If You Love Me . . . Part 3

The Commandments


The title of this post, makes me think of the 10 commandments found in Exodus 20:2-17. Surely these are implied in the commandments we are supposed to keep according to Jesus.

These commandments have a very specific nature and a new name, which will be discussed at a later point.


If you love me,

keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


So, how do we show our love for Him?

I am afraid that we have been so indoctrinated with the belief that we are saved by faith through faith alone, to the exclusion of works having no part of our salvific faith. 

This bias against some of scriptural instruction that supports works as part of our faith comes out of the Christian reformation.

Martin Luther was key in helping the church separate from the misuses of scripture that the religious powers of the day propagated. But Martin Luther tried to do some other things as well.

He wanted to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the Bible. His personal view of salvation by faith alone caused disdain for parts of God’s word, forced him to ignore other parts, and attempt to discredit entire sections of the Bible.

Holding to a doctrine that makes one want to omit God’s word speaks volumes. Nowadays we usually just gloss over those verses, say they do not apply, or ignore their exegetical implications.


Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation elaborated many doctrinal principles found in the gospels and the rest of the epistles. As a result many who hold to a view similar to Luther’s use modern hermeneutic principles associated with their doctrine at the expense of exegesis.

I am by no means an expert or even seriously informed in these two disciplines. Neither will we go into the details of hermeneutics or exegesis here.

Let me just say that as we read scripture, we dare not exclude anything that has apparent contradictions with other scripture or complicates our personal doctrine.

That is exactly what Luther was doing when he proclaimed his doctrine of salvation by faith alone.

Everything in scripture is true and in complete agreement with every jot and tittle found in the Bible. That is the only way to interpret scripture although we may come to different conclusions.

My general rule is, that scripture must be interpreted literally and consistently with the whole counsel of scripture and can only be applied allegorically when a literal interpretation is not reasonable.

I like what George Allen Turner says about exegesis: “Theology should be the result of scientific exegesis rather than determining the exegesis.” (via predetermined doctrinal, hermeneutic principles)


What about Old Law?


The first question is, do we have to follow any of the old testament laws, holidays, or ordinances? I have been doing a lot of studying about Halloween, Christmas, and Easter; particularly their origins.

In this research, I came across Gentiles who follow the Torah and believe in Jesus. Their historical information about the Pagan origins of the above mentioned holidays are accurate but their teaching others to follow their instructions does not mesh with scripture.

To teach Gentiles that they are suppose to follow Torah, or Old Testament law in order to be obedient to Jesus’ commands falls into the same category condemned in scripture as quoted below.

We have already observed that Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. But what does this mean?


The early Christians were all Jewish and they religiously practiced O.T. principles such a dietary laws, fasting, feast days, Sabbaths, and sacrificial offerings.

There were basically no Gentiles or Gentile Christian practices in existence until 8 years after the church was born at Pentecost. This caused a problem when the Gentiles entered the church.


Then fourteen years

after I went up again to Jerusalem

with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 

And I went up by revelation,

and communicated unto them that gospel

which I preach among the Gentiles,

but privately to them which were of reputation,

lest by any means I should run,

or had run, in vain. 

But neither Titus, who was with me,

being a Greek,

was compelled to be circumcised:

~ Galatians 2:1-3


This incident shows that the spiritual Jewish believers did not try to make Gentiles follow their laws. Both Barnabas and Titus were accepted as proper and genuine disciples of Christ.

Circumcision was clearly not a requirement. To teach gentiles to do so was severely rebuked.


And certain men which came down from Judaea

taught the brethren, and said,

Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses,

ye cannot be saved.

~ Acts 15:1

————-

Forasmuch as we have heard,

that certain which went out from us

have troubled you with words,

subverting your souls, saying,

Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law:

to whom we gave no such commandment:

~ Acts 15:24

————-

Brothers and sisters,

if I am still preaching circumcision,

why am I still being persecuted?

In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

~ Galatians 5:11

————-

As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh,

they constrain you to be circumcised;

only lest they should suffer persecution

for the cross of Christ.

~ Galatians 6:12


The Jews had not yet begun to be persecuted. They remained privileged in the Roman empire. The Christians on the other hand were being persecuted severely (mostly by the Jews) and some were beginning to follow Jewish ways in order to avoid persecution.

We Christians are called to be persecuted.  This should be expected and received with joy.


Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus

shall suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12

————-

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian,

let him not be ashamed;

but let him glorify God on this behalf.

~ 1 Peter 4:16


If we are not to compromise our faith by accepting traditions or practices of the Jews, is it okay to practice them?

I suppose if a Gentile wanted to practice Jewish ways, they could but I don’t think it is profitable or wise to try to associate oneself with Judaism in the context of a proselyte.

That being said, the law and Jewish practices are invaluable in their intended purpose to point us to Christ but fail completely when used as a part of saving faith.


But before faith came,

we were kept under the law,

shut up unto the faith

which should afterwards be revealed. 

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster

to bring us unto Christ,

that we might be justified by faith. 

But after that faith is come,

we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ

have put on Christ. 

There is neither Jew nor Greek,

there is neither bond nor free,

there is neither male nor female:

for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

And if ye be Christ’s,

then are ye Abraham’s seed,

and heirs according to the promise.

~ Galatians 3:23-29


What does scripture say about the Law here? That it was a tutor, a school master leading us to Christ. The whole O.T. did this. That is why it is so important to study and know its significance.

I personally think Christians could benefit greatly by learning about and experiencing all of the Jewish feast holidays.

They teach of Christ, and are derived from biblical truths rather than the mixing of pagan elements found in Christian holidays.


There are some O.T. commandments that we are commanded to follow. And if we love Jesus, that is exactly what we will do.


For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost,

and to us,

to lay upon you no greater burden

than these necessary things; 

that ye abstain from meats offered to idols,

and from blood, and from things strangled,

and from fornication:

from which if ye keep yourselves,

ye shall do well.

Fare ye well.

~ Acts 15:28-30


if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.


Acts 15:28 indicates that the Apostles were in agreement and obeying the Holy Spirit. These were the original leaders of the Church. Paul and the Gentile leadership submitted to their authority.

We would be wise to do the same. 

if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.

These O.T. commands are layering upon the words of Jesus found in John 14:15.

Consider this:

If we do not keep ourselves, we shall not do well, we will be disobedient to the Holy Spirit’s instructions and choosing to sin against God. We are commanded to abstain from the things listed above in the N.T.

That is why Christianity should separate its practices from those of the world. For the world cannot keep from disobeying God. It is built upon the foundation of sin.


abstain from meats offered to idols


At the surface, this seems pretty clear but Paul add some clarity to the subject.


But meat commendeth us not to God:

for neither, if we eat, are we the better;

neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 

But take heed lest by any means

this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock

to them that are weak. 

For if any man see thee which hast knowledge

sit at meat in the idol’s temple,

shall not the conscience of him which is weak

be emboldened to eat those things

which are offered to idols; 

and through thy knowledge

shall the weak brother perish,

for whom Christ died? 

But when ye sin so against the brethren,

and wound their weak conscience,

ye sin against Christ. 

Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend,

I will eat no flesh while the world standeth,

lest I make my brother to offend.

~ 1 Corinthians 8:8-13


Here Paul explains the ordinance of abstaining from meat offered to idols. He gives five criteria. Mind you, there is no contradiction between the to sets of instructions from Acts and Corinthians.

  1. Outside its effect on others, the type of food we eat plays no role in our relation to God; to abstain does no harm, to partake gives no advantage.
  2. Even though we have liberty to eat anything, we should not eat or do anything that would cause a weaker brethren to sin.
  3. If through our knowledge we eat, and cause a weaker brother’s conscience to be emboldened to sin, and he goes to hell as a result, his blood is on our hands.

  4. When we do this, we sin against our brethren, wound them, and are sinning against Christ.

  5. If food offered to idols make a brother sin, we should abstain from ever eating it again if it makes a brother to sin.

I would add that this principle should be considered whenever we think, say, or do anything. We do not want to cause another to be emboldened in their conscience to sin against God.

These scriptures use the word brethren indicating a fellow Christian. Think about this, a non-believer today could be a believer tomorrow. So, we really need to be careful with everyone if we are to love our neighbor as our self.

Jesus gives us an even stronger warning against the principle of sinning against God by causing others to fall into stumble because of our actions.


But whoso shall offend

one of these little ones which believe in me,

it were better for him that a millstone

were hanged about his neck,

and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offences! f

or it must needs be that offences come;

but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

~ Matthew 18:6-7


and from blood, and from things strangled,


From blood and things strangled are both related to the consuming of blood and predate the Mosaic law. This prohibition comes from the covenant God made with Noah after the flood.

But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood

~ Genesis 9:4

With this command, we see that the life of the animal is in the blood. According to God, consuming blood is akin to eating an animal alive. The sanctity of life is why this is prohibited.

We are not to consume any type of blood. This command is repeated in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and 3 times in Acts. It is commanded through all three dispensations, Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian.


Therefore I said to the children of Israel,

You shall not eat the blood of any flesh,

for the life of all flesh is its blood.

Whoever eats it shall be cut off.

Leviticus 17:14

————-

Only you shall not eat the blood;

you shall pour it on the earth like water.

~ Deuteronomy 12:16


Eating Habits


 From a practical viewpoint, there are clearly some foods that are forbidden: blood sausage, blood pudding, drinking of blood, or dishes containing significant quantities of blood.

In 1 Corinthians 10:25, Paul says, 


Whatsoever is sold in the shambles,

that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:25


Paul does not mean to purchase blood stained products such as strangled meat. Meat not drained of blood has a distinct and recognizable color and texture.

I know this because I have slaughtered many types of animals and have found parts containing blood that did not drain. This meat also has a distinct taste and cooks differently when saturated with blood.

It is also safe to assume that Paul did not mean to eat rotten meat, or organs containing fecal matter or stomach contents either. His instruction are reasonable and in accordance with the whole counsel of scripture on this subject.

The context appears to apply to purchasing food or eating food provided by others.

According to the FDA, meats sold in America are all drained of blood.


and from fornication:


This instruction is to abstain from sexual immorality. The New Testament provides so much instruction on this subject. Here are three samples. This command also predates mosaic law.

Rampant sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah was one of the reasons they were destroyed in Genesis. God also spoke of it before the flood when the Sons of God took wived of daughters of men.


 I wrote unto you in an epistle

not to company with fornicators: 

yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world,

or with the covetous, or extortioners,

or with idolaters;

for then must ye needs go out of the world. 

But now I have written unto you

not to keep company,

if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator,

or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer,

or a drunkard, or an extortioner;

with such an one no not to eat.

~ 1 Corinthians 5:9-11

————-

 Marriage is honourable in all,

and the bed undefiled:

but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

~ Hebrews 13:4

————

But the fearful, and unbelieving,

and the abominable, and murderers,

and whoremongers, and sorcerers,

and idolaters, and all liars,

shall have their part in the lake

which burneth with fire and brimstone:

which is the second death.

~ Revelation 21:8


There has never been a time when sexual immorality was not considered an exclusionary sin (a sin that causes one to perish). Sexual immorality has always been a part of Gentile or heathen cultures.

We are not to tolerate fornication in in this life. God will not tolerate those who practice it in the next. We are not to have close friends or spend time socializing who fornicators who claim to be Christians.

At the same time we are to love those lost in sin and be light to a dark and dying world.


I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 

but shewed first unto them of Damascus,

and at Jerusalem,

and throughout all the coasts of Judæa,

and then to the Gentiles,

that they should repent and turn to God,

and do works meet for repentance.

~ Acts 26:19-20


We too must not be disobedient to our heavenly calling in Christ and obey His commandments in love. We now understand what carries over from the O.T. and why they are important.

We will discuss further what it means to love Jesus and keep His commandments in the next post.


And the Lord God formed man

of the dust of the ground,

and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;

and man became a living soul.

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden;

and there he put the man whom he had formed.

~ Genesis 2:7-8


 

If you love me (part 1)


If ye love me, keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


I have found this subject to be so deep, so comprehensive, and so serious that I have been questioning myself whether or not I should write about it.

So much more has come to mind since clicking and saving the first draft. When a scripture moves me as much as this one does, there is no other choice than to explore it.

It is quite possible that this brief but concise statement given by Jesus encapsulates the entire Bible message of God to His children.


Please forgive me if I fall short in my attempt to describe this powerful and important message. Here is the introduction and my understanding why this brief and often overlooked phrase needs much deeper consideration.

Below is one of the many passages that shows why John 14:15 is one of the most critical verses in the Bible. Jesus is telling the Jewish authorities and those willing to listen indirectly why.


Biblical Times


The authorities of Jesus’ day were priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. Like our churches today, they did not agree on application of biblical content.

There are 613 commandments in the Old Testament divided into civil, ceremonial, and moral law. Some overlap but we are speaking generally here. The commandments were also divided into greater and lesser laws.

The authorities were generally in agreement with the divisions of the greater and lesser laws but were divided about what was most important. 

One Pharisee, conversant in the law maliciously attempted to ensnare Jesus in order to discredit Him. He asked:


Master,

which is the great commandment in the law?


Jesus said unto him,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it,

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments

hang all the law and the prophets.

~ Matthew 22:36-40


Jesus did not answer the question by telling the crowd which one of the 613 laws was the most important. He answered by giving them two new commandments that encapsulate whole law and all the writings of the prophets.

This addition of two commandments as a clarification of the old laws are given to all who hear. This should speak volumes to us. Jesus was beginning to tell us how to live today. He was beginning to give us His new law the Law of Christ.

He basically told them, ‘the whole Bible is about what I am telling you right now’.  The Jews only had the Old Testament. Today, we have the whole the Bible. This truth of His law should be more clear than ever.

I am afraid that even with the benefits of technology and our ability to decipher scripture and how it all relates: Old Testament to New, in precise detail, we still are falling short.

We are without excuse if we choose to or remain ignorant of what Jesus meant by keeping His commandments. The apostles explained how the church is to function corporately, individually, what the law of Christ is.

Before anyone thinks that, “We are not under the law.” I realize this. I am trying to understand how Jesus, the prophets, and Apostles relate this. Please bare with me as I seek to understand His law and its whole application to our life.

The O.T. supports and provides invaluable details and historical structure to N.T. doctrine. This is why understanding John 14:15 is so important.

It not only speaks of the entire schema* of love as revealed in scripture but specifies what of Jesus’ commandments must be followed in order to demonstrate that love.


The Church Today


We have the same thing happening today that occurred back then. Bishops, pastors, and teachers feed us what they believe is relevant based upon theological frameworks and discredit those who disagree. 

Because of this, some Biblical truths or commands may be glossed over or completely disregarded by many sincere followers of Jesus (examples: Ephesians 4:8).

The Bible says that, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: ~ 2 Timothy 3:16

So we cannot neglect one word. Our biblical goal is unity in love of Jesus and His truth, the entire truth.


Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

for brethren to dwell together in unity!

~ Psalm 133:1


We are not instructed to live in unity with the world but we are instructed to live in unity with the church. This is not an ecumenical bring all denominations together type of unity but a biblical loving our neighbor in Christ type of unity. (more on this later)


I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you that ye walk worthy

of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

with all lowliness and meekness,

with longsuffering,

forbearing one another in love;

endeavouring to keep

the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit,

even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

~ Ephesians 4:1-4


The church is called to walk worthy of its calling through the biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. There is only only church or body of Christ. It consists of those who love Jesus and keep His commandments.

Unfortunately, I hear it or see daily the disregard of scriptural purity and truth from professing Christians. This was the same thing Jesus dealt with from the heart of a people not perfected in love.

I was guilty of for the longest time (28 years) and am just coming out of it. I passed over this and other passages not deemed valuable or important while looking after the things I was taught or argued with others about.

Jesus taught us that everything in the law and prophets was filtered through His words. Later this included all the Holy Spirit’s teaching through the Apostles.


Nothing is to by left unturned.

Nothing is to be ignored.

Nothing is to be disobeyed.


There are serious warnings when we do this and even greater dangers when we teach others to do the same (more on this later).


For I testify unto every man

that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,

If any man shall add unto these things,

God shall add unto him the plagues

that are written in this book:

and if any man shall take away

from the words of the book of this prophecy,

God shall take away his part out of the book of life,

and out of the holy city,

and from the things which are written in this book.

~ Revelation 18-19


This is why it is so important to understand exactly what Jesus meant in John 14:15. Every time a pastor enters the pulpit, stage, etc. whether he knows it or not, this is the subject he is preaching about. 

This little phrase should be in the forefront of his mind when he speaks. It should be on his thoughts as he sleeps. He should arise, seeking its fulfillment.

A pastor should also ensure that every member or participant in his church clearly knows what the message means and that they are exhorted to follow his lead.


And he gave some, apostles;

and some, prophets; and some, evangelists;

and some, pastors and teachers;

for the perfecting of the saints,

for the work of the ministry,

for the edifying of the body of Christ:

till we all come in the unity of the faith,

and of the knowledge of the Son of God,

unto a perfect man, unto the measure

of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

~ Ephesians 4:11-13


We are to be built up unto a perfect man in the measure and stature of Christ. Once again unity in the church is stressed, not unity of a denomination, only unity of faith and knowledge of Christ

The goal of leadership in church is to bring the flock to faithful perfection in the knowledge of Christ. Our shepherds and sheep need to submit completely to the Spirit’s divine power in order to obey the calling of glory and virtue.

When we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, God makes sure that everything else is taken care. We must be single-minded obedience lest the lusts of the world steal us away.


according as his divine power

hath given unto us all things

that pertain unto life and godliness,

through the knowledge of him

that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

whereby are given unto us

exceeding great and precious promises:

that by these ye might be partakers

of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption

that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence,

add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

and to knowledge temperance;

and to temperance patience;

and to patience godliness;

 and to godliness brotherly kindness;

and to brotherly kindness charity. 

For if these things be in you, and abound,

they make you that ye shall neither be barren

nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-7


Herein is our love made perfect,

that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:

because as he is, so are we in this world.

 1 John 4:17


We already learned that everything in the Bible substantiates Jesus’ words. One of those events happened in the wilderness over 3,600 years ago; soon after God delivered his people from the sinful oppression of Egypt (the significance of Egypt will be elaborated later).

Before they entered the promised land of Canaan, God gave them a most beautiful commandment that applies to us in the same measure today.


And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:

thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,

and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down,

and when thou risest up.

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand,

and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

And thou shalt write them upon

the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9


This was the second writing of God’s commands to the Israelites and was written after 40 years of wandering aimlessly in the Sinai wilderness.

When the Israelites lost faith and rebelled after following the false reports of the 12 spies who entered Canaan, they were punished and perished in the wilderness.

Only the children under 20 plus faithful Joshua and Caleb (at the time of Kadesh rebellion) were allowed to enter the promised land. They were just east of the River Jordan when God gave them Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

Read the story in Numbers 13:30-14:39 if you like.


The Whole Story is for you and me


In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him;

and without him was not any thing made

that was made. In him was life;

and the life was the light of men.

~ John 1:1-4


God is still giving us this message today. If we are to enter into the promised land, we too must have the Word of God, written in our hearts.

We should teach Him to our children and as we walk in the way. This is the message that must be preached and taught. The message that should be bored deep into our hearts.

Keeping the commandments of the Lord is a preservative against false teachings as we will see in the next post. His word should be a light to our feet and guide each step along His strait and narrow path.


Through thy precepts I get understanding:

therefore I hate every false way.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,

and a light unto my path.

I have sworn, and I will perform it,

that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

~ Psalm 119:104-106


During most of my years professing Christianity, I did not learn what it meant to love Jesus and keep His commandments. This was my fault. Mostly because I did not see the need to attend faithfully and chose churches that tolerated my sins.

I heard about Jesus’ love for us but the message was incomplete. I was not taught that we were to be holy as He was holy and that all our behaviors and thoughts were to be so. Now that Jesus has poured His love in my heart, this truth is becoming a reality.


There is so much material in the Bible covering this subject that a post of this nature can miss important details. I have caught myself missing the point in some of my posts.

Nevertheless, we are commanded by God not to teach others to break the least of Jesus’ commandments. So we must stay on track and correct any errors we may find.


Whosoever therefore shall break

one of these least commandments,

and shall teach men so,

he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:

but whosoever shall do and teach them,

the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

~ Matthew 5:19


I don’t think a post considering the gradations from least to greatest commandments is necessary since we are called unto complete submission to the word of God. This can also lead to the false belief of being under the old law.

But because of the nature of this subject, it will be broken into parts. The first part here being the introduction.

I don’t claim to have a corner on the truth; only to seek Him with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. Unfortunately, I have heard very little of what John 14:15 means.

Now its time to begin the learning process. So far, it has shown to be very complex and detailed. Breaking this subject into digestible pieces and putting has already shown to help focus my thoughts.

Hebrew and Greek, and Bible (college) study is not feasible right now. Since this subject is so strongly on my heart, this will be a personal study.

May its realization in my heart be true to God’s scriptural counsel. Please feel to correct or clarify any of deficits you may find.

In Christ

~ D


Lay up in your hearts God’s love and preserve it by careful keeping and watching after His holy commandments.

Thereby hoping in eternal, glorious fellowship with the Holy One of Israel.


Next, underlying Greek/Hebrew structure . . .


*Schema: The underlying organizational pattern and conceptual framework which God expresses through the Bible and in our experiences and interactions with Him and the world.

All these are the beginning of sorrows


The Questions


When the disciples asked Jesus about the buildings of the temple, He told them that every single stone would be thrown down. They asked,


when shall these things be?

and what shall be the sign of thy coming,

and of the end of the world?


Jesus did not know when He would return or the timing of the end of the world. And He told them.


that day and hour knoweth no man,

no, not the angels of heaven,

but my Father only.


It is interesting to note that the apostles believed that Jesus’ coming would bring the end of the world. They did not understand when or how but they knew that much from scripture and Jesus’ teaching.

They also knew that He would restore Israel and its land. Our understanding of future events cannot be separated from this truth although is not explicitly described here.


Jesus uses the same expressions to denote events occurring in the near future, the distant future, and that may occur concurrently or separately.

These same expressions are used by O.T prophets and N.T. prophets to the effect of improving our understanding. 

The only boundaries we should set on His prophesies and how to interpret them is in their harmonious relation to all other prophesies.


The Big Picture


Jesus gave us a warning and some general details.

Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying,

I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars:

see that ye be not troubled:

for all these things must come to pass,

but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation,

and kingdom against kingdom:

and there shall be famines, and pestilences,

and earthquakes, in divers places.

~ Matthew 24:4-5


The First Question


Jesus is careful not to give any details about the timing of the temple buildings’ destruction.

Jesus did not teach imminence here because the very nature of describing things that must occur first denies the doctrine that He could return any time. Take for example before Paul’s apostleship.

He could come in our lifetime. The destruction of the temple happened in theirs. Our doctrine on this issue should reflect Jesus’ instructions: readiness, guarding against false teachers, and to watch for signs of His coming. 

Remember, the coming of Jesus is equivalent to our death. This could happen any time. In this sense is His coming imminent.

This is why need to be ready now. Living in sin leads to death and judgment; Christian or not. So, be ready my friend. Death often comes by surprise.


The Warning


Jesus repeats the same warning twice in Matthew 24. I was told that anytime scripture repeats something, it is really important.

I don’t like this type of instruction because it tends to diminish other scripture, especially those only mentioned once.

Even if scripture says something only once, it must be interpreted harmoniously in light of the whole counsel of scripture. Every word is important.


Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying,

I am Christ; and shall deceive many . . . 

————-

. . . Then if any man shall say unto you,

Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,

and shall shew great signs and wonders;

insomuch that, if it were possible,

they shall deceive the very elect.

————-

Behold, I have told you before.

Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold,

he is in the desert; go not forth: behold,

he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

————-

For as the lightning cometh out of the east,

and shineth even unto the west;

so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.


This warning about deception is huge. I believe it has already crept into the church and has a firm hold on core doctrines many consider foundational.

One of these doctrines is eternal security; a relatively new doctrine. The early church fathers did not hold to this interpretation of scripture.

Here  are some examples:

  • We ought therefore, brethren, carefully to inquire concerning our salvation. Otherwise, the wicked one, having made his entrance by deceit, may hurl us forth from our life. Barnabas (c. 70-130).
  • Those who do not obey Him, being disinherited by Him, have ceased to be His sons. Irenaeus (c. 180).
  • It is neither the faith, nor the love, nor the hope, nor the endurance of one day; rather, “he that endures to the end will be saved.” Clement of Alexandria (c. 195).

Many will come in Jesus’ name. There have been those who claimed to be the (or a type of) Messiah or have special knowledge regarding the Messiah. Even though, this is part of the warning, I believe the deception goes deeper and is more subtle and sinister.

The deceptions and influences will be so convincing that committed believers not swayed by the winds of doctrine are described as being susceptible.

Like eternal security, I think the warning against those who come in His name can also be applied to doctrine in the church. The warning to be alert and awake permeates scripture.


Jesus also warns against the teaching of Him coming secretly or that He is hiding in dark chambers.

Jesus is explicit about the nature of His coming. Every teaching supplemented by the Apostles reinforces this.

Angels even told us how Jesus would return. His entrance will be stunning, flashing across the heavens.

There is no hint of a secret rapture or coming; only warnings against it.

We have been warned. Be on your guard against anything not consistent with Jesus’ words.


The Beginning of Sorrows


In Greek there is a narrow meaning to these words: the beginning of travail pangs. 

This speaks of a new birth or regeneration through the suffering of perplexity that birth brings: only this context it is as the national level.

The whole nation of Israel will suffer this. Here is the original description of the Beginning of Sorrows:


The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying,

Write thee all the words that I have spoken

unto thee in a book. 

For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord,

that I will bring again the captivity

of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord:

and I will cause them to return to the land

that I gave to their fathers,

and they shall possess it.

And these are the words that the Lord spake

concerning Israel and concerning Judah.

For thus saith the Lord;

We have heard a voice of trembling,

of fear, and not of peace.

Ask ye now,

and see whether a man doth travail with child?

wherefore do I see every man

with his hands on his loins,

as a woman in travail,

and all faces are turned into paleness?

Alas! for that day is great,

so that none is like it:

it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble;

but he shall be saved out of it.

For it shall come to pass in that day,

saith the Lord of hosts,

that I will break his yoke from off thy neck,

and will burst thy bonds,

and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

but they shall serve the Lord their God,

and David their king,

whom I will raise up unto them.

~ Jeremiah 30:1


The beginning of sorrows or time of Jacob’s trouble is the same thing and it happens to Israel.

This prophesy could not have been fulfilled until at least 1948, when Israel became a nation and God began to cause His people to return to their land.

A voice of trembling,of fear, and not of peace has been the undertone of Israel’s voice since their return. But the time of sorrows is much more specific than the suffering at the hands of Ishmael they have been experiencing these 67 years.


Alas! for that day is great,

so that none is like it:

it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble;


This time-frame is primarily related to the Great Tribulation, which begins in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week.


When ye therefore shall see

the abomination of desolation,

spoken of by Daniel the prophet,

stand in the holy place,

(whoso readeth, let him understand:)

then let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains: 

let him which is on the housetop

not come down to take any thing out of his house: 

neither let him which is in the field

return back to take his clothes. 

And woe unto them that are with child,

and to them that give suck in those days!


Woe to them that are with child is directly correlative to the time of travail (sorrows from birthing).

Also, the reference to the temple being defiled is extremely telling. The Jews have been longing to rebuild their temple ever since its destruction and their diaspora nearly 2,000 years ago.

I find the connection to the question about the destruction of the temple buildings and restoration of Israel in light of Jesus’ words fascinating.

The Apostles knew the temple would be destroyed, Israel would be dispersed, one day return, and the temple rebuilt.

This will be a horrible time for the Jews. But because it will also be the time of the Great Tribulation, It will also be a terrible time for Christians.

I have found no reference anywhere in scripture that relates this tribulation to God’s wrath or that the church has secretly disappeared.


The time of Jacob’s trouble is also a time for Israel’s salvation.

Breaking the yoke/bursting bonds refers to national independence and personal freedom from sin through faith in Jesus and service to the Lord.


but he shall be saved out of it . . . 

. . . that I will break his yoke from off thy neck,

and will burst thy bonds,

and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

but they shall serve the Lord their God


Another reason that it will be a time of great sorrow is that two of the most righteous men that walked the Earth, will return.

They will preach salvation to Israel, be slain in the streets, and their bodies rotting 3 1/2 days for the whole world to see (Elisha and Enoch).

In Christ-likeness, they will be regenerated (resurrection unto life). The whole world will watch them ascend to heaven.

After the tribulation of those days, the whole world will see a second advent, the return of Christ to gather the Saints.

So, the travail or regeneration has many facets attributed to it.


Jesus does not describe the duration or end of the Beginning of Sorrows (his descriptor ‘beginning’ is indicative of this).

Nor does He describe the end of the world.

He mainly talks about His return. It is implied that His description of His return also ushers in the end of the world by his use of the term, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” and the previous knowledge of the Apostles.


Immediately after the tribulation of those days

shall the sun be darkened,

and the moon shall not give her light,

and the stars shall fall from heaven,

and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 

and then shall appear

the sign of the Son of man in heaven:

and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,

and they shall see the Son of man

coming in the clouds of heaven

with power and great glory. 

And he shall send his angels

with a great sound of a trumpet,

and they shall gather together his elect

from the four winds,

from one end of heaven to the other.


Here the elect are gathered together, the church is gone. The time of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Jesus suddenly begins talking in parables at this point. This is also revealing because He spoke in parables to the Jews; hinting that the end of the world or time of judgment was for them (and those that are to perish).


The Beginning of Sorrows, is a description of the beginning of the end. There is much more to come . . .

Awake Ye That Slumber!



The Blessing of Diligent Service


I will make with them a covenant of peace,

and will cause the evil beasts

to cease out of the land:

and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness,

and sleep in the woods.

And I will make them and the places

round about my hill a blessing;

and I will cause the shower to come down in his season;

there shall be showers of blessing.

~ Ezekiel 34:25-26


We are called to serve in the wilderness of this world. Sometimes we have to spend all of our time there. Like Jesus, we too ‘are tempted of the devil’ as we spend time in this desert.

But God does not want us to fall. Nor does He want us wander aimlessly. He wants us to obediently sojourn and obey His voice as we pass through keeping our eyes fixed on the promise salvation brings.


As a Christian, time in the wilderness begins the day we are delivered from our sin (out of Egypt) and it ends when we die or are changed at Christ’s coming (Canaan).


The Wilderness


It is a place of danger,

a place of testing,

of temptation and sin,

of discipline and chastisement,

of tribulation, and toil. 

It is a place of sanctification and peace,

longsuffering and patience;

Where God builds our character in Him,

or His wrath in sin.


For all of us, the wilderness is a weary, parched, and desolate place. Problems come because the journey is long and we get sleepy and slumber. Sometimes, spiritual grogginess creeps into our Christian walk.


Lord, make me to know mine end,

and the measure of my days,

what it is;

that I may know how frail I am.

~ Psalm 39:4


My pastor preached on being asleep today and it shook me. He was tired so the sermon like every other one I heard from him was preached from the heart.


The Awakened Life in Christ


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me

in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy

shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

~ Psalm 23


Psalm 23 is the reality of a saved and sanctified believer. In a nutshell, it describes:

  • The Lord’s role (a Shepard)
  • how He provides for our needs (green pastures)
  • that He saves (restoreth my soul)
  • Provides guidance (leadeth us in paths of righteousness)
  • His discipline and protection from evil (rod and staff)
  • His gift of the Holy Spirit (anoint-oil-cup-running over)
  • and promise (to dwell with the Lord forever)

Reflecting on the 23rd Psalms, it is all about what God does for His obedient, humble, and faithful children. Everything we do, experience, and enjoy springs from His provisional love and assurance in the wilderness of life.

As we journey through this wilderness, we are to set our home safely in the woods; a place outside the influences of the chaos, threats, and alienation from God that the wilderness (of sin) brings.

There are times, that we get slothful and need to be shaken. This scriptural reminder to be awake is needful and timely whether we are serving God, are tired, or when we are (spiritually) dead in our sleep.

He wants us to make it out of the wilderness. Its fields are grand and deceptive. If we are not careful, they can make us tired, weary, lead us astray from the narrow path of holiness.

This brings us to the less commonly known definition of carnality.


The Other Definition of Carnal


And it is yet far more evident:

for that after the similitude of Melchisedec

there ariseth another priest,

who is made,

not after the law of a carnal commandment,

but after the power of an endless life.

~ Hebrews 7:15-16


Hebrews is describing the O.T. commandments. Paul calls them carnal; meaning frail, weak, after the limitations of sinful flesh.

When the Levitical priests offered the sacrifices, everyone was still subject to sin and death. Because the law and sacrifices did not atone for sin. They pointed to Jesus.

When Jesus provided His sacrifice, it ushered in complete redemption from sin and restoration to God. 


The Nature of the ceremonial laws were predominantly outward as demonstrated by the priestly rituals. They were images of the spiritual laws to come.

Like Melchisedec who has no beginning or end, the new covenant (the Law of Christ) has no carnal qualities. Its nature has the power to save to the uttermost destroying sin in our lives

Paul calls this law ‘the better covenant.’


But now hath he (Jesus)

obtained a more excellent ministry,

by how much also he is the mediator

of a better covenant,

which was established upon better promises.

~ Hebrews 8:6

————-

and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant,

and to the blood of sprinkling,

that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

~ Hebrews 12:24


We won’t go into the description of carnality known as ‘the old man’ or ‘sinful nature’ here. It does relate deeply to this subject, even more than the carnal law. But our focus here is on the general frailty of our nature and the need to become and remain awake.

Humanity is frail, prone to illness, injury, misunderstanding, deception, and other infirmities. This is different than sin per se. It is human imperfection outside the realm of sin.

The classic biblical definition of sin is, ‘a willful transgression of God’s law.’

The O.T. law was imperfect and weak. It was not sin in any stretch of the imagination. It revealed sin but it was incapable of freeing us from its nature and dominion.


We are just like this in that we can fall asleep through weakness. Through sin, our natural design is not to live life assertively vigilant and abundant in the Spirit.

This can only be done when the Spirit quickens our spirit and we are awakened unto new life. Our strength is external and comes from the grace of God.

There are distinctions in scripture between obedient sleep, frail (carnal) sleep, and (sinful) slumber. 

The following verses provide an explanation of each. How we and when it is okay to sleep, when we need to be more alert, and when we need to turn from a sleep that is void of righteousness.


The Perfect Kind of Sleep


When we know we are in the will of God, we can sleep deeply even as troubles surround us.


And he was in the hinder part of the ship,

asleep on a pillow:

and they awake him, and say unto him,

Master, carest thou not that we perish?

~ Mark 4:38


We may even sing and pray unto the Lord at midnight as,


Paul and Silas prayed,

and sang praises unto God:

and the prisoners heard them.

~ Acts 16:25


When we are attuned to the Spirit of Christ:


and our love is made perfect,

we may have boldness in the day of judgment:

because as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love;

but perfect love casteth out fear:

because fear hath torment.

He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:17-18


This is how our Christian walk is supposed to be; resting in perfect peace. If it isn’t, the question is begged: Are we really serving the Lord at all?

Because if we are not 100% on board, we may be lukewarm and scripture calls us children of disobedience to be cast away and subject to God’s wrath.


The Imperfect Kind of Sleep


But Peter and they that were with him

were heavy with sleep:

and when they were awake,

they saw his glory,

and the two men that stood with him.

~ Luke 9:32

————-

And he cometh,

and findeth them sleeping,

and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou?

couldest not thou watch one hour?

~ Mark 14:37

————-

And he cometh the third time,

and saith unto them,

Sleep on now, and take your rest:

it is enough, the hour is come;

behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

~ Mark 14:41

————-

And when he rose up from prayer,

and was come to his disciples,

he found them sleeping for sorrow, 

and said unto them,

Why sleep ye? rise and pray,

lest ye enter into temptation.

~ Luke 22:45-46

————-

These things said he:

and after that he saith unto them,

Our friend Lazarus sleepeth;

but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

~ John 11:11


 These are all examples of people who lack the power of the Spirit to ‘keep us’ awake. These are not occasions of sin, rather, they are occasions of our carnal frailty.

When we are sleeping for this reason, we become susceptible to temptation, deceit, and sin.

Because of the wages of sin, and the frailty of our carnal body, Lazarus died. He was the clearest example of needing the Spirit to ‘quicken unto life.’

I hope it is becoming clear that there are two different issues that place us at risk here. The first and obvious is willful disobedience or violating God’s law, known as sin. This is the Old Man at work.

When we get saved, we have been given victory over him. If we fall back into sin, it is our responsibility to ask for forgiveness and turn away from said sin, walking more and more in the light through the wilderness.

The carnal frailty in our human nature and the disposition that results from our carnal nature (the Old Man) are those things being addressed by the scriptures above.

We need God to help us in our weaknesses to overcome all the snares scattered across the wilderness in this life. Infirmities are not only internal, they are external. They are from the worldly influence of Satan.


Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,

in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions,

in distresses for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak, then am I strong.

~ 2 Corinthians 12:10

————-

For we are glad, when we are weak,

and ye are strong: and this also we wish,

even your perfection.

~ 2 Corinthians 13:9


We are commanded to go on unto perfection or spiritual maturity. We are not to be lacking in anything when Christ is giving us his blessings from the abounding love of God in our heart. Our conscience attesting to our obedience of faith; strong unfailing, and sincere.

No longer to we need to return to repentance for our actions do not offend God. We have stopped practicing sin. Our carnal nature is dead and we are alive in Christ.


Now the end of the commandment

is charity out of a pure heart,

and of a good conscience,

and of faith unfeigned:

~ 1 Timothy 1:5

————-

Therefore leaving the principles

of the doctrine of Christ,

let us go on unto perfection;

not laying again the foundation

of repentance from dead works,

and of faith toward God,

~ Hebrews 6:1


The Sleep Sin Brings


And that, knowing the time,

that now it is high time

to awake out of sleep:

for now is our salvation nearer

than when we believed.

~ Romans 13:11


The Greek word for sleep here primarily refers to the inactivity. By nature, we avoid that which is holy and good.

Remember Adam and Eve? The moment they sinned, they covered themselves and hid from God.

Here, sleep also denotes avoiding those things that are of good report; actions done in faithful obedience to His calling.

Paul is telling some in the Roman church that they have fallen into the corruption inactivity brings and need to be awakened and remember our first love when we were saved.

We should not have assurance of salvation if we are slumbering in a moral state inactivity for this is willful sin.

All our Christian duties are important. Life is so short, salvation is nearer every minute. We must be roused from our sleep and perform works meet for repentance.


Awake to righteousness, and sin not;

for some have not the knowledge of God:

I speak this to your shame.

~ 1 Corinthians 15:34


Awake here means in the Greek to become sober-minded after experiencing drunkenness or overindulging in something. Literally, we are to shake off the slumber of sin.

The command is clear: we are not to sin, we are to be awake and live righteously in holiness and sound doctrine.

This type of sleep (overindulging in sin) can shipwreck our faith and hope in salvation.

If Paul is speaking this to their shame, praise be to God for those who hear this rebuke and learn from it. Because when all is said and done, we cannot stand before Jesus when we are shamed by the drunkenness sin brings. We will be condemned.


Wherefore he saith,

Awake thou that sleepest,

and arise from the dead,

and Christ shall give thee light.

~ Ephesians 5:14


This reference to sleep is a little more harsh. It refers to sleep, as being dead to the living. The living are in Christ.

When we are yield to slothfulness and sin, we become indifferent. We are dead to the vibrant, victorious life that salvation brings.

Jesus uses this word when he described the man sleeping while the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. We cannot allow Satan to come into our life and sow his wickedness. We are to be alerted to him and stop to his entrance.

Storms are arrayed against us all our life. But greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

We are to follow the instructions laid before us in scripture, cling to that which is good, and cast off that which is not useful.

We cannot do that if we are living in a stupor that sin and compromise brings.


Awake, awake; put on thy strength,

O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments,

O Jerusalem, the holy city:

for henceforth there shall no more come

into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

Shake thyself from the dust;

arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem:

loose thyself from the bands of thy neck,

O captive daughter of Zion.

For thus saith the Lord,

Ye have sold yourselves for nought;

and ye shall be redeemed without money.

~ Isaiah 52:1-3


Here is a promise for Israel. It is shaded in images of our life in Christ. Putting on the beautiful garments represent holiness.

The circumsion represents entire sanctification; circumcision of the heart unto purity.

Shaking from the dust is the quickening of death sin brings and awakening to new life in Christ.

Loosing the bands of their necks represents the freedom from sin salvation brings.

Lastly, it speaks of redemption and turning from sin (harlotry) from whence captivity came.


Instructions to Follow


If we follow the instructions below, we will be well suited for heaven and prevented from the temptation that sleep and slumber brings.

The wilderness can be a beautiful journey when our feet are be shod with the gospel of peace and we are clothed in the righteousness that God’s armour brings.


Be ye therefore followers of God,

as dear children; and walk in love,

as Christ also hath loved us,

and hath given himself for us

an offering and a sacrifice to God

for a sweetsmelling savour.

But fornication, and all uncleanness,

or covetousness,

let it not be once named among you,

as becometh saints;

neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting,

which are not convenient:

but rather giving of thanks.

For this ye know,

that no whoremonger, nor unclean person,

nor covetous man, who is an idolater,

hath any inheritance

in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no man deceive you with vain words:

for because of these things

cometh the wrath of God

upon the children of disobedience.

Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

For ye were sometimes darkness,

but now are ye light in the Lord:

walk as children of light:

(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness

and righteousness and truth;)

proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

And have no fellowship

with the unfruitful works of darkness,

but rather reprove them.

For it is a shame even to speak of those things

which are done of them in secret. 

But all things that are reproved

are made manifest by the light:

for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 

Wherefore he saith,

Awake thou that sleepest,

and arise from the dead,

and Christ shall give thee light.

See then that ye walk circumspectly,

not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time,

because the days are evil.

Wherefore be ye not unwise,

but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

And be not drunk with wine,

wherein is excess;

but be filled with the Spirit;

speaking to yourselves in psalms

and hymns and spiritual songs,

singing and making melody

in your heart to the Lord;

giving thanks always for all things

unto God and the Father

in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

submitting yourselves one to another

in the fear of God.

~ Ephesians 5:1-20


~ Sins Forgiven: Past, Present, and Future


A Powerful Statement


 Before I was a Christian one of the most reassuring things I heard from someone who witnessed to me and helped me want to accept Christ went something like this:

“I you accept Jesus into your heart, He will forgive you your sins past, present, and future. You can know for sure that you are going to heaven.”

This argument sounds nice and was very reassuring but I cannot find it anywhere in scripture. What I did find was this:


being justified freely by his grace

through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

whom God hath set forth

to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,

to declare his righteousness

for the remission of sins that are past,

through the forbearance of God; 

to declare, I say,

at this time his righteousness:

that he might be just,

and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

~ Romans 3:24-26


If we completely repent of our sins, we are justified by his grace, our sins are forgiven. Scripture specifies which sins are forgiven; only those sins we have committed in the past.


Paul also says 5 chapters later . . .


For if ye live after the flesh,

ye shall die:

but if ye through the Spirit

do mortify the deeds of the body,

ye shall live.

~ Romans 8:13


So, if we have been forgiven of our sins and then continue to live after the flesh, we shall die in our sins because we have not mortified the deeds of our body.

Looking further, we see what we are to seek, where our affections should be, and what must mortify or put to death.


If ye then be risen with Christ,

seek those things which are above,

where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Set your affection on things above,

not on things on the earth.

For ye are dead,

and your life is hid with Christ in God.

When Christ, who is our life,

shall appear,

then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;

fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection,

evil concupiscence, and covetousness,

which is idolatry:

for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh

on the children of disobedience:

~ Colossians 3:1-6


Here are the sins from temptations that are common to us all. These must be completely eliminated if we are to be children of obedience prepared to appear with Him in glory.

We must have victory over our body, which means our heart and mind must be completely transformed. Christ must be our life.

In this passage to the Colossians, there are three things related to what the man told me so long ago, past, present, and future.

They are listed before the definition of mortifying the body above and mean something completely different than what he told me.

They are described as follows.


The Past


If ye then be risen with Christ,” This speaks of our salvation when we repented of our sins. God forgave us and we were baptized into His death and risen in new life.

What shall we say then?

Shall we continue in sin,

that grace may abound?

God forbid.

How shall we, that are dead to sin,

live any longer therein?

Know ye not,

that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ

were baptized into his death?


Here we are told that sinning is no longer allowed as a Christian because it abuses the grace of God.

If we continue in them, we are guilty of willingly abusing what God has so sacrificially given through pain, suffering, and death.

How wicked is sin we commit after we have been saved from it. Those who chose to continue in disobedience, crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”


Everywhere we go, people watch us. They look to see if we are hypocrites and giving God a bad name. This has the effect of justifying their choice to continue in rebellion and sin.

A life not mortified to the flesh brings little or no conviction to others. Through sin, our salt has lost its savour. Our light has dimmed. We cannot bring conviction and judgment when we are guilty of the same sins.

This is the job the Holy Spirit to do this loving act through us for His pleasure and glory. If we, through sin, are incapable of allowing God to reprove the world of sin through us according to His word, God is taking little or no pleasure in us.

And when he is come,

he will reprove the world of sin,

and of righteousness,

and of judgment:

~ John 16:8


Perhaps the Holy Spirit is not abiding in those Christians who remain in sin and the things the man told me about forgiveness of all my sins, past, present, and future was not right.


The Present


For ye are dead,

and your life is hid with Christ in God . . .

~ Colossians 3:2

————-

. . . that like as Christ was raised up from the dead

by the glory of the Father,

even so we also should walk in newness of life.

~ Romans 6:4


We are to live presently, dead to sin with our life hidden with Christ in God. We are to walk (all our behaviors, thoughts, and ways) should be in the newness of life that Christ lives in us. There is nothing impure in this type of living. It is a holy life dedicated to the things of God.

Inversely, If our heart is in the world, then the world is in us. 

If any man love the world,

the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world,

the lust of the flesh,

and the lust of the eyes,

and the pride of life,

is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away,

and the lust thereof:

but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

~ 1 John 2:15b-17


When we are disobedient to the will of the Father, and we die in our sins that have not been forgiven (those we committed after being saved) we will pass away with the world because the Father’s love is not in us.

If we are hidden with Christ, we are in heavenly places with Him because our soul and heart is in Him and He is in the bosom of our Father.

Our life in Christ cannot be taken away by others. Satan can only peck at it from afar.

Nay, in all these things

we are more than conquerors

through him that loved us.


The love of God keeps us when we walk in His ways, commit our life to His will, and submit everything we have to offer as a sweet smelling savour.

This leads to the other argument coming from my friend. We cannot lose our salvation once we have it because all our sins are already forgiven. I think scripture already provided has shown this statement to be deeply flawed.

There are many more scriptures that can be pointed to and explained in context to show what God has to say about this but we will keep this short.

I am a firm believer that nothing can take us away from Christ when we are walking in Him. When have conquered death if we are already completely committed to the things above and they have become our life.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,

nor things present, nor things to come,

nor height, nor depth,

nor any other creature,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~ Romans 8:37-39


When we walk according to God’s love in truth, this is His promise to us.

When we fall away into sin. That is our own personal choice. We have not taken to scriptures like 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 John 3:8 or many others.

To forsake the Lord who saved us and shipwreck our faith leads to death.

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places,

this is the man who hears the word

and immediately receives it with joy;

yet he has no firm root in himself,

but is only temporary,

and when affliction or persecution arises

because of the word, immediately he falls away.

And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns,

this is the man who hears the word,

and the worry of the world

and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word,

and it becomes unfruitful.


Both of these types of soil could have been cultivated. Continuing in the word sows the dirt of our heart, producing deep roots. The Holy Spirit teaches us to truly die to the world as He enriches the soil in our heart.

When we do both of these things: (continuing in the word and letting the Holy Spirit have His way), we develop God goes deeper into our heart and the things Jesus mentioned do not lead us astray. We become grounded in His word.

That is why our selection of churches, friends, and activities are so very important.


The Future


When Christ, who is our life,

shall appear,

then shall ye also appear with him in glory.


We are to be heavenly minded using the example Christ gave us through His life and through the lives of the apostles and disciples.

If we do this, we will be prepared to appear with Him in glory.

This can only be if we have done what is expected: mortified the deeds of the flesh, being dead to sin, and alive in Christ.

Our prayer life should be the most important thing we do. It should dominate our thoughts. Get some good books to read for helps. E. M. Bounds and Leonard Ravenhill are great resources.

We are only as good as our prayers.

In prayer, we become abased, humbled, and brought the to feet of Christ. In prayer, He calls us not only to look up at the cross but to climb onto it and die on it.

That is where we belong, in prayer, crucified with Christ, serving Him however He calls.


I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live; yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.

~ Galatians 2:20


Crucify yourself. You are not your own. You belong to Christ. Only He will give you life.

Faith in the ever living God abiding in us now and forever more is our hope and precious promise if we let Him have His way in our hearts.

God hath from the beginning

chosen you to salvation

through sanctification of the Spirit

and belief of the truth

Let Him work your faith.

 

What is Faith


The Biblical Definition of Faith


In the Bible, faith has complex meaning. It is intimately related to ‘revelation’ or God’s disclosure of truth.

The disclosure of God to man requires action because every revelation of God is a truth. And truth requires personal ascension to its meaning, which obligates a response to each truth.

A positive (or obedient) response always leads to purity of heart, reflecting God’s righteous loving  nature. These are the fruits and beauty of faith.

Biblical or saving faith can be described as loyal submission founded upon hope of the knowledge God has given to us.

Faith cannot be separated from Gods’ love for the outcome of faith is always love. Nor can faith be separated from the grace of God which calls all men to Him.


Faith brings righteousness and justifies us if we are responsive to it through obedience. Here is a great examples of saving faith.

he staggered not at the promise of God

through unbelief;

but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 

and being fully persuaded that,

what he had promised,

he was able also to perform. 

And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 

Now it was not written for his sake alone,

that it was imputed to him; 

but for us also,

to whom it shall be imputed,

if we believe on him

that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 

who was delivered for our offences,

and was raised again for our justification.

~ Romans 4:20-25

Abraham did not just ascent and believe. By his faith, he left all and follow God into the wilderness to be a sojourner and pilgrim in this land. That is what faith is calling us to do as well.


Our faith should subsist on nothing other than the truth and commands as evealed in God’s word. Namely, He created the heavens and the Earth so we could share in His love and holiness for all eternity.


Through faith we understand

that the worlds were framed

by the word of God,

so that things which are seen

were not made of things which do appear.

~ Hebrew 11:3


Our faith subsists on the truth of God’s promises. Our ascension to these truths draws conviction to our heart that demands loyalty and action. When we receive the Gospel message, the effects of our faith has justifying power.

Thanks be to the sacrificial gift of our loving savior Jesus Christ!

This work of grace creating in our heart the beginnings of a ‘new man.’ A man like Christ.


The Shipwreck of Faith


 Our faith can become shipwrecked if we are not careful. It must be protected and nurtured at all costs.

holding faith, and a good conscience;

which some having put away concerning faith

have made shipwreck:

~ I Timothy 1:9

We are to hold fast to our faith without wavering in obedience to God’s word, this creates a good conscience (a clean heart) as witnessed by the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,

that we are the children of God

~ Romans 8:16


If we do not have this blessed assurance, then we have failed in our striving to enter into the strait gate.

Strive to enter in at the strait gate:

for many, I say unto you,

will seek to enter in,

and shall not be able.

~ Luke 13:24

Faith must be mixed with obedience and not spoiled by doubt, so we can enter into God’s rest.

 Let us labor

therefore to enter into that rest,

lest any man fall

after the same example of unbelief.

~ Hebrews 4:11

If we no longer are working out our salvation with fear and trembling, we have fallen into sin.

For if we sin wilfully

after that we have received the knowledge of the truth,

there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins

~ Hebrews 10:26

The changing of the ‘old man’ into the ‘new man’ is a necessary component for every Christian. It is not something that happens overnight. We need to learn how to cloth ourselves in the armour of God and die to our self.

Leonard Ravenhill said, There are only two type of people in this world. Those who are dead to sin and those who are dead in their sins.

I do not believe there is any room for lukewarmness, compromise, or sleeping Christians in the kingdom of God. These all shipwreck our faith.


God’s Disclosure of Truth



concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

which was made of the seed of David

according to the flesh;

and declared to be the Son of God with power,

according to the spirit of holiness,

by the resurrection from the dead:

by whom we have received grace and apostleship,

for obedience to the faith among all nations,

for his name:

among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

~ Romans 1:3-6


Here God shows who brought the Gospel. It is the greatest revelation of God to man, redemption by faith that bring grace, gift of offices, as He calls us to Him.

He reveals the good news through shadows and images in the Old Testament leading to the the birth, sacrifice, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ.

The truth is a holy calling and God reveals it to us through His grace. What we do with this truth can lead us to obedience unto salvation or disobedience unto death.


The Obedience of Faith


Found between the disclosure of God’s redemption plan and calling in Christ in the scripture above is my favorite description of faith: The obedience of faith.

This brief statement houses the central idea of Christianity: The love of God abounding by revelation to us-ward through faith holding transformative power unto holiness, purity, and love.

Obedience of faith toward God is the only truth (and law) to be fearfully considered, wisely understood, and vigilantly embraced.


The Call of Faith


Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13


This truth and command calls us to be on the alert: one of the blossoms of true, saving faith.

It is understood that we should know what to be alert for and why. This is the last chapter of 1 Corinthians. Paul has discussed many of the problems the Corinthian church was experiencing.

We would be wise to heed every single course of action he provided.

Here are some main points to 1 Corinthians 16:13:

  • The truth has many enemies. We are to be watchful for any encroachments of the truth that hinders or besets our obedience though careful and prayerful consideration of the Holy Spirit, who guides and teaches us.
  • One of the best way to counter the enemy is having God’s love and building others up in Christ.
  • We are to stand firm in our faith. There is no room for compromise, sin, or doubt. We must use all measures provided in scripture to finish our faith: Fellowship, devotion, prayer, more prayer, more fellowship, devotion & co.
  • It takes a consecrated soul be completely sold out to Christ. Finding others of like mind is invaluable.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Psalm 133:1

  • Act like men takes on a new meaning. We are created in God’s image, this image we are to develop in our being. This is done through single-minded adherence to the doctrines taught by Christ and His Apostles. No longer are we tossed and turned by every wind of doctrine. Purity of heart is the only remedy for double-mindedness; holiness, Godliness, brings complete death to sin. A real man casts aside every weight and sin that so easily besets him; Not letting anything hinder him from his cause.
  • Only in close, constant fellowship is Christ found. Go to Ephesians 6 for a key to this verse: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. ~ Ephesians 6:9-11

The Disobedience of Faith


Obedience of faith leads me to consider what does the opposite mean? What corrupts or destroys our faith? What brings disobedience?

A negative response to a revelation of God brings corruption of our faith. It leads directly to rebellion, which has its own myriad of corruptions.

We have been told that there is no excuse to sin as a Christian because faithful obedience leads us into all truth and in truth there is no sin.

God has given us victory and a path. His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. We are told to walk on that path that leads to holiness.

And an highway shall be there, and a way,

and it shall be called The way of holiness;

the unclean shall not pass over it;

but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men,

though fools, shall not err therein.

~ Isaiah 35:8

Temptation that leads to sin can eventually destroy our faith and lead us into more disobedience. This is the corruptive nature of sin on our nature. But God has given us a way out of every temptation that comes our way.

There hath no temptation taken you

but such as is common to man:

but God is faithful,

who will not suffer you to be tempted

above that ye are able;

but will with the temptation

also make a way to escape,

that ye may be able to bear it.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

If faith leads to love and obedience, weak feeble faith leads to doubt, sin, and disobedience.

If you think you can stand when hindered or beset in temptation and sin, heed the warning of the Holy Spirit. The verse just before the 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Wherefore

let him that thinketh he standeth

take heed lest he fall.

The whole chapter leading up to these to two verses describes what happens to those who have been disobedient to faith.

Obedience of faith is eternally importance.

There is no sin beyond our ability to handle when we are living completely by faith. When we are living partially by faith, we are trusting in the world, or our self.

God knows exactly what we are going through.

For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points tempted like as we are,

yet without sin.

~ Hebrews 4:15

This in itself is sin and is call idolatry. It is a  type of disobedience; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. ~ Romans 14:23b

Here is an example of God’s revelation of truth and a man’s negative response that leads to disobedience and ultimately death in one’s sin.


And after certain days,

when Felix came with his wife Drusilla,

which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul,

and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 

And as he reasoned of righteousness,

temperance, and judgment to come,

Felix trembled, and answered,

Go thy way for this time;

when I have a convenient season,

I will call for thee.

~ Acts 24:24-25


Surely Felix believed what he heard from Paul and trembled in fear (this was not a working out our salvation type of trembling). Conviction of God’s wrath touched his soul.

Felix and his wife heard the revelation of God but responded with rejection. What was the end of their action of disobedience to God’s revelation?

Felix’s wife left him and died with her son in the famous Pompeii eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. She died in her sins.

Felix continued as a corrupt licentiousness governor and was ousted from office. He was nearly executed in Rome by Nero but was saved by the pleas of his brother (who was killed by Nero two years later). He lived out the rest of his life in obscurity and poor. He died in his sins.

His punishment was greater because deeper revelation of truth was given by an Apostle a midst power and mighty works.

When we sin, we become corrupt and licentious. Do not fall into the trap that Christians can live sin and be saved. This is a deception from the father of lies.

If God could wrought all the wonders and excellent works written in the lives of those listed below, surely He can elevate you to live above sin and remain obedient to Him.

If Enoch and Elisha could live lives that pleased God so much that He removed them from the world without dying, surely He can save you from your sins in this life.

The following is the classic definition of faith and what it works in those committed to God’s revelation in their life.


The Faith Hall of Fame


This starts out with the classic definition of faith. Faith is connected to our standing with God when it is proved.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 

By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

And what shall I more say?

for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:)

they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

~ Hebrews 11:1-40


May your belief be fully committed to faithful obedience in the pure revelation of God’s word. Not only is this possible, it is expected.


Herein is our love made perfect,

that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:

because as he is, so are we in this world.

~ 1 John 4:17

 

1 Corinthians 3:11-17



Judging the Temple of God



For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid,

which is Jesus Christ. 

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold,

silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 

every man’s work shall be made manifest:

for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed by fire;

and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon,

he shall receive a reward. 

If any man’s work shall be burned,

he shall suffer loss:

but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 

If any man defile the temple of God,

him shall God destroy;

for the temple of God is holy,

which temple ye are.

~ 1 Corinthians 3:11-17


If any man’s work is not built on the purity of holiness, love, and perfection in the gospel of Christ, those works shall be burned. The Christian will still be able to stand before God because did not defile his temple.


This passage in Corinthians hints of the Bema seat of Christ. It speaks of three aspects of judgment; purification, reward, and punishment.

Many think that the Bema seat is only a judgment for our rewards. But that is a partial or incomplete view of the Bema seat judgment.

The Bema seat was used in Greece for rewards in athletic competition. It was used by Rome to provide judicial actions of correction, and condemning people to death.

It is clear by the context of this passage that Paul is speaking of all three of these judicial components.

The picture of the Bema seat judgment. It is a judgment of reward, purification (correction), and justice based on every thing we have done. Hopefully, this clears up some misconception regarding the Bema seat judgment.

To disregard the whole meaning of this scripture is not far from adding or taking away from the Word of God.

This is how some of us build a foundation other than on Jesus Christ; We frame this or other passages of scripture around a doctrine rather than let our doctrine be framed around all of scripture. 

Please do not build on hay or stubble.


Scripture says:

If any man shall add unto these things,

God shall add unto him the plagues

that are written in this book:

and if any man shall take away from the words

of the book of this prophecy,

God shall take away his part out of the book of life,

and out of the holy city,

and from the things which are written in this book.

~ Revelation 18b-19


There is no distinguishing between Christian or non-Christian in the above passage. It is about being obedient to the Holy Spirit vs. changing the Word of God for any reason.

Woe to those who do this for God will remove their name from the Book of Life as noted above.


If someone defiles his temple and does not make it right and get it cleansed, that person God will destroy as listed in verse 17. That is why it is so important to know what defiles our temple, (body, soul, and spirit).


What Defiles the Temple of God


But those things which proceed out of the mouth

come forth from the heart;

and they defile the man.

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,

murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts,

false witness, blasphemies:

these are the things which defile a man:

~ Matthew 15:18-21

————-

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity:

so is the tongue among our members,

that it defileth the whole body,

and setteth on fire the course of nature;

and it is set on fire of hell.

~ James 3:6

————-

Behold, I make all things new.

And he said unto me,

Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

I will give unto him that is athirst

of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things;

and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving,

and the abominable, and murderers,

and whoremongers, and sorcerers,

and idolaters, and all liars,

shall have their part in the lake which burneth

with fire and brimstone:

which is the second death.

And there shall in no wise enter into it

any thing that defileth,

neither whatsoever worketh abomination,

or maketh a lie:

but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

~ Revelation 21:5-8, 27


If any of the things listed above that describe are a part of your life and are defiling your temple, then you are in danger of the judgment.

Those that defile God’s temple through the world of iniquity (practicing sin) are akin to those who add to or take away from the word of God.

For we represent the word of God by every  our lives. God will take out His penknife and “shall take away his part out of the book of life.”


Blessed are the pure in heart:

for they shall see God.

~ Matthew 5:8


Submit yourselves therefore to God.

Resist the devil,

and he will flee from you. 

Draw nigh to God,

and he will draw nigh to you.

Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;

and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:

let your laughter be turned to mourning,

and your joy to heaviness.

~ James 4:7-9


With God all things are possible.


God’s Penknife



The Power of the Blotter


We are going to look at scripture that discusses God writing our name in His Book of Life, blotting out Sin from His Book, and removing names that have have been written in the Book.

Before modern erasers and backspacing were invented, a penknife was used to remove words on a parchment or manuscript. When this was done by scribes, traces of what was written would remain.

When God uses His ‘penknife’ in on of His books, there will be no trace of a sin ever existing or a name that was ever written. Whatever was there will be completely wiped away.

That is why God can say, “Depart from me, worker of iniquity, I never knew you.” and cast us into the lake of fire.

Or why God can say, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”


In the New Testament the word is exaleipho and it means to wash every part, obliterate, wipe out, blot out. It  is a complete removing of something or someone.

In the Old Testament the word is machah  and it means to wipe away, utterly destroy, to wash off by wiping.

Both the O.T. and N.T. indicate a complete and utter removal. Erasing something as if it was never there.



This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth,

and honoureth me with their lips;

but their heart is far from me.

But in vain they do worship me,

teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

And he called the multitude, and said unto them,

Hear, and understand: 

not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man;

but that which cometh out of the mouth,

this defileth a man.

Every plant,

which my heavenly Father hath not planted,

shall be rooted up . . .

those things which proceed out of the mouth

come forth from the heart;

and they defile the man.

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,

murders, adulteries, fornications,

thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 

these are the things which defile a man:

~ Matthew 15:8 – 11,  13b, 18-20a


Jesus describes what defiles a man and what will send him to hell. It does not matter if someone claims Christianity, has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, or if they have lived like the Devil all their life.

If we continue willingly to sin we defile our heart, and are guilty of judgment.

When we first professed salvation, God took His penknife and blotted out our sins like they were never there.


Be ye therefore followers of God,

as dear children; 

and walk in love,

as Christ also hath loved us,

and hath given himself for us

an offering and a sacrifice to God

for a sweetsmelling savour. 

But fornication, and all uncleanness,

or covetousness,

let it not be once named among you,

as becometh saints; 

neither filthiness, nor foolish talking,

nor jesting, which are not convenient:

but rather giving of thanks. 

For this ye know,

that no whoremonger, nor unclean person,

nor covetous man, who is an idolater,

hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 

Let no man deceive you with vain words:

for because of these things

cometh the wrath of God

upon the children of disobedience.

~ Ephesians 5:1-6


We are warned against being children of disobedience. If we continue in sin, we will die in it. God will look upon us as if He never knew us.

His penknife already blotted us completely out of the Book of Life. No remnant, not even a trace of our name will remain. It will be completely gone.

Jesus spoke of those who practice iniquity and made no distinction between their status as a believer or unbeliever.

Their status was based upon their choice to follow Christ, repent, and show works meet for repentance.


Many will say to me in that day,

Lord, Lord,

have we not prophesied in thy name?

and in thy name have cast out devils?

and in thy name done many wonderful works? 

And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

ye that work iniquity.

~ Matthew 7:22-24

————-

then shall ye begin to say,

We have eaten and drunk in thy presence,

and thou hast taught in our streets. 

But he shall say, I tell you,

I know you not whence ye are;

depart from me,

all ye workers of iniquity.

~ Luke 13:26-27


Moses was a picture of Christ in the Old Testament. He was in constant supplication for his people just like Jesus is constantly standing for us in Heaven before His Father.

Moses knew God could remove names from the Book of Life. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have made the following argument. At some point in scripture we would see God correct this assumption if it were not true.

But we see the opposite. Jesus teaches this doctrine to believers and tells us to heed this warning while we work out our salvation with fear and trembling.


Here is Moses’ argument and other examples of God using His penknife in various ways. The things blotted out are remembered no more; Just like they never existed. It is a wonderful and fearful thing to behold the power and judgment of God.


And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said,

Oh, this people have sinned a great sin,

and have made them gods of gold. 

Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—;

and if not, blot me, I pray thee,

out of thy book which thou hast written. 

And the Lord said unto Moses,

Whosoever hath sinned against me,

him will I blot out of my book.

~ Exodus 32:31-33

————-

the Lord spake unto me, saying,

I have seen this people, and, behold,

it is a stiffnecked people: let me alone,

that I may destroy them,

and blot out their name from under heaven:

and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.

~ Deuteronomy 9:14

————-

Therefore it shall be,

when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest

from all thine enemies round about,

in the land which the Lord thy God

giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it,

that thou shalt blot out the remembrance

of Amalek from under heaven;

thou shalt not forget it.

~ Deuteronomy 25:19

————-

the Lord will not spare him,

but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy

shall smoke against that man,

and all the curses

that are written in this book

shall lie upon him,

and the Lord shall blot out his name

from under heaven.

~ Deuteronomy 29:20

————-

and cover not their iniquity,

and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee:

for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

~ Nehemiah 4:5

————-

Hide thy face from my sins,

and blot out all mine iniquities.

~ Psalm 51:9

————-

Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,

and not be written with the righteous.

~ Psalm 69:28

————-

Have mercy upon me, O God,

according to thy lovingkindness:

according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies

blot out my transgressions

. . . Hide thy face from my sins,

and blot out all mine iniquities.

~ Psalms 51:1, 9

————-

I, even I, am He

that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake,

and will not remember thy sins.

~ Isaiah 43:25

————-

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud,

thy transgressions, and, as a cloud,

thy sins: return unto me;

for I have redeemed thee.

~ Isaiah 44:22

————-

“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow,

help those women which laboured with me

in the gospel, with Clement also,

and with other my fellowlabourers,

whose names are in the book of life.

~ Philippians 4:3

————-

Repent ye therefore, and be converted,

that your sins may be blotted out,

when the times of refreshing shall come

from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19

————-

blotting out the handwriting of ordinances

that was against us, which was contrary to us,

and took it out of the way,

nailing it to his cross;

~ Colossians 2:14

————-

He that overcometh,

the same shall be clothed in white raiment;

and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,

but I will confess his name before my Father,

and before his angels.

~ Revelation 3:5


God has the power to blot out our sins, remember them no more, and to write our name His book of Life.

He also has the power to blot out our name once it has been written in His book and remember it no more.

When we fall back into sin and practice iniquity as described above, we are no longer worthy of Heaven, and God removes our name from His book.

Then He waits . . . provides grace, calling us back to Him; to His Mercy Seat, to forgiveness, to a life in Christ.

And to all who overcome this world and its sin, Jesus will give them a white stone.

The White Stone


A Gift to the Overcomer


He that hath an ear,

let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;

To him that overcometh

will I give to eat of the hidden manna,

and will give him a white stone,

and in the stone a new name written,

which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

~ Revelation 2:17


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines overcome as:

1. To conquer; to vanquish; to subdue; as, to overcome enemies in battle.

2. To surmount; to get the better of; as, to overcome difficulties or obstacles.

3. To overflow; to surcharge.

4. To come upon; to invade.

TO OVERCOME, v.i. To gain the superiority; to be victorious.


Romans 3 depicts Jesus’ obedience unto death: Through His overcoming (victory) He has been given the authority and power to judge the world of sin. The very nature of sin commends Jesus’ righteousness.

Overcoming according to this principle is not always an easy or simple task. It requires full obedience.

True saving faith necessitates obedience even if it means picking up our cross to the losing of our life.


The Judge, The Overcomer


Christ as judge does not overlook the sinful ways of those who follow after those that, “seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols” (Revelation 2:20).

We cannot entertain any sexual immorality in thought, word, or deed. The principle of obedience of faith in Christ extends this one prohibition to every type of sin. We are to abhor all evil and cling to that which is good. 

Those that do allow these seductive inducements will suffer wrath and judgment if not repented of and abandoned.

Nor should we tolerate sitting under those who teach or make profane that which is God calls holy, namely ourselves (temples of the Holy Spirit), our lives (sacrifices of faith), and His precepts (forsaking the assembling of ourselves together).

We are not forsake any New Testament teaching. A foundational one is: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together weekly. Christ started this tradition with the apostles by meeting with them the first two Sundays after His resurrection.

He also pronounced it strongly by giving the gift of the Holy Spirit on Sunday (Pentecost). This is a very early tradition founded by Jesus and the Holy Spirit and reinforced by the Apostles.

Can you imagine meeting and worshiping the Lord like that and then just deciding to go to church (or not) when you wanted to or felt like? We are called to remember our first love when we got saved. Everything in New Testament is a picture of this.


The seductions mentioned in Revelation 2:20 are understood as broad in meaning by the underlying principle of overcoming:

Taking our eyes off the Lord as our sole source of inspiration and needs and replacing our earthly needs with anything outside the parameters of scripture.


Does God Tolerate Sin, Compromise, or Corruption?


We are called to be dead to sin. Paul intimates that living in sin as a Christian is completely incongruent with God’s Plan.

The is what we are to overcome and it is done through obedience to faith in Christ.

The only reasonable act that can bring success as an overcomer is to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable according to God’s excellent standards.

There is no other way to show we have overcome, than to approve within ourselves through the Spirit, the will of God.

This is why it is so very important that we take seriously all of Jesus’ instructions including, “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). There are critically important doctrinal implications to be discovered when we seek complete obedience of faith in the whole counsel of scripture.

We cannot ignore parts of the new covenant such as (1 Corinthians 11, 1 Timothy 2, Titus 2). Read the whole chapters. Apply them to your life. I guarantee, many Christians will protest your obedience and defend their disobedience without you ever even saying a word. 

For in your obedience to the Word of God, conviction of sin is wrought. Salt and light is revealed and has its effect of righteousness and judgment. Not of your own but of the will of God.

This type of obedience also reveals how much darkness the world unknowingly lives in and is by its very nature is opposed to holy and righteous biblical principles.

God is faithful. When Christians are truly submitted by faith, He will lead them to increased obedience.

Complete obedience being the goal, obtainable only through fervent prayer and total consecration to the will of the Holy Spirit.


One of the great failings of our churches today its salt has lost its savior:

The decline of church discipline is perhaps the most visible failure of the contemporary church. No longer concerned with maintaining purity of confession or lifestyle, the contemporary church sees itself as a voluntary association of autonomous members, with minimal moral accountability to God, much less to each other . . . the present generation of ministers and church members is virtually without experience of biblical discipline . . . By the 1960s, only a minority of churches even pretended to practice regulative church discipline.”
Church Discipline: The Missing Mark, R. Albert Mohler, Jr.


If we break this chain of failure in our lives, Jesus will give us precious and eternal promises.

In (Revelation 2:17), the church in Smyrna tolerated the doctrine of Balaam, which taught that carnality and idolatry, was tolerable in church.

This teaching, similar to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is alive and well in the church today.

Through corrupted biblical leadership (pastors compromised in sin or not truly called to preach), the church is fed the same compromise found in the pulpit, which leads to doctrines of the flesh and continued sin in the pews.


The following is a list of Christ’s promises to the overcomer in Revelation:

  1. He that overcometh will eat the tree of life (Rev. 2:7)
  2. will not be hurt by the second death (2:11),
  3. will eat the hidden manna and have a white stone upon which a new name is written (2:17),
  4. will have power over the nations (2:26),
  5. will have the morning star (2:28),
  6. will be arrayed in white garments and his name will not be blotted out of the book of life (which implies they can be and many will be. Otherwise, this promise would have no meaning).
  7. Christ will confess his name before the Father and the angels (3:5),
  8. will be a pillar in the temple of God (3:12)
  9. will bear the name of God and of the city of God
  10. will have a new name (3:12),
  11. and will sit down with Christ in His throne (3:21).

These are all gifts to the overcomer: those victorious over sin through unfeigned love and obedience to our Holy Father.


“The deep, secret dealings of God with each of us during those times by which our sonship is assured and our spiritual strife carried on to victory, can, when revealed to us in the other blessed state, be known thoroughly to ourselves only.” ~ Dean Alford.


Some biblical examples of new names:

God gave a new name to Sarah (Gen. 17:15)

Jacob changed to Israel (Gen. 32:28)

Christ gave a new name to Peter (Mat. 16:18).


In closing, we are called to remember, overcome, and persevere unto the end (1 John 2:24). 

In this, we may share in His glory forever.


His ways are higher than ours. He can pour down His love on our heart and completely change our thinking, dispositions, and nature. 

If we fall humbly at His feet and cry out with a contrite heart, “God be merciful to me, a sinner, I give you my life to you. Do with it as you will.,” He will be faithful unto the end.


My prayer is that you are given a rich and precious white stone.

The Day of The Lord



There are hundreds of references to the Day of the Lord in scripture. The following is a summary of events associated with this event.

The time of the Gentiles are complete. The Earth has been shaken, signs in the heavens revealed, and the church is united with Christ in the heavens.

Now God is going to redeem Israel, deal with the sins of the nations with His Great Wrath, and usher in a time where Jesus reigns over the Earth.

The Day of the Lord is a long period of time covering with many phases. Remember, one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, etc. & co.

This post briefly highlights some of the events occurring during Daniel’s 70th week and scans the entire time-frame of the Day of the Lord.


The great day of the Lord is near,

it is near, and hasteth greatly,

even the voice of the day of the Lord:

the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

That day is a day of wrath,

a day of trouble and distress,

a day of wasteness and desolation,

a day of darkness and gloominess,

a day of clouds and thick darkness,

a day of the trumpet and alarm

against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.

And I will bring distress upon men,

that they shall walk like blind men,

because they have sinned against the Lord:

and their blood shall be poured out as dust,

and their flesh as the dung.

Neither their silver nor their gold

shall be able to deliver them

in the day of the Lord’s wrath;

but the whole land shall be devoured

by the fire of his jealousy:

for he shall make even a speedy riddance

of all them that dwell in the land.

~ Zephaniah 1:14-18


Nothing in Heaven or Earth will be able to stand against the Lord on that day. If we love the Lord and obey His commandments, the Day will not overtake us like a thief. We will be delivered from it.


. . . how ye turned to God from idols

to serve the living and true God; 

and to wait for his Son from heaven,

whom he raised from the dead,

even Jesus,

which delivered us from the wrath to come.

~ 1 Thessalonians 1:10

————-

For God hath not appointed us to wrath,

but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 

who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep,

we should live together with him.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:9


These are the promises we have in Christ Jesus if we endure to the end in a life pleasing to the Lord.


And it shall come to pass in that day,

that I will seek to destroy all the nations

that come against Jerusalem. 

And I will pour upon the house of David,

and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

the spirit of grace and of supplications:

and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced,

and they shall mourn for him,

as one mourneth for his only son,

and shall be in bitterness for him,

as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 

In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem

~ Zechariah 12:9-12


Here we begin to see that Jerusalem and all of Israel becomes the focus of scripture and God’s redemptive love. The church is gone. It left at the onset of this event, known as the Day of Christ.


For I would not, brethren,

that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,

lest ye should be wise in your own conceits;

that blindness in part is happened to Israel,

until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

And so all Israel shall be saved:

as it is written,

There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer,

and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

for this is my covenant unto them,

when I shall take away their sins.

~ Romans 11:25-27


The (unsaved) Gentiles remaining on the Earth are now the primary object of God’s wrath. These have followed after the Beast and False Prophet who have been ruling the entire world.


If any man worship the beast and his image,

and receive his mark in his forehead,

or in his hand, 

the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,

which is poured out without mixture

into the cup of his indignation;

and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone

in the presence of the holy angels,

and in the presence of the Lamb:

~ Revelation 14:9-10



Before He pours out His wrath, the church is delivered, God seals 144,000 Jews to testify for Him in the last part of Daniel’s 70th week. In this, His promise to Israel begins completion.

Daniel’s 70th week is often interpreted as the Great Tribulation period, but it is not described as such in scripture.

Scripture states that the Great Tribulation begins at the mid-point of the Daniel’s 70th week when the Man of Sin is revealed and causes the sacrifices in the temple to cease.

Satan realizes his time is short and persecutes God’s people with great wrath. He begins persecuting the Jews and church in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week.

Please note there is a big difference between Satan’s wrath and God’s wrath. This we must distinguish to correctly interpret the times of the end.


When ye therefore shall see

the abomination of desolation,

spoken of by Daniel the prophet,

stand in the holy place,

(whoso readeth, let him understand:) 

then let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains: 

let him which is on the housetop not come down

to take any thing out of his house: 

neither let him which is in the field

return back to take his clothes. 

And woe unto them that are with child,

and to them that give suck in those days! 

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter,

neither on the sabbath day: 

for then shall be great tribulation,

such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time,

no, nor ever shall be. 

And except those days should be shortened,

there should no flesh be saved:

but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

~ Matthew 24:15-22


This is not a warning only for the Jews because Jesus said this was for His apostles and disciples, which include both Jewish and Gentile believers.

In Mark, Jesus proclaims that this prophesy applies to everyone. Every scripture I have ever read synthesizes within the context of this thesis.


But in those days, after that tribulation,

the sun shall be darkened,

and the moon shall not give her light,

and the stars of heaven shall fall,

and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 

And then shall they see the Son of man

coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 

And then shall he send his angels,

and shall gather together his elect

from the four winds,

from the uttermost part of the earth

to the uttermost part of heaven.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree;

When her branch is yet tender,

and putteth forth leaves,

ye know that summer is near: 

so ye in like manner,

when ye shall see these things come to pass,

know that it is nigh, even at the doors . . .

. . . But of that day and that hour knoweth no man,

no, not the angels which are in heaven,

neither the Son, but the Father.

Take ye heed, watch and pray:

for ye know not when the time is.

For the Son of man is as a man

taking a far journey, who left his house,

and gave authority to his servants,

and to every man his work,

and commanded the porter to watch.

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not

when the master of the house cometh,

at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing,

or in the morning:

lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

And what I say unto you

I say unto all,

Watch.


Jesus returns at the end of the Great Tribulation (He cuts is short). Scripture prophesies hope for Israel even in the perilous times to come after the church has been gathered.


Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together,

O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth,

before the day pass as the chaff,

before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you,

before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you.

Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth,

which have wrought his judgment;

seek righteousness, seek meekness:

it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.

For Gaza shall be forsaken,

and Ashkelon a desolation:

they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day,

and Ekron shall be rooted up.

Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast,

the nation of the Cherethites!

the word of the Lord is against you;

O Canaan, the land of the Philistines,

I will even destroy thee,

that there shall be no inhabitant.

And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds,

and folds for flocks.

And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah;

they shall feed thereupon:

in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening:

for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.

~ Zephaniah 2:2-7


Some time before God’s wrath is poured out, there will be a window of opportunity for Israel to receive redemption and be protected or hidden from His wrath.

This is the work of the two witnesses, Elisha and Enoch, and the 144,000 Jewish disciples preaching the gospel while wrath is being poured out around them.

Once again, the sun, moon, and stars are darkened, the last trumpet has blasted, and the church is gathered to the Lord and darkness covers the land. At time of mourning for the Jews.

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion,

and sound an alarm in my holy mountain:

let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the Lord cometh,

for it is nigh at hand;

a day of darkness and of gloominess,

a day of clouds and of thick darkness,

as the morning spread upon the mountains:

~ Joel 2:1-2


The Apostles asked Jesus before He ascended to heaven when the Nation of Israel would be restored.

The Day of the Lord is the time of great cleansing that initiates this prophesy to restore the nation if Israel.


When they therefore were come together,

they asked of him, saying, Lord,

wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

~ Acts 1:6


The Bible speaks of the Day of the Lord ushering in a time of peace for Israel and the world around them.

They realize the old covenant/sacrifices in the temple are finished and recognize their Messiah whom they have pierced.


Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord,

until the day that I rise up to the prey:

for my determination is to gather the nations,

that I may assemble the kingdoms,

to pour upon them mine indignation,

even all my fierce anger:

for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

For then will I turn to the people a pure language,

that they may all call upon the name of the Lord,

to serve him with one consent.

~ Zephaniah 3:8-9


The first fruits of Israel’s peace occurs immediately prior to the outpouring of the wrath as noted here in Revelation 7.

This chapter is also where God speaks of the risen and raptured saints of the Gentile age. They were delivered before the sealing of the 144,000 and wrath.

These first fruits, the 144,000, are Jewish virgin or sanctified males. They are sealed and thus, protected from God’s wrath while they preach to the last remnants in the world.

Oh what a wonderful and terrifying picture. God providing redemption to His people by wholly sanctified saints while he pours out His wrath all around them. For all those who receive the promise, they will enjoy a wondrous time in the millennium.

These 144,000 were probably converted after the rapture and the witness of Enoch and Elisha. The Bible says, it is appointed once for man to die, then the judgment. Neither Enoch or Elisha have died yet.

Therefore, these two men of God must return to Earth and die. They start preaching before the Great Tribulation begins, prophesying, and are killed some time in the midst of it.

The Anti-Christ even declares a holiday (link) presenting their bodies to the whole world, who in turn celebrates their deaths by the exchanging of gifts as they lie in the streets 3 1/2 days.


And I will give power unto my two witnesses,

and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred

and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

~ Revelation 11:3


The Day of the Lord goes well beyond the period of His wrath that shortens the Great Tribulation during Daniel’s 70th week.

It lasts at least 1,000 years and includes the Battle of Armageddon, the millennial reign of Christ on Earth, and destruction of the sin stained Heavens and Earth.

There is way too much material to cover of these events in this post.

Here is one prophesy that briefly sums up the entire age of The Day of Lord (giving some great hints too) and points to the end when holiness, purity, and righteousness will inherit the New Heaven and New Earth in eternity future.


But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,

that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,

and a thousand years as one day. 

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,

as some men count slackness;

but is longsuffering to us-ward,

not willing that any should perish,

but that all should come to repentance. 

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;

in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,

and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,

the earth also and the works that are therein

shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,

what manner of persons ought ye to be

in all holy conversation and godliness,

looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,

wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,

and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 

Nevertheless we, according to his promise,

look for new heavens and a new earth,

wherein dwelleth righteousness.

~ 2 Peter 3:8-13


Please do not get tossed and turned by every wind of doctrine out there.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,

what manner of persons ought ye to be

in all holy conversation and godliness,

looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God

The whole of your life should reflect godliness and holiness. If you are not in a church that preaches this as the norm of the Christian life, the winds of doctrine will remain.

Remember, love covers a multitude of sins, and sums up the whole of our life in Christ. If we have died to self and sin, we no longer serve its desires therein. God and only God’s love is the ruler of our heart. We continue in this way of holiness, keeping our heart and mind on our heavenly calling as we look for the coming of His Great Day.

In Him,

Donald Kjellberg