Sunday, February 8, 2015

Just a Thought "34"

The Book of Revelation, though the language is Greek, the thoughts and idioms are Hebrew, and this links it on, not to the Pauline Epistles, but to the Old Testament, and shows that its great subject is God’s final dealings with the Israelites and the Gentile, and not the Body of Christ.

The Book of Revelation is not only Hebrew in character as to its linguistic peculiarities, but especially in its use of the Old Testament, only those who have most intimate acquaintance with the Old Testament can properly understand this book, but all who know anything of Old Testament history cannot fail to detect the almost constant reference to this book.

All the imagery, the Temple, the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the Altar, all this belongs peculiarly to Israel, the same may be said of the judgments, which follow on the lines of the plagues of Egypt, and therefore are to be just as real, indeed they are to exceed in dread reality those which were executed in the exodus from Egypt.

The Book of Revelation is undoubtedly written about the people of the Old Testament, who are the subjects of its history, these will understand this book as Gentiles can never hope to do.

When the Body of Christ has been removed, and Israel is again dealt with, there will be, as there was then, plenty of religion, the religious condition of the nation will exactly correspond with its condition at Christ’s first coming, the state of things, they were then and will be again in the future.

The seven Epistles in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, they are written to a people supposed to be well-versed in the history of the Old Testament, and well-acquainted with all that had happened to their fathers, and had been written for their admonition.

Instructed in the past history of their nation, they will readily understand the relation between the testings and judgments in the past with which they are familiar, and those similar circumstances in which they will find themselves in a yet future day.

While the historical events connected with the rebukes in these seven Epistles are carried down from Exodus to the period of the Minor Prophets, the promises cover a different period, commencing with the period of Eden, and ending with the period of Solomon.

The subjects of the rebukes follow the order of the departure of the People from Yahweh, their decline and apostasy is traced out in the historical references contained in these Epistles, but when we turn to the promises, then all is different, they proceed in the opposite direction, instead of descending, from Israel’s highest ground of privilege (Exodus) to the lowest stage of destitution (Minor Prophets) - ascends, in the counsels of Yahweh, from tending a garden to sharing his throne.

To him that overcomes, this is language wholly foreign to the Epistles written to believers by Paul, the members of the Body of Christ have already overcome all, in Christ.

The overcomers who are addressed at the close of each of these seven Epistles in the Book of Revelation will be living in the days of the Beast, in the midst of the great Tribulation, they will be special overcomers of a specific form of evil.

No one can put this Epistle to Ephesus by the side of that of Paul to the Ephesians, and think for a moment that it can be the same Assembly that is addressed, note the standing of grace in the one, and the standing of works in the other.

In Paul’s Epistle to the Body of Christ in Ephesus, God speaks to those who are all of them on the highest ground of privilege and of grace, but in John’s Epistle, there is no blessing at all, except to the overcomers.

To him that overcomes, will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God, this Paradise of the New Earth, which will characterize the Kingdom, was referred to by Jesus in his answer to the dying thief, (today) on this day of shame and death, beyond which you see by the eye of faith, that promise will be fulfilled to him as an overcomer.

His faith overcame all his circumstances, and he marvelously believed in spite of all the awful scenes of that day, that Jesus was the Messiah, and that he would yet come in his Kingdom. To him, therefore, as an overcomer, was the promise of that future Paradise given, as here it is given to all who shall overcome by the same faith.

The only component of Paul’s good news Satan needs to focus on today to keep people in a lost condition, is the reality of reconciliation, he does not need to go any further than that.

If Satan and his clan can keep that glorious truth hidden by blinding people’s eyes to it through a message that keeps sin on the table of God’s justice, the other components of Paul’s good news will have no bearing whatsoever for that individual.

If Christ paid the penalty for our sins, to keep those sins on the table of God’s justice is to do great injustice to what Jesus Christ accomplished, it turns salvation into probation!

The pride-nature screams, God not imputing sins to those sinners would mean those rotten people have gotten away with committing things than I can not even imagine committing, the pride-nature recoils at that very idea.

Some simply have a difficult time thinking that God is not counting the sins of those they perceive to be much more sinful than themselves against those people, these people have cubby-holed sin in their minds, they see themselves in a relatively more righteous position than those whose sins are off the richter scale of evilness, the pride-nature of people actually wants God to impute the sins of some people, to those people.

When most think of submitting, it sends a chill down the spine of more than a few, because those words conjure up the notion of someone barking out orders, as the one on the submitting end, becomes the doormat to be stepped on.

This is not at all what Paul had in mind, submission has nothing to do with controlling someone or being controlled by someone, when it comes to the husband being the head of the wife, it has to do with the husband aligning himself to serve his wife in the manner that God intended him to serve her, and the same is true when it comes to the wife, and her role in the marriage relationship.

It is an amazing thing that for believers and that is the only people to whom Paul is writing, there is a Bema Seat of Christ Judgment that husbands will not be judged by how well their wives responded, it will be how well they led, and wives will not be judged as to whether their husbands were leading correctly, but in their role in serving the husband.

Paul’s not saying, walk worthy in order to gain our calling, or walk worthy in order to keep our calling, but walk worthy of the calling that belongs to us, because God has freely given it to us. How can we who have been justified freely, sanctified in Christ, how should we be conducting ourselves, we should conduct ourselves in a manner conducive to the job that God’s given us.

We should conduct ourselves in a manner that goes sides by side or that goes in hand with what God’s already called us to do, that job is our ambassadorship. It is our ambassadorship of the message of reconciliation, how our we to conduct ourself given our ambassadorship, we are called to peace, this is how believer’s are to relate to other believers.

A ransom for all - was not testified until Paul proclaimed it, the revelation of the secret, which was kept secret since the world began. If a person believes Jesus Christ died for their sins, but does not believe that God’s justice was satisfied when Christ died for those sins, that person has not believed Christ died for their sins according to the scriptures, Christ’s death was pictured in the scapegoat sacrifice of the Israelites program.

Leviticus 16:21-22, Christ was made to be sin for us, the issue is not that of sinners making God’s son become their Savior through the avenue of a present-day forgiveness of sins, but in believing that the son of God became their Savior the day he took their sins, the entirely of that sin debt upon himself.

Those who believe God’s message to us through Paul, are now ambassadors of this wonderful news which our apostle calls the glorious gospel of the grace of God.

Our fleshly production did not gain us our position in Christ, and it certainly can not gain us heaven, Christ accomplished that for us. If the works of our flesh did not contribute to getting us saved, how can the works of the flesh play a part in keeping us saved.

If we are trying to satisfy God’s justice on a daily basis or however by conforming to a standard of rules and regulations, we are going to find that just the opposite becomes true in our flesh, we are going to find ourselves constantly focusing on the flesh, the milk of self-righteousness will sour under the divine heat of God’s justice.

Living after the flesh, from a functional point of view is taking the credit yourself, God is not looking at our production, he is not looking at our behavior in order to view us as being in favor with him, he is looking at our identification with his son, and what God’s power from on high is producing in us, because that is where our life is as far as God is concerned. 

The general principle works across the board, one drink leads to another drink, one drug leads to another drug, one pleasurable indulgence leads to another pleasurable indulgence, one serving of self leads to another serving of self. 

We serve the sin nature rather than our Savior, as we serve self rather than the body of saints, to whom we are as equally and intimately joined, as we are joined to our Savior.

The unbelieving world is not under the reign of righteousness, unbelievers are under no obligation to serve righteousness.

It should not surprise us to see what we see now, and what we will be seeing in an increasing manner as time goes on in the world today, the unsaved world is simply serving the master they are under.

Paul brings this to our attention, and he is not taking us to judgment and chastisement, he is taking us to position and obligation, we serve him to no greater degree than we serve those to whom he’s joined, and they are joined to him equally.

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