The Jews and the Book of Acts

The Jews and the Book of Acts

I only use extracts from the Book of Acts detailing where Paul and Barnabas preached the message of Jesus Christ. There are so many people that believe that the Jews will receive another chance to accept Jesus, but when I read through te book of Acts, I find that they were actually the first people that received the message of salvation. Both Paul and Barnabas always went to the synagogue first to talk to the Jews and to teach the people in the synagogue, and we even find that the believers in Antioch in the synagogue were the first people to be called Christians.

But we find so many people today that only have ears for their “Brand” of faith. Please do not confuse them with facts as you will be labelled the one spreading dissent and not “understanding” the Bible.

I made a compilation of the quotes referring directly to the Jews from the book of Acts without adding any additional thoughts or implications. You can read it following this introduction, or here, and see for yourself that they will not get a third chance to accept that Jesus was the Messiah, except maybe through you and me to bring the message of Jesus to them again. They had a chance while Jesus was on earth, and then had their second chance when the Apostles shared the message of hope to them.

But unfortunately Paul gave us the answer in Acts 28 already: “Well did the Holy Spirit speak through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, “Go to this people and say: Hearing you shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see and not perceive. For the heart of this people was fattened, and they have heard with their ears dully; and they closed their eyes; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Therefore be it known to you that the salvation of God is sent to the nations, and they will hear. And he having said these words, the Jews departed, having much discussion amongst themselves”.

So do not expect to be successful in your efforts as the LORD is the One that will keep His word through the ages. He tried for 4000 years and they still rejected Him.

Here then all the various passages:

“And dwelling at Jerusalem there were Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. But this sound occurring, the multitude came together and were confounded, because they each heard them speaking in his own dialect. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, Behold, are not these who speak all Galileans? And how do we each hear in our own dialect in which we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya around Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking the great things of God in our own languages. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying to one another, What does this mean? But others mocking said, These men are full of sweet wine. But Peter, standing up with the Eleven, lifted up his voice and said to them, Men, Jews, and all who dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words. For these are not drunk as you suppose, for it is the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: “And it shall be in the last days, says 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. And in those days I will pour out My Spirit upon My slaves and My slave women, and they shall prophesy. And I will give wonders in the heaven above, and miracles on the earth below, blood and fire and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious Day of the Lord. And it shall be that everyone who shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Men, Israelites, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by powerful works, and wonders and miracles, which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know, this One given to you by the before-determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken and by lawless hands, crucifying Him, you put Him to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it”.(Act 2:5-24)

“And in those days, the disciples having multiplied, a murmuring of the Hellenists against the Hebrews occurred, because their widows were overlooked in the daily serving. And the Twelve called near the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not pleasing to us, leaving the Word of God, to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, look out among you seven men being witnessed to, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this duty. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. And the saying pleased all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicholas, a proselyte of Antioch. They set these before the apostles. And having prayed, they laid hands on them. And the Word of God was increasing. And the number of the disciples in Jerusalem was multiplying exceedingly; even a great crowd of the priests obeyed the faith”.(Act 6:1-7)

Then, indeed, they who were scattered abroad by the persecution that rose about Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, preaching the Word to no one except the Jews. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene; who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. And the Word was heard in the ears of the church in Jerusalem. And they sent out Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch; who was glad when he had come and had seen the grace of God. And he exhorted all with purpose of heart to remain near to the Lord. For he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and faith. And many people were added to the Lord. And Barnabas went out to Tarsus to seek Saul. And finding him, he brought him to Antioch. And it happened to them a whole year they were assembled in the church. And they taught a considerable crowd. And the disciples were first called Christian in Antioch.” (Act 11:19-26)

“And at that time Herod the king threw on his hands to oppress some of those of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he went further to seize Peter also. (And they were days of Unleavened Bread.) And capturing him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four sets of four soldiers to keep him; intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.” (Act 12:1-4)

“Then having fasted and prayed and laid hands on them, they let them go. Then these indeed sent out by the Holy Spirit went down to Seleucia. And from there they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they announced the Word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they also had John as an assistant. And when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain conjurer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-jesus; who was with the proconsul of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man. He called for Barnabas and Saul and asked to hear the Word of God. But Elymas the conjurer (for so his name is, if translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul (who is also Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him and said, O son of the Devil, full of all deceit and all craftiness, enemy of all righteousness, will you not stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is on you. And you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a while. And immediately a mist and a darkness fell on him, and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then, seeing the thing happening, the proconsul believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. And Paul and those around him sailed from Paphos and came to Perga of Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem. But going through from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day and sat down. And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, Men, brothers, if you have any word of comfort for the people, speak. And rising up and signaling with his hand, Paul said, Men, Israelites, and those fearing God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and exalted the people in their residency in the land of Egypt, and He brought them out of it with a high arm. And about the time of forty years He tenderly bore them in the wilderness. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave their land to them as an inheritance. And after that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king. And God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up David to them to be their king; to whom He also witnessed and said, I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after My own heart, who shall fulfill all My will. Of this man’s seed God has raised to Israel, according to His promise, a Savior, Jesus; John having before proclaimed the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel, before His coming. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Who do you think that I am? I am not He. But behold, One comes after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose. Men, brothers, sons of the race of Abraham, and whoever among you fears God, the Word of this salvation is sent to you. For those living in Jerusalem, and their rulers, not having known this One, and the voices of the Prophets being read throughout every sabbath, condemning Him, they fulfilled the Scriptures. And finding not one cause of death in Him, they begged Pilate to do away with Him. And when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, taking Him down from the tree, they laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead, who appeared for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we preach the gospel to you, the promise made to the fathers, this God has fulfilled to us their children, raising up Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “You are My Son, this day I have begotten You.” And that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He spoke in this way: “I will give you the holy promises of David.” Therefore he also says in another psalm, “You shall not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” For after he had served his own generation by the will of God, David fell asleep and was added to his fathers and saw corruption. But He whom God raised again saw no corruption. Therefore be it known to you, men, brothers, that through this One the forgiveness of sins is announced to you. And by Him all who believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses. Therefore beware lest that come on you which is spoken of in the Prophets: “Behold, you despisers, and marvel, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no way believe, though a man declare it to you.” And the Jews having gone out of the synagogue, the nations begged that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. And the synagogue being broken up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And on the coming sabbath day almost all the city came together to hear the Word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy and contradicted those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. But speaking boldly, Paul and Barnabas said, It was necessary for the Word of God to be spoken to you first. But since indeed you put it far from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the nations. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “I have set You to be a light of the nations, for salvation to the end of the earth.” And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the Word of the Lord was carried throughout all the country. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief ones of the city, and raised a persecution against Paul and Barnabas. And they threw them out of their borders. But shaking the dust of their feet off on them, they came into Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (Act 13:3-52)

And it happened in Iconium, they both went together into the synagogue of the Jews, and spoke so as a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the nations and made them evil-hearted against the brothers. Therefore they stayed a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace, giving miracles and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided. And part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault made by both the nations and the Jews, with their rulers, in order to insult and to stone them, they were aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the country around them. And there they were preaching the gospel.”  (Act 14:1-7)

“And Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, who, having persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, they drew him out of the city, supposing him to have died. But the disciples surrounding him, he rose up and came into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And preaching the gospel to that city, and having made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and Iconium and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, calling on them to continue in the faith and that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God. And having hand-picked elders for them in every church, and had prayed with fastings, they commended them to the Lord into whom they believed.” (Act 14:19-23)

And he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple named Timothy was there, the son of a woman who was a Jewess and who believed. But his father was a Greek. He was well reported of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted him to go with him, and taking him he circumcised him, because of the Jews who were in those places; for they all knew that his father was a Greek. And as they passed through the cities, they delivered to them the commandments to keep, the ones that were ordained by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. Then indeed the churches were established in the faith and increased in number daily.” (Act 16:1-5)

“And traveling through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul’s custom, he went in to them and reasoned with them out of the Scriptures on three sabbaths, opening and setting forth that Christ must have suffered, and to have risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus whom I preach to you is Christ. And some of them believed and joined themselves to Paul and Silas, both a great multitude of the worshiping Greeks, and not a few of the chief women. But the disobeying Jews becoming jealous, and having taken aside some wicked men of the market-loafers, and gathering a crowd, they set all the city in an uproar. And coming on the house of Jason, they sought to bring them out to the mob. And not finding them, they drew Jason and certain brothers before the city judges, crying, These who have turned the world upside down have come here too, whom Jason has received. And these all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus. And hearing these things, they troubled the crowd and the city judge. And taking security from Jason and from the rest, they let them go. And the brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. They, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. And these were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and quite a few of honorable Greek women and men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica knew that the Word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the people. And then immediately the brothers sent Paul away to go towards the sea, but both Silas and Timothy stayed there. And those conducting Paul brought him to Athens. And receiving a command to Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed. But awaiting them in Athens, Paul’s spirit was pained within him, seeing the city full of idols. Then indeed he addressed the Jews in the synagogue, and those worshiping, and daily in the market, to those happening to be there.” (Act 17:1-17)

“And after these things Paul departed from Athens and came to Corinth. And finding a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome) Paul came to them. And because he was of the same trade, he stayed and worked with them; for they were tentmakers by occupation. And he reasoned in the synagogue on every sabbath, persuading both Jews and Greeks. And when Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. And they resisting and blaspheming, shaking his garment, he said to them, Your blood is on your own heads. I am pure from it. From now on I will go to the nations. And he departed from there and entered into the house of one named Justus, one worshiping God, whose house was next to the synagogue. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house. And hearing this, many of the Corinthians believed and were baptized. And the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, Do not be afraid, but speak, and be not silent. For I am with you, and no one shall set on you to hurt you, for I have many people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the Word of God among them. But Gallio being pro-consul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rushed against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, This one persuades men to worship God contrary to the Law. And Paul being about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, If indeed then, it was anything wrong or wicked criminality, O Jews, according to reason I would endure you. But if it is a question of a word and names, and of your law, you look to it. For I do not wish to be a judge of such things. And he drove them from the judgment seat. And all the Greeks seized Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio did not care for any of these things. And Paul having remained many days more, taking leave of the brothers, he sailed from there into Syria. And Priscilla and Aquila were with him. And Paul had shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow. And he came to Ephesus and left them there. But he himself entered into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.” (Act 18:1-19)

And going into the synagogue, he spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this happened over two years, so that all those living in Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” (Act 19:8-10)

“But we think it right to hear from you what you think. For truly as concerning this sect, it is known to us that it is spoken against everywhere. And they having appointed him a day, many came to him in his lodging; to whom he expounded, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading them the things concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses and out of the Prophets, from morning until evening. And some indeed believed the things that were said, others did not believe. And disagreeing with one another, they were let go, Paul saying one word: Well did the Holy Spirit speak through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, “Go to this people and say: Hearing you shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see and not perceive. For the heart of this people was fattened, and they have heard with their ears dully; and they closed their eyes; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Therefore be it known to you that the salvation of God is sent to the nations, and they will hear. And he having said these words, the Jews departed, having much discussion amongst themselves. And Paul remained two years in his own hired house. And he welcomed all who came in to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God, and teaching those things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, with all freedom, and without hindrance.” (Act 28:22-31)

Acts of Barnabas

“And Barjesus, having arrived after two days, after not a few Jews had been instructed, was enraged, and brought together all the multitude of the Jews; and they having laid hold of Barnabas, wished to hand him over to Hypatius, the governor of Salamis. And having bound him to take him away to the governor, and a pious Jebusite, a kinsman of Nero, having count to Cyprus, the Jews, learning this, took Barnabas by night, and bound him with a rope by the neck; and having dragged him to the hippodrome from the synagogue, and having gone out of the city, standing round him, they burned him with fire, so that even his bones became dust. And straightway that night, having taken his dust, they cast it into a cloth; and having secured it with lead. they intended to throw it into the sea. But I, finding an opportunity in the night, and being able along with Timon and Rhodon to carry it. we came to a certain place, and having found a cave, put it down there, where the nation of the Jebusites formerly dwelt. And having found a secret place in it, we put it away, with the documents which he had received from Matthew. And it was the fourth hour of the night of the second of the week.

And when we were hid in the place. the Jews made no little search after us; and having almost found us, they pursued us as far as the village of the Ledrians; and we, having found there also a cave near the village, took refuge in it, and thus escaped them. And we were hid in the cave three days; and the Jews having gone away, we came forth and left the place by night. And taking with us Ariston and Rhodon, we came to the village of Limnes.”

Jews – Nation or Church grouping?

I want to look at our belief system of today and will try and prove to you the reader that Israel was never a nation as portrayed today, but should in reality be seen as the first Church.

Why am I saying this? Even from the days of Moses up and to the times that Jesus came they operated as a Church under the Old Covenant. It will then also clear up so many misconceptions about the difference between Church and Israel or Jews. These are the people that label you as someone preaching replacement theology the moment that you mention that the Church is also Israel or Jews. This article will try and prove that the Church has been there from the early days, and I believe that is also the way the people of the Old Covenant saw it.

Where did the CHURCH start? To me it started with Abraham. The LORD started talking to Abraham long before He entered into a covenant with him. Abraham had to listen and do everything the LORD told him to do. So what does this teach us? There are two actions that speak volumes about this relationship. The first principle is that Abraham had to believe the LORD and then he had to obey the LORD. This to me speaks of how a church should respond. We have to believe what He tells us to do, and then have to obey Him in everything we do. This is also what we read of in Hebrews 6 verse 1: Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (Heb 6:1) So we see that Abraham had to lay down his life, repentance, and do what the LORD commanded him to do, so believe Him, which is faith..

After this we find that the covenant is started with communion, where Melchizidek brought the wine and break. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)   And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;  and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Gen 14:18-20)

What we learn from this is that even before the LORD made the covenant with Abraham, that peoples from other nations were also serving the LORD, even to the point where they had their own priests.

Only now do we find that the LORD enters into a covenant relationship with Abraham: “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”   (Gen 15:1-7)

What does this mean? That he believed and it counted him as righteousness. Without righteousness it is impossible to be part of the CHURCH of the LORD. We now find that Abraham only had to supply the livestock needed for the covenant. He had to cut the heifer in two and lay the sides next to each other. The meaning being that if either one of the partners of the covenant could do this to the other partner should they break the covenant. This also features when the LORD told Abraham to go and sacrifice Isaac. So for Abraham it was not difficult to follow the instructions of the LORD, as the LORD told Abraham that his descendants will come from Isaac. The LORD had to stay true to His word, and had two choices. He either had to provide a substitute for Isaac, or He had to bring Isaac back from the dead if Abraham sacrificed Isaac, as the LORD promised that Abraham’s family would come from Isaac. So Abraham knew that the LORD cannot lie, so he knew that if the LORD expected him to sacrifice his son, then the LORD had to be willing to do the same. He also knew it was impossible to kill the LORD, so he obeyed Him. This also points to us the first time that Jesus would become God’s sacrificial Lamb for our sins. That is also why Jesus can only come once to fulfil the covenant and pay for all sins, and not have a shuttle service during the end times.

For those who want to know more about what the Covenant of Righteousness means, you can read it here. I do suggest that you read this or if you have the time, look at the YouTube version which will run as a playlist for about 4 hours.

The next step only followed 25 years later when the LORD instituted circumcision as a sign of the covenant. A very interesting part we find here is that we find a sequence of events from this piece of history. It started with Abraham deciding to change his life and to follow the LORD, he then had to believe the LORD (faith), and then he had to have communion. Then only do we find circumcision. We find the same sequence after Jesus came to be the complete sacrifice, in that we have to repent from our sinful life, put out faith in Him alone, and then share communion. That is one reason we find so many arguments in Church today, as we find that leaders of churches have done these steps, but their hearts have not been circumcised. This is why we find so many leaders trying to justify the sins of people being enforced onto the church.

So we find that the church started with Abraham, and that every person who puts their faith in the completed works of Jesus, is part of CHURCH. Only now can we start with Israel.

So the first question is why do I say that the Old Testament Israel is the Church? Before Israel left Egypt we find the first clue. People from all nations could join Israel before the Exodus. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exo 12:47-49) “You shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” (Lev 24:22)

This already intimates that the people that left Egypt with Moses did not only belong to the Jewish tribe, but also included foreigners. So they all shared the same theology and believed in the one LORD. So this already shows us that they operate as a Church, and not as a nation. This confirms the promise made to Abraham: “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be you perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you, and to your seed after you. And I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said to Abraham, You shall keep my covenant therefore, you, and your seed after you in their generations.” (Gen 17:1-9)

So here we find that even before the exodus and the long trek to Canaan that Israel operated as a Church and not as a nation. That is what they are referred to, as a congregation in Exodus 12 verse 47 above, and not as a nation. One further point to make here is that when we look at the first five books of the Bible, and especially those written by Moses, we find that the word congregation, referring to those people who left Egypt, is used 250 times in these books. This I believe is enough proof that even Moses and the LORD saw them as a Church, a congregation, and not as a nation.

If we include the rest of the Old Testament we find that they are referred to as a congregation 363 times in 330 verses.

This is also what the whole book to the Hebrews in the New Testament is all about.

Quite a number of very influential people including Martin Luther wanted to keep this book from the Bible as they believed it had no relevance to us as Christians. But they are the people who believe that the book was only applicable to Israel or Jews as a nation, and not to all believers. Those that are part of the LORD’s congregation.

But this is exactly where I start differing from them. But why? Because even today we find that most Christians see Israel as nation and not as the first Church. That is one of the most prominent teachings of today across all types of Christians. But they fail to see that the book of Hebrews actually has the covenant as a central theme and not Israel as a central theme.

So it was not written for Israel as nation, but to Israel or the Jews as Church. But what is the difference? I want to use certain texts from Paul to Corinth and John in Revelation to explain my viewpoint. Paul says the following: “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come. (1Co 10:6-11)

We find the words of Jesus as recorded by John: “I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (Rev 2:9) “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” (Rev 3:9)

So I will use this as a basis to show that Israel functioned as a Church and not as a nation. But let us start at the beginning. Who will end up in heaven? I believe those that are there already are people like Moses, David, Samuel and many more of the people of the Old Testament. If we look at the New Testament it would be people like Peter, Paul and John. You might wonder why I only mention the names of people that descended from Jacob. The reason being is that they will definitely be there, as they belonged to the nation of the LORD, Israel. We learn from the Old Testament that only those people that were chosen by the LORD ended up in heaven, in other words only people from Israel. “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (1Co 10:5)

The LORD says the following through Moses to Israel: ““For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, ” (Deu 7:6-9) This sounds more like a promise to a Church than a promise to a specific nation.

I want to start at the beginning. Now when I quote from the book of Revelation you might think that I am starting at the end, but fortunately Jesus is speaking. He was there right at the beginning of time, even when Adam and Eve were formed. Revelation 3:9: “‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. ” Jesus is telling us here that even though people are from the synagogue of Satan; they are still saying that they are Jews. These people are from Philadelphia, and definitely not Jews from Israel. This confirms the scripture from Revelation 2:9: “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” This piece of information is extremely important, in that Jesus is saying that all believers are Jews, and that only Jews will be saved. This confirms the scripture that Moses gave to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:6-7: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.”

Once we realise that God does not and will not change His word, we will realise that there seems to be a problem with interpreting this verse in the light of the verses from Revelation. How is it possible then that God declares in one place that He has chosen only Israel, and then later on declares that all true believers are Jews? The answer comes partly from the book of Acts chapter 10:34-35: “Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,  but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. ” So all people who fear God and accept His righteousness, is accepted. This however still does not satisfy the requirement of Revelation, as we are still not Jews. The answer is given to us as part of the exodus from Egypt. Here the LORD gave them a commandment that they had to keep forever. The scripture comes from Numbers 15 verse 15 and 16: “’As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the LORD. ‘There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.'” Exodus 12 verse 48 gives us the final answer: But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.

In the history of Israel we find that whenever someone from another nation wanted to join them to Israel, they had to do whatever was required to become part of the covenant and then they were treated as people from Israel. A very good example is Ruth. Although she had the right to return to her people after her husband’s death, she chose to go with Naomi. Her words were as follows: Ruth 1 verses 15 to 17: “Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” Ruth answers that she chooses to go with Naomi, and that only death will part them, but that she, Ruth will die where Naomi dies. She will worship Naomi’s God, and never return to her original nation. Who was Ruth? David’s great grandma. Where did Jesus come from? From David’s tribe.

How do all these various pieces fit together? The LORD chose Israel as His nation. We as gentiles must chose to become Jews by joining Israel and its tribes. How is this done? The same way it was done in Israel’s time, by becoming part of the covenant with the LORD. In the time of Israel it was by circumcision, and after Christ it is by being born again. That means we have to receive the righteousness of Jesus. As we know that Jesus came to fulfil the Old Covenant by fulfilling all its requirements, it now gives us the opportunity to become part of the Israel of God. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God. (Gal 6:14-16) This sounds again more like a promise to the Church that a promise to a nation. So Israel did not receive a blanket redemption from the LORD, but only those that became part of the covenant and kept His commandments, were His children.

Where do we find the first apostasy from the Church? It happened when each tribe received their inheritance in Canaan. The Rubenites, the descendants from Gad, and the descendants from Manasseh all decided that they wanted to stay outside of Canaan, the Promised Land, and not receive that which the LORD had in store for them. So they chose not to get what they were promised. If we look at the descendants of these tribes we find that they did not feature in the history of Israel after deciding to follow their own plans. That is exactly what is happening today. People are leaving the Church and cannot be counted as Christians any longer as only people who confess Jesus as the Christ, and live a life worthy of Him forms part of the real Church. This is how Hebrews 6 puts it: “And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb 6:3-6) That is also what happened to Saul after he visited the medium at Endor. “Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that has a familiar spirit at Endor.” (1Sa 28:7) This also meant that he died as a sinner, and did not receive everlasting life, but everlasting death. When Israel sinned, and was chastised by the LORD to bring them back to Him, they were safe. If they continued in their wickedness they died as sinners. Even after David the Church, or Israel, divided into two camps. We find very little of the grouping that moved away from David in the Bible. So they started their own ‘church” and was rejected by the LORD. We also see in the New Testament that Jesus did not speak to the two factions of the “church”, the Pharisees and Sadducees, but He went and spoke to the people. In fact He always pitted the two groups against each other. And they were the “church”.

So in the history of Israel we find that the tribes started serving other gods and religions, the same people they were supposed to exterminate when they went into Canaan. Now we find people today saying that Jesus first have to return to the physical earth to save the Jewish faith people or the lost tribes although they already made their choices years ago. The LORD did not choose a specific nation, but only those people who believe that Jesus is the Christ. That is what all the prophets tried to say. They were preaching revival messages to the Jews to get them to return to the God of their fathers. There were some specific messages that pointed to the coming Saviour, but it always asked them to return to the LORD. So all these messages we expect to find in the Church of today, and not messages to a specific nation.

We also found then and today that membership of a church grouping or nation can never mean that you receive everlasting life, but only belief in Jesus can make that possible.

So Israel was the Church under the Old Covenant, and we are Church under the New Covenant. So there is no replacement theology as people would like you to believe, but only messages to the Church of the LORD. And this all started with Moses who gave them the following choice they had to make: “For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce to you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days on the land, where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may hold to him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deu 30:11-20)

So just like Israel had to choose to follow the LORD, we have to make the same choice today. I do not find a blanket statement in the Old Covenant that every person will receive everlasting life. No, I only find that people, who chose to follow and obey Him, were His children and His nation.

So when we return to the book of Hebrews, we see that it describes the different viewpoints of the Churches. There are those that understand the New Covenant and believe that Jesus did everything to fulfil the Old Covenant. Then we find those that believe that Jesus is the Christ, but they also believe that you have to do certain things to get saved. So they still believe you have to comply with certain rules, rules like the Sabbath etc. And then there are those of the Jewish faith today, those that reject Jesus as the Christ. And that is what the writer of Hebrews is trying to show people, that Jesus did everything that was necessary according to the law, and that He went through the Heavenly Tabernacle for us in order for us to receive everlasting life. No works will make that we are part of the real Church.

So the writer shows us that we do not have to work to get our way into heaven, as Jesus did away with all the works and that only faith in His completed work will bring everlasting life. That is what Hebrews 3 and 4 are about. You must have faith, because without it you are condemned, and stuck in the sixth day and do not enter into the rest promised by the LORD.

That is why we find new prescriptions of how we should live our lives under the New Covenant in Hebrews chapter 13.

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Why Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb 13:1-21)

So these are commandments to the Church. This now enables you as an ordinary member to see if you are taught the correct message of the Bible or not. I do not find any scripture or clause in the New Covenant anywhere in the Bible that teaches that you can turn your back on the LORD, and then get a second chance. So this also indicates that He chose Israel as a Church, and not as a nation or piece of real estate. And that Church includes me in you that have decided to become part of His covenant.

So there is now replacement theology. You either believe this Truth and receive everlasting life, or you do not believe this Truth and die the second death. Those people who serve the LORD are part of His Israel, the Church. “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God.” (Gal 6:16) So the Bible only teaches the Church, and cannot be used to judge the unbelievers.

We also have to remember that the first people who became Christians were Jews, and they were also the first people to be called Christians. “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance to life. Now they which were scattered abroad on the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but to the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spoke to the Grecians, preaching the LORD Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned to the Lord. Then tidings of these things came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would hold to the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added to the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Act 11:18-26)

So these people were Jews, but were called Christians. So those that speaks about replacement theology only shows their lack of knowledge of the Bible.

So there won’t be a rapture to allow the Jews to come to Christ and all the other people to get a second chance. If we believe that then Jesus and the Bible does not mean anything at all. So run from these people before they take you down the canyon of death with them. I know that you might feel that I am taking on people that have such a passion for Christ, but unfortunately only those that believe the full message of the Bible will be saved. I only confirm that which Jesus spoke about when He told them that they were rejected. “Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.” (Mat 21:42-46) The original was already mentioned in Isaiah 5 verses 1 to 7. “Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the middle of it, and also made a wine press therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? why, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor dig; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” (Isa 5:1-7)

“Jesus also speaks about a nation as the true Church, the Bride, did not yet exist, as He was still alive.

That is why the book of Revelation says that two thirds of the people that call themselves Christians will die the second death, as they believe the Bible, but only through their interpretation of the Bible. They will fight with you to prove you wrong and quote large parts of the Bible to convince you, but did you know that the Satan also quoted the Bible to convince Jesus, but Jesus showed him all the flaws in his quotes of scripture. My only purpose is to show you that we there are incorrect interpretations of scripture, that we must take personal responsibility for our own lives, and not depend on the teachings of others to receive everlasting life. The same story is used in the Bible, there were ten woman who waited for the Bridegroom, but only five expected Him and were prepared for His coming, while the others waited for the rapture and all its stories, but they missed the wedding feast.

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1Ti 6:3-6)

Paul declares the following: “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside to vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers, For fornicators, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for enslavers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” (1Ti 1:5-11)

So if someone wants to place you back under the law, know that according to Paul that he is not righteous. So he will try to convince you that you have to believe his interpretation. They will tell you to ignore days like Christmas, Easter and numerous other days, but all that they are trying is to place you under the law again. “Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a female slave, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the female slave was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which engenders to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bore not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband. Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what said the scripture? Cast out the female slave and her son: for the son of the female slave shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brothers, we are not children of the female slave, but of the free.” (Gal 4:21-31)

So those that believe that Jesus is the Christ and that He came to take us from the bondage of the law are the true Church of the LORD, and not those that keep the law and boast in their heritage. “However, then, when you knew not God, you did service to them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain. Brothers, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as you are: you have not injured me at all. You know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh you despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.” (Gal 4:8-14)

So who is the real Israel? Those people that do what the LORD commands to become part of His Covenant, and that started with Moses. So only those that choose Him are His Church.

 

The covenant of Righteousness

A new theology I bring to you

A new theology I bring to you. An age old theology based on a covenant with Abraham, of Jesus and of righteousness. This may sound like a dichotomy, but please bear with me as I will try and explain this dilemma.

I have spent the last twenty or so years trying to find a theology that I believe is the real message of hope from the Bible. This has taken me from the typical Calvinist churches, to Pentecostal, charismatic, and even home churches. Some of these churches I attended as a member, some as a visitor, some as a pastor and yet others by visiting their websites.

What did I find?

I believe in a LORD whose word is consistent throughout the ages. I believe in an age old covenant with Abraham, the fulfilment in Jesus Christ His son who showed the way to a covenant of righteousness.

The LORD took me on a trip through the Old Testament and that is one of the reasons you will find a lot of quotations from the Old Testament throughout this document.  But there is a specific reason for this. Most times when Jesus spoke to people He used parables to detail what His Kingdom looks like and these utterances were recorded for us in the New Testament. However, something that we hardly find mentioned in the Gospels, is what Jesus told His disciples about what Moses and the prophets of old said about Him, especially when they were alone. We find in Luke 24 three different references where Jesus refers to these times.

“”Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”(Luke 24:24-27). “When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:30-32). “Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44-47)

The final part that I would like to use concerning this, is what Paul wrote to the people of Corinth : “Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2Co 3:12-17)

What does this covenant entail?

For me, we have to start with Abraham, the father of all believers. We also have to remember that Abraham had eight sons in total. The eldest was Ishmael, then Isaac, and later on six more sons. “Now Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore to him Zimran and Jokshan and Medan and Midian and Ishbak and Shuah.” (Gen 25:1-2) The Bible teaches us about the life of the one son He had a special covenant with, Isaac. “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.” (Gen 17:21) The Bible does not teach us anything about the lives of the other sons including Ishmael even though they were sons of Abraham.

Is Israel the only nation of the LORD? No. “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations.”No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you.”I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. (Gen 17:4-9)

Ephesians chapter 2 teaches the following: “Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands– remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Eph 2:11-22)

In Genesis 14 we learn of someone else. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” He gave him a tenth of all.” (Gen 14:18-20). So even before Isaac, there were peoples from other nations that served the LORD. Israel is given to us as an example as confirmed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 11. “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

Here we find that the first covenant was celebrated with communion between Abraham and Melchizedek, where Melchizedek brought the wine and bread. If we look at the book of Hebrews in chapter 5 from verse 5 we find the following scripture: “So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek”. (Heb 5:5-10)

What does this scripture mean? Melchizedek was a priest and was appointed by the LORD himself. He was not a priest appointed because of his heritage, and also not related to Abraham. Jesus was appointed as a priest according to the order of Melchizedek, in other words, by the Father himself. That is the reason he instituted communion again the night before He was crucified with wine and bread. He had to show the world he was not a priest according to the tradition of the Levites, but appointed again by the Father, and also made King of God’s people as Melchizedek was also a king.

But what did the covenant with Israel entail? The first point I want to emphasize is that there are always two sides to a covenant. There is a positive side telling us what the benefits are, and a negative side that tells us what the detrimental effects would be if we do not keep the rules governing the covenant. If we look at Deuteronomy chapter 30 we find the rules of both sides of the covenant: “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.”But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deut 30:15-20)

The last part of the passage is extremely important to me. I have to choose to keep my side of the covenant, and then the LORD will keep His side. The ability to choose between right and wrong was given to us and recorded for us in Genesis 3:22 “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”. This confirms that because of Adam and Eve’s sin, they knew what was right and what was wrong. So my whole life is about choices I make, some that are beneficial to me and some detrimental.

Steps to follow in this covenant

The second point I want to investigate is the steps required in a covenant relationship. This is clearly described to us during the exodus of Israel from Egypt. Israel had to get to Canaan, the Promised Land, and they had to confirm all the steps of the covenant during this time. That is what Israel had to do physically, and what we have to do to inherit our Canaan, our destination as Gods people. That is what the LORD has in store for us. I will look at what Israel had to do and then explain what we as Christians should do.

But firstly, why did the LORD decide that it was time for Israel to leave Egypt? “Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.” (Exo 2:23-25) “The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.” (Exo 3:7-9)

 Circumcision

  • Covenant before Christ: Circumcision, as they had to have a physical sign that they belonged to the LORD. : “The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it; but every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it. “A sojourner or a hired servant shall not eat of it.” It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. “All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this.” But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it.” The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exo 12:43-49)
  • Covenant with Christ as the Lamb: Our hearts have to be circumcised. All people are born in Egypt, a life separate from the LORD, a life in bondage to Satan (Pharaoh). Just like Israel cried out to the LORD for mercy and for Him to lead them out of Israel, I have to call out to the LORD to lead me to His land, Canaan. I have to change my ways and leave my sinful life behind me. I have to come to the realisation that I cannot do anything to save myself. I have to believe that Jesus did everything required to put me in a right relationship with the LORD. I have to realise that I am a sinner and that I will perish if I continue with my life on my own. I have to start living a life of love as explained in 1 John 3. I have to start showing in my daily life that I am forgiven. “So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”(Mal 3:18) “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people”. Jer 31:33.

And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. “But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and abominations, I will bring their conduct down on their heads,” declares the Lord GOD. (Eze 11:19-21)

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”(Col 2:9-12)

What does Paul say about this? “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” (Rom 3:29-31) “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God”. (Rom 2:29)

  1. Bread
  • Covenant before Christ: They had to eat unleavened bread, as yeast has the same effect as sin, it makes you puffed up. Eating unleavened bread indicates that you have received forgiveness of sin.
  • Covenant with Christ as the Lamb: Jesus is the bread of life. He was sinless as He is also God. “”Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.”I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:49-51) While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” (Mat 26:26)
  1. Slaughter a lamb
  • Covenant before Christ: They had to slaughter a lamb as the blood would bring forgiveness of sin. “”Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. ‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbour nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. ‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. ‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight”. (Exo 12:3-6)
  • Covenant with Christ as Lamb: And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing.” (Rev 5:6-12)
  1. Blood of the Lamb
  • Covenant before Christ: They had to put some of the blood on the doorposts and lintels. “’For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments–I am the LORD. ‘The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exo 12:12-13)
  • Covenant with Christ as Lamb: We have to place ourselves under His blood. “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” (Mat 26:27-28) This confirms to us that when we share communion death has no hold on me as I have received everlasting life.
  1. Where was the law?
  • Covenant before Christ: on stone tablets. Exodus 20. Moses also highlights another aspect: “’Moreover, the LORD showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household; He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.’ “So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today.” It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.”(Deu 6:22-25) So their righteousness was obtained through keeping of the law.
  • Covenant with Christ as the Lamb: Written on our hearts. “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer 31:33) “”Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’” (Jer 23:5-6). Our righteousness will be through Christ alone.
  1. Who was the covenant applicable to?
  • Covenant before Jesus: Both Israel and foreigners. “The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exo 12:49) “A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.”(Exo 12:38) This scripture confirms that strangers became part of the covenant nation during the exodus of Egypt. This is a confirmation of what the LORD promised Abraham. “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.” (Gen 17:5)
  • Covenant with Christ as Lamb: There is no change as it does not need to change. The rules governing the covenant already made provision for everyone to become part of God’s people, His nation. Jesus did not need to change any provisions as He had to come and take the sins of the world and die in order for everyone, Jew and gentile, to be saved by His blood only. This covenant is for everyone that believes that Jesus is the Lamb, both Jew and gentile. “’In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness.’ (Jer 33:16) We can now live in righteousness, as Jesus is our righteousness.Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. “(Heb 4:16)

Righteousness

Paul writes the following to the Romans: “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation”. (Rom 10:3-10)

When do I become a member of this covenant? The first time I share communion, when I make that public announcement that I share in His blood and His body. This also means that no uncircumcised person may share in communion, as communion shows that I have submitted myself to the lordship and obedience of the LORD.

What does the New Testament teach about this? When do I become an overcomer, and how do I overcome? “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (Rev 12:11)

What are the similarities with the covenant before Christ?

  • overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb (Blood on the door posts)
  • because of the word of their testimony (Circumcision)
  • they did not love their life even when faced with death. We have to take up our cross daily and die of our own will. “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”(Luk 9:23-24)

This then is a quick explanation of the covenant. We all become partakers of this covenant when we find that we need to receive forgiveness of our sins, and decide to follow Christ and lay down our lives at the cross. Everyone that knows the Bible has to follow Israel and their example of how to get to Canaan, in our case, that which the LORD has prepared for us. When we die, that is all people who became part of the covenant with Abraham; we will learn to know who the LORD really is in order to live forever in the New Jerusalem.  “And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isa 2:3, Micah 4:2)

The Holy Spirit is the one who will work in us and in every human being on earth to get us to this point in our lives. “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” (John 16:7-11)

This clearly shows that all people have the ability to choose as the Bible declares that the Holy Spirit came to earth to convict all people of their sin, and then to teach them the way of righteousness. “”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (Joh 3:16-18)

We have to believe that Christ was the perfect offering for sin, and that only through what He did, we can receive forgiveness and everlasting life.

If you decide that this “religion thing” is not for you even though you heard about it, you will not see the thousand year rule of Christ, and will be found guilty at the final judgement. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev 20:11-15)

What then is the true meaning of the covenant of righteousness?

I believe the following is an apt definition.

The right to enter into the presence of the LORD, without guilt, condemnation or inferiority. It is to be in the right relationship with Him the Creator. This can only be achieved when we have received an overwhelming gift of righteousness.

What happens after I become part of the covenant with the LORD?

We have to leave Egypt, by getting baptised. That is the place where the might of Satan, in Israel’s time the Pharaoh, is broken in your life and you will live a life totally devoted to the LORD. That is the time when you find out that you no longer have to make bricks to expand Satan’s empire, but you can now work on expanding the LORD’s empire. That is the time when you find out that sin no longer has a hold on you. “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Rom 6:11-16)

Then, like Israel we have to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again. But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp. So a young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said, “Moses, my lord, restrain them.” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” (Num 11:25-29)

How did Jesus put it? “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39)

Once we reach Sinai we will spend time to learn the LORD’s ways. That is when we will receive the law written on our hearts, where we will learn to distinguish between right and wrong. That is what our local congregation is supposed to teach us, as that is what happened to Israel at Sinai. During this time in the desert the LORD will take us under His wings and provide for us like He did for Israel by providing manna and quails.

As soon as our training is completed, we will be told by the Holy Spirit what our ministry will entail in Canaan. That is when we move on from the sixth day to the seventh day of the LORD, when we realise that nothing that we can do will save us from damnation. We can only get there through faith in Jesus Christ. This is what we learn in the book of Hebrews: Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.” For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” (Heb 4:1-11)

Remember that we cannot wait to enter into the rest of the LORD, as each day is today. We cannot delay this calling in saying we can do it later, as the Bible clearly says that today when you hear My voice. We all have a calling on our lives, and that is to make disciples of people, to show people what true love is. That is the difference between the sixth day and the seventh day. If you do not believe that you have a calling to make disciples of all people, you will die like most of the people in the dessert even though they were baptised as the seventh day is the day of rest, and that is what the LORD wants from us.

Most of the people who enter into Canaan will believe that they have to serve a king like Israel did. (A king is someone that will rule over you and could be a spiritual father or your church grouping.) The first book of Samuel recorded it as follows: “But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day–in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods–so they are doing to you also. “Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.” (1Sa 8:6-9)

The majority of these people that enter into Canaan will die whilst serving this king, while a remnant will be called to go into captivity. “You shall also say to this people, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.” He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty.” (Jer 21:8-9)

But what does it mean to go into exile, or captivity?

Let us examine a number of scriptures on this subject. The first scripture is about the physical captivity. During the Biblical times it was custom for the loser of a war to be taken captive as slaves and to be taken to the captors land. The loser lost all his physical assets and became a slave to his captor. This meant that when someone went into captivity, he had to bring out all of his moveable assets, his furniture, his shoes, his rod, etc., outside of his home and then went into captivity. The only thing he left behind was his house. But what does this mean to us today? We have to lose the war against God in order to become his slave and to be taken away to His Land, His Canaan. I have to place my full trust in Him in order to become completely dependent on Him for all my needs. Just like in the Biblical times He will have to provide for shelter and food, but it means that I have to do His work. He already won the war and paid the price for me. He purchased us with His blood, as He overcame death and can now free us from all our sins. I cannot go into exile by myself; I have to surrender to the LORD.

The second scripture which describes our spiritual captivity, comes from Jeremiah 48 verse 11: “Moab has been at ease since his youth; He has also been undisturbed, like wine on its dregs, And he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, Nor has he gone into exile. Therefore he retains his flavor, And his aroma has not changed”  What the LORD is trying to tell us is that we cannot continue saying that I am clean, but as soon as someone disturbs me, all the murkiness in my life shows. I have to allow the LORD to empty me from vessel to vessel, meaning that He will change my life by getting rid of the lees or dregs in my life. This can only be done after giving my life over to the LORD. If I do not allow Him to empty me from vessel to vessel, then I will take on the taste of the lees or dregs. I must therefore allow Him to separate me from my lees, which is contaminating my life.

This cleansing process is also something that does not happen overnight. I have to allow time in between sessions for the lees to settle at the bottom again before being emptied from vessel to vessel. The LORD explains to them here that they must decide to go into captivity, in order to live. It was not a forceful removal, no; it was a decision that each inhabitant of Jerusalem had to take. Only once they decided to go, could the LORD free them from their lees, that which they depended on.

We found people then that said they will stay put in Jerusalem and that they will not go into captivity, much like people today that says that they are all right, they do not have to be separated from their lees. The answer that the LORD had to them was that should they stay in Jerusalem, they would either die by the sword, or the famine, or the pestilence. There are two questions we can ask to see if we fall into this category. The first question is if you still get taught at your congregation. Can you take a new convert and teach him what the life of a Christian comprises of? Do you know exactly what the doctrine of laying on of hands mean, how it should be used, and if it is still applicable today? This is what happens when we get comfortable as Christians. We stop learning. The moment this happens, we will die of starvation, because if anything in life stops growing, it is either dying or already dead. Have you learned anything this year?

The second question, and that is the reason that Jeremiah gave to the people, is that they will die of the pestilence. How do I know if I have the pestilence? As soon as I declare that my group of people, be it a congregation, church group, or followers of a specific doctrine, have eternal life and that all of them will be saved, I have the pestilence. Why? Because we do not like introspection, as it means that I have to examine my life, and have to eye ball and change the areas I find that I am not sure is from the LORD. It also means that I have to look at every principal in my life to ensure that it is from the LORD, and can be Biblically explained. How many habits do you have that is not from the LORD? Another symptom of having the pestilence is when I declare that people can continue with their calls for repentance and debating all the issues of the Bible, as they will someday find out that it doesn’t matter at all. My life is all right, and we shouldn’t over exaggerate these issues. This is the group that Jeremiah declares will die of the pestilence.

The third reason why people will die if they stay in Jerusalem is that they will die by the sword. That is the group that decide that they will separate themselves from the others, and thus remove themselves from other Christians and their congregation. They want to go out to the neighbouring areas around Jerusalem, and hence will not have anything to do with those in Jerusalem. Ezekiel also declares in his prophecies the same punishment to those that leave Christianity; that they will die by the sword. We cannot survive without other Christians. It is this group that will get a hold of a passage and build a complete doctrine around it, just to justify them. The Word of God will be the sword that will judge us.

We find that some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem insisted that they wanted to return to Egypt. They took Jeremiah with them to Egypt, but none of these people ever returned to Jerusalem. “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am going to set My face against you for woe, even to cut off all Judah. ‘And I will take away the remnant of Judah who have set their mind on entering the land of Egypt to reside there, and they will all meet their end in the land of Egypt; they will fall by the sword and meet their end by famine. Both small and great will die by the sword and famine; and they will become a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation and a reproach. ‘And I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine and with pestilence. ‘So there will be no refugees or survivors for the remnant of Judah who have entered the land of Egypt to reside there and then to return to the land of Judah, to which they are longing to return and live; for none will return except a few refugees.'” (Jer 44:11-14) The few refugees that did return to Jerusalem were the family members of Jeremiah and Baruch who were taken to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar took over Egypt, as they were forcefully taken to Egypt. This means I cannot return to my previous life in Egypt, as I will then face the second death we read of in Revelation. This is what we read in the book of Hebrews about the same subject: “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” (Heb 6:4-6)

The reason for this is that the LORD wants us to come out from under the ruling of our earthly king, be it our local congregation or even our church grouping, and put our trust in Him alone. We have to separate ourselves from the idea that our membership of our congregation ensures our everlasting life. We have to declare that we belong to the Church that the LORD is building. You see He is not preparing many brides, no He is preparing His bride, and She has to be perfect and without blemish. This does not mean that you have to end your membership of your congregation and now become a “churchless member” of the Church of Jesus Christ. No, I have to put my trust in Jesus alone. This will invariably mean that we would be willing to take a stand for God, even like Daniel did when told that he could not pray to the LORD.

This group of believers not only asks for revival, but for true reformation. What is the difference? To me revival means that I have to find the method that brings life to something that was alive before, and proclaim this. If there was life before, this message will then bring this person back to life again. Reformation on the other hand means that I will rid myself of everything that is not from the LORD, and start anew. That is the reason the LORD uses the term of captivity or exile, as one has to be separated from that which is not from Him.

How do I know this is true? The same question is asked to the believers in Revelation. “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 18:4).

This subject tells us that if we do not go into captivity, we are busy with religion, and religion is the same sin as adultery, leaving us as members of the whore of Revelation 18. I know I want to be, and I am sure that you want to be part of the Bride of Christ, and hence will go into captivity.

As soon as these people have served their time in captivity they will return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple and Jerusalem, the real church.

This then the short explanation of the everlasting covenant, and what it means to us as Christians.

How do I spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

How do I spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

This is an extremely relevant question today as I think that there are more answers to these questions than separate Christian Churches.

Before I start I actually want to give a background of the person I have to share the gospel with. Firstly he has no knowledge of any Christian doctrines. He does not believe in any other gods, so he is someone without any belief system in place. He has never been in contact with any person who had a view of any belief system. So he knows that the sun rises and sets, seeds ripen and germinate, and plants like humans and animals live and die. That is the sum total of his knowledge on the subject of life. So he does not have any scientific knowledge, and also has not spoken to someone about any philosophical subject. So he does not have any view regarding things that we know of.

So my task is now to convince him that he needs Jesus in his life in order for him not to die as a stranger of the LORD, and thus end up not receiving everlasting life.

Where do I start to convince that this person needs to live like a child of the LORD in order to receive everlasting life?  This is really a very important subject for me as I see so many people, people saying that they are Christians, taking the high road to everlasting condemnation. I have tried so many times to talk to some of these people, but I have yet to succeed.

In my talks to these people and my observations on how these people react, I have found that I can separate these people into four groups of people. The first group are those that I would name as the inventors. They will search until they find something that answers all their questions, and then document it. If it was already documented, they will still ensure that the written answer is correct and then they will use that result in their lives. The one thing we have to remember about this group is that they are not always able to read or write, but they can survive. They will go out with people, see how they achieve success, and then do as told or shown. A good example to me as a South African is the Bushmen, who have survived this way for centuries. Unfortunately those that think they know better will normally die out, and that is what we find even in the animal world. They are willing to follow a winning recipe and know how to use it to their own advantage.

The next group are those that will read something, believe what they read, and make it their answer. So they are the followers. They are very easy to identify as they will always have their solution at hand and try to convince you that their solution is the only correct answer. This is the largest group of people in the world.

The next group are those that have no solution at all, but are able to read or hear or see a solution, but that which they read or saw will be impossible to implement for them. These people can at times repeat word for word what they read or heard, but lacks the ability to implement the answer. So they will “know” a lot of things and can quote things day and night long without being able to understand what they are referring to.

The last group are those that live and argue from their own belief system. They have all the answers and will force you to accept their answers, but fail to be able to engage in a constructive dialogue.  So you can talk to these people on a daily basis, but they will not change and only believe their answer. These are the most difficult people to live with as they only follow their own solution. I have an example of this group which might highlight some of their ways. I helped at a school for nearly a year. One of the subjects was technology, and we had to cover the subject of what type of material works best for certain situations. One of the items covered was a raincoat, where PVC would be the obvious type of material. One learner said his brother wears a leather jacket and therefore it is better. Eight months on and if we had to match fabric and use, he could not match PVC to a raincoat, as he was right. This group of people really are a lost cause.

Now where do I start my conversation with this person that I am trying to share the gospel with? How do I explain the pro’s and con’s?

The first point I have to make is that I can only make someone a disciple of something that I believe in. If I do not know how to make a fire, I will not be able to teach someone how to make a fire. So now I have to start with my calling that will end up with the person receiving everlasting life, but a further problem I have is that I am not allowed to use any reference material. So I do not have a Bible at my disposal to give to the person in order to give to him to get some background information on Christianity, and no leaflets to use. So where and how do I start?

The first step is to find out what the person’s current life looks like. I have to find out if he can differentiate between right and wrong. I have to remember that even if they believe in killing other human beings, that action not always qualifies as sin. Within their customs it might be seen as perfectly normal. Even though I know that to take someone’s life is normally a sin, even the Bible has exceptions to this rule. When we read the last three chapters of the book of Judges, the LORD expressly tells the other nine tribes to go and kill the tribe of Benjamin. When Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, they were instructed to kill every person who was not an Israelite before they could accept their inheritance.

Now how do I answer to these questions? In the case of Benjamin it is actually quite easily done. Some people from the tribe of Benjamin raped the wife of a priest until she was dead, and left her body at the door of the house where the priest was sleeping. So they sinned against the woman, but the whole tribe refused to tell who the perpetrators were. Nearly their whole tribe was killed in the ensuing three days. We read that during this time 90,000 Benjaminites were killed, and then we read that when the rest of the survivors returned home, they had no wives or children left. We find that the rest of Israel gave them 10,000 women from Jabes of Gilead, and the rest were told to go and kidnap some of the choir dancers that danced at the annual gathering in order for them to get wives. None of the daughters of the other tribes were given to the tribe of Benjamin.

When Israel started occupying Canaan, they had to kill all the locals in order to take possession of their inheritance of the LORD. They had to ensure that all the women were killed, as the LORD knew how easy it is for a woman to seduce a man. That is why Israel always fought against the Philistines, as they did not smite them completely.

So I cannot ask if this person has ever killed another person, as not all killings are regarded as murder. When you kill someone in self defence or during a war situation, you will not even be charged with murder today. You may have a temporary charge against you, but that will be dropped the moment it is proved that it was in self defence or during a war.

So how and where do I start? I believe we have to start at the other side of the spectrum, by telling the person about the greatness of the LORD. This means that I can tell the person how plants germinate, animals increase in numbers, and how humans produce offspring.  I can then use this to explain what the world looks like, what happens to the sun when it sets at night and where the moon is when we can’t see it. So the whole time I can show the greatness of the LORD, that He made everything, even us a humans and that we had the LORD who provided everything we needed, and that originally we never had to work to supply for ourselves.

But we are now faced with the biggest question of them all. How do I explain Adam and Eve’s sin and subsequent fall? I think it is a lot easier than what most people think. We have to find out what animal is at the top of the food chain, or what animal are they scared of. I am convinced that one of these answers will be a snake. So now I can tell them that a snake got Eve to eat from the one plant that they were prohibited to eat from. The LORD did not make us as zombies, but he made us as people who could differentiate between doing good and bad. By eating from this one plant, they lost all the privileges they had as given to them by the LORD. So instead of ruling over all creation, they lost their position, and as part of their actions, they now had to work for their food. Another thing that happened to them was that they lost that direct line of communication with the LORD. Where they went for a stroll with Him on a daily basis, it was no longer the case.

So now I have to choose everyday what is good and what is bad. So I can use really any aspect of their lives where they have to make a decision, what is correct and what is not. One of the easiest examples that we can use is who looks after the aged, the children, and those that really have nothing. The answer will be that those who can will look after the elders in their community. This I can immediately use as something that we know is correct. So they are already showing their love to their neighbours. And that is what John describes in 1 John 3. It will not be difficult to explain this to them, and then to expand on that by telling them that what they are already doing, is what the LORD expects from us. (This is stated so many times in the Bible, for instance Isaiah 58, Matthew 25 and then all the other references that these chapters refer to.)

I can now come to the difficult part, by asking the person if he sometimes does things that he is not proud of. But, how do I know that it is something I should not be proud of. All people are born with a part of the LORD inside of us that will tell us when we mess up. (Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.) (Joh 16:7-11)

But it doesn’t help me at all knowing that I keep on doing this wrong in my life. So I have to get to this point in my life where I have to seek help to overcome this wrong in my life that the Spirit of the LORD is showing me the whole time. But then the LORD came with a dramatic plan to save us from all these wrongs, and put us in a right standing with Him again. He sent His Son to die for us, but even more, His son overcame death and was raised on the third day to correct this aspect for us. Before He sent His Son, people had to sacrifice a goat or sheep annually to receive forgiveness, but now His Son paid for our sin. But the people did not like the fact that His son was without any sin or wrong doings, so they killed Him.

But that was also the time when the Father showed us that He is the giver and taker of life, by raising His Son from the dead. Now what does this help me? By believing that the LORD did this for us, that when we die, we will be raised again, only this time in the same state as Adam and Eve had before the fall.

So I can live this life after death where everything is made new, and I never have to die again. I can now eat from everything that is available, without worrying about anyone else, as we all will share in this marvellous life. (Rev 22)

But how do I convince the person to change. He must come to the realization that he is doing something that is wrong. He must be told that he cannot fix this problem himself, but that if he should trust in what Jesus came to do on earth, it is possible to come into the right standing with the LORD. Without accepting the fact that only Jesus can put it right, he will end up not receiving everlasting life. So what must we do? It now gives me the opportunity to explain what happens when someone is baptized, and that is where the one that caused me to do wrong and all his followers, will be killed when I am baptized. As that is what happens in the water. My old selfish man dies when I go into the water, and the person that emerges from the water is freed from his sinful nature. It does not mean that I will be perfect like Adam and Eve today, but we now know that when we die, we will end up in Paradise, the place where Adam and Eve received everything they needed for free from the LORD. So I can now ask him if he believes that what I explained to him is possible. That he can get to Paradise but we have to accept what the LORD did to restore this relationship with us. I can now tell him that when I hand him a Bible, he can read 1 Corinthians 10 and see how the LORD treated Israel when they left Egypt. I can now tell him that what happened to Israel, happened as an example to us so that we do not have to go through all their problems.

Only now can I ask him if he believes that the LORD wants to give him back the life he lost through the sin of Adam and Eve. We have to realize that not all people have this life already, but if he does what I explained to him, he will be the example that others would like to follow. He can now decide that in order to help him to stop doing what in his own eyes is wrong, he needs to do what I explained to him. Once he does this and asks the LORD to remind him when he does what is wrong and he stops doing what is wrong, he can then explain to his own people in their own language what to do, which is a lot easier than me talking to him through an interpreter or a barrier caused by language.

So if he is willing to accept this, we can now share communion, where the bread shows us that Jesus gave us His flesh and by drinking wine, we share in His blood. I have then become one with Him, and because of that, I will now receive everlasting life and not everlasting death when I die. The one issue that is of paramount importance is that we have to be old enough to know that I can never return to wander in my old ways, but that I declare that I will ask the Holy Spirit daily what to do. If I do not do that, I will end up like some of Israel who fled from Jerusalem to avoid being taken captive by Nebukadneser, and that I then declare that Jesus cannot save me as we cannot leave our old sinful life more than once, as we then crucify Jesus again. I can now explain what prayer is, and that the LORD is always with us and all we have to do is ask Him to tell us right from wrong. So I am now in the same relationship as what Adam and Eve had before they sinned and listened to the devil. The only thing is while on this earth we are bound by the rules that came into effect when Adam and Eve sinned, so I still have to provide for myself and those who depend on me. So after having shared communion, we can now go through the water to be baptised. I know that even though we were baptised we will still do things that we should not do, but we can ask the LORD to forgive us, and He will if we stop doing the same sin again. (1 John 1:8&9) But I know that the Holy Spirit will always be by my side, and help me to make the right choices. These wrong choices are known in the Bible as sin, but I know that because the LORD lives inside of me, I can overcome this sin. I can now take the person and lay hands on him and ask the LORD like Moses did, to take from His Spirit that is resting on me, and to give it to him as surety that he has been saved.

As he now knows that he will live forever even when he dies, he has to start living as an overcomer. He has to understand that he has to make the correct decisions, even if he loses out. If he decides to go back to his old life, he must understand that he is lost forever.

He can now start living as someone who shows the love of the LORD to his neighbours. That is the primary purpose of the Bible to show people how to live in love. So I have to take care of others and show my love towards them. That is when those closest to you will ask you to share how they can live a life like yours. So now you can start making them disciples.

While laying hands on the person and to asking the LORD to baptise him in the Holy Spirit, I can ask the LORD to provide him with the gifts that he will need in his daily life. For those people that do not know what these gifts are, I suggest that you read 1 Corinthians 12 where they are all explained. I can now give the person a Bible, and ask him to read about Adam and Eve, How the LORD took Israel as nation away from Egypt, and what they did right and wrong in their walk with the LORD. He can now read about the covenant the LORD made, that He made it between Himself and His son, and that we are only benefactors of that covenant. I can then point out to him to say that he is only responsible for himself, as we find in Galatians 6 verse 5 and Ezekiel chapter 18 that I will not pay for someone else’s wrongs but only for my own. So I cannot pay for someone else’s deeds and will not be judged for the deeds of others, except if I have children who are still under age and they do things contrary to a Christian. So that means that my children are my responsibility until they come of age, which according to the way the LORD handled Israel, was age 20. I can now tell the person he can now do the same as what I did to his immediate family and friends, and that they can all study the Bible together to see how they should live. They can get together and pray for one another, even if it feels if the whole world is against you. You are their example, so you will have to watch your step. Just remember that 80% of what you say comes from your unspoken words, so how you act and react.

I can now leave the person on his own and do follow up work with him and those who he managed to persuade to follow Jesus. I have to mention here that I will talk to some people and even though they said that they wanted what I explained, but they continued in their sinful ways, there is nothing I can do as the LORD will see through their motives and decide who will be saved. I can explain scripture to them that they do not understand, and help those who have+ problems in understanding the message of Jesus. But as I mentioned in my introduction, there are four types of people in the world. So not every person that I share the message with will accept it. But all I can do is pray to the LORD that He will change their lives and open them up to accept this message of Jesus. Some people will not understand the message of baptism, but they have never learned that in order to live, I need to die. It is my work only to do the planting of the seed, and the LORD will do the rest. He will germinate that seed; let them grow even though some will die. Jesus tells us what will happen to the various seeds in Matthew 13. I can only pray that the LORD will change a person’s heart to receive the gift of everlasting life.

So that is my way of making disciples of Jesus. If I did not cover the subject in this short description, it will not change anything. It does not help teaching people doctrines of man if we do not even know the doctrines of the LORD, as is spelled out to us in Hebrews 6: “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” (Heb 6:1-2)

And that was the first four doctrines. We still have to look and discuss the next two doctrines, those about everlasting life and everlasting death. The person will know about these two doctrines as he had to make the decision to follow Jesus and receive everlasting life before we shared communion the first time.

Amen.

Ps.

I know that there are many different belief systems amongst Christians, but I believe they interfere when we try and make disciples of Jesus Christ. A thing like predestination is not even necessary to explain, as it hinders my task to plant seeds and is something made up by interpreting only certain passages of the Bible, but leaves the love of God on the sideline. The same thing with the rapture theory, as it is manmade doctrines and cannot be justified unless you brainwash your disciples. People will say that this way I described leaves it to the individual to decide if he wants to be saved or not, which is something I do not have control over as the Holy Spirit is the One doing the convincing. So it depends on the individual and I do not control that, nor the individual that receives the message. That only the LORD knows about.

Unfortunately today we find that 95% or more of Bible believing Christians do not live as Christians. They do not show that they love their neighbour. They cannot understand that what people do or say may hurt others, and it is my duty to show the love of God to the people around me. Being a Christian is not a once a week event where we all gather together, sing a few songs and listen to a motivational speech by someone who will do anything to impress his listeners, but a 24 hour 7 days a week, 365 days of the year lifestyle.

We all have choices to make every day. These choices will influence others, and may have positive or negative effects, but I cannot blame my incompetence on the LORD. When people get power hungry, they will fight for their “rights”, but that is not how we differentiate between Christians and non Christians. We can only differentiate between the two when we look at the respective fruits of their labours. Do they show love to others or not? We see this throughout history where people were involved in wars, genocide and all sorts of atrocities. Even family members behaving like animals against their own children. That is not love and cannot be classed as Christian behaviour. You will be surprised what people have had to endure in their lives growing up in so called Christian homes, things like rape, assault and the like. And we have to remember that these people made a choice to do this, so we cannot blame this on the LORD. He is not micro managing every aspect of every person’s life. His commandment is to rule over His creation, and will judge us one day according to His commandment of love. So bad things will happen to good people, and good things will happen to bad people and I cannot control that. My life is all based on decisions and actions of others. They will one day have to answer to the LORD.

I specifically tried not to use Bible verses to show people that I can live a life as a Christian without being bombarded by Bible verses. But I will end this by quoting the verses I believe that shows the difference between those that are attending Church meetings, and those that are Christians. “This is the message that you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because what he was doing was evil and his brother’s actions were righteous. So do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love one another. The person who does not love remains spiritually dead. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life present in him. This is how we have come to know love: the Messiah gave his life for us. We, too, ought to give our lives for our brothers. Whoever has earthly possessions and notices a brother in need and yet withholds his compassion from him, how can the love of God be present in him? Little children, we must stop expressing love merely by our words and manner of speech; we must love also in action and in truth. This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and how we will be able to keep ourselves strong in his presence. If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God. Whatever we request we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1Jo 3:11-22)

In closing I would like to end this by quoting from the last book in the Old Testament. “Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other. The LORD listened and took note, and a scroll of remembrance was written in his presence about those who fear the LORD and honour His name. “They’ll be mine,” says the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, “in the day when I prepare my treasured possession. I’ll spare them, just as a man spares his own son who serves him. When you return, you will see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not.” (Mal 3:16-18)

I hope that you will be part of the righteous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Videos

Most of the books are also available on Youtube. My channel is https://www.youtube.com/user/LouwErasmus

Some of them can be watched from here:

The Covenant of Righteousness

  • 8 videos
  • Last updated on 16 Oct 2016
This series takes us on a journey from Egypt, our old sinful life making bricks for Satan to expand his empire, to Jerusalem, a life living for the LORD and expanding His Kingdom. It has certain repercussions for our existing teachings, and these …
The Covenant of Righteousness Introduction

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The Covenant of Righteousness Chapter 1 Abrahamic covenant explained

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The Covenant of Righteousness Chapter 2 Old and New covenant compared

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The Covenant of Righteousness Chapter 3 The next steps to complete

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The Covenant of Righteousness Chapter 4 Captivity

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The Covenant of Righteousness Chapter 5 The effect on the Jews

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The Covenant of Righteousness Chapter 6 The effect on Calvinism

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The Covenant of Righteousness Chapter 7 The effect on the rapture theory

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On a trot through Romans

In this book I tried to publish a non partisan view of how to interpret the Letter to Romans. This does not mean that I do not ignore incorrect interpretations, but I spend a lot of time on those part that both John Calvin and then another part that John Darby spent time on and completely missed the boat. So I try and find the correct message that Paul was trying to convey to the readers in Rome, at his time. I cover why he wrote the book, what his personal viewpoint was, and why he wrote the book in the first place. I also show how we can use this book as a complete teaching to share the message of Jesus Christ with all people.

This letter of the Apostle Paul has been used through he ages by a range of people to preach their exclusive viewpoint. When you ask questions about their interpretations, they actually come up with some jaw dropping reasons, like this one: “And since He permits not unwillingly but willingly, then all that comes to pass – including even the sinful actions and ultimate destiny of men – must be, in some sense, in accordance with what He has eternally purposed and decreed. Just in proportion as this is denied, God is excluded from the government of the world, and we have only a finite God. Naturally, some problems arise which in our present state of knowledge we are not able fully to explain. But that is not a sufficient reason for rejecting what the Scriptures and the plain dictates of reason affirm to be true.

They also use this to preach original sin, although it is contrary to what Ezekiel tells us in chapter 18 verse 20: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Then on the other end of the scale we find those that preach that there will always be a remnant of Jews who will only be evident after the “rapture”. But what does Paul actually say? Rom 11:5  “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” I do not see any proof that this remnant will be available in perpetuity, but that after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the LORD ensured that there was a remnant that would take the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to all the nations of the earth.

I trust that you will also accept it in this light. You can download the book at http://www.shamaministries.org.za/boeke/On a trot through Romans.pdf

Jews – Nation or Church grouping?

I want to look at our belief system of today and will try and prove to you the reader that Israel was never a nation as portrayed today, but should in reality be seen as the first Church.

Why am I saying this? Even from the days of Moses up and to the times that Jesus came they operated as a Church under the Old Covenant. It will then also clear up so many misconceptions about the difference between Church and Israel or Jews. These are the people that label you as someone preaching replacement theology the moment that you mention that the Church is also Israel or Jews. This article will try and prove that the Church has been there from the early days, and I believe that is also the way the people of the Old Covenant saw it.

Where did the CHURCH start? To me it started with Abraham. The LORD started talking to Abraham long before He entered into a covenant with him. Abraham had to listen and do everything the LORD told him to do. So what does this teach us? There are two actions that speak volumes about this relationship. The first principle is that Abraham had to believe the LORD and then he had to obey the LORD. This to me speaks of how a church should respond. We have to believe what He tells us to do, and then have to obey Him in everything we do. This is also what we read of in Hebrews 6 verse 1: Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (Heb 6:1) So we see that Abraham had to lay down his life, repentance, and do what the LORD commanded him to do, so believe Him, which is faith..

After this we find that the covenant is started with communion, where Melchizidek brought the wine and break. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)   And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;  and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Gen 14:18-20)

What we learn from this is that even before the LORD made the covenant with Abraham, that peoples from other nations were also serving the LORD, even to the point where they had their own priests.

Only now do we find that the LORD enters into a covenant relationship with Abraham: “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”   (Gen 15:1-7)

What does this mean? That he believed and it counted him as righteousness. Without righteousness it is impossible to be part of the CHURCH of the LORD. We now find that Abraham only had to supply the livestock needed for the covenant. He had to cut the heifer in two and lay the sides next to each other. The meaning being that if either one of the partners of the covenant could do this to the other partner should they break the covenant. This also features when the LORD told Abraham to go and sacrifice Isaac. So for Abraham it was not difficult to follow the instructions of the LORD, as the LORD told Abraham that his descendants will come from Isaac. The LORD had to stay true to His word, and had two choices. He either had to provide a substitute for Isaac, or He had to bring Isaac back from the dead if Abraham sacrificed Isaac, as the LORD promised that Abraham’s family would come from Isaac. So Abraham knew that the LORD cannot lie, so he knew that if the LORD expected him to sacrifice his son, then the LORD had to be willing to do the same. He also knew it was impossible to kill the LORD, so he obeyed Him. This also points to us the first time that Jesus would become God’s sacrificial Lamb for our sins. That is also why Jesus can only come once to fulfil the covenant and pay for all sins, and not have a shuttle service during the end times.

For those who want to know more about what the Covenant of Righteousness means, you can read it here. I do suggest that you read this or if you have the time, look at the YouTube version which will run as a playlist for about 4 hours.

The next step only followed 25 years later when the LORD instituted circumcision as a sign of the covenant. A very interesting part we find here is that we find a sequence of events from this piece of history. It started with Abraham deciding to change his life and to follow the LORD, he then had to believe the LORD (faith), and then he had to have communion. Then only do we find circumcision. We find the same sequence after Jesus came to be the complete sacrifice, in that we have to repent from our sinful life, put out faith in Him alone, and then share communion. That is one reason we find so many arguments in Church today, as we find that leaders of churches have done these steps, but their hearts have not been circumcised. This is why we find so many leaders trying to justify the sins of people being enforced onto the church.

So we find that the church started with Abraham, and that every person who puts their faith in the completed works of Jesus, is part of CHURCH. Only now can we start with Israel.

So the first question is why do I say that the Old Testament Israel is the Church? Before Israel left Egypt we find the first clue. People from all nations could join Israel before the Exodus. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exo 12:47-49) “You shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” (Lev 24:22)

This already intimates that the people that left Egypt with Moses did not only belong to the Jewish tribe, but also included foreigners. So they all shared the same theology and believed in the one LORD. So this already shows us that they operate as a Church, and not as a nation. This confirms the promise made to Abraham: “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be you perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you, and to your seed after you. And I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said to Abraham, You shall keep my covenant therefore, you, and your seed after you in their generations.” (Gen 17:1-9)

So here we find that even before the exodus and the long trek to Canaan that Israel operated as a Church and not as a nation. That is what they are referred to, as a congregation in Exodus 12 verse 47 above, and not as a nation.

This is also what the whole book to the Hebrews in the New Testament is all about.

Quite a number of very influential people including Martin Luther wanted to keep this book from the Bible as they believed it had no relevance to us as Christians. But they are the people who believe that the book was only applicable to Israel or Jews as a nation, and not to all believers.

But this is exactly where I start differing from them. But why? Because even today we find that most Christians see Israel as nation and not as the first Church. That is one of the most prominent teachings of today across all types of Christians. But they fail to see that the book of Hebrews actually has the covenant as a central theme and not Israel as a central theme.

So it was not written for Israel as nation, but to Israel or the Jews as Church. But what is the difference? I want to use certain texts from Paul to Corinth and John in Revelation to explain my viewpoint. Paul says the following: “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come. (1Co 10:6-11)

We find the words of Jesus as recorded by John: “I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (Rev 2:9) “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” (Rev 3:9)

So I will use this as a basis to show that Israel functioned as a Church and not as a nation. But let us start at the beginning. Who will end up in heaven? I believe those that are there already are people like Moses, David, Samuel and many more of the people of the Old Testament. If we look at the New Testament it would be people like Peter, Paul and John. You might wonder why I only mention the names of people that descended from Jacob. The reason being is that they will definitely be there, as they belonged to the nation of the LORD, Israel. We learn from the Old Testament that only those people that were chosen by the LORD ended up in heaven, in other words only people from Israel. “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (1Co 10:5)

The LORD says the following through Moses to Israel: ““For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, ” (Deu 7:6-9) This sounds more like a promise to a Church than a promise to a specific nation.

I want to start at the beginning. Now when I quote from the book of Revelation you might think that I am starting at the end, but fortunately Jesus is speaking. He was there right at the beginning of time, even when Adam and Eve were formed. Revelation 3:9: “‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. ” Jesus is telling us here that even though people are from the synagogue of Satan; they are still saying that they are Jews. These people are from Philadelphia, and definitely not Jews from Israel. This confirms the scripture from Revelation 2:9: “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” This piece of information is extremely important, in that Jesus is saying that all believers are Jews, and that only Jews will be saved. This confirms the scripture that Moses gave to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:6-7: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.”

Once we realise that God does not and will not change His word, we will realise that there seems to be a problem with interpreting this verse in the light of the verses from Revelation. How is it possible then that God declares in one place that He has chosen only Israel, and then later on declares that all true believers are Jews? The answer comes partly from the book of Acts chapter 10:34-35: “Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,  but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. ” So all people who fear God and accept His righteousness, is accepted. This however still does not satisfy the requirement of Revelation, as we are still not Jews. The answer is given to us as part of the exodus from Egypt. Here the LORD gave them a commandment that they had to keep forever. The scripture comes from Numbers 15 verse 15 and 16: “’As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the LORD. ‘There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.'” Exodus 12 verse 48 gives us the final answer: But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.

In the history of Israel we find that whenever someone from another nation wanted to join them to Israel, they had to do whatever was required to become part of the covenant and then they were treated as people from Israel. A very good example is Ruth. Although she had the right to return to her people after her husband’s death, she chose to go with Naomi. Her words were as follows: Ruth 1 verses 15 to 17: “Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” Ruth answers that she chooses to go with Naomi, and that only death will part them, but that she, Ruth will die where Naomi dies. She will worship Naomi’s God, and never return to her original nation. Who was Ruth? David’s great grandma. Where did Jesus come from? From David’s tribe.

How do all these various pieces fit together? The LORD chose Israel as His nation. We as gentiles must chose to become Jews by joining Israel and its tribes. How is this done? The same way it was done in Israel’s time, by becoming part of the covenant with the LORD. In the time of Israel it was by circumcision, and after Christ it is by being born again. That means we have to receive the righteousness of Jesus. As we know that Jesus came to fulfil the Old Covenant by fulfilling all its requirements, it now gives us the opportunity to become part of the Israel of God. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God. (Gal 6:14-16) This sounds again more like a promise to the Church that a promise to a nation. So Israel did not receive a blanket redemption from the LORD, but only those that became part of the covenant and kept His commandments, were His children.

Where do we find the first apostasy from the Church? It happened when each tribe received their inheritance in Canaan. The Rubenites, the descendants from Gad, and the descendants from Manasseh all decided that they wanted to stay outside of Canaan, the Promised Land, and not receive that which the LORD had in store for them. So they chose not to get what they were promised. If we look at the descendants of these tribes we find that they did not feature in the history of Israel after deciding to follow their own plans. That is exactly what is happening today. People are leaving the Church and cannot be counted as Christians any longer as only people who confess Jesus as the Christ, and live a life worthy of Him forms part of the real Church. This is how Hebrews 6 puts it: “And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb 6:3-6) That is also what happened to Saul after he visited the medium at Endor. “Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that has a familiar spirit at Endor.” (1Sa 28:7) This also meant that he died as a sinner, and did not receive everlasting life, but everlasting death. When Israel sinned, and was chastised by the LORD to bring them back to Him, they were safe. If they continued in their wickedness they died as sinners. Even after David the Church, or Israel, divided into two camps. We find very little of the grouping that moved away from David in the Bible. So they started their own ‘church” and was rejected by the LORD. We also see in the New Testament that Jesus did not speak to the two factions of the “church”, the Pharisees and Sadducees, but He went and spoke to the people. In fact He always pitted the two groups against each other. And they were the “church”.

So in the history of Israel we find that the tribes started serving other gods and religions, the same people they were supposed to exterminate when they went into Canaan. Now we find people today saying that Jesus first have to return to the physical earth to save the Jewish faith people or the lost tribes although they already made their choices years ago. The LORD did not choose a specific nation, but only those people who believe that Jesus is the Christ. That is what all the prophets tried to say. They were preaching revival messages to the Jews to get them to return to the God of their fathers. There were some specific messages that pointed to the coming Saviour, but it always asked them to return to the LORD. So all these messages we expect to find in the Church of today, and not messages to a specific nation.

We also found then and today that membership of a church grouping or nation can never mean that you receive everlasting life, but only belief in Jesus can make that possible.

So Israel was the Church under the Old Covenant, and we are Church under the New Covenant. So there is no replacement theology as people would like you to believe, but only messages to the Church of the LORD. And this all started with Moses who gave them the following choice they had to make: “For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce to you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days on the land, where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may hold to him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deu 30:11-20)

So just like Israel had to choose to follow the LORD, we have to make the same choice today. I do not find a blanket statement in the Old Covenant that every person will receive everlasting life. No, I only find that people, who chose to follow and obey Him, were His children and His nation.

So when we return to the book of Hebrews, we see that it describes the different viewpoints of the Churches. There are those that understand the New Covenant and believe that Jesus did everything to fulfil the Old Covenant. Then we find those that believe that Jesus is the Christ, but they also believe that you have to do certain things to get saved. So they still believe you have to comply with certain rules, rules like the Sabbath etc. And then there are those of the Jewish faith today, those that reject Jesus as the Christ. And that is what the writer of Hebrews is trying to show people, that Jesus did everything that was necessary according to the law, and that He went through the Heavenly Tabernacle for us in order for us to receive everlasting life. No works will make that we are part of the real Church.

So the writer shows us that we do not have to work to get our way into heaven, as Jesus did away with all the works and that only faith in His completed work will bring everlasting life. That is what Hebrews 3 and 4 are about. You must have faith, because without it you are condemned, and stuck in the sixth day and do not enter into the rest promised by the LORD.

That is why we find new prescriptions of how we should live our lives under the New Covenant in Hebrews chapter 13.

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Why Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb 13:1-21)

So these are commandments to the Church. This now enables you as an ordinary member to see if you are taught the correct message of the Bible or not. I do not find any scripture or clause in the New Covenant anywhere in the Bible that teaches that you can turn your back on the LORD, and then get a second chance. So this also indicates that He chose Israel as a Church, and not as a nation or piece of real estate. And that Church includes me in you that have decided to become part of His covenant.

So there is now replacement theology. You either believe this Truth and receive everlasting life, or you do not believe this Truth and die the second death. Those people who serve the LORD are part of His Israel, the Church. “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God.” (Gal 6:16) So the Bible only teaches the Church, and cannot be used to judge the unbelievers.

We also have to remember that the first people who became Christians were Jews, and they were also the first people to be called Christians. “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance to life. Now they which were scattered abroad on the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but to the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spoke to the Grecians, preaching the LORD Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned to the Lord. Then tidings of these things came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would hold to the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added to the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Act 11:18-26)

So these people were Jews, but were called Christians. So those that speaks about replacement theology only shows their lack of knowledge of the Bible.

So there won’t be a rapture to allow the Jews to come to Christ and all the other people to get a second chance. If we believe that then Jesus and the Bible does not mean anything at all. So run from these people before they take you down the canyon of death with them. I know that you might feel that I am taking on people that have such a passion for Christ, but unfortunately only those that believe the full message of the Bible will be saved. I only confirm that which Jesus spoke about when He told them that they were rejected. “Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.” (Mat 21:42-46) The original was already mentioned in Isaiah 5 verses 1 to 7. “Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the middle of it, and also made a wine press therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? why, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor dig; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” (Isa 5:1-7)

“Jesus also speaks about a nation as the true Church, the Bride, did not yet exist, as He was still alive.

That is why the book of Revelation says that two thirds of the people that call themselves Christians will die the second death, as they believe the Bible, but only through their interpretation of the Bible. They will fight with you to prove you wrong and quote large parts of the Bible to convince you, but did you know that the Satan also quoted the Bible to convince Jesus, but Jesus showed him all the flaws in his quotes of scripture. My only purpose is to show you that we there are incorrect interpretations of scripture, that we must take personal responsibility for our own lives, and not depend on the teachings of others to receive everlasting life. The same story is used in the Bible, there were ten woman who waited for the Bridegroom, but only five expected Him and were prepared for His coming, while the others waited for the rapture and all its stories, but they missed the wedding feast.

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1Ti 6:3-6)

Paul declares the following: “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside to vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers, For fornicators, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for enslavers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” (1Ti 1:5-11)

So if someone wants to place you back under the law, know that according to Paul that he is not righteous. So he will try to convince you that you have to believe his interpretation. They will tell you to ignore days like Christmas, Easter and numerous other days, but all that they are trying is to place you under the law again. “Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a female slave, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the female slave was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which engenders to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bore not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband. Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what said the scripture? Cast out the female slave and her son: for the son of the female slave shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brothers, we are not children of the female slave, but of the free.” (Gal 4:21-31)

So those that believe that Jesus is the Christ and that He came to take us from the bondage of the law are the true Church of the LORD, and not those that keep the law and boast in their heritage. “However, then, when you knew not God, you did service to them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain. Brothers, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as you are: you have not injured me at all. You know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh you despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.” (Gal 4:8-14)

So who is the real Israel? Those people that do what the LORD commands to become part of His Covenant, and that started with Moses. So only those that choose Him are His Church.

 

Revelation Explained

My summary of Revelation

To me, all prophesies must be able to stand the test of time. So if we look at Amos as an example, we find that he describes what is wrong with Israel as Church. We can now, as New Testament church, read the same prophesy and see how it applies to us. As a basis I use Paul’s first letter to the people of Corinth where he says in chapter 10 “1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come.” So we can use Israel as our example in seeing what will happen when we do things and how the LORD will react.

The second point is that I read in Revelation what is going to happen, as well as what has already happened. We see in the letter to the first Church in Ephesus the following: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent.” (Rev 2:4-5) So as far as I can see this refers to the people that left the Roman church, and they are asked to do the first works again, and that is to repent as described in Hebrews 6 verse 1. Each type of church is then addressed up to the end of chapter 3. All these messages follow the same sequence as all the Old Testament prophesies in that the people are told what is wrong with them, how to fix the problem, and what the two outcomes are, if you follow the recommendation or what would happen if you reject the recommendation.

We then move on to the throne room where Jesus is standing and He is the only one who can open the first book that is there. This first book, as far as I can see, tells us why people’s names will not be found in the second book that is also with him, which is only opened in chapter 20. “And 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.” (Rev 20:12)

When I read chapter 6 the seals are opened, something happens. When the sixth seal is opened, and the earth as we know it today is destroyed, those who are still alive and believe in Jesus are taken with Jesus to Paradise, as that is where all believers will be. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, see, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev 6:12-17)

The scene now shifts to Paradise, where all those who died believing in Jesus and became part of the New Covenant, will end up. Jesus’ words to the person on the cross: But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do not you fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss. And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, To day shall you be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-43)

Here we will see what will happen as described by Jesus in Matthew 25. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” (Mat 25:31-33)

This is what will happen from Chapter 7 to 14 in Revelation. So seeing that we are no longer on earth but in Paradise, the mark of the beast will not be a physical sign, but as confirmed in Exodus 13, a sign of whom we believe in. Exodus 13:8-10: “8 On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. 10 You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.”

So we find those that believed Jesus but their deeds and thoughts were not that of a disciple of Jesus, but a disciple of the antichrist, will be separated from the true believers. So yes the antichrist is alive and well in our mainstream churches today.

“And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Rev 14:8-12) We are told that if our thoughts and deeds were not acceptable to the LORD, that we will drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality. So the people, who had the mark of the beast on their foreheads, so their thoughts were sinful, and the mark on their hands, so their deeds confirmed that they did not serve the LORD, will be judged. So we can really stop looking at every new invention to see if it is the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast is already known, and comprises of your thoughts and deeds.

The same thing is happening with the message of salvation. People only need to repeat this sinner’s prayer or someone will pray it on behalf of you and then you are saved. This is absolute rubbish and without any truth. I first have to realise that I am a sinner and that I need a saviour, and then call out to Him as David did in Psalms 51: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight: that you might be justified when you speak, and be clear when you judge.” (Psa 51:1-4). We then have to understand what the love of Jesus and the Father is, and believe that He has already paid the price for my sins. I need to trust Him for salvation, not a quick 10 second prayer. I cannot give my heart to the LORD as I am then still in control. John gives us some insight into salvation. “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (1Jn 4:15-21)

There are so many preachers that preach the message of the whore today, preachers that will take you on if you dare to mention that you must change your ways to be acceptable to the LORD. You must stop with your sinful life, you cannot continue on the road that you were on before you met your Maker, and there must be sanctification. Jesus said the following through Peter: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behaviour; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.  (1Pe 1:13-16)

When you talk to the leaders of these congregations you get shunned by them because you rose up against “their” authority. If you do not agree with the rapture lie, you are on your way to hell according to them. Unfortunately the Bible is the one that declares that the antichrist is the one that does not see Jesus as the Messiah. “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.” (2Jn 1:7-8) With their support of Israel and the Jews these people side themselves with the antichrist and become one with the whore, and hence the beast.

These people will write books and sell them by the million and when things does not happen as they said it would, write another book to say(lie) something new and sell even more copies than the first lies. Or put their sermons on YouTube and when the date comes and nothing happens, a new date is put into the title. This has happened three times that I know of so far this year. First the antichrist was supposed to be exposed on 5 May, then 30 August and now 29 December 2016. And when you point this out to them, they close their comments so that nobody can see their trial of lies.

We see that the followers of William Smith, the Mormons, are not seen as true Christians, but those following another false prophet, John Nelson Darby, are seen today as mainstream Christians, although they support the message of the Antichrist as defined by the Apostle John.

So I rest my case.

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Moses 4 verse 5 -Jews – Nation or Church grouping?

Jews – Nation or Church grouping?

I want to look at our belief system of today and will try and prove to you the reader that Israel was never a nation as portrayed today, but should in reality be seen as the first Church.

Why am I saying this? Even from the days of Moses up and to the times that Jesus came they operated as a Church under the Old Covenant. It will then also clear up so many misconceptions about the difference between Church and Israel or Jews. These are the people that label you as someone preaching replacement theology the moment that you mention that the Church is also Israel or Jews. This article will try and prove that the Church has been there from the early days, and I believe that is also the way the people of the Old Covenant saw it.

Where did the CHURCH start? To me it started with Abraham. The LORD started talking to Abraham long before He entered into a covenant with him. Abraham had to listen and do everything the LORD told him to do. So what does this teach us? There are two actions that speak volumes about this relationship. The first principle is that Abraham had to believe the LORD and then he had to obey the LORD. This to me speaks of how a church should respond. We have to believe what He tells us to do, and then have to obey Him in everything we do. This is also what we read of in Hebrews 6 verse 1: Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (Heb 6:1) So we see that Abraham had to lay down his life, repentance, and do what the LORD commanded him to do, so believe Him, which is faith..

After this we find that the covenant is started with communion, where Melchizidek brought the wine and break. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)   And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;  and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Gen 14:18-20)

What we learn from this is that even before the LORD made the covenant with Abraham, that peoples from other nations were also serving the LORD, even to the point where they had their own priests.

Only now do we find that the LORD enters into a covenant relationship with Abraham: “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”   (Gen 15:1-7)

What does this mean? That he believed and it counted him as righteousness. Without righteousness it is impossible to be part of the CHURCH of the LORD. We now find that Abraham only had to supply the livestock needed for the covenant. He had to cut the heifer in two and lay the sides next to each other. The meaning being that if either one of the partners of the covenant could do this to the other partner should they break the covenant. This also features when the LORD told Abraham to go and sacrifice Isaac. So for Abraham it was not difficult to follow the instructions of the LORD, as the LORD told Abraham that his descendants will come from Isaac. The LORD had to stay true to His word, and had two choices. He either had to provide a substitute for Isaac, or He had to bring Isaac back from the dead if Abraham sacrificed Isaac, as the LORD promised that Abraham’s family would come from Isaac. So Abraham knew that the LORD cannot lie, so he knew that if the LORD expected him to sacrifice his son, then the LORD had to be willing to do the same. He also knew it was impossible to kill the LORD, so he obeyed Him. This also points to us the first time that Jesus would become God’s sacrificial Lamb for our sins. That is also why Jesus can only come once to fulfil the covenant and pay for all sins, and not have a shuttle service during the end times.

For those who want to know more about what the Covenant of Righteousness means, you can read it here. I do suggest that you read this or if you have the time, look at the YouTube version which will run as a playlist for about 4 hours.

The next step only followed 25 years later when the LORD instituted circumcision as a sign of the covenant. A very interesting part we find here is that we find a sequence of events from this piece of history. It started with Abraham deciding to change his life and to follow the LORD, he then had to believe the LORD (faith), and then he had to have communion. Then only do we find circumcision. We find the same sequence after Jesus came to be the complete sacrifice, in that we have to repent from our sinful life, put out faith in Him alone, and then share communion. That is one reason we find so many arguments in Church today, as we find that leaders of churches have done these steps, but their hearts have not been circumcised. This is why we find so many leaders trying to justify the sins of people being enforced onto the church.

So we find that the church started with Abraham, and that every person who puts their faith in the completed works of Jesus, is part of CHURCH. Only now can we start with Israel.

So the first question is why do I say that the Old Testament Israel is the Church? Before Israel left Egypt we find the first clue. People from all nations could join Israel before the Exodus. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exo 12:47-49) “You shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” (Lev 24:22)

This already intimates that the people that left Egypt with Moses did not only belong to the Jewish tribe, but also included foreigners. So they all shared the same theology and believed in the one LORD. So this already shows us that they operate as a Church, and not as a nation. This confirms the promise made to Abraham: “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be you perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you, and to your seed after you. And I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said to Abraham, You shall keep my covenant therefore, you, and your seed after you in their generations.” (Gen 17:1-9)

So here we find that even before the exodus and the long trek to Canaan that Israel operated as a Church and not as a nation. That is what they are referred to, as a congregation in Exodus 12 verse 47 above, and not as a nation. One further point to make here is that when we look at the first five books of the Bible, and especially those written by Moses, we find that the word congregation, referring to those people who left Egypt, is used 250 times in these books. This I believe is enough proof that even Moses and the LORD saw them as a Church, a congregation, and not as a nation.

If we include the rest of the Old Testament we find that they are referred to as a congregation 363 times in 330 verses.

This is also what the whole book to the Hebrews in the New Testament is all about.

Quite a number of very influential people including Martin Luther wanted to keep this book from the Bible as they believed it had no relevance to us as Christians. But they are the people who believe that the book was only applicable to Israel or Jews as a nation, and not to all believers. Those that are part of the LORD’s congregation.

But this is exactly where I start differing from them. But why? Because even today we find that most Christians see Israel as nation and not as the first Church. That is one of the most prominent teachings of today across all types of Christians. But they fail to see that the book of Hebrews actually has the covenant as a central theme and not Israel as a central theme.

So it was not written for Israel as nation, but to Israel or the Jews as Church. But what is the difference? I want to use certain texts from Paul to Corinth and John in Revelation to explain my viewpoint. Paul says the following: “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come. (1Co 10:6-11)

We find the words of Jesus as recorded by John: “I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (Rev 2:9) “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” (Rev 3:9)

So I will use this as a basis to show that Israel functioned as a Church and not as a nation. But let us start at the beginning. Who will end up in heaven? I believe those that are there already are people like Moses, David, Samuel and many more of the people of the Old Testament. If we look at the New Testament it would be people like Peter, Paul and John. You might wonder why I only mention the names of people that descended from Jacob. The reason being is that they will definitely be there, as they belonged to the nation of the LORD, Israel. We learn from the Old Testament that only those people that were chosen by the LORD ended up in heaven, in other words only people from Israel. “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (1Co 10:5)

The LORD says the following through Moses to Israel: ““For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, ” (Deu 7:6-9) This sounds more like a promise to a Church than a promise to a specific nation.

I want to start at the beginning. Now when I quote from the book of Revelation you might think that I am starting at the end, but fortunately Jesus is speaking. He was there right at the beginning of time, even when Adam and Eve were formed. Revelation 3:9: “‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. ” Jesus is telling us here that even though people are from the synagogue of Satan; they are still saying that they are Jews. These people are from Philadelphia, and definitely not Jews from Israel. This confirms the scripture from Revelation 2:9: “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” This piece of information is extremely important, in that Jesus is saying that all believers are Jews, and that only Jews will be saved. This confirms the scripture that Moses gave to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:6-7: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.”

Once we realise that God does not and will not change His word, we will realise that there seems to be a problem with interpreting this verse in the light of the verses from Revelation. How is it possible then that God declares in one place that He has chosen only Israel, and then later on declares that all true believers are Jews? The answer comes partly from the book of Acts chapter 10:34-35: “Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,  but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. ” So all people who fear God and accept His righteousness, is accepted. This however still does not satisfy the requirement of Revelation, as we are still not Jews. The answer is given to us as part of the exodus from Egypt. Here the LORD gave them a commandment that they had to keep forever. The scripture comes from Numbers 15 verse 15 and 16: “’As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the LORD. ‘There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.'” Exodus 12 verse 48 gives us the final answer: But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.

In the history of Israel we find that whenever someone from another nation wanted to join them to Israel, they had to do whatever was required to become part of the covenant and then they were treated as people from Israel. A very good example is Ruth. Although she had the right to return to her people after her husband’s death, she chose to go with Naomi. Her words were as follows: Ruth 1 verses 15 to 17: “Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” Ruth answers that she chooses to go with Naomi, and that only death will part them, but that she, Ruth will die where Naomi dies. She will worship Naomi’s God, and never return to her original nation. Who was Ruth? David’s great grandma. Where did Jesus come from? From David’s tribe.

How do all these various pieces fit together? The LORD chose Israel as His nation. We as gentiles must chose to become Jews by joining Israel and its tribes. How is this done? The same way it was done in Israel’s time, by becoming part of the covenant with the LORD. In the time of Israel it was by circumcision, and after Christ it is by being born again. That means we have to receive the righteousness of Jesus. As we know that Jesus came to fulfil the Old Covenant by fulfilling all its requirements, it now gives us the opportunity to become part of the Israel of God. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God. (Gal 6:14-16) This sounds again more like a promise to the Church that a promise to a nation. So Israel did not receive a blanket redemption from the LORD, but only those that became part of the covenant and kept His commandments, were His children.

Where do we find the first apostasy from the Church? It happened when each tribe received their inheritance in Canaan. The Rubenites, the descendants from Gad, and the descendants from Manasseh all decided that they wanted to stay outside of Canaan, the Promised Land, and not receive that which the LORD had in store for them. So they chose not to get what they were promised. If we look at the descendants of these tribes we find that they did not feature in the history of Israel after deciding to follow their own plans. That is exactly what is happening today. People are leaving the Church and cannot be counted as Christians any longer as only people who confess Jesus as the Christ, and live a life worthy of Him forms part of the real Church. This is how Hebrews 6 puts it: “And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb 6:3-6) That is also what happened to Saul after he visited the medium at Endor. “Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that has a familiar spirit at Endor.” (1Sa 28:7) This also meant that he died as a sinner, and did not receive everlasting life, but everlasting death. When Israel sinned, and was chastised by the LORD to bring them back to Him, they were safe. If they continued in their wickedness they died as sinners. Even after David the Church, or Israel, divided into two camps. We find very little of the grouping that moved away from David in the Bible. So they started their own ‘church” and was rejected by the LORD. We also see in the New Testament that Jesus did not speak to the two factions of the “church”, the Pharisees and Sadducees, but He went and spoke to the people. In fact He always pitted the two groups against each other. And they were the “church”.

So in the history of Israel we find that the tribes started serving other gods and religions, the same people they were supposed to exterminate when they went into Canaan. Now we find people today saying that Jesus first have to return to the physical earth to save the Jewish faith people or the lost tribes although they already made their choices years ago. The LORD did not choose a specific nation, but only those people who believe that Jesus is the Christ. That is what all the prophets tried to say. They were preaching revival messages to the Jews to get them to return to the God of their fathers. There were some specific messages that pointed to the coming Saviour, but it always asked them to return to the LORD. So all these messages we expect to find in the Church of today, and not messages to a specific nation.

We also found then and today that membership of a church grouping or nation can never mean that you receive everlasting life, but only belief in Jesus can make that possible.

So Israel was the Church under the Old Covenant, and we are Church under the New Covenant. So there is no replacement theology as people would like you to believe, but only messages to the Church of the LORD. And this all started with Moses who gave them the following choice they had to make: “For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce to you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days on the land, where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may hold to him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deu 30:11-20)

So just like Israel had to choose to follow the LORD, we have to make the same choice today. I do not find a blanket statement in the Old Covenant that every person will receive everlasting life. No, I only find that people, who chose to follow and obey Him, were His children and His nation.

So when we return to the book of Hebrews, we see that it describes the different viewpoints of the Churches. There are those that understand the New Covenant and believe that Jesus did everything to fulfil the Old Covenant. Then we find those that believe that Jesus is the Christ, but they also believe that you have to do certain things to get saved. So they still believe you have to comply with certain rules, rules like the Sabbath etc. And then there are those of the Jewish faith today, those that reject Jesus as the Christ. And that is what the writer of Hebrews is trying to show people, that Jesus did everything that was necessary according to the law, and that He went through the Heavenly Tabernacle for us in order for us to receive everlasting life. No works will make that we are part of the real Church.

So the writer shows us that we do not have to work to get our way into heaven, as Jesus did away with all the works and that only faith in His completed work will bring everlasting life. That is what Hebrews 3 and 4 are about. You must have faith, because without it you are condemned, and stuck in the sixth day and do not enter into the rest promised by the LORD.

That is why we find new prescriptions of how we should live our lives under the New Covenant in Hebrews chapter 13.

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Why Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb 13:1-21)

So these are commandments to the Church. This now enables you as an ordinary member to see if you are taught the correct message of the Bible or not. I do not find any scripture or clause in the New Covenant anywhere in the Bible that teaches that you can turn your back on the LORD, and then get a second chance. So this also indicates that He chose Israel as a Church, and not as a nation or piece of real estate. And that Church includes me in you that have decided to become part of His covenant.

So there is now replacement theology. You either believe this Truth and receive everlasting life, or you do not believe this Truth and die the second death. Those people who serve the LORD are part of His Israel, the Church. “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God.” (Gal 6:16) So the Bible only teaches the Church, and cannot be used to judge the unbelievers.

We also have to remember that the first people who became Christians were Jews, and they were also the first people to be called Christians. “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance to life. Now they which were scattered abroad on the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but to the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spoke to the Grecians, preaching the LORD Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned to the Lord. Then tidings of these things came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would hold to the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added to the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Act 11:18-26)

So these people were Jews, but were called Christians. So those that speaks about replacement theology only shows their lack of knowledge of the Bible.

So there won’t be a rapture to allow the Jews to come to Christ and all the other people to get a second chance. If we believe that then Jesus and the Bible does not mean anything at all. So run from these people before they take you down the canyon of death with them. I know that you might feel that I am taking on people that have such a passion for Christ, but unfortunately only those that believe the full message of the Bible will be saved. I only confirm that which Jesus spoke about when He told them that they were rejected. “Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.” (Mat 21:42-46) The original was already mentioned in Isaiah 5 verses 1 to 7. “Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the middle of it, and also made a wine press therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? why, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor dig; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” (Isa 5:1-7)

“Jesus also speaks about a nation as the true Church, the Bride, did not yet exist, as He was still alive.

That is why the book of Revelation says that two thirds of the people that call themselves Christians will die the second death, as they believe the Bible, but only through their interpretation of the Bible. They will fight with you to prove you wrong and quote large parts of the Bible to convince you, but did you know that the Satan also quoted the Bible to convince Jesus, but Jesus showed him all the flaws in his quotes of scripture. My only purpose is to show you that we there are incorrect interpretations of scripture, that we must take personal responsibility for our own lives, and not depend on the teachings of others to receive everlasting life. The same story is used in the Bible, there were ten woman who waited for the Bridegroom, but only five expected Him and were prepared for His coming, while the others waited for the rapture and all its stories, but they missed the wedding feast.

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1Ti 6:3-6)

Paul declares the following: “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside to vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers, For fornicators, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for enslavers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” (1Ti 1:5-11)

So if someone wants to place you back under the law, know that according to Paul that he is not righteous. So he will try to convince you that you have to believe his interpretation. They will tell you to ignore days like Christmas, Easter and numerous other days, but all that they are trying is to place you under the law again. “Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a female slave, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the female slave was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which engenders to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bore not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband. Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what said the scripture? Cast out the female slave and her son: for the son of the female slave shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brothers, we are not children of the female slave, but of the free.” (Gal 4:21-31)

So those that believe that Jesus is the Christ and that He came to take us from the bondage of the law are the true Church of the LORD, and not those that keep the law and boast in their heritage. “However, then, when you knew not God, you did service to them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain. Brothers, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as you are: you have not injured me at all. You know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh you despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.” (Gal 4:8-14)

So who is the real Israel? Those people that do what the LORD commands to become part of His Covenant, and that started with Moses. So only those that choose Him are His Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who do you preach? The murdered or the murderer? Jesus or John Calvin

I have a very heavy burden today that I would like to write about, but find it extremely difficult. It is not the first time that it has happened in my life, as it happened years ago in 2002 when I also found a specific subject that was extremely confusing to me and took me actually years to write about.

Today’s subject is even worse and has been with me since 16 April 1996, but I still feel that most people reading it will ignore it, as they do with most of the things I write about. But I am obedient and will do what He told me to do.

What is the subject that I have for today?

I wonder how many people follow the doctrine of the murderer, rather than following the doctrine of the murdered. In South Africa I believe close to 80% of people that admit to being a Christian actually follow the theology of the murderer. So I want to compare the two theologies with each other, that of Jesus the murdered and that of the murderer, John Calvin.

Jesus. – He was killed after being found innocent, so he was murdered. Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Crucify Him!” And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!” When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.” (Mat 27:22-26)

Calvin.- He accepted the responsibility for murder and encouraged his followers to kill. His own words were as follows: “Honour, glory, and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those scoundrels, who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard.” http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/servetus.html The Bible actually declares the following about leaders: “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” (Heb 13:7) I do not believe in following someone who is a self confessed murderer.

Jesus. – All people can be saved. “”But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”   Joh 16:7-11) So the first work of the Holy Spirit is to convince people of their sin. Only once we are accept this, can we call out to the LORD to save us. “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.” (Gen 3:22-23) This is in direct opposition to what Calvin states that man is totally deprived of anything that can reverse the works of Satan in Adam. This is the T of TULIP. No person knows everything, but we do have the ability to chose between right and wrong. So I have to take responsibility for all my works and deeds.

John declares what Jesus came to do: “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”  (Joh 3:17-21) So the love of Jesus is available to all people, not just the so-called elect.

Calvin. – The grace of God was limited according to Calvin hence the statement of limited atonement, the L in TULIP. He places the greatest emphasis on the fact that God can reject all of mankind. The real question is rather that a God of love, can refuse His love to mankind. The Bible emphasizes the love of God to all people, as well as that all can be saved. It is because of this love that we have to defend His character and test Calvinism to the message of the Bible.

According to Calvin man can be saved without man believing in the gospel or not. According to his writings nobody can be saved without God interfering first, causing man to be re-birthed, and then giving them the saving faith to those he predestined. Calvin says man is totally incapable that he has no means to accept the saving grace of God, without him being predestined to be able to do it. So God gives some people faith, the same way He also leads others to sin. Why? We cannot find an answer to that because that is God’s secret.

The deduction from this is that God, who is love, does not share his love with some people in order to save them, but only reserves it for a select group of people the He predestined to be blessed. Calvin tries to explain this lack of love to the mystery of God’s will and purpose.

He also declares that all things on earth are played of like a script for a play or a movie, and that He is responsible for everything. Man cannot interfere with His plan, and hence does not have to take the responsibility for anything in their lives. If you are part of the elect, you will do as He pleases, and if you are not predestined the fault is still yours as you were not part of the elect. Now in the first book of the Bible, way back in Genesis I read the following: And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” (Gen 18:20-21) Why did the LORD come down personally to see if things were really as bad in Sodom and Gomorra as the words that came to Him? Surely He should have known if he controlled everything that happens.

Conclusion.

When you follow the theology of a murderer, it is impossible to believe in the working of the Holy Spirit. That is why the Apostles Creed only says: “I believe in the Holy Spirit”. So what the Holy spirit came to do and how He still works today is still a mystery to them. They are not all that different from the Pharisees at the time of Jesus and even Isaiah, as Isaiah puts it: “To whom would He teach knowledge, And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? “For  He says, ‘Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there.'” Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,” And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen. So the word of the LORD to them will be, “Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there,” That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.” (Isa 28:9-13)

So my question is, What are you going to do? Will you continue to follow the theology of a murderer, or are you going to open up to the Holy Spirit in order that he can lead you. That He can convince you of sin, and lead you to a time when you can cry out to the LORD to save you. That His blood can take away your sin and lead you to be baptized where you can rid yourself of your life working for Satan, and place yourself under the authority of the LORD of LORDS.

Go and read Hebrews 6 verses 1 and 2 to find the exact sequence we have to follow to ensure that we are God’s children. Paul follows the exact same sequence in his book to the Romans, starting at repentance and then every step thereafter.

So my last question is: Are you following a murderer, or the One who was murdered?