystery to Christians on the other (for this is the message of the hour, having to do with the purpose for the entire 2,000-year dispensation [Ephesians 6:19]).

1)  Good News

It is through the good news surrounding the grace of God that individuals can be brought into a position where they can receive and understand spiritual truth, allowing them to understand things pertaining to the mystery; and it is through the things pertaining to the mystery — additional good news, associated not with the gospel of grace but with the gospel of glory — that individuals can be brought into a full realization of the reason why they have been saved.  That is, individuals have been saved for a purpose, and that purpose is what the mystery is about.

The whole of the matter begins, as in the type of the Israelites under Moses, with the death of the firstborn (Exodus 12:1ff).  That is, the beginning point must have to do with death and shed blood;  the beginning point must have to do with Christ’s finished work at Calvary.  An individual must first believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; he must first pass “from death unto life.”  Only then, only after spiritual life has been imparted, can the work of the Spirit surrounding the reason why He was sent on the day of Pentecost come into view.

In the type — the Israelites under Moses — that which followed the death of the firstborn had to do with a deliverance from Egypt (always a type of the world in Scripture), with a view to being established in another land, within a theocracy.  And there was an immersion “in the cloud” on the one hand (the visible presence of God among His people) and “in the sea” (the Red Sea) on the other (1 Corinthians 10:2).

And for Christians in the antitype, it is exactly the same.  That which follows the death of the firstborn has to do with a deliverance from this present world, with a view to being established in another land, within a theocracy.  Subsequent to the Spirit breathing life into the one without life, there is an immersion in the Spirit (possible because of God’s presence, by means of the Spirit, among His people today); then there is an immersion in water (showing burial, followed by resurrection [shown by a rising from the waters;  Romans 6:2-6; Colossians 2:12; 3:1ff]).

(Refer to chapters 6 and 7 of this book for additional details concerning both the immersion in the Spirit and the immersion in water.)

2)  Land of Our Calling

The land to which Christians have been called, unlike the land to which the Israelites under Moses were called, is a heavenly land; and Christians will enter into this land only during the coming dispensation.  Christians are being called out of this world during the present dispensation, with a view to realizing an inheritance in another land during the coming dispensation.

This is set forth in Colossians 1:12-13 as a deliverance from one kingdom (the present kingdom under Satan [cf. Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12]), with a view to realizing an inheritance in another kingdom (the coming kingdom of Christ).  And though the way in which verse thirteen reads in most English translations leads one to believe that Christians have been transferred or translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of Christ, such cannot possibly be the correct understanding of this verse.

The kingdom of Christ does not presently exist, and it cannot exist until that future day when the Father places His Son in charge of the kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15), which will occur only at the end of Man’s Day.  The kingdom of Christ will cover exactly the same domain (the earth) and His rule will be from exactly the same sphere (heavenly) as Satan’s present domain and rule.  Further, Christ is to wear the crown that Satan presently wears, and Satan has yet to relinquish this crown.

Accordingly, the kingdom of Christ cannot exist during the present time.  Satan is still the crowned ruler of this earth, holding the scepter.  Only after Satan has been put down can Christ hold the scepter, wear the crown, and exercise power and authority (exercise power and authority from the same realm, over the same domain, as presently seen in Satan’s exercise of power and authority).  And all of the preceding can occur only at the end of Man’s Day, not before.

Thus, if there were a present kingdom of Christ, the kingdom would have to exist prior to that time when the Father is seen delivering the scepter into His Son’s hand; it would have to exist apart from a domain and a crowned King; it would have to exist during Man’s Day (preceding the Lord’s Day); and it would have to exist during a time when Satan is still on the throne.

Seeing a present kingdom of Christ, in any form, becomes completely absurd when the matter is viewed in the light of Scripture.  Man may erroneously think along the lines of a present kingdom of Christ, but Scripture reveals something entirely different.

The whole purpose for the kingdom of Christ has to do with Christ and His co-heirs taking the kingdom of this world and effecting a cosmos out of the present chaos, bringing order out of the present disorder.

Thus, from a biblical standpoint, one cannot possibly speak of a present kingdom of Christ as long as Satan continues to hold the scepter — whether seen existing in a so-called mystery form, or any other form.

To the contrary, the Father has told His Son to sit at His right hand until He makes His enemies His footstool.  Only then will the Son ascend the throne, hold the scepter, and rule the earth (Psalm 110:1ff).  Only then will the kingdom of Christ exist.

(Then there is another realm in which the thought of a presently existing kingdom of Christ becomes possibly even more theologically destructive and dangerous.  Christians erroneously seeing a present kingdom of Christ usually think of individuals being transferred or translated into this kingdom at the time of the birth from above.  Then, a transference of this nature moves the whole thought of entrance into the kingdom from the realm of reward to the realm of gift.  And that is completely out of line with any sound Scriptural teaching concerning the kingdom of Christ.)

Colossians 1:13 should be understood in the sense of individuals being rescued and caused to change sides relative to two kingdoms.  Christians have been rescued from Satan’s existing kingdom and have been caused to change sides with respect to Christ’s coming kingdom.  The former has to do with the present kingdom of this world, as it presently exists under Satan;  and the latter has to do with the coming kingdom of this world, as it will one day exist under Christ (Revelation 11:15).

3)  That Coming Day

And Christians are being dealt with in this manner during the present dispensation with a view to the coming dispensation.  It will be during the coming dispensation alone that the kingdom of Christ will be brought into existence.  The present dispensation has to do with purposes surrounding the Spirit acquiring a bride to reign with God’s Son during the coming dispensation, for Christ must have a bride to reign with Him.  There must not only be a crowned King but there must be a consort queen as well.

The present dispensation, the third and last of three dispensations during Man’s Day, covers 2,000 years of time (the exact number of years allotted to each of the previous two dispensations, with seven years yet remaining to be fulfilled in the dispensation that immediately precedes the present dispensation [i.e., in the preceding Jewish dispensation]).  The divine work that began at the time of and through the descent of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost will last for exactly 2,000 years from that date, which makes it quite simple to ascertain that we are living very near the end of the time allotted for the Spirit to search for and to procure a bride for God’s Son (ref. the Appendix in the author’s book, Bible One - Had You Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood).

Once the dispensation has run its course and the search has been completed, the bride will be removed, with a view to the coming dispensation.  And it is during this coming dispensation that the inheritance spoken of in Ephesians 1 will be realized.

This coming dispensation, in which the inheritance will be realized, will be the earth’s coming Sabbath.  This will be the Sabbath foreshadowed by the seventh day in Genesis 2, introduced immediately following man’s creation, and set before the people of God throughout man’s 6,000-year day (e.g., Exodus 20:8-11; 31:13-17; Hebrews 4:1-9).

This is the day that the Lord has made” (not today, but that coming day when the Stone that the builders refused has “become the head stone of the corner”); and in that day, beyond Man’s Day, when the Lord’s Day is ushered in, man “will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:22-24).

Having Heard, Having Believed

In a sequence beginning in Romans 10:13, salvation (deliverance) is seen being brought to pass through individuals calling upon the Lord:  “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Then, immediately following, beginning in the next verse, a question is asked:  “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” (Romans 10:14a [a reference back to the call for deliverance seen in the previous verse]).  This question is then followed by another question:  “…and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?”  Then a third question follows, with a fourth question beginning the next verse:  “…and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach except they be sent?” (Romans 10:14-15a [14b]).

Thus, the order set forth in these three verses is four-fold, though seen in a reverse fashion from the way in which it is presented:  1) God calls a man to proclaim His message, 2) that man proclaims the message, 3) individuals hearing the message believe that which is being proclaimed, and 4) those who have believed the message (which, in this case, is belief in Christ, effecting salvation) then call upon the Lord for salvation (which, contextually, would have to relate to a deliverance for those who had already been saved through believing).

(Believing and calling in Romans 10:13-14 are not to be equated; nor are they to be thought of as two separate things which, in the end, result in eternal salvation.  Romans 10:13 — “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” — has been vastly misused over the years by well-meaning individuals in a Roman’s Road-type presentation of the salvation message.

Eternal salvation is brought to pass through believing alone [Romans 10:14; e.g., John 3:16; Acts 16:31].  It is brought to pass through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ [a one-time event], after hearing the message from the one who had been sent to deliver it.

Calling, on the other hand, follows believing.  The person first believes, and only then does he call.  The text is very clear concerning this order: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” [Romans 10:14a].  

Calling [something that could be repeated time after time] has to do with a deliverance following salvation [brought to pass through believing].  And note that Romans 10:13 is a quotation from the Old Testament, where the verse is used relative to a deliverance of saved people during the coming Messianic Era [Joel 2:32].)

The order seen in Romans 10:13-15 is exactly the same order seen in Ephesians 1:13-14.  Paul had been called, he had proclaimed the message, those in Ephesus had believed, and they were now in a position to call upon the Lord (from time to time, whenever necessary) for deliverance.  And the whole of the process would be with a view to the Messianic Era.

This order though, along with the emphasis seen in the order, is often missed in some English translations of Ephesians 1:13-14 (e.g., the KJV text).  Note a more literal rendering of the Greek text, which not only places the emphasis on issues beyond eternal salvation but moves matters forward into the Messianic Era:

In Him you [Gentiles] also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you [Gentiles] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [those being preserved, those who have become God’s possession] to the praise of His glory.

1.  You Were Sealed

Gentiles, previously alienated from God’s dealings with Israel and those things which God had committed to Israel’s trust (Ephesians 2:12; cf. Romans 9:4), now, through two inseparably related means, find themselves no longer alienated: 1) through believing the proclaimed message that they had heard, and 2) through being sealed with the promised Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).  Or, in chapter two, this sequence of the Spirit’s work is expressed another way: Those “made nigh by the blood of Christ” find themselves, through being sealed with the Spirit from chapter one, positionally “in Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).  And “in Christ,” where there is “neither Jew nor Greek” (Galatians 3:26, 28), “the middle wall of partition” (previously existing between Jew and Greek) has been broken down.  “In Christ” there now exists one new man, in which a “middle wall of partitioncannot exist (Ephesians 2:14-15).

Then, Paul expresses this same thing another way in Romans 11:5-25.  In this section of Scripture, individuals cut out of a wild olive tree (believing Gentiles [Romans 11:11-24]) are seen grafted into a good olive tree, among branches that have not been broken off (believing Jews [Romans 11:17-24]).  These believing Jews would form the “remnant according to the election of grace,” seen earlier in the chapter (Romans 11:5); and the whole of the matter is referred to as a mystery (Romans 11:25).

Thus, Paul dealt with the mystery when writing to those in Rome through one means, and he used another means when writing to those in Ephesus.  Saved Gentiles being sealed with the promised Spirit in Ephesians 1:13, or those cut out of a wild olive tree being grafted into a good olive tree (a tree in which some of the branches had been broken off) in Romans 11:11-24, form two ways in which Scripture deals with the same thing — having to do with the immersion in the Spirit.

Scripture often deals with a subject through different means such as this, frequently through the use of metaphors, as seen in Romans chapter eleven.  And Scripture must be compared with Scripture in order to see the complete picture, as God has set it forth in His Word.

In Ephesians 1:13, through the use of the word “sealed” to describe this work of the Spirit, Christians are given an insight into the way God looks upon those who form the one new man “in Christ.”  The Greek word translated “sealed” (sphragizo) is used a number of times in the New Testament, and it is used different ways.  It is used of Christ’s tomb being sealed (Matthew 27:66), but it is also used in a descriptive manner of things and people (e.g., John 6:27; Romans 15:28; Revelation 7:3ff; Revelation 10:4).  The word could be used with the thought of confirming, attesting, authenticating, or certifying.  It could be used to show a stamp of approval, that everything was in order.  Or it could be used to show identification or ownership.

Christians have been sealed with the promised Spirit in connection with becoming a part of the one new man “in Christ.”  Thus, the seal would involve being brought into the position that God requires (becoming Abraham’s seed, etc. [ref., chapter 7 this book]).  And the seal would show God’s stamp of approval relative to identification and ownership.  The seal would confirm, attest, authenticate, and certify that everything was in order for the Spirit to conduct His search for the bride among those forming the one new man.

2.  A Pledge [Guarantee] of Our Inheritance

Being “sealed with the promised Spirit” in Ephesians 1:13 is said to be “a pledge or guarantee [‘earnest,’ KJV] of our inheritance” in Ephesians 1:14.  The bride, for whom the Spirit presently searches, will one day inherit as co-heir with God’s Son.  This inheritance was introduced back in verse eleven, and this inheritance, contextually, will be realized only in connection with a future redemption (Ephesians 1:14).

Relative to this future redemption, Ephesians 4:30 states,

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed [Gk., sphragizo, same as in Ephesians 1:13] for [‘with respect to’] the day of redemption.

This sealing work of the Spirit, being a guarantee (Gk. appabon), has to do with the thought of a first installment or down payment.  Christians, through this means, now possess a legal claim to the inheritance; and a first installment portends full payment at a future date.  This guarantees that the inheritance will one day be received.

A realization of the inheritance though is connected with a redemption of those who have become God’s possession; and this redemption, along with the inheritance, is future (Ephesians 4:30).  The past work of the Spirit forms a pledge or garanteee that the inheritance will be realized, but only in connection with a future redemption.

This future redemption has to do with the salvation of the soul and related matters (e.g., the bride being removed from the body [Genesis 2:21-23], the out-resurrection [Philippians 3:11], or the adoption [Romans 8:23]).  The past work of the Spirit, forming a guarantee that the inheritance will be received, cannot be isolated and understood apart from other Scripture (2 Peter 1:20).

Though the Spirit will complete the work in and among Christians that He has set out to perform (Philippians 1:6), Christians, through faithfulness or unfaithfulness, can either realize or forfeit the awaiting inheritance with God’s Son.  This fact must be recognized when studying the work of the Spirit in Ephesians or any other place in Scripture.
Chapter Nine
The Invitation

Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” (Genesis 24:58)

The question that Rebekah was asked in Genesis 24:58 (“Will you go with this man?”) and her response (“I will go”) form the heart of the most important matter that will ever confront any Christian at any time throughout the entire present dispensation.  The question and corresponding answer have to do with the very reason for an individual’s salvation.  A person has been saved for a revealed purpose, and it is this purpose to which the question and corresponding answer in this verse relate.

Ministry of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit is in the world today seeking a bride for God’s Son.  That’s what Genesis chapter twenty-four is about.  This chapter is not about eternal salvation.  That’s seen through events back in chapter twenty-two (events surrounding the offering of Isaac).  Rather, this chapter is about the purpose for salvation; and events in the chapter are set within the framework of the present dispensation — detailing events, from God’s perspective, between the time when Israel was set aside (preceding the present dispensation [Genesis 23]) to that future time when Israel will be restored (following the present dispensation [Genesis 25]).

1)  The Type

In the type, Abraham sent his eldest servant into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for his son.  And before Abraham’s servant departed to fulfill this mission, Abraham made him swear that the search would be conducted solely among his own people, among those referred to as “my kindred” (Genesis 24:3-4, 9).

Then the servant took ten camels, which is a number showing ordinal completion, for “all the goods of his master were in his hand.”  And these goods, belonging to the father, would one day belong to the son.

In one respect, Isaac is seen as already being the owner of these goods (Genesis 24:36); but, in another respect, Abraham is not seen actually giving these goods to his son until after a bride has been procured, the son has married, and the father has remarried (Genesis 25:5).

The servant was placed in complete charge of all the goods of his master, he was to take these goods into Mesopotamia, he was to find the prospective bride, and he was then to show the prospective bride that which could be hers, if…

The bride, becoming Isaac’s wife, was to inherit with him.  That belonging to Isaac would belong to her.  The bride would complete Isaac, they would be one flesh, and they would inherit together as one complete person (Genesis 2:21-24).

2)  The Antitype

The Holy Spirit, in the antitype of Abraham’s servant in Genesis chapter twenty-four, is in the world today seeking a bride for God’s Son.  And he is seeking this bride from among God’s Own people — the saved — not from among the unsaved.  He is seeking the bride from among those comprising the one new man “in Christ,” during a time in which Israel has been set aside (cf. Genesis 23:1-2; 25:1-4).

And the Spirit, in complete keeping with the type, has “all the goods” of the Father in his possession to show the prospective bride.

In one respect, as set forth in the type, the Son is seen as already being the Owner (in the same sense that the Son is seen as already being King, in possession of all power [cf. Matthew 2:2; 28:18; John 18:33-37; 19:19]).

But, in another respect, the Father is not seen actually giving these goods to the Son until after the bride has been procured, the Son has married, and the Father has restored His wife, Israel (which awaits the Son being crowned, at which time He will exercise all power [cf. Daniel 7:12-14; Revelation 19:7ff]).

Relative to this entire matter, Christ, near the close of His ministry, told His disciples,

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:12-15).

The Spirit is in the world today searching for a bride for God’s Son.  And He conducts this search by taking the Word which He gave through “holy [‘set apart’] men of God” during past time and revealing to Christians, from this Word, “things to come.”  The Spirit takes this Word and reveals to Christians that which the Father has given to His Son.  He shows the prospective bride that which can be hers, if…

The bride, inheriting with the Son, will inherit as co-heir with Him.  That belonging to Him will belong to her.  The bride, exactly as seen in the marriage relationship in Genesis 2, will complete the Son (Hebrews 2:10).  They will be one flesh, and they will inherit together as one complete person (cf. Genesis 2:21-24; Ephesians 5:22-32).

Salvation, Purpose, Dispensations

That revealed in Genesis 24 often erroneously dealt with by well-meaning individuals in relation to eternal salvation.  And the widely prevailing general treatment of Scripture after this fashion is a major problem in biblical interpretation today.  Teachings surrounding eternal salvation are being derived from texts that have nothing to do with eternal salvation.  And, through this process, not only is that which the text actually deals with being done away with, but the message surrounding salvation by grace is often corrupted.

Erroneously seeing events in Genesis 24 as having to do with eternal salvation can mislead a person dispensationally in relation to salvation.  Events in this chapter have to do with a distinctly different work of the Spirit, performed during a dispensation when God is dealing with the Church, not with Israel.  And, through applying this particular work of the Spirit to salvation by grace, individuals can be misled into believing that the Spirit’s work in effecting one’s eternal salvation is different during the present dispensation than it was during the past dispensation.  They can be misled into believing that God’s means of salvation for man changes with a change in His dispensational dealings with man.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The manner in which the birth from above is brought to pass does not change when dispensational changes occur.  A person is saved exactly the same way at any time throughout Man’s Day — through the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life.  And the Spirit does this on the basis of death and shed blood.  This was just as true at the beginning of Man’s Day (when God slew animals and clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins) as it is during the present time, near the close of Man’s Day (following the events surrounding Calvary).

God’s means surrounding eternal salvation is one of the great constants of Scripture.  Matters surrounding the birth from above never change at any time throughout Scripture.  They remain the same from the opening chapters of the book of Genesis to the closing chapters of the book of Revelation.  It is God’s dispensational dealings alone that are seen to change.  And these dispensational dealings with man are seen to occur only following salvation and, thus, have nothing to do with salvation.

The word “dispensation” comes from the Greek word oikonomia, which is a compound word having to do with “household management,” or “stewardship.”  Accordingly, a dispensation has to do with the management of the Lord’s house through stewards whom He has placed in charge of His house.

And those whom He has placed in charge of His house could only be the saved alone during both Man’s Day and the future Lord’s Day, else they could not be looked upon as household servants.

During the past dispensation, this was Israel.  During the present dispensation, this is the Church.  And, during the future Lord’s Day, a succeeding dispensation — which will not only be following Israel’s national conversion and restoration but following the Spirit’s successful search for the bride during the present dispensation — God will deal with both Israel and the Church in this respect, as He deals with the Gentile nations through Israel and the Church.

(Note that the expression, “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” [Matthew 10:6; 15:24], has to do with the issue at hand — the kingdom of the heavens — not with eternal salvation.  It has to do with deliverance relative to a kingdom.  The Jewish people could not have been looked upon as eternally lost, else God could not have dealt with them in a dispensational respect — as household servants.

God deals with the unsaved only one way — relative to passing “from death unto life.”  An individual must possess spiritual life before God can deal with him relative to spiritual values, as a household servant [i.e., deal with him in a dispensational respect].)

Then, the reason for the birth from above, as the means of salvation itself, also never changes throughout Man’s Day.  This reason, going back to that revealed in Genesis 1-3, remains completely constant throughout Scripture.  These three chapters reveal man’s creation, his fall, and his redemption.  And purpose is seen throughout, whether relative to God’s creation of man, Satan’s intrusion into God’s creative work, or God’s restoration of ruined man.

Man was created to rule the earth; but, as a result of Satan’s intrusion, seeking to thwart God’s plans and purposes, man fell.  And man’s restoration involves bringing him back into a position where he can realize the purpose surrounding his creation.

Thus, the purpose for man’s salvation is inseparably connected with the purpose surrounding his creation, which has to do with regality.  But different facets of this central purpose are seen at later times in Scripture, depending on God’s dispensational dealings with man.  There is a facet having to do with Israel, both past and future; and there is facet having to do with the Church, which is future.

God dealt with the Jews essentially relative to an earthly calling, though a heavenly calling (beyond the earthly) was always present.  And this heavenly calling was brought to the forefront when Christ came the first time.

God’s dealings with Christians though are quite different.  Christians are dealt with solely relative to a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1), which was taken from Israel at the time of Christ’s first coming (Matthew 21:33-43).

In this respect, the purpose behind man’s salvation no more changes when God’s dispensational plans and purposes change than does salvation itself.  Man is always saved the same way, and his salvation is always with a view to regality.  Both remain completely constant throughout Man’s Day.  The only thing that changes has to do with different facets of God’s purpose for man’s salvation, in keeping with the dispensation in which He is dealing with man.

1)  Israel, Past Dispensation

During the past dispensation, Israel was called out of Egypt to realize an earthly calling, in relation to regality.  The nation was to be removed from Egypt and placed in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  And, with Israel occupying the position of God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22-23), the nation was to realize the rights of the firstborn within this land.

The rights of the firstborn had three parts: The firstborn was to be the ruler within the family, he was to be the priest within the family, and he was to receive a double portion of all the father’s goods.  This is what lay in store for Israel at the time God called his firstborn son out of Egypt under Moses.

In relation to the rights of the firstborn, as it would pertain to national regality, the Lord’s house would be this earth — a province within God’s universal kingdom.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house [the kingdom of Christ, filling “the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45)] shall be established in the top of the mountains [established above all the kingdoms of the earth], and shall be exalted above the hills [exalted above all the subordinate and lesser earthly kingdoms]; and all nations shall flow unto it  (Isaiah 2:2).

Then the nation of Israel was looked upon in the sense of a house as well (“the house of Israel” [Matthew 10:6; 23:38]).  The Lord, within a theocracy, was to rule through His house (Israel, comprised of household servants) over His house (the earth).  Israel, as God’s firstborn, was to be placed over all the house and, in this position, exercise the full rights of the firstborn.

Israel was to exercise both kingly and priestly functions within the house.  Not only was Israel to rule over all the Gentile nations but these nations, as well, were to be blessed through Israel (cf. Genesis 12:1-3; 22:17-18; Exodus 19:5-6; Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 7:1-24; 28:1ff).

Then the double portion of all the Father’s goods comes into view, which can only have to do with both heavenly and earthly spheres of the kingdom.  And these two spheres of the kingdom can be seen throughout Israeli history, extending all the way back to Abraham (cf. Genesis 14:17-24; 22:17-18; Matthew 8:11-12; Hebrews 11:8-16).

The earthly sphere of the kingdom remained at the forefront throughout most of Israeli history (though matters surrounding the heavenly sphere were always present).  Then the heavenly sphere of the kingdom was brought to the forefront when Christ came the first time.

The earthly sphere of the kingdom was extended to Israel under Moses.  But, in the final analysis, through disobedience, the earthly sphere of the kingdom was rejected.  And it matters not whether one views the activities of the generation at Kadesh-Barnea under Moses or the activities of later generations, beginning with those under Joshua.  The end result is the same.

The activities of the generation under Moses resulted in an entire accountable generation being overthrown in the wilderness, outside the land; and the activities of succeeding generations — ultimately continuing in disobedience — eventually resulted in the theocracy coming to an end, the nation being uprooted from the land, and the Jewish people being scattered among the Gentile nations.

Then the heavenly sphere of the kingdom was extended to Israel at Christ’s first coming.  The nation was called upon to repent, which would be relative to past disobedience, continuing into the present.  And, because of the nation’s refusal to repent, the heavenly sphere of the kingdom was rejected as well (acceptance was inseparably connected with repentance [Matthew 3:1-2; 4:17]).  And this rejection reached a climactic apex with Israel’s crucifixion of the One Who made the offer — God Himself, in the person of His Son.

Israel, through disobedience, had rejected the earthly sphere of the kingdom; and the kingdom had been taken from Israel some six hundred years prior to Messiah’s appearance.  Then, when Messiah appeared with the message that the kingdom of the heavens was “at hand [had ‘drawn near’],” the Jewish people continued in the footsteps of their ancestors.  They persisted in their refusal to repent, and the heavenly sphere of the kingdom was rejected as well.

This climaxed the totality of Israel’s rejection in relation to the kingdom, resulting from disobedience and a refusal to repent; and the Jewish people climaxed all of this rejection — which covered over fourteen centuries of Israeli history — through pledging their allegiance to a pagan Gentile king and calling for the crucifixion of their true anointed King, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2; John 18:31-37; 19:14-15).

Is it any wonder that Israel is seen to occupy the position set forth in Genesis 23, following the events set forth in Genesis 22?  That would be to ask, “Is it any wonder that Israel is seen in the place of death (typified by Sarah’s death [Genesis 23]), following the crucifixion and resurrection of the nation’s Messiah (typified by the offering of Isaac, with Abraham receiving his son from the place of death on the third day [Genesis 22])?”

2)  The Church, Present Dispensation

Once Israel had been set aside, God turned to the Gentiles to take out of them “a people for His name” (Acts 15:14).  A new dispensation ensued, in which God would deal with an entirely new group of household servants.  And the thought of regality continued, unchanged, from the past dispensation into and through the present dispensation — with man continuing to be saved exactly the same way for exactly the same purpose.

This must be the case; it cannot be otherwise.  Man was created for purposes surrounding regality, man’s fall resulted from these purposes (Satan, the incumbent ruler, brought about man’s fall in order to assure his own continuance on the throne), and man’s subsequent redemption surrounds these purposes.

The means of and purpose for redemption were set at the very beginning of Scripture and can never change.  They remained the same when God dealt with Israel during the past dispensation, and they can only continue the same when God deals with the Church during the present dispensation.

(And note that positive promises or negative consequences surrounding either obedience on the one hand or disobedience on the other are also the same, regardless of the dispensation.  Positive promises in either dispensation are seen to result in an exaltation over all the Gentile nations [Deuteronomy 7:1-24; Revelation 2:26-27].  But negative consequences in either dispensation are seen to result in death [Genesis 23:2; Romans 8:13].

God does not take man’s reaction to His plans and purposes lightly — whether positive or negative, and whether pertaining to the past theocracy or to the future theocracy [Leviticus 26:1-39; Deuteronomy 28:1-67; Hebrews 10:23-11:16].  God himself dwelt among His people in the past theocracy; and God, in the person of His Son, will dwell among His people in the future theocracy, as the Son’s “greatest regal magnificence” [literal translation of a superlative in 2 Peter 1:16] is set forth for all to see.)

Israel being called into existence and being called out of Egypt had to do with purposes surrounding regality, which is in complete keeping with the purpose surrounding man’s creation, Satan bringing about his fall, and God effecting his redemption.

And it can be no different for purposes surrounding the existence of the one new man “in Christ.”  This one new man has been called into existence (as a nation was born in Egypt during Moses’ day) and is presently being called out of the world (as Israel was called out of Egypt under Moses) for a purpose.  And that purpose, in the light of biblical history and prophecy, is self-evident.

The one new man “in Christ” has not only been called into existence to exercise a regal position, but the full spectrum of the rights of the firstborn — kingly, priestly, and a double portion of the Father’s goods — must come into view as well.  The Church, through the future adoption, will be placed in the position of God’s firstborn son (Hebrews 12:23).  And Christians occupying this position will exercise all the rights of the firstborn.

And any forfeiture of these rights, insofar as Christians are concerned, will occur prior to the adoption.  Forfeiture will occur during the dispensation in which God is removing from the Gentiles “a people for His name.”  It will occur during the dispensation in which the Holy Spirit conducts His search for the bride (seen through events in Genesis 24), prior to the adoption, with the adoption not including those who previously forfeited these rights.

(God’s two national firstborn sons — Israel [already adopted] and the Church [yet to be adopted] — will one day realize the rights of the firstborn.

Israel, following the nation’s repentance and acceptance of their Messiah, will be restored — a saved nation, back in the land, exercising kingly and priestly rights.  Israel will exercise these rights within a theocracy, occupying a position at the head of the nations.  And though Israel has forfeited the right to rule in heavenly places as well, Israel will realize the double portion of the birthright through two means:  1) through O.T. saints who qualified to rule from the heavens [cf. Matthew 8:11-12; Hebrews 11:8-16, 32-40], and 2) through the Church, comprised of individuals who are Abraham’s seed, grafted into a Jewish trunk [Romans 11:13-21; Galatians 3:29].

Christians, not having forfeited their birthright, will be adopted, forming another national firstborn son.  And this son will exercise the rights of the firstborn through ruling as a kingdom of priests [exercising kingly and priestly functions] from heavenly places, over the earth [realizing the double portion of the birthright].  This firstborn son will rule as co-heir with Christ, inheriting with Him all that the Father will give to the Son [Genesis 24:36; 25:5; John 16:15; Romans 8:16-23; Philippians 3:10-14; Hebrews 3:1; Revelation 1:6; 5:10].)

“Will You Go with This Man?”

The question, “Will you go with this man?” moves to the heart of all matters surrounding the work of the Spirit in the world throughout the present dispensation.  The work of the Spirit in the life of a Christian is designed to bring that individual to the point where he can be confronted with this question.  Then, the Christian’s response to the question will have direct bearing on the manner in which the Spirit will be able to continue a work in his life from that point forward.  The goal has to do with bringing the Christian to a place where he can one day participate in activities attendant the bride.  A negative response to the question will quench a continuing work of the Spirit relative to matters surrounding His search for the bride.  But a positive response will allow the Spirit to continue a proper work in the individual’s life, continuing to move that individual toward the goal in view.

1)  The Type

After Abraham’s servant had entered Mesopotamia, he journeyed toward the city of Nahor.  Nearing the city in “the evening,” he came to a well of water and made his camels kneel down by the well.  The servant then prayed, asking the Lord to prosper his journey through a particular set of circumstances.

It was the time of day when women from the city came to the well to draw water.  And before the servant had finished praying, Rebekah had already come out of the city with the other women.  The servant saw her, that she was “very fair to look upon, a virgin.”  Then, after she had drawn from the well, he requested water from her pitcher to drink; and she, completely on her own, apart from the servant making any other request, offered to perform all the things that the servant had previously requested of the Lord in his prayer.  She not only drew water for the servant to drink but she drew water for his camels to drink as well.

Abraham’s servant could only stand by and marvel as he watched Rebekah fulfilling that which, only minutes before, he had requested of the Lord.

God, in his providential control of all things, had directed the servant to a certain well of water at a particular time of day.  And this was at the time of day when Rebekah, along with other women of the city, normally came to the well to draw water.  The Lord saw to it that both parties involved were at the right place at the right time.  And the Lord further saw to matters that things began to unfold, in a systematic manner, which would allow the purpose for the servant’s mission to ultimately be fulfilled.

Similar circumstances are later seen through Moses’ first encounter with his bride.  Moses, between the time of his rejection and the time of his acceptance by the Jewish people found his bride by a well of water also (which, within another frame of reference, would correspond to the time between events in Genesis 23; 25, during which Moses, typifying Christ, took a Gentile bride [Exodus 2:15-21]).

“Water” is used in Scripture to refer to both the Spirit and the Word (cf. John 2:7-10; 4:14; 7:37-39; Ephesians 5:26).  The symbolism seen through Rebekah drawing water from the well, with the servant looking on, along with subsequent action on the part of both the servant and Rebekah, is fraught with spiritual significance and meaning.

Genesis chapter twenty-four provides a wealth of information concerning the true nature of the work of the Spirit in the world today.  He conducts His search for the bride after the manner seen in this chapter.  He must, for the matter is set in an unchangeable fashion at this point in Scripture.  And, if an individual would properly understand the work of the Spirit as it is revealed in the New Testament, he must first understand the work of the Spirit as it is revealed in the Old Testament, particularly in Genesis 24.

In the type, Abraham’s servant simply stood back and watched as Rebekah drew water from the well.  Only after she had drawn the water for both him and his camels, seeing that the Lord had prospered his journey in complete accord with his prayer, did he begin to act.  He then brought forth several select things from the goods belonging to his master, carried on the camels, and gave them to Rebekah (Genesis 24:15-22).

The servant, at first, brought forth only a small portion of these goods.  But later, after he had made known the purpose for his journey — to procure a bride for his master’s son — he then began to bring forth more of the treasures, giving them to Rebekah as well (Genesis 24:33-53).

Only then, only at a time when Rebekah — one able to draw water from the well — had been made fully aware of the issue at hand, was she confronted with the question: “Will you go with this man?”  There was no coercion whatsoever connected with the question.  The issue at hand had been sufficiently revealed, allowing her to make a rational decision, based entirely on that which had been revealed and shown to her by Abraham’s servant.

Rebekah’s response to the question would have no bearing on her family relationship with Abraham.  It was only because of this family relationship that circumstances could be brought to pass that would allow the question to be asked.  Thus, regardless of whether Rebekah responded positively or negatively, her family status would remain completely unchanged.

Rebekah’s response had to do with her willingness to “go with this man.”  And going with this man had to do with her one day coming into a realization of all the things that had been revealed through the man.

Responding positively to the question, Rebekah could look forward to one day becoming the wife of Isaac and inheriting with him.  The servant’s work could then continue in her life, with matters moving toward completing his mission.

A negative response though would result in these things not being brought to pass in Rebekah’s life.  Though Rebekah would remain a member of Abraham’s family, the servant could not continue working with her in the same manner as before.  And she could not one day become the wife of Isaac and inherit with him.

2)  The Antitype

From that revealed in the type, the work of the Spirit in the world today, searching for the bride, should be a matter simple enough for any Christian to see and understand.  The Spirit’s work is foreshadowed by the servant’s work in Genesis 24.  And that seen in the type will, it must, be seen in the antitype as well.

The Spirit is conducting His search during a dispensation set aside for this purpose; and, exactly as in the type, He is conducting this search among members of the family, among Christians.

Following salvation — brought to pass through the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life — the Spirit then begins a work in the individual’s life, designed to lead that person from gnosis to epignosis, from immaturity to maturity.  This work is designed to bring the person into a position where he can draw from the well.  Then the Spirit can progressively continue leading him “into all truth,” showing him “things to come.”

And, in complete keeping with the type, it is only after the individual has been brought into an understanding of “things to come” — through the Spirit taking the one able to draw from the Well and leading him “into all truth” — that the person is confronted with the question: “Will you go with this man?

The question is seen brought to the forefront only after the person has come into an understanding of the issue at hand.  And the person’s response to the question will have no bearing on his family relationship — i.e., on his being a Christian — but it will affect forever whether or not he will one day find himself among those forming the Son’s wife, inheriting with Him.
Chapter Ten
The Response

Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”

So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men.

And they blessed Rebekah and said to her: “Our sister, may you become The mother of thousands of ten thousands; And may your descendants possess The gates of those who hate them.”

Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed. (Genesis 24:58-61).

Abraham had sent his eldest servant into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for his son, Isaac.  The servant had been given specific instructions that the bride was to come from Abraham’s family.  And, in order to properly carry out his mission, all of Abraham’s goods had been placed in his possession (Genesis 24:1-10).

Abraham’s servant then took ten of his master’s camels, and the clear inference from the text is that the servant was to use these camels to carry his master’s goods into Mesopotamia.  In the text (Genesis 24:10), the number of camels is specifically connected with the amount of Abraham’s goods in the servant’s possession.  “Ten” is a complete number;  it shows ordinal completion.  And the servant, singling out ten camels, showed, in a numerical respect, that “all his master's goods were in his hand.”

Once in Mesopotamia, the servant found the prospective bride by a well of water.  And through a series of events, which revealed to the servant that Rebekah was indeed the one whom he sought, he began to take things from his master’s goods and give them to her.

Through this means, the servant began to open up and reveal things to Rebekah surrounding that belonging to the father, which would one day belong to the son.  And it was only after this had occurred that the prospective bride was confronted with the question: “Will you go with this man?

That which had been revealed to her had to do with one thing alone.  It had to do with the purpose for the servant’s mission into Mesopotamia and that which lay in the future once this purpose had been realized.  And, in order to bring about the fulfillment of this purpose, the servant, after he had found the prospective bride, used one means alone.

The servant, after he had found the prospective bride and made known the purpose for his journey, began to take certain things from the goods belonging to his master and give them to Rebekah.  The servant did not speak of himself.  Rather, he spoke of his master and his master’s son.  And, through taking certain things from the goods belonging to his master, he began to progressively reveal to Rebekah that which would one day belong to and be controlled by the Son.

And the son’s wife, completing the son, would inherit with him.  The son and his wife together, as one complete person, would exercise control over all these goods at that future time.

Set within the type, the work of Abraham’s servant occurred among those from Abraham’s family (Genesis 24:3-4, 9, 15), following the offering of Abraham’s son (Genesis 22), following the death of Abraham’s wife (Genesis 23), but preceding Abraham’s remarriage (Genesis 25).  That which occurred in Genesis 22 — death, with the son being received from the place of the dead on the third day (Genesis 22:4-5; cf. Hebrews 11:17-19) — made it all possible.  Then, events throughout the subsequent three chapters, dealing with “wives,” occur in a manner that brings the entire matter to the desired goal.

The death of the father’s wife, following the things surrounding the offering of the son, allowed attention to be turned to matters surrounding a wife for the son (Genesis 22; 23).  And that is what is seen in Genesis 24.  Then, the whole of that which is in view is brought to a climax through the son’s marriage at the end of the chapter and the father’s remarriage at the beginning of Genesis 25.

Everything moves toward that seen at the end of chapter twenty-four and the beginning of chapter twenty-five — the son possessing a wife who would inherit with him; and the father again possessing a wife, who, unlike his former wife, would be very fruitful.  In this respect, the servant’s search for the bride in Genesis chapter twenty-four has to do with the continuation of a sequence of events from previous chapters, which would be brought to a climactic goal at the end of chapter twenty-four and the beginning of chapter twenty-five.

Accordingly, that end was not something that could be brought to pass while the servant was in Mesopotamia seeking the bride for his master’s son.  The servant was to remain in Mesopotamia only until he had procured the bride.  Once this had been accomplished, he was to leave with the bride in order to present the bride to the son, bringing about a full completion to his mission.  This, in turn, would allow matters seen at the beginning of Genesis 25 to occur, bringing a full end to the whole of that which is in view.

Everything that the servant revealed while in Mesopotamia had to do with the goal out ahead.  Rebekah’s family understood these things; and Rebekah, as well, understood these things.  And the reason why they understood these things is very simple.  The servant revealed these things to them, and they believed the testimony of the servant.

That is the type, and exactly the same thing must be seen in the antitype.

That seen in the antitype of Genesis chapter twenty-two — the death and resurrection of the Son — makes it all possible.  Toward the end of Genesis 22, following that revealed about the death and resurrection of the Son, mention is made of the heavenly seed and earthly seed of Abraham possessing the gate of the enemy.  Then wives occupy the prominent place in the next three chapters.  Abraham’s wife dies (Genesis 23), a wife is procured for the son (Genesis 24), and Abraham again takes a wife (Genesis 25).

What is this about?  It’s very simple.  The whole of the type is dealing with man one day occupying the position for which he was created in the beginning.  Salvation has been provided for this purpose (Genesis 22 a), and possessing the gate of the enemy (Genesis 22 b) has to do with this purpose.  Then the remainder of the overall type has to do with bringing this purpose to pass.

(“The gate” of a city was the place where legal matters were transacted on behalf of those in the city [e.g., Ruth 4:1ff]; and possessing the gate would be an Eastern way of stating that the person exercised control over that particular city, which, in relation to the ultimate destiny of the seed of Abraham — both heavenly and earthly — would be governmental control over the earth from both heavenly and earthly spheres.

Note that this same expression was used by members of Rebekah’s family relative to Rebekah’s seed when they sent her away in Genesis 24:60, carrying the same thought from Genesis 22:17-18 into the relationship in which Rebekah was about to enter.)

But why such an emphasis on wives in chapters twenty-three through twenty-five, following that revealed in chapter twenty-two?  There is an emphasis of this nature at this point in the overall type simply because of that which previously had been revealed surrounding the first man, the first Adam, who had been created to rule in Genesis 1; 2.  Man cannot rule alone.  He must have a wife to rule with him — he as king, and she as consort queen.

(Note that revelation in Scripture is progressive in this respect.  One does not begin a study of Scripture in Genesis 23-25 apart from understanding things revealed prior to these chapters.  Otherwise, he will be unable to properly understand that being revealed in these chapters.

And this same principle holds true at any point in Scripture.  Later revelation is built on prior revelation.  If an individual would properly understand the New Testament, he must first possess an understanding of that revealed prior to New Testament revelation, that revealed in the Old Testament.  This is why, when studying the New Testament, a person continually finds himself going back to Moses and the Prophets.  He is studying commentary in the New Testament, and he needs to understand that to which the commentary pertains if he is to properly understand the commentary.)

For man to rule, he must rule as a complete being; and only through a union with a woman — a husband-wife relationship — is the man seen as complete in this respect.

The picture is derived from Eve being formed from a part of Adam’s body, then presented back to Adam as a helpmate.  Eve, a part of Adam’s very being — bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh — completed Adam.  The woman, being presented back to the man, made him one complete person (Genesis 2:21-24).

And God said of the man and woman together, “…let them have dominion” (Genesis 1:26-28).  The man could rule only as a complete being, which necessitated the woman ruling as consort queen with him.

This whole matter set forth in these opening two chapters cannot change at a later point in Scripture.  The exercise of regality in the human realm must be through a husband-wife relationship.  Neither the man nor the woman can rule alone.  They must rule together as one complete person, with the man occupying the headship.

This is why wives occupy the forefront in three chapters following that which is stated in Genesis 22.  The means of salvation is seen in the first part of chapter twenty-two, and the purpose for salvation is seen in the latter part of the chapter.  And this purpose is then realized at the conclusion of that which follows, i.e., at the conclusion of that which is stated about wives in these three subsequent chapters.

(This is the reason why God, in the Old Testament theocracy, could not rule alone in “the kingdom of men.”  He had to have a wife to rule with Him.  If He hadn’t had a wife, He would have violated that which He Himself established when He created man.

And the same must hold true for God’s Son.  He cannot rule alone.  He must have a wife to rule with Him for exactly the same reasons as seen in the husband-wife relationship between God and Israel in the Old Testament theocracy, which goes back to the principle set forth in Genesis 1; 2.

All of this is seen in the marriage relationship today, which is the basis for not only properly understanding Ephesians 5:22-32 but the entire marriage relationship [note that this section in Ephesians 5 cannot be properly understood apart from that revealed in Genesis 1; 2].  The wife completes the husband.  They rule in the house together, as one complete person — he as king, and she as consort queen.  He exercises the headship, but she rules as co-heir with him.  That which belongs to him belongs to her.

The husband and wife rule the house together after this fashion, looking out ahead to the same relationship that they can one day exercise with Christ, ruling as co-heir with Him over His house.  And, as seen in Isaiah 2:1-4, this has to do with a rulership over the entire earth.)

Matters surrounding all of this will be realized through that foreshadowed by events at the end of Genesis 24 and the beginning of Genesis 25 — the Son taking a wife, and God restoring His wife to her rightful place.  Apart from this, there can be no future theocracy.

Events at the end of chapter twenty-four and the beginning of chapter twenty-five foreshadow events that will exist during the Messianic Era, when Abraham’s seed — both heavenly and earthly — will possess the gate of the enemy.  This is the climactic point to which events beginning in Genesis 21 (the birth of Isaac) lead.

“I Will Go”

From Genesis chapters twenty-two through twenty-four, six distinct steps, carried out in a progressive manner, can be seen in an individual’s life in relation to the complete work of the Spirit during the present dispensation.  And this complete work of the Spirit covers the whole panorama of the Christian life — from the time of the birth from above to that time when the bride appears in Christ’s presence, properly attired in a wedding garment.

These six steps seen in these three chapters would be thus:

1) The birth from above, and the revealed reason for the birth from above (Genesis 22).

2) The beginning work of the Spirit following the birth from above (Genesis 24a [following events set forth by those in Genesis 22; 23, but preceding events set forth by those in Genesis 25]).

3) The Spirit bringing an individual to the point where he can be confronted with the issue at hand (Genesis 24:58a).

4) The individual responding to the issue at hand (Genesis 24:58b).

5) A continued work of the Spirit in the life of a Christian who has responded positively to the issue at hand (Genesis 24:61).

6) The Spirit completing His work, removing the bride, and presenting the bride to the Son (Genesis 24:62ff).

1)  Beginning Work of the Spirit

The birth from above has to be the beginning point in any of God’s dealings with man.  Fallen man is spiritually dead, and life must be imparted before God can deal with man in relation to the reason for his creation.  God is spirit, He deals with man on a spiritual plane, and fallen man must be made alive spiritually in order to bring this to pass.

The Spirit breathes life into the one having no life, on the basis of the finished work of Christ at Calvary.  Only then — when the one “dead in trespasses and sins” possesses spiritual life — can God deal with man on the necessary spiritual plane.

But, in what way does God deal with man once he has been born from above?  From a Scriptural standpoint, it is always the same way.  As in the life of Abraham in Genesis, or in the death of the firstborn in Exodus 12, God deals with man relative to separating himself from this world and the things of this world, with a view to realizing an inheritance in another land, removed from this world; and this is in complete keeping with the reason for man’s creation in the beginning (cf. Genesis 12:1-3; 15:5-21; Exodus 12:29, 40- 41; 15:17-18; 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 6:23).

As previously noted, exactly the same thing is seen in Genesis chapter twenty two; and it is brought to fruition at the end of chapter twenty-four and the beginning of chapter twenty-five.

In Genesis 22, immediately following that portion of the chapter which foreshadows the death and resurrection of God’s Son, “the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time” (Genesis 22:15).  The first time had to do with matters surrounding bringing salvation to pass (Genesis 22:1-14), and the second time had to do with the purpose for salvation (Genesis 22:16-18).

And this purpose is not, as often expressed by Christians — so one can be saved from Hell and spend eternity with God in Heaven.  Rather, this purpose has to do with regality and this earth (which will be realized during the Messianic Era); and following the Messianic Era, God’s purpose for man’s salvation will have to do with regality and the universe at large (which will be realized during the subsequent eternal ages, from the new earth).

Thus, man has been saved — he has “passed from death unto life” through the Spirit breathing life into the one previously having no life — in order to ultimately bring man back into the position for which he was created in the beginning.  This is what is seen at any point in Scripture where the subject is dealt with, beginning in the opening verses of Scripture, where God set forth a foundational or skeletal framework for the remainder of His Word (Genesis 1:1-2:3).  And all subsequent Scripture simply forms commentary on that revealed in these first thirty-four verses of the book of Genesis.  All subsequent Scripture forms the sinews and flesh that clothe the skeletal framework (cf. Ezekiel 37:1-10), providing all the necessary details, allowing man to be able to understand that which God has revealed about His plans and purposes.

Within the skeletal framework in Genesis 1:1-2:3, a septenary structure is seen, and matters within this septenary structure move through six days into a seventh day, a Sabbath day of rest.  And this is the progressive pattern seen throughout the whole of subsequent Scripture.

As God took six days to restore a former ruined creation — establishing an unchangeable pattern concerning how God restores a ruined creation — He is presently taking six days (6,000 years [2 Peter 3:8]) to restore two ruined creations (both man and the material creation once again).  And, as God rested a Sabbath day in the former restoration, He is going to rest a Sabbath day (1,000 years, the seventh millennium dating from Adam, the Messianic Era, the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God) in the latter restoration (Hebrews 4:1-9).

When one arrives at Genesis chapter twenty-two, where the means for man’s salvation are dealt with, he would expect to find matters exactly as that previously revealed concerning man’s salvation and destiny in Genesis 1:1-2:3.  And this is exactly what he does find.

As previously pointed out, immediately following revelation surrounding the death and resurrection of the Son (Genesis 22:1-14), God appeared a second time and promised Abraham that both his heavenly seed and his earthly seed would one day possess the gate of the enemy (Genesis 22:15-18).  Then the three subsequent chapters, dealing with wives, not only provide additional details but lead into the matter mentioned toward the end of Genesis 22 — the time when that which God promised to Abraham, relative to his seed, would be realized.

Thus, the widespread thought in Christendom that man has been saved to escape Hell, with Heaven now being his eternal home, is not what Scripture has to say about the matter at all.  This type teaching is nothing short of a corruption of biblical truth that has led myriads of Christians down a wrong path in biblical studies.

And once Christians have this erroneous thought ingrained within their minds, it is next to impossible to ever get them to see the truth of the matter.  Once they have been misled after this fashion, it is next to impossible to ever get them to see the true nature of the work of the Spirit during the present dispensation.  But this is the way matters presently exist almost universally throughout Christendom, resulting from the working of the leaven (Matthew 13:33) over almost two millennia of time.

2)  Continuing Work of the Spirit

The second of the six distinctly progressive steps in the work of the Spirit in an individual’s life during the present dispensation, seen in Genesis chapters twenty-two through twenty-four, has to do with the beginning work of the Spirit among the saved — a work peculiar to the present dispensation.  This is a beginning work performed subsequent to the birth from above (Genesis 22), among a different people of God (a new nation, the Church [Genesis 24]), following that time when Israel was set aside (Genesis 23), but preceding that time when Israel will be restored (Genesis 25).

The Spirit of God is in the world to reveal to Christians — individuals who possess spiritual life and are, thus, capable of understanding spiritual truth — all the various things surrounding the seed of Abraham (both heavenly and earthly ) one day possessing the gate of the enemy.  And the Spirit of God reveals these things in exactly the same manner seen by Abraham’s servant revealing the purpose for his mission in Genesis 24.  He does this through taking certain things from the goods belonging to the Father, which will one day belong to the Son, and giving them to Christians.

All these goods of the Father can be seen in God’s revealed Word.  And the Spirit takes this Word — which He Himself moved men to pen in past time — and leads Christians “into all truth.”  He, through the Word, in this respect, reveals to Christians “things to come.”  And these “things to come” will be manifested for all to see when the Father, in that coming day to which the Spirit calls attention, gives all that He has unto His Son (Genesis 25:5; John 16:12-15).

And the Spirit revealing these things to Christians is with a view to the third of the five progressive steps of the Spirit’s work in an individual’s life, seen in the overall type in Genesis chapters twenty-two through twenty-four.  The Spirit’s work in the previously discussed second progressive step is designed to bring an individual to the third step, where he can be confronted with the issues surrounding the question seen in Genesis 24:58:  “Will you go with this man?

And, being confronted with the issue at hand after this fashion has been designed to bring a person to the fourth progressive step.  The person must, himself, personally, respond.  He must, himself, personally, choose to either to go or not go with the Spirit beyond this point.  There is no middle position for him to choose (cf. Luke 11:23).  Exactly as in the type (Rebekah being made fully aware of the issue at hand), the Christian is made fully aware of the issue at hand.  Then, exactly as in the type (Rebekah being confronted with the issue at this point), the Christian is confronted with the issue at this point.  Then, exactly as in the type (Rebekah responding), the Christian must respond.  And then, exactly as in the type (where only a positive response is seen, though a negative response would have been possible), the ministry of the Spirit can continue in the individual’s life.

The manner in which the Spirit leads is with a view to bringing about the desired goal.  It is leadership directed solely toward completing His mission — acquiring a bride for God’s Son.

And the Christian who dares to call attention to the truth of the matter in this Laodicean period of Church history will, in all likelihood, find himself faced with ridicule and rejection at the hands of his fellow Christians.  And he may, like Paul, end up with all of them turned against him (2 Timothy 1:15; 4:10-11, 14-16).

But note Who not only stood with Paul when all the others had turned away but would deliver him “from every evil work” as well (2 Timothy 4:17-18).  And this would be the experience of any Christian throughout the dispensation who followed the pattern set by Paul (cf. 1 Timothy 1:15-16; Revelation 3:18-20).

3)  Concluding Work of the Spirit

The matter surrounding the work of the Spirit is not brought to a complete end during the present dispensation.  That comes only after the Spirit has removed Christians from the earth, after decisions and determinations have been made at the judgment seat (based on the Christian’s reaction to the Spirit’s work during the previous dispensation), and after the procured bride is in a position to be revealed for all to behold.

That will be the day when the purpose for salvation, set forth in the latter part of Genesis 22, is finally realized.  That will be a day of glory for numerous Christians.  But for the vast majority of Christians, it will be anything but a day of glory.  Rather, it will be a day of shame and humiliation, followed by deep regret for something that can never become a reality for them — not having a place among those forming the bride and, thus, being unable to rule as co-heir with the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” during that future time toward which all things have been moving since the creation of Adam.

“His Way”

The Spirit’s way, seen in the type through the servant’s way in Genesis 24, begins following death and resurrection.

The birth from above restores a spiritual relationship between God and man, but that brought into existence at the time of the fall — the man of flesh — present at the time of the birth from above, must remain under the sentence of death.  The spiritual birth effects no change in the man of flesh.  He remains untouched, unchanged; and he remains in the same place where he has always existed — under the sentence of death.

The man of flesh can have nothing to do with things surrounding the purpose for the birth from above — to one day be found among those forming the Son’s wife and realizing an inheritance, as co-heir with Him.  These things are reserved for the man of spirit alone.  Ishmael could not inherit with Isaac.  The bondwoman and her son were to be cast out (Genesis 17:18-19; 21:9-12).

This is why, in the type, the Red Sea passage was the first thing confronting the Israelites under Moses on their march from Egypt to Canaan.  “The Sea” is the place of death.  The firstborn had just died; and now he must be buried, not to rise again.

The Israelites had to pass through the Sea.  They had to go down into the place of death; and, in the sense of that taught in the type, this is where the old man is to remain.  The person now possesses spiritual life (having to do with the birth from above), and the old man (having to do with the first birth), with his deeds, is to be put off.  The old man is to be reckoned as dead, and the new man alone is to be in view beyond that foreshadowed by the Red Sea passage (cf. Romans 6:4-12).

The leadership of the Spirit — from the eastern banks of the Red Sea to Sinai, and then to the land of Canaan — was for the man of spirit alone.  He alone was in view in this respect, having passed through the place of death and having been removed from that place, picturing resurrection.

The man of flesh had no inheritance in the land set before the nation.  This fact should have been well known to any Israelite under Moses, for God had previously made this very clear, in no uncertain terms, to the father of the nation of Israel.  Ishmael could not inherit with Isaac (cf. Romans 4:1-4, 13).

Following the birth from above (John 3:3), matters immediately turn to the reason for this spiritual birth — entrance into the kingdom, not eternal life.  Then, if the one having been born from above is to enter the kingdom (John 3:5), he must be born out of both water and Spirit.  And the complete picture becomes clear if set within the framework of the Old Testament type of the Israelites under Moses (ref. chapter 6).

Being born out of water (the old man left in the place of death, with the new man alone in view) and Spirit (with the new man then following the leadership of the Spirit, as progression is made toward another land) is the way matters are set forth in the Word of God.  This is what God Himself, in the person of His Son, had to say about the matter at His first coming; this is what Scripture reveals at any other place where the matter is dealt with; and this is that to which man must adhere if he would one day enter into the proffered kingdom and inherit with the Son.

There is no power in the outward, physical act of baptism per se, just as there was no power in the outward, physical act of the Israelites passing through the Sea under Moses (though it took divine power to make this possible, as it took/takes divine power to make that seen in baptism possible today [Christ’s past work at Calvary, and the Spirit’s present work in the world]).  The power lies in that set forth through the spiritual truths surrounding the Red Sea passage in the type, or baptism in the antitype.

The Spirit’s leadership, having to do with the man of spirit alone, must be viewed in the light of the type in Genesis chapter twenty-four.  Once Rebekah had determined to follow the man (which had to do with one goal alone — becoming the wife of Isaac and inheriting with him), she went “his way.”

Rebekah arose, rode upon the camels (which carried the goods belonging to the father, which would one day belong to the son), and followed the servant.  And “his way” had to do with the servant’s leadership while they were still in Mesopotamia (Genesis 24:61).

The direction of travel was singular (toward another land, to fulfill the servant’s mission), that with which Rebekah found herself associated was singular (she rode upon the camels, which carried all the goods belonging to the father, which would one day belong to the son), and that which Rebekah gave herself over to was singular (following the servant, going “his way”).

The matter, as it is outlined in this part of Genesis 24 — in a type-antitype structure — is so clear that there should be no need to even call attention to the antitype.  Suffice it to say, beginning with death and resurrection, this entire Scriptural presentation of the matter is why Paul was so desirous that death in relation to him became conformable to death in relation to Christ.  He wanted “to know” Christ, “the power of His resurrection [the power of His rising from the place of death], and the fellowship of His sufferings [the order is post-resurrection sufferings, during the present time of His rejection, as those following Him in this same manner will be rejected during this time as well]” (Philippians 3:10).

Paul wanted to understand all of this to the extent that it could be manifested in his life in such a way that he would be found among those one day being able to attain “to the resurrection [‘out-resurrection’] of the dead.”  And, attaining to this out-resurrection, he would attain to “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:11-14).
Chapter Eleven
The Search Concluded

Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed. (Genesis 24:61).

The Spirit of God has been in the world for almost 6,000 years, performing a work relative to man’s eternal salvation.  The Spirit, throughout Man’s Day, has breathed life into the one having no life; and He has done this on the basis of death and shed blood.

Basic teachings surrounding not only the Spirit’s work in man’s salvation but the necessity of death and shed blood as well (allowing the Spirit to breathe life into fallen man) are set forth in Genesis 1-4.  And these foundational truths — establishing First-Mention Principles — remain unchanged throughout all subsequent Scripture.

(The Spirit’s work, in this respect, is introduced in Genesis chapters one and two through that seen relative to the restoration of the ruined creation in Genesis 1:2b and that seen relative to life being imparted to man through God’s breath in Genesis 2:7.

The Spirit of God moved upon the ruined material creation, where only darkness had previously prevailed.  This is the first thing occurring prior to God speaking, light coming into existence, and God making a division between the light and the darkness.

And it is exactly the same with ruined man today, wherein only darkness prevails.  Fallen man, a subsequent ruined creation, must be restored in exact accord with the established pattern.  The Spirit of God moves upon the ruined creation.  That is, the Spirit breathes life into the one having no life [“Spirit” and “breath” are from the same word in both the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and the Greek text of the New Testament — Ruach and Pneuma respectively].  And the Spirit breathes life into fallen man on the basis of death and shed blood [Christ’s finished work at Calvary].

Light then comes into existence.  The one “dead in trespasses and sins” passes “from death unto life.”  Then God makes a sharp division between the light and the darkness, between the spiritual and the soulical, between the new man and the old man [cf. Hebrews 4:12].

Thus, the foundational basics surrounding the work of the Spirit in this respect, are seen in the opening two chapters.  The Spirit of God moves upon ruined man [Genesis 1], imparting life through God’s breath [Genesis 2].

Then, the one basis through which the Spirit brings about life in this manner — death and shed blood — can be seen in the next two chapters of Genesis [Genesis 3; 4].

In chapter three, following the fall, the first thing that God did relating to restoration was to clothe Adam and Eve with animal skins, showing a previous death and shed blood.  Then in chapter four, Cain slew Abel [a type of Israel, 4,000 years later, slaying Christ], again showing death and shed blood [ref. the author’s book, Bible One - Had You Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood, chapter 11, “The Blood of Abel”].)

Salvation by grace though is not the only thing dealt with extensively in the opening chapters of Genesis.  These chapters also deal with basic truths surrounding man after he has been saved.

Events seen on day one alone pertain to God’s work relative to eternal salvation.  Events seen throughout the succeeding five days would pertain to God’s continuing work in salvation, with complete restoration awaiting a full six days of work, awaiting the completion of Man’s Day.  And this continuing work has to do with the salvation of the soul, which will not be realized until the seventh day, the earth’s coming Sabbath, the Messianic Era.

Events throughout the six days in chapter one could apply to God’s work with man at any time throughout Man’s Day (during any dispensation), with the completion of all God’s work realized on the seventh day.  However, following that which is revealed surrounding events occurring during the seven days in Genesis 1:2-2:3 [2b], God centers His revelation on providing foundational material having to do with two divisions of mankind — Israel and the Church.

And this is in perfect keeping with later revelation.  Those separated from God (the unsaved) are later seen dealt with through Israel first, then through the Church (while Israel is set aside); and, during the Messianic Era (following Israel’s restoration), God will deal with mankind at large through both Israel and the Church.

(Though Israel was brought into existence before the Church, that which pertains to the Church is mentioned before that which pertains to Israel in these opening chapters of Genesis.  Truths pertaining to the Church can be seen in chapters two and three; and truths pertaining to Israel can be seen in chapters four, six, seven, and eight.

In Genesis 2, in the antitype, Christ’s bride is revealed to come from His body [a part of His body rather than all of His body]; and in both Genesis 2; 3, basic truths are set forth surrounding the husband-wife relationship, particularly as they relate to Christ and His bride and pertain to the reason for man’s creation in the beginning.

Then in Genesis 4, events relative to Israel begin.  Cain slew Abel, as Israel, 4,000 years later, slew Christ.  And, as the blood of Abel cried out to the Lord “from the ground,” the blood of Christ speaks “better things than that of Abel” [Genesis 4:10; Hebrews 12:24].

And, going on to Genesis 6-8, Noah passing safely through the Flood is a type of Israel passing safely through the coming Tribulation.  Then, as a new beginning lay beyond the Flood, a new beginning will lie beyond the coming time of destruction.)

Now, all of these things could be little understood apart from subsequent revelation, beginning with the life of Abraham in Genesis 11.  And the whole of the matter is put together in the course of five chapters set at the latter part of Abraham’s life (Genesis 21-25), though all of this (the first 25 chapters) could not be that well understood apart from subsequent revelation (the remainder of Scripture).

Chapters twenty-one and twenty-two put together things previously seen relating to man’s salvation (in Genesis 3; 4, which foreshadow Christ’s future work at Calvary — the offering of the Son (Genesis 22), born in a supernatural manner (Genesis 21).  Then chapters twenty-three through twenty-five put together things previously seen relating to Israel and the Church (in Genesis 1-9).  And throughout these five chapters in Genesis, all these things are set within a dispensational framework.

Then there is the necessary abundance of revelation that follows, extending throughout both the Old and New Testaments, which continues to build upon that previously revealed.  And all of this revelation together — that given prior to, including, and following Genesis chapters twenty-one through twenty-five — allows Christians to see a complete word-picture, fully detailing God’s work in relation to man and the earth during both Man’s Day and the future Lord’s Day.

The key to a correct understanding of that which is revealed in the New Testament lies in first understanding that which has been revealed in Moses and the Prophets, particularly in the book of Genesis.  All of the unchangeable basics were set forth in the earlier revelation first.  And later revelation simply forms commentary for the earlier, necessitating an understanding of the earlier revelation in order to properly understand that which the Spirit later moved men to pen.  The whole of God’s revelation must be studied in the light of itself, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).

Back to Genesis Chapter Twenty-Four

As in the Spirit’s work surrounding salvation, so it is in the Spirit’s work surrounding His search for a bride for God’s Son.  Once God had established the foundational truths in Genesis surrounding the Spirit’s work in both realms, no change could ever occur in either realm at a later point in time.  The work of the Spirit relative to salvation by grace, continuing during the present dispensation, must be completely in line with that previously set forth in Genesis; and the work of the Spirit relative to His search for the bride, a work peculiar to the present dispensation, must be completely in line with that previously set forth in Genesis as well.

As in the type, so it is in the antitype.  The Spirit conducts His search between two times — between the time Israel was set aside (Genesis 23) and the time when Israel will be restored (Genesis 25).  And He conducts this search among the people of God.

In this instance, the people of God cannot be Israel, for Israel has been set aside.  Nor can the people of God be one or more of the Gentile nations, for all of the Gentiles are “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel” — the nation through which all spiritual blessings were to flow out to the Gentile nations (cf. Genesis 12:1-3; Ephesians 2:12).

Accordingly, none of the Gentile nations could possibly come under consideration as the place where the Spirit could conduct His search for the bride.  And this would be true even more so with Israel set aside, for the channel of blessings for the Gentile nations had been removed from the place that God had ordained that the nation occupy.

Thus, God had to bring an entirely new nation into existence, one which was neither Jew nor Gentile.  And this new nation, though it could be neither Jew nor Gentile, had to be Abraham’s seed (for, again, God had previously decreed that spiritual blessings must flow through Abraham and his seed alone [Genesis 12:1-3; 22:17-18]).  Apart from a connection with Abraham of this nature, this new nation would be outside the scope of spiritual blessings and, in this respect, no different than any of the Gentile nations.

Note how God brought matters to pass surrounding this new nation — providing the Spirit with a people of God, other than Israel, among whom He could conduct His search for a bride for God’s Son.

This new nation was brought into existence (and continues to be added to via the same means) through an immersion in the Spirit of the ones in whom the Spirit has already breathed life.  This is something that began on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. and continues during each succeeding generation throughout the dispensation.

This immersion in the Spirit places the saved individual “in Christ,” forming an entirely new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  This occurs at the time of the birth from above, though subsequent to and separate from the new birth.

If the person were a Jew prior to this time, he ceases to be a Jew and becomes a new creation “in Christ.”  If he were a Gentile prior to this time, he ceases to be a Gentile and becomes a new creation “in Christ.”  “In Christ” there is neither Jew nor Gentile, but one new man; and all those “in Christ,” forming the one new man, make up the body of Christ (Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:15).

Then, this positional standing that every Christian occupies, “in Christ,” provides the necessary connection that the one new man must have with Abraham (in order to possess a hope and be in a position to realize spiritual blessings).  Christ is Abraham’s Seed; and those “in Christ,” forming His body, are “Abraham’s seed” as well, “and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29; ref. chapters 7 and 8 of this book).

Then, being part of the body of Christ allows the bride to not only come from the family (in accord with Genesis 24) but also from the body (in accord with Genesis 2).  The bride for the first man, the first Adam, was formed from a part of his body, not from all of his body.  And this must hold true for the bride of the second Man, the last Adam, as well.  Christ’s bride must be formed from a part of His body, not from all of His body.

Thus, the Spirit of God is in the world today bringing to pass a work that continues from previous dispensations — breathing life into the one who has no life.  But the Spirit of God is also in the world today performing a work peculiar to the present dispensation alone.  The one in whom the Spirit has breathed life is then immersed in the Spirit, placing that individual in a position where he can be found among those to whom the Spirit has been sent to search for a bride for God’s Son.

The individual, through this immersion in the Spirit, finds himself a new creation “in Christ,” part of the one new man, and among those forming the body of Christ.  Through this immersion in the Spirit, all of the qualifications are met for inclusion in the new nation brought into existence on the day of Pentecost — a nation separate from either Israel or the Gentile nations, in which the Spirit can conduct His search for the bride.

And this search occurs over a 2,000-year period.  The Spirit finds one here and one there within this new nation who will respond positively to the question, “Will you go with this man?” (Genesis 24:58 [ref. chapters 9 and 10 of this book]).

And the Spirit finds these individuals throughout succeeding generations, covering the entire two millennia.  Individuals in each succeeding generation, through the immersion in the Spirit, continue to be added to the one new man, allowing the Spirit to continue His search for the bride.

There though has to be an end to the Spirit’s search.  There has to be a terminal generation of individuals added to the one new man among whom the Spirit can conduct His search, bringing an end to the dispensation.  The work of Abraham’s servant among Abraham’s people came to a successful end in the type in Genesis chapter twenty-four.  And this same thing must come to pass in the work of the Spirit in the antitype as well.

Nearing the End

Scripture reveals God working in three dispensational periods during Man’s Day; and, in each, God deals with different household servants (that distinguishing one dispensation from the other) and the world at large through these household servants.  And each dispensation lasts exactly 2,000 years, with these three dispensations completing Man’s 6,000-year Day.

During the first dispensation within Man’s Day, God dealt with household servants, who formed no particular nation.  And the world at large was dealt with through these servants (e.g., during the time of the Noachian Flood, when God dealt with the entire world through Noah).  This dispensation extended from the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham, covering the first 2,000 years of human history.

During the second dispensation within Man’s Day, God dealt with household servants who, after four hundred years dating from the birth of Isaac, formed the nation of Israel.  And the world at large was dealt with through these servants (Israel was to be God’s witness to the ends of the earth [Isaiah 43:10]).  This dispensation extends from the birth of Abraham to that time yet future when the Messianic Kingdom will be ushered in, covering a second 2,000-year period during Man’s Day.

However, this dispensation was interrupted seven years short of completion, at the time Israel crucified the nation’s Messiah.  Sin on Israel’s part had reached an apex, Israel’s cup of iniquity had become full (cf. Genesis 15:16), and God stepped into the affairs of His people and brought about a change in His dispensational dealings with man.  God stopped the clock insofar as counting time during the second dispensation was concerned, set Israel aside, and began a work through new household servants fifty-three days later, on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was sent.

A third dispensation ensued during Man’s Day; and God began His dealings with an entirely new segment of household servants, who formed a new nation — the one new man “in Christ.”  And the world at large was to be dealt with through these new household servants (the one new man was now to be God’s witness to the ends of the earth [Acts 1:8]).  This dispensation extends from Pentecost to the rapture, covering a third 2,000-year period during Man’s Day.

Once this dispensation has run its course, the one new man will be removed, God will turn back to Israel, and the last seven years of the previous dispensation will be fulfilled.  These last seven years will complete Man’s 6,000-year Day, and the Lord’s Day, the Messianic Era — a fourth dispensation — will then be ushered in.

This fourth dispensation will last for 1,000 years.  It will be the seventh millennium dating from the creation of Adam, during which the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God will be realized.  And this seventh millennium is that toward which the whole of Scripture moves, beginning with the six days, followed by a Sabbath of rest, in Genesis 1:2-2:3 [2b].

For further information on dispensations, refer to the author’s books, The Study of Scripture BOOK [chapter 5], in this site, and Bible One - Had You Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood [the Appendix].)

1)  Belief to Unbelief, Then…

Parallels can be seen in Scripture between the way in which dispensations close (or, an interruption occurs, as was brought to pass near the end of the second dispensation), necessitating God stepping in and beginning to deal with man within a new dispensational framework.  In each instance, belief is followed by unbelief as the dispensation progresses.  Then, unbelief is allowed to reach an apex before God steps into man’s affairs and brings about a change.

The first dispensation began with man’s creation and fall.  Following redemption being provided (in order that man could ultimately realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning), God began to make Himself known to man, which would have been through a means other than written revelation (which did not exist until Moses’ day, 2,500 years following Adam’s creation).

God making Himself, His plans, and His purposes known prior to written revelation — in a manner that would allow man to act accordingly — must be recognized.  Man exercised “faith” during this time, and “faith” is simply believing that which God has revealed, resulting in one’s life being governed accordingly.

Men such as Abel, Enoch, and Noah acted “by faith” during the first dispensation (Hebrews 11:4-7).  But this is not how the dispensation is seen to end.  The dispensation ends with a descendant of Shem, in the lineage through which Messiah would eventually come, involved in idolatry in Ur, in the area of Babylon (Joshua 24:2; cf. Genesis 10:10; 11:1-9).

Then God allowed seventy years to pass in the second dispensation before He appeared to Abraham with instructions relative to leaving his home in Ur and traveling to another land, which he was to receive for an inheritance (Genesis 11:31ff).  And Abraham, at this time, is seen in a position to exercise faith, which would require his having previously been saved.

(The matter surrounding Abraham’s salvation is not really dealt with in Scripture.  Other than brief references to his birth and marriage, Scripture introduces Abraham at the time of his call, at a time following his salvation [Genesis 11:26ff]; and Scripture does not go back and deal with this issue.

Romans 4:3 is often referenced as having to do with Abraham’s salvation.  But that is not correct at all.  Romans 4:3 is a quotation from Genesis 15:6 [cf. James 2:21-24];  and the context of the verse, in either Genesis or Romans, has to do with Abraham’s call, relative to a promised inheritance.  Teachings surrounding eternal salvation are not in view in either section of Scripture [cf. Genesis 15:7-21; Romans 4:13-22].)

Abraham believed God, obeyed God’s call, and he, by faith, “went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8ff).  And because of a subsequent, progressive walk by faith (though failure occurred at times [e.g., Genesis 12:10-20; 16:1-4]), Abraham became known as the father of the faithful (Romans 4:11).

The nation emanating from Abraham’s loins, through Isaac and Jacob, also went out by faith under Moses.  They left Egypt four hundred and thirty years to the day, dating from the time God had first appeared to Abraham in Ur (Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 12:40-41; cf. Galatians 3:16-18).

But, as time progressed, demonstrated first through the actions of the accountable generation under Moses, things began to change.  Unbelief set in, which ultimately (after giving the Jewish people centuries in which to repent) resulted in God allowing His people to be carried into captivity by Gentile nations — first, the northern ten tribes (by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.); and then, the southern two tribes (by the Babylonians in 605 B.C.) — bringing an end to the theocracy that had been established at Sinai during Moses’ day.

Seventy years following the time when the entire nation (all twelve tribes) had been carried into captivity (Daniel 9:2; cf. Jeremiah 25:11), a remnant was allowed to return to the land under Zerubbabel.  The temple was rebuilt, though there was no restoration of the theocracy.  And, though a remnant returned to the land, the majority of the Jewish people continued to remain scattered among the Gentile nations during the years that followed (similar to the situation which exists in the world today — a remnant of Jews have returned to the land, and they are about to rebuild the temple [though there will be no restoration of the theocracy]; but most of the Jewish people remain scattered among the Gentile nations).

By the time Christ appeared, over five hundred years following the return of a remnant under Zerubbabel, unbelief was once again firmly entrenched in the camp of Israel.  And the end result was the rejection of the message, the Messenger, and the eventual crucifixion of the Messenger.

At this point, even though the dispensation still had seven years to run, God stepped into the affairs of man once again.  Unbelief, resulting in the nation’s actions, had reached an apex.  And God, at this time, brought about a change in His dispensational dealings with man.

An exercise of “faith” marked the beginning of this third dispensation, as seen in the book of Acts and the epistles.  But the dispensation was destined to end exactly the same way in which the first dispensation had ended, and under exactly the same conditions which resulted in the second dispensation being interrupted — a manifestation of unbelief among the people of God.

And this manifestation of unbelief among the people of God at the end of the third dispensation has been plainly foretold several places in Scripture.  Christ Himself, at the time of His first coming, asked, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith [Greek: ‘the faith’] on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

The faith” is an expression peculiarly related to the Word of the Kingdom (e.g., Acts 6:7; 1 Timothy 6:10-15; 2 Timothy 3:8; 4:7-8; Jude 1:3), and the way in which this question is worded in the Greek text portends a negative response.  Christ, in this passage, revealed that He would not find “the faith on the earth” at the time of His return, in complete keeping with subsequent warnings by Paul (Acts 20:29-31; 1 Timothy 4:1-3), by Peter in his second epistle (2 Peter 2; 3), and by Jude in his epistle.

At the outset of the dispensation, “the faith,” which had to do with things surrounding the saving of the soul, was the message of the hour.  It was proclaimed universally throughout the churches.  But, at the time of Christ’s return, conditions will be completely reversed.  Except in isolated instances, one will not find this message being proclaimed at all in the churches of the land.  Instead, this message will be either unknown by Christians, or it will be hated, despised, and rejected by Christians.

There are two places in Scripture that foretell the history of Christendom throughout the dispensation in this respect — Matthew 13:3-33 and Revelation 2; 3.  One was given by Christ to His disciples during His earthly ministry, and the other was given by Christ to John about sixty years later.

The account in Matthew’s gospel shows the history of and condition of Christendom at the end of the dispensation through two means: 1) a mustard seed that germinated and grew into a great tree (an abnormal growth, depicting a world power, with the birds of the air [emissaries of Satan; cf. Matthew 13:4, 19, 32] lodging in the branches of the tree), and 2) a complete leavening process.  And both together show total corruption at the end of the dispensation in relation to the Word of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:31-33).

Then, the opening chapters of the book of Revelation show the deteriorating history of Christendom through that revealed about the seven churches in Asia during John’s day, with conditions at the end of the dispensation depicted by the condition of the church in Laodicea — “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).  And, as in the parables in Matthew chapter thirteen, this shows total corruption at the end of the dispensation in relation to the Word of the Kingdom.

(The fact that the Word of the Kingdom is the central issue at hand in both sections of Scripture is evident.

In the parables of Matthew 13, this is the stated subject forming the introduction to the parables [Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23]; and, this same subject is seen continuing throughout the subsequent parables [cf. Matthew 13:19, 24, 31, 33].

Then, in Revelation 2; 3, this is the evident central subject because of that seen throughout.  Works, with a view to overcoming and occupying a position with Christ in the kingdom, form the central subject matter throughout each of these seven epistles.  And each epistle is structured exactly alike in this respect.

Accordingly, as in the first four parables in Matthew 13, so in Revelation 2; 3.  There is nothing in either section that pertains to salvation by grace.  The whole of the matter in both sections of Scripture has to do with present and future aspects of salvation — the salvation of the soul.  And this must be recognized if these passages of Scripture are to be correctly understood.)

Thus, unbelief among the people of God can be seen at each of the three times when God steps in and changes His dispensational dealings with man.  Two have already come to pass, and the third is about to come to pass; and once the third comes to pass, this will allow God to once again begin His dealings with Israel and bring to pass the seven unfulfilled years of the previous dispensation.

(It should be noted that unbelief will continue to exist in the camp of Israel throughout the final seven years of God’s dealings with the nation during Man’s Day.  When Christ returns, after Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week has been allowed to run its course, He will find the Jewish people scattered among the nations, in a state of unbelief.  And, in a respect, this unbelief will be a continued unbelief from the apex reached at the end of Daniel’s Sixty-Ninth Week.

Then, following Messiah’s return and Israel’s national conversion, when the Jewish people look upon the One Whom they pierced, unbelief will turn to belief.  And following certain related events that will occur at this time [e.g., Israel’s national repentance, the resurrection of Old Testament saints, Israel’s restoration to the land], a change in God’s dispensational dealings will once again occur.)

2)  Unprepared for Christ’s Return

On the basis of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, which foretold the approximate time of Messiah’s first appearance to the Jewish people, Christians often see a truth applying to the Jewish people but fail to see this same truth when brought over into Christendom.  Christians are quick to point to this prophecy and call attention to the fact that the generation of Jews living near the end of the time covered by Daniel’s prophecy should have known that it was about time for Messiah to appear, and they should have been ready.

And that is very true.  The Jewish people should have been looking for their Messiah and should have been ready when their Messiah did appear.  They possessed the Word of God, telling them that the time was at hand.

But, in this same respect, there is a parallel truth pertaining to the nearness of the hour and Christ’s reappearance that Christians today fail to see.  And the knowledge and readiness of the present generation of Christians concerning the matter is no different than that of the generation of Jews that witnessed Christ’s first appearance.

Christians today only need to look at one thing in order to know that the Lord’s return is at hand — chronology related to both the dispensation and to Man’s Day.  The present dispensation will last for exactly 2,000 years, and Man’s Day will last for exactly 6,000 years.  Thus, all that Christians have to do is look back and perform some simple mathematical computations — the same thing which the Israelites could have done 2,000 years ago, but didn’t do.

(Refer to the Appendix in the author’s book, Bible One - Had You Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood, for information about the chronology of dispensations and Man’s Day, problems with trying to establish exact dates for Christ’s return, etc.)

In this respect, the Israelites, at the time of Christ’s first coming, were in possession of a chronology that could have told them that the time was drawing nigh; but it was ignored, and the people were not ready when Christ did appear.

And, in this same respect, Christians today, immediately preceding Christ’s return, also have a chronology that can tell them that the time is drawing nigh once again; but it is being ignored, and Christians — as the Israelites — will not be ready when Christ reappears.
Chapter Twelve
The Departure

Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South.

And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. (Genesis 24:62-63).

The work of Abraham’s servant didn’t end with the procurement of the bride and bringing about her readiness while in Mesopotamia.  Rather, there was a final and concluding work, which had to do with removing a prepared bride from Mesopotamia and presenting the bride to an awaiting bridegroom.  And the bridegroom is seen waiting (near the end of the day) at a particular place, between his father’s home and the bride’s home, with a view to meeting the one whom the servant had procured and made ready.

And exactly the same thing is seen in the antitype.  The Spirit’s procurement of the bride and bringing about her readiness while on earth during the present dispensation is followed by a final and concluding work at the end of the dispensation.  The Spirit will remove a prepared bride from the earth and present the bride to an awaiting Bridegroom.  And the Bridegroom, at that time (at the end of the dispensation), will be waiting at a particular place, between His Father’s home and the bride’s home, with a view to meeting the one whom the Spirit will have procured and made ready.

In the type, Isaac’s bride was accompanied by other damsels at this time; and they rode upon the camels as they left Mesopotamia.  Though the number of the camels is not given at this point in the type, the reference could only be to the same ten camels that the servant had previously brought into Mesopotamia (Genesis 24:10).  “Ten” is the number of ordinal completion in Scripture, and individuals riding upon “ten camels” at this time would show ordinal completion in relation to those going forth to meet Isaac.  That is, they all went forth — not only Rebekah, but all within the scope of that shown by the number “ten.”  But only one would be presented to Isaac as his bride, whom Abraham’s servant had procured and prepared.

And it will be exactly the same when Christ’s bride is removed at the end of the dispensation.  The bride will not depart alone.  Rather, the bride will be accompanied by others, which Scripture clearly reveals will be all other Christians.  As in the type, all will go forth together to meet Christ.

But also, as in the type, not all will be presented to Christ as His bride, whom the Spirit will have previously procured and prepared.  Only those appearing in the antitype of Rebekah in that day will comprise the bride.

When the caravan of camels carrying Rebekah and the other damsels approached Isaac, Rebekah is seen arraying herself for meeting Isaac.  “She took a vail, and covered herself” (Genesis 24:65b).  Nothing though is said in the type about those accompanying Rebekah doing something of this nature.

This act performed by Rebekah in the type speaks volumes in the antitype, for the same will be true of Christians comprising the bride in that future day.  They, as Rebekah, will be granted the privilege of properly arraying themselves for meeting Christ in relation to activities surrounding the bride and the Bridegroom.

(Scripture presents two ways in which a Christian can appear in Christ’s presence in that coming day.  A Christian can either appear clothed, or he can appear naked [Revelation 3:18].  And note that which Matthew 22:11-13 reveals will befall any individual appearing naked in Christ’s presence in that future day.)

The bride, under the leadership of the Spirit, will have previously made herself ready to meet the Bridegroom.  And, because of this, she will be allowed to array herself in that day (not “be arrayed,” as in the KJV, but “array herself”) “in fine linen, clean and bright”;  and this “fine linen” is said to be “the righteousness of saints [‘righteousness’ is plural in the Greek text —lit., ‘the righteousnesses of the saints,’ or ‘the righteous acts of the saints’]” (Revelation 19:7-8).

But the Spirit, at this time, will remove more than just a prepared bride in order to present the bride to an awaiting Bridegroom.  The Spirit will remove all Christians — the complete one new man “in Christ.”  Scripture is very clear concerning the all-inclusiveness of Christians in what is often referred to as “the rapture,” which will occur immediately following the Spirit’s completion of His work on earth during the present dispensation.  The types clearly show this to be the case; and the antitype, which must follow all of the types in exact detail, shows exactly the same thing.

Numerous Bible students today attempt to see Scripture teaching that the bride alone will be removed at the time of the rapture, with the remainder of Christians left behind to go through either part or all of the Tribulation.  Such a teaching though has no basis in Scripture.  Scripture clearly reveals that all of the saved from the present dispensation — the complete one new man, comprised of both faithful and unfaithful Christians — will be removed from the earth into the heavens and be dealt with in judgment at the same time and place.

All Christians will appear before the judgment seat of Christ.  Scripture clearly reveals that “we must all appear,” and Scripture clearly reveals that this appearance will have to do with “a just recompense” being meted out — “that every one [not just a select few, but every Christian] may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (cf. Luke 19:15-26; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; Hebrews 2:1-3).

Mistaken interpretation surrounding the all-inclusive nature of the rapture is often made through either viewing one type alone (e.g., Enoch, in Genesis 5) or seeking to make verses that have nothing to do with the rapture apply to the rapture (e.g., Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10).  Suffice it to say, Scripture must be interpreted in the light of Scripture.  One part of Scripture must be interpreted in the light of both its context and related Scripture (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9-13; 2 Peter 1:20).

The whole of Scripture together presents the complete picture as God has set it forth in His Word.  All the types bearing on a subject must be viewed together, along with the antitype.  And Scripture must be interpreted contextually, not isolated and made applicable to the rapture when the context shows that the text has to do with something other than the rapture.

For example, relative to types, not only was Enoch removed preceding a time of destruction on the earth (the Flood during Noah’s day) but so was Lot, along with his family (preceding the destruction of the cities of the plain).  Enoch would be looked upon in a somewhat opposite sense to Lot insofar as a walk by faith was concerned.  But both Enoch and Lot are seen removed prior to subsequent destructions, and both must be viewed together in this respect.  Then, the information gleaned from these two types can be seen within another frame of reference in Genesis 24, where all went forth to meet Isaac.

These three types, viewed together, present a far more complete picture of the rapture than does any one of the three set off by itself and viewed separate from the others.  This is the picture — a word-picture — that God Himself has provided.  And God has provided the material forming this word-picture, after this particular fashion, in order to teach His people that which He would have them know concerning the rapture and subsequent events.

And individuals going wrong at this point in Scripture invariably do so for two reasons:  They either do not view the different types together (failing to see the complete picture), or they ignore the types altogether (refusing to view Scripture within the typical framework which God established).

Then, there are two central places in the New Testament (along with other related Scripture) that deal with the antitype of these Old Testament references to the rapture, presenting matters in exactly the same manner as seen in the types.  And this must be the case, for once God had established these things in the types, no change could ever occur.  The antitype must follow the exact pattern previously established in all the types bearing on the subject.

These two central sections of Scripture — 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:9 and Revelation 1-4 — both deal extensively with the rapture and subsequent events (as these subsequent events pertain to Christians).  Then, there are other Scriptures that deal with either the rapture or with these subsequent events, but not in the broad sense seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:9 and Revelation 1-4 (e.g., 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:51-57).

Thus, putting the whole of the matter together in both Testaments, the complete picture can be viewed, exactly as God gave it, through only one means — through taking all related Scriptures in both Testaments and comparing scripture with scripture.  All of the types in the Old Testament bearing on the subject must be studied in the light of all scripture bearing on the subject in the New Testament, or vice versa. 

(Then, insofar as the rapture itself is concerned, another problem often manifests itself in biblical interpretation.  As previously noted, individuals often use scriptures that have nothing to do with the rapture in order to teach certain things about the rapture.

One or all of three sections of Scripture are usually referenced — Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10.  However, these Scriptures have nothing to do with the rapture and should never be used in this manner.  The context, in each instance, clearly shows that things other than the rapture are in view.

For a detailed discussion of all three sections of Scripture in this respect, refer to the author’s book, Bible One - Had You Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood, chapter 13.)

The Ones “in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:9)

In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, the Lord Himself is seen descending from heaven, though not coming all the way to the earth.  Christ, after descending to a place above the earth, will “shout [lit., ‘issue a command’].”  The voice of the archangel (Michael) will then sound, a trumpet will be blown, and “the dead in Christ” from throughout the dispensation will come forth.

Resulting from Christ’s command, “the dead in Christ” will be raised. Christ — Who is “the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25) — must be present to give the command in order for the dead to be raised (cf. John 5:28-29; 11:25, 43).  Then, living believers — those Christians alive at the end of the dispensation — will be caught up together with resurrected believers to meet the Lord in the air.

1)  The Spirit’s Work at This Time

This is the time when the Spirit, in keeping with the type in Genesis 24, will remove all Christians from the earth (both the dead [resurrected] and those alive at that time).  The work of the Spirit at the time of the rapture though will involve far more than the Spirit simply removing Christians from the earth.

The Spirit imparts life through breath (whether physical or spiritual).  The principle regarding this matter was established in the opening two chapters of Genesis (Genesis 1; 2); and, once established, no change could ever occur in relation to the Spirit’s connection with life being imparted to man.

This is why the Spirit is seen as instrumental in Christ’s resurrection (Romans 8:11).  He had to be the One breathing life into Christ’s physical body in order for life to be restored to that body.  The Spirit had to act in this capacity, adhering to an established biblical principle, at the time Christ was raised from the dead.

When Christ descends from heaven and gives the command for the dead “in Christ” to come forth, to remain in keeping with the principle established in the opening two chapters of Genesis (Genesis 1; 2), the Spirit will act in this same capacity in conjunction with Christ’s command.  The Spirit will breath life into those to whom the command relates — “the dead in Christ” — exactly as the Spirit did at the time Lazarus or anyone else was raised from the dead in the past, else they could not have been raised (Matthew 27:52-53; Luke 8:55; John 11:43-44; Hebrews 11:35; cf. James 2:26).

And when both the Son and the Spirit act in these revealed, respective manners, “the dead in Christ” will come forth.  They will have to come forth, for the One Who is “the resurrection, and the life” will have given the command; and the One Who breathes life into those without life will have done His corresponding work.

Then there is the matter of both resurrected believers and those believers alive at that time being changed through the work of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:51ff).  The dead will not only be raised but their bodies will be changed, along with a change occurring among living believers.  The dead will be raised in bodies like unto the body that Christ possessed following His resurrection, and the bodies of living believers will be changed accordingly.

Both the raised dead and living believers — all “in Christ” — will be removed from the earth in what Scripture refers to as “spiritual” bodies rather than “natural [‘soulical’]” bodies (1 Corinthians 15:44-50).  Christ possessed a “natural [‘soulical’]” body before His death at Calvary, but He was raised in a “spiritual” body at the time of His resurrection on the third day.

A “spiritual” body, in the preceding respect and the respect dealt with in 1 Corinthians 15:44-50, is not some type phantom, nontangible body.  Rather, it is a body of flesh and bones (the same body that the person possessed at the time of death, or the same body that living believers will possess when Christ returns); but it is a body possessing a different type life-giving, animating principle.  In the “natural [‘soulical’]” body, the life-giving, animating principle is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11).  But in the “spiritual” body, the life-giving, animating principle is the Spirit of God (Romans 8:11).

(Note, for example, Christ’s resurrection body.  It was a visible, tangible body — the same body that had hung on the cross and that had been placed in the tomb [Zechariah 12:10; 13:6; Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:39; John 20:1-29].  Christ though now possessed a body with capabilities beyond the natural [Luke 24:31, 36; Acts 9:3-5].  He had “poured out his soul unto death” [Isaiah 53:12 (a reference to both life and blood;  the life, or soul, is in the blood)]; and His blood is today on the mercy seat in the heavenly tabernacle [Hebrews 9:11-12; 10:19-20; 1 John 1:6-2:2].  And Christ today possesses a “spiritual” rather than a “natural [‘soulical’]” body, one with a different life-giving, animating principle.)

These things occurring at the end of the dispensation (Christ’s command, and the Spirit’s work in relation to this command) will take place in “a moment” of time, which will be as brief as “the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The word translated “moment” is atomos in the Greek text, a word from which we derive our English word “atom” and a word referring to something so small that it cannot be divided.  The reference is to a particle of time so short that it cannot be divided into something shorter (e.g., brevity in time similar to that which man might think of today when referring to a microsecond — a millionth of a second).

Thus, the command by the Lord and all of the work of the Spirit in relation to this command will occur so quickly that Scripture simply uses a word (atomos) showing the most minute particle of time possible, with the brevity of this time illustrated by the quickness of “the twinkling of an eye,” allowing finite man to somewhat grasp the overall thought.  And this will be done with a view to the Spirit removing the bride and presenting the bride to the Son.

The bride though will not be made known and presented to the Son until a time following events surrounding the judgment seat.  It will only be through decisions and determinations emanating from the judgment seat that the bride will be seen as separate from the complete body of Christians, be allowed to array herself in fine linen, and be presented to Christ in the antitype of that seen through Abraham’s servant completing his work with Rebekah in Genesis 24.

In the type, Isaac is seen waiting for his bride “in the south country” (Genesis 24:62) — an apparent reference to his dwelling in the southern part of the land, south of the area where his father lived.  And it was here that the meeting between Isaac and his bride occurred.

The same will be true when Christ meets His bride.  God’s throne is north of the earth (cf. Psalm 75:6-7; Isaiah 14:13-14).  Christ, when He descends from heaven, will be “in the south country” — in the southern part of His Father’s kingdom, as it would relate to the earth — south of the Father’s throne.  And it will be here, as in the type, that the Spirit will lead the ones typified by Rebekah and her damsels to meet the one typified by Isaac.

Thus, when Christians are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, they will be caught up in one direction alone.  They will be caught up toward the north, to meet the Lord at a place in the southern part of His Father’s kingdom.

(Note that this part of the type in Genesis 24 only provides a skeletal sequence of events from the time Rebekah saw Isaac to the time when she became his wife [Genesis 24:64-67].  Events surrounding the judgment seat, among numerous other things, will have to be filled in through not only comparing other types but also through comparing all the things revealed in the New Testament relating to the antitype.)

2)  The One New Man

Near the end of the past dispensation, God interrupted His dealings with Israel seven years short of completion, set Israel aside, and called an entirely new nation into existence.  This new nation is not Jewish; nor is this new nation Gentile.  Rather, this new nation is comprised of believing Jews and believing Gentiles, who have become new creations “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17); and these new creations “in Christ” form one new man (Ephesians 2:11-15).

During the present dispensation, God is dealing with this new man, not with Israel.  And this new man — referred to as a nation (cf. Matthew 21:43; 1 Peter 2:9-10) — is exactly as Scripture describes.  It is a nation completely separate from all other nations on earth — separate from either Israel or the Gentile nations (Galatians 3:26-29).  And God has set aside an entire dispensation in which He will deal solely with this new man.

(In the preceding respect, there is absolutely no place in Christendom for distinctions to be made between saved Jews and saved Gentiles.  Both are new creations “in Christ,” part of the one new man, wherein distinctions between those comprising this new man cannot exist [Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-15; 3:1-6].

But in Christendom today, completely contrary to Scripture, certain individuals from both groups [from saved Jews, and from saved Gentiles] attempt to form distinctions between the two groups.  For example, there are congregations of saved Jews calling themselves “Messianic Jews” or “completed Jews” [both misnomers], distinguishing themselves from saved Gentiles.  And there are groups comprised of saved Gentiles who look askance at saved Jews, somewhat forcing saved Jews to meet together in separate places, often referred to as “Messianic congregations,” distinguishing themselves from saved Gentiles.

All of this — by saved Jews or by saved Gentiles — forms no more than vain attempts to build up a middle wall that has been broken down by Christ Himself [Ephesians 2:14].

And, as well, there is absolutely no place in Christendom for the new creation “in Christ” to go back to the old creation in Jacob [cf. Isaiah 43:1, 7; 2 Corinthians 5:17] and attempt to bring things from this old creation over into the new [cf. Matthew 9:16-17].  God has set Israel aside for a dispensation; and He is, today, dealing with the one new man “in Christ,” not with Israel.  And for the one new man to go back to Israel [a nation set aside] and bring things having to do with this nation over into things having to do with the one new man [the Law, forms, ceremonies, etc.] is not only completely out of place but it serves to break down distinctions that God established between the two creations, adding to an already existing confusion.)

The Spirit of God is in the world today searching for a bride for God’s Son, with the search being conducted among those comprising the one new man.  And once the Spirit has completed this work, the one new man will be removed, with a view to the one new man being dealt with in relation to the reason he had been called into existence.  Then God will resume His dealing with Israel (during seven unfulfilled years, completing not only Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week but Man’s Day as well).

God’s dealings with both Israel and the Church (the new nation, the one new man “in Christ”) must be kept separate and distinct from one another.  To have God dealing with either Israel during the present dispensation or the Church once God resumes His dealings with Israel is completely foreign to the way in which Scripture sets forth God’s dispensational dealings with man.

Israel has been set aside, and God is presently dealing with a new nation; and, following the completion of God’s present dealings with this new nation, He will remove this nation, turn back to Israel, and complete His dispensational dealings with Israel.  The whole of the matter is that simple.

The one new man — comprised of those “in Christ,” all Christians — will be removed at the end of the dispensation.  And this will be for reasons surrounding two nations — both the one new man and Israel.  God will complete His dealings with one nation (the one new man), in the heavens, in relation to this nation’s calling; and God will complete His dealings with the other nation (Israel), on the earth, in relation to this nation’s calling.

The former nation possesses a heavenly calling and the latter an earthly calling; and it is only fitting that God will complete His dealings with each in the place to which they have been called.

The preceding is the clear teaching seen in both the Old Testament types and the New Testament antitypes.  Biblical distinctions surrounding both Israel and the Church must be maintained, and Scripture must be allowed to speak for itself in that which has been revealed about both.

3)  In the Lord’s Day

If the entire one new man “in Christ” (comprised of both faithful and unfaithful Christians living throughout the dispensation) was not removed at the end of the dispensation (as seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), Paul could not have written that which is recorded in the verses that immediately follow (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9).  These verses have to do with both faithful and unfaithful Christians, removed from Man’s Day and placed together at the same time and place in the Lord’s Day.

Man’s Day has to do with man upon the earth throughout a 6,000-year period.  It has to do with that time when matters have been allowed to remain under Satan’s control, with man having his way and sway in the kingdom under Satan.

On the other hand, the Lord’s Day has to do with the Lord conducting affairs in His kingdom throughout a 7,000-year period.  The Lord’s Day runs concurrent with Man’s Day, though not encompassing affairs on the earth during Man’s Day (when fallen man finds himself associated with Satan’s rule and reign).  Only when Man’s Day ends, will the Lord’s Day encompass affairs on the earth; and it will do so for a succeeding 1,000 years (for Christ and His co-heirs will then rule and reign over the earth, in the stead of Satan and his angels).

Note that Abraham, following death, saw the Lord’s Day (John 8:56).  This was almost 4,000 years ago, in the middle of Man’s Day, as it existed upon the earth.  This could be true because Abraham, following death, no longer had a connection with Man’s Day upon the earth.  Rather, he then found himself removed from Man’s Day and placed in the Lord’s Day.

And exactly the same thing would be true relative to Christians, whether following death during the present time or when Christians are removed from the earth at the time of the rapture.  Events surrounding the rapture show this to be the case in no uncertain terms, with Christians removed from Man’s Day and placed in the Lord’s Day (while Man’s Day continues on the earth).

Christians removed from the earth at the time of the rapture will find themselves in the Lord’s Day (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4), though Man’s Day will still have at least seven years to run upon earth.  And 1 Thessalonians 5:1ff clearly shows that the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) will include both faithful and unfaithful Christians.  Both are seen together in the Lord’s Day, with faithful Christians experiencing “salvation” and unfaithful Christians experiencing “sudden destruction,” “wrath” (1 Thessalonians 5:3, 9).

Only when Man’s Day ends — at the end of the Tribulation, at the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week — can the Lord’s Day replace Man’s Day upon the earth.  At that time, Man’s Day will end on earth, and the Lord’s Day will begin on earth.  This change will occur because the Lord will then reign supreme over the earth, with the whole of God’s affairs in His kingdom being brought under the scope of time referred to by the Lord’s Day.

(There is a common but fallacious interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 which relates these verses to individuals left behind at the time of the rapture, to go through the Tribulation [with the advocates of this teaching referring to the Tribulation as “the Day of the Lord,” or “the Lord’s Day”].

This though cannot possibly be correct, for the Lord’s Day will not begin on earth until after Man’s Day has run its course.  It cannot begin until the Tribulation is over.

Scripture is quite clear concerning the time when the Lord’s Day begins on earth.  The Lord’s Day begins on earth in connection with judgments at the time Christ returns to the earth [not at some point in time during the Tribulation, preceding Christ’s return], and the Lord’s Day will continue as long as this present earth exists.  Time in relation to the succeeding new heavens and new earth, following the Messianic Era, is called “the Day of God,” when God will be “all in all” [Joel 2:27-32; 3:9-16; Malachi 4:5-6; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3; 2 Peter 3:10-13].)

All Seven Churches (Revelation 1-4)

Revelation chapters one through four present exactly the same thing as is seen in chapters four and five of 1 Thessalonians, though from a different perspective.  This section of Scripture deals with John being removed from Man’s Day, placed in the Lord’s Day, and seeing the complete Church — all seven Churches in chapters two and three — appearing in Christ’s presence (Revelation 1:10ff).

The description that John gives of Christ in chapter one (Revelation 1:13-16) depicts a Judge, not a Priest.  The girdle is seen about His breasts (where a judge would wear it), not about His waist (where a priest would wear it).  And the various things about His description, viewed together — “fire,” “brass,” a “sword,” etc. — speak of judicial activity rather than priestly activity.

Christ, at this time, will have completed His high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary (a ministry performed solely on behalf of Christians throughout the present dispensation, while they are on earth during Man’s Day).  Completing His ministry, with the dispensation over, Christ will have come forth from the sanctuary;  and, following events surrounding the rapture, Christ will sit in judgment upon those for whom He had previously ministered in the sanctuary — a judgment which will be executed in the Lord’s Day, not in Man’s Day.

For John to see this heavenly scene, he would not only have had to be removed from Man’s Day and be placed in the Lord’s Day but he would have had to be moved forward in time.  And God moving man into a different time period in this manner is not something new in Scripture.  Ezekiel, for example, had previously been moved both back in time and forward in time (Ezekiel 8:1ff; Ezekiel 37:1ff).

John, placed in the Lord’s Day and moved forward in time, records exactly what he saw.  John saw all seven churches (singled out and dealt with in chapters two and three) in Christ’s presence.  Those comprising all of the churches were present, even those comprising the worldly, carnal, lukewarm church in Laodicea (Revelation 1:11-13, 20).

“Seven” is a number showing completeness.  This number shows the completeness of that which is in view.  The “Church” is in view, and the seven churches in chapters two and three, seen in Christ’s presence in the Lord’s Day in Revelation 1 (with Christ appearing as Judge), can only depict one thing.  This scene can only depict the complete Church — all Christians from throughout the dispensation, the complete one new man — appearing in Christ’s presence in heaven, in a judicial scene, in the Lord’s Day.

The types clearly show all Christians being removed together, at the same time.  The antitype clearly shows exactly the same thing.  And man, teaching on the subject, would do well to remain in accord with both.
Chapter Thirteen
The Bride Revealed

Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel;

for she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself. (Genesis 24:64-65).

The complete Church — all Christians, comprising the one new man (all of the saved from throughout the present 2,000-year dispensation) — will be removed from the earth at the end of the dispensation and be taken into the heavens.  The dead will be raised, and believers alive at that time will be “caught up” with the resurrected dead “to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).  This all-inclusive nature of what is often called “the rapture” can not only be clearly seen through comparing the Old Testament types (cf. Genesis 5, 19, 24) but it can also be clearly seen in the New Testament antitype as well (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4; 5; Revelation 1-4).

After the one new man “in Christ” has been removed from the earth and taken into the heavens, this new man will stand before Christ in judgment.  This judgment will occur in the Lord’s Day, not in Man’s Day; and this judgment will be with a view to showing whether a Christian has overcome or has been overcome, resulting in the Christian either experiencing salvation or experiencing wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 2; 3).

At the judgment seat, the One Who “searches the minds and hearts” (Revelation 2:23), will bring all things to light.  Nothing will remain covered or hidden; all things will be opened up and made known (Matthew 10:26-27; Luke 12:2-3).  And through this full revelation of all things, the bride will be revealed.

Those Christians forming the bride will be separated from the complete body of Christians, fulfilling a type that God established when He created man in the beginning (Genesis 2:21-24).  This will be synonymous with “the resurrection [‘the out-resurrection’]” in Philippians 3:11 — a segment of Christians being allowed to stand up out of the complete body of Christians.

(For a discussion of the out-resurrection [Gk. exanastasis] in Philippians 3:11, refer to the Appendix in the author’s book, in this site, The Bride in Genesis BOOK.)

The bride, possessing a wedding garment (made up of “righteous acts [works],” which will have previously been revealed at the judgment seat [cf. Ruth 3:3; Revelation 3:17]), will be allowed to walk with the Lord in “bright-white” raiment.  But this will not be the experience of any Christian lacking “righteous acts,” for that Christian will not possess a wedding garment (Revelation 3:4, 17-18).

Then, at the marriage festivities that follow, the bride will be granted the privilege of arraying herself “in fine linen, clean and bright-white [the same garment previously revealed at events surrounding the judgment seat]” (Revelation 19:7-8).  But attendance will be denied anyone not being clothed in a wedding garment (Matthew 22:11-13; 25:10-12).

The marriage itself will occur between events surrounding the judgment seat in Revelation 1-3 (when the bride is revealed) and events surrounding the marriage festivities in Revelation 19:1-9 (which precede Christ’s return to the earth).  The actual marriage — quite unlike marriages in the West today — will occur through a legal transaction, entered into and completed by Christ prior to these festivities.

This legal transaction has to do with a future redemptive work of the Son — a work relative to the forfeited inheritance, the domain presently ruled by Satan (over which Christ and His wife will rule following the redemption of the domain, a redemption seen in Revelation 6-18).  Only then can subsequent events in the book occur (the marriage festivities, Christ’s return, the overthrow of Gentile world power [Revelation 19], and Christ’s millennial reign [Revelation 20a]).

The book of Revelation, closing the New Testament canon, outlines the whole of end-time events surrounding the bride — extending from the judgment of Christians to Christ’s millennial reign (with those Christians found qualified at the judgment seat, forming His bride).  And it could only be expected that the book forming the capstone to the New Testament would be structured in this manner, for that seen throughout the whole of the New Testament progressively moves toward one revealed goal — that day when the King and His consort queen ascend the throne and rule the earth, as one complete person.

(In that day, man will finally realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning — to rule the earth in the stead of Satan and his angels.  The second Man, the last Adam [with His bride], will bring into full realization that which the first man, the first Adam [with his bride], forfeited in the fall.)

That part of the book of Revelation that details all these events — the first twenty chapters — can be outlined under six headings:

1)  The Judgment Seat (Revelation 1-3).
2)  Crowns Before the Throne (Revelation 4).
3)  The Inheritance Redeemed (Revelation 5-18).
4)  The Marriage Festivities (Revelation 19 a).
5)  Christ’s Return and the Overthrow of Gentile World Power (Revelation 19 b).
6)  The Messianic Era (Revelation 20 a).

(Material under the first two headings [covering Revelation 1-4] will be dealt with in this chapter; material under the next two headings [covering Revelation 5-19a] will be dealt with in chapter 14; and material under the last two headings [covering Revelation 19; 20 (19b, 20a)] will be dealt with in chapter 15.)

The Judgment Seat

I was [‘became’] in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,

saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, and, what you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea. ”

Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,

and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest [‘breasts’] with a golden band.

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;

His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;

He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

…the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” (Revelation 1:10-18, 20b).

In Revelation 1, John is transported from Man’s Day on earth into the Lord’s Day in heaven.  He is then shown a scene occurring in the Lord’s Day.  And the Lord chose to reveal the scene to John in a manner that would cause him to extensively use descriptive language, metaphors, and numbers in order to convey into words that which he had seen.

Revelation of this nature is something seen quite often in Scripture, particularly in the book of Revelation (e.g., Isaiah 2:1-4; Daniel 2:31-45; 7:1ff; Revelation 12:1ff; Revelation 17:1ff).  And there is always complete consistency in Scripture concerning how descriptive language, metaphors, or numbers are used.  Man is never left to his own imagination in the matter.

Revelation 1 presents a scene that not only occurs in the Lord’s Day but also in heaven.  The Church is seen removed from Man’s Day (on earth, during the present dispensation) and placed in the Lord’s Day (in heaven, following the present dispensation).  And the Church (the complete Church, all Christians [shown by the number “seven” — all seven churches]) is seen in Christ’s presence, with Christ occupying the position of a Judge, not a Priest (e.g., this is shown by the girdle placed about His chest [breasts] rather than about His waist, the descriptive use of brass, fire, a sword, etc.).

Christ will perform the work of a Priest on behalf of Christians throughout the present dispensation.  But once the dispensation has run its course, Christ will come forth from the sanctuary, not only to have a part in removing Christians from the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13ff) but also to judge those for whom He had previously ministered as High Priest ( 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; cf. Hebrews 4:11-16; 10:19-39).

The book of Revelation, in the first chapter, begins at a time following the Lord’s completion of His ministry in the sanctuary.  After introductory remarks concerning Christ — where the end of the matter is seen as Messianic (Revelation 1:1-8) — revealed events move immediately to the removal of the Church from the earth.  This is seen through John being removed from Man’s Day on earth and placed in the Lord’s Day in heaven [Revelation 1:10]).  Then, immediately following, a judicial scene is presented.  All Christians are seen in Christ’s presence at what can only be a depiction of His judgment seat.

This is the material that God has provided to form the foundational setting for the book.  This material begins with the removal of Christians from the earth and centers on their judgment in heaven; and this material sets the stage for that which can be seen throughout the remainder of the book, culminating in Christ’s millennial reign, followed by the creation of a new heavens and a new earth.

(Other parts of Scripture can be seen in this same light.  Note that the foundational structure for the whole of Scripture is set forth at the very beginning, in Genesis 1:1-2:3 — a septenary structure.  Or, note how the book of Hebrews is structured.  In the first chapter, after several brief comments concerning Christ as “Heir of all things,” there are seven Messianic quotations from the Old Testament  [remaining within both the septenary structure established at the beginning and the significance of the number seven].  The Messianic Era is that period when deliverance will be effected for the world and its inhabitants; and the book of Hebrews deals with a salvation to be realized during an era introduced in the opening chapter.

This is the way in which Scripture as a whole, the book of Hebrews in particular, and numerous other parts of Scripture [books, sections of Scripture] are structured.  And a person must grasp that which God reveals at introductory points if he would properly understand subsequent revelation on the subject.)

Judgment, following the removal of Christians from the earth, is seen occurring in chapter one, though no details surrounding this judgment are given.  This chapter simply sets the stage for that which follows.  Then, in Revelation 2; 3, seven epistles are directed to seven churches in Asia, with each epistle structured exactly the same way.

The epistles are introduced by revealing Christ in the midst of the seven churches, as seen in chapter one (cf. Revelation 1:12-13, 16; 2:1); and each epistle begins with something either directly stated about or related to Christ’s description from chapter one.  Christ’s knowledge of their works is dealt with next.  Then there is a call for repentance and/or watchfulness.  And this is followed by an overcomer’s promise — a promise to be realized following events surrounding the judgment seat, during the Messianic Era.

In this respect, Revelation 2; 3 simply form a continuation of that seen in Revelation 1, providing details concerning the judgment introduced in this chapter.  Judgment alone forms the natural flow of continuing thought from chapter one, and this fits perfectly with that which is stated in each epistle and the way each epistle is structured in chapters two and three.

The judgment of Christians will be on the basis of works, this judgment will be with a view to showing whether a Christian has overcome or has been overcome, and the goal will have to do with proffered positions with Christ in His kingdom.  All of these things, with numerous details surrounding the different parts, are shown in Revelation 2; 3 through that stated in these seven epistles directed to seven first-century churches.

Then, in another respect, these two chapters present an additional picture — a dispensational picture of the Church during Man’s Day.  Though John was moved forward in time and placed in the Lord’s Day in heaven — to not only depict the future removal of Christians but to be shown the future judgment of Christians, along with things which follow — the Church, at that time, was actually still on earth during Man’s Day (Revelation 1:4, 10-16).

And it is evident that these seven epistles have been arranged in a divinely designed fashion, one which reveals the history of Christendom throughout the dispensation.  In this respect, these epistles begin with the church in Ephesus, which left its “first love,” and end with the lukewarm Church in Laodicea, described as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 2:4, 3:17).

This depicts exactly the same deterioration in Christendom that Christ had revealed during His earthly ministry about sixty years earlier, in the first four parables of Matthew 13.  That depicted in these parables moves from fruit-bearing in the first parable (though corruption is seen as well in this parable, as also seen in Ephesus [Revelation 2:4]) to something that had become completely leavened in the fourth parable (as also seen in the church in Laodicea [Revelation 3:14ff]).

Thus, a two-fold picture of the Church is given in Revelation chapters two and three, with the emphasis placed on judgmental matters at the end of the dispensation rather than upon a history of the Church throughout the dispensation.  And, in keeping with this two-fold picture of the Church, two different accounts showing the removal of the Church at the end of the dispensation are given — one relating to the removal of the Church to appear before Christ in judgment (Revelation 1:10), and the other relating to the removal of the Church at the end of the dispensation (Revelation 4:1-2), preceding the Tribulation (Revelation 6:1ff).

(For material relating more particularly to preparation for meeting Christ at His judgment seat, refer to the author’s book, in this site, Judgment Seat of Christ BOOK.)

Crowns Before the Throne

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice that I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things that must take place after this [‘after these things’].”

Immediately I was [‘became’] in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

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 on their heads.

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, saying:

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:1-2, 4, 10-11).

Immediately following events surrounding the judgment seat, attention is again called to that previously seen in Revelation 1:10 — John being removed from Man’s Day and placed in the Lord’s Day, depicting the Church being removed from Man’s Day and placed in the Lord’s Day.  And, as previously seen, calling attention to the same event again at this point in the book would show the dispensational nature of the removal of the Church — a removal occurring at the end of the dispensation (end of Revelation 3).

But, with events surrounding the judgment seat already having been dealt with (in Revelation 1-3), John is now shown subsequent events.  In this chapter, John is shown events which will occur immediately following those surrounding the judgment seat and the revelation of the bride; and these subsequent events will occur preceding the beginning of the Tribulation (Revelation 6:1ff).

1)  The Heavenly Scene

Immediately after attention has been called to the same event seen in Revelation 1:10 (Revelation 4:1-2a), John, rather than seeing a judgmental scene (as in Revelation 1), now sees a rainbow encircled throne, with God seated on the throne (Revelation 1:2-3 [2b]).  And surrounding this throne, John sees twenty-four other thrones and twenty-four crowned “elders” seated on these thrones (Revelation 1:4).

Then 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 burning before the throne” (Revelation 1:5).  And “in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne” John sees four living creatures who “rest not day nor 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 that sat on the throne, Who lives forever and ever” (Revelation 1:6-9).

Then the scene returns to the twenty-four elders, who rise 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 1:10-11).

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 the positions which they occupy — is significant beyond degree in relation to the central message of this book.

2)  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 (chapter 5).

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 this same rule over the earth following the judgment of Christians, at this point in the book.  And angels will continue ruling until Christ and His co-heirs (forming His bride) take the kingdom, following Christ’s return to the earth (Hebrews 2:5).

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 this time 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, with the other two-thirds refusing to follow him (cf. Isaiah 14:12-14; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:3-4).  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, remaining crowned, for a time.

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.

(For example, note the account of Saul and David, forming a type.  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 [1, 2 Samuel].

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 [Revelation 19:11-20:6].)

This same established principle must prevail relative to the angels refusing to follow Satan in his attempt to exalt his throne.  They 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.

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.  Angels alone will possess crowns in relation to the government of the earth at this 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 pronoun 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 sung not only by the “twenty-four elders” but by the “four beasts [‘living creatures’]” as well.)

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 government of the earth from the hands of angels to the hands of man.

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

These crowns cast before God’s throne, as previously seen, can only have to do with the government of the earth.  And, at this point in the book, they can be worn by angels aloneThe 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 19:15; Revelation 11:15; 19:11ff].  These crowns are relinquished to God — with a view to man ruling in the kingdom — so that God can appoint those who had previously been shown qualified at events surrounding the judgment seat [Revelation 1-3] to positions of power and authority; and those whom God appoints will wear these crowns in Christ’s kingdom.)

The transfer of the government of the earth, from the hands of angels to 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.

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

Only one thing could possibly be in view at this point in the book, for the bride will not only have been made known but will be ready for events surrounding the transfer of power to begin.  The twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne can only depict the angels who did not go along with Satan in his rebellion 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 that is used for the type crown that 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 positions.  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 a regal position, 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.

Refer to the author’s book, in this site, Judgment Seat of Christ BOOK, chapter 12, for additional details concerning the use of the words stephanos and diadema in the New Testament)

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 chapters four and twelve (Revelation 4:4, 10-11; 12:3-4), it appears evident that the government of the earth — originally established by God prior to Satan’s fall — was representatively shown by three sets of twelve, thirty-six crowned rulers.  “Three” is the number of divine perfection, and “twelve” is the number of governmental perfection.

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

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

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

Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel;

for she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself.

And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.

Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. (Genesis 24:64-67).

Near the end of the account of Abraham’s servant procuring a bride for Isaac in Genesis chapter twenty-four, the servant removed the bride from Mesopotamia, and Isaac met his bride at a place between her home and his father’s home.  The bride, upon meeting Isaac, covered herself with a veil; and the servant, bringing the bride forth, related to Isaac all the things that had been accomplished on his mission.  Isaac then took Rebekah to his father’s home, and there she became his wife (Genesis 24:61-67).

These events in the type point to that future day at the end of the dispensation when the Son comes forth and the Spirit removes the bride from the earth.  The bride, upon meeting the Son, will cover herself with that typified by the veil in the Genesis account — the wedding garment; and the Spirit will relate to the Son all the things that had been accomplished throughout the dispensation.  The Son will then take the bride to His Father’s home, where she will become His wife (1 Thessalonians 4:13ff).

Genesis chapter twenty-four centers attention on the actual search for the bride throughout the dispensation.  Events surrounding the removal of the bride, along with subsequent events extending into the Messianic Era, are dealt with only very briefly in this chapter.  And, to see details surrounding these events as they pertain to Christ and Christians — that occur between the removal of the Church and the Messianic Kingdom — one must look to other types, along with the antitype.

And, if a person were dealing with a type that had to do mainly with the things occurring following the removal of the bride, exactly the same thing would be in view if that person wanted to know details surrounding events preceding the removal of the bride.  That person would have to go to other types, types that dealt with the subject.  He would have to go to types such as the one in Genesis chapter twenty-four.

Accordingly, all events surrounding the procurement of the bride, the removal of the bride, and that which follows the removal of the bride are not dealt with in any one type.  Rather, different types deal with different facets of the overall scope of the matter, with each type emphasizing a particular facet of biblical truth.

Thus, to see the complete picture, exactly as God has revealed it in His Word, two things must be done: 1) all of the types on a particular subject must be studied in the light of one another, and 2) the antitype must be studied in the light of all these different types.

All of the checks and balances that God has set forth in His Word must be run.  Only through this means can man see, in a completely correct manner, that which God has revealed in His Word.

Another Type, The Antitype

In the preceding respect, note another type dealing with the bride going forth to meet the Bridegroom, with the emphasis placed at a different point.  Chapters three and four in the book of Ruth (Ruth 3; 4)— exactly as the latter part of Genesis chapter twenty-four — form a type of a prepared bride going forth to meet the Bridegroom, along with events that follow.  And the antitype of that seen in both sections of Scripture can be seen in the first twenty chapters of the book of Revelation.

Events in Genesis chapter twenty-four and Ruth chapters three and four and events in Revelation chapters one through twenty parallel one another.  The former two accounts form two different types of the same thing, with the emphasis placed at different points in each; and the latter account forms the antitype, covering that seen in both of the types.  And these sections of three different books must be studied in the light of one another, along with sections in other books that deal with the subject as well.

But remaining more particularly with the book of Ruth and comparing it with the book of Revelation, note what one finds:

Ruth 3 has to do with Ruth properly preparing herself for meeting Boaz on his threshing floor, with a redemption of the inheritance in view, which also involves Boaz taking Ruth as his wife.  And Ruth 4 has to do with Boaz’s redemption of this forfeited inheritance, Ruth becoming Boaz’s wife, and a kingly lineage resulting from this union — David’s lineage (King David was the great grandson of Boaz and Ruth, as revealed at the close of Ruth 4).

Revelation 1-20 have to do with exactly the same thing, in the antitype.  These chapters have to do with Christians going forth to meet Christ on His threshing floor (at the judgment seat [cf. Matthew 3:11, 12]), with a redemption of the inheritance in view, which will also involve Christ taking the bride as His wife.  And this will be followed by Christ’s return to the earth, the destruction of Gentile world power, the binding of Satan, and Christ’s reign over the earth (as the greater Son of David) with His wife.

Some Christians in that day will be prepared for these events, but others will not be prepared.  Some will be allowed to clothe themselves in wedding garments, which they will possess; but others will not be allowed to do so.  They will be unable to clothe themselves in this manner, for they will not possess wedding garments.

And the actions of Christ relative to three things will be reserved for Christians possessing wedding garments:  1) the redemption of the inheritance, 2) the bride becoming His wife, and 3) the regality that will follow.  Christians lacking wedding garments will have no part in these things.

(Note that the book of Ruth, in Ruth 2-4, deals with only one part of this overall type.  This book, in these chapters, deals only with the faithful, with those possessing wedding garments.

For the other part of the overall type, attention will have to be directed to the first part of the book [Ruth 1], where Orpah, a member of the family [as Ruth], turned back.  And, resultingly, Orpah is not seen in subsequent activities surrounding the bride.

Or, one can turn to other types dealing with the subject to see the dual aspect of the matter [e.g., the account dealing with Lot and his wife, with Abraham also seen in the type; or the account dealing with the Israelites under Moses at Kadesh-Barnea forms the most exhaustive of any of the types in this respect].)

In the book of Ruth, because of Ruth’s action, Boaz is required to not only redeem a forfeited inheritance but to also take Ruth as his wife.  Ruth properly prepared herself, appeared before Boaz on his threshing floor, and called his attention to the matter (Ruth 3:1-12).  Then Boaz acted in complete accord with that which the Jewish people followed within the Mosaic economy (Ruth 3:13; 4:1-10).

In the book of Revelation, exactly the same thing is seen in relation to Christ (typified by Boaz) and Christians (typified by Ruth).  A properly prepared bride will be present on Christ’s threshing floor, at His judgment seat (Revelation 1-4).  And, on the basis of that which is revealed in the type, the Son will act in complete accord with the manner in which Boaz acted (Revelation 5-18).

Certain things have been promised to the bride (e.g., the overcomer’s promises in Revelation 2; 3); and the Son, of necessity, will act in a manner that will bring this to pass.  The Son will not only act to redeem a forfeited inheritance but He will, at the same time, through this redemptive process, take the bride as His wife as well (exactly as seen in the type in Ruth 4).

And this is all anticipated in Revelation chapter four through the action of the twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne.  Regality is in view through a casting of these crowns before the throne, and that is what is in view through the redemption of the inheritance as well (Ruth 4; Revelation 5-20).

Christ’s bride will have previously been revealed (Revelation 1-3).  And these crowns will be cast before God’s throne, with a view to the bride wearing these crowns, as the bride exercises power and authority with Christ — the King, with His consort queen — over the inheritance about to be redeemed.

(For further information on Revelation 1-4, refer to chapter 13 in this book.  Also, for further information on the book of Ruth, refer to the author’s book, in this site, Mysteries of the Kingdom BOOK, chapter 8.)

One Worthy to Redeem

Christ redeeming the inheritance and taking the bride as His wife, in the antitype of Boaz’s actions in Ruth chapter four, forms the central part of the book of Revelation.  Fourteen chapters of the book are given over to the subject surrounding Christ redeeming the inheritance and taking the bride as His wife (Revelation 5-18).  And the first part of chapter nineteen is given over to hallelujahs that will sound forth in heaven after this has been accomplished, along with the festivities surrounding the marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:1-10).

Revelation 5 is taken up with the search for and a revelation of the One worthy to perform this task.  And Revelation 6-18 are taken up with this redemptive work being carried out, with the previously revealed bride becoming Christ’s wife through this redemptive process.

And that set forth in the book of Revelation, leading into and including these chapters, must follow the type set forth in the book of Ruth in exact detail.

In the type there is a bride, revealed in Boaz’s presence on the threshing floor; and in the antitype there is a bride as well, revealed in exactly the same manner as seen in the type — revealed in Christ’s presence on His threshing floor, at His judgment seat.

Then the redemption of the inheritance comes into view.  In the type, the bride, by her presence and actions on Boaz’s threshing floor — uncovering Boaz’s feet and lying down at his feet, requesting that he cover her with the same garment that had been covering his feet — showed that she required Boaz to not only redeem the inheritance (as a near-kinsman) but to take her as his wife as well.

A married Israelite male would cover his wife in this manner; and, since both an inheritance and widowhood were in view, Boaz would know exactly what Ruth was requesting through this act (cf. Deuteronomy 27:20; Ezekiel 16:8).

And this overall thought must be carried over into the antitype, that time when Christ’s bride will be revealed at His judgment seat.  If for no other reason than her presence in the antitype of Ruth, the bride will require of Christ exactly the same thing that Ruth required of Boaz.  And Christ, acting in complete accord with the manner in which Boaz acted, will do exactly the same thing that Boaz did in the type.  He will not only redeem the inheritance but will take the bride as His wife.

And the whole of the matter is with a view to regality.  King David is in view in the type, and the greater Son of David is in view in the antitype.

This is what Ruth chapters three and four are about, and this is what the first twenty chapters of the book of Revelation are about.  The same One at the threshing floor/judgment seat — Boaz in the type, Christ in the antitype — is the One Who performs the subsequent redemptive work and takes the revealed bride as His wife.

In the book of Revelation, following the bride being revealed at the judgment seat (Revelation 1-3) and the twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne because of the bride being made known (Revelation 4), attention is turned immediately to the redemption of the inheritance (through which also the marriage will occur).  And a search is conducted for One worthy to perform this redemptive work.

In the account set forth in the book of Revelation, which deals strictly with events following the judgment seat, only one person is in view, for only one person could possibly come into view.  When the search was conducted, only one person, “in heaven,” “in earth,” or “under the earth” was found worthy to even look upon the seven-sealed scroll containing the redemptive terms of the inheritance, much less to loose the seals, redeeming the inheritance.

And that person is the One seen occupying the position of the antitype of Boaz — the One previously seen at the threshing floor/judgment seat, the One having a connection with regality (identified in the text as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah”).

And, as well, this individual is the One for Whom the Spirit had previously procured a bride (taking an entire dispensation to do so).  The One redeeming the inheritance, through this redemptive process, takes the procured bride as His wife.

Thus, only one person could possibly be looked upon as holding the qualifications to perform this work; and this work is the immediate and next order of business following the revelation of the bride and the relinquishment of crowns, seen in Revelation 1-4.  A redemption of an inheritance relative to Christ and His bride is the central reason for the judgments seen in Revelation 6-18, though Israel will be brought to the place of repentance through these same judgments as well, fulfilling Daniel’s Seventieth Week during this same time.

Redemption of the Inheritance

Simply stated, the seven-sealed scroll contains the redemptive terms of the forfeited inheritance, which has to do with judgments enacted and brought to pass, beginning in Revelation 6:1ff.  In this respect, Christ’s redemptive work relative to the forfeited inheritance has to do with judgment upon the earth-dwellers and will begin to occur with the breaking of the first seal of the scroll.

(The domain over which Christ and His wife will reign during the Messianic Era has to be redeemed.  The first man, the first Adam, forfeited his right to rule this domain; and Satan continued in power.  The second Man, the last Adam, will redeem the right for man to rule this domain through wresting control of the domain from Satan.

And this will be done through a series of judgments, which will become so severe that “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” [Matthew 24:22].  These judgments will bring the world into such a state that Christ, at the time of His return, can quickly and suddenly bring an end to the Times of the Gentiles, Man’s Day, and Satan’s reign [as Satan rules during Man’s Day through the Gentile nations (Daniel 10:13-20)].)

All of the judgments associated with the redemption of the inheritance, contained within the seven-sealed scroll, are brought to pass in Revelation chapters six through sixteen.  The trumpet judgments are contained within the seventh seal, and the vial judgments are contained within the seventh trumpet, which is contained within the seventh seal (cf. Revelation 8:1-6; 10:7; 11:15-19; 15:1ff [Revelation 12-14 are transitional, and, within the sequence of judgmental events contained within the seals, trumpets, and vials, Revelation 15 picks up where Revelation 11 leaves off, detailing that contained within the seventh trumpet — the seven vials, poured out in Revelation 16]).

Thus, the terms surrounding the redemption of the forfeited inheritance can all be seen within the seven-sealed scroll.  This is why there was such an intense search to find One worthy to break the seals of this scroll, with this scroll alone in view (Revelation 5:1-4).  All attention was concentrated on this scroll alone, for all of the judgments about to occur were contained within the scope of that revealed through the breaking of the seals on the scroll (all the judgments seen within the breaking of the seven seals, the blowing of the seven trumpets, and the pouring out of the seven vials).

Apart from the seals of the scroll being broken, the inheritance could not be redeemed.  And apart from the inheritance being redeemed, Christ’s bride could not become His wife, nor could Christ and His wife have a domain to rule over.  In short, the goal toward which the whole of Scripture had been moving since man’s creation could not be realized apart from these seals being broken.

The fact that all of the judgments associated with the redemption of the inheritance occur within the scope of the seven seals is why judgments that will occur very near the end of the Tribulation can be seen when the sixth seal is broken (Revelation 6:12-17; cf. Revelation 16:17-21).  All the remainder of these judgments (those within the seven trumpets and the seven vials) are seen within the seal about to be broken, which may explain why there will be “silence in heaven about the space of half an hour” when this seventh seal is broken (possibly a silence due to awe when the judgments about to occur are made known [Revelation 8:1ff] — judgments contained in the seven trumpets and seven vials).

And this is why the kingdom of this world can be proclaimed to have become that of our Lord and His Christ following the blowing of the seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:15-19), though the seven vials of wrath will have yet to be poured out at this point in the sequence of events (Revelation 15; 16).  The seventh trumpet will include these vials.  Accordingly, when the seventh trumpet is blown, conditions surrounding the end of the judgments can be seen, as depicted in both chapters eleven and sixteen (cf. Revelation 11:15-19; 16:17-21).

1)  During a Particular Period

This future seven-year period in which God will complete His dealings with Israel during Man’s Day begins through a revealed event.  This period begins by the ratifying of a covenant between the man of sin (Antichrist) and “many” in Israel (Daniel 9:27).  This event will mark the start of God’s time-clock relative to the fulfillment of the Seventieth Week in Daniel’s prophecy; and once the prophecy begins to be fulfilled in this manner, time will run uninterrupted for seven years, 2,520 days.  Then, that prophesied relative to Israel and the kingdom in relation to the prophecy can be brought to pass (Daniel 9:24).

However, this future seven-year period, along with being the time when God will complete His dealings with Israel during Man’s Day, is also the time during which Christ will redeem the inheritance through breaking the seals of the seven-sealed scroll.  And insofar as the redemptive aspect of this inheritance is concerned, this has to do centrally with Christians (though Christians will not be present on earth during this time).  This redemption has to do with the domain over which Christ and His consort queen will rule during the Messianic Era;  and, through the process of redeeming the inheritance, the bride will become the wife of the One carrying out this redemptive act.

Though Christians are in view first and foremost in that seen by Christ breaking the seals of the scroll in Revelation 6:1ff (remaining within the chronology of the book, continuing from that revealed in Revelation 1-5), Israel will also be in view.  These events will occur during a time in which Christ is not only redeeming the inheritance but a time in which God is completing His dealings with Israel during Man’s Day.  Not only will Israel be brought to the place of repentance through these judgments, but numerous things seen throughout Revelation 6-18 have to do directly with Israel.

Then, beyond that, in another respect, Israel would be included within the redemption of the inheritance.  During the Messianic Era, Israel (a restored, converted nation in that day) will be placed back in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Israel will be placed in this land within a theocracy, at the head of the nations; and Christ, along with ruling from His Own throne in the heavenly Jerusalem, will rule from David’s throne in the earthly Jerusalem.  He will have a dual reign in this respect over the domain that He will have previously redeemed.

(Note that the breaking of the first seal — when Antichrist goes forth “conquering, and to conquer” — undoubtedly refers to events that begin with the ratifying of the covenant in Daniel 9:27, though including far more than this one event.  The Tribulation begins with this event; and, if matters are not viewed along these lines, the book of Revelation would really have no actual beginning point for the Tribulation per se — something that would seem rather strange in a book of this nature, a book that deals extensively with this seven-year period.)

Thus, events in Revelation chapters six through eighteen are to be viewed in a dual respect — relative to Christ and His bride, and also relative to God and Israel.

Relative to a continuation from Revelation chapters one through five and the way matters in heaven are brought to a conclusion in Revelation 19:1-10, they are to be viewed as having to do mainly with Christ and His bride.  The bride is revealed at Christ’s judgment seat (Revelation 1-3), the twenty-four elders cast crowns before God’s throne because the bride has been revealed (Revelation 4), the search is made for one worthy to break the seals of the scroll in order to redeem the inheritance (Revelation 5), the inheritance is redeemed and the bride becomes the Redeemer’s (the Lamb’s) wife (Revelation 6-18), and festivities surrounding the marriage of the lamb occur (Revelation 19 a).  And this will all be with a view to regality (Revelation 19; 20 [19b, 20a]).

But, in relation to God and Israel, the chapters are to be viewed as completing the fulfillment of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy.  And a redeemed inheritance, a wife, and regality are also in view relative to Israel.  Israel will be restored to her own land and placed at the head of the nations, as the restored wife of Jehovah.  And Israel, occupying this position, will rule within a theocracy over the nations from this earthly land.

2)  Judgments, Events Throughout the Period

There are two major parts to Revelation 6-18.  There are Scriptures dealing directly with judgments seen in connection with the breaking of the seals, the blowing of the trumpets, and the pouring out of the vials; and there are Scriptures that relate to events occurring throughout the time when these judgments occur — events that may or may not be directly connected with the judgments (some are, others are not).  And several things must be kept in mind about these two major parts of the book, else the book cannot be properly understood.

The judgments, though chronological in nature, should not be thought of in the sense of the things seen in any one judgment having to be completed before the things seen in the next judgment can begin.  This is not the picture at all.  Rather, many of the things seen in these judgments will overlap one another and be occurring at the same time, though the beginning point for events in each judgment will be different.

For example, that seen when the first seal is broken — a rider on a white horse (which could only be the man of sin) going forth “conquering, and to conquer” — would really continue throughout the whole of the Tribulation.  Events that begin to occur when this seal is broken will continue to occur throughout the time when events occur through the breaking of the other six seals of the scroll.

The breaking of the second seal — that will result in peace being taken from the earth — apparently occurs about the middle of the Tribulation, when the man of sin breaks his covenant with Israel; and, if this is the correct time for the beginning of this judgment, all other judgments connected with the breaking of the seals, the blowing of the trumpets, or the pouring out of the vials would occur during the last half of the Tribulation.  And as the seals continue to be broken, the trumpets are blown, and the vials are poured out — there can only be numerous judgments occurring at the same time.

Near the end of the Tribulation, when the vials of wrath are poured out (and these vials may be poured out in rapid succession, with the judgments overlapping one another), trouble on the earth (resulting from these judgments) can only intensify to unprecedented proportions — a time of trouble will ensue such as has never before existed in man’s history, or will ever exist again (Matthew 24:21).  And because of this, with the actions of the man of sin from the breaking of the first seal directly involved, God will have to shorten those days in order to preserve life on the earth (Matthew 24:22).

Thus, there is a chronology seen in these judgments as they are outlined in the book of Revelation and as they come to pass during the Tribulation.  Events set apart from these judgments though — covering seven chapters in this section of the book (Revelation 7; 11-14; 17; 18) — are a different matter.  There is a chronology seen in the events themselves in each chapter, but that is as far as the chronology can be taken.  The different events should not be understood as occurring at the particular points in which they appear in the book in relation to the breaking of the seals, the blowing of the trumpets, or the pouring out of the vials.

For example, that seen in Revelation 7 should not be understood as occurring between the breaking of the sixth and seventh seals (Revelation 6:12; 8:1).  Scripture throughout Revelation 6-18 bring the reader to certain points in the judgments.  Then events are introduced at different places in this section that begin to occur during the time of the judgments that have already been introduced (judgments that have already occurred and possibly continue to occur).  And these events, in each instance, not only carry the reader back in time (to some point during the judgments that have already been revealed) but forward in time as well (to the end of the Tribulation).

All of this is in perfect keeping with the way numerous parts of Scripture are structured.  Scripture will often provide a complete sequence of events, followed by commentary on things that will occur during the previously revealed sequence of events.  And, in the book of Revelation, this structure has to do with judgments befalling the earth-dwellers, followed by commentary.

(The whole of Scripture is actually structured in this manner.  Genesis 1:1-2:3 provides a complete sequence of events, covering the whole panorama of the 6,000 years of Man’s Day and the 1,000 years of the Lord’s Day.  And the remainder of Scripture is simply commentary on this previously revealed sequence of events, providing all of the necessary details that God would have man to know [ref. the author’s book, in this site, The Study of Scripture BOOK, chapters 1-4].

Revelation 12 would be a classic example of a section of Scripture structured in this manner.  The first six verses (Revelation 12:1-6) provide a complete sequence of events.  Then Revelation 12:7-17 form a commentary, providing details on the things revealed in the first six verses.)

Chapters seven, eleven through fourteen, and seventeen and eighteen have to do with different events and the appearance of different individuals or groups of individuals during that time when the things seen through the breaking of the seven seals, the blowing of the seven trumpets, and the pouring of the seven vials come to pass.

Chapters seven and fourteen contain things about the ministry of the 144,000 Jewish evangels who will proclaim “the gospel of the kingdom” to the ends of the earth during the last half of the Tribulation (cf. Matthew 24:14); chapter eleven relates things about the ministry of the two witnesses who will testify in the streets of Jerusalem during the first half of the Tribulation; chapter twelve relates numerous events that have to do mainly with Israel and Satan, which begin to occur near the middle of the Tribulation and continue throughout the last half; chapter thirteen relates events surrounding the rise of the man of sin and his false prophet, beginning in the middle of the Tribulation and continuing throughout the last half; and chapters seventeen and eighteen cover the history of Babylon throughout the whole of the Tribulation, with both religious and political aspects seen.

Chapters containing these events might be thought of as sections of the book forming “asides” in relation to the judgments coming to pass through the breaking of the seals, the blowing of the trumpets and the pouring out of the vials.  And putting all of the judgments and all of the asides together (this section of the book is almost equally divided between the length of each), this book presents a complete word-picture, as God would have man see it, of His dealings with man on the earth during the last seven years of Man’s Day.

And the outcome of the matter is with a view to that introduced in Revelation 1-4 or the fulfillment of that seen in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 — both the bride of Christ and the restored wife of Jehovah exercising regality during the Messianic Era.
Chapter Fifteen
The Son with His Wife

And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.

Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. (Genesis 24:66-25:2).

At the end of Genesis 24, Abraham’s servant is seen removing the bride, Rebekah (whom he had procured for Isaac), from Mesopotamia.  Isaac dwelt in “the south country” at this time; and when the meeting occurred between Isaac and Rebekah, it occurred in a “field” in the “evening” (Genesis 24:62-65).  Isaac met Rebekah at a place between her home and his father’s home.  Isaac then took Rebekah to his father’s home and took her inside his mother’s tent.  And it was inside his mother’s tent that she became his wife.

The different things foreshadowed by these events can clearly be seen in the antitype.  The place and time are seen by the use of the words “field” and “evening.”  “The field” is a reference to the world in Scripture (Matthew 13:38); and “evening” has to do with the end of the day.  A more literal translation of “evening” from the Hebrew text would be, as evening approached.  The day was ending, and the thought, in the antitype, would have to do with the end of the dispensation.

Though the meeting between Christ and His bride will occur “in the air” rather than upon earth or at His Father’s home (1 Thessalonians 4:17), it will be more closely associated with this world (“the field”) than with the Father’s home in heaven.  And this meeting will occur as the dispensation draws to a close (in the “evening”).

Then, following events surrounding the judgment seat (not dealt with in the type in Genesis 24 [ref. Ruth 3 for details in this realm]), the Son will take His bride to His Father’s home and take her inside His mother’s tent.  And there, inside the tent, she will become His wife.

Sarah’s Tent

In the type, Isaac’s mother was Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who had previously died.  And “Sarah” in the overall type in Genesis 21-25 typifies Israel.  Thus, in the antitype, Christ’s mother is seen as Israel, the Father’s wife, whom the Father has set aside and views as dead throughout the present dispensation (cf. Hosea 5:13-6:2; Jonah 1:17-2:10; John 11:3-7, 25, 43-44).

After Christians have been removed from the earth, the bride will be made known through events surrounding the judgment seat.  The Son will then take His bride to the Father’s home, take her inside Israel’s tent, and she will there become His wife.

This is seen in Genesis 24 through Isaac taking Rebekah into his mother’s tent (Genesis 24:67), it is seen in Ruth 3; 4 through Ruth remaining with Naomi while Boaz redeemed the inheritance at the gate of the city (Ruth 3:18-4:10), and it is seen in the antitype in the book of Revelation through the inheritance being redeemed during the same time that God completes His dealings with Israel (Revelation 6-18).

The same thing can also be seen during Christ’s earthly ministry in the parables that He gave in Matthew 13.  Christ reentered “the house” (a reference to Israel [Matthew 13:1, 36]) before he gave the last three parables, which deal with this overall issue (ref. the author’s book, in this site, Mysteries of the Kingdom BOOK, chapters 10-12).

Israel must be brought back into the picture, for the marriage can occur only one placein Israel’s tent.  Two central types in the Old Testament show this to be the case, and so do Matthew’s gospel and the antitype in the book of Revelation.

But what is so significant about Israel’s tent?  Why did God establish the matter after this fashion in the types and the parables, requiring it to be brought to pass after the same fashion in the antitype?  The answer is very simple.

Spiritual blessings are involved, which necessitates an Israeli connection of this nature.  This union (Christ and His wife), in the antitype, is to result in spiritual blessings for all mankind as the King, with His consort queen, rules the nations (Genesis 22:17, 18; Psalm 2:6-9; Revelation 2:26-27).

Spiritual blessings, seen after this fashion, are first introduced in Scripture in Genesis 9.  The three sons of Noah and their progeny are in view, and Shem is the only one seen to have a God; and, in order to receive spiritual blessings, Ham, Japheth, or their descendants would have had to dwell in the tents of Shem (Genesis 9:24-27).

This is the reason why Abraham, a descendant of Shem (Genesis 11:10-26), could be called out of Ur to be the channel through whom the nations of the earth would be blessed.  He was of the lineage which had a God, the lineage wherein spiritual blessings lay.

Thus, the things surrounding Abraham and his call draw from earlier foundational teachings surrounding Shem.  The foundation was set in Genesis 9; and, whether dealing with Abraham’s call in Genesis 12 or with the bride in Genesis 24, matters are exactly the same.

In short, when spiritual blessings are involved, there has to be a connection with Shem and his lineage through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons, i.e., a connection with the nation of Israel.  Accordingly, the marriage has to occur in Israel’s tent.  It can occur no other place and result in spiritual blessings for all mankind.

As seen by comparing the type in Ruth 3; 4 with the antitype in Revelation 6-18, the marriage occurs during the time in which God completes His dealings with Israel, during Man’s Day.  It will occur through the process of Christ redeeming the inheritance as He breaks the seals of the seven-sealed scroll (Revelation 5 ff).  And, as in the type, not only will the inheritance be redeemed through this process, but the bride will become the Lamb’s wife as well.

This is the scene with which one is confronted as he reads through Revelation chapters six through eighteen.  And, when he comes to Revelation 19, not only will all the terms set forth in the seven-sealed scroll have been met (the inheritance will have been redeemed, and the bride will now be the Lamb’s wife) but God will have completed His dealings with Israel during this same time as well.

Through the judgmental process used to redeem the inheritance, the armies of the nations of the earth, at the end of Man’s Day, will be gathered “to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.”  The cities of the nations will fall, along with Babylon, the capital of the nations at the end of Man’s Day (Revelation 16:12-21).  And at the time Christ returns, Gentile world power, existing among the rubble and carnage of that day, will be completely destroyed (cf. Daniel 2:34, 35, 44-45).  This is what is seen in the latter part of Revelation 19.

But between the activities surrounding the redemption of the inheritance (which will result in the marriage of Christ to His bride inside Israel’s tent) and the time when the heavens are opened and Christ returns, there is a revealed and concluding event in heaven.  Immediately following the activity inside Israel’s tent and immediately preceding the heavens being opened, the festivities surrounding the marriage of the Lamb occur (Revelation 19:7-9).

The Marriage Festivities

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

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

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

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

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

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

(The book of Revelation, as the parables in Matthew 22, 25, does not really deal with the marriage per se.  Nothing is said in chapters six through eighteen [the time during which the marriage occurs] about Christ’s marriage to the bride who had previously been revealed at the judgment seat [Revelation 1-3].  Rather, the marriage occurring in these chapters, through Christ redeeming the inheritance, is seen and dealt with elsewhere in Scripture.  Following exactly the same chronology of events that would later be set forth in the book of Revelation, the marriage is seen and dealt with in biblical typology, in the book of Ruth.

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

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

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

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

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

But these are man’s thoughts and ideas, not those emanating from Scripture.  Such teachings have nothing to do with that which is being dealt with in matters surrounding these festivities.  The saved alone are in view;  and from among the saved, two different groups are in view: 1) those forming the wife of the Lamb; and 2) those not forming the wife of the Lamb.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(For a full discussion of “The Outer Darkness,” refer to Cast Outside into Outer Darkness, in this site.)

Christ’s Return

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

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

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

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

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

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

His appearing” covers the whole of the time seen in the book of Revelation.  Christians are raised from the dead and dealt with at least seven years prior to the time Christ returns to the earth, raises Israel from the dead, and deals with the Jewish people after a similar fashion to the way in which He had previously dealt with Christians.  But yet, these events surrounding both Christians and Jews are included in the words, “His appearing.”  And numerous other events, either immediately preceding or immediately following His return to the earth, leading into the kingdom, would be included in these words as well.

Again, there are only two spheres spoken of — “His appearing and His kingdom.”  And everything beginning in Revelation 1:9 must fit into one sphere or the other.

There is only one return of Christ presented in Scripture.  There is not a return for His Church preceding the Tribulation (sometimes erroneously referred to as “a secret return” for the Church) and another return following the Tribulation (where He will appear openly and visibly to the world).  From a Scriptural standpoint, the Spirit removing the bride and Christ meeting His bride in the air is an event in connection with the only return of Christ that Scripture knows anything about — “Behold, He comes with clouds…”  The manner in which the book of Revelation opens makes this very clear.

This is the place where numerous Christians have gone wrong, particularly as it relates to the timing of the rapture.  Christians have looked at what Scripture has to say about Christ’s return and see a singular event which occurs at the end of the Tribulation.  Then, seeing that the removal of the Church is an event occurring in connection with His return, they leave themselves without a choice other than to see the Church going through the Tribulation and being removed when Christ returns back to the earth at the end of the Tribulation.

This, of course, has no validity whatsoever in Scripture.  This is simply not the way in which Scripture deals with Christ’s return.  Relative to Christ’s return per se, it wouldn’t matter whether the Church was removed before or after the Tribulation.  A time element of this nature has nothing to do with the matter, for a removal at either time would fall within the scope of the time that God has allotted for events surrounding Christ’s return to occur.

Rather, one will have to look elsewhere to find the timing of certain events of this nature.  And, looking at both the types and the antitype bearing on the subject surrounding the removal of Christians at the end of the dispensation, the timing of what is often called “the rapture” can clearly be ascertained.  The types (Genesis 5-8; 18-19; 24; Ruth 3; 4) and the antitype (Revelation 1-19) clearly show two things occurring preceding the Tribulation: 1) the removal of Christians from the earth, and 2) the occurrence and completion of events surrounding the judgment seat.

Further, the same types and the antitype clearly show that all Christians will be removed at this time, not just a select group, with other Christians being left behind to go through the Tribulation.  Solely from a Scriptural standpoint, the teaching that Christians — part, or all — will go through any part of the Tribulation has no validity whatsoever.

In the book of Ruth, a particular event occurred in chapter three before Boaz redeemed the inheritance and took Ruth as his wife in Ruth 4.  Ruth (a prepared bride) appeared on Boaz’s threshing floor.  Only then did Boaz redeem the inheritance and take Ruth as his wife.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Messianic Era

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

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

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

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

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

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

(For a discussion of Numbers 35 in this respect, refer to the author’s book, Bible One - Let Us Go On by Arlen Chitwood, Chapter 1, “From Aaron to Melchizedek.”)

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Middle East peace, which man vainly attempts to effect today, will be brought to pass in that day — when the King, with His consort queen, rules the earth for 1,000 years.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Search for the Bride BOOK by Arlen L. Chitwood.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

Abraham, Summary and Time Chart
By Robert I. Bradshaw

Links like the following are found throughout this website.  They take one to Word Documents in my computer which has virus protection.  They are SAFE to open and print!  Abraham Summary and Time Chart by Robert Bradshaw.docx

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

Islamic Hatred:
The Foundation of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

from the July 08, 2014 eNews issue

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

Arafat Turns Down Peace

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

1) Yasser Arafat presented no ideas at Camp David.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abbas Turns Down Peace

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

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

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

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

Islamic Hatred of Jews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As stated earlier, when speaking of the Middle East conflict, nothing ever changes except employing modern tools, and resurgent Islam is once again on the move. For those willing to remove blinders from their eyes it’s not difficult to ascertain that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is just one battle in a religious war being fought by Muslim zealots throughout the world. In defeating Islam at the battle of Tours in 732, Charles Martel recognized this. Hopefully, before it’s too late Western leaders will see it as well today.

Jerry Sobel is a writer specializing in the Middle East conflict. For the past 40 years his essays have appeared in hard copy and cyber publications throughout the world. The Israel Advocates goes out to 26,000 people, once a month.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Word Document:  Islamic Hatred from eNews.docx which is SAFE to open and print.

To website CONTENTS Page.

The Nuzi material is valuable for corroborating the accuracy of Genesis and also for giving a better understanding of its meaning. This article will pass over the many references to features of life that probably were common in most parts of Near E at that time, but will note particularly a few that are valuable for throwing special light on the Book of Genesis.

Nuzi Tablets
By Biblical Training Organization Library

NUZI [nōō’ zĭ]

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

LOCATION AND IMPORTANCE

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

RELATION TO GENESIS

Connection with Haran

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

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

The importance of written documents

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

Adoption

Dozens of adoption tablets have been found at Nuzi. Israelite law, so detailed on many subjects, contains no regulations for adoption, and the history of the Hebrews in Palestine after the Conquest, as recorded in the OT contains no evidence of such a practice. But, at Nuzi, it was customary, if a man had no children, to adopt someone to carry on his name and inherit his property. This seems to be reflected in the statement of Abraham, before Isaac was born, that unless the Lord should give him a child, Eliezer of Damascus would be his heir (Genesis 5:2).

Teraphim, or household gods

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

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

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

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

Sisterhood

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

Hagar

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

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

The maidservants of Leah and Rebekah

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

The Habiru

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

Other points of contact

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Biblical Training Library - Nuzi Tablets

Word Document:  Nuzi Tablets by Biblical Training Org. Lib..docx which is SAFE to open and print.

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Time of the End BOOK, Ch. 28, in this site.

Word Document:  The Complete Purpose for Israel’s Existence Realized by Arlen L. Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.

(For commentary concerning the beast and Israel [the harlot woman] in Revelation 17; 18; 19a, refer to The Time of Jacob’s Trouble BOOK, in this site)

To website CONTENTS Page.

Man, an entirely new creation, made after the image and likeness of God, was brought into existence to take the governmental reins of the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).  But the first man (the first Adam), through sin, was disqualified, necessitating the appearance of the second Man (the last Adam) to effect redemption and the ultimate realization for man’s creation.

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

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

“KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Saul and David, Satan and Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purpose for the Present Dispensation

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

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

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

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

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

Angelic Rule About to End

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephanos, Diadema

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Word Document:  Crowned Rulers — Christ, Christians by Arlen L. Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

God's Seven Spiritual Gifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print: God's Seven Spiritual Gifts.docx

Also see Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts Test following a couple more commentaries.

To website CONTENTS Page.

The one new man will comprise the co-heirs ruling with Christ in that coming day, following the time Satan and his angels will have been put down.  And Christ, with His co-heirs, ruling in the stead of Satan and his angels, will exercise power and authority from the same realm where Satan and his angels presently rule.

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

The Kingdom of Satan

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

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

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

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

The Present Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. A creation.

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

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

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

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

1. A creation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1)  Location of Satan’s Rule — Old Testament

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

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

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

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

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

2)  Location of Satan’s Rule — New Testament

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

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

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

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

For additional information concerning the present existing kingdom under Satan, along with the coming kingdom under Christ, refer to The Most High Ruleth BOOK, in this site.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  God's Transition of Satan's Kingdom to Christ's Kingdom by Arlen Chitwood.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving into the Eternal Ages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Great White Throne Judgment

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

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

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

The preceding has been dealt with briefly at this point in these studies for a purpose.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Heaven and Earth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Time of the End BOOK, Ch. 35, in this site.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  From Time to Eternity by Arlen Chitwood.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

If we are to escape modern idolatry, we have to admit that it is rampant and reject it in all its forms.  Sadly, we are still falling for it. Even more sadly, many churches are propagating it in the preaching of the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel built on the idol of self-esteem.

Idolatry, Some Modern Forms of
By Got Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got Questions - Idolatry, Some Modern Forms of

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

3 STAGES OF DISCOVERING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT

1. You are NOT sure what your gift is…

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

2. You ARE sure what your gift is…

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

3. You demonstrate ALL the gifts…

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

TAKE THE TEST!

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

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

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Spiritual Gifts Test, Discovering Your, by Bill Gothard, 12- 13-2008.docx

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and easier to copy and print:  Spiritual Gifts Test, Discovering Your, by Bill Gothard, 12- 13-2008.docx

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

Bill Gothard - Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts Test

To website CONTENTS Page.

Embrace Islam... If you two accept Islam, you will remain in command of your country; but if your refuse my Call, you’ve got to remember that all of your possessions are perishable. My horsemen will appropriate your land, and my Prophethood will assume preponderance over your kingship."

Muslims and Infidels
By The Religion of Peace Organization

Does the Quran really contain dozens of verses promoting violence?

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

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

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

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

The Quran:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the Hadith:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Religion of Peace - Muslims and Infidels - Violence

TheReligionofPeace.com Home Page

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Muslims and Infidels by The Religion of Peace Organization.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

War Without a Military Outcome

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sovereignty and Viability Problems

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

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

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

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

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

Israel’s High-Water Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fifty Years Out

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

K-House eNews by Chuck Missler - Gaming Israel and Palestine from the July 29, 2014 eNews issue, which is easy to copy and print.

To website CONTENTS Page.

Black Sheep
By David Jeremiah

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

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

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

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

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

The Origin of Religion
By Got Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got Questions - The Origin of Religion

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

Pastors Deliberately Keeping Flock In The Dark!
By Chuck Baldwin

Research Confirms What I Have Been Saying For Years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Attendance

*Giving (money)

*Number of programs

*Number of staff

*Square footage (of facilities)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pastors Deliberately Keeping Flock In The Dark by Chuck Baldwin, which is easy to copy and print.

To website CONTENTS Page.

God's "Path to Glory" Plan DIAGRAM (legal size)

God's Path to Glory Diagram, Gates and Paths, LEGAL SIZE.docx was designed using architectural software.  A challenge to my patience, but I endured.  The diagram shows the gates and path to soul salvation, the first gate being the “positional grace” gate.  Safe to open and print Just remember legal size and landscape setting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) those forming the wife of the Lamb; and

2) those NOT forming the wife of the Lamb.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(For a full discussion of “The Outer Darkness,” refer to Cast Outside into Outer Darkness, in this site.)

Christ’s Return

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Messianic Era

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

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

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

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

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

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

(For a discussion of Numbers 35 in this respect, refLet Us Go On BOOK, Ch. 1, in this site.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See additional commentary:  Ruth - Israel and the Church follows in this site.

Search for the Bride BOOK, Ch. 15, in this site.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  The Marriage of the Lamb Festivities by Arlen L. Chitwood.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

Ruth - Israel and the Church
Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Historical Setting for Ruth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a) Israel’s action:

Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals;

and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers . . . and they followed other gods . . . (Judges 2:11-12a)

b) The Lord’s reaction:

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

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

c) Israel’s reaction:

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

d) That which the Lord then did:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Typical Structure of Ruth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1)  Chapters One and Two

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

a)  Type

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

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

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

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

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

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

b)  Antitype

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

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

2)  Chapters Three and Four

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

a)  Type

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

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

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

b)  Antitype

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ruth BOOK, Ch.1, in this site.

Word Document:  Ruth - Israel and the Church by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print: Esther - A Book of Mysteries, Commentary from Chuck Missler of K-House eNews.docx

See following Esther for additional commentary.

Also ref. the author’s book, Esther BOOK, an exegetical presentation, in this site.

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

Esther
By Arlen Chitwood of 
Lamp Broadcast

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

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

Content:

 

Foreword

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Esther, Forword

(Reference the book Esther by Arlen Chitwood for a more detailed account of these events.  Use Esther by Arlen Chitwood.docx, a SAFE Word document, for printing.  The following