What is it you want to be remembered for? What do you want your legacy to be? Do you want to be remembered like Hymenaeus and Philetus? (2Ti 2:17) Or Ananias and Sapphira? (Acts 5:1) Of course not, right? Better yet, do you want to get to the Judgment Seat of Christ only to find out that what you believed your entire Christian life and taught others as well, was wrong? No, you don’t want that either. But, this is in fact the legacy a great many Christians will leave including some of the most notable names there are.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Mt 6:10 ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.’
This prayer has gone unanswered to this day. The Kingdom has not come and God’s will is not being done on earth as it is in heaven, yet most Christians behave, act and teach as if it it is here already. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most obvious is the placement of the gospels of Mt, Mk, Lk and Jn in the New Testament, when they should have been placed in the Old.
Here are some more one no one who believes the Kingdom has come is willing to tackle:
“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Even though Jesus, the monogenetic Son of God, said these things, all the people to whom he said it, died, without them seeing what he said they would see. How can this be? How can you not have questions about it?
Preterists believe and teach that it did come to pass, just as Jesus said it would, but that Jesus’ return in the clouds was spiritual, not physical (hence no one really saw it). They also believe that all the prophecies in the Book of Revelation came to pass around 70 A.D. with the destruction of the temple; that that book is merely historical. I’ve only met one person who believed that and they are currently teaching it in England. Preterists also believe that the 1,000 year reign of Christ is not literal, but means a very long time. If that were the case, which it is not, then we very well could be living in the kingdom of God.
Everyone who says and believes that they are “kingdom” builders or that what it is they do is for the “kingdom” is in error. Jesus is not currently the king in the kingdom of God, because the kingdom does not exist.
Satan is the god of this age.
2 Cor 4:3-4
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god (theos) of this world (aion, age) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,
He is the prince of the power of the air
2 in which once ye did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler (archon, 1st in rank or power) of the authority of the atmosphere, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, YLT
Seeing, then, the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself also in like manner did take part of the same, that through death he might destroy him having the power of death — that is, the devil —
Don’t think or believe for a minute that we are living in the kingdom of God and that our Lord Jesus, the coming and future king, has anything to do with the mess the world is in today. Laying the condition of this age at the feet of Jesus, is not something I would want to be a part of; nor should you.
(In Part II we will be looking at “If you believe_____________then you must also believe__________.)
As I have said before Christ will set up his Kingdom soon after the battle of Armageddon. “He will rule his Kingdom with the help of those who were faithful to God in their first life. Ruling with Christ is part of the believer’s reward and should (now) “anchor” each believer to righteousness in his day-to-day living. Believers who have been faithful to God and Christ will receive a greater reward, including greater authority to help Christ rule:*”
“Then I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning;
After that you will be called the city of righteousness,
A faithful city.”
Behold, a king will (not currently) reign righteously
And princes will rule justly.
Christ will appoint Judges, Counselors and Princes to help him out. Judges will act as Governors, to judge and make decisions when controversy arises. Counselors will be like Advisors and Consultants. A prince is a ruler, a chieftain, an official or a captain.
“Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding; who will feed you, not livestock
16 “It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the Lord, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. 17 “At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the Lord,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. 18 “In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.
“Not every believer will have the same standing in the future Kingdom. Those who endure now and remain faithful and obedient in the Christian walk will reign over the nations with the Messiah!
2 Tim 2:12-14
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
Do you remember in Part II that I showed how we can either be the least or the greatest in the Kingdom? If we are not faithful, we will still be allowed into the Kingdom, because Christ is faithful, but we will end up in the least category rather than the greatest. Most of us will probably not see 100 years in perfect health let alone 1,000! Is it not in our best interest to be faithful to God and Christ and the rightly divided Word of God?
When most of us were children, a question we were commonly asked was, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, now that we are “grown up” we need to ask ourselves what we want to be in the Kingdom of God and Heaven.
*excerpt taken from The Christians Hope, The Anchor Of The Soul, John W. Schoenheit
As thrilling as it might be to read things about the End Times & the Great Tribulation, no one knows when they will be. In chapters XI, XII, XIII & XIV of my book, I go into great detail why these events cannot be known and there are no prophecies that pertain to the times in which we live.
Before you order it through Amazon at https://fredswolfe.com/ you can “Look Inside.” Basically, before Jesus’ ascension, he did not know about the Age in which we live today. (Here is where some of you will say, “but he was God and God knows everything,” yet in his own admission he stated that only the Father knows when he is coming back.
There are some people who are now saying that we are in the beginning stages of the Tribulation because of all the atrocities and wars going on throughout the world, as well as the lawlessness that prevails in many government leaders. Because I am here, and am writing this, I can assure you that we are not. The False Prophet is unveiled at the beginning of the Tribulation, performing lying signs, miracles and wonders. Has anyone heard of this?
Many Christians do not believe in the Rapture of the Church prior to the unveiling of the False Prophet, one of the antichrist’s, but I do. The Bible states that unless “a falling away” he apostasia, comes first the son of perdition will not appear. You can see the true meaning of Apostasia in the footnotes of page 106, but basically it means departure. This departure is called the “gathering together” or episunagoge.
As far as prophecies go, yes there are many about the end times but not the administration of the Secret which God kept a secret until He told it to the ascended Christ who in turn revealed it to the apostle Paul. It only stands to reason by mere deduction that if only God knew about it, no one could prophesy about it. Doesn’t that make sense?
Yes, these are trying times and when this age will end, no one knows. For now all of our friends can still be saved by the grace of God for merely making Jesus The Lord of their lives and believing God raised him from the dead. After the tribulation begins, this will not be the case, as there will no longer be salvation by grace. During the tribulation salvation will only be available by staying faithful through it or to the end of your life, whichever comes first. The latter will most likely come first.
Take advantage of this opportunity to get saved, now, before it is too late. God Bless!
I believe most Christians would say, when asked, if they believed the Bible literally, “Yes., of course I do.” The fact is, it is not completely literal. There are over 212 different kinds of Figures of Speech. Here are some definitions of a figure of speech:
a word or phrase used in a nonliteral sense to add rhetorical force to a spoken or written passage.
a form of expression (as a simile or metaphor) used to convey meaning or heighten effect often by comparing or identifying one thing with another that has a meaning or connotation familiar to the reader or listener
An expression that uses language in a nonliteral way, such as a metaphor or synecdoche, or in a structured or unusual way, such as anaphora or chiasmus, or that employs sounds, such as alliteration or assonance, to achieve a rhetorical effect.
an expression in which words are used in a nonliteral sense, as in metaphor, or in an unusual construction, as in antithesis, or for their sounds, as in onomatopoeia, to suggest vivid images or to heighten effect.
E.W. Bullinger says in his Companion Bible, “Ignorance of Figures of speech has led to the grossest errors, which have been caused either from taking literally what is figurative, or from taking figuratively what is literal.”
In the Gospels, Jesus spoke in many Parables. Parables or Parabola, is one such figure, an extended simile. Look for the message beyond the nonliteral story being told. In Matthew 13:1-52 Jesus tells a lot of parables which cannot be taken literally, like that of The Sower, Tares Among Wheat, The Mustard Seed, The Leaven, Hidden Treasure, A Costly Pearl and The Kingdom of Heaven.
There are 31 usages of the word “parable” and 16 of parable(s) in the Gospels. Luke chapters 12-21 are full of parables. In addition, there are many other figures of speech within the Parables. In look 12:32, Jesus refers to Herod as a fox. This is one of my favorite figures, hypocatastasis, an implied resemblance or representation. This same figure is used in Genesis 3 where Satan is referred to as a serpent; It no more means a snake than it does in Ge. 49:17 where Dan is called the same.
My favorite Parable for the sake of this teaching is The Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19. Taking verses 19-31 literal is one of the grossest errors Bullinger referred to. Lazarus was not carried away by angels to Abraham’s bosom when he died. The rich man was not in Hades being tormented, after he died. He did not see Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom far away. Yet, I have personally been told by many brothers and sisters in Christ that this is proof that Christians go to Heaven immediately after they die and sinners go to Hell. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The point of this parable is given in the final verses:
“But Abraham said, (he didn’t really say anything, he’s dead)’They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.(like me, Jesus)‘”
ARE YOU LISTENING?
I can hardly begin to tell you how tired I am of hearing “God allowed it” as if it is somehow equal to “it” being God’s will. God gives us free will to do whatever we do. He gave us His Word to guide us in making the decisions we make. There is nothing He does not allow, since the Flood.
One could say He allowed Hitler to come to power, who is responsible for killing millions of people. The same can be said for Muhammed, Stalin, Mao, Ho, Kim II Sung and many others. Does that mean that God somehow put them in their positions? Not at all!
God is no more responsible for putting men in positions of power than he is for what men do with that power. Here, in the United States of America, the people decide who will fill the positions of authority according to how our government is set up. The citizens of this great nation just re-elected the previous President. I am sure that each of us who voted were praying for their candidate to win, just as many sports fan may pray for their team to win. But, God has nothing to do with who wins or who loses.
Should we then blame God if our team or candidate loses? Why didn’t He answer our prayers? If He were truly “in control” as so many people believe wouldn’t He have answered the prayers of the majority? This way of thinking is just plain absurd!
People say that God can do anything He wants to do. If this were true why didn’t He stop any of the previously mentioned leaders from killing so many people? Did He want to intercede? I can’t imagine Him not wanting to, but it should be obvious to anyone that He could not. Why couldn’t He or why didn’t He?
As I have said in many other posts, due to Lucifer‘s rebellion against God Almighty, he was cast out of Heaven and became God’s archenemy, Satan. When Satan successfully deceived Adam and Eve, he received that which Adam had, namely dominion over the world. He essentially became the “god” of the ages. Just as the true God endeavors to persuade us with His words, Satan does the same. And he is obviously pretty good at it.
Once God set everything up, like gravity, He was/is bound by His own rules. What He can do is keep giving us ideas by way of His spirit (inspiration) and His Word to direct our steps. We have the ball; it is up to us to run with it. If anyone is responsible for putting people in power I would have to say that Satan has more ability to do it, since he is bound by nothing but to steal, kill and destroy. After all, he is in control and has no problem overstepping people’s freedom of will.