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PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 263

February 17, 2006

AN EXPOSITION OF DAVID’S PSALM 110 – PART 7

PSALM 110:7 – He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

The brook referred to is the stream of Zechariah, Joel, and Ezekiel.  The time is still future – It is when Jesus, as the Shekinah Glory of God, enters the completed Millennial Temple of Ezekiel 43:1-6.

Zechariah 14:8,9 – And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. [9] And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.

Joel 3:18B – All the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

Ezekiel 47:1-5 – Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. [2] Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. [3] And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ancles. [4] Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. [5] Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

This is when Jesus, in glorified body appearance as the Shekinah Glory of God, bows to drink of the stream of Zechariah, Joel, and Ezekiel, on his walk through where the Mount of Olives was divided, and across the Kidron Valley to enter the completed Millennial Temple.

Ezekiel 43:1-8 – Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: [2] And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. [3] And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. [4] And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. [5] So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. [6] And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.  [7] And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

PSALM 110:7 – He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

This is the lifting up of Christ as the head of all nations as the King of kings.

Micah 4:1-4 – But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. [2] And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. [3] And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. [4] But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

Daniel 7:13,14 – I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Luke 1:30-33 – 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.

Micah 4:6-8 – In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; [7] And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.  [8] And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.

Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

The center of his Millennial Kingdom will be the city of his temple complex where he will dwell in Jerusalem in the midst of Israel.  No temple exists in the final city of the New Jerusalem, but those who live in the millennial city will also live in the final New Jerusalem City.

Ezekiel 48:35 – It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.

John describes the Millennial Temple in Revelation 3.

Revelation 3:12,13 – Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. [13] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches

Revelation 21:22 – And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 263A

February 19, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law?

Part 10

The Law of Moses was a temporary system to prepare Israel for the coming of her Messiah, who was to bring in a new relationship between God and man that would be a much “better” covenant that the old covenant.  In Hebrews, Jesus is presented as being superior to those who brought the old covenant, such as angels, Moses, and the Prophets.  Jesus is “better” in person, and is the one who beings the “better” covenant.

The Old Covenant began in Genesis 3:15 with a promise of a Seed, and was then confirmed when God’s Seed did seal it eternally with his own blood on the cross.

Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The Law became a part of the Old Testament Covenant when God gave it to Moses.  And the Law spoke of the coming Seed as the Prophet from God.

Deuteronomy 18:18,19 – I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. [19] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Christ is “better” than the Old Covenant priesthood.  He brought in a “better” covenant in that he brought in the one-time ultimate sacrifice, and all “his works” have given us the unshakeable foundation, which is the basis for all our hope.  The new covenant is based on “better” promises.  The comparisons made between the Old and New Covenants in the book of Hebrews give graphic descriptions as to why the New Covenant is, without a doubt, the “better” covenant.

Hebrews 8:1-6 – Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; [2] A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. [3] For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. [4] For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: [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. [6] But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

The first covenant could not be perfect until Messiah, the Seed of Genesis 3:15, came to absolutely fulfill it for all men.  The Old Covenant was not faulty, but man is, and he could not be faultless before God, because God alone could fulfill it.  God came as the man Christ Jesus, and fulfilled it in and by the works and sacrifice of that one lone, single, solitary man, his only begotten Son, Christ Jesus.

II Corinthians 5:19 – To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Hebrews 8:7-13 – For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. [8] For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: [9] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. [10] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: [11] And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. [12] For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. [13] In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Today, as was the case with the religious leaders of all Israel, religion has become consumed with hanging on tenaciously to keeping the Old Covenant of the law to be saved or to stay saved after they are born again by the New Covenant.  It is very difficult to get a person who is legalistic to ever understand how free they are from the condemnation of God under the New Covenant.  They keep trying to put the law into the same container with the New Covenant, and it absolutely will not work.

Luke 5:36-39 – And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. [37] And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. [38] But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. [39] No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

Jesus told the Pharisees to “search the Scriptures,” He was referring to the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, because it spoke of him.  Jesus fulfilled it all completely, and he told them plainly – If you will come to me, I will give you the rest you will never find in the Scriptures under the Old Covenant, but they would not honor him by coming to him as the Messiah.  They preferred to stay under the Old Covenant, even though it spoke of him

Deuteronomy 18:18,19 – I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. [19] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

John 12:48-50 – He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. [49] For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. [50] And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

John 5:40 – And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 263C

February 22, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 10A

The most important doctrine in the church is that of salvation by grace, and maintenance of the gift received by the same Spirit that gave it.  It is this doctrine that the Devil first tried to change.

Galatians 3:1-5 – O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? [2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

And after eternal salvation by grace there are two other doctrines, which the Bible identifies as “ordinances.” The first is baptism by immersion by the authority of one of the Lord’s churches, and the other is the Lord’s Supper, which we are to observe AFTER we have been baptized. 

I Corinthians 11:1,2 – Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.  [2] Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

The false teachers are used by Satan constantly to lead churches astray by changing the teachings of these three doctrines.  And the latter times were supposed to see an increase in their number.        

I Timothy 4:1,2 – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Matthew 24:11 – And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

They teach a false doctrine of adding works to the cross for the salvation of the soul, denying the completeness of Christ’s sacrifice.

I Corinthians 1:18 – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

I Corinthians 6:20 – For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

I Peter 2:24 – Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Colossians 2:9,10 – For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. [10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

One of the Old Testament accounts that reflects God’s rejection of a man being cleansed of his sins by his own offerings, works, and power, is that of the great Syrian Captain Naaman, who was over all the host of Syria.  He developed leprosy, which in the Bible is pictured as representing sin, and the King of Syria was so desperate to see him healed that he sent Naaman to the King of Israel with a letter asking for healing of his leprosy.

II Kings 5:5-9 – And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. [6] And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. [7] And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.  [8] And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. [9] So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.

Naaman was one of the mightiest men of his day, and he came bringing great wealth to pay for his cleansing of the dreaded leprosy, and whatever work or mighty deed that was required of him he was willing and able to do.  But this is the Word of God that was delivered to him.

II Kings 5:10 – And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

That was the word of God to Naaman.  It was all he had to do to be cleansed of leprosy.

He had to believe the Word of God enough to do what he was told to do!

This was the Word of God to all of you who have been cleansed of sin.

Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You had to believe the Word of God enough to do what God told you to do!

What was Naaman’s reaction to the offer of God’s grace to cleanse him of leprosy?  

II Kings 5:11 – But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

Naaman wanted to see a miracle performed by a man of God he could reward for having done so.  He did not want his healing by faith in the God of the man of God without some sort of visible sign of God’s power.  The same is true with many today.  They want to see the one performing the cleansing and feel the power run from the top of their head to the soles of their feet.

II Kings 5:12-14 – Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. [13] And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? [14] Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Since the prophet of God did not appear to perform the miraculous cure – which Naaman anticipated – since there was no appearance of the prophet himself to bring forth a miracle, since there was no sign by which the prophet could bring praise and glory upon himself – It left Naaman nothing else to believe except the promise of the word of God.

II Kings 5:10 – And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

So how could the word of God be sufficient in, and by, itself to accomplish all that was necessary to cleanse Naaman of leprosy?  And how could the Word of God be sufficient in, and by, itself to accomplish all that needed to be done to cleanse our souls of sin?  We are living in an age where most believe baptism and works must also be added to God’s Word to cleanse our souls of sin.

John 6:62,63 – What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? [63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Many today are just like Naaman, they believe there is a God, and they believe he will deliver them if they will do something worthy of his delivering them, and they also believe Jesus is his Son, died on the cross for them, and is alive in heaven today, but they simply will not believe that the sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient to cleanse them from the condemnation all men are under for sin.  They feel they must do something themselves to receive the gift of salvation that Jesus purchased for them with his one time offering fall all sin, past, present, and future.  And many, even after they have received the eternal gift of salvation, paid for by his blood, believe they must continue to do something to be allowed to keep his gift of grace.

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 264

February 24, 2006

AN EXPOSITION OF DAVID’S PSALM 110 – PART 8

PSALM 110:7 – He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Please see Part 7 for an exposition on the identity of the “he” and “the brook.”

The two “he’s” represent “the Rock” that followed the nation of Israel in its Exodus wanderings, and is “the Stone” cut out of the Father without human hands, as well as part of the triune Godhead of Father, Rock, and Spirit, which fulfill the offices of the One God.

II Samuel 23:1-3 – Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, [2] The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. [3] The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

Verse 3 has the Rock of Israel, the Son, Speaking to God the Father.

Romans 3:26 – To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  

I Corinthians 10:1-4 – Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; [2] And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; [3] And did all eat the same spiritual meat; [4] And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 

Daniel 2:34 – Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

Isaiah 11:1,2 – And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: [2] And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

Isaiah 53:2 – For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

II Samuel 23:3,4 – The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. [4] And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.

Malachi 4:1,2 – For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.  [2] But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

II Samuel 23:5 – Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.

Luke 1:31-33 – 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.

II Samuel 23:6 – But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands:

“Belial” cames from a Hebrew word formed from the combination of two other Hebrew words, pronounced Bel-ee (meaning “failure”), and Yaw-al was a term of scorn, meaning “to waste one’s worth.”  The term is used in the Old Testament to describe people who were lawless and rebellious.  In the New Testament it is used to refer to Satan.

I cannot think of a better term to describe the Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, and Fatah.  They are like prickly thorn balls, with which the only solution to evade injury is to avoid contact with them. To make contact by touching them is to insure injury.  It is ironic that this is what Israel has realized it must do to avoid injury to their people, and is building a security barrier to accomplish it.

II Samuel 23:7 – But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place.

A second irony occurs in this verse to accompany the one in verse six.  The Palestinians must be fenced in with protective weapons at the 27 check points to keep them from pricking Israel.  It is also somewhat ironic that the Palestinians, along with the other nations of the world, when they come against Israel in the Negev at the final battle of Armageddon, are prophesied to “be utterly burned with fire in the same place.”

Revelation 16:16 – And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Revelation 19:19-21 – And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. [20] And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Luke 17:28-30 – Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; [29] But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. [30] Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Luke 21:25-27 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. [27] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 264A

February 26, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law?

Part 11

Hebrews 11:1-40 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [2] For by it the elders obtained a good report. [3] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. [4] By faith Abel [5] By faith Enoch [7] By faith Noah, [8] By faith Abraham, [11] Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. [12] Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. [13] These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. [14] For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. [15] And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. [16] But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. [20] By faith Isaac [21] By faith Jacob, [22] By faith Joseph, [23] By faith Moses, [31] By faith the harlot Rahab [32] And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: [33] Who through faith [39] And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: [40] God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

At no time in history, or in the future, has any man or woman ever been saved except by grace through faith.  All of those listed in Hebrews 11 were Old Testament personages that were saved by grace through faith.  All of them received eternal life in the same way that we do today – they trusted in the mercy of a merciful God.  If you read Hebrews with that understanding, that it is a book written to saved men and women to explain what they already have, and to exhort them to walk by faith in the salvation God has already given them, you will understand the mercy of God in Christ Jesus.  If you try to interpret it as a book written to lost people, you will have to consistently twist the examples given to make them fit your own theology.

While I am certain that God has always saved men and women by grace through faith, I am acutely aware that he has dealt with man in different ways in different eras of time.

Under the Old Covenant of the law, God employed a set of sacrificial practices to deal with man and lead him to place his faith in the promised Seed to one day deliver him.  But the law, in itself, had no power to forgive any future sins.  It cleared a man’s conscience only of past sins.  All the sacrifices and gifts were never able to clear the conscience to the degree they could put their faith in them to be the atonement for future sins.  Conscience clearing for future sins could only be given at the time of reformation, when the promised Seed came to make a way for ALL SINS to be forgiven by a one time offering for them – PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.

Hebrews 9:9,10 – 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.

In the Old Testament the sacrifices were a temporary covering (a kaphar) for the sins of the believer in God’s promise of a Seed who would come to deliver them from all sin forever at Golgotha.  The Seed was promised in Genesis 3:15, and the picture of the temporary covering (the kaphar), which the Seed would one day provide as an eternal offering, is found six verses later in 3:21.

Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:21 – Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

It was the actual sacrifice of the promised Seed on the cross that cleansed all the sins of the Old Testament men and women who had their faith in God’s promised Seed, as well as those believers who were physically alive at the time of the cross, and all future believers who would put their faith in his covering (kaphar), his body, his blood, as the only offering God would accept for past, present, and future sins.

Romans 3:24,25 – Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;    

God, in his amazing forbearance, extended his mercy and grace to believers for thousands of years from the first offering of Abel to the final compete offering of the Seed, Jesus Christ, at Golgotha.  Their sins lay under the temporary covering of the grace pictured by animal sacrifices of innocent blood for their sins.  But when Jesus died for all sin at Golgotha, the Lord symbolically lifted up all the animal sins, and swept the sins of all believers, past, present, and future, as far away from them as east is from west.

The gifts and offerings of the Old Covenant could make the believers offering them ceremonially clean on the outside, but they could not make them clean inside.

Romans 2:28,29 – For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Hebrews 10:1,2 – For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. [2] For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

In their consciences there was no freedom in the Seed. We have seen him, and can understand grace – that’s why we can say we are under a “better” covenant.

John 14:9 – 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?

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SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 264B

March 1, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law?

Part 12

Hebrews 10:14 – For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

One of the most important principles of comprehending grace is in our understanding we are not like God. No matter how hard we try, we cannot completely forgive someone who offends us. Some swear up and down they can, but that is saying to oneself, “I am no longer carnal in the flesh.” We must understand that God is love, and he alone can forgive, and no longer hold us accountable for offending him by letting our carnal nature get the best of us time after time. When we come to him asking for forgiveness he forgives us completely. To say that God no longer remembers what our sins were, is like saying he is not God, for as God he has total recall, but to say he never drags it up again to charge us with it at his Son’s judgment seat is the total truth expounded in his word.

In Scripture we find God fulfilling three roles in three offices involving forgiveness of sins.

God the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin by the word he has written.

God the Father is Spirit, and he is the offended one, who must be satisfied with our repentance.

God the Son is the mediator who eternally satisfied the Father for believers by his one time offering for all sin forever.

Acts 20:21 – Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

God hates sin with a perfect hatred. He will never be satisfied unless a sinless man can live a sinless life. Only one man ever did that, and that one man satisfied God for all of us who will put their faith in him alone as the only offering that has satisfied God.

It is our faith that his sacrifice for our sins satisfied God forever, and that he will never place us back under his condemnation for sin. In no way do I mean to imply he has decided to redefine sin or change his holy attitude toward it one whit, but I do tell you without hesitation that he is completely satisfied with his Son’s sacrifice for it!

Romans 5:8-10 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. [9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. [10] For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

It was the righteousness of his Son that satisfied him for the sins of all who would put their faith in him. It allowed God to be perfectly just in justifying us by our belief in him as the one offering that satisfied God.

Romans 3:26 – To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Legalists often accuse those who believe in security of the believer of being too lax on sin. But one can hardly legitimately accurse us of that, because we know that God poured out his wrath for our sins on his Son who bore them in his own body on the cross. He was judged for our sins by his Father. Jesus really did pay all of our sin debt at Golgotha. God can now deal with all believers as his children without condemning them to hell for their sins.

Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Believers have been eternally set free from concern of eternal separation from God in a lake of fire. They are incapable of leading sinless lives because they are still carnal in the flesh, but they can live a life void of fear of committing any sin that would send them to hell. God is satisfied with his son’s sacrifice for all their sins. A saved man or woman who believes they can commit a sin that will cause God to send them to hell does not in any way comprehend the depth of God’s love and, as such, are not made perfect in love.

I John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

When we continue in his word after we are saved, we learn we are eternally delivered from punishment in a lake of fire forever, and it sets us free to grow in our love for him, for we realize we were saved by his love for us, not by our love or service to him.

I John 4:19 – We love him, because he first loved us.

Titus 3:3-7 – For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. [4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Many of God’s children never learn to serve God in the love he transplanted in them, by coming to understand the love that is manifested in his Son. They do not continue in the word long enough to grasp the grace that is in his Son.

I John 4:19 – We love him, because he first loved us.

As a result they never present themselves to God as living sacrifices. Some try to offer themselves to God as someone surrendering to an enemy who had smashed them on the battlefield. They live tortured lives in a prison camp trying to find some way to please their captor sufficiently to get better treatment and food. They never really learn to worship God, because they threat him as a jailor, not as one who has set them free from condemnation so they can serve him freely, not in fear. We were saved to give glory to God by our service to him. The “therefore” in Romans 12:1 refers back to the last verse in Romans 11.

Romans 11:36 to 12:1 – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. [1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Your service in the local church is your spiritual act of worship to God.

Ephesians 3:21 – Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.

Ephesians 5:26,27 – That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    
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PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 265

March 3, 2005

WHERE ISRAEL HAS BEEN IN PROPHECY! Part 1

Luke 21:5,6,21 – And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, [6] As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. [24] And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

WHERE JEWS & GENTILES ARE AT PRESENT!

Ezekiel 37:9,10 – Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

WHERE BOTH ARE HEADED IN PROPHECY!

Luke 21:25-27 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. [27] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

The activities of nations in the past often determine their future conduct. In this update we will take a look at one of Ezekiel’s prophecies from about 592 B.C. that was, to a large extent, fulfilled in the last century, but still has future applications. In Ezekiel 37:1 we are told: “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.” And, in Ezekiel 37:11, we are advised: “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.” These two verses describe Ezekiel being carried to the approximate center of a valley filled with disarranged bones of countless men and women. The valley represents the world, and the bones represent “the whole house of Israel.”

In Ezekiel 37:2 he writes: “And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley, and, lo, they were very dry.” In this verse Ezekiel is led to make an inspection tour of the bones. He discovers two things as he passes through the valley representing the whole world: (1) the bones are “very many” (whole house of Israel); and (2) they are not just dry, they are “very dry.” This verse, coupled with verse 11, represents a prophecy that the day would come when the nation of Israel would not just be dead, but would be very dead, without hope, cut off from all its parts. Ezekiel made this prophecy in about 592 B.C. It was fulfilled more than 600 years after it was written, during the period A.D. 70 to 135. In A.D. 70 the Roman General Titus led an Army of Romans, Syrians, and Arab Mercenaries against Israel, and the destruction was almost complete. What was left of Israel as a nation was finished totally by the Roman Hadrian and his armies in about A.D. 135. From that time until May 14, 1948, there was no recognized nation of Israel in the great open valley of the world. For more than eighteen hundred years, the dead nation of Israel existed only as very dry bones scattered across the great Gentile valley known as the world.

In Ezekiel 37:3 the Lord poses a very interesting question to Ezekiel, as he asks: “And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.” I appreciate Ezekiel’s honesty. It is apparent he does not have the foggiest notion, so he shifts the answer back to the Lord as he states, “O Lord God, thou knowest.” “As I am repeatedly faced with questions of life I cannot answer, I simply say, O Lord, thou knowest.

In Ezekiel 37:4,5 God answers his own question: “[4] Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. [5] Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:” The answer is YES! God is going to transform these disarranged, very dry, dead bones in an open valley into a living nation of Israel recognized by most of the world’s nations. He speaks His Word to the bones, and as He speaks they hear and obey. Verse 5 gives a preview as to what the end result will be – a living, breathing nation of Israelites gathered home to the land he gave their father Abraham – the promised land of Israel. But this transformation from dead bones (a dead nation) to a living nation of flesh, blood, and breath was not to be done instantly, but rather in a series of stages as one would perform in building a human body over a skeleton frame. Lord willing, in Part 2 we will begin to describe these body building stages that has led us to the present situation in Israel, described in Ezekiel 37:9,10.

Ezekiel 37:9,10 – Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

SIZE OF THE ISRAELI ARMED FORCES:

Army: 1.1 Million

State Armed Police: 400,000

Federal Security: 196,000

Border Security Force: 174,000

Central Reserve Police Force: 160,000

Air Force: 150,000

Navy and Coast Guard: 55,000

Home Guard: 63,000

Foreign: 118,000

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 265A

March 5, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law – Part 13

Galatians 4:4,5 – But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, [5] To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The question that one needs to address is this – Was I redeemed from under the law? If your answer is “no,” then you need to be redeemed by accepting the blood of Jesus as the full price for your eternal salvation. If your answer is “yes,” then why do you think you need to go back under it as God’s adopted son to maintain your salvation you received as a gift from your new Father?

John 3:6,7 – That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

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

Did Christ redeem you from the curse of the law? If your answer is “yes,” then why do you want to go back under the curse?

James 2:10 – For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Galatians 3:10-14 – For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. [11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. [12] And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. [13] Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:[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.

Has God’s schoolmaster, the law, taught you how great a sinner you are in your failure to keep all of it? Once you came to Christ as your only hope, why do you now need to go back under it to learn the same lesson that you must have a Savior?

Galatians 3:24-26 – Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

If you have redemption and forgiveness of sins (plural), through his blood, does Jesus have to be crucified over and over again every time you sin (singular)?

Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Ephesians 1:7 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

How long is your saved soul sealed in Christ by the Holy Spirit of God?

Ephesians 4:30 – And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Are the saved soul and the carnal body changed and united again on the day of redemption?

I Corinthians 15:50-52 – 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.

Have many of the things from Luke 21:24 & 25 already happened, are happening, or are about to happen?

Luke 21:11,24 – And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. [24] And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (What does Scripture indicate we should be doing now?)

Luke 21:28 – And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Is our redemption by his blood eternal or temporary?

Hebrews 9:12 –Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

I Peter 1:18,19,23 – Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: [23] Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Revelation 5:9 – And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Acts 20:21 – Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 265B

March 8, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to the Recaptured by the Law – Part 14

John 14:1-4 – Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. [2] In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

In order to grasp the significance of meanings in these three verses, one must be aware of the context in which they are found. Jesus had just finished a dialog and a sequence of experiences with 12 men who had faithfully followed him for more than three years. The dialog and experience had made a cut in their faith by disrupting their pre-conceived idea of what the Messiah would do in establishing his earthly kingdom. After his departure he did not want them to lose faith in him as Messiah.

John 13:18 to 14:7 – I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

This was the first shock! One of the 12 was going to be guilty of betraying the Messiah they had followed for more than three years. If he was truly the Messiah how would it be possible for him to be betrayed – Would God allow such a thing? How could Messiah bring in the kingdom if he was betrayed?

[19] Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

Then he advises them of the reason he is telling them in advance. He wants them to continue to believe in him after it happens, and the fact he told them in advance should reinforce their belief, because only God had that ability of looking inside men and knowing what they were going to do in the future, just as he knew the heart of Judas, and how faint the hearts of the 11 would grow when he was on the future cross of his betrayal.

[20] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Jesus was telling them when men received the word he had given them, they were receiving him, and when they received him they were receiving the Father who sent him, because his Father gave him the words he spoke. He made this clear in John 12:49 – “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”

[21] When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

His spirit was likely concerned about the effect his being lifted up would have upon the faith of the eleven who would not betray him. This could be the reason behind his emphasis on the power he would leave behind in the words he had spoken to them in John 6:62,63 – What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? [63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

[22] Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. [23] Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. [24] Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. [25] He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? [26] Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

The Passover lamb had not been partaken of at this time. The sop Jesus gave Judas was hard crusted bread dipped in charoseth, which was what we would call a crushed fruit and spice dip today. It was an appetizer for the lamb which was to follow. Judas never partook of the Paschal Lamb or the fruit of the vine that came after the charoseth.

John 13:27-29 – And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. [28] Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. [29] For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

There were only two reasons that a man could leave after the charoseth – To get something that the host had forgotten to get for the Passover Meal, or to give something to the poor. Judas, being treasurer, was the logical one to be sent out for either one of these tasks, so the disciples would have thought nothing about his going out.

[30] He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. [31] Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. [32] If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. [33] Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

This was also a great shock to the 11 disciples after the departure of Judas. Their master of more that three years, who they had followed, waiting patiently for him to bring in his kingdom at any moment, suddenly tells them he is going away and they will no longer be able to follow him. They were stunned!

[34] A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. [35] By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Up to this time these 11 had primarily been identified as his followers because men could see Jesus leading them, but now, after saying he is going away, he commands them to love one another like he has loved them, so that those seeing this love will identify them as his disciples, even though he is no longer physically present among them. The same is still true today in his churches.

[36] Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. [37] Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.

Oddly enough, Peter’s statement contained the answer to his question. The only way Peter could follow him where Jesus was going was by way of his own physical death, but none of them understood that at the time except Jesus.

[38] Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

Peter is often severely criticized for his fulfillment of the words of Jesus, but at least he followed him, which is more than many of the other believers did and, quite frankly, they all said they would follow him to death in Matthew 26:35 – Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

We began this exposition of John 13:18-38 as a prelude to the context of John 14:1-7. In these 21 verses, Jesus has delivered a series of revelations to his disciples that are enough to shake their faith in him as the Messiah sent by God. They had followed him for more than three years, expecting him to suddenly proclaim himself as the Messiah and King of Israel, then overcome all opposition by his miraculous powers, and give them administrative positions in his new Kingdom. But his statements made it plain he was about to leave them, and they could not go where he was going until some future date.

So, he continues his discourse, in verse 1 of Chapter 14, and gives them assurance that he is going away for their benefit to prepare places in the Kingdom for them and, when the time is right, he will return and take them to his Father’s house. He wants them to continue their faith in him by believing the promises of his word. He does not want their believing hearts to be troubled. I implore you to remember that he is addressing his first local church of 11 men, whose treasurer is in the act of betraying him. All of the 11 listening to him were saved and had been baptized by John before he called them out to be his first church. All of the 11 had stayed with him faithfully for more than three years. These are specific promises made to them as his faithful followers!

[1] Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. [2] In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. [4] And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. [5] Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? [6] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [7] If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Where is his Father’s final house in which the faithful are to live according to his promise to these 11 faithful church members? What is his Father’s house?

It is on the New Earth under the Heaven of the final Age. It is the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:1,2 – And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Who will live in the holy city, new Jerusalem, on the new earth, for all of eternity? Do works play any role in “where” one lives in heaven?

Revelation 22:12-14 – And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. [13] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. [14] Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Who will live outside the city and walk in the light of it?

Revelation 21:24 – And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 266

March 10, 2006

WHERE ISRAEL HAS BEEN IN PROPHECY! Part 2

WHERE JEWS AND GENTILES ARE AT PRESENT!

WHERE BOTH ARE HEADING IN PROPHECY!

I Closed Part 1 of this series with the following message: “Lord willing, in Part 2 we will begin to describe these body building stages that has led us to the present situation in Israel, described in Ezekiel 37:9,10.”

Ezekiel 37:9,10 – Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

SIZE OF THE ISRAELI ARMED FORCES:

Army: 1.1 Million

State Armed Police: 400,000

Federal Security: 196,000

Border Security Force: 174,000

Central Reserve Police Force: 160,000

Air Force: 150,000

Navy and Coast Guard: 55,000

Home Guard: 63,000

Foreign: 118,000

Now, beginning Part 2!

When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Jewish Graveyard at Newport,” he concluded it with these lines:

“But ah! What once has been shall be no more! The groaning earth in travail and in pain brings forth its races, but does not restore, And the dead nations never rise again.”

Longfellow penned these words in 1852, at a time when it seemed impossible that the dead nation of Israel could ever rise again. Little did Longfellow realize that among the lifeless Jews scattered around the world there was to be thrown the eternal spark of life. It was the spark of rebirth kindled by the message of Theodor Herzl in 1896 – the message of “The Jewish State.” For more than 1800 years the chosen people of God, the dead nation of Israel, wandered as forsaken corpses in the great wilderness of the Gentile nations. But the same God, who allowed this punishment of a rejecting nation to occur, has now caused a dead nation to be resurrected from its Gentile graveyard. Longfellow was wrong; God has lifted up a scattered corpse into a living nation – the risen nation of Israel. When the Great Tribulation Period begins on this planet, both unbelieving Jew and Gentile will personally feel the wrath of Almighty God.

We closed Part 1 with Ezekiel 37:5, where he writes: “Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:” This verse gives a preview of what God is going to do in the verses which follow. He is going to transform these dead bones into a living nation of flesh, blood, and finally breath. It is not to be done instantly, but rather in a series of stages, as one would perform in building a human body over a skeleton frame.

Verse 6 of Ezekiel 37 describes this building of a living human body (Israel) over her dead bones: “And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” “I will lay sinews upon you” refers to those tissues (such as nerve tissue) immediately touching the bones. “And will bring up flesh upon you” pictures all that exists between sinew and skin. “And cover you with skin” portrays the dermis, epidermis, and general structure we identify as skin. “And put breath in you” is a description of the process by which physical (not spiritual) life continues. After God brings a skeleton together, then covers it with a body, He puts breath in it for physical life among the Gentile nations of the world: “And put breath in you.” This is not the spiritual rebirth of Israel. This was her recognition of being a living physical nation by most of the Gentile nations. Her spiritual rebirth does not occur until “ye shall know that I am the LORD” comes to pass. This is the spiritual rebirth of the nation in that it follows her physical birth in time. It is the last link in a natural chain of nation rebuilding, which is characterized by the chronological sequence of bone, sinew, flesh, breath, physical life, and finally spiritual reconciliation with her God. This chronological sequence, prophesied some 2600 years ago, began in 1896, and is still continuing.

Verse 7 marks the beginning of the chronological sequence outlined in Verse 6: “So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.” “There was a noise.” This was the noise heard round the world in 1896-97 as Jews rallied behind the thundering message of “The Jewish State,” which was delivered by Theodor Herzl. This message from Switzerland was soon echoed around the world, and the birth of Zionism sprang forth as the dry bones began to cry out: We want a homeland – a homeland in Israel. “And behold a shaking.” This was the shaking of the bones that brought them to life, and caused them to come together as a people under the British Protectorate of Palestine, which was established by the League of Nations Mandate in 1920.

Verse 8 of Ezekiel 37: “And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.” This verse continues the building of flesh and blood bodies over the dry bones God has gathered together in the midst of the Gentile nations. “The sinews and the flesh came upon them” – By 1930 approximately 160,000 Jews had come home – Israel did not yet have the appearance of a nation, but it was developing the internal nucleus. “And the skin covered them from above” – By 1948 a breathless physical nation had grown as a body with the British Protectorate. The full body was there, but one thing was missing – “But there was no breath in them.” They were not recognized as a genuine, living nation. They were a group of people with no national breath.

Verse 9 renders God’s solution to the closing breath problem of verse 8: “Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” This is not God breathing spiritual rebirth into the Jewish nation – that comes later in verse 14. The four winds represent north, south, east, and west, and, as such, they portray the locations of all the nations of the world. Most of the nations of the world (United Nations) on May 14, 1948 breathed upon the dead body of Israel, under the direction of God, and Israel became a recognized, physically reborn nation.

Verse 10 shows the results of verse 9: “So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army” – Worldwide recognition (except for Arab nations) gives them physical life, and they stand on their own two feet. The fact that they have defeated the Arab nations around them in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 testifies they have been an exceeding great army.

Verse 11 describes the symbolism of verses 1 and 2: “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.” The bones are clearly identified as the entire nation of Israel. It paints a concise picture of a dead nation, without hope, scattered across the world in small parts, cut off from one another. This is a perfect picture of the descendants of Israel (Jacob) from about A.D. 135 until the twentieth century.

Verse 12 continues to explain the symbolism of verses 7 through 10: “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. This outlines the gradual drawing of Jews from out of their places in the Gentile world to their natural homeland – the land of Israel. This began over 100 years ago and is still continuing.

Lord willing, in Part 3 we will present the final aspect of God’s work – The spiritual rebirth of the nation of Israel.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 266A

March 12, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law – Part 15

Ephesians 2:8,9 – 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.

John 3:7 – Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Many men and women try to worship God, but are not able to worship him! Why?

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

They do not have his indwelling Spirit in them, never having accepted Paul’s testimony.

Acts 20:21 – Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many saved men and women try to worship God, but their worship is not acceptable! Why?

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

They have been born again and God’s Spirit indwells them, but they do not worship him according to the truth of his word in the assembly where it tells them to worship.

John 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Ephesians 5:26,27 – That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 3:21 – Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Ephesians 2:22 – In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

I Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

I Timothy 3:14,15 – These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: [15] But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit AND IN TRUTH.

How can a saved person worship God IN TRUTH in a church that teaches you can lose your salvation if you don’t produce enough good works?

Galatians 3:2,3 – This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

How can a saved person worship God IN TRUTH in a church that teaches you don’t receive the Holy Spirit, until AFTER you are baptized?

Acts 10:47 – Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Paul would never have written I Corinthians 1:17 if water baptism was part of a saving gospel!

I Corinthians 1:17 – For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

A saved man or woman cannot please God unless they walk in truth.

III John 3-4 – For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. [4] I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

A saved man or woman cannot worship God unless they obey the ordinances in truth.

I Corinthians 11:1,2 – Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. [2] Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

II John 1:4 – I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

Ephesians 1:18-23 – 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, [19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, [20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, [21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: [22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 5:30 – For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 266B

March 15, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law! Part 16

Spiritual gifts were childish things compared to growing in the love of God.  They vanished away like the things of our childhood, but God’s love never fails, ceases, or vanishes away, as revealed in his perfect (completed) word.  It was completed to teach the saved to love.

I Corinthians 13:8-13 – Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. [9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. [10] But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. [11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. [12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. [13] And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

I John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

I Corinthians 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The Charity (Love) described here is a love experienced in Christ by growing in the awareness of the truth one has in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, the completeness a saved man or woman has in him.  Some never come to understand it, never feeling completely free from the condemnation of God for the condition under which one is born.

Romans 3:10 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

John 5:24 –Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and SHALL NOT come into condemnation; but IS PASSED from death unto life.

Colossians 2:9,10 – For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. [10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Some saved men and women obtain the “rest” of Jesus in Matthew 11:28, but then fail to find the “rest” of security in Christ in 11:29, and never fully recognize how free from God’s condemnation they have been set by the grace that in Christ.  They spend their remaining days in fear God will remove his salvation from them, and remain under the heavy burden of the law, rather that serving Christ in love for the price he paid for them to set them free from hell.  They continue to carry the very heavy burden of perfectly keeping the law’s yoke of burden and never come to experience the lightness of Christ’s burden yoke.

Galatians 3:24-26 – Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Are you justified by faith in the grace of God that is in Christ Jesus, or must you add to it after you have trusted in Christ in order to maintain your salvation?  Are you God’s spiritual workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, still trying to help God keep you saved by works?  Were you created in Christ Jesus so you could do good works for rewards, or do your works keep you in Jesus?

Galatians 3:1-3 – O FOOLISH Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? [2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?  

John 6:63 – It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Ephesians 2:8-10 – 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. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Is God’s grace sufficient to keep you saved, or must you work to keep your salvation?

II Corinthians 12:7-9 – And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Romans 7:19 to 8:4 – For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. [20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [21] I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. [22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: [23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. [24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? [25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. [1] There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

You cannot walk after the Spirit unless you have been given the Spirit.  That is why one MUST the born again.  It is not the flesh of man that is born again, it is a birth of his spirit.  One does not start in the Spirit and then add to his new birth by works generated by the carnal mind of the flesh.

John 3:6,7 – That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye MUST be born again.

Will God’s grace ever impute a sin to saved men and women that would send them to hell?

Romans 4:4-8 – Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. [5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. [6] Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, [7] Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. [8] Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

John 6:62,63 – What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? [63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The scriptures, his word, quickens those who believe what it testifies, that he has ascended back to heaven, and sets in heaven to continuously intercede for them, never allowing any sin to be imputed to them that would separate them from the love of God in him.

Romans 8:38,39 – As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. [37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 5:39,40 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Hebrews 7:25 – Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.