Tag: God the Holy Spirit

Is Christ the Creator, God? Part 9

The last creation just may be the original creation, it may not be a place but a condition! Ephesians 1:4 When Jesus went to become King of Kings and Lord of Lords and was presented His kingdom, dominion, and power, Daniel 7:44, when He was raised “to set on David’s throne,” did He return to a place or a circumstance? Heaven is a place, situation, circumstance; the context must decide. When one speaks of Heaven, most often speak of a “place” where God sets on His throne, they speak of a place, not a circumstance or situation. If one speaks of a place, they talk about where God IS, and one must ask themselves a question, just where is it that God is not? Since He is everywhere (even with us when we do not want Him to be), where would one GO to be with God? How about to worship services!! If we do not GO somewhere and God is everywhere, when what has stopped constant and continual existence with God means we can SPIRITUALLY exist in His presence being in the same place as He, where do we GO to be in that presence?? Would it not be that where we can GO where we can meet Him once a week is not considered? The saved who do not take of business here, lose!!
Once the problem of sin was resolved by the death of Christ, spiritual fellowship with God was remedied, yet we could not continually be in His presence, WHY? The Bible tells us the answer to this question. “Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:50 “For the flesh lust against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other” Galatians 5:17 The putting off of this fleshly body removes this war in this arena and one who had never put off this body of flesh could never expect to enter into a totally spiritual place. “For we that are in this tabernacle groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon that mortality (the ability for this body to not continue) might be swallowed up on life.” 2 Corinthians 5:4 Knowing that the physical body cannot last forever, we would never think that with a deteriorating tabernacle one would ever think of entering into an eternal, never-ending realm UNTIL we have prepared ourselves for that JOY!! We have never appreciated one of the benefits of the death of the physical body!! When we leave this body, when we have said our last good-byes, grieving is really out of place-it is not death for us to die!! We will never be “stripped of covering” as brother Paul writes: “If so being clothed we shall not be found naked.” 2 Corinthians 5:3 Once, the problem of the body is resolved in the resurrection, the thing that stopped our existence in the presence of an eternal Being has been resolved IF we have “labored to be pleasing to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:5-9
The “going to Heaven” is verbiage not found in the new Testament that I have found. Where this originated and why is open to guess, but the fact that it is an improper truth. Being “invited through the gates into the city” is another phrase that has found common usage which also cannot be found to relate to Heaven, as a separated place. The “city” mentioned here is the Church of Christ. This “city” has twelve gates, nor temple, light, or sin but it is not true that the Book tells us we are “invited into the gates of Heaven” that I can find!! If we obey the gospel and are “added” to this “city,” we are said to be in the “midst of the street of IT where no curse (of death-separation from God) shall be! Revelation 21-22. The It is the Church of Christ, not Heaven. If we cannot be separated from God, Matthew 16:18, when in the Church of Christ (if we walk in the Light, 1 John 1:1-9), how can we not understand that “where He is, there we are, also?” If we are in fellowship with Deity when we are added to the Body of Christ, the IT, all that awaits our being in His presence is the removing of that barrier that separates us from THEM!! When Paul gave the Revelation to John, Paul, by the Holy Spirit described the “Lamb’s Bride,” called her the IT, and told us we had a RIGHT to the “tree of life,” that is limited to one day because we “have entered in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 This is not a description of anything but the Lord’s Supper!! It (she) is that which invites, and all “whosoever is athirst may come and take of the water of life (the message of the Spirit, John 7:39), freely.” Conclusion: to be “in Christ,” in the “Church of Christ,” is to be in Heaven, on earth! All that awaits our being in the continuous presence of Deity is the resurrection!! That remedies this separation just like the blood of Christ did the separation because of sin!! Imagine having Heaven: you were in IT, were added to IT, and you gave IT up!! and for what??, the body, that goes back to dust??

Is Christ the Creator, God? Part 8

“Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool; where is the house that Ye build unto Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” Isaiah 66:1-2
This sets the place, time, and purpose of the discussion in Isaiah 66. This passage was quoted by brother Stephen in the sermon that cost him his life in Acts 7:49-50. To confuse the subject, time of fulfillment, and purpose of this text is not only impossible, but also dishonorable!! “Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be formed at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”
If the heart tremble at the Word, the ear will open to its message; “For all those thing hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.”Isaiah 66:2 Isaiah had decried the jest of the hypocritical Jew that mocked the Word of God and refused His calling to them for obedience. So Isaiah turns his message to those who would. Listen to brother Stephen: “Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; saith the prophet.” Acts 7:48 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.” Acts 7:44 “Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” Acts 7:53 “This is He, that was in the church in the wilderness with the Angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust Him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt.” Acts 7:38-39. Miss this if you want, this is speaking about the “new creation, the new heaven and new earth, made by Christ, refused by the children of Israel!! The house Solomon built, Stephen declares, “was built by man’s hands,” the temple that Christ built would be built “by the hand of God.” For all those who look for Christ to come back to this earth and “build again the things He once destroyed,” make Christ a sinner!! The Church of Christ in HAND MADE!! Each member of her society is personally added to His body by the Son. It was true, all the “children of the mother were angry with us,” Song of Solomon 1:6, and even Pilate mocked Christ when he said; “ Thine own nation hath delivered Thee unto me.” John 18:35 The Jew who “cast them out of the synagogues” excommunicated us as though we were the worst of blemishes because we “called upon the name of the Lord.” It is no new thing for the church to be punished by the governorsss of false religions who cry out; “let the Lord be glorified,” Jesus prophesied: “They shall put you out of the synagogues, yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me.” John 16:2 The prophesy of Psalms 14 is completely missed unless you put it in context!! Read: “the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? Who eat up My people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord. There (when they call on the Lord) were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous, Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge. Oh! That the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When the Lord bringeth back the captivity of His people. Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.”
Stephen had them on target as the “fool” and “haters of God’s people.” Worse, they had thought themselves the “builder of the “house of God,” which, in fact God reserved for Himself to build, and having not listened to the prophets had completely missed the message from heaven!!

Is Christ the Creator, God? Part 7

I have talked to the 7th Day Adventist many times about the 66th chapter of Isaiah. They think it to show that in the “new heavens and new earth” the sabbath and new moons of the old Covenant were to remain. In the 22nd verse of Isaiah 66, the results of the creation of Christ were pictured as part of the “new Testament Covenant,” a remembrance of the diligence to duty imposed by those practices which would have to be the same of the church of the New Testament. To begin to see the picture of the 66th chapter, let us look at the beginning of that chapter.
The universality of the kingdom of Christ would be seen. Christ would be seated on His throne (“judging the 12 tribes of Israel” as is mentioned in Matthew 19:28) sending out His apostles to “all the world” with the authority of Heaven behind their message. This would include, yet not exclude, all the kingdoms of the world. Mentioned are Tarshish, Pul, Lud, etc., to allow us to see the gospel of the kingdom would be preached to every man in every nation. Whereas in the worship of God in Jerusalem where only one tongue would be spoken, in the new kingdom “that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see My glory.” Isaiah 66:18
“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Isaiah 66:7-8 A voice had come from the city of Jerusalem, a voice from the temple where they were accustomed to assemble to worship God. This voice was proclaiming the coming kingdom When the Church of Christ came into existence in Jerusalem, AD 33 at 9:00am that Pentecost Sunday morning, no one expected that to occur, not even the apostles, themselves, for there were no signs to indicate she was even expecting!! To the world, the church was in hiding in the upper room. Fearful of their lives. No one would expect such a motley crew as was gathered in the upper room in hiding would break forth from their place of hiding and produce a kingdom that would cause “a nation to come forth in one day.” Zion, the name of Jerusalem in many prophecies of Isaiah, travailed (had no labor pains), and before her labor pains came, she was delivered of a man child!! (Only men can reproduce the seed.)
The next question is as exciting as the afore mentioned. “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? Shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb?” “Rejoice you with Jerusalem (which is from above), and be glad, all you that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you that mourn for her.” These infants would be satisfied with the milk (the sincere milk of the word) that would flow out of heaven to earth and would not mourn because this milk would satisfy their desire (to be forgiven of sin). This would be a nation that would satisfy the Gentile (as well as the Jew, for both would be members of her body). With fire (truth that refines) and sword (the Word of God) the Lord would plead with all flesh (not just the Jew, only). Those who were in her branches would sanctify themselves and glorify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst. They would partake of the one Supper that would cause this to occur, the Lord’s Supper. They shall be priest of God when the “new heavens and new earth” would come into being on this earth. “From one new moon (which Christ said would cease in observance) to another, and from one sabbath (the symbol of a day of remembrance) to another, shall all flesh (not just the Jewish people, only) shall come to worship before Me, saith the Lord.” As the church goes into all the world, she shall declare the separation of God from the dead carcasses (the Jewish ancestry), for they have transgressed against God. Their end will be described as that of the place called Hades where their worm dieth not and the fire not quenched. The world would abhor them.
To miss this picture of the Church of Christ, looking for the sabbath and the new moons of the old Covenant, is truly sad of a denomination that has never had an existence before God. This beautiful picture of the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, which shows the glory and reality of her existence thrills all who love her and share in the thrill of her existence on this earth!! The Church of Christ, ONLY could fulfill these truths of this account. Tell me when else was a nation brought forth in one day from the womb of the dead (Jew) to glorify our God? This is just too rich to miss!! This is the nation that became twice dead whose fate will never be the Hadean world!! THANK GOD!!

Is Christ the Creator, God? Part 6

When the “new heavens and the new earth” came into being, when “behold, I make all things new,” was fulfilled, when men could become a “new creation,” and when the “new birth” was a reality, and when men “could be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name”, when the “new law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem”; how could it ever be that Christ finished His work after the creation of the physical heaven and earth on the seventh day of Genesis account?
In the Old Covenant this phrase of “new heaven and new earth” was used two times. In Isaiah 65:17 and Isaiah 66:21. The Holy Spirit had His servant Isaiah pen words describing the finished work of Christ. If these promises were in part fulfilled when the Jews, after their return from captivity, were settled in peace in their own land and brought as it were into a new world, what would these words mean?? They were to have their full accomplishment in the gospel church, militant first and at length victorious. The “Jerusalem which is from above is free and is the mother of us all,” the “faith that was once delivered unto the saints,” the “grace that bringeth salvation which has appeared to all men.” and the “new creation from which old things have passed away and all have become new,” were yet to come. It was a mighty happy change that is described in Isaiah 65:16. The former things, former troubles were forgotten; but here it rises much higher; even the former world was to be forgotten and shall no more “come into mind.” Could these conditions describe the land of Palestine and the physical Jewish nation? If the physical portends the spiritual, could these things describe the life and times of the saints of God in His new institution called the Church of Christ? In this institution, unlike that of Palestine and old Jerusalem, those converted to the “faith once delivered to the saints” have forgotten this world, because they can entirely live in this world preparing for that which is to come; the forgoing joys of all this world has to offer will be swallowed up by that inexhaustible divine power of the same God that created the physical heaven and earth. The world that had never been that which belonged to the Semitic Jew, could now be claimed as her King and Lord which He had been given it when He ascended on high and sat down to reign at the right hand of God, the Father. Psalms 2 The world is ours if we be Christ’s. 1 Corinthians 3:22 Because Christ has reconciled us to the Father, He who promised “Behold, I make all things new,” Revelation 21:5 could now have been said to finish His work as the Creator!! What a robbery of joy it is for we whose minds would have been closed to the Creator of all things, to have been stopped back in Eden!!
When the “new heavens and new earth” was to come into being there would be new life. Sin, the sickness of the soul, would be no more. The blood of the eternal, everlasting Son of God, would have been shed and the mind of the Father would be given amnesia to those sins that blood had covered. Hebrews 8:12; Galatians 3:26-27 There would then be “new life,” that which had separated the sinner man from the fellowship of Deity would no longer be of concern. There would be a new priesthood, the Levitical priesthood (which could never offer a sacrifice that appeased the mind of the Father) would be replaced by a priesthood of the redeemed. There would be no more crying, Isaiah 65:19, the transgression that could not be remedied, for which there was no remedy, had a “way to the Father.” John 14:6 Death (separation from God) “had reigned from Adam to Christ over those who had sinned after the similitude of Adam.” Romans 5:14 An infant, even though it lived only a few days, would be an an old man with his days filled. Their days would be filled because their hearts would finally have what the men of the world have never possessed-enough! They who were unsatisfied, though their life was ever so long, could not live to a hundred years old in happiness. The curse of old age would be gone, for the longer he lived the more wrath he would store up to the day of death; for now it would not matter whether he lived on earth long or short, what would matter is whether he lived the life of saints or the lives of sinners. Ecclesiastes 3:3 The “tree of life” has now be re-opened, for as it is promised; “as the days of the tree of life; so the days of the oak.” Isaiah 6:13, for now “we can enjoy the benefits of our labor.” The “children of eternity, brought into existence by the plan of Deity, shall not know anguish.” Ecclesiastes 2:18-19 For these and other blessings, Christ remained the creator-God!

Is Christ the Creator, God? Part 5

When Christ completed His work of creation, He brought into existence a “new heaven and a new earth.” This verbiage is often misunderstood because people are looking for a new planet and a new heaven above that planet. All that was made in the physical heaven and earth was for man and his good. It was subject to vanity because man would sin. One day it will end, the purpose of its existence being completed. All the elements of which this world is made is under a curse which can never be remedied, it has to be dissolved. What an abominable thing sin is and how man should curse the day sin overcomes him because it takes from man what God had made for his happiness. If sin destroys the first heaven and earth coupled with beauties in which it abounds, how ought we to ponder and pray that to be apart of a “new” heaven and earth “in which dwells righteousness, we should never allow ourselves to become degraded to this type of condition, again. The condition called “holy” resides in God’s house and must describe all the desires of we who make up that great assembly!! Knowing that we all began far from this state of excellence, we must strive with all that is in us to become what of us is demanded. All our manner of life which preceded our being “grafted in” can never return as a way of life and must proceed toward a likeness of Him with “whom we have to do”!! We must exercise ourselves continually with no less demand than to make our “new life in Christ” the means of entrance into that heavenly realm where “God is not ashamed to be our God.” All the things which are here and now will soon pass away and are but fleeting glimpses of a glory which awaits the faithful. To surrender our souls for what here is the here and now, is a remarkably inane lack of appreciation for all that God intended for mankind when He first created him!! The morning will dawn on a “new day” which our creator God has made available to all we who love Him and are “called according to His purposes.” Knowing that all the blessings of God are “yea, yea and not nay, nay,” we live “trusting in the God who made us” anxiously expecting the “day of God” to come.
The coming of the “day of God.” is the day when Christ shall return in His glory to be “admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in the day of the preceding world.” 2 Thessalonians 1:10 In His first coming, He appeared as a servant, clothed in humility, but, His second coming will reveal all the glory imagination can never accomplish. Not only this, but this day will be the day of our complete redemption for He will come “to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired.” God will “count us worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11 Although it will terrify and frighten all the unrighteous to see the “heavens in flaming fire and the elements melting away,” we who are expecting our Lord to so return will “shout with a voice of thunderous rejoicing that we have so lived to enjoy this day. Our faith was evidence of these things which had not been seen.” To look for anything God has not promised us would be presumptuous on our part, but to know His promises are TRUE AND EVERLASTING, and that we regulate our expectations to what has been revealed and guaranteed, we await the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ having been schooled in what to expect and how we should have lived by this “new heaven and new earth.”
The Judge of all the world from whom no plea will ever be silenced whose court no appeal will ever be reversed, comes to make His final acceptance of we who have been redeemed from the world by His blood, citizens of yet another “new” habitation in peace!! The happiness of being “found in Him” when He returns will then forever be underscored. Never expect to be secured in Him if we have in our day been lazy and self-satisfied not striving for that blessed holiness. It will only be the Christian who has striven with himself and the world “bringing himself under subjection to the wishes of this great Magistrate!!” For “cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.” Jeremiah 48:10 If the Lord delays His coming, never consider it a refusal or a change of His plan, Heaven will be a happy recompense for all of us who have kept faithful, waiting on His return. His delay will in no sense show lack of concern or compassion for His servants nor a reprieve for all they who have abused their time ready-ing themselves for His coming. Joy exultant and full of glory is ours because this “new heaven and new earth” has made us ready!!

Is Christ, the Creator God? Part 4

From the study of Christ turning water into wine, we have found our way to the “rest for the people of God.” Hebrews 4:4-7 Knowing that the Jewish custom of “purifying”( John 2:6) was still in place in the minds of the Jewish people, the purpose of the 6th covenant came into view. From the 6th covenant, which prefigured the death of Christ on Calvary, we went OT 6th day of creation, when, again, all had not been completed in the grand scheme of the ages. These re-occurring themes teach us the reason “God rested on the sabbath.” The Creator God, Christ, had done all that He had planned to do “in the beginning” waited the finality of His work, which had been pre-determined to be done, awaiting the purpose of making mankind. The end of our existence “has now been brought to light.” 2 Timothy 1:10 No man or wisdom could have understood this as designed, so Christ came and lived the “days of purification, until the offering should be made.” Acts 21:26 Again in Esther, we have been taught the “sacrifice for the salvation of the people” would undergo purification. Esther 2:3 This was pictured in the purifying processes given Israel after they came out of Egypt in Numbers 19:9. “It shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin.” So, Christ “in the end of the Jewish economy,” gave Himself so what had established, the process of purification under type in Moses, could be accomplished by Christ in His death. At the end of the six days of creation, the Creator God was not finished. He had brought “things” into existence so He could then finalize the plan instituted by the Father, to forgive we who are members of His body, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh,” that which He affectionately calls His “it.” Psalms 118:24, Mathew 16:18, Galatians 3:27, Revelation 21:22,23,24,26
Entering the discussion of Hebrews is quite beneficial. Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit had introduced a “rest” to which the unbelieving Jew had been invited!! One fails to understand which “rest” is being discussed when one fails to know of whom and about what the examples of the non-believing, non-continuing Old Covenant Jew had forfeited. So no one would draw the wrong conclusion, Paul, by the inspiration of Holy Spirit, mentions the rest again in David. If the Jew had thought the rest was the promised land, they would be as confused as we when we think the Creator God finished His word of creation on the 6th day, the day of purification. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest (he who had laid down the working tools of life is finally finished. For this Christ had created man!! He did not not make us just to return to dirt!!), He has ceased (something that was never stated about the physical creation of 6 days, which leaves out all the denominations of man) from His own works. For if Joshua had given them rest (the promised land was not that rest, Christ work with man would be completed), then would He not afterward have spoken of another day (when the it would be brought into existence.) Hebrews 4:8-10 This “other day” was the “new day” of the “new creation” which the “new Creator” would bring into being after the “days of purification” had ended!! “The right hand of the Lord ( an appellation for Christ) is exalted: the right hand of the Lord does valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has chastened me sore: but He has not given me over unto death (physical death is never my end). Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them (the gates of the righteous, the forgiven), and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter (the Church of Christ). I will praise Thee: for Thou hast heard me (the hungry and thirsty has been filled, the pure in heart has seen the God of their salvation, the mourner has been given the answer to life), and are become my salvation. The stone (brother) which the builders (Jewish people) refused is become the head (1 Peter 2:7) stone of the corner.” When was this to be, brother Peter? “This is the day (of the new creation) which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:16-29
“Today, in the new dispensation, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, you can repent and be baptized for the remission of sin and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and be added to the Church of Christ. For we have a High Priest, in this new dispensation, which CAN get us to the Throne and obtain mercy and grace, in the time of need.” Thank God for Christ Jesus our Lord!!

Paul’s Great Meeting at Rome with Nero Part 3

What a privilege it would be to be invited to such a meeting. Paul, the greatest human apostle of all time, called his high and mighty Jewish brethren, to his “own hired house,” and read the right act for not obeying the teachings of the Law of Moses! Paul alludes to this provision of “LODGING.” This was pre-Judiastic, what was taught in Judaism, and carried on until the first half of this past century among our brethren. Mentioned when writing to Philemon (a good Jewish name) in Philemon 1:22. “But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers, I shall be given unto you.” Many do not appreciate what God had in mind for this room, the best room of the house, for traveling Jews. It not only provided them fellowship, it gave the the proper diet (for they ate with one of their own who would eat the food of the Jewish law), it showed the hospitality demanded of the Lord. The statement “foxes have holes and birds have nest; but the Son of Man has no where to lay His head” picks up a special meaning not often seen. When Lot had the “strangers” under his roof he showed that he felt personally responsible for them. Genesis 19:8 When Abraham sent his servant to find Rebekah for Isaac, arriving at her brother Laban’s house the scriptures teach: “And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. And the man came into the house and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him. And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat until I have told mine errand. “ Genesis 24:31-33 One of Job’s claims to integrity and honor was the same: “The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveler.” Until the last half of this century, it was considered sinful to “put up the traveling evangelist” in a motel room; he was invited into the home of most well to do in the church and treated like a king, not a stranger!!
Paul had a lot to complain about and these Jews were rightfully put in their place. These men had handed Paul an insult that ignored the “right of the traveler.” Put on the defensive by their abuse of a fellow traveler, these uppity-ups were schooled in “entertaining strangers.” Hebrews 13:2 Maybe this is enough on this subject, but I just wanted you to see this was a common practice of decency from the beginning of time and they had ignored it, they allowed Paul to be turned over to a Roman soldier!! That covers verse 16 and 17.
When Paul called for the important Jews to come to his house, more came than were expected. You can see why, overcome with the love for souls, the apostle determines to win them to Christ. When assembled the gospel preacher had his audience.
Paul again declares innocence. As mentioned before, this put them at a disadvantage because some of those who had been thrown out of Rome had no doubt been guilty of subversion—they were Jews! Oh! the way our ears would have burned to hear this great apostle defend his Lord, not for 15 or 20 minutes but from morning til evening!! The subject—the Church of Christ. What greater to the liking of Paul than a discussion of the Lord’s bride. For all our 7th Day Adventist friends, notice Paul reasoned with them out of the law of Moses AND the prophets. One another occasion something like this happened and the Word said: “their hearts burned within them!!
He began with the Old Testament Scriptures. If you ever get an opportunity to speak to those who think themselves Jews, start and stay with the Old Testament. You will be wasting valuable time citing the New Testament. “Some believed” while “some did not believe.” The gospel was delivered. Paul had their blood off his hands. If you ever think the gospel should be preached and an invitation to obey left silent, look at this example!!
“Well spoke the Holy Spirit.” Again, for the Jehovah”s Witnesses, the Holy Spirit can both speak, deliver, and defend the truth better than anyone. Wonder how many of these knew there was such a being as the Holy Spirit? Wonder if they knew He gave the Old Testament scriptures to their prophets and Moses? Isaiah they knew, but the Holy Spirit was a New testament concept; “they had not so much as heard if there be such a Being as the Holy Spirit!” The problem with these men was not the speaker (for all you who blame yourself when the person is not converted), it is their HEART!!

Is Christ, the Creator God? Part 3

“He took away the first, that He might establish the second.” Everything about the work of Christ was to show Him the Creator God. He would leave “no stone unturned,” no priesthood intact, nor no command unchanged. In His day, the end of the Mosaic Age had come, the changing over from the powers that had reigned for previous worlds (ages) and new powers (authority), the new order under was the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Christ had come to finish what had been left undone in the Garden of Eden, the seventh day of creation was at hand!!
In Hebrews 4:1-10, the apostle declares the greater benefit we have under the covenant of Christ than the Jew had under the law of Moses or the Gentile had under the Patriarchal dispensation. We have a promise left us of entering into the rest of Christ, the Creator, to which they were never invited. This is the rest of the soul, the eternal part of our being which many do not ever think has been in conflict or battle. It would be a covenant-related dispensation with the Father and no man of any previous age could have so entered. This promise of spiritual rest which the covenant of Christ brings has no equal in any other covenant. Not only has Christ promised us “rest,” He proposed to allow each of us in this new covenant order to live the rest of our allotted existence with Him in the presence of His fellow deities and their companies of angels. This promise and proposal IS proclaimed in the last will and testament of Jesus Christ. It was NEVER conceived to become a reality with man under other covenants. God was not finished in the first week of time with what and why He had created man. There was truly a promise and proposal for something greater to come!! This was truly “something that had not entered into the heart of man.” When the fellowship with God was cut off in the Garden of Eden, no hint was ever given that one day fellowship with God could be restored. There was a HINT that sin might be forgiven, this was seen in the gospel preached in the Old Covenant by the sacrifice of the perfect lambs, but NEVER that man could re-enter that precious abode of fellowship with They of this superior nature. With heightened wonder and fellowship Adam and Eve could have never conceived this to be true. It NOW is possible. It is now Our business and this we must understand and realize, so we will NEVER LOOSE THIS GOAL. We must intend to lay claim on the promise and proposal offered us in this new covenant, not allowing anyone or anything to stop it from being our reality. Satan and our fleshly desires, by which man is kept under the domain and slavery of sin, deprive us of the soul rest we were intended to have. We stay in a battle some do not even know they are in. We all understand that when man rest, physically speaking, he does so because of extensive labor, but the soul is never considered as being “tired” of the war with which it has been engaged from its inception. In the New Testament Covenant, we can enter that rest! To think that one day we might have perfect agreement with the Creator and They of His nature, having been set free from the yoke of bondage, the promise that is introduced to us of spending eternity in heaven is not such a far fetched dream!!
There are three rest mentioned in this passage; the rest of the sabbath, the rest given when the Jew came out of Egypt, and the rest when Joshua brought them into the land of promise. He did not speak of the first rest, it having happened so long ago, or of the rest of Joshua when they had received the promised land, He is speaking of the rest “awaiting the children of God” in the new and heavenly kingdom of Christ. This was the end of man God had in mind for man when He created man. This is the image shown in the sabbath when He had created man. The argument from the future of rest is not so clear as that history from the past when God had rescued man from the throng of Egyptian soldiers who was in their very midst; but the Jew of the past was not allowed entry into the rest of God because of unbelief. They sent 12 spies, disbelieved the report of the two faithful spies, and failed to recognize what God had done among the Egyptians He was able even to so do, now. Christ was angered and so swore in His wrath that “they shall not enter into My rest.” See what lack of faith will do!! God could not bless the faithless, because they showed contempt for His word and did not believe. We, who are their children if we do not continue, are along that same trail of unbelief when we give up on Christ along the trail of life and fail to continue.

Paul’s Great Meeting at Rome with Nero Part 2

Can you imagine meeting with the apostle Paul for 8 hours WITHOUT the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, just the knowledge he had gained from his being taught by that same Spirit!! The leader of the “sect everywhere spoken against” had called the “important” Jews in Rome on the carpet and would “read them the right act” for their treatment of a fellow member of their ancestry with credible credentials!! He, again, “withstood them to the face, for they were to be blamed” for the treatment of Paul when they had recently just received the same type treatment from Nero when he had run them out of Rome!! Whether they were falsely accused or no, Paul wanted them to emphatically know he was NOT and therefore did not deserve such treatment!! “men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs or our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar; not that I had aught to accuse my nation of.” Acts28:17-19
How ridiculous it was for them to treat a fellow member of their nation, boycotting him to receive treatment so poorly. Worse, they did not even know of or about Paul, “we neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came showed or spake any harm of thee.” Acts 28:21 “When we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.” Paul was insulted that men of such standing among the Jews would treat a member of their own nation in such fashion!! These men had not heard of Paul, but, they had heard of Christ and Christianity and were eager, like Herod was to see Jesus, to discuss this matter. They were not inviting them to their houses (they could not invite him to their synagogue, for Nero would not allow one to be built, there), but they did come in to his “hired house.” Whether they believed his message, one thing they had to believe, he was intensely sincere in defending himself against all the false causes of which he had been accused. If that said nothing, it did tell them he was doubly sincere in his belief. No, Paul was not in shackles but he was assigned to a certain soldier to await the meeting with Nero. What also made Paul a little indignant was that 3 days had passed and they had not inquired of him!!
That is the background, what is most important to you and I is the meeting from “morning til evening” There are not many occasion we might want to be the insect in the corner of the room, but this would have been one of them. Their attitude was typically Jewish. They indicted him by saying; “tell us of this sect, for we know it is everywhere spoken, against.” They had asked to hear of Christianity, he delivered. How many teachings in the law of Moses have we ever wondered about? How many statements of the prophets? Paul was not vindicating himself, excusing his situation and complaining about his poor treatment, Paul was busy “being about the Father’s business.” He was trying to convert these men to Christ, and no doubt did , some of them!!
The best and the brightest was imploring these of station and rank to give up that for which they had just suffered extradition. Notice: Paul “expounded and testified.” To expound is to set forth, expose, support with fact and conviction. Paul, got emotionally involved in his preaching. He never “put his listeners to sleep” boring them with nauseating facts about which they were not interested. “Testified,” this is not the word used most in denominational circles. This word means to affirm with conviction and emotion. Paul was after their souls, he knew who and what he was up against therefore he delivered his message to and with all the power of persuasion and factual information that was available. You and I have read some of his speeches, imagine the power and enthusiasm with which this was undertaken. The beauty of truth is never more seen than in controversy. Controversy and debate makes truth shine like no other vehicles. False teachers shy away from this type confrontation because they know the weaknesses of their positions will not stand up to investigation. Desperation, sometimes demands that a preacher use every bit of power and force available. Here, the apostle used it all. His concluding speech is recorded. It shows the desperation felt in his heart. He goes beyond the argument to emotion. He had souls to save and shows us how!! Some of us aught to read this and learn!!

Is Christ, the Creator God? Part 2

We read of the miracle of turning water into wine and of the custom of the Jews to purify their water pots for drinking and never tie the two together. Purifying was the work He came to do and marriage was the way He was to accomplish this work. No miracles had He yet worked and only a few believed on Him at this time. What was our Lord, by this miracle, trying to teach us!! We don’t see that the custom of the Jews for purifying was no longer to be practiced, and what the Jewish religion practiced as “purification” was to be changed to something “brand new” by Him who creates ALL THINGS!! When the old “heavens and earths” were shaken, the Jewish custom would be taken out of the way. This would occur when they were “nailed to the cross” Their Law had “reigned in heaven” by controlling the thoughts of man. Their Laws would fall before the Lord when He would “roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem.” Christ would spoil “principalities and powers” and come triumphantly from the grave, establishing forever the credibility of His claim as “King of Kings.” It would be after the “sun was turned into darkness and the moon into blood, and the stars had fallen.” These things happened at the cross. They, according to to Joel and Acts, were to precede the declaration of God, giving His invitation to all the world, and there were to be signs in heaven above and earth beneath. These came about, at the cross!! When this occurred, the scriptures tell us He would “shake the heavens and the earth.” A NEW covenant was coming from the throne of God, for He was to take away the first that He may establish, the second, had come!!
There may be some who get confused with using the term “falling” as a means of description. We talk about Iraq falling when Saddam Hussein was overthrown. Iraq did not literally “fall,” but the powers and the magistrates that governed her did lose their power to govern. Jerusalem “fell” for the last time, when Christ had put an end to her by His death at Calvary. There remains one more government that is to be shaken and taken out of the way, there. When this “shaking” occurred, time would cease, Revelation 10:6 Mutuality would vanish away; denominationalism, paganism, and Satanism would no more deceive, influence we who have been predetermined, the “saved,“ for which He came, would be bought by His blood!! The Creator God would then “make all things new.”
When this “shaking” took place, a NEW government with NEW powers and NEW borders would take the place of the old. The old Jewish theocracy would be ended and a new dispensation would be set up. In Revelation 6:12, we see people who were crying out for salvation unto God, salvation had come. We see them as they stood in the presence of the Lamb of God, for the Lamb is living among them; we see them as their robes are washed white in the blood of the Lamb, we see these people who should never hunger and thirst after righteousness, for now the “bread of life” had come from the Father. He came in glory, majesty, and power when on the 50th day after the Passover, He sent the Holy Spirit with the message of salvation by His apostles to all the world. Not until the 6th seal was opened did the blood of Christ become effective. The blood of the cross became effective and delivered the fatal blow to all kingdoms, dominions and powers on that day!! Let us be glad and rejoice that Christ shook the Old Law; that He had “power” to shake it, and could loose the seals upon the book and present to us a book of salvation dedicated by His own blood, declaring that we might also have our robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb, and dwell in His presence. For while He possesses “all power, in heaven and on earth, not WHEN He possesses this power, our Lord has brought an end to the covenant of the 6th seal. The 6th seal was a covenant. If you will re-read Haggai 2:5-6, you will read “According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My spirit remains among you.”
The first miracle is no accident. It points to ALL the teaching which shines so bright in the pages of inspiration. What a beginning!! Was His hour yet to come? How often have you read and not understood? In the analysis of this miracle, did Mary know about the work of her bi-natured Son? Had Mary information or insight ? Why was Jesus AND His disciples, there? Did she “jump the gun” or was she USED OF GOD? What did THIS “hour” represent? His time when men should believe (OBEY) Him? His work was to be accomplished His death, would remove man’s sin!!