Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two Dispensations: Kingdom and Grace (Mystery) #6

In previous articles we have established that the CHURCH, Eph 1:22, 23 was chosen in Christ “before the foundation of the world”. We have concluded in the most recent article that the word foundation is the Greek word katabole which means a destructive event and the verb form of the word, kataballo, literally means to cast down, break down, overthrow, and/or destroy. So the CHURCH was chosen: “ in Him before the foundation (casting down or overthrow) of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Eph 1:4). Now we must consider the Greek word that is translated by the KJV translators as “world” and that Greek word is kosmos. The English transliteration is cosmos. The first thought that might come to one’s mind is that this word means the “earth” as in world, or that the earth may be a part of the cosmos, the universe, which it is. But further search for the meaning of this word finds that Thayer’s New Testament Greek Lexicon defines kosmos as:

1. an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
2. ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, 'the heavenly hosts', as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3: 3
3. the world, the universe
4. the circle of the earth, the earth
5. the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
6. the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
7. world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
a. the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ
8. any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
a. the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)
b. of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19

Continuing on our search, one find’s that the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament first uses the word kosmos to translate the Hebrew word Tsaba in (Gen 2:1 KJV) “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines this Hebrew word thusly:

6635 tsaba' tsaw-baw' or (feminine) tsbadah {tseb-aw-aw'}; from 6333; a mass of persons (or figuratively, things), especially reg. organized for war (an army); by implication, a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically, hardship, worship):--appointed time, (+) army, (+) battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war(-fare). 6333 is the verb form and means: to assemble, to fight, to perform, to muster, to wait upon, to war.

Charles H. Welch in his book, "In Heavenly Places", quotes Lloyd in his Analysis referencing this Hebrew word "tsaba/kosmos/host", and this verse: “The allusion is to the marshal array of an army. All the visible creation, like a disciplined army, had their place”. Welch states, “The only objection to this comment is that it does not go far enough. The kosmos was not ‘like’ a disciplined army, IT WAS AN ARMY”. This Hebrew word occurs almost 500 times in the Old Testament and directly is used in conjunction with an army, war, warfare, and host. In the verb form it means to war, fight, muster, and assemble.

As we come back to the phrase found in Eph 1:4, “before the foundation (katabole) of the world (kosmos)”, and finalize our understanding of this phrase, it becomes apparent that there is not a creative act being referrenced here. It is referring to a destructive act and the results of this destructive act was that not only the earth itself was dramatically ruined, but the order of the earth, the heavens, the infrastructure, armies, and living things were then placed in judgment with the penalty being death and after this penalty was meted out, the world (kosmos) was left in utter disarray, chaotic, and empty.

(2 Pet 3:6 KJV) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

And this is exactly the condition in which we find the heavens and the earth in Gen 1:2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. It is well to note in gaining understanding of this verse that the second occurrence of the word “was” is in italics in the KJV, meaning that there was not a word as the verb “to be” does not exist in the Hebrew language so was was properly supplied by the translators. The first occurrence of was in Gen 1:2 is later translated "become" and "came to pass"—Genesis 2:7, 4:3, 9:15, 19:26 which reads: (Gen 19:26 KJV) But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Remember what the prophet Isaiah wrote,

(Isa 45:18 KJV) For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

What the reader of Gen 1:1 and 1:2,

(Gen 1:1 KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

(Gen 1:2 KJV) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

will find then is the first Earth and Heavens and all the accompaniments which were created by God in a perfect state and order NOW lay in a state of ruin destroyed because of the rebellion of Lucifer, “in whom was found iniquity”, Ezek 28:15. What was once a world (kosmos) in perfect order without iniquity was found to have been infected and corrupted by the rebellion of this created being:

(Isa 14:12 KJV) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

(Isa 14:13 KJV) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

(Isa 14:14 KJV) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

In summary regarding this word kosmos/world:

• God created a former kosmos perfect, in order, and inhabitable
• In this kosmos, iniquity was found in its ruler, Lucifer, a spiritual being without equal
• The judgment for this iniquity was the destruction and overthrow of the kosmos
• From this state of ruin in the first part of Gen 1:2, God begins a restoration or regeneration of this ruined kosmos for the next 6 days which is detailed in the remainder of Genesis 1.
• And then the reader sees that all is in order, including God’s Army/Host and all that that encompasses, in the first verse of the second chapter of Genesis: (Gen 2:1 KJV) Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host (tsaba/kosmos) of them.

• Peter says of this restored world, (2 Pet 3:7 KJV) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. It appears then that this world (kosmos)is going to end in a similar judgement, not by water, but by fire. The time between the completion of the regeneration of the kosmos, until the time of its judgement by fire is an age in which God will complete his plan to eradicate all sin from His creation. Gen 2:1 clearly states that God's plan, actually His Battle Plan, was now in place and ready for execution. Then says Peter,

(2 Pet 3:12 KJV) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

(2 Pet 3:13 KJV) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

• The CHURCH was chosen “before the foundation of the world”

This certainly must raise another question or two: “Why was this CHURCH chosen before the destruction of the first kosmos? Why was its choosing kept secret? And to what purpose does its choosing have with God’s overall ‘ Purpose of the Ages’?” These are questions for the Workman (2 Tim 2:15) to pursue, and which we will explore in ensuing studies.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Two Dispensations: Kingdom and Grace (Mystery) #5 "Before the Foundation"

As promised in our last article, we now take up the study of the phrase found in Ephesians 1:4, "before the foundation of the world". This is an important benchmark of Biblical chronology as it sets the time period when the CHURCH, Eph 1:22,23, was chosen. Paul reveals that the CHURCH was chosen before this event--the foundation of the world. So what was this "foundation of the world"?

At first glance based upon the English translation of the original Greek language, it would appear to reference the creation event. But before we move upon this appearance, a closer look at the Greek words translated foundation and world is warranted. The Greek word that the translators of the KJV translated foundation is katabole. The English word derived from this Greek word katabole is katabolism which means "a destructive metabolism",(Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English) and defines a biological event of "breaking down". The opposite English word is anabolism, or "a building up". There seems to be a conflict in referring to katabole as "creation" based upon its use in the Greek language so before resting with the KJV translator's choice of foundation, further study needs to be undertaken by the "Workman" 2 Tim 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

First let us look at the uses of foundation by the KJV translators in the New Testament. In the New Testament, there are actually two Greek words that are translated "foundation"--katabole and themelios. We have already looked at the meaning of katabole and looking now at themelios we find that this Greek word as defined by the Strong's Concordance means: "G2310. themelios, them-el'-ee-os; from a der. of G5087; something put down, i.e. a substruction (of a building, etc.), (lit. or fig.):--foundation". This word is translated foundation and occurs in Eph 2:20, as well as Luke 6:48,49, 1 Corinthians 3:10,11,12, Luke 14:29, Romans 15:20, 1 Timothy 6:19, 2 Timothy 2:19,Hebrews 1:10, 6:1, and Revelation 21:19. The remaining 10 occurrences of foundation in the NT are translated by the Greek word katabole. As you read these remaining verses, one will note that 3 of the ten occurrences fall in the phrase BEFORE the katabole, and 7 verses have the phrase, "SINCE" or "FROM" the katabole. The conclusion that one must draw from the use of these two words is that themelios refers to a thing or item that has been created as a substructure upon which to build, and that katabole has been used to define an event--themelios used as a part of construction and katabole, DESTRUCTION. And further, one cannot from the evidence conclude that the 23 occurrences of the English word foundation all mean the same thing! Concluding evidence will be found in examining the use of the verb form of katabole, kataballo. It is used in 2 Cor 4:9, Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; and Rev 12:19 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.. This same Greek verb, kataballo, is used in the LXX version (Greek Translation) of the Old Testament 31 times translating 8 different Hebrew words as: to "cast down", to "crush", to "mar, corrupt or destroy", to "leave, spread out", to "break down", to "break forth", to "tear", and to "destroy". Conclusively then the Greek word katabole as used in the phrase "before the foundation and since the foundation can only mean the "destruction" not the "creation" of the world. This is much said for the "Workman" to digest, but the import is of such significance to understanding God's Strategice Plan that it must have the appropriate consideration.

As we continue examining the phrase "foundation of the world" our next step is do to the same with the word "world" which translates the Greek word kosmos. We will continue on this path in our next article.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two Dispensations: Kingdom and Grace (Mystery) #4

In this article, we wish to examine the Dispensation of the Grace of God (Eph 3:2), also known as the Dispensation of the Mystery (Eph 3:9). Just as a nation was called out from among the nations by God's call to Abram when Abram dwelt in Ur of the Chaldees and this "peculiar" nation came to be called Israel, a group of God's creatures were called out from among all creatures to become members of a Church known as ".....the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all".(Eph 1:22,23) . Paul tells us some very specific things about this church in his prison epistles such as when it was called, membership requirements, the makeup of its members, its ultimate purpose and position in God's plan for the ages. With each dispensation, God has a strategic plan and included in these plans are the agents that will be used to accomplish the goals and objectives God has seen fit to achieve.

The objective that God has purposed in Israel is to be His agents in the redemption of the earth. The objective of the the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all (CHURCH), as purposed by God in His Strategic Plan, is to make known unto Principalities and Powers the manifold (multi-faceted) wisdom of God (Eph 3:10)--two Dispensations each with a distinctive purpose, yet all in harmony with God's Purpose for the Ages. Simply said, God's overall objective is to deal with and eliminate the element of sin from His creatures lives in order that they may live with Him in the Age of Ages free from the devastating effects of sin.

So when did Paul begin to share God's revelation to him regarding the purpose of the CHURCH? During the first part of Paul's ministry as detailed by Luke in the book of Acts, Paul wrote seven epistles(letters)to various groups of believers. Luke specifically records Paul's objectives of the ministry as Paul was ALWAYS preaching and teaching to the "Jew first, and then the Gentile". These seven books(I and II Corinthians, I and II Thessalonians, Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews)continue the message brought to Israel by the Lord Jesus regarding the Kingdom of Heaven and the events precedent to its commencement. Israel was the primary agent of God's redemptive plan for the nations and He was now speaking to the Jew primarily through the 12 disciples, but now Paul has been specifically charged with offering this Gospel message to the Gentile. In Romans, Paul uses the example of a "wild olive branch" to describe God's purpose in expanding this Kingdom gospel to the Gentiles. And again, this ministry given to Paul by God at this time concerns only the redemption process God has for the Earth--nowhere will be found in these seven epistles any hint of God's purpose in dealing with His redemptive purpose for the Heavens. It was only after the Acts period ABRUPTLY ended (Acts 28), did Paul begin to lay forth this Heavenly Plan to another called group--the CHURCH described in Ephesians Chapter One. In fact, one can search all of scripture exclusive of the Prison Epistles (Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, I and II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon), that is the 59 other Books of Scripture, and find no hint of God's Heavenly Plan. Why? It was a SECRET! Why was it a SECRET? We look in the Book of Job and find that:...the Stars are not pure in His sight (Job 25:5)and this impurity in the Heavens had to be dealt with!

But now in examining this new message of Paul, totally distinct from his Act's Ministry message, we begin to find the Strategic Plan of God regarding the Heavens unveiled. First we find that these believers to whom Paul was writing had been blessed, in Christ, with all Spiritual Blessings in heavenly places. They had been chosen in Christ "before the foundation of the world". This phrase will be examined in detail in our next article, but suffice it to say the the Greek words for foundation and world are katabole and kosmos and this choosing by Divine Purpose had been BEFORE the event known as the "foundation of the world". We will discuss the translation of these two Greek words into English in our next article. This group was chosen "holy and without blame before Him in love" and adopted as "sons" because this group was "highly favoured" by God (Eph 1:4-6). This group of believers were to play a most important role in the completion of God's overall plan for the ages (Eph 1:10). Keep in mind that God had given NO hint of this part of His Strategic Plan until this time when he revealed to Paul its content that is NOW shared. It was a SECRET. This Dispensation called both the Grace of God and The Mystery(secret), (Eph 3:2 and 3:9) was a paradigm shift of such dynamic and stunning proportions that all beings, human and spiritual, must stand in awe at its revelation! As one grasps its full content, all doubts as to what God has purposed from the beginning vanish. All doubts as to the veracity of His Word must vanish. All doubts as to whether God is a God of Love vanish. The key to understanding all that God will accomplish during these age times has been revealed and the believer who accepts this great Strategic Plan of God receives comfort and peace of mind when considering his relationship to our Great God.

Obviously, more to come!

Blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord and the Head of the Church which is His Body!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two Dispensations: Kingdom and Grace (Mystery) #3

In the year 64 AD, Israel was pronounced "Lo Ammi" meaning "not My people" (Hosea 1:9), and the Kingdom Purpose given to Israel has been held in abeyance ever since. This pronouncement of total blindness to the purpose of God for Israel came by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul near the end of the Book of Acts. (Acts 28:25-28). Why did this blindness come upon Israel? Simply stated Israel, except for a very few periods in its history, continuously "went after" strange gods and refused to believe the Word of God. Israel, God's "peculiar treasure",

"(Exo 19:5 KJV) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
(Exo 19:6 KJV) And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.",

had failed to obey God and failed to keep His covenant. Although God continually exhibited patience to His "peculiar treasure", He finally puts Israel and His purpose for them on hold. In the 39 years prior to this monumental pronouncement given by Paul at the end of Acts, God raised a "voice crying in the wilderness" (Isaiah 40:3), John the Baptist, who heralded the fact that God Himself would come among Israel. Six months later, the Lord Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth, began His earthly ministry which was exclusive to Israel (Romans 15:8) but was soundly rejected in His efforts ending with His death on the tree. Yet, on that tree, Christ prayed,

Luke 23:34 .... Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

The prayer was subsequently answered and even though Israel had crucified their God, they were given another chance to obey God's voice, keep His covenant, through the ministry of the Twelve Apostles and the Apostle Paul. This ministry is reported and described in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. It is very important to note that Paul during this period, always directed his ministry and message to Israel first and then also the Gentiles. Paul describes this relationship and the reasons that it came to be in Romans chapters 9-11. Study these three chapters to understand God's great love and great patience towards Israel. Yet in the end, we see Israel left in blindness and in the LO AMMI condition prophesied by Hosea. But Hosea also leaves Israel with the knowledge that the "not my people (LO AMMI)" condition would not last forever. It would and will be for a period of 2 Days.

Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

So, at the end of the Book of Acts, this prophesy of Hosea is brought to bear upon Israel, the Lo Ammi condition, and Paul states through the Holy Spirit,

Acts 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

It is precisely at this moment that the one Dispensation, Kingdom, is abruptly halted, and the Mystery(secret)Dispensation begins. This Dispensation, its purpose, its precepts, and its peoples are laid out ONLY by the Apostle Paul in the Prison Epistles and most notably in Ephesians, Colossians, Phillipians, and 2 Timothy. God, for the time had suspended His purposes with Israel and taken up a new and unknown purpose with " a new man. Study Ephesians 2:11-22. When this Mystery Dispensation's purposes are complete, God will recall Israel as he prophesied through Hosea, and Israel will become a Kingdom of Priests, Exodus 19:6.

Not, however, without great trial and tribulation. More on this subject to come.

Blessings in Christ!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two Dispensations: Kingdom and Grace (Mystery) #2

If you have read the preceding article and have found yourself questioning long held teachings and beliefs and now are asking the question, "If not the Kingdom, what then? The answer to these questions are to be found in the last chapter of the Book of Acts and the seven "Prison Epistles" written by Paul after the end of the Acts period--A.D. 29 to A.D. 64. As a note, Paul wrote seven epistles during the Acts period and then these seven epistles (Prison) after the end of Acts. The letters that Paul wrote during the Acts period as well as his ministry were directed to the Jew, always first and pre-eminent, and then the Gentile. The primary purpose of Gentiles who believed during the Acts period, and it was Cornelius, the first Gentile, who received Jesus as his Saviour, was to provoke Israel unto jealousy, and in such condition, repent as a nation and believe unto Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth as their Messiah. Paul beautifully expounds this principal in Romans. Study both Acts Chapters 10 and 11 and Romans Chapter 9 thru 11 to understand the role of the Gentile during the Acts Period.

So what is this Heavenly Purpose? Where in Scripture do I find this purpose? Well, I have already alerted the reader that this present dispensation will be found in the Prison Epistles of Paul. So the chapters that you just read in Romans certainly had a purpose for Gentiles, yet it is not to be mistaken for the Heavenly Purpose that Paul expounds in the Prison Epistles. This purpose is laid out by Paul in the Third Chapter of Ephesians thusly, (Eph 3:10 KJV) To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

(Eph 3:11 KJV) According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

(Eph 3:12 KJV) In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

So now we have Two Purposes for man that God has chosen to employ. For the nation of Israel, to witness Jesus Christ to the nations, teaching and baptizing. For the Gentile, in a purpose revealed after Acts 28:28 by the Apostle Paul ONLY, that as a member of the Church Which Is His Body, (Eph 1:22-23)one is to witness the manifold wisdom of God to the Principalities and Powers in the Heavenly Places. And what is this "manifold wisdom" that this Church (Eph 1:22-23) is to witness? Since the word translated manifold means "multi-faceted", or as Thayer explains it, "mainfesting itself in a great variety of forms", there is not easily comprehended by man a full and complete understanding of God's Wisdom. Yet we the Church are to be a witness of this Wisdom. How? The answer is only in and through the Lord Jesus Christ! Now, this being said, one of the primary witnesses of wisdom of the Church is in its full title, "the church which is His body, the FULLNESS of Him Who filleth all in all" (Eph 1:22-23). We are the fullness of Him! This begs the question, "how could God take lowly man, even a Gentile, and place him in the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ and "fill" Christ and/or "complete Him"? This is the start of recognizing God's hand in manifesting His Wisdom through the Church. And this wisdom and this particular act is to be displayed to spiritual beings (principalities and powers)in the Heavenly Places, or as literally translated, "the heavens out of the heavens". So gentile believer, as Paul wrote to the Philippians, "think on these things" Phil 4:8.

There have been revealed now in the pages of Holy Scripture Two Purposes of God involving His creature, man. An Earthly Purpose to be executed through Him by the Nation of Israel, members of a Kingdom of Priests. The other is the Heavenly Purpose, a secret purpose until revealed to Paul, to be executed through Him by members of The Church which is His Body, who are neither Jewish or Gentile, but a "New Man", Eph 2:12 thru 2:15.

This Heavenly Purpose is one that God is executing today and much more is to be discovered in asking the "right division" questions: who, what, why, where, when, to whom, and in what context. The author will continue to shed, via exposition of scripture, the Truth of this Mystery/Secret as Paul revealed it to us.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact the author via comments.

Blessings in Christ


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two Dispensations: Kingdom and Grace (Mystery)

In examining further the Two-fold purpose of God, the Scriptures tell of two macro-dispensations, The Dispensation of the Kingdom of God and the Dispensation of the Grace of God, also known as the Dispensation of the Mystery (Eph 3:2,9). The confusion of believers alluded to in earlier articles comes about by intertwining the parameters of one dispensation (also translated administration) into the other dispensation.

Today, many believers, in fact most of Christendom, are desperately looking for and hoping for the Lord Jesus Christ to return and establish his Kingdom on Earth and to be with Him when this occurs. It is a valid Hope if you are a child of Abraham (Hebrew) or a Gentile proselyte or a Gentile believer who lived during the Acts times (AD 29 to AD 64). What Scripture tells us is that the Hope of a King who would reign forever is the Hope of the one nation, Israel, and its citizens and a small number of Gentiles who became an Israelite by circumcision. This King, the Messiah, will occupy the Throne of David which will be established at the inception of the One Thousand Year Reign of Christ. This Throne is forever (Psa 45:6). The King is Christ Himself. This King is the carpenter from Nazareth. This King, born of a virgin, is a descendant of Shem and Abraham by heritage and nationality, and thus an Israelite. His people Israel shall be a Holy People, a Kingdom of Priests (Ex 19:6). His ministry on earth was only to "the lost sheep of the House of Israel", Matt 10:6 and Matt 15:24. It should be evident now to the believer in Christ who is looking to be a part of this Kingdom on Earth, with Christ sitting on the Throne of David, that I had better be able to justify my Jewish heritage. This is not a Gentile Kingdom. This is a Kingdom of Priests whose great commission is to go unto all the nations and teach them regarding Christ and to baptize them. (Matt 28:18-20).

Essentially the purpose given to Israel by Christ is to witness Him to all the nations in order that all people should have the opportunity to believe and follow Christ the King. This is the end to which the Dispensation of the Kingdom is committed. You will notice, believer, that there are no gentiles called to this purpose. Christ was a "minister of the circumcision, Rom 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: Rom 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.. It is a mistake, in fact a gross error, for gentile believers to believe that they have been called as a "substitute" for Israel in this great Earth Purpose. Paul beautifully extols this fact in Chapter 11 of Romans, particularly verse 29, "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance". He is making quite clear that the Great Commission of Matt 28 is Israel's and Israel's alone. If you believe, Believer, that you have been commissioned by Christ to evangelize the world, you are either a Hebrew who believes that the carpenter from Nazareth is Messiah, or you are in error.

So, if you find yourself in error, you must be asking yourself, "Where did I go wrong? What happened to Israel? Are we as believers today going to go through the Tribulation? When is Christ going to return? What does God have in mind for me, if I am not to take up Israel's cause? If you are asking these or similar questions, you are on the right track and the Word of God will have the answer for you. In our next article we will be taking up the other purpose, The Heavenly Purpose of God. In this purpose you will find a calling and a hope, and blessed peace for those who accept/believe it. Also in future articles, we will begin unfolding for you the answers to the above questions and many more.

Blessings in Christ


Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Two Age-Purposes of God Defined

In our previous article we laid forth the two spheres of purpose with which God has dealt, deals, and will deal--Heaven and Earth. What we will explore in this article are the boundaries of each purpose and who the players are in each of them. It is the hope of the author that any reader who finds himself/herself unattached to a purpose or following an incorrect calling of purpose will by faith accept their true calling by God and receive the Blessed Peace that comes from knowing that one is truly in God's will.

When we read the first verse of Genesis, we must remember that the heavens and the earth were not created in one fell swoop, but the heavens first and then the earth. We see that in Job 38:6,7 that the sons of God sang for joy as the Lord God laid the foundations(sockets) of the earth. And no one would celebrate as these sons of God did unless that creation of earth was magnificient and beautiful and just waiting to be inhabited. So then what happened? As we see in Verse 2 the earth is in a condition that is totally different than what was first set forth by God, (Isa 45:18 KJV) For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

Genesis 1:2 sets the stage for the Earth Purpose of God--an earth that had become "tohu va bohu", .(Gen 1:2 KJV) .....was without form, and void; .....--with the restoration by God of an earth that was able to be inhabited by God's creatures including the yet to be created Adam (man). In another sense, this temporary condition of the restored earth is to be used by God as a battleground in which to draw to it the enemy and his hosts(armies)in order that all who choose not the Will of God, both human and spiritual beings, will be destroyed. Not only these beings, but also this restored earth and the heavens above it,
(2 Pet 3:10 KJV) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Then, a new heaven and earth in which all beings who then remain shall receive the unconditional love of God and such love will be exactly returned to God as they received it, 1 Cor 15:28.

So, the earth purpose of God as laid out in the first few verses of scripture will unfold over most of the pages contained in the Bible. In fact, 59 books of Scripture provide the account of the earth purpose and the human beings called by God to participate in it. The other 7 books of scripture will deal with the heavenly purpose to which other human beings are called. Curious about this heavenly purpose? More about it later. Most of Scripture then has to do with this earth purpose.

Who are the players in this earth purpose? In Genesis 3:15 we see the overall scope of the purposes of God, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The conflict's participants are now revealed--the Seed of Woman and the seed of the Serpent. The outcome is even published in this verse and so known. But the rest of scripture recounts to the reader this conflict between the two seeds (Seed of Woman and Seed of Serpent)and the ultimate triumph which is yet to come of Christ over Satan. As we continue our study, we will see that after several attacks by Satan on the "seed line of Woman", those progeny that eventually would lead to the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, were protected and defended, by God. After many attempts by Satan to foil the purpose of God and destroy the Seed of Woman, God called a man, Abram, to be the Father of Great Nation, Israel, which ultimately would be a "light of Salvation unto the rest of the nations". It was through the progeny of Abraham that the Seed of Woman was to be born.

From the time of the creation of Adam to the calling of Abram (later Abraham), was approximately 2000 years. From the time of Abram to the birth of the Seed of Woman, the Lord Jesus Christ, was another approximate 2000 years. In scripture, the history of the first 2000 years occurs from Gen 1:1 to Gen 11:25. From Gen 11:26 to Matt 1:16 the account of the battle for the survival of the seedline of Christ is set forth culminating with His birth. This seedline came through this nation fathered by Abraham. This nation is called Israel. This nation is God's "particular treasure". This nation will inherit the earth. This is the nation and only nation chosen by God to execute his plan to restore his creation to what it was in the very beginning--sinless (John 1:1). This nation shall rule and reign with Christ on Earth during the millenial reign--the nations (gentiles) shall be subservient to Israel during the millenial reign. Christ shall rule with a rod of iron, meeting out justice daily. More about the Earth purpose later, but please note the lack of participation of the gentiles then, and now, and in the future, in this Earth purpose.

The Heavenly Purpose and the calling was kept a secret for those first 4000 years by God. He revealed this secret to no one, Col 1:26 and Eph 3:9, until the revelation of this secret (mystery) was given to the Apostle Paul, Eph 3:7,8 and to Paul alone to share with the gentiles. This message of Paul is seen in the last seven epistles he wrote, which were written after the completion of the Acts period and this message lays forth the Heavenly Purpose of God. This purpose of God has been active and known to man for the last 2000 years. So, 6000 years, from Adam until now, and all accounted for perfectly by God. The culmination of this conflict has not yet occured, but awaits the perfect time, His time.

So, to which purpose are you called, believer? Make no mistake that you HAVE been called. Have you accepted a calling, i.e. believed in one for yourself? If so, have you correctly, per the testimony of Scripture, accepted the correct calling? We will help you ascertain the answers to the questions posed here in our next article.

More to come.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Two Purposes of God--Earth Purpose Heavenly Purpose

In our last article, we discussed that in the first verse of Scripture two spheres are mentioned and that each of these spheres, Heaven and Earth, had attached to it Godly purpose or intent. These two purposes culminate ultimtately in "....God may be all in all" 1 Cor 15:28. In order to achieve this end, God had plans and strategies in mind that were to be implemented. What follows Gen 1:1 is the account of His "earth purpose" and His "Heaven purpose".

The majority of Believers in Christ today have never stopped to consider, and to search and see what their particular calling in Christ may be and to what purpose they have been called. Shortly after God created man, He placed Adam in the garden with the express purpose to "dress and keep it". Note that the word translated keep means to guard, guard against an enemy. It is extremely relevant in our understanding of the purposes of God and our part with them to grasp that an enemy was known by God and that Adam was put on alert in regards to this enemy. As we discussed in the previous article, in the very next chapter of Scripture, the enemy presents himself to the woman and begins his attack on God's Word and upon God's creation, man. Without digging into Scripture, the believer may tend to believe that this was the first appearance in age times of this evil-doer. But a comprehensive study of Scripture will find that prior to this attack on man by the serpent (translated Nachash in Hebrew, meaning "shining one"), this enemy had already willfully chosen to disobey God and his will and had corrupted other beings into following his will rather than God's will. This particular confrontation with God, we discover, took place in the heavens. Man's creation in God's image and God himself taking on the form of Man,

(Phil 2:6 KJV) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

(Phil 2:7 KJV) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

(Phil 2:8 KJV) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

(Phil 2:9 KJV) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

(Phil 2:10 KJV) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

(Phil 2:11 KJV) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

was God's strategy to be used in the eradication of this enemy and his followers who oppose the will of God.

So we have the entrance of sin into this world in the garden, brought to it and to man by Satan. But we know also that prior to this thrust upon man and this earth, Satan had already opposed God's will in the heavenlies and corrupted many of the spiritual beings who reside there (Isaiah 14,Job 25). So what we have going on now is warfare, not only in the earth but in the heavens also. And man was created by God to play a role, and it must be said NOT apart from God but with Him, in this conflict and in the resolution and riddance of sin and the sinners(those found in judgment to be unrighteous), not only in the earth but the heavens also.

So what purpose are you called? Earth or Heaven? If you believe the Word of God and you are "studying to show yourself approved", 2Tim 2:15, then I know that you will have the appropriate answer. If not, further study will help you find the answer. There are two Great Commissions given to believers regarding the Two-fold Purposes of God. The first we find in Matthew 28:

(Mat 28:18 KJV) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

(Mat 28:19 KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

(Mat 28:20 KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The second Great Commission is found in Ephesians 3:

(Eph 3:10 KJV) To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

(Eph 3:11 KJV) According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Both of these Great Commissions are God given and for His purpose--to turn human beings towards the True and Living God and to do likewise unto spiritual beings in the heavenly places. So with which purpose, which commission believer do you associate? Earth or Heaven? Let us search the scriptures to find the answer as to what purpose of "the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Tit 2:13) you have been called.

More to come.