The Signs of Revelation – Part I: The Time of His Coming

The book of Revelation is not a chronological account of the second appearance of Christ.  Rather, it is thematic; tracing the steps through one vision, before beginning another vision and moving through that to its end. This happens several times to encompass the visions of Christ coronation, then the great tribulation and the battle between those who persecuted the saints and the enemies of God, through to the their defeat and the resurrection from Hades.  The next vision provided is the new heaven and earth covenant, the new Jerusalem along with Christ’s everlasting kingdom over all the earth.

The book is also filled with symbolic judgment language, and prophesies that tie to both the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures.  The parable of the wedding feast in Matt. 22 is a very short outline of Revelation’s judgment and coming of Christ upon that generation.

First God sends messengers to announce the wedding, then the messengers are killed.  God then destroys those who killed his messengers, and burns their city, Jerusalem.  Immediately after, the wedding and wedding feast take place.  And, at the wedding feast judgment begins.  All those that had been held in Hades are separated, as those clothed in the wedding garments (that is clothed in the righteousness of Christ) are reclining at rest, and the one who is not properly clothed in the righteousness of Christ is cast into outer darkness.  See the previous post “The Burning of Jerusalem and the Hadean Death” to the right.

When was Jerusalem burned?  A.D. 70.  That event ties the wedding and wedding feast of Matt. 22 to the first century A.D.  Therefore, as the judgment took place at the wedding feast, the resurrection and judgment scene of Rev. 20 took place immediately after the burning of Jerusalem.

The New Testament is replete with the time statements that the coming of the Lord, the coming of His kingdom, the days of vengeance were “at hand” when the book of Revelation was written.    Jesus began His ministry telling those listening to him that their generation was the time.

Mk 1:14-15, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,  15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” 

We identify who was speaking to whom, and the subject matter.  Jesus was speaking to the people who lived in Galilee during the days that He was manifest on earth, in the first century A.D.  He told them then that the time was fulfilled, and the kingdom of God was at hand!   He linked the time of the fulfillment of the prophesies of the OT with the coming of the kingdom, and as the kingdom was at hand so also was the fulfillment.

Matt. 16: 27-28,  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.  28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

Over and over Jesus told them that He was bringing His kingdom when He came to them.  The return of Christ was not, as some suppose, to end the physical world, but rather to establish His kingdom.  As He told them that some would still be living to see His return, then the time of His return and the time of His kingdom was in the lifetime of their generation in the first century A.D.  (See also Mk 9:1; Lk 21:31; II Tim. 4:1)

James 5:8-9, “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.”

The judge standing before the door was Christ who would be coming in judgment against those who crucified Him and persecuted His saints.

Heb. 10:37, “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.”

The book of Hebrews was written approx. 60 – 65 A.D., before the destruction of Jerusalem, and promised those Hebrews of the first century A.D. that Christ was coming soon a second time to them.

Jesus told Peter that John would live to see His coming in His kingdom.

John 21:22,  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”

John is believed to have lived until about 96 to 100 A.D.  If he lived to see Christ’s second coming, and we are assured by Christ that John did, then the second appearance and coming of Christ was before 100 A.D.

John 21:21-22, “Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.  22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Jesus was speaking to His disciples, and telling them what to watch for at the time of the destruction of their temple in Jerusalem.  As that temple was destroyed in their lifetime, in A.D. 70, then the time of all of the things which were at hand, and the time of all of the things which were to be fulfilled was their generation, their day, their world, their century… the first century A.D.

Jesus told Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin that they would see His coming.

Mk 14:62,  And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Coming in the clouds is judgment language, and the Hebrews knew it from all OT prophesy.  The Lord’s judgment was coming from on high.  (See the previous post “It’s Not The End of The World – Part III: The Judgment Language in the Old Testament” for more detail.)

This is why Caiaphas became so angry that he tore his clothes in vs. 63.  Caiaphas knew that Jesus had just pronounced judgment against him and the Sanhedrin. As only God could pronounce judgment, and as they did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, they convicted Jesus of blasphemy.

John 21:27, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

John referred to Christ’s coming in the same way in the first chapter of Revelation.

Rev. 1:7,  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

Those who pierced Him lived in the first century A.D.  Those who pierced Him, the Romans at the instigation and insistence of the Jews, were of that generation when Christ was crucified.  There is no possible way this verse can be removed from the first century A.D.

Rev. 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:”

Rev. 1:3,  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

These time statements are all throughout Revelation, just as they were stated in the gospels, and in the letters to the churches.  He told the seven churches that He was coming quickly.

Rev. 3:11, Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

It is repeated five times in the closing chapter of Revelation. See Rev. 22:6, 7 , 10,  12,  20.  That He said in verse 10, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.” was a very clear indication that these prophesies were about to happen to those living in the days the book was written!

Revelation was written before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  The temple was still standing when this vision was given to John, as he was told to measure it.  (Rev. 11:1-2.)  The measuring rod (we might say a yardstick or ruler) was a building term used in surveying, and  in both original construction and demolition of a building.  (See. Ez. 40:3ff, II Kings 21:10-13)

Rev. 12 opens with symbolic pictures of events that had already taken place in that century – the birth of Christ, the escape from the slaughter of the children under Herod, the birth of His church on the day of Pentecost – all of which pin point the time of the soon and at hand nature of Christ’s second appearance and coming in judgment in that same century.

As the book itself declares that it was relating the things which would shortly come to pass, then the events depicted in the beginning of chapter 12 are time markers for that generation, that century of Christ’s manifestation on earth.  If the rest of the visions that were promised to happen shortly are removed from that generation, then the entire book becomes a lie!

We also know the time of the writing was before the destruction of that temple, because of the reference in Rev. 2:9, and 3:9 to the “synagogue of Satan.

Those Jews that had rejected Christ as the Messiah were still worshiping and offering animal sacrifice in that temple when the book was written.  They were blaspheming by continuing to offer animal sacrifices, which had become profane once Christ was crucified.  The things which must shortly come to pass as promised in verse 1 of the book directly concerned the destruction of that temple.

Revelation could not have been written after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, which occurred in A.D. 70, because there is no mention of that event having already happened.  If it was written after the destruction of that temple, the impact upon the life of the Jews would have been so remarkable it could not fail to be mentioned as having already happened.

We have confirmation brought forth by Robert Young in his concordance (Young’s Analytical Concordance, 1885) concerning the date of the writing of Revelation:

It was written in Patmos about A.D. 68, whither John had been banished by Domitius Nero, as stated in the title of the Syria version of the book; and with this concurs the express statement of Irenaeus in A.D. 175, who says it happened in the reign of Domitianou – i.e., Domitius (Nero).  Sulpicius, Orosius, etc., stupidly mistaking Domitianou for Domitianikos, supposed Irenaeus to refer to Domitian, A.D. 95, and most succeeding writers have fallen into the same blunder.  The internal testimony is wholly in favor of the early date. The temple at Jerusalem was still standing (ch. 11.1-10); the exact duration of the siege is foretold, viz., 42 months, 3(-)1/2 years, or 1260 days; the two witnesses are to be slain in the city where our Lord was crucified; Nero was reigning at the time, for it is said of the seven kings of Rome; ‘five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.’ The five kings are Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius. The ‘one who is ‘ is Nero; the one who ‘must continue for a short space’ is Galba, who reigned only seven months. Everywhere the events are ‘to come quickly,’ lit. ‘with haste,’ or speed (ch. 1.1; 2.16; 3.11; 11.14; 22.7, 12, 20). The escape of the Christian Jews from Jerusalem to Pella is undoubtedly referred to in ch. 7.1-8, compared with Mat. 24.30.’”

Nero’s birth name was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, and he chose the name Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus after he was adopted by Claudius in 50 A.D.  Domitian was born Titus Flavius Domitianius in AD 51, and later became Caesar Domitianus Augustus.  Domitianou and Domitianikos appear to be the Greek form of their names.

There are many commentators and authors of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries who agreed that Revelation was written before the destruction of Jerusalem and that Herodian temple.

J.A.T. Robinson (1976) from Redating the New Testament, p. 13:

“One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period — the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 — is never once mentioned as a past fact. . . . [T]he silence is nevertheless as significant as the silence for Sherlock Holmes of the dog that did not bark”.

William Hurte (1884) from Catechetical Commentary: Edinburgh Scotland:

“That John saw these visions in the reign of Nero, and that they were written by him during his banishment by that emperor, is confirmed by Theophylact, Andreas, Arethas, and others. We judge, therefore, that this book was written about A.D. 68, and this agrees with other facts of history.. There are also several statements in this book which can only be understood on the ground that the judgment upon Jerusalem was then future.”

Arthur Cushman McGiffert (1890) from Eusebius, Church History, Book III, ch.5. Eusebius notes, 148, footnote 1:

“Internal evidence has driven most modern scholars to the conclusion that the Apocalypse must have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem, the banishment therefore taking place under Nero instead of Domitian.”

James M. MacDonald (1870) from Life and Writings of John, pp 171-172:

“And when we open the book itself, and find inscribed on its very pages evidence that at the time it was written Jewish enemies were still arrogant and active, and the city in which our Lord was crucified, and the temple and the altar in it were still standing, we need no date from early antiquity, not even from the hand of the author himself, to inform us that he wrote before the great historical event and prophetic epoch, the destruction of Jerusalem.”

B.F. Westcott (1825- 1903) from The Gospel According to St. John pp. clxxiv-clxxv:

“The Apocalypse is after the close of St. Paul’s work. It shows in its mode of dealing with Old Testament figures a close connexion with the Epistle to the Hebrews (2 Peter, Jude). And on the other hand it is before the destruction of Jerusalem.”

Adam Clarke (1837) from his commentary on Revelation 1:7:

“By this the Jewish People are most evidently intended, and therefore the whole verse may be understood as predicting the destruction of the Jews; and is a presumptive proof that the Apocalypse was written before the final overthrow of the Jewish state.” (6:971.)

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. (1989) from Before Jerusalem Fell, p 336:

“My confident conviction is that a solid case for a Neronic date for Revelation can be set forth from the available evidences, both internal and external. In fact, I would lean toward a date after the outbreak of the Neronic persecution in late A.D.64 and before the declaration of the Jewish war in early A.D.67. A date in either A.D.65 or early A.D.66 would seem most suitable.”

Foy E. Wallace, Jr. (1966 ) from his commentary, The Book of Revelation, foreward p. vi:

“The last hurdle was to determine whether it was composed in the Neroan or the Domitian period of the Roman empire, and the conclusion has been irresistible, predicated on the solid arguments herein postulated, that the composition of the apocalypse was of a pre-destruction of Jerusalem date, under the reign of the first of the persecuting emperors of Rome–Nero Caesar.”

Greg Bahnsen (1984) from Historical Setting for the Dating of Revelation:

“When we combine the names (of the pre-20th century advocates of the early dating of the Apocalypse of John) with the yet outstanding stature of Schaff, Terry, Lightfoot, Westcott, and Hort, we can feel the severity of Beckwith’s understatement when, in 1919, he described the Neronian dating for Revelation as “a view held by many down to recent times.”

The list of biblical scholars who agreed that the book of Revelation was written before the destruction of Jerusalem is a long one indeed, but space here prevents a full listing of them.  Many of these scholars are listed in Greg Bahnsen’s Historical Setting for the Dating of Revelation.  Most every Bible commentary prior to 1850 recognized the early date for the book of Revelation.

Revelation must be understood from the contemporary historical view point of those who received that letter in the first century A.D.  As the promises were made to them, as they were told that Christ was coming quickly, the prophesies contained in Revelation cannot be moved in time to a future generation some 2,000 years later. Doing so makes Christ appear to be a liar, and that is blasphemy.  It also deceives those who might otherwise believe the word of God.

2 Pet 1:3, ” According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”

2 Cor. 5:18 -19,  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

He gave us all we need to know to be able to come back, to be restored to God.  We can be reconciled to Him through His son, Christ Jesus, the Messiah.  That is why all prophesy and revelation ceased after the last book of the New Testament.  Once that old covenant, the old heavens and earth were judged in fire and their elements melted (2 Pet. 3: 7, 10), the new covenant, the new heavens and earth was fully established.  We don’t need anything else.  Judgment has been ongoing ever since.

Two posts at the right margin, “The Whore of Babylon” and “The Beast of Revelation” provide evidences from both Old and New Testament scriptures for the identity of each of these as they occurred in Revelation.  More detail from the scripture is also noted in the posts titled “It’s Not The End of The World”, and many others at the right margin.

Now that the time frame of Revelation is affirmed, the other signs from the book can be explored with confidence in the next parts of this series.  We will review the coded and signified elements in Part II.

All scripture is from the KJV.  All bold emphasis is mine.

 

 

Did Christ Lie to His Disciples?

We have a perspective problem.  Many people think nothing of taking the words that Christ spoke to His disciples in the first century AD out of time and place, and making them applicable to some future event and generation.

Matt. 10:23, “… Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”  (KJV)

This was a specific instruction Christ gave His disciples.  He told them to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 10:6)  He gave them instructions on how they were to travel, preach, heal, not to receive payment, how to answer and reply.  (Matt.10:7 – 22)

So, since He told them specifically who to go to, how they were to go, and that they wouldn’t finish before He came back… why does anyone find it hard to recognize that He came back in their generation, their lifetime just as He said that He would.

Hebrews promised those people who had seen Him, handled Him, traveled with Him that they would have a second appearance of Him.  (Heb. 9:28)  No other generation than that first generation of the first century A.D. could see Him a second time!  We have never seen Him a FIRST time.  How could we or any other generation possibly have a second appearance of Him when we have never had a first appearance of Him?

You cannot apply His statement which He spoke to His disciples about AD 29 – 31 to our day and time, nor can you postpone His second coming promised to that generation to another generation 2,000 years later.  He told His disciples that their days were the days of vengeance.  (Luke 21:22)  How can anyone not recognize He meant their days… not ours, and not some future generation.

His words are very simple and plain.  But they have been twisted by the Jesuits and the Vatican and the Zionists into a hard to understand fiction scenario of a future end of the world fiction Armageddon, and they have created this perverse view of the Bible for their own profit and gain.

ADJUST YOUR EYES AND LOOK AT THE WORDS AS HE SPOKE THEM!

THEN ASK YOURSELF…..WAS HE LYING TO HIS DISCIPLES?

I categorically refuse to blaspheme against my Lord and Savior by denying that He meant everything He said.  I categorically refuse to believe that He misled the disciples, or misspoke, or lied to them.  I categorically affirm that His word is truth!   If you take it out of time and place, then you are creating a problem and a possible situation of denying Him.

Just because many may not know the secular history of the events of the first century A.D., or of the history of Israel, Judea, and Rome does not mean they did not happen.  It does, however, beg the question of why we do not know this history very well.  Is it possible that this information is deliberately withheld, or discounted as unimportant?

Revelation was written in 66, or 68 A.D. to the first century Christians to warn them about the destruction of Jerusalem, the great tribulation that they were undergoing with the persecution from NERO and the Judean wars with Rome.  Each lasted 3-1/2 years, and was the final 3-1/2 years of the last 7 year prophesy given to Daniel.  This prophesy was carried out in A.D. 70, and scattered the power of the holy people (the Jews) at that time.  See my post “The Seventy Years of Daniel Chap. 9”.

Jerusalem was the whore of Babylon identified in Revelation.  See the posts “The Whore of Babylon” and “The Beast of Revelation”.  See also the post Part V of It’s Not The End of The World for the dating of the book of Revelation.

Several things happened at that time, which are outlined in the parable of the wedding feast in Matt. 22.  First the city, Jerusalem, was burned.  Immediately after that the wedding feast took place, and at the wedding feast judgment began.  Those not clothed with the righteousness of Christ, those not covered by His blood, those not baptized into His name were thrown into outer darkness, and those who were clothed in Christ were taken home to heaven.  (Matt. 25:33, Rev. 20:12-15.)  That was the corporate resurrection.

Thereafter, the establishment of His kingdom, and His new heaven and earth covenant is described in Rev. 21.  This is spiritual, not temporal.  Christ’s everlasting kingdom, and the perfect New Jerusalem are not a physical kingdom nor a physical city on this earth.  Christ’s kingdom is within us, and came without observation. (Luke 17:20)  It is the kingdom of heaven.  (Matt. 4:17, 5:3, 10,19,20; 7:21; 8:11. etc)  It is not of this world. (John 18:36)

The reference to heaven and earth is a metaphor.  The old heaven and earth was the old covenant which was about to pass away as they were told in Hebrews 8:13 in the first century A.D.  It was replaced with a new covenant, a new heaven and earth after the destruction of Jerusalem and that old, profane sacrificial temple in Jerusalem.  That was the passing away of the old covenant and the old heaven and earth.  (Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33)

2 Pet. 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”   (KJV)

Written in the first century A.D. to the Christians who read and heard it in the first century A.D.  It had not yet come to them, so it was still future to them.  But it did happen in their lifetime, so it is now a past event for us. This was the burning of Jerusalem.

A day of the Lord was a day of judgment, as all the Hebrew people knew from the OT prophesies.  (See the posts Part II – IV of It’s Not The End of The World for the judgment language of God.  See the posts Heaven and Earth Have Passed Away, and The Burning of Jerusalem and The Hadean Death for full explanation.)

The burning of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 was the heavens and earth passing away.  The elements of the old covenant melted with fervent heat.  All that was in Jerusalem and that temple were burned and destroyed.

The new heaven and earth, the new covenant came into our midst, and was made available to all nations on earth, to all those who will answer the gospel call of Christ.  This is the fulfillment of the prophesies of Isaiah and Micah that people from all nations of earth would flow into the house of the Lord, and it has been in operation since Christ died on the cross.  (Is.2:2, Micah 4:1-2)

Revelation is recorded for our example and edification, so that we can know that God’s judgment is true, and that He carried it out just as He said He would.  It is recorded so that we can know that any nation that turns their back on God is opening the door to His judgment, and that since He came in judgment on His own people as He did in A.D. 70, then He will come in judgment whenever He deems necessary against any nation that rejects Him.

So, liken and compare the US or any other nation to the condition of Jerusalem as they were in the first century A.D., or to the modern state of Israel today, and you have a condition ripe for another day of the Lord.

But, individual judgment waits for all those who are not clothed in Christ, and do not have on the wedding garments.  When we die, those of us in Christ hear our last trump, are resurrected and changed in the twinkling of an eye, and are taken home to heaven.  (1 Cor. 15:52; Rev. 14:13)  Those not clothed in Christ, not covered by His blood are cast out.  (Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30)  See Part VII of It’s Not The End of The World for more information on this individual judgment day.

If you have not already, I recommend you read Part I of It’s Not The End of The World and work through Part X to see all evidences of the first century A.D. fulfillment of Christ’s word.

God’s Definitions – Part II: The House of God

Under the old covenant established in the exodus wilderness between God and the house of Israel, the Israelites built a tabernacle where the priests could enter under prescribed conditions to meet with God, to offer sacrifices for the sins of the people, and to minister unto God.

This tabernacle was built of curtains, animal skins, and other materials which God detailed for its construction, and which the Israelites set up and disassembled as they traveled for over 400 years.

Ex. 25:8-9, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.  According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

The sanctuary was patterned after the tabernacle!  Which tabernacle?

After his battles with the Philistines, about 445 years after the exodus from Egypt, King David expressed the desire to build a house for the Lord to honor Him for all that God had done for David.  God did not allow David to build that house, because David’s hands were bloody. (1 Chron. 22:8)  God allowed David to gather and store the supplies for the house of God, but it was given unto Solomon to order the actual construction. (1 Chron. 22:9ff)

The house of God, or the house of the Lord under the old covenant became the temple at Jerusalem.

1 Chron. 6:48, ” Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.

 1 Chron. 9:26,  For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.

 1 Chron 22:19, Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.

 2 Chron. 7:5, And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

 2 Chron. 36:7,  Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.”

 2 Chron. 36:18, And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.”

 2 Chron. 36:23, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.”

But just as the definition of the house of Israel changed under the new covenant (see Part I at the right), so did the definition and place of the house of God.

Most people miss this change because of the English words used in certain places in the English translations.  Let’s look at a key passage of scripture as translated in Young’s Literal Translation (YLT).  It is probably one of the most confused, or misunderstood passages in scripture because of the other references under the old covenant to the physical earthly temple in Jerusalem.  People assume it is speaking of the same temple in Jerusalem.

2 Sam. 7:1-2, ” And it cometh to pass, when the king sat in his house, and Jehovah hath given rest to him round about, from all his enemies, that the king saith unto Nathan the prophet, `See, I pray thee, I am dwelling in a house of cedars, and the ark of God is dwelling in the midst of the curtain.’

Nathan did not check with God first, but told David that he should do all that was in his heart since God was with him.  But, during the night God intervened, and gave Nathan another message for David.

2 Sam. 7:5-7, “`Go, and thou hast said unto My servant, unto David, Thus said Jehovah, Dost thou build for Me a house for My dwelling in?  for I have not dwelt in a house even from the day of My bringing up the sons of Israel out of Egypt, even unto this day, and am walking up and down in a tent and in a tabernacle.  During all [the time] that I have walked up and down among all the sons of Israel, a word have I spoken with one of the tribes of Israel which I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, `Why have ye not built to Me a house of cedars?”

If God had wanted a house, an earthly dwelling, he would have told the children of Israel to build one for Him.  But, He had not done so.

God rehearses for David in verses 8 – 11 how He had made David a leader of His people, Israel, had cut off his enemies from before him, had given Israel a place to rest, and built a house for David.  And, then we come to verse 12.

2 Sam. 7:12-16, ” `When thy days are full, and thou hast lain with thy fathers, then I have raised up thy seed after thee which goeth out from thy bowels, and have established his kingdom; 

13 He doth build a house for My Name, and I have established the throne of his kingdom unto the age. 

14 I am to him for a father, and he is to Me for a son; whom in his dealings perversely I have even reproved with a rod of men, and with strokes of the sons of Adam,

15 and My kindness doth not turn aside from him, as I turned it aside from Saul, whom I turned aside from before thee,

16 and stedfast [is] thy house and thy kingdom unto the age before thee, thy throne is established unto the age.'”

Most readers believe this passage of scripture refers to Solomon.  But, if we look at it carefully, we can tell that God is speaking of another son.

Look at “When thy days are full, and thou has lain with thy fathers”…and.. “I have raised up thy seed after thee.”   Surely, David’s son Solomon was living when David died.  So, raising up a seed after David dies is not referring to Solomon.

Vs. 14 speaks of the son of God.  Who is the son of God who would be reproved with the rod of men, and the strokes of the sons of Adam?  And, whose throne would be established forever?

Heb 1:5,  For to which of the messengers said He ever, `My Son thou art — I to-day have begotten thee?’ and again, `I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son?’ 

The son spoken of 2 Sam. chap. 7 is Christ, not Solomon.  This was a prophesy given to David of another house of God that would be established under Christ.  It was Christ who was going to suffer the strokes that were / are due for all of the sons of Adam, and who took on the sins of the world.

Is. 53:4-5, ” Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains — he hath carried them, And we — we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us.;

Was it Solomon’s throne that would be established forever, or Christ’s?  Surely, we can say that it is Christ’s throne that is established forever.  Christ was going to build God’s eternal  and forever house, not Solomon.

2 Sam. 7:19.  And yet this [is] little in Thine eyes, Lord Jehovah, and Thou dost speak also concerning the house of Thy servant afar off; and this [is] the law of the Man, Lord Jehovah.”

2 Sam. 7:25, ” `And now, Jehovah God, the word which Thou hast spoken concerning Thy servant, and concerning his house, establish unto the age, and do as Thou hast spoken;”

“Thy servant afar off” is not a reference to Solomon.  “The law of the Man” refers to the God’s command to the first Adam, and the promise made of the seed of the woman, the second Adam, the promised Messiah.  (Gen. 3:15, 1 Cor. 15:45-47)

The parallel verse is in 1 Chron. 17:17:

And this is small in Thine eyes, O God, and Thou speakest concerning the house of thy servant afar off, and hast seen me as a type of the man who is on high, O Jehovah God!”

David understood the eternal nature of the everlasting house of God, and the forever nature of the kingdom.  (Acts 2:30)  It therefore follows that an earthly house and an earthly kingdom was not being discussed in 2 Sam. 7.  Earthly, temporal kingdoms do not last forever.

Luke 1:32-33, 32 he shall be great, and Son of the Highest he shall be called, and the Lord God shall give him the throne of David his father, 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob to the ages; and of his reign there shall be no end.’

Solomon’s house and Solomon’s kingdom were promised conditionally upon obedience to the Lord.  (I Chron. 28:6-9)  God commanded Solomon to build a house for a sanctuary, a holy place (1 Chron. 28:10)  which was a pattern of the heavenly things (Ex.25:9 ; 1 Chron. 28:19; Heb. 8:5; 9:23), where the priests of Israel would serve the Lord (1 Chron 28:21).

Most everyone believes that every reference to the house of the Lord, or the house of God is speaking of that earthly temple which stood in Jerusalem until A.D. 70.  Or, they misapply it to a future earthly temple they believe will be rebuilt someday at Jerusalem.

When taken in totality, the earthly temple has to be viewed as a temporary sanctuary, conditional upon the obedience of the Israelites, which was destined to fail.

The temple in Jerusalem was not the house which Christ would build.

Is. 9:7, To the increase of the princely power, And of peace, there is no end, On the throne of David, and on his kingdom, To establish it, and to support it, In judgment and in righteousness, Henceforth, even unto the age, The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts doth this.” (YLT)

Christ’s reign is everlasting, without end. (Psa. 145:13; Is. 45:17; Dan 4:3, 4:34; 7:14; 7:27; 2 Pet. 1:11)  Solomon’s reign and throne was temporal, and eventually ended in the division of the earthly kingdom of Israel.  Only a heavenly kingdom with a heavenly throne can be everlasting.

Zech. 6:12-13, ” And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord:  13 Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”  (KJV)

John 2:19, ” Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (KJV)

Christ told the Judeans that the earthly temple would be destroyed, and that in three days He would raise it up.  He became the temple after His death on the cross, and His resurrection on the third day.

John 2:21-22,  But he spake of the temple of his body22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” (KJV)

Acts 7:44-50, “  Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.

45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

46 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.

47 But Solomon built him an house.

48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

50 Hath not my hand made all these things?”  (KJV)

1 Cor 3:16, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”  (KJV)

1 Tim. 3:15, ” But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”  (KJV)

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

Heb 3:6, “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (KJV)

Heb. 10:21-21, ” By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  21 And having an high priest over the house of God;”  (KJV)

Christ, the Messiah, is now the high priest over the spiritual, heavenly, eternal house of God.

Rev. 21:22, And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

There was a change under the new covenant in the nature and place of the house of the Lord.  It is now eternal, never to be torn down again, never to end.  It is now the church which Christ established.  It is now in heaven.  The third and final temple is a spiritual, heavenly place, not temporal, and not earthly.

As was foretold to David about 1,000 years earlier, the house of God was established by Christ at His crucifixion and resurrection.  Christ and our heavenly Father are the temple.  Those of us who are baptized into Christ are in that temple.

We are the royal priests (1 Pet. 2:9) ministering unto God, and our sacrifices are the fruit of our lips and our good works, praising His name continually. (1 Pet 2:5; Eph. 2:10, Heb 13:15, Titus 2:4)

And so, as Isaiah and Micah did prophesy that all nations would flow into the house of the Lord, today everyone from every nation that is baptized into Christ flows into that spiritual, heavenly house of God.  (Is. 2:2, and Micah 4:1-2.)

There is not going to be a third temple of the Lord erected in Jerusalem on this earth.  There is not going to be a profane animal, sacrificial worship re-established in Jerusalem.  That system was pronounced in judgment and called profane from the moment Christ was crucified, and was destroyed by God in A.D. 70 under the Roman siege of Jerusalem.

Christ told them, “your house is left unto you desolate“. (Matt. 23:38)  By those very words, He disassociated Himself and our heavenly Father from that earthly temple in Jerusalem.  The Judeans had rejected the Messiah, the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and continued on in blasphemy.  Further signified by His statements in Rev. 2:9, and 3:9 calling them the synagogue of Satan.

All of those misguided people today who have supported the current state of Israel in anticipation of a future earthly temple supposedly to be built in Jerusalem, allegedly for the Lord, have been deceived by the Zionists and Jesuits, who plotted for their own gain to convince the world of a different gospel than Christ once delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3) ( See Part VI of It’s Not The End of The World)

All of those people who have sided with the state of Israel are standing against Christ and the word of God.  Whether they know it or not, they are supporting anti-Christs, and are in danger.

God’s providence has already prevented the Jews / Judeans from rebuilding that earthly temple three times.  See here , and here, and here.  As the third attempt was frustrated by the Islamic invasion in the 7th century A.D., I believe God is using the pagan temple of the Dome of the Rock to frustrate an even further atrocity contemplated by those who call themselves Jews today.  They have agreed to wait until the Messiah comes before they take any action against the Dome of the Rock.

As the Messiah has already come, they are going to have a long wait!

Sources:  Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) and the KJV.  All bold emphasis is mine.

God’s Definitions – Part I: The House of Israel

It is sometimes difficult for people to look at things from God’s perspective.  We have to imagine ourselves looking down from His point of view to see ourselves as He does.  We also have to realign our ideas so that they accord with His definitions.

The only way to know what He has said, and what He means is to study His word which He has given unto us through the work of the Holy Spirit, and is preserved for us in the Bible.  It would be nice for some of us if the Bible was constructed as a technical manual with component pieces clearly identified, definitions at the front, and operating instructions at the back.

But, even though the Bible is not laid out as a technical manual, it has all of the elements in it.  The trouble is not with how God wrote the Bible; it is with the limitations of man’s reasoning.  We just don’t comprehend all of the nuances in God’s word.  Instead of rushing through His word, we need to slow down a little, and think about it.

For instance, when God said that he was a husband unto them (Israel) in Jer. 31:32, then we should examine the implications of that statement.  Instead of continuing to read on, and gloss over the surface, we should stop and consider the fullness of God’s statement and what it really entails.

If God represented the husband part of the covenant relationship, then Israel represented the position of the wife in that relationship.  God was the caretaker, the provider; Israel was the woman, the housekeeper, and the mother of His children, and part of the example for their children.  Maybe we should ask who represented the children of that covenant marriage?

So what does God mean when He says “The House of Israel”?

The first thing we generally understand is the reference to Jacob, Abraham’s grandson whom God renamed Israel, and thereafter, all of their fleshly descendants.   We think of the house of Israel as the fleshly children of Israel, the tribes of Israel.

But, there are some other scriptures we need to include in our consideration of “the house of Israel”.

Mat. 3:9, “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

Luke 3:8, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

John was telling the Pharisees and Sadducees, the sects of the Judeans (Jews), that their fleshly lineage to Abraham, their genealogy was not the deciding factor in whether they were worthy.  Then something else was needed to be considered worthy.

Matt. 3:8, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:”

If you are going to be worthy of the inheritance, to be considered as children of God, of the house of Israel, then you have to be obedient and faithful.

Rom. 4:8-13, 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

It is the faithful that are the House of Israel.  The circumcised Jews thought they were so special that all the rest of mankind was cursed, and not to be considered equal to them.  The message that John and Christ brought in the fullness of time during the first century A.D. was that the faithful, those who followed after our heavenly Father were of the House of Israel.

Rom. 4:16-18, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.”

This idea, that all of mankind, that all nations of the world were invited, were called to come back to God, was inconceivable to the many of the Jews.  They misunderstood the covenant relationship with God from the very beginning of that covenant given in the exodus wilderness.

They were to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Ex. 19:6), an example unto all of the other nations on earth of how to be acceptable to God.  They were to be holy, a wife honoring one husband, and a mother to the other nations on earth.

Instead, the Israelites became proud, snapped their suspenders, believing they were the only people on earth whom God loved.  Jesus made a point of telling those in Nazareth that there were others outside of Israel who had received God’ blessings when none in Israel had. (Luke 4: 25-27)

It was for the promise God made to Abraham, for Abraham’s sake that God used the children of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob to bless all nations of the earth. (Gen. 26:24; 28:4; Ex. 32:13; Is. 41:8; Acts 3:25)

It was never for the sake of the children of Israel, but for the sake of Abraham!  Abraham’s faith was reckoned unto him for righteousness!  (Gen. 15:6)

Rom 9:7-8, “ Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Rom. 9:25-26, “As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.  26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

Rom. 9:30-32,  What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;”

The call of the gospel of Christ is open to everyone of every nation and tribe on earth.  Everyone who believes and is baptized into Christ, puts on Christ, and becomes of the seed of Abraham.

Gal. 3:8-9, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

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

Christ is the seed of the promise made to Abraham.  It is through Christ that we can become children of Abraham, by faith!

Gal. 3:26-29,  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

So, the house of Israel were always those of the faithful of God, those who followed after the spirit of God, and are sons / children of God.  (Roms. 8:14)

Therefore, when God said that he would make a new covenant with the house of Israel (Jer. 31:31, 33), who was He speaking of?

Under the old covenant the house of Israel were the physical children of Jacob, all those that could trace their genealogy back to their physical ancestor, Abraham.  When we are reading the Old Testament, we know that the references to the house of Israel were speaking of the tribes of Israel, the descendants of Jacob.

But, under the new covenant, the house of Israel are all those that have been baptized into Christ, the line of the faithful!  So the new covenant that He made with the house of Israel, is with all those that are in Christ!

All of those misguided people in the state of Israel, which was created through guile and deceit in 1948, who claim to be Jews, have rejected Christ as the Messiah, and are anti-Christ by their own admission.  They hate Christ, and are therefore none of God’s people, and are not of the house of Israel.  No one should be agreeing to support that state of Israel for God’s sake, nor for Christ’s sake.  They are none of Christ’s.   Anyone supporting an anti-Christ is denying Christ, and standing against Christ!

Today, the house of Israel are spread throughout all nations of the world where ever they are, whomever have been baptized into Christ.  Just as God promised Abraham that his seed should be multiplied as the stars of heaven, so they are! (Gen. 22:17; 26:4; Ex. 32:13)

Is A Woman Commanded to Keep Silent in the Church?

We struggle with many left over concepts that the Protestant Reformation brought along with them out of the Catholic church.  Martin Luther’s education within the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) still carried the lessons he had been taught from their priests.   One of these lessons is the misunderstanding about 1 Cor. 14:26-30:

26How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.  27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.  32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.” (Young’s Literal Translation [YLT])

First, I think both men and women have a tendency to make application where an idea appeals to them, or provides them a happy reason to exert force and control over someone else. And, just perhaps men are extremely eager to take advantage of one instance where they see support in telling a woman to shut up.

This appeal to the individual ego… see God told me I could right here…. overrides all logic and the rest of what the Bible says.  The Bible has to be taken as a whole, and one scripture cannot be used to support a position or belief when other scriptures show differently.

Second, the pagan societies held women as second class citizens, and at times the RCC did the same, even going so far as some priests teaching during the dark ages that women were last in God’s eyes.

Tertullian said that women were the devil’s gateway.  In the 3rd century, Origen stated, “What is seen with the eyes of the creator is masculine, and not feminine, for God does not stoop to look upon what is feminine and of the flesh.”   And, in the 4th century, Epiphanius stated, “The devil seeks to vomit out his disorder through women.”

“The male sex is more noble than the female, and for this reason he [Jesus] took human nature in the male sex.” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae III: 31:4 ad 1)

“As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power…” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Q92, art. 1, Reply Obj. 1)

The Greco-Roman pagan, misogynist world thinking was taking over the teachings of the Christ and the Apostles, and still is with us today.

The Rabbinical teachings of the Jews coming out of Babylonian captivity rebounded with harsh strictures against women in both assembly and home life, as though by strictly controlling the women, they might avoid any further sins.  I guess they thought the women were the main reason for their sins of idolatry against God.

The rabbis ruled that women had to sit on separate sides of the assembly, that they could not speak in the assembly, that all singing must be solemn chanting, they were not allowed to study the scriptures, and more.  Women were not allowed to speak to men in public, as is still the case in many nations today.

But, Christianity offered women the equality of being co-heirs of the promise, and many women in the early years of the first century held prominent positions and did much for work of the conversions to Christ’s church.

Acts 2:17-18, “And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;  18 and also upon My men-servants, and upon My maid-servants, in those days, I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy;”

The pouring forth of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost at the establishment of Christ’s church in approximately 31-33 AD fell upon both men and women, as had been prophesied from Joel 2:28, in a very male dominated society.

1 Cor. 14:36, “36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

Rom. 16:1-2, “And I commend you to Phebe our sister — being a ministrant of the assembly that [is] in Cenchreathat ye may receive her in the Lord, as doth become saints, and may assist her in whatever matter she may have need of you — for she also became a leader of many, and of myself. (YLT)

Acts 21:8-9, “and on the morrow Paul and his company having gone forth, we came to Cesarea, and having entered into the house of Philip the evangelist — who is of the seven — we remained with him,  and this one had four daughters, virgins, prophesying. (YLT)

Phil. 4:2-3,  Euodia I exhort, and Syntyche I exhort, to be of the same mind in the Lord;  and I ask also thee, genuine yoke-fellow, be assisting those women who in the good news did strive along with me, with Clement also, and the others, my fellow-workers, whose names [are] in the book of life.  (YLT)

These women worked alongside Paul, spreading and teaching the good news to others.

Gal. 3:28-29,  there is not here Jew or Greek, there is not here servant nor freeman, there is not here male and female, for all ye are one in Christ Jesus;  29 and if ye [are] of Christ then of Abraham ye are seed, and according to promise — heirs.”  (YLT)

Men and women are “sons of God.”  Gal. 3:26.  Both men and women in Christ are of the seed of Abraham, and co-heirs of the promise!

1 Cor. 11:5,  and every woman praying or prophesying with the head uncovered, doth dishonour her own head, for it is one and the same thing with her being shaven,”

The women were praying and prophesying in public, and the issue here was that they were to cover their heads when doing so as the sign of subjection to both their husbands and to Christ.

In fact, a close examination 1 Cor. chap. 11 shows the subject is the conduct and manner of dress IN THE ASSEMBLIES.  So, the women held a role of praying and prophesying in the first century A.D. in the assemblies as a part of those who received the gifts of the Holy Spirit in that day and time!

You must consider the time period, and that these newly converted Hebrews had suddenly been given new spiritual gifts with which they were learning to contend. They weren’t born with these gifts; they had to learn how to handle them.

If everyone spoke / prophesied at the same time, then there was disorder. If one prophet spoke, the one sitting next to him was to keep still. If those with gifts of tongues (foreign languages) spoke when there was no foreigner attending the assembly, then what use would that be.  If there was no interpreter of that foreign language to tell those in the assembly what the tongue-speaker was saying, then no one would benefit.

Likewise the prophet’s wives were not to interrupt their husbands while speaking in the assembly.  But, moreover, 1 Cor. 14:36 is admonishing the men for their tendency to belittle the women as their male dominated society had been taught to do by their Rabbis.  And, that is why the comment about “as also saith the law” is key.

Why would Paul be putting women under the commandment of the law, while preaching throughout his ministry that all of us have been liberated from the law?  (Rom. 3:28. 6:14, 7:16, 8:2; Gal. 3:11, 13. 4:15, 5:18; etc)  Paul did not quote any scripture in 1 Cor. 14:34-35.  Whenever he quoted scripture he typically provided the reference, or said it is written.  If Paul actually made these statements in 1 Cor. 14:34-35, and there is some question about the authenticity of them, then Paul was quoting back to the men their Rabbinical laws, not God’s law.  (See here for more discussion.)

1 Cor. 14:36, “36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

The word of God did not come from men, nor did it come to them only!  Paul could not have been teaching that women should remain silent in church when he had previously discussed the dress and conduct while praying and prophesying in chapter 11.  If these verses are not an addition by the RCC, then Paul was chastising the men for their disparity of women.

The problem in 1 Cor. chap. 14 was the orderly conduct in the assemblies with the misuse of the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to the first century believers.  The whole issue was simply that the wives of the prophets were not to interrupt their husbands during assembly and worship service.

How are we to take this today?  Well, as the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased, as we have the written word of God with us today, it doesn’t really apply to us.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit were for those two generations as Peter told them on the day of Pentecost.

Acts. 2:39, for to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.’

The gifts of the Holy Spirit were for a time period to aid in the call of the gospel before the writings / record of that word was circulated to the churches.  The gifts were for that generation, they and their children and the gentiles that would be called during that first century A.D.

We have that record today.  We have the teachings of the Apostles and disciples in the New Testament.  We have the Spirit through the word.  They had the Spirit poured out by the laying on of the hands of the apostles after they were baptized.

That gift of the Holy Spirit taught them the word of God.  They were just having some trouble knowing how best to utilize a new talent God gave them.

Then we have Paul’s instructions to a young Timothy in his first letter to Timothy, written approximately 57 A.D. most probably from Macedonia, as Timothy stayed in Ephesus.  1 Tim. 2: 8-12:

 I wish, therefore, that men pray in every place, lifting up kind hands, apart from anger and reasoning;  in like manner also the women, in becoming apparel, with modesty and sobriety to adorn themselves, not in braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or garments of great price, 10 but — which becometh women professing godly piety — through good works.  11 Let a woman in quietness learn in all subjection, 12 and a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule a husband, but to be in quietness,”

On the one hand, Paul is instructing that women should pray continually as the men, but in modesty and sobriety, just as the men are to pray continually apart from anger.  But, then he adds that they are not to teach, nor rule a husband, but to be quiet.  Paul was instructing Timothy on the conduct and manner of the assembly.  The admonition was against women teaching and assuming authority over men in the assembly.

If a woman was never to teach, then how would this verse comport with Aquilas and Priscilla teaching Apollos more exactly?  (Acts 18:26)   They took him aside after the synagogue / assembly.

I do not believe that 1 Cor. 14: 34-35 is meant to teach that women are to be absolutely silent in church!  On the other hand, I do not believe the scriptures allow a woman to teach in the assembly, nor to exert authority in the assembly over men.

However, I do believe the scriptures show that women were deacons, ministrants to the assembly, and workers along with men to teach others outside of the assembly.  I believe that women who know and study the word should participate in bible study, in private correction after the assembly, in ministering to others, and in teaching the gospel of Christ to those we come in contact with in our daily lives.

Further reading: Manhood, Womanhood and the Freedom to Minister

Rethinking The Sabbaths

In a previous post (Passover, Crucifixion, and The Lord’s Day…) I had not found any evidence that Constantine had changed the day of worship from Saturday / Sabbath to Sunday; only that he had changed the names of the days according to his pagan beliefs.

Later, while comparing the scriptures from the KJV to Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) I noticed something disturbing that I have been researching now for some months.  Young’s Literal Translation does not agree with the KJV (nor any of the other English translations) for the day of Christ’s resurrection.

Matt. 28:1, “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” (KJV)

Matt. 28:1, “And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre,” (YLT)

This difference occurs in all of the gospels.

Mark 16:1-2, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.” (KJV)

Mark 16:1-2, “And the sabbath having past, Mary the Magdalene, and Mary of James, and Salome, bought spices, that having come, they may anoint him,  and early in the morning of the first of the sabbaths, they come unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun,”  (YLT)

Luke 24:1,Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”  (KJV)

Luke 24:1, And on the first of the sabbaths, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bearing the spices they made ready, and certain [others] with them,” (YLT)

John 20:1, The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”  (KJV)

John 20:1, And on the first of the sabbaths, Mary the Magdalene doth come early (there being yet darkness) to the tomb, and she seeth the stone having been taken away out of the tomb,” (YLT)

Young’s Literal Translation is a word-for-word translation from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.  This makes it choppy to read alone, but an excellent companion to understand the context and subject matter of the original languages.  I have come to rely upon it more and more as it clarifies many of the mistranslations in other English versions.   The differences that I have found in other verses between the KJV and Young’s were mostly because of misunderstandings due to preconceived beliefs of the translators. In other words, they imbedded their beliefs and biases into the translations by selecting the English word that would best convey their understanding of the scripture.

The Hebrew word for sabbath means to stop, to cease or to keep, as when God ceased creation and rested on the seventh day.  Because of this, it began to be used by the Hebrews essentially as a seven count of something, and usually seven days, or a week.  We see references to sabbath years, a group of seven years in Lev. 25:8.  There were seven perfect sabbaths between the feast of unleavened bread and Pentecost. (Lev. 23:15) There were seven months of feast days, or sabbath days.  Collectively, the Hebrews endowed the word with a more fuller sense than just that of the last day of the week.

The translators of the English text made an assumption that the original language meant “first of the week.”  This was and is as bad a practice as all of the Catholic priests who, during the centuries, felt free to alter the Latin Vulgate in favor of what they thought the scriptures really should have said.

So, the first question to ask in this study was the meaning in Young’s of “the first of the sabbaths”.

After the Passover at evening on 14 Nissan was the feast of Unleavened Bread on 15 Nissan.  These days were also sometimes called sabbaths because they were feast days / holy days according to the law.  After the annual sabbath feast of Unleavened Bread, which as a calendar day could fall on any day of the week, the regular sabbath day of rest (Saturday) would be observed for 7 sabbaths to count to the 50th day for the wave offering and the first fruits; Pentecost and Sunday.  (Lev. 23:1-20.)  Therefore, after the sabbath feast days had passed, the “first of the sabbaths” must be a reference to the first of the seven regular sabbaths counted to Pentecost.

When Christ was crucified as the Passover Lamb, on 14 Nissan, the next day was the feast of Unleavened Bread, and then some time passed before Mary went to the sepulcher on the first regular sabbath / Saturday day of rest.  The next question then is how much time passed?

Jesus told that wicked generation the sign in Matt. 12:40:

” For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (KJV)

If we are to keep strictly to the scriptures, I believe we must quit making an accommodation for the Catholic church doctrine.  Jesus said three days and three nights.  So, if Mary came to the sepulcher at dawn on the first of the seven sabbaths counting to Pentecost, then we count backwards three nights and three days.  The first regular sabbath morn was preceded by Friday night (Night 3).  Count Friday as Day 3, Thursday night as Night 2; Thursday day as Day 2; Wednesday night as Night 1; and then Wednesday was the crucifixion day, or Day 1. (Inclusive Jewish count.)

According to the sign, Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, and resurrected before dawn on Saturday, or the next regular sabbath day.

This would mean that Christ was crucified in 31 A.D., not 30 or 33 A.D. as that was the only year of these with a Wednesday Passover.  Although, some early references are to 32 A.D., and also to the 4th year of the 202nd Olympiad, which could have been in either 30, 31, or 32 A.D.  But, this is another paper.   And, a Wednesday crucifixion day also literally completes the “mid-week” prophesy of Dan 9:24-27 when Christ would be cut off.

The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) admits to changing the Sabbath day of worship to the Lord’s Day on Sunday.

From the Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine:

  1. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
    A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea, (AD 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday….
    Q. Why did the Catholic Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
    A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday, because Christ rose from the dead on a Sunday, and the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles on a Sunday.
    Q. By what authority did the Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
    A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her!
    —Rev. Peter Geiermann, C.SS.R., (1946), p. 50.

From the Catechism of the Council of Trent:

The Church of God has thought it well to transfer the celebration and observance of the Sabbath to Sunday!     –p 402, second revised edition (English), 1937.  (First published in 1566)

And, from the Augsburg Confession:

They [the Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord’s day, contrary to the decalogue, as it appears; neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day. Great, they say, is the power and authority of the church, since it dispensed with one of the ten commandments.    —Art. 28.

The Council of Trent met 25 times from 1545 and 1563.  It was dominated by Jesuits, using deceit and deliberate delay, they avoided the king’s command to include the Reformers and their Received Text.  The Jesuits prevailed in their arguments for tradition to be upheld above the authority of the scriptures through archbishop of Reggio’s sermon, in which he argued that the church had power to change the commandments because by its power alone the church had already changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.  (See Archbishop of Reggio’s Sermon)

The Jesuits won the argument, and embedded traditions of men over the authority of the scriptures, thereby further alienating the RCC from the word of God.

So, it does appear that the RCC officially and formally changed the day of worship from the sabbath day to a the first day of the week, a day that Constantine had renamed as Sunday.  But, this was a formality only, as the then current practice of the early Christians were already worshiping on Sunday.

Their Sunday worship on the first day of the week was in keeping with some of the practices of the apostles.  It can be seen in the writings of the early Christian “fathers” such as Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Ignatius who spoke against the Judaizers and cautioned against Jewish manners of old customs of idleness who were perceived as not following the spirit of the teachings of Christ and the apostles. Eusebius stated that the Christians had transferred the sabbath to the first day of the week, Sunday, because of establishment of the church on Pentecost, and the breaking of bread on Sunday.  (Acts 21-42; 20:7)

Did the early Christians and apostles make a mistake in abandoning the sabbath?

Rom. 13:8-10, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

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

It is Jesus’ love for us that fulfilled the law and the prophets.  His sacrifice for us, to pay the sins for all those that are baptized into His name, that we are to pay forward.  He forgives us when we repent of our sins.  We are to practice this same love, and in so doing the law of God is fulfilled.

Col. 2:16-17, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:  17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”  (KJV)

All of the scriptures must work together.  Many problems come because the scriptures are parsed, and taken out of context.  One such is Matt 5:18:

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (KJV)

I have discussed the meaning of the OT phrase “heaven and earth” in a previous post.  (See the right margin for Heaven and Earth Have Passed Away.) Heaven and earth referred to the covenant between God and Israel in the Old Testament.  God and Israel…. heaven and earth… the promise between the two.

Let’s critically examine the fourth commandment in Ex. 31:1-17:

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.(KJV)

Remember the rules for studying God’s word.  Identify who is speaking to whom, identify the time period, identify any sequence of events, and keep to the subject matter.

God was speaking to Moses telling Moses what to say to the children / tribes of Israel. The fourth commandment was a sign between God and the children of Israel throughout their generations.  This was a commandment under the old covenant.  The time period was of the Mosaic covenant given to the tribes of Israel after the exodus from Egypt.  The subject is the covenant between God and the children of Israel.

Ex. 31:16-17, ” and the sons of Israel have observed the sabbath; to keep the sabbath to their generations [is] a covenant age-during, 17 between Me and the sons of Israel it [is] a sign — to the age; for six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, and in the seventh day He hath ceased, and is refreshed.’” (YLT)

Young’s translation makes it clear that this commandment was for the tribes of Israel to the end of their generations…. “age-during”….as long as the covenant between God and the tribes of Israel, or the children of Israel.. the fleshly tribes of Israel endured.

When did that covenant with the tribes of Israel cease?   One of the many things that Christ came to do was to fulfill the OT prophesies, of which was the end of that Mosaic sacrificial covenant and it’s sacrificial temple.  The fleshly, earthly tribes of Israel are no more.  God scattered the power of those people in A.D. 70.  The Israelites had been His holy people until they rejected Him, constantly turning from Him to worship idols.

God maintained the land of Judah for the sole purpose of the manifestation of His son on earth to fulfill those prophesies and annull the old covenant.

Heb. 7:18, For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.” (KJV)

Heb. 8:8-9,  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.”  (KJV)

The new covenant, the new heaven and earth is between God and spiritual Israel, and was established beginning at the cross of Christ and finalized at the destruction of Jerusalem and that old temple in A.D. 70.  Spiritual Israel are all those who have put on Christ through baptism, and are of the spiritual seed of Abraham.  We keep His commandments now through our love for Him and of our fellow man, just as His love paid the price for all of us. (Matt. 22:36-40)

Do you want to bind the old covenant on to the new?  Do you want to worship Him just on the sabbath / Saturday?  Under the new covenant, every day is a day in which we should be living for Him.  Every morning we wake up is another opportunity to do His will, and to tell someone else of the promised rest to be found in Christ.  (Heb. 4:1-11)

At this time, I believe the scriptures show that Christ was resurrected early before dawn on a Saturday. I believe that the early Christians began a practice under the apostles of breaking bread and preaching continually, including on Sundays. No matter what the Catholics teach, at this point in my understanding, under the new covenant, I do not believe that God will disdain any time of worship that we give Him, whether it be Saturday, Sunday, or Wednesday evening.

Rom. 14:5, ” One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (KJV)

All bold emphasis is mine.  See other posts at right margin for more evidences of the fulfillment of OT prophesy.  Other sources:

Tradition, The Council of Trent

Did the Catholic Church Change the 1o Commandments

Do You Need To Be Baptized To Be Saved?

Gen. 15:6, speaking of Abram, And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Some people read the statements from the Old Testament about Abram’s belief in God being reckoned unto him for righteousness, and use it as an example for us today.  However, they are failing to consider that part of Abram’s belief in God was his obedience to God’s instructions.  Abraham’s belief caused him to do what God told him to do.

Isa. 7:9, speaking to Ahaz about an attack upon Judah, “…. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”

If you do not do the will of the Father, then you do not believe Him, and you will not be established!

Mark 16:16, ” He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

John 3:18, He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John 3:36, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

John 5:24, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

John 6:28-29, ” Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

John 6:47,  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

Believing is not just a rearrangement of the neurons in your brain.  Believing results in taking action, doing that which is commanded by our Creator.

Psa. 119:115, ” Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.”

Acts 2:38, ” Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,…”

Acts 8:12, But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”

Acts 18:8, ” And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

All of the baptism recorded in Acts and elsewhere in the Bible was a result of their belief in Christ.  They believed that He was the resurrection and the life.  (John 11:25)  They wanted that promise of everlasting life, so they obeyed the command to be baptized, immersed in water for the forgiveness of their sins.  (See also the post at the right margin, “Lies of the Roman Catholic Church Part III; Baptism Is Not Sprinkling”.)

Their salvation was dependent upon their action, their obedience to the command to be baptized.  Their salvation was given to them upon the completion of their baptism.  Belief encompasses the action of obedience to that belief, or there is no belief.

Acts 16:30-33, ” And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.  33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”

Many people take Acts 16:31 and strip it away from the resulting action of Acts 16:33, and tell you that all you have to do to be saved is believe.  That is not the truth, that is a lie.  Salvation only comes after the obedience to the command to be baptized.

Any time that the Bible says that the first century Christians believed and were saved, the implication is that they were baptized, because that was the moment they received the promise of salvation.

Sin is the commission of an offense, a wrong doing, or it is also failing to do that which is right. Sin is missing the mark.  If you take aim and shoot an arrow at a target, but miss the target, you have missed the mark.  That is the concept of sin; taking aim but falling away from the target.

John 16:9, ” Of sin, because they believe not on me;”

Anyone who does not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah promised from all OT prophesy, is missing the mark, and is sinning.  Failing to belief in Christ is a sin.

John 14:6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 20:31, But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Acts 10:43, To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

Rom. 6:3-11,  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

It is through the baptism, the immersion in water, that we are buried with Christ, that we are crucified with Him, that we have newness of life in His resurrection, that are dead to sins, and we die no more.  It is only through baptism that we put on Christ (Gal. 3:27).  You cannot be in Christ until you have been baptized!

Romans chap. 4 discusses how Abraham’s faith in God had been reckoned unto him for righteousness before Abraham had received the seal of circumcision.  (Rom. 4:9-13) Circumcision was the cutting away of the flesh, a symbolic and spiritual sign of casting off fleshly lusts, and putting away sin to live for God. (Gen. 17:10-14)

Today, under the new covenant, baptism is that seal of the casting off of the flesh, that we have determined to die to sin, and live for Christ. (Rom 2:25-29) Baptism is the spiritual sign to God of our dedication to Him through Christ, and replaces the old covenant fleshly sign of circumcision. (1 Pet. 3:21)

Rom. 6:22-23, But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.  23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is the belief in Christ which causes us to obey the command to be baptized. (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16)  The baptism into Christ is the freedom from sin, and the reward of eternal life.  You cannot have salvation without baptism!  You cannot have eternal life without baptism!  Therefore, you cannot say that you are saved, or that you are a Christian before you have been baptized into Christ.

Baptism is not a work of man; it is a requirement of God.  You cannot parse the word of God, pick and choose what you want to abide by and throw away what you do not like.  The word of God works as a whole, and must be taken all together, complete unto Him who gave it to us.

Rom. 10:9, the words of Paul preached to the unsaved, ” That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Paul was saying that this is what he and the other apostles were preaching, and in verse 13,  “ For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Rom 10: 16 says, But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”

Obedience to something is required.  How do we call upon the name of the Lord?  How do we answer the call of the gospel of Christ?

Acts 9:17-18,  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.  18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.”

That was how Saul / Paul answered the call.  He was baptized.  He was obedient to the word of God, and the gospel of Christ.

1 Pet. 3:21, ” The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”

After Acts, all of the subsequent letters to the churches  – Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Thessalonians, Hebrews, etc – were all written to established churches who were made up of Christians who had already believed and had already been baptized.  Many of the references within these letters speak of belief without mentioning baptism.  They didn’t have to mention baptism again, as those Christians were already baptized!

Rom. 1:16, ” For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

1 Cor. 1:21, ” For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

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

1 Tim. 4:10, “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

Heb. 10:39, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

When you read the books of the New Testament you must keep in mind the time periods, and the basic underlying facts.  Christians became so because they were baptized into Christ.  Once they were baptized the apostles and disciples did not have to teach and speak of baptism again in the letters written to the believing churches.

But, many people today want to base their understanding only upon the letters to the churches and forget the first instructions given by Peter on the day of Pentecost… “…repent and be baptized for the remission of sins…”

The letters to the churches speak of the belief of the Christians because their belief was already confirmed by their obedience to the command.  It did not have to be repeated, as it was understood.  They had already been baptized, so they were believers in Christ.

All of the statements in the letters to the churches referring to those that believe, – “the man or woman that believeth”, “we who believe”, “to them that believe”, “they which have believed” – are all written to Christians.  Christians, by definition, were and are those who are baptized into Christ.

Gal 3:27-29, ” For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Today, under the new covenant, the only thing that God sees now is that you are either in Christ, or not in Christ.  Nothing else matters; neither Jew nor Greek, circumcised nor uncircumcised, male nor female, white nor black, American nor Russian nor Chinese.  Today, spiritual Israel, all those of every nation who are in Christ are of the seed of Abraham, and are the chosen of God.  (1 Pet. 2:9)

If you are in Christ, then are you right before God.  You have been clothed in Christ’s righteousness, and his righteousness is reckoned unto you. (Acts 17:31; Roms. 3:22; Rom. 5:17)  Only then are you good in God’s eyes, and have done good things.   (2 Cor. 5:10)

1 John 3:23, “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”

We are commanded to believe.  We are commanded to be baptized into Christ, if we want eternal life.  (Mark 16:16).  Baptism is absolutely required to have salvation and eternal life.

If you ignore this command, then you have not believed, and you will be subject to the judgment of God, and the second death…. the destruction of the soul.  (Matt 10:28; Rev. 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8)

If you have believed, and have been immersed in water for the forgiveness of your sins, then you have risen to newness of life, and have died to sin.  You have already been resurrected, spiritually.  You already have eternal life in Christ Jesus.  All those who die in Christ will be changed in the twinkling of an eye at our bodily death at our last trump, and be taken home to heaven to be with all of the saved forevermore.  (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 14:13)