Celebrating Jehovah's Creation Memorial, the Seventh Day Sabbath
Verses 26 27 of Rev 2:
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Jehoshua gives a promise to those who overcome and endure to the end. The above two verses are often associated with a future millennial reigning over the nations however it should be understood as the saints sharing in the reign and judgment of the Son of God (Daniel 7:22; 1 Cor 6:2-3). The power over the nations that the saints will be given is in reference to judging the world. Here in Revelation 2 it says that the saints will rule the nations with a rod of iron which leads to the false understanding of the futurists in which we will literally rule over the nations in a political type setting. Verse 27 of Revelation 2 is a reference back to Psalm 2 verse 9:
"Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel."
Here in Psalm 2 it says that the Messiah will break the nations with a rod of iron. Both "break " and "rule" fit the context since the iron rod was used by shepherds to strike and crush the enemies of the sheep. "Dash to pieces like a potters vessel." Indicates complete and irreparable destruction. Psalm 89:23 makes it clear that the ruling/breaking of the nations with a rod of isn't a literal political type ruling over them but rather literally breaking as in destroying them:
23And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.
The shepherds used the iron rod to crush the enemies of the sheep, they didn't use it to rule over the enemies of the sheep as their new master. This language indicates a total destruction of the enemies of the Messiah and His Church at His second advent not a new age where we as the Church literally rule over our enemies in a political millennium. The bible teaches that the Church's enemies will be destroyed at the Messiah's return not live on into a Geo-political millennium. Paul removes any doubt as to the fate of those not in the faith of Messiah when He returns:
1 Thessalonians 1:7-10
7And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;10When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Those who know not God nor obey the gospel of our King Jehoshua Messiah will be destroyed with everlasting fire from the presence of Jehoshua. He is coming back to take vengeance on those who are not in the faith in flaming fire. Notice that Paul doesn't say that Jehoshua is coming to literally rule over these people that don't know His Father nor obey His (Jehoshua's) gospel but rather He is coming to annihilate them. Rather than live on in some earthly millennium the bible says ALL those who don't know the Father i.e. every unbeliever and all those who obey not the gospel of the Son i.e. professing believers will be destroyed from existence.
Revelation 19 also connects the ruling with a rod of iron with the destruction of the nations:
13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.17And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
This is the description of the second advent of Jehoshua Messiah, the vesture dipped in blood is either that of the enemy or His atoning blood. Verse 14 shows that the second coming is the Son of God coming to make war against the nations as He is accompanied by a heavenly army.
Many in Christendom have watered down the second advent into a Disneyland production but the bible teaches that it will be a day of trembling for those in the world and that Messiah is coming to kill all unbelievers not give them a second chance. The Church's rarely talk about the killing and destruction that the Son of God will execute in His Father's name. This is because they have created a false PG version of the second coming that leaves out a lot of the harsh reality of it. They don't like to talk about Jehoshua as the Lion of Judah who will roar from New Jerusalem when He makes His descent to the earth.
Verse 15, "sharp sword", "rod of iron" are terms which describe the manner in which Jehoshua will return and His dealing with the nations upon His return. With this sword, Messiah is going to smite (strike) the nations basically wipe them out not rule over them in a political kingdom. Remember "rule over the nations with a rod of iron" could also be rendered "break the nations with a rod of iron". The context of the second advent and Revelation 19 supports that "rule over the nations with a rod of iron" is understood as destroying them with a rod of iron as the shepherds of Israel would destroy the enemies of their sheep with the rod not rule over them as their new master.
The Son of God's striking of the nations will be a violent one not one where a remnant of them will survive into some earthly millennium. The wording strike and smite further support the notion that in the context of the second advent "rule over them with a rod of iron" is a reference to the absolute destruction of the nations not a survival of them in a future Geo-political kingdom. Incorporated into this ruling over the nations with a rod of iron is the judgment of these nations by the Son of God and His saints.
Verse 15 of Revelation 19 also connects the ruling with a rod of iron of the nations with the Messiah treading the winepress of His Father's wrath. The two go hand in hand. To rule/break the nations with a rod of iron is equated to pouring out the Almighty God's wrath on them.
Let's go to Revelation 14 and see further proof of the total destruction of the nations upon the Messiah's return:
17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.18And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.20And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
The vine of the earth represents the wicked unbelievers and they are cast into the great winepress of the wrath of Jehovah God. This is the harvest i.e. the end of the age. In the previous verses of chapter 14 the Son of God raptured His Church and now it is time for the unbelievers to receive the cup of God's wrath. There is no way in reading this passage that one can come to the conclusion that there will be anyone left to rule over in a Geo-political type kingdom.
The angel coming from out the altar is a reference to the altar of incense which is symbolic of the prayers of the saints that cry out for their blood to be avenged on those who dwell on the earth (Rev 6:10). Here in Revelation 14, their cries for justice are being fulfilled.
Verse 20 of Revelation 14 says that the winepress will be trodden without the city. This means that the Church (the city of God) will be exempt from Jehovah's wrath which will fall outside the covenant people. This is because, as verses 15 and 16 say, the Church has been raptured (Harvested) out of the earth as the first fruits unto God and the Lamb.
Blood will gush out of the winepress signifying the total destruction of the unbelieving world. "By the space of 1600 furlongs" symbolizes the fulness (4x4x10x10) of peoples from the whole world. 1600 furlongs (184 miles) is the length of Israel from north to south. It would take the death of all humanity to make a river of blood 184 miles long, 5 feet deep, and 250 feet wide.
Back to Revelation 19, verses 17 and 18:
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
Verses 17 and 18 in Revelation 19 match perfectly with verses 17-20 in Revelation 14. This angel in verse 17 stands in the midst of the sun whereas the angels in ch. 14 are without the temple of Jehovah. It's possible that this angel in verse 17 of Rev 19 is one of the angels in ch. 14 of Rev. Either way the event is the same and that is the wrath of God being poured on the clusters (unbelievers) of the vine (Satan's kingdom) of the earth.
The day of Jehovah is connected with the winepress of His wrath being poured out on the unbelievers and this day of wrath is also called the great supper of God. Rather than these unbelieving nations being ruled over by the Messiah in some political Kingdom, they will actually be literally devoured by the birds of the air. The angel calls the fowls of the air to eat of the flesh of the unbelieving peoples of the world. The birds enjoy the spoils of the Son of God's victory over the wicked and eat the very flesh of those who are not saved.
Contrary to some teachings, it will not only be the mighty men of the earth who fought against the Messiah at His second advent that will suffer this fate but even the unbelieving poor and the small men and women of low estate. Even the poor nice old janitor and the dedicated preschool teacher will have their flesh eaten by the fowls of heaven because they rejected the only begotten Son of God.
So not only the leaders of governments and military will suffer under Jehoshua's doom but all sinners even the slaves (bond). There will be no political correctness at the great supper of God but an equal opportunity devouring of flesh of all economic, racial and ethnic groups who are not followers of the Messiah Jehoshua.
There are only two classes of people according to the bible, the righteous in Messiah who are children of God and the unrighteous who reject Him and are children of wrath.
Verses 19-20 of Revelation 19:
19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
The anti-Messiah and false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire at the second advent of the Son of God. Also, the kings of the earth and their armies will also suffer the fate of being eaten by the birds of the air (verse 18 of Rev 19).
Verse 21 of Revelation 19:
21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
Not to leave out the regular citizens verse 21 says the remnant, meaning those besides the kings of the earth and their armies, will also be slain with the sword of the Word of God Jehoshua. The fowls of heaven will also eat the flesh of this remnant which consists of the small (men and women of low estate) and bond (slaves of sin). This means the Son of God will have no pity on the poor and those whom society looks upon as humble and oppressed social classes. If they have rejected the Messiah of Israel they will have their very flesh eaten inside out.
Verses 28 and 29 of Revelation chapter 2:
28And I will give him the morning star.29He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The Messiah is the morning star, Jehoshua is the radiant King of Israel:
17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
A prophecy of the Messiah, the great Seed of Abraham and true Israel. He will be the promised King and Light of the World.
2 Peter 1:16-19 (KJV)
16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.17For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.18And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Peter was an eyewitness of the majesty (glory) of the Messiah at the mount of transfiguration. God the Father gave the Messiah honour (Kingship and a Kingdom) and glory (the divine nature) and declared/confirmed the Sonship of Jehoshua. God the Father who is the excellent glory (shekinah) poured His glory into His Son at the holy mount letting Peter, James and John see the shekinah of God in Messiah, a foretaste of the Kingdom to which God calls all believers.
This glory was given to the Messiah at His baptism as the fulness of the Father's Spirit.(shekinah) dwelt in the body of Jehoshua. However, this glory had to be veiled so that the disciples could withstand the presence of the only begotten Son. Here at the mount of transfiguration, three of the disciples got a taste of the glory of the only begotten Son of God. As John the beloved says, they beheld His glory as of the only begotten Son.(John 1:14).
The disciples again witnessed the glory of the Messiah after His resurrection but it wasn't until the Messiah ascended to heaven and was enthroned as King that Jehoshua was glorified into the express image of God being of the substance of the Father. It was at His ascension that Jehoshua was glorified without measure and given unveiled radiance. During His earthly Jehoshua received a taste of the glory He would receive at His ascension albeit more than anyone had ever had before Him including king Solomon. King Solomon at his enthronement as king of Israel was anointed by the Spirit of Jehovah and received majesty and glory. How much moreso is this true of Jehoshua when He was baptized and anointed with the Spirit of Jehovah to be Messiah and King?
1 Chronicles 29:23-25 (ASV)
23Then Solomon sat on the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.24And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.25And Jehovah magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.
The throne of David was equated with the throne of Jehovah God because the king of Israel had Jehovah's authority behind him. Jehovah magnified Solomon exceedingly and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him including David. If this was true of Solomon how much more was it true of Jehoshua when He was anointed as the King of Israel at His baptism?
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Peter here refers to the second coming of the Messiah.
16 I Jehoshua have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Jehoshua testifies that He is the seed of David and the bright and morning star. Jehoshua is a man descended from David according to the flesh meaning He is a descendant of David's family line through seed (sperm). This requires that Jehoshua be brought forth out of the seed of David through a male descendant of David.
Romans 1:3 (KJV)
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
In other words Jehoshua was made of the sperm of David which can only be through a male descendant of David as women do not have seed (sperm). The terminology of "Christ" and "Lord (King)" can only apply to a true flesh and blood descendant of David through the male line i.e. fruit of David's loins and bowels of David i.e. male sexual organs and seed i.e. sperm.
Jehoshua affirms that He is the bright and morning star whose coming to reign as King of Israel signaled the dawning and inauguration of a new age of glory:
3And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever
This passage began it's fulfillment on the day of Pentecost which was the inauguration of the Kingdom of Jehoshua Messiah. It continues to be fulfilled every time someone is led to the righteousness of the Son of God.
Verse 29 of Revelation 2:
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
"He that hath an ear" the one whom God has granted the spiritual ability to understand the truth. The Holy Spirit speaks through the Son of God as the Spirit proceeds out of the Messiah. Jehoshua is the two olive trees that produce the oil of the Holy Spirit into the seven branch candlestick which is the Church.
12And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;13I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
Jehoshua identifies Himself as the one who bears the sword which is the word of God. The word of God is the double edged sword which both convicts and comforts. Jehoshua's name is the Word of God:
13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Revelation 1:16 says that the double edged sword comes out of the mouth of the Messiah. The word became flesh at Jehoshua's baptism and He preached this word to Israel:
Acts 10:36-38 (ASV)
36The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)37That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;38How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
The above passage in Acts 10 clearly identifies the beginning of "the Word", insofar as being connected to Jehoshua, at His baptism in the Jordan. That word began from Galilee after the baptism of Jehoshua.
Jehoshua adresses the Church at Pergamos and commends them for being faithful to His name. The Church is standing firm despite being located in the midst of severe satanic activity (Satan's seat). These faithful Messianic's have not denied the faith of Jehoshua, which not only includes Jehoshua as a person but also what He taught meaning His doctrine. They even saw their brother in Messiah Antipas slain in front of them. Rather than being discouraged to give up the faith they remained steadfast. Jehoshua reiterates that Satan is dwelling in Pergamos which means this must have been a place known for it's wickedness, error and cruelty.
Today in America, in what are comfortable times for believers, there is a epidemic of a denial of the faith. How so? Unlike the Church of Pergamos, the doctrine (teachings) of Jehoshua are largely ignored. Let's read from the apostle John and see how serious it is to not teach the Son of God's doctrine:
9 Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son.10 If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting:11 for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works.
The apostles and those Churches under them did not budge an inch when it came to the Messiah's doctrine i.e. instructions. John instructs believers not even to receive those who bring not Messiah's teaching into their homes nor bid them "god speed". Now we can understand how the Church of Pergamos took the faith (doctrine) of Jehoshua seriously even in the midst of intense satanic activity and the murder of their brother.
Verse 14 of Revelation chapter 2
"But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication"
Despite the overall faithfulness of the Pergamos Church they were not faultless. Here Jehoshua reveals the nature of the double edged sword. At first He commended the Church for their faithfulness and now He is chastizing them for their putting up with those in their midst that hold to false teachings.
There were those in Pergamos, who like Balaam, were casting stumbling blocks before the brethren enticing them to eat things sacrificed to idols and bowing to their false gods. Fornication meaning whoredom with unbelieving women who led the men of the Congregation into worship of their (unbelieving women) false gods. This is also called prostitution. These who held this doctrine were being tolerated in the Church. Jehoshua rebukes the Church for allowing these false brethen to remain in communion with them. This is a swift rebuke to today's lukewarm milquetoast Church which teaches that it is unloving to kick people out of Church even if they are involved with pagan practices which is idolatry. Jehoshua wants us to kick the false brethren out and having nothing to do with them. Who do you believe in terms of Church discipline, Jehoshua or todays institutional churches?
Verse 15 of Revelation 2
"So hast thou also some that hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans in like manner."
Many believe that the doctrine of the Nicolatians was a clergy/laity distinction type teaching that leads to ab over lording of authority. If so, this is definitely something our Lord hates. Let's read what Jehoshua says about the type of leadership that the Nicolatians may have been advocating:
Luke 22:25-27 (KJV)
25And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.26But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.27For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
Jehoshua condemned the type of leadership that the Nicolatians were teaching. Jehoshua said the Gentiles (unbelievers) are those who lord their authority over the ones they lead. The Son of God made it clear that in His Kingdom those who are greatest are those who serve others. This runs contrary to Nicolatian leadership which teaches a sharp clergy/laity seperation and that the laity is there to benefit the clergy. This type of leadership is evident in some denominations and is often justified by tradition and sometimes by scripture.
Jehoshua wants the Church in Smyrna to deal with those who hold to this Nicolatian doctrine. He doesn't want them to put up with those who are teaching this doctrine. The Son of God is serious about the Church exposing and keeping out false doctrine and those who teach it. Most Churches today call those who want to keep out false teachers and their teachings as unloving and unmessiah like. These watered down false Churches don't know the real Messiah but have substituted Him for a watered down effiminente hippie Jesus.
Look at what Jehoshua tells the Church at Smyrna next in the context of them putting up with the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolatians:
Verse 16 of Revelation 2
"Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."
Jehoshua Messiah wants the Smyrna Church to repent (change their mind) in regards to the false teachers. If they don't deal with it, then He Himslef will judge the heretics. This warning is very appropriate for today's Lukewarm Churches who allow many false teachings and think it is unloving to call them out. If the Churches of today don't repent then Messiah Himself will judge those false teachers with the sword of His mouth i.e the Word of God.
Verse 17 of Revelation 2
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
The Holy Spirit which proceeds out of the Father is speaking to the Churches through the divine Son of God and those who are in covenant with the Son of God will heed His words as His sheep know His voice:
27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Only the sheep in relationship with Jehoshua will hear the words of His Revelation exhortations. The false brethren and false believers will not heed the voice of the Messiah.
26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Jehoshua promises the believers the hidden manna which is the bread that comes out of heaven. The Son of God is that bread, that manna from heaven from which believers eat:
John 6:31-35 (KJV)
31Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.32Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.33For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.34Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Jehoshua is that manna that nourishes and feeds the Church.
Verse 18 of Revelation 2
"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;"
Jehoshua now adresses the Thyatira Church and identifies Himself as the Son of God which is His true identity. Today's Church has largely done away with the Sonship of Jehoshua and instead consider Him the Almighty God. Here Jehoshua just as during His earthly ministry cements His true everlasting identity in that He is the Son of God. Jehoshua Himself said that the foundation of the Church would be built on His identity of being the Son of the living God.
This shows that much of the institutional church is built upon a false foundation which has exchanged the truth (Jehoshua's Sonship) for a lie (that He is the Almighty God).
The description of Jehoshua's eyes and feet describe His resurrected glory.
Verse 19 of Revelation 2
"I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first."
Jehoshua commends the Thyatira Church for their love and works as well as faith and patience. The false teaching that works in terms of being a true follower of Messiah don't matter is contradicted by the Son of God. Jehoshua commends the Churches for their good works.
Verse 20 of Revelation 2
"Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols."
However, like the previous Churches not all is perfect according to our King. Jehoshua rebukes the Thyatira Church for their tolerance of Jezebel female teachers. This rebuke by Jehoshua is also a rebuke to any Church that allows female pastors or teachers. Invariably most if not all female pastors preach a perverted version of the gospel. Why is this? Because they already left the safety of Jehovah's ordained covering for a woman and thereby His Spirit has left them. Because these female teachers have rejected God ordained authority they are subject to be used by Satan to bring lies and false doctrine into their Congregations.
These women like the Jezebel of old cause their listeners to commit fornication (spiritual adultery). How so you might say? Many female pastors and teachers mix the gospel of Jehoshua Messiah with new age doctrine and practices. This is why you see many of the female Pastors in the charismatic movement because this movement is heavily entangled in new age philosophy. Not only the charismatic movement but also the prosperity false gospel movement as well.
Both the charismatic and prosperity gospel movements are known for having unbiblical displays of worship during their services that are often times downright satanic. Again, women pastors/teachers have a prominent role in these false movements. False is akin to spiritual fornication and these female pastors lead their Congregations into new age harlotry. One example is the false speaking in babbling tongues that are pagan or yoga or the kundalini like shaking that members will exhibit during the services that these Jezebels conduct.
Just as the old testament Jezebel persecuted Jehovah's prophets the modern day Jezebels persecute the God ordained men who speak out against their ungodly rebellion. These female Pastors will speak ill of any Pastor who calls them to account for their false teachings and disobedience to the commands of Jehoshua's apostle that women are not to teach or have authority over a man. Let's see what the Lord's apostle has to say about these Jezebel:
1 Timothy 2:12-14
12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.13For Adam was first formed, then Eve.14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Pretty clear isn't it? Yet headstrong women will outright twist these simple words and condemn others who hold them to account as sexist, mysoginistic etc. Paul makes it clear that it was the woman who was decieved not the man. This is one of the reasons who are not to teach or have authority over a man because they are more prone to being decieved. The emotional makeup of a woman subjects them more to falling into deception. The argument many will use is that there are a lot of men who get decieved and this is true however it's also true that women are more prone than men to be decieved by Satan's temptations.
Paul destroys egalatarianism with one verse
1 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)
3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
God has placed man has head over women in terms of headship i.e. leadership. Paul leaves no room for women to take office as a leader in the Church:
1 Corinthians 14:32-40 (KJV)
32And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.34Let 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.35And 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.36What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?37If 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.38But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.39Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.40Let all things be done decently and in order.
Paul makes his case for orderly worship in stating that Jehovah God is not the author of confusion. Part of orderly worship is that women were not to stand in judgment on prophecies or interrupt the worship. The women according to Paul were to be under obedience as saith the law i.e. torah. Certainly women were to have a part in the church services including prophesying but ultimately they had to be under obedience to the male leadership i.e. the bishops and deacons.
It is actually a mark of confusion according to Paul when you see women running the Church services or even interrupting them. The word confusion comes from the word "babel" which is where we get the word "babylon". So these churches that install women pastors or deacons are Babylonian by definition because they have made confusion out of God's divine order.
The specific women Paul seems to be admonishing are those who are new to the faith or possibly aren't in it yet. Either way, these women don't seem to have a mature understanding of the faith as they seem to be interrupting the services. Again, Paul isn't saying are not to speak at all in the Church but rather that it needs to be done in order and that they need to be under the authority of the male led church leadership.
In verse 37, Paul says that anyone who thinks himself or herself to be spiritual must acknowledge what he says about women as a commandment of Jehovah God. This statement outright disqaulifies every single female pastor as unspiritual and carnal and unsaved. Also those who agree with female pastors are in the same boat as being carnal, unspiritual and unsaved.
Verses 21 and 22 of Revelation chapter 2
21And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.22Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
The Jezebel teachers are given time to repent, this shows that it is possible for them to repent of their ways and be in right standing with the Son of God. If she doesn't repent then a sick bed and tribulation await her. The scary thing is that not only will she be cast into a sick bed but also those who heed her teachings and doctrine i.e. commit adultery with her i.e. spiritual adultery. This gives no excuse for those who claim to be Christian to listen to and support these false teachers.
Many Christians excuse away listening to teachers they know are off by saying they take the good and leave the bad but scripture nowhere supports that mindset. Infact, the Messiah is saying the opposite which is that those who partake of the adulterous doctrine of these Jezebel teachers will suffer the same fate which is a sick bed and tribulation. Just by listening to these Jezebels makes one guilty of spiritual harlotry. 2 John 9-11 rebukes the false notion that we can just listen to the good stuff of a particular false teacher and throw out the rest. We as Messianic's are commanded to have absolutely nothing to do with false teachers including listening to even 2 minutes of one of their sermons.
2 John chapter 2
9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
This passage here in John's second epistle fits perfectly with verses 21 and 22 of Revelation chapter 2. According to John we are not to even verballly bless those who trangress the doctrine (teachings) of Jehoshua. If we even verbally bless those who teach contrary to the instructions of the Messiah then we are considered as having partaken of their evil deeds. This is considered as harlotry. However, there is hope for the Jezebel teachers and their adherents and that is repentance. The consequences for not repenting is severe:
Revelation 2:23 (KJV)
23And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Notice here that Jehoshua says that He will kill Jezebel's children with death. He doesn't say that He will kill Jezebel with death but her children. Obviously it is a given that He will actually kill her but it's noteworthy that her children i.e. those that sit under her teachings are the ones identified as being killed by Jehoshua. This death spoken of by Jehoshua is a reference to the second death in the lake of fire. The day of judgment will be a stunning revelation to the Churches, in that many so called popular pastors, preachers etc. will be exposed as frauds. It will be in that day that the Churches will understand that outward religiousness may fool man but it doesn't fool the divine Son of God.
Jehoshua isn't impressed by 10,000 member Churches or fancy lifestyles by so called Pastors or by so called scholars and their pedigrees or celebrity. Jehoshua searches the hearts of men and women to see if they are sincere in their love for Him which includes teaching His doctrine and not perverting it.
Revelation 2:24-25 (KJV)
24But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.25But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Jehoshua encourages the faithful brethren to keep fast in the faith in which they hold which is the faith of the Son of God. Jehoshua says that the doctrine of Jezebel is the depths of Satan. Todays institutional churches frown on those who expose these false Jezebel teachers yet Jehoshua says the exact opposite. Who do you want to be in compliance with?
To know the doctrines of Joyce Meyer, Marilyn Hickey, Bianca Jaurez, Cristine Caine is to know the depths of Satan and to sit under these Jezebel's is treason against the only begotten Son Jehoshua.
Matthew 16:28 (KJV)
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.
Jehoshua speaks the truth and thereby the above passage has to be 100 percent truth. So what does this mean? Obviously this verse tells us that the Kingdom of the Son of God was not merely a futuristic one but a soon coming one.
Unlike the futurists, Jehoshua knew that His Kingdom was soon to be established. Although verse 27 speaks of the second advent, Jehoshua's reference in verse 28 to some present not tasting of death is obviously not about His second advent as He clearly taught that He didn't even know when that was.
So what was the Messiah talking about in verse 27? I believe He is referring to a sequence of events. Let's look at the next few verses:
Matthew 17:1-5 (KJV)
1And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.3And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.4Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.5While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Peter, John and James witnessed the transfiguration of the Messiah and the vision of the glory that would be His Kingdom. The Father affirmed His unique relationship with Jehoshua by declaring the Messiah's Sonship. This vision also shows the Son of God's superiority over Moses (old covenant) and Elijah (prophets) and that He came to fulfill both.
This is only one aspect of the Son of God coming in His Kingdom with His disciples witnessing it. It was actually only a taste of it in vision.
Acts 1;1 -3 (ASV)
1The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach,2until the day in which he was received up, after that he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen:3To whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God.
In Jehoshua's resurrected state the disciples witnessed another aspect of the Son of God's Kingdom. Jehoshua taught the disciples many things concerning the Kingdom during the 40 days between His resurrection and ascension. Jehoshua's resurrection was another aspect of Messiah coming in His Kingdom as the title "Son of God" is a title of Kingship. Let's read what Paul says in Romans 1:
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,2 which he promised afore through his prophets in the holy scriptures,3 concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord,
The resurrection was a glorious display of the Sonship of Jehoshua and thereby His Kingship as confirmed by Jehovah God. The resurrection was the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant in which one of David's seed (sperm) would be raised up to sit on his throne. Peter the apostle confirms this very thing:
29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Peter connects the resurrection of the Messiah with the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant which Jehovah made with David (2 Samuel 7:12-16).
The promise of this covenant is that while David slept in the grave, Jehovah God would establish David's seed (sperm) to sit on David's throne which is the throne of Israel and Jehovah God. Jehoshua's installment on David's throne inaugurated His Kingdom which is the Millennium. Peter connects the resurrection of the Messiah with His enthronement as King of Israel. Let's further prove this with by going to the book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 1:5-9 (KJV)
5For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?6And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.7And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.8But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows
Hebrews 1 is about the exaltation of the Messiah into heaven which is obvious from the context. What's notable is that Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 45:5-6 are qouted here and applied to Jehoshua in the context of His ascension to the right hand of God the Father. What's notable about these Psalms is that they are coronation passages about the installment into office of an Israelite King. Psalm 2:7 in it's immediate context is about David but could apply to any of His royal descendants but of course it's ultimately fulfilled in Jehoshua.
Psalm 45:5-6 in it's immediate context is likely about Solomon who is David's son but the ultimate fulfillment of this passage is about the only begotten Son Jehoshua.
It's plain to see that if two coronation Psalms of an Israelite King are being attributed to Jehoshua in the context of His ascension into heaven, then He is being enthroned as that very thing i.e. the King of Israel. Hebrews 1 fits perfectly with what Peter preached as the first sermon, after the Messiah's resurrection, in that the oath made to David by Jehovah God was fulfilled by the resurrection of the Messiah.
The oath was that David's seed would be raised up to sit on his throne i.e. the throne of Israel and Jehovah God. Both Peter and the author of Hebrews connects this fulfillment with the resurrection and ascension of Jehoshua.
Jehoshua coming in His Kingdom at His ascension into heaven
5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
The woman who brought forth the man child is Israel also known as the church (Isaiah 54:1-5), encompassing Jehovah's people under both covenants. The 12 stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel which are identified in the new covenant as the Church (James 1:1; Rev 7; Gal 6:16, Eph 2:19).
The woman's labor pains represent her sorrows (travailing in birth; Isaiah 26:17) as she waits for her Messianic King (Micah 5:2-4).
Verse 5 says the man child would be caught up to God's throne, this took place when the Son of God ascended to heaven to the right hand of the Father. Hebrews 1 details this extraordinary event. The ascension of the Messiah into heaven fulfilled the Psalm 110:1 propechy:
"Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool."
It was as this precise moment when Jehoshua was enthroned as the King of Israel. The throne of David was also recognized as Jehovah God's throne:
1 Chronicles 29:23 (ASV)
23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
The throne of David was the same as the throne of Jehovah God albeit on earth. However we see that Jehovah said that David's throne would eventually be a heavenly one in the future when the Davidic covenant would be fulfilled:
Psalm 89:35-37 (ASV)
35Once have I sworn by my holiness: I will not lie unto David:36His seed shall endure for ever, And his throne as the sun before me.37It shall be established for ever as the moon, And as the faithful witness in the sky.
This passage from Psalm 89 is a prophecy that when the seed of David arrives to fulfill the covenant that He will sit on a heavenly Davidic throne that will be a faithful witness in the sky (Heaven) before Jehovah God. Hebrews 1 and Acts 2:29-36 confirm this as fact.
Even though the devil attempted to destroy Jehoshua, the Son of God triumphed and ascended to reign as the anointed Warrior-King (Psalm 2:6-9).
Lets go to verse 6 of Revelation 12:
"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days"
The verse proves that the Church almost immediately went into the wilderness after the King Messiah ascended to heaven. Many falsely teach that this wilderness experience of the Church is during some future 3 and a half year period. Remember, the book of Revelation is codified (signified) in symbols. That the 1260 days begin with the Messiah's ascension into heaven shows the number to be figurative.
Since the ascension of the only begotten Son, the Church has sojourned and suffered in the wilderness but is still under the care of Jehovah.
Verses 7-9 of Revelation 12:
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Michael the great prince of the church stands up for them and leads his angels into war against Satan and his angels. This standing of Michael for the children of God is so that Satan cannot accuse the brethren any longer before Jehovah God. Michael applies the outcome of the Messiah's victory over Satan by expelling the enemy and his angels from the courts of heaven.
The war of the angels symbolizes the effect of the Messiah's exaltation upon Satan and his forces. Satan's defeat relates especially to his work as the accuser of our brethren in the court of heaven. The word "accused" means "brought legal charges against them".
The archangel Michael was assigned to fight the demons on behalf of God's people (Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9) and thus leads the holy angels as God's instruments to implement the results of the Messiah's victory.
Verse 10 of Revelation 12
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
As a result of the Son of God's ascension into heaven, the devil and his angels were cast down to the earth and a loud voice in heaven proclaims that salvation and the Kingdom of God and His Messiah has "NOW COME"!!!!!
The voice from heaven is making a present tense statement in relation to the Son of God's ascension into heaven and that statement is that the Kingdom of God and the power of His Messiah has come, meaning it has arrived and been inaugurated on earth. The coming of the Kingdom is in direct relation to salvation being available to men. The ascension into heaven of Jehoshua fulfilled His statement in Matthew 28:16 that there would be some of his disciples standing there that would see the coming of His Kingdom.
Jehoshua has taken up His Kingdom and power and has bound the devil and cast him out. Jehoshua's binding of Satan took place during His earthly ministry and finally at His death and resurrection. The Son of God leads the Church to conquer the Devil (Rev 2:7) and destroy his kingdom (neither was there place found; Dan 2:35, 44). Satan's symbolic fall from heaven is realized as the Church proclaims the gospel (the word of their testimony).
The teaching that we are waiting for some future millennium in which Jehoshua will for the first time sit on the throne of David and be anointed as King of Israel for the first time and His Kingdom will be inaugurated is foreign to the scriptures. The new testament teaches that the Kingdom of Jehoshua Messiah started nearly 2,000 years ago when He ascended to heaven at the right hand of God the Father.
Every time someone receives salvation, it is the Kingdom of God coming to them as clearly stated in verse 10 of Revelation 12. The power of the Messiah comes to the people who receive salvation and hence this is Him coming in His Kingdom as it is the Spirit of the Son of God that the Father sends to us in which we cry out "abba".
My study on the Israel of God part 2
Colossians 3:8-11 (ASV)
8but now do ye also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth:9lie not one to another; seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings,10and have put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him:11where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.12Put on therefore, as God`s elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering;
Paul is emphasizing the importance of the new creation i.e. put on the new man. This is in reference to walking in holiness and not in the sins of the flesh. Paul is saying that as new creations in Messiah we are being renewed unto knowledge after the image of God (verse 10).
Paul is not calling the believers to focus on being Jewish but rather to be focused on being renewed in the image of Jehovah God the creator. This is the emphasis of the new covenant i.e. being a new creation which Paul then states:
"where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all."
Paul makes it crystal clear that the Jewish-Gentile distinction is over with in the new covenant. He actually says it is not even possible to have such a distinction "where there cannot be". The teaching among many today, that there is still a Jewish-Gentile distinction in the new covenant, are going directly against the words of Paul not to mention Jehoshua Himself.
Paul says that our focus whether we are a Jew or a Gentile is to be recreated after the image of God the Father. Paul tells us how we can be renewed in the likeness of the Father's image:
12Put on therefore, as God`s elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering;13forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye:14and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.
This is continuing from verses 8-11. Notice that Paul doesn't identify the Jews of the flesh as the elect of God but rather those who have put on the new man where there cannot be Jew and Greek or any such distinction. Paul then gives us a list of things that make us qaulify as the elect of God. The overriding theme is to put on love which makes one perfect just as the Father in heaven is perfect.
Many today, rather than focusing on these things that Paul mentions, are focusing on putting on Jewish customs as if that somehow makes them holy and has any regenerative qualities. Many of these Jewish customs are traditions of man rather than biblical principles. While there are blessings in returning to many of the holy days and new moons those do not make us new creations in the image of the creator God.
What makes us a new creation is putting on compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving each other. It is by doing this that we become perfect not by trying to be more Jewish.
At the end of verse 11 of Colossians Paul says:
"Messiah is all and in all"
The Spirit of Jehoshua lives just as much in the Gentile believer as He does in the Jewish believer with absolutely no distinction or favoritism:
"where there cannot be Greek and Jew"
Paul obviously has no regard for any type of Jewish-Gentile distinction in the Church. He obviously isn't promoting two ways of salvation or two different segments of the Church. To Paul, the doctrine of dispensationalism whatever sort it is, doesn't exist and would be foreign to him.
Actually Paul says that the new covenant truth of the Messiah dwelling in the Gentiles was the mystery of the Church which hath been hid in the old covenant times to the nation of Israel.
Colossians 1:26-27 (ASV)
26even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints,27to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
The content of the mystery of the gospel that is now fully revealed is described in verse 27, namely, that the Gentiles enjoy full participation among the people of Jehovah God. All those trusting in Messiah enjoy His covenantal presence, namely, Messiah in you. This again alludes to a disappearing of Jewish-Gentile distinctions in the Church i.e. Israel. Ephesians chapter further highlights the removal of ethnic distinctions in the new covenant Israel.
11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Verse 11, Paul is addressing the Ephesians noting that at one time they were "Gentiles in the flesh" being called the uncircumcision by the circumcision in the flesh made by hands. Paul is making it clear that mere externals are not true religion in his reference to circumcision. Paul also is making a point to the Ephesians that there identification as Gentiles is something of the past.
Verse 12, the Ephesians were considered Gentiles when they were without Messiah and thereby because of that, aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel. This means they were strangers to everything given to Israel by God. Notice what Paul is saying, which is that the determination of whether one is part of the Commonwealth of Israel has nothing to do with ethnicity but rather whether one has a relationship with the Messiah Jehoshua.
This means that ethnic Jews who don't have a relationship with Jehoshua are aliens to the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers to their covenants most notably the new covenant.
We see now more clearly how the ethnic distinction of Jew-Gentile in terms of being part of the Commonwealth of Israel has no more bearing in the new covenant age.
Verse 13, Paul then tells the Ephesians that although in the past they were foreigners to the nation of Israel they now, by being in relationship with Jehoshua, are brought into the Commonwealth (made nigh) by the blood of the Son of God.
Do you see the inference Paul is making? He is saying that the requirement to be part of the Commonwealth of Israel is to have the blood of Messiah as your citizenship card. There is no other criteria that grants one entrance into the Kingdom of Israel whether it's ethnicity, nationality, race, family heritage etc.
We see very clearly that the doctrine of dispensationalism falls apart when one reads the simple statements of scripture.
Verse 14 of Ephesians 2, Jehoshua came to break down the barrier between Jew and Gentile making both ethnic groups One in Him. This was one of the express purposes of His ministry, let's look at John chapter 10 for Jehoshua's own teaching on this:
14I am the good shepherd; and I know mine own, and mine own know me,15even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.
Jehoshua is the good shepherd, He is the Bishop of the Church. He knows those who are His and they know their shepherd's voice. In verse 16, Jehoshua references "other sheep" who are not of the Commonwealth of Israel (this fold) which are the Gentiles. Jehoshua said that He must bring these other sheep (Gentiles) into this fold i.e. the Commonwealth of Israel. Notice what He says:
"They shall become one flock, one shepherd"
Jehoshua knows nothing of dispensationalism where there is a distinction between Israel and the Church but to the contrary says that there will only be one single flock made up of both Jews (this fold) and Gentiles (not of this fold). Both these groups will constitute the one flock that the Messiah of Israel shepherds.
This teaching by Jehoshua Messiah is the foundation from which Paul the apostle works off of, in clearly teaching that there is absolutely no distinction in the new covenant between Jew and Gentile. This clearly goes against the false teachings of any type of dispensationalism.
Back now to verse 14 of Ephesians 2:
"For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition,"
This verse fits perfectly with John 10:15-16 as Jehoshua's expressed desire in John was fulfilled at the cross when He shed His blood instituting the new covenant. His death broke down the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile making us one flock eliminating any type of separation. The reference to the wall of partition refers to the diving wall in Herod's temple that excluded Gentiles from the inner courts. In Messiah it has come down.
Gentiles are to be accepted in the Commonwealth of Israel as full partners with their Jewish brothers and sisters. This false teaching that believing Gentiles are not apart of Israel and thereby cannot rightly identify as Israelites is from the devil. These false teachers are doing the enemies work in trying to undo what Messiah's purpose was in dying on the cross, which was to remove any Jewish-Gentile separation.
These dispensationalists heretics are trying to erect that dividing wall up again that Messiah explicitly tore down once and for all, as that was His primary objective during His earthly ministry.
Verse 15 of Ephesians 2
"having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace"
These laws and commandments contained in ordinances are in context related to the temple worship system "wall of partition".The book of Hebrews clearly outlines what these ordinances were. In Hebrews they are called "carnal" meaning "temporal" ordinances and they are in respect to the Levitical priesthood system and the animal sacrifices along with meat, drink and burnt offerings.
This understanding fits perfectly with the context when it refers to the middle wall of partition in Herod's temple that kept the Gentiles from the inner courts. Only the Jews had access to the inner courts of the Temple and had access to participate more fully in the old covenant worship system.
The 10 commandments are not dependent on an erected temple or tabernacle or Levitical priesthood as they could be kept anywhere in the world. This does however mean that the whole system of OT law, insofar as it was used to separate Jews from Gentiles, has come to an end.
"One new man" Jehoshua's death forever removed Jewish-Gentile distinction in terms of what constitutes the Church. Messiah's work on the cross creates one new man out of the contrasting parts of the human race - Jews and Gentiles - in His Church which is the Commonwealth of Israel. This principle extends today to all tribes, nations, ethnic groups, and social classes.
Verse 16 of Ephesians 2:
"and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby"
Messiah reconciled (atoned for) both Jew and Gentile to God the Father to constitute one body i.e. one Church. Again, it must be stated that Paul knows nothing of a distinction between Israel and the Church as both Jews and Gentiles who are in Messiah are one singular body which is identified as the Israel of God or the Commonwealth of Israel. In order to bring both ethnic groups into one body i.e. temple He had to kill the enmity that existed between the two groups. This Jehoshua did at the cross by shedding His blood providing the reconciliation ministry or atonement.
What was the enmity that existed between the two groups? We read in verse 15 that it was the middle wall of partition in the temple that denied Gentiles access to the inner courts. This middle wall also represented the Levitical priesthood system with the animal sacrifices along with meat, drink and burnt offerings. Basically it was the old covenant temple worship system that helped foster this separation and denied access to the inner courts of the Temple to non Jews.
Jehoshua abolished this system of worship making it outdated and removing the ethnic barriers within the temple. This means that Jehoshua destroyed the dividing wall and gave full access to the Gentiles, who believe in Him, to the inner courts of the Temple even the most holy place which no one but the high priest of Israel had.
This temple that the Gentiles now have full access to is not the old earthly temple in Jerusalem but the heavenly temple in New Jerusalem.
Hebrews 12:22 (ASV)
22but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels,
The above verse written to the Hebraic Messianic's also pertains to the grafted in Messianic's who were formerly Gentiles. It is the heavenly Zion and heavenly Jerusalem that we approach to. It is the holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary that we now have full access to as the one body of believers whether Jew or Gentile.
Paul is making it clear that Jehoshua put to death any type of separation of the two people groups. Yet many today in the Church are trying to erect that middle wall of partition again basically trying to undo the very thing that Messiah came to do.
Versed 17 and 18 of Ephesians 2
17and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were nigh:18for through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father.
Jehoshua preached during His ministry to those that were near i.e. the Israelites of the flesh and through His Spirit after the resurrection to the Gentiles of the flesh. Those of both groups who believed in His name were made into one singular body called the Church. Both Jew and Gentile through the Son of God have access to God the Father by one Spirit. Verse 18 shows the absolute oneness of the Church which is made up of those who were near (Israelites of the flesh) and those who were far (Gentiles of the flesh).
There is only one Holy Spirit that leads God's Church and God is not the author of confusion. The dispensational teaching that God has two different plans and salvation programs, one for the Church and one for Israel is unbiblical and contrary to the fact that God is not a God of confusion. The Spirit brings unity not division and dispensationalism of any sort promotes a spirit of division in the Church.
Verse 19 of Ephesians 2
19 So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,
Paul is writing to the Ephesians who were once Gentiles in the flesh. He categorically tells them that although they were once foreigners and strangers to the Commonwealth of Israel, that they are now fellow citizens of the Commonwealth. The Ephesians by way of their faith in the blood of Jehoshua, are now fellow citizens with the saints of Israel in the same Commonwealth i.e. the nation of Israel.
They are part of the household of Jehovah God which is equated with the Commonwealth of Israel in verse 19. The next verse will prove that the Israel of God is no longer a Geo-political nation but rather a spiritual one.
The saints are those who believe in Messiah and their country in which they are citizens is called the Commonwealth of Israel which is Jehovah God's house i.e. His set apart nation. Gentiles in the flesh who put their faith in the Son of God cease being strangers and sojourners to the Commonwealth and then become citizens along with the other saints. These once upon a time Gentiles are now bonafide Israelites having their citizenship papers signed by the blood of Jehoshua Messiah.
The household of Jehovah God at one time being an earthly temple and Geo-political nation is now a spiritual temple i.e. the Church and a heavenly nation centered in New Jerusalem. Let's look at verses 20-22 of Ephesians chapter 2:
20being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;21in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;22in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
The household of Jehovah God is built upon a spiritual foundation especially in the new covenant. This foundation is the prophets, the 12 apostles and the only begotten Son Jehoshua as the chief cornerstone. The denial of God's Son prohibits one from being part of this household. Even the denial of the apostles prohibits one from being part of this house.
Even the great city New Jerusalem has the 12 apostles of the Lamb as part of it's foundation showing that New Jerusalem is the true House/Temple of Jehovah God not earthly Jerusalem. "Each several building" is a reference to the individual believer who is a lively stone and is part of the of the structure of God's house which is the Church. The building is fitly framed together as one unified structure. There is no room for a second Israel as the Commonwealth of Israel is God's fitly framed house/Temple.
The Commonwealth includes those Gentiles who were once far off from being citizens of Israel and those Israelites were near the Commonwealth. Again, there is no room for a second Israel or separation between something called "the Church" and something called "Israel". The requirement for citizenship is to believe in the name of the only begotten Son Jehoshua. Jehovah God has a new Israel in the new covenant and this Israel isn't about the ethnic identity of the flesh but rather it is those who are Spiritually begotten as sons and daughters of God being added to the structure through the blood of the Son of God.
Verse 22 of Ephesians 2, we as the temple of Jehovah God are where He dwells. Jehovah God no longer dwells in brick and mortar structures insofar as He once did during the1st and 2nd temple period. The Father now dwells in His called out nation which is called by Paul "the Commonwealth of Israel" which is made up of Gentiles and Jews who are fellow citizens where there is no distinction made between them concerning their ethnic identity.
God through His Spirit dwells in the fitly framed building known as the Church i.e. the New Jerusalem.
1 Peter 2:9-11 (ASV)
9But ye are a elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for [God`s] own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:10who in time past were no people, but now are the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Peter applies titles used of Israel to Christians (Exodus 19:5-6; Deut 4:20; 7:6; Isaiah 43:20-21). "Chosen generation". Connects them with Messiah (v. 4,6). "Pecuilar people". A treasured people. "Were not a people of God, but are now the people of God." Alludes back to Hosea 1:6, 9-10; 2:23. Peter uses exilic language to refer to God electing His people.
James the Lord Jehoshua's brother also uses titles used of Israel to apply to Christians:
1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting.2Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations;3Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience.
James was the Lord Jehoshua's brother and leader of the Jerusalem Church. He sends a greeting out to the 12 tribes of Israel scattered throughout the world. By this point in time, 10 of the 12 tribes had been lost so James here is obviously using this Israelite title and applying it to the Church which at the this time still had a large Hebrew contingent.
Paul in Ephesians 2 solidifies that the 12 the tribe of Israel designation applies also to Gentiles as he says they now have been given full citizenship in the Commonwealth of Israel by way of the shed blood of Jehoshua Messiah (Eph 2:11-22).
James is directing this letter to what He consideres His brethren which is an obvious reference to anyone in Messiah. Remember, according to Paul there are no more Jewish/Gentile distinctions in the Commonwealth of Israel i.e. the Church. The only requirement is that you have faith in the Son of God. This further proves James greeting isn't to literal tribes of Israel, 10 of which are lost, but rather to the Israel of God who walk by the rule of faith in Messiah Jehoshua (Gal 6:14-16).
Just as Peter did, James applies Israelite titles to Christians. Paul categorically states that the Jewish-Gentile distinction is over in the new covenant and infact incorporates Gentile believers into the nation of Israel as full fellow citizens. They all taught this because the Messiah Himself taught the bringing in of the Gentiles into the sheepfold of Israel and the merger of both Jew and Gentile into one new man (Ephesians 2).
16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.
The other sheep are the converts from the Gentile world. These sheep will hear the voice of the Son of God through the preaching of the gospel which is the Word of God. "One fold" Jehoshua will not build two Churches, one for Jews and one for Gentiles (Eph 2:14-15), respectively, but unites saved sinners from all nations into one Church ruled by the Son of God who is the King of Israel. This teaching by Jehoshua Messiah that there will be one fold which will consist of the lost sheep of the house of Israel and the other sheep who are the Gentiles destroys the dispensational doctrine that teaches there is a distinction between Israel and the Church.
It also refutes the heresy that there are two different salvation plans, one for Jews and one for Gentiles. Both groups must heed the voice of the Good Shepherd Jehoshua into order to be brought into the one sheepfold. There is no separate way of salvation for one group and one for the other. Keeping the commandments of the Son of God is the requirement to be in the Church i.e. the sheepfold (John 14:15).
4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling;5one Lord, one faith, one baptism,6one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Paul makes it exceedingly clear that there is only one body not two. He says there is only one faith not two. He says there is only one baptism. His teaching that there is only one body fits perfectly with Jehoshua saying that there is only one sheepfold.
Lets now go to the book of Revelation and the passage that speaks of the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel:
1And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.2And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,3Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.5Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.6Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.7Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.8Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.9After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,12Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.17For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
The listing of 12,000 from each of the Israelite tribes has caused many to take this literally in that these saints are fleshly descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel. There are many problems with this view, one is that 10 of the tribes are lost and untraceable as they have been integrated with the nations thay they were dispersed among. Also, the new testament clearly teaches that the Jewish-Gentile distinction is abolished in the new covenant. Let's go to Romans 2:29:
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
Being a true Jew has nothing to do with outward forms and ethnic identity but rather being begotten from above by the Spirit of Jehovah i.e a new creation and having the law written on your heart. Here Paul identifies who true Jews are which is the born again Christian/Messianic regardless of ethnicity.
So being a Jew according to Paul has nothing to do with the flesh but rather the Spirit. This destroys the teaching that these 12 tribes in Revelation 7 have to be ethnic Israelites.
Romans 11 also says that Gentiles who believe in the Messiah are grafted into the olive tree which is the Commonwealth of Israel:
16For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.17And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.
Paul says the same thing in Ephesians 2 in that believing Gentiles are grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel making them fellow citizens with the believing Jews and partaking of the covenants of promise. As believing Gentiles we are not second class citizens but partakers of the fatness (covenants of promise) of the olive tree i.e. the Commonwealth of Israel.
Paul later echoes this exact sentiment in Ephesians 2 which already covered. I believe we have already established enough truth about the Israel of God that we can read Revelation 7 with new covenant eyes. Let's go back to Revelation 7 and break this down:
The first three verses are key in understanding the symbolic nature of who comprise the 144,000.
1And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.2And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,3Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
These verses depict the protection of God's saints from His wrath. The angels seal the saints with the name of the living God in their foreheads so that they would be not hurt by the plagues that come down from heaven. While many say that this is strictly about the period of time right before the Messiah's second advent and that these 144,000 are end times ethnic Israelites, we must interpret scripture with scripture. Remember that the bible identifies the last days as beginning with the ascension of the Messiah into heaven. Also, we have already established that there is no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile as it has been abolished in the new covenant.
The verses that follow the sealing of Jehovah's saints identify the 144,000 as the ones who are sealed who escape His (Jehovah's) wrath. Remember also, what Revelation 1 says that the prophecy of the book of Revelation is signified meaning codified in symbols which we can see all over the book of Revelation. The number 144,000 could very well be a symbolic number representing the fullness of God's people of all time (12x 12 x 10 x 10 x 10 = 144,000). The numbers 12 and 10 have symbolic meanings denoting fullness and completeness. The 12 apostles, 12 tribes, the dimensions of the great city New Jerusalem that has 12 gates and 12 foundations.
Revelation 21:15-17 (KJV)
15And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.17And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
The symbolic measurements of New Jerusalem continue to repeat the number representing God's people, multiplied in their fullness (12,000 or 12 x 10 x 10 x 10, and 144 or 12 x 12). The wall of New Jerusalem is 144 cubits. The city of New Jerusalem is12,000 furlongs in measurement. 12,000 is the number from each of the 12 tribes of Israel listed in Revelation 7. The wall of city is 144 cubits which is the number of the totality of the 12 tribes in the thousands i.e. 144,000. The Church is called New Jerusalem showing us that the 12,000 from each tribe comprising 144,000 in Revelation 7 is likely symbolic of the Church which is the New Jerusalem which is measured 12,000 furlongs which has a wall that is 144 cubits. The similarity in the numbers are a huge clue to the symbolic nature of the 144,000.
My study on the Millennium part 1
Throughout Christendom, the subject of the thousand year reign of the Messiah is one of the most talked about doctrines. Historically, the Church has believed that the millennial reign of Jehoshua with His saints equated to the new covenant Church age ranging from the ascension of the Son of God to His second advent. This view is called Amillennialism as it denies a future literal thousand year reign of the Messiah on earth, centered in earthly Jerusalem, after His second advent. In this view the second coming concludes the millennium.
This is the view held by Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Reformed Churches, First day Adventists and some others as well. In the 1800's, the doctrine of dispensationalism was given birth and along with it the teaching of a literal future millennium where Jehoshua would rule on earth from earthly Jerusalem. This doctrine is called premillennialism and teaches that the second coming of the Messiah precedes the millennium. Part of this dispensational doctrine is the teaching of a pretribulation secret rapture.
While the dispensational version of premillennialism is the predominant view there are other versions of premillennialism that exist such as the Seventh Day Adventist version that teaches the heavenly millennium with the earth being desolate for the thousand years. There is post tribulation premillennialism that keeps many of the same features as the dispensational version other than the timing of the rapture. This version is gaining popularity within Christendom. There is also a less popular version that believes in a mid tribulation rapture. There is also a version that teaches a pre wrath rapture which sometimes overlaps with the post trib version.
Other than the Seventh Day Adventist version of the heavenly millennium, all the premillennial views share much of the same features such as Geo-political Israel being a fulfillment of prophecy and being the center point of the end times including a third temple in Jerusalem. Also, the ethnic Jews still being God's chosen people along with some type of separation and distinction between Israel and the Church. Many with the premillennial view teach that Jehoshua's instructions were for the Jews only or primarily and that Paul was for the Church. Many if not most premillennialists believe that Christian's are obligated to support Geo-political Israel as that is the Israel of God.
They believe that Geo-political Israel will be restored to prominence and rule over Gentile nations during the future thousand year millennium on earth with Messiah sitting on the throne of David for the first time in earthly Jerusalem in a physical temple with animal sacrifices and the Levitical priesthood restored.
Premillennialists claim that their eschatology is the original view of the Church and reference the Church father Irenaeus as teaching their view. However, when reading Irenaeus, his version of the millennium didn't have a restoration of the Levitical priesthood system and animal sacrifices, nor did it have any Jewish-Gentile distinction. He taught that Christian's alone comprised the Israel of God and that they would be the ones to rule with Messiah from a restored earthly Jerusalem.
The ones they would rule over would be those who converted after the rapture of the Church and subsequently lived through the outpouring of God's wrath on the wicked. These would be Christians who would go into the millennium as mortals. It appears that Irenaeus had a prewrath rapture view or mid trib view. In Irenaeus view, the saints do go to heaven after the rapture and then return to earth when the Messiah returns to establish His earthly thousand year Kingdom. Aspects of Irenaeus view disagrees with both pre-trib and post-trib premillennialists and for sure disagrees with much of dispensationalist premillennialism.
Irenaeus view is called Classic Premillennialism. Those who hold a post-trib view claim this title of Classic Premillennialism, however modern post tribbers hold to many of the tenants of dispensationalism which are at odds with Irenaeus Classic Premillennialism. Modern Post tribulation premillennialism is more akin to the dispensational version of premillennialism than it is of Classic Premillennialism.
Classic Premillennialism lacks many of the views of the modern pre trib and post trib premillennial views.
In this study, I will present the amillennial view as being the most biblical. Too often times, we in the modern Church throw out the baby with the bath water. For example if a particular doctrine is held by a denomination we consider false or apostate then we by association consider it false. The fact that a particular doctrine was traditionally held by the visible Church doesn't make it true, but it does add some weight to that doctrine as being true if it can be backed up by the bible.
As stated before, the Amillennial view of the millennium is held by much of the Church, basically most if not all of the Non-Protestant Churches (RCC, EO etc.) as well as the liturgical Protestant Churches and the reformed Protestant Churches. There are others Churches that don't fall into the above categories that also hold to the amillennial view. History certainly supports the Amillennial view as being the eschatological view of the Church. While it is important to have history as support for doctrinal truth, the bible is ultimately are final authority. Let's go to the word of God and determine which view is biblical, Amillennialism or Premillennialism.
Revelation 20:1-15 (KJV)
1And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.4And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20 is the passage that identifies a millennial reign of Messiah with His saints. During this millennial reign Satan will be bound with a significant decrease in his ability to deceive the nations. There will be a short space where Satan will be loosed which means his ability to deceive the nations will increase to a great degree.
During this millennial reign, the saints will sit on thrones and judge. Among these are those who are martyred for the gospel. They will also not worship the beast nor take his mark.
Those who reign are part of the first resurrection and they are priests and kings and reign with the Messiah for a thousand years.
Verses 8 and 9 speak of a final battle between Satan and God's people. We then see that the earth will be devoured by fire. Satan, the anti-Messiah and false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire.
The white throne Judgment takes place at the conclusion of the millennium where the unbelieving will be cast into the lake of fire.
Chapter 21 of Revelation details what follows which is the new heavens and new earth. This is a basic rundown of Revelation 20. It will be my intent to show that the description of the millennium in Revelation 20 runs parallel to the new covenant Church age, basically from the ascension of the Messiah into heaven to His second advent.
We will go verse by verse in Revelation 20 and identify what they mean in terms of the Church age. First let's go to the old testament that some falsely attribute to a future earthly millennium.
Isaiah 2:1-4 (ASV)
1The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.2And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah`s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.3And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.4And he will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Verse 2 of Isaiah 2 speaks of the latter days which was identified in the new testament as the time of the Son of God's exaltation.
Also verse 2 reads "that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it"
Mountain represents a Kingdom in bible prophecy and this verse is saying that when the latter days arrive that Jehovah's Kingdom will be established above the earthly kingdoms of this world. As stated before, the new testament teaches that the latter days began when the Messiah ascended to heaven (Hebrews 1:1-3; Acts 2;15-21; 1 Peter 1:18-21).
The mountain of Jehovah is also equated with His house which the bible teaches us is His temple. The new testament teaches us that the temple of Jehovah in the new covenant is not a building of brick and mortar but rather the Church:
19So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,20being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;21in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;22in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
Paul makes it crystal clear that the household of God in the new covenant is not a physical temple but rather the Church. The Church is identified as the Commonwealth of Israel in Ephesians 2 and the New Jerusalem in Hebrews 12:
22but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels,23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made 24and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than that of Abel.
Going back to Isaiah 2, verse 2 says that Jehovah's Kingdom will be exalted above the hills. Whereas Jehovah's Kingdom is pictured as a mountain the nations of the earth are merely hills. Verse 2 says that all nations will flow unto the mountain of Jehovah God i.e.His Kingdom. This shows us the mystery of the gospel in that all nations (Gentiles) will be saved by the purpose and will of God. These Gentiles will be brought into the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2).
While dispensationalists look to a future earthly millennium for a fulfillment of this passage the new testament teaches us that the fulfillment of this passage has already begun all the way back to the day of Pentecost:
Acts 2:16-18 (KJV)
16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;17And it shall come to pass 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:18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Peter identifies the last days as beginning with the ascension of the Messiah into heaven. He also says that the prophecy of Joel 2 has been fulfilled on that particular day of Pentecost in which he was preaching. On the day of Pentecost, there were Jews and proselytes of all nations. Proselytes are Gentiles who are in the process of conversion to the Israelite faith. Also, the gospel ended up going out into all the world i.e. the nations (Gentiles) as Jehoshua commanded (Matthew 28:18). Paul called this the mystery of the gospel:
Colossians 1:26-27 (KJV)
26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Paul says that the mystery of the gospel is now (present tense) and as of Paul's writings here, now is AD 61 or 62. The mystery is the bringing in of the Gentiles into the House of Israel and having the Messianic Spirit living in them. Clearly the prophecy of Isaiah 2 regarding all nations flowing unto the mountain (Kingdom) of Jehovah has already begun all the way back to the apostolic age and continues to this very day. Paul confirms the fulfillment of the Isaiah 2 prophecy in Ephesians chapter 2:
11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
In the old covenant age (times past) Gentiles were largely aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel (verses 11-12) but now are made nigh by the blood of Jehoshua (verse 13). Jehoshua's death on the cross made both believing Jews and Gentiles into one body making one new man. Verses 19-22 quoted earlier in this study further make clear the bringing in of the Gentiles into the House of Israel.
Peter the apostle also makes it clear that Isaiah's prophecy has come to it's fulfillment in the new covenant Church which is identified as an elect race and the Israel of God.
1 Peter 2:1-10 (KJV)
1Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:3If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.4To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
In this passage, Peter is talking to believers in the Son of God (verse 7) not ethnic Jews unless of course they are believers in the Messiah. Clearly he is addressing all believers in Jehoshua in this passage as he references those in time past who were not the people of God an obvious allusion to the Gentiles in the Church. In verse 10 Peter says that believing Gentiles were once not the people of God but now have obtained mercy and are now the people of God. This of course also includes those Jews who have obtained mercy through repentance but the obvious intent of the passage marks out both the Gentiles who are now in the Commonwealth of Israel and the Jews who were brought back into covenant with God.
All Christians/Messianics, wheresoever they be, compose one holy nation; they are one nation, collected under one head Jehoshua Messiah. All true Christians/Messianics are a chosen generation; they all make one family. All true servants of Jehoshua are a royal priesthood. Peter applies titles used of Israel to Christians (Ex 19:5-6; Deut 4:20; 7:6; Isa. 43:20).
Let's get back to Isaiah 2, in verse 2 we see that Jehovah's Kingdom (mountain) will be established above the earthly kingdoms of this world (hills). Some would say this is a future thing because they say that Jehovah's Kingdom is not here yet and isn't ruling over the kingdoms of this world. However, new testament teaches us differently:
1In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
John the baptist said that the Kingdom of God was at hand (near). Would it really make any sense for John to say this when the Kingdom wouldn't come for over 2,000 years? At hand means "near" not far away. The truth of the Kingdom being near is why John was urgent in calling Israel to repentance. Why was John saying the Kingdom was at hand? Because the King of the Kingdom was on the verge of being anointed into that office:
16And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
The language used at Jehoshua's baptism is taken from Psalm 2:7 which is a coronation Psalm about an Israelite King. Psalm 2 applied to both David and Solomon and the Davidic kings as a whole but finds it's ultimate fulfillment in Jehoshua. This begetting is not one of literal birth but rather an anointing of installment into office i.e. the office of King. A King cannot be a King without a Kingdom and the arrival of Jehoshua onto the scene marked the arrival of the Kingdom of God also known as the Kingdom of God's dear Son (Colossians 1:12-14).
Jehoshua even tells the religious Jews that by His works (Jehoshua's) that the Kingdom of God had come upon them:
Matthew 12:28 (KJV)
28But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Jehoshua was already defeating Satan and his kingdom by bringing the reign of Jehovah into people's lives through the Holy Spirit with which God anointed Him. For the Pharisees and other religious Jews, the concept of the Kingdom was all about power, real estate and pomp and circumstance. The Son of God was showing us that the Kingdom was far more than those things and that it was about healing, love, joy, and peace. This is why the religious leaders rejected the Messiah of Israel because they didn't fit their materialistic ideas of how the King should bring about the Kingdom of God.
Why can we connect the baptism of Jehoshua with His being installed into office as King of Israel? Besides the aforementioned coronation Psalm being quoted in the baptism accounts, Jehoshua was acknowledged as the King of Israel right after His baptism. Let's go to the confession of a fellow Israelite whom Jehoshua said had no guile:
John 1:49 (KJV)
49Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.50Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
Nathanael made the stunning confession that Jehoshua was already the King of Israel and Jehoshua affirmed Nathanael's confession. This took place 2 days after Jehoshua's baptism clearly linking His baptism with His Kingship.
Jehoshua's baptism into water by John the Baptist and being anointed with the Spirit of Jehovah is similar to when David was anointed by Samuel the prophet with literal oil and with Jehovah's Spirit. They both were anointed as the King of Israel yet they both did not receive the literal throne and crown at the time of their anointing. They both received the throne at a later time after going through a period of tribulation.
Revelation Chapter 1
1To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks:2I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false;3and thou hast patience and didst bear for my name`s sake, and hast not grown weary.4But I have [this] against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love.5Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.6But this thou hast, that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.7He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.8And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived [again]:9I know thy tribulation, and thy poverty (but thou art rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they art not, but are a synagogue of Satan.10Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.12and to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These things saith he that hath the sharp two-edged sword:13I know where thou dwellest, [even] where Satan`s throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwelleth.14But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there some that hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.15So hast thou also some that hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans in like manner.16Repent therefore; or else I come to thee quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth.17He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it.18And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like unto burnished brass:19I know thy works, and thy love and faith and ministry and patience, and that thy last works are more than the first.20But I have [this] against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.21And I gave her time that she should repent; and she willeth not to repent of her fornication.22Behold, I cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of her works.23And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto each one of you according to your works.24But to you I say, to the rest that are in Thyatira, as many as have not this teaching, who know not the deep things of Satan, as they are wont to say; I cast upon you none other burden.25Nevertheless that which ye have, hold fast till I come.26And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations:27and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to shivers; as I also have received of my Father:28and I will give him the morning star.
29He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
verse 1, Messiah, the great High Priest, is present and active in His churches (candlesticks). This also alludes to the holy place in the heavenly temple where the seven branch candlesticks is. Jehoshua is now addressing the Church of Ephesus and it's teachers (stars).
Verses 2 and 3, contrary to todays institutional churches that say it is judgmental to call out false teachers, Jehoshua actually congratualtes the Church of Ephesus for doing that very thing. Those at Ephesus practiced discernment and tested those who claimed to be apostles (sent ones) of the Messiah. The Church found these false apostles to be liars.
The Ephesus Church followed the advice given in scripture by the apostle John:
1 John 4:1
1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Today's church actually teaches the opposite and says that it is unloving to test the spirits and call out false teachers.
Jehoshua praises the Church at Ephesus for their Kingdom labor and works as well as their patience. This Church has endured through whatever trials came their way.
Verse 4, Jehoshua then brings a word of correction to the Ephesians by telling them that they have left their first love. One danger that faces all believers is to do the work of the Kingdom solely out of obligation rather than a love for those we serve. Service and doctrine are worthless without love.
Verse 5, Jehoshua calls the Church at Ephesus to repent and return to the first works that were motivated by love. He tells them to remember where they have fallen. Each believer must examine him or herself honestly to see if they be in the faith. This should be a daily process. We must search our hearts and repent of any wrong attitudes.
"Remove thy candlestick" this is not a threat to take away individuals salvation but rather the Church as a whole in terms of them being illuminated by the Spirit to carry on the laboring of the Kingdom gospel.
Verse 6, Jehoshua destroys today's institutional Churches false teaching that to call out and name false teachers and even hate what they stand for is wrong. Jehoshua commends the Ephesians for hating the deeds of false teachers and In fact the Son of God hates them too. It is biblical to have a perfect hatred for false teachers and their doctrine and their deeds. David who was a man after Jehovah's own heart had this type of hatred:
Psalm 139:21-22 (ASV)
21Do not I hate them, O Jehovah, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?22I hate them with perfect hatred: They are become mine enemies.
David also said this:
Psalm 119:104 (ASV)
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate every false way.
Unlike the lukewarm milquetoast churches of today, true men and women of God hate false doctrine and the deeds of false teachers. We are to even hate the wicked false teachers with a perfect hatred meaning to outright reject them.
Verse 7 of Revelation 2
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God."
The Spirit is speaking through the Son of God as Jehoshua has the Spirit fully in Him. "He that hath an ear" the one whom God has granted the spiritual ability to understand the truth. This encouragement to overcome is not just for the Ephesians but for all the churches of all time. Everyone begotten from above in Messiah fights and overcomes sin in this world by Jehoshua's victory on the cross.
Notice that the promise the Son of God gives for the overcomers is not an earthly millennial kingdom but rather the tree of life in the paradise of God. Where is the paradise of God, earth or heaven?
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (ASV)
2I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up even to the third heaven.
3And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from the body, I know not; God knoweth),4how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
Paul identifies paradise as being above i.e. "caught up" and that it is in the third heaven which he also uses the phrase "caught up". The third heaven is obviously the heaven where Jehovah God dwells.
How do we know that the reference to the "tree of life and paradise of God" is about heaven? Let's also see what the Son of God says in Revelation 22:14:
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
Jehoshua pretty much echoes what He told the Churches in Rev. 2:7. The promise for overcomers i.e. those who keep His Father's commandments is to eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of God (Rev. 2:7) and inside the gates of the city. The phrase "enter in through the gates of the city" is the key to understanding our destination after the Lord's second advent. While much of Christendom awaits a literal thousand year millennium on earth with earthly Jerusalem as it's capital, Jehoshua says that our destiny is to enter in through the gates of the city and eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of Jehovah.
As Paul mentioned the paradise of God is in the third heaven, obviously eliminating any possibility that when Jehoshua speaks of the paradise of God He is talking about an earthly millennium with earthly Jerusalem restored.
The final nail in the coffin for earthly millennialists is to identify what city is Jehoshua referencing in Revelation 22:14. The context of this verse overwhelmingly supports this city, in which the tree of life is located, to be New Jerusalem. See chapter 21 and the first five verses of chapter 22 for confirmation. There is no way Jehoshua is talking about a refurbished earthly Jerusalem. Even the book of Hebrews confirms this to be true:
Hebrews 13:13-14 (KJV)
13Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.14For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that we as Messianics have no continuing city here meaning that our home is not in earthly Jerusalem as that is the context of above the verses. The author is saying that earthly Jerusalem bears no hope for us and that we should not look to it for hope. As believers in the Son of God we seek a city that is not here yet as our present and future hope, basically our inheritance. What city is that? Let's let the author answer that:
Hebrews 12:22-23 (ASV)
22but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels,23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Here the author is making the comparison of the old covenant which earthly Jerusalem represented and the new covenant which heavenly Jerusalem represents. This city of the living God which is the heavenly Jerusalem is the very city the author of Hebrews describes as being the city that we seek to come (Heb 13:14).
The author of Hebrews says that we as new covenant Israel don't approach mount Sinai which represents the old covenant but rather approach to heavenly mount Zion which represents the new covenant. The new covenant Israel has it's census taken in New Jerusalem not earthly Jerusalem as that is the Headquarters of the Church:
"general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven"
Whereas the earthly Israelite kings reigned from earthly Jerusalem, the heavenly Israelite King Jehoshua reigns from New Jerusalem where He has His throne (Hebrews 1:8-9).
The for the new covenant Israelite, earthly Jerusalem is of no consequence and we shouldn't even look to it. We have no hope in earthly Jerusalem. Our hope according to the new testament writers including the Son of God is new Jerusalem the heavenly mount Zion.
Let's go back to Revelation chapter 2 and look at verses 8 and 9:
8And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived again:9I know thy tribulation, and thy poverty (but thou art rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they art not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Jehoshua describes Himself as the first and the last which He also said in Revelation 1:17. In both instances the context refers to His being dead and then living. He is referred to as the firstborn from the dead in Colossians 1:18 which is connected to Him being given preeminence in all things. This is what makes Him "first". He is also last as He is described as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Jehoshua will also end this age at His second coming making Him the "last" and usher in the new heavens and new earth. Jehoshua is called the father of eternity (Isaiah 9:6) which also makes Him the "last".
In verse 9, Jehoshua talks about those who say they are Jews but are not and says they are a synagogue of Satan. Jehoshua calls their claims to be Jews blasphemous. This likely refers to the Messiah rejecting Jews of the pharisaical synagogue system which is existed at the time of the writing of Revelation. In today's time, it also refers to rabbinic Judaism which rejects the Messiah of Israel. These rabbinic Jews teach doctrines of men as the commandments of God and speak evil of the Messiah Jehoshua. Paul the apostle made it clear, a Jew is one who is inwardly so not outwardly:
Romans 2:28-29 (ASV)
28For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh:29but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Being an Israelite is not about religious forms and ceremonies but rather having Jehovah's moral law written on your heart. Being an Israelite in the new covenant is not about the flesh or outward rituals but rather putting on the new man created after the image of God and conformed to the image of His Son.
Jehoshua is addressing the Messiah rejecting Jews who only have an outward form of godliness while not being circumcised in the heart. Jehoshua calls them the synagogue of Satan which is a swift rebuke to modern rabbinic Judaism, which heavily relies on their ethnic identity and religious forms as a way of being righteous before God.
Dispensationalists of all stripes have joined themselves to the synagogue of Satan by exalting ethnic Jews as being the elect children of God simply due to their ethnicity. They have yoked themselves with secular Messiah rejecting Geo-political Israel supporting their agenda no matter how immoral it may be.
Unfortunately more and more, Christian's/Messianic's feel the need to sit at the feet of Messiah rejecting Jews to learn how to be more Jewish all the while ignoring Paul's words that a true Jew is one who is so inwardly not outwardly.
What would Jehoshua say to the dispensationalists, Messianic Jews and Hebrew roots folks who join themselves and/or support Geo-political Israel which is the modern day synagogue of Satan?
Also in verse 9, Jehoshua also tells the Church at Smyrna that despite their tribulations and financial poverty that they are rich in faith and in the things of the Kingdom. This is a stern rebuke to today's modern 501 C 3 Church system which teaches the exact opposite. Today's typical 501 C 3 American Church often teaches that tribulation and financial poverty is likely a sign that God is judging you or not with you or that you lack faith. Yet this goes against what our King and Saviour taught which is that we as His disciples will be hated and suffer persecution in this life.
All over the new testament, believers in the Son of God are promised tribulation, persecution, hatred and sometimes confiscation of goods. Yet we are also promised spiritual, invisible and eternal riches in Messiah.
Just to show how wicked the teachings are of the modern Church system, the bible teaches the exact opposite of what it means to be rich in this life and blessed by God. Let's read:
Hebrews 10:32-34 (ASV)
32But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were enlightened, ye endured a great conflict of sufferings;33partly, being made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, becoming partakers with them that were so used.34For ye both had compassion on them that were in bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of you possessions, knowing that ye have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one.
The early Church was able to suffer losing their earthly possessions joyfully because they knew that they had an enduring possession in heaven.
Ephesians 1:3 (ASV)
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Our riches as believers in the Son of God are in the heavenly places as we reign with the Messiah as kings and priests. The reference to the heavenly places speaks of the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary where the Messiah sits at the right hand of God the Father. God the Father has made us fit to reign with His anointed King who is the Son of God (Colossians 1:12-14).
Ephesians 2:4-6 (ASV)
4but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved),6and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus:
We now as believers in the Son of God, have been raised up (past tense), sit with Him on His throne in the heavenly places i.e. the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. These are the riches that have been bestowed on us as Messianic's. Being rich in God's economy has nothing to do with material blessings but rather spiritual ones.
Verse 10 of Revelation 2
10 Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.
Jehoshua encourages the Smyrna Church to not fear the persecution that is at their door. This is an exhortation for all Messianic's of all ages. We are not to fear suffering persecution and affliction for our Lord Jehoshua. Today's American Church system barely utters a word anymore about suffering for the faith. In fact, in today's twisted version of Christianity suffering for the faith would deem you as one who had lost favor with God.
Jehoshua even tells the Smyrna Church that the devil will cast some of them into prison in order that their faith may be tried and tested. Can you imagine a pastor telling his congregation that from the pulpit? Half his Church would be empty at the next service. Instead of promising material wealth and health to the Church, Jehoshua promises them affliction and trials even to the point of being cast into prison.
There is no prosperity gospel here but rather raw and gritty Apostolic Christianity. Jehoshua is encouraging this Church to not fear going to prison and that during this 10 day (symbolic) tribulation they are to be faithful even if it means dying for their faith. Those who are faithful unto death will receive the crown of life which is given to God's spiritual athletes as the reward of grace to those who persevere.
The Messianic/Christian is called to be a sold out soldier willing to lay down his or her life on the line and to do so having no fear of anything other than fear of God.
Verse 11 of Revelation 2
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
The Holy Spirit is speaking through the Son of God as He encourages, exhorts & rebukes the Churches. Those who overcome will not suffer the second death in the lake of fire. This verse shows us that the lake of fire is not eternal torment but rather destruction.
1John Chapter 1
1That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life2(and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal [life], which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us);3that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ:4and these things we write, that our joy may be made full.5And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.6If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Verse 1, what beginning is John talking about? He gives us the answer, it's the beginning of Jehoshua's ministry right after He was baptized. How do we know this? Because John identifies the beginning as when he and the other apostles beheld and handled and their eyes seen the "Word of life". John and the apostles did not know Jehoshua until after His baptism.
Verse 2, "the life was manifested" to the apostles after Jehoshua's baptism, as said before they knew not Jehoshua until after His anointing by the Holy Spirit. John calls this life "the eternal life" which was with the Father. This eternal life is also called the "Word of life" in verse 1. The manifestation of the Word of life was not until Jehoshua's baptism when the apostles began to hear, handle and see Him. The question now is, what was this Word prior to Jehoshua's baptism? Remember, scripture interprets scripture:
Psalm 33:6 (ASV)
6 By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
Here scripture clearly tells us that the Word is actually the spoken word of Jehovah God that creates and the Word is the breath (Spirit) that comes out of His mouth. Notice that the Word of Jehovah God is not described as an actual person or being. So when John refers to the Word of life or eternal life that was with the Father, he is referencing that actual spoken Word of Jehovah which is the breath (Spirit) that comes out of His mouth. That is the Word that was manifested to the apostles in the person and ministry of Jehoshua Messiah.
Jehoshua was not that Word prior to His baptism but rather that Word became manifest in Him when that Word came upon Him at His baptism and literally dwelt in Him.
Jehoshua even acknowledged that the Word's He spoke were not His own but rather His Father's:
John 7:16 (ASV)
16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.17If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Doctrine means instruction, teaching or word. Jehoshua rather than identifying Himself as "the Word" says that the words or "Word" that He speaks are not His own but rather the Father's. So the word of God is actually the very words that come out of the Father's mouth as stated in Psalm 33:6.
Jehoshua spoke the actual words (commandments) of God the Father not His own. This affirmed by Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-21) and John the Baptist (John 3:33-36) in addition to Jehoshua Himself.
Jehoshua is what the Word of God became when that very Word through the Holy Spirit came upon Him and entered into Him at His baptism and then began to be preached and taught when He was 30 years old.
The bible teaches that the Word of salvation went forth to Israel after Jehoshua was brought unto them as Savior.
When was the Word of salvation made flesh, let's read what Paul says on the subject:
23Of this man`s seed hath God according to promise brought unto Israel a Saviour, Jehoshua;24when John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.25And as John was fulfilling his course, he said, What suppose ye that I am? I am not he. But behold, there cometh one after me the shoes of whose feet I am not worthy to unloose.26Brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us is the word of this salvation sent forth.
In Verses 23 and 24 of Acts 13, Paul connects Jehoshua being brought unto Israel as their Saviour with the preaching of repentance by John the Baptist. This obviously identifies the baptism of Jehoshua as the very moment He was brought unto Israel as their Saviour.
In verses 25 and 26, Paul identifies that the Word of salvation was sent forth to Israel as John was finishing his course in conjunction with the Messiah coming after him. Again, the baptism of Jehoshua is in clear view here as that is when Jehoshua came after John and then John baptized Him at which time Jehoshua was anointed with the Spirit of Jehovah to begin preaching the gospel of the Kingdom i.e. the Word of God.
So the bible is clear when we let scripture interpret scripture that the Word became flesh at Jehoshua's baptism as that is the precise moment in time that He started preaching the Word of God. Scripture elsewhere confirms this:
22and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.23And Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years of age,
Do you see the progression here? Jehoshua was baptized with the Holy Spirit and then began to teach the Word of God.
As Jehoshua stated in John 7:16 the Word that He spoke wasn't His but the Father's. Moses and John the Baptist also confirm that the words Jehoshua spoke were God's. When 1 John 1 refers to that Word of life or eternal life that was with the Father and then manifested to us, he is not talking about a pre existent divine being as the Word who then became manifest via the virgin birth. Rather, John is saying that the Word which was with the Father as the Father's very own spoken word and breath (Psalm 33:6) became manifest in the flesh of Jehoshua through His (Jehoshua's) teachings.
This is crystal clear when we compare scripture with scripture rather than trusting in man made orthodox Church traditions.
As stated in Luke 3, Jehoshua began to teach the Word of God after His baptism at the age of 30 years old. It was at Jehoshua's baptism that the Word of God became flesh. Isaiah 11 really highlights this fact:
Isaiah 11:1-4 (ASV)
1And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit.2And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.3And his delight shall be in the fear of Jehovah; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears;4but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Isaiah 11:1-4 is a clear prophecy of the baptism of Jehoshua, compare "Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him" in Isaiah with the "Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him" in Luke. The attributes of Jehovah's Spirit (Word) are outlined in Isaiah 11 such as understanding, counsel, knowledge, wisdom, might, the fear of Jehovah, Spirit of Jehovah.
All of those attributes of the Jehovah's Spirit are attributes of Jehovah's Word which gives us understanding, knowledge, wisdom, counsel, might and causes us to fear Jehovah.
Jehovah's Word and Spirit are one and the same. One can only speak Jehovah's after they have been anointed with His Spirit. Jehoshua confirms the equating of the Word with the Spirit:
63 It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, are life.
Remember that Jehoshua said that the Words that He speaks are not His own but rather the Father's. The Father's words that the Son of God spoke were spirit. Jehoshua only began to teach and preach the gospel which is the Word of God after He was baptized with the Holy Spirit at the age of 30 years old.
Although Jehoshua was not the Word of God before His baptism, He most assuredly is the Word of God now as every word He speaks comes from the Father.
1 Corinthians 1:24 (ASV)
24but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
The Son of God is the power and wisdom of God i.e. He is the Word of God. Jehoshua is what the Word of God became at His baptism. The power and wisdom of God is expressed in His Word now made manifest (evident, clear) in the Man Messiah Jehoshua.
Revelation 19:13 (ASV)
13And he is arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of God
Jehoshua is properly named the Word of God as again, He is the Word of His Father manifested in the flesh.
John the beloved says that the Word of life and eternal life was manifested to him and the other apostles. When was this manifestation? Many claim the Word was made manifest in the flesh at the incarnation of Jehoshua but this is not biblical as the apostles didnt know Jehoshua until after His baptism. So clearly the Word of God which is eternal life was manifested to the apostles after the baptism of Jehoshua as that is when He began to call them to follow Him.
Let's go back to 1 John 1
"that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ"
John here is telling the saints that him and the other apostles have been faithful witnesses of what they saw concerning the Messiah and also His teachings. John intimates that if they receive his witness then they will have fellowship with him and the other pillars of the Church.
If those who John was addressing accepted the witness of John then they also would have fellowship with the Father and His Son Jehoshua Messiah. This goes back to Acts 2 and what is referred to as the apostles doctrine:
42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
The early Church was devout in staying true to the teaching of the apostles which centered on what they heard the Son of God declare and His ministry as a whole including His miracles.
In verse 3 of 1 John 1, John is telling his audience that if they receive the apostles doctrine that they will have fellowship with the Father and Son.
3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jude gives charge to the Church to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints which is the apostles doctrine.
John is basically encouraging the brethren to receive the apostles doctrine which is the faith once delivered to the saints. It is by steadfastly holding onto what the apostles taught that we stay in fellowship with the Father and Son.
Verse 4 of 1 John chapter 1
"and these things we write, that our joy may be made full."
John's object in writing this epistle is that the joy of him & the other pillars may be filled up. Just as a parent rejoices when their children follow & heed their instructions, John & the other pillars of the Church rejoice when they see their spiritual children follow their doctrine.
"And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.
The word "glory" derives from the Hebrew word "kabowd" and within the context refers to the splendor of Jehovah. In the Greek the word is "doxa" in which glory derives from. Doxa means "glory, glorious, dignity, worship, honor, praise".
The glory of Jehovah would rest in the tabernacle of meeting during the times of Israel's wilderness experience. Later on, the glory of God would dwell in the Temple.
"You shall put this altar in front of the veil that is near the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you.
Jehovah would meet with Moses in the holy of holies and His presence would rest atop the mercy seat which was the lid of the ark of the covenant. Now in the new covenant it is Jehoshua who meets with Jehovah God in the most holy place yet this meeting is continual as Jehoshua actually sits on the Father's throne symbolized in the tabernacle as being on the mercyseat atop the ark.
"The Shekhina(h) (Biblical Hebrew: שכינה šekīnah; also Romanized Shekina(h), Schechina(h), Shechina(h)) is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning "dwelling" or "settling" and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God."
We can rightly say that the divine presence of Jehovah God tabernacles over His Son Jehoshua in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. Not only does the shekinah (dwelling) glory "(light) tabernacle over the Son of God but it also tabernacles in Him bodily.
Colossians 2:8-10 (ASV)
8Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:9for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,10and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power:
Here Paul is warning the Messianic's not to be cheated by the vain philosophies of the world and man made traditions. Paul describing the resurrected and glorified Messiah (present tense) "in him" dwells all the fulness of the Majesty bodily.
We know that Jehovah God is the Majesty or Godhead and it's the fulness of Jehovah's Godhead that fills Messiah fully. Let's take a closer look at the meaning of "fulness" and "Godhead".
The word fulness is derived from the Greek word "pleroma" (Greek Strongs 3158) and means "what fills (as contents, supplement, copiousness, mutlitude), or what is filled (as container, performance, period): - which is put in to fill up, piece that filled up, fulfilling, full, fulness."
Think of Jehoshua's body as a container. His body (container) is filled up to the full measure meaning all the way to the very bottom and the very top. What is it filled up with?
Paul says Jehoshua's body is filled up with the Godhead or Majesty. Let's look at the meaning of the word "Godhead" which is derived from the Greek word "theotes (Strongs 2320) and means "divinity, godhead".
This means that the divinity of Jehovah God who is the Godhead fully indwells His Son Jehoshua. This is powerful my friends! We can rightly say that Jehoshua is the fully divine Son of God. No need for the trinity or pre-existence for this to be true but rather the resurrection and ascension in which are Saviour and King was glorified.
This gives us an appreciation for both the Father and Son being the light as the Father is the light and the Son is the light thereof. This refers both to their character and their visible glory and substance.
Let's look at verses 6 and 7 of John chapter 1:
6If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
To have fellowship with the Father is to walk in the light of His commandments which are summed up in love. The 10 commandments are a transcript of Jehovah 's character. The first 4 have to do with our love for God and the remaining 6 have to do with love for our neighbor.
Jehoshua confirmed this to a fellow Jew in Mark chapter 12:
28And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all?29Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:30and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.31The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Jehoshua quoted the shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) which is directly related to the first 4 commandments and also quoted Leviticus 19:18 which are directly in line with the remaining 6 commandments. Do you know that love is the overriding theme of God's commandments.
While many believers find no problem in loving God they often have a harder time loving their brother or sister in the faith. There are even those who have hate towards their brethren in the Church. This is what John is referring to when he uses the phrase "walk in darkness". Let's look at chapter 2 of John's 1st epistle:
9He that saith he is in the light and hateth his brother, is in the darkness even until now.10He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.11But he that hateth his brother is in the darkness, and walketh in the darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because the darkness hath blinded his eyes.
John is clear in that those who say they have fellowship with God yet hate their brother or sister, are actually in darkness. This is what he is referring to in verse 6 of 1 John chapter 1. He says that those who walk in darkness i.e. hate their brother or sister (1 John 2:9-11) lie about having fellowship with God and do not the truth i.e. keep God's commandments which are rooted in love.
1 John 5:2-3
2 Hereby we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments.3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
You cannot separate the love of God from keeping His commandments. In many of today's Messianic/Hebrew roots congregations there is an extreme focus on the externals in terms of God's commandments, however it is love which comes from the internal spirit of a man that is God's primary concern.
If we love God and our neighbor then we are keeping God's commandments thereby walking in the light and doing the truth. This has nothing to do with meat and drink or even ceremonial aspects of the law but rather has to do with what's in our heart. Basically, how do we reverence God and treat our neighbor is what constitutes keeping the commandments.
Love your brother or sister in the faith and you then walk in the light and do the truth thereby having fellowship with God.
Hate your brother or sister in the faith and you then walk in darkness and do not the truth and lie about having fellowship with God.
Look at what we get to partake in if we love our brother or sister in the faith thereby walking in the light?
1 John 1:7
7but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
We get to partake in the sweet fellowship of the saints and the blood of Jehoshua Messiah, God's Son cleanses us from all sin. It is in darkness that we receive no forgiveness because to walk in hate is to walk in unforgiveness, which then means you yourself will not be forgiven your sins. To walk in love means that you forgive your brethren of any offenses thereby you will also be forgiven your offenses.
14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Unforgiveness often leads to resentment and sometimes even hate. When we forgive others there is a sense of love for the one forgiven. Those who forgive then have the right to the atoning blood of Jehoshua to cover their sins.
1 John 1:8
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
We must be beware of deceiving ourselves in denying or excusing our sins. If we deny them the truth is not in us, either the truth that is contrary to such denial (we lie in denying our sin) or the truth of the faith is not in us.
1 John 1:8-9
9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
No matter how unfaithful we may be, Jehovah is always faithful to His promises to forgive. The bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God so when we say that we have not sinned (past tense) then we make Him a liar and attempt to nullify His Father's witness that He sent us His only begotten Son to die for us. The arrogance of claiming that we have not sinned proves that God's word does not dwell in us.
32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:33and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
The angel of Jehovah prophesies to Mary that the Son she will bring forth will be given the throne of David and rule over the house of Israel as it's King and that His Kingdom will be forever. Most Christians forget that this was the primary purpose of the Messiah's ministry which was to establish His Kingdom and receive His inheritance which is the throne of David. Even the cross is directly related to the foundational prophecy made in 2 Samuel 7 that Jehoshua would inherit the throne of David and establish an eternal Kingdom after the holy vine of David. Unfortunately most Christians separate the significance of the cross from the main prophecy about Jehoshua receiving a throne and a Kingdom. Dispensationalism is the biggest culprit that makes a separation between the cross and the prophecy made about Jehoshua in 2 Samuel chapter 7. However, Paul the apostle beautifully makes the connection in Colossians 1:12-13:
12giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;13who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;
How do we go from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God's Son? How does the Father make us fit for the Kingdom of Jehoshua? Again, we can go to Paul the apostle for the answer:
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand,2by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain.3For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;4and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures;
Paul says that in order to be saved, which is equivalent to be translated into the Kingdom of Jehoshua, is to believe that He died, was buried and rose from the dead. The cross is the focal point of the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah. What was the Father's role in this? Romans portrays this beautifully:
28And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.29For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:30and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?33Who shall lay anything to the charge of God`s elect? It is God that justifieth;
God the Father is the initiator of the salvation process. Here in Romans Paul shows that even from before we were born God foreordained us to be conformed to the image of His Son. God foreknew us and predestined us and He called us according to His purpose.
In verse 32 Paul says that God spared not His own Son but freely gave Him up for us. It is because of this truth that we can rest assured that God will give us all things.
So God the Father foreknows us, predestines us, calls us, justifies us and glorifies us. This is exactly how He makes us fit (meet) to be translated (transferred) to the Kingdom of His Son Jehoshua. The Son of God was the conduit in which the Father accomplished and accomplishes the plan of salvation. Jehoshua is the reconciler of God's foreordained children.
6I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them to me; and they have kept thy word.
Jehoshua acknowledges that it is the Father who gave Him the apostles. Jehoshua prays to the Father telling Him that the apostles belonged to Him (God the Father).
24Father, I desire that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Jehoshua acknowledges that it is the Father who gives Him those who would inherit salvation.
8Jesus answered, I told you that I am [he]; if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:9that the word might be fulfilled which he spake, Of those whom thou hast given me I lost not one.
Jehoshua again confesses that it is the Father who gave Him the apostles and mentions a prophecy that not of those who the Father gave Him would He lose.
God the Father is heavily involved in the plan of salvation from start to finish:
1 Peter 1:2-4
2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
God foreknows us and predestines us unto being begotten as sons and daughters and then keeps (preserves) us unto the end by His power.
Psalms 89:28-29 (ASV)
28My lovingkindness will I keep for him for evermore; And my covenant shall stand fast with him.29His seed also will I make to endure for ever, And his throne as the days of heaven.
Jehovah God will honor the covenant He made with David in 2 Samuel chapter 7. Jehoshua is the fulfillment of the promise to king David that his seed (sperm) would endure forever. Jehoshua's resurrection was the fulfillment of the oath made ti David by Jehoshua:
Acts 2:29-31 (ASV)
29Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day.30Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne;31he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
Peter directly connected the resurrection of the Messiah with fulfillment of the oath made to David that of his seed one would be raised up to sit on his throne. In Hebrews 1:8-9, which is about Messiah's exaltation and ascension into heaven, God the Father confirms that Jehoshua's throne and Kingdom are eternal:
8but of the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Jehoshua was enthroned on an eternal throne upon His ascension into heaven. He also received an eternal Kingdom thereby fulfilling the promise to David that his seed would last forever. The promise by Jehovah God that David's seed, throne and the covenant made with him would last forever found it's fulfillment in Jehoshua Messiah.
30If his children forsake my law, And walk not in mine ordinances;31If they break my statutes, And keep not my commandments;32Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes.
Jehoshua spoke the commandments of the Father during His earthly ministry, let's read what John the baptist has to say about that:
34For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.35The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.36He 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 the baptist is speaking about the Messiah and says that those who do not believe the Son will have the wrath of God abiding on them. This because the Son speaks the very words of God.
Moses in Deuteronomy 18 says the same thing regarding the future Messiah. When we as followers of the Messiah fail to heed His teachings then God will chasten us as said in Psalm 89:30-32.
33Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.34My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 35Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
The promise of 2nd Samuel chapter 7 is reiterated and confirmed as Jehovah had made an oath to David that even if His seed sinned that His (Jehovah's) loving kindness and faithfulness would not be taken from the seed. Of course, the Messiah knew no sin.
In verse 34, Jehovah cements His oath to David even further by affirming that He will not alter anything that came out of His lips concerning the covenant that He (Jehovah) made with David in 2nd Samuel chapter 7. This is crucial to understand, because this means that the origin of the Messiah concerning Christology has to stay true to exactly what was told to David in 2nd Samuel chapter 7. Let's take a quick look at 2 Samuel 7 and the words spoken by Jehovah concerning the Davidic covenant:
2 Samuel 7:12
12And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom
Seed = carnally, child, posterity, male sperm, offspring (H strongs 2233)
Proceed = begotten, bring forth (H strongs 3318)
Bowels = the intestines, the abdomen, the uterus, belly, womb, or OF MEN the SEAT of GENERATION (H strongs 4578)
Prophetically Jehoshua the Son of God had to proceed meaning He had to be begotten from the sperm (seed) of a male descendant of David's bowels (of men, the seat of generation).
It goes without saying that the seed (sperm) comes from the male. Jehovah makes it clear that every aspect of His oath to David will be fulfilled exactly as He said it. This means that Jehovah according to His own word cannot alter the covenant He made with David in any way, shape or form. Rooted in the Davidic covenant is the fact that the future Messiah would be of the literal seed of David. This means that Jehovah, cannot at the last minute, change the promise made to David regarding his seed (flesh, sperm) enduring forever.
In other words Jehovah cannot fulfill this promise to David and at the same time make Jehoshua linked to David through adoption via Joseph. Some in Christendom make this assertion because Mary has no lineage that clearly connects her to David. These Christians see that they dont have clear scripture that link Mary to David thus providing the needed seed of David in order to make Jehoshua the true Messiah.
So what these particular Christians do is say that by marriage Mary becomes one flesh with Joseph thus Jehoshua in this way somehow receives the seed of David through his natural mother's marriage to a carrier of David's seed who is not His natural father.
This simply won't work as Jehovah clearly says that He wont alter a thing that He told David in 2nd Samuel chapter 7. And the core theme of the Davidic covenant is that the future Messianic King has to literally be of His seed (sperm) and flesh (family heritage, lineage). Receiving the seed and flesh of David in some metaphorical or symbolic way due to His mother marrying a man who carries the seed simply won't cut it.
Some Christians believe that the genealogy in Luke is Mary's genealogy, however there is not solid scriptural proof for this but it could be true. We will visit the genealogies in Matthew and Luke later on.
Even if Mary was of David's line many believe that the Messiah has to receive the seed through a male descendant of David not female. The same goes for tribal affiliation, we will address these arguments later on in this study.
The point of verse 34 and 35 is that the Davidic covenant has to be honored by Jehovah exactly as stated to David. In order for Jehoshua to the Messiah and the Son of David He must literally be of David's seed and flesh, a metaphorical or symbolic fulfillment will not suffice.
36His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.37It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
Jehoshua's resurrection and ascension fulfilled the prophecy of verse 36 as by resurrection Jehoshua became eternal thereby the seed of David lives forever.
The ascension of the Messiah into heaven fulfilled the prophecy of the Davidic throne enduring forever as the Father told the Son:
"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." (Hebrews 1:8).
Verse 37 of Psalm 89 says that the throne of David would be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.
The Psalmist here in verse 37 prophesies a future transfer of the Davidic throne from earthly Jerusalem to Heavenly Jerusalem. The Davidic throne was to be established in heaven when the oath made to David was fulfilled by the future Messiah. Just like the moon, the throne would be in heaven as a faithful witness to Israel that Jehovah's covenant promise made to David was honored.
Psalm 110 also forsees a transfer of the Davidic throne to New Jerusalem.
Psalm 110:1-4 (ASV)
1Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.2Jehovah will send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.3Thy people offer themselves willingly In the day of thy power, in holy array: Out of the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of thy youth.4Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek.
According to Peter, the above passage was fulfilled at the resurrection and ascension of Jehoshua. He says this after saying that Jehoshua's resurrection fulfilled the oath made to David that of his seed, one would sit on his throne. Peter then alludes to Psalm 110 showing us that Psalm 110:1-4 was a prophecy about the Messiah inheriting the Davidic throne in heaven.
In verse 1 of Psalm 110, Jehovah God (adonai) tells the Lord (adoni) to sit on His right hand. We know that Jehovah God dwells in the holy of holies between the cherubim above the mercy seat. Jehovah is telling the Lord Jehoshua to literally sit on His (Jehovah's) throne. We know that Jehovah's throne is a heavenly one not an earthly one. Peter in Acts 2 refers to this throne as the throne of David:
29Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day.30Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set [one] upon his throne;31he foreseeing [this] spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.32This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses.33Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear.34For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,35Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
Peter identifies the resurrection of the Messiah as the fulfillment of the oath made to David that of his seed, one would sit on his throne. So whatever throne Jehoshua sat on after His resurrection and ascension had to be the throne of David.
Peter identifies the throne of David as being at the right hand of God in heaven (verses 33-35) quoting Psalm 110 verse 1 (Acts 2:34-35) as the realization of Jehovah's promise to David that his seed, kingdom and throne would be established forever. So Psalm 110 is not about an earthly throne but about a heavenly throne. Peter connects Psalm 110 as the fulfillment of 2 Samuel chapter 7:12-14.
Let's now go to the book of Isaiah for more on the origin of our King:
6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
God appointed and sent His Son to be the promised Son of David (2 Samuel 7:12; Psalm 2:7; Galatians 4:4, John 3:16). " a child is born" this passage doesn't mention a virgin birth but simply that a child will be begotten.
This prophecy mentions the begetting of the Messiah. Scripture confirms scripture and to know how this child would be begotten one has to go to 2 Samuel chapter 7 that says out of the male seat of generation (bowels of a man) of David's sperm (seed) would proceed (begotten) the future Messiah.
Let's go to Isaiah 11 for more clarity.
1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Rod = twig (H strongs 2415)
Branch = a shoot, descendant (H strongs 5342)
Shall grow = bring forth, bear fruit, cause to be, make (H strongs 6509)
Roots = a root, bottom, deep heel (H strongs 8328)
Jehoshua's identity is in the stem of Jesse i.e the holy vine of David. Jehoshua is a descendant of Jesse proceeding out of his family tree. The lineage of Jesse is the tree from which the Messiah will spring forth as a branch of that family tree.
Moses prophesied that the Messiah would be like us:
15Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.
5 Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
The covenant promise to David remains in the time of Jeremiah the prophet. Though David's house fell to Babylon, Jehovah would raise up a new King as a living Branch out of what appeared to be a dead stump i.e. David's family tree. This reiterates that the most important aspect to the future Messiah's identity was that He would be a flesh and blood descendant of King David. The Christian church has by and large exchanged this biblical truth for the man made traditions of Orthodox Christianity namely that Jehoshua could not have been born of a male so as to not get the tint of original sin. The conclusion of this is that He had to be born without male sperm and blood and voilà, we have the virgin birth and the exaltation of Mary as the mother of God.
Some traditional denominations take it a step farther and say Mary was born herself of an immaculate conception and was a perpetual virgin. Some go so far as to say that Jehoshua did not even have Mary's DNA so as to support some version of original sin. Any version of this degrades the male and his seed and exalts the woman and her egg and holds her as being more pure and pristine while the male's reproductive organs are looked at as impure and almost sinful.
This mentality goes right against what the bible teaches and the prophesies of the Messiah's origin as coming from the seed (sperm) of David. Jehovah God blessed the seed of David to endure throughout all generations and forever more. Jehoshua was the fulfillment of this promise that Jehovah made to David.
It is the male seed that is honored and glorified in Jehovah's eyes concerning the birth of His Messiah because it confirms His covenant made with king David. This is not to make light of Mary's role as she was highly favored in Jehovah's eyes. She was Jehovah's humble hand maiden. She is the blessed of all generations and shall be called so forever.
In truth, not only is the male seed (sperm) dishonored by the virgin birth doctrine but in a sense the female productive organs as well. As stated above some teach that Jehoshua took no part of Mary's DNA and simply passed through Mary as water does from a pipe.
As you can see the virgin birth doctrine actually demeans both David and his descendant Joseph and Mary the humble woman who brought forth Israel's savior.
The virgin birth has led some denominations to outright worship Mary which has caused a backlash against the biblical Mary by many Protestants and Evangelicals as well as other groups.
The truth is that we should honor Mary as scripture says she would be throughout all generations. Far from devaluing Mary we as Messianic's/Christians need to appreciate her role in bringing forth the King of Israel. I believe the virgin birth which has resulted in Mary worship in some circles has made many true believers gun shy in expressing their admiration (not worship) for the Messiah's mother. So not only does the virgin birth doctrine diminish Josephs role in the Messiah's birth but also Mary's as some Protestants go so far as to say Jehoshua didn't partake of Mary's DNA or flesh in the conception and birth process.
Let's read the joy expressed by Elizabeth upon her cousin Mary visiting her:
38And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.39And Mary arose in these days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah;40and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth.41And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit;42and she lifted up her voice with a loud cry, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come unto me?44For behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.45And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord.
Elisabeth, Mary's cousin, filled with the Holy Spirit joyfully exclaims that Mary is blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of her womb. Elisabeth by the Holy Spirit knew that in Mary's womb was the Messiah of Israel. Even her baby, John the baptist, leaped upon hearing the voice of Mary. Elisabeth also praises Mary for her belief in the things prophesied unto her by the angel of Jehovah. Elisabeth, filled with the Spirit, affirms that the things spoken to Mary by the angel will be fulfilled.
We should honor Mary for her faith and her humility as Jehovah God chose her as the vessel to bear His Son and Messiah. The virgin birth only skews things whereas Mary bearing the Son of David via the seed of David through Joseph gives us a balanced view of the blessed Mary. The humble hand maiden of Jehovah, Mary was blessed among women and we still can look at her in that way. We need not go to the extreme of worshipping her or the other extreme of disregarding her. The virgin birth creates this type of extreme reaction on both sides of the ledger.
To say that the Son of God took no part in Mary's DNA or flesh is an outright disrespect to Mary. I realize that not all Protestants believe this but some have gone to this extreme as a reaction to Mary worship which the virgin birth doctrine promotes.
If we understand the biblical truth that Jehoshua was begotten by Joseph then the complications of Mary exaltation go away as well as the opposite reaction of almost dismissing her role in bringing forth the Messiah. If the bible says that Mary is to be called the blessed of all generations then we should have no problem proclaiming her as such.
We as Messianic's have no problem honoring men and women of the bible who did great things so why not Mary who was chosen by Jehovah God to bear His Son and raise Him. Jehoshua didn't raise Himself but Mary and Joseph were both given the pleasure of raising the future Messiah in the ways of the God of Israel.
Galatians 6:14-16 (ASV)
14But far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world.15For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.16And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.17Henceforth, let no man trouble me; for I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus.18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
Those who are the Israel of God glory solely in the cross of our Lord Jehoshua Messiah. This leads us to the topic of this study, who exactly is the Israel of God?
In many denominations, the precious truth of who the Israel of God is has been stolen from the Church and the saints have been robbed of their true identity.
The culprit of this strong arm robbery is the doctrine of dispensationalism. Without going into too much detail, this doctrine teaches that there is a distinction between Israel and the Church. This false ecclesiology leads to two different gospels, one for the Jews of the flesh and one for Gentiles of the flesh. There are many other false teachings that result from this doctrine which I won't get into here.
The doctrine of dispensationalism is a new one having it's origin in the 1800's. Before this time period, there is no evidence that the Church ever taught the doctrine of dispensationalism.
In this study, I will show from scripture that the Israel of God and the church are one and the same and that there is absolutely no distinction in the new covenant between Jew and Gentile. I will show from scripture that there is only one Israel and that is the church of Jehoshua Messiah.
In the above passage, Paul is speaking to Messianic/Christian believers whether Jew or Gentile. The Israel of God comprises the full company of Jehovah's people regardless of their ethnic identity:
Galatians 3:26-29 (ASV)
26For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus.27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.28There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.29And if ye are Christ`s, then are ye Abraham`s seed, heirs according to promise.
Paul clearly states that in Messiah there cannot be any Jewish/Gentile distinction yet much of Christendom today is putting up those distinctions again thereby being outside the commandment of Paul the apostle. Paul says we (Jew and Gentile) are one in Messiah. This one signifies absolute unity and equality among those united in the Son of God. Paul makes it crystal clear that ethnic distinctions in the body of Messiah have no place.
In fact, those of us who are in union with the Messiah are Abraham's seed. The seed is spiritual as we are united to the physical seed Jehoshua. Only those baptized into Jehoshua have the privilege of being Abraham's seed. It has absolutely nothing to do with your ethnicity in the new covenant.
Those of us who are baptized into Jehoshua are joint heirs with Him according to the promise made to Abraham. Again, I stress as does Paul it has nothing to do with what ethnic group you were born from. It has everything to do with if you have faith in the Son of God.
Just in this passage alone, Paul destroys the ethnic barriers that many professed Christians are putting up again due to the satanic doctrine of dispensationalism.
Let's go back to Galatians 6
"But far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
In context, Paul is rebuking the Judiazers who are trusting in the law of Moses for salvation and insisting that Messianic believers get circumcised.
"For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."
Paul makes it clear that in the new covenant, circumcision is of no consequence. Paul emphasizes the new birth experience (new creation) of which baptism is a sign.
"And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."
We have to ask, what rule is Paul talking about? Those to whom circumcision avails nothing and who only glory in the cross of our King Jehoshua Messiah. In other words your glory cannot be in the law and you must be a new creature by faith in the Son of God. Infact, elsewhere Paul says those still caught up in the old covenant have no inheritance with those in the new covenant.
So in order to be partof the Israel of God you must meet the qaulifications set by Paul which is no boasting in the law of Moses of which circumcision is a sign. Your boast must be in the cross of our King Jehoshua Messiah of which baptism is a sign. This shows clearly that the Israel of God in the new covenant is a Spiritual nation made up of all tribes, tongues and nations that trust in the cross of Jehoshua and are new creations by faith (Galatians 3:28-29). The Israel of God does not go back to or mix in the old covenant with the new covenant. Messiah rejecting Jews are still in the old covenant and have no inheritance with the Israel of God.
Let's now go to Galatians 4 for an even swifter rebuke of those promoting the satanic error of dispensaltionalism.
Galatians 4:21-31 (ASV)
21Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?22For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.23But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.25For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.27For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.30Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.31So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Paul uses an allegory to make the distinction between those Jews who are still caught up in the old covenant and the true Israel which fully embraces the new covenant.
There were those in the Church who still wanted to be under the law. What law is Paul talking about? In context, the law of Moses is in clear view. We are seeing a repeat of this with the rise of the Hebrew roots movement. Also, many dispensaltionalists support modern Jews to keep the law of Moses as a way to be justified with or sometimes without Messiah. Both are heresy!
Verse 22, Paul uses Abraham's two sons as an allegory. Ishmael was born of the bondwoman (Hagar) and Isaac by a freewoman (Sarah). It's important to understand that Isaac was referred to as Abraham's only begotten son:
17By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac: yea, he that had gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
This is significant because it shows us that the term "only begotten son" refers to being the son of the inheritance. Obviously its not to be taken literally as Abraham had another son. It's important to understand the meaning of the term "only begotten son" in the context of Galatians 4 as it highlights the danger of going back to the bondage of the old covenant system. You could actually lose your inheritance by going back to the old covenant system and law of Moses.
Before breaking down verse 23, let's look at something Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15 which although not directly related to what Paul is preaching here in Galatians 4 still makes the point that those of the flesh have no part in the eternal Kingdom of Jehoshua Messiah.
1 Corinthians 15:50
50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Now of course Paul is talking about the resurrection and the literal transformation of the body but we can also glean a spiritual understanding from it in that those not made into a new creation in this life are still of the flesh and will not inherit the Kingdom of Jehovah God. The Messiah Jehoshua confirms this in John chapter 3:5-10
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew.8The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.9Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?
What matters in terms of seeing the Kingdom of God is not that which is born of the flesh including Jews of the flesh but rather that which is born of water and the Spirit. Those born of water (baptism) and the Spirit i.e. begotten from above by the Spirit of Jehovah are those who will see the Kingdom of God. It is plain as day that ethnic fleshly distinction means nothing in terms of inheriting the Kingdom of God but rather being a new creature as stated in Galatians 6:15.
Who are those born by the Spirit? Those to whom circumcision avails nothing and who only glory in the cross of our King Jehoshua Messiah. Those who have faith in Jehoshua. Who are they in regards to ethnicity? Jews only or mostly? Let's go to Revelation 7 for the answer:
9After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
All nations are the ones who have faith in Jehoshua and inherit the Kingdom. Daniel 7 reiterates this precious truth:
13I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
All nations, languages and peoples have and will continue to serve the Son of God into eternity. This passage was fulfilled at the ascension of the Messiah into heaven. Every time someone is saved this passage continues to be fulfilled.
Notice in Jehoshua's statements to Nicodemus, that He never says being a Jew has anything to do with seeing the Kingdom of God or being "begotten from above" (born again). Jehoshua actually nulifies any possiblity that what you are in the flesh in terms of ethnicity has any bearing on you being a new creature (begotten from above).
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew.8The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit"
Jehoshua makes a sharp contrast between those of the flesh and those of the Spirit. One group will not see the Kingdom of God (those born in the flesh) i.e. including Jews who are not born of the Spirit and one group will (those born of the Spirit) i.e. all tribes, tongues and nations who are born of the Spirit.
Jehoshua is removing any possiblity that one can trust in their ethnic identity for entrance into the Kingdom God including Jews.
Notice the Jew Nicodemus and his response to Jehoshua after being told that the flesh, meaning what nationality, ethnicity and race you were born into will not grant you entrance into the Kingdom of God.
"Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?"
Nicodemus couldnt understand the spiritual things Jehoshua just told him. The same cloud is over many of those today in the Church who outright ignore the Messiah's teaching here in John 3 that your birth in the flesh means nothing in terms of seeing the Kingdom of Jehovah God. This includes being born a Jew. Many in the Church are exalting those who are Jews of the flesh completey ignoring the Son of God's teaching that your birth means nothing in terms of gaining entrance into the Kingdom. Some Christians even imply that Jews of the flesh dont need to accept Jehoshua for salvation as long as they keep the law of Moses.
Jehoshua clearly said that it is the Spiritual birth that matters not the physical birth which is directly tied to your gender, ethnicity, nationality and race. These professed Christians have exalted the fleshly pride of the Jews even to the point of wanting to learn the scriptures at the feet of Messiah rejecting Jews. Let's read Jehoshua's response to Nicodemus in order to find out if we should learn the scriptures from those Jews who trust in their ethnic identity:
10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?
Nicodemus lived 2,000 years ago meaning he was 2,000 years closer to how the religion of the Jews was really practiced. Yet despite his promixity to a much purer yet still corrupted Jewish religion he could not understand the spiritual teachings of Jehoshua who is Israel's Messiah.
Yet many Christians today are putting their faith in Messiah rejecting Jews as having a better understanding of the faith and/or going to the Jews to learn the faith in a more Hebraic way. Nicodemus, being a Jew, was spiritually blinded yet are we really to put trust in modern Jews views of scripture just because they are Jews? If they reject the Son of God then they are worse off than Nicodemus. Why are Christians exalting the flesh i.e the Jews? Because they have been decieved by their dispensational pastors and theologians that somehow the Jews just by being Jewish are the chosen people still and have a special standing and relationship with God. This is absolutely contrary to what the Messiah said in verse 6 of John 3:
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
Those who are of the flesh are blinded and cannot see spiritual things including the Kingdom of God. If this is true and it is then why are Christians giving Messiah rejecting Jews some special sort of status, as if by being Jewish they have some special insight into the scriptures. Just as it was then it is now, Jews who reject the Messiah are blinded to spiritual things. They are of the flesh trusting in their Jewish heritage i.e the flesh. Those who are of the flesh are also carnal minded and thus cannot understand spiritual things.
5For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace:7because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be:8and they that are in the flesh cannot please God.9But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Here in Romans 8, Paul echoes the sentiments of the Son of God in stating that those of the flesh mind the things of the flesh meaning that they won't be able to comprehend spiritual matters. This statement by Paul is an indictment of those Jews who think that just because they are Jews that they are more privileged than others and that their ethnic identity gives them a free pass to eternal life or makes them somehow more intune to the things of scripture and God. Infact, Paul says that those in the flesh ar at enmity against Jehovah and His law. This statement includes any Jew who rejects Jehovah's Messiah. Many will say that the Jews do keep Torah so this statement doesnt apply to them, but that idea is refuted by the fact that we are no longer under the old covenant system and the Mosaic law.
The bible is clear that we are in the new covenant and the law of Messiah and many Jews outright reject both thereby they are law breakers.
And these are the people that dispensationalists want to glean from? This delusion not only affects the dispensationalists but also the Hebrew roots and Messianic groups who put a huge emphasis on anything Jewish even if it is hearkening to rabbi's who reject the Son of God and the new covenant.
A Christian/Messianic is actually taught to reject the teachings of anyone not bringing the doctrines of the Messiah and that includes any Jew no matter smart they are and how much Hebrew they know. The Church need not exalt men just because they are Jewish even if they have extensive biblical knowledge (old testament of course) . The Church is supposed to glean from the ministers who guide us into a perfect knowledge of the Son of God, the very Son of God many Jews reject. We should not even glean from any Jew that denies Messiah.
Paul in Romans 8:6 says to be carnally minded is death. Isn't it something that you have professed believers in Messiah going to dead Jewish men to somehow learn more about the Messianic faith? Yet this is what is happening throughout the Church, believers in the Son of God are feeling that in order to have a deeper and more true faith that they need to sit at the feet of Jews and many times Jews that reject the Messiah. Even if a Jew does believe in the Messiah this in itself makes him no more qaulified to teach the scriptures than anyone else.
Many Jews who teach the word, whether Messianic's or Messiah rejecters, often times have the law of Moses as their focus and many even teach that we need to go back to keeping the law of Moses. Yet this is what Paul says is the job duty of a new covenant minister of the Church:
10He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)11And he gave some [to be] apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;12for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:13till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:14that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;
The job of Church ministers, which we all are by the way, is to bring the saints into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.
If this is the job requirement of those in ministry then why in the world are believers going to Messiah rejecting Jews for a deeper understanding of the scriptures?
Both Jehoshua and Paul teach that those not in the faith (of the flesh) have nothing to offer those who are in the faith (of the Spirit). The beloved disciple John is even stronger in this sentiment:
2 John 9-11
9 Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son.10If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting:11for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works.
John says we are to having nothing to do with those who preach false doctrine, specifically doctrine that doesn't line up with the teachings of Jehoshua i.e. the doctrine of Messiah. This statement by John removes any room for believers to go to Messiah rejecting Jews for understanding of the bible. Messiah rejecting Jews do not bring the doctrine of Messiah as they dont believe in Him and they actually believe He was a false prophet. How then do professing Christians justify sitting under these antimessiah's teachings and reading their books?
John says these Messiah rejecters and false teachers (Jew or Gentile) do not have God. Why would we seek to glean biblical truth from those who dont have God? Paul says that these so called teachers have not the Father or the Son. That means that not only do Messiah rejecters have not the Son of God but they also don't have the God of Israel Jehovah. This also includes those teaching false ideas about the Messiah and His teachings.
John goes one step further and says not only are se not to allow them in our house but we also are not to bid them God speed. This is a far cry from exalting and even learning from Jews of the flesh who reject the Messiah. John says we are not to have anything to do with them or there teachings. This obviously includes Jewish rabbis who reject the Son of God or even Messianic rabbis who seek to bring believers back under the old covenant system or at least some form of it.
Sabbath-New Testament Study
Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
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.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus makes it clear in verse 17 that the Law (10 commandments) are not destroyed by him. They are fufilled rather by his revealing the true meaning and spirit of it's precepts. Verse 18, should be a clincher that we are still to keep the Moral Law (10 Commandments). Jesus in a crystal clear manner says, until Heaven and Earth pass away, that not one jot or tittle will in no way pass from the law (The Decalogue). As we know, Heaven and Earth have not passed away so therefore the Law and it's precepts are still in effect. This is talking about the 10 Commandments specifically not the ceremonial law of sacrifices or the civil law of the levitical preisthood. Furthermore in verse 19, Jesus warns all future teachers of God's word, that if they teach other's to break even the least of the 10 Commandments then they themselves will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. Many Christians today call the sabbath the least of the commandments of God, even though it's listed as the 4th and it is said for us to remember it. For arguments sake, let's say the sabbath is the least of the 10. Jesus in verse 19 clearly says that even teaching other's that they don't have to keep the least of the 10 Commandments will be looled at as the least in his Kingdom. Not only the Kingdom to come but also in his Kingdom now here on earth and in heaven.
Notice that the 4th commandment of keeping the sabbath is right after the commandments in regards to how we worship Jehovah. The first two deal with idolatry and the third with taking his name in vain. These are instructions in how to and not to worship God. The Sabbath commandment which is right after these three instructions on how to worship God, give us another decree on the way we worship him. By keeping the seventh day, we are making a clear distinction that we are worshipping the God of creation rather than creation itself as the first 2 commandments speak about. This is why it is essential to reject evolution because it denies the sanctity of the Hallowed Seventh day where God rested from his works. I believe in a literal 6 days of creation and the rest of Jehovah on the seventh day. The seventh day is a sign and a mark of Jehovah creating this world and is a very essential part of his identity and distinction from false gods.
Mark 2:27-28 (KJV)
27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Sabbath made for man, not man for the Sabbath. This is in no way abolish's the Sabbath as being the Lord's day but rather puts it into the proper perspective that it isn't about the nuanced legalistic approaches (pharisaical) to keeping this day unto the Lord but rather a day of resting in the Lord hence made for the man. We keep from working, doing our daily pleasures and give our attention and devotion to Jehovah. Too many Christians are mindful about wordly things (the cares of this world) 24/7. Think how about how many Christians would have so much more peace if they rested on the Lord's day (The Sabbath). Jesus was rebuking the pharisees legalistic approach to the Sabbath not the actual Sabbath keeping. It's ironic how many Christians lament the removal of the 10 Commandments from public institutions but don't actually keep the 10 Commandments in practice by not resting on the Sabbath. Some Christians will then say "I work Monday - Friday Saturday is my day to take care of other things and enjoy entertainment and shopping. Or they will say "I have to work on Saturday, my job requires it". Well you then are leaning on your own understanding and not trusting God. Jehovah will honor when you obey his Sabbath ordinance not your legalistic keeping of it but your spiritual keeping of it which is nurtured by not working and not involving yourself with the daily activities of this world such as sporting events or entertainment. Gathering with the Saints and prayer and worship and studying will nurture your keeping of the Sabbath. We already devote so much time to the entertainment of this world and also work, that Jehovah is indeed worthy of one day solely set apart for him. What's wrong with that? Is he not worthy of it? Are you not wanting the blessings that come with entering the Lord's day of rest? So many Christians are burned out from going to and fro and then wonder why they lack peace. Setting apart a whole day for the Lord where you worship, pray, study and gather with the Saints and without taking part in working or your pleasures such as hobbies or worldly entertainment such as sports and secular movies will drastically draw you closer to Jehovah.
1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.
2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?
3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;
4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?
5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.
8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
Verse 1- By plucking the ears of corn Jesus and his disciples were not violating the Sabbath as they were not using a sickle but their hands (Deuteronomy 23:25).
Verse 2- The Pharisees by their man made traditions made the Law of God (The command to keep the Sabbath) of no effect. Their accusation that Jesus and his disciples were breaking the sabbath had no biblical support. Realizing this as Christians is important, so that we don't use this passage as an excuse not to keep the Sabbath day as Holy thinking Jesus and disciples were disregarding it. Deuteronomy 23:25 makes it clear that Jesus and his disciples were not violating the Sabbath day.
Verse 3 and 4-Jesus brings to remembrance to the Pharisees about David eating the shewbread which was hallowed, if you read the passage of 1 Samuel 21 1:1-7 you will see that David and his men kept themselves from women or in David's words "women have been kept us". David also said that the vessels of the young men were Holy. Many have read verse 3 and 4 and concluded that David and his men eating the shewbread was something that was done in haste and in a disregard for what was lawful. However reading the passage in 1 Samuel, you see that David and his men still had to meet the criteria of having clean vessels (no sexual relations for at least 3 days as David states). Also, David didn't just take the bread but the preist Ahimelech gave it to him after David confirmed him and his men's cleanliness. It's Highly unlikely that David would have took the bread without the Preist Ahimelech giving it to him. Reading Luke 6:3-4 without reading 1 Samuel 21 1:1-7 is a disservice to this text, because one can easily come to the conclusion that David disregarded the law of God for his temporal needs. As a righteous man, David still went through the preisthood to be granted permission for he and his men to eat the hallowed shewbread. Also, one cannot use the story of David and the shewbread to justify not keeping the sabbath. The Law of God including the Sabbath was still in effect before and after David and his men partook of the hallowed shewbread. Nothing changed pertaining to God's Law as a result of what David did in 1 Samuel 21 1:1-7. This is important to note because many use this story as an excuse that we still don't need to observe the sabbath. Jesus's point here, is that doing good on the sabbath unto the Lord supercedes the man made ordinances created by the religious. For example, as we keep the Sabbath there may be times where an urgent situation arises that may call for you to do something you wouldn't normally do during your sabbath observance. Say someone calls you on the phone and ask you to go and buy them some medicine at a pharmacy because they are feeling very ill, would you not do this for them because of your sabbath observance of no selling or buying? Of course as a loving child of God you would do as Ahimelech did with David and go and supply the urgent need of a loved one. Now, it would be up to your discernment as to whether the situation called for you to go outside your technical sabbath observance just as Ahimelech verified with, David that him and his men had kept themselves Holy by not going into women for at least three days. For example, you get a call from a worldly relative or friend that they are sick and throwing up. This was a result of drinking and partying the night before. They need you to bring them medicine which means you need to go to the store to buy it. In this case, because their sickness is a result of their own sin and disobedience, I would not go outside my normal sabbath observance routine to buy medicine at a store. Remember, Ahimelech didn't flippantly give David the hallowed shewbread. He made sure David and his men had kept themselves Holy before handing over the shewbread to them. Remember, that satan knows you obey God's fourth commandment and he will use people to get you to disregard the sabbath. So, in doing your due diligence as a Christian, ask the person who calls you how they got sick and then determine whether you should go outside your normal sabbath keeping observance routine and buy them medicine. The person who calls doesn't necessarily have to be a Christian for you to love and do good to them but as long as their being sick isn't a result of sinful conduct. Be like Ahimelech and ask questions regarding the person's Holiness so to speak. Again, I must clarify that the person doesn't have to be a Christian but as long as they weren't doing anything sinful which led to their sickness. If it was an emergency type situation, then certainly God may be using you to take care of them even if the situation was a result of their sin. What I'm talking about above is more common type sicknesses.
Verse 5- Key verse here, Jesus stated here "That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." Lord=kurios (Greek) which means supreme in authority (supremacy) God, Lord, master, owner, controller, master of the sabbath for example.
Jesus clearly states that he has authority over the sabbath. It's very important to note that Jesus never in this passage nullifies, does away with or discourages the keeping of the sabbath day which he is Lord of. His point in this whole passage was that he was Lord of the sabbath, meaning he had supremacy over it. Using David as an example, Jesus made it clear that doing righteous Godly works even in/on what is Holy supercedes man made ordinances that make the Law of God no effect. Reading the passage in 1 Samuel 21 1:1-7 illustrates that David eating the shewbread was not done flippantly and that Ahimelech the preist also made sure David and his men kept themselves Holy, before giving them the hallowed shewbread. Basically Jesus was telling the Pharisees that they missed the whole point of the sabbath which was a gift to us from Jehovah. This gift is one of rest and undistracted worship of God which only benefits us. The Pharisees had made it a burden upon men whereas Jehovah made it to be a delight for us.
Jesus being the Lord and owner of the sabbath had the authority to do away with it and nullify it. However notice in this passage he never did such a thing but only rebuked the Pharisees man made ordinances pertaining to sabbath keeping. Jesus and his disciples also didn't violate the sabbath by plucking the ears of corn with their hands as they didn't use the sickle. Christians cannot use the excuse that Jesus violated the sabbath or that he did away with it in this passage as neither of those options took place here in Luke 6:1-5. Remember David was a type of Christ and just as Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. David as a royal representative of God's people at that time, just as Jesus is the Church's royal representative in our times, had authority to ask for the shewbread. Even then, David had to state his cleanliness and Holiness before being given what, was hallowed. Jesus our Lord is Holy by nature and essence being Jehovah, so he didn't need to prove anything to the Pharisees but still gave them the 1 Samuel 21 1:1-7 story of the shewbread to prove his point of proper sabbath observance and what it truly is rather than burden filled man made dictates. This passage is about proper sabbath keeping not the doing away with or the advocating of violating it.
Verse 6- We see that Jesus taught on the Sabbath indicating that he kept the day as Holy as was the custom of the Jews.
Verse 7-11, It's important to note here that the religious leaders of Jesus time, the scribes and Pharisees were turning the sabbath into a burden on men's backs. Their hearts were far from God even though they were keeping the ordinances of the sabbath given by God and also keeping the man made ordinances that were added without God's permission. They were Itching to catch Jesus violating their man made ordinances of the sabbath. This shows that their heart was from God and that they didn't understand his purpose for the sabbath in the first place. According to Isaiah 58:13-14, the sabbath was meant to be a delight for us but the religious leaders of Jesus day had turned it into a grevious burden with all their man made rules. Jesus knew their thoughts and proved to them, by calling forth the man with the withered hand for healing, that the sabbath was intended to be a delight for men/women and on top of that it was lawful to do good on the sabbath. These scribes and Pharisees were so blind and hard hearted, that while keeping the sabbath in deed they were actually violating it in heart. Jesus made it clear that it is lawful to save life and heal on the sabbath. Note that Jesus never once here rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for keeping the sabbath but rather their evil burden bearing on men practice of it. They turned what was Holy into just another set of man made rules and regulations. They used the 4th commandment as a tool to put men/women in bondage rather than encourage them to delight in what the Lord consecrated and sanctified. Just like today, religious leaders will turn what God intended as a blessing into a bondage for their flocks. Them doing this, doesn't nullify what scripture teaches and the need to obey God's commandments but rather we are to ignore these false religious leaders man made understanding of scripture. We are to be obedient to what the Bible says about a certain subject.
The lesson to be learned here is that we are always to go with what scripture teaches rather than what man teaches. Man's corruption of God's commandments doesn't nullify them but rather should redirect us back to the pure keeping of them as Jehovah intended. Some have used this passage to nullify sabbath keeping for the Christian, however nowhere in this text does Jesus abolish the 4th commandment.
John 5:1-18 (KJV)
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Jesus healed the lame man on the sabbath day again proving his own words that it is lawful to do good and heal on the sabbath. The Jews had distorted the sabbath so much that they accused the lame man of breaking the sabbath just by the fact he carried his bed. This was a false accusation that didn't have it's roots in Jehovah's original intention for the sabbath as a delight for men/women. After inquiring of the healed man, they learned that Jesus had told the man to carry his bed after being healed. Jesus was in the temple when he told the healed man to sin no more as would be his custom of keeping the sabbath day.
The Jews who were there, were so filled with evil that they couldn't even praise Jehovah for the healing of the formerly lame man but actually sought to kill Jesus. This was all because Jesus allegedly violated the sabbath which was a false accusation. By healing the lame man, Jesus was actually honoring the sabbath day by doing good. He also told the man to sin no more. Doing good on the sabbath is lawful according to Jesus. Now, we don't use this as an excuse to do whatever we want on the sabbath and call it "good". When Jesus talks about it being lawful to do good on the sabbath it's in the context of helping people in their time of need, spiritually and/or physically. By need physically, things like sickness or even helping someone out who is stranded because their car broke down. This physical need is not to be used to violate the sabbath in the sense of work. For example, a friend or family member calls and "needs" help doing household chores or help coaching his son's football team that day, this type of physical "need" is something we don't participate in on the sabbath, as it is causing us and others to work thereby violating the creation ordinance of the sabbath rest day. By need, I mean someone who falls ill, needs a ride to the hospital, needs help finding their dog or child who is lost. Needs food taken to them as they are unable physically to get it for themselves.
We always want to help those in spiritual need which can also be on the sabbath. What we don't do on the sabbath is work nor do we buy or sell publicly. We use this rest day to worship Jehovah and his Son Jesus Christ without distractions. We don't do our own pleasures on this day such as secular entertainment of any kind or engaging in any secular activity. Notice that Jesus was not violating the Sabbath in healing this man. This verse can in no way be used to nullify the command to keep the Sabbath Holy. Jesus didn't violate the rest day by the healing of the lame man. Jesus also, in response to the Jews in the passages after verse 18, didn't do away with the need to keep the sabbath. He simply spoke of the Father and the works which would be done by himself (Jesus) just as the Father does those things. His rebuke of the Jews here didn't include doing away with of the sabbath.
John 14:15-21 (KJV)
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Verse 15- 16- Very direct and to the point. Jesus commandments are also that of the decalogue (10 Commandments). Jesus taught his disciples to obey the 10 Commandments in Matthew 5:17-28; 12:1-13;15:3-9; 22:37-40. If we keep his commandments then he will send us the Comforter so that he will abide with us forever. Jesus said "if" you love me you will keep his commandments inferring that if you don't keep, his commandments which include the sabbath then you don't love him. Again, the sabbath is never nullified here and is never made as an exception in regards to keeping the 10 Commandments.
Verse 21- Jesus restating that those who hath and keep his commandments (the 10 of the decalogue sabbath included) are the ones who love him. Jesus leaves no room for confusion here, you either keep his commandments proving that you love him or you don't keep his commandments proving that you don't love him with all your heart, mind and soul. Look at the second part of this verse. Jesus says that the person that loves him is the one who hath and keeps his commandments (Decalogue). This person will then also be loved by the Father. Jesus then says he himself will love us and manifest himself to us. The root of receiving Jesus and the Fathers love is in keeping their commandments, which there are 10, including the 4th which is keeping the sabbath holy. By not keeping the commandments of Jesus, we put ourself at risk of not receiving the Fathers love or of the Son's. We also are not loving God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ with all our heart, mind and soul.
Romans 2:12-16 (KJV)
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Verse 12- We see here that the Law is the standard by which men will be judged who have the law which was Israel (primarily made up of Jews) in the old covenant and in the new covenant it's Israel (now made up of Gentiles and Jews alike) which is the Church. We as the Church will be judged according to the law. Why is this? Because we have the law which is God's 10 Commandments and should know that we need to keep them. God winks at ignorance, so those who sin without the law will perish without law.
Verse 13- This is a clear scripture that those who are doers of the law will be justified. The law of course pertaining to the 10 Commandments which include the sabbath. The warning here is clear that just hearing the law (going to church and/or reading the Bible) will not justify you. Brethren, going to church and even reading the Bible will not save you. What will save you and make you just before Jehovah is doing the things of the law which includes all 10 Commandments which the sabbath is the 4th one. Shall be justified=dikaioo (greek) which means to render just or innocent, free, justify, be righteous, to regard as just, to declare one to be just, to declare anyone to be virtuous and to be good, to vindicate, to approve, to absolve from the consequences of sin, admit to the enjoyment of divine favour.
Verse 14- 15- When the gentiles who have not the law, keep it by nature as it is written in their hearts, they are a law unto themselves. The law of God being written in their hearts, meaning they didn't need stone tablets to know what is God's law and that they should keep it. Their conscience and thoughts bear witness of this in that they shew the work thereof. In other words, their actions of keeping the law by nature are a result of the law being written in their hearts and their conscience and thoughts bear witness of this. They are mindful of the things of God's law. It's deep in their conscience and they think about Jehovah's law. They don't need stone tablets to obey and know his law. So our hearts, consciences and thoughts either accuse us by not keeping the law or they excuse by keeping the law which includes the 4th commandment of keeping the sabbath holy.
Verse 16-Our hearts, thoughts and consciences which contain the secrets of men will be judged by God by Jesus Christ (The White Throne judgment) according to the gospel of which include the 10 Commandments.
1 John 2:3-4 (KJV)
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
The above two verses couldn't be any clearer regarding keeping the commandments of God which the sabbath is the fourth of such. The inference here is that if we don't keep his commandments then we don't know "Him" (Jesus Christ). It is by faith in Jesus Christ, that we then seek to keep his commandments. By keeping the sabbath (among the other 9 commandments) which is the 4th commandment, we know God and we know that we know "Him". The proof that we know "Him" is in our keeping "His" commandments. The word "If" is key here because it infers that not keeping "His" commandments is showing that we don't know "Him" (Jesus Christ).
Verse 4 proves that those who say they know Christ but yet keep not his commandments ( Decalogue included-Moral Law-10 Commandments) are Liars, and the truth is not in them. In other words, these type of people are deceived. They have chose blindness rather than the truth and have then deceived themselves. I believe God is a just God and he also looks at the heart of man and knows men have been lied to and there is grace for those who have been misled by sheperds. However, once the truth of the need to keep the 10 Commandments is brought to someone's attention then they are mandated to research for themselves like a Berean to see if it is true (need to keep 10 Commandments). And even if people have been deceived by teachers/pastors of there being no need to keep the 10 Commandments anymore, it is in a sense their own fault for putting their trust in man and not looking to see what scripture says without the lens of their pastor or denomination.
How do we know that we know Jesus Christ? By keeping his commandments which include the 10 of the moral law, the decalogue.
If we say we know Jesus Christ but don't keep his commandments, what does the Bible call us? Liars!
What's not in us if we don't keep the commandments of God? The truth!
1 John 5:2-3 (KJV)
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
According to this pasaage, the Love of God and his children are described and proved by keeping his commandments. What are God's commandments? It's simple, the 10 Commandments (The Moral Law). It couldn't be any more clear. If you say that this passage isn't referencing the 10 Commandments then I ask, what other commandments could it be talking about? Remember, in the New Testament when it talks about the commandments of God it's speaks of the Father's Moral Law (The Decalogue). When it comes to Jesus Christ, it's speaks of having faith in him and have his testimony which is the spirit of prophecy. The 10 Commandments are also Jesus commandments as he confirmed during his ministry that we are to keep them as we will see in other passages. So the phrase "commandments of God" are always a reference to the 10 Commandments of which, the Sabbath is the 4th. keeping the 10 Commandments is how we prove our Love of God and also his children.
When you tell people that you keep the Sabbath, an automatic response from other Christians in often that you arw putting yourself under bondage. Note the last part of this passage "and his commandments are not grievous to bear". This verse blows the whole "10 Commandments are bondage" theory out of the water. Keeping Jehovah's 10 Commandments are not a burden but actually a huge blessing. This includes keeping the Sabbath day as Holy. Read Isaiah 58:13-14 and you will see that when we turn ourselves back to keeping the sabbath that it is a delight. Do you want to listen to man or God? Man says the sabbath is a bondage but God says it's a delight!
The Three Angel's message
Revelation 14:6-7 (KJV)-The First Angel's message
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
My focus is on verse 7, notice in the first angel's message of preaching the everlasting gospel that with a loud voice the shout is made to Fear God and give him glory. Right after that is the description of a very intregral part of God's identity. That very important part of his identity is in his creation of heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of waters. Why is this important? Because as Christians we must worship God in spirit and in truth and part of that truth is worshipping the God that created the world in six days and rested on the seventh (the sabbath). When we keep the Sabbath day as Holy, then we in turn are worshipping the God of creation. Just by keeping the seventh day sacred, we are honoring Jehovah acknowledging that he created heaven and earth and everything in them in six days and rested on the seventh, making it Holy and consecrated. This makes a clear distinction in what God we are worshipping when we keep the Sabbath, which thereby also acknowledges that it was him that created the world and everything in it. That's why evolution has no place in the mind of the believer as it strips off a very intregal part of Jehovah's identity which is the six days of creation and the seventh day sabbath. See the below scripture that mirrors the above passage in Revelation as far as Jehovah's identity in creation.
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore theLord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
So, the first angel's message which we as the Church are to preach with a loud voice is the call for all nations to worship and fear the God of creation. They are not to just give glory to any god, usually one of people's own making, through their empty creeds which allow them to live however they want and not obey Jehovah's commandments. The very fact that the description of His creation is mentioned here, means that it is to be part of the everlasting gospel. Key in this creation, is the seventh day sabbath which is a seal of obedience to Jehovah and keeping it holy is worshipping Him. A big part of worshipping Jehovah, which is part of the everlasting (never ending and unchangeable) gospel is keeping his commandments which includes the 4th command to keep the Sabbath day as Holy, as it acknowledges that Jehovah created heaven and earth, and the sea and the fountains of waters. Any Christian that doesn't include the call to worship the God of creation, which includes obedience to the 4th commandment is preaching an incomplete gospel message.
Revelation 14:8 (KJV) Second Angel's message
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Who is Babylon? According to Revelation 17:5-6 it is "The Mother of Harlots And Abominations of the Earth" and it is drunken with the blood of the Saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Between the early 1200's and around 1800, conservative estimates are that the Catholic Church led by the office of the papacy killed over 50 million people much of whom were Bible believing Christians. We see that the Catholic Church, not only by having the blood of the Saints on it's hands but also by having the same pagan creeds and practices of Ancient Mystery Babylon(Nimrod, Semiramis, Tammuz), is modern Mystery Babylon. Who are the Whore's daughter's? It says in Revelation 17:5 that it is the mother of Harlots. As we speak many of Christendom's churches are uniting with the papacy. Part of this unification is that much of Christendom is still holding on to many of the pagan Catholic doctrines that had it's origins in paganism all the way back to Ancient Mystery Babylon. To name a few, the immortal soul teaching (disembodied soul or spirit creature going to heaven or hell right after death), the spirit underworld Hell of never ending torment doctrine, the wafer communion and the perversion/distortion of the Godhead. Front and center in the apostasy of visible Christendom is the Lutheran Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, Episcopalians, Anglican's, Greg Laurie of Harvest, Brian Broderson of Calvary Chapel. All of the above have participated and/or endorsed ecumenical events and unity with the Catholic Church. The Whore also has it's meat hooks in non Christian religions such as Mormonism, Islam, Bahai Faith, Jehovah Witnesses as all have joined hands with her by participating in ecumenical conferences at the Vatican. The Jehovah Witnesses through the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society do this behind closed doors amd in secret. They were already exposed as being part of the United Nations (Vatican controlled) from 1992-2001. No question that they are still members behind closed doors. These are all the Whore's daughter's. So the Protestant churches are going back to Rome en masse and the evangelical churches are following in lock step. Rick Warren is friends with Greg Laurie who is intregal in the Calvary Chapel movement. Both Rick and Greg have been part of ecumenical services and conferences with the Catholic Church. Rick Warren has been at the forefront of this great apostasy and the evangelical churches are following his lead as blind sheep. The second angel's cry is that Babylon (The Catholic Church, the Protestant churches along with evangelicals and other false world religions) is fallen is fallen as she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (false doctrines and demonic teachings of the Catholic Church and the homage that is paid to the papacy which includes the sunday sabbath and the disregard of God's seventh day sabbath).
It's my firm belief that we are in the time of the second angel's message. Babylon (The Catholic Church, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, other false world religions) is fallen is fallen and has become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul, spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird (see Revelation 18:2). Any Christian that is still part of Babylon is called to come outnof her:
" And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Revelation 14:9-12 (KJV)- Third Angel's message
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
It's those that keep the commandments of God (10 Commandments) and the faith of Jesus. Note that these two different types of obedience are seperated as two distinct things. We as believers are supposed to keep the decalogue including the 4th command to keep the sabbath day and also to have the faith of Jesus and everything he prophesied and his death, burial, resurrection and his ascension to the right hand of the Father.
Revelation 12:17 (KJV)
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Again, we see that obedience to the commandments of God (The Decalogue- Moral Law) which includes the 4th command to keep the Sabbath day as Holy and having the testimony of Jesus is what will mark true believers. So we know what the commandments of God are, that is pretty easy (the 10 Commandments) but what is the testimony of Jesus Christ? See scripture below:
Revelation 19:9-11 (KJV)
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. The sermon on the Mount of Olives and the book of Revelation are the prophecies of Jesus Christ. Also, anything else he said anywhere else in scripture concerning future events in terms of judgment on unbelievers and false teachers. Jesus reiterated the need to keep his Father's 10 commandments so those come from his Father. His testimony (the spirit of prophecy) and having his Faith (death, burial, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of His Father and also the sending of the Holy Spirit to his bride) are what true believers will obey and believe as well as the 10 Commandments of Jehovah.
So clearly, according to the third angel's message, it is those who keep the 10 Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus as well as his testimony that will not worship the beast, his image nor have his mark. The opposite then is true, those that don't keep the 10 Commandments, the faith of Jesus and his testimony will worship the beast, his image and take his mark. Again, the keeping of the 10 Commandments (moral law), the faith of Jesus and his testimony cannot be separated. All must be kept!
Colossians 2:1-17King James Version (KJV)
2 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 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.
Verse 14- We know that there were ordinances nailed to the stake=stauros (greek). Which ordinances though? It was the ordinace of circumcision and the ceremonies connected with it as well as the Law of Moses which included offerings and sacrifices.(See Acts 15:1, 5, Ephesians 2:14-15, Matthew 27:51). Remember that the 10 commandments are not the Law of Moses but they are the Law of Jehovah. Keep in mind that the Sabbath was instituted at creation, before the 10 Commandments were given, and was made Holy. The ceremonies connected with the services of the temple were taken away at the impalement of Jehoshua at the stake. Our Saviour was the perfect ransom sacrifice for all time sake thereby nullifying any more need for fleshly sacrifices to obtain atonement.
The sabbath was never an ordinance of sacrifice for atonment but rather a command to rest and to keep the day Holy for devotion to Jehovah. The ordinances done away with at the stake were those that were sacrificial in nature in order to obtain atonement. With Jehoshua's death on the stake, we no longer need to make sacrifices at the temple for atonement as he is our atonement. We can now go directly to Jehovah by way of His Son Jehoshua for atonement of our sins.
Verse 16- The Old Testament consistently uses the phrase "a festival, a new moon, a sabbath
Let's read Romans 3:31 to see if the above scripture in Colossians includes the 10 Commandments.
Romans 3:31 KJV
" Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Law."
The need for the service of sacrifices and offerings ceased when type met antitype in the death of Messiah. In Him the shadow met the substance. Jehoshua was the perfect and complete offering. The law of the 10 commandments lives and will live through the ages (eternity).see Isaiah 66:22-23. Jehovah's law (decalogue) was not crucified at the stake. It was types and shadows, offerings and sacrifices that was nailed to the cross as they had no value after Jehoshua's death.
The Old Testament consistently uses the phrase "a festival, a new moon, a sabbath" to refer to the ceremonial aspects of the law whether practiced weekly, monthly or yearly (see 1 Chronicles 23:31, 2 Chronicles 2:3-4, 8:12-13, 31:3, Nehemiah 10:33, Ezekiel 45:17, Numbers 28 and 29). The aspects of the ceremonial law included burnt offerings, meat offerings and drink offerings. Once Jehoshua died on the cross there.was no more need for these type of offerings as he was the once and for all sacrifice. So verse 16 has to do with the ceremonial aspects of the stated Holy days rather than the Holy days themselves. Since the Sabbath was a creation ordinance, as well as part of the 10 Commandments, it is still to be kept and remembered by us. The word "remember" is even part of the 4th commandment to keep the Seventh day Holy.
Back to verse 14- Remember the context of this verse. It was to do with the death of Jehoshua at the stake. It was the antitype of the burnt, meat and drink offerings which were to obtain atonement. Since Jehoshua's death was the all time, once and for all atonememt there is no need for the above sacrifices as they were the type/shadow of what was to come which was the substance Jehoshua Messiah dying for our sins so that we can have atonement. No longer do we need to go to the Temple and give our offer burnt, meat and drink offerings to the Levtical Preists for atonement as we (the Church) are the Temple of Jehovah and all we need to do is go to His Son Jehoshua our High Preist and receive atonement by confessing our sins.
Hebrews 4:1-11 (KJV)
4 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Many people will use this passage to do away with the 4th commandment to keep the Sabbath day as Holy. This epistle to the Hebrews is presenting the Seventh day Sabbath rest as a symbol of the spiritual rest Jehovah grants to those willing to enter into fellowship with him.
Israel largely failed to enter into Jehovah's spiritual rest, and they often ignored the Sabbath observance that symbolized it. Believers in this passage are admonished to accept the spiritual rest of which the weekly Sabbath is the symbol (Verse 9 and 10).
The message here in Hebrews underlines the Old Testament observance of the Sabbath as a sign of holiness (Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20:12). Sabbath observance is a sign of our holy relationship with Jehoshua and it is the means by which the relationship is enriched.
Revelation 12:17, 14:12, 22:14 all clearly state that the true Church in the last days will be made up of believers who keep the commandments of Jehovah as well as the faith and testimony which is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10) of His Son Jehoshua. This includes the 4th commandment to keep the Sabbath day Holy.