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Title Page

Matthew / Romans

Expository Bible Surveys with 1 John, 1 Cor 11, Ezek 40-48 on Justification, Sanctification, Glorification, the Messianic Kingdom, Headcovering, Role of Women, and Ezekiel’s Temple

The contents of this book may be freely reproduced and used in whole or in part

July 14, 2010

Wayne ODonnell

ISBN 978-0-9825680-3-3

Bible AG

http://bible.ag

Cover photo by PattyBrdarPhoto.com

Dedication

To Yeshua,
Creator, Judge, Messiah, Savior, King, Master, Friend Forever

Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
for his faithfulness, labor, humility, and friendship
and for his book “Footsteps of the Messiah”

Dr. Bruce Lackey
Dean of Tennessee Temple Bible School
for his course “New Testament Survey”

Dr. D. M. Lloyd-Jones for his book “Romans 6”

Dr. Alva J. McClain
for his book “The Greatness of the Kingdom”

My wife Cora (Prov31),
for her help and companionship as
“heirs together of the grace of life”

My daughter Sarah (Job19:25),
who has been such a blessing, and her husband Jon

My parents and wife's parents, who gave me so much

My sweet sisters Sharon, Kathy, Marcia, Lori, and Gerri;
my beautiful nieces Candice and Heather;
and my favorite cousins Gaye and Joanna

Forrest and Betty Eoute, Blanche, Dave,
and the high school youth group at Emmanuel Baptist,
who helped me through my teenage years and spiritual childhood

My 'father in the faith' Bobby Muir, for faithfully preaching the gospel,
especially that day I believed when I was 14

Forward

This book consists primarily of Bible surveys presented at Tioga Heights Christian Church in Philadelphia on fifth Sundays from September 2007 through August 2009. The Ezekiel 40-48 survey was presented as a video tour of a computer-designed model, pictures from which are included herein. An exposition of 1 Corinthians 11, originally presented as a booklet in 1990, has also been incorporated into this publication.

Some modifications and additions have been made during compilation. Some audience content has been retained to preserve the context of the original presentations. Audio recordings, and video for Ezekiel 40, are available at http://bible.ag.

These surveys attempt to provide a big picture of the book of scripture or partial book being studied using an in-context, literal method of interpretation; and giving weight to both the spiritual aspects of salvation, like justification and sanctification, and the physical aspects of salvation, like our future glorification and inheritance. The sections that emphasize our spiritual salvation are Romans 1-4, 5b-8a, & 12-16 and 1 John. The sections that emphasize our physical salvation are Matthew, Ezekiel 40-48, Romans 5a & 8b-11, and 1 Corinthians 11.

Topics include salvation, justification, sanctification, glorification, resurrection, Israel, the Messianic Kingdom, Ezekiel’s temple, the physical and spiritual realms, the headcovering and Lord’s Supper church meeting ordinances, the roles of men and women, authority, submission, faith, love, joy, eternal life, eternal security, principles of Biblical interpretation, Dispensationalism, amoral things, Jerusalem, how to know the will of God, the Trinity, predestination, Catholicism, eschatology, the second coming, and over it all, Yeshua Messiah.

“The glory of Jehovah came into the temple ... and He said ... this is 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 forever,” Ezekiel 43:4-7. “Having been justified by faith, we have had access ... into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God,” Romans 5:1-2. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” John 3:3.

Contents

Title Page

Dedication

Forward

Contents

How to Receive Eternal Life

Survey of Matthew: The Change in Jesus’ Ministry

Matthew 1:1. Theme and Main Proposition

Matthew 4:23; 9:35. The Two Key Outline Verses

Matthew 1-10. Jesus’ Ministry Before the Turning Point

Matthew 11-12. The Turning Point

Matthew 13-26. Jesus’ Ministry After the Turning Point

Implications for Principles of Biblical Interpretation

Application

Ezekiel 40 - 48: Tour of Ezekiel’s Temple

Timing and Importance

Ezekiel 40:1-2. The Mountain

Ezekiel 40:3-12. The Outer East Gate

Problems with Non-Literal Interpretations

Ezekiel 40:13-16. The Outer East Gate Continued

Ezekiel 40:17-27. The Outer Court

Ezekiel 40:28-49. The Inner Court

Ezekiel 41. The Temple

Ezekiel 42. 3-Tiered Priests’ Chambers & Overall Dimensions

Ezekiel 43-46. Sacrificial System

Ezekiel 47-48. The River and the Land

Application

Romans 1-4: Justification

Romans 1:1-17. Introduction

Romans 1:18-32. The Unrighteousness of Men

Romans 2:1-17. The Judgment of God

Romans 2:17-3:20. The Law Says All Men Are Sinners

Romans 3:21-31. Justification By Faith

Romans 4:1-25. The Law Says Justification Is By Faith

Romans 5-8: Sanctification and Glorification

Romans 5:1-2. The Three Tenses Of Our Salvation

The Meaning of the Word ‘Glory’

Rm5:3-10. All Who Have Been Justified Will Be Glorified

Rm5:11-21. All Who Have Been Justified Are Being Sanctified

What Do You Give A Person Who Has Everything?

Romans 6:1-13. Sanctification - A New Life

Romans 6:13-18. Sanctification - A New Master

Romans 7:1-6. Sanctification - A New Husband

Romans 7:7-25. Sanctification - The Law

Romans 8:1-13. Sanctification - A New Mind

Romans 9-11. Israel’s Salvation

Romans 9:1-9:29. Not All Israel

A Survival Guide to the Apocalypse

Romans 9:1-9:29. Not All Isreal (Continued)

Romans 9:30-10:21. Justification by Faith

Romans 11. All Israel

Romans 12-16: Service

Romans 12-13. Love & Humility

Romans 14. Love & Amoral Things

Romans 15. Love & Decision Making

Romans 16. Love & People

1 Corinthians 11, Part 1: The Headcovering Ordinance

Outline

Women Mentioned in This Exposition

The Incorrect Interpretation

1 Corinthians 11:2. The Ordinances

1 Corinthians 11:3. Male Authority

1 Corinthians 11:4-6. Symbolism

1 Corinthians 11:7-12. The Witness of Creation

1 Corinthians 11:13-15. The Witness of Nature

1 Corinthians 11:16. Contention

1 Corinthians 11, Part 2: The Lord’s Supper Ordinance

Outline

1 Corinthians 11:17-19. Divisions

1 Corinthians 11:20-22. The Supper

1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Symbolism

1 Corinthians 11:27-32. Improper Observance

1 Corinthians 11:33-34. Proper Observance

1 Corinthians 11:34. The Rest

Survey of 1 John: Union with God

1 John 1:1-4. Introduction

1 John 1:5-2:11. Light

1 John 1:5-7. Introduction - Light

1 John 1:8-2:2. Truth - Faith

1 John 2:3-6. Righteousness - Obedience

1 John 2:7-11. Love - Love

1 John 2:12-3:17. Eternal Life

1 John 2:12-17. Introduction - Of God

1 John 2:18-27. Truth - The Anointing of God

1 John 2:28-3:10. Righteousness - The Sons of God

1 John 3:11-17. Love - The Love of God

1 John 3:18-5:17. Knowledge of God

1 John 3:18-24a. Introduction - Assurance

1 John 3:24b-4:6. Truth - The Spirit of Truth

1 John 4:7-5:2. Love - The Father of Love

1 John 5:3-17. Righteousness - The Son of God

1 John 5:18-21. Conclusion

My Testimony

Polygamy, Divorce, and Remarriage In the New Testament

Index

Topics

Bible Individuals

Other Individuals

Bible Places

Other Places

Cross References

Scripture References

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How to Receive Eternal Life

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life,” John 3:36.

The scripture doesn’t say ‘he that is good,’ or ‘he that goes to church,’ but rather “he that believeth on the Son” has everlasting life. “Believe on” also means to ‘trust in’. When Jesus died on the cross for your sins, it really did satisfy the demands of God, the judge of the universe. Now you have a choice. You can continue to trust in your own works and goodness, and fall short of God’s requirement of righteousness, or you can trust in Christ’s death in your place that satisfied the justice of God. Believe on him now in your heart, and call upon him in prayer, telling him that you believe on him for eternal life. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Romans 10:13.

God says in the Bible, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life,” John 3:36, and God cannot lie. It is not a sign of humility to think he won’t give you eternal life for believing on the Son; it is to doubt his word and to call him a liar. It is not presumption to think he will give you eternal life for believing; it is to honor him by acknowledging he keeps his word.

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 3:36. When you go to work, you receive wages. They are something you earn, something you deserve. If your employer did not give you your wages he would be unjust. God, as the judge of the universe, must give us the death we earned by our deeds. If a judge in our court system just let criminals go free, we would need to replace that judge. But Christ was already judged for our sins in our place. Even our court system does not allow double jeopardy, i.e., the same man to be tried twice for the same crime. But if you reject Christ as your substitute, then you will have to be judged for your own sins.

Some men may have many sins, but if all their sins are forgiven through faith in Christ, they are counted righteous and have eternal life. Some men may have few sins, but if their few sins are not all forgiven through faith in Christ, they are under condemnation and will perish.

God offers us eternal life as a gift. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 3:36. How much do you pay for a gift? Your only choice is to receive or reject a gift. If you pay even $1, it isn’t a gift anymore. Eternal life is a gift that costs us nothing, because it cost Christ everything: his death on the cross in our place. Receive “the gift of God,” Romans 6:23, now.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life,” John 3:36. Believe on the Son, that his substitutionary death is sufficient for you to be counted as righteous before God. Believe God’s word, that you will have eternal life if you believe on the Son. And tell God in prayer, that you believe his word and that you believe on the Son.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes on him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16. He loves you. He’s known all about you, your sufferings, and fears, and hopes, through your childhood and your whole life. Psalm 139:13-16: “You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ... My elements were not hidden from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. ” He’s waiting for you to come home to Him by telling him in prayer that you rely on what Jesus did on the cross for all your sins to be forgiven so you can be counted as perfectly righteous. “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Romans 10:13. Go ahead and call upon him in prayer to receive the gift of eternal life by faith in his promise now.

Then to learn more, read the Gospel of John and notice how many times the word, “believe” is used, because that gospel was “written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name,” John 20:31. Psalms, Proverbs, and Genesis are also interesting to read. Revelation (also called the Apocalypse) will warn you of what’s going to happen on earth in the future. Also to learn more, find a church that teaches salvation and eternal life are obtained by faith alone. You might try a Calvary Chapel or an independent Baptist church to start your search.

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Survey of Matthew: The Change in Jesus’ Ministry

Recorded September 30, 2007

This is a survey of the gospel of Matthew and it is called, “The Change in Jesus’ Ministry.” Is anybody missing the handout? Everybody has one? Cora, there’s a couple by you there.

This is a repeat for Ann and Rita, but it will be shorter. This survey is called “The Change in Jesus’ Ministry,” because there was a change in Jesus’ ministry in chapters 11 and 12 of Matthew, and it is important to know that to understand the gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 1:1. Theme and Main Proposition

Before we begin looking at the change in Jesus’ ministry, let’s consider the theme and main proposition of the book in verse 1. Whenever you study scripture, always give special attention to the first few verses of each book or passage, because the topic is usually stated in the first few verses, and that will help you interpret the rest of the book or passage.

The theme of Matthew is God’s salvation in the physical realm, and the setting up of the Messianic Kingdom on earth. The book of Matthew starts off, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,” Mt1:1. So the book of Matthew is primarily about physical things, because genealogies are part of the physical realm, and only affect the physical realm.

Physical things are not as important as spiritual things, but they are still important. Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, had spiritual justification, which is the most important thing to have; but Caiaphas, the high priest, an evil man, was the only one who could enter the holy of holies in the temple, and that was because of his genealogy.

The main proposition of the book of Matthew is that Jesus Christ is “the son of David, the son of Abraham,” Mt1:1; that he is the one who fulfills the Davidic covenant and the Abrahamic covenant.

The Davidic covenant said that King David would have a descendant that would establish his house (dynasty), kingdom, and throne forever. In 2 Samuel 7:16, God told David, “Thine house, and thy kingdom, shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” According to 1 Chronicles 17:11-14, it will also be God’s house, kingdom, and throne. “I will raise up thy seed after thee [Messiah], which shall be of thy sons, ... I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.” It will be David’s house, kingdom, and throne; and also God’s house, kingdom, and throne; and also Messiah’s house, kingdom, and throne, because God, in the person of Messiah, a descendant of David will reign; and his kingdom will last forever because he himself is eternal.

And the Davidic covenant, in turn, is an amplification of one part, the nation part, of the Abrahamic covenant. God promised Abraham three things when he first announced the Abrahamic covenant: a land, a nation, and a blessing. Gen12:1-3, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country ... unto a land that I will shew thee [the land aspect]: and I will make of thee a great nation [the nation aspect], and I will bless thee, ... and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed [the blessing aspect].”

The other two parts of the Abrahamic covenant are also amplified by subsidiary covenants. Just as the Davidic covenant amplifies the nation aspect of the Abrahamic covenant; the Land covenant, found in Deuteronomy 29, amplifies the land aspect of the Abrahamic covenant; and the New covenant, found in Jeremiah 31, amplifies the blessing aspect.

These four covenants, the Abrahamic, the Land, the Davidic, and the New, together make up the four unconditional Jewish covenants. They are called unconditional, because God is going to do these things for Israel regardless of how badly Israel behaves.

There is also one conditional Jewish covenant, the law. It is called the Old Covenant because it was replaced by the New Covenant. “I will make a new covenant with ... Israel and ... Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them ... out of the land of Egypt [the law of Moses]; which my covenant they brake [it was conditional],” Jer31:31-32. And Paul says, “In that he saith, A new covenant [in Jeremiah], he hath made the first old,” Heb8:13. So for both Jewish and Gentile believers today, “ye are not under the law, but under grace,” Rom6:14, because Christ has blotted “out the handwriting of ordinances ... nailing it to his cross,” Col2:14, and “hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [Jews and Gentiles, not by adding the law to the Gentiles, but by] having abolished in his flesh ... the law of commandments contained in ordinances,” Eph2:14-15. “The law ... was [only temporarily] added because of transgressions till [only until] the seed [Yeshua] should come,” Gal3:19.

But the main proposition of the book of Matthew, is that Jesus will fulfill the Davidic covenant as Messiah and future king, and he will fulfill the nation aspect of the Abrahamic covenant, by establishing the kingdom, wherein he will rule over Israel, and Israel will rule over the Gentile nations.

Matthew 4:23; 9:35. The Two Key Outline Verses

Now we are ready to look at Jesus’ ministry, and first we will look at his ministry before the turning point, as described in chapters 1 through 10. There are two key outline verses that describe Jesus’ ministry before the turning point, and which also help us understand the structure of the book, which is probably why it was repeated twice.

The first verse is Matthew 4:23. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

So there are three parts to Jesus’ ministry: teaching, preaching and healing. Part 1, teaching, he taught “in their synagogues.” That meant that he taught the law, because they didn’t let you teach in the synagogues unless you taught the law. Part 2, preaching, he preached “the gospel of the kingdom.” The word “preach” in the New Testament means “to make an announcement or a proclamation.” So he was announcing the “gospel,” the “good news” of the kingdom. Part 3, healing, he healed “all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” So a good way to characterize his healing ministry, is that he healed “all.”

The second key outline verse is Matthew 9:35. “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” It sounds pretty much the same, doesn’t it? Teaching the law in the synagogues, announcing the good news of the kingdom, and healing all, “every sickness,” “every disease.”

Now we are going to look at those three parts of Jesus’ ministry before the turning point in more detail in chapters 1 to 10.

Matthew 1-10. Jesus’ Ministry Before the Turning Point

Preaching. In chapters 1 through 4, Matthew describes Jesus preaching ministry. And first we will look at Matthew 3:1. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” That was the message John the Baptist announced, and it is the same message that Jesus announced according to Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

So when the outline verses said that he was “preaching the gospel of the kingdom,” that was a general description of the announcement he was making, but here are the actual words of the announcement: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The phrase “kingdom of heaven,” comes from Daniel chapter 2, about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of an image made of gold, silver, brass, and iron, where God says that after the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires, in the time of 10 kings, he is going to set up a kingdom. It says that “in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed,” Dan2:44.

If “the God of heaven” sets up a “kingdom,” then what would be the name of that kingdom? Well, the full name would be “the kingdom of the God of heaven.” And that can be shortened. Matthew shortens it to “the kingdom of heaven.” Mark, Luke, and John shorten it to “the kingdom of God.” In the Lord’s Prayer, it is shortened to “thy kingdom.” But it is all the same kingdom, “the kingdom of the God of heaven.”

And this is a political kingdom that will be set up on earth, just like the other 4 kingdoms that were talked about in Daniel chapter 2, the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman kingdoms. And this is the kind of kingdom that the people of Israel were expecting, because there was so much detail about it provided by prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

If Jesus was going to offer a different kind of kingdom than what the people were expecting, this would have been the place for him to say so, right here, but he gives no explanation of what the kingdom is, because he knew they already knew about the kingdom. They already had all that information through the prophets, and they were already expecting it. The missing piece of information was the timing, and now, as Jesus announced, it was “at hand.”

The good news was not that a new, unexpected kind of kingdom would be set up; but that the one they had been waiting for, for hundreds of years, was finally ready to be set up. The glad announcement he was making was that “the kingdom ... is at hand.” It was ready to be set up. And the requirement in order for it to be set up was repentance, “repent,” Mt4:17. Ok, so that is a little more detail on Jesus’ preaching ministry.

Teaching. Now let’s look at his teaching ministry in chapters 5 through 7. And if you have a red letter edition, chapters 5 through 7 are all in red, because Jesus spoke these words. And this discourse is often called “The Sermon on the Mount.” And this is a representative sample of Jesus’ teaching during this time.

Now usually he taught in the synagogues, but even when he taught on the mountain here, he still taught about the law. We know this because in verse 19 of chapter 5, it says, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” So we are not under the law today, but at this point in Jesus’ ministry he was teaching the law. He was saying they should keep the law and teach the law.

And this also comes out in verse 21, where he talks about one of the 10 Commandments. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill.” So that is one of the 10 Commandments, and he goes on to explain about it. And then in verse 27, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery,” another of the 10 Commandments. So Jesus was teaching the law at this point in his ministry.

Healing. Now, let’s look at Jesus’ healing ministry in more detail. This is found in chapters 8 through 10. The book of Matthew is arranged topically. He puts together, in these three chapters, a lot of different episodes of healing and miracles that Jesus did; the author puts them one after another.

And we will look at chapter 8 verse 16. “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.” Just like we saw in the two outline verses, Jesus healed “all.”

And the purpose of this healing ministry is given in the next verse, verse 17, “That [in order that] it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” So Jesus did these miracles of healing in order to identify himself with the Servant of Jehovah in the book of Isaiah, who would be the one to bring in the kingdom. (Isaiah chapters 42 and 49-53)

The kingdom was prophesied to be a time of the absence of sickness and hunger; and Jesus proved he could heal all sickness, and miraculously provide food when needed. The kingdom was prophesied to be a time when the desert will blossom like a rose; and Jesus proved he could control the weather (Mt8:26-27); so he will be able to make the desert blossom like a rose (Is. 35:1). So these were ‘messianic miracles’ to prove that he was the Messiah, and that he could bring in the kingdom he was announcing. So that’s Jesus’ ministry before the turning point, before chapters 11 and 12.

Matthew 11-12. The Turning Point

Now we have the turning point, which we could also call, “The Rejection of Jesus’ Ministry,” because all three parts of Jesus’ ministry are rejected in chapters 11 and 12 by that generation of the nation of Israel.

Preaching. First of all, the rejection of Jesus’ preaching ministry is found in chapter 11. And we will look at verse 20. “Then began he to upbraid [that means “scold”] the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not.” Now we said that his preaching ministry was to preach “the gospel of the kingdom”: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(Mt. 4:17) And they didn’t repent. According to the end of this verse, “they repented not.”(Mt. 11:20) So they rejected his preaching ministry.

Also in the following verse, verse 21, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” So Jesus was looking for a “sackcloth and ashes” kind of repentance. He wasn’t just looking for the internal repentance of a few individuals. He was looking for whole cities to repent, an official repentance of the whole nation. He mentioned cities here: Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tyre, Sidon. And it would have taken the repentance of whole cities to bring in the kingdom for that generation. So they rejected his preaching ministry.

Teaching. Now let’s look at their rejection of his teaching ministry in the first part of chapter 12. And we will look at verse 9. “And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue. And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?”

Notice the issue here is law and Sabbath. The Sabbath is a big part of the law. And the Pharisees of that time had added a lot of extra rules to God’s Word about how to observe the Sabbath, which were called “the tradition of the elders.” And Jesus rejected the tradition of the elders. And because of this disagreement that he had with the Pharisees, and that they had with him over his teaching about the law and the Sabbath, they rejected his teaching, and they rejected him. They rejected the king, and that’s why they couldn’t have the kingdom.

So then we’ll skip down to verse 13. “Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.” So they rejected his teaching ministry to such an extent that, at this point in the gospel of Matthew, they decided to kill Jesus.

So you have probably heard that that generation of Israel rejected the kingdom because they were expecting a physical kingdom, but Jesus was offering a spiritual kingdom. That is not true. Jesus was offering a physical kingdom, exactly as they were expecting. But the biblical reason as to why that generation of Israel rejected the kingdom is right here.

They rejected Jesus’ teaching about the law, especially about the Sabbath, and disagreed with him about the validity of the tradition of the elders. And so that was an irreconcilable difference between them. Of course, what they should have done, is to have accepted Jesus, and his teaching, and the word of God, and Jesus’ ministry as a prophet; and they should have thrown out the tradition of the elders. All right, so that’s the rejection of Jesus’ teaching ministry.

Healing. Now let’s look at the rejection of Jesus’ healing ministry in the second part of chapter 12. And we will look at Matthew 12:22. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.” So here is a triple miracle. A demon possessed man, blind, and unable to speak.

And he healed him, and in verse 23, “All the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?” Now that was exactly the purpose of the miracles. It was to get the people to say he was the Messiah; to prove he was the Son of David.

But in verse 24, “When the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” Now the Pharisees couldn’t deny that a miracle had taken place. In fact, all the miracles in the Bible are so obviously authentic, that no one in the Bible ever denies a miracle has taken place, unlike what we see on TV. They couldn’t deny that a miracle had taken place, even though they were his enemies, and so all they could do was to deny the source of the miracle. So they said, “He is doing it through demonic power.”

But Jesus actually did it through the power of the Holy Spirit of God. So when they said he did it through the power of the devil, they were calling the Holy Spirit the devil. So in verse 31 Jesus said, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” In other words, at this point, that generation of the nation of Israel committed an unpardonable sin. They had reached a point of no return.

Just like an earlier generation of Israel committed an unpardonable sin. God brought them out of the land of Egypt, to the edge of Canaan, and then they refused to attack and go into the land. And God said, “Ok, because you refuse to enter the land, this generation is going to die in the wilderness, and your children will enter the land.”

And the next morning they got up, and they put on their armor, and they said, “You know what? We see that we have sinned, and now we are ready to attack the land.” And Moses said, “It’s too late.” That generation of Israel had committed an unpardonable sin, so far as going into the land was concerned. And they tried to go in anyway, and were defeated in battle. (Num14:30-45) And they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, and that generation died out, and the next generation went in and inherited the land, because the earlier generation had reached a point of no return. Changing their minds about it couldn’t help them after that point. Physical judgment was determined upon them.

In the same way, when the generation of Israel of Jesus’ day rejected this miracle of triple healing, that was the final rejection for them. They had rejected his preaching ministry, they had rejected his teaching ministry, and now they had completely rejected his healing ministry, so there was no more offer of the kingdom for that generation. But it is still only a sin for that generation; a later generation of their children will inherit the kingdom. It is only unpardonable for that generation. And this comes out in verses 38 through 45, where the term “generation” is mentioned four times.

In verse 39. “An evil and adulterous generation ...” Then in verse 41. “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation ...” And then in verse 42. “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation ...” And finally in verse 45. “Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” So a future generation of Israel will accept the kingdom, but for that generation Jesus stops offering the kingdom, because they have already reached a point of no return.

Preaching, Teaching, and Healing. And there is a summary here of the rejection of Jesus’ ministry. First of all, in verse 38, we have the rejection of Jesus’ healing ministry. “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.” Well, they had just seen a triple sign; the demon possessed, blind, and dumb man healed.

So Jesus says, “You are not going to get any more signs. Now the resurrection is the only sign this generation will be given,” (Mt12:39-40). It’s not that he didn’t do any more miracles at all, but he didn’t do any more publicly for the nation.

And then we see the rejection of his preaching ministry in verse 41. “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” So Jonah went through the city of Nineveh and he announced, he preached, that Nineveh shall be destroyed in 40 days. The king made a decree, and all the people down to the lowest peasants put on sackcloth, and they even put it on the animals, and they fasted, and prayed, and were told by their leaders to repent from their evil ways. And God accepted their city-wide repentance, even though the repentance was certainly not genuine for every individual, and he didn’t destroy Nineveh. (Jonah 3:1-10)

This is the kind of organized, national repentance that was required of the nation of Israel. And this is the kind of organized, national repentance that Israel will provide at a future generation. This is described in the book of Zechariah where it says that in that day a fountain will be opened for the forgiveness of the sins of Israel, and they will look on him whom they pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son.

And it will be very organized because it says that the house of David will mourn apart, and their wives apart. The descendants of Nathan will mourn apart, and their wives apart, and so forth. (Zech12:10-13:1) Some day Israel will provide this kind of organized, national repentance, and at that time the kingdom will be set up.

And then they rejected Jesus’ teaching ministry in verse 42. “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom [the teaching] of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” So she had to travel a long way, and here, they didn’t have to travel at all. And she only had Solomon to teach her; but Solomon’s teacher, the creator of Solomon, came to them, and they rejected his teaching ministry.

Matthew 13-26. Jesus’ Ministry After the Turning Point

Ok, now let’s look at how Jesus’ ministry changed after they rejected his ministry. All three parts of Jesus’ ministry changed.

Teaching. First of all, we see the change in his teaching ministry in the first part of chapter 13. And we will look at Matthew 13:10. “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” They hadn’t heard Jesus speak in parables before this point.

And then in verse 34. “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them.” Now before he had spoken unto them without parables. He had taught plainly about the law in the synagogues and elsewhere. But now his public teaching is only in parables. Why?

In verse 11, 13:11, “He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” In other words, he wasn’t speaking in parables to make the truth easier to understand. He was speaking in parables so the people wouldn’t be able to understand what he was saying. And then privately (Mk4:34) he would explain to the disciples the keys (Mk4:13) to interpreting the parables, like the field equals the world, the birds equal the messengers of Satan, and so on.

So the disciples could hear Jesus’ teaching and understand it, but the crowds wouldn’t know what he was talking about. So instead of just stopping his teaching ministry, as a judgment upon the nation, he continued to teach the nation, but in a way they couldn’t understand.

And this is the judgment on the nation that was prophesied back in Isaiah. It says in verse 14, “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.”

Healing. Ok then, let’s look at the change in Jesus’ healing ministry. And this is found in Matthew 13:58, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” So before, we found that Jesus, in the early part of his ministry, healed “all.” Now he only heals ‘some’. Now he heals only those that have faith, because the purpose of the miracles has changed.

Before he was doing the miracles to prove he was the Messiah, the Servant of Jehovah spoken of by Isaiah, to get the nation to accept him, so he could set up the kingdom. But since there is no more possibility of the kingdom for that generation, it doesn’t make sense to try to prove you are the Messiah anymore. So now he is doing the miracles because of personal need, just for those who have faith. He is not healing “all” anymore.

Preaching. Now we will see that his preaching ministry changed also. We see this in Matthew 16:21. “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” You see the phrase at the beginning of that verse, “From that time forth Jesus began ...”? That is parallel with 4:17 which we looked at earlier. It said, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Here it says, “From that time forth Jesus began” to talk about his death and resurrection.

Back in 4:17, he began to announce the gospel of the kingdom. Here in 16:21 he begins to announce the gospel of Jesus Christ. So he stops announcing the kingdom and its requirement of repentance, because it is not going to be set up for that generation, and he starts announcing his death and resurrection. And the disciples hadn’t heard this message before this point. That’s why, in the next verse, “Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.”

And, in addition to beginning to announce his death and resurrection, he also began to announce his return. Because since the kingdom was rejected by that generation of Israel, he would have to return and set it up for a future generation of Israel. So in verse 27 he says, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”

Ok, then look at Matthew 21:43. “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” So the kingdom of God was taken from that generation of the nation of Israel, because they did not repent, and they did not “bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance,” Mt3:8. And it will be given to another nation of Israel, a future generation of Israel that will repent, and will bring forth the fruits thereof.

And then in 23:39, it says, “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” So a future generation of Israel will call upon the Lord. They will accept him as Messiah. And when they do, then he will return. Then they will see him, but not until that time.

Finally, when Yeshua was being tried by Caiaphas and the council, he said, “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven,” Mt26:64. This is a reference to Daniel chapter 7.

We started off the book of Matthew showing how the phrase “kingdom of heaven” in Matthew 3:2 and 4:17 came from Daniel chapter 2, where the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a statue made of 4 metals, that represented the 4 world empires before the Messianic Kingdom: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.

Now we finish up Matthew with this reference to Daniel chapter 7, where the Babylonian king Belshazzar had a dream about 4 animals, that represented the same 4 world empires, before the Messianic Kingdom, when “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. 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,” Dan7:13-14.

So we saw that Jesus’ ministry changed. Before the rejection ... Preaching: He announced the gospel of the kingdom. Teaching: He plainly taught about the law. Healing: He healed all. After the rejection ... Preaching: He announced the gospel of Jesus Christ. Teaching: He taught in parables about the postponement of the kingdom and his future return. Healing: He healed only some. So all three parts of his ministry changed because of the rejection that took place in chapters 11 and 12.

Implications for Principles of Biblical Interpretation

1) Interpret the Bible in Context. I saw a website where the author stated in big red letters, “John preached repentance. Jesus preached repentance. And I preach, “Repent!” After hearing this survey of Matthew, you know enough to identify why that statement is invalid.

John preached “Repent” in Matthew 3:2, and Jesus preached “Repent” in Matthew 4:17, because repentance was the condition upon which Jesus offered the kingdom to that generation of the nation of Israel. But Jesus stopped preaching “Repent,” after that generation of the nation of Israel rejected his ministry in chapters 11 and 12.

If you are going to preach like Jesus, are you going to preach like Jesus did during the first half of his ministry, or like Jesus did during the second half of his ministry? Like Jesus preached before the rejection, or like he preached after the rejection; because he did not preach the same message before and after.

We have to interpret each verse of scripture in the context of the passage it is in, and each passage in the context of the book it is in. Of course, this requires work and study, and when available, the help of teachers. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” 2Tim2:15.

2) Understand the Physical Realm in Scripture. The book of Matthew is largely about physical things, as we saw from Matthew 1:1, “The book of the genealogy.” Spiritual things are more important than physical things, but physical things are very important too.

God is going to redeem all parts of creation. He has given us justification of our spirits now, and he will give us glorification of our bodies and an inheritance in the kingdom in the future. He will not let Satan have victory in any realm, not even in the physical realm.

Now, physical things can also be spiritual, without ceasing to be physical. The manna that God provided for the children of Israel in the wilderness is called “spiritual food” in 1 Corinthians 10:3. But it was physical. It could be ground with a mortar and pestle, and it bred worms if kept overnight, except on Friday nights, Ex16:19-24; Num11:8. It was spiritual because its source was from God, not because it was not physical. Even ‘spiritual’ gifts belong to the changeable, physical realm, because they are ‘manifestations’ of the Spirit in the physical realm. “Now concerning spiritual gifts ... the manifestation of the Spirit is given,” 1Cor12:1-7.

Jesus’ resurrected body was a spiritual body. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body,” 1Cor15:44. But it did not cease to be physical when it became spiritual. After his resurrection, Jesus said, “handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. ... And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them,” Lk24:39-43.

God often deals with physical nations, such as Israel, as a group; but for spiritual things, he has to deal with us as individuals. God can judge a whole nation for the sins of some, or reward a whole nation for the obedience of some. Joshua and Caleb had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years with the rest of the nation. This was not unfair to Joshua and Caleb because they could still know and serve God despite this additional physical hardship. And the whole generation of Israel of Jesus’ day, including the apostles, missed out on having the kingdom set up during their lifetime, because of the decisions of their national leaders. But in the spiritual realm, every man must stand before God individually for salvation, for rewards, and for judgment.

Spiritual things don’t change. Righteousness and truth are always right, and sin is always wrong. But in the physical realm, it is appropriate that things change; even Jesus’ Messianic Kingdom ministry.

3) Dispensationalism is Correct; Covenant Theology is Wrong. The change in Jesus’ ministry shows that there are changes and ages during the working out of God’s plan.

Even Jesus is not “the same yesterday, today, and forever,” Heb13:8, in every way. He is unchangeable in the spiritual realm, in his righteousness, mercy, and power, yes! But even in his person, first he was God, then he became God and mortal man at the incarnation, and then he became God and immortal man at the resurrection. In the physical realm, first he was a small baby, and then he was an adult man. Sometimes he was thirsty; sometimes he was not. And his ministry changed, as we saw, and as the title of this survey emphasizes, “The Change in Jesus’ Ministry.”

There are ages and dispensations in God’s plans in the physical realm. God told Adam he could only eat plants; then he told Noah he could eat all meats, anything that moves; then he told Moses he could eat only some meats. These are mutually exclusive laws for different ages relating to things in the physical realm that are neither right nor wrong in themselves, like eating meat or not eating meat, that God changes from age to age.

The question often arises as to what would have happened if that generation had accepted Yeshua as Messiah; where would the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins come in? The kingdom was ‘postponed’ because of the national rejection of Jesus by that generation of Israel, in the sense that it would not now be set up for that generation of Israel; but that does not mean that God did not know from all eternity past that this national rejection is exactly what he would use to accomplish his plans, and to demonstrate on a very large scale, the sinfulness of man.

We know that God makes “all things work together for good to them that love God,” Rm8:28. But that doesn’t mean we should “do evil that good may come,” Rm3:8. The soldiers who crucified Christ accomplished God’s predetermined will; but they themselves are guilty because they crucified Christ. If those soldiers refused to crucify Yeshua, others would have done so. God could have accomplished his plan through others, who would have in turn been guilty, or through some means known only to him.

So, if that generation of Israel had accepted Jesus as Messiah and king, Judas would have betrayed Jesus to the Romans, the Romans would have crucified Jesus for insurrection, Jesus would have risen from the dead and ascended to heaven, the Antichrist would have arisen, the nations would have attacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple, Jesus would have returned and saved the remaining people, and he would have set up the kingdom back then during that generation. The only difference is that things would have happened earlier, and you and I would have been born during the kingdom, when prophecy says birth rates will be increased.

4) Don’t ‘Spiritualize’ the Scriptures. There is enough scripture that is talking about purely spiritual things, and there is enough scripture that is talking about things we ought to do, to keep us busy, like 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks,” that we don’t also have to ‘spiritualize’ scriptures that are talking about physical things.

What sense would the book of Matthew be if we ‘spiritualized’ Israel to be the church here, like many Bible teachers do for Israel in the Old Testament scriptures? Using that method of interpretation, Jesus would have been offering justification (the ‘spiritualized’ kingdom of God) to those who are already in the church (the ‘spiritualized’ nation of Israel), who would have rejected Jesus and justification, when actually no one can be part of the church unless he has already accepted Jesus and justification.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”2Tim3:16, but all scripture is not about me, and it can still be profitable to me, without being all about me, and without being all about the church.

For example, Matthew 10 cannot be about us. Jesus told his 12 apostles, which are specified by name in the chapter, not to take a suitcase, or change of clothes, or money with them when they travel; and not to preach the gospel to any of the Gentiles. Matthew 10:5-10, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, ... provide neither gold, ... nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats.” You probably have a wallet in your pocket, and this passage certainly doesn’t apply to us, because we need to preach to the Gentiles. Even though it is not about us, or binding on us, we can learn from the example of the apostles’ faithfulness.

5) Understand Israel. Your view of Israel will have a large impact on your interpretation of scripture, because so much of the Bible is about Israel. Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum wrote a thesis entitled, “Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology,” because a right understanding of Israel is so crucial to rightly interpreting the Bible.

Israel and the church are not the same. The large majority of Israel has always been unsaved and unjustified. That’s why the Israelites gave Moses, and even God, as it were, such a hard time in the wilderness. During Elijah’s time, there were only 7000 believers in Israel. Most Israelites were natural men, enemies of God spiritually, without a new heart. So of course they didn’t act like the church, whose members are all justified, regenerate, led of the Spirit, and who love righteousness by their nature as children of God.

6) Understand the Kingdom. The future kingdom will be a physical kingdom that will exist in the political, economic, educational, and other parts of the physical realm; but it will be spiritual because it will be set up by Christ, and ruled by Christ, in conformity to Christ.

Jesus would not have had to change his ministry if he had offered, and then gone on to provide, a ‘spiritual’ kingdom. If Jesus had offered a ‘spiritualized’ kingdom, the national rejection would have made the kingdom even more “at hand,” Mt4:17, because it led to the cross and resurrection that supposedly established that kind of kingdom. And it would have been even more “at hand” after the rejection, than before, merely by the passage of time. But Jesus stopped announcing the kingdom was “at hand” after the rejection in chapter 12, because the physical kingdom he offered in the book of Matthew was no longer at hand for that generation.

Application

Look Forward to the Kingdom. A short time before the Kingdom is set up, we will be resurrected and glorified. This is our sure and certain hope. We “rejoice in hope of glory,” Rm5:2. And then in the kingdom, we will enjoy the rewards of our faithfulness and sufferings during this present time.

We are supposed to be looking forward to the kingdom. We are supposed to use our knowledge about the future kingdom to encourage ourselves to persevere through suffering and to motivate ourselves to labor harder during this present time. But how can our hope of the kingdom be an effective motivating force in our lives, if we don’t even know what the kingdom is? Therefore we should learn and teach about the kingdom. But we don’t hear much teaching or singing or conversation about the Messianic Kingdom now days, unfortunately; and we are really short-changing ourselves, to put it mildly.

The book of Revelation spends almost 19 chapters talking about the relatively short 7-year tribulation period, and then the only thing it says about the long kingdom period is that it lasts 1000 years. That’s because the Old Testament, especially in books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the minor prophets, and Psalms, already give us a wealth of information about the Kingdom; and we should study those books and teach them. All Revelation added was the time factor.

Matthew 25:21 tells us a few things about the kingdom that we can use to encourage and motivate ourselves. First of all, it says that the kingdom will be a time of work. He says, “I will make you ruler over many things. You have been faithful in a few things.” So the Lord has a lot of responsibilities that he wants to give out during the kingdom. But he can’t give you those responsibilities in the kingdom if you don’t show yourself faithful in the few things that we have been given to do during this present time.

And also it says, “Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” The kingdom will be a time of great joy. So don’t be discouraged during the times of hardship and suffering we go through now, because we know about the joy that is coming in the kingdom.

Be Born Again. We need to keep in mind that, unfortunately, not everyone is going to be in the kingdom. And this is found in Matthew 8 verse 10. This is a passage about a Roman centurion who had demonstrated faith in the Lord. “When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” Mt8:10-12.

So the “children of the kingdom” are Jewish people, and the people that “come from the east and west” are Gentiles. It doesn’t mean that no Jewish people will enter the kingdom. It means that many of the children will be cast out, because being Jewish alone won’t get you into the kingdom. Going to church and being good won’t get you into the kingdom either. As it says in verse 10, faith is the only thing that will get you into the kingdom.

As John said in John 3:3, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” And he went on to say that the way to be born of the Spirit of God is by having faith in what Jesus did on the cross for us.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” John3:16. God gave his Son on the cross as a substitute for us, for our sins. “That whosoever believeth in him,” has faith in him, and relies upon what he did for us. “Should not perish,” should not be cast out into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. “But have everlasting life.” And part of having everlasting life is to be there in the future kingdom.

So we definitely want to have a part in that, and be there in the kingdom with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all those that put their faith in God and Christ. And if you haven’t already done so, call upon the Lord in your heart, and tell him that you trust him and what he has done for you. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Rm10:13.

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Ezekiel 40 - 48: Tour of Ezekiel’s Temple

Recorded December 30, 2007

The pictures in this chapter were taken from a video tour of a computer-generated model of the future Messianic Kingdom temple. The video tour is available from http://bible.ag. You can also download the computer model and the software to view it from Google SketchUp Warehouse, and walk through it yourself. (Tour and download instructions, SketchUp download, Model download)

Timing and Importance

My topic today is a survey of the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel, chapters 40 through 48. I wanted to prepare a Bible survey of these chapters, because this is one of the best passages I know of to validate, that as I presented to you in the survey of Matthew the last time I was here, the kingdom Yeshua offered to Israel is a physical kingdom like the one Israel was expecting because of the prophets, and Christ will set it up here on earth at his second coming.

These chapters are about the Messianic Kingdom, and especially about the kingdom temple. God took Ezekiel into the future through a vision and showed him the actual buildings of the kingdom. It’s as if he took a video camera with him, and sent back a DVD of the Messianic Kingdom. But before we travel with Ezekiel into the future, let’s consider the timing of the kingdom and the temple, and the importance of studying them.

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See Picture #1. Timeline to the Kingdom and Temple Described in Ezekiel 40-48.

As Picture #1 shows, we are currently in the bottom left part labeled “Current Period.” A “7-Year Tribulation Period” is probably going to begin very soon. Before that time there will be a “Resurrection and Catching Away of Church Believers” who will wait out the tribulation in heaven and then “Return With Christ” at the end of the tribulation period.

Revelation 19:11-16 says, “Behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him,” that’s Yeshua, Jesus, “and the armies which were in heaven followed him,” that’s us, “clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the [Gentile] nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.” He will smite the Gentile nations when he returns to defend Israel (see my references to Zechariah 12-14 in my Matthew and Romans 9-11 surveys) at the end of the "7-Year Tribulation Period," and he will rule the nations with a rod of iron during the “1000-Year Messianic Kingdom.” “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS,” because during the kingdom, there will be multiple nations, each with their own king, but Yeshua, ruling from Jerusalem, will be king over all kings.

Then, after the kingdom, there will be a “New Heaven” and “New Earth,” as shown on the right side of the diagram. Revelation 21:1-3, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, ... and ... new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.” If new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven, it has to come to the earth, because there is only heaven and earth. “And I heard ... behold, the tabernacle of God is with men ....” God is going to come down and make his tabernacle with men; men are not going up to spend eternity in tabernacles in heaven. “And he will dwell with them.” We are not going to dwell with him in heaven. He is going to dwell with us on the new earth forever. The place Jesus prepares for us in heaven (Jn14:2-3), may not come down to earth until after the kingdom in the New Jerusalem, but we will be on earth during the kingdom also (Mt19:28).

So get the idea out of your mind that you are going to be in heaven for eternity. We are in heaven for only a very brief time. Even the people who died a thousand years ago in the Lord, and their spirits are in heaven, their bodies are still with us here on earth. And after the resurrection it is a very brief layover in heaven before returning to earth with Christ and entering the Messianic Kingdom. So we could use a lot less songs about walking around heaven with Jesus, and a lot more songs about what it is going to be like in the kingdom.

Since we are going to be spending so much time in the kingdom, we should learn about it; and the new earth is going to have a lot of similarities to the kingdom, although there are some differences. I know God wants us to learn about the kingdom, because he has told us so much about it in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the minor prophets, the psalms, and so forth. And the benefit of learning about the kingdom, is that it will help you persevere through trials, and help you labor more fervently.

God could have given us just an overview of the kingdom in these last 9 chapters of Ezekiel, but instead they focus a lot on one building, the temple, so that if we know this one building that will be at the center of the kingdom in a very detailed way, the entire kingdom will all be very real and solid to us, so that our sure hope of entering the kingdom in the future will help us in our trials and labors today.

Ezekiel 40:1-2. The Mountain

When Ezekiel first arrived in the future at the land of Israel, he saw a very high mountain. Now, there is no high mountain in Israel today, but there will be geological changes before the Messianic Kingdom. Isaiah 2:2 says, “It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house,” meaning the mountain that will have the Lord’s house, the temple, on it, “shall be established in the top of the mountains.” That means it is going to be the highest mountain in the world. Ezekiel 20:40 says, “For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me.”

Zechariah 14:1-10 talks about the geological changes that will be necessary. “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh.” ‘Day of the Lord’ is another name for the seven year tribulation period; and it is also called ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’ (Jer30:7). Verse 2, “I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle ... then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations.” The Messiah, Yeshua, returns with us and smites the armies of the Gentile nations, as we saw in Revelation 19.

“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.” That is also where Yeshua, Jesus, left the earth from (Acts1:9-12). “And the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley,” running east and west, “and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south ... and the LORD my God shall come,” in the person of Messiah at the end of the tribulation period, “and all the saints,” that’s us, returning with Christ.

“All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it [probably Jerusalem, not the plain] shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place.” So all the mountains around Jerusalem, and to the south of it in the land of Israel, will be lowered, and leveled into a plain, but Jerusalem will raised up higher than it is now, and other mountains around the world will be lowered, not to a plain, but until their peaks are lower than Jerusalem’s mountain.

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Ezekiel 40:3-12. The Outer East Gate

See Picture #2. An angel with a measuring rod and a flax cord standing by the border wall outside the outer east gate.

After seeing the mountain, the next thing Ezekiel saw as he got close to the temple compound was an angel standing by a wall. Ezekiel 40:3-5, “He brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass.” That means he was an angel. He looked like a man, but he was shining brightly. Most angels don’t have wings, or they wouldn’t look like men. Only cherubim and seraphim have wings.

He had, “a line of flax in his hand,” which was for measuring long distances, “and a measuring reed,” which was for measuring short distances. “And he stood in the gate, ... and behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth.” There were three kinds of cubits in Israel during that time, a short, medium, and a long cubit. The short cubit was about 15”, the medium cubit was a short cubit plus one handbreadth, or about 18”, and the long cubit was a medium cubit plus one handbreadth, or about 21”. If the medium cubit was the most commonly-used cubit, then the measuring stick the angel had was probably of long cubits, which was the medium cubit “and an hand breadth,” Ez40:5. So to get a general idea how long things are as we go through this tour, just multiply the cubits by 2; each long cubit equals almost two feet.

Ezekiel 40:5, “So he measured the breadth of the building, one reed,” see the 6-cubit rod lying on the ground, “and the height one reed,” see the vertical 6-cubit rod against the front of the wall. ‘Building’ in verse 5 means something built, including a wall. It doesn’t have to have a room and a roof.

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See Picture #3. The threshold of the outer east gate. We are outside the temple compound, approaching it from the east, and facing west. There are 7 stairs leading up to the gate, though they are not all visible at the bottom of the picture.

The angel moves from the low border wall to the outer east gate of the temple compound. “Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad,” Ez40:6. Although 40:3 said that “he stood in the gate,” he must have been standing at the low wall just outside the gate that we just looked at, because only now the angel “came” to the gate “and went up the stairs.” Notice there are stairs, but no porch, here on the outside of the gate.

I interpreted “the other threshold” to mean ‘the other side of the threshold’ (like in Ez:40:48), as you see from the measuring rods in the picture.

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See Picture #4. 6x6 cubit guardrooms with 5 cubit spaces between them inside the outer east gate.

Inside the gate, the angel measures some small rooms. Ezekiel 40:7, “Every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad.” So the inside dimensions of each chamber are six cubits long and six cubits broad, as shown by the crossed measuring rods in the picture. These are probably guard rooms, because when you have a lot of people in an area, you need to keep things orderly.

“And between the little chambers were five cubits.” The five cubit spaces between the chambers are probably so you can exit the gate onto the pavement along the sides of the gate without necessarily going all the way through the gate. As you can see from the rod in the picture, if you include the half cubit walls on each side of the space between the guardrooms, the total is 6 cubits; but not counting the thickness of the walls, the side passageways are 5 cubits wide.

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See Picture #5. The inner threshold, porch, and one of the two posts on the temple compound side of the outer east gate. We are inside the temple compound and facing southeast.

Proceeding on through the outer east gate, in Ezekiel 40:7-9, the angel measures the porch and threshold “within,” meaning towards the inside of the temple compound. “The threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed. He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed. Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits.” The picture shows a two cubit post. You add on one reed, six cubits, for the porch; so the total breadth of the porch is eight cubits.

“And the porch of the gate was inward.” The gate has only one porch, and it is on the inside end of the gateway, the part that is towards the center of the temple compound. Remember that when we first approached the gate, there was no porch at the outside doorway.

Just a word of warning here so you don’t get confused later: although this porch is on the inside end of the gate, when you step down from this porch, you are in the ‘outer’ court, because there is another courtyard at the very center of the temple compound called the ‘inner’ court. So remember that the outer courtyard is still inside the temple compound. We had to come through this outer gate to get into the outer courtyard.

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See Picture #6. Looking down on the six 6x6 cubit guardrooms inside the outer east gate.

So the angel has taken us all the way through the outer eastern gate, but he is not done with it yet. Ezekiel 40:10, “And the little chambers of the gate eastward [the east gate] were three on this side, and three on that side.” Three at the top of the picture, and three at the bottom.

Next the angel measures the passageway through the gate where the people walk, in Ezekiel 40:11, “And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.” The width of the passageway is 10 cubits, as you see from the measuring rods at the right of the picture over the top of the inner threshold, which converts to almost 20 feet, sufficiently wide for two directions of foot traffic. And the “length” of the gate, apparently meaning height here, because the height is the longer measurement of the rectangular doorway, is 13 cubits, as you can see from the two 6-cubit rods on the left side of the door, with another cubit to go at the bottom.

Then Ezekiel talks about the ‘barriers,’ as shown in the picture in front of the guard chambers, which can also be interpreted to mean ‘spaces’. “The space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side,” Ez40:12. And whether the Hebrew word means ‘barriers’ or ‘spaces,’ the purpose would be to separate the guardrooms a bit from the traffic flow so the guards can do their work.

Problems with Non-Literal Interpretations

I want to pause, now, to consider some principles of Biblical interpretation. I believe that the literal method is the correct method of interpretation, and that it is incorrect to use a symbolical method of interpretation. I want to present five problems with the non-literal, symbolical, or spiritualizing, method of interpretation; and I will use some quotes from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary and a quote from Dr. Peter Pett, whose writings I found on the internet, to illustrate these problems.

Difficulty: The first problem is difficulty. Matthew Henry says, “Here is a vision beginning at chapter 40 which is justly looked upon to be one of the most difficult portions in all the book of God.” Yes, Matthew Henry and all interpreters who use the symbolic approach have great difficulty with chapters 40 through 48 of Ezekiel. It causes them a lot of pain, because it is very difficult to give symbolic meaning to all these cubits.

Now if you use the literal method, the interpretation is quite easy. The 6x6 room, as shown in the picture above, represents a 6x6 room. And this should be easier than, say, Romans or Ephesians, but not for people who approach this passage symbolically. Their problem is that they are using the wrong approach, and they are using the wrong approach because their doctrinal biases don’t allow them to believe that God could have a temple in store for Israel in the future.

Inconsistency: The second problem is inconsistency. Matthew Henry says, “The chambers, as they were each of them foursquare, denoting their stability.” So, he says that because the chamber is 6x6, it is less likely to fall over, and therefore it denotes the stability of the Church. Well, he is being inconsistent, because right next to each 6x6 room, we have a 5x6 area, called the “space between the chambers,” as shown above, and he doesn’t say those non-square areas denote the instability of the Church, for good reason.

Inefficiency: Matthew Henry’s interpretation is also inefficient, because if the first 6x6 chamber means the church is stable, then the second one means the church is stable, the third one means the church is stable, the fourth one means the church is stable, the fifth one means the church is stable, and the sixth one means the church is stable. And there are five more gates we have yet to go through, each with six 6x6 rooms. And every other square area of the temple compound means the same thing. So it is very inefficient, because God could have said it in a much simpler way. Ezekiel could have just written, “I saw the temple, and it was foursquare,” and then we would know the Church is stable. Or God could have just said, “The Church is stable.” But the scribes through all the years have copied this, and people have been memorizing these chapters, and all these cubits would really be unnecessary here if it was just teaching that the Church is stable.

Uncertainty: The fourth problem is uncertainty. Matthew Henry says, “The chambers were very many.” I’m not sure 6 is very many, or even counting the other 5 gates, I’m not sure 36 is very many. But Matthew Henry says, “For in our Father’s house there are many mansions.” I hope there’s more than 36. Then he says, “Some make these chambers to represent the particular congregations of believers which are parts of the great temple, the universal Church.” So some non-literal interpreters think that these chambers represent separate congregations on earth. I hope there’s more than 36 of these, too.

But Matthew Henry has a problem. His problem is that he likes his own interpretation, about the rooms in heaven, but he also really likes this other interpretation about particular congregations of believers on earth, and he can’t decide which is right. And that is the problem with symbolic interpretation; nobody knows who is right. We can come up with another hundred possible meanings for what these chambers might represent, and no one would ever know which interpretation was right.

You can basically make a passage mean anything you want it to mean if you use symbolic interpretation. And if something can mean anything, then it really means nothing. Now, the Bible does use symbolism sometimes, but it explains the symbolism it uses. It doesn’t make us resort to guesswork.

Partiality: The fifth problem is partiality. Dr. Peter Pett says, “Five cubits,” and he is referring to those five cubits in the spaces between the guard rooms. “Five is the number of covenant. It is, thus, prominent in this heavenly temple. There were five fingers to the hand with which covenants were confirmed.” So Peter is very into covenants, and so this five cubit length attracted his attention. But that is the problem with symbolic interpretation. No person who uses the symbolic method is capable of giving meaning to all the cubits in the temple compound, so they only give meaning to some that catch their fancy. But a person who uses a literal method of interpretation has no problem using all the cubits, because if you leave any out, the building has gaps.

And Peter is convinced that 5 is the number of covenant. I’m not convinced of that, but I am convinced that the Bible teaches that 6 is the number of man. And Peter failed to point out that there are six 6x6 chambers in each gateway. In picture #6, there are three 6 cubit long areas on one side of the gateway passage, 6, 6, 6, which we know is the number of Antichrist; and there are three 6 cubit long areas on the other side of the passage. So with the Antichrist on both sides of all the entrances to the temple, does that mean the temple is a trap? Obviously, I’m being sarcastic, but these are the kinds of inconsistencies and problems we get into if we don’t interpret the Word of God literally.

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Ezekiel 40:13-16. The Outer East Gate Continued

See Picture #7. Diagram of the outer east gate.

Next the angel provides the overall dimensions of the outer east gate. Ezekiel 40:13-15, “He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another,” and he may have actually measured the floor to get that measurement, “the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door,” meaning door ‘facing’ door. We saw that the doors of the guard chambers faced each other. And for the height, “He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate,” meaning the post is 60 cubits tall and it is the same height as the posts of the pavement on the sides of the gate. Now for the length. “From the face of the gate of the entrance, unto the face of the porch of the inner gate, were fifty cubits.” So from the outside entrance, which had no porch, to the front of the porch facing into the temple compound, were 50 cubits.

For the width, as shown in letter A in the picture, the passageway is 10 cubits, and 7.5 on each side makes 25. The 7.5 is made up of 6 for the inside of the guard chamber, plus .5 cubits for the width of the outside walls, and 1 cubit for the space or barrier in front of the guard chambers.

For the length of the gate, as shown in letter B, starting at the right side of the picture, there are 6 cubits for the outer threshold, 6 for each of the three guard rooms, 6 for each of two spaces between the guard rooms if you include the thickness of the .5 cubit wall on each side (.5+5+.5), 6 cubits for the inner threshold, a 6 cubit porch, and a 2 cubit post. So there are eight 6’s, equals 48, plus 2 for the post, equals 50 cubits. So the dominant numbers for the gate are 6 and 5.

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See Picture #8. Narrow windows all around inside the outer east gate.

Ezekiel 40:16, “And there were narrow windows to the little chambers, and to their posts within the gate round about, and likewise to the arches: and windows were round about inward.” The “arches” are the five cubit wide spaces through the sides of the gate. The purpose of the windows is probably to allow the guards to see out, and see everything that is going on, and let some natural light in; and yet the windows are narrow enough so that no one can get through and interfere with the guards’ work.

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See Picture #9. The porch of the outer east gate with its palm tree ornaments and some of the 30 chambers on the lower pavement.

“And upon each post were palm trees,” Ez40:16. The palm tree ornaments are on each gate porch to give a visual indication as to where the doors are, so you can tell at a glance where the gates of the building are.

Ezekiel 40:17-27. The Outer Court

“Then brought he me into the outward [outer] court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement. And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement,” Ez40:17-18. Picture #9 shows some of the thirty chambers on the lower pavement. The lower pavement is 50 cubits wide, because it goes alongside the gate, which is 50 cubits long. It is called the lower pavement because there are only seven steps up to it, whereas we will see later that there is an upper pavement, that has eight steps up to it, and so that pavement is higher. However, my model shows even the ‘lower pavement’ of the outer court to be higher than the ‘outer court’ proper shown in the bottom right of the picture.

It may be that the outer court should be on the same level as the lower pavement. Ezekiel 40 seems to mention only one set of steps for each gate. I made the lower pavement higher than the outer court in the model to distinguish it from the outer court. But perhaps the roof over the pavement or something else could distinguish it from the outer court. But if the outer court was level with the lower pavement, then the outer gates’ porches might not seem like porches.

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See Picture #10. The 100 cubit wide outer court showing the palm tree ornaments on the porches of the outer and inner gates facing each other.

“Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate unto the forefront of the inner court without, an hundred cubits eastward and northward,” Ez40:19. The outer east gate is called the “lower gate” here, possibly because the outer gates are 1 step lower than the inner gates. The “inner court without” means the outside of the inner court including the inner gates. So from #1 to #5, and from #6 to #2, in picture #10, is 100 cubits. So the inner court is 100 cubits wide all the way around.

There are a total of 6 gates in the temple compound; 3 outer gates and 3 inner gates. The picture shows the order in which the angel showed them to Ezekiel. We entered through the outer east gate (#1). Then the angel showed Ezekiel the outer north gate (#2), the outer south gate (#3), the inner south gate (#4), the inner east gate (#5), and then the inner north gate (#6).

Notice how the 3 outer gates have their porches and palm tree ornaments facing towards the center of the temple compound, while the inner court gates have their porches and palm tree ornaments facing away from the center of the temple compound, so the porches all face each other across the outer court.

The outer north gate was “after the measure of the first gate,” Ez40:21; meaning it had the same measurements as the outer east one that we looked at in detail, 50 by 25 cubits, and “seven steps,” Ez40:22. And the outer south gate is also “according to these measures,” Ez40:24, 50 by 25.

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Ezekiel 40:28-49. The Inner Court

See Picture #11. The tables on the outer court side of the inner north gate.

The inner south is also “according to these measures,” Ez40:28, of the outer gates, but it has eight steps up to its porch from the outer court. Then the angel took Ezekiel through the inner south gate and into the inner court. He measured the inner east gate from the inner court side, “according to these measures,” Ez40:32.

The inner north gate has the same measurements also, but then the angel takes Ezekiel from the inner court, through the inner north gate to the outer court side and “four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices,” Ez40:41.

Why sacrifices during the Messianic Kingdom? Because sacrifices never took away sin. Only Jesus, who took our place, and suffered the wrath of God for us, could do that. God, being a just God, cannot justify the unrighteous apart from that. Today, in the Lord’s Supper, the bread and wine remind us of what the Lord did for us on the cross. We have the Lord’s Supper “until he comes,” 1Cor11:26. He said, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom,” Mt26:29. After he returns, Israel’s offering of these animal sacrifices will be the method of remembering what the Lord did for us. And this will last until the new heaven and new earth, because during the Messianic Kingdom there will still be those that don’t know the Lord, and there will be a final rebellion and final judgment at the end of the Messianic Kingdom, so there will need to be this reminder and warning of the tragedy of sin and death.

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See Picture #12. Chambers of the singers in the inner court, one on the north with its door facing south (top left corner of picture) and one on the south with its door facing north (top right corner of picture).

Ezekiel 40:44-46, “And without the inner gate,” possibly meaning through the arches in the side of the gate, “were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect toward the north.”

In my model, the north chambers are (37.5 cubits clockwise) to the side of the north gate, and the south chambers are (37.5 cubits clockwise) to the side of the east gate.

Notice there are no porches on the inside of the inner gates. The inner gates, with their porches facing outward, are reversed, mirror images, of the outer gates, except for the steps.

I should have made the ‘inner court’ area in the model the same color as the ‘outer court’ area, rather than the same color as the 50 cubit wide ‘upper pavement’ alongside the inner gates, to avoid confusion.

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See Picture #13. The 100 x 100 cubit inner court with the altar at the center and the temple at the top of the picture.

Ezekiel 40:47, “So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare,” 100 x 100 (and we know what Matthew Henry would say foursquare symbolizes), “and the altar that was before the house,” meaning before the temple. Up to this point, we have been looking at the temple compound, not the temple; but in this picture we see the door to the temple itself, called “the house” in this verse.

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See Picture #14. Diagram of the entire temple compound.

From east to west, starting at A in the picture, and leaving out the 50 cubit border, there are 50 cubits for the outer east gate and the lower pavement on both sides, 100 for the outer court, and 50 for the inner east gate and the upper pavement on both sides, which subtotals 200. Then 100 for the inner court, and 200 for the temple area (100 for the temple and 100 for the west building and separate place which we will look at later). So 200 + 100 + 200 = 500.

From north to south, starting at B in the picture, and leaving out the 50 cubit border, there are 50 cubits for the outer north gate and the lower pavement on both sides, 100 for the outer court, and 50 for the inner north gate and the upper pavement on both sides, which subtotals 200. Then there are 100 for the inner court. And then 50 for the inner south gate and the upper pavement on both sides, 100 for the outer court, and 50 for the outer south gate and lower pavement on both sides, which subtotals 200. So 200 + 100 + 200 = 500. So the dominant numbers are 50 and 100.

We started our tour at the wall at the outside of the eastern border, and then entered the outer court through the east outer gate. We looked at the outer court and the inner court. Now we are going to look at the temple, the separate place, and the west building.

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Ezekiel 41. The Temple

See Picture #15. The temple porch.

Ezekiel 40:48-49, “And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side. The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits, and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.” Verse 48 should start a new chapter, because Ezekiel begins talking about the temple in that verse.

In the picture, you can see from the measuring rods, that the rectangular posts on each side of the porch are 5 cubits by 3 cubits. The length of the porch is 20 cubits across the front of the temple. ‘Length’ is always the long measurement for any particular area under consideration, no matter which direction it faces. And the breadth, the shorter measurement of the porch, is 11 cubits deep. And there is one large, special pillar beside the porch on each side.

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See Picture #16. Inside the holy place, looking back out towards the temple porch.

Ezekiel 41:1, “Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle.”

The posts of the doorway are 6 cubits square, as confirmed by Ez41:21, “the posts of the temple were squared.” We see only 5 cubits of them on each side in the picture, because they extend 1 cubit into the 6 cubit wide temple walls, “which was the breadth of the tabernacle,” Ez41:1.

“And the breadth of the door was ten cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side,” Ez41:2. The doorway is 10 cubits wide, as you can see from the measuring rods. And we see only 5 cubits of the 6 cubit wide door posts on each side of the doorway, for the reason explained above.

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See Picture #17. Looking down on the 20 x 40 cubit holy place in the temple.

“And he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits,” Ez41:2b. The whole room of the holy place is two 20 x 20 cubit square areas; in other words, 40 cubits by 20 cubits.

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See Picture #18. In the holy place of the temple, looking towards the door to the most holy place.

“Then went he inward, and measured the post of the door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits; and the breadth of the door, seven cubits,” Ez41:3. The angel measured the entrance to the most holy place. The wood door posts are 2 cubits wide; you can see a little of their wood behind the folding doors. The temple wall on each side of them is an additional 5 cubits, so 7 cubits on each side of the 6 cubit wide doorway.

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See Picture #19. The most holy place.

“So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place,” Ez41:4. Inside the most holy place, the length is 20 cubits and the breadth 20 cubits.

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See Picture #20. The southeast front corner of the temple: 1) 6-cubit temple wall, 2) narrower 5-cubit temple wall, 3) 4-cubit side chambers, 4) wider 5-cubit side chambers, 5) 6-cubit foundation of the temple, 6) side chambers’ 6-cubit outer wall 7) side chambers’ 5-cubit walkway, 8) 20-cubit separate place, 9) southern door to side chambers.

Next, we go around the outside of the temple. Ezekiel 41:5-7, “He measured the wall of the house, six cubits,” on the bottom level, but the temple wall gets narrower on the higher levels, as you can see if you compare #1 to #2 in the picture. (One cubit of the front of the temple wall is made up of part of the 6x6 cubit square wood temple post, as we discussed earlier and as you can see in the shadow of the pillar.)

“And the breadth of every side chamber, four cubits, round about the house on every side,” on the bottom level, but the side chambers get wider on the higher levels, as you can see if you compare #3 to #4 in the picture.

“And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order,” three stories tall, thirty rooms per story as you go around the temple. “And they entered into the wall which was of the house,” as you see in #4, “... that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house.” Starting at the bottom, each story of the chambers was wider, and the temple wall likewise narrower, so the chambers could sit securely against the temple without being attached by nails or anything.

Ezekiel 41:8-11, “I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits.” You can see the six cubit foundation by the vertical rod leaning against the stairs near #5 in the picture. So temple sits higher than everything else in the temple compound. “The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits,” meaning the outside wall going around the side chambers, labeled #6, is five cubits thick. “And that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within.” ‘That which was left’ is the 5 cubit wide walkway, labeled #7, that provides access to the side chambers.

“And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side,” marked with #8. We’ll see this 20 cubit area, called the Separate Place, around the temple better in a minute.

“And the doors of the side chambers were toward the place that was left, one door toward the north, and another door toward the south,” we see the doorway to the south at #9 for access to the chambers’ walkway, “and the breadth of the place that was left,” #7 again, “was five cubits round about.”

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See Picture #21. The west building is to the left, the temple to the right, and the 20 cubit separate place in between. You can also see the low side chambers’ wall and some of the 5-cubit walkway around the sides and back of the temple. The buildings that border the separate place at the top and bottom of the picture are 3-tiered priests’ chambers.

Ezekiel 41:12, “Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.” The west building is 70 by 90 in its internal dimensions. It’s got a five cubit thick wall all around which makes it 100 long and 80 wide in its external dimensions. When you add the 20 cubits of the ‘separate place’ in front of it to its external width, the total area is 100 by 100 cubits square.

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See Picture #22. Diagram of the temple, the separate place, and the west building.

Next the angel measured the overall dimensions of the temple area, including the separate place and the west building. First going east to west, Ezekiel 41:13, “So he measured the house [the temple], an hundred cubits long, and the separate place, and the building [the west building], with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long.” Starting at A in picture 22, we see the temple is 100 cubits long comprised of five 20’s. The porch plus the dividing wall between the holy place and the most holy place equals 20 cubits (3+8+6+3), the holy place is 40 cubits long (or two 20’s), the most holy place is 20 cubits, and the temple wall and side chambers on the west are 20 cubits (6+4+5+5=20). And then the separate place plus the west building is 100 cubits (20+5+70+5).

“Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits,” Ez41:14. Next he measures 100 cubits north to south across the front of the temple. Starting at B in the picture, the separate place on the north is 20; the side chambers and temple wall, 20 (5+5+4+6); the holy place, 20; the temple wall and side chambers, 20 (6+4+5+5); and the separate place on the south is 20.

And finally, the separate place is 100 cubits long against all three buildings on the west, north, and south, as shown by the three letter C’s in the picture. On the west, “he measured the length of the building [the west building] over against the separate place which was behind it.” On the north and south along the 3-tiered priests’ galleries, “and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side.” All three measurements each measured “an hundred cubits,” as also did “the inner temple and the porches of the court,” Ez41:15, as we saw in verse 13. So the dominant numbers for the temple area are 20 and 100.

To me, this careful measuring, first east to west, then north to south, and finally this additional check around the perimeter of the separate place, is another evidence of the inspiration of the scriptures. It would have been very difficult for Ezekiel to have thought all this up by himself, and have it fit together, especially without 3D drawing software.

Now the angel takes us back into the temple for some additional details. The walls were covered with cherubs and palm tree decorations. Ezekiel 41:18-25, “It was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces; so that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about. From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple.” You can see these decorations in picture #18. I didn’t have any pictures of two-faced cherubs to use in the model, so the ones on the walls in the pictures have only the lion face. (Some cherubs, like those in Ezekiel 1, have 4 faces. Satan is a fallen cherub. Some speculate he may be of the two-faced variety.)

“The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the LORD.” You can also see the altar in picture #18 (though it’s hard to see because I made it the same color as the floor and door posts).

“And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors.” I’m assuming that means two doors each; two at the outside of the temple and two for the most holy place. “And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door.” So you can see the two folding doors for the sanctuary, or most holy place, in picture #18; and you can see one of the two folding doors of the temple in picture #15. “And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as were made upon the walls.”

Ezekiel 41:25-26, “And there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without, and there were narrow windows and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch, and upon the side chambers of the house, and thick planks.” You can also see the thick planks and narrow windows of the temple porch in picture #15. It seems they should have palm trees on them, but not cherubs.

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Ezekiel 42. 3-Tiered Priests’ Chambers & Overall Dimensions

See Picture #23. A 50-cubit 3-tiered building and a 100-cubit 3-tiered building of priests’ chambers facing each other with a walkway between them. These in the picture are the northern ones on the west side of the inner north gate between the outer court and the separate place of the temple.

Ezekiel 42:7-8, “The wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter [outer] court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was fifty cubits. For the length of the chambers that were in the utter [outer] court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits.” In picture 23, we are looking at two buildings on the upper pavement on the west side of the inner north gate. The two buildings are not the same length. The one “toward the utter [outer] court” is only 50 cubits long, while the one along the separate place “before the temple” is 100 cubits long.

Ezekiel 42:13-14, “Then said he unto me, The north chambers and the south chambers,” there is a mirror image of them on the west side of the inner south gate also, “which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things ... When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter [outer] court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people.” So we have some locker rooms for the priests here. They have to leave their holy clothes in the inner court area, and put on other clothes, before going out to the people in the outer court.

Perhaps the 50-cubit long building by the outer court, in picture #23, should be slid to the left (east), in my model, since the purpose of these buildings is to separate the priests from the people, rather than to provide space for interaction between the priests and the people.

After the angel measures the 3-tiered priest’s chambers on the upper pavement, he takes Ezekiel outside the outer eastern gate, the one by which he had first entered the temple compound. This is Ezekiel’s first time out of the temple compound since he started the tour. And the reason the angel now takes him outside, is that he had finished measuring the inside. There are still a few details that will be measured, in relation to sacrifices, but he is done measuring all the temple compound buildings. “Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about,” Ez42:15.

What does Ezekiel mean by saying the angel measured “it round about?” If he means the gate and the wall the gate goes through, the wall of the temple compound, then we know from adding the internal measurements, as we did in pictures #14 and #22, that the wall of the temple compound is 500 cubits square. But while some versions, like the NIV, which follow the Greek Septuagint translation, use the word “cubits” in the following verses; the KJV and ASV, follow the Masoretic Hebrew text, and use the word “rods” in the following verses.

“He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds [unit of measure omitted, Septuagint], with the measuring reed round about. He measured the north side, five hundred reeds [cubits, Septuagint] ... the south side, five hundred reeds [unit of measure omitted, Septuagint] ... the west side ... five hundred reeds [cubits, Septuagint] ... it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds [unit of measure added by translators] long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place,” Ez42:16-20. Five hundred reeds would be 3,000 cubits, since the angel’s measuring reed is six cubits long (Ez40:5). So if the angel is measuring a 3,000 cubit wall, he must be measuring another wall out around the temple compound, rather than measuring the outside of the temple compound itself.

However, if the angel is not providing the overall dimensions of the temple compound here, then it is not provided anywhere; and the normal pattern in the book is to give the detailed dimensions, and then provide the overall dimensions.

For example, in Ezekiel 40:6-12, we learned the detailed measurements of the parts of the outer east gate: outer threshold, 6; guardrooms and spaces between, 6+5+6+5+6; inner threshold, 6; porch, 6; and porch pillars, 2; equals 48 cubits long. Then in verse 13, we learned the overall length of 50 cubits, and could thereby determine that the 4 walls of the guardrooms along the spaces are each 1/2 cubit thick to total 50 cubits.

And in Ezekiel 40:48 - 41:12, we learned the detailed measurements of the temple: porch, 11; door posts, and front temple wall, 6; holy place, 40; most holy place, 20; back temple wall, 6; side chambers, 4; walkway, 5; wall around side chambers, 5; equals 97 cubits. Then in verse 13, we learned the overall length of the temple is 100 cubits, and could thereby determine that the wall between the holy place and the most holy place is 3 cubits thick.

Also, although we haven’t covered it yet, Ezekiel gives the detailed dimensions of the parts of the holy district in 48:9-19, and then gives the overall dimensions in 48:20. So, it would make sense, after having given us all the details of the interior of the temple compound, that he would then also confirm the overall measurement to be 500 cubits all around.

It is commonly agreed, that there is at least one scribal error in the Hebrew in this passage. In the Hebrew, verse 16 says, “He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five cubit reeds.” It looks like a scribe accidentally wrote the word “emot,” meaning “cubit,” in place of “meot,” meaning “hundred.” It’s probably a scribal error, and not an indication that the angel now started to use a 5-cubit rod instead of a 6-cubit rod, because then we would have no length provided for the east side, even though the north, south, and west sides were said to be 500 reeds.

Perhaps a scribe copied the word “reeds” from the marginal notes of a manuscript, into the Hebrew text, in verses 16 through 19. If the word “reeds” was not in the original, verse 16 would read, “He measured the east side with the measuring reed; five hundred with the measuring reed round about.” Then the interpretation would be that the angel measured 500 cubits, but with the emphasis that he used the long-cubit reed, and not, as might be supposed since the measurement is long, the flax line, which could possibly be in regular-length cubits.

It would seem most straightforward and simple, to assume that when the angel finished measuring the interior of the temple compound, and exited it via the outer east gate, and measured “it all around,” vs. 15, that he measured the outside of the temple compound, especially since the measurement came out to 500 x 500, which is the overall size of the temple compound, and especially since that overall measurement is provided nowhere else in the book.

However, while it might be understandable that a scribe could write “emot” for “meot,” it is not as likely a scribe would have added the word “reeds” four times in verses 16 to 19. Nevertheless, there are additional difficulties with the idea of a 500 reed wall, as we will see later.

The Hebrew text is to be preferred over the Septuagint translation whenever possible, because God not only inspired the words of the scriptures, but also preserved them to every generation. “The words of the LORD are pure words, ... O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever,” Ps12:6-7. The Holy Spirit didn’t just inspire and preserve, the ‘ideas’ of scripture, but the very words. “Not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but [in the words] which the Holy Ghost teacheth,” 1Cor2:13.

That’s also why it’s not possible that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew, as some of our beloved Messianic Jewish brethren suggest. It just seems that way, because the writers were Jewish, and thought in Aramaic, but they wrote in Greek. The New Testament couldn’t have been written in Hebrew, because there are no Hebrew New Testament manuscripts, except for some late medieval works of the Gospel of Matthew, that may have been translated from Greek to Hebrew for the benefit of Jewish people, as our Messianic Jewish brethren do today.

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Ezekiel 43-46. Sacrificial System

We talked about the purpose of animal sacrifices in the Messianic Kingdom when we looked at the tables by the outer court at the inner north gate: they are reminders of what Yeshua did for us, and object lessons to those born during the kingdom.

See Picture #24. Inside the temple, looking from the holy place through the door into the most holy place, after the shekinah glory has entered it.

Ezekiel 43:1-4, “Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 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. ... And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.” The shekinah glory will enter the temple compound via the outer east gate, and go into the most holy place in the temple to dwell with Israel.

Ezekiel 43:5-6, “So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me,” so it wasn’t the angel talking, “and he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet,” Messiah’s feet, “where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever.” God, the Holy Spirit, carried Ezekiel into the inner court so he could get there fast enough to hear this message from God in the shekinah glory.

Who is speaking from the shekinah glory? Ezekiel had described the shekinah glory earlier in his book in chapter one. He saw a whirlwind, a cloud, fire enfolding itself, brightness, and four living creatures. Each living creature had four faces and four wings; the face of a man, lion, ox and eagle. The firmament was over their heads, and very high above them was a throne with the likeness of the appearance of a man upon it.

Ezekiel 1:26-27, “Above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, ... and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it, ... from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.” This must have been the Angel of Jehovah, the pre-incarnate Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus, because no man, including Ezekiel, has seen the Father (Jn1:18), and an angel wouldn’t be on the throne above the four cherubs.

So Yeshua may be spending some of his time in the kingdom sitting on the throne in the most holy place, with the cherubs around him as they presently are in heaven. Revelation 4:6-8, “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” But we won’t be able to go into the inner court of the temple, so perhaps Yeshua will spend most of his time in Jerusalem, away from the four cherubs, as he was during his 33 years on earth at his first coming.

There will be no ark of the covenant in the most holy place. You don’t need the ark of the covenant when the Lord himself is present. Jeremiah 3:16-17, “It shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem.”

The shekinah glory will also be visible over the mountain of the Lord day and night. “And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain,” Is4:5-6.

The top of the mountain will be well lit at night by the shekinah glory. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light,” Zech14:6-7.

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See Picture #25. The large brass altar before the temple at the center of the inner court.

Ezekiel 43:13-17, “And these are the measures of the altar ... the bottom shall be a cubit [high], and the breadth [of the bottom ledge] a cubit, and the border thereof by the edge thereof round about shall be a span: and this shall be the higher place of the altar. And from the bottom upon the ground even to the lower settle shall be two cubits [high], and the breadth [of the ledge] one cubit; and from the lesser [lower] settle even to the greater settle shall be four cubits [high], and the breadth [of the ledge] one cubit. So the altar shall be four cubits [high]; and from the altar and upward shall be four horns. And the altar shall be twelve cubits long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof. And the [lower] settle shall be fourteen cubits long and fourteen broad in the four squares thereof; and the border about it shall be half a cubit; and the bottom thereof shall be a cubit about; and his stairs shall look toward the east.”

The stairs in the model should go all the way to the top of the altar, as a ramp reportedly did in the previous temples. This would be necessary because wood and large pieces of animals need to be carried to the top of the altar, which is very large for all the different work that needs to be performed there, and which cannot all be performed from the 2 foot wide topmost ledge.

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See Picture #26. Prince David entering the outer east gate from the porch on the outer court side. The gate is sealed up on the outside because the shekinah glory entered the temple compound through that gate. The light on the steps is shining from the shekinah glory in the temple through the east inner gate behind him.

Ezekiel 44:1-3, “Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.” The outside of the outer east gate will be sealed after the shekinah glory enters through it. This gate does not yet exist. People confuse it with the sealed eastern gate in Jerusalem today, and say it will be unsealed for Messiah to enter by. That is the opposite of what scripture teaches here, that a future gate will be sealed after the Messiah enters through it, with the shekinah glory.

“It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.” The prince gets to use this sealed gate to sit and eat in. He will have a nice view of the inner east gate and the temple from here, and be out of the sun. He has to enter and leave the gate through the porch because the outside doorway is sealed.

The prince is Prince David. He will be a king to Israel, but a prince to Yeshua, the King of Kings. Jeremiah 30:9, “They shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them,” along with all the other people whose bodies are resurrected before the kingdom is established.

Serving under David, in either the federal or tribal governments, will be the resurrected and glorified twelve apostles, including Paul in place of Judas. “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,” Mt19:28.

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See picture #27. The Holy Section of the Land.

For the Priests: 25,000 x 10,000. “Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand ... The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests, ... a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary,” Ez45:1-3. There is a 25,000 by 10,000 area, shown at the top of picture #27, for the priests’ houses and the temple compound. Notice that the word “reeds,” in verse 45, is in italics, meaning it was added by the King James translators to help us. But in picture #27, I put all the measurements in cubits, rather than reeds.

Except for the four verses in Ezekiel 42:16-19, which we looked at already, every other measurement in the book, in which the unit of measure is explicitly stated, that is greater than one reed long, is given in cubits. The following five verses say something is exactly one reed long: 40:5; 40:6; 40:7; 40:8; and 41:8. And the following three verses say something is more than one reed long, but the word “reed” is in italics to show it was added by the translators: 42:20; 45:1; and 48:8.

The reason the translators added the word “reeds” in verse 1, is because the next verse talks about the 500 x 500 temple compound area, and in 42:16-19, the outer-most portion of the temple area, according to the Hebrew text, is a 500 reed (3,000 cubit) wall around and further out from the temple compound.

Temple Compound: 500 x 500 something. Either 600 cubits square including the border, or 500 reeds + 50 cubits square including the border. “Of this [in the priests’ portion] there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, with five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof,” Ez45:2. The small black square labeled “The Temple + Border” within the priests’ rectangle in picture #27.

Notice the word “cubits” is specifically mentioned for the “suburbs,” or ‘border,’ of the sanctuary. If the unit of measurement in this chapter is cubits, the 50 cubit border goes around the temple compound, making the total temple area 600 x 600 cubits (50 more on each side of the 500 cubits). If the unit of measurement in this chapter is reeds, the 50 cubit border goes around the 500 reed wall, making the total temple area 500 reeds plus 50 cubits.

This is another reason why it is more natural, to assume the measurements in this chapter are in cubits. Most of the measurements we have seen so far, have been in fairly round numbers, not something like 500 reeds + 50 cubits. Also, a 50 cubit border around a 500 cubit area (10%) is more in perspective, than a 50 cubit border around a 3,000 cubit (500 reed) area (0.01667%). In chapter 48, we’ll see that the city is a 4,500 x 4,500 area with a 250 border around it (5.56%) so the total area comes out to a nice round 5,000 (4,500 + 250 on each side).

Also, if the angel’s purpose in chapter 42:15-20, had been to measure the adjacent land around the temple, why wouldn’t he have told us about the 50 cubit border at that time along with the measurement of the outlying 3,000 cubit wall. But if his purpose was only to give us the overall dimensions of the temple compound, after having given us the detailed internal measurements of its parts, it is understandable that he did not mention the 50 cubit border at that time, but waited until he was dealing with the placement of the temple within the land.

For the Levites: 25,000 x 10,000. “And the five and twenty thousand of length, and the ten thousand of breadth shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves,” Ez45:5. The bottom white rectangular area on the mountain in picture #27. Ezekiel is not listing the portions in geographical order, but rather in order of importance. Priests and sanctuary first, then Levites, and next the city.

For the City: 5000 x 25,000. “And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel,” Ez45:6. The central 5,000 by 25,000 area in picture #27.

For Prince David: “And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, ... from the west border unto the east border,” Ez45:7. The land shown on the far right and left of picture #27, is for the resurrected Prince David and his descendants.

This land might also pay the expenses of his federal government (versus the tribal governments). “Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession ... that my people be not scattered every man from his possession,” Ez46:17-18.

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See Picture #28. Prince David standing on the porch of the inner east gate. The light is from the shekinah glory in the temple. We are looking west into the inner court and the temple.

Ezekiel 46:1-3,”The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.” Most of the time, the inner east gate will be closed. But on Sabbaths and new moons, it will be open. Then the prince can go up on the porch, and watch as the priests offer his sacrifices. But that means he can’t go into the inner court, even though he is in his resurrected and glorified body, and so we won’t be able to either.

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See Picture #29. People who entered the outer court of the temple compound by the outer south gate, walking past the inner east gate, to exit by the outer north gate.

Ezekiel 46:8-12, “When the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in.” People will enter the temple compound by the north gate and go out by the south, or they will go in by the south and out by the north. Do you remember why no one will enter or exit by the outer east gate?

Ezekiel 46:8 only talks about “the people of the land,” meaning the Jewish people and probably the Gentiles who dwell among them in Israel. But Zechariah says that the Gentiles outside the land will go to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16-17, “It shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” So I don’t expect to be living in the land of Israel during the Messianic Kingdom. I expect to be laboring in one of the Gentile nations, but I expect to come up for the feast of tabernacles with other people from my nation whenever it’s my turn.

Isaiah 66:20-21 may indicate some Gentiles may serve as priests and ‘Levites’ in the temple. “And they [saved Gentiles] shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations ... to my holy mountain Jerusalem, and I will also take of them for priests and for Levites.” More likely, “take of them” refers to taking priests and Levites from among the Jewish people brought back by the Gentiles. Would Gibeonites and Nethinim (temple servants) be referred to as ‘Levites?’ If God does take any Gentiles as priests and ‘Levites’, they will at least need to be born again spiritually, and circumcised physically, according to Ezekiel 44:9.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel,” Ez44:9. This probably indicates that no unsaved men, even descendants of Zadok, will be able to serve as priests and Levites in the temple. It probably does not indicate exclusion of anyone from the temple compound. It would be more feasible to verify circumcision of heart and flesh as a prerequisite to priesthood than to temple compound access.

Zechariah concludes and summarizes his book by saying, “Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts,” Zech14:21. There will certainly be some people of Canaanite descent in the kingdom, who enter by resurrection, and who enter in unglorified bodies at the end of the tribulation period and their descendants born during the kingdom, and they will probably have entrance to the temple compound, though perhaps none any longer as temple servants. Probably this verse means that, whereas most priests and Levites in the temple throughout history have been unbelievers, and to God this was equivalent to Canaanites like the Gibeonites serving in the temple, in the kingdom the priests and Levites will be both descendants of Levi and, more importantly, regenerate of heart.

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See Picture #30. Looking down on the priests’ boiling places at the extreme west end of the northern upper pavement by the west building and the 3-tiered priest’s chambers.

Ezekiel 46:19-20, “After he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate,” through a side arch of the inner north gate, “into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north, and, behold, there was a place on the two sides westward,” the west ends of the upper pavement on both the north and south of the temple. “Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them not out into the utter [outer] court, to sanctify the people.” The priests have their own places to boil and bake sacrifices, separate from the people, so they don’t take any holiness out to the people; just as we saw how in Ezekiel 42:13-14, they had to change their clothes before going out to the people.

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See Picture #31. The northwest boiling place for the peoples’ sacrifices. There are 4 mini-courts like this one; one in each corner of the outer court.

Ezekiel 46:21-24, “Then he brought me forth into the utter [outer] court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court ... forty cubits long and thirty broad .... And there was a row of building round about in them, ... and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about. Then said he unto me, These are the places of them that boil, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people.” Four 40x30 cubit mini-courts, one in each corner of the outer court, for the priests to come out and boil the peoples’ sacrifices, because the people cannot enter into the inner court, where the priests offer other sacrifices.

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Ezekiel 47-48. The River and the Land

See Picture #32. The river that starts on the south side of the temple entrance.

Ezekiel 47:1, “Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house,” the temple, “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.” Picture #32 shows a trickle of water flowing from south side of the threshold of the temple. “The right side of the house” is the south side, since the temple faces east.

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See Picture #33. The river flowing out the south side of the outer east gate.

Ezekiel 47:2, “Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about [around] the way without [outside] unto the utter [outer] gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.” “The right side” of the gate is the south side, since the gate faces east. Why did the angel take Ezekiel out the north gate and around when he wanted to show him something outside the outer east gate? Why didn’t he just take him through the outer east gate? Well, remember, the outside of the outer east gate has been sealed. So in Picture #33, we are outside the outer east gate where we started this tour, and we see the waters from the temple coming from the south side.

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See Picture #34. The river flowing east from the temple compound and getting deeper and wider.

Ezekiel 47:3-5, “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 ankles. 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. 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.” The waters get deeper and deeper as they flow east. The angel is using the flax string to measure each 1000 cubit stretch. The angel gets to stay on dry ground, while Ezekiel has to go through the water.

This passage is another reason why the word “reeds” in Ezekiel 42:16-19 seems incongruous. If the angel brought the flax line to measure long distances, like these 1,000 cubit stretches, why would he use the reed to measure 500 reeds, or 3,000 cubits, in Ezekiel 42? But if the word “reeds” was not in the original in 42:16-19, then the 500 cubit outside wall of the temple compound in Ezekiel 42 was the longest distance the angel measured with the reed, and we could assume all longer distances were measured with the flax line, which would probably be in common medium cubits.

Ezekiel 47:7-8, “Now when I had returned, ... then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.” The river from the temple goes down to the Dead Sea, and heals their salty waters.

Ezekiel 47:9-11, “And it shall come to pass, that every thing ... whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live ... And ... fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim, ... their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea [the Mediterranean], exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.” There’s no fish in the Dead Sea today, but there will be great fishing there soon.

Ezekiel 47:12, “And by the river upon the bank ... shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” The trees that are watered by the river from the temple will have leaves that provide healing, so no one will remain sick.

Not only will the waters go east and down to the Dead Sea, but half will go towards the Mediterranean Sea. Zechariah 14:8, “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 [dryer season] and in winter [wetter season] shall it be.”

In the east, the river can go down the great valley through the split in the Mount of Olives we talked about earlier to the Dead Sea. In the west, the waters from the temple, which may be at the highest point on the mountain, may first water the rest of the mountain via irrigation channels and so forth, before being gathered at the western base of the mountain to flow on to the Mediterranean. “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities, there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby,” Is33:20,21. See picture #36. “I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: ... in that day ... a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim,” Joel3:17-18.

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See Picture #35. Portions of land for the tribes of Israel going straight across from east to west. I have not tried to present accurate boundaries, but rather to show the general arrangement of the tribal portions. For example, the Golan Heights will probably be within the borders of Israel, though the picture doesn’t show it that way.

Northern Boundaries. Ezekiel 48:1, “Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath.” Hamath is present day Hama in Syria. The northern border of Israel during the Messianic Kingdom will extend to about the present northern border of Lebanon. Present day Lebanon will be part of millennial Israel.

Seven Northern Tribes. Ezekiel 48:2-7, “These are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan. And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher. And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali. And by ... Naphtali, ... a portion for Manasseh. And by ... Manasseh, ... a portion for Ephraim. And by ... Ephraim, ... a portion for Reuben. And by ... Reuben, ... a portion for Judah.” Each tribe’s portion will extend completely across from the western boundaries, like the Jordan River, to the Mediterranean Sea.

Today most Jewish people don’t know which tribe they are descended from, the exception being some descendants of priests and Levites who have family names like Cohen, the Hebrew word for priest, or Levi. But now we have genetic tests, and anyway the Lord knows the genealogy of everyone. Jewish tradition says that when Elijah returns before the Messianic Kingdom is set up, he will provide Jewish people with their tribal identities.

So although physical things like genealogies have no relevance in the church age or for spiritual salvation; in the future, genealogies will be important again, at least in determining how physically close to the shekinah glory a person will be able to live.

Some Gentiles, possibly proselytes, will dwell among the tribes in the land, “in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance,” Ez47:23. And some Gentiles in their natural bodies during the kingdom will become servants to Israelites so they can live in the land. “Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers ... For your shame, ye shall have double [blessing, joy, inheritance, etc.],” Is60:1-61:7.

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See picture #36. Division of the land on and beside the mountain of the Lord.

Now we have a repeat of the description of the holy portion of the land that we saw in chapter 45, but with some added details.

Levi (Including the Priests), Prince David, and the Temple Compound. Ezekiel 48:8, “And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it.” Just like each tribe’s portion is a strip of land going all the way from the east to the west border, the land offering is a 25,000 broad strip, that goes all the way from the east border to the west border.

Here in chapter 48, we have, like in 45:1-8, a long passage with many dimensions, with no unit of measure provided. Once again, the KJV translators have tried to help us out by adding the word “reeds” in verse 8, near the mention of the sanctuary, which was said to be measured in reeds in 42:16-19.

It is interesting that the Lord could easily have provided us one mention of the word “reeds” in 45:1-8, and one mention here in chapter 48, just as the translators have done. Instead, if 42:16-19 is not a gloss, we have to refer back to those four verses to know what these units of measures are. What could be the Lord’s purpose in making the interpretation so indirect? Did he want to leave open the possibility of a ‘cubit’ interpretation for those who might stumble in faith at the huge sizes of a ‘reed’ interpretation?

On the other hand, if 42:16-19 is a gloss, and the gloss had not been made, there would be no mystery in the text, and the interpretation would be straightforward, because the unit of measure throughout this entire vision has been cubits. As mentioned earlier, apart from 42:16-19, only verses 40:5; 40:6; 40:7; 40:8; and 41:8 measured anything in reeds, and all five measurements were exactly one reed long.

Ezekiel 48:9-11, “The oblation that ye shall offer unto the LORD shall be of five and twenty thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth ... and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst thereof. It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.” The 25,000 by 10,000 cubit portion for the priests, is specifically for the sons of Zadok. It includes the temple compound. I did not show the temple compound centered in the middle of the priests’ portion, because the Hebrew word translated “in the midst thereof” in the KJV, simply means “in it.”

Ezekiel 48:12-14, “And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites. And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth ... And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.”

When Ezekiel was delineating the tribal portions, he kept using the Hebrew word “al,” meaning “on” or “against,” to show that each portion was right next to and up against the previous one. “By [‘al’] the border of Dan ... a portion for Asher, ... by [‘al’] the border of Asher ... a portion for Naphtali, ... by [‘al’] the border of Naphtali ... a portion for Manasseh, [etc.] ... by [‘al’] the border of Judah ... shall be the offering, ... it shall be for the priests,” Ez48:2-8. If Ezekiel went on using ‘al,’ “by the border of the priests, a portion for Levi; by the border of the Levites, a portion for the city, by the border of the city, a portion for Benjamin,” we would know the order of the sub-portions within the holy portion.

But the sub-portions within the holy portion of the land are described in order of importance, not in geographical order. The portion of the Levites does not lie next to the portion of the priests, because Ezekiel changes from the Hebrew word ‘al,’ meaning ‘against,’ to the Hebrew word ‘el,’ meaning ‘to’ or ‘towards,’ and also to the Hebrew word ‘umah,’ meaning ‘corresponding to’ or ‘parallel to,’ but not necessarily up against, as in 2 Samuel 16:13, “As David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against [‘umah’] him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.”

He says, “A thing most holy [the priests’ portion] by [“towards”; ‘el,’ not ‘al’] the border of the Levites. And over against [“corresponding to,” ‘umah’] the border of the priests, the Levites,” Ez48:12-13. This shows that the Levites portion is probably not right next to the priests’ portion; the city is probably in between.

Ezekiel 48:15-17, “And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof. And these shall be the measures thereof; the north side ... and the south side ... and on the east side ... and the west side four thousand and five hundred. And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north ... and toward the south ... and toward the east ... and toward the west two hundred and fifty.” The city will be 4,500 x 4,500, with a 250 cubit border all around, for a total size of 5,000 x 5000 cubits square.

Ezekiel 48:18-19, “And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: ... and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city. And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.” On both sides of the city, there is a 5,000 by 10,000 cubit area left over, to be used for growing food for the city. The city will be inhabited with people from all the tribes, even though each tribe has its own portion elsewhere.

Ezekiel 48:20, “All the oblation [‘offering’ of the land] shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand: ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with [‘including’] the [profane] possession of the city.” The total of the priests’ portion with the temple, the Levites’ portion, and Jerusalem’s portion, is 25,000 by 25,000 square.

Ezekiel 48:21, “And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the [25,000 x 25,000] holy oblation, and of the possession of the city; over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border.” On each side of the 25,000 by 25,000 square area, running to the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and to the Jordan River and the Dead Sea (or shall we call it the Living Sea by this time) on the east, shall be a 25,000 cubit wide portion for David, and his descendants, and his government expenses.

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See picture #37. The Plain and the Holy Portion in Cubits.

Zechariah says the plain that the mountain of the Lord will sit upon will extend from Geba (see picture #37), Jaba today, about 6 miles northeast of Jerusalem; to Rimmon (see picture #37), probably En-Rimmon, about 36 miles southeast of Jerusalem, near Beersheba.

“All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. She shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses,” NKJV Zech14:10. All the Judean Mountains, which you can see within the dashed oval in the center of picture #37, will be leveled; but the Samarian Hills, the area within the dashed oval to the right of picture #37, will remain. Jerusalem will be lifted up “in her place”; probably with the same geographical features that are there now, only higher.

How much higher? The current elevation of Jerusalem is about 2,500 feet. Altitude sickness, in our present time at least, begins around 8,000 feet. The highest alpine tree line in the world is at about 17,000 feet, so that’s not an issue. So probably, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be less than 8,000 feet high. But in addition to Jerusalem being raised, other mountains in the earth will be lowered, so the mountain at Jerusalem will be the highest, and yet still have a pleasant environment.

In picture #37, the temple, the very tiny black square at the northeast corner of the city square, is located on the temple mount; and the northeast corner of the city, the small square in the middle of the mountain, is at the location of the original city of Jerusalem (the city of David).

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See picture #38. The Plain and the Holy Portion in Reeds.

Although I used a lot of space describing why it seems a scribe may have added the word “reeds” four times to the Hebrew of Ezekiel 42:16-19; it may very well be that “reeds” is the correct reading, so I have presented picture #38 as a possible representation of the holy portion of the land in reeds. However, I used a reed of 6 medium cubits, rather than 6 long cubits, in preparing picture #38.

Again, the temple, the very tiny black square at the northeast corner of the city, is located on the temple mount; and the city’s northeast corner is at the location of the original city of Jerusalem (the city of David).

If the measurements are in reeds, the land boundaries for the priests, Levites, the city, and the prince would probably have to extend beyond the mountain of the Lord, because otherwise the mountain would have to extend over the Dead Sea. Now, I have no problem believing the God who made the earth can make major changes to the land of Israel before the Messianic Kingdom is set up. But when God describes the borders of messianic Israel as being from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, it doesn’t sound like he is talking about a repositioned Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. “From the land of Israel by Jordan, ... this is the east side. ... The west side also shall be the great sea.” Ez47:18-20.

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See picture #39. Jerusalem in Cubits.

Picture #39 shows Jerusalem “raised up and inhabited in her place,” Zech14:10, with her existing geography intact, and the large valley through the mount of Olives, with the east river flowing down it, as a way up to the city on the mountain of the Lord’s house.

The measurements are in cubits, because if the measurements were in reeds, a 250 reed border around the city where there can be no houses would cover all of what is shown as “The City” in picture #39, and more. In that case, the inhabited part of the city couldn’t include the original Jerusalem, the city of David, or any of the landmarks mentioned in Zechariah 14:10, “from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. The people shall dwell in it. ... Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited,” Zech14:10-11.

It is hard to tell where those old gates and landmarks were. They may be south of the temple mount, because what we call the “Old City” today, was actually the “New City” before, part of it even being called “Bezetha,” meaning “New City”. Picture #39 shows where the “So-called ‘Old’ City” is today, and also where the “So-called Mt. Zion” is today. But the real Mt. Zion, and the original location of Jerusalem, and an area called the “Ophel,” is marked as “Zion & City of David” and “Levi Gate” in the picture. The city was located there because it had access to the Gihon Spring from tunnels within its fortifications, which made the city very difficult to capture by siege.

Or, alternatively, if the landmarks Zechariah 14:10-11 talks about were north of the temple mount, then perhaps the verses refer to priests dwelling in those places in the future.

God made many promises regarding Zion and Jerusalem, and it sounds like he is referring to the same Zion and Jerusalem that we know of, not ones in new locations. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy ... I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, ... and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem ... The LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem,” Zech1:14-17.

Picture #39 tries to place the altar of the future temple compound, in the same location as the altar of the first and second temples. As far as I can see from 2 Samuel 24, it is the altar’s location that is important to be the same, rather than the location of the holy of holies being the same, even though the future altar has steps to the east, and the previous altars had ramps to the south.

David built the altar on the threshing floor where the plague stopped at Jerusalem, and it was the location of the altar that determined the location of the most holy place. Also, it is the altar, rather than the most holy place, that is at the exact center of the future temple. The message of these chapters in Ezekiel, and the meaning of the Messianic Kingdom and the mountain of the Lord’s house, is not only that God is holy, but that God who is holy will dwell with men, and that is only made possible by the altar, or more specifically, by what it symbolizes, the substitutionary death of Yeshua.

There are various theories as to where the 1st and 2nd temples stood on the temple mount. I used a southern placement, with the assumption that the Antonia Fortress was located where the Dome of the Rock is now, as you can see in picture #39.

Southern Tribes. Ezekiel 48:22-27, “As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion. And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion. And by ... Simeon, ... Issachar a portion. And by ... Issachar, ... Zebulun a portion. And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.”

Southern Border. Ezekiel 48:28, “And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea. This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance.” The southern border will extend to the Brook of Egypt, the Wadi el-Arish.

Ezekiel 48:30-34, “And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; Reuben, ... Judah, ... Levi. And at the east side ... Joseph ... Benjamin ... Dan. And at the south side ... Simeon ... Issachar ... Zebulun. At the west side ... Gad ... Asher ... Naphtali.” Jerusalem will have three gates on each side, named after the twelve tribes. The name of Levi, which is often left out when naming the 12 tribes, will be included; and Ephraim and Manasseh, which are often named separately when naming the 12 tribes, will be represented as “Joseph.” In picture #39, I showed four of these gates, starting with the Reuben Gate in the northwest, and going clockwise to the Joseph gate.

Ezekiel 48:35, “And the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.” Jerusalem will be given a new name “from that day” than it has during our day. It will be called “Jehovah Shammah,” meaning “Jehovah Is There.” ‘There’, not ‘here’, since most of the world’s population will be referring to it while living outside the land.

Jehovah Shammah is what this is all about. The place will be special, because the Lord will be there, and God has allowed us to see some of it in advance, and we will be going there various times during the Messianic Kingdom.

Application

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” Jn3:3. You definitely want to see the kingdom of God. And you won’t see it unless you are born again.

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that,” whosoever looks to him in faith, “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” Jn3:14-16.

“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life,” Jn3:36; not he that goes to church, or he that is good, because “there is none that doeth good, no, not one,” Rm3:12; Ps53:3. “All have sinned and come short of glory of God,” Rm3:23. But he that simply “believes on the Son,” and takes God at his Word that Jesus’ sacrifice and death for our sake as our substitute was sufficient, has everlasting life.

Call upon the Lord (Rm10:13), and tell him that you accept his sacrifice, that you put your faith in him and in what he did for you, and that you take him at his word to give you everlasting life.

For those who already know the Lord, knowing about the kingdom will help us to be willing to suffer. Paul said, “What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?” 1Cor15:32. But he was able to fight with beasts at Ephesus because he knew that any damage to his body was temporary. It would be raised again and be in the kingdom. He knew he will see these buildings and the other things that the Bible prophesies about the kingdom.

And knowing about the kingdom helps us to labor confidently. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,” 1Cor15:58. We have a sure and certain destination.

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See Picture #40. The third room from the northeast corner of the temple compound on the lower pavement.

For those who are interested in meeting, let’s meet, if our schedules permit, at the third room from the northeast corner of the temple compound, on the lower pavement, on 3/3/3 AK (After Kingdom); the third year, third month, and third day after the start of the kingdom. I don’t know if we will be allowed to meet at that location, but if not, and you are interested in meeting with us, try to meet as close to there as possible, perhaps just outside the outer north gate. Remember, 3/3/3 AK. You can’t get there unless you use John 3:3. You have to be born again to enter the kingdom.

So that is our presentation of the temple. I pray that it will be used for your benefit to know the Lord and to be more fruitful in his service.

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Romans 1-4: Justification

Recorded March 30, 2008

Romans 1:1-17. Introduction

Everybody has an outline? Good morning, and it’s good to see you all again. There’s a few people here this morning I haven’t met yet. Today we are going to survey Romans 1 through 4, about the doctrine of justification. But first we will look at the introduction to the book in verses 1 - 17.

In verse 1, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” Rm1:1. The theme of the book of Romans, is “the gospel of God”. The word “gospel” is from the old English “good spiel,” meaning “good telling” or “good news”. And it is good news because it is the gospel of God, not of man. It’s about something God has done for man. If it were about something man has to do for God, that wouldn’t be good news. But it’s about God’s work, not man’s work.

“Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rm1:2-3. It’s God’s gospel; it’s good news from him. It’s incorrect to picture Jesus as trying to persuade the Father to forgive us, because the gospel was God the Father’s idea from the beginning. You notice it says “He had promised ... by his prophets ... concerning his Son,” Rm1:2-3.

In Romans 1:16-17, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, ... for therein is the righteousness of God revealed.” Our English words “righteousness,” “justice,” and “justification” are all translated from the same Greek word. The phrase “the righteousness of God” refers to justification. It does not refer to the fact that God is righteous, though he is. But it refers to a righteousness from God, that he provides to man, in contrast to man’s own unrighteousness. And he provides it to “every one that believeth,” who trust in Christ, rather than in their own self-righteousness.

The book of Romans is about salvation, “the power of God unto salvation.”. Salvation is comprised of three parts: justification, sanctification, and glorification. The first half of chapter 1 is an introduction to the book. Then Paul covers justification in chapters 1 - 4; and sanctification and glorification, in chapters 5 - 8. Chapters 9 - 11 are about the national salvation of Israel. And chapters 12 - 16 are about sanctification again, but this time from a practical, rather than a doctrinal, perspective.

Now, believing in the gospel, directly results only in justification; that is, in receiving the “righteousness of God.” But because of the way in which we are justified, justification always results in glorification and sanctification. So that is the main proposition of the book of Romans, that “All who have been justified will be glorified, and all who have been justified are being sanctified, because of the way in which they were justified.”

So the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation,” all of salvation - justification, glorification, and sanctification - “for [because] therein is the righteousness of God,” justification, revealed. And justification, in turn, always results in the other two, sanctification and glorification. So the gospel is the power of God unto complete salvation, because it is the power of God unto justification. That is the main proposition of the book of Romans.

So that was the introduction to the book, and in verse 18, Paul begins the section on justification.

Romans 1:18-32. The Unrighteousness of Men

The first subsection here is about the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. And Paul starts out in verse 18, “For the wrath of God ...” How many of us would start our presentation of the good news with the wrath of God? But, you know, if there is no wrath of God, there is no need for the gospel. And the wrath of God is the biggest problem that every person that comes into this world faces. It is not our finances. It is not our health. It is not our family problems. It is, how are you going to deal with the wrath of God?

Why doesn’t God just stop being angry? That would solve the whole thing, right? Well, he is angry because he is a just judge. He is angry, as it says here, “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” Rm1:18.

You notice the order is ungodliness and then unrighteousness. The order is important because ungodliness results in unrighteousness. You can’t have morality apart from godliness.

What is ungodliness? Romans 1:21, “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful.” Failing to acknowledge the Creator, failing to be appreciative of his gifts, that is all it takes to be ungodly. And that leads to unrighteousness.

Because men are ungodly, God has allowed us to become thoroughly unrighteous as a judgment upon us. As a judgment upon our ungodliness, he doesn’t hold us back from unrighteousness. Our bodies are affected in 1:24. “Wherefore God also gave them up ... to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.” Our souls are affected in Romans 1:26. “God gave them up unto vile affections,” emotions. Our spirits are affected in Romans 1:28. “God gave them over to a reprobate mind.” Thoroughly ungodly and unrighteous; thoroughly unrighteous because of our ungodliness.

There is a list of unrighteous deeds that we do because of this judgment upon our ungodliness in Romans 1:29-31. “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” This is the condition of man. So that is the first section.

Romans 2:1-17. The Judgment of God

The second section begins in chapter 2 verse 1. It is about the judgment of God.

We learn three things about the judgment of God. First, it is according to truth. In Romans 2:2, “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.” In other words God’s judgment is righteous, and the standard is truth.

Secondly, it is according to deeds, in Romans 2:6. “Who will render to every man according to his deeds.” There are potentially two groups of people in the judgment, and they are differentiated by their deeds. Group one, in verse 7, “To them who by patient continuance in well doing,” that is, they do good all the time without fail, perfectly. “Seek for glory and honour and immortality,” they do good for the right motives. They receive “eternal life.”

And group two in verses 8 and 9: “But unto them that are contentious,” their motives are not perfect. “And do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,” their deeds are not perfect. They will receive “indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish,” Rm2:7-9. That’s a sequence going from the heart of God to the heart of man. It starts off with God having “indignation” in his heart against unrighteous men. And then the indignation in his heart is expressed by his outward “wrath.” It will be received externally as “tribulation” by those condemned. And then will become “anguish” in the heart of those suffering that tribulation.

The previous section we looked at shows which group we fall into, because we saw before that we are “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness,” etc., Rm1:29. We all obviously fall into group two, those that obey unrighteousness and have earned the wrath of God.

Thirdly, we see that God’s judgment is according to law. -- Hi, Sal. We are on page two at the top. -- “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified,” Rm2:12-13.

So this is not good news. There is no group listed here that does not sin; and there is no group listed here that keeps the law. Some “have sinned without law,” the Gentiles; and some “have sinned in the law,” the Jewish people. Some will “perish without law,” the Gentiles; and some will perish because they will be “judged by the law,” the Jewish people. But all have sinned, and all will perish. That is God’s judgment. That is how we fare in God’s judgment.

Romans 2:17-3:20. The Law Says All Men Are Sinners

The next section shows that the law confirms this. The law says that all men are sinners. Romans 3:9, “We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” That means servants of sin, “under sin” the master.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one, ... none that understandeth, ... none that seeketh after God, ... all gone out of the way, ... together become unprofitable, ... none that doeth good, no, not one,” Rm3:10-12. And Paul here is quoting from Psalms 5, 10, 14, 36, 53, and 140.. “Their throat an open sepulcher, ... swift to shed blood, destruction and misery in their ways, ... the way of peace they have not known, ... no fear of God,” Rm3:13-18.

“Now we know that what things soever the law says, it says to them who are under the law,” that’s the Jewish people; the Gentiles never were given the law. “That every mouth,” of both Jew and Gentile, “may be stopped,” we won’t be able to claim to be righteous or to offer any excuse for not being righteous. “And all the world,” the Jewish people were chosen as a representative sample of humanity, to show how all of us would have fallen short, if we had been chosen to live under the law, “may become guilty before God,” Rm3:19. Everyone is guilty before God. No one has kept the law. God gave the law for the purpose of making men guilty, not for the purpose of making men righteous.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight,” Rm3:20. How many people will go to heaven by being good? None, “no flesh,” nada. The law is the best chance anyone has of being justified by works, because the law is the perfect revelation of what is right and wrong. But no one keeps it.

“For by the law is the knowledge of sin,” Rm3:20. That’s the best the law can do for you, to help you realize you’re a sinner. That’s why God gave the law. “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith,” Gal3:24. If the law makes you realize your sinfulness, and then you turn to Christ for salvation by faith, the law has accomplished its purpose in your life.

Romans 3:21-31. Justification By Faith

Now we are ready to look at the section on justification by faith. -- What was that you said? Oh, you’re amen-ing for the good part coming up. --

So far we have seen that men are under the wrath of God because of our ungodliness and unrighteousness. We are worthy of judgment, and the best the law can do for us, is to help us know we are sinners.

In verse 3:21, “But now ...” Now the good news, now the gospel. “The righteousness of God,” the righteousness from God that he provides to man, “without the law is manifested, being witnessed [to] by the law and the prophets.”

This righteousness is “without the law.” Contrary to Catholic doctrine, we don’t have to keep the Ten Commandments or be good to go to heaven. And if we think we have to be good to go to heaven then we can’t go to heaven, because that means we are an unbeliever, we don’t believe Christ’s death counts or is sufficient. If we think we have to be good to go to heaven, and we are not weeping in despair every moment, then we do not realize that we are not good; we are self-righteous, and have not received God’s righteousness. “There is none good, no, not one,” Rm3:12.

Jesus was asked by one man: “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him ... if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal ...” Mt19:16-26. In other words, Jesus is going through some of the Ten Commandments. And it is true that if you keep the law perfectly—as we saw in chapter two—“patient continuance in well doing” Rm2:27, then you will be justified by your works. But Jesus was trying to get this man to realize he was not going to be able to do that; he was trying to get him to see his need of salvation. And the end of the story is that the man, “went away sorrowful,” because he continued to believe he needed to earn eternal life, which is out of reach of every man.

So rather than teaching salvation by keeping the Ten Commandments, this passage from Matthew teaches the opposite. The only way we will ever be judged to be righteous is if we receive the righteousness God provides to us “without the law,” without the Ten Commandments, without any good deeds, or else it would be “the righteousness of man” rather than “the righteousness of God,” and you don’t find the righteousness of man in this book. You only find the unrighteousness of man.

So this righteousness of God is without law and it is by faith. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe,” Rm3:22

Justification does not require repentance, being baptized, being good, going to church, going to confession. If any of these things were required, this would be the place for Paul to tell us, because he is giving us a complete treatise on justification here in chapters one through four. But Paul says that the righteousness of God is given to all them that believe, including those that haven’t been baptized, including those that haven’t repented, including those that haven’t ever gone to confession or gone to church. Without doing any of those other things, God promises to “all them that believe,” that they will be justified. -- Voice: “Amen.”

In fact, if we do any of those other things for the purpose of justification, then we don’t have faith in Christ, because we don’t think what Christ did on the cross is sufficient to satisfy God’s justice.

Now there are some Scriptures scattered throughout the New Testament that seem to indicate that more than faith is required, when the context is not understood. For example, John the Baptist preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. (Mt3:2) And we saw that Jesus preached, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Mt4:17, when I was here several months ago.

But in the survey of Matthew, we saw that even though Jesus preached repent in the first part of his ministry, he stopped preaching repent in the second part, because that generation of the nation of Israel didn’t repent, and the kingdom was not at hand anymore. But some people today continue to preach repent based on the fact that Jesus preached repent, and don’t even realize that he stopped preaching repent. There may be valid reasons for preaching repent, but not because Jesus preached repent in the early part of his ministry, because he stopped.

So it is important to understand the context. That is all I am saying. And, like I said, this is a complete treatise on the subject of justification. If repentance or any other thing was necessary, Paul would be gravely negligent to omit to tell us what else we need to do here, because he says here that all we need to do is believe.

The book of John is entirely about how to have eternal life, and it says eternal life is by faith alone. The Greek word ‘pistos’ (pis-tos’), translated ‘faith,’ ‘believe,’ and ‘trust’ is used more times in John than any other book in the Bible, because the purpose of the book of John was that, “These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name,” Jn20:31. Not, “that being baptized you might have life,” or “that going to church you might have life,” or “that being good you might have life,” but “that believing you might have life through his name.”

The next paragraph tells us how God can justify us merely by our faith. He does it through redemption and propitiation. In Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” ... being condemned and punished. That is what we would expect, because God is a just God. But it says, “For all have sinned ... being justified,” Rm3:23. Now how can a just God do that?

Well, it is by his grace, “being justified freely by his grace,” Rm3:24. Grace means getting something good that you don’t deserve. And it is “freely,” unearned. But that still doesn’t explain it. What explains it is that even though it was free for us, it wasn’t free for God. It wasn’t free for Christ.

“Through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ,” Rm3:24. Redemption means that when a poor person sells himself into slavery, a rich relative pays the price to buy their freedom again. That is what Christ did for us. He paid the price that only he could pay. So the price was paid. Our justification is not free, but it’s free for us.

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,” Rm3:25. Propitiation is when somebody is angry with you, and then they are appeased and are not angry at you anymore. When we started this section on justification, we saw that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,” Rm1:18. Jesus bore that wrath in our place, and that is why God is not angry anymore at any person who believes, at any person who has “faith in his blood.”

But even though Christ died for all, we can choose to trust in our own righteousness, we can be judged for our own works, and we can suffer the wrath for ourselves at the judgment. But if we trust in Christ, his substitutionary death counts for us. He received our sins. “He [God the Father] hath made him [Yeshua] to be sin for us, [he] who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2Cor5:21. And we receive his righteousness. “Be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith,” Phil3:9. Or we can be self righteous, and see how it goes at the judgment.

One thing is more important than our justification. It is that God remain just. “To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God,” Rm3:25. When it is talking about his righteousness here, it is not talking about the righteousness which he gives to man. It is talking, this time, about his own righteousness. Is he a just judge or not? When he passed over David’s sin of adultery and murder, the “sins that are past,” before the death of Christ, how could he do that and still be just? It is because he looked forward in time to the death of Christ for David.

“That he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus,” Rm3:26. Now if God justified sinners, and that was the end of the story, then he wouldn’t be just, because the Bible says in Proverbs 17:15, “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.” God is able to justify the wicked -- that’s us -- without being unjust, because we receive the righteousness of Christ. And God was able to condemn the just -- that’s Jesus -- without being unjust, because Jesus willingly took our sins on himself. This way, and this way only, God can be just and justifier.

So God cannot just overlook or forgive sin. He can’t just say, “I forgive you,” because then he wouldn’t be a just judge. If we had a judge downtown that let guilty men go free, we would be putting a new judge in there, I hope. But Christ paid the price which satisfied justice, so God can justify the wicked “which believeth in Jesus,” and still be just.

Romans 4:1-25. The Law Says Justification Is By Faith

Ok, the next section shows that the Old Testament confirms the doctrine of justification by faith. First of all, it says that the righteousness that God provides is an ‘imputed’ righteousness. “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted [imputed] unto him for righteousness,” Rm4:2-3. In this passage, the same Greek word will be translated as ‘counted,’ ‘reckoned,’ and ‘imputed’.

Abraham was not in himself actually righteous. He had to be “counted” as being righteous while he was not righteous. This is another direct contradiction of the Catholic doctrine that men actually become righteous through baptism and confession and then must continue to be righteous to go to heaven.

And this righteousness of God is only available “to him that worketh not.” “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness,” Rm4:4-5. If you are trying to be good to go to heaven then you don’t have this righteousness that God provides because you are one of those “that worketh,” rather than one of those “that worketh not.”

When your employer pays you, it is not grace. It is debt, because he owes you what you have earned for your work. Even if he helps you do the work, he owes you wages, because you put in the hours. If he pays you when you don’t even show up for work, that’s grace.

There is a system comprised of works, judgments, and rewards. There is a system comprised of faith, grace, and gifts. You have to be in that faith, grace, and gifts system in order to be justified. If you are in that works, judgment, and rewards system, you won’t survive the judgment.

The next paragraph also talks about imputed righteousness without works. “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin,” Romans 4:6-8.

It is not, as the Catholics teach, that grace helps us do good works for our justification. It is that our works have been completely removed from the equation for our justification. It is “righteousness without works.” It is an imputed righteousness, not that we are actually righteous because of our works. Our works are actually bad. We actually sin grievously. But the good news! “Blessed is the [sinning] man to whom the Lord will not impute [his] sin.” Actually sinners, but not counted as sinners!

Now the only way to be justified, based on all of this, is to avoid being judged. If we are ever judged, we will perish. It is important to understand that even though God will judge “every man according to his deeds,” as we saw in Romans 2:6, not all will go through the judgment personally, since Christ already went through the judgment for those who believe on him.

Hebrews 9:27-28 says: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” Many believers, maybe some of us sitting here today, won’t die even once, because of the rapture, even though it is appointed unto man “once to die.” Why? Because Christ already died for us, and it counts for you if you have believed on him. And now even if we do die physically, the New Testament says we fall asleep, because we have already died through his death. And that is the same with the judgment. He already went through the judgment, so we won’t go through the judgment. There is no double jeopardy, even in our court system.

We see the actual judgment in Revelation 20 beginning in verse 5. “This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years,” Rev20:5-6. Notice there is no judgment for these who are raised in the first resurrection, because the judgment Christ already went through counts for them.

A thousand years later there is going to be another group resurrected, and they will be judged, and they will be condemned. There is no mention of anyone in this later resurrection being judged and being found to be good enough to go to heaven. The judgment is not to determine who will be justified and who will be condemned. It is to determine how much punishment each person in the judgment will be sentenced to. But everyone who is judged will be condemned.

In Revelation 20:7-15, “And when the thousand years are expired ... I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books [plural] were opened: and another book [singular] was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books [plural], according to their works.” No one is judged out of the book of life. All are judged by the books, plural, because they contain a list of “their works.”

“Death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” This is the judgment talked about in Romans 2. And none of these people survive the judgment. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life [everyone in this second resurrection] was cast into the lake of fire.”

The book of life is just there as a check, but there will be no one in this judgment whose name can be found in that book. God made eternal life available as a gift by simple faith to whosoever will, but the absence of these people’s names in the book of life shows they trusted in their own works, and thus must indeed now be judged by their works. The book of life has no columns in which to list any works, only the names of those who believe. If you want to rely on works, you will have to be judged out of those other books.

The next paragraph is about inheriting the promise. I won’t read all this, but basically that God took Abraham out, and showed him the stars, and said, “So shall thy seed be,” Rm4:18. He said, “You are going to have a lot of descendants,” even though Abraham was very old and had no child at the time.

And Abraham believed the Word of God, and so “it was counted unto him for righteousness,” Rm4:3. Abraham was justified the same way we are, by faith in God’s Word. The content was different, because Christ hadn’t come yet, but all men through all time have been justified by faith alone in God’s Word.

In the middle of this paragraph it says, “According to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be,” Rm4:18. That was the Word of God that Abraham believed. And the Word of God that we need to believe is that “he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life,” Jn3:36.

So Abraham “was strong in faith giving glory to God,” Rm4:20. It is not presumptuous to have faith. It gives God the glory due his name. If you have faith, you are saying that you believe he will keep his Word. He is not a liar. “And being fully persuaded ...” Rm4:21. Faith is always fully persuaded. “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness,” Rm4:22.

Now, the best part of this, beginning in Romans 4:23-25, is that this was written for us. “Now it was not written for his [Abraham’s] sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

So Paul didn’t put these doctrines here because they are theoretical or philosophical. Paul, in this last paragraph is concluding this section with an invitation. He wants you to act upon these doctrines and these words.

And so if there is somebody here today that hasn’t received the righteousness of God, hasn’t put that kind of faith in Jesus, then this is the time to do that. We are going to close our eyes and bow our heads for a minute. Tell him that you trust in his Son as your substitute who took your sin and suffered your punishment in your place on the cross, and that you accept the righteousness he offers you. He will give you his righteousness just for believing because the Word of God, in Romans 3:22 says, “The righteousness of God ... is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all ... them that believe.”

And if you are a Christian here, pray that anyone that doesn’t know the Lord here would understand this and put their faith in him. Father in heaven, we ask your grace that we would all understand this and we would all have faith in the sacrifice of your Son so that we might all have the righteousness you provided for us and eternal life. Amen.

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Romans 5-8: Sanctification and Glorification

Recorded June 29, 2008

Romans 5:1-2. The Three Tenses Of Our Salvation

Ok, good morning again. How are you doing? It must be the fifth Sunday, because I’m here. The last time I was here, we started a survey of Romans. We covered chapters 1 through 4. Today I would like to look at Romans chapter 5. Is this too loud? No?

Today I would like to look at Romans chapter 5, which is about the certainty of our complete salvation, including our future glorification and our present sanctification. This is a special topic to me, so I am really thankful that I can share it with you.

We are going to start by looking at the first two verses of Romans chapter 5 that present the three tenses of our salvation. The past tense of our salvation is justification. Paul covered that in Romans chapters 1 through 4. Chapter 5, verse 1, says, “Therefore being justified,” which is better translated “having been justified,” past tense, “by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

To be justified means that God, who is holy, and his wrath is against all unrighteousness, counts a man who is not just, as if he were just. And he does that because of our faith in what Jesus did for us as our substitute, taking our sin and providing us his righteousness.

And then “we have peace with God,” Rm5:1. “We,” who still commit acts of unrighteousness, “have peace with God,” the just holy judge, because God counts us as righteous, “through Christ our Lord,” Rm5:1. So that is justification, the past aspect of our salvation. And I hope that is a past aspect for each person in this room, that we have already been justified by having believed on Jesus Christ at one day in the past.

The present aspect of our salvation is sanctification, a big word. And Paul is going to cover that in more detail in Romans 6 - 8. Romans 5:2 says, “By whom also we have access,” it should be “have had access,” past tense, “by faith into this grace wherein we stand.” So when you believed on Jesus Christ for justification, something else happened, though you didn’t realize it at the time; you also entered into grace through Jesus Christ. And it is a one way door into grace. You can go in, but you can’t come out. Nobody ever leaves grace once they enter in, because “we stand” in grace. Nobody falls in grace. We don’t stumble in grace. It says, “wherein we stand,” Rm5:2. Not some of us, not just for a little while; but, “we stand.”

The future aspect of our salvation is glorification. Paul will cover that topic in more detail in chapters 8 - 11. The end of chapter 5, verse 2, says, “And rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

That word “hope” tells us that it is something about the future. It doesn’t mean “hope so”; like, “I hope it comes to pass,” “I’m not really sure.” It is a very certain thing that is going to happen in the future to all who have been justified. But the word “hope” is there because it is something future. If there is something certain that happened in the past, like Christ’s death on the cross; we can have faith in that, because it happened in the past. But if it is something sure that is going to happen in the future, that is a ‘hope.’

And the thing in the future that is certain that we are looking forward to is “the glory of God.” Now that doesn’t mean that God is glorious, though he is. It is talking about the glory that God is going to give to man. Just as the phrase, “the righteousness of God,” back in Romans 1:17 didn’t mean that God is righteous, though he is; but that he gives his righteousness to men, and that event is called justification. Likewise, we are not only going to see the glory of God, we are going to share in the glory of God: and that event is called glorification. Praise the Lord!

And we rejoice in that hope of glory because it is a sure thing. If it wasn’t a sure thing it would be presumptuous of us to rejoice in it. If we didn’t know it was going to happen, we should, out of humility, wait until we know for sure, before we rejoice in it. But since we already know it is going to happen, we rejoice in it now.

In fact, the Greek word translated “rejoice” in Romans 5:2, ‘kaukometha,’ not only means ‘to rejoice,’ but also ‘to boast’; we “boast in hope of the glory of God,” Rm5:2. And, again, it is not presumption that we are boasting in this hope because it is a sure thing, since it is God’s promise. Paul would be very derelict here to say we are boasting in it, if it was something that might not happen to us.

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Now here is a diagram of the three tenses of our salvation. On the left hand side you see justification. That is a past event, and it affects our spirits. On the right hand side you see glorification. That is a future event, and it affects our bodies. Our bodies didn’t change when we believed on Jesus Christ, except now they are older than they used to be. But in the future they will be changed; made incorruptible, immortal, and glorious. And then in the middle of the chart, you see sanctification. And that is not an event. It is a process. There is no second blessing that you can get as an event that is going to let you cruise through the Christian life without effort.

So Romans chapter 5 is an amplification of the main proposition of the book of Romans. I said the last time I was here that the main proposition of the book of Romans, according to 1:16-17, is that all who have been justified will be glorified, and all who have been justified are being sanctified, because of the way in which we were justified. So we will look at the certainty of our glorification in verses 3 - 10, and the certainty of our sanctification in verses 11 - 21.

Paul made that division clear within the chapter by starting both sections with the phrase, “And not only so, but we also rejoice in ....” Romans 5:3 says “And not only so, but we rejoice [KJV has ‘glory’] in tribulations also.” Then in verse 11, “And not only so, but we also rejoice [KJV has ‘joy’] in God.”

The Meaning of the Word ‘Glory’

Now before we start looking at the rest of the chapter, we have to do a little housekeeping; we have to consider the meaning of the word ‘glory,’ because not many people know what the word means today. If our hope that we are rejoicing in is the glory of God, sharing in the glory of God, well, what is glory? We should know what that is.

And this may be surprising. Sometimes glory means something like ‘honor,’ but most often it includes the concept of ‘brightness’. And people used to know that. That has just disappeared out of modern dictionaries, so we have to go back to Webster’s original dictionary to see the definition. In Webster’s original dictionary, the number one meaning for ‘glory’ was ‘brightness’. But, of course, what really matters is the Greek word, because that is the word that God wrote.

In Liddle and Scott’s Greek English Lexicon, (‘lexicon’ means ‘dictionary’), for the word ‘doksa,’ which is translated ‘glory,’ the third meaning is, “of external appearance, effulgence.” Ok, ‘effulgence’ doesn’t help us much. We don’t use that word too often. So we have to go back to Webster’s original dictionary, and effulgence means “a flood of light, great luster or brightness.”

Now is that the way the word is used in the New Testament? Let’s take a look. 2 Corinthians 3:7, “The children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory,” for the ‘brightness,’ “of his countenance,” of his ‘face’. So Moses went up on the mountain, and he was with the shekinah glory for a while. And there is another use of the word ‘glory’ for ‘brightness,’ the ‘shekinah glory’. And by his being with the shekinah glory, his face was glorified like our whole bodies will be someday. And when he came down from the mountain, he had to put a veil on his face because its brightness was hurting the eyes of the people.

Here is another passage. This is about Paul on his way to Damascus, when he saw the resurrected Lord. After Jesus was resurrected, 40 days later he ascended up to heaven and was glorified. So when Paul saw him on the way to Damascus, Yeshua was shining brightly. “About noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me .... And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth ... And when I could not see for the glory,” for the ‘brightness,’ “of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus,” Acts22:6-11. ‘Honor’ is not going to hurt anyone’s eyes, but a bright ‘glory,’ a bright light, can be blinding.

How does Jesus look today? When John saw him many years later in a vision in Revelation chapter 1, he was still shining, glorious. “His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace ... and his countenance,” his ‘face,’ “was as the sun shineth in his strength,” Rev1:15-16.

Now our bodies are going to be changed to be like his body in the future. That is called glorification. We are not going to receive a new body. The Bible never says we will receive a ‘new’ body. Our current bodies will be changed. Philippians 3:20, “We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body,” that is the body we have now, “that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,” his brightly shining body, “according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Now we only get one body. God can no more replace my body than he can replace my spirit. If he gave me a new spirit, it wouldn’t be me anymore, it would be somebody else. And if he replaces my body, it is not me anymore, it is somebody else, because both parts are me. My spirit is Wayne; my body is Wayne.

Also if God didn’t change our present bodies, and he just threw them away, and gave us new bodies, then that would mean Satan would have won a victory in that part of creation; a permanent victory, and God can’t allow that to happen. So he has to redeem our current bodies for his own name’s sake.

Also, if God replaced our bodies with new bodies instead of changing our present bodies, there would be no such thing as ‘resurrection’. The meaning of ‘resurrection’ is that you take something that dies, and you raise it back up. If you don’t raise up that same thing, if you replace it with something else, that is not ‘resurrection,’ it is ‘replacement’.

Jesus’ tomb was empty. When Peter and John went into the tomb, they didn’t see Jesus’ old body laying there in the tomb, and his new body walking around outside. The tomb was empty because it was his same body that rose up.

And whether you are dead for a few days, or whether you are dead for 500 years and your body turns to dust, God is able to take that same material and bring it back together, add water, if you will, and re-form it. Now the fingernails we trimmed over of our lifetimes; he is not going to gather those back. But if we lose an arm, something essential, he will gather that wherever it is, whatever form it is in, and restore it with the rest of our body.

Our glorified bodies will be immortal: that means they can’t die. Incorruptible: meaning they can’t sin and can’t decay. Spiritual: that means their life is going to be from God. When our bodies are glorified, they will be ‘spiritual,’ but not ‘spirit’. Physical things can be ‘spiritual,’ but they can’t be ‘spirit’. Jesus said in Luke 24:39 after the resurrection, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” So it is true that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,” according to 1 Corinthians 15:50, but “flesh and bones” shall inherit the kingdom of God, according to Luke 24:39.

Now this hope of glory that we are looking forward to, this is not just one of many hopes for us Christians. This is the hope. This is one third of our salvation, as it were: justification, sanctification, glorification. And that’s why it is so important for us to know about it. Titus 2:13 says, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious,” the ‘brightly shining,’ “appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in you, ‘the’ hope of glory,” of glorification.

Rm5:3-10. All Who Have Been Justified Will Be Glorified

Ok, now let’s look at how all who have been justified will be glorified, which is often called ‘eternal security’. Romans 5:3 says, “And not only so, but we glory ...” And this is a very unfortunate translation, because this is not the Greek word ‘doksa’ translated ‘glory’ in the previous verse. This is the word ‘kaukometha’ translated ‘rejoice’ in the previous verse. So let’s read it again. “And not only so, but we rejoice,” or ‘boast,’ ‘kaukometha,’ “in tribulations also,” Rm5:3. So first, we rejoice in hope of glory. Second, we rejoice in tribulations also.

Now why would somebody rejoice in tribulations and suffering? Is it logical to rejoice in suffering? Well, it is only logical if you ‘know’ something. It says here “knowing.” “Knowing that tribulation worketh,” or ‘produces,’ “patience,” Rm5:3. Patience means ‘endurance,’ ‘perseverance’. Suffering never produces falling or failure for anyone who has been justified. It always produces endurance. If there was any chance that we could fall and lose our salvation when we are tested by tribulation; then we could not rejoice in tribulation. We would rightly be afraid that we might fail the test and lose our salvation. But instead we rejoice in tribulation, and this is only possible because we know we are guaranteed to pass the test.

We know that no matter how hard things get, we are not going to stop believing on the Lord; and so during the easier times, of course, we are not going to stop believing either. If there is anything that could stop us from reaching our goal of glorification, it is tribulation. Tribulation will never stop a believer from believing, though it often stops false brethren from continuing to claim to be believers.

Tribulation melted away the crowds that had supposedly accepted Jesus with joy, like the sun withers plants that have no depth of soil. “He has no root in himself, but endures only for a while, for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles,” Mt13:5-6, 20-21. But tribulation, the worst thing, can’t prevent our glorification, and thus neither can anything else prevent our glorification. And that in itself is worth rejoicing in!

But Paul goes on. “And patience, experience.” Experience means ‘proof’ or ‘passing the test’. “And experience, hope,” Rm5:5. Because if you pass the test, now you have more reward waiting for you in eternity. You have more glory to hope for, to look forward to, and to rejoice in.

So we rejoice in hope of glory, and we logically rejoice in sufferings too, because they result in more glory for us to look forward to. This is brought out in 2 Corinthians 4:17. “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Now our affliction is not light. It is often very heavy. But compared to the weight of glory that we get in exchange for it, it is light. And our affliction is not momentary. Sometimes it lasts very long. But compared to the eternity of glory that we receive for it, it is just a moment.

And we don’t all receive the same amount of glory in eternity. We won’t all shine with the same amount of brightness. 1 Corinthians 15:41 says, “There is one glory,” or ‘brightness,’ “of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory,” in ‘brightness’. So after we are all glorified, as soon as you see somebody, you will know immediately how much they have suffered, how faithful they have been, how hard they have labored, how much they shared the gospel, just by how brightly they are shining throughout eternity. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some subtle color variations to help indicate which kinds of works they received the differing amounts of glory for, even as the stars have different colors of light.

And we persevere through sufferings without fail. Romans 5:5 says, “And hope maketh not ashamed.” That means we ‘rejoiced’ and ‘boasted’ that we are going to be glorified, and when the time comes for us to be glorified, we are not going to find ourselves in the lake of fire instead. We are not going to be embarrassed or disappointed. Our glorification will come to pass.

Now how is it that we persevere through sufferings without fail? “Hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us,” Rm5:5. The word “because” there shows that Paul is telling us the reason we are sure to persevere. We are sure to persevere, we have eternal security, because after we are justified, the love of God is free to be poured out without measure, without limit, in a new way in our lives. Now the first thing God does at the very moment we believe is to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell us. And the Holy Spirit causes us to persevere, and to reach glorification.

Let’s look at God’s love to sinners in Romans 5:6-8. I’m going to paraphrase this. “Not many people will die for somebody else, but if they do, they are not going to die for a really bad person like Hitler. But God, who is even more offended by sin than we are, died in the person of his Son, for really bad people like us.”

Let me read verse 8. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Now that is a really amazing display of the love of God. But that has a limit in it in this verse, because there are certain things that God can’t do for people who are not justified. He can’t give glorification to people who are not justified.

And he can’t guarantee the justification of all people even though Christ died for all people; some will not believe and accept. And the problem is a legal one. It is because of this word “sinners,” in Rm5:8. Sin is a legal obstacle that limits what the love of a holy God can do for men. The only thing God can do for sinners, although it is one of the greatest things and is even beyond our ability to fully comprehend it, is for his Son to die for sinners, “while ... sinners, Christ died for us.”.

But now let’s look at God’s love to the justified in Romans 5:9. “Much more then,” and it is a “much more” comparison, “much more then, being now justified by his blood.” Now that our sins have been taken out of the way, God’s love is free to be poured out to us, to give us his Holy Spirit, and to bring all who have been justified to glorification. It says, “We shall be saved from wrath through him.” Notice the future tense of the verb, “shall be saved.”

The future tense of our salvation is glorification. It means that in the future we will be glorified instead of suffering the wrath of God in the judgment and in the lake of fire. And not only that, but it is all of us that will be glorified. It says, “we shall be saved,” not some of us shall be saved. And it is certain. It says, “we shall be saved through him,” not we might be saved through him.

So God provided a way of salvation for us before we were justified; Christ died for us. But now “much more,” after we have been justified, God doesn’t merely provide glorification for us, he ensures glorification for us. He guarantees our glorification, because in his love he wants to do that, but more importantly because he is free to do that, because now there is no legal obstacle of sin and righteous condemnation to limit his love, and to limit what he can do for us. We see also in verse 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.” Future tense again. We shall be saved. We shall be glorified. We have eternal security.

Rm5:11-21. All Who Have Been Justified Are Being Sanctified

So we’ve considered the certainty of our future glorification, now let’s consider the certainty of our present sanctification. Paul says in 5:11, “And not only so, but we also joy,” that’s the word ‘rejoice’ or ‘boast,’ ‘kaukometha’ again, “in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” We now rejoice in God because we have been brought into a new relationship with God. Rather than fear, we now have joy and cry, “Abba, Father.” And this new relationship has vast effects upon us, because the way God accomplished the atonement was to put us into Christ. Therefore, all who have been justified, are being sanctified, because of the way in which we were justified; and that is worth rejoicing in!

In other words, we boast in God that he is going to bring us to glory, glorification. We don’t boast in ourselves that we are going to be able to do that, because it is God’s work in us. And we boast in our new relationship with God, and the certainty of the effect it has on us. It’s not that we are inherently different or better than any other Christian. Christians are not divided into different groups, like carnal Christians and spiritual Christians. We boast because it is God’s work in us, in all of us who have been justified, and God has ensured both our future glorification, and just as certainly, our present sanctification, by uniting us with Jesus Christ, “through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement,” Rm5:11. He united us with Christ at the atonement.

Paul talks about our union with Adam in 5:12-14. And I’ll paraphrase this. “You can ‘sin’ without law, but you can’t ‘transgress’ without law; you can’t break a law if there’s no law to break. But all people suffered death, which is the penalty for transgressing, from Adam to Moses, (except for Enoch whom God delivered), even though they didn’t have a law to transgress. So it must have been that they transgressed when Adam transgressed, and that Adam’s sin was imputed unto them.” Adam’s sin is imputed unto us because we were in him and one with him at the time he sinned.

Now we may not particularly like that doctrine, but at the end of the paragraph in verse 14, Paul says, “who is the figure of him that was to come.” Adam is a figure of Jesus. And how can one man die for the sins of another? Well, our sins were imputed unto Christ, like Adam’s sins were imputed unto us. So the two go together. You can’t say, “I like the concept that my sins could be imputed to Christ, so that I could be saved; but I don’t think it’s possible that Adam’s sin was imputed to me.”

There are some differences, though. In Romans 5:15, Paul says, “But not as ....” So there is a difference here; “but not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more,” that’s the difference, “much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded,” that’s the difference, “unto many.” If the effect of Adam’s sin was so certain that it resulted, with all certainty, in death for all of Adam’s race; then it is much more certain that our union with Christ, and the grace of God we entered into thereby, will effectively work in every Christian. And God does not merely restore to us what we lost in Adam. He goes way beyond that in what he gives us in Jesus Christ.

In verse 16. “And not as it was,” we are talking about another difference, “by one that sinned,” that’s the difference, one sinned, “so is the gift: for the judgment was by one,” one man, Adam, and his one offence, “to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences,” the many offenses of many people, “unto justification.” Justification had to cover not only the one sin of Adam that passed on to us and was so powerful in its effects; but it also had to cover, in addition to that one sin of Adam, all the sins of all people of all time.

So the gift and grace received by the atonement is vastly more powerful than the one sin of Adam, and Adam’s sin was powerful enough to affect us all without fail, so how can we ever say that it is possible that the grace of God may not affect us? How could we claim that there could be even one Christian who has the ability to walk like the unsaved? Of course there are many people that merely claim to be Christians, and even attend church, that are not truly Christians, that never believed, or were justified, or received the gift by grace.

Let’s go on to 5:18. “Therefore as by the offence of one,” that’s Adam’s action, “judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness,” that should be translated ‘righteous act,’ “of one,” of Christ, “the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” “All men” there means ‘all men who are in that person’. All who were in Adam, which is the whole human race, suffered condemnation. All who are in Christ, all who have been justified, receive justification of life.

Not merely justification, but also life. We have been born of God, we are regenerate, we have new life. How can anyone think Christians have the ability to walk in unrighteousness when we have God’s nature within us? If we have truly been justified, and not just claim to be a Christian, then we cannot help but live according to our new nature, not perfectly, but certainly differently than living without God within us.

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God,” 1Jn3:9. This doesn’t mean that we cannot commit individual acts of sin, any more than our having been in Adam and having had his fallen nature meant that we could never do any acts of righteousness; but it is not possible for we who have God’s nature because of our new birth, to continue in a lifestyle of sin; and when we do commit sin, it is grievous to us.

Now even though the second half of this chapter is primarily about the certainty of sanctification, we also see the certainty of our glorification in the way we received the atonement through Jesus Christ. Verse 18 talks about actions that others did that set the bounds of our freedom of choice. Adam’s act of transgression resulted in condemnation, which only Jesus could provide a way out of by his act of righteousness. We don’t have completely free choice in this world, because we can’t just choose anything we want. Our choices are limited to what is provided to us to choose from. If Jesus had not died for our sins to provide a way of justification by faith, we could have had faith all day, and nothing would have come of it.

Likewise, for us to become unjustified, we can’t just decide, “Ok, I’ll become unjustified now.” We don’t have that option. Christ would have to, and this is unthinkable, commit sin, so that we could become sinners again. Or a third party stronger than Christ, as Christ was stronger than Adam, would have to come, and make a way for us to have the option to become one with him and become ‘unjustified,’ but of course no one is stronger than Christ.

So we don’t have the option to go in and out of Christ at will. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul calls Christ, not ‘the second Adam,’ but “the last Adam”. There are only going to be two Adams, two representatives of the human race: Adam and Christ, and once you are in Christ, God provides no way for you to leave Christ.

Now let’s look at grace in Romans 5:20. “Moreover the law entered,” and the Greek is ‘entered alongside,’ “that the offence might abound,” and the word should be just ‘increase,’ not ‘abound’. Having the law means men not only sin, but they also transgress, or commit “offence,” which is even more sinful. Also, when the law says not to do something, the result is that evil men want to do it more, and they do it more.

“But where sin abounded,” ‘increased’ in the Greek, “grace did much more abound,” and there the word really is ‘abound,’ except it has a prefix ‘super’ in front of it, ‘super-abound,’ and then it has “much more” in front of that. So Paul is exhausting the limits of language to try to show us the abounding nature of grace, that it ‘much more super-abounds’ over any amount of sin, so that God can guarantee our sanctification (and glorification too).

Verse 21, “That as sin hath reigned unto death ...” Sin reigns over all who have not been justified. And that is why we see the world as it is. And what it means for sin to reign is that, at any moment in time, a person can resist and not sin. But because sin is their master, because sin ‘reigns’ over them and has persistent influence over them, their general way of life will be one of sin, for every person to different degrees.

And then Paul says, “Even so might grace reign,” Rm5:21. Grace reigns after we have been justified. Not merely just as powerfully, but even more powerfully, than the reign of sin. And so what it means for grace to reign, is that at any moment in time, we can resist the reign of grace in our lives, but because of the persistent influence of grace upon us, our lives will be characterized by righteousness, and by everything that God’s grace wants to accomplish in our lives.

So there is such a thing as irresistible grace, but it is not for those who are unjustified, because they haven’t yet had their entrance into grace. It is when we believe on Jesus Christ that we have entrance “into this grace wherein we stand,” Rm5:2. And also, that is when grace begins to reign. And by its powerful reign over us, it is causing us to, without fail, walk in righteousness while it takes us to glorification. That grace might, “reign through righteousness,” that’s sanctification, “unto eternal life,” that’s glorification, Rm5:21.

And people like to say that eternal life is a kind of life, but it is also a length of life. If you have life for only one year, you never had ‘eternal’ life, you had some kind of temporary life. If you have eternal life now, you have it a million years from now. And so we have all these things, grace, righteousness, and eternal life, “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rm5:21, through Christ’s work of the atonement which resulted in our union with Christ.

And Romans 6:1 confirms our interpretation of Romans 5 because it says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” Now if Paul had taught that if you are not good you can lose your salvation, then nobody would say, “Oh, I’ll just go out and sin all I want then.” But since he taught eternal security, that no matter what you do, you are going to be glorified, then people raise the objection, “If you teach eternal security, people are just going to go out and sin.”

And if our teaching doesn’t expose us to this charge, then we are not teaching eternal security and grace. Of course, anyone that makes that charge doesn’t understand the power of the reign of grace over us, like the reign of sin was before we were justified, only immeasurably stronger, and so Paul will expound in more detail on how our union with Christ ensures the certainty of our sanctification in chapters 6 and 7.

What Do You Give A Person Who Has Everything?

Ok, what do you give a person who has everything? We are going to have everything in eternity. How about a gemstone with a secret name written in it like Revelation 2:17 talks about? Or how about a crown that only those who love his appearing can wear, like in 2 Timothy 4:7-8?

Or how about different degrees of brightness? Daniel 12:2-3 says, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life [those who have been justified], and some to shame and everlasting contempt [those who have not been justified], and they that be wise [those who have been justified and labor to different degrees] shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness [those who have been justified and share the gospel to different degrees], as the stars for ever and ever.”

Some when they are glorified won’t shine quite so brightly - forever and ever. And we are not in competition with each other, but we should invest in our future. Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

And if you don’t know the Lord today, thankfully your future judgment is not certain, it is not guaranteed. You can change your destiny today, unlike those of us who have believed. We are destined for glory, and there is nothing we can do to change that, thankfully.

But you can believe on the Lord today. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life,” Jn3:16. So in your heart now, tell him you trust in what he did for you. Trust his Word that, if you believe, you will have everlasting life.

Father, we ask that if there is someone here that doesn’t know you, that they will trust in you, and receive everlasting life, and that each of us would live in such a way that we would have more glory for eternity through your grace. Amen.

Romans 6:1-13. Sanctification - A New Life

Recorded August 31, 2008

It is good to see you all this morning. This is my fifth time meeting with you folks. Today we are continuing our study of Romans, and we are in chapters 6 and 7. Everybody can hear me ok? Our topic today is the doctrine of sanctification. And we will get started.

Chapter 6, Verse 1. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” This question comes up because Paul had taught eternal security in chapter 5. Now nobody raises this question if you teach you can lose your salvation. They don’t say, “Well, if you can lose your salvation, that would mean we could just go out and sin and live however we want.” But because Paul taught eternal security in chapter 5, that you are not going to lose your salvation even if you sin, then they say, “Well, that would mean we could just go out and sin.”

Paul’s answer is in verse 2. “God forbid.” More literally, “May it never be,” NASV. And Paul often uses this kind of answer when he answers objections about things that are not merely inappropriate, but impossible. In Romans 3:5-6 he says, “Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? ... God forbid.” In Romans 9:14 he says, “Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” It is not merely inappropriate for God to be unrighteous. It is impossible for God to be unrighteous. And it is not merely inappropriate for us to continue in sin. It is impossible for us to continue in sin.

In the rest of verse 2 he tells us why. “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” He doesn’t mean that we have a moral obligation not to live in sin and that it would be really ungrateful and rude of us to do so. He means “How?” How would that work? By what conceivable way could that be possible?

So first he is making a statement. We are dead to sin. Then he is saying it is logically impossible to be at the same time both dead to something and alive to something. You can’t be dead to something and be alive to it. It is a logical impossibility.

Now there are several places in the New Testament where we are given a list of sins that is impossible for a Christian to continue in. One example is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” Now we tend to think that the unrighteous might just be ‘backslidden’ or ‘not walking with the Lord’ right now. But Paul says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous” aren’t Christians. They aren’t going to heaven. They won’t “inherit the kingdom of God.”

It is stated like that because after the tribulation we return to earth to the Messianic Kingdom. It’s popular for us today to say something like, “Unless you’re born again, you can’t go to heaven,” but it’s more Biblical to say something like, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” Jn3:3, the future Messianic Kingdom.

So Paul is saying those whose lives are characterized by those kinds of unrighteous deeds are not even believers. He says, “Be not deceived.” We tend to be easily deceived in this area. He says, “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” that’s homosexuals, “nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you.” He cannot say “And such ‘are’ some of you,” because it’s impossible for a Christian to be one of those things. But “such ‘were’ some of you” (though not ‘all’ of you), before you accepted the Lord.

Here’s another list. Galatians 5:19, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past,” over and over and over again, “that they which do such things” are ‘poor Christians’? No. They are not Christians. That they “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

And Ephesians 5:5. “For this ye know,” I hope you know by now. I hope you know. “That no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words.” Even if they make a profession of faith, even if they come to church, even if they go to our social events, don’t be fooled. “For because of these things cometh the wrath of God,” and we are not under the wrath of God, “upon the children of disobedience,” but we are children of God and our lives are characterized by obedience.

Also, in Revelation 21:8. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now a Christian, in a time of weakness, and selfishness, and lust, can fall into one of these things, like David did. He committed adultery with Bathsheba. He murdered her husband. But his life was not characterized by those kinds of things. And the reason we can’t continue in these kinds of things is because the Holy Spirit makes us feel guilty when we sin. And we repent, and it might happen again, but we feel terrible and we repent. So we just can’t continue in those kinds of things like the world does.

Back to our text. Romans 6:3. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” In other words, he is giving us the timing; he is telling us ‘when’ we died to sin. He had said in verse 2, “You can’t continue in sin. It’s impossible because you are dead to sin.” Well, when did we die to sin? And the answer is that we died to sin when we were baptized into Jesus Christ.

Now this is not talking about water baptism, because there are a lot of believers who were never water baptized, and we saw in Romans chapter 3 that it is not essential for justification to be water baptized. And there are also a lot of people who are water baptized who aren’t believers, who don’t know the Lord.

So what this is talking about is Spirit baptism into the body of Christ, into the Church. 1 Corinthians 12:13, “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.” So this is not something that just ‘ought’ to happen. This is something that happened to all of us, or else we are not in the body of Christ. We are not justified.

It says here that we were baptized into Christ’s death. So this baptism into Christ happens at a certain point in Christ’s experience, and it happens at a certain point in our experience. In Christ’s experience it was at the point of his death, not at the point of his birth, or something like that, but at the point of his death. And for us the point is when we were justified. At the time we believed, we were baptized into Christ.

Now since we were baptized into him at the point of his death, then everything that happens to Christ after his death happens to us. The next thing that happened to Christ after his death was his burial. So verse 4 says, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death.” All these subsequent things happen “by,” by means of, our having been baptized into his death.

And so next we are raised with Christ by our baptism into his death. It says, “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” The word “that” indicates purpose; ‘so that,’ ‘in order that,’ as Christ was raised up we also would walk in newness of life.

The purpose that God had in our salvation was not primarily the forgiveness of our sins. The purpose in God putting us into Christ at the point of his death, was not primarily so that we would share in his death and our sins would be forgiven. The purpose was that, by being put into him at the point of death, we would then be raised with him and walk in newness of life. That was God’s purpose in this whole process.

And I know that God’s purposes always come to pass. If justifying us by putting us into Christ at the point of his death could fail to accomplish God’s purpose that each of us walk in newness of life, then he would have used another method to accomplish our justification. But putting us into Christ at the time of our justification does, without fail, accomplish God’s purpose of a new walk for all who have been justified.

That word “should,” when it says, “even so we also ‘should’ walk in newness of life,” don’t be confused by that and think it means we merely ‘ought’ to walk in newness of life. The Wycliffe New Testament says, “So walk we in newness of life.” It leaves out the word “should,” because it is confusing. Corey Keating, of NtGreek.org, says, “If the subjunctive mood,” like for the word “should,” “is used in a purpose or a result clause,” which it is because we saw the word “that” indicates purpose, “then the action should not be thought of as a possible result, but should be viewed as the stated outcome that will happen.”

So what we need to understand is that all these verses in this section use words like “should” to indicate future tense, but that is just because resurrection is future to burial and death. They are just logical clauses. One thing follows another. But in these kinds of clauses, “should” doesn’t mean “ought to,” it means it is going to happen, it follows logically from what went before, and that is what we want to understand here.

Verse 6, “Knowing this, that our old man is,” and it should be past tense, “was,” “crucified with him.” Now what does that phrase “old man” mean? It doesn’t mean “sin nature.” That is a made up term. We don’t have two parts to our spirit, you know, one part the old nature and one part the new nature. And we don’t have two spirits in us, one old nature and one new nature.

“Old man” means the man we were before we became the “new man.” The person we were before we were put into Christ and that was put into Christ at the moment of his death, that is the ‘old man.’ And when Christ was raised up from the dead, and we were raised up with him, that is the ‘new man,’ in terms of his experience. In our experience, the person we were before we were justified, that is the ‘old man’. The person we are now after our justification, that is the ‘new man’.

Justification makes such a big difference in a person’s life that you have to talk about it as the ‘old man’ and the ‘new man.’ 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

All right. Let’s move on to the second part of verse 6, “that the body of sin might be destroyed,” or, as Darby says, “annulled.” The word “body” there means “body.” Our bodies are sinful, and they have been like that ever since Adam sinned and his body began to die and became prone to sin.

And our bodies are not going to be destroyed. They are going to be changed into the glory of God at the time of our glorification in the future, but right now the effects of our bodies, even though they are sinful, have been annulled, which means ‘made of none effect’. So even though we still have the same bodies, and they haven’t been changed since our justification, except that they are older; their effect has been made of none effect, their influence is negated, “... that henceforth we should not serve sin,” as we see in the last part of verse 6.

And, again, it is confusing. That word “should” is not in the Greek. Young’s Literal Translation says, “For our no longer serving sin.” It doesn’t mention the word “should” because this is something that is actually happening to us right now. We are no longer serving sin, because the effect of our sinful bodies have been annulled, because we have been justified.

Also, I want to mention that the underlined words in the outline indicate servitude, like the word “serve” that I underlined in your handout, because it is a main theme that you have to understand to understand these two chapters, chapters 6 and 7. It is talking about servitude, and how we have had a change of masters. We have had a change of kings. We have had a change of husbands.

And then in verse 7, “For he that is dead is freed from sin.” We have been liberated. We have been emancipated because of what Christ did on the cross. He paid the full price so that we are legally released as slaves of sin and are made servants of God.

In Romans 3:9 Paul says, “We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin,” under the authority of sin, slaves to sin. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law,” under the authority of the law, slaves to the law. That’s referring to our Jewish believing brethren, because Gentiles were never under the law. Romans 5:14, “Death reigned from Adam to Moses.” So not only were we under sin; we were under death, too. It had power over us, and nobody could escape its reign. And Romans 5:21, “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign .... unto eternal life.” So now we are under the reign of grace.

Let’s look at verse 8. “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” The word “believe” does not indicate any doubt here; and the word “shall” does not mean we have to wait until the resurrection of our bodies to “live with him.” The verse indicates that if one is true, the other necessarily follows. Christ is already alive, and as certainly as we died with him, just as certainly, we are living his life now.

You can’t say someone has been justified, but they are not walking a sanctified walk or living a Christ-like life. If you died with him, you are also living with him. Sharing in his death justified you without fail, and so sharing in his life is also sanctifying you without fail.

Verse 9. “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” Lazarus lived under the dominion of death, and got sick, and died. And Jesus came along and raised him up. But when he raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus was put right back under the dominion of death again, and so some time later Lazarus died again. But Jesus, though he was under the domain of death for a time when he took our sins on the cross, when he was raised up from the dead, he wasn’t put back under the domain of death again, and he is never going to die again.

And not only did he take us with him and deliver us from the domain of death, but he also took us with him and delivered us from the domain and the rule of sin. In verses 10 and 11, Paul says, “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

This is the first commandment in the book of Romans, and it is not a commandment to ‘do’ anything; just to realize something: that we died to sin, and that we are alive to God. In what way did we die to sin? We died to the reign and the rule of sin, the servitude to sin. In what way are we alive to God? God is now our new master. Now we are servants of God instead of servants to sin. So we have a new master-servant relationship.

Now let’s look at the way this new master-servant relationship works. First, before we were justified, while we were under sin; sin, as our ruler, as our master, had a strong influence, and a persistent influence, in our lives. At any moment in time we could choose not to sin. But because sin had a strong and persistent influence on us; therefore, in general, the life of every single person who has not been justified, their general way of life is sin. Even if they successfully resist sin sometimes, their general way of life is one of sin. Some sin to a greater degree, some to a lesser degree, but all are characterized by a life of sin.

Now we are under the reign of God. We are servants to God. How does that work? Well, the Holy Spirit exerts a strong and persistent influence on our lives. And at any point in time we have free will to decide, no, we are not going to do righteousness. But because the Holy Spirit continues to have that strong and persistent influence on us, the general characteristic of every believer’s life is one of righteousness - not all to the same degree, but all characterized by righteousness; in the same way that the life of every unbeliever is characterized by sin to different degrees.

Matthew 13:23, “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it.” There were four groups in this parable in Matthew, and this is the first group that ‘understood’ the Word, so this is the first group that was justified. And it continues, “which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

So everyone who is justified bears fruit. The minimum is thirtyfold, but some do much better than that. They go sixtyfold, and a hundredfold. We don’t want to be satisfied with just the minimum that is guaranteed. We don’t want to just have a righteous walk; we want every step of the way to be in righteousness, and we want the fullness and completeness that we can have in Jesus Christ.

Now this is God’s work, and so he gets the glory. Because, even if we wanted to, we couldn’t stop from having that thirtyfold fruit. But we want completeness in Jesus Christ, so that we can have eternal reward, and so that his name can be glorified even more. Ephesians 4:13. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [that means complete] man unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” So that’s our goal, but every justified person is guaranteed, if you will, a walk of righteousness.

Romans 6:12. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Now we have just been saying that sin doesn’t reign over us, that it is impossible for sin to reign over us, and that is true, ‘over us’. Sin can reign ‘in our mortal body’ even though it can’t reign ‘over us’. If a person resists the Holy Spirit, and grits his teeth, and just continues on, and doesn’t repent; sin can reign in his mortal body for a period of time, for a little while, and then the Lord will take that believer home by means of physical death; because he won’t be allowed to continue in sin.

1 Corinthians 5:4-5, 10. “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh,” that is the death of the body, “that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus,” that means you don’t lose your salvation over it, “... I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”

So the apostle says that if somebody called a brother, somebody who assembles with believers and is thought to be a believer, tries to walk in one of these things, he will feel terrible and normally he will stop it. But, even though he feels terrible, if he forces himself to continue on in it, the Lord will take him home. But we can speed up the process by exercising church discipline and shunning this person, not eating with him, not companying with him. He might be made to realize the seriousness of his sin, and he might repent sooner. But if he doesn’t, the Lord will take him home sooner.

1 John 5:16 says, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” So if you see a brother continuing in any of these things, go ahead and pray that he will stop doing those things. But don’t pray for his health. Don’t pray that God will protect his life, because then you will be praying against the will of God, who wants to take him home by means of physical death.

Ok, verse 13. “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Now the word “yield” there means to present yourselves for service, as if you are standing before a king, and as soon as he gives the word you go out and do what he says.

And when we were under sin, and we presented ourselves as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, we didn’t just say, “I surrender to you. I am willing to do what you want. I am willing to be willing.” We went out and we sinned. And what this word “yield” means here in this verse, is that when you yield yourselves unto God you don’t just say, “I am willing to do your will. I surrender to your will.” You go out and you do it. This is talking about action.

Philippians 2:12-13 says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Colossians 1:29 says, “I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” Ephesians 6:13, “Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” 2 Timothy 2:1, 3, 15, “Be strong ... endure hardness, as a good soldier ... a workman.”

Now it is good to pray when you are under temptation. Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we have ... an high priest ... in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” And Jesus quoted Scripture to the devil, when he was tempted. But we can quote Scripture to ourselves to help us so that we can resist the devil.

There are some sins that you ought to resist. James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” But there are other sins you are not to resist. There are some sins you are not supposed to stand up against. You are supposed to run. 2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts.” 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee fornication.” Like Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife. You may need to change your work schedule, or your job or something, so that you are not even in that situation.

But what we shouldn’t do is just sit back and say, “I’m willing,” and just ‘let go and let God’; because people that try to ‘let go and let God’ have a false hope of a more righteous walk. And those are the people that are going to have the thirtyfold, instead of the sixtyfold, or the hundredfold, because he tells us to go out and work.

There is no second event that you can have between your justification and your glorification, that will let you cruise through the Christian life, and cruise through your sanctification process, without effort, and without suffering, and without striving, and without work, and without labor.

Now, knowing that our walk in righteousness is guaranteed helps us in two ways. First of all, if you know that you can’t continue in sin, you are not going to be planning for it. You are not going to be investing time or money in it, because you know you are not going to be able to continue in it. There is no sense in starting up this lifestyle, or starting to go down that road, when you know it is all going to be thrown away every time you start it. You are going to feel guilty, and you are going to leave it and come back, or the Lord is going to take you home. So knowing that our walk in righteousness is guaranteed helps us not even start down those wrong roads.

And, secondly, it helps us because if we know we have the war won, we have more confidence to fight the battles. And since we know that the walk is guaranteed, we have more confidence to make each step one of righteousness.

Now, what we are talking about here in Romans 6, is not actually ‘sanctification’. We are talking about the ‘doctrine of sanctification’. But if you want to see what real ‘sanctification’ is you turn over to chapter 12. Chapters 12 through 16 is where, not the ‘doctrine of sanctification’ occurs, but ‘sanctification’ occurs, because ‘sanctification’ means doing the will of God, serving, working, laboring, and doing what it says, in chapters 12 through 16.

Romans 6:13-18. Sanctification - A New Master

All right, let’s look at verses 14 through 18 as a group to save time. Paul is talking about not being under the law, and he says people think, “Ok, if you are not under the law, if there is no threat of punishment, then people would just go out and sin. They will live however they want.”

But Paul says in verse 16, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Now at first glance, it looks like that verse is saying I can just, every five minutes, go and choose who I am going to serve. If I decide to serve this guy, I am his servant for a while; and if I decide to serve that guy, I become his servant a while.

But that is not what it is saying. It is saying that if you look at who a person is serving you can tell who their master is. Most of the time, we obey our employer, even though at any particular moment we may disobey. An apple tree does not become an apple tree because it bears apples; you can tell that it’s an apple tree because it bears apples, and it bears apples because it’s an apple tree. Even the law, with its threat of punishment, cannot control servants of sin, but servants of righteousness do righteousness even when you take the law and its threat of punishment away.

Now there are different kinds of servitude. In the Bible and in this country we have had bond service, indentured servants, and apprenticeship. Now we have what we call ‘employer-employee’ relationships, which covers up the servitude aspect nicely so we don’t realize we are just servants, but we are. And even in our society, to change your employer is a significant event. You can’t just run over and serve another man and thereby become his servant. You go through a process, and become another man’s servant first, and then you serve him, because you’re under his authority, and it changes your life, it changes what you do all day.

So he says here in verses 17 and 18, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” So when we believed the gospel, our change of masters took place.

And to ‘obey the gospel’ means to have faith and be justified. Because Romans 10:16-17 says, “They have not all obeyed the gospel.” Now we don’t do works to be saved. We have faith in the gospel and that saves us. But since God revealed the gospel to the world it is not obedience to reject it. We need to have faith in it; and, continuing on with that passage in Romans 10, in verse 17, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

So this is the only totally free choice you ever have in life. Before your justification, you always had the power of sin, your master, influencing you and getting you to sin as your general way of life. And after your justification, you always have the Holy Spirit, who is never going to let you go, influencing you and causing you to walk in righteousness. But for that period of time, while you are a servant of sin, and you haven’t yet been regenerated, and you haven’t yet entered into grace (because that happens at justification); you hear the gospel, and the supernatural power of the gospel gives you the ability to make a true choice as to whether or not to believe, and that is the only totally free choice we have in life.

Let’s look at the next paragraph quickly, in verses 19 through 23. Here Paul is still showing that being under grace results in a more righteous walk than being under the law, because when you are a servant of sin, you do works of unlawfulness. “Ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity,” which is more literally translated ‘lawlessness unto lawlessness’. He says, “Even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” That word “holiness” is the from same Greek word which is translated “saints” in other places, and it is where we get the word ‘sanctification’ from, which is our topic today. Holiness is the goal of the law, but it is not accomplished in us by the law.

And what Paul is encouraging us to do here, when he says,” “yield your members servants to righteousness,” is to make every step one of righteousness. He says, “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?” There is shame in those things. And he said, “The end of those things is death, but now we have fruit unto God and holiness.” So he is motivating us to avoid wasting time in empty and hurtful things, and to make every step one of righteousness.

And notice the words “those things.” Sin results in death, “the end of those things is death.” “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” He doesn’t say “the end of ‘those things’ is everlasting life” because although sin results in death, holiness and good works do not result in everlasting life.

Now the two things go together on both sides. Sin and death always go together because one causes the other. And holiness and everlasting life always go together, but not because one causes the other. Holiness (sanctification) and everlasting life (glorification) always go together without fail because both come from the same source: justification.

Now the Catholic Church teaches that, first of all, you are justified because of baptism. And we saw in Romans chapter 3, that baptism isn’t the way of justification. And they teach that at that point your sins are forgiven, but that after that point then you are rewarded eternal life for the righteous acts that you do, with the help of God’s grace. And if you do something really unrighteous, then you lose that eternal life, and you need to go to confession or do some other things to get those sins forgiven and get re-justified. But these verses clearly teach that is not the case. You don’t receive eternal life because of your righteous acts. “Everlasting life” is not a result of our living a holy life.

Romans 7:1-6. Sanctification - A New Husband

Let’s look at the next paragraph, chapter 7 verses 1 through 6. And it says here that “the law has dominion over man as long as he lives.” And this is, again, referring to our Jewish believing brethren, like Paul. “For the woman which hath an husband ....” The Wycliffe New Testament says, “that is under a husband.” And that word “under” is really there in the Greek. I don’t know why most versions leave it out because the whole idea is that, just as Israel was under the law, a woman is under the authority of her husband. Just like Israel has to obey the law, a woman has to obey her husband.

That is what Ephesians 5:21-33 says. Women have to submit to their husbands. It also says husbands have to make sure that every command they give is for the welfare of the wife. A husband has to sacrifice everything for his wife like Christ sacrificed himself for the Church. So we men are not off the hook.

But here is the idea. Here is a married woman who is infertile and can’t have children. There is nothing wrong with her husband, except that he can’t miraculously cause this barren woman to have children. And she can’t marry this other man, whose mere word of promise can give children to the barren, because it would be adultery to have two husbands. So she has to wait for her husband to die.

But the law is never going to die, and Israel can’t be freed from the law that way. So what happens is that the wife dies with and is raised up with Jesus, and then can rightfully marry Jesus. So our Jewish brethren died along with Christ, and were raised up with him, so they along with us can comprise the church, the bride of Christ, who can make even people like us bear fruit.

He says in the middle of the paragraph, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God ... that we should serve in newness of spirit.”

So, we saw earlier that we have a new master-servant relationship. Now we see here that we have a new husband-wife relationship. We will see later, in Romans 8, that we also have a new father-son relationship. All these relationships are superior-inferior relationships - not in quality, but in position - because a superior always gives commands, and the inferior always obeys commands.

And this is why we aren’t guaranteed that we will do righteousness perfectly. Instead, we are guaranteed we will do righteousness in general, because our new relationships - like servant to God rather than servant to sin, husband to Christ rather than husband to the law, son of the Father rather than son of flesh - all these relationships work just like they do in real life. In general, those in authority over us vastly affect how we live by their persistent influence and legitimate authority, even though at any moment in time we can choose to disobey. So it is not a mechanical thing. It is a new relationship.

Romans 7:7-25. Sanctification - The Law

Now in verses 7 to 12 of Romans 7, Paul says, “I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” So from your own conscience you can find out a lot of bad things about yourself, but if you study the law, as Paul did, you can find out even more bad things about yourself. Like when Paul got to the tenth commandment that said, “Thou shalt not covet.” And the positive side of that commandment, in addition to not wanting what we don’t have, is to be content with what we do have. And Paul realized he fell short.

He says, “For I was alive without the law once.” That means he felt Ok. “But when the commandment came,” as he studied it and tried to keep it, “sin revived, and I died.” He realized that he was a sinner. He realized he was condemned.

“That sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” Because he said back in verse 8 that, “the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence,” that is, lust. So the law not only shows you your sin, but it also makes you want to sin. You tell somebody don’t do this, and they want to do it. And that just shows how bad we are. There is nothing wrong with the law.

I was in an elementary school cafeteria where a church was meeting, and the place was plastered with banners saying, “Just say no to drugs” - in an elementary school. The problem is that when you put things like that in front of people all the time, and you keep telling them not to do it, you know, they are going to start to be interested in it. And they are going to think, “Maybe I should try that.”

Let’s look at the next paragraph, Romans 7:13-25. “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Now we know this refers to Paul before he had been justified because we have just been studying that we who have been justified are no longer under sin, we are no longer servants in bondage to sin. So Paul is describing his life as a Jewish Pharisee under the law before he came to Christ.

He says, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” The Pharisees delighted in the law of God. They built their lives around studying the law of God. He says, “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.” A person who is under sin and a servant of sin can’t keep the law, no matter how much they study it. And the problem is in our members, in our bodies of sin. “So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” He could decide to keep the law, but he couldn’t keep it, because the effect of his sinful body had not been annulled (Rm6:6).

How is Paul’s pre-justification experience under the law relevant and important to this section on sanctification? Because it is the best passage in the Bible to show that the best the law can do for us is not enough. Paul was an example of an unregenerate man trying to keep the law, and there was no hope for him. He said, “Who will deliver me from this body of death,” this body, that keeps me from keeping the law? And the only answer is, not the law, but “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rm7:25.

Romans 8:1-13. Sanctification - A New Mind

All right, let’s look at chapter 8, verses 1 to 13, our last paragraph.

Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” This verse is not saying there are two classes of Christians, and that only Christians who walk after the Spirit have no condemnation. There is no condemnation for anyone who has been justified, especially since we are not under the Law, as Paul has just shown.

But at the same time that we were delivered from condemnation and any threat of law, we were also changed from being fleshly to being spiritual. We were changed from being ‘after,’ or ‘according to,’ or ‘under’ (the Greek word is ‘kata’) the flesh; to being ‘after,’ or ‘according to,’ or ‘under’ the Spirit.

Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” All Christians walk after the Spirit, not because of threat of condemnation, but because we have the Holy Spirit and life in Christ Jesus. We are regenerate, we have the Holy Spirit, we are spiritual, and this results in a righteous walk.

In contrast, the law of Moses is called here “the law of sin and death,” Rm8:2. Paul had just asked in the previous two paragraphs, “Is the law sin?” Rm7:7-12; and was the law “made death unto me,” Rm7:13-25. He had answered that the law is neither sin nor death, but that because of our own sinfulness, it results only in sin and death for all who are under the law, and thus not in Christ.

Romans 8:3, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh.” There is nothing wrong with the law, the problem is with us; the spiritual weakness of those born only of flesh. So what the law could not accomplish because of our condition, “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” Rm8:3-4.

So our justification accomplishes the sanctification that the law could not accomplish, because when we were justified we moved from the realm of the flesh to the realm of the spirit; we are now spiritual, and walk after the Spirit. If the way we were justified did not guarantee a righteousness walk for every believer, then God would have needed to justify us another way, because the reason God sent his Son to die for us was “that [so that] the righteousness of the law might be [would be] fulfilled in us,” Rm8:3-4, and God’s purposes are always fulfilled.

Notice it’s not the law, but “the righteousness of the law” that is now fulfilled in our walk. We are not under and do not try to keep the law of Moses, but we do fulfill the righteousness that the law of Moses was based upon.

Although Jeremiah 31:31-33 is primarily about Israel, the Gentiles also share in the blessings of the New Covenant, which makes the law of Moses into an Old Covenant. “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt [the law of Moses]; which my covenant they brake, ... but this shall be the covenant ... I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” A supernatural change of heart accomplishes the righteousness of the law which the law could not accomplish.

Romans 8:5, “For they that are after the flesh do mind [think about] the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit [mind, think about] the things of the Spirit.” The reason the law cannot accomplish a righteousness walk in natural men, and the reason justification in Christ does accomplish a righteous walk in men who have been made spiritual, is because of the difference in the way we think.

Romans 8:6-8, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Our way of thinking has vast implications for our ability to walk in righteousness and to please God. The natural man’s way of thinking is death, no concept of spiritual things, and hatred (enmity) against God, and rebellion. The spiritual man’s way of thinking is life, being spiritually alive, and at peace with God.

Romans 8:9-10, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Every Christian has the Holy Spirit, and thus every Christian is in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Our bodies are dead because they are unchanged from the time we believed, but our spirits are alive to God because we were justified, counted as righteous.

Romans 8:11, “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Although our bodies have not yet been made alive to God as our spirits have, and although our bodies are presently the source of the struggle we face in this life, our bodies will one day receive their part of salvation, at the time of resurrection and glorification.

This same “mortal” body, Rm8:11, that the Holy Spirit lives in gets raised up and changed to immortality. You don’t get a new body; that wouldn’t be resurrection, as we discussed in chapter 5. Just as Christ’s tomb was empty because his body was raised, and he did not receive another body, so it will be with us. Even if a believer’s body is only scattered dust by that time; God can re-gather it, restore it, and glorify it.

In John 14:16-17, Jesus said that after he leaves the earth, the Holy Spirit will come and dwell in us as a comforter, “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.” There is no better comforter or companion than one who is always with us because he dwells within us.

Also, notice that the Spirit that dwells in us is called “the Spirit of God” in verse 9, and “the Spirit of Christ” in verse 10. In John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Both Yeshua and the Father dwell within us through the Spirit. That is why, not only are we in Christ, but according to Romans 8:10, Christ is in us: “If Christ be in you, the body is dead ... but the Spirit is life.” It is impossible for us to walk after the flesh, when the Father and the Son dwell in our physical bodies by means of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:12-13, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Those who live after the flesh are those who have never been justified, who are not only spiritually dead now, but whose bodies also will die, not just ‘sleep,’ because their resurrection will only be for the purpose of the second death. Those who have been justified, owe none of their benefits to the flesh, and mortify the deeds of the body, as a general way of life, because of the Holy Spirit that dwells in them, and not only have spiritual life now, but also their bodies will one day be resurrected and glorified.

But we are not satisfied with the minimum that God will work in our lives. We want the fullness, completeness, and maturity that God desires for us. We want to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,” 2Cor10:5. And therefore we need to be conscious and diligent in mortifying the deeds of the body as the Spirit is influencing us to do.

We must do as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” And as he says in Romans 13:14, “make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” And indeed, to obey all that we are commanded to do. Resist some things: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” James 4:7. Flee other things: “Flee fornication,” 1 Corinthians 6:18. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong,” 1 Corinthians 16:13. Just as we talked about back in Romans 6:12-21.

As Paul finishes this section on sanctification, that started back in Romans 6:1, he urges us to action. To fight, to labor, to serve. He does not say, “Let go, and let God.” He does not say, “You are hopeless. Hand it all over to God, and he will deliver you from those sins that trouble you.” We are not hopeless; we are in Christ, his Spirit is in us, we are legally free of sin and made servants to God, we have a new life, and walk and think after the Spirit. That’s why Paul doesn’t say we need deliverance; he says we need to stand up, be strong, and mortify the deeds of the flesh.

The teaching that we just need to keep surrendering and then we can cruise effortlessly into sanctification actually puts all the burden on us because we have to keep surrendering, or abiding, or letting go, or being filled with the Spirit, or we no longer walk after the Spirit. In reality, God is causing all who have been justified to walk after the Spirit, even those who think they have to keep surrendering in order to walk after the Spirit. But those who think sanctification comes by way of surrender only achieve minimal sanctification, only thirty-fold fruit.

Those who understand that God is without fail sanctifying them, but that they must put out their own effort and diligent labor to mortify the deeds of the body as completely as possible and to walk in every good work, are the ones who will bear sixty and an hundred-fold fruit and receive more eternal reward. Let us strive mightily for the glory of God, for the time is short.

People talk about passing over from Romans 6 and 7 to Romans 8, but Romans 8:12-13 is just like Romans 6:12-21. Paul is still talking about how our justification ensures our sanctification in Romans 8, just as he was in Romans 6, although he added more information in Romans 8 about the Holy Spirit’s role. Teaching that sanctification is provided by some second experience does injustice to the greatness of the justification that God provided.

Justification is the big change that happened to us: from death to life, from serving sin to serving God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, having spiritual life, being in Christ; and that change results in our sanctification without fail to the glory of God, because it is his work.

Now if there is anyone here who hasn’t been justified, Christ took our guilt upon him, so that if we trust in what he did, we can be counted as ‘not guilty’. In John 3:16 it says, “Whosoever believes in him should [shall] not perish, but have everlasting life.” So you need to take God at his word, trust in him, and you will have everlasting life, and he will begin his work of sanctification in you.

So thanks for letting me share with you again. We don’t have lunch today, do we? Do we want to have any questions?

Question from the audience: “Would you say young believers struggle for a while before they overcome some things because they don’t have the information?”

Even new believers don’t continue in sin, although we wouldn’t want to discourage anyone by making our definition or application more stringent than what the Bible means by “continue in sin.” But there is also a natural growth process for which there are no shortcuts. Having good scriptural information, like having good healthful food, helps; but the growth process will still take time.

1 John 2:12-13 says, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven ... fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning ... young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.” The order is important: children, fathers, young men.

The first thing we have to know when we are children is that our sins are forgiven, because often when we do something wrong, we think God is going to take away his power. We think “I can’t witness to somebody because I just sinned yesterday” or something. And we need to know that our sins are forgiven. That is the first thing we need to know. And after that, as we focus on “him that is from the beginning,” and try to learn about him, then on the way to becoming fathers, we will become young men and overcome.

Comment from the audience: “It’s not what we did, it’s all to the glory of God. It’s his plan to save us. I heard something on the radio that kind of goes along with this message, that we’re not saved ‘by’ good works, we’re saved ‘to do’ good works. We’re justified by the act of God, the mercy of God, who sent Jesus to be a sin offering for us. We have nothing to boast. When I explain the gospel to people, they don’t understand it. They say they’re gonna climb that ladder themselves. But Jesus is the ladder for us.”

I have a friend, Rich, who said one time, that people are always trying to do good works to earn salvation, to earn justification. And you can’t do that. You’re not saved by your works. But once you’ve been justified, then, now’s the time. Go for it! Do the good works!

Romans 8:14-39. Glorification

Recorded November 30, 2008

I want to talk about one of my favorite topics today: glorification. And we are going to look at glorification in two parts. The first part is the certainty of our personal glorification in the second half of chapter 8; and the second part is the certainty of Israel’s national glorification in chapters 9 - 11.

So let’s start with the certainty of our personal glorification. Now, of course, this is only for those who have been justified. All who have been justified will be glorified. It is a future event. We haven’t been glorified yet.

What glorification means is that our physical bodies are going to be changed to be like Christ’s body. We are going to shine like his body shines now, each of us to different degrees based on how faithful we were, how much we suffered, how much we shared the gospel, things like that. So you will be able to tell just by looking at somebody, what their life had been like, for all eternity (as we explained in Romans 5).

This section on glorification begins in Romans 8 verse 14. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” In the first half of Romans 8, Paul had been saying that all who have been justified are being sanctified. We walk after the Spirit, because the indwelling Holy Spirit affects the way we think. Now in verse 14, Paul summarizes that process as being “led of the Spirit.”

The word “led” here often includes an element of force, like leading captives in Mark 13:11, “They shall lead you and deliver you up.” Here in verse 14, we are not forced against our will, but the Holy Spirit’s persuasion is so strong and consistent that God’s overall purpose is sure to be achieved. That is why the sanctification of every Christian is certain and sure. But now Paul segues into the topic of glorification, by pointing out that our being led of the Spirit indicates that we are sons of God.

This is the third superior-inferior relationship we have in these chapters: superior-inferior, not in quality, but in position, like father-son, husband-wife, master-servant. We looked at the master-servant relation in chapter 6, and the husband-wife relationship in chapter 7, and now the father-son relationship in chapter 8.

And one of the main things about being a son of God is that you become an heir of God along with Jesus Christ. Verse 17, “and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint–heirs with Christ,” talking about our future inheritance.

And then verse 17 talks about suffering, because when Jesus was here he suffered, and so we also suffer in this present age. And why talk about suffering when you are talking about future glorification? Because the more we suffer the more we will be glorified.

Now God is wise and he will give us the right amount of suffering during our lives, but more suffering means more glory for eternity. As we mentioned when we studied Romans 5, you are giving up something you can’t keep (comfort) to gain something you can’t lose (eternal glory). So verses 17-18 say: “If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” The glory is much better than the suffering is bad; and the suffering is temporary, but the glory is eternal.

Ok, then let’s look at verse 21 about the creation. “The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” How does the creation groan and travail in pain? Well, crops don’t grow perfectly. There isn’t enough water. There is pollution. Animals bite and claw and kill each other for food. The whole creation is suffering, not just us.

But a short time after our bodies are glorified, creation will also be delivered into the glorious liberty of the children of God, and creation too will be, in a sense, glorified. The desert will blossom as a rose and the lion will lay down with the calf in peace. So creation is waiting for our glorification.

Romans 8:23, “And not only they,” creation, “but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Two things here. First of all we have the first fruits of the Spirit. That means we’re sure to receive the rest of the harvest. The fact that you have the Holy Spirit right now shows that you are going to receive the complete inheritance later on.

And, secondly, it says we are awaiting the ‘adoption’. So when it is talking about ‘adoption’ here it is talking about the redemption of our body. Our bodies haven’t been changed since the time we believed, but there is coming a day when our bodies will be redeemed and that is called our ‘adoption’.

Ok, verse 24. “We are saved by [or in] hope,” and then Paul goes on to talk about hope in this section. So the word “hope” is telling us we are looking at a future event, not something we already experienced. But it is still a certainty. It doesn’t mean, “I hope so.” It’s something that is sure to come to pass. It’s just in the future, so it’s called “hope.”

Verse 28, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” That is a well known verse and a precious verse. But in this context it definitely includes the certainty of our glorification, because if anything could result in our not being glorified, that thing wouldn’t be working for our good. So this verse means, among other things, that nothing can stop us from being glorified. Nothing can cause us to lose our salvation.

Continuing in verse 28, “To them who are the called according to his purpose.” Calling refers to after-justification service. As an example of that, we will look at how we are called to sanctification in 1 Thessalonians 4:7. “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” That is sanctification. And we are also called to glorification in 1 Thessalonians 2:12. “God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”

Here are more verses about being called to sanctification:

“To all that be in Rome ... called to be saints,” Rm1:7.

“Be blameless ... called unto the fellowship of his Son,” 1Cor1:9.

“God hath called us to peace,” 1Cor7:15.

“Ye have been called unto liberty,” Gal5:13.

“Worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” Eph4:1.

“Called us with an holy calling,” 2Tim1:9.

“He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy,” 1Pet1:15.

“Called you out of darkness into ... light,” 1Pet2:9.

“Hereunto were ye called: ... Christ also suffered,” 1Pet2:21.

“Not ... evil for evil ... ye are thereunto called,” 1Pet3:9.

“Called us to glory and virtue,” 2Pet1:3.

Here are more verses about being called to glorification:

“Ye are called in one hope of your calling,” Eph4:4.

“Called you by our gospel, to ... obtaining ... glory,” 2Thes2:14.

“Eternal life, whereunto thou art also called,” 1Tim6:12.

“Called us unto his eternal glory,” 1Pet5:10.

“Called us to glory and virtue,” 2Pet1:3.

But we are not called to believe or to justification. We are only called to glorification, to sanctification, and to service. It is a ‘calling,’ like a ‘vocation’. So the vocation that we have, the job we have, once we have been justified, is to be sanctified, to walk in holiness, and to be glorified. That is what God called us to, and that is what he will accomplish in us.

Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow ...” And I just want to stop here and define the word “foreknow,” because some people have defined foreknow as something that God causes to happen; but that is not what the word means. It means ‘to know before’. As an example, in 2 Peter “There shall come in the last days scoffers ... saying, Where is the promise of his coming? ... Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware,” 2Pet3:3-4,17.

So when it says the two English words, “know … before,” in 2 Peter 3:17, that is the single Greek word meaning “foreknow.” Now we ‘know before’ that scoffers are coming because Peter warned us, but we are not ‘causing’ those scoffers to come in the last days by knowing it. We just know it ahead of time because of the prophecy. So that is all the word “foreknow” means.

God knew from the foundation of the earth who would someday be in Christ. And since he knows who is going to believe, he doesn’t have to wait until they believe to predestinate them to glory. In that sense, God interacts with time differently than we do.

And since he knows they will become his children and spend eternity with him, they are special to him, and he has a special interest in their lives, even before they believe. He doesn’t pretend that he doesn’t know who will believe. But that foreknowledge doesn’t directly or indirectly cause them to believe.

Continuing in verse 29, Paul says that whoever God foreknew “he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Now, the main thing you need to know about predestination is that predestination is always to glorification, never to justification. It says here, “he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.”

The word “image” here refers to external appearance, which means that God has predestinated us to be like Christ. When he returns “we shall be like him; for we shall see him [externally] as he is,” 1Jn3:2. We will share then in the bright appearance he already has now. That is what ‘predestination’ means. Nowhere in the Bible are we predestinated to believe or predestinated to be justified. We are predestinated to be glorified.

And that is found in Ephesians 1:5 also, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children.” And, remember back in verse 28, we just talked about how our ‘adoption’ refers to resurrection and glorification, not justification. And then continuing in Ephesians 1:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated.” See, predestination is about something that is going to happen to us in the future, the receiving of our “inheritance,” our glorification.

We are never predestinated to faith or to believe. D. M. Lloyd-Jones, one of my favorite authors, commenting on the “spiritual blessings” of Eph1:1, says the Holy Spirit “gives us the gift of faith,” in reference to saving faith. But this is not a Biblical phrase to use in relation to salvation, and often when a phrase is not found in the Bible it is indicative of a doctrinal mistake. Of course, there is a gift of faith in relation to spiritual gifts. “To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles,” 1Cor12:9-10. But in relation to saving faith, faith is never a gift.

Ephesians 2:8-9 is no exception. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast,” Eph2:8-9. If the phrases “that not of yourselves” and “the gift of God” referred to “faith” in this verse, it would mean there are two kinds of faith: that which is “of yourselves” and that which is “not of yourselves.”

But that would mean we learned nothing from the first 11 chapters of Romans. Paul, and the other New Testament writers, consistently present faith in simple contrast to works. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness,” Rm4:4-5. “They sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law,” Rm9:32. “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law,” Gal2:16. And, of course, we could go on and on.

So Ephesians 2:8 has to mean that ‘salvation’ is a gift from God that you receive by faith and cannot merit by your own works. And the construction of the sentence in Ephesians 2:8 certainly allows for that interpretation, without the need to redefine all the other passages on faith in the New Testament. And the grammar of Ephesians 2:8 does not lend itself to the interpretation that faith is a gift, because the word “faith” is feminine, while “that” and “gift” are neuter.

Also, Acts 13:48 does not mean that people believed because God elected them. “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed,” Acts13:48. The phrase “eternal life” refers primarily to our glorification and inheritance, as we saw in chapter 5. So this verse shows that predestination is to glorification, not to justification.

The way we, as men, would do it, is that as soon as a person believed, we would ordain him to glorification, and then the verse would read, “as many as believed were ordained to eternal life.” But God, knowing all things from the beginning, has no reason to wait until a person believes before he ordains him to glorification, and so he predestinates him from eternity past. So at some point, everyone who is ordained to glorification believes, because that event when they believe is what God foresaw that caused him to ordain them to glorification in the first place. So man’s choice determines his ultimate destiny, but only because God in his sovereignty has created him, provided salvation, and provided him this choice through the gospel.

So as soon as we believe, we have eternal security; even earlier, from the foundation of the earth. Joy!!!. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us,” Eph1:4-5. Everyone believes in eternal security. The only disagreement is as to when it starts. The angels that didn’t follow Satan are confirmed in their righteousness, and can no longer be tempted. If Adam had not sinned in the garden, he would at some point have been confirmed in his righteousness, and no longer subject to temptation. When are bodies are glorified, we will no longer be able to be tempted, because sin presently dwells in our mortal bodies. And no one believes you can lose your salvation after you go to heaven or enter the Messianic Kingdom. But we don’t need to wait for glorification, when we can no longer be tempted to sin, to have no chance of apostatizing. Because we have been legally delivered from slavery to sin and enslaved instead to righteousness, and because of our union with God, and our being in Christ, and the Holy Spirit within us, and predestination to glorification, we already have eternal security.

Back in Romans 8:30, Paul continues, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Now this is good news because it means that our glorification is certain. If any of these things happen to a person, all of them happen to a person. It all or none. So since we have been justified, we know we are going to be glorified. And we know that we were also predestinated and called to glory.

Now these 5 things happen in a person’s life in this order chronologically. God foreknows, then predestinates, then calls, then justifies, then glorifies. But it doesn’t mean that each one causes the next. Instead, each one ensures our glorification.

In the first set, “whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate,” the foreknowledge does result in the next one, predestination, but the predestination is to glorification, to be conformed to his image, as we saw. But in the second set, “whom he did predestinate, them he also called,” the predestination doesn’t result in our being called. It results in our being glorified, “he ... did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” We are not predestinated to be called.

And in the third set, “whom he called, them he also justified,” being called doesn’t result in justification. It results in sanctification and glorification. We are called to be sanctified and glorified. But in the fourth set, “whom he justified, them he also glorified,” justification does result in the next one, glorification, because of the way in which we were justified.

So all these things are like a chain where you get the whole thing, but each one doesn’t cause the next. And each link results in our glorification. The good news is that our glorification is the next event in store for those who have been justified, and it is certain to happen.

And then Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine ...” and so forth. And then Paul says, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers ...” and so forth, “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Rm8:38-39.

So this is the last verse in this section about the certainty of our personal glorification. And it sounds pretty certain that nothing can separate us from God and Christ, not ourselves, not anyone else, not our sin, and not our lack of faith, because he will never let us stop believing. Nothing can separate us from Christ once we entered into Christ by justification through faith.

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Romans 9-11. Israel’s Salvation

Now let’s look at chapters 9 - 11, which are about Israel’s national salvation and the certainty of Israel’s national glorification. If Israel’s future national glorification isn’t certain, then neither is our future personal glorification. If God could call Israel, and bring them so far, and then drop them for some reason, then he can do the same to us. But these three chapters show that Israel’s national glorification is certain. We will be glorified personally, those who are in the Church; and also Israel, as a nation, will be glorified. And both events are tied to each other, and happen at about the same time.

Romans 9:1-9:29. Not All Israel

The Problem: Israel Currently Does Not Accept Christ

Paul starts off this section by stating the problem. “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,” Rm9:1-3. Paul would be willing to be accursed from Christ, if it were possible, which it is not, in place of his unbelieving Jewish brethren.

Now Israel has always been comprised mostly of unbelievers. When Moses brought the people out of Egypt, most of them were unbelievers. But Moses had a lot of power. He was bringing plagues on Egypt, and they were under persecution in Egypt, and so they went along with Moses. And while Israel wandered in the wilderness, the people kept grumbling in their tents, because most of them were unregenerate, and so, of course, they had a hard time living with God on a day to day basis.

So teachers today often err when they use Israel as a picture of the church. Of course, there are some parallels, and we can always learn some things from the experience of others. But the church is comprised entirely of regenerate people, new creations, who have the Holy Spirit living in them, and thus walk after the Spirit. So the church is not going to act like Israel, except in limited and isolated ways.

Israel Grudgingly Accepted the Other Things from God

In Romans 9:4-5, Paul says, “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption,” God chose the nation of Israel as his national son and heir of the world. “And the glory,” the glory of God, and the shekinah glory that was with them, and will dwell with them again in the Messianic Kingdom. “And the covenants,” there are four unconditional Jewish covenants -- Abrahamic, Land, Davidic, and New -- which are the basis of the future kingdom. “The giving of the law,” which is the only conditional Jewish covenant. “The service of God,” refers to the temple service and all their service to God. “And the promises,” including the Messianic Kingdom. “Whose are the fathers,” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“And of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen,” Rm9:5. So Christ is God. He is over all. We see that God is a plural unity, Hebrew “echad,” not a singular unity, “yachid,” from the first three verses of the Bible. “In the beginning God [God the Father] created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God [God the Holy Spirit] moved upon the face of the waters. And God said [God the Son, the Word of God; later, Yeshua], Let there be light: and there was light,” Gen1:1-3. God is “Elohim”. The “im” at the end of Hebrew nouns means plural.

God the Father is so transcendent he could not create the world except through the person of his Son. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... All things were made by him,” Jn1:1-3. If you really believe God is transcendent, you understand that we can’t even see his shekinah glory apart from the person of his Son. “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. ... No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him,” Jn1:18.

That is why the Messiah is often presented as man, and often presented as God, in prophecy. “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?” Mt22:42-44. So Messiah is David’s “Lord” (God) who became David’s “son” (man).

Now the interesting thing is that even though the Jewish people, like the Gentiles, are mostly unbelievers; they went along the other things listed here, until they got to the last one, “Christ.” They went along with the giving of the law, and the service of the tabernacle, and so forth, because all these things are external things, which even unjustified men can participate in. But when it comes to Christ, the Jewish people, as a group, reject Christ; not merely like unsaved Gentiles reject him, by trying to justify themselves by works; but they also reject Christ outwardly. If you visit a synagogue today they are not going to be teaching about Yeshua.

And many times, one generation of Israel would kill the prophet God sent them, and the next generation would accept that prophet, and say, “We wouldn’t have done that.” “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers,” Mt23:29-32. But with Christ, not even the next generation, or the next generation, accepted him as a prophet. So that is a big change.

So, is God done with Israel? Are the covenants not going to be fulfilled? Is Israel not going to obtain national glorification? Is God not going to keep his word and fulfill the promises he made to Israel?

You can’t say, well, Israel’s covenants have been transferred to the church. That would be like God transferring your glorification to someone else; and it would mean we don’t have eternal security; and it would mean that God didn’t keep his promise. If he promised you glorification and then gave it to someone else, he would not be keeping his promise to you.

There has Always Been a Division among Jewish People

“Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel,” Rm9:6.

The definition of a Jew is ‘a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’. You can’t just say ‘a descendant of Abraham,’ because Ishmael and the Arab nations also came from Abraham. And you can’t just say a descendant of Abraham and Isaac, because Esau and the Edomites also came from Isaac. You have to say ‘a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,’ because all 12 of Jacob’s sons, are considered part of Israel, which is why God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

But here Paul is saying that there is a further division. Even among Jacob’s descendants, not all Jacob’s descendants are part of the Israel God made the promises to. “They are not all Israel [the chosen people], which are [descendants] of Israel [Jacob].” Ok, so what scriptural basis does Paul have for that doctrine, and how can you tell which of Jacob’s descendants are God’s Israel and which are not?

Isaac and Ishmael

“Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called [Gen21:12]. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son [Gen18:10,14],” Rm9:7-9.

Both Isaac and Ishmael were the seed of Abraham, but only Isaac was “counted for the seed.” In allegory, Isaac was a believer, because he is “called,” he is one of “the children of God,” he had a supernatural birth, because of the word of God, “the promise” of God. The word “believe” isn’t mentioned here, because it wouldn’t fit in with the allegory, since Isaac had no faith at the time the allegory refers to, since he wasn’t born yet. But we know from Romans 1-8 how one becomes a child of God. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,” Gal3:26.

And in allegory, Ishmael was an unbeliever, because he was “of the flesh,” a natural man, with only a natural birth. So the application of the allegory is that, in reality, only the descendants of Jacob who are spiritual children of God through faith in God will be “counted for the seed.”

So what is the significance of being counted as the seed or of not being counted as the seed? It has to do with inheriting the covenants, and inheriting the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession during the Messianic Kingdom, and dwelling near the Millennial Temple, and the shekinah glory, and the Messiah, who will reign from Jerusalem. “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land ... of Canaan, for an everlasting possession,” Gen17:7-8.

Only believers will be able to enter the future Messianic Kingdom. So unbelieving Israelites will not be able to enter the kingdom, and they won’t be able to inherit “Canaan for an everlasting possession,” because they don’t have everlasting life. So unbelieving descendants of Jacob are not part of “the seed” that God made the promises to. On the other hand, many Gentiles will be in the kingdom because they believed in the God of Israel, but they are not part of “the seed,” that inherits Canaan either, and they will primarily dwell outside the land of Israel during the kingdom.

But as for Jewish people, if they believe in God for their justification, they are part of the seed that the promises were made to, and if they don’t believe (trust) in God, they are not only not part of the promised seed; they will not enter the kingdom at all. God knew who he was making the promises to, back when he made them, because he knows the future, and knew which descendants of Jacob would eventually believe.

Jacob and Esau

“And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac, for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger [Gen25:23],” Rm9:10-12.

Likewise, both Jacob and Esau were the seed of Abraham and Isaac, but only Jacob was “counted for the seed.” In allegory, Jacob was ‘chosen,’ “of him that calleth,” “according to election,” for the “purpose of God,” and “not of works”. And in allegory, Esau was not ‘chosen,’ or ‘elect’. And the application of the allegory is that only the descendants of Jacob who are chosen and elect are “counted for the seed.” In other words, not all the “chosen people” are chosen to receive the covenant.

So from Isaac, we saw that inheritance is by faith, and from Jacob we see that it’s not of works. It’s “not of works” so that “the purpose of God” might “stand.” If the fulfillment of God’s purposes depended on man’s works, there would be a risk that God’s purposes might not be fulfilled, and actually, they certainly would not be fulfilled. Because man always fails; but God always succeeds. So we know that our glorification and the glorification of Israel is certain, because they are not based on the works of men but on the declaration of God. So Israel’s disobedience cannot derail God’s plans for their national glorification.

“As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated [Mal1:2-5],” Rm9:13. Only those who are God’s, and will be glorified, are called “chosen” or “elect,” but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t also have plans for those who are not elect. It wasn’t just that Esau was not loved, but that he was hated.

“I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness ... and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel,” Mal1:2-5.

God will be “magnified” in the nation of Israel during the Messianic Kingdom, but the nation of Edom, Esau’s nation, the land of southern Jordan today, which borders Israel, will be a place of burning pitch during the kingdom. “My sword shall come down upon Edom and upon the people of my curse … and the land thereof shall become burning pitch … the smoke thereof shall go up forever,” Is34:5-10.

And the application is that the descendants of Jacob who are not part of the elect, are not merely not loved like Jacob, but they are also hated like Esau. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love them, or that he isn’t grieved by their sufferings, or that he didn’t sacrifice everything (his own Son) to provide salvation for them, but it means that, as Edom receives special physical judgments, so, unfortunately, do they.

That Esau and his descendants were not chosen to receive the covenants, doesn’t mean he and none of his descendants are predestinated to glorification, or can’t believe on the Lord. There will be many descendants of Esau in the kingdom, but they will not be there as a nation of Edom.

Moses and Pharaoh

“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid,” Rm9:14.

Was God unjust to Ishmael and his mother for Abraham to send them away with nothing but a bottle of water? Was he unjust to Esau and his descendants in predestinating his nation of Edom to be a land of burning pitch during the Messianic Kingdom? Is he unrighteous in allowing the descendants of Jacob who do not believe to go through physical judgments?

Well, despite the hardships Ishmael went through, God ensured that he would survive, and blessed him. “As for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him ... and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac,” Gen17:20-21. And although Esau’s descendants will not enter the kingdom as part of Edom, they will still enter the kingdom as individuals or as a member of another nation if they believe and are justified. And any physical suffering that Jewish, or Gentile, unbelievers experience in this life reduces the amount of punishment they receive in the next life; just as any physical suffering a believer experiences in this life increases the amount of glorification and reward he receives for eternity. Some children are born with handicaps or diseases that cause them much physical suffering, which is beyond our understanding at this time, but we believe God will make all things right in eternity.

On the other hand, if Ishmael, and Esau, and their descendants, and the majority of Jacob’s descendants, were to be denied any real possibility of spiritual justification, as Calvinism teaches, then that kind of God would be unjust. God allowed Adam, who could have been justified by his works, to live and bear children rather than executing him and starting over, even though his descendants are thus born under the reign of sin with no chance of being justified by their works, because he knew he would provide redemption through Christ for all who believe.

To say then that they also have no chance of believing, that an all-powerful God would allow a situation where many precious individuals have no real possibility of any future except eternal punishment, would be to make God more cruel than the most calloused of men. That doctrine, Calvanism, bears a man’s name, which in itself is a warning of its error; and Calvin’s God is like himself, who inflicted so much cruelty on the people of Geneva, including the 24 women and 7 men he urged the city to burn at the stake for supposedly spreading the plague by witchcraft.

“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion [Ex33:19]. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy,” Rm9:15-16.

Moses asked to see God’s glory, and God answered, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,” and then God showed him his glory, and as a result, the body of Moses was partially and temporarily glorified, and he had to put a veil over his face so its shining didn’t hurt the eyes of the Israelites. This was not a justification experience for Moses, but a glorification experience.

Likewise, the descendants of Jacob can’t be glorified by deciding to be glorified (“him that willeth”), or by living a good enough life to merit glorification (”him that runneth”). All anyone can do is to decide to trust in God, which in this present time to means to believe the gospel, and thereby receive justification and glorification.

“For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth [Ex9:16]. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth,” Rm9:17-18.

Moses was used of God to lead his people. Pharaoh was also used of God. God raised him up as ruler of Egypt so he could manifest his power by destroying Pharaoh and his armies. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he wouldn’t give in too soon, and let the people go too soon, so Moses could complete the whole series of plagues.

He strengthened Pharaoh to do what Pharaoh wanted to do, despite the suffering Pharaoh was going through. And he didn’t harden Pharaoh’s heart in regards to spiritual salvation. At any time, Pharaoh could have believed on God for salvation.

And God also hardened the hearts of the whole Egyptian army, so they would follow the Israelites into the sea, which is not a logical thing to do when you see walls of water on each side, and you’ve just suffered 10 miraculous plagues. He did not harden their hearts regarding faith or justification. “Lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them,” Ex14:16-17.

So likewise among the descendants of Jacob, even the unbelievers, are used by God, and provide service to God. As a judgment upon them, God has hardened their hearts so they will not accept Christ as unbelievers, merely outwardly, as a nation, like they accepted the other prophets. God has not permitted Judaism to be like Catholicism and Episcopalianism, etc. that use the name of Christ but have nothing in common with the Christ of the Bible. (Can you imagine Peter in the gospels or Acts walking around in golden vestments and presiding over rituals in cathedrals?)

As the survey of Matthew in this book shows, after the nation of Israel rejected Jesus’ teaching, preaching, and healing ministries, Jesus pronounced a judgment upon the nation. “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them,” Mt13:14-15.

John stated the same thing, but focusing on God’s action. “Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them,” Jn12:39-40.

After the death and resurrection of Yeshua, his 12 special prophets (Paul is the 12th), called apostles, re-offered the kingdom to Israel and the Jewish communities scattered throughout the world as recorded in the book of Acts, so that just as one generation of Israel refused to enter Canaan, but 40 years later the next generation entered, so it could be with the kingdom. But the next generation during the apostles’ time was also unwilling, and about 40 years after the rejection of the Messiah, instead of entering the Messianic Kingdom, the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed in 70 AD and many of the people dispersed.

Just before the 70 AD destruction, Paul again pronounced the judgment of Isaiah to the Jewish community in Rome, to close the book of Acts and end the historical narrative of the Bible. “And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it,” Acts28:24-28.

The Babylonian captivity was a major event in the history of the Jewish people, but it lasted only 70 years. Many prophets warned of its coming, which provided much of the content of our Bible. But where are the prophets and their writings warning of the coming of the 70 AD destruction and the 2,000 year dispersion? They are the writings of the New Testament.

Vessels of Wrath and Vessels of Mercy

“Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” Rm9:19-21.

Pharaoh will probably not receive additional eternal punishment at the last judgment for not letting the people go after God hardened his heart, except perhaps to the extent that he desired to not let them go. But he would have lived a longer physical life if God had not hardened his heart about letting the people go. But then, he wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy being such a powerful Pharaoh if God hadn’t raised him up for that showdown with Moses. God knew through foreknowledge that Pharaoh would never believe and be justified and would eventually be eternally condemned, but at least by being chosen to resist letting the people go, he also got to be Pharaoh.

And the unbelieving descendants of Jacob will probably not receive additional punishment at the last judgment for rejecting the New Testament writings about Christ to the extent they reject them due to God’s hardening of their hearts. But they are fulfilling their roles as vessels “unto dishonour,” when instead they could be living this life as a “vessel unto honour.”

“The same lump,” probably refers to Israel. Otherwise, Paul probably could have just said that the potter can make any kind of vessel, without mentioning “of the same lump.” So Paul is talking about the different roles and purposes that God gives to believers and unbelievers within the people of Israel.

“What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction,” Rm9:22. Unbelieving Israelites are called “vessels of wrath” here. Gentile unbelievers are vessels of wrath too. All created things bring glory to God in some way. Believers also suffer, maybe even more greatly than unbelievers in this life, but never because of his wrath.

The main reason the Jewish people suffer is that they are at the center of a struggle between Satan and God (Rev12:12-14). Satan wants to destroy God’s plan. He tried during Esther’s time, but with a simple case of royal insomnia, “on that night could not the king sleep,” Esther6:1, God began to turn things around, and delivered the people from those that sought to destroy them.

There is one way, and only one way, to destroy the Jewish people, so please keep this confidential. “Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD,” Jer31:35-37. (Also Jer33:25-26.) If someone can build enough big missiles, and not point them at Israel, but use them to destroy the sun, moon, and stars, and stop the waves of the oceans, and measure the heavens, and search out the foundations of the earth, then God will disown the Jewish people, and then their enemies will be able to prevail against them, but that is the only way.

And you can’t talk about the history of the Jewish people without talking about persecution. I can’t even begin to list here, and communicate the unfairness and wrongness these precious people have suffered. God allows Satan to cause their suffering; but God suffers, as it were, along with them.

Just as it was God’s plan that Christ suffer, and Judas had a part in bringing about that God-ordained suffering, nevertheless Judas will face grave punishment at the last judgment for his part in it, and his wicked and cruel intentions. Even so, though God’s will allows the Jewish people to suffer, woe to every person, mostly so-called Christians, who so wickedly have any part in bringing about the sufferings of our Lord’s brethren. “The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born,” Mk14:21.

As Gentile believers, it is hard for us to realize the amount of stigma the name of Jesus has with Jewish people, because of the persecutions that were inflicted on them in the name of Christ. Of course, we’ve all heard of the holocaust, beginning around 1933, when Hitler and those with him may have murdered 1/3 (6,000,000) of the Jewish people. “Woe to that man ... Good were it for that man if he had never been born.”

One of the great tragedies of the holocaust was the failure of Gentile neighbors, who had a voice in society, to speak out for the sake of the Jewish people, who had been silenced in the societies that persecuted them. Although this is out of context here, for the sake of saving even one life, I ask Jewish people particularly, because they know from the past what it is like when other people won’t speak out in their behalf, to help speak out for the estimated 46,000,000 voiceless unborn infants intentionally killed each year, 1/4 of all pregnancies worldwide. How can God wait any longer to judge all the nations and peoples of the earth in the soon-coming, 7-year tribulation period, the day of the Lord?

Before the Holocaust, there were Russian pogroms, beginning around 1881. And beginning around 1648, there was a Greek Orthodox (the eastern version of Roman Catholic) Ukrainian Cossack most Gentile believers have probably never heard of, named Bogdan Chmielnicki, who led the massacre of possibly 500,000 Jewish people. “Woe to that man ... Good were it for that man if he had never been born.”

Most Gentile believers probably think of the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions in terms of believing Christians being tortured and burnt at the stake as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church. But while “in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella were expelling the Jewish people from their kingdom with their “Edict of Expulsion”. To the Jewish people, the inquisitions were a time of expulsions, forced conversions, suffering, and death from people they don’t know any better than to lump together as ‘Christians.’ (But since Yeshua is Messiah, we should not be surprised that Satan has filled the world with counterfeit ‘Christianity.’)

As another example, beginning around 1100 AD, the Crusades that we see in movies as glorious efforts to liberate the holy land from Muslim occupation, were, from a Jewish perspective, times of great persecution, because the Roman Catholic Church was as zealous to have the crusaders attack the Jewish communities along the way as they were to have them attack Muslim armies.

So these are only a few examples, but the years in between the dates and times I mentioned were also full of persecutions and attacks. Not to mention the restrictions on where Jewish people could live, like the original ghetto in Rome, or the Pale in Russia. Or the restrictions on professions, and trades, and ways of earning a living. Or the requirements to wear distinctive marks or clothing. Or special taxes and confiscations, and hatred, and humiliations.

Unfortunately, Israel’s troubles are not yet over. And the Gentiles will soon have plenty of trouble. Let’s take a quick look at some future events. I won’t cover events here that I discuss elsewhere in the book, like the rapture of the church, Israel’s future belief and acceptance of Yeshua, and the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. This information should be useful to anyone who is not a believer by the time Yeshua returns for the church at the rapture, and so has to go into the tribulation period, so I will call the following section A Survival Guide to the Apocalypse.

A Survival Guide to the Apocalypse

The Reestablishment of Israel in 1948

We know there are only two worldwide returns of Jewish people to the land of Israel, because the final one, as shown here in Isaiah 11, is the second one. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb ... and the calf and the young lion ... for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea [describing the Messianic Kingdom]. It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea [worldwide],” Is11:11-12.

So we saw the first return in 1948. The Babylonian Captivity does not count as a worldwide return from all nations - the captives went into Babylon and returned from Babylon. But unfortunately, the scriptures say that the first worldwide regathering, our current one, is a regathering in wrath for the purpose of judgment. “Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. ... I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof ... and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you,” Ez22:17. (See also Ez20:33-38.)

The Return of Elijah

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD,” Mal4:5. God would have sent Elijah instead of John the Baptist if Israel would have accepted Yeshua as Messiah. But God foreknew Yeshua’s generation would not accept him, so he sent John the Baptist instead. (Mt11:14; Mt17:10-13.) So Elijah will yet return sometime before the tribulation period, although we don’t know how public his return will be.

Russia’s Attempt to Invade Israel

Russia and its allies will try to invade Israel, but will miraculously be destroyed. The timing of this event is uncertain, but many believe it will happen sometime before the 7-year tribulation period. “Set thy face toward Gog [probably a title for whoever rules Magog], of the land of Magog [southern Russia], the prince of Rosh [Russia], Meshech [Moscow], and Tubal [Tobolsk, historical capital of Siberia], and prophesy against him, ... Persia [Iran], Cush [Ethiopia], and Put [Somalia] with them ... Gomer [Germany], ... Togarmah [Armenia], in the uttermost parts of the north ... even many peoples with thee. ... In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples ... it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring thee against my land. ... And I will rain upon him, ... and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. ... Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel,” Ez38:1-39:4.

The 7-Year Tribulation Period

The 7-year tribulation period is also called the day of the LORD, or the day of Jehovah. (The word “LORD” in all-caps in the Bible means the scriptures originally had the word “Jehovah” there. It’s amazing to me that men dared to openly and intentionally alter God’s scriptures out of supposed respect for God.) “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it,” Is13:9. Why is God angry? “Behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity [including sexual immorality]: the earth also shall disclose her blood [of those murdered, including unborn infants], and shall no more cover her slain,” Is26:21. People today enjoy and are entertained by the two things that determine every movie and television show’s rating, immorality and violence.

That the day of the Lord is coming should cause us to call upon God for salvation today. “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call,” Joel2:31-32.

The Time of Jacob’s Trouble

The Tribulation Period is also called “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, but he shall be saved out of it,” Jer30:8. It will be a time of persecution of both true Christians (mostly Evangelicals today), and the Jewish people. In Revelation 6:9, John sees the spirits of “them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” The believing Gentiles that dare to shelter the Jewish people and who survive the tribulation period will be the Gentiles who enter the Messianic Kingdom in their natural bodies. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, ... he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations [Gentiles]: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. ... Ye took me in. ... Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” Mt25:31-46.

Israel’s Treaty with the Antichrist

The 7-year tribulation period will begin when the reestablished nation of Israel signs a 7-year agreement with the Antichrist for the sake of their security. “After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself [this happened to Yeshua around 40 AD]: and the people [the Romans] of the prince that shall come [the Antichrist will be born to an Italian woman] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary [the Romans, the people of the Antichrist who has not yet come, did this back in 70 AD]; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he [the prince that shall come, the Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [7 years],” Dan9:26-27.

The treaty will be made “with many,” but others in Israel will trust in God for their security and oppose the agreement. God condemns this treaty. “Ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge. ... Your agreement with hell shall not stand. When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it,” Is48:14-22.

The 144,000 Jewish Missionaries and the 2 Witnesses

Since all believers are taken out of the world at the ‘rapture’ sometime before the tribulation period, God jump-starts getting the gospel out during the tribulation period with 144,000 young Jewish men lined up who will believe and become missionaries for Yeshua to the Gentiles. He will also have two special witnesses in Jerusalem, who no doubt will be seen worldwide through media like TV and the internet. They are not Enoch and Elijah, because they are already glorified (Lk9:31; Heb11:5) and can’t die, but the Antichrist will kill these two prophets. If you’re not already familiar with them, you can read about them in Revelation 7, 11, and 14:1-5. But let’s get back to Israel’s treaty with the Antichrist.

The Abomination of Desolation in the Middle of the Tribulation

To continue with the Daniel 9 passage, “He [the Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease [the Antichrist will break the 7-year treaty at the 3 1/2 year point, and stop the temple sacrifices, which also shows that the temple will have been rebuilt by the middle of the tribulation period], and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate [the abomination of desolation], even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate,” Dan9:27.

The “abomination of desolation” is that the Antichrist will “set up” an idol of himself in the tribulation period temple as the following shows. “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white [by martyrdom], and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate ‘set up,’ there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days,” Dan9:9-12.

And it will be an unusual idol. It will be alive and powerful. “He [the Antichrist’s false prophet] doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast [the Antichrist]; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live [the Antichrist was killed and resurrected sometime before the middle of the tribulation period, Rev13:3]. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed,” Rev13:12-18.

The Mark of the Beast

To continue with Revelation 13, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six [this might be the numeric value of his name transliterated into Hebrew letters which are also used for numerals],” Rev13:12-18.

By the middle of the tribulation, no one will doubt that there’s a God, but the only decision will be to refuse the mark of the Antichrist and likely be killed by men, or take his mark and be punished by God. “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth ... and there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen ... and the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints [believers during the tribulation period are encouraged to endure persecution and death by looking forward to the resurrection and time of eternal reward]: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them,” Rev14:6-13.

Some have taught that if a person heard the gospel before the rapture, but hadn’t become a believer by the time of the rapture, they would not have the option to be saved afterwards. This is totally untrue. But if anyone takes the mark of the beast in the second half of the tribulation period, salvation will no longer be available to them, as we saw in the Revelation 14 passage above, and their future judgment will be as certain then, as our future glorification is now.

The Flight from Jerusalem

After Yeshua’s rejection, he prophesied the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem, and warned the people as to when they should flee Jerusalem. The warning is recorded in parallel passages in Matthew and Luke, but the two passages refer to two different times. First, Luke says to flee when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies, which happened in 66 AD. “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people, 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,” Lk21:20-24.

But how do you flee Jerusalem when it’s surrounded by armies. In 66 AD, the local Roman general, Cestus Gallus, came from Caesarea and surrounded Jerusalem, but he knew his supply lines were not secure, so he lifted the siege to return to Caesarea, but was killed by Jewish forces on his way back. During that break, those who believed the words of Yeshua (like those who believed Moses in Deut9:18-21) fled to Pella across the Jordan, and safely waited out the war. In 68 AD, Titus, who served under his father Vespasian, laid siege to Jerusalem, and destroyed it in 70 AD.

In contrast to Luke, Matthew said to flee Jerusalem when the abomination of desolation occurs in the middle of the tribulation period. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house; neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day, for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. ... If they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth ... for as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be,” Mt24:15-27. This time Jerusalem will not be surrounded with armies when the signal is given to leave Jerusalem, so people must flee immediately. Many people will flee “into the mountains” of Edom to the rock city of Petra. And they are warned not to be tricked into coming out of hiding by rumors that Messiah has come. When Yeshua does return, “he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him,” Rev1:7.

The Fall of Jerusalem at the End of the Tribulation Period

When all the nations gather against Jerusalem at the end of the tribulation period, God will strengthen the people in Jerusalem. “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them,” Zech12:8. Nevertheless, the city will fall. “I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city,” Zech14:2. Then God will step in. “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives,” Zech14:3-4.

Yeshua’s Return at Petra in Edom (Southern Jordan)

God will save the Jewish remnant at Bozrah (Petra) first. “The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah,” Zech12:7. “For my sword shall be bathed in heaven. Behold, it shall come down upon Idumea [Edom], and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood ... for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea [Edom],” Is34:5-8.

The Battle from Petra to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem

Yeshua will fight the Gentile armies all the way from Petra to the Kidron valley. Remember Yeshua is not a Gentile; he will fight with the Jews against the armies of the Gentiles. “God came from Teman [near Petra], and the Holy One from mount Paran [near Petra]. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise, and his brightness was as the light; he had horns [death rays] coming out of his hand ... before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. ... He beheld, and drove asunder the nations [Gentiles]; and the everlasting mountains were scattered,” Hab3:3-6.

Of course, the only way God can actually come from Teman, is in the person of his Son Yeshua the Messiah, because no man can see God the Father. “Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,” Mt24:30. And Yeshua will easily dispense with the Antichrist, “that Wicked [one] ... whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming,” 2Thes2:8.

As he pushes the Gentile armies back from Petra into the narrow Kidron valley, it will become a winepress that he treads. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? ... I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winevat? I have trodden the winepress alone. ... I trod them in mine anger, and trampled them in my wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments,” Is63:1-3, ASV.

From the New Testament, “The angel cast his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress, the great winepress, of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city [the Kidron outside Jerusalem], and there came out blood from the winepress, even unto the bridles of the horses, as far as a thousand and six hundred furlongs,” Rev14:19-20. And from the Old Testament, “Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat [Kidron]. ... Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe, for the winepress is full. ... Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision,” Joel3:12-14.

And then the Messianic Kingdom will be set up. And for some information about what the Messianic Kingdom will be like, you can look at the survey of Ezekiel 40-48 earlier in this book.

Romans 9:1-9:29. Not All Isreal (Continued)

So it has been hard for unregenerate Israel to have a relationship with God. Some of the benefits are that they got to hear the word of God in the synagogues, and to avoid many of the corruptions of Gentile nations. And it has also been hard, as it were, for God to have a relationship with unregenerate men whom he “endured with much longsuffering,” Rm9:22.

“And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Rm9:23-24.

The good news is that “vessels of wrath” can become “vessels of mercy.” “The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel,” Jer18:4.

All men are all under the wrath of God because of ungodliness, unrighteousness, and transgression as we saw in Romans 1-3, until we put our faith in Christ, as we saw in Romans 4. “We all ... were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, ... that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith,” Eph2:3-9.

God can change one kind of vessel into another, through his miraculous power. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. ... With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible,” Mt19:24-26. So being a vessel of wrath doesn’t indicate your final destiny. But once you become a vessel of mercy, God would never remake you into a marred vessel again; so being a vessel of mercy does indicate your final destiny.

Israel’s Temporary and Partial Judgment

“As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved [Hos2:23]. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God [Hos1:10],” Rm9:25-26. Paul quotes these passages from Hosea to show it was prophesied beforehand that Israel would have a long period of temporary blindness. It’s been about 2,000 years, and now Israel has been reestablished in the land, and it’s almost time for them to regain their sight.

Some Jewish people are still God’s “people,” and “beloved,” and “children of the living God.” They are primarily the Jewish Messianic believers that are ostracized and expelled from the Jewish community today. But eventually, Jewish believers in Yeshua will be part of the Jewish community again, and Israel will be, “My people,” again.

“Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved [Is10:22]: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth [Is10:23]. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha [Is1:9],” Rm9:27-29.

Paul quotes these passages from Isaiah to show that Israel’s blindness is only partial. There has always been a believing remnant, however small, in every generation. And it is the believing remnant that preserves the existence and continuance of the Jewish people. If any generation were to fail to have that remnant, there would be nothing to preserve that generation from total destruction like Sodom and Gomorrah.

“As the new wine [the remnant] is found in the cluster [the Jewish people], and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing [the remnant] is in it [the Jewish people]: so will I do for my servants’ sakes [the remnant], that I may not destroy them all [the Jewish people]. And I will bring forth a seed [the remnant] out of Jacob [the Jewish people], ... and mine elect [the remnant] shall inherit,” Is65:8-9. So even though Jewish believers in Yeshua are scorned and outcast from the Jewish community today, they are the only ones preserving the existence of the Jewish people.

Romans 9:30-10:21. Justification by Faith

“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed [Ps118:22],” Rm9:30-33.

Of course, only a minority of Gentiles attained to righteousness. But there are many more Gentiles in the world than Jewish people, so the church is mostly Gentile. And the Gentiles had not spent centuries learning the word of God, and trying to live according to its righteous guidelines, but through the gospel many Gentiles have believed and are thereby counted righteous before God, and also walk according to the righteousness of the law (not the law itself). The majority of Jewish people, like the majority of Gentile people, stumble at God’s provision of justification by faith because of their self-righteousness attitudes, and thus think they can do good works to attain justification.

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God,” Rm10:1-3.

So these 3 chapters are about the salvation of Israel; their national justification, sanctification, and glorification. And not only Paul’s, but also my heart’s desire and prayer is that they would be saved. And if you are a believer, your heart’s desire and prayer is the same for our Lord’s great-great-great nephews and nieces and kinsmen. Not that they would stop being Jewish, or fail to preserve their uniqueness or their culture and traditions; but only that they would accept by faith God’s provision of righteousness in Yeshua.

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them [Lev18:5; Neh9:29; Ez20:11,13,21],” Rm10:4-5. Theoretically, a person could be justified by the law, if he kept it. But in practical terms, no one has kept it, except the Savior, which is why he was able to suffer our punishment in our place, a sacrifice for sin, since he was worthy of no punishment for himself.

“Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he [Yeshua, Messiah] shall grow up before him [God the Father] 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. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we [Israel] did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Is53:3-6.

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my [Isaiah’s] people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth,” Is53:7-9.

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he [God] hath put him to grief: when thou [God] shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed [the people who are justified by faith, the fruit of Messiah’s sacrifice], he shall prolong his days [through resurrection, never to die again], and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He [God] shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: [now God speaking says:] by his knowledge shall my righteous servant [Messiah] justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities [Israel’s and the world’s]. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors,” Is53:10-12.

Many rabbis teach that the “he” and “him” in this passage refers to Israel; but then who would the “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to? Try replacing the word “he” with the word “Israel” in the passage, and it makes no sense. The “he” in this passage is a righteous person. The “we” in this passage are unrighteous people. The one righteous person suffers their punishment in place of the unrighteous people.

“The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us,” must mean “The LORD has laid on him [Messiah] the iniquity of us [Israel].” It cannot mean “The LORD has laid on him [Israel] the iniquity of us [Israel].” God’s righteous servant Yeshua has provided righteousness (justification) to all who know him. ”By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”

“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (That is, to bring Christ down from above.) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (That is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart [Deut30:12-14]; that is, the word of faith, which we preach,” Rm10:6-8. Paul quotes a passage from Deuteronomy about how God provided the law to Israel, instead of them having to work to get it. But the righteousness God provides in Christ is not only readily available, like the law, but also readily attainable by faith, unlike righteousness by the law which is unattainable.

“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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed [Is28:16]. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved [Joel2:32],” Rm10:9-13.

Trust in the Savior as your savior in your heart, and confess him before men, and you will be saved, based on the authority of God’s word. He says, “Whoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed,” Is28:16, meaning will not fail, will not perish. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Joel2:32. If you are not already a believer, do that now. Believe in your heart, and call upon him in prayer.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! [Is52:7; Nahum1:15] Rm10:14-15. We often hear these words at missionary conferences, and that’s appropriate, but do we remember they are primarily talking about Jewish missions?

And the Jewish people hate Christian missionaries, because they think Christians are trying to take them away from being Jewish, because they don’t think it’s possible to be Christian and remain Jewish. They also think Messianic Christian churches are just formed to lure Jewish people away from Judaism, but while all believing Christians rejoice when any Jew or Gentile comes to know the Messiah, Jewish believers mainly form Messianic congregations to help them practice their own Jewish culture as Christians.

So unfortunately, the majority of Jewish people resent Christian missionaries for supposedly taking Jewish people away from being Jewish, but then when the Jewish people who become Christians form assemblies so they can continue in their Jewish culture, the Jewish people critisize them for that too, saying it is just a ploy to get more converts.

Judaism, for the most part, doesn’t actively proselytize, because it teaches that Gentiles can be counted righteous before God by keeping the laws given to Noah, without converting to Judaism. But we know that neither Jew nor Gentile can be saved apart from Jesus Christ. “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, ... this is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts4:10-12.

If we discovered a drug that could heal all cancers, it would be wrong, and it would indicate we did not love someone who needs it, if we did not try to give it to them. We reach out to Jewish people, and Gentile people, because we love them and because they need forgiveness of sins, knowledge of God, eternal life, and an inheritance in the Messianic Kingdom.

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report [Is53:1]? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world [Ps19:4],” Rm10:16-18. So you have to hear a message before you can believe it. Israel heard through the 12 apostles of Yeshua, and Israel continues to hear from believers today.

“But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you [Deut32:21]. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not. I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me [Is65:1]. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people [Is65:2],” Rm10:19-21.

So Israel knew from prophecy that there would be a period of time when Gentiles believed and Israel did not believe. And Israel is a disobedient nation, because all nations are disobedient. The majority of people in all nations are unregenerate, and any Gentile nation that God could have picked would be just as disobedient.

Romans 11. All Israel

Israel’s Blindness is Partial

“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elijah? How he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal [1Kings19:10,14,18]. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work,” Rm11:1-6.

God told Elijah there were still 7000 that hadn’t bowed the knee to Baal. So in Elijah’s time there were 7000. In our time, we don’t know the number, but there is always a remnant. Paul was part of the remnant during his generation. And the way God makes sure there are always some believing Jewish people in every generation, is by election based on grace and faith, not on law and works; by knowing in advance who will believe, and having them born at the right time to serve this purpose.

And in 11:7, “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day [Is6:9-10; Is29:10]. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway [Ps69:22-23],” Rm11:7-10.

To me, this is one of the saddest passages in the Bible. But when it says Israel is blinded, it doesn’t mean God is blinding Jewish people so they can’t accept Yeshua, because some Jewish people do accept Jesus, including Paul. What it means is that those that don’t know the Lord, are blinded from accepting Jesus Christ outwardly without putting faith in Christ.

David’s words sound harsh about bowing down their backs always, but the Messiah suffered harshly too. Rejection of the Messiah is a serious offence. And even if we would not have given him vinegar for his thirst while he was suffering, our hearts are naturally of the same kind as those who tormented him, even if not of the same degree.

“For thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. ... Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink [while on the cross]. Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake [the Septuagint says “bow down their back alway”]. Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten [in our place]; and they talk to the grief ... whom thou hast wounded. Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. But I am poor and sorrowful. Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high [Messiah will return to rule]. ... The humble shall see this, and be glad; and your heart shall live that seek God. ... For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein,” Ps69:7-36.

So Messiah prayed for terrible judgment upon unbelieving Israel. But no one has to remain in unbelief. Be “humble,” don’t consider yourself righteous but instead accept the righteousness God provides, and you will have cause to “be glad” when you see Messiah reign. “Seek God” and you “shall live,” and “inherit” the Messianic Kingdom, and “shall dwell therein.”

Israel’s Blindness is Temporary

“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy,” Rm11:11. Because Israel, as a nation, rejected the gospel, the gospel could go out to the Gentiles without the hindrance of the law. The temporary fall of Israel was great riches for the Gentiles. And the reason God sends the gospel to the Gentiles, and saves them as Gentiles without any need to become Jewish proselytes, is to provoke unbelieving Israelites to jealousy, so Israel will be saved. It is to help Jewish people realize they cannot be justified merely by being Jewish, or by traditions, or by keeping the law.

“Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? ... For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Rm11:12-15.

At some point in the future, the nation of Israel will be reconciled to God, and at that point it won’t result in justification for the Gentiles, as Israel’s fall did; but instead it will result in the resurrection and glorification of both Jews and Gentiles. It will be “life from the dead,” Rm11:15.

Jesus told the Jewish people, “You won’t see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” and the Gentile nations won’t see him either until the Jewish people say that. The event called the ‘rapture’ is a private return of the Messiah to catch away the church out of the world before the great tribulation. He will not return publicly, and the kingdom won’t be set up, until Israel as a nation says of Yeshua, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” Mt23:39.

“... If some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. ... Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear, ... lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God. ... They also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted ... into their own olive tree?” Rm11:16-24.

The “natural branches” are the Jewish people and the “wild” branches are the Gentiles. The olive tree is the Jewish people’s “own olive tree.” It does not represent salvation, because even unbelieving Jewish people remained on the tree until the rejection of Christ and the resulting judicial blindness. The “root and fatness” are the Jewish fathers and the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant.

When God gave the law, and the tabernacle service, and the shekinah glory, unbelieving Jewish people could participate in those things. But when God sent the Messiah, and all the blessings of God are now in and through him, unbelievers, including Jewish unbelievers, cannot participate in knowing Christ, and so Jewish unbelievers are the “some” of the natural branches that were broken off. The natural branches that were not broken off are the believing Jewish remnant, and they are also part of the church.

The wild branches that were grafted in are Gentiles that believe on Yeshua, and thus share in Israel’s covenant blessings during this present age. We should be humble, because we are sharing in Jewish blessings, Jewish covenants, Jewish scriptures, the Jewish Messiah, and will have an inheritance in the Jewish Messianic Kingdom.

None of these things have been transferred over to the Gentiles. Unbelieving Gentiles will not partake in those blessings, as the unbelieving Jews did before Christ came. And soon God will work it out so that all Israel believes, and is grafted back into their own tree.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” Rm11:25.

“Blindness in part,” so Israel’s blindness is only partial, because there is always a remnant who believes. “Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” so Israel’s blindness is only temporary, because they will soon be grafted back in. We Gentiles need to know this to avoid all kinds of false doctrines about Israel, and so we can humbly look forward to rejoicing along with the Jewish people, when God’s promises will be fulfilled for them, and Israel will have the pre-eminent place among the nations in the coming kingdom. “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her,” Is66:10.

All Israel Shall be Saved

So 11:26-27 says, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins [Ps14:7; Is59:20].” Now “all Israel shall be saved” doesn’t mean that every Israelite who ever lived is going to be given another chance to accept Yeshua, and is going to be justified some day. What it means is that in the last generation, by the end of the tribulation period, every Jewish person will accept Yeshua as Savior, and so all of Israel living at that point in time shall be saved.

Let’s look into the future and watch that happen. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son ... And the land shall mourn, every family apart,” Zech12:9-12.

This will be a very organized repentance like the one we talked about that Jesus required of the nation in the gospel of Matthew. And at that time, Israel did not perform this repentance, but in the future the nation will perform this very organized repentance. To continue the Zechariah passage, “And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness,” Zech12:12-13:1.

So all Israel shall be saved. But God doesn’t accomplish this by forcing or causing all the Jewish people living at that time to believe. He doesn’t predestinate them all to faith or justification. He accomplishes this, tragically, by the death of the 2/3’s of the Jewish people, that he knows won’t believe on Christ during the tribulation period, so that only the one third he knows will believe will be left.

“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God,” Zech13:8-9.

So how does the Lord get exactly 2/3 that don’t believe and 1/3 that do in that generation? He knows from his foreknowledge who will believe, and controls through his sovereignty when people are born so that it will come out 2/3’s and 1/3.

“As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes,” Rm11:28. The Jewish people are called “enemies” here because at the time Paul wrote this epistle, it was the Jews who were persecuting Christians, not the other way around. The Jews were trying to stamp out this Jewish ‘cult’ while it was just getting started.

Paul himself, the writer of this epistle, was once a Jewish persecutor of Christians, an ‘enemy of the gospel,’ so he knows what he’s talking about. “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun ... And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest,” Acts26:9-15. But after the false-Christian emperor Constantine gave Christianity a dominant place in the Roman Empire in 313 AD, the false Christians started persecuting Jewish people.

“But as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” Rm11:28-29. Israel is precious to us, because Israel is precious to our God. And God will never go back on his promises to Israel, because God never goes back on any promises. And since Israel’s national glorification is certain, we can be confident our personal glorification is certain.

God’s Plan

God prevented the unbelieving Jewish people from accepting Christ as a prophet in an external manner while remaining unbelievers, so the gospel would go out to the Gentiles, so the Gentiles would bring the gospel to the Jewish people, so both Jews and Gentiles are dependent upon God.

“For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor [Is40:13]? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again [Job41:11]? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen,” Rm11:30-36.

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Romans 12-16: Service

Recorded March 29, 2009

This is the last session in our survey of the book of Romans. It’s great to see more young people here today. Thank you, Lord, for the ministry of this church, this assembly, in this neighborhood.

Ok, your handout shows an outline of the book of Romans, and we see that the first 11 chapters were about doctrine, and now we are going to look at chapters 12 - 16, which are about practice. Doctrine always comes before practice. You should always base your practice on doctrine, and never base doctrine on your practice. The book of Ephesians is the same way. The first three chapters are doctrine, and the last three chapters are practice.

When Paul gets to Romans 12:1 he says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God.” He says, I beseech you “therefore,” because he is basing his plea on what went before. So, what went before in the first 11 chapters?

Well, in chapters 1 through 4 we started off under the wrath of God because of our sinfulness, and we were facing the righteous judgment of God, until by faith in the substitutionary redemption of Jesus Christ we received justification, and were declared not guilty, and we had peace with God.

And then, in the first half of Romans 5, we learned that we are awaiting our sure hope of glory, to share in the glory of God, our bodies being like his body, shining brightly, and that nothing can stop that from happening. All who have been justified will be glorified.

And in the second half of Romans 5 and Romans 6 - 8, we learned that all who have been justified will also be sanctified. Because we were united with Christ at the point of his death, so we were also buried and raised with him. And thereby, we were legally delivered from being servants to sin, and were made servants to God, servants to righteousness. And we learned that our Jewish brethren were delivered from being married to the law, and they became married to Christ. And we learned that we all have the Holy Spirit within us, who gives us understanding of spiritual things, and changes our thinking, which also changes our walk.

And then we saw in Romans 8 - 11 that we are now sons of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ in the future kingdom, and that nothing can separate us from the love of God; that both our future personal glorification and Israel’s future national glorification are certain and sure.

And now in chapter 12, Paul says, “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.” And that means not using our bodies for sin, and also sacrificing our own pleasure and comfort to serve and labor for the Lord.

And then Paul says it is not just in your body, but in your spirit that you should render service. “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,” Rm12:2. Your mind is part of your spirit. It is part of your heart. And we are not like the world, because we have the Holy Spirit; and so we think differently than the world. We are going to see as we look through these chapters how differently we now think from the world.

Romans 12-13. Love & Humility

All these 5 chapters, 12-16, are about love, and about our service to God, which is mainly love, because love fulfills all righteousness. Paul starts off in verse 3, “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.” You know, if you are going to love others, you have to start with humility, because love is others-centered. And if you are full of pride, you are going to be self-centered.

Then he says in verse 9, “Let love be without dissimulation.” That means you must love, and you must do so genuinely, without faking it, and without being a hypocrite. Love is a primarily a decision, not a feeling. But you are obligated to stir up your feelings to go along with your decision. “Unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently,” 1Pet1:22: Your love has to be both genuine (unfeigned) and fervent.

Untold harm has been done to people by pretty tunes whose words are poison, like Dean Martin’s, “Please release me let me go; For I don’t love you anymore; To waste our lives would be a sin; Release me and let me love again.” No, you are sinning by not continuing to love your wife, by your cruelty towards her because of your lack of commitment. We can’t control our emotions perfectly, but we can direct them, and fan them, or inhibit them, by choice.

He says, “Abhor that which is evil,” Rm12:9, because unrighteousness is inconsistent with love. Sin never helps anybody. It only hurts people.

And then in verse 10, Paul says, “In honour preferring one another.” You see how different this is from the world’s way of looking at things? The world says, you know, “I’ll get mine, and then if I feel good, and it’s not too inconvenient, I’ll give you some.” But we prefer one another before ourselves.

In Philippians 2:3, Paul said, “In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” And if you are aware of your own sins, and your own shortcomings, you are going to have no problem seeing others as better than yourselves, because every other person in the world has some area that they do better in than you. Maybe they listen better, or maybe they serve better. But there is some area, there is some skill, that they have that you can learn something from them.

And in Romans 12:15 he says, “Weep with them that weep.” The world doesn’t do that. The world sees somebody weeping, and they say, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Don’t bring my day down with your suffering. They say, “Get over it.” But we weep with those who weep.

And that is why we have to be careful about what we watch on TV. Because when we see someone suffer, our heart is supposed to be broken and compassionate, weeping with that person. And when you see suffering over and over on TV, and you harden your heart because it is just for pretend, then you get in the habit of hardening your heart. And when you go out in the world and somebody cuts in front of you on the freeway, or you see a little child who is afraid of the dark or something, hey, you have seen a lot worse things than that, and you are in the habit of hardening your heart. And so it makes our whole society harder, and less compassionate, and less gracious, and in some cases even worse. So fill your minds with the Word of God, and not with the stuff you see on TV.

And then in verse 16 he says, “Condescend to men of low estate.” If you want to know if someone is a loving person, don’t look at how they treat their friends. Look at how they treat their waiter. See if they show respect to the homeless person in dirty clothes.

And then Paul says in 13:1. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers,” because we need to obey government; and in 13:4 he says, “He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger.” The only duty God ever gave the Gentile governments is to execute murderers. He told Noah, “Anybody or any animal that sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed,” (see Gen9:6). And, you know, that is the job that the governments of the world are doing worst at right now. The Islamic governments execute people for lesser crimes in violation of the word of God; and the Western governments don’t execute murderers, in violation of the word of God.

And then Paul said, “For this cause pay ye tribute,” in verse 6. I just included that because April 15th is coming up, and this way you can have a little bit of joy knowing that you are serving the Lord while paying your taxes.

Then in verses 11-13 he says, “Knowing the time,” time to awake out of sleep. “The day is at hand,” the day of the Lord, the day of the Lord’s return. “Cast off the works of darkness ... rioting,” That word means ‘partying,’ ‘carnival’. You know how the world’s mind is: just get through the work week so I can party on Friday night. And then it says “drunkenness.” They brag about getting drunk. “Chambering and wantonness.” Those are sexual sins, and our nation and the world is so preoccupied with those kinds of things. “Strife and envy,” talking about each other behind their backs and trying to get more money. Such a different way of thinking than the Christian way of thinking, than the Lord’s way of thinking.

Romans 14. Love & Amoral Things

In chapter 14 we are going to deal with love and amoral things, meaning neutral things. Amoral things are neither moral nor immoral; they are neutral. They are part of the physical realm, and cannot, in themselves, affect us spiritually. But how we make use of them can have spiritual consequences for other people and for our own eternal rewards.

“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations,” Rm14:1. This verse doesn’t mean we can’t have or discuss differences in doctrine or application of scripture. This book of Romans is a good example of Paul lining up his arguments and using persuasion. It means we are not to be argumentative or contentious.

The only time the whole group will agree about all doctrine and application is in a dictatorship, and the agreement will only be outward. True unity is not about being the same, but about loving each other despite the differences. “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Rom15:6. The only way we can all have the same mind is to have the mind of humility and love, so we are never argumentative or hateful in our differences.

“Speak the same thing, and ... be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment,” 1Cor1:10. The only way we can all speak the same thing, without being lorded over by dictatorial leadership, is to all speak love and righteousness, even while we freely disagree about many doctrines and applications. “Speaking the truth in love,” Eph4:15. Please disagree! Seek the truth as best you can. Speak the truth as best you know it. But speak it “in love.”

“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded,” not all forced to believe the same doctrine, but rather, “having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves,” Phil2:2-3. “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” Eph4:2-3. This is where true “unity of the Spirit” comes from. Not from denominational sameness, but from “forbearing,” the differences. “Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous,” 1Pet3:8. That’s the way to disagree. There’s a saying that where you have 2 Jewish people, you have 3 opinions, a humorous way of saying it is healthy and we should be willing to question and seek and discuss.

“For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs,” Rm14:2. Here is a vegetarian, not because of health reasons or compassion for animals, but because he thinks it is spiritually wrong to eat meat. He is wrong. It is not a sin to eat any kind of meat, “all things,” during this age. Even Jewish believers are not under the law of Moses during this age, and Gentiles never were under the law.

This chapter is about brethren who restrict themselves more than we are commanded or required to do. It is about not doing things we are permitted to do, and about doing things we are not required to do. It is always ok to restrict yourself more than required, but it is not ok to think you are required to restrict yourself more than required. That is legalism. Legalists don’t try to keep the law, for example, to gain salvation; because if they did that they wouldn’t be Christians, because salvation is by faith alone. They try to keep the law out of mistaken obedience, and often think they need to keep it or they won’t have power with God, or power to witness, or answered prayer, etc. Legalists need better teaching, and a better understanding of the Word, and more maturity; but we are to receive them.

“Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth, for God hath received him,” Rm14:3. Those who have faith enough to use the “liberty which we have in Christ,” Gal2:4, must avoid the natural temptation to think those who don’t are so immature they don’t have much to contribute to the body of Christ. Those who are weak, the legalists, must guard against their natural tendency to condemn others and to be argumentative about these things.

“For God hath received him,” Rm14:3. We should draw our circle of fellowship the same as God does. All believers are precious to us because they are precious to their Father whom we love. It would not make God happy, as it were, for us to exclude some who are his children. That means Charismatics, non-Charismatics, Calvinists, devotionalists, fundamentalists, evangelicals, etc. And we need to let them all be in leadership together and teach anything that a person can believe and still be a Christian, and let the believers who hear them grow by learning to exercise discernment.

As long as we only receive true believers into our number, no one will teach anything that a true believer can’t believe. No one will teach anything that contradicts the deity of Christ, or justification by faith, and so forth. If there is not freedom for true brethren to share all their different doctrines, then to that extent, the brethren in our assembly will stop learning and be stunted in their growth.

But this also means we must not include any people that God doesn’t include, even if they are of the same denomination. We don’t draw our circle any smaller than God does, but we don’t draw it any larger either. This is also essential for unity.

And there are even some true Christians that we are not to “receive.” 1 Corinthians 5:11 says, “I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother,” he is not an outsider, he is called a brother, he is part of the church assembly, “be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” You don’t keep company with or eat with him. It is not enough to merely excommunicate from any particular assembly a so-called brother who continues in any of these things, because he will just go to another assembly. But whether he finds another assembly to receive him or not, if he is being disciplined, don’t eat with him or company with him.

If a person who is called a brother, who we count as one of us (this doesn’t apply to our non-Christian friends), is living with his girl friend and they are not married, they need to get married. Otherwise you go through the steps of church discipline, and if they don’t fix the situation, you don’t keep company with or eat with them.

And there are other reasons to exclude even true believers from our gatherings. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned,” meaning doctrine incompatible with being a Christian, “and avoid them,” Rom16:17. As it says here in our text, you don’t accept brethren if they are argumentative and cause “doubtful disputations.”

“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand,” Rom14:4. This verse is a blessed restatement of 1 John and Romans 6 - 8 (surveys included in this book). God is not only able to make us all stand, but he actually does make every one of his children stand, “he shall be holden up.” Legalists may be tempted to be disappointed in this regarding believers they think are living too freely, like the Pharisees who said, “Give God the praise. We know that this man is a sinner,” Jn9:24.

“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind,” Rom14:5. Paul would not say, “let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind,” if he were talking about things which are moral or immoral. If he were talking about fornication, he would not say, everyone decide for himself if it’s right or wrong. He can only say this about amoral things, like eating meat.

Amoral things are not right or wrong in themselves. In some ages they are right, and in some ages they are wrong. Eating meat or not eating meat doesn’t hurt anyone (except the animal, which is not to be discounted, but not relevant to this passage). When someone practices homosexuality, he hurts himself and other people. Homosexuality is inherently immoral. Sexuality between a man and woman outside of marriage causes harm to people and is inherently wrong, whereas “marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled,” Heb13:4. This would be true whether God ever gave the law or not. But eating pork is only immoral when God forbids it, even if it is not the most healthful of foods, because disobedience is always immoral.

The apostles, using their rightful apostolic authority, “whatsoever thou shalt bind (prohibit) on earth shall be bound in heaven (agreed to, confirmed by heaven): and whatsoever thou shalt loose (allow) on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” Mt16:19, forbid the eating of blood, which is amoral in itself, in Acts 15, and now that eating blood is immoral the Church, and any Christian who eats it is wrong and disobedient. So Paul would not say of eating blood, “let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

“He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living,” Rom14:6-9. Both the weak and stronger brethren, i.e. all Christians, are conscientious and trying to serve the Lord, because of the Holy Spirit within us. But we are not all going to interpret or apply the scripture identically.

“Why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. ... So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” Rom14:10-12. Christians will never enter into judgment regarding eternal life or punishment. Christ has already gone through that judgment for us. But our works will be judged to see how much reward or loss of reward we will have. “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon [upon Christ], he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved,” 1Cor3:14-15. And we have enough trouble doing our own job that we don’t have to worry about how well somebody else is doing his job, except to help them if we can.

“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself,” Rm14:13-14. The key is in those words “of itself,” because God told Adam that he could eat only plants, every green thing. Then he told Noah, “You can eat any meat. If it moves, you can eat it; everything that moveth.” And then he told Moses, “You can only eat some meats. You can’t eat pork.” And then he told the apostles, “You can eat any meat.”

In the kingdom, although “fishers shall stand” along the Dead Sea at “Engedi,” Ez47:10, “they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,” Is11:9, except for animal sacrifices. (Regarding the healing of the Dead Sea and the resumption of animal sacrifices, see the survey in this book on Ezekiel’s Temple.) So during the kingdom, at least on the mountain of the house of the Lord, we may eat only plants again. (But if so, don’t worry, they will be tasty.) In the new heaven and earth, after the kingdom, “there shall be no more death,” Rev21:4, and we will eat only plants, including “fruits” from “the tree of life,” Rev22:2. And so meat can’t inherently be wrong in itself, because if it was, God couldn’t say it was ok at some times.

But meats become wrong whenever God says they’re wrong. If, in any period of time, God says they are wrong, then the meat doesn’t change, but now if you eat it, you are not only eating meat, you are also disobeying God, which is always wrong.

By the way, that also shows that there are ages and dispensations. Our brothers who want to keep the law say, “Well, Adam knew about unclean animals, and Noah knew about unclean animals, so they must have kept the law, too, even before Moses gave it to Israel.” But that is not true, because although they knew which animals were clean for the purposes of sacrifice, Adam wasn’t allowed to eat any of them, and Noah was allowed to eat all of them. So Adam and Noah weren’t under the law, and in the age before our present one the Jewish people were under the law, and now neither believing Jews nor any Gentile is under the law.

So there are ages. And you can’t just say, “I’m going to obey the Bible. I’m going to do what the Bible says.” Well, are you going to do what the Bible said to Adam, or are you going to do what the Bible said to Noah, or are you going to do what the Bible said to Moses, or are you going to do what the Bible said to ...? You know, they are all self exclusive. You can’t do them all. You can’t eat only plants, and also eat all meats, and also eat only some meats. So you have to learn to interpret the Bible in context. What does the Lord want for us at this time, in this age. What did he command us?

“But to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean,” Rm14:14. So even in this age, when there are no unclean meats, if a person thinks it is wrong to eat meat, it is sin for him to eat meat. Because any time you violate your conscience, any time you think something is wrong and you do it anyway, you’ve sinned by your intention to sin, even if the thing was actually ok to do if you understood the Bible better.

“But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably,” Rm14:15. These sections we are studying are about love. The word charity means love. And we are always allowed to restrict our liberty. We are not under obligation to exercise our liberty. Paul said in 1 Corinthians, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (necessary),” 1 Cor6:12; 10:23. So even though you are allowed to eat meat, you are always permitted not to eat meat, and sometimes you must not eat meat for the sake of your brother.

“Let not then your good be evil spoken of. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another,” Rm14:16-19. Righteousness, peace and joy are eternal things. And meat and drink are physical things. But you can turn those neutral things, which are neither moral nor immoral, into spiritual things. For example, if you don’t eat meat for the sake of your brother’s welfare, now you turn something that is neutral into something that is spiritual, because in addition to not eating the meat, you are loving your brother.

“All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine,” Rm14:20-21. Wine is a topic that is more pertinent to our day. Those vegetarians don’t cause much trouble today, but we still have a lot of disagreement in the Church about whether it’s alright to drink wine or not. A lot of believers think it’s wrong to drink wine, and I can sympathize with them because alcohol has caused so much trouble in the world, and so much suffering in families and individuals.

But Paul says, it’s good not to drink wine “nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth,” Rm14:21. That means that if you go out to a meal with a person who doesn’t believe in drinking wine, and you drink wine in front of him, he may want to drink wine, and he may do it even though he thinks it’s wrong, and thus you have influenced him to sin. Or he may do it to be part of the crowd, and you influenced him to sin.

Or, Paul says, “Or is offended,” Rm14:21. The way you offend your brother is, you are drinking wine and you are supposed to be having a conversation that edifies him, and instead he has this turmoil in this heart. He is thinking, “That isn’t right.” And so he is not listening to anything you are saying that could be edifying to him. He is just concerned about what you are doing. And so for unnecessary reasons, you’ve influenced him to lower his opinion of you, and to think of you as an evil doer in that regard, and you’ve lost some opportunity to be closer to him for the sake of your mutual edification.

Now in our day, we don’t have the problem of people being too legalistic as much as we have the problem of people abusing liberty. Nowadays, anything goes in our society. We think there are no rules, and that whatever we do is just fine. But even in our day there are even some things that are neutral in themselves that God has commanded us not to do or to do. And that changes them from being amoral (neutral) things into being moral or immoral things.

We already saw that the apostles commanded the churches not to eat blood, and Jesus had given them the authority to make such rules for the Church. So they made that rule in Acts 15. Anyway, they were just confirming the laws God gave to Noah, and those laws are for both Jews and Gentiles.

Also, in 1 Corinthians 11, in the second half of the chapter, Paul speaks about the Lord’s Supper, and about the bread and the wine, which are physical things, neutral in themselves. They are not spiritual things. But because Yeshua commanded us to keep the Lord’s Supper, now it becomes something that we have to do, and we have to do it the right way. We can’t substitute milk for wine. And leavened bread does not present an acceptable picture of the Lord’s body since he said in the Gospels that leaven is a picture of false doctrine. And the Lord’s Supper should be a meal, not a snack - the Lord’s supper.

And then there is the headcovering observance in the first half of 1 Corinthians 11, which is also a church assembly observance, just as the Lord’s Supper is.

Romans 15. Love & Decision Making

Let’s go on to Romans 15 and look at how Paul made his decisions, look at how to know the will of God. Paul had a special ministry. He was the apostle of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. And he says here, “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost,” Rm15:16. So when Paul needed to make a decision about his ministry, he could make it based on the previous revelation he had received from God, as recorded various places in Acts, that he is the apostle to the Gentiles. So he went to the Gentiles, and “from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum,” that is Albania which is northwest of Greece and Macedonia, “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ,” Rm15:19.

And there was another principle he followed in his ministry. He said, “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation,” Rm15:20. And he based this on a scripture. “But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand,” Rm15:22. So he knew that he was the apostle to the Gentiles, and that he was helping fulfill that Scripture by his office, and so he followed the Scripture that he wouldn’t build upon another man’s foundation. He would go where there weren’t any assemblies, where there weren’t any house churches.

He says, “For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you,” Rm15:22. Paul couldn’t go to Rome, even though he wanted to, because they already had assemblies there. They already had gatherings there, because Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire, and there was a lot of traffic back and forth between Jerusalem and other cities, and Rome; and they had already received the gospel somehow. So Paul couldn’t go there, because that wasn’t his job. His job was to go out into the Gentile areas where the gospel hadn’t been preached. Paul didn’t have to pray and ask God if he should set up a ministry in Rome.

So that is how Paul was hindered from visiting Rome. But he says, “But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you ...” Rm15:23. He says, “I have no more place in these parts. I have finished my work in Asia Minor and Greece.” So now, “Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you,” Rm15:24. Paul was finally going to get to visit the churches in Rome, because he would get to visit with them on his way to Spain, which was the next logical place for him to preach the gospel.

He had preached in the Galatia area, next to Tarsus where he was born and near the church in Antioch that had sent him out to evangelize. And then he was going to preach in Asia Minor where Ephesus is, but God by a vision told him to skip that area and go over to Greece. A vision was necessary in this case, or Paul would have gone to Ephesus, because that was the next logical step.

And then after his work was done in Greece, Paul got to backtrack to Ephesus, and spend three years there. And as he writes this epistle to the Romans, he is on his way back to Jerusalem to bring the offering to the poor saints there, as Frank made mention of earlier this morning. And now he says here in Romans, “You know, I have finished my work in Galatia, Greece, and Ephesus, and now I am ready to come to you, because I am actually on my way to Spain. But I am looking forward to stopping by and seeing you.”

He says, “For I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you,” Rm15:24. It makes sense. Pick up some provisions, maybe get some financial support. And he says, “If first I be somewhat filled with your company,” get some rest, get some spiritual encouragement, and teach and encourage these believers in Rome on your way to Spain.

So Paul didn’t have to try to figure out what the will of God was in this. When God wanted Paul to do something unusual, he gave him visions and direct revelation, because Paul was an apostle and a prophet. But usually, even Paul just went on to the next logical step.

Like Peter did also in Acts 12:6-12, when he was in prison “between two soldiers, bound with two chains.” And God sent an angel to get him out, and “his chains fell off from his hands,” and the iron gate “opened to them of his own accord.” God did for Peter what he couldn’t do for himself, but then Peter didn’t need to hear a voice from God about what to do next, but rather “when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary ... where many were gathered together praying.” He knew where the brethen met, and it made sense to let them know God had freed him from prison.

Paul didn’t know when to stop ministering in Antioch and start his missionary journeys, so God told him through the prophets in the church at Antioch, “Separate Paul and Barnabas for the work I have for them to do” Acts13:2. So that got the thing started. But the second time Paul went out, God didn’t need to tell him to go. Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go see how the brethren are doing,” (see Acts15:36). Are they being attacked by false teachers? Are they being persecuted? Are they fighting among themselves? It just makes sense. Let’s go back and see how they are doing. That’s how they started the second missionary journey.

So here, as he is writing to the Romans, Paul doesn’t have to try to figure out what the will of God is. He knows the will of God. He is the apostle to the Gentiles. He is supposed to preach where Christ hasn’t been preached. And the next logical place to go is Spain. He doesn’t have to open his Bible, and close his eyes, and put his finger down on a verse, and try to figure out where God wants him to go. He doesn’t have to have a two-way conversation in prayer with God, because I don’t see anywhere in the New Testament that says prayer is a two-way conversation.

He doesn’t have to see if there is an open door, because God opened a door for Paul in Troas, and Paul walked away from it (2Cor2:12-13). An open door just means an opportunity. It doesn’t indicate what God’s will is. Often you have to keep pushing on closed doors, like to get government permission to evangelize people you know need the gospel; and often the open and easy things are not the things we should be doing. That is no way to make decisions. You should study the Bible, and the Bible tells you what God wants you to do.

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” These are the eternal, spiritual things that God is concerned about. He is not concerned whether you are a brick layer, or an architect, or a fisherman. That is not spiritual. That is not relevant. Now God is concerned about whether you earn enough money to have enough food to eat, so you don’t suffer too much. He is concerned about those kinds of things. But it is not more spiritual to have one job than to have another. It is not more spiritual to live in one city than another.

We get concerned about these things because we don’t want to suffer. We want to make the decision that is going to avoid unknown problems down the line. But that is not what God is concerned about. He is concerned that wherever you are, whatever job you are doing, that you rejoice evermore, that you pray without ceasing, that you give thanks in all things. And he will direct your steps (Pr3:6, Ps37:23). So even if you go somewhere for the wrong reason, he will make sure you are where he wants you.

But here is how to know the will of God. Say you have to decide whether to live in Philadelphia or San Francisco. Well, what does the Bible say? It doesn’t say anything about Philadelphia or San Francisco. But what does it say? It says, “Children, obey your parents. Honor your parents. Take care of your parents” (Eph6:1-2). Well, which city is going to let you take better care of your parents?

Now you have taken a decision which is neutral, which is not eternal, and because you have made the decision based on the Word of God that says, “Children take care of your parents,” now you have turned that thing which is neutral, into something which is spiritual. You have obeyed the Word of God, and obedience to God is always spiritual.

Or what city will help you provide for your family? The Bible says that if a man doesn’t provide for his family he is “worse than an infidel,” 1Tim5:8. So that, again, is how you can make that decision, and turn that neutral thing into a spiritual thing. Which city is going to let you share the gospel better, and fellowship with believers better? That is the way to make your decisions. Base them on the Word of God, on what God is really concerned about. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you,” 1Thes5:16-18. “Concerning you,” and you, and you, and me, and all of us. Base your decisions on love, which we know is his will, and you will have eternal reward.

Romans 16. Love & People

Ok, we are in our last chapter, chapter 16. This is a precious chapter because it is about people. And, you know, the Bible is not philosophy. It is not theory. It is always about persons (including God, angels, and men). It is always about relationships.

We get to meet a few people here. We get to meet Phebe. He says, “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant,” the Greek word is ‘diakonos,’ “of the church which is at Cenchrea,” Rm16:1. Cenchrea was near Corinth. It served as their harbor. “That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer,” ‘succourer’ means helper or a patron, somebody who provides money, “of many, and of myself also,” Rm16:2.

Now unfortunately, modernist, liberal teachers that are desperate to find woman leadership in the Bible, say this word ‘diakonos’ should be ‘transliterated’ as ‘deaconess’ rather than ‘translated’ as ‘servant’. Transliterate means to make the Greek word sound English (‘diakonos,’ ‘deacon’) rather than translate it into its meaning (‘servant’).

But Phebe wasn’t a ‘deacon’. She was a ‘servant’ of the church. There’s a lot of people mentioned in this chapter that labored in the church, and Phebe was a laborer in the church. She was like the ladies described in 1 Timothy 5:10, “Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.” That kind of lady would be outstanding in the church. She would be noted. She would be a helper in the church, a servant of the local assembly she is at.

Or she might be like the ladies that followed Jesus. “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance,” Lk8:1-3. They were his patrons. They helped finance his ministry. Now this is probably the kind of lady Phebe was. And she is probably mentioned first in this list, because she is probably the one who took this letter that we have been studying, and delivered it to the brethren in Rome, when she went there from Corinth, on account of some personal “business” she needed to do there, that Paul referred to in verse 2.

And then we see a couple here, Aquila and Priscilla. We first hear about them in Acts as having left Rome to go to Corinth when Claudius the emperor expelled the Jews from Rome because of a person named Chrestus, which some Jewish people raised trouble about. Perhaps as Jewish believers preached Christ in the synagogues, their opposition “set all the city on an uproar” as they did in Thessalonica (Acts17:5).

And while Aquila and Priscilla were in Corinth, Paul showed up preaching the gospel, and they lodged him in their house. And they became such close workers with Paul, that when Paul finished in Corinth, and left for Ephesus, they pulled up roots and went with him. Paul dropped them off in Ephesus while he went on to Jerusalem, and they laid the groundwork for the ministry in Ephesus, while Paul strengthened the churches of Galatia as he worked his way back from Jerusalem to Ephesus.

Then, when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus to the Corinthians, who obviously knew Priscilla and Aquila from when they lived and ministered there, he said, “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house,” 1Cor16:19. So first they housed Paul in Corinth, and now they’ve opened up their house in Ephesus for the church to meet in, they hosted a house church.

And then, probably after Claudius died and Nero his stepson became emperor, they moved back to Rome. And in this letter we are looking at now, written from Corinth to Rome, Paul says, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks,” Rm16:3-4. We don’t know exactly when, but at some time they had risked their own lives to save Paul’s, and I am looking forward to hearing more about that when we see them. Paul continues, “Unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house,” Rm16:4-5. So they went back to Rome, and again they have a church in their house. Some of the brethren in Rome are meeting in their house. So this is a real serving couple; a real blessing to the saints.

Then we have this lady Mary; and she is just one of several people in this chapter described as laborers, but I’ll mention only her. “Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us,” Rm16:6. And then we have, “Amplias my beloved in the Lord,” Rm16:8, somebody that Paul must have met in Corinth or Ephesus or somewhere who is now in Rome. And there are many people in this chapter just called “beloved” or “my beloved.”

And then we see some more house churches. “Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them,” Rm16:14. Probably not one household if there are all these different brethren; probably brethren that gather together in church meetings. “Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them,” Rm16:15. Again, another group, another gathering.

And then we see the people that are with Paul that send their greetings to the people in Rome. “Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen,” probably Jewish brethren, but possibly relatives of Paul, “salute you,” Rm16:21.

And then, and this is precious, “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord,” Rm16:22. So here is the guy that is writing down this long letter being dictated from Paul, and Paul allowed him, and the Holy Spirit allowed him, to insert his own greeting here. “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.” You see how personable God is, to allow Tertius this little favor, which of course meant a lot to Tertius, when God has covenants, and nations, and so forth, seemingly bigger things to be concerned about; and how these things are not just about theology, or philosophy, or theory.

Paul continues, “Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you,” Rm16:23. Here is another man who hosts a house church, and lodges visiting brethren, and whose house is a center of activity throughout the week for the brethren. He is the host of the whole church. It doesn’t mean everybody could fit in his house, but they are all welcome. What a ministry, and what eternal rewards we will someday see him reap!

And next, “Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you,” Rm16:23. So here is a guy that has some money and some influence. And he is followed up with, and this also is precious, “and Quartus a brother,” Rm16:23. That is all Paul has to say about him. Maybe he is a guy who took Paul’s visit to Corinth as an opportunity to hang around with Paul and these other brothers while Paul was writing this epistle, staying up late with them, and talking into the night. He probably loves Paul, and wants to learn all he can from him. We really don’t know anything about him except that he is a brother. And that is all we really need to know, because since he is a brother, we know he is in Jesus Christ, the one who created the world, the one from the beginning, who, with God the Father, is above all; and Quartus is a joint heir with Jesus Christ, and will share in his glory in the kingdom. So praise the Lord that he is a brother, and that his name is recorded here in Scripture, and that we will meet him some day in the future for sure.

So, of course, the most important thing for you, or anyone, to do, is to make sure that you also are “a brother,” (or sister). And you become a brother by being born of God by trusting in what Yeshua, Jesus Christ, did when he suffered in your place for your sins. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith,” Rm3:23-25. Trust in him as your savior in your heart, and tell him that you do so, for on the authority of the Word of God, who cannot lie, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Rm10:13.

And for us who have known the Lord for some time now, I wonder if we had been in that church at Rome, if Paul would have mentioned any of us in his greetings? Would have described any of us as his beloved, or as someone who labored much? How would he describe you and your service to the Lord?

We have so many eternal blessings that we learned about in chapters 1-11, we are so rich spiritually - justified, at peace with the holy God, walking in newness of life through his Spirit he has given us, destined with all certainty for an inheritance in his glorious kingdom - therefore, we ought to serve him fervently, in body and spirit.

And it is fitting that we should end our survey of Romans, that we have taken several sessions to go through, with the benediction here in verse 27, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”

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1 Corinthians 11, Part 1: The Headcovering Ordinance

Outline

1) Women Mentioned in This Exposition

2) Incorrect Interpretation

3) The Ordinances v2

4) The Authority of Man v3

5) Symbolism v4-6

6) The Witness of Creation v7-11

7) The Witness of Nature v12-15

8) Contention v16

This chapter is really an exposition, rather than an “expository survey”, because the first half of 1 Corinthians 11 is covered in some detail here. I began studying this chapter for practical reasons, because I had to try to determine if my wife and I had a responsibility to follow the practice of women wearing headcoverings in church meetings. But I found that the subject of the first half of this chapter is much broader than headcoverings. This is one of the most important passages in the Bible about the God-appointed roles of men and women, and about the goodness of authority structures in general.

And these are critical topics for the church during these last days, so we can walk in obedience and submission to God, while lawlessness and rebellion against God increase in the world, and “that man of sin be revealed, ... who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God ... For the mystery of iniquity [lawlessness, ASV] doth already work ... and then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming,” 2Thes2:3-8.

Women Mentioned in This Exposition

Anna, Deborah, Elizabeth, Esther, Eve, Jezebel, Joanna, Lydia, Mary Magdalene, Mary (of Bethany), Mary (of Rome), Mary (wife of Joseph), Persis, Phebe, Philip’s four daughters, Priscilla, Sarah, Shulamit, Susanna, Tabitha (Dorcas), and Vashti

The Incorrect Interpretation

There is one main incorrect interpretation of the first half of 1 Corinthians 11, with many minor variations, but they are all based upon cultural arguments. One basic variation is that a message of equality for women in the gospel resulted in Corinthian church women beginning to wear short hair or go without headcoverings in a society which considered such things to be less than respectable or possibly like pagan temple prostitutes. It should become clear, for numerous reasons as we go through this exposition, why this cannot be a correct interpretation of this passage.

1 Corinthians 11:2. The Ordinances

“NOW I PRAISE YOU, BRETHREN, THAT YE REMEMBER ME IN ALL THINGS, AND KEEP THE ORDINANCES, AS I DELIVERED THEM TO YOU,” 1Cor11:2. Whenever you study a passage of scripture, give special attention and emphasis to the first few verses, because the topic of the passage is usually stated there, and having a clear understanding about the general topic will help you interpret the specifics throughout the rest of the passage. 1 Corinthians 11 is about “the ordinances,” 1Cor11:2; the headcovering and Lord’s Supper church ordinances; not just about some local Corinthian cultural issues.

“NOW ... BRETHREN,” 1COR11:2. Chapter 11 should start in verse 2. In 1 Corinthians, Paul used the key phrases “Now concerning” and “Now, brethren” (or their equivalents) to introduce new topics. For example, in 1Cor7:1, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me.” In 1Cor8:1, “Now as touching (Greek, ‘concerning’) things offered unto idols.” In 1Cor12:1, “Now concerning spiritual gifts.” In 1Cor15:1, “Moreover (Greek, ‘Now’), brethren, I declare unto you the gospel.” In 1Cor16:1, “Now concerning the collection for the saints.” And here, in 1Cor11:2, “Now I praise you, brethren, that ... you keep the ordinances.”

“I PRAISE YOU,” 1COR11:2. 1 Corinthians 11 is divided into two parts by the phrases, “I praise you” in verse 2, and “I praise you not” in verse 17. The first part of the chapter is about the headcovering ordinance, “having his head covered,” 1Cor11:4; and the second part is about the Lord’s Supper ordinance, “when ye come together ... to eat the Lord’s Supper,” 1Cor11:20.

Paul praised the Corinthian church that they kept both ordinances; but when he came to verse 17, he began to scold them for the manner in which they kept the Lord’s Supper. Paul didn’t stop praising the Corinthians, and begin scolding them, until verse 17. The church at Corinth was doing a good job keeping the headcovering ordinance.

The incorrect interpretations of the first half of the chapter that say Paul was scolding Corinthian church women for not wearing headcoverings or for having short hair don’t make sense when you realize Paul isn’t scolding the Corinthians about anything in the first half of the chapter; he is praising them because they were observing the headcovering ordinance correctly, as he taught them to.

Bible teachers love to talk about how bad the church at Corinth was, but Paul praised them that they remembered him in all things. The letter to the Corinthians was about the local church. The epistle to the Romans gives us a systematic theology of the gospel and salvation. It would be inappropriate to talk about church problems in that book.

The book of Ephesians is about the mystery of the universal church and spiritual blessings in heavenly places. It would be out of place to discuss church problems there. If we had a letter Paul wrote to the Romans or the Ephesians about local church matters, we might see more problems than we see in Corinth. If Paul wrote a letter to your local assembly, the letter to the Corinthians might seem mild in comparison. And if, perchance, your assembly has less sins of commission, maybe it’s because it has more sins of omission.

Also, since the two halves of chapter 11 are joined together by the phases “I praise you” (v. 2) and “I praise you not” (v. 17), we can assume the headcovering ordinance, like the Lord’s Supper ordinance, is to be observed “when ye come together in the church,” 1Cor11:18. Chapters 12-14 are also about church meeting issues as can be seen from 1Cor12:1, “Now concerning spiritual gifts,” and 1Cor14:23, “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues.” Thus, 1 Corinthians 11:2 begins a larger section about church meeting issues that includes 1) Chapter 11 about “The Ordinances” and 2) Chapters 12-14 about “Spiritual Gifts.”

We cannot connect the first half of 1 Corinthians 11 with the non-church meeting topics of chapter 10, “If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast,” 1Cor10:27; and then connect the second half of 1 Corinthians 11 on the Lord’s Supper with the church meeting topics of chapters 12-14, because chapter 11 is one unit, as we saw by its structure.

Also, the first half of chapter 11 about the headcovering ordinance closes with the phrase “the churches of God,” 1Cor11:16, which implies the headcovering ordinance is a church issue, rather than an individual Christian issue. So we can already anticipate the answer to a question that arises when 1 Corinthians 11 is interpreted to refer to women wearing headcoverings: Is Paul saying women are required to wear headcoverings all the time or only during church meetings?

And the answer, obviously, is only during church meetings. And this context also rules out the hair length or Corinthian prostitute interpretations of this passage, since you can’t change your hair length just during church meetings and you wouldn’t want to avoid looking like a prostitute only during church meetings.

“THAT YE REMEMBER ME IN ALL THINGS,” 1COR11:2. The ordinances of 1 Corinthians 11 were part of the “all things” that Paul had taught the Corinthians. The implication is that they were part of the things he taught in every church. “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, ... who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church,” 1Cor4:17. Therefore, neither the headcovering nor the Lord’s Supper ordinances had a cultural basis, and neither were applicable to only the church at Corinth. And if they were important enough for Paul to teach in “every church,” 1Cor4:17, at that time, they must be important for churches today, too.

“AND KEEP THE ORDINANCES, AS I DELIVERED THEM TO YOU,” 1COR11:2. The Greek word translated ‘ordinances’ in verse 2, is usually translated as ‘traditions’ in the KJV New Testament. We often think of traditions in a negative sense, as in Mk7:8, “ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” However, Mark 7 does not imply that traditions are always less important than commandments. Mark 7 teaches that commandments and traditions of men, are less important than commandments and traditions received from God. As for traditions from God, we are told to “stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle,” 2Thes2:15.

The words “ordinances” and “delivered” in verse 2 are the noun and verb forms of the same Greek word, meaning to ‘hand over’ or ‘transmit’. Verse 2 could be translated “ye ... keep the deliveries, as I delivered them to you,” or “ye ... keep the transmissions, as I transmitted them to you.” The verb form is also used regarding the Lord’s Supper in verse 23, “for I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered [transmitted] unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread ....” The verb form is also used regarding the gospel in chapter 15, “I declare unto you the gospel ... for I delivered [transmitted] unto you first of all that which I also received,” 1Cor15:1-3. So the headcovering observance, the Lord’s Supper, and the gospel are all apostolic “ordinances,” transmissions, given to the apostles from Jesus, and from the apostles to the church.

The issue of the headcovering ordinance is one of apostolic authority. One of the main duties of the apostles of Jesus Christ, was to receive commands directly from Jesus Christ and deliver them to the church. Paul received the gospel directly, “the gospel which was preached of me is not after man, for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ,” Gal1:12. Paul probably received the gospel, the headcovering ordinance, and the Lord’s Supper ordinance from the Lord shortly after his conversion in Acts 9 when he “went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus,” Gal1:17.

Paul transmitted the apostolic transmissions to the Corinthians when he founded the church as recorded in Acts 18, “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; ... and he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them,” Acts18:1,11.

The other apostles received instruction about the gospel and the Lord’s Supper before Christ died, and they probably received the headcovering ordinance right after Jesus’ resurrection when he “through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen, ... being seen of them forty days,” Acts1:2-3.

Since it is important to realize that the headcovering and Lord’s Supper ordinances were apostolic transmittals, I will touch briefly on the subject of apostleship. The word ‘apostle’ is a transliteration of the Greek word ‘apostolos,’ meaning ‘sent one,’ ‘messenger,’ or ‘representative’.

Churches sent out apostles, “they are the messengers [‘apostolos’] of the churches,” 2Cor8:23. The church at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas, “when they had ... laid their hands on them, they sent them,” Acts13:2-3, which is why they were both called apostles while they were on their missionary journey, “the apostles Barnabas and Paul,” Acts14:14.

But Paul was not merely an apostle of the church of Antioch, but also “an apostle of Jesus Christ,” 1Cor1:1, 2Cor1:1, Eph1:1, Col1:1, 1Tim1:1, 2Tim1:1, Titus1:1; “an apostle, not of men [like the church of Antioch], neither by man [like the church of Antioch], but by Jesus Christ,” Gal1:1.

Paul had to spend a lot of time defending his apostleship (1Cor9:1-6, 2Cor11:1-12:12, Gal1:1-2:14, Gal6:17) because shortly after Jesus’ ascension, Peter and the other apostles had appointed Mathias to take Judas’s place, and “he was numbered with the eleven,” Acts1:26. However, the apostles had no more right to choose a personal representative of Jesus Christ, than I would have to choose one for you.

It is appropriate that the book of the Acts of the Apostles begins by showing us the limits of even apostolic authority. Like Abraham, who relied on natural means via Hagar, because he couldn’t see how God could accomplish the promises to him otherwise; so the apostles knew only a few men besides themselves who could qualify as witnesses, not knowing that Jesus would return much later to personally appoint and teach Paul. “And last of all, he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time,” 1Cor15:8.

1 Corinthians 11:3. Male Authority

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God,” 1Cor11:3. In general, verse 3 is describing the chain of command from God - to Christ - to Man - to Woman. But Paul begins his discussion of the chain of command with man, “the head of every man is Christ,” because man’s position is the focus of this section.

“BUT I WOULD HAVE YOU KNOW,” 1COR11:3. The word “but” in verse 3 does not indicate that Paul is ceasing to praise the Corinthians at this point, because he does not stop praising them until verse 17 when he says, “Now ... I praise you not.” What Paul is saying here is that, even though the Corinthians are keeping the headcovering ordinance correctly, and even though he has nothing but praise for them about it, he wants them to “know,” 1Cor11:3, more about it, so they will gain the full benefit of its observance.

Nowadays, many churches share a brief meditation about the meaning of the Lord’s Supper before or during its observance, so that it doesn’t become an empty ritual. Occasional meditations on the meaning of the headcovering ordinance are important for the same reason. The rest of the first half of this chapter is about the underlying meaning and significance of the headcovering observance.

1) THE OFFICE OF MAN. “THE HEAD OF EVERY MAN IS CHRIST,” 1COR11:3. God has placed man in a position of authority directly under Christ in the chain of command: God - Christ - Man - Woman. One must be under authority in order to be in authority, as the Roman Centurion understood: “For I am a man under authority [this is where his authority comes from], having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it,” Mt8:9.

Man (referring to males) has authority because Christ is his immediate supervisor. All positions of authority, leadership, ruling, and teaching are to be filled by males, and not females. Although man is in the middle of the chain of command (God-Christ-Man-Woman), man’s office is dealt with first in verse 3, because the headcovering ordinance primarily symbolizes the authority of man.

The Greek word translated “man” in verse 3 can mean either ‘male’ or ‘husband’. In this passage, we know it means ‘male’ because if it were consistently translated as ‘husband’ throughout the passage, some verses would not make sense. Verse 12, “for as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman” means that all ‘males’ are born of ‘females,’ not that all ‘husbands’ are born of ‘wives’. Even bachelors are born of women; and not all mothers are married; but all males are born of females. And “if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him,” 1Cor11:14, does not mean that having long hair is shameful for husbands, but not for bachelors.

But the startling word of verse 3 is the word “every.” In this authority structure in the physical realm, Christ is the head of every male, even unsaved males; and he is not the head of any females, even saved females. In the spiritual realm, Christ is the head of the church, “he is the head of the body, the church,” Col1:18; and of all who are in the church, both male and female, who “speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ,” Eph4:15.

We know this headship of Christ over males exists only in the physical realm, because in the spiritual realm, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female,” Gal3:28. There is no male or female in the spiritual realm, but there certainly is in the physical realm, or homosexuality would not be wrong.

In Israel, even ungodly males, like Caiaphas, Mt26:57-65, could be priests; but not even godly females could be priests. And in the church, even ungodly males, like Judas, Mt10:4, could be apostles; but not even godly females could be apostles.

Men are to rule in the home, the church, and society.

HOME: “The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, ... therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing,” Eph5:23-24. It is true we are to be “submitting yourselves to one another,” Eph5:21, but the way we submit must be different according to our office. The husband submits by sacrificing his own welfare for the wife; the wife submits by sacrificing her will for her husband. “Wives, submit ... husbands, love,” Eph5:22,25.

It would be no more proper for the husband to submit to his wife by submission and obedience than it would be for Christ to submit to the church by submission and obedience. By the way, wives are never commanded to love their husbands, but only to “be ‘affectionate’ (Greek) to their husbands,” Titus2:4.

CHURCH: Only males can be pastors and deacons. “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, ... that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” 1Tim3:1-5. “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well,” 1Tim3:8-12. The KJV is correct to ‘translate’ Romans 16:1 to read “Phebe our sister, which is a ‘servant’ of the church” instead of ‘transliterating’ it to read ‘deaconess’.

SOCIETY: Deborah was a prophetess that judged Israel, but she made her judgments in private under a palm tree, and Barak lead the armies, Judg4:4-5:31. God says that when women teach or rule, society suffers. “The LORD of hosts doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah ... the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another ... As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths,” Is3:1-12.

Even a good woman in public office would do more harm than good for society because of the example it would set. ”Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command by his chamberlains, therefore was the king very wroth, ... then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times ... what shall we do ... and Memucan answered ... this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes ... Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king’s princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.”

“If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, ... that Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she. And … all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small. And the saying pleased the king and ... he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, … that every man should bear rule in his own house ... After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti,” Esth1:12-2:1. The king was wrong to act hastily in his “wrath” and was wrong in his treatment of Vashti, but his “wise men” were right in their philosophy of male leadership, and I think the Bible shows support by recording it in so much detail.

Contrast Vashti with her replacement, Queen Esther; one of my favorite people in the Bible. “Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, … Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity … And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter … And the king [Ahasuerus] loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti … Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him,” Esth02:05-07,17,20. Esther had not only become married, with a family of her own; but had become queen of the Persian empire, and yet she still rendered submission and obedience, to the extent it did not conflict with her husband, to her adopted father.

2) THE OFFICE OF WOMAN. “AND THE HEAD OF THE WOMAN IS THE MAN,” 1COR11:3. So the subject of male authority was treated first in this verse, because that is the main topic of the first half of this chapter; but now the verse goes on to talk about the role of women.

There is a layer of authority between Christ and woman in the chain of command: God - Christ - Man - Woman. How can this be when we know “there is one mediator between God and men [‘people’ in Greek], the man [‘person’ in Greek] Christ Jesus,” 1Tim2:5? The answer is that 1 Timothy 2:5 is talking about salvation and spiritual things, “God our Savior desires all men [‘people’ in Greek] to be saved ... for there is one mediator,” 1Tim2:5. But the chain of command of verse 3 is talking about the offices that man, woman, and Christ hold in the physical realm. Again, in the spiritual realm, “there is neither male nor female,” Gal3:28.

The Greek word translated “woman” in verse 3 can mean either ‘female’ or ‘wife’. In this passage, it means ‘female’ rather than ‘wife’. If we consistently translated the word as ‘wife’ throughout this passage, some verses would not make sense. “As the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman,” 1Cor11:12, means all men are born of women, not that all men are born of wives.

‘Male’ is the head of ‘female’ whether a woman ever marries or not, because all women have 3 special ministries to fulfill in their roles as women: modest dress, quietness, and submission.

HOME: Peter covered the 3 ministries of women as they relate to the home in 1 Peter 3. “Likewise, ye wives ... (Modest Dress:) whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, (Quietness:) even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, (Submission:) being in subjection to their own husbands: even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord,” 1Pet3:1-6. Sarah thought of her husband as her lord. Her thoughts are recorded in Gen18:12, “Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord [meaning Abraham] being old also?”

The condemnation of “plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” doesn’t mean that these things cannot be done at all, for God certainly wants women to wear some apparel. However, women should keep these things simple and modest as part of their service to God.

God speaks despairingly of showiness and excess in women’s’ dress. “In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, the rings, and nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails,” Is3:18-23.

The quietness and submission aspects in this I Peter passage also mean that wives are not allowed to teach their husbands. “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear,” 1Pet3:1-2. The word “conversation,” 1Pet3:1, is from the French word ‘conversari,’ meaning ‘to live’; and in KJV English it referred to conduct, not speech.

It is translated from a Greek word meaning ‘a way of life’. The wife is limited to her manner of life in influencing her husband. It would be improper for her to teach her husband, and so he must be won “without the word,” 1Pet3:1, while he “beholds,” not ‘hears’ his wife. Some Catholic monks so valued the virtue of quietness that they took vows of silence. They were wrong to do so however, because this ministry (in a less extreme form) belongs to women, not men.

CHURCH: Paul covered the 3 ministries of women as they relate to the church in 1 Corinthians. “Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth (Modest Dress:) with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head ... let her be covered,” 1Cor11:5-6. “Let your women (Quietness:) keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; (Submission:) but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law,” 1Cor14:34.

The quietness and submission aspects also prohibit women from teaching in the church. God has approved no women as Bible teachers, even for other women. Titus 2:4-5 is the only reference to teaching responsibilities for women. “The aged women,” Titus2:3, all of them, not that certain ones are ‘teachers,’ are to “teach the young women,” Titus2:4. If every older woman should teach, then no older woman has an office of teaching.

And the older women are not to be Bible teachers, per se, but “teachers of good things,” Titus2:3; specifically, of the special ministries of women “to be sober, to be affectionate (Greek) towards their husbands, to be affectionate (Greek) towards their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands,” Titus2:4-5.

Priscilla had a part, along with her husband Aquila, in clarifying some things to Apollos, but “they took him unto them,” Acts18:26, conversing with him in the privacy of their home. Women are an invaluable asset in private discussions about even the heaviest topics even in mixed groups, but they are not to be Bible teachers in the church of even all-female groups. The women, as much as the men, need the teaching of the men God has provided by his grace to teach the church. The women should not be separated out to sit under women teachers.

SOCIETY: Paul covered the 3 ministries of women as they relate to society in 1 Timothy 2. All of 1 Timothy 2 describes how we should behave in society; it is not about how we should behave in the church.

The chapter has 3 parts. 1) ALL PEOPLE - 1TIM2:1-7. God’s desires that, “prayers ... be made for all people (Greek), ... who will have all people (Greek) to be saved,” 1Tim2:1,4. Salvation is God’s desire for people everywhere, not just in church.

2) MEN - 1TIM2:8: “I will therefore that men (‘males’ in Greek) pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands,” 1Tim2:8. Public prayer is God’s will for males, but not females “everywhere,” not just in church.

3) WOMEN - 1TIM2:9-15: “In like manner also, (Modest Dress:) that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but, which becometh women professing godliness, with good works. (Quietness:) Let the woman learn in silence (Submission:) with all subjection,” 1Tim2:9-11. God desires modesty, quietness, and submission for women in every place, not just in church. The quietness and submission aspects also mean that a woman cannot teach men even in secular society, “but I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence,” 1Tim2:12.

If this passage were only about how women should behave in church, then it would be ok for women to dress immodestly and wear a lot of jewelry outside of church. But in fact, women are to wear modest apparel and avoid ostentatious jewelry everywhere, not just in church. “Broided hair,” 1Tim2:9, is a problem in society, not in church, since women’s heads are covered in church. Women are to do “good works,” 1Tim2:10, everywhere, not just in church. And women are not permitted to “teach, nor to usurp authority over the man,” 1Tim2:12, anywhere, not just in church. Paul does not change from talking about our roles in society to talking about our roles in church until 1Tim3:1, “If a man desire the office of a bishop ....”

3) THE OFFICE OF CHRIST. “AND THE HEAD OF CHRIST IS GOD,” 1COR11:3. The office of Christ shows that authority structures are good, because they exist even within the Godhead. This is the ultimate argument against any egalitarian opposition to authority structures.

Authority structures are always comprised of one superior and one or more inferiors (inferior in position, not value), whether we are talking about God and Christ, Christ and the church, man and woman, husbands and wives, parents and children, masters (employers) and servants (employees), or government and governed (Eph5:22-29, Col3:18-4:1, 1Pet2:13-3:7).

The basic duties are the same for all superiors and all inferiors. A superior is responsible to lead, love, give, speak, teach, command, and send, for example; while an inferior is responsible to follow, submit, receive, listen, learn, obey, and go, for example.

In value and essence, Christ is equal to God the Father in every way. Jesus, “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” Phil2:6. But externally, and in position, Jesus functions in the role that a son does to a father. The Father gives, the Son receives, “so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself,” Jn5:26. The Father teaches; the Son learns, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me,” Jn8:28. The Father sends; the Son goes, “he that sent me is with me,” Jn8:28. The Father commands; the Son obeys, “I do always those things that please him,” Jn8:29.

From eternity past, Christ functioned as the Son of God. Rm1:3-4, “his Son ... which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness.” Who was it that was made flesh? It was “his Son” as the beginning of the verse states. Also, he had to be “made” flesh, but he only had to be “declared” to be the Son that he already was from eternity past.

And for eternity future, Christ will remain in an inferior position to the Father. “And when all things shall be subdued unto him [the Son], then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [God] that put all things under him [the Son], that God may be all in all,” 1Cor15:28.

Likewise, woman’s subordination to man did not begin at the fall when God said “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,” Gen3:16, any more than man’s labor began at the fall when God said “in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” Gen3:19. Man started laboring when God first created him and “put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it,” Gen2:8; and woman was created as “an help,” Gen2:18, for Adam. What changed at the fall was that man’s labor and woman’s subordination to man became wearisome instead of always being easy and delightful as it was before sin entered the world at the fall.

And woman’s submission to man, like Christ’s submission to the Father, will not end at Christ’s return. That’s why only males will be in leadership positions in the Messianic Kingdom. The 12 apostles (all males) will “sit upon twelve thrones judging the tribes of Israel,” Mt19:28; Israel will “serve ... David [a male] their king, whom I will raise up [resurrect] unto them,” Jer30:9; the priests in the millennial temple, “the sons [male] of Zadok ... shall enter into my sanctuary ... to minister unto me,” Ezek44:15-16.

Women will not receive any cities to rule during the Messianic Kingdom as reward for faithful service during this present time, as some men will, “thou good servant ... have thou authority over ten cities,” Lk19:17. But women’s rewards will be just as rewarding, like eternal glory, and recognition, and opportunities for service.

This is not to say that specific male-female relationships, like marriage, will continue forever because, “in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage,” Mt22:23-33. A husband’s authority ends at death, “for the woman which hath an husband is bound by [‘under’ in Greek] the law to her husband [only] so long as he liveth,” Rm7:2.

Women will receive eternal rewards, like glory, just as men will. The word ‘glory’ often means ‘brightness’ in the Bible. When Paul saw Jesus after his glorification, Jesus was shining so brightly that Paul said “I could not see for the ‘glory’ of that light, being led of the hand of them that were with me,” Acts22:11. When John later saw Jesus in a vision “his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength,” Rev1:14-16. When Jesus returns, he will destroy the Antichrist “with the brightness of his coming,” 2Thes2:8.

Through all eternity, the New Jerusalem will have “no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the ‘glory’ of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof,” Rev21:23. At the resurrection, God will “change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his ‘glorious’ body,” Phil3:21, which is why we “rejoice in hope of [receiving] the glory of God,” Rm5:2, at the time of the glorification of our bodies.

Moses already experienced a little of this for a while. “When Moses came down from mount Sinai ... the skin of his face shone,” Ex34:29. But we will not all shine with the same brightness, “for one star differeth from another star in ‘glory,’” 1Cor15:41. The differing degrees of brightness are part of our eternal rewards. A man may rule a city in the Messianic Kingdom, but in the presence of a woman who shines with brighter glory, it will be evident to all for all eternity who had been more faithful in this life.

Modern men deride authority and inequality; but inequality is essential for unity. Without inequality, there can be no unity, for each person would wander his own way. “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” Amos3:3. Someone has to give up the direction he wants to go, or soon both will be walking alone. Woman, in submission, chooses to follow the man; man in love, chooses to lead in the direction that is best for the welfare of the woman rather than that which is best for himself.

Before the creation of all created things, “The Word was with God,” Jn1:1, in perfect harmony and unity. “I and my Father are one,” Jn10:30. The Son is always metaphorically “in the bosom of the Father,” Jn1:18. Perfect unity can exist only where there is a superior who loves with perfect unselfishness and self-sacrifice, and an inferior who submits in perfect obedience, as within the Godhead.

Vertical relationships, not horizontal ones, bind people together. We are one with each other in the church only because we are all in Christ our Lord. Until the Lord returns, authority relationships will be susceptible to abuse; but the problem is not with authority relationships, but rather with our sin and weakness. Authority relationships will not be removed in the future, but rather the sin and weakness will be taken away, and then such inequalities will be blessed indeed, as they are now within the Godhead.

We are not wandering off the subject in discussing authority here. The Lord gave the church the headcovering ordinance to help preserve the church in this age when, “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work,” 2Thes2:7. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” 2Tim3:1-2. These men don’t understand authority; but the church should understand authority. And the Holy Spirit, through Paul, gave us the first half of 1 Corinthians 11, to help us understand authority through the headcovering observance.

Authority relationships exist in the physical or external realm, not the spiritual. God said a husband and wife are “one flesh,” Eph5:31; not ‘one spirit’. Physical things are important; but are not as important as spiritual things. “The time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not,” 1Cor7:30.

There is no spiritual advantage to being placed into one office or another. More authority means more responsibility. It is how we use the vessels, whether weaker or stronger, and the offices, whether higher or lower, that we have been placed in that is important and that determines rewards. “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it,” 1Cor7:20-21. Paul did not deserve to be an apostle; God picked him by grace (1Tim1:15; 1Cor15:10). Are we envious of the Apostle Paul because he is an apostle and we are not?

Most things in this life, like washing a pot, are neither moral nor immoral, but amoral and neutral. However, when we perform a work, like washing a pot, in submission to authority, we are not only washing a pot, but also obeying the word of God to submit to authority. We receive no reward for washing the pot, because it will just get dirty again, (as the book of Ecclesiastes teaches us), but at the same time, obeying the word of God is a spiritual act, that has an eternal reward. So being under authority gives us a chance to turn amoral, neutral works, that would pass away, into spiritual works, that will last forever, and “he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Women can “rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in all things give thanks,” 1Thes5:16-18, as well as men, and these are the kinds of things that really matter. Women have performed some of the greatest spiritual works that have ever been done.

Only a woman believed Jesus when he said he was going to die, and she anointed him for his burial. “For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her,” Mt26:12-13.

And only a woman was given the privilege of, not merely being the first to see Jesus after his resurrection, but to see him even before he ascended to the Father to offer his blood in the heavenly tabernacle. “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her,” Jn20:16-18.

1 Corinthians 11:4-6. Symbolism

“Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head; for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered,” 1Cor11:4-6. The headcovering ordinance symbolizes the position of man and woman in the chain of command we looked at in verse 3: God – Christ – Man – Woman. During the time of the headcovering observance, which is observed throughout the whole church meeting, the women of the church wear a physical garment, to symbolize their position in the chain of command.

Prayer and prophesy are specifically mentioned in verses 4 and 5, because when we pray, we pray directly to the Father; and when people prophesy, they receive prophesy directly from God. The headcovering observance reminds the church that, although women of course share equally in all spiritual blessings; and share in prayer directly to God, and even prophesy, directly from God; that we still recognize and honor the authority structures and roles which God has ordained, and that have so much effect on our outward dealings and manner of life. It is because men and women are equal in prayer and prophesy that it is especially important for women to willingly wear the symbol of inequality during these activities.

“EVERY MAN PRAYING OR PROPHESYING,” 1COR11:4. Prayer is man talking to God; prophecy is God talking to man. Or we could say, prayer is man representing man to God, and prophecy is man representing God to man. Both prayer and prophecy require authority. Christ granted all Christians authority to pray in his name. “In that day ye shall ask me nothing ... whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you; hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name,” Jn16:23-24.

By the way, here we see that we pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. We do not pray to Christ. I cannot find a single instance in the New Testament of anyone praying to Christ. Jesus taught us to say “Our Father ...,” Mt6:9. “Seeing that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, ... let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,” Heb4:16. We don’t pray to, but rather through, a high priest.

Christ gave some Christians authority to prophesy. “When he ascended up on high, he ... gave gifts unto men, ... and he gave some ... prophets,” Eph4:8-11. Prophecy is always direct divine revelation, and is equally authoritative with scripture. The issue is not ‘foretelling’ vs. ‘forth telling,’ but rather direct revelation vs. commentary. We are not talking about mere preaching or teaching here. People that preach or teach are called “evangelists, ... pastors and teachers,” Eph4:11, not prophets. We are not talking about merely expounding on scripture, but of speaking with authority equal to scripture, “He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes,” Mt7:29.

Prayer is the humblest of authorities given to people, because it has been given to all. Prophecy is the greatest of authorities given to people (except for the apostolic authority given to 12 apostles), and it was given to only a few, “God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, ... diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? ... Do all speak with tongues? ... But covet earnestly the best gifts,” 1Cor12:30.

“HAVING HIS HEAD COVERED,” 1COR11:4. The word “covered” is not in the Greek of verse 4 (about men), though the word “uncovered” is in the Greek of verse 5 (about women). Verse 4 only has the Greek word “kata,” meaning “down upon,” whereas verse 5 has the Greek word “a-kata-kalupto,” meaning “not - down upon - covered.”

Kata” is used in the passage where a woman came to Jesus with an alabaster box of ointment and “poured it on [‘kata’] his head,” Mk14:3, in anticipation of his death and burial. A literal translation of verse 4 would be “having upon his head,” but we need to add the word “anything” or “something” to make it proper English: “having anything upon his head,” or as the NASV translates it, having “something on his head.”

According to verse 4, a man must not have ‘anything’ on his head; merely not ‘covering’ his head would still be a violation. Wearing even a small kippah or skullcap, as our dear Messianic Jewish brethren do, is prohibited. On the other hand, men can have their own hair on their heads, because hair is part of the head.

Some Catholic monks went so far as to shave a circle of hair off the top of their heads to avoid having their heads covered. If verse 4 was talking about hair, then men would be required to shave ‘all’ the hair off their heads, because they are not permitted to have anything on their heads during the headcovering observance.

“DISHONOURETH HIS HEAD,” 1COR11:4. There is a certain amount honor that rightly accompanies authority, “thou ... hast crowned him with glory and honour, thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things under his feet,” Ps8:5-6. But if Christ has appointed you to a position of authority, it is not humility, but rather shame, to maintain that he has not so appointed you. For a man to have anything on his head during the headcovering observance, would be to use his head to symbolize that men (males) are not in authority, which would be a shameful use of his head.

Men are to be the leaders in the church. The burden of the ministry rests on them. Some of them may not want to step forward and “pray everywhere lifting up holy hands,” 1Tim2:8, but they must do it anyway. Some may wish they had the ministry of silence that women have, but they must speak out. God has given them authority, and authority always carries responsibility.

Men cannot avoid responsibility by pretending they don’t have authority. “He which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant,” Mt25:24-26.

We’ve all heard it said that women have to take on church ministries, because the men aren’t willing to do them. This does more harm than good, because then the men feel even less compelled to step forward and do the work. The bare heads of the men during the headcovering ordinance proclaim to all: the buck stops here, these are the ones responsible to make sure all the tasks Christ assigned the church are being done.

There is nothing inherently dishonorable about a man praying with something on his head. Before the headcovering ordinance was delivered to the church, the high priest, a male, had to wear a miter and all the other priests, also males, had to wear bonnets when they ministered in the tabernacle and temple. “Thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen” (for Aaron the high priest) “ ... and for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make ... bonnets,” Ex28:39-40.

The 24 elders of Revelation 4 may indicate raptured church men who continue to remove their crowns whenever there is a worship service in heaven. “When [at certain times, not constantly] those beasts [Cherubim] give glory and honor and thanks to him ... the four and twenty elders fall down before him ... and worship him ... and cast their crowns before the throne,” Rev4:9-11. But when the Lord returns, the headcovering ordinance, like the Lord’s Supper ordinance, will end, “ye do show the Lord’s death, till he come,” 1Cor11:26.

In the Messianic Kingdom, the priests will again cover their heads when they minister. “But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, ... they shall enter into my sanctuary, ... they shall have linen bonnets upon their heads,” Ezek44:15-18.

Things that are inherently wrong, like pride and theft, are wrong in every time and place. Other things, which are external in nature, like dietary regulations, are wrong only during the time and for the people that God prohibits them.

God told Adam that he could eat only plants, “I have given you every herb ... for meat [KJV speak meaning ‘food’],” Gen1:29; then he told Noah that he could eat meat, “every moving thing that liveth shall be meat [KJV speak meaning ‘food’] for you,” Gen9:3; then he told Moses he could eat only some meats, “these are the beasts which ye shall eat,” Lev11; then he cleansed all meats, “thus he declared all foods clean,” Mk7:19 ASV; then he told the church there are some things we can’t eat, “abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled,” Acts15:29; 21:25. If these things were inherently wrong in and of themselves, the commands couldn’t change.

The headcovering ordinance is an external requirement that had a definite starting point at the creation of the church, that will have a definite ending point at the Lord’s return, and that is applicable only to the church. And only during the headcovering observance is it wrong for men (males) to have anything on their heads.

“BUT EVERY WOMAN THAT PRAYETH OR PROPHESIETH,” 1COR11:5. When verse 5 says that a woman’s head must not be “uncovered,” the word “uncovered” actually is in the Greek. If a woman’s head, ‘kephalee’ in Greek, not face ‘prosopon,’ is anything less than covered, the commandment is violated: wearing a little hat or doily will not qualify.

Women did not lead in prayer publicly, in church, or anywhere else, “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, ... in like manner also, that women ... be in silence,” 1Tim1:8-12. But women do pray along silently with the other men who are not leading in prayer at the moment.

And women did not prophesy aloud in church, “for ye may all prophesy one by one, ... let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak,” 1Cor14:31,34. But female prophets prophesied silently to themselves during church meetings, just as male prophets did whenever it was inappropriate for them to speak, “if any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace ... The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets,” 1Cor14:32.

Tongues was also prophesy, receiving revelation directly from God; but it was a less desirable gift than prophecy, because it needed a second person, an interpreter, to be of value. “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue ... no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort,” 1Cor14:1-3. The word “mysteries,” in Greek, does not mean things difficult to understand, but things previously not revealed, now revealed. The church at the time of the apostles did not have the whole New Testament, but God provided the assemblies oral revelation in their meetings via spiritual gifts.

But as for prophesy, so also for tongues, it was common for men to have to speak silently to themselves, and it was always the case for women. “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God ... as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law,” 1Cor:14:27-34.

By the way, 1 Corinthians 11-14 also shows that early church meetings were heavily participatory. “When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying,” 1Cor14:26. Men in the meetings were free to spontaneously share teaching, prayer, singing, etc., similar to Plymouth Brethren meetings today, but without requiring participants to focus on the Lord’s Supper. Home churches today do well in the participation part, but usually do even worse by throwing out the teaching part, like Paul’s teaching at Troas. Frank Viola and others also do great harm to home churches when they lead them to abandon authority because of the dictatorial rule of most pastors today, instead of teaching them appreciation for and the proper use of authority, as our text in 1 Corinthians 11 does.

Women sometimes did prophesy aloud, but only in private. Elizabeth prophesied with a loud voice, but it was in the privacy of her home. “Mary ... entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth, and ... Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, and she spake out with a loud voice,” Lk1:39-42. Anna was “a prophetess,” that spent her time in the temple, but there is no record she prophesied publicly, and even Simeon’s prophecy may have been heard by only Joseph and Mary (Lk2:25-38).

Philip, the evangelist, had four daughters “which did prophesy,” Acts21:9, but there is no indication they prophesied publicly. While Paul and his fellow travelers were staying at Philip’s house, Agabus came down from Judaea to prophesy regarding Paul’s imminent capture in Jerusalem, when it would have been more convenient to have one of the host’s daughters do it if it had been appropriate (Acts21:10-11).

I think that the headcovering ordinance should be observed by all men and all women throughout the whole church meeting, and not at all outside of the church meeting. Per verses 4 and 5, all men and women should observe the ordinance during group prayer in the church meeting. It’s not just that when a man begins to lead in prayer that he removes his hat, because even when not leading in prayer he is to pray silently along with the one who is leading in prayer. And I don’t think it is just the man prophesying aloud, or the few men and women prophesying silently, that should remove their hats or cover their heads, because the purpose of the observance is to symbolize the different roles of man and woman, not to differentiate between prophets and non-prophets.

And because it is a church meeting observance, like the Lord’s Supper, I don’t think men have to remove their hats when they pray at home, or that women need to cover their heads when they pray at home, or that women should wear headcoverings in public all the time. I think that if the New Testament required women to wear headcoverings all the time in public, they would have been mentioned specifically in the I Timothy 2:9-15 passage about women’s dress in society.

“WITH HER HEAD UNCOVERED,” 1COR11:5. It is common to interpret the word “uncovered” in verse 5 as meaning to have short hair. The Greek word translated ‘uncovered’ is ‘a-kata-kalupto,’ literally ‘not - down upon - covered/hidden.’ The noun form of “kalupto,” is “kaluma.” A ‘kaluma’ (‘covering’) is a “veil,” 2Cor3:13; an ‘epi-kaluma’ (‘over-covering’) is a “cloak,” 1Pet2:16; a ‘peri-kalupto’ (‘around-covering’) is a “blindfold,” Lk22:64; and I think a ‘kata-kalupto’ (‘down upon - covering’) is a pretty good description of a headcovering garment.

I suppose we might be able to say a head is ‘covered’ with hair, but natural usage rules against it. If I said to you, “Please uncover your head” would you think I wanted you to get a haircut? Besides, if we talk about hair covering a head, even short hair covers a head, though not the shoulders and back. However, the New Testament seems to consider hair as part of our heads, since it always talks about the hair ‘of’ our heads, rather than the hair ‘on’ our heads, “the very hairs ‘of’ your head are numbered,” Mt10:30. If we only have hair on our head, our head is still uncovered no matter how much hair we have, since our hair is part of our head.

There is a better word Paul could have used in verses 4-6 if he wanted to talk about whether or not a person has long hair. It’s the Greek word “komao,” meaning “long hair,” and he uses it in verses 14 and 15. Also, as we said when discussing verse 4, if this passage were about hair length, men could not have any hair on their heads at all.

Another problem with the hair-length interpretation, is that verses 4 and 5 talk about prayer and prophecy, which happen at certain times; and the headcovering observance is for during church meetings, but proper hair length is required all the time. You can’t change it just for times of prayer and prophesy, or just for church meetings.

And the purpose of the headcovering ordinance is for the church to symbolize male authority, and we symbolize it by doing something symbolic, just as we do for the Lord’s Supper. Everyone just continuing to wear their hair the way they always do, and the way the rest of society does, would not be a good way to symbolize anything.

“DISHONOURETH HER HEAD,” 1COR11:5. It is a shame for any person to portray themselves as holding a higher office than they actually hold. “When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room,” Lk14:8-9.

It is shameful for a person to think they have a higher office than they have. “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, ... for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow,” Rev18:7.

When women cover their heads in church, they put the men on the spot, “You men are the ones that must lead the church into the work. Look at our covered heads: you are responsible for our welfare, too. You must “stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong,” 1Cor16:13. “Awake out of sleep ... the night is far spent, the day is at hand,” Rm14:11-12.” Men need to be exercised by such responsibilities in order to mature into what God created men to be.

“FOR THAT IS EVEN ALL ONE AS IF SHE WERE SHAVEN. FOR IF THE WOMAN BE NOT COVERED, LET HER ALSO BE SHORN: BUT IF IT BE A SHAME FOR A WOMAN TO BE SHORN OR SHAVEN, LET HER BE COVERED,” 1COR11:5B-6. Paul adds an extra part onto verse 5 about the shame an uncovered woman would experience, that he didn’t add on to verse 4 about the shame a covered man would experience, for several reasons.

One is because it is the women that actually perform the headcovering ordinance. The men are only supposed to ‘not’ do something. It is the covered heads of the women that give significance to the bare heads of the men.

However, if a church is not performing the headcovering ordinance, it is not the fault of the women of the church. To think it is the women’s fault would be to show a total lack of understanding of all that the headcovering passage is about. The men of the congregation are the ones to blame, “for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God,” 1Tim3:5.

The headcovering observance is itself an exercise for the men of the church to put into practice the principles that the ordinance teaches. The men of the church must learn to study, and discuss among themselves, and come to a consensus to observe the ordinance, and provide instruction as to its principles, and lead in love; and if the men do that, the women of the congregation will willingly perform this observance heartily and without coercion, so the church as a whole can present this ceremony unto the Lord.

Another reason Paul probably adds this extra part onto verse 5, is as an encouragement to the women, and to the men who care about the women, to be brave in observing the ordinance, and to have more satisfaction in knowing they are pleasing the Lord by this service to Him.

It is natural for women to have special concern about their appearance, since the way they dress, modest dress, is even one of their three special ministries. I don’t think women are required to wear a headcovering in a church group that has not decided to corporately offer this service to the Lord, but in case there are many even in an observant group, that do not cover their heads, the ones that do can remember to care how God looks at them more than how some other fashionable lady might look at them. “God looketh on the heart,” 1Sam16:7; but God also sees the outward appearance, especially when it represents obedience or disobedience of the heart.

If a woman doesn’t wear a headcovering in the assembly, it’s the same, “even all one,” as if she were bald. What good would it be for a woman to spend time fixing her hair before church meeting, if she looks bald to God anyway? As she pictures herself as standing before the throne in God’s presence while singing praises to God, if the headcovering is absent, let her add her own baldness to the picture. On the other hand, if the headcovering is present, let her take heart that God is pleased with the beauty of her obedience.

Verse 6 is another indication that Paul is not referring to hair length by the words “covered” and “uncovered.” The word “shorn,” which is used of shearing sheep in Acts 8:32, can mean ‘shear so close as to make bald’ as in Acts 18:18, “Paul ... sailed thence into Syria ... having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.” But it probably means ‘to cut short’ in 1 Corinthians 11, because the phrase “shorn or shaven” in verse 6 would be redundant if the two words were used to mean the same thing here. And since ‘shorn’ means ‘to cut short’ here, ‘be not covered’ cannot mean ‘have short hair’ or verse 6 would say “if the woman ‘has short hair,’ let her also ‘have short hair’.”

1 Corinthians 11:7-12. The Witness of Creation

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman: but all things of God,” 1Cor11:7-12. The creation account testifies three times that there is a layer of authority between Christ and woman, and witnesses to the appropriateness of the headcovering garment as a symbol of the authority of man.

TESTIMONY #1, GEN1:26-28 - THE PATTERN OF WOMAN’S CREATION: THE GLORY OF THE MAN. “FOR A MAN INDEED OUGHT NOT TO COVER HIS HEAD, FORASMUCH AS HE IS THE IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD: BUT THE WOMAN IS THE GLORY OF THE MAN,” 1COR11:7. 1 Corinthians 11:7 refers back to Genesis 1:26-28, during the sixth day of creation, where God said “Let us make man in our image.” The word “image” there in the Hebrew is usually used to refer to a molten image, like the one in Daniel 3. The Greek word for “image” in 1 Corinthians 11:7, “He is the image and glory of God,” can also be used of a molten image, like in Revelation chapter 13. In Matthew 22:20, it is used of the picture on a coin, “Whose is this image and superscription?” We are talking about an external appearance with these words.

In external appearance, males look like God, and females don’t, and I don’t think many females would be offended if you told them they didn’t look like a man (male). In Genesis 1:26, God says he will create man (males) in his image, but he is careful to avoid saying that he will create woman in his image. “And God said, Let us make man [singular, man not woman] in our image, after our likeness: and let them [plural, man and woman] have dominion.” The same is true for Genesis 1:27, “So God created man [singular, man not woman] in his own image, in the image of God created he him [singular, man not woman], male and female created he them [plural, man and woman]. God “created ... them” both, he gave “them [both] ... dominion,” but only man, and not woman, was created in the “image,” the external appearance of God.

So why did God even bother to mention that man (male) was made in his own image, if he is only talking about external appearance? How important is external appearance? Relatively, not that important. But neither are authority relationships. Whether someone is in a superior or inferior authority position, means little because both can and are required to “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks,” 1Thes5:16-18. Spiritually, men and women are identical.

God is always male in the Bible. He is our heavenly Father, not our heavenly mother. Christ is male. He is the Son of God, the Son of Abraham, and the Son of David. The angels are all male. They were often mistaken for young men, never young women, when they appeared.

The testimony of Genesis 1:26-28 is that the pattern of woman’s creation is indirect. God used another layer in creating her. Man is the “glory of God, but the woman is the glory of man.” Do you see the layer of indirectness there? Through the headcovering observance, the church recognizes and acclaims the appropriateness of God’s plan for man, and woman, and all authority relationships.

Both man and woman share in man’s dominion over the rest of the earth. And this dominion is part of man’s glory that woman shares in. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? ... For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: ... the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea,” Ps8:4-8.

TESTIMONY #2, GEN2:21-23 - THE MANNER OF WOMAN’S CREATION: OF THE MAN. “FOR THE MAN IS NOT OF THE WOMAN, BUT THE WOMAN OF THE MAN,” 1COR11:8. Man was created directly; woman’s creation was indirect. The key word in this verse is the word “of” or “out of” in Greek. 1 Corinthians 11:8 refers back to Genesis 2:21-23 concerning the indirect manner of woman’s creation. “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken ‘out of’ Man,” Gen2:23.

Woman’s creation was unique out of all that God created. The angels were formed directly by God, “who maketh his angels spirits,” Heb1:7. The animals were formed out of the ground. “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air,” Gen2:19. Adam’s body was formed of the dust of the ground, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground,” Gen2:7. But, Mrs. Adam (“he ... called their name Adam,” Gen5:2), was made completely out of a piece of Adam. “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man,” Gen2:21-22.

God could have made Eve directly from the dust of the ground, as he had made Adam, or he could have created each person directly as he did the myriad of angels. God made woman out of man so that authority structures would be created, because inequalities are essential for unity, and “it is not good that man should be alone,” Gen2:18. This doesn’t mean that everyone should marry, but rather that God saw the need for everyone to be born into authority structures and relationships in families, extended families, churches, neighborhoods, countries, etc.

Philosophically, the source of something is greater than that which comes from it; the whole is greater than the part taken from it; that which is existed earlier is greater than that which comes after it. John pointed to the preexistence of Jesus as proof of his superiority, “after me [in time] cometh a man which is preferred before me [in prestige]: for he was before me [in time],” Jn1:30.

Jesus is lower in rank than the Father, because he is ‘of’ the Father; the Father is not ‘of’ him, “I came forth from the Father,” Jn16:28. The Bible says that “we are ‘of’ God,” 1Jn4:6; but it would be incorrect to say that God is ‘of’ us. If Jesus had really been merely of David, instead of being the preexistent Son of God, he could not have authority over David. “If David then call him [the Messiah] Lord [in Ps110:1], how is he his son,” Mt22:45.

So, again, the ‘manner’ of woman’s creation testifies to the appropriateness of the headcovering observance and the things it symbolizes.

TESTIMONY #3, GEN2:20 - THE PURPOSE OF WOMAN’S CREATION: FOR THE MAN. “NEITHER WAS THE MAN CREATED FOR THE WOMAN, BUT THE WOMAN FOR THE MAN,” 1COR11:9. Man was created for a purpose, and then woman was created to help man fulfill man’s purpose. The key word in this verse is the word “for.” 1 Corinthians 11:9 refers back to Genesis 2:20, “there was not found an help meet ‘for’ him.” Woman was made to be man’s helper, not his leader or teacher. This word “help” is the best description of woman’s roles in the home, the church, and society. And purpose has always been important in determining rank. “The sabbath was made ‘for’ man, and not man ‘for’ the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath,” Mk2:27-28.

Genesis 2:20, “there was not found an help meet for him,” does not mean that unmarried women do not fulfill the purpose of Eve’s creation. Far from it. Paul said that if a person has enough self-control to avoid fornication, he can serve the Lord better by remaining single. “To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. ... But every man hath his proper gift of God, ... I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I; but if they cannot contain, let them marry. ... The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but ... that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction,” 1Cor7:1-40. If a woman remains single, she can even better fulfill her role as helper in her extended family, in the church, and in society at large.

There are many Biblical examples of women fulfilling this role admirably. Women helped Jesus. “Certain women ... Mary called Magdalene, ... and Joanna ... and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him [Jesus] of their substance,” Lk8:2-3. Paul’s first convert in Macedonia was a woman named Lydia, who then gave lodging to the missionaries, “when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us,” Acts16:15.

In Corinth, Priscilla provided Paul lodging while he started the church. “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; and found a certain Jew named Aquila ... with his wife Priscilla, ... and because he was of the same craft, he abode with them,” Acts18:1-3. It can be a lot of work, and a lot of interruption of family routine, for a woman to have guests stay in her house; but it can also be a great spiritual service to God. (Of course, women should not jeopardize their safety or propriety to do this service.)

Priscilla and Aquila also helped Paul by risking their lives for him at some point. And in Rome, they helped the church by hosting church meetings. “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus, who have for my life laid down their own necks, unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise, greet the church that is in their house,” Rm16:3-5. Hosting church gatherings involves a lot of sacrifice by the hostess and her family.

Paul asked the church to help Phebe with the secular business she had in Rome, and described her as “a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea [Corinth’s eastern seaport], ... for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself,” Rm16:1-2. Also, in Rome, was “Mary, who bestowed much labour on us,” Rm16:6; and “the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord,” Rm16:12.

In Joppa, there was “a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did.” When she became sick and died, the disciples sent for Peter who “when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them,” Acts9:36-42. And God granted a great miracle in allowing Peter to bring her back to life.

In 1 Timothy 5:9-10, Paul said, “Let not a widow be taken into the number [to receive financial support from the church] under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.”

“FOR THIS CAUSE OUGHT THE WOMAN TO HAVE POWER ON HER HEAD BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS,” 1COR11:10. The word “power” in King James English has the meaning of our word “authority” today. The word is used in place of the word ‘headcovering’ here, because the headcovering symbolizes ‘authority,’ the authority of man over woman in God’s creation, and as a layer between Christ and woman in the chain of command of verse 3.

The headcovering garment is the physical symbol of the headcovering ordinance, just as the bread and wine are the physical symbols of the Lord’s Supper. Both ordinances require a physical symbol that people can exercise their wills to use during a specific period of time to participate in the observances and to symbolize their truths. A garment that can be put on or taken off at will meets these criteria, as well as the bread and cup, but proper hair length does not. As the bread and cup at the Lord’s Supper help us to remember the Lord, the headcovering garments remind us of man’s authority and man’s consequent responsibilities.

But it is not only people who learn from the headcovering observance. Angels learn by watching the church. “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ, to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,” Eph3:9-10.

What a testimony to angels that frail men could be so transformed by the work of Christ that the Bride of Christ would regularly signify her hearty acceptance of authority, while the painted-faced Jezebel of the world mimics the prideful rebellion of Satan himself. Physical things can be significant symbols to angels, like the blood on the Israelites’ doorways, when the Lord passed through Egypt to smite the firstborn sons (Ex12:21-23).

Angels’ are interested in authority and the chain of command. They were created for service. “Who maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a flame of fire,” Heb1:7. The “principalities and powers [authorities] in high places,” Eph6:12, that we wrestle against are fallen angels.

And angels are interested in things relating to the creation of man and woman. They were there when God “laid the foundations of the earth ... when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God [the angels, which are all male] shouted for joy,” Job38:4,7.

Angels aren’t tempted by the kinds of things men are, but rather by things having to do with authority. When Satan and his angels fell, their sin was that of rebellion against God. Angels are interested in promoting false doctrine and warring against God’s authority, not in fleshly sins, except as a tool. Some day Satan will impregnate a Roman (Dan9:26) woman, but not for pleasure, but rather to bring into existence the Antichrist. “The LORD God said unto the serpent, ... I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed,” Gen3:15.

Children are born of the seed of males, not of females; but neither Jesus nor the Antichrist has an earthly father. The seed of the woman prophesy was fulfilled by a literal birth, so we can expect the seed of the serpent prophecy to be fulfilled by a literal birth. But Satan will do this to produce an imitation of Christ to deceive mankind, not because of lust for woman.

Women do not wear headcoverings to keep angels from lusting at their hair, as some have speculated, because angels aren’t interested in such things (and if they were tempted to lust after women, they could use their invisibility to look at more than womens’ hairstyles, but I only mention this to show how ridiculous this interpretation is).

Angels are present at church meetings during the headcovering observance. Nations have both good angels and bad angels assigned to them, which war against each other. “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel ... thy words were heard ... but the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me ... there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince,” Dan10:12-13, 21.

Churches also have angels assigned to them. “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write ...,” Rev2:1. And the guardian angel of every child in the church meeting may be watching also. “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven,” Mt18:10. And since angels are “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister unto them who shall be heirs of salvation,” Heb1:14, don’t you think some might be around during the meeting of the church?

Angels watched the Lord’s ministry. “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory,” 1Tim3:16. Angels watched the apostles’ ministries. “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men,” 1Cor4:9. Angels watch pastors’ ministries. “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another,” 1Tim5:21. And angels watch the women’s ministry of the headcovering observance in the church, “because of the angels,” 1Cor11:9.

Notices that verses 7-9 all refer back to the account of the creation of woman on the sixth day. The Sabbath was given to Israel, and only Israel, to commemorate God’s rest on the seventh day of creation. “The children of Israel shall keep the sabbath ... for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed,” Ex31:16-17. The headcovering ordinance may have been given to the church, and only the church, to commemorate the creation of woman on the sixth day of creation (1Cor11:7-10).

The Sabbath ordinance was given to Israel around the time of the nation’s birth to commemorate its rest from Egyptian slavery. “Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out ... therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day,” Deut5:15. Likewise, the headcovering ordinance was given to the church around the time of its creation at Pentecost, possibly to commemorate its creation as the Bride of Christ, taken out of the body of Christ by his death and resurrection.

Adam said Eve was, “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” Gen2:23. Paul said “we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones,” Eph5:30. Just as the Lord’s Supper is a memorial to the historical event of the Lord’s death and resurrection and looks forward to his return; so the headcovering may be a memorial to the creation of his bride, the church, out of his own body which he gave for her on the cross, and it may look forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Notice also in these verses especially, but also in the chapter as a whole, that Paul does not give a single cultural reason as to why the church should observe the headcovering ordinance. Verse 3 gives the reason that man’s headship over woman is like the eternal headship of God the Father over God the Son. Verses 7 to 9, which say that woman is the glory of man, was taken out of man, and was created for man, are based on the historical event of woman’s creation - and this historical event does not change no matter which culture or time period you live in.

Interpreters of 1 Corinthians 11 site all kinds of different stories about female Corinthian temple prostitutes that had short hair, or didn’t wear headcoverings, or didn’t wear veils. But the admonitions of this chapter are first of all to men, “every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered,” 1Cor11:4. Were there also male Corinthian temple prostitutes that had long hair, or wore hoods, or wore veils?

Why are there so many different theories if history is so reliable? But secular history is not reliable. God would not give us scripture that was dependent on secular history to be able to understand it. He does not even preserve the writings of the so-called church fathers. He preserves only his word. “His truth endureth unto all generations,” Ps100:5.

But we can correctly interpret this chapter without any knowledge of Corinthian history, because none of the arguments in the chapter are cultural. They are all based on the order of creation in Genesis and the principles of authority, as we have seen.

“NEVERTHELESS NEITHER IS THE MAN WITHOUT THE WOMAN, NEITHER THE WOMAN WITHOUT THE MAN, IN THE LORD. FOR AS THE WOMAN IS OF THE MAN, EVEN SO IS THE MAN ALSO BY THE WOMAN: BUT ALL THINGS OF GOD,” 1COR11:11-12. Paul has been teaching the principle of male authority, but he knows, because he has a pastor’s heart, that such teaching is vulnerable to abuse by sinful men, and so he tempers that side of the teaching with the admonition implicit in these verses. Men and women are not only equal in the spiritual realm, but as Paul shows in these verses, even in the physical realm, God created interdependencies along with inequalities, and men should not think of themselves too highly, or use their rightful authority as a cloak for their own selfishness or meanness.

Every person except Adam and Eve have been dependent on woman for their existence. Eve came into existence by means of Adam’s rib, but since that time, every man, including the Savior, came into the world through woman. The role of childbearing is the salvation; not spiritually, but physically, of women in the world. “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith, and charity and holiness with sobriety,” 1Tim2:13-15.

This is not to say that any particular woman must give birth in order to obtain this benefit. God has ordained that we come into the world through mothers so that the status of all women is improved. This way men are taught to treat all women with respect, “the elder women as mothers; the younger women as sisters, with all purity,” 1Tim4:2.

Ultimately, both men and women were and are dependent only on God for existence. Adam merely slept, but God made Eve. Women suffer through labor, but God fashions the bones, veins, and ligaments of children in the womb. “Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb, ... I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” Ps139:14. “He ... made us, and not we ourselves,” Ps100:3.

And we are not only made ‘of’ him, meaning he is our source, but we are made ‘for’ him, for his purpose. “Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever,” Rm11:36. Let all men (males) remember this as they exercise the duties of authority, in humility, and love, and in fear of him to whom they must someday give an account.

1 Corinthians 11:13-15. The Witness of Nature

“Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering,” 1Cor11:13-15. Both long hair and headcovering garments on women are not merely right, but also beautiful. Nature witnesses to the appropriateness of the headcovering garment as the symbol of the headcovering ordinance by naturally giving women long hair that looks like they are already wearing headcovering garments.

“JUDGE IN YOURSELVES: IS IT COMELY THAT A WOMAN PRAY UNTO GOD UNCOVERED?” 1COR11:13. Before the headcovering ordinance was given to the church, it was not a shame for a woman to pray unto God without a headcovering; but now that the commandment has been given, it is not comely that the women pray with uncovered heads in church meetings.

It is a beautiful sight to those who value submission and obedience, to see the women of the congregation with covered heads, in lowliness of mind, like the Lord, “who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant,” Phil3:6-7.

It is hard for a believing husband to be bitter against a wife he sees wearing the symbol of her submission, “husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them,” Col3:19. It is hard for the men of the congregation not to feel the weight of their responsibility or fail to rededicate themselves to honor, protect, and rightly lead the women of the church, when they see them so adorned.

“DOTH NOT EVEN NATURE ITSELF TEACH YOU, THAT IF A MAN HAVE LONG HAIR, IT IS A SHAME UNTO HIM?” 1COR11:14. Even though the headcovering ordinance is not about hair length, this part of the passage is authoritative for all who would go against nature in regards to hair length. Long hair is a shame to men. David’s rebellious son Absalom cut his hair only “at every year’s end” 2Sam14:26; and his attempt to overthrow his father ended ignominiously when he was caught in battle as his “mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak” 2Sam18:9.

Men, like Samson, who took the Nazarite vow had long hair, but they were exceptions, and were not allowed to drink wine, or eat grapes, or go to funerals either (Num6:1-8). The priests in the millennial temple will not be permitted to “shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads [trim their hair short],” Ez44:20.

“BUT IF A WOMAN HAVE LONG HAIR, IT IS A GLORY TO HER,” 1COR11:15. Long hair has always been a glory to women. In the Song of Solomon, the King compares looking at his wife’s hair to the beauty of watching a flock of goats lazily wend their way down the side of distant Mount Gilead in the evening. “Thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead,” Song4:1, Song6:5. He also compared burying his fingers in her hair to being in a palace gallery surrounded by luxurious, flowing, purple curtains. “And the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries. How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights,” Song7:5-6.

How long is long? Mary’s hair was long enough that she could anoint the feet of Jesus with costly spikenard for his burial, and wipe “his feet with her hair,” Jn12:3.

Also, notice that once the text mentions that woman’s hair is a glory to her, it never mentions anything about covering it. It is not the purpose of the headcovering ordinance, that women cover their hair to hide their glory so as not to detract from the glory of the men in the church. This interpretation is as humorous as the one about hiding their hair from the angels.

“FOR HER HAIR IS GIVEN HER FOR A COVERING,” 1COR11:15. A woman’s long hair is like a beautiful garment. The word ‘covering’ (‘periboleo’ in Greek) is translated ‘vesture’ in Hebrews 1:12. Women with long hair look like they are wearing headcovering garments, and most women have naturally looked this way through all ages and all cultures. This is a witness to the appropriateness of the headcovering garment as a symbol of the headcovering observance. It also means that a headcovering garment should look like long hair. It should be a shawl or a scarf; not a hat or a doily.

1 Corinthians 11:16. Contention

“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God,” 1Cor11:16. The principles of the headcovering observance could be used to lord it over women and subjugate them. The potential for misuse exists, but that is not the kind of observance the apostles advocated, nor the churches practiced. The philosophers of the world try to do away with authority structures, and the world’s rulers selfishly lord it over people, but the headcovering observance promotes a right understanding of authority and love, as Christ taught.

“BUT IF ANY MAN SEEM TO BE CONTENTIOUS,” 1COR11:16. The word translated “contentious” is the Greek word ‘philo-neikos’. ‘Philo’ means ‘love of’; ‘neikos’ means strife and is akin to ‘nekos’ meaning ‘conquest’. I think it carries our concept of the ‘love of power’.

The only other place this word appears in the New Testament is in Luke 22. “And there was also a strife [‘philoneikos’] among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel,” Lk22:24-30. This is one of the goals of the headcovering ordinance: to help us come to the kind of understanding of authority that Jesus taught in Luke 22.

As much as ungodly men may try to overthrow God’s chain of command, his authority structures will endure. The twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, but they will be some of the most unselfish leaders the world has ever seen. In Luke 22, the apostles were behaving in a power-hungry way, because they didn’t yet understand authority.

The headcovering observance helps us understand authority, while those who oppose authority do so because they do not understand authority. Those who rightfully serve in positions of authority under Christ have to suffer more and make greater sacrifices than those who are under their authority. Godly leaders labor in their positions for the sake of and to take care of those under their charge, not to exploit them.

Everyone except God the Father is under someone’s authority. A good heart is glad to serve without envy of others’ positions. I believe most women really like their place in God’s order. They like to help; but they like to be loved and appreciated and respected as well.

It bothers me when I hear people criticize or ridicule ‘women’s libbers’. It is the apostate church and the male philosophers of this world that have led women into what is called the women’s liberation movement. Women will follow faithfully and conscientiously if men lead them in the right direction in love.

The world claims the church doesn’t think highly of women. Actually, the church values women as women. The church understands there is no stigma attached to subordinate positions; otherwise we could not be content in our subordinate positions to God. The world does not value women as they naturally are, but wants to change them into something they are not. It despises their natural role, and esteems the subordinate position they were created for as being worthless. The world doesn’t want women to make sacrifices for their families or to enjoy being a help in all areas of society.

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered,” 1Pet3:7. Is it really kind to give those who are weaker the right to compete on an equal footing with those who are stronger? No more restrictions on one hand, but no more protection or preference on the other? If it’s ‘every man for himself’ then men will no longer give women special courtesies or preferences, and women, because they are the weaker vessels, will be at a great disadvantage in the world.

Much suffering has resulted from society’s disregard of the role of women. Many men today give their wives the ‘right’ to be separated from their children all day, to work all day at the office or factory, to do most of the housework at night, and then they feel no obligation to stay married to them, because everything’s 50-50. “Let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth, for the LORD God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away [divorce],” Mal2:15-16. Men do not push for equality for women because they care about women, but because they want to escape their own obligations to care for their mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters, and to escape from being under authority themselves.

“WE HAVE NO SUCH CUSTOM, NEITHER THE CHURCHES OF GOD,” 1COR11:16. The headcovering observance, and the doctrine of subordination taught by it, is certainly subject to abuse because of the weakness and sinfulness of people. A godly man will be humbled by the responsibilities he learns from the observance, rather than be emboldened to treat women ungraciously. It is important that we not only keep the observance, but also instruct the saints as to its proper meaning, as Paul did starting in verse 3. “I praise you that you ... keep the ordinances ... but I would have you know ... ,” 1Cor11:3.

Paul said that neither the apostles, nor any of the churches, taught or practiced the headcovering observance in a contentious way that would lord it over women. This also means that all the churches at that time were keeping the headcovering ordinance, and so should we today.

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1 Corinthians 11, Part 2: The Lord’s Supper Ordinance

Outline

1) Divisions v17-19

2) The Supper v20-22

3) Symbolism v23-26

4) Improper Observance v27-32.

5) Proper Observance v33-34.

6) The Rest v34.

1 Corinthians 11:17-19. Divisions

“Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be manifest among you,” 1Cor11:17-19.

The Corinthians were worse off for going to church meetings. First of all, there were the divisions Paul said he heard about in chapters 1 - 4. “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them of the house of Cloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul,” 1Cor1:11-13.

Secondly, there were heresies because some men wanted to be “approved,” 1Cor11:19, by their own group of followers. If these men had learned the lessons of the headcovering ordinance, they would not have been seeking preeminence.

1 Corinthians 11:20-22. The Supper

“When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not,” 1Cor11:20-22.

The early church ate a full meal when they observed the Lord’s Supper. The word translated ‘supper’ in 1 Corinthians 11 means the chief meal of the day, usually taken in the evening. It is sometimes translated as ‘feast’ in the New Testament. The same Greek word is used to refer to the “marriage ‘supper’ of the Lamb,” Rev19:17. (I hope that they serve more than a thimble of grape juice and a cracker at the marriage supper of the Lamb.) We know the early church ate a full meal when they observed the Lord’s Supper from this 1 Corinthians 11 passage, and other passages may also indicate this.

The phrase ‘breaking of bread’ may refer to the Lord’s Supper. “They continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers ... and they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” Acts2:42,46. In verse 46, “breaking bread from house to house” may indicate the observance of the Lord’s Supper, and “did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart” would indicate the observance included a full meal.

Likewise in Acts 20, “Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ... when he therefore ... had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed,” Acts20:7,11. “Had broken bread” may indicate the observance of the Lord’s Supper; “and eaten” would indicate its observance included a full meal.

(The phrase ‘break bread’ is found in 12 passages in the New Testament. In 10 of the 12, it refers to breaking a literal loaf of bread: by Jesus not at the last supper: Mt14:19, 15:36; Mk8:6,19; Lk24:30,35; by Jesus at the last supper: Mt26:26; Mk14:22; Lk22:19; 1Cor11:24; by Paul not in observance of the Lord’s Supper: Acts27:35; by churches in observance of the Lord’s Supper: 1Cor10:16. In the other two passages, Acts 2 and Acts 20, the phrase may be a euphemism for observing the Lord’s Supper or a euphemism for simply eating a regular meal.

There is not a single instance where we can be sure the phrase ‘breaking bread’ is a euphemism for simply eating a meal, unlike the phrases ‘eat bread’ (Mk3:20; Lk14:1,15; 2Thes3:8,12), ‘eat meat’ (Acts2:46), and ‘sit at meat’ (Mt9:10; 14:9; 26:7; Mk2:15; 14:3; 16:14; Lk7:36,37,49; 11:37; 14:10,15; 17:7; 22:27; 24:30; 1Cor8:10). Therefore, since the phrase ‘break bread’ was especially characteristic of Jesus and had special significance to the Lord’s Supper, it may be better to understand the phrase as a euphemism representing the Lord’s Supper in Acts 2 and Acts 20, than a euphemism for simply eating a meal.)

Other verses may also indicate the early church feasted together, possibly in connection with the Lord’s Supper. “For there are certain men crept in unawares ... these are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear,” Jude1:4,12; and, “spots they are and blemishes ... while they feast with you,” 2Pet2:13. If Jude and Peter wrote these verses about the Lord’s Supper observance, would they be able to include the word “feast” after visiting your church meeting?

The problem with the Corinthians’ observance of the Lord’s Supper, was not that they ate a full meal during its observance, but that they misbehaved at the meal. Instead of promoting unity, their supper fostered division. Some were gluttonous, and even drunken. Those that were wealthy enough brought an abundant amount of food and wine to the meal for the people sitting at their tables; while the poorer brethren, “them that have not,” 1Cor11:22, went “hungry,” 1Cor11:21.

They also started eating as soon as the brethren in their clique were ready, rather than waiting for everyone to begin the meal together. “Everyone taketh before other his own supper,” 1Cor11:21-22. Individuals were so focused on eating their own suppers, and so ignored the symbolic meaning of the meal, that the time didn’t even count as eating the Lord’s Supper. “This is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in eating, everyone taketh before other his own supper,” 1Cor11:21-22.

We are not to show favoritism. Paul charged Timothy to lead and serve the church without, “preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality,” 1Tim5:21. James said it is wrong to treat people “with respect of persons,” James2:1-13.

Jesus taught a lot about sharing meals. In Luke 14, while sitting at a meal he was invited to, Jesus gave three different parables about meals. One of them talked about our attitudes towards the poor and handicapped. “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just,” Lk14:12-14.

We are not to prefer one person before another, but we are to prefer others before ourselves. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another,” Rm12:10. “In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves,” Phil2:3. In the next chapter, Paul will teach that, “there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another,” 1Cor12:25.

The Corinthians showed partiality and respect of persons at the Lord’s Supper, “despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not?” 1Cor11:21-22. They did not merely despise the brethren of low estate in general; they even used the Lord’s Supper that Jesus gave as a means of remembering Him, as the means of despising the poor brethren. Their suppers which should have been “feasts of charity [KJV for ‘love’],” Jude1:12, and unity, were tools of unkindness and division. Paul said, “Shall I praise you in this” kind of keeping of the Lord’s Supper? “I praise you not,” vs22.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Symbolism

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come,” 1Cor11:23-26.

The main point, mentioned twice, is that the purpose of the observance is to remember our Lord Jesus, Yeshua. We use the symbols of the bread and cup to remember him.

It does not explicitly say so in this passage, but I believe the bread we use to symbolize his body should be unleavened. Spiritual things are more important than physical things, but if God tells the church to symbolize something spiritual through a physical item, then the physical item we use for the symbolism is important. Leaven is consistently used as a symbol of sin and false doctrine in the Bible. We know that the bread Jesus held up when he said, “this is my body,” was unleavened because the last supper was a Passover meal. “Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?” Mt26:17.

Even though Paul did not say, “as often as ye eat this ‘unleavened’ bread” in verse 26, we know he explained the Jewish feasts and the symbolism of them to the Corinthians while he was with them in Corinth, because he refers to them in 1 Corinthians. God gave 7 feasts to Israel in two groups; the 4 spring feasts represent the first coming of Christ, and the 3 fall feasts represent the second coming of Christ. The first 4 feasts representing Christ’s first coming all have some relationship to leaven, and all 4 were mentioned in 1 Corinthians.

First comes Passover on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar. “Your lamb shall be without blemish ... and they shall eat the flesh that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread,” Ex12:5,8. “Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning,” Ex34:25. Jesus fulfilled this feast to the letter, dying on the cross the very hour that the Passover lamb was offered by the priests in the temple (which is different from the lamb eaten in homes the night before). Passover was mentioned in 1Cor5:7, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”

Then comes the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 15th through the 22nd. “And on the fifteenth day of the same month at even is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days must ye eat unleavened bread,” Lev23:6. “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses,” Ex12:19. This feast was a symbol of Christ’s offering his sinless blood in the heavenly tabernacle. That is why Mary could not touch him immediately after the resurrection. “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father,” Jn20:17.

Moses patterned the tabernacle on earth after the real tabernacle in heaven which God showed him. The tabernacle Moses made was purified with animal blood, but Jesus purified the “true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched,” Heb8:2, in heaven with his own blood. “It was therefore necessary that the patterns [on earth] of things in the heavens should be purified with these [the blood of calves and goats]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands,” Heb9:23-24. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

The third feast is the Feast of Firstfruits. The numerical day of the month changed from year to year, but the day of the week was essential. It had to be observed on the Sunday after Passover, which always fell on a day during the Feast of Unleavend Bread. “And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it,” Lev23:11. This feast was fulfilled by the resurrection of Christ, the firstfruits from the dead, on the very day while this feast was being celebrated in Israel. The Feast of Firstfruits was mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept, ... but every man in his own order, Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

The fourth feast is the Feast of Weeks, also called Pentecost. It occurred fifty days after firstfruits. Leaven was also conspicuous in this feast, not by its absence, but because it’s presence was required. “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD,” Lev23:17. This feast symbolized the birth of the church which is made up of sinful men redeemed from among Jews and Gentiles. The Feast of Weeks was mentioned in 1Cor16:8, “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.”

By the way, the three fall feasts that will be fulfilled by the second coming are: Rosh Hashanah (New Year’s Day, Feast of Trumpets), when the rapture, or catching away of the church might occur, (1Cor15:52); Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), which represents the 7-year tribulation period, which will start sometime after the rapture, perhaps on some Yom Kippur day; and Sukkoth (the Feast of Tabernacles), which represents the Messianic Kingdom, which might start on Sukkoth seven years after the tribulation period starts.

Leaven consistently represents sin and false doctrine in the Bible. Three groups opposed Jesus and eventually delivered him to Pilate: the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. In Mt16:6, Jesus said, “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees”; and in Mk8:15 he warns of the “leaven of Herod.” “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees,” Mt16:12.

Two characteristics make leaven an excellent symbol of sin and false doctrine. First, leaven is pervasive. If you put a little leaven in one part of some dough, pretty soon the thing the whole thing becomes leavened. Sin in a group is pervasive. “That he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you ... know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump,” 1Cor5:2,6.

False doctrine is also pervasive. Matthew 13 says that false doctrine will dominate the earth by the time Christ returns to set up the Messianic Kingdom, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened,” Mt13:33. (If you think the seven parables of Matthew 13 are all about good things, remember that after the abnormal growth of the mustard seed, birds lodge in its branches, and birds were interpreted by the first parable to be “the wicked one,” Mt13:19.)

Secondly, leaven is old. “Purge out the old leaven that ye may be a new lump,” 1Cor5:7. Yeast is comprised of one-celled fungi that reproduce by budding or splitting, rather than by dying and germinating. The yeast in the bread we eat comes from other living yeast in an unbroken line back to Eden. In contrast, the wheat in the bread got here by a life and death cycle. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit,” Jn12:24. For Christ to qualify to be a sacrifice for sin he could not himself inherit the sin of Adam as we did (Rm5:12). He had to be the virgin-born seed of the woman (Gen3:15), not of man.

Leavened bread is a very poor symbol to use for Christ, “who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God,” Heb9:14. Christ was the fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrifices, but Old Testament sacrifices couldn’t include leaven. “No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire,” Lev3:11.

God has given the church few symbols, compared to Israel, so we should be faithful in the few we have been given. In symbols, the external details really matter because symbols are externals. We should never symbolize our Lord as having sin, and I believe that is what we do if we use leavened bread at the Lord’s Supper.

For the sake of those who visit a church meeting that uses leavened bread to symbolize the Lord, I recommend you bring your own unleavened cracker or not partake, because the frequency of observance is not stipulated in scripture. If the assembly you usually attend uses leavened bread, you can bring your own bread, or occasionally visit another assembly that uses unleavened bread, so you can obey the commandment to perform the observance.

If we are going to perform an observance God has commanded us to perform, we ought to perform it the way he told us to perform it. “Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD,” Num3:4. Saul obeyed God, but not the way he was commanded, and it cost him his throne. “Saul said ... I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears ... Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king,” 1Sam15:13-23.

Personally, I don’t feel as strongly about our modern custom of using grape juice instead of wine. At least it is still ‘the fruit of the vine,’ and it doesn’t symbolize our Lord as having sin, like leavened bread does. But, Biblically, it is more correct to use wine.

Psalm 104:14-15 says, “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.” I don’t think anyone’s heart gets especially glad from drinking grape juice. But I also realize that many people in our society today don’t know how to drink wine without abusing its usage, so probably grape juice should also be provided for those who want to avoid wine.

1 Corinthians 11:27-32. Improper Observance

“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world,” 1Cor11:27-32.

In most church meetings today, these verses are used to say Christians should confess their sins before they partake of the Lord’s Supper. However, in context, the phrase about eating and drinking “unworthily” means to eat and drink ‘in an unworthy manner,’ like being disrespectful towards the poor, and forgetting the purpose of the meal. It doesn’t mean to eat and drink with ‘unconfessed sin’.

The only passage in the New Testament that seems to imply that Christians ought to enumerate their sins to God is 1 John 1:9, but one of the purposes of that book was so that we can know who are Christians and who aren’t. “These things have I written unto you ... that ye may know that ye have eternal life,” 1Jn5:13. 1 John 1:8 says you can know someone is not a Christian if they are self-righteous, “if we say that we have no sin.” 1 John 1:9 says you can know someone is a Christian if they admit they are a sinner and trust in Christ’s righteousness, “if we confess our sins.”

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican, ... and the publican ... smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other,” Lk18:14. Like 1 John 1:8 and 9 say, unbelievers are self-righteous and trust in their own righteousness, while believers agree with God (confess) that they are sinners, and trust in God’s provision of “the righteousness of God,” Rm1:16, to them. More information on 1 John 1:9 in its context is available in the survey of 1 John in this book.

All our sins, even the ones we haven’t committed yet, were future to Christ when he died for them, and all were forgiven, even the ones we haven’t committed yet, when we believed on him. We are counted and will always be counted perfectly righteous in Christ. If we have to confess our sins to be clean enough to observe the Lord’s Supper, we can never be clean enough, because we can’t even confess all the sins we are aware of.

It’s sad to me that at the observance to remember the Lord’s substitutionary death that washed away all our sins, we should be teaching people that they need to take additional steps to be clean, when one of the first things we should learn as believers, is that our sins are already forgiven. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake,” 1Jn2:12.

The word “damnation” in verse 29, should be translated “judgment,” because it refers to the physical judgment described in the next verse, “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep,” 1Cor11:29-30. Many Christians were sick and many died in Corinth because of the physical judgment they experienced because of the improper manner in which they observed the Lord’s Supper (not because they ate it with ‘unconfessed sin’).

But how is our manner of keeping the Lord’s Supper? We should call it the Lord’s breakfast, because we eat it in the morning. We should call it the Lord’s snack, because it’s smaller than hors d’oeuvres. We don’t have problems of gluttony and drunkenness at our Lord’s Suppers! We can’t even be tempted, because we have gotten rid of both the supper and the wine. Paul could write to us, “When ye come together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For a cracker and a thimble of grape juice are no supper.”

Now I’m pretty sure that having a full meal would be a lot more inconvenient than passing around tiny plastic cups. And nowadays, we generally don’t want people to be inconvenienced by needing to spend too much time gathering with the brethren.

1 Corinthians 11:33-34. Proper Observance

“Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation.

Paul is simply telling them to fix the one specific problem this passage is about: that “in eating every one taketh before other his own supper,” 1Cor11:21. To fix that they should “tarry one for another,” 1Cor11:33. He did not tell them to stop having a full meal, the solution we have adopted today.

If the Corinthians had the teaching portion of their meeting first, like Paul did in Troas, that might have solved the problem. “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ... and continued his speech unto midnight. ... When he therefore ... had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed,” Acts20:7-12.

Biblically, the first day of the week, Sunday, starts at sundown on Saturday. “The evening and the morning were the first day,” Gen1:5. So the Acts 20 passage shows it may have been common for the churches to meet on Saturday nights. It’s unlikely the Troas meeting could have started on Sunday morning and Paul could have preached all the way to midnight and through till the next morning. So if the Corinthians also met on Saturday evenings, and some people were too hungry to wait for everyone to arrive before they started eating the Lord’s Supper, they could eat a little at home before they went to the meeting. “If any man hunger, let him eat at home,” 1Cor11:34.

The Corinthians experienced the physical judgments of weakness and sickness for the way they kept the Lord’s Supper. Could we be experiencing some of the same things today for having completely thrown out the “supper,” 1Cor11:20, portion of it? And if improper observance of the Lord’s Supper ordinance exposes a congregation to physical judgment, what about complete non-observance of the headcovering ordinance? The Lord has given us only two church meeting observances. You that are elders ought to restore the proper obedience of these ordinances to your assemblies, to help ensure “that ye come not together unto condemnation,” 1Cor11:34.

1 Corinthians 11:34. The Rest

“And the rest will I set in order when I come,” 1Cor11:34.

The last sentence of verse 34 ends the second half of the chapter on the Lord’s Supper, and ends the whole passage on the church meeting ordinances. Paul told the Corinthians they were doing a good job keeping the headcovering ordinance, but he wanted them to have a fuller knowledge of its meaning. He said they were not doing a good job in the way they were keeping the Lord’s Supper ordinance, and then he closed by telling them there were more things he would correct when he returned to them. What else would Paul need to “set in order,” 1Cor11:34, in your church meetings if he were to visit nowadays?

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Survey of 1 John: Union with God

Recorded August 30, 2009

1 John 1:1-4. Introduction

Good morning. I wasn’t here the last 5th Sunday, so it’s been a while. I’m really happy to see you all. I’d like to chat more, but we have a lot to cover.

We are doing a survey of 1 John today about union with God. No Christian ever walks in darkness. No Christian ever walks in self-righteousness, disobedience, or hatred. What do you think? Ok. All Christians always walk in the light. They always walk in faith, they always walk in obedience, and they always walk in love. What do you think? Ok. Well, let’s get started.

We’ll start with the introduction, chapter 1 verse 1, “That which was from the beginning.” That is Yeshua, who existed from eternity past, and created all things at the beginning.

“Which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life,” 1Jn1:1. Amazing, yeah? The apostles saw him who was from the beginning, and they touched him who was from the beginning, and who created all things.

And before he became flesh 2000 years ago he was known, not as Yeshua, or as Jesus, but as the Word. The word “Word” in Greek is ‘logos,’ which also means logic. And the apostle John who wrote this epistle uses a lot of logic. He says things like, “All As are Bs, all Bs are Cs.” And those are called categorical propositions in formal logic. I don’t necessarily think John studied formal logic, but he had a good mind for it, and we are going to see lots of those kinds of statements in this epistle.

Verse 3, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship [or union] with us.” So the apostles tell us about Jesus. They preach the gospel to us, John says, so we can have “fellowship” or “union” with them.

The word ‘fellowship’ there in the King James is from the Greek word ‘koinonia,’ which means ‘in common,’ ‘sharing,’ or ‘union.’ And John emphasized the ‘union’ meaning, because if you look in his gospel at John 14:20, “I am in my father, and ye in me, and I in you.” That is union. And John 17:21-22, “As thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, even as we are one.” That is perfect union. So I am not going to use the word ‘fellowship,’ because we tend to think of ‘fellowship’ as a social gathering for Christians. I am going to use the word ‘union.’

And he says the reason they declare the gospel to us, is so we can have union with them. But the purpose of the gospel is not primarily so we can union with other Christians. It is primarily so we can have union with God the Father and God the Son. So why does he say, “have union with us”? Because he wants to emphasize that this union is so complete, that to have union with any person in the union, is to have union with everybody in the union. So he says, “with us,” but then goes on to say, “and truly, our union is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”

1 John 1:4, “These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” That is the purpose of this book, that we would have fullness of joy. And when you think about how amazing it was that the apostles looked upon him that was from the beginning and created all things, and touched him, it’s even more amazing to think that we have union with him who is from the beginning and who created all things. And that union has to have an effect on our lives. John is going to tell us about that union, and about the effect it has on us, in the rest of the book. And when we know these things, we will have more fullness of joy.

Outline

Introduction 1:1-4

Body

Intro

Truth

Righteousness

Love

Light

1:5-7

1:8-2:2*

2:3-6

2:7-11**

Life

2:12-17

2:18-27

2:28-3:10*

3:11-17**

Knowledge

3:18-24a

3:24b-4:6*

Love

4:7-5:2*

Righteousness

5:3-17

Conclusion 5:18-21

The chapter divisions in our Bibles demonstrate a lack of understanding of the structure of 1 John as evidenced by: **Major sections that end in the middle of a chapter. *Subsections that span two chapters.

The table above shows the outline of the book. There is an Introduction; and then in the Body, three major sections, Light, Life, and Knowledge, and then a Conclusion. And all the major sections in 1 John have the same subsections, going across the table: an Introduction, and then subsections on Truth, Righteousness, and Love.

1 John 1:5-2:11. Light

We already looked at the Introduction in verses 1-4, so now we will look at the first major section on Light, as shown across the first row of the Body of the outline table.

But to look at this first major section, we will use the chart on the next two pages, that provides a lot of detail. The chart looks intimidating, but its structure is repetitive, so it should get easier to look at as we go along.

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In the first row, across the top of the chart, we see the same headings we saw in the outline table: Introduction, Truth, Righteousness, and Love.

And there are 11 boxes with dark borders around them on this chart. Each of those boxes is a test. It is a test of whether or not a person is a Christian. So there are 11 tests on this chart.

And the tests in each column are arranged in the order of non-Christian, Christian, and then non-Christian. You can see that going down the left hand side of the chart.

Now when I use the word “Christian” in this survey, I am not talking about people that are part of a denomination, or a religion, or some church. I am talking about people who truly know the Lord. They have believed on Jesus Christ as their Savior, and have thus been born again. That is what I mean by the word Christian. They have union with God, because that is what happens to you the moment you believe on the Son.

And all the tests have the same structure. So if you look towards the upper left hand corner of the chart, every test has a Premise, a Claim to be a Christian, Proof as to whether or not the person is a Christian, a Verdict as to whether the person’s claim to be a Christian is true or false, and a Verdict as to whether or not the person is a Christian. So there are two verdicts for each test: a verdict on the claim to be a Christian, and a corresponding verdict as to whether or not the person is a Christian.

1 John 1:5-7. Introduction - Light

So now we want to start the Intro column, which is about Light. In the first row of the Intro column, we see the verse 1 John 1:5 listed. This verse is the foundation for this whole section, and to some extent, for the whole book. It is the message of the book, and it is the premise that all 11 tests in this section are based on.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all,” 1Jn1:5. This message has important consequences for all those who have union with God. If God is light, and we are one with him, then logically we also must be light. If there is no darkness in him, and we have union with him, then logically there can be no darkness in us either. But we know that we are not sinlessly perfect.

For us, being in the light and having no darkness does not mean sinless perfection, but it does mean we are totally different from the world and from the person we used to be back when we were ‘of’ the world. Now that we have union with God, we are spiritual, as we saw from Romans 8, and the Holy Spirit, who dwells in our mortal bodies, will prevail in our lives; but we are not sinlessly perfect because our bodies have not yet been changed, or glorified.

Now let’s look at the first test, the first box in the Intro column. It’s about 1 John 1:6, and it’s labeled Light Test #1. It’s reproduced here below in a larger size.

1:5-7. Intro: Light

Non-Christian

1Jn1:6. Light Test #1

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“if we say we have union with him”

Proof He’s Not a Christian

“and walk in darkness”

Verdict that His Claim is False

“we lie”

Verdict that He’s Not a Christian

“and do not the truth”

(Jn8:44)

Logical Implications

1) No Christian ever walks in darkness. (No carnal Christians.) Joy!!!

2) All Christians always walk in light. Joy!!!

The Premise is that “God is light.” This is understood from the context we just saw in 1 John 1:5.

The Claim to be a Christian, in 1 John 1:6, is “if we say we have union with him.” That is a claim to be a Christian because all Christians, and only Christians, have union with God, as we saw earlier in 1 John 1:3.

For the Proof that this person is not actually a Christian, John says, “and walk in darkness.” Because anybody can say, “I’m a Christian.” You have to look at their walk. And a walk doesn’t mean a step. It doesn’t mean a single action. A lot of steps make up a walk. So this is a general way of life; not merely one action.

For the Verdict that this person’s claim is false, John says, “we lie.” This person claims to have union with God, but walks in darkness. God is light. You can’t be one with God, and have union with him, and then walk in darkness. You can commit a sin, but you can’t “walk” in sin or darkness. Otherwise, John wouldn’t have been able to arrive at the verdict that this person is lying. If even one Christian ever walked in darkness, then John wouldn’t have known if this person walking in darkness was a Christian or not. He would have had to say, “If we say we have union with him, and walk in darkness, well, maybe we lie, or maybe we don’t.

And for the Verdict that he’s not a Christian, John says, “and do not the truth.” This is synonymous with saying a person is not a Christian. Christians can perform individual acts that are not true, but to have your life characterized as “do not the truth,” that is the way the devil behaves, as John 8:44, listed on the chart, shows. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

For the Logical Implications of this test, according to the chart, #1 says, “No Christian ever walks in darkness.” If there were any exceptions, John wouldn’t have been able to arrive at the verdict that this person lied about having union with God and is not a Christian.

And that means there is no such thing as a ‘carnal Christian’.
Now the confusion about this comes from 1 Corinthians 3:1-4. And the key to understanding that passage is the word “as.” Paul says in that passage,
“I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes,” 1Cor3:1. He said, because you have “divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” 1Cor3:3.

So even though Paul didn’t use the word “as” in front of every mention of the word “carnal” in 1 Corinthians 3, he used it enough that we know he doesn’t really think they’re carnal. He thinks they’re acting as if they were carnal. They can’t actually be carnal because ‘carnal’ means ‘fleshly’. It means ‘physical’. It means having a physical birth only, and no spiritual birth. “As men” in the 1 Corinthians 3 passage means acting as ‘mere’ men, as ‘natural’ men. But Paul said in Romans 8, that all Christians have the Holy Spirit, and therefore all Christians are spiritual and understand spiritual things.

So Paul would never use the phrase, ‘carnal Christian,’ and he never does. That would mean ‘non-Christian Christian’. That phrase was made up by Bible teachers, and it is confusing, because there are not different kinds of Christians. There is only one kind of Christian, and all Christians are spiritual. But all Christians sometimes, in some areas, act like non-Christians.

And also there are no ‘backslidden Christians’. The word ‘backslidden’ is found in the Old Testament, but is not relevant to a Christian. All Christians fall short sometimes, in some areas, but it is on a continuum. There is no magic point at which you have fallen so far short that now you are ‘backslidden’.

So all Christians sometimes act like non-Christians, and all Christians fall short, but never to the degree that it can be considered walking in darkness. According to 1 John 1:6, there is no such thing as a ‘carnal Christian’ or a ‘backslidden Christian,’ because no Christian ever walks in darkness. No Christian ever ‘walks’ like an unbeliever, though he sometimes does some of the same actions as unbelievers.

And then, #2 in the Logical Implications of this test, “All Christians always walk in the light.” If no Christian ever walks in darkness, and everybody has to walk somewhere, well then, all Christians logically have to walk in the light. And this is joy! This is the message of joy that John promised in 1:4 that he would share with us, to know that we will never walk in darkness and will always walk in the light, which is exactly what we desire. That is God’s work in us, and it is worth rejoicing in!

1:5-7. Intro: Light

Christian

1Jn1:7. Light Test #2

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“but if we” (say we have union with him and)

Proof He‘s a Christian

“walk in the light, as he is in the light”

Verdict that His Claim is True

“we have union one with another” (true, when “we say we have union with him”)

Verdict that He’s a Christian

“and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (Eph1:7)

Logical Implications

3) No non-Christian ever walks in light. (No moral non-Christians.)

4) All non-Christians always walk in darkness.

Now let’s look at Light Test #2, the second box in the Intro column, about 1 John 1:7. The premise again is that “God is light.”

The Claim to be a Christian, is “but if we,” and I put in parentheses, “say we have union with him,” because that is understood from the context of the previous verse. John isn’t going to keep saying it over again. It’s implied by the context.

The Proof that he’s a Christian, “walk in the light, as he is in the light.” Every step will not be in the light, because of the weakness of the flesh, but our walk will be in the light, because of our union with Him who is in the light.

The Verdict that his claim is true, “we have union one with another.” So this person claims to have union with God, and John says, “It’s true. He has union with God.” Remember from 1 John 1:3, that saying someone has union with other Christians is equivalent to saying they have union with God.

The Verdict that he’s a Christian, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” If the blood of Jesus Christ is cleansing you from all sin, you are definitely a Christian. The chart references Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we (Christians) have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

And one of the things we notice from this particular test, is that all these tests are proof of something. They are not telling you, “If you do this, then you will get this, or you will become that.” Because we know we don’t enter into union with God or become Christians by walking in the light. We don’t receive forgiveness of sins, or cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ by doing good works. When we do good works, it shows that we are in union with God. It is proof, it is evidence, that we are Christians, that we are among those who are being cleansed by the blood of Christ.

It is like the apple tree illustration. You look at a tree, and you don’t know if it’s an apple tree or not. But when it bears apples, then you know it’s an apple tree. And it didn’t become an apple tree by bearing apples. It didn’t turn into an apple tree. It always was an apple tree. It had apples because it is an apple tree. That is the structure and approach of all of these tests.

Now let’s look at Logical Implication #3, “No non-Christian ever walks in the light.” If it were possible for a single non-Christian to ever walk in the light, then when John saw this person walking in the light, he wouldn’t have been able to come to a verdict. He would have had to say, “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, well, maybe we have union with God, and maybe we don’t. Maybe we are Christians, and maybe we’re not.” But John didn’t say that, because he knew there are no exceptions; no non-Christian ever walks in the light.

There is no such thing as a moral non-Christian. You can think of people, like Gandhi and Mother Teresa, that have good publicity, and who are popularly respected as being very moral people, who are not Christians; but, get on the internet, research how they treat their family, how they treat people in private, how they handle their money, and you will find there is no such thing as a moral non-Christian. You might think you know some non-Christians who are moral, but you just need to get to know them better. John says, “we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness,” 1Jn5:19. “We” means Christians. Everyone else is part of “the whole world.” And John says they are wicked, just as we also were apart from God’s work of justification and regeneration in us.

And then, Logical Implication #4 in this first column of the chart, “All non-Christians always walk in darkness.” Because if no non-Christian ever walks in the light, and everyone has to walk somewhere, then by logical necessity, all non-Christians are walking in darkness.

We all know people that are nice people. They work hard; and they are not trouble makers. But try to talk with them about he who is from the beginning, their creator, and the conversation will become uncomfortable. Talk to them about believing in Jesus Christ, and watch the hackles go up on their back. Put a scratch on one of their possessions, and see what they are like. All non-Christians always walk in darkness.

Now before we move on to the Truth column, let’s take a short look at some of the logic involved in what we just covered. In the non-Christian test, Light Test #1, about 1 John 1:6, John said, “If we see a person walk in darkness, we know he’s not a Christian.” In formal logic, it helps if we convert actions into nouns, so we will rephrase John’s statement as, “All darkness-walkers are non-Christians.” However, we can’t simply reverse this statement and say therefore “All non-Christians are darkness walkers.” If we did that, we would be guilty of the formal logic fallacy of “affirming the consequent.” For example, just because “All beagles are dogs,” doesn’t necessitate that, “All dogs are beagles,” because beagles are only a subset of dogs.

1JnU0.jpg

So we don’t have enough information from 1 John 1:6 alone to know if darkness-walkers are a subset of non-Christians, just some non-Christians, or comprise the whole set of all non-Christians. We don’t know, from 1 John 1:6 alone, which of the diagrams labeled A and B above are true. All non-Christians might be darkness-walkers (diagram B), or only some non-Christians might be darkness-walkers (diagram A), and it would still be true that, “All darkness-walkers are non-Christians,” so long as “No Christians are darkness-walkers.”

Light

Darkness

Christian

1Jn1:6. All Christians are light-walkers.

1Jn1:6. No Christians are darkness-walkers.

Non-Christian

1Jn1:6 = ?

1Jn1:6. All darkness-walkers are non-Christians.”

So even though 1 John 1:6, is about a non-Christian walking in darkness, it provides a complete picture of Christians, but only a partial picture of non-Christians. In 1 John 1:6, John said that if a person says he has union with God, but walks in darkness, we know he’s lying, because no Christian ever walks in darkness, which also means that all Christians are light-walkers (since all Christians have to walk somewhere), and every darkness-walker we see has to be a non-Christian.

But we still don’t know from 1 John 1:6 alone, if there might be some non-Christians who walk in the light. So we have a question mark in the table above in the box about non-Christians and Light. That’s why our Logical Implication rows for the non-Christian tests in our chart talk about Christians, like, “All Christians walk in the light.”

Light

Darkness

Christian

1Jn1:7. “All light-walkers are Christians.”

1Jn1:7 = ?

Non-Christian

1Jn1:7. No non-Christians are light walkers.

1Jn1:7. All non-Christians are darkness walkers.

On the other hand, although 1 John 1:7 is about a Christian walking in the light, it gives a complete picture about non-Christians, as shown in the table above. In 1 John 1:7, John said that if a person walks in the light, it proves he is a Christian, since no non-Christian ever walks in the light, which also means that all non-Christians are darkness-walkers, and every light-walker we see has to be a Christian. But 1 John 1:7 leaves a question as to whether or not some Christians might walk in darkness. That is why the Logical Implication rows for the Christian tests talk about non-Christians.

Light

Darkness

Christian

1Jn1:6. All Christians are light-walkers.

1Jn1:7. “All light-walkers are Christians.”

1Jn1:6. No Christians are darkness-walkers.

1Jn1:7 = ?

Non-

Christian

1Jn1:6 = ?

1Jn1:7. No non-Christians are light walkers.

1Jn1:6. “All darkness-walkers are non-Christians.”

1Jn1:7. All non-Christians are darkness walkers.

But the interesting thing is that when you put the non-Christian tests, like 1 John 1:6, together with the Christian tests, like 1 John 1:7, then you have a complete picture of Christians and non-Christians, as shown in the table above.

John provides both the non-Christian and Christian cases, because only then can we state the complete situation as, “All Christians and only Christians walk in the light; and all non-Christians and only non-Christians walk in darkness,” as illustrated by the diagram below.

1JnU1.jpg

1 John 1:8-2:2. Truth - Faith

1:8-2:2. Truth: Faith

Non-Christian

1Jn1:8. Faith Test #1

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“if we say we have no sin”

Proof He’s Not a Christian

Verdict that His Claim is False

“we deceive ourselves”

Verdict that He’s Not a Christian

“and the truth is not in us” (2Jn1:2)

Logical Implications

1) No Christian ever walks in self-righteousness. (No carnal Christians.) Joy!!!

2) All Christians always walk in faith. Joy!!!

Ok, now we are ready for Faith Test #1. This is the first test in the Truth column in the chart, which is reproduced in the table above.

All the major sections in 1 John have the same subsections, but the subsections within each major section have a different emphasis, depending on the topic of the major sections they are in. This major section is about Light, and walking in the light, so the subsection on Truth here, is about our testimonies. To walk in the light, in regards to truth, means to have a true testimony; and a true testimony is one of faith, rather than one of self-righteousness, because if we are self-righteous, we are deceiving ourselves, and are not of the truth.

And just as physical light from the sun is made up of different colors, as we see in the rainbow, even so spiritual light is comprised of several parts – faith, obedience, and love – as John will show. So ‘walking in the light’ is a general phrase that is comprised of walking in faith, walking in obedience, and walking in love. But in this column we are dealing with truth and with ‘walking in faith.’

So as we look at Faith Test #1 in the chart, which is about 1 John 1:8, the Premise, as always, is that “God is light”.

The Claim to be a Christian is “if we say we have no sin.” We saw in vs. 7, that an equivalent way to say that someone is a Christian, is to say that they are being cleansed by the blood of Christ, that all their sins are forgiven. A non-Christian doesn’t emphasize forgiveness of sins. His claim to be a Christian is that he’s a good person. Most non-Christians won’t come right out and say, “I have no sin,” but they will make light of their sin. They will say something like, “Sure, I’ve sinned; everybody has. At least I am not as bad as some people.” So they think they are ok; certainly, not worthy of eternal punishment.

The Proof that this person is not a Christian is the same phrase, “if we say we have no sin.” Because the way you claim to be a Christian, is evidence as to whether or not you are a Christian. If you ask somebody, “Are you a Christian?” and they say, “Oh, yeah. I’ve gone to church all my life.” Well, then we know they don’t know the Lord, because they don’t know how to become a Christian.

For the Verdict that the claim is false, John says, “we deceive ourselves.” In the previous non-Christian test we looked at in the Intro column, John said, “we lie.” Now he says, “we lie to ourselves,” because a non-Christian doesn’t want to come to the light. He doesn’t want his deeds to be shown to be evil, because he doesn’t want to accept that in himself. “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved,” Jn3:20.

For the Verdict that this person is not a Christian, John says, “and the truth is not in us.” If “the truth is not in” you, you are not a Christian, because according to 2 John 1:2, referenced in the chart, “the truth ... dwelleth in us (Christians), and shall be with us for ever.”

For Logical Implication #1, “No Christian ever walks in self-righteousness,” because if a single Christian ever walked in self-righteousness, John wouldn’t have been able to say that if you see a self-righteous person, you know he’s a non-Christian. And Logical Implication #2, if no Christian is ever self-righteous, then “All Christians always walk in faith,” because those are the only two options.

So when you were a non-Christian, and heard the gospel, you were enabled by the power of the gospel to believe. But once you believed, and came to Jesus by faith, your union with God causes you to keep believing, and you don’t have a choice anymore about that, because the Holy Spirit always causes you to recognize your own sinfulness, and to recognize the salvation that is in Jesus Christ. You can’t apostatize, you can’t fall away, because your union with God keeps you believing for the rest of eternity, just as we desire.

And that’s a cause for great joy! Once again, John has come through with his promise in 1:4 to bring us more fullness of joy by the things he writes to us in this book. By the way, we wouldn’t be rejoicing over what John wrote if he had written about a bunch of things we had to do to get joy. But John says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life,” 1Jn5:13. Knowing more fully what it is we already have is what gives us joy. Knowing that our life is “eternal,” not just in kind, but in time! is what gives us joy.

1:8-2:2. Truth: Faith

Christian

1Jn1:9. Faith Test #2

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“if we confess our sins”

Proof He‘s a Christian

Verdict that His Claim is True

“he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (true when we say we are forgiven sinners)

Verdict that He’s a Christian

“and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (Rev1:5)

Logical Implications

3) No non-Christian ever walks in faith. (No moral non-Christians.)

4) All non-Christians always walk in self-righteousness.

Ok, Faith Test #2 in the Truth column. This is about 1 John 1:9. The premise is that “God is light.”

The Claim to be a Christian is, “if we confess our sins.” “Confess” means “to agree with”. This person claims to be a Christian by confessing that his sins are so bad, that there is no hope for him, except in the forgiveness that is in Christ.

This is like the illustration Jesus gave about those that “trusted in themselves that they were righteous,” (Lk:9-14). A Pharisee and a tax collector went into the temple. And the Pharisee prayed to himself, “I thank you I’m not like other men. I tithe. I fast. And I thank you I’m not like this tax collector.” But the tax collector, in humility, would not even dare to lift his eyes to heaven, but smote his breast, and prayed, saying “God be merciful to me a sinner.” And Jesus said, the tax collector went away justified, whereas the Pharisee did not.

The Pharisee probably committed less sins than the tax collector, but the few sins he committed were not forgiven. And the tax collector probably committed more sins than the Pharisee, but the many sins he committed were forgiven. So that is the kind of person we will see in the kingdom. And this is what 1 John 1:8-10 is talking about: self-righteousness vs. trusting in the righteousness of Christ. This person in 1:9 is trusting in the righteousness of Christ.

The Proof he’s a Christian is the same sentence. The way he said he was a Christian is the proof he’s a Christian, because non-Christians don’t understand how both grace and truth are in Jesus Christ. They don’t understand how God can be just and justifier of him who believes in Jesus. They don’t understand salvation by grace through faith.

The Verdict that his claim is true, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” John says this person is correct in thinking that his sins are so bad that forgiveness in Christ is the only hope, and confirms that anyone who truly has that testimony, is indeed forgiven of their sins, because God is both faithful to his grace and faithful to his justice, he is both “faithful and just”, to forgive us because of what Christ did by dying in our place.

The Verdict that He’s a Christian, John says, “and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We saw in the Christian test in the Intro column that to say the blood of Jesus Christ is cleansing us from all sin is synonymous with saying we are Christians. And here in 1 John 1:9, to say all our sins are forgiven is also synonymous with saying we are a Christian. Revelation 1:5 says Jesus, “washed us (Christians) from our sins in his own blood.”

All Christians are always being cleansed of all their sins by the blood of Christ. All our sins were future to Jesus when he died, because we weren’t yet born. And that means he died for the sins we committed before we believed, from the time we believed until now, and even the ones we haven’t yet committed. When we believed on Jesus Christ, all our sins, past, present, and future, were forgiven through him. So we don’t have to enumerate our sins to God.

1 John 1:9 is the only place in the New Testament I can find that, on the surface, might sound like we need to enumerate our sins to God. You know, we can’t even cover all the ones we know of. And if it depended on us to do that in order for us to be cleansed, we wouldn’t be cleansed. We wouldn’t have union with God.

Now let’s look at Logical Implication #3 in the Truth column. We know that “No non-Christian ever walks in faith,” because if there was ever a single non-Christian who ever walked in faith, who trusted in Jesus Christ instead of being self-righteous, well, first of all, he would become a Christian by trusting in Jesus Christ, but secondly, then John wouldn’t be able to say unreservedly that this person who is not self-righteous is a Christian. And, #4, “All non-Christians always walk in self righteousness.”

1:8-2:2. Truth: Faith

Non-Christian

1Jn1:10. Faith Test #3

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“if we say we have not sinned”

Proof He’s Not a Christian

Verdict that His Claim is False

“we make him a liar”

Verdict that He‘s Not a Christian

“and his word is not in us” (Jn5:38-40)

Logical Implications

5) All Christians and only Christians always walk in faith.

6) All non-Christians and only non-Christians always walk in self-righteousness.

Ok. Let’s look at Faith Test #3, the bottom box in the Truth column, about 1 John 1:10. The Premise is that “God is light.”

The Claim to be a Christian is, “if we say we have not sinned.” It’s almost like the other non-Christian claim in verse 8, “we have no sin.”

The Proof he’s not a Christian is the way he made the claim. He said, “I haven’t sinned,” I’m a pretty good person, so he obviously doesn’t know the Lord. We know it’s not those who are good that will go to heaven (or will enter the kingdom), but those whose sins are forgiven. “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin,” Rm4:6-8.“

The Verdict that his claim is false, “we make him a liar.” Earlier John said “we lie,” and then “we deceive ourselves,” and now we even call God a liar, because God said in his Word, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Rm3:23. God sent his Son to die for all men, because God thinks all men need salvation. “We thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead,” 2Cor5:14. But this man thinks he is not too bad, and he will trust in his own righteousness.

The Verdict that he’s not a Christian, “his word is not in us.” If God’s Word is not in you, you are not a Christian, according to John 5:38-40, referenced in the chart, “Ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. ... Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”

Now, Logical Implication #5. “All Christians and only Christians always walk in faith.” And, #6, “All non-Christians and only non-Christians always walk in self righteousness.”

1 John 2:3-6. Righteousness - Obedience

2:3-6. Righteousness: Obedience

Non-Christian

1Jn2:4. Obedience Test #1

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“he that saith I know him”

Proof He’s Not a Christian

“and keepeth not his commandments”

Verdict that His Claim is False

“is a liar”

Verdict that He’s Not a Christian

“and the truth is not in him” (Jn14:17)

Logical Implications

1) No Christian ever walks in disobedience. (No carnal Christians.) Joy!!!

2) All Christians always walk in obedience. Joy!!!

Now we are ready to start the Righteousness column. Obedience Test #1 about 1 John 2:4. The Premise is that “God is light.”

The claim to be a Christian, “he that saith I know him.” Unbelievers may know things about God, but only Christians know Him. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ,” Jn17:3.

Proof he’s not a Christian, “and keepeth not his commandments.” The “eth” at the end of the word “keepeth,” in the King James Version means a continual action. An unbeliever may keep some of God’s commandments sometimes, but he cannot walk in them as a way of life, because he doesn’t have a new heart or the Holy Spirit.

Verdict that his claim to be a Christian is false, “is a liar.” He said he knows him, but he doesn’t.

Verdict that he’s not a Christian, “and the truth is not in him.” In the Intro column, John said non-Christians “do not the truth,” and now he says, “the truth is not in him,” is also synonymous with being a non-Christian. As John 14:16-17, referenced in the chart, says, “The Father ... 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.”

Logical Implication #1, “No Christian ever walks in disobedience.” If there was a single Christian that even temporarily failed to walk in obedience, then when you saw somebody not keeping God’s commandments, you wouldn’t know whether they were a Christian or a non-Christian. John would have had to say, “He that saith I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, might be a liar or not, and might be a Christian or not,” but obviously John didn’t say that.

And #2, “All Christians always walk in obedience.” Of course, and unfortunately, not every step of our walk will be in obedience. But even to have the general walk guaranteed is a tremendous joy to us! “Some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold,” Mt13:8, but even assurance of a thirtyfold crop is great joy! And then we must use that confidence in God’s work in us to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as [would] be perfect, be thus minded,” Phil3:14-15. That is the difference our union with Him makes in our lives!

2:3-6. Righteousness: Obedience

Christian

1Jn2:5. Obedience Test #2

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“but whoso” (“saith I know him” and)

Proof He‘s a Christian

“keepeth his word”

Verdict that His Claim is True

“in him truly is the love of God perfected” (true we more than “know him” since we love him)

Verdict that He’s a Christian

“hereby we know that we are in him” (1Jn4:15)

Logical Implications

3) No non-Christian ever walks in obedience. (No moral non-Christians.)

4) All non-Christians always walk in disobedience.

Obedience Test #2 in the Righteousness column, about 1 John 2:5. The Premise is that “God is light.”

The claim to be a Christian, “but whoso” “saith I know him,” in parentheses because it is there from the context.

Proof he’s a Christian, “keepeth his word.” The “eth” at the end of the word “keepeth,” means a continual action. Christians don’t always keep every commandment perfectly, but they do keep and walk in them as a way of life, because they received God’s nature and the indwelling Holy Spirit at the new birth.

Verdict that his claim is true, “in him truly is the love of God perfected.” Not only is it true this person knows God (his claim), but beyond that, he loves him, and in a perfect way, by keeping his commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments. ... He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. ... If a man love me, he will keep my words, ... and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (union with God that began when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost),” Jn14:15-24.

The Verdict he’s a Christian, “hereby we know that we are in him.” Everyone in him is a Christian. 1 John 4:15, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

Logical Implication #3, “No non-Christian ever walks in obedience.” And, # 6, “All non-Christians always walk in disobedience.”

2:3-6. Righteousness: Obedience

Non-Christian

1Jn2:6. Obedience Test #3

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“he that saith he abideth in him”

Proof He’s Not a Christian

“ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (but he doesn’t)

Verdict that His Claim is False

(he lies; he is not in him)

Verdict that He‘s Not a Christian

(and he doesn’t walk as he walked) (1Jn3:5-6)

Logical Implications

5) All Christians and only Christians always walk in obedience.

6) All non-Christians and only non-Christians always walk in disobedience.

Ok, 1 John 2:6, in Obedience Test #3. Premise, “God is light.”

Claim to be a Christian, “he that saith he abideth in him.”

Proof he’s not a Christian, “ought himself also so to walk even as he walked.” The implication is that though this person “ought,” to walk as Yeshua walked, but he doesn’t. He says he is in Christ, but if Christ is walking one direction, and you are walking the other direction, you can’t both stay together, so you are not in him.

The Verdict that his claim is false, “he lies.” This is in parentheses from the context. The implication is that he doesn’t walk like Christ and thus lied when he said he “abideth in him.”

The Verdict that he’s not a Christian, is likewise understood from the context, that “he doesn’t walk as he walked.” 1 John 3:5-6 says, “In him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” So if you are not walking like Jesus because of your union with him, you have never become a Christian.

The Logical Implications are #5, “All Christians and only Christians always walk in obedience,” and, #6, “All non-Christians and only non-Christians always walk in disobedience.”

1 John 2:7-11. Love - Love

2:7-11. Love: Love

Non-Christian

1Jn2:9. Love Test #1

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“he that saith he is in the light

Proof He’s Not a Christian

“and hateth his brother”

Verdict that His Claim is False

“is in darkness” (i.e., he lies when he “saith he is in the light”)

Verdict that He’s Not a Christian

(and is in darkness) “even unto now” (1Thes5:4)

Logical Implications

1) No Christian ever walks in hatred. (No carnal Christians.) Joy!!!

2) All Christians always walk in love. Joy!!!

Next, Love Test #1, the first test in the Love column. This is about 1 John 2:9. Premise, “God is light.”

Claim to be a Christian, “he that saith he is in the light.”

Proof he’s not a Christian, “and hateth his brother.”

Verdict his claim is false, “is in darkness.” He said, “I am in the light.” John says, “You lied. You’re not in the light. You’re in darkness.”

Verdict he’s not a Christian, “and is in darkness,” from the context, “even until now.” So not only is he in darkness now, but he never saw the light. He was born blind, and he is still blind. 1 Thessalonians 5:4 says, “Ye, brethren, are not in darkness.”

Logical Implication #1, “No Christian ever walks in hatred.” Because if there was a single Christian that ever walked in hatred, then when John saw somebody hating his brother, he would have to say, “Maybe he’s in the light; maybe he’s in darkness.” And, #2, “All Christians always walk in love.” And that’s cause for great joy, because that’s exactly how we want to walk!

2:7-11. Love: Love

Christian

1Jn2:10. Love Test #2

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“he that” (“saith he is in the light” and)

Proof He‘s a Christian

“loveth his brother”

Verdict that His Claim is True

“abideth in the light” (true when he “saith he is in the light”)

Verdict that He’s a Christian

“and there is none occasion of stumbling in him” (Jn8:12)

Logical Implications

3) No non-Christian ever walks in love. (No moral non-Christians.)

4) All non-Christians always walk in hatred.

Love Test #2, 1 John 2:10. The Premise is that “God is light.”

The Claim to be a Christian, is “he that saith he is in the light,” from the context of the previous verse.

The Proof he’s a Christian is that he “loveth his brother.”

The Verdict that his claim is true is that it proves he, “abideth in the light.” He claimed to be “in the light,” and John says, “You are in the light.” Not only in the light, but in it forever; he “abideth in the light.”

Verdict that he’s a Christian, “and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” If you have light, you can see where you’re going, and you don’t trip and fall. The phrase “occasion of stumbling” is from one Greek word, ‘skandalizo,’ from which we get our word ‘scandalize’. It is translated “offend” in John 6:61, where Jesus’ claim to be the bread from heaven caused many unbelieving disciples to be scandalized and abandon him, but not the 12 apostles, though Jesus indicated Judas would apostatize later. No Christian ever apostatizes or falls away. We always know that Jesus is the Savior, and we always trust in him, because the Holy Spirit gives us light.

The Logical Implications, #3, “No non-Christian ever walks in love.” Number 4, “All non-Christians always walk in hatred.”

2:7-11. Love: Love

Non-Christian

1Jn2:11. Love Test #3

Premise

(God is light)

Claim to be

a Christian

“but he that” (“saith he is in the light” and)

Proof He’s Not a Christian

“hateth his brother”

Verdict that His Claim is False

“is in darkness” (he lies when he “saith he is in the light”)

Verdict that He‘s Not a Christian

“and walketh in darkness and knoweth not whither he goeth because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (2Cor4:4)

Logical Implications

5) All Christians and only Christians always walk in love.

6) All non-Christians and only non-Christians always walk in hatred.

All right, Love Test #3, the last one, about 1 John 2:11. The Premise is that “God is light.”

The Claim to be a Christian, “but he that,” and in parentheses, “saith he is in the light.” That comes from the context in verse 9.

Proof he’s not a Christian, he “hateth his brother.”

Verdict his claim is false, “is in darkness.” He said he was in light, but he lied, he is “in darkness.”

Verdict he’s not a Christian, “and walketh in darkness and knoweth not where he goes because darkness has blinded his eyes.” If your eyes are blinded, that is equivalent to saying you are not a Christian, because 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that “the God of this world hath blinded the eyes of them which believe not.”

Logical Implication #5, “All Christians and only Christians always walk in love.” And #6, “All non-Christians and only non-Christians always walk in hatred.”

Ok, before we go on I wonder why John repeated himself so much here. First of all we have 11 tests. That’s a lot. But even though we have 11, we could have 111, and many Christians would still have a hard time believing what John is saying here.

But considering both the Christian and non-Christian in regards to Truth (Faith), Righteousness (Obedience), and Love does provide a good structure for us to think about these things. And we saw we need both the Christian and non-Christian cases to have a complete logical model.

But also, why did he repeat the non-Christian part twice in each subsection. Why did he give us 7 non-Christian tests, and only 4 Christian tests? First, remember it’s the non-Christian tests that logically necessitate that all Christians always walk in the light, always walk in faith, always walk in obedience, and always walk in love. (I started this exposition by asking what you thought of these propositions before we looked at what John says about them.) And these are the truths that result in joy for us, which is the purpose of this epistle, that our “joy might be full,” 1Jn1:4. This is the message this epistle is built upon. We don’t rejoice in the deductions from the Christian tests that prove all non-Christians walk in darkness.

Finally, the non-Christian tests are the ones we have the most trouble with. When we hear that anybody who walks in darkness is not a Christian, we say, “Well, you know, Joe used to come to this church but now ...” Or, we say, “Just after I believed I went through this period where ...” But, you know, if the Bible says a Christian can’t walk in darkness, and if it’s not true, then we might as well chuck the Bible, because if we can’t believe this, we can’t believe any of it.

So, ok, what do we do about Joe? Well, there are two possibilities. Number 1, perhaps Joe isn’t a Christian. Why did you think he was a Christian? Because he came to Church? Because he said he was a Christian? That doesn’t mean anything. Ok, that is one possibility.

Number 2, maybe Joe is not walking in darkness. People don’t have to meet the standards of our culture or subculture to be walking in the light. You don’t have to do the bus ministry at church just because everybody else is. And walking in the light doesn’t mean sinless perfection. We are not going to be sinlessly perfect until our bodies are glorified and made like his body. And walking in the light doesn’t mean you aren’t going to have any terrible times of struggle or dryness. So maybe it’s our definition of walking in darkness that’s the problem, instead of Joe.

We are not going to solve this issue in a few seconds, because one of the major themes of the New Testament is: What is the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian? And we are going to spend our lives learning about that, and probably eternity, too.

Ok, let’s go on to the next page of your outline, and cover the next few major sections of 1 John. This is just a survey, so we are just going to touch on one or two verses from each subsection.

1 John 2:12-3:17. Eternal Life

ETERNAL LIFE

2:12-17. Intro: Of God

2:18-27. Truth: The Anointing of God

2:28-3:10. Righteousness: The Sons of God

3:11-17. Love:The Love of God

“The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever,” 1Jn2:17.

All Christians and only Christians have abide forever.

All non-Christians and only non-Christians perish.

“Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also,” 1Jn2:23.

All Christians and only Christians acknowledge the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

All non-Christians and only non-Christians deny the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

“He is righteous ... every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. ... Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin,” 1Jn2:29, 3:9.

All Christians and only Christians walk in righteousness.

All non-Christians and only non-Christians walk in sin.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death,” 1Jn3:14.

All Christians and only Christians walk in love.

All non-Christians and only non-Christians walk in hatred.

The section on Eternal Life has the same subsections as the other major sections do. It has an Introduction, and then a subsection on Truth, one on Righteousness, and one on Love. You can see that across the top of the chart.

1 John 2:12-17. Introduction - Of God

In the Intro, “The world passes away and the lusts thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever,” 1Jn2:17. All Christians and only Christians abide forever. We already saw that Christians are the ones that do God’s will, that keep his commandments. And all non-Christians and only non-Christians perish, because they don’t have eternal life.

1 John 2:18-27. Truth - The Anointing of God

In the Truth column, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” 1Jn2:23. John says it in the negative and the positive to give the complete picture, and we can say, “All Christians and only Christians acknowledge the doctrine of Jesus Christ; and all non-Christians and only non-Christians deny the doctrine of Jesus Christ.”

1 John 2:28-3:10. Righteousness - The Sons of God

Then let’s look at the Righteousness column. “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of him. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin,” 1Jn2:29;3:9. And, again, “commit sin” means as a way of life, a walk. All Christians, and only Christians always walk in righteousness; and all non-Christians, and only non-Christians, always walk in sin.”

1 John 3:11-17. Love - The Love of God

And in the Love column, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death,” 1Jn3:14. So all Christians and only Christians always walk in love. And all non Christians and only non Christians always walk in hatred.

1 John 3:18-5:17. Knowledge of God

KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

3:18-24a. Intro: Assurance

3:24b-4:6. Truth (Doctrine): The Spirit of Truth

4:7-5:2. Love: The Father of Love

5:3-17. Righteousness: The Son of God

“We keep his commandments, ... believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another,” 1Jn3:22-23.

All Christians walk in faith, obedience, and love.

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God,” 1Jn4:2-3.

All Christians and only Christians know the Holy Spirit and abide in the doctrine of Christ.

All non-Christians and only non-Christians deny the doctrine of Christ.

“Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love,” 1Jn4:7-8.

All Christians and only Christians know the Father and walk in love.

All non-Christians and only non-Christians walk in hate.

“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1Jn5:5.

All Christians and only Christians know the Son and overcome the world.

All non-Christians and only non-Christians live like the world.

Now let’s look at the Knowledge of God section. It has the same four subsections as the other major sections in 1 John. There is an Intro, and then subsections of Truth, Love, and Righteousness. By the way, all the truth subsections of all the major sections, emphasize the Holy Spirit. All the love sections emphasize God the Father. And all the righteousness sections emphasize the Son of God. And this section is called Knowledge of God, so we are going to be looking at knowing the Spirit, knowing the Father, and knowing the Son.

1 John 3:18-24a. Introduction - Assurance

In the Intro, “We keep his commandments, … believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another,” 1Jn3:22-23. All Christians walk in faith, obedience, and love. And, if you remember, those are the headings for the three columns for the 11 tests in the Light section: faith, obedience, and love.

1 John 3:24b-4:6. Truth - The Spirit of Truth

In the Truth column, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist,” 1Jn4:2-3. So all Christians and only Christians know the Holy Spirit, and abide in the doctrine of Christ. All non-Christians and only non-Christians deny the doctrine of Christ.

1 John 4:7-5:2. Love - The Father of Love

In this section on the Knowledge of God, the Love subsection is placed before the Righteousness subsection, perhaps so John could end the epistle, like he started it, with an emphasis on the Son. “Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love,” 1Jn4:7-8. So all Christians and only Christians know the Father and walk in love. And all non-Christians and only non-Christians walk in hate.

1 John 5:3-17. Righteousness - The Son of God

And then in the Righteousness column, about the Son of God, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1Jn5:5. So all Christians and only Christians know the Son and overcome the world; we walk in righteousness. All non-Christians and only non- Christians live like the world. No Christians live like the world.

And here’s John’s invitation in this section. “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God,” 1Jn5:11-13. Believe on the name of the Son of God, and you will have the Son and eternal life. This life is in God’s Son, and he gives it to whoever believes on the Son of God. You don’t have to work for it. Believe on the Son. Take God at his Word. He is offering you the precious gift of the righteousness he provides.

1 John 5:18-21. Conclusion

ETERNAL LIFE

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not,” 1Jn5:18.

LIGHT

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness,” 1Jn5:19.

KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ,” 1Jn5:20.

“This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen,” 1Jn5:20-21.

Let’s go on to the Conclusion. John gives us three “we know’s” here. He summarizes his section on Eternal Life with the first “we know”. He says, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not,” 1Jn5:18. So our union with God the Son means that we have his nature, and we can’t continue in sin. And if you think a person who has union with the Son can walk in unrighteousness, then you have a false image of the Son of God, and you underestimate the effect of your union with him.

Next John summarizes the section on Light here with the second “we know.” “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness,” 1Jn5:19. So God the Father is light, and all Christians walk in light, while all non-Christians walk in wickedness. And if you think that we Christians can have union with the God of light, and walk in darkness, then you have a false image of God the Father, and you underestimate the significance of our union with him.

And then John summarizes the section on the Knowledge of God here with the third “we know.” “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ,” 1Jn5:20. So we have the Holy Spirit in us to give us spiritual understanding. We have union with the Holy Spirit. And if you think we can have union with Holy Spirit, and not always believe in Jesus, if you think we can lose our salvation, then you have a false image of the Holy Spirit, and you underestimate the effect of our union with him.

“This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, [my brethren,] keep yourselves from idols,” 1Jn5:20-21, from such false images of God, and from underestimating the effects of our union with him, that your joy might be full!



SIX MAJOR SCRIPTURAL OBJECTIONS TO POLYGAMY ANSWERED
1) There are no polygamists in the New Testament.  See "New Testament Polygamists".
2) God created only one wife for Adam. See "The Example of Adam and Eve".
3) A husband and wife are "one flesh."  See "Ephesians 5:22-33."
4) The Bible says, "Let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband." See "1 Corinthians 7:2." and "The Use of the Definite Article and the Singular in Ephesians 5."
5) Every case of polygamy in the Bible resulted in dysfunctional family relationships.  See "The Example of Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah and Other Families."
6) God overlooked men's sin of polygamy in the Old Testament just like he overlooked other sins; but he didn't approve of it. See "The Example of David."


SIX IMPORTANT SCRIPTURAL SUPPORTS OF POLYGAMY NOT TO BE MISSED
1) God himself is a polygamist.  See "The Example of God Himself."
2) Many of the greatest men of faith and obedience in the Bible (including Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and David) were polygamists. See "Old Testament Polygamists."
3) Polygamy is never explicitly forbidden.  See "No Explicit Prohibition Against Polygamy in the Old or New Testament" and "1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:12; and Titus 1:6."
4) The definition of moral and immoral things cannot change.  See "The Law Is No Longer Prescriptive But It Is Still Instructive" and "How to Handle Differences Between the Old Testament and New Testament."
5) Everything hinges on the definition of adultery which almost no one in our culture gets right.  See "The Modern vs. the Old Testament Definition of Adultery," "Only the Marital Status of the Woman Determined If Adultery Had Occurred," and "Did Jesus Redefine Adultery in the New Testament?" and "The Importance of Virginity for Women."
6) Times when God commanded men to take more than one wife.  See "Four Cases in Deuteronomy 22" and "Polygamy was Not Adultery."


INTRODUCTION

A Topical Study.  Unlike the other chapters of this book, this chapter is neither expository nor a survey, but rather a topical study.  It is not yet a part of the printed version of the book.

Polygamy = Polygyny in This Chapter. There are two specific forms of polygamy: ‘polygyny’ is when a man has more than one wife; and ‘polyandry’ is when a woman has more than one husband.  The Bible only teaches that polygyny is permitted and the term ‘polygamy’ means specifically only polygyny throughout this chapter.  Of course the word polygamy is not found at all in the Bible.  What we call ‘polygamy’ the Bible simply calls ‘marriage.’

New Testament Focus.  Since most Bible-believing people accept that polygamy was permitted in the Old Testament I will focus on the New Testament in this chapter.

Old Testament Polygamists. For many men in the Old Testament, we do not know the names of their wife or wives, but the following is a list of some of the most famous men in the Old Testament that we know were polygamists: Abraham (Sarah, Hagar, then Keturah after Sarah died), Jacob (Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, Zilpah), Moses (Zipporah, and an Ethiopian woman), Caleb (Azubah and 4 others), Gideon (Drumah, Shechem, and many others), David (Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba, and 15 others), Solomon (Shulamith and about 1000 others), Ezra (Jehudijah and others).  If their polygamy was fornication or adultery, we will not be seeing them in the Messianic Kingdom, “Neither fornicators ... nor adulterers ... shall inherit the kingdom of God,” 1Cor6:9-10.  Yet we know these men will inherit the kingdom and so their polygamy cannot have been adultery or fornication. “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven,” Mat8:11.  Also, they were never rebuked for their polygamy (except that Solomon was rebuked for taking too many wives, about 1000, since Deuteronomy 17:17 does not allow kings to ‘multiply wives’ though it does not forbid them from 'adding wives'), and polygamy was never explicitly prohibited.

The Example of Adam and Eve.  Some people claim that it is simple to show that God does not approve of polygamy and that polygamy is sin and equivalent to adultery.  Just go back to the beginning when God instituted marriage, they say, and notice that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and Mary.  "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. ... And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air ... but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed," Gen2:7-25.  But assume for a moment that God does allow marriage to one, two, three, or more women at one time.  Then how many should he have created at the beginning to demonstrate that polygamy is permitted?  If he created two women for Adam, then many people would assume that men are required to have exactly two wives and that one or three would be sin.  I believe he created only one woman for Adam because marriage to one woman is preferred, but that does in any way prove that marriage to more than one woman is prohibited.

New Testament Polygamists.  I don’t know of any men in the in New Testament who are specifically said to have more than one wife.  This could be an indication that although God permits polygamy, he does not encourage it.  Certainly some New Testament believers were polygamists, because as late as 393 AD the Roman emperor Theodosius had to issue a special law to try to stop Jewish men from practicing polygamy, and until Acts 15 the entire church was comprised of Jewish believers and believing proselytes; and after that time in every Gentile city till the end of the book of Acts, Paul always preached, “to the Jew first,” Rom1:16.  So there were always Jewish believers in Christian assemblies (the church being the “one new man,” comprised of Jews and Gentiles, Eph2:14), and almost certainly some of them were polygamists.

No Explicit Prohibition Against Polygamy in the Old or New Testament.  If God wanted to change polygamy from being permitted in the Old Testament to being prohibited in the New Testament, we would expect him to provide at least one explicit prohibition or indication of its sinfulness. Why didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 5, “It hath been said [Mat5:31], If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish [Ex21:10], but I say unto you [Mt5:32], [let him not take another wife],” Mat5:31-32 and Ex21:10. In Romans 1 Paul could have said, “God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, [polygamy,] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness,” Rom1:28-29.  Why didn’t Paul repeat the "husband of one wife" phrase for all men just like he repeated "sober" and "temperate" instead of only mentioning it for elders, “Ordain elders in every city … If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, … sober, just, holy, temperate. … That the aged men be [the husband of one wife,] sober, grave, temperate,” Titus1:5-2:2.  Of course, one could also argue, why isn’t there an explicit statement in the New Testament saying that polygamy is permitted, like “Husbands, love your wives, [whether one or several,] even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it,” Eph5:25.  I think the reason is that God permits, but does not encourage, polygamy.  He would not want men to feel that they ought to try to have more than one wife. Also, even in the Old Testament, polygamy does not seem to have been the ideal: Abraham married Hagar because Sarah was barren, Jacob married Leah because Laben tricked him, David married Abigail because he was on the run from Saul, etc.  As sinful, weak men we cannot even minister properly to one wife, never mind two or more wives.  However, polygamy seems a better solution than the alternatives in some situations.  It is kinder than divorce, it can provide avoidance of fornication, and it can provide good husbands and fathers for single mothers and their children and other women that otherwise would have no husband or would have cruel or incompetent ones, etc.

The Example of David.  Many people say that even though God didn't punish polygamy in the Old Testament it doesn't mean he approved of it, it just means that God is gracious and he overlooked many sins in the Old Testament and if he punished us for all our sins no one would survive.  But this assertion is not consistent with the scriptures. There are commands, rebukes, and punishments against all other sins in the Old Testament, and even if God graciously overlooked them sometimes he didn't at other times; but for polygamy there is not a single command against, rebuke, or punishment (except for overdoing it in the case of Solomon).  The example of David illustrates this.  David married Michal in his youth.  While fleeing from Saul circumstances induced him to marry two more single women including the righteous Abigail.  During these years God neither rebuked nor punished David for having more than one wife because having more than one wife is not adultery. But when did commit adultery by having physical relations with Bathsheba, another man's wife, God rebuked him through Nathan the prophet and punished him with an extended period of discipline.  "Nathan said to David, ... Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, ... and I gave thee ... thy master's wives into thy bosom, ... and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things," 1Sam12:7-24.  Notice that God - God himself - gave David wives, plural.  Would God have given David adultery?  Of course not.  And notice that God said that if David wanted more wives God would have given him more.  "Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, ... Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.  Thus saith the Lord, ... I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. ... And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick," 1Sam12:7-24.  When David's punishment is talked about here it is for adultery because Bathsheba was a married woman; and she is not referred to by name but as "the wife Uriah," verses 9 and 10, or as "Uriah's wife," verse 15.  But later in this same passage once she is married to David in a holy and polygamous relationship she is referred to by name, "and David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him," 1Sam12:24.  Thus, from God's perspective, a man having physical relations with the wife of another man is adultery; taking more than one single women as wives is not adultery.

The Example of Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah and Other Families.  Many people say that it's obvious from God's word that God does not allow polygamy because, they say, all the examples we have of polygamous families in the Bible have so much family strife and trouble.  Look at the rivalry between Sarah and Hagar, between Rachel and Leah, and Hannah and Peninnah, for example.  But this is simply because polygamous families are primarily the only ones we have much information about.  Besides the families already mentioned, we have information about Esther, who was one of many wives of King Ahasuerus; and about Boaz and Ruth.  Boaz apparently was an old man when he married Ruth, "thou hast shewed more kindness ... inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether rich or poor," Ruth3:10, and he was "a mighty man of wealth," Ruth2:1; it is unlikely he did not already have any wives when he married Ruth.  There are probably many men in the Bible that had more than one wife but it is not mentioned.  If the Bible  explicitly says a man had more than one than we know he was a polygamist, but when it only mentions one or none explicitly, we don't know that he was not a polygamist, because he all his wives may not have been mentioned.  There is one monogamous family that we know a lot about, that of Isaac and Rebekah, and it is probably more messy than the polygamous ones we referred to.  Isaac showed favoritism towards Esau, not because he appreciated his character, but because of the "savoury meat," Gen27:7, he provided. "Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison, but Rebekah loved Jacob," Gen25:28.  And Rebekah helped Jacob trick his father by putting "the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands," Gen27:16 since Esau was hairy, and then Jacob had to flee and probably mother and son did not see each other again in this life.  And when Jacob returned to Canaan more than 14 years later, he had to split his families into groups so that "if Esau come to the one company and smite it then the other company which is left shall escape," Gen32:8.  Most families have some messy relationships, it just so happens that most of the ones we have any details on were polygamous, as probably most families were, even though the Bible does not list all the wives of each man (which we know for sure because no wife was explicitly listed for most of the men in the genealogies yet we can be confident all or most had at least one and so it is just as likely, or more likely, that most had more than one).  It is like how teachers are always slamming the church of Corinth because of all the problems they had within the church, but I believe that is because the Corinthian church is the only one we get to sit in on their church meetings and be brought into their personal problems.  It would have been inappropriate for Paul to have aired the dirty laundry of the church in his letter to the Romans when his purpose was to systematically expound the Gospel of God; or in his letter to the Ephesians where his purpose was to teach the mystery of our being seated with Christ in heavenly places.

The Example of God Himself.  Although I promise a New Testament focus, I will mention this additional Old Testament example of polygamy that many Christians are not familiar with.  God describes himself as a polygamist in the Old Testament because there is nothing inherently immoral about polygamy, whereas he would never describe himself as a homosexual, even in allegory, because homosexuality is inherently immoral.  “There were two women ... and they were mine, ... Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah ... and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me ...," Ez23 (a sad passage).  "They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? Shall not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord. ... When for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had ... given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. ... Turn, ... for I am married unto you: and I will ... bring you to Zion. ... In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel,” Jer3.  We cannot say that God divorced Israel and then married Judah (serial polygamy), because Judah was his own just as long as Samaria (Israel) was.  Likewise, God does not divorce Israel and Judah in order to replace them with the church (as the Bride of Christ), because any divorcing that God did of Israel he eventually overturns and wins them back, for in the coming Messianic Kingdom, “Judah shall walk with the house of Israel,” and with the Bride of Christ, the church (that began at Pentecost), which will also be in the coming Kingdom.

The Law Is No Longer Prescriptive But It Is Still Instructive.  Gentiles have never been under the Law of Moses: “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law ... for when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves,” Rom1:12-15.  So the Gentiles do not have the Law, and even Jews have not been 'under the law' since the time that Yeshua through his substitutionary death bore the penalties of both the Gentiles who “sinned without law” and of the Jews who “sinned in the law,” so that now God says to all of us “Ye are not under the law,” Rom6:14.  Nevertheless, although the Law of Moses is not prescriptive for us today it is still instructive: "All scripture ... is profitable for ... instruction in righteousness," 2Tim3:16.  So although I will focus on the New Testament in this chapter, there are many sources of teaching about polygamy in the Old Testament available on the web, at sites like these: Biblical Families,
http://www.biblicalfamilies.org/resources; Biblical Polygamy, http://www.biblicalpolygamy.com.  Of course, my listing these sites does not mean I agree with everything or even much of what they teach.  You can do your own web search for teaching about polygamy, although most of it will focus on the Old Testament passages.

How to Handle Differences Between the Old Testament and New Testament.  Today the Church is under “the Law of Christ,” Gal6:2, which has many similarities to the Law of Moses because both were given by God and both reveal righteousness.  The differences between the two can only be regarding ‘amoral’ things, things that are not in themselves inherently moral or immoral, but only become moral or immoral if God gives a commandment about them, and it is always moral to obey a command of God and always immoral to disobey a command of God.  For example, God only permitted Adam to eat plants, Noah could eat anything that moved, Moses was not allowed to eat pork, and the apostles forbade the church from eating blood.  These things can change from age to age, from Jews to Gentiles, or from the Law of Moses to the Law of Christ because eating food is not inherently moral or immoral.  Jesus said, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth ... evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies,” Matt15:11-20.  But the things that are inherently moral or immoral, like adultery and murder, cannot change from age to age.  Today we are forbidden to commit adultery because it is unrighteous, and because it’s forbidden in the law of Christ, not because it was forbidden in the Law of Moses per se, but the Law of Moses teaches us that adultery is unrighteous, and today we are still obligated to eschew unrighteousness and to keep “the righteousness of the law,” Rom2:26, though not the Law itself.  If I stop at a red light in Pennsylvania I do so because the law of Pennsylvania says I must, not because the law of California says I must, though both laws say I must.  If California allowed right turns on red, and Pennsylvania didn’t (many years ago this was true), then while in Pennsylvania I would not turn right on red.  Since adultery is a moral, rather than an amoral thing, its definition cannot have changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament.


THE DEFINITION OF ADULTERY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

The Modern vs. the Old Testament Definition of Adultery.  The Modern popular definition of adultery is “a married person having physical relations with someone other than their spouse.”  This is NOT the Old Testament definition of adultery.  The Old Testament definition of adultery is “a man having physical relations with a woman who is engaged or married to another man.”  In the Old Testament definition, only the marital status of the woman is used to determine if a sexual sin is adultery or if instead it is fornication; the man’s marital status is irrelevant because men are permitted to marry more than one wife.  If a man, married or unmarried, has physical relations with someone else’s wife, it is adultery, and the penalty under the Law of Moses is death (though thankfully it was probably almost never executed); and if a man, married or unmarried, has physical relations with an unmarried woman, it is fornication, not adultery, and the penalty under the Law of Moses is marriage, the man has to marry her, even if he already has a wife.

What does the definition of adultery have to do with polygamy?  Everything.  If it is not adultery for a man to marry a second wife while remaining married to his first wife then polygamy is permitted.  If it is adultery for a man to marry a second wife while remaining married to his first wife then polygamy is not permitted. The purpose of this chapter is to show that the New Testament definition of adultery is the same as the Old Testament definition of adultery, and is therefore the ‘Biblical’ definition of adultery, in contrast to the Modern popular definition of adultery, and that therefore polygamy is permitted by God in both the Old and New Testaments.

Only the Marital Status of the Woman Determined If Adultery Had Occurred.The man [single or married] that committeth adultery with another man's wife [a married woman], even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife [a married woman], the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death,” Lev20:10.  (Thankfully, although the severity of the prescribed punishment demonstrated the seriousness of the offense, it was probably almost never carried out in Israel, and Jesus concurred, John8:1-11.)  “Because they ... have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives [married women],” Jer29:23.  “But as a wife [married woman] that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers [married or unmarried] instead of her husband,” Ezek16:31-33.  “If a man [married or unmarried] be found lying with a woman married to an husband [a married woman], then they shall both of them die [because it’s adultery], both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman,” Deut22:22.  The Bible never says, “If a woman be found lying with a married man, then they shall both of them die,” because it is only the woman’s status that is relevant; and if the woman is not married or engaged, instead of committing adultery, the man incurs an obligation to marry her (if she consents) even if he is already married, as we will see in the next paragraph.

Four Cases in Deuteronomy 22.  The following four cases in Deuteronomy 22 are concerned with whether or not a woman is engaged.  Married women are not explicitly mentioned but they can be included in the same group as the engaged women, since it would be as bad or worse for a man to have physical relations with an already married woman as with a woman who is only engaged to be married.  These cases further show that only the woman’s marital status is relevant.  Case #1 - Seduction of Unengaged Woman: “If a man [married or unmarried] entice a maid that is not betrothed [unengaged = unmarried], and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife [it’s not adultery, it’s a shotgun wedding].  If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him [the woman, via her father, decides if they get married].” Case #2 -  Seduction of Engaged Woman: “If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed [engaged = married] unto an husband, and a man [married or unmarried] find her in the city, and lie with her; then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife [so engaged = married]."  Case #3 - Rape of Engaged Woman: “But if a man [married or unmarried] find a betrothed damsel [engaged = married] in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die, but unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing,” (unlike all too common unimaginably cruel practices in Islam). Case #4 - Rape of Unengaged Woman: “If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed [unengaged = unmarried], and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife [if she so chooses via her father as per above]," Deut22:16-29. So these verses all show that only the woman’s marital status is relevant in determining if adultery has taken place.

Polygamy was Not Adultery.  “If he take him another wife [it doesn’t say he must divorce the first one]; her [the first wife’s] food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage [physical love], shall he not diminish,” Ex21:10.  “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead [now unmarried] shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother [married or unmarried] shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her,” Deut25:5.  “If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, [it doesn’t say he must divorce one of them] ... he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn, but he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath,” Deut21:15-17.  “When thou [a married or unmarried man] ... seest among the captives a beautiful woman [a widow now, unfortunately, so unmarried], and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, ... and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife,” Deut21:11-12.  “Then sang Deborah and Barak, … ‘The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, … have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two’,” Judg5:1-30.

The Importance of Virginity for Women.  Why so much concern in the Old Testament about men marrying virgin women but nothing said about women marrying virgin men?  “And the servant ... said ... let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and ... before he had done speaking, ... Rebekah came out ... with her pitcher upon her shoulder, and the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her,” Gen24:15-16.  Why wasn’t it just as important for the scripture to mention that Isaac was ‘a virgin, neither had he known any woman’?  Isn’t it important for men to be pure?  God did not condone fornication or sex outside of marriage for men or women, but since polygamy is not adultery, a man could already be married, and thus not a virgin when he married, and still be pure.  If the Bible had said that women should prefer to marry virgins it would mean that they shouldn’t marry already married men and polygamy is wrong. But in fact the Bible presents it as perfectly acceptable for a woman to marry a non-virgin man, and that is an advantage to women because ALL MEN are available to women to choose from but ONLY UMARRIED WOMEN are available to men to choose from.  Biblically, polyandry is adultery, but polygyny is not.



THE DEFINITION OF ADULTERY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Did Jesus Redefine Adultery in the New Testament?  The question to consider in the following paragraphs is whether or not Jesus redefined adultery in the New Testament from the Old Testament definition of “a man having physical relations with a married woman” to the popular Modern definition of “a married person having physical relations with someone other than their spouse.”

Matthew 5:27-28.  “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart,” Matt5:27-28. Jesus was quoting the seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Ex20:14. Was Jesus here condemning the selfish objectification of women by a certain lustful kind of looking and saying that even looking on your own wife in that way is adultery? Certainly not! Someone has said that men desire women and women desire to be desired. In God’s love-making manual in the Bible, Solomon’s wife rejoices that “I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me,” Song7:10. Husbands are OBLIGATED to look upon their wives with genuine desire.

Was Jesus here changing the definition of adultery from the OT one to the Modern one? No, because not even those who believe in the modern definition think that “whosoever,” a married or unmarried man that has physical relations with (or in this case looks with lust at) “a woman,” any woman, a married or unmarried woman, is guilty of adultery. Even in the modern definition at least one of the parties has to be married for the sin of adultery, vs. fornication, to occur.

So what was Jesus teaching here? Throughout Matthew 5, Jesus was not contradicting the Law of Moses, but rather giving the Law of Moses the full and proper interpretation it should always have had.  He was teaching that not only external actions but also inward things of the heart like wrong thoughts and motives are sin. “The word of God is … a discerner of the thoughts and intents [motives] of the heart,” Heb4:12.  In fact Jesus taught that all sins are sins of the heart, that’s where they all start, though some are revealed through external actions and some are not.  “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man,” Matt15:19-20.  Paul was satisfied that as a Pharisee he had successfully obeyed the seemingly external first nine commandments but when he considered the tenth commandment, which says, “Thou shalt not covet [lust],” on the negative side, and basically says, “Be content,” on the positive side, he realized he hadn’t kept the Law.  “I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet ... I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died … O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Rom7:7-24.

So Jesus was not teaching that any man, regardless of his marital status, who lusted after any woman, regardless of her marital status, was technically guilty of adultery.  He was teaching that all sins relating to immorality, whether internal or external, of which adultery is the most extreme manifestation, can be grouped under and are declared wrong by means of the seventh commandment.  He was teaching that the seventh commandment is broken by more than the technical committing of adultery, because all wrongful sexual desires are of the same ‘kind’ of desire as adultery though not all of the same ‘degree,' as adultery.  In Matthew 5, Jesus taught the same principle regarding the sixth commandment, that anger was the same kind of sin as murder and that even calling someone an "idiot" violated the commandment against killing.  “Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment,” Matt5:21-22.  Jesus was saying all this because he was teaching the people of Israel (and thus us also in this case) that "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven," Mt5:20.  And if the Pharisees did not keep the Law well enough that meant no one could measure up, which is why Christ's coming was necessary, "I am not come to destroy [the Law] but to fulfill," Mt5:17, by dying in everyone's place as prophesied to take away our sins through faith in him.

So how does Matthew 5:27-28 support polygamy?  Simply because by not stating the parallel, “and whatsoever woman looketh on a man to lust after him hath committed adultery with him already in her heart,” Jesus is continuing to support the unequal treatment of male and female roles as taught in the Old Testament.  In our modern day society, we like to think that if it is adultery for a man (married or unmarried) to have physical relations with a married woman, then it must also be adultery for a woman (married or unmarried) to have physical relations with a married man; but in fact Jesus supports the inequality of the Old Testament that teaches that only the first case is true. It is adultery for a man (married or unmarried) to have physical relations with a married woman, because only the marital status of the woman matters, because unmarried women are permitted by God to marry either married or unmarried men.

Also, teachers that claim that the fornication or adultery of one spouse gives the other spouse the right to divorce their mate, and who also teach that emotional affairs are equivalent to adultery, should realize that would mean that every wife on earth would then have the right to divorce her husband since all men fall short in the area of looking with lust sometime, but of course neither lusting nor emotional affairs give either spouse the right to either divorce or remain separated, because though those sins are of the same kind as adultery, they are not to the same degree, and therefore do not meet the criteria of the so called "exception clause" of Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9.

Matthew 5: 31-32.It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 5:31. “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.”  Just because the Law permitted men to divorce their wives does not mean that a man who divorces his wife is not guilty of sin.  This command made it look like it is easy to keep the commandments about marriage, when in fact it is as difficult as "whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also," Mt5:39, and all the other teachings of Matthew 5.  Minimally, under Biblical principles, any man who divorces his wife is guilty of hardness of heart, treachery, and violence.  “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so,” Mt19:6-8.  “And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously,” Mal4:13-16.  These scriptures can only be true that it is cruel for a man to divorce his wife if polygamy is permitted.   If polygamy is permitted then if a woman abandons her husband or becomes paralyzed or something, a man does not need to divorce his wife in order to marry another woman to obey the admonition of 1Cor7:2, “To avoid fornication let every man have his own wife.”  As for a wife divorcing a husband who abandons her, or whose husband becomes paralyzed, or who abuses her, the Bible does not say that she would be guilty of hardness of heart, or unforgiveness, or treachery, though it may be that women are emotionally better able to bear living alone, and so Paul says, “Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband,” 1Cor7:10-11.

Matthew 5:32a. “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery.”  In addition to the sins of hardness of heart, treachery, and violence, a man who divorces his wife may also be guilty of adultery.  The principle in both the Old and New Testaments, as we shall see later in Romans 7:1, is that a woman should have only one husband as long as that husband lives.  By divorcing his wife, a man is guilty of causing his wife to commit adultery, whether she remarries or not, because he has put her in the position of not being able to be true to one man for life and also have a husband. The only exception is that if she is being divorced because she committed adultery then she is the cause of her own adultery and of her being in the position of not being able to be true to one man for life, and so she bears her own guilt of adultery instead of the husband who divorces her bearing it. Under polygamy, a divorced wife can return to the husband that divorced her at any time, even if he has remarried, so long as -she- hasn’t remarried.  If her divorcing husband will not take her back she is free to marry another man, and if she is not being divorced because she committed adultery, then her divorcing husband will bear the guilt of her remarriage since he is the one who caused it, not her.

Jesus upheld the Old Testament definition of adultery in this passage by not stating the parallel that "whosoever shall put away her husband, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth him to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry him that is divorced committeth adultery."  According to the Old Testament definition, a man does not commit adultery when he marries an additional wife, and thus, since polygamy is permitted, a woman cannot “cause” her husband to commit adultery by divorcing him.

Matthew 5:32b. “And whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”  A man that marries a divorced woman is guilty of adultery in every case because by marrying a divorced woman he permanently removes all possibility of her returning to the first husband.  “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him [the husband of Matt5:32] write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.  And when she is departed out of his house, she [the divorced wife of Matt5:32] may go and be another man's wife.  And if the latter husband [the ‘whosoever shall marry her’ of Matt5:32] hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband [the ‘whosoever shall marry her’ of Matt5:32] die, which took her to be his wife; her former husband [the first husband of Matt5:32], which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord,” Deut24:1-4.  (In a society that obeyed the Bible and allowed polygamy, all parties would desire that the divorced wife be able to return to her husband whether he remarried or not; but in societies like ours that do not accept polygamy, some practical adjustments may need to be made, like encouraging the remarriage of divorced women once their husbands have remarried and thus removed any chance of reconciliation in our society.  Also, if a woman who has not committed adultery is divorced by her husband, that husband that divorced her will bear the guilt of her marriage to a second husband.  Also, once there is little hope for reconciliation I believe, though I don't claim the scriptures teach this explicitly, that "to avoid fornication let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband," 1Cor7:2, and "marriage is honourable in all and the bed undefiled," Heb13:4, come into play to allow remarriage for practical reasons.)

Jesus upheld the Old Testament definition of adultery in this passage by not stating the parallel that “whosever shall marry the divorced husband commits adultery.”  The Old Testament does NOT teach the equality of roles that our society espouses, and does NOT teach in Deut24:1-4 that a divorced husband “may go and be another woman’s husband and if the latter wife sendeth him out of her house or shall die, his former wife may not take him again to be her husband, after that he is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord.”  It is not abomination for a husband to return to a former wife even if he has married another wife so long as his previous wife he returns to has not remarried.  Only the marital status of the woman matters because men may have more than one wife. According to Matt5:32b, any man, married or unmarried, who marries a divorced woman commits adultery because of her status; but the parallel is not true that any woman who marries a divorced man commits adultery, since it is not adultery for to marry more than one wife.

Also, as for the ridiculous notion that the man who marries a divorced woman only commits adultery if the divorce is not ‘valid’, that is if she hadn’t committed fornication, that would mean it would be more righteous for a man to marry a woman who had committed adultery than to marry an innocent one; and it would mean that a guilty woman is free to remarry but an innocent one could never marry again, which is not only wrong and illogical but also extremely cruel.  A divorce is ‘valid’ whether or not a divorced woman committed fornication because this passage says “whosoever shall MARRY her,” it is a real and valid marriage, to “her that is DIVORCED” etc.  She “is DIVORCED.”  It counts regardless of how wrong it was for her husband to divorce her. The ‘exception clause’ of Matthew 5:32 is not written to enable us to differentiate between a ‘valid’ and ‘invalid’ divorce, but to enable us to determine who is guilty of the wife’s adultery upon remarriage, the wife or the husband who divorced her. If it wasn’t a ‘valid’ marriage Jesus would have said something like “and whosoever thinks he marries her will actually be committing adultery with another man’s wife each time he knows her physically.”

Jesus recognized divorce.  He did not tell the woman at the well, “thou hast had one husband, and the last five men you’ve had were not your husbands.”  No, he said “thou hast had five husbands and he whom thou now hast is not your husband," because they didn't marry, and just living together does not make one married, it only makes one obligated to marry.  Does Jesus want her to go back to her first husband?  No, he wants her to marry the one she has now which is not her husband.

The adultery of Matthew 5:32 (whether the guilt of that adultery is placed on a wrongfully divorcing husband or on a guiltily divorced wife), occurs when a woman becomes one flesh with another man, not every time a remarried woman has physical relations with her new husband.  "Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery," not "whosoever shall make love to her that is divorced committeth adultery every time he makes love to her."  It may be difficult to determine from scripture when a woman becomes one flesh with a man.  Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  At the time of marriage, or perhaps more exactly at the time of the consummation of the marriage a man and wife become one flesh.  If a man has physical relations with an engaged woman he is guilty of adultery even though the woman has not yet become one flesh with her husband, because she is reserved for becoming one flesh with that husband.  When a divorced woman remarries and consummates the marriage with her second husband, it makes sense that she is no longer one flesh with her first husband, and so subsequent relations with her new husband do not constitute adultery.

Even if a wife commits one act of fornication during her marriage, it may cause her to become one flesh with the man she commits fornication with until she again has physical relations with her husband.  “Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh,” 1Cor6:16.  This would also mean that once a husband found out that his wife had committed fornication, and he accepted her and had physical relations with her again, then he could no longer rely on fornication as a reason to divorce her.  (A woman can only be one flesh with one man at a time whereas a man continues to be one flesh with each woman he has physical relations with until that woman has physical relations with another man.  If a woman has physical relations with another man it breaks her physical oneness with the previous man, but not so if a man has physical relations with another woman - it always depends on the status of the woman.)

The point is, that if a woman remarries, there is no case where every time she has physical relations with her new husband she is committing adultery; and if the husband that divorced her did so for reasons lesser than adultery, he does not incur an additional guilt of adultery every time his remarried wife has physical relations with her new husband, but only at the time of the consummation of the woman’s new marriage, and from then on the marriage bed becomes honorable for her, and from then on it would be wrong for the new marriage to end in divorce.  To say that adultery occurs for every act of intercourse after remarriage if the woman was not divorced because of fornication would mean it would have been more righteous for her to have committed fornication before her divorce than not to have done so - it would have been more righteous for her to have committed sin than not to have committed sin, which is not true.

Remarriage, is simply called ‘marriage’ in scripture, and it is honorable.  So if you are remarried, please do not consider divorcing your new spouse because of the hard hearts of those who are “forbidding to marry,” 1Tim4:3, and who teach that marriage is adultery when the word of God says that “marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers [male fornicators] and adulterers God will judge.” Heb13:4.  Also, if you are divorced, and you have already done everything within reason to reconcile with your spouse, do not reject remarriage because of cruel views forbidding remarriage. Fornication could result if you do not remarry.  Marriage is God’s will for all who desire it and is his provision on earth “to avoid fornication,” 1Cor7:2.  Marriage is not a source of fornication or adultery but a holy provision to help avoid fornication.  It is divorce that is sinful because it is cruel and treacherous, not remarriage.  “The Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously ... Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.  For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously,” Mal2:14-16.

There is only one kind of marriage where the sin of it continues so long as the marriage continues, and that is an incestuous marriage, because you can’t get a ‘divorce’ from your birth relationships.  John the Baptist told Herod that “it is not lawful for thee to have her,” Matt14:4, speaking of Herod’s marriage to his living brother Philip’s wife.  And Paul told those in the church at Corinth that they were guilty of condoning fornication such as is not even found among Gentiles, “that one should have his father's wife,” 1Cor5:1, his stepmother.  But in all other marriages God’s command applies, “Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed,” 1Cor7:27.

I think the Israelites under Ezra that put away their wives and children (in Ezra 10) were wrong to do so.  Nowhere does the Bible or a prophet prophesying say they were right to do so.  I think this event falls into the category of many wrongful one-time events in scripture where God leaves it as an exercise for us to realize it’s wrong without giving us an explicit statement of disapproval; like Jephthah killing his daughter so he wouldn’t be guilty of breaking a foolish vow, and Israel nearly wiping out the tribe of Dan (Judges 19-21), and King Ahasuerus divorcing Queen Vashti (Esther 1).  The Book of the Acts of the Apostles (the full name of the book of Acts), which is about apostolic authority, begins with an event that demonstrates an unauthorized use of apostolic authority, which God leaves to us to understand to be wrong.  The apostles chose a man to replace Judas and represent Christ as an apostle of Christ (Acts 1), but they had no more authority to choose someone to represent Christ than you do to choose someone to represent me or that I do to choose someone to represent you.  The 11 apostles were chosen directly by Christ, and later Christ directly chose Paul as his twelfth representative to replace Judas.  The apostles were not patient enough and tried to help God fulfill his promises, like Abraham did regarding Hagar.  Because of their mistake, Paul always had to defend his apostleship; similar to how, because of Abraham’s impatience, we have the strife between the Arabs and the Jews today (Genesis 16).

Matthew 19:1-12.  "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

The important thing to pick up from this passage is that divorce is always wrong, never right. Never. Even if a spouse has committed fornication or adultery, to divorce them would be to sin against God and to disobey his will.  The Pharisees thought they could trap Jesus by asking him what the valid reasons for divorce are, as permitted by Moses in the Law.  “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house, and when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife,” Deut24:1-2.  The Pharisees were asking if “some uncleanness” meant only the most severe sexual sins like adultery, or if it could mean anything the husband wanted it to mean, “for every cause,” Mt19:1, since no specific examples were enumerated in the Law. If Jesus answered that adultery is the only valid reason for divorce, they would say, ‘but the penalty for adultery under the law is death, not divorce, so that can’t be what Moses meant.’  If Jesus answered that any reason is a valid reason for divorce, then they would rightly say that he was making light of the importance of marriage.

Jesus did not answer that any reason was a valid reason, or that only adultery was a valid reason, but that no reason was a valid reason for divorce. “He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” Mt19:4-6. The important thing to understand here is that this is Jesus’ complete answer. He gave this answer and then stopped talking!!! He did not have any need to talk about ‘exception clauses’ for adultery and things like that because this answer stands on its own: there is no valid reason for divorce, it is sin.  If the Pharisees had not gone on to ask another question, we would not have had the rest of the dialogue in our Bibles because the answer Jesus gave thus far would have been sufficient.

What is the sin of divorce?  Well, in every case, divorce would minimally entail the sin of ‘hardness of heart.’  "They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so,” Mt19:7-8.  Moses “suffered” it, meaning ‘permitted’ it according to Jesus; Moses didn’t “command” it as they stated. And God permitted it through the Law of Moses because of the hardness and cruelty of people’s hearts.  If he had not permitted it people some people would have resorted to even worse scenarios than divorce to escape being with their spouses.

In the next verse, Mt19:9, Jesus goes on to consider whether or not even greater guilt, like the guilt of adultery, might be incurred by a man who divorces his wife, but minimally and in all cases there is at least the guilt of hardness of heart.  If polygamy were not permitted then a man would not be guilty of hardness of heart for divorcing a wife that had abandoned him because he would have to divorce her in order to have a wife to be with, but Matthew 19 is true when it says that every man that divorces his wife is guilty of hardness of heart because, since God permits polygamy, it is unnecessary and therefore cruel for a man to divorce even a wife who abandons him. (However, in the unbiblical society in which we live that does not support polygamy these things often cannot be obeyed as written, but the guilt for our not being able to follow them lies with our society and the Bible teachers that have helped society become unbiblical by interpreting the Bible according to their own culture instead of according to the Bible itself.)

Matthew 19:9.  "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”  What is new in Matthew 19:9, compared to Matthew 5:32 which we looked at earlier, is the phrase, “and shall marry another, committeth adultery.” If the Old Testament definition of adultery is still true in the New Testament, a man is not normally guilty of adultery for marrying a second wife.  But Matthew 19:9 says he is guilty of adultery if he marries a second wife for the purpose of replacing his first wife.  We saw in Matthew 5:32 that a husband who divorces an innocent wife is guilty of adultery by putting her in a position of needing to remarry, whether he himself remarries or not and whether she remarries or not.  But by remarrying, a divorcing husband makes it more certain that he and the wife he divorced will never reconcile, and makes it more likely she will eventually remarry another man, and once she does that they are forever prohibited from remarrying as we saw in Deuteronomy 24:1-4.  Also, as Jesus died on the cross for us 2000 years ago yet his substitution for us only becomes imputed and effective at the point in our lives when we believe on him, the man who puts his wife in a position of committing adultery upon remarriage bears that sin especially when he himself does what he has put her in a position to do, though she might not remarry, and at least then he would be more righteous if he did not remarry so long as she did not (so that he is more likely to take her back also).

Could the phrase “and shall marry another, committeth adultery” mean that Jesus is redefining adultery here to the Modern definition of “any married person having physical relations with anyone other than their spouse.” Probably not because that would have been an important enough change that it would have merited more explicit acknowledgement of the change.  Also, if Jesus were wanting to change the definition of adultery here he would likely have stated the parallel, “likewise whosoever shall put away her husband, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth him that is put away doth commit adultery.” But he couldn’t state the parallel because he continued to support the Old Testament definition of adultery, and under the Old Testament definition: 1) a husband’s fornication with an unmarried woman would not give the wife the right to divorce her husband but would instead place the husband under obligation to marry the additional woman, as we saw above when considering Deut22:16-29; 2) it would not be true that “whoso marrieth him that is put away doth commit adultery,” because under the Old Testament definition a single woman can marry a husband who is divorced by his wife without it being adultery.  So Jesus didn’t state the parallel because he couldn’t, because the Old Testament definition is still true, and to state the parallel would contradict the Old Testament definition.  God does not share our modern culture’s belief in the equality of roles for men and women, expressed in the modern definition that “adultery is any married person having physical relations with anyone other than their spouse.”  If it be argued that perhaps Jesus didn’t state the parallel here because in the Jewish culture of that day only men had the right to do the divorcing, then note that in the next passage we will look at in the book of Mark, Jesus did talk about a wife divorcing her husband, and he did so in a way that is consistent with the Old Testament definition of adultery.

"Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against [‘upon’] her, and if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery," Mk10:11-12.  Here in Mark 10:11 the word “against” is the Greek word ‘epi’ whose primary meaning is ‘upon,’ so this verse could more clearly be translated “committeth adultery upon her.”  Although the husband in Mark 10:11 is marrying a second wife, the adultery is not ‘upon’ the second wife he marries, but he is causing it ‘upon’ the first wife he divorced and put in a position of needing to remarry and thus commit adultery; and especially if he also remarries he makes it more likely the divorced wife will need to remarry rather than be reconciled with himself.  There is a committing of adultery placed “upon her,” because according to Matthew 5:32, “whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”  But also according to Matthew 5:32, “whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery,” the exception clause means that unless the wife is already guilty, the husband bears the guilt of her potential post-divorce remarriage and adultery.

Because Mark 10:11 and 10:12 are not exactly parallel it means that Jesus is upholding the Old Testament definition of adultery here.  By adding the clause “upon her,” to Mark 10:11 but not to Mark 10:12, Jesus shows that the two situations are not parallel.  A husband causes adultery upon his wife by divorcing her but a wife does not cause adultery upon her husband by divorcing him, because under the Old Testament definition of adultery, men are permitted to have more than one wife.  In contrast to Mark 10:11, in Mark 10:12, for a woman that divorces her husband, her own remarriage, rather than the remarriage of her divorced husband, is adultery.  “If a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery," Mk10:12. As in all these passages about divorce in the gospels, the adultery happens ‘upon’ the wife being placed in a position of needing to remarry another man, and not ‘upon’ the man and any subsequent remarriage of his. It is certainly unlikely that the wife who divorces her husband will remarry him rather than remarry another man, since she is the party that doesn’t want to be in the marriage.

Luke 16:18. "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” Again per the previous references, a husband can only be guilty of adultery by remarrying another wife if he was also the one who did the divorcing and thereby placed the wife he divorced into a position of adultery; but a divorced wife is guilty of adultery by remarrying another husband not only when she is the one who did the divorcing (Mark 10:12), but also as here when she is the one who was divorced by her spouse.  This verse does not explicitly say ‘she commits adultery’, but rather it says the husband that divorced her “committeth adultery”, and the second husband who marries her “committeth adultery” because there is no ‘exception clause’ about her guilt in this verse, and thus we must assume the woman of this verse is innocent, and thus the husband who divorced her bears the guilt of her adultery in remarrying.  We know that polygamy is permitted from this verse because Jesus does not state the parallel, that if a wife divorces her husband then “whosoever marries him that is put away commits adultery,” because under the Old Testament definition a single woman who marries a man who is already one flesh with his existing wife is not committing adultery.

Romans 7:2-3. "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." These verses are among the most important in the Bible for understanding the biblical definition of adultery for both the Old and New Testaments: Adultery is any violation of a woman having physical relations with only her husband as long as he lives; it is any instance of a woman becoming one flesh with a one man while she is still one flesh with another, meaning the one she has previously become one flesh with is still living. That is why divorce always includes the sin of adultery. Divorce puts the divorced wife into a position of not being able to have physical relations with only her husband so long as he lives, though depending on the circumstances the guilt of her adultery is laid to her charge or instead to that of the husband who divorced her.  This verse proves that God does not regard the roles of men and women equally and symmetrically as we do in our culture.  It proves that God allows polygamy and that the Modern definition of adultery is false because these verses do not say regarding a man that "if, while his wife liveth, he be married to another woman, he shall be called an adulterer," because men are permitted to marry more than one woman.  It is not adultery for a man to have two wives, though it is adultery for a woman to have two husbands. It is only the marital status of the woman that is relevant in determining adultery because polygamy is permissible.

Romans 7:4. "Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."  In Romans 6-8 Paul shows how all those in Christ are delivered from a life characterized by sin to one characterized by obedience because of the change we experience in three relationships when we become Christians: 1) Master/Servant (Rom6), from a servant of sin to a servant of God, 2) Husband/Wife (Rom7), from a wife of the Law to a wife of Christ, and 3) Father/Son (Rom8), from a son of man in the flesh to a son of God in the Spirit. No servant, wife, or son lives perfectly but the character of their lives are overwhelmingly influenced by who their master, husband, or father is.

When this verse speaks about how we have been married to Christ, it is not referring to the Church, the bride of Christ, awaiting the future arrival of the bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb.  It is saying that every believer is already individually married to Christ, in the same way that every believer is already individually a servant of God and a son of God born of the Spirit. Just as we all share the same God as our master, and he has us as his many servants; and just as we all share the same God as our father, and he has us as his many children; so also we all share the same God as our husband, and he has us as his many wives, already individually bearing the fruit of the Spirit because of our marriage to him. Christ is not only corporately, but also individually, the Lord, Husband, and Father of each believer, and thus God is a polygamist in the New Testament, and thus polygamy cannot be wrong.

1 Corinthians 7:2. "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own (heautou) wife, and let every woman have her own (idios) husband." Why did Paul go out of his way to use a different Greek word to say "his own" and "her own" (it’s not just a difference in the gender but different words)?  Here are some verses that use 'heautou' to mean 'his own exclusively': "his own [heautou] life," Lu14:26; "his own [heautou] body," Rm4:19; "each one shall bear his own [heautou] burden," Gal6:4. And here are some verses that use 'idios' to mean 'his own shared': "his own [idios] city," Mt9:1; "his own [idios] country," Jn4:44; "his own [idios] language," Acts 2:6, "his own [idios] master," Rm14:4; "their own [idios] dwelling," Ju1:6.  So no matter how many wives a man may have they are each one “his own [heautou] wife,” to be shared with no one else; but whether a wife has any ‘sister wives’ or not she only holds a shared claim on “her own [idios] husband.”  Thus 1Cor7:2 teaches that polygyny is permitted, but that polyandry would be sin.

1 Corinthians 7:4-5. "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time." These verses don’t teach polygamy, but they don’t contradict the principles of polygamy either.  When Paul says “the husband” and “the wife” he is speaking about the concept of husbands and wives in general in the same way that when in 1Cor11:6-12 he says "even so is the man also by the woman" he is referring to Man being of Woman, meaning all men are born of mothers, and in the same way, all the wives of a man have authority over his body. Logically, no man can serve two masters at the same instant, but practically a man can serve two masters in a time-share arrangement, like working a weekday and a weekend job. Usually in a polygamous marriage, each woman will have certain times allotted to her to be with her husband and during those times she has authority over his body. If he wants to fast and pray during a time that is allotted to her he would need her consent to that. In real estate, for example, two people can share ownership of the same property and they will have to agree regarding decisions about the property in order to continue their joint ownership.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11. "Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife."  Only if polygamy is permitted can the first part of these verses be obeyed.  Under the Old Testament definition of adultery, if a wife leaves a husband she can change her mind and return at any time, even if the husband has married someone else, but under the modern definition of adultery Paul would have had to say, "Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband if he has not remarried." Under the Old Testament definition both options always remain available to her to “remain unmarried" or be "reconciled to her husband,” even if they have divorced and her husband has remarried.  Only her own marriage to another man would preclude her from ever returning to her first husband as we saw in Deut, there is nothing her husband could do that would preclude her from righteously returning.  So only under the Old Testament definition can 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 be true, and therefore the Old Testament definition of adultery is also the New Testament definition and thus is the Biblical definition.  If the Modern definition of adultery were correct, God would treat husbands and wives equally here, and the second part of this verse would say, “and let not the husband [depart from his wife: but and if he depart, let him remain unmarried or be reconciled to his wife.]”  The Bible also can’t say that here because under polygamy a man might already have more than one wife when he separates from one of them, and thus he couldn’t, “remain unmarried,” whereas a wife that departs is always “unmarried” because wives never have more than one husband simultaneously.  (Not that she is unmarried just by separating without a divorce but she is either unmarried, if she also divorces, or she is in a state of living as if she were unmarried concerning physical relations.)

This passage says that the husband should not put away his wife for any reason, not even if his wife abandons him, which only makes sense if polygamy is permitted because then the husband has no need to divorce his first wife in order to marry another wife who is willing to be with him. And it doesn’t say, ‘but if the husband does put away his wife, let him remain unmarried’ because under polygamy a man is not restricted to the two options to “remain unmarried or be reconciled” to his wife; under polygamy he can marry another.  The only thing he is not permitted to do under polygamy is to divorce his first wife and that is the only admonition given to the husband in these verses, “let not the husband put away his wife."  Once again, the inequality of the treatment of husbands and wives in these two verses shows that it is the Old Testament definition of adultery that only takes into account the marital status of the woman that is also in effect in the New Testament; and not the Modern definition of adultery of our culture that treats husbands and wives the same.

1 Corinthians 7:39. "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." See the section above on Romans 7:1 for a fuller discussion of the principles of this verse.  This verse does not say the parallel that "the husband is bound by law as long as his wife liveth; but if his wife be dead, he is at liberty to be married to whom he will," because husbands are already permitted to marry a second wife while their first wife is still living, whereas the wife is not permitted to marry a second husband while her first husband is living.  This was not only true under the Law; Paul is giving New Testament advice here.

Ephesians 5:21-6:9.Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. … Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it … Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. … And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh … And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven.” These verses help us understand why God has designed men and women differently and to fulfill different roles. There are three superior/inferior position (not superior or inferior value) relationships in these verses: Wives and Husbands, Children and Fathers, and Servants and Masters.  In every case the inferior position (or role) of the relationship is mentioned first, and the superior position of the relationship second.  In both the Child/Father and the Servant/Master relationships, it is obvious that there is only one superior but that there may be many inferiors: one father but many children, one master but many servants.  The reason for this is that “no man can serve two masters,” Mt6:24, and likewise though a body can have many members, it can only have one head. The decision making can only come from one place if everyone in the relationship is to have unity and walk in the same direction. “Can two walk together except they be agreed,” Amos3:3. If two people taking a walk make their own independent decisions on which direction they go they will soon be walking alone. These same principles apply to marriage and the Bible teaches that marriage is a superior/inferior position relationship. And therefore it is to be expected that, like the other superior/inferior relationships of Child/Father and Servant/Master, there would only be one superior, but the potential for more than one inferior, in the Wife/Husband relationship.

Ephesians 5:22-33.Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” These verses do not teach polygamy, but neither do they contradict it. People say that if a husband and his wife are “one flesh” then there is no possibility that the husband and his second wife are also one flesh. However, all believers are one with God at the same time; I am one with God because he is in me and you are one with God because he is in you, and we are both in him.  My being one with God does not hinder your being one with God. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me,” Jn17:21. It does not follow that a husband would not be able to be one flesh with more than one wife simultaneously.  “Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh,” 1Cor6:16.  There are some, but not many people will say that if a man becomes one flesh with a harlot then he stops being one flesh with his wife.  Most would say he is then one flesh with two women at once.  And though there is but one head, there are many members.  “The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body… for we are members of his body,” Eph5:23,30.  So in a marriage, the husband can be the head, but there can be more than one wife who are the members of his body.

The Use of the Definite Article and the Singular in Ephesians 5.  Some people believe that the use of the definite article "the" and of the singular "wife" in Ephesians 5 without the need of a single additional passage conclusively proves that God's will is for monogamy only and that polygamy is sin.  Some say Ephesians 5 only proves that polygamy is sin in New Testament times but Ephesians 5:31 is based on Genesis 2:23-24, "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."  And if Genesis 2:23-24 teaches that God does not permit polygamy in the New Testament then it also proves that God did not permit it in the Old Testament, but most people would admit that he did permit it in the Old Testament.

And if the use of the singular "wife" in Ephesians 5:23, 31,and 33 proves that a man is not permitted to have more than one wife, then the plural use of "wives" in Ephesians 5:22, 25, and 28 proves that men God requires men to have more than one wife; and the plural use of the word "husbands" in Ephesians 5:22, 24, 25, and 28 proves that God requires women to have more than one husband.  But of course the use of the singular and plural in Ephesians 5 prove none of the above.  Phrases like "the husband is the head of the wife," Eph5:23, and "he that loveth his wife loveth himself," Eph5:28, and "a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife," Eph5:31, and "let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband," Eph5:33 are not talking about any one particular husband and wife any more than verses like "for as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God," teaching that each woman can only have one male child just because it says "the man" is by the woman.  Matthew 10:24, "the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord," does not mean that teachers can only have one student or that masters can only have one servant.  "The servant abideth not in the house for ever," Jn8:35, does not mean that each household can have only one servant.  Likewise, "the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine," Jn15:4, does not mean that vines can only have one branch.  "the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child," Mt10:21, does not mean a brother can only have one brother or that a father can only have one child.  All of these verses (except for the one about the brother to brother relationship) describe the relationship that exists between each superior (in position) and each of his inferiors (in position) individually, regardless of how many inferiors (in position) he actually happens to have, so the fact that each woman is to submit to her husband and each husband is to love his wife tells us nothing as to how many wives each particular husband has.  If God had said, "Let each husband love his wives," then men would have wrongly interpreted it to mean that God requires each man to have at least two wives, but I believe God's preference is for husbands to have only one wife each though he does not prohibit a man from having more than one wife.

1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:12; and Titus 1:6.A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach,” 1Tim3:2.  “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well,” 1Tim3:12.  “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly,” Titus1:6.  In these three passages the qualifications to be considered for the church offices of bishop (pastor) and deacon included the requirement that the candidate must be “the husband of one wife.” This implies that not every man in the church had only one wife.  Perhaps holding this requirement for elders indicates that polygamy is permitted but not preferred in the New Testament (and in the Old Testament too).  Or it may indicate that men with more than one wife may not have enough time available to be effective elders or deacons.  Also, as was mentioned earlier, Paul didn't repeat the "husband of one wife" phrase for all men though he could have easily done so like he repeated the "sober ... temperate" phrase for all men. “Ordain elders in every city, as I appointed thee, if any be blameless, the husband of one wife, … sober, just, holy, temperate. … That the aged men be [the husband of one wife], ... sober, grave, temperate, ... young men likewise exhort to be [the husband of one wife,] sober minded,” Titus1:5-2:6.

Revelation 21:10-12.He … shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God … and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” Every time we enter or exit a gate in the New Jerusalem during the thousand year Messianic Kingdom, we will see the name of one of the sons of the polygamist Jacob and his four wives written on the gate.  It shows how far from the Bible the church has gone because if Jacob and his four wives and their children dressed in modern clothing walked into most of our modern ‘Bible-believing’ church meetings today, they would not be accepted into the fellowship and would probably be subject to church discipline. When honorable men practice Biblical polygamy today, often out of love and compassion for women and children within unusual situations, they and their families are often unable to find any local fellowship among believers which is a travesty upon the church of our day.   But in the future God’s acceptance of Jacob’s polygamy will be demonstrated to all in the most permanent and visual way, the names of Jacob’s sons on the gates of the city. “Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid: Gad, and Asher,” Gen35:22-26.

Jesus said, “I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven,” Mat8:11. Two out of these three men who will have places of honor throughout the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom we are awaiting, “thy kingdom come,” Mat6:10, are polygamists.  I expect to see not only all four of Jacob’s wives there but also all three of Abraham’s wives, Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah, since God spoke to Hagar twice, “The angel of the Lord … said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? … And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi,” Gen16:7-14. “The angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not.

And of course David will be King of Israel under Yeshua as the King of Kings, “they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them,” Jer30:9; and David, who God says is “a man after mine own heart,” Acts13:22, is a polygamist, whose wives include Bathsheba, Abigail Ahinoam, and Michal.  Not that we will have husbands and wives in the kingdom, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven,” Mt22:30, but these people will be there in positions of honor, and God’s appraisal of their polygamy appears vastly different than the appraisal of their polygamy by the church today.

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My Testimony

I was raised in a Catholic family. As a child, being Catholic meant going to church every Sunday, going to confession every few weeks, doing an occasional Stations of the Cross, lighting an occasional candle at church (you had to pay based on the size of the candle), and attending catechism, weddings, etc. Attending mass mostly meant standing when everyone else stood, sitting when everyone else sat, and kneeling when everyone else knelt, since the mass was in Latin at that time.

When you took communion, the priest placed a wafer on your tongue that was believed to be the actual body of Christ. We were told to cooperate carefully with the priest while he was placing the wafer on our tongues, because it would be very, very bad if the wafer fell and touched some other part of our bodies, although we were never told exactly what would happen.

When you went to confession, you entered one side of a dark booth and a priest was on the other side with a wall in between. The priest would slide a little screened window open so you could hear each other, and you would begin your confession by saying, “Bless me, father, for I have sinned, it has been 2 weeks (or 1 month, or whatever) since my last confession.” Then you would tell him the sins you committed since your last confession - “I lied three times, I got angry twice,” etc. When you were done he would assign you a certain number of prayers to say depending on how bad you had been, and then you would exit the booth and pray them silently in the pew. Usually, the priest assigned three ‘Our Fathers’ and three ‘Hail Marys’. I remember hearing a joke about a priest that would always assign the same penance no matter what you had done. “Father, I just robbed a bank.” “For your penance say three ‘Our Fathers’ and three ‘Hail Marys’.”

Sins were divided into two classes: mortal and venial. Mortal sins included only really bad things like murder, adultery, and missing church. If you sinned a mortal sin, and you didn’t make it to confession before you died, you would go to hell forever. Everything that wasn’t a mortal sin was a venial sin. Venial sins would send you to purgatory to suffer a while, but eventually you would get to heaven. There was also a place called Limbo, which was like the garden of Eden, and which was for people who would have gone to heaven except that they hadn’t been baptized.

I remember getting pretty excited as a kid when it was time for me to go through “Confirmation.” When you were confirmed, you became a soldier for Christ, and you got to start over with a clean slate with no sin; plus you could start wearing some little pictures on a string around your neck (under your shirt) that would help protect you from sinning so you could keep the slate clean. Of course, it’s not long before you realize that you’ve sinned again, and that kind of takes away the excitement of confirmation and those little pictures on the necklace.

I don’t remember how it happened, but somehow as a teenager, I stopped going to church, confession, and such. But when I began to go through some trouble in my life, I took a Catholic prayer book, and went into the bathroom, and prayed a full hour of all kinds of prayers that I had never seen before. But it didn’t help at all. So then I took the huge family Bible that was only used to record marriages and births, and began reading it.

I was shocked and amazed by what I read. I had only heard the same little excerpts from the gospels on an annual cycle during mass. Catechism had been merely memorizing questions and answers about sacraments and such. But here I was reading things like, “the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? ... The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come, and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be delivered,” Joel 2:11, 31-32. So whenever there was a storm, I would lay awake in bed at night, so I could be awake to call upon the Lord if he was coming in the storm to judge the world.

I also polished a little table in my bedroom and placed the family Bible there on a doily as if it were an altar, and read it daily. I noticed that the Catholic Bible had a warning in front that only the Pope can understand the Bible, so it would be safer for us common folk if we didn’t read it. The author quoted 2 Peter 3:16, “in which are things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest ... unto their own destruction.”

That Bible also had a list of indulgences prominently displayed. Indulgences are points that you get for doing certain things, like lighting candles, that help reduce your time in purgatory. The list showed that you could get X number of indulgences for reading the Bible, but you could get better indulgences for just kissing the Bible.

I was also handed a gospel tract on a street downtown about this time. It was entitled, “You’re Dead a Long Time.” I didn’t understand a word of it, but I kept it (and later after I accepted Christ it made perfect sense). I also started praying the rosary for the first time ever. I carried it around in my pocket and fingered the beads and prayed as I went about my day. Most of the beads represented ‘Hail Marys’ and a few ‘Our Fathers’.

During this time I also started asking people, “Did you ever read what’s in the Bible? You’d be surprised at some of the things that are in there.” I said this to a schoolmate in shop class one day. He was a Christian and went home and told his parents, and they told him to invite me to a Word of Life basketball marathon in Danville.

Now, I had never been interested in basketball before then and I haven’t been since, but for some reason that year I had been interested enough to chip the ice off our driveway so I could practice. I went to the marathon, played terribly, and got my glasses knocked off and stuff. But half way through the tournament, Bobby Muir, who had been the leading high school scorer at one time, gave a simple gospel message.

Bobby said, “If I asked how many of you know how to go to heaven, would you be able to raise your hand?” I thought, “Well, it’s quite complicated. You do good things but you also do bad things. You go to confession for the bad things, but there’s also indulgences, and sacraments, and ....” Bobby said he would tell us how to go to heaven.

He quoted from the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” He pointed out, “It doesn’t say, ‘He that goeth to church,’ or ‘He that is good’; but rather “He that believeth on the Son” has everlasting life. And it’s not enough to believe ‘in’ the Son, merely that he exists; you have to believe “on” the Son, trust in, rely on him. Like an elevator, you can believe in it all day, but until you get on it, it won’t help you.”

As he spoke, I realized that when the Bible said, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32), it was talking about calling on him for salvation from sin, not for salvation from his coming in the clouds in wrath. I also realized that the death of Christ that I had seen represented on the crucifix in the Catholic church every Sunday actually counted, and that it satisfied God’s requirements for the punishment of sin.

At the end of the message, Bobby asked us to bow our heads and close our eyes, and to raise our hands if we wanted to believe on the Son. I raised my hand. Then he said that those of us that raised our hands should come down to the front so they could give us a gospel of John. I was a very shy person at that time, but I had raised my hand, so I went to the front along with many other people.

They took us to a classroom, and as we sat at desks, they asked each person, within hearing of all the others, if they understood what they had done. I don’t know if I would have lied or what if they asked me, because I was too shy to have said so, but I hadn’t done anything by this point. I was planning on waiting until that night when I was alone in my bedroom to ask Jesus to be my Savior. But, thankfully, no one asked me.

That night I did call upon the name of the Lord. I asked him to save me, and acknowledged my trust in the salvation he provided for me through his death on the cross. The next morning I woke early and fixed myself something to take along in a sandwich bag for breakfast at school. And I did something I had never done before. I went to the Catholic church by myself on a weekday when there was no mass scheduled. It never occurred to me that the church building might be locked, but it wasn’t, so I went in and knelt in the pews, and thanked God for my salvation.

That was the last time I ever went to a Catholic church. The following Sunday, the family of the classmate that had invited me to the basketball marathon, brought me to a Baptist church with them. It was refreshing because the service was in English, the windows were bright, and the congregation sang songs together. The next week, the family switched to a different Baptist church, and I continued to attend with them.

It was also helpful that a man from the church, Mr. Pettinger, visited me at home and gave me a book about the First Epistle of John. (Epistle means ‘letter,’ and the epistles of John are not the same as the Gospel of John.) The First Epistle of John was written so we could know we had eternal life. “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God,” 1 John 5:11-13.

Mr. Pettinger pointed out that when God promises in his word that we have eternal life if we believe on the Son, then so long as we are sure that we believe on the Son, we can be sure we have eternal life, because God doesn’t lie. All my sins were future to Christ’s death. When he died for my sins, he died for all of them, not just for those up to the point I believed on him. Since all our sins, past, present, and future are forgiven when we believe on Christ, we have eternal life.

This idea of believing on the Son to receive eternal life is one of the most important themes of the New Testament. It is the topic of the entire Gospel of John. “These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name,” John 20:31. The word ‘Christ’ is a Greek word meaning ‘Anointed’. The equivalent word in Hebrew is ‘Messiah,’ which in usage refers to an appointed one that comes to save and deliver. The word ‘believe’ also means ‘trust’ or ‘faith’. All three English words (‘believe,’ ‘trust,’ ‘faith’) are translated from the same Greek word in the original New Testament writings. The word ‘believe,’ or some form of it, is used about 98 times in John’s gospel.

Here are some more verses from the Gospel of John that talk about believing:

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up [on the cross]: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God,” John 3:14-18.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” John 3:36.

“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,” John 5:24.

And lest we should think that ‘believing’ on him means something complicated, like trusting in church sacraments or something, John gives us many examples of people who believed on him for eternal life, and people who did not.

The Apostle Peter: “Simon Peter answered ... thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God,” John 6:68-69.

Many Jews: “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins ... when ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him ... ,” John 9:24-31.

Mary, Martha, and Many of the Jews: “Jesus said unto her [Martha], I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. ... Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him, but some of them [who didn’t believe on him] went their ways to the Pharisees,” John 11:25-27,45-46.

The people mentioned above, Peter, Martha, Mary, and many of the Jews believed directly on Jesus. There was no Catholic Church in existence then, but John says these people believed on Christ and thereby obtained eternal life.

Not only the prophet Joel, as mentioned earlier, but also the apostle Paul, talked about calling upon the name of the Lord, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? ... of them that preach the gospel,” Romans 10:13-15. That is all that’s required: a preacher preaches the gospel, you hear it, you believe on him and call upon him, you are saved from sin and receive eternal life.

I’ve heard the objection raised that “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not ... in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity,” Matthew 7:21-23. Certainly, I am not advocating merely mouthing the words “Lord, Lord” (Matthew 7:21), nor telling him about the “many wonderful works” (Matthew 7:22) we have done, but rather calling upon him for salvation.

All men “work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23) and need forgiveness of sin to receive eternal life. The reason that “he that doeth the will of my Father” is the one that shall “enter into the kingdom of heaven” is because it is the Father’s will that we believe on Christ for salvation. “This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. ... Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life,” John 6:40, 47.

Jesus already paid in full for your sins. The gospel is being preached to you now. Believe on the Son in your heart now, and call upon him in prayer for salvation from sin.

You can use the words the apostle Peter used when he called upon Jesus for salvation from drowning, “Lord, save me,” Matthew 14:30. Tell him you are depending on his death in your place on the cross for your salvation and eternal life.

“Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye search for me with all your heart,” Jeremiah 29:13.

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Index

This index is from the print edition of the book obtainable from http://bible.ag. This digital edition does not have the same page numbers as the print edition, but these index entries can be used as ‘search terms’. (Some index entries reference logical topics rather than specific phrases found within the text.)

Topics

Amoral Things

Adam, Noah, Moses and eating meat 30, 239, 274

convert to moral 246, 270

eating meat 236-239

nothing unclean of itself 239

restrict own liberty for opportunity to edify others 242

vegetarianism 236-238

Angels

and headcoverings 286-288

cherubim 43, 84

created directly 282

fallen angels 286

guardian angels 287

male 282

most don’t have wings 43

seraphim 43

Apostolic Authority 257-258. See alsoBible Individuals: 12 apostles

apostleship 258

apostles of Jesus Christ vs. apostles of churches 258

eating blood 239

missionaries 258

ordinances 255-258

gospel 257

headcovering 256-258

Lord’s Supper 257-258

traditions 257

transmissions 257

Paul defended his apostleship 258

Paul is the 12th apostle 258

witnesses 259

Authority

1 Corinthians 11, Part 1: The Headcovering Ordinance 253-296

abuse of authority 269, 289-290, 295

authority comes from being under authority 260

authority structures 266, 271, 283, 292

chain of command 259, 263, 271, 281, 286, 293

egalitarianism 266

equality 267

eternity future 267

eternity past 267

father 267

government 266

headship 259-260, 263, 266, 288

incarnation 267

inequality 268, 269, 289, 294

lawlessness 269

layers of authority 263

male authority 289

masters 266

mediator 263

necessary for unity 269, 283

offices 261, 270

person-specific authority relationships are temporary 268-274

philosophers 292-293

physical realm 269

relationship to sanctification 178

responsibility 270, 273, 291, 295

rulers 293

servants 266

superior-inferior relationships 178, 186, 253-296, 266-269, 281

symbolized by headcovering 285

testified to by creation account 281-283

unselfishness 269

Bible

New Testament 205

Old Testament 137, 142, 304

parables 25, 304

birds 304

Biblical Interpretation

Implications for Principles of Biblical Interpretation 28-31

Problems with Non-Literal Interpretations 51-54

approach of this book 5

Aramaic 90

chapter divisions 313

cultural interpretations 254, 257, 288

doctrine and practice 231

evidence for inspiration of the scriptures 83

general and specific 254

Greek 90

historical interpretation 289

importance of first verses 15, 254

in context 28

literal 51

not academic 247

outline 313

pastor’s heart 289

scriptures 209

significance of repeated verses 17, 339

spiritualizing scripture 31, 51

Catholicism 347-349

catechism 347-348

Catholic Church 353

Catholic doctrine 138, 142-143, 176

Catholic priest 347

communion 347

confession 139, 347

Confirmation 348

crucifix 350

Hail Marys 348

indulgences 349

kneeling 347

Latin mass 347

lighting candles 347

Limbo 348

monks 264, 273

mortal sin 348

nothing Biblical 203

Our Fathers 348

penance 347

persecution of true Christians as heretics 207

prayer 348

purgatory 348-349

related to Greek Orthodox 207

rosary 349

sacraments 352

Stations of the Cross 347

venial sin 348

Christian

Survey of 1 John: Union with God 311-346

definition of 316

different from the world 232

knowledge of God 342

light 317

spiritual light 326

truth 318

Church Meetings

1 Corinthians 11, Part 1: The Headcovering Ordinance 253-296

1 Corinthians 11, Part 2: The Lord’s Supper Ordinance 297-310

1 Corinthians 12-14 256-257

angels present at 287

church observances 279, 286, 297-310

early churches probably met Saturday evenings 307

headcovering during entire church meeting 271, 277

headcovering during signifies church’s submission to God 253, 269, 279, 286

headcovering practiced by all early churches 295

shame at 291

should be heavily participatory 276

should include a full meal 242, 306, 307

should include headcovering 243, 295

should include headcovering observance 308

Sunday, first day of the week 307

what to do if leavened bread is used 304-305

when prophets should remain silent 275-277

worship services in heaven 274

Church, The

24 elders 274

apostate church 294

Bride of Christ 177, 286, 288

church at Antioch 244, 258

church at Corinth 254, 255, 297, 307

church discipline 237

church problems 255

creation at Pentecost may be remembered in headcovering observance 288

dictatorial rule of pastors 235, 276, 293

divisions 297

early church, the. SeeTopics: Church Meetings

Episcopalians 203

Evangelicals 210

favoritism 300

heresies 298

house churches 248-249, 285

Jewish Messianic Christians 217

Jews and Gentiles 303

not like Israel 32

partiality 300

Pentecost loaves symbolized the church 303

Plymouth Brethren 276

poor 299

preeminence 298

respect of persons 300

wealthy 299

Word of Life Fellowship 349

Confession Of Sins

at Lord’s Supper 305-306

not necessary for Christians for cleansing 328-329

unconfessed sin 305

Covenants

chosen seed 199, 200-201

four unconditional Jewish covenants 196

Abrahamic covenant 16-17

Davidic covenant 16-17

Land covenant 16

New covenant 16, 181

not transfered to Gentiles 199

not with Arab nations 201

olive tree 226-227

one conditional Jewish covenant. SeeTopics: Law, The

Old covenant 181, 196

Creation

beginning 311

future glorification of 29, 153, 187

man’s labor and women’s subordination at 267

shows the deity of Christ 196

witness to headcovering principles 281-290

Death

die vs. sleep 143

how to escape 169

its inescapable reign 169

some people won’t die 143

Decision Making. SeeTopics: How To Know The Will Of God

Deity Of Christ

echad vs. yachid 196

God is transcendent 196

incarnation 197

necessary to believe to be saved 13, 334, 343, 351

plural unity 196

second coming 215

Son of God 267, 283

Dispensationalism 30-31. See alsoTopics: Physical Realm

Survey of Matthew: The Change in Jesus’ Ministry 15-36

Covenant Theology 30-31

proven by changes in dietary laws 240

Eschatology

144,000 Jewish Christian missionaries 211

666, number of the Antichrist 212

1000-year millennial kingdom 39

1948 reestablishment of nation of Israel 208

abomination of desolation 212, 214

catching away. SeeTopics: Eschatology: rapture

covenant with death 211

day of the LORD 209

death rays 215

God’s punishment of people on earth during Tribulation Period 210

image of Antichrist 212

Jewish feasts

Day of Atonement 303

Firstfruits 302

heavenly tabernacle 302

New Year’s Day 303

Passover 301

Pentecost 303

Rosh Hashanah 303

Sukkoth 303

Tabernacles 105, 303

Trumpets 303

Unleavened Bread 302

Weeks 303

Yom Kippur 303

mark of the beast 212

marriage supper of the Lamb 288

new heaven and new earth 39

new Jerusalem 39

persecution during Tribulation Period 210

rapture 39, 211, 303

reestablishment of Israel 208

regathering of Israel 208

repentance of Israel 227

return of elijah 209

Russian invasion 209

second coming 27-28, 30-31, 39, 63, 214, 215, 226, 301, 303, 349

Timeline to the Kingdom chart 39

time of Jacob’s trouble 210

treaty with the Antichrist 210

tribulation period 39, 209, 212, 227, 303

winepress 216

Eternal Life

1 John 2:12-3:17. Eternal Life 340-341

a gift, not earned 11

a length not just a kind of life 162, 328

not a result of holy living 176

purpose of gospel of John 140

received by believing on the Son 351

refers to achieving glorification 191

Eternal Security

Rm5:3-10. All Who Have Been Justified Will Be Glorified 154-157

abide in means remain forever in 337

all who have been justified will be glorified 134, 150-151, 154, 157, 185, 232

because all our sins, past, present, and future were forgiven when we believed on Christ 351

because all things work together for good, and losing salvation wouldn’t be good 188

because God’s love is now free to be poured out 156

because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ 192

because of predestination to glorification 189-191

because of the reign of grace 162

because of union with Christ 158

because the inheritance is not of works so the purpose of God will stand 200

because union with God causes all Christians to always walk in faith 327

boasting in future glorication not presumption 151

called to glorification 188

can’t apostatize or fall away 328

can’t stumble or scandalize 337

certainty of complete salvation 149

certainty of glorification 185-192

don’t have choice after justification 328

don’t lose salvation for even worst sins 171

eternal life is a length of life 162

everyone believes in eternal security, the only disagreement is as to when it starts 191

for Israel too 195, 198, 229

grace ensures 160-161

half the main proposition of the book of Romans 134

if any of these things happen, all of them happen 192

if there was a chance of failure we could not rejoice in suffering 155

no option available to go out of Christ 160-161

since God provided justification for enemies much more he ensures glorification of friends 157

sure and certain hope 150-151, 187

this hope maketh not ashamed 156

thus Paul was accused of promoting antinomianism 162, 164

Ezekiel’s Temple

introduction

computer-generated model 37

Google SketchUp Warehouse 37

importance of studying 37-40

timing of the kingdom 37-40

video tour 37

outer east gate 45

2 posts 2x60 49

7 stairs 45

border wall 6x6 43

cubits 43

diagram of outer east gate 55

flax line 43

geological changes 40

guardrooms 6x6 47, 51

inner threshold 6cu 49

measuring reed 6cu 43

mountain of the LORD 40

narrow windows 57

outer threshold 6x6 45

overall dimensions 25x50x60 55

palm tree ornaments 59

passageway 10x13 51

porch 8x25 49

space before the guardrooms 1cu 51

spaces between the guardrooms 5x6 47

the angel 43

outer court

3 outer gates 25x50 61

arrangement of the 6 gates facing the outer court 61

lower pavement 50cu wide 59

thirty chambers on lower pavement 59

width 100cu 61

inner court

3 inner gates 25x50 61

8 tables for sacrifices 63

chambers of the singers 65

diagram of entire temple compound 69

dimensions 100x100 67

why sacrifices during the Messianic Kingdom 63

temple

2 pillars alongside stairs 71

2 porch posts 5x3 71

30 side chambers 79

altar in holy place 2x3 84

cherub and palm tree decorations 84

diagram of temple, seperate place, & west building 83

doorposts of the holy place 6x6 73

folding doors 84

foundations 6cu high 79

holy place 20x40 75

holy place doorway 10cu 73

most holy place 20x20 75

most holy place doorposts 2x3 75

porch 20x11 71

separate place 20cu wide 81

side chambers outer wall 5cu 79

side chambers walkway 5cu 79

steps