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What Scripture Says About Salvation

A Bible Study by Fred Kenison

 

Monograph 31:  Christ in the New Testament


 

 

The gospels

Acts

Paul's message

Revelation

Opposition to Jesus, the Christ

 

Summary Highlights of Monograph 31

 

 

NOTE

Before reading this section, be sure to read Monograph 30, The Relationship Between God,  Jehovah, and Jesus.

 

 

The Greek cristos, the English christ, and the Hebrew messiah all have the same basic meaning: "to anoint," or "anointed one."  As our study moved through the Old Testament, the word messiah came to mean not only the "anointed one," but also the "king of Israel."  

 

The Israelites believed that when messiah came he would deliver them from all worldly oppression, especially from the Roman army.  In the main, they overlooked the spiritual side of his coming and focused primarily on the physical or political aspects.  As often happens, the promise of worldly blessings overshadowed the spiritual aspects, and the Israelites generally looked only for the return of the promised land to Israel.  As we continue our study, the primary focus will be on the word "christ."

 

Several scriptures speak about the election of Israel as the people of Jehovah, their elohim.  That would also imply that holy spirit was given to them for obedience.  In the beginning, they were all called to be a nation of priests, anointed priests, to Jehovah.  However, when they refused that responsibility, then the Levites were appointed to be priests (Exodus 32:26-28).

 

The first use of the word "anointed" (christed) was combined with the indefinite article "a" which denoted one of a group.  Later in the Old Testament, the word "anointed" began to be used with a more definite sense, referring to the one (messiah) who was coming.  The beginning of Genesis relates how the "one-who-puts-forth-power," was the creator.  It also noted that the spirit of God "moved upon the face of the waters."

 

When man appeared upon the scene, the invisible god was working through Jehovah, his manifestation, expression, and witness to men of his presence.  This manifestation, Jehovah, was the expression of the thought and word of this invisible god to men, or the logos of the Old Testament.  It was Jehovah who put "his" spirit upon those who were chosen to be special witnesses for the cause of God,  It was called "my spirit," as though it belonged to Jehovah, because the invisible god had granted Jehovah the right to bestow that spirit upon whomever he chose.

 

The scriptures clearly indicate that the Jehovah of the Old Testament became Jesus of the New Testament.  Jesus also has the right to bestow the spirit, as Jehovah did earlier.  It was granted to him when he ascended to the Father, whom he had promised would send the spirit.

 

The force which made those anointed a christ was the spirit which was poured out upon them.  Christ means anointed one; it is not a name, but an appellative, an office, a description.  It denotes an office, just as the Hebrew "messiah" denotes the equivalent office.  By the way, that is why the word "christ" is never capitalized in the Greek manuscripts.

 

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The gospels

 

Earlier, in the Old Testament, the picture was drawn of Jehovah as god of Israel.  Jehovah was also the word of The God.  If Jehovah was "the word which was in the beginning with God," then consider John 1:14. 

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."  

 

It was Jesus, the man, who was in the flesh, and as a man he was definitely not "the word in the beginning with God."  That word was Jehovah.

 

Jehovah, the word of the Old Testament, had now become the man, Jesus, the messiah, or the christ.  But, not wishing to indulge those who teach gnostic tenets, John immediately denied that Jesus was The God in verse 1:18. 

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."  

 

Again, John used the intensive denial oudeis.

 

The word declared comes from exegesato, which means to draw out in narrative, or unfold in teaching.  That was exactly what Jesus did.  By his teaching and works, he drew a picture of The God for men.  What men could understand of The God was now clearly demonstrated to them by Jesus, the Christ.

 

Andrew was one of the first to state that Jesus was the christ.  He told Peter,

"We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ" (John 1:41). 

 

Phillip told Nathanael,

"We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (John 1:45). 

 

Some claim that this was only Phillip's idea of the scriptures, but Jesus told the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

"O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:25‑27). 

 

Although some people claim there are few references to messiah in the Old Testament, Jesus apparently thought otherwise.

 

If Jesus recognized himself as the word of the Old Testament, or Jehovah made flesh, then quite a lot was written of him.  Jehovah was the christ of the Old Testament, the anointed one of The God.  The spirit of The God was given to him to bestow it upon those chosen for special purposes.  Giving the spirit to him constituted Jehovah as the anointed one.  He was the word, the expression, the manifestation of The God.

 

But, how does this relates to Jesus?  John 1:6 says that John, the Baptist, was sent from God:

"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." 

 

John 1:31‑34 describes the coming of the spirit upon Jesus:

"And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."

 

John saw the holy spirit come upon Jesus, the man.  He immediately made two assertions about what that meant.  First, it meant that Jesus was the one who would baptize with holy spirit (not the holy spirit).  Second, it meant that Jesus was the anointed one of God, the christ of God.

 

Holy spirit, without the definite article, signifies qualities, or characteristics, of the holy spirit.  [Refer back to previous discussions about holy spirit, especially Monograph 15.

 

Jesus was the only man to receive the holy spirit, and he received the holy spirit without measure.  John 3:34 says,

"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." 

 

The whole of the holy spirit was available to Jesus.

 

Concerning this spirit, Matthew 12:18, quoting Isaiah, says,

"Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles."  

 

Isaiah 11:2, speaking of the Branch, says,

"And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him."  

 

Later, when Isaiah was granted a further look into the future, he wrote,

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." 

 

And, when Jesus began his ministry he quoted Isaiah 61:1: 

"The spirit of the Lord God is upon me."

 

Where did the spirit come from?  It came from The God to Jehovah, the god of Israel, and then to Jesus.  Now, Jesus had that spirit granted to the "Word from the Beginning" (John 1:1) abiding upon him.  The Jehovah of the Old Testament, the expression and manifestation of the word and intent of The God, had become flesh.

 

Was Jesus, the man, pre‑existent with The God?  Absolutely not!  But, the word, Jehovah, was.  Jehovah was the Word in the beginning with The God.  Now, all those privileges have been ceded to the man, Jesus, the Christ.

 

When Jesus began his ministry, Nathanael said,

"thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel" (John 1:49). 

 

When the spirit of Jehovah was poured out on Jesus, that act confirmed him as the son of The God, or king.  Jesus was not simply "a son of a god," as the centurion said at his crucifixion (Matthew 27:54).  Note that Luke 23:47 gives a different view of what the centurion said.  Neither was he "a son of the God," as some of his disciples had said earlier (Mark 1:1),  but he was "the son of The God."  [Refer back to Monographs 10, 11, and 12.]

 

There had been many "sons of God," such as the prophets, priests, kings, and others chosen for specific tasks for God.  But, there was only one "the son of The God."   Jesus seldom used this title for himself, but was addressed in this manner by others.

 

Jesus preferred to identify himself as "the son of the man," a designation which showed him to be the ideal human and also identified him with the rest of humanity. 

 

Hebrews 2:16‑18 definitely shows that Jesus was human, in every sense of the word. 

"For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."

 

As the son of The God, Jesus was identified as the anointed one, the king of Israel, and the christ, the vice-regent of The God.  As the son of the man, Jesus was identified with the rest of humanity for all eternity. 

 

Now, the man Jesus is the one who bears the spirit and has the blessing and the honor of bestowing it upon whomever he wishes.  All the blessings of The God now come through Jesus,

"My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17, Matthew 17:5, Mark 1:11, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35, II Peter 1:17).

 

Although there are many other scriptures which could be cited proving that Jesus was the Jehovah of the Old Testament, this sample should be enough for our purpose.

 

In the Old Testament, Jehovah, as the god of Israel (the anointed one, the christ of The God), had the spirit of the invisible God.  When he became a man, he emptied himself (Philippians 2:6-9), or as the KJV says,

"made himself of no reputation." 

 

Before Jehovah became flesh, he fully controlled impartation of the spirit, to give it to whomever he pleased.  When he became flesh, as Jesus, he had to leave authority over the spirit behind, to be regained again at a later time. 

 

At the beginning of his ministry, when Jesus was baptized, the fullness of holy spirit, without measure, was poured out upon him (John 1:32).  However, as a man, he no longer had authority over holy spirit, or controlled it, but had to submit to it. 

 

After his resurrection and ascension, The God again made him Lord (Jehovah) as well as christ, and he was again given authority over holy spirit, some of which he poured out upon all flesh.

 

After the holy spirit came upon him, Jesus began his ministry of preaching and teaching to reveal The God to the rest of humanity.  He told people that if they did not believe because of what he said, at least they could believe because of what he did.

 

When John said that

"we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father" (John 1:14)

what was he referring to?  Could it be the transfiguration related by Luke? 

"And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he (Jesus) took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.  And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.  And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:  Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem" (Luke 9:28‑30).

 

This transfiguration of Jesus indicated his acceptance by God as his son and prefigured his resurrection and his glorious appearance as described in Revelations 1:12‑18.  These revelations of the glory of Jesus were prefigured in the Old Testament by the theophanies of Jehovah who on occasion also appeared in the figure of a man (for example, see Genesis 18).

 

When the holy spirit came upon Jesus, the man, he became the son of The God.  He was not just another anointed one but the anointed one.  No other man had ever been granted more than just a portion of holy spirit for his duties, but Jesus was granted all of the holy spirit to enable him to do the bidding of the Father.  This bidding not only included his death by crucifixion, but it also included complete obedience to the Father, something which may have been even more difficult than the crucifixion.

 

In John 8:28, Jesus said,

"I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." 

 

To make such a statement of obedience would only be possible with a greater portion of the holy spirit than has ever been granted to any other person.  Having a portion of holy spirit would constitute "a son of The God," but to be "the son of The God" required a greater dispensation of holy spirit.

 

These words of Jesus show that he allowed himself to be so used by the holy spirit which was abiding upon him, that everything he did and everything he said was under the control of that spirit.  Remember, Jesus was a man, identified with the rest of humanity.  Jesus spoke or did only those things desired by The God.  He was to manifest The God in the flesh, and this was how The God chose for him to do so.

 

Phillip asked Jesus to,

"show us the Father." (John 14:8). 

 

Jesus told him,

"he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" (John 14:9). 

 

Was Jesus saying that he is The God, as many claim?  No!  Read the next verse: 

"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John 14:10). 

 

In essence, Jesus told Phillip that he was operating under the influence of the Father, and the Father was operating through him.  He was not claiming to be The God; Jesus never made such a claim for himself.  However, many misguided people have distorted the scriptures to claim that Jesus is The God.

 

Later, Jesus told his disciples about things which would soon come to pass.

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you" (John 14:16‑20).

 

Jesus told his disciples three specific things.  First, he would ask the Father to send them the spirit of truth; second, that they would be able to submit to it but the world would not be able to submit to it.  Why?  They would be able to submit to it because they believed Jesus, and they were willing to submit themselves to his authority.

 

Those who are oriented to the world do not submit themselves to holy spirit, and therefore do not "receive" it.  In Monographs 15-24, we pointed out that while everybody has been given a portion of holy spirit, only those who submit themselves to it (receive it) will have it activated in their lives.

 

People receive the spirit, in the active, by submitting to the spirit in order to be used by the spirit.  Submission brings about the "receiving" but not the giving of it.  This is a difficult concept to get across when we must use the word "receive" which most people picture as reaching out and taking something.  But, people have already been given holy spirit, as a gift, and they already have it.  Their "receiving" of holy spirit consists in yielding or submitting to its guidance in their lives.  [Refer back to Monograph 18 for a detailed discussion of this point.]

 

The third thing about Jesus' statement to the disciples was that the holy spirit would be among them, not in them, as some translations have it.  John 14:17 contains a plural "you," preceded by en, and should therefore be properly translated as "among you."

 

Then, in John 14:20, Jesus told them that,

"I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." 

 

This was nearly a repetition of what he had said in his answer to Phillip.  He told Phillip that he was in the Father, and that the Father was in him (John 14:10). 

 

Many claim that this verse proves that Jesus is God the Father.  If this were true, than the disciples who were "in Jesus" would also be Jesus; and if Jesus were "in them," then Jesus would also be them.

 

To further explain what the coming of holy spirit would mean, Jesus said,

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you." (John 16:13‑15). 

 

The holy spirit, when it came, would glorify Jesus, just as Jesus had glorified the Father.  This does not make Jesus the holy spirit!  But, it does show one of the reasons why the holy spirit came into the world.

 

Before leaving this passage, note that the personal pronoun "he" does not appear anywhere in the Greek manuscripts; therefore, holy spirit should not be translated as an "he."  The word ekeinos, a demonstrative pronoun, is the only pronoun in these verses, and should properly be translated as "that one," or "that thing."  Remember, too, that Jesus said that he would ask the Father to send the holy spirit after he had ascended to the Father (John 14:16).

 

After his baptism, when the holy spirit abode upon him, Jesus was a man who was totally submissive to, or receiving, that spirit.  Through this submission, even to the point of being crucified, Jesus was fulfilling God's purposes, not only for him, but for all mankind.  The realization of God's purpose was why he could endure death on the cross.  It was for

"the joy that was set before him" (Hebrews 12:2). 

 

Jesus knew that the reconciliation of all mankind to God would be lost if he were disobedient. 

 

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Acts

 

Acts l describes the time after Jesus' resurrection, just before his ascension. 

"Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:  To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me." (Acts 1:2-4).

 

This verse raises a question: did Jesus speak vocally with his disciples, or only through holy spirit?  An examination of the grammar indicates that "through holy spirit" modifies "whom he had chosen."  In other words, Jesus chose his apostles "through holy spirit," but talked with them (at least in this instance) face to face.  The apostles were specifically instructed to stay in Jerusalem and "wait for the promise of the Father."  This promise was the one concerning the coming of holy spirit, or the spirit of truth.

 

The disciples watched as Jesus arose into a cloud, probably the shekinah glory cloud often noted in the Old Testament.  [See Appendix A in our book, The Apocalypse of Revelation  for a detailed discussion of the shekinah glory.]  His resurrection and ascension were further proof that the man Jesus was the son of The God, the christ of The God, and king of Israel. 

 

Paul put it this way in Romans 1:4: 

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."

 

After the ascension, the apostles waited in Jerusalem as they were instructed.  If God the Father sent the spirit of truth according to the request of Jesus, the Christ, it would be the final proof that he was the messiah. 

 

Acts 2:1‑6 describes the coming of holy spirit: 

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language."

 

John had prophesied that the one coming after him would baptize not only with water but also with fire.  Therefore, fire became the visible sign to those in the upper room that holy spirit had come.  Fire symbolizes cleansing.  The apostles were now ready to be witnesses of what Jesus had said and done.  They were "filled with holy spirit," or utterly engrossed with the things of God.

 

Although the apostles saw holy spirit come upon their own small party, what about the rest of humanity?  In Acts 2:16‑17, Peter explained what had just happened. 

"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit." 

 

The phrase, "out of my spirit" could also be translated as "some of my spirit."  As Peter noted, a portion of holy spirit had been poured out upon every living man, woman, and child in the world.

 

These were the "last days."  Peter emphasized the present tense by saying "this is that."  Joel's prophecy about the coming of holy spirit was no longer future, it was happening now.  The word "is" was written as present indicative which places the emphasis upon the factual event itself.  But, it also shows that this is a continuing event.  From now on, every person born into the world will also have a portion of holy spirit.

Since Peter said that this event was what Joel had prophesied, why do so many still claim that Joel's prophesy is yet to come?

 

Jesus was also referring to the sending of holy spirit when he spoke to the woman at the well. 

"Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.  The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?  Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:10-14).

 

John gave this explanation:

"(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)" (John 7:39). 

 

Each individual could not be given a portion of holy spirit until Jesus had been glorified, indicated by the events of Acts l.

 

Within this portion of holy spirit there abides the "power" Jesus told the apostles to wait for.  This power is the ability to be a witness in whatever area of life the Lord chooses for each person.  When this portion of holy spirit was poured out upon all flesh, it constituted the baptism of holy spirit.  This is the only baptism of holy spirit taught in the Bible, and it was administered at Pentecost by The Father, through The Son.

 

This baptism, or pouring out of holy spirit upon all flesh, was the constitution of the ecclesia, a word commonly translated as "church."  But, ecclesia has a much wider meaning in the New Testament than simply a local group of believers who assemble to worship God.  This ecclesia was composed of every man, woman, and child who was living at that time, or who ever would live in the future.  All of these people comprised the ecclesia.

 

Ecclesia may be simply defined as a group of peoples, all of whom have something in common.  What believers and non‑believers have in common is a portion of holy spirit.  This portion of holy spirit, poured out upon each individual, constitutes the ecclesia, or church.

 

This is a much wider definition of "church" than most people believe, but it is scripturally sound.  Who is it that heads up this great body of believers and non‑believers?  In Acts 4:11, Peter said that Jesus, the Christ, was "the head of the corner," or the cornerstone, which is the main stone of a building. 

 

I Peter 2:7 also described Jesus as,

"the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner."  

 

The religionists of that day did not believe Jesus was the messiah, or head of the corner, but that did not change anything.  God's will was still done, and Jesus is the head of the ecclesia.

 

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Paul's message

 

I Corinthians 11:3 says,

"that the head of every man is Christ."  

 

Paul was not speaking only of believers, but also unbelievers.  Whether they think so or not, both believers and unbelievers are still responsible to Jesus, the Christ, as their head.

 

Paul carried this thought further in Ephesians 1:19‑23. 

"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us‑ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  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:  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." 

 

Do not limit the word ecclesia, church, to just believers; it is much wider than that!  Jesus, the Christ, fills all in all, and he does that now!

 

Jesus, the Christ, is head of the ecclesia, which is comprised of both believers and unbelievers.  Why?  Because all people were anointed, or "christed," when a portion of holy spirit was poured out upon everyone.  Recall that we showed earlier how people in the Old Testament were given a portion of holy spirit to fulfill their duties to God; in other words, they were anointed, or "christed."

 

Jesus is the christ, the one who had holy spirit without measure.  He, in turn, has been given the right to disperse holy spirit upon whomever he desires, just as Jehovah did in the Old Testament.  The God instructed Jesus to pour out some of holy spirit upon every person who is alive, or who will ever be alive.  When he did that, the rest of the body was formed, and each person became a part of christ; not a part of Jesus, the man, but of his office, christ.

 

Jesus, who now holds the office of christ, is considered the head, or the CEO of the ecclesia.  However, each person has a function in this office of christ, to perform the purposes of God the Father.  Previously, Jehovah was "the word from the beginning," the christ, the very expression of the words and deeds of The God.  Now Jesus, the glorified man, is fulfilling the same duties because he is now the christ.

 

Peter described the position that God bestowed upon Jesus, the glorified man. 

"This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord (Jehovah) said unto my Lord (Adonai), Sit thou on my right hand,  Until I make thy foes thy footstool.  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:32‑36).

 

Peter said both Lord (Adonai) and Christ.  Just as Jehovah was the adonai, or master, of the Old Testament, Jesus has now taken that office as a glorified man.  Just as Jehovah bestowed spirit to form an ecclesia of Israel, now Jesus bestows spirit to form an ecclesia of the entire world population.

 

Paul affirmed the fact that all Israel was endowed with holy spirit in I Corinthians 10:3‑4: 

"And did all eat the same spiritual meat;  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." 

 

How did they drink this spiritual drink?  By being given a portion of holy spirit by Jehovah, upon command of The God.  Even so, Jesus, the christ of the New Testament, poured out some of "the promise of the Father" upon all flesh.

 

Paul drew a word picture of the new body of christ in Romans 12:2‑8.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness."

 

Note that Paul instructed us to no longer be conformed to the world.  Why?  Because continuing to do so means being in opposition to the christ.

 

We are no longer a body of Adam, but a body of christ, and each person should act in that manner.  How?  By having a renewed mind!  See where the Father has put you by his grace.  You do not get into the body of christ because you believed; you were put there by the grace of God.  You stay there by exercising the "measure of faith" given to you, by performing the duty to which you have been called.  If each person performed the office given them, then the body of christ would operate in a perfect manner.  That is why all people should discover their calling and perform it!

 

When Paul said that "we are one body in christ," he meant exactly that!  We are the body of christ, with the glorified man Jesus as head.  It is Jesus who instructs the rest of the body what to do in order to bring order out of chaos.  As long as some refuse the leadership of Jesus, the head, they are guilty of creating chaos and working to thwart the purposes of The God.  They will not escape guiltless.  At the judgment seat of Christ their works will speak for them, indicating whether or not they acted in faith, in the belief that Jesus was the christ, the head of the body.

 

Paul not only wrote about this to the Romans, but also to the Corinthians.

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another  discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way." (I Corinthians 12:7‑31).

 

Paul also listed a number of gifts showing the diversity of abilities given to different people.  He also said we were given "one spirit to drink."  Recall how Israel was made

"to drink from that rock which followed them, and that rock was christ" (I Corinthians 10:3-4).

 

Paul also wrote about this matter to the Ephesians. 

"And (God) hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22‑23). 

 

Paul continued by saying,

"If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you‑ward:  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel." (Ephesians 3:2-6).

 

In Ephesians 4:4‑8, Paul wrote,

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."  And, in Ephesians 4:15‑16, he said, "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even [the] Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." 

 

We inserted "the" before christ in the above passage because it is in the Greek manuscript although it was left out by the KJV translators.

 

Paul also wrote about this to the Colossians. 

"And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  And he is the head of the body, the church (ekklesias)" (Colossians 1:17-18). 

 

The word "christ" denotes an office composed of more than one person.  There are many in the body of christ, but there is only one head, and that is Jesus.  In the next age, the body of christ will be made up of overcomers, who will be the governing body, with Jesus as the head of that body, or christ.  However, because Jesus is the head of the body he is spoken of as being "the Christ," or the representative of the whole body.

 

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Revelation

 

Saying "Jesus, the Christ" is equivalent to saying "Jesus, the Messiah." In this section we will be focusing primarily on what Revelation says about the christ, and the body of christ in the next age. 

 

However, we begin with the glimpse of the messiah's glory described by Luke.  Jesus,

"took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.  And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering" (Luke 9:28-29).

 

When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he described a great radiant light (Acts 9:3-5).  In Philippians 3:20‑21, Paul wrote,

"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." 

 

Jesus, when he returns as the messiah, will apparently have a radiantly glorious body.

 

When John wrote I John, he did not know as much as he did when he wrote Revelation.  However, he had been given some knowledge of our future body, and in I John 3:2-3 he wrote: 

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 

 

Not only will Jesus have a glorious body, but each of the overcomers will also have a glorious body.

 

In II Corinthians 5:1‑3, Paul talked about a new body. 

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked."  

 

Sadly, many people do not understand enough about the future of the overcomers to really groan, or desire, for a new body.

 

It was left for John, the beloved disciple, to receive a full vision of the body of Jesus as he comes in glory to begin the next age, the kingdom of God.  In Revelation 1:5‑7, John commented on the parousia, or the coming in person, of our Lord Jesus, the Christ, or the Messiah. 

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." 

 

John wrote this about the return of the king to take charge of his kingdom, the one which gets its authority from heaven, or from his Father.

 

How will Jesus, the glorified man, appear when he returns in person the second time to rule and reign?  Although words are not sufficient to describe the fullness of heavenly glory, John did the best he could in attempting to paint a word picture describing the glory of Jesus. 

"And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man (these were the same words used by Daniel), clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength" (Revelations 1:12‑16).

 

Since the overcomers in the kingdom of God will look like Jesus, this description also applies to the overcomers!  The overcomers will be priests and kings in the next age, and with bodies like this, it should not be difficult to receive the respect and obedience of those who will be under their rule and instruction.  Indeed, John said that,

"when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead" (Revelation 1:17). 

 

These will be awesome, glorious bodies!

 

In this study, we have repeatedly emphasized the factual evidence from the scriptures that all people comprise the body of christ because all have received a portion of holy spirit.  However, when Jesus returns there will be a separation of the believers (overcomers) and the unbelievers.  During the present age, both believers and unbelievers have been placed, judicially, in the body of christ, although the unbelievers are not "in christ" experientially.  Since they do not believe, their lives are not lived in the sphere of the body.

 

During this age, believers have the opportunity, and the responsibility, of bringing the unbelievers to faith.  II Corinthians 5:10 says,

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

 

I Corinthians 3:9‑15 further elaborates on this judgment: it is not people who are judged, but their works. 

"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

 

This refers to when the separation of believers and unbelievers takes place, because their works declare their faith.  Not everyone will enter the kingdom of God with a body like that of Jesus, the Christ.  Some will enter into "outer darkness." 

 

Many churches try to make the division between believers and unbelievers now.  However, scripture says they are to be allowed to grow together until it is time to separate them, which was the point of Jesus' parable about the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-50).

 

Previously, we pointed out that there are three aspects of salvation.  (1) The past tense, or judicial aspect of salvationthe judgment brought about by the death of Jesus by which all were accounted, or judged, to be righteous, or acquitted.  (2) The present tense, or experiential aspect of salvationexperienced only by believers who have committed themselves to the guidance of holy spirit.  (3) The future tense of salvationwhen the overcomers enter the next age, the kingdom of God, to rule and reign with Jesus.  They will be the body of christ, or the governing body, in the next age.  Jesus will be the head, or king, of that governing body, or christ.

 

Revelation 11:15 pointed to the return of Jesus with these words: 

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

 

It is the overcoming believers from the present age who will comprise the body that rules during the 1,000 year reign.

 

The unbelievers of this age will not receive a body like that of Jesus, and they will not rule and reign with him.  Instead, they will receive further instruction in godliness "with a rod of iron."  They will be ruled over by the overcomers who will have resurrected bodies like Jesus, the head of this body or ruling group. 

 

Psalms 2:7  spoke about this time:

"Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion,"

 

And Psalms 2:9 spoke about those who will be ruled over:

"Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

 

In the letter to the church at Thyatira, the risen Jesus, the Christ, said,

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

 

This is a description of the overcomers, and symbolizes their reward during the next age.

 

The overcomers will not be sitting on clouds playing harps, as depicted by many artists.  The scriptures point to a very different set of activities.  Revelation 19:11‑16 says,

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords." 

 

Revelation 20:4 says,

"they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." 

 

Christ, as used here, is not a name, but signifies that Jesus is the head of the body of overcomers.

 

The people who are to be brought into submission are called "the nations," a term given to those who are not part of true Israel.  All believers who overcome will be part of the true Israel, the covenant people. 

 

Some Gentile believers may not like the idea of being part of Israel, but if they are true disciples of Jesus, the Christ, that is what they are (Galatians 3:6-7).  The true Israel is not made up of only Jews, but all believers, whether Jews or Gentiles.

 

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Opposition to Jesus, the Christ

 

"The nations" comprise those who have opposed The Word of The God.  In the Old Testament it was the "wicked" who opposed Jehovah, as The Word of The God.  They were not of Israel, but were renegades from the faith of Jehovah, and were called the "worthless sons," or "sons of belial."  They had a portion of holy spirit to guide them, yet they rebelled and denied the authority of Jehovah in their lives.  Therefore, they became a part of the opposition and hence "worthless sons." [Refer to Monograph 29.]

 

Who is it that makes up the opposition to the Christ in this age and the age to come?  The preponderance of preaching and teaching claim that opposition to Jesus, the Christ, comes from the devil and his demons.  But, is this really the case?

 

Demon, or devil as it is translated in the KJV, comes from the word daimonion.  Fallows (Vol. l, pp. 515‑17) says,

"This word has been used by ancient writers with great latitude, being applied by them to every order of beings superior to man, including even the highest.  It is applied to any particular divinity.  Since no distinct ideas of the ancient Jewish doctrines concerning demons can be obtained from the Septuagint, we next have recourse to the heathens, and from their writings, owing to the universal prevalence of belief in demons, ample information may be obtained....  (In) the judgment of Plato, which will be considered decisive, 'Every demon is a middle being between God and mortal.'  He thus explains what he means by a middle being: 'God is not approached immediately by man, but all the commerce and intercourse between gods and men are performed by the mediation of demons.'  'Demons are reporters and carriers from men to the gods, and again from the gods to men, of the supplications and prayers of the one, and of the injunctions and rewards of devotion from the other.'  'And this,' says the learned Mede, 'was the ecumenical philosophy of the apostles' times and of the times long before them.'  Plato says 'the poets speak excellently who affirm that when good men die they attain great honor and dignity, and become demons.'  Philo says that souls, demons and angels are only different names that imply one and the same substance, and he affirms that Moses calls those angels whom the philosophers call demons.  It was also believed that the souls of bad men became evil demons.  Accordingly daimonios often appear in ancient authors as a term of reproach.  In later times Josephus uses the word demon always in a bad sense, as do the writers of the New Testament, when using it as from themselves and in their own sense of it.  'Demons are no other than the spirits of the wicked, that enter into men and kill them, unless they can obtain some help against them.'  It is frequently supposed that the demons of the New Testament are fallen angels; on the contrary, it is maintained by Farmer that the word is never applied to the Devil and his angels, and that there is no sufficient reason for restricting the term to spirits of a higher order than mankind.  There is no doubt but that Satan and Diabolus are the same, and hence Beelzebub and Diabolus are evidently the same being.  It is further urged that it is but fair and natural to suppose that the writers of the New Testament use the word demons in the same sense in which it was understood by their contemporaries, which, as it appears from Josephus and other authorities, was that of the spirits of the wicked, and that if these writers had meant anything else they would have given notice of so wide a deviation from popular usage."

 

The definition of a demon in the time of the apostles differs significantly from the definition in our own time.  The way we see demons today seems to have been derived more from the Greek philosophers than from scripture.  Demons today seem to be regarded as the worst of all the evil spirits.  Furthermore, the authors do not necessarily agree that daimonios, demons, and, diabolos, devil, are one and the same.

 

Daimonios is a noun while all the derivatives of diabolos are adjectives and are only descriptive of some thing or some one.  Why the KJV translated it as "devil" is truly puzzling.  The word diabolos is composed of two Greek words: dia, through, and balloo, thrust or cast.  Thus, the word means to thrust through, or to divide.  If we translated the adjective diabolos as a noun, it should be as "a divider," or "a dividing person."

 

As for demons, they seemed to be opposed to people rather than God.  They are pictured in the scriptures as causing the ills of mankind, especially those which describe mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, or epilepsy.

 

Diabolos, usually translated as devil in most Bibles, is always an adjective used as a pronominal.  Therefore, it agrees in all grammatical instances as would a noun, and, if properly written, would be "a dividing person, thing, one."  For example, in Matthew 4:1-11:

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil (a dividing person, thing, one).  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."

 

When Jesus was expounding on the parable of the tares to his disciples, he said that,

"the enemy who has sowed them is the dividing (diabolos) ...." (Matthew 13:39).  

 

In Matthew 25:41, Jesus said,

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." 

 

This dividing person, thing, or one now has angels, or messengers.

 

Mark never used the term diabolos at all.  Luke used diabolos in telling about the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (Luke (4:2-13).  John used the term three times in his gospel. 

 

John 6:70: 

"Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil (a dividing)?" 

 

John 8:44: 

"Ye are of your father the devil (the dividing), and the lusts of your father ye will do." 

 

John 13:2: 

"And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him."

 

In the gospels, the word diabolos, or dividing, seems to point to something which divides people from The God, or something which causes them to be slandering (ones).  Now that all people have a portion of holy spirit to guide their obedience, what is it that is always in opposition to The God and holy spirit?  It is the old Adamic nature, or the flesh, which divides some from obedience to The God.

 

Jesus dealt with his fleshly nature for 40 days in the wilderness, which was subject to all the same temptations we suffer, which is why we can identify with him.  The "dividing thing" (his fleshly nature) was trying to separate him from the duty to which he had been called.  Jesus had to deal with the flesh just as we do!   Only after he had mastered the temptations presented by his flesh (dividing one or devil), did he begin his ministry.  This was a personal battle which Jesus fought and it involved his opposition to the message given by The God.

 

Therefore, we believe this is the reason diabolos is an adjective; it involves a quality of being human.  The word diabolos comes from the root word balloo, which can also be translated as "parable."  This strikes us as especially fitting for the life of men, especially those trying to serve The God.  To an observer, that person's life might be difficult to decipher since it would be a mixture of both godly actions and fleshly actions.

 

Earlier in this study we raised the question of how the serpent of Genesis become the dragon of Revelation? 

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:9). 

 

The word "satan" was not capitalized in the Greek, indicating that the satan of Revelation was not a proper name although most Bible translations treat it as one.  Capitalizing the word "satan" fosters the belief that satan is a personality.  This verse simply says that the dragon, the serpent, the devil (dividing thing), and satan were all one and the same; different terms used to describe the same quality.  [For a more thorough treatment of devil and demons see Appendix B in our book, The Apocalypse of Revelation .]

 

The serpent, the little snake of Genesis, by the time of Revelation, had grown to be a dragon.  Why?  In Genesis, only Adam and Eve opposed The God's purposes.  By the time of Revelation, much of mankind was involved in opposing The God.  The term serpent could no longer describe the power of that accumulated opposition.  Therefore, it was called a dragon to signify great power.  Regardless of the terminology used to describe it, the fleshly actions of all mankind has always comprised the opposition to God's purposes.  The terms serpent, devil, dragon, and satan are only used to signify this opposition.

 

This total opposition signifies great power, often manifested by a religion which has lost its way.  Jesus called a synagogue of Jews a synagogue of satan (Revelation 2:9), because they would not acknowledge him to be the messiah.  In opposing him, they represented a religion which had lost its proper path.

 

The Bible warns believers that they, too, may be deceived (Matthew 24:24).  Be sure that what you believe is correct, or you may wind up actually being in opposition to The God's purposes.

 

At the coming of Jesus, the Christ, a judgment of works will take place.  This will reveal whether or not our works were based upon the love of God through faith, or upon love of the world and faithlessness.  Those whose works survive the fires of judgment will become part of the glorified body of Jesus, the Christ, and will enter the next age in a state of blessing to rule and reign with him.  The others will not enter the next age in a place of blessing, but will be relegated to "outer darkness."

 

 John 5:28‑29 says:

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil (things), unto the resurrection of damnation." 

 

The word evil comes from phaula, which means worthless, of no account.  Phaula is another adjective used as a pronominal, and therefore (things) was added to the above verse.

 

The worthless sons of the Old Testament were those Israelites who had a portion of spirit yet deserted the service of Jehovah to worship the idols around them.  Those who do not enter the kingdom of God, the next age, in a place of blessing are the "worthless ones" who have not been obedient to the guidance of holy spirit.  They have lived in rebellion and have put the flesh and the world first in their lives.  They will no longer be considered as part of the body of christ after the judgment.  A significant implication here is that although we all have a portion of holy spirit for guidance, we can lose our salvation by not yielding to that same spirit.

 

After the coming of Jesus, the Christ, and his judgment, the next age will involve ministering to those in outer darkness.  The people in outer darkness will be ordinary human beings with natural bodies like we have now.  The overcomers, who will then comprise the body of christ, will rule and reign over them with a rod of iron, under the leadership of Jesus.  The God's desires will be strictly administered all over the earth for a period of "a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).

 

During this 1,000 years, no provisions will be made for the desires or needs of the flesh.  That is the meaning of Revelation 20:2-3, which says,

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." 

 

For 1,000 years God's law will be strictly administered by the overcomer saints who comprise, along with Jesus, the body of christ.

 

At the end of the 1,000 years, satan will be loosed, which means that the old fleshly nature will again be allowed to deceive the people.  These deceived people will again oppose The God's rule. 

"And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them" (Revelation 20:9).

 

Again, the flesh will be defeated, or as the scriptures say,

"the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone" (Revelation 20:10). 

 

This will be the final judgment of those "worthless ones" who oppose the purpose of The God.  Jesus, the Christ, along with his group of overcomers who comprise the body of christ, will have finished their ministry of the next age.  An explanation of what lies beyond after that must wait for another study.

 

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Summary Highlights of Monograph 31

 

#  When man appeared upon the scene, the invisible God was working

     through Jehovah, his manifestation, expression, and witness to men of

     his presence.

#  The scriptures clearly indicate that the Jehovah of the Old Testament

     became Jesus of the New Testament.

#  Christ means anointed one; it is not a name, but an appellative, an

     office, a description.  It denotes an office, just as the Hebrew "messiah"

     denotes the equivalent office.

#  Jesus, by his teaching and works, drew a picture of The God for men.

     What men could understand of The God was now clearly

     demonstrated to them by Jesus, the Christ.

#  Jehovah was the christ of the Old Testament, the anointed one of The

     God.  The spirit of The God was given to him to bestow it upon those

     chosen for special purposes.

#  Jesus was the only man to receive the holy spirit, and he received it

     without measure.

#  Jehovah of the Old Testament, the expression and manifestation of the

     word and intent of The God, became flesh as Jesus.

#  When the spirit was poured out on Jesus that confirmed him as the

     son of The God, or king.  Jesus was not simply "a son of a god" as the

     centurion said at his crucifixion.

#  Before Jehovah became flesh, he fully controlled impartation of the

     spirit, to give it to whomever he pleased.  When he became flesh, as

     Jesus, he had to leave authority over the spirit behind, to be regained

     again at a later time.

#  At the beginning of his ministry, when Jesus was baptized, the fullness

     of holy spirit, without measure, was poured out upon him (John 1:32).

     However, as a man, he no longer had authority over holy spirit, or

     controlled it, but had to submit to it.

#  After his resurrection and ascension, The God again made him (Jesus)

     Lord, or Jehovah, as well as Christ, and he was again given authority

     over holy spirit, some of which he poured out upon all flesh.

#  Jesus told Phillip that he was operating under the influence of the

     Father, and the Father was operating through him.  He was not

     claiming to be The God; Jesus never made such a claim for himself.  

#  The holy spirit, when it came, would glorify Jesus, just as Jesus had

     glorified the Father.  This does not make Jesus the holy spirit!  But, it

     does show one of the reasons why the holy spirit came into the world.

#  His resurrection and ascension were further proof that the man Jesus

     was the son of The God, the christ of The God, and king of Israel.  

#  As Peter noted, a portion of holy spirit had been poured out upon every

     living man, woman, and child in the world.  

#  When this portion of holy spirit was poured out upon all flesh, it

     constituted the baptism of holy spirit.  This is the only baptism of holy

     spirit taught in the Bible, and it was administered at Pentecost by the

     Father, through the son.

#  Ecclesia may be simply defined as a group of peoples, all of whom have

     something in common.  What believers and non‑believers have in

     common is a portion of holy spirit.  This portion of holy spirit, poured

     out upon each individual, constitutes the ecclesia, or church.  This is a

     much wider definition of "church" than most people believe, but it is

     scripturally sound.  

#  Whether they think so or not, both believers and unbelievers are still

     responsible to Jesus, the Christ, as their head.  

#  Jesus, the Christ, is head of the ecclesia, which is comprised of both

     believers and unbelievers.  Why?  Because all people were anointed, or

     "christed," when a portion of holy spirit was poured out upon

     everyone.  

#  The God instructed Jesus to pour out some of holy spirit upon every

     person who is alive, or who will ever be alive.  When he did that, the

     rest of the body was formed, and each person became a part of christ;

     not a part of Jesus, the man, but of his office, christ.  

#  Each person has a function in this office of christ, to perform the

     purposes of God the Father. 

#  Just as Jehovah was the adonai, or master, of the Old Testament, Jesus

     has now taken that office as a glorified man.  Just as Jehovah bestowed

     spirit to form an ecclesia of Israel, now Jesus bestows spirit to form an

     ecclesia of the entire world population.

#  Paul instructed us to no longer be conformed to the world.  Why?

     Because continuing to do so means being in opposition to the Christ.  

#  You do not get into the body of christ because you believed; you were

     put there by the grace of God.  You stay there by exercising the

     "measure of faith" given to you, by performing the duty to which you

     have been called.  

#  As long as some refuse the leadership of Jesus, the head, they are guilty

     of creating chaos and working to thwart the purposes of The God.  

#  In the next age, the body of christ will be made up of overcomers who

     will be the governing body, with Jesus as the head of that body, or

     christ.  

#  All people comprise the body of christ because all have received a

     portion of holy spirit.  However, when Jesus returns there will be a

     separation of the believers (overcomers) and the unbelievers.  During

     the present age, both believers and unbelievers have been placed,

     judicially, in the body of christ, although the unbelievers are not "in

     christ" experientially.  Since they do not believe, their lives are not lived

     in the sphere of the body.  

#  The separation of believers and unbelievers takes place because their

     works declare their faith.  Not everyone will enter the kingdom of God

     with a body like that of Jesus, the Christ.  Some will enter into "outer

     darkness."

#  Many churches try to make the division between believers and

     unbelievers now.  However, scripture says they are to be allowed to

     grow together until it is time to separate them, which was the point of

     Jesus' parable about the wheat and the tares.

#  The unbelievers of this age will not receive a body like that of Jesus, and

     they will not rule and reign with him.  Instead, they will receive further

     instruction in godliness "with a rod of iron."  They will be ruled over by

     the overcomers, who will have resurrected bodies like Jesus.  

#  The definition of a demon in the time of the apostles differs significantly

     from the definition in our own time.  The way we see demons today

     seems to have been derived more from the Greek philosophers than

     from scripture.  

#  In the gospels, the word diabolos (translated devil in the KJV), or

     dividing, seems to point to something which divides people from The

     God.  

#  Now that all people have a portion of holy spirit to guide their

     obedience, what is it that is always in opposition to The God and holy

     spirit?  It is the old Adamic nature, or the flesh which divides some

     from obedience to The God.  

#  Capitalizing the word "satan" fosters the belief that satan is a

     personality.  This verse (Revelation 12:9) simply says that the dragon,

     the serpent, the devil (dividing thing), and satan were all one and the

     same, different terms used to describe the same quality.  

#  The serpent, the little snake, of Genesis, by the time of Revelation, had

     grown to be a dragon.  Why?  In Genesis, only Adam and Eve opposed

     The God's purposes.  By the time of Revelation, much of mankind was

     involved in opposing The God.  The term serpent could no longer

     describe the power of that accumulated opposition; therefore, it was

     called a dragon to signify great power.  

#  Regardless of the terminology used to describe it, the fleshly actions of

     all mankind has always comprised the opposition to God's purposes.

     The terms serpent, devil, dragon, and satan are only used to signify this

     opposition.  

#  At the coming of Jesus, the Christ, a judgment of works will take place.

     This will reveal whether or not our works were based upon the love of

     God through faith, or upon love of the world and faithlessness.  Those

     whose works survive the fires of judgment will become part of the

     glorified body of Jesus, the Christ, and will enter the next age in a state

     of blessing to rule and reign with him.  The others will not enter the

     next age in a place of blessing, but will be relegated to "outer

     darkness."  

#  A significant implication is that although we all have a portion of holy

     spirit for guidance, we can lose our salvation by not yielding to that

     same spirit.  

#  At the end of the 1,000 years, satan will be loosed, which means

     that the old fleshly nature will again be allowed to deceive the people.

     These deceived people will again oppose God's rule.

 

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© 2009, Fred Kenison and Merrill Douglass. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.