In follow up to the two-part post, Christ’s Message To His Faithful, under the categories Bible Prophecy and Encouragement I concluded this past February 23, 2020, the Lord has led me to write this post specifically to Gentile Christians of any ethnicities that may have been offended He might actually retain a kinship love for His own ethnic people, the Jews. Though some would try to rebuke me on what they consider biblical grounds, the Lord rebukes and calls all that are guilty to repent from willfully forgetting biblical Christianity is of Jewish origin--He is first of all the promised Jewish Messiah and as He asserted to a Samaritan woman, “salvation is of the Jews,” (John 4:19-26, NKJV).1
Though Christianity after the end of the 1st century to this hour appears to have become a distinctly Gentile thing because the Jewish number of believers became so small, nothing could be further from the truth. The numerical dominance and power of Gentile Christians and their churches does not mean God had permanently cast aside the Jews, intended their full cultural assimilation to the abandonment of their own or cared nothing about their tiny presence in the midst. Only the most arrogant of Gentiles could believe this in willful defiance of Scripture and thus, scoff at any prospect Christ might speak to His Jewish brethren in their midst and would even attempt to replace Israel.
However, their historic small numbers and being dispersed throughout the earth has nothing to do with a plan by God to eliminate the Jews as His chosen people or replace Israel with the Church. The Lord Jesus affirmed what the Old Testament prophets beginning with Moses foretold that a day would come when the Jews would be scattered to the nations by God as judgment for disobedience and unfaithfulness to Him to include rejecting His Anointed (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Luke 13:34-35, 19:41-44, 21:20-24). Specifically in Luke 21:24, the Lord indicates the Jewish dispersion and trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles is tied and limited to “the times of the Gentiles,” (NKJV).
The times of the Gentiles about to be up is the period of time God has allotted for the punishment of the Jewish people, global dominion of Gentile nations and proclamation of the Gospel to them before His predetermined end (Hosea 5:14-6:3; Matthew 24:14). Indeed, God has foreknown the number of Gentiles to be saved from eternity as the great Jewish apostle to us Gentiles, Paul, intimates in Romans 11:25! And without coincidence, the apostle’s strongest statements about the proper attitudes saved Gentiles ought to have toward God and the Jews is made in his letter to the church at Rome that later became the largest professed Christian Gentile persecutor of the Jews.
Not arrogance and proud boasting, but humility, fear and thanksgiving to God for His grace and mercy to save from among us Gentiles; loving concern for the salvation of the unsaved Jew, love, admiration toward and support as needed for the Jews that are our brothers in the faith Paul instructs are our proper attitudes (Romans 11:11-24, 15:25-27). Always consistent, Christ through this same apostle teaches that our spiritual unity and equal standing in Him does not now, somehow obliterate our ethnicity, social condition or gender (Galatians 3:26-29; Colossians 3:9-11). As a result, Christ does not lose sight of His Jewish people within His Church nor should we in all joy for them.2
Therefore, the Lord had me uncover and unpack the truth of His continuing vigilant observance of His Jewish faithful among all in Revelation 3:7-13; the truth obscured because interpreting eyes for centuries have been European Gentiles in dominance that refused to believe the Lord would care to make sure His Jewish brethren among them heard from Him too.3 Being part of a despised ethnic minority, I fully understand how the sin of racist superiority works to discount those considered inferior and of no account. Consequently, I praise and thank God for giving me the illumination, interpretative wisdom untarnished by Eurocentric or my own prejudices and courage to declare the encouragement the Spirit gives to the Jews amidst all of the Lord’s faithful in the churches.
Among all that enter the approaching hour of testing as Christians will be Jews to be martyred or protected in accord with the sovereign Christ’s criteria of previously proven faithfulness.4 Among all of those raised from the dead or translated alive to immortal glory at His Second Coming will be Jews (Daniel 12:1-3; Mark 13:14-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)! Stunned in great sorrow at first, but relieved in His forgiveness will be the unsaved, elect Jewish remnant who had been marked out, protected and preserved for the Day of their Messiah’s appearing (Ezekiel 9, 20:33-38, 39:21-29; Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Romans 11:26-36; Revelation 1:7, 7:1-8, 11:15-12:9, 13-16, 16:12-16, 19:11-21).5 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The Lord has had me write to remind us Gentiles of these truths in several previous posts. See for example, the two-part post that begins on January 28, 2014, Jesus:
The Jewish Messiah, under the category, Holidays.
2 So much for any rebuke on biblical grounds for discussing ethnicity at all in His Church much less Christ as the consummate Israelite who eternally loves His people
whoever they stand among. I wrote about the corrupt abuse of Galatians 3:26-29 and Colossians 3:9-11 as it concerned gender in the September 8, 2019 post, Con-
fusing The Issue, under the category, Call To Repent and urge you to read it.
3 These are the same folk in religion that guilty, presented the world a white, blue eyed, feminized Jesus with long flowing blond hair in their image, false justification
from the Bible for their cruel enslavement of my forefathers and the mis-timed “rapture” with supporting fiction in part, to avoid enduring anything like the same kind of
painful suffering their kindred nations have dealt and will yet deal out upon others until Christ intervenes in judgment at His coming and Kingdom (Daniel 2:31-45).
4 The Lord led me to proclaim a timely six message series, The Hour Of Testing, now available in the Strong Man Store that instructs Christians on God’s biblically taught
purposes behind why He tests His people and fully explores the prophetic implications tied to the coming hour of trial our Lord speaks of in Revelation 3:10. Listen
to the series sample.
5 Read the June 12, 2016 post, The Day Of Israel’s Comfort, under the category, Bible Prophecy. How wonderful beyond words as the Lord showed me that even in His
glorious coming, imagery depicting the correspondence between Him and their forefather, Joseph, is used Jews can relate to (Genesis 37:31-36; Revelation 19:13)!
As the Lord leads me to instruct in the two-part post beginning August 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus, under the category, Instruction, to avoid being deceived in these latter days professed Christians that would be faithful must anchor God’s Word as it is written in our hearts! The only way to anchor God’s Word in our hearts is to purposely internalize it through regular study and practice. Study and practice will not be regular if we do not zealously love the Word as the truth with an intentional desire to apply and obey it even with many failures (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:14-17; James 3:2a).
How does a man get to the point of willingness to regularly study and practice the Word of truth? A hunger and thirst for God and His Word is actualized in every truly born again new follower of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. It manifests for some more quickly than others depending on the depth of surrender at spiritual birth (Acts 2:36-42; 1 Peter 1:22-2:3).1 Purposely making time to study God’s written Word is typically not the issue for hungry and thirsty newborns in Christ. It is how to get enough milk! Those that press to fruitfulness in understanding and practice despite Satan’s effort to take the Word, tribulations and worldly cares have developed a love for it (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23).
Loving God’s Word is the motivational key for both anchoring it in our hearts and deliberately practicing it through obedience. One major reason sold out, faithful Christians come to love God’s Word is because it “is truth” as the Lord Jesus asserts in His prayer to the Father (John 17:17, NKJV). God’s Word is truth that we not only can rationally appreciate because it is perfectly sound, righteous and just, but also experience since it is spiritually alive having originated with God (John 6:63; Hebrews 4:12). We want more of, desire to go deeper in as well as practice the Word causing us to spiritually mature because the Word of truth we love is alive in us and so good!2
Indeed, just as in our Holy Spirit fired love we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Mark 12:28-30; Romans 5:5), so, we love the Word of truth written that in the awesome mysteries of God is embodied by God the Word from eternity (John 1:1); Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord who spoke God’s final Word to the world when He came to us from Heaven in first century Israel (John 1:14-18; Hebrews 1:1-4)! As a result of loving God and everything about God, we love the Word of truth that flows naturally from God--the Person and Source of the Word, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor forever (John 14:6)!
For after He completed His work to save us from our sins by dying on the cross and being buried, He was raised from the dead on the third day following. Among the first disciples to encounter and recognize Him in Luke’s account specifically declared to each other how their hearts burned with what could have only been the same spiritual fire we enjoy as “He opened the Scriptures” to them (Luke 24:28-35, NKJV). He spent forty days on earth teaching and preparing His apostles for His return to Heaven. Then, upon giving final instructions to them, He ascended into Heaven where He, the eternal Word, has been seated again at His Father’s right hand (Acts 1:1-11, 2:32-35)!
In the love we have for Christ, the living Word of truth and all that is written from Him and of Him in the Bible, faithful Christians are ready to stand firm whatever the cost against demonically inspired deceit and falsehood and testify to the most prominent of officials as have all of the saints through all time. Many professed Christians have a misinformed tendency to arrogantly believe we are the only ones that know something about Holy Spirit fired love for God and His Word. Not so, and the writer of Psalm 119 is a classic example of an Old Testament saint--to include Spirit empowered king David (1 Samuel 16:13)--that enjoyed this experience with the living God! This saint wondrously writes in Psalm 119:41-48 with the heart of one that intimately knows and loves God and His Word!
He waited like we do now for the fullness of God’s mercies in salvation to come according to His written Word (vs. 41). He like many of us are was persecuted for his faith and needed to trust God’s Word for a right answer to his persecutors (vs. 42). He sought God’s help as we must also to keep the “word of truth” in his mouth because it was his hope; his eternal preoccupation and source of blessing (vs. 43-44, NKJV). He like us was free in and ready to witness to kings boldly standing on the Word (vs. 45-46; John 8:31-32). Lastly, he delighted himself in and loved God’s commandments; lifting his hands in praise for them and meditating on God’s edicts (vs. 47-48).3 Is that you?4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read my February 17, 2019 post, Surrendering All To Jesus, under the category, Glory To God! I am one of those whose hunger and thirst for God and His Word
took some time to kick into high gear--22 months after I prayed to receive Christ--because of still trying to cling to my sinful ways of living. But after my total surren-
der to the Lord, I have sought Him and the Word of truth has been my food daily for which my soul yearns throughout the day (Psalms 63:1-8, 119:17-20)!
2 Sadly, the opposite is true for professed Christians that are not inclined to go deeper in the Word and become “dull of hearing;” remaining spiritually immature babes
that still nurse on “milk” and not the “solid food” of the Word. God expects every follower of Christ to grow and mature in the faith made possible only through the
regular intentional study and practice of the Word (Hebrews 5, NKJV). Otherwise, those that purposely remain spiritually immature are easy marks for the deceiver
(Proverbs 14:15; Romans 16:17-20), risk becoming “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” and open themselves up to the possibility of falling away with no re-
course (Hebrews 3:12-13, 6:1-6, 10:26-31, NKJV). Read my December 4, 2016 post, Now Is The Day Of Salvation, under the category, Call To Repent.
3 Even though the Lord Jesus Christ purposely sends us out to preach the Gospel and witness Him helped by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:16-20), we are to still make
purposeful preparation for the task through study to possess knowledge of the Word we love the Holy Spirit can readily bring to our mouths to speak as He wills.
4 It is certainly the heart of every faithful Christian as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong
Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com
and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy of the book in the Strong Man Store.
Continuing to reflect on the importance of faithful Christians anchoring God’s Word in our hearts as the Lord led me to begin to instruct about in the two-part post beginning August 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus and followed up by last week’s, Loving The Word Of Truth, both under the category, Instruction, I am thoroughly sobered to consider how over the top foolish it truly is to neglect God’s Word at this late hour. Not only is the Word of truth instruction, comfort, hope and life among other things to us that study and practice it, but also through its many uniquely God provided prophecies of these and days still to come, it is light illuminating the times and future.1
At any hour it is foolish to neglect God’s Word! But it is to be especially lacking in discernment, intimate knowledge and the fear of God to do so now for whatever reasons. Indeed, the faithful Christian’s ability to spiritually develop, be fruitful, avoid being deceived or falling away in these latter days depends on knowing God and His Word! Peter, one of the eyewitness apostles of Christ, wrote to first century Christians in his second New Testament letter: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” He goes on to stress how important such knowledge is to God’s end that they (and we) share in “the divine nature,” (2 Peter 1:1-4, NKJV).
Furthermore, Peter’s instruction to “add to” what they were gaining for eternal benefit from the knowledge of God and Christ (to include more knowledge), leads to his sober warning about the consequences of failing to do this (2 Peter 1:5-11, NKJV). Already surrounded by devouring wolves of falsehood, Peter is reminding Christians then living in what he and other New Testament writers quoting the Old called “the last days” (Genesis 49:1; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3, NKJV) of “the present truth” (and us too, clearly in the latter of such days nearly 2,000 years later). As well, he wanted to leave them what would be a written reminder we by God’s grace have (2 Peter 1:12-15, NKJV).2
Peter adds his reminder of the present truth not composed of “cunningly devised fables,” but the eyewitness experience of he and other apostles with both Christ’s “majesty” and the Father’s glorious voice from Heaven to the already preserved “prophetic word” of God that fulfilled in what they had seen and heard, “confirmed” its accuracy. This being so, the apostle insists his readers “do well to heed” the prophetic Word “as a light that shines in a dark place” giving illuminating understanding of God’s will and workings concerning Christ to their unknowing hearts until all is fulfilled; knowing by faith how Bible prophecy has come about from God (2 Peter 1:16-21, NKJV).
Plainly from the foregoing taught by the apostle Peter, God wants Christians to have not only a grasp of the propositional truths of His Word, but at least a working general knowledge and understanding of Bible prophecy particularly as it relates to Christ (Luke 24:25-27, 44-48). God is going somewhere with His Word of truth and Christ is it! For this reason, church pastors that shun teaching or even discussing Bible prophecy as part of instructing God’s people are sinning against Him and hurting them.3 This is especially disastrous in these darkening latter days since the light of prophecy Peter speaks of shining in our hearts is a surpassingly great help to our persevering faith.
Truly, it is near impossible to avoid ever saying anything about prophecy since all propositional biblical truth coalesces with and is properly fulfilled in God’s prophetic Word!4 As with the historical and narrative forms of Scripture, God’s prophetic Word when encountered is to be objectively read, interpreted and understood as the One who gave it leads!5 Yes, men over the centuries have given a stunning array of interpretations to the many symbols and symbolic expressions of Bible prophecy.6 But the objective, straightforward approach led to the Jews, for example, expecting the coming of the Lord Jesus at a certain time from Daniel’s prophetic writings (Daniel 9:20-25). Also, their religious leaders even in unbelief spoke of where He would be born from Micah 5:2 (Matthew 2:1-6).
Moreover, the Lord Jesus certainly had Daniel’s prophecy in mind when He warned of events that would transpire after His departure and into a final end time period. As Daniel foretold and the Lord gave more specific details, launched by Caesar Nero and finished by Vespasian, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in A.D. 70. The Jewish people were scattered in the overflowing display of Roman military might. “The war” ultimately between God and Satan would continue and “wrath” follow the Jews wherever they went until the end (Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:1-2, 6-7a; Luke 21:20-24, NKJV). Back in the land since 1948, God prepares Israel for the events of the final week of seventy prophetic weeks He gave Daniel by the angel, Gabriel, counting down to His end (Daniel 9:27).
It is at the midpoint of this final week kept from coming by God until He is ready that the Lord Jesus makes direct reference to Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:27. He warns any that understand the prophecy and live in Israel at the time the “abomination of desolation” in the Temple (this clearly asserts a Jewish Temple is to be built--Ezekiel 40-43:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8) is fulfilled to “flee” because “great tribulation” follows (Matthew 24:15-21, NKJV). Please note in this brief, but powerful example how the ancients and the Lord Jesus Himself not only took Bible prophecy seriously, but also objectively read and literally understood it. It is imperative that we do the same in these latter days so that we will walk in the light of knowledge and not the darkness of ignorance.7 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read the May 5, 2019 post, Out Of Step With The Times?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 Not only does Peter know he’s going to die (no rapture for him), but how, because the Lord told him in advance (John 21:18-19). Interestingly, both Peter in the pas-
sage cited (vs. 13-14) and Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 describe their mortal bodies as a tent, that is, a temporary dwelling. Something that is temporary is not meant
to be permanent as Paul makes clear in 2 Corinthians 5:1 when he speaks of “our earthly house, this tent” being “destroyed,” but receiving “a building from God” which
is permanent by virtue of being “eternal” (NKJV). As different as a tent is in form and quality from a building, so, after the metamorphosis to immortality, our bodies
Paul also writes about in 1 Corinthians 15:49-53.
3 See the April 30, 2017 post, God, His Prophets and Word, under the category, Glory To God!
4 A perfect example of this is the declaration by Moses, “The Lord will judge His people,” (Deuteronomy 32:36a, NKJV). Not only had Israel been issued this truth pro-
positionally, but heard it repeatedly as warnings in prophecies and experienced it in fulfillment. For this reason, the apostles and other New Testament writers also
prophetically warn professed Christians the propositional truth God judges His people has not changed (1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; 1 Peter 4:17-18).
5 How could we not be humble enough to recognize that since “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” so, prophecy as part of it is best interpreted with the guid-
ance of Him who gave it as Peter would surely agree (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, NKJV)?
6 The safest ground to stand on for interpreting prophetic symbols in the Bible is to use another of the sound principles of interpretation: Scripture interprets Scripture.
Typically, a symbol in the Bible is interpreted at first use or thereafter and used consistently throughout. Download the free document, Seven Principles Of Bible Inter-
pretation, in the Strong Man Store.
7 Every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ is challenged in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics to operate in the knowl-
edge of God’s prophetic Word. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com
and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy of the book in the Strong Man Store.
The ability to think, reason and form opinions is a powerful ability we humans have from being made in the image and likeness of God. Created by Him with freewill, we are free to think whatever we want. The issue is, however, is what we are thinking lined up with reality and truth especially as set out objectively for us by our Creator? Atheists clearly see the reality and truth of God’s existence and deny it because they choose to think otherwise about the evidence. But for those of us that have been born again by the Spirit of God, we not only see the reality and truth of our God, but by His Word and revelation our eyes are opened to joyfully know these more deeply and learn that which is to be--His mind as it were (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)!
In the aftermath of declaring the spiritual reality and truth about the Eternal Sons Of God in the June 19, 2016 repost, the Lord has led me to repost this re-titled and edited 2013 blog that followed it. It serves as a prelude to addressing immortality from a biblical perspective. In it, we also see again the devastating consequence of culturally conditioning the faith to the point human thinking supplants God’s Word. For while titillating, flights of fancy, romantic ideas, wishes and subjective speculations in their error create heresy and rob believers (as they have done over the centuries) of the awe and child-like wonder available from the authentic glimpses of the unseen spiritual realm and future God has provided us in His Word. Why settle for false fantasy when the reality and truth are so good?
Originally Posted May 26, 2013
Faithful Christians know that we are not to impose our own ideas, views or desires onto Scripture or the faith. Even the apostles among themselves had to constantly guard against this in preserving the purity of their Scripture rooted message and the simplicity of Christ (Galatians 2:11-21). Nevertheless, with the rise of Christianity the religion of men after the passing of the 1st century apostles, as foretold, all manner of corrupt violence has been done since to God’s Word with the result that much wrong thinking and many false doctrines exist and persist among professing Christians along with their leaders in the churches to this hour (Acts 20:27-31; 2 Peter 2:1-3).
Examples of unbiblical thinking and ideas abound, but consider a few popular ones. As it concerns the impact of literature on Christian thinking, Dante may have written a fictional work showcasing Catholicism’s Purgatory and Hades as Satan’s current residence, but the Bible teaches neither idea. The television show Touched By An Angel starring Della Reese featured female angels, but where are they in the Bible? One of the most popular widespread cultural sentiments today not at all taught in the Bible puts anybody human opinion believes to be good in Heaven at their death. Related to that thinking is the unbiblical idea the dead in the afterlife can see earth activity.
I have heard even professing Christians say regarding departed loved ones: “I know he (or she) is looking down on us right now.” Where in the Bible is it taught that disembodied human spirits either in Heaven or Hades are permitted to view earth activity in real time? Concerning the afterlife too, not discouraged by solid Bible teaching to the contrary, many professing Christians solely out of mortal sentimentality and desire continue to insist they will reunite with loved ones and take up where they left off before death disembodied in Heaven and after at the resurrection to immortality forever! Such wrong human thinking and ideas will only continue to proliferate among professing Christians unless the guilty repent and turn back to the Bible as the final authority for spiritual reality and truth.
I fully empathize with the deep emotional ties we mortals have to our family and friends in this life. As finite mortals, the temptation to want eternity to be like our present is linked to what is familiar and excellent to us. For example, males find it hard to think of an eternity without females because of their mothers and intimate involvements with others. However, God’s Word is to be considered true because His perfect character permits Him to speak no other way (Numbers 23:19; Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Samuel 7:27-29; Psalm 119:160; Titus 1:1-2)! Thus, Scripture is clear that death ends life, all biological family and marital ties as we knew them physically in this mortal age forever (Job 7:6-10; Ecclesiastes 9:2-6; John 19:25-27; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39).
Indeed, for the Christian, the disconnect process from family begins in terms of priority at salvation when we take up with Christ (Psalm 45:10-11; Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 14:25-27; Romans 6:3-4) following His example (Mark 3:31-35). Sadly, many professing Christians do not believe Christ means what He says about the primacy of our relationship with Him. But He warned the otherwise thriving church of Ephesus He would take away their existence unless they returned again to Him as their “first love” (Revelation 2:1-7, NKJV). Some in days to come will deny the Lord clinging to their mortal families of this world and perish eternally (Mark 8:34-38; Revelation 14:9-11).
At the onset of the new eternal order God also gives His redeemed sons a permanent memory wipe of all the “former things” of this present creation to include the sinful, sorrowful and painful experiences we had even with family and friends during our mortal sojourn so that they will not interfere with our new glorious experiences in His presence forever (Isaiah 25:8, 65:17-19; Revelation 21:1-4, NKJV). The memory wipe is necessary too because though in perfect agreement with God’s righteous condemnation of the wicked to the lake of fire, how could we not grieve forever as emotive creatures knowing that people we cared about during our mortal lives are there (Malachi 4:1-3; Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8)?
Please note how Christ’s mortal family members (Mary, James and Jude) relate to Him as Lord, are not accorded any special standing nor do they appear to pursue it by right of family relationship in the aftermath of His resurrection and ascension in the canonical New Testament (Acts 1:12-26, 15:6-22; Galatians 1:18-19, 2:1-10; James 1:1; Jude 1). Only the transcendent spiritual relationships formed in and through the Holy Spirit of divine love with fellow faithful believers (including those from the family) in this present life will survive death intact and continue as we serve God together forever (John 3:3-7, 13:34-35, 14:15-17; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17; Galatians 5:22-25; 1 John 3:14-15, 4:20-21; Revelation 22:1-3).
Rather than attempting to impose our wishes on Christianity and corrupting His Word to do so, God’s will is for us to accept His will, way and Word as it is written (1 Corinthians 4:6)! If we do, it will mean we think righteously, objectively and truthfully about things as well as hold to and teach sound doctrine as the Lord wills (John 7:24; 2 Timothy 1:13-14). As it concerns our unsaved family and friends presently, the truth about God’s total disconnect at death should move us to do all of the loving of, witnessing to and good deeds for them we are going to do now (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10; Ephesians 5:15-16; Colossians 3:17)!
Concerning after we die, remember Heaven currently is only a temporary stop for our disembodied spirits to await God’s promised resurrection to immortal glory. As exceedingly superior to our present, mortal experience as Heaven will be to us disembodied, Scripture promises exponentially greater, unending experiences still to unfold for us as the immortally embodied and glorified eternal sons of God (Ephesians 2:4-7; Revelation 21:5-7)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
It is impossible to study the whole Bible and come away with only one aspect of the nature, character and demeanor of God or His Anointed and Son, Jesus of Nazareth! Yet, this is exactly what many guilty professed Christian media personalities, pastors and teachers who know better have purposely done in falsehood as the Lord led me to write in a recent post footnote.1 Indeed, as with much of the false teaching arising from within professing Christianity in these latter days, not only the false teachers, but those that are guilty from among the people taught seize upon some passage from the Bible in isolation to construct their own one sided depictions of the Lord Jesus.
The most popular made to order Jesus is the portrait of Him as “only lowly, meek and mild” who is not a Judge I wrote about in another post.2 Purposely misrepresenting the Lord Jesus for whatever motive even if well intended is sin (2 Peter 2:1-19; Jude 3-19)! Consequently, from the Lord I warn all another time that any standard raised up for behavior which may be creatively suggested is or contemporarily desired of Him that is less than or strays from how He is portrayed in the Bible is sinfully misrepresenting Him and a misleading of those being taught (John 13:12-17; 1 Corinthians 4:14-17, 11:1; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4; Ephesians 4:17-24; 1 Peter 2:18-25).3
Not as a contrast to the God of the Old Testament Law supposedly stern and testy, but as the fullest possible revelation of God’s nature in Human form as His “only begotten” did “grace and truth” come “through Jesus Christ,” (John 1:1-5, 14-18, NKJV)! When you encounter the God of the Old Testament Law, you are encountering Jesus Christ, the eternal Son as well since as He taught, He and the Father are One in nature, character and demeanor (John 10:30-39, 14:7-11).4 Or who do you think was with Israel in the Exodus (Exodus 24:9-18; 1 Corinthians 10:1-11)? In Christ we see the perfect fulfillment of the old adage, “like Father, like Son,” (John 5:16-23, 8:48-59, 17:1-5)!
The Lord presented Himself to Israel and the world as that approachable gentle and lowly Lamb of God in the first century A.D. displaying His eternally humble nature, character and demeanor in complete submission to His Father’s will and purposes (John 1:29-51). However, flashes of His nature, character and demeanor as the strong and commanding “Lion of the tribe of Judah” were also displayed as He stood against the desecration of God’s “house,” the powers of darkness and corrupt religious authorities (Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 1:21-28, 2:23-28; Revelation 5:5, NKJV)! These two portraits of Christ are not contradictory, but in Him perfectly balanced and blended!5
Thus, as the Lamb, Christ humbled Himself before God to serve our need for an Intercessor and eternal “Advocate” to deliver us from sin and its consequences reaching into eternity (Isaiah 59:1-16; John 3:13-18; Romans 8:31-34; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Hebrews 7:20-28; 1 John 1:5-2:2, NKJV). It is He who comes to the humble, broken in their sins and desperate for connection to God in His love, humility, gentleness and mercy to present Himself as “the way” to, “the truth” about and “the life” of God that fully meets their need for salvation (Matthew 5:1-6; John 14:6, NKJV)! Even so, it is Christ too, that is “the keeper” of God’s vineyard in His parable who intercedes for an extension of time and labor to a spiritually fruitless soul before certain death if no fruit is forthcoming (Luke 13:1-9, NKJV).
From this last statement, we see that Christ is not sappy as the Lamb our Advocate. While by His Father’s appointment in grace He advocates for forbearance, He only goes so long until, in total agreement with His Father sin must be judged! This is the Lion in Him through which raised from the dead that successful Intercessor, He now, also reigns as King, Lord and Judge in Heaven and earth (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:9-11; 2 Timothy 4:1). Those with the Holy Spirit see Him judging now, in our lives and churches out of His blended Lion and Lamb Persona as it is written (Revelation 1:9-3:22)! Soon, He will be seen by the entire world when He comes to judge in His and His Father’s wrath and deliver Israel (Psalm 98; Isaiah 59:17-21; Revelation 6:12-17, 19:11-16).
Study of the whole Bible plainly exposes the falsehood in portraying the Lord Jesus solely out of His nature, character and demeanor as the Lamb or possessing these opposite His Father! He cannot be made to order. His Person is anchored in the Bible--take or leave Him as He is! In our first short-term self-paced video course, Fruitful Bible Study from the Strong Man Virtual Institute, I appeal above all to aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ to engage daily in the spiritual discipline of Bible study for its many benefits.6 Not the least of these benefits is becoming so familiar with the truth one cannot easily be deceived by the many falsehoods and doctrines of demons that proliferate within professing Christianity during these latter days of foretold deception.
1 See footnote five in the May 1, 2022 post, Made To Order Salvation?, under the category, The Faith.
2 Read the August 1, 2021 post, Jesus Christ King And Judge!, under the category, Instruction.
3 I pray my brothers in the Christian men’s movement especially will receive the warning. Our Lord Jesus is God’s perfect standard of what Man is He conforms us to
(Romans 8:29)! This is a staggering truth and one that should cause fear in the hearts of any pastor or other teacher of men who supposes he is helping them by
teaching (or purposely modeling for that matter) a lower standard than the Christ of Scripture! You may get thousands of men following you, but is that the biblical
goal of our Kingdom labor (Matthew 16:13-18, 28:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12)? See the June 29, 2014 post, Fully Restoring Men and Christ: The Perfect Model
Of Manhood!, posted on July 6, 2014 both under the category, Instruction.
4 Thus, the display of grace and truth through the Lord Jesus is not about Him and the Father playing the game of “bad cop, good cop” as some seem to teach. The
Father is also full of grace and truth (Hebrews 1:1-4)! However, John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes to inform us that in contradistinction to the Law
which condemns sinful men who cannot keep it, the grace and truth of the triune God who loves and seeks to save mankind shone forth brilliantly in Christ the Word
become flesh (John 1:14)!
5 I am awed and remain grateful to the Lord for allowing me to write about Him the perfectly blended Lion and Lamb as the Strong Man of God in my book, The Strong
Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study in the
Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
6 Learn more about the course in its first session on our Strong Man Virtual Institute YouTube Channel. A Study Guide is available as a free download in the
Strong Man Store to help you follow along during the six short sessions of the course.
Having conducted the work of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. faithfully with the leadership, grace and power of Christ since 1985, I painfully know well the worldly size and majority rule that has caused many to dismiss it. I confess coming to the end of a bit of wound licking when I originally wrote this edited 2010 Commentary as a wrap up of three that came before in consecutive order wherein I also lamented some other worldly tenets held and practiced as well by many professed Christians throughout all facets of American Christianity.1 Indeed, worship of the idol of success is fully displayed in the nearly unanimous deference given to big over small and the many over a few among most professed American Christians practicing the size and majority rule. This Commentary presents a sobering warning to the guilty.
Originally Published October 2010
The recent global flap caused by the Florida pastor that threatened to burn the Koran2 revealed a telling flaw in the democratic mind set of our nation as a whole and the many professed Christians that put worldly values over those taught by our God in His Word. Let me be very clear before proceeding. I do not believe this pastor was in the will of God nor is any Christian that burns a Koran or any other religious book. The Lord has not called Christians to physically tear down other religions. We are called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ letting it and every biblical truth in His mighty power pull down spiritual strongholds lifted up against "the knowledge of God," (Acts 17:22-34; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NKJV)!
All of the foregoing said, I was amazed as official Washington, secular and Christian media personalities ridiculed the Florida pastor’s threatened act not simply on its inappropriateness, but also based on how small his church was. What did the size of his church have to do with anything? Would his threatened act have had more credibility and acceptance if his church were larger? Over and over again this pastor's threatened act was denounced and wonder expressed at all the attention he had received because his church had only fifty members. In short, this man was disqualified from attention because he was too small.
Regular readers will know that I am touchy on this subject of late because our 25 years of service to the Lord has been dismissed by some on the similar basis of being too small to be heard or taken seriously. The revered size and majority rule is not a reliable standard of judgment though it is the way of our post-Christian, secular nation from politics to business. However, those that fear the Lord had better be very careful about living by this rule since He does not bind Himself to it and never has! Examples abound in the Bible of how size did not deter God--remember Gideon's 300 (Judges 6:11-7:22) and a teenaged David that killed the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17)?
Consider also of the twelve men sent to spy out the Promised Land for Moses, ten--the majority--returned to give a bad report that the people believed and as a result, wandered in the wilderness for forty years (Numbers 13-14:38). The majority also cried out "Crucify Him" so that the Lord Jesus Christ should be condemned to the cross (Mark 15:6-15, NKJV). Were they right because they were the majority? The majority of this nation's white citizens were once okay with the forced oppression of blacks in the bonds of intended perpetual servitude. Were they right because they were the majority?3
If every truth is established by whether or not somebody with a large following or a huge majority endorses it, then the truth of God's Word will continue to be cast aside by the world and many professed Christians as increasing numbers reject a biblical worldview. But wisdom asks, does the truth "Jesus is Lord" really become true because the pastor of a ten thousand member church says it versus one with just fifty members? Or is the statement true based solely on whether a majority of persons hearing it accept or reject it?4 From Christ's perspective, the answer is a resounding no since He has been exalted as “Lord” by His Father as it is written apart from what sinful men say (Psalm 2; Philippians 2:8-11, NKJV)!
As Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. launches out into our 25th year of operations with the Lord’s leadership, let me assure our readers this will be the final time in this setting I address the size and majority rule. Aspiring to be a strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ, I have heeded His counsel not to despise the day of small things as we go forward in the Spirit to finish the assignment He has given (Zechariah 4:6-10)!5 My primary concern has not been all about me anyway. It has also been about spurring professed Christian men that follow (and will follow) the large crowd in rebellion rather than Christ to repentance, lest they be eternally destroyed (Revelation 13, 14:6-13). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Those commentaries in order of original publication were Living The Faith In Real Life (July 2010; posted October 7, 2018), Standing Alone Is Not Failure Or New
(August 2010; posted November 4, 2018) and Justifying The Means By The End (September 2010; posted September 16, 2018).
2 Search “2010 Florida Pastor, Terry Jones” to learn more.
3 Western Europeans or their descendants in size and majority anywhere on the planet are not the final authority or express, singular arbiters of truth, but God
through His Word rightly divided is (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:15)! A long history of their religious Christian corruptions include the guilty in the majority that wickedly
reduced the Protestant Bible down from 66 to 14 books to keep slaves that might learn to read from reading about God as a Deliverer from bondage (Exodus 3:7-8)
among other hope building truths. This is one of the most heinous exhibits of Bible corruption ever (learn about the “Slave Bible” on display in the Museum Of The
Bible on loan from Fisk University through September 1, 2019) and why sinful mortal flesh cannot finally be looked to as truth authorities, but only bearers if they will
be faithful to God’s Word. Sadly, Bible corruption continues to this hour as various versions are produced and sold featuring the language translation preferences,
theologies and interpretive slants in notes printed within of large denominations, church pastors and teachers as media stars. Arrogant racism continues too, as still,
at this moment in the 21st century a white preacher’s teaching carries greater weight and is trusted more than one of color no matter how biblically sound. But praise
His name; God who vindicates His faithful servants will have the last Word (Psalm 26; Zechariah 1:1-6)!
4 This is the deceitful trap and bane of relying on the likes and dislikes of those that vote their feelings on social media to determine good or evil, right or wrong. Watch
out, professed Christian: we do not live by what is popular even within professing Christianity, but by God’s “every” Word (Matthew 4:1-4, NKJV)!
5 Learn more about the strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics available at all major internet booksellers,
by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
Of the greatest privileges redeemed sinners have been granted through faith in Christ is to draw near to worship the Holy God! Yet, in the spiritual confusion to include open idolatry and cultural conditioning that has characterized much of outwardly professing Christianity since the second century and now reaches its zenith during these latter days, ostensible worship of God has been very corrupt. Most visible today is the defiant break made with the divine order plainly taught in the Scriptures in order to allow women to lead the worship of God when the entire church is assembled out of the world’s notion of equality among other carnal and evil motives.
The leading of worship by women has occurred in spite of the fact that God in His prophetic Word has made it clear that the divine order continues under Christ at His coming and millennial reign; men will be the exclusive worship leaders in Jerusalem’s temple (Isaiah 9:6-7; Ezekiel 40:46, 43:1-12, 44:10-31). The immutable God has not changed the order of His house during this present, mortal age, nor will He ever! Surely then, what has been done to allow all manner of unacceptable worship in the churches is sin in the sight of and rejected by God. Ever consistent in His actions toward men, God in His longsuffering love warns and calls the guilty to repentance through this three part blog series and follow up epilogue the Holy Spirit led me to post in 2013.
Originally Posted September 8, 2013
A young preacher asked me in the past year, “whose side are you on?” referring to my taking exception to the conduct of church leaders as a group that stood over and against the people who should expect that they would do right as a matter of godly leadership. I have run into this carnal game of picking sides (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 3:1-4) and the resulting negative attitudes displayed when I have chosen the wrong side in someone’s eyes my entire journey as a Christian. It is shown by silent contempt, hostile acts of ostracism and verbal put downs expressed most often on the sly from the pulpit and a few times, to my face.
For the record, I have always sought to stand on the side of God’s Word in everything for this is righteous and pleasing to Him. That anyone claiming to know the Lord should be offended by that is reliable evidence of their disconnect from Him and very often also the flesh sustained practice of religion. Preachers as a clique versus the people for example, should never be nor should there be divisions in the Body of Christ over worship styles if we really understood what God in His Word teaches worship is all about.
On this day in thousands of churches around the globe (and the relative few in purposeful legalism that met yesterday) professing Christians assembled ostensibly to worship the triune God. In many languages, types of cultural expression and styles of music songs were sung to God for divine enjoyment and acceptance. However, the question of the hour is did the triune God enjoy and accept that worship or was there offense and rejection?
Many professing Christians and their leaders believe that God does enjoy and accept all worship sincerely offered like parents who receive the performance of songs, art, dance etc. from their little children which they would dare not disparage in fear of wounding their precious self-esteem. This is, in fact, what seems to be behind why a number of pastors in this last century have willfully disobeyed God’s Word on the roles of women in the worship assembly because all of the associated activity is considered performance. In their thinking, it is unfair not to allow the daughters of God to have a equal opportunity with His sons to perform in the activities of worship so He can delight in it all as a human parent.
God in His Word makes it clear that He does not see, think or do as sinful, fallen men (Isaiah 55:8-9). God is set apart from and other than man His creature (Exodus 3:13-14, 19:10-25; Isaiah 40:12-26, 43:10-13, 44:6, 46:5). While it is absolutely true that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), due to sin, that image has been marred and we corrupted to the very core of our being. We do not naturally think God’s thoughts, possess His attitudes or walk in His ways. Therefore, God, the living God rejects the premise that worship of Him out of sinful, fallen human flesh as it pleases us also pleases Him lest our self-esteem be hurt. It is not about us but Him!
Indeed, God is a God of order. When He says that He wants to be worshipped in a certain way that is what He means. You do not come up with your own worship and expect that just because it was sincere or from your fallen heart that He ought to just enjoy and accept it. A case in point is the “profane fire” the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu of the first priests of Israel offered to the Lord which He had not commanded. Holy, destroying fire immediately went from the Lord to completely consume them on the spot (Leviticus 10:1-2, NKJV)!
When Moses comforted his brother, Aaron, in the instant death of his sons, he spoke a word of transcendent, eternal truth to him and all that would purpose to worship God. ‘“This is what the Lord spoke saying: By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified,”’ (Leviticus 10:3, NKJV). So much for anyone offering up any old kind of worship they please to please Him in Israel and in this epoch of the Church!
Though we are not required to worship God in the specific rituals of Israel, Christians are nevertheless, to worship in the way God the Father has ordained in Christ; always treating Him as holy and respecting His Person. Our Lord Jesus taught that the worshippers the Father seeks are those that draw near to do so “in spirit and truth” because “God is Spirit,” (John 4:21-24, NKJV). This by no means is a liberal minded Jesus giving permission to bring whatever you want as worship and it will be accepted because what was offered was spirited (emotion charged) or sincere.
Spirit has to do with direct fellowship with God--our spirit in oneness with Him who is Spirit (John 17:20-23). Truth has to do with honesty about our inner condition (Isaiah 6:1-7). We are able to enter into God’s presence, into the Holy of Holies at all only through the shed blood and veil of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-22). This was something Israel’s high priest was able to do only once a year on the Day of Atonement when he entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of an animal to provide a covering atonement for the people’s sins committed the previous year.
But in God’s New Covenant, 1 we remain in His presence offering up the continual worship of faithful and obedient lives (Romans 12:1-2) made possible by Christ’s once and for all atonement through His blood which daily and as often as we have need, we may draw upon in confession and repentance for sin removal by forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:5-2:2). Therefore, are we really authentically connected to God and drawing near truthfully to offer acceptable worship when at the same time we are acting in willful disobedience to any part of His Word especially things in the worship He has forbidden such as women as leaders?
1 See the January 2014 blog posts, God’s New Covenant and Party Of The Second Part, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 for instruction on New Covenant.
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now