Wednesday, 26 November 2014



Late morning.

Inner city cafe. 

I really felt like lasagna, but thought I better have something light, so I ordered a cup of soup instead.

While I was sitting at the table sipping the hot soup, the European-looking lady came out from behind the counter and placed a white paper bag on the table in front of me, muttered something in her language, then returned back behind the counter.

I opened it - it was a container of lasagna!

After enjoying nearly half of it, I thought I better not eat too much.  So I determined to find a homeless person outside and give it to him.

As soon as I stepped outside onto the footpath I saw a homeless person scrummaging through a rubbish bin.

I approached him, and while I stretched out my hand to give him the lasagna, suddenly the Lord spoke: 

"Stop. Not him. Walk down the street - you'll find a pedestrian crossing; across the road is a building; behind the building is a park; in the park is a bench; and on the bench you'll see an aboriginal man - give it to him".

I walked down the road and came to a pedestrian crossing.

While crossing the road I thought to myself, This is going to be a good test of whether I'm really hearing from God - seeing I wasn't familiar with the Sydney CBD.

I looked up at the building directly across, walked around the corner - and sure enough there was a park behind it. 

In the park right in front of me was a park-bench - and on it was an aboriginal man.

He was lying down sleeping. I went up to him and stirred him. He woke up looking startled.

"Excuse me, brother," I said, "I'm wondering whether you'd like some steaming hot lasagna - for free".

"Oh yes thanks!" he said, his face changing from startled to eager, as he lifted himself up to a seated position.

While he was eating, I shared Jesus with him.

He's not likely to be unwilling to listen seeing I've given him the lasagna, I thought to myself.

After he finished eating we prayed together - and he gladly received Jesus into his heart. 

Amanda Dasinger on Modern Israel

I fully support Israel as a nation... Nothing about it is because I think they're "God's people"

Joh Vusich on Future Things

Christ's bodily return to Earth is accompanied by:
a. the physical resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous dead (Dan. 12:2; Jn. 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:50-58)
b. the gathering of Christ's people to Himself (Mk. 13:27; 2 Cor. 4:14; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
c. the judgment of the wicked (2 Thess. 1:8-10; 1 Pet. 4:4-5; 2 Pet. 2:9; Jude 1:14-15)
d. the vindication of the righteous (Ps. 37:6; Mt. 25:33-40; 1 Cor. 1:7-8; 2 Thess. 1:7)
e. the physical creation purged of sin and death (1 Cor. 15:26; 2 Pet. 3:10-11; Rev. 21:4)

The consummation (consequences of Christ's return):
a. an eternal Day of the Lord (2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Thess. 5:1-2; Rev. 22:5)
b. Heaven and Earth merged together -- God's dwelling place with man forever in the New Heaven and New Earth (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:2-3, 22:5)
c. the resurrected and glorified people of God ruling and reigning with Christ forever (Dan. 7:18, 12:2-3; Lk. 12:32; 1 Cor. 6:3; 1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 5:10)
d. the wicked judged forever in hell (Mt. 25:46; Mk. 9:43-48; Jn. 5:29; Rev. 21:8)
e. for the righteous, all death and sin and war and suffering and pain and sorrow and regret abolished forever (Is. 2:4; 11:6-9, 65:17-19; 1 Cor. 15:24-26; Rev. 21:4, 22:3-5)
f. New Earth filled with the knowledge and glory of the Lord (Num. 14:21; Is. 11:9; Hab. 2:14)

Gary Demar on Imminency

The Bible does not use the term "imminent," as in "any moment." the passages describe Jesus' coming as "near," "soon to take place" (Rev. 1:1, 3; 22:10; James 5:7-9). This judgment coming was to take place before "this generation" passed away" (Matt 24:34), that is, the generation to whom Jesus was speaking - Gary Demar

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Temple in Heaven?

The book of Revelation mentions people serving God in His holy temple.

That doesn't mean Judaism is in our future.

It means God's REAL Temple. The physical Temple was only a shadow of it.

It means faith in Jesus made people legitimate.

It gave them hope despite their tribulations.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Overseas Call Center Revival

I got a call from a call centre in Thailand.
It was near the end of their shift, so the owner/manageress wanted to have a prayer-time with her business-partner in the office, and called so I could join them.
She put me on speaker-phone, and the three of us began to pray.
I asked her colleague whether she'd already experienced being filled with the Spirit and speaking with tongues.
"I haven't experienced that yet," she said.
But I could hear the longing in her voice.
So I suggested that her friend lay her hand on her, then we could pray, if they both wanted.
We prayed, and she started crying, speaking with a new tongue, just pouring out her heart to God, and laughing.
She said she saw a vision of Jesus, taking her by the hand and walking with her in a garden with beautiful flowers.
She felt Him lift her burdens and healing her weary heart.
Next day she Messaged me. They'd prayed again, her colleague again saw a vision - and she herself could hardly stop speaking with tongues and laughing.
She explained that over many years she'd become busy, burdened with clients' unpaid bills, experienced some personal sorrows and had become spiritually dry. Then a prophetess spoke a word to her about getting back to her first love.
So she and her business-partner had recently begun praying together daily. She remembered the Holy Spirit meetings we'd had 18 years ago, and felt led to contact me to ask me to join them in prayer.
Now Jesus visited them there in the call centre. She experienced God using her again, to minister to her colleague and to see her filled with the Holy Spirit. She felt so refreshed and revived!
We each did!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

How to Be Made Acceptable to God

Township of Esk, QLD.

99km Northwest of Brisbane.

I was asked to go to a house to pray for a woman who was in bed sick.

They told me the woman was in her 90s. So I thought I better not just heal her, but also make sure her soul was saved.

When they took me into ber bedroom, I noticed a Bible sitting on the bedside table.

I asked the lady, "Would you like me to read you something from the Bible?"

"Yes," she said.

I asked the Lord what to read.

"Genesis chapter 4," I felt.

I was a bit surprised at first - that seemed an odd passage to read to someone who needed salvation and healing.

But I turned to it and read the story of Abel and Cain.

I closed the Bible and said to the lady:

"God accepted Abel and his offering, but to Cain and His offering God did not have respect.

Would you like me to tell you how you and your life can be acceptable to God like Abel, instead of unacceptable to God like Cain?" I asked.

I proceded to tell her that although we have all have sinned, God so loved us that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life - freely, just by asking for it.

She exclaimed, "I've waited all my life to hear this - I always knew there was a God!"

She eagerly accepted Jesus into her heart.

She looked like she felt victory, peace and joy.

We all felt it.

She was grateful and satisfied.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Great Conviction

When I was a new Christian, twelve to fourteen years old, I heard that Smith Wigglesworth was on a train once, and someone said to him, "Sir, you convict me of sin". Just by his presence.

I heard Charles Finney visited a factory once, and the workers began to down-tools and repent. Just at the sight of him.

Finney so much as arrived in the outskirts of a town, and many immediately began repenting. Some of them apparently without even knowing Finney had arrived.

When I heard that, I desired it to happen with me. Some years later I specifically asked for it.

One day soon afterwards I had to go to someone's house to discuss a painting-job he'd done for me. We talked briefly about it at his front door, then I left.

As soon as I got home my father told me something amazing that just happened.

He'd just received a phone call from the painter. The painter was looking for me desperately. Dad told him I wasn't home. So the painter asked my dad if he could help.

The painter desperately explained that he had a friend staying with him. When his friend heard him talking to someone at the front door, he came walking towards the door to see who it was. 

But his friend only made it halfway down the hallway when suddenly he was struck down with what he could only describe as a 'heart attack'.

All his friend could explain to him was that he needed to find God - urgently.

His friend was so distraught, but he didn't know how to help him.

His friend said he knew it had something to do with the person who'd just been at the front door.

So he phoned looking for me, in hopes that I might know what he must do to help his friend.

So Dad explained that it was the Holy Spirit convicting his friend to repent and receive Jesus. And Dad instructed the painter how to lead his friend to receive salvation.

I hadn't talked about God at all while I was at the front door. The painter's friend and I never even saw each other!  


Highland Landscape (Mt Pelion) - water colour by June Brewster 1983

Friday, 21 November 2014

Comparison of Business Traits

I talked to an Indian Malaysian about Jewish, Chinese, Indian and Western business traits.

He said Chinese are almost equally entrepreneurial as Jews - Chinese would rather set up a stand and sell drinks on the footpath than accept a job and become an employee. 

It's because Chinese loath being subservient to a boss, unlike Westerners.

Like Jews they very much stick to their own ethnicity.

They feel they have an advantage over whites because they know both languages. 

A Chinese would usually only marry a non-Chinese if the non-Chinese partner had something (financial) to bring to the marriage and to the extended family.

But the difference with Jews is their ethics, my friend said. Jews are guided by an ethical tradition - but Chinese are corrupt.

Jews won't usually try to rip you off. They can be firm - but there is always mutual benefit in their transactions. But Chinese can be sly. Chinese culture doesn't have the long heritage in Torah morals that Jews have to adhere to.

Jews like to deal with other Jews - but they're also more willing to work with non-Jews than Chinese are willing to employ non-Chinese.

He said Jews are hardworking, and demand good work - but are very fair.

They knock-off early on Friday to observe the sabbath with their families every Saturday. 

It makes them very family-oriented, not just business-oriented.

Gives them a balance between business and family, profit and ethics. Productiveness and leisure.

Whereas Chinese can get an imbalance of business over family, profit over ethics, performance over enjoyment.

After resting Saturdays, his Jewish bosses would work Sundays - but they didn't expect their employees to work Sundays.

So when he and his fellow-employees turned up to work on Mondays, they found their bosses had already worked Sunday and prepared their week's work for them.

This set them up to have a more productive work-week than their non-Jewish competitors.

It also bred a feeling of respectful admiration, because the employees saw that their bosses worked harder and longer than they expected them to. But their employers did expect their employees to work well too.

As for Indians. Well Indian society has a caste system. People are born into a caste. One caste is called the Untouchables. 

This effects business relations. And like the Chinese, Indians are not guided by an ethical code. My friend seemed cynical and untrusting of Indians, even though he was of Indian ancestry himself.


Acting Faith = Joy

Walking through the Brisbane CBD.

Peak hour. 

The signal turned red: "Don't Walk". 

There was a man standing there selling the afternoon paper. 

I decided to witness to him while waiting for the light to turn green.

"Are you a Christian?" I asked.

"I'm a Catholic."

"Do you believe God raised Jesus from the dead?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied.

"Do you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord?"

"Yes," he said.

That's good enough for me, I thought - I didn't have much more time to asses his spiritual experience. 

So I asked, "Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?"

He seemed unsure how to answer. 

So I quickly told him about the night when I truly experienced salvation by receiving Jesus as my personal Saviour, despite having already attended church all my life; and about the night, three months after that, when I was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit made Jesus all the more real to me, I said. And I told him that God gave me a new language that night to pray and praise God with.

"Would you like to receive the Holy Spirit?" I asked.

"Yes," he said.

So I laid my hand on him, and led him in a prayer acknowledging Jesus, and asking to receive the Holy Spirit.

After the prayer he started thanking God for it out loud.

Then I said, "Now start to thank and praise God in a new language".

Immediately he started speaking in a language I didn't understand. It just flowed. He kept going.

I started praising God too!

Then the light turned green.

"I have to go," I said.

And I left him standing there holding his bundle of papers, still overflowing in the language - face glowing, smiling for joy, looking full of gratitude, like he'd just been baptised with love. 

Like he was tasting the Kingdom of heaven!

We both experienced the joy that comes when we act our faith. 

Perhaps Jesus Christ has a gift for you to unwrap today too!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Paul on the Temple

I understand the sentiment of those who say Paul wouldn't call the temple which God planned to destroy the Temple of God. 

But the holy Temple didn't cease to be God's Temple just because something abominable later happened there.

Jesus wept over the thought of what was going to happen to it.

He did everything He could to avoid it. Many times He wished to gather them like a hen gathers her chicks, but they weren't interested.

God once before allowed His holy Temple to be destroyed.

Why couldn't it happen again?

It's precisely because it was God's Temple that the abomination set up in it was so abominable.

Had it been anyone else's house, it might not have mattered so much. But this had been God's House.

If Paul wasn't talking about the same event and the same Temple that Jesus and Daniel discussed, then where did Paul get his information from.

Paul's habit was to state his source. For example he would say, "The Spirit speaketh expressly that in the last days..."

Or if he addressed a topic which Jesus hadn't already dealt with specifically, he would say, "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord" - but he would also add "and I think also that I have the Spirit of the Lord".

But in the case of the man of lawlessness sitting in the Temple of God, Paul just mentioned it as if it's a standard part of the Gospel.

In fact he reminded the Thessalonians that he'd told them about these things when he'd first preached the Gospel to them. 

Paul's forecast about a man of lawlessness sitting in the Temple was apparently standard Gospel.

Its source therefore was the Gospels. And the Gospel-source cited Daniel.

Therefore Paul was likely talking about the same event and the same Temple which Jesus and Daniel had talked about.

Paul's intent was to give his best reason why the believers at Thessalonica should know that the resurrection hadn't happened yet.

Wouldn't you think then that he would cite the most obvious, most widely-sourced event which at that time still had to happen?

Seeing both Jesus and Daniel had spoken of a major event relative to the Temple which had to precede the coming of the Lord, wouldn't you think Paul would mention that?

Why would he instead ignore it and instead mention some other event which they never mentioned, some other  temple which they didn't mention, an event which apparently only he had the revelation about!

No. It's more likely Paul, Jesus and Daniel were talking about the same event and the same Temple.

And if so, then its fulfilment is now already past.

The problem with placing it in the future is that it means Jesus didn't really answer the question which He'd been asked about that Temple.

Instead it would first necessitate a rebuilt Temple, reinstated sacrifices and a reinstated Levitical priesthood. Then these would all have to be destroyed again. Then the Jews would have to be deported all around the world again. Then the Gospel would have to be preached to all nations again.

The futurist view creates more anomalies than it imagined needed solving!

The theme of the destruction of the Temple and all things Levitical was an important component of the Gospel message, because:

It demonstrated how the Gospel fulfilled prophesied outcomes.

It helped established the truth that the Kingdom of God wasn't required to revolve around the Temple and the Levitical order.

It illustrated the value that the Kingdom was in you. That only the born-again would see it when it later comes openly.

It showed that salvation was not through the Law but through grace.


I accept that the Thessalonians passage describes only one resurrection – that of the dead in Christ.

But Revelation mentioned two groups of the dead who lived again: the first group lived at the start of the thousand years; the second group lived not again until the thousand years were ended.

The first was called the first resurrection. To say there was a first, implied that there was to follow another – a second. It also implied that both resurrections would for all intents and purposes have the same nature. 

How do you fit one passage with the other?

Vanished Away

After reminding the Thessalonians that before the second coming there first had to come the man of lawlessness sitting in the Temple, he said, "Remember that I told you all these things?" 

That whole topic had been part of the Gospel-message which Paul had originally preached at Thessalonica. 

It was part of Paul's message because it had been part of Jesus's - and because it would fulfil Daniel's. 

The theme had pertinent relevance to the message of the Gospel, because it helped establish the fact that God's Kingdom wouldn't necessarily revolve around theLevitical worship in the Jerusalem Temple. The Kingdom would first be inside you, then afterwards at His coming it will be openly seen - but only by those who are born again. 

Paul really wanted them to know those values, because it reinforced the Gospel of the grace of God as opposed to a salvation through the works of the Law.

Paul was always eager to see that truth established: the Levitical order was passing away. Because if keeping the Law was still seen as a requirement, it made Christ's death meaningless and their faith unfounded. It meant they weren't saved after all.

We today are on the other side of that - the Levitical order isn't still vanishing - it ended when the Temple was destroyed. 

Abraham's promise is sure for all nations - not only for the Jews - because it's by grace not through the Law.

Man of Sin

Paul said the man of sin would sit in the Temple. 

The Temple still existed at the time Paul wrote, but not too many years later it ceased to exist. 

If Paul literally meant that Temple, like it seems, then the prophecy must have been fulfilled while that Temple still stood.

The prophecy didn't originate with Paul himself: he sourced it from the words of Jesus. 

Jesus had explained that the abomination causing desolation would be seen standing in the holy place, that is, in the holy place of the Temple. 

If Jesus literally meant the same Temple which still existed in His and Paul's day but which doesn't exist anymore, then it would seem Jesus' prophecy must have been fulfilled while that Temple still stood.

Paul's prophecy was linked with Jesus' prophecy. And Jesus linked His prophecy with Daniel's. 

Daniel foretold that an abomination would result in the desolation of the Temple and city and the scattering of the Jews. Jesus quoted that.

Since Daniel's, Jesus' and Paul's prophecies were linked with each others', it's likely therefore that they each had the same Temple in mind.

And that most likely was the very Temple which still existed in the first-century AD, which was then destroyed in that same generation.

If so that would mean Paul's prophecy has now already been fulfilled.

Even if Jews rebuild a replica Temple in future, it could hardly be the Temple which Daniel, Jesus and Paul had in mind, for the following reasons:

Because the sacrifices already ceased as it was prophesied that they would, with the destruction of the last Temple; and

Because according to prophecy, the scattering of the Jews was to follow not precede the abomination in the holy place - and that scattering already began with the destruction of the last Temple.

Another possible time-indicator:

Paul told the Thessalonians that they knew who it was who was still hindering that man of lawlessness from showing his colours. 

Did that mean the hinderer had been a contemporary figure of theirs? Otherwise how could the Thessalonians have known who he was?

Daniel and Jesus both seemed to say the Temple-event would happen within the generation of Messiah's first coming. Therefore that event had to happen before the second coming.

But as for the timing of His second coming, Jesus said no-one knows. Daniel, Jesus, Paul, the angels didn't know. Only the Father. 

No-one knows how much time would span between the Temple-event and the second coming. 

The timespan isn't of the essence, covenantally and prophetically speaking.

Messiah's first coming obviously had covenantal significance; and the Temple-event also had covenantal significance to Israel; and the second coming will obviously be significant. But the timespan between the Temple-event and the second coming doesn't in itself have any covenantal or prophetic significance. 

Could that be why they could speak of the second coming almost as though it follows directly after the Temple event. Because after it, nothing else of covenantal or prophetic significance needed to occur before Jesus can come as far as we are to know.

The whole Gospel-period is part of the same description.

There is indication of a timespan though no length is given.

But when He does come, it will be sudden. It will be quick. It will be unexpected.

New and Living Way

Many Old Testament prophecies depicted Israel and the nations offering incense, blood sacrifices, burnt offerings, pilgrimages to Jerusalem, to the altar, to the Temple, to the Levite priests, keeping the set feasts, observing new moons, etc.

I'm saying the direct, literal fulfilment of all such prophecies MUST have been in Old Covenant times - because those things were a shadow, and God isn't into returning to a shadow. Those things are not the New Covenant way of worship.

The New Testament teaches that Christ was sacrificed once-for-all. He is not sacrificed many times. By one offering He sanctified us forever. The Lord's Table is not a re-sacrifice of Christ - it is a remembrance and declaration of His once-for-all sacrifice. And once He comes, we will no longer need a remembrance - because then we shall be with Him and we shall see Him as He is.

The New Testament teaches that Christ's once-for-all offering did away with all previous offerings. The role of Jesus did away with the old Levitical order. Now the true worshipers worship not in Jerusalem but in spirit and in truth. We offer the sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving, prayers, lifting up hands, heart-worship, faith, we offer our bodies, and renew our minds and conduct, forgiving others, and serving others in the Gospel, by pureness, we patiently endure persecution. With such sacrifices God is well pleased.

The Book of Revelation does mention incense, seven candles, an altar, a Temple, courts, chalices, trumpets and a slain Lamb - but more as symbols than as literal things.

The candles we are told represented churches. The incense represented prayers. The slain Lamb represented Christ's sacrifice. The souls of saints aren't literally stored under an altar in heaven: the symbol simply acknowledged their martyrdom as a pleasing sacrifice. None of it meant pre-New Testament type offerings were to be repeated. And none of it meant Christ should be repeatedly sacrificed. In Revelation such symbols were depicted for John in visions mostly to represent realities, usually spiritual realities - the symbols John saw weren't usually the reality itself.

So all this makes the point that no Old Testament prophecy about pre New Covenant style worship and offerings can have an appropriate, direct, literal fulfilment in future. Or else we make the cross of Christ of no effect.

Isaiah 35:10 Fulfilled

There isn't a need for healing in heaven.

There shouldn't be a need for healing during a future millennium, if the devil is bound.

The ransomed of the Lord did return to Zion, at the return from captivity. The sorrow of the captivity did end. But it wasn't a time of healing miracles.

But many Jews from all over the world had returned to Zion for Pentecost, and got saved! The whole city experienced physical healing. Great joy was upon them. Sorrow and tears ceased in hope - the literal cessation of it would come as the outworking of that scheme, not as the result of some future scheme. The second coming is part of the Gospel-scheme.

All believers have come to the true, heavenly Zion. Joy is in us all.

The dead in Christ are with the Lord in the heavenly Zion. There is rest there.

There shall come a time when we who are alive and remain shall forever be united with the Lord and with others in Christ, in the true Zion. At that time all tears shall forever be wiped away.

But now is the time when healing is needed.

So the prophecy doesn't necessitate a Jerusalem-based worship in future. 

Zechariah 8:23 Fulfilled

Zechariah 8:23 must have been fulfilled WHILE the Old Covenant still stood - because the passage mentions a style of worship which was distinct to the Old Covenant but irrelevant under the New Covenant - and God doesn't return to a shadow.

For example:

The passage mentions set fasts and feasts which were required under the Law - but aren't required and aren't possible anymore (verse 19).

It mentions going to Jerusalem to worship - but Jesus said the hour was coming and now is when worshipers are no longer required to worship in Jerusalem (verses 21, 22).

It mentions Judah as distinct from Israel - that distinction was relevant up until the time of the return from captivity/exile, but no such distinction exists anymore (verse 19).

All of those details were distinct to the Old Covenant - but irrelevant after a New Covenant was made.

The prophecy was fulfilled by the return of Israel to their land from captivity. It was an event which brought God great fame in the nations. In Acts chapter two we see an example of people from all nations going to Jerusalem to keep the Feast.

And in that historical context, Zechariah said, Messiah was to come.

If we mistakenly think the prophecy is still future, then it means the Word of God has failed - because the circumstances in which Messiah was to come have already ceased in Israel and can't be possible again in the exact way that was written. But the Word of God cannot fail.

Even if the same circumstances were possible again in future, that could imply Messiah has not come yet, and would also require Judaism in the future. But that's not what the Apostles taught.

But if we correctly understand the passage as fulfilled already, then it affirms that JESUS is the Messiah and shows that He alone saves and that Judaism is not a requirement.

It makes the GOSPEL shine out through the Scripture. 

The people of God are those who accept Jesus - whether Jew or Gentile.

But none of this means Jews can't still repent and believe and be saved. They still can - because God hasn't closed the door until He comes.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Sure Salvation

A principle of Moses' Law was that without the shedding of blood there was no remission of sins.

The Psalms tells us that there is none righteous. In order therefore for our sins to be remitted, we need to be trusting in God's acceptance of blood sacrificed in our stead, or else we're ignoring a divine law.

Back when it was still possible and legitimate to keep Moses' Law, a person could offer a sin offering after the manner prescribed by Moses.

Even in Gentile nations which didn't have the Law, and before the Law was ever given, men still knew instinctively that righteousness demanded an atoning sacrifice. And they offered them.

But nowadays with Moses' Law being impossible to keep legitimately, we either trust in God's acceptance of the sacrifice of His Son, or what do we trust in? Nothing sure. Something vague. Something merely wishful.

There was never anything so vague about the Law, or the Prophets, or about God. He worked within a covenant. He swore by Himself - and He is immutable. God cannot lie.

God wouldn't have left the Jews in a void - without a sacrifice, yet knowing one was needed - being vague about whether or how the Lord God remits their sin.

There was no mention in the Torah, or the Psalms, or in the Prophets - in the entire Tenakh - that there would ever come a time when sin would be remitted without the shedding of blood. God wouldn't be silent, or vague about something of such paramount importance. He always made it a matter of covenant - and swore by an oath.

God did put away David's sin without David offering a specific sacrifice. As David wrote: 

"An offering for sin thou desirest not"; 

"else would I give it"; and

"the sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart";

which "thou wilt not despise".

But that didn't mean God forgave David's sin without reference to any sacrifice at all.

The annual atonement offering was still offered annually.

And God would ultimately send His Son as an atonement for all our sins including David's.

It didn't set a precedent for a future time when sin would be remitted without reference to the shedding of any blood at all. 

If it did, that fact ought to have been taught in a new covenant. It ought to have been foreseen by the Law and the Prophets. But they foresaw no such thing, and taught an opposite law. Such a thing would even be opposite to the instinct of the Gentiles who didn't have the Law.

David's statements didn't annul the law that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. It meant that a repentant heart was more important, and it showed that the blood of bulls and goats wasn't entirely adequate. Every year the atonement offering had to be repeated again for the sins of the whole nation. 

David's Psalm wasn't intended as a legal amendment to the first covenant. Because in later years God said of Israel, "There will I require your offerings". 

The law was still the Law - unchanged. It's just that David, being a prophet, spoke about the inadequacy of the Law; saw a greater need; and saw the future when with respect to a more effective, once-for-all sacrifice, further sacrifices would no longer be needed - and he sometimes also spoke about his personal case rather than making a legal statement about the nation.

David may not have personally offered a sin offering on that occasion, although he offered many on another occasion - but his sin was not forgiven without reference to an offering of blood. 

There was still the annual atonement offering offered yearly by the high priest for the nation - and there came the sacrifice of God's Son which took away the sins of the whole world.

Everything in the Tenakh therefore should have prepared the Jews to know a sacrifice, somewhere, at some stage is ultimately needed, even if God overlooked the need for a personal sacrifice by an individual on occasion, if his heart was broken and contrite. Otherwise a divine law is being ignored. 

God provided for Himself a sacrifice - the sacrifice of His Son.

He made a new covenant with Israel, to remit sin - not randomly, but assuredly.

As Moses lifted up the serpent and those who looked lived, so the Son of God was lifted up on the cross, so that all who deliberately draw on the value of His blood, in full assurance that what God promised He will do - will be saved. 

As much as I admire many Jews and many of their lifestyle-values, still there can be no remission of sin by God without God having respect to and reference to a sacrifice of blood.

Therefore in the absence of the Law, Jews ought to concede the necessity for another sacrifice; they ought to acknowledge Jesus' credentials - the cross.

It's typified, taught, intimated and prophesied all the way through the entire Tenakh.

We can be assured of justification from sins by deliberately placing trust in Christ's atoning sacrifice.

By calling on the Name of Jesus.

By believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, authenticating His sacrifice.

By confessing with your mouth: Jesus is Lord.

With all the confidence and clarity and more than you would have had in an animal sacrifice at the Temple.

In the moment of identifying with Christ, God does something for a man that he could never do for Himself. He becomes a new creature: old things are passed away; all things become new.

He is made a new heart - just as the Prophets said. Only then can a man see the Kingdom of heaven.

Israelites were meant to know these things.

Middle East Solution

When I think about all the issues involved in the Middle East conflict (Israel and Palestinians) I always come to the same conclusion: the only perfect solution is the GOSPEL.  

Only the Gospel explains the heart of the problem, only the Gospel explains the history of the problem, and only the Gospel provides hope for the problem.

According to the Gospel, there are none righteous, no not one. Both Jews and Gentiles are sinners.

The Gospel-scheme promises a total fix at the second coming, the resurrection, eternal judgment and separation of the wicked, and the Kingdom of God wherein dwells only righteousness.

But part of the Gospel-scheme is that the Lord is patient, giving space to repent, not willing that any should perish. Meanwhile all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Therefore since we wait in hope, our task now is to be like Christ: to live purely, be willing to suffer for righteousness sake, and to save souls. To PREACH the GOSPEL.

That Gospel-scheme is in fact the only permanent solution to ANY problem in the world, not only the Middle East problem.

Not that governments shouldn't do all they can, as much as lies with them, to procure as much peace as possible, for everyone. Of course they must. And some ideas in this regard are better than others.

But as important and as legitimate as that is, incomplete and temporary solutions is all that really is. The only real solution is JESUS CHRIST - the Gospel - being saved - and the second coming.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Feel the Love

Here's another Bible-Prophecy which is popularly thought to be awaiting its fulfilment during a future millennium - but which actually must already have been fulfilled during Old Covenant times - if you read it in light of the simple New Covenant truth, that:


Whether we see the following prophecy as future or past will have a practical and powerful impact on our Christian life.

Zechariah prophesied:

"And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles" (Zech.14:16).

According to many, it's a prophecy about a future millennium. Nations are going to make annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feast, they say, during a future millennium.

But if it's about a future millennium, then Judaism will be required in your future. It’s because of that view that many Christians nowadays have mistakenly begun attempting to 'keep the feast'.

It can't be about the future, because Jesus said the hour had come when true worshipers would no longer be required to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship (John 4:21).

The Feast of Tabernacles was only a shadow of our experience in Jesus Christ - and Paul taught that once the New Covenant came, it forever superseded the shadow.

The passage mentions a plague and punishment coming on the nations that wouldn't make the annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feast (14:12,15,18, 20). That can't be future, because Paul taught that the cross of Jesus Christ removed the curse of the Law.

The prophecy mentions the altar, pots, animal sacrifices, and the Temple (14:20, 21). Those things don't exist any more - and even if replicas do get recreated in future, they won't be legitimate and therefore they can't be the Temple Zechariah was talking about here - because we're already in a New Covenant.

The prophecy said the Canaanite would not be allowed in the house of the Lord (verse 21). That statement only had relevance while the Law still stood - but no more, because Paul taught that the cross removed the barrier that was against the Gentiles.

All of those details in the prophecy had relevance ONLY while the Old Covenant still stood.

And there are other time-indicators:

The prophecy mentioned Hananeel's tower; the king's winepresses; Benjamin's gate, the first gate; the corner gate - none of which exist anymore; people dwelling in tents - not in modern housing; a subsistence economy - not a sophisticated modern economy; cavalry, chariots and archery - not modern weaponry; idols being removed from the land - which was needed then, but not an issue with Israelis now; it described the nation of Judah as still being distinct from the nation of Israel - a distinction which is no longer relevant to modern Israel; it mentions Jewish families still being known by and still grouping-together by their tribe - which isn't possible anymore; Israel's return from ancient captivity/exile in specifically-named countries was mentioned - which came to pass; the rebuilding of the Temple after the captivity was mentioned - which also came to pass; it mentions Israel's enemy-nations meeting their day of recompense - which also came to pass.

All of those details place the fulfilment of the prophecy squarely in the past and while the Old Covenant still stood - not in the future.

Some of Zechariah's imagery was admittedly quite dramatic. But keep in mind he was a young man (2:4), and God often chose to speak to him in picture-form. The mood of the imagery was dramatic because it had to be - for the Jews of the captivity to have the courage to believe for the full-restoration of their nation would require a miracle second only to their nation's exodus from Egypt. They'd become discouraged, so to encourage them to take up the task again was exactly why Zechariah was sent to prophesy to them.

But the most important evidence of all that the prophecy is now past and not future is this: the passage includes prophecies about the Messiah. If the prophetic passage is still future, then the coming of the Messiah must also still be future, and our faith in Jesus would be in vain.

But the Apostles quoted the very Messianic verses which appear in this prophecy, and asserted that they had been fulfilled by JESUS - by Messiah's first coming, not His second coming!

If we instead make the prophetic passage about the future, it would weaken our case for asserting that Jesus of Nazareth was the prophesied Messiah. And if you want to convince modern Jews that Jesus is their promised Saviour, it could help if you are able to show from their own Scriptures that JESUS fulfilled Messianic prophecy - you won't be able to do that if you're unclear about whether the prophecies are already fulfilled or not.

For example:

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass" (9:9). Matthew declared that it was fulfilled when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the people praised Him (Matt.21:5).

"They shall look upon me whom they have pierced," Zechariah prophesied (12:10). Many preach that this will be fulfilled at the second coming and that all Israel will be saved after they have seen the second coming. But John wrote that it was fulfilled at the cross (John 19:37).

"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness" (13:1). Christ Jesus achieved that by His cross, the New Testament asserts.

"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered" (13:7), Zechariah wrote. Matthew and Mark wrote that it was fulfilled when Jesus was arrested and His disciples fled.

Those Messianic-prophecies were part of the same prophecy as the prophecy about the nations gong up to Jerusalem and keeping the feast of Tabernacles. Therefore the Messianic prophecies were meant to be fulfilled at a time when the other details of the same prophecy had also already been fulfilled and were still a reality in Israel.

That means Messiah had to come at a time when Israel had already been restored to their land and were still keeping the Law in their rebuilt Temple, and people from the nations were already making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feast.

So, did the nations ever keep the feast of Tabernacles? Sure they did. Luke records in Acts 2 that people "from every nation under heaven" (verse 5) were in Jerusalem for the feast - not only Jews, but also "...strangers (non-Jews)...and proselytes (Gentile followers), Cretes and Arabians" etc (verse 10). And that wasn't the first time it had happened - it had been an annual thing.

So all those details of Zechariah's prophecy had been fulfilled by the time Jesus came, and they ceased to be a reality again in Israel from AD70 onwards (when the Temple and everything associated with it were destroyed).  Therefore if the Messiah had not come somewhere in that timeframe, then the prophecy forever lost its opportunity to be fulfilled.

But the Word of God cannot fail. Jesus fulfilled it. He completed it. Precisely. And on time. In every detail. And then in that very generation circumstances forever changed in Israel - and the window of opportunity for the prophecy to be fulfilled was forever closed.

If we try instead to make the prophecy about the future, then the prophecy can't be fulfilled precisely as it was fulfilled at the time of Jesus. That's playing with prophecy - and it weakens our own case for Jesus.

If it's still future, it would also legitimise Judaism.

It also leads to some ideas about the future which don't line up with New Covenant truth - such as the idea that a future millennium will bring the salvation of national Israel. Jesus told a Jewish ruler, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, EXCEPT a man be BORN AGAIN, he CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God" (John 3:3) - irrespective of whether the man happens to be a Jew or not.

But if we understand that it's already fulfilled, then it leaves us with only one thing to do: embrace JESUS.

It assures our conscience that we don't need to observe Judaism - Jesus is all.

It equips us to convince Jews about Jesus. (This truth was burning in my heart so much I asked the Lord to let me meet Jews so I can witness to them about it. Within days I met an Orthodox Jew, and I've been meeting Jews ever since. At first he was reluctant to let us pray for him. But after sharing with him the reasons why Messianic prophecies HAD to be fulfilled already, he responded, "Interesting. Okay - you can pray for me". So there on the footpath we laid hands on Him in Jesus' Name. He felt the love.)

All nations including Israel are now at a point of history where they are already on THIS side of much of Bible-Prophecy - NOT still back on the other side. We're all on THIS side of the cross, including Israel. On this side of the promised-kingdom.

Certainly there will come a greater manifestation of the Kingdom and of judgment at the resurrection when Jesus comes. That's our one blessed hope! But nothing that is yet to come in future needs to involve going back under the Law, because those parts of the prophecies were fulfilled long ago. We are free in Christ.

Nevertheless if some still have a different conscience about these things, we can take the attitude of "live and let live".

While we wait for our lovely Jesus to come.

To all who believe, He is precious.

All First Class Citizens

I heard today from a mother that her young daughter was in tears, running out the door, late for school, because she couldn't understand why God chose the Jews and loved them more than us; why He did such massive miracles for them and why He doesn't do the same level of miracles these days; and why He wrote so many books about them. 

She'd finished reading the Book of Genesis. Her thought was that it was too much about the Jews.

I remember momentarily having those same thoughts too when I was younger and a young Christian.

It's a joy to me to understand now from the Scriptures what I already knew instinctively in my spirit by the Holy Spirit when I was young: that God's original promise, given to Abraham, mentioned in Genesis, was to BLESS (justify, save) ALL nations - through Abraham's seed (not seeds plural, but seed singular, which is CHRIST).

There are no second-class citizens in Christ!

The original promise to Abraham was about Christ, about the Gospel, about salvation, for all nations!

God announced the GOSPEL ahead of time to Abraham!

Jesus said, "Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad".

Israel wasn't even born yet. The Law wasn't even given yet.

In fact, the Promise required that the Law which was introduced later, would be removed when the Promise would be fulfilled - because the Law excluded the Gentiles but the Promise is for all nations without distinction.

So the Promise implies the removal of the Law which separated Gentiles from Jews.

The nation of Israel was only constituted after the promise was spoken.

The nation had the unique role of being the custodians of the Promise until the time of its fulfilment came.

As you said, it meant they got to be the first to hear the Gospel, and the first to share it.

But not all of them received it. It so happened that Gentiles who received the Promise began provoking Jews to envy to desire to receive it!

Through Jesus Christ the Promised Seed, all are blessed in one new body, without any distinction in privileges.

He who is least in the Kingdom is greater than the greatest Old Covenant Jewish prophet, Jesus said.

Our privileges are better than the privileges promised under the Law to the ancient nation of Israel.

We have received the free gift of righteousness without the works of the Law.

We are sons, not slaves.

Experiencing the Kingdom.

Assured of heaven.

Made one in spirit with the Lord.

Receiving the Spirit.

Signs follow. Healings. Speaking in tongues.

The young daughter's comment encouraged my faith, raised my expectation to see the Lord supply all my needs and to confirm the Word with signs following.

If the ministration of death was glorious, the ministry of grace has far greater glory. The glory that excels and will excel in eternity.

Entrepreneur Quote

"You don't make mistakes, you learn lessons."

Monday, 17 November 2014

Israel's Restoration - Past, Present & Future

The promised restoration of Israel has a past, present and future aspect. And it's important to rightly divide it.

Ancient Past:

He gave them their land
He sent them into captivity
He restored them to their land
He restored their temple
He restored them to Levitical worship 
He reunified Judah and Israel
He eliminated idols 
Their enemies met their demise


The messenger came. John the Baptist. He prepared the way.
The Messiah came. Together He and John saw a nationwide restoration to a more pure keeping of Moses' Law, while Israel was still under the Old Covenant.
More than that, Messiah also died for the sins of the whole world. He inaugurated a New Covenant. Brought salvation and the Kingdom of God to all Israel. Gave the Apostles a commission for all nations.
Many believed. Many hardened their hearts, as prophesied. Not all received. Believers of all nations comprised one new body.

Also now past:

Within that generation, the city and Temple were destroyed, and the Jewish people were deported all around the world. 


The Gospel continues to be preached in all the world.
Once His promises were fulfilled, God never revoked them.
Therefore Jews who believe are still being saved.
God uses saved Gentiles to minister to Jews.
And God still delights in everyone having self-determination in a homeland within secure borders of His choosing. 
But there is cause and effect and timing for everything.  


The second coming
The resurrection
Final judgment
The visible, eternal, heavenly Kingdom
Only the born-again shall see it 

Israel's Restoration

Here's an interpretive key which makes things very simple:

Any prophecy about Israel's restoration which mentioned Levitical worship, must have been fulfilled while the Old Covenant still stood - because God isn't into returning to a shadow.

The problem with allocating the promises about Israel's restoration to the future, is it necessitates a return to Judaism, because a restoration to keeping the Law was part of the restoration-prophecies - and returning to the Law is not a New Covenant truth.

Bible-Prophecy itself gave a timeframe for the promised-restoration: it was to happen after 70 years in captivity/exile. So that's not future is it.

The name of a key-player in the restoration - king Cyrus - was even predicted by prophecy. Cyrus is now past history - therefore so is the restoration which he was to decree.

From the moment he would issue the decree to restore and rebuild, until Messiah, would be seventy-sevens. The Apostles quoted Messianic prophecies and applied them to Christ's first coming. Therefore since we know the Messiah has come, then the decreed restoration of Israel which was to precede Messiah's coming by seventy-sevens also must already have come - or else neither has the Messiah.

The prophecies mention tents as dwellings; and cavalry and archery as weapons. That dates the fulfilment of the prophecies to ancient times, not modern times.

Some of Israel's enemy-nations were mentioned by name in the prophecies. They were ancient nations, not modern ones.

Such nations would be judged as uncircumcised pork-eaters. Those things wouldn't be a cause for judgement now that a New Covenant has been made.

The restoration was to be the event which would reunite Judah and Israel again into a single nation. The desctinction between Judah and Israel had relevance in ancient times, but not now.

The restoration was to eliminate idols from Israel. That was relevant too then, but isn't now.

The restoration of Israel was to begin with the return to their land, proceed to restored Levitical worship, then culminate in the coming of Messiah. That was the order.

Jesus indeed brought the Kingdom to Israel. But as the Prophets also foresaw, not all Israel would believe and receive Messiah's promised salvation. They also predicted that Gentiles would be included. We are now on this side of Bible-Prophecy - we're not still on the other side.

There certainly is still coming a future manifestation of the Kingdom when Jesus comes and the dead are raised - but it will be heavenly in character - and only the born-again shall see it, without distinction between Jew and Gentile.

In the meantime, since God has already fulfilled prophecy regarding Israel, and never repealed it, only the sky is the limit for Jews. The Gospel didn't reduce God's goodwill towards Jews - it increased it. Jews therefore still have the opportunity to be saved. God is willing for everyone to have a homeland within secure boundaries. 

We know what God is willing to do in the present, based on what He's promised and already fulfilled in the past, and not revoked. But that's not the same as saying Bible-Prophecy is only now finding its direct fulfilment. That can't be, because the Prophecies describe Israel keeping the Law - but God has already made a New Covenant with Israel.

The only way for anyone - including Jews - to participate in Messiah's promised salvation and Kingdom, which was promised by the forefathers, is by His love, through believing in Jesus.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Gospel = Kingdom

Last week I gave a key for understanding Old Testament Prophecy:
Malachi 3:1-6 is a classic example of how applying that key can open-up the intended meaning of an Old Testament prophecy for us today.
The Malachi passage is popularly assumed to have application to the future, but actually it must already have been fulfilled. And the impact is practical and thrilling.
Verse 3 predicted Messiah would come and purify the Levites so they could offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness, and so the offerings brought by Judah and Jerusalem would again be pleasing to the Lord, as in former years. This is popularly thought to be a prophecy about Israel's future - at the second coming, or during a future millennium.
If it's about the future, it implies Judaism will be required in future; it also implies the Messiah has not come yet. That would legitimise Judaism and discredit the GOSPEL.
But it can't be about the future - because it foresaw that the LORD would come to His Temple (verse 1). That Temple ceased to exist in AD70 - it's not about some other future, replica temple. So if the Messiah had not come and the prophecy had not been fulfilled while that Temple still stood, the prophecy forever lost its opportunity to be fulfilled.
It also can't be about the future, because offerings are no longer required. The Levitical order of priesthood was superseded when the New Covenant was made - and it can never again be legitimately reinstated, because the genealogies required in order to prove a priest's descent from Levi were forever lost.
Israel can't in future resume keeping the Law exactly "as in the days of old, as in former years" (verse 4). To attempt that would be both logistically impossible and also covenantally illegitimate. It could only be said that Israel was again keeping the Law as in former years, if keeping the Law was still at the time both possible and legitimate. Modern Judaism isn't exact compliance with Moses' Law - rather, by its own admission, it's a humanistic response to the fact that exact compliance with Moses' Law forever ceased to be possible after AD70.
Therefore the prophecy must have been been fulfilled at a time when the Old Covenant and all of the hardware associated with it still stood - because the Word of God cannot fail.
The prophesied-MESSENGER who was to be sent ahead of the Lord, who would prepare the way of the Lord (verse 1), was JOHN THE BAPTIST, the New Testament tells us.
It has to refer to Jesus' first coming - because when Jesus comes the second time, He's coming ready or not. But the things He came to bring the first time He came could only be experienced if a person's heart was prepared, irrespective of whether they were Jewish.
The LORD who then came to His Temple, in the very generation which later saw its final destruction - is JESUS. He was daily with them in the Temple, teaching.
But did salvation come to Israel at that time, as prophesied? This question is why many expect a future fulfilment. Well John did come preaching the baptism of repentance, and the Gospel of Mark tells us that all Judaea and Jerusalem came to him, and all were baptised, confessing their sins.
Jesus also preached repentance and the KINGDOM OF GOD - and He successfully made and baptised more disciples than John (even though it was Jesus' disciples, not Jesus Himself, who did the baptising).
Their ministries saw a nationwide move of God! Heart-issues were brought to the surface and dealt with, and Israel's Law-keeping was lifted to such a level that hadn't been seen in the nation for a long, long time, as prophesied by Malachi.
But Messiah was more than that, He was also the messenger of the covenant - the prophesied New Covenant (verse 1). He transitioned the Old Covenant into the New.
Malachi's prophecy itself revealed that the Messiah's prophesied-coming wouldn't necessarily mean exactly what some of them were thinking. Some Israelites would be unable to stand His coming (verse 2).
His coming would involve not only the message of the covenant (verse 1) - the New Covenant - but would also result in judgement (verse 5).
In fact it would become evident that it had been only because the Lord doesn't change - because His gifts and calling are without repentance - that national Israel hadn't already been consumed (verse 6).
John the Baptist warned about all of this, in keeping with the prophecy.
The GOSPEL of Mark also portrays Jesus and the GOSPEL as the fulfilment of the prophesied Messiah and salvation of Israel. Mark never said the prophecies had been postponed until the future and that the Gospel was something else. He said the Gospel was the Gospel OF THE KINGDOM. The Gospel WAS the fulfilment.
It's just that some of the seed fell by the wayside, or among thorns, or stones - not all of it fell in fertile hearts who would understand the nature of the Kingdom, and endure and be saved.
Some would be hardened and blinded, as a consequence of their unbelief.
Only believers grasped the mystery of the KINGDOM, Mark records. The mystery of the Kingdom was not that Kingdom--prophecy must yet be fulfilled in Israel in future. The mystery of the Kingdom was that only believers would receive it. Only the born-again would see it. Only the repentant. Only through JESUS.
Preaching the Gospel - the New Covenant - to all nations would be part of how Kingdom-prophecy would get worked-out. Signs and wonders, laying hands on the sick, casting out demons, speaking in tongues and baptising believers would all be part of it.
That's how Mark understood and applied Old Testament prophecy. To him the Bible-Prophecies in question were not about future Judaism during some coming special dispensation. Messianic kingdom/salvation prophecies were all about JESUS - all about the GOSPEL.
So where does that place us? where does it place modern Israel? the nations? the Church? It places everyone regardless of ethnicity on a level playing field - all in need of a Saviour.
Whoever believes and is baptised shall be saved, but whoever does not believe will be damned - regardless of whether they're Jews or Gentiles.
It makes believers COMPLETE in Jesus without obligation to Judaism.
It means, in the words of John Wesley, that "you have nothing to do but to save souls; therefore spend and be spent in this work".
A thrilling part of this is it means you can expect the Lord to work with you, CONFIRMING this WORD (the word, or message of the Kingdom, of fulfilled Prophecy) with SIGNS following - just like He did with the Apostles.
And then the end shall come.
See how "rightly dividing the word" - rightly distinguishing between fulfilled and unfulfilled prophecy - easily nullifies some wrong concepts, and reinforces the GOSPEL? Simply by remembering that ANY PROPHECY WHICH WAS ABOUT LEVITICAL-STYLE WORSHIP MUST HAVE BEEN FULFILLED AT A TIME WHEN THE OLD COVENANT STILL STOOD.
Applying that key proves Jesus to be the Messiah.
It highlights the Gospel as the final and the most important program God has - and its all-sufficient.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

Promise & Fulfilment


"And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be" (Genesis 15:5).


"The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude" (Deuteronomy 1:10).

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Inheritance Through Jesus Not Through Judaism

I've been supporting my assertion (that believers don't need to observe Judaism) simply by drawing on plain statements in the Old Testament, rather than draw on allegory. But allegory certainly also is a valid way to illustrate truths which are taught in the New Testament.

The example you gave supports my assertion (that believers don't need to observe Judaism) brilliantly:

The son born of self-effort, born of the slave-woman, ended-up in the wilderness and did not ultimately receive the promised family-inheritance; while it was the son born as a gift from God, born of the free-woman, who received the promised family-inheritance. 

It illustrates how earthly Jerusalem and many of its citizens were still in bondage to the works of the Law and therefore could not receive the promised-salvation; while those who simply believed the Gospel and who had been born from above - the heavenly Jerusalem - were receiving salvation freely by grace, without bondage to the works of the Law.

No Provisional Ways of Keeping Moses' Law Today

Daniel probably did oblation at evening. But that didn't mean he was keeping Moses' Law as a whole. Keeping Moses' Law as a whole was impossible in Babylon.

Just because oblation was done didn't mean Moses' complete system of Law was being kept. People did sacrifice and oblation even before the Law was given. Daniel did it in the same sense that the patriarchs did it before the Law was given.

Daniel did so with respect to Moses' Law, even though he knew he couldn't keep the whole Law. All of that was reasonable, since Christ's sacrifice hadn't come yet.

But to find ways to do sacrifice and oblation with respect to Moses' Law today, isn't as appropriate as it was in Daniel's day, because we have a New Covenant.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Lord's Table Resumes Where the Passover Left Off

Jesus gave His disciples the cup, and told them to share it among themselves - because He Himself would no longer drink of it until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.

Then He went out into the garden, and pleaded with the Father to let the real cup pass from Him, except it be His will. But Jesus did indeed drink of the real cup.

After He had supped he took the cup and said, "This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me".
That didn't mean, as some say, that they were to continue keeping the Passover only with a new appreciation. Jesus called the cup the NEW COVENANT in His blood. He was instituting something completely NEW - not merely a renewed appreciation of the Old Covenant. You can never have two covenants covering the same thing at the same time.
Unlike the Old Covenant Passover Feast which could only be observed annually and strictly in Jerusalem, what Jesus was instituting here was something which the disciples were to do AS OFT AS YE DRINK IT - such as daily from house to house, or upon the first day of the week, and not only in Jerusalem but also in all the churches of the Gentiles.
And it doesn't mean, as some say, that we will be required to offer sacrifices in remembrance of His sacrifice, as part of observing the Feasts, during a future millennium. Neither Jesus nor even Moses in the Law ordained that the Feasts and their accompanying animal sacrifices should ever again be offered once the New Covenant came - not even just in remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice.
The only remembrance of the Lord's death which Jesus ordained was the Lord's Table. By partaking of the bread and the cup, the disciples showed forth the Lord's death TILL HE COME. Once He comes, we will no longer need any more remembrance of Him - because then we'll see Him face to face, and we'll be with Him forever.

Nature of the Kingdom

The Kingdom of God has both a future and a present aspect; a now-but-not-yet perspective; a sense in which all are ruled by it and another sense in which only some are in it. 

How and when the Kingdom-package all unwraps now - present, future and past - is what eschatology debate is all about. 

But the underlying truth we know about the the Kingdom is that JESUS came and gave it. 

The Father gave the Kingdom to Israel through the cross of CHRIST, graciously through BELIEVING in JESUS, without the works of the Law - and included Gentiles in it, making one new body.

The Gospel isn't merely a parenthesis before God resumes His Kingdom business with Israel - the Gospel IS the Gospel OF THE KINGDOM.

The Gospel of the Kingdom was presented to Israel first, fulfilling Prophecy - then the Gentiles were included, also fulfilling Promise and Prophecy.

The Church isn't just an unforeseen side-track before God gets back to fulfilling Kingdom-prophecy. The Church IS the very group whom the Prophets foresaw would receive the prophesied Kingdom - and it's the Church alone who possesses the assurance of full participation in future Kingdom-benefits.

Old Testament Prophecy had mainly been concerned simply with the fact that Messiah would come and bring the Kingdom; and they were concerned about events which would accompany it relative to national Israel - and they gave fairly precise timeframes for the fulfilment of those things.

Those given timeframes are why Jesus was able to preach saying, "THE TIME IS FULFILLED, the KINGDOM of heaven is at hand. REPENT and BELIEVE the GOSPEL".

It's why, when describing the imminent destruction of the Temple and the fall of Jerusalem, He was able to say, "Verily I say to you, all these things will come upon THIS generation" - because the Prophets had given a timeframe for the fulfilment of each of those things. 

But the Prophets didn't give a timespan for how and when the Kingdom-scheme would all unwrap after that. That's why Jesus said, speaking of His coming and of the end of the world: "But of THAT day, knoweth no man..."

Jesus came and indeed brought the promised Kingdom, and all the surrounding events indeed happened in Israel - all exactly on time, fulfilling Promise, the Law, and Prophecy. That fact is quite precise and clear.

But now that that's been fulfilled, the precise details of how and when the various components of the Kingdom are all going to be unwrapped, wasn't the essence of Old Testament Prophecy. The essence was mainly simply that the Messiah would come and bring the Kingdom.

Some of the imagery of Kingdom-Prophecy was quite dramatic. It sometimes captured the whole package-deal of the Kingdom in a flash.

Jesus opened the whole deal when He came, as the Prophets foresaw - even though they didn't always focus on dissecting how each component would then transpire after that. They did distinguish it, but that wasn't necessarily always the focus of their imagery.

We know at least that Christ shall come again; that there shall come a resurrection of the dead; eternal judgement; and new heavens and a new earth.

And we know that in the mean-time THIS Gospel of the Kingdom shall continue to be preached in all nations, and then the END shall come.

But the underlying truth we know is that the prophesied Messiah did come and His Name is JESUS - and if we have Him we have everything. 

He did bring the Kingdom-scheme. The Kingdom-way. The Kingdom-life. And the Kingdom-hope. 

Old Testament promises and hopes are demonstrated to be Yes and Amen by our experience. We have the KINGDOM - we are complete just by loving Jesus, without needing to observe modern Judaism.