Monthly Archives: May 2015

For the law made nothing perfect

He 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did ; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

That better hope is Christ in you, the hope of glory, Col 1:27. The law could not make anyone perfect or mature spiritually, because the flesh is too weak to consistently observe the law, Ro 8:3. Paul wrote a epistle to the Galatians church because outside Jewish elements had approached the members of the church and preached that church had to adopt the law of Moses. If asked to sum up the Galatians epistle with one verse within it, it would be this verse.

Ga 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

A verse in Philippians further hammers this point home.

Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Paul in another of his epistles refers to the law as the ministration of death and condemnation.

2Co 3:6 ¶ Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

I have asked myself what was Paul specifically referring to, when he used the term “law” in his epistles. Certainly not the Ten Commandments. But the 7th chapter of the book of Romans clears up that misconception.

Ro 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7 ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Thou shalt not covet is the tenth commandment. The newness of the Spirit encompasses love of our fellow man. The newness of the Spirit would entail we forgive one another as we have been forgiven. It is a matter of what motivates our actions. A external law can’t change the inner nature of a man or a man’s heart but God can purify a man’s heart by faith, Acts 15:9. In the book of Colossians Paul put it like this.

Col 2:20 If you have died with Christ and have escaped from the world’s rudimentary notions, why, as though your life still belonged to the world, do you submit to such precepts as
21 “Do not handle this”; ‘Do not taste that”; ‘Do not touch that other thing”  — 
22 referring to things which are all intended to be used up and perish — in obedience to mere human injunctions and teachings?
23 These rules have indeed an appearance of wisdom where self-imposed worship exists, and an affectation of humility and an ascetic severity. But not one of them is of any value in combating the indulgence of our lower natures. Weymouth

Rules governing behavior, which try to enforce certain holiness standards, are often in the taste not, touch not, handle not variety. Often the person seeks to achieve holiness by sheer will power alone. But in actual practice these laws, and observing these laws, do nothing in combating or putting to death our lower natures, the flesh. But those with the Spirit of God, with the help of the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the flesh, Ro 8:13. Only God, by His Spirit, can write His laws on our minds and put them in our hearts, He 10:16. Often it is called the law of love, James 2:8. The law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ makes us free from the law of sin and death. So the law is good, just and holy, Ro 7:12. It was added because of transgression, until the promised seed did come, Ga 3:19, which was Jesus. Israel of the promise was basically put into a holding pattern under the law, until the promised seed came, Ga 3:16-19. Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians makes these interesting statements.

Galatians 4:21-26,30 KJVS
[21] Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? [22] For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. [23] But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. [24] Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. [25] For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. [26] But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. [30] Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

The covenant of the law from mount Sinai, is associated with the bondwoman Agar who is in bondage with her children and will not be heirs of the kingdom of God. Earlier in Galatians Paul makes this point.

Galatians 3:14 KJVS
[14] That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

One should always keep in mind the fact, that if you have not the Spirit of Christ, you are none of his, Ro 8:9. I used to be fairly proficient at woodworking. I have made my beds, end tables and a myriad of other furniture over the years. My neck is too unstable to do much of anything anymore. I used mortise and tennon joints, dove tail joints, and frame and panel construction to build much of my furniture. Scriptures fit together, in my mind, like the various pieces of wood that form a bed, a hutch or a table. So when I read the blessings of Abraham in Gal 3:14, a couple verses out of the book of Acts came to mind.

Acts 3:25-26 KJVS
[25] Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. [26] Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

I will briefly cover how the promised Spirit turns us away from our iniquities a bit later on. But first I would like to turn our attention to another matter. There are various books and studies centered around the law and the Old Testament tabernacle and sacrifices. Wherein the authors assign some spiritual significance and meanings to the tabernacle, altars, sacrifices and other various items contained therein, in regards to salvation. In my opinion, mistakenly so. The book of Hebrews contrast the Old and New Covenant. The High Priest in the Old Testament tabernacle in contrast with Jesus as High Priest of the New Covenant. It is a complex book full of persuasive language depicting Jesus to the Hebrews, as what he was, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Types and shadows with figurative language, in which to use a phrase from the Apostle Peter, the unlearned and unstable wrest with unto their own destruction, 2Pe 3:16. There are more than a few verses in Hebrews that point out how the Old Testament law, with its sacrifices, lacked any value towards perfecting those involved in that religious system.

He 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
8 ¶ The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

One verse often used to lend credence to these books and studies covering the Old Testament tabernacle and the purposed spiritual significance of the structure, altars and various articles within, is He 8:5.

He 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Moses was admonished by God to follow the pattern or model of the tabernacle he was shown on the mount. Some bible commentators suggest there is a additional meaning to the verse. That the tabernacle was a model of the layout in heaven. What is easy enough to fail to understand regarding that interpretation, at least from my understanding of scripture, is that if the Old Testament tabernacle reflected any aspect of heaven, it would reflect the status of mankind’s relationship with God, at that time. Mankind had no access to the third heaven at that time He 9:8&9, which did not change until Jesus Christ sacrificed himself and brought salvation and the reconciliation of mankind back to God.

Hebrews 9:23-24 KJVS
[23] It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. [24] For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

See also He 10:19-23. Hebrews is a extremely complex book to understand and one should take care when using it to formulate doctrine. Many of the books and teachings regarding the Old Testament tabernacle, extrapolate meanings and insights, using types and shadows. The Old Testament tabernacle and High Priest are used as a type and shadows of the New Testament tabernacle and High Priest, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:1 states that the law was a shadow of the good things to come but not the very image of the things. As such you cannot draw direct parallelisms from the Old Testament law as a shadow of the good things to come. It took me many years and untold readings of the book of Hebrews to be able to understand a majority of the verses in that epistle. One set of verses whose full meaning eluded me for quite some time are these.

Hebrews 13:9-13 KJVS
[9] Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. [10] We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. [11] For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. [12] Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. [13] Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats! Justification by grace is concerned with the purification of the heart by faith, Acts 15:9. Those Levite priest who served in the Old Testament tabernacle, performing sacrifices for themselves and others, did not profit from the activities they preformed in the tabernacle. The service they preformed did nothing towards eliminating their sinful natures or the sinful nature of those they sacrifice animal for. Only the grace of God, due to the salvation of Jesus Christ, teaching, chastising us, along with the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost changes our hearts and makes us righteous and worthy for our inheritance, Titus 2:11-12, Titus 3:4-7, 1Co 11:32, Col 1:12. It is remarkable the additional insight which can often be gained from studying scripture verses that are well traveled and often cited. The above verse He 13:9 states it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. As said, our hearts are being purified by or through faith, Acts 15:9, a lifetime of faith during which God works in our life justifying and sanctify us. Paul, regarding his countrymen, and by extension those who seek to establish their own righteousness by works, sums it up nicely in Romans.

Ro 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

We are advised to go outside the camp and bear his, Jesus, reproach because we have no continueing city, He 13:13. The meaning of this is not readily apparent. But the reproach Jesus faced can be summed up nicely with this verse.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJVS
[21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Religious institutions can often times present themselves to their members, as a essential part of the salvation process. And the body of Christ, the church is, but if these institutions do not teach sound doctrine and promote the believer to establish their own righteousness, by observing the law and other manmade law, then they are little different than the tabernacle and temple of the Old Testament. The altar we, as Christians eat off of, is the sin sacrifice altar outside the camp, where the bodies of the animals used as sin sacrifices were burned. Where sanctification takes place, He 10:10, 10:14, 2:11. For more detail on this altar please read a previous article concerning this subject, if you have not already done so. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=178
But in short, our salvation is the work of God in our lives and is not a work of our fleshly efforts, Php 2:12-13. So it would seem obvious to me, that if a Christian wanted to go on into perfection, He 6:1, they would not look for spiritual significance in a religious system that was never designed to instill perfection. And that is still true today.

Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. [21] I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened

Ephesians 1:17-18 KJVS
[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

This verse like many others in the New Testament electrified me in the past and beckoned me to further investigate the meaning thereof. The obvious approach is to investigate the word inheritance and heir. When you do, you find that the body of Christ is Abraham’s seed, and heir to the promise God made to Abraham, that he would inherit the earth, Ga 3:29 , Ro 4:13. In Eph 1:18, Paul prays that God the Father of glory Himself, gives you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. In short, the knowledge of Jesus Christ goes hand and hand with the mystery of God, which is Christ in you the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:25-27 KJVS
[25] Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

This verse is a companion verse to Eph 1:18, and many times when the word glory as used in the New Testament scriptures it is referring to God’s glory on the earth, the thousand year Kingdom of God. It is curious for me to hear other Christians mentioning dying and then going to heaven, as if that is the end point of it all. There are few scripture verses in the New Testament that shed light on this belief. It is written in Re 6:9-11, that the souls of those who were slain for the word of God are kept under the altar in heaven. If you read the verses in context, it could suggest the souls were animated for a short period of time, white robes given them, and then told to rest a little while longer.

Revelation 6:9-11 KJVS
[9] And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: [10] And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? [11] And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were , should be fulfilled.

Souls under the altar in heaven sounds like the altar is a repository of sorts for deceased souls of those who were slain for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Which is suggestive that there is no conscience awareness while a soul is in heaven awaiting the first resurrection. But it is hard to separate what is figurative and what is literal in the book of Revelation and the same holds true for the parable of the rich and poor man that appears in Lk 16:19-31. Most times when I cite Revelation 20:6, that clearly states that the body of Christ is going to rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, it seems like it has no impact on the Christian I am conversing with. That is because God the Father himself has to enlighten a persons eyes to see His calling. As a side note it also appears that the man child is resurrected first and woman that gave birth to him is given wings and flies off into the wilderness for 3 1/2 years, Re 12:14. Is the man child the body of Christ? Many believe so. Jerusalem is the mother of us all, Gal 4:26, and yet it states in Re 12:17 that the dragon made war with the rest of her seed. There are some interesting distinctions raised in the word of God that a wise man not seek to formulate into doctrine and would be smart to take a wait and see approach. Is this distinction regarding the seed of the woman because many are called but few are chosen, Mt 22:14? Over the years I have known many Christians who were very aggressive in their attempts to bring people to Christ. It is as if they feel, by their own powers of persuasion and willpower, a person can be drawn by them into the kingdom of God. But as you see that is not the case, John 6:44. God does the drawing. The revelation of Christ in you the hope of glory and all the implications thereof, does not happen all at once. We know only in part, at first, seeing these matters as through a darkened glass, 1Co 13:12. But as time goes on we grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and then see more clearly and embrace the hope of the calling, Php 3:14, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Which is to rule and reign over the nations of the world, in righteousness, with Jesus Christ for a thousand years from the nation Israel, Re 20:6. A person does not come by this knowledge easily so one must heed the advice Paul gave to Timothy and study to make himself approved, 2Ti 2:15. Approved for what? The high calling of God in Christ, the first resurrection. In your study of the Word you would do well to stay clear of wind of doctrine of men and learn from the scriptures.

Ephesians 4:14 KJVS
[14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The Strong’s definition for the Greek word translated sleight in the above verse has interesting connotations.

Definition
dice playing
metaph. the deception of men, because dice players sometimes cheated and defrauded their fellow players

To cheat by deception in a dice game is motivated by the desire for monetary gain. I would imagine the motive behind the deceptive wind of doctrines of man are for the same reason. Coupled with the desire to rule in this age, 1Co 4:8. The concept of the casting of dice brings to mind another verse and word associated with the casting of dice that has direct bearing on the topic of this post.

Ephesians 1:11 KJVS
[11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

The Strong’s Concordance definition of the Greek word translated as ”
Inheritance” in the above verse.

Strong’s Number
G2820
Original Word
κληρόω
Transliterated Word
klēroō

Definition
to cast lots, determine by lot
to choose by lot
to allot, assign by lot
on to another as a possession
in NT: to make a lot, i.e. a heritage, private possession

This Greek word is only used once in the New Testament and has a large impact on the doctrine of predestination. Those who are to rule and reign with Jesus Christ were chosen by God with the casting of lots or by random chance before the foundation of the world, Ro 9:16, Eph 1:4. It is radom chance because God is not a respecter of persons, Acts 10:34. I have given this much thought over the years and the only conclusion I come away with is that history as we know it, and the role the vessels of mercy play in history, are all predetermined by God to fulfill His purpose in this earth. The realization of the thousand year Kingdom of God is part of the purpose that God intends with the body of Christ. A common thread running through most of my articles is that we are being made mature or are being made perfect by God for this inheritance Col 1:12. But the overall end goal is to present all men perfect in Christ, Col 1:28, so that God can be all in all, 1Co 15:28. Of which the body of Christ plays a important role as priest and kings with Jesus Christ in the age to come.

At the last trump

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 KJVS
[16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. [18] Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Corinthians 15:52 KJVS
[52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

I got to tell you, after 31 years with pain and weakness associated with a spinal cord injury, I am ready to hear that last trump, and be caught up in the air with Christ. But first the righteousness of God needs to be instilled in me.

Philippians 3:9-11 KJVS
[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; [11] If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

I am looking to be found in him, with the righteousness of God by faith. The tag line of this web site, if you notice, comes from the latter part of 2Co 5:21

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJVS
[21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

That we might be made the righteousness of God in him. This web site is largely concerned with how God accomplishes that fact in man, according to the scriptures. Alright, so when does the gathering of the saints in the clouds with Christ take place? At the last trumpet, or the seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation. You know, where the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord’s and his Christ.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Now there are differencing opinions concerning when the body of Christ rises in the air to be with Jesus. Different doctrines of man. I believe it takes place just before the final 3 1/2 years mentioned several times in the book of Revelation. If you follow the narrative in the book of Revelation and use other verses in the NT you will come to the same conclusion as I have.

Revelation 10:7 KJVS
[7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

I like this translation of the verse better.

Revelation 10:7 | ESV
7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

One can read the above verse and sail right by it without giving it much thought. I know I have on a few occasions. The word mystery is only used 22 times in the New Testament and not used at all in the Old Testament. But what exactly is the mystery of God? Most of the time it is simply referred to as the mystery but it is always a good idea to read scriptures in context. Paul to a large extent writes about the mystery of God because it was disclosed to him by God. He was given the dispensation by God to fulfill the word of God. By this, it means the gospel message preached before the disclosure of the mystery of God was not complete.

Colossians 1:25-27 KJVS
[25] Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

So why did God hide the mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory. Paul again answers that question in a earlier epistle.

1 Corinthians 2:5-8 KJVS
[5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. [6] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: [7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom , which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it , they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The not so obvious point, is that if the Jewish and Roman authorities knew that by his death, Jesus would become the seed that would bring many sons unto glory, He 2:10&11, they would not have crucified the Lord. I like the way scriptures are interconnected and fill in the gaps and answers questions a person might have, if they study to show themselves approved, 2 Ti 2:15, that is. I guess since the mystery was hidden in past ages, it is not readily apparent to casual examination even today. There is a good reason for that.

Colossians 1:27 KJVS
[27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

I have read and cited this verse many times missing the obvious. God has to make it known to a person, see also Col 2:2.

Another verse in the NT that fittingly uses the word mystery is this one.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 KJVS
[51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

So here we have Paul prophesying about when the body of Christ will be gathered unto the Lord using two words, mystery and trumpet, that is in agreement to what Apostle John prophesied in Re 10:7. This fact is not readily apparent in the KJV but if you look at the Strong’s and Thayer definition for the Greek word translated into the English word “sound” in Re 10:7, you will see that it means to sound a trumpet. There are some that claim there are other trumpet sounding events in the end times connected to Jewish feast days. I don’t think that is the case in the book of Revelation as a quick word study on trumpet shows otherwise. The shofar or goat horn blasts have no bearing on those in Christ being gathered into the clouds unto the Lord. A Rams horn is not a trumpet. The last trump Paul mentions in 1 Co 15:52, is the same seventh trumpet mentioned in Re 10:7 and Re 11:15. I don’t see a whole lot of wiggle room in regards to doctrine when you compare the information given in these scripture verses. Paul supplies additional information in regards to the timeframe of this event in 2 Thessalonians.

2Thessalonians 2:3 KJVS
[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come , except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The son of perdition is commonly understood to be the Angel over the bottomless pit called Apollyon, also known as the beast mention in Revelation and central to end times events. At the sound of the fifth trumpet a angel of God descends out of heaven and uses a key to release him from the bottomless pit.

Revelation 9:1-2 KJVS
[1] And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. [2] And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Revelation 9:11 KJVS
[11] And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

There are seven trumpets in Revelation and Paul is giving the church the time line, of end time events. At the last trump, the body of Christ will be changed and given spiritual bodies, 1 Co 15:44. The members of the Thessalonnian church were concerned that that resurrection had already happened because of two men, whose word must have held some importance, said it was already past.

2 Timothy 2:17-18 KJVS
[17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; [18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

The Apostles and the church in that era thought that the Lord would return in their lifetimes because the 70 weeks of Daniel were rapidly coming to a close and were waiting for the establishment of the thousand year Kingdom of God, until Peter prophesied this.

2 Peter 3:8-9 KJVS
[8] But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Which was and is good news for us in the latter days. Paul then changed his focus and started to prepare and establish leadership in the fledgling churches by means of letters or epistles which he wrote to Timothy and Titus, outlining what he wanted them to do in establishing the church. Salvation had been prophesied to go to the Gentiles in various books of the Old Testament and I am sure the learned members of the ruling class and even the common man on the street in Israel were aware of this and became desperate for the prophecies of the Kingdom of God to be fulfilled for the nation of Israel at that time. So much so, that they took matters into their own hands and revolted against Rome. Again, playing the role in history ordained by God for them, which lead to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70A.D., Mt 24:1&2, Mk 12:7-11, Ro 11:28-33, 1Pe 2:8. So the day of the Lord was consigned to a future date. As stated before, a angel will be given the key to the bottomless pit and release Apollyon in the ninth chapter of Revelation. There is a lot going on in the book of Revelation. There are the seven seals and then the seven trumpets and the seven plagues which appear to unfold in a linear fashion in regards to time. When the seventh trumpet sounds, Re 11:15, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the Lord and His Christ, it is at that point the body of Christ meets the Lord in the air. We know this because in the 12th chapter of Revelation, this takes place.

Revelation 12:4-6,17 KJVS
[4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. [5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. [6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. [17] And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

That they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days, is a interesting verse, along with “the remnant of her seed” in verse 17. Who is the “they” that are going to feed the woman? Is that going to be the function of Jesus and his body until the day of the Lord three and a half years later when Jesus set foot on the Mount of Olives, Zechariah 14:4 Many claim the man child is the body of Christ, and I would agree because of the rod of iron mentioned in Re 12:5, is also mentioned earlier in Revelation in regards to the church of Thyatria, which was a Gentile church.

Revelation 2:26-27 KJVS
[26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: [27] And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

So you can see the woman who is said to be the mother of us all in Gal 4:26, not only gives birth to the manchild, body of Christ, but also has a remnant of her seed who the dragon makes war against in verse Re 12:17. I would be a fool if I said I understood completely the book of Revelation, but the symbols and objects mentioned throughout the book would, in my mind, be consistent with one another. Clearly in regards to timeframe regarding Re 12:4-6, it is shortly after the sounding of the seventh trumpet, Re 11:15. It would appear to me the entire 12th chapter of Revelation deals with the birth of the new creature known as the body of Christ, Ro 8:21-23. The three woes in the book of Revelation are tied to the last three Trumpets, Re 8:13. The first woe is when the bottomless pit is opened and locust that emerge and torment men who have not the seal of God in their forehead, Rev 9:12. The second woe is the great earth quake that takes place after the two witnesses are caught up to heaven, Rev 11:14. Notice the verse states the third woe comes quickly. The very next verse the seventh trumpet is sounded.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The last or third woe takes place when Satan is cast down to earth, after the birth of the man child Re 12:12. A careful reading of chapters 8-12 will show that the rapture takes place when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.

The firstfruits of them that slept

1 Corinthians 15:20 KJVS
[20] But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

There is a common misconception shared by a large portion of Christianity regarding death and the disposition of souls after death. First of all dead means just that, you are dead and lack any conscious awareness, Eccl 9:5&6. There is a specific order assigned to those who are to be resurrected from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:22-26 KJVS
[22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [23] But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. [24] Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. [25] For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. [26] The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

The order of resurrections, which involves large groups of people, are the first resurrection of the just and unjust, Mt 25:34, 41, and the second general resurrection of the white throne judgment, Re 20:11-14. The dead know nothing and their souls are in a sleep state, Eccl 9:5&6, Job 17-13-16, until resurrected into a body. In Revelation it mentions souls under the altar in heaven.

Revelation 6:11 KJVS
[11] And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were , should be Revelation 6:9-11 KJVS
[9] And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: [10] And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? [11] And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were , should be fulfilled.

A good deal of the Christian peoples of the world think that when they die, they do not pass go, and they either go directly to heaven or hell. If you do a word study on the word “resurrection” in the bible you will see the word is only used in the New Testament. That is because the resurrection is completely dependent upon the messiah, Jesus Christ, 1 Co 15:22-25, who is Abraham’s seed, Gal 2:29. You can ascertain some of what Jewish people believed in, while Jesus walked the earth, from the different accounts given in the gospels. Of course what Jesus states presents sound doctrine. The Sadducees presented Jesus a question trying to trip him up if you will, Lk 20:27-35. It is a rather a involved question regarding seven brothers marrying the same woman in succession following each one’s death and not producing a child during their various union. This invented situation was geared to ask just one question. In the resurrection whose wife would the woman be. Jesus answer is as follows.

Luke 20:34-35 KJVS
[34] And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: [35] But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

Let us take a look at verse 35 using a literal translation of the bible. Bear with me as this is relevant to the next point I am about to make.

Lk 20:35 Yet those deemed worthy to happen upon that eon and the resurrection from among the dead are neither marrying nor taking out in marriage. CLV

This scripture agrees in part with Col 1:12, and it is referring to the first resurrection of those, who will partake of the inheritance of Abraham. Those who are resurrected, will take part of the Kingdom of God, and rule and reign with Jesus Christ as priest and kings for a thousand years, Re 20:6. Just before Jesus was going to resurrect Lazarus, his sister Martha affirms her belief that her brother would be resurrected at the last day, Jn 11:24&25. The last day is a day of thousand years and Lazarus would be resurrected during or at the start of that day. I don’t want to get too bogged down in this, but in Lk 20:35, and in other verses in the New Testament, most bible translations will use a number of different words when translating the Greek noun G165.

Strong’s Number
G165
Original Word
αἰών
Transliterated Word
aiōn
Phonetic Spelling
ahee-ohn’
Parts of Speech
Noun Masculine
Definition
for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
the worlds, universe
period of time, age
Usage by Word
ever (50), world (32), never (7), began (3), evermore (3), ages (2), eternal (2), worlds (2), course (1), end (1), standeth (1)

The whole point of language is to communicate thoughts and ideas in as precise and clear fashion. Now granted, there is going to be a new heavens and earth, 2Pe 3:12&13, at the beginning of the Kingdom of God. So I suppose for the sake of argument, “world” could be used in Lk 20:35. But in all cases where G165 is used should be translated into the words age or eon, as it more accurately presents the different ages of God’s unfolding purpose in the earth. For a more expansive coverage of this see this article. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=269. I read a article over a decade ago on the Internet, that gave me insight in regards to a reason behind the wind of doctrine of man in this case, Eph 4:14. Most of the early religions and the mythologies of early civilizations were designed towards controlling people within those societies. The belief and fear of eternal torment does have a significant restraining influence on people’s who live in societies, past and present. Laws are effective because there are penalties involved if one breaks the law. Fines, imprisonment and in extreme cases the death penalty. I once stated to a man at a certain church that I believed God was going to save all men, and that hell or torment was finite not eternal. He said if that were true, then why should he go to church. And I said because your called by God and are a slave to righteousness. It was clear that the man’s mindset was on not spending eternity in fire. Fear of a eternal torment, and the preaching of it, is also a big money maker. Which is why you see so many different denominations and sects of Christianity in the world today. Almost all of which preach and uphold the doctrine of eternal hell. God’s main characteristic is love, 1 Jn 4:16. It is also written that no one can resist God’s will, Ro 9:19, and that He justifies the ungodly, Ro 4:5. So why would God save some on the one hand and consign a good deal of humanity to a eternal torment on the other hand? But that is not the scope of this post. The important thing that a person needs to understands, is what is taking place in regards to doctrine. In order to teach and maintain the concept of eternal damnation, the New Testament scriptures needed to be translated in a certain way to hide the truth of the matter in regards to death. So the major religious institutions over the centuries, printed translations which obfuscated certain words to hide the truth of the gospel. Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God. That kingdom is a thousand year kingdom. If you are found worthy of that great calling, and God is able to make you worthy, you will take part of the first resurrection of the just, Re 20,4-6. If not, you sleep in the grave until the white throne judgment. Those who are resurrected in the first resurrection of the unjust will suffer torment for apparently a thousand years.

Re 14:11 And the fumes of their torment are ascending for the eons of the eons. And they are having no rest day and night, those worshiping the wild beast and its image, and if anyone is getting the emblem of its name CLV

Eons of the eons is a superlative. Just as Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lord. So to his thousand year reign will be the greatest eon of all eons. But in most all other translations of the bible Re 14:11 will read similar to this.

Revelation 14:11 KJVS
[11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

So, in order to use religion and fear as a control mechanism, early Christianity was infused with the Greek and Roman mythologies of the immortality of the soul and eternal torment by fire. The Old English word hell actually means under the ground. You would put your potatoes in hell for the winter. And if you look in The Strong’s Concordance, at the usage of the Hebrew word sometimes translated into the English word “hell”, you will see this:

Usage by Word
hell (31), grave (28), pit (3), grave’s (1)

The trouble with the mistranslation of words in the bible, is a mistranslation does not hold true in all the verses where the Hebrew and Greek words are used. So you have to expand the definition of the word to support the doctrines of man and their religious institutions. With study, the truth of the scripture becomes clear and the indoctrination we were subjected to as we grew up, looses the grip it has on us. Religious institutions and even the media reinforce the indoctrination of the immortality of the soul and of either going to hell or heaven or some place in between after you die. Many of the major denominations have forgotten they are not of this world, and they do not presently reign, as the kingdom of God is slated for the age to come, Ro 12:2, 1 Co 4:8, Re 20:6. So they have no business in assisting governments in controlling and governing the people in the world. Their primary function is clearly outlined Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:12 KJVS
[12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

I would suppose there is no sense in going on and on about it. As stated before, religious indoctrination is hard to break free from. The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is devoted to the subject of death, and our hope in Christ, of the resurrection from the dead, and should be carefully read. The whole point of the law was it imparted the knowledge of what sin was, and the penalty of sin is death, Eze 18:20. Our hope is in Christ and the resurrection from the dead.