Archive for the ‘Bible Study’ Category

BE NOT ENTANGLED AGAIN

From the New Testament Baptist Pulpit (Nov. 1, 2012)

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

1. Be not entangled again with THE CURSE OF THE LAW.

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

Those who force the “works of the law” in this present Age of Grace is under the “curse of the law”. Be not entangled again with the curse of the law by trying to be justified by the works of the law.

2. Be not entangled again with THE ELEMENTS OF THE WORLD.

Galatians 4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

We used to observe pagan feasts and worldly holidays, but now that we (1) have “known God” and (2) are “known of God”, we are not to be entangled again with these “weak and beggarly” elements of the world.

3. Be not entangled again with THE WORKS OF THE FLESH.

Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Ungodliness and worldly lusts are being promoted and supported in the internet, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the rest of the mass media and technology. The only way not to be entangled again with the works of the flesh is to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. Let us start living and walking in the Spirit.

The following comments are in reply to some questions concerning the subject of the “kingdoms” found in the New Testament. While this issue may be of some interest to genuine Bible believers (and might be of some help in “rightly dividing the word of truth”), it is not a principle (or major) doctrine that is necessary for Christian fellowship (Please See: “THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF OUR FELLOWSHIP” – Parts I, II, III). I can fellowship with brethren who disagree with me on this doctrine as long as they do not make it a bone of contention between us.

 

The subject of the “kingdom” is one of the major themes (possibly the main theme) of the Bible. Alongside of the Grace of God, the subject of the “kingdom” is central in God’s plan for the ages; and its importance should never be underestimated. The study of the subject of the “kingdom” (or “kingdoms”) in the Holy Scriptures is also one of the most difficult of all the studies in the Bible to undertake and the undertaking of such a study should be done with caution and carefulness because a spiritual “mystery” [Matthew 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10] is involved; which simply means that the understanding of the subject must come from God Himself and not from some school, or some commentator, or some book – other than the Holy Bible.

 

In regards to the subject of “kingdoms” in the Bible, the Scriptures clearly reveal WHEREthe kingdoms of the world” are – i.e. inthe world”; and they plainly define WHAT they are – i.e. the kingdoms: “of men”; “of nations”; and “of the heathen”, etc.

 

And although the Bible declares “the kingdom of God” to be a “mystery”; the Scriptures clearly state, without a doubt, WHEREthe kingdom of God” is – i.e. in the “third Heaven” and within each and every born again child of God, and definitely “NOT OF THIS WORLD”; and a reading of the 69 verses in the New Testament regarding WHATthe kingdom of God” is reveals much about its nature – i.e. the kingdom of God”:cometh not with observation”; “is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”; “is not in word, but in power; “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”; etc.  Bible believers recognize that no one can know all there is to know about the nature of “the kingdom of God” simply because it is one of “the mysteries of God”.

 

But just exactly WHAT is “the kingdom of heaven”; and WHERE and HOW does “the kingdom of heavenFIT into the scheme of things?

 

SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

 

Which “heaven” is being spoken of in the phrase “the kingdom of heaven”?

 

1. The “heaven” wherein the birds fly {i.e. our atmosphere}?

 

[Deuteronomy 30:4; Job 35:11; Genesis 27:28; Deuteronomy 11:11; 2Samuel 21:10; Jeremiah 49:36; Ezekiel 31:6]

 

2. The “heaven” wherein resides the Sun the Moon and the Stars (the Universe)?

     

[Deuteronomy 4:19; Isaiah 13:10; Genesis 26:4; Exodus 32:23; Deuteronomy 1:10; 10:22; Jeremiah 8:2]

 

3. The third heaven” spoken of by the Apostle Paul wherein Almighty God resides? {HEAVEN}

 

[2Corinthians 12:2; Job 22:12]

 

4. Is “the kingdom of heaven” equal to, or the same as, “all the kingdoms of the world”?

 

5. Are “all the kingdoms of the world” a partthe kingdom of heaven”? Or is “the kingdom of heaven” a part of “all the kingdoms of the world”?

 

6. Is “the kingdom of heavendifferent (i.e. separate) from “all the kingdoms of the world”?

 

7. Is “the kingdom of heaven” the same as “the kingdom of God”?

 

8. Is “the kingdom of heaven” a part of the “the kingdom of God”?

 

9. Are “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of Goddifferent (i.e. separate) from each other?

As you can see this subject is extremely complex; and the answers to these questions must come solely from Scripture and not from the commentators.

 

{NOTICE: When dealing with the subject of the “kingdom” in the Holy Scriptures most Bible commentators engage in a great deal of speculation, hypothesis, and theories as they attempt to figure out a workable solution to the issue that will make some kind of sense to them.}

 

The first mention of the word “kingdom” in the Holy Bible is found in Genesis 10:8-10 which follows the Great Flood and the establishment of human government amongst men [Genesis 9:5-6].

 

{It should be noted that the lawful taking of a man’s life (for legitimate offenses – Genesis 9:5-6) by other men represents the ultimate authority of government, upon which all other authority in regards to life, liberty, and property rests.}

 

FIRST MENTION OF A KINGDOM IN SCRIPTURE

 

Genesis 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was
Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

 

This is the first recorded “kingdom” in the Scriptures (NOTE: There is no mention of a “kingdom” before the Flood) and it is typical of all of the “kingdoms of the world” [Isaiah 23:17; Jeremiah 25:26; Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5] that have followed it right up to the present day (i.e. Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, etc., etc., etc.). Since the first mention of a kingdom in the Bible [Genesis 10:8-10], historically all of the kingdoms of the world which have followed operate with God’s permission and consent but not necessarily with His approval or endorsement. In other words these “kingdoms” have been allowed or permitted to exist as long as they serve God’s purpose, and they are brought down when they cease to do so.  

 

GOD’S POWER OVER THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD

 

2 Chronicles 20:6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

 

Psalms 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Daniel 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. [John 19:11]

Daniel 4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. [John 19:11]

Daniel 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. [John 19:11]

Daniel 5:21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. [John 19:11]

John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

 

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

 

 

 

SATAN’S POWER OVER THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD

 

Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

 

Acts 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,

18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 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:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

 

2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

 

THE FINAL END OF “ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD”

 

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

In an attempt to discern what kind of “kingdom” the Lord Jesus Christ was presenting or offering to the nation of Israel during His earthly ministry it is necessary to review all of the verses of Scripture concerning the “kingdom” (or “kingdoms”) prior to John the Baptist’s and the Lord’s proclamation of the coming “kingdom” [Matthew 3:2; 4:17]. The following is a list of the words “kingdom” or “kingdoms” as they appear in the Bible in an approximate Chronological order – excluding the specific individual kingdoms of men.

 

First mention of the word “kingdom” in Scripture = Nimrod’s kingdom [Genesis 10:8-10]

 

The word “kingdoms” (“kingdom”) – in relation to men, nations, or the world

 

the kingdoms of the earth  [Deuteronomy 28:25; 2Kings 19:15, 19; 1Chronicles 29:30; 2Chronicles 12:8; 17:10; 20:6, 29; 36:23; Ezra 1:2; Psalms 68:32; 135:11; Isaiah 10:10; 13:4; 23:17; 37:16,20; Jeremiah 1:15; 15:4; 24:9; 25:26; 28:8; 29:18; 34:1,17; 49:28; 51:27; Haggai 2:22; Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5; Revelation 11:15]

 

the kingdoms of the heathen[2Chronicles 20:6; Haggai 2:22]

 

the kingdom of men [Daniel 4:17, 25, 32; Daniel 5:21]

 

the kingdoms of nations[Isaiah 13:4]

 

the kingdoms of the north[Jeremiah 1:15]

 

the kingdoms of the world [Isaiah 23:17; Jeremiah 25:26; Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5]

 

the kingdoms of this world [Revelation 11:15]

The word “kingdom” – in relation to Israel only

 

the kingdom of Israel [1Samuel 15:28; 24:20; 1Kings 21:7]

 

the kingdom of the house of Israel [Hosea 1:4]

 

the kingdom of our father David [Mark 11:0]

 

the kingdom of the LORD[1Chronicles 28:5; 2Chronicles 13:8]

 

The word “kingdom” – in relation to heaven in the New Testament

 

the kingdom of heaven

 

[Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 5:3, 10,19-20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11-12; 13:11, 24, 31, 33, 44-45, 47, 52; 16:19; 18:1,  3-4, 23; 19:12, 14, 23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1, 14]

 

The word “kingdom” – in relation to God in the New Testament

 

the kingdom of God

 

[Matthew 6:33; 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43; Mark 1:14-15; 4:11, 26, 30; 9:1, 47; 10:14-15, 23-25; 12:34; 14:25; 15:43; Luke 4:43; 6:20; 7:28; 8:1, 10; 9:2, 11, 27, 60, 62; 10:9,11; 11:20; 12:31; 13:18, 20, 28-29; 14:15; 16:16; 17:20-21; 18:16-17, 24-25, 29; 19:11; 21:31; 22:16,18; 23:51; John 3:3, 5; Acts 1:3; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23,31; Romans 14:17; 1Corinthians 4:20; 6:9-10; 15:50; Galatians 5:21; Colossians 4:11; 2Thessalonians 1:5]

 

The word “kingdom” – in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament

 

the kingdom of Christ and of God [Ephesians 5:5]

 

the kingdom of his dear Son [Colossians 1:13]

 

the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” [2Peter 1:11]

 

the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ[Revelation 11:15]

 

In the entire Old Testament the word “kingdom” is mentioned 184 times in 166 verses; while the word “kingdoms” shows up 52 times in 51 verses. Out of all of the verses in the Old Testament dealing with the “kingdom” (or “kingdoms”), the following are some of the most prominent or significant Scriptural statements of fact in determining the kind of “kingdom” which was being offered (or presented) by John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ to the nation of Israel.

 

SCRIPTURAL FACT: THE LORD IS “THE GOD” (ALONE) OF “ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH”

 

2 Kings 19:15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.

 

Isaiah 37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

 

Jeremiah 10:6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee. [Jeremiah 10:10]

 

FIRST TIME MENTIONED IN RELATION TO THE LORD GOD & HIS RULE OVER ALL THE “KINGDOMS

 

2 Chronicles 20:5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,

6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?

FIRST MENTION OF THE WORD “kingdom(in chronological order) in the Holy Bible

 

Genesis 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was
Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded
Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
12 And Resen between
Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

 

FIRST MENTION OF THE WORD “kingdom (in chronological order) IN RELATION TO ISRAEL

 

Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of
Israel.

 

FIRST MENTION OF THE WORD “kingdoms (in chronological order) IN RELATION TO ISRAEL

 

1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,
30 With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.  

 

David reigned over Israel plus “all the kingdoms of the countries”.

 

FIRST MENTION OF THE WORD “kingdoms (in order of succession) IN RELATION TO ISRAEL

 

1 Kings 4:21 And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.

 

Solomon reigned over Israel plus “all kingdoms” (location described in verse). 

 

GOD’S PROMISE TO ISRAEL CONCERNING THE FUTURE OF THE NATION (i.e. the “kingdom”)

 

Ezekiel 37:21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
22
And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. [
Matthew 21:9-15; 22:41-45; Mark 11:7-10; 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44]
26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify
Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

 

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

 

This is the “kingdom” that the Lord Jesus Christ came to RULE [Micah 5:2 - Matthew 2:6]. And this is the “kingdom” that the Jews (Hebrews/Israelites) were expecting when Christ came upon the scene. [Matthew 21:9-15; 22:41-45; Mark 11:7-10; 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44]

 

Mark 11:10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

 

When the Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem (as King of the Jews – Zechariah 9:9) the people of Israel (Hebrews/Israelites/Jews) expected a “kingdom” on their own terms and according to their own desires – but the Lord had other ideas (See Matthew Chapters 5, 6, & 7).

 

Questions concerning the issue of “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God” have baffled, perplexed, and mystified sincere Bible students for well over 100 years; and to be truthful, I do not profess to know all of the answers to all of the questions (concerning this issue) which have eluded most Bible scholars and commentators also.

 

The main reason for the confusion concerning this issue is that it is declared to be a “mystery” (i.e. one of the “mysteries of God”); and the understanding of the mystery is only given by God to those to whom He chooses to reveal it to. {For the record: I only know what I know about this subject from what I have gleaned from my personal study in searching the Scriptures; and I do not profess to have any special “revelation” from God concerning the issue.}

 

Matthew 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.

 

Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

 

Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

 

Concerning the “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God” I believe that there are:

 

ONLY THREE POSSIBILITIES

 

#1. The “kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God” are ONE and the SAME “kingdom”.

 

#2. The “kingdom of heaven” is part of, and/or subordinate to, the greater “kingdom of God”.

 

#3. The two “kingdoms” are different and separate from each other.

 

THE PHRASE: “the kingdom heaven” as found in the Book of Matthew only

 

* = No Clear Definition

 

* = Peculiar or unique to only the “kingdom of heaven”

 

* = Similar to or the same as “the kingdom of God

 

*Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

*Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

*Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. {Luke 6:20? – not clear}

 

*Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

*Matthew 5:19 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. {The phrase “the kingdom of heaven” is used twice.}

*Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

*Matthew 7:21 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.

*Matthew 8:11 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. [Luke 13:28-29]

*Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. [Mark 1:15]

*Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. [Luke 7:28]

*Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

*Matthew 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. [Mark 4:11-12; Luke 8:10]

*Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

*Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: [Mark 4:30; Luke 13:18]

*Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. [Luke 13:20-21]

*Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

*Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

*Matthew 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:

*Matthew 13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

*Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

*Matthew 18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? [Matthew 18:1-6 <> Mark 9:34-37; Luke 9:46-48; no mention of a “kingdom” or “the kingdom of God]

*Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

*Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

*Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

*Matthew 19:12 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.

*Matthew 19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. [Luke 18:15-17]

*Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. [Mark 10:24-25; Luke 18:24-25]

*Matthew 20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

*Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

*Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

*Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

*Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

 

Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 5:3; 5:10; 5:19; 5:20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11; 11:12; 13:11; 13:24; 13:31; 13:33; 13:44; 13:45; 13:47; 13:52; 16:19; 18:1; 18:3; 18:4; 18:23; 19:12; 19:13; 19:23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1; 25:14

 

TOTAL NUMBERS FOR THE PHRASE “the kingdom of heaven”: {33 Times in 32 verses}

 

* 4 verses with no clear definition.

 

* 8 verses similar to or the same as “the kingdom of God”.

 

* 20 verses with an aspect or condition peculiar or unique to only the “the kingdom of heaven”.

 

Scriptural similarities between the kingdom of heaven” & “the kingdom of God

 

The following is a list of Scriptures demonstrating the similarities between the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God.

 

EXAMPLE NUMBER 1 {Not clear – but possibly the same.}

 

Mathew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

 

EXAMPLE NUMBER 2

 

Matthew 8:11 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.

12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

Luke 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

EXAMPLE NUMBER 3 {Not the same – Two different occasions/Two different people}

 

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of
Israel.

7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the
kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

 

{NOTE: The word “gospel” is never mentioned in connection with “the kingdom of heaven”.}

 

EXAMPLE NUMBER 4

 

Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

 

Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

EXAMPLE NUMBER 5

 

Matthew 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.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

 

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

 

Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

 

EXAMPLE NUMBER 6

 

Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

 

Mark 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

 

Luke 13:18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

 

EXAMPLE NUMBER 7

 

Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

 

Luke 13:20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

 

EXAMPLE NUMBER 8

 

Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, 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.

 

Mark 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25
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.

Luke 18:24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25
For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

Scriptures comparing the kingdom of heaven with the kingdom of God

 

The following is a list of Scriptures demonstrating the similarities between the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God.

 

{Note: Since the phrases “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” are not mentioned in the verses, the verses in brackets are supplied for Scriptural “context”.}

 

#1 {Context: “kingdom of heaven” = Matthew 5:3, 10, 19, 20 – “kingdom of God” = Luke 12:31}

 

Matthew 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

 

Luke 12:58 When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.
59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.

 

#2 {Context: “kingdom of heaven” = Matthew 5:3, 10, 19, 20}

 

Matthew 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

Mark 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

 

#3 {Context: “kingdom of heaven” = Matthew 5:3, 10, 19, 20 – “kingdom of God” = Mark 9:1, 47}

 

Matthew 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

 

#4 {Context: “kingdom of heaven” = Matthew 5:3, 10, 19, 20 – “kingdom of God” = Mark 10::14, 15}

 

Matthew 5: 31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 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. 

 

Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

 

#5 {Context: “kingdom of heaven” = Matthew 5:3, 10, 19, 20 – “kingdom of God” = Luke 6:20}

 

Matthew 5: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

 

Luke 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

 

#6 {Context: “kingdom of heaven” = Matthew 5:3, 10, 19, 20 – “kingdom of God” = Luke 6:20}

 

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 

Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

#7 {Context: “kingdom of heaven” = Matthew 5:3, 10, 19, 20 – “kingdom of God” = Luke 6:20}

 

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

 

#8 {Context: “kingdom of heaven” = Matthew 5:3, 10, 19, 20 – “kingdom of God” = Luke 6:20}

 

Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

 

Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

 

Based on the aforementioned Scriptures (and there may be more) a person might come to the conclusion that “the kingdom heaven” and the “kingdom of God” are the SAME; but it is a dangerous practice to determine sound doctrine based on a partial examination of the Holy Scriptures – especially when there is a “mystery” involved, and where there are total of 150 verses in the New Testament (alone) where the word “kingdom” is found.  

 

SOME FACTS {CONCERNING “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God”}

 

·     The phrase “kingdom of heaven” can not be found in the Old Testament.

 

·     The phrase “kingdom of God” can not be found in the Old Testament.

 

·     The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is found only in the Book of Matthew.

 

 

Neither the phrase “the kingdom of heaven” nor the phrase “the kingdom of God” can be found in the entire Old Testament. This does not mean that they did not exist until the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ; it simply means that God chose not reveal their existence to the nation of Israel – that is, not until Christ shows up (which is why they are said to be “mysteries” [Matthew 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10].

 

The number of times the phrase “kingdom of heaven”; “kingdom of God”; or the word “kingdom” are found in the entire New Testament:

 

The phrase or word:

·     kingdom of heaven” = 33 times in 32 verses. {Phrase found only in the Gospel of Matthew}

·     kingdom of God” = 70 times in 69 verses.

·     kingdom” (without a definition) = approximately 55 times in 49 verses.

 

The number of times the phrase “kingdom of heaven”; “kingdom of God”; or the word “kingdom” are found in just the Four Gospels:

 

The phrase or word:

·     kingdom of heaven” = 33 times in 32 verses. {Phrase found only in the Gospel of Matthew}

·     kingdom of God” = 55 times in 54 verses.

·     kingdom” (without a definition) = 39 times in 33 verses.

 

To sum up: The word “kingdom” shows up approximately 158 times in 150 verses in the entire New Testament. While in the Four Gospels the word “kingdom” is used 127 times in 119 verses. Notice: 80% of the time the word “kingdom” shows up in the New Testament is in the Four Gospels alone! WHY is that?

 

 

Just for comparison’s sake:

 

The word “gospel” as found in the Four Gospels:

·     “gospel of the kingdom” = 3 times in 3 verses. {Phrase found only in the Gospel of Matthew}

·     “gospel of the kingdom of God” = 1 time in 1 verse {Mark 1:14}

·     “gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” = 1 time in 1 verse. {Mark 1:1}

·     “gospel” (without a definition) = 12 times in 12 verses.

 

In the Four Gospels the word “gospel” (either alone, or with the word “kingdom”, or with the name “Jesus Christ”) is used only 17 times in 17 verses.

 

Now WHY do you suppose that in the Four Gospels the Scriptures emphasized the “kingdom” far more than the “gospel” when it came to the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ? In the Four Gospels the word “kingdom” is used 127 times while the word “gospel” is used only 17 times – that is 7.5 to 1. And four of the verses with the word “gospel” in them are in reference to the “gospel of the kingdom” [Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mark 1:14-15].

 

In plainer terms – in the Four Gospels the Bible emphasizes the “kingdom” seven and a half times more than it does the “gospel”. WHY do you “suppose” that is? Could it possibly be that when the Lord Jesus Christ was conducting His earthly ministry (which was exclusive to the nation of Israel – Matthew 10:5-6; 15:24) that He was “preaching” and “teaching” about the “kingdom”; and the “gospel” (i.e. the “good news”) that He referred to was the “gospel” (i.e. the “good news”) of the coming “kingdom” and NOT “the Gospel of the Grace of God” {i.e. Paul’s “Gospel”}?

 

On the other hand – The word “kingdom” is only used 26 times in 26 verses from Acts through Jude, as compared to the word “gospel” which is used 86 times in 80 verses from Acts through Jude (better than 3 to 1).

 

{It may be of interest to note that the word “gospel” is NOT used in the Book of Acts until Acts 8:25 (not until AFTER the nation of Israel REJECTED the Holy Spirit in Acts Chapter Seven); and that in the Book of Revelation the word “kingdom” (or “kingdoms”) shows up 7 times in 6 verses while the word “gospel” shows up only ONCE, in reference to “the everlasting gospel” – which clearly is NOT “the Gospel of the Grace of God”. Lord willing, I will post some articles on the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” [Matthew 10:5-6; 15:24] and the different “gospels” that are found in the New Testament at a later time.}

 

WHY is the phrase "the kingdom of heaven" found only in the Book of Matthew and no where's else in the entire Bible? And then there is the phrase "the kingdom of God", which also is not found in the Old Testament, but is found in all of the Gospels (five times in Matthew), the Book of Acts, and some of Paul's Epistles; but it can not be found in the Apostle Paul’s Pastoral Letters, or the Book of Hebrews, or the General Epistles (i.e. James, Peter, John, & Jude), or in the Book of Revelation. Is “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God” the same? If the words "heaven" and “God” are not the same – can the two kingdoms be the same?

 

If we are to make any "sense" of the Bible – we MUST rightly divide the word of truth (keeping the Jew; the Gentile; and the church separate1 Corinthians 10:32), and we MUST rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us. Genuine Bible study should not be just an academic exercise or a mere intellectual pursuit. Instead, true Bible study should be an honest and sincere search for THE TRUTH. We should always be asking – “What saith the Scriptures?”

 

First mention of “the kingdom of heaven” - by John the Baptist

 

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

{NOTE: John the Baptist only announced “the kingdom of heaven” (and only in the Book of Matthew); he never mentioned “the kingdom of God” once – WHY is that?}

 

 

Second mention of “the kingdom of heaven- by the Lord Jesus Christ

 

Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

Third mention - by the Lord Jesus Christ in the so-called “sermon on the mount”

{* An asterisk before a verse = an aspect or condition peculiar to “the kingdom of heaven” only.}

 

Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

 

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

 

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [Luke 6:20]

 

*4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

 

*5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

 

*6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

*7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

 

*8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

 

*9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 

*10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

*11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

 

*12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

 

*13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 

*14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

 

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

 

*16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

*17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

 

*18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

 

*19 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.

 

*20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

*21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

 

*22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

 

*23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

 

*24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

 

25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. [Luke 12:58-59]

 

26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

 

*27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

 

*28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

 

29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. [Mark 9:47]

 

30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. [Mark 9:43]

 

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: [Mark 10:11]

 

32 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.  [Mark 10:11]

 

*33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

 

*34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

 

*35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

 

*36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

 

*37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. \

 

*38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

 

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  [Luke 6:29]

 

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. [Luke 6:29]

 

*41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

 

*42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

 

*43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

 

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; [Luke 6:27-28]

 

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [Luke 6:35]

 

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [Luke 6:32]

 

*47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

 

*48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. [Luke 6:36?]

 

WHERE are “CHRISTIANS” in the context of the Lord Jesus Christ’s entire discourse in Matthew 5:1-48 concerning “the kingdom heaven”? HOW can any of these verses be APPLIED TO CHRISTIANS – if there aren’t any “Christians” in existence yet? [Acts 11:26] If none of these verses can be applied doctrinally to Christians – then just exactly what is a Christian’s relationship to “the kingdom heaven”?

 

We know that when a person believesthe gospel of the grace of God” [Acts 20:24; 1Corinthians 15:1-4] and receives the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour that they are born again and that they enter into the “the kingdom of God” the moment they are regenerated [John 3:3-8]. At that moment they become a son of God [John 1:12-13], and are “therefore . . . . no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” [Ephesians 2:19]; but there is no mention (from the Book of Acts through to the end of the Book of Revelation) of a Christian entering (or having anything to do with) “the kingdom of heaven” – Why is that?

 

{NOTE: Of the 48 verses in Matthew Chapter Five, 36 verses (marked by an *) are unique and peculiar to only “the kingdom of heaven”; while 12 verses (with no *) appear to be connected to “the kingdom of God” – as found in either the Books of Mark or Luke. CONCLUSION: There are some aspects of “the kingdom of heaven” that are in common with “the kingdom of God”, while there are other (more numerous) aspects that are peculiar to just the kingdom of heaven” alone.}

 

Scriptures indicatingthe kingdom of heavenis different thanthe kingdom of God

 

Remember what the Lord Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees about “the kingdom of God”.

 

Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

 

And again, what the Lord testified about His kingdom before Pilate:

 

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is NOT of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

 

Remember what the Lord said to the Jews back in John 8:23?

 

John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

 

I believe the Scriptures teach that “the kingdom of heaven” is a visible “kingdom” (of heaven) which will be located and physically exist here on earth; and over which the Lord Jesus Christ will RULE one day in the future (i.e. in the Millennium). Whereas “the kingdom of God” is a spiritual “kingdom” (of God) which can not be seen (or observed); and which is located and exists in Heaven and also within each born again child of God; and which is ruled today by “the KING of heaven” [Daniel 4:37], i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ was (and still is) a King; a KING of “the kingdom of God”. IF the kingdom of Godis not of this world”; and “cometh not with observation”; and “is within you”, how is it possible for it to suffer “violence”; or for “the violent” to “take it by force”? Christians can suffer violence (and even be killed), but “the violent” can not “take” the kingdom of God “by force” because – No. 1: It is “not of this world”. And No. 2: It is “within” us! On the other hand, the Lord Jesus Christ testified that “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force”.

 

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.  {Remember what a “king” did to John the Baptist !!!}

 

It is only AFTER John the Baptist is put in prison that the Lord Jesus Christ first mentions “the kingdom of God” – WHY is that? What does the timing of John the Baptist’s imprisonment have to do with the introduction of “the kingdom of God”? Could it be that up until the time John was cast into prison (a rejection of “the kingdom of heaven” by the civil authorities of the nation of Israel) that only “the kingdom of heaven” was being offered to the nation of Israel (i.e. the Jews)? While after John’s imprisonment both “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God” were being offered to the Jews by the Lord Jesus Christ?

 

Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

 

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

 

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

 

Luke 3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

 

Luke 4:43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.

 

HOW can the two “kingdoms” be the same when it is impossible for “the kingdom of God” to “suffer violence” and just as impossible for “the violent” to “take it by force”? {Note: we (Christians) are not “the kingdom of God” – the “kingdom of God” is “within” us.} In the entire Bible there are no Scriptures that would indicate that “the kingdom of God” (which “is not of this world”) is susceptible to being taken “by force”; {WHO is it that has the power to wrest, or take control (i.e. the RULE) of “the kingdom of God away from the Lord Jesus Christ? – Matthew 28:18; 1Corinthians 1:24} yet Christ’s testimony is crystal clear: “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force”.

 

After reading the Lord Jesus Christ’s testimony concerning the nature of “the kingdom of God”, would it have been possible for the Pharisees to have “shut up the kingdom of Godagainst men” in the same way that the Lord clearly testified that the scribes and the Phariseesshut up the kingdom of heaven against men” (and actually physically prevented them from entering into it)?  

 

Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

 

How is it possible for anyone to “shut up” the kingdom of Godagainst men” if the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom within believers, which is entered into through the new birth (i.e. by being born of the Holy Spirit)? Men can prevent other men from hearing (or reading) the Gospel of the grace of God, but they can notshut up” the kingdom of Godagainst men” like the Pharisees physicallyshut up the kingdom of heaven against men” – and “neither suffer (allowed or permitted) ye them that are entering to go in during Christ’s earthly ministry. [John 9:22; 12:42; 16:2]

 

If a person IGNORES the “historical context” of Scripture, they will end up applying verses of Scripture to Christians – that have NO business being applied to Christians. They will end up taking verses of Scripture in the Book of Matthew (concerning “the kingdom of heaven”) that doctrinally apply exclusively to the Jews (of Christ’s time) and wresting those Scriptures out of their “context” and applying them to born again children of God – who are under a “NEW” (and different) COVENANT, and in a completely different DISPENSATION!

 

“Rightly dividing the word of truth” is of paramount importance for Christians in order for them to know and embrace “SOUND DOCTRINE”.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

God commands us to “rightly divide” His Holy Word:

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

Please notice: This not a REQUEST – It’s a COMMANDMENT!
 

God has “divisions” in his word:
 

1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

 

{God views all of the people in the world as either: Jews; Gentiles; or the church of God}

From the beginning of the church of God up until today, every single person who has ever lived on the earth has always fallen under one of these categories (with no exceptions!). You are either a Jew; or a Gentile; or a saint (a member of the body of Christ – i.e. the church). There are divisions in the word of God, whether anyone recognizes them or not.

 

There are 27 verses in the New Testament with the words “mystery” or “mysteries” in them (There are none in the Old Testament), one each in Matthew, Mark, and Luke (3); and four in Revelation (4+3=7); the rest of the verses (20) are in the Apostle Paul’s Epistles. God revealed to the Apostle Paul some “mysteries” that He didn’t reveal to any of the other Apostles – that is not until after His revelation to Paul first.

 

If you try to HARMONIZE the Scriptures, instead of RIGHTLY DIVIDE them you will (at some point) have to change God’s words or else make them say (or mean) something other than what they truly say. It seems that Christians have at least as many ways to read and study the Bible as there are Sects and Denominations. That is why it is so important for those of us who sincerely want to know the Truth of God (from "the scripture of truth" – Daniel 10:21) to study the Bible according to God's dictates and not according to our own personal preferences.

 

There are only three verses in the entire Holy Bible with the word "study" in them; and there is only one verse [2Timothy 2:15] that actually commands us to study, and then reveals the Biblical method (i.e. “rightly dividing the word of truth”) as to how to go about our studies.

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

{As you probably already know – this verse is changed in such a way as to remove all reference to "study" in almost all of the modern per-versions – "interesting" isn't it?}

 

So how do we go about "rightly dividing the word of truth"?
 

Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Isaiah 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

There it is: The above verses in Isaiah tell us HOW to rightly divide “the word of truth”; which, in the context, can only mean the entire Bible – i.e. the whole truth – the Holy Scriptures. NOT simply by dividing the Old & New Testaments; and NOT only by dividing the Books of the Bible; and NOT by taking individual verses out of context to prove a private interpretation. You will notice that God has set the whole thing up so that if a person is "inclined" (heart motive), they will “fall backward”; “be broken”; and be “snared and taken” if they don't do it right – that is according to God’s words!

 

Remember: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12]

This reveals the main "problem" with almost all of the so-called "Christian" or "Bible" schools, colleges, and seminaries. The word of God is aimed at the "heart" – while the curriculum and course of study in those schools is aimed at the "mind". David did NOT say: "Thy word have I hid in mine mind that I might not sin against thee"! He said "Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee" [Psalms 119:11]. Bible or "Christian" Schools, colleges, and seminaries can teach "knowledge" and maybe some "discernment", but they can not teach genuine spiritual "understanding" or "wisdom" that's the Holy Spirit's job, and He can only do it when we study the Holy Scriptures (on our own), without "outside influence".

 

I am against Hyper or Ultra Dispensationalism (E. W. Bullinger, Cornelius Stam, Charles F. Baker, J. C. O’Hair, etc., etc.) where the Bible is "chopped up into little pieces". All of the Hyper or Ultra Dispensationalist's that I have ever met (or read) emphasized the "intellect" and had very little concern about matters of the heart. However, God is not impressed with our "intellect", or our "education", or our “schooling”. God is looking for “faithful men” [2Timothy 2:2; 1Corinthians 4:2], notwise men”, or “mighty men”, or “noble men” [1Corinthians 1:26], who will worship Him in “Spirit and in Truth” [John 4:23-24]; and who will obey Him according to the truth [Psalms 33:4; Galatians 3:1; 5:7].

 

NOTE: God is a Person and heaven is a place. IF God and heaven are NOT the same – then how can the two kingdoms be the same? A thorough study of the Holy Scriptures demonstrates (over, and over, and over again) that the words “God” and “heaven” are not interchangeable.

 

Genesis 24:3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

 

Genesis 24:7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.

 

2 Chronicles 36:23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.

 

Ezra 1:2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

 

Ezra 5:11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up.
12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.

 

Ezra 7:11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.

12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.

 

Ezra 7:21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,

22 Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.

23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?

 

Psalms 136:26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

 

Daniel 2:18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

 

Daniel 2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

 

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

 

Jonah 1:9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

 

Daniel 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
23 But hast lifted up thyself against
the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

 

Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

 

According to the Bible: “The LORD, {is} the God {& the King} of heaven”. If, in the Scriptures, the words “God” and “heaven” are not interchangeableHow can “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven” be interchangeable?

 

The following are just a few examples (from the Holy Bible) of things that appear to be the same, but which, upon close examination, clearly are not.

 

GOD’S PEOPLE LIKENED UNTO THE LORD – “THE LIGHT”

 

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

 

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

 

The Lord’s Jesus Christ’s disciples were not the same as Christ Himself. And yet the Lord spoke of them as being alike – as if they were the same; but they were not the same. It is obvious that they had some things in common; but it is just as obvious that they clearly were not the same.

 

“A LIGHT”

 

Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

 

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

 

We (Christians) are to “shine as lights in the world”; just like the Lord Jesus Christ was “a light” in “the world” – and yet we are not the same as He.

 

THE WRITTEN WORD IS LIKENED UNTO THE LORD

 

A LIGHT

 

Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.         

 

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

 

The written word of God is “a light unto my path” just as the Lord Jesus Christ is “a light”, so that “whosoever believeth on me (i.e. Jesus Christ) should not abide in darkness”. The written word and Christ are said to be alike in this instance but they certainly are not the same.

 

THE TRUTH IS LIKENED UNTO THE LORD

 

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.         

 

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

 

Psalms 119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.

 

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

 

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ said “I am - the truth”; and He also said “thy word is truth”. Are there contradictions in the Bible? I trow not! While it is true that both the Lord Jesus Christ and His written “word” is “the truth” [John 14:6 & John 17:19], it is obvious that they both can not be the same, although they share some of the same characteristics or attributes.

 

One of the main purposes of the word of God is to instruct us in the DIFFERENCES between things in order that we might be able to clearly DISCERN and DISTINGUISH:

 

·     Between that which is TRUE & that which is FALSE

·     Between that which is GOOD & that which is EVIL

·     Between that which is HOLY & that which is PROFANE

·     Between that which is truly SPIRITUAL & that which is FLESHLY, CARNAL, & WORLDLY

·     Between WHO is a JEW, a GENTILE, & a genuine SON OF GOD (i.e. the CHURCH OF GOD)

·     Between the HEART & the MIND and between the SOUL & the SPIRIT of mankind

 

We are commanded to RIGHTLY DIVIDE the word of truth; we are never told to HARMONIZE it.

 

THE SPOKEN & WRITTEN WORD OF GOD AND THE INCARNATE WORD OF GOD

 

According to the Bible “the word of God” are the words “that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” [Matthew 4:4] – both spoken [Acts 4:31; 13:46; Hebrews 13:7] and written [1John 2:14; 2Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23-25]; while at the same time the Lord Jesus Christ is also called “The Word of God” [Revelation 19:13]. Although they both are described by the same phrase, they obviously are not the same; and to make them the same would be a grievous error.

{I.e. “Neo-Orthodoxy”}  

 

Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

 

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

 

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 

Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

 

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

I do not believe nor do I suggest that the Bible and God are “equal”, but if a person will compare what the word is and what the word does with the Lord God Almighty Himself, the only possible conclusion that any reasonable person could reach is that, just as God and life are INSEPARABLE, GOD and HIS HOLY WORD are INSEPARABLE ALSO!

 

the “bread of heaven” (‘ANGELS’ FOOD’) COMPARED TO THE “BREAD OF GOD”

 

The “bread of heaven” = manna [Psalms 105:40 – Exodus 16:4; Nehemiah 9:15]

 

Psalms 105:40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

 

The “bread of God” = The Lord Jesus Christ (THE LORD OF GLORY)

 

John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

 

Notice: In John 6:28-51 the Lord Jesus Christ made a clear distinction between “the bread of heaven” (i.e. manna) and “the bread of God” (i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ):

 

John 6:48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
[Read all of John 6:28-51]

 

Manna (“the bread of heaven”) came from heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ (“the bread of God”) came from heaven; but that’s where the similarity ends (manna sustained life while the Lord Jesus Christ not only sustains life – He gives life). Manna is “angels food” [i.e. “the corn of heaven” Psalms 78:24-25]; while Jesus Christ is THE LORD OF GLORY [1Corinthians 2:8]! Clearly “the bread of heaven” and “the bread of God” are NOT THE SAME. The one “bread” (“of heaven” – i.e. manna) was something that the Israelites physically ate, and which came from a PLACE (“heaven”); while the other “bread” (the Lord Jesus Christ) is “of God” and although He came from heaven also – He  is a PERSON. WHY would “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God” be the same when “heaven” and “God” are NOT THE SAME? Heaven is a place and God is a person. The words “God” and “heaven” are not interchangeable!

 

The “bread of God” = The Lord Jesus Christ [John 6:33]

 

The “bread of life”” = The Lord Jesus Christ [John 6:35, 48]

 

The “living bread” = The Lord Jesus Christ [John 6:51]

 

Please Notice:the bread of God”, “the bread of life”, & “the living bread” are all the same person (i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ). All life proceeds from God; and without God there is no life. God and life can not be separated, or to put it another way – God and life are INSEPARABLE; while God and heaven are clearly separate entities which can be separated.

 

NOTE: “the kingdom of heaven” was only offered to the nation of Israel (i.e. the Jews). It was never offered to the Gentiles (or the Samaritans).

 

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of
Israel.

 

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

 

NOTE: Please notice the Lord Jesus Christ’s reference to “my kingdom” and its specific relationship to “the twelve tribes of Israel”.

 

Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

NOTE: Please notice WHO is going to “rule” and WHAT “kingdom” (i.e. Israel) is going to be ruled.

 

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 

Matthew 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

NOTE: After having been with the Lord Jesus Christ for the 3 1/2 years of His earthly ministry; and after having personally witnessed His death, burial, and resurrection; please notice that, just before Christ’s “ascension” into heaven, Christ’s disciples were still occupied and concerned with the “kingdom” in relation to the nation of Israel.

 

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

 

At that moment in time, WHAT “kingdom” were they thinking of or referring to if not “the kingdom of heaven”?

 

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

 

Read the so-called "sermon" (actually the “teaching”) on the mount [Matthew Chapters 5, 6, & 7]; the Lord is referring to an earthly, visible, physical, fleshly, kingdom that some one could see, hear, touch, and feel – a "kingdom" in which, it is obvious that, some people (i.e. Jews) were already residing in (here on earth), and other people (the Pharisees) were preventing people (i.e. Jews) from entering into. Is it possible to prevent someone from entering into “the kingdom of God” – IF the kingdom of God is “not of this world”, but rather it “is within you”?

 

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

This is certainly NOT true about “the kingdom of God”!
 

Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

 

How was it possible for the "scribes" and the "Pharisees" to "shut up the kingdom of heaven against men" – IF it is the same as “the Kingdom of God” (which is located in Heaven and “within” each and every child of God, but is not physically here – yet)?

 

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
kingdom of God.

 

Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the
kingdom of God is within you.

 

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

 

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

 

1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

 

I believe that the “kingdom of God” is a spiritual kingdom located in Heaven and also within those of us who are born into it (saved by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ). It was never said that one had to be "born again" to enter into “the kingdom of heaven”.

 

I believe that while the Lord Jesus Christ was present here on earth that there were two kingdoms present at the same time. #1:the kingdom of heaven": which is an earthly, visible, physical kingdom; and #2: “the kingdom of God”: that is not yet of this world, but is “within” those of us who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour.

When John the Baptist first began his ministry to the nation of Israel and later when the Lord Jesus Christ also began His ministry to the nation of Israel they both began by saying:

 

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

Just exactly what kind of a “kingdom” were they talking about? Were they offering a “kingdom” to the nation of Israel like all “the kingdoms of the earth” [Deuteronomy 28:25; Psalms 68:32; Isaiah 10:10; Jeremiah 1:15; Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5; Revelation 11:15]; or the same as “all the kingdoms of the world” [Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5]; or which was a part of “all the kingdoms of the heathen [2 Chronicles 20:6] – i.e. like the “kingdoms” of the Gentile nations which had conquered them and which had ruled over them for hundreds of years [Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:25-26]? Was that possible?

 

The “kingdom” that John the Baptist and the Lord first offered to Israel in Matthew Chapters 3 & 4 was a “kingdom” which was promised only to the nation of Israel and which only the children of Israel were anticipating and expecting [Matthew 21:4-9; Mark 11:7-10; Luke 19:36-40; John 12:12-13]. This being the case, then “the kingdom of heaven” must be the samekingdom” that Almighty God gave to His servant David [1Samuel 28:17; 1Kings 9:5; Isaiah 9:6-7] – which is an exclusive Hebrew (i.e. Jewish) “kingdom” relating only to the nation of Israel and having nothing in common with all “the kingdoms of the earth”; or “all the kingdoms of the heathen; or all the kingdoms of the world”.

 

Matthew 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

 

If Adam (who was given dominionover every living thing that moveth upon the earth” by God – Genesis 1:26-28) lost the right to rule a “kingdom” when he sinned; and if those rights were passed on to Satan by default; then the devil (who is said to be “the god of this world” and all of its "kingdoms" – Matthew 4:8-9) has ruled (by permission – Luke 4:5-6) all the kingdoms of the world” [Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5] from the fall of Adam up to the present day, with the only possible exception being “the kingdom of heaven” over which God’s people (Hebrews, Israelites, Jews) ruled until the fall (sin) of Jehoiakim [Jeremiah 22:18-30; 36:28-31]; upon which (i.e. Jehoiakim’s sin & fall) the rights to the kingdom were forever forfeited to all of his heirs (after the flesh); then it was not until the Lord Jesus Christ (virgin-born) showed up on the scene that a legitimate heir to the “kingdom” was to be found. And again question arises: WHAT “kingdom” did John the Baptist and Christ first present to the nation of Israel?

 

Through His sinless life, and His shed blood, and His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ established His right to rulethe kingdom of heaven”; however, because the people of Israel rejected their rightful King, the Lord has temporarily delayed his reign over “the kingdom of heaven” and He has taken His offer of “the kingdom of God” (to the nation of Israel) and “and given {it} to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof  (i.e. the Gentiles  - Matthew 21:42-43 & Acts 28:23-31).

 

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
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.

 

Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

25 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,
26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
27 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.
28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
31 Preaching the
kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

 

However, when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” [Romans 11:12, 25], and following the resurrection of the saints of God and the translation (i.e. rapture) of the living body of Christ on earth [1Corinthians 15:51-55], the Lord is going to re-establish His relationship with the nation of Israel. And following great Tribulation (“the time of Jacob’s trouble” – Jeremiah 30:7), He is going to return to the earth with His saints to take His rightful place as KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS – “and of his kingdom there shall be no end”.

 

Luke 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  

 

I repeat, this is not a "doctrine" that I base "fellowship" on; but I believe that it is true and that it is the result of "rightly dividing the word of truth."

 

I have acknowledged those verses that seem to indicate that the “kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God” are the same and simply say that the Lord was citing two kingdoms, since he came to establish His right to rule and reign over the one (“the kingdom of heaven”) and brought the other (“the kingdom of God”) with Him. And I acknowledge that there are some verses that appear to make the two “kingdoms” the same; while I reiterate that I have presented verses that demonstrate that they clearly are not the same. The difference being, that while they only appear to be the same in some verses – they clearly can not be the same in the verses I cited in support of my convictions.

Does Satan (i.e. the devil) have “power” over the “kingdoms” of this world [Luke 4:6]? If he does, HOW did he obtain this “power” [Luke 4:6]?

 

Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

 

No where's in the Scriptures does it ever say (or intimate) that Satan only claimed that “the kingdoms of the world” are his. And on the contrary, the Lord never disputed his so-called "claim" to them. Just because Satan is the "father of lies", doesn't mean that everything that he says or claims is a lie. Remember what he said to Eve in the Garden? Was it ALL a lie? As matter of fact the devil even quoted Scripture to the Lord twice at His temptation. [Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:9-11]

 

If, at this time, “the kingdoms of this world” do not belong to the devil (Satan), who do they belong to? They haven’t “become the kingdoms of our Lord” – YET. But they will at His Second Coming!

 

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

The devil is temporarily in charge of the world system. How else can someone explain the world wide and universal disdain and hatred expressed by almost all the world governments (i.e. Communism, Totalitarian Dictatorships, Islamic Regimes, Monarchies, Socialism, Democracies, etc.); and nearly all Schools and Educational Institutions (Private or Government); and almost all of the Mainstream Media for the God of creation; and for His Holy word; and for His people (Jews & Christians)? Is this hatred (or disdain) just coincidental? Not hardly! Read the Book of Daniel – where God gives us a "peek" at how the spirit world works in conjunction with the physical world.

 

1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

How does someone explain the circumstances that have produced a near total "blackout" of the Holy word of God in nearly 4/5's of the world's present population? (I.e. China = 1 Billion+ people; India = 1 Billion+ people; Vietnam and most of the rest of Asia; all Muslim countries = 1 Billion+ people; and whole sections of Africa; plus strong resistance to His word in Russia; most of South America; the Island nations of Indonesia; and some parts of the Philippines.) Not to mention that the Holy Scriptures have been practically banned from the “public” schools; government; and the public square in most of the western world? If Satan is not in control of the world kingdoms – WHO is? WHO could possibly exercise this kind of perverse influence worldwide?

 
And this doesn't take in to account the lack of "faithful" translations of the word of God in those countries mentioned above and the proliferation of "corrupt" Bibles in the U.S.A. Does anyone "think" that all this has just come about "accidentally"? This is why I have posted the essays on Humanism and have encouraged people to check out the Humanist Manifestos I II & III to see for themselves’ how Satan has blinded the minds of people everywhere; and has perversely influenced world governments; and corrupted Christian churches throughout the Western world and in the U.S.A.

 

Isaiah 23:17 And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.

Jeremiah 25:26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

 

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

 

At this moment in time, all “the kingdoms of this world” are not under the direct rule and control of God; however, there will come a time and a day when they will be. Until then Satan is in control of the world system and he is working overtime to destroy everything and everybody that is connected to God Almighty.

 

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

I am looking forward to that wonderful day; and the sooner it comes the better!
 

Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The Rapture In October?—Updated
Date-Setters and Their Dilemmas

  By
Timothy S. Morton



Since we posted this article some of the brethren have taken issue with me for my position. That's not unusual.  However, I did some research on the decree to build Jerusalem dates, the crucifixation dates, and the "prophetic years" claims and came up with a little more information. Most of the updates are in  "The Formula Analyzed" section below.


  
Date-Setters of the Past

Claiming to know the likely date of the rapture is not a new concept. Many believers in the past have conjured up usually complex formulas designed to pin down the day or even hour of the Lord's return for His saints. Obviously, hindsight proves them all to be failures. Probably one of the most notable date setters in the not too distant past was Baptist, William Miller. As Thomas Ice describes,

"Miller…took the 2300 days from Daniel 8:14 when "the holy place will be properly restored" and turned them into years. Miller's starting year was 457 B.C., the time when Nebuchadnezzar profaned the Temple in Jerusalem. When you add them up you arrive at the year 1843 as the time of Christ's second coming. But when that year came and went, like any other year, it was discovered that a year had been left out for the shift from B.C. to A.D., thus 1844 was the true year. However, it too came and went and Miller's scheme became known as the "Great Disappointment."   


Those who followed Miller later formed the "Seventh Day Adventist" denomination.

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Acts 2:38


Satan's Favorite Bible Verse

 

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)

The above verse of scripture is a favorite among many religious groups. One can hear it several times on Sunday morning radio programs, as well as from the pulpits of numerous groups, and it can be found in much religious literature. The verse is a favorite because, on the surface, it seemingly states that one must be baptized in order to be saved, and without baptism one is not saved. So, those who believe that water baptism is essential for salvation make it a regular habit of using Acts 2:38 as scriptural support.

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A Guide To Understanding The Scriptures
Ten Ways to Help Get the Most Out of Your Bible Reading and Study

Timothy E. Sharp
sharpincharlotte@yahoo.com


Note:

From time to time we receive material from others for our consideration. The value of the submissions, in our judgment, varies greatly. However, occasionally we receive a gem, a submission that is true to the Scriptures and sound in doctrine. Below is a prime example.

Like many of us, Timothy Sharp was a typical Fundamental Baptist who generally adhered to the typical Fundamental Baptist mentality concerning dispensations and dividing the Scriptures. That is, spin, twist, or explain away any passage you can’t understand. As those who have read our book “The Difference Is In The Dispensations” realize, the mantra of Fundamentalism concerning salvation and dividing the Scriptures is “People in every dispensation are saved exactly the same as we are today, saved by grace through faith.” Like any Romanist preaching their “official doctrine, ” they continue to preach this mantra at the expense of the truth.

In view of this, where should a Christian’s alleigences lie? With the so-called Fundamentalists and their distortions or with what the Scriptures actually say? This sounds like a moot question, but it is not. Many will adhere to Fundamentalism even when they realize the Scriptures actually say something different than what Fundamentalism teaches. It takes courage to stand up for the truth and maturity to admit and abandon error.

Below is an excellent outline by brother Sharp detailing the method and Scripture he used to finally break away from error. After reading the King James Bible through over 50 times in the last 25 years, Brother Sharp decided he could no longer endure the official Fundamentalist position. He shifted from what he calls a “ Fundamentalist” paradigm” to a “ Bible Believer’ s paradigm, ” placing the Scriptures alone at the pinnacle of authority. Study this outline and learn.

Preface

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THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF OUR FELLOWSHIP

1Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.1John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 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.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

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Balance in the Christian’s Life
(ROOTED- GROUNDED – STABLISHED – SETTLED)

FAITH & LOVE: The Two Essential Ingredients

Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faithgrounded and settled,and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablishedin the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rootedand grounded in love,
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UNITY IN THE CHURCH OF GOD

I do not recommend using “Lexicons” in Bible study at all. In the 51 years I have been a Christian I have never referred to a Lexicon to get the “meaning” of a word in the King James Bible. I also do not go to the “Hebrew” or “Greek”in Strong’s or Young’s Concordances (or anywhere else). The Holy Bible is my FINAL AUTHORITY when it comes to determining the”meaning” of God’s words.I also caution Christians about using English Dictionaries (as their “Final Authority”) in determining the meaning of words (in the Bible) that have any “spiritual significance”, since many of the people involved in the production of a dictionary are unsaved and have little or no spiritual discernment or understanding. I believe that Noah Webster was a saved man, but even Webster’s 1828 Dictionary must be used with caution when it comes to the meaning of words (in the Bible) that have “spiritual significance”, since it is evident that Noah Webster was influenced by his Denominational “point of view”. {As evidenced by his definition of the words “heart”,”mind”, “spirit”, and “soul”,etc.}

When it comes to English words of little or no”spiritual significance”, English Dictionaries (especially Webster’s 1828) can be helpful in understanding the meaning of many words (especially those so-called “archaic” words in the King James Bible), as long as we don’t regard these Dictionaries as”Final Authorities” in regards to the meaning of ALL words. In the case of the English word “UNITY” Webster’s definition comes real close to the Bible definition of the word.

Download (PDF, 17KB)

 

"Touch Not the Lord's Anointed"
Is the Command for Today?

  Reviewed and edited By
Timothy S. Morton


 

During the last few years we have witnessed a disturbing trend in Fundamentalism. A notable number of Fundamentalist pastors, preachers, and evangelists are beginning to talk and act like Pentecostals and Charismatics insisting they are an elite class of Christian and are not to be questioned in regards to doctrine, behavior, or anything else. They often use Psalm 105:15 as their "proof text" to scare the "common" believer into submission, declaring God may "strike them down" if they dare question "His anointed ministers" beliefs, methods, or behavior. 

 

Some preachers who may have reservations publicly claiming this exalted position for themselves will, nevertheless, allow other preachers to come in and threaten his congregation with the Lord's "chastisement" if they even think about questioning their pastor in any matter. These bloated egomaniacs are so caught up in themselves that truth can find little resting place in them. They use sophistry and half-truths to intimidate believers by saying things like, "God sent this man here as your pastor and he is only accountable to God, not to you. If you dare question him or his authority over you in any manner, you are trespassing on God's will and you will suffer for it," "This man has been anointed by God to rule over you and any rebellion or murmuring against him, no matter what he has done, is rebellion against God," etc. etc. With these words and similar these misguided, proud egomaniacs show their true nature.

After having heard some Fundamentalist preachers talk like the above and after being questioned by others who have heard much the same as to the Scriptural validity of their claims, we thought this subject would make a good "Taboo Topic." While doing a little research on the Internet we ran across several web pages that addressed the subject, but we found one page that "hit the nail on the head," dealing with the matter from a sound biblical perspective. There is little we could add to this article for the purpose of this "Taboo Topic" so we just reproduced it below only removing a few less relevant paragraphs. 

The words emphasized with bold were added by myself and not the author. 

 

Timothy S. Morton

 


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More Than Forgiven!

A Study Of

The Eight Major Doctrines Which Define New Testament Salvation

By

Timothy S. Morton


NOTE: This reference is also available in a printed version under the same title. Several churches and individuals have used it to help teach the basic fundamentals of salvation to new Christians. It covers alot of material in a few pages with over 350 Bible references. It is available from Morton Publications, 2101 Morton Road, Sutton, WV 26601 for $2.00 each postage paid. For more information email the author, Timothy S. Morton.


Introduction

The following is a set of eight outlines intended to help a born again Christian better understand his salvation. Many Christians neglect to study the doctrines that define New Testament salvation and miss the rich blessings that understanding them brings. Salvation has many different aspects; no single term or principle can adequately define it. To show believers the extent of what they have in Christ, the Holy Spirit put no less than eight separate doctrines in the Bible to explain New Testament salvation. Each one describes it from a slightly different perspective. A good understanding of these doctrines is essential for a Christian to become mature in the faith and truly appreciate what God has done for him. Every Christian should be fully acquainted with the terms justification, sanctification, regeneration, etc., yet many have only a shallow knowledge of these doctrines if any knowledge of them at all. However, if the believer will study the scriptures as the Lord commands him to (2Tim. 2:15), the Holy Spirit will reveal these truths to him (John 14:26). He will then have a greater confidence in the permanence of his salvation and also be better equipped to serve his Savior.

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2 Timothy 2:15 – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

THE BIBLE:

Inspired by God

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

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

God’s Words – Spoken & Written by Men of God

2Peter 1:21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Numbers 23:12 And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth?

2Samuel 23:2The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

2Chronicles 18:13 And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.

Deuteronomy 31:9And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.

Deuteronomy 31:24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,

25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,

26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

Acts 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

Romans 3:1What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

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Is the Concept of Hell Old-Fashioned?

Timothy S. Morton


The Simplicity of Hell

Hell is one of those wonderful English words that essentially needs no introduction. It has a classic and simple definition that is readily known by basically all who have ever spoken the language. Noah Webster placed its long standing definition in his dictionary in 1828, and this description is just as valid today:

The place or state of punishment for the wicked after death

The definition is clear, Hell is for the wicked! Oh, I'm sorry (not really), I forgot there is no such thing as a person being wicked. Our modern, progressive society has determined that wickedness and evil are antiquated concepts that have no place in contemporary thought. All mankind are brothers, oh, pardon me, brothers and sisters, they share a spark of divinity from their Creator (if you believe in creation, that is), and are basically moral and good. Any behavior that is not deemed "good" or acceptable is not the result of any resident evil or wickedness but only because of misguided behavior of certain individuals. Baloney, tripe, and hogwash. No bigger lie was ever spoken, yet this is the doctrine of the "elite" and "enlightened" of the world and many so-called theologians. However, the "common man" has not been so beguiled. Ask any average "Joe" what Hell means and he will tell you. It is a burning place for the sinner or wicked after death. They know it is a place and not merely a "state of mind" because many of them tell their enemies or adversaries to go there quite often. As usual, the common man has more sense than the "knowledgeable." A remnant of nearly 400 years of preaching the truth of Hell from the King James Bible. It is quite obvious that the preaching of Hell has gone out of fashion. One rarely hears a message on Hell even in Fundamentalist churches, let alone New Evangelical, Charismatic, and "mainline" churches. Trying to find a message on Hell by one of the "television ministries" on "Christian Television" would be like seeking a gold nugget in your bathtub. It simply is not there. How could these modern ministries preach about such a negative subject anyway? It would hurt their donations and support. You are more likely to find a buried treasure chest in your backyard than you are to hear Joel Olstein, Robert Shuller, et al., even mention Hell except in mockery. The more conservative ministers like Jerry Falwell and Charles Stanley only mention it in passing. It is not a topic they want to dwell on, even if they believe it. But not so with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Copyright © Charles Shong

All Rights Reserved

All quotations are from the Authorized (King James) Version.

But wisdom is justified of all her children.

(Luke 7:35)

This is a short study on the motives, methods and madness of Pharisees. This is also just a generalisation of the behaviour of Pharisees when their faith and practice are found wanting in the light of Scriptures. In this discussion, the seven deadly Pharisees will be presented. Pharisees major in self-justification. The practice of self-justification is insidious and some Christians are not even aware of its presence. It is not just a bad habit acquired unknowingly. It is the condition of one’s heart when sins are exposed in the light of Scriptures and the refusal to repent of these sins. There are Pharisees who have been so conditioned in their years of engaging in practicing the fine art of self-justification that they are unable to recognize the detrimental effects on their walk with Christ. This exposé is done in hopes of sincere Christians learning to avoid the pitfalls of the Pharisees, especially in the modern day context of living out a victorious Christian life full of joy and faithful service for the blessed Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ.


For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say,

Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.

But wisdom is justified of her children.

(Matthew 11:18&19)

There is a generation of people who are hell-bent in self-justification. Such practice of self-justification has developed into a fine art and a way of life. This self-taught and self-developed art just come naturally to some people whose heart are not right with God. They hold the words of the living God in contempt in the application of Scriptures in their lives. These people are not the people of the world. They are the people who are supposed to be followers of the way, a people chosen by God. They are people who are given the oracles of God and with such a wonderful privilege, they are supposed to know the mind of God and do the will of God. So there is this unquenchable desire to justify their behaviour and practice of their faith supposedly derived from the Scriptures they claim they hold in their hands to be the perfect, inspired and inerrant words of the living God.

Self-justification concerns the response to messages preached by the preacher and the preacher’s manner of life. Sermons and godly manner of life pose a serious challenge to their authority. Here it concerns the Pharisees who rejected the work and the preaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were self-righteous as they were the custodians of the Law. But they knew not the Law and they went about to condemn the Author of the Law when He showed up to expound about the finer points and practice as well as administration of the Law.

In the Christian church, such Pharisees are still found in our midst. Though not clothed with outward adorning of religious garb of the Pharisees in time past, their modus operandi remains unchanged. They did not die out some two thousand years ago. They survive and evolve to take up the practice of self-justification in the context of their way of life in relation to the preaching they receive from preachers of righteousness. They are like hawks always eager to pound on the preacher and his sermons. They are there to prove a point that they are right with God. They assume they are the ground and pillar of truth in the church of the living God. When the sermons cross their practice of the faith, they will go into self-justification mode almost immediately like the Pharisees of old.

They, of course, will defend their actions as defending the faith and ensuring that Christian liberty for the brethren are protected from false teachings. They are outwardly pious and they spare no effort to put up a front of godliness to undermine the work of preachers of righteousness. They are professionals in the art of self-justification. Sometime, their operation is carried out with such finesses that the simple minded are taken in by their pretentious piety. But they may turn confrontational when they fail in their attempt to prove they are right with God. The Pharisees in the past went as far as to accuse the Lord as the prince of devils: But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. (Matthew 9:34) So preachers of righteousness seeking to turn people from evil should expect no better treatment: It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? (Matthew 10:25) Pharisees will always try to have the last say whether done with fair speeches coated with honey dripping from their self-righteous mouth or with arrows of deceit designed to strike the messengers of God with utmost hatred.

These modern day Pharisees are pretentious people like their predecessors of old. They pretend to be non-judgmental but they practice judging unrighteous judgment when their pet sins are exposed. When the preacher preaches against the sin and folly of drinking alcoholic beverages, such Pharisees who do not share the same conviction will go into self-justification mode. They feel a need to explain themselves and justify their disagreement with the preacher. Social duty requires them to keep cartoons of beer and bottles of wine at home. In case unsaved friends and relatives visit them, they have to show them hospitality. They contend that if they are not friendly towards the lost like the Lord, how can these lost people get saved? After all the Christian faith is not about drinking or not drinking alcoholic beverages. Was not the Lord being accused as a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners? Let’s live and let others live.

Such act of self-defence is a desperate attempt to justify social drinking at any cost. Was there a moment the Lord ever got drunk or lack of sobriety? The lost people in this world happen to be a convenient alibi to support their drinking habit or addiction or lack of sobriety. Such arguments could be used to stock up any drugs or substances in case some die-hard partygoers visit them as these people have a penchant to consume ecstasy pills or smoke pot or even just to light up a cigarette. In fact, there is no commandment in the Bible where a Christian is told not to smoke or take drugs either! So the pretentious Pharisees go about justifying themselves and their practice of indulgence. Drinking problem is just one such issue that ruffles their feathers. It upsets them because their practice is not inline with brethren who are sober. So they like to pretend they are all things unto all men and by all means they might save some.

The Lord Jesus Christ indeed spent a lot of time with publicans and sinners and yet not tainted with their sinful ways. Not an ounce of His holiness was lost during His mingling with sinners in this world. The Pharisees do not understand how to interact with the world of sinners and yet not having to compromise their faith in Christ and partake in the ungodliness of sinners in order to try to win them to Christ. Pharisees always regard preaching against ungodliness as intruding into their private space. Teaching others to pray to God to grant them a non-judgmental spirit is one way to deflect such perceived criticism of their ungodly lifestyles. So they take the posture of “Judge not and ye shall not be judged” stance and hope to convince others to mind their own business. The constant need to justify themselves whenever the practice of their faith is questioned is an unmistakable hallmark of Pharisees.  And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15) So wisdom is justified of all her children.

The modern day Pharisees are also very self-conscious of their image. They wear different masks when dealing with different people. When they are socializing with the unsaved people in the world, they act, talk and behave just like anyone of them. They share their mannerism and sometimes even their filthy jokes. When they are fellowshipping with Christians, they adopt a very different approach and temperament and they blend in with Christians like a chameleon. They are very sensitive on how people view them. So when the preacher preaches against worldliness, they have to justify themselves.

When Christians found them having a mahjong table at home, they feel a need to explain that the table is meant for the children to do their schoolwork at home. Mahjong tables are usually foldable and very convenient to store away when not in use. Indeed, it could be true that the mahjong table could be used for the children to do their homework. But why is the need to explain when these Pharisees do not feel that some Christians think it is wrong for Christians to play mahjong? If mahjong is not associated with gambling, why the need to be defensive about a mahjong table? In fact, the children could do their homework on a dinning table, kitchen table, computer table and even just a normal table whether foldable or not. Why the need to explain the presence of a mahjong table in their homes? Actually, these Pharisees are playing mahjong with family and friends during weekends. But they are very worried how Christians will view them. They want respect and they fear ridicule more than death.

This exposes the Pharisees to be double-minded men who are unstable in all their ways. They want to please both the world and Christians at the same time. So these Pharisees consciously go about trying to please both the unsaved who love to play mahjong and Christians who frown upon such activities. They want the best of both worlds and they end up neither here nor there. There are many areas where Pharisees have to hide their questionable practices from Christians. That is why Pharisees are very concerned whenever Christians are visiting them in their homes. Some things have to be kept away and some arrangements are in order so that a clean and wholesome Christian image of the home is presented to visiting Christians. Such are the ways of the image conscious Pharisees having to adopt different postures dealing with different people all the time. Pharisees do not understand preaching against worldliness is meant for Christians and not for the lost world. Worldliness is not an issue to the people in this lost world for they are still dead in trespasses and sin. No wonder Pharisees are miserable people.  He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (Matthew 12:30) Wisdom is of course justified of all her children.

As keepers and defenders of the faith, these modern day Pharisees are also very keen to show that they have works to justify their faith. They want to project an image of godliness before Christians that they are also faithful servants of Christ. They want to be respected and to be seen as doers of the word and not just hearers only. When the preacher encourages Christians to witness by putting out three gospel tracts a day, these Pharisees jump into the conclusion that the preacher is preaching against them for not witnessing and lack of service for Christ. How the conscience accuses! They will whine and complain to other Christians instead of approaching the preacher to clarify his constant admonition of suggesting to give out gospel tracts everyday. They would even go to the extent to deliberately putting out gospel tracts in front of other Christians to prove that they have performed their Christian duty as suggested by the preacher.

If they are really doing the Lord’s work and having compassion for lost souls, any sincere and honest Christians would not take offence when the preacher exhorts them to pass out gospel tracts. Such are the ways of Pharisees ever eager to prove their superiority over others to undermine the work of the preacher who encourages Christians to serve the Lord in simple ways.

Nevertheless, Christians who have a good and honest heart sincerely serving the Lord faithfully would rejoice even when these Pharisees serve the Lord for strives and vainglory. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. (Philippians 1:15-18)

These Pharisees do not understand the true joy from sincere Christians when the gospel of Christ is preached. Thus, they continue to preach the gospel without reward and without joy. Pharisees are self-promoting by nature. They will spare no effort putting themselves in the forefront of spiritual warfare but they have little works to show they are true soldiers of the Lord. Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. (Luke 11:43) Surely wisdom is justified of all her children.

Modern day Pharisees are no different from those of old. One main character trait of such Pharisees is that they are covetous people. When the preacher preaches against ungodly living and exhorts Christians to spend more time reading and studying the Holy Bible as well as to look forward to the second coming of Christ, they feel a need to justify themselves. They caution that Christ may not come during their lifetime but Christians may go instead. They claim that spending too much time studying the Bible is not practical and will not work in this modern world. You cannot make a living by reading the Bible. Reading the Bible does not mean God will provide for you. If you just stay at home reading the Bible, nothing will happen and poverty will await you. They claim that they had tried reading the Bible at the beach and nothing happen to them and the Lord did not provide for them that way. What the preacher preached did not work for them. So their experience is the final authority. While all these arguments are true and sound good to the fallen mind, the Pharisees cannot prove that not spending time reading and studying the Bible will ensure that their livelihood will be taken care of. There are billions of people in this world who are not Christians and do not read and study the Bible and yet many of them could not even have three square meals a day.

It is also true that living out the Christian faith in faithfulness will bring poverty and trouble including persecution for Christians where many Christians suffer for their faith in Christ since the beginning of the Church Age. But such blatant truths as taught in the Bible are conveniently ignored by the modern day Pharisees. They are professionals in self-preservation. The reason why they have to justify themselves when a preacher exhorts Christians to be more faithful in their walk with the Lord is because they are unfaithful and covetous. They feel the preacher needs to be balance in his preaching. They insist that when the preacher preaches about faithfulness to the Lord, he must also preach about not neglecting his duty in making a living otherwise Christians would neglect their social duty. Is it not just plain common sense that the Bible also teaches Christians to labour and work with their own hands and not to be busy bodies? They jump into the wrong conclusion that Christians will just stay at home to read and study the Bible and not work at all. Why the Pharisees always have a warped mind in understanding a sermon exhorting Christians to draw near to Christ is too amazing for words. Instead of rejoicing because there is a faithful preacher who encourages Christians to follow the Lord, the Pharisees become critical of his approach and find fault all the time. They do not understand that the preacher would be a happy man if he could encourage even just one child of God to live for Christ and faithfully serving the Lord while the rebellious Pharisees live in a dry and thirsty land of fruitlessness. Of course this is nothing new. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. (Luke 16:14) Indeed wisdom is justified of all her children.

Modern day Pharisees are also strict adherents of orthodoxy. They insist in church worship be carried out strictly in a certain way according to their own understanding. There call this worshipping God in Spirit and in truth but sometimes it is actually furthest from the truth. One such area is singing in the church. Singing must be just vocal expressions and no musical instruments are allowed. They claim that no Christian in the New Testament uses any musical instruments. They sang only hymns and psalms and spiritual songs. So the singing in churches must strictly conform to New Testament practice and an iota of deviation is anathema. But who defines what is a hymn as sung in the New Testament? Are the hymns we are singing today coming directly from the first century? Are the psalms we are singing also arranged to be sung the same way back during the time of the apostles or even during the time of king David? What about spiritual songs? What are spiritual songs? None can define to anyone’s satisfaction all the three categories as admonished to be sung in the New Testament. And yet, such orthodoxy must be followed strictly in church services.

However, privately, it is acceptable when their children learn to play the piano and play the songs in this world that do not fall under the three categories of music in the New Testament. These Pharisees have no qualms buying musical CDs performed by worldly musicians and join in whole-heartedly singing in karaoke lounges singing their hearts out on their woes and unrequited loves with sinners in this world. Singing during church services however must be just vocal expressions singing old hymns and from the Psalter. Such unnatural Christians are a pity having to change masks from time to time.

Actually, the issue is not what a Christian can or cannot sing. It is what a Christian will or will not sing. To the Lord he stands or falls for what he sings or does not sing. Since when the American National Anthem is the only acceptable non-Christian song that a Christian can sing? Then where does this leave non-American Christians? Christian music is just one such area of contention. The Pharisees cannot understand what is true Christian liberty. They hold to a “holier than thou” attitude in comparison with other Christians on things that they cannot rightly define as right and true. The Pharisees of old held orthodoxy in supreme place but in practice, their works were evil and they went about plotting the murder of the Lord of glory. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6) Wisdom no doubt is justified of all her children.

While modern day Pharisees can be easily identified by their over zealousness on outward conformity to traditions and practices, some Pharisees will go to the other extreme of non-conformity. This may sound paradoxical. It must, however, be remembered that a Pharisee is a rebel at heart. While some Pharisees take pride in their dress code, there are other Pharisees who will rebel when a preacher preaches on simplicity and modesty on dress code. The Pharisees will rebel and dress in a way to ensure they are different from the crowd who dress in simplicity and modesty. They want to be different. They preach by their actions that they dare to be different by either being sloppy or outlandish in the way they dress. Wearing just a slipper or a sandal to church worship is acceptable while the music must be vocal expression from old hymns and psalms. They will not dress the same way when they go to work or attend a business meeting though.

This behaviour exposes their attitude towards the spiritual things of God and their testimony before other Christians. They wear a motto in their heart that no man can tell them what to do. This is to be expected as Pharisees are very self-centered people. Their primary preoccupation is power and prestige, which is a manifestation of pride. The Pharisees in the past tried to use Scriptures as well as traditions of the elders to justify themselves before the Lord but they failed miserably. Modern day Pharisees are no different. Scriptures or no Scriptures and they mean nothing to them. Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. (Matthew 23:1-4)

Their ultimate objective is respect from others as well as to remain in control in their own self-made ivory tower of authority based on their own human understanding. They are control freaks in their own rights. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. (John 11:48) They indulge in church politics and they seek to control the minds of Christians to bring them into bondage. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2 Peter 2:17-19) Such professional church politicians bring untold harm to the Body of Christ. Their lust for power causes division in the church and stumbles Christians who are grieved with their pernicious ways. There is no way to please Pharisees unless one is willing to submit to their authority and be subject to their every whim and fancy. These are extremely unappeasable people. Surely wisdom is justified of all her children!

Pharisees have a predisposed disadvantage in that they cannot rightly divide the word of truth. Yet they claim to be the authority on spiritual matters. They are not teachable because they are just too proud to reveal their own inapt ability in understanding the Scriptures. They view inability to understand Scriptures to be a weakness and so they have to pretend they know it all. They try to fake it until they make it and hence they fail in practical application of Scriptures. Those who follow them suffer the same fate like we are told that the blind lead the blind into the ditch.

The Pharisees cannot understand the difference between a doctrinal and a spiritual or a devotional application of the Scriptures. They do not know when and how Scriptures can be applied to them in the New Testament Church Age. They cannot understand prophecies either and they make a mess of the Scriptures contradicting Scriptures without end. Their pathetic effort to pretend to know what they are doing just make matters worse. They do not allow personal testimony and testimonies of others in preaching because they have none. They insist on preaching Christ and Christ crucified and illustrations must be taken from the Bible alone. They reduce the Bible to a historical book and application of Scriptures has no practical relevance at all in the modern day context. They just want their fallen minds to be tickled and preaching of the cross simply becomes an academic exercise. This allows them to live the life they want and they fidget in discomfort whenever the preacher preaches the Bible in the modern day context dealing with their immoral and ungodly lifestyles. How they want to justify themselves in their practices and their lifestyles!

Of course they claim Sola Scriptura but they mean nothing to that effect. The only way they understand how to apply Scriptures is how and when Scriptures have an impact on their lives. They do not believe in the authority of the Scriptures though they claim the Holy Bible is their final authority in all matters of faith and practice. They interpret Scriptures through the lens of the world and their own fallen human understanding. They use Scriptures to justify their lifestyles and reject Scriptures that will cause them loss or disadvantage or inconvenience when dealing with Christians or the world at large. Their motto is self-preservation and self-gratification. And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? (Mark 12:24)

They do not believe in repentance. Majority of the Pharisees in the past did not repent on the preaching of John the Baptist as well as the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of the modern day Pharisees are beyond repentance. Interestingly, some of them are still waiting for true repentance from heaven and they are praying to God to grant them true repentance, whatever “true repentance” is supposed to mean. Perhaps only a Pharisee could define what is true and false repentance. Did God initially grant them false repentance and they are now begging God to grant them true repentance? Pharisees always make a mess of theological terms: Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. (1 Timothy 1:7)

High-mindedness is their weakest link and ignorance their fruit. They practise the fine art of self-justification and some have reached divinity level. Practical repentance is not in their vocabulary anymore. Repentance exists only in prayers and such prayers are said to deceive the simple that they still have such a desire for repentance. Pretentious piety seeking to cover up unwillingness to repent has reached the pinnacle of insanity. These Pharisees think Christians cannot see through their scheming in the fine art of self-justification. Wisdom is truly justified of all her children.

It is true that any Christian can be found to be afflicted with the Pharisaical Syndrome. However, a Pharisee in the New Testament is someone of authority on spiritual matters. While any Christian can become a Pharisee in his manner of life, it is more common that deacons and elders are more at risk in contracting this evil disease of the Pharisees. Pharisees have an inbuilt spiritual circuitry to verify information coming from the preacher and the Holy Bible. They compare sermons with their preset values based on their own fallen mind. When any information falls out of range from their preprogrammed settings, a response will be generated in self-justification of their preferred course of life. The Holy Bible is never the final authority when Scriptures interfere with their preset lifestyles. Scriptures are only used when they justify their manner of life. In a way, they are already short-circuited from spiritual truths. They are no longer sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

The Pharisees of old thought that Judaism rose or fell on them and they were the keepers of the faith. Modern day Pharisees likewise play their role as the devil’s advocate. They are there to check the preacher because the rise and fall of the church rest on them. They believe they are truly the ground and pillar of truth in the church. They simply think too highly on themselves. So more often than not, such modern day Pharisees are found in church office holders. They do not become extinct in the beginning of the New Testament Canon. They survive and they adapt. Moreover, they know the rules of the game and they play the game well. They are like chameleons ever adaptable to their surroundings and circumstances and their chief weapon is to sow discord especially by gossiping. They play the role of Absalom in stealing the hearts of the people by pretending to be interested in their welfare and champion their well-being. They like to rule from behind the scene. They ride upon usurped authority and they want to reign over the people of God. Their chief end is to lord over the people and desire their respect and worship like Satan of old.

There are many people sitting under the preaching of a godly man. But the outcomes for individuals are different. Those who have a good and honest heart sincerely seeking after the Lord bear fruits and become joyful Christian living for the glory of Christ. The Pharisees on the other hand become fruitless and bitter. They still play the role of a preacher checker pretending to be the goalkeeper of spiritual truths. They think they are spiritual auditors able to verify the motives of preachers and their preaching of the cross. They may pretend to be Bereans of old searching the Scriptures daily to see whether those things were so but by their fruits we shall know them. Their manner of life bears testimony to their fruitless search in trying to be custodians of the truths. Their testimony betrays their profession of faith. They do not wish to be transformed by the renewing of their mind through the Scriptures to be conformed to the image of Christ. They live their self-life and live in a self-delusional state of their own grandeur of knowing it all. Nobody could teach them anything. They fear to be exposed for what they truly are and they cover up their inability to teach and to handle the word of righteousness with skill like a seasoned soldier of the Lord. They practice the fine art of self-justification to perfection. What they lack in spiritual discernment they cover up with worldly wisdom, which is earthly, sensual and devilish. They live a life of self-deception to the very end. Wisdom indeed is justified of all her children. Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. (Proverb 13:15)

Is there no hope for Pharisees? The apostle Paul was a Pharisee and yet he became the greatest missionary the world ever knew. So there is still hope for Pharisees if only they will repent and submit to the authority of the Scriptures. Do you recognize Pharisees in your midst? Pray much for them. Repent if you are a Pharisee. Do not live a wasted and joyless life of fruitlessness and in the end turn out to be a fool. The practice of self-justification is both delusional and dangerous. There is no spiritual light at the end of this self-made tunnel, which turns out to be a bottomless pit. Avoid the practice of self-justification at all cost. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12) Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17) Be justified in Christ instead. Do not live a fruitless bitter life of a Pharisee.

If you have been blessed with the reading of this book and you wish to contact the author, you may write to him at charles@kjv-asia.com.

The Value of the Human Soul
Just How Much are You Worth?

By Timothy S. Morton


Everything has a Value?

A materialistic society tries to place a value on everything. It claims, “Everything has its price.” Those of the world are constantly assessing the value of their stocks, bonds, bank CDs, 401k, insurance policies, pension plans, welfare checks, food stamps, minimum wage, etc., etc. In this present Laodician age this value fixation has also dominated the thinking of some who claim to be Christians. They feel they must place some kind of material value on the human life or human soul.

Some of the most popular catch phrases of the modern age are “I am worth it, ” “You are worth it, ” “Am I not worth it” or similiar varations. Such vanities are used by vain people in an attempt to get something, sell something, or just “feel good about myself.” They see themselves as being of great value. How foreign such self-exaltation is to the spirit of the Scriptures. What does the Bible say concerning these things? What value does it actually place on the individual human soul?

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