Praising God with Understanding

For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. (Psalms 47:7 KJV)

Understanding – do we praise God with a dull heart and a blind mind? Or, do we seek his understanding so that we may worship him as he is and in spirit and truth?

“God inhabits the praises of the saints” – does God inhabit praises of those with understanding and without? If God will only inhabit praises of understanding, how much understanding is required? Does God respect the praises of someone that has more understanding compared to a new believer?

I believe we praise God according to the measure of our understanding. The more we understand the more we can fully praise him. Does this mean his presence is less with a new believer. No, God fills the praise with what we are able to receive. The capacity to receive will be determined by our understanding, and God will fill us to capacity. As we grow in understanding our capacity to receive him becomes greater. As understanding grows our praises become more enriched with a deepened sense of knowing who we praise. How then can we gain understanding? Understanding is gained through the study of the cross of Christ. Study the cross so that we can better praise Him.

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Was He Talking About the Wheat?

 

 

Matthew 13:24-25 (KJV)

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

 

 

This parable involves tares and wheat which Jesus uses to teach us a deeper meaning.

 

Matthew 13:36-38 (KJV)

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

38 The field is the world; the good seed (wheat) are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

 

Jesus goes on to explain that the wheat are believers and the tares are unbelievers. As the multitude walked away from Jesus’ parable they were probably asking themselves what wheat had to do with the kingdom of heaven. Often times when God is trying to teach us about HIMSELF he will use things that we can understand, but many times we will walk away like the multitude missing the point.

 

John 6:63 (KJV)

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 

The words that Jesus spoke are spiritual words that can only be understood spiritually. How is it that we can understand Jesus’ teaching had a far deeper meaning when he is talking about tares and wheat, and miss it when it comes to money?

 

Tithe in the New Testament is only mentioned six times in the New Testament.

 

Luke 18:11-12 (KJV)

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

 

Luke 11:42 (KJV)

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

 

Only twice does Jesus use the word tithe and it is when he is rebuking the Pharisees calling them hypocrites. The leadership in the church has been teaching tithing for a purpose of bringing in money. Money is truly needed for a multitude of reasons, one of which is to pay the light bill, and it is our DUTY TO GIVE to further the true gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified. We should have a heart to see the kingdom of God advanced throughout an evil world which requires finances. The doctrine that is being taught is wrong. Fear and blessings should not be used to manipulate the people for the purpose of bring money into the church. To be clear, I am not saying that all have malicious intentions and a greedy heart, because many do not know the full doctrine of the cross.

 

Tithe is used twelve times in the Old Testament.

 

Deuteronomy 14:22 (KJV)

Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.

 

The law states that a tithe must be given, but the law is spiritual and must be spiritually understood.

 

Romans 7:14 (KJV)

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

 

Whether Christ or Paul was talking about the use of money it was for the purpose of teaching us a deeper meaning. Scripture points out that Jesus Christ is our firstfruits, Passover, Sabbath, feast days and all the other types and shadows in scripture.

 

1 Corinthians 15:23 (KJV)

… Christ the firstfruits; …

 

1 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)

… For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

 

Colossians 2:16-17 (KJV)

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat (meat offering), or in drink (drink offering), or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

 

 

If we can understand that Christ is our first fruits and our Sabbath, then he must be our tithe as well. The blessing of God is not dependent upon our actions but rather on everything Christ has done. There is no so called “action” that will bring the blessings of God. God is only moved by faith. This faith is not random faith, but a specific faith. The cross of Christ allowed salvation to be brought to those that trust it, and the cross is the only means by which all blessings can be given to a believer.

 

For those that do not have a malicious heart, a “y” in the road is loaming, to continue onward with the teachings that you have always known or to change course to a path never walked before.

 

Joshua 3:3-4 (KJV)

3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant (body of Christ) of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it (Priest/preachers that preaches nothing else but the cross of Christ), then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it (up until this time they walked in a circle, but now they are shown the cross of Christ).

4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore (only by continuing to follow the cross of Christ can we find the way to the promise land).

 

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Revealing the Mysteries of Genesis 1 & 2

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Genesis 1:27 (KJV) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

This verse can be a little confusing. Did God create “him” or “them?” The answer to this question is both. “God created man in his own image” and within the man was the female. This type of thought “two entwined together as one” is not so difficult to believe if you read John 14:10 (KJV) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?…” Jesus and the Father were intertwined so much so that one could not be distinguished or separated from the other, such is the case in Genesis 1:27 “male and female created he them.” Woman was a part of man from the very beginning.

 

How does man and woman fit within the framework of the “image of God?” “Genesis 1:26 (KJV) And God said, Let us make man (the man and the woman that is within him) in our image, after our likeness…” “In our image” refers to the righteousness of God, and “after our likeness” refers to God’s holiness.

 

 

Ephesians 4:24-25 (KJV) 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another (The cross of Christ unifies the body together as one; 1 Cor. 1:10 …I beseech you, brethren… that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you [“divisions” are caused by false doctrine and the ways of men]; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. The body of Christ cannot be “perfectly joined together” outside the cross of Christ. To have the same mind, judgment and to speak the same thing can only be done within the context of the cross of Christ.).

Although the new man that is spoken of in Ephesians 4:24 represents the second man, we can apply this to the “first” Adam before the fall. In Genesis 1:26, when God created “man in (his) righteousness, after (his) true holiness…” it was for the express purpose of having communion with him. Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God and “Adam” was created “in Christ” 1 Cor. 1:30. We are a new creation “creature” in Christ, old things are passed away 2 Cor. 5:17.”

 

“Wherefore putting away lying” is the first order of putting away the “old man.” The lie is believing and teaching something other than the cross of Christ. Satan’s goal is to move believers away from the cross towards an erroneous doctrine that is supposedly “based” in scripture.

 

John 8:44 (KJV) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, 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.

 

All false doctrine originates from Satan. In my paper “Prophets Today,” I pointed out that wolves in sheep clothing have an appearance of the cross. The cross will be mentioned and even expressed within the doctrine itself, but ultimately there will be work or requirement(s) tied to the doctrine. When the cross of Christ is misunderstood all biblical doctrine will be twisted.

 

Matthew 4:6 (KJV) (The tempter i.e. Satan) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Satan knows scripture well enough to be able to quote it verbatim, but what he does not know is the gospel i.e. the cross of Christ. Those that are lost cannot grasp the message that is within the pages of the bible. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal God’s word(s) to the believer.  Every verse within the bible speaks of the Cross of Christ, and if we do not properly understand the cross then we will not be able to properly understand the verse we are studying. This means that just as Satan perverted this verse he was quoting, believers will be perverting the verse that is read.

 

“Speak every man truth with his neighbour,” means that after we move away from all the “lies” we must PREACH the truth to our neighbor. That truth is the message of the cross. Jesus informs us to love our fellow man as ourselves, “Mark 12:31 (KJV) Thou shalt love thy neighbour ( a “neighbor” is someone that is near or close by; Jesus tells a scribe that he was not “far from the kingdomMark 12:34) as thyself…” The only way to show love to our “neighbour” is to preach (speak) the message of the cross to them. The message of the cross is the only thing that can truly bring change to a broken life. Jesus Christ’s commission to the church was “to go into all the world and PREACH the gospel (the cross of Christ) Mark 16:15.” If we fail to preach the cross of Christ to the world then we have failed both the Lord and mankind.

 

 

Genesis 2:7 (KJV) 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.

 

Many have described Chapter 2 of Genesis as a reiteration of Chapter 1, but I am not entirely convinced of this concept. The “man” mentioned in Genesis 1 and 2 are the same, however they are two completely distinctive works of God concerning “the man.” The word usage in these two chapters should alert the reader to the fact that something deeper is afoot, but without understanding how the cross of Christ works within the life of a believer concerning sanctification, we are left with unanswered questions.   

 

Genesis 2:3 (KJV) And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

 

Eden represents the “promise” land of rest. When “the man” and/or “Joshua” entered into their respective land of rest, a work was to be accomplished, but because of being sanctified it was not “the man” or “Joshua” that worked, rather it was the Holy Spirit working through them. The Holy Spirit dressed the garden of Eden and defeated the enemies that inhabited the promise land of Israel. As a Christian believer we have a “promise land” and that is Christ’s body. We cannot be baptized into his body through our works, only by faith. “Colossians 2:16-1716 Let no man therefore judge you… of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Jesus Christ is the Sabbath, and he, being the “seventh day,” was sanctified by God Almighty. When we are “looking to be sanctified” by the Lord, we are asking for entrance into his body.

1 Corinthians 1:2 …to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…”

 

Hebrews 3:8-11 (KJV) 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me (because of their unbelief), proved me, and saw my works (Psalms 103:7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts [works] unto the children of Israel.) forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways (They sought for God’s miracles instead of his ways. To have the miracles of God is not necessarily a bad thing, but miracles do not change a person’s heart nor gains us entrance into the promise land.). 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.(We must have faith in his finished work of the cross to gain access to this rest. The “ways” of God cannot be known outside of understanding the cross of Christ. Only the Lord can bring a person into his rest. The Lord shows us this principle when he took the man and placed him in the garden Gen 2:15. The garden represents the “place prepared” for man. While in the wilderness an “angel” lead Moses and Joshua to there respective place of rest Exodus 23:20, and Christ has prepared a place for us John 14:2.)

 

Hebrews 4:3-4 (KJV) 3 For we which have believed (God’s prescribed order that lays within the outline of the cross) do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation (literality “a casting down” can be used as “conceiving seed” or “laid down” Vine’s ) of the world (God finished creation on the sixth day i.e. creation was completed. Jesus Christ was “foreordained” before the conception i.e. foundation of the world 1Peter 1:20. This means that before anything was “conceived” i.e. created Christ was destined to go to the cross. God knew that Adam would fall.  The “Lamb” i.e. Jesus Christ was slain from the foundation of the world Revelation 13:8. God provided the sacrifice before Adam was placed in the garden. Only by embracing exclusively the cross of Christ can entrance into the sanctifying day of rest be afforded to us.). 4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works (All of God’s provision for humanity can be found within the cross of Christ. God will not circumvent the cross of Christ which was established from the foundation of the world).

 

In science we know how the human baby develops within the mother’s womb. According to medlineplus.gov there are four different developmental classes a baby undergoes during pregnancy the zygote, blastocyst, embryo, and fetus. The blastocyst period is were the “zygote which has traveled down the fallopian tube has formed into a ball of cells, and it continues to divide, creating an inner group of cells with an outer shell. The blastocyst reaches the womb (uterus) around day 5, and implants into the uterine wall on about day 6. At this point in the mother’s menstrual cycle, the lining of the uterus has grown and is ready to support a baby. The blastocyst sticks tightly to the lining, where it receives nourishment via the mother’s bloodstream.” (emphasis mine) http://www.medlineplus.gov

 

What I find interesting is that on the “sixth day” when man was created, that God had already provided the necessary requirements that man would need to survive. God had a provision of food waiting on man in herb trees, which was  “the man’s” meat. Now, I am not saying that Genesis 1 is a gestation period of human life, but what I am saying is that there are striking similarities between the creation day(s) and the cycle of the baby within the womb of a mother. The universe is similar to quantum mechanics (sub-atomic) in how it works, and although science is still debating over these similarities, models do show obvious coincidences that are frankly, difficult to ignore.

 

This type of word usage can be found in scripture as in Psalms 139.

Psalms 139:16 (KJV) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed mass i.e. as an embryo Strong’s; lacking a coherent shape or structure; an embryo has all the genetic makeup that will form into a fetus.); and in thy book all my members were written (Science has proven the stages of human development within the uterus of the female, and how genetics play a role during the trimesters of the woman’s pregnancy. Naturally understanding this passage, science has once again proved the authenticity of the scriptures.), which in continuance were fashioned (same as formed), when as yet there was none of them.

 

The idea of conceiving seed into an embryo is throughout Genesis 1. Even in plant life an embryo is part of it’s cultivation in becoming a full fledged plant. Case in point Gen 1:11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself (Plant embryo means that a plant in its earliest stages of development. In seed-bearing plants, the embryo “i.e. seed” is contained within the seed.), upon the earth: and it was so. A human offspring in the early stages following conception is considered an embryo up to the end of the eighth week, after which it is classified as a fetus.

 

Rev 13:8 (KJV)

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life (This book refers to the body of Christ) of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

Christ was crucified “from” the foundation of the world. On the sixth day creation was completed and Christ was crucified “out of” creation which makes Christ the sanctified seventh day i.e. the rest of God. We must be born in Christ i.e. born-again not of corruptible seed but incorruptible seed.

 

The word “from” is a primary particle; “off,” i.e. away (from something near) [“could be a possible indication of a neighbor or someone that is near” My thoughts], in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative)… (out) of,… since,… In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation (Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,), departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc. (emphasis mine)

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

 

 

1 Tim 2:5-7 (KJV)

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified (“evidence given” Strong’s ) in due time (“in the season Divinely appointed for the reaping.” Vine’s). 7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle (Although his apostleship was not after Peter’s criteria “Acts 1:21-22 (KJV) Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” nevertheless he was chosen by the Lord after the ascension to carry the gospel “cross of Christ.”), (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

 

Christ gave himself before Adam was placed within the God i.e. the garden, but the manifestation or evidence of that sacrifice was not until “2000 years” ago. We can see the proof of the sacrifice being evident within the lives old testament saints. Elijah and Enoch both were taken to heaven. The only way a person can be “loosed” from the bonds of sin is through the shed blood of Christ; however during this time the practice of animal sacrifice was still in place. The faith that they had in the true sacrifice of Christ afforded them this latitude.

 

 

Genesis 2 the Process of Sanctification

 

Isaiah 43:1 (KJV) But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

How can understanding Jacob and how he became Israel help us understand Genesis 1 & 2? The story of Jacob is one of the greatest examples of the process of sanctification in the life of a believer. When Rebekah was pregnant the Lord prophesied to her “…the elder shall serve the younger Genesis 25:23.” Esau as the elder brother would serve the younger brother, because Jacob was chosen by the Lord Isaiah 41:8. Jacob would spend a large portion of his life trying to bring about this promise. The “birthright” and “blessing” was promised by God to him, but because he did not have faith in God, he tried through his own efforts to bring the promise to fruition. We are a “chosen generation” 1 Peter 2:9, but we are exactly like Jacob, trying to attain the benefits and blessing of God by means of our own efforts. We do not totally believe God is able. The promises are not enough for the self-willed; however what God has promised he is able to bring to pass, and that is enough for faith Romans 4:21.

 

The Lord created Jacob and he (the Lord) formed Israel. Creation only takes a moment, but formation happens over a  “process timeExodus 2:23. When we are “born-again” our journey is one similar to “Jacobs.” To be “born-again” only takes a moment, but our sanctification is a process of time. Theologically we are fully sanctified in the Lord but practicality dictates that we are being sanctified. We must be transformed from Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (prince with God) just as Jacob was in Genesis 32:28.

 

Genesis 32:28 (KJV) And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed (overcome).

 

 

The names given to the people of scripture, especially in the Old Testament, is often times a reflection of the qualities of that particular person. The name given to Jacob means “to circumvent” and “supplanter” i.e. “to take the place of (another), as through force, scheming, strategyStrong’s Concordance. “And he (Esau) said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. Genesis 27:36

 

The name Israel means “prince with God,” and only God can change Jacob to Israel. Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh (the only way to overcome is by the blood of the lamb, by our testimony referring that the object of our faith is exclusively in the cross of Christ which allows the Holy Spirit to work within our lives, and loving not our lives unto death meaning that the object of our faith does not change even under penalty of death Rev. 12:11) will I make a pillar (This pillar is not weight baring, but it is for “cosmetic” purposes only.) in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. This is the new name every believer seeks. Many are trying to change their name from Jacob to Israel through their own efforts or works, but in doing so they are reconfirming the name “Jacob” upon their lives.

In Isaiah 43:1 the Lord stated that he “created” Jacob, and then he (the Lord) took Jacob and formed him into Israel. While Moses was in the wilderness, it took him a “process of time” to have a revelation of the cross i.e. the bush that burned but was not consumed Exodus 2:23. Moses, like Jacob, tried through his own flesh to bring about the PLAN of God. “Acts 7:22-25 (KJV) And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.” Moses was going to free his people by killing the Egyptians one at a time. God would ultimately slay the whole of the Egyptian army in one day. We may “know” God’s purpose for our lives, but we must patiently wait for it. Often times we can be right in knowing the will of God, and be wrong by trying to bring it to pass. A “process of time” is needed for a believer to lose hope in the flesh and attain a revelation from God. This indefinite amount of time could last a lifetime, but that is not the will of God. If we try to fulfill our purpose without the pure revelation of the cross we will end up being a “Jacob” and not a “Israel.” No one truly consider themselves to be a “Jacob.” Man is stubborn and set in his own ways. For us to even admit being a “Jacob” God has to literally break us.

 

 

Exodus 3:2 (KJV) And the angel of the Lord (actually this is the Lord himself) appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush (It took 40 years in the wilderness for God to humble the efforts of the flesh and destroy its hope. It is at this point when the flesh has lost hope in scheming and strategizing that God can give us a revelation of Jesus Christ and him crucified. Moses who was a prince in Egypt is now just a shepherd in the middle of a desert.): and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed (This represents the Deity and Humanity of Christ. “I AM” speaking out of the midst of the flame revealing unto Moses the power. If the believer tries to “carry” the name and power of God by the means of the flesh, then “burnouts” will be a staple within a believer’s life i.e. the bush will be consumed. The only way the bush will burn and not be consumed is by the power of the Holy Spirit. Even Christ did not rely on the strength of his flesh when he fully came out of the wilderness. He came out filled of the Spirit and with power, but at all times deferred to the Holy Spirit.)

 

The word “formed” used in Genesis 2:7 and Isaiah 43:1means “squeezing into shape,” “mold into shape as the potter does the clay Jeremiah 18:2-4,” also to determine (i.e. form a resolution), and it is identical to “be in distress.” (emphasis mine)

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

 

Sanctification can only become real in the life of a believer when the Lord has brought us into a condition of feeling “greatly distressed.” This place of “distress” reveals every false way that is against the cross of Christ. The scripture is full of this process. We can see it in the life of the patriarchs, the nation of Israel, and even in the church.

 

Here is an example of Israel being in distress.

Judges 10:7-9 (KJV) 7 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon (The Lord can bring about any situation he so desires whether it is oppression or liberation. Our adversary is used by the Lord to bring us correction, and is a tool of the Lord to teach. The devil cannot do anything against the child of God unless the Lord allows it, and even then the line that the Lord has drawn he (the devil) cannot cross unless given permission by the Lord. The next time we find ourselves in a position were the enemy is “sifting” us, it is for the express purpose of breaking down everything that we trust in so that we can then be brought back to the true way of the cross.). 8 And that year they (The Philistines and Ammonites) vexed and oppressed (broke and crushed) the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. 9 Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed (In the past, when serving one false god, they were oppressed on one side, but now they were serving many different types of false gods and were oppressed on all sides. For a believer that may be oppressed on many different “sides” it is because we are serving many different false ways. It is at this moment of great physical and mental oppression that Israel was brought under conviction and was then formed because of the “breaking” of the Lord.)

This process was experienced by the patriarchs as well. 

Genesis 32:6-7 (KJV) 6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed (Jacob is in a state of great physical and mental straights because he is fearing for his life. It is at this moment that he was about to be “transformed” by the Lord.): and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;

 

In the New Testament we can find this kind of “distress” in the life of Paul.

1 Corinthians 2:2 (KJV) For I determined (“resolve” Vine’s; this gives the idea of the word “formed” used in Gen 2 and Jer. 18) not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

 

This determination that Paul had was a direct response to the “squeezing of the Lord.” It took many years for Paul to come to the revelation of the cross concerning sanctification. While Paul was journeying to Corinth the Lord transformed him from just a “new creation” to a “formed” man of God. Only by being formed by God was Paul able come to the conclusion of the cross of Christ. Before his “forming,” Paul was trying to live for God by the means of his own will power Romans 7:23.

 

Jesus is the bread of life that humanity needs to consume in order to find eternal life. During the Passover at the last supper the disciples gathered around Christ as he taught them communion. Communion consist of drinking “the wine” which is the blood of the new testament and the breaking of the bread which is the body of Christ.

 

Matthew 26:26 (KJV) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

 

In 1 Corinthians 12:27Paul tells us that “we are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Christ takes us “the bread,” blesses us, and then brakes us. It is only after the breaking can Christ then give us to the world. Many of us are in the body of Christ and therefore blessed, but we have not yet submitted to the breaking of God. We want to fulfill the plan of God, but just as Moses, Jacob, and others we have to be broken.

Jacob does not become Israel until he “wrestles with the Lord,” and while wrestling with God, he (God) “breaks” Jacob and afterward he changes Jacob’s name to Israel. It is in this “breaking” that God can then give us unto the world. If, however, we try fulfill the great commission given by Christ the world will see “us” and not HIM.

 

Genesis 32:31-32 (KJV) 31 And as he passed over Penuel (literally “to face God;” when Jacob faced God, the Lord was able to reveal unto Jacob who he (Jacob) really was. 1 Cor 13:11-12When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly [Believers when “born-again” are children at first, but we are suppose to grow up. A child that is unbroken and living by “self” cannot understand the things of God]; but then face to face [This could be understood as “Penuel” coming face to face with God ]: now I know in part; but then shall I know [myself] even as also I am known [even as the Lord knows me].) the sun rose upon him (During the night a person cannot see clearly around themselves, it is only during the “daylight” hours that people can plainly see; As Paul stated “through a glass, darkly” as it were during the night), and he halted upon his thigh (to be soft; the thigh [from its fleshy softness]; by euphemism the generative parts; figurative a shank, flank, side). 32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank (failure, crippled; also to remit, forget, and remove. God had to “cripple” Jacob’s flesh. Jacob was serving two masters self and God, only when God crippled his flesh was he truly able to be reliant upon the Spirit.), which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.

 

Ephesians 5:30-32 (KJV) 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

 

Paul emphatically states numerous times that as believers we are “members of his (Christ’s) body. In the beginning God created male and female as one, as a believer we should be baptized into his body. In Genesis 2 a rib was taken out of man and used to build the woman that was to be a “help meet” for him. The Lord spends more time preparing the woman than he did creating Adam, because of the word “build” which gives the idea of methodically putting the pieces together.

 

 

Genesis 2:21-24 (KJV) 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made (built, obtain children, repair) he a woman, and brought her unto the man (The Lord presented Adam with Eve, and Christ being the last Adam will be presented with a wife i.e. Church. Eph 5:25-27 (KJV)…That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.). 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she (The church) was taken out of Man (In this case the last Adam, Christ.). 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (This tells us that when we are “taken out of Christ” we are to be married to him becoming one flesh.).

 

When the Lord “halted” upon Jacob his sanctification process began in the spirit. At that moment he was married to Christ.

 

The word “halted” in the Strong’s Concordance means probably to curve; used only as denominative from [H6763a rib” (as in the rib that was taken from Adam Genesis 2:21)] a rib (as curved), literal (of the body), or figurative (of a door, i.e. leaf); hence a side, literal (of a person)], to limp (as if one-sided) :- halt. (emphasis mine)

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

 

In Exodus 12:7Moses directs the children of Israel to put blood upon the two “side posts and on the upper door post of the house.” The application of blood to the upper door post of the house represent the salvation of the believer and one side post signifies sanctification and the other side post justification. It is by these two “side posts” that salvation can be held up, however if our “foundation” is upon something else, when the storms and winds come it will fall.

 

After the fall, Adam had a son in “his own likeness, after his image” and named him Seth. Seth was in Adam’s own righteousness and holiness Genesis 5:3. All of the human race since Adam can only bring forth sons and daughters after their own personal righteousness and holiness. As believers if we are “unbroken” we can only bring forth disciples after our self, it is only after bring “halted” upon can believers “make disciples after Christ.”

 

 

Jeremiah 18:3-4 (KJV) 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel (body) that he made of clay was marred (to decay, corrupt) in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel (This “vessel” is a completely different vessel from the marred vessel, although it is similar to the first. Jesus informs us that he is not doing a “patch job;” No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent (i.e. tear) is made worse.  Matt 9:16), as seemed good to the potter to make it.

 

1 Corinthians 15:45 (KJV) And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

 

The “last Adam” is that “other vessel” spoken of in Jeremiah 18:4. The first Adam was marred and corrupted by the fall but the “potter” made another vessel as represented by Christ. Jesus Christ was totally conceived by the Holy Ghost Matthew 1:20.

 

Luke 1:35 (KJV)

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee (“the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” Genesis 1:2), and the power of the Highest shall overshadow (i.e. to cast a shadow) thee (“darkness was upon the face of the deep” Genesis 1:2; “He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” Psalms 18:11): therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 

Just like the first Adam was conceived within the verses of Genesis 1, the second Adam is conceived in like manner within the womb of Mary. The first man is of the earth and the second man is the Lord from heaven 1 Corinthians 15:47. We can now understand Christ’s conception and growth into a man, and it is at the of time of the crucifixion that the “works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Hebrews 4:3-4“Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” 1 Cor 15:46 The first work was natural and the second work is spiritual.

 

 

Finally, the wealth of information within these two chapters is enormous and could not be covered in 12 pages. The topics that were discussed within this paper can help enlighten and set the reader upon a journey of discovery. Jesus Christ and him crucified intertwines itself to such a degree within the pages of scripture that even if the majority of the bible was somehow “lost,” the message of God would ring loud in the ears of the reader.

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Prophets of Today

 

 

Ephesians 4:11-12 (KJV) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

What is the function of the prophet in the church today? The Prophet edifies the church but in what way does this office bring edification to the body of Christ?  Many prophets that are in the church believe that the people need to be given easy messages of hope and blessing, and that their “mail” should be read. In the past, I believed this as well and to certain degrees I still believe it. Although, the Lord does want to bring hope and blessings to the people, the prophets of today have left out the “how” or the map on how to reach that place that “the Lord has prepared Exodus 23:20”. This has been the greatest down fall of the prophet in the church today.

 

The prophet points out the path of progress that the apostle has laid down. If the prophet fails to bring correction to a church that is going down a wrong path, then that prophet is failing their office given by God. Sadly, this prophet, in most cases, does not even know the path that is to be taken. The way of the cross is a narrow path and few find this path, not because it is hard to find but because few ever commit to the narrow way. The broad path is easily taken, because it is the natural way.

 

Matthew 7:13-15 (KJV) 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

We must ask the question, why does Jesus bring up false prophets within the context of the strait gate and narrow way? In order to answer this question we need to understand what ravening wolves means.

 

According to the Strong’s Concordance ravening means rapacious :- extortion (extortioner i.e. exacting: rigid or severe in demands or requirements Dictionary.com), ravening. (emphasis mine)

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

 

These prophets “have standards or other criteria that are difficult to meet.” When the way of the cross is not the focal point of a believer’s life, then the “broad way,” that of the flesh will attach itself to a person’s walk by means of “work.” Outwardly there is an appearance of the cross, but underneath there is always a “ravening wolf.” What this means is that although the cross may be mentioned, invariably a requirement will be place upon the people. Man will readily accept walking through “hell and high water” to accomplish something, and be quick to reject the way of the cross.  

 

Paul in the book of Acts teaches about “grievous wolves” entering the church.

 

Acts 20:29 (KJV) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

In this case grievous means weighty, i.e. (figurative) burdensome, grave. (emphasis mine)

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

 

We can find this type of usage in Matthew 23:4.

 

Matthew 23:2-4 (KJV) 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

“As teachers of the law of Moses the scribes and Pharisees were the only religious guides whom the people had, so they were obliged to follow them as expounders of that law, but they were no means to look to them as living exemplification of that law.”

The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.

 

By sitting in “Moses’ seat,” the Pharisee claimed they understood and could interpret the writings of Moses. The Pharisees believed full heartily in their teachings, but through scripture we know that they were wrong. It is easy to see their errors because scripture plainly points them out, but we have difficulty when it comes to seeing our own errors when we try to understand the Word of God. We see “the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in (our) eye Matthew 7:3 (KJV).”There are many ministers that are “sitting” in “Moses’ seat” and expounding upon the bible. All those that “sit” in this seat will ultimately be passing forth law to the people, because Moses was the “lawgiver,” all those that sit in his seat will be too.

 

 

The word of faith doctrine binds a person’s mouth with fear, making the believer believe that what a person speaks affects their future. Their blessing or cursing is dependant upon what they are speaking out of their mouth. “Praise your way to victory” is something else believed within the church that is law. Victory is given by the cross of Christ, therefore praise will come forth. Praise happens not because victory is needed but because victory has been attained. Now it is easy to see how this particular belief is “backwards.” Another binding doctrine is the movement that teaches a believer’s financial prosperity abounds just as long as certain criteria’s are met i.e. giving and tithing of money. These are just a few examples of “laws“ being passed by ministers who are sitting in Moses’ seat. The “requirements” are hidden underneath sheep’s clothing. There are many more practiced within the modern Church. Outwardly these doctrines appear right because they are “wrapped” in scripture, but just as the Pharisees that sat in Moses’ seat they are erroneous in their teachings. Now we know why Jesus loops the “false prophets” along with entering the “strait gate.” The broad path is always contrary to the narrow path. The flesh and the spirit are adversaries toward one another, “Galatians 5:17 (KJV) …Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary to each other…” Being after the Spirit, the message of the cross opposes every doctrine that is after the flesh. Many prophets that do not have a proper understanding of the cross will give the people “false doctrine” and “requirements.” The proper way of progression that a believer is supposed to walk is totally within the framework of the cross, and if it does not fit within those confines then it should be considered a “broad” path.

 

 

1 Kings 18:22 (KJV) Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

In the Old Testament, the word “false prophet” is not used even when scripture is referring to a prophet that could be considered “false.” Baal means a husband or master, and the people believed they were worshipping the true “God.” In God’s  eyes, however, they were worshipping in “vain.” “Mark 7:7 (KJV) Howbeit in vain (their worship was imperfect or had a mistake i.e. something wrong with it) do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (This is the error with their worship, it contained “doctrines of men;” for example “Praise you way to victory”).”  Within the modern church “Baal” worship is taking place, and the pulpit has been at the forefront. When the cross of Christ is not properly understood, then believers will not have a proper understanding of God, therefore their worship will in vain. God requires us to worship him “in spirit and in truth John 4:23 (KJV).”

 

 

There are two perspectives within scripture and they are, God’s viewpoint in relation to mankind and mankind’s view towards God. The bible gives us God’s perspective. In 1 Kings 18:22 God shows us how he perceives Elijah and the four hundred and fifty men, but both Elijah and the four hundred and fifty men believed they served the “God.” The point is that NO ONE believes that their beliefs are wrong. Baal worship is so prevalent throughout scripture that it begs the question, why? Could it be that Baal appeals to the heart of man so much so that it “feels right?”

Today it would seem that we have substituted “Baal” with “Jesus,” but in God’s eyes it is nothing more then “Baal” worship! Apostles of Baal, prophets of Baal, evangelists of Baal, pastors of Baal, and teachers of Baal, far “out-speak” the true ministers of the Lord by at least 450 to 1.

 

 

2 Corinthians 11:4 (KJV) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus (a cross-less Christ), whom we have not preached (The cross of Christ is the only message that is to be preached), or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel (The true gospel is the cross of Christ), which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

For those that are “truth seekers,” we must search within ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith and serving the Lord. By doing this we are ensuring that we are not in Baal worship.

 

Ezekiel 13:3 (KJV) Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish (Stupid referring to a lack of ability) prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

 

These prophets were blessed with abilities and spiritual “potential,” but God refers to them as “stupid” because they trusted in their own “earthly” abilities and not HIS. To follow “their own spirit” meant that they were lead by the flesh and not by the Holy Spirit. They preached and prophesied what the people wanted to hear, and in the case of Ezekiel 13, restoration. God does want his people to prosper, but before restoration can happen people must return to the “strait and narrow path.” How many prophets and pastors stand in the church today and preach this same message of restoration?

The “foolish prophets” in Ezekiel 13 were trying to bypass the message of God and give the people their desired outcome, but an outcome of victory, prosperity, and abundant life can never happen until we walk down the correct path. “They have seen vanity and lying divination… Ezekiel 13:6 (KJV)” These prophets believed their own lies and tried to confirm these lies by saying “thus saith the Lord Ezekiel 13:7.” They delivered a message of peace and prosperity while slandering the prophets that were bringing correction to the people. 

Ezekiel 13:10-11 (KJV) 10 Because, even because they have seduced (lead astray) my people (Just as the Lord refers to “my people” to those that were slaves in Egypt, here again the Lord shows us that it is HIS PEOPLE that are being seduced), saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall (a defense), and, lo, others daubed it with untempered (foolish things) morter: 11 Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.

 

Jesus tells us that everything that is not planted upon the right foundation when the storm comes and the wind blows will fall and be destroyed “Matthew 7:25.” In this passage Jesus refers to a city denoting a person’s salvation, sanctification, and justification. A person’s life must be founded squarely upon the cross of Christ. The cross of Christ is the ONLY FOUNDATION that will stand the test of time.

Ezekiel 13:14 (KJV) So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed (end) in the midst (sever; to seperate) thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

God held  these “foolish prophets” accountable and God is going to hold accountable every minister today that continues to “seduce” the people. A minister with a good motive but does not preach the cross of Christ is just as guilty as the minister that has evil intentions. God knows the foundation of everyone. He perceives where we are standing. The problem is whether we truly know our foundation from God‘s prospective? The Lord will “break down the wall” meaning that he will tear down every doctrine (i.e. the bricks that make up the wall) that is being held together by false way/s (i.e. the untempered morter). My prayer is that the Lord does this now rather then later. God can only move us from the “broad path” unto the “narrow path” when the wall has been torn down and the foundation discovered. Then “ye shall know that I am the Lord,” and the only way we can move from Baal worship to worshipping the Lord is by tearing down.

 

Each brick of the wall would represent a doctrine and/or belief(s) ranging from the doctrine of grace “favor”, the doctrine of sanctification, the doctrine of prosperity, the doctrine of the Lord’s blessings, etc … and it is held together by “morter.” Morter is the “way” an individual believes these doctrines come to pass or are empowered. The cross of Christ is what allows “favor,” prosperity, blessings, and everything else God has to be given unto believers. Tempered morter is the cross of Christ and it is the morter that holds everything together. It touches everything, and without it we are left with a wall that cannot stand. “Untempered morter” is a wall that has left out the cross of Christ and substituted it with “other” ways i.e. “praise your way to victory,” “speak your desired future into your life,” etc.

 

 

1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (KJV) 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

 

As stated in the beginning of this paper, the prophet points out the path of progress that the apostle has laid down. The foundation that the apostle Paul laid down is Jesus Christ and him crucified. “Another buildeth thereon” could give hints towards the prophetic. In Ezekiel 13 the Lord was angry with the “foolish prophet” for building a false wall on a false foundation.

 

Every foundation (i.e. what a person stands on) whether it be a person’s relationship with God, handing out water bottles, praying, going to church, etc.. will not stand the test. Without the proper foundation of the cross of Christ a person’s relationship with God will be blemished. Only through the sacrifice can mankind have a relationship with God, and if we try to circumvent the cross of Christ then we are as Cain.  

 

Amos 3:7 (KJV) Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

 

 

According to Vine’s Topical Dictionary a prophet is “one who speaks forth or openly,” “a proclaimer of a divine message.” This passage in Amos sums up the role of a prophet. The prophet is one that the Lord has revealed his secret unto. Many who stand in the office of the prophet believe that the Lord reveals secrets “plural” to them. The Lord stated plainly that there is only ONE SECRET to be revealed. Woe unto the ministers that have not humbled themselves and searched diligently for the Lord’s secret. If the secret has not been revealed by the Lord then it is easily missed. Woe unto the ministers that pervert the Lord’s word with their own spirituality. Woe unto the ministers that stand behind the pulpit and lead the people astray.

 

 

 

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Is Sowing a Financial Seed Biblical?

                                     

Sowing and reaping is it biblical? It is hard to find a Christian TV network or Christian radio station that does not have some type of teaching on this subject. Since seed time and harvest is so prevalently taught within most Christian circles it must be truth. This could not be further from the truth. The blind have been leading the way on this heresy. Sowing and reaping is biblical truth but the teachings that have been at the forefront on the church is not based in truth. A “line in the sand” is being drawn, and we must decide for ourselves which side we are on. This “line” was drawn in the days of Moses and Joshua…

 

Exodus 32:26 (KJV) Moses … said, Who is on the Lord’S side? … Joshua 24:15 (KJV) … choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

 

And in these last days a “line” is being draw once again as the Lord brings back the revelation of the cross to his people. Since the Apostle John’s death the true message of the cross has gone unknown. Most churches understand and partake of the salvation part of the cross, but in days of the latter rain the full understanding of the cross is being brought back. We must choose which path we will walk down either the path of self will or the path of the Lord’s cross. We must humble ourselves and put aside our ego’s and commit our path to the straight and narrow i.e. the cross.

 

Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV) 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also   reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (Strong’s number 5356: decay i.e. ruin); but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Things sowed after the flesh will always lead to corruption. Flesh represents our ability, strength, wisdom, etc… We then must understand that the definition of corruption means “decay,” and that when something dies or becomes dead that it will consequently begin to decay and thus, become corrupted.

 

Acts 2:29-31 (KJV) 29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

The above verse most clearly explains how all seeds of men are corrupted when buried, but Christ, being the true seed when buried, did not become corrupted.

 

1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV) 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver (strong’s number 694: money or cash) and gold (Strong’s number 5553: coin) , … 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Gold and silver are corruptible items used for money. If money is being sown for the purpose of gaining a harvest, then corruption will be what is reaped, and to teach that money represents the seed is heresy. When money becomes the object and not Christ then it is not real but is part of the “strong delusion” spoken of by Paul in 2 Thessalonians.

1 Peter 1:23 (KJV) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 

The incorruptible SEED is the word of God. If the bible is correct, and we know that it is, then this tells us that every other seed, no matter what label we put on it, is a corruptible seed.

 

Luke 8:5-11 (KJV) 5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; …

6 And some fell upon a rock; …

7 And some fell among thorns; … 8 And other fell on good ground, … And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 10 And he said, … 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Jesus tells a parable about a sower that went out to sow seed. We must notice that “seed” is singular and not plural, meaning that the “seed” is something specific and not something random. Furthermore, “seed” would be something singular rather than many different types of seeds. When Christ gives the interpretation of this parable, he plainly tells the disciples that “THE SEED IS THE WORD OF GOD.” This is what the bible tells us, but the carnal mind believes that seeds can be anything.

 

John 1:14 (KJV) And the Word was made flesh, …

 

The incorruptible seed which is the word of God was made flesh.

 

Galatians 3:16 (KJV) Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

The promises of God is given to ONE SEED i.e. Christ. This verse is further proof that the only seed that man can sow that will give a harvest without corruption is Christ.  “He saith not, And to seeds, as of many…” means that it is not many types of seeds, and “but as of one” shows us that the seed is singular and specific, being Christ.

 

Matthew 18:16 (KJV) … that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

 

Through Luke, Galatians, and 1 Peter the seed is the word of God i.e. Christ and nothing else. Now that we finally know what the true seed is we can begin to understand other scriptures that teach sowing and reaping.

 

2 Corinthians 9:6-10 (KJV) 6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly (He which soweth the word of God sparingly shall reap the word of God sparingly); and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth (men have their own purpose, but redeemed men are called according to HIS purpose; Romans 8:28 (KJV) ) in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly (reluctant), or of necessity (need): for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace (Grace can only come to a believer through the cross of Christ) abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor (Matthew 5:3 (KJV) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.): his (Christ’s) righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed (Christ) to the sower (minister of the gospel i.e. cross of Christ) both minister bread (John 6:51 “the bread that I will give is my flesh”) for your food, and multiply your seed (Christ) sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness (true righteousness is Christ’s alone which can only be given to a believer through faith in the cross);)

How long will the church be lead through carnal teachings? Mankind’s personal intellectualism cannot receive the revelation of God’s mysteries if we continue on the path that we are on at this very moment. We must not single out one scripture and try to comprehend it because the scriptures work together. By isolating scripture it is easily misunderstood, and what we think is a “revelation” from God is nothing more than our own carnal “revelation.” Our adversary wants nothing more than to keep us from the true path of enlightenment. The true mystery of God is Jesus Christ and him crucified. We have tried to obtain the things of God by means of worldly ways just as the Gentiles did in the time of Christ. It is time to repent from what “I” think and turn back to the way of the cross!

 

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Faithless Generation

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Faith is based upon the Word of God. The Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among men. So why do we base our faith upon our senses and internal feelings which yield uncertainty and insecurity?

 

 

Hebrews 11:4 (KJV) By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain (This shows the FACT that the object of our faith must be “Jesus Christ and him crucified”), by which he obtained witness that he was righteous (Righteousness can only come from Christ and can only be obtained by putting our faith exclusively in the cross.), God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

 

Mark 11:22-23 (KJV) 22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

 

I have heard many preachers use this peculiar verse, to include myself, that all a believer must do is “speak to the mountain” and it will be moved. It is easy to be caught up in the flesh, and believe we have the power to cast the mountain into the sea simply by speaking the words. If this was true then Jesus would not have said “Have faith in God” but have faith in your words, which is faith in self and not in God. We should have faith in God, that he will remove mountains out of our path.

 

There is only one mountain that God will not remove out of our path which is Calvary’s hill, but all other mountains and valleys will be made level for those that walk in faith in the cross of Christ.

 

Isaiah 40:3-4 (KJV) 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

 

A believer’s life should not be filled with mountains, valleys, or pot holes. It should be filled with a smooth and confident path. Our faith must be properly placed or our journey through life will be plagued by obstacles and pit falls at every turn.

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew 17:19-21 (KJV) 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

 

The disciples tried to cast the devil out of the child and failed. Jesus tells them why they were not able to help the child: One, because of “unbelief” i.e. faithlessness and two, because of a lack of prayer and fasting. Since we should understand that Jesus’ words are to be understood spiritually, then fasting would not mean refraining from food because that is the carnal interpretation of fasting. The spiritual meaning for fasting would mean to abstain from the efforts of the flesh. When the disciples tried to cast the devil out they placed their “faith” within their own abilities when they should have  placed their faith with God alone. So when they failed, Jesus said it was because of their “unbelief”. The word “unbelief” in the Greek means: faithlessness, i.e. (negative) disbelief (want of Christian faith), or (positive) unfaithfulness (disobedience) :- unbelief. Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. The disciples would never admit to walking in “disobedience” because they were Christ’s disciples. The fact still remains though, that when they were not obedient to the faith, they were in direct conflict with the cross, and therefore “disobedient.” Believers today, even though they are followers of Christ, can be and are living in disobedience just as these disciples were.

 

Matthew 16:24 (KJV) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

The disciples had taken up their “crosses” and were following Christ, but that does not negate the fact that they were disobedient to the faith of the cross.

 

 

Romans 16:25-26 (KJV) 25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel (the cross of Christ), and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery (the mystery of the cross), which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

The obedience of faith is obedience to the Cross of Christ. Faith does not come in what ever flavor we are in the mood for today. There is only one true faith and there is nothing beyond that.

 

Ephesians 4:4-5 (KJV) 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, …

 

Since there is only one true faith it would stand to reason that if our “faith” is wrong then we are not living in faith and we are walking without faith. The word of faith teaches that there are different “types of faith.” They believe that their faith is put into action by speaking scripture out loud over a particular situation, but this is not faith, it is law. Quoting scripture is not wrong, but believing that because “I am quoting scripture then the mountain will be removed” is wrong because it is law. Nothing can be spoken in to existence.

 

Galatians 3:12 (KJV) And the law is not of faith: …

 

It is hard for some to understand that we could make a law out of something that was not meant to be law, but the fact is that whenever we believe that our faith is being put into action by speaking things into existence or performing good deeds, then we have just made it into law.

 

James 2:24 (KJV) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

James states that it is works and faith working in conjunction with each other that justifies a man. How can we resolve this issue that James brings up? We must ask, what kind of work justifies a man?

 

Romans 5:9 (KJV) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, …

 

The work of the cross justifies everyone that willingly puts their faith into that single specific work. Please understand that I am in no way speaking out against “good works.”  I am simply pointing out that  “good works” has nothing to do with putting faith into action.

 

 

Romans 10:16-17 (KJV) 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:17 (KJV) preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of ChristThe cross of Christ is the gospel and for a preacher to preach anything else is in fact preaching a“false” gospel.). For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

It is His (God’s) word that brings faith and not our words. Only the word of God is able to bring faith to a person. The Word of God is Jesus Christ, “the word made flesh,” and only HE can transform someone. Hearing can only come by the word of God.

 

Amos 8:11 (KJV) 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:

 

Faith will become a famine and the church will hunger for it. Believers that are shut up under law as they wait on faith to be revealed have trusted in the works of their own hands and the words of their own mouths calling it faith but in reality it is nothing more then law being worked out within their lives. We must turn from the will of the flesh and put total trust into the work of the Lord’s Cross .

 

Famine according to dictionary.com means “extreme and general scarcity” of something. If this scripture in Amos is true, then we are living in a time of faithlessness. True and pure faith has become something very rare and extremely difficult to find today.

 

 

Luke 18:8 (KJV) I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Top 10 Largest National Christian Populations

 

1 USA 224,457,000 85% (Out of 313,847,465 [July 2012 est.] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html)

2 Brazil 139,000,000 93%

3 Mexico 86,120,000 99%

4 Russia 80,000,000 60%

5 China 70,000,000 5.7%

6 Germany 67,000,000 83%

7 Philippines 63,470,000 93%

8 United Kingdom 51,060,000 88%

9 Italy 47,690,000 90%

10 France 44,150,000 98%

11 Nigeria 38,180,000 45%

http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_christian.html

 

According to the above statistics, Christians in the United States constitute 85% of the population. Although this percentage does not seem like famine proportions, if scripture is correct, then there is a famine in the land and the vast majority of “Christians” are not operating in faith. We live in an age where there is a church on every corner to fit everyone and anyone’s denominational need, but what makes one person’s belief different from another’s? Who is right? EVERYONE would say that their church is a good church and that it is operating in biblical faith, but facts do not lie. Since there is currently a famine of faith in the land we must now ask ourselves the hard question, “Do we (I) really have faith?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Graven Images: More than a Golden Calf

 

1 Samuel 15:23 (KJV)  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee…

 

Introduction

 

When thoughts of idol worship come to mind, we instantly think of a “golden calf” or little “statues.” Our minds eye sees these “primitive” people bowing down to a carved wooden figure on their shelves worshipping it. We assume that those who worship idols lack a higher intellectualism and that their intelligence is more comparable to beasts rather than men. These people were uncivilized and devoid of the “higher pursuits” of a civilized world. In our “cultured” and “refined” world, bowing down to an action figure or a Barbie doll is utterly inconceivable. We know that these little figures are not god/s. So when we read about idol worship in scripture our natural conclusions are that they are very ignorant people.

Only with the development of mechanical cranes with steel cables and motorized engines did modern man master the skill of moving massive weights and fitting them easily together. The great pyramid of Giza is considered my modern man to be ancient wonder. The stones that were used in the construction of this pyramid fit together with such accuracy that only with modern lasers can man duplicate it. Egypt’s engineers had the ability to handle stones that weight as much as 30 tons. They had the gracefulness required to fit these heavy stones together with precision. The Egyptians were not the only ancient society that performed amazing feats. The Aztecs, Greeks, Romans, and Persians can be accredited with accomplishing wondrous things during their time of reign as well. 

These ancient civilizations centered their cultures on “idols.” According to Wikipedia idolatry “is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object such as a cult image, as a god,or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honor and regard to created forms other than God.” One of these ancient civilizations was the Mayans. The Mayans were a bloody empire be-heading thousands of people to false deities. This empire has been lost to time but they left behind their great pyramids which attracts thousands of people annually. They also had a calendar that astonishes our scientists. Millions of people were following their “long count” calendar which just ended on Dec. 12 2012. These facts teach us a very important lesson: these societies were highly intelligent. In order to undertake and complete the wonders they did, they had to have a high level of intelligence.

Presently, our nation has a rover on the surface of Mars. We also have satellites orbiting the earth, and air planes that shuttle us across the world. These feats are amazing, but it does not make us a more sophisticated people and it does not add to our intelligence. Scientists in the 1940’s and 50’s had “on paper” inventions that would transform their world, but they lacked the technology. It would take decades for the technology to evolve enough for their inventions to be utilized. There are currently scientists that possess fantastic ideas about traveling faster than the speed of light, and all that they lack is the technology that warps space which would enable a vehicle to ride a “warp bubble” breaking the light barrier.  

We should understand that technology is not a measurement of society’s intelligence because ancient men were capable of reason and thought, as well as they were able to comprehend beyond what they were capable of doing. Since ancient man was able to undertake great feats of architecture then it should stand to reason that they also were able to grasp ideas well beyond the skill level that it took to accomplish them. Although, we possess more truths about our environment because of the development of technology, the mental aptitude of both ancient men and present day men are relatively close together. If my argument is wrong, then in a thousand years when mankind looks back to our age we will appear as “primitive beasts.”

If we believe that ancient man was only capable of the most primitive acts based on their worship of idols and bowing down to false deities, we would have been wrong. This “false perception” that we have employed in view ancient people hinders us greatly in our pursuit to understand scripture. It is hard for us to grow spiritually because of this “perception.” When scripture expresses that Israel was “whoring after an idol” we are quick to dismiss it, because we not bowing down to carved figures. The message of God is missed because of false perception. If our society knows that “bowing down” to a carved figure is wrong, then they did as well. The children of Israel knew the “golden calf” that Aaron built was not God. They also knew the carved wooden images and steel statues were not God.

2 Kings 17:10-12 (KJV) 10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: 12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.

By understanding that ancient man and modern man are relatively equals mentally, we can harness what we understand about ourselves and apply that to ancient man. So when we read a scripture such as 2 Kings 17:10-12 and how “they served idols” it can be applied to us. In our religious lives we could be serving idols.

 

The Idols of Men

 

The bible has three defining qualities that assure its readers the truthfulness of its pages. First is a historical book in that it has been proven to be historically accurate through the work of archaeologists. Physical evidence of the written scripture can be easily found throughout the “promise land.” This physical evidence gives credence that scripture is true. Secondly the bible is a prophetic book that has accurately predicted the rise and fall of histories’ men and nations. History has proven these prophecies to have been accurate. The Bible is also currently predicting future events that have yet been fulfilled. We are confident that these unfulfilled prophecies will come to pass because of all the numerous fulfilled prophecies. These fulfilled prophecies can be found in the channels of historical evidence. Finally, it is a spiritual book that must be spiritually understood. Jesus states that his words “are spirit” which should be foremost; however spiritual words without physicality (i.e. physical manner) are not truth but lies. God shows us this principle not only through the whole bible but most importantly with Christ as John 1:14proclaims “the Word was made flesh.”

Genesis 1:2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Spirit always comes first when God reveals himself to both non-believers and believers alike; however there are many spirits and only one can be trusted. God gives us the physical evidence of fulfilled prophetic, and this evidence assures us of the Spirit. If physical evidence never comes to fulfillment then we are assured of the falsehood of the spirit. The culmination of the whole bible happens at the manifestation of “Christ and him crucified.” Without this manifestation we would be at a lost to know what truth is and what is false.  

The majority of ancient Israel was in the snare of idolatry many times in biblical history. 1 Corinthians 10:11“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples…” ancient Israel as our example was in the snare of worshipping idols. Examples come before the dilemma. Modern man is facing the dilemma of idolatry, but this dilemma should not exclude Christians! Christians must embrace the real possibly that they could be ignorantly worshipping an idol. 

1 John 5:16-17 (KJV) 16If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death (refers to direction other than the cross, done in ignorance), he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death (The believer who understands God’s Prescribed Order of Victory, which is the cross, should pray for those who are ignorantly going in a direction opposite of the cross). There is a sin unto death (speaks of unbelief; this group is not opposing the Cross because of ignorance but rather because they simply do not believe in the Atoning work of Calvary): I do not say that he shall pray for it (While it is pointless to pray that God would forgive such a person, it is proper to pray that the blindness of their unbelief will be removed). 17 All unrighteousness is sin (refers to any deviation from the Word): and there is a sin not unto death. (This is a lack of trust in the cross due to ignorance, not unbelief. While such sin will bring great disturbance upon the individual, it will not cause one to lose their soul.) Expositor’s Study Bible

What is the concept behind ancient and present idols? Idols are based on what humanity considers as excellent qualities such as strength, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. The opposites of some of these held “virtues” are greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. These false idols were built to represent one or more of these virtues. For example, when the children of Israel was liberated from Egyptian captivity and was camped at the base of Mt. Sinai they built a golden calf. The golden calf represented the manifestation of God.

Apis an Egyptian bull god 1

 

This is an image of “Apis,” an Egyptian god that was worshipped at the time of the Hebrew’s captivity.

“Apis was originally the Herald of Ptah, the chief god in the area around Memphis (Memphis is the region around the mouth of the Nile River.). As a manifestation of Ptah, Apis also was considered to be a symbol of the pharaoh, embodying the qualities of kingship.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_(god)(emphasis mine)

When Israel camped around Mt. Horeb they experienced a manifestation of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 4:10-12 (KJV) 10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. 11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. 12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.

When Moses failed to return in what the people thought a timely manner they built this “molten calf,” because the Egyptian god “Apis” i.e. the young bull represented the visible manifestation of God. They had just witnessed a great manifestation of smoke and clouds, and they memorialized it. Also, this young bull represented God’s anthropomorphic qualities of strength, fertility, and other human equivalent attributes that expresses greatness. From God’s perspective the children of Israel, who having just witnessed this great manifestation, turned around and built an idol in the place of God. The Children of Israel however did not believe what they were doing was wrong. They were not trying to worship an idol, but God. God had literally manifested himself right next to them on the neighboring mountaintop and they wanted to worship him. They failed and horribly so because the mind of man tried to interpret and comprehend what they witnessed. Many false idols have been built which has stemmed from a manifestation or experience with God. The manifestation of God was real, but man’s interpretation and comprehension of that manifestation was incorrect. The intended purpose for the calf was to worship God, but instead they were worshipping an idol and not God. The natural man cannot understand the things of God, but that does not mean the natural man does not try!

Deuteronomy 4:15-16 (KJV) 15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude (a shape, embodiment, and/or manifestation) on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female

The Lord knew that if they saw his figure (a pre-incarnation of Christ) they would build a statue of him and corrupt themselves by worshipping it. The heart of mankind is bent on taking things that were never meant to be worship and worshipping them. The meaning of God’s example is changed from illustrations of teaching to false ways and philosophies.

 

Corrupting what is Good

 

John 5:1 (KJV) After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

False religion and ways corrupt what God has ordained as good. This verse in John 5:1 is a good example of men corrupting themselves. The feast mentioned in this passage was not initially a feast of the Jews, but a feast of the Lord. Religion had changed the feast of the Lord into a similitude. Similitude according to the Strong’s Concordance means “something portioned (i.e. fashioned) out, as a shape, i.e. (indefinite) phantom, or (specific) embodiment (to give a tangible, bodily, or concrete form to (an abstract concept)), or (figurative) manifestation (of favor).” An example of the word usage can be found in Deuteronomy 4:15-16 “…for ye saw no manner of similitude…” Similitude simply means a visible likeness resembling something else. The Jews had changed the feast of the Lord into a visible likeness of God’s true feast; centuries earlier the molten calf was a visible likeness of the manifestation of God. They had corrupted something that was initially good and twisted it into something that it was never meant to be.

There are examples of Christians incorporating similitudes into their services. The Eucharist is an example of people creating a visible likeness of the body of Christ. Many Christian denominations classify the Eucharist as a sacrament. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the sacraments as “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.” The catechism included in the AnglicanBook of Common Prayer defines a sacrament as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof.” (Emphasis mine) The Eucharist is a particular outward and visible sign made in a preheated oven of 350o. The Catholic Church is not the only “church” that has “sacraments.” Personally, I would rather have the mountaintop and not the calf. 

Another example is the “tallit.” A tallit is a Jewish prayer shawl that covers a person’s head and shoulders during prayer. A very “pious” person may never take the shawl off, but wear it underneath their clothing during their daily activities. There are many other religious garments worn by men trying to attain holiness, but regardless of the clothing worn they all have one common denominator: a sowing machine stitched the fabric together. Here again, man is attempting to worship God but instead builds a calf; they have corrupted themselves by making a similitude. A very zealous person may have a hard time accepting the fact that their linen under-garments, prayer shawls, or other priestly garments have no sway in the service of God or obedience.

Numbers 15:37-40 (KJV) 37 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek (spy” out) not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

The tallit was one commandment of many that had to be observed. However, just as the Jew had changed the “feast of the Lord” into the “feast of the Jews;” men have changed what God has intended to a false idol. During the time of Christ there were many zealous religious people that probably referred to this particular feast as “the feast of the Lord,” but in the eyes of the Lord it had been corrupted. There are many well-meaning religious people, who believe the things they are doing are of the Lord, but that may not be the case. The law is just and holy, but our flesh is not: (Romans 7:18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing). When a person tries to perform God’s holy law through their unholy flesh, God’s laws are corrupted. Jesus taught us this in Matthew 9:16,No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.”

1 Timothy 1:9-11 (KJV) 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel (Jesus Christ and him crucified is the true gospel although there are many “gospels” that claim to be truth.) of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.  

Idols snare and entrap us. They hold millions in captivity. Israel struggled through the course of biblical history with their idolatrous behavior; modern man struggles with the same condition of idolatry. Their similitudes always allured them back time and time again.

The opium of religion has man at the center. Like opium or any other narcotics, religion is a highly addictive. Our society deals with these types of drugs on a daily basis. Some of us may have a family member that is addicted to a narcotic, and we have watched our loved one’s lives be ravaged by narcotics. In the end addicts are a shadow of their former self. Many times addicts try to quit but fail to only be drawn back time and time again. Religion has the same effect upon billion of lives.

Doctors have labeled drug addiction as a disease because it is something that people will live with their entire lives. AA members who have been sober for months and years suffer from a constant “pull” to use. Addicts give everything they have and more to quench the thirst for the drug. There are also those that do not want to quit, but give themselves totally over to the addiction reveling in it. Religion is stronger than any narcotic on the street and this “narcotic” will not only take hold of someone’s life, but soul as well.

The addict who is drawn back to their drugs is same as the religious man that breaks away from religion and falls back into the snare of idolatry. The same “pull” the drug addict feels is the same “pull” that religion has upon the heart. For those that have found true freedom from drug addiction know that it is possible. However, the far majority of addicts do not find liberation from their addiction. The world does not know the correct answer to the horrible problem to both drug addiction and religion.

The only answer to the world’s problems both spiritually and physically is “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” The reason why Israel kept falling back into the snare of Idolatry was because they were never really freed from it. The “back” of false religion was never broken. Israel witnessed great miracles of God, but witnessing miracles was not enough to overcome their corrupt hearts. The majority of them never accepted “Jesus Christ and him crucified” but always turned back to “self.” Ignorant Christians have unknowingly turned away from true message of the cross unto a false gospel.

 

The Worship of Idols and the Second Coming of Christ

 

The “second coming” of Christ is one of the most fundamental doctrines in the Christian belief. This belief varies from one denomination to another but they all have the same basic foundation: Christ is coming again, judgment of the wicked, reward of the righteous, resurrection of the dead, and that his kingship shall reign forever. When Christ was physically with his disciples he gave them signs that believers could look for his coming.

Matthew 24:3 (KJV) 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?

Here is a short list of some of the signs Christ gave his disciples in Matthew 24:4-14 (KJV):

  • For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many
  • …wars and rumours of wars
  • …For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
  • …famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places
  • …ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake
  • …many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many
  • …the love of many shall wax cold
  • …this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations

These signs of Christ imminent return are among many others that were given. Another sign Christ gave his disciples was the sign of “Noah.”

Matthew 24:36-38 (KJV) 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark…

This particular sign is one that we can study by comparative analysis. A comparative analysis is simply the comparison of two or more models and can be used to forecast upcoming events. The signs represented in Christ’s return have been happening since the ascension. There has always been famines, wars, earthquakes, etc. There is one sign however that has only happened once in history: the days of Noah.

The days of Noah symbolizes a specific occurrence in biblical history by presenting God “saving the righteous,” “destroying of the wicked,” and “regenerating the earth.” This specific sign says “…as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” By knowing what the world was like just moments before the destruction, we can form a conclusion on how the world will be right before the second coming of Christ.

As we begin to try and understand the conditions of the antediluvian there are a few questions we must ask. First is physically consuming of food, drink, or marrying wrong? God instituted marriage in the beginning with Adam and Eve. We also need substance to survive. In the garden the Lord provided food stuffs for Adam to consume. The word for “drinking” could be understood as alcohol though it should not be restricted to that specific definition. It could reference other types of drink i.e. water. Our bodies cannot go without water either for an extended amount of time. Humans can only survive without water for estimated 8 – 14 days depending on physical factors. Marriage, eating, and drinking have been a part of mankind’s life since the dawn of time and has remained as such even unto today. Consequently, the physical marriage of man and wife, consumption of food, and water are not signs of the “days of Noah” and Christ’s return. 

The Lord may have been referring to something else entirely. How can we understand this sign? What question can we ask that will lead us to the right conclusion? We simply need to understand the purpose for God flooding the earth. 

Genesis 6:11-12 (KJV) 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

God brought the flood upon the earth because it was corrupt. The population according to Lambert Dolphin at the time of Noah can be estimated at around 9 billion people (http://www.ldolphin.org/popul.html). Today there is an estimated 7.05 billion people in the world and by the end of the century 9 billion (http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/05/03/united.nations.population.forecast/index.html). The statement “ALL flesh had corrupted his way” is unfathomable to believe, because if Mr. Dolphin’s calculations are correct then 9 billion people were considered by God as wicked and corrupt. In the end world was engulfed by the suffocating waters from the abyss and only eight souls out of the 9 billion were saved. These numerical values shed new light on the statement Christ made in Matthew 7:13-14…wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat… narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” “Many” is an understatement when compared to basically 9 billion people! In this biblical narrative only eight people out of 9 billion were saved! For a moment let us consider that there must have been many out of those 9 billion that thought they were “right” with God. I am in no way saying that God will only save eight people in the end of our age, but if we do not repent then we in like manner will perish.

The sign Christ gave the church concerning Noah in Matthew 24:36-38was not essentially against civilization’s participation of marrying and eating, but against corruption. He was telling us that all flesh will be corrupt. The corruption that happened thousands of years ago is currently overrunning the earth, and will happen to a greater degree in the coming future until the fullness of corruption has been reached.

What made these ancient people corrupt before the Lord?

Deuteronomy 4:25 (KJV) 25 When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:

These ancient people did not think or believe that what they were doing was wrong. How could it be wrong when their heart was telling them something different? Their heart was confirming their actions were right. However, God testifies that their hearts were continually upon evil.

The worship of idols is an outward sign of an inward corruption that infests the hearts of mankind. As mentioned earlier the majority of Christians that partake in “sacraments” believe that they are an outward expression of an inward grace. They believe this participation is just and good. Isaiah said it best, “woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.” The outward sign of idolatry is infests the hearts of men. This infestation, which consumes humans, did not allow the people to believe the righteousness that Noah preached. They would not hear Noah’s words but continued down the path that their hearts lead them. In the days of Noah all of mankind was corrupt with the exception of Noah.

According to Medline Plus a “sign” means “objective evidence of disease especially as observed and interpreted by the physician rather than by the patient or lay observerhttp://www.merriam-webster.com/medlineplus/sign.The great physician makes the observation in Genesis 6:11-12 that corruption had consumed the earth. Idolatry must have been extensive since it is the “sign” of corruption. When the disciples asked the Lord what “sign” they could look which would indicate his return, Christ gave them the “sign of the days of Noah.” This informs us beyond a shadow of doubt that idolatry is taking place in the lives of people today! Secular man is worshipping money and material wants while religious man is forming their own spiritual idols. Religious man may not be literally forming idols of wood and stone, nevertheless they are spiritually shaping idols that can be equated to wood and stone. The “patient or lay observer” cannot properly interpret the “sign” of corruption, but as long as man is “self-diagnosing” then he will remain sick. Only the Great Physician can accurately diagnose and cure the world.  

How Mankind becomes Corrupt

 

We now know that idolatry was being practice “in the days of Noah” and that it is applicable to present day man. Idolatry is not the cause of corruption that the Lord is referring to in Genesis 6:11-12 because it is merely the outward expression of corruption. What then corrupted the ancient people of Noah’s day and currently corrupting mankind?

Genesis 6:1-5 (KJV) 1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God (“The term ‘sons of God’ in the Old Testament, at least as it is used here, is never used of human beings, but always of Angels, whether righteous or fallen.” The Expositor’s Study Bible.“The term ‘sons of God’ can be interpret as ‘the divine beings’ because the Hebrew here is b’nei elohim. The word b’nie often means ‘members of a category, so that the Hebrew phrase here means ‘members of the category of divine beings’” Etz Hayim “Torah and Commentary. Some scholars also believe that the “sons of God” refer to the descendants of Seth. ) saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives (“woman; wife; betrothed one; brideVine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words) of all which they chose. (This “chosen generation” is the same one that is emerging into the world today.) 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

This marriage of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of man” should be viewed with comparable semblance to the marriage of Christ and his bride. Personally, I have a literal wife, but at the same time I am married to Christ. As individual Christians we should be married to Christ; however the far majority is refusing to progress further in the relationship process. This is the type of union that was taking place between the daughters of men and the “fallen angels.” The “daughters of men” were being married to “fallen angels” just as Christians are married to Christ. The concept of being married to Christ is a fundamental teaching in most if not all Christian circles, but applying this concept towards the marriage between a false deity and believers are not. 

1 Samuel 7:3-4 (KJV) 3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth (“The name of a Sidonian deity;” “god of increase” Strong’s Concordance) from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim (“a master; hence a husband, or (figurative) owner” Strong’s Concordance. The children of Israel were “marring” to the false deity who the Lord referred to as “Baal.”) and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.

The children of Israel, whether knowingly or unknowingly, were serving multiple gods and at the same time trying to serve God. As the proverb goes “they were splitting the fence.” Paul said in1 Corinthians 10:21, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”Jesus states inMatthew 6:24,“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” We should serve the “Lord only” but so many unwittingly are trying to serve two masters. Many walk down the road of destruction with “good indentations!” Their intentions may not be to have two masters, but they are oblivious to their own double mindedness. If we are divided in our service then we cannot stand, and a great fall is in our future.

From the passage in I Samuel we are shown unequivocally that many can be deceived into trying to serve more than one master. Many do not realize that they are setting at “Lucifer’s” table, because a false gospel has been mixed with the truth. Lucifer’s con is very subtle and by offering scripture mixed with little deception it leads millions of people away easily. Many countless of souls have swallowed the “pill” of deception. People believe that scripture is true, but error occurs when trying to understand scripture. “Lucifer” presents something that looks and sounds legit; understanding scripture is the battlefield that Lucifer has chosen to deceive the people. As a fallen angel Lucifer transforms himself into a carrier of light. Light is a synonym for the gospel. “Jesus Christ and him crucified” is the true light of the gospel, but Satan offers the world another light i.e. another gospel.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 (KJV) 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.(Satan transforms himself into an angel of the Gospel. The gospel that he presents to humanity is a false gospel that is not after “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” In his message the meaning of the gospel has changed. Words such as Christ, cross, blood, and many others words that relate to the true gospel may be used but the true meanings and definitions have been twisted. The message that is presented might not necessarily be a “cross-less” message. In other words a “cross” may be a part of the doctrine, but who Christ is and what he accomplished is where the subtle changes occur.)15 Therefore it is no great thing ifhis ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness (This righteousness is a false righteousness. These ministers may believe they are preaching the “true gospel,” but are manifesting a false light that is not after the cross of Christ [I Cor. 1:17-18, 21, 23; 2:2; Gal. 1:8-9]); whose end shall be according to their works. (reliance is ultimately upon “their works” and not the cross of Christ. Even for those that believe in the true gospel of Jesus Christ can and do rely at times on their works.1 Corinthians 3:15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.Salvation is attained by those that have the true gospel, but beyond that a false gospel is embraced. The primary difference between these two groups is one is initiated in the true gospel of Christ and the other is not.)

Our human perception of the light spectrum does not vary much except in clarity or brightness. The light that we turn on in our homes illuminates everything in that particular room. The room that was once dark is now illuminated. It is hard for us to comprehend that there could be two separate and distinct types of lights. One light is the true light of the gospel of Christ (Jesus Christ and him crucified) and the other light is a false gospel of Satan posing as Christ. Jesus said inLuke 11:34-35Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” We must take Christ’s words to heart and “TAKE HEED!” We must pay careful attention and give considerable consideration to what we believe because it could be a false light.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (KJV) 3 But if our gospel (Cross of Christ) be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god(false god)of this world (The god of this world is Lucifer. Lucifer’s desire is to be like the one true God and parades himself as if he is God. Isaiah 14:12-14How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning…For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven… I will be like the most High. If Lucifer wants to “be like the most High” then logic demands that he is not “like the most High.” Children are born after their father’s likeness and image. Children inherit traits that from to both the father and mother. The child is “like” their father and mother. This shows us that Lucifer was not born in the image of God as some suppose but was created as a separate being from that of God. The definite article “the” in front of “god” provides us with a great deal of evidence that there are not “many” false gods but one. Whatever “god” that is being worshipped by whatever religion this is the false god that is ultimately being worshipped. [Ephesians 6:11-13rulers of the darkness of this world”]) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not (many are “enemies in their mind” [Col. 1:21]),lest the light of the gloriousgospel of Christ (The true light of the gospel is Jesus Christ and him crucified), who is the image of God (The trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and these three are one. The image of God is God the Son. Jesus Christ IS the image i.e. righteousness of God (Colossians 1:15Who [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature). The righteousness and holiness of God the Father was manifested in the flesh as Jesus Christ. Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likenessThe first Adam was created after the image and likeness of Jesus Christ, or in other words Adam was created after God’s righteousness and his true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. While in the garden Adam displayed the image of Christ, but when Adam fell from that world to this world the image became a “false Christ.” The image of the now “first Adam” is a “false Christ,” and is perpetuated through his linage unto all of humankind.), should shine unto them. (shine unto their minds)

While Adam was in the Garden of Eden his image and likeness was the expression the righteousness and holiness of God, but when Adam fell the image fell with him. The image that WAS after the righteousness and holiness of God is now in a corrupt state. It is presently a fallen righteousness and holiness that men possess. The image initially was an expression of Christ, but now it expresses a false Christ. This fallen expression is presently not after the true holiness and righteousness of God, although it does contain a resemblance superficially of righteousness and holiness. Jesus conveys to us this superficial holiness by connectinghumanities image with “whited sepulchers” inMatthew 23:27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward.”

Superficially the Pharisees and scribes had a form of righteous. We should try to understand their mind frame and grasp a deeper understanding of what is taking place. As Pharisees and Scribes, they had dedicated their lives to God. They consecrated their lives to the work of the Lord, and were continually trying to perfect themselves after the word of God. Their devotion to God and their religious duties knew no bounds. However, there was one fatal flaw in their makeup – they werefaithful in the “letter” of the law but did not understanding the true spirit of the law. If we follow the example of our image it will lead us in error because it portrays a corrupt righteousness and holiness that is after a “false Christ.”

Genesis 5:3 (KJV) And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Even though the image that men bare has the “fingerprints” of God upon it, the fall has corrupted it. Men can recognize the “residue” of God’s fingerprints upon their personal image. However, this recognition deceives men, because we live in a fallen corrupt state. Everything we perceive is from a corrupt perspective.

Genesis 6:5 (KJV) And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil (We attribute evil with such acts as murder but from the perspective of God: evil is anything that is not solely based in Jesus Christ and him crucified.) continually.

True and false worship takes place in the heart of man. According to Ezekiel 14:3 “men have set up their idols in their heart” men prostrates themselves in their heart to worship God. Outwardly a person could appear to be prostrated, but inwardly the heart could be standing proud. The opposite is true as well outwardly men may not appear to be bowing down, but inwardly their hearts are prone before a false deity. 

“The verb ʿālâ (set up) that Ezekiel 14:3 uses is a causative stem to signify ‘presenting an offering’ to God. In 63 cases, the word is associated with the presentation of the whole burnt offering (ʿōlâ). ʿĀlâ is used of the general act of “presenting offerings” when the various offerings are mentioned in the same context (Lev. 14:20[1]), or when the purpose of the offering is not specifically in mind (Isa. 57:6[2]). Sometimes this verb means merely “to offer” (e.g., Num. 23:2[3]).” (Emphasis Mine)

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words. The Vine’s suggest that men “present an offering to God.” My question would be what are men presenting to God? With this newly acquired information of the verb “ʿālâ” we go back to Ezekiel 14:3 with a better understanding of this specific passage – “men have ‘offered up idols to God’ in their heart.

 

Traditionally idols are not thought of as something offered to God but worshipped. Idols are commonly assumed of as what men worship, and that is true to a certain extent. They are worshipping “God” through their offering. This means that they are not necessarily worshipping the “idol” but “God” through their idol.

 

“Theologically significant is the fact that this verb (ʿĀlâ) is used in relationship to a person’s appearance before God, one must go up to stand before the Lord.”                   AMG’s Complete Word Study

 

Humanity endeavors to have a relationship with God. How men go about establishing the relationship is the dividing line between idolatry and true worship. In order to have a relationship with God, we need both the correct altar and sacrifice i.e. the work of the cross and Christ. If we believe correctly in one but neglect or misunderstand the other our relationship with God suffers.

 

Idols and images carry two separate meanings. Idols are used for the means of the relationship while the purpose of images is for representation. Idols and images are distinct in purposes; they cannot be separated one from the other. Idols and images work in correlation with each other i.e. cannot have one without the other, and it is because of this that most assume they are one and the same. An easier way to explain this phenomenon is that an image and an idol is the imitation of Jesus Christ and him crucified.

 

A person could believe in the correct image (Christ) and at the same time have an idol in their life. If a person believes that obedience to “certain” laws will please God, then that person is serving an idol. Or, if living a certain life style, church attendance, or any other religious activities that thought to bring a person in a closer relationship with God then it is idolatry. They have taken to their “backs” an unholy burden.

 

Deuteronomy 12:1-3 (KJV) 1 These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. 2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: 3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire (These nations served their gods upon “high places.” High places are where altars, pillars, and groves are built to serve god. There is a high place that an altar can be built for the service of God: Jesus Christ and the cross. High places are referred to in scripture as “places of worship” according to AMG Complete Word Study. 2 Kings 12:3But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places. “This noun occurs in other Semitic languages, meaning the “back” of an animal or of a man (Ugaritic), the incline or “back” of a mountain (Akkadian), and the “block” (of stone) or grave of a saint (Arabic). (Emphasis Mine) Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can a person “take up his cross” upon their “back!” Luke 9:23…let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. If we try to “take the cross” up by our own power we will build another “high place.”Luke 23:26And as they led him (Jesus Christ) away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian …on him they laid the cross (on his back), that he might bear it after Jesus.); and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

 

A person can also have the correct altar i.e. the cross and at the same time have a graven image laid upon it. If the sacrifice upon the cross is wrong then God cannot accept it, and if the sacrifice is correct but the altar is wrong he cannot accept that either.

 

1 Kings 18:23-32 (KJV) 23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:

30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.

Both the false prophets and Elijah had the same sacrifice but the altars were different. Elijah had to tear down the altar that the false prophets used to sacrifice their “bullock” upon and rebuilt it properly. This is an example of people having the correct image (Christ) but a false idol (cross).

 

Leviticus 10:1-10 (KJV) 1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;

 

Nadab and Abihu both offered strange fire (false image) upon the “holy” censer (correct altar.) People can believe in the correct altar (cross) but if they have who Christ is wrong then the sacrifice will be improper. They are worshipping a false image upon the cross.

 

Many in the world today incorporate both a false idol and graven image. These people are not limited to “non-Christians” either, but could fall under the Christian title as well. Both Christ and the cross must be both properly understood.

 

 

 

[1] Leviticus 14:20And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

[2] Isaiah 57:6 (KJV) 6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?

[3] Numbers 23:2 (KJV) 2 And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.

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Are Apostles Still Sent?

Apostles

Are apostles sent?

What is the role of apostles? Are apostles now presently sent to the church? Who are apostles? We have romantic ideas concerning this office as our imaginations run wild thinking about the Apostles Paul, Peter, John, and others. These few men changed their world, and are continuing to affect our lives today. God worked great miracles through them, and through their hand, wrote great verses in canon. The greatest revelation of “Christ and him crucified” comes through Apostle Paul’s letters. Even the “deepest revelators” presently in the church are still trying to grasp Apostle Paul’s message.

There is a great dissention within the church as to whether Christ is still sending apostles. In the past no one claimed to be an apostle therefore these questions have been unanswered. We cannot ignore them anymore. As a Baptist child I was taught that apostles had fulfilled their work and because of this, they are no longer needed, and not being sent. A seasoned believer made this statement “we do not need apostles anymore, because we have the Holy Spirit.” This idea is a presumed belief and no biblical doctrine supports this idea.

To find biblical truth, we must set aside all presumed beliefs. “John 16:13  the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” Our own beliefs hinder the “Spirit of truth.” Often the Lord has to tear down our unfounded doctrines before he can build us up. The Lord sends storms against our “houses” testing the doctrines that hold it up. As the house falls it reveals truth. “2 Corinthians 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner…” The fall is not for our destruction but to bring us to repentance. As the Lord builds us up and tears us down we “grow in grace in the knowledge of the Lord.” The building up and tearing down of our “houses” will continue until the day of the Lord. Truth evolves within us as the Lord tears down our presumed beliefs. Truth is absolute, but we are not absolute.

 

Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 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:…

 

Apostles are one part of a fivefold gift that Christ gave the church. Most all churches believe evangelists, pastors and teachers have a part in the body and, depending on the denomination, prophets as well. The Lord states that he will continue sending apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers “till we all come in the unity of faith… unto a perfect man…” We are still looking forward to this fulfillment. “The perfecting of the saints” is a continuing work until the resurrection. Believers should quit inserting personal understanding on “who” the church needs. Whatever the denomination, believers cannot deny these verses.

 

1 Corinthians 12:27-30 (KJV)

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28 And God hath set some in the church, first (place, order, or time i.e. chief [primary source]) apostles,secondarily (“Derived from what is primary or original: a secondary source http://www.thefreedictionary.com) prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, help, governments, diversities of tongues.

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

 

We should not make the mistake of thinking that apostles, prophets, teachers, etc… come in a linear order of time. This logic does not fit, because if we were to limit the apostles to just the beginning of the church then we must apply this logic to the rest of the passage. As stated before many denominations believe in prophets but if we follow the error of this reasoning, then the time of the prophets should have come and gone. Also, the evangelist and pastor are not mentioned in this passage. Where are they? Should we cast teachers aside after their “allotted” time has come and gone?

 

1 Corinthians 12:20-21 (KJV)

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

 

This verse shows the error of the following statement “that there is no need for the apostles anymore,” because it clearly states the opposite. Members of his body cannot declare who belongs and who does not. All parts of the body are just as necessary now, as in ages past. Furthermore, because of unbelief and absence of apostles the church has suffered greatly.  

 

1 Corinthians 12:26 (KJV)

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

 

I believe from the death of the Apostle John in 100 AD until now there have been only a few apostles within the Church. There can never be apostles such as Peter or John that literately walked with Christ; however, if we take Peters requirement for an apostle then Paul was not an apostle. 

“Paul, though he had seen the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 9:1; 1 Cor. 15:8, had not ‘companied with’ the Twelve ‘all the time’ of His earthly ministry, and hence was not eligible for a place among them, according to Peter’s description of the necessary qualifications, ‘Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.’ Paul was commissioned directly, by the Lord Himself, after His Ascension, to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles.”                                                                                                                                        Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words

 

The commissioning of apostles should not be a question, because all biblically evidence proves the case. Christ is personally commissioning apostles and sending them into the church today. When we have removed our preconceived ideas and look solely to scripture for answers, then we can begin to understand truth. Ephesians chapter four states that God will give some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, if pastors are accepted then apostles should be as well. We must lay aside the traditions of men and look solely to scripture for answers.

Now that we have established that apostles have a part within church, we need to understand the role that apostles have in the church. By better understanding the role of apostles we can know the difference between true apostles and false apostles. Most true apostles are doing their best to biblically fulfill their function. We must understand that true apostles can have a false doctrine, but that false doctrine does not make them false apostles. Presently, there are true pastors that have false doctrine within their teachings, but that does not make them false pastors. These ministers are doing their best to obey God and fulfill their calling. The false doctrine that has been mingled within truth in their ministries is because of ignorance.

 

Through the passage of time the biblical role of apostles had been lost. Their roles were not necessary to understand, because they were not prevalent in the church. This is one of the reasons why the majority of the church does not believe in the “sent apostle.” It is not an easy task to understand the calling of apostles, because the body lacks teaching on this office. The absence of this office in the body has made it difficult to be “re-established.” We must take deliberate steps of establishment as this office grows within the body of Christ.

 

The fivefold gift

Hebrews 3:1 (KJV)

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest (“chief priest” was often used in the “Old Testament”) of our profession, Christ Jesus;

One of the best ways to discover any office is to look at Christ’s ministry. His (Christ’s) life illustrates the function of pastors, teachers, prophets, and apostles. When Christ came to a well in Samaria he met a woman who called him a “prophet.” “John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.” Nicodemus referred to Christ as a teacher, “John 3:2 …Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God.” The great book of Hebrews refers to him as a pastor, “Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd (pastor) of the sheep…” An evangelist, according the Strong’s Concordance, is a preacher of the gospel (cross of Christ), and a “bringer of glad tidings.” Christ exemplifies an evangelist, “Luke 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he (Christ) went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God.” Therefore, we can learn the role of apostles by Christ’s example.

The word apostle means a delegate (“a person designated to act for or represent another or others”Dictionary.com); specially an ambassador (“a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative” Dictionary.com) of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ [“apostle”] (with miraculous powers):- apostle, messenger, he that is sent.

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

 

John 4:34 (KJV)

“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Christ’s duty, as Chief Apostle, was to deliver the will of God. He (Christ) was manifest in the flesh to take away sin by the cross. God’s will was for Christ to come and go to the cross, “John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.”

From the Strong’s definition of an “apostle,” we can see why the book of Hebrews refers to Christ as an apostle. An apostle is one that is sent to perform a specific task, and Christ was sent to fulfill the “task” of the cross.

 

John 13:15-16 (KJV)

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

 

As Christ was washing the apostles’ feet at the last supper, he states “ye should do as I have done to you.” Christ’s mission was the cross, and everything he did revolved around that purpose. He (Christ) performed no work through his own strength but allowed the Spirit to work. Apostles who are sent have a mission similar to Christ’s mission, and their mission is the cross of Christ. An apostle that is on “another” mission is one not to be trusted.

 

John 10:15 (KJV)

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

 

In John 13:15-16 Christ said he gave an example to the apostles. What is this example? John 10:15 answers this question, “I lay down my life for the sheep.” This is in reference to what Christ would do at the cross. The “cornerstone” of our faith is the laying down of Christ’s life. Everything in Christianity is based and held up by the death of Jesus Christ.

 

Ephesians 2:20-22 (KJV)

20 And are built upon the foundation (the cross i.e. the laying down of Christ’s life) of the apostles and prophets (These two office help lay the foundation), Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone (An interesting side note is that “stones” can represent offices of apostles and prophets, and by knowing this attribute we can apply it throughout scripture such as in Joshua 8:31 “…it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.” The true biblical alter is always an Old Testament type of the cross i.e. the foundation spoken of in Ephesians. Altars consist of more than one stone! Another example is in Nehemiah 4:2 “…will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?” Nehemiah built the broken walls of Jerusalem with these “burnt stones” that otherwise were overlooked, walked over, and thought of as trash. The office that has been “burnt” and overlooked, God is using to repair the breach in the church.);

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also (This signifies that everyone has a part within the whole house of God.) are builded together for an habitation of God (Instructions on the wilderness tabernacle were given to Moses so that God could have a “habitation” among them. “Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” The Lord can only dwell in a “completed” sanctuary. Jesus Christ is the completed temple of God, and the church represents that temple on earth. A church that “excludes” certain members is an “incomplete” temple)through the Spirit.

I believe this verse is what “separates” the ministry of apostles and prophets from evangelists, pastors and teachers. Apostles and prophets are foundational offices. To clarify, evangelists, pastors and teachers have the foundational message within their ministry, but the primary focus is different. Evangelists bring people to the way (cross of Christ), pastors have a burning heart to shepherd i.e. protect the people as they walk in the way of Christ, and teachers instruct believers as they walk in the way. The ministries of apostles and prophets lay and establish the foundation for the church. A hallmark of apostles is the laying down of the foundation.

 

Ephesians 3:3-5 (KJV)

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery (There is only one mystery and that is Jesus Christ and him crucified.); (as I wrote afore in few words,

4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

 

Unless scripture is wrong the mystery of God is NOW revealed. “Now” means at the present time or moment. God reveals the mystery of the cross to “his holy apostles and prophets.” Here again, the great mystery, “which in other ages was not known,” is the cross of Christ. Apostles correct a church that has veered off course. They also explain misunderstandings of the cross of Christ to a somewhat ignorant church. The present day church understands the cross relative to salvation, but past that understanding is ignorant. When a believer thinks they know all there is to know about the cross, they know very little.

As we learn the role of apostles we should not compare it to the ministries of evangelists and pastors, because they are vastly different; however, apostles and prophets are closer in relation. These ministries are both foundational offices, and by knowing the similarities and differences between these two ministries we can gain some insight into the role of apostles. One of the few differences of apostles and prophets is the receiving and giving of the cross. Prophets speak inspired words that come down from the father of lights above. Apostles can speak by inspiration but also they bodily receive and express the gospel (cross of Christ).  

 

Apostles demonstrate the power of the cross as it manifests in their bodies. Paul declares that the marks of the Lord are in his body “Galatians 6:17 …for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Those marks are for demonstration i.e. manifestation of spirit and power.

 

1 Corinthians 2:4 (KJV)

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration (“manifestation” Strong’s; “a ‘showing’ forth or display [to show or exhibit; make visible; to unfold, spread out Dictionary.com], by the operation of the Spirit of God in him, as affecting the hearts and lives of his hearers, in contrast to the attempted methods of proof by rhetorical arts and philosophic arguments.”Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words) of the Spirit and of power(According to 1 Corinthians 1:18 the power is preaching the cross of Christ):

Demonstrating the cross is what separates true apostles from false apostles. This demonstration goes beyond words but a tangible and experiential example of the cross. The primary belief of most “misled” apostles’ is that they need to expound great revelations. Apostles have put too much pressure upon themselves to receive and explain “unrevealed” mysteries of God. “Pulling things out of the air” is a major fault in circles of both apostles and prophets. I should not single them out either, because many church leaders follow their denominational teaching because it feels right. “There is nothing new under the sun” goes the preacher of Ecclesiastes. There is no NEW REVELATION because all has been revealed by the manifestation of Jesus Christ.He (Christ) is the revelation. Apostles interpret that revelation to the church (I will biblically prove this point using both the Old and New Testaments.) Paul proclaims his apostleship in 1 Corinthians 9:1.

 

1 Corinthians 9:1 (KJV)

Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

 

Two thousand years ago Christ walked this earth with his chosen apostles, and after his death he appeared to them on many different occasions. Christ also appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus calling him to the office of apostle, but many years would pass before Paul and the other apostles understood the mystery. All mysteries are revealed by the manifestation of Christ, and Christ manifests himself to his apostles. Every generation needs apostles for this reason.

Only by the revelation of Jesus Christ can anyone hope to grasp the mystery of God. Revelation is imputed to people by the manifestation of Christ. The manifestation of Christ is the demonstration Paul is referring to in 1 Corinthians 2:4. Apostles manifest the revelation of Christ to the church, and by this “demonstration” individuals can begin to fully understand the true mystery of God. The mystery of God is the cross of Christ, and apostles both show and explain that mystery.

 

John 14:19 (KJV) Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. John 16:16 (KJV) A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

The revelation did not come to the “world” when Christ first manifested in the flesh. The world did not know or understand Christ’s purpose, and the apostles did not grasp what he (Christ) was there to do. It was only after the cross, when Christ appeared to his disciples, that they began to grasp the meaning of his life. Christ’s first appearing brings the revelation i.e. the manifestation, but his appearing after death starts to bring understanding to the revelation. It took three and half years of constant revelation and only forty days after the passion to begin to understand what he revealed. Only then was Peter was able to stand up at Pentecost and declare “this is that spoken of by the prophet Joel.”

 

Acts 1:1-3 (KJV) 1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up (Before Christ ascended into the cloud he taught all the disciples including those who were not apostles.), after that (ascension) he (Christ) through the Holy Ghost(i.e. the Holy Spirit or comforter) had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen (“many are called but few are chosen;” God’s chief messengers are chosen and “sent” apostles, and he communicates to his church through these emissaries): 3 To whom also he shewed (This “second” appearing is not an open appearing but only to the chosen apostles) himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

What things did Christ speak of those forty days to his apostles? Scripture can answer this question as well. While two disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus, Christ appears to them and begins to explain scripture.

 

Luke 24:27 (KJV) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

These disciples, upon learning that the man who explained scripture was the Lord, ran back to join the rest of the disciples. Christ then reveals himself to the disciples by showing them the wounds in his body, and in turn opens up the disciples’ understanding.

 

Luke 24:36-39 (KJV) 36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38… 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.                                                                                                    

 

Luke 24:45(KJV) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

During those forty days Christ was opened to the understanding of his apostles. These apostles walked with Christ for over three years and could not grasp the revelation (Christ is the revelation) he showed them. After the passion their understanding could begin to be opened. It is by the cross that revelation and understanding now comes to his apostles and prophets. His apostles and prophets then show that revelation and understanding to the church.

We know that apostles have the manifestation and explanation of Christ within their lives as evidenced in the life of the Apostle John.

 

Revelation 1:1 (KJV) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him (the Apostle John), to shew(i.e. to expose to the eyes) unto his servants (followers of Christ) things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ” is the only true revelation and Apostles Peter, John, and Paul both testify to this truth.

 

PaulGalatians 1:12 (KJV) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

Peter: 1 Peter 1:13 (KJV) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

The phrase “which God gave unto him,” indicates to Apostle John, but as the above verses clearly proves, John was not the only one that received “the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 

2 Corinthians 12:4 (KJV) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

 

I believe Peter and Paul were witnesses just as John was. There are a couple of similarities between Paul’s passage and a few passages in the Book of Revelation. In Revelation 4:1 John was told to “come up” similar to Paul being “caught up into paradise.” Paul also heard words that are “not lawful for a man to utter.” The Apostle John had a comparable incident in Revelation 10:4 when he heard the “seven thunders.” He tried to write the words he had heard but he was instructed to “seal them up.” I believe Paul and John’s revelations are one in the same.

 

Apostles are Mediators

Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and men. “1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” “Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” A mediator is one that reconciles differences between two parties. In the Old Covenant, Moses was a mediator between God and the Jewish people, and both parties had requirements to fulfill. Jesus Christ as the mediator reconciles the differences between God and men. In Galatians 3:20 Paul shows us that between two parties there is a mediator, but goes on asserting “but God is one.” In the New Covenant Christ mediates between both parties, and being both God and “the man” fulfills the requirements of each one. Christ therefore mediates between “himself” and “himself” i.e. “but God is one.” 

To reiterate the definition of apostle, the word means a delegate; specially an ambassador of the Gospel.

 

2 Corinthians 5:20 (KJV) Now then we (apostles) are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseechyou by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

An ambassador is a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative. Sent apostles represent Christ in the world, but not all apostles are “sent.” The original apostles that physically walked with Christ were not sent until the foundation was laid in their hearts, and within each individual apostle the foundation has to be laid before he too can be sent.

“Un-sent” apostles frequently misunderstand their purpose. The original apostles taught us this lesson in Luke 9:54-55 And when his disciples James and John (some of the original apostles) saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he (Christ) turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” Those that are called to be apostles will exhibit this type of behavior (called to be prophets should not be excluded from this).   

 

There may be some that are having a hard time believing that apostles represent Christ in the world. Paul declares in Philippians 1:23-24 that he wanted to “depart, and be with Christ,” but he knew he needed to represent Christ to the world and the church.

Philippians 1:23-24 (KJV) 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

This passage is the very definition of “being sent.” Paul writes that he has “a desire to depart and to be with Christ.” Logically if Paul wants to depart and be with Christ then he was not with Christ at that moment, but was an emissary for Christ. An apostle is someone that is sent from Christ to the world.  

When Paul prayed “be reconciled to God” his prayer could not reconcile anyone, but it was the gift he was offering that brings reconciliation. The gift that he was offering is the slain lamb. Sent apostles, as Christ’s representatives, are empowered to negotiate peace to a hostile world. God is not hostile towards us, i.e. the world, but we are enemies towards Him. It takes sent apostles to help navigate believers from a carnal mind unto a spiritual mind.     

 

“A ‘priest’ is an authorized minister of deity who officiates at the altar and in other cultic rites. A ‘priest’ performs sacrificial, ritualistic, and mediatorial (“Characteristic of a mediator” Dictionary.com) duties; he represents the people before God. By contrast, a ‘prophet’ is an intermediary (“mediator” Dictionary.com) between God and the people.”                                                                                                                                     

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words

 

The role of evangelists, pastors and teachers is like that of a priest. They are “mediators” between people and God. In other words, a pastor would stand before God for his congregation. Prophets and apostles being similar in duties are “mediators” between God and people. They are God’s representatives to the congregation. Sent apostles “face” the people, whereas pastors “face” God. Un-sent apostles are “facing” God until they are sent. Sent apostles also function as “high priests” representing people before God.

 

Types of Apostles in the Old Testament

 

To have a better understanding of apostles we must understand their role in the Old Testament. Paul did not “pull teaching out of the air” but always had a base for his teaching. Knowledge of scripture is not good enough either, because few could contend with Paul’s knowledge. Yet, that knowledge was not sufficient, and until he was “taken up to paradise” for the “second appearing” of Christ, was he able to truly understand. 

The word “apostle” is never used in the Old Testament; however through careful study we can find the definition of apostle throughout Old Testament scripture. A King often sent delegates with messages into foreign lands, hostile nations, and neighboring kingdoms for many purposes. They came in the name of the King wielding words of comfort, reproof, and condolence. Princes would send them to interpret the “wonders” done by the hand of God. Ambassadors were a vital office within kingdoms of old and without them nations and alliances could not have happened.

 

In the Old Testament the word “ambassador” means “a hinge (as pressed in turning); also an errand-doeralso a throe [i.e. pang as in a spasm of pain] (as a physical or mental pressure).” Jesus Christ is the door (John 10:19) and doors have at least “two hinges.” I believe this could be a picture of apostles and prophets. Apostles and prophets “hang” Christ so that others can plainly see the way.  It is also interesting to note that “pangs” can not only be a physical pain as in child labor, but mental pain as well. This may indicate a believer’s mind being changed from a “carnal” mind towards a “spiritual” mind. A “spiritual” minded person is one that is solely focused upon Jesus Christ and him crucified.

The Hebrew word “ambassador” originates from a root word meaning “to cramp, i.e. confine (in many applications, literal, and figurative, formative or hostile).” The “cramping” may be an indication of the pregnancy pains of birth that a woman experiences, but throughout scripture this root word is used to convey the idea of an enemy pressing inward against a fortification. We can see this type of usages in passages such as 2 Kings 24:11“And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.” The Apostle Paul travail in birth for the Galatians.

 Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Moses was an Old Testament type of an apostle. On the top of the mountain God gave Moses a message to deliver to Pharaoh.

 

Exodus 3:10 (KJV) Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

 

Moses was destined to be used by God to bring “his people” out of bondage, but it took many years on the backside of the desert before this would happen. Only after Moses ascends the Mountain top and has an encounter with God (“seeing” the bush that “burnt but was not consumed”) was he able to go into Egypt. Many years before this heavenly vision, Moses tried to fulfill his calling by delivering a fellow countryman from the hands of an Egyptian.

 

Acts 7:24-25 (KJV) 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he (Moses) defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he (Moses) supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.

While Moses was “un-sent” he could do nothing for God, but when God sent him then he was able to lead the nation out of bondage. Moses seeing God in the bush and his “backside” was truly an Old Testament apostle.

 

There are numerous passages in the Old Testament that refer to “messengers” and “ambassadors.” If we look at the passage in 2 Samuel 10:1-5 we can utilize multiple functions of ambassadors within a few verses instead of going through all the different passages that reference them.

2 Samuel 10:1-5 (KJV) 1 And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 2 Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants (The King sends ambassadors to comfort king Hanun on his loss; apostles are sent to comfort the church) for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon (These ambassadors traveled into a “foreign land,” and apostles are sent into “foreign” land.). 3 And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it (The king’s heart believed that the ambassadors were going to try and “overthrow” the city. In verse 2 David states the reason for sending those ambassadors, it was to “show kindness” to the new king. When God sends an apostle to a congregation it is to bless and show favor to them. Sadly, the heart of many pastors is akin to king Hanun. I personally believe that the heart of these pastors is not necessary evil, but that they are “uneducated” in the role of apostles.)? 4 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away (This was a great offence done towards King David. How kingdoms receive ambassadors is a reflection on how they receive the one who sent the ambassadors. “John 13:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send [apostles according to the strong’s concordance are “sent” and therefore apostles] receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” Sent apostles can either be received or rejected. Even If a person does not believe in apostles they should take careful steps in regards to how they receive them because if a sent apostle comes to a congregation and is rejected, then that congregation has rejected the one who sent him. Also, In the culture of this time, men who had beards were free, and King Hanun treated them like slaves when he shaved their beards. Ambassadors are always free men and the treatment of them should be with the courtesies afforded to that position. The King does not send “house servants” or “slaves” but “noblemen” to meet foreign dignitaries. 1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? Sent apostles are “free.”). 5 When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, andthen return.

 

Numbers 20:14-18 (KJV) 14 And Moses sent messengers (Strong’s definition means messengers, but also “angel,” and “ambassadors.” Moses sent these messengers or ambassadors to solicit favors from the King of Edom. Ambassadors are sometimes sent to certain congregation needing “help” to get to their destination.) from Kadesh (A word meaning “sanctuary” and the children of Israel had taken a temporary sanctuary while they sent ambassadors to the King of Edom. For a congregation to processed continually forward apostles are needed at the forefront.) unto the king of Edom  (Edomites originate from the elder twin-brother of Jacob; From what we know about sanctification, Esau represents the first nature of all human beings, and he is akin to “first” Adam in that he is “red” and “ruddy.”), Thus saith thy brother Israel (The reason why Moses refers to the Edomites as brother is because both Edom and Israel come from the loin’s of Isaac.), Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us: 15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers: 16 And when we cried unto the LORD (The whole congregation fervently prayed to the Lord for deliverance and help.), he heard our voice, and sent an angel(Although in this case the Hebrew word is rendered “angel,” it is the same word that is also used for “messenger” and “ambassadors.” When a local congregation “cries” unto the Lord, he will send an apostle or prophet to them to help them transition from one place to another. Congregations desiring to move into the promises of God need an apostle and/or prophet to help them. Also, when the Lord wants to move a congregation to transform to“higher heights” he sends an apostle.), and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh (As mentioned before Kadesh means “sanctuary” but this is a temporary sanctuary.), a city in the uttermost of thy border: 17 Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country (Although “Kadesh” can be thought of as a “holy place” it is not the promise. Before they can enter into the promise land they have to traverse through surrounding lands and it takes apostles to navigate through the land.): we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king’s high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders. 18 And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword (Even having the five-fold gift of God within the body the way is never easy. God has a prescribed order of victory but there will still be difficulty. A church that does not walk in the prescribed order has no chance of attaining what God has for them).

 

The Present Day Condition of the “Apostle-less” Church

 

Proverbs 13:17 (KJV) A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.

Apostles are “health” to the church and without them a church cannot be healthy. In the Strong’s Concordance the Hebrew word “health” means cure, medicine, deliverance, and placidity. Sent apostles are medicine to sick congregation. They are deliverance to those held captive, and bring a calming hand to an upturned church.

Without sent apostles in the church the body will be left sick. We are left with a church full of wounds and sores that have been closed or bound up. The Lord shows us the sick body in the first chapter of Isaiah.

 

Isaiah 1:5-6 (KJV) 5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it;but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

Finally, we must open our eyes and take ownership in regards to the present condition of the church today. Time and time again Apostles have been sent, yet they are turned away by unbelievers. Without Apostles declaring the way of God, the church will remain scattered and the will of God unknown. There are many who are called to be Apostles if they would only submit unto God and embrace the cross. Scripture is the written truth of God, and the human heart and mind cannot begin to comprehend that revelation. We must all come to a point in our lives to lay aside our personal ideas and beliefs so that God can reveal unto us the way of the cross.

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Idols: Baal and the Golden Calf

We are the worst idols that can ever be, making God into something he isn’t, speaking words that He has never uttered, making God after our image and imagination! Why is this? We all read in scripture about Baal, the golden calf, and many others; but have we ever considered the possibility that we may worship a Baal, or that we may have even made a golden calf? Of course not, but, whereas we can recognize that the people in the Bible that worshipped Baal or had made the golden calf were wrong, we totally miss that we are doing the same things today. We forget that both believer and unbeliever had made a figure that represented a much higher being—“God” or rather “god”—and we are all just as they were. Whether we call ourselves a follower of the faith or an unbeliever, “Gentile and Jew” are no different them they were! Oh, NO! Brother Johnson, I have not built a calf! I worship the true God! And I would reply, “Do you not think they believed with all their hearts that they did, too? That Baal was the true god of heaven? Or that the calf was a symbol of the god that brought them out of Egypt?”

So we sit in churches and say, “I follow the true God.” But in reality we have built a calf or we follow Baal instead of the God of heaven. We say, “I feel the spirit, though.” When people of like minds and passions gather together to do anything, that “feeling” will be there. We cannot go by feeling, nor sight, nor even sound! We can’t follow our heart because it will deceive us, we can’t follow our mind because it has ALREADY led us astray. So…that leaves us: blind, deaf, and dumb! We ARE that very IDOL that the scripture speaks against! We are Baal, we are the golden calf, and every other false god in the Bible! But there is HOPE because if a person can realize this much about himself, then there is a possibility for the true light of the gospel to shine into our lives, showing us the TRUE GOD, not Baal, but HIM that is ABOVE ALL!
Amos 3:7 “… God… Revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Only one secret! Not many! And if a person has been shown this secret, then he can answer all questions of scripture. This is TRUE enlightenment, not one that is based upon a man, but upon a God, a doctrine that isn’t from man but from Him.

To recap and for clarity: if a person believes that he or she is following the true God because of the teaching of any certain church or assembly of any nature or religion, then it is Baal. Baal being just one of the major false gods in scripture represents a vast majority of people who believe a doctrine or teaching that is wrong, even though it may be “based” on scripture. For one extreme example, think of all the wars that have happened in the name of “God”, and so Baal is more of a group following. And if a person does not partake in the before mentioned but has “come out”, knowing that something is missing or wrong but establishes his own doctrine, then it is a golden calf, making god into what he or she imagines (even if it’s “based” on scripture), or an individual’s faith. Just having faith doesn’t cut it, because even the devils believe and are still damned. If a person would ask me if I had faith, my response would be, “No.” “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” and we know that there was only one that pleased him: “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus IS faith, and it is HIS faith that keeps me. “The just shall live by faith”, Jesus is just, and I am unjust; it is He that died for me, “The just (Jesus) died for the unjust (me)”. Think about it, how many times have you seen “people” doing things to get God to do something, praying long prayers, doing some sort of work because they have to have “faith with works”, or anything else. The false prophets of Baal jumped up and down on the altar, praying fervently, cutting themselves, and there stood one man of God that mocked them, laughed at them!

Pastors often say, “You destroyed in one message what took years to build”. The house will fall if it’s not built upon the rock but upon sand (the sand being believers, followers of the faith, children of Abraham, etc…). Even if the house stands for years, decades, it’s going to fall if it’s built upon the sand. There just hasn’t been a strong storm yet, the wind really hasn’t blown yet. So, if it falls now or in thirty years doesn’t matter if it’s going to happen, But if it’s built solely upon Him—not Him and other things—it will stand. For example: a church preaches a jesus but includes other things one must perform as well…maybe not for salvation, but to get “blessed”, or keep from being “cursed”, or for “healing”, or for the saving of a family member. The list goes on and on.
One of The Biggest Mistakes that we can make is when we read into scripture what we want it to say. For example: Romans 8:9 says, “but Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.” Upon reading, this we therefore say “I am in the Spirit, not in the flesh” all because we read “YE”/”YOU”/”ME”. The word of God is complete but I am incomplete! Although the word of God is trying to work in me, I must yield to it. If I say that I am in the Spirit when in reality I am in the flesh all because of reading that verse, then how can I allow Him to work in this area of my life if I think it’s not broken? This is applied over and over again throughout scripture.
My purpose is to shake the house, not for your destruction, but upon the fall, salvation can be had. We all read the same Bible yet there are many faiths, doctrines, etc; there is only one doctrine, one faith. ONE! A body has many members that perform different functions and the body is made up of many cells, but within each cell a person can find DNA and that DNA, my friend, is the same throughout the body! How can a body work together if it wasn’t? ONE GOSPEL, ONE DOCTRINE, ONE FAITH, ONE GOD, ONE ONE ONE ONE…and so we can now go on to know the ONE secret!

Umm… if you don’t know it yet, read your Bible better.

Let’s truly examine ourselves, question whether we are doing what is right…or what has been taught. Step back and take a good look.

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