Rapture timeline

The scripture verses in the book of Revelation present a timeline for when the rapture takes place during the tribulation. There are sign posts/events along the way within the chapters of the book of Revelation that mark when the rapture takes place. In regards to this timeline, it is important to always keep in mind that the three woes are linked to the last three Trumpets.

Revelation 8:13 KJVS
[13] And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

The above verse establishes a linear chronology throughout the 8th-12th chapters of Revelation based on when these three woes transpire within the narrative. We know for a fact that the two witnesses give their testimony during the first 3 1/2 years of what is commonly called the tribulation, because of what is written in the following verses.

Revelation 11:3,7-13 KJVS
[3] And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. [7] And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. [8] And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. [9] And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. [10] And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. [11] And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. [12] And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. [13] And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

These verses give us some very important details. The ministry of the two witnesses takes place before the first and second woe. The beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit, first woe (5th trumpet), kills the two witnesses. The second woe takes place when the great earthquake occurs in Jerusalem following the death and resurrection of the two witnesses. The seventh trumpet and third woe takes place shortly after the second woe.

Revelation 11:14-15 KJVS
[14] The second woe is past; and , behold, the third woe cometh quickly. [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.

Apostle John writes a verse in the tenth chapter of the book of Revelation that is in harmony with Rev 11:15, and with a revelation given to Apostle Paul.

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.

The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:27. Apostle Paul was given a dispensation by God to preach the revelation of the mystery of God, which fulfilled the word of God, Col 1:25. A short word study on the word mystery as it appears in the New Testament is helpful if one is unfamiliar with this mystery. Paul writes of this mystery in the often quoted verses in the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians.

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.

At the seventh trumpet the members of the body will receive their glorified bodies and rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Rev 20:6. Which will be God’s glory in the kingdom to come, 1 Th 2:12. A interesting aspect of the mystery of God, mystery of Christ, is that God has to make known to a individual, what is the riches of the glory surrounding this mystery. So many bible experts do not understand this mystery because it is not given for them to know.

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:

The last trump/trumpet that sounds in the book of Revelation is the seventh trumpet and that is when the mystery of God is finished.

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.

Many try to take the 12th chapter of Revelation and place it at the beginning of the tribulation, Rev 4:1, or at the sixth seal in support of a pre tribulation rapture theory. But again, the three woe that are linked to the last three Trumpets, makes that impossible. If in fact one views the man child as the body of Christ, and the man child caught up to the throne of God, Rev 12:5, as the rapture. The third woe is when Satan is cast down to earth, Rev 12:12, following the man child being caught up to the throne of God, Rev 12:5. It is very easy to lose sight of the fact that the three woes are associated with the last three Trumpets, Rev 8:13, while reading through the scripture verses contained in the 8th-12th chapters. Many try to claim the word woe in Re 12:12 is not the third woe. It is a simple matter to use the Strong’s Concordance and see when the Greek word translated into the English word woe appears in the book of Revelation in the KJV. That Greek word appears later in the 18th chapter in several verses as the English word alas, Re 18:10.
Many also view the woman in Revelation 12 as Mary the mother of Jesus. But again, the three woes makes that impossible also since the three woes are linked to the last three trumpets. A important point regarding Rev 10:7. The mystery of God is finished or fulfilled in the days when the seventh angel sounds his horn. It is not specifically right when the seventh trumpet is sounded since the verse clearly mentions days. So both groups, the man child and the remnant of the woman’s seed mentioned in Rev 10:7, will rule with Christ for a thousand years, Rev 20:4&6. For quite some time I have been trying to place the seven seals within the timeframe of the seven trumpets. Many doctrines of man have place some of the seven seals well in the past. Linking them with historical events in the past. So I have been reading the 6th chapter of Revelation looking for clues that would help place the seals, some or all, in the same timeframe as the seven trumpets. The following verses show that the fifth seal is a little or short timespan before the saints of Rev 20:4 are martyred for not taking the mark of the beast.

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.

TheStrong’s Concordance definition of the Greek word translated into the English word “little” in verse 11.
Strong’s Number
G3398
Original Word
μικρός μικρότερος
Transliterated Word
mikros mikroteros
Phonetic Spelling
mik-ros’ mik-rot’-er-os
Parts of Speech
Adjective

Strong’s Definition
Apparently a primary word including the comparative (second form);
small (in size quantity number or (figuratively) dignity): – least less little small.

I have always felt that the events that take place from the 4th chapter in the book of Revelation on, were linear in regards to time and occur during or just before the seven year tribulation. The fifth, sixth and seventh seal take place shortly before the seven trumpets. There is no reason in my mind to think the previous seals take place well in the past but close in time to the fifth seal. I ran across a curious verse, Re 5:7, in the fifth chapter of the book of Revelation the other day.

Revelation 5:6-7,13 ESV
[6] And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. [7] And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. [13] And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Is the last verse literal? If so, then all who live on the earth will herald that the seals are about to be opened by proclaiming the last part of verse 13. When will the rapture take place? We have a rough idea based on verses in the gospel of Luke.

Luke 3:1-3 KJVS
[1] Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, [2] Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. [3] And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

Tiberius Caesar’s reign started in 14 AD, 15 years before the ministry of John the Baptist. Our Lord’s ministry started shortly after, which lasted for 3 1/2. Which places the crucifixion of our Lord in and around AD 33. There are two thousand year prophetic days, 2 Pe 3:8, before our Lord’s return at the start of the seventh day, which would place the start of the thousand year kingdom of God around AD 2033. I think a prophecy our Lord gave applies in regards to this matter.

Luke 11:29-32 KJVS
[29] And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. [30] For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. [31] The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. [32] The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

Another account of this prophecy appears in Matthew that give a few additional facts.

Matthew 12:38-42 KJVS
[38] Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. [39] But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: [40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [41] The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. [42] The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Much effort and conjecture has been spent over the years trying to place our Lord in the tomb for three full days and nights, based on these scriptures. I view this prophecy strictly in the context of our Lord giving a sign to that wicked generation. They asked for a sign and were given one. Our Lord is telling that wicked generation that they will be appearing in the white throne judgment. That they will not have a role in the millennial kingdom of God, which lasts a 1000 years. In essence they will be resurrected in three thousand years following his death. The “heart of the earth” points to Jesus Christ purifying the hearts of men 2,000 years before and during the millennial kingdom. “Heart of the earth” brings these verses to mind along with the fact that man was formed from the dust of the earth, Ge 2:7.

1 Corinthians 15:47 KJVS
[47] The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

The Strong’s Concordance definition of the word earthy in the above verse means dusty.

John 12:24 KJVS
[24] Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Revelation 14:15 KJVS
[15] And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
Ephesians 3:17 KJVS
[17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

The words “ground” and “earth” are often used metaphorically in the New Testament symbolizing the heart and hearts of man and mankind. The Lord used these terms in several parables. So that only those who were given ears to hear would understand, Lk 8:10. So as to not disclose God‘s purpose in Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 KJVS
[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.

Enough on that. Since the rapture, gathering of the Saints unto the Lord, is in and around 3 1/2 years before 2033, Rev 10:7, that gives a rough target date of 2029 for the rapture. As a side note, there are distinctly different doctrines concerning when the rapture takes place. Different doctrines of man, designed to divide the believes in different denominations so as to often times fleece the sheep and make merchandise the body of Christ, as Apostle Peter described it.

2 Peter 2:1-3 KJVS
[1] But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. [3] And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Apostle Paul calls these doctrines the wind of doctrine.

Ephesians 4:14-15 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; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Hope of glory

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:

There are certain words used in the New Testament whose meanings are not well defined and precise when they appear in scripture verses. These words cover a lot of ground. Glory is one such word, and is hard to nail down exactly what it means from one verse to the next. The obvious question to ask is exactly what does the word glory mean in Col 1:27? So let us take a look at two definition found in the Strong’s Concordance from a iPad bible app that I write with.

Strong’s Number
G1391
Original Word
δόξα
Transliterated Word
doxa
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine

Strong’s Definition
From the base of G1380; glory (as very apparent) in a wide application (literally or figuratively objectively or subjectively): – dignity glory (-ious) honour praise worship.

Thayer’s Definition
1. opinion, judgment, view
2. opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
a. in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory
3. splendour, brightness
a. of the moon, sun, stars
b. magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
c. majesty
1. a thing belonging to God
a. the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler,
majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
2. a thing belonging to Christ
a. the kingly majesty of the Messiah
b. the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ;
3. the majesty
of the angels
as apparent in their exterior brightness
4. a most glorious condition, most exalted state
a.of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ
was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
b.the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven

The Thayer’s Definition does a excellent job of giving detailed definitions for the word glory based on context as this word appears in the New Testament. 4b of the Thayer’s Definition is, in my mind, the closest meaning for the word as it is used in Col 1:27. There are several verses that uses the word glory with a similar meaning as in Col 1:27, which would support the meaning I am ascribing to Col 1:27.

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,

As in Col 1:27, this verse in Ephesians is conditional. God the Father has to make known, give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of the riches and glory of the mystery, in the inheritance we have in Christ. Both verses are what I call mirror verses and essentially point to the same thing. A recurring theme throughout the New Testament is our hope in the resurrection. Our inheritance in Christ is to inherit the world with Abraham, Ro 4:13, Gal 3:16&29. This is exclusive to the promise seed in Christ and entails receiving a glorified body. The next two verses may have well been written one right after the other.

Titus 2:13 KJVS
[13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Philippians 3:21 KJVS
[21] Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Apostle Paul goes in more detail of the changing of our vile body in the 15 chapter of 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 15:41-43,50-52 KJVS
[41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. [42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: [43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: [50] Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. [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.

Notice in verse 51 Paul uses the word mystery, which points to the very same mystery he mentions in Col 1:27. This mystery is Christ in you the hope of glory and Apostle John wrote of it in the book of Revelation.

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.

I have wrote of this mystery in greater detail in other articles on this website. If I interested, a search on the word “mystery” in the search box in the upper right of the webpage can be made. But at the end of the day, God has to enlighten the eyes of a individual to understand the riches of the glory of this mystery of God and the inheritance we have in Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 KJVS
[12] That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

The body of Christ receives a kingdom that cannot be moved, He 12:28, at the seventh trumpet.

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.

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.

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints

1 Thessalonians 1:1 KJVS
[1] Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:1 KJVS
[1] Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

The other day I noticed how unique the opening verses of 1&2 Thessalonians were in contrast with the other epistles. Both verses have this phrase in them. “church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:” Which is no coincidence since both epistles contain details surrounding when the Saints are gathered unto the Lord, commonly referred to as the rapture. Which is the fulfillment of the mystery of God, which is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:27. And that glory is realized…

2 Thessalonians 1:10-12 KJVS
[10] When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. [11] Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: [12] That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul mentions this mystery of God, mystery of Christ in regards to the rapture in 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 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. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

The last or seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation is when the mystery of God is finished.

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.
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.

One should note the phrase “in the days” found in Rev 10:7, that phrase does not limit the mystery of God as being finished just when the seventh trumpet is sounded but in the days when it is sounded. If you are not familiar to the mystery of God you should do a study on the word as it appears in the New Testament. It is the hidden wisdom of God, 1 Co 2:7-8. That was revealed to the Saints of God at a certain point in time.

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:

Our Lord mentions the mystery of the kingdom of God and uttered many parables concerning it. Notice that understanding this mystery has to be make known to you by God, which is also stated in Col. 1:27.

Mark 4:11-13 KJVS
[11] And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: [12] That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. [13] And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

The Strong’s Concordance definition for the Greek word translated into the English word kingdom is in line with what this mystery is.

Strong’s Definition
From G935; properly royalty that is (abstractly) rule or (concretely) a realm (literally or figuratively): – kingdom + reign.

Properly royalty, royalty that is being prepared to rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Rev 20:6.

John 17:22-23 KJVS
[22] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: [23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

In addition to what has already been written , is a observation I just made regarding verses in the book of Revelation that confirms the observation made about Rev 10:7 above. There are two seed of the woman in the 12th chapter of Revelation, the man child who is caught up to the throne of God, Rev 12:5, and the remnant of the woman’s seed.

Revelation 12:17 KJVS
[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.

Some if not all of the remnant of the woman’s seed are martyrs for refusing to take the mark of the beast.

Revelation 13:7-8,15 KJVS
[7] And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. [8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. [15] And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

These members of the body of Christ also rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4 KJVS
[4] And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

There are a myriad of scripture verses in the Bible that comprise a complex interrelated whole. A unified theory if you will, of God’s will for man.

Ephesians 1:9-12 KJVS
[9] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: [10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: [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: [12] That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

In time past were not a people, but are now the people of God:

1 Peter 2:10 KJVS
[10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Years ago I read the above verse during a daily Bible reading. At the time it confused me. It is pasted below in context as apostle Peter wrote it in his epistle.

1 Peter 2:7-10 KJVS
[7] Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, [8] And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. [9] But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: [10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Apostle Peter was appointed to minister the gospel to the Jew, Gal 2:7&8, so how could those he was addressing ever be not the people of God? Up to that point in my life popular culture and even Christian teachings presented the Jew as God’s chosen people. So why did Peter say in time past they were not a people but are now the people of God? Then as time pasted I noticed these verses.

Romans 9:6-8 KJVS
[6] Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: [7] Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. [8] That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

There are children of the flesh and children of the promise, and only the children of the promise are accounted for the seed. These verses cleared up some of my confusion. Which ultimately lead let me to Galatians.

Galatians 4:21-26,30-31 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. [31] So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Verse 25 makes clear that Jerusalem of Jesus day were children of the flesh, sons of the bondwoman, which are the covenant of the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Rather than those of the covenant of promise. They will not inherit the world along with father Abraham, Gal 3:29. The words spoken by our Lord in the following verses demonstrates the distinction between the children of the flesh and the children of the promise. Both are Abrahams seed, but only some are children who were chosen to rule and reign with Jesus Christ , Eph 1:4.

John 8:37-39 KJVS
[37] I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. [38] I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. [39] They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

They that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth

John 4:24 KJVS
[24] God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

I grew up in a Roman Catholic family and can remember at a very young age sitting in St. Anthony church, professing to God how much I loved Him and how I would try very hard to be good son. When the time came, I was excited about the approaching sacrament of Confirmation, largely due to the fact that the 2nd chapter of Acts was read to us in catechism. Tongues of flames appearing and the disciples speaking in tongues was a electrifying account for a young imaginative mind and the prospect of that happening to me, had me in a state of excited anticipation. The dry liturgy in Latin that followed was long, boring and fell far short of my expectations. I was somewhat bewildered and confused at that young age because my Confirmation/receiving the Holy Ghost lacked any meaningful divine experience on my part. I can honestly say the seed of agnosticism was planted in me that day and I just went through the motions of observing a life as a Roman Catholic, largely to please my mother. I had felt very close to God as a Father, prior to the Confirmation ceremony, but was uncertain afterwards. I knew there was a God but the truth of the Roman Catholic Church’s sacrament of Confirmation in light of the New Testament account was questionable in my mind. Around 20 years later I received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. It was a powerful experience, that awakened in me a thirst for the truth of the scriptures. It has been 30 plus years since that experience, with much reading and searching the scriptures, in order for me to arrive at the truth of the Gospel. When you approach the scriptures you have to have the love of the truth. I believe, as the scriptures state, that God instills this love of the truth when you receive the Spirit of truth, Jn 16:13, Jn 18:37. Perhaps even earlier as my limited exposure to scriptures as a Catholic, gave me grounds to question the empty ritual of Confirmation. But in hindsight and to be fair, Jesus breathed on the disciples and said receive the Holy Ghost, before he ascended , Jn 20:22. The odd thing is, as I grew up and was instructed in the Roman Catholic religion, hell and the fear of eternal hell never really seemed a concrete reality for me. The notion of God consigning people to eternal torment did not seem to fit the God I felt so close to in my youth. I have been a loose cannon for most of my early adult life. I had two serious concussions in my early teens that perhaps were responsible for me being impulsive and reckless. I liked drinking and driving fast, took chances, and was more than ready to answer a dare if challenged. A few more concussions along the way and it seemed as if I was like a chip of wood being carried along in the raging river of life. I caused so much worry and grief for my poor mother, who was a staunch Roman Catholic. And when I received the Holy Ghost and related to her that I spoke in tongues in a different church, she really had no frame of reference for my sudden interest in God and the bible. But it bothered her I was not a Roman Catholic and I am certain she feared I would spend eternity in hell, due to not being a Catholic. I mean, let’s face it, the majority of Christian denominations do not have a clear understanding of scripture. If they run across a verse that does not agree with their denominational mindset, they ignore it. Perhaps one can say they were not given the love of the truth, not given eyes to see. It is written that many are called but few are chosen. Now, I can cite scripture verses for those last couple statements I made, but it occurs to me that anyone who reads this is likely familiar enough with bible verses to know this to be true. The truth is everything to a member of the body of Christ. So when God states something, through His son or other prophets and Apostles that He ordained and inspired, 2 Pe 3:2, He 1:1&2, it is the truth. So when the baptism of the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues is mentioned in scripture it is a truth of the gospel. When Paul writes to Timothy the following verse, it is the truth of the gospel.

1 Timothy 4:9-11 KJVS
[9] This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. [10] For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. [11] These things command and teach.

So what does verse 9 say? That what Paul is stating, is worthy for all, all acceptance. And he tells Timothy to command and teach that God is the savior of all men, period. If you don’t accept that fact, you don’t accept the truth of the gospel. I won’t cite the many scriptures that state that God is going to save all men at this time, because I have already written a article where I assembled many verses from the New Testament that state just that. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=241 It is hard for me to understand why this obvious truth of scripture is not taught by the many Christian denominations that surround us. I read in a article online once, that religion down through the ages, assisted the ruling emperors, kings, and later on in history, elected governments, in maintaining a peaceful and orderly society by teaching a hell of eternal torment. In short, this doctrine was a societal control mechanism. The article said this doctrine preceded Christianity and traces itself as far back as early Egypt and Babylon empires. There is probably a good deal of truth to this, and the fear of eternal hell also has another benefit. It is responsible for a great deal of money placed in the collection plates over the centuries. This fear of torment was also instrumental in selling many a candle over the centuries by those people who were thinking they were shortening time spent in purgatory. Now, one might say that is a good thing. But conversely it has caused many a mother’s worry and fear for a wayward son, of which I was once number among. I wish I could take back the grief and worry I caused my poor departed mother in my youth. I can not honestly say how she viewed my receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. A good deal of the Christian world receives this testimony regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues with caution, skepticism and often with downright hostility. Even going so far as suggesting demons are involved. So I imagine my mother feared for my soul spending a eternity in fiery torment. But see how far Christianity has veered from the truth. How can a person be washed with the regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost and be justified, Titus 3:5-7, without the Holy Ghost? Now, do all speak in tongues, is a question asked by Paul, 1 Co 12:30. I would point out that in context, Paul could be referring to speaking in tongues as a spiritual gift, which may indicate that tongues as a gift, is not received by all. Which could be further reinforced later in the epistle.

1 Corinthians 14:5 KJVS
[5] I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

There is a interesting account of a Jew named Apollos in the book of Acts that I would like you to read.

Acts 18:24-28 KJVS
[24] And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. [25] This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. [26] And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them , and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. [27] And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: [28] For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

I usually don’t like to paste a large series of scripture verses at one time as the average reader can get lost in them, so to speak. One of the things I fear, is that the large number of verses I cite and use in my articles dissuades many from reading and understanding what I have to teach. Apollos was “fervent in the spirit” and taught many people the “way of the Lord” and had only known or received the water baptism from John the Baptist. Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos aside and expounded the way of God more perfectly. This account fails to mention Apollos receiving the Holy Ghost or speaking in tongues, but it does state he was fervent in the spirit. Spirit with a small “s”. I received the Holy Ghost at a Pentecostal church and they maintained that speaking in tongues was evidence of having received the Holy Ghost and was a necessary sign of being saved. At least that was the doctrine of the church I attended for a short time, presented as the truth. I remember at the time, I feared for my brothers and sisters spending eternity in hell. Several times in the book of Acts, men and woman are described as receiving the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues. It is a simple matter of doing a word search on the word tongues in the book of Acts and reading the verses where the word appears, Acts 2:4&11, Acts 10:46 and Acts 19:6. But not every account of a person being called by the Lord in the book of Acts mentions speaking in tongues. Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus does not mention that he spoke in tongues but he makes this statement in a epistle he wrote.

1 Corinthians 14:18 KJVS
[18] I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

I can honestly say that according to the scriptures, a person cannot say with certainty, that a Spirit filled believer has to speak in tongues to verify that they have received the Holy Ghost. But, I would think receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost would be a powerful, memorable, life changing experience. I ask you read the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians which outlines the spiritual gifts that are to operate in the body of Christ. And then read 1 Co 14:26-33 which gives guidelines on how the gifts of the Spirit should be used in a orderly manner. This is important in regards to the subject matter of this post. I have never been in a church which operated in this fashion. I have attended churches and other ministries that demonstrate some of the gifts of the Spirit. I have went to the San Marcos California healing rooms seeking healing my spinal cord injury several times and each time received a word of wisdom that guided my path. I have had the Spirit strongly impress scripture on me to the point where the verses were audible in my mind. I groan in the Spirit and pray in the Spirit quite often, Ro 8:26, Eph 6:18? I have not seen tongues and interpretation of tongues, prophesying, and the like taking place in a congregation but to be honest I have not gone to church much in the last 40 years. During the last two decades, chronic back pain when sitting makes most church chairs unsuitable for sitting in for extended periods of time. I have attended Assembly of God churches, Pentecostal churches and other charismatic churches and they operate similar to the Baptist and Evangelical churches. They have a pastor, a band, and a core group of leadership that, in retrospect limit over all group involvement. I attended and liked how the Plymouth Brethren churches operate, where anyone can speak and give a teaching or insight, but you have to be careful you don’t stray outside of doctrinal boundaries. And I wouldn’t think you should speak in tongues. After some thought, I have come to realize that the content and control of the message being presented, is being managed in most churches. You don’t want to talk about God saving all men, which is a third rail one does not touch in the majority of Christian churches today. We are told:

1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 KJVS
[19] Quench not the Spirit. [20] Despise not prophesyings.

The early churchs of Asia Minor were much less structured and encouraged the participation by all members in a orderly manner, in regards to the operation of spiritual gifts. And yet today most branches of Christianity believe in the cessation of spiritual gifts. They use part of the last verse in the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians, and the entire 13 chapter itself, as proof that the spiritual gifts have ceased.

1 Corinthians 12:31 KJVS
[31] But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The Greek manuscripts of the New Testament had no chapter headings in the individual books. These were added by the translators later on in history. Love is the more excellent way, and the 13 chapter of 1 Corinthians demonstrates that admirably. But the first verse of the 14 chapter of 1 Corinthians states the following.

1 Corinthians 14:1 KJVS
[1] Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts , but rather that ye may prophesy.

As you see the doctrine of the cessation of spiritual gifts is another example of the slight of hand and the cunning craftiness wherein man lies in wait to deceive, Eph 4:14. Spiritual gifts do have a role in the church today but they should operate in a orderly fashion as Paul outlines in the 14th chapter of 1 Corinthians. The denominations that do believe that spiritual gifts are in operation today, do not really follow a pattern of open participation as outlined by Paul in 1 Corinthians. So why is that? Is it because they want to bridle the Spirit of truth? Is it more about making money and being in control of people rather than the truth of the gospel? That may sound harsh but from my understanding of church history and scriptures themselves, this type division and apostasy started very early on in Apostle Peter and Paul’s days. I will just list a few verses that support this statement.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJVS
[3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Jude 1:4 KJVS
[4] For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
2 Peter 2:1-3 KJVS
[1] But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. [3] And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

I particularly like the phrase “make merchandise of you” and the way it hits the nail on the head. What strikes me as being important is the words of Apostle John,that are often cited but not in the proper context.

1 John 4:2-4 KJVS
[2] Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: [3] And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. [4] Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Verse 4 has very powerful and significant historical importance, in my eyes, in light of the apostasy that was already starting in the early church. Is the denial of the baptism of the Holy Ghost what John means when he writes “every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.”? The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:27, which is Jesus Christ come in the flesh. Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world, points directly to the in dwelling Holy Ghost. If you examine the history of the Roman Catholic Church, the Reformation Churches and today’s Baptist and Evangelical Churches, they all are lacking the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as a powerful and meaningful experience in the life of a Christian. Form without substance, so to speak. I can remember asking the Roman Catholic nun after Confirmation, why I did not speak in tongues. I was given some obfuscated response that I can no longer remember, but essentially no answer to my question. Is today’s common doctrine of cessationism, a subtitle form of the antichrist spirit? Another hard question likely impossible to answer, is whether the gifts of the Spirit were operational throughout all of church history? If the spiritual gifts operated at all, it was likely a hidden underground movement. Or was the early and latter rain that James cited, a literal prophecy regarding the early church and the church that emerges in the last days, 2 Pe 3:8.

James 5:7 KJVS
[7] Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

There are a lot of verses in the New Testament that many, if not all church denominations, ignore in some fashion or another. These words written by the Apostle Paul number among them.

1 Corinthians 14:37-40 KJVS
[37] If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. [38] But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. [39] Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. [40] Let all things be done decently and in order.

Conveniently enough I just read these verses this morning from 1 Corinthians, that shines light on the importance of receiving the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 2:7-16 KJVS
[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. [9] But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. [10] But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. [11] For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. [12] Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. [13] Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. [14] But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them , because they are spiritually discerned. [15] But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. [16] For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily

Colossians 2:8-9 KJVS
[8] Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. [9] For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

There is a verse in the gospel of John spoken by our Lord, that aptly describes the godhead and Jesus’s relationship to the Father.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Our Lord himself described God as a Spirit.

John 4:24 KJVS
[24] God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Apostle John adds this.

John 1:18 KJVS
[18] No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
1 John 4:12 KJVS
[12] No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

How can God and our Lord both be in us, Jn 17:23? Certainly not physically. Only through the Spirit. God as a Spirit is the life force of the universe.

Acts 17:28 KJVS
[28] For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

In my mind, all the above verses points to God the Father as the head deity, and Jesus Christ as having the fullness of God the Father in him. The definition of the Greek word translated into the English word fullness that appears in Col 2:9, has the following Strong’s definition.

Strong’s Number
G4138
Strong’s Definition
From G4137; repletion or completion that is (subjectively) what fills (as contents supplement copiousness multitude) or (objectively) what is filled (as container performance period): – which is put in to fill up piece that filled up fulfilling full fulness.

Imagine a cup of water filled to the brim and then Jesus Christ filled to the brim with the Spirit of God the Father. God being a Spirit, created the material world, and the first material thing that he created was the Word of God.

John 1:1-3 KJVS
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

There are different theological positions about whether or not God has a physical form. Jesus may have answered this question when he said this to Philip.

John 14:8-9 KJVS
[8] Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. [9] Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then , Shew us the Father?

Which fits with what Apostle John wrote in John 1:18. Personality I view God as a Spirit with no physical form. He permeates the entire universe and is the life force for all living things. You can’t hide from him as He is everywhere. His ultimate purpose is to be all in all.

1 Corinthians 15:24-26,28 KJVS
[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. [28] And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

In order for God to be all in all, all have to dwell in love.

1 John 4:16 KJVS
[16] And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

I don’t see the trinity doctrine in the scriptures outside of one verse.

Matthew 28:19 KJVS
[19] Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

With some research on the web, you will find that Eusebius wrote Mt 28:19 like this.
““With one word and voice He said to His disciples: “Go, and make disciples of all nations in My Name, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” — (Proof of the Gospel by Eusebius, Book III, ch 6, 132 (a), p. 152). Eusebius was the Bishop of Caesarea and is known as “the Father of Church History.” He wrote prolifically and his most celebrated work is his Ecclesiastical History, a history of the Church from the Apostolic period until his own time. Eusebius quotes many verses in his writings including Matthew 28:19 several times. But he never quotes it as it appears in modern Bibles. He always finishes the verse with the words “in my name.””
Source-http://www.trinitytruth.org/matthew28_19addedtext.html

It is a simple matter to do a word search on the words baptized and baptizing to see in what name or names were used by the Apostles when performing baptism.

Acts 2:38 KJVS
[38] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:16 KJVS
[16] (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Acts 8:16 KJVS
[16] (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Acts 10:48 KJVS
[48] And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Acts 19:5 KJVS
[5] When they heard this , they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Romans 6:3 KJVS
[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Galatians 3:27 KJVS
[27] For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

The above verses makes it clear that the Apostles baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you think it possible that these holy and devoute men, who were martyred for the truth of the gospel, so quickly strayed from explicit instructions that our Lord supposedly gave them in Mat 28:19, if in fact our Lord actually spoke those exact words?

Children of the living God

Romans 9:26 KJVS
[26] And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

It is extremely important to understand who the children of God are in context with Israel of the Old Testament. What follows will hopefully be a clear cut exercise of rightly dividing the word of the truth, 2 Ti 2:15. The bulk of the verses used, will be from the book of Romans and Galatians. Paul previously in chapter 9 of Romans, makes clear the difference between Israel of the flesh and Israel of the promise seed, in regards to who are the children of God.

Romans 9:6-8 KJVS
[6] Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: [7] Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. [8] That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

In Isaac shall thy seed be called is a reference to the actual words spoken by God to Abraham, Gen 21:12. In the book of Galatians Apostle Paul adds more information regarding Israel of the flesh and Israel of the promise. But introduces another bit of information that took quite a bit of study for me to understand fully.

Galatians 4:22-26,28,30-31 KJVS
[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. [28] Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. [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. [31] So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Mount Sinai in verse 25, and the mention of Jerusalem that now is, clearly points to the law of Moses and the religious institution of the Temple in Apostle Paul’s day. You will notice there is only two covenants. The covenant of the law and covenant of promise. The promised seed is Jesus Christ, which Apostle Paul makes clear in the previous chapter in Galatians.

Galatians 3:16-18,29 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [17] And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. [18] For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. [29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

These two sets of verses from Galatians are important divisions in the word of God. Only the children of promise, those who are in Christ, are children of God, and those of the covenant of the law can not be heirs of the world, Ro 4:13, with the children of promise. Our Lord demonstrates this distinction when talking with the Pharisees, who were under bondage to the law.

John 8:39,42,44 KJVS
[39] They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. [42] Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. [44] Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

A verse I just recently took note of in the book Galatians points to the importance of the indwelling Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost in all of this.

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.

We of course received the Spirit of adoption that places us in the body of Christ.

Romans 8:14-16 KJVS
[14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Notice the word bondage in verse 15, that refers to bondage under the law. And receiving the Spirit of adoption, makes it possible for us to become citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel of the promise.

Ephesians 2:12-13 KJVS
[12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Becoming heirs in the Commonwealth of Israel is predicated on our being conformed to the image of Christ, part of which involves suffering. A prevalent and recurring theme of this website.

Romans 8:17-18 KJVS
[17] And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him , that we may be also glorified together. [18] For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

A remnant shall be saved

Romans 9:26-28 KJVS
[26] And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. [27] Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: [28] For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

There are several different viewpoints of when the resurrection of the body of Christ takes place. I have to admit, I steered clear of the book of Revelation after I was chastised by God and told to study to show myself approved. My reasoning was, in order to be approved and found in Christ at the first resurrection, I needed to learn what sound doctrine was in regards to being justified and sanctified by the salvation that is in Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation is largely concerned with the end of the age and is unlike the epistles and gospels in regards to doctrine, so I thought it best to put it on the shelf for a extended period of time. During the last six months or so I have read the book of Revelations four or five times and have become somewhat familiar with its content. It is a very enigmatic book full of symbolic language that covers three different time frames.

Revelation 1:19 KJVS
[19] Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

I can’t claim to be a expert on the book but after a certain degree of familiarity coupled with good understanding of the rest of the New Testament, certain doctrines regarding end times events become evident. It is surprising what a person can learn paying close attention to words. Words have specific meanings and when reading the New Testament, a person should always look at the Greek words and their definitions for better understanding in regards to text. Especially when trying to set and adhere to certain doctrines. The word remnant that is used in Ro 9:27, is a translation from a Greek word used only once in the New Testament. That fact alone seems to imply a degree of exclusiveness in its usage. The Strong’s Concordance listing of definition and usage in the NT of this word is pasted below.

Strong’s Number
G2640
Original Word
κατάλειμμα
Transliterated Word
kataleimma
Phonetic Spelling
kat-al’-ime-mah
Parts of Speech
Noun Neuter
Strong’s Definition
From G2641; a remainder that is (by implication) a few: – remnant.
Thayer’s Definition
remnant, remains
Usage by Word
remnant (1)
Usage by Book
Romans

The word remnant is used six times in the New Testament,but different Greek words are translated into the English word remnant. One of those Greek words is translated into several English words other than remnant. I think it is quite telling that this Greek word, which is used once in the NT, appears in a verse clearly referring to the children of God, the body of Christ, Ro 9:26&27. There are a couple other Greek words that are translated into the English word remnant, five other times in the New Testament, and are listed below.

Strong’s Numbers G3062, G3005 and G3007.

Now we will get to the meat of this post. In regards to eschatology and doctrines pertaining to end time events. It would benefit us to look at one of the verses the word remnant appears in the book of Revelation, translated from G3062. This verse follows the event that many say is when the rapture of the body of Christ takes place, Re 12:5.

Revelation 12:17 KJVS
[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.

At first glance and in conjunction with Re 12:14, one might rightly conclude that the remnant of her seed would not be resurrected until the end of the tribulation. Some might use this verse as proof for a post tribulation rapture. I am strictly confining myself with New Testament scripture for insight into this matter. It is evident to me that the body of Christ is resurrected Mid tribulation. I base this according to the following verse and short explanation that follows.

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.

The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:26&27, and that glory takes place at the seventh and last trump, 1 Co 15:43&51-52, 1 Thess 4:16&17. So it would appear there is more than one remnant and two groups of seed of the woman, the body of Christ, Ro 9:27, Gal 3:29, and another remnant of the seed of the woman mentioned in Re 12:6,14&17. The woman and by extension the remnant of her seed are taken to a place in the wilderness and are nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent, Re 12:13&14. Often times the word remnant is associated with the body of Christ, and that is still likely the case based on Galatians 3:16,29. These scriptures in Revelation bring questions to mind concerning the gathering unto the Lord, the saints of God, in the last days. Is the two remnants mentioned in Ro 9:27 and Re 12:17 both a part of the body of Christ? If so, then the mid-tribulation and post tribulation rapture doctrinal positions could both be technically correct. Are the 144,000 thousand mentioned in the seventh chapter of Revelation the same as the man child mentioned in Re 12:5? Most theologians think so, as do I. Since Rev 14:4 state they are firstfruits unto God and the Lamb. Is the literal body of Christ a subset of the promised seed, due to the fact they are the priest in the coming age? The word of God portrays the purpose of God in Jesus Christ in great detail but there are gray areas that often defy firm conclusions. I often think there are subtitle nuances in the Koine Greek that were lost in time, which the translators down through the ages fail to understand. There are only a few other verses in the New Testament that mention this woman as being the mother of these remnant seed.

Galatians 4:22-26 KJVS
[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.

In Isa 66:5-8, the woman is identified as Zion, Paul refers to Jerusalem above and in Ro 11:26, he states the Deliverer will come out of Sion. Mount Zion was the mount earthly Jerusalem sat on, Sion is the mount that Jerusalem above sits on. In Romans and Galatians, Paul makes inspired statements in regards who the children of God, the promise seed are.

Romans 9:8 KJVS
[8] That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

The promise seed is a individual person, Jesus Christ, and by extension those that are in him.

Galatians 3:16,29 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Two other sets of verses that appear later in Revelation contain additional information pertaining to this remnant seed mentioned in Re 12:17

Revelation 13:8-10 KJVS
[8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. [9] If any man have an ear, let him hear. [10] He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Revelation 14:12-13 KJVS
[12] Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. [13] And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Now, clearly this remnant seed have faith in Jesus Christ and keep the commandments of God, and are going to “die in the Lord”, Re 14:13. Presumably the commandments of God they keep, is the royal law to love the Lord their God and love their neighbor as themselves. But from where I sit, it is very difficult to draw any firm conclusions regarding the remnant mentioned in Re 12:17, beyond what I have already written. I myself, will wait and see how all of this unfolds. It is clear the body of Christ will meet the Lord in the air, following the seventh and last trump. Perhaps this other remnant seed is resurrected during the resurrection of the just and unjust at the end of the age of grace, Mt 25:31-46. But when examining all the scripture verses cited and listed above, one is hard pressed in making a clear definable distinction between the body of Christ, and the remnant seed mentioned in Re 12:17.

Blessed us with all spiritual blessings

Ephesians 1:3 KJVS
[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Most Christians fail to understand what the blessings in Jesus Christ are in the New Testament. The blessings are largely spiritual rather than material blessings, 1 Ti 6:5-11. Perhaps this is due to the Old Testament influence on modern Christian theology. A couple verses in Acts makes the nature of New Testament blessings in Christ more apparent.

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.

A person might wonder exactly how this “being turned away from our iniquities” comes about in our lives? It comes about through the Spirit of God working in our lives, the Spirit that makes holy.

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.

It is not at all surprising, that the above verse is from the epistle of Galatians. Apostle Paul wrote that epistle to counteract the teachings of some Jews that came to that church, teaching that Gentile Christians had to be circumcised and observe the law of Moses in order to be justified. Paul in the second chapter sets the record straight.

Galatians 2:16 KJVS
[16] Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians covers a lot of theological ground that most Christians fail to understand. There are two aspects to be understood in regards to receiving the Holy Spirit. Receiving the Holy Spirit places you into the body of Christ, Ga 3:16&29, and makes you heir of the promises God made to Abraham. The blessings of Abraham, is receiving the Holy Spirit which turns us away from our iniquities throughout a life of faith. If I were asked to sum up the book of Galatians, using one scripture verse from that epistle, it would be this verse.

Galatians 3:3 KJVS
[3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Notice the word begun in the above verse. The inherent weakness of the flesh, gives sin the power over us in our lives, Ro 7:19&20, Ro 8:3, and it is only through the agency of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost that we are justified by grace, Ro 3:24. How we are justified by grace is largely three fold. God changes our heart and inner natures by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost, Titus 3:5-7. Along with this is the washing by the word, Eph 5:26. Paul wrote Timothy about the different aspects of the word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16 KJVS
[16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Also God teaching/disciplining/chastising us, Titus 2:11&12, He 10:6. This is judgments by God aimed at correcting our behavior.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32 KJVS
[31] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. [32] But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Chastisements are judgment by God, and are a function of grace working in our lives. This is all part and parcel of the spiritual blessings we receive in Christ. Four times in the epistle of Ephesians the phrase “heavenly places” is used. There is a popular Christian pop song where the phrase is used in a future tense. Possibly giving lip service to a doctrine circling the Internet regarding these “heavenly places” in Christ. In short it suggests that after the Kingdom of God is established in this earth, the Gentile members of the body of Christ will sit in heavenly places in Christ, and the work they do in the thousand year kingdom of God will be in involved in the heavenly places. At least that is what I think the doctrine suggests. This doctrine also makes the claim there are two gospels, one for the Hebrews and one for the Gentiles. I looked into the two gospel doctrine closely and found it flew in the face of NT scriptures. I wrote a previous post dealing with this doctrine in light of NT scriptures. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=202. In regards to the “heavenly places” interpretation, the phrase heavenly places appears only four times in the NT, all the verses are in the epistle of Ephesians. We see that Christ sits at the right hand of God in heavenly places, Eph 1:20. And that as a member of the body of Christ, we presently sit in heavenly places “in Christ”. It is always good to read scripture in context.

Ephesians 2:5-9 KJVS
[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

As you can clearly see we presently sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and this allows us access to the throne of grace. There are positive and negative aspect associated with sitting in the heavenly places in Christ. We can come before the throne of grace and ask for mercy and grace to help us in times of need, He 4:16. The negative aspects associated with sitting in the heavenly places in Christ, as I briefly mentioned before, are that we can be judged if we do not ask for forgiveness and walk after the flesh, Ro 8:1. Largely because we are viewed as dead in Christ.

Romans 6:3 KJVS
[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Hebrews 9:27-28 KJVS
[27] And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: [28] So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

1 Peter 4:17 KJVS
[17] For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

It is important that we realize we are subject to judgment by the Lord in order to eradicate sin in our lives and bring about holiness. This judgment can and does take place if we don’t judge ourselves.

1 Corinthians 11:28-32 KJVS
[28] But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. [29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. [30] For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. [31] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. [32] But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

As you can see, being chastened by God is a result of being judged by God and is aimed towards amending our behavior in order to instill fruit of the Spirit and holiness.

Hebrews 12:6-7,10-11 KJVS
[6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? [10] For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Another aspect directly related to sitting in heavenly places in Christ and being judged, is that Satan can accuse the members of the body of Christ of sinful behavior. Notice these verses in Revelation.

Revelation 12:10 KJVS
[10] And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Satan is known as the adversary and it is a role I suspect that God assigned to him, based on chance, before the world began. Investigate the day of atonement ceremony that took place once a year during the law of Moses. Two sacrificial lambs were taken and due to the drawing of colored stones, it was determined which one was the sin sacrifice lamb and which one was led off into the wilderness. Satan or the devil serves a necessary function in the plan and purpose of God.

1 Peter 5:8 KJVS
[8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The following is the Strong’s Concordance definition for the Greek word translated into the English word adversary.

Strong’s Number
G476
Original Word
ἀντίδικος
Transliterated Word
antidikos
Phonetic Spelling
an-tid’-ee-kos
Parts of Speech
Noun Masculine
Strong’s Definition
From G473 and G1349; an opponent (in a lawsuit); specifically Satan (as the arch enemy): – adversary.
Thayer’s Definition
opponent
an opponent in a suit of law
an adversary, enemy

Did not the Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil? In the Lord’s Prayer do we not pray to God to lead us not into temptation? Read the first two chapters of the book of Job sometime and observe the interplay between God and the devil. The following scriptures in Luke, with a little mental extrapolation, offers keen insight into what takes place at the throne of grace.

Luke 12:57-58 KJVS
[57] Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? [58] When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.

The throne of grace is also the judgment seat, imagine Jesus sitting on this throne. The adversary, the devil, accuses you of sin, sin that you have not asked forgiveness for, and too stubborn or full of pride to give up. Satan, rightfully so, levels a charge against you and forces the Lord’s hand to judge you. For that reason I try and remember to pray the perfect prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, once a day for this reason. Satan may be even given leave to torment you, or even make you sick or take your life if you do not seek mercy and grace at the throne of grace.

1 Corinthians 11:30-32 KJVS
[30] For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. [31] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. [32] But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Although the above verse is directly related to eating and drinking the body of Christ unworthily, by offending another member of the body of Christ. The spiritual president holds true towards long term unconfessed sin and sin in general. Because God chastises and scourges the sons he loves, He 12:6.