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Answering the Charge of “Replacement Theology”

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 10, 2016

Introduction

In this post, I will endeavor to answer the false charge of “replacement theology.” Those who charge thus do not understand the following truths in Scripture:

  1.  God made a distinction between faithful and unfaithful Israel. Only the remnant (faithful Israel) would be saved.
  2.  Faithful Israel has always included Gentiles
  3.  The Old Covenant (with Israel) has been replaced with the New Covenant (with Israel).
  4.  Faithful Israel was not replaced, but carried into the New Covenant, where it remains to this day:
    a. The Olive Tree into which both Jews and Gentiles can be grafted by faith
    b. The foundation of the New Covenant Temple, which is the Lord’s Body
  5.  Unfaithful Israel has been “cut off” from faithful Israel, just as the Lord promised in the Old Testament. The kingdom was given to faithful Israel, which includes all Gentiles who join themselves to the God of Israel.

We will look at each of these points in more detail.

God Made a Distinction Between Faithful and Unfaithful Israel

God’s distinctions between faithful and unfaithful Israel can be seen in the following verses. Please do look them up!

Faithful Israel is beloved of God–Ex. 15:13; Deut. 33:3; Ezra 3:11
Unfaithful Israel is not beloved of God–Lev. 3:16; Jer. 12:8; Jer. 16:5; Hos. 9:15

Faithful Israel is the children of God–Exo. 4:22; Deut. 14:1; Isa. 1:2,4; Isa. 63:8; Hos. 11:1
Unfaithful Israel is not the children of God–Deut. 32:5; John 8:39-44

Faithful Israel is the kingdom of God–Exo. 19:6; 1 Chr. 17:14; 1 Chr. 28:5
Unfaithful Israel is not the kingdom of God–Matt. 8:11-12; Matt. 21:43

Faithful Israel is the people of God–Exo. 6:7; Deut. 27:9; 2 Sam. 7:23; Jer. 11:4
Unfaithful Israel is not the people of God–Hos. 1:9;  Jer. 5:10

Faithful Israel was the priests of God–Exo. 19:6
Unfaithful Israel was not the priests of God–1 Sam. 2:28-30; Lam. 4:13-16; Eze. 44:10-13; Hos. 4:6; Mal. 2:2-9

Faithful Israel was the vineyard/vine of God–Isa. 5:3-7; Jer. 12:10
Unfaithful Israel was not the vine of God (it was a degenerate, alien vine)–Jer. 2:21

Faithful Israel was an Olive Tree–Psa. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6
Unfaithful Israel was not the Olive Tree (but branches to be consumed)–Jer. 11:16

Faithful Israel was the Bride of God–Isa. 54:5-6; Jer. 2:2; Eze. 16:32; Hos. 1:2
Unfaithful Israel was not the Bride of God–Jer. 3:8; Hos. 2:2

Faithful Israel was counted as the children of Abraham–2 Chr. 20:7; Psa. 105:6; Isa. 41:8
Unfaithful Israel was not counted as the children of Abraham–John 8:39; Rom. 9:6-7; Gal. 4:25-30

Faithful Israel was chosen–Deut. 7:7, 10:15, 14:2; Isa. 43:20,21
Unfaithful Israel was not chosen–Deut. 31:17; 2 Ki. 17:20; 2 Chr. 25:7; Psa. 78:59; Jer. 6:30; Jer. 7:29, 14:10

Faithful Israel was circumcised in heart–Gen. 17:10; Deut. 30:6
Unfaithful Israel was not circumcised in heart–Jer. 4:4, 9:25-26; Rom. 2:25-29

As you can see, God has always made a distinction between faithful and unfaithful Israel. Another term designating “faithful Israel” is “the remnant.” Isaiah wrote:

For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness. (Isa. 10:22)

Paul, in quoting Isaiah, equated Israel’s “returning” with “being saved.”

Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. (Rom. 9:27)

Faithful Israel has always included Gentiles

Israel was never a “pure race,” as some teach, but a people who were called to worship God from a pure heart. Please read Gentiles Included in Old Testament Israel  in order to understand this.

The Old Covenant (with Israel) has been replaced by the New Covenant (with Israel).

Yes, in this case, there has been a replacement!

Dispensationalism attempts to have the old and new Covenants operating at the same time. This is false doctrine at its finest, for the writer of Hebrews states that the old Covenant has been rendered obsolete (Heb. 8:13). Now that the Lamb of God has been slain, He is forever the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:11-15). As a sign that the New Covenant was now in operation, the temple veil ripped from top to bottom at His death, opening the new and living way….through the veil, that is His flesh (Matt. 27:51; Heb. 10:19-20). There is no other way to the Father but through Jesus Christ.

Many people do not realize the New Covenant was made with Israel and Judah! (Jer. 3:31-34) That is, it was made with the faithful of Israel and Judah, for the unfaithful were blinded and stumbled because of their disobedience (I Pet. 2:6-8). Therefore any Gentile who enters the New Covenant, is now a citizen of the Commonwealth of [faithful] Israel (Eph. 2:12-18).

When Jacob blessed his sons just before dying, he prophesied that the scepter would not depart from Judah UNTIL Shiloh (Jesus) came. At that point, the gathering of the people (God’s faithful Israel) would be to Jesus.

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. (Gen. 49:10)

Jesus is King of kings. He has claimed David’s throne, and rules faithful Israel from Mount Zion forever (Isa. 9:6-7). The obedience of God’s people is to Him (not to Judah). Those who have not gathered to Him are not in covenant with God.

Faithful Israel was NOT replaced, but carried into the New Covenant, where it remains to this day.

a. Faithful Israel remains the Olive Tree into which both Jews and Gentiles can be grafted by faith

For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (Rom. 11:16-24)

The root of the olive tree is holy because the root is faithful/obedient Israel! Unfaithful Israel was cut off, just as God promised. God does not graft us (believing Gentiles) into an unholy people, for we can have no fellowship with darkness. If the unholy repent of their unbelief, they can be grafted in.

I beg you to see that no “replacement” is being taught here. Faithful Israel has never been replaced. The throne of David is occupied by an eternal King. The faithful Israel of God has increased by the influx of people from all nations, just as God had always planned.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote about how Gentiles could be established “in the midst” of Israel–

And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. (Jer. 12:16)

And so they have!

b. Faithful Israel remains the foundation of the New Covenant Temple, which is the Lord’s Body.

Upon faithful Israel, the new temple was raised, which is the Lord’s Body (the continuation of His Church).

Isaiah testified that foreigners would be gathered to Israel, and must not consider themselves “separate” from God’s people:

Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord speak, saying,
“The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”…Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him others besides those who are gathered to him.” (Isa. 56:3-8)

A foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord is not separate from God’s faithful people, nor has he replaced them. Listen to Paul:

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Eph. 2:11-22)

Faithful Israel, far from being replaced,  is the very foundation of the New Covenant temple (the Church), holding up the entire building. The Church has not replaced faithful Israel, but has been made a partaker in her promises.

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. (Gal. 3:16)
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:29)

Unfaithful Israel has been cut off from faithful Israel, just as God promised.

Unfaithful Israel will not inherit the promises. Ishmael became a symbol of this spiritual truth, according to Paul in Galatians 4. He wrote that the unbelieving Jews/unfaithful Israel shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman (Gal. 4:28-31).

The charge of “replacement theology” largely comes from children of the flesh (Ishmael) persecuting the sons of promise (Isaac) out of jealousy. They despise the idea that Gentiles can be grafted into God’s Israel, while they themselves are cut off due to unbelief. They see things through carnal eyes, trusting in race or nationality, just as many Jews did in Jesus’ day. Nevertheless, God’s Word is true–they are cut off from Israel until they repent and believe. The kingdom has been taken from them and given to a nation bearing the fruits of righteousness (Matt. 21:43). Unfaithful Israel will not be heir with faithful Israel.

How tragic that so many western Christians take up and repeat the delusions of those who have been cut off, twisting the Word of God. They “stand with” the spiritual Ishmael (unfaithful Israel) instead of Isaac (faithful Israel). May God open their eyes.

The doctrine that Unfaithful Israel is in any way accepted by God is antichrist. Jesus struck down this lie in John 8:37-47; Matt. 8:10-12; Matt. 21:33-45. John the Baptist struck it down in Matthew 3:7-12. The apostle John struck it down in 1 John 2:22. Peter struck it down in 1 Pet. 2:4-9. Paul struck it down in too many places to list. Only through repentance and faith in Jesus can a member of unfaithful Israel be translated into faithful Israel (the kingdom of God).

Let us agree with the Word of God, even if others refuse. (See Cut Off for more information.)

Conclusion

I think this quote by Sam Storms perfectly concludes this paper:

Jesus saw the realization of Israel’s true destiny in the circle of his disciples. They are not to be thought of, however, as a “new” Israel, but as the “true” Israel, the “true people of God.” With Jesus’ offer of the kingdom came the fact that acceptance means the realization and fulfillment of the promise. This offer was accepted by the disciples and thus was realized and fulfilled in them. They constituted neither a new Israel nor a separate body of believers: rather, they were the believing remnant within the unbelieving nation.

This “Church” (Matt. 16:18-19), therefore, is not a wholly distinct and completely new creation or purpose of God, separated from his people of the Old Testament, Israel, and in some sense “replacing” them. Rather, the Church of the present age is simply the continuation and maturation of the believing remnant of Israel, namely, the disciples and all others who received Jesus as Messiah. Thus, the fellowship or Church established by Jesus stands not in opposition to but in direct continuity with the Old Testament Israel. This body is “true” Old Testament Israel: the remnant! (Kingdom Come, Sam Storms, p. 343)

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Offering God Service

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 1, 2016

These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. (John 16:1-3)

Jesus foretold a time when unbelieving religious people would persecute Christians, throwing them out of their synagogues and even killing them. The crucifixion of Jesus Himself stands as a stark confirmation of His words.

But it’s interesting that these killings will be done in service to God. Think about that.

Jesus said they do these things because they have not known the Father or Himself. They are trying to serve a God they don’t know, or serving a false god.  Beloved, if you ever hear a voice telling you to kill anyone for God, you can know for sure the voice is not the voice of the Shepherd Jesus. I don’t care how politically correct and widely accepted it might be. I don’t care how many churches condone it (to their eternal shame). I don’t care what the justifications are. If a man knows the Father through Jesus, he will not side with the destroyer against other people.

How many killings today are offered as service to God?

When a Muslim shouts “Allahu Akbar!” while killing, he is plainly saying he is killing for God.

When a “Christian” soldier inscribes Scripture on his machine gun, and agrees to use it on other people, he is saying he is killing for God, or at least with His approval.

How many mothers and fathers in the news have killed their little child, claiming the devil was in him. In their demon-possessed madness, they think they did God service.

New Age religion admits that one day all Bible believers will have to be killed, but they too twist their premeditated murder into a service to God by claiming they are in fact saving the Christians they kill.

Demented abortionists claim that God has given them the calling to kill babies. Link here. (Note: I don’t endorse the catholic theology at that link.)

Over the centuries, nation after nation has claimed that God is on its side, while doing the devil’s works for him. False churches have arisen and proudly harnessed the power of the beast to persecute the righteous. The beast and the false prophet like to work side-by-side. And why not?–The same dragon inspires them both.

There have been comparatively few individuals who loved Jesus and obeyed His commands, laying down their lives for others whatever the cost to themselves. But I praise God–there have always been a few! And their testimonies continue to inspire God’s children today, and to bear fruit that lasts.  Dear Lord Jesus, let me be counted among them.

I hope you will take 5 minutes to watch this re-enactment of a true story. Pray for both the persecuted and the persecutor. How will the persecutor know what true service to God looks like, if we aren’t willing to walk in the steps of Jesus?

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Put Up Thy Sword

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 27, 2016

The following is Chapter 18 from Samuel Logan Brengle’s book, When the Holy Ghost is Come.

The Sheathed Sword: A Law of the Spirit
by Samuel Logan Brengle

‘ Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.’

Just as the moss and the oak are higher in the order of creation than the clod of clay and the rock, the bird and beast than the moss and the oak, the man than the bird and the beast, so the spiritual man is a higher being than the natural man. The sons of God are a new order of being. The Christian is a ‘ new creation ‘. just as there are laws governing the life of the plant, and other and higher laws that of the bird and beast, so there art higher laws for man, and still higher for the Christian. It was with regard to one of these higher laws that govern the heavenly life of the Christian that Jesus said to Peter,’ Put up thy sword.’

Jesus said to Pilate, ‘ My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight’ (John xviii. 36). The natural man is a fighter. It is the law of his carnal nature. He fights with fist and sword, tongue and wit. His kingdom is of this world and he fights for it with such weapons as this world furnishes. The Christian is a citizen of Heaven and is subject to its law, which is universal, wholehearted love. In his Kingdom he conquers not by fighting, but by submitting. When an enemy takes his coat, he overcomes him, not by going to law, but by generously giving him his cloak also. When his enemy compels him to go a mile with him, he vanquishes the enemy by cheerfully going two miles with him. When he is smitten on one check, he wins his foe by meekly turning the other cheek. This is the law of the new life from Heaven, and only by recognizing and obeying it can that new life be sustained and passed on to others. This is the narrow way which leads to life eternal, ‘ and few there be that find it’ or, finding it, are willing to walk in it.

A Russian peasant, Sutajeff. could get no help from the religious teachers of his village, so he learned to read; and while studying the Bible he found this narrow way and walked gladly in it. One night neighbours stole some of his grain, but in their haste or carelessness they left a bag. He found it, and ran after them to restore it ‘for ‘, said he, ‘fellows who have to steal must be hard up.’ And by this Christlike spirit he saved both himself and them, for he kept the spirit of love in his own heart and they were converted and became his most ardent disciples.

A beggar woman to whom he gave lodging stole the bedding and ran away with it. She was pursued by the neighbours, and was just about to be put in prison when Sutajeff appeared, became her advocate, secured her acquittal, and gave her food and money for her journey.

He recognized the law of his new life and gladly obeyed it, and so was not overcome of evil, but persistently and triumphantly overcame evil with good (Rom. xii. 2 1). This is the spirit and method of Jesus; and by men filled with this spirit and following this method He will yet win the world.

He came ‘ not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many’ (Mark x. 45) His spirit is not one of selfseeking, but of self-sacrifice. Some mysterious majesty of His presence or voice so awed and overcame His foes that they went back and fell to the ground before Him in the Garden of His agony, but He meekly submitted Himself to them; and when Peter laid to with his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus said to him, ‘ Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it? ‘ (John xviii. 11). This was the spirit of Isaac. When he digged a well the Philistines strove with his servants for it; so he digged another; and when they strove for that, he removed and digged yet another, ‘ and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth (room); and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. . . . And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed’ (Gen. xxvi.22, 24).

This was the spirit of David when Saul was hunting for his life; twice David could have slain him, and when urged to do so, he said, ‘As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed’ (I Sam. xxvi. I 0 I I).

This was the spirit of Paul. He says, ‘Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat’ (I Cor. iv. 12, 13). ‘The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men ‘ (2 Tim. ii. 24). This is the spirit of our King, this is the law of His kingdom.

Is this your spirit? When you are reviled, bemeaned and slandered, and are tempted to retort, He says to you, ‘ Put up thy sword into the sheath.’ When you are wronged and ill-treated, and men ride rough-shod over you, and you feel it but just to smite back, He says, ‘ Put up thy sword into the sheath.’ ‘ Live peaceably with all men’ (Rom. xii. 18). Your weapons are not carnal, but spiritual, now that you belong to Him and have your citizenship in Heaven. If you fight with the sword; if you retort and smite back when you are wronged, you quench the Spirit; you get out of the narrow way, and your new life from Heaven will perish.

An officer went to a hard corps, and after a while found that his predecessor was sending back to friends for money which his own corps much needed. He felt it to be an injustice and, losing sight of the spirit of Jesus, he made a complaint about it, and the money was returned. But he got lean in his soul. He had quenched the Spirit. He had broken the law of the Kingdom. He had not only refused to give his cloak, but had fought for and secured the return of the coat. He had lost the smile of Jesus, and his poor heart was sad and heavy within him. He came to me with anxious inquiry as to what I thought of his action. I had to admit that the other man had transgressed and that the money ought to be returned, but that he should have been more grieved over the unchristlike spirit of his brother than over the loss of the five dollars, and that like Sutajeff he should have said, ‘ Poor fellow! He must be hard up; I will send him five dollars myself. He has taken my coat, he shall have my cloak too.’ When I told him that story, he came to himself very quickly and was soon back in the narrow way and rejoicing in the smile of Jesus once again.

‘But will not people walk over us, if we do not stand up for our rights?’ you ask. I do not argue that you are not to stand up for your rights; but that you are to stand up for your higher rather than your lower rights, the rights of your heavenly life rather than your earthly life, and that you are to stand up for your rights in the way and spirit of Jesus rather than in the way and spirit of the world.

If men wrong you intentionally, they wrong themselves far worse than they wrong you; and if you have the spirit of Jesus in your heart you will pity them more than you pity yourself. They nailed Jesus to the Cross and hung Him up to die; they gave Him gall and vinegar to drink; they cast votes for His seamless robe, and divided His garments between them, while the crowd wagged their heads at Him and mocked Him. Great was the injustice and wrong they were inflicting upon Him, but He was not filled with anger, only pity. He thought not of the wrong done Him, but of the wrong they did themselves, and their sin against His heavenly Father, and He prayed not for judgment upon them, but that they might be forgiven, and He won them, and is winning and will win the world. Bless God!

‘By mercy and truth iniquity is purged,’ wrote Solomon (Prov. xvi. 6). ‘ Put up thy sword into the sheath ‘, and take mercy and truth for your weapons, and God will be with you and for you, and great shall be your victory and joy. Hallelujah!

‘HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? ‘

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Victims and Violence

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 8, 2016

The Justification of Violence in our Culture

On one hand, we are told that violence solves nothing.

But on the other hand…

Survival of the fittest, anyone? Only the strong survive? Isn’t every child taught this doctrine in school (unless he is fortunate enough to be homeschooled by God-fearing parents)?

A violent “medical procedure,” in which a child is dismembered, can solve a world of problems for a pregnant teenage girl, can’t it?  The victim is sucked away and hidden from view, and the girl is told she made a choice to keep her life uncomplicated.

Television and movies indicate that violence does indeed solve a whole lot of problems. We are groomed to love the main character in the first half of the show, and to see him as a clear victim. By the time he uses violence to right all wrongs, we fully support whatever he does. Filming techniques can make violence appear incredibly cool. The bad guy is justly punished. (Justice is a biblical thing, but it’s a rare film that depicts people trusting God to bring about justice.) It’s just entertainment, right?

Anyone else see conflicting messages here?

When siblings squabble, parents sometimes correct them. But if a child is bullied, the parent tells him to stand up to the bully and fight back. We all have television memories of picked-on kids finally gathering the courage to punch someone square in the face. It felt so right, didn’t it, watching the bully fall? And the show ends in 30 minutes with smiling faces, leaving us to believe all is right in the world after someone stands up for himself. (The reality is quite different.)

Video games teach us how easy it is to kill. Just push a button.  Bodies fall, blood splatters, the game continues, points accrue, you feel (falsely) that you are winning at something. Stress and/or pleasure hormones are released in your body while you play. What a rush!  No wives are shown mourning, no fatherless children haunt your memories. And if you happen to die in the game, you have 14 lives left. If you use them up, there’s always the reset button. It’s just a game, right?

What does our government do when there is a perceived threat of violence from another country? It responds with even more violence and calls it national defense. Endless wars of terror are renamed The War on Terror. Those who carry out the violence are hailed as heroes. The many innocent victims are collateral damage, not people. If those two year-olds were really peaceful, they would have stopped the radicals (the radicals we helped create in many cases). Just war theory is merged with Scripture to produce the bastardized God and country theology.  Pre-emptive strikes are not off the table, because the end justifies the means. Torture?–Why not?

Are you getting the picture? We have been immersed in the justification of violence all our lives.  All you need is a victim and you have the justification of violence. And who in this earth full of sinners hasn’t been victimized?

Satanic Doctrine

War is a necessary evil, right? We must do evil that good may come, and choose the lesser of 2 evils? Hmmm. Where have I heard that before?–Ah, yes, in Luciferian doctrine. Ordo Ab Chao–“Order out of chaos.” Deus Meumque Jus–“God and MY RIGHT.” You won’t find these wicked doctrines in the Bible, friend. The god who lets you worship YOUR RIGHT is the devil. And by this he creates war upon war, both small scale (family feuds, gang wars, race wars) and large scale (between countries). Disciples of Jesus are people of peace, they love all men, they choose righteousness and reject evil. Their God is not the author of confusion (chaos), and their God empowers them to lay down their “rights” in self-denial.

Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, and many do not realize they have been indoctrinated into his ways through public school, television, video games, and patriotism/war propaganda. Pastors who are not truly serving the Lord are corrupting the truth by mixing it with satan’s doctrines; lukewarm people who love their own lives eat it up. Such churches are apostate; their tables are covered with vomit rather than Bread. We must renew our minds in the Word of God to understand the Lord’s will, not trusting our souls to anyone, not even pastors or church people.

Opposing Kingdoms–The Clay Pyramid vs the Cubic City of Gold & Precious stones

Jesus’ kingdom is revolutionary. It is the opposite of the devil’s kingdom. And it has and will thoroughly destroy the devil’s kingdom.

Satan deceives and conquers the whole earth by making people victims and then encouraging them to fight for their perceived rights. As people step on and deceive one another to procure what they think they deserve, they become more and more like satan. Together they build the pyramid kingdom as depicted on the US dollar. The illuminated eye at the top represents Lucifer, that false angel of light, deceiving the whole world. The bricks just beneath the eye are the top rulers of the world, who crave power. They are answerable to the eye; and yes, those at the top know and admit they worship Lucifer. The bricks further down might be corporations and entities that also serve the powerful–such as Monsanto (perverting the food supply), Big Pharma (destroying bodies and minds through drugs), the entertainment industry (corrupting values) and the military industrial complex (making a few powerful people very rich and depopulating the world). The bricks on the bottom are the average Joes, searching for an elusive “peace” in various vices while trying to survive. Each person in this pyramid is a slave to his own sin and lust. As you climb up the levels, the people are more and more rich and powerful, having received “benefits” from satan in return for their doing his destroying and deceiving work. Note that pyramids are made of clay–the flesh of man–and this kingdom is built by fleshly men trying to save their lives in this world.  HOW GREAT WILL BE THE FALL OF THIS KINGDOM.

Jesus builds His kingdom as people come and lay down their lives, as living stones, upon the temple foundation He and the apostles/prophets have already laid (Eph. 2:19-22). This beautiful King, unlike Lucifer who elevates himself to exploit and sit atop others, has humbly laid down His life at the very bottom. Think about that–the eye at the top, vs the Corner Stone at the bottom. Do you understand this, friends? He laid down His life so that we could come and lay down on that solid foundation, finally finding rest in His humility (Matt. 11:28-30). There is no earthly king like Him, for earthly kings must rule by force.

Although it was not robbery to be equal with God, Jesus emptied Himself. In this redemptive act, He became the Chief Cornerstone upon which His temple kingdom would be built. The apostles and prophets, walked in His steps, in love for their King. A firm foundation was laid by their self-denial. As people are born again and translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Light, they each come and lay down their lives. They become walls and pillars in the house of God. There is no stepping on one another in this kingdom, no deceiving others and being deceived, no fighting for rights. Instead there is speaking truth, refusing to align with wickedness, loving even enemies til it hurts, being faithful to the death, caring for the poor and needy, considering others better than themselves, washing one another’s feet. This kingdom is gloriously revealed in Revelation 21, made of precious stones and gold, gloriously illuminated throughout by God Himself. I encourage you to read that chapter. Those precious stones are the saints of God. They are not made of clay–as in the pyramid–because they are not carnal; their flesh has been crucified with Christ. They have been tested by fire, and their faith stood the test.  THIS KINGDOM WILL NEVER END.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:5-11)

Satan said, “I will ascend and I will rule.” (Isa. 14:13)

Jesus said, “I will make myself of no reputation, take the form of a servant, humble myself, and become obedient to the point of death–even the cross.”

Paul instructs, “Let this same mind be in you.” What mind?–The mind of the One who humbled Himself and let Himself suffer for others.

Peter said we are to endure grief and suffering wrongfully because we were called to follow the exact example of Jesus (I Pet. 2:19-23).

It seems all the witnesses in Scripture agree with Jesus, if most churches do not.

Which kingdom are you in? It’s not what you profess, but what you do, that determines which kingdom you are in. If you are participating in or condoning the ways of Lucifer, you are in his kingdom and are marked as his. Do not be deceived.


Legitimate Use of Force

There is a biblical place for the use of force–by earthly rulers–to restrain evil (Rom. 13:1-7). In general, earthly man rejects God’s law. Those who won’t be ruled by God must be ruled by SOMETHING. Worldly governmental authorities are therefore ordained by God, in His sovereignty, even those which behave unjustly. These authorities will be held accountable for how they used their power. They are to use it only to punish evil and encourage good. But alas, worldly authorities are but men, corruptible as other men. Power corrupts almost everyone. And this is why there are “bad cops” and “unjust judges” and criminals running for president. It is also why all the kingdoms of earth are doomed.


Christian Non-resistance

The disciple of Jesus does not support earthly revolution against wicked governments, because we are to submit to the authorities in every way unless/until they command us to disobey God (this does not mean we can’t testify that what they do is evil.) We are commanded to be peacemakers and to love our enemies. The disciple allows his pockets to be picked by heavy taxes, knowing his treasure is not laid up on the earth. He does not seek a position of power that will necessitate violence, knowing that he is called to another task–evangelizing the whole world and leading people out of satan’s doomed kingdoms into God’s everlasting kingdom. (This is hard for some to accept, yet the witness of the early church is that early Christians refused to be magistrates, soldiers, etc. In this way, they were able to keep themselves from the inevitable corruption found in these places.)

Note that Christians are not “pacifists” if defined as “passive in the face of evil.” They are warriors in the spirit, using spiritual weapons to overcome evil, just as Jesus taught them. As good soldiers, they endure hardship, but they are not destroyers of men’s souls.

Conclusion

As long as men believe themselves to be victims who deserve to pay back their enemies, the increase in violence everywhere will continue. Violence by the common man against authorities, police brutality, race wars, military occupations, revolutions, and more. The end will come “as in the days of Noah.” Remember the earth was filled with violence in those days (Gen. 6:11). Isn’t that what we are seeing now?

We have all been victimized, and honestly ARE BEING victimized daily by those who rule from the top levels of the pyramid. Yet the gospel allows no victim mentality— it creates victors who achieve victory not by destroying enemies, but by embracing the cross. If you are still a victim, you have not yet embraced the gospel that sets men free. When I look at the chaos in this world, I see that this gospel is THE ONLY WAY out of the chaos. Only individuals can find and take this way out; whole nations will never find it. Nations will continue on the path of destruction–do not follow them.

Satan slyly creates the world-wide chaos in order to bring about his remedy of totalitarian rule, because he seeks power to stamp out Christianity and win the battle against Christ. He can’t win, but may be deceived to the point that he thinks he can. The only way to keep your hands clean is to opt out of the world’s ways entirely, and truly walk in the faith and steps of Jesus. When you are de-programmed of satanic doctrine through faith in the Word of God, you will find that you are standing very much alone. You will be condemned by most professing Christians. Do it anyway.

When Jesus speaks peace to your heart, reminding you that He has overcome this world, you’ll find a peculiar and wonderful rest in believing Him. Threatenings will continue all around you, yet you will be secure because your life is hidden with Christ in God. You won’t need to overthrow anyone else because you will be elevated, as Paul wrote, to sit in heavenly places. (Eph. 2:6) Do not fear men who can only kill the body, but fear God. Or as Leonard Ravenhill said, “He who fears God fears no man.” This is the way out of victimhood and violence.  The person who is crucified with Christ cannot be made a victim regardless of his race, nationality, gender or station. Wash your mind from the doctrines of devils that encourage you to live and die by the sword, as beasts. Run from the devil’s kingdom and enter the kingdom of God, where only righteousness dwells!

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Freedom, Slavery, and Peace

Posted by israeliteindeed on May 20, 2016

America, Land of the Free

It is well known all over the world that American culture exalts personal freedom. There is value in personal freedom if that freedom is used to do good. We are never to use liberty to indulge the flesh, but rather to serve one another (Gal. 5:13). If we are free in the flesh, our freedom is never to be a cloak for wickedness; we are to be servants of God (I Pet. 2:16). A people ruled by God are expected to use–and not abuse–freedom properly.

Unfortunately in America, “freedom” has indeed become a means to indulge the flesh, and a cloak for wickedness. Certainly I do not indict every person in America, but the nation in general. God causes every individual to reap what he has sown, and God also repays nations according to what they’ve sown collectively–the Old Testament prophets were very clear on this.

Contrary to what many whitewashed history books claim, a trail of wickedness can be followed back to the beginning of this nation.  All is open and naked before the eyes of God, even if patriots wearing rose-colored glasses refuse to see. Rebellion against the king, genocide and oppression of native Americans, and oppression/exploitation of Africans all laid the faulty foundation for a nation which would grow proud of its freedoms and wealth. While the sins of its youth were swept under the proverbial carpet for generations to come, America has never recovered, but has only gotten sicker and sicker as its rotten harvest materialized. Like all other earthly nations–and especially empires, it will be cast down from its lofty position in the delusional notions of man. The works of carnal man are all destined for the fire.

Carnal vs. Spiritual

The Bible teaches us to look beyond the carnal and the natural world, to see the Truth. Its truths, penned by the Holy Spirit of God, cannot be received by carnal man, but only by the spiritual man. It is only the spiritual man who can “judge all things” correctly (I Cor. 2:14-15). God has revealed in Scripture that many of man’s definitions and traditions are not rooted in truth, and this is why we must have our minds renewed (Rom. 12:2), so that we do not judge as the world does. For example, God redefined “family,” teaching that those who do God’s will are His family, not the people biologically related to Jesus (Matt. 12:50). He redefined the word “Jew,” teaching that a person whose heart is circumcised by the Spirit is counted as a Jew (Rom. 2:28-29). And He redefined the traditional perception for “Abraham’s seed,” showing that Jesus and His converted disciples are the true seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16,29).

In the same manner, His definitions for words like “freedom,” “slavery” and “peace” are quite different than the world’s definitions. It is very important that we also define these words Scripturally as we judge the things of this life.

Sin Brings Slavery

Scripture says everyone who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34; Rom. 6:16). Regardless of what history books and patriotic songs say, and despite our feelings, here is the truth: This nation has become a nation of slaves who desire “freedom” to continue in sin. Even the churches are turning the grace of Jesus Christ into lasciviousness–or a “license to sin.” And so the “free” are enslaved by their sins, but they do not know it. And God has allowed their chosen slavery to bring forth a harvest of misery. Even the rights they once had as citizens are slipping away. They didn’t want a righteous King–Jesus–to rule over them. They wanted no king but Caesar, and God has given them what they desired–tyrannical kings who also reject righteousness for “freedom” to indulge their own lofty desires.

The movement by the “religious right” to “take America back” is blind. What is it people wish to return to? They want less oppression and control over them, less taxes, an easier life–and, generally, freedom to continue living as they please. They want freedom to escape the harvest that’s been sown over decades. There was little uproar while the seeds were being sown–seeds of materialism, hedonism, “free sex,” widespread nudity, baby-murder, etc. But now that the harvest is bringing death and oppression and taxes and laws we don’t agree with, they want change. Unfortunately most don’t seek the change of our hearts to submission to God, but only change in circumstances so that they can continue as before without consequences. Changing leaders and political parties cannot bring about true freedom to a people who’ve been enslaved by their own lust.

The unbelieving Jews of Jesus day were told that God was going to punish their nation because they would not gather to Jesus. Much like America, they loved their rebels (Barabbas) and they plotted to overthrow their oppressors. They played political games and they raised up new Messiahs for the people to believe in (as explained in the works of Josephus). But judgment was not averted by any of these. And our judgment will not be averted either, unless there is wide-scale repentance (which seems unlikely at this time.)

True Freedom

It is true that we are more oppressed here than ever before, and the laws are getting increasingly evil. Justice is being perverted in many ways.  God sees all, and those responsible for furthering wickedness will be judged.

But sinners are slaves, and they must remain slaves until they repent. It is an unalterable truth.

Spiritual truths have a way of showing up in the material world; God has ordained it so. Our sin which brings spiritual death also brings physical death. All creation labors and groans under a kind of slavery with man, waiting for redemption and the “glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:19-22).

This is not a liberty that is bought with violence and treaties and political promises. This is a true liberty that belongs to God’s children by virtue of their adoption in Christ. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36) “Free indeed” is not freedom as the world defines it. It is true freedom, seen and experienced only by the spiritual man. Are you seeking and preaching this true “freedom,” or the carnal freedom that leaves men dying in their sins? Even if a righteous man was elected in this nation, he could not give freedom to its citizens. Freedom is found in the Son of God.

Renew Your Mind

The following precious verses can get the church on the right track if only she will believe God, rather than believing the lies of the world.

For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. (1 Cor. 7:22)

Did you get that? We are not defined by the world. If we have earthly freedom, we are yet slaves to Christ. If we don’t have earthly freedom, we are still free in Christ. Certainly if earthly freedom is possible, we should use it to benefit the kingdom; but not having earthly freedom is no detriment to the gospel. Therefore it shouldn’t be an object of our devotion. Listen to Paul:

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (2 Tim. 2:8-10)

Are we enduring all things for the elect’s sake, knowing the Word of God is not chained? Paul saw with spiritual eyes that earthly freedom was not the issue. Yet I hear Christians today saying our freedom of religion is based on a man-made constitution, and we need to fight for this constitution. No, friends, our freedom to practice our Christianity was given by God’s command, and we are free to practice it until we die. We are to speak the Word of God openly and faithfully. And if we are locked up and denied our “freedom,” we don’t despair in the slightest because God’s Word is not chained. Everywhere it has been sown, a potential harvest can multiply, and all the devils in hell can’t prevail against it, chains or no chains.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Col. 3:1-4)

Many “Christian” Americans are focused on earthly freedom, just like the world. Here is why: Christ is not truly their life. Where our treasure is, there our heart is also. Where is your treasure? Is it above or below?

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matt. 10:28-31)

Americans have an insane fascination with guns and self-defense. I am not against guns; they can be used righteously. However the root of America’s fascination is FEAR and PRIDE–fear of death, and the pride of life. If you watch news headlines, you know that guns are not the security people wish them to be. Many accidental deaths occur, ironically, in families that bought guns to keep them safe. Totalitarian rule will also descend upon this people with the help of guns and other weapons. And there is no out-gunning such a government, as some foolishly think to do. True security is being in the Father’s will, and being ready at all times to pass from this life to the next.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Heb. 11:13-16)

Are you a stranger and pilgrim on this earth, still seeking a homeland? Or is this wretched, spiritually lost wilderness called America your homeland? God will give you “an opportunity to return” to being tied to this earth (earthly minded and dead) if you want that. But if you desire the better country–the heavenly country–then God won’t be ashamed to be called your God.

Peace

The world loosely defines peace as being not at war, and living in relative ease. America is supposedly a peaceful nation, but the truth is that it’s been at war 222 of the 239 years of its existence. Many don’t realize that, because they’ve never had to dive into a bomb shelter.

America has been chosen by the earthly powers-that-be to take control of other countries for the coming New World Order. Please do not be deceived by the “God has blessed us” rhetoric. Many a rich, wicked man counted himself blessed by God right up until the day God slew him. And every nation taking up arms to fight reassures itself that God is on its side. Why do those who rightly condemn the lies of prosperity preachers refuse to condemn the lies of nations which use the same logic–“See how God has blessed us?” We may feel a sense of security because the bombs are all dropping elsewhere, out of sight and out of mind. But knowing God will punish the wicked, we should know this is a false security and a false peace. The so-called war on terror is actually a war OF terror; we are foolish if we think we are the only nation not inundated by propaganda cleverly designed to deceive us into state-worship.

Look even deeper into life in America, and it is impossible not to see that Americans have no peace. Suicide, drug abuse (legal and illegal), lust for entertainment, phone/television/video game addiction, alcohol abuse, gender confusion, sexual perversion, child murder and molestation, porn-addiction…really, where is the peace? People are driven from one vice to another in their endless quest for the elusive peace that never comes.

Nations are just groups of people. They fight for their peace, but lasting peace never comes, because there is always some new wrong that has to be righted with violence, and the violence begets more violence.

There is only one nation at peace, and that is the Body of Christ–that holy nation abiding in the Prince of Peace. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus from all nations, to help people transition from their perishing kingdoms to the everlasting kingdom. This is the best way to make peace.

Apostasy in the Church

The Church is supposed to be a light on a hill, but in many cases the light within churches is dark (Matt. 6:23). This apostate church is still defining words by the world’s dictionary, saying “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. Like Laodicea, she looks at her poor blind self, and declares that she is rich and full of godly insight. She leads other blind men into a ditch. Her pastors are destroyers, working for satan.  They are teaching greed, immorality, and the world’s way of obtaining peace and liberty. They stand the flag beside the pulpit, unwilling to die to the world, and unashamed of their idolatry. They assure others that they can, in fact, serve two masters after all.  They bless and pray for their military members, even as those members disobey the commands of Christ. They regurgitate the tired lie that “these men and women are fighting for our freedom,” and conveniently forget to mention that they are committing suicide in record numbers because they have no peace.

The faithful Church leads people to the peace that only Jesus gives–a peace not at all like the world gives.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Did you notice Jesus paired the absolute certainty of tribulation with the absolute certainty of peace in Him? Are you letting God define your peace, or are you seeking the peace the world gives? There is no peace for the wicked, but there is unlimited peace for the righteous despite their tribulations.

Conclusion

We need our minds renewed by the Word of God, so that we seek after the true freedom and peace that are in Christ, rather than the illusory freedom and peace (slavery) offered by the world. Politicians and party lines cannot not help us.

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Psa. 118:8)

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (Psa. 146:3)

In fact, trusting in man is a departure from the Lord (apostasy)! Please note the contrast in these verses:

Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jer. 17:5-8)

We are most certainly in “a year of drought” spiritually speaking, yet we need not fear if we are trusting the Lord. He has appointed us to go and bear fruit, and has enabled us to do so under the worst earthly conditions–even loss of material things, imprisonment or threat of death. If we really trust in Him, He will see that we are well-watered and filled with peace, free indeed, and raised up with Christ over the limitations of the flesh.

God bless you!

Note: This post is written to American Christians, because I have a burden for this specific people, but it can be applied in other nations as well.

Posted in "Christian" Zionism, Apostasy, Christian Life, False Teachers, Judgment of God, nationalism, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Love Your Enemies?

Posted by israeliteindeed on November 17, 2015

Jesus was accused of being too liberal and John the Baptist was accused of being too conservative, but “wisdom is known by her children.” The Way of Truth is not defined by either of those camps. People who prefer an unholy mixture of religion/secular power over authentic Christianity will try to label you, just as they labelled both Jesus and John. I’m learning to shrug off the meaningless talk, and keep my attention to the commands He is giving me. Souls, including my own, depend upon it.

There is a way of holiness for God’s people to walk on in these troubled times. Even THESE troubled times, with terrorist attacks and refugees coming to live among us?–Yes, especially in these times! These are opportunities to walk by faith and serve the Lord Jesus by ministering to both physical and spiritual needs. But what if they are a trojan horse, and what if some evil person hurts us? This is different. We need to get in the flesh and use common sense, right? This is not “different,” brothers and sisters; this is the real thing. Remember that Jesus’ original target audience was under military occupation by a foreign country. And remember that some of the apostate Jews were all too eager to use their influence to harness Roman military power and use it against the followers of the Way (Christians). Remember that those who believed His words went on to die for them in countries all over the world. When Jesus taught us to love both neighbor AND enemy, this is what He was talking about. He never intended for us to apply His words only in inconsequential situations, and then revert back to the ways of the world when real danger arrives.

We could park in the following ten verses, meditate on them, and plead with the Father to increase our faith, so that we can be blameless in difficult times. Or we can try to narrowly apply them only to situations that won’t cost us anything, and at the first hint of danger, run off and join the “common sense” crowd that despises and rejects this Word. We must make a choice between faith/obedience and fear/disobedience.

27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36)

Well, what does this passage really mean? I venture to claim it means exactly what it says. It’s not puzzling in the least unless your heart has already decided to get around it.

Those who walk and teach that holy way will be criticized, even and sometimes especially by the professing Christians who tend to dominate the public conversation (God’s remnant is “few” compared to “many”–Matt. 7:13-14). One pastor I know who is teaching the truth was recently called a “disgusting pacifist” by someone who claimed to be a Christian. She and others like her are encouraging more violence against whole communities of people, and of course, the world hears them and agrees with them because they walk just as the world does (1 Jn. 4:5). But if we obey Jesus’ teachings, and do not attempt to rationalize them away due to fear and unbelief, then we will abide in Him–

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:10).

The just man shall live by his faith–not fear, self-love, patriotism, or the growing frenzy of the world around him.

To be a real Christian–to actually keep Jesus’ commands– is to be vulnerable in the presence of the wicked, because agape love is vulnerable. Was Jesus not vulnerable for your sake? Weren’t you wicked? Or have you always been so perfect that you deserved His magnificent sacrifice? (Rom. 5:8)

Either we keep His commands, or we stop abiding in Him. How sad it would be to truly think we are His disciples while living and teaching contrary to His commands. How sad to believe the Prince of Peace is our God, while contributing to the destruction around us. Yet many western Christians are that deceived.

Yes, the love of many is growing cold, now that the pressure is on. They are turning aside from God’s commands that we love everyone including our enemies, and live sacrificial lives with our focus on the eternal kingdom. They are turning back to self-worship or nation-worship and materialism. They are turning aside to vengeance against those who threaten their security. Once their comfort is threatened, they are quick to walk in the flesh via trying to manipulate current events through politics and the bloodshed of war. In doing this, they are no longer “set apart” but merely doing what everyone else on the wide way is doing. Some only follow Jesus while the “free food” manifests, but once a real test of faith comes, they leave Him (Jn. 6:66).

Some pulpits have long ago frozen over, with pastors urging their flock to be heavily armed and to take up the sword against those who don’t know God. This, they claim is “waking up.” I call it apostasy. Not only will they not lay down their own lives for the gospel, they stop others from doing so. Some claim to preach holiness but refuse to preach “seeking peace with all people,” and in fact preach the opposite, thereby undermining any notion of true holiness. Both are non-negotiable if we want to enter into life (Heb. 12:14).

Christians are not here for the unrestrained “pursuit of happiness” (which is only one of the ways Americanism departs from the Truth). If that’s what you’re here for, you may as well stop following Jesus now because the cost is out of your range. (My heart is not that you stop following, but that you repent!) Our “constitutional rights” are nothing compared to the right we have as children of God–the blood-bought right to give up our earthly rights and be obedient even to the point of death (Phil. 2:5-8). America (or another country) is not the promised land–it is the stark wilderness in which we are being humbled and tested, to see if we will keep His commands (Deut. 8:2)–yes, even the commands to love our enemies. It is only those who endure the temptation and continue in faith who will receive the crown of life (James 1:12). Tap your tent stakes in the ground lightly, friends, lest love of this world and its lusts separates you from God (I Jn. 2:15-17). Only those who endure to the end in obedience to Jesus will be saved.

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (I Pet. 2:11-12)

So what will you do with these basic and fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ?–

1. Love your neighbor as yourself
2.  Love/forgive/do good to your enemy

If you are simple enough to believe/obey the Son of God without creating 50 theological loopholes for your flesh to escape through, these commands need no explaining. If you’re simple enough to believe/obey, you won’t have to ask, “Who is my neighbor?” or “What kind of enemy?” If you’re simple enough to believe/obey, you won’t be tempted to follow the obsolete covenant instead of the New one.

If you’re more concerned with what God will say to you on Judgment Day than what the flag-waving, warmongers will say on Sunday, this is simple to understand. You won’t need a 100 page essay on what He really meant and why this doesn’t apply. The simplest disciple of Jesus can receive this. I know the people of the world cannot receive it, and that is why their retribution begets more retribution begets more retribution, ad infinitum. The question is, can YOU (professing Christian) receive it? If you can only believe, the power to walk it out will also be supplied.

Never forget what the inhabitants of God’s kingdom look like:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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Justifying the Wicked & Condemning the Just

Posted by israeliteindeed on September 14, 2015

He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. (Prov. 17:15)

They gather together against the life of the righteous, and condemn innocent blood. (Psa. 94:21)

Recently, someone commented on my post, A Little Child Shall Lead Them, that the little Arab girl is not a Christian. You can read the comments on that post to see my response. I sure am thankful that our God sees the thoughts and motives of our hearts, and knows those who are His irrespective of others’ opinions.

People take sides on all kinds of issues, but the only “side” that matters is God’s side. All have sinned, and all can be saved through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ–not through superior knowledge, not through race or bloodline, not by speaking the language the experts demand we speak, not because our grandparents were saved, not because we have good attendance at church, not because we belong to a so-called “Christian country” as opposed to some other country, and not because we agree with the “orthodox” doctrine about a subject.

God is higher than “orthodoxy.” Orthodoxy is only the judgment of some majority, somewhere at some point in history (and how often is the majority correct?) Sometimes our favored “orthodoxy” is heresy, only we are too blinded by the apostate times we live in–and the apostasy of our own hearts– to see it.

Nationalism and it’s promotion and justification of violence is the darling of our contemporary churches, but it is nothing but heresy if you dare to believe the New Testament. These churches have very little in common with the early Church, but they are so satisfied with the crumbs this world tosses them in payment for their spiritual whoredom, they cannot see their own blindness and nakedness.

When God looks down upon His earth, He doesn’t see Christian countries and Muslim countries. He doesn’t drape Himself in one flag and burn the other flag. He doesn’t memorialize paid killers in His Book of Life, even if they claim with a thousand tongues to do Him service and engrave Bible verses on their weapons. He sees multiplied countries at war with Him and others (Psalm 2) because they are lost and do not know God. But His Word has not and will not return to Him void. His Word is being received and obeyed by a minority from every nation (Matt. 8:10-12). These are the blessed who sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of heaven.

I’m sorry to inform those who love America and Israel more than they love God, that heaven will contain Arab people. Some of those Arabs may have even practiced radical Islam before they were born again. If you think this disqualifies them from the offer of salvation, you do not yet understand the gospel.

Let us be careful to have the mind of Christ on this matter. Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight. (Prov. 11:1) When we weigh others by our man-made rules (including nationalistic ideals or media-induced prejudices) rather than by what is written, we are using a dishonest scale. What people group did the apostles write off as not worth their time? It is not God’s will for any Muslim to perish, but that each one would confess and forsake his sins and turn from false gods to Jesus Christ. This hope for the Arab is the same hope for the Jew or the Englishman or any other person. There is only one way into the Kingdom, and as One New Man, we who enter worship the Lamb together.

As a friend of mine recently said, “Muslims are not the enemy. They are the mission field.” Only a Kingdom Christian can say this with conviction! Oh, that we would grow up in Christ and be Christ to these people! Rather than sitting so piously in our rich homes blindly discussing our nation’s moral superiority to others. Our nation savagely dismembers thousands of innocent children daily, while looking to lying politicians to save us from savages. What hypocrisy! Do you want to know your enemy, America? Your enemy is YOU.

If America is to be judged by radical Islam, and that is possible (though I hope it won’t happen), it will be the righteous judgment of God. We’ve spent billions of dollars and shed countless gallons of human blood to “defend” our territory, trusting the arm of the flesh to give us a very transient happiness while others suffer. If Christians want to be the Church they are called to be, they will have to find the courage and love-for-all-men that the early church had. They will have to stop hoarding up the moldy treasures of earth, and begin to invest in the people for whom Christ died. They will have to understand the Kingdom of God and truly enter into it, once for all, dying to this present world. They will have to stop judging by appearances and begin to judge righteous judgment.

All people outside of Jesus Christ are condemned already (and need the gospel). Even if they speak English (or Hebrew) and are considered heroes. All people inside of Jesus Christ are justified. Even if they are Arab and speak Arabic.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa. 5:20)

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Walking after Christ, or Glorying in Shame?

Posted by israeliteindeed on May 26, 2015

Christian soldiers

Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil 3:17-20)

From this passage, 6 points stand out to me:

1. We are to imitate Paul’s way of life as he also imitated Christ’s way of life.

2. If we are imitating Paul and Christ, our citizenship is in heaven, not a place on earth.

3. Many religious men are instead enemies of the cross of Christ because they do not walk as Christ walked.

4. Such people serve not Christ, but their own belly or earthly appetites, caring overmuch for earthly things.

5. These people glory in (are proud of) that which should make them feel ashamed.

6. The end of such people is destruction.

1. First, we are to follow Paul’s example, as he has stated elsewhere: Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (I Cor. 11:1) And what example has Paul, imitating Jesus, given to us? Although he was born with elite Jewish privilege and could have had all the honor from men associated with that privilege, he has counted it as worthless so as to pursue Christ. (Phil. 3:2-11) He understands that the true Circumcision includes only those who are worshiping God in the Spirit (vs. 3). He has not joined the Jewish Resistance to fight the Roman occupiers for land, just as Christ did not. He has not made the advancement and supremacy of his earthly nation his goal, just as Christ did not. He has not sought to protect his physical life from danger and death, just as Christ did not (2 Cor. 6:4-5). And this blessed man followed Jesus to the end, overcoming all things by not loving his own life to the death.

2. The one who is walking the same path as Paul and Christ has his citizenship in heaven. He is loyal to heaven and heaven’s goals. He is not an earthly man, but a spiritual man. He belongs to that kingdom which is not of this world (John 18:36); he no longer seeks/fights for things the world offers–including freedom from captivity, servitude or death. He knows his inheritance is reserved in heaven for him, and mortal man can do nothing to take it away, provided he remains faithful to the end (I Pet. 1:4, Matt. 10:28; Rom. 8:38-39). As a citizen of that holy country, he will speak to the people of this world as calling them out of their own perishing countries and into that enduring one. He will not give up his ambassadorship and ministry of reconciliation to fight instead against flesh and blood, for things he has already written off as loss.

3. While those who refuse to walk as Christ and Paul walked are often called “good conservative Christians” in our day, God calls them “enemies of the cross of Christ.” They do not want to empty themselves, give up their reputation among men, and go to the cross as Jesus did; they refuse to let that mind be in them which was also in Him (Phil. 2:5-7). The ways of God are foolishness to them. Instead they exalt themselves, attempting to harness the secular powers through the political process or military strength, not understanding that this illicit lover will turn on them (Rev. 17:16). They succumb to the temptation of the devil, which was,“All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matt. 4:9) Who is like my country, they say, and who can make war with him? And they wave their flags and celebrate their holidays commemorating death and destruction. They are enemies of the cross because they despise its humility, its poverty, and its pain; all while claiming to serve its Christ.

4. Such people serve carnal appetites, not Christ, regardless of what they claim on Sunday morning. Their boast is not in how the cross has subdued and mastered them, but in what they have accomplished in this world by their flesh. They are not crucified to the world, and the world is not crucified to them (Gal. 3:14). They want land, they want privilege (which they call “freedom”), and they want the world to be under their immediate control–a deceptive illusion of reigning with Christ, when they will never reign with Christ if they do not go by way of the cross. The love of the world is still in their hearts. They have not so learned Christ (Eph. 4:20). This is not how Christ walked, and it is not how Paul walked. But these dual witnesses are ignored by those who must have their carnal appetites fed.

5. They glory in, and are proud of, that which should make them ashamed. There are many things earthly men–even religious men–will esteem, that God looks upon as pure abomination (Lk. 16:15). Most horrifying is when men purporting to serve Christ glory in the things Christ abhors. A perfect example can be seen in the picture above. Men proudly holding the Word of God (“Love your enemies”) in one hand, and a destroying weapon in the other. This picture is making the rounds in social media, and the comments are enough to break a child of God’s heart. Professing Christians glorying in such a picture! Glorying in our “might”–and purposely forgetting the suffering caused by it. Saying, “God is with us”–and purposely forgetting that God is never with people whose sins stink to high heavens, and whose faces remain proud despite the continuing stench. Forgetting also the gospel. Forgetting the call to love not the world and have no fellowship with the world. Forgetting the command to bless those who hate us. Forgetting the example of Paul and the example of Jesus. Willfully forgetting in far too many cases.

6. In conclusion, Scripture is clear that enemies of the cross will be destroyed. Those who do not repent of living and warring in the flesh (Rom. 8:13; 2 Cor. 10:3-4) will die the second death in the lake of fire. Murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them (I Jn. 3:15). Those who are still entangled in the games of this world, swearing oaths to obey earthly men and destroying flesh and blood, are not serving the Lord. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot fulfill two commissions at one time–one of reconciliation and the other of destruction. You cannot love both the world and God (I Jn. 2:15-17). Paul made his choice–he counted as worthless all that the world would have praised about him. He set his sights on eternal things and made up his mind to run his race in careful imitation of Christ. He let the mind of Christ Jesus be in him, ruling his behavior and deciding the course of his life. Many early believers did follow Paul as he followed Christ, and they suffered many things in their flesh. But in knowing Christ and being conformed to his death, they obtained an inheritance that will never fade away.

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Memorial Day

Posted by israeliteindeed on May 24, 2015

There was a time when days like this gave me vaguely fuzzy feelings for reasons I did not fully understand.  Somewhere, someone had “died for me,” and because they made the ultimate sacrifice, I was now “free.” It sounded pretty amazing. Sentimental parallels have been drawn between these combat soldiers and Jesus. I now know that this is as appropriate as drawing sentimental parallels between Jesus and the antichrist.

When I was converted, the love of God was shed abroad in my heart in a powerful way. I had been the antagonist, the rebel against God’s law and kingdom. I had done what was right in my own eyes for a long time; thus I deserved to be destroyed. But God became a man who died to redeem me, and then He patiently sent ambassadors to draw me into fellowship with Him. Why?  What difference does one stubborn human being make?  I still don’t know the answer to that question, but one thing I know:  I am changed, and I can’t go back to what I was.  When Jesus called me to die to myself and follow Him, He called me to a life of humbling myself to reach those who don’t deserve being reached (just as I didn’t deserve it).  He sent me to “every creature” with good news that God wants them back and has made a way back, if they will surrender.  Who should be exempted from this good news?  I can think of no one that exists outside of “every creature.”

When I recognized that Jesus was rightfully my Lord, I began to desire His opinion on everything, so that I might live pleasing to Him. Not only did I pray to understand His will, but I studied Scripture carefully apart from the direction of a church. This is not a slam on churches, but I’m pretty sure this is what saved me from adopting the “God and country” divided heart that I see in so many professing believers. (I should confess that I have not always been free of a divided heart in other areas.)  It is a tragic reality that many churches proudly display their divided loyalties by having an American flag right by the altar. Can a man give allegiance to two masters who have entirely different goals?

I had been raised a good patriot who believed in the inherent goodness of America compared to other nations. I believed we were free, we were more moral than others, we only fought in “just wars,” and it was possible to strap on a machine gun and go off to war in the name of God. I carried this cultural baggage into my new relationship with God, but eventually I learned that I had never been truly free; neither had I been more moral than others. True freedom is accessible to God’s children from any prison, and is denied to the richest, most powerful people on the planet.  True morality is only found in Christ. [Oh, but you are spiritualizing. Of course I am spiritualizing. We are supposed to be spiritual people, who do not have in mind earthly things but heavenly.] Further, the idea that I could now kill in God’s name and with His blessing seemed greatly at odds with the Great commission, which has the salvation–not the destruction–of people in view (Lk. 9:55-56). God’s command to Peter to put away his sword was suddenly His command to me, and the example and instructions that Jesus gave to His disciples became the plumbline of my life. That included His instructions in the Sermon on the Mount about loving and blessing my enemies–a portion of Scripture men of all denominations have cleverly twisted in order to grant themselves licentious loopholes.

As a member of God’s kingdom, I learned that I would need to walk in God’s “higher ways” rather than in the earth’s ways. Nowhere can His higher ways be seen more clearly than in the life and death of Christ, the innocent suffering to rescue the guilty. I saw that although we have a crude but necessary form of justice in our country, man’s justice will always pale in comparison with the righteous justice of God coupled with His triumphing mercy.

By looking deeper than the picture painted by mainstream media, I also found that the “just wars” we were waging were actually the ungodly schemes of ungodly men by which they enrich only themselves, and destroy multitudes (including those sainted soldiers who signed up to kill people they didn’t know for a cause they only thought they understood).  I saw patriotism for what it really is–“the pride of life”–something that belongs explicitly to this perishing world. Something a child of God should abhor (I John 2:15-17).  I realized that every country sees itself as more moral, more just, etc., than others, and this is only a collective reflection of man’s propensity to judge himself pure in his own eyes.  Patriotic songs and holidays reflect those twisted sentiments that so defy the Word of God (for all have sinned, Rom. 3:23).

And perhaps most importantly, I saw that all nations are, in fact, raging against and competing with God (Psa. 2). They want our allegiance. They want our sworn oaths of unquestioning obedience (Matt. 5:34).  They want us to sing their praises, their virtues, their supremacy over others. They want us to believe that our freedom comes from what they do with live ammunition. They want us to teach the illusion of their goodness to our children, and lead our children to pledge their loyalty to this god-like protector. And if that is not enough, they want the very bodies of our children to sacrifice on their altar of global power.

Oh, they speak great swelling words about our feigned national righteousness, and most of us desperately cling to the lie that the tree is good (or used to be good), despite the evil fruit abounding in our midst. Why? Perhaps we are just afraid of losing our own little piece of the national pie, and instinctively know that our earthly dividends depend upon earthly schemes. If such is the case, we have proven ourselves lovers of this world and not God.

Why not just admit that Psalm 2 is correct?  Why not admit that most, if not all, of the traditions our fathers handed us are vain and only constitute an empty way of life (I Pet. 1:18)?  Why not admit that men globally killing men they don’t know for reasons they don’t comprehend is a bloody manifestation of the Destroyer’s kingdom, not the Kingdom Jesus founded.

This is why I am so critical of any parallel drawn between soldiers who die in armed combat, and the King of kings who gave Himself–silenced and slaughtered–to be food and life for His enemies.  Can light and darkness be equal?  Is giving your own life to save your enemies the same as giving your own life to kill your enemies? They are not the same! And those who have the living Jesus in them should know better.

If we are deceived any longer about this, we are deceived willingly. There are multitudes of citizens in this internet age who are revealing the secrets of the monster that America is (and this phenomenon is not limited to America). The secrets of the military are accessible to those who actually want to know;  military men are killing themselves in droves for a reason. Any honest person who evaluates the history of this country knows that this was never a land of freedom and justice for all;  there were always at least two classes of people robbed and abused from the beginning (Native Americans and Africans).

But even if these things were not so, we have the words of Jesus. If we have not let Him transform our thinking and behavior, we need to ask ourselves if we are really His sheep.  In His kingdom, a slave is God’s free man, and a free man is God’s slave. The way to life is by first dying, the way to inherit the earth is meekness, the way to deal with enemies is by blessing them, and the way to overcome is to submit. We shall not be as the Gentiles, lording it over others, but we shall be as the One who washed the feet of both the faithful and the betrayer.

But, if we would rather be as “the Gentiles” or “the world”–living by the sword or praising those who do–God will choose our delusion.  It will probably look something like this:

America is the greatest, most moral country on earth, and our soldiers are heroes who died to set us free. 

Such sentiment has become foolishness to me now. To me, Memorial day is a day of pride, purposeful blindness to our faults as a people, and utter rebellion against God’s ways.  I understand why the world participates–and every nation has its similar days. Factions of the world revere the destructive and counterproductive works of men because they do not know God. But what about those who say they DO know God?  Do they profess to know Him, but in works deny Him (Titus 1:16)?

I do not mean to disrespect the dead–perhaps someone you loved–by this writing. Often they were brave men and women who sacrificed a great deal for what they thought was right. However, it is my contention that they were as blinded by the god of this world as the jihadist, and those who celebrate their works are equally deceived. Memorial Day is a day of sadness for me–sadness that so many people kill and die for utter vanity because they never understood the power of the cross of Christ.   If there is still any deception remaining in you, dear brother or sister, I pray that you would shake it off and live as a citizen of heaven from this point on.

serve 2 masters

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High Above All Nations

Posted by israeliteindeed on December 27, 2014

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. (Deut. 28:1)

This promise opens a whole chapter which plainly teaches that obedience to God’s voice brings blessing, while disobedience to God’s voice brings a curse. Yes, to the earthly Israel was given a promise that IF-IF-IF they obeyed God’s voice, they would inherit blessing and be “high above all the nations on earth.”

When we consider how this chapter has played out in history–all recorded in Scripture for our learning, it should become obvious that some in the nation obeyed the Lord’s voice, and some did not–all the way up until the vineyard was taken from most of the original tenants of the land and given to others who would produce its fruit (Matt. 21:33-46).

In other words, of the original tenants, some DID inherit the promises, and they WERE set high above all the nations on earth. Those who did not obey, forfeited everything.

Look at this promise given to Jeremiah:

Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day SET YOU OVER THE NATIONS AND OVER THE KINGDOMS, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:9-10)

Not only was Jeremiah set over his own nation as a prophet and spiritual judge, he was also set over the surrounding nations. In the flesh, we see only a lowly prophet who was considered a threat to national security, thrown in a well, and/or largely ignored. In the Spirit, he was over all the nations, and none could dislodge him so long as he obeyed the voice of the Lord. Certainly, Jeremiah inherited the conditional promises of blessing.

God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. (Psa. 47:8)

For the kingdom is the Lord’s, And He rules over the nations. (Psa. 22:28)

This kingdom, which rules over the nations, was preached by Jesus and His disciples and apostles (Lk 8:1-2; Mk 1:14-15; Acts 20:25, 28:30-31). This is the kingdom into which we must all press if we are to be saved. Those who will inherit this kingdom are described in Matthew 5, in what is commonly called “The Beatitudes.” Strangely, many professing Christians deny that the Beatitudes have any authority over how we behave with relation to the nations. Instead they choose the ways of the world–exalting themselves through lies or violence or both. A textbook example would be the Crusaders fighting the Muslims over Jerusalem, claiming to be serving the Lord by their evil, but there are many other such examples in our modern times. Such may appear to be ruling over others for a time, but they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Those who inherit the kingdom, like Jeremiah, may appear to be the biggest losers while this earth still stands in its present form. Yet, they are promised to reign with Christ.

So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matt. 19:28)

Some see this verse as still entirely future. But the Son of Man is already seated on His throne of glory.

But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:55-56)

Stephen was essentially testifying that Jesus was already on His throne with the Father, confirming Jesus’ earlier testimony that all authority had been given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). John also testified that the Lamb (Jesus) could be seen “in the midst of the throne” (Rev. 5:6). See also Psalm 110 & Daniel 7:9-14.

I believe that all men who have been regenerated (born again) are already seated high above the nations in the kingdom of God, as Paul wrote here–

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:4-6)

Paul was clearly speaking by the Spirit about spiritual things–things which are very real, even if we cannot see them with carnal observation.

Those who are born again are presently seated with Christ in His kingdom! And from this safe place, no kingdom on earth can hurt them. Because their life is hid with Christ in God, they too are “high above all nations.” This is why we are not to fear those who can kill the body, but cannot touch the soul. (Matt. 10:28) The two witnesses were slain in the body, but their souls were safely caught up to heaven. Even the martyrs are found where?–in a safe place, resting, comforted by the Lord (Rev. 6:9-11).

It requires spiritual eyes to see and embrace these truths. One who isn’t born again cannot even see the kingdom. One who doesn’t come humbly, as a child, cannot enter it. God Himself lifts up the humble of the earth and sets them at His table, in a city made by His own hands. In this city there is neither Jew nor Gentile, nor any other proud faction. There are only the Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. They are the lowly of the earth who put their trust in Jesus, and in nothing else. These, God has lifted up and made His children.

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