THE SABBATH = SPIRITUAL REST

THE SABBATH = SPIRITUAL REST

 Hello all,

 Just as we discuss the nature of the true Israelites and we conclude that it is all about the Spirit of a person; so too we need to take a look at the Sabbath in the same regard.  We see a true Israelite is not one in flesh but in Spirit.  It matters not the color of the flesh when it comes to being born again, for when born again from above we become an Israelite at heart and in the Holy Spirit. 

This same concept applies to the Sabbath…it was once the physical keeping of one day a week to worship God.  That was before Christ came and changed everything.  During His ministry the Law was still in effect and He came to fulfill the law.  Yet, after His death and resurrection, He became our Sabbath rest via the Holy Spirit. The Sabbath rest, just like who Israel truly is, became a Spiritual thing, a Spiritual rest, one we partake of every day. 

Those who keep this Sabbath rest in Jesus every day are the true Sabbath keepers of the New Covenant. 

We must come out of our carnal understanding of Spiritual matters.  In that regard, I think the following excerpts from this article and study shows how this is so, and how important it is for us to understand that giving up our own will to the will of our Savior and His Spirit, is the true meaning of keeping the Sabbath. 

################################ 

The Connection Between Rest & The Spirit

http://www.word-spirit.org/ShouldWeKeepTheSabbath.htm  

By Frank Hilton  

(small part of entire article) 

“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Isa 28:10-12) 

This is very important because this is a direct link between a prophecy of the Old Testament and the foretelling of the “stammering lips and another tongue” (speaking in tongues) in the New Testament. But, notice what the “tongues” are directly related to; A REST FOR THE WEARY! This is also a direct link between what Jesus said about rest (peace) and the Comforter as mentioned above. 

What About The Book Of Acts? 

The New Testament dispensation didn’t actually begin until after Jesus’s death, his ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost (birth of the church). So, the time of the law was replaced (fulfilled) by the church age on the day of Pentecost. 

When you read the book of Acts, you read about the Apostles preaching in the synagogues of the Jews. And since salvation was offered to the Jews first, they went to the synagogue on the sabbath days to preach. It wasn’t until chapter 10, that the Gentiles got the Holy Ghost. And as the Gentile church grew and the Jews started realizing that they are saved by grace and not by the works of the law, confusion and trouble began within the church.  

Peter was rebuked by Paul because he lived as a Gentile, but compelled the Gentiles to live like a Jew and follow some of the Law (Gal 2:11-16). Certain Jews from Judea started telling the Gentiles that except they be circumcised after the manner of Moses, they cannot be saved (Act 15:1). So, whichever Jews, who kept the sabbath, tried to teach the Gentiles to be circumcised and or keep the sabbath, it was out of ignorance. 

The Apostles had a meeting about this issue, and they, with direction from the Holy Ghost sent letters to the Gentiles telling them that they didn’t have to keep the law, except they had to abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: (Act 15:27-29). 

Now think back… Circumcision was instituted by God way back in Abraham’s time, even before the Law of Moses. Yet, in the New Testament, circumcision is not necessary to be saved. So, since the circumcision was replaced by water baptism, that law was fulfilled in Baptism.  

The lesson we should see from Acts 15 is that certain Jews tried to make Gentiles observe some things of the Law in the flesh, but the Holy Ghost only forbidded them things that was directly linked to sin. And the sabbath was not one of those things. So, now we will see how the sabbath was fulfilled. 

Entering Into Rest By Ceasing From Our Works 

In Hebrews 2:1-11 is some teaching on the rest that the people of the Old Testament failed to enter because of unbelief. The context of the chapter is not directly about the sabbath, but a rest that believers get through the finished work of Calvary and the promises made to the New Testament believers. 

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Heb 4:2-11)

 Earlier, we defined that rest means to cease as God did when he finished creation. There is a direct connection between the prophecy of Isaiah’s rest (28:11-12), teachings of Jesus concerning salvation and rest (peace) and this scripture above. The key to the entire chapter is how a person finds this rest by “CEASING” from their own works as God did from His. Therefore, since the scriptures always speaks of the seventh day sabbath as a ceasing and rest, the New Testament “sabbath” is fulfilled when we enter into our rest through faith in Jesus Christ and the new birth plan of salvation. So, it is clear that entering a “rest” is directly linked to our salvation and how we are to “CEASE” from our own works as God did when He ceased from His when He created the earth in 7 days!! 

The Shadows Have Come 

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (Col 2:16-22) 

If there was one scripture that could imply that we are not obligated to observe the actual Sabbath day, it is the one above. However, you have to interpret it correctly because if you read it to fast you will miss why Paul is writing this. 

The statement “Let no man therefore judge you in meat… or of the Sabbath days”, on the outside, looks like Paul is saying we should observe the Sabbath day. However, look at the context of all those verses. He says, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” He is warning believers to not let outsiders (or false Christians) draw them away from the faith and the worship of God. He accuses the deceivers of not seeing the truth and judging them because they don’t keep the Sabbath. 

He then asks us a question. If we are dead with Christ (saved), then why are we subject (observing) things of men; Touch not; taste not; handle not; after the commandments of men? Paul is telling us; don’t let outsiders judge you because you are not keeping the law like they think you should. When we try to keep the letter of the law, without the Spirit of the law, we then are not justified by Christ. 

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

An important point in this entire study is found within these words at the beginning of (Col 2:16-22 – above)… “Which are a shadow of things to come;” The Sabbath is referred to as shadow. Which means it is an example or allegory that ushers in the real thing. 

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (Heb 10:1) 

Since the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, it is also applicable that most of the Old Testament rituals and ordinances was just a shadow of things to come. What that means is a lot of the physical things done in the Old Testament is fulfilled spiritually and done only through Jesus Christ. Because, we are not saved, or justified by the law, keeping the letter of the law will do us no good. And since the verse specifically mentions the “Sabbath day” as being one of those shadows, we can safely say that the physical Sabbath day has been replaced with the spiritual rest we have through Jesus. 

The First Day of the Week 

The only reference of the church having a service on the first day of the week is found in 1 Cor 16:2. This is the only passage that actually states Sunday as being the day of worship. If you were to look back at some history, you will read that Sunday was the day they worshipped on as well. And since a Jewish Sabbath was on Saturday, and if the church did hold services on Sunday, then we can conclude that they didn’t observe the actual Sabbath day on Saturday. 

Now, do we doctrinally consider Sunday as a Sabbath day. No! (even though we do set this day aside). Since the Holy Ghost is our “Sabbath” rest, it doesn’t matter what day we have church. Even if we wanted to have it on Saturday, it doesn’t matter to God because he is only interested in our “spiritual sabbath” (rest) between us and Him. All he cares about is if we are living in sin or not, no matter what day it is! 

Points To Ponder 

• If God wanted the sabbath to continue as a literal day, then why didn’t Jesus teach it? 

•Why didn’t the Apostles put that in their letter to the Gentiles in Acts 15? 

•Why hasn’t people died because they refuse to obey the sabbath like they died in the Old Testament? 

•If Christians are not keeping the physical Sabbath day, then why do people get the Holy Ghost on Sunday or any other day? 

•The keeping of an actual Sabbath day was enforced in the Old Testament only because it was under the Old Testament covenant with Israel. 

•Nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded to keep an actual Sabbath day. 

•A person can decide to honor a day above another if that is their conviction (Romans 14). But, it is not a command or a law that we have to keep the Sabbath to be saved, for salvation is in Jesus. 

•Back then, God was more interested in what people did on the Sabbath, than the actual Sabbath day. Just like today, He is more interested in the sin we commit than if we keep a Sabbath day. Because, if you are sinning on a “Sabbath day”, then the Sabbath day doesn’t matter, it’s the sin that will cause you to be lost.

The last point is… 

 DO WE KEEP THE SABBATH? … YES!!! … 

 IT’S A SPIRITAUL SABBATH OF REST WHEN WE ARE SAVED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST! 

 ####################################### 

In the following Scripture we see what happens to those who are not saved by Jesus Christ: 

Rev 14:11

“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they HAVE NO REST day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” 

“they have no rest”….. 

Salvation and Sabbath rest go hand in hand…there cannot be one without the other, and neither without being born again from above, and resting in Jesus and His Holy Spirit. 

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!! 

Patti C.

 

 

 

Advertisements

THE SEVEN CHURCHES AND THE SEVEN SEALS

THE SEVEN CHURCHES AND THE SEVEN SEALS

 Hello all, 

Continuing my look into the 7 Seals I am running across some very interesting commentaries on the relationship between the Churches and the Seals.  I firmly believe the Seals are for the Church Age, where Judgment begins with the House of God.  Most see the White Horse of the first seal as the Antichrist…to me this is not possible, and I have covered the reasons why in great detail in my post about this subject. Yet there is one more reason that stands out as important that I want to mention here.  

The First Horse cannot be the Antichrist!  As the Bible plainly tells us, he comes out of the Bottomless pit!  The Bible never tells us that Antichrist will come out of Heaven.  

The antichrist spirit raises out of the Sea…millions upon millions of people…a consensus of spirit and the witchcraft religion. 

The “church” that John sees in the small book…that book which tasted sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach,  That “church” that started out with so much promise so full of the Holy Spirit and in the end is dead. 

The following article shows the first horse as the Pure Church who had received the Holy Spirit and preached the Gospel with power.  I still believe the first Horseman is the Holy Spirit, but this commentary is saying close to the same thing. The Church is given the Holy Spirit to become overcomers. 

Another interesting detail I have run into time and again is about the events of the six seal.  Many scholars see some of these events as already having taken place in the 1700’s, and use the same examples to show this is so.  If that is the case, then it is even later than we think!!   This commentary discusses these events briefly, but they are interesting to look into on one’s own 

############################

 http://www.amazingdiscoveries.org/…Seal-Lamb-churches-Revelation-6..

THE CHURCHES AND THE SEALS 

Commentary 

1And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.  

2And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.  

6:1-2 The Vision of the Seven Seals  

The seven seals repeat the same history as the seven churches, but with a different emphasis. In chapters 8-11 we will see how the seven trumpets cover the same basic time-line but with its own distinctive focus.  

The first four seals are widely known as the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” In Revelation the horse is an animal associated with war. See Revelation 19:11, 19. The four horsemen represent the churches as they go forth to battle their enemies. The colors of the horses (white, red, black, and pale) indicate a change from purity to apostasy.  

The 1st Seal: A White horse: The Pure Church  

White represents purity and righteousness. Revelation 7:14; 19:8; Isaiah 1:18. The pure white church went out “conquering and to conquer.” During this time the Gospel spread like wild fire. Paul said that the Gospel “was preached to every creature which is under heaven” (Colossians 1:23), and his opponents said that they had, “turned the world upside down.” Acts 17:6. The white horse is the apostolic church going forth victoriously under the banner of Prince Jesus.  

3And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.  

4And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.  

6:3-4 The 2nd Seal: A Red Horse: The Persecuting Church. Red is the color of sin (Isaiah 1:18), the dragon (Revelation 12:3) and bloodshed (2 Kings 3:22-23). When the faith and devotion of the Church became corrupted it lost the power of God to carry the Gospel forward in victory. It then began using the power of the state, uniting with the dragon (Pagan Rome in the form of the Emperor Constantine) to persecute dissenters. The phrase “kill one another” suggests internal controversy, discord and strife.  

5And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

6And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.  

6:5-6 The 3rd Seal: A Black Horse: The Corrupt Church. Black is the color of darkness and error. The “balances” used for measuring “wheat” and “barley” are a symbol of the buying and selling of the Gospel, salvation and forgiveness. The “wheat” and “barley” was 8-16 times more expensive than normal indicating scarcity and famine. The Church, during this time, entered a period of great moral and doctrinal error, substituting pagan beliefs and practices for the truths of God’s Word, and merchandising the Gospel. 

Thus they caused a scarcity of the bread of life. God decreed, “Hurt not the oil and the wine,” which symbolize the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:3, 6) and the blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:26-29). Even though the Church was in great darkness, God preserved a people with the true Gospel of salvation.  

7And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.  

8And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.  

6:7-8 The 4th Seal: A Pale Horse: The Dead Church. This pale horse is the color of nausea and death. The Church that should have been pointing the way to eternal life was instead spreading death. “And Hell [the grave] followed with him.” The spiritual “Death” that spread across Christendom was accompanied by a moral and intellectual paralysis. The Holy Scriptures were forbidden to the people; nobles, commoners and clergy alike were largely ignorant of the great truths they contain. For centuries the Christian world made no progress in science, arts or civilization. Millions lived miserable lives of ignorance and squalor.  

Ezekiel 14:21 lists war, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts as judgments on apostasy from God. Whenever, the Church takes up the sword to coerce the conscience, a famine of God’s Word results. Pure Bible truth is replaced with the pestilence of heresy, opening the way for persecutors (wild beasts) to punish and chastise the Church, and multitudes perish.  

9And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  

10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  

11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.  

6:9-11 The 5th Seal: The Martyred Church. “Under the altar the souls…slain for the word of God.” Apocalyptic language teaches lessons and truths in pictures or symbols. God does not keep literal souls under a literal alter in heaven. During the middle ages, the Papal system had millions of people put to death because they would not renounce Bible truth. Here is pictured, in symbolic language, the many martyrs of all ages whose blood, like the blood of Abel (Genesis 4:8-10), cries out to God for justice and a vindication of the truths for which they died. The Bible teaches that the dead in Christ rise and put on immortality when He returns. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.  

12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;  

13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.  

6:12-13 The 6th Seal: The End-Time Church, Mid 1700s 

6:12-13 The 6th Seal: The End-Time Church, Mid 1700s-The Second Coming of Christ. This seal corresponds to the time of both the church of Philadelphia and the church of Laodicea. Under the sixth seal the language shifts from symbolic horses and souls to literal signs and disasters. The prophecy says “there was a great earthquake,” “the sun became black as sackcloth,” “the moon became as blood,” and “the stars of heaven fell.” These signs have all received a striking and impassive fulfillment.  

On November 1, 1755, Lisbon, Portugal was the center of a tremendous earthquake. Its effects were felt over an area of 4 million square miles. On May 19, 1780 beginning around 9:00 AM. heavy black clouds blotted out the sun drawing the dark of night over New England. That night, when the darkness finally lessened and the moon appeared, it had the appearance of blood. November 13, 1833, brought the most extensive display of falling stars which has ever been recorded. These are the same signs that Jesus gave to let us know when His coming would be near. Matthew 24:29-30.  

14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.  

15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  

16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:  

17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?  

6:14-17 The rest of the sixth seal is yet future and describes events that occur when Jesus returns. The heavens will be rolled back “as a scroll,” and the earth will be in a state of violent upheaval. Those who are ready to meet Jesus will joyfully exclaim “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us.” Isaiah 25:9. But what a sad day for those who have rejected Jesus as King they will beg for the mountains to fall on them and hide them from his face.  

In these precious hours while time yet remains, we can still make peace with God through Jesus Christ who loves us. To those who repent, He extends forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9); for those who persist in evil, He dispenses punishment in the lake of fire and the second death. Revelation 20:14-15. Which destination will you choose? Make Jesus your personal Friend and Savior and you will have nothing to fear.  

############################## 

We are getting so close to His Second Coming…we are in Tribulation and it will continue to increase the closer we get to His return. The seals have been opening throughout history, and they have been what the overcomers are to overcome in order to stand until the end. The Revelation is about Jesus from His ascension to His Second Coming…surely the sending of the Holy Spirit was of MAJOR IMPORTANCE, and was celebrated in Heaven as it was poured out to those on earth.   

Spiritual deception has been in this world since the Fall…Jesus is RECLAIMING THE DEED, He is taking it back.   Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the ONLY WAY to make it through War, Famine, Hell and Death….Jesus sent us the TRUTH (His Spirit) as the only way to overcome the deceptions of this world.  

JESUS IS TAKING BACK SPIRITUAL DISCEPTION …sending the Holy Spirit so that we could stand against War…the War of Spirit and Flesh. Famine…of the Word of Spirit…and the Body of Christ weakens from lack of the truth and the Spiritual Diseases…the indwelling of evil for those who have rejected God, that Brings Death and Hell. 

Something else about these seals, they are something that happens on an individual basis to each born again believer.  We accept Jesus and are born again by His Spirit and then we face the War of the flesh and spiritual wickedness in high places. We face the famine of the true Word in our churches, and the overcoming of hell and death.  This is not just about the end times and the coming Antichrist…this is oh so much bigger than just that.  Amen!! 

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!! 

Patti C.

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL UNITY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

 

Hello all, 

With so much happening in the world, reflecting this end times darkness, and most of, if  not all, news and articles are about how bad things are and how we need to be prepared.  It is good to take the time to reflect on the Good News, and what it means for us, all those who have come out of the lukewarm churches of religion, and traditions of men, to find Truth. We might need reminding about Christ intended for His “church”…and who the elect really are. 

Sites like this one, serve as fellowship in most of our lives now, at least it does in my situation.  With this in mind, I wanted to change the focus for a while and dwell on this Good News, and I think the following article is a worthy reminder of what our Lord and Savior did for us to make it possible for us to, SOON, live with Him forever. And a good reminder of what “church” is not…it is not a religion, nor a social club. 

God gave us His Son, and His Son gave us the Holy Spirit by which we can have direct contact with the Father through the Spirit.  

############################## 

Spiritual Unity of the Body of Christ

http://www.godsswordoftruth.com/Unityofthebodyofchrist.html 

By Raymond Laginess

~- ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- “AND HE IS THE HEAD OF THE BODY, THE CHURCH: WHO IS THE BEGINNING, THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD; THAT IN ALL THINGS HE MIGHT HAVE THE PREEMINENCE.” – COL. 1:18 ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- ~- 

Christ did NOT come to earth to establish a “religion”, a “church system”, or “mystical body” as the Catholic church teaches, nor was He going to share His reason with man or a woman.  Based on His Word, Jesus Christ came to fulfill a promise to open the gates of heaven – closed by man’s sin (Adam and Eve in the Garden).  

Christ came to take care of the sin nature that Satan gave to man.  All sin had to be dealt with and to be paid for – that is why Jesus used His blood on the tree to cover our sins so that the Lord God could fellowship with us again.  All sin breaks our covenant with the Creator.  No system, rules, sacraments, religious catechisms, or Jewish commandments could save mankind.  It took an act of love from the Creator, a plan to renew our contact with the Lord God, His plan to take back what Adam and Eve gave to Satan when he lied to them in the Garden of Eden.  Adam (and Eve) gave Satan (who became known as the “Prince of the earth”) the title deed to earth and its creation when they believed his lie and sinned.   

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law).   Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.   But not as the offense, so also is the free gift.  For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Romans 5:12-15).  

God established the salvation of His elect by another Man, the second and last Adam, who is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Who came to this earth, reclaiming this act (the title deed to earth), and, for good reason – He paid for our sins by His shed blood on the tree (His crucifixion) (“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” – Eph. 1:7.), which is why the body of Christ (the Church) was purchased and saved by Him so that we could obtain our salvation and the final dwelling place He prepared for us – “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” – I Corinthians 2:9  

When the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth, He created the spiritual system of what we call “The Body of Christ” – the beginning of the membership of the family of God.  Keep in mind, when He came, He established HIS CHURCH by choosing 12 disciples, all Jews just as Jesus was, and commissioned them to teach and guide His Church.  He didn’t tell them to go and ‘build’ a Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran church, – NO – He told them: “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world…”  Amen.  ( Matt. 28:18-20) 

The Lord Jesus never meant the “church” to be a social club.  What He gave to the world was the living Word, the Gospel of Christ, to be carried to the whole world, Jesus said:   – “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” –( Mark  16:15 )

It is written “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Matt. 18:20. Jesus never joined a group of believers, but went to the lost sheep – “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” – Matt. 18:11.  No Apostle, nor Disciple, not even Paul, joined a group but did instruct and guide the believers in truth.    

Jesus wrote seven letters(Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3) to the believers from the period of His Ascension into heaven to His return, in other words, to the believers from the Book of Acts to His Second Coming, which was the entire history of the Church, the body of Christ, for the past 2000 years.  If you read it, you will see that He names these believers by area, or city name, NOT by religions names, such as Baptist, Catholic, Protestant, etc.   

Now, following the death of Jesus Christ, just before He went back to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit (at Pentecost) to teach and guide all the souls in the body of Christ.  The Holy Spirit is the Advocate of the Lord Jesus, and it is Jesus Christ Who is being represented by the Holy Spirit, yet everything the Spirit does, is done for the sake of the unity of His body.   

Now, our Advocate, the Holy Spirit who dwells in the believers, adds to the Church daily, uniting all to one Body. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.” – I Corinthians 12:13. As God the Father: “….hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints…” (Col. 1: 12), it is the Holy Spirit Who safeguards the estate.  

The body of Christ on earth IS ONE body, and ONE Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One Word, One God and Father of all (See Eph. 4:2-10).  There are NO religions, schisms, or man-made systems in heaven, JUST Christians – the Lord’s people (the BODY OF CHRIST).  There are NOT many doors to heaven, not even many roads, there is just ONE WAY, and that way is by JESUS CHRIST.  If two do not agree, they can’t walk together.  

Each soul must make a choice how they will live – and must, by faith, hear the WORD, believe in the WORD, and be born again of the Spirit, then each will change into an immortal soul to be judged of his/her stewardship (life on earth) and be given rewards (crowns) for one’s works of faith, and then to be with Jesus forever.  

All religions on earth have misled and misguided the souls.  Religion has given souls a false hope and a false faith in an earthly god of works and self-righteousness.  It’s Satan all over again, just like when he gave the Jews a false religion of flesh and phony works, so that by the time Christ, the Messiah came, they couldn’t even recognize Him and never knew Him.  They rejected and killed Him.   

Satan is doing it again with his religions and false prophets, especially the TV (so called) miracle workers, and its women preachers who put on a fancy show, in their expensive clothing, for their unsaved followers.  These are no different than the scribes, Pharisee and guides that Jesus warned us about (Read Matthew, Chapter 23, all of it).   Jesus said: “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Mat. 24:4)  Read all of Jude and there you will see the many warnings against corrupt teachers, and doctrinal heresies it’s all there.  People, get with it, and give up the false prophets and money hungry preachers, for you can only gain hell from their teachings.   Pray that the Holy Spirit guide you in truth, read His Word and you’ll find truth.   

All Christians have a gift of faith and can find truth in the Word He left us by the Holy Spirit.  No man on this earth could do this for us, other then the head of the body, i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ.   It is everyone’s choice as to how they exercise their faith in their daily life.  But, before the Holy Spirit can guide us, we must give up control of our life and pray the Holy Spirit guide and teach us. He will even guide us to holiness when we listen to Him.  He is our teacher and friend.  

It is He (Holy Spirit) that Jesus gives us for power on earth over evil forces (Satan).  It is the Holy Spirit that knows our heart and brings us to Jesus in Salvation when we let Him in.  You can never find Jesus unless the Spirit brings you to Him.  He will add to the body of Christ.  The Holy Spirit leads, guides, picks and teaches all who are Christ’s. Do you want to be under spiritual bondage?  “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:16).  You know the old saying – ‘if you fail to yield, you pay the consequences’, and that is exactly why some Christians in the body of Christ fail to function – they do not yield control to the Holy Spirit.  

There is no act or works that man can do to save himself.  It is by faith in Jesus Christ and His completed work on the cross that we are saved.  For by putting on Jesus Christ we are made holy and un blamable – “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” Col. 2:8-10.   

Attending a church building, or having fellowship does not mean you have salvation, when there is of no value of either when you stand before the throne of God.  There is no yoke of bondage (not even giving of a tithe) to being a Christian, it’s just love for Christ for the things He did on the tree for us, believing, living, and trusting in Him, for He is real. Live Jesus Christ every day, not once or twice a week. When you are free in Christ, you are free indeed, it is finished.  

Our true fellowship will be in heaven with Christ Jesus for all eternity – “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  I John 5:11-12.  As you can see, the body of Christ (born-again believers) is called to divine fellowship by God:   “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (I Co. 1:9).  

Since the very existence of the body of Christ, it has always been a heavenly spiritual group of believers that are the true family of God, which will live forever in a new heaven and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, as told us by His Word – 2 Peter 3:13 – “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, where-in dwelleth righteousness.   The new heaven and earth are not here at this point, but will be created at a later time when the Lord so appoints it to occur. One day God will present to the body of Christ, a New Heaven, and a New Earth to enjoy as originally set forth in His Word.  

The present group of believers, today’s true body of Christ, are the ones that will (soon) be taken out of the world, and will be small in number and probably not even be missed.  This “Rapture” (taking out of the saints) will happen just prior to when the wrath of God will be poured out upon all the earth.  It could happen at any time because everything is ready for this event. Just look at the state of this world today?  Homosexuality, lesbianism (Sodom and Gomorrah all over again), children being raped and murdered (some by their own family members), pornography on the web and a close second on TV (even commercials are porn) and these things are happening today people, look around you.  The Lord God knows what is going on in this earth and He will recompense punishment, for it seems that everything is ready for this event.  

The whole plan of the Lord God was geared toward repentance of sin, believing on Him, and judgment – “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” – Mark 1:15.  Now, His reward for those that are His will be eternal life on a new heaven and earth.  

Neither religion, nor man or woman has anything to do with it.  One cannot earn it, or buy it, not even by doing good works, or thinking you are self righteousness by belonging to a church system or fellowship.   Your flesh must be born again into a spiritual body and your life controlled by the Holy Spirit.  There is only ONE door to salvation and Jesus.  You must go HIS way only, and it’s ONE WAY and you need nothing of this earth to get you there.  

The body of Christ on earth is a temporary group, not meant to last.  While on earth they are going to be persecuted, imprisoned, and killed for Jesus sake.  It is written – “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:18-19, therefore, if they hated Christ, they will hate the Christian.  If you are a Christian and the world DOES love you and fellowships with you, then YOU ARE IN TROUBLE.   

If you are Christian, your blood family will NOT know you, nor will they want ANYTHING to do with you – they will think you are nuts or crazy and they will persecute you – as Jesus said: “…If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” – John 15:20-21.  It’s such a small price to pay after what Christ did for you.  

If you are His, your final heavenly home has been prepared for you and He said that He “will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” – John 14:3. I’m ready for my mansion in heaven, how about you?  There will be a new heaven and earth, for this earth will melt away as will also the heavens will pass away with a great noise – Read 2 Peter 3:10.  Remember Jesus made a way for ALL creation, He paid for ALL sins.      

Now, for all you people with white collars around your neck with big titles, expensive suits and cars, rock music and phony gospel words along with your voodoo yelling and rolling around, is nothing more than Satan’s antics and misguided phoniness.  Your faith is by tradition and customs, all on the out side, one of dead works, cold and bare of love, but guess what, the Lord will say to you: “…Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” – Matt. 25:12.   You wave your hands and hold your heads high for man to see in the daytime, but in your own house at night you curse and drink just to get high on Satan’s sins of lust.  And, just what is your sin?   DISBELIEF?  (John 3:18) – UNBELIEF? (John 15:22) – IDOLATRY? (Matt. 4:10) – PRIDE? (John 5:44) – LOSS OF FIRST LOVE OR LUKEWARMNESS? (Rev. 3:15-16) – or Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Lasciviousness, Witchcraft, Hatred, Variance, Emulations, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Heresies, Envyings, Murders, Drunkenness, Revellings, and such like?   

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. – Romans 8:6-8. If you are living in the flesh or have been lukewarm in your spiritual walk, you immediately need to ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness and for the renewal of your spiritual walk.  Don’t be blinded by Satan, repent now while it is yet this very moment, before it’s too late. Begin your daily walk with Him TODAY.  

Do NOT follow any man or religion, and, if any man tells you that you must follow him, his religion or denomination, then RUN, RUN AWAY FROM THIS MAN AND HIS RELIGION.  Follow ONLY the Holy Spirit in faith and truth by His Word because He is our spiritual head, our teacher and leader.  Listen to Him ONLY, because it is He Who gives us power to overcome Satan and persevere.  

When the fullness of time arrives, the Lord God will come for His Church, are you a member of the body of Christ, one of His?  If you are a member of the true church (body of Christ) and Jesus Christ dwells in you, you will then recognize the unity of the body of Christ according to His Word:  

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.   John 17:21-23   

##########################

 Just an interesting side note….when spellchecking this post, the word “church” was deemed incorrect when the word “Catholic” was used before it! It is wrong if not capitalized!! This is the only use of the word “church” this happens with…not Baptist, nor Evangelical church or any other, only Catholic….big religion so engrained in our culture.  It is good for us to remember a couple of very religious people and groups that had the spirit of antichrist…Cain and Nimrod, and the religious leaders of Christ’s day.  Seems most of our leaders are in one of these camps and this spirit seems to be taking over the whole world. 

Religion is of the flesh, and Truth is of the Spirit!  We are called to come out of religion…and into Truth. 

Agape! 

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!! 

Patti C.

 

 

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT: (Three words of the Baptism)

THE HOLY SPIRIT: (Three words of the Baptism) 

Hello all, 

I have been presenting articles and studies about the White Horse of the first seal being the Holy Spirit. Although most disagree with this assessment, I want to stress the immense importance of what happened at Pentecost by the sending of the Holy Spirit and how this new Covenant was celebrated in heaven.  This event is of crucial importance… it was the very creation of the Church and the Body of Christ, and the first step in reclaiming the earth from Satan.  

The book of Revelation is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, from His ascension until His Second Coming.  What John is seeing in Rev.5 is a pre-Christ heaven, or heaven before Christ ascended.  Why else is he weeping when no one is found to open the sealed book?  

Rev 5:2 -4 

“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” 

The New Testament speaks much about Pentecost on earth, what occurs in this chapter is a view of what happened at Pentecost in heaven.  This is a view of Jesus ascending to heaven and sending the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, as promised to his disciples. He sent what the Church needed to overcome the world and the tribulation thereof. 

The rest of the seals depict what the Church will endure before His second coming, and how through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit they will be able to overcome these tribulations and be able to stand until He returns. 

Jesus is reclaiming the earth from Satan’s influence…why would he send the Antichrist?  Why would he send evil?  Evil is already in the world.  He is sending the only weapon that will overcome the attacks of the world…Himself in Spirit as the Holy Spirit.  He already gave His body, now He sends His Spirit. The only way His believers will overcome War, Famine, and physical death will be to be made alive by the Holy Spirit in which they attain eternal life, and therefore need not worry about losing their physical life.  The other seals are the tools of the devil that will be used against the church…war, famine, disease and death….which believers are not to fear and are able to endure by having the Holy Spirit living in them. 

The book of Revelation is not just about the end times, much of it has been fulfilled.  It is much more about Jesus and His Church and what He did to redeem His people.  From His ascension to His Second Coming…His story….history.  We are very close to His Second Coming, very little of the book is still future…we need to keep this in mind. 

The following study shows how the Holy Spirit worked in the world prior to Pentecost and how everything changed after Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was able to live inside believers. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit defines His true followers, and is the most crucial component in our relationship with Christ and mandatory for obtaining eternal life and in understanding His Holy Word. 

As the author points out it is more about what we receive from God, than what we give to God. 

###########################

Three Words of the Baptism 

http://www.goodnewsarticles.com/Oct07-1.htm![/url] 

By David A. DePra 

But you shall receive power, once the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8) 

There are three important words in this passage that tell us the nature of, purpose of, and end result of, the baptism with the Holy Spirit – RECEIVE, UPON, and WITNESSES. 

Of course, Jesus spoke these words immediately prior to His ascension. Despite much erroneous teaching to the contrary, the Holy Spirit had NOT YET been given, and could not be given, until Jesus did ascend. This is vital to see. For the descent of the Holy Spirit from heaven to earth was the direct result of the ascension of Jesus from earth to heaven. 

There were two vital reasons why the Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus ascended. First, before the Spirit could come, Jesus had to complete His redemptive work and win all victory, and then take that victory to heaven, and sit down at the right hand of the Father – only then could He send it all back down to us through the Holy Spirit. The purpose of the Holy Spirit in us is to make Jesus Lord of us, and this work could not begin until Jesus was made Lord in heaven – through His finished victory. Thus, if Jesus had to take to heaven all redemption and power and victory, before He could sent it back down through the Spirit, then obviously any notion of the indwelling of the Spirit before Acts 2 is error. The second reason the Spirit could not come before Christ ascended is that Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit – and that could not happen before He ascended. Christ could not, for example, dwell in the apostles by the Spirit while He was physically present on the earth with them. Christianity is Christ in us through the Holy Spirit. This demands the ascension of Jesus to heaven, before the He can descend by His Spirit to dwell in us. 

The ascension of Jesus into heaven, and the descent of the Holy Spirit to dwell in His people are two events that cannot be separated. Jesus continually said so. 

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (John 16:7) 

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:38-39) 

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)

These passages prove beyond a doubt that the Holy Spirit did not come before the ascension of Jesus Christ. But do we realize what that means? It means that before Acts 2, the Holy Spirit had NEVER BEEN present on this earth the way He would be after Acts 2. You cannot escape that fact. And once you accept it, it ought to change your thinking about much of both the old and New Testament. 

But wasn’t the Holy Spirit present in the Old Testament? Sure. And yet Jesus continually said, “WHEN the Comforter comes…..” He continually taught that the Holy Spirit COULD NOT come until He ascended. So what was the difference between the work of the Spirit BEFORE Acts 2, and the work of the Spirit AFTER Acts 2? Just this: Only after Acts 2 did the Holy Spirit actually dwell IN PEOPLE. 

Read again John 14:16-17. To His own disciples Jesus said, “The Spirit is WITH you, but shall be IN you.” So the Spirit had never come to be IN people, although He had been WITH people. Well, if the Spirit is WITH you, that is no small thing. All of the miracles of the Old Testament, the prophecies, the inspiration, and even the miracles worked by the disciples themselves during the ministry of Jesus – all of these were the result of the Holy Spirit being WITH them. But not IN them. 

This should not be surprising. For the VERY DISTINCTION that God Himself makes between the OLD and NEW covenants is exactly that – the INDWELLING. For example, Hebrews records:

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (Heb 8:8-11) 

According to God Himself, the fundamental distinction between the two covenants was that the old was merely outward, and the new was INWARD. Can you see that? This is stated loud and clear. What this tells us absolutely aligns with the words of Jesus to the effect that the Holy Spirit never dwelt in anyone before Acts 2, but would dwell in us since then. 

Do we realize what this means? It means that Acts 2 ushered in the New Covenant. Sure. That may not be news to many people. But do we now realize what that means? It means that Acts 2 was the first time the Holy Spirit ever dwelt in anyone. It means that Acts 2 was the first time anyone was BORN AGAIN – which is the inward dwelling of the Holy Spirit. All of these things are really ONE EVENT. It should not be surprising that the first time anyone was born again of the Spirit of God would be the birth of the church! – since the church is comprised of born again believers! 

Now, I do realize that there are many Christians who try to say that Acts 2 was none of the above. They try to say that the disciples were already born again prior to Acts 2, but that Acts 2 was a second blessing. From this false premise it is reasoned that before Acts 2, the disciples were indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but in Acts 2 they were filled with the Holy Spirit. This is really the entire premise upon with the charismatic doctrine of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is based. But it is wrong. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a second experience. It is THE ONE experience – of the new birth, all of the gifts, and everything else that belongs to the New Covenant.

If you doubt that, then you don’t believe Jesus when He said that unless He ascended the Comforter could not come. In fact, if you believe that the OT saints, and the disciples, were born again before Acts 2, then you believe they were indwelt by the Holy Spirit before Acts 2 – the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the MEANS by which we are born again – and if you believe that they were indwelt by the Spirit before Acts 2, then you must say that Jesus was silly to continually promise them that the Comforter would come. Why would Jesus promise them the Comforter WOULD COME if He was already living in them? No. Jesus promised them He would come TO DWELL IN THEM – which had never before happened to anyone. 

In fact, even AFTER the resurrection of Jesus, but BEFORE the ascension, Jesus continues to promise them the Holy Spirit would come: 

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. (Luke 24:49-51) 

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:4-5) 

All through the ministry of Jesus – read John 14 through John 16 – Jesus promised them the Holy Spirit. He reminds them here, in these two passages, of that promise, and tells them it is going to happen after He ascends – they must go and tarry in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit had therefore NOT YET BEEN GIVEN prior to Acts 2. No one had ever been born again. The New Testament had not yet begun. The church had not yet been born. All of this began in Acts 2. 

Prior to Acts 2, God provided a LEGAL salvation through the OT, as embodied in the baptism of John. If you came under the OT, then you were saved legally by the same Christ – but not born again. The Spirit was WITH you, but not IN you. You would still go to heaven, but your experience in THIS life of the things of God would not be the same as it would be after Acts 2. You could experience God, and see miracles, and know the Lord. But you could not be made a new creation in Jesus Christ for this life. 

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Col. 1:26-27) 

Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (Rom 16:25-26) 

So Acts 2 really did begin Christianity. It was not a second blessing on top of a new birth. It was the new birth – both of the individuals in that upper room, and of the church. In addition, after Acts 2, we find examples in Acts where people had received only John’s baptism of legal salvation for the remission of sins, but who still needed to receive the Holy Spirit. From that point forward, however, new converts would no longer need John’s baptism, but would receive ALL that God had for them through the single experience of the new birth through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.

I’ve taken the time to go through all of this so that it might be clear as to what the disciples were promised that they would receive when the Holy Spirit came upon them. But before concluding this point, I want to address one passage of scripture that is usually brought in to supposedly prove that the disciples were indwelt by the Holy Spirit prior to Acts 2, thus making Acts 2 a second blessing on top of the new birth. That passage is found in John 20: 

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:17-23) 

Here we find Jesus clearly stating that even after His resurrection that He had still not ascended to the Father. He states this directly. So right off the bat we have a problem – if the disciples received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit just a few verses later in John 20:22, then everything Jesus had told them about the necessity of Him first ascending, before the Comforter could come, was wrong. For it is inescapable that if the disciples received the indwelling of the Spirit here in John 20, then the Spirit DID COME before Jesus ascended. This is exactly what those who teach that Acts 2 was a second blessing do believe and must believe.

The Truth about this is so important to see. You cannot have it both ways. The question is this: Did the Holy Spirit come to indwell believers BEFORE Acts 2?  Of course not. Jesus said He could NOT. Indeed, even after John 20, when Jesus breathed on them, Jesus is still promising them the Holy Spirit is going to come, “not many days hence.” But that leaves us needing to explain John 20:22. What did Jesus mean when He said, “Receive the Holy Spirit?” 

I think the key here is the phrase, “And He breathed ON THEM.” You will notice that He did not breath INTO THEM. In other words, they received the Spirit WITH them, but not yet IN THEM. This agrees completely with Jesus’ promise that the Spirit could not come to dwell IN THEM until He ascended. And it agrees with the passage of Acts 1:8 where Jesus continues to promise them they will RECEIVE the Holy Spirit from on high – something that would be unnecessary if they had already received the Spirit. In point of fact, in John 20:22, we find the narrative of what appears to be the very first time that Jesus appeared to the disciples as a group – Thomas was not there that night. When He breathed on them and said, “Receive you the Holy Spirit,” this was a reassurance that the Spirit was again WITH THEM. 

In Acts 1:8, just prior to His ascension, Jesus promised, “But you shall receive power, once the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Again, we find our three key words: Receive, upon, and witnesses. 

You Shall Receive 

What is Christianity? Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27) Christianity is a new birth as a new creation. In all of this, we see that in order to be a Christian, you must RECEIVE something – Someone – from above.

I don’t know how that strikes you. Most of us think that our Christianity is defined by what we give to God. No. It is defined by having RECEIVED from God. Now, certainly, we must surrender ourselves to God. But that isn’t the point. The point is — unless you have received new life from above you are NOT a Christian. 

New life in Christ is not a THING. It is a Person – it is Christ. When we receive the Holy Spirit we are receiving Christ Himself – His resurrection life. But note: The source is not US. The source is not of this world. There is nothing of the earthly, and nothing found in any of us through natural birth that can manufacture or generate this eternal life. We must receive from above. 

This seems so obvious and evident, and yet I’m not sure that most Christians get it. What we usually do is try to figure out how God wants us to live, and then try to do that. We try to establish a religion we call Christianity out of Bible verses – equipped with doctrines to believe in and rules to follow – and then we try to gather together all of the assets of our natural man and try to live in accordance with this religion. In short, we try to mold our flesh – our religious flesh – in the pattern that we believe God requires. And yet none of this is new life. It is the flesh. Have we yet realized that we are doomed to failure? 

There is absolutely nothing about the flesh that can please God. This is not only because the flesh is inherently weak, but also it is because the flesh is all about SELF. Thus, no matter what you try to do through SELF, it will always be about SELF. People are pretty good at making themselves into martyrs – not for the sake of Jesus, but for the sake of the religious satisfaction and the self-righteousness that comes from it. The only solution for SELF is the Cross. But that is not the end. Once SELF is subtracted, you must still RECEIVE.

Christians continually try to offer to God what He wants by trying to produce it through religious flesh. And then when we don’t get anywhere, we blame God. What God is trying to do is bring us to the end of our attempts, so that He can then GIVE us what He wants to GIVE us – and then we can truly RECEIVE it. If God were to release us in the fullness of what He wants while we continue in religious flesh, we would bring corruption to the things of God. So He must often wait. 

Many Christians spend years trying to club to death their flesh, trying to make it behave. Well, if that didn’t work for Paul – read Romans 7 – it won’t work for us. The solution is not to force your flesh into patterns you believe will please God. Neither can we subtract from ourselves the flesh. All of that will have to run it’s course until we see it won’t work. Rather, we must RECEIVE – have added to us – the Spirit of Christ. Do that and the flesh will come under the Cross. And the Spirit will emerge and be released. 

You must be born again from above – get that – from above. This is really another KIND of life than is possible from this present age. It is not life that is OF this world. Rather, it is life that is received from the outside of this world, INTO US from above.

Jesus said, “You will receive…..” The Bible also states: 

Know you not your own selves, how except Jesus Christ is in you, you are reprobates? (2 Cor 13:5) 

John answered and said, A man can receive (possess) nothing, except it be given him from heaven. (John 3:27) 

We must RECEIVE. But then, after we receive, we must COME UNDER what we receive, or else we will continue walking according to the flesh. This is why Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit would COME UPON the disciples.

Come Upon 

Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit COMES UPON you…..” Isn’t it amazing how, when we read a verse like that, we instantly think about the power we are going to be able to USE – to God’s glory, of course. Sure. We think that if we receive power, we will then POSSESS power – to work miracles and to serve, etc. But note the working of Acts 1:8 very carefully. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would COME UPON us. Clearly, this means –NOT that I will so much POSSESS power – but it means that when we receive the Spirit we are to COME UNDER the power of the Spirit. 

We cannot possess the power or authority of Christ unless we first come under the power and authority of Christ. We are never given power as a THING to use, even if we think we want to use it to serve God. No. We are to come UNDER that power – and then it won’t be us possessing it. It will be God possessing us, and using us as He desire for His glory. 

When we talk about coming under the power of the Holy Spirit, we are clearly talking about coming under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, or, if you like, the kingdom of God. All the same thought. The purpose of the Holy Spirit for this age is to take all that Jesus is, and all that Jesus has done, and make Him real in us, to us, and through us. But all of this can be gathered up into one statement: The Holy Spirit will, if we yield, make Jesus Christ our personal Lord in all things. 

When we RECEIVE the life of Christ from above, we are coming UNDER that life; under Him as our Lord. His is resurrection life – it is the power of God over all. But only as we come under His Lordship, and under His life, which will mean we must lose OUR OWN LIFE, do we really experience what His life holds. He that loses his life for the sake of Christ will find life. You cannot operate in the power of the Holy Spirit unless you are under Jesus as Lord – unless you are under the power of resurrection life. It is impossible. 

What is the purpose for which we are to come UNDER the Holy Spirit? That Jesus might be our Lord – or, to put it another way, that we might be His witnesses. 

Witnesses 

A witness to Jesus is someone whose life is a testimony to His Lordship. We are to become living epistles of what it means for Jesus to live in us. A witness is not someone who merely tells about Jesus. He is someone through whom Jesus tells about Himself! 

God doesn’t use us, and neither does Christ live through us, by BYPASSING US. God does not, “take people over.” Neither does God say, “Because you are a child of God indwelt by the Holy Spirit, from this time forward, everything you do and everything you say is OF ME.” Nonsense – but it is amazing how many people think the opposite! Many people walk around daily thinking that what they feel with their emotions, or think with their mind, MUST be of God, because the Spirit is in them. This is wrong – they are actually walking according to the flesh. It doesn’t have to be a, “bad flesh,” or an, “immoral flesh.” It can be a religious flesh. And if God doesn’t break up such a pattern, people will end up using the things of God to glorify themselves and profit themselves – which is the only thing religious flesh can do if it is allowed to govern. 

The Holy Spirit always DOES and always LIVES the will of God, to the glory of Christ. The Holy Spirit will not give us OUR will – He wants to give us God’s will, indeed, cause us to BECOME God’s will. This is what it means to BE a witness. Thus, if we are not walking in according with this purpose of God, we are NOT being led by His Spirit – and it doesn’t matter how sure we are to the contrary, or how good it feels. 

If you examine what I just said about the intent of the Spirit to give and make us into expressions of God’s will, you will see the necessity of a big CHANGE IN US. In order for you to DO the will of God – from the heart out of a real faith – you must BECOME the will of God. You must KNOW Jesus and be yielded to Him. But none of us come close to that except through much dealing. None of us. We find that out loud and clear when God does begin to deal. 

I’m not saying that a sincere Christian stands in open rebellion against God. No. We may be as yielded to God as we know to be, and really, we may be yielded in everything that God has brought before us in life. If we are, well, we are where God wants us to be – we are indeed IN the will of God. But we don’t know our own hearts. Have we recognized the incredible battle and warfare that is necessary for God to get His will in a life? Read the NT. Spiritual warfare is business as usual – it is continual and intense. Therefore, before we congratulate ourselves for our great faith and spiritual condition – before we think we stand – we need take heed lest we fall. 

I am convinced that many Christians today – those who think they have, “arrived” – I am convinced that God simply doesn’t disturb them. I know of Christians that seem to be blessed no matter what they do, and no matter where they are. Everything goes right, and they are quick to point out that it is God blessing them. It is good to give thanks and glory to God, but sometimes there is a subtle BOAST in this – “I am blessed because God is pleased with ME.” You know what I mean. Again – read the NT. Despite God’s blessings and grace, if you want to truly come into fellowship with Christ, it is going to cost you much. You absolutely MUST be broken of the notion that YOU determine what you get from God. You don’t. God does. In fact, there may come a time when God takes everything away. Will you continue to say that you are blessed? 

It is here that we must get something straight. There is nothing about our Christian life that belongs to US. We have nothing to say about it. Of course, we do have choices of faith and obedience to make – beginning at salvation. But this is not a matter of us having a say-so. It is a matter of us yielding to God’s will and say-so. 

Today in the church, so many people continue to think that the work of the Holy Spirit is to HELP US achieve our goals, and really, to help us possess our lives. We don’t think of this in a rebellious or sinful way, of course, but we think that we belong to ourselves, and that the Spirit is here to help us belong to ourselves. We think that the when Jesus said the Holy Spirit was The Helper, that He meant that WE get to decide God’s will for our lives, and that the Holy Spirit is here to help us come into what we have decided is God’s will. So we walk around having, “leadings,” as to the will of God – but the will of God is really OUR will, with the name of Jesus pasted on it. Most people don’t even realize what they are doing. But this is all wrong. 

Well, doesn’t the Spirit lead the sons of God? I have heard that quoted again and again by those who think that God leads them every five minutes in life – they think that whatever they think or feel is of God; is God’s leading of them. Well, let’s read that passage and see what it is really saying: 

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Rom 8:12-16) 

This passage from Romans 8 is NOT talking about LEADINGS – it is not talking about God speaking to you and telling you what to do. I’m not saying that God doesn’t sometimes lead that way – but I am saying that in this passage that issue is not being discussed. Read the context and you will see what the Greek bears out. Paul is saying, “For as many as are GOVERNED by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” In other words, you are going to ultimately be GOVERNED by either the flesh or the Spirit. But if you are a son of God, the Holy Spirit is going to seek to GOVERN you, and break down all barriers to this. In short, the work of the Holy Spirit – once again – is to make Jesus Lord of every part of you. 

What this means is that you do not belong to yourself. You do not have the right to decide your life, or even the right to decide WHO YOU ARE to God. The Holy Spirit has not come to help you achieve your dreams. Jesus is not going to hop aboard your bandwagon. Rather, the Spirit has come to take your life completely out of your hands and to bring you under the sovereignty of God – and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In other words, when you gave your life to Christ, it was no longer your own. The work of the Spirit is to bring you under the GOVERNMENT of Christ. 

The sons of God are those who are more and more being GOVERNED by the Holy Spirit. The result is that they will not only DO the will of God, but they will BE the will of God. But since God cannot achieve this by bypassing OUR wills, it is necessary for OUR wills to be brought to the ground, so that OUR wills shall become HIS WILL. This is why God must deal with us through the Cross. 

Jesus Christ is not fire insurance. God is not a contingency plan. The Holy Spirit is not here to release our greatness. Jesus did not come to enhance our lives, or to give us, “Your Best Life Now.” Rather, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to bring down every kingdom that was not built by God – including all of the very nice religious ones that men have built to God’s glory – and to establish in the lives of people the absolutely Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

Does this sound negative to you? Does it sound like you will be deprived? Well, it might sound like that to the flesh, or natural mind. But only if we don’t know God. When will we get it through our heads that God has only GOOD for us? That the worst possible condition is for us to belong to ourselves – even if we think that it is unto God’s glory? When will we realize that if God ever got us fully under the Lordship of Jesus, that WE would be the greatest benefactors? 

There is nothing Satan will fight against more strongly than the Lordship of Jesus Christ in a life, or in God’s church. He has provided not only opposition to the Lordship of Jesus, but has provided many a SUBSTITUTE. For example, the release of the Holy Spirit into the full potential that God has for a person is only achieved when that person comes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ – through the work of the Cross and the enlargement of His resurrection life in us. But Satan says, “No. You don’t need all that trouble. You can receive the fullness of the Spirit all at once through a second blessing.” 

I don’t know if we really see the magnitude of what I am saying. If the work of the Holy Spirit is to make Jesus LORD of us personally, then it is a fact that only if Jesus begins to be made Lord of us – really and operatively – that the true fullness and release of the Spirit will begin to be possible. What? Do we actually think that we can experience the fullness of the Spirit if we dismiss, neglect, or remain ignorant of the very work of the Spirit of making Jesus Lord of us? Nonsense. And yet millions today think they are experiencing the fullness of the Spirit, and living in the power of the Spirit, simply because they got a second blessing. They think God just poured it out on them, and now it works – they think God is leading them and enhancing all they do. 

Even the NT doctrine of, “the laying on of hands,” has been corrupted along this line. The laying on of hands was symbolic of the fact that God was laying hands on an individual for HIS possession and purpose. That individual, from that point, no longer belonged to himself – he was set aside for God’s use. Thus, the laying on of hands was indicative of the Lordship of Jesus over that person. Can we now see why, at salvation, when a person was baptized with the Holy Spirit, that the laying on of hands was done? Sure. They are coming under the Lordship of Jesus. But today, many are saying that it is through the laying on of hands that an anointing is imparted or transferred. The emphasis is upon some anointing that is passed from one person, and received by another. Such teaching is never in the Bible. 

These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him. (1 John 2:26-27) 

There is NO, “transferable anointing!” None! The anointing of the Holy Spirit is from God directly to each of us. Sure. The anointing of God is not a THING. It is a matter of us being apprehended by a PERSON. How much more clear does God need to be about this matter? Indeed, John states that he is assuring us of this Truth SO THAT NO MAN SEDUCE US. If you and I think we can ignore such warnings and remain clear of deception we are already deceived. 

Now, if you grasp what I am saying about all of these things, you will see that the Christian life is a matter of, yes, us surrendering to God’s call to Christ, but once we do, it is a matter of God apprehending us for His will, purpose, and glory. It is not a matter of us apprehending God for our goals in life. Sure. Can we see that this gets back to us COMING UNDER the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than us possessing some power? In order to BECOME a witness unto Christ, you must COME UNDER the Holy Spirit, COME UNDER the Lordship of Jesus, and COME UNDER the kingdom of God. This is what it means to be GOVERNED by the Spirit of God as a son of God. 

It has always been the goal of Satan to get people to try to possess the things of God, but not as the result of being GOVERNED by God. The gospel of Satan is that you can have what God has for you, but that you don’t need to come under the work of the Cross or Lordship of Jesus. Of course, it won’t be taught that way – it will be taught as the real gospel. 

A witness unto Jesus is one who is apprehended by Jesus for HIS purposes, unto HIS glory. A witness is one who, yes, has RECEIVED life from above, but who is more and more being GOVERNED by that life – is one who has come UNDER the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The results of being governed by the Holy Spirit are that we will become living epistles of what it means for Jesus to be Lord of a human being. The fruits of the Spirit will emerge. Good works will be there. We will actually experience God Himself – we will be set free. And we will serve God through ministry. But all of it will be the outcome of the government of God OVER US. 

So we have these three words regarding the baptism with the Holy Spirit: RECEIVE, UPON, and WITNESS. In the end, they all come back to ONE Truth – Christ in us, the hope of glory. Jesus is Lord, not just in word, but really. 

########################## 

Wow!  Powerful words!! Words we need to hear and take heed of as His children especially in these dark days so close to His Coming. I certainly was convicted by much presented here, as I was reminded of what it means to daily pickup my cross and follow Him.  The Churches of today have become worldly and secular, as Satan makes his final push for souls because his time is short.  It is difficult to be hated by the world, and even more so as our family and friends turn against us.  It is certainly happening in my life and I am saddened by it every day. 

Jesus warned us of this happening, and we should worry more if the world loves us.  I seek comfort in His Word and just today I asked for His words of encouragement and prayed and then opened the Bible.  I opened to Romans 8:1-2: 

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death”. 

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!! 

Patti C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE WHITE HORSE AND THE OPENING OF THE FIRST SEAL

HE WHITE HORSE AND THE OPENING OF THE FIRST SEAL

I read so many great commentaries on the Book of Revelation, and find that I agree with many things being said, but one thing that keeps bothering me is how the great majority of Bible scholars see the rider on the white horse of the first seal, as the anti-Christ.  I feel that holding this view confuses the context of what is really happening in Rev.5 and 6, and throws off the true timing of when the seals are opened.

WHY THE RIDER ON THE WHITE HORSE IS NOT THE ANTICHRIST!!

First of all, Christ would not have to send the anti-Christ, into the world!!!  Why would the anti-Christ have to go about conquering the world to begin with?  According to the words of Jesus Christ, Satan is already the prince of this world (John 14:30)!   Also 2 Corinthians 4:4 declares Satan to be the god of this world, Ephesians 2:2 declare him to be the prince of the powers of the air.  So, the anti-Christ does not need to conquer the world that is already his!!  The idea that the anti-Christ would have to conquer is based on the notion that man is basically good; that the nations are basically good. We all know that this is not true, nor ever found in the Word of God!!

The world already belongs to Satan, and it is Satan that Christ is reclaiming the world from, by opening the seals of the deed of earth!!  So right off, this seems like the wrong interpretation.

Let’s look at some other misconceptions.

Revelation 6:1 says: 1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. (6:1-2)

THE WHITE HORSE

White is, and always will be, a symbol of purity and righteousness throughout the Bible.  All through the Bible, white has always been associated with the holiness and righteousness of the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  White was associated with the Transfiguration, Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus:At the Transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:2 Mark 9:3 Luke 9:29, Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, and His face did shine as the Sun, and His raiment was WHITE as snow.

At the Resurrection of Jesus: Matthew 28:3 Mark 16:5 John 20:12, His countenance was like lightning and His raiment WHITE as snow.At the Ascension of Jesus: Acts 1:10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in WHITE apparel.In the Book of Revelation White is used several times to describe events and clothing.Revelation 1:14 the Son of man’s hair is referred to as white like wool.Revelation 2:17, to him that overcometh will I give a white stone.

Revelation 4:4, four and twenty Elders were clothed in white raiment.Revelation 6:11 White robes were given to the martyrs.Revelation 7:9, White robes were given to those that were sealed.Revelation 7:14; White robes were given to those that come out of great tribulation.Revelation 14:14; Son of man sat upon a white cloud.Revelation 19:8; Bride was arrayed in white linen.Revelation 19:14; Armies of heaven followed on white horses.Revelation 20: 11; the Great White Throne Judgment.

All throughout the Bible the color white is symbolic of purity in relation to righteousness and holiness and is never used in connection with sin, corruption, evil or the devil!!  The WORD of God NEVER attempts to deceive us in any way. Satan may portray himself as an angel of light, but the Bible calls him a serpent, a red dragon, and the father of lies. The Scriptures never portray Satan as an angel of light, but tells us he can betray us that way.  In this regard, Scripture would never tell us that Satan, or the Anti-Christ would be riding a white horse!!

THE CROWN

“and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest”.

The crown the rider wears is not that of an earthly kingdom. The Greek word for crown being used here is stephanos (4735), and denotes “the victor’s crown, the symbol of triumph in the games … a token of public honor for distinguished service” (VED). It is the same word used for the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. This crown is for the victory of Christ described in Rev. 5. The same Greek word appears in Rev. 2:10, where Jesus said, “Be faithful, even to the point of death and I will give you the crown of life.” The ten kings of the ten-horned beast in Rev. 13 do not wear victors’ crowns but diadems, earthly crowns.

THE BOW

The language used to describe the weapon that the Rider had is a bow. Through the wars of the Old Testament the bow was a common instrument that was used. It was not described as any of mankind’s weapons of this day and hour in which we are living. God promised Noah that He would never destroy the world by water anymore and His promise was sealed with the rainbow. In this regard the bow is an instrument of peace, and a spiritual sign, not a weapon of war.   Genesis 9:13 “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.14. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud.”

CONQUEROR BENT ON CONQUEST

Conquering, by New Testament standards, is defeating the devil by overcoming.  Jesus conquered sin on the cross, and Revelations refers more than once to overcoming the beast and the number of his name. The conquering spirit is out to defeat sin and deliver victory to men for Jesus. Remember, there is a war in heaven and it is over the spirits of men.

SO WHO IS THE RIDER ON THE WHITE HORSE AND WHEN IS THIS SEAL OPENED?

I totally believe that the rider on the first horse is the HOLY SPIRIT, and Jesus opened this first seal as soon as He ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father.

Chapter 5 of the book of Revelation describes a heaven which is before the Ascension of Christ to the right hand of His Father.  God is on the Throne and is holding the book with the seven seals. (Rev.5:1).  No one in heaven, or in the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, and this causes John to weep.

At this point, one of the elders tells John that the Lion of the tribe of Judah is worthy, and then Jesus shows up in heaven as a Lamb that has been slain.  And the first thing, that Jesus does, is take the book out of the right hand of His Father. (Rev. 5:7)  Therefore, the very first thing that Jesus does after He ascends to the Father is take the deed to the earth and start to open the seals.

He has promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, as soon as He arrives in heaven, and that is what He does.  He opens the first seal and sends the Holy Spirit, and he descends on the disciples gathered in the upper room on the first Pentecost.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Acts 2:1-4 1) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Jesus said, when He returned to His Father, He would send the Holy Spirit, as the Comforter to them. So we have seen Heaven without a savior, then Jesus arrives in heaven after conquering sin on the cross, then the first seal is opened and this sends a pure conqueror to the earth. The only way that man can overcome evil is being indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and the only way to the Holy Spirit is through Christ and His sacrifice for us.

The White Horse and its rider, are the Holy Spirit which Jesus promised to send, and is the first thing, (other than taking the book from the hand of God), that He did when He got to heaven.

Revelation chapter 5 does not take place in the future.  In the vision that John was being shown, Jesus had not yet arrived at the throne from earth.  Rather than a description of the throne room scene after the future resurrection, transformation, and catching-up rapture event, this is a vision of the scene at God’s throne, just after the ascension of Jesus Christ, and just before he took his seat at the right hand of God.

This also helps explain who the saints are in Rev 5:9.  As I have stated before in other posts, I believe them to be all the saints that were taken out of Paradise and ascended to heaven with Jesus at his ascension. They are the pre-Church saints and were taken out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation, (all the children of Abraham up to the first coming of Christ) .  They are not the Church or the Bride.

All this makes perfect sense to me; I finally understand it all so much better!!  It never made sense, nor felt true that the bride was in heaven without Christ being there, and it never made sense that Christ would send the anti-Christ to the earth!!   I have also always believed that the seals have been opening all throughout history, and will not begin opening sometime in the future, after the Rapture.  I believe the seals are the birth pangs, and not part of the Tribulation.  Also, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit as soon as he ascended, and even instructed his disciples to stay in Jerusalem for Pentecost.  The first seal and the rider on the White horse describes exactly what Christ promised, and exactly what He sent.

THE WHITE HORSE OF THE FIRST SEAL (Part 2)

The Lord is placing the importance of this issue upon my heart, and I feel compelled to share what I am finding out.  This has been a wonderful experience for me because I am learning so much about the HOLY SPIRIT, and how it is the most crucial component needed, to make it into the Kingdom of God!!

You see, I have always, up until recently, accepted the idea of the White Horse rider is the Anti-Christ.  The more I studied Rev. 4-7 about the rapture, the more it was put on my heart to look at the scenes in heaven, and what is happening in relation to the seals.  Then researching what words were chosen to describe the First Horseman, and what they each meant, led me to understand that this is not the Anti-Christ.

MISSING LINK

Most believe that the seals line up with what Jesus tells His disciples in Matt. 24:5-8, and this seems very reasonable as it does describe the same events in the same order.

Mat 24:5 -8

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

Yet, there is a missing link between Matthew and Revelation in regards to the Four Horsemen.  Only in Matthew does Christ warn of deception and the spirit of the antichrist, not so in the summation of these horsemen in Rev.6:8:

“They, [the horsemen] were given POWER over a fourth of the earth to KILL BY SWORD, FAMINE AND PLAGUE, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

What happened to the White horse here…there is no mention of deceptions or a false Christ.  This makes the first horse stand out as different from the others, and not part of the power given over a fourth of the earth!!

The first horse is not to be linked to the other three because it is not!! If the white horse represents false religion, civil strife or some military leader or action, it would be mentioned here WITH THE OTHER THREE HORSES!  But, only SWORD, FAMINE AND PLAGUE, and beasts of the earth, are mentioned.

False religion and deception has certainly had POWER over the earth for centuries, before Christ was even born!!  Why would Christ have to send this power to the earth that is already ruled by it??

THE CROWN

In my first post, about the First Horse, I talked about the Crown very briefly, and would like to cover a bit more about it, and how it plays in as a major identifying factor of the Holy Spirit.

Now, if the white horse of Revelation 6:2 is part and parcel of the other three horses who were given POWER over a fourth of the earth (Rev. 6:2), then the rider of this horse would be wearing a “diadem” instead of a crown (stepha.nos)!  Instead, we find this rider wearing the CROWN (STEPHA.NOS) “OF CHRISTIAN TRIUMPH.” Here are some of the bible passages that define this type of crown:I THESS. 2:19:For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown [stepha.nos] in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

II TIM. 4:8:“Now there is in store for me the crown [stepha.nos] of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

JAMES 1:12:“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown [stepha.nos] of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

REV. 4:4:“Surrounding the throne were 24 other thrones, and seated on them were 24 elders. They were dressed in WHITE and had crowns [stepha.nos] of gold on their heads.”  With the same thought in mind, it seems obvious that if the white horse of Rev. 6:2 symbolizes false religion, civil strife or triumphant militarism, then the rider would be wearing the DIADEM (DI.ADEMA) OF POWER AND RULER-SHIP!

Also, the colors associated with the four horsemen — white, red, black, and pale — apply to the horses, not the riders. The colors represent the nature of the objectives to be accomplished, not the moral character of the individual riders. Therefore, the “white horseman” does not symbolize a “counterfeit Christ” — but if for some reason he did, hypothetically-speaking, then the remaining three horsemen would have to be designated as personified entities even more evil and destructive than the Antichrist.

THE BOW

The “bow” represents God’s Holy Word:

The poetic scriptural passage in Habakkuk 3:8-13 vividly portrays the Lord going forth throughout the earth, riding on horses of salvation, accompanied by saints, possessing the bow (“thy word”) for the purpose of salvation during a terrible period of wrath and trouble:

Habakkuk 3:8-13

8 “Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? Was thine anger against the rivers? Was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst RIDE UPON THINE HORSES AND THY CHARIOTS OF SALVATION? “

9 “THY BOW was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, EVEN THY WORD. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.”

10 “The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.”

11 “THE SUN AND MOON STOOD STILL in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.”

12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation; thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.

13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed. (KJV)

OVERCOMING

The last phrase in Revelation 6:2, which is translated into English translations as ‘overcoming’, ‘that he might overcome’, and ‘conquering’ and ‘to conquer’ (KJV) is an interpretation of the Greek word ‘nikao’, which can mean to ‘conquer’, ‘overcome’, ‘prevail’, or ‘obtain victory’.

There is no reference in this text that the rider of the White Horse goes forth to make war or cause harm, because the rider is given a stepha.nos, which is laurel wreath to ware on his head, instead of a diadem, which is crown of authority. Therefore, it seems that the word (‘nikao’) has the meaning of a continuance of the thought of victory, as in an athletic event or some other type of situation in which one must win in order to be given the victor’s crown.

The apostle Paul often spoke of the process of overcoming as being analogous to a foot race, wherein there are only winners and losers. In speaking of his ministry of the gospel and how those who were called to partake of it should strive to control their lives in order to obtain an eternal victory, Paul says:”Do you not know that those running in a stadium indeed all run, but only one receives the prize? So run in such a way that you may obtain the prize”(1.Cor.9:24). Also see also Gal.2:2-5; Phil.2:16; 3:14; Heb.12:1.)

There are many scriptures that speak of the elect of God being given a crown of life as a reward for their overcoming the flesh and living a righteous life before the Father. There are also many warnings about losing one’s rewards (one’s crown) through neglect or sin. Therefore, it is likely that the crown of the rider of the white horse has something to do with Jesus Christ, who is the first person to obtain victor over the flesh. This crown is probably also associated with God’s children in their process of overcoming in order to obtain a crown of life.

It is important to point out that Christ is the one whom the Father has authorized to care for his earthly sons and to reward those who overcome the flesh with the crown of life. (Also see Jn.6:33-40; 10:27-30; 17:2.)

God sent us Jesus, and Jesus sent us the HOLY SPIRIT!! There is much more in the Bible to support the White horseman, of the first seal, as being the Holy Spirit, than there is to support him being the Antichrist!!!   I used to believe as most do, but upon much Holy Spirit inspired research cannot come to this conclusion any longer.

I will continue with the importance of all this, and how it relates to the scenes in heaven, and what the Holy Spirit has put on my heart, personally, It is all about Pentecost, and the sending of the Holy Spirit, and this makes this issue a timely and important one.

THE CELEBRATION OF PENTECOST IN HEAVEN?

This part of my study is presented as an overview of the scenes in heaven described by John, in Revelation chapters 4 and 5, and how it relates to the opening of the seals in chapter 6.

The conclusion that I have come to has taken years to formulate, and seems like a pearl born out of the tribulation of not understanding these chapters of Revelation, and the truths that the Holy Spirit has been laying on my heart.  I have always had trouble seeing the rapture taking place before Christ had ascended to heaven.  When you read the verses, you have to wonder why Christ has to be located, and becomes worthy to open the seals.

I feel I have found the answer, at least for myself, in the discovery that the rider on the White horse of the first seal is the Holy Spirit.  Once I understood that, and researched that possibility, everything else began to fall into place.  Once I had been shown, in the Spirit, this possibility, the more it was put on my heart to share this. I have been consumed with studying the Holy Spirit and how all this relates to the Bride and the Seals and what is happening this time of year near Pentecost, and so many signs pointing to our departure.  I was able to find one study that spoke about Pentecost in heaven, but, the author did not see the first seal rider as the Holy Spirit.

In truth, I have not found any studies that see it the way that I do; but, there are many good studies out there that see the white horse as other than the Antichrist.  At this point, I am relying of the best source I have, the Holy Spirit, to show me the way.  Therefore I will quote from only a small part of this study to explain how I see what is happening in heaven in these chapters of Revelation:

Inauguration of Christ’s Ministry in Revelation

Some scholars see the inauguration of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary in the throne scenes of Revelation 4 and 5.  The scenes in a sense are a celebration of Pentecost in heaven, which results in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on earth. Christ, the Lamb that “had been slain” (Rev 5:6), is welcomed back to heaven by four living creatures, twenty-four elders, and myriads of angels who praise Him, saying: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev 5:12). The immediate result of the Lamb’s sacrifice is intercession (Rev 5:8) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit represented by the “seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (Rev 5:6).

In his book A Rebirth of Images: The Making of St. John’s Apocalypse, Austin Farrer sees in the vision of the throne (Rev 4-5) a description of the feast of Pentecost: “The Christian Pentecost which St. John describes took place in heaven, but had its effect on earth.

The Lamb, by virtue of the sevenfold Spirit which is his seven horns of strength, his seven eyes of knowledge, opened all revelation, and when the day of Pentecost was fully come, he poured it on his servants in prophetic Spirit.

The Pentecostal gift is constantly renewed, as in this ‘apocalypse of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to shew his servants what must quickly be, and which he signified by the message of his angel to his servant John.’ Yet the first Pentecost is not cast into the shade by such renewals, but kept all the more foremost in mind.”

This interpretation of the vision of God’s throne (Rev 4-5) as cast in the setting of the Feast of Pentecost suggests that at the time of John’s writing (about A. D. 90-100), the feast played a significant role in the liturgical life of the church, especially since the book of Revelation was used in the liturgy of the church.  Farrer continues noting the connection between the imageries of Passover and Pentecost in the vision of the throne: “It is the Christ of the Passover, the paschal Lamb ‘standing as slaughtered,’ who by his sacrificial merit has attained to take the book and loose the seven seals thereof.

Back to the White Horse and its rider; Christ begins to open the seals of earth’s redemption, as soon as He ascends to the Father.  This is not a future event!!  He fulfilled the Work of He who sent Him (“ IT IS FINISHED!”)  and now He is sending another (the HOLY SPIRIT COMFORTER) to enable His children to run the race and to claim the same victory over Hell and Death.

The LAW was sent at Pentecost, so that Christ could fulfill the Law!!  The HOLY SPIRIT was sent at Pentecost; so that His followers could overcome the evil in the world, and share the ultimate victory that Christ made a way for us to share.  It was the beginning of the AGE OF GRACE, and it will mark the ending of that AGE.  It is the Age that Christ assured us that He would be with us until the end of it.  And, the only way for Him to be with us is through the HOLY SPIRIT.

“Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come”. I looked, and saw, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” (Revelation 6: 1-2)

After the inauguration of the Lamb as the High Priest and the ascension to the throne, the Holy Spirit is sent at Pentecost to fulfill the covenant.  Therefore, under the first seal, a great blessing occurred.

Jesus sent the conquering Archer, Who was decorated with honor and given a bow and a crown, the final piece that would complete the TRINITY.  By sending the Holy Spirit He went out to conquer the world despite all the opposition.  CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY TO OBTAIN THE HOLY SPIRIT AND BE BORN AGAIN!!  BEING BORN AGAIN IS THE ONLY WAY TO WIN THE RACE!! Jesus already won the Race for us!!!

Jesus Breached the Wall.  But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ, and are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, that you may overcome as He has overcome!

“For He Himself, is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,” (Ephesians 2: 13-14).

The northern and the southern kingdoms become one again.  The Jews of Judah reunite with the Israelites that have been scattered to the four winds.   All celebrations of Pentecost have been the foreshadowing of what Jesus did for us on the Cross.  The fulfillment being, when Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to the disciples at the first Pentecost!!

TO HIS NAME IS ALL THE GLORY!!

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!

Patti C.

CHRIST IN US verses THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST

CHRIST IN US verses THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST

Hello all, 

Our world seems to be filling up with the “spirit of antichrist”.  We see it in our governments, our leaders, the media, our communities, and, most regrettably, our churches.  In some regards we can even see it in ourselves, if we are honest and look deeply.  The fact is that if we are not “in Christ and He in us” in all aspects of our lives, then maybe we are not completely pure in our words, thoughts and deeds.  Being so surrounded by this “antichrist spirit” in our world can often take a toll on our strength in the Lord, and we must continue to examine our hearts and minds and willingly offer up all of ourselves to our Lord and Savior. 

The following study is very interesting as it was written in this vein, and helps us to focus on the spiritual aspects of what the Word of God is telling us to look for, as individuals, in regards to our own lives.  We know there will be a manifestation of this “antichrist spirit” on the world stage, as we are seeing it coming to life as a Beast set on world dominion.  We can point at the Pope, the Black Pope, President Obama, and many others and plainly see who rules their lives and their actions, as it is so obvious that it is evil and of Satan. We can see that mankind is choosing this evil, willingly and openly and even exulting and idolizing it.  But, what about each of us, are we in any way playing into this collective “antichrist spirit”in our own words, thoughts and deeds?

This study reminds us to keeping looking within ourselves as well as without at others and our world, as Satan is very devious and out to devour any trace of good in this world and his main targets are those who are In Christ, and have Christ in them.  We must stay alert, and make sure we are not contributing to this collective choice that most are making.  I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did, and see how valid it really is in the context of these evil end-time days. 

####################### 

Anti-Christ

http://www.goodnewsarticles.com/antichrist.htm 

By David A. DePra 

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error”. (1 John 4:1-6) 

“Hereby know you.” Note that: “Here is how you will know the Spirit of God.” John is, in this passage, giving us a TEST FOR TRUTH. He is telling us how we can know what is of the Spirit of God, and what is of the spirit of antichrist. You would think that such a test for Truth would catch our attention. But you rarely hear this passage quoted at all in Christian teaching. Instead it is classified as applying only to the first century heresy of Gnosticism. 

Gnosticism had infiltrated first century Christianity. The Gnostic heresy stated that the entire material world, including flesh and blood human beings, was evil. Thus, God could have nothing to do with the material world, or with the flesh and blood human beings that lived in it. Once this error invaded the church, it meant that Jesus Christ was not actually God become a flesh and blood man – He just appeared to be a man. And it likewise meant that Jesus does not today come to dwell in believers – no — for He could never have anything to do with flesh and blood humanity. 

Gnosticism was a flat-out denial of, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” It was therefore a denial of the very nature of Christianity itself. Thus, John sets the record straight. The Holy Spirit will always confess that Jesus is come in the flesh. The spirit of antichrist will NOT preach this – antichrist will preach something else as a substitute. Antichrist will, in effect, present a false Christianity, based on something other than the reality of, “Christ in you.” 

This passage is part of the inspired Word of God. Thus, despite the fact that it did have a certain specific application and purpose for the day in which it was written, God inspired and preserved it for the entire church age. There is a spiritual principle being revealed in this passage that applies universally for all time. 

Christianity is, “Christ in us,” or, if you prefer, “us in Christ. John is stating that the Spirit of God is always going to confess – reveal, teach, and unfold – yes, the fact that Christ is in us. But even more importantly, the Holy Spirit is going to confess the Christ who is in us. The work of the Spirit of God – the purpose for which the Spirit of God is given – is to reveal Christ to us, and IN US. This is what John is getting at: The Holy Spirit will always confess JESUS IS COME to dwell in us. Antichrist will preach most anything else as a substitute. 

The centrality and importance of this Truth ought to be apparent from the passage itself. John says, “Here is how you will know the Spirit of God.” All things can be tested by whether Jesus is being confessed as abiding in the believer, and whether the Jesus who abides in the believer is being revealed to the believer. That is the work of the Spirit of God, and the Truth that John is stating. In short, all things are to be tested by the Truth Himself, Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Is Come in the Flesh 

Gnosticism was one of the first heresies to do major damage to the church. In direct fashion, Gnosticism denied that Jesus Christ DID come into this world as a flesh and blood human being. But once that is denied, then everything that is based upon it is denied. And the fact is, only if Jesus was God become man can He today dwell in man AS God. Only if Jesus Christ became a flesh and blood human being, lived, died, was raised, and ascended, is it possible that He IS COME today to abide in us by His Spirit. 

Christianity is based upon who Jesus is, and what He did. Thus, once who Jesus is, and what He did, is distorted, Christianity itself is distorted. This is why John does not say that this test for Truth has only to do with the historical fact that Jesus Christ DID come in the flesh. No. That is the foundation. But John speaks of what is built upon that foundation in giving this test for Truth. John knows that the Holy Spirit will always confess that, “Jesus DID come in the flesh.” But in this epistle, he says that the Holy Spirit will always confess that, “Jesus IS come in the flesh.” 

This phrase, “Jesus IS come in the flesh,” is different than saying, “Jesus DID come in the flesh.” When John wrote, “Jesus IS come,” he did not use the PAST tense. Rather, he used the perfect participle. This indicates a past event having existing results. In other words, everything John says is based upon the fact that Jesus DID come in the flesh – that is the past event. But the test for Truth that he is giving accentuates the EXISTING results of that past event. What are those existing results? That, “Jesus IS come in the flesh,” today – Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit of God, comes to dwell in flesh and blood human beings who receive Him. 

John is saying that the Holy Spirit will always confess – based upon the past finished work of Jesus Christ – the Holy Spirit will always confess and reveal the PRESENT reality of Christ in us. Christ in us is the present result of the past redemptive work of Christ – that He finished as God become man. 

“Jesus is come in the flesh,” is nothing short of a description of Christianity. It is, “Christ in us (see Col. 1:27),” stated in other terms. “Jesus is come in the flesh,” is a summary of what constitutes the new creation in Christ Jesus. Thus, John is talking here about the very definition of what Christianity really is. His test for Truth is just that important. 

The Confession 

A, “confession” – that is, a TRUE confession — is what you present as the Truth. It is your testimony of the Truth; your conveyance of Truth, regardless of how you convey it. Thus, when John says that the Holy Spirit will always confess that, “Jesus is come in the flesh,” he is not limiting God to the spoken Word, the written Word, or really, to any means. He is simply saying, “This is what the Spirit of God will always do: Confess the PRESENT reality of, “Jesus IS come in the flesh.” 

Thus, this confession is really the REVELATION of Jesus Christ. To the believer. Yes. But also IN the believer. Absolutely. The confession of the Holy Spirit is always going to be unto the unfolding and revelation OF Jesus to us. 

John says that they Holy Spirit will always confess – reveal – that, “Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh.” But WHOSE flesh? MY flesh. And YOUR flesh. In short, the Spirit will confess the fact that Jesus has come to dwell in us. But just as importantly, the Spirit will reveal to us the Person of Jesus – the Spirit will reveal to us the Christ who does abide in us. The Spirit will confess the fact that Christ is within, and the Spirit will reveal the Christ Who is within. 

Can we possible grasp what John is getting at? He is saying that the Holy Spirit will always be in the process of revealing the reality of Christ WITHIN. The Holy Spirit will reveal the Christ who lives in me – TO ME. 

Paul said that this was what the Spirit of God did in him: 

But when it pleased God….to reveal his Son in me. (Gal 1:15-16) 

This revelation of Christ IN US was also the heart cry of Paul for the church in general: 

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you. (Gal 4:19) 

In addition to this clearly stated purpose of the Spirit of revealing Christ IN US in the epistles of Paul, we also have all of the teaching in the gospel of John, chapters 14-16, where Jesus Himself continually stated that the purpose for the Holy Spirit would be to testify of Him (confess), and to guide us into all Truth, and to take all that was of Jesus and reveal it to believers. The continual teaching of the NT is that during this age the purpose of God – the purpose for which the Holy Spirit was given – is to reveal Jesus Christ, yes, TO US, but more importantly, to reveal Christ IN US. 

CHRIST IN US is Christianity – Christ is in us by His Spirit. And the purpose for which Jesus lives in us through His Spirit is so that Christ might be formed in us – inwardly realized and known. And the further impact of this is that we might be, “formed together with Christ.” It is upon this revelation of Christ in us that Jesus said, “I will build my church.” 

The revelation of Christ within the believer is exactly what John the apostle is stating the Spirit of God will always confess. The Holy Spirit will always confess or reveal Christ – but not simply as a doctrine or a teaching. No. And neither will the Holy Spirit simply reveal TO US Christ – as if He is off somewhere in heaven. No. Rather, the Holy Spirit will continually reveal Christ IN US – the Holy Spirit will continually confess Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh – the PRESENT reality of Christ within the believer. 

Now, again, how important is this? It is the difference between the spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. For not only will the Holy Spirit always confess the Truth of Jesus Christ come in the flesh, but John states that antichrist will NOT confess that Truth. 

The Omission

It is always wise to note the manner in which God inspires something to be written. John states that the Holy Spirit will always confess Jesus is come in the flesh. We have seen a bit of the scope of what that means. But then note what he says regarding antichrist. John does not mention anything that antichrist WILL confess. Did you notice that? Rather, John tells us what antichrist will NOT confess: Antichrist will NOT confess what the Holy Spirit WILL confess: Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. 

What John is teaching brings things down to ALL or NOTHING. According to John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, where the present reality of Christ in us is not our life, our fellowship, and our reason for being – either as an individual or as a corporate body – where there is an OMISSION of the present reality of Christ in people – where HE is omitted as the centrality of God’s purpose – this is not only evidence that the Holy Spirit is absent or grieved, but it is evidence that antichrist is at work. 

Read it again: “Every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist.” The OMISSION is enough. The omission is where antichrist begins. Then, once a, “blank space,” is created by omitting Christ, Satan can bring in OTHER teaching to substitute for Christ. What other teaching is somewhat irrelevant if the Truth is absent. 

Did you ever notice that almost all the deceptions of the enemy begin with a neglect or omission of the Truth? Sure. The Bible says that Satan has BLINDED people. There is a condition created wherein people do not know the Truth – indeed, they don’t even KNOW TO KNOW the Truth. In other words, they are even debating or seeking. They are blind to any Truth that is outside of their present spiritual sight. 

It is one thing to be blind and KNOW it – I can cry out to God that I may SEE! But it is entirely another thing to be blind and NOT KNOW it. In that case, I will have no frame of reference for what it means to see. Indeed, I may even be convinced that the darkness I am in is actually light. Imagine being so utterly blind that you think you can see. There are people like that. Some profess to be born again. 

The reason this deception is possible is ultimately found in US – but that is another matter. But the power of omission is great in the hands of the enemy. For if the enemy can keep people blinded to the Truth then there is created in their understanding and experience a blank space – a space that God intended to fill with the Truth of His Son. And once that blank space is created then it can be filled in by the enemy with a substitute for the reality of Christ within. 

Satan is the great master of substitutes. Not surprisingly, the term, “antichrist,” not only means, “against Christ,” but, “a substitute for Christ.” Sure. Satan does not need to get up and preach against Christ. The spirit of antichrist does not need to get up and openly deny that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. No. All that is necessary is to NOT confess that Jesus is come in the flesh. And then offer an alternative – one that will seduce people away from live in Christ to, “another gospel.” 

The Seriousness 

You will note that John begins this passage with a warning and an exhortation. 

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 

Two exhortations here: Do NOT believe every spirit. And TEST the spirits. And then John gives the test. But despite this, many Christian people DO believe every spirit, and do NOT test anything. Worse, most have no clue about the test for Truth that God gives through John. In short, this passage is almost universally IGNORED by the church today. 

I submit that the fact that most ignore passages such as this one from I John 4 is, in itself, evidence that the spirit of antichrist has already begun to blind many. The love of the Truth has become so cold today that many professing Christians do not even take heed of the clear warnings given in the Word of God. And the fact is, if we ignore the warnings and protections of God, we will eventually reap what we sow. 

You will notice that once John warns us not to believe every spirit, that he actually tells us WHY. He says, “because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” In other words, John is telling us that a predominant way in which the spirit of antichrist will omit the Truth – and then substitute error — is through the teaching and living of FALSE PROPHETS. A NT prophet is one who proclaims the Truth – and thus all ministry falls under this heading, in one way or another. So just as God will most often use true ministers to preach the Truth, so it is that most often the spirit of antichrist will use people as well. 

John is saying, “Do not believe every thing you hear – just because someone claims to be called of God. There are MANY false prophets.” 

Paul warned of the same possibility: 

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:13-15) 

An, “angel of light,” looks like an angel or messenger from God. Thus, there is a disguise or counterfeit here – and even many of these ministers of Satan may be themselves deceived. And yet we need not be concerned about whether we might be deceived by them. Why? Because John gives us the TEST FOR TRUTH. That test is the Person of Jesus Christ. 

Go back to the test. Does a minister teach Christians that Christ is in them? Does he, as Paul, desire that, “Christ be formed,” in believers? Does he teach HOW the Spirit of God does this work? Does a minister have as his entire goal and purpose, the revelation of Christ IN the believer – which is absolutely equal to believers being BUILT UP in Christ – which the Bible says is THE purpose for ALL ministry? 

The Bible also tells us some of the things that will be preached by false ministers. For example, read what Paul is teaching right before the above quote passage of II Cor. 11:13-15, where Paul warns against ministers of Satan, who appear as messengers of light. He is talking about the false ministers taking occasion to GET MONEY from believers. 

Funny how it so often comes back to this. Turn on Christian TV. You will never hear about Jesus Christ in us – you will never hear even a message about the Truth of Jesus Christ in us. What you will hear are promises of how you can GET from God if you GIVE money to them. Money, money, and more money. This, despite all of the warnings in the Word of God. But again – countless professing Christians completely ignore these warnings. They just go right ahead and do, “believe every spirit.” They ignore the test given by John, and the words of Paul. And as a result, they are completely BLIND to the present reality of Christ within. They are living in the delusion of a false Christianity and another Jesus. They are being deceived by the spirit of antichrist.  

The Real AntiChrist 

What is antichrist? The term means more than, “against Christ.” In fact, the literal meaning is, “the instead-of anointed one.” In other words, “antichrist,” is one who is presented as God’s anointed — instead of Jesus. This is a substitute or counterfeit. 

So antichrist is a counterfeit Christ presented INSTEAD OF the real Christ. But according to John, this counterfeit Christ will substitute for the present reality of Christ in the believer. The person who is deceived will be convinced they are walking in the Truth. But they will have no revelation of Jesus Christ. They will be living in a false Christianity. 

Can we see, from this passage from I John 4 alone, that antichrist simply cannot be limited to a yet-to-be revealed religious leader, who will deceive many people in the last days? No. For John himself states this fact in this, and other passages: 

And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:3) 

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (1 John 2:18) 

People continue to look for an individual called, “the antichrist.” But clearly, antichrist is spiritual in nature – John says so. Thus, despite the fact that the spirit of antichrist has always had human vehicles – some of them more prominent than others – antichrist is NOT an individual person. Antichrist is spiritual in nature – antichrist is the spirit of Satan building and presenting something INSTEAD OF Christ to human beings. And as we are seeing from John, Satan wants to present ANYTHING except the present reality of, “Jesus is come in the flesh.” 

The fact that the antichrist is NOT some individual person who will someday appear is made clear throughout scripture. But those who believe that antichrist is a person often turn to II Thes. 2 as proof: 

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Th 2:3-4) 

Who IS this, “man of sin?” Is this, “man of sin,” an individual person? No. One reason is that no future individual man could be called, “THE man of sin.” No present or yet to be born person could rightly be called, “THE son of perdition.” These names are all encompassing.” Regardless of how evil a person might be, or how much Satan might use them, these titles cannot apply to a person who will one day come on the scene and deceive many. 

I submit that, “The man of sin,” is a man that represents the fullness of what SIN IS IN MEN. Indeed, “the SON of perdition,” is one who is born OUT OF perdition, or destruction. There is only ONE man to whom these names could apply. That man is ADAM. It was Adam through whom sin entered into the human race. Adam brought perdition upon the race of humanity. He alone could merit these titles. 

There are two other names in this passage used to refer to this, “man of sin.” 

For the mystery of iniquity does already work….: and then shall that Wicked be revealed. 

The same term is used in both these names: Lawless. The phrase, “for the mystery of iniquity does already work,” can rightly be translated, “for the covered up lawlessness is already active.” And the phrase, “then shall that wicked be revealed,” could read, “then shall the lawless be uncovered.” 

We see two things here. First of all, the term LAWLESS refers not merely to acts of law-breaking. Rather, it refers to a NATURE. Through his sin, Adam became a LAWLESS creature. This means that yes, he did lawless ACTS, but more than that, he became a human being who was CONTRARY to God. Adam was responsible for the entire human race becoming, by nature, contrary to all righteousness and holiness. Man is a LAWLESS creature – who shows his nature by doing lawless things. 

The second thing we see is that John clearly goes out of his way to say that this, “man of sin,” is an individual person. Instead, he is a collective or corporate man of sin – a corporate man who represents the ultimate outcome of sin in man – that of proclaiming himself as his own god. In short, the ultimate outcome of sin in humanity is that the lawless nature eventually is uncovered – it will work itself out and be made fully manifest – to where humanity openly and without shame proclaims themselves as their own god. 

This, “man of sin,” about which John writes, is a corporate man – a corporate body of people – who through their own personal unbelief – are built into this collective representation of all that opposes God. The spirit of antichrist has been building this corporate man for 2000 years. For most of that time, it has been a, “mystery of lawlessness,” that is, not formed together enough to be seen or used of Satan. But at some point before the second coming, this, “wicked” – this lawlessness – will come to fruition. This, “man of sin,” that is being built will come to fullness – and in doing so will be revealed – be clearly seen. 

Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholds that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now restrains will restrain, until he be taken out of the way. 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: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. (2 Th 2:5-9) 

Now, having said all of that, we must again realize that this MAN OF SIN is the product of the spirit of antichrist. In other words, this is a corporate man that is offered INSTEAD of Christ. In short, rather than the NEW MAN which is Christ in us, this man of sin – which is the fullness of the OLD MAN in Adam – is presented AS that new man; instead of the new man in Christ. 

This is clearly seen if we read on. Paul says that this, “man of sin,” “Opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. What IS the temple of God? Would Paul the apostle call the temple in Jerusalem, or some supposed future temple, “the temple of God?” I submit that he would never do so. God called Paul to show that the entire religious structure that centered around the physical temple was no longer valid under the New Covenant. The temple in Jerusalem was no longer the temple of God. Rather, Paul said to believers, “YOU are the temple of God.” (I Cor. 3:17 and II Cor. 6:16) 

The temple of God in the NT is always the church – the body of Christ. Thus, this man of sin is to sit WITHIN – as part of – indeed, as having dominion OVER – the true temple of God, which is the body of Christ. 

Now, the picture here is inescapable. We have already seen that John’s test for Truth states that the Holy Spirit will always confess the present reality of Christ in the believer, that is, will always confess that Jesus IS come in the flesh – the Holy Spirit will always reveal the Christ who dwells in us. But here we have, not Christ, but the man of sin sitting in the temple of God – which is the believer, both individually and corporately. In other words, instead of Christ sitting in the true temple of God and living and reigning and ruling, we have this man of sin doing so. Is this not a shocking picture of those who reject Christ as their life in favor of ANOTHER LIFE – the Adam life? This is a picture, not of Jesus as our Lord, but of the fallen nature as our lord. Yet all presented AS true Christianity! 

There have always been only TWO MEN – Adam and Christ. In fact, Christ is called, “The Last Adam.” From the start, Satan has wanted to exalt Adam instead of Christ. This was the temptation in the garden – the suggestion was, “you can be as god.” And once you anoint Adam instead of Christ, you have the makings of an, “instead-of anointed one,” which is the literal meaning of the term, “anti-christ.” If Satan can substitute the corporate Adam for Christ as the one who sits in the temple of God, the church, then the entire basis of Christianity is no longer Christ. It is Adam – and Adam is, “the man of sin.” Satan will have his ground upon which to work and abide. 

Here we see the ultimately outcome of Satan; the ultimate outcome of the spirit of antichrist. It is man – natural, religious man — sitting in the temple of God, sitting within the body of Christ. This is a man-centered Christianity. This is not, “Jesus is come in the flesh,” but rather, it is flesh – Adam — taking the place of Jesus. 

Want more evidence that this is what Paul is revealing. Read what Paul clearly states is the cause of this, “man of sin,” coming to where it can be revealed. He says that, “there must come a falling away FIRST.” He is telling us that an accelerated falling away is gong to RESULT IN, “the man of sin being revealed.” In other words, this man of sin is built up and hardened – and able to be finally manifested – as the result of the falling away or apostasy. The apostasy is said to reveal this man of sin – the apostasy brings him into view. It is almost as if he was already there – but the falling away completes him – and enables him to take his seat in the temple of God AS GOD. He sits symbolically in the Body of Christ – as if he is lord. 

Paul the apostle is telling us all that BEFORE Christ returns there is going to be a highly accelerated falling away from Christ – and that this is going to bring about the fullness of what antichrist has been building for two-thousand years: The man of sin. This corporate man of sin will deceive many, to the point where it will succeed as a counterfeit for Christ in us – the man of sin will be the flesh, the natural man – the Adam nature – presented as a religious substitute for Christ. He will sit in the true temple of God, proclaiming himself as his own god – not necessarily openly in those words – but that will be his confession. He will oppose by his very presence the reality of Jesus Christ in God’s people. Thus, we have TWO MEN: Adam vs. Christ. Where is our faith? 

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. (2 Th 2:8) 

The only real way to destroy the effectiveness of a counterfeit is to bring in the genuine article. The only way to destroy a false Christ and a false Christianity is for Christ Himself to come. It works that way NOW. How much more THEN? This, “man of sin,” is not destroyed by armies. He is destroyed by the Truth (Word of His mouth) and by LIGHT – by the very presence of Christ. 

The protection of professing Christians against the deception of antichrist is KNOWING JESUS CHRIST. Knowing the Truth. Having light. It is going to be that in the end that matters. This brings us full circle. John states, “The Holy Spirit will always reveal CHRIST IN US.” The antichrist will offer a substitute. 

666 

Ask yourself: What is 666? 

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Rev 13:18) 

6 is the number of man – fallen man. The bible says so. Since 7 is the number of God – that of spiritual perfection – 6 shows that, “all men have sinned and fallen short,” of the glory of God – shown by a 6 which falls short of 7. That is man as a creature. He is a 6. God is a 7. Symbolically. 

So what is 666? Man – complete in his sin and independence from God. This again is the collective MAN OF SIN. The number of the man of sin – hardened and complete in himself – is 666. And this man is like a beast. He is flesh. 

Revelation 13 says that 666 is the number of the beast described there – but that this is likewise the number of man. In other words, the beast is this same collective man, who is in rebellion against God. But you will also note that this same beast is at first said to have 7 heads. But one of these 7 heads is wounded to death, but then seems to come back to life. In other words, this 7 headed beast is now really a 6 headed beast. The 7th head is dead, but fakes being alive. Is this not representative of the fact that Adam originally had God Himself as his HEAD, but then sinned unto death, and as a result, became his OWN head. But that ever since, Adam has tried to act as if he is still alive – and religiously, alive unto God? A beast that had 7 heads, where one died, reducing him to a 6 headed creature – now trying to run his own life – this fits perfectly into the man of sin. The man of sin is like a beast – Jesus is not in him. But he will try to be religious from out of himself – he will act like he has 7 heads. And all of this is summarized by saying that the number of this beast is the number of a man – 666. Man in his complete rebellion against God. 

The spirit of antichrist presents Adam – collective Adam – as a substitute for Christ in us. The old man in Adam is dressed up – as if he has 7 heads again – through religion that is about Christ, and sat in the temple of God. This is what antichrist does. It has always been the purpose of Satan. 

Apostasy 

Real apostasy is not merely a falling away FROM Christ – but always entails falling away TO a substitute. Any substitute will do – the result will be the same. As noted earlier, those who truly fall away from Christ will comprise the man of sin. 

To fall away from Christ – to revolt from Christ – this demands that a person had LIGHT and TRUTH. You cannot fall away from a Christ you never knew. But having said that, this does not demand that a person was actually saved. No. It simply demands that a person had enough to be saved, but refused. In short, we are not talking about people who did LOSE their salvation. Rather, we are talking about those who did REFUSE salvation. 

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19) 

According to John, THIS is the basis for condemnation: That I had light, but loved darkness RATHER than that light. Why? Because I did not want to have myself exposed by that light. I would not see or confess my sin, and thus, my need for Christ. 

You will note two things proven by this verse: First, it is possible for God to give me light – before I am saved. That should not be surprising, for I have to have SOME light to see Christ is my Savior. I have to have SOME light to understand that I need to be saved by Christ from my sin. Secondly, we see that it is possible to refuse to embrace the light God gives – it is possible to love darkness RATHER than light. If I do, I stand condemned. 

To speak to our present point – those who comprise the man of sin are those who were given light. They knew enough to embrace Christ. But instead, they fell away from Him. They stood in the light and conviction of God – had a taste of the heavenly gift, and had their minds enlightened, enough to make them accountable – but fell away FROM Christ TO what amounts to their SELF life. These are the man of sin. 

So often people who refuse to embrace the light God gives turn out to be very religious in nature. Many do not seem to atheists or agnostics. Rather, they either champion, or come under, some terrible heresy or some substitute for Christ. This is the case with so many high profile false teachers today. Why do they teach such deception? Because they are deceived – not by accident, or as a victim – but they are deceived because they loved darkness rather than the light God gave them. Having done that, they walk in a Christianity that is entirely upon the wrong basis – the basis of the Adam nature, rather than upon Christ. 

Now, there is no question that many born again believers will also be deceived by this end time man of sin who sits within the body of Christ. But I do not believe we can make a case for someone who is truly IN Christ being part of this man of sin. No. Having said that, however, the consequences of being deceived by the spirit of antichrist will be great. We need to KNOW HIM. That is the only solution.

 The Cross 

According to John 3:19, the pivot point for salvation is to come into the light that God gives and be exposed as a person who is a sinner without hope. The motive for refusing to do so is because your, “deeds are evil,” and you don’t want to be exposed. But if you think about this necessity described in John 3:19, we are really talking about the essential of coming to the Cross of Jesus Christ. 

The event of our salvation – if it is real – means we must LOSE everything about ourselves into Christ – so that He can become our life. This is what it means to come to the Cross of Christ. Of course, at first most of us understand this in principle only – it is only later than we realize what it really means. It is later that God seeks to work out the reality of the Cross into our actual relationship with Christ. This is accomplished if we will pick up our Cross and LOSE our life for His sake – if we will, then we will find, discover, and realize the reality of Christ as our life. 

Now, you will note that the work of the personal Cross in the experience of the believer – the picking up of our Cross – you will note that this results in the forming of Christ within. We find HIM – we find true life. Thus, the work of the Cross is certainly a fundamental way in which the Spirit of God, “confesses Jesus is come in our flesh.” Pick up your Cross and lose your life, and the confession of Jesus TO you will become a living confession of Christ IN YOU.

 But Satan has always offered man the things of God – i.e., that which is found ONLY in Christ — WITHOUT the necessity of the Cross; without Christ in us. In fact, Satan offers man ANOTHER LIFE – usually man’s OWN life. 

Sure. Here again we see TWO MEN. Again — what we have here is really TWO MEN. On the one hand, we have those who have relinquished themselves into the hands of Christ, and found His life. This is the new man – the body of Christ. On the other hand, we have those who have NOT relinquished themselves into the hands of Christ – but have saved themselves for their own purposes. This is the, “man of sin.’ This man of sin, however, professes to be of the new man – corporately, “he,” sits within the temple of god – the true Body of Christ. This is nothing more than another explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares. 

If Satan can get people to deny the necessity of the personal Cross, and deny the need to lose our self-ownership to Christ as Lord, then everything else will succeed in his diabolical plan. For once the Cross is neglected and made needless, the natural life is saved – and from that point, every aspect of our Christianity will be based on US and our NATURAL MAN, instead of upon Christ. Draw this out to the ultimate outcome and you will have a MAN OF SIN – instead of the new man in Christ. 

Jesus is Come in the Flesh 

This simple TEST FOR TRUTH given to us by the apostle John is the difference between Christ in us, and the spirit of antichrist. The Spirit of God will ALWAYS be revealing, yes, the fact that Jesus is come to abide in us. But the Spirit of God will always be revealing the Person of Christ who is come and is living in us. Fundamental to this, “confession,” of the Holy Spirit will be the necessity of the Cross – without which Jesus Christ cannot come to dwell in us as our life. 

But the spirit of antichrist will seek to blind professing Christians to the reality of Christ in us, and to God’s purpose to form Christ in us. And then Satan will offer a substitute – a counterfeit Christianity. Any counterfeit will do. But that counterfeit will carry with make the personal Cross unnecessary. This will leave professing Christians living on the basis of themselves instead of upon Christ as their life. 

Right now, the man of sin is being built. The man of sin is going to be ultimately comprised of those who have hardened themselves against the Truth – they are those who have, “fallen away,” from Christ. And yet this man of sin will sit completely within the temple of God and claim that they are the expression of God Himself. So convincing will this deception be that unless we know Jesus Christ we might be deceived. The only way to know error is to know the Truth. 

######################## 

Let us not be blinded to the truth of what is going on spiritually and in each heart and mind. We personally battle with this antichrist spirit on a daily basis and must never let our guard down. Staying in Christ and knowing He is in us is our mightiest defense. We must put on the whole armor of God and face our ever darkening world with the love and light of the Lord that shines in and through us.

 May the Lord bless each and every one of my brothers and sisters in Christ, with His love, light and protection.

 JESUS IS ALL AND EVERY THING!!

 Patti C.