THE ANTICHRIST – WHO AND WHAT IS HE OR IT?

I would like to use the definition found in the books of John as the measure to find out who or what the Antichrist is. It is in fact the only place in the Bible that we get a direct definition not based on our interpretation of the Bible that discusses who and what the Antichrist is. I know that many well-known people have written extensively about the Antichrist, but as far as my research could find, nobody used the Bible only and then specifically John as the definition of the Antichrist. John is the only Apostle that mentions the Antichrist and describes him.

I would like to interrupt myself here by adding just one item that I believe is of utmost importance. I do not refer to the unregenerate person that thinks he or she is a Christian but cannot explain why they think that they are a Christian. This includes all the following people that Paul list in his letters. “Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1Cor 6:7-20)

So these people are still in Babylon and on their way to Hell, lost and without the LORD. You will find them on all Biblical chat groups, Christian online and print magazines, and like the one reference I found this morning when I looked at some of the commentaries to the “show” at half time of the Super Bowl on Sunday 2 February 2020: “OK, you lot didn’t like the halftime show. That’s perfectly all right. However, putting it down to some kind of moral decay of society is your particular viewpoint, which is not shared by the majority of the audience. And like it or not, we’re not going to “protect” your little varmints from things that bother neither us nor our own kids in the slightest”

So I am not referring to them at all in this writing, as this writing just looks at where the Antichrist comes from, and if we look at the Bible, you will see in the next paragraph who these people are that I am addressing in this book.

“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” (1Jn 2:18-27)

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1Jn 4:1-6)

We also find that many Bible commentaries gives us additional information when we look at these verses of scripture, but as I said earlier, most people gets confused and start using their theology to define the Antichrist.

WHO IS CORRECT?

There are two extremely well-known pastors and writers who have two completely different approaches to this subject, and that is where I will start, just by way of introduction to see how big a gap we find today. On the one hand we find Rick Warren who is renowned for his book or series of books around The Purpose Driven Life/Church. The interesting part for me about this book is that it was based on a book published by Peter Drucker called Management By Objectives that I had as one of my prescribed books when I did a course after completing my studies at university in 1971. This was a course run by the University of South Africa and aimed specifically at management in medium to large organisations. Now the writer of the book is a well-known atheist and friend of Rick Warren. Together they changed it in order for it to be used by Churches and groupings across the world. However, the one area that we find in this book concerns the end times.

The second and maybe even a bigger threat to Christians than Rick Warren, is the people who support the rapture theory. They do so because of their inability to really understand the difference between a covenant and a promise. They also prefer to read Scofield’s notes on the Bible than reading the Bible without Scofield’s notes. One of the biggest contributing factors for this theology and its acceptance by people, is that I only have to pray this short sinner’s prayer and I am saved. I do not have to stop and change my life to live like a true Christian, as that would constitute work and I cannot work myself into heaven. I have already received my grace and therefor all my sins are forgiven and I can now continue with my life without any consequences. And of course the pastor leading this charge of Christian Zionists is John Hagee.

You can download the full book here to read through and hopefully understand who and what the antichrist is. Just in case you missed the link to the book the antichrist revealed it is here.

What you will learn about on this website

What you will learn about on this website.

I know that what you are going to read here will challenge your current belief system and cause cognitive dissonance.

This is defined as follows by Wikipedia: The disconfirmation (contradiction) of a belief, an ideal, or a system of values causes cognitive dissonance that can be resolved by changing the belief under contradiction; yet, in stead of effecting change, the resultant mental stress restores psychological consonance to the person, either by mis-perception, by rejection, or by refutation of the contradiction; by seeking moral support from people who share the contradicted beliefs; and acting to persuade other people that the contradiction is unreal.

The articles and books you will find on this site will take you on a journey from Egypt, a place where the farao (satan) rules and you are without the LORD, to Canaan, a life dedicated to the LORD where He is our King of Kings and LORD of Lords. You will then be able to show your love to the LORD and your neighbour. This path is described fully in my book called The Book of Moses. This is also why I included the quote to the church in Corinth, as he also told them to see how the LORD treated Israel, and now they and us can learn from their example and know exactly what the consequences of our actions will be.So the whole history of Israel is an example to us today, and can be used to get answers to questions we have today. Some of the articles are not part of a book, but you can still download each article by pressing on the “print friendly” button on the page in question.

The exegesis of Biblical prophesies is a subject that is shrouded in controversy, and Christians are grouped into various groupings according to how they interpret certain prophesies. So of these interpretations is so far from what it actually means that it even brings the contents and inspiration of the Bible in disrepute.

In my book about Revelation, called The Revelation of the Revelation of John I also use the example of Israel in my method of interpretation and what it means to us as Christians. I also used the same method in all my other writings as that is what both Jesus and Paul declared. There are so many antichrist messages being sent into the world and into the Church, that it is time that the real antichrist must be revealed. Read more here

We are celebrating 500 years since the start of the reformation by Luther this year, but we have to remember that most of his works exposed the fundamental mistakes in the Roman Catholic Church on authority and then false claims they were making. Both Luther and Calvin did not question a large number of the RCC doctrines, as they accepted them as being correct. So they both built their theologies on the New Testament as they were worried that some of the Jewish practises would find their way into the church by looking at Old Testament (Old Covenant) doctrines. This is highly visible in Calvins commentary on Matthew 25 in that the Bible is a manual touching all aspects of mankind, and that when John says in 1 John 3 that we will show our love to the Father by doing things for our neighbour. Calvin clearly does not support this view as he insists it is by faith only and not doing good as a result of our faith that we are saved. He was also worried that people will bring back some of the old Jewish customs into the Church that even Paul had a problem with. The doctrine of the antichrist, the rapture, is also exposed in basically any and every book, DVD or article on this website. This doctrine makes you part of the apostasy that must happen before the last days on earth. Please get away from any and every church that teaches this doctrine, as it is the doctrine of the Antichrist, Satan himself. “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” 2 Thes 2:3-4

What qualifies me to write about this? Just like the first disciples I also cannot claim highly esteemed degrees, but when the Holy Spirit starts working in your life, your whole life is transformed. Then if you ask Him to give you the same insight into the Old Covenant that He gave to the first Apostles and leaders, as long as you are willing, He will use you. With a background of more than 30 years in the computer industry by the time I started examining the Bible, I used the same principles that I was used to. So I analysed the question, did my research on how to solve the problem and then I was ready to write it down. I still today update some of the articles and books as I gain more insight into Gods Word. I had to follow the example of the people in Berea and examine Moses and the prophets and then only could I ensure that I had the right answer. (Acts 17) The people also only had Moses and the Prophets. We find exactly the same principle in both the books to Galatians and to the Hebrews. They had no other means to ensure that they were following the correct doctrine as most did not have access to the books of the New Testament we have today. That is also the reason I use the Old Testament quite frequently in my writings, as I want to ensure that my writings are based on that which Jesus used when He described what we need to do to become His followers. He said they, the Israelite’s in His day, had Moses and the Prophets, and that is all that is required to come to believe in Him, and that even if someone rose from the dead, the people still will not believe. Exactly what happened in history.

Jesus and Paul clearly predicted that there would be a great falling away from the faith, or apostasy. Yet there are some who attempt to distort the clear meanings of the Scriptures to support views that are simply impossible to sustain. Two of the key passages in question are:

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” 2 Thes 2:3-4

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” (Mt. 24:10-11)

The “falling away” which Paul specifically mentions and which Jesus describes simply means a “defection from the truth.” Some teach that this as an incorrect assumption, an invalid interpretation. At least one Greek scholar teaches that prior to the last few centuries, the Greek word we get “apostasy” from referred not to an abandonment of truth but was a verb meaning a sudden departure as on a journey.

I would like to use the example of Paul in Romans to describe how and where we fit in. “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Rom 11:11-21)

I believe all of us know how to graft a new growth unto an older or prepared root-stock. When we buy the end product, it has the flowers or fruit that we want, and not that of the root-stock. The new growth depends on the root-stock for its nutrients and will die without it. And that is how we as Christians became children of the LORD. He removed the original growth, Israel, and grafted us into Him as the root-stock. We also know that when you allow the original plant to start bringing forth its original branches, that the plant grafted in will die. And that is what will happen to us as Church if we start following the Jewish root doctrines. We, as Church, will die.

What are Jews taught today about Jesus and gentiles according to the Torah? What do you think will have to change for them to get to heaven and to accept Jesus as the Way the Truth and the Light?

The following are some of the passages from the Torah that answer those questions.

Jews and Gentiles:

The Talmud is one of the most major of all books in Judaism after the Torah. The Talmud covers every aspect of Jewish Life. Everything from what Jews wear and say, to how they act towards others and treat them.

Judaism, all but reform Jews, treat anyone who is not a Jew as a, sorry for lack of a better word I must say, dog. By the Talmud, if you are not a Jew you are not human! And, if you are not human, then you are equivalent to an animal.

The Talmud is at times a very hate filled book. The Ultra-Orthodox and the Orthodox as well as Conservative Jews take it and place it a bit higher than the Torah. This is also why Judaism for the most part will not allow converts!

Some Teachings of the Talmud:

Erubin 21b. Whosoever disobeys the rabbis deserves death and will be punished by being boiled in hot excrement in hell.

Moed Kattan 17a . If a Jew is tempted to do evil he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there.

Non-Jews are Not Human Baba Mezia 114a-114b. Only Jews are human (“Only ye are designated men”).

Also see Kerithoth 6b under the sub-head, “Oil of Anointing” and Berakoth 58a in which Gentile women are designated animals (“she-asses”).

Jews are Divine, Sanhedrin 58b. If a heathen (Gentile) hits a Jew, the Gentile must be killed. Hitting a Jew is the same as hitting God.

O.K. to Cheat Non-Jews, Sanhedrin 57a . A Jew need not pay a Gentile (“Cuthean”) the wages owed him for work.

Jews Have Superior Legal Status, Baba Kamma 37b. “If an ox of an Israelite gores an ox of a Canaanite there is no liability; but if an ox of a Canaanite gores an ox of an Israelite…the payment is to be in full.”

Jews May Steal from Non-Jews, Baba Mezia 24a . If a Jew finds an object lost by a Gentile (“heathen”) it does not have to be returned. (Affirmed also in Baba Kamma 113b).

Sanhedrin 76a . God will not spare a Jew who “marries his daughter to an old man or takes a wife for his infant son or returns a lost article to a Cuthean…”

Jews May Rob and Kill Non-Jews, Sanhedrin 57a . When a Jew murders a Gentile (“Cuthean”), there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a Gentile he may keep.

Baba Kamma 37b. Gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has “exposed their money to Israel.”

Jews May Lie to Non-Jews, Baba Kamma 113a. Jews may use lies (“subterfuges”) to circumvent a Gentile.

Non-Jewish Children Sub-Human, Yebamoth 98a. All Gentile children are animals.

Abodah Zarah 36b . Gentile girls are in a state of niddah (filth) from birth.

Abodah Zarah 22a-22b . Gentiles prefer sex with cows.

Abodah Zarah 67b . “The vessels of Gentiles, do they not impart a worsened flavor to the food cooked in them?”

Insults Against Blessed Mary, Sanhedrin 106a . Says Jesus’ mother was a whore: “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters.” Also in footnote #2 to Shabbath 104b it is stated that in the “uncensored” text of the Talmud it is written that Jesus mother, “Miriam the hairdresser,” had sex with many men.

Gloats over Christ Dying Young, A passage from Sanhedrin 106 gloats over the early age at which Jesus died: “Hast thou heard how old Balaam (Jesus) was?–He replied: It is not actually stated but since it is written, Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days it follows that he was thirty-three or thirty-four years old.”

Says Jesus was a Sorcerer, Sanhedrin 43a . Says Jesus (“Yeshu” and in footnote #6, Yeshu “the Nazarene”) was executed because he practiced sorcery.

Horrible Blasphemy of Jesus, Gittin 57a . Says Jesus ( see footnote #4) is being boiled in “hot excrement.”

Sanhedrin 43a . Jesus deserved execution: “On the eve of the Passover, Yeshu was hanged…Do you suppose that he was one for whom a defense could be made? Was he not a Mesith (enticer)?”

Attacks Christians and their Books, Rosh Hashanah 17a . Christians (“minim”) and others who reject the Talmud will go to hell and be punished there for all generations (see footnote #11 for the definition of minim).

Sanhedrin 90a.Those who read the New Testament (“uncanonical books,” see footnote #9) will have no portion in the world to come.

Shabbath 116a (p. 569). Jews must destroy the books of the Christians, i.e. the New Testament. See footnote #6.

Israel Shahak reports that the Zionists burned hundreds of New Testament books in Occupied Palestine on March 23, 1980 (cf. Jewish History, Jewish Religion, p. 21).

Sick and Insane Teachings, Gittin 69a . To heal his flesh a Jew should take dust that lies within the shadow of an outdoor toilet, mix it with honey and eat it.

Shabbath 41a. The law regulating the rule for how to urinate in a holy way is given.

Yebamoth 63a. States that Adam had sexual intercourse with all the animals in the Garden of Eden.

Yebamoth 63a. Declares that agriculture is the lowest of occupations.

Sanhedrin 55b . A Jew may marry a three year old girl (specifically, three years “and a day” old).

Sanhedrin 54b . A Jew may have sex with a child as long as the child is less than nine years old.

Kethuboth 11b . “When a grown-up man has intercourse with a little girl it is nothing.”

Yebamoth 59b . A woman who had intercourse with a beast is eligible to marry a Jewish priest. A woman who has sex with a demon is also eligible to marry a Jewish priest.

Abodah Zarah 17a. States that there is not a whore in the world that Rabbi Eleazar has not had sex with.

Hagigah 27a . States that no rabbi can ever go to hell.

Baba Mezia 59b. A rabbi debates God and defeats Him. God admits the rabbi won the debate.

Gittin 70a . The Rabbis taught: “On coming from a privy (outdoor toilet) a man should not have sexual intercourse till he has waited long enough to walk half a mile, because the demon of the privy is with him for that time; if he does, his children will be epileptic.”,

The one person that had a huge impact on the Church was someone called Desidarius Erasmus. He was the person who translated the Bible to Latin and ensured that most people could now read the Bible and not had to listen to their local priest talk about something that in a lot of instances he did not even have access to. So where he decided to take on the Roman Church from the inside and Luther and Calvin decided to take it on from outside the RCC but still with their own congregations, I am looking at all the doctrines that I have been exposed to over my years, to try and establish a gospel representation that is based on the Bible, both Old and New Testament. If we look at people like Calvin and Luther they tried to build their doctrines around the New Covenant only, but they did not understand the Old Covenant at all. So I hope that by looking at the full Bible as an example, I can get you to look at what we should be doing as Christians. Sharing the same surname as Erasmus, I hope that my message will be as effective as that from Desidarius Erasmus.

This is a list of all my books that can be downloaded for free. Just remember the following quotation from The Bible: “For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” So please consider to donate to our ministry and my fight against stage 4 cancer.

Reflections on The Shack. Useful or heresy?

I have always maintained that The Shack is heretical. I know a lot of people would disagree with me and say it is not, or that you should not take it as a book that will influence your own understanding of who the LORD really is. They will also tell you that they know of people who got saved after reading The Shack.

I agree that it could be useful, but the theology is a lie. And the Bible is direct about that. No liers will enter into the Kingdom of God. I have included some of my summary on The Shack, but also included a link to another blog where someone actually met with the writer to clarify some of the difficulties he faced with the theology, and after three meetings decided to write his blog as it will never change. It will continue to be used to spread lies.

My own problems are as follows:

I know I’m kind of becoming a book critic, but because this book is sweeping the Christians of this nation just like the Twilight series and is just as deadly, I thought I should post Michael Youssef’s Thirteen Heresies in The Shack.  He read the book and was completely taken in by the emotions it stirred in him, but he soon figured out how wrong the book was.  He preached a sermon on it and wrote this.

1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus.

Because God’s eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice.

The Bible declares that God’s love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless.

Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil.

Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

5. God will never judge people for their sins.

The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.

The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

7. God submits to human wishes and choices.

Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

8. Justice will never take place because of love.

The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.

Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.

Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven.

Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).

13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.

The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God’s words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation.

This Spring, the New York Times bestselling book The Shack by William P. Young will come to the big screen. The emotionally charged story seems to offer a resolution to the problem of pain—those who are struggling with the question, “Where is God when the world is full of brokenness?” Though many readers have labeled Young’s story a compelling work of Christian fiction, discerning believers must ask themselves: Are The Shack’s underlying teachings Biblically sound, or a far reach from the teachings of God’s Word?

Though you might be swayed into thinking the god of The Shack is the same as the God of the Bible, there are several problems that arise if we take a close look at The ShackHere are six concerns that develop as Mack converses with Young’s caricatures of the Trinity.

Beware of the “broad road” theology of The Shack.

LOVE VS. JUSTICE

Problem #1: According to Young, justice and love are at odds and cannot be reconciled. He reasons that God will never judge people for their sins because He is limited by His love. Neither will He enact eternal judgment upon those who reject Him or send anyone to torment in hell.

But why would Jesus Christ die a criminal’s death on the cross if not to save us from something? What a wasteful and pointless act it would be if Christ did not take on our just punishment, the wrath of God, for our sin.

We cannot remove the wrath of God from Scripture. It is as surely a part of His character as His love and mercy are. But God’s wrath is not a human anger that flares up because of wounded pride or envy. His wrath is not self-indulgent, but rather, as theologian J.I. Packer says in his book Knowing God, “a right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil. God is only angry where anger is called for. . . . all God’s indignation is righteous.”

The Bible is very clear about why Jesus came to earth, humbly taking on the very nature of a servant (see John 3:16-18, Philippians 2:6-7). Jesus Himself warned about the coming judgment and hell, commissioning His followers to proclaim the Gospel that the lost might be saved—that they might choose life (see Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 21:6-8). Ultimately, that is what every person must do: Either choose salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus or choose the wrath of the righteous God.

Would Mack really want a God who would not punish evil? Would he be okay with a God who would not exert justice for the evil done to his daughter? Would God be good and loving if He said to Mack, “We’ll just let this slide”? Of course not. He shows us His love by both punishing sin and providing us with an escape: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He is “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished” (Exodus 34:6-7).

UNIVERSALISM: A PERILOUS PARDON

Problem #2: Another theme in The Shack that doesn’t square with the Word of God is the idea that God forgives all of humanity, regardless of whether or not they repent and believe in the redeeming work of Jesus. It is an idea rooted in universalism—the belief that all roads lead to God and that Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, whether they call Him Jesus or Buddha or Allah. In fact, Young asserts that there is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because all people will make it to heaven.

The Bible is very clear that only those who call on the name of Jesus will be saved: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12. See also 1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 10:9). Universalism is a dangerous and malicious lie. It leads people to think that it doesn’t matter what you believe, sin is not really a problem, and there is really no need for a Savior. Universalism single-handedly destroyed Christianity in much of Europe, and universalism is working hard to destroy the faith of remnant believers in the American church today.

Jesus is not the same as Buddha or Krishna; He does not hide behind such false and impotent gods. He became flesh and dwelt among us that we might know Him. He wants us to know the one true God. He wants the glory that He deserves, for He alone is God: “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).

Are you willing to risk your eternal future on feel-good fluff? Sin is real. It is rebellion against God, and it requires justice. God’s justice and wrath were poured out on Jesus Christ to reconcile us to the holy God (see 1 Peter 2:24-25). But we must have faith in Jesus, confessing His lordship and believing in His resurrection.

Jesus calls out to us, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Beware of the “broad road” theology of The Shack.

WHO IS THE POTTER?

Problem #3: In The Shack, the god character tells Mack that “submission is not about authority or obedience” and that the Trinity is even submitted to Mack (145). Young is suggesting that God submits to human wishes and choices.

The Bible in its entirety points us to the need to submit to God. Submitting is by definition yielding to the authority of another. God created man, and man cannot dictate terms to God. As Isaiah 29:16 says, “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘You did not make me’? Can the pot say to the potter, ‘You know nothing’?”

God does not answer to us; we answer to God. In this way we remain in His love: “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:10-11). Submission is about obedience, and that’s because obedience is ultimately about love. Jesus Himself said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching” (John 14:23). To minimize obedience is to minimize love for God.

THE LIVING WORD

Problem #4: Young alleges that the Bible limits God, implying that it was man who reduced God’s voice to paper: “Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book” (66). Thus the Bible is portrayed as inadequate to know God.

If the Bible were simply a book written by man, then it would be about as useful as The Shack. However, the Bible was written over the course of about 1,800 years with many different authors all inspired by the Holy Spirit. They all through various time periods and life experiences tell the same story, pointing us to the Messiah—Jesus, who is the very Word of God made flesh.

It is through Scripture that God chose to reveal Himself to us. The Bible is a divine product. Jesus Himself trusted the Scriptures and used them to teach about Himself (see Luke 24:44-47). If the risen Lord values, trusts, and feeds on the Bible (see Matthew 4:1-11), should we not also look to it as the saving Gospel it is? Let us therefore heed Paul’s words:

Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

ENCOUNTERING THE SOVEREIGN, HOLY GOD

Problem #5: The God portrayed in The Shack seems casual and unconcerned with holiness, which is inconsistent with what we see in the Bible. Mack’s troubling disrespect and disregard for the Trinity would be impossible if he had encountered the sovereign, holy God.

By presenting a god wholly different from the true God revealed in the Bible, Young mocks the importance and uniqueness of the Word of God. He makes the Bible equal to or less than whatever personal imagination anyone might have of God. Mack did not encounter the Holy God of heaven and earth in the shack, but a created god who is controlled and manipulated by man—like an idol that is put away in a closet and brought out when needed. The Shack exchanges “the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being” (Romans 1:23).

While it’s a righteous desire to want to know God, Mack’s fictional experience of encountering God is demonstrably inconsistent with what we see in Scripture. It’s also a poor sequel to the true story we already have of God’s interactions on earth through Jesus Christ. When Moses asks God to show him His glory, God warns, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20)—such is the dangerous magnificence of the Father’s glory. We must be careful of assigning any image to Him that diminishes His holiness.

In Scripture, when people face the Lord, they fall down in repentance and worship. Isaiah’s response was: “Woe to me! . . . I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5). When John is swept up to heaven in a revelation from God and sees the glorified Jesus, he falls at His feet “as though dead” (Revelation 1:17)! When Job was confronted by the Lord as He laid out His majesty, Job replies, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). God is awesome, and we simply cannot stand in His presence. Neither can we live without Him.

THE ULTIMATE QUESTION

Problem #6: In The Shack, Young tries to answer the important personal question of suffering—and he thinks the answer is to change who God is. But God has already answered this question perfectly according to His true and unchanging character. He answered it with the Gospel. He answered it on the cross. He answered it through Jesus Christ our Lord.

As we carefully consider the ideas presented in The Shack, the greater question we must ask ourselves is: Am I willing to accept God’s gift of eternal life as it is revealed in Scripture? Am I willing to accept God’s salvation the way He provided it—even if I want something else that accommodates my wishes, desires, and emotions? Am I willing to accept Truth over what makes me comfortable, realizing that Truth is what I need—for it alone leads to eternal life?

We must not allow ourselves to be swayed by emotionalism. We must instead be like the Bereans, who “examined the Scriptures” rather than readily accepting what they heard as Truth (Acts 17:11). Because no story, no matter how compelling, can ever improve upon God’s story of redemption in the Bible.

Beloved, the best place to meet God is not at the shack, but at the cross. For the Gospel is the greatest story ever told, and better still, it is true.

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

1:01:08

 

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

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?