"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The HARBINGER – HOAX or HISTORY?



By James Fire

For several months now I’ve heard many Christians talking excitedly about this book entitled The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn, a professing Messianic Jew and pastor of The Jerusalem Center, a worship center in Wayne, New Jersey.

I was looking forward to reading it myself until I heard from sources I deem reputable that it was not a sound treatment, and because I was very occupied elsewhere, I dismissed such an opportunity to have a look at it.

Then there came controversy and debate over this novel (which Cahn claims is based on factual information) on whether or not it portrays accurately issues on Israel, America, the judgments and the covenants of God, as well as other crucial matters regarding hermeneutical perspectives on the Scriptures.


So I decided to get a book about it by David James (HARBINGER: Fact or Fiction, a primary source for this article) as well as borrow a copy of the Cahn novel from a friend.
Read more!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: ISRAEL

by A.M. Kisly

It's Wednesday evening, November 14, 2012. 

An urgent prayer request was posted on Joel Rosenberg's blog moments ago, for Israel.  We are re-posting on our website for the purpose of mobilizing the body of Christ to pray!



Psalm 122:6 states: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love you.
 
'A special blessing is guaranteed to those who will pray for the peace of Jerusalem. One thing the Scriptures
make clear is that the peace of Jerusalem is tied in with the Second Coming of Messiah, and the prerequisite to the Second Coming is Israel’s salvation. So, when believers pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they are praying for the salvation of the Jewish people. Those individuals who pray regularly for the salvation of the Jews are guaranteed certain blessings not available by any other means. That is how individual believers can become participants in the blessing aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant.' ~ Arnold Fruchtenbaum


From Joel Rosenberg's blog:

Urgent prayer request: Hamas violence escalating rapidly .…raining rockets on Israel …IDF calling up reserves, preparing to invade Gaza ...latest details. -


(Netanya, Israel) — UPDATED: We urgently need Christians around the world to pray for peace and to mobilize your family, friends and churches to pray and fast. The  situation here is rapidly going from bad to worse. It is nearly midnight here, and the battle between Hamas and Israel has been intensifying hour by hour throughout the day. 

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terror organizations — backed by Iran — are firing rockets, missiles and mortars at innocent civilians in Israel, along the southern border. Each act is a war crime. The Iranian-backed terrorists are also firing from behind innocent civilians in Gaza, often from hospitals, mosques and schools. Thus, each act is actually two war crimes. In just the past several hours, the terrorists have fired more 50 times at Israel. That’s more than 100 war crimes. Since Saturday, they have fired at Israeli civilians more than 200 times. That’s more than 400 war crimes.  Yet the world is paying very little attention and doing little to stop the terrorist attacks. Israel, therefore, is moving swiftly to defend herself. 

Read more!

Monday, November 12, 2012

LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS – Part 7 & 8

by A. M. Kisly 

More Problem Areas We Will Encounter in the Last Days!

Matthew 24:5-8

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.

I apologize for have gotten away from this series.  As you know the Lord directs our steps.  Things pop in and out of our lives that need focus and attention and we must follow the Lord's direction. 

In our last post in this series, we covered parts 5-6 dealing with a couple of problems areas we will encounter in the last days.  In this segment we will continue on with this same thought, dealing with physical upheavals and spiritual warfare...something we can all relate to. 

In the past couple of weeks we've seen the Northeast portion of the United States hit with Hurricane Sandy which turned into a Super Storm after colliding with another storm system to the west.  We've read the news, people are suffering, they've been heaved from their homes and are living in desolation..no roof over their head, no electricity, no heat, no water.  As organizations and ministries rush to aid in this tragedy, this is just the beginning of the sorrows that lay ahead.

Just this past week we've received an urgent prayer request from the churches in Syria,


"The letter expresses incredible courage, faith and resilience in the face of increasingly dire conditions. It is clear that Syria is experiencing a war within a war. Christians are caught in the crossfire and are being driven from their homelands on account of their faith. This is a complex situation, but we need the media to tell the story of what's really happening to the Church. The astonishing spiritual maturity of suffering Christians in Syria should prompt us all to prayer and action.
"

I could write volumes of examples and events happening around the world....yet are people heading the warnings?  Is the Church?

The Church is also battling intense Spiritual Warfare.  Every kind of immorality is being thrown in our face. We are witnessing apostasy in the church.  The church is sick, she has compromised with the world and the world's philosophies and as a result we are watching a great departure from biblical truth.

What is the Christians response to these events?

Let's begin: 

Read more!

Stand For Life – Defend the Innocent!

by A.M. Kisly

In 1973, in the era before 4-D ultrasounds made their way into the lives of ordinary American couples, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to specify when life began in the historic case known as Roe v. Wade. In fact, when read with its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, Roe allowed for abortion to take place during all nine-months of pregnancy. That's why abortionists were able to get away with the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion.

When President Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (S. 3) into law on November 5, 2003, pro-lifers saw the culmination of an eight-year struggle led by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and congressional pro-life leaders.

The bill represents the first direct national restriction on any method of abortion since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in 1973.
 

A Gallup-CNN-USA Today poll conducted in late October found that among  "young adults" (age 18-29), the ban is favored 77-19%, while among the older groups, support was 68-25%.  A Gallup poll conducted last January, which specified that the method is "conducted in the last six months of pregnancy," and has a life-of-mother exception, found 70% for a ban.

Despite the fact that the vast majority in the United States support a ban on partial birth abortion, President Barack Obama has pledged to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, lifting ALL federal regulations on abortion.  This would include parental consent, and the ban on partial-birth abortion.  The result of this reckless act would be at the very minimum 125,000 additional abortions each year. And here is the rest of it.

Read more!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the ROMANS – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Twelve – Christian Conduct

By James Fire

In this final installment of chapter Twelve of Romans, we will examine the very practical aspects of Christian conduct in various situations, among them, persecution, which is increasing the world over exponentially.

Many of you are aware of the fact that more Christians have been martyred in the last 100 years than the entire history of the church since its inception! That is a remarkable statistic, especially when one considers the massacres of believers committed by the Caesars of Rome and the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church!

We’ll get into all of this in time, but for now, let’s begin with verse 11:
Read more!

Monday, October 22, 2012

ISRAELOLOGY – Why Israel Matters To the Biblical Christian - Part Two

~ ~ By James Fire

The Promises and Covenants with Israel Have Been Broken? 

There are those that believe that since Israel has rejected their Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ that the promises of God to build them an everlasting kingdom where Jesus, the Son of David, would rule from His father’s (David) throne have been done away with. Jesus was crucified, being rejected by Israel’s ruling authorities, and so these people believe that the promises once given to Israel have been given now to the church.

This is called Replacement Theology and is unbiblical (we will see why this is so in the following second half of this two-part article)! To help us address this issue (and some others) we now want to listen to an interview (approx. 34 mins.) with Paul Wilkinson from SAID ministry (Saints Abounding In Discernment) by Michael-Anthony Rene Chavez; Michael-Anthony is in ministry with SAID along with Sergio Martinez. Also on this same page, be sure to read Sergio’s article about John Piper and his views on Israel; biblical or not? You can read more information about all this from Paul Wilkinson as well as Jacob Prasch’s own insights in a SAID radio interview, all found on this page above! Here is another presentation by Paul Winkinson at The BEREAN CALL Conference regarding these issues: Christian Palestinianism (1 hr. 06 mins.) 



God’s Promise Delayed, NOT Deleted!

After the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He meets with His disciples in the first chapter of Acts where they ask the LORD about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel:

Acts 1: 6 – 7

6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.&

By now the LORD Jesus had already established His church (which He spoke about previously in Matt. 16:18) and yet here we have the disciples asking about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

Note what the LORD Jesus did NOT say

“Do you not yet understand that since Israel has rejected her King, that God no longer will give them the kingdom?”

He simply said that the time for that event is in the Father’s keeping, to be revealed later on, but not now – now is the time to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Spirit so that the disciples will have success in preaching the Gospel and being witnesses all around the world and those that believe would become disciples of Christ themselves and members of the church!

The time of Israel’s kingdom and greatest glory in the LORD was delayed but not at all deleted: God will ALWAYS keep His promises!

Now let’s turn to another chapter in Acts, chapter 15

The Council of Jerusalem

There were some disagreements among Jewish members of the church regarding the Gentile believers; many Jews, especially Pharisees that became disciples of Jesus Christ, believed it was proper for Gentile followers of Christ should be circumcised and to follow the Law of Moses (Acts 15: 1, 5).

It was determined that it was not at all necessary for the Gentiles to be circumcised or to follow the Law of Moses, for this did not provide salvation nor was it a burden that even the Jews could bear, but Jews now can get saved just the same way as the Gentiles (Acts 15:7-11) – but then if such things were unnecessary, then what would be the need for Israel to remain as a nation?

Was there yet a future for Israel now that the church had been established?

Toward the end of the Counsel, the elder of Jerusalem, James (the half brother of Jesus the Christ) stood up and made a statement:

Acts 15: 13 – 17

13And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

James quoted from the book of Amos which says the following:

Amos 9: 11 – 12, 14 - 15

11In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
12That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

14And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
15And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

Elder James understood that “the tabernacle of David” would be raised back up and built “as in the days of old” but that this would occur once God visited the Gentiles “to take out of them a people for His Name” – which is the church!

Once the church is completed then, the LORD God will turn His attention once again to Israel and rebuild that nation and restore the kingdom as in the days of David.

In Paul’s epistle to the Romans he takes three chapters (9, 10 & 11) to explain why God is not yet finished with Israel. In chapter 11 he says the following:

Romans 11:1-5

1I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Do ye not know what the scripture saith of Elijah? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,
3Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Here Paul the apostle presents the biblical concept of a remnant; that is, of all of a particular body of people (whether of Israel or the church) there is a remnant that has not fallen from the faith or apostatized.

Just as God informed Elijah of the fact that while the prophet thought he was alone, there were in fact, seven thousand others that “have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal”.

Dr. Scofield comments:

Our Library Commentaries – Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)

Romans 11:1

1I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

“Cast” - That Israel has not been forever set aside is the theme of this chapter.

(1) The salvation of Paul proves that there is still a remnant (Romans 11:1)
(2) The doctrine of the remnant proves it (Romans 11:2-6).
(3) The present national unbelief was foreseen (Romans 11:7-10).
(4) Israel's unbelief is the Gentile opportunity (Romans 11:11-25).
(5) Israel is judicially broken off from the good olive tree, Christ (Romans 11:17-22).
(6) They are to be grafted in again (Romans 11:23 - 24).
(7) The promised Deliverer will come out of Zion and the nation will be saved (Romans 11:25-29).

That the Christian now inherits the distinctive Jewish promises is not taught in Scripture. The Christian is of the heavenly seed of Abraham: Genesis 15:5-6; Galatians 3:29 and partakes of the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant; (See Scofield "Genesis 15:18") but Israel as a nation always has it own place, and is yet to have its greatest exaltation as the earthly people of God.

See "Israel" Genesis 12:2; Romans 11:26.
"Kingdom"; Genesis 1:26-28; Zechariah 12:8. 11:5

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

“Remnant” Summary:

In the history of Israel, a "remnant" may be discerned, a spiritual Israel within the national Israel. In Elijah's time 7,000 had not bowed the knee to Baal (Isaiah 1:9). In Isaiah's time it was the "very small remnant" for whose sake God still forbore to destroy the nation (Isaiah 1:9).

During the captivities the remnant appears in Jews like Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Esther, and Mordecai. At the end of the 70 years of Babylonian captivity it was the remnant which returned under Ezra and Nehemiah. At the advent of our Lord, John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna, and "them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (Luke 2:38) were the remnant. During the church-age the remnant is composed of believing Jews (Romans 11:4 - 5).

But the chief interest in the remnant is prophetic. During the great tribulation a remnant out of all Israel will turn to Jesus as Messiah, and will become His witnesses after the removal of the church (Revelation 7:3-8). Some of these will undergo martyrdom (Revelation 6:9-11) some will be spared to enter the millennial kingdom (Zechariah 12:6-13:9).

Many of the Psalms express, prophetically, the joys and sorrows of the tribulation remnant. Remnant. See Isaiah 1:9 (completion of commentary by Dr. Scofield).

Of course today in the nation of Israel there are very few of “spiritual Israel” (remnant) and these are Jews found in the church, but nevertheless, nationally speaking belong to that nation (just as any Christian might belong to the nation of Italy, Brazil, or China, etc).

Most Jews today are atheist, agnostic, or just secular; others partake of Eastern religions or New Age beliefs. Yet just as it was stated in Ezekiel’s “dry bones” prophecy (Ezek. 37: 1-14) these would first be brought together bodily, having their “bones and sinews” and “skin” established, meaning the actual national Israel being brought back into the land, but without the Spirit of God.

Yet once assembled nationally, on the day appointed by God, His Spirit will come upon them, and bring them to spiritual life!

Ezekiel 37: 11-14

11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

And again in Romans chapter 11: 25-27

25For I would not, brethren that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

National Israel right now cannot see by faith that Jesus is truly their Messiah; they are blind to this truth, but not forever, says Paul the apostle! The blindness will only last UNTIL the “fullness of the Gentiles” has arrived.

What is this ‘fullness of the Gentiles”? It’s what was spoken of earlier in the Book of Acts – That God will call out of all the Gentile nations “a people for His name”: this is the church of Jesus Christ, and once the church is completed (and only God knows when this will occur) then the church will be taken home by the rapture of the church.

Once this “fullness of the Gentiles” is completed, then and only then will the blindness of Israel will lift away and they will call upon the Name of the LORD and repent of their rejection of Jesus their Messiah and pray that He return to them, and so He will as indicated in the book of Hosea.

The REAL Return of the King!

Hosea 5: 15

15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

Who is speaking here in this verse? You have to trace back to chapter 4:1 before you learn clearly that the speaker here is “the LORD”. In chapter 5 it states that the LORD will return to His place – which would be heaven, right? Well, when did the LORD return to heaven? To return, that means He would have to have LEFT heaven – so when did He do that?

This is of course, speaking of the LORD, Jesus Christ – God the Son! He left heaven to become a babe in a manger in Bethlehem, He grew up to be a man and declared Himself to be the Messiah, He was crucified, buried and then raised from the dead and later He ascended and “returned to His place”.

For how long will He remain at His place in heaven? According to Hosea, it will be “UNTIL they (Israel) acknowledge their offense” (this is in the singular form, that is one specific offense) which I believe is their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah – once they repent of this sin and seek His face, THEN the KING will return to Earth, and to Israel. And as we just saw:

Romans 11: 26

26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

First Abrahamic, then Davidic, Now a New Covenant!

Jeremiah 31: 31 – 37

31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 
37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

This new covenant is the spiritual fulfillment of the covenants that the LORD God made with Abraham and with David, that just as the LORD gave a land and a progeny to Abraham and a kingdom to David as well as a continuation of that progeny – the very family line of the Messiah Himself, He will now by promise (not by the covenant that He made with their fathers, which they broke, that is to say the Mosaic covenant and the Law) bring about this new covenant in which the LORD will inscribe His Law in the hearts of Israel’s people; note this is an inward work of the Spirit, not an outward work done by overt obedience to the Law. This inward work will instill an innate “knowledge of the LORD” which all Israel at that day shall possess! Please note how binding this promise towards Israel is!

The LORD has stated that if the ordinances of the sun for light by day and that of the moon and stars for light by night depart from before the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall cease from being a nation! He further states that if the heavens and the foundations of the earth can be “searched out” then He would cast off the seed of Israel.

Both of these propositions are impossible for human beings, not to mention Israel herself. It’s God’s way of declaring unilaterally that His promises will remain intact!

Also see: 

Ezekiel 36: 24 – 28:

24For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (John 3:3-5; “born again” according to Jesus)

Here the LORD God states that He will not only place His Law and knowledge of Him within the hearts of His people, but also His very Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer is the condition of the church – we who are born again by Jesus Christ, through faith in Him. We are the “temple of the Holy Spirit” as stated in 1 Cor. 6:19-20 (see also 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2: 20-22).

Yet on that blessed Day when Israel is saved, she also will enjoy the presence of the Living God indwelling them, whereas before the Old Testament saints would only have the Spirit of God come upon them, but not indwell them (which is why David could legitimately pray, “Take not Thy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11) which happened to Saul, his predecessor.

Again, note God’s promise that the Jewish people would dwell in the land, which belongs to the LORD GOD alone, and only HE has the right to give it to whom He will, and through the Word of God, He has made His declaration!

Jeremiah 32: 37-42

37Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
38And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 
39And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
40And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear (reverence) in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
41Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
42For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

Observe the passion and the conviction with which God makes this declaration!

“I will plant them in this land assuredly WITH MY WHOLE HEART AND WITH MY WHOLE SOUL”!

One gets the impression that God is serious about establishing Israel in the land and that He says what he means and means what He has said in His WORD!

Other verses that speak on God’s faithful promise to bring Israel back to the land which belongs to God Himself, a territory He specifically marked out as His very own special land: Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 16:15; 23:3-8; Ezekiel 11:14-20; 36th and 37th chapters; Joel 3:1-2; 18-21; Amos 9: 11- 15; Zeph. 3:14-20; Zech. 10: 10-12

So why does Israel matter to the biblical Christian?

Romans 15: 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime (Old Testament) were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

As the church, we see how God dealt with Israel with mercy, kindness, grace, long suffering and patience even though they were a rebellious people prone to sin and idolatry, forsaking the LORD only to be drawn back by Him. We can take comfort by these OT lessons and understand that if the LORD God is that faithful to Israel, He will also be faithful to us, entirely trustworthy and a GOD of HIS WORD that can be completely depended upon by faith and be relied upon for all His promises to us, His children!

Notes from Dr. Scofield’s Study Bible On Romans 11:26:

Summary: Israel (the nation), so named from the grandson of Abraham (a.k.a. Jacob), was chosen for a fourfold mission:

(1) To witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry: Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10-12.
(2) To illustrate to the nations the blessedness of serving the true God: Deuteronomy 33:26-29; 1 Chronicles 17:20-21; Psalms 144:15.
(3) To receive, preserve, and transmit the Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:5-8; Romans 3:1-2.
(4) To produce, as to His humanity, the Messiah: Genesis 3:15; 12:3; 22:18; 28:10-14; 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:1; Romans 1:3. According to the prophets, Israel, re-gathered from all nations, restored to her own land and converted, is yet to have her greatest earthly exaltation and glory.

For those of you who would like to watch a video presentation where much of this is expounded upon, click on the link. This teaching took place at what is now called The House of Truth fellowship.

May the LORD GOD bless always and forever the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with salvation, in the LORD Jesus Christ, Y'shua ha Meschiach-Nagid!

Psalm 125 

1 They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever..
Read more!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

ISRAELOLOGY - Why Israel Matters To the Biblical Christian - Part One

~~ by James Fire

Bible scholars and theologians study with a methodology known as Systematic Theology. This is a study that organizes biblical subjects and topics into categories that makes it more accessible and easier to study and understand.


Some of the subjects in Systematic Theology are such as follows:


Soteriology - the study of salvation.

Pneumatology - the study of the Holy Spirit
Ecclesiology - the study of the church.
Christology - the study of the Person of Jesus Christ.
Eschatology - the study of prophetic last things and events.

And many others subjects...


One subject however is missing in any version of Systematic Theology you might look at:


Take your Bible and find Genesis chapter 12 and place your thumb there; now find Acts chapter 2 and place your finger there and pick up your Bible holding it in between these two chapters.

There are a lot of pages there between your two digits! What primary (among hundreds of secondary others) subject that this section deals with? ISRAEL!

Do you suppose that Israel is important to God?

You would sure think so, judging by how much Scripture He has given that deals with this nation (and there is a lot more said about Israel well past Acts chapter 2 as we shall soon see)!

So why is Israel important to you and I?

That's a question I'd like to consider today.

In answer, first of all, because it's important to God!

Now let's look at some Scriptures:

The LORD God called Abram from his native land and gave him the promise of blessing in the creation of a nation through him:

GEN 12:1-8
1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.

8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.


Abram, a Gentile from the land of Ur was given a holy calling by God; the LORD would produce a great nation with Abram and would bless everyone that blessed him, and would also curse those that cursed him! This should be a warning to those who would speak against God's chosen people because Balaam found out in Numbers - he couldn't curse God's people either, but rather proclaimed blessing instead!

The LORD God promised Abram a son, and a multitude of descendents:

GEN 15:1-6
1 After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness
.


Abram believed in the LORD and because of this, he was considered righteous before Him; this was the substantiation for Abram's justification by faith, the same as it is for all who come to the LORD by faith. The promises then that came upon Abram (later Abraham as his name was changed) would follow his heir, Isaac (GEN 21:11-13; 25:11), as well as Jacob (GEN 28:13-15; 35:9-15), and the patriarchs, the twelve sons (and later tribes) of Jacob or Israel (GEN 28:13; 35:12; see also NUM 23 and NUM 24).

Of course not all that were of that nation received the promises because of unbelief. In fact, of all the original generation of Hebrews that left Egypt in the great exodus only TWO survived to inherit the Promised Land (her is the concept of a believing remnant which we will look at more, later on) and neither of these two were Moses! Not even Moses made it! Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of the original generation, along with the subsequent generation (the children) that inherited the land.

The LORD God promised Abram a land that he would inherit:

GEN 15:7-10
7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not
.


A strange custom to us, to be sure, but in the Middle East at the time of Abram it was a well known concept where animals were sacrificed, split in half and thus make a 'pathway' of sorts through which the parties would walk, reciting the terms of the agreement (See JER 34:18 for an example of this practice).

The LORD God made this promise and Unconditional Covenant

GEN 15:11-18
11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:


Note: the presence of God in the form of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed through the sacrificed animals...but Abram did not!

What does this tell us?

That God did not obligate Abram to any terms of this agreement, that it was all on Him, the LORD God Himself; in other words, this is an unconditional promise by God, one that cannot be annulled or broken by Abram, or any of his descendents - this we will see more of, when we examine the promises of God to King David.

God actually promised Abram a LOT MORE LAND than what Israel ever actually possessed! Yet will God fulfill His promise to Abraham and his descendents? YES!

God isn't finished revealing to Abraham all that He is going to give him, and by him God will bless the entire world! Let's look at another chapter in Genesis 22:

Abraham is Commanded to Sacrifice his 'only son'

GEN 22:1-4
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.


Abraham Obeys God's Command but Receives His Son Back (vs. 11, 12) along with a Revelation!

GEN 25:5-8, 14
5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.

8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen
.


Here we see Isaac as a type f Christ, in that though he was as good as dead in the sight of Abraham (HEB 11:17-19), yet the LORD retracted His command to slay the young man, and provided a ram instead.

Abraham received Isaac in allegory, from the dead and also received a substitute in the form of that ram. And in making such a willing sacrifice, Abraham received the knowledge from the LORD of how He would provide HIMSELF-the Lamb of God: the LORD Jesus Christ - as "a lamb for a burnt offering"! Astounding!

The LORD Jesus verified this in John's Gospel that Abraham 'saw' - perhaps in a vision that God gave to him - His day where He would provide salvation - to Abraham's descendents that would have faith in the Messiah (the King of Israel), both Jew (Israel) and Jew and Gentile (in the church).

JOHN 8:56, Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

God's Promises All Tolled:
- So God promised Abraham a son.
- An entire nation as his descendents.
- And a huge land from the Nile to the Euphrates.
- And also the promise that God would provide HIMSELF as a Lamb for a sacrifice.

God not only made a covenant with Abraham (Abrahamic Covenant), but He also made a covenant with King David (Davidic Covenant); let's move forward in time and visit the land of Israel during the days of the kingdom under David.

One day King David was sitting on his throne in his luxurious palace, when it dawned on him, that while he lived in this very fancy house, God was dwelling in a tabernacle - that's a fancy name for a tent!

He expressed a desire to the LORD's prophet to build God a fabulous house, for His glory. Yet God, even though He was touched by David's intention, turned around and declared how He would bless the king with a 'House'!

Here is what God said:

The Davidic Covenant - God promises to build David a 'House'


2 SAM 7:10-16
10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house.
12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.


The LORD declares that He would plant His people in their own land and that they would "move no more" nor would "the children of wickedness afflict them anymore". Yet Israel DID move out of the land in judgment, not once but twice (The Babylonian Captivity and the Diaspora in 70 AD when Rome attacked Jerusalem), and children of wickedness have afflicted them, and continue to do so today.

So this time when they will "move not" and "the wicked will not afflict them" must still be future, a future that is credible now that Israel has returned to the land after being dispersed for over nineteen centuries (an unprecedented event)! They will not be moved again out of their land, for God has regathered them "the second time" (Is. 11:11) and there is no mention of a third or fourth regathering in Scripture at all.

Not only the people and the land, but also the government will be established by the LORD God (both the kingdom and the throne) and last forever! No termination date!

Observe verse 12 with me: The LORD states: "I will set up thy seed after thee".

One would typically suppose that the LORD here is speaking of David's offspring, and that He is, but in a very peculiar fashion. This single word carries with it a double meaning (the physical offspring of David such as Solomon and Nathan, etc (see vs. 14); but also the Messianic "son of David" which is Christ the LORD (see vs. 15)) with the more significant part exposited by the apostle Paul in Galatians chapter Three:

GAL 3:15-17
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

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.



The seed spoken of to Abraham, as well as to King David in 2 Samuel is the same seed, that is, Christ. According to these passages the seed of David will have a kingdom established by the LORD God and He will establish the throne of His (Christ's) kingdom over Israel forever. This see, Christ, will build a house (in Israel)for the LORD's name's sake.

This throne and kingdom of Israel will be eternal just as the KING of kings Who will sit upon that throne and rule in that kingdom of Israel is eternal! Because it is established by Christ, the covenant made to Abraham and to David regarding Israel cannot be broken; the promise cannot be disannulled or be made void!

As Paul stated above, since this promise was made before the Law was given, it was not a covenant based upon Law and conditional, predicated on obedience to the Law (as was the Mosaic covenant; see DEUT ch. 28, beginning at vs. 1 and also vs. 15 for blessings and curses respectively).

It was, and is, a covenant based upon promise and unconditional, predicated on God's Word to Abraham and David! David is blown away by God's goodness and generosity!

Listen to what he says:

2 Samuel 7:21-25
21 For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.

22 Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

23 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?

24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, Lord, art become their God.

25 And now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.


Then we have more of God's promise and covenant to David revealed in Psalm 89:

God Repeats Himself Regarding His Promises to David -

PSALM 89:3,4,20,21,27-29,34-37
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,

4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.


20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:

21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.


27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.

29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.


34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.

35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.

36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.

37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.



In verse 29 God declares regarding David's "seed" He will make to endure forever and His throne as the days of heaven. Again this "see" is singular not plural-that is, this seed refers to a particular person: the "Son of David" Who is the Messiah, that is, Jesus Christ!

Notice how God emphasizes that He will NOT break His covenant with David in vs. 34; nor will He alter that which He has declared. This shows how God's Word is binding in regards to Israel (and to us, His church!).

We've looked at many verses in the Old Testament, now let's look at a few in the New Testament, starting in Luke's Gospel:

The Mother of the King of Israel -

LUKE 1:30-33
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.


Those that would suppose the promises made to Israel under Old Testament Law cannot explain away these verses that the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary. Here it's clearly stated by the messenger of God that the LORD will giver her Son, the throne of His father, David and He will reign over Israel and obtain an eternal kingdom there.

Jesus never ruled upon a throne in Israel, but that doesn't mean that He won't! Prophecies abound in nearly all the Old Testament prophets declaring that while judgment will fall on Israel, her consolation is that, afterwards she will receive the kingdom as promised by God.

For your own consideration, browse through the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Obadiah, Haggai, Zechariah and others and pay close attention to their final chapters and words and see whether or not they speak of a coming kingdom to Israel!

The Promises and Covenants with Israel Have Been Broken?

There are those that believe that since Israel has rejected their Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ that the promises of God to build them an everlasting kingdom where Jesus, the Son of David, would rule from His father's (David) throne have been done away with.

Jesus was crucified, being rejected by Israel's ruling authorities, and so these people believe that the promises once given to Israel have been given now to the church.

This is called Replacement Theology and is unbiblical. We will see why this is so in part Two, along with many other pertinent passages of Scripture that supports Israel as a part of God's plan for the ages, in this article! Read more!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Thirteen:


by James Fire

Now we continue in our study in this awesome epistle by the apostle! As with the previous chapter and the ones following,Paul turns from the doctrinal to the practical (as he most often does in his epistles). In this chapter we will examine the practical aspects of civil duties and obedience to “the higher powers” which God has ordained Himself. Then he gets into the love we have as a result of the spiritual rebirth in Christ which fulfills the law of God, and in turn leads us to sanctified living.

In today's world one is hard pressed to find a government that is just and supportive in its protection of its people; some governments are even extremely tyrannical and despotic – speaking primarily to the Marxist-Socialist forms as well as the Islamic Sharia nations (whose subjugation and oppression of non-Muslims and even Muslim women is notorious!). What is the Christian's stand in the light of such conditions we find the world over, politically speaking? We shall examine these issues and more in Chapter Thirteen as well, as we travel on the road of righteousness!
At the end of ROMANS 12, Paul writes: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (ROM. 12:21).
 
This is the conduct of a Christian in any circumstance; we are accountable to the LORD always, and if we are obedient to Him, then our conduct will be good. Let us keep this in mind as a yard stick of sorts as we examine this chapter.

ROMANS 13:1-2

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

These powers are authorities in government, we know this by the context of these several verses. The admonition here is that we keep ourselves under the authority of government officials where civil matters are concerned. Our God is a God of order, and the political form of government known as Anarchy would not be in accordance to our God of order. We know the term “law and order” and the two go hand in hand. So that order may be maintained, there must be enforced law, and law is legislated and enforced according to the order that establishes it. When God made the different aspects of His creation in the first Six Days, at the conclusion of these, He pronouced that His ordering of things was “good”. So must we do 'good' by maintaining the order that God established in our society.

Paul's admonition goes on to say that those who resist this order shall receive civil and temporal damnation (or “judgment”); this has nothing to do with spiritual issues of salvation vs. damnation) because these orders in and of this world which is “ordained of God” (ACTS 23:2-5); just as He has ordained the nations themselves using the division of languages as a basis for these designations (GEN. 11:7-8). God will ordain at times even the basest of men as rulers in this world (DAN. 4:17) who will abuse their power as a contrast to the One Who is the Messiah, whose rule will be one of order, righteousness, justice and peace.
Aside from citizens being submitted to authorities and thereby keeping law and order according to the will of God, the saint is to honor God by likewise doing so (TITUS 3:1-3), and by praying for them (1 TIM. 2:1-2). It is often tempting to forego praying for our political officials when they are despised for what they stand for (things that God Himself despises: the endorsement of sinful lifestyles, the murder of the unborn, socialist policies which use 'taxation' as a justificcation to steal from the have's and give to the have not's) but we are nonetheless obligated to pray for them.

ROMANS 13:3-5

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Paul elaborates here that rulers are not something to be feared by those who are doing good, and obedient to the law; those who are criminal in intent will flee for fear upon the sight of flashing blue and red lights atop a black and white unit. The apostle reminds his readers that these are “minister[s] of God” and “revenger[s] to execute” punishments upon evil doers.
This presupposes that the government is established to enforce just laws by which good and obedient citizens may live without fear for predatorial criminals, who themselves would have every reason to fear, should the law find them out!
So there are two reasons for the Christian to obey the law of the land: to live a life without fear, and also because our conscience holds us bound to follow the LORD's commands (2 COR. 1:12; 1 TIM. 1:5; 1 PET. 3:16), such as these notable ones before us (See also: 1 PET. 3:13; 4:14-16):
ROMANS 13:6-8

6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
 
Taxes are never a favorite subject of mine in the study of Scripture, nor am I overjoyed in having to pay for them; yet they are a form of economic obligation whereby those civil servants whose station in any nation for the preservation of law and order are furnished with finances necessary to fulfill their respective tasks. Not only taxes and tariffs (“tribute” and “customs”) are to be given willingly by the saints of God, but also respect (“fear”) and honor to all officials in their capacities of duty.

No where in Scripture can we find an admonition clearer than that given by the LORD Jesus Christ Himself on this very subject:

MATT. 22:16-21

16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
 
We understand that the money system that we (and nations the world over) are subjected is not a just system, to say nothing of a system that is supported by our Constitution. That it is a fiat currency printed as a private property of a central banking system (the Federal Reserve), and that it is essentially illegal. Are we then permitted to forego any obligation in taxation, because it is an unlawful system? There could be an argument made for this case, no doubt; however, for myself – I will “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's” and let the LORD deal with the illegal activities and and lawless deeds perpetrated by the creators of this 'Creature from Jekyll Island'. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_fed04.htm

We are to be indebted to no one – to pay our bills in a timely fashion (I've spoken with Christian and non-Christian businessmen and they complain the most about their (fellow) Christians who owe them money for services rendered!). To be indebted is a poor witness indeed; but I'm not speaking of indebtedness where loans are concerned necessarily. Yet even where these are concerned, Christians ought to be timely in their monthly payments – to do otherwise is displeasing to the LORD of justice and fairness.

We are allowed one aspect in life, where we owe others: that is to love one another, and by so doing fulfill the law (JOHN 13:34-35; 2 JOHN :5-6). Since love is the fulfillment of the law, one must wonder how and why those who espouse Hebrew Roots Movement dogma and the requirement to “keep the law” cannot simply rest in this truth, that all one need do is love the LORD and others, and thereby all the particulars and details of the law are kept in the spirit in which they were intended.

Respecting and obeying the authorities is the theme of these verses, but the question arises on the matter of authorities and governments that are corrupt, dishonest, even unjust or cruel. Are we obligated to obey them as well? It's noteworthy to consider that the Roman government itself was extremely corrupt in the LORD Jesus' day, and even more so during the days of the apostle Paul; no where in Scripture does it state that we are allowed to disobey these authorities where civil matters are concerned. Should any government enact laws that would insist our disobedience to God and the truth of His Word, then we must speak as Peter spoke to the Jewish authority of the Sanhedrin (in this case, they demanded that they stop preaching this Jesus and His gospel):
ACTS 4:19-20

19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
In this case, the apostles resisted the command of this political/religious authority in keeping silence regarding the Person of Jesus Christ and followed rather the command of their LORD and Savior (MARK 16:15).

Here in America we have had the privilege of a great experiment, fully realized in the writing and implementation of the Constitution of the United States of America, a constitutional republic based on just law – in the case of America, the law as found in Holy Scripture.

Not many Americans can rightly guess who the leader of our nation is; most will say the President of the United States. In reality he is the head of the Executive Branch; others may indicate Congress, but they are the representatives of the Legislative Branch, and the Supreme Court is the authority of the Judicial Branch. However, all three Branches and their respective leaders have all made oaths and swore to uphold and protect the 'leader' of our nation, that is, the Constitution itself which is to guide our government in policies concerning the people and rightful rule.

The fact that our Constitution is being dismantled and replaced by Socialist proclivities in order to abrogate the freedoms and rights of the American people; and further to form a more perfect union of iniquity and perdition with the forming global government is in evidence. What are we as Christians to do? Continue to pray for our officials. Continue to obey the civil laws where they don't overtly contradict God's Word. Continue to share the Gospel, pray for our nation, and to show forth all of these things with an eye towards prophetic Scripture in hailing the nearness of the Great Tribulation as well as the LORD's return and the coming Judgment.

It's very easy to get worked up and angry at the injustices we witness and those we anticipate in our near future, as well as the stripping away of our Constitutional rights as Americans. It's understandable how we would want to restore our nation and stand united with one voice against the bloated Federal government and declare that “Enough is enough!” To restore the just and fair Balance of Powers to the Three Branches of government as outlined by our Constitution so that Washington once again becomes a servant to the people and not the other way around.

However, we as Christians are obligated to keep our allegiance to the Kingdom of God first and foremost and to understand the mind of the LORD in these last days. It is to our credit to lay the injustices perpetrated against us at the nail pierced feet of “the Judge of the whole Earth” and not seek vengeance ourselves (GEN. 18:25; IS. 63:4; ROM. 12:9).

Consider what Psalm 37 tells us regarding the evil leaders of this world system:

ROMANS 13:10
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

On the issue of the grace of God and the law, consider these two articles, beginning with Part One:

ROMANS 13:11-12

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

“Knowing the time” is in reference to the knowledge and awareness of where we stand in relation to the prophetic time clock that God holds in His eternal hand. Paul here refers to the night and to darkness which have the spiritual implications of iniquity, disorder and lawlessness which will only increase as we draw nearer to the end times; in Paul's own estimation, “the night is far spent, the day is at hand” - the night of man's sinful and corrupt rule, culminating in the very reign and ruin of “the man of sin  http://www.theredpillconsortium.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-one-world-leader-even-him-whose.html (2 THESS. 2:3) and the day, which is “the day of the LORD” (2 PET. 3:10) where the LORD Jesus Christ will have direct interaction with the church, Israel, the world and all creation at large and assume the rightful rule as LORD of all!

“...our salvation is nearer than when we believed.” What can this possibly mean? Are we who are the body of Christ, Christians that are born again in Jesus by His Spirit already saved? Certainly! But this refers to our very bodies which are still corrupt, prone to sin via the carnal nature and in need of redemption, which will occur when we meet the LORD in the air on that glorious Day (ROM. 8:23; 1 COR. 15:50-54)!

The provison of the armor of Light by the LORD of Light has two purposes: to expose those things that are hidden in the dark of this world, and to protect the wearer from any invading darkness. As was stated by Coriakin the Magician in The CHRONICLES of NARNIA – 3: Voyage of the Dawn Treader: 

“To defeat the darkness out there, you must first defeat the darkness that is inside yourself.” 


Light spiritually speaking refers to the very opposite of darkness: order, law, purity and holiness.   See also: 1 JOHN 3:2; JAMES 5:8; EPH. 5:14-16.

ROMANS 13:13-14

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
 
Verse 13 refers to such darkness; verse 14 is the light as given by the LORD to His choldren – as we “put on” the LORD Jesus Christ, we find incredible liberty that enables us for the first time in our lives to walk in the Spirit, to follow the LORD and to resist sin (GAL. 4:31-5:1, 16-18). Putting on this “armor of light” is synonomous with “putting on the LORD Jesus Christ” - which protects us from personal peril and also any harm from the enemy's vicious assaults as we venture into his kingdom of darkness to rescue Satan's slaves of sin from their miserable plight of bondage and corruption.

This concludes this study and we shall now venture forward to Chapter 14 and the near conclusion of this epistle to the Romans by the apostle Paul, on this Road of Righteousness!










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