On the eve of the return of the Lord, we will soon appear before the Lord at judgment. Are we preparing? This last generation has seen fulfilment of prophecy that will introduce the Kingdom of God.
No. 1 in a long series of classes addressing the introduction and operation of the Millennial Kingdom. This first class addresses the last generation of the Ecclesial Age that will witness the introduction of the restored Kingdom. Jim Dillingham.
Visions of the Kingdom Age
Cranston RI Adult SS 2014
This is the first of a long series of adult Sunday School classes presented at the Crantson Rhode Island Ecclesia beginning in the spring of 2014.
This theme of Visions of the Kingdom Age… was chosen due to the Ecclesial Sunday School pattern over the previous 10 years. This examination of the restored Kingdom Age is a natural extension to the study of the Law of Moses. The reason is that the Law of Moses is really the laws of the Kingdom of God. Our great hope is to participate in the anticipated restored kingdom of God as Christ’s appointed King-priests… with both political and spiritual authority as educators, administrators and soldiers.
The study of the Law of Moses is a study of the very laws that the immortal King-Priest saints will be tasked with teaching and policing in the restored Kingdom. Studying the Law of Moses, as has been done here over the last 10 years, is vocational training for our dream job. Now… as a parade of Christadelphian commentators have highlighted in their addresses, books and articles… we are not under the authority of the Law of Moses at this time. But if we want the job of teaching and policing those restored Kingdom Laws that had originally been commissioned through Moses… then why wouldn’t we be studying them now, preparing for that dream job.
It is like the way David could not construct God’s temple, so what he did was assemble everything and prepare everything that he possibly could so that his son Solomon could build that temple. David couldn’t build the temple, but he could prepare for it. We don’t serve under Kingdom Laws, but we certainly hope to in the near future, so like David… we should be preparing. Now that ‘some’ in this ecclesia have spent 10 years considering the laws of the Kingdom of God… let’s consider specifically that prospect of participating in that restored Kingdom of God. It just seems quite logical to go from considering the original Kingdom of God to considering the restored Kingdom of God in our Sunday School considerations.
We have several goals with this study of Visions of the Kingdom Age. We not only want to consider the prophecies about the introduction and the operating nature of the restored Kingdom of God. We also want to see how these issues are projected subtly but repeatedly in the shadows of God’s expressions… often in frequently repeated patterns that are so numerous they become undeniable, yet are completely invisible to anyone who objects to the divine principles and truths being validated by those patterns.
A constant goal in these classes will be to address the ‘why’ questions…. that are so frequently ignored. These are always the most significant questions of all. A ‘why’ question points to motivation. Unfortunately we are taught in this world from an early age to mistake why questions as how questions. For example… why does the sun come up in the morning? The overly confident answer will most frequently include details of the earth’s rotation and the gravitational control of our sun around which our planet orbits and spins. But, that’s a how answer to a why question. That kind of answer betrays the single greatest mistake any Bible student can make… underestimating our Creator. Literally everything in creation… from matter to energy to time and space… from the construction of the universe right down to atomic structure with all of their scientific relationships… every single feature… perfectly projects the truths and principles of our Creator. There are absolutely ‘why’ answers to everything. We can’t know all the answers… but in order to just begin to scratch the surface we have to respect the opportunity… that the answers are there.
So we will be addressing ‘why’ questions and answering them with ‘why’ answers, answers presenting the divine motivations for the events, policies, laws, timing, procedures and dramatic changes that specifically our generation is tasked with preparing for. God’s word tells us in very powerful terms… that as a community we -our generation- we are not ready. That can be and surely is very different on an individual level… but as a enlightened global community the Bible most certainly does address our particular, specific generation, in a number of ways. The prophecies defining this transitional generation that straddles the end of the Ecclesial Age and the beginning of the restored Kingdom Age… are often quite uncomplimentary.
We are part of a very special and challenged generation in our Creator’s plan. We are the last generation of the Ecclesial Age. We are the final generation for the prophesied longterm silence of our Creator. Our generation parallels the final moments of the final creative procedures of Yahweh and the Elohim on that original 6th day of creation after Adam & Eve were created, just before He rested on that 7th evening and morning… just as our generation will soon experience the progression into the 7th millennium, the sabbath millennium… creation’s 1,000 year rest from sin and the physical effects of sin.
Our generation will witness both the end of this current divine dispensation, the Ecclesial Age, as well as the introduction of the next divinely appointed dispensation, with its new laws, restored rituals and new priesthood appointments… and when Yahweh will end His silence… a silence that was prophesied in Micah and Amos as the sun going down on the prophets and a famine of the word of God and no answer coming from God.
Isaiah identifies the exact timeframe for when Yahweh will end His long self-imposed silence as being the introduction of that Sabbath Millennium, the Kingdom for which we wait: The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: He shall cry, yea, roar; He shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: Now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once (Is. 42:13-14). The prophecies about the sun going down on the prophets and the drought of the word of God … that extended divine silence prophesied in Amos and Micah will end in this generation, our generation. That silence began after the 2nd generation of the Ecclesial Age when all those who had the Holy Spirit gifts – died off. Peter promised the Holy Spirit gifts to just two generations of Jews and Gentiles… he had said on Pentecost Feast Week to the crowds that gathered…. the promise is to you and to your children and to those afar off. The framework of that promise constitutes two generations of Jews…. to Jews Peter was addressing and their children … not grandchildren or great grandchildren… as well as the Gentiles within those two generations. Those Gentiles are identified as “those afar off” just as we Gentiles are referred to in both the Old Testament and New Testament as those who were “afar off”… like Paul says to the Gentile Ecclesia at Ephesus… But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Within those 2 generations we have the further limiting stipulation within Peter’s promise of being only “as many as our Lord shall call”. This two generation limitation blends perfectly with the corresponding identifier that Paul offered for the end of the Spirit gifts and therefore the beginning of the age of divine silence, for which we are the final generation. Paul explained the same time limitation of the spirit gifts that Peter did…. to the Corinthians … but in this way:
1 Cor 13:8-10 whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When the perfect, or as the Greek word telios means ‘mature’ or fully developed or perfect… when that which was finally mature or finished was come, well then the purpose of the Holy Spirit gifts would be finished. That replacement was, of course, the completed, the finished Holy Bible…. the complete written word of God (2 clicks). That is why the Spirit gifts ended and the age of divine silence began. The enlightened community finally had the complete written testimony of our Creator… that completed written testimony is far greater and far more powerful than simply small demonstrations of miraculous power like healing the diseased, or prophesying, or even just bringing people back from the dead, or instantly speaking in previously unfamiliar languages and being unharmed despite drinking poison or being bitten by a venomous snake. Those powers are absolutely nothing compared to the power, the beauty, the glory … of this book, despite the fact that this power and glory is significantly veiled and even completely invisible to most people on this planet… due to the intentional complexity of all forms of divine communication.
Ours is the generation scheduled to witness the conclusion of that prophesied divine silence and the introduction of a completely new stage in the unfolding divine plan. We know we are this generation because we’ve witnessed the identifying sign, the divinely appointed herald: The resurrection of the national first born son of God. The political restoration of the Jewish nation of Israel was prophesied in both the Old and New Testament as identifying the generation that would witness the restoration of the Kingdom God, with the resurrected first born son of God… Jesus Christ… as its King. So we know we are ‘that’ generation identified in the prophecies of Psalm 102 and Jeremiah 30 and Christ’s parable of the the fig tree flourishing when he says this generation will not pass away before all things are fulfilled.
Now… Personally I don’t see that resurrection of Israel being the popularly understood 1947 or 1948. I see that full four stage prophesied political restoration, that re-flourishing of the national fig tree -that Jesus references, as being fulfilled over the 20 years between 1947 and 1967… with the reclaiming of Jerusalem and their former lands to the south, east and north… all within that highly appropriate 6 days of the 6 Day War… just like the pattern in the original creation framework of our Creator’s plan. That six day framework for that fourth war of Israel was the great miracle identifying the last generation of the Ecclesial Age.
The four wars of Israel between the United Nations vote in November 1947 to establish a Jewish nation up to the conclusion of the 6 Day War – those 20 years serve as the events prophesied in the first of the two prophecies Ezekiel was commanded to present concerning the two stage resurrection of God’s national first born son in chapter 37, the prophecy of the dry bones. Ezekiel was commanded to prophesy to those dried out bones on the valley floor that God declared represented the nation of Israel. That first prophesy saw the earthquake that initiated the initial four reconstruction steps: 1st) skeletal reconstruction, 2nd) the addition of the flesh, 3rd) the sinew and 4th) the skin.
That 4 step process is exactly what happened to Israel over those 20 years, that many of us witnessed in our newspapers, magazines and on our black and white televisions. Historically, there were a corresponding four wars during those 20 years
1. War of Independence from Nov 1947 immediately following the shocking United Nations vote that was amazingly not vetoed by Russia as a member of the Security Council with veto rights
2. The war of reprisals from 1950-1960 when Israel would respond to terrorist guerrillas infiltrating Israel from Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel had a policy of maximum bloodshed during this reprisal based war… believing that a high blood cost from the enemy would be a deterrent to future attacks.
3. This was the Suez Crisis in 1956 when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, thereby controlling the shipment of goods for the world. Britain and France joined Israel in a military action against Egypt in response to this threat concerning the Suez Canal. Despite Israel being successful with its Sinai military engagement, they were forced by allies to retreat.
4. The 6 Day war in June of 1967 when Israel defeated Egypt, Jordan and Syria in just six days, annexing the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank (including the old city of Jerusalem) and the Golan Heights to the north.
The results of those four wars, perfectly mirroring the four prophesied reconstruction stages in Ezekiel’s prophecy of bone to bone followed by flesh followed by sinew and concluded with skin… constituted the political resurrection of Israel, but not the spiritual resurrection.
That required a second prophecy from Ezekiel, calling to the four winds to fill the reconstructed bodies on that valley floor with breath, so that they would live again. That 2 stage process indicates the full two stage resurrection… body and breath… just like the original formula for creating Adam. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Gen 2:7).
This two stage progression is also the true nature of resurrection. We will get into the subject of the resurrection during our considerations of the Kingdom Age. The basic observation we should be aware of at this point is that there are two separate resurrections. There is a resurrection to mortality prior to judgment for the dead who are accountable to divine judgment. Following that judgment there is a resurrection to immortality for the few among those called to judgment who are chosen by Jesus Christ.
These are two separately referenced resurrection categories in scripture. They each have different terms for participation. There are also two resurrection schedules… these 2 resurrection categories at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom and 2 at the end. The resurrection of Israel perfectly parallels that 2 stage resurrection pattern, the same two stage creation pattern of Adam as well as the two stage encampment construction pattern of Israel when the First Kingdom Age began at Mt Sinai.
The divine plan demonstrated two layers… the exterior foursquare layout of political Israel … the 12 tribes, separated into four quadrants…. and then the inner foursquare spiritual layer made up of the 3 Levite divisions and the priests, a second inner four quadrants. That outer 4 quadrant political layer and the inner 4 quadrant spiritual layer is an exact projection Pof Ezekiel’s 2 stage prophecy of the restoration of Israel for the restored Kingdom Age.
We are the generation between these two prophecies of Ezekiel.We are that tiny black line on the slide… between the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ sections…that’s us. Ezekiel’s 1st prophecy resulted in four progressive reconstruction stages of skeletal assembly followed by flesh, sinew and skin
Ezek 37:7-8 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
… four…. just like the four wars of Independence, Resprisals, Suez Canal Crisis and the 6 Day War. And the 2nd prophecy calls for specifically four winds to fill the dead bodies with breath for them to live again… which represents their repentance when Christ and the immortalized saints save the remaining one third that survive in Jerusalem before they could be butchered by the gogian gang of six: Rosh, Persia, Ethiopia, Lybia, Gomer & Togarmah.
That double four pattern we see in this prophecy in Ezekiel of the two stage resurrection of Israel is an incredibly rich pattern that saturates scripture… from the 4 men and 4 women on Noah’s ark to the two rows of four components of Abram’s covenant with God with the 6 halves of sacrificial components and the 2 whole birds from Genesis 15… to the 2 sets of covenant stones with the 10 commandements written by God on the four surfaces of each of the two sets of stones… to the four cherubim with 4 faces in Ezekiel 1 and 10 and the 4 wheels within four wheels underneath the cherubim. This is an endless pattern of 4 and 4. The same pattern pops up in this prophecy of the 2 stage resurrection of the national firstborn son of God… with the 4 stage reconstruction in the 1st prophecy and the 4 winds filling the bodies with breath in the 2nd prophecy. We are that brief transition point of a single generation between the two fours… between the 1st prophecy and the 2nd prophecy. We… our one generation… sits there between between the first four and the second four. That’s us.
We’ve witnessed the earthquake resulting in the skeletal reconstruction of the Jewish nation with the flesh, muscle and skin developing over 20 years. We are now awaiting the spiritual resurrection stage of the four winds entering that politically restored Israel that currently exists. We here, actually hope to constitute those four winds. Our hope is to be those four winds that fill political Israel with the breath of repentance that restores their spiritual national life.
That was what Jesus told Nicodemus when that Master in Israel asked how he could possibly be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God. John 3:7-8 Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it comes, and whither it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit
Jesus says those who are reborn into the Spirit nature will be like the wind.
Therefore when we read of the four winds filling political Israel to give them a spiritual and not just a political life, this refers to the immortalized Christ and the saints whose nature will be ‘like the wind’. This is also why the pulverized image depicted in Daniel chapter two… beaten to dust by the Christ stone, the stone cut out of the mountain without hands … that dust from the crushed and powdered image is blown away by the wind… meaning by the immortalized saints who will be ‘like the wind’ when they are born again into spirit nature.
This is why the atomic structure of the oxygen atom has 8 protons, as eight is the number or immortality and salvation. Everything is tied together in all of God’s expressions so perfectly, so harmoniously…. His written word and His spoken word… His ‘spoken’ word means creation, as that is how everything was made… on the basis of our Creator’s verbal commands prompting the existence and perfectly balanced features of our existence…. what the world so insultingly refers to as ‘nature’.
Ps 33: 6-9By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as an heap: He lays up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awesome of him. For he spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
All of creation is the result of the spoken words of Yahweh. Therefore, that spoken word – the terms & features of creation – will have to perfectly correspond with His written word, or our Creator is a hypocrite… which would be a totally ludicrous premise. Our only reasonable option is to understand that every feature of creation (nature) – the spoken word of Yahweh, will have to perfectly match the written word of Yahweh (the Bible). This is why true science -as opposed to postulating science – true science will always validate the Bible, without exception, 100% of the time.
So we constitute that one generation separating the two stage prophecies of Ezekiel, from the political restoration of Israel to the spiritual restoration of Israel. Prior to the fulfillment that 2nd prophecy, that additional spiritual restoration of Israel, all those who are accountable to divine judgment will be gathered for that purpose, the judgment will take place. Jesus has warned us: many of those who are called to the judgment will be rejected and a few will be chosen and immortalized…. born again into that spirit or wind-like nature. We will be considering each of those issues – our accountability to judgement – why the terms of accountability are legitimate, the process of resurrection in both stages – separated by judgment, the process of immortalization and the features of immortalty …. in these considerations of the visions of the Kingdom , but right now we are focusing on scripture’s references and advice for our specific and very unique bridging generation.
I made the statement in the beginning comments that as a global community, our ‘generation’ is not prepared for the events we will have to face. I also noted that this is not necessarily the case on an individual level, just corporately … as a group, as a global generation. I realize that claim has to be defended and explained…. as it is the exact opposite of the standard presumption within our community today — that we are absolutely prepared, that we won’t be taken by surprise and that our salvation and participation in the Kingdom is all but assured.
There are several different ways to demonstrate this understanding that our generation of the enlightened community is not as ready as we think we are (as a group) … as there would have to be multiple avenues of demonstration or it wouldn’t be true. Real truth doesn’t rest on just a single verse or some all encompassing phrase and will never be dependent on just lexicon words studies. This is the problem in front of us all the time… what is the whole truth and not just the pleasant partial truth. Let’s start with the first application of this understanding. This is the fact that there will be variable standards of judgment exercised by our Messiah. We will not all be judged equally. An obvious example of this is the warning by James for anyone who accepts a teaching position in the enlightened community.
In James 3:1 James says: My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. A master is a 17th century term for a teacher… not a slave owner or an employer. James cautions us not to be too eager to be a teacher… as teachers will receive a greater condemnation. Teachers will not be judged on the same basis as their students. However, we need to balance that understanding also. Would it be safer for me or any other teacher to abstain from teaching, so as not to encourge a harsher judgment standard? I thought of that a long time ago… However that is the coward’s way out and God isn’t looking for cowards in His image and likeness. We also have to consider the judgment of the servant who hid the talent given him in a napkin in the dirt. Jesus declared him to be wicked and lazy. He didn’t do anything with what he had been given. It isn’t safe to just do nothing.
So, there are variations in judgment standards. Confirming this we hear Jesus declaring a significant divine principle in relation to accountability in Luke 12:48: For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. Just like the more intense judgment of the teacher, those into whom God and Christ have invested more… more will be demanded. This divine principle explains a great deal. It explains why the delusion of equality is not a divine principle. Equality is a myth defensively generated by the human heart. It contradicts divine righteousness. Equality is an evil product of the imaginations of the human heart, that thought process that was internalized into our nature when mankind chose sin over righteousness in the Garden of Eden.
One example of this varying judgment standards issue is the parallel Jesus makes in his instructions the 12 he sent to preach the gospel throughout the Jewish Ecclesia. The Jewish community, the enlightened in covenant relationship of that generation – just like us today – is where Jesus sent the disciples to preach the gospel… not into the unenlightened community of pagans, but to the enlightened community… to the Christadelphian counterpart of his day. Jesus said to them in Matt 10:12-14: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Jesus points out he will apply different levels of judgment standards depending on certain issues. The unwillingness of the enlightened community to respond to the disciples preaching is considered to be far more offensive to Jesus Christ than the deplorable immorality of Sodom & Gomorrah.
That variance in the severity of judgment will be on the basis of what they had been given. The enlightened community to whom the 12 disciples came were given demonstrations of power validating the authority of their message that the enlightened community in Sodom was not given. That Jewish generation of Christ’s ministry were given more. Therefore more will be required of them.
We should understand that the seriousness of our offenses against the Creator of universe are not gauged on the basis of how our failures impact the human experience… whether we are a murderer, thief, bully or a liar or just lazy…. the actual gauge is the degree to which our offenses contradict our Creator’s righteousness. This isn’t about us… it’s all about our Creator. Now this is an anti-instinctive understanding. However this is how a King David could be forgiven for contract murder and adultery while a man simply ignoring Sabbath Law by gathering firewood had to be stoned to death by the members of his wilderness Ecclesia. If we will each spend some time thinking about this divine principle… to whom much is given, much will be required… it will explain many judgments that seem imbalanced from a human perspective… like the incineration of Nadab and Abihu during the priestly ordination procedure.
Now let’s apply that judgment principle to ourselves, to our particular generation… this principle of much being required from whom much is given. The beginning of the Ecclesial Age saw the great blessing of divine power being invested in fairly small degrees into Brothers and Sisters within the enlightened community, such as the Corinthian Ecclesia… believers were capable of instantly speaking in untrained languages, healing the sick… there was the gifts of knowledge, prophesying, and even restoring life. Do you think someone that could heal others or prophesy might be judged more harshly than a Brother or Sister today… on the basis of what they had been given? Actually that would be an incorrect conclusion. We will actually be judged more harshly than the believers in those first 2 generations of the Ecclesial Age that possessed the Holy Spirit gifts…. because, from a divine perspective, we have been given more and therefore more will be required of us at Christ’s judgment… with one exception. That is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. That is one of two unforgivable sins identified in scripture and our generation is not capable of blashpeming the Holy Spirit. But that is a subject for another time, but quite certain and can be definitively proven. However we can be guilty of the unforgivable presumptuous sin.
The understanding that our last generation has been given more than those first 2 Ecclesial generations with Holy Spirit gifts is made very clear by the Apostle Paul in more than one letter. Returning to the 1 Corinthians 13 we read beginning at vs 8: whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Prophesying, tongues, the gift of knowledge… those are the childish things that would be replaced by something greater, more mature, more complete…. indicating something of greater value from which one would expect a more valuable response. One expects more from a man than from a child. A greater spiritual maturity could be achieved on the basis of this greater and more perfect replacement of the Spirit gifts than simply those demonstrations of miraculous power. This would be something that would put away the childish stage of development identified with the Spirit gifts. Since the Spirit gifts were only offered to 2 generations of Jews and Gentile believers, it is quite obvious that which was perfect, meaning complete, mature, fully developed… was the completed word of God, the whole Bible… finished in the late first century with the final addition of the book of Revelation. That which was perfect had come, eliminating the need for that which was in part… the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The childish things of mere miraculous power was replaced with the great gift of the completed, the fully matured, the perfect Bible.
The word of God was finished. Our community of the enlightened has been invested with a far greater investment than the mere Holy Spirit gifts… the entire Bible. More is demanded of those who are given more. Not only has our generation been invested with the entire written word of God, We have an examination capacity for this incredible divine investment that is almost miraculous in itself. In my laptop I have 50 different translations of the Bible. I have a huge library of Christadelphian books & magazines in this laptop… a Concordance, Hebrew and Greek Lexicons, multiple Bible Dictionaries, Elpis Israel, Phanerosis, Anastasis, Eureka, The Law of Moses, Christendom Astray, the entire Christadelphian magazine from volume 1 of the Apostalic Advocate right through to volume 137 from back in the year 2,000. We have incredible search engines in our laptops, tablets, Ipads and cell phones that can find words, phrases, subjects, patterns, and do instant word searches on the basis of an English word or Hebrew or Greek word. We can instantly search every Christadelphian publication in our device for a particular subject.
Our generation has an unprecedented access to the greatest divine investment since Jesus Christ walked the earth… the whole word of God.This means, on the basis of the divine principle that to whom much is given – much will be required … that we personally will be judged more harshly, more strictly than most other generations down through history. Our last generation of the enlightened community has been given more… therefore more will be required of us.
That realization should act like a pail full of ice cold water thrown onto the face of a sleepy consciousness. But that realization is often blunted by Brethren in our community excessively over-promoting the principle that we are saved by grace and that God can forgive anything and that forgiveness is now automatic with Jesus Christ. Those expressions are both true and not true, because they are only partially true… but they are often presented as if they are completely comprehensive… which is absolutely false.
We are also being taught by many within our generation that the fear of God is only reverence, that we have absolutely no reason to ever be afraid of our Creator, unlike everyone else down through history. This eliminates the recalibrating, the correction capacity of the fear of God. Another distortion diminishing the level of our responsibility to the degree of benefit we have received from God is this odd understanding being promoted in our Brotherhood that there is no such thing as personal righteousness… that righteousness in only imputed… that righteousness is exclusively awarded us through Christ on the simple basis of our belief in the gospel and that we don’t have to do anything. These are all half truths that dull our conscience and our capacity to consider the seriousness of what will be required of our enlightened generation at Christ’s judgment on the basis of what we have been given. These half truths being presented as exclusive truths blunt our spiritual energy, relax our vigilance, offering false comfort that deadens the conscience.
Jesus particularly addresses the issue of judgment in relation to those who were given miraculous powers.
Matt 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
This doesn’t refer to the Christian pretenders we see about us today. The Pentecostal Christians are not even accountable to Christ’s judgment. There is no enlightenment that would demand their presence at the judgment. This is a reference to brothers and sisters who truly possessed the Holy Spirit power to heal and prophesy. The distinction of Christ’s testimony that “he didn’t know them” has nothing to do with their being outside the enlightened community. That feature of being unenlightened would eliminate them from the judgment roster.
This is the same expression Jesus uses in his judgment parable of the 10 wedding attendants. The five foolish wedding attendants scramble at the last minute to get fuel for their lamps but are rejected by Christ at the door with the statement: I don’t know you. Now these are wedding attendants. They are baptized members of the enlightened community… being rejected by Jesus Christ and being told he doesn’t know them. Obviously Christ ‘knowing’ us is not simply some academic acknowledgment like he is trying to place us in his memory. That presumption would be highly disrespectful of our Messiah. The qualifying solution to this issue is found in 1 Cor 8:3 where we read… If a man love God, the same is known of Him. Those among the enlightened community who only pretend to love God… like the 5 foolish wedding attendants and the brothers & sisters with spirit gifts who will be rejected … are not known by Him. Now we all claim to love God, but we won’t get the freedom to judge ourselves.
In fact this issue of our love for God is also a growing distortion in the enlightened community in this generation. It has been presented in our magazines, certain preaching publications and even Bible School presentations that if we fulfill what Jesus defined as the 2nd great commandment during his ministry that we will be fulfilling what the Master defined as the greatest of all commandments… that if we will love our neighbor as ourselves then we will automatically be loving the Lord our God with all our heart and mind and strength and life. That is a distinctly terrible lie, yet it is rarely challenged in our community when it is presented. This distortion comes from the same presumptions that mistake the significance of a sin being in direct proportion to how that sin affects the human experience and not the degree of contradiction to our Creator’s righteousness.
These are not simply quite separate laws of love, they have dramatically different qualifiers. We are commanded to love Yahweh our Elohim with all our heart and mind and strength and life… therefore above everything and everyone, especially ourselves but also those we love more than ourselves… like our wives or husbands and our children. But, we are told we only have to love our neighbor to the same degree we love ourselves…. which is far far far less that the standard for loving God. It is extremely disrespectful to our God to suggest we diminish the love we offer Him to nothing more than the love of self… which is the lowest of all standards of love in the three love laws Jesus communicated to us before his death and resurrection.
End Class One
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