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 Two

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:

From Egypt to Canaan BOOK
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast
Foreword

Something that must be understood in biblical studies is the fact that Old Testament history has been recorded after a particular fashion.  Not only does Old Testament history comprise an actual account of that which God wants His people to know concerning events throughout the 4,000 years preceding Christ’s first coming, but this history is also fraught with types and meaning.

Actually, all Old Testament history has been written after this fashion.  In the words of Paul to the church in Corinth,

Now all these things happened to them as examples [lit., “for types”] . . . .  (1 Corinthians 10:11; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6)

And though this passage written to the church in Corinth refers more specifically to events during the wilderness journey of the Israelites under Moses, other portions of Scripture make it perfectly clear that this is not the only block of Old Testament history that has been recorded after this fashion.

When Christ dealt with the two disciples on the Emmaus road following His resurrection, He began “at Moses and all the Prophets” and “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).  All Old Testament Scripture is about Christ, beginning with Genesis 1:1.

Christ is the Word that became flesh.  The former is the Living Word in written form; the latter is the living Word manifested in flesh, God, inseparably identified with the Word as well (He would have to be because of the inseparable nature of the trinity), became flesh in the person of His Son (John 1:1-2, 14).

The Old Testament Scriptures, beginning with the opening verse of Genesis, set forth numerous inexhaustible word pictures of the person and work of Christ.  And these word pictures are set forth largely within the numerous divinely designed and established types found in all revealed Old Testament history.

God, in this manner, throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, has seen fit to reveal the numerous facets of Christ’s person and work — past, present, and future.  This is the way Scripture has been written, and this is the way Scripture must be studied and understood.

This book, From Egypt to Canaan, deals not only with the type extending from Exodus chapter twelve through Joshua but also with the original type in Genesis 1:1-2:3.

The type beginning in Exodus 12 is simply an expansion of the former, adding numerous details.  The original type in Genesis was set perfect at the beginning; and the subsequent type beginning in Exodus, designed and established by the same triune God, can only remain in complete accord with the original at every point, in every detail.

The second of the five major warnings in Hebrews, covering Hebrews 3; 4, draws extensively from both types.  Hebrews 3 draws its spiritual lessons from the type beginning with Exodus 12; and Hebrews 4 refers back to the original type in Genesis 1; 2 for its spiritual lessons.

And that is, accordingly, the order in which this book, From Egypt to Canaan, deals with the two types.  The first part of the book (Exodus 1-4) deals with the latter type, beginning in Exodus; and the last part of the book (Exodus 5-8) deals with the former type, opening the book of Genesis.
Chapter One
Saved for a Purpose

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

A large portion of Old Testament history is taken up with a basic, fundamental type that one must understand in order to properly understand the second and third warnings in the book of Hebrews.  This type encompasses the whole of the experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua, and deals with the overall scope of the Christian experience in the antitype — from that past day when the blood of the Paschal Lamb was applied (through faith, by belief) to that future day when Christians will either realize or fail to realize the purpose for their salvation, the goal of their calling.

The type begins in Exodus 12 with the death of the firstborn in Egypt and progresses from that point toward the goal of the Israelites’ calling out of Egypt, to be realized in the land of Canaan — a calling that did not begin to be realized until over forty years later, seen in the book of Joshua.

The Israelites were called out from one land to realize an inheritance as God’s firstborn son in another land.  They were called out of Egypt to realize the rights of primogeniture in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The antitype follows the type in exact detail.  It must, for the former is an exact word picture of the latter.  “Egypt” is a type of the world, and the antitype of the death of the paschal lambs and the application of the blood in Exodus 12:1ff is seen in the death of the Passover Lamb and the application of the blood, by faith.

Death and shed blood form the point of beginning.  And those applying the blood (Christians) have been called out from this world to realize an inheritance as God’s firstborn son in another land.  They have been called out from this earth to realize the rights of primogeniture, not in an earthly land as in the type, but in a heavenly land.

In the type though, numerous Israelites, “because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19), were overthrown in the wilderness, short of the goal of their calling.  They were overthrown short of their earthly calling, as the Christian can be overthrown short of his heavenly calling.

Hebrews chapter three begins by identifying those addressed through referring to their calling:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling . . . . (Hebrews 3:1a)

The matter that the writer is about to address involves a saved people with a particular calling during the present dispensation (Christians under Christ), and he draws his spiritual lessons from the experiences of another saved people with a particular calling during the previous dispensation (the Israelites under Moses).

That which happened to Israel in the type (in relation to their earthly calling) will also happen to Christians in the antitype (in relation to their heavenly calling).  From a biblical perspective, the second and third warnings in the book of Hebrews for Christians can only turn on this thought from the type.  And one must give heed to that which God intended in the antitype by reference to the type.

Immediately following an account of the race of the faith in which Christians presently find themselves, ending chapter nine in 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 9:24-27), Paul, continuing in chapter ten, calls attention to the experiences of the Israelites under Moses (1 Corinthians 10:1ff). After reiterating a number of experiences of the Israelites following the death of the firstborn in Egypt (1 Corinthians 10:1-5), Paul then states in verse six:

Now these things became our examples . . . [lit., “Now these things happened as types for us”].  (1 Corinthians 10:6)

Also note a similar statement in verse eleven following a reiteration of additional experiences of the Israelites under Moses:

Now all these things happened to them as examples . . . [lit., “Now all these things happened unto them for types”].  (1 Corinthians 10:11)

The word from the Greek text in both instances (translated “examples” and “ensamples” in the KJV) is tupoi and should be translated “types” in the English text.  Our English word “type” is derived from this word (tupos in its singular form), and that is the way in which the word should be understood and translated in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11.

The experiences of the Israelites under Moses form one overall type made up of numerous individual types.  God, in His sovereign control of all things, allowed certain things to happen to the Israelites relative to their calling in a past dispensation in order that He could have these things to draw upon to teach Christians deep spiritual truths relative to their calling during the present dispensation.

The opening verses of 1 Corinthians 10 form the Lord’s own commentary on the closing verses of the previous chapter.  An individual who does not run the race of the faith after the instructed fashion will fail.  He will be rejected for the “prize.”  As revealed in 1 Corinthians 9:27, he will find himself “disqualified” (KJV: a “castaway”), which is the translation of a Greek word (adokimos), meaning “disapproved,” “rejected.”  He, at the judgment seat of Christ will be disapproved, rejected, for the “prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24), a “crown,” which will prevent the Christian from ascending the throne with Christ in that coming day (1 Corinthians 9:25; cf. Revelation 3:11, 21).

In the verses that immediately follow (1 Corinthians 10:1ff), disapproval of this nature is likened to that which befell an entire generation of Israelites under Moses.  God was “not well pleased” with their actions, and “they “were scattered [KJV: “overthrown”] in the wilderness” (1 Corinthians 10:5).  They, in the words of 1 Corinthians 9:27, were “disqualified” [“disapproved”] and failed to realize the goal of their calling.  And the spiritual lessons drawn from that which happened to these Israelites in the type centers on the thought that the same thing will befall Christians who follow a similar course of action in the antitype.  They will be “disapproved,” “rejected,” and will fail to realize the goal of their calling.

THEREFORE

Revelation in the book of Hebrews is progressive.  The book begins after a two-fold fashion:

1) By calling attention to Christ as the “heir of all things” and to Christians as those who will inherit as “companions” with Him in that coming day (Hebrews 1:2, 9, 14).

2) By quoting seven Old Testament passages that are Messianic in their scope of fulfillment (Hebrews 1:5-13).

The tone of the book is, thus, set at the very beginning.  Revelation in this book surrounds the coming inheritance of Christ and His co-heirs, which will be realized during the Messianic Era.

That which lies in and beyond chapter one has to do with the realization of the rights of the firstborn — rights to one day be exercised by God’s firstborn Son (Jesus) and the firstborn sons (Christians) who will inherit as companions with Him.  The great burden of Hebrews is, as set forth in Hebrews 2:10, that of “bringing many sons to glory” with God’s firstborn Son, Jesus.  And each of the five major warnings is built around this thought.

Inheriting with God’s Son in that coming day is called, “so great salvation” in the first warning (Hebrews 2:3).  It is the greatest thing God could ever design for redeemed man, for it has to do with removing man from this earth and positioning him on the throne in a heavenly realm as a “companion” with God’s Son during that day when the Son comes into a realization of His inheritance.  The first warning, along with background material in chapter one and supplementary material following the warning (Hebrews 1:1-14; 2:5-18), establishes the goal of the Christians’ calling.

Then the second warning comes into view and moves progressively forward from the first by showing how Christians are to properly conduct and govern their lives during the present pilgrim journey in order to move from the point of their salvation to the goal of their calling — that is, in order to move from Egypt (the point of their salvation in the present world) to Canaan (the goal of their calling in a heavenly land, wherein the rights of the firstborn will be realized).  And the warning has to do with the fact that if Christians don’t so govern their lives during the present time, they, in the antitype, as the Israelites in the type, will forfeit the rights of the firstborn.  They, as in the type, will be overthrown short of the goal of their calling.

The second warning begins with the word, “Therefore [KJV: “Wherefore”], calling attention to that which has proceeded.  Verses nine through eighteen of the previous chapter are particularly in view, but these verses rest upon preceding verses.  Thus, when one arrives at chapter three, at the beginning of the second of the five major warnings in the book, the writer starts out by progressively building upon all which has proceeded.

Each of the warnings actually begins after a similar fashion, though different words are used in the Greek text in each instance.  Each begins in the English text with “Therefore” or “Wherefore,” calling attention specifically to that which has preceded (Hebrews 2:1; 3:1; 6:1; 10:19; 12:1).  Several of these different words appear quite a few times throughout Hebrews, pointing to the writer continually building his remarks upon that which has preceded (e.g., Hebrews 2:17; 3:7, 10; 4:1, 6, 11, 14, 16; 7:11, 25; 8:3; 9:1, 18, 23; 10:35; 11:12, 16; 12:12, 28; 13:15).

Thus, when studying the book of Hebrews, one must keep several things in mind:

1) There is one central subject, established in the opening chapter.

2) This central subject is developed in the book mainly by reference to the Old Testament Scriptures in a type-antitype arrangement.

3) Revelation surrounding this central subject moves in a progressive fashion throughout the book.

HOLY BRETHREN

Calling attention to that which has proceeded by beginning his remarks with “Therefore,” the writer of Hebrews then addresses those to whom he is writing first of all as “holy brethren.”

The word “holy” in this passage does not have to do with a quality of life, such as purity, but with being “set apart” for a specific purpose.  Places and things, as well as people, were called “holy,” using the same word in the Greek text that appears here, the word hagios (cf. Matthew 4:5; Acts 7:33; Ephesians 3:5; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; 2 Peter 1:18).

The writer of this book was a Jew who had believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, becoming a new creation “in Christ” (Psalm 147:19-20; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 2:1, 3).

Positionally, “in Christ,” there is no such thing as a distinction between Jew and Gentile, for neither exists within the new creation to allow for such a distinction (Galatians 3:26-29); but actually, here in this present life, such a distinction exists and is recognized by Scripture.

Paul, who wrote passages such as 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:15, all dealing with the new creation “in Christ,” recognized that “in Christ” he had relinquished his national identity and had become a part of the one new man, in which there is “neither Jew nor Greek [Gentile].”  But Paul also recognized that here and now, in the world, an individual from within the one new man is still “a Jew” or “a Gentile.”  Paul, following his conversion, referred to himself as “a Hebrew,” “an Israelite,” and “a Jew” (cf. Acts 22:3; Romans 11:1; 2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:5).

The expression, “holy brethren,” in the light of passages such as Matthew 25:40 and Acts 2:37 could easily have been used by the writer of Hebrews as a reference to Israelites.  They constitute a “set apart” people, set apart by God for a particular purpose; and they would have been the writer’s brethren according to the flesh.  However, the writer didn’t stop with this expression.  He further identified them with words that could not refer to Israelites, but to Christians alone.

The book of Hebrews was written to a group of individuals who were neither Jews nor Jewish Christians.  It couldn’t have been written to Jews, for the next words that the writer used nullifies that thought; and it couldn’t have been written to Jewish Christians, for no such group of individuals exists.  There are Jews and there are Christians, but there is no such thing in Scripture as individuals who constitute a mixture of the two.

Using the expression “Jewish Christians” is, in effect, saying that within the new creation in Christ some things have been brought over from the old creation in Jacob — a denial that all things become new “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Viewing matters after this fashion not only results in a non-biblical outlook upon the “one new man” but also in a building up of that “middle wall of partition” which has been “broken down” (Ephesians 2:14-15).

The book of Hebrews was written to one group of individuals and to one group alone.  It was written to Christians, the only group of individuals in existence today who can be identified in connection with a calling from this present world into the heavens.

PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING

In Old Testament history, Israel was made the repository for both heavenly and earthly promises and blessings.  Abraham was called out from Ur of the Chaldees to be the one through whom these promises and blessings would be realized.  Within the initial promise to Abraham, given in Ur, God had said, “. . . in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3b).  These blessings were to be realized, not through the person of Abraham alone, but through his seed; and the benefactors of these blessings were to be all of the Gentile nations (Genesis 22:18).

The nations of the earth were to be blessed through the seed of Abraham, and these blessings were to emanate from both heavenly and earthly spheres (Genesis 14:19; 22:17).  That is, the descendants of Abraham — through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons — were to ultimately reside in both heavenly and earthly places; and the Gentile nations of the earth were to be blessed through Abraham’s descendants as his descendants resided in these two places.

Genesis 14:18-19 provides the first mention of heavenly blessings associated with Abraham and his seed, though such was in view within God’s original promise to Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees, as recorded in Genesis 12:1-3.  And this first mention of heavenly promises and blessings appears in a Messianic type.

Melchizedek, one of two central figures forming the Messianic type (Abraham being the other) is also presented in Scripture for the first time in this passage.  The type surrounds that day when Christ will come forth in the antitype of Melchizedek, as the great King-Priest in Jerusalem, with bread and wine (cf. Matthew 26:29), and bless Abraham and his descendants — both heavenly and earthly.

Thus, more than one first-mention principle is established in Genesis 14:18-19, and that which is established in this passage remains constant throughout Scripture.  Heavenly and earthly blessings, which God has for mankind, reside only in Abraham and his seed (something that never changes in Scripture), and these blessings will be realized during that coming day when Christ, the greater Son of Abraham and David, exercises the Melchizedek priesthood.

(Even preceding the Messianic Era, any blessing realized by the Gentile nations comes to pass only because of God’s dealings with these nations through Israel.  This must be recognized as the way matters currently exist, for there can be no blessings apart from Abraham and his seed beyond that point God called Abraham out from Ur of the Chaldees 4,000 years ago.

And there is also a negative side to the matter — blessings withheld and curses bestowed.  For the past 4,000 years, in the realm of blessings and curses, God has dealt with the nations of the earth [and also individuals] on one basis alone, given in Genesis 12:3:  “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”)

Even though Israel was made the repository for both heavenly and earthly promises and blessings, there came a day in history when the Jewish people forfeited the heavenly promises and blessings given to the nation through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Israel though remained the repository for the promises and blessings associated with her earthly calling, allowing no change to occur in Israel’s relationship to the Gentile nations of the earth, in accord with Genesis 12:3.

This forfeiture of heavenly promises and blessings occurred when Christ was on earth the first time.  He offered to Israel the “kingdom of the heavens,” and the nation spurned the offer.  Not only did the Israelites reject the proffered kingdom, but they also rejected and crucified the One who made the offer.

Immediately prior to the crucifixion of Israel’s Messiah, the kingdom was taken from Israel, in view of that which once belonged to this nation alone being given to an entirely separate and distinct nation, one “bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:33-43).  Once this had been done — once the kingdom of the heavens had been taken from Israel — the Jewish people could no longer be the instrument through which blessings would flow from heavenly places during Messiah’s reign.  Their earthly status in this respect remained unchanged, but their heavenly status in this same respect was gone forever.

The “nation” destined to bring forth fruit relative to heavenly promises and blessings and eventually occupy heavenly places with Christ could not, under any circumstances, be one of the Gentile nations, for God had laid a principle down in His original call to Abraham.  Blessings were to flow through Abraham and his seed alone.  And in this respect, apart from the manner in which God had chosen to bring the matter to pass, there could be no blessings.

And those Semitic nations descending from Abraham through Ishmael, the sons of Keturah, or Esau (looked upon in Scripture as “Gentile” nations) could, under no circumstances, be part of the matter.  According to Scripture the lineage is restricted to the descendants of Abraham through, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons (cf. Genesis 13:15-16; 15:5; 21:12; 26:3-4; 28:12-15).

The nation of Israel had relinquished her right to be the channel through which heavenly promises and blessings would flow out to the Gentile nations; and no Gentile nation on earth could qualify for this right, for not a single one could claim a relationship to Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (including those nations descending from Abraham through Ishmael, the sons of Keturah, or Esau).  Thus, only one thing could be done:  A new nation, separate and distinct from both Israel and the Gentile nations, but one which was of Abraham’s seed from the correct lineage (through Isaac and Jacob), had to be called into existence.

And this is exactly what God did.  He called the one new man “in Christ” into existence — anticipated in Matthew 16:18 — to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected.  Christ is Abraham’s Seed, through Jacob’s son, Judah (Galatians 3:16; Revelation 5:5); and Christians, by their positional standing “in Christ,” are also “Abraham’s seed,” through the proper lineage.  And because of this positional standing “in Christ,” Christians can be “heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26, 29; cf. Galatians 3:16, 18).

Christians constitute an entirely new “nation” (1 Peter 2:9-10), identified as “Abraham’s seed.”  They are the ones presently afforded the opportunity to bring forth fruit for that portion of the kingdom offered to and taken from Israel.  They are the ones now in a position to inherit with Christ in heavenly places, which is why Galatians 3:29 identifies Christians as “heirs according to the promise.”

Consequently, when a person reads, “partakers of the heavenly calling,” in Hebrews 3:1, only one group of individuals on the face of the earth could possibly be in view.

Following Christ’s pronouncement in Matthew 21:43, Christians alone find themselves in a position to bring forth fruit in relation to the kingdom of the heavens, with the prospect of one day realizing the rights of the firstborn as co-heirs with Christ in heavenly places.

(The word “partakers” in Hebrews 3:1 is the same word in the Greek text [metochoi] previously translated “companions [KJV: ‘fellows’]” in Hebrews 1:9.  It is also the same word later translated “partakers” in Hebrews 3:14.  All three references refer to the same thing — to that day when Christ’s “companions,” His “co-heirs” will occupy their proper position on the throne with Him in heavenly places [cf. Ephesians 1:3, 10-11, 17-21; 2:6-7; 3:9-11].

Thus, those singled out in Hebrews 3:1 are “companionsof the heavenly calling, or, in the light of Ephesians 3:6, they are “fellow heirs” of the heavenly calling.)

CONSIDER … JESUS

Christ’s “companions,” “fellow heirs,” who will one day occupy positions with Him on His throne in a heavenly realm, are exhorted to consider God’s appointed “heir of all things” in a two-fold manner:

1) As Apostle.

2) As High Priest.

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

The word “consider” is the translation of a Greek word that means to fix one’s eyes or mind upon, to pay close attention to.  And Christians, after this fashion, are to fix their eyes, their thoughts, upon Jesus, with particularly attention given to two facets of His person and work — His past work as “Apostle” and His present work as “High Priest.”

In the first warning, the same individuals were exhorted to keep their attention fixed upon the things that they had heard — things surrounding Christ and His companions during that coming day when the rights of the firstborn will be realized.  And now, beginning the second warning, they, at the same time, are exhorted to also center their attention upon things concerning Christ that precede but make possible those things mentioned back in chapter one.

The word translated “profession” in Hebrews 3:1 [KJV] could be better translated “confession.”  Christ is “Apostle and High Priest of our confession [not ‘…of our profession’].”

“Profession [‘confession’]” is the translation of homologia in the Greek text, which means “to say the same thing [as another].”  This is the same word used in its verb form in 1 John 1:9, translated “confess.”  Confession of sins, according to the word used in this verse, is saying or acknowledging the same thing that God says about sins (saying or acknowledging that they are wrong and have no place in one’s life).  It is to agree with God concerning sin.

The same thought is in view in Hebrews 3:1 through the use of this word.  The thought is that of Christians agreeing with God concerning the record that He has given of His Son in His Word.  We are to acknowledge that which God has stated in His Word relative to Jesus as “Apostle and High Priest.” 

1)  APOSTLE OF OUR CONFESSION

The word “Apostle” signifies one who has been sent on a special or particular mission.  Christ was God’s Apostle, sent to this earth on a particular mission almost 2,000 years ago (John 3:34; 12:49; 17:4, 8, 18).  He was sent to the Jewish people, who, through birth, were His brethren according to the flesh, to offer to them the kingdom of the heavens.  And He was also sent to the Jewish people to die as the Passover Lamb for the sins of the world (the Passover lamb was given to Israel, and only Israel could slay this lamb; thus, only Israel could slay Christ, the Passover Lamb).

Consequently, when considering Christ as God’s Apostle and His work during the time He occupied this office, a rather wide scope of ministry at His first coming could conceivably be in view.  Contextually though, this would not be the case.  Verses leading into Hebrews 3:1 (cf. Hebrews 1:3; 2:9-10, 14) center on that part of His past work having to do with His sufferings and death on Calvary.

Within the scope of the overall type during the days of Moses and Joshua, this corresponds to that which occurred in Egypt the night of the Passover, recorded in Exodus 12.  The Lamb has died, but the blood must be applied.  The application of the blood, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, is the point of beginning.

Apart from this, fallen man, “dead in trespasses and sins,” would forever remain alienated from God’s purpose for bringing him into existence.  Apart from this point of beginning, wherein man passes “from death to life,” there could be no new creation “in Christ,” “companions” of the heavenly calling.

Redemption through Christ’s finished work is the foundation upon which everything in the book of Hebrews rests, though this is not the central message of the book.  Hebrews deals mainly, not with redemption itself — not with Christ’s work as “Apostle” — but with that which redemption makes possible, the purpose for redemption.

This revealed purpose for redemption provides the central reason why the author, within one portion of Hebrews, where redemption is in view, is careful to state that Christ “took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham [KJV]” (Hebrews 2:16). And Christians, by looking back at Christ’s finished work as Apostle, are to ever keep their eyes fixed upon that which lies out ahead as well, that which His finished work makes possible.

Contextually, redemption in this passage (and other related passages in Hebrews) is with a view to bringing man (after he has been redeemed and is no longer alienated from God) into a realization of promises and blessings that can be possessed only by Abraham and his seed, remaining in line with the central teaching of this book.

Christians, with their thoughts fixed upon those things surrounding the “heir of all things” and His “companions” in that coming day when they ascend the throne together (Hebrews 3:1; cf. Hebrews 1:2ff), are to fix their attention upon Christ in a past sense as well.  They are to ever keep in mind His finished work on Calvary, which makes everything possible.  But they are to view this finished work after the same fashion Christ viewed it.

While undergoing the sufferings surrounding Calvary, Christ had His eyes fixed on “the joy that was set before Him [the day when He and those for whom He was paying redemption’s price would inherit all things together] . . . .” (Hebrews 12:2).  And Christians, by looking back at Christ’s finished work as Apostle, are to ever keep their eyes fixed upon that which lies out ahead as well, that which His finished work makes possible.

2)  HIGH PRIEST OF OUR CONFESSION

As “Apostle,” Christ died for our sins, providing redemption; and as “High Priest,” He ever lives to make intercession for us.  Christ is performing a work today, as in the past; but His work during the present time has nothing to do with redemption.  It has to do strictly with a work on behalf of those whom He has already redeemed.

He, as the Old Testament priests who performed a work in the earthly tabernacle on behalf of the Israelites, is presently performing a work in the heavenly tabernacle (after which the earthly was patterned) on behalf of Christians.  The former ministry was performed on behalf of a redeemed people called out of Egypt to inherit an earthly land, and the latter ministry is being performed for a redeemed people called out from this earth to inherit a heavenly land.

Priests occupy a representative position between God and man, representing God to man and man to God.  Representation of this nature during Moses’ day centered on a sacrificial system in connection with the earthly tabernacle, and during the present time it centers on Christ’s sacrifice in connection with the heavenly tabernacle.  Blood from animals was placed on the mercy seat of the earthly tabernacle, but the blood of Christ has been placed on the mercy seat of the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 9:1ff).

In the antitype of Aaron, Christ effects a present cleansing for a redeemed people from the defilement brought about by sin, on the basis of blood.  Christ’s present ministry is performed strictly on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat in heaven, it has to do with the kingdom of priests (the many sons) He is about to bring forth, and it looks out ahead to the coming age.

Christ is performing His present ministry for those whom He has redeemed in order that He might ultimately present the Church to Himself, “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”  Only through this present cleansing can Christians have a part with Him (as “companions”) in that coming day (John 13:8; Ephesians 5:27).

CONCLUDING REMARKS:

Fixing our attention upon “the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” is fixing our attention upon:

1) The One who performed a work in the past to effect our salvation.

2) The One who performs a work during the present to bring about the purpose for our salvation.

One is inseparably linked to the other when both are looked upon in their correct perspectives, for both center on and have to do with the same thing, the coming Messianic Era.
Chapter Two
Two Callings, Two Houses

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all his house.

For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.

For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. (Hebrews 3:1-4)

The thought in the opening verses of Hebrews chapter three turns on a type-antitype comparison between two houses — the house of Moses and the house of Christ.  The former constitutes the type and the latter the antitype.  “Moses” was a type of Christ (Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22; 7:37), and the work that he performed in relation to his house typifies the work that Christ is presently performing in relation to His house.  And there must be an exact parallel between the two.

The word “house” is used in Scripture to refer to both a material structure and the inhabitants of or the people associated with that material structure, and the thought sometimes merges from one to the other in the same text.

A dual use of “house” after this fashion is seen in 2 Samuel 7:1ff.  David sought to build the Lord a house in which to dwell, seeing that he himself dwelled in “a house of cedar” while the ark (resting within that portion of the tabernacle where God dwelled) was surrounded only by “curtains.”  However, God had other thoughts in mind about the matter; and He instructed Nathan to tell David that rather than David building the Lord a house, the Lord would, instead, take David and build a house out of him (2 Samuel 7:4, 11-13).

That which is meant by “house,” thus, merges from the thought of a material structure to that of the people associated with the structure.

When on earth the first time, Christ referred to both the Jewish people and the temple as a “house” (Matthew 10:6; 21:13).  The thought in Matthew 23:38 — “See! Your house is left to you desolate [left a ‘desert,’ ‘wilderness,’ ‘waste land’]” — was a reference to both the people and the temple (Matthew 23:39; 24:1-2).  The house of Israel was left desolate at the time Christ spoke these words (a reference to their spiritual condition, likened to a desert or waste land, void of water), the temple (along with the city of Jerusalem) was destroyed thirty-seven years later (in 70 A.D.), and the house of Israel has remained desolate since that time.

Antichrist will complete this desolation (beginning in the middle of the Tribulation) by desecrating the rebuilt temple, destroying this temple, destroying the city of Jerusalem, seeking to destroy the Jewish people, and dividing the land presently occupied by the Jews “for gain” (Daniel 9:27; 11:39; Joel 3:2; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24).  In this respect, “your house” in Matthew 23:38 could be expanded to include the temple, the city of Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and the people of that land.

The house of Moses likewise has to do with both a material structure and the people associated with that structure.  The thought in the opening verses of Hebrews 3 is drawn from Numbers 12.  In verse seven of this chapter, the Lord stated concerning Moses that he had been “faithful in all My house.”  The immediate context, both preceding and following this verse, has to do with “the tabernacle of the congregation.”  Events surrounding the tabernacle furnish the backdrop for the statement concerning Moses’ faithfulness, and there is a shift in the passage from “the tabernacle” to “the congregation” (from a material structure in which the Lord dwelled among His people and in which priestly activity transpired to those who had been separated from Egypt with a view to their becoming “a kingdom of priests” in another land [Exodus 19:6]).

And the thought concerning a tabernacle and the people associated with the tabernacle as both comprising a “house” is the same when it comes to the house of Christ.  There is a tabernacle in the heavens, after which the earthly tabernacle was patterned (Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5).  Christ is today performing His high priestly ministry on behalf of Christians within that tabernacle, and He is presently building a house out of Christians — those separated from this world with a view to their becoming “kings and priests” in another land (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:19-22; Hebrews 9:11ff; Revelation 5:10; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20).  This is a house separate and distinct from the house of Israel, made up of the new creation “in Christ,” comprising the one new man (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15).

The warning in Hebrews 3 turns on the thought of the headship of two individuals (Moses and Christ) over two groups of people (Israelites and Christians).  There is a tabernacle in each instance (one earthly, the other heavenly [Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:1; 10:19-22]); and the warning involves the people associated with both tabernacles (drawn from the experiences of an earthly people in the type [separated from Egypt in order to realize an earthly inheritance in another land], applicable to the experiences of a heavenly people in the antitype [separated from this earth in order to realize a heavenly inheritance in another land]).

(Moses, though of the Levitical line, did not occupy a priestly position following the erection of the tabernacle and the anointing of his brother, Aaron [Exodus 40:14ff].  Rather, this priestly work was carried out by Aaron, after which the present high priestly work of Christ is patterned.

The positions held by Moses and Aaron are combined in the present position held by Christ.  And Christ’s high priestly ministry would have to be viewed as an integral part of His present headship over His house, as the ministry of Aaron was an integral part of Moses’ past headship over his house.  The two must function together after an inseparable fashion in both type and antitype.)

THE PRIMARY, FUNDAMENTAL TYPE

The Spirit of God moved some forty different men over a period of about fifteen hundred years to record God’s revelation to man after a certain fashion, and Scripture must be interpreted after the fashion in which it was given to man through the Holy Spirit.  According to 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11, all recorded Old Testament history is not only an accurate account of past events but this history is also fraught with types and meaning.

Now these things became our examples [Greek: tupoi, “types”; lit., “Now these things happened as types for us”], to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. (1 Corinthians 10:6)

Now all these things happened to them as examples [Greek: tupoi, “types”;  lit., “Now all these things happened unto them for types”], and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:11)

The Greek word tupos (pl. tupoi), found in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11, is the word from which we derive our English word “type.”  The immediate reference surrounding these verses has to do with the experiences of the Israelites under Moses (and, correspondingly, later under Joshua [cf. Hebrews 3:2-19; 4:1-8]).  All these experiences occurred as “types for us.”  However, the thought could not be limited to just this one section of Old Testament history — covering about one-fifth of the entire Old Testament.  The Spirit of God didn’t move men to write this part of the Old Testament one way and the remainder another.  History throughout the other four-fifths could only have been written after the same fashion, which is exactly what internal evidence reveals (cf. Matthew 12:40; Luke 24:26-27; John 3:14-15; Hebrews 11:4ff).

Everything having to do with this earth and man occurred under the sovereign control of the Lord, and all Old Testament history has been recorded to not only provide man with a completely accurate account of certain events in history but also in order that the Lord could, at a later point in time, have these events to draw upon for the express purpose of teaching His people the deep things of God.  Revelation of this nature begins in Genesis 1:1 and continues throughout all of Old Testament history.

There’s nothing quite like the study of biblical typology.  This is where the true meat of the word is to be found, and anyone ignoring the study of Old Testament history within a typical framework is not only refusing to study the Bible after the fashion in which it was written but is also denying to himself (and, in many cases, to others as well [by those in positions to teach]) great spiritual truths that God has for His people.

Scripture as a whole simply cannot be properly understood apart from viewing the Old Testament types.  The book of Hebrews is a good case in point.  This book is built around five major warnings, and all five of these warnings draw heavily from Old Testament typology.  And the central reason this book has been understood so many different ways over the years is because those studying the book have either ignored or not properly understood the Old Testament types dealt with in the book.

All five warnings draw heavily from what could be called, the primary, fundamental type.  This is the type dealt with through five books in the Old Testament — from Exodus 12 through Joshua.  The overall type (comprised of many different individual types) involves the numerous experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua, from the point of the appropriation of the blood of the paschal lambs in Egypt to the point of either their overthrow in the wilderness (between Egypt and Canaan) or their entrance into and conquest of the land of Canaan — the land to which they had been called for a revealed purpose, wherein they could realize the rights of the firstborn.  And a person simply cannot understand the warnings in Hebrews apart from viewing them within the framework of this section of the Old Testament.

Within this overall type, one will find God’s own source material given to instruct His people concerning how to safely and successfully navigate through the course of life as they move from Egypt to Canaan (that is, how to safely and successfully navigate through the course of life as they move from this world to that heavenly land to which they have been called).  And, within this type, one will also find something else.  One will find the basis for the warnings in Hebrews concerning that which will occur if Christians don’t follow the Lord’s instructions in this respect.

That is to say, this primary, fundamental type covers the whole of the Christian experience — from the point of salvation to that future time when Christians either realize or fail to realize the goal of their calling.  Hebrews provides instructions for Christians (drawing from the type) concerning how to govern their lives so that they can be successful in the race of the faith, ultimately realizing the goal of their calling; and Hebrews also warns Christians (drawing from the type) concerning that which will happen if they fail to so govern their lives. 

THE HOUSE OF MOSES

“The house of Moses” was simply the old creation in Jacob (Jacob’s descendants through his twelve sons [Isaiah 43:1]).

Jacob and his family had gone down into Egypt during the days of Joseph, and over a period of four generations, covering slightly more than two hundred years (cf. Genesis 15:13-16; Exodus 12:40-41; Galatians 3:16-17), the descendants of this one family had become a great nation.  And it was this nation (comprised of possibly as many as two million people at the time of the Exodus) over which Moses had been placed for the express purpose of leading the people out of the land of Egypt into the land of Canaan.

Israel was (and remains today) God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22), and the nation was to be led from Egypt to Canaan in order to realize the rights of the firstborn in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 4:23; cf. Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7-8).

Occupying the position of God’s firstborn son in this land, Israel was not only to rule over all the Gentile nations (the kingly aspect of the birthright) but Israel was also to be the channel through which all the Gentile nations would be blessed (the priestly aspect of the birthright). 

1)  DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN

The type begins with the death of the firstborn in Egypt as recorded in Exodus 12.  The firstborn had to die in Egypt before the nation could realize the rights of the firstborn in the land of Canaan (an individual and national death, brought to pass through the death of the firstborn in the family).

God rejects first things (the earth’s first messiah [Satan], the earth’s first man [Adam], man’s first birth [the natural birth], etc.), and, consequently, the first had to be removed before the second could be established.  This is God’s revealed method for carrying out His plans and purposes (Hebrews 10:9).

In this respect, the firstborn in every household throughout all the land of Egypt (Israelite and Egyptian alike) fell under the sentence of death, a death that had to be carried out.  And in order to bring about the death of the firstborn, the Lord would pass through the land of Egypt at midnight, on a specified day, and slay all the firstborn throughout the land.

However, the Lord made a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians by providing the Israelites with a means of substitutionary death.  A lamb, previously taken from the flock, could die in the place of, in the stead of, the firstborn in the family — a vicarious death.  And to show that death had already occurred, blood from a slain lamb (“a lamb for a house”) was to be applied to the door posts and lintel of every house in which the firstborn of each family dwelled.

The paschal lambs were to be slain — followed by the application of the blood — on the fourteenth day of the first month of the year “in the evening [‘between the evenings’].”  Then, when the Lord passed through the land of Egypt a few hours later, at midnight, He looked for one thing alone.  He looked for the blood applied to the door posts and lintel of each and every house.

If the blood was there, the Lord knew that death had already occurred.  A lamb from the flock had died in the stead of the firstborn in the family; and, in this respect, in God’s eyes, the matter was viewed as the firstborn in the family having experienced death himself.  And since the death of the firstborn had already occurred, the Lord passed over that house.  The firstborn had died, and God was satisfied.

But, if there was no blood on the door posts and lintel, then the firstborn himself, apart from a substitute, was slain (for the absence of blood showed that the firstborn had not yet died; death had not yet occurred).  The firstborn in the family then experienced death himself, for that which God had previously decreed concerning the firstborn must be carried out.  God must be satisfied.  The first had to be removed before the second could be established.

Though the firstborn within a family is singled out after a particular fashion, all members of that family, and consequently the nation as a whole — Israel, God’s firstborn son — must be included within the larger scope of the type.  All members of the family had a part in taking, slaying, and eating the lamb.  The lamb was “for a house,” not just the firstborn in that house (Exodus 12:3-4).  And every family in the camp of Israel was to take, slay, and eat a lamb after this fashion.  In this respect, all (the entire nation) appropriated the blood, in the same sense that Paul recounts,

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

all ate the same spiritual food,

and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

This was the point of beginning.  The birth of a nation occurred this night in Egypt.  There was death, followed by resurrection to life (cf. Hebrews 11:17-19).  God set aside the first in order to establish the second.  Only by bringing this to pass could God move His people out of Egypt with a view to establishing them in the land of Canaan.

2)  THE RED SEA PASSAGE

The Egyptians though could have no part in the matter surrounding a substitutionary death.  God set aside the first (an individual death, reflecting on a national death) apart from establishing the second, for there was no second to be established.  There was no resurrection to life.  The firstborn died apart from a subsequent resurrection; and Pharaoh and his armed forces were then buried in the Red Sea, where they remained.

While at the same time, Moses and those whom he had led through the sea (who had experienced the death of the firstborn via a substitute, with its corresponding subsequent resurrection to life) stood on the eastern banks of the sea.  They had walked across on “dry ground,” with the sea forming two walls of water, one on their right and the other on their left.  Because of that which had previously occurred in Egypt surrounding the death of the firstborn, the sea (having to do with “death”) had no power over them (cf. Daniel 3:24-28).  Israel on the eastern banks, not Egypt beneath the waters of the sea, was God’s recognized firstborn — the nation in line to realize the rights of primogeniture.

The Red Sea lay between Egypt and the wilderness.  The Israelites could not enter Canaan directly from Egypt even after the first had been set aside and the second established.  They had to first go through the Red Sea, traverse the wilderness, and receive the Magna Charta for the kingdom (God’s rules and regulations governing His people within the theocracy).

God separated His people from Egypt via the Red Sea passage; and once in the wilderness, their thoughts were to be on the land to which they had been called, not upon the land from which they had been separated.  Their eyes were to be focused on the goal of their calling, not on surrounding things in the wilderness or on the things back in Egypt (cf. Hebrews 12:1-2).

This though was often not the case.  Because of the Israelites’ lengthy prior association with Egypt (dwelling in Egypt and partaking of the things of this land for over two centuries), trouble often developed in the camp of Israel throughout the wilderness journey; and this trouble could always, after some fashion, be traced back to what the people had learned in Egypt and brought out of Egypt into the wilderness with them.

At Mt. Sinai, for example, the Israelites fell into a pagan form of idolatry, desiring “gods” like unto the gods of the Egyptians, gods they had previously worshipped in Egypt (Joshua 24:14).  The calf (or ox) was the principle Egyptian god, and Aaron fashioned “a molten calf” for the Israelites while Moses was on the Mount (Exodus 32:1ff).

On another occasion the Israelites grew tired of the manna that God had provided, remembering the fish, melons, and other food that they had previously enjoyed while in Egypt (Numbers 11:4-8).  And at Kadesh-Barnea they climaxed their rebellion against the separation that God had established.  At Kadesh-Barnea, rather than following the leadership of the Lord and entering the land of Canaan under Moses, they, instead, sought to appoint another leader (in Moses’ place) and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4).

According to 1 Corinthians 10:2, the Israelites were “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”  The “cloud” was the pillar of a cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that went before the Israelites — the Shekinah Glory, the visible presence of God among His people (Exodus 13:21-22); and the “sea” was the Red Sea through which the Israelites passed (Exodus 14:22).

“Baptism” is used in Scripture in the sense of identification.  Usually there is an element into which the individual is immersed to either bring about or show this identification (Matthew 3:11), but sometimes this is not the case (Matthew 20:22).  The baptism of the Israelites “in the cloud and in the sea” showed their identification with the Lord (“in the cloud”) as a people separated from Egypt (“in the sea”).  And there was a reason for this identification and corresponding separation, which had to do with their being positioned in the land of Canaan.

They had been buried “by baptism” on the western banks of the sea in Egypt and raised to “walk in newness of life” on the eastern banks in the wilderness (cf. Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).  The firstborn had died.  The first had been set aside and the second established.

There had been a death and subsequent resurrection to life, in which the people were separated from Egypt for a purpose; and, within this new standing, with their eyes fixed on the goal of their calling, God expected His people to govern their lives accordingly.

3)  THE WILDERNESS JOURNEY

The Israelites’ march through the wilderness was not directly to the land of Canaan.  Rather, through God’s prior command to Moses, the march was first to Mt. Sinai (Exodus 3:12; 19:1-2).  God had to first communicate His Word to His people, and this was to be done through Moses at Mt. Sinai.

In the third month after their departure from Egypt, the people of Israel came into the wilderness of Sinai and camped before the Mount.  Moses then went up into the Mount to receive the Word of God, and the first thing that God communicated to Moses concerned the Israelites standing before Him.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. (1 Corinthians 10:5-6)

The Israelites were to be “a special treasure,” placed “above all people” as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”  This had to do with their standing as God’s firstborn son; and their occupying this position in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was contingent on obedience.

They had to obey the voice of the Lord and keep His covenant (1 Corinthians 10:5).  Thus, at Mt. Sinai, the Lord, after singling out and identifying the people who had been brought out of Egypt under Moses, communicated His Word to His people through Moses.

Also at Mt. Sinai, in connection with God’s communication of His Word to His people, instructions for the building of the tabernacle and the manner in which the Levitical priests were to carry out their ministry were revealed to Moses.  Subsequently, at Sinai, the tabernacle was constructed and the priesthood established (Exodus 25-40).

Then, immediately after Moses had “finished the work” which God had commanded, the “glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34); and at this point, a theocratic kingdom came into existence in the camp of Israel.

The people of Israel, in possession of the Word of God (rules and regulations governing them within the theocracy) and the Lord dwelling within the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle in their midst (forming a theocracy), were now in a position to march toward the land of Canaan, occupy that land, and realize the rights of the firstborn in that land.

God’s purpose for calling Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees five hundred years earlier, and singling out Shem as the only one of Noah’s three sons with a God nine generations preceding Abraham (in Abraham’s lineage), could now begin to be realized.

4)  AT KADESH-BARNEA

Several months beyond Israel’s departure from the wilderness of Sinai (Numbers 10:11-12), about one and one-half years beyond the nation’s departure from Egypt, the newly established nation, God’s firstborn son, arrived at the borders of the land of Canaan.  The end of an era was at hand.  Heretofore the descendants of Abraham had been considered “strangers” in relation to the land of Canaan (Genesis 15:13; 37:1; 47:9; Exodus 6:3-4).

But the sojourn of the seed of Abraham had ended (Exodus 12:40-41), and the descendants of Abraham were now at the very borders of the land — an established nation under God (the only earthly nation that ever has been or ever will be so placed) — ready to enter in and take possession of the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Moses, as instructed by the Lord, first sent spies into the land to obtain a report concerning the land and its inhabitants.  These spies traversed the land, “from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob,” for forty days and nights.  And at the end of this time they appeared before Moses, Aaron, and the congregation of Israel to give their report (Numbers 13:1-33).

Their report contained both positive and negative aspects.  The land was truly a land flowing with “milk and honey,” but . . .  the inhabitants of the land were strong, they dwelled in walled cities, and the sons of Anak (the Nephilim) dwelled in the land (Numbers 14:26-29, 33).

Then, Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said,

Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. (Numbers 13:30b)

Within his and Joshua’s thinking concerning the matter, the strength of the land’s inhabitants was not the issue.  Rather, that which God had promised and God’s faithfulness to carry out His promises, through His strength, was the issue with them.   They believed God would be well able to complete His dealings with Israel by and through bringing the people of this nation into a realization of their calling (cf. Numbers 14:8), ultimately effecting the fulfillment of Genesis 12:2-3.

The other ten spies though presented an opposing report, saying,

We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. . . . (Numbers 13:31-33)

These ten spies led the people of Israel to believe that they would be unable to go up against and conquer the inhabitants of the land.  And viewing matters after this fashion, they were in essence saying that God would be unable to complete His dealings with Israel by and through bringing the people comprising this nation into a realization of their calling, resulting in Genesis 12:2-3 remaining unfulfilled.

The people of Israel chose to believe the ten spies with their “evil report,” and it is at this point in Israel’s history that we find a national apostasy, resulting in the nation being overthrown in the wilderness.  Because of that which occurred at Kadesh-Barnea, rather than the people overcoming the inhabitants of the land and realizing their calling, the nation was overcome outside the land before ever engaging the enemy in battle.

The entire accountable generation, twenty years old and above, was caused to wander in the wilderness (for another thirty-eight and one-half years) until that entire generation, save Caleb and Joshua, had died.  Then, the second generation, under Joshua, was led across the Jordan to enter the land, engage the enemy in battle, and ultimately occupy the land. 

THE HOUSE OF CHRIST

That which occurred at Kadesh-Barnea under Moses and that which occurred thirty-eight and one-half years later after the Israelites had crossed the Jordan under Joshua form the two central places from which teachings surrounding the warnings and promises to Christians are drawn in the book of Hebrews.

Everything is identical when dealing with the house of Christ — from the death of the paschal lambs in Egypt to the overthrow of an entire generation (save Caleb and Joshua) following events surrounding the Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea under Moses, or to the subsequent entrance of the second generation into the land under Joshua.

Accordingly, the first matter that must be considered in the antitype is the death of the firstborn.  The firstborn is under the sentence of death and must die; and, as in Moses’ day, a substitute has been provided.  “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).  His blood has been shed — blood that must be applied.  And this is accomplished through faith in the One who shed His blood (John 3:16), effecting a passage “from death to life” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1, 5).

(There is also a “national” aspect to the death of the firstborn, as in Israel’s case.  Collectively, Christians presently comprise “a holy nation” [1 Peter 2:9], which will, during the coming age, comprise a third firstborn Son [along with Israel and Christ (Hebrews 12:23)].  And, exactly as was the case with both Israel and Christ, the firstborn must die, with a view to resurrection and life, with the latter shown in the antitype of the Red Sea passage of the Israelites under Moses.)

The Red Sea passage under Moses showed that the firstborn had died.  Then, beyond showing that the firstborn had died, the Red Sea passage showed that there had been a separation from the world, and the Israelites had been raised on the eastern banks of the Sea to “walk in newness of life.”

In the antitype, all of these different things are shown through the act of baptism, occurring following the death of the firstborn, following the individual passing “from death to life.”  The individual, through baptism, is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, raised to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12).

Then comes that which is foreshadowed by the wilderness journey, wherein the person receives the Word of God and, through this Word, moves from immaturity to maturity in the things of God, with a view to entrance into the land whereunto he has been called.  He cannot move from Egypt directly into this land, for he must first be properly equipped to engage and overcome the enemy occupying the land.  And becoming equipped after this fashion occurs in the wilderness.

The individual must first be trained in spiritual matters over a period of time.  Then, and only then, can he be in a position to move forward into the land, engage the enemy, and overcome the enemy (the different Gentile nations infiltrated by the Nephilim in the land of Canaan in the type, and Satan and his angels in that heavenly land in the antitype [cf. Numbers 13:28-33; Ephesians 6:11ff]).

But, as it is in the type, so it is in the antitype.  Most (apparent from the type) will be overthrown in the wilderness.  They will be overthrown on the right side of the blood — eternally saved — but short of the goal of their calling.  They will have failed to follow the Lord’s leadership during the wilderness journey or relative to entering the land to which they had been called.  Rather than overcoming the enemy in the land, they will have been overcome, most before ever engaging the enemy in combat.  And, as a consequence, in that coming day they will be denied positions with Christ in the land, within the theocracy.

And also, as it is in the type, a smaller group will realize the goal of their calling.  They will have possessed “another spirit,” “followed” the Lord, and will ultimately “possess” the land (Numbers 13:30; 14:24).  Properly equipped for battle, they will have moved into the land and overcome the enemy.  These are the ones who will occupy positions in the land, within the theocracy, as co-heirs with Christ.
Chapter Three
Whose House Are We, If . . . .

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.

For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.

For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.

And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things that would be spoken afterward,

but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Teachings surrounding the house of Christ are drawn from those surrounding the house of Moses.  The latter constitutes the type and the former the antitype.  And the antitype must be in complete accord with the type in every respect — from the death of the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12) to either the overthrow of an entire generation in the wilderness (save Caleb and Joshua) or the entrance of the second generation into the land of Canaan (Numbers 14:29ff; Joshua 1:1ff).

The house of Moses is spoken of as consisting of all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership (cf. Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:5). All comprising this house were,

. . . under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

all ate the same spiritual food,

and all drank the same spiritual drink. . . .

But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-5)

Those overthrown in the wilderness were cut off from the house of Moses.  They fell as excommunicated pilgrims — on the right side of the blood, but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling.

Then, immediately following these words reiterating the experiences of the Israelites in 1 Corinthians 10:1-5, the Spirit of God moved the Apostle Paul to write,

Now these things became our examples [lit., ‘Now these things happened as types for us’] . . . . (1 Corinthians 10:6; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11)

“Israel,” under the leadership of Moses, forms the type; and “the Church,” under the leadership of Christ, forms the antitype.  The matter could not be worded in a plainer and more understandable manner.

With these things in mind, it is also clear that if the house of Moses consisted of all who came out of Egypt under his leadership, then the house of Christ must consist of all who have been separated from this world under His leadership.  That is, if the house of Moses consisted of all Israelites, the house of Christ must consist of all Christians.  And such is exactly the case, for there must be this parallel between the type and the antitype.

But, with this in mind, note that Hebrews 3:6 speaks of the house of Christ in a more limited sense than consisting of all Christians.  This verse places a condition on Christians being members of Christ’s house: . . . whose house we [Christians] are if . . . .

(The preceding is somewhat like the way in which the word “Church” [Greek:  ekklesia, meaning “called out”] is used in the New Testament.  In Revelation 2; 3, the word is used of all Christians [called out of the world]; but in Hebrews 12:23, the word is used in a more restrictive sense.  It is used in this verse pertaining to those who, following the adoption, will comprise God’s firstborn son [synonymous with the bride, called out of the body, subsequent to a calling out of the world].)

And the reason Hebrews 3:6 speaks of the house of Christ in a more limited sense is because this verse looks ahead to a time spoken of as “the end,” which could only be the end of the Christians’ present pilgrim journey.

In the type, many coming out of Egypt (with all comprising Moses’ house at that time) did not comprise his house at the end of their pilgrim journey.  An entire generation of Israelites was overthrown in the wilderness, cut off from Moses’ house, prior to the nation entering the land under Joshua and realizing the rights of the firstborn in that land.

The Israelites being cut off from the house of Moses had nothing to do with the previous death of the firstborn that had occurred in Egypt.  The firstborn had died, God was satisfied, and that was the end of the matter.  But being subsequently cut off from the house of Moses had everything to do with entrance into the land of Canaan.  Those cut off from Moses’ house fell as excommunicated pilgrims in the wilderness, on the right side of the blood (eternally saved) but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling (outside the land of Canaan).

And the matter will be exactly the same for those comprising the house of Christ in the antitype.  In both instances, individuals (Israelites, Christians) were/will be cut off from their respective houses (house of Moses, house of Christ) under their respective Heads (Moses, Christ).

As in the type, a cutting off from the house of Christ can have nothing to do with the death of the firstborn.  Christ — the Passover Lamb, the antitype of the paschal lambs slain in Exodus 12 — has “died for our sins . . . .” (1 Corinthians 5:7; 15:3-4).  And any person applying the blood (by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ) is eternally secure, simply because God is satisfied with the finished work of His Son at Calvary.  Nothing can ever nullify that which occurred at the point of belief (Romans 8:38-39), for it is based entirely on Christ’s finished work.

But the person applying the blood can be cut off from the house of Christ in the antitype just as those who were cut off from the house of Moses.  He can fall as an excommunicated pilgrim in the wilderness, on the right side of the blood (eternally saved) but on the wrong side of the goal of his calling (outside the land to which he was called).

In order to be a member of Christ’s house in that coming day, one must, according to Hebrews 3:6, “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”  And the spiritual lesson concerning exactly what is meant by this statement must be drawn from the type.

HOLDING FAST

The Greek word translated “hold fast” (katecho) in Hebrews 3:6 refers, contextually, to keeping something constantly in mind or in one’s possession as that person presses toward the goal out ahead.  This word is used two other places in the book of Hebrews — once again in the second warning (Hebrews 3:14), and once more in the fourth warning (Hebrews 10:23).  In each instance the thought is the same, though different facets of the overall subject matter are in view.

The word katecho is used in nautical circles in the sense of “holding one’s course straight.”  Luke, in Acts 27:40, used the word relative to the crew of a ship holding the ship on a straight course in a storm.  The crew discovered a bay along the shore of an island, which they later found to be the island of Malta; and they sought to ground the ship in the bay near the shore in order to escape the stormy sea.  Thus, they held the ship on a straight course headed for the bay and the shore.

The backdrop to Hebrews 3:6 is the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan under Moses (Hebrews 3:2-5, 7ff).  The Israelites had been removed from Egypt for a revealed purpose, which had to do with an inheritance in another land, the land of Canaan.  And as they moved from Egypt to Canaan, they were to keep their eyes fixed on the goal of their calling, which was to be realized in the land of Canaan out ahead, not in the land of Egypt behind them.

And with Christians in the antitype under Christ, the thought is the same.  Christians have been separated from this world for a revealed purpose, which has to do with an inheritance in another land, a heavenly land.  And as they move from this world toward that land, they are to keep their eyes fixed on the goal of their calling, which is to be realized in that heavenly land out ahead, not in the world behind them (note the position that the “world” is to always occupy in relation to all Christian activity when viewed from the perspective of the type).

This overall thought is expressed many different times in various ways throughout Scripture.  The end result of “holding fast” though, no matter how it is expressed, is always the same — ultimately occupying a position as co-heir with Christ in the kingdom, realizing the rights of the firstborn therein.

In Matthew 22:2-14, for example, in the parable of the marriage festival, the matter is approached from a different perspective.  In this parable, proper attire was required for admittance to the festivities surrounding a royal wedding.  A wedding garment was required, and only those clothed in this garment were allowed inside the banquet hall.

But, despite this requirement, a man sought to attend the festivities improperly clothed.  He was not wearing the required attire.  And the King coming in and seeing this man questioned him concerning why he had sought to attend the festivities apart from being properly clothed.

The manner in which the question is worded in the Greek text shows that the man knew he was supposed to be clothed in a wedding garment but had willfully refused to provide himself with one.  The King then instructed His servants to bind the man “hand and foot” and cast him into the darkness outside.

The wedding garment, according to Revelation 19:7-8, is made up of “the righteous acts of the saints” (NKJV).  That is, the wedding garment is constructed of works emanating out of faithfulness (James 2:14-26) — the faithfulness of household servants in the house of Christ as He leads them from this world to that heavenly land.

A Christian under the headship of Christ must exercise faithfulness in seeing that nothing during the present time interferes with his one day attaining the goal set before him.  His every move in life must be in only one direction; he must move toward that heavenly land wherein Christians will realize the rights of the firstborn.  And faithfulness after this fashion will result in the type of works that form the wedding garment.

This same thing is illustrated after another fashion in the parable of the Householder and His servant in Matthew 24:45-51 (cf. Luke 12:42-46).  In this parable, faithfulness is shown by providing other servants in the house with “food (KJV: meat) in due season” (Matthew 24:45), and unfaithfulness is shown through refusing to provide this food/meat (Matthew 24:48).

The word for “food” (“meat”) in Scripture, as distinguished from “milk,” has a peculiar reference to those things pertaining to the Lord’s return and the coming kingdom.  For example, in Hebrews 5:11-14, it has to do with Christ exercising the Melchizedek priesthood, a combined ministry as both Priest and King, reserved for the coming age.  And that which is meant by giving “food (meat) in due season” in the parable of the Householder and His servant is shown by everything in the parable revolving around the Lord’s return, with either reward or chastisement (with the kingdom in view) awaiting household servants.

Then, in the parables of the talents and the pounds (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27) the basic picture is again the same — faithfulness in the Lord’s house during the present time, with a view to one day occupying a position as co-heir with Christ in His kingdom.

In these companion parables, the Householder has gone “into a far country [heaven, into His Father’s presence] to receive for Himself a kingdom [from His Father], and to return [back to earth]” (Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 25:14, 19; Luke 19:12, 15).  During the time of the Householder’s absence — between the time of His departure to receive the kingdom and His return after receiving the kingdom — He has left His household business in charge of His servants.  Those servants acting after a responsible fashion to the charge left to them will be rewarded upon the Householder’s return, but those servants acting after an irresponsible fashion to this charge will suffer loss at this time (Matthew 25:20ff; Luke 19:16ff).

There will be “a just recompense of reward” (KJV) for all servants when the Householder returns (Hebrews 2:2; 11:26).  That is, each servant will receive exactly what he deserves, “according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Judgment will be based solely on the actions of servants relative to the charge left them by their Lord.  They will be judged on the basis of whether they acted responsibly or irresponsibly, and each servant will, accordingly, be justly recompensed.

The goal is dwelling in that heavenly land as a co-heir with Christ in the kingdom that He has gone away to receive.  From a biblical standpoint, this is the goal toward which everything in the Christian life must move; and being rewarded for faithfulness or suffering loss for unfaithfulness has to do with the manner in which a servant in the house governs the course of his life as he moves toward this goal.

Accordingly, holding fast in Hebrews 3:6 is responsible action on the part of household servants as they exhibit faithfulness to their household duties during the time of the Householder’s absence.  Having so governed their lives, they will have acted after a fashion that will result in a commendation by their Lord.  They, individually, will be told,

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17-19)

But the opposite will be true for unfaithful servants, those refusing to act after a responsible fashion during the time of the Householder’s absence.  They will not only be rebuked upon the Householder’s return but they will suffer loss; and, accordingly, they will occupy no position of honor and glory with Christ in His kingdom (Matthew 25:24-30; Luke 19:20-26).

Unfaithful servants in that day will hear their Lord say,

You wicked and lazy servant . . . . (Matthew 25:26ff)

And that which will await unfaithful servants in that coming day is clearly revealed:

And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth [an Eastern expression showing deep grief]. (Matthew 25:30)

Introducing the last of the five major warnings in Hebrews (Hebrews 12:1-2) — which specifically warns household servants about the possibility that they can, as Esau, forfeit their birthrights (Hebrews 12:16-17) — the servants are pictured as being in a race during the time of the Householder’s absence.  And they are to run the race after a certain revealed fashion.

They are to run the race with “patience [‘patient endurance’] . . . Looking to Jesus . . . .”

This is a race set over a lengthy course, covering a long period of time; and the runner is to pace himself after a fashion that will allow him to successfully complete the race.

And, during the entire course of the race, he is to focus his attention only in one direction — upon the One who has gone away “to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”

The literal Greek rendering is “Looking from to Jesus . . . .”  He is to look from all surrounding things — things which could distract him in the race — as he fixes his eyes on “the author and finisher of our [‘the’] faith,” looking out ahead toward the goal.

The thought was expressed by Christ after another fashion in Luke 9:62.  In this section of Scripture, Jesus said,

No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

One’s attention is to always be focused on the goal out ahead.  We’re not to look back to Egypt; nor are we to allow our attention to drift onto surrounding things in the wilderness.  Rather, our attention is to be focused in one direction alone — on the land to which we have been called.

One’s attention is to be focused on one Person alone — on the One who will rule as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” in that land; and it is to be focused on one goal alone — on that of one day being accorded the privilege of ascending the throne with the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” when He rules from the heavens over the earth for 1,000 years.

(For additional information on the preceding, refer to the author’s book, in this site, Run to Win BOOK.) 

THE CONFIDENCE AND REJOICING OF THE HOPE

According to the text, that which we are to “hold fast” under the headship of Christ, in the antitype of the Israelites under the headship of Moses, is “the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope.”

The Israelites under Moses, after having passed through the experience of the death of the firstborn (a substitutionary death, effected through the death of the paschal lambs), had been “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:2).  They had been buried on the western banks of the Red Sea in Egypt and raised to “walk in newness of life” on the eastern banks in the wilderness (cf. Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).  And the Israelites had a hope set before them, which centered on the land of Canaan out ahead, not around the land of Egypt which they had left and from which they had forever been separated.

And exactly the same thing can be said relative to Christians under Christ.  Christians have passed through the experience of the death of the firstborn in this world (a substitutionary death, effected through the death of the Passover Lamb), and the next thing that is to occur is the immersion of the individual in the waters of baptism, typified by the Israelites passing through the Red Sea.  The Christian is to be buried “by baptism” and raised to “walk in newness of life,” and the only way to fully understand exactly what is involved is to view the matter from the perspective of the type.

The Christian has been separated from this world (buried on the western banks of the Red Sea in Egypt) and raised in resurrection to life (the first [birth] has been set aside and the second [birth] established) in an entirely new realm (on the eastern banks of the Red Sea in the wilderness).  The person in this new realm has a hope set before him, which centers around a heavenly land (typified by the earthly land of Canaan, wherein the Israelites’ hope lay), not around the world that he has left and from which he has forever been separated (typified by the Israelites’ separation from Egypt).

There is no difference whatsoever in the manner in which the Israelites under Moses were to view their earthly calling and the manner in which Christians under Christ are to presently view their heavenly calling.  The Israelites under Moses and Christians under Christ possessed/possess a hope, and they were/are to view this hope, as expressed in Hebrews 3:6, with confidence and rejoicing.  Problems developed in the house of Moses when the Israelites refused to view their hope after this fashion, and problems presently develop in the house of Christ when Christians refuse to view their hope after the same fashion.

(Note several things in passing relative to the death of the firstborn and baptism.

“Baptism” portrays a burial, followed by resurrection [Romans 6:4]; and only the dead are to be buried, to subsequently be raised.  This sets forth two undeniable truths:

1) The experience surrounding the death of the firstborn in Exodus 12 must be looked upon as having to do with exactly the same people who passed through the Red Sea in Exodus 14.

2) Baptism [Exodus 14] must be looked upon as a separate, subsequent experience to that of the death of the firstborn [Exodus 12].

The entire house of Moses — all of the Israelites — passed through the Red Sea [1 Corinthians 10:2].  Therefore, it is clear that the previous death of the firstborn had to do with the whole house of Israel, not with just one member of a family.  If the death of the firstborn did not have to do with the entire nation, then the entire nation could not be included in the Red Sea passage.  The simple truth of the matter is that the blood in Exodus 12 was shed and applied for God’s firstborn son, the nation itself [Exodus 4:22], though this was expressed after an individual fashion by the slaying of numerous lambs in Israel — “a lamb for a house,” with the firstborn of that household specifically in view [Exodus 12:3].

Then it should be noted that baptism, according to the type, has nothing whatsoever to do with one’s salvation experience.  Salvation occurs within the scope of that seen in Exodus 12, not that seen in Exodus 14.  Salvation is contingent entirely upon applying the blood of the Passover Lamb, not upon any subsequent experience, whether it be baptism, works, etc.  Baptism is to immediately follow one’s salvation experience, depicting the same thing as seen in the Israelites’ passage through the Red Sea; but, according to the type, it can have nothing whatsoever to do with one’s salvation.)

1) The Hope

According to 1 Peter 3:15, Christians are to be “ready to give a defense (KJV: ‘answer’) to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”  This is called, in introductory verses to the book, “a living hope”; and it is made possible through “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).  Christ lives, and those “in Christ” will live with Him.

Hope in 1 Peter is associated with “an inheritance” (1 Peter 1:4), a future “salvation” (1 Peter 1:5 [“the salvation of your souls”; 1 Peter 1:9]), and “honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7; cf. 1 Peter 4:12-13).  When Christ appears, Christians will appear with Him in glory; and it is different facets of this entire matter — ruling as co-heirs with Christ, realizing the salvation of our souls — that Christians are to always be ready to discuss with anyone who asks “for a reason of the hope that is in you.”

In Hebrews 6:11-12, the “hope” to be held by Christians is laid out in a very simple fashion:  that “through faith and patience [present]” they would be able to “inherit the promises [future].”

Exercising “faith” is simply believing what God has to say about a matter, resulting in the person exercising faith acting accordingly.  Hebrews chapter eleven is the great chapter on faith in relation to the saving of the soul (Hebrews 10:35-39), toward which everything in the preceding part of the book builds:  “By faith Abel . . . By faith Enoch . . . By faith Noah . . . By faith Abraham . . . .”

Then Hebrews chapter twelve, immediately following, forms the capstone to the whole matter.  The fifth and last of the five major warnings comes into view — a direct reference to the rights of the firstborn (all the warnings have to do with these rights, though viewed from different facets of the overall subject) — and Christians are exhorted to run the race set before them after such a fashion that they will one day be accorded the privilege of realizing these rights.

Exercising “patience [lit., ‘patient endurance’]” has to do with the manner in which one runs the race (cf. Hebrews 12:1).  This is a race of the faith (1 Timothy 6:12; Jude 1:3), to be run continuously for the entire duration of the Christian life.  This is a race over the long haul — not one for sprinters, but one for marathon runners (though runners may be called upon to sprint in the race at times).  And Christians are to properly pace themselves so that they will be able to victoriously complete the race.

The inheritance lying out ahead is the object of our hope, and one day realizing that which God has promised is, within the text, to be wrought through patient endurance in the race of the faith.  “Faith” and “patient endurance” are inseparably linked after this fashion with inheriting the promises.

Hebrews 10:23-25 presents a companion thought.  In verse twenty-three Christians are told,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering . . . . (Hebrews 10:23a)

And the whole idea, contextually, behind Christians assembling together today (Hebrews 10:25) is to “consider one another” and “stir up [one another to] love and to good works,” with this hope in view.  Christians are to assemble together to talk about that which lies out ahead, pray for one another, and exhort one another;  and they are to do this “so much the more,” as they “see the Day approaching [that coming day when the Christians’ hope will be realized]”  (Hebrews 10:24-25).

This is the “blessed hope” in Titus 2:13, which is to be a purifying hope as Christians are exhorted to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12).  The “blessed hope” is not Christ’s return per se (particularly not His return for Christians at the end of this present dispensation, as is often taught).  Rather, the “blessed hope” has to do with “the glorious appearing [lit., ‘the appearing of the glory’] of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), a glory that will not be revealed until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation.  And this “hope” has to do with the thought of Christians having a part in Christ’s future glory.

Actually, the book of Titus is built around this whole overall teaching.

(Compare. Titus 1:1-2; 3:7 [translate “eternal life” as “life for the age.”  See the author’s book, Salvation of the Soul, pp. 82-86, or in this site, Salvation of the Soul BOOK, beginning with A Present, Living Hope].

Also, the manner in which the Greek text is structured in Titus 2:13, “the blessed hope” and “the appearing of the glory . . . .” are the same thing, with the latter forming a further description of the former.

This same construction is also seen in the remainder of the verse:  “. . . the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”  The phrase “our Savior Jesus Christ” is the same as, further describing, “the great God.”)

2)  With Confidence and Rejoicing

Christians are to hold fast the hope set before them after a revealed two-fold fashion — with confidence and rejoicing.  The word “confidence” is a translation of the Greek word, parresia, meaning “to be bold, courageous, open, or plain” about a matter;  and the word “rejoicing” is the translation of the Greek word, kauchema, meaning “to take pride in something,” resulting in the person having “something to boast about.”

Parresia is used a number of times in the New Testament in the sense of being “open or plain” about matters, with nothing being hidden.  Jesus spoke openly and plainly to His disciples and the people of Israel (Mark 8:32; John 16:29; 18:20), though, because of the nation’s rejection of Him, the day came when He “walked no more openly among the Jews” (John 11:54).  And it was because of this same rejection that Jesus had previously begun to teach through the use of parables (Matthew 13:10-15).

Parresia is also used in the New Testament a number of times in the sense of being “bold or courageous” about matters.  Peter and John, standing before Annas the high priest, and others, exhibited “boldness” as Peter spoke; and those hearing Peter “marvelled,” recognizing that both men exhibited these qualities because “they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:5-13; cf. Acts 4:31).  Then Paul, at the end of his epistle to the Ephesians, requested prayer on his behalf: “that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Acts 6:19).

(Note that the thought of “openness” or “plainness” would also have to be included within the idea conveyed by “boldness” in the preceding passages [cf. 2 Corinthians 3:12; 7:4; see also Philippians 1:20; 1 Timothy 3:13; Hebrews 4:16].) 

Then the word kauchema (translated “rejoicing”), or the verb form of this word (kauchaomai), is also used a number of different times in the New Testament.  The word is translated three different ways in the KJV — “boast,” “glory [used in the sense of ‘boast’ or ‘pride’],” and “rejoice” (cf. Romans 2:23; 4:2; 5:2; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 5:12; 9:3). 

The thought of “rejoicing” (as in Hebrews 3:6; cf. Philippians 1:26; 2:16), rather than being derived from the meaning of kauchema, appears to be derived more from the result of what this word means.  That is, kauchema means “to take pride in something,” resulting in the person having “something to boast about”; and “rejoicing” would emanate out of the person being placed in this position.

Thus, when a Christian is told to be “ready to give a defense (KJV: ‘answer’) to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear,” he is to be open about the matter, he is to exhibit plainness of speech, he is to be bold and courageous as he expresses himself, and he is to take pride in the matter, for he has something to boast about.

He has been extended an invitation to ascend the throne with the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” to rule as co-heir with Him in His kingdom.  He possesses the hope of having a part in that which Scripture calls, “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3), which is the greatest thing God has ever designed for redeemed man.

And this is what a Christian is to be open and plain about.  He is to tell it exactly like it is, regardless of what others may say or think.  And he is to be bold and courageous as he tells it like it is, knowing that he has something of incalculable value, something he can boast about (cf. Matthew 10:32-33; 2 Timothy 2:10-13).

FIRM TO THE END

Drawing from the type, everything from the death of the firstborn in Egypt throughout every subsequent experience in which the Israelites were led, occurred for a purpose.  And that purpose had to do with the goal of their calling, to be realized in the land of Canaan.

The death of the firstborn, the Red Sea passage, and the wilderness journey with all its experiences occurred with one goal in view.  And the Israelites, within every single experience, were to keep their eyes fixed on this goal.  They were to set their course straight and hold it there, not deviating;  and they were to hold their course, after this fashion, “firm to the end,” allowing them to one day realize the goal of their calling.

And this is exactly what is in view within the Christian experience.  Christians, as the Israelites, possess a hope, which has to do with a realization of the goal of their calling in another land.  They were saved for this purpose; and every experience in life, beginning at the point of salvation, has this one goal in view.

Christians are to set their course straight and hold it there, not deviating; and they are to hold their course, after this fashion, “firm to the end,” allowing them to one day realize the goal of their calling.

(Note, in the preceding respect, the difference between the first-century Church at the time Hebrews was written and the Laodicean church of today, almost twenty centuries later.

Christians comprising the first-century Church possessed a hope, which was known and understood by individuals throughout the churches.  And these Christians met together to encourage and exhort one another concerning this hope.

Christians in the churches today still have this same hope set before them, but how many of them even know this?  How many of them have any understanding at all of this hope?  How many Christians in churches today meet together to encourage and exhort one another concerning this hope?

In the light of existing conditions — after almost twenty centuries of the working of the leaven that the woman placed in the three measures of meal in Matthew 13:33 — the question is self-answering.)
Chapter Four
Companions of Christ, If . . .

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?

Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:12-19)

The Israelites departing Egypt under Moses had been called out of one land in order to serve God in a particular capacity in another land.  They had been removed from Egypt in order to realize the rights of the firstborn in the land of Canaan (Exodus 3:7-8; 4:22-23).

They were to enter this land under Moses, overthrow the inhabitants by/through God’s power, and not only rule over all the Gentile nations but be the channel through which God would bless these same nations (as Israel realized kingly and priestly aspects of the birthright).

The Israelites were to be “a special treasure” to the Lord, placed “above all people [all the Gentile nations]” as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6; cf. Numbers 13:26-30; Joshua 3:10; 1 Samuel 17:47).

Israel though, at Kadesh-Barnea, refused to enter into the land, overthrow the inhabitants, and occupy the position for which the nation had been called.  At Kadesh-Barnea the nation fell away;  and, resultantly, during the next thirty-eight and one-half years, God overthrew an entire generation of individuals — all who were twenty years old and above — save Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 14:22-24, 29-34).

The direction that Israel took at Kadesh-Barnea is looked upon in Scripture as apostasy on the part of the nation.  The Greek word for “apostasy [aphistemi, the verb form of the word apostasia, from which we derive our English word, ‘apostasy’]” is used in Hebrews 3:12 in a passage warning Christians (in the antitype) to not let the same thing happen to them that happened to Israel (in the type).

Also, in the book of Jude, a book dealing centrally with apostasy, Israel’s actions at Kadesh-Barnea form the first example that the writer gives to illustrate the subject matter at hand (Jude 1:5).

The word aphistemi in Hebrews 3:12, translated “departing,” has to do with removing oneself from a previously occupied position.  This thought is easy to see from a breakdown of the noun form of this same word, the word apostasiaApostasia is a compound word, comprised of apo (meaning “from”) and stasis (meaning “to stand”).  Thus, the word simply means “to stand away from,” i.e., to occupy a different position than previously occupied.

The Israelites under Moses form one of the best examples of true apostasy to be found anyplace in Scripture.

These Israelites, preceding the events at Kadesh-Barnea, believed that under God they could enter the land of Canaan, overthrow the enemy, and occupy the position for which they had been called.

However, at Kadesh-Barnea, after hearing the report of the spies concerning the strength of the inhabitants of the land and the evil report of ten spies concerning the inability of the Israelites to successfully go up against these people, the people of Israel changed their minds.  They ceased believing that they could enter the land and be victorious over the land’s inhabitants, and their thoughts shifted away from the land set before them back to the land that they had left.

Resultantly, they rejected the leadership of Moses, sought to appoint a new leader, and return to Egypt (Numbers 13:26-14:4).  By this act they removed themselves from — they “stood away from” — the position relative to Moses and the land of Canaan that they had previously occupied.

Apostasy on Israel’s part had nothing to do with the death of the firstborn in Egypt or with the Red Sea passage.  These were past, completed matters that could never again be brought up within the scope of God’s dealings with His people.

The firstborn had died in Egypt, burial in the Sea had occurred, and there had been a resurrection to walk in newness of life on the eastern banks of the Sea, outside Egypt.  And within the scope of this resurrection to walk in newness of life, one central thing was in view — a realization of the nation’s calling as God’s firstborn son within the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Apostasy on Israel’s part had to do strictly with the Israelites’ refusal to enter the land and occupy the position for which they had been called.  It had to do solely with that which lay beyond the death of the firstborn and the Red Sea passage.

And their resulting overthrow in the wilderness likewise had to do with the same thing.  They were overthrown on the eastern side of the Red Sea, on the right side of the blood; but they were overthrown on the wrong side of the goal of their calling.  They were overthrown short of entering the land and realizing the reason that they had been removed from Egypt.

BEWARE, BRETHREN

The spiritual lessons for Christians under Christ in Hebrews 3; 4 are drawn, in their entirety, from that which happened to the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua.  The historical account during a past dispensation forms the type, and that which is happening in Christendom during the present dispensation forms the antitype.  And the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.

Those Christians who follow a similar path to that taken by the Israelites who believed the “evil report” of the ten spies relative to the land to which they had been called (an earthly land), will, as these Israelites, be denied entrance into the land to which they have been called (a heavenly land).  Such Christians will, as the Israelites under Moses, be overthrown short of this goal.

On the other hand though, those Christians following the path that the remaining two spies took relative to their calling will, as Caleb and Joshua, be allowed to enter the land.  Christians exhibiting this type of attitude, governing their lives accordingly, will one day realize the goal of their calling.

This is the heart of the warning, and the whole matter is really as simple as it sounds if one has eyes to see that which the Lord has outlined in His Word.

Do you, as one called out and separated from this world for a purpose, want to realize that purpose?  Do you want to be a Caleb or a Joshua and one day enter the land to which you have been called?

Or, on the other hand, are you content to go along with the status quo?  Does your interest lie in a realm other than the land in which you have been called to realize an inheritance, which could only be understood, after some fashion, as an interest in the things back in Egypt, the things of this present world?

The vast majority of Christians, like the vast majority of Israelites, fall within the scope of the latter group.  For one reason or another, their interest is not centered on that heavenly land set before them, wherein the rights of the firstborn will be realized.

And there is really no middle ground in the matter.  In the words of Christ Himself,

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30).

Most Christians today though haven’t even heard the message.  They don’t know that they have been called to one day occupy positions as co-heirs with the King of kings in a heavenly land.  They are pilgrims in a strange land, living their lives apart from a set goal, the goal of their calling — a goal that, in reality, is unknown to them.

Then there are others who have heard the message and have either ignored or rejected it, affixing their attention elsewhere.  And these are also pilgrims in a strange land, living their lives apart from the same set goal, the goal of their calling — a goal known to them after some fashion.

Only a small minority of Christians have any real understanding and appreciation at all of these things, which is exactly as it was in the camp of Israel during Moses’ day.  Only Caleb and Joshua exhibited any understanding and appreciation at all of the reason why they had been removed from Egypt and led to the borders of the land at Kadesh-Barnea.

Only Caleb and Joshua believed that, under God, they could go into the land, be victorious over the enemy, and realize their calling.  The vast majority had no appreciation of these things, and, consequently, they turned away from the land and set their sights on the things back in Egypt.

With all of this in mind, in one sense of the word, the vast majority of Christians today would seemingly not fit within the framework of the type.

The Israelites under Moses heard the report of the spies concerning the land of Canaan, and they even tasted the actual fruits of the land that the spies had brought back with them.

In the antitype, this would have to be understood in the sense of Christians hearing about the land to which they have been called and even “tasting” (through knowledge of the Word) the fruits of this land.  And this is an experience most Christians today have not had, mainly because of the failure of the pastor-teachers in the churches to fulfill their calling.

This though has not always been the case.  In the early Church, before the leaven that the woman placed in the three measures of meal in Matthew 13:33 began to do its damaging work, “the hope of the gospel [the gospel of the glory of Christ, not the gospel of the grace of God],” was proclaimed “to every creature under heaven” (Colossians 1:23).  There was an exact parallel in those days between type and antitype insofar as all hearing the message was concerned.

However, today, after almost 2,000 years, the leaven has done such a damaging work in Christendom that the message concerning “the hope of the gospel” is all but absent.  And the leaven, according to Matthew 13:33, will work “till it was all” leavened.

That’s why the Lord stated that He would not find “the faith” (an expression peculiarly related to the Word of the Kingdom) on the earth at the time of His return (Luke 18:8).

(For additional information on the preceding, refer to the section on “The Faith” in the author’s book, Salvation by Grace through Faith BOOK, in this site.)

Thus, because of the working of the leaven in Christendom throughout the present dispensation, an exact parallel between this one part of the type — which once existed — really no longer exists.  Rather, today there is a corrupted parallel, brought about by the corruption produced by the leaven.  The Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea heard the report concerning the land, and they tasted the fruits grown therein.  Most Christians today though — and the number is increasing, not decreasing (corresponding to the working of the leaven) — have neither heard the report nor tasted the fruits.

This would really have no bearing though on viewing the entirety of the Christian life within the scope of the experiences of the Israelites in that portion of Scripture extending from Exodus 12 through the book of Joshua.  The message throughout, within the framework of the type, does not change.  The beginning event (the death of the firstborn in Egypt), subsequent events (the Red Sea passage, reception of the Word of God, the wilderness journey), and the goal (the things having to do with the land of Canaan) do not change.

The overall scope of this type is the message that was once proclaimed throughout Christendom.  Today though the leaven has done such a damaging work that not only is this message all but absent in the churches of the land but even the message surrounding the death of the firstborn has become corrupted.  In this respect, though the working of the leaven was/is centered on the Word of the Kingdom, corruption has really entered into the whole scope of the various teachings drawn from the type, for there is an inseparable relationship between the different parts of the whole.

(Concerning this corruption, extending throughout the whole body of biblical teaching in this respect, note, for example, the widely-accepted Lordship Salvation message [a corruption, in this case, inseparably related to the working of the leaven].  Lordship salvation, in reality, is a message that attempts to introduce things beyond the Red Sea passage [things beyond that point where the dead had been raised to walk in newness of life on the eastern banks of the sea] into things surrounding the death of the firstborn back in Egypt, corrupting not only the message surrounding the gospel of the grace of God but, essentially, for all practical purposes, doing away with the message surrounding the gospel of the glory of Christ as well.

For additional information on “Lordship Salvation,” refer to the author’s book, Salvation by Grace through Faith BOOK, Chapter 2.)

Consequently, if things seem somewhat awry in Christendom today when viewing the antitype within the framework of the type, the reason is evident.  We are living in that day when the leaven is not only completing its work but, with this completion, the leaven is doing its most damaging work of the entire dispensation.  The mustard bush — the third parable in Matthew 13, immediately preceding the parable of the leaven — has become a great tree (an unnatural growth), and the birds of the air (ministers of Satan) have found a lodging place in the branches of the great tree (Matthew 13:31-32; cf. Matthew 13:4, 19).

The preceding is where Christians find themselves today, in our supposedly enlightened twenty-first-century Christianity.

1)  LEST . . . .

In Hebrews 3:8-9, 15-16, Israel provoked the Lord in what is called “the day of trial (KJV: temptation) in the wilderness.”  This provocation occurred at times preceding events at Kadesh-Barnea (e.g., the forming of the molten calf at Sinai or the later rejection of the manna that God had provided [Exodus 32:1ff; Numbers 11:4-8]), and God’s judgment fell on each occasion.  But it was not until the nation exhibited a negative attitude toward entrance into the land at Kadesh-Barnea that the whole matter came to a head, resulting in the overthrow of an entire generation.

To tempt an individual is to put that individual to the test to show or prove that the individual is who he declares himself to be; and, accordingly, the individual will always react after a particular fashion, in keeping with his identity.

Note, for example, the temptation of Christ in the wilderness by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).  Christ was tempted in all points, as man is tempted, though He was not tempted to sin, for He couldn’t be tempted to sin (cf. Hebrews 4:15; James 1:13).  Rather, Christ was tempted by Satan to show once and for all that He was exactly who He declared Himself to be; and, accordingly, He reacted to each presented situation in perfect keeping with His identity, exactly after the fashion that any member of the Godhead would react.

God was tempted after a similar fashion by the Israelites through the provocation (KJV) in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:15).  They provoked Him and, in this manner, put Him to the test.  And He, being God, One who could not countenance sin, could only react in a certain manner.  Sin must be dealt with after a particular fashion, which is exactly what occurred.

The word used for “provoke” in the Greek text means to revolt or to rebel.  The Israelites rebelled against God in different ways during their wilderness journey, putting God to the test on each occasion.  But when they rebelled against God at Kadesh-Barnea relative to entrance into the land set before them (through rejecting the true report concerning the land and subsequently rejecting the leadership of Moses), that was the end of the matter for that entire generation insofar as God was concerned.  They had put God to the test; and He reacted in completely keeping with that which He Himself must do concerning this particular provocation (NKJV: rebellion).

The enormity of Israel’s sin, viewed from an omniscient perspective, was declared by God to necessitate the overthrow of that entire accountable generation.  And an overthrow of this nature is exactly what God brought to pass.

Except for Caleb and Joshua, the entire accountable generation present at Kadesh-Barnea, because of their sin, was rejected by God; and, rather than subsequently being allowed to enter the land of Canaan, they were, instead, overthrown in the wilderness.  During the next thirty-eight and one-half years the Israelites comprising this generation were left to die in the wilderness, short of the objective, short of the goal of their calling.

This was what God thought about the Israelites attitude toward the things surrounding the land of Canaan when He was put to the test, which is exactly what God thinks about any Christian’s attitude toward things surrounding that heavenly land when Christians put Him to a similar test today.

God took a hard line toward the matter in the type, and He will take the same hard line toward the matter in the antitype.  There can be no change in God’s attitude and resulting action from type to antitype.

One must form an exact parallel to the other, for two obvious reasons:

1) The antitype must follow the type in exact detail.

2) There can be no change in the attitude and actions of a member of the Godhead relative to the same provocation (rebellion), though by different individuals (Israelites, past; Christians, present).

God was “grieved” with the generation of Israelites under Moses, and He swore in His wrath that they would “not enter” into His rest (Hebrews 3:10-11, 17-18).  They “could not enter in because of unbelief [unfaithfulness]” (Hebrews 3:18-19).  That is, they could not enter because they had not faithfully followed the Lord’s leadership in the matter.  Rather, they had believed the “evil report” of the ten spies (exhibiting unfaithfulness) instead of the “true report” given by Caleb and Joshua.  They had believed the report which, in reality, stated that God would be unable to complete His purpose for having removed His people from Egypt.

And relative to this whole matter, Christians are warned,

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)

Christians, as the Israelites, can go in one of two directions in this matter — the same two directions that had been open to the Israelites.  Christians can either believe the “true report” concerning the land or they can believe the “evil report.”  And God’s attitude toward their actions, resulting in action on God’s part (in exactly keeping with the type), will be determined by which report they believe and follow.

(In either the type or the antitype, realizing one’s calling in the land out ahead — the land of Canaan for the Israelites [Hebrews 3:18], or that heavenly land for Christians [Hebrews 4:10-11] — is spoken of as a rest [Hebrews 3:11, 18; 4:1].  This rest is equated in Scripture with realizing one’s inheritance, which is synonymous with realizing one’s calling [cf. Deuteronomy 3:18-20; 12:9-11; Hebrews 4:11].

And within the septenary arrangement of Scripture, this rest, still lying in the future, is spoken of as a “Sabbath rest.”  It will be realized during the seventh day, the seventh Millennium, the earth’s coming Sabbath [Hebrews 4:4-9].)

Christians are warned over and over in the book of Hebrews concerning the goal of their calling.  This is the central subject of the book, it is the central issue within the Christian life, and it should be the issue that occupies the central place in every activity of every Christian at all times.  This overall matter is set forth in the Word of God to be that important in God’s sight.
 
2)  BUT EXHORT ONE ANOTHER DAILY

Right in the middle of the spiritual lessons drawn from the type, the Spirit of God commands Christians,

but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)

In Hebrews 10:23-25 the same command is restated after a slightly different fashion in connection with Christians assembling together:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Note particularly how this section of Scripture ends.  Christians are to conduct their affairs among one another after the preceding fashion “so much the more” as they “see the Day approaching [that coming day when one’s present hope will be realized].”

Contextually, in Hebrews 10, a central purpose for Christians assembling together (really, the central purpose in the text) — “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . . .” (Hebrews 10:25) — is with a view to exhorting one another relative to the hope of our calling (cf. Hebrews 10:23, 25). And to do this, Christians would have to be knowledgeable, after some fashion, concerning this hope.  They would have to talk about and discuss this hope with one another, for there could be no exhortation apart from some type of knowledge of the facts surrounding the Christians’ calling.

In other words, in the light of Hebrews 3:13; 10:23-25, Christians are to assemble together with a view to talking about and discussing among themselves the things surrounding their calling.  They are to talk about that land out ahead (that heavenly land), the enemy therein (Satan and his angels), the necessity of present victory over the enemy (through the spiritual warfare), and the hope set before them — that of one day occupying that land with the “King of kings, and the Lord of lords” as Christ and Christians ascend the throne together (replacing Satan and his angels) and exercise the rights of the firstborn.

And, with these things in view, Christians are to spend time exhorting one another (“daily” in the text [Hebrews 3:13]) relative to the importance of keeping their eyes fixed on the goal out ahead; and they are to carry on an interchange with one another after this fashion so much the more as they “see the Day approaching.”

And that’s exactly where we are today — at a time when Christians should be exhorting one another “so much the more,” for we are living very near the end of the present dispensation, very near the end of man’s allotted six days (6,000 years), immediately prior to the fast-approaching seventh day (the Lord’s Day, the Messianic Era, to last 1,000 years).

But are Christians assembling together today with this purpose in view?  Hardly!  Christians, by large, know little to nothing about this whole matter.  This is not something that they talk about, discuss; nor, much less, is it something which is uppermost in their thoughts, governing their actions.  Consequently, Christians are assembling together today for purposes that completely ignore that which is stated in Hebrews 10:23-25.  That’s how complete the leaven has done its damaging work.

Are conditions going to improve?  Are Christians going to one day wake up?  Not during the present dispensation!  The dispensation will, according to Scripture, end in total apostasy; and that’s exactly the direction in which the Church continues, after a rapid fashion, to move today.  The Church continues to be swept away in a direction that is rapidly carrying it completely away from “the faith” that it held universally during the first century.

Christ’s statement, “till the whole was leavened” (Matthew 13:33), and His companion statement that at the time of His return He would not find “the faith on the earth” (Luke 18:8), must be taken at face value.  Christ, in His omniscience, knowing the future as well as the past and present, stated exactly what would occur within the Church during this dispensation.

After two millennia, at the end of this dispensation, the leavening process would be so complete that, correspondingly, the message surrounding “the faith” would no longer be heard in the churches.  And the Church as a whole would be, as the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-21, “. . . wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”

CHRIST’S CO-HEIRS, HIS COMPANIONS

Christians are to “exhort one another daily, while it is called Today,” in order to avoid, at all costs, following a similar course of action to that which the nation of Israel followed at Kadesh-Barnea (cf. Hebrews 3:8, 13).

According to Scripture, Christians will occupy positions with Christ on the throne, as His “companions,” IF…  Christians will hold positions of this nature with Christ in that coming day only IF during the present day they “hold the beginning of [their] confidence steadfast to the end” (Hebrews 3:14).

(The word “companions” rather than “partakers” [KJV] would be the preferred translation of the word used in the Greek text in Hebrews 3:14, the word metochoi.  This is the same word that the writer of Hebrews also used in 
Hebrews 1:9 [translated “fellows”] and in Hebrews 3:1  [translated “partakers,” as in Hebrews 3:14]; and the preferred translation in these two instances as well would be “companions” [ref. Chapter 1 in this book;  also see the author’s book, So Great Salvation BOOK, Chapters 1, 5, in this site].)

Holding “the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,” with a view to being “companions” with Christ in that coming day, must be understood within the framework of the type.  Caleb and Joshua held the beginning of their confidence steadfast to the end; the remainder of the nation however didn’t.

Relative to entering the land, overthrowing the enemy, and occupying the position for which they had been called, Caleb, speaking for Joshua as well, said,

Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.  (Numbers 13:30)

But the remainder of the nation manifested an entirely different attitude and took an entirely different approach toward the matter.  They feared the inhabitants of the land, they wept through the night, they murmured against Moses and Aaron, and they then sought to appoint a new leader (other than Moses) and return to Egypt (Numbers 13:32-14:4).  This is where the difference lay, and, contextually, Hebrews 3:14 must be understood within this framework. 

1)  BEGINNING OF OUR CONFIDENCE

The word “confidence” in verse fourteen is the translation of the Greek word hupostasis (a different word than used in Hebrews 3:6).  Hupostasis is a compound word — hupo, “under”;  and stasis, “to stand.”  Thus, hupostasis literally means, “to stand under,” referring to a foundation.

This word is used three times in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:3; 3:14; 11:1), and only two other times in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 9:4; 11:17).

In Hebrews 1:3, the word is translated “person” (KJV), referring to Christ.  The thought expressed by the use of the word has to do with that which the verse goes on to state concerning Christ:  “upholding all things by the word of his power” (KJV).  He is the chief Cornerstone, the Foundation underlying everything (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6).

And He is before all things [a foundation always has to be laid first], and in Him all things consist [and in Him all things have been placed together (which, of necessity, would have to rest upon the Foundation)].” (Colossians 1:17)

In Hebrews 11:1, hupostasis appears at the very beginning of the chapter to describe how “faith” is used in the chapter:

Faith is the substance [hupostasis, ‘foundation’] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

“Faith” is not simply something placed at the foundation.  In the words of the text, “faith” is the foundation.  Faith is the foundational aspect of all things hoped for; and, “without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Then, continuing the verse, faith is further revealed to be “the evidence [‘a bringing to light’] of things not seen [though these things are seen ‘by faith’ (Hebrews 11:3)].”

Hebrews 11:1 is not a definition of faith, as is often thought.  Rather this verse has to do with that which emanates out of faith.

“Faith” is simply believing that which God has to say about a matter.  The word for “faith” and the word for “believe” are actually the same in the Greek text.  The former is a noun, and the latter is a verb (cf. John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8).  In this respect, Hebrews 11 begins with the statement, “Believing God is…”

Thus, placing Hebrews 3:14 within the framework of the type, along with that which is revealed by the use of hupostasis in Hebrews 1:3; 11:1, that which is meant by “the beginning of our confidence” is easy to see and understand.  The thought has to do with that which stands under everything being dealt with — the foundational aspect to the matter — which in Hebrews 1:3 is seen as “Christ” and in Hebrews 11:1 as “faith.”

In the words of Hebrews 12:2, it is keeping one’s eyes fixed on Jesus (looking “from [anything which would distract] to Jesus”), while believing that which God has stated about the “joy” set before Christ, as He endured the sufferings of Calvary.

It is simply looking to Jesus and believing God, resulting in Christians expressing a confident assurance in that which God has said surrounding the goal of their calling, exactly as expressed in the actions of Caleb and Joshua (they believed God, resulting in a confident assurance that they could go in and, under God, take the land).

In short, Caleb and Joshua went back to the foundational aspect of the matter itself, which is exactly where Christians must go as well.

2)  STEADFAST TO THE END

In the words of the text, Christians are to hold that presented as foundational “steadfast to the end.”  They are to possess an unwavering confident assurance in that which God has said throughout every experience of life, typically, from Egypt to Canaan.  They are to keep their eyes fixed on the goal, believing God, throughout the whole course of the race (cf. Luke 9:62; Hebrews 12:1-2).

The identical wording appears in the Greek text in Hebrews 3:6 relative to the “hope” set before Christians.  In this passage they are to hold this hope (which has to do with “the confession of our hope” [Hebrews 10:23], “the hope that is in you” [1 Peter 3:15]) with confidence and rejoicing “firm [or, ‘steadfast’] to the end.

And in Hebrews 3:14 Christians are to hold that which God has presented as foundational relative to this same hope (being “companions” with Christ in that coming day) “steadfast [or, ‘firm’] to the end.”
Chapter Five
The Sabbath Rest

For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;

and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience [born of willful unbelief],

again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [born of willful unbelief]. (Hebrews 4:4-11)

Entrance into the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and occupying their God-ordained position in that land was spoken of in the Old Testament as a “rest” lying before the Israelites (Joshua 1:13; cf. Deuteronomy 12:9; 25:19; Joshua 21:43-45).

The same thing was in view in the seventh and last of the festivals of the Lord in Leviticus chapter twenty-three, the feast of tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43).  These seven festivals comprise the prophetic calendar of Israel, and the seventh and last festival sets forth a time of rest that will follow the fulfillment of the preceding six festivals, depicting the same rest set forth in Joshua 1:13, foreshadowing that rest presently awaiting Israel during the Messianic Era.

Hebrews chapter four deals with this rest in a type-antitype relationship — the Israelites under Moses and Joshua (Hebrews 4:6, 8), and Christians under Christ (Hebrews 4:1, 11).  And reference is made to the seventh day in which God rested after He had completed His work of restoring the ruined material creation during the preceding six days and bringing man into existence following the completion of His restorative work on the sixth day (Hebrews 4:4; cf. Genesis 1:24-2:3).

Hebrews chapter four deals with this rest within the scope of the septenary arrangement of Scripture, drawing from basic types in Genesis, Numbers, and Joshua.  The matter, within the septenary arrangement of Scripture, has its basis in chapters one and two of Genesis and is projected out into the seventh day — a “rest [Greek: Sabbatismos, a ‘Sabbath rest’]” awaiting “the people of God” (Hebrews 4:4, 9).  And the Spirit of God, projecting the matter out into the seventh day, the seventh millennium, then sounds an exhortation and warning to Christians:

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [born of willful unbelief]. (Hebrews 4:11; cf. Hebrews 4:1)

GOD’S REST FROM ALL HIS WORKS

Scripture begins with a simple statement concerning the creation of the heavens and the earth:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

This verse is comprised of ten words in the English text but only seven in the original Hebrew, from which the English rendering was translated.  “Seven” is God’s number, showing the completion of that which is in view.  In seven words, twenty-eight letters (four sevens [“four” is the number of creation]), the Spirit of God provides a complete statement revealing a completed divine work — the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Then the following verse, Genesis 1:2, reveals a ruin of the creation and the beginning of God’s restoration of the ruined creation.  The creation itself in verse one and the subsequent ruin revealed in the first part of verse two occurred at unrevealed times in the past, occurring, in both instances, over 6,000 years ago.

The restoration of the ruined creation though occurred at the very beginning of the 6,000 years allotted to man, comprising Man’s Day.  In that respect, the restoration of the ruined creation would be the beginning point of the seven days — the seven thousand years — the septenary structure around which Scripture is built.  This would be the beginning point in the septenary arrangement of Scripture, extending from the restoration of the earth and the creation of man to the end of the Messianic Kingdom.

(This complete, overall subject is extensively dealt with in the next chapter of this book, Chapter 6, “The Septenary Arrangement of Scripture.”)

The earth was originally created as one of evidently innumerable provinces in God’s kingdom (cf. Job 1:6; 2:1; Isaiah 14:13).  Satan, prior to his fallen state (along with numerous angels holding different positions under him), was appointed the Messianic (ruling) angel over the newly created earth (Ezekiel 28:14).

Exactly how long Satan held this position until, as Scripture declares, “iniquity was found” in him (Ezekiel 28:15), is unrevealed.  And exactly how long his kingdom lay in ruins (Genesis 1:2a; Isaiah 14:16-17; Jeremiah 4:23-28), resulting from “iniquity” being found in him, is also unrevealed.  Time in Scripture begins with the restoration of the ruined creation.  That which precedes the restoration occurred during unrevealed time in eternity past.

(Scripture actually has very little to say about that which occurred prior to the beginning of the earth’s restoration from its ruined state [eternity past], as it also has very little to say about that which will occur beyond the end of the Messianic Kingdom [eternity future].

The focus of Scripture is on the seven thousand years lying between events surrounding the restoration of the heavens and the earth and the creation of man on the one hand and the destruction of the same heavens and earth [with a view to a new heavens and earth] at the end of the Messianic Kingdom on the other.

Scripture provides only a glimpse into events outside the scope of the seven thousand years, revealing only essential information for man to possess, allowing him to place events occurring during the seven thousand years in their proper perspective.)

Satan, as provincial ruler over one province in God’s kingdom, became dissatisfied with his position and sought to occupy a higher position, actually the highest of all positions.  Rather than being content to rule under God over one province, Satan sought to be “like the Most High” and rule over all the provinces in the universe (Isaiah 14:13-14).  He sought to occupy the place that God occupied, becoming the Supreme Ruler over all things.

Satan though failed in his attempt; and, as a result, his kingdom was reduced to a ruin, as seen in Genesis 1:2a:

And the earth was [‘became’] without form, and void; and darkness was [‘became’ (word not in Hebrew text, though implied from the first verb)] upon the face of the deep [‘raging waters’]

The earth was reduced to a ruined state, with the light of the sun darkened (cf. Jeremiah 4:23, 28).  Thus, Satan’s sin must have affected the entire solar system with its sun and nine revolving planets.

However, though Satan had disqualified himself as the earth’s ruler and his kingdom had been reduced to a ruined state — submerged in total darkness — he continued to reign.  A principle of biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler hold his position until he is actually replaced (cf. 1 Samuel 15:26; 2 Samuel 1:10).

Then, in Genesis 1:2-31 [2b], we read about the beginning of God’s intervention in matters surrounding His original intent for the earth.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. . . . (Genesis 1:2-3ff [2b])

According to Isaiah 45:18, God had not created the earth to lie in the ruined state in which it lay following Satan’s sin:

. . . He created it [the earth] not in vain [i.e., not ‘without form’ (the same word, tohu, appears in the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:2a, translated ‘without form’)], He formed it [the earth] to be inhabited . . . . (KJV)

But, even though God set about to place the material creation back into a condition wherein its original purpose could be realized, He could not allow Satan to continue as the provincial ruler over this one province in His kingdom.  Thus, immediately following the restoration of the earth with its plant and animal life, God created man.  And the stated reason is clearly given:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion [Hebrews, radah, ‘rule’ (same word translated ‘rule’ in Psalm 110:2)] . . . . (Genesis 1:26)

This is the dominion that Satan possessed.  Thus, man was brought into existence to rule the restored earth in the stead of Satan.

Man though didn’t receive the scepter immediately following his creation.  In fact, man never held the scepter, else he, rather than Satan, would still hold it today (had man held the scepter, it could not have reverted back to Satan’s possession at the time of man’s fall — note the principle of biblical government concerning incumbent rulers).

Rather, immediately following his creation, apart from the scepter being taken from Satan and given to man at this time, man was told,

Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion [Hebrews, radah, ‘rule’] . . . . (Genesis 1:28)

Man would eventually hold the scepter.  But, before man could act in the capacity for which he had been created, Satan, through Eve, brought about his fall (Genesis 3:1-7).  Satan knew why man had been created; and he knew, from experience, that if he could bring about man’s fall, man would no longer be qualified to take the scepter.  Man would be in a fallen state, as Satan, allowing Satan to continue holding the scepter.

When man sinned, the earth once again became in a ruined state.  However, this time the ruin was of such a nature that it allowed man to continue living on the earth in his fallen state, for God’s purpose surrounding His bringing man into existence must ultimately be realized (Romans 11:29).

Thus, though the entire material creation has been brought under a curse because of man’s fall (Genesis 3:17-19), the curse will one day be lifted (Acts 3:21; Romans 8:18-23).  Redemption has been provided, and redeemed man will one day be brought back into the position where he can hold the scepter; and he will hold this scepter on a restored earth.

In the interim though, Satan, because of a divine regal appointment at a time preceding man, continues to reign.

In accord with the original pattern set forth in Genesis chapters one and two, God is going to work six more days to restore both the material creation and man.  God’s original intent for restoring the earth and bringing man into existence must be realized.

A qualified provincial ruler (rather than a disqualified provincial ruler) must ultimately hold the scepter and rule over this one province in God’s kingdom.

Then, also in accord with the original pattern, God is going to rest the seventh day from all His work — the time during which man will hold the scepter.  One of God’s attributes is His immutability.  He does not change (Malachi 3:6).  Consequently, once God has established a pattern revealing His work in a particular realm, no change can ever occur, for the pattern is set perfectly in the beginning.  And with this in mind, when we read in the opening verses of Genesis about the way God restored a ruined creation in the beginning, we can only expect any subsequent ruined creation to be restored after exactly the same fashion.  This is why we find God taking six more days to restore the present ruined creation and ruined man, with a view to a seventh day of rest following the six days of work.

And Peter, in his second epistle — an epistle built around a septenary structure (cf. 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:3-8) — was very careful to tell those to whom he was writing that the six and seven days in the latter restoration and rest are not days of twenty-four hours each but days of 1,000 years each:

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing [lit., ‘stop allowing this one thing to escape your notice’], that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8)

THE REST SET BEFORE ISRAEL

The rest set before Israel was to be realized following the Israelites’ conquest of Canaan and the nation being established in that land “above all people [above all the Gentile nations],” as “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6; cf. Joshua 1:1-13).

Israel, occupying this position, was to be at rest; and the nations, likewise, in subjection to and being blessed through Israel, were to be at rest as well.

From a naturalistic viewpoint, somewhat of a mystery within the eternal plans and purposes of God enters at this point in Scripture.  The removal of Israel from Egypt to realize what could only be a seventh-day rest within the septenary arrangement of Scripture (Hebrews 4:4-9) was extended to Israel after only two and one-half days (two and one-half millennia) of the necessary six days (six millennia) had elapsed.  That is, the rest set before Israel under Moses (and later under Joshua) was extended to the nation about 2,500 years beyond the creation of Adam, only 2,500 years into the 6,000 years that must come to pass (years that God must use to restore the ruined creation, in accord with the original pattern) before God could rest from His work.

Aside from the preceding, the Sabbath was given to Israel shortly after the nation came out of Egypt, forming a sign of a “perpetual [an ‘everlasting’] covenant.”  The Israelites, by keeping the Sabbath week after week, following six days of work, were to be continually reminded of a future rest awaiting the people of God.

The past rest, following six days of work, foreshadowed a future rest, which, as well, would follow six days of work.  Every time that the Israelites kept the Sabbath, following six days of work, they were acknowledging that which God was about to do, following a corresponding six days of work.

The Sabbath was a “sign,” and a sign portends something beyond itself.  According to Exodus 31:13-17, the Israelites were to look back to the Sabbath in Genesis 2:2-3 (preceded by six days of work) and know that the Sabbath that they were to keep week after week (following six days of work) foreshadowed a future day of rest (following six present days of work).

The Sabbath was to be kept by Israel “throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant”; and the Sabbath constituted a “sign” that reflected back on Genesis 1; 2 but looked to a day beyond the weekly Sabbath itself.

This is the primary reason God was so particular about Israel observing the Sabbath.  The Sabbath pointed to something beyond itself, with the basis for that to which it pointed established after an unchangeable fashion in history.  And at the time God gave the Sabbath to Israel, He thought enough of seeing His plans and purposes pertaining to the material creation and to man one day coming to pass — plans and purposes that will be realized on the seventh day, the coming Sabbath of rest (after six days of work, after 6,000 years of work) — that He set the penalty for any Israelite’s failure to keep the Sabbath as “death” (Exodus 31:14-15).

However, seemingly, under Moses (and later Joshua), God was moving Israel toward a goal that, according to the “sign” of the Sabbath given to Israel during this same time, could not be realized for another three and one-half millennia.  Thus, how could God remove Israel from Egypt to fulfill a purpose, which, according to the very “sign” of the Sabbath, could not be fulfilled at this time?

A somewhat similar set of circumstances can be seen at Christ’s first coming almost 1,500 years later.  Christ offered to Israel the kingdom of the heavens, with the thought in mind that, contingent on Israel’s acceptance of the King and the Kingdom, the Messianic Era would be ushered in at that time (cf. Matthew 23:37; Acts 2:15-21, 37-38; 3:19-21; 7:54-56).

The questions are: (1) How could God deliver His people from Egypt to occupy a position in the land of Canaan which, according to the septenary arrangement of Scripture, it was not possible for them to occupy for another 3,500 years?  or, (2) How could Christ make a bona fide offer of the kingdom to Israel at His first coming that, again, according to the septenary arrangement of Scripture, could not have been established at that time?  The offer was extended at a time 2,000 years prior to the 1,000-year Sabbath of rest.

And to further complicate the matter, note the severity of God’s punishment for Israel’s actions in each instance.  An entire unbelieving generation was overthrown during Moses’ day because of Israel’s refusal to enter the land at Kadesh-Barnea, and the house of Israel was left desolate (a desolation that would last 2,000 years and reach its peak at the end of this time) because of Israel’s rejection of the King and Kingdom at Messiah’s first coming.

Why such dire consequences for Israel’s actions in each instance if we are dealing with things that the nation couldn’t actually enter into and fulfill at either time?

Then there’s the matter of the Old Testament types dealing with the Church to add a further complication.  These types must be fulfilled, which means Israel could not have received the King and the proffered Kingdom at Christ’s first coming.  For, had Israel received the King and the Kingdom, there would have been no need for God to call the Church into existence (the Church was called into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected, and had Israel not rejected the kingdom of the heavens . . .).

Any biblical response to the preceding questions or thoughts can really only be looked upon after one fashion.  In Isaiah 55:8-9 God states,

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

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Man looks upon matters from a finite perspective, seeing only the past and present.  God though looks upon the same matters from an infinite perspective, seeing not only the past and present but also the future.  Resultantly, God’s thoughts about matters and His ways of doing things, emanating from the infinite, are not the same as finite man’s thoughts and ways at all.

Thus, for the creature to question why the Creator has carried or presently carries out His plans and purposes after a certain fashion is completely invalid.  Such should never happen.  We’re told how God has carried out His plans and purposes in the past, we’re told how He is presently carrying out these same plans and purposes, and we’re told what will occur in the future (after six days, after six millennia) surrounding His plans and purposes being brought to fruition.

And, from beginning to end, this is not only the sole Word on the matter but it is also the final Word.

The wisdom of this world [man’s wisdom]” is foolishness with God, and “the thoughts of the wise [man’s thoughts]” are vain (1 Corinthians 3:19-20).  It is all finite and not in accord with Isaiah 55:8-9 at all.

That’s why we are called upon to simply believe the record that God has given.  Though there are many things that we cannot understand, we can know that the record was given by One with infinite wisdom and understanding and will always be in perfect accord with that which He has revealed in Isaiah 55:8-9.

This is why Paul told Timothy, “Preach the Word . . . .” (2 Timothy 4:2).  What man has to say or what he thinks about matters is of no moment whatsoever.  In God’s eyes it is no more than foolishness; it is no more than vanity.  But what God’s Word has to say about matters is of infinite, supreme moment.  The whole of the matter is that plain and simple.

THE REST AWAITING THE PEOPLE OF GOD

A Sabbath rest is coming for the people of God.  This is plainly taught in numerous portions of Scripture.  And this rest awaits Israel as well as the Church.

Israel in that day will be placed back in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, on the earth; and the Church in that day will be placed in that promised heavenly land, above the earth.  And there will be a dual reign by Israel’s Messiah from both David’s throne on earth and His Own throne in the heavens above the earth.

Israel, with the nation’s Messiah dwelling on David’s throne in the midst of the Jewish people, will hold the scepter on earth.  Israel, placed under the new covenant, will be “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6), at long last realizing the reason why the nation was called out of Egypt under Moses almost 3,500 years ago.

And the Church, seated on the throne as consort queen with Christ in the heavens, will likewise hold the scepter.  The new creation “in Christ” — the one new man — will rule from the heavens over the earth as “kings and priests,” “a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 5:10).  The Church will, in that day, realize the reason God called this new entity into existence almost 2,000 years ago.

In that coming day, following the adoption of Christians (which has to do with the placing of “sons” [Christians] in a firstborn status [Romans 8:14-23]) and the restoration of Israel (presently God’s firstborn son [Exodus 4:22-23; Romans 11:25-26]), God will have three firstborn Sons — Jesus, Israel, and the Church — to exercise rule over the earth (Exodus 4:22; Hebrews 1:6; 12:23; cf. Hebrews 2:10-11).  And in that day, during the seventh millennium, man, along with the material creation, will enter into the long-awaited Sabbath of rest.

1)  ISRAEL TODAY AND IN THAT DAY

There is a type of unrest in the world today unlike anything man has ever previously seen.  And this unrest, from a biblical perspective, can be directly attributed to only one thing:  Israel’s presence in the land (the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), before the time, out of God’s will.  And the working of Satan as he directs his attack against Israel fits into the matter after a particular fashion because of the present position that Israel occupies in relation to the Gentile nations.

Satan, because he knows Israel’s identity — God’s firstborn son, the nation in possession of the rights of primogeniture — has directed his attack against Israel since the time of the nation’s inception in Egypt.  Satan, at all costs, since the days of the Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt, has unceasingly sought to destroy this nation.  And his most intense and final blow against Israel will occur yet future during the days of another Middle East ruler — Antichrist, who will also be an “Assyrian.”

Thus, Satan’s attack against Israel really remains unchanged whether Israel is in or out of the land (e.g., note conditions during the days of the Third Reich [immediately prior to the existence of an established Jewish nation in the Middle East], present conditions [during the time when a recognized Jewish nation exists], and conditions that will exist during the last half of the Tribulation [following the nation being uprooted from her land and scattered among the Gentile nations once again]).

But, with Israel in the land, out of God’s will, there is a type of unrest among the Gentile nations (nations through which Satan and his angels rule) that does not exist with Israel out of the land, out of God’s will.

An allusion to this national unrest with Israel in the land but out of God’s will is the way that the book of Jonah begins.  Jonah had been called to go to “Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it.”  He was a prophet within the nation that had been called into existence to carry God’s message to the Gentile nations of the world (Isaiah 43:10; Matthew 12:39), and God had called Jonah to carry His message to a particular segment of the Gentiles — those within the city of Nineveh.

However, Jonah refused to heed God’s call and, instead, went in the opposite direction.  Jonah booked passage on board a ship headed for Tarshish.  Nineveh was east, but Jonah headed west.  In this respect, Jonah became a type of the nation of Israel (Jonah, in his experiences, was also a type of Christ in another respect [Matthew 12:39-40]).

Viewing the whole book of Jonah with respect to Israel,

1) Jonah was commissioned to go to the Gentiles (Jonah 1:1-2).

2) Jonah refused to go, ultimately ending up in the sea (Jonah 1:3ff).

3) Jonah later cried out to God in his distress and sufferings, from the sea, from the place of death (Jonah 2:2-9).

4) God then heard his cry, raised him from the dead, removed him from the sea, and placed him back in the land (Jonah 2:10).

5) Jonah, back in the land, was re-commissioned to go to the Gentiles (Jonah 3:1-2).

6) And his re-commission resulted in the salvation of the Gentiles to which he had originally been sent (Jonah 3:3ff).

We are presently living during the latter time of that period typified by Jonah in the sea (part two in the preceding).  Though a remnant is in the land, comprising a present Israeli nation, the majority of Israelites in the world today are still dispersed among the Gentile nations (the “nations” typified by the sea into which Jonah was cast [cf. Daniel 7:2-3; Revelation 13:1; 17:1, 15]).

The time when Israel will cry out in her distress and sufferings (part three in the preceding) will be during the latter half of the coming Tribulation.  This is seen in an earlier type, during the days of Moses (Exodus 2:23-24).  And as then, so in the book of Jonah, and so will it be yet future:

So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them. (Exodus 2:24-25).

With Jonah in the ship out of God’s will, Note Jonah 1:4,

. . . the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.

And the reason:

1) In the type, in time past:  Jonah’s presence in the ship, going in a direction contrary to that which the Lord had called him to go.

2) In the antitype, during the present day and time:  Israel in the land, going in a direction contrary to that which the Lord had called the nation to go, seen in those forming the present nation of Israel.

Thus, the same situation seen in the book of Jonah exists in the world today — a situation that is more intense in the Middle East but exists worldwide.  And a major move among the Gentile nations during the present time is their efforts to bring about peace in the troubled Middle East.

Leaders among the Gentile nations know that Israel is the key nation in any Middle East peace endeavor (and, consequently, world peace as well), though the reason for this is not understood at all.  The one thing that they completely fail to grasp is the fact that the problem that they are attempting to solve is spiritual, in more ways than one — ways that the Gentile nations do not even begin to understand or have any control over whatsoever.

Thus, even if the nations did have an understanding of the problem, they couldn’t resolve it (Hosea 5:13-14).  The nations don’t — they can’t during the present age — act in the spiritual realm.

Thus, though Antichrist, when he appears, will seemingly bring about Middle East peace, appearing to resolve the present intractable problem, the latter end will be worse than the former (for his act will not only run completely contrary to the existing spiritual problem but he will, in the end, seek to utterly destroy Israel).  Middle East conditions, though seemingly appearing to stabilize or improve at times for brief periods, can really go in only one direction under existing circumstances.  They can only continue to deteriorate.

If they didn’t, we would have a theological problem, for Scripture teaches that the current situation can only move in a particular, revealed direction.  That is, the sea could only have continued to increasingly rage so long as Jonah was in the ship out of the Lord’s will, which is exactly the picture today.

True peace in the Middle East, producing rest among the Gentile nations, can result only by bringing about a correct solution to the real problem.  And that can be brought to pass only one way Israel must be uprooted from her land and driven back out among the nations, with repentance following.  This will then be followed by the return of Israel’s Messiah, the national conversion of the nation, and the nation’s subsequent willingness — even apparent eagerness (cf. Isaiah 53:1ff; Jonah 3:1ff) — to then go to the Gentile nations as God’s witness to these nations.

The present unrest among the Gentile nations of the world will reach its climax in the very near future with the return of Israel’s Messiah, the national conversion and restoration of Israel, “all nations” being brought against Jerusalem to battle, and the subsequent treading of the winepress (Zechariah 12:9-14; 14:1-9; Romans 11:26; Revelation 14:14-20; 19:11-21).  Only then can there be rest among the nations.  Only then can the earth’s long-awaited Sabbath be brought to pass (Revelation 20:1ff).

(For additional information on the preceding, refer to the author’s book, in this site, The Time of the End BOOK, Appendixes 1, 2, “The Intractable Middle East Problem,” and “The Death of the High Priest.”)

2)  THE CHURCH TODAY AND IN THAT DAY

Scripture teaches unequivocally that Christians are to “labor [present]” in order to “enter into that rest [future]” (Hebrews 4:11).  This has to do with activity during the six days of work (6,000 years) in view of resting on the Sabbath day (the seventh 1,000-year period).

God’s people are to be busily engaged during time covered by the six days (which, for Christians, would be the last two days of the six — the present dispensation) with activity as outlined in the parables of the talents and pounds (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27).

The Householder has gone away “to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” (Luke 19:12).  In the interim, in connection with His household servants properly carrying out their assigned household activity during His time of absence, the Householder has promised His servants compensations, rewards upon His return, commensurate with their faithfulness in the house during His time of absence.  And these compensations, rewards will be realized in the kingdom that He has gone away to receive (Matthew 25:19-23; Luke 19:15-29).

Servitude in the house (present), within a Scriptural framework, is always with a view to the kingdom (future).  Thus, faithfulness in the Lord’s house during the present dispensation is to be carried out in an unceasing manner with one goal in view; and works emanating out of faithfulness exhibited after this fashion — having one’s eyes fixed on the goal out ahead (Hebrews 12:1-2) — will result in the proper “just recompense of reward” (Hebrews 2:2; 10:23-26), allowing Christians to enter into the earth’s coming Sabbath rest, not as servants in the house but as co-heirs with Christ in the kingdom.
Chapter Six
The Septenary Arrangement of Scripture

There remains therefore a rest [Sabbath rest] to the people of God.  (Hebrews 4:9)

Hebrews 4:1-11 deals with a rest that will be realized by “the people of God” during the seventh millennium dating from the restoration of the earth and the creation of man in Genesis 1.

Teachings surrounding this rest, textually and contextually, viewed from the standpoint of the way matters are outlined in the book of Hebrews, are based on three portions of Old Testament Scripture:

1) The experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua (Hebrews 3:2-19).

2) Reference back to God’s work and subsequent rest during the seven days of Genesis 1; 2 (Hebrews 4:4).

3) The Sabbath given to Israel, which the nation was to keep week after week following six days of work (Hebrews 4:9).

The experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua, during a past dispensation, form the type; and the experiences of Christians under Christ during the present dispensation, leading into the coming dispensation, form the antitype.

Then, teachings surrounding a rest lying before both the Israelites in the type and Christians in the antitype are drawn from the rest that God entered into following six days of work in Genesis chapters one and two.

And the Sabbath was given to the Jewish people to keep ever before them, throughout their generations, that which was foreshadowed by events in the opening two chapters of Genesis (cf. Exodus 20:8-11; 31:13-17).

Teachings drawn from Genesis chapters one and two form the key to the entire matter, and a correct understanding and interpretation of these opening chapters is not something that should be taken lightly.  Scripture is built upon a structure that is laid down in these two chapters, and an individual’s understanding and interpretation of numerous things throughout the remainder of Scripture will be governed by his understanding and interpretation of this opening section of Scripture.

If one understands these opening verses correctly, he will understand how God has structured His revelation to man, allowing him to grasp numerous things that he could not otherwise understand.  However, if one fails to understand these opening verses correctly, the opposite will be true.  He will not have gone in a correct direction at the beginning, which can only reflect negatively on his understanding of related matters in all future studies.

The preceding, for example, is the reason many individuals fail to see the proper relationship of the Sabbath rest in Hebrews 4:9 to God’s rest following six days of work in Genesis 2:2-3 (cf. Hebrews 4:4).  They attempt to relate this rest to something that Christians enter into during the present day and time, which is a time prior to the seventh day, a time not even in view.  Or, this is the reason many individuals attempt to understand 2 Peter 3:8 in the light of Psalm 90:4, when, contextually, 2 Peter 3:8 must be understood in the light of the septenary structure of Scripture, introduced at the beginning, in Genesis chapters one and two (cf. 2 Peter 1:16-18; 3:3-7).

With these things in mind, material in the next two sections of this chapter will deal with the structure of the Hebrew text in parts of Genesis chapter one — particularly Genesis 1:2 — allowing the septenary structure of this opening section of Scripture to be properly seen and understood from the standpoint of an exact rendering of the text itself.  Then, the remaining section in this chapter will deal with this septenary structure as seen in subsequent parts of Scripture.

One MUST FIRST understand that which is revealed at the beginning.  This is the KEY.  Only then can an individual be in a position to move forward and properly understand the remainder.

“WAS” OR “BECAME”

It would go without saying that there has been a great deal of controversy over the years among theologians and Christians in general concerning exactly how the opening two chapters of Genesis should be understood.  And it would also go without saying that, resultantly, confusion has reigned supreme in Christian circles concerning not only these chapters but the general tenor of the remainder of Scripture as well.

There are actually two major schools of thought surrounding the interpretation of these opening two chapters, though there are a number of variations within that are held by those in each school.

Those in one school (probably the position held by the majority today) view the six days in the first chapter as time revealing and describing God’s creative activity from verse one.

And those in the other school view these six days as time revealing God’s restoration of a ruined creation (creation seen in Genesis 1:1, a ruin of this creation seen in Genesis 1:2a, and God’s restoration of the ruined creation seen in Genesis 1:2b ff).

Then, there is a variation of the second school that is held by quite a few individuals and could be looked upon as a third school of thought.  Those holding to this view see Genesis 1:1 as other than an absolute beginning.  They see this verse as an opening statement dealing with restoration, not creation.  That is, they see the verse dealing, not with God’s creation of the heavens and the earth in an absolute sense (as most view the verse), but with the beginning of God’s restoration (reforming, remolding, refashioning) of a previously perfect creation that had been reduced to a ruin (with the creation of the heavens and the earth per se not seen in these opening verses).

Much of the controversy surrounding these different views is centered in the linguistics of verse two.  Grammarians go back to the Hebrew text and deal with two areas, and good Hebrew grammarians reach different conclusions in both realms:

1) The relationship of the three circumstantial clauses that form verse two to that which is stated in verse one.

2) The meaning of the Hebrew word hayah in verse two (translated “was”).

THE THREE CIRCUMSTANTIAL CLAUSES

The three circumstantial clauses in Genesis 1:2 KJV are simply the three clauses that form the verse:

1)  And the earth was without form, and void;

2)  And darkness was upon the face of the deep.

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

In the Hebrew text there is what is called a “waw” beginning verse two (a conjunctive or disjunctive particle [actually, a letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the waw, prefixed to a word], usually translated “and” in most English texts).  Some grammarians view this particle prefixed to the word beginning verse two in a conjunctive sense (showing a connection between v. 1 and v. 2), and other grammarians view it in a disjunctive sense (showing a separation between v. 1 and v. 2).

(The other two circumstantial clauses in verse two each begin with a “waw” prefixed to their words as well, which will be discussed later.

The Hebrew text of the Old Testament uses the “waw” more frequently in a conjunctive [“and”] rather than a disjunctive [“but”] sense.  Of the approximately 28,000 usages of this particle, some 25,000 appear to be conjunctive and some 3,000 disjunctive.

Normally the context determines how the particle is to be understood.)

Those viewing the “waw” prefixed to the word beginning Genesis 1:2 in a conjunctive sense would usually see the three circumstantial clauses as inseparably connected with verse one; and those viewing this “waw” in a disjunctive sense would, instead, see a separation between these two verses.

If there is an inseparable connection of the clauses in verse two with verse one (in a conjunctive sense), and verse one describes an absolute beginning in relation to the heavens and the earth (God’s actual creation of the heavens and the earth in the beginning), then verse two would have to describe how God created the earth in the beginning (i.e.,without form, and void”).

Understanding the structure of the Hebrew text after this fashion would necessitate viewing that which is described at the beginning of verse two as the condition of the earth at the conclusion of the action described in verse one.  That is to say, God would have initially created the earth (v. 1) in the condition described in verse two.  Then the six subsequent days would have to be looked upon as time in which God, step by step, performed and completed His creative work introduced in verse one.

The preceding view of the structure of the Hebrew text is the main reason for the position held by some that Genesis 1:1 describes the beginning of God’s restorative work rather than an absolute beginning.  Those holding this view see the three circumstantial clauses in verse two as inseparably connected with verse one.  But they also see that Scripture teaches a subsequent ruin of the earth following God’s creation of the heavens and the earth in the beginning (e.g., cf. Genesis 1:2 and Isaiah 45:18 [the Hebrew word tohu, translated “without form” in Genesis 1:2 is translated “in vain” in Isaiah 45:18; and this verse in Isaiah specifically states that God did not create the earth tohu, i.e., after the fashion in which it is seen in Genesis 1:2]).

Thus, those who see God’s perfect creation undergoing a subsequent ruin but also view the three circumstantial clauses in verse two as inseparably connected with verse one (in a conjunctive sense) are, in a respect, forced into a particular position concerning the interpretation of the opening verses of Genesis.  They are forced into the position of seeing the actual creation of the heavens and the earth, and also the ruin of the heavens and the earth, as occurring at a time prior to Genesis 1:1, events which they would see as not being dealt with per se in the opening verses of Scripture at all.

Then there are those grammarians who see the “waw” prefixed to the word beginning verse two as disjunctive.  These grammarians would understand this Hebrew “waw” in a similar sense to the way in which the Greek word de is used in the New Testament (normally disjunctive), as opposed to the Greek word kai (the word usually used to show a conjunctive sense).  In this respect, the translators of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) used de to translate the first “waw” in what was apparently meant to be a disjunctive sense beginning Genesis 1:2 (with the conjunctive kai used to translate the remaining two “waws” prefixed to the words beginning the other two circumstantial clauses in the verse).

Using the KJV text to illustrate, the translators of the Septuagint used de and kai to translate the three Hebrew “waws” in this manner:

But [de] the earth was without form, and void; and [kai] darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And [kai] the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And, viewing the verse beginning in a disjunctive sense of the preceding nature, there would be no connection between the first two verses of Genesis.  Rather, a separation would exist instead.  Within this view, one would normally see verse one revealing an absolute beginning, with verse two (along with the verses following) revealing events occurring at later points in time.

(Most individuals holding this linguistic view see verse two as a description of God’s perfect creation [from verse one] being brought into a ruined state, separated from verse one by an unrevealed period of time.  And they would, accordingly, see God’s activity during the six days as activity surrounding the restoration of this ruined creation.

Some individuals holding this linguistic view though still see the six days as time revealing God’s creative activity.  They view verse one as describing a “grand summary declaration that God created the universe in the beginning.”  Then, apart from seeing a connection between v. 1 and v. 2, they view God’s activity during the six days as a revelation concerning how God accomplished that which He had previously stated in verse one.)

THE HEBREW WORD “HAYAH”

The Hebrew word hayah is translated “was” in most English versions of Genesis 1:2 (“And the earth was . . . .”).  The word is found twenty-seven times throughout chapter one and about 3,570 times in the entire Old Testament.

The etymology of the word is somewhat questionable (most look at the probable primary meaning of hayah as “falling” or “to fall”).  Hebrew scholars though see the word used over and over in the Old Testament in the sense of “to be,” “to become,” or “to come to pass.”

And through attempts to trace the etymology of the word, comparing Hebrew with Arabic (a related Semitic language), and seeing how the word is used in the Old Testament, many scholars have come to look upon the word in the sense of a verb of “being” (“to be”).  But scholars also recognize that it is not completely accurate to equate the word with the English verb of being after this fashion.

The word is translated different ways in English versions — e.g., “was” or “were” (Genesis 1:2-3, 5, 7-9, 13, etc.), “be” (Genesis 1:3, 6, 14, 29, etc.), “became [or, ‘to become’]” (Genesis 2:7, 10; 3:22, etc.).  But that’s in English versions.  In the Latin Vulgate there are thirteen instances where hayah has been translated in the sense of “became” in Genesis chapter one alone; and in the Septuagint there are twenty-two such instances in this one chapter (out of the twenty-seven times hayah appears in chapter one).

The first use of hayah in Scripture is in Genesis 1:2 — the verse being discussed.  But going beyond this verse for a moment, note how the word is used elsewhere in chapter one.

Hayah appears twice in Genesis 1:3, translated “be” and “was.”  And translating, “Let light be [or ‘become’]: and light became,” would actually best convey the thought of that which occurred.

Then note Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31.  The word hayah appears two times in the latter part of each verse (both translated in a combined sense in the English text by one word — “were”).  Translating literally from the Hebrew, using “was” in the translation, the text would read, “. . . And there was evening, and there was morning, [comprising] the first day . . . the second day . . . the third day,” etc.

Actually though, “became” would really better convey the thought surrounding that which occurred, for evening and morning came to pass, “became,” comprising each of the six different days.

(Leupold, a Hebrew grammarian from past years, in his commentary on Genesis, appears to capture the overall thought of hayah to mark beginning and/or ending points in each day quite well by translating, “. . . Then came evening, then came morning — the first day . . . the second day . . . the third day,” etc.)

Then note the words, “. . . and it was so,” at the end of Genesis 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, 30.  “Was” in each reference is a translation of the word hayah, and it is easy to see that “became” rather than “was” would really provide a better description of that which occurred in each instance, translating, “. . . and it became so” (cf. “Let there be [a translation of hayah] . . . .” [Genesis 1:3, 6, 14]).

Though hayah has been translated “was,” “were,” or “be” throughout the first chapter of Genesis, the word is actually used mainly throughout this chapter in the sense of “be,” “became,” or “had become.”

Attention is called to this fact because numerous individuals look at translating hayah “became [or ‘had become’]” as so rare in the Old Testament that serious consideration should not be given to the thought of translating Genesis 1:2, “And [or ‘But’] the earth became [or ‘had become’] . . . .” 

But the rarity is in the English translations, not in a literal Hebrew rendering or in certain other translations (e.g., in the KJV there are only 17 instances in all of Genesis where hayah has been translated “became [or, ‘become’]” [Genesis 2:7, 10; 3:22; 9:15; 18:18; 19:26; 20:12; 21:20; 24:67; 32:10; 34:16; 37:20; 47:20, 26; 48:19];  but in the Septuagint there are at least 146 instances [and some 1,500 instances in the entire Old Testament]).

THE HEBREW TEXT ALONE

Can linguistic questions surrounding the first two verses of Genesis be resolved from the Hebrew text alone?  Can one determine from the Hebrew text alone whether the “waw” beginning verse two should be understood as conjunctive or disjunctive?  Or, can one determine from the Hebrew text alone how the word hayah should be translated in verse two?  Or, can one determine from the Hebrew structure of verse two alone how the remainder of the first chapter should be understood in an overall sense?

Some Hebrew scholars would answer in the affirmative.  But, because of the different ways in which a number of Hebrew scholars view the matter at hand, using the Hebrew text alone, the issue could only be resolved within their minds and possibly within the minds of others who would follow their same line of reasoning.  And note that the issue would be resolved by different scholars after entirely different fashions, all based on their understanding of the grammatical structure of the Hebrew text.

However, there is another way to approach the matter; and that other way is to see how the whole of Scripture deals with the issue at hand.  If the whole of Scripture can be shown to support one view alone — which it can — then the correct linguistic understanding of Genesis 1:2 and the corresponding correct interpretation of chapter one can easily and unquestionably be demonstrated.

This is not to say that Genesis 1:2 or the first chapter of Genesis as a whole cannot be understood correctly apart from first going to the remainder of Scripture, for that cannot be the case.  God would not have begun His revelation to man after a fashion that man could not have understood apart from subsequent revelation (requiring approx. 1,500 years to complete).  But this is to say that the correct linguistic position for Genesis 1:2 and the correct corresponding interpretation of the entire chapter — which can be shown by going to the remainder of Scripture — is a position that God would have expected man to see as evident when he began reading at this point in Genesis, though man many times has not done so (past) and does not do so (present).

Thus, in this respect, knowledge of the way in which the Hebrew text is structured is really not going to resolve the issue at hand.  And time has been spent in the Hebrew construction of Genesis 1:2 and other related passages, not in an attempt to resolve the issue, but to demonstrate two basic things:

1) There are good, reputable Hebrew scholars who hold varying views on the opening verses of Genesis, which are many times based strictly on their understanding of the structure of the Hebrew text, apart from contextual considerations.

2) Though the linguistics of the Hebrew text (within the different ways scholars understand the linguistics of the text) will support any one of these views, all but one are out of line with the remainder of Scripture and, are consequently wrong.

That is to say, though it may be possible to support different views from the structure of the Hebrew text alone (the way different scholars understand the syntax of the Hebrew text), different views cannot be supported when the remainder of Scripture is taken into consideration — with or without the Hebrew text.  Scripture will support only one view, and that one view is the position alluded to in the opening portion of this chapter.

Scripture will support:

1) “Creation” (an absolute creation [Genesis 1:1]).

2) “Ruin” of the creation (which means that the “waw” prefixed to the word beginning Genesis 1:2 must be understood in a disjunctive sense [“but”], and the Hebrew word hayah must be understood in the sense of “became [or ‘had become’]” [Genesis 1:2a]).

3) “Restoration” of the ruined creation (Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]).

4) “Rest,” following six days of restorative work (Genesis 1:2-2:3 [2b]).  And to illustrate this is not difficult at all.  In fact, the opposite is true It is a very simple matter to illustrate, from other Scripture, exactly how the opening verses of Genesis must be understood.

TOHU WAVOHU

In this respect, first note the words tohu wavohu from the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:2.
The words tohu wavohu are translated “without form and void” in the KJV/NKJV English text (“formless and void,” NASB; “formless and empty,” NIV; “waste and void,” ASV).  These two Hebrew words are used together only two other places throughout all of the Old Testament — in Isaiah 34:11 and Jeremiah 4:23.  And both of these passages present a ruin of that previously seen existing in an orderly state.

In Isaiah 34:11, Edom (Isaiah 34:6) was destined to become tohu wavohu (translated “confusion” and “emptiness” [KJV/NKJV], “desolation” and “emptiness” [NASB]).

And in Jeremiah 4:23-28, there is a comparison of that which had previously occurred relative to the earth in Genesis 1:2a to that which was about to occur relative to the land of Israel.

The land of Israel was about to become tohu wavohu.  That is, as seen in Jeremiah 4:23-28, God was about to do the same thing to the land of Israel (cf. Jeremiah 4:14-22) that He had previously done to the earth in Genesis 1:2a.  And the reason for both of these actions — that which God had done to the earth, and that which He was about to do to the land of Israel — was the same.  Sin had entered (sin on the part of Satan in the former, and sin on the part of the Jewish people in the latter).

And, in complete keeping with this type of understanding of the use of tohu wavohu in Isaiah 34:11 and Jeremiah 4:23, Isaiah 45:18 (where the Hebrew word tohu is used, translated “in vain”) clearly states that God did not create the earth (in Genesis 1:1) in the manner described in Genesis 1:2a.  Isaiah 45:18 states that God “created it [the earth] not in vain [not ‘tohu,’ not ‘without form,’].”

Thus, if Genesis 1:2a is to be understood in the light of related Scripture bearing on the subject (which it must be [cf. Psalm 12:6; Isaiah 8:20; 28:10; 1 Corinthians 2:13]), there can be only one possible interpretation — the ruin of a prior existing creation (from Genesis 1:1), because of sin.  The earth from verse one “became” tohu wavohu.

The ruin seen in both Genesis 1:2a and Jeremiah 4:23, for a purpose, is with a view to eventual restoration.  And the restoration seen in the continuing text of Genesis 1:2 (Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]) and in the overall passage of Jeremiah 4:23ff (Jeremiah 4:27b), as well as in related Scripture (e.g., Isaiah 35:1ff), is also for a purpose.

Then all subsequent Scripture is perfectly in line with this type of understanding of the opening section of Scripture.  The whole of subsequent Scripture is built on a septenary structure, with the foundation established and set in an unchangeable fashion at the beginning, in Genesis 1:1-2:3.

That is to say:

, there was a ruin of the material creation (because of sin), God took six days to restore the ruined The heavens and the earth were createdcreation, and He rested the seventh day.

Man was created on the sixth day, man fell into a state of ruin (because of sin), God is presently taking six days (6,000 years) to restore man, and God will rest the seventh day (the seventh 1,000-year period [cf. 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:3-8]).

And the latter restoration, patterned after the former restoration, is what the whole of Scripture is about.  The whole of Scripture is about the same thing initially introduced and established in an unchangeable fashion in the opening thirty-four verses of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-2:3).

The whole of Scripture is about the creation of man, his ruin, his restoration over a six-day period (over a 6,000-year period), followed by a seventh day of rest (a seventh 1,000-year period — the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God [Hebrews 4:9; cf. Hebrews 4:3-4], the Messianic Era).

As previously stated, man would have been expected to understand this opening section of Scripture after the preceding fashion at the time it was written.  And subsequent Scripture simply verifies the correctness of the way man would have been expected to understand this opening section at that time, apart from other revelation.

DAYS IN SCRIPTURE

The structure of God’s revelation to man will be set forth briefly under three headings (“The Sign of the Sabbath,” “The Structure of the Gospel of John,” and “The Structure of 2 Peter), and material discussed under these three headings will relate specifically to how particular sections of Scripture handle the matter at hand.  Then attention will be called to other related Scriptures outside these sections to better present the overall picture from the whole of Scripture.

THE SIGN OF THE SABBATH

The Sabbath was given to Israel as a sign, and the Sabbath was to be observed by the Jewish people “throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant” (Exodus 31:16).  In this respect, God stated concerning the Sabbath,

It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made [restored] the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:17)

When giving the Sabbath to Israel (cf. Exodus 20:11) or referring to the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 4:4-9), in each instance, for a very good reason, God called attention to that which had occurred in Genesis 1; 2.

There is a latter work of restoration, followed by rest, which is based on a former work of restoration, followed by rest; and the Sabbath was given to the Jewish people to keep this thought ever before them.

That is, though the sign of the Sabbath concerned a present work and future rest, it was based on a past work and rest.  God worked six days to restore a ruined creation in the opening chapter of Genesis; and on the sixth day, along with the completion of His work of restoration, He brought man into existence to rule over the restored material creation (Genesis 1:26-28).  Then God rested on the seventh day.

But a ruin ensued once again.  Man, an entirely new creation in the universe, fell; and, as a result, the restored material creation was brought under a curse (Genesis 3:17), leaving God with two ruined creations: man, and the material creation.

With that in mind, how did God, in the Genesis account, set about to restore these two ruined creations?  The answer is not only clearly revealed but it is also very simple.

According to Scripture, God set about to restore the subsequent ruined creations in exactly the same manner that He had used to restore the former ruined creation in the opening chapter of Genesis.  God set about to restore the two subsequent ruined creations over a six-day period (in keeping with Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]); and, in keeping with Genesis 2:2-3, following His restorative work, God would then rest on the seventh day.

The latter restoration must occur in complete keeping with the former restoration.  A divinely-designed pattern had been set in the former restoration — a pattern set perfectly in the beginning, which, accordingly, could never change.

Thus, the latter restoration must occur over a six-day period.  And this six-day period of restorative work must, as the former, be followed by a day of rest.

From a biblical standpoint, it is not possible for the matter to occur in any other manner.  And the Sabbath, following six days of work, was given to Israel to keep the thought ever before the Jewish people that, in accord with the opening verses of Genesis, God was going to once again rest for one day following six days of work to effect the restoration of that which is presently in a ruined state (both man and the material creation).

The Sabbath was a “sign,” and a sign in Scripture points to something beyond itself.  This “sign,” the Sabbath, points to a seventh-day rest that God will enter into with His people (“the people of God” in Hebrews 4:9) following six previous days of restorative work.

Each day in the former restoration and rest was twenty-four hours in length, but each day in the latter restoration and rest is revealed to be one thousand years in length (2 Peter 1:16-18; 3:3-8; cf. Matthew 16:28-17:5).  Based on the pattern set forth in Genesis chapters one and two, God is going to work for six thousand years during the present restoration and then rest the seventh one-thousand-year period.

Scripture begins by laying the foundational basis for this septenary arrangement of time in the opening verses (Genesis 1:1-2:3).  Then, accordingly, this is something seen or alluded to throughout Scripture (Exodus 31:13-17; Numbers 19:12; Hosea 5:15-6:2; Jonah 1:17; Matthew 17:1; Luke 24:21; John 1:29, 35, 43; 2:1; 5:9; 9:14; 11:6, 7; Hebrews 4:1, 4, 9).  And the matter is then brought to a conclusion in Revelation chapter twenty, where the 1,000-year Messianic Era is mentioned six times (Revelation 20:2-7), immediately prior to the eternal ages that are seen to follow (Revelation 21; 22).

Scripture deals with 7,000 years of time — time extending from the restoration of the earth and the creation of man to the end of the Messianic Kingdom.  Scripture has very little to say about that which occurred prior to these 7,000 years, and it also has very little to say about that which will occur following these 7,000 years.  Scripture is built on this septenary arrangement of time, which is based on the opening two chapters of Genesis; and this is an evident fact that must be recognized if one would correctly understand God’s redemptive plans and purposes that He has revealed in His Word.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

The Gospel of John is built around eight signs; and, as in the sign of the Sabbath, the signs in this gospel point to things beyond the signs themselves.

It is the Jew who requires a sign (1 Corinthians 1:22); and these signs, taken from numerous signs that Jesus performed during His earthly ministry, are directed (as was His ministry in that day) to the Jewish people.

Jesus performed signs of this nature for one central purpose:

. . . that you [the Jewish people] may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name [“life” having to do with the subject at hand, the proffered kingdom, not eternal life].  (John 20:30-31; cf. John 2:11; 5:46-47; 6:14, 21; 11:45)

Seven of the eight signs in John’s gospel were performed in connection with particular days, all in perfect keeping with one another, all in perfect keeping with the sign of the Sabbath, and all in perfect keeping with the septenary arrangement of Scripture.  And all of the signs refer, after different fashions, to the same thing.  They all refer to things surrounding Israel’s coming salvation and restoration, which will occur after six days (after 6,000 years), in the seventh day (in the seventh 1,000-year period).

But note the structure of the gospel of John as a whole.  The gospel is not only built around eight signs, which are all in keeping with the septenary arrangement of Scripture, but the complete gospel is built around this structure.  John’s gospel, in the opening two chapters, begins exactly as Genesis begins in the opening two chapters.

The gospel, as Genesis, opens with the words, “In the beginning [lit., ‘In beginning,’ in both Genesis (Hebrew text) and John (Greek text)].”  Then, the gospel of John continues to parallel Genesis.  In the opening two chapters of each, there is a creation, a ruin of the creation, a restoration of the ruined creation over six days, and a seventh day of rest.

Genesis deals with the preceding in relation to the ruined material creation, but the gospel of John deals with the matter in relation to ruined man.

In John chapter one, note “creation” in verse three and a “ruin” and beginning “restoration” in verse five.  Then most of the remainder of the chapter deals with the One who would bring about the restoration of ruined man (John 1:6ff), with this restoration occurring over six days time, followed by events of the seventh day — events foreshadowing those occurring in the coming Sabbath of rest (cf. John 1:29, 35, 43, 2:1ff).

Then, from that point, the remainder of the gospel of John continues to parallel Genesis, with the same subject matter dealt with throughout in both books.  Genesis deals with the subject matter through the use of types, and John deals with the subject matter through the use of signs.

And whether dealing with the types in Genesis or the signs in John, the end of the matter is the same as set forth in the first two chapters of each — that which will occur in the seventh day, the seventh 1,000-year period.

(Note in the preceding respect that the gospel of John should be set at the beginning of the New Testament, the first of the four gospels, as Genesis is set at the beginning of the Old Testament, the first of the five books of Moses.  Genesis tells the reader what the Old Testament is about, and the gospel of John tells the reader what the New Testament is about, with both Testaments relating exactly the same central message.

For additional information on Moses and John, see the author’s books, Bible One - Had You Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood and Signs in John's Gospel.)

THE STRUCTURE OF 2 PETER

Second Peter parallels Jude in the sense that both deal with the Word of the Kingdom and apostasy after a similar fashion.

Both epistles begin the same way.  The first chapter of 2 Peter is taken up with that which is stated in one verse in Jude (Jude 1:3).  Then the matter of apostasy is dealt with throughout most of the remainder of both epistles.  However, there are things dealt with in chapters one and three of 2 Peter (2 Peter 1; 2), showing the septenary structure of the epistle, which are not dealt with at all in Jude.

Peter exhorts his readers to make their “calling [pertaining to the kingdom] and election [‘selection’ for a position of power and authority in the kingdom] sure” (2 Peter 1:1-15); and Jude states the same thing in Jude 1:3 when he exhorts his readers to “earnestly contend for [‘earnestly strive (Greek: epagonizomai, meaning to earnestly strain every muscle of one’s being) with respect to’] the faith” (cf. 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7-8).  Then the thought of apostasy relative to “the faith” comes into view in both epistles.

However, Peter does something that Jude does not do.  Before beginning his dissertation on apostasy he calls attention to that which occurred on the Mount in Matthew 17:1-8 (2 Peter 1:16-18), which has to do with the Son of Man coming in His kingdom, after six days, on the seventh day (cf. Matthew 16:28-17:1).

Then toward the end of his epistle, Peter, unlike Jude, moves from thoughts surrounding apostasy to thoughts surrounding the existence and subsequent destruction of the heavens and the earth at two different times.

1) At a time following the creation of the heavens and the earth (“the heavens . . . of old,” and “the world that then was [the world existing at the time of ‘the heavens…of old’ (in Genesis 1:1, not during the days of Noah)]” [2 Peter 3:5-6]).

2) At a time following the restoration of the heavens and the earth (“the heavens and the earth that are now,” existing since the restoration in Genesis 1:2-25 {2b} [2 Peter 3:7]).

The destruction of the former is seen in Genesis 1:2a (“But the earth had become without form, and void; and darkness [the sun had ceased to give its light] was upon the face of the deep [‘the raging waters’]”), and the destruction of the latter — a destruction by fire — is seen in succeeding verses in 2 Peter (2 Peter 3:10ff).

Peter then draws the entire matter to a climax by stating that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).  Understood contextually (2 Peter 3:3-7), the verse is self-explanatory.  The “heavens and the earth, which are now” (2 Peter 3:7) must cover the entire septenary period from chapter one (2 Peter 1:16-18), else 2 Peter 3:8 would be meaningless.  And each day in this period is revealed to be one thousand years in length — six millennia of work, followed by one millennium of rest, based on the opening verses of Genesis.

(Note one thing about the restoration in Genesis 1:2-25 [2b] that should be understood.  This restoration could only have been a complete restoration.  No trace of “the world that then was” [the world preceding the ruin seen in Genesis 1:2a], or the subsequent ruined earth [in Genesis 1:2a], can be seen “in the heavens and the earth, which are now.”

A complete restoration would have removed all traces of anything having to do with “the world that then was” or with that world during that time when it lay in a ruined state.

That is to say, geology today cannot show evidence of any type of pre-existing creation or a ruin of that pre-existing creation, for a complete restoration — the only type of  restoration possible through the divine work seen in Genesis chapter one — would have removed all traces of a pre-existing creation and ruin.

In this respect, all that exists in the present secular world of history and science — e.g., the complete fossil record, the dinosaurs, topographical formations such as the Grand Canyon, etc. — would all have to be placed this side of the restoration seen in Genesis 1:2-25 [2b], within time covered by “the heavens and the earth, which are now.”

That which occurred during and resulted from the Noachian Flood, 1,656 years following the restoration of the earth [Genesis 6-8], along with later topographical changes on the earth during the days of Peleg [born 100 years after the Flood (Genesis 10:25)], must be looked to for an explanation of numerous things of the preceding nature, not to a world lying in ruins in Genesis 1:2a, or to a world existing prior to that time.)

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Viewing the whole of Scripture, the correct interpretation of the opening verses of Genesis can be clearly and unquestionably presented and understood through:

1) The manner in which the Hebrew words from Genesis 1:2a, tohu wavohu, are used elsewhere in Scripture (interpreting Scripture in the light of Scripture [Isaiah 34:11; 45:18; Jeremiah 4:23]).

2) And the typical nature of Old Testament history (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11), which has been set forth in a very evident divinely established septenary arrangement.

And these opening verses, providing the divinely established basis for that which follows, must be understood accordingly.

The Bible is a book of redemption; and only a correct view of the opening verses of Genesis can reflect positively, at the very outset, on God’s redemptive message as a whole — the restoration of a ruined creation, performed in its entirety through divine intervention, for a revealed purpose.

An incorrect view can, on the other hand, only have negative ramifications.  Creation alone, apart from a ruin and restoration of the creation, fails to convey the complete message at the outset of the Word; and Restoration alone (viewing the opening verse as other than an absolute beginning), apart from a record of the preceding creation and ruin, likewise fails to convey the complete message at this opening point in Scripture.

It is as F. W. Grant stated years ago relative to the existing parallel between the creation and ruin of the earth and the subsequent creation and ruin of man:

“The thought of a ruined condition of the earth succeeding its original creation . . . is . . . required by the typical view [that is, the earth’s creation, ruin, and subsequent restoration forms a type of (foreshadows) man’s creation, ruin, and subsequent restoration].”

Accordingly, the opening verses of Genesis cannot deal strictly with Creation; nor can these verses deal strictly with Restoration.  Either view would be out of line with the whole of Scripture, beginning with the central theme of Scripture, the message of redemption.

The only interpretative view that will fit — at all points — within the divinely established septenary arrangement of Scripture (which has it basis in these opening verses) is:

Creation (an absolute beginning, and a perfect creation [Genesis 1:1]).

A Ruin of the Creation (Genesis 1:2a).

A Restoration of the Ruined Creation (Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]).

Rest (in the type — six twenty-four-hour days of restorative work, followed by a twenty-four-hour day of rest; in the antitype — six 1,000-year days of restorative work, followed by a 1,000-year day of rest [Genesis 1:2-2:3 {2b}]).
Chapter Seven
Let Us Therefore Labor . . . .

Let us therefore labor [be diligent] to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [unbelief].

For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:11-13)

The “rest” lying before Christians is spoken of in different ways in Scripture.  It is a rest typified by the rest that lay before the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua (Hebrews 3:2-19; 4:6-8; cf. Deuteronomy 12:9; Joshua 1:13); it is a rest referred to by the sign of the Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9; cf. Exodus 31:13-17); and it is a rest that has its basis in the opening two chapters of Genesis (Hebrews 4:4; cf. Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:11; 31:17).

This is a rest into which one can enter only after he has entered the land to which he has been called (a heavenly land for Christians, typified by an earthly land for Israel).

Further, this is a rest into which one can enter only after the enemy inhabiting the land has been overthrown (Satan and his angels in the heavenly land, typified by the Gentile nations infiltrated by the Nephilim in the earthly land).  And this is a rest into which one can enter only after six days, on the seventh day (that is, after six millennia, on the seventh millennium).

The latter has to do with the sign of the Sabbath, which, in turn, is based on the opening two chapters of Genesis; and this is that rest to which Joshua looked when he spoke of “another day” (Hebrews 4:8; cf. Hebrews 4:4, 9).

Thus, the rest that Christians are to labor to enter into has to do with a future rest that can be realized only during the earth’s coming Sabbath (the seventh millennium); and this rest can be realized only in that heavenly land to which Christians have been called, after the enemy presently inhabiting the land has been overthrown.

We are to labor to enter into rest in that heavenly land,

. . . lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [unbelief]. (Hebrews 4:11; cf. Hebrews 4:1)

The allusion, of course, is to the experiences of the Israelites under Moses.  They failed to enter into the rest set before them “because of unbelief [‘unfaithfulness’]” (Hebrews 3:18).  And the warning to Christians under Christ is that exactly the same fate can, in like manner, befall them.  They too, through unfaithfulness, can fail to enter into the rest set before them.

In the type, those comprising the house of Moses had been called out of the land of Egypt to inhabit an earthly land removed from Egypt, the land of Canaan.  All activity in the house was for this purpose.  This was the goal in view.

But an entire unfaithful generation was overthrown short of this goal.  Those comprising this generation were cut off from the house of Moses, overthrown in the wilderness on the right side of the blood but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling (Numbers 13:31-33; 14:29-30).

Caleb and Joshua alone, of that generation, were singled out as exercising faith relative to their calling.  And Caleb and Joshua alone were singled out as being allowed to later enter the land, conquer the inhabitants, and realize an inheritance in that land (Numbers 13:30; 14:30; Joshua 14:13-14; 19:49-50).

And in the antitype, the purpose for and end result of activity in the house of Christ can only be the same as the purpose for and end result of activity in the house of Moses.  The antitype demands this, for the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.  Christians have been saved for a purpose, and that purpose has to do with the land set before them.

All activity in which household servants have been called to engage themselves during the present time, after some fashion, has to do with this purpose.  There is a goal in view, and that goal has to do with the heavenly land to which Christians have been called.

A servant in the house of Christ can exhibit either faithfulness or unfaithfulness, as clearly set forth by the actions of those comprising the house of Moses.  And also, as clearly set forth by the actions of those comprising the house of Moses, faithful servants will one day realize the goal of their calling, but not so with unfaithful servants.

Faithful servants will pass through the same experiences in the antitype as did Caleb and Joshua in the type.  They will be allowed to enter the land, victoriously combat the inhabitants (Ephesians 6:12ff), and one day realize an inheritance therein (Ephesians 1:11-23).

Christians exhibiting faithfulness after this fashion will one day realize the rights of the firstborn, inheriting as joint-heirs and ruling as co-heirs with God’s Son (Romans 8:17-18; 2 Timothy 2:10-12; Revelation 3:21).

Unfaithful servants though will be cut off from the house of Christ, as unfaithful Israelites were cut off from the house of Moses (Hebrews 4:1).  They, as the unfaithful Israelites in relation to their earthly calling, will not be allowed to enter that heavenly land and realize an inheritance therein.  They, as the unfaithful Israelites, will be overthrown on the right side of the blood but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling (Matthew 24:48-51; 2 Timothy 2:5, 12b).

If the preceding is not what is meant by the exhortation and warning in Hebrews 4:11, then, from a Scriptural framework, no meaning can really be derived from this verse.  The verse must be understood within a type-antitype framework in the light of its context, which begins with chapter three.  And this section of Scripture leading into Hebrews 4:11 has to do with the Israelites under Moses (type), Christians under Christ (antitype), and a rest lying before both (earthly for those under Moses, heavenly for those under Christ).

Let us [Christians] therefore be diligent to enter that rest [seventh-day rest, Sabbath rest], lest anyone [Christian] fall according to the same example of disobedience [“unfaithfulness” exhibited by the Israelites under Moses, which can also be exhibited by Christians under Christ]. (Hebrews 4:11)

THE WORD OF GOD

The concluding part of the portion of Scripture covering the second of the five major warnings in Hebrews deals with the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12-13) and Christ’s present high priestly ministry (Hebrews 4:14-16).  And there is a natural flow of thought into this section from the lengthy section dealing with parallels between the house of Moses and the house of Christ (Hebrews 3:1-4:11).

Revelation in verses twelve and thirteen, dealing with the Word of God, begins with “For,” showing a direct relationship between that which is about to follow and that which has preceded; and revelation in verses fourteen through sixteen, dealing with Christ’s present high priestly ministry, begins with “Seeing,” again showing a direct relationship between that which is about to follow and that which has preceded.  And viewing these two sections together, they, in one respect, form a capstone to the second warning, much like Hebrews 11 of this book (the chapter on faith) forms a capstone to the entire preceding ten chapters.

The Spirit of God, beginning this section by calling attention to the Word of God, states things about this Word that must be understood in the light of other Scripture; and the first thing stated about this Word provides an explanation concerning how the remaining things stated about this Word can be possible.

1)  THE LIVING WORD

Hebrews 4:12 begins,

For the word of God is living and powerful [effectually works], and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . .

The key word is “living [KJV: ‘quick,’ i.e., ‘alive’],”and the Word of God is alive for one simple reason:  This Word is “God-breathed.”

2 Timothy 3:16 states,

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . .

The words, “given by inspiration of God,” are a translation of one word in the Greek text, the word theopneustos.  This is a compound word made up of Theos (God) and pneuma (spirit, wind, breath).  The word theopneustos thus, literally translated, means “God-breathed”; and, accordingly, 2 Timothy 3:16 should either be translated or understood in the sense, “All Scripture is God-breathed . . . .” (ref. NIV).

Because all Scripture is “God-breathed,” it is living; and for that reason alone this living Word can effectually work to the point of accomplishing things completely outside the natural realm, things that can be explained only through its supernatural origin.

(Note in the preceding respect how the God-breathed Word is inseparably connected with Deity.  In John 1:1-2, 14, the Word is seen to be both God the Father and His Son, manifested in flesh.  And because of this inseparable connection, the manner in which a Christian eats Christ’s flesh and drinks His blood [John 6:53-56] is through an intake of [reading, studying] the God-breathed Word.

And, by comparing Ephesians 5:18-19 with Colossians 3:16, it is easy to see and understand why a person through this process, as well, progressively becomes filled with the Holy Spirit, the One who gave the Word through Jewish prophets.  The Spirit, as the Father and Son, part of an indivisible trinity, is inseparably connected with the Word as well.)

Then, the connection of “God’s breath” with life (the connection between 2 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 4:12) is given in Genesis 2:7.  Man, at the time of his creation, was first formed from the dust of the ground as an inanimate, lifeless being.  Then God, through breathing into His lifeless new creation, imparted life.  God “breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

This is the first mention in Scripture of life in relation to man, establishing a first-mention principle that can never change throughout Scripture.  Any time beyond this point in Scripture when one finds life in relation to man, this life must always be effected by means of “the breath of God.”  There must always be a breathing in on God’s part in order for life to exist (cf. Ezekiel 37:1-10; Luke 8:54-55).

And the inverse of that is equally true.  The removal of breath, a breathing out, results in death.  A body “without the spirit [pneuma, ‘breath’] is dead” (James 2:26).

This is possibly best illustrated in Scripture by Luke’s description of that which occurred at the exact moment Christ died.  Luke 23:46 states,

And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

At the exact moment Christ “breathed out,” life ceased to exist in His physical body.

The Word of God was given to man through man after one revealed fashion:

. . . holy men of God spoke as they were moved [‘borne along’] by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21b)

This is what is meant by the statement, “All Scripture is God-breathed . . . .”  It is the Holy Spirit’s inseparable connection with the Word of God that makes it so.  God, through the instrumentality of the Spirit (the Pneuma; same word that is also used for “breath”), gave His word to man through man.  The Spirit breathed — God breathed — this Word through Jewish prophets.

Thus, this Word, though given through man, is thus not of human origin.  It is of divine origin (Psalm 12:6).  And because of its divine origin — because it is God-breathed, because it is living — this Word can effectually work after a supernatural manner to accomplish that which God has intended for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11).

The word translated “powerful” in Hebrews 4:12 is energes in the Greek text, the word from which we derive our English word “energy.”  The Word of God has the divine energy — it can effectually work after a supernatural manner — to divide between the “soul and spirit,” penetrate the “joints and marrow,” and discern the “thoughts and intents of the heart.”

(Ref. the author’s book, in this site, Salvation of the Soul BOOK, Chapters 3, 4, for a more comprehensive treatment of the God-breathed Word.)

2)  BETWEEN THE SOUL AND SPIRIT

The reference in Hebrews 4:12 to a division being effected by the Word of God between man’s soul and spirit is drawn from the opening verses of Genesis (as seen earlier in this chapter relative to the “rest” set before “the people of God” [Hebrews 4:4, 9]).  The Spirit of God moves in Genesis 1:2b, and God speaks in Genesis 1:3.  In relation to man’s salvation, it is at this point in the type that a division is made between his soul and spirit in the antitype.

Genesis 1:2-3 [2b]records the initial act of the Triune Godhead in bringing about the restoration of the ruined material creation, an act in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each participated (note that nothing can come into existence apart from the Son [John 1:3]).

In the foundational type, in the opening verses of Genesis, the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, and light came into existence.

In the antitype, within the framework of man’s salvation experience, the matter is identical.  There must be an act of the Triune Godhead, for this is how God worked to restore a ruined creation in the Genesis account, establishing an unchangeable pattern for a later work.  The Spirit of God moves, God speaks, and light comes into existence.

Everything is based on the Son’s finished work at Calvary.  The Spirit moving and God speaking are both based on that which occurred almost 2,000 years ago.  When the Son cried out from the Cross, “It is finished [lit., ‘It has been finished’]” (John 19:30; cf. Luke 23:46), He meant exactly that; and when the Word of God reveals that we have a salvation of divine origin, based entirely on the Son’s finished work, the Word of God means exactly that as well.

(In the preceding respect, note Christ’s words in John 19:30 and the manner in which Ephesians 2:8 begins:

It is finished [lit., “It has been finished”].  (John 19:30)

For by grace are you saved [lit., “you have been saved”] through faith . . . . (Ephesians 2:8a)

The words, “It has been finished” in John 19:30 and “you have been saved” in Ephesians 2:8 are both translations of one word [though different words] in the Greek text, in the perfect tense — a verb tense that shows action completed in past time, with the results of that action existing during present time in a finished state.

Saved man possesses a salvation, based on a past divine work, which, during present time, exists in a finished state; and this salvation is made possible through a past work of God’s Son that, during present time, exists in a finished state.  In this respect, man’s salvation is just as secure and complete as the finished work upon which it rests.

And the person has been saved “by grace [that which God is able to do entirely apart from human intervention] through faith.”  The only thing man can do is accept that which has already been done on his behalf, through believing on the One who completed the Work that God required.

Then, to bring the preceding to pass, the Spirit of God, based on the Son’s finished work, breathes life into the one who has no life — the one “dead in trespasses and sins” — allowing that individual to pass “from death to life” [John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1, 5].)

When man sinned in Eden, he died spiritually; and when unregenerate man, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), is made alive today, he is made alive spiritually.  The movement of the Spirit (Genesis 1:2b) and God speaking (Genesis 1:3) in order to restore the ruined creation are simultaneous events.  It is the Spirit using the God-breathed Word to effectually perform a supernatural work in unredeemed man.  It is at this point — through the inbreathing of God — that life is imparted to that which previously had no life.  God breathes into dead man (the Spirit using the God-breathed Word, based on the finished work of the Son), and man is “quickened [‘made alive’]” (Ephesians 2:1, 5).

At this point, light shines “out of darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6), a division is made between the light and the darkness (Genesis 1:4), and the darkness has no apprehension or comprehension of that which is light (John 1:5; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14).

It is at this point in man’s salvation that the spirit is separated from the soul.  The “spirit” in unsaved man is dead.  It is a part of the totally depraved man, with his “body of . . . death,” in which there dwells “no good thing” (Romans 7:18, 24).  With the movement of the Spirit, using the God-breathed Word, man’s spirit is made alive and, at the same time, separated from his soul.

The “soul” remains within the sphere of darkness, which is why “the natural [Greek: psuchikos, ‘soulical’] man” cannot understand “the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14).  That which remains in the sphere of darkness can have no apprehension or comprehension of that which has shined out of darkness.  There is a God-established division between the two that cannot be crossed over (cf. Luke 16:26).

God, by this process, delivers the spirit from the level into which it fell, resulting from Adam’s sin.  And because the spirit has been delivered, there can once again be communion with God.  Man can now comprehend spiritual things, and there can now be a progressive, continued work by the Spirit of God within man so that man can ultimately be delivered to the place that God has decreed that he occupy at the end of six days, at the end of six thousand years.

3)  PENETRATING MAN’S COMPLETE BEING

The structure of the Greek text in Hebrews 4:12 would preclude “soul and spirit” being paralleled with “joints and marrow” in the sense of the Word of God establishing a like division between man’s joints and marrow to that established between soul and spirit.  A parallel though does exist between the two (within the perfect structure of the God-breathed Word), but the “joints and marrow” would refer more to the complete man (from his outward parts to his innermost being) and relate to the remainder of the verse rather than be paralleled with the “soul and spirit” of man.

(The “joints” and “marrow” are not actually located next to one another in the sense that they can be divided as we would view a division in the natural realm.  But we are not dealing with the natural; and man’s “soul” and “spirit” need not necessarily be thought of as lying in any closer proximity to one another than man’s “joints” and “marrow” lie, though the Word of God can supernaturally divide between the two.)

Once the Word has separated the spirit from the soul, restoring life, then a parallel can exist between “soul and spirit” and “joints and marrow.”

The marrow is within the bones, and the principle function of the marrow is to produce red corpuscles for the blood.  In turn, the function of the red corpuscles is to take oxygen from the air coming into the lungs and transport it to the various tissues throughout the body.

The marrow produces that which takes oxygen from “the breath of life” and transports it, within the blood, throughout the body.  In this respect, the marrow would be looked upon quite differently than the joints.  The marrow has a direct connection with life, but the same thing cannot be said for the joints connecting the bones that hold the marrow.

Viewing the matter after this fashion is where the parallel can be seen between spirit and marrow and soul and joints.  In redeemed man, the “spirit” and “marrow” are both connected with a life that extends to the complete man (spiritual and physical life respectively), but this is not the case with the “soul” and “joints.”  Life for the latter is dependent on life existing in the former.

This can be easily seen in the physical realm.  Natural life associated with the joints is dependent on life within the marrow of the bones that the joints hold together.

And in the spiritual it is the same (bear in mind that we’re dealing with the spiritual, not the natural.  Man’s “soul” has to do with his natural life, his natural appetites, desires, etc.).  Spiritually, life can exist in connection with the soul (and one day the body) only because the spirit has been made alive and separated from the soul.

The working of this life in relation to the complete man can be seen in the present and future state of the soul, along with the future state of the body.  The soul is in the process of being redeemed (a salvation presently occurring [1 Corinthians 1:18]), and this salvation will be realized in its completeness at a future date (1 Peter 1:9).  And the body will also be redeemed at a future date (Romans 8:23; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:44).

This is a matter that Paul dwelled upon near the outset of his first letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 2:10-3:4).  Paul sought to establish within the minds of the Christians in Corinth the difference between “soul” and “spirit,” and he sought to show this difference for the purpose at hand.  The carnal Christians at Corinth were following after the soulical rather than the spiritual; and Paul, at the outset, sought to show these carnal Christians the difference between the two and the importance of their rising above the fleshly appetites of the soul and following the man of spirit.

The importance of this is clearly stated in succeeding verses where Paul dealt with the judgment seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).  Or, as stated in his epistle to those in Rome,

For if you [Christians] live according to the flesh you [Christians] will diebut if by the Spirit you [Christians] put to death the deeds of the body, you [Christians] will live. (Romans 8:13; cf. Romans 8:14-23)

(Note in the type that Hagar was to be submissive to Sarah [Genesis 16:9].  This would be to say, in the antitype, that flesh is to be submissive to spirit [Galatians 4:22-31].  And insofar as the inheritance awaiting Christians is concerned, Scripture clearly states, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son:  for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman” [Galatians 4:30; cf. Genesis 21:10].)

Though a parallel between “soul and spirit” and “joints and marrow” does exist, the structure of the Greek text would, as previously stated, place the emphasis elsewhere.  The Word of God dividing between man’s “joints and marrow” should be thought of in the sense of the Word having the power to pierce into any part of man’s being — from his outward parts to his innermost being (“joints,” outward; “marrow,” inward).  And this Word is the only power that can penetrate man’s complete being, which is exactly what the remainder of the verse goes on to state.
 
4)  EVERYTHING NAKED AND OPENED

Because the Word of God has the power to penetrate man’s complete being, everything is laid bare, laid “naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  This word penetrates from the outward (joints) to the inward (marrow).  There is nothing that remains unexposed, by the Word, from the all-searching eyes of the One who is this very Word, manifested in flesh (cf. Revelation 3:15-18).

These all-searching eyes form part of John’s description of Christ as he saw Him in the future Day of the Lord as recorded in Revelation 1:13-16.  John was transported into that future day (Revelation 1:10; cf. Revelation 4:1-2) and saw Christ, no longer occupying the office of High Priest, but occupying the office of Judge.  And he not only saw Christ as Judge, but he also saw the Church in Christ’s presence awaiting judgment.

Chapters two and three of the book of Revelation actually relate that future judgment, though material in these two chapters, as well, has to do with a history of Christendom throughout the entire dispensation preceding judgment.

In Revelation 2; 3, each of the seven churches is singled out and dealt with on the same dual basis: works and overcoming.  Each section begins and ends after this same dual fashion (e.g., Revelation 2:2, 7; 2:9, 11; 2:13, 17, etc.).  And any place in Scripture where the future judgment of Christians is presented, these same two subjects always occupy the forefront.  Christians being judged in that future day are always presented as being dealt with on the basis of works with a view to showing whether they overcame or were, instead, overcome.

Chapters two and three though are usually thought of only in a historic sense (presenting seven existing churches in Asia during John’s day, which foreshadow a history of Christendom throughout the present dispensation).  But viewing these two chapters strictly from the standpoint of history removes them not only from the natural flow of events in the book but also from the realm of prophecy.

John was viewing the matter from his vantage point at a future time, beyond the present dispensation.  In the natural flow of events in that future day, John went on to see the Judge from chapter one (with the complete Church [all seven churches] in His presence to be judged) exercising this judgment in chapters two and three.  Then John saw events in chapter four occurring after the judgment had been completed (the twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne in view of others [Christians having previously been shown qualified at the judgment seat] wearing these crowns during the Millennium.

(For information on the twenty-four elders in Revelation 4, refer to the author’s book, in this site, The Time of the End BOOK, Chapter 7, “Crowns Cast Before God’s Throne.”

Note also in chapters two and three that Christ speaks to the churches as Judge [e.g., cf. Revelation 1:13-16, 20; 2:1, 12, 18], a role that He will not occupy until the present dispensation has drawn to a close.)

Though the natural flow of events in chapters two and three continues from chapter one and has to do with judgment, these two chapters, as previously seen, also present an overall history of Christendom throughout the dispensation.  And this history centers on the result of the proclamation of the Word of the Kingdom within Christendom throughout the dispensation.

In this respect, chapters two and three must be looked upon in a dual sense, having a double fulfillment — a revelation of events dealing with both history and prophecy (the Church on earth during the present dispensation; and the Church in heaven, before the judgment seat, following the present dispensation).  Accordingly, John’s removal from the earth “in the spirit” (Revelation 1:10; 4:1-2) and the “things which are” (Revelation 1:19) would also have to be viewed in this same dual respect.

But, even though a dual fulfillment of these two chapters is seen, the emphasis is on the latter — judgment, in that coming day into which John was transported — presenting a natural flow of events from chapter one.

Christ is presented in Revelation 1:14 as One whose eyes are “as a flame of fire” (One possessing a vision associated with judgment); and in His subsequent dealings with the seven churches (Revelation 2; 3), Christ is presented as the One who sees all and consequently knows all (“I know your works . . . .”).  He has seen their works, and He consequently knows all things surrounding their works;  and that is the basis on which the judgment of Christians will occur when Christ views them in His presence through eyes described “as a flame of fire” (cf. Matthew 16:27; 25:19-30; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

It will be these searching, penetrating eyes of the One with “whom we must give account” that will confront every Christian at the time he appears before the judgment seat of Christ.  It was these eyes that confronted Peter after he had denied the Lord the third time, after the cock had crowed a second time.  

The Lord, apparently being led at that moment past Peter into “the hall of judgment,” turned and looked upon Peter.  And Peter, looking into those eyes, was awakened to the stark reality of that which he had done (Luke 22:61).

The Lord’s look at this time was far more than a brief glance.  The word used in the Greek text (emblepo [an intensified form of blepo, the regular Greek word for “see,” “look”]) points to Christ fixing His eyes upon Peter in an intently searching sense.  Peter, because of his previous actions, came under Christ’s scrutiny, causing him to remember that which had occurred.  And, as a result, he “went out, and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62).

These eyes belong to the One to whom all judgment has been committed — the living Word, acting on the basis of that which the written Word has declared and has revealed.  These are the eyes that will look intently and searchingly upon every Christian, individually, at the judgment seat; and these are the eyes that every Christian, individually, will look into at the same time — eyes described as “a flame of fire.”

THE GLORY OF GOD

The “light” that shined out of darkness” in Genesis 1:3, and shines in our hearts” today, concerns itself not only with the initial act of man’s salvation but also with bringing man from immaturity to maturity.  As expressed in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “. . . to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  And this is the light, providing knowledge, referred to in an immediately preceding verse:  “whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

In the Genesis account, light shined out of darkness on the first day; but the material creation was not completely restored until the sixth day, with man on the scene and in a position to ascend the throne at the end of the sixth day, on the seventh day.

And within the initial act and progressive manner that God used to restore the material creation, one can clearly see the present initial act and progressive manner that God is using to restore man; and this restoration, as in the type, is with a view to man being able to ascend the throne at the end of six days, on the seventh day.

In the Genesis account, after light had shined out of darkness and a division had been established between the light and the darkness on the first day (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]), a division was then effected between the waters on the second day (Genesis 1:6-8); and the dry land with its vegetation was subsequently made to appear on the third day (Genesis 1:9-13).  But the placing of lights in the heavens (Genesis 1:14-19), the creation of birds that could soar above the earth and marine life that could move throughout the depths of the seas (Genesis 1:20-23), and the creation of great beasts that could roam the earth (Genesis 1:24-25) were restorative and creative acts not brought to pass until the fourth, fifth, and sixth days.

In the antitype, after the movement of the Spirit and the introduction of light has effected the division between spirit and soul on the first day, then God’s work relating to maturity can begin.

In this respect, God’s acts of restoration during the second and third days (a division between the waters, a separation of the dry land from the waters, and the appearance of plant life) refer particularly to the acquisition and understanding of the elementary truths of the Word — redeemed man learning how to make divisions, distinctions, etc.  It is in this manner alone that the new creation “in Christ” is brought into existence and begins a progressive growth from immaturity to maturity.

Then, once the Christian has become established in the elementary truths of the Word, progressive growth can continue.  The Christian can then move on into truths depicted by the fourth, fifth, and sixth days.  He can then view with understanding that which is depicted by the lights in the heavens, begin to soar above the mountains as the eagle, plunge to the depths as the sea creatures, and roam in an unlimited fashion throughout the Word as the great beasts roam the earth.

Then, at the end of his journey from immaturity to maturity, man, at the end of the sixth day, is seen in the type ready to ascend the throne on the seventh day, which is exactly what is about to occur at the end of his journey in the antitype.

For the word of God is living”; and after it has established a division between man’s “soul and spirit,” it can then effectually work within redeemed man — effecting the metamorphosis of Romans 12:2 — in order to bring man, not just out of the condition in which he presently finds himself, but into the position for which he was created:  “Let them have dominion . . . .” (Genesis 1:26, 28).
Chapter Eight
Let Us Therefore Come Boldly

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

The second of the five major warnings in Hebrews begins with the exhortation

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

And this second major warning in Hebrews ends with an exhortation surrounding that which was introduced at the beginning:

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens  . . .

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14, 16 [14a])

As “Apostle,” Christ died for our sins; and as “High Priest,” He ever lives to make intercession for us.

Fallen man can be saved today only because of and through/by Christ’s past work as “Apostle,” and this salvation is the foundation upon which everything rests.  But redemption provided through Christ’s past work as Apostle is not the central message of Hebrews.  Hebrews looks beyond this point (beyond Exodus 12 in the type), to that which redemption makes possible — things ultimately having to do with the land of Canaan in the type.

Thus, the thought surrounding “our confession” in Hebrews 3:1 must begin with but move beyond Christ’s finished work at Calvary.  It must look out ahead, to that which redemption makes possible — things centered in Christians ultimately realizing an inheritance in that heavenly land in the antitype.

The word, “confession [KJV: ‘profession’],” is a translation of the Greek word homologia, meaning “to say the same thing [as another].”  Contextually, it would refer to saying the same thing that God has said about His Son as Apostle and High Priest, i.e., agreeing with the record that God has given concerning His Son.

And agreeing with this record, contextually, in Hebrews, would be agreeing with what God has to say about the purpose for His Son’s past work as Apostle and His Son’s present work as High Priest.  Only within this framework can Christ’s ministry — past and present — be viewed in a correct perspective.

A reference to one’s confession surrounding that which is in view in Hebrews chapters three and four is also seen in Hebrews 10:23:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering . . . .

And, comparing this verse with Hebrews 3:1; 4:14, in the light of “the hope” which we are to hold with confidence and rejoicing in Hebrews 3:6, along with the central message of the book, one could come to only one conclusion.  The three verses are actually dealing with different facets of the same central truth.

Hebrews 3:1 views the matter from a dual perspective — Christ’s past, finished work of redemption, and Christ’s present work as High Priest; and Hebrews 4:14 views the matter more from a singular perspective, as does Hebrews 10:23 — that of Christ’s present work as High Priest alone.

Christians are called upon to agree (homologia) with the record that God has given of His Son; and, keeping in mind the central message of Hebrews, whether we view that which Christ’s past work makes possible (His work as Apostle, effecting redemption) or that which Christ’s present work makes possible (His work as High Priest, providing a present cleansing for those whom He has redeemed), the thought must always be the same.  One must always keep his eyes centered on the goal lying out ahead, on the purpose surrounding Christ’s past, finished work at Calvary and on the purpose surrounding Christ’s present, continuous work in the heavenly sanctuary.

And this goal has to do with the third office that Christ will one day occupy — that of King.  The goal has to do with occupying positions as kings and priests with the great King-Priest in that coming day, a goal that allows the flow of thought to continue quite naturally into the third of the five major warnings, wherein one finds the Melchizedek priesthood brought into full view  (Hebrews 5-7).

The goal of our calling is expressed in different ways in Hebrews, clearly revealed to be the same goal in the antitype as that possessed by the Israelites under Moses in the type.  Attaining this goal in that future day is spoken of as synonymous with coming into possession of “the hope” set before us (Hebrews 3:6; 6:11, 18-20), inheriting “the promises” (Hebrews 6:12), or realizing “the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:35-39).

It is coming into possession of “so great salvation,” to be realized by the “many sons” whom Christ will bring “to glory” with Him (Hebrews 1:14; 2:3, 10)It is entering into that “Sabbath rest” awaiting the people of God (Hebrews 4:1-11).

Attaining this goal, expressed in different ways, is what Hebrews is about; and when the book refers to “the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” or exhorts us to “hold fast our confession” (with the “High Priest of our confession” in view), the thought must be in line with the central message of the book.  The thought must have to do with the goal of our calling, expressed over and over many different ways throughout the book.

A PRESENT CLEANSING

Remaining within the typology of the six and seven days referred to in the first part of Hebrews chapter four, the high priestly ministry of Christ, introduced at the end of the chapter (carrying through into chapter 5), has a dual aspect.  There is one type of ministry in view during the six days (more specifically, days two through six), with another type of ministry being brought to pass after six days, on the seventh day.

There is first Christ’s present high priestly ministry, patterned after the order of Aaron, wherein He is a minister in the sanctuary (as was Aaron).  He is presently ministering on behalf of those destined to occupy positions with Him as “kings and priests” during the coming age, and He is ministering on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary.

(Note that Christ can minister in the sanctuary in this manner today, though not of the Levitical line, because He is not ministering as High Priest to individuals under the Mosaic Economy.  Rather, He is ministering on behalf of those who form the one new man “in Christ.”

But in that coming day when Israel is brought back into the picture, Christ’s priesthood, of necessity, will have to change.  In that day Christ will be the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek, a priesthood of an entirely different order.)

Christ’s present high priestly ministry is occurring during that period when Christians, as the Israelites under Moses in past time, are moving toward the land to which they have been called; and this is also a ministry occurring during the antitype of days two through six in the typology of Genesis chapter one.

In the antitype of the activity on day one in the Genesis account — by the action of the Spirit, using the God-breathed Word, on the basis of the finished work of the Son — there is a division established between the soul and the spirit.  The spirit is separated from the soul, there is an in-breathing of life, and the individual, by this process, passes “from death to life” (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]; John 3:3; 5:24; Hebrews 4:12).  And this is brought to pass on the basis of Christ’s past work as Apostle.

Then in the antitype of the activity occurring on days two through six — by a continued work of the triune Godhead — there is a progressive growth from immaturity to maturity.  The indwelling Spirit uses the God-breathed Word to continue and sustain that life previously brought into existence as He effects spiritual growth toward maturity.  And the Son, during this time, occupies the office of High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary to provide a present cleansing for the ones progressively moving, under the leadership of the Spirit, from immaturity to maturity in their spiritual growth.

(Thus, events occurring during the first day point to Christ’s work as Apostle, for it was as Apostle that “Christ died for our sins”;  and the Spirit’s work on this day, in the antitype, occurs on the basis of Christ’s finished work at Calvary alone and has nothing to do with His subsequent work as High Priest.

Christ’s high priestly ministry, patterned after the order of Aaron, comes into view only after the time depicted by events on day one, only after the person has passed “from death to life.”)

That which is depicted by events on days two and three has to do with divisions, distinctions (as that which is depicted by events on day one — the division between soul and spirit, effecting the salvation that we presently possess).  On day two, the waters below the atmosphere were divided from the waters above the atmosphere (the antediluvian world had water both below and above the atmosphere, with the water above the atmosphere coming down at the time of the Flood during Noah’s day [Genesis 1:6-8; cf. Genesis 7:11]).  Then on day three the earth’s land masses began to appear above the water, and vegetation began to appear (Genesis 1:9-13).

(Both in Genesis 1:2 and during the Noachian Flood [Genesis 6-8] water covered the whole face of the earth.  During Noah’s day, God caused land to appear above the water once again through the means seen in Psalm 104:6-9 [NASB] — “The mountains rose, the valleys sank . . . .”  God, at this time began to lower some land masses and raise other land masses [e.g., the Pacific basin, and the western U.S.], allowing the water to run into the basins and dry land to appear on the land masses being raised.

In Genesis 1:6-7 though, God removed vast quantities of the water covering the earth and placed this water above the atmosphere.  This alone may have allowed sufficient land to appear above the water.  We’re not told.  If not, God would have done the same thing which He later did [again?] during Noah’s day, for God works in established patterns.

Note though that God’s activity during Noah’s day was not a restoration of the earth per se.  Had it been, the waters that fell in the form of torrential rain would have been placed back above the atmosphere, along with the curse on the ground being lifted [Genesis 3:17-18].  But all of that awaits a future day, seen in Acts 3:21 — the restoration of all things.)

Events occurring during the first three days in Genesis chapter one would point to elementary things or the basics in one’s spiritual life and growth.  Events occurring during day one would point to a work having to do with the impartation of life.  Then events occurring during days two and three would point to divisions, distinctions as one begins to progressively grow within the framework of the new life brought into existence on the first day.  One would learn to distinguish between the soulical and spiritual, spiritual and carnal (fleshly), Jew, Gentile, and Christian, the dispensations, etc.

Only when one learns the distinctions, divisions depicted by that which was brought to pass on days two and three is he in a position to move on into the things depicted by that which was brought to pass on days four through six.  On these three days, light was restored to the sun and moon (day four, Genesis 1:14-19); sea life and the birds of the air were created (day five, Genesis 1:20-23); and then God created all the living creatures that roam the earth, followed by His creation of man (day six, Genesis 1:24-27).

That which is depicted by the work of the Triune Godhead during these three days points to things beyond elementary truths in the antitype.  After one has passed “from death to life” and has been instructed in the elementary truths (days one through three) — after he has been “born from above” and has grown to a degree in his Christian life — he can then begin to view with understanding deeper spiritual truths of the Word.  He can then begin to view with understanding those things in the Word depicted by events on days four through six.

An individual in this position can then begin to sink deep shafts down into the Word and mine its treasures.  He can look into the Word and understand that which is depicted by the lights in the heavens.  He can in the true sense of the Word, “mount up with wings as eagles . . . run, and not be weary . . . walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31), as he scales the heights; or he can scale the depths of the Word as the sea creatures plunge to the depths of the sea; or he can roam through the Word as the land creatures roam the earth.

In short, the more a person progresses from immaturity to maturity the more he comes into a position where he becomes unlimited in that which he can mine from the God-breathed Word in his possession.  And the whole matter is with a view to man, at the end of six days, at the end of six thousand years, being in a position to realize the purpose for his very existence:  “Let them have dominion . . . .” (Genesis 1:26, 28).

It is only during that period depicted by events during days two through six that Christ exercises His present high priestly ministry, patterned after the order of Aaron.  That which is depicted by events on the seventh day (the seventh one-thousand-year period) necessitates a change in Christ’s high priestly ministry.

In that day, Christ will no longer be a minister of the sanctuary after the order of Aaron.  Rather, in that day Christ will be the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek, which is the direction that the book of Hebrews moves immediately following the conclusion of the second of the five major warnings in Hebrews 4 (ref. Hebrews 5-7).

1)  THE ISRAELITES UNDER MOSES AND JOSHUA

Beginning with Exodus chapter twelve and continuing through the book of Joshua there is one complete type (comprised of innumerable individual types), a complete type previously established and set forth in very concise and precise form in the opening two chapters of Genesis.  These two chapters in Genesis form not only the foundation for the septenary arrangement of Scripture but also the foundation for teachings surrounding the entirety of the Christian life, from birth to the Messianic Kingdom.  And the subsequent portion of Scripture from Exodus chapter twelve through Joshua simply enlarges upon that which was previously set forth at the beginning, in the opening verses of Genesis.

In this respect, events on the day of the Passover in Exodus chapter twelve would parallel events on day one in Genesis chapter one (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]).  Then, events beyond the Passover in Exodus would parallel events beyond the first day in Genesis (Genesis 1:6ff).

In Exodus, the firstborn, a ruined creation, came under the sentence of death; and God made provision whereby He could remove “the first” and establish “the second” (Hebrews 10:9).  God provided a substitutionary death, with a resurrection to life beyond the Red Sea passage.

A lamb from the flock could die in the stead of the firstborn in the family.  The lamb was to be slain, and blood from the slain lamb was to be applied to the door posts and lintel of the house in which the firstborn lived.  Then, when the Lord passed through the land of Egypt at midnight and saw the blood applied to the door posts and lintel, He knew that the firstborn in that house had already died.  A substitutionary death had occurred, God was satisfied, and the Lord consequently passed over that house.

Beyond that was burial on the western banks of the Red Sea in Egypt and resurrection to “walk in newness of life” on the eastern banks of the Red Sea in the wilderness.  And the entire matter was with a view to the Israelites one day realizing their calling in the land set before them, the land of Canaan.

Then, in the parallel type in Genesis, in the original type, God, on the first day, began the work of bringing a ruined creation out of its ruined state (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]).  The Spirit of God moved and God spoke, events that could occur only in connection with a work by the Son (John 1:3).  Thus, the Son is seen throughout God’s activity during the six days in Genesis chapter one through activity that could pertain only to Him.

The Spirit moving and God speaking were simultaneous, inseparable events (the Spirit does not move either apart from or contrary to the Word, something very evident when the type is compared with the antitype).

The removal of the earth from its watery grave though was a subsequent event.  There was death, burial in water, and resurrection to newness of life in both the Genesis and Exodus accounts; and this is seen in the antitype through man’s salvation and subsequent baptism today (cf. Genesis 1:2, 9; Exodus 12-14; 1 Corinthians 10:1-2; Colossians 2:12; 2 Peter 3:5-6 [Note also 1 Peter 3:20-21.  The original type, upon which the typology surrounding the Noachian Flood must be viewed, is Genesis 1:2ff]).

(The proper place for “baptism” in relation to “salvation” is thus seen in both the restoration of the earth in Genesis and in the Israelites’ passage through the Red Sea in Exodus.  Within a Scriptural framework, baptism can only be subsequent to — never a part of — salvation.

Also, the removal of the earth from its watery grave — depicting resurrection to life, paralleling resurrection to life on the eastern banks of the Red Sea in Exodus 14 — was an event that occurred on the third day [Exodus 14:9].  In this respect, events occurring on the second and third days, within the framework of depicting the central spiritual truths at hand, should be thought of more in the sense of a unit.  However, another spiritual truth is shown by depicting “resurrection” as occurring on the third day, for that is the day resurrection will occur [cf. Hosea 6:2; Luke 24:21; 1 Corinthians 15:4].

Viewing the matter more in the sense of central spiritual truths though, events occurring on days two and three would simply point to the basics in one’s spiritual life and growth, following the individual’s passage “from death to life” [depicted by events occurring on day one].  They must be viewed after this fashion, for something alluded to by an event on day three actually occurs in the subsequent type in Exodus and in biblical examples of the antitype immediately following that alluded to by events on day one [cf. Exodus 12; 13; 14, Acts 8:26-39; 16:30-34].

Note that events on days four through six should also be viewed after this same fashion — as a unit.  That is, events occurring on day six would not necessarily point to spiritual truths above and beyond those depicted by events on days four and five.  In this respect, the opening chapter of Genesis presents two units within two triads of days that cover the entirety of the Christian life from birth to the Messianic Kingdom.)

In the type, beginning in Exodus chapter fourteen, the high priestly ministry of Aaron came into view following the Red Sea passage and the march of the Israelites to Sinai.  Aaron’s ministry occurred during that time when the people acted upon the Word received through Moses at Sinai and journeyed toward the land set before them.  And within the framework of Genesis chapter one — within the original type — this period would parallel that time depicted by events on days two through six.

The ministry of Aaron though, as previously shown, does not extend over into that future time depicted by events on the seventh day.  It was Joshua who led the Israelites into the land of Canaan (the rest set before them), which would move one beyond the sixth day in the type; and Aaron, as Moses, was removed via death prior to this time.

Christ’s ministry during that future time, in the antitype, will likewise be different.  The “death of the high priest [after the order of Aaron],” in the antitype of Numbers 35:28, will occur.  And in that coming seventh day, Christ, rather than being a minister in the heavenly sanctuary on behalf of His future co-heirs, will be the great King-Priest in Jerusalem, after the order of Melchizedek, with His co-heirs occupying positions on the throne with Him.

(Ref. the author’s book, The Time of the End BOOK, Appendix 2, “The Death of the High Priest.”)

Thus, Hebrews 4:14-16, closing the second of the five major warnings, deals with Christ’s ministry during the antitype of events surrounding days two through six in the first chapter of Genesis or with the antitype of the Israelites during their wilderness journey under Moses (parallel types pointing to one antitype).  Christ is presently exercising the office of High Priest on behalf of Christians during their pilgrim journey, during that time when they are progressing in their spiritual growth from immaturity to maturity.  And this ministry is to provide a present cleansing for the “kings and priests” that Christ is about to bring forth to occupy positions on the throne with Him at the end of the sixth day, on the seventh day.

(Note that a first-mention principle has been established in Genesis 1:2-3 [2b].  The Spirit is seen in these opening verses acting in connection with and in complete accord with all subsequent Scripture.

Man’s salvation in the beginning [seen in the events of day one in the type] occurs through the Spirit using the God-breathed Word to bring about life where life had not previously existed; and man’s spiritual growth toward maturity [seen in the events of days two through six in the type] occurs by the Spirit continuing to use the God-breathed Word to sustain and nourish the life previously brought into existence.)
 
2)  “IF I DO NOT WASH YOU”

Christ’s present ministry and the purpose for this ministry can be seen about as well as anywhere in Scripture in the account of His washing the disciples’ feet in John 13:2-11.  In this account Christ laid aside His garments, took a towel, girded Himself, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet.  And the heart of the matter is revealed in the interchange of words between Christ and Peter when Christ came to Peter and sought to wash his feet.

Peter, not understanding what was happening, attempted to prevent Christ from washing his feet.  Peter said,

You shall never [a double negative in the Greek text — very emphatic] wash my feet!”  And Christ’s response was, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me [two negatives in the reply, If I do not, then you will not]. (John 13:8)

Peter, still not understanding, but taking Christ at His word that he could have “no part with” Him apart from allowing Christ to wash his feet, went beyond that point and requested that not only his feet but his complete body be bathed (John 13:9).  Peter, in essence, said, “If that’s what it will take to have ‘a part with’ you, then don’t stop with just my feet.  Give me a complete bath.”

Jesus then responded by saying,

He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you [a reference to Judas]. (John 13:10; cf. John 13:11)

Throughout this interchange, there is a play on two Greek words, nipto and louo, both translated the same way in the English text.  When used together like this, nipto refers to washing “a part of that which is in view” (a part of the body in this case — the feet), and louo refers to washing “the whole of that which is in view” (the whole body in this case).  Thus, the English text does not really convey the central crux of this passage.

In verse eight, Christ used the word nipto, indicating that Peter (and the other disciples) could have “a part with” Him only if they availed themselves of the provided “partial washing.”  In verse nine, Peter alluded to the type washing that would be shown by the word louo, not by the word nipto that Christ had used.  This is evident from verse ten, where Christ used both words.  Christ, in response to Peter, said, “He who is bathed [louo] needs only to wash [nipto] his feet . . . .”

Then, the inflection of these two verbs in the Greek text is quite revealing.  The former (louo) appears in a perfect tense, and the latter (nipto) appears in a present tense in the middle voice.  The perfect tense shows action completed in past time, with the results of that action existing in a finished state during present time; and the present tense (indicative mood, middle voice) shows present, continuous action on the part of the individual himself.

In other words, Peter had been washed completely once; and that washing was accomplished in past time, with the results of that washing existing during present time in a finished state.

Then there is a present, continuous washing that involves only parts of that which previously had been washed completely (the individual, following a complete washing, continuously allows Christ to wash the parts becoming defiled through contact with the world).

Christ drew His teachings surrounding the use of louo and nipto from the typology of the tabernacle and its priestly ministry, where this two-fold washing can be clearly seen:

1) In a bathing of the complete body (louo) upon one’s entrance into the priesthood.

2) In the subsequent washing, time after time (in a continuous fashion), of the person’s hands and feet (nipto) at the laver in the courtyard as he exercised his priestly duties (cf. Exodus 29:4; 30:18-21; 40:12-15, 30-32 [the Septuagint uses both louo and nipto in these passages, showing the correct distinction]).

Christians are New Testament priests, who previously experienced a complete washing upon their entrance into the priesthood (at the point of salvation).  However, Christians still reside in a body of death and become defiled through contact with this present world, as the Aaronic priest’s hands and feet became defiled while ministering between the brazen altar and Holy Place.  And Christians, as the Aaronic priests, must stop at the laver (placed in the courtyard of the tabernacle between the brazen altar and Holy Place) and wash those parts that have become defiled.

This is done today through a confession of one’s sins, and cleansing occurs through Christ’s high priestly ministry on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary (1 John 1:6-2:2).

And, as Jesus told Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me (John 13:8b).”  All Christians are “in Christ [associated with louo],” but having a part “with Christ [associated with nipto]” is a different matter entirely.  The reference would be to having a part with Him in that coming day (as co-heirs in the kingdom), for that was the subject at hand in John’s gospel.

The Spirit of God presently indwells all Christians to lead them into all truth (during that time depicted by days two through six in Genesis chapter one);  and, during the same period of time, Christ, as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, provides cleansing from the world’s defilement for the ones progressing from immaturity to maturity.

Christians who allow the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth and, at the same time, allow Christ to wash their feet are the ones in a position to run the race in a victorious manner.  These are the ones who can engage and victoriously combat the enemy presently dwelling in the land to which Christians have been called.  Consequently, these are the ones who can overcome the enemy rather than be overcome by the enemy.

A COMPLETE CLEANSING

Drawing from the typology of Genesis chapter twenty-four, the primary mission of the Holy Spirit in the world today is to acquire a bride for God’s Son.  As Abraham’s servant was sent into the far country (Mesopotamia) to acquire a bride for Abraham’s son, the Holy Spirit has been sent into the far country (this world) to acquire a bride for God’s Son.  And, as Abraham’s servant acquired and removed the bride during his day, the Holy Spirit is presently acquiring and will shortly remove the bride during the present day.

To place the person within the family (from which the bride is removed [see typology of Genesis 24]), the Holy Spirit uses the God-breathed Word and effects a cleansing (louo) on the basis of the Son’s finished work at Calvary.  Then, to bring about the removal of the bride from the family (or, as in the original type in Genesis 2, a removal from the body [Eve, removed from Adam’s body]), the Holy Spirit continues using the God-breathed Word as He effects spiritual growth unto maturity and, at the same time, allows Christ to effect a cleansing (nipto) on the basis of His present work in the heavenly sanctuary.

The past cleansing has to do with Christ’s work as Apostle, with the salvation that we presently possess; and the present cleansing has to do with Christ’s work as High Priest, with the salvation of the soul, the salvation to be revealed at the time of Christ’s return.

Both cleansings are full and complete.  Each involves that part which is defiled — the whole of man (louo), and then parts of the cleansed man subsequently becoming defiled through contact with this present world (nipto).  And the object, the ultimate goal, is given in Ephesians 5:27:

That he [Christ] might present her [the Church] to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (cf. Ephesians 5:25-26)

Redeemed individuals having a part with Christ in that day will possess a redeemed body enswathed in Glory, completely free from any taint of corruption associated with the former creation in Adam.  The Christians’ present position “in Christ,” having to do with man’s redeemed spirit and his spiritual standing before God, will, in that day, have to do with man in his complete being.  In that day, unlike today, 2 Corinthians 5:17 (“. . . old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”) will be equally applicable to any one of the three parts of triune man — body, soul, and spirit.

(Knowledge of this fact will shed light upon the completeness of God’s restoration of the earth in Genesis 1:2-25 [2b].  The earth was not restored after an incomplete fashion, allowing man to view any part of the destruction in Genesis 1:2a or to look back behind this destruction in geology or any of the other sciences.  God’s restoration was complete.  Old things passed away; all things became new.  All traces of the former were wiped out, and that which exists today [the complete fossil record, etc.] must be placed within the framework of the past six thousand years — within the framework of that which became new, though presently under a curse.

The condition of the material creation at the end of the six days of God’s restorative work in Genesis chapter one must, within a type-antitype framework, parallel the condition of redeemed man at the end of God’s restorative work depicted by events during the six days in Genesis.  Divine activity occurs throughout the restoration of both; and God’s work in one must parallel His work in the other after a fashion that necessitates a perfect work in both.)

CONCLUDING REMARKS

The second of the five major warnings in Hebrews chapter four closes with three admonitions, which, in a sense, form one three-fold admonition:

1)  Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest . . . . (Hebrews 4:11)

2)  let us hold fast our confession . . . . (Hebrews 4:14)

3)  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace [with Christ’s present high priestly ministry and the hope set before us (to be realized in that seventh day) in view] . . . . (Hebrews 4:16)

Our eyes are to be fixed on the one goal out ahead; and we have the assurance that, as we move toward this goal, we can, at any time, come boldly into the very presence of the One who made it all possible, obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The following Word Document is Safe to open and print:  From Egypt to Canaan BOOK by Arlen L. Chitwood.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

Man's Commentaries
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Excerpt from:

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

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

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

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

Note:  My title, not Arlen's.

To website CONTENTS Page.

Biblical Perfection Numbers:

Three -- divine perfection

Seven -- spiritual perfection

Ten -- ordinal perfection

Twelve -- governmental perfection

When Christ returns to the earth at the end of the Tribulation He will be accompanied by Moses and Elijah, along with a great contingent of angels.  Christians, having been removed from the earth at least seven years earlier — contrary to common belief and teaching — will not be with Christ at this time.

The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Part I of IV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Scene in Matthew 17:1-5

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

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

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

(Ref. the author’s pamphlet, “Genesis and John!” in this website, showing why John must be seen as the   gospel beginning the N.T., not Matthew.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see in this site: The Seven Jewish Festivals and Israel from Death to Life BOOK.

Jesus, Moses, and Elijah

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

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

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

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

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

Peter, James, and John

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

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

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

The Church and Matthew 17:1-5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part II of IV

Seeing Christ in His Greatest (Regal) Magnificence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calling and Election”

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

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

(Both an individual’s calling and out-calling have to do with the same thing. His calling can’t have to do with the Christian’s presently possessed salvation, for he can’t make that anymore “sure” than it already exists.
Salvation by grace through faith has already been made “sure,” based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary.An individual has been saved for a purpose; and that “purpose” would equate to his calling, as “realizing that purpose” would equate to his out-calling.
Both have to do with a future salvation, the salvation of the soul; and both have to do with Christians one day being called out of the called and realizing positions as co-heirs with Christ in His kingdom.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

“In the Holy Mount”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For information on the preceding, refer to the author’s books, (Salvation by Grace through Faith by Arlen Chitwood and/or in this site The Time of the End, chapters 8 and 9, The Seven Sealed Scroll and Redemption, Marriage, Regality).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus, in response, associated Peter directly with Satan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part III of IV

Moses and Elijah in That Day (I)

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”  (Malachi 4:4-6).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(For additional information on “signs” in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s three pamphlets, “Arlen Chitwood's Signs, Words and Miracles I2 and 3.”  Also Exodus and Revelation in this site adds to the   preceding commentary.)

John and Elijah

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

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

“In the Holy Mount”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(For information on the preceding, refer to the author’s books, Salvation by Grace through Faith by Arlen Chitwoodand/or in this site The Time of the End, chapters 8 and 9, The Seven Sealed Scroll and Redemption, Marriage, Regality.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus, in response, associated Peter directly with Satan:

“Get thee behind me, Satan…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part IV of IV

Moses and Elijah in That Day (II)

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments

Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

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

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

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

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

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

2) Israel, scattered among these same nations.

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

A Seventy-Five-Day Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elijah and Israel

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

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

Scripture states that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moses and the Nations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that is all beside the point. God has chosen to exhibit His power after another fashion entirely. God has chosen to bring matters to pass His way, through His means, resulting in an even greater manifestation of

Divine power [cf. Exodus 9:15-16; Revelation 17:16-17].)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

His blood is presently on the mercy seat in heaven.

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

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

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
And they entered and found not the body of Jesus.

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

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

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

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

Aggelos

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

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

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

Anthropos, Aner

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

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

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

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

Clearly Revealed to Be Men

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) Naked.

2) Separated from God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) Divine intervention.

2) Death and shed blood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clearly Identified

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Two Men at the Empty Tomb by Arlen Chitwood.docx

Also in pamphlet form: Lamp Broadcast - Two Men at the Empty Tomb, After Two Days, on the Third Day by Arlen Chitwood.pdf designed for printing on letter size paper, both front and back; then folded into pocket size fit.

(For additional information on Matthew 17:1-5, refer to the author’s book, The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom in this website and the author’s four pamphlets, “ Coming in His Kingdom".) 

Also the following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Son, The of Man Coming in His Kingdom Parts I, II and III by Arlen L. Chitwood.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This festival has to do with the regathering of Israel. Christians await a trumpet calling them into the heavens before the Tribulation; Israel awaits a trumpet calling the nation back into the land after the Tribulation, following Christ’s return (Matthew 24:29-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Seven Jewish Festivals by Arlen Chitwood

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and printThe Seven Jewish Festivals by Arlen Chitwood.docx Also in pamphlet form: Lamp Broadcast - Prophetic Calendar of Israel, The Seven Jewish Festivals, By Arlen L. Chitwood.pdf designed for printing on letter size paper, both front and back; then folded into pocket size fit.

Also see Israel from Death to Life BOOK in this site.

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

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

Who are the Two Witnesses in the book of Revelation?
By Got Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which view is correct?

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

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

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

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

Got Questions - Who are the Two Witnesses in Revelation?

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

(The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Transfiguration, Why did Moses and Elijah appear at the.docx)

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following may also be of interest:

Got Questions - Was John the Baptist really Elijah reincarnated?

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

Introduction and Foreword

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

Foreword

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The whole of Scripture moves in this direction, beginning in the book of Genesis and ending in the book of Revelation.  And that is what this book, God’s Firstborn Sons BOOK, in this site, is about.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  God's Firstborn Sons, Foreword, by Arlen Chitwood.docx

Arlen Chitwood's book God’s Firstborn Sons BOOK  in this site.

See following Christ - God’s Firstborn Son.

To website CONTENTS Page.

God presently has two firstborn Sons [Christ and Israel] and will one day have a third firstborn son [the Church, FOLLOWING the adoption].  And ONLY when God’s third firstborn son has been brought into existence CAN man realize the regal purpose for his creation revealed at the beginning, in Genesis 1:26-28.

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

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

CHRIST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Son from Eternity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Heir of All Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Firstborn Sons, Christ

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Christ - God’s Firstborn Son by Arlen Chitwood.docx

Arlen Chitwood's book God’s Firstborn Sons in it's ENTIRETY in this site. 

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

Jew, Gentile, Christian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gentiles

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

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

1) Saved and Unsaved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) Portending, Divisions, Types, and Antitypes

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

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

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

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

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

For example:

Israel can be seen in the account of Cain slaying Abel, foreshadowing Israel slaying Christ (Genesis 4).

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Jews

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

1) Abraham and Isaac

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

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

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

a) To bring forth the Redeemer.
b) To give man the Word of God.
c) To be the channel through which blessings would flow out to mankind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) Jacob

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Church of God

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

1) Purpose for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) In Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians by Charles Strong.docx

Arlen Chitwood's book The Study of Scripture in it's entirety in this site.

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

There are ONLY two types of people IN the world today — Saved [Christians] and Unsaved [Jews and Gentiles].
Salvation for the Jews in Scripture
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

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

Hi Pat,

You have said before that you would be willing to research questions that we might have. :)  One came up in Sunday School yesterday that we need help with: 

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Pat, Marsha, Mark, and Carol,

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

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

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

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

Charles of Bible One

Cc:  Arlen

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arlen's response is the following commentary:

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

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

Covenants

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

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

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

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

Creations, Sonship

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

(“Sonship” has to do with creation.  Adam was God’s son because of creation [Luke 3:38].  This status did not change following the fall.  Israel is God’s son because of creation [firstborn son because of a subsequent adoption] and remains God’s son [God’s firstborn son] today, in an unsaved state.  And Christians are God’s sons because of creation as well [new creations in Christ, still separate from salvation (nothing about death and shed blood in “creation”), though occurring at the same time].

To further illustrate the point in relation to salvation, note that all angels are God’s sons because of their individual creation, and that position remained unchanged in relation to Satan and his angels following their fall [Genesis 6:2].  All angels remain God’s sons today — fallen or unfallen.)

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

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

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

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

Salvation in One Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salvation on Both Sides of Calvary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lamp Broadcast by Arlen Chitwood

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Salvation for the Jews in Scripture by Arlen L. Chitwood re response to Mark and Carol question REVISED.docx.docx

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

All Scripture is Theopneustos
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

2 Timothy 3:16 in the KJV reads,

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

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

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

Note first of all Hebrews 4:12a:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's The Study of Scripture, Ch. 1, Pg 4 or see Foundational Prerequisites in this site.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  All Scripture is Theopneustos by Arlen Chitwood.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

These verses reveal the Lord’s dealings with two Christians who will be in the field and two other Christians who will be grinding at the mill (representative individuals, places, and occupations) when He returns to reckon with His servants; and this reckoning WILL occur, NOT in the field or at the mill, BUT before the judgment seat of Christ IN heaven following the rapture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note also Wuest’s “Expanded Translation”:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

The discourse that Christ delivered to His disciples on Mount Olivet was given immediately following His pronouncement OF desolation upon the house of Israel, two days prior TO the time Israel would climax the nation’s rejection BY crucifying “Jesus, the King of the Jews” (cf. Matthew 23:38; 26:2; 27:37).

Prophecy on Mount Olivet
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

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

FOREWORD

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concluding Remarks in 'Introduction':

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Prophecy on Mount Olivet Foreword by Arlen Chitwood.docx

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

Providing for You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~Author may be known only to God

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Providing for You by Author Unknown except to God.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Give us this day our daily bread.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  The Lord’s Prayer by Charles Strong.docx

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

Bible One by Charles Strong

Bible One's Bible Study Resource Links

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the warning to Christians is that they can, by following the same example, only suffer the same fate. Eternally saved? Yes! But, just as the Israelites under Moses were overthrown on the right side of the blood at a place short of the goal of their calling, so can Christians under Christ be overthrown at the same place, for the same reason, after the identical fashion (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:11).

Righteous Lot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s what is in view in Hebrews 6:7-8, along with fruit bearing in each sphere — one of value, the other worthless (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:12).

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

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

Escape from Sodom

The Jordan plain with four of its cities was destroyed during Abraham and Lot’s day by “brimstone and fire” from heaven (Genesis 19:24-25; cf. Deuteronomy 29:23). And though Lot was delivered from Sodom prior to this destruction, his deliverance was, as in the words of 1 Corinthians 3:15, “so as by [‘through’] fire.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Note: Contrary to some English translations,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arlen Chitwood's Two Types of Fruit

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Two Types of Fruit by Arlen Chitwood.docx.

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

 Sanctification is the highway to joint heirship with Christ.

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

Kingdom Basics!
By Susan Cockran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Kingdom Basics by Susan Cockran.docx

Bible One - Susan Cockran's Kingdom Basics

To website CONTENTS Page.

What is Replacement Theology?
By 
Got Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got Questions

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

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

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

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

Resurrected Bodies


Righteous Israel

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

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

Tribulation Saints

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

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

Millennial Saints

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

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

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

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

Unrighteous

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

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

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

Raising of Angelic Beings Who died in the Flood

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

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

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

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

Bodies of the Resurrection

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

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

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

“Christ the firstfruits”

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

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

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

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

A Heavenly View of These Firstfruits

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

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

The Friends of the Bridegroom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Resurrected Bodies and Bodies of the Resurrection by Gary Whipple.docx

See following Resurrections Chart!.

To website CONTENTS Page.

Resurrection Chart/Table 

The following Word Document is SAFE to open: Resurrection Chart and Table.docx

Rapture vs. Second Coming Chart/Table 

The following Word Document is SAFE to open: Rapture vs. Second Coming - in table comparison.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

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

Homosexuality
By Charles Strong of Bible One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following paragraph is taken from an article on the biblical teaching on sex in the Holman Illustrated Dictionary, written by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President and Professor of Christian Theology of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky:

Just as the biblical writers present marital sex as holy and natural, all other forms of sexual activity are presented as condemned and sinful.  In addition to adultery and fornication, the Bible expressly forbids homosexuality, bestiality, incest, prostitution, rape, pederasty, and all other forms of sexual deviance (Exodus 22:16-17, 19; Leviticus 18:6-18, 22-23; 20:15-16; Deuteronomy 27:21; Proverbs 7:1-27; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13).


Applicable Scripture Passages (NKJV)

Genesis 1:27-28

Genesis 2:18, 21-24

Genesis 19:1-11, 24 (cf. 2 Peter 2:6-7)

Leviticus 18:22

Leviticus 20:13

Matthew 19:4-6 (cf. Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:31)

Romans 1:18-32 (cf. 1 Timothy 1:8-10)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (Please see the “Note” above. ~ Editor of Bible One by Charles Strong.)

Jude 1:6-7

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bible One - Jerry A. Johnson's Commentary on Homosexuality

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Homosexuality by Charles Strong.docx

See 11) The Goal and Christendom Today! in this site for additional commentary.

To website CONTENTS Page.

 

I've been talking about you a lot with the Lord,
There was so much I wanted to say,
I told Him how thankful and helpful you are,
how I treasure you more every day.
I tried to describe how just having you there
can make things more special and fun.
I said how loyal you are to your friends,
and I thanked him for making me one.
And I told him how much I keep learning from you,
how your faith is inspiring to see.
Then I asked Him if He'd let you know how I feel,
and He said you should hear it from me.
~~ Author known only to God! 

 

 Creation to Eternity Diagram

Note:  Souls of those spiritually saved who are being filled with the Holy Spirit, AND consequently killing the old man in themselves, are THE ones whose souls ARE being saved.  See in this site Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! for more commentary on this subject.

BEST timeline I've found - most detailed and comprehensive.  In Word, a schematic diagram, in my computer:
Charles Strong's Bible Timeline.docx  For printing LEGAL size paper will be needed. 

To website CONTENTS Page.

All human beings crave emotional experiences.  All wish to escape the mundaneness (ordinary and boring) of life through intense encounters.  The flagrant use of drugs and immoral ventures in our world gives witness to this.  But such occurrences, experiences and ventures, regardless of how good they make one feel, should never take the place of the sure Word of God.  So, place your trust in God’s Word; not in your emotions.

Holy Spirit Indicators!
By Charles Strong of Bible One

Pervasive throughout the world today is a vast charismatic movement that many, who are associated with the movement, attribute to the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. In many, if not all, of the assemblies and conferences of this movement there are vivid emotional displays, the production of unintelligible sounds called “speaking in tongues,” and exhibitions of “miraculous” healings and other paranormal activities, all of which fall under the umbrella of “charismatic manifestations.” Attendees at such affairs and individuals within numerous religious denominations believe these manifestations (or signs) reflect true spirituality and mirror those signs that occurred on the Day of Pentecost in the second chapter of the book of Acts. They believe that such signs prove the validity of “spirituality,” and that those who exhibit such signs are being “led” or “filled” by the Spirit of God.

It is not the objective of this study/article to provide extensive and detailed evidence to discredit the charismatic movement. Should anyone be interested in obtaining such evidence, this writer suggests that he type in the words, “charismatic movement” in an Internet search engine such as “Google” and follow the leads that come up. Although the movement, which is characterized by different designations such as Pentecostal, Charismatic, Vineyard, World-Faith, Holy Laughter and others, embodies an appearance of sincere worship and praise, this writer finds no evidence within God’s Word for such a movement and personally believes that it redirects attention away from the gospel message, the true reason for Christ coming to earth. The reader should understand the writer’s position at the onset.

Likewise the reader should understand that this writer personally believes that the tongues spoken of in the New Testament refers to (1) the sign promised by God to the Nation Israel (Isaiah 28:11; 1 Corinthians 14:21-22) of their impending judgment for refusing Jesus Christ as the Messiah and (2) the use of foreign established languages of earth to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ at the start of the Church Age (Acts 2:7-11).

All scriptures within the New Testament, contextually, categorically, isagogically and exegetically, fit perfectly within this framework of interpretation. Paul had to face the unwarranted emphasis on glossolalia (Greek for “speaking in tongues”) and the confusion caused by the same in the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 14). In recent history even more confusion exists over the use of unknown tongues (believed by many to be ecstatic heavenly languages) in the Church today.

This writer has dear friends who, due to their experiences, disagree with him over this position on “speaking in tongues.” Fortunately, the doctrine of tongues is not a major doctrine within the Word of God, and Christians need not break fellowship over it. But what is for certain is that God would have His children place their faith in the sure Word of God, regardless of and especially not in “personal emotional experiences.”

It is this writer’s contention that the canonical record, the Holy Bible, which contains 66 individual epistles, is God’s finished and complete record for doctrine and practice; and that any doctrine or belief, in order to be valid, must be consistent with it. This writer further contends that the warning regarding any additions or subtractions from the book of Revelation (Rev. 22:18-19) also applies to the Bible as a whole. If anyone sincerely desires to know the truth pertaining to any doctrine or belief by any organization or any one, he need only study God’s Word for the answer.
 

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11)

For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
 

 And even though there is great emphasis in the New Testament on the concept of love and “unity” between all members of the Body of Christ, no sacrifice of (acquiescence to) love, acceptance and unity is acceptable at the altar of false doctrine. Even though Paul wrote the greatest chapter on love in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 13), he was also an ardent defender of the faith. 

Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed. (Galatians 2:11)

But the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. (Philippians 1:17)

This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. (Titus 1:13)

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)
 

But even in light of this position, many Christians will continue to hold to their subjective experiences over the sure Word of God, believing that their experiences are born of the Holy Spirit. This being the case, it is worthwhile to distinguish exactly what the Bible says are indicators and works of the Holy Spirit.

First, a quick review of some of the works of the Holy Spirit relevant to the child of God (believer) is warranted.

Works of the Holy Spirit 

1. Baptizes (spiritually immerses) a person into the Body of Christ when that person is born again (from above) by faith alone in Christ alone.
(Matthew 3:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 27; Romans 6:3)

2. Dwells (lives) with and in the believer.
(John 14:17; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1John 2:27)

3. Abides with the believer forever.
(John 14:16)

4. Teaches the believer Bible doctrine and what to say on any occasion.
(Luke 12:12; John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 John 2:27)

5. Informs the believer of things to come.
(John 16:13)

6. Empowers the believer for service.
(Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 4:31-33; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Ephesians 3:16; 1Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:7)

7. Bears witness with the believer’s spirit regarding salvation’s certainty.
(Romans 8:16)

8. Assures the believer that he is a child of God.
(Galatians 4:6)

9. Assures the believer that he is united with Christ.
(1 John 3:24; 4:13)

10. Seals the believer unto the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 4:30)

11. Leads the believer for the purpose of Christian service.
(Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18; Acts 10:19-20; 13:2; 16:6)

12. Gives both spiritual and physical life.
(John 6:63; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Peter 3:18

13. Prays for the believer.
(Romans 8:26-27)

14. Provides spiritual gifts to the believer for Christian service.
(1 Corinthians 12:8-11) 
 

Knowing the major works of the Holy Spirit and knowing that the Holy Spirit is with (lives in) the believer from the believer’s birth as a child of God, the believer may then also know what are the indicators of the Holy Spirit during any event he experiences during his life. This goes for any emotion, any personal experience, and any contact with persons or organizations. And such indicators are few!

Indicators of the Holy Spirit (i.e., when the Holy Spirit is present)

• He speaks of, speaks about and points to Jesus Christ.
(John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 1:16; 6:14)

• He glorifies Jesus Christ.
(John 16:14-15)

• He honors Jesus Christ.
(John 5:23)

• He mirrors the image of Christ through specific spiritual fruit.
(Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9)

Note: This writer suggests that when the Holy Spirit is speaking about honoring and glorifying Jesus Christ, He does so without confusion and in unambiguous simplicity. 

Conclusion

All human beings crave emotional experiences.  All wish to escape the mundaneness (ordinary and boring) of life through intense encounters.  The flagrant use of drugs and immoral ventures in our world gives witness to this.  But such occurrences, experiences and ventures, regardless of how good they make one feel, should never take the place of the sure Word of God.  So, place your trust in God’s Word; not in your emotions.

When a work, a demonstration, a meeting, a manifestation, a program, an organization or whatever is the product of the Holy Spirit, then you may be certain it will focus on, will honor, will glorify and will clearly emphasize the Lord Jesus Christ.  There will be no ambiguity, no confusion and no doubt.  The Holy Spirit will NOT draw attention to Himself.  He will NOT emphasize the Father.  He will NOT bring attention to an individual believer or any gift the believer appears to demonstrate.  He will spotlight, credit and bring honor to the Son of God and His sacrifice on Calvary for eternal salvation; and He will do the same regarding the believer’s sanctification (Colossians 2:6; Galatians 2:20)—a faith-walk in Christ that will evidence the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9).

Holy Spirit Indicators by Charles Strong of Bible One

To website CONTENTS Page.

Charles Strong's Bible Timeline.docxin a schematic diagram, is EXCELLENT!

Basic Timeline of the Bible!
By Got Questions

In the most basic sense, the Bible timeline is endless and eternal, as it chronicles creation (date unknown; Genesis 1:1-31) and the end of ages (Matthew 28:20). From a more practical viewpoint, the Bible timeline on which most scholars agree begins with Abram’s birth, renamed Abraham by God (Genesis 17:4-6) in the year 2,166 (B.C.) and ends with the writing of the book of Revelation in approximately 95 A.D. Prior to Abraham’s birth, the Bible timeline beginning in Genesis contains a rich history of creation, Adam and Eve, the Fall of Man, extensive genealogies, stories of human travails leading up to Noah and the Great Flood (date also unknown), and much more. As an interesting side note, reading Genesis and noting at what age these patriarchs had children, we find that Adam was still alive when Noah was born.

Of course, this raises the question of how literally to interpret dates and other statements in the Bible. Genesis says that God created the world and everything in it in six days (Genesis 1:31). Yet the Bible also says that with God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8). And as Jesus told His disciples to forgive people not only seven times but seventy times seven times (490), the context seems clear that Jesus exhorts us to offer limitless forgiveness to those who trespass against us (Matthew 6:9-13). So, the most accurate and practical way to regard biblical time is that only God knows the true beginning and end of His universe (Mark 13:32).

Yet, within the period between Abraham’s birth and the Apostle John’s writing of the book of Revelation in A.D. 95 from his exile on the island of Patmos shortly before his death, history clearly documents and verifies many of the events and people addressed in the Old and New Testaments. For example, Moses was estimated to be born in 1526 B.C., Joshua entered the Promised Land approximately 1,400 B.C., and the period of Israel’s 10 judges lasted until 1,050 B.C, or until the onset of King Saul’s reign, when most scholars agree concrete historically-verifiable dating was possible. 

From there, Israel’s first king, Saul, the famous King David—from whose family Jesus Christ would be born—and David’s son, wise King Solomon, presided over a united kingdom until 930 B.C. After King Solomon’s reign, Israel experienced a divided kingdom. Kings ruled the north (kings of Israel) and the south (kings of Judah) until the fall of the northern kingdom in 722 B.C. and the fall of Jerusalem (southern kingdom), which resulted in the Jews being exiled to Babylonia in 586 B.C. 

This exile lasted until 538 B.C. when Persian King Cyrus directed Ezra to return to Israel and build a temple for God at Jerusalem in Judah (Ezra 1). The Jews restored Israel between this time and approximately 432 B.C., when the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) was written. What followed next was a period of approximately 430 years, often referred to as “the time between the testaments.”

In approximately 6 B.C., Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, was born in Bethlehem and left soon thereafter for Egypt. After the death of Herod the Great in 4 B.C., Jesus and His parents left Egypt and returned to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23). Nothing is recorded for the next 10 years, until we see Jesus astounding the teachers in the Temple at age twelve (Luke 2:40-52). This was followed by approximately 19 years of silence until Jesus began His public ministry in circa 27 A.D., which included His baptism (Matthew 3:13-17), temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13), first miracle in Cana (John 2:1-12), the first cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13-25) and early Judean ministry (John 3:1–4:43). The following year in Galilee, He called His disciples (Luke 6:13-16), preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1–8:1), spoke in parables, did many miracles, including healings (Matthew 8:23–9:34), and sent forth the twelve (Matthew 9:35–11:1). 

In the period 29-30 A.D., Jesus spent most of His time in Judea, preaching, teaching, performing miracles—including the raising of Lazarus from the dead—and further equipping the disciples to continue on after His death. Early in the year 30 A.D., He set His face toward Jerusalem. During the last week of His life, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His friends, where He instituted the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:14-20) and gave His farewell discourse, including His High Priestly prayer (John 17:1-26). Finally, He was betrayed, arrested, tried, crucified and resurrected (Matthew 26:36–28:8). After that, the risen Christ began a 40-day ministry, was seen by many, and finally ascended to heaven (Acts 1:3-11; 1 Corinthians 15:6-7). 

Shortly after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, His apostles and followers wrote what we now call the New Testament, a collection of books composed comparatively soon after His earthly ministry. Many scholars proficient in studying ancient texts believe that the concurrency of accounts plus the enormous number of copies produced and replicated over subsequent years makes the New Testament the most historically reliable document of all ancient texts. The first book of the New Testament (either Galatians or James) could have been written as early as A.D. 49, or within two decades of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This meant that the original texts were written by eyewitnesses providing first-hand accounts of what took place. The final book of the New Testament, Revelation, was written in approximately 95 A.D.

Got Questions - Timeline of the Bible 

To website CONTENTS Page.

A considerably more detailed and accurate timeline LINK to Word Document follows.

BEST timeline I've found - most detailed and comprehensive.  In Word, a schematic diagram, in my computer:
Charles Strong's Bible Timeline.docx  For printing LEGAL size paper will be needed. 

 A Prayer of Blessing!

May God remember you like Noah
favor you like Moses
honor you like Mary
fight for you like the Israelites
prosper you like Isaac
promote you like Joseph
intervene for you like Esther
protect you like Daniel
use you like Paul
heal you like Naaman
answer you like Elijah
anoint you like David
and keep you safe like
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
~~Author known only to God!

 

 

 Quick Bible Review!

God made.
Adam bit.
Noah arked.
Abraham split.
Joseph ruled.
Jacob fooled.
Bush talked.
Moses balked.
Pharoah plagued.
People walked.
Sea divided.
Tablets guided.
Promise landed.
Saul freaked.
David peeked.
Prophets warned.
Jesus born.
God walked.
Love talked.
Anger crucified.
Hope died.
Love rose.
Spirit flamed.
Word spread.
God remained.

Sanctification differs from justification in several ways. Justification is a one-time work of God, resulting in a declaration of “not guilty” before Him because of the work of Christ on the cross. Sanctification is a process, beginning with justification and continuing throughout life. Justification is the starting point of the line that represents one’s Christian life; sanctification is the line itself leading down the highway to joint heirship with Christ.

Sanctification!**
By Nancy Missler

[Editor’s note: Sanctification, also known as the soul-salvation, is that process that takes place in a person who has placed faith alone in Christ alone for his/her eternal salvation, also known as spirit-salvation, which is performed by the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the believer’s will. All remarks made within brackets are those of Charles Strong.]

Sanctification (Gk: hagiasmos, Strong’s 338) is “the process by which God conforms us back into His image,” the image that was lost when Adam and Eve sinned (Romans 8:29). It’s the means God uses to set us apart and to make us holy, prepared and “fit” for the coming kingdom (John 17:19). The process of sanctification purifies us, separates us from sin and consecrates us to God (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). This is how our soul is saved. God has chosen us “to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit . . . .”

Sanctification is the lifelong process by which we become those “overcomers” who inherit the Millennial Kingdom.

Sanctification means being cleansed of any sin or self that would contaminate our soul. It’s that time where we are emptied of our “self,” and then filled back up with Christ’s life. It’s the process of learning to exchange lives with Christ. As we give Him ours, He gives us His (1 John 1:5-6, 9; 2:1-2). Sanctification refers to an inward change (a metamorphosis) brought about apart from the natural strength of the individual (Romans 12:1-2). This inward change is brought about by His Spirit. “For this cause I have raised you up to show in three My power” (Exodus 9:16). It’s His power that sanctifies us, that changes us and that makes us new creations, but it’s our choice that allows God to accomplish it. It’s not automatic (1 John 2:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16).

Sanctification is when God’s Spirit highlights the self-centered things we do and then shows us how to replace them with His [Christ’s] life. Our fulfillment, our meaning and our significance in this life and the next, all rest upon this transformation process. God’s will is that we might show by our actions (our “Spirit-led” works) that we are “new creations” in Him and that He lives in us. This demonstrates that we have not only applied the blood to the doorposts of our house, we have also expelled the leaven.

God’s will is that our new spirit be freed from all soulish influences so that His Spirit can freely direct our lives (James 1:19-22). Second Corinthians 7:1 (2 Corinthians 7:1) validates this: “Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (Leviticus 20:7; Romans 12:1). Sanctification is the process that makes this happen (Colossians 1:12).

God’s purpose for sanctification is that we might be “conformed into the image of Christ” [Romans 8:29]. The Greek word for “conformed” is summorphos (Strong’s #4832), which means to be jointly formed or fashioned unto. It’s from the root word sun, which means union, resemblance or completeness, and morphe, which means adjustment or shape. Sanctification is the process by which we are shaped or fashioned into His [Christ’s] resemblance.

God wants us conformed into His image so that we might produce the “fruit” that will make us “prepared” and “fit” not only to attend the wedding festivities in heaven [Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 19:7-9], but also to rule and reign in the Millennial Kingdom here on earth [Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6].

The measure of our usefulness to the Lord in the future kingdom will be found in the measure of our sanctification here and now.

Sanctification, therefore, is God’s will for every one of our lives. First Thessalonians 4:3 (1 Thessalonians 4:3) again validates this: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” The teachings surrounding the sanctification of the soul are the central subject of most of the epistles from Romans to Jude. Sanctification is how our souls are transformed and saved: “Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). [Spiritual growth to spiritual maturity can only come by the believer’s consumption of spiritual food, i.e., the Word] Apart from this sanctification process, it’s very difficult to properly understand the central message of the epistles (Hebrews 2:3; 10:35-39; 1 Peter 1:9). In other words, when God speaks of the “saving of souls,” it’s not necessarily the “new birth” He is referring to. He is speaking about the cleansing, renewing and transforming of those who already believe.

God’s will is that we might make the constant “choice” to let Him sanctify us. If we make this choice, He will give us the power to make it happen in our lives. For this to occur, however, we must make 1 John 1:9a major part of our lives: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Then God can constantly renew and transform us. Following our new birth, God deals with us on an entirely different plane — as servants, with a view towards the kingdom. Sanctification is the highway to joint heirship with Christ.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

**The Kingdom Power & Glory, The Overcomer’s Handbook, Nancy Missler, The King’s High Way Ministries, Inc., 2008, pages 259-261

Bible One - Charles Strong's Sanctification 

The King's High Way Ministries by Nancy Missler

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Sanctification by Nancy Missler.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

Sanctification
By Charles Strong of Bible One

John 17:17
 
Jesus the Christ (Gk. Christos: the Anointed One, the Messiah), the Son of God (i.e., God manifested in the flesh), made a number of exceedingly significant statements during His ministry prior to being crucified on Calvary.
 
Near the end of Christ’s earthly ministry to Israel, when it was quite apparent that as a nation repentance would not take place and “when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father” (John 13:1), Christ covered a number of issues with His disciples (John 17:13-17).  Before Christ “went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden (Gethsemane), which He and His disciples entered” (John 18:1), He “lifted up His eyes to heaven, and” (John 17:1) prayed to God the Father regarding Himself (John 17:1-5), His disciples (John 17:6-19), and all believers who would eventually believe in Him (John 17:20-26).
 
During Christ prayer regarding His disciples, He made the following request, which was not only definitive but also quite enlightening in nature:
 
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)
 
Regarding Christians, there is probably no brief verse of Scripture so revealing, so informative as this verse of Scripture.  For contained in it is the precise means by which a Christian may grow from the initial state of spiritual immaturity at the time of his “birth from above” (salvation of his spirit) to a state of spiritual maturity in which he may be assured of the salvation of his soul.

(For an in-depth understanding of the comprehensive plan of redemption provided by God for mankind, involving the entire person, the tripartite nature of man of spirit, soul, and body as detailed in Scripture [1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrew 4:12; etc.], the reader is advised to read Salvation of the Soul in this site)
 
Here Christ addresses the concept of “sanctification” (Gk. hagiasmos – to be “set apart” – a separation from what is sinful and an attachment to what is righteous), which is the “will of God” for every Christian.
 
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God . . . For this is the will of God, your sanctification . . . . (1 Thessalonians 4:1, 3a)
 
Just as the doctrine of “salvation” is discussed in Scripture as being applicable to all facets of tripartite man (spirit, soul, and body), so it is with the doctrine of “sanctification” (instantaneously and permanently to the “spirit” (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 10:10;1 Peter 1:2a), eventually to the “body” (1 Corinthians 15:49-54; Philippians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 John 3:2), but progressively during a person’s corporal life to the “soul”(Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Thessalonians 4:3a).
 
The aspect of sanctification mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 addresses the sanctification of the soul.  The doctrine of sanctification, as taught in the Bible, is a triune concept.  It is very important that the student of the Word differentiates which type of sanctification is being addressed in any particular passage of Scripture, which can be done by examining the context of the passage under consideration.
 
Robert B. Thieme, Jr., who pastored the Berachah Church in Houston, Texas before his death, taught this triune doctrine, calling the facets of it as Positional, Experiential, and Ultimate.  The following is a brief excerpt from his teaching:
 
1. Positional sanctification signifies that every believer at the moment of salvation acquires the status quo of being set apart in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:2; Hebrews 10:10; Colossians 2:10).  At the moment a person believes in Christ as Savior, he is entered into union with Christ; he shares all that Christ has and is; he is a partaker of the divine nature.
 
2. Experiential sanctification is the function of the spiritual life after salvation that involves the believer’s spiritual growth by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit and the grace apparatus for perception (Ephesians 5:26).  The key to be sanctified in Phase Two (Phase One, the moment of salvation; Phase Two, the life of the believer, which begins immediately after salvation and continues until either physical death or the Rapture . . . ; and Phase Three, eternity in heaven) is the proper use of 1 John 1:9 and learning Bible doctrine.  This produces spiritual maturity.
 
3. Ultimate sanctification is the status quo of every believer in his resurrection body in the eternal state (1 Corinthians 15:35-54; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2).  We will be set apart unto God for all eternity.  We are assured of living in God’s presence forever.
 
All three aspects of the doctrine can be seen in 1 Corinthians 1:30-31:
 
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness [Spirit/Positional] and sanctification [Soul/Experiential] and redemption [Body/Ultimate] – that, as it is written,” He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
 
In the verse under consideration (John 17:17), Christ is speaking specifically of sanctification of the soul, i.e., that which will produce the salvation of the soul, which will determine a believer’s position and participation in the coming kingdom during the Messianic Era.  For the Christian living today, this is the primary, the only facet of sanctification with which to be concerned.
 
God’s purpose for and in the sanctification of His children is that they might be transformed and conformed into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Sanctification is the process by which Christians are to be shaped or fashioned into Christ’s image.
 
For whom He [God the Father] foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son . . . And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . .  (Romans 8:29; 12:2 [29a])
 
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
 
Soul (Experiential) Sanctification
 
Soul (Experiential) Sanctification is not vicarious (cannot be transferred or imputed) but is accrued progressively (moment-by-moment) as a result of the Christian’s obedience under the influence of the Holy Spirit to God’s will as revealed in His Word.
 
It is also known as Christian growth, maturing in the faith.  Most significantly, it is a balance or union between God’s sovereign work by His Spirit and man’s responsiveness (will), as seen in Philippians 2:12-13:
 
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out [Gk. katergazomai – cultivate] your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
 
The concept in this passage is similar to a farmer who owns a field.  The field is his possession, but what is produced on it depends on how he cultivates it.  The field can produce little to nothing, or it can bring forth a rich crop.  It all depends on the farmer and how he cultivates it.  For Christians, there is always God’s way of cultivating and man’s way of cultivating.  God’s way is always to work through the believer, which produces divine good (works accomplished by faith under the power of the Holy Spirit with proper motivation on the part of the Christian and which will always glorify Jesus Christ).  Man’s way is to function under his own will and self-effort, which produces human good (works conducted under his own power with improper motivation and which glorify only man, definitely not Christ).
 
Soul (Experiential) Sanctification always correlates to the production of divine good, which will result in eternal rewards (not eternal life) as is expressed in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:
 
For no other foundation [Spirit (Positional) Sanctification] can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds [Soul (Experiential) Sanctification] on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones [divine good], wood, hay, straw [human good],each one’s work will become clear; for the Day [of Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10)] will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures [divine good], he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned [human good], he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved [Body (Ultimate) Sanctification], yet so as through fire.

Essentials of Soul (Experiential) Sanctification

The essential aspects of soul (experiential) sanctification, which are inviolable, are as follows:

1.   Grounded in the Word of God

This was the thrust of Christ’s prayer in John 17:17.  Sanctification can only come by absorption and application of truth, God’s Word, the written Word, the direct reflection of the Living Word (John 1:17; 14:6).

Sanctification, the only path to spiritual maturity, cannot be achieved apart from an in-depth understanding of God’s Word.  It is serious error on the part of any Christian who believes it can be done otherwise.  It is only through the continuous study of God’s Word that one learns and can therefore emulate the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

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

. . . Christ also loved the Church [all believers] and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word. (Ephesians 5:25-26)

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again [from above], not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever.  (1 Peter 1:22, 23)

How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word.  (Psalms 119:9)

Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)
 
2.   Apprehended by Faith

It is an error of the most egregious degree when a child of God, having apprehended eternal salvation by faith alone, to then attempt to achieve sanctification by self-effort.  God abhors man’s efforts to please him through man’s will and strength (i.e., by means of Legalism – the observance of God’s moral law and one’s own adopted taboos).

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags . . . . (Isaiah 64:6a)

God intends that the only way a person can be saved is by faith alone in Christ alone, and He intends that the only way a person can progressively achieve sanctification is by faith alone in God’s Word – one must simply believe what God has said about a matter, any matter.

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

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith [starts and ends with faith]; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17, cf. Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38)

Trust [have faith] in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Commit your way to the LORD, trust [have faith] also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest [have confidence or faith] in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him. . . . (Psalm 37:5-7a)

3.   Conducted in the power of the Holy Spirit

The only enabling power capable of producing divine good is the Holy Spirit.  At the moment a person accepts Jesus Christ by faith alone for his personal salvation, he is born of the Holy Spirit who immediately enters and takes up dwelling in the believer, immersing (baptizing) him into the Body of Christ, as well as “sealing” the believer for the Day of Redemption and grants him spiritual gifts for Christian service (not personal recognition).

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)

But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:39)

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (Romans 8:9)

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6)

Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. (1 John 3:24)

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.  (2 Corinthians 1:22)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

Spiritual gifts for Christian service:  1 Corinthians 12:11, 27-31; 13:1-2.

At the “new birth,” each believer is under the control (“filling” – influence) of the Holy Spirit – a control that may only be limited by the believer’s improper personal (willful) choice.  By making wrong choices the believer allows sin to crowd out the influence of God’s Spirit in his life, even though God’s Spirit will never depart from the believer.

It is God’s will that each believer be always “filled” with (controlled, influenced by) the Holy Spirit in order to be divinely empowered for service.  For this reason, once sin enters a believer’s life and thereby quenches (restricts) and grieves (causes hurt or emotional pain in) the Holy Spirit; it is up to the believer to enact 1 John 1:9, which if judiciously followed, will immediately reestablish the “filling” of the Holy Spirit in his life – a fact of faith, not feeling (emotion).

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled [controlled or influenced] with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)

Do not quench [restricts the influence of] the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

And do not grieve [cause emotional pain in] the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for [unto] the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

If we confess [name or take accountability for] our [known] sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our [known] sins and to cleanse us from all [unknown or forgotten] unrighteousness [sins]. (John 1:9)

The “filling” (empowerment) by the Holy Spirit is not to be “prayed for” or “begged from God.”  One doesn’t receive it by agonizing over the matter.  It wasn’t because the disciples were praying that the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2; it was because the Holy Spirit was predestined to come in order to start the Church Age and they were “waiting” as instructed (Acts 1:4) in faith (i.e., they believed God’s Word) for Him.  At this time during the Church (Grace) Age (Dispensation), the Holy Spirit is more eager to “fill” (control) the believer than the believer is eager to have His control. 

But be sure that a Christian may not be filled by the Holy Spirit without allowing the Word of Christ to “dwell in you richly in all wisdom” as is clearly seen when the following two passages of Scripture are correctly compared:

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

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

Christians must know that nothing done apart from the Holy Spirit will honor God.

That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

Evidence of Soul (Experiential) Sanctification</