Monday, October 15, 2018

Two Roads Out of time and into eternity


Master file  2019
Two roads out of time and into eternity!

A Journal of Bible Study.

Out of time and into eternity run two roads that man may travel.  One is the narrow way that leads to eternal life, the people on this road obey God and keep His commandments. The other is the broad way that leads to destruction, the people on this road by a God given choice refuse to obey God. Although the two are discussed in literature, stories and poems all too often we seem unable to remember that they both are real and a part of our world.  

Do People today lean on what has been said and is being said without challenging its content in serious study?  Do People just hear and repeat what “the teacher” says without seriously studying to test the doctrines for themselves?  Much of the “orthodox teachings” of the Church comes mixed with Ancient Babylonian Mysticism, Egyptian Mysticism, Dualism, Greek Philosophy from Plato interjected into the Church in Alexandria Egypt, to Augustine, Medieval Teachers, to Calvin, Luther, and on a more direct level today's New Age Movement.
If we look at what the Bible SAYS, There are many things being taught which just do not hold up to careful study. First Scripture interprets scripture. There must not be an idea that is contradicted in another place in Scripture. Context is the key as we will see the context tells us the story. Second, Time and place and known history shed light on what happened and help reveal truth. Third, Culture, Who is speaking, what is the Subject and purpose of the discussion, we cannot jump to a different teaching in the middle of a discussion. 
The Idea is LEARNING, this study is just a journal of Bible Study from many years. There are so many items that must be understood before the total picture can be seen I have an idea where to start, by subject. These notes are form years of study and I added to them in SUBJECT order not time.  It is my prayer that as you read this journal you will have many questions and prayerfully seek the answers.
When we discuss Bible we often reduce the topic to a verse, a sentence, a phrase, or even a word, then we analyze the thought right to what we believed when we started.
The idea of a new truth or understanding is often beyond what we will allow. But, to see truth, even new truth that we may have never heard before is learning. We need to see what the Bible really says by looking at the total picture. Who was speaking, to whom, what was the subject and the reason for the discussion. When did this take place in time, place and culture, all of these points make a real difference in the meaning of what was said.   I pray each point will build on the one before it and you will see new truth.
The purpose of this journal is to record my study in such a way that we may see that there ARE TWO ways of belief a person may follow. There are two Roads to follow and God gave us the right to choose which road we will walk.  One road is to obey God and Keep His Commandments. There is no other name but JESUS by which man must or can be saved.   The other road is man’s way of oral traditions and prophets of men that know the Mystic traditions to allow man to OF HIMSELF become as god.   My study journal is a record of what I find in my Bible study. I will refer to this Idea over and over, yes I repeat myself, some things are so important we must!!

In this first study there are some things I have found and collected that will help understand much of the other Ideas.
Mostly they are meanings of words, LORD, RIGHTEOUSNESS, GRACE, FAITH, SIN, Good and EVIL,

LORD
Rom 10:9  That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11  For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.
The early Church gave true loyalty to Jesus as LORD. We have little idea of what the word “LORD” means. The ancient soldiers knelt as subjects before their Lord, bowled their head in respect before their Lord, swore by their position or weapon of battle their LIFE to their Lord, YES, it still means that today. Calling Jesus Lord means I give Him everything, My Life, all I have, all I dream of being.
Many of the early Christians had seen Jesus, They knew he was a man but they understood He was the Son of God, the God-Man in union. They lived dedicated lives “Living in the Spirit, Pure and Holy was real to them. So real they would die before rejecting Christ.
Christ lived, a man they knew, He taught the things they practiced, HE shed His Blood on a Roman cross and died, but they also knew GOD raised Him from the dead and He lives forever more. In the early Church every one was equal in the group, all were the children of GOD.
In Romans 10:9-11"The parallelism is like that in these verses, though the order of the clauses is reversed. To be saved one must attain righteousness, and this depends on heart-faith; such faith, again, leading to salvation, must confess itself. To separate the two clauses, and look for an independent meaning in each, is a mistake: a heart believing unto righteousness, and a mouth making confession unto salvation, are not really two things, but two sides of the same thing
To confess the Lord Jesus means therefore to be in agreement with all that Scripture says about Him, which includes all that these two names imply. Robertson translates, "Confess Jesus as Lord." The name "Jesus" is the transliteration of the Greek Iēsous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew name we know as "Jehoshua," the latter meaning, "Jehovah saves." The name "Lord" is Kurios which in the Greek version of the Old Testament is used for the august name "Jehovah," and by its use, implies deity. Thus, to confess Jesus as Lord includes a heart belief in His deity, incarnation, vicarious atonement and bodily resurrection. Robertson says, "No Jew would do this who had not really trusted Christ, for Kurios in the LXX is used of God. No Gentile would do it who had not ceased worshipping the emperor as kurios. The word Kurios was and is the touchstone of faith."

Righteousness
Here we come to a most important pair of ideas, Grace and works (right living).
. The righteousness of God is needed because man has no righteousness acceptable to God. No one was ever saved by the Law of Moses for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  And there were the traditions and laws of men that date back to Ancient Times which said man by knowledge and his ability can overcome evil and come to God.
Only obedience to the Self-existent Holy God and His Righteousness are good enough to come into the presence of God. No one has ever lived up to the Glory of God in never failing to obey Him in all things. We are all still under the Law, because the Law has always been to point out what “Sin” is and not saving any one from sin.
Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 
Rom 3:21  But the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is  by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
No man is or can be saved by the law or any other power of man or earth.
the righteousness of God is manifested ie made known to man.
In Adam, God gave Adam the Blood sacrifice and the promise of a Messiah.
The promise was repeated in Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Prophets.
Some 79 times  in the OT God said “Hear my Voice (word), and keep my commandments and I will be your GOD.  NOT the Law but OBEDIENCE.
The righteousness of God which is ours in GRACE by faith in Jesus Christ
Made Righteous freely by His Grace through the propitiation in Jesus Christ.

Grace is the unmerited gift of a loving Father to meet our need in what we could not do.
Faith is when the reality of that gift becomes real to me and I accept it without having to see the evidence.

SIN
We must define a word here, it is used in so many ways and most wrong, we need to get it meaning right.
SIN  =  ἁμαρτάνω  hamartanō
Thayer Definition:
1) to be without a share in
2) to miss the mark
Rom 3:23  for all miss the mark and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 3:23  for all are without a share in the glory of God,

BUT, LOOK AT THE VERSE, IT SAYS WE MISS THE MARK OF THE GLORY OF GOD CREATED IN US!!  WE miss the mark, fail to follow the PATH, AND FAIL TO SHARE IN GOD’S GLORY. WE FAIL TO OBEY GOD!

The Idea of SIN being great or small, seems to me to be an inconstancy in thought.  Sin, to leave the path, or to miss God’s glory is to Disobey GOD!
I ask what is there that we do that is “the Source of our SIN”. There is no work that we may do to gain, deserve, or to earn God’s Grace.  I will also say there is no act or work we may do to gain, deserve, or earn rejection from grace and a place in Hell. Man rejecting God will live as he chooses and all the evil resulting there is only the natural behavior of rejecting God. This evil shows one that rejects God, BUT, the subject is still a Choice Obey God or Not. We spend too much time focused on “Evil” and not enough time really focused on “Knowing GOD!”
God’s Grace is freely offered, and we by faith accept or ignore that offer.

So now we come to what is the real meaning of EVIL?

There are libraries  filled with books trying to explain Who created Evil and there is a good reason why it is so hard to explain who created evil. The problem is that NO ONE CREATED EVIL.
So where did the, “all Flesh is evil” come from?  Even in some discussions to say all material world, matter itself, is Evil. All of the mystic religions have this one central theme, Flesh is evil and spirit is good. With knowledge and power one may raise themselves above evil flesh and be as God. Satan has used this lie since he tried to rise up and be as God and failed, he is still trying today!  Before time when God created the first Morning and Evening, before man and the world God created for him, in eternity past Lucifer decided to rise up by his knowledge and power to become as God.  Of course he failed. But, Lucifer is an eternal creation, he will go about to Accuse and Deceive men until Michael cast him out of heaven in the end time. Rev 12:9  The understanding of this point is important because it effects “The teaching of Total Depravity”, and the ability of a person to by their Free Will and choice to accept God’s Grace.  Satan and his plan to deceive man is older than ancient religions and mysticism. How old is the discussion of Good and Evil, Well it seems to me there was a Tree in the Garden “The Knowledge of Good and Evil!”
When bible teachers misread or blend ancient philosophy and religion with what they think the bible says, they come to a teaching like “all matter is evil”. They are very possibly led by Satan to teach error. 
The problem is how could the Self existent  Holy God create Evil?  How Could the Holy Son of God be born of evil flesh?  The answer to both Questions is “the premise is wrong.”  God did not create evil and all flesh is not material evil.   There are some ideas that are basic to logic. If there is good the absence of good is evil. There is a level of thought that comes from elemental concepts. God cannot be evil. The very meaning of evil is an elemental opposite of God. To say this another way some ideas are so basic they are the foundation of the discussion. Elemental Ideas are so basic they come from the character and nature of God Himself and were not created by God they ARE the basis of the discussion. Words and ideas have meaning, elemental ideas come from the foundation of reality, and they just are.  God is Holy, Love, Good. Did God create Holiness, Good, Love, Mercy, Justice? No, they are the attributes that describe God.  The Opposite exist because opposite is elemental to the Idea, unholy, hate, evil.  From the idea God could not create evil came the many other ideas trying to explain how sin came to be. It is simple, To Disobey GOD is SIN. Satan and man made a choice to disobey God.


Good and EVIL
Adam in the garden fellow shipped daily with God. “They walked in the garden in the Cool of the day”. God taught Adam all things he needed to know. Adam knew the GOODNESS OF GOD. Then Adam DISOBEYED GOD and the fellowship was broken, Blood had to be shed, Adam was put from the garden so he could not eat of the tree of life. He had the work hard till the ground by the sweat of his face to eat. He was apart from God. He knew what evil meant, “To disobey God”.
If a journal is to be subject based it seems to me that we need to know the subject categories which will be used.   I will call the sections ‘Folders”.
 Folders
1. “What this collection of notes is about, (this section) how it is ordered, why I did some of the things I did in ordering these notes.
2. The relationship of God and man! This is about our relation to the Bible, GOD, and the Truth found there.
3. The problem, Satan’s Counterfeit, The Traditions of man that teach man and Satan’s way.   Satan Has A Plan!!
4.  The Early Church, What they were and believed.
5.  Usurped Authority
6.  Christian,   What do we mean??
7.  Satan’s Counterfeit  An attempt to steel the hearts of men.
8.  Christian!   There are the sacrifices!
9.  There are two roads man may travel.   The Second Road.
10. A Devilish Crime
11. Gnosticism: A Quick Course
12. The New Age Movement
13   Commandments  and Commentary. 49 Commandments from the NT
14.  Christianity, Who Are We?
15.   Jesus our High Priest after the order of Melchisedec Priest of Grace
16.   Reality
17.  

Appendix    One    Babylonian Mysticism,  Zoroastrian   Dualism, Gnostics
                    Two   Babylon the Great scarlet Woman
Folder #2   The relationship of God and man!
God in His own time decided to make man for fellowship, a creature able and willing to by choice come to Fellowship with GOD.

Did God need man? NO!
Did man in any way add to or complete God? NO!
God made man because He wanted too.

In the beginning God created the heaven and earth and it was good.
God created man and woman and it was good.
The next point we jump to in the study is man disobeying God.  And we often come to some, I think, unfounded conclusions.  Possibly we need to start with WHY God created all the world and Mankind in the first place. We need this foundation before we get to “The Fall” and a medieval intermix of ideas from many sources.

Which point do we need as the basis, the foundation of our theology?

1.       God created Man for Fellowship and gave man “The Image of God” so he could truly fellowship with God.  Man has to have enough of the “Image of God” to Truly Commune with and Relate to God.  Man was made to Rule with Dominion over the earth. God gave man enough free will so that he could and has the right to make choices on his own, and God will honor the choices.

2.  God from eternity knew man would sin, creation and God’s plan was to provide a foundation for the plan of saving Grace.  When Adam disobeyed God he became totally depraved and cannot come to God by choice. Man has no free will or a will so corrupted that he cannot use it to know God.

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people:    Jer_7:23
We so often look at the creation and jump right to Adam disobeying God that we miss the point of the story, and the foundation of all the rest of our understanding and theology.
The question has been asked, “Why did God create the world and man if He knew man would sin?” Like so many questions this one may be placing the emphasis in the wrong place.
Look at a few ideas that may help us understand.
 1. The universe, the milky way, our solar system, the Earth were made by God for MAN to have a home, A place where God and Man could fellowship. God, self-existent, eternal, Holy, unchanging, all knowing, sovereign, made the world and man because HE WANTED TOO. God was making a creature for fellowship, love, and service. Someone to commune with,
     This fellowship, I think, is the key!
 2. God did not gain from, have too, or need to make man. All this is about fellowship. Fellowship with a creature that could and would choose to fellowship with Him.
 3. God is self-existent (eternity, space and time, exist in the self-existent God). He does not live in eternity, minute by minute, day by day, God INHABITS eternity, self-existent, NOW. All of eternity, every second of time, is now present before God. Yes, He saw the broad way, He saw the choices people would make, not to love and obey and fellowship with Him. Yes, He saw all the ones that by free choice would choose not to love or know Him. God gave man enough free will so that he could and has the right to make choices on his own, and God will honor the choices.   IS 57:15
 4. But, so long ago when God looked at eternity He saw the ones that choose to love Him. Yes, He saw the narrow way that few find, He saw all our sins and failures. But, He looked beyond all that and saw fellowship with the ones that choose to follow Him. He saw in eternity that there would be some that elect by their free moral choice to serve and fellowship with Him.
 5. Yes, He saw His holiness and righteousness and He knew the price of man’s sin would have to be paid. Yes, He saw the Cross. Before time He knew He would go to that old rugged cross in my place…HE DID IT ANYWAY!

I do not know where in your theology you need to place this, but it is a fact of the Bible story, The Relation between God and man is FELLOWSHIP not Grace!  Grace comes later to fix a problem and restore fellowship.  

Some say man cannot have a free will because the sovereignty of God would be limited.  Nothing can happen that is not the will of God. OK, God’s will is that the creature in His world can choose to serve Him or not.
Religion has resulted in the invention of a new meaning for the word "sovereign," which basically means God controls everything. Nothing can happen but what He wills or allows. However, there is nothing in the actual definition that states that. The dictionary defines "sovereign" as, "1. Paramount; supreme. 2. Having supreme rank or power. 3. Independent: a sovereign state. 4. Excellent." None of these definitions means that God controls everything.
It is assumed that since God is paramount or supreme that nothing can happen without His approval. That is not what the Scriptures teach. In 2 Peter 3:9, Peter said, "The Lord is...not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." This clearly states that it is not the Lord's will for anyone to perish, but people are perishing. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there at" (Matt. 7:13). Relatively few people are saved compared to the number that are lost. God's will for people concerning salvation is not being accomplished. The Sovereignty Of God By Andrew Wommack
The “Not” and all that follows from people not obeying God is the result of people choosing to disobey God, using a free will choice that God gave them.  How important is that choice?   God seeing eternity, knowing some would choose the world and not obey Him, Then looking to all who would obey and fellowship with Him, loved us so much,
EVEN SEEING THE CROSS; HE ALLOWED FREE WILL CHOICE ANYWAY!

Everyone in Gods eternal Kingdom will be there because they chose to be, It is all about fellowship with God, CHOOSING to FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD!

At some point here we come to the “Image of God in man”.  There are almost as many opinions to the meaning of this as there are people. Still, I will venture to offer one more.

Given: God made man for fellowship. 
Given: God and man are Persons.
Given: God and man have reason (knowledge), feelings (emotion) and the
            ability to act (free will). 


I feel the best definition of the Image of God in man is,
The ability to , “With knowledge of result”, MAKE A CHOICE.
 No other creature in all creation has such an ability.  I will further state that for God to truly and personally fellowship with man, man must have the  reason, emotion, and free will, (that is to say the Image of GOD);
 “AT LEAST TO A LEVEL TO TRULY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
Think about this the Self-existent infinite sovereign God made finite sovereign man with a Free Will to FELLOWSHIP.  They had to have enough in common TO FELLOWSHIP! What we need in worship is to return to that fellowship!
The teaching on this subject; apart from “everyone” having their own description of  “The Image”,  the teaching has been very poor and fails to show how wonderful God is. The Self-existent infinite sovereign God made finite man with a sovereign free will and moral responsibility. But, more than just free will “The Image” includes the moral attributes of God, holy, wise, good, merciful, loving, and sovereign.  Man was made to fellowship with God. 

When “the fool” said in his heart, using the free choice God gave him we get to result listed in Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Hebrew word נבל  nabal, which we render fool, signifies an empty fellow, a contemptible person, a villain. One who has a muddy head and an unclean heart; and, in his darkness and folly, says in his heart, “There is no God.”
 This Fool does not represent or include the entire race of man. 
There are two groups
“Natural Man”  who made a CHOICE to say there is no God, the Fool and
“Spiritual Man” who made a choice to Hear God’s word and keep His commandments, a change of mind from ME to GOD, saved by Grace.

 Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The Hebrew word ֶצֶלם    ṣelem: A masculine noun meaning an image, a likeness, a statue, a model, a drawing, a shadow. The word means image or likeness; its most celebrated theological and anthropological use was to depict human beings as made in God's own image (Gen_1:26-27; Gen_5:3).
The Hebrew word ָרָדה  rāḏāh: A verb meaning to rule, to have dominion, to subjugate. This Hebrew word conveys the notion of exercising domain, whether legitimate or not, over those who are powerless or otherwise under one's control.
(Just for Fun, John Wycliffe translated it Sovereign, William Tyndale translated it Rule.) 



In our image, after our likeness - What is here said refers to his spirit. This was made in the image and likeness of God. Now, as the Divine Being is infinite, he is neither limited by parts, nor definable by passions; therefore he can have no corporeal image after which he made the body of man. The image and likeness must necessarily be intellectual; his mind, his soul, must have been formed after the nature and perfections of his God. The human mind is still endowed with most extraordinary capacities; it was more so when issuing out of the hands of its Creator. God was now producing a spirit, and a spirit, too, formed after the perfections of his own nature. God is the fountain whence this spirit issued, hence the stream must resemble the spring which produced it. God is holy, just, wise, good, and perfect; so must the spirit be that sprang from him: there could be in it nothing impure, unjust, ignorant, evil, low, base, mean, or vile. It was created after the image of God; and that image, St. Paul tells us, consisted in righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge, Eph_4:24 Col_3:10. Hence man was wise in his mind, holy in his heart, and righteous in his actions. Were even the word of God silent on this subject, we could not infer less from the lights held out to us by reason and common sense. .  (Adam Clark)
And let them have dominion - Hence we see that the dominion was not the image. God created man capable of governing the world, and when fitted for the office, he fixed him in it. We see God’s tender care and parental solicitude for the comfort and well-being of this masterpiece of his workmanship, in creating the world previously to the creation of man. He prepared everything for his subsistence, convenience, and pleasure, before he brought him into being.(Adam Clark)

 Gen 3:21  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: 23  Therefore  the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

God, in the garden, shed blood to cover sin and shame. He taught Adam about the sin offering and that the Messiah would one day come.  ADAM LEFT THE GARDEN UNDER THE BLOOD, IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD! Looking forward to the PROMICE! (Gen 3:15 The First Gospel.) Still a free moral agent with the right to choose to obey GOD or not! Adam knew that he could choose to obey God this time and make the sacrifices God told him to make. He was still the highest of God’s creation, still had dominion over the world, and still could make Free Will Choices.
It is foolish to say Adam after he disobeyed God was so sinful that he could not Know God. From WHAT TREE did he eat? I thought it was the “Knowledge of Good and Evil”. 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:
God made coats of skins - It is very likely that the skins out of which their clothing was made were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God; for as we find Cain and Abel offering sacrifices to God, we may fairly presume that God had given them instructions on this head; nor is it likely that the notion of a sacrifice could have ever occurred to the mind of man without an express revelation from God. Hence we may safely infer, 1. That as Adam and Eve needed this clothing as soon as they fell, and death had not as yet made any ravages in the animal world, it is most likely that the skins were taken off victims offered under the direction of God himself, and in faith of Him who, in the fullness of time, was to make an atonement by his death. And it seems reasonable also that this matter should be brought about in such a way that Satan and death should have no triumph, when the very first death that took place in the world was an emblem and type of that death which should conquer Satan, destroy his empire, reconcile God to man, convert man to God, sanctify human nature, and prepare it for heaven.  (Adam Clark)

Why COULD man fall? If man was to be a truly Free Moral agent, which could “Choose to fellowship with God “OR NOT” man had to be able and free to choose not to know God!  The point here is God wanted a being that could and would, choose to know Him, to Love Him, to serve Him, TO FELLOWSHIP.

·         The Danish Theologian/ Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard says that this fact, the fact of our free will, “is the cross that philosophy could not carry but was left stumbling at”. What a paradox it is—that it is up to us whether Omnipotence’s will may be done! But that is what freedom means. There is one thing that even Omnipotence cannot give to Himself: Our own free choice to love him.

Why did God not just kill Adam and Eve and start over?
God gave them the Right to choose. They may not have had the “knowledge of Good and Evil”, but they had the word and command of God, They lived in the garden with God and had God’s direct revelation on all matters of life and obedience that much they knew, they knew the result “you will surely Die”. Adam and Eve were to follow the direct revelation of God, they were not prepared or required to use their own wisdom and knowledge. They had a free will to obey the revelation from God.
 It is interesting how when they knew the result, they knew what God Said, they put the desire for knowledge and power above obedience.  They were not so different from so many millions through History that have made the same choice.  God did not just kill them and start over because God gave them the right to choose.
IT says God separated Adam from the “tree of life”. Adam still had to deal with the result of sin, till the ground by the sweat of his brow, with weeds in his field.  But, the covering blood left him in right standing with God.  Adam knew what he had to do to obey God. Adam had the free choice to obey. Still a free moral agent with the right to choose to obey GOD or not!
So, I ask how important is that choice?
And the answer is to me profound.
God in love to protect that right of choice and offer man a resolution for making the wrong choices,  Himself paid the debt of my sin on an old rugged cross.  The choice, that is the right to make the choice, is sealed with the blood of Calvary.  The choice only works if there is a way to correct wrong ones.  Can you grasp the idea, “Victory is sweet in proportion to the reality of failure”.
If you could not fail, if you could not make a real choice, the result would be meaningless.
But, IF you choose to serve God because you want to, you love HIM, it has meaning.
The worst aspect of the problem of evil is eternal evil, hell. Does hell not contradict a loving and omnipotent God? No, for hell is the consequence of free will. We freely choose hell for ourselves; God does not cast anyone into hell against his will. If a creature is really free to say yes or no to the Creator’s offer of love and spiritual marriage, then it must be possible for the creature to say no. And that is what hell is, essentially. Free will, in turn, was created out of God’s love. Kreeft, Peter (2009-10-29). Fundamentals Of The Faith (p. 58). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.
Hell manifests God’s love. God’s love created us free, not robots, and our free choice of evil is the only thing that makes hell.  Love stoops to conquer. And it’s not mercenary because hell is not only punishment for sin (missing the mark) but sin itself (eternally missing God’s Glory and Presence), brought to consummation; just as heaven is not just reward for goodness, it’s goodness itself consummated (in eternal fellowship with God).
Kreeft, Peter (2009-10-29). Fundamentals Of The Faith (pp. 72-73). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

There are two groups in this world.
The ones that follow Satan’s Counterfeit (Natural man rejecting God)
And the ones that offer the sacrifices and obey God (Spiritual man obeying God). 
Then some say, “We offer no sacrifices, we have the blood of Jesus that paid our sin debt. There are no sacrifices today.”
OH! But that so misses the point. A person of self, my will, my ability, and knowledge cannot pay the debt for disobeying God. God planned in His thoughtful reason how to pay that debt. God carried out that plan and Jesus paid the debt on Calvary’s Cross. This is God’s Grace freely offered to all. I only have to accept God’s free gift and follow the plan. There are no works in my receiving God’s Grace. I accept it by Faith. BUT, this is where we fail to follow the plan.

Grace is THE STARTING POINT, not the Destination!!

THERE ARE WORKS IN LIVING FOR GOD!!
The sacrifice is being rejected by a sinful world because I am not part of this world. And rejecting natural self, I give my all to God.
The sacrifice is I die with Christ and share His Cross, I die to self, a bondslave to the Master.
The Promise is that I am risen in the Risen Christ.
The risen Savior Jesus is my King, my all in all and my promise, I will rise in Him when He Comes.
To live in myself, my will is to follow Satan’s counterfeit. Psalms says the Fool has said in his heart there is no God. But to make the sacrifice rejecting the world and the counterfeit is to die with Christ to share His Cross and die to self. A bondslave to Jesus not my will but always His.
The sacrifice of today, the part of the plan we fail to see and I fear practice is rejection of self and the world, to share in the cross. I belong to the King of Kings not to me. 
Romans clearly and in very specific detail says man disobeys God. And Paul is clear the “Natural Man” as a natural man by following Satan’s counterfeit cannot by knowledge or any other power of “Myself” come to know God. Paul was once a Pharisee and very well knew the teachings of the Mystic traditions, the ancient teachings of Satan’s counterfeit. It is the non-Christian religions that have taught that man may by knowledge and mystic power free himself from evil of Flesh and in spirit Rise up and be God. Today’s New Age movement says man’s sin is not to know that he is god part of the eternal god.
The ones that by faith accept God’s gift of grace know what Romans 3 says. The answer to disobeying God is in what God gives, His Righteousness made known in Jesus. We must have that righteousness to come before God. Jesus took my place and paid the debt I could not pay and in HIS BLOOD gave me that righteousness.

There is therefore (The therefore is Jesus) now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:1-2  

The THEREFORE is the Blood Paid Price that gives to us The Righteousness. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.


 Saved by Grace through Faith Rejecting self and the world we are indwelled by God’s the Holy Spirit. The position of God’s Spirit is the surety of the promise of the resurrection. The promise that when we die with Christ and yield our self to Him we shall be risen at His coming. Yet, it is a present position. Just as in Christ Blood, Adam was covered by the sacrifice “Looking forward to the promise was in right standing with God. So too we in Christ are new creatures, Old things are passed away and all things become new. Today’s sacrifice is rejecting self and this world and dying with Christ on the Cross. We are His yielded to Him. The sacrifice, the cost is, “MY all on the Cross with Jesus.” The righteousness of God and the resurrection are the promise of that sacrifice THEY ARE MINE NOW!!!
If however Satan can convince us that we are so evil so “Totally Depraved” that we cannot know God, Satan has made a major step to making every man a sinner. 

Christians are not and cannot be Sinners.

Satan has made this, “you are a sinner” idea work for a long time and steals the Christian Victory we should have. If people are convinced that they are too sinful to choose, God must do it all and choose who will be saved “what difference does it make God will Do it all any way” But, if we recognize that there two groups of people and that a free moral agent is responsible for the choice they make. We must choose to make the sacrifice to live for God. Reject the world, reject self and Satan, die with Christ on His cross to Live again.
I hear preachers talking about “Repentant Sinners” almost to the point you would think we have to be saved or at least repent of our many sins every week, day, hour.

 But, the work of Jesus on the cross made a difference, we are not, cannot be in the flesh bound to sin.  Jesus changed all that!

Rom 5:19  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.
Rom 8:2  But the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Everything Adam did to damage fellowship between man and God: JESUS restored and more too.   Jesus is now at the right hand of God as our intercessor, so if we fail He is there to protect us.   We are in Christ, we cannot be living in sin!


 A Christian is not a Repentant Sinner. 

 A Christian is in Christ! In Christ we are “Indwelled by the Holy Spirit”, Adopted into the family of God, Adopted as Children of God, Heirs of God, Joint heirs with Christ. Old things are passed away ALL things are become new. We are the temple of God indwelled by the Holy Spirit we are Priest of the Most High God with Jesus as Our High Priest. We are a Royal Priest hood and will rule with Christ in the Kingdom.  

Now I Call that VICTORY!!

Please do not let Satan steal it!!




FOLDER #3             Satan has a PLAN!! 
Satan failed to over throw God and is condemned and he knows it. He goes about on earth to deceive as many people as he can and he has a good plan. From the most ancient times the idea of good vs evil has been known. Satan created and taught men to believe mysticism dualism and magic as a way they could rise up free of evil flesh and be god.  Here is Satan’s Plan.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
We need to look beyond these stories we have all heard so often and point out some new Ideas. I hope to show a comparison of Satan’s method in the garden and today in our world.  We will use this model to show the method has not changed so much over time.
First an incomplete thread of truth, this is only part of what God said.
3:1 God said, Ye shall eat of every tree of the garden?
In her answer Eve added to what had been said. God had not said anything about touching the tree.
Second Satan offers a misleading idea to further his point.
Ye shall not surely die:
Then he adds an appealing reason to do what she wanted to without God.
3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes
shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Choose to possess the enlightened knowledge, your choice makes you a god.
Third we see a progression of disobedience, incremental movement to sin.
the woman saw, it was pleasant to the eyes
be desired to make one wise
she took of the fruit, and did eat
gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The outline we have here is the modern method to deny God, the bible, and moral right and wrong. Satan devised this outline in the garden; he and his servants still use it today. Please understand this is not a small thing, there is a plan to the Liberal Agenda, and it is an Old Plan.

1st Misstate the facts to SOUND the way you want them,
use a thread of truth as a foundation.
2nd Offer a misleading idea to further the point,
make your point, add your position or opinion.
3rd In small increments keep making the claim and moving public thought to your way of thinking.

There is a story that all the demons and Satan were trying to decide how to make this plan work best and a little demon cried out “WAIT” he wanted to be heard. When Satan heard “Wait” he exclaimed, “THAT IS IT”, “You have the best Idea of all”, There is no hurry just WAIT, Put off the decision, state what we want over and over.

Modern Man says there is no GOD.                                                               Evolution
The world JUST HAPPENED by chance.                                        
Man has no Free Will, we are only a more self-aware animal.                      Naturalism
All of nature is equal.
Do not eat other animals they are just as valuable as man.
Man as the highest self-aware animal answers only to man.                         Humanism
Moral Right is what “I” want right now.
Wrong is anything that keeps me form what I want.

If God did not create the world and man in His image there is no absolute authority for moral law, Man is free to be god and answer to only himself.
Modern Liberal Humanist want to eat of the tree; “in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” They do not want an absolute, almighty, all knowing, GOD to whom they must be obedient.
Modern Liberal Humanist cannot believe in God, if they did they would have to answer to Him and keep His commandments. They could not be god and make the rules.
This is the choice we have to make, will I accept God and his promises or shall I choose to be enlightened and not need god because man is god.

The Enlightenment of the 18th century was this very comparison, Educated People rejecting the God of the medieval church. They rejected the Bible and its God. Enlightened man had moved beyond the need for God. He was free, by his own reason and now the master of all he understood.
Enlightened man rejected creation of the world as told in the bible, even though many scientist and leaders of the time rejected Darwin as poor science, and Darwin admitted that he had never proven or fully explained the theory. There was a large group of humanist Philosophers that accepted even promoted Darwin’s theory. They had made up their minds before the discussion started. They did not accept the idea of God. These theories were the lie. They denied God, they denied the creation, the enlightened man did not want an all knowing, all powerful God that he had to answer to and obey.
The men of this period of thought made a choice the wrong one. They made up their minds there was no God. Man was a product of natural events. With their minds made up, they went on to prove the point.   A mind yielded to Satan is controlled by Satan and can use and follow his outline with skill.
They told a partial truth.
Man Changes, and change in nature are normal.
They offer a misleading idea to further the point.
God controlled how the world evolved.
They progressively, repeatedly promote the idea of humanism.
For many years now in little steps they have progressively pushed the theory of evolution. They knew it was an unsound and unproven theory but it fit what they wanted. The theory has slowly been moved from an illustration of the flow of life; to a theory of how all life came to be; to scientific fact. And it has been incorporated into almost every idea in our lives.
Under and behind all outward appearances or manifestations, there must always be a Substantial Reality. This is the Law. Man considering the Universe, of which he is a unit, sees nothing but change in matter, forces, and mental states. He sees that nothing really IS, but that everything is BECOMING and CHANGING.   Kybalion pg14
Evolution is the best argument against Historic Christianity as a way of belief. Prove God did not do what the bible says He did and there is no Bible, God, or absolute power, truth, right, wrong. Man is his own master, the highest self-aware animal that lives a little while on earth then is no more.
This evolution vs. creation argument is not a minor disagreement. It is the foundation of the historic Christian system of belief and values. We have a choice, look at the world around us all the wonders of creation and know God created all this for us, or believe the entire world just happened by chance.


The Bible, what does it mean? Why do we have the bible?
The bible is God’s word to us. The educated liberals try to say men over many years and from many places wrote stories these were told and handed down.
They told a partial truth.
men over many years and from many places wrote stories.
They offer a misleading idea to further the point.
The bible is just mythology, stories of men.
Liberals deny, discredit, and laugh at the bible. Over the years they teach the wisdom of men. The bible is degraded to the point it is unacceptable to reference it or quote in public.
The view of the great Hermetic (Egyptian Mystic) thinkers of all times… assert that the inner nature of THE ALL is UNKNOWABLE. This must be so, for naught but THE ALL itself can comprehend its own nature and being. Kybalion page 15

BUT, We can KNOW God revealed God to man so we can and DO know Him.

Romans 1:18-25
21  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their peculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22  Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23  and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Knowing the enemy is important because he is real and will continue to accuse until he has been thrown down by Michael and his angels in the future.    If the Bible records the over throw of Satan and stopping him from accusing our brethren, “for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.” It stands to reason that accusing the brethren IS what Satan is doing. Satan’s plan is real, his purpose is deadly serious, and he is in the world today. (Rev_12:7-12)

Satan is active in this story. Satan is the one with the plan and is ACTIVELY seeking to deceive mankind. He wants to be worshiped, admired, and in control. Today Mysticism, Dualism, and Gnosticism are active in our world, an example is The New Age Movement.  There are two ways, two Roads we may follow, man’s way of mystic “I can do it all myself” or God’s way of Grace Faith and Obedience to Him. I will refer to this Idea over and over, yes I repeat myself, some things are so important we must!!


Folder #4       Christians, The early Ones.
The early NT Church met in the home of one of the members that had the necessary facilities and invited them. This person was the “Host” of the Church and organized, schedules and led the Church. In this home and family setting this HOST in all likelihood led in the services. The other officer in the Church was called “Elder” was in accordance with the scripture one of the older men that was responsible for teaching the FAMILY. Thus we have the two offices episkopḗs or Bishop and the presbúteros; Elder.
The “BISHOP” of the NT Church was one that looked after or was overseer of the Church, the host of the family structure Church.  episkopḗ; gen. episkopḗs, fem. noun, to look after. Visitation, or an overseer. The act of visiting or being visited; but the ἐπίσκοποι Bishops  of the N. T. have officially nothing in common with our Bishops (Alford’s greek lex.)
The ELDER, just as God had said, was the Spiritual leader of the group, the Oldest Son the Older men were to be. presbúteros; Presbyter, Elder,  an old man, an ambassador. Older, aged; as a subst. an elder, a senior.
This family structure had worked well for many years and was the original foundation of the Church.
This early Church gave true loyalty to Jesus as LORD. We have little idea of what a Lord means. The ancient soldiers knelt in humility before their Lord, bowled their head in respect before their Lord, swore by their weapon of battle their LIFE to their Lord, YES it still means that today. Calling Jesus Lord means I give Him everything, My Life, all I have, all I dream of being.
Many of these early Christians had seen Jesus, They knew he was a man but they understood He was the Son of God, the God-Man in union. They lived dedicated lives “Living in the Spirit, Pure and Holy was real to them. So real they would die before rejecting Christ.
Christ lived, a man they knew, He taught the things they practiced, HE shed His Blood on a Roman cross and died, but they also knew GOD raised Him from the dead and He lives forever more. In the early Church every one was equal in the group, all were the children of GOD.

What did they do in those early house churches? The activity was diverse and spontaneous but always centered on belief in the risen Jesus. We know they broke bread together, following their Master's instructions to remember his death and resurrection (e.g., Luke 22:7-38). Everyone brought food and shared it. We don't know for certain if they celebrated the Lord's Supper every time they met, but we do know it was very common.
Beyond sharing the Lord's Supper together, the agenda for house church meetings was flexible. Paul wrote to the house church in Colossae, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16). Paul wanted the house church believers to encourage one another, share transparently, and rejoice in God's goodness. The members enjoyed each other's presence, laughed together, and drew near to Jesus.


The activates of the early Church were:
Worship, Fellowship, Teaching, Prayer,  Evangelism,  The Lord's Supper,  Baptism.
Communicating information was another essential activity in the early house churches. News from visitors, letters that were passed from one city to another (e.g., Paul's letters, 2 and 3 John), warnings of persecution, and accounts of actual persecutions were all shared through the house churches. They also served as centers of social services for those members who were in need. Young widows and the poor looked to the house churches as a means of support.
Oikos (Family Home) Transformation
One of the major cultural gaps between then and now is the extended family, or the ancient oikos structure. Those who live in the Western world have a hard time imagining the New Testament culture in which it was normal to live with parents, relatives, servants, and other workers. We are accustomed to living in nuclear families—father, mother, and children. Yet, the ancient world didn't even have a way to express what we call the "nuclear family." We only find the word oikos, which means family home, household, house, or extended family.
God used the oikos to extend the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. The early believers modeled transformed lives and distinct values that were often countercultural. Yet, in these crowded, urban environments, people were able to see Christianity up close. They heard and saw the testimonies of those transformed by the gospel, and they desired to experience Christ for themselves. Husbands loved wives, servants were treated with dignity, married partners submitted to one another, and love reigned supreme. Friends and neighbors were drawn to this new transformed community.
Developing Leaders Organically from the family structure already in place.  Many are amazed at how quickly Paul developed leadership in the early church, but the early house churches were natural incubators for leadership. In Paul's church plants, we don't see formal leadership structures. The person who opened his or her home would assume leadership, and the rest of the leadership structure was already in place—Paul used the oikos structure that was already built into the social infrastructure.  (Christianity Today, What was the Early Church Like.) http://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2015/what-was-new-testament-church-like.html


The First Century Church was not an organization of detailed theology, they were a people that knew and Loved Jesus Christ and through Him God. They were filled with God’s Spirit and knew they were Priest of God in the family of God.  They met in homes as family and saw all the “Christians” one Body, one blessed community in Christ. Every Christian was a part of the family, the Body of believers.  Their Worship was based on LOVING each member of the family, as they LOVED GOD. The point is they praised each other’s LIVING IN GOD and God for loving them. Jesus was real to them and they knew He willingly died for them to reconcile them to the Father.
FAITH WAS NOT THEORY TO THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH!  Faith was so real to them they would enter the arena to face wild animals or Soldiers intending to kill them and do so Singing Praises to God!  The more the world tried to stop them the more they showed their LOVE for God. Their Love was so strong they moved the masses of people and changed the world. We today are still to Love God, our only responsibility is to God. We must obey Him and keep His Commandments, so purely that others will see Jesus in us. It is a Christian’s responsibility to LOVE the other Christians, and obey God. We do not judge others, we do not tell others how to serve God, and it is our place to LOVE God. Yes, there is sin, failure, weakness, yes even evil. But, that is not the subject we are discussing such evil is the natural behavior of a person that is LOST "the natural man." Christians forgive, Love, keep God’s commandments, Love other Christians and put God first.
The First Century Church saw a person’s responsibility as a personal responsibility to God. The Old Testament says about 79 times something very near, “Hear my words (voice, commandments, instructions) and keep my commandments,(Law, Word) and I will be your GOD and you will be My people.  When Jesus came He said “Change your mind” or “Change the way you think”, in other words stop disobeying me and ”Hear my voice, keep my commandments” Come near for the royal authority of God. What Jesus said is not so different from what had been said in the OT. Obey God keep his commandments and He will be your God, Jesus said Change the way you think, Obey Me, Come near the indwelling of God’s Spirit.
Please bear with me it does not say kingdom, it says kingdom authority.
A word for word translation of this verse is: Mt 4:17
"Change your mind and draw near for “the royal power of God”.  Note in this verse the “draw near” is in reference to the one changing their mind not the “a kingdom or royal authority”. There is no grammatical reason the move the “draw near” to a “kingdom of Heaven”.   Change your mind is “You” second person plural, Draw  near “the ones changing” is third person singular.  Royal authority of heaven is the object of the preposition “for” and first person singular.
"You change your mind the ones changing draw near for the royal power of God"   
The royal power of heaven is the power of the King of Kings, God's authority to rule over eternity.  When changed by grace, children of God, we are heirs and joint heirs with Christ. He is the King there is only one King, yet as heirs we have the power (βασιλεία) of The King.   When Christ said Mat 16:28  Truly I say to you, There are some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His Power.  The word βασιλεία is used that is "Coming in His Royal Power."  
 The ones saved by Grace and obeying Christ Lordship share and have that power.  This is not some distant eventual result it is a present possession. 
Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 
Yes Israel was looking for a KING to sit on the throne of David, Yes the 3nd to 5rd century Church taught a Kingdom that the clergy controlled, but, that is not what the early Church know or taught. Some 79 times in the Old Testament God said “Hear my voice, and Keep My Commandments, and I will be your God and you will be My People.” Jesus came and said much the same thing, Change the way you think, (Change your mind from self to obeying ME), Come to Me for the Royal Power of God the King. Look at history there is no “Kingdom” outside the Church, We are discussing the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus. The 3nd to 5rd century Clergy usurped the teaching to increase their power over people.
God gave to His People (every one saved by GRACE, OT Remnant and the NT Church) the position of the Nation Israel. The Nation Israel lost its place by disobeying God, by Changing the way we think (stop disobeying God) and walking according to His Rule (keep His Commandments) the position is given to the ones saved by grace.
Jesus taught a simple gospel, it dealt with the needs of real people. He told us how to see and deal with real problems. Jesus said He was the way to Life Eternal. Jesus teaching was to follow Him and Know God, He would be the way to Life.
The early Church was just this practical simple and loving. Meetings in Homes were to support and hold up each member of the group. They all were family, the family of God.
We do not need the later generations to tell us who Jesus was, Prophets for told it, Angels announced it, Simeon and Anna praised Him, Peter knew, even the demons Jesus cast out knew, He was the Son the God.
It was later men seeking control of masses that try to say He is only human, or He is only God.
The early Church knew Jesus was the God-Man. God the Son born on earth Totally Eternal God, and Totally man.
The early church was much like ours today it was made up of some people very serious and dedicated to Jesus, there were some that believed to a degree but lacked the fire of deep devotion, and there were some that saw the new church as a way to profit or get ahead. There were many struggles and errors on the way to becoming the church we know. By the year 180 to 200ad the books of the bible were established and widely known. The elders of the early churches agreed on a standard for the “inspired books” they had to be written by an apostle or someone working with the apostle. The adoption of formal “Cannon of Scripture” years later was to stop heresy from being added to the Bible. There were several groups that wanted control of the church, some of the early church disagreements were over power.
The early Church met in homes in small groups where everyone was equal in Christ. They knew Jesus as a man, and they knew Him as Christ the Son of God. They lived dedicated lives “Living in the Spirit, Pure and Holy was real to them. So real they would die before rejecting Christ.
Paul taught there is only one way to be saved. (13)  He spent seven chapters of Romans discussing there is no difference in who or how to be saved. The Jews as chosen people, the seed of Abraham had no special favor. Paul called this the Mystery revealed to the ApostlesAll are saved by Grace. Old Testament faith heroes of Hebrews 11, The Greek or Barbarian all are saved by Grace through Faith. The law was never the way. Grace leads to Living in the Spirit, A life In Christ, Rejecting the world and the things of the world looking to a higher calling. The Mystery is simple all are saved by Grace, God in His mercy provides the gift of Grace allowing us to by faith be saved. When we are saved, we stop disobeying God and yield to His position as Lord, we are indwelled by God the Holy Spirit. We are adopted into the family of God. We have the "Power of the Living God".
 The early Church knew this and living in the world were not a part of the world. They were separate and often misunderstood because of this. Ro.11:25 Col 1:27



Folder #5
Usurped Authority.
I want to ask do we really want to base what we call “Orthodox” teachings on the positions of clergy that usurped so much of what belonged to every Christian?
First it was the idea that every Christian “In Christ” was equal, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, for service and fellowship.
Second that every Christian was equal in position before God as a Priest of God.
Third is the idea that every Christian is adopted in to the family of God and as a son, an heir and a priest, may go directly to the Father with their positions.
Fourth that salvation is a gift of Grace from God by Faith, NOT at the hand of a “Clergy/Priest” in Baptism and the sacraments. Or that Only through the Clergy can someone come to Christ.
 Fifth that every Christian as Heir, Priest and king will rule in the Kingdom with Jesus, NOT the layman as a subject of the Kingdom.

The titles of later “Church officials” do not mean what the church made them mean.
They simply say the elder in a family or the person in whose home they met.
From the Home Church setting Paul simply uses the structure already in place THE FAMILY ELDERS.
Elder is just that in the Home Church, the family elders already having responsibility for the family. And Christian BISHOP is to say “Our Host where we meet” it is not an office but a responsibility.  Yes, there are men appointed to this position in Churches but it was as leaders and teachers not “Priest or Rulers”. In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, Paul says, "Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work." Paul is talking about house church leaders, they developed organically within the Family- House Church structure.
In this first century church every member knew the responsibility of being a Christian, every Christian was a Priest of God, indwelled by the Spirit of God, the temple of God, a child of the King. They knew the requirement of serving God, to serve God they walked into the arena to face death Singing God’s Praise. They were ALL LEADERS!!

Over time the “Host” began to take on more and more responsibility, authority even “power”. There came a point when “host, Bishop” and Elder seem to blend together. This may simply have been because the “Elders” were also the Host. But, still it seems that there were some taking power over the Church included too. And still this may have come about at first with some honest need. I have found in dealing with the Church there is a rule that is nearly always true, “IF you will do it they will let you.”  There are two factors involved here, 1. People will normally let the ones willing to work do the work, and 2. There were men that wanted and took the power over the Church.  This took time and it was not until two hundred years later that the Bishop/Elder became a CLERGY that saw themselves as LEADERS in the Church. By about the year 200AD there was a CLERGY running the Church and by 250AD this Clergy was solidly in charge.

The authorities to which the Christian communities were subjected in faith and life, were these: (1) The Old Testament interpreted in the Christian sense. (2) The tradition of the Messianic history of Jesus. (3) The words of the Lord: see the epistles of Paul, especially 1 Corinthians. But every writing which was proved to have been given by the Spirit had also to be regarded as an authority, and every tested Christian Prophet and Teacher inspired by the Spirit could claim that his words be received and regarded as the words of God. Moreover, the twelve whom Jesus had chosen had a special authority, and Paul claimed a similar authority for himself. Consequently, there were numerous courts of appeal in the earliest period of Christendom, of diverse kinds and by no means strictly defined. In the manifold gifts of the spirit was given a fluid element indefinable in its range and scope, an element which guaranteed freedom of development, but which also threatened to lead the enthusiastic communities to extravagance.  Harnak “History of Dogma”
The clergy used the term “Apostolic Succession” to mean the teachings of the Apostle handed down to them in an unbroken line and giving God’s word authority.  This was used to ward off false teachings that came in the early Church. In time they also began to include in the idea the teachings of the so called Church Fathers and by 500 the idea was increased to mean the clergy have the Authority of the Apostles.

There is a BIG difference in saying that an Elder, a natural spiritual leader, will teach or lead the group worship and saying that only a special “Clergy/Priest” has such authority.
Too much teachings of men, philosophy, Greek thought, and Ancient Mysticism (Gnostic teaching) was added into Christian teaching in the Church between 200 and 500AD.
Folder #6                    This next folder is a lesson intended to show;

1. How we so often miss the teaching of a passage,
2. What great responsibility we as Christians have,
3. What a blessing we have in Jesus.

Christian!   What does it mean??

Peter asked him, Lord, are you addressing this parable to us or to all alike?
The Lord answered, Who then is the faithful and sensible manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master at his coming will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions.
But if that servant shall say in his heart, My master is taking his time in coming, and shall begin to beat up the men and the women servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant shall arrive on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he does not figure on and shall cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act in accordance with that will shall receive many blows of the lash. But he who did not know and did things that call for a beating shall receive few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, all the more will be demanded.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). This statement of Jesus has become somewhat of an idiom in Western culture and is found, paraphrased, in Uncle Ben’s words of wisdom to Peter Parker in Spider-man:
“With great power comes great responsibility.”

The idea of “to whom much is given, much will be required” is that we are held responsible for what we have. If we are blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we use these well to glorify God and benefit others. Read more: https://www.gotquestions.org/much-given-required.html

I want to discuss some of what this passage means to us in the “Body of Christ”
We will start with where do these things given come from?
Then look at, How did we get them?
And finally we will look at, Just how much were we given to use for Our Lord?  And the responsibility that goes with what we were given.

They came from GOD!

God is "Self-existent, HOLY, Goodness". All that is in existence beyond the point of God's Self-existent Person is from and in God. God inhabits Eternity (all of time), which is from His self-existence. God does not live moment by moment, day by day in eternity, God inhabits Eternity, IN PRESENT TENSE, All of Eternity and every second of time before Him NOW!
All the Majestic Glory of the HOLY GOD exist in His self-existent Person.
All Knowledge exists in eternity before Him thus He knows all.
All eternity is before Him thus He is present to all, all the time.
All Power, Majesty, and Glory are from His self-existence thus He is all powerful. 
This is the God from whom we get all that is for us in Christ. All we are, all we have, comes from God, and His Grace in us.
God has given us MUCH, let’s look at just what that is.


In the passage Luke 12, Our Lord’s Galilean ministry was drawing-rapidly to a close. The time was near when He would go to Jerusalem to die. In view of this and His promised return, He urged upon His disciples the importance of loyalty when He should no longer be present with them in person. He was going on to Calvary-there to make an atonement for sin. And in God’s due time He will return, not as He came before as a little Babe, as a lowly Man to be despised-but as King of kings and Lord of Lords, to whom every knee shall bow. We read in the Revelation, “Behold, He cometh with clouds: and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of Him.” H. Ironsides


The Son of man returns clothed with power and majesty and with awe and terror. Royalty’s robe to his feet; that golden belt buckled at the breast; that hair so glistening white like the purest snow on which the sun is shining it hurts the eye; those eyes of flashing fire, eyes which read every heart and penetrate every hidden corner; those feet of burning metal glowing in order to trample down the wicked and stand firm in Holiness; that loud, reverberating voice, like the mighty thunder of Niagara falls in all it power; The word of His mouth a sharp, great-sword with two biting edges of Truth; that entire appearance “as the sun shines in its power,” too intense for human eyes to stare at—the picture viewed as a whole, is a symbol of Christ, the Holy One, coming to purge His world, the world He purchased on Calvary as our redeemer, He now comes to redeem to Himself.

The Good Master has gone away, the suffering servant that came as a man will return in Power beyond what we understand, The question is will HE find us watching for HIM? Will we be ready? 
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required,

When He comes what will we have done with what he has given us?

This list is a little different from the ones we often see, But he has given us SO MUCH!

1.        Grace, Jesus work on earth and the BLOOD of Calvary. 
Eph 2:8 
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

 Holy Spirit indwelling believers. We have in Christ the indwelling Power of the Living God.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Romans 8:9
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
2 Corinthians 6:16   Ezekiel 36:27   2 Timothy 1:14   Acts 6:5   Ephesians 5:18   Romans 8:11   John 16:13  1 John 2:27 John 14:17
We are Priest of the Most High GOD.
A royal priest hood to make sacrifices and offerings to HIM.
1Pe 2:9 
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

We are New Creatures.
Old things and sins passed away and remembered no more, all things are made new in Christ.
2Co_5:17 
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.
Psa 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
There are several passages in the Bible that indicate that God forgives and forgets our sin. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. ”Hebrews 10 explains how Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for sin was a once-and-for-all sacrifice. Unlike the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, in which sacrifices were continually made for sin, Jesus paid for sin once. His payment was complete. Hebrews 10:14–18says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.


5.  Adopted into the family of God.
Romans 8:15
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!
Galatians 4:6  Rom_8:23  Rom_9:4  Gal_4:5  Eph_1:5
6. heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus.
Rom 8:17  and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

7.        We are the temple of God Indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
1Co_3:17  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1Co_6:19  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

How much was given? What is our responsibility?

Peace, Joy, faith, hope, adoption of sons, Temple of God, Indwelling Holy Spirit, Priest of the Most High God, Gifts – we have the Power of the Living God (what ever we need to do what He calls on us to do we have from His Spirit in us)!
What have we done with what God gave us?
Php 3:10 - 15  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;  11 if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. 12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13  My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before, 14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15  Let us, therefore, as many as are perfect,{justified Innocent } be of this mind.
The scripture we are studying says  to give them their food allowance at the proper time”
The Lord answered, Who then is the faithful and sensible manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master at his coming will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions.
We so often teach the illustration we miss the point!  The “servant” was to meet the needs of his fellows. The illustration is of food, but that is spiritual needs as well as physical.  The evil servant says “My master is taking his time in coming, and shall begin to beat up the men and the women servants and to eat and drink and get drunk“ this is more than just food but well-being.
We to whom Much Is Given must also live our lives so others can see Jesus in us. It has always been the office of a Priest to teach, guide and minister to the people.  We are to be the example both in this life and in “Watching for That Glorious Returning”.
Heb 5:10 Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

A priest by birth, a priest sanctified to God, a priest from the people, and a priest as the spiritual teacher for all, this is the King and priest by birth order of Melchisedec. Why was this Old Testament man selected? Maybe it is because he was both priest by birth and a king.

The point of this discussion, and the many things to say, and hard to be uttered is this priest hood. The fact that Christ is our high priest is not hard to follow, God said it. What that means to us in daily life seems not to have been widely seen. Christ is our High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, that is by birth. When we look beyond our self and see the wondrous Grace of God, and with the simplest Faith reach out to Him, the one who paid sins price with His own Blood, on that old rugged Cross, we are born into the family of God.
It is a birthright with eternal life and eternal responsibility!

Rom 8:15 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.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The spirit of adoption making us the children of God and joint-heirs of Christ is the new priesthood. It is the adoption into the family of God. There is much that has not been included in what it means to be a Christian in the teachings of the church. Part may have been because it was hard to say and we are weak of understanding. But, in the history of the church, a good part of the problem is telling the Christian story in a way to help those in leadership positions control the masses of people.

How do you tell someone you are a child of the king, heir to rule with Christ, a member of the heavenly family, we are a Priest under the High Priest Jesus Christ. You may go directly to the Fathers side with your petitions.

Then tell them I am in charge and will tell you what you need to know and do for the church. I will tell you what the scripture says and all you must do to be saved. 

The failure to teach the truth about the Priesthood of the Christian is a choice of the leaders in the church to control people and the same grasp for power that lead to both the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

First, the priest hood was by first-born birth, responsible for leading the people to God.
Second, is a tribe of Israel chosen by God to replace the birthright.
The third, is the High Priesthood of Jesus and our adoption into the family of God.

1 Peter 2:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Revelation 1:5-6 (NKJV)
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:10 (NKJV)
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God, And we shall reign on the earth."
Revelation 20:5-6 (NKJV)
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has a part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

We are adopted heirs to the wonders of God. These verses say Jesus made us kings and priest unto God. We need no one to take our cause to God. We have the adoption of sons, the status of His family, and may go to God on His promise and blood.

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing…

This new birthright and our place in it along with our relation to Jesus Christ our High Priest is the heart of “many things to say” and of which we cannot allow ourselves to be “dull of hearing”. Much of the problem in our present time comes from the church not teaching the true position and responsibilities of the Christian.
We have a responsibility to go tell others the wonders of God’s grace. If there are suffering and hard work, the toil is nothing compared to the love of God. And even this suffering has a promise.

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

We have a responsibility, Every Christian has a responsibility, to support the Church and learn the truth from the word of God and to share this truth with others. We must learn what we can of what the world is saying and the errors that confront the Church. How else can we ever seek to teach the truth and correct errors if we do not know what they are?
The birthright with Christ carries with it a great responsibility.

I am sure you know of the “Romans Road to Salvation”.  This is Paul’s outline of the steps or method of being saved.  It is often only partly quoted, but here is what he said.

1. The righteousness of God is needed because man has no righteousness acceptable to God. No one was ever saved by the Law of Moses for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  And there were the traditions and laws of men that date back to Ancient Times which said man by knowledge and his ability can overcome evil and come to God.
Only obedience to the Self-existent Holy God and His Righteousness are good enough to come into the presence of God. No one has ever lived up to the Glory of God in never failing to obey Him in all things. We are all still under the Law, because the Law has always been pointing out what “Sin” is and not saving any one from sin.
            a. there is no difference in people
            b. for all have sinned

Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 
Rom 3:21  But the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is  by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,  Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 10:9  That if you shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.
  
This very familiar verse tells us How, the act of being saved works. With the Heart Believes, with the Mouth Confesses.  

How Shall they hear if the Priest of this age of grace fails to carry the message?

Our position in the family of God carries with it a Great responsibility, we are the Priest of Grace the messenger to tell the world about Jesus.  The next verses are not so often read but they tell us of that responsibility.   


How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a messenger? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?     Romans 10:14-15

Christ said “You must be Born again,” and as such we are new creatures in Christ.
We have a birthright responsibility to tell others the wonderful story of the Gospel. We are the Priest of this age, the Priest of Grace, to tell the world about JESUS is our Responsibility.  If they do not hear they will not be saved, and that is an eternal loss.  WE are to live a new life dedicated to God to spread the Gospel.

We have failed to stand, to be heard, and to teach the truth. We have allowed the liberal humanist to establish the standards of debate, and once in power, they are hard to move.

Have we chosen to follow the easy path in our busy lives?
Have we let others claim the authority to say, “Live any way you want to”?
Could we stand with the martyrs and face the wild animals or torture for the name of CHRIST?
Who can face death with Polycarp and say, “Eighty and six years He never failed me I will not deny Him now”?

When the need is great who will stand in the gap?
The church today has lost her way and can’t seem to stand where the stand matters.
Yet we are responsible as heirs to heaven, Priest of Grace, We must take a stand.
 What Do I Owe Jesus?  
We often speak of Tithes of 10%, and a gift to meet special needs. We may even get to Church AND Sunday school, or Prayer meeting and Bible study, some even go to evangelistic outreach.  Look at all we do for Him.

What Do I Owe Jesus?   The wealth of the universe “That Debt” could not repay!
He in love stepped from eternity and across time and was born a man. Totally GOD ( the second person of the Trinity, existing for all eternity,  Became, Totally a man just as we are. The man had a beginning with birth, died on the cross and was rewarded and seated with God in heaven.)
He lived as a man, learned a trade, taught us to know Him, and paid a debt we could not pay.
He is, He must be, my all, my all in all, life and Lord, Master and FRIEND.  Lord and Master, yet wants to commune with us and be a true friend.  We owe Him ALL. 
The Question is not “What Do I Owe HIM?”  
The question should be:
 In that deepest private personal place of thought and hope,

"What would I withhold from Him”?

This view of a Christian is beautiful, breath taking, exciting, there is victory in knowing Jesus.
How do you make this work and not seem proud?
How do you access the power of God?
By choice I give my all to Jesus, a bondslave to serve Him.  Life is not about me and what I want.  I give my wealth, life, position, and Faith to the savior, He is my all in all I only live to serve Him The more I yield to Him the more His Power can flow through me.

Who am I?        A bondslave of Christ Jesus!   δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ

The twenty-first century Christian needs some first century Living Reality of Christian Life.  Mr. Wesley was accused of ”experiential theology”, the educated of the day made fun of him basing any part of his “theology” on having lived it.  Yet the only way to know it is to live in Christ.   The problem in the Church today is “we are so busy we fail to stop to worship, pray, or just be still and let Him speak to us.”   To know Him is to understand His word. To know Him is to hear Him speak.  If you have studied scripture long I am sure you have read a familiar passage only to have some new truth pour over your soul and thrill you with God’s meaning. This is God speaking to you through scripture.  But, we have to listen, be quiet and listen. 
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, all the more will be demanded.


Folder #7 Satan’s Counterfeit 
An attempt to steel the hearts of men.

The problem

All men left to themselves after the fall (natural man) will fail to keep God’s commandments. From the very worst we can describe to the very best a great man may be, the result is the same, each is lost.  It is not about how good or evil a person is, it is about obeying God.  We use the little euphemism “sin” to discuss what we all really know to be disobeying GOD. The offence of Adam was to disobey God. The offence we do is also to disobey God.  It is just this simple “If you do not obey Him, you disobey Him”. The task is not what I do of myself, for me, what I want. It is Do I obey God?

 Introduction of sin into the world
The word “entered” indicates the introduction of a principle till then external to the world, and the word “by” throws back the responsibility of the event on him who, as it were, pierced the dyke through which the irruption took place. Paul evidently holds, with Scripture, the previous existence of evil in a superhuman sphere. Assuredly no subsequent transgression is comparable to disobeying God. It created, here below, a state of things which subsequent sins only served to confirm. If the question is asked, how a being created good could perpetrate such an act, we answer that a decision like this does not necessarily suppose evil in its author. There is in moral life not only a conflict between good and evil, but also between good and good, lower good and higher good. The act of eating the fruit of the tree on which the prohibition rested, was not illegitimate in itself. It became guilty only through the prohibition. Man, therefore, found himself placed—and such was the necessary condition of the moral development through which he had to pass—between the inclination to eat—an inclination innocent in itself, but intended to be sacrificed—and the positively good Divine order. At the instigation of an already existent power of revolt, man drew from the depths of his liberty a decision whereby he adhered to the inclination rather than to the Divine Will, and thus created in his whole race, still identified with his person, the permanent proclivity to prefer inclination to obligation. (Prof. Godet, D. D.)
 

“Assuredly no subsequent transgression is comparable to this”, disobeying God.  All the descriptions of “sin” are but the choices men make in their own regard as to their actions that THEY WANT. “a state of things which subsequent sins only served to confirm.”  But, what greater evil can we name than to disobey God.  Men go the heaven for by faith accepting God’s grace and obeying Him. Please note and be sure natural man goes to hell for ignoring God’s grace and disobeying Him.
There are and always have been two ways a person may follow.

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.  So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.  Ro 5:17-19

The Beginning
After being created in the “Image of God” and living in the garden, Adam walked with God. There have been many books written on the standing or state of perfection man had before the fall, so I do not pretend to have all the answer, just a consideration.
In the garden before the fall Adam had “Direct Revelation from God!” God told Adam many things, And Adam knew to OBEY GOD. Adam had no personal knowledge good and evil. His will at that point was obey God or not. But, he had that will! 

Think about it
The Self-existent, Holy, Most High (Sovereign), Infinite One made
Man finite, sovereign (highest of creation) for fellowship and gave him all that was needed to truly fellowship with God. (Explained more later, and YES, sovereign only means highest, NOT Dictator)!    

At first Man was to obey the Direct Revelation from GOD, he was not burdened with understanding Good and Evil and deciding for himself how to best serve God. He only had to obey what God told him.

 Adam disobeyed God and had to pay a price for it. Broken fellowship with God and put out of the Garden because of the Tree of Life, yet, God taught Adam A new way to obey Him. Gen 3:21 It was still Adams choice to obey or not. Every time the sacrifice was made it was to specifically obey God and under that blood be right with God. Adam looked forward to the promise of the messiah, and was in right standing with God “in Christ”.  God tested Adam and he failed. God taught him to obey, our God is so wonderful, He tested Adam, Adam failed, then God gave Adam the correct answer, God taught Adam how to obey and be in right standing. The shedding of blood for covering was also a sacrifice a blood offering. God taught Adam of the Promise, one day a savior would come and pay the sin debt for all people. The sacrifice was taught to all from Adam to Moses and the ones serving God made the sacrifices.
It is very important for all to see that God made man with a free will to obey Him or not, and it was a great risk to God because God gave man the RIGHT and ABILITY to choose to obey or not. The Death in the story is Physical death. Spiritual Life or Death has always been a free choice, a choice to obey God or Not. But look at context stay with the story, God made man for fellowship and in Love gave man all that was needed to truly choose to love God and Fellowship with Him or not.

Adam is not the only one tested. Abraham was tested and I think it was harder, “Take the promised son to the mountain and sacrifice him to ME”. I do not think many of us would do so well, there is a lesson here. Abraham’s test was to the level of Abraham’s faith. Abraham had made mistakes, did things his way, but, we are told he believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.  It was a hard test, “offer you only son’s life to ME”.  Reading the story over and over it seems to say Abraham believed God would keep His promise. Abraham believed Isaac would come back home with him.  Abraham passed the test yet he was under the blood just like Adam, looking forward to the promise. 
Moses passed his test. Protected by God, taken from the river by the princes Hatshepsut and given a nurse to tend him. All he knew of God and Israel came from that godly woman, his mother.  When the test came Moses choose to be with God’s people than to be a prince in Egypt.  Hebrews says Moses endured as seeing Him who is invisible. Moses believed God, he made the sacrifice and was in right standing looking forward to the Cross, just like Adam.  
There are many more who passed and failed but the choice was always obey GOD or not.

Paul said he was righteous, dedicated, zealous, and blameless, and that was not enough. It was not the right subject.  He had to obey God. To know and obey God is the answer to sin’s problems.

If any other man thinks that he has reasons he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  Phil 3:4b-6

 The subject is obeying GOD.

There are two groups of people.

1.       The ones that obey God and as Paul did give all as lost for Christ. I count all things (but) loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
Phil 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I [have] counted 8loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things (but) loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them (but) dung [refuse] that I may win Christ, 9and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by [upon] faith; 10that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable  [being conformed] unto his death.
The ones left to themselves, By choice apart from God. Lost, lost, lost. No matter how GOOD or GREAT still they are LOST. 
Depravity is real but it is a choice.


Psa 14:1-4  The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.



CAIN AND ABEL  Gen_4:1-26
IT is not the purpose of Moses in his five books to write the history of the world. It is not his purpose to write even the history of mankind. His object is to write the history of redemption. Starting from the broad fact of man’s alienation from God, he means to trace that element in human history which results in the perfect re-union of God and man. The keynote has been struck in the promise already given that the seed of the woman should prevail over the seed of the serpent, that the effects of man’s disobedience of God should be removed. It is the fulfilment of this promise which is traced by this writer. He steadily pursues that one line of history (Called the Scarlet thread through the Bible) which runs directly towards this fulfilment. His method is first to dispose of collateral matter and then to proceed with his main theme. As here, he first disposes of the line of Cain and then returns to Seth through whom the line of promise is maintained.
The story of Cain and Abel was to all appearance told in order to point out that from the very first men have been divided into two great classes, viewed in connection with God’s promise and presence in the world Always there have been those who believed in God’s love and waited for it, and those who believed more in their own force and energy. Always there have been the humble and self-diffident who hoped in God, and the proud and self-reliant who felt themselves equal to all the occasions of life..  Expositors Bible Commentary e-Sword

Every religion we know of has had some form of a DUALISM of Good and Evil. Mankind’s misunderstanding of Good and evil has caused most of the failure of people to know and love God. We get so focused on evil and where and why it exist we fail to see we are to focus on knowing and Fellowshipping with God.  We mistake evil as missing the mark and that is not true. To miss the mark, sin, is to miss God’s glory, created in us, to fail to fellowship with Him. Evil is only what a natural man does without God. This man had already decided to disobey God.
How far back does the discussion of Good and Evil go, There was a tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden, remember.

 Gen. 4:26 then began men to call upon the name of the Lord; not but that Adam, Able and Seth, and all good men, had called upon the name of the Lord, and prayed to him, or worshipped him, and made Blood sacrifices to Him before this time personally, and in their families; but now the families of good men being larger, and more numerous, they joined together in social and public worship, they also formed themselves into distinct bodies; and not only separated from Cainites, but called themselves by a different name; for so the words may be rendered: "then began men to call themselves", or "to be called by the name of the Lord" (p); the sons of God, ( in Adam & Seth Godly people that Obey GOD)  as distinct from the sons of men (in Cain worldly People that trust in their own ways); which distinction may be observed in Gen_6:2 and has been retained more or less ever since:  Expositors Bible Commentary e-Sword


There are TWO groups of people, the ones choosing God and the ones that reject God. There is now and always has been two groups in the world “sons of God” and  “sons of men”.

Being saved, Living in God is about acknowledging and obeying and trusting GOD.

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.





Folder #8
There is more to BEING SAVED than church attendance and saying “I’m Saved.”
              There are the sacrifices!
a.       Rejected by the world and rejecting the world and self.
Dead to self and sharing the cross of Jesus dead with HIM.
Risen as new creatures in Christ in the family of God.
         Francis Shaffer  From True Spirituality ( it is worth reading)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in Heaven for you by the power of God, having been kept through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time; in which you greatly rejoice, yet a little while, if need be, grieving in manifold temptations; so that the trial of your faith (being much more precious than that of gold that perishes, but being proven through fire) might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, you love; in whom not yet seeing, but believing in Him you exult with unspeakable joy, and having been glorified, obtaining the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1Peter 1:3-9
There is a problem in the Church today, our Church, all Churches. I fear the problem may be so serious that it effects the very salvation of some who do not know the truth!
Christians ARE NOT sinners.  Without being IN CHRIST you are LOST!
There are TWO groups in this world. 
Natural man LOST.  Depraved and living for self. He will not obey God.
SPIRITUAL man, In Christ SAVED!  Indwelled by the Holy Spirit a Child of God.  He makes the sacrifices required by God.
There is more to BEING SAVED than church attendance and saying I’m Saved.
Do people, professing to be Christians learn the teachings of the Church that have been passed on for 2000 years, or do they look to the scripture for the meaning of these truths?
I fear that in many ways people simply repeat what they have always heard and do not grasp the depth of scriptural truth. We tend to quote and reverence “Church Fathers” both ancient and more recent without challenging their teaching.
Folder #9    There are Two Roads that man may travel.
The choice has two ways to go and so we see another way.  The second road, The counterfeit of Satan, starts in eternity past when Satan said “I will place my seat above the stars of God, and I will be as God.”   We said Man was made for fellowship and Satan wants that fellowship. Satan wants to be god.  The fact that Man can choose and Satan wants to be the one selected causes Satan to do all he can to entice and deceive Man.  Before Adam disobeyed God he lived in simple obedience to the direct revelation from God. After he failed to obey God Adam opened the door to knowledge and gave Satan a platform to tempt all men, man had the ability to reason and decide what HE WANTED. That is where Satan’s plan begins, “With Knowledge you can save yourself!”

 Please look with me as we try to see a parallel road of deceit that Satan planed and established to deceive men and gain there fellowship. In Job 1:7 we learn that Satan comes before God and he goes to and fro in the world to accuse men. In Rev 12:10 when he is finally cast out of Heaven He is called the accuser of the breathern before God night and Day.  At least between these two points Satan goes about the earth to deceive and accuse man before God.  
The second road the broad way, is the method Satan uses to teach men “HIS WAY” a way to by “knowledge” rise up and free one’s self of sinful flesh and in Spirit become as God.  This knowledge is what he offered to Eve in the Garden, “You will not die, your eyes will be opened and you will know good and evil.
Satan wants man’s fellowship and will offer any thing a human heart can desire to entice man to follow him.
From this beginning to today’s New Age Movement there is “One Continuous Story of Satan using all his wiles to deceive and accuse man.  I do not recommend everyone to study and follow all of Satan's Ancient or Modern Mythology, but, here let’s review the outline just to see that it is One Continuous Story.

Satan's plan before the flood was fairly good because so many people followed him God killed all but Noah and his family.  In the Expositors Commentary it says the story of Cain and Able looks as if it were placed in the Bible to high lite the fact that there is and has always been two groups of people.
From the Garden Adam taught what God taught him. He taught all his family the meaning and importance of the Blood Sacrifice.  There is an interesting side question here. Many Debate which came first Natural Revelation or Special Revelation. How did the people know what God said?  I would argue DIRECT revelation from God Himself was first.   DID ADAM WALK WITH GOD IN THE GARDEN? Why would one say Adam did not learn from God and pass what God told him on to others? Of course if you make Adam totally depraved then I guess he could not teach what God had told Him. This I feel is an example of theology controlling translation.

The story of Cain and Abel was to all appearance told in order to point out that from the very first men have been divided into two great classes, viewed in connection with God’s promise and presence in the world Always there have been those who believed in God’s love and waited for it, and those who believed more in their own force and energy. Always there have been the humble and self-diffident who hoped in God, and the proud and self-reliant who felt themselves equal to all the occasions of life..  EB e-sword
Gen. 4:26 then began men to call upon the name of the Lord; not but that Adam, Able and Seth, and all good men, had called upon the name of the Lord, and prayed to him, or worshipped him, and made Blood sacrifices to Him before this time personally, and in their families; but now the families of good men being larger, and more numerous, they joined together in social and public worship, they also formed themselves into distinct bodies; and not only separated from Cainites, but called themselves by a different name; for so the words may be rendered: "then began men to Profane”, or "to be called by the Personal name of the Jehovah" but did they go too far, when were they given permission to be called by the “Name not spoken”. We have the sons of God, (in Adam & Seth Godly people that Obey GOD)  as distinct from the sons of men (in Cain worldly People that trust in their own ways); which distinction may be observed in Gen_6:2 and has been retained more or less ever since: EB e-sword

Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord - The marginal reading is, Then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord; which words are supposed to signify that in the time of Enos the true followers of God began to distinguish themselves, and to be distinguished by others, by the appellation of sons of God; those of the other branch of Adam’s family, among whom the Divine worship was not observed, being distinguished by the name, children of men. It must not be dissembled that many eminent men have contended that הוחל  huchal, which was translated “began”, should be rendered began profanely, or then profanation began, and from this time they date the origin of idolatry and men saying “I can of myself rise up and be as God.” Most of the Jewish doctors were of this opinion, and Maimonides has discussed it at some length in his Treatise on Idolatry; as this piece is curious, and gives the most probable account of the origin and progress of idolatry, I shall insert it here.
“In the days of Enos the sons of Adam erred with great error, and the counsel of the wise men of that age became brutish, and Enos himself was (one) of them that erred; and their error was this: they said, Forasmuch as God hath created these stars and spheres to govern the world, and set them on high, and imparted honor unto them, and they are ministers that minister before him; it is meet that men should laud, and glorify, and give them honor. For this is the will of God, that we magnify and honor whomsoever he magnified and honored; even as a king would have them honored that stand before him, and this is the honor of the king himself. Part of their error was Man was made in the image of God to rule the creation and is special before God. Therefor Man can of himself overcome evil and be as God. When this thing was come up into their hearts they began to build temples unto the stars, and to offer sacrifice unto them, and to laud and glorify them with words, and to worship before them, that they might opinion obtain favor of the Creator by glorifying Man and Creation; and this was the root of idolatry, etc. And in process of time there stood up false prophets among the sons of Adam, which said that God had commanded and said unto them, Worship such a star, or all the stars, and do sacrifice unto them thus and thus; and build a temple for it, and make an image of it, that all the people, women, and children may worship it. And the false prophet showed them the image which he had feigned out of his own heart, and said it was the image of such a star, which was made known unto him by prophecy. And they began after this manner to make images in temples, and under trees, and on tops of mountains and hills, and assembled together and worshipped them, etc. And this thing was spread through all the world, to serve images with services different one from another, and to sacrifice unto and worship them. So, in process of time, the glorious and fearful name (The name not spoken the Self-existent God ) was changed in of the mouth of all living, and in their knowledge, and they acknowledged themselves.
And there was found no people on the earth that knew aught, save images of wood and stone, and temples of stone and man as god, which they had been trained up from their childhood to worship and serve, and to swear by their names. And the wise men that were among them, as the priests and such like, thought there was no God save the stars and spheres, for whose sake and in whose likeness they had made these images; but as for the Rock everlasting, there was no man that acknowledged him or knew him save a few persons in the world, as Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Sham, and Heber. And in this way did the world walk and converse till that pillar of the world, Abraham our father, was born.” Maim. in Mishn, and Ainsworth in loco.  Clark e-Sword       (blue is my additions)
There are TWO groups of people, the ones choosing God and the ones that reject God. There is now and always has been two groups in the world “sons of God” The sons of Adam and God’s People, and as is clear in the flood account destroying all flesh they made wrong choices and “sons of men” the sons of Cain that said to God “Depart from us”. "Perverse" generation of irreligious Cainites, "who said unto God, Depart from us," &c. {Job_22:17} This Job speaks there of these wicked, "which were cut down out of time, their foundation was overflown with the flood." {Job_22:16}  Trapp e-sword
The next step down this road is with Nimrod the leader and King of Babylon and his wicked Queen, who established herself as the “Queen of Heaven” the Moon Goddess.  Nimrod was a powerful King and builder, He left “religion” to his wife, that mistake got him killed. Samarimis and her son who she said was Nimrod reborn, ruled in Nimrods name for 102 years.  The Queen of heaven was a powerful ruler because the ones that followed her saw her as a god and she gave them what they wanted.
The religion they developed, which was all the details of Satan's deceitful plan, was written by the son Nimrod II, under the priest title Zoroaster.   (3)
There were only 4 families after the flood, they all knew one another and the religion spread to all nations by travel and trade.
Contemporary to Nimrod was the great leader of God's people, Abraham.  Two men, two roads, two ways to go, but the same choice that God gave Adam, Fellowship with God or follow man's way.
     
Mythos and legend are based on events that are true. True because Satan used all he could control to make the people believe and practice what HE taught. So it is with the Babylonian mythos, and the story of Nimrod and Samarimis, we know there is truth here because the Bible references events and results from the story. We know that some of the story grew bigger than life, yet bigger in this case is only to make the application of the resulting religion and worship that much more evil.  There is and always has been two levels of thought, an antithesis of the elemental concepts, Good .vs. Evil.  Satan has had a plan since he wanted to “be as God”, he teaches this plan to men that will listen. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News, the plan of Satan is the Humanistic news, Man allowed to do as man wants. But be sure you see the two run parallel they have always been a simple choice, Do I put God First?  Do I choose to serve God or Self and thus Satan?   
… I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having a cup of gold in her hand full of abominations and the unclean things of her and of the earth's fornication, and upon her forehead a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth.  Rev 17
This story covers all the years of history from the flood to the end of the tribulation. For all of time GOOD has been to Know and obey God. EVIL has been the work of those that deny and attempt to usurp the authority of God.  Please look with me at a story in two parts but one story, good and evil and the right of people to choose the path they will follow.  “Evil” is the story of the beginning of all the “wisdom” that said “good is in men and the way by self-aware knowledge man  may overcome the flesh of this life “evil” and rise in “spirit” to be as God.”  

If you look in modern text books on Ancient History they try to start with Egypt, then add something about Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent, but then go on as if Egypt were the origin of civilization.  They make no reference to the flood, Babylon, Nimrod, nor any other part of the Bible History.
2Pe 3:3-5  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
      And saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
      For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Omitting the Bible history and order of events is deliberate, modern historians do not want to admit God is in charge. God IS in charge and Satan does go about on earth to accuse and deceive mankind. The Mythos DID come from Satan, he taught men to “in themselves rise up to escape EVIL FLESH and in SPIRIT be as God.”
I will offer a time line to help you follow my thinking, you may agree or not this is only the order as I see it. 
Satan choose to “rise up and be as God”                                                         
Creation
Adam & Eve Eat of the Tree
Mankind’s Sin, They disobey God.
The Flood
Nimrod, a king, takes a Queen, and proclaims that twins from the highest god control the world Good and Evil. 
Zoroaster (Nimrod)   made a “duel” religion teaching how good and evil is in all. 
The Teachings are spread to other parts of the world by moving and trade.
Egyptian Mysticism is started.
Epic of Gilgamesh, just a retelling of this story, but on tablets in one of the oldest writings.
NOTE: there are now two systems of pagan thought:
   Polytheism, pantheon of gods for every need and purpose
               Monotheistic, One god and his twins of Good and Evil.
Beginning of Greek pantheon and mysticism and Philosophy.
There was in Greece a school of Philosophy which was headed up in turn by Orpheus, Pythagoras, Socrates, and finally Plato, Each of these famous men were Egyptian Hermetic followers. Orpheus, Pythagoras were masters. Secretes rejected the gods and said he believed in himself as access to god, that got him killed. Plato was at the level to take the mystery to the level of master but returned to Greece to head the school for philosophers.
All Greek Philosophy is based in Egyptian Mysticism.   (The Great Initiates, vol.1&2;  Edouard Schure)
Hebrews disobey God and go into exile in Persia
The religion of Persia, Old Babylon, even parts of India was and in some places still is practicing Zoroastrianism.
Ezra sets up a system of teachers called Scribes to teach the people of God.
Some Scribes learn and accept the teachings of Zoroaster,
These were Pharisees wanting power they became the lawyers of Tradition.
The beginning of Jewish Mysticism.
Christ and Christianity
Gnosticism appears as just the latest version of the ancient mysticism. Secret wisdom that will allow one to “rise up free of evil flesh and in spirit be as God.”
Although it had been in practice since the captivity as a secret religion, the teachings and traditions of the Pharisees were written down as the Cabala, Jewish Mysticism.

This is a very important discussion because it so totally fills all the teachings and beliefs of all people of all time. And Yet it is not always presented as evil. All to often the “wisdom” is desired and used as “ANOTHER WAY OF SALVATION”.   Yes the Church and modern religions are full of the ancient mystic teaching. Calvinism is based on Gnostic thought. New age is reworded mysticism.  Total depravity as it relates to man totally evil and can’t know God because all FLESH is evil is the ancient mysticism properly stated.

I feel that a good example of this error being practiced is seen in the “Oral Traditions”
This is a simple question, What were the “Oral Traditions”?
I am asking, were the traditions the work of men of God seeking to teach God’s law? Or were they a mixed teaching of many mystic and ancient cults that were offered by Satan to deceive men? Taught by men who for special Knowledge, Position and Power followed a secrete teaching of a higher knowledge that would free them of evil flesh and allow them to come to God by their own works.   Do they go all the way back to Babylon?
Mat_15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
It was commanded to wash the hands before meals, it was one’s duty to do it after eating. The more rigorous did it between the courses. The hands must be immersed. Then the water itself must be “clean” and the cups or pots used must be ceremonially “clean.” Vessels were kept full of clean water ready for use. So it went on ad infinitum. Thus a real issue is raised between Jesus and the rabbis. It was far more than a point of etiquette or of hygienic. The rabbis held it to be a mortal sin. The incident may have happened in a Pharisee’s house. AT Robinson.
How much of this is an interpretation of OT law which did not require such a washing and how much comes from the tradition based in the Dualism that all material flesh is evil. Not washing had become considered sin.

Mat_15:3  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Tradition is not good or bad in itself. It is merely what is handed on from one to another. Custom tended to make these traditions binding like law. The Talmud is a monument of their struggle with tradition. There could be no compromise on this subject and Jesus accepts the issued. He stands for real righteousness and spiritual freedom, not for bondage to mere ceremonialism and tradition. The rabbis placed tradition (the oral law) above the law of God.  AT Robinson
The Oral Tradition of the Jews had been shaped by their contact with the Persians (Zoroastrian Dualism) when in captivity and the fact that not one of the kings of Israel and only one in Judah had obeyed God and led the people to God. We often think of Israel as “God’s People” but they did not live up to the promise. They followed idols and handed down traditions that came from ancient mystic cults, they failed to follow the Law or obey God.  Any person or group that knew and followed the Law of Moses would know of all the symbols that point to the Messiah. All the feast of special meaning and the sacrifices, Blood shed to cover sin. The traditions were NOT THE LAW OF MOSES.
 At this point it may be good to ask, “Where did the Pharisees come from any way?  They are not included it in the Law given to Moses, of which they claim to be “Lawyers or Teachers and “Experts”. In fact they seem to be a result of the captivity, Ezra established teachers called Scribes and a sect of them made the position for themselves. If they were so dedicated to The Law they would have to teach that God’s plan was for the Priest of the tribe of Levi to teach and be the Spiritual leaders of the People. The Pharisees tried constantly to usurp the position of the Priest and gain power with the people. By the time of Christ they were very powerful but it is not a position established by God.  More to prove this point the “Cabala” is the tradition of the Pharisees teachings written down, it is pure Mysticism.
We most often see this word “Tradition” and think of the teachings of the religious leaders. Maybe the Talmud, or Writings of Rabbis, But what are these based on.  Do not jump to the conclusion that they are from interpretations by pure teachers of the Word.   I have said several times “Free ones self of Evil Flesh, and In Spirit rise up as god.” Remember the difference: In the Bible we are told to be right with God is to obey God and by grace by faith Accept Him.  In Mysticism we are told By knowledge and mystic truth you may free yourself of evil flesh and OF YOURSELF in spirit rise up and be as God.  We have a comparison of FLESH:Evil,  SPIRIT:Good. For example look at all Paul's discussion of FLESH vs SPIRIT. {Paul understood, He was trained as a Pharisee.}

Without reviewing the details of each separate idea I want to see a progression of thought that is opposed to God and the Bible message. 
It has a purpose and a plan and is I feel ONE Continuous MESSAGE.   A message of Satan for all time, a message that man can by knowledge be as god. Its purpose is for Satan to offer man the “Faith Wisdom” {Pistis Sophia} and have us all follow him in trying to ascend to the place of God, a view that says we can come to God by our own knowledge. Its author is Satan, he has a plan and it is a good one at least it has worked for many years. One of the first if not the first of these religions is that of Babylon, the kingdom of Nimrod and his Queen, Samarimis. I cannot say how much of the legend is true but all the worlds’ mystic religions are based on the story, so true or not as the basis of mystic religion it affects all cultures of the world.  Another of the most ancient forms of this is the Chaldean Mystic Numerology, a system of reading meaning and power from the letters of words and related numbers.   Another is the structure that came to be Persian and Indian Dualism and was developed into a monotheistic, Zoroastrian Dualism of good and evil 1500 to 1200 BC.  Around 1500bc Zoroaster (Zoroaster, more likely a title of religious High Priest) developed his religious structure based on the religion started by Nimrod and Samarimis. The relation of this religion is very important because the legends say Zoroaster is Nimrod or his son.(3.)  This means the link between Babylonian mysticism (the thinking of the young man) and Zoroastrianism (the knowledge of a mature system and thinking) is simple they have the same author/ source. At this early point the Babylonian mysticism under Nimrod/Zoroaster included magic and power of demons.
Chaldean, Persian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Jewish, Greek, and Roman each of these civilizations share, develop, and spread the Ideas of  Mystic Numerology and Dualism of good and evil and a secret that can rise one to God by his works and knowledge. Yes, the meaning of numbers and Allegory is occult, very old and from Satan. (But that is another study.)

There is an important split in the presentation of the occult religions.
First there is the widely reported and better known pantheon of gods that each nation or culture had and worshiped. This was a religion for the common person to see and hold to, something they could do to be “Religious”. To a large extent it requirements were used to control the masses of people.  The “practice” side greatly affected the behavior and belief of the people it had an enormous impact on nations and culture of the world.

Second and not so well knows was the secret “Faith Wisdom” {Pistis Sophia} which was passed along to a select few that were able to understand the meaning of the teachings.  The word mystic means secret. This was the Zoroastrian (Persian) Mysticism that led to Egyptian Mysticism (Hermes, A Zoroastrian Master moved from Persia to Egypt And founded Hermetic Egyptian Mysticism), Jewish Mysticism (In the Pharisees) and later Gnosticism (A Hellenized form of a mixture of all the Mysticism and Greek Philosophy), the Cabala and New Age Thought.

It started when Satan by his beauty and knowledge thought to rise up and be as God.  In Gen 3:5 Satan offered Eve enlightenment and knowledge that would allow her to rise up and become as God. In fact every one of the traditions, Mystic Religions, and All Philosophy is based on knowledge that will allow the person to overcome the evil of flesh and rise up to God by their own ability of self-aware thought and power. Satan still trying to do the one thing he wants most, to be like God worshiped, loved, and have the Fellowship of man.
When Israel went into captivity they were directly influenced by the Persian (Zoroastrian) ideas and they adopted many of the teachings in their traditions. Cyrus the Great was relatively liberal. While he himself ruled according to Zoroastrian beliefs, he made no attempt to impose Zoroastrianism on the people of his subject territories. The Jews most famously benefited from this; Cyrus permitted them to return to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, and rebuild their temple. This act of kindness made a huge impact on Judaism. Zoroastrian philosophy powerfully influenced post-Exilic Judaism. It is the foundation of Jewish tradition and mysticism. Darius the Great was famously pious and showed the same general tolerance for other faiths as his predecessor Cyrus. He also showed kindness to Israel.  His piety is expressed in religious inscriptions left on his tomb.
  Like most of the mystic religions the “Faith Wisdom” teachings were passed down to ONLY an elite that “Could Understand the Meaning”.  These teachings were not accepted by the masses and had to be kept secret passed along orally.
There are many sources of the specifics of these teachings and they are all very similar.  Where these traditions that developed by the time of Christ no more than the Mystic Dualism of the secret Traditions that became Jewish Mysticism, Gnosticism, and Allegory?   Remember, these were secret teachings and we have only a little real data on them, SO YES I am “Reading Between the Lines” still I feel this idea is worth considering. Is it reasonable that Christ would have been so hard on a specific literal keeping of the LAW?  Was there more to the “traditions” in these verses (Mt 15:2) than we may have thought?  Then too we have the Egyptian mysticism and allegory that saw the words as symbols and meanings (from Chaldean Mystic Numerology) and they were free to “interpret” the Bible as they wanted. Philo was one of the teachers in this movement.  When” we” read the ancient mystic writings they seem meaningless to us, WE DON’T READ ALLEGORY.

 Based on his Gnostic background and lack of Greek language,  Augustine interpreted other passages of Scripture in this light. For instance, he read Romans 9-11 as if St. Paul were talking about the concept of predestination regarding who would be saved and who damned. There's no justification for this in the text itself, and no other Father of the Church read it this way. Augustine's interpretation was entirely novel, and based on his Gnostic assumptions.

Another example of such flawed, Gnostic-tinged theology is Augustine's introduction of the concept of Original Sin. The closest that we come to such a concept in Christian writings pre-Augustine is in the writings of the Gnostics, who supported the idea that the material world was "utterly depraved." Sound familiar? It should -- this idea, along with predestination, carried over into the grandchild of Gnosticism: Calvinism, and became one of the essential principles thereof. Augustine based his belief in Original Sin on both his Gnostic assumptions and, again, his flawed Latin translation of Scripture.  It is said that half to two thirds of Augustine’s Theology is based on Greek Philosophy of PLATO, (Plato was a hermetic mystic trained in Egypt)


There is a progressing system here from Satan to Nimrod who became known also as Zoroaster and Tammuz and Adonis, yes following Satan these four famous names are the same character in the story. The mystic traditions are all part of the plan to teach men they could become “as god” by knowledge from the religious system they taught. The Bible tell us many times Man cannot save himself. But, that is what mysticism is all about, man's way not God's way.

In Satan’s system the TRUE ALL POWERFUL GOD is not knowable by man. A lesser god made the world in an error. Man was made in an error and mistakenly given a spark of the divine light. Because of the mistake all of the world and man were created evil. Satan used a man (Nimrod/Zoroaster), he gave a vision to start a religion that on the surface sounded good, but, went far beyond the surface good and included mysticism, magic, and the knowledge cults in its development. These errors came from Babylonian folklore, Zoroastrian Dualism, Buddhist ethics, Egyptian Mysticism, Greek Philosophy, Jewish Tradition and Mysticism, Manichean, and Gnosticism.

Zoroaster is said to have received a vision from Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, who appointed him to preach the truth. He said he saw many problems with the polytheistic religion, so many gods and no one would be committed to any. It was at this point he started to present a monotheistic religion to focus the allegiance of followers to one god. Nimrod was the sun god, fire and light. Samarimis was the “queen of heaven” the moon god.  Zoroaster began preaching his message of cosmic strife between Ahura Mazda, the God of Light, and Ahriman, the principle of evil. According to the prophet, man had been given the power to choose between good and evil. The end of the world would come when the forces of light would triumph and the saved souls rejoice in its victory.  The secret knowledge was needed when a person with the spark of light died. They had to traverse the spirit world to get to the one true god. That meant getting safely past all the Aeons who ruled the levels of the spirit world. You had to have the magic spells and passwords and knowledge of the way to pass that would take you safely through.   Zoroaster's teaching became the guiding light of Persian civilization.   BC1500

The idea here is that man, by knowledge, can ascend beyond the evil of flesh and come to pure spirit of god by himself. This is the origin of “All Flesh Is Evil and total depravity” only the spirit is good.  It is the origin of the idea some are "elect" be saved and some "elect" to be lost, only the ones with the spark of light can be saved.   It was the Mystic secret knowledge given by Satan to deceive the world.
Mysticism says Man can do all he needs himself. 
The Bible says God gave man a choice to obey God or not. Only God's Grace offered freely can save any one.  The two roads run parallel through time.

“But especially does “Wisdom of Knowledge” that is “Faith Wisdom {Pistis Sophia}”, testify to the antiquity of the Mystic Wisdom. Of Chaldean origin... Gnosticism was Jewish in character long before it became Christian... Gnosticism that is,(wisdom of Knowledge) seems to have been the first attempt on the part of the Jewish sages to give the empirical mystic lore, with the help of Platonic and Pythagorean or Stoic ideas, a speculative turn; hence the danger of heresy…of which the systems of Philo show many pitfalls...
Jewish Gnosticism unquestionably antedates Christianity, for Biblical exegesis had already reached an age of five hundred years by the first century C.E.  Judaism had been in close contact with Babylonian-Persian ideas for at least that length of time, and for nearly as long a period with Hellenistic ideas. Magic, also, which was a not unimportant part of the doctrines and manifestations of Gnosticism, largely occupied Jewish thinkers. There is, in general, no circle of ideas to which elements of Gnosticism have not been traced, and with which the Jews were not acquainted.” (Jewish Encyclopedia)
 Closely connected herewith is the doctrine that the pious are enabled to ascend toward god even in this life, if they know how to free themselves from the trammels that bind the soul (good) to the body (evil). Thus were the first mystics enabled to disclose the mysteries of the world beyond. According to Anz, l.c., and Bousset, …the central doctrine of Gnosticism—a movement closely connected with Jewish mysticism—was nothing else than the attempt to liberate the soul and unite it with god.
(Jewish Encyclopedia)  (1)

Please understand this is the whole point. The modern world rejects the creation, and free will of man.
      2Pe 3:3 -4
      Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on  as it has since the beginning of creation.  (These scoffers are mystic.  Ancestors or Fathers are mystic teachers in the world of Satan.)
Without these points there is no bible message. God did not create sin. Man was given a choice and made the wrong one. The cause for sin is man’s choice, A choice to DISOBEY God. The only SIN is to disobey GOD.  There are two sides {God=Good} or {self, world, what I want = Evil}, the question is which do you choose.  Satan is actively enticing the mind of men to do as he had done, “With Knowledge you can be as God”
Folder #10       A Devilish Crime
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11
When you think of counterfeiting, don't just think of money. Fraudsters are creating knock off web sites that imitate those of real companies. Customers are tricked into purchasing inferior products on these fraudulent Internet pages, thinking they're shopping on the genuine web site.
Counterfeiting in all its forms is a devilish crime. Satan is the original counterfeiter, and his goal is to duplicate everything God has made and to trick us into buying the bogus article. The Bible says of false teachers: "Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). During the Great Tribulation, the devil, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet will even try to trick the world into following a counterfeit trinity.
Satan can imitate God, but he cannot duplicate Him -- God is the only One who can deliver us from our pain and suffering. Let's look to Jesus, put on His armor, and resist the wiles of the devil.  
Turning Point   Wednesday, October 15    With Dr. David Jeremiah

The “church” has left the foundation of exclusive worship of the Father and is morphing into an environment where, utterly illogical and unthinkable, the worshiper esteems and exalts self above the One worshiped. Ancient apostasies are returning full circle as age-old Gnostic teachings are dramatically changing the religious landscape. They called it New Age, but there was nothing new about it. It was as old as Babylon and even older. This heresy that says we humans are really "gods" reaches all the way back to the Garden of Eden, when Satan enticed Eve that she could be "divine" if she followed his instructions to defy Yahweh.
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Popularized by the ‘80s New Age Movement, the dogma of self-glorification moved into mainstream culture and now into the Main Street church. Ancient mystery worship is back. One of its daughters, Gnosticism, began to permeate the New Testament movement early on and to pollute true teachings nearly from the start. So insidious were its diabolical dogmas that they were to dramatically influence the next 2,000 years of church doctrine and worship, opening the door to the grand-scale sacrilege we see today. It is time we learned where today’s trendy doctrines really came from and how you can come out from under the spell of an age-old scourge that Paul calls "damnable heresies" and their "pernicious ways that many would follow."
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Apostles Were Concerned
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As he traveled from town to town teaching the truths he learned from the Savior, the Apostle Paul was a witness to many successes. At the same time he began to be increasingly concerned with what he was hearing from various quarters.

Concern led to alarm as Paul launched a campaign to warn the various Assemblies about the insidious heresy. So did Peter. Each was aware of apostates out to get their own followers at the expense of truth taught in the newly established Assembly. Just as the New Testament Body was beginning to get its feet on the ground, wolves were circling. The Apostles' early fears proved abundantly justified.

Little is known about what exactly happened in the first two centuries following the death of the Apostles. One thing is sure, however. What occurred was far-reaching and would change the face of New Testament worship worldwide for the next two millennia down to our day. The die was cast, and its imprint was a familiar one. Many heretical teachings have become major tenets today, and none supported in Scripture. We also know that Gnosticism was at its most influential while the early Assembly was in its infancy. One researcher describes it this way:

"As the apostolic age comes to a close, the [Assembly] seems to pass through a dark tunnel. When it comes out at the other side, the original bond of unity, the clear standards, and the love of [Yahweh] seem to have been replaced by an unsettling, institutionalized spirit of domination and by beliefs which are more Gnostic than Christian. What happened? We are now confronted with the possibility that the original identity and true definition of Christianity have become lost," from The Apostasy of the Lost Century, p. 9.

Why were the Apostles so concerned? What was it that posed such a deadly threat to the truth? It was nothing less than age-old Babylonian mystery religion beginning to take root through heretical and influential teachers. These apostates were mixing the teachings of Eastern mysteries and Greek paganism with the Bible. The Apostles had already confronted one of them, whom the Scriptures identify as Simon (Magus). "Magus" because he was a member of the Median tribe of Magi or Persian mystics who interpreted celestial phenomena and used wizards' spells, according to the writer Herodotus. We read of Simon Magus when he attempted to buy the Holy Spirit from Peter and John in Acts chapter 8.

Another heretic was Marcion, a man who worked hard to completely separate the Messianic Faith from its Old Testament roots. He regarded the Old Testament as a catalog of crimes against humanity by an evil, sinister Mighty One.

Truth Nearly Smothered

These men were leaders in this far reaching movement of Gnostic teachings. This was primitive idolatry that centered on worship of self, not on Yahweh. In fact, Yahweh was seen by Gnostics as an evil sub-deity who made a serious mistake in creating the physical world. He imprisoned human beings in physical bodies even though they are innately "divine." You can sense the rudiments of the immortal soul doctrine in the making.

The Gnostic believed humans possessed a spark of divine nature just waiting to be released at death to reunite with the true deity. The problem the Gnostic saw is that man doesn't know that he is at the center of this great plot by a sinister creator, and is imprisoned by the created world. All that is physical is evil and useless. The way to salvation is knowledge, the Gnostic says. Enlightened knowledge is what Satan tempted Eve with: “For Elohim knows that in the day  you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing  good  and evil,” Genesis 3:5.

This heresy, according to some historians, became a formidable contender with the early Faith and nearly smothered it. So powerful were its dogmas, so far-reaching was Gnostic teaching that its tenets were to impact church teachings irreconcilably and saturate popular worship all the way down to today.

More than one source has noted that Gnosticism made a deep impact on Christianity: "Scholars have debated whether (1) Gnosticism was a widespread scheme that flourished before the birth of [Messiah) and influenced Christianity from the outset, or (2) whether it was a movement that developed concurrently with Christianity and came to affect it significantly only in the second a subsequent centuries, or (3) it was a basic alteration of Christianity that arose after the disappointment of the earliest Christians' expectation of the end of the age, "Dictionary of Bible and Religion, "Gnosticism," p. 396.

Regardless as to the exact time of its inception, Gnosticism was to work its evil on the early faith. As one scholar writes, "The great menace, in fact of Gnosticism, was its refusal to remain outside of Christianity. It fastened itself as a parasite upon the Christian faith, drawing substance from it and at the same time robbing it of its individual character and vitality, "Deceptions and Myths of the Bible by Lloyd M. Graham, p.284.

That "individual character" being robbed was the early Assembly's Israelite faith and the fact that the New Testament Assembly shared the same bond with Yahweh that Israel did -- including the same commanded obedience to His statutes. With Gnostic influence, that relationship would forever change, and the "church" would early on-adhere to unscriptural beliefs and practices that would dominate and alter its personality and character. Only a small remnant would continue teaching the truth of the Bible.

Back to Babylon

With today's decline in Bible-centered religion and worship, the sinister teachings of ancient Gnostic forefathers and other Babylonian mysteries have begun to grow and infiltrate in ever newer and bolder ways. How could such an obviously pagan movement be coming back? For Neo-Gnosticism to flourish today, traditional standards and values must first be dismantled. This is being done socially, politically, in the classroom, and now in churches. For this new Gnosticism to be successful, the past and its values must be completely erased. Secular history is being rewritten to take out references to the Bible and Biblical mores. The breakdown in the family and educational misdirection will ensure that traditional values will not be passed on to the next generation.

Socially, behavior that was once driven by Biblical undertones supported by a deep reverence in and fear of the power of the Almighty has been replaced by a man-made "politically correct" worldview. Whereas Biblical religion teaches that Yahweh alone constructs the reality of right and wrong, good and evil, Neo-Gnosticism sees the culture itself as divine. Gnostic philosophy says every problem must have a societal solution. The new behavioral standard of correctness is now fluid, changing with the times, rather than unchangeable since creation.

To grasp the significance of what is happening to the “church” as well as to society, we must first come to know more about the Gnostic religion, how it rose to prominence in the first centuries of the New Testament era, and how it still lives in doctrines and teachings of most denominations.

Folder # 11     Gnosticism: A Quick Course

The Greek word Gnostic derives from a verb meaning "to know" It combines aspects of Greek philosophy, Oriental mysticism, and Christianity. It stresses salvation through gnosis or knowledge.

This teaching says "history is a progress from materialism and paganism, by way of religion and ethics, to spiritual freedom and gnosis ....The spirit in man is united with the soul so that it may be formed and educated in practical life, for it needs psychic and sense training," Encyclopedia of World Religions, p. 146.

How did such a hybrid religious system arise? According to the book, Mystery Religions in the Ancient World, by Joscelyn Godwin, it was a combined effort. "In both Palestine and Egypt at the end of the Hellenistic age, unorthodox Jews mingled with Greek philosophers and Persian dualists; and somewhere in that confused but thrilling encounter Gnosticism was born, the religion of Gnosis — knowledge of the true nature of things" (p. 84).

"True nature"? Here is what this source describes as a major tenet of Gnosticism: "The world is a stupendous mistake, created by a foolish or vicious creator-god. This creator or Demiurge (Yahweh) is a god of very low grade on the celestial hierarchy, himself the result of a grave error, who thinks he is supreme. His pride and incompetence have resulted in the sorry state of the world as we know it, and the blind and ignorant condition of most of mankind. The Gnostic, however, is not fooled. Although like every man he suffers under the tyranny of this monster, he knows that far above the Demiurge there is another God. He believes, moreover, that humanity is not totally without hope of reaching this true God whom the Demiurge does his best to hide, both from himself and from his subjects," Ibid. (Demiurge is Greek meaning "craftsman, maker, creator.")

To understand modern doctrines we need to realize that Gnosis-centered teachings also reject the law of the Old Testament, the holy days and weekly Sabbath, as well as many other commands Yahweh gave to His chosen people Israel.

It is the hidden force behind the immortal soul doctrine, universal salvation teachings, the once-saved-always-saved tenet, the belief in a reward in heaven, and many practices engaged in but not supported by the Scriptures (like the custom of pouring rather than immersion for baptism). It even explains the pervasive belief that Yahushua the Messiah came to do away with His Father's "harsh," Old Testament laws.

Clearer View of Worship Today

As one digs deeper into the tenets of this mystic religion, one begins to see the pieces of a diabolical puzzle begin to come together.  When the pieces are placed side by side a clearer picture of modern worship emerges from the darkness of mysticism. The simple fact is, Gnosticism and Christianity grew up together and would strongly influenced each other.

Notice this statement: "Gnosticism emerged in schools of thought within the church in the early second century and soon established itself as a way of understanding Christianity in all of the church's principal centers ... Gnosticism was thus a major threat to the early church," Holman Bible Dictionary, p. 558.

Another source shows just how powerful this movement was in turning people from the Scriptures: "Its rapid growth in the ancient world was encouraged by an early Christian fascination with Greek philosophy and mythology ... early Christians were led into Gnosticism when they rejected the Old Testament and their Jewish roots, and turned to Platonic Dualism," Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, p. 334.

One of the Gnostic sects had a particularly profound impact on early Christianity. Its founder was the Persian Mani. "He established a highly syncretistic form of Gnosticism called Manichaeism, which became widespread and which even included Augustine among its converts," The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 417. This heresy combined Zoroastrian, Gnostic Christian, and pagan elements.

With one of the "church fathers" even involved, it is no wonder that many Christian teachings would be forever influenced by the heresies of this paganistic movement.

Doctrinal Ties to False Worship

There are really only two religions in the world: the religion of "He" (Yahweh) and the religion of "Me" (paganism). All false religion has as its core the worship and advancement of self through human philosophy. Anything that replaces the worship of Yahweh is idolatry. Any religion based on the worship of another mighty one either springs from a rebellious heart that refuses to acknowledge Yahweh as supreme, or is simply practiced out of ignorance. Either way, True Worship is displaced while glory is given to idols — even the idolatry of self-worship. The Prophet Samuel told King Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1Sam 15:23).

Let’s look at some modern doctrines and see how they equate with what was being taught in Gnostic circles even while Peter, Paul, James, and John were teaching the truths of Yahshua and the Scriptures.

First, here are some revealing statements about some of today’s New Age notions, as well as church beliefs and practices that, astonishingly, are tied to Gnostic teachings. "From the Coptic Gnostic papyri (and their Greek originals) it is evident that the Christian Gnostic systems developed for some centuries alongside the orthodox forerunner of the main Christian church. and were distinguished by such matters as giving priority to immediate experience rather than ecclesiastical structure, teaching that ignorance rather than sin is the cause of suffering, recognizing a feminine as well as a masculine element in the divine, explaining the resurrection of [Messiah] as spiritual rather than bodily, and pointing to self-knowledge as knowledge of [Yahweh]," Myth and Mystery by Jack Finegan, p. 258.

This writer explains that while Biblical worship stresses a single, correct faith that is ever one and the same, the Gnostics believed that the Holy Spirit continued to teach new things in an evolution of beliefs.
As a result, the apostate church "came to alternative thoughts and practices that were plainly meaningful to many, and that have continued to be of influence in various forms of religious tradition, including the esoteric," ibid.

The belief among some that the "church" has the authority to set doctrine over the Bible is in line with this same Gnostic belief of an ever-growing and expanding belief system. This belief is at odds with Psalm 119:89: "For ever, O Yahweh, thy word is settled in heaven." In other words, no new is revealed over what has already been revealed in Scripture.

Teachings that were once Bible based began to take on Gnostic flavor, as one authority notes: "The early Christian preachers and writers, seeking to speak and write to be understood, used terms current in the first century world in the vague context of gnostic religious longings and gave them new meaning in the context of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of [Yahushua]," Holman, p. 559.    This same source also reveals, "The classic answer to the question of why Gnosticism arose is that it represents the 'radical Hellenizing of Christianity.' In this view, Gnosticism' resulted from the attempt of early Christian thinkers to make Christianity understandable, acceptable, and respectable in a world almost totally permeated by Greek assumptions about the reality of the World," p. 559.

Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, says that the "church" did not go into wholesale corruption until after the martyrdom of James the Just (61-62 C.E.), "when Symeon the cousin of [Yahushua] was chosen bishop of Jerusalem, and a certain Thebouthis, who was not chosen, began the corruption 'by the seven heresies, to which he belonged, '" A Source Book for Ancient Church History, Joseph C. Ayer, p. 109.

Old Heresies Strong Today

These seven heresies or movements in Gnosticism were initiated by Gnostic teachers, two of whom were Simon Magus and Marcion. They and other teachers were so effective and influential that many of their heresies are still alive and well in the basic beliefs and major doctrines of most denominations today. Let's look at some.


Universal salvation

The Gnostic Carpocratians taught that each person must pass from body to body until one has experienced every kind of action in the world. Then the soul is liberated to soar upward to the god who is above the maker(s) of the world (meaning the lesser mighty one, Yahweh). In this way all souls are saved. This belief arises from Oriental teachings of reincarnation. It traces to the world's first lie, when Satan told Eve, "You won't die if you disobey Yahweh."

Elements of this universal salvation teaching of Gnosticism are still evident in the common belief that the dead live on in heaven when they "die." Furthermore, if all are saved eventually anyway, where is the need to honor Yahweh through obedience? The logical conclusion leads inevitably to the Gnostic-rooted teaching of grace over obedience, along with the "faith alone" teaching, neither of which the Bible supports or teaches.

Law versus grace
 It was the Old Testament Mighty One of harsh law and retributive justice (Yahweh) who made the world, Marcion taught. Through it He maintains unjust control. It is the higher New Testament god of love and grace, from whom Yahshua came, who is above Yahweh and unknown who will ultimately triumph over the lesser Old Testament deity. Marcion made much of the contrast between the law and the Evangels, that is, the first as coming from a wicked mighty one while the latter from a loving Father. These Gnostic notions were to profoundly affect church doctrine. As one source notes, "Christian theology also had taken seriously the concepts of love and mercy, rather than stressing law and ecclesiastical authority," Mercer, p. 548.

The law is against us

This idea is implicit in most church teachings today with their misinterpretation of grace and love. That the law is somehow bad is not found in any Scripture, however, and therefore had another origin. In fact, the Scriptures say just the opposite, that the law is good and good for us, Romans 7:12; Psalm 19:7; l John 5:3; John 14:21. The Gnostic Ptolemaeus wrote that the law was imperfect, unjust, and had to be abrogated by Yahushua. The law came from an imperfect Demiurge (Yahweh), an inferior mighty one.

No-law beliefs were popular among Gnostics. "They claimed that the spiritual Christians were not responsible for what they did and could not really sin. Thus they could act in any way they pleased without fear of discipline," Holman, p. 558. In the mind of the Gnostic, it wasn't the human being who brought on his own problems, but Yahweh who was responsible.

"The Gnostic Marcion thus rejected the Old Testament, pointing out that the lesser or subordinate god revealed in it dealt with matter, insisted on law rather than grace, and was responsible for our decaying, tragedy-filled world," Ibid. The reason Marcion rejected Yahweh "was not for His role as Creator, but for having given the Law," Mercer, p. 548.

Gnosticism lies at the core of the modern belief that if man obeys Yahweh he is being "legalistic," which is the same diabolic lie Satan used on Eve when he told her that she need not obey Yahweh's warning against eating of the fruit of the tree. "He's only trying to keep you from being as great as He is, Eve." The Gnostics fell under the same spell, only they thought they could even be GREATER than Yahweh.

Finegan says that obeying the Scripture was not popular among the enlightened Gnostics, "For those [Gnostics] who are spiritual and perfect, however, such a course of conduct [obedience to Yahweh] is not at all necessary. They will be entirely and undoubtedly saved, not by means of conduct, but because they are spiritual by nature," Myth and Mystery, p.231.

The same reasoning is shared by the no-law clerics of our day. If I'm already saved, why obey any law? Is their rationale.

The strength of Gnosticism was that it played on man's carnal desires. And it struck at the heart of True Worship by attacking Yahweh and opening Him up to suspicion and doubt. Since Yahweh was inferior and was doing all He could to keep man from attaining his full, spiritual potential, keeping His laws and commandments will only inhibit man and keep him chained and in subjection, the believed.

In the same way, to reject Yahweh's laws today is reflective of a covert animosity toward Yahweh as well. Only a rebellious heart refuses to obey. Romans 8:7 says, "The carnal mind is enmity against Elohim." Enmity means deep-seated hatred.

John, however, writes, "For this is the love of Yahweh, that we keep His commandments," l John 5:3. The converse of this verse is also true — disobedience to His laws means a rejection of Him and His desires for His people.

The ancient Gnostic and today's neo-Gnostic both reject what Paul wrote in Romans 7: 12, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." They also avoid the passage that reads, "He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21).

Immortal soul

The teaching that the human being is an immortal being is central to Gnosticism. As shown, the Gnostic held that man is divine being held in a physical world by an evil sub-Mighty Onewho created the physical world and imprisoned us. Man's true place belongs with the gods, says the Gnostic.

Finegan writes, "The Gnostic systems envision not only the end-experience of the individual, for whom death is liberation from entanglement in matter and the beginning of the ascent of the soul to its proper heavenly home, but also the end-goal for the whole cosmos," Myth and Mystery, p. 257.

The notion of an immortal soul is rooted squarely in paganism. As Ramsay MacMullen writes, "Their religious views we might suppose began with, or logically rested on, ideas of immortality. Homer portrayed man as having a soul, and Elysian Fields to go to after death. Plato taught of life indestructible" (Christianizing the Roman Empire, AD 100-400, "What Pagans Believed," p. 11).

This writer offers further insight as he describes the words spoken at a pagan funeral, remarkably similar to what one hears in funerals today: " ... he [the deceased] now lives among the gods, traversing the heavens and looking down on life below" (Ibid.).

The pagan Greek philosopher Plutarch, writing in the first century, once gave this consolation on the death of a child: "It feels no more pain; its soul is indestructible, according to 'traditional teachings' and Dionysiac rites; better, according to 'traditional and ancient customs,' the soul returns to a 'finer and more divine fate and country," MacMullen, p. 126.

An inferior Old Testament

The biggest force for rejecting the teachings of Yahweh in the Old Testament comes from Marcion. "The gnostic Marcion thus rejected the Old Testament, pointing out that the lesser or subordinate god revealed in it dealt with matter, insisted on law rather than grace, and was responsible for our decaying, tragedy-filled world." =Holman Bible Dictionary, p. 558.
Another source writes about Marcion, "He has [Yahshua] descend to Hell after the Crucifixion to rescue the Old Testament 'villains' and all the Gentiles, leaving behind Abraham, Moses and all the other henchmen of [Yahweh]" Godwin, pp. 85-86.

Marcion even compiled and wrote his own New Testament, in which he contrasted the Old Testament to the New Testament on love and justice. He omitted what did not promote love.

Through the influence of Marcion the picture is becoming clearer why the precepts of Yahweh as first given in the Old Testament Scriptures are put in the closet today by most denominations.

Trinity

Some Gnostic teachings reflect the Babylonian and Egyptian concepts of a trinitarian godhead. The worship of three main deities is common in ancient, pagan religious systems. The oldest is from Babylon, where the father Nimrod was worshiped along with his wife Semiramis and son Tammuz. Other variants of this include Egyptian (Osiris, Isis, Horus); Graeco-Roman (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades; Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto); Christian (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

The Gnostic work called The Gospel of the Egyptians includes the Trinitarian concept and provides another bridge to this teaching in churchianity. "The first section of the work…tells of the origin of the heavenly world. From the supreme God, who is the Great Invisible Spirit, there evolves a trinity made up of Father, Mother (Barbelo), and Son," Myth and Mystery,p. 251.

Significantly the deification of Mary as the "mother of G-d" fits well into the trinitarian pattern of ancient worship systems involving a mother in a trine god hierarchy.

Mother of G-d

The idea of a mother god is 4,000 years old. The Chaldeans called her Beltis, in Assyria she was known as Ishtar (from which we get Easter); the Phrygians called her Cybele; she was Isis or Hathor in Egypt; Astarte among the Canaanites; Dianna with the Ephesians, and Aphrodite in Greece.

Here is how the Gnostic embraced mother god-ism: "The being who fell out of the Pleroma [heavenly hierarchy] became the mother of Christ, and Christ returned to the Pleroma. Jesus emanated from Christ who returned to the Pleroma (although other ideas of his origin were advanced too), and the Holy Spirit emanated from Ecclesia. The mother, however, was unable to return to the Pleroma, and she brought forth another son, the Demiurge, who is the creator of all things outside the Pleroma, and the ruler of everything under him," Myth and Mystery, p. 229.

Hence we have the Gnostic concept of the ancient belief in a "mother of G-d." She becomes the literal mother of the Demiurge Yahweh and is called Sophia (Wisdom). Significant are the parallels between this mother concept and the "Virgin Mary" is presented venerated today. Ultimately, Sophia or Mother wisdom is restored to her place among the deities, not unlike the way prayers are directed to Mary today.

New Age

New Age is nothing more than warmed-over Gnosticism, as noted by Christopher Lash in an issue of Omni magazine: "The New Age movement is best understood ... as the 20th century revival of an ancient religious tradition, Gnosticism ... "

As churchianity accelerates the watering down of Scriptural precepts, New Age neo-Gnosticism is stepping through church doors and into the pulpits. As the book The New Age Explosion explains, "It is interesting that New Agers such as Besant would mention 'Gnosis' in the church.' For in essence, the New Age is a revival of the Gnosticism that was prevalent in the days of Paul and the early apostles," p. 42.
 Sophia the Feminist

Exalting of the female long predated Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug, who are just minor characters in an age-old worship of feminine power and mystique. Feminist roots reach back to the beginning of creation — to the mystic's interpretation of Genesis, where Eve caught on to the "plot" of the Demiurge or creator and realized that it was the snake, not Yahweh, that was telling the truth. The snake was the emissary of the real "god." The enlightened Eve with her special wisdom realized that she need not be subject either to Yahweh or to her husband and could transcend this fleshly existence through ignoring what Yahweh told her. All she had to do was to believe Satan.

After the flood, therefore, the wife of Nimrod, Samarimis, becomes the bearer of truth on earth for the mystic, The Moon Goddess, Wisdom.  From the idea of wisdom in the form of a woman came the Gnostic Sophia, a feminine deity whose name in Greek means skill and wisdom. She is seen as the mother of Yahushua, even the progenitor of Yahweh and the world-soul. She is seen as the mother goddess of many pagan religions.

New Age religion also focuses on Sophia as the divine providence who will save humanity. According to certain Gnostic teachings, man is physical and evil; woman is spiritual and divine. The idea of women as manifestations of the true "divine" is at the root of the movement to ordain women, to lead worship back to its "true" origins — back to Dame Wisdom.

As William Gentz writes of Gnostic teachings, "The two most common themes in this literature as a whole are the creation of the world as a perversion of the divine plan, and the role of wisdom [Sophia] and/ or Jesus as the bearer of the divine message of deliverance from the world of matter," The Dictionary of Bible and Religion, p. 396.

History is also reflected in the modern push to get rid of the patriarchal order in society and replace it with a matriarchal one. Because the family is what passes on traditional values to the next generation, the family order is the next logical institution to come under attack.

Family responsibilities to rear children are increasingly being taken over by the state, which can mold them into its "politically correct" ideology. Without parental guidance, young people are increasingly finding their values on the streets and in gangs. Instead of advocating a return to family values and responsibilities, those in power perpetuate what has already proven to fail. As a former first lady said in a Mother's Day commencement address at George Washington University a few years ago, "Our community must be a family."

'Come Out of Her My People'

These are some of the salient teachings of Gnosticism. This ancient heresy that is making a big comeback throughout our culture stands Biblical truths on their head as it seeks to make right wrong and wrong right. Gnosticism is an effective and powerful tool that the Adversary has used through the centuries to corrupt True worship and twist proper and true teachings so that the vast majority will worship in error. This is the heresy that gave Paul one of his biggest headaches, which was a harbinger of bigger problems to come in our day.

Return with us to pure, unadulterated worship of the one true Father in heaven. Leave the doctrines of heathendom produced by compromise with error. Come out to the light of truth. Enter the strait gate and walk the narrow way that leads to everlasting life!




Folder #12       The New Age Movement
The New Age Movement is a growing belief that blends the theology of “god is all things - all things are god”, with the practice of astrology, {the magic in the stars}. The term New Age itself refers to the Age of Aquarius, which, according to New Age followers, is dawning. It is supposed to bring peace and enlightenment and to reunite man with God. It is a widespread way of thinking that appears in many forms, beliefs, and practices.
{Peace = the idea that no one will impose on or limit others, all are one all work together.}
{Enlightenment = to the new age SIN is not knowing you are god}  {Enlightenment is knowledge and understanding that takes you past needing absolute truth or “God”. You with knowledge ARE GOD!!}
{To reunite man with God = in mysticism, man was made by mistake and made with a spark of god he was not to have, another mistake, it is by knowledge of elements and traditions of mysticism with astrology {the magic of the stars} that people may free themselves of the ignorance of the flesh and come to know they are god!}
Some of the practices seem to be little more than innocent relaxation techniques with no religious content – only designed to reduce stress and physical tension. But actually all of them are based of one or more of the following beliefs
1. All is one – all reality is part of the whole
2. Everything is God and God is everything
3. Man is God or part of God
4. Man never dies, that is ceases to exist, and everyone is reincarnated.
5. Man can create his own reality.
The terminology used for these beliefs by NAM sound safe and fascinating, but also hide the true religious content behind a “What I want right now” life.  As a result, New Age practices have made their way into almost every area of the culture - even the church. Christians and non-Christians alike have been seduced to accept practices and beliefs that are clearly based on anti-Christian doctrines.
                           History

Historically, the New Age Movement can be seen as the modern revival of ancient religious traditions and practices. Its actual original roots are found in the time when Lucifer thought he would rise up and place his throne above the stars of GOD.
Isa 14:13   Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Lucifer tried this in the Garden of Eden, as described in Genesis 3:4–5, and he is still trying today.
And the serpent said unto the woman, you shall not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
In the original lie, Satan questions God’s word and authority and, disputes that death results from disobedience, and claims that through the acquisition of wisdom man can be enlightened and can be like God. Over the centuries, this lie of Satan and Ancient Mysticism became the foundation of every  religious tradition and occult practice, which were already strongly condemned in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 18:9–17; Isaiah 47:9– 15) but nevertheless developed in the pagan cultures. It continues to its ultimate state of development and will be revealed as Satan’s one-world system at the end of the age (Revelation 17-18). This is why it is important that we understand “The New Age Mysticism”, It is real, It is VERY OLD, It is of Satan.

These teachings were transplanted into modern times by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), the Theosophical Society founded by Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), and through the First World Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, and many other groups and teachers, which essentially initiated the spread of Ancient Religions throughout the United States. The 1960s witnessed a particular revival of Eastern mysticism and the study of secret wisdom of enlightenment. {They refer to Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslims but this is only people that teach “A” view of mysticism. The teaching is Ancient Babylonian Mysticism!!}     Today, various research polls are consistently demonstrating that a significant shift has been occurring in the West and that millions of adults have embraced a world view that is totally at odds with the faith they profess. According to surveys 86% of Americans claim to be Christian, yet 72% reject the notion of absolute truth, 40% believe a New Age (pantheistic “all is god – god is all”) view of God, 30% believe in reincarnation, and 36% believe that astrology is scientific. The New Age Movement is now comprised of hundreds of groups and individuals who have gained significant influence on almost every area of our culture. The movement expresses itself in widely divergent forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle and from the organized religious to the secular ones. As a result, even many Christians have been fooled by New Age thinking and now tend to mix beliefs into their faith which in today‘s world sound so plausible but are completely wrong from a biblical perspective. In this sense, the New Age Movement is the successful continuation of Satan’s ultimate lie, “Man with knowledge, enlightenment and magic {the power in the stars or astrology} can rise up and be as god,” ultimately aiming at the seduction of Christianity.
For false Christ and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. (Mark 3:22–23)

Major Doctrines
As far as doctrines are concerned, there is nothing really new in New Age. Its two key elements
– Evolutionary Godhood,
The spiritual evolution of man into God, and
-Global Unity,
The assumption that everything is linked together –
Are only modern reformulations of ancient mysticism’s teachings and almost identical to the foundations of Persian Dualism, and Babylonian Mysticism with modern applications in Christian Science or Scientology – if you abstract from certain peculiarities. Nevertheless, the New Age formulation is smoother and more appealing. The new age, which is soon to come, shall bring peace and enlightenment, harmony, mutual love and acceptance – and who does not want that? Naturally, New Age followers look forward to the coming of a new leader {Is this the Antichrist of Revelation?} who unites the world in love and harmony. New Age practices are designed to explore the human potential and to push man ahead into a new spiritual horizon, closer to God and closer to being God. Therefore, we will not only discuss New Age beliefs but also reveal how they are hidden in the various New Age practices that can be found everywhere in this country.
Sources of Authority – anything but the Bible?
The New Age Movement rejects the idea of an absolute truth and therefore does not have any particular source of authority.  Dr. Francis Schaeffer Built a system of thought based on absolute separation of God’s way and Satan’s way. He made it clear that ALL truth is ALWAYS TRUE, never relative.
The only absolute dogma in New Age is that truth is relativistic – each person has its own reality and subjective experience: what is true for one person may not be true for another. This makes it almost impossible to dispute with devoted New Age followers. If you have a different opinion, they simply say “it’s fine – if you believe so, that is your reality”. But they do not think that your reality is relevant for them as well – at least not on the spiritual level. Nevertheless, due to the sheer number of New Age groups there are many publications such as the New Age Journal, Body Mind Spirit, Yoga Journal, Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, and Omega, which    influence the minds of New Age followers and constantly stir up new concepts.
Dr. Schaeffer was a theologian of the antithesis. His system of thought cannot be understood apart from this concept which he stressed throughout his books, films and lectures. The word antithesis refers to two entities, movements or principles that are set over against each other. If a statement is true, the opposite of the statement cannot be true. We live in a world of opposites. There is light and darkness. There are children of Christ and children of Satan. These entities are always in conflict.
The antithesis principle involves the notion that there are Biblical absolutes in every area of thought and life. God's Word is true. The verbalized communication from God to man in the Bible is infallible, inerrant. We must not compromise our view of Scripture. The Bible is without error not only when it speaks of values and faith, religious things, but it is also without error when it speaks of history and the cosmos. A non-Christian must be shown that his basic thinking is in contradiction to the truth. Dr. Schaeffer called for a return to the logic of the antithesis as the only way out of our modern predicament. He went so far as to say that if we let go of our sense of antithesis, we have nothing to say. Dr. Schaeffer viewed the principle of antithesis as a basic theme in Scripture. "Christianity turns upon antithesis," he wrote, "not as some abstract sense of truth, but in the fact that God exists, and in personal justification." The Biblical concept of justification is a total personal antithesis.
Before his justification, natural man is dead in sin. He is in the kingdom of darkness. The moment he accepts Christ, he changes from death to life. But this antithesis also works its ways through all of life. There is no neutrality possible. A man is either for or against God who is there and who speaks. In life the whole of God's truth must be interrelated in all its parts and aspects. Christianity is not just for home or church. It is for all of life.

In the Bible there are TWO “ideas” or “religions” or Two “World Views”. The antithesis of Evil and Good in God’s world. The stories are clear and have great meaning for they explain to us man’s relation to God. 

We are shown the creation of the world and Mankind. WE are told of the relation God wanted to have with Man and the image of God in man.  
Two lines of thought and world view that run parallel through the Bible. They are always there. God warns us and teaches us with an antithesis of Good and Evil, Obey God or Obey SELF.

God
Even though many New Age adherents describe God in personal terms, the New Age concept of God is quite vague. God is an impersonal life force, consciousness or energy – much like “The Force” in the movie Star Wars. The New Age view of the world and the universe is monistic and pantheistic, which means that everything that exists is of One essence, and that One essence is God. Everything is a different form of that essence and the Divine Force is what holds everything together. There is a variety of colorful descriptions of this divine force in the many New Age publications and many names for God among different New Age groups, such as God- consciousness, Universal Love, Self-Realization, the I AM, Higher Self, Brahman, Nirvana, etc. However, New Age generally rejects God as a personal eternal being who created, rules over, and defines the limits of His creation (Acts 17:24–26).
In many places today, even Churches, this is what people mean when they say GOD!
Man
The fact that God is in everything obviously elevates the position of man. New Age adherents often believe that man is perfect and divine, able to create his own reality. In New Age, Psalm 46:10 reads as “Be still, and know that you are God”. Each individual thus has a higher self in separately and eternally related to its person. For some, this is the immortal soul, for others an extraterrestrial being. The higher self is immortal and has perfect memory. In New Age terminology, it lives in holographic time which is not bound to the linear order of time as we know it. It is also androgynous, that is in perfect balance between male and female, positive and negative energy. Since man is intrinsically divine, perfect, and with unlimited potential, his only real problem is ignorance of that fact. Man‘s perception of finiteness is in reality an illusion. Thus he needs to become enlightened through experiential knowledge (gnosis).
{To the new age SIN is not knowing you are god}  {Enlightenment is knowledge and understanding that takes you past needing absolute truth or “God”. You with knowledge ARE GOD!!}

Salvation
Reincarnation is usually seen as a step in the progression towards Godhood. But progressive steps are not always guaranteed and the number of reincarnations may run into millions. That is determined by the law of Karma – the law of cause and effect. Self-realization, total enlightenment, or illumination, where the soul enters into the endless freedom from the demanding control of karma, is the ultimate goal. None of the New Age books emphasizes ascetism or clean living as a way to clear the karma. Instead, there is a great emphasis on Global Unity. Since everyone and everything is linked together, man is to live in unity with man, nature, the earth, the universe, and God. The New Age Movement teaches that we will learn our proper divine relationship with one another and through this achieve harmony, mutual love, and unity. At a first glance, this appears to be a goal well worth to be pursued, but there are several caveats. • The New Age understanding of unity with nature and the earth opposes the Scriptural teaching of man’s superiority over plants and animals (Genesis 1:26- 27, 2:19). Most New Agers believe that harmony can only be achieved through economic unity. They hope for a single world leader, who will eventually guide the world into a harmonious economic whole. The scriptures warn us that such a leader will very likely be the coming Antichrist (2. Thessalonians 2:3–4): 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 opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. There is a very thin borderline here between honorable goals and ideas that are in sharp contrast with the Scriptures and we have to learn to discern properly.
Jesus Christ
The New Age teachings about Jesus Christ have become very popular among those who believe Jesus to be only a great moral teacher. He evolved to the state of “the Christ”, the ultimate state of self-realization. He taught a Mystic world view of Christ consciousness, expressed in terms that the Hebrews would understand. So Jesus was merely a way- shower, whose primary function is to awaken humanity and illumine the path.
The Holy Spirit
There are no teachings about the Holy Spirit.
Things to come
We are at the beginning of a new age – the Age of Aquarius, the eleventh sign of the zodiac. Astrologers say that this age is characterized by a new religious atmosphere and a heightened degree of spiritual and cosmic consciousness. It will be a time of liberation of the mind, of love and enlightenment, an age of a balanced viewpoint. During this age we will move beyond the masculine God the Father, who has dominated the Piscean age during the past 2000 years, and be nurtured by the Mother-Goddess, a feminine energy.
The Eternal Holy God of ALL or The “Queen Of Heaven” is the same Choice God gave Adam in the Garden!

Astrology
Astrology is a method using the position of the planets, sun and moon at the time and place of birth as signposts to explain the person’s character, life and destiny. It is based on the occult belief that man and the universe are connected by a mystical force, or are – using New Age terminology – in global unity. Today, the humanistic view of a person as the master of his or her fate has turned the Astrological chart into a set of possibilities and choices.   Already in Deuteronomy 18:9–12 the Bible strongly condemns divination and worship of the heavens, both of which Astrology is a part. Verses like Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:3, Daniel 2:27–28, 5:7, Isaiah 47:13, and Acts 7:42 are equally clear.
 Astrology is not from God, which can only mean that those involved in Astrology operate – often unknowingly – on demonic supernatural power.

Channeling
Channeling is the process whereby a human host claims to enter into an altered state of consciousness thereby allowing a spirit entity to take possession of their body and give instructions to New Age believers. In the 1960’s and ‘70’s that Channeling became commonly accepted and even fashionable. Today, there are ten thousands of channels throughout the world today.  The ultimate message of the New Age is manifest in the message of the various channelers. That message being, All is God, you are a part of the All, therefore you are God. Since you are God then you can alter reality to fit your view of truth. New Agers come to the channelers to find out how they can use the spirit world to influence reality. Again, the Bible strongly forbids communication with the dead (Necromancy), as expressed in Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:9-12 & 15; 1 Samuel 28; 1 Chronicle 10:13-14; Isaiah 8:19. It should also be noted that channelers either commit fraud (i.e. fake spiritual communication), are self-deceived (2 Thessalonians 2:10; 2 Timothy 3:12) or in actual contact with demons who are masquerading as deceased spirit masters (see Isaiah 19:3; Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 4:1-3). Neither of these options is in any way beneficial.
Summary
The New Age Movement is a conglomerate of seemingly unrelated groups, techniques, and beliefs that keep influencing each other and constantly create new mixtures. Its characteristic is not a homogeneous doctrine, but practices that are based on a modern version of Satan’s original lie. Although no leader can be made out, one can clearly observe how Satan himself orchestrates the whole movement, spreading his lies wherever he can find people open to deception. Discussions with New Agers sometimes appear to be hopeless. But if you address the fundamental issues – the irrationality of relativism, the inconsistencies of living out the New Ager view of the world, factual and historical errors, and the biblical account of the real God, Jesus, and gospel – then they may realize that there is a choice to be made instead of blurring the distinctions, and that love and forgiveness can not be found in an impersonal force but only in the God of the Bible.

"Parts of this publication have been included verbatim or have been adapted from material copyrighted by BDM. Used by permission."   http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/newage.htm




The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Now maybe we can see just what Frost was picturing here!






Folder #13
The commandments of the New Testament. 
In First John we are told How to know if we are in Him:
1Jn 2:1  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jn 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Jn 2:3  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.     (44)  Jn 14:15
1Jn 2:4  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jn 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
1Jn 2:7  Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
1Jn 2:8  Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
1Jn 2:9  He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1Jn 2:11  But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.


We are told to Keep His commandments and to Love our brothers in Christ.  I ask, How will we keep His commandments if we do not Know What They ARE?  And more than just know the words we MUST understand what is being said!  I was going to simply define some terms and what the words originally meant, but there is often so much more involved that I shall try to give the best explanation I can.  I find that many times the words have lost their original emphasis or the modern liberal church has redefined them so they do not carry the New Testament meaning.  I will leave the verses in the order they come in the Bible, so they are easier to locate.   I am not a great writer, I find many of the older commentaries have beautiful answers to these truths,  So I will quote the commentaries freely and not try to rewrite all the answers. I will however try to make clear who and where I use these wonderful   authors.  I will Use initials for the writings and the reference will be the Bible verse.
BTNC       Bakers New Testament Commentary;  HAI    Harry Allen Ironside;  AC  Adam Clark ;
MH  Matthew Henery;  AB   Albert Barns;  ICC  International Critical Commentary
JFB           Jamieson, Fausset and Brown
This study is just a start to listing and understanding the commandments we are to keep. There is still a lot of room for any Christian to add years of study to these notes.         
The Reference number (##) at the end of a section refers to the 49 Commandments list used by many.
49 General Commands of Christ
 1. Repent                                                                              Matthew 4:17
 2. Follow Me                                                                       Matthew 4:19
 3. Rejoice                                                                             Matthew 5:12
 4. Let Your Light Shine                                                     Matthew 5:16
 5. Honor God’s Law                                                           Matthew 5:17–18
 6. Be Reconciled                                                                Matthew 5:24–25               
 7. Do Not Lust                                                                     Matthew 5:29–30
 8. Keep Your Word                                                             Matthew 5:37
 9. Go the Second Mile                                                       Matthew 5:38–42
 10. Love Your Enemies                                                     Matthew 5:44
 11. Be Perfect                                                                      Matthew 5:48
 12. Practice Secret Disciplines                                         Matthew 6:1–18
 13. Lay Up Treasures                                                         Matthew 6:19–21
 14. Seek God’s Kingdom                                                  Matthew 6:33
 15. Judge Not                                                                      Matthew 7:1
 16. Do Not Cast Pearls                                                       Matthew 7:6
 17. Ask, Seek, Knock.                                                        Matthew 7:7–8
 18. Do unto Others                                                             Matthew 7:12
 19. Choose the Narrow Way                                             Matthew 7:13–14
 20. Beware of False Prophets                                           Matthew 7:15
 21. Pray for Laborers                                                          Matthew 9:38
 22. Be Wise as Serpents                                                    Matthew 10:16
 23. Fear Not                                                                         Matthew 10:28
 24. Hear God’s Voice                                                         Matthew 11:15
 25. Take My Yoke                                                              Matthew 11:29
 26. Honor Your Parents                                                     Matthew 15:4
 27. Beware of Leaven                                                        Matthew 16:6
 28. Deny Yourself                                                               Luke 9:23
 29. Despise Not Little Ones                                              Matthew 18:10
 30. Go to Offenders                                                            Matthew 18:15
 31. Beware of Covetousness                                            Luke 12:15
 32. Forgive Offenders                                                        Matthew 18:21–22
 33. Honor Marriage                                                            Matthew 19:6
 34. Be a Servant                                                                 Matthew 20:26–28
 35. Be a House of Prayer                                                   Matthew 21:13
 36. Ask in Faith                                                                  Matthew 21:21–22
 37. Bring in the Poor                                                         Luke 14:12–14
 38. Render to Caesar                                                          Matthew 22:19–21
 39. Love the Lord                                                               Matthew 22:37–38
 40. Love Your Neighbor                                                   Matthew 22:39
 41. Await My Return                                                         Matthew 24:42–44
 42. Take, Eat, and Drink                                                    Matthew 26:26–27
 43. Be Not Troubled                                                          John 14:1
 44. Keep My Commandments                                         John 14:15
 45. Watch and Pray                                                            Matthew 26:41
 46. Feed My Sheep                                                            John 21:15–16
 47. Baptize My Disciples                                                 Matthew 28:19
 48. Receive God’s Power                                                  Luke 24:49
 49. Make Disciples                                                            Matthew 28:20


There is a 2nd century document that is reported to be the teachings of the apostles and resembles the writing of Matthew and John called   The Didache or Teaching of the Apostles.   I include this excerpt only to show that listing the New Testament commandments is not a new Idea and the 1st century teachers took this very serious.
The Didache or Teaching of the Apostles (trans. and ed., J. B. Lightfoot)
1:1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between the two ways. 1:2 {The way of life} is this. 1:3 First of all, {thou shall love the God} that made thee; 1:4 secondly, {thy neighbor as thyself.} 1:5 {And all things whatsoever thou would not have befall thyself neither do thou unto another.} 1:6 Now of these words the doctrine is this. 1:7 {Bless them that curse you, and pray for} your enemies and fast for {them that persecute you; 1:8 for what thank is it, if ye love them that love you Do not even the Gentiles the same But do ye love them that hate you,} and ye shall not have an enemy. 1:9 Abstain thou from fleshly and bodily lusts. 1:10 {If any man give thee a blow on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also,} and thou shalt be perfect; 1:11 {if a man impress thee to go with him, one mile, go with him twain; 1:12 if a man take away thy cloak, give him thy coat also; 1:13 if a man take away from thee that which is thine own, ask it not back,} for neither art thou able. 1:14 {To every man that asketh of thee give, and ask not back;} 1:15 for the Father desireth that gifts be given to all from His own bounties. 1:16 Blessed is he that giveth according to the commandment; 1:17 for he is guiltless. 1:18 Woe to him that receiveth; 1:19 for, if a man receiveth having need, he is guiltless; 1:20 but he that hath no need shall give satisfaction why and wherefore he received;
__________________________________________________________________________
The Great Commandment
Mat 22:34  But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
Mat 22:35  Then one of them, who was a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him, and saying,
Mat 22:36  Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

1. The question was, Master, which is the greatest commandment of the law?
2. The design was to try him, or tempt him; to try, not so much his knowledge as his judgment. The question was harmless enough; and it appears by comparing Luk_10:27, Luk_10:28, that it was an adjudged point among the lawyers, that the love of God and our neighbor (see note below on meaning and use of neighbor)  is the great commandment, and the sum of all the rest, and Christ had there approved it; so the putting of it to him here seems rather a scornful design to catechize him as a child, than spiteful design to dispute with him as an adversary.
Now here we are directed,
[1.] To love God as ours; Thou shalt love the Lord they God as thine. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other God; which implies that we must have him for our God, and that will engage our love to him. Those that made the sun and moon their gods, loved them, Jer_8:2; Jdg_18:24. To love God as ours is to love him because he is ours, our Creator, Owner, and Ruler, and to conduct ourselves to him as ours, with obedience to him, and dependence on him. We must love God as reconciled to us, and made ours by covenant; that is the foundation of this, Thy God.
[2.] To love him with all our heart, and soul, and mind. Some make these to signify one and the same thing, to love him with all our powers; others distinguish them; the heart, soul, and mind, are the will, affections, and understanding; or the vital, sensitive, and intellectual faculties. Our love of God must be a sincere love, and not in word and tongue only, as theirs is who say they love him, but their hearts are not with him. It must be a strong love, we must love him in the most intense degree; as we must praise him, so we must love him, with all that is within us, Psa_103:1.
(3.) To love our neighbor as ourselves is the second great commandment (Mat_22:39); It is like unto that first; it is inclusive of all the precepts of the second table, as that is of the first. It is like it, for it is founded upon it, and flows from it; and a right love to our brother, whom we have seen, is both an instance and an evidence of our love to God, whom we have not seen, 1Jn_4:20.
[1.] It is implied, that we do, and should, love ourselves. There is a self-love which is natural, and the rule of the greatest duty, and it must be preserved and sanctified. We must love ourselves, that is, we must have a due regard to the dignity of our own natures, and a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies.
[2.] It is prescribed, that we love our neighbor as ourselves. We must honor and esteem our fellow  men, and must wrong and injure none; must have a good will to all, and good wishes for all, and, as we have opportunity, must do good to all. We must love our neighbor as ourselves, as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves.
2. Observe what the weight and greatness of these commandments is (Mat_22:40); On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets; that is, This is the sum and substance of all those precepts relating to practical religion which were written in men's hearts by nature, revived by Moses, and backed and enforced by the preaching and writing of the prophets. All hang upon the law of love; take away this, and all falls to the ground, and comes to nothingInto these two great commandments therefore let our hearts be delivered as into a mould; in the defence and evidence of these let us spend our zeal, and not in notions, names, and strifes of words, as if those were the mighty things on which the law and the prophets hung, and to them the love of God and our neighbour must be sacrificed; but to the commanding power of these let every thing else be made to bow.      Matthew Henery
We need to define Neighbor here the modern English usage is not what is meant in this verse.
- Original: πλησίον- Transliteration: Plesion- Phonetic: play-see'-on
- Definition:
1. a near; close by; brother, fellow citizen  
a. a friend
b. any fellow Jew, and where two are concerned, the other (thy fellow man, thy brother), according to the Jews, any member of the Hebrew nation and commonwealth
In this time neighbor meant one of the nationality and faith as the rest, NOT any person around.
c. according to Christ, any other person in Faith.
1Jn 2:3  And by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:9  He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10  He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.





In His own Image means, That part of God in man that makes man similar or like God. That which allows a person to fellowship with and know God.
In the Old Testament Deu 6:4 there is a prayer called the Shem:
 Hear, O Israel:
          The LORD our God is one LORD: 
 And you shall love the LORD your God
with all your heart, and   (the word for heart the action of will.)
with all your soul, and     ( the word for Soul is “ Breath of life” and the instinct to preserve it.)
with all your might.          ( the word for Might is  exceedingly, all ability, the mind and reason and the seat of emotion)
Jesus interpreted this Hebrew word Might (strength) as the Greek word  MIND.
Mat_22:37  Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Mar_12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.

Based on the content of this famous prayer, many have used these ideas to express the way a person’s mind works, the way we relate to God by His command.

Mind,   Thinking,  The ability to reason, know, and understand; Feeling, emotion,
                               hope, despair, love, hate.
Heart    Acting    The Free Will of man to act on reason and understanding,
                              tempered by emotion, even at times controlled by motion. (14)
Soul      Animal Life, Breath of Life and the instinct to preserve it.
    
Man is free to act within his own Choice to serve God or not.

The image of God in man is self-aware Choice. Only Man, in all creation, has the Glory of God in the ability Think, Feel, Act; that is with awareness of results, make a choice.
Man was created in the image of God’s Glory with the ability to and right to Choose to Fellowship with God or not.


In the so-called “Sermon on the Mount” our Lord was not preaching the gospel, but He was setting forth the principles of The Power of God, which should guide the lives of all who profess to be His disciples. In other words, this is the law of the Gospel.  The keenest intellects of earth have recognized in the Sermon on the Mount the highest ethical teaching to men, and have praised its holy precepts even when conscious of their inability to measure up to its standards.  HAI
If the person that follows the teachings are called blessed, It makes sense that they are to be followed.  The sermon is the Highest description of what Christians must Do, that is a commandment.

Matthew 5:1  When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 5:2  He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
Matthew 5:3  "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the royal authority of heaven.
But here the explanatory words, “in spirit,” fix the sense to “those who in their deepest consciousness realize their entire need”   This self-emptying conviction, that “before God we are void of everything,” lies at the foundation of all spiritual excellence, BNTC
James, Peter, and Paul referred to this kind of emptying and living in the spirit as being a bond slave of Christ. By choice giving up all of self and choosing to be servant, poor, in Christ.  The real question for a Christian is not “what do I owe Jesus?”   But, what in the deepest recesses of myself,   would I KEEP FROM HIM?”                 (28-34-37)

Matthew 5:4  "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
 It is that entire feeling which the sense of our spiritual poverty begets; and so the second beatitude is but the complement  of the first. It is the mourning of those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy , their sin and that of others.
 To be sure, when a person bemoans his sin he also laments sin's consequences   BTNC
Rom 3:23  for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,
Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace
Rom 8:7  because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
Rom 8:8  So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God.   (1-6-43)

Matthew 5:5  "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
It is impossible, indeed, that “the poor in spirit” and “the mourners” in Christ should not at the same time be “meek”; that is to say, persons of a lowly and gentle carriage. BTNC   “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Mat_11:29)    (25-34)

Matthew 5:6  "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Our  strongest instinct is hunger and thirst in this verse denoting that spiritual and entire conformity to the law of God. To know God is the life of a believer.   When we are in Christ, we want to know Him and know the Father.  (5-24-48)

Matthew 5:7  "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven’ (Luk_6:37; Jam_5:9). And thus, while he is ever to look back on the mercy received as the source and motive of the mercy which he shows, he also looks forward to the mercy which he yet needs, and which he is assured that the merciful  shall receive, as a new provocation to its abundant exercise of mercy. BNTC   (9-18-46)

Matthew 5:8  "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
The conscience purged - the heart sprinkled - there is light within wherewith to see God. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with the other” - He with us and we with Him - “and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us” - us who have this fellowship. BTNC  (4-11-18-27)

Matthew 5:9  "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Those who strive to prevent contention, strife, and war; who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties, and to prevent lawsuits and hostilities in families and neighborhoods. Every man may do something of this; and no man is more like God than he who does it. AB    (6-8-9-10-30)

Matthew 5:10  "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
To persecute means literally to pursue; follow after. Here it means to vex, or oppress one, on account of his religion, to injure their names, reputation, property, or to endanger or take their life, on account of their religious opinions. AB      (9-18-20-22-32)

Matthew 5:11  "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Reproach you; call you by evil and contemptuous names; ridicule you because you are Christians.  An emphasis should be laid on the word falsely in this passage. It is not blessed to have evil spoken of us if we deserve it; but if we deserve it not, then we should not consider it as a calamity. We should take it patiently, and show how much the Christian, under the consciousness of innocence. AB  (4-31-45)

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1. Repent                                                                               Matthew 4:17
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say,
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 21:32, “For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.”
       The best way to interpret the Bible is to allow the Scripture to speak for itself. Concerning our text verse, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Jesus to question His authority. Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief. They had heard the preaching of John the Baptist. They had seen the publicans and harlots believe on Jesus. Yet, the Bible says they repented not themselves.
Had they repented they would have believed. That is what Jesus said. Jesus didn't say they would have forsaken their sins or surrendered their lives to God if they repented. No, rather, Jesus said they would have BELIEVED on Him had they repented. Biblical repentance is turning to Jesus to be forgiven of one's sins. It's that simple.
The Gospel of John mentions the word “believe” or “believed” 85-times, without ever mentioning the word “repent” even once. This is clear evidence that faith and repentance are inseparable; and that by believing on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, one has also repented. Repentance is acknowledging one's sinnership—admitting that I am as dirty and guilty a sinner as God hath declared me to be in His Word. The Law of God was given “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19).
It is wrong to teach that a person must repent first, and then believe second; that is a false doctrine. The Bible teaches that the man who believes on Jesus has also repented. They happen simultaneously. One who has turned to Jesus for salvation has also turned his back against sin. This is Biblical salvation, evidenced by the plain words of John 20:31,But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” You don't turn from your sins to trust Jesus; you turn to Jesus to be forgiven of your sins. Amen!
Here we find one of the problems we must address, TURN FROM WHAT?  Sin is such an over used word it does not tell the story.  Sin means to miss the mark, PLEASE STOP AND ASK WHAT MARK!  Romans 3:23 says for all have missed the mark and fail to share in  THE GLORY OF GOD. You will get the right idea if every time you see the word “sin” you read “disobey God”.

By the Spirit's guidance Matthew, giving us his own version of Isa_9:1-2, views Christ's settlement in Capernaum as another fulfilment of prophecy; this time Mat_4:14-16 …
that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, Toward the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,
The people sitting in darkness Have seen a great light, And upon those sitting in the land of the shadow of death Light has dawned. BTNC


This discussion of light and darkness needs a little more explaining to see just what Jesus was saying.
Israel over and over disobeyed God, The point came where He said I am finished with you.  First the northern 10 tribes were taken into captivity then later Judah and the capital Jerusalem.  The first to see God's rejection and captivity, to enter the darkness of God's rejection was the area Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali. Thus we have the first into Darkness seeing first the coming of Jesus.
To come out of darkness what must we repent of sin? 

What is Sin?  What did Adam do to plunge the world into such a state. 
Gen 2:15  And Jehovah God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Gen 2:16  And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree in the garden,
Gen 2:17  but you shall not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
There are two clear points here, 1. Do Not eat of the tree of knowledge. 2. You shall surely die. 
The not so clear point is that God intended for Adam to ODEY Him.
The result of Adam's action was that he had not kept God's commandments, he disobeyed God.  Some have said there was something about the tree of knowledge of good and evil which made Adam and in him mankind evil by nature.  It was not the knowledge or what was eaten that was the problem it was disobeying God. 
Disobeying God broke the fellowship between God and man in the garden. The result was that man would die physically.  Man by his own free CHOICE followed his own desires not the word of God.  It took GOD'S GRACE to repair the damage, we are restored to fellowship by grace.
Repent is to change the choice of disobeying God, To choose to keep the Commandments.
Repent is a change from self to a choice to follow God and do His will. 
Saved by grace through Faith is an act. The spiritual life or death is and always has been a choice “Will I obey God”. We have the gift of salvation (restored to fellowship) and are justified.  The choice to live in the spirit of Christ, to live for Him, requires conversion a change from the old flesh (live MY way) and a choice to live for and in Christ.  There are no works of man in grace. There are a lot of works of a Christian living in Jesus to serve Him.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  The Nation if Israel was no longer God's chosen people He had rejected them. Now the people of God were to be the ones saved by grace. (There was a remnant of the Hebrew people that were saved by choosing to follow and obey God, into that group were the NT saints grafted, every one ever saved was saved by Grace).   The followers of Jesus, the Church made up of the adopted children of God. 

Matt- 4:17  reform you mind join yourself to God for the royal power of heaven
The verse says, Change the way you think, renew fellowship with God, you are the royal power of heaven.
Into the darkness where God rejected Israel, came the savior of the people, to give the ones living in Him, His Church, the royal power of heaven . Repent, turn from the old self and be priest and kings, adopted children and heirs.
[Physical Kingdom is not the right idea.
The Greek word here is Βασιλεία  Basileia  definition:
1. royal power, dominion, rule a. not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom ]
A word for word translation of this verse is: Mt 4:17
"Change your mind and draw near for “the royal power of God”.  Note in this verse the “draw near” is in reference to the one changing their mind not the “kingdom or power”. There is no grammatical reason the move the “draw near” to the kingdom of Heaven.   Change your mind is “You” second person plural, Draw  near “the ones changing” is third person singular.  Power of God is the object of the preposition “for” and first person singular.
"You change your mind the ones changing draw near for the royal power of God"   
The royal power of heaven is the power of the King of Kings, God's authority to rule over eternity.  When changed by grace, children of God, we are heirs and joint heirs with Christ. He is the King there is only one King, yet as heirs we have the power (βασιλεία) of The King


                                                                                                                                                                    
2. Follow Me                                                                        Matthew 4:19
Mat 4:19  And He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.       (2)
Follow Me
1.Follow Christ as your Teacher.
2. As your Example.
3. As your Friend.
4. If you see to the following what will Christ do? (D. B. Hooke.)
1. These heavenly fishermen follow Christ personally.
2. They follow Him circumstantially.
3. They follow Him singly, He was their LORD.
The great lesson of the text may be summed up in this-that successful work for Jesus must spring out of a devout imitation of Him. “Follow Me,” etc. In the example of Christ there are two points which it is important to look at.
I. The estimate Jesus Christ gave to humanity in contrast with all the other objects that engaged His attention. In comparison with the claims of man, everything else was regarded as subsidiary.
II. His whole career was evolved from this central conception in regard to humanity. To save men-that was His mission. I must work-that was His motto. These thoughts were always present to His mind. Our grand central controlling purpose must be the imitation of the Master, in striving to become the servant of all.
1. Christian work must so far resemble Christ’s work as to be inspired with the soul of earnestness.
2. The possession of yearning pity and interest in humanity.
3. The cultivation of a spirit of large self-denial.
4. Persistency in effort.
5. Prayer.

Follow Me
I. Whom? Not simply a human teacher, but Jesus, who qualified Himself by His earthly life, with its temptations, toil, and suffering, to be the efficient leader of men.
II. How? We cannot follow His person as the disciples did; but we may-Obey His precepts and copy His example.
III. Why? We cannot direct our own course-there is no leader equal to Christ-if we follow Him we shall be in good company. Only thus can we escape spiritual danger and eternal death.
IV. Whither? To God: “I am the way,” etc. To heaven: “In My: Father’s house,” etc.
V. When? Now. Always.

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3. Rejoice                                                                              Matthew 5:12
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
I think we can see from the previous point there is reason to rejoice; from lost and in sin to a child of the King, Heirs with Christ, and Priest of GOD. From nothing to everything that is a step big enough for rejoicing.
IF the world persecutes you it is understandable for they persecuted the prophets which were before you.  You are still a child of the King.   (3-4-39)
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4. Let Your Light Shine                                                      Matthew 5:16
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Repent, “be converted”, Live so others can see Jesus in you. Let the light that shines in the world (same illustration from above) shine in you so others will see Jesus in you.  This is the best witness we can have. A life committed to Jesus Christ shining for all the world to see.  Repent “be converted” don't just tell people about Jesus live a Christian life before them.
Praise, or honor God, or be led to worship him. The world seeing in your lives the Excellency of God's love, and the power and purity of the gospel, they may be won to Christ also, and give praise and glory to God for his mercy to a lost world.    (4-35-39-45)





5. Honor God’s Law                                                            Matthew 5:17–18   (5)

Mat 5:17  Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Mat 5:18  For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.
Mat 5:19  Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.
1. Christ fulfilled the law in His teaching. He completed it.
2. Christ fulfilled the law by His own personal, unbroken obedience.
      3. Christ fulfilled the law by. His sufferings and death. (W. G. Barrett.)

The Epistles make very clear the relation to the law which the true believer sustains, who has eternal life and is in Christ. “So that, my brethren, we also have been made dead to the law by the body of Christ, to be another who has been raised up from among the dead in order that we might bear fruit to God” (Rom_7:4). We are dead to the law, yet the law in itself is not dead; it is as much alive as ever, and holy, just and good. However, the new nature which we have Is the perfect law of liberty; it is something altogether new; yet the old law still exists and has its power, but never for him who is a new creation in Christ Jesus. “The law has been our tutor up to Christ, that we might be justified on the principle of faith, but faith having come we are no longer under a tutor, for ye are all God’s sons by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal_3:24-25). The law could make nothing perfect, but Christ came, and perfection is in Him and through Him. What is the meaning of “to fulfill”? It means to give the fullness, to make full, to fill out the law and the prophets.    (5)
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6. Be Reconciled                                                                 Matthew 5:24–25               
Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother hath aught against thee; (24) Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
The Pharisees were intent only on the external act in worship. They looked not at all to the internal state of the mind. If a man conformed to the external rites of religion, however much envy, and malice, and secret hatred he might have, they thought he was doing well. Our Savior taught a different doctrine. It was of more consequence to have the heart right than to perform the outward act. If, therefore, says he, a man has gone so far as to bring his gift to the very altar, and should remember that anyone had anything against him, it was his duty there to leave his offering and go and be reconciled. While a difference of this nature existed, his offering could not be acceptable. He was not to wait until the offended brother should come to him; he was to go and seek him out, and be reconciled. So now the worship of God will not be acceptable, however well performed externally, until we are at peace with those that we have injured.  AB (6-11-15)

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7. Do Not Lust                                                                      Matthew 5:29–30
Matthew 5:29-30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
_This command must not be taken literally, for even if a person should literally pluck out his right eye he would still be able to sin with his left eye. Jesus has himself supplied us with the key to its interpretation, namely, in Mat_18:7-9, where in slightly different form this command is repeated. From that passage it follows clearly that the eye and the hand that lead a person into sin symbolize and represent “occasions of stumbling,” or if one prefers, enticements to do wrong, beguiling allurements. The general meaning of the passage, then, is this: “Take drastic action in getting rid of whatever in the natural course of events will tempt you into sin.”  BNTC       (7)
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8. Keep Your Word                                                              Matthew 5:37
Matthew 5:33-37 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: (34) But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: (35) Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (36) Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. (37) But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Here again, as previously, what was quoted of men  long ago was not incorrect. It was a fair summary of the letter of the law concerning the oath (Lev_19:12; Num_30:2; and cf. Deu_23:21). Only, from the words of Jesus it is very obvious that the Pharisees of Jesus' day, misplaced the emphasis. As is clear from the context in every case, the divinely intended emphasis (note italics) was as follows:
“You shall not swear by my name falsely” (Lev_19:12).
“When a man makes a vow to Jehovah or swears an oath … he shall not break his word” (Num_30:2).
“When you shall make a vow to Jehovah your God, you shall not be slack to pay it” (Deu_23:21).
Or, using the phraseology of the interpreters:
“You shall not break your oath, but shall keep the oaths you have sworn to the Lord.”
In each case the emphasis is on truthfulness: a person must be truthful when he solemnizes his promise with an oath. He must really mean it. He must also be faithful in keeping the oath; that is, he must carry out his promise. Even in connection with the promises which God himself confirmed with an oath it is truthfulness that is stressed, “Jehovah has sworn to David in truth; he will not turn from it” (Psa_132:11). And in connection with “the two immutable things” (the promise and the oath) from which believers derive strong encouragement (Heb_6:18) it is emphasized that “it is impossible for God to lie.”
Now this emphasis on truthfulness “in the heart” or “in the inward parts,” absence of “falsehood and deceit” (respectively Psa_15:2; Psa_51:6; and Psa_24:4) is well distributed in the writings of the Old Testament.
Being truthful In oath or Keeping your oath is so important, Such a responsibility, We are told it is better to just say and mean YES for yes and NO for no.  More should not be needed from a truthful Man. BTNC     (8) ___________________________________________________________________________________
9. Go the Second Mile                                                        Matthew 5:38–42
Matthew 5:39-41 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (40) And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. (41) And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
 In Exo_21:24-25 we read, “… eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” Lev_24:20 adds “fracture for fracture”; Deu_19:21, “life for life.” This was a law for the civil courts, laid down in order that the practice of seeking private revenge might be discouraged. The Old Testament passages do not mean, “Take personal revenge whenever you are wronged.” They mean the exact opposite, “Do not avenge yourself but let justice be administered publicly.” This is clear from Lev_24:14, “Take the blasphemer out of the camp; and let all who heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.” Cf. Deu_19:15-21.
The Pharisees, however, appealed to this law to justify personal retribution and revenge. They quoted this commandment in order to defeat its very purpose. Cf. Mat_15:3, Mat_15:6. The Old Testament repeatedly forbids personal vengeance: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am Jehovah” (Lev_19:18). “Do not say, I will repay evil. Wait for Jehovah, and he will save you” (Pro_20:22). “Do not say, as he has done to me so will I do to him; I will pay the man back according to what he has done” (Pro_24:29).
What then did Jesus mean when he said, “Do not resist the evil-doer; but to him that slaps you,” etc.? When Christ's words (verses Mat_5:39-42) are read in the light of what immediately follows in verses Mat_5:43-48, and when the parallel in Luk_6:29-30 is explained on the basis of what immediately precedes in verses Luk_6:27-28, it becomes clear that the key passage, identical in both Gospels, is “Love your enemies” (Mat_5:44; Luk_6:27). In other words, Jesus is condemning the spirit of lovelessness, hatred, yearning for revenge. He is saying, “Do not resist the evil-doer with measures that arise from an unloving, unforgiving, unrelenting, vindictive disposition.” BTNC    (9)

Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
When someone in distress asks for assistance, one must not turn a deaf ear to him. On the contrary, says Jesus, give, not grudgingly or gingerly but generously; lend, not selfishly, looking forward to usury but liberally, magnanimously. Not only show kindness but love kindness. (9)

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10. Love Your Enemies                                                      Matthew 5:44
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy” must have been the popular way in which the average Israelite during the days of Christ's ministry summarized the second table of the law and regulated his life with respect to friend and foe. He must have learned it from the scribes and Pharisees, though not necessarily from all of them without exception. We know at least that the scribe whose summary is reported in Mar_12:32-33 and the lawyer (an expert in the Jewish law) who speaks in Luk_10:25-27 were careful not to omit “as yourself” when they quoted Lev_19:18. What was even worse than this omission (see Mat_5:43) was the addition “and hate your enemy.” Nowhere in the Old Testament do we find anything of the kind. In fact, by means of this addition the emphasis was again shifted away from the original intention of the law as happened also in connection with the commandment concerning the oath (see p. 307). Lev_19:18, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am Jehovah” emphasized love over against vengeance. Its perversion in the popular summary drew a sharp contrast between neighbor and enemy, as if the purpose of the commandment had been that the former be loved and the latter hated. BNTC    (10)
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11. Be Perfect                                                                       Matthew 5:48
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
This, too, was in harmony with the law: “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy, for I Jehovah your God am holy” (Lev_19:2). “You shall be perfect before Jehovah your God” (Deu_18:13). See also Lev_11:44; Lev_20:7, Lev_20:26; Eph_5:1; and 1Pe_1:15-16. Does this mean that Jesus was a perfectionist in the sense that he taught men that they could reach sinlessness before death? Not at all, as the beatitudes clearly show and as the petition that he taught his disciples to pray, namely, “And forgive us our debts” (Mat_6:12) reaffirms. He never even hinted that there might be a time before death when this petition could be omitted! Against perfectionism in the sense indicated see also 1Ki_8:46; Job_9:1; Psa_130:3-4; Pro_20:9; Ecc_7:20; Rom_3:10; Rom_7:7-26; Gal_5:16-24; Jas_3:2; and 1Jn_1:8.
If the question be asked, “Then why even try to become perfect?” the answer would be, “Because that is what God commands,” as has been shown. Also, a follower of Jesus cannot do otherwise. BNTC   
The word translated perfect is  τέλειοι Teleios  it means complete or mature “The idea is more enduring to the end; perseverance.” wanting nothing necessary to a full grown adult. Our idea of perfect (without error fault or sin) is not the meaning used here.(11)
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12. Practice Secret Disciplines                                          Matthew 6:1–18
Matthew 6:1-4 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. (2) Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (3) But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: (4) That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
the purpose of the hypocrites, referred to in Mat_6:1 ff., is to obtain praise for themselves. They perform their religious acts in order “to attract the people's attention,” so that the latter will carefully inspect and closely examine them, while they are engaged in almsgiving, prayer, and/or fasting. Hopefully the spectators will then say, “How devout, how remarkably pious are these scribes and Pharisees!”—Naturally, a public display, so motivated, must be avoided.
The point in “… otherwise you will not have any reward with your Father who is in heaven” is, “You will then already have your reward, yes, your reward in full, namely, from men, the very people from whom you expected the reward of honor, admiration, and praise. Since in your innermost being you never meant to please and glorify God, he will not reward you. BNTC        (12)
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Matthew 6:5-8 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (7) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (8) Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
“when thou prayest” Jesus did not ask if you would, this is not a suggestion, Prayer is so important Jesus just says When you Pray! 
The reference here is to prayer in general, including thanksgiving, praise, adoration, confession of sin, personal petition, intercession for the needs of others, etc. Among the Jews, though prayers were always appropriate, there were set times for prayer, when the pious were expected to attend to their devotions. Thus, there were morning, afternoon, and evening prayers (Psa_55:17; Dan_6:10; Act_3:1). According to Josephus (Antiquities XIV.65) sacrifices, including prayers, were offered in the temple “twice a day, in the early morning and at the ninth hour.” There was also a sunset service. Naturally, if one were living or staying in or near Jerusalem and could get to the temple in time, that would seem to the devout Israelite to be the best place to pray (Luk_18:9-10; Act_3:1). Otherwise, the synagogue would do, or even the street.
Now Scripture nowhere condemns public prayer (2Ch_6:14-42; Neh. 9; Act_4:24-31), nor individual prayer offered in a public place. Neither the Pharisee nor the publican sinned by praying in the temple (Luk_18:9-10). What the Lord condemns here is ostentatious praying, that is, having one's private (?) devotions in the most public place, with the intention of being seen and honored by the people. That was, however, exactly what the hypocrites were in the habit of doing. BTNC   (12)
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Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Here is an example to follow, BUT PRAY and Keep Praying!
Literally, according to the original, the sentence reads: “Thus (or: in this manner), therefore, you should pray.” Some stress the fact that the second person plural imperative verb is in the present tense. They interpret this present as having continuative force (you should keep on praying), and on this they base their conclusion that Jesus wants his very prayer to be prayed again and again and again. Now it certainly is not wrong to make frequent use of this prayer if the worshiper, when he does this, is able to do it with heart and mind. On the other hand, very frequent use may easily lead to the sin of formalism which the Lord has been condemning. Besides, it must be borne in mind that Jesus said, “Thus” or “In this manner” or “This is how.” He did not say, “Use exactly these words, and no other.” The so-called “Lord's Prayer” is really the model prayer; meaning: it should serve as a pattern for our devotions. Its characteristics should mark also our prayers. The prayer consists of two parts: an invocation (“Our Father who art in heaven”) and six petitions; or, if the conclusion (“For thine is the kingdom, etc.”) be considered as belonging to it, then three parts, approximately seventy words in all. BTNC    (12)
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Matthew 6:16-18 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; (18) That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Like prayer , Jesus did not say how to , or when to, or the procedure for, fasting, He just said when you do it!  It was a given the we are to fast.
Fasting, as here meant, refers not to a condition that is forced upon a person (2Co_6:5; 2Co_11:27), but to voluntary abstinence from food as a religious exercise. It served various purposes, either singly or in any combination. Thus, it might be an expression of humiliation, that is, sorrow for, and in connection with confession of, sin.  Here in Mat_6:16-18, however, it is the fast as an expression of humiliation, whether feigned  or genuine, that is in view. The hypocrites, that is, the scribes and Pharisees , put on a dismal look, making their faces unsightly, perhaps by covering them with ashes, in order that to the people round about them they might look O so sorry for their sins; hence, O so pious! They were putting on an act. BTNC (12)
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13. Lay Up Treasures                                                          Matthew 6:19–21
Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Righteousness in relation to God requires not only the sincere devotion of the heart to the heavenly Father (Mat_6:1-18) but also unlimited trust in him under all circumstances. 
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven - That is, have provision made for your eternal felicity. Do not exhaust your strength and spend your days in providing for the life here, but let your chief anxiety be to be prepared for eternity.  In heaven nothing corrupts; nothing terminates; no enemies plunder or destroy. To have treasure in heaven is to possess evidence that its purity and joys will be ours. It is to be heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, 1Pe_1:4. The heart, or affections, will of course be fixed on the treasure. To regulate the heart, it is therefore important that the treasure, or object of attachment, should be right. AB      (13)
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13. Lay Up Treasures                                                          Matthew 6:19–21
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Since transitory earthly treasures do not satisfy, and setting the heart on them implies forfeiting the enduring pleasures of heaven (verses Mat_6:19-21), and since the yearning for such earthly riches blurs mental and moral vision (verses Mat_6:22-23), and finally, because a choice must be made between God and Mammon (verse Mat_6:24), do not continue to set your heart on the latter, that is, on earthly things, such as food and drink, to keep alive, or on clothes, to keep dressed. After all, it is your heavenly Father who gave you your life and your body and will sustain them. He who has provided the greater, namely, life and body, will he not also furnish the lesser, namely, food, drink, and clothes? Is not life more important than food, and the body than clothes? Do not, then, confuse priorities! AB   (13)
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14. Seek God’s Kingdom                                   Matthew 6:33
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
We cannot alter the disposals of Providence, therefore we must submit and resign ourselves to them. Thoughtfulness for our souls is the best cure of thoughtfulness for the world. Seek first the kingdom of God, and make religion your business: say not that this is the way to starve; no, it is the way to be well provided for, even in this world. The conclusion of the whole matter is, that it is the will and command of the Lord Jesus, that by daily prayers we may get strength to bear us up under our daily troubles, and to arm us against the temptations that attend them, and then let none of these things move us. Happy are those who take the Lord for their God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselves wholly to his wise disposal. Let thy Spirit convince us of sin in the want of this disposition, and take away the worldliness of our hearts.
The object of this seeking is “his kingdom and his righteousness.” The listeners are exhorted, therefore, to acknowledge God as King in their own hearts and lives, and to do all in their power to have him recognized as King also in the hearts and lives of others, and in every sphere: education, government, commerce, industry, science, etc. For the concept “kingdom of heaven” . It stands to reason that when God is recognized as King, righteousness will prevail.  MH     (14)
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
 Providing for tomorrow is one thing. To a certain extent this cannot be condemned. See Luk_16:8-9, but note also verse Luk_16:13. Becoming anxious for tomorrow is always wrong. The only right way to provide for tomorrow without at the same time being anxious is to take care that today the admonition of verse Mat_6:33 (“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness”) is obeyed.
Jesus has given all the reasons that prove why worrying about tomorrow is wrong and senseless. Today has been given to us. On this day, therefore, we should, out of gratitude, do what God demands of us. “Today, O that you would hear his voice” (Psa_95:7). As to tomorrow, here personified, let that rest. Allow it to be “anxious for itself, When tomorrow arrives, there will be new troubles, but also renewed strength. God has not given us strength today for tomorrow's difficulties. When we reflect on the fact that “each day has enough trouble all by itself” (or: “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,”) BNTC  (14)
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15. Judge Not                                                                       Matthew 7:1
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Matthew 7:2  For with whatever judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with whatever measure you measure out, it shall be measured to you again.
Just what did the Lord mean when he said, “Judge not” (AV)? Did he mean that all manner of judging is absolutely and without any qualification forbidden, so that with respect to the neighbor we are not allowed to form and/or express any opinion whatever, at least that with respect to him we must never voice an adverse or unfavorable opinion?  To be discriminating and critical is necessary; to be hypercritical is wrong. One should avoid saying what is untrue (Exo_23:1), unnecessary (Pro_11:13), and unkind (Pro_18:8).
That the sin here condemned was very common is clear, for example, from the fact that David condemned to death the rich man who, so the king had been made to believe, had stolen and killed the poor man's little ewe lamb, not realizing that in thus condemning him he (David) was passing sentence on himself (2Sa_12:1-7)!
Meaning: The standard of judgment that you apply to others will be applied to you. If you judge without mercy, you will be judged without mercy. Similarly, if you judge kindly, you will be judged and treated kindly. There will then be poured into your lap “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” You will be thus judged and rewarded by God.  BTNC     (15)
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Christ directs us to the proper way of forming an opinion of ethers, and of reproving and correcting them. By first amending our own faults, or casting the beam out of our eye, we can “consistently” advance to correct the faults of others. There will then be no hypocrisy in our conduct. We shall also “see clearly” to do it. The beam, the thing that obscured our sight, will be removed, and we shall more clearly discern the “small” object that obscures the sight of our brother. The sentiment is, that the readiest way to judge of the imperfections of others is to be free from greater ones ourselves. AB   (15)
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16. Do Not Cast Pearls                                                        Matthew 7:6
Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
“Brothers” and “dogs” or “hogs” must not be treated alike. Believers must discriminate carefully.
In order to understand this saying it is necessary, first of all, to discover what is meant by “dogs” and “hogs.” Among the Jews the dogs of the street were held in low esteem. The reference here is not to little pet dogs but to pariahs, large, savage, and ugly. One could see them almost everywhere, prowling about the garbage and the rubbish thrown into the streets. They were considered unclean and filthy.
As to hogs or pigs (in Mat_8:30-32 and parallel passages, the chosen refuge of demons), these are here viewed as being similarly contemptible and filthy. The Old Testament mentions swine among the unclean animals. The eating of swine's flesh is called an abomination. Dogs and hogs are mentioned together not only here in Mat_7:6 but also in 2Pe_2:22.
Jesus is saying that whatever it is that stands in special relation to God and is accordingly very precious should be treated with reverence and not entrusted to those who, because of their utterly wicked, vicious, and despicable nature, can be compared to dogs (see also Php_3:2) and hogs. This means, for example, that Christ's disciples must not endlessly continue to bring the gospel message to those who scorn it. To be sure, patience must be exercised, but there is a limit. A moment arrives when constant resistance to the gracious invitation must be punished by the departure of the messengers of good tidings. BNTC    (16)
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17. Ask, Seek, Knock.                                                         Matthew 7:7–8
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Ask, and it shall be given you ... - There are here three different forms presented of seeking the things which we need from God - asking, ‘seeking, and knocking. The latter is taken from the act of knocking at a door for admittance. See Luk_13:25; Rev_3:20. The phrases signify to seek with earnestness, diligence, and perseverance. The promise is, that what we seek shall be given us. It is of course implied that we seek with a proper spirit, with humility, sincerity, and perseverance. BNTC       (17)
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18. Do unto Others                                                              Matthew 7:12
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets
“Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” This is indeed the golden rule. It is linked with prayer, for no one can pray aright who is not characterized by active benevolence to his fellows (1 John 3:17-22). This is not the gospel; it is the fruit of the gospel. People often speak glibly of the golden rule, as though the keeping of it were a comparatively small matter, or as though it involved the whole of Christianity. How frequently we hear the assertion, “The golden rule is good enough for me. It is all the religion anyone needs.” But who, judged by this standard of unselfish living, would ever pass muster before God’s holy tribunal? It is but another way of insisting on the demand of the law, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” n rule. It is linked with prayer, for no one can pray aright who is not characterized  . HAI        (18)
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19. Choose the Narrow Way                                              Matthew 7:13–14
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
The illustration of Gate and Way used here mean only that we are to choose to obey and follow God.  The narrow restricted gate is the choice to do only Gods will. We are saved by doing God’s will. Then we follow the narrow way that is we live to serve Him. There is more the Christian life than BEING SAVED, We are to LIVE FOR HIM. In the Spirit, In Christ living to serve and know Him we find Reward. The broad way every one can follow and do as their desires lead is “the flesh” living for self, the way to destruction.   Sre       (19)
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20. Beware of False Prophets                                            Matthew 7:15
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Does entrance through the narrow gate and proceeding upon the path to which it admits mean that any further caution can now be thrown to the winds? Not at all. For the present we may conceive of the false prophet as being self-appointed and as being a person who, though pretending to proclaim God's truth, actually proclaims his own lie.  Jesus warns his hearers, “Beware of—literally, Hold (your minds) away from—false prophets.” Reason: although they “come in sheep's clothing,” dressed up in wool as if they were sheep, yet on the inside they are savage, rapacious wolves.   The scribes and Pharisees, Gnostics, Arians, How many heresies did the Early Church refute and condemn?  BTNC      (20)
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21. Pray For Laborers——Compassion  (21)
Mat 9:35  And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Mat 9:36  But seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion on them, because they were tired and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.
Mat 9:37  Then He said to His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.
Mat 9:38  Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send out laborers into His harvest.
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22. Be Wise as Serpents                                                     Matthew 10:16
Matthew 10:16-20 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.   (22) ___________________________________________________________________________________
23. Fear Not                                                                          Matthew 10:28
Matthew 10:26-31 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. (27) What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. (28) And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (29) Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. (30) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (31) Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.      (23)
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24. Hear God’s Voice                                                          Matthew 11:15
Mt 11:15  Hear God”s Voice  (24)
Mat 11:15  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
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25. Take My Yoke                                                               Matthew 11:29
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.    (25)
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26. Honor Your Parents                                                      Matthew 15:4
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.     (26)
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27. Beware of Leaven                                                         Matthew 16:6
Mt 16:6    Beware the leven    (27)
Mat 16:5  And when His disciples had come to the other side, they forgot to take loaves.
Mat 16:6  And Jesus said to them, Take heed, and beware the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Mat 16:7  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no loaves.
Mat 16:8  And knowing Jesus said to them, Why do you reason among yourselves because you took no loaves, little-faiths?
Mat 16:9  Do you not yet understand, nor remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many hand baskets you took up;
Mat 16:10  nor the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many lunch baskets you took up?
Mat 16:11  How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you about loaves, but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Mat 16:12  Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
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28. Deny Yourself                                                              Luke 9:23        
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.      (28)
Matthew 18:8-9 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. (9) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
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29. Despise Not Little Ones                                               Matthew 18:8-10
Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.      (29)
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30. Go to Offenders                                                     Matthew 18:15
Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.        (30)
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31. Beware of Covetousness                                         Luke 12:15
Luke 12:15   Beware of Covetousness—Contentment  (31)
Luk 12:15  And He said to them, Watch and keep yourselves from covetousness. For a man's life is not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
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32. Forgive Offenders                                                         Matthew 18:21–22
 Matthew 18:21–22  Forgive Offenders—Forgiveness    (32)
Mat 18:21  Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Until seven times?
Mat 18:22  Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.
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33. Honor Marriage                                                             Matthew 19:6
Matthew 19:6  Honor Marriage—Loyalty    (33)
Mat 19:4  And He answered and said to them, Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning "made them male and female",
Mat 19:5  and said, For this cause a man shall leave father and mother and shall cling to his wife, and the two of them shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6  Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.     
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34. Be a Servant                                                   Matthew 20:26–28
Matthew 20:26-28 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; (27) And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: (28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.   (34)
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35. Be a House of Prayer                                                    Matthew 21:13
Mt 21:13 Be a house of Prayer   (35)
Mat 21:12  And Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of those who sold doves.
Mat 21:13  And He said to them, It is written, "My house shall be called the house of prayer"; but you have made it a den of thieves.
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36. Ask in Faith                                                                   Matthew 21:21–22
Mt 21: 21-22   Ask in Faith     (36)
Mat 21:19  And seeing a fig tree in the way, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only. And He said to it, let no fruit grow on you forever. And immediately the fig tree withered away.
Mat 21:20  And when the disciples saw, they marveled, saying, How quickly the fig tree has withered away!
Mat 21:21  Jesus answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, If you have faith and do not doubt, you shall not only do this miracle of the fig tree, but also; if you shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be thrown into the sea; it shall be done.
Mat 21:22  And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.
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37.Luke 14:12–14 Bring in the Poor——Hospitality     (37)
Luk 14:12  And He also said to him who invited Him, When you make a dinner or a supper, do not call your friends or your brothers, or your kinsmen, or your rich neighbors; lest they also invite you again, and a recompense be made to you.
Luk 14:13  But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind,
Luk 14:14  and you shall be blessed, for they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
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38. Render to Caesar                                                           Matthew 22:19–21
Matthew 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.   (38)
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39. Love the Lord                                                                Matthew 22:37–38
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy understanding. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law and the prophets hang” (39)
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40. Love Your Neighbor                                                    Matthew 22:39
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.” Jesus replied by quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5. If God is loved supremely, no one will violate anything He has commanded. This covers particularly the first table of the law, which sets forth man’s duty to God.

“The first and great commandment.” To violate this is, therefore, in the legal dispensation, the greatest of all sins.

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This was a quotation from Leviticus 19:18 and covers all of the second table, for “love worketh no ill to his neighbour” (Rom. 13:10). He who loves mankind in this way will not violate any of the laws that have to do with the rights of others (Rom. 13:8-9).

“On these … hang all the law and the prophets.” Where love reigns, all else will be as it should be, for no one who truly loves God and his neighbor will intentionally wrong either (Matt. 7:12). All the law and the prophets hang therefore upon these two commandments cited by Jesus, for every sin that we might possibly commit is either a wrong done to God Himself or to our fellow men. The salvation provided for us is first of all an atonement, or propitiation, to meet all our sins, and then a regeneration to enable us to love God and our neighbor so as to cease from sin.  (40)
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Matthew 23:8-10 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. (9) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (10) Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
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41. Await My Return                                                          Matthew 24:42–44
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.   (41)
Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
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42. Take, Eat, and Drink                                                     Matthew 26:26–27
Matthew 26:26-29 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. (27) And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; (28) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (29) But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.     (42)
____________________________________________________________________________________________443. Be Not Troubled                                                        John 14:1
John 3:7 Be Born Again        (43)
Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4  Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?
Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7  Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.
____________________________________________________________________________________________444       Keep My Commandments                                    John 14:15
If you love me, keep my commandments.
15:10  If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
he believer is surrounded by cords of love, which draw him closer and closer to his Savior:
a. His love is always first, “We love because he first loved us” (1Jn_4:19). Now our love begins to operate. How does it manifest itself?
Answer:
b. We show our love by keeping his precepts, “If you love me, you will keep my precepts” (Joh_14:15).
c. This keeping of his precepts results, in turn, in our abiding in his love, “If you keep my precepts, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's precepts, and abide in his love.”
45. Watch and Pray                                                             Matthew 26:41
Mt 26:41  Watch and Pray   (45)
Mat 26:38  Then He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Wait here and watch with Me.
Mat 26:39  And He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.
Mat 26:40  And He came to the disciples and found them asleep. And He said to Peter, What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?
Mat 26:41  Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
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46   John 21:15-16   Feed my Sheep      (46)
oh 21:15  Then when they broke fast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My lambs.
Joh 21:16  He said to him the second time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My sheep.
Joh 21:17  He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? Peter was grieved because He said to him a third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things, You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep.
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47.    Baptize My Disciples                                               Matthew 28:19
Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) 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.   (47)  (49)
Luke 24:49   Receive God’s power   (48)
Luk 24:49  And behold, I send the promise of My father on you. But you sit in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.
48     Luke 24:49   Receive God’s power   (48)
Luk 24:49  And behold, I send the promise of My father on you. But you sit in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.
49. Make Disciples                                                             Matthew 28:20
Mat 28:19  Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
Mat 28:20  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.


Folder #14  Christianity, Who Are We?


The Beginning.

When Jesus used the phrase “The Kingdom of God”, exactly what did he mean?  We need to learn clearly what Jesus was saying and what it means to us.  Was He was using the contemporary idea of the Jewish King, a promised “David” to restore rule to Israel?  I feel there was much more, that is what this lesson will discuss.
Matthew used a play on words that said something very new, very different, but the Jews had to be taught to understand it. The kingdom was by God’s Grace through Faith in the hearts of men.  Let me put this the other way to I hope help you see my point.  What if John and Jesus preached, “Change the way you think and come near for the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit”.   I not only think they would not listen, they may have stoned them.  But that is just what He said.
Matthew records Jesus speaking in Jewish terms to a Jewish audience and he made a play on what they knew to teach them more.   The word translated kingdom means the royal power of the king, the authority to rule. There are many who say there are differences in “The Gospel” Jesus gospel, Peters gospel, Paul’s Gospel, Luke’s gospel, There is only one: Turn from Sin and trust in and obey God and you will receive the Royal Power of the Indwelling Holy Spirit.   You have the royal authority of God!

IN considering the words of Jesus, if we may not be able to measure their depth or to scale their height, we can with absolute certainty discover their drift, and see in what direction they move, and we shall find that their orbit is an ellipse. Moving around the two centers, sin and salvation, they describe what is not a geometric figure, but a glorious reality, "the kingdom of God." It is not unlikely that the expression was one of the current phrases of the times, a golden casket, holding within it the dream of a restored Hebraism; for we find the Baptist making use of the identical words in his inaugural address, while it is certain the disciples themselves so misunderstood the thought of their Master as to refer His "kingdom" to that narrow realm of Hebrew sympathies and hopes. Nor did they see their error until, in the light of Pentecostal flames, their own dream disappeared and the new kingdom, opening out like a receding sky, embraced a world within its folds.   Jesus speaks of this kingdom as being "within you." As if He said, "You are looking in the wrong direction. You expect the kingdom of God to be set up around you, with its visible symbols of flags and coins, on which is the image of some new Caesar. You are mistaken. The kingdom, like its King, is unseen; it seeks, not countries, but consciences; its realm is in the heart, in the great interior of the soul. 
e-sword Expositor’s Bible Commentary.  Luke 8:1 (Burton, 1890) (1)




The verse Showing where John the Baptist and Jesus start teaching of a Kingdom is:  Mat 3:2  "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

 The content of this verse is not clearly seen in our modern translations. “Repent” is not complete in its meaning as far as the Greek word shows, it means more change the way you think, change your mind. “Kingdom” is the royal authority to rule, the power of God in the hearts of men to serve and rule with Him. The two centers, sin and salvation, are seen in this verse.(1)  Man of sin must change the way he thinks (Stop disobeying God!) to receive the salvation of God, the Kingdom, (The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit in this life and a royal priesthood in the coming Kingdom). 

The idea of change the way you think is not new to this verse:
Exo_19:5  'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;
 Lev_22:31  "So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am the LORD.
Lev_25:18  'You shall thus observe My statutes and keep My judgments, so as to carry them out, that you may live securely on the land.
1Jn 2:3  By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
And John said,  As for me I baptizes with water; Jesus will baptize with the Spirit. He will cause his Spirit and the Spirits gifts to come upon his followers (Act_1:8), be poured out on them (Act_2:17, Act_2:33), fall upon them (Act_10:44; Act_11:15).   e-sword, Bakers NT Commentary Luke 3:16  (William Hendriksen, 1982)   (2)
Luk 3:16  John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

In the Old Testament God said hear my voice and keep my commandments and I will be you God you will be my people.  There has always been only one Gospel one way of salvation. Only a remnant of Israel was true to God, only the Remnant is the “True Israel”, and they are saved the same way every one of all time are saved BY GOD’S Grace by Faith.  Jesus and John did not say something new, they said something different from the common thought of a kingdom of Israel.  They said change the way you think and come near to be joined to the royal power of God.

In this study we will to look at who are the “People of God.” Who is saved and how were they saved. Many people have looked at the Law, the Church, and their works to find how to be saved. There is and always has been only one way, first we will look at the Mystery of the Gospel.

Second we will to look at the process of Living a Christian Life. Getting saved is one event, being a Christian means living for God. What does it mean to BE a Christian? Who are we who are living in the Spirit of God? There is more to the “Majesty of Grace” than the Church has taught.   This lesson has a part two the teaching and work of Satan, Our eternal foe, the prince and power of this world. 

Third, I want to offer the position of a Christian as the representative of God in the world, The Priest of Grace. I will explain and I hope defend the Church as the Priest of the age of Grace. A royal Priesthood, the family of God.
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Fourth, the last part of this paper I will look at some of the problem. How did we get here, why do so many people fail to see the truth of the Bible. We will discuss the meaning of “What I want right Now” We will look at some History of the Church, Secular arguments, Where we need to wind up in serving God.

There are some questions which need to guide the study and help us understand the Study of scripture.
1. What “Kingdom are we discussing?”  There are four and God is the KING in all of them Adam to the Law, “Nation of Israel” (Theocracy & Monarchy), The Church, The tribulation saints.
 2.What “People are we discussion?
Adam to the Law, The “Nation of Israel”, The Church,  The tribulation saints.
 3. What “Relation to God are we under.
 The First Born as Set aside to God.
 The Levitical Priest hood of the Nation of Israel.
 Daniel's 70 weeks refers to Israel!
 The New Testament Age of Grace, the Church.
 A wonderful gift to man to offer the Kingdom to the ones saved by Grace. An insert in the history between the 69 and 70 week of prophesy.
 4. Saved, as a Christian, THE Question is about BEING SAVED,
How are we Saved, By Faith in God's GRACE!   NO WORKS!!
and LIVING Saved,  serving God.
 Obeying God and Keeping His commandments, MANY WORKS!!
5. With reference to Prophesy who are we discussing?
Israel, The Church, or the lost. They are not the same!

There are many subjects in the Bible and we must be careful to be sure we do not mix them in our study. Promises, Judgment, and rewards for one group are not implied to mean all groups.
The Bible means just what it says to add to it is dangerous and to mix up the parts is miss leading.

The Mystery
The first covenant was with Adam in the garden. Adam disobeyed God then God taught him the way to serve and by right with God. That sacrifice was taught to all from Adam to Moses. All that kept the word of God and made the sacrifices were in right standing with God.  The Covenant was repeated with Noah and his family. Then the great Covenant with promise for Israel as a Nation was made with Abraham and the Nation of Israel. They were seen as God’s chosen People. (3) They were the ones that received the Law and the Prophets. But, they refused to obey God Is.42:24 still they saw themselves as God’s Chosen People. They were the people of The Law. They thought the way to God was in Israel and the Law. This nation to whom so much was given would not obey God, they did not understand the Word of God. Israel and her leaders twisted and perverted the Law they were given. They made religion the way they wanted it they included ancient mysticism and traditions for power and control of the people. Je. 11:18

At the time Jesus was born there were many religions and philosophical ideas in the world. Each idea was competing for the minds of the people. The Jewish Tradition had greatly changed the teaching of the prophets. The Pharisees were self-righteous legalistic mystics (They were Gnostics before the term was used) and the Sadducee did not believe in life after death. (4)
Into this world Jesus came teaching repentance to receive the Power of God. He taught love for all people and Judgment if one remained in sin. He gave all people the greatest gift ever given. He paid the debt of sin for us.

The story begins with “One crying in the wilderness” Mk1:1. It leads to a great teacher, and they were astonished at His doctrine, Mk 1:22 For He taught them as one who had authority, and not like the scribes. His authority was such even when He commanded spirits they obeyed Him.  When He spoke to the wind and waves of a storm they were still.
When Christ began preaching, did He proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven?
 Or did He call us to change our way and prepare to receive the royal authority of God.

This is an interesting study, It has it basis in the formation of the formal church (referring to the Church form 325 ad to 1350 ad from Constantine to the reformation), and the fact that the church wanted to control the masses.
The structure of the Church by the 4th century AD was such that it would not allow for the Kingdom the by the power of God in every believers heart, but it was. Such a translation would cause the structure of the developing Church to fall.  Every Christian able to go directly to God, there would be no need for the Priest, Bishops, and other leaders of special status.
The development of the early Church combined ideas from many people and many sources. (4) Still there are comparisons that can be made that may help us see some of where these ideas developed.  The only true commentary on Scripture is Scripture, Any ideas understanding we have of a verse MUST agree with the rest of the Bible. The importance of what I will discuss here discloses the message of Jesus Christ to us. If Jesus had only presented a kingdom we would only be subjects of that kingdom. HE DID NOT!  The message of Jesus was the Power to become the Sons of God, The indwelling Power of God the Holy Spirit, the power to overcome sin and live Holy in Christ. (5) The royal Power of The King of Kings to make of us a Royal Priesthood, The Priest of Grace.

"The Gospel (or good news) of the Kingdom." To understand it correctly we must keep this in mind, avoiding the easy method of treating it as a mere series of lessons on different subjects, and endeavoring to grasp the unity of thought and purpose which binds its different parts into one grand whole. (6) The Gospel “moving around the two centers, sin and salvation, (1)” is not a “Kingdom” in the material sense. It is to change the way we think and by faith receive the royal authority of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Any other view of the “Kingdom” verses does not agree with the rest of the Gospel.

It may help us to do this if we first ask ourselves what questions would naturally arise in the minds of the more thoughtful of the people, when they heard the announcement, "Come near for The kingdom of heaven." It was evidently, to such persons the Lord addressed Himself. (6)
The word translated “Kingdom” is βασιλεία (basileia - Phonetic: bas-il-i'-ah). The Greek speaking people of the early Church would know βασιλεία was an abstract  idea meaning the royal authority of a king.




The Idea of discussing a “Kingdom” sounds easy, but, we are dealing with:
A Theocracy when God ruled
A Monarchy when Kings rule
The authority of the King to rule in the hearts of Christians, A Royal Priesthood.
A Millennial Kingdom yet to come.
Each is part of the story and affects the events in the others.

When Christ began teaching He presented the Idea of the kingdom authority (βασιλεία) of God. All through His ministry He teaches of the kingdom authority (βασιλεία) of God. The question we are left with is what is the kingdom authority? In this teaching to what is He referring?  The word for kingdom (βασιλεία) refers to the royal power, the authority to rule. Such a ruling power is a government or at least the governing of a people.  If we look at all the references in just the NT to kingdom they can be very confusing if you translate βασιλεία to mean the physical realm of a King.  I want to pose some ideas that I hope can explain what we may learn from understanding this Kingdom authority.

The Self-Existent Eternal Sovereign God is the royal power, the authority to rule. The kingdom of God is the Self-Existent rule of God over a people HE chooses and that chose Him. 

God by His sovereign choice made man. He gave man the ability and right to choose to serve Him or not. We were to have fellowship with and service for God. There was to be a relation, a personal relation between God and man.  This is a very important point!  It was this relationship which was lost when Adam disobeyed God. There are many ideas added to this from preconceived theologies that distort the truth.  There is a lot of teaching that is formed to make “what I already believe” work.  There are teachings that come from ancient mysticism blended with the bible.  Teachers used this blending to promote their authority over the people.

A sovereign God created man for fellowship and service.
Man made a God given choice to disobey God.
THIS IS WHERE WE START!

Firstborn and the Birthright
From Adam to Moses God was the KING and the eldest males were dedicated to God to be the spiritual leaders of the government (Patriarch and priest). The people were to serve and obey God.   Only a remnant was true to God. The majority of the people turned to idols and followed ancient mysticism, they did not keep God’s commandments.  After Passover the firstborn where dedicated to God as redeemed by Him.

Nation of Israel
 With the exodus from Egypt and the nation of Israel and the giving of the Law, The people had a Theocracy, God was the King and the Judges and Priest of the tribe of Levi lead the people. This was still the Kingdom of God, as applied to the nation of Israel. Still the people were to obey God and keep His commandments. Israel was to be a very special nation, from them was to come the prophets, the law and the messiah. In Israel was the Temple where God’s Spirit resided in the Holy Of Holies, over the Ark of the Covenant, above the mercy seat, between out stretched wings of two Angel Cherubim, A Light of God’s spirit Dwelled among the people of God.
Tragically, it is a story of rejecting God making and worshiping idols, and refusing to obey God’ commandments.  This disobedience led to the people demanding a king “Like other Nations”. Saul, David, Solomon, the Kings of the ten northern tribes and the kings of Judah, Not one of the Northern Kings and only one King of the Southern Tribes was true to God and led the people to serve God.

The Judgment and cutting off of Israel was a part of the covenant.

It Could Happen. When the law was given God said, “I will cast you out if you do not keep my law. Lev 26:17
It may Happen!  When Moses gave his farewell address and reviewed the Law he said if you fail to obey God you will be cursed and cast among nations of the earth. Deu 28:15
It will or Has Happened! Jeremiah 15:1-6 says Though Moses and Samuel stood before me yet my mind could not be changed toward this people, cast them out of my sight.  Ho 9:17  Jer 7:15-18

The two men that had debated with God and got Him to change His mind could not help this time Israel had sinned one time too many. Jer 7:15-18

I say unto you that the kingdom of God (the word is βασιλεία)  shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits there of.  Mt 21:43

Ezekiel saw the Shekinah glory (the presence of the Lord) departing from the temple and vanishing over the Mount of Olives to the East (Ezek. 10:18-19).

Israel as a people serving God failed to keep the promise of the covenant. The people rejected God and He said, “put them out of my sight”. Still there was a covenant with the Israel and God has a way to keep that promise through a remnant that is true to Him.  However the Kingdom the Royal Power of God to rule nations was taken from the NATION of Israel. A remnant of the NATION will yet serve God, but, take note they will serve Him not rule with Him. Ro 10:21 11:25

In the parable of the wedding feast we are told the socially expected to attend, Honored with an invitation, and ask to come would not come. So the master of the feast said not one of the ones bidden to come shall taste of my feast. Go into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in.  So it is Israel lost her place of honor, The Olive tree was pruned the unprofitable cut off and the position is given to another, given to the ones saved by grace through faith “the branches grafted in” “Christians” Ro 10:21 11:25 Lu 22:30


We have The Kingdom and throne of David.
Israel looked for the one to come and rule with power and keep their enemies’ in check. They looked for the return of the Glory of God the dwell in Israel.
J. Ramsey Michaels comments:
In many different ways Jesus affirmed traditional Jewish expectation. Yet he gives them at the same time what Henry James would call a ‘turn of the screw’, a new twist that shocks his hearers and in some respect calls their behavior and world-view into question. (7)

When Jesus came, we have the Kingdom (βασιλεία) power and authority to rule presented to the Gentile. 
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  7c (Kings and Priest, RCH Lenski, Lutheran Literary Board, Burlington, IA   1927) page 9

When John and Jesus began preaching the royal power of God this was offering the place of honor and the power to rule with Christ for eternity, first to the Jews, the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Then to the gentiles, a new branch grafted into the true Israel as the chosen people. The Spiritual Israel, the Church will rule with Christ in eternity not the NATION of Israel.

For a Jew in the first century, the kingdom of God meant the restoration of the shekinah glory (3), the return from exile, and the defeat of Israel’s national enemies.4 But Jesus scandalously redefined these expectations. When Israel was taken into exile and Solomon’s temple destroyed, the dwelling of God’s shekinah glory was displaced from the Holy of Holies. The promise of the coming kingdom meant the restoration of the glorious presence. But when the second Temple was built, the shekinah glory never came. Jesus asserted that Herod’s construction was redundant, affirming that His own body was the true temple (Mt. 12:5; 26:61). The shekinah glory tabernacled among us (Jn. 1:14) and continues to inhabit the earth through God’s people (17:22).

Paul wrote that the glory of God is seen in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. 4:6, and this glory is reflected by the church, which constitutes God’s temple on earth; cf. Eph. 2:21. Ezekiel witnessed the departure of the glory of God; how important it is for us to maintain holy lives of radiant testimony so that others may see His Glory reside in, and radiate out, from us.
"The Indwelling of the Spirit" makes the believers body a temple for the indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Shekinah Glory (Ro 8:9-111 Cor. 3:166:19-20;2 Cor. 6:16).
The Holy Spirit indwells every believer in order to provide a temple for the indwelling of the Shekinah Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, which serves as the principle of victory over the indwelling old sin nature.
According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah would enter through the East Gate (see, for example, Ezekiel 43:1–5). Christians also celebrate Jesus' entry through the East Gate into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Luke 19:35–38). In the Book of Acts, the East Gate is called the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:2–10), it was the place where the glory of God (the Shekinah) entered the temple, and where Jesus the Glory of God entered the New Covenant.

{God did not forsake or reject Israel, the Nation of Israel failed to live up to the covenant. Israel rejected God!  The illustration is of an olive tree, the unprofitable branches are pruned away and new branches are grafted in, the new olive tree is the spiritual Israel, the Church. The church did not replace Israel, we were grafted in and in one continuous story the Church, with the true remnant of Israel, Saved by Grace, are now God’ chosen people.}
The Kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.   1Co 4:20 

Let me make an observation here.
Israel was to be God’s people. In the eternal kingdom they were to reign with Christ.   Through a long line of rebellion, disobedience, idol worship, observance of mysticism, Israel rejected God.  Israel will not be the ones to reign with Christ in the eternal Kingdom.  THEY DID NOT KEEP THE COVENANT!  God will still deal with Israel in the tribulation and we are told one third will go into the millennial reign of Christ.

Finally we face the Millennial Kingdom and The end Time and Israel as a part of God’s plan. Israel would have been the leaders of this kingdom but now they are not.  The leaders in this kingdom, those sitting on the 24 thrones are the royal priest saved by Grace. Who but the Church was promised by the Spirit, Adoption as sons, Heirs and joint Heirs with Christ, A royal priesthood in the “Kingdom”.   Israel is there but they are before the throne in white robes but no Crown. They will not rule with Christ.
In any discussion of, “what does the Kingdom mean?” We have to know which Kingdom we are talking about. When we look at the Church we must remember the Jews were not looking for grace or faith, they were looking for a KING. The Jews were looking for the return of the Shekinah Glory to the temple they were just looking at the wrong temple. The Temple now is Jesus “The Glory of God” dwelling in the Church and our power to reign with Him.
 The discussion of the “Power of God” was taken as the “Kingdom of God” but the word (βασιλεία    basileia) does not say kingdom it says the power the authority to reign, it was not used of the physical kingdom.   (8)

The Holy Spirit was guiding Matthew when he wrote the gospel that is Christ as promised King, Son of David, and the savior of Israel.  The references in this passage are very Jewish.  Matthew recorded John the Baptist and Jesus using a play on words. They did not want to start out in this new message in a way that would offend or not be understood by his audience, and they spoke in Jewish terms. The Jewish People since David Looked for a King A Messiah to set up a kingdom and rule them in victory.  You cannot just tell someone, “What you have always looked for is here and not at all what you thought”. They will shut you out and think you are a false prophet.
Matthew spoke in Jewish terms to a Jewish audience and he made a play on what they knew to teach them more.   The word translated kingdom means the royal power of the king, in this description of Kingdom we have God’s
Authority to rule with Jesus for eternity, given to the Church, gentiles grafted into the spiritual Israel after the nation rejected God. In the place of the ones bidden we have the ones saved by grace, adopted as sons, a royal Priesthood.   As in Israel there was the Temple where God’s Glory resided in the Holy Of Holies, above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim, A Light of God’s glory Dwelled among the people of God.
Joh 1:4-5  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

A word for word translation of this verse is: Mt4:17
"Change your mind and draw near for “the royal power of God”.  Note in this verse the “draw near” is in reference to the one changing their mind not the “kingdom or power”. There is no grammatical reason the move the “draw near” to the kingdom of Heaven.   Change your mind is “You” second person plural, Draw  near “the ones changing” is third person plural.  Power of God is the object of the preposition “for” and first person singular.
"You change your mind the ones changing draw near for the royal power of God"   

We will look at why it was changed to "kingdom of heaven". The Old Testament is clear that Israel had rejected God and was to be replaced. Why did the church want to promote this as the promised kingdom of the old covenant that the Jews were looking for?  There are church practices that will come into question. When we are saved, we stop disobeying God and Yield to His position as Lord, we are indwelled by God the Holy Spirit. We are adopted into the family of God.  The ellipse orbit moving around the two centers, sin and salvation, (1) is the change from sin to the salvation of God, We have the "Power of Heaven".   
Jesus Christ came preaching the Kingdom of God, The Royal Power of God in the hearts of believers to rule with Him.

So why did the translators change the wording?  The formations of the early Church blended ideas form sources new and ancient. The leaders of the Church took ever increasing positions of power. When Constantine made Christianity legal and called the Nicene council. He recognized the Clergy's position of representing the masses in religious matters. (This may be the most important outcome of the council.) (9) Over time the clergy usurped authority of the individual Christians. Eventually including the "Priesthood of the believer" and the ability to go to God directly. If only the clergy were "priest" only the priest could approach the throne of God. (10) For over 1000 years the Church would not allow the masses outside the clergy to have or read the scriptures, having the scriptures was punishable by death, only the clergy could tell people what the bible said then only in agreement with the dogma and theology of the Church; Any group that questioned or taught other than the Church Dogma and Theology were excommunicated and called heretics. Over so many years the ideas just became accepted.  "The Church" was the Kingdom of Heaven guided and ruled by the clergy. The masses were to be shepherded by the clergy and guided to heaven. The clergy usurped "salvation by grace" and made salvation by belief and the sacraments taken at the hand of the priest.  There was the kingdom, its rulers, and the common man. It sounds like some of the Gnostic ideas which were on the surface condemned were in some parts included in the Church teachings. The Church clearly adopted a position that there were elect having greater knowledge and higher understanding, this Gnostic idea is not the only one that was to be included in the development of the church.  The clergy were exposed to many ideas and they adapted or adopted many of them for their use in controlling the masses. Total depravity is one of these Gnostic ideas (it goes back to 1200BC to Zoroastrian dualism and Babylonian mysticism).   If I can teach people are too sinful to know God without the church I can control the masses, they need the church to get to heaven. Wycliffe and Tyndale just quoted church dogma and translated the verse the way the church taught it for a thousand years, but, is that what the verse says?  I pose the reformation of Luther and Calvin did not go far enough.

Mar 1:15 
 και  λεγων  οτι  πεπληρωται  ο  καιρος και  ηγγικεν η    βασιλεια     του θεου
 and  say     that  Filled is       the  time  and  Join to the Royal Power of  God          
  μετανοειτε            και  πιστευετε   εν  τω    ευαγγελιω
  think differently  and   have faith  in  the good message

Mat 4:17  απο    τοτε  ηρξατο    ο  ιησους  κηρυσσειν   και   λεγειν   μετανοειτε           
                from   then  began         Jesus  to  herald       and   say     think differently  
               ηγγικεν        γαρ    η      βασιλεία     των     ουρανων
               come near    for   the   royal power  of      heaven  (God)

βασιλεία    basileia
Thayer Greek Dictionary  Definition:  (11)
1) royal power, kingship, dominion, rule
1a) not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom
1b) of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah
1c) of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom

Just because a word was translated a certain way does not mean it must be.  Yes βασιλεία has been translated Kingdom but, usage over a long time does not make it correct.  Βασιλεία is an abstract idea of the power behind a King, it is the power that allows a King to rule, and the Greeks very seldom used it as kingdom. (Alford)  (12)
The royal power of heaven is the power of the King of Kings, God's authority to rule over eternity.  When changed by grace, children of God, we are heirs and joint heirs with Christ. He is the King there is only one King, yet as heirs we have the power (βασιλεία) of The King.   When Christ said Mat 16:28  Truly I say to you, There are some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His Power.  The word βασιλεία is used that is "Coming in His Royal Power."  
 The ones saved by Grace and obeying Christ Lordship share and have that power.  This is not some distant eventual result it is a present possession. 
Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 
God gave to the Church the position of the Nation Israel.  Israel lost its place by sin, by Changing the way we think (stop disobeying God) and walking according to His Rule (keep His Commandments) the position is given to the Church.
Jesus taught a simple gospel, it dealt with the needs of real people. He told us how to see and deal with real problems. Jesus said He was the way to Life Eternal. Jesus teaching was to follow Him and Know God, He would be the way to Life. The early Church was just this practical simple and loving. Meetings in Homes were to support and hold up each member of the group. They all were family, the family of God.
Mar 3:10 For He had healed many, so that they pressed on Him in order to touch Him, as many as had plagues.
Mar 3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried, saying, You are the Son of God!
Mar 3:34 And He looked around on those who sat about Him, and said, Behold My mother and My brothers!
Mar 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, the same is My brother and My sister and My mother.

We do not need the later generations to tell us who Jesus was, Prophets for told it, Angels announced it, Simeon and Anna praised Him, Peter knew, even the demons Jesus cast out knew, He was the Son the God.
It was later men seeking control of masses that try to say He is only human, or He is only God.
The early Church knew Jesus was the God-Man. God the Son born on earth Totally Eternal God, and Totally man.
The early church was much like ours today it was made up of some people very serious and dedicated to Jesus, there were some that believed to a degree but lacked the fire of deep devotion, and there were some that saw the new church as a way to profit or get ahead. There were many struggles and errors on the way to becoming the church we know. By the year 180 to 200ad the books of the bible were established and widely known. The elders of the early churches agreed on a standard for the “inspired books” they had to be written by an apostle or someone working with the apostle. The adoption of formal “Cannon of Scripture” years later was to stop heresy from being added to the Bible. There were several groups that wanted control of the church, some of the early church disagreements were over power.
The early Church met in homes in small groups where everyone was equal in Christ. They knew Jesus as a man, and they knew Him as Christ the Son of God. They lived dedicated lives “Living in the Spirit, Pure and Holy was real to them. So real they would die before rejecting Christ.
Paul taught there is only one way to be saved. (13)  He spent seven chapters of Romans discussing there is no difference in who or how to be saved. The Jews as chosen people, the seed of Abraham had no special favor. Paul called this the Mystery revealed to the ApostlesAll are saved by Grace. Old Testament faith heroes of Hebrews 11, The Greek or Barbarian all are saved by Grace through Faith. The law was never the way. Grace leads to Living in the Spirit, A life In Christ, Rejecting the world and the things of the world looking to a higher calling. The Mystery is simple all are saved by Grace, God in His mercy provides the gift of Grace allowing us to by faith be saved. When we are saved, we stop disobeying God and yield to His position as Lord, we are indwelled by God the Holy Spirit. We are adopted into the family of God. We have the "Power of the Living God".
 The early Church knew this and living in the world were not a part of the world. They were separate and often misunderstood because of this. Ro.11:25 Col 1:27

The Majesty
The idea “saved By Grace through faith” is one of the most precious gifts we can receive. Ro.3:29 Being justified by faith by His Grace through the “Changing of our mind” that is in Christ Jesus starts a life that we give to Him. Salvation is a gift, we did not plan it, we did not earn it, and we cannot do anything to deserve it. It is a free gift.

However,   It is a starting point not the destination.

When you are born a citizen, it is not by your choice or work. You are a citizen by the position and preparation of others. Citizenship has responsibilities. There are things a citizen must do. There are things a citizen may not do. In order to be a citizen one must live by the legal and social moirés of citizenship. There are things that must be done.

This is also true of being saved. Christian living has responsibilities. There are actions we must take. We are to live in the spirit. We are to be an example, We MUST witness to the lost and lead the world to Jesus, and many more things we must do. There are things we cannot do. There are things we should not want to do any longer if we live close to God in grace. This is what we call Christian Living, separate dedicated to God. There are new Christians that just met the Savior and there are older saints that have lived for Him for many years. Each person will hear these ideas a little different depending on where you are in your Christian journey. Some you will hear and know it as true, but may not be ready to fully understand. Some may sound strange or new to you. Some you will already know and Live. This is the progression of Christian life. We are all at different levels of need, knowledge and understanding.

Majesty, my idea of Grace is eternal majesty.
God is always LOVE. God is always JUST. But if we were to really describe God, we must say HOLY. The self-existent spirit essence, GOD is first and foremost The Majesty of Holiness. The more we dwell on the character and attributes of God, the more we come to see how truly wonderful His Majesty is. (13) He in love reached out to me with Grace, and now I know Him as Father, Savior, and Friend.

We all know the passage: Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also. Jn 14:1-3

The word for Mansion here “mona” in Greek is a place, an abode.6 The 1611 King James romantic English translators must have thought, “The ultimate, the best abode is a mansion and being with God would be just that “the best”. Their idea was right. When thinking on this I ask, What is God’s HOUSE? 
Isa 57:15 Says, For so says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity; whose name is Holy;
  If God’s house is eternity Jn 14:2 could read.

In eternity the dwelling of, God
There is a place for ME!

And as we look at that place the story only gets better and better. ”Oykeeah” in Greek is the home of a family.(11)The Majesty of the Eternal Holy God made a place for me but so much more than a dwelling in eternity. He made a place for me in the Family of God.

Ro 8:14-17  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, “Father My Father!”
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
And if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; so that if we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together.

The Majesty of Eternal Holy God made us His children and Heirs with Christ.
But There is even more…

There are those that see the Christian life as a struggle to overcome sin. The teaching goes way back in Church history. People were taught and believed that they were sinful and needed the clergy and the church to help them to Heaven. They must struggle in life to find Peace.  I have heard this called “repentant sinners”.  That is all the Church are sinners and must live in a constant state of repentance and seeking forgiveness.  However I do not feel this is what the Gospel teaches.  What do we do with “New Creatures, old things passed away, all things become new? Let alone adopted into the family of God. 

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.   Rom 5:16-19 
 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.    Rom 8:1-2  

In His Image!

Through all the time of man there have been two great forces that compete for and rule the heart.  These are good and evil. I am going to go much farther in this discussion than is custom for most writers, but, I am sure this is one story and we need to look at the whole as one great picture of the conflict before man.   This story starts before time as we know it and has been actively and deliberately perused to this day.

The idea of flesh being evil, which lead to the idea of total depravity, is an error that goes back to Ancient mythology.  Satan is active in the hearts of men to deny and try to destroy the work of the Christ. There were several groups in the early church that taught differing views of “All Flesh is Evil”. They were all condemned as heresy but have managed to hold an important place in later teachings which lead to error.

We must start on the Good side and know the truth only then can we understand the error. In creation our Sovereign God Created Man in His own Image, which is our Original Glory.  In the part two section “Mythos and legend, Meaning of a tradition”  we will discuss the presence and reality of Evil.
             
Sovereign means Because He wanted to!

In His own Image means, That part of God in man that makes man similar or like God. That which allows a person to fellowship with and know God.
In the Old Testament Deu 6:4 there is a prayer called the Shem:
 Hear, O Israel:
          The LORD our God is one LORD: 
 And you shall love the LORD your God
with all your heart, and   (the word for heart the action of will.)
with all your soul, and     ( the word for Soul is “ Breath of life” and the instinct to preserve it.)
with all your might.          ( the word for Might is  exceedingly, all ability, the mind and reason and the seat of emotion)
Jesus interpreted this Hebrew word Might as the Greek word  MIND.
Mat_22:37  Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Mar_12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.

Based on the content of this famous prayer, many have used these ideas to express the way a person’s mind works, the way we relate to God by His command.

Mind,   Thinking,  The ability to reason, know, and understand; Feeling, emotion,
                               hope, despair, love, hate.
Heart    Acting    The Free Will of man to act on reason and understanding,
                              tempered by emotion, even at times controlled by motion. (14)
Soul      Animal Life, Breath of Life and the instinct to preserve it.
    
Man is free to act within his own Choice to serve God or not.

The image of God in man is self-aware Choice. Only Man, in all creation, has the Glory of God in the ability Think, Feel, Act; that is with awareness of results, make a choice.
Man was created in the image of God’s Glory with the ability to and right to Choose to Fellowship with God or not.
All To Often, this point is skipped or not known to those studding man and salvation.  Here is a major point to remember. 
Original glory of the image of God in Man is the base for the study of man. The relationship between God and Man is Fellowship, not grace.

Following the idea we just presented is the Question “How did man In Original Glory Become Sin?”
A question from the beginning of the Church is “Who Created SIN?”
I will pose, and I pray defend ‘NO ONE”, God gave man a CHOICE and Man made the wrong one.
This choice marred the Original Glory.  However man did not stop being in the image of God.  He is still a Thinking Feeling Acting Person; there is still an element of relation to God in man.

So where did the, “all Flesh is evil” come from?  Even in some discussions to say all material world, matter itself, is Evil. All of the mystic religions have this one central theme, Flesh is evil and spirit is good. With knowledge and power one may raise themselves above evil flesh and be as God. Satan has used this lie since he tried to rise up and be as God and failed, he is still trying today!  Before time when God created the first Morning and Evening, before man and the world God created for him, in eternity past Lucifer decided to rise up by his knowledge and power to become as God.  Of course he failed. But, Lucifer is an eternal creation, he will go about to Accuse and Deceive men until Michael cast him out of heaven in the end time. Rev 12:9  The understanding of this point is important because it effects “The teaching of Total Depravity”, and the ability of a person to by their Free Will and choice to accept God’s Grace.  In the next part “Mythos and legend, Meaning of a tradition”  we will look at the other side “evil” in detail.  Satan and his plan to deceive man is as old as ancient religions and mysticism. When bible teachers misread or blend ancient philosophy and religion with what they think the bible says, they come to a teaching like “all matter is evil”. They are very possibly led by Satan to teach error. 

The problem is how could the Eternal Holy God create Evil?  How Could the Holy Son of God be born of evil flesh?  The answer to both Questions is “the premise is wrong.”  God did not create evil and all flesh is not material evil.   There are some ideas that are basic to logic. If there is good the absence of good is evil. There is a level of thought that comes from elemental concepts. God cannot be evil. The very meaning of evil is an elemental opposite of God. To say this another way some ideas are so basic they are the foundation of the discussion. Elemental Ideas are so basic they come from the character and nature of God Himself and were not created by God they ARE the basis of the discussion. Words and ideas have meaning, elemental ideas come from the foundation of reality, and they just are.  God is Holy, Love, Good. Did God create Holiness, Good, Love, Mercy, Justice? No, they are the attributes that describe God.  The Opposite exist because opposite is elemental to the Idea. Ungodly is unholy, hate, evil.  From the idea God could not create sin came the many other ideas trying to explain how sin came to be. It is simple, To Disobey GOD is SIN. Satan and man made a choice to disobey God.

Man's original glory is to be created in the image of God. That glory included worship, obedience, and fellowship. The choice to disobey God broke that fellowship, God said "you will surely die" Gen:16-17  and in Adam all mankind was separated from the glory and fellowship of God.

 Look at Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
 Sinned is to miss the mark.    WHAT MARK?    The GLORY OF GOD!
The work of Christ restores us to that fellowship and our original Glory.  Rom 5 17-19   God shed Blood in the garden to cover sin and shame, a for shadow of Christ, Adam left the garden under the blood in right standing with God still a Free Will Moral person.

There are two groups,
1 Flesh, apart from God, truly under the penalty of death from sin (ie Disobeying God.).
2 Spirit, In Christ, under the blood, justified, saved from the sure penalty of death. Created in the image of the Glory of God.

If we are saved we are restored to fellowship, service, and family. In Christ we are restored to our original Glory.  Paul is clear, you cannot live in the flesh and be saved. Ro. 8:3-9
John also made it clear, whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remained in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

The Bible is clear, man in the flesh is a sinner.  But, let’s not get lost in empty words. A sinner is one that has and is disobeying God. We list all kind of things we call sin. If you look at the list you will see they are every one something God said DO or DO NOT DO.  The person in the flesh, disobeying God, living a worldly life of self, “what I want”, Is a sinner.

John and Jesus came on the scene preaching repent or better “be converted” that is change form a choice to disobey God to a personal choice to obey, serve, and worship God.

John adds, Who warned you to escape from the approaching (outpouring of) wrath?
We are saved from this wrath. Saved is to escape this wrath which is certain.
First, God promised wrath, rests upon all persons disobeying God. (Eph_2:3). It pertains to all people of all times, even the present (Joh_3:18, Joh_3:36; Rom_1:18).
We are “SAVED” from this wrath returned to our original Glory.
Secondly, the final outpouring of this wrath is reserved for the future (Eph_5:6; Col_3:6; 2Th_1:8-9; Rev_14:10).  We are “SAVED” from this wrath.
Thirdly, this final manifestation of wrath (Zep_1:15; Zep_2:2) is connected with the (second) coming of the Messiah (Mal_3:2-3; Mal_4:1, Mal_4:5).  The Church will be ruptured, rewarded and return with Him when he comes.
Fourthly, without genuine conversion man cannot escape it: “Who warned you to escape…?”   But, with conversion we turn from disobeying God to being His servant, back to the original glory of the communion with God.
Fifthly, for the true penitent there is indeed a way of escape: Mat_3:8. Bear fruit therefore in keeping with conversion. Repentance, if it is to be genuine, must be accompanied by fruit-bearing. A merely outward confession of sin will never do. A mere desire to be baptized, as if this rite could save anyone.

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 The Christian life is a life in Christ, in the spirit.  The description of a bond slave used by Peter, Paul and James is a beautiful way to explain what it means to be saved.  The idea is by my choice, I am bound to Christ and seek His will. I yield all of me and what I want to Christ and what he commanded us to do. I put Christ FIRST.  If you understand this idea you will began to see there is no place for sin, living in the flesh, living in disobedience to God. I yielded ME to Christ, I obey Him in every way. 

When we by choice Fellowship with and serve God with all we are, all we have, and can be, when we put knowing God ahead of everything else, our focus is not on the world; our only focus is on doing the will of the Self-Existent Holy Spirit Essence the Most High God.  Living in the spirit has both cost and rewards.
To live in the world but not be part of the world is not easy. It comes with ridicule and persecution. The world will never understand.  ButOH the Joy it bringsAdopted into the family of GodHis Children and heirs with Christ.  Indwelled by the spirit of the living Godour body becomes the temple of GodAnd with this temple we become the Priest of the Most High God.  We have all the gifts the spirit offers, He indwells us and will give us whatever we need to do His will.
Living in the SPIRIT means we are protected by His love, Covered by His Grace, Adopted into the Family of God, We by choice are a bond slave to The King of Kings.

If you think dealing with living in sin is in any way a part of the Christian life you are just wrong. Sin, disobeying God and temptation have been dealt with when we made the choice to be a bond slave to the master.  Being in the world but not a part of the world means we have made the choice that some things just are not part of our life possibility. Failure and sin start when we consider the actions which were of the world and we turned from.  If our true focus is on serving Jesus, we have dealt with the things we turned from and they are no more a part of our consideration, we just would not, could not do some things.
           
When we are a true bond slave to Jesus, through the debt He paid, we are restored to our Original Glory in the Image of God to commune with God. We worship, Love and praise our master, savior, father, and friend.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Rom 8:33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies.
Rom 8:34 Who is he condemning? It is Christ who has died, but rather also who is raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

We are justified by God. The debt is paid in full. With God the Holy Spirit in us and our focus on God we stand before Him as family protected by His love. I would ask all to consider remembering or blaming someone for their past, past that is under the blood, God said the debt is paid in full there is no past. Only a child of God. Be careful who you condemn. A person cannot “Live In Sin” if they do, they are not a Christian. When we walk NOT according to the flesh, But, according to the spirit of God we are new creatures and are covered by the blood of Jesus. I heard a country preacher say once, “I drink all the liquor I want to, I chase all the street women I want to, I steel any thing I want to, I go anywhere I want to… Because when I met Jesus I got my “Want To” FIXED.
Rom 8:5 For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace
Rom 8:7 because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
Rom 8:8 So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ is in you, indeed the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised up Christ from the dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you.

If you have thought that the way people in our time think is new or different, you are wrong. The problem has always been people thinking moral right is “What I want right Now”, and moral wrong is “Anything that keeps me from what I Want”. People try to live as close to the world as they can get. How close to the world can I stand and still be called a Christian. When all of your focus is on how close to the world can I live, you are concentrating on the world. It is hard to see truth, it is hard to see Jesus. There is another way, a better way. When I was growing up we sang a hymn.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
 And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.


Make a choice.

Romans 8 does not say something mysterious or complicated it just says make a choice. The World or JESUS. Living in Gods spirit means turn your eyes upon Jesus. The world no longer holds any interest for us. We live for God. There is no condemnation, not perfect or complete yet, but Justified Innocent. (13) (This is what many have tried to explain as Christian Perfection.) When we are in the Spirit there is no condemnation, Jesus is our intercessor before God, we are not perfect but justified innocent.
The ellipse orbit moving around the two centers, sin and salvation, is the change from sin to the salvation of God, Paul taught it too.
Rom 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.   Rom 12:1-2


Literally Paul exhorts those addressed to offer their bodies as sacrifices to God. However, in such a context the word body refers to the entire personality. By bodies he means not only our skin and bones but the totality of which we are composed. Paul states that these sacrifices must have the following characteristics: they must be “living,” that is, must proceed from the new life within the believer; “holy,” the product of the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit; and, accordingly, “well-pleasing” to God, not only accepted by, but most heartily welcome to, the One to whom believers dedicate themselves. (2)
When we are saved by grace through faith, God the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our heart. We are adopted into the family of God. And we have all the power and gifts of the Triune God. God does not remember our past sins and no one else should either. We spend the rest of our life learning to yield to Him and let Him work through us.

And still There is more !
The priest of Grace.



Folder 15  Jesus our High Priest after the order of Melchisedec Priest of Grace

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing…
Heb 5:6 Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Martin Luther after careful and prayerful review of Church doctrine and behavior came to the conclusion that the Church was wrong. He set about to correct the problem he saw and the result was the Protestant Reformation.
For many years I have asked, what in the Church and people could have caused the conditions leading up to the Reformation and The Enlightenment? The question I have with the teachings and practice of the Church are the result of a long study of all I could find on the subject. I was disappointed to find that almost from the very first there was discord in the early Church. This discord was of course over authority and leadership. In the Anti-Nicene writings we see almost immediately a division of authority and an attempt to set aside power and authority for the clergy. This seeking power builds until by 324 ad the clergy had judicial power as well as protection by the military. The power was only to build into the excesses that Luther apposed. I would pose that this power is not in the New Testament. (15)
The history of the young Church is filled with men that thought their position on scripture was “more inspired” than others. In this way these leaders tried to make their Church the center of the Christian Church. There were many struggles in the statement of Doctrine. The debate over the trinity and the divinity of Christ were first and most heated, so much so that the early history of the Church is divided by the council that made concessions to settle the dispute. We still use the words of that creed today. In his wisdom as a leader, Constantine saw the real issue and in his letter to Alexander and Aries he rightly saw both had a level of self-promotion in the debate and were in a way both wrong. Constantine saw the problem here was less over the trinity and more about power. His own power was based on his relation to the Church and he did not want division in the Church or the people. When he had the issue prayerfully submitted to the scriptures and the Council of Nicene, the result was a statement all could agree on. But the issue was over power and the statement did not settle the struggle for power.
The struggle for power has robbed the Church of one of its greatest treasures. Please understand I do not present this in exclusion of other topics. It is a wonderful and under discussed truth. I am referring to the position of the Christian in the family of God (Romans 8.), and the priestly responsibility of every Christian. (Hebrews)
I can only ask that you read this with an open mind and try to see what was intended for the Church. Every Christian has the power of a priest to God and the formal clergy are to serve the Church, not rule it. Every Christian is to know and study the bible, growing in grace and knowledge, not waiting for the clergy to tell them what the bible says.
One of the cardinal passages affected by this debate is Romans 10. In verse 9 we are told we must confess with our mouth and believe in our heart to be saved.
Verse 14 holds the responsibility for every Christian, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher.” {preacher here is a messenger, to herald, to proclaim, not our church pastor.} Please read on and see what privilege and responsibility is given to every Christian. A priest and king and heir to heaven with Christ.

Priest after the order of Melchisedec!

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing…

Sanctify unto me all the firstborn. Exo 13:2

Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. Gen14:18

Thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel Num 3:41 Num 3:12

For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Heb 5:1
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Heb 5:6


Question
The words of Hebrews 5:11 poses a question that should send us all digging into the word. What were the “many things to say”? The many things were about, Christ, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchisedec. This is a new priesthood. We find in the Bible the first men set aside as priest they were the eldest sons sanctified to God. They were to have a birthright responsibility to God to be the spiritual backbone of the nation. The Patriarchs of the Old Testament were such men. The eldest of the family became the leaders both government and spiritual. Their priesthood was by birth they were given to God. After the Passover the Firstborn was to be given to God, they were redeemed by Him Ex 13:2.  Later after the nation was mature and given an inheritance God chose a specific group from one tribe to be the priest, the Levities. But, who was this Melchizedek, and what was his priesthood. Why was he chosen from all the Old Testament leaders to be a type for Christ? Let’s look at the beginning of the story. Gen 14

Story
As is often true in the affairs of men the kings of Abraham’s day could not get along and greed caused them to invade and capture one another’s land, people, and property. Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah  and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; four kings with five. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and depart.
As is often true in the affairs of men, the kings made a big mistake they took Lot and his family captive. Of course word of this got back to Abraham and he could not let Lot be taken. Abraham used what God had given him. When Abram heard that his brother’s son was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Ok. Now look at this, the mighty kings of the land fought wars and took captives and then Abraham and his servants defeated them in battle after battle. As Abraham and his men were coming home they passed another king, the one that lost the battle and let Lot get taken. So the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. I feel sure this king wanted to meet Abraham on friendly terms if possible and to be sure Abraham did not do to him what was done to the other warring kings. He was smart enough to bring help he brought a man Abraham would respect; Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Abraham recognized the man of God and honored both God and the priest King by giving an offering that was required by God, to God the way all such offerings are given, at the hand of the priest. Abraham did not give Melchizedek an offering he gave God a tithe to honor both. And so we meet this figure from the Old Testament. A King, a Priest, an equal to Abraham, as a King a superior to him, A Patriarch, first born in a time when the first-born was Sanctified to be the spiritual leaders of men. The only way he could have been a Priest was by birthright. King and priest by birth just as Christ was to be which is why Melchizedek is a type of Christ. And it is this priest by birth that is of interest to us.

In the second priesthood, the Levitical Priesthood, The priest were born of one family and had to prove it. Their genealogy was very important. It was their right to be a priest. The records were kept with care and ceremony. Mother, father, birth date, and life was all carefully recorded and kept for the future, because they would need the records. The Nation of Israel had a formal Priesthood. These were charged with the spiritual health of a nation, God’s people. Melchizedek was not such a priest. We are told he did not have the needed records of mother, father, birth, and life of service. And of course the Levitical Priesthood had not been given when we meet him with Abraham.
Heb 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

A priest by birth, a priest sanctified to God, a priest from the people, and a priest as spiritual teacher for all, this is the King and priest by birth order of Melchisedec. Why was this Old Testament man selected? Maybe it is because he was both priest by birth and a king.

Let me try to bring some things together and make my point. The point of this discussion, and the many things to say, and hard to be uttered is this priest hood. The fact that Christ is our high priest is not hard to follow, God said it. What that means to us in daily life seems not to have been widely seen. Christ is our High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, by birth. When we look beyond our self and see the wondrous Grace of God, and with the simplest Faith reach out to Him, the one who paid sins price with His own Blood, we are born into the family of God.
It is a birthright with eternal life and eternal responsibility!

Rom 8:15 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.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The spirit of adoption making us the children of God and joint-heirs of Christ is the new priesthood. It is the adoption into the family of God. There is much that has not been included in what it means to be a Christian in the teachings of the church. Part may have been because it was hard to say and we are weak of understanding. But, in the history of the church a good part of the problem is telling the Christian story in a way to help those in leadership positions control the masses of people.

How do you tell someone you are a child of the king heir to the throne of God, member of the heavenly family, Priest under the High Priest Jesus Christ. You may go directly to the Fathers side with your petitions.

Then tell them I am in charge and will tell you what you need to know and do for the church. I will tell you what the scripture says and all you must do. The failure to teach the truth about the Priesthood of the Christian is a choice of the leaders in the church to control people and the same grasp for power that lead to both the Reformation and the Enlightenment.


First the priest hood was by firstborn birth, responsible to lead the people to God.
Second is a tribe of Israel chosen by God to replace the birthright.
Third is the High Priesthood of Jesus, and our adoption into the family of God.

1 Peter 2:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Revelation 1:5-6 (NKJV)
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:10 (NKJV)
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."
Revelation 20:5-6 (NKJV)
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

We are adopted heirs to the wonders of God. These verses say Jesus made us kings and priest unto God. We need no one to take our cause to God. We have the adoption of sons, the status of family, and may go to God on His promise and blood.

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing…

This new birthright and our place in it along with our relation to Jesus Christ our High Priest is the heart of “many things to say” and of which we cannot allow ourselves to be “dull of hearing”. Much of the problem in our present time come from the church not teaching the true position and responsibilities of the Christian.
We have a responsibility to go tell others the wonders of God’s grace. If there is suffering and hard work, the toil is nothing compared to the love of God. And even this suffering has a promise.

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

We have a responsibility, Every Christian has a responsibility, to support the Church and learn the truth from the word of God and to share this truth with others. We must learn what we can of what the world is saying and the errors that confront the Church. How else can we ever seek to teach the truth and correct errors if we do not know what they are?
I was talking to a Theologian, he asked what my leaning with respect to theology was? I said I am a Historic Christian Fundamentalist. He got quite upset and went off on Fundamentalist.
You put your conformity to doctrine ahead of social good.
You make the claim that you are right to the exclusion of others,
You are too serious about religion and not interested in social good and knowledge.
“Any person who truly believes and is true to that belief will be saved, God loves us all.”
At this point I stopped him. I said you and I have a different understanding of Christian Fundamentalist. I am not interested in Liberals and proponents of the Social Gospel slander of the term, I am referring to the basic teachings of faith.

Five fundamentals of the faith:
(1) Literal inerrancy of the autographs
(2) the virgin birth and deity of Christ;
(3) the substitutionary view of the atonement;
(4) the bodily resurrection of Christ;
(5) The imminent return of Christ.

So often we are using the same words and not even on the same subject. We must know what the secular world is saying if we are to reach them with the Gospel.
The modern church is so multicultural and liberal they come dangerously close to being a cult. In a mainstream church I was told my ideas of the gospel were wrong. “Anything a person truly believes and lives will take them to heaven, God loves everyone.”
The heirs of the CROSS have failed America.
WE have allowed the “Natural Man” to say “that is your belief”, “that is your Bible”, “every ones belief is equal”,” there are many truths”, “you don’t have a right to tell me what to believe.”

WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME WHAT IS RIGHT??


I SAY:
I am; A Priest of the Most High GOD!
Adopted Child of God, joint heir of Jesus Christ.
Heir to the throne of Heaven.
A bond slave of the King of Kings

The birthright with Christ carries with it a great responsibility.

I am sure you know of the “Romans Road to Salvation”.  This is Paul’s outline of the steps or method of being saved.  It is often only partly quoted, but here is what he said.

1. The righteousness of God is needed because
            a. there is no difference
            b. for all have sinned

Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law  there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 
Rom 3:21  But the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is  by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,  Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23  For  the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 10:9  That if you  shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  
This very familiar verse tells us How the act of being saved works. With the Heart Believes, with the Mouth Confesses.  

How Shall they hear if the Priest of this age of grace fails to carry the message?

Our position in the family of God carries with it a Great responsibility, we are the Priest of Grace the messenger to tell the world about Jesus.  The next verses are not so often read but they tell us of that responsibility.   

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a messenger? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?     Romans 10:14-15

Christ said “You must be Born again,” and as such we are new creatures in Christ.
We have a birthright responsibility to tell others the wonderful story of the Gospel. We are the Priest of this age, the Priest of Grace, to tell the world about JESUS is our Responsibility.  If they do not hear they will not be saved, and that is an eternal loss.  WE are to live a new life dedicated to God to spread the Gospel.

We have failed to stand, to be heard, and to teach the truth. We have allowed the liberal humanist to establish the standards of debate, and once in power they are hard to move.

Have we chosen to follow the easy path in our busy lives?
Have we let others claim the authority to say, “Live any way you want to”?
Could we stand with the martyrs and face the wild animals or torture for the name of CHRIST?
Who can face death with Polycarp and say, “Eighty and six years He never failed me I will not deny Him now”?

When the need is great who will stand in the gap?

The church today has lost her way and can’t seem to stand where the stand matters.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Yet we are responsible as heirs to heaven, Priest of Grace, We must take a stand. We must know the modern humanist and defeat them.


Folder #16     Reality

Plato said, ”Reality is in the Mind.”
The idea is there is more to reality than the physical item. How we use or understand an item must be considered. Our knowledge of the item its history, its use, and what we use it for now all must be seen. All aspects must be considered in understanding reality. This includes reason, emotion, and choice. It includes the spiritual reality and the empirical reality.
And isn't it a bad thing to be deceived about the truth, and a good thing to know what the truth is? For I assume that by knowing the truth you mean knowing things as they really are. (Plato, 380BC)
The philosopher is in love with truth, that is, not with the changing world of sensation, which is the object of opinion, but with the unchanging reality which is the object of knowledge. (Plato, 380BC)
Truthfulness. He will never willingly tolerate an untruth, but will hate it as much as he loves truth... And is there anything more closely connected with wisdom than truth? (Plato, 380BC)
Then may we not fairly plead in reply that our true lover of knowledge naturally strives for truth, and is not content with common opinion, but soars with undimmed and unwearied passion till he grasps the essential nature of things with the mental faculty fitted to do so, that is, with the faculty which is akin to reality, and which approaches and unites with it, and begets intelligence and truth as children, and is only released from travail when it has thus reached knowledge and true life and satisfaction? (Plato, 380BC)
The object of knowledge is what exists and its function to know about reality. (Plato, 380BC)
When the mind's eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence. (Plato, 380BC)
'But surely "blind" is just how you would describe men who have no true knowledge of reality, and no clear standard in their mind to refer to, as a painter refers to his model, and which they can study closely before they start laying down rules about what is fair or right or good where they are needed, or maintaining, as Guardians, any rules that already exist.'
'Yes, blind is just about what they are' (Plato, 380BC) (16)



Aristotle countered, “Reality is in the physical item”.
His idea was an item is what it is. What we think of it does not change it. The idea that the only reality is the one we can touch, empirical reality seen and measured, is an idea with no room for spiritual, emotional, and mans right to choose as factors in reality.

The first philosophy (Metaphysics) is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance. ... And here we will have the science to study that which is just as that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which, just as a thing that is, it has. (Aristotle, 340BC)
The entire preoccupation of the physicist is with things that contain within themselves a principle of movement and rest. And to seek for this is to seek for the second kind of principle, that from which comes the beginning of the change. (Aristotle, 340BC)


Here we have the foundation for one of the oldest discussions in the history of thought.
IS REALITY MENTAL, SPIRITUAL, AND PHYSICAL TRUTH, OR IS IT EMPIRICAL PHYSICAL DATA MEASURABLE BY THE SENSES?  (17)

There are those who take a dogmatic stand on either side and will not move. Learned people spend an academic career defending one side and finding weakness in the other. The truth is they are both right but these are not the same subject.
Plato speaks of Ideas, knowledge from the side of a thinking mind. Aristotle is discussing the measurable physical world around us. The problem only comes when we try to apply both to a discussion as an equal premises. They are not the same thing but work together to help us gain understanding. So often the discussion takes off dogmatically in a set direction based on part of the story, we must look for the complete idea.
Plato in discussing how a human mind works said the mind is in at least three parts, thought, emotion, and decision. The way a human mind works includes thought, knowledge, reason and some understanding. Equally it includes emotion, feelings and desires. For thoughts and emotions to mean anything a person must be able to come to a course of action. They must make a decision. We have to be able to do something.
When in the course of presenting what we want to believe we hang our arguments on an idea that we feel presents what we want to say. We must be sure we are using all of the idea.

The Error that changed the way the world thinks. .
Who in our world today would listen to a college dropout, discontented with what the professors taught. Our young person says these ideas are not what I want. I must travel the world and see how life is lived and decide for myself what is right. Our student of life having traveled and learned from the world decides everything that came before must be rejected. The only reality is what I may know by logically viewing the world around me. This is a true story. His name is Descartes and his error changed the way the world thinks. .
Excerpt from his own writing:
DISCOURSE ON THE METHOD OF RIGHTLY CONDUCTING THE REASON,
AND SEEKING TRUTH IN THE SCIENCES
by Rene Descartes
For these reasons, as soon as my age permitted me to pass from under the control of my instructors, I entirely abandoned the study of letters, and resolved no longer to seek any other science than the knowledge of myself, or of the great book of the world. I spent the remainder of my youth in traveling, in visiting courts and armies, in holding intercourse with men of different dispositions and ranks, in collecting varied experience, in proving myself in the different situations into which fortune threw me, and, above all, in making such reflection on the matter of my experience as to secure my improvement. For it occurred to me that I should find much more truth in the reasoning of each individual with reference to the affairs in which he is personally interested, and the issue of which must presently punish him if he has judged amiss, than in those conducted by a man of letters in his study, regarding speculative matters that are of no practical moment, and followed by no consequences to himself, farther, perhaps, than that they foster his vanity the better the more remote they are from common sense; requiring, as they must in this case, the exercise of greater ingenuity and art to render them probable. In addition, I had always a most earnest desire to know how to distinguish the true from the false, in order that I might be able clearly to discriminate the right path in life, and proceed in it with confidence.
It is true that, while busied only in considering the manners of other men, I found here, too, scarce any ground for settled conviction, and remarked hardly less contradiction among them than in the opinions of the philosophers. So that the greatest advantage I derived from the study consisted in this, that, observing many things which, however extravagant and ridiculous to our apprehension, are yet by common consent received and approved by other great nations, I learned to entertain too decided a belief in regard to nothing of the truth of which I had been persuaded merely by example and custom; and thus I gradually extricated myself from many errors powerful enough to darken our natural intelligence, and incapacitate us in great measure from listening to reason. But after I had been occupied several years in thus studying the book of the world, and in essaying to gather some experience, I at length resolved to make myself an object of study, and to employ all the powers of my mind in choosing the paths I ought to follow, an undertaking which was accompanied with greater success than it would have been had I never quitted my country or my books.
But like one walking alone and in the dark, I resolved to proceed so slowly and with such circumspection, that if I did not advance far, I would at least guard against falling. I did not even choose to dismiss summarily any of the opinions that had crept into my belief without having been introduced by reason, but first of all took sufficient time carefully to satisfy myself of the general nature of the task I was setting myself, and ascertain the true method by which to arrive at the knowledge of whatever lay within the compass of my powers.

He took one part reason or thinking and made it the foundation for everything. He rejected the teachings and belief system of his medieval teachers. He allowed no emotion or free will in his thinking only reason that had an empirical basis was valid. Aristotle’s side of the debate won, the measured physical item over the idea and a larger concept of thought. I believe what “I” can measure, see, and know!

Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else. And what a person thinks on his own without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of other people is even in the best case rather paltry and monotonous. There are only a few enlightened people with a lucid mind and style and with good taste within a century. What has been preserved of their work belongs among the most precious possessions of mankind. We owe it to a few writers of antiquity (Plato, Aristotle, etc.) that the people in the Middle Ages could slowly extricate themselves from the superstitions and ignorance that had darkened life for more than half a millennium. Nothing is more needed to overcome the modernist's snobbishness. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
Many people that study human thinking will agree that emotion is at least as strong as reason for why we do what we do. Many times emotion is a far more powerful motivator than any other factor in what we do or believe. Reason alone is incomplete and a week basis for who we are. Descartes did not want to believe the religious teachings of his professors. He rejected college and their teaching. The result was evaluating everything by what I know and can measure. He rejected God, the Bible, and the belief system of his day. Rejecting the belief system did not make it wrong. It gave others who want to reject it a place to start and someone to agree with them. It did not look at all the parts all the elements or reality or understanding the physical world.
How do we know?
God made us that way. Let me explain.
Plato describes the function of the mind as thinking, feeling, acting. We are told we are made in the image of God. Plato only saw what God made or the way He made us. Humans were made with a mind to think or reason and a seat of emotion to feel compassion or anger and the free will to act.
God decided to make man, He wanted someone to fellowship with. God made man able to think feel and free to act, that is to obey and love God or not.
To obey and love God or not, this is the most important line I will write.
Intellectual thinkers of our time reject God and say the world is billions of years old. God made them with a right to think this way if they wish. When man elevates himself to a position of “The Source of Knowledge”, that is my reason is the basis of all knowledge, this person has rejected God.
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

This person has made a choice, they have a right to do so, but they do so without all the parts of reality and by rejecting many possibilities.
God created the world and in that creation made time. Time, a day and night, was made for man. God is eternal and is not bound by time, Humans are. If a scientist looks at the world using only empirical reason, allowing nothing else he will see exactly what God created. If by the rules and understanding the scientist follows he sees a world that is billions of years old it is only because that is what God created, not how or when. The age of the world, how or when it got here is not the question, DO you believe God created the world as we enjoy it now? He created it for us. The question is do you allow for God in your reasoning? He made us for fellowship and wants us to love Him. You have a right to reject God.
This is the First Philosophy, First Choice, Do I Believe in GOD? (18)

We have the Bible, Gods word. All we know of God, our relation to God, why we are here is in the bible. God taught us what to do and why. The Bible is God revealing God to men. The creator teaching us, the creature, who we are, where we came from, and how to live for Him. We are free to love him or not. The idea of free will is one of the first that men after power tried deny the masses of people. Power comes from being the one who can tell others how to live and what you mean to God. God made us able to think, love, and obey Him  not men.
Romans chapter 1 says We can know there is a God from nature. Yet there are some people who choose to hold back that truth and serve men. The creature rejecting the Creator and choosing to serve man. Of all the wonders of this universe, the fact that God created this marvelous and complex world, a place for us to live and fellowship with the Creator, is the most wonderful. The greatest sorrow is that some would reject God’s gifts and take His place viewing man as master of all. Man seeing himself as master doing only what he wants to, rejecting God. The Bible reveals God to man. When we fail God is there to help us. When we need Him he fills our heart. All of nature and the complex dignity of our home points to the God who designed it just the way we need.
All He ask is that we obey Him.
Please be sure to get the point that there is a GOD! He gave us the Bible so we could know him.
Second, There is much more to the story of our world than just reason can see.
The first philosophy is “Do I Believe In God.” All else flows from this answer.
The Arguments.
Evolution and the existence of God
The Bible does not attempt to PROVE God exist. It just states what God did. This kind of statement presupposes God is. If God did something He must exist. Descartes said, “ I think therefore I am.” Which is only part of who we are. You can think something, right or wrong, or feel something no matter how strong, and no one else will know it or see any sign of it. But, to Act so others see is real.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.”
God thought to design and develop such a complex and beautiful world. Balanced just the way we need it. Created by desire to fellowship with a thinking, feeling, and acting creature.

I ACT THERE FOR I AM!
“The invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Romans 1:20).

The evolution argument is one of the most powerful in the war of minds. If the world just happened, God does not exist. God did not ACT. Men just told stories over time. There is no God. The issue is not when and how did the world come into being. The issue is do I believe in God?
Mans First Failure : SIN
People love to make list of things that are wrong, group social structures to identify proper behavior, or the behavior wanted by those seeking authority to control group members. Men from the beginning have made rules to control others, often enforcing them by force.
No list of behaviors no group agreed on list of conduct matters. The only choice that matters is that we love and obey God.
All sin, THE ONLY SIN, is to disobey GOD!
Some one always quickly says the commandments say “Thou shall not lie.” To lie is sin. That is true but only because God said it and to lie is to disobey God.

All sin, THE ONLY SIN, is to disobey GOD!

All the things we could list to call sin are in one way or another something God said DO or Do Not Do. Thus it is to disobey God.
If you make a choice to believe (to reason), God does not exist, moral right is what I want, when I die life is over, there is no sin, the world just happened in time and space. You have made a choice to put your wants and reason first and make a choice based on what I want right now. And you are wrong eternally wrong.
There are some more logical positions that come from this choice, even if you are only partly logical and consistent the positions that follow are natural.


The Bible is a myth.
“Men over time made up stories to explain their world. They looked for more powerful figures to help it all make sense. They made up gods. Over many years, with the stories written down they took on a life of truth. Then they became religious, scripture, even holy.”
This position flows from there is no God. We have to explain the beliefs handed down for thousands of years. This position has the same problem as all the rest, DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD? If the answer is yes this kind of reasoning is foolish. If the answer is NO, you have to explain away the bible. It does not fit into the way you want things. All the textual criticism, questioning time lines and authors is meaningless. You have already made up your mind, your position is clear. I don’t believe in God, therefore I deny the bible and chose to disobey God.
Family
When God made the first family He made the man responsible for the spiritual well being of the family. The wife was put in a position of submission to the family spiritual leader, because of sin. She at the serpents bidding disobeyed God. I could go on and on here about the relation of man and wife, but it is over covered already. I will say that women are not second class citizens or servants. It is with respect to the spiritual leadership and family worship that women are subject to their husbands RESPONSIBILITY.
Marriage makes a man and woman one flesh. Omit God, omit marriage, omit loving obedience and you have today’s live together, have sex, abort baby, abortion for contraceptive life style. I don’t need to go on with how sin today destroys the family, the question is Do I believe in God? An answer of no leads naturally to where we are today.

I hope you understand I am saying there are a series of logical steps that come from rejecting God.
“God does not exist.” This is the easiest way to deny God, there never was one.
“The Bible is a myth”, if there is no God we don’t need a book revealing Him to man.
“The world just happened, evolved from stuff”. In enough time anything is possible.
“Two people in love make a family. “
“It is my body, my choice.”
“Kill a fetus it is just some cells part of my body.”
“Women are equal and cannot be told what to do by a man.”
Moral Right is “What I Want Right Now”
Moral wrong is “Anything That Stops Me”


We also have a large group of people in our world today that hold a form of religion and reject its source and truth. This group in fact and action reject God. Yet they use religious form and vocabulary to describe a social structure that makes them feel good. Recently in a church I was told, “Any way a person truly believes will take them to heaven.”
Just because a person “Truly Believes” and lives fully “What I want right now” It will not save them.
“Active in my church and help the poor.”
“Serve god the best I can.”
“My religion is personal, I try not to offend any one.”
“Believe and be constant and God will love you.”
“God is love and will not send any one to hell.”

None of these ideas or many others we hear can make a social gospel save anyone no matter how much they believe it.
Obey God!
Accept His Grace.
Believe the work of Christ on Calvary.
Put your faith in Jesus.
There is no other name under heaven where by men must be saved.

It is a choice!
Read Romans 1: 16 –31
1:16For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.
1:17For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”
1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
1:19because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them.
1:20For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.
1:21Because, knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.
1:22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
1:23and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.
1:24Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves,
1:25who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
1:26For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature.
1:27Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error.
1:28Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
1:29being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers,
1:30backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
1:31without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful;
1:32who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.
2:1Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things.
2:2We know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
2:3Do you think this, O man who judges those who practice such things, and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Man from nature and what is revealed in nature can know God. Men chose to follow their own wants and desires, their reason, and chose not to obey God. The result is very clear. Read this passage with an open mind. The world we have today is a result of a choice.
The very act of taking a position on the issue is a choice. Everything we do is a choice. To some, the current situation dictates the direction they will follow; to the next existence itself gives us the freedom of choice. Still others would say we were given the freedom of choice by a higher power. No matter, ”the what” or “the source” of our freedom, all of life day by day, is a choice. We may not agree as to the right choice. Choice simply exist. Choice IS, Choice does not require a person to view reality as physical or relative to their perception of it.

Any time more than one possibility exists and we select a course of action or belief we made a choice.
Philosophy has an under discussed area, presupposition. This issue is the foundation of the problems faced in the differences in the various programs of thought in philosophy. The problem is a simple one. It is individual belief behind what we choose to say, think, or write. Where do I stand? What do I believe? What presupposition do I bring to the discussion in making a choice.
One of the most dangerous things in the area of thought and ideas is “the thread of truth”. All too often writers select a thread of truth and hang their ideas and beliefs on it. A good story, rumor, or wrong premise must have a thread of truth, correct, believable, and it helps for the thread to be important to the reader. With this foundation a creative, thoughtful, and deliberate person can develop a program of thought to defend any position they wish to take. First the thread of truth is laid out clearly and defended. The defense adds statements as fact based on the belief of the writer.
Another way a thread of truth exist is today’s writer lays out a thread of truth and sets about to prove their beliefs with programs of writers many years old. When they were written their author hung them on a thread of truth. His program of thought never had a foundation in fact or a true defense. Now we are expected to accept these ancient thoughts as fact, true fact, time has become their proof. Descartes gave us a scientific method and it is a thread of truth. He made a choice and tells us the most important basis for this method is Reason (Choice), which is acceptable with reference to planning and explaining a scientific study. However he goes on to offer Reason (Choice) as the answer to a much broader range of problems. Human reason, (choice), is just that another way of saying belief or opinion. As we can see from a range of programs over the years that have one writer challenge and change the arguments of other writers. It is a progression of opinion that leads to error. Why are human reason, scientific method, social history, (The list goes on and on!) valid bases of discussion and religious biblical ideas unspeakable, unacceptable, of no value?
I believe, my choice, these exclusions to the thought of man are related to the one true basis for the reasoning of man, choice. The thinkers who through reason (choice) gave us “The Enlightenment” made a choice to deny and disobey God. They said truth cannot be known it is a variable of thought.
Truth is not just a word or idea. Truth is an absolute. A thing is True or it is False meaning not true. Truth is not a philosophical program ingredient with levels, shades, and variations. Truth is True. There can be no other. Many have a problem with the concept of an absolute. Many choose not to allow absolute truth in their thinking. Many because they do not want to accept absolute truth try to redefine, change, omit and choose not to admit “Truth Is True”. Not being comfortable with truth does not make any difference, Truth is still True, False is still False and human reason is still just opinion or choice.
In our society today there are two major areas of thought. Some call them Conservatives and Liberals. There are many different names and just as religion has many names, followings, and denominations the liberal camp has many names, programs and followings. The basis or underlying idea is still very much the same for each group, they made a choice.
Conservatives accept the concept of a power a being greater than man. They look to the rule of law as absolute. The law means obey it. We must follow the law the way it is written. The Conservatives can accept an absolute of authority, truth, and justice. Religion and Conservative are not synonyms. Religious thought is the foundation that allows conservative ideas that are based on a need outside self. Truth, Honor, Duty are understood on the basis of absolute power bigger than any one person or group. Ideas and my personal worth are based on my relation to the eternal God and His authority not any power of this world. This is the power referred to by the writer declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident (the truth of the power and authority of God) that all men were created equal that they were endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights ….
In our society there are no privileged groups no aristocracy form birth, No group that has a right to rule others.
A Conservative that stands for truth, honor, duty based on a power not of man, but from an eternal God, has an authority that is hard to deny and hard to dismiss. Truth, Honor, Duty are ideas dealing with the obedience to a higher power. Truth is absolute. Honor is to do what God has called us to do. Duty is required by that higher power. Not what I want, but what is needed to serve and glorify God. What is best for all, this is duty.
The Liberal groups of today have a very different foundation and a basis for what they believe. The foundation is Naturalistic Humanism. We may not hold liberal thought to any more specific detail than we do religious thought. The humanist ideas are varied and cover a wide spectrum of thought as to the specifics of beliefs of it different members. There is one basic idea, which flows through humanist thinking. There Is No Absolute God! Some would allow the concept of God in men’s social structures. Some would allow a god to exist at a distance and in the mind and myth of men, uninvolved in the lives of humans. Many would deny God in word if not in practice but most would redefine god as a social force.
The humanist is “Amoral” thus truth, honor, duty do not have the same reference as they do in religious persons. Amoral is a concept that the conservative side has a hard time understanding. In discussions liberals are often called immoral because they do things religion forbids. To the liberal humanist the individual is the center of the universe. Good is “what I want right now”, that may be different later or tomorrow. There is no right wrong moral requirement or absolute truth, or authority. Good is “what I want right now”, bad is anything that keeps me from what I want.. Therefore when religious authority says no, they are bad. NO would keep me from “what I want right now”.
That is how they see religion as bad, restrictive, of no value. Don’t tell me NO!
Liberals would reject this discussion out of hand. ”That does not describe us or what we believe.” The rejection is understood and expected for two reasons. First, their view of themselves, they do not want to see their position in questioned. They cannot see it as bad. They reject the basis of right and wrong, “what I want now”, not what does time place or fact reveal, “what I want now”. Second liberals live around and with religious people and have learned to look and sound like society expects, when it meets their needs. They can sound very religious and can discuss Bible and religion when they need to improve their position. The problem is that liberals do not and cannot accept Historic Christianity with its moral and authority absolutes. What they say reflects a redefining of ideas and terms to allow them to have “what I want right now”.
To the liberal Truth is a variable based on the situation. Truth is relative to “what I want now”. Truth is subject to change. Honor is a factor of how others see me, accept me, support me, and allow my ideas. Honor is my relationship to how others see me. Duty is a responsibility to see that I get “what I want now”. Duty is to me and those that support me.
As you read this you will by now be trapped in the social problem of belief, if you are conservative religious in belief you will be feeling I am presenting the liberals as bad, self-centered. If you are liberal humanist you are having a problem with my use of absolute of moral good and bad as a framework of thought. I must be fair, I am a conservative historic Christian. Yes my frame of reference is Truth is Truth, right is Godly, and Gods law is absolute. But, after years of study I have come to see the position of the humanist. I am even making advances in understanding an amoral mind. Yet I do not think that way. The problem is so big it is very hard to grasp. Both sides are speaking a different language. I do not mean English, I mean in the discussion of belief. It sounds like each is discussing the same subject, but they mean totally different ideas behind the words they use.
The liberal framework is one, which allows all possibilities, and to discriminate on the basis of absolute right or wrong is to fail to see and use all the possibilities available. Everything is possible if it meets the need of “what I want now”. This is not an inconsistent view to say a thing is good today “what I want now”, and later to say that thing is worthless or bad or I did not mean that. There is no absolute no truth no right or wrong. Good is “what I want now”, (don’t try to apply “now” to tomorrow). Bad is that which tells me what I must do or tries to hold me to an absolute standard. Like you said this last week did you mean it. “Well yes then, but this is now not last week. Different day, different need, new now and nothing before matters “this is NOW”.

Two Views
1)            Belief in GOD                            |               Belief in Human Self.
                                                               |
2) Accepts absolute of God’s authority.    | All possibilities are good. No absolutes.
3) Self worth comes from relation to God |  Self worth is based on society allowing
     And serving others.                               |  Self fulfillment and expression.
4) Truth is Truth                                        |Truth is a variable based on the situation
                                                                   |Relative to what I want now.
5) Honor and Character is to do what is    |Honor is a factor of how others see me,
    Right when no one is looking.               |Honor accept me, support me,     
    Is how I do what God called me to do.  |
6) Duty is called upon by a higher power. | Duty is the responsibility to see I get
   What must be done to serve and glorify |  what I want now. Duty is to me and
     God and country.                                  |  those that support me.
Conservative religious ideas are based on|  Liberal Naturalistic Humanism is a
a choice to believe, serve, and give.         |  choice To do what I want Now.

The human culture has redefined words and changed teachings so long many have trouble separating the truth from the lie.

TRUTH, where the story begins.
2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden you may freely eat:
2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.


Man was in The Garden of Eden, in the presence of GOD. The requirement was more than not eating from a certain tree. The requirement was TO OBEY GOD! Please make a note with me and never forget this. SIN all SIN the only SIN is to disobey GOD. Modern man says levels of action situation may allow or make acceptable some actions. He misses the point. When God said no the answer is always no! Modern people make a choice right here, they decide to reject God by choice freely made. If they accept God they are required to OBEY Him. Using the God given ability of choice they choose to reject God and make man responsible for himself.
God created man in his image that image is not a look alike as eyes and nose, fingers and toes. The image of God in man is THINKING, FEELING, and ACTING. Modern thinkers miss the point again. They equate man with the other animals all just happened in time and space without cause or source. God created man as a FREE Moral Agent able to think i.e. Reason, able to know. The men that brought us to our modern world took this point and used it to prove the world was what they wanted it to be. Human reason was the tool they used to make a choice to do “what I want now”.
God created man as a FREE Moral Agent, able to think, i.e. Reason, able to know.
But there is another part just as important, Man was created with emotions, feelings. There are times when emotions seem to be a stronger power than reason for why we do what we do. The last part of what makes man is Free Will the ability to act, we use the best-reasoned knowledge we have tempered by Feelings for other people, the earth and our duty to God and we are free to ACT . We may act on reason alone, or based on feeling make an emotional response beyond what others understand, BUT we are free to do what we want. GOD made us that way.
We have the God given ability to choose to serve God or NOT!! We were made that way.
Please understand this is the whole point. The modern world rejects the creation, and free will of man. Without these points there is no bible message. God did not create sin. Man was given a choice and made the wrong one. The cause for sin is mans choice, A choice to DISOBEY God. The only SIN is to disobey GOD.

Men disobeying God for selfish reasons is not new. Alexander the great conquered all the known world, then he made himself god. He conquered the world, people who were conquered accepted him as Governor, protector, ruler, god.
Alexander is not the only one that called himself god. The Roman emperors made themselves gods and some time they made close family members gods. All this was to insure that the common man would obey them.

Later Constantine made Christianity a legal religion. And we all know he could not declare himself god. Yet he needed the same power to keep the people in line as those before him. Constantine decided to make a government of coalition with the religious leaders. The plan was to define government as Aristocracy, Church, Army, and common people. With hordes of many nations and religious people all seeking land and power the leaders in the remains of the roman world sought to consolidate strength. The real power was in the army; it always was the army that made rulers Kings. The leaders needed the army to provide them with power and not take the power for themselves. The way was in a new popular religion, Christianity. The church would say the rulers were “Chosen by GOD to lead the people”. For this they were given a status that allowed them to own land, be the judge of land disputes, and hold titles of nobility. The aristocracy was said to be Gods chosen leaders, all knowledge and power came through them. They would lead the people in life. The army was charged of God to protect the nation, and Its Leaders and King. The salvation of the army was the Life and Protection of the King. The army would never question the Church, or what the Church said God told them to tell the army. Common people were uneducated and knew only what the church told them on matters bigger than the life they lived.
This is where the idea of Divine Right of Kings started, not one day one time but over a long time. It was the start of the problem in the church that was to lead to much more abuse and sin. Men placing their wants and desire for power above what the bible said.
In the early church there were some who held that man could not be allowed to use a Free Will. Augustine taught it is clear man has a free will but it is so corrupt by sin he cannot trust it. He must allow the clergy to help him in life. The early church through the Medieval Church to the Reformation held that the average man was to sinful to trust his free will. People had to have the church to help in spiritual matters. This is the same church and line of reason that lead to Spanish Inquisition, poor sinners and all that challenged to church were tortured into obedience.
The church, even some of its most famous leaders, agreed that they could not control the masses if everyone acted on a free will and read the bible for themselves. Calvin continued the teaching and emphasized the Grace of God was how men were saved. Sinful men could not act by faith and freely choose to accept God.
So we see that not only in the secular world of philosophy but the Church tried to take from man his choice.
Most of the problem today is that people do not understand the choice. It is a simple one “Obey God” or “Obey Man”. Do what GOD says or do what I want NOW. Looking at the history of the church and nations of men I am not sure how sincere the teachings were and how much was intended to control people. History is full of examples of one group trying to control others. Men, Kings, Conquers made gods to control people.
The church was using Gods authority for power to control. It would be a sad story if it were not for those who loved God.
All this time there were men that knew God, loved His word and served in grace. There are many examples of such heroes of faith but I will use one that is not well known. His name was Matellas. He was a priest whose only claim to fame was left in pastoral letters he wrote to his superiors in the church. He counseled them in obedience to God, in using the church power to build the faith of men, and a life of good works. He taught that men should live for God to do His work and will. He scolded many higher up in the organization for being self-important.



III. Why did they do that!
History is the story of the events told by the victor, or at least the one who finished first. The facts of “What Really Happened” are often lost in the telling of “my side of the story”. All of history is told from one side or the other and facts fall between “What I want to remember”, or “What I want you to know”. It is even possible to spend so much time on details that we never tell why it happened. In our time if we want to know “Truth” We must read many sources and develop a composite of what everyone said and what we know of what was done. These composites are at best a possible view of what happened. I make no claim of “Truth”, but offer an idea of what may have been based on readings, events and common sense.
Why did men of letters come to a point where they would challenge and in time through off the institutions of their day? These men challenged state, church, and schools in redefining reality in their world, and
I asked why?
The practice of belief, religion, or government in any period of time comes into effect over a long period of time. The practice of government came into being as a result of need. The governments of the old world were failing and the new governments could only succeed if they were to establish authority of rule. As with peoples in the past this authority came from God. The teaching based on the will of man, that is that man has a free will and this is the image of god in man, is a freedom of thought that the leaders of this time did not want. The control of the church over people and the control of government over nation were much simpler to maintain if the people governed do not know any better. If Reason, Emotion, and Free Will of action is ascribed to all men and taught so they understand it meaning they will be much harder to tell what to do and control.
Again it is important to remember this teaching developed over many years. There were many changes and stresses on the thinkers and leaders of the time. They taught what they felt was best and may have in some way justified or even believed what they were saying, but the truth is these teachings grew to acceptance of necessity to keep power and control where leaders wanted it.
I asked myself, “Why did the Reformation come about?” What conditions caused this major change in belief to rise to the forefront of history? At the same time, why did intellectual men of the time seek to present the “Enlightenment of Reason” to the world?
Reasoned men sought to present their choice to reject God and follow their own reason and understanding told the world to be “Enlightened”, grow beyond the need for myth and story, go beyond the limits of a church based on controlling your life. When enlightened men began to look at what they wanted to do there were still actions that carried strong social regulation. These people CHOSE to use a method of change that would help more enlighten social moirés.
Statement:
There are no absolutes of Ideas and many customs held over a long time change. We must look at each case, each action and evaluate it with reason, is it a good thing.
Lie:
There is no absolute no truth only the event in space time and place.
Man is only the most self-aware animal and man makes his choices bases on mans reason. “Enlightenment of Reason” was a CHOICE.
Situational ethics or “What I Want Right Now” is the result of rejecting all standards and truth.

In this same period there were other men that stood against wrong ideas in the established Church and stood up for the teachings of God. Martin Luther nailed 95 points of choice on the church door. Not because he wanted to deny Church or God. He was taking a stand for truth. He wanted to reform the wrong he saw. He taught man must be saved by faith in God. Sin is to disobey God.

So we have two groups each rejecting the excesses of society by a hereditary aristocracy, and The Church, and most particularly the Inquisition. Each group went in opposite directions the same reason resulting in very different ideas. Why did Mankind come to the Reformation and the Enlightenment? The answer is seen in the miss use of power going all the way back to not teaching who we are as Christians.

And so in time two roads diverged and man the traveler still has stood to make an eternal choice.
End Notes:
(1)
The Expositor's Bible, E-sword Expositor’s Bible Commentary.  Luke 8:1
EDITED BY THE REV. SIR W. ROBERTSON NICOLL, M.A., LL.D.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE, BY THE REV. HENRY BURTON, M.A., D.D.
HODDER AND STOUGHTON PUBLISHERS LONDON
(2)
Bakers New Testament Commentary, e-sword commentary Luke 3:16
William Hendriksen , Simon J. Kistemaker 
Baker New Testament Commentary, Baker Academic, Ada, Mi
(3)
2. Who Are God's Chosen People? David Curtis and Richard Anthony,
URL *http://ecclesia.org/truth/chosen.htm
(4)
WHC Frend, Rise of the Early Church, Fortress Press,,Philadelphia 1946 - 1984
Roy C. Foster, Studies in the life of Christ, College  Press, Joplin Missouri, 1971
What did most ancient Hebrews believe?
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_did_most_ancient_Hebrews_believe
(5)
Ezekiel 36:26-27, I Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Rom.8:16 Spirit beareth witness that we are children of God
1Jn.3:24b We know He abideth in us, by the Spirit
1Jn.4:13 Hereby know we that...He (dwelleth) in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit
(6)
http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_kingdom.html
The Meaning and Significance of the Phrase "Kingdom of God" in the Teaching of Jesus as Represented by the Synoptic Gospels
 Robert I Bradshaw
(7)
 J. Ramsey Michaels, "The Kingdom of God And The Historical Jesus," in Willis, 216.
(7a)

(7b)

(7c) (Kings and Priest, RCH Lenski, Lutheran Literary Board, Burlington, IA   1927) page 9

(8) 
George Eldon Ladd, "Kingdom of God," G.W. Bromiley, Gen. Ed. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE), revised, Vol. 3. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986); B. Klappert, "King, Kingdom," Colin Brown, Gen. Ed., New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 2. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971).
(9)
SKETCHES OF CHURCH HISTORY From AD 33 to the Reformation,
REV. J. C ROBERTSON, M.A.,
Edward Peters, Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe. 1980
David Bercot makes that point in Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up
(10) 
The Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Power Thereof, According to the Word of God. Creator(s): Cotton, John (1585-1652)
(11)
Joseph H Thayer, Thayer’s Greek – English Lexicon, Zondervan, 1889
Spiros Zodhiates, Complete word Study New Testament, Amg. Publishers 1991
(12)
(Alford)  Henry Alford New Testament Commentary   H Alford Greek New Testament
(13)
Robert Picirilli, The Book of Romans Randall House Publications, Nashville, TN 1975
(14)
Reason, Emotion, Action
de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2010/entries/emotion/>.
Are emotion and instinct the underlying reasons for everything we do?
The ABCs of Cognition, Emotion, and Action
Mariusz Wirga, MD, Las Vegas (NM) Medical Center
 (15)
WHC Frend, Rise of the Early Church, Fortress Press,,Philadelphia 1946 – 1984
The Church and the Ministry in the Early Centuries, Creator(s): Lindsay, Thomas Martin (1843-1914), History; LC Call no: BV648 LC Subjects: Practical theology Ecclesiastical theology Including the Church, church and state,
PHILIP SCHAFF, HISTORY of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH
(16)
http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Philosophy-Plato-Philosopher.htm#Mind.Plato
"Freud and Plato on How the Mind Works." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Feb 2011
<http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=107135>.
(17)
 Ancient Greek Philosophy
http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Greek-Philosophy-Philosophers.htm
(18)
 A. H. Strong, “Systematic Theology” F.H. Revell, Old Tappan, New Jersey - 1906 Three volumes in one.
pg 52 The essences of God is a first truth; in other words the knowledge of God’s existence is a rational intuition.
 sz Wirga, MD, Las Vegas (NM) Medical Center
 (15)
WHC Frend, Rise of the Early Church, Fortress Press,,Philadelphia 1946 – 1984
The Church and the Ministry in the Early Centuries, Creator(s): Lindsay, Thomas Martin (1843-1914), History; LC Call no: BV648 LC Subjects: Practical theology Ecclesiastical theology Including the Church, church and state,
PHILIP SCHAFF, HISTORY of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH
(16)
http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Philosophy-Plato-Philosopher.htm#Mind.Plato
"Freud and Plato on How the Mind Works." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Feb 2011
<http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=107135>.
(17)
 Ancient Greek Philosophy
http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Greek-Philosophy-Philosophers.htm
(18)
 A. H. Strong, “Systematic Theology” F.H. Revell, Old Tappan, New Jersey - 1906 Three volumes in one.
pg 52 The essences of God is a first truth; in other words the knowledge of God’s existence is a rational intuition.




SEMIRAMIS, QUEEN OF BABYLON

Any effort to trace the origins of the myth, legend, and lore of goddess-worship will eventually lead one back to a single historical figure---Semiramis, wife of Nimrod and queen of Babylon.
Before we can begin to deal with Semiramis though, we must (as with any historical figure) gain at least a general understanding of her cultural and temporal setting. Since I have found in my researches that neither proven scientific truth nor gleanings of fact from the body of ancient legends in any way contradicts a proper understanding of biblical revelation, I will use the scriptural framework of history as a basis upon which to reconstruct the story of Semiramis the woman.
When Noah and his family left the ark after the flood, they settled first at the northern feet of Ararat facing what is today Georgia, USSR. From here, these eight souls began to spread out into the surrounding districts of northern Iran and Syria, as well as eastern Turkey. After a considerable period (perhaps 5 to 6 hundred years), the families of Noah's descendants began to scatter a bit more widely due to increasing population, and perhaps some degree of rivalry or even enmity between the families of Japheth, Shem, and Ham. In this way we find that within about half a millennium the entire "fertile crescent", as well as the Nile valley, the Anatolian and Iranian plateaus, Arabia, and Ethiopia have been sparsely settled---but with a decided majority of Noah's descendants living in the lower regions of Mesopotamia (which would come to be called Sumer and Akkad).
Modern archaeology has confirmed the fact that the first inhabitants of these areas were homogeneous in both race and culture, and the most reliable researches indicate that it was from here that population, animal husbandry, metallurgy, agriculture, and "citification" spread throughout the earth. The scientific and scriptural views are in exact agreement upon the origin and spread of races and civilization---the only point of difference is the time scale involved! Whereas the scriptures clearly indicate the existence of all these elements of civilization long before the flood; orthodox science, by it's denial of the bible is required to construct a mythical stone age several millennia long in order to account for the same phenomena.
It was in Mesopotamia that the first cities were built after the flood, and the first of these was quite naturally named after the very first city built by man before the flood---Enoch. Due to vagaries of linguistic permutation, this name has come down to us as Erech or Uruk in Sumeria. In all there were seven major cities built near the head of the Persian Gulf, leading to the name "Land of the Seven Cities" commonly found in the early mythologies of the world. These seven cities are enumerated in Genesis as those which were conquered by Nimrod, establishing the world's first empire. The earliest Babylonian legends tell of a conquering people who came up out of the Persian Gulf and established an empire from these cities. This seems to fit well with what we know of the movements of Nimrod in his early career. He was a native of Ethiopia and was widely traveled among the few populated areas of those days. When he set out to build himself an army of conquest, he recruited from his "cousins" the descendants of Sheba and Dedan who had come up through Arabia to settle on the Asian mainland at the Straight of Hormuz and on the Indus river in what is now Afghanistan (these people were the Dravidians who were driven southward into India by the later Aryan invasion). After raising his army, Nimrod ferried them up the gulf in the world's first naval armada, and conquered his empire. The best estimates place the time of the conquest as about 4000 to 3500 BC, and about 1000 years after the flood of Noah.
In the midst of the tumult of war Nimrod and Semiramis met--and in none too savory circumstances, for tradition states that she was an inn/brothel keeper in the city of Erech---leading one to speculate upon the nature of their initial acquaintance. Semiramis was a native of Erech, which as evidenced by it's name seems to have been built by a Hamitic family (Ham's wife was said to have been descended from Cain who built the first Erech in honor of his son). The name Semiramis is a later, Hellenized form of the Sumerian name "Sammur-amat", or "gift of the sea."
The initial element "sammur" when translated into Hebrew becomes "Shinar" (the biblical name for lower Mesopotamia), and is the word from which we derive "Sumeria". This one tarnished woman then, had such a lasting impact upon world history that not only do we call by her name the land from which civilization flowed, but God himself through the sacred writer has let us know that its distinguishing characteristic was that it was "the Land of Shinar," or Semiramis. Very little has come down to us through the millennia concerning Semiramis' rise to power, but it is safe to assume that it was initially upon Nimrod's coattails that she rode, although later in life as well as throughout history her influence overwhelmingly obscured that of her husband. Of course, it would not do to have an ex-harlot upon the throne, so the "polite fiction" was invented that she was a virgin sprung from the sea at Nimrod's landing, and hence a suitable bride for the emperor(thus the title Semiramis which has totally obscured her original name).
Semiramis was the instigator in forming the false religion aimed at supporting their rule, and of course her suggestion fell upon open ears. The religion she invented was based primarily upon a corruption of the primeval astronomy formulated by Noah's righteous ancestors before the flood. In the original this system depicted by means of constellations the story of Satan's rebellion and the war in the heavens, his subversion of mankind, the fall of Adam and Eve, the promise of One to come who would suffer and die to relieve man from the curse of sin then be installed as Lord of Creation, and the final re-subjugation of the cosmos to God through Him.
These eternal truths were corrupted by her (rather, quite obviously, by the evil one controlling her) into a mythic cycle wherein the great dragon is depicted as the rightful lord of the universe whose throne has been temporarily usurped by One whom we can recognize as the God of the Bible. The serpent creates man in his present miserable state, but promises that a child would one day born of a divine mother---which child would supplant God, become a god himself, and return rulership of the Earth to the serpent. These fables were based upon the then widely-known story of the constellations, and were introduced under the guise of revealing the hidden esoteric knowledge concealed in them (regardless of the fact that the original was quite straightforward).
Although this esotericism was the second element in Semiramis' cult, it only masked the actual goal which was the worship of the "heavenly host," which the Bible equates with Satan's army of fallen angels. Satan was quite willing to receive worship "by proxy", hence the third major element of the mystery religion was emperor-worship. This religion was propagated by a hierarchy of priests and priestesses, to whom were assigned the task of initiating the populace at large into it's ascending degrees of revelation, culminating at the highest level in both direct worship of Satan and demon-possession.
Although Nimrod was a brilliant strategist, he made a fatal blunder when he allowed Semiramis to retain full control over this religious hierarchy, and through it the minds and hearts of the people; for when a schism occurred between them she was able to turn it from a tool of support into a deadly weapon. The rift between husband and wife occurred when the queen bore an illegitimate son, and the king threatened her with both dethronement and exposure of her true origin. Semiramis, of course would not allow this to take place, and devised a plot to overthrow Nimrod.
During the course of the New Year's festivities at which the advent of Nimrod's rule was celebrated, there was a certain feast exclusively for the royal family and the upper echelons of the priesthood. During this feast, which included "courses" of psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs, a year-old ram was traditionally sacrificed by being torn limb-from-limb while still alive, and it's flesh eaten raw. This ram symbolized the old year passing into the heavens to allow room for the new year. A new-born lamb was then presented which, symbolizing the new year, would be kept and fattened for the next year's ceremonies. This year Semiramis directed the ritual according to the formula, with the exception that when the time came for the ram to be slaughtered, it was the king who was torn to pieces at the hands of the drug-crazed priesthood and Semiramis' bastard son was installed as king. Thus Nimrod, the mighty hunter, died a horrible death as a trapped beast himself.
Semiramis named her son Damu (from the Sumerian "dam," or blood), which in the later Babylonian language became Dammuzi, in Hebrew Tammuz, and in Greek Adonis. Of course, Semiramis assumed the regency for her infant son, and ruled as absolute monarch for 42 more years. In order to avoid having to kill her son on the next New Year's Day, she instituted an annual nation-wide sports competition, the winner of which would have the "honor" of taking Damu's place and ascending into heaven to become a god.
Semiramis was not unopposed in her arrogation of the regency, however, or her rule as a woman. The military arm of the government was divided into two camps for and against her, and a short war ensued which ended when the populace (roused by the priesthood) not only refused to support the "rebels" but actively opposed them. In the course of this war, though, things became so close that Semiramis was forced to build a system of walls, towers, and gates around Babylon to defend herself. She was thus the first to build fortifications and her crown afterwards was in the form of the turreted walls of Babylon. To oppose the accusations of "mere" womanhood laid against her, she had herself deified as the mother of the god Damu (since only a god can beget a god) , and installed as "The Queen of Heaven" pictured in the constellation Cassiopeia, which the ancients had intended as a corporate representation of those people faithful to God who will be enthroned by Him after the end of the age.
In spite of her cleverness, though, she also sowed the seeds of her own destruction. As she raised her son, she imbued him with divinity in the eyes of the priests and people as the means of retaining control as the divine mother without seeming to aggrandize herself. As Damu grew he became used to having every whim instantly gratified by a subservient, indeed groveling, populace. For safety's sake he had a personal bodyguard/companion group which he was never without, and which formed an elite corps of soldiery loyal and accountable to him alone. Upon coming to maturity and demanding of his mother to be installed as king, she not only refused him this--but, seeing him now as a challenge to her rule, slated him for the same death she had meted to his father. Damu caught on to her scheme, and pre-empted his "assumption" by slaying his mother with his own sword, and putting down any priestly protests by purging the hierarchy of all who would not vow allegiance to him. Thus Semiramis died after reigning as queen over Babylon for 102 years.
These events laid the groundwork for all of the pagan religious systems of antiquity, as well as many alive today. Semiramis, in particular was the model and original of every goddess and female cult figure in the ancient and modern worlds (either directly or by derivation); and thus it essential to know her story in order to discern what is factual legend and what is merely myth.
Bryce Self   http://ldolphin.org/semir.html  4/28/84.