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Spiritual vs. Religious Fellowship

- Who is the HEAD in Spiritual Fellowship? In Religious Fellowship?

- What is the presumption in Spiritual Fellowships?

- Can any congregation conduct Spiritual Fellowships?

 

Apr 14, 1998

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Old and New Testament

Posted by: Administrator on July 06, 2002 11:00:20 AM (5605 Reads)

- How does God through His words distinguish the Old and New Testaments from man’s concept on the two covenants?

- What is God’s explanation through His words of faith and works compared to man’s point of view?

- How does God explain, “The just shall live by faith.”

 

OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT

(God’s explanation vs. man’s understanding)

 

 

Perhaps what everybody knows about the Old and New Testament is the division of the Holy Bible into its 66 books. The Old Testament covers the period from Genesis to Malachi, and the New Testament from Matthew to the book of Revelation. However, God through His words shows that it extends far beyond this boundary. From the point of view of man, these are the three stages or epochs in the spiritual history of mankind:

 

FIRST STAGE:

 

From Adam and Eve to Moses there was no written word. God “spoke” by divine revelation and this was transferred from mouth to mouth from generation to generation. This is referred to as “oral tradition.” Some denominations interpreted this to justify injection of unscriptural doctrines and practices.

 

Abel, Enoch, Noah, and others came to know and followed the TRUTH by humbling themselves before God. Cain and the rest who were not saved did not do as these people did. Abel gave the right offering acceptable to God. Cain did not get such revelation. The basic principle for salvation enunciated by Jesus Christ applied to these people, attesting, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

 

Matt. 5:3 “ Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

 

Matt. 18:3 “… Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

 

Isa. 28:9 [KJV and Bishops Bible only] “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”

 

Matt. 11:25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

 

The word of God had not passed away. We have seen this in Moses, Jeremiah, time of the prophets, and during the time of our Lord. It should be seen today till the end of the world. This proves that the Word does not change as “God never change” (Malachi 3:6).

 

SECOND STAGE:

 

From the book of Genesis to Malachi we have the 39 books of the Holy Bible. This is popularly known as the Old Testament time.

 

THIRD STAGE:

 

From Jesus Christ up to the end of the world where we have the 27 books of the Holy Bible, Matthew up to the Book of Revelation, this is popularly known as the New Testament. Man for lack of appropriate words to describe these epochs calls them the “Period of Innocence, Period Promise, and Period of Grace,” respectively.

 

 

God’s revelation of His words

 

Since God is a Spirit (John 4:24 ) and invisible, so are His words spiritual (Rom. 7:14 ). They therefore need to be deciphered by Him through His words. Throughout the three periods, TRUTH had not changed (Psa. 31:5). God reveals the spiritual message of His words with the following guideline:

 

Isa. 28:9 [KJV and Bishops Bible only] “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept ; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little : 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”

 

1 Cor. 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

 

Something to think about

 

During the time of the prophets, God promised a NEW COVENANT OR TESTAMENT. This falls in our time where we find ourselves in:

 

Jer 31:31 “ Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel… 33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

 

To be made with the “House of Israel” does not only refer to the physical descendants of Jacob or Abraham, but to the people truly belonging to Christ:

 

Gal. 3:28 “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. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

 

These are the features promised in the New Covenant that the beneficiaries are expected to enjoy:

 

1. Beneficiaries to the New Testament expect to “Know the Lord from the least to the greatest of them.”

 

2. The promise of God to put His “law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts,” and

 

3. To “forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more” for the Lord “will be their God, and they shall be His people

 

The last two are dependent upon the first. Since the Lord is the Word of God (Rev. 19:13), His true identity follows clear understanding of His words giving effect to the promises.

 

 

Primary benefit in the New Testament

 

People claiming to be under the New Testament therefore should realize first and foremost the promise of knowing the Lord from the least of them to the greatest of them.” Jesus Christ gave the proof to confirm coverage under this New Covenant. He told His listeners:

 

John 8:19 “Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.”

 

Who is JESUS CHRIST that to know Him should follow the clear identity of the FATHER also? This is what is written about the only God and the only Lord:

 

1 Cor. 8:6 “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

 

How many people today believing to be beneficiaries of the NEW TESTAMENT “can claim to know the FATHER because they know the Son Jesus Christ?” What we hear from religious leaders and many people is the statement, “The infinite Father God is a mystery incapable of clear identification with the finite mind of man.”

 

This particular benefit of “knowing the Father after having known the Son” is demonstrated to Simon Peter. To know the Son Jesus requires the revelation of the Father. Stated in another way, a “miracle” is needed to clearly identify Jesus.

 

Matt. 16:15 “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

 

“Flesh and blood” means personal competence. Simon Peter or any person for that matter cannot possibly identify the true JESUS with human capability. Salvation is centered on Jesus Christ but the enemy of God would try to thwart this by believing in “another Jesus” as prophesied:

 

2 Cor. 11:4 “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

 

These are examples of “another Jesus” that people believing in the Holy Bible recognize:

 

1. Jesus is only a man and not God.

2. Jesus is only a minor or mighty God for there is a greater or Almighty God.

3. Jesus is the Father, and the Holy Spirit is only a force of God.

4. Jesus is the Father and also the Holy Spirit.

5. Jesus is both God and man, and is the 2 nd person of the Trinity.

 

Who is the real and true JESUS of the original Apostles? For details read the articles:

 

JESUS OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES http://www.purechrist ianit y.org/jesusof.htm

THE GOD OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT http://www.purechristianity.org/godofthe.htm

 

 

Simon Peter recognized Jesus by divine revelation

 

Simon Peter did not recognize JESUS with his own personal capability but by the revelation of the Father:

 

Matt. 16:15 “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

 

Look if what happened to Simon Peter and his recognition of Jesus is not related to the following:

 

John 6:54 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”

 

Many of those who heard this left Jesus Christ because they could not understand, relying on their human capability to comprehend “spiritual things.”

 

John 6:60 “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

 

John 6:66 “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

 

It is the “flesh and blood of Christ" that Simon Peter “ate” that revealed the true identity of JESUS. Without a doubt, Jesus was speaking “spiritual things.” Eternal life is directed on the true identity of JESUS CHRIST whose “blood shed and flesh nailed on the cross” fulfilled the Testament of Salvation. In the Testament or Covenant, it was the Father God who made it (Gen. 17:7). The Testament requires the death of the maker (Heb. 9:16 ). This is where we find Jesus speaking before His Apostles at the Last Supper:

 

Mark 14:24 “And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.”

 

“Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus” as demonstrated in Simon Peter simply means NOT TO RELY ON MAN’S OWN CAPABILITY to know things pertaining to spiritual matters. To “eat own flesh” is to depend on the dictate of the intellect, and to “drink own blood” is to be influenced by feeling. Do we not often hear people say, “God taught me this,” when it is only the fruit of the mind, and “I feel the Holy Spirit within me,” when actually predisposed by emotion? For this our Lord typifies the chosen with a “little child” with his simple-mindedness who cannot “eat own flesh and drink own blood.” No recourse therefore but "to eat the flesh and drink the blood” of our Lord.

 

Matt. 18:3 “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

 

“Little children or babes” could not be dictated by their intellect nor influenced by feeling. Thus to the “babes” is divine knowledge and wisdom endowed. The “age of little children” is revealed. Here God is referring to the prophets. Who can question that indeed God is not speaking in parables?

 

Isa. 28:9 [ KJV and Bishops Bible only ] “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”

 

As prophesied, Jesus Christ was to speak in parables. He practically repeated Isa. 28:9 when He said:

 

Matt. 11:25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

 

Our Lord directed this to the Scribes and Pharisees who called them “blind guides leading the blind” because they lack spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Theirs was knowledge acquired by and from men – human wisdom that God condemns. Paul received this revelation when he wrote:

 

2 Tim. 3:15 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

Other benefits in the New Testament

 

The other benefits in the New Testament being claimed should be proven in the light of the TRUTH in the word, such as:

 

1. God promised to put His “law in their inward parts, and write it in their heart.

 

2. To “forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more” for He “will be their God, and they shall be His people,” and

 

3. To be a “ husband” unto them.

 

Since the primary benefit of “Knowing (identifying) the Lord from the least to the greatest of them” cannot be proven, it can therefore be concluded that the understanding of the word is based only on man’s explanation (human wisdom). This substantiates the truth that God is speaking “spiritual things” or in parables (Ezek. 20:49 ) as Jesus Christ was prophesied to speak also (Psa. 78:2). Our Lord needs to explain His words as He did to His Disciples:

 

Mark 4:34 “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

 

Since “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” He should explain His words to us today as He did before to His Disciples. And because Jesus is the Word (Rev. 19:13), He does the explanation through His words, again applying:

 

Isa. 28:9 KJV only “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

 

1 Cor. 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

If with man’s explanation of the NEW COVENANT’S promise, “of knowing the Lord from the least to the greatest,” cannot be established; then let God explain the meaning of OLD or FIRST COVENANT. God says the FIRST COVENANT has some faults:

 

Heb. 8:7 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.”

 

In the FIRST OR OLD TESTAMENT, God gave His laws to Moses including the Ten Commandments. But God lamenting, said in Jer. 31:32 “which my covenant they brake,” referring to their non-compliance thereto. He knows man’s rationality that he will assert his capability to understand and follow the word on his own. However, how could man follow the strict requirement imposed on the law?

 

James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

 

Therefore by the deeds of the law, man can never be acceptable to God because he always falls short of its requirement.

 

Rom 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

 

It is now clear that God’s purpose in giving the law is to convict man of his sins seeing the impossibility of following them. Thereby persuading man to humble himself before God and ask for His mercy. God keep on repeating this great message pertaining to the OLD TESTAMENT:

 

Gal. 2:16 “ Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

 

Gal. 3:22 “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”

 

The “works of the law” refers to man’s own capability to understand and follow them. Look how different man’s concept of “work” is, where it means doing something good to fellowmen. However, from the explanation of God “works” refers to “following the law to the letter.” This is the picture of man for his "works" before God:

 

Isa. 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”

 

Man is not saved by good works, which according to human perception simply means following some laws to the "letter." Rather, man is saved by faith that means total trust in God. With this goes the endowment of divine knowledge and wisdom and strength to follow the word according to the will of God.

 

Eph. 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 

Thus God went to the extent of saying, if only to call man’s attention to the impossibility of following the law to the “letter.”

 

Gal. 3:10 “ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

 

Man is limited to the “letter of the law” for that is all that the intellect, feeling, and senses could comprehend. But God is speaking “things of the spirit” that need divine revelation to understand. No wonder, to the Natural Man TRUTH in the word is foolishness for he cannot understand them.

 

1 Cor. 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually [not intellectually, not of the senses, not emotionally] discerned.”

 

 

Comparing the “letter” with the “spirit” of the law
  1. To the “letter,” “born gain” is going back to the womb. To the “spirit,” to be “born of water and Spirit” (John 3:5) means a new life through the TRUTH in the word (Eph. 5:26 ) with the revelation of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37 -39).
  2. To the “letter,” fasting refers to hunger and appetite for bread (Matt. 4:3). To the “spirit,” to hunger for the TRUTH in the word of God (Matt. 4:4, Jer. 15:16, Amos 8:11-12).
  3. To the “letter,” stealing is coveting and getting anything not owned. To the “spirit,” it means “not to pass through the ‘door’ (John 10:1) where door refers to Jesus (John 10:9) and Christ is the truth (John 14:6).
  4. To the “letter,” adultery is simply being unfaithful to the spouse. To the “spirit,” to be unfaithful to God, the spiritual husband (Isa. 54:5), by accepting “seeds” other than His seeds that refers to the truth in the word (Luke 8:11 ).
  5. To the “letter,” bondage is to be shackled with chain or imprisonment in jail, and to be freed is to be released from such predicament. To the “spirit,” know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32 ).
  6. To the “letter,” clothing the naked is to provide pants, shirt, or dress. To the “spirit,” to share the truth that the spiritually “naked” would have the “garment of salvation and to be covered with the robe of righteousness” (Isa. 61:10).
  7. Plus many many more if only we allow God to explain His words and “not to eat our flesh and blood.”
Christ is the end of the law

 

Now it is understood why it is written, “Christ is the end of the law.” With Christ, the chosen no longer depends on man’s own capability to understand and follow the law, but on Jesus' explanation through His words, guidance, and strength to satisfy the requirements.

 

Rom 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

 

God wants His chosen to depend solely on Jesus Christ. This is the true meaning of trust in God. This further explains Jesus not having destroyed the law but to fulfill them:

 

Matt. 5:17 “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

 

The law remains applying to the spiritual and physical life of a real believer according to God’s explanation. This is demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ, showing the way as model. Paul followed it and he enjoins the believers to follow his example:

 

1 Cor. 11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

 

 

“Fault” in the Old Covenant

 

The need for the New Covenant was stated in the following:

 

Heb. 8:7 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah .”

 

This is the “fault” that God speaks of the Old Covenant. He gave His laws testing man to choose one of two alternatives:

 

FIRST - The competence to understand and ability to satisfy the requirement “of all things written in the book of the law.”

 

SECOND - Recognizing the incompetence to understand and the impossibility to follow “all that is written,” and therefore simply to ask God for mercy in order to be saved.

 

Many choose the FIRST and, as expected, profess obedience to some and then claim self-righteousness. This is in spite of the fact that a “curse” is upon those who “fail to obey all that is written.” Christ saw this in the Scribes and Pharisees. All along God had been warning the people of the impossibility to follow the strict requirement of the law:

 

Deut 27:26 “ Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.”

 

Gal. 3:10 “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

 

Man’s sinfulness therefore is exposed through the law:

 

1 Cor. 15:56 “…the strength of sin is the law”

 

The Natural Man (1 Cor. 2:14 ), epitomized by the Scribes and Pharisees, thinks that he can follow the “letter of the law.” With confidence, he thinks he can understand and satisfy the requirement, which is to do all things which are written in the book of the law. This is “works” and “sacrifice” referred to in:

 

Eph. 2:8 “Not ofworks, lest any man should boast.”

 

Matt. 9:13 “ …I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 

Hosea 6:6 “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

 

Is not the promised first benefit in the New Testament the “knowledge to know God?”

 

Jer. 31:31 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel , and with the house of Judah : 33... After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD…”

 

For those claiming to be covered and under the New Testament by virtue of the death of Christ on the cross, can they honestly claim God no longer is a mystery?

 

John 8:19 “…Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.”

 

Many people without knowing are still under the Old Covenant with its “fault.” But spiritual blindness covered their eyes as not to see the truth in the New Covenant or Testament.

 

James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

 

“Only a few” choose the SECOND alternative where God wants man to humble himself and just say, “Lord, I cannot understand the letter for you expressed your words in parables, much more to follow everything written therein.” This is the true meaning of “faith” where man is justified before God. It is a gift of God and a fruit of the Spirit:

 

Eph. 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

 

Gal. 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.”

 

Now justification by faith is further clarified:

 

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”

 

Rom. 2:17 “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

 

Rom. 3:27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

 

Paul realized the purpose and the “deeds of the law.”

 

Rom. 7:8 “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”

 

Faith is a gift of God and fruit of the Spirit and is endowed only to the humble, the “poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3), to the spiritual “little children.” That is why the 1 st step to salvation is spiritual “conversion into a little child.”

 

Matt. 18:3 “… Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

 

Our Lord was not talking literally for His Disciples were not physically converted. With the characteristics of a “little child,” Jesus Christ is given a “free hand” to fashion His chosen into His “own image” as in creation (Gen. 1:27). As a wake-up call, Christ rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees who refused to humble themselves:

 

Matt. 11:25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

 

How can anybody enter the kingdom of heaven without the Way being revealed? This TRUTH was applicable even before the laws were written, during the time of the prophets known to man as the Old Testament, where the age of “little children” is revealed:

 

Isa. 28:9 (KJV and Bishops Bible only) “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”

 

Translators of other Bible versions changed the punctuation mark (.) to (?) thinking that it is impossible to endow divine knowledge to infants as they take the word of God to the letter.

 

This truth of endowing divine knowledge and wisdom to spiritual “little children” was seen in Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob before the word of God was written. We find this given to Moses and the prophets when the books of the Old Testament were written. And we also find this in the Apostles and Disciples of our Lord when the books of the New Testament were written, which should also be found in our time. Little by little, God is showing the true meaning of the NEW COVENANT OR TESTAMENT that is fulfilled with the shedding of blood of Jesus Christ on the cross:

 

Matt. 26:28 “ For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

 

Heb. 7:22 “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”

 

Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others were saved or redeemed, so with Moses, Joshua and the prophets. Theirs was the shadow of Jesus’ shedding His blood on the cross. With the gift of FAITH, through the mercy of God because of humility, they were saved as the rest of the chosen up to the end of the world.

 

Heb. 9:18 “Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

 

With man’s understanding of the “letter” of the word, the blood of animals, a shadow of the “things to come,” is inferior to the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. However, the gift of salvation to the humble from Abel to Moses and the prophets proves the shadow is as good as the reality by reason of FAITH endowed to these people.

 

Heb. 11: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen [By faith these people who only offered the blood of animals have already “seen” the shedding of blood of Jesus on the cross]. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through 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 [the shadow appears visible as the reality].

 

4 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. 5By 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 [it was by the faith of Enoch that God was pleased]. 6But 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. 7By 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. 8By 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. 9By 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: 10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11Through faith also Sarah 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. 13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them… 14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly… 17By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. 20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff… 24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. 27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. 32And 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: 33Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34Quenched 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. 35Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect [the death of Christ proved the fulfillment of the promise in shadow referring to the offering of blood of animals].”

 

To take the word of God LITERALLY, “Christ as savior of the world,” would have meant the salvation of all people. But this will contradict many verses that “many are called but only a few are chosen.”

 

John 4:42 “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”

 

The death of Christ both, as a shadow and reality, removed the veil that blinds the mind of the humble.

 

2 Cor. 3:14 “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.”

 

To the proud however even the reality of the shedding of blood the veil remains:

 

Matt. 13:15 “ For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

 

John 9:38 “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

 

 

Testament of Salvation

 

The God talking to Abraham is identified in the following:

 

1 Cor. 8:6 “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things… and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

 

God made a testament with Abraham and his seeds. It is an everlasting covenant.

 

Gen. 17:1 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD [1 Cor. 8:6b] appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God [Rev. 1:8] …”

 

Gen. 17:7 “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God [1 Cor. 8:6a] unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”

 

The Natural Man (1 Cor. 2:14 ) thinks of this literally. But God is speaking “spiritual things.” The “seeds” of Abraham do not only refer to the Israelites or Jews but to people truly belonging to Christ:

 

Gal. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek …for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

 

The testament or covenant requires the death of the Testator:

 

Heb. 9:16 “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.”

 

Thus, the need for God to manifest Himself in the flesh, for nothing is impossible with Him:

 

1 Tim. 3:16 [ KJV and Bishop’s Bible only ] “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…”

 

There could be no other God referred to but JESUS CHRIST!

 

Phil 2:6 “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

 

This is confirmed after the fulfillment of the Testament:

 

1 John 3:16 [ KJV only ] “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…”

 

1 John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”

 

In the Testament, the Father God promised Himself to be the inheritance to the priests:

 

Ezek 44:28 “And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am [God speaking] their inheritance…”

 

Psa. 16:5 “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and…”

 

The priests, sons of Zadok (Ezek. 44:15), refer to the real believers:

 

1 Pet. 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

 

Rev. 1:6 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God”

 

Because God was manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16 KJV) in the person of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:6-8), His death (1 John 3:16 KJV) and resurrection marks the awarding of INHERITANCE to the chosen.

 

John 7:39 “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

 

The Father promised Himself to be the inheritance (Ezek. 44:28). He is however a frightening God in that form:

 

Exo. 20:18 “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”

 

Now God takes the characteristics of a dove and descended upon the Disciples at Pentecost, teaching and guiding them. This is the emergence of the NEW TESTAMENT! What the HOLY SPIRIT did to the Disciples at Pentecost was seen in Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the prophets, and it should be seen in the “chosen of God” today and forever.

 

Therefore coverage of the NEW TESTAMENT is not determined by the period or epoch, but by the way the “chosen of God” humble themselves before Him. How did Abel know the right offering of a Lamb if God had not reveal it to him -- because of his humility. The “Lamb” symbolizes Jesus Christ. The offering and shedding of blood of bulls and other animals prefigured the death of our Lord. The shadow is as good as the reality in the shedding of blood of JESUS CHRIST on the cross.

 

Because of FAITH, these people who had not witnessed the death of Christ already “saw” the real offering by divine revelation. This is the true and deep meaning of FAITH:

 

Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

Heb. 11:6 “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.”

 

1 Cor. 2:5 “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

 

All the characters, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David , Samuel, and the prophets, were saved by FAITH. Christ did not destroy the law nor abolished obedience thereto. Jesus Christ said:

 

Matt. 5:17 “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

 

The law remains the frameworks upon which the relationship between God and His chosen is established. With the law, God shows His chosen how He guides and provides strength to follow it according to His will. This is the message of the New Testament, for by the shedding of blood gave way to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

 

Heb. 13:20 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

 

Jesus said, “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” The law remains but not according to the Natural Man’s interpretation which is limited to the “letter.” The “letter” of the word is full of contradictions for they are expressed in parables.

 

1 Cor. 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

 

By FAITH, the Spiritual Man (1 Cor. 2:15 -16) is given the benefit of divine revelation of the word:

 

Mark 4:34 “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

 

The Spiritual Man is given the strength to follow the word of God according to His direction.

 

1 Cor. 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

 

Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

 

The direction of God of His words is derived from “demonstration and circumstances” in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ as man, the model showing the way by example. This is the meaning of His being called the chief corner stone the Apostles and Prophets as “foundation” of the truth.

 

Eph. 2:20 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”

 

The following examples will show how the “spirit” and not just the “letter” of the word will fulfill the purpose.

 

1. The law on Sabbath is not abolished. However, as demonstrated by Jesus and His Apostles, they did not follow it to the “letter,” but given a much deeper meaning that is hidden from the understanding of the Natural Man (1 Cor. 2:14). Sabbath is God’s gift of “rest for the soul” that means “salvation.” That is why Jesus said, “I am the Lord even of the Sabbath.” And “Sabbath” is an eternal sign of God with His chosen. “Six days work” refers to man’s own work for his salvation, which is indeed a “heavy burden” that Jesus extends His invitation:

 

Matt. 11:28“ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest [directed to those who realize the heavy burden of working for own salvation] . 29 Take my yoke [cross] upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart [an invitation to humble oneself to receive the gift of faith] : and ye shall find rest unto your souls [not rest for the body for it means salvation of the soul] . 30 For my yoke is easy [truth symbolized by the cross] , and my burden is light [with God’s grace and mercy truth can be ‘carried’] .

 

For details, read the article:

LORD OF THE SABBATH (www.purechristianity.org/lord_of_the_sabbath.htm )

 

2. The Natural Man’s understanding of the law “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is limited to the “letter,” meaning, to simply remain faithful to the spouse and to avoid any waywardness with the opposite sex. This is “cleanliness on the outside” that our Lord told the Scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23:26 ). However, God gives a much deeper meaning. After a Natural Man received the Holy Spirit, the promised inheritance, he is endowed with SPIRITUAL LIFE aside from the PHYSICAL LIFE. This is “born again” (John 3:3) and the Natural Man is converted into a Spiritual Man (1 Cor. 2:15 -16) that this particular law should apply to SPIRITUAL LIFE as well. Here, the chosen becomes the spiritual “wife” of God who is the spiritual “husband.”

 

Jer. 3:14 “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family…”

 

Isa. 54:5 “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts…”

 

The “seeds” being planted by God (the spiritual husband) unto the chosen (the spiritual wife) is the TRUTH in the word (Luke 8:11 ). The “marriage” bears “children” referring to the fruit of the Spirit:

 

Gal. 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

 

As it is written, Jesus Christ did not come to destroy the law and the prophets. He came to fulfill them, but this is according to His explanation by “demonstration” through the word. The truth, “ For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18 ), and “ Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35) are confirmed.

 

For details and more examples, read DECIPHERING GOD’S SPIRITUAL LANGUAGE

http://www.purechristianity.org/decipher.htm

CLEANLINESS ON THE “OUTSIDE AND INSIDE”

http://www.purechristianity.org/cleanlin.htm

 

Thus, the ministers of the NEW are distinguished from those of the OLD Testament who do not only see the “letter” but the “spirit” of the word:

 

2 Cor. 3:6 “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

 

The laws are given as schoolmaster for man to realize that they are not for him to follow them to the “letter” for he cannot even understand them. More so, to follow them with man’s own capability for God requires ALL to be complied with. This is IMPOSSIBLE. This is the OLD COVENANT that God speaks of having “fault” that needs to be “improved.”

 

But the Natural Man, because of pride, thinks he can understand the law and follow them to the “letter.” He is tied to the law that God compares this to marriage. It is only after the “death of the letter of the law” in the life of a person that he can be married to Christ:

 

Rom 7:1 “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

 

God gave the law with a purpose and it is for this that Jesus Christ said, “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” The law should make man realize he is a sinner and always falls short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23 ), because of the impossibility following them all.

 

Rom. 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

 

 

The just shall live by FAITH

 

God gave the law not for man to take pride following them for it is impossible to follow them all. Rather, God wants man to humble himself and ask for His mercy. After all God is only waiting to give FAITH as a gift.

 

Eph. 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

 

Now suddenly the following is made very clear:

 

Gal. 3:22 “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

 

How easy to say, “The just shall live by faith” without comprehending its true meaning. Some misconceptions about faith:

 

1. Many believe faith simply means sincerity in belief, hence it comes from a person. The truth is, FAITH is a gift of God and fruit of the Spirit because real spiritual humility:

 

Eph. 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God:”

 

Gal. 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

 

2. Corollary to this misconception of faith is zealousness in whatever thought is right will please God. But Paul writes by the revelation of God:

 

Rom. 10:2 “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

 

The truth is, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith brings forth divine knowledge and wisdom, all coming from God.

 

Heb. 11:6 “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.”

 

 

Revelation of the One True God

 

Who is the one true God that we have to “diligently seek” and give meaning to the following?

 

John 8:19 “Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.”

 

Heb. 9:15 ‘And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

 

This is what is written and, if we humble ourselves like “babes or infants,” God will introduce Himself:

 

Matt. 11:25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

 

Isa.28:9 [ KJV and Bishops Bible only ] “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”

 

1. There is only one God:

 

1 Cor. 8:6 “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things…”

 

2. God made a covenant or testament of salvation, a promise of everlasting life, with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their seeds (many verses).

 

Gen. 17:1 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God ; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

 

Gen. 17:7 “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”

 

These are the spiritual seeds of Abraham as God is speaking in parable. Many of the physical seeds of Abraham are not even included in the following:

 

Gal. 3:28 “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. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

 

3. The covenant or testament can only be fulfilled by the death of the maker. The maker is the Father God.

 

Heb. 9:16 “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.”

 

4. The Father God cannot fulfill His testament without manifesting Himself in the flesh. Thus,

 

1 Tim. 3:16 [ KJV and Bishops Bible only ] “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…”

 

Many verses testify to the truth that the “flesh” refers to JESUS CHRIST both in the Old and New Testament books. Among them are the following:

 

Isa. 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

 

Matt. 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

 

Phil. 2:6 “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

 

Therefore, Emmanuel or “God with us in the flesh,” a true human being, is now called the SON OF GOD for two reasons:

 

1 st – In this manifestation or form of MAN, God can now fulfill His testament by His death:

 

1 John 3:16 KJV only “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…”

 

2 nd – In His manifestation or form of MAN, God can now show the Way (John 14:6), by example (1 Pet. 2:21 ), as model to His chosen (Rom. 8:29 ) for no man is worthy of this role (Rom. 3:10 -12, 23).

 

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way…”

 

1 Pet. 2:21 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:”

 

Rom. 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

 

Rom. 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

 

5. In the testament of salvation, God promised Himself to be the inheritance to the beneficiaries, the priests:

 

Ezek. 44:28 “And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance…”

 

Psa. 16:5 “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my…”

 

The spiritual priests are the chosen of God:

1 Pet 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

 

Rev. 1:6 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God…”

 

6. The frightening God had to take the characteristics of a dove in order to be acceptable to the beneficiaries.

 

Exo. 20:18 “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”

 

Thus, at the fulfillment of the testament the beneficiaries received God, as inheritance, in His form or manifestation of Holy Spirit:

 

John 7:39 “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

 

Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…”

 

7. God had not yet revealed His name in the Old Testament books, contrary to the dictate of the intellect.

 

Isa. 56:2 “Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.”

 

The NAME of God is revealed to be JESUS CHRIST in:

 

Matt. 28:19 “ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

 

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

 

8. There is only One True God manifesting Himself in different forms to fulfill His plan. Nothing is impossible with God. The plan of God is to have eternal companions with people who are willing to humble themselves like Him "manifesting Himself in the flesh." This is the antidote to pride that caused the fall of Lucifer and Eve (www.purechristianity.org/sinofeve.htm). One sign of humility is the willingness to accept that God is speaking “spiritual things” or in parables (Ezek. 20:49 , Psa. 78:2). Humility means total surrender to the TRUTH although this is contrary to the dictate of the mind, senses, and feeling.

 

Many verses indicate that the Father and the Son “are” relating with each other and to comprehend how God is one seems to be impossible. At creation, God speaks in the plural form.

 

Gen. 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…”

 

At the baptism of Jesus, the senses dictate that God cannot be one person.

 

Matt. 3:16 “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 

In eternity, the intellect dictates that God cannot be one because it is written the “Son is sitting/standing at the right hand of God.”

 

Mark 16:19 “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.”

 

Acts 17:55 “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”

 

Thus, the Natural Man with the use of the senses and intellect cannot comprehend how God is one while this is the truth.

 

1 Cor. 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually [not intellectually, not of the senses, nor emotionally] discerned.”

 

For details on the identity of God, read God of the Old and New Testament www.purechristianity.org/jesusof.htm

 

 

Truth not proven by “miracles”

 

Christ’s warning to His disciples:

 

Matt. 24:3 “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”

 

Matt. 24:23 “ Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before.”

 

Note that Christ was talking to His Disciples and not to the outsiders. Therefore as it is written in Mark 4:34, Jesus had to explain to them the meaning of what He says that are expressed in parables:

 

1. “End of the world” means the “end or death of a person” because “world or earth” symbolizes people. Surely, the death of a person will come before the end of the literal world or earth.

 

Jer. 22:29 “O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.”

 

2. Nobody will ever say, “I am Christ” but rather referring to people who take the role of Christ:

 

  • People who take upon themselves the authority to explain the word of God. Is not the word expressed in parable and Jesus alone who can explain it to His Disciples?

 

Mark 4:34 “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

 

  • People who appropriate the honor solely belonging to Christ:

     

  • Psa. 111:9 “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.”

 

Matt. 23:8 “ But be not ye called Rabbi [or teacher, pastor, shepherd] : for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

 

  • Plus many more

 

2. The rest of Matt. 24 will be taken up in separate articles, like:

 

Matt. 24:16 “ Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

  1. Is not Judea the birthplace of our Lord? Does it not symbolize a blessed place?
  2. Why does our Lord direct His people to leave Judea ?
  3. What symbolizes “mountains?” What is the spiritual mountain?

www.purechristianity.org/those_in_judea.htm

 

3. Matt. 24:23 “ Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.”

 

Are there not several “Christs” being preached?

  1. Some people say, “Jesus is only a man and not God,” and the derivative belief that Jesus is only a mighty God for there is a greater or Almighty God. (Arian doctrine)
  2. Others say, “Jesus is also the Father and the Holy Spirit,” and the derivative belief that Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit is only a force of God; and no distinction is made of the “voice” of the Lamb from the “voice” of the Dragon (Rev. 13:11). (Oneness or Jesus only doctrine)
  3. Many say, “Jesus is both God and man, and the 2 nd person of the Holy Trinity.” (Trinity doctrine)

4. Who is the TRUE CHRIST?

 

Read: JESUS OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES – www.purechristianity.org/jesusof.htm

  1. With different identities of JESUS being “peddled” today, Christianity has become a “market place” for truths and ways to eternal life.
  2. How and where can we find, and who can tell us the “teachings of the Apostles about Jesus?”

5. Matt. 24:24 “ For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before.”

 

For the distinction between miracles and wonders, read:

MIRACLES AND WONDERS - www.purechristianity.org/miracles_and_wonders.htm

  1. Are there not two super beings that can perform supernatural acts? God and Satan
  2. How many people can distinguish miracles from wonders?

6. Who can reconcile the following?

 

1 Cor. 8:6 “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things… and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things…”

 

1 John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”

 

2 Cor. 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

 

Recognizing “The Lord our God is one Lord,” according to Jesus Christ, is the “first of all the commandments,” and this is a prerequisite to “loving God.”

 

Mark 12:29 “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel ; The Lord our God is one Lord:

 

Mark 12:30 “ And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength…”

 

7. Finally, who can distinguish the “voice of the Lamb” from the “voice of the Dragon?”

 

Rev. 13:11 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”

 

Is not the Dragon revealed in the following?

 

Rev. 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

 

Rev. 20:2 “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan…”

 

Look how God exposed, for His chosen to know and be warned, the “voice” of the Dragon or Satan when Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Satan as the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) could only see and perceive worldly things. “Spiritual things” are strange to Satan or the Dragon. Thus:

 

Matt. 4:3 “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

 

Satan saw only the literal-physical hunger our Lord contrary to what He wanted to convey in His fasting. As a consequence, the rebuke:

 

Matt. 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

 

Ever since, this has been the message of our Lord – to hunger for His words:

 

Jer. 15:16 “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name…”

 

Psa. 119:103 “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

 

Prov. 24:13 “My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: 14So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.”

 

The spiritual message for Jesus’ fasting is further confirmed in the following. It is not hunger for bread but for the word of God.

 

Amos 8:11 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”

 

With the Natural Man’s non-perception of “spiritual things,” it is now understandable why Jesus called His listeners “sons of god of this world.”

 

2 Cor. 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

 

1 Cor. 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually [not of the senses, not intellectually] discerned.”

 

John 8:44 “ Ye are of your father the devil, and…abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

 

That is why when Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again,” those who heard Him and did not wait for the explanation of His words were the people who accused Him, leading to His death on the cross.

 

Matt. 26:61 “And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God , and to build it in three days. 62And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?”

 

Many people are deceived into believing that preachers of the word are servants of God. Christ exposed Nicodemus, a great preacher of the word, to be only a Natural Man (1 Cor. 2:14 ) when he could not understand “spiritual things.”

 

John 3:3 “Jesus… said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . 4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 9Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel , and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know…and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?”

 

It was after Nicodemus truly humbled himself that he became a Spiritual Man. He was seen with Joseph of Arimathea taking the body of Jesus after His death on the cross (John 19:38 -40). This is the Spiritual Man in contrast with the Natural Man:

 

1 Cor. 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

 

The lesson is, not all professing apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers of the word of God truly “heard the voice” of the Lamb and “speaks His language?” This is the 2 nd Test for trying the spirits. The 1 st test is to know whether a person truly identifies “Jesus Christ come in the flesh:”

 

1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

 

Who among the people who believe in the Holy Bible as inspired word of God do not confess Jesus Christ is come in the flesh? But different perceptions of Jesus is being preached as prophesied in:

 

2 Cor. 11:4 “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

  1. Some people say, “Jesus is only a man and not God,” and the derivative belief that “Jesus is only a mighty God for there is a greater or Almighty God.” (Arian doctrine)
  2. Others say, “Jesus is also the Father and the Holy Spirit,” and the derivative belief that “Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit is only a force of God,” and no distinction is made of the “voice” of the Lamb from the “voice” of the Dragon (Rev. 13:11). (Oneness or Jesus only doctrine)
  3. Many say, “Jesus is both God and man, and the 2 nd person of the Holy Trinity.” (Trinity doctrine)

Who is Jesus of the original Apostles? For details, read the article at www.purechristianity.org/jesusof.htm

 

The 2 nd test for trying the spirits was applied to Nicodemus. Nicodemus failed the test. It is not enough that recognition of Jesus is similar to that of the Apostles. The true Christ must be distinguished from the false Christ by His “voice,” for it is written:

 

John 10:4 “ And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

 

John 10:6 “This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.”

 

As expounded earlier, the false Christ or Satan also called the dragon speaks the “literal” or the language of man while that of the Lamb speaks the “spiritual language.” When Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, Satan could only perceive earthly things. He could not comprehend “spiritual things.” Thus:

 

Matt. 4:3 “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

 

The false Christ or Satan saw only the physical hunger our Lord contrary to what He wanted to convey in His fasting. The rebuke:

 

Matt. 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

 

This indicates the two-fold life of a true believer: PHYSICAL LIFE and SPIRITUAL LIFE. Christ’s fasting points to hunger for the word for SPIRITUAL LIFE. Ever since, this has been the message of our Lord – to hunger for His words:

 

Jer. 15:16 “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name…”

 

Psa. 119:103 “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

 

Prov. 24:13 “My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: 14So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.”

 

The spiritual message for Jesus’ fasting is further confirmed in the following:

 

Amos 8:11 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”

 

 

Salvation through Christ alone

 

The great message of God’s NEW TESTAMENT presents Christ as the sole source of salvation. Now God gives a much deeper meaning of the following:

 

Rom 10: 9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead [fulfillment of the testament], thou shalt be saved.”

 

Acts 4:10 “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel [those professing salvation], that by the name [Rev. 19:13] of Jesus Christ of Nazareth , whom ye crucified [truth being denigrated], whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

 

Phil. 2:10 “That at the name of Jesus [TRUTH] every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord [Deut. 6:4, Mark 12:29], to the glory of God the Father.”

 

Summary

 

Indeed, without Christ there is no salvation! To summarize, the great message of the NEW TESTAMENT is, by reason of true humility, a miracle converts a person into a SPIRITUAL MAN so as to be endowed with divine knowledge and wisdom. This is the start of the journey to eternal life

 

1 Cor. 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

 

The OLD COVENANT OR TESTAMENT, by reason of human wisdom because of pride, a person remains a NATURAL MAN, spiritually blind who always gropes in the dark as not to find the Way to eternal life

 

1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

This occurrence happens regardless of the time, period, or era, from Abel to the end of the world. The key to salvation therefore remains engraved on the Rock as enunciated by Jesus Christ:

 

Matt. 18:3 “ And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matt. 11:25 “ At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

 

Heb. 8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”

 

END