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Theology => Prophecy - Current Events => Topic started by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:23:31 PM



Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:23:31 PM
My Note:  There will be agreement and disagreement with various areas, but this is overall excellent and wonderful to study. The author starts out with a BANG and then starts weaving various parts of the Bible together for a fascinating and in-depth Bible Study. The obvious ties between the Old Testament and the New Testament are thought-provoking and lead to many truths being revealed. If you carefully and prayerfully take this study, I promise you that some light-bulbs will come on, regardless of whether you agree with every detail or not. I will simply ask you to go slowly and carefully follow along with all of the Bible references. I will also ask you to pray before you begin each study period that the Holy Spirit will help you with the study. ENJOY!

Prophecy - Signs
Why Study Prophecy?
by A. Edwin Wilson

WHY STUDY PROPHECY

There are many today who decry the study of prophecy. I have encountered this reaction to the teaching of prophecy to such an extent that I want, the Lord helping me, to set forth some of the Scriptural reasons for studying and preaching prophecy.

1. It would seem to me that the first reason would be apparent to every student and minister of the Word. In Matthew 4:4 our Lord, in response to the first temptation, tells Satan that man is to live by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. That includes all of the prophets and prophecies of the Old Testament, as well as those of the New Testament, including the book of Revelation.

It is interesting to hear men talk and preach on the subject of the church when our Lord, as far as the record goes, just mentioned the church twice during His earthly ministry-in Matthew 16 and Matthew 18. He didn't mention it in Mark, Luke or John, but all through these four books He spoke repeatedly of His second coming; and these same preachers refuse to accept, believe or teach about His muchly publicized return. Others preach continually on baptism, cooperation, tithing- which are well and good in their place but seldom mentioned or referred to by the Lord, whereas practically everything that is said throughout the whole of the New Testament points to and emphasizes the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom.

2. The second reason for the study of prophecy is manifest in Paul's two epistles to the Thessalonians. In I Thessalonians 1:7 we learn that the church at Thessalonica was the model church. In verses 9 and 10 this model church did three things: (a) they turned to God from idols, (b) they served the living and true God, and (c) they waited for His Son from heaven (second coming). In II Thessalonians 2 we find that during the three weeks' ministry Paul had with this church he spoke of the day of the Lord, he preached on the Antichrist, and he preached on the great apostasy which would precede the second coming. In I Thessalonians 4:13-18 he preached on the rapture-the resurrection of the dead and the translation of the living. In the fifth chapter he preached on the signs of the times. Throughout the entire book he preached on rewards to be given out at our Lord's return.

3. A third reason for the study of prophecy is that one may be able to discern false spirits (I John 4:1-3). If anyone does not believe and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, he is of the spirit of Antichrist (how can one know about Antichrist apart from prophecy?). II John 7: if one doesn't believe that Jesus Christ is coming back in the flesh that one, too, is of the Antichrist. I wonder how many ministers there are standing in the pulpits today, trying to preach the Word, who in reality are the spirit of Antichrist because they don't believe Jesus Christ is coming back in the flesh.

4. Another reason for studying prophecy: II Peter 1:19-whereas we learn that prophecy is THE LAMP which the Lord has given us as a guide in this time of darkness in which we live. Anyone attempting to go through his Christian life without a knowledge of prophecy may be compared to an individual tearing down the highway at night in an automobile at sixty miles an hour without any lights.

5. Another reason for the study of prophecy is to be found in I John 3:1-3, in which we are told that hope in things surrounding the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is a purifying agent for any and all who are looking for His coming, and this cannot be done without a knowledge of prophecy.

6. A further reason for studying prophecy is that according to Hebrews 5:10 through 6:12, prophecy is revealed as the meat of the Word, and the Lord desires that babes in Christ get off the milk of the Gospel after they are saved and get on into the meat of prophecy that they might grow into manhood.

7. Another reason - and to me this might well be considered the primary reason - is that only through the study of prophecy can we know the approximate period of our Lord's return and in truth watch for His appearing. Again and again our Lord admonished His followers to watch and be ready at the time of His return. In this way we would not lose our reward; in this way we would not be shut out of a place of rulership in His kingdom; in this way we would bring great honor and glory to Him; and in this way we would enter into the full realization of the things that the Lord has prepared for those who love Him and long for His return.

When one says he is not interested in the Lord's return he is proclaiming that he has little interest in the Lord. When one says he doesn't believe in the Lord's return he is denying the Word of God. The Apostle Paul, a great example for a minister to follow, preached salvation by grace and rewards on the basis of works, such works to be carried on diligently in the light of our Lord's soon return. One cannot go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and leave out half of the good news. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16, 17).

The above quoted Scriptures are entirely meaningless to any teacher or minister of the Word who does not study, teach and preach prophecy; and such a one standing in the presence of the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ cannot say with the Apostle Paul "For I have not shunned to declare  unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). I am reminded of what a great Methodist evangelist said on one occasion when, in referring to the dearth of prophetic teaching and preaching, he said, "Anyone who doesn't teach and preach the second coming of Christ is either a coward or an ignoramus."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:27:37 PM
Prophecy - Signs
What Time Is It?
by A. Edwin Wilson



WHAT TIME IS IT?

For the past few years one of the major questions posed by Bible students, conference speakers, statesmen, and historians has been the question which is the subject of this article; namely, "What Time Is It?" So far as we have been able to ascertain, the answer has been the same by all: "It is later than you think."

When we turn to the Scripture we are first of all impressed with the truth that man cannot set a date. In fact he has been warned by God that such is outside of man's province. Many people err greatly also in thinking that God does not know, but it is well to keep in mind that all of the times of Scripture are God's appointed times. There is no such thing as an unknown or unanticipated event as far as God is concerned. "Known unto God from the beginning are all of His works" (Acts 15:18 ). Jewish writers and early Christian writers presented a testimony that the history of man would continue for six thousand years and then we would have the day of rest for the people of God spoken of in Hebrews 4:9, which would be the seventh day or the seventh one thousand-year period of the history of the world - namely, the millennial reign of Christ. We want to quote from a number of Christian writers of the first three centuries.
 
1. Barnabas, the companion of Paul in his travels. In the 13th chapter of the epistle ascribed to him, we find the following passage: - "God made in six days the works of His hands and He finished them the seventh day; and He rested the seventh day and hallowed it. The meaning of it is this: that in six thousand years the Lord will bring all things to an end, for with Him one day is as a thousand years, as Himself testifieth; therefore in six days - that is in six thousand years shall all things be accomplished. And what is this He saith - He rested the seventh day? He meaneth this, that when His Son shall come and abolish the season of the wicked one, and shall judge the ungodly, and change sun, moon, and stars, then He shall gloriously rest on that seventh day."

Now, to what does this witness testify? (a) That at the end of six thousand years from the creation of the world, the glorious or Millennial rest will begin. (b) That to inaugurate this period, Christ will come. (c) That the wicked will be in the ascendant, possessing the dominion till Christ does come. (d) That at His coming He will judge the ungodly, dethrone evil, and give the dominion to the saints. (e) That the seven thousandth year of the world will be the beginning of the Millennium of rest.

2. Papias, our second witness, was a disciple of John, and the companion of Polycarp. His workers have perished, but an extract from them, given by Eusebius, contains the following: "There will be a certain thousand years after the resurrection of the dead when Christ will reign corporally (personally) upon the earth"; and he says, "that what he relates are the very words of the elders Andrew, Peter, Philip, Thomas, James, John, Matthew, Aristio, and John the Presbyter, as related by them to those of whom he constantly made the enquiry"; and he pledges himself to the "truth and fidelity of what he reports."

3 Justin Martyr, born ten years before the death of the apostle John, says, in his dialogue with Tyrpho, "I, and all that are orthodox Christians, are acquainted with the resurrection of the body, and the thousand years in Jerusalem - rebuilt, adorned, and enlarged, as the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, and others do declare. Moreover, John, one of the apostles of Christ, did prophesy that the faithful believers in Christ shall live a thousand years in Jerusalem, and after that, the general and everlasting resurrection and last judgment of all together."

4. Irenaeus was the disciple of Polycarp, the pupil of John. He wrote, among other things, five books upon the heresies of his time. Moshiem says that his writings are "the most precious monuments of ancient erudition." He says: "In whatever number of days the world was created, in the same number of thousands of years it will come to its consummation. God on the sixth day finished His work and rested on the seventh. This is a history of the past - and a prophecy of the future - for the day of the Lord is as a thousand years. Irenaeus sealed his testimony with his blood, being beheaded under Severus, A.D. 202.

5. Tertillian, the contemporary of Irenaeus, says, in his third book against Marcion: "We also confess that a Kingdom is promised to us on earth before that in heaven after the resurrection. It will be for a thousand years in a city of divine workmanship,"

6. Cyprian says, "In the divine arrangement of the world, seven days were first employed, and in them seven thousand years are included. Evil things and adverse will increase until the end foretold shall come." 7. Clement of Alexandra, who wrote between A.D. 193 and 218, says that both Greeks and Hebrews accounted the seventh day sacred because it pointed to the renovation of all things.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:31:20 PM
Prophecy - Signs
What Time Is It?
by A. Edwin Wilson


8.. Nepos, a learned Egyptian bishop (A.D. 262), held similar views.

9. Lactantius, A.D. 310, the "Christian Cicero," and reckoned one of the most learned of the fathers, says: "He (God) shall restore the just that have been from the beginning unto life, and He shall converse among men a thousand years, and rule them with a most righteous government."

10. Gibbon, the infidel historian, speaking of this doctrine of the Millennium says: "The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to tradition, which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years, and that Christ, with the triumphant band of His saints and the elect who had escaped death or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon the earth."

11. The celebrated Chillingworth says, "This doctrine was by the Church of the next age after the Apostles held to be true, and by none of that age opposed or condemned." And now let the reader note well, when and under what circumstances this Apostolic and primitive mode of receiving and interpreting Scripture began. During these centuries of persecution, this doctrine of the pre-millennial Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ had been the church's fondest hope. This had lit up the darkness of the dungeon, fired the zeal of the martyrs, and blunted the edge of the persecutor's sword. The heathen persecutors recognized this at last, and said, "It is no use persecuting these men and putting them to death, for they say they shall rise again from the dead and live and reign with him they call Christ, a thousand years upon the earth."

12. Luther. He believed that "The great purposes of God's mercy would reach their consummation at the end of six thousand years from the creation," and that the day of judgment was not much more than three hundred years removed from his time."

13. Malanethon affirmed that the "Mohametan Empire and the Papacy would be destroyed about the same time, not long before the first resurrection; that the world would endure six thousands in its present state, and then enter upon a Sabbatic Millennium of rest."

14. Latimer says, "The world was ordained to last six thousand years."

15. The Rabbi Ketina, as cited in Gemara, or gloss of their Talmud, says, "The world endures six thousand years, and one thousand it shall be laid waste (that is the enemies of God shall be destroyed), whereof it is said, "the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day."

16. The Jewish Cabbalists taught the same. The first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet (Aleph) occurs six times in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis; and as a numeral in Jewish arithmetic it stands for 1,000, which being six times repeated in the same verse, they regard as prophetic, or typical of the six thousand years of secular history as well as the six days of creation.

From these quotations one cannot help but be impressed with the fact that those living nearest the Lord and His Apostles believed beyond any shadow of a doubt that the world was divided into the two periods of six days of work and a day of rest. And because the Lord had said that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years," the true significance of the days meant, God would work with the world six thousand years and then enter the day of rest.

Without attempting to set any dates whatsoever, one cannot but be interested in the fact that the four leading chronologers, who vary but about one hundred years in their findings, all believe that the world is approaching some time in the near future its six thousandth year. Among these chronologers is the late Sir Martin Anstey of England who believed that the six thousandth year of Scripture coincides with 1958 of the year of our Lord. We appreciate the fact that this is in the realm of speculation, but it is of interest to note that regardless of whose chronology we adopt, one must admit that the sands in the hour glass of time are fast running out. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back someday (and none of us knows what day); therefore it becomes us to be ready everyday.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:33:57 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Signs Of The Times
by A. Edwin Wilson



SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Matthew 16:1-3. "Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"

When one speaks of the Lord's return and its eminence the questions arise, "How do you know that His return is near?" and" Are there any signs of His return, and can they be safely interpreted?"

The importance of our Lord's return is at once manifested in that Satan has made it the focal point of his attacks upon the eternal plan and purpose of God. A Christian whose hope is in the coming of the Lord purifies himself, and Satan is not interested in Christians' being pure. Therefore, he tries to bring the doctrine of the second coming of Christ into disrepute and make spectacles of those who preach His soon return.

Now to address ourselves to the signs of the times. It is a principle of the moral government of God in His dealings with mankind not to permit a judgment to come upon man, nor a dispensation to come to a close, nor any great event to come to pass without ample warning and many signs to make one realize that the event in question is at hand. Let us consider some of God's signs and warnings from the beginning:

I. The destruction of all flesh on the face of the earth by the flood was preceded by three great signs easily understood by any who so desired. The first of these signs was the building of the ark according to God's revelation to Noah, wherein He gave specifications to the dimensions and the activity of the builders. All of these things should have startled the public into the realization that something was in the offing.

The second of these three signs was Noah's preaching righteousness for a hundred and twenty years, in which he constantly reminded the people and exhorted them concerning the judgment of God which was to come upon the world in the form of a flood. But it seemed to have had no effect whatever. The third sign of this impending destruction by the flood was the gathering of the animals into the ark. They manifestly entered without any fear or timidity in specified numbers according to the revealed will of God. There may have been a little excitement among the people but there was nothing that caused them to think upon themselves and their relationship to God. But there was not a one who perished in the flood but who would have had to acknowledge that he had ample warning.

Let us not forget that Jesus said, "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." There are many Christians today as oblivious to the second coming of Christ as these people were to the approaching of the flood.

II. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah followed God's warning. Before the Lord rained fire and brimstone upon these two cities and several other cities of the plain, he sent His angels into the city of Sodom to warn the inhabitants of the impending judgment, with the call unto them to flee from the city before the destruction came. The warnings of these two angels, which were also taken up by Lot, meant nothing to the inhabitants of the city, and even Lot's married daughters and their husbands looked upon Lot as if he were out of his mind. There was not a person who perished in the destruction of these two cities but who had ample warning with plenty of time to flee.

III. Before the great famine in Egypt which also spread to the whole world, the Lord through Joseph gave plenty of warning, first of all by giving them seven years of plenty, exhorting them to save during the years of plenty for the years of famine that would follow. Because of this warning of God, Joseph was able to prevail upon Pharaoh to store up for the years of famine, thereby averting many heartaches that would have been brought on by starvation.

IV. Before the Lord God destroyed Pharaoh and all his hosts in the Red Sea He had given them ample warning through Moses and the ten plagues. Pharaoh knew of the judgements of God and Pharaoh had ample time to make preparations, but he, like so many today, cared not for the things of the Lord and destruction was his portion.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:36:38 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Signs Of The Times
by A. Edwin Wilson

V. Before the handwriting appeared on the wall, announcing Belshazzar's doom and the fall of Babylon, God had demonstrated through his father Nebuchadnezzar that Jehovah was the Lord and that beside Him there was none other. Belshazzar had seen his father grazing in the fields with the cattle for seven years. Belshazzar saw his father restored to sanity and back to the headship of the Babylonian Empire, but none of these things moved Belshazzar, and he lived as if there were no God nor any day of accounting unto the Lord.

A most pertinent statement pertaining to the truth that God makes His will known ahead of time is Amos 3:7: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."

When certain of the scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus, and asked for a sign from heaven, He rebuked them severely, saying, "0 ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"

I think it is of great significance that those with twisted or perverted views of the second coming of Christ are given specific appellations by the Lord. Here He calls them HYPOCRITES. In Luke 24:25 He calls those who do not believe everything spoken about the Lord FOOLS. In Matthew 24:48 anyone who would put anything between us and the coming of the Lord is called an EVIL SERVANT. And in II Peter 3:3 those who make light of and ridicule the second coming of Christ are called SCOFFERS. What a catalog of names! Hypocrites. . . fools. . . evil servants. . . . scoffers. This is what our Lord calls those who make light of the second coming of Christ. When the Lord was approached by the scribes and Pharisees who desired of Him a sign from heaven, He rebuked them for not being able to discern the signs of the times; that is , they had been given ample signs of His first advent so that everyone of them should have known that it was time for Messiah to be at hand.

The first sign to which I call your attention is what we call the chronological sign. In Daniel, chapter 9, as Daniel was studying the book of Jeremiah he realized that the 70 years of captivity of the children of Israel were almost completed and his thought was that with the expiration of the 70 years the Lord would come. However, in vv. 24-27 of that ninth chapter the Lord made it very plain that He would not appear on the earth at the expiration of the 70 years but at the end of 483 years. Daniel was told that God would yet deal with Israel 490 years, this period of time being divided into three periods. At the end of 49 years the temple would be rebuilt. At the end of 483 years the Messiah would appear and be cut off. There was not a Jew alive in those days but who could figure from the decree that was issued by Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28 ) that 483 years had passed and that it was time for the Messiah to appear and to be crucified. (There still remain 7 years in which God will yet deal with Israel as a nation according to the laws of the Old Testament.

The second sign is the celestial. In Numbers 24:17 Balaam spoke of a Star arising out of Jacob and a sceptre out of Israel. The old rabbis from time immemorial have associated the star which appeared in the east with the Star of Jacob prophesied by Balaam. There were many who recognized the significance of the prophecy of the star in the east, but by far and large the majority of the people of Israel ignored it.

The third sign: The wise men out of the east. Their presence on the streets of Jerusalem was of such import that Herod ascertained from them the time of the appearing of the star and then, having learned where the Christ should be born, sent his soldiers to Bethlehem and had all the male children two years and under slain, hoping to destroy the King of the Jews who would ascend to the throne of David. This sign seemed to have had little impact upon the scribes and Pharisees.
 
The fourth sign: The prophecy of Micah concerning Bethlehem. The star guiding the wise men from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and the slaying of the male children of Bethlehem projected Bethlehem into such prominence that the very city itself became a sign that some great event had transpired. The fifth sign: The announcement of the shepherds from the field, accompanied by the singing of the angels in the heavens. This phenomenon should have produced wonder and amazement sufficient for the scribes and Pharisees to ask why and find their answer in the first advent of the Messiah.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:38:39 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Signs Of The Times
by A. Edwin Wilson

The sixth sign: The departure of the scepter of Judah. As Jacob lay upon his deathbed he gathered his sons around him to tell them of the things which would befall them in the last days. He said to Judah (Genesis 49:10), "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, not a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." Simply expressed this means that when the scepter had departed from Judah the Messiah would be on the earth. The scepter is the visible symbol of the power of government. Genesis 9:6 tells us that the basis and authority of civil government reside in the power to execute capital punishment upon the murderer. So what Jacob said in effect was that when Judah could no longer execute a sentence of capital punishment, Shiloh (that is, the Lord Jesus Christ) would have come.
 
In John 18:28-31, wherein we read of Jesus' being convicted and sentenced to death by the Sanhedrin, they take Him to Pilate to be executed. Pilate had no inclination whatever to do so and tells them, "You take Him, and Judge Him accordingly to your law," to which the Jews reply, "It is not lawful for us to put any man to death." THE SCEPTER HAD DEPARTED FROM JUDAH. The Jews could not execute a man guilty of a capital offense. There was not a Jew present but who should have known instantly that the prophecy of Jacob had been fulfilled. The scepter had departed from Judah because Shiloh had come.

No wonder our Lord called them hypocrites, with all of these signs in evidence and still they would not accept the fact that the Messiah had come and that He, Jesus of Nazareth, was their Messiah. The Jews did not see - the Jews did not understand - they were blinded. And all of this because they had turned from the Book that recorded these signs and read only the traditions of men. They cared not for the Word of God, and they missed the greatest opportunity of their life. For two thousand years the nation of Israel has paid and paid in agony, tragedy and suffering untold. All of this because they did not believe in the signs of the times.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:40:55 PM
Prophecy - Signs
When Shall These Things Be?
by A. Edwin Wilson


WHEN SHALL THESE THINGS BE?

In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked the Lord three questions: "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

In our Lord's lament over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39), He solemnly announced, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." In the use of the word house in Scripture, sometimes it refers to the house of Israel and sometimes to the temple. Here, I think, it refers to both with the emphasis on the temple. As was our Lord's custom during His last week on earth, He ministered in the temple by day, and retired to the olive garden at night. It was on one of these occasions that the disciples, pressed down with the burden and worry of the desolation of Jerusalem which was prophesied, showed Him the building of the temple, and as they looked at it and meditated upon its massiveness and grandeur, they remembered that Herod was 46 years in building it. They were also cognizant of the fact that many of the stones in the building were 12x20x4O feet in measurement. The desolation of such a structure was inconceivable to their minds; so our Lord said, "See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down." This was our Lord's own exposition of Matthew 23:38- a destruction of such a nature that not one stone would be left on top of another. These massive parts of the building themselves were to be scattered all over the temple area. Later on in the day as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately asking three questions: (1) "When shall these things be?" That is, when will the temple be destroyed to such an extent that one stone will not be left upon another? (2) "What shall be the sign of thy coming?" (3) "What shall be the sign of the end of the world?"
 
God in His providence, in giving His revelation to man, has not given us an organized, well-defined system of theology, but has so made known His truth that man must dig if he is to comprehend it all. This first question is not answered at all in Matthew; neither is it touched upon in Mark. It is not until we come to Luke 21:20 that we find the answer. Now let us put three things together that we may correctly understand.

Jesus said, "Your house is left unto you desolate" (Matthew 23:38 ). The disciples asked, "When shall these things be" (Matthew 24:3)7 Jesus answered, "And when Ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh" (Luke 21:20). Without any other designation in this verse of Scripture, it follows of necessity that it is the first time after the speaking of this prophecy that Jerusalem shall be surrounded with armies, that constitutes the sign or the desolation of Jerusalem.

Not only did our Lord give them the sign in this passage in Luke, but in verse 21 He says that when Jerusalem is compassed with armies, "then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereunto." This prophecy was uttered in about 30 A.D. The year 40 A.D. went and no armies had surrounded Jerusalem; likewise, 50 A.D. Then 60 A.D. arrived and no armies; but in October of 66 A.D., Cestius Gallus and his Roman legions moved against the city of Jerusalem, completely surrounding it. Jerusalem was then surrounded by armies for the first time since our Lord had uttered His prophecy giving the sign of its approaching desolation.

One cannot but wonder what the Christians were thinking. Here was the sign the Lord had given. He also had told them that when this sign appeared they were to flee from the city to places of safety. It presented quite a dilemma - commanded to flee, and flight an impossibility. But Jesus Christ, being God and knowing all His works from the beginning, had prophesied right. Just about a month later, in November 66 A.D., for no known reason at all, Cestius Gallus and his Roman armies withdrew and left the territory completely.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:42:59 PM
Prophecy - Signs
When Shall These Things Be?
by A. Edwin Wilson

Jerusalem was on the verge of absolute disaster. Food and water supplies were exhausted. They could not have withstood the siege another week. Military tacticians themselves have been baffled through the years trying to explain the movement of Cestius Gallus in withdrawing from Jerusalem. We who believe the Bible understand it readily. The sign of the imminent desolation of Jerusalem was the encompassing of the city by armies. That sign had been given. The accompanying command was for the Christians to leave Jerusalem when they saw this take place. Because they could not leave while the armies were there, our Lord removed the armies so that the Christians could flee the city and not be in the carnage of its desolation. It was in 70 A.D. that Titus returned with the Roman armies and threw up a siege which resulted in the sacking and desolation of the city. More than one million perished in the fall of Jerusalem. Josephus, in his Antiquity of the Jews, tells us that the wave of Jewish blood flowing down through the gutters of the city reached such proportions that whole houses on fire in the southern part were extinguished by this wave of human blood. Josephus also tells us in the same book that so far as could be ascertained, not a Christian perished in the fall of Jerusalem who believed the sign our Lord gave them, and fled at the opportunity provided.

How did the temple fare? History records the fact that when the siege was over there was not one stone of the temple left on top of another. Tradition has it that gold leaf was between the stones to enhance the beauty of the temple. The need of the Roman Empire for gold was such that each stone was removed, taken off by itself and the gold scraped from the stone and added to the coffers of the Roman Empire. Another tradition is that the dome of the temple was made of solid gold, and the holocaust melting the gold caused it to run down between the stones with the result that they had to be separated and the gold scraped off to save it. Thus was the prophecy of our Lord concerning the desolation of Jerusalem and the temple fulfilled.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:45:55 PM
Prophecy - Signs
What Shall Be The Sign Of Thy Coming?
by A. Edwin Wilson


WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN OF THY COMING?

In our last article we answered the first of the three questions the disciples asked the Lord -"Tell us when shall these things be?" In this current article we will deal with the second question, "What shall be THE sign of thy coming?"

One cannot but be amazed at some fundamental scholars who go to great lengths to try to prove that there are no signs of the coming of our Lord, when He, Himself, took special pains to show that there was A sign of His coming as well as innumerable signs of His imminent return. In Matthew 24:4, Jesus cautioned the disciples against the deception of man. He also told then that many would come in His name saying that they were Christ. How true it is that around the world today there are many who claim to have the power and attributes which belong to Him. The Lord also called attention to the fact that there would be wars and rumors of wars until His return; but in verses 7 and 8 He gives us THE sign of His coming: "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

What we have mentioned in verse 7 is a world-wide conflict followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. The language of Scripture will not permit the acceptance of any other world war as a sign except the first one to take place after the utterance of the prophecy. It would have been necessary for the Lord to have used an ordinal number to specify the worldwide war He had in mind; but He did not, and it can be no other than World War I. In verse 8, Jesus says that this world war, followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, was the beginning of sorrows. The word sorrows is the same that is used in I Thessalonians 5:3, which is there translated travail. That is, all these are the beginning of travail. Let me express it still in another way: This is the first birth pang. This is the exact language the Lord used. Just as the first siege of Jerusalem, after the prophecy, was the sign of the approaching desolation, so the first world war after this prophecy was the sign of our Lord's imminent return. Now watch closely two other passages of Scripture: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake" (verse 9). The word then relates this experience to the sign. Sometime after the first world war there is going to be a persecution of the Jews that shall be world-wide in that they shall be hated by all nations. The phrase "all nations" is never used except to distinguish all the Gentiles from the children of Israel; hence, this verse does not have to do with just the persecution of Christians but also the persecution of the Jews by all the Gentile nations.

Just before the tragedy of Pearl Harbor, the persecution of the Jews had reached such proportions that even the United States of America would not permit two boat loads of Jewish refugees to enter its borders. Had not Pearl.': Harbor happened, the evidence is to the fact that persecution of the Jews : would have broken out all over this country. The, result of this world-wide persecution of the Jews was the decimation of over one-third of the Jewish population of the world. All of that was "for my name's sake." How could these unsaved Jews be persecuted for Christ's sake? The Jew is hated for three particular reasons: First, because he gave us our Bible as far as human means is concerned; second, he gave us the Messiah after the flesh; and." third, he is to be Jehovah's witness to the ends of the earth. That is the;' reason Satan hates the Jew, and that is the reason the world hates the Jew. ' But it seems paradoxical that the three reasons for which he is hated guarantee his perpetuity on the earth.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:48:23 PM
Prophecy - Signs
What Shall Be The Sign Of Thy Coming?
by A. Edwin Wilson

In that same passage we have these verses: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know j that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." In this parable of the fig tree Jesus says that soon after Israel becomes a nation again you know that He is near, even at the door; for in this parable the fig tree symbolizes Israel as a nation. As a national power Israel was set aside, the fig tree was cut down.

But Jesus said that Israel is to be restored as a nation and that this event itself is a sign of His immanency. In verse 34, Jesus gives the added chronological aspect of the sign of His coming in the words of this generation: that is, the generation mentioned in verse 33, meaning, the generation which sees these things shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.

To sum it up, Jesus said that the generation which sees a world-wide war followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, followed by world-wide persecution of the Jews in which untold numbers would be killed, and followed soon thereafter by Israel becoming a nation again - THAT GENERATION would see His return to earth.

It is because of these Scriptures that the writer believes that our Lord may come in this generation. We have seen the war of 1914-18; we have seen the slaying of six million Jews in World War II, and on May 14, 1948, we saw the fig tree bud. Surely the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, for Jesus said this is THE sign of His coming.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:53:01 PM
Prophecy - Signs
What Shall Be The Sign Of The End Of The World?
by A. Edwin Wilson


WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN OF THE END OF THE WORLD?

This article brings us to the third and last question the disciples asked the Lord as recorded in Matthew 24:3. The first question was, "When shall these things be?" meaning the destruction of Jerusalem. The second question was, "What shall be the sign of thy coming?" Now for the third and last they asked, "What shall be the sign of the end of the world?"

We call your attention first of all to the fact that the correct translation is not "the end of the world" but "the end of the age." The end of the world will not take place until some thousand years after the end of this age. There are several signs spoken of portending the end of the age which we will discuss a little later; but right now we present THE SIGN of its swift consummation: "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:15, 21, 30).

The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel refers to the image made and erected by King Nebuchadnezzar as described in Daniel 3. There is further reference to this abomination of desolation spoken of in Revelation 13:15. This will be the placing of the image of the Anti-Christ in the Holy of Holies, to which life shall be given and worship of which shall be exacted from the people under penalty of death for refusal. This ushers in the great tribulation which shall be followed immediately by the darkening of the sun, the failure of the moon to give light, the falling of the stars from heaven, and the appearance of the sign of the Son of man in heaven. There is no description of the sign, but the Scripture is clear to the extent that there will be no doubt as to the sign and its significance. That is what our Lord gave as the answer to the question, "What shall be the sign of the end of this age?" Now I want to give you a number of events which in themselves constitute signs of the end of this age.

1. The rapture of the saints (I Thessalonians 4:13-5:6). Whereas the catching away of all the saints by the resurrection of the dead and the translation of the living is a secret event known and experienced only by the saved, yet the absence from the earth of a vast number of individuals whose bodies will not be found on the earth will be a sign to the ones remaining that movements have been set in motion which will swiftly culminate in the end of the age.

2. The appearance all over the world of 144,000 Jewish evangelists simultaneously appearing and beginning to preach the gospel of the kingdom, is another sign that this present age is about to close (Revelation 7).

3. The rise of the Anti-Christ as described in II Thessalonians 2, will be another sign to the peoples on the earth that the end of the age is fast approaching. In Daniel 9:26, 27 we have a description of his coming from the city of Rome with his covenant of peace with the children of Israel for seven years, which covenant will be broken at the end of three and a half years when the great tribulation will begin. The inaugural years of his reign shall be of unparalleled peace and prosperity, swiftly changing to persecution and reducing many to direct extremities during which two-thirds of the Jewish population will be destroyed from the face of the earth.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 01:57:32 PM
Prophecy - Signs
What Shall Be The Sign Of The End Of The World?
by A. Edwin Wilson

4. The rebuilding of the city of Babylon and its subsequent downfall as described in Revelation 18, will be another very striking sign that the end of the age is at hand. There are a few who deny the rebuilding of the city of Babylon, but a careful study of the prophecy of the description of the fall of Babylon will reveal the facts that none of these prophetic destructions has as yet been fulfilled, which will necessitate the rebuilding of Babylon in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.

5. The institution of a system of idolatry headed by the worship of the beast and his image described in Revelation 13:15, will constitute Scriptural evidence that the end of the age will soon appear. One cannot but be impressed with the fact even today that there are evidences of many people turning from the worship of the Creator to the things which the Creator has produced - that is, transferring the affection from the Creator to the created.

6. After the rapture of the saints and the restoration of the Jews to their land and their subsequent conversion, there will be the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." The attempt to place the fulfillment of this prophecy before the rapture is causing havoc in Christian circles today. All of these signs, wonders, and miracles after the rapture will be a sign of the end of the age.

7. The restoration of all the Jews to their land and their conversion to the Lord (Romans 11:25, 26) is a sign that this present age is drawing to a close.

8. The breaking out of wars under the leadership of the Anti-Christ is a harbinger of the end of the age (Daniel 9:26b).

9. The appearance of Elijah will be a Scriptural testimony to the fact that this age has run its course: "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse " (Malachi 4:5, 6). While it is of intense interest and absolute necessity that we study these signs and be informed concerning them, they do not concern us except that we can see their shadows already beginning to appear, for nothing is truer in the prophetic Word than that coming events cast their shadows before them. The appearance of these shadows should be a sign to us Christians that the rapture of the saints is drawing near because that great event will take place before any of these above mentioned signs.

"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head; for your redemption draweth nigh."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:01:37 PM
Prophecy - Signs
When Is The Gospel To Be Preached In All The World?
by A. Edwin Wilson


WHEN IS THE GOSPEL TO BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD?

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations,' and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14).

Since the beginning of the Christian era, there has been a philosophy of missions in relation to the doctrine of the second coming of Christ based on the above verse of Scripture as follows: "The gospel must be preached in all the world to all nations before Jesus Christ can return for His saints."

A careful reading of Matthew 24:14 will reveal two most pertinent facts: (1) It is the gospel of the KINGDOM that must be preached and NOT the gospel of grace. (2) The result attendant upon the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom is clearly set forth as the END and not the second coming of Christ.

Let us now treat these two fallacies in their given order. (1) What is the gospel of the kingdom, and (2) Wherein does it differ from the gospel of the grace of God?

The word "gospel" strictly, technically, and literally means, "good news." It comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "godspell," which is derived from two words "God" and "spell" - "spell" meaning "tale" or "story"; hence, God's tale or story. Or yet again, God's news or good news. Therefore, the word "gospel" in the evangelical sense means "good news of God." The gospel of grace is the good news pertaining to the grace of God. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of the establishment here on earth (in fulfillment of the covenant God made with David pertaining to his house and his throne) of His kingdom, over which the Seed of David as King would rule and reign for one thousand years.

The gospel of the grace of God is, "'. . .. Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Under the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom the nation of Israel was called upon to REPENT for her disobedience to the commandments of God; and after the crucifixion of Christ, she was called upon to REPENT of her rejection and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Under the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God, individuals are called upon to BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43; 16:30, 31; Romans 1:16).

According to Matthew 10:5, 6, the gospel of the kingdom was to be preached only to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The preaching of the gospel of grace is to the Jew first, but it is ALSO TO THE GREEK (Romans 1:16).

Under the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, they were to provide neither gold, nor silver, nor extra clothing (Matthew 10:9, 10). Under the preaching of the gospel of grace, they were to "provide things honest in the sight of all men" (Romans 12:17). They were to distribute as the necessity of the saints demanded (I Timothy 6:18 ).

The gospel of the kingdom called for a man to sell all that he had and give all to the poor. (A rich man could hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven according to Matthew 19:21,23.) But under the gospel of grace, rich men are exhorted to do good with their riches and be ready and willing to distribute, and to communicate to those who have need. They are not charged to sell all and give to the poor. (I Timothy 6:17-19). Notice in this connection that "The living God giveth us richly all things to enjoy" instead of requiring the oath of poverty.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:05:21 PM
Prophecy - Signs
When Is The Gospel To Be Preached In All The World?
by A. Edwin Wilson

Under the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, the Lord says in Matthew 6:31-34a, "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithall shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need for all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow." But under the gospel of grace, Paul says that the minister of spiritual things is to share in the material things of those who are free to engage in business. He further states that the minister of the gospel is to live by the gospel just as the priest of the temple lived on the things of the temple. That is a definite expression of the Spirit of God for a stated salary and expenses for ministers (I Corinthians 9:11, 13, 14).

Under the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, the poor were supplied out of the common treasury (Acts 2:44, 45; 4:34, 35). But under the preaching of the gospel of grace, a man was to provide for his own (I Timothy 5:8 ). Also, in II Thessalonians 3:10-12, a man was forbidden to eat unless he did work, with further exhortation that he must work and eat of his own bread.

Under the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, they were forbidden to take an oath in the courts of the land (Matthew 5:34-37). But under the gospel of grace, they were commanded to be in subjection to civil authorities and honor all the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-5).

Under the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, the ministry was accompanied by signs, wonders, and miracles which served to authenticate the messengers and their words (Mark 16:16-20). The preaching of the gospel of grace was to be under the power of the Spirit of God with the Word being illuminated by the Spirit, and it was to be accepted because it was from God.

Strange as it may seem, many people do not distinguish between the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14:6, and the gospel of grace. A careful reading of Revelation 14:6, will reveal that the everlasting gospel is not preached until near the close of the tribulation; and it announces the JUDGMENTS of the everlasting God who was before all creation and who is after all creation, who has neither beginning nor ending, and is therefore called the Everlasting Gospel.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:09:56 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Then Shall The End Come
by A. Edwin Wilson


THEN SHALL THE END COME

Matthew 24:14 emphasizes the fact that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world before the end comes. The average missionary expositor of this text uses the word end as if it were synonymous with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has used two different Greek words for end. The one used in Matthew 24:14 is telos, which means the complete final consummative end of all things. The other word is sunteleios found in Matthew 24:3, which means the gathering together of certain necessary accomplishments for the closing of a particular age or dispensation. In Matthew 24:3, the disciples were asking what would be the sign of the end of the age, meaning the gathering of the attendant circumstances which would mark the end of the age of grace. In Matthew 24:14, Jesus called attention to the fact that before the final end of all things, which of necessity would be long after the end of the age just referred to, that the gospel of the kingdom would be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations.

I think it worthwhile to note that this statement of our Lord is not as the missionary preacher expresses it - That the Gospel MUST be preached before the Lord comes - but rather it is a simple prophecy that the gospel of the kingdom WILL be preached before the ultimate end. Now let us turn to I Corinthians 15, where the Spirit uses the word telos (final end of all things) in connection with attendant events. Notice verses 22 through 28: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits: afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father,' when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. "

In verse 24 it says, "Then cometh the end, when. . ." This word when has the exact meaning of the word after, and I note that the end does not come until He shall have delivered up the kingdom, even to God the Father, and that does not occur until He shall put down all rule and all authority and power. That does not occur until after His reign of one thousand years (Revelation 20:6); and not until then is the last enemy destroyed, which is death. Not until then does the Son become subject unto Him that put all things under Him that God may be all in all.

Now permit me to sum this up in one sentence if possible. The end of Matthew 24:14 does not come until Christ has returned, reigned one thousand years, put all enemies in subjection under His feet, including death, and then shall have delivered all unto the Father.

May I emphasize very strongly that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world before that end comes. In the meantime, we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel of grace to every creature in obedience to the command of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. But please don't be guilty of trying to make the Lord's return dependent upon the success of man's missionary program. The time of our Lord's return has been set by God as we read in Acts. 15:14, and Romans, 11:25. When the elect out of the Gentiles have been gathered in and united with the remnant of Israel according to the election of grace to form the Body of Christ, then our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will return.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:14:10 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Sign Of His Coming
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE SIGN OF HIS COMING

Matthew 23:37 - 24:1-14 "What shall be the sign of thy coming?" is one of the questions asked by the disciples in the Olivet discourse. This question is answered by the Lord, and His answer should be a beacon light for all who are looking for His return.

During the last week of our Lord's earthly ministry He went daily into the city of Jerusalem, but returned to the Olive Garden where He spent the night. These nights were given almost wholly to prayer. On one occasion the Lord uttered His lament over Jerusalem as recorded in Matthew 23:37: "0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathered her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." He then pronounced Israel's fate in the words of verse 38: "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."

One must fix in his mind that the Lord prophesied desolation upon the city, the temple and the people. The word house in regard to Israel is used to refer to the land, city and people. This prophesied desolation made an impact upon the disciples, and as they left the temple on that evening they pointed out the massive building to the Lord as if to refute His prophecy of desolation. This temple was the building which Herod had taken forty-six years to build. It was reputed to have many stones in it 12x20x40 feet - stones quarried out of rock of that dimension making it an architectural and engineering phenomenon. The beauty of it was such that a common saying was, "If you have not seen Herod's temple, you do not know beauty.'! It was inconceivable to the disciples that such a building should be made desolate. Our Lord's reply was, "There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down." The magnitude of the desolation was overpowering; and when they reached the Mount of Olives and were alone, the disciples asked Jesus these three questions: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" This is so important that we repeat:

(1) They wanted to know when the temple would be left desolate;

(2) they wanted to know what would be the sign of His coming, and

(3) they wanted to know what would be the sign that the age was coming to an end.

(The Greek text sets forth the fact that it is the age and not the world, as such, of which He speaks.) These three questions concerned the disciples in the day of our Lord. These three questions concerned the Lord when He was here on the earth. These three questions should concern all students of the Word of God today. The Lord spoke more about His second advent than His first; the prophets spoke more of His second advent than of His first; and we should have more than a passing interest in His second advent. The plea that the study of the second coming of Christ gives people the wrong perspective is ill-founded, for there is no Scriptural truth but what is placed in the wrong perspective by some of its adherents. The first advent had no significance apart from the second. Our redemption is incomplete until Christ returns. Christ's ministry is incomplete until He returns, and all Scriptural truth is rendered out of focus without a clear-cut conception of Christ's second advent. It is important to know about the coming of the Lord to this earth.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:21:26 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Sign Of His Coming
by A. Edwin Wilson

Now let us take up the questions in their order:

"Tell us, when shall these things be?" (That is, when is our house going to be left desolate?) In Luke 21:20, 21, we have these verses: "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea {lee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out,' and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. "

The sign of the approaching desolation was that Jerusalem would be encompassed with armies; and since there is no specific number as to which siege was meant, it follows of necessity that it must be the first one after the uttering of these words. The next time an army moved down against Jerusalem and surrounded it, then the disciples and the inhabitants were to know that the desolation of the city was in the offing. They were to know also that its desolation was as certain as the Word of God. The exhortation was given by the Lord that when the city was encompassed with armies then those in the city were to flee to the mountains, and those outside the city were not to enter therein. This would be a rather difficult thing to do with the city in a state of siege-but wait and see how the Lord fulfilled His Word.

There is a space of approximately 40 years between the time the Lord uttered these words and the time of the desolation - 40 years during which they had opportunity to repent as a nation and see the fulfillment of Acts 3:19. Three decades passed and there was no evidence of armies or a siege against Jerusalem; but in October of 66 A.D. Cestius Gallus and his Roman legions came against the city and threw up a siege that virtually paralyzed it. Our Lord had said that this would be the sign of the approaching desolation of the house of Israel. One cannot help but wonder how many people recognized it as the sign. Subsequent events prove that the first generation of Christians believed far more in the signs of the times than our present generation of believers. Of course those in the city could not flee to the mountains as the Lord had urged; neither could those outside enter in. But wait - about a month later, in November of the same year, for no visible or understandable reason, Gallus and his legions withdrew and left that part of the country. The disciples and believers within the city then fled to the mountains. Josephus, in his Antiquity of the Jews, tells us that so far as the record goes, there was not a single Christian who perished in the fall of Jerusalem some four years later. They believed the word of the Lord and accepted that first siege as the sign, and as opportunity presented itself, fled. It is doubtful that many inhabitants of the city hearing again of the Lord's prophecy attached any importance to it but reckoned it as a mere coincidence. But in the year 70 A.D., the Emperor Titus threw up a siege against the city and ultimately reduced it to shambles, slaying two or three million Jews who were in the city at the time. So great was the blood shed that Josephus speaks of whole houses on fire in the southern part of the city being extinguished by the wall of human blood that flowed down into that area. Tradition has it that between the stones of the building was gold leaf which had been placed there to enhance the beauty of the temple. Its dome also was of solid gold, and the Roman's need for gold caused them to remove each stone separately and scrape the gold from it, leaving no stone upon another when they had finished. The prophecies of the Lord were fulfilled in minutest detail concerning the desolation of the house of Israel.

If the Lord went to such pains to prophesy and fulfill the destruction of Jerusalem, who can say that the prophecies pertaining to His second coming are not as valid and worthy of study?

The second question of Matthew 24:3 was, ". . .and what shall be the sign of thy coming?" This question is answered in the immediate context when Jesus says, "Take heed that no man deceive you."

There has been much deception pertaining to the coming of the Lord - all of which originated with Satan. He has sought to bring the doctrine of the coming of the Lord into disrepute by mishandling and perversions on the part of sincere but misled folks. Some of them deceive by saying that His coming is already past; others by saying that the destruction of Jerusalem was His second coming; others say that the conversion of an individual is the second coming; others, that the advent of the Holy Spirit was the second coming; others say that the death of a Christian is the second coming; others, that His coming is spiritual and not literal, and still others deceive by saying that He is not coming back at all. One can readily see the need of the exhortation of our Lord when He said, "Take heed that no man deceive you."

The Lord also warns against deception in Matthew 24:5 when He says, "Many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." False Christs were in evidence during the Lord's time on earth and also in the time of the apostles. John the beloved says in I John 2:18, "Even now are there many antichrists. " From the time of Christ until now many have claimed to be the Christ. A couple whom we sent to India as missionaries reported there were some 14 or 15 natives of India who said they were Christ, claiming to have died and risen again from the dead. Our missionary in Miami Beach, attended a meeting where she was introduced to a man from the Middle East who claimed to be the resurrected Christ. She asked to see his hands, and when they revealed no nail prints, she asked him, "Where are the wounds?" Of course he was a false Christ, as are all the others.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven and has been there since His ascension. He will not return to the earth until after He has appeared in the air and called His own to meet Him there (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 ). All these false Christs make their appearances with the preaching of a false gospel. In the preaching of a false gospel we do not mean that all their preaching is false; but error is mixed with the truth in such a subtle way that few can distinguish between truth and error. The one true test is the Word of God. We have the simple statement in Isaiah 8:20 that if they speak not according to the law and to the testimony it is because there is no light in them.

The best antidote in this time of deception is a thorough knowledge of the Word of God.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:30:59 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Sign Of His Coming
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE SIGN OF HIS COMING


After the appearance of false Christs, the Lord says in verse 6: "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. " The most striking thing in this verse is that whereas there will be wars and rumors of wars until the time of the Lord's return, the end is not set forth in an era of peace or wars. The Scripture speaks of three great conflicts that will take place before the end of all things; so we are not to be particularly upset or excited when we hear of wars and rumors of wars. But the Lord says there is coming a day when "nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places" (v. 7). Here He is saying that someday there is coming a world-wide war. Prior to this, conflicts will have existed on a lesser basis.
 
For instance, back when the Philistines and the children of Israel were engaged in conflicts, often a champion was chosen from each side such as David and Goliath, and the winner won the battle for his entire side. On other occasions a few men would be chosen to engage in the conflict. Then there were those days when just fighting men of different groups fought; but it was not until 1914.18 that the world was involved in a conflict in which not only the men of war engaged, but also the civilians, both men and women. The importance of determining whether or not the conflict of 1914-18 was such is to be found in verse 8. The Lord states conclusively that a world-wide conflict involving men, women and children, followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places would be THE sign of His coming. Notice verse 8 carefully. He says THESE things (the above designated) constitute the beginning of sorrows, or travail, as it is in the Greek text. Weymouth translates that verse: "All these are but like the earliest pains of childbirth." What Jesus literally said was that a world-wide conflict followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes was the first birth pang announcing the birth of a new era, and this would be the harbinger of His return and attendant events. Because He did not specify whether it would be the first, second, third, fourth or fifth time this happened seems to mean it was to be the first time a world-wide conflict took place. Our own conviction is that THE sign of the Lord's approaching advent was World War I, which was followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in unparalleled number and intensity. We are not left in doubt at all concerning this because in verse 9 the Lord says: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake."

Now in order to understand this verse, one must also understand the expression "all nations." The word translated nations is also translated heathen in some instances, and Gentiles in other instances. It is an expression used by the Holy Spirit to distinguish this group of people from the nation of Israel. What the Lord is saying in verse 9 is that they (the Gentiles) will deliver the Jews up to be afflicted and shall kill them, and they (the Jews) shall be hated by all the Gentiles for His name's sake. The expression "for His name's sake" is the reason for anti-Semitism. Israel is hated, reviled, bemeaned, persecuted and killed simply and solely because God chose her for His own people as a nation. He has not so dealt with any other nation (See Romans 9:4, 5).

Now let us tie our Scriptures together thus far. Jesus said that the sign of His coming would be a world-wide war, followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places, which would soon be followed by a worldwide persecution of the Jews in which they would be hated by all of the Gentiles and in which many would be killed. At the beginning of World War II there was a wave of anti-Semitism which swept over the world including even our own United States. In those days we heard one of our greatest automobile manufacturers and another who was the idol of America because of his aviation feat, speak over the radio from time to time, and they castigated the Jews and charged them with everything conceivable to a mind that was activated by Satan himself. Such a wave of Jewish hatred was built up in the hearts of the American people that had it not been for the Pearl Harbor debacle there is no doubt but that experiences would have been observed in the United States similar to the ones which took place in Germany under Hitler as he sought the decimation of the Jewish race. It was during this time that two boat loads of Jewish refugees came to our shores seeking a haven. And they were not only refused entrance here, but also in Mexico, South America, and Africa, and had to return to Germany to be destroyed along with more than six million others who died in that wave of Jewish hatred. Just conceive for one moment if you can, of over one-third of the Jewish population being wiped off the face of the earth and for no other reason than that the Lord God Almighty chose them for His own. That is what He means when He says, "For my name's sake."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:36:57 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Sign Of His Coming
by A. Edwin Wilson


In verses 32 and 33, we have the parable of the fig tree. A study of the Scripture reveals that the Lord uses several different trees to symbolize certain aspects of Israel's witness. The olive tree symbolizes Israel and her covenant relationship to the Lord (Romans 11),' the grapevine symbolizes the spiritual blessings which are to flow from Israel (Isaiah 5); the fig tree symbolizes Israel as a nation (Mark 13:28,29,' Luke 21:29-31). The Lord came and sought fruit from the nation of Israel for three years and found none, and He ordered the fig tree, or the nation, cut down. The husbandman pled for another chance, so Israel's life was extended; but when she persisted in bearing no fruit, the nation of Israel was set aside and the Gentiles were given the opportunity of being Jehovah's witness (Romans 11:15-25). We learn from this parable and many others that Israel is to be restored (See also Isaiah 11; Ezekiel 39: 25-29).

Now back to Matthew 24:32. When the Lord says to learn a parable of the fig tree, He is setting forth the truth that the fig tree symbolizes something else, and from other Scriptures we note that it symbolizes the nation of Israel. Trees are used to symbolize nations (See Judges 9:8; Daniel 4). So in this parable He tells us that when the branch is yet tender and has just put forth its leaves, you know that summer is nigh; that is, when Israel becomes a nation again, and very soon thereafter, you know that something is about to happen. It is in verse 32 that we learn what is about to happen. Jesus says, "When ye shall see all these things, know that He (literal translation) is near, even at the doors." Keep in mind that on May 14, 1948, the fig tree put forth her branch. Israel became a nation.

Here then is a summation of the answer the Lord gave to the question, "What shall be the sign of thy coming?"

(1) False Christs shall appear, deceiving many. This has been true for years. (2) There shall be wars and rumors of wars. These are ever present. (3) There will be a world-wide war followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. This took place in 1914-18. (4) This was to be followed by world-wide persecution of Jews with many of them being killed. This took place in 1939-45 in which over six million were killed. (6)(sic) This was to be followed by the fig tree budding again. That took place when Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948.

Jesus said when you see all these things taking place, know that He is near, even at the doors. He also said that THIS GENERATION (the generation which sees the beginning of these things) shall not pass away until all these things have been fulfilled. A generation, according to the Scripture, is threescore and ten years, and if by reason of strength, fourscore.

We are not setting any dates, neither attempting to. We are just trying to interpret the Word of God.

1. There is to be a great conflict between labor and capital. This is foreshadowed in James 5:1-8. "Come now, you rich (people); weep aloud and lament over the miseries-the woes-that are surely coming upon you. Your abundant wealth has rotted and is ruined and your (many) garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are completely rusted through, and their rust will be testimony against you and it will devour your flesh as if it were fire. You have heaped together treasure for the last days. (But) look! (Here are) the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out (for vengeance), and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts. (Here) on earth you have abandoned yourselves to soft (prodigal) living and to (the pleasure of) self-indulgence and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the (innocent) righteous (man, while) he offers no resistance to you. So be patient, brethren, (as you wait) till the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. (See how) he keeps up his patient (vigil) over it until it receives the early and late rains. So you also must be patient. Establish your hearts-strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty-for the coming of the Lord is very near" -Amplified N.T.

2. There will be a great moral decay of society. We see this in II Timothy 3:1-5. "But understand this, that in the last days there will set in perilous times of great stress and trouble-hard to deal with and hard to bear. For people will be lovers of self and (utterly) self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate (greedy) desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffers), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. (They will be) without natural (human) affection (callous and inhuman), relentless-admitting of no truce or appeasement. (They will be) slanderers-false accusers, trouble makers; intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. (They will be) treacherous (betrayers), rash (and) inflated with conceit. (They will be) lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For (although) they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it-their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession. Avoid (all) such people-turn away from them" -Amplified N.T.

3. There will be a passing of personal liberties and freedoms. Already can be seen the foregleam of that which is prophesied in Revelation 13:15-17. .. And he was permitted (also) to impart the breath of life into the beast's image so that the statue of the beast would actually talk, and to cause to be put to death those who would not bow down and worship the image of the beast (Daniel 3:5). Also he compels all (alike), both small and great, both the rich and the poor, both free and slave to be marked with an inscription (stamped) on their right hands or on their foreheads. So that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp (mark, inscription), (that is), the name of the beast or the number of his name" -Amplified N.T.


Today there is a centralized trend in government, religious totalitarianism, and the attempt of the National Council of Churches to curtail all freedoms of non-conformist churches and Christians.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:39:44 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Things To Come
by A. Edwin Wilson


THINGS TO COME

Is man about to destroy himself? Is the end of the world in sight? What does the future hold? What is going to happen next? These are typical of many questions asked the writer today.

There is order in the plan and purposes of God, and so far as the Scripture is concerned, the next great prophetic event will be the rapture of the saints. A close study of Hebrews 11 reveals the order in which things are to take place in regard to Christian experience and the consummation of the age. Since all the characters mentioned in this chapter are not enumerated in their chronological order, it is evident that the order speaks of their typical fulfillment.

Abel, with the blood sacrifice, typifies the Christian coming under the blood of Christ through faith. This sets forth the beginning of this age as the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The next event listed in Hebrews 11 is the translation of Enoch, which typifies the truth that after the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the next great prophetic event is the translation of the saints.

After Enoch comes Noah, and the judgment of God upon the world. This, then, sets forth a type about which there can be no uncertainty: the great tribulation follows the rapture. This establishes as a certain fact, in the light of many concurring Scriptures, that the next great prophetic event is the rapture.

Two or three Scriptures describe this event. In I Corinthians 15:20-23, we see Christ as the Firstfruit. Then, whenever man is raised, it is in his own company. They that are Christ's shall be raised at His coming. These are divided into two distinct groups according to I Thessalonians 4: 16, 17. The dead in Christ rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. There is no room here for a split rapture or a division of the saints because the above verse of Scripture says that ALL the dead in Christ and ALL the living Christians are caught up.

There are two major events in the life of a Christian as related to this earth. The first one is that moment when he is born from above, and the second is when he is caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

In looking at the major events relative to the end time, first there is the rapture, or the raising of the dead: in Christ and the translation of the living Christians. Immediately after the rapture there are events transpiring on the earth, and at the same time, events are taking place in heaven.

The first one to take place in the heavens with the raptured saints is the judgment seat of Christ. This is the time and place when Christians are called to a personal accounting of the life they have lived after they are saved. There will be rewards, honors, positions of prestige, and glory for the faithful. There will be loss, shame, chastisement and grief for the unfaithful. There is no escaping the issues of this judgment. It will be one of absolute justice, and Christians will get just exactly what they deserve on the basis of their works-nothing more, nothing less. Do not be deceived by the false teaching that Christians will not reap the evil deeds done after they are saved.

The judgment seat of Christ is followed by the marriage of the Lamb. The issues of the judgment seat determine who will constitute the bride. Revelation 19:7, 8 gives the truth that the bride is composed only of those Christians who have a wedding garment; and this garment is made up of the righteous acts of the saints. If the judgment seat of Christ reveals that a Christian has no good works, he will suffer loss and therefore have no wedding garment, neither will he be a part of the bride of Christ, even though he has eternal life by the grace of God. One would do well to study an Oriental wedding and see that there are many other parties at a wedding ceremony other then the bridegroom and the bride. The marriage of the Lamb has only to do with New Testament saints, and these will be further divided into many groups other than just the bride.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 04, 2008, 02:42:57 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Things To Come
by A. Edwin Wilson

The marriage of the Lamb is followed by the wedding feast, which does not include all of the wedding party. The Scripture speaks of the blessedness of those who are invited to the feast (Revelation 19:9).

Now, in turning our attention earthward, the first thing to take place on the earth after the rapture of the saints is the sealing of the 144,000 Jews who will preach the gospel of the kingdom to the Gentiles during the tribulation (Revelation 7).

As soon as the sealing of the 144,000 is completed, the antichrist is made manifest. His appearance marks the beginning of the tribulation, a period of seven years, the latter part of which is known as the great tribulation. This period is described in the Revelation from Chapter 6 through Chapter 18. During this time great multitudes of Gentiles will be saved, many of whom will be martyred. The great majority of the nation of Israel will be destroyed when the antichrist makes war against the Lord's chosen people. This entire period of seven years is called the time of Jacob's trouble and is spoken of as a time of suffering, the like of which the world has never seen nor will ever experience again. The only Jews who will be spared during this period is that remnant which will be saved when they look on the Lord Jesus Christ at the time of His descent to the earth. This is the event we shall discuss next.

Revelation 19: 11 opens up the events of the end time in chronological order as Jesus comes with His holy angels to reap vengeance on the earth dwellers and to establish His reign of one thousand years. The Scripture teaches that the first thing to take place when Christ returns to the earth is the salvation of all the living Jews (Zechariah  13:6-9; Revelation 1:7; Romans 11:25-27). Very likely at this same time there will be a resurrection of the dead Jews in their bodies of flesh, blood and bones who, with the above mentioned Jews, go into the Millennium as God's earthly people (Daniel 12:1; Ezekiel 37:11-14).

The Lord Jesus Christ will then gather all the Gentiles before Him and will divide them into two groups known as the sheep and the goats. The sheep will be the nations who believed the gospel of the kingdom and were saved. The goats will be the ones who did not believe the gospel of the kingdom. The fact of their salvation will be manifested by their good works, especially by their treatment of the brethren of our Lord (the Jews). The unsaved ones (goats) will be the vast multitude to be destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon. The saved ones, known as the sheep, will constitute the Gentile nations who go into the Millennium also as an earthly people.

We see how that the location of the peoples for the thousand-year reign of Christ is as follows: The New Testament saints will be in the new Jerusalem located in the heavens. They are the heavenly people of the Lord. This group will be made up both of Jews and Gentiles saved between Pentecost and the rapture. The people of the earth will be the whole house of Israel. They are made up of the Old Testament saints who died and are raised from their graves to possess the land, and the living Jews who are saved at the return of Christ to the earth and are restored to the land of Palestine. The Gentile nations saved during the tribulation, together with the above, make up the people who will live here on the earth.

The binding of Satan may well be the next event to transpire when he shall be cast into the abyss for the duration of the Millennial reign.

Christ will then set up His kingdom with Himself as the King of kings (Revelation 19:16). David will be raised to reign over the house of Israel (Ezekiel 37:24, 25; Jeremiah 30: 9; Hosea 3:5). The twelve apostles will be given positions of authority over the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28); and the Christians who can qualify, will reign over various cities (Luke 19:16-19).

At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be loosed for a season, and with the vast number born during the Millennium who will not confess Christ as Saviour will make war against Him and the city of Jerusalem (Revelation 20:7-9). Satan is then cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where, with the beast and the false prophet who are cast in at the beginning of the Millennium, he will be tormented forever and ever. The present heavens and earth will then pass away-be completely annihilated.

Next is the appearance of the Great White Throne before which will be gathered the unbelievers of all ages as well as the fallen angels. Their portion in the lake of fire will be made known on the basis of their evil deeds; and all whose names are not in the book of life shall be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Then shall appear the new heavens and the new earth. The new Jerusalem, the home of Christ and His saints, will come down to earth as the capital of the new earth. The saved among the Jews and the Gentiles who came though the Millennium will come into the new earth as Jews and Gentiles; so it seems that the new earth will be peopled by the New Testament saints as one group, the redeemed nation of Israel as another group, and the redeemed Gentile nations as another.

TO BE CONTINUED....
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:23:23 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel And The Gospel
by A. Edwin Wilson

ISRAEL AND THE GOSPEL
 
A heresy as old as the Church is the teaching that Israel is the Church. With the setting aside of the nation of Israel, this teaching says that all the promises to Israel have passed to the Church and that we cannot expect the fulfillment of any of the promises or the keeping of any of the covenants which God has made to and with the nation of Israel. All of this, in spite of the direct teaching of the Word of God to the contrary. For instance we read in Romans 11:29 that "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance "; that is, every gift, every promise, and every covenant which God has made with Israel shall yet be fulfilled.

Our purpose, D. V., in the next few articles of this chapter is to give an exposition of Romans IX, X and XI, which gives God's teaching, plans, and purposes concerning Israel and her relationship to the Gentiles and the Church. We will do well at the very outset to keep in mind the three divisions of mankind as given by God in the New Testament. In I Corinthians 10:32 we read of Jews, Gentiles, and the Church of God. We will have a fuller exposition of that a little later in our studies. We also want to get this truth over that at no place and at no time does Israel ever mean anything but the lineal descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In Romans 9:1-5 we read: "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites: to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises,' whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. "

As the Apostle Paul calls upon his conscience to bear him witness in the Holy Spirit that he is telling the truth in Christ, we call to mind that there are three realms in which man stands: (1) He could have said the truth "in Adam." All mankind is in Adam, and the pride of the flesh and of life if reared in an environment where truth is honored could cause an unregenerate man to have regard for the truth. (2) Paul could have spoken the truth "in Moses." Under the law Moses had commanded, "Thou shalt not bear false witness." Paul's regard for the law and the covenants of Sinai would have impelled him to tell the truth. (3) Paul speaks the truth "in Christ." Regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and having genuine love for the Lord who is Truth, Paul as a man in Christ and as a member of His Body, the Church, was speaking the truth in the element in which he lived: that is, in Christ. It is not just pride of the flesh, it is not just obedience to the law of Moses, but it is in Christ that Paul speaks concerning his love for his kinsmen Israel.

When Paul speaks of his kinsmen he refers to the relationship of the flesh (Phil. 3:4-6). Paul remembers that according to the flesh Christ was of the seed of David and of Abraham; consequently, a Jew Himself. This is a most refreshing statement to read in this day in which we find so few people who have a love for the Jews. Here is a reference to a very common experience: A lady was visiting in an evangelical church pastored by a nationally famous individual, and when she asked the pastor about work in that city among the Jews, he replied, "Thank God, we have practically run them all out of here."

The tragedy of such misconception pertaining to Israel is to be seen when a Jew makes a confession of faith in Christ. He becomes literally "a man without a country." His own people, the Jews, care nothing for him; and Gentile Christians will not welcome him into their fellowship except in a few isolated instances where the Word of God has been taught and the people have been instructed pertaining to Israel's place in God's plans and purposes.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:25:00 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel And The Gospel
by A. Edwin Wilson

Personally, I cannot help but love the Jews for several reasons: Our Bible came through them; the Saviour came from Israel; Jesus loved them; Paul loved them; and we are commanded to love them.

Who are Israelites? In Romans 9:4, 5 we have the Holy Spirit's definition and the characteristics of the people called Israel. If you approach these two verses with an open mind and with the desire to know the will and Word of God, you will never again confuse the words Israel Gentile, and Church.

1. The first thing we notice about the children of Israel is that they are an adopted nation. God adopted them as a nation, and He has never at anytime nor will He ever at anytime adopt a Gentile nation. We read in Exodus 4:22 that Israel is His son, even His first-born. You will notice here that He does not say first begotten. Jesus is the first begotten, but Israel is the firstborn; so you see, God has these two Sons, Jesus and Israel. Now there is a sense in which there is the adoption of individuals into the family of God (Romans 8:23), but this adoption is not consummated until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the resurrection and redemption of our physical bodies. The church is not adopted but rather is begotten and is a new creation in Christ Jesus. Israel today, the adopted son of God, is temporarily set aside because of unbelief, but the promise of God is that this adopted son is to be put back in his rightful place as head over all the peoples of the world.

2. Who are Israelites? They are the only nation to whom God revealed His glory. The glory of the Lord was manifested to Israel in the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. God's revelation of Himself to the nation of Israel in the glory of consuming fire has never been manifest to a Gentile nation, neither to the Church of the living God-only to Israel.

3. Who are Israelites? They are the only nation in the world with whom God ever made a covenant. God has covenanted with individuals of the human race, but never with a Gentile nation. The first covenant was made with Abraham, confirmed to Isaac and again to Jacob pertaining to the land. God covenanted with Israel to give them the land from the River of Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea on the west to the Euphrates river on the east. This land was to be an eternal portion for the nation of Israel. As of today, Israel has possessed only a fragmentary portion of that area, and the covenant of God with Israel is that she shall yet possess it in its entirety. No such covenant has been made with any Gentile nation.

Another covenant God made with the nation of Israel, which has no counterpart with Gentiles or the Church, is that of the Seed of David. God said He would raise up the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh to sit upon the literal Throne of David and that He would rule over the house of Israel as a nation forever (Luke 1:32, 33; II Samuel 7:11-17). No such dealings does God have with the Church or the Gentiles.

4. Who are Israelites? To them God gave the Law. Here is a truth unrealized and unappreciated by the majority of Christians. God did not give the Law to the Church nor to the Gentiles but only to the nation of Israel. If anyone truth is set forth in the New Testament it is the blessed fact that we of the Church are not under the Law but under grace. The only Gentile upon whom the Law had any bearing was anyone who became a proselyte of the Gate; that is, he took upon himself the vows and ordinances of the Jews, associated and affiliated himself with them and thus by choice was recognized as a Jew, though a Gentile.

5. Who are Israelites? They are the nation to whom was given the service of God. The service of God pertained to the tabernacle, the temple, the priesthood, the altars, the sacrifices, various garments of different materials and hues, different articles of furniture with all the ritual, as well as special seasons and days which were involved. God has never given such to a Gentile nation, nor to the Church. And all of these Protestant and Catholic churches with their rituals, robes, candles, altars, holy days and seasons, and weeks of prayer, are nothing but a conglomerated union of paganism and Judaism with an affected Christian atmosphere. Study the Acts of the Apostles to see the simplicity of Christian worship and possibly you will appreciate the fact that the service of God as such was given only to the nation of Israel.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:26:22 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel And The Gospel
by A. Edwin Wilson


6. Who are Israelites? To them God made certain promises, and there is not a promise in the Word of God to another nation. These promises are many and they relate to individuals of Israel as well as to the whole nation. Some of them were spiritual and some temporal. Many were pertaining to the land, the city, the temple, and they also spoke of the superiority of the nation of Israel to the other nations. There are also spiritual promises made to the nation of Israel which relate principally to the happy days to come during the millennium.

7. Who are Israelites? It is of them that the "fathers" came. We read of father Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; but there is no father from among the Gentiles. In fact, when we come to the days of our Lord we have His specific command to call no man father (Matthew 23:9).

And last of all, the Israelites are the people from whom as concerning the flesh, Christ came. If the Church is Israel, then we would read that Christ came from the Church; whereas, the Scripture tells us that Christ Himself established the Church.

A careful study of the above facts in the light of the Scripture should be sufficient to convince any open-minded individual that the children of Israel are separate and distinct from the Gentiles and the Church, and are not to be confused with either.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:28:36 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Spiritual Israel
by A. Edwin Wilson


SPIRITUAL ISRAEL

"Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but in Isaac shall thy seed be called" (Romans 9:6, 7).

When one begins a discussion of Israel he soon hears it said that Gentiles who believe on the Lord are spiritual Israel. In this regard we want to make a statement to be noted well and kept always in mind: Every time the word Israel is used in the word of God, it is used to designate the lineal descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Gentiles who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are called "of the seed of Abraham" but are never called Israelites. In the sixth verse quoted above we read, "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." Weymouth's translation gives it in these words: "For not all who have sprung from Israel count as Israel. (Here Israel means Jacob whose name has been changed to Israel.) The truth is that not all of the lineal descendants of Israel are called the children of Israel; neither are all the descendants of Abraham called Israel. The children of promise came through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Neither the descendants of Ishmael, the sons of Abraham by Keturah, nor Esau are called Israel because they are not the children of promise. I am a Gentile believer, but that does not make me an Israelite, because I am not a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
 
Much trouble exists today in the land of Palestine between the descendants of Isaac and the descendants of Ishmael. Not only do the Arabs, but also many Gentile Christians, refuse to accept the Word of God in Genesis 21:10 which tells us concerning Ishmael: "The son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac." Therefore, the son of the bondwoman is not to inherit any of the promises made to Abraham which were also confirmed to Isaac and Jacob. Paul quoted that passage of Scripture in Gal. 4:30, calling attention in this particular instance to the fact that the promises of God are to the son of Sarah and not to the son of Hagar.

In order that we may know that the distinction between Isaac and Ishmael is because of God's election and not because they had different mothers, we have the experience of Jacob and Esau given in Romans 9:8-13. These two sons had the same father and the same mother, and were twins. God chose Jacob and rejected Esau. This reveals to us, as stated so clearly in the Word of God (Romans 9:11), that election is of God and not of the person elected. Permit just a word or two pertaining to the doctrine of election. Do not ever be guilty of saying that you do not believe in election, predestination and foreordination, but say rather that you do not understand these things though you do believe them. These doctrines are clearly taught in the Word of God.

Election is primarily for service. God chose Abraham, Isaac and Jacob out of multitudinous thousands, that through them, an elect group, He might bless all the rest of mankind. Today we have the Church who are the elect of God. God is calling out of the multitudes today a people for His name (Acts 15:14), that through this minority group of the elect, He might bless all the rest of mankind. The election of God does not mean that the others are predestined to be damned. All were born under the curse and none had any claim on God. If God chooses to elect certain ones, then the others have not a word to say except in the light of the fact that God has manifested His grace by saying, "Whosoever believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life." Election, predestination and foreordination are of God. Man's part is to recognize the scope of God's grace and know that he can qualify under the designation "whosoever," and by believing, be saved. Election is a family expression, and after one comes into the family of God, he appreciates the fact that he was elected of God.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:30:15 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Spiritual Israel
by A. Edwin Wilson

Charles H. Spurgeon's illustration of election is very clear. He said that it was as if he approached a door over which was inscribed the words, "Whosoever will may come." Realizing that whosoever included him, he entered the door. Upon entering he looked back at the door and saw inscribed these words, "Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world." God does the electing-man does the believing. A man goes to hell not because he was predestined to but because he refused to believe on the Lord! Jesus Christ.

Now the election of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob manifests God's Love in setting aside the posterity of these men and designating them as the children of Israel. Their election was not to damn the rest of the world but that through them all men might be blessed (Genesis 12:3). God's election of Israel was for the following purposes: (1) To establish a people through whom Christ should come in the flesh (Romans 9:5; Acts 2:30). (2) That through them His revelation (the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments) might be given to mankind (Romans 3:1, 2; Psalms 147: 19,20). (3) That the testimony of the one true and living God might be preserved and propagated through them. (4) That they might be Jehovah's witnesses to all the nations of the world.

Though Israel is set aside today as a nation and enjoys no national privileges, neither assumes any national responsibilities, we will learn in Romans XI that during this period of national rejection, opportunity has been extended to the Gentiles to be Jehovah's witnesses. But because of the Gentile's unbelief they shall surrender that privilege and it will be again given to the nation of Israel.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:32:02 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel Stumbles: The Stone Of Stumbling
by A. Edwin Wilson


ISRAEL STUMBLES: The Stone of Stumbling

"As it is written, Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed" (Romans 9:33).

The closing portion of the ninth chapter of Romans tells of Israel's unbelief and their failure to attain unto righteousness because they sought it not by faith, and they subsequently stumbled at the stumbling stone. The stone of stumbling is also the rock of offense, and in this discussion of Israel's blindness we want to set forth some of the teachings of the Word of God on Christ as the Rock as well as the Stumbling Stone.

Some say they do not believe in types, but such an attitude can only be manifest because of failure to understand the whole of the Word of God. In I Corinthians 10:4, we have the Holy Spirit's teaching that the Rock is a type of Christ. In the eleventh verse of the same chapter we read, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples. " The preferred translation is, "These things happened as types." These statements should be sufficient for any open-minded person to appreciate the fact that all of Israel and her experiences and appointments of worship, places of worship, and order of worship are types. And they are all written for our admonition.

Accepting the Word of God that the Rock is a type of Christ, we turn to Exodus 17:1-7. The children of Israel were camped in Rephidim where there was no water. They began to chide Moses crying, "Give us water that we may drink." He rebuked them, and as their thirst increased so did their murmuring. Moses cried out to the Lord concerning his duty to the people, and the Lord told him to go on before them and take with him the elders of Israel and his rod. God promised that He would stand before Moses on the rock at Horeb. He was told to smite the rock and from it would flow water for the people to drink. The smitten rock is a beautiful type of the Lord Jesus Christ who on Calvary's cross was smitten. From His riven side flowed blood and water (John 19:34). The rock being smitten provided water for the children of Israel. Christ being crucified provided life for all who would believe.

We want to say in this connection that the crucifixion and death of Christ was an absolute necessity in God's plan of redemption (John 3:14). In this verse we read, "Even so MUST the Son of man be lifted up, " showing the necessity of the crucifixion of Christ. Likewise we read in John 12:24 that "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone. "This is Christ's answer to the Greeks that they could have no part in Him until after His death. The beginning of one's spiritual life is by coming to the smitten Rock, that is, the crucified Christ.

As the children of Israel continued their journey toward the promised land, we read in Numbers 20:1-13 that they thirsted again and began to chide Moses because there was no water. On this occasion the Lord told him to take the rod, gather the assembly together with Aaron his brother, and to speak to the rock and it would give forth water so that the congregation and their beasts could have drink. Moses disobeyed the Lord, and in a spirit of rebellion smote the rock twice. It was because of this sin that he was forbidden to enter into the promised land. (Here is something for earnest reflection: Moses, because of disobedience, was prohibited from entering the land of Canaan, which is a type of the Millennial reign of Christ. Moses, however, was saved. Scripture teaches that one may be saved and still not reign with Christ in the Millennium.)
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:34:01 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel Stumbles: The Stone Of Stumbling
by A. Edwin Wilson

We used to wonder how the Lord could bar Moses from entering the promised land just because he struck the rock instead of speaking to it, but when we came to understand the typical teaching of striking the rock the second time we realized the enormity of Moses' sin. When he struck the rock the second time he was teaching, in type, that Christ could be smitten, or crucified, the second time; and no where do we find such a teaching in the Word of God. In Hebrews 6:6 we read of Christians crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh. We say Christians because an unsaved person cannot crucify to himself the Son of God the second time. Christ died once to put away sin (Hebrews 9:26).

These two experiences of the children of Israel with the rock, and the teaching of the Lord is evident. The rock was smitten once. Christ died once to put away sin. After that, sin in the life of a Christian is dealt with on the basis of speaking to the rock rather than smiting it. I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. " We trust Christ only once for salvation. Our relationship is then established. We have become a child of God. Sin cannot affect this relationship once it is established; however, sin in the life of a Christian breaks the fellowship with God and this fellowship is restored by speaking to the Rock.

Also in John 13:10 we learn that after one has been washed and then becomes defiled, he does not have to be washed all over again-only his feet which have been soiled by travel. We also learn in the teaching of the Tabernacle that after the sacrifice has been offered on the brazen altar for sin, the priest does not return to the altar and offer another sacrifice to cleanse himself of defilement, but he goes on to the laver of brass where only his hands and feet are washed.

One should be able to see now that Moses' great sin which kept him out of the promised land was the destruction of a type relative to the speaking to the rock.

In Matthew 16:18 the Lord says that He is going to build His church upon this Rock. In the seventeenth verse is the revelation that Peter's confession was a God-given one rather than one of his own initiative. The Rock upon which God is building His church is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 3:11); "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner" (Psalms 118:22); "Jesus said unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?" (Matthew 21:42). Jesus Christ Himself is the chief Cornerstone, the Foundation, the Head of the church.

There is a reference in Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45 relative to the future manifestation of this rock, or stone, in its relation to the Gentiles. After the four world empires described in this chapter (Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome) have run their course, a Stone cut out of the mountain without hands is seen smashing the great image on the feet and grinding it to powder. The powder then is blown away as chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the Stone grows until it fills the whole earth. This is God's description of the smiting of the Gentiles by the Stone, the Lord Jesus Christ, and described in our text as the Rock of Offense. With the smiting of the Gentiles, Christ establishes His Kingdom which fills the whole earth (Isaiah 11:9). Some erroneously believe that this refers to Christ's first advent, but a casual glance at contemporary events will establish the fact that the Gentiles are still in power and that Christ's kingdom does not fill the earth. The smiting of the Gentiles by the Rock of Offense will not take place until Christ's second coming. ". . . and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:36:13 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Budding Of The Fig Tree
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE BUDDING OF THE FIG TREE

With the many things which are transpiring in the land of Israel and among its people, the question most recurring is this, "Is the fig tree budding?" There are some interpreters today who go to great lengths and pains trying to prove that our Lord did not use the fig tree to symbolize the nation of Israel. I want first of all to establish from the Word of God that the fig tree is a symbol of Israel, and in the second place to establish the fact that the fig tree is budding.

The import of all this is to be found in the statement of our Lord that when the fig tree begins to bud, His coming draws nigh. In Matthew 24:32 the Lord says, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree. . ." The ASV gives it as "Now from the fig tree learn her parable. . ." None other that the Lord Himself said that the fig tree is a parable; that is, the fig tree is used by Him to symbolize or portray something besides the tree.

A tree in Scripture is used by the Lord to symbolize a national power (see Judges 9:8-15; Daniel 4:10-16, 19-27; Matthew 13:31,32). In Judges the nations symbolized by the trees seek to elect a king over them. In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire are symbolized by the great tree which is cut down for seven years. In Matthew 13, the mustard bush, a vegetable, becomes a tree, or a world power. We find two trees and a vine being used to symbolize Israel. In Isaiah 5:1-7, the Lord tells us that the grapevine symbolizes Israel. In Romans 11:17ff, the Lord tells us that the olive tree symbolizes Israel, and in Matthew 21:19; 24:21; Mark 11:12-14, 20 and 21; Luke 13:6-9, the fig tree symbolizes Israel. In Judges 9:8 the trees of the forest sought the olive tree to reign over them. She refused. In the tenth verse they sought the fig tree to reign over them. She refused. In the twelfth verse they sought the grapevine to reign over them. She refused. The olive tree symbolizes Israel in her covenant relationship to the Lord. The grapevine symbolizes the spiritual blessing Israel is to be to the whole world. The fig tree symbolizes Israel as God's national witness to all the world. The vineyard was allowed to go to waste. Some of the branches of the olive tree have been cut off, but the fig tree itself was cut down. Our Lord spoke three parables concerning the fig tree. Matthew 21:18-20 says, "Now in the morning as he returned into the city he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!" Herein the Lord turned aside to obtain some fruit to satisfy his hunger when He saw the fig tree in full leaf by the wayside. Finding no fruit upon the tree He said, "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever." The word translated "forever" has disturbed many Bible students by causing them to believe that the nation of Israel would never again bear fruit; but the Greek word is aion which simply means "the age." When the Greek wishes to express "eternity" it uses the words which are translated "the age of the ages." When this present age comes to a close and Israel is restored and recommissioned, she will bear fruit in the age which is to follow.

In Luke 13:6-9 we read, "He spake also this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard,' and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down,' why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well,' and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." When the Lord turns aside to the fig tree in full leaf to obtain fruit and finds none, He says, "Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none." That experience took place after three years of our Lord's earthly ministry and sets forth the fact that during these three years He had sought some spiritual fruit from His own people in Israel and had found none. With the command to cut down the tree the vineyard keeper says to let it alone for another year, or give it another chance this year, and then if it does not bear fruit we will cut it down. The Lord agreed to so do, and we find in reality that He gave Israel another chance. In answer to the prayer of our Lord from Calvary's Cross, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do," God gave Israel another chance on the Day of Pentecost. God gave them another chance when Peter preached his second sermon; and He gave them yet another chance by the preaching of Stephen. When Israel steadfastly refused to obey the Lord she was set aside and God allowed her to be scattered to the four points of the compass. In Acts 1:8 we find that He chose another group to be His witnesses. In Romans 11:25 we find that the setting aside of Israel as expressed by her blindness is only in part and that it is temporary and not permanent. Romans 11:17 states conclusively that just SOME of the branches were cut off and not all. The Gentiles being grafted in AMONG the olive branches bear fruit only as the sap from the Jewish roots flows through the Jewish trunk out through them.

Back to Matthew 24:32, 33, our Lord says that one of the signs of His coming is the budding of the fig tree, and while her branch is yet tender and is just beginning to put forth leaves, you may know that He is near, even at the door. The fig tree budded May 14, 1948, when Israel became a nation. Israel was the 59th nation admitted to the United Nations and has been recognized by some 67 or 68 nations up to the present time (1953). In keeping with the symbolism of the budding of the fig tree we feel that the coming of the Lord is to be soon after Israel becomes a nation.

But one says, "In Luke 21:29-31 it speaks of the parable of the fig tree and ALL the trees." Yes, that statement but enforces that which we have been explaining: When Israel becomes a nation and when all the other nations symbolized by trees become very conscious of their national existence, then you know that the Kingdom draweth nigh. This simply means that when Israel becomes a nation all the other nations will begin to draw back from the desire to be one world and will want to be separate and distinct nations in the world. And that is exactly what is happening in the world today. Yes, the fig tree has budded and the coming of the Lord doth draw nigh. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus. "
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:37:54 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel - The Grapevine
by A. Edwin Wilson


ISRAEL - THE GRAPEVINE

Isaiah 5:1-7 "Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and also looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, 0 inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to,' I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up,' and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste,' it shall not be pruned, nor digged,' but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant,' and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression,' for righteousness, but behold a cry. "

Having described the Lord's use of the fig tree to symbolize Israel nationally, we now turn to the Lord's use of the grapevine to symbolize Israel spiritually. In the above Scriptures the Lord described how He planted a vineyard in a fruitful hill, protected it, cultivated it, planted the choicest vine, made preparation for the harvest, but it brought forth only wild grapes. This is a picture of the Lord's call to Abraham when He made these seven promises to him: (1) I will make of thee a great nation; (2) I will bless thee; (3) I will make thy name great; (4) thou shalt be a blessing; (5) I will bless them that bless thee; (6) I will curse him that curseth thee; (7) in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

The Lord's choicest protection rested upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In Egypt under Jehovah's watchful care Israel grew to be a powerful nation. After the exodus under the Lord's personal supervision, direction, and leadership, He gave them laws to govern every human relationship. He gave them the tabernacle and temple services with every detail described for their worship of Him. Unto them the Lord gave the tabernacle and temple for the place of worship. He adopted them as His own, and called Israel His firstborn son. The Lord blessed them with His personal presence in the Shekinah glory; all the promises of earthly glory and blessing He gave to them. He gave unto Israel the oracles of God, and He chose Israel after the flesh to be the people from whom Christ should come. "WHAT MORE COULD I HAVE DONE?" said the Lord. Then when He looked for grapes Israel brought forth wild grapes.

Because of Israel's failure to be a spiritual blessing to the people of the world God said He would withdraw His protective care from her. He said He would scatter her to the ends of the earth and let her lie waste. Through the centuries the fulfillment of the prophecies relative to Israel's scattering and suffering have been fulfilled in the minutest detail. In Isaiah 5:8-30, God pronounced six woes upon Israel because of six very manifest sins: (1) Because of her selfish covetousness, desolation throughout the land would prevail, vv. 8-10; (2) because of her joyous revelry and consequent disregard for the service of the Lord they would go into captivity in deepest humiliation, vv. 11-17; (3) because of her servitude to iniquity, vv. 18-19, and (4) because they called evil good and good evil, v. 20, and (5) because of self-complacent conceit, v. 21, and (6) because of drunken exhilaration and merriment, vv. 22, 23, the Lord's anger would be kindled; His hand would be stretched out against them; the nations from afar would dispossess them and give them captivity and suffering unparalleled.

However, we have a prophecy in John 2:1-10 which promises that the wine at the end of the wedding feast will be better than that which was served at the beginning; or, that in the days of Israel's restoration her joy and blessing will be greater than ever in days gone by. Now here is one lesson for us Gentiles: In Romans 11:21 we learn that the Gentiles will fare no better than Israel, and we will do well to mark the six sins designated above lest we ourselves should fall short in exactly the same way.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:39:56 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel - The Olive Tree
by A. Edwin Wilson


ISRAEL - THE OLIVE TREE

"The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken" (Jeremiah 11:16).

You will notice in the above Scripture that God calls Israel a green olive tree. As stated in previous articles, the olive tree symbolizes Israel in her covenant relationship with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The "green" has a definite meaning of "evergreen," setting forth the truth that it is an everlasting covenant. In Romans 11:16-24 we have the parable of the olive tree. (Please get your Bible and read this passage of Scripture now.) The first fruit is holy, the lump is holy, the root is holy, and so are the branches. God chose and separated unto Himself a nation. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the roots; the twelve sons of Jacob, the trunk, and the branches are their descendants. The covenant which God made with Abraham was the covenant of salvation by grace (Romans 4:1-4). Because of unbelief SOME of the branches were broken off and the wild olive branches grafted in.

Right here I want to correct a common error in the thinking of the majority of Christians. In verse seventeen we have the expression "some of the branches." God did not cut off ALL the branches, neither did He cut down the tree. The Jewish roots, the Jewish trunk, the Jewish branches still exist; and the Gentiles, symbolized by the wild olive tree, were grafted in among the natural branches instead of some of the branches which were cut off. Key words in this whole discussion are the words "some" and "among" in Romans 11: 17. The wild olive tree is not the church, neither is it a particular group of Christians. It simply refers to the Gentile nations that are now privileged to receive spiritual blessings via the covenant which God made with Abraham through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH THE JEW: HAS NEVER BEEN THROUGH WITH THE JEW, AND WILL NEVER BE THROUGH WITH THE JEW.

In Ephesians 2:11-13 we see the relationship of Gentiles to God and that their salvation has come through the covenant which God made with Abraham-salvation through faith in the shed blood of the Lamb of God. In Romans 11:29 we read that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance; so God's purpose concerning Israel will yet be fulfilled. The Gentile Christians today - with but few exceptions-are doing exactly what God told them not to do in Romans 11:18-20. They are boasting and bragging against Israel. God's warning is found in verses 21 through 24. Some of Israel was cut off because of unbelief; the Gentiles shall be cut off for the same reason, and Israel put back in her place. In the twenty-fifth verse of this chapter we have the specific statement of God Almighty that the blindness of Israel is partial and temporary. In Romans 9:4 we see that Israel is the only people with whom God has made a covenant-no covenant with the Gentiles-only Israel.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ALL THIS? Though hated for the gospel's sake, they are still beloved for the fathers' sakes (Romans 11:28 ). Israel is still God's firstborn son. Israel will yet be God's witness to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 43:9-11).
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:42:13 AM
Prophecy - Signs
A Live Jew
by A. Edwin Wilson


A LIVE JEW

After the failure of Adam and Eve to obey the Lord, resulting in their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, God dealt with the human race as a whole. Their failure was manifested and resulted in their destruction by means of the flood - Noah and his family excepted. Starting again with the human race, failure again was manifested at the Tower of Babel.

After that God chose to bless mankind through a chosen family, that of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Genesis 12:3 states very explicitly, "In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." That simple statement means that all the families of the earth are to be blessed spiritually and physically through the nation of Israel.

One way of bestowing these blessings on the human race has been to have a live Jew appear and be used of God to resolve a crisis when it appeared. For instance, Joseph, a live Jew, was sent by God into Egypt to be the means of blessing not only Egypt and the children of Israel but the whole world. Moses, a live Jew, was brought onto the scene to resolve a crisis when it developed between Pharaoh and the several million children of Israel. Joshua, a live Jew, appeared and stepped into the breach when Moses was removed from his place of leadership. When an edict was issued, ordering the extermination of all the Jews in the world at the suggestion of Haman, Mordecai, a live Jew, was present to resolve that crisis under the leadership of the Lord.

Only God knows the tragedy that would befall the world and its inhabitants if the nation of Israel, God's means and channel of blessing to the world, were exterminated. When God took the reins of government out of the hands of the nation of Israel and gave it unto the Gentiles, Daniel, a live Jew, appeared on the scene, and for about seventy-five years directed the affairs of state according to the will of God. Other live Jews such as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, also appeared at times of crises.

Then in the fullness of time when a real crisis had arisen, a live Jew, Jesus of Nazareth, appeared with the answer to every question and solution to every problem. But He was rejected, crucified and then He returned to heaven until Israel shall acknowledge her offense. Before He returned to heaven He promised that when there arose a crisis of such proportion that Israel would call upon Him, He would return.

In the meantime, other live Jews have appeared on the scene in times of crises and through them God has blessed the world. For instance, when natural resources for production of TNT were exhausted during World War One, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a live Jew, appeared on the scene with a formula for synthetic acetone. This made possible the manufacture of gunpowder and ammunition which turned the tide of battle in favor of the Allies. Again, in World War Two when it seemed that all was going against the Allies, Dr. Albert Einstein, a live Jew, Otto Hahn, a live Jew, and Lise Meitner, a live Jewess, appeared on the scene. Through the combined efforts of these three of the house of Israel, the atom bomb was produced and the victory given to the Allies. When polio was spreading over the world in epidemic proportions, Dr. Salk, a live Jew, appeared on the scene with vaccine which has almost eliminated polio from the ranks of mankind.

We look for the present crisis to wax worse and worse until the LIVE Jew, Jesus Christ, returns. When He returns all problems will be resolved and peace and prosperity, bringing joy and happiness, shall be the portion of those who will live on the earth during the thousand years that follow. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:44:10 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Why I Love The Jew
by A. Edwin Wilson


WHY I LOVE THE JEW

My attitude toward and regard for the Jew is a matter of recognition and appreciation - a recognition of my indebtedness to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and my appreciation for their many blessings. These have created within me a love for them. I will classify the blessings under two heads: First, material, and second, spiritual. I will not at this time attempt to enumerate Israel's blessings to the Gentiles in the fields of music, art science, medicine, finance and literature, but choose to speak only of Israel's contribution to World War I and World War II.

In World War I when the tide of battle was going against the Allies because of an ammunition shortage, it was a young Jewish scientist who came to the rescue. Natural resources which produce acetone, used in the manufacture of TNT, became exhausted. David Lloyd George, who was the prime minister of England at the time, advertised extensively for someone to produce a formula for synthetic acetone, and within a short time such a formula was on his desk. It had been developed by Dr. Chaim Weizmann. With a mass production of this product, gunpowder was available in great abundance. And with the resumption of the attack by the Allies, armed with sufficient ammunition, the tide of battle turned in favor of the Western Allies. This event, incidentally, was an occasion for the issuance of the Balfour Declaration which was to open Palestine as a national homeland for the Jews. For political reasons this Declaration was repudiated by the issuance of the White Paper, and the doors of the homeland were virtually closed to Israel. The present and continued state of the suffering of England can be attributed to her breaking faith with her Jewish benefactors.

Not only did World War I come to a close because of the blessings of Israel, but the same is true of World War II. As the Jews fled persecution in Germany, three individuals, namely, Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, and Albert Einstein, left at various times and by different routes. Soon after coming to America they were brought together manifestly by the Lord God Almighty, and pooling their separate findings in the realm of atomic research were able to produce a formula for the splitting of the atom. All of us remember the dropping of the atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima which brought the activities of World War II to a sudden cessation. Again, the promise of God made to Abraham, "Thou shalt be a blessing, " was fulfilled.

The material blessings we have received from the nation of Israel are innumerable, and I speak now of three spiritual blessings for which not only I but all the redeemed will be forever indebted to the Jews. First of all, Israel gave us our God. God, the true and living God, is Jehovah, and we read in Genesis 9:26 that He is the God of Shem. The Jehovah of the Old Testament, who is Jesus Christ of the New Testament, is the descendant of David and of Abraham. He was called the King of the Jews at His birth and again at His death. John the revelator designated Him as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

I have eternal life because of my personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. According to the Word of God, He alone can save: and Israel was the channel through which God determined that He should come into the world. In the second place, not only did I get my God from Israel, but the revelation which has been given by God, called the Holy Bible, was given to me by the nation of Israel. According to Romans 3:1-2, the oracles of God were committed unto the Hebrew people; therefore, if it is an oracle of God it must of necessity have been given through a Jew, and if it was not given by a Jew, then it was not an oracle of God. In the light of Scripture every book in the Bible was written by a Jew, including the Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles, for Luke himself was a Grecian Jew.

The third great blessing of Israel to all people is yet to be manifested. The Jews are to be Jehovah's witnesses to the four points of the compass. They are the ones who will fulfill the prophecy of Matthew 24:14. They are the ones who will evangelize the world by the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom during the tribulation and the millennial reign of Christ.
 
Because of these things, how can I do other than love the Jew? I am supremely conscious of two expressions from the Word of God ", , . and I will bless them that bless thee" (Genesis 12:3), and "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,' they shall prosper that love thee" (Psalms 112:6). Now you know why I love the Jew!
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:54:39 AM
Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson


TO THE JEW FIRST

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth,' to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).

It has not been so long since I heard a discussion between two servants of the Lord, relative to the Jew in God's purpose. One contended that God was through with the Jew, that he was cast off and that any effort to evangelize him would be futile. The other contended that not only was the Jew still very much in God's program, but that also in this present dispensation the gospel was to be preached to the Jew FIRST. This discussion sent me back to my Bible to see "What saith the Lord." In the next few articles in this chapter I hope, D. V., to give you the result of my study in the word of God, pertaining to the Jew and his place in God's plan of the ages.

Since the Apostle Paul was the one used by the Holy Spirit to give us God's order as pronounced in Romans 1:16, I began a study of the life and ministry of Paul as set forth in the Acts of the Apostles. Three days after Paul's conversion as recorded in the 9th chapter of Acts, the Lord commanded Ananias to go to Paul and minister unto him. Ananias remonstrated with the Lord hoping to be spared this meeting with the arch-persecutor of the Christians. But the Lord insisted that he go, and in Acts 9:15 we read, "But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." You will note that when Paul was set aside to be an apostle to the Gentiles, he was also set aside to go to the children of Israel. This is important because Paul was not an apostle to the Gentiles alone, as so many think, but also to the Jews. Not only was Paul also an apostle to the Jews, but as we follow his missionary journey, we will find he went to the Jews FIRST.

In Acts 9:20 it says, "And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God." This tells us that the first preaching that Paul did was in the synagogues where the Jews were assembled. Again in Acts 9:22 we read, "But Paul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus proving that this is very Christ." We have the second reference to Paul's preaching, and it is to the Jews; and again in Acts 9:28, 29. "And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him." This third reference to his preaching shows him disputing with the Grecians, who were Helenists or Grecian Jews.

"And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they had also John to their minister" (Acts 13:5). Here we find Paul and Barnabas beginning their first missionary journey, and on the Island of Cypress in the city of Salamis, they were preaching to the Jews in the synagogues. After some unpleasant experiences with false prophets in Paphos and the sorcerer Elymas, we find Paul and Barnabas at Antioch. "But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down" (Acts 13:14). Here Paul preached to the men of Israel.

The opposition in Antioch became so furious that Paul announced his intention of turning to the Gentiles. "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, 10, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46). Mark this verse of Scripture well, for many superficial readers of the Word reason that here is the time and place that Paul turns his back upon the Jews. In this brief study you will see that Paul says this very thing THREE TIMES. Now back to verse 46 quoted above. WHY did Paul say it was necessary that the word of God should FIRST have been spoken to the Jew? I will tell you why-it is because during Paul's entire ministry the gospel was to be preached to the Jews first. You will notice that whereas Paul says in verse 46, ". . . 10, we turn to the Gentiles," that in the very next city to which he went, which was Iconium (Acts 14:1), he and Barnabas went immediately to the synagogue of the Jews and preached to the Jews, and also the Greeks, and a great multitude of both Jews and Greeks believed. Here is what Paul did. When the Jews in Antioch refused to receive the gospel, Paul then turned to the Gentiles of THAT SAME CITY. His turning from the Jews to the Gentiles was strictly a local experience and NOT national; nor was it world-wide, for you see in Acts 14:1, that he went to the Jew FIRST in the very next city.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:56:35 AM
Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

"And on the sabbath day we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither" (Acts 16:13). When Paul reached Philippi, in answer to the Macedonian call, he goes on the sabbath (the day on which Jews worshipped-not Christians) down along the riverside where the Jews worshipped for reason of ablution if they were not in the synagogue, and there he found a number of women. (Had there been ten Jewish men, they would have had the worship in the synagogue.) Here we see in Macedonia, Paul is still going to the Jew FIRST.

"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered and risen again from the dead, and that Jesus whom I preach unto you, is Christ" (Acts 17:1-3). In Thessalonica, Paul goes to the Jews FIRST. Why does the Scripture say in the second verse quoted above, "". . . as his manner was. . ."? I will tell you why-because Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision but preached the gospel according to God's command, "". . . to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews" (Acts 17:10). Paul and Silas in Berea go to the Jew FIRST.

"Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him" (Acts 17:17). While Paul is waiting at Athens, he goes to the synagogue and preaches the gospel there in Athens to the Jew FIRST.

"After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth. .. " and he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks" (Acts 18:1 and 4). Paul in Corinth is found preaching the gospel to the Jews first and also to the Greeks, but we find in the 6th verse of the same chapter, "And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." Because of the opposition, Paul says, "". . . henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles."

Here again we have the same experience of Paul in Antioch-turning from the Jews to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46). This is the second of the three times Paul says, "I am going to the Gentiles"; and here, as the first (Acts 13:46), we find it is local, not national nor world-wide. Look-in the very next city into which Paul goes from Corinth, which is Ephesus: "And he came to Ephesus and left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews (Acts 18:19). He went immediately into the synagogue of the Jews, and preached the gospel to the Jew FIRST.

Acts 19:8 reveals to us that three months of Paul's preaching in Ephesus was in the synagogue, to the Jew FIRST, and also to the Greek: "And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God."

"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Here where Paul is speaking to the elders of the Ephesian church he tells them that his witness was "to the Jew first, and also to the Greeks." Notice, however, that the Jew is still mentioned FIRST.

In Paul's defense before Agrippa (Acts 26:19, 20, 23) he says, "Whereupon, 0 king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision; but showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. That Christ should suffer and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles." Paul tells us that he preached first unto the Jews of Damascus and Jerusalem, and then to the Gentiles. In verse 23, he speaks of the light unto the people (Jews) and to the Gentiles.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 12:58:49 AM
Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

In Acts 28: 1 7 we read, "And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together." Paul is a prisoner in Rome calling for the Jews, but in Acts 28:28 he says, "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it." Paul for the third time says that he is turning to the Gentiles.

This closes the missionary journeys of Paul, and we have no record of any further ministry. We can only judge his turning to the Gentiles in the light of the two previous times which are found in Acts 13:46 and Acts 18:6 where he went to the Jews FIRST in the very next city.

Really, there is just one thing for us to settle for ourselves, and that is the question-Are we living in the same dispensation in which the Apostle Paul lived and ministered? I am answering that for you: WE ARE, and if the gospel is still the power of God unto salvation, as Romans 1:16 says, it is still TO THE JEW FIRST. The giving the gospel to the Jew first is as binding on us as it was on the Apostle Paul.

The experience of two great missionary statesmen and founders of missionary organizations, should be very informing and helpful to us. I refer to J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, and John Wilkinson, founder of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews - two great men of God and their pre-eminently successful Missions. On the first day of every year, J. Hudson Taylor would make out his personal check to the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, and send it to his friend John Wilkinson, with this notation - "To the Jew first." John Wilkinson received this check with a grateful heart, and in turn made out his check to the China Inland Mission, mailing it to his beloved friend, J. Hudson Taylor, with the notation-"and also to the Greek."

Can it be possible that the gospel is still the power of God unto salvation but not still to the Jew first? I don't think so. In Deuteronomy 32:8, 9 we learn that the Lord established the nations of the world in time and place according to the number of the children of Israel. Jacob (the children of Israel) is the lot (measuring rod) of His inheritance. Acts 17:26, 27 reveals unto us that the times appointed and the boundaries of national habitation - which were determined according to the location and number of the children of Israel - are for the specific purpose of enabling mankind to find God. Since Israel was chosen and designated to be Jehovah's witnesses to the ends of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 43:9-12), all the rest of mankind appears in time and place in relationship to the Jew. That is the reason the gospel is to the Jew first.

A brief summary of the Apostle Paul's ministry, as recorded in Acts, is our criterion for accepting his statement that it is to the Jew first. In Acts 9:15 we see that Paul was a chosen vessel to the Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel. He began his ministry (9:20) going into the synagogues of the Jews first to preach Christ. In 9:22, arriving in Damascus he preached to the Jews. In 9:29, back in Jerusalem he preached first to the Grecian Jews. In 13:2-5, at Salamis he preached to the Jews first. In 13:14-16, at Antioch he preached to the Jews first. In 13:46 Paul spoke of turning to the Gentiles, but in 14:1, when he came to Iconium he went to the Jews first. These two experiences show us that when he had gone first to the Jews in a certain city and they refused to hear him, he then turned to the Gentiles in that city, but going into another city he went to the Jews first. In 16:12, 13 he went on the sabbath (Jewish day of worship) to the riverside where prayer was made (plenty of water for Jewish ablutions), where a group of women had gathered (it takes ten men for a synagogue). The above experiences make it very plain that this was a group of Jewish ladies meeting for worship, and here Paul again went to the Jews first.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:00:52 AM
Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

In 17:1-3, at Thessalonica Paul went to the Jews first AS HIS MANNER WAS. This explicitly states that it was Paul's practice and procedure to go always to the Jew first. In 17:10, in Berea Paul went to the Jews first. In 17:17, in Athens Paul went to the Jews first. In 18:1-4, at Corinth Paul went to the Jews first. In 18:19, at Ephesus Paul went to the Jews first. In 19:8, again in Ephesus Paul went to the Jews first. In 20:21, visiting the Ephesian elders on his way to Jerusalem, Paul called attention to the fact that he gave his witness to the Jews first and also to the Greeks. In 26:20, in his defense before Agrippa, Paul explained that he went to the Jews first at Damascus, Jerusalem, and all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles. In 28:17, arriving in Rome and being imprisoned, Paul first of all called the chief Jews together. This brief summary of Paul's missionary journey shows unmistakably and irrevocably that Paul went ALWAYS TO THE JEW FIRST.

The missionary plan and program as unfolded by our Lord's ministry and teaching was after this order. At His first advent He went ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He sent His disciples ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Not until after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension was the way opened for the Gentiles. The tenth chapter of Acts, recounting Peter's experience in the household of Cornelius, manifests the door being opened to the Gentiles. In 10:45 we learn that when the door was opened to the Gentiles, it was to the Jews and ALSO to the Gentiles, rather than to the Gentiles INSTEAD OF to the Jews. This marks a new departure in the preaching of the gospel, one that is seldom recognized by Bible students today.

I want to repeat that when the Lord opened the way for the Gentiles, it was on the basis of preaching the gospel to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles, rather than of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles instead of to the Jews. In Acts 11:18 we read again that God ALSO granted repentance unto the Gentiles. Israel isn't completely cast off; Israel isn't completely set apart; Israel today still figures foremost in God's plans and purposes. "And if SOME of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in AMONG them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree" (Romans 11:17). This verse of Scripture and its context give the truth of God concerning Israel, to the effect that the Gentiles are grafted in among the Jews; and if any Gentile bears any fruit at all to the honor and glory of the Lord, it is because of the sap which flows from the Jewish roots, up through the Jewish trunk, out through the Gentile branch.

In Romans 11:25 God tells us that not all Israel is blinded but just part of them, so that today there are many in Israel who see the truth. Neither is this blindness permanent. Israel's blindness will be lifted when God completes His work of taking out of the Gentiles a people for His Name, to be united with that remnant of the election according to grace from Israel, to comprise the body of Christ in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile. God's unlimited and unqualified blessing upon any missionary endeavor demands that such endeavor be in accordance with His eternal purpose which is stated in Romans 1:16 as to the Jew FIRST, and ALSO to the Greek.

To summarize God's program for missions: At the time of our Lord's first advent the gospel was to be preached only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. After Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit, it was to be preached also to the Greeks, but to the Jews first. After the rapture of the saints and the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (see Revelation 7) the gospel is to be preached only to the Gentiles. The Jews who are to be saved in, during, and out of the great tribulation will be saved as a unit-a nation shall be born in a day - by the visible appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ unto them as their Messiah, "and so all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26).

In I Corinthians 14:40 the Spirit of the Lord says, "Let all things be done decently and in order ." In a universe created and controlled by God Almighty who possesses omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, all things of necessity must be in order. In the beginning God dealt with the human race as a whole. They failed to obey Him and He called out Abraham, and from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob came the Hebrew people to whom were committed the oracles (words) of God. From them came the Messiah, and they in turn were to be Jehovah's witnesses to the ends of the earth. The Gentiles had no part at this time in God's purposes (see Ephesians 2:11-13). Because of Israel's refusal to receive their Messiah and to carry the glad tidings concerning Him to the ends of the earth, God set the nation aside temporarily (Romans 11:25), and placed Gentiles in among the remnant of Israel (Romans 11:17). To this group were given the privileges of carrying the gospel to all. (This was done in the first century.) The commission as given by God was to be followed after this fashion: When the Lord Jesus Christ himself came He said, ". . . I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24). When He sent out the twelve He said, ". . . Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:5, 6). There was to be no witness to the Gentiles until after His blood was shed (Ephesians 2:13). With His death, the commission concerning the preaching of the gospel was extended to take in all creatures (Mark 16:15). But with the inclusion of the Gentiles in the Great Commission we find a particular order being commanded by the Lord. In Luke 24:47, though it was to be among all nations, they were to begin at Jerusalem. In Acts 1:8, again it is stated that their witness begins in Jerusalem. In this connection we have the order as given through the Apostle Paul: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,' to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Romans 11:28 also calls attention to the fact that though the Jews are set aside as a nation they are still beloved for the fathers' sakes.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:02:58 AM
Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

These passages of Scripture give to us the progression or order in giving the gospel to the ends of the earth. It was preached until Pentecost to the Jews only. Afterward, it was preached to all nations, both Jew and Gentile; but because of Israel's particular place in the favor of God, it was to be preached to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Regardless of what one's interpretation or concept of this may be, history bears out the fact that wherever and whenever God's order is carried out-to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile-the Lord's blessings and provisions have proven that this is His divine order for missions. Let us sum it up in these words: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature-to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile."

WHY IS THE GOSPEL TO THE JEW FIRST. . . Because therein is the righteousness of God revealed. Please note Romans 1:16, 17a, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. . ." Paul's discussion of the revelation of the righteousness of God is after this fashion:

1. Paul declared that he is a debtor both to the Greek and to the Barbarian; both to the wise and to the unwise. 2. He declared he is ready to preach the gospel to them that are at Rome, because he is not ashamed of the gospel. 3. He is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. 4. The Divine order is TO THE JEW FIRST, and also to the Greek. 5. The above four declarations are made because therein is the righteousness of God revealed. The most common error in the interpretation of this portion of Romans is due to an oversight. I have found very few Bible students anywhere who realize that the righteousness of God is revealed in preaching the gospel to the Jew first, but after calling it to their attention, it is easy for them to see it. The question which now arises and which I propose to discuss is "wherein is the righteousness of God revealed by the preaching of the gospel to the Jew FIRST."

In God's plan of the redemption of the human race, He is using two instruments, or two servants, in carrying out His purpose. The first instrument, which is also the primary one, is "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." He is the Seed of the woman which shall crush the serpent's head; the Seed of Abraham in whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed; the Lion of the tribe of Judah; the Son of David whose throne shall be established forever, and the Son of God who put away sin by sacrificing Himself, even Jesus the Christ.

The second instrument God is using in the redemption of the human race is the Nation of Israel. God called both Israel and Jesus His Son and His firstborn. God called both Israel and Jesus out of Egypt. God established Israel's primogeniture, and it still prevails.

In Genesis 9:26-27 it says, "And He said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." God's blessings are upon Jehovah, the God of Shem. Japheth, the progenitor of the Gentiles, is promised enlargement. There are about 13,000,000 descendants of Shem in the world today, but Japheth has 1,800,000,000 descendants.) Yet Japheth has to dwell in the tents of Shem.

How can nearly two billion Gentiles dwell in the tents of only thirteen million Jews? The significance of that statement is to be found in the fact that all of Japheth's blessings are to come from Shem; that is, today, the Gentiles are to receive their blessings from the Nation of Israel.

God gives expression to the same thought in Genesis 12:1-3, "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

The key expression of these verses is to be found in the latter part of the third verse, ". . . in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed," that is, all the families of the earth, both Jew and Gentile, shall be blessed by Abraham and his posterity. Abraham's posterity is referred to in the Scriptures as the seed of Abraham.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:05:11 AM
Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

When the word seed is in the plural it means Israel collectively, and when the word seed is singular, it means Jesus Christ individually; so that the blessings of Abraham to all families of the earth are to be both from Israel and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now the blessings of Shem, Abraham, and Israel to all the families of the earth are threefold:

1. God made Israel a depository for His truth. The oracles of God were committed unto Israel. Every book in the Bible was written by a Jew. The Jews kept the Bible intact until the coming of Christ, the establishment of the Christian Church, and the closing of the Canon of the Scriptures.

2. God appointed Israel to be the channel through whom the personal Redeemer was to come. Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, was the descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

3. Israel was designated to be Jehovah's witness to the whole world that all men might know of Jesus the Christ. Israel has fulfilled two of the purposes for which God brought her into being; namely, she has given us the Bible, and she has given us the Saviour of the world; but she has failed to be a witness to the nations. All the prophetic prophecies of God are in agreement that Israel will yet fulfill her third mission and preach the gospel to every creature in all the world.

In Romans 9:4, 5 we read, "Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen." You will note the sevenfold difference between the Jews on one hand and the Gentiles on the other hand; namely, the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the law, the service, the promises, the fathers-and to these is added an eighth; namely, ". . . as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever."

The children of Israel are the only people with whom God has dealt nationally, with whom He made covenants, with whom His glory dwelt, to whom He gave the law, from whom He required a service, and to whom He made promises. These facts reveal the difference between the Israelites and the other peoples of the world. In Amos 3:2 God says, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth."

Though Israel refused to be God's witness to the whole world, and even though from 70 A.D. to May 14, 1948, she was cut off nationally, she has never lost her primogeniture. God's righteousness is revealed in giving her priority in point of order in the reception of the gospel. The very righteousness of God demands that the gospel be to the JEW FIRST, because salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22).

Leading missionary statesmen tell us that over two-thirds of the human race has never come in contact with the gospel, much less has even heard of it. After two thousand years of Christian missions two-thirds of the human race is still untouched. There must be a reason, and there is a reason. The world will never be evangelized until the nation of Israel is converted and becomes in reality, Jehovah's witnesses. We read in Romans 11:13-15, "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" Note the following: Paul tells us that he magnifies his office as the apostle to the Gentiles in the hope that the Jews might be saved. Paul's diligence and unceasing efforts to reach Gentiles with the gospel was to stir up the nation of Israel to jealousy that they might be saved. In verse 15 Paul tells us he wants to see Israel saved because it will be then and then only that the entire world will have the opportunity to hear the gospel. Many people tell me that there are so many Gentiles who have never heard the gospel of Christ in comparison to the number of Jews, that we should exert every effort to reach the Gentiles at this particular time. The Scriptural truth is that the Gentiles will never be reached in any appreciable numbers until Israel is converted.

It is because of God's purpose in Israel; it is because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance; it is because the Gentiles shall dwell in the tents of the Jews; it is because Israel is to be a blessing to all families of the earth; it is because Israel is to be Jehovah's witnesses; it is because of all these things that the righteousness of God is revealed in the preaching of the gospel to the JEW FIRST, and also to the Greek.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:07:19 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Why We Must Give The Gospel To The Jew
by A. Edwin Wilson


WHY WE MUST GIVE THE GOSPEL TO THE JEW

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said unto him, They have no wine. Jesus said unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour has not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew,.) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine,. and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse,. but thou has kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory,' and his disciples believed on him" (John 2:1-11).

A Significant FIRST

There is something very significant about the "first appearances" in the Bible, and this, the first miracle which our Lord performed is no exception. The fact that it is His first miracle, coupled also with the fact that it is symbolic, demands our closest attention. Get the whole picture of the miracle in your mind. On the third day, Christ and His mother attended a marriage. When they wanted wine, it was revealed that they had none. After Jesus' remonstrance with His mother, He set things in motion to supply the wine. There were six empty waterpots of stone near by. Jesus commanded them to be filled to the brim with water. After the waterpots were filled with water, Jesus again commanded the servants to draw out and carry it to the governor of the feast. When the governor tasted the water which had been changed into wine, he observed that it was good. Calling the bridegroom to him, he complimented him upon having good wine at the last instead of the customary way of saving the bad wine for the last. This was the first miracle Jesus performed. It manifested His glory and caused His disciples to believe on Him. This is not just simply an account of the miracle which the Lord performed, for Christ did not perform miracles for the sake of miracles. His miracles were performed not only to minister to those present, but primarily to teach the fundamental lessons which would not be easily forgotten. The need ministered by the miracles of our Lord, though satisfied in each instance, continued to exist elsewhere. However, because the lesson involved had been taught, we do not find the miracle repeated, and we can very readily see that the primary purpose of the miracles was for instruction in the deep things of God for those who have ears to hear.

The Significant LESSON

Now let us consider the lesson which our Lord is teaching in this first miracle of His ministry. Our Lord's ministry is spoken of as being for three days.

Hosea 5:15 says, "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early." Again in Hosea 6:2 we read, "After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." We learn that the Lord is going to have two days between His two advents, and on the third day He is going to raise up Israel to live again in His sight. II Peter 3:8 tells us, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." We learn that one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day with the Lord. Interpreting Scripture in the light of Scripture, we know that all miracles and parables about marriage and marriage feasts are typical of the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper that follows.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:08:54 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Why We Must Give The Gospel To The Jew
by A. Edwin Wilson

Mary Typifies Israel

Mary, the mother of Jesus, typifies the nation of Israel because she is the one through whom the SEED had come. Mary attempts to dictate to Him what to do, even as the nation of Israel attempts to dictate to the Lord. She is rebuked for not having reverence for the Lord of Glory.

Nation of Israel Without Joy Now They were without wine at the feast; and Israel at the time of Christ's return will be without that which alone brings joy to the heart of Israel: The Saviour-King.

Man's Number for Six Thousand Years
 
Six is man's number, and the empty waterpots of stone show us Israel's condition at the time of our Lord's return. Jesus now turns to the servants and commands them to fill the empty waterpots with water. You will notice that it was not until the waterpots were filled with water that the water became wine. Water is a symbol of the WORD of God. Christ could have filled the empty waterpots miraculously, but the main lesson of this miracle is that He commanded the servants to fill the six empty waterpots with water.

A Command to Christians

Prophetically, that is a commandment to us to give the gospel to the Jews, and until they have been given the WORD, the miracle transforming the water to wine cannot be effected, and they can know no joy. You will recall in the teaching of the "valley of dry bones" that no miracle took place until the Word of God was preached to the dry bones, and in this first miracle of the Lord, nothing supernatural happened until the WORD was given. God can save Jews without our help, but for reasons, good and sufficient to Him, it has pleased Him to bring about reconciliation between Himself and Israelites through the ministry of redeemed men and women. THE GOSPEL MUST BE PREACHED TO JEWS BEFORE THEY CAN BE SAVED.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:11:20 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Necessity Of Witnessing To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE NECESSITY OF WITNESSING TO THE JEW FIRST

"Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord I with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) There his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth,' but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe,' nevertheless let us go unto him.

Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go" (John 11:1-7,11,14,15,38-44).

It is apparent that our Lord is telling something far more important than a simple recitation of the facts concerning the death of Lazarus.

This raising of Lazarus is the seventh miracle, or "sign," as John calls them, recorded in John's Gospel. The whole experience of Lazarus' death and resurrection is a sign given us by our Lord.

Now it is for us to learn the sign and its significance. When we remember that the Lord Jesus Christ was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, we know that this sign pertains to Israel. This incident in the life of Lazarus is a type of Israel's rejection and restoration.

In verse 11, Jesus said, "Lazarus sleepeth"-meaning, his death is not eternal. He also tells us in the same verse that he is going to awaken Lazarus from his sleep.

Israel's rejection is not permanent, only temporary, and she shall yet be restored in all fullness of glory. Romans 11:25 says, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits,' that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Now in this verse we note two things-the blindness is partial and it is temporary.

It is true, the two days that our Lord is absent from the land, Lazarus is in a state of sickness and death.

In II Peter 3:8, we read, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. " Here we learn that one day is as a thousand years; and the significance of the two days teaches that our Lord is going to be out of the land for two days (two thousand years), then come back into the land, or return to the earth. Israel is in a state of rejection during His absence from the earth, and when He returns it will be for the the purpose of raising or restoring Israel to her place of spiritual leadership. (Israel's restoration nationally speaking will take place prior to that time. In fact, Israel was restored to her place among the nations on May 14, 1948.)

Now let us observe how Jesus raised Lazarus. First of all, the fact is established that Lazarus is dead; and we know that Israel is actually cut off from the Lord spiritually. But in connection with this do not forget Romans 11:28, "As concerning the gospel - they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. "

The Lord could have removed the stone miraculously, or he could have called Lazarus to come through the stone, but He did not. The Lord could have by the exercise of His supernatural power removed the graveclothes Himself from Lazarus, but He did not. We learn from this that our Lord could save Israel by a miracle and without the help of any human being if He chose to do so; but it hath pleased God Almighty to save both Jew and Gentile through the instrumentality of the preached Word as given by redeemed men and women.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:13:13 AM
Prophecy - Signs
In Witnessing To Jews, There Are Stones To Be Removed
by A. Edwin Wilson


IN WITNESSING TO JEWS, THERE ARE STONES TO BE REMOVED


First, there is the stone of GENTILE PREJUDICE. We never have a real Jewish problem until the Jews confess Christ as their Saviour. The problem is "What shall we do with these Hebrew Christians?" They are outcasts from their own people, and in too many of our Christian churches, they are not welcome. It has been stated that it is easier for a Jew to accept Christ than for a Gentile to accept a Jew. God forbid that any of my readers should ever lift a hand or utter a word against the lost sheep of the house of Israel, for God's curse will rest upon such a one (Genesis 12:3). But that stone of prejudice must be removed.

Second, the stone of JEWISH HATRED OF CHRISTIANS AND OF CHRIST must be removed. Up until the time of Hitler's purge of the Jews, practically all of the programs had been instigated by and in the name of the so-called Christian church. A brief survey of Jewish persecution will show you in a short time why the Jews have hated Christ and His followers. That stone can only be removed by Christians manifesting the love toward Israel that God required.

Third, the stone of IGNORANCE must be removed. Contrary to popular opinion, the Jew does not know even the Old Testament. The majority of them believe absolutely nothing. He must be taught the Scriptures, which is a task requiring great patience.

After the stone is removed and Israel comes forth, she is still bound by graveclothes. Her Judaistic and legalistic inheritance and training constitute her graveclothes. This can only be removed by leading her into the full light of the glorious freedom which we have in Christ Jesus.

Yes, Israel could be saved by supernatural power of the living Christ without the aid of any human witnessing, but God has not so pleased to work. His plan is for redeemed men and women to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, which surely includes the Jew. In fact, God's order is "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Will you heed the words of the Saviour and help to "take away the stone" and "remove the graveclothes" from the lost sheep of the house of Israel?
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:15:34 AM
Prophecy - Signs
First Things First
by A. Edwin Wilson


FIRST THINGS FIRST

 
The creation of the universe and the revelation of God pertaining to man's redemption set forth God's work as being progressive and orderly. If our lives are conformed to His plan for us there must be order also in them. God has had a way of requiring certain things first of all at the hands of His creatures.

First, in the garden of Eden the Lord required that man recognize the sovereignty of God by abstaining from eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Second, it was not long until He required that the first-born of man and beast should be dedicated to Him. Third, He required a tenth of the increase of man's possessions for His own. Fourth, He required the first fruits of the harvest to be publicly dedicated to Him as a part of worship. Fifth, in Matthew 6:33 He required that His disciples seek the kingdom of God first. Sixth, in Matthew 7:5 He required us to first cast the beam out of our own eyes. Seventh, in Matthew 5:24 He required us to first be reconciled to our brothers. Eighth, in Matthew 23:26 He says to cleanse first the inside of the cup. Ninth, in Matthew 10:6 He required His disciples to go first and only at that particular time to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Tenth, in Romans 1:16 in the inauguration of His world-wide mission program, He required that the Jew should be first, that is, given priority.

It is my firm conviction that modern mission programs are floundering on the sea of despair and failure because such programs refuse to recognize Israel's priority. The majority of Christians with whom I am acquainted are missing great blessings of the Lord, both spiritual and material, because they refuse to acknowledge that the gospel is to the Jew first in this present era. Our Lord's mission program briefly is as follows. At His first advent the Lord Jesus Christ Himself with His disciples went only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. At His second advent, during the time of the Tribulation the Lord's evangels (the hundred and forty-four thousand of Revelation 7) will go only to the Gentiles. In between these two specific missionary movements all believers in the Lord are commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel to EVERY creature, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

A careful study of the chronology of the New Testament will reveal that Romans 1:16 was written some thirty years after the inauguration of the present Christian era and therefore, is in force today as much as it was in the day in which it was written. The Apostle Paul, who is the teacher and example for modern missions, always obeyed the instructions of Romans 1:16 and went to the Jews first, regardless of the place in which he ministered. The manifold blessings of God upon groups and individuals are placed in line with God's plan and purpose. The failure of the majority to put the Jew first results in their following the course that is at a tangent with God's line of blessings.

As I think of the blessings of the Lord awaiting any who will claim them, I beg of you to consider God's desires concerning His firstborn son Israel (Exodus 4:22). Notice just a few Scriptures. In Mark 16:15 the Lord says, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." In Luke 24:47 the Lord says, "". . . should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." In Acts 1:8 the Lord says, "... ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." And in Romans 1:16 the Spirit of the Lord says, "to the Jew first."

These particular passages emphasize two things for certain. First, the gospel is to be preached in all the world to every creature. Second, it is to be to the Jew first. "Beginning at Jerusalem" means to the Jew first because Jerusalem was the capital of Jewry. Several questions may have arisen by now. First, you live in a community where there are no Jews and have no opportunity to witness personally to the Jews. You put the Jew first by praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalms 122:6). You give God no peace until He has restored Israel (Isaiah 62:6, 7). In the next place, when you make distribution of your tithes and offerings you put the Jew first by giving to those who are witnessing among the Jews. You yourself individually are responsible to the Lord for the handling of your funds and you cannot rid yourself of that responsibility by giving them to a church and permitting it to distribute them as it sees fit.

For years we have tried to put the Jew first in our prayers, thoughts, giving and ministering and I want to give you this personal testimony that the blessings of the Lord have been too numerous to enumerate. Believe me, Genesis 12:3, "I will bless them that bless thee" is as true today as when the Lord uttered it hundreds of years before the birth of our Lord. Now is the time to put first things first.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:17:16 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Home Or Foreign Missions?
by A. Edwin Wilson


HOME OR FOREIGN MISSIONS?

Recently several have asked questions wanting to know our evaluation of mission programs. Some are interested in what is called home missions while others are interested in foreign missions, and still others favor African missions and such like.

It is interesting to note in the Word of God that there is no such division of missions as listed above. We find two things pertaining to God's plan of evangelizing the world, first as stated in Mark 16:15 where Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." According to this commission there is no such thing as home and foreign missions, but rather the gospel is to be preached to every creature in the world regardless of where he is.

After Christ's ascension, and with the calling of Saul of Tarsus to be the great missionary apostle, God laid down His order of missions and it has not been changed unto this good day. With the setting aside of Israel as a nation, and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, the door of the gospel was opened also to the Gentiles. God's love for His people did not change, though they were set aside as a nation; and the divine order of missions, instead of being divided between home and foreign, is very simply expressed in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

God divides missions into two orders: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (or Gentiles). He has never changed that order; and many mission programs suffer, and many missionary - minded Christians are robbed of blessings because they do not recognize and follow God's appointed order. Franz Delitzsch, the great commentator of a century ago, said that any mission program which did not recognize Israel's priority as stated in Romans 1:16 was like a bird trying to fly with one wing.
 
Jesus has outlined it very easily and simply in His Word. For instance in Luke 24:47, He tells them: "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." In Acts 1:8, He again tells them to begin in Jerusalem: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Then as stated in Romans 1:16, He says "". . . to the Jew first. . ."

Every city into which the Apostle Paul went he ministered to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles, even though he was called to be an apostle to the Gentiles. There is but one apparent reason for his phenomenal success as a witness to the Gentiles, and that is, he followed the divine order of going to the Jews first.

If one is the least bit interested in missions, it will repay a hundredfold to put Israel first on the mission list and then consider the Gentiles. This, from the Word of God.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:19:12 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Failure Of Missions
by A. Edwin Wilson


FAILURE OF MISSIONS

On every hand we hear much today of the failure of Christianity and Christian missions. The most common alibi that is being offered is segregation in the South. This seems strange to me in the light of the fact that the greatest period of missionary activity and out-reach of the gospel was in an era when there were more slaves in the world, possibly, than any other time, the heads of government were more corrupt than ever before, the people given over almost entirely to sports and amusements, the taxes were exorbitant, home life had broken down and the Bible was not taught in government sponsored institutions. I am speaking of the First Century, of which the Holy Spirit tells us in Colossians 1:23 that the gospel had been preached to every creature under heaven, even before Paul was converted.

Before one says Christianity is a failure, the purpose of missions should be established. God's purpose in missions is not to convert the world in this age of grace. According to Acts 15:14, He is taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name. His command was to "preach the gospel unto every creature under heaven," with the promise that whosoever believed on the Lord Jesus Christ would be saved. Our Lord Himself came preaching only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Not until after His death, burial and resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit was the gospel sent ALSO to the Gentiles. In Acts 10:45; 11:1, 18; Romans 1:16 we learn that it is also to the Gentiles, rather than instead of to the Jews. God's plan of missions is set forth in Romans 1:16: To the Jew first, and also to the Greek. In Luke 24:47 they were to begin with the Jews in Jerusalem. In Acts 1:8 they were to begin with the Jews in Jerusalem. In Romans 1:16 they were to continue to give the gospel to the Jews first. Not only has the modern church refused to give the gospel to the Jew first, but for all practical purposes they refuse to give it to the Jew at all.

The failure of modern day missions can be attributed only to the failure to follow God's order, to the Jew first. The power of the Lord placed at the disposal of the church is along the lines of the divine plan, and the blessings of the Lord are to be found along the line of obedience to His commands. The success or failure of missions is very simple. Does it follow God's order?

Segregation has nothing to do with the success or failure of missions; Communism has nothing to do with the success or failure of missions; Godless rulers have nothing to do with the success or failure of missions; excessive sports and amusements have nothing to do with the success or failure of missions; exorbitant taxes have nothing to do with the success or failure of missions; putting the Bible and prayer out of the school has nothing to do with the success or failure of missions. Obedience to the command of our Lord has all to do with the success of missions. And the command of our Lord is like unto this: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15)-"to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 01:21:00 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Man's Part In Israel's Restoration
by A. Edwin Wilson


MAN'S PART IN ISRAEL'S RESTORATION

Ezekiel 37: 1-14 "The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley: and 10, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, 0 Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, 0 ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, 10, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, 0 breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, 0 my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves. And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord."

In the vision described in the above Scripture we find the Lord taking Ezekiel out into a valley full of dry bones. As they walked among them the Lord asked Ezekiel if he thought the dry bones could live, to which he replied, "0 Lord God, thou knowest." God then commanded Ezekiel to prophesy unto the bones. As he prophesied we note three movements taking place among them. 1) The bones came together, every bone into his place, so that no longer was it a valley full of bones, but now a valley of skeletons. 2) The sinews and flesh and skin came upon the bones, and now it was no longer a valley full of skeletons, but of bodies complete in every detail except there was no life in them. 3) Breath came into them and they became human beings and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. (Please note that whereas it was the power of the living God that wrought this miracle, it took place only as Ezekiel prophesied to these bones.)

There have been various interpretations of this vision. A close friend and minister of the gospel came to help me in a series of meetings. His first message was from this text and he said that the people he was addressing constituted the valley of dry bones. Many denominations and sects have been called the valley of dry bones.

God has given His own interpretation. In verse 11 He says that these bones are the WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. Israel rejected, cast off, and buried in the nations of the world is likened to the valley of dry bones. Now the question is, can Israel live again-will Israel be restored-and what part will Christians play in Israel's rebirth?

The dry bones received life in three movements. For about 1900 years Israel has had no king, prince, sacrifice, image, ephod, teraphim, or country.

I. National Consciousness-Bones Become Skeletons. The first notable movement among the Jews was the development of a national consciousness under the inspiration of the Zionist movement. So rapidly did this development take place that at the time of the drawing up of the Treaty at the close of World War I, Israel asked for representation at the peace table as a nation. Even though she was denied this privilege, her aspiration did not falter. It was about the same time that Dr. Chaim Weizmann asked the Prime Minister of England, David Lloyd George, that England establish Palestine as a national homeland for the Jews. With varying degrees of success and failure, the Jews began to return to Palestine. The dreadful persecution under Hitler which resulted in the death of about six million Jews caused the demand for a home on the part of Israel to increase all the more. So bitter grew the strife between the Jews and the Arabs that eventually Great Britain surrendered her Mandate to Palestine on May 14, 1948.

II. May 14, 1948-Flesh on Skeletons. Israel immediately proclaimed herself to be a nation, and as of May 14, 1948, the Nation of Israel was reborn.

Note the parallelism between the valley of dry bones and the Nation of Israel. 1) As Ezekiel prophesied the bones came together. Israel's first move was the development of a national consciousness. 2) The bones received flesh, sinews, and skin, and became complete human beings without breath:

Israel became a nation acknowledged by and received into the United Nations. 3) The human beings received breath and lived-BUT-Israel has not yet received the breath of life which will cause her to live before God.

III. Yet to Become Alive. Even as Ezekiel was commanded to prophesy to the bones, so has redeemed mankind been commanded to prophesy to Israel. When the Lord commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, that included Israel. When the Lord said to make disciples of all nations, He included Israel. When He said "TO THE JEW FIRST," He established the order in which the gospel was to be presented.

TO BE CONTINUED....
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:01:23 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Distinctions And Dispensations
by A. Edwin Wilson


DISTINCTIONS AND DISPENSATIONS

"And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne" (Revelation 5:1-7).

One of the ways the Lord has of teaching is by setting opposites in position so as to show contrast between the two. For instance, note the contrast between Cain and Abel; Ham and his two brothers Shem and Japheth; Jacob and Esau; Moses and Pharaoh; David and Saul; Daniel and Belshazzar, and in particular, the one we have for our meditation in this article: Christ as the Lamb of God contrasted with Christ as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

It was Isaac in Genesis 22:7, who asked his father Abraham, "Where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?" Throughout the Old Testament we have the Lamb prefigured in type and symbol as well as mentioned directly in prophecy; but it was not until John the Baptist saw Jesus coming unto him and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," that the identity of the Lamb was known. Isaiah 53 gives a beautiful picture of the Lamb, and Psalms 22 also shows how the Lamb suffered. Purported pictures of Christ, which at best are only sinful man's concept and not a true Scriptural presentation, always seem to picture Him as anemic, sickly, and effeminate; whereas, the Word of God pictures Him as the King of kings, and Lord of lords - the Lion of the tribe of Judah. It was as a Lamb that He lived, suffered and died; but He arose and entered into heaven as our great High Priest, from whence we look for Him to return in vengeance to pour out His wrath on all those who obey not His gospel. Note the following Scriptures:

Revelation 19:11-16: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse,' and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood,' and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron,' and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

Revelation 14:14-20: "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap,' for the time is come for thee to reap,' for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth,' and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire,' and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth,' for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:03:37 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Distinctions And Dispensations
by A. Edwin Wilson

Zechariah 14:1-3: "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle,. and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women, ravished,' and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. "

Joel 3:9-16: "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles: Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near,' let them come up,' Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears,' let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, 0 Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down,' for the press is full, the fats overflow,' for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem,' and the heavens and the earth shall shake,' but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel."

Isaiah 63:1-6: "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone,' and of the people there was none with me,. for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury: and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help,' and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me,. and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth."

These passages of Scripture uniformly teach that when the Lord returns to the earth with His saints (which will be after He has appeared in the air for His saints) that He is coming in judgment upon the earth dwellers. His feet shall touch the Mt. of Olives and it will cleave in two from the east toward the west. There shall be a very great valley, half the mountain moving toward the north and half toward the south (Zechariah 14:4). This manifestly is the valley of Jehoshaphat mentioned in Joel 3:12-14. This valley, filled with innumerable hosts of Christ rejectors, is typified by the winepress of Isaiah 63 and Revelation 14. The winepress in Scripture was usually dug out of the side of the hill either in rock or hard clay, with a gentle slope toward the outside so that when the juice of the grapes had been crushed out it could flow to the outside and be put in containers. The ripe grapes were gathered and put into the winepress; the men of the harvest would then get into the winepress with bare feet, and with their robes gathered around their waists, tramp the grapes until all the skins were broken. During such process their robes would become stained from head to foot with the juice of the grapes. This time of the harvest was quite a season and was always enlivened by shouts and songs as they rejoiced because of the harvest.

The Lord's vengeance upon His enemies is likened to the winepress. His enemies are typified by the grapes, and the Lord himself treads them beneath His feet. Isaiah 63:1-3, and Revelation 19:13 tell of our Saviour's garments being stained with the blood of His enemies. It was alone that He suffered, bled and died on calvary, and it will be alone that He will tread the winepress (Isaiah 63:5, 6).

It is amazing how some can say they are not interested in whether the Lord returns or not, when those scenes in and around Jerusalem that witnessed His humiliation will see His honor, power and glory when He returns as King of kings, and Lord of lords. Through His suffering and sacrificial death He has won the right to rule and reign over His own creation. Let us not deny Him that right by saying it makes no difference whether He comes back or not.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:05:06 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Distinctions And Dispensations
by A. Edwin Wilson

Sometimes people who are uninstructed in the Word of God ignorantly ask, "Why doesn't God do something, if there is a God?" These passages of Scripture show very clearly that not only is God going to do something, but they show just exactly what He is going to do. We must always keep in mind that this is the day of grace and that during this day the Lord is seated at the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for His people (Hebrews 7:25). He is now discharging His office as our great High Priest. He is yet to be revealed as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. What a paradox we find today in that the Jewish nation has never been able to see their Messiah as the Lamb of God, neither as the suffering Servant in Isaiah 53. They look only for the Lion of the tribe of Judah. On the other hand, the Gentile Christians cannot see Jesus as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, neither as the King of kings ruling and reigning here on the earth over His own creation. They see Him only as the suffering Servant, the Lamb of God, dying in humility, but never exalted to His rightful position as the King of kings. The fact of the matter is, there are two distinct lines of prophecy running throughout the Word of God. One such line shows the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God making atonement for sin by dying on the cross. The other line of prophecy portrays Him as the King, Ruler, Conqueror, coming in power and glory, putting all enemies under His feet and reigning for a literal thousand years upon the literal throne of David in the literal city of Jerusalem. One must understand both lines of prophecy to have a clear concept of the Word of God, else he will find himself in despair and despondency because of misunderstanding and misconception similar to that of John the Baptist: "Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" (Matthew 11:2,3). Had John recognized the two lines of prophecy he would have known that the glory follows the suffering - the crown comes after the cross. So dear is the crowning, ruling and reigning of our Lord to God His Father that we are urged to pray, "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).

We can praise God that there is a day coming when every wrong shall be righted, every sin shall be confessed, Satan shall be put down, Christ and His church shall reign triumphant, and the Name of the Lord shall be glorified on every tongue. And the Lord has urged us to watch and pray for that day. God grant unto everyone of you, our readers, that you will lift up your heads and begin to look up, knowing that your redemption draws nigh (Luke 21:28 ).
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:07:06 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Jews - Gentiles - CHURCH
by A. Edwin Wilson


JEWS - GENTILES - CHURCH

"Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God" (I Corinthians 10:32).
 
To rightly divide the Word of Truth according to II Timothy 2:15, one must be able to distinguish between the Jews, the Gentiles and the Church. Because modern Christendom has hopelessly confused the Jews and the Church - making them to be one - Scripture has become meaningless to most of them.

The Jews came into existence by a special creative act of God. The Gentiles came into existence by a special creative act of God. The Church came into existence by a special creative act of God. And from the time of the creation of each, throughout eternity, there will continue to be these three classifications of the human race. I want now to take these three groups up in the order in which God names them in the above quoted Scripture and try to show Who? How? and Why?

1. The JEWS: Because mankind in general had failed God - as was evidenced in the days culminating in the Flood and again in the days following the tower of Babel, in which God confounded their tongues and scattered them abroad over the face of the earth - God called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees. From this one individual, God would raise up a people, innumerable as the stars of heaven and as the sands of the seashore. This people would be especially favored with particular blessings and in turn, they were to be a blessing to all mankind. They would be a blessing to mankind in three ways. First, they would be the channel through which Messiah would come (II Samuel 7:12, 13; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6, 7). Second, to them would be committed the oracles of God (Romans 3:1, 2; Psalms 147:19,20). Third, they were to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 43:9-12). This people, the children of Israel, seemed to have come into existence through the natural process of procreation. BUT in Isaiah 43:1 we learn that Jacob, who became Israel, came into existence by a special creative act of God. Therefore, Israel and his children are known as the Miracle Nation, having been created by God.

With the creation of Jacob and the subsequent change of his name to Israel, we have all of the rest of the human race left in a group called in the Scripture by the name Gentiles. Even Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines a Gentile as one who is not of the Jewish faith or race. These people came into existence as follows:

2. The GENTILES: The Gentiles, as the balance of the human race, came into existence by the special creative act of God of which we read in Genesis 1:26, 27. The Gentiles, known as such after the creation of Israel, had as mankind in general failed God before the call of Abraham. After the call of Abraham their condition was as described by Paul in Ephesians 2:12: "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." In this condition they were pagans, worshiping idols, false gods, and had their big temples of worship in which were practiced the most licentious orgies conceivable to the mind of fallen man. As a general rule, a visitor coming into any of the then known cities of the world would find two places of worship. One was a synagogue in which the children of Israel, the chosen people of God, worshiped according to the Scripture of the Old Testament. The other place of worship would be a temple in which the pagan Gentiles worshiped according to the wisdom of man and the lust of the flesh. These two groups of people were diametrically opposed to each other and had no use for each other. In fact, each usually expressed bitter animosity toward the other.

Though Israel fulfilled two of the three purposes for which God brought her into existence - namely, giving us the Bible and the Messiah - she failed miserably in being God's witness to the Gentiles. For this reason God created a third man through whom He would accomplish certain purposes. This third man is known as:

3. The CHURCH: We read of this purpose of God in Ephesians 2:14, 15. This new man is neither Jew nor Gentile but is composed of individuals from both Jew and Gentile so that God takes of the two (Jew and Gentile) and makes one new man. In II Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation, Greek)," this new man is a new creation by a special creative act of God. With the creation of this new man we have the temporary setting aside of Israel and the commissioning of the new man to be God's witness to the ends of the earth. This witnessing was to be done in this order: Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature," "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:08:44 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Jews - Gentiles - CHURCH
by A. Edwin Wilson

Since this new man was to be joined to his Head, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ, in heaven, then this new man must have a heavenly body. This new man's promises and blessings are heavenly. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, when this new man dies or is caught up alive, his body must be changed into a heavenly body and will be like unto the body of our Lord in His resurrection appearances. But Israel and the Gentiles, God's two other peoples, being earthly people with earthly promises and earthly blessings, will have natural bodies. And throughout the Millennium and eternity Israel and the Gentiles will be God's earthly peoples in their natural bodies - that is, bodies like unto those which Adam and Eve and their posterity would have had if Adam and Eve had not sinned and become mortal. The leaves of the tree of life will suffice throughout eternity to maintain the health of these natural bodies. But the bodies of the members of the Church, being resurrected and glorified bodies though bone and flesh, will have no need of the healing which comes from the tree of life. These bodies will have become incorruptible and immortal.

These three groups will be differentiated throughout the rest of the period of history in which time prevails and when we all pass into eternity, there will still be the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church of God. One never becomes the other and the difference is noted and maintained throughout Scripture. Do not be led astray by the common teaching of Christendom today, that they are all one and the same. I myself, having been a Gentile and now a Christian, am no longer a Gentile. I have many friends who once were Jews but now are Christians and no longer Jews. In the Word of God there is no such thing as a Hebrew Christian or a Gentile Christian. One is either a Jew or a Gentile or a Christian. "Thus saith the Lord."

When the Apostle Paul in his missionary journeys would enter a city, he would find the two regular places of worship - the synagogue in which the Jews worshipped and the temple in which the Gentiles worshipped. When he left, with but few exceptions, there were three places of worship. In addition to the synagogue of the Jews and the temple of the Gentiles, there was a church for this new man, this third special creation of God. This third group of worshippers was hated and persecuted by both of the other two groups, the Jews and the Gentiles. These three groups are separate and distinct in the mind, plan and purposes of God. And' 'What God hath separated, let not man join together."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:10:12 PM
Prophecy - Signs
God's Present And Future Program
by A. Edwin Wilson


GOD'S PRESENT AND FUTURE PROGRAM

As It Affects Both Jew and Gentile "And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:13-18 ).

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:25). 1. Israel is temporarily set aside as a nation - "blinded IN PART" - UNTIL. The blindness is neither total nor permanent. Individual Jews are now being saved, and one day the whole Jewish nation will be saved. "All Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26).

2. God is NOW visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name (the present gospel work) - an election of grace from among the Gentiles to be united with an election from among the Jews to form the Church, the Bride of Christ, in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Ephesians 2:14-18; John 10:16).

3. At the rapture, when the last Gentile to be added to the Body of Christ is called out, the Lord appears in the air and calls the New Testament saints to Himself. When "the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:25), "the dead in Christ and we which are alive" are caught up (I Thessalonians 4:16,17).

4. "After these things (the rapture of the saints) I will return" - Christ returns to the earth for the second time, the blindness of Israel is lifted and all Israel saved (Romans 11:25, 26).

5. "I will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down" - the Kingdom is restored to the house of David according to the Scriptures. (Restoration of the tent is an Oriental figure of speech of re-establishing the family in honor and glory according to former position.)

6. "That the residue of men might seek after the Lord" - the salvation of the remnant of Israel (Zechariah 13:8,9; Romans 11:26).

7. "And all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called" - this is the conversion of the vast number of Gentiles to be saved after the restoration of Israel (Revelation 7:9-17; Romans 11:15). Then and not until then is Genesis 12:3 fulfilled.

God's order since the call of Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 has always been "TO THE JEW FIRST."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:13:04 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Dispensations
by A. Edwin Wilson


DISPENSATIONS

With this particular article, the editor is beginning a series on dispensations and dispensationalism. So many are saying today that they are premillennialists but not dispensationalists. The folly of such a paradoxical statement will be manifest as this series unfolds.

The Holy Bible is the Great, Wonderful Revelation of the Creator to His Creature. That there is a God; that Man is His crowning Creation; that God has revealed Himself to Man; that the Bible is this written Revelation - all this the editor accepts as true. That the Bible is written FOR all mankind is also accepted by the editor as true, but the editor does not believe that all of the Bible is written TO or ABOUT all mankind. For instance, God required one group of His people to go to Jerusalem to the temple to worship. He required these worshipers to offer specified animal sacrifices as well as to observe certain annual feasts such as the Passover, the Unleavened Bread, the Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. As for me, I can worship God wherever I am; I have no required feast days to observe; I am not required to observe the seventh day, neither am I required to go to Jerusalem and offer animal sacrifices.

We find that the Lord says in Matthew 10:5-10, "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers; raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat." Also in Mark 16:17, 18 He says, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues, They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." I have been a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ for a number of years but none of these signs mentioned in the above quoted verses have followed me. I have not been able to speak with new tongues; I have not dared to play with poisonous snakes or drink deadly poison; neither have I attempted to heal the sick nor to raise the dead. I expect to show you in subsequent paragraphs that these commands and orders of the Lord to His disciples who accompanied Him are not commands to His disciples in this present dispensation.

A dispensation is not a way of salvation. A dispensation is not a period of time in which God saves man according to one way and then in another dispensation saves him after a different fashion. A dispensation is a period of time during which God has placed man on probation and in which God is testing him in order to determine his ability to govern the earth. For the want of better terms, I am going to use three expressions to describe in the main three different philosophies of interpretation. Two are diametrically opposed to each other. The third follows a middle course between the two.

1. The Flat-lnterpretationalists: These are literalists who take every word of the Bible literally, who contend that everything in the Bible is written to us to be accepted and obeyed. Such ones soon find themselves hopelessly involved and entangled in trouble. They must speak in tongues; they must heal the sick; they must raise the dead; they must play with deadly snakes; they must drink deadly poison, and do many other similar things in order to show their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and their faith in God. Such ones are now manifest in large groups and call themselves Pentecostalists - various and sundry Holiness groups. They immediately show their inconsistency by not accepting many other portions of the Word literally. For instance, they do not observe any of the laws of the sabbath relative to traveling, the building of fires, executing the sabbath violators, letting the land lie idle every seventh year or observing the year of jubilee.

2. The Spiritualizers: This group believes that the whole Bible is written to us and about us BUT the Bible doesn't mean what it says. It has a figurative or so-called spiritual meaning, which causes them to phantomize the Scripture. Such ones are the Modernists of today. They do not believe in the miraculous birth of our Lord, though they talk of the virgin birth. They do not believe in His actual miracles, though they refer to them often. They do not believe that He arose from the dead in His literal, physical, visible, tangible body; neither do they believe that He is actually, bodily, physically, literally present in heaven today at the right hand of God the Father. These Spiritualizers or Modernists, having no message of God to proclaim, have resorted to the proclamation of what is called the social gospel and world betterment.

3. The Dispensationalists: These individuals accept the literal interpretation of the Word of the Lord but believe, according to the Scriptures, that the Lord delivered different messages to different groups in different periods of time. For instance, I believe that God told Noah to build an ark for the saving of his family, but I do not believe God intends for anyone else to build such an ark. I believe that God had certain rules and orders of worship for the Jews which have no literal meaning whatever to the Church. I believe that God's dealings with the Jews are separate and distinct from His dealings with the Gentiles, and both of these are separate and distinct from His dealings with the Church. See I Corinthians 10:32. Again, God's dealing with man in the garden of Eden before he sinned were different from His dealings with him after he sinned. God's dealings with man before the flood and subsequent to the flood were different. God's dealings with Israel under law were different from His dealings with Israel today, and God's dealings with Israel were different from His dealings with the Gentiles. And God's dealings with man since the advent of the Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost are different from His dealings with man before Pentecost.

In a concluding sentence for this particular article, let me say that dispensationalism, as taught in the Bible, recognizes different time periods and different groups in which God deals with each on separate and distinct basis and conditions.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:14:44 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The First Dispensation
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE FIRST DISPENSATION

In our previous discussion we defined dispensation as follows: "A dispensation is not a period of time in which God saves man according to one way and then in another dispensation saves him after a different fashion. A dispensation is a period of time during which God has placed man on probation and in which God is testing him in order to determine his ability to govern the earth." We also find in Hebrews 11:3 that the ages and dispensations were framed by God.

The first period of time, or the first dispensation, begins with the creation of Adam. From the time of Adam's creation until the day of his expulsion from the garden of Eden, we find the following characteristics of that particular time period which differentiate it from those to follow:

1. Adam was given the dominion over God's creation (Genesis 1:26): "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Such dominion was lost when man sinned.

2. Adam was commanded to subdue the earth and bring all living creatures under subjection (Genesis 1:28 ). This has been impossible since man sinned.

3. All vegetable and plant life was to be food for man (Genesis 1:29). Since man sinned, many of the plants and trees are poisonous and are not for food.

4. Adam and Eve were innocent when placed in the garden of Eden. They were neither righteous nor evil.

5. Adam and Eve had the power to respond to any outward stimulus; that is, they were granted the power and freedom of choice.

6. Man exercised this choice and chose to do evil.

7. Because of this sin, man was expelled from the garden of Eden, separated from God.

8. Because of man's sin, the ground was cursed. Thorns and thistles it was to bring forth. Because of sin, man was cursed and in the sweat of his face he would eat his bread. Because of sin, the woman was cursed, her conception and sorrow multiplied and her husband given the rule over her.

9. Because of sin, death entered into God's creation.
 
10. Because of sin, man acquired a guilty conscience.

11. With the expulsion of man from the garden, the gateway of return was barred. At this time God's great work of redemption begins and man's long trek back to the garden is inaugurated.

So you see, this first dispensation began with man created in the image and likeness of God, with all the privileges and opportunities of God before him. By his disobedience to God, man proved his unfitness to exercise dominion over the earth and this dispensation closed in judgment, with man being expelled from the garden and barred from re-entry. You will notice as this subject of dispensations develops that all the dispensations begin with the brightness of the promises of God, and because of man's unfitness, close in judgment.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:16:45 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Second Dispensation
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE SECOND DISPENSATION

The first dispensation ended with Adam and Eve being excluded from the garden of Eden, as recorded in Genesis 3. The second dispensation begins with chapter 4. Once again by way of emphasis I want to state that a dispensation is a period of time in which God tests man's ability to rule and reign over the earth according to prescribed conditions. The first dispensation demonstrated that man in innocency was incapable of ruling and reigning by virtue of the fact that he succumbed to temptation and lost his innocency. With the loss of innocency he acquired a conscience and the second dispensation (which belongs peculiarly to the Cainites) finds man being tested according to his ability to rule with his conscience as his guide.

Notice the physical changes that take place. In the first dispensation man's activities were limited and easy, but in the second dispensation thorns and thistles aggravate the cultivation of plants and man must labor and earn his bread in the sweat of his face. In the first dispensation conception and childbirth were accompanied with little or no pain. In the second dispensation woman suffers severely amid these experiences. In the first dispensation man has easy and unbroken fellowship with God, but in the second, he has fellowship with God only on the basis of shed blood. Man's innocency is gone and in its stead he has a guilty conscience. The difficulty in being guided by one's conscience is to be found in the fact that conscience does not come into play until after an individual has done wrong; then conscience can say to the individual, "You should not have done that." God has given us His Word and His Spirit to direct us in the paths we should go, rather than to follow the leadings of a guilty conscience, which can easily be seared.

Cain and his family, in separation from God, play the leading role in the second dispensation. It is in this period of time that we have the beginning of civilization. What an anomaly. Civilization as we know it owes its origin to castoff Cain and his descendants. Civilization is man's attempt to live without God; that is, without God's direction, without God's blessings, without a sense of responsibility to God. One wonders how far Christians should go along with so-called modern civilization. With Cain we have the beginning of agriculture as a system (Genesis 4:3). Here we have the beginning of the cattle industry (Genesis 4:20), that of manufacturing (Genesis 4:22), and of arts and sciences with emphasis on music and literature (Genesis 4:21-24). Here in the development of civilization we have the breakdown of marriage (Genesis 4:19). Here amid the beginnings of civilization we have the first murders (Genesis 4:8 and 23). It is in this era of the origin of civilization that we have man rejecting God's sacrifice of the lamb (Genesis 4:3). Jude in verse 11 speaks of people going the way of Cain. This way is seeking to approach God apart from the shed blood and involves the institution of a bloodless worship. Scripture says, "without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).

It was in the second dispensation, while man was governed by his own conscience, that the fallen angels entered into illicit relationships with the daughters of men and produced a progeny of giants which polluted the blood stream of the entire human race, with the exception of Noah and his immediate family.

In this dispensation, as in all dispensations, matters wax worse and worse until God must deal with man in judgment and destruction. The second dispensation closes with God destroying all living flesh from off the face of the earth by the flood, sparing only Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives. This is spoken of as an act of the grace of God (Genesis 6:8 ).
 
The second dispensation ends with the utter and absolute failure of the Cainites. But a ray of hope shines through in the names of the godly men of that time, particularly that of Methuselah, which means "by (or in) his death, he shall bring" - which points forward to relief or redemption coming at the time of the death of Methuselah.

Just a cursory glance will reveal marked differences in God's dealings with man in the time from his creation to his expulsion from the garden of Eden, and in the period beginning with Cain and Abel and ending with the flood. Let no one say that there are no dispensations in God's plan.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:18:59 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Third Dispensation
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE THIRD DISPENSATION

As noted in the previous discussion of the second dispensation, the flood - with its destruction of all flesh from off the face of the earth, except Noah and his family - marked the end of that particular time period. The disembarkment of Noah and his family from the ark ushered in a new time period which we call the third dispensation.
 
We have noted in God's dealings with Cain that capital punishment was prohibited during the second dispensation, but as we come into the third dispensation, God institutes capital punishment as the basis of civil government. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (Genesis 9:6). It is especially interesting today, as so many are seeking to do away with capital punishment, that God Himself has never repealed nor revoked the law of execution of the murderer on the testimony of two or more witnesses (Numbers 35:30, 31).

So many changes that are being advocated by man today are done so because of the philanthropical and philosophical reasoning of the unregenerate mind. Such individuals ignore completely God, sin, the Word of the Lord, redemption, eternal retribution for the lost and eternal glory for the redeemed. Vainly, unregenerate man imagines things will improve with the advancement of worldly wisdom. Let capital punishment remain as the basis of civil government where the Lord God Almighty placed it.

You will note in the second place that, whereas man was a strict vegetarian in the second dispensation, he is now permitted to eat meat of all description in the third dispensation. "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things" (Genesis 9:3).

In the third place, it is in the third dispensation that God makes a covenant with Noah that He will never again destroy all flesh by water but will reserve the present heaven and earth for destruction by fire. The seal of this covenant is the rainbow which was set in the skies, but not until the beginning of the third dispensation.

Fourth, all authority of rule in the third dispensation seems to be bestowed upon Noah and he exercises such office as a dictator. However, because he is a sinful being, government under such an individual is doomed to failure and results in the building of the tower of Babel. It is at this time that the Lord God comes down from heaven, confounds the tongues of the people, divides them into nations and families, scatters them abroad over the face of the earth and then divides the earth into continents and islands, separating such bodies of land by waterways. See Genesis 11:8, 9 and 10:25. This dispensation, as all dispensations, comes to an end in judgment and confusion.

I wish to state again, as I did at the beginning, that a dispensation is not a way of salvation - whereby saying that God has many different ways of saving individuals - but a dispensation is a period of time in which man, being placed on probation, is given an opportunity to rule and govern the earth according to certain conditions created and imposed by the Lord. And I wish to state once again that all of the Christians that I know and of whom I have heard proclaim a belief in at least two dispensations by worshipping on Sunday instead of the sabbath.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:20:45 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Fourth Dispensation
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE FOURTH DISPENSATION

During the first three dispensations God had dealt with the human race as a whole and because of the failure with which each dispensation ended, God proceeded with a different method. With the beginning of the fourth dispensation which, I judge, begins with Genesis 12, God calls out a special individual, Abram, and is going to deal with the human race through Abraham and his seed. The election of Abram in this dispensation is not for the damnation of all of the rest, but that through Abram's posterity God can bless the majority. In the first three dispensations God's revelation, that is, the gospel, was written in the stars of the heaven (see Psalms 19:1-6). But in this new dispensation God's revelation is going to be given to Israel and recorded by them (Psalms 147:17-20; Romans 3:1, 2). God is also going to give man a revelation through His Son, who is the living Word.

With the calling out of Abram and his posterity, there arises a great wave of enmity toward this God-chosen people called anti-Semitism. In its ultimate analysis anti-Semitism is nothing but atheism, a denial of the existence of God and of His revelation, both written and living.

With the beginning of the fourth dispensation and the designation of Abram, Isaac and Jacob as the ones through whom the blessings are to flow, Israel receives a great responsibility - to make known the truth of God to the ends of the earth.

It is in this fourth dispensation that God makes two great covenants with the children of Israel. The first one is with Abram, Isaac and Jacob (see Genesis 13:14-18; 15:18-21; 26:1-5; 28:10-15). This covenant has to do with the land as an everlasting possession of the children of Israel.

The second covenant God makes is with David, and we read of that in II Samuel 7:1-17. This covenant has to do with the establishing of the throne of David upon which shall be seated the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh when He returns to rule and reign for a thousand years.

This dispensation has been called the dispensation of law because of the giving of the law with which Israel was to be governed. A very concise description of the people, their purposes, their worship and ministry is to be found in Romans 9:1-5. This dispensation continues from the call of Abraham until the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. You will note that there is an overlapping of this dispensation of some 40 years since the next dispensation begins at Pentecost, about 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Even those who pride themselves on being anti-dispensationalists acknowledge that God dealt with man differently during this period of time than He did before or has since. I find very few people that do not recognize the dispensation of law and the dispensation of grace; and when one acknowledges by recognition these two dispensations, he has paved the way for any other dispensations and can no longer deny being a dispensationalist himself.

In and during this fourth dispensation the only place one can worship God is in the temple in Jerusalem. The only way one can approach God is through the animal sacrifices ministered by the order of the priesthood. The day recognized by God is the seventh day and everything in and of the worship points to the coming Messiah who will suffer and then enter into His glory. Also during this dispensation of law the land is to lie idle every seventh year. Any volunteer crop of the fields, orchards or vineyards is to be for the poor, the widows and the orphans. Every fiftieth year the land is to revert to the original owner, all debts cancelled and bond slaves freed.

As we take up the fifth dispensation in our next article you will be able to distinguish very clearly between the dispensation of law, as described in part five above, and the dispensation of grace under which we are now living.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 03:31:02 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Fifth Dispensation
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE FIFTH DISPENSATION

With the dispensation of law ending in the rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah we have a new dispensation referred to by some as that of grace, by others as that of the Holy Spirit, by others as that of the church. Many of us hesitate to call this the dispensation of grace because some misunderstand and think that we are teaching that in other dispensations God doesn't deal with man in grace. Perhaps it had best be said here and now that ALL of God's dealing with man from eternity to eternity are on the basis of grace.

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as the Seed of the woman shall crush the head of the serpent. As the Seed of Abraham He is to be a blessing to all the nations. As the Seed of David He is to rule and reign over God's creation. When He came unto His own and His own received Him not He turned from Israel, and having already turned from the Gentiles He creates a new man which is neither Jew nor Gentile (Ephesians 2:15; II Corinthians 5:17). Those from among both the Jews and the Gentiles are called out by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8, 9). This group saved by grace constitutes a heavenly people with a heavenly Head, a heavenly home, heavenly blessings and heavenly promises. The enjoyment of these in time to come necessitates that the recipients of such blessings shall have heavenly bodies. Such is not true of Jews and Gentiles.

In this dispensation of the Holy Spirit or, if you choose, of grace, our mission is to preach the gospel in all the world. God is calling out of the masses a people for His Name. We are to sound forth the Word of the Lord whereby the sheep will hear and in response to the call come to the Lord. We are ambassadors of heaven; we are strangers here. We are not to worry about the government of this world; we are to leave it in the hands of men under the direction of the god of this age, the prince of the power of the air. Our prospect of governing the world is for the time when we shall return from heaven with the Lord as He establishes His kingdom. We are to pray, not for reformation, but transfiguration, not education but regeneration, not organization but vitalization, not moral growth but the new birth.

This dispensation is that of evangelizing the world; and when I use the word evangelize I use it in its Scriptural sense, which is to tell the good news that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. Christians are to proclaim this good news to all the world. Evangelize doesn't mean Christianize; evangelize doesn't mean civilize; evangelize doesn't mean Americanize; evangelize simply means to make the proclamation that atonement has been made for the sins of the world. The Holy Spirit will take it from there.

This dispensation will end with Christendom apostate, the nations of the world united in rebellion against God, the rapture of the saints, the appearance of the antichrist, and the inauguration of the great tribulation. Any and all may be spared such prospect through simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

TO BE CONTINUED...
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My Notes:  If you've gotten this far, you are probably serious about taking this study. If so, please accept some helpful hints:  1) go slowly and keep everything in context - both the writer's thoughts and the Holy Bible References;  2) please do follow along with all of the listed Bible references and take your time;  3) Pray before you start your studies and ask the Holy Spirit to help you;  4) have an open heart and mind as you carefully and prayerfully study GOD'S WORD;  5) keep in mind this is complex material, and there are varied opinions about some issues, but don't let one or more differences ruin your study or prevent you from completing the study.


Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:37:11 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Types And Antitypes
by A. Edwin Wilson


TYPES AND ANTITYPES

The Old Testament has been called, "The Neglected Continent of the Bible." Many know the Old Testament just for a few favorite chapters. Others think of it only as giving a few biographical sketches. But few realize that for every New Testament doctrine, there is a type in the Old Testament. Historical events took place as recorded in the Old Testament in order to illustrate, typify, or symbolize New Testament truths. Note carefully I Corinthians 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (types): and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." The Old Testament contains the object lesson, and the New Testament contains the explanation of that object lesson. Proverbs 25:2 says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search out a matter." The Old Testament is God's picture book, His object lessons, His building blocks. In the New Testament these blocks are put together and they always spell out or point to some phase of the person or work of the Lord Jesus Christ and our relation to Him. The coats of skin with which God covered Adam and Eve; the sacrifices of Cain and Abel; the names of the Old Testament characters; Noah's Ark; Egypt; Pharaoh; the ten plagues; the Passover; the Red Sea; the wilderness; the manna; the Jordan River; the land of promise, etc. - ALL OF THESE ARE TYPES and are written for our admonition.

Our Lord reproved the disciples on the road to Emmaus as "fools and slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets had spoken." The prophets spoke in type, symbol, materials, colors, animals, buildings, persons, events, and in divers manners concerning Christ. Just think for one minute - EVERYTHING in the Tabernacle, the shape, materials, colors - all that was in the Tabernacle portrays something about Christ and His ministry and work.

In the Book of Hebrews (5:10, 11), the Spirit of the Lord rebukes Christians very sharply for their imperfect knowledge of Melchizedek as a type of Christ in His coming Kingdom when He shall be the Prince of Peace and King of kings; thus beyond any shadow of doubt, it is the DUTY and PRIVILEGE of Christians with the help of the Holy Spirit of God to search into the types of the Scripture and come to a correct understanding of them. In fact, the types of Scripture, especially those relating to the return, rule, judgment, kingdom, and the part Christians may have in His kingdom, and kindred subjects, are called by the Spirit of the Lord THE MEAT OF THE WORD. Christians are urged to leave the milk of the Word, the elementary things pertaining to salvation, and to go on to maturity by feeding on the meat, that is, the types of the Word of Righteousness - the Old Testament.

Though the word type does not occur in the King James Version, it does occur in the Greek text. In I Corinthians 10:6-11 we have the word tupoi from the word tupos from which comes our English word type. In Hebrews 9:24 and I Peter 3:21 we have the words antitupa and antitupon from which comes our word antitype. A TYPE is a divine illustration of some truth or doctrine which is foreshadowed. For instance, the Passover lamb, its characteristics, blood shedding, application of the blood on the doorposts and lintel which brought deliverance to Israel - all these are types of the Lord Jesus Christ who brings salvation to all who will apply His shed blood through faith to their lost and undone condition. Again, Egypt is a type of the world from which we are delivered. The wilderness is a type of our pilgrimage from the time of salvation until we enter the promised land. Canaan, the promised land, is a type of the Millennial land and the reign of Christ and His saints who qualify to reign with Him.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:39:02 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Joseph - A Type Of Christ
by A. Edwin Wilson


JOSEPH - A TYPE OF CHRIST

Not only is First Corinthians ten verse eleven Scripture for studying Joseph as a type of Christ, but in Psalms 81:5 we read that Joseph was ordained by God as a testimony, or type, in all his Egyptian experiences, and I want to call your attention to about twenty-seven analogous and typical relations between Joseph and Christ.

1. Joseph was the son of his father's old age (Genesis 37:3). Jesus was the Son of God the Father's old age, that is, He was God's Son of eternity - from eternity to eternity - no beginning and no ending (John 1:1).

2. Joseph was greatly beloved of his father, more so than all of the other children (Genesis 37:3). Jesus was the beloved Son of His Father (Matthew 3:17).

3. Joseph received from his father a coat of many colors (Genesis 37:3). This coat typified three things: First, that Joseph was the son and heir of his father (Jesus was the Son and Heir of God the Father - Hebrews 1:2). Second, the coat of many colors revealed the exalted dignity bestowed upon Joseph by Israel his father. (Jesus was highly exalted by God the Father - Philippians 2:9-11). Third, the many colors depicted many offices which Joseph would hold (Jesus was the holder of many offices as signified by His many crowns,' and He had many different names showing further the different aspects of His person and work - Revelation 19:12).

4. Joseph had two dreams prophesying his sovereignty over his brethren (Genesis 37:5-11). Jesus had a prophecy concerning His sovereignty over His brethren (Luke 1:33).

5. Joseph willingly accepted the commission to go unto his brethren and see about their welfare (Genesis 37:13). Jesus willingly obeyed the Father by laying aside His glory and coming to earth to see about His brethren and their welfare (Hebrews 10:7).

6. Joseph sought only his brethren (Genesis 37:13). Jesus came only to His brethren, the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24).

7. Joseph's first contact with his brethren was while they were shepherds (Genesis 37:13, 16). Jesus' first announcement was by the angels to the shepherds in the fields (Luke 2:15).

8. Joseph wandered around in the field when he sought his brethren (Genesis 37:15). Jesus was a wanderer in the field (the field is the world) while seeking His brethren, and He had no place to call His home (Luke 9:58; Matthew 13:38 ).

9. Joseph found his brethren in Dothan. Dothan means "bound by custom" or "under the law" (Genesis 37:17). Jesus found His brethren slaves to the traditions or customs of the Jews and the ritualism and formalism of the Judaistic worship.

10. Joseph's brethren refused to receive him (Genesis 37:18, 19). Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not (John 1:11).
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:40:31 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Joseph - A Type Of Christ
by A. Edwin Wilson

11. Joseph's brethren conspired to slay him (Genesis 37:18, 20). Jesus' brethren took counsel against Him to put Him to death (Matthew 27:1).

12. Joseph's brethren mocked and ridiculed him (Genesis 37:18, 19). Jesus was mocked and ridiculed by the chief priests and scribes, and Herod's men (Luke 23:10, 11).

13. Joseph was sold by his brethren as a slave (Genesis 37:27). Jesus was sold by one of His brethren for the price of a slave (Matthew 26:14, 15).

14. Joseph was cast into the pit by his brethren (Genesis 37:24). Jesus was to descend into the pit also for three days and nights (Matthew 12:40).

15. Joseph was stripped of his coat (Genesis 37:23). Jesus was stripped of His coat (Matthew 27:35).
 
16. Joseph was taken out of the pit alive (Genesis 37:28 ). Jesus came out of the pit alive (Matthew 28:6).

17. Joseph was thought by one of his brethren, Reuben, to be dead because he did not find him in the pit and he did not know what had happened to him (Genesis 37:29). Jesus' brethren, the Jews, think He is dead today, not knowing what has happened to Him.

18. Joseph's coat, dipped in blood, was presented to his father - a goat's kid dying in Joseph's place (Genesis 37:31, 32). Jesus' blood was presented to the Father as an atonement for the sins of others (Hebrews 9:12).

19. Joseph, rejected by his brethren, became the saviour of the world while he was in Egypt. Jesus, rejected by the Jews, became the Saviour of the whole world (Romans 11:15).

20. Joseph, rejected by his brethren, sat on the right hand of the throne of power in Egypt (Genesis 41:39-44). Jesus, rejected by the Jews, is seated on the right hand of the Throne of Power (Hebrews 8:1).

21. Joseph, in his rejection, took unto himself a Gentile bride (Genesis 41:45). Jesus, in His rejection, is taking unto Himself a Gentile bride (Acts 15:14).

22. Joseph's brethren, because of great tribulation, were forced to go to Joseph for help (Genesis 42:1-3). Jesus' brethren, amid great tribulation, shall call upon Him who is the Lord (Deuteronomy 30:1, 2).

23. Joseph's brethren did not know him, but Joseph knew them (Genesis 42:8 ). Jesus knows His brethren but they do not know Him (Hosea 5:3).

24. Joseph punished his brethren before he revealed himself to them (Genesis 42:7). Jesus will punish His brethren before He reveals Himself to them (Matthew 24:21, 30).

25. Joseph revealed himself to his brethren on the third day (Genesis 42:18 ). Jesus will reveal Himself to His brethren on the third day (Hosea 6:1, 2).

26. Joseph's brethren carried the proclamation that Joseph was alive and the ruler over all the land (Genesis 45:26). Jesus' brethren will carry the proclamation to all the land that He is alive and their Messiah (John 4:22; Revelation 7; Matthew 24:14).

27. Joseph was in the place of God, not only for his brethren's sake, but for the sake of the whole world (Genesis 50:19, 20). Jesus, as God, shall rule over all the earth (Isaiah 9:6, 7). This brief study of Joseph as a type of Christ should be a revelation to one in his study of the Person and office work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:42:10 PM
Prophecy - Signs
A Prophet Like Unto Moses
by A. Edwin Wilson


A PROPHET LIKE UNTO MOSES

"For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me,. him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among you" (Acts 3:22, 23).

This Scripture is a prophecy given by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 and 19. The Apostle Peter in quoting this in his second sermon makes it very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Prophet to Whom Moses referred; therefore the subject of this article may be called "Christ, a Prophet like unto Moses."

The Word of God is our authority for saying that Moses is a type of Christ. There are analogies between the lives and ministries of these two which are enlightening to the extent that Christ is far better understood and appreciated after a study like this one. We propose to set down some of the corresponding features between the two.

1. Moses was recognized by his parents as a goodly child and was greatly beloved of his parents.Jesus grew in favor with God and man and was greatly beloved of His Father.

2. At the time of Moses' birth all the male children of Israel were being put to death by the head of the government, Pharaoh. Soon after the birth of Jesus, the male children of Bethlehem were put to death by the head of the government, Herod.

3. Moses was miraculously preserved by the power of God. Jesus was miraculously preserved by the power of God.

4. Moses found a haven of refuge in Egypt. Jesus found a haven of refuge in Egypt. (This came to pass that the prophecy - "out of Egypt have I called My Son" - might be fulfilled in Israel and the Lord Jesus Christ, both of whom are called God's first-born Son.)

5. Moses grew into manhood in comparative silence. Jesus grew into manhood in comparative silence.
 
6. When Moses reached his majority he had to choose between his own will and that of doing the will of God for the people of God. Jesus, having obtained full manhood at the age of thirty, had to choose whether He would serve self or the Lord, and He chose to serve the Lord.

7. Moses aligned himself with the people of God when he forsook the palace and went to the children of Israel, a slave people. Jesus at His baptism identified Himself with a people who were slaves of sin.
 
8. Moses was rejected by his own brethren at his first appearance unto them. Jesus was rejected by His own brethren at His first appearance.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:44:00 PM
Prophecy - Signs
A Prophet Like Unto Moses
by A. Edwin Wilson

9. Moses' life was jeopardized and he had to flee into a far country. Christ's life was jeopardized and surrendered, but He arose from the dead and went into a far country (His ascension into Heaven).

10. Moses, while in the far country, married a Gentile bride. Christ, while in Heaven, is taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name.

11. Moses' appearance to the people of Israel and their rejection of him intensified and aggravated their suffering as slaves. Jesus' appearance unto His own and their rejection of Him intensified and aggravated their sinful condition.

12. The plight of the children of Israel became so severe during Moses' absence that they cried out to the Lord. The plight of the Jews during Christ's absence will become so severe (the Great Tribulation) that they will call upon the Lord.

13. The Lord heard the cry of Israel in Egypt and prepared to send Moses back to deliver them. The Lord will hear the cry of the Jews in the time of Jacob's trouble and will prepare to send Jesus back.

NOTE: In this connection I want to call attention to a blessed and sublime truth. Moses' wife Zipporah and Joseph's wife Asenath, both of whom are types of the bride of Christ, do not have any part in the suffering of the children of Israel. This reveals to us that the church, the bride of Christ, will have no part in the suffering of the children of Israel, which is the Great Tribulation.

14. When Moses returned to the children of Israel the second time they accepted him as their deliverer. When Christ returns the second time, Israel as a nation will accept Him as her Deliverer.

15. When Moses delivered the children of Israel by blood and power, Pharaoh and his hosts were destroyed by the power of God. When Christ shall deliver the children of Israel by blood and power, the anti-Christ and his forces will be destroyed by the power of God.

16. The children of Israel were made a peculiar people of the Lord upon their deliverance by Moses. The children of Israel shall occupy a peculiar relationship to God upon their deliverance by the Lord Jesus Christ.

This brief but pertinent analogy reveals many things pertaining to our Lord, chief of which is the fact that He shall deliver His people Israel, and after that, the Lord Jesus and His bride will occupy a blessed relationship to Israel redeemed as a nation.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:45:55 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Jonah - A Type Of Israel
by A. Edwin Wilson


JONAH - A TYPE OF ISRAEL

"And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign,. and there shall be no sign given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation" (Luke 11:29, 30).

Here we are told that Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites; likewise, shall the Son of man be a sign to this generation. The specific reference is Matthew 12:40; however, when we begin to make a study of the Son of God and the Son of man, we find that Israel is also called the son of God: "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn" (Exodus 4:22, 23).

The Lord Jesus Christ was a sign to His and succeeding generations, and Israel is a sign to each generation; therefore, both our Lord and Israel are typified in Jonah.

A study of the book of Jonah will reveal many interesting angles of analogy between Jonah and the nation of Israel. Here are eleven such analogies:

1. In Jonah 1:2, God commissioned him to go to Nineveh, a great Gentile city, and cry out against it. This was most unusual in that the Lord called upon a Jewish prophet to go to the Gentiles and preach, when as yet the time of the Gentiles' salvation was not at hand (cf. Ephesians 2:11-13). In Abraham, God also called Israel to go to the Gentiles and give a witness (Genesis 12:1-3). Particularly note verse 3, where He says that ALL families of the earth are to be blessed in him. Intimation of Israel's responsibility had already been noted in Genesis 9:27, where we are informed that all spiritual blessings which the Gentiles are to receive shall come to them through Shem, the progenitor of the Jews. Also in Isaiah 43:9-12, we learn of the world-wide scope of Israel's mission.
 
In a nutshell, the first analogy between Jonah and Israel is this: Jonah, commissioned to go to the Gentiles - Israel, commissioned to go to the Gentiles.

2. Jonah chose to disobey the Lord and refused to go to the Gentile city of Nineveh. He sought to flee from the presence of the Lord and tried to get away from the Lord's will concerning his ministry.

We find also that Israel in her own conceit refused to carry the gospel to the Gentiles, choosing rather to gather her garments of complacent self-righteousness around her, calling the Gentiles "dogs."

3. Jonah's disobedience caused much trouble to overtake him. As he sought to flee from the presence of the Lord, he sought passage on board a ship going to Tarshish, which was possibly the furthermost point to which ships sailed in those days. Tarshish appears to be identified in Scripture as the ancient maritime and island nation which we today call Great Britain. The point is, he was going as far away from Nineveh as he could.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:47:36 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Jonah - A Type Of Israel
by A. Edwin Wilson

The Jews also attempted to put as much space between them and the Gentiles as they could, and they too have become involved in great trouble. Jonah found himself on board a ship with a mighty storm at sea endangering the ship, its cargo and crew. Note in particular that Jonah, out of the will of the Lord, brought distress upon the Gentiles aboard ship. The Jews out of the will of God have brought distress, not only upon themselves but also upon the Gentiles of the world. Read Deuteronomy 28 for a clear picture of the prophesied trouble to come upon Israel if she disobeyed the Lord.

4. There could be no relief for the ship, its cargo and crew with Jonah on board. There can be no relief for Israel out of the Lord's will, though in her land. The only alternative for the crew and Jonah was for him to be cast overboard into the sea. The only alternative for Israel was for God to cast her out of the land into the sea of Gentile nations. With the scattering of Israel and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Jews were cast into the sea of the Gentiles.

5. When Jonah was cast overboard, peace prevailed on the sea, and the Gentile crew was saved both physically and spiritually. In Jonah 1:16, we find that salvation came to the Gentiles. We also learn that when Israel was cast out of her land, scattered among the Gentile nations and set aside, salvation came to the Gentiles. (See Romans 11:15-19.) Let us never forget that salvation to the Gentiles came through Israel's rejection by God.

6. Though Jonah was cast into the sea, he was not cast off by God; He still had His purpose to be fulfilled in Jonah and He moved swiftly to preserve and keep him until such time as he would do His will. God's preservation of Jonah was miraculous in that He prepared a great fish to swallow him. There need be no speculation concerning the identify of the fish, its dimension etc., because it was especially prepared by God for this specific purpose. How interesting it is to note that the fish did not digest, assimilate, amalgamate or integrate Jonah. He was preserved and protected by God while in the belly of the fish.

Now in regard to Israel: Has God cast her off because she has been cast out into the sea of Gentile nations? (See Romans 11:1-6.) God has a purpose for Israel, and that is to carry the gospel to all the Gentiles on the face of the earth. Since she has not yet done this, He is preserving her until such a time when she will be submissive and obedient to His will - hence, the protecting care of Israel through the centuries.
 
The Gentiles have not been able to digest, assimilate, amalgamate or integrate the Jews. No matter what they do with them they will never integrate Israel. God is keeping her safe for the fulfilment of the purpose for which He brought her into existence, and that is to be His witnesses to all the Gentiles in the world. Many and futile, though tragic, have been the attempts of the Gentiles to do away with the Jewish people. For example, Pharaoh in Egypt; Haman in the days of Mordecai and Queen Esther; Antiochus Epiphanes in the days of the Maccabees, and of more recent date, Hitler's purge in which he destroyed approximately one-third of the Jewish race.

But in and through all these experiences, God has preserved a remnant, just as He preserved Jonah while in the belly of the fish.

7. Affliction brought repentance. Jonah inside the whale's belly died and went to hell or sheol (the Hebrew word for the place of departed spirits, irrespective of their condition, whether saved or lost). Jonah's dying and resurrection was an integral part of his being a type of Christ. It might be well here for the reader to make a little study of hell, sheol, and hades. Read Luke 16:19-31 where we have both Lazarus and the rich man in hell (or shool or hades), the same place to which Jonah went.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:49:25 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Jonah - A Type Of Israel
by A. Edwin Wilson

It was because of Jonah's affliction and realization of wasted opportunities that he turned to the Lord and called upon Him.
There is a day coming called the "day of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:5-7).

In the day of her affliction, Israel will call upon God. This is set forth in type in Exodus 3:7-12. After Moses had appeared unto the children of Israel the first time as their deliverer and they had refused to receive him, he went away into a distant country where he married a Gentile bride and became a shepherd.

Just so, our Lord came the first time, was rejected by Israel, and has gone away into a far country. He is now taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name. While Moses was in the desert the affliction of the children of Israel in Egypt was so intensified that they called out to God for help. The Lord heard their cry and sent Moses back the second time to deliver them, and they received Him.

When the day of Jacob's trouble (also called the great tribulation) breaks upon Israel, they will call on the Lord (Matthew 23:39), and the Lord will return to deliver them, and they will receive Him.

As Jonah's affliction caused him to call upon the Lord, so shall Israel's coming affliction cause her to do the same.

8. Looking toward the temple: In Jonah 2:4, he affirms his conviction that he will yet look toward the holy temple, that is, he will be restored to his homeland and his place of worship in the temple. Israel in her dispersion continues to dream of the day when she too will again look to the holy temple. That is the day when Israel will be restored, the city and the temple be rebuilt, and Israel will once again be serving the Lord from His holy temple.

9. Resurrection and restoration: When Jonah called upon the Lord at the time of his affliction, God heard him and commanded the fish to put him on the dry land (Jonah 2:10). When Israel shall again cry out to the Lord, He will hear their cry and put them back in the land (Jeremiah 30:10,11).

10. Resurrection on the third day: In Jonah 1:17, we are told that he was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Matthew 12:40 tells us that Jesus was to be in the heart of the earth three days and nights.

Now as Jonah was raised on the third day and as Christ was raised on the third day, even so shall Israel be raised on the third day: "1 will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us,. he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight" (Hosea 5:15-6:2). In Hosea 6:2, we read that it is on the third day that He will raise Israel up. II Peter 3:8 informs us that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day; so, Israel's resurrection is to take place after 2,000 years, and during or in the third thousand-year period. How startling when we realize that Israel has been cast off for nearly 2,000 years and that the time of her resurrection is fast drawing nigh!

11. Jonah, placed on the land, was told the second time to go to Nineveh and preach. He hastened to obey the Lord; and the result .was that the whole city, from the king down to the lowest slave, as well as the animals, put on sackcloth and ashes in repentance in turning to the Lord.

When Israel is restored, the Lord will command her the second time to go to the ends of the earth and preach the gospel of the kingdom to every Gentile (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:1-8 ).

God preserved Jonah that he might preach to Nineveh as He had originally commanded him.

God is preserving Israel that she may yet preach the gospel to all the Gentiles.

When Jonah preached, unparalleled and supernatural results followed. When Israel carries the gospel of the Kingdom to the Gentiles of the world, unparalleled and supernatural results will follow. (See Revelation 7:9-17.) Thus we see God's original purpose in Jonah fulfilled; and soon we shall see God's original purpose in Israel fulfilled. Herein is Jonah a type of the nation of Israel.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:51:04 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Cain - A Type Of Israel
by A. Edwin Wilson


CAIN - A TYPE OF ISRAEL

In the following paragraphs I want to draw an analogy between Cain, the slayer of his brother, and Israel, the slayer of her brother. Both Israel and Jesus are called the first-born of God, making Israel's slaying of Christ fratricide, the same crime of which Cain was guilty.

1. Cain means "acquisition," showing that much was expected of him; and Isaiah 5:1-7 shows how much was expected of Israel. Both Cain and Israel miserably failed.

2. Cain was the first-born with all the rights of primogeniture. Israel was also the first-born with the same rights (Exodus 4:22).
 
3. Cain worshipped in self-will rather than according to the will of God. Israel likewise refused to conform to God's will in regard to worship and "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." (See Judges 2:20-22; 4:1; 6:1.)

4. Cain refused the sacrifice of God's substitutionary Lamb, which Abel offered. Likewise, Israel refused the substitutionary Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, choosing rather to offer her own good deeds in self-will.

5. Cain in a fit of anger slew his brother who was innocent of any crime toward Cain. Likewise, Israel slew her brother, Jesus, Who was guilty of no sin.

6. Cain was cursed because of his sin and made a vagabond and a fugitive upon the face of the earth. Israel was also cursed because of her great sin against Jesus and made a vagabond and a wanderer upon the face of the whole earth. (See Deuteronomy 28:25.)

7. God put a mark upon Cain to distinguish him from all others and forbade anyone to kill him, under threat of vengeance (Genesis 4:15). God also put distinguishing marks on Israel (facial characteristics, etc.) so that they would be recognized no matter where they went. See Isaiah 61:9 where the word "acknowledge" means "to recognize." God also forbade anyone to attempt to exterminate them, under threat of dire punishment. (See Genesis 12:3.)

8. We have no record whatever of Cain's death or end upon the earth. Neither do we have nor will we have any record of Israel's extermination or extinction.

9. Cain's portion was to be an entirely earthly portion. Likewise, the nation of Israel in the Millennium and in eternity will have only an earthly portion. The heavenly portion of God belongs to God's heavenly people, namely, the Church, which is entirely separate and distinct from Jew and Gentile.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:52:58 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Paul's Conversion - A Type Of Israel's Future National Conversion
by A. Edwin Wilson


PAUL'S CONVERSION - A TYPE OF ISRAEL'S FUTURE NATIONAL CONVERSION

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all long suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting" (I Timothy 1:15, 16)

As Paul is discussing the purpose of Christ's first advent into the world "to save sinners," we call attention to the fact that his conversion was for a different purpose entirely; that is, he was not saved just to obtain mercy but that in his salvation Christ should outline the salvation of a group who would hereafter believe. The word pattern means an outline, type, or preview. Since there are just two groups to be reached with the gospel - the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and the Gentiles - we must first ascertain to which group Paul refers as being the antitype.

The primary force in Paul's conversion was the personal, physical, visible, and literal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. We know from other Scriptures, as well as by experience and observation, that Gentiles are not to be saved as a nation but as individuals through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the other hand, such passages of Scripture as the following ones reveal the fact that there is a day coming when the nation of Israel (those who will be alive at that particular time) shall be saved, and a nation shall be born in a day: 'Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children" (Isaiah 66:8 ); "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people, and they shall say, The Lord is my God" (Zechariah 13:8, 9); "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:26).

So the evidence here is conclusive that the group of whom Paul speaks in I Timothy 1:16 is Israel. Of course, we always keep in mind the fact that individual Jews are being saved today, even as Gentiles, through a personal response to the gospel invitation; but God has never dealt with Gentiles as a nation - only with Israel has He so dealt. And what Paul is really saying in this sixteenth verse is that he was saved in order that his conversion and subsequent experiences would serve as a type for the conversion of the nation of Israel. In I Corinthians 15:8, Paul speaks of himself as one born out of due time. The literal translation in the Greek and English of the words "born out of due time" is "abortion." Paul being an Israelite thinks of himself as being born from above before the time for the conversion of national Israel.

Let us note some outstanding experiences in Paul's conversion and life, and see the analogy between them and Israel's coming conversion:

1. Saul was most zealous in his persecution of Christians. The Scriptures and history record the fact that apostate Israel is and will be most zealous in its persecution of Christians. We have not seen too much of that in recent years in this country because of the small minority of the Jews, but the names Christ and Christian have been words of hatred and enmity to the Jews, and they have never hesitated to make known their feelings in every way possible against those who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. During the great tribulation, Jewish hatred and persecution of Christians will reach its height, comparable to that of Saul of Tarsus as he hastened toward Damascus.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:54:23 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Paul's Conversion - A Type Of Israel's Future National Conversion
by A. Edwin Wilson

2. It was while Saul was on this mission of hate that the Lord Jesus Christ personally appeared to him, and when He asked, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Saul asked the question, "Who art thou, Lord?" It was then that Jesus revealed to him that He was the lowly Nazarene whom he hated, and he recognized Him then as the Christ.
 
When Christ appears in person to the nation of Israel at the close of the great tribulation, the Jews in astonishment will ask, "What are these wounds in thine hands?" and He will reveal to them that He is Jesus of Nazareth and also the Christ, their Messiah, when He answers, "Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends " (Zechariah 13:6). Then shall be fulfilled Revelation 1:7, "Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."

We note in Paul's conversion that all with him saw the glory of the Lord, but only he heard Him speak. Evidently all shall see the Lord when He returns with clouds, but only Israel will hear Him speak.

3. Immediately upon Paul's conversion he asked, "Lord what wilt thou have me to do?" Jesus said for him to go into the city and it would be told him what to do. Following his baptism Paul went away into the desert where he was instructed personally by the Lord Jesus Christ. How often he called attention to the fact that the gospel which he preached was not learned from man nor by man, but from the personal revelation of Christ to him. After Israel's conversion she, too, will be taught by the Lord Himself the gospel which she is to teach and preach (some eminent scholars notwithstanding; Isaiah 11:1-9).

4. Up until the time of Paul's conversion, the spread of Christianity had been practically nil. After his conversion and under his preaching, it spread to the four points of the compass, and all the world heard (Romans 10:18; Colossians 1:23). Today, after nearly two thousand years of Christian missions, over two-thirds of the earth's population has not yet heard of Christ. It will continue to be practically the same until Israel is converted and then her experience will parallel that of Paul. Israel will again become Jehovah's witnesses and will carry the gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 43:9-12; Romans 11:15; John 4:22; Matthew 24:14).

5. Paul was the last apostle chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ, and his mission in the main was to be an apostle to the Gentiles. The nation of Israel will be the last group to be commissioned to preach the gospel, and their mission will be mostly to the Gentiles. One of the primary reasons our Lord has urged upon us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to be zealous in calling out of the Gentiles a people for His name, and to pray for our Lord's return is that His purposes concerning Israel shall be fulfilled and she, as a nation, shall be saved and then carry the gospel to all of the Gentile nations, during which time an innumerable host shall be saved.

So now we see that the salvation of the Gentiles under the preaching of the nation of Israel will be far greater than it ever has been or ever could be under the preaching of the church (Acts 15:13-18 ).

By way of conclusion, may we call attention to the fact that the Jew is the key to God's plans and purposes as revealed in His Word. Apart from a knowledge of Israel's place in these eternal plans and purposes of God, no one can understand the Scriptures as a whole. So important is the Jew and so dear is he to the heart of God the Father that He has promised special blessings upon those who minister to them, and He has also promised a curse upon those who refuse to do so (Genesis 12:3; Psalms 122:6; Isaiah 54:17; Zechariah 2:8, 9).
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:56:45 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Is God Displeased With You?
by A. Edwin Wilson


IS GOD DISPLEASED WITH YOU?

A truth often mentioned in the Word of God but overlooked by many Christians is that God is displeased when His children are disobedient. Many fundamental Christians seem to think that, after they have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, it is immaterial to God how they live. The following passage of Scripture sets forth in no uncertain terms God's displeasure with His own people:

"Moreover, brethren I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,' and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea,' and did all eat of the same spiritual meat,' and did all drink of the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them,' and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness" (I Corinthians 10:1-5).

In directing your prayerful attention to this particular passage of Scripture we want to help you understand the eleventh verse of this same chapter: "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. " Here we are told explicitly that all these things which happened to the children of Israel happened as types and that they have been recorded for our edification and admonition. The fifth verse of this same chapter states that God was not well pleased with the children of Israel in the wilderness wanderings. Some commentators and teachers slip over this passage of Scripture with a misstatement that all who were overthrown in the wilderness were lost and consequently this has no particular meaning for us who name the name of Christ. The unfortunate chapter divisions between nine and ten separate the content of the closing verse of nine from the opening verses of ten, and this very pertinent truth of responsibility to the Lord is overlooked.

In 9:27 the Apostle Paul says he disciplines his body and keeps it in subjection lest that after he has preached to others he himself should be rejected or disapproved. Paul was not worried about being lost as a Christian, for he states very conclusively in Romans 8:38, 39 that absolutely nothing past, present or future can cause him to lose his salvation. His concern is whether or not he shall have a place in our Lord's coming Millennial reign. It is a fact of Scripture that Christians, though saved forever, may forfeit their right to rule and reign with Christ. To prove the possibility of a Christian being rejected or disapproved, Paul calls attention to the fact that the children of Israel in the wilderness were all children of God. Note the word ALL as it occurs five times in swift succession: ALL our fathers were under the cloud; ALL passed through the sea; ALL were baptized unto Moses; ALL ate of the Manna (which was Christ); ALL drank of the Rock (which was Christ). Now notice this in connection with these Israelites. Every single one of them was under the blood when the Passover was established the night of the exodus. The Lord God Almighty Himself led them personally in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It is interesting to note in this connection that after their disobedience and after their being sent back into the desert to wander aimlessly for forty years, God personally abode with them and directed their daily lives. Their clothes did not wear out and their shoes did not give 'way. Every manifestation points to the fact that they were children of God. After eighteen months in the wilderness, God brought them to the border of Canaan, called Kadesh Barnea. Here they were to enter the promised land and possess fields with crops which they had not planted, vineyards and orchards which they had not tended, enter into equipped homes which they had not built, and take complete possession of the promised land. They were to slay every living human being in the land. (See Deuteronomy 7:1-5.) The land of Canaan, or the promised land, was typical of the Millennial reign of Christ. When God told the children of Israel to enter into the land and possess it, their lack of faith in the promises of God manifested itself and they refused to enter. They desired spies to go into the land and see if they could do what God had told them to do. Even today, after God tells some of His children to do something, they say it cannot be done - as if God would command a child of His to do that which could not be done. The glory of Christianity is in the fact that with the commandments of the Lord also comes the power for those accomplishments. Because of the unbelief of the children of Israel, the Lord bowed to their demands and permitted them to send spies into the land. But the seeds of unbelief had already been sown and ten of the twelve spies returned saying they could not take the land. Only Joshua and Caleb, because of their faith in God, told the people they could do what the Lord required. Oh, that people today would believe the Lord and obey Him when He commands.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 05:59:22 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Is God Displeased With You?
by A. Edwin Wilson

Because of their unbelief and failure to enter the promised land, God relayed the ultimatum, through Moses, that the children of Israel should turn around and go back into the desert. Here they wandered for about thirty-eight and a half years, conscious of the fact that they could not go into the land, but would be wanderers until the last one of the unbelievers had died. Now notice that they had come under the blood, but they were unbelievers in that they refused to follow the commands of the Lord after they were under the blood. With the deliverance of the ultimatum, the people then cried out to Moses that they would enter the promised land, but God ordered them to forget it and not to attempt it. Despite His protest, they sought to enter, but their attempt was thwarted by God with disastrous results (Numbers 14:40-45). The results of their disobedience, according to the commandments of God, were seen in the fact that of all that generation only two entered the land of promise: namely, Joshua and Caleb.

The lesson God would teach us in this particular experience is that many, many Christians, saved by the blood of the Lamb and eternally secure in His hand, may fail to have a place in Christ's coming kingdom because of their unbelief relative to their entrance into the kingdom and the glory to be enjoyed. Not long ago we heard an evangelist on the radio say that all the children of Israel were overthrown in the wilderness and of that entire generation only Joshua and Caleb were saved. Such is not the truth. He overlooked the fact that Moses also did not enter the promised land. One sin toward the close of his brilliant career resulted in his being forbidden to enter. God let Moses look over into the promised land but he could not go in. (See Deuteronomy 34:1-8.) Notice these passages in the New Testament which are warnings to Christians: Revelation 3:11; 16:15; Hebrews 12:14-17. These are warnings to be on the alert lest we forfeit or lose our kingdom inheritance and rewards.

Now in I Corinthians 10:6-15, our Lord lists some of the particular things which ministered to the unbelief of the children of Israel and caused them to be overthrown in the wilderness. Note in this connection also that although millions did not enter the promised land THEY DID NOT RETURN TO EGYPT, which they must needs have done had they been lost. Their experience was just the same as many Christians will have - saved, but no place to rule and reign with Christ.
 
In studying the sins of which they were guilty, we note in verse 7, the first one mentioned is idolatry. Just because Christians do not have little idols made out of gold, silver or wood, and just because they do not worship the sun, moon and stars does not mean that they are not idol worshippers. Anything that comes between us and God constitutes an idol. In Ephesians 5:5, the Word tells us that covetousness is idolatry. So often the Lord warns against love of money, stating specifically that a Christian cannot serve both God and mammon. But many a Christian has erred from the faith and brought many sorrows upon himself because of covetousness which is idolatry (I Timothy 6:10). God instituted the tithe to enable his creatures to overcome the love of money, which is covetousness. Many Christians will not rule and reign with Christ because they love money more than they love the Lord.

The second sin which led to Israel's unbelief and failure to enter the promised land was fornication. Our Lord told us that in the closing days of this dispensation it would be as it was in the days of Lot. Those were days of gross immorality. Today with many of the commercialized amusements on the stage, screen, radio and television ministering to the carnal and sensuous appetites of the flesh, with near nudeness, bestial contortions, music which originated in Africa via the New Orleans jazz parlors, and with magazine stories that are lewd and obscene, it is no wonder that this present age has been characterized by the question and answer: "What time is it?" "It is sex o'clock." And just as fornication kept many of the children of Israel from entering the promised land, sins of the flesh are going to keep many Christians from having a part in our Lord's Millennial reign.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 06:01:32 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Is God Displeased With You?
by A. Edwin Wilson

The third sin mentioned is in verse 9 where it speaks of the children of Israel tempting the Lord and many being destroyed by serpents (Numbers 21:5-9). They tempted the Lord by loathing "this light bread." That was the manna which God gave them to eat in the wilderness. Its counterpart in the Christian's experience is the Word of God. The manna in the wilderness contained everything necessary for the sustenance and upbuilding of the human body. The Word of God contains everything necessary for the sustenance and upbuilding of the spiritual life. Just as the children of Israel tired of the manna, so Christians tire of the Word. Just as the children of Israel murmured against God because of the manna, so do many Christians murmur against God because of His Word. The children of Israel tried to change the shape, looks and taste of the manna and adapt it to their desires (Numbers 11:4-9); so do Christians today try to change, alter and rephrase the Word of God to make it adaptable to this present evil age. Living in this enlightened era, one would think that the Word of God would be prominent in the church life; but the Lord, knowing that the day was coming and now is in which the Word would not be taught in Sunday schools and churches, offered a crown of glory to Christians who would be faithful in feeding the flock of God. The only thing God has provided with which to feed the flock is the Word of the Lord. (See Matthew 4:4; John 6:48-58; I Peter 5:1-4.) As we travel across the country, we find in every city and town consecrated men and women who have been relieved of their Sunday school classes because they taught the Bible instead of the denominational literature. We believe that the danger of the modern denominational movement (be it of any faith) . is that it keeps the people ignorant of the Word of God. In concluding this third sin, we note the children of Israel tempted God by loathing the manna. Christians today tempt the Lord by loathing His Word.

The fourth sin, verse 10, was murmuring against the Lord. Today Christians murmur against Him, against His Word, against teachers of His Word, against exponents of His eternal plans and purposes, against the chosen people of Israel, against the coming of the King in glory and against His righteous reign for a thousand years. In fact, they are murmuring against everything that pertains to the Kingship and kingdom of our Lord. Notice that these sins on the part of Israel did not cause them to be lost and go to hell - they just resulted in their being barred from the promised land.
 
Neither will these sins cause a Christian to be lost and go to hell, but they will result in such a one being barred from a place of honor and glory in His coming kingdom.

Again take note of I Corinthians 10:11 - "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples,' and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 06:03:28 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Bound For The Promised Land
by A. Edwin Wilson


BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND

Israel's journeyings from Egypt to Canaan are typical of the Christian's journey from the day of his salvation to the Millennial Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In the study of typology, Egypt typifies the world and the land of Canaan typifies the Millennial reign. The intervening wilderness and desert typify a Christian's pilgrimage from the time of the new birth to death. Watch how this type develops.

The beginning of Israel's journeyings was the institution of the Passover - the slaying of the lamb, the sprinkling of the blood upon the doorposts and lintel. After having their lives spared because of the blood, the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea and entered into the wilderness. An individual begins his journey toward the promised land by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. That puts such a one under the blood. The next step is that of baptism, which typifies resurrection to walk in newness of life. The blood and the water place both Israel and the Christian on the road toward the promised land.

I must emphasize one special truth just now - while the blood and water are essential for the journey to the promised land, they alone are not sufficient. (I am not talking about salvation - that was cared for BY THE BLOOD.) The wilderness journeyings are a testing ground for Israel and Christians, to prove their ability to rule and reign with Christ. How significant that of all the responsible individuals who left Egypt, only two, Joshua and Caleb, entered the promised land. Not even Moses was allowed to enter.

The Jordan River typifies death and the promised land the Kingdom. Let me sum it up in four brief statements:
 
1. Both Israel and Christians start with equal providential and spiritual blessings.

2. Each has a title to the promise of a glorious land - God's sworn possession for His children.

3. Each group has to persevere through their pilgrimage until they reach their goal.

4. Through faith in God's promises and power to take them in, they may gain their inheritance.

All but Joshua and Caleb failed to inherit the promised land because:

1. They desired evil things.

2. They worshipped gods other than the one true God.

3. They committed sins of the flesh.

4. They provoked God by saying they wished they had never started.

5. They murmured against God's judgments and against His leadership.

Just think of the large number of born-again Christians who are going to miss many blessings of the Kingdom because of the same sins as listed above.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 06:05:14 PM
Prophecy - Signs
A Brand From The Burning
by A. Edwin Wilson


A BRAND FROM THE BURNING

"And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, 0 Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head, So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by" (Zechariah 3:1-7).

A study of the life and experiences of Joshua, the high priest, is very timely for three reasons. First, it tells of the actual experiences of Joshua. Second, it typifies the experiences of the nation of Israel. And third, it is a very apt illustration of the experiences of a Christian from the time of his salvation until the day of his glorification.

Our interest just now is in the third point - that of an individual becoming a Christian and moving on toward the coming Kingdom of our Lord.

1. Joshua standing between God and Satan clothed in filthy garments is a picture of a poor, lost sinner clothed in his own unrighteousness. See Genesis 6:5; Mark 5:1-5; Luke 15:11-24. These are a few of many passages of Scripture which give the condition of an individual before he is saved.

2. The command in Zechariah 3:4, "Take away the filthy garments from him" portrays the Lord Jesus Christ taking away our sins (see I Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:26). Just as the filthy garments were removed from Joshua so does the Lord remove our sins and transgressions from us. Man does not do that for himself; only the Lord can remove a man's sins and that through and by the power of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. In the latter part of Zechariah 3:4 the Lord says, "I will clothe thee with change of raiment." Not only does the Lord take away the filthy garments but the Lord puts the change of raiment on Joshua. How beautifully this pictures the Lord taking away our sins and clothing us with His own righteousness. This is illustrated also in Genesis 3:21 where in the word "make" we have the implication that the Lord slew and skinned the animals, dressed the skins, made coats out of them and then put these coats of skins on Adam and Eve. "But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet" (Luke 15:22).

4. Joshua, having been cleansed, robed and crowned is now ready to fulfill the purpose of God in his life, which fulfillment is conditioned by Joshua's obedience. Likewise, after an individual has been forgiven of his sins, his iniquities removed from him and the righteousness of God imputed unto him, he is then ready to live for the Lord. The crown he will wear must be won; the rewards for the Kingdom must be earned; the separation from those raised from among the dead must be attained. In Zechariah 3:7 we read that one must walk in the ways of the Lord and must keep the charge of the Lord if such a one is to have a position of authority and honor in the Kingdom. (A) Walking in the ways of the Lord refers to our personal relationship to Him. I mean by that, our personal holiness, our personal prayer and Bible study life, and our personal relationships in the home, out of the home, on the street, off the street. We are to be living examples of children of God. (B) Keeping His charge refers to our official relationship to the Lord: (1) we are to be His witnesses even to the ends of the earth - telling the story of Jesus to those who know it not; (2) we are ambassadors, being in the world but not of it; (3) we are to be teachers of the Word of the Lord; (4) we are to be living and praying for His return; (5) we are to be proclaiming the truth of His coming Kingdom.

If we walk in His ways and keep His charge then we are going to be judges in His house (that is, we shall rule and reign with Him). We will have positions of honor and glory in His court and preferred places of association with others who have qualified. It is one thing to be saved by grace and an entirely different thing to be rewarded according to works.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 06:07:07 PM
Prophecy - Signs
As It Was In The Days Of Lot
by A. Edwin Wilson


AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF LOT

"Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded,' but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17:28-30).

Lot is representative of faithless Christians - those who are saved but live for self; consequently, they have no rewards or works that endure. He represents those who will be saved but have no crowns. His uncle, Abraham, is representative of Christians who, being faithful, have earned for themselves crowns and places of honor and glory in the service of the Lord during His thousand-year reign. Let us look at Lot as he moved away from Abraham and trace his downward movements as he drifted away from the Lord and became a full-fledged carnal Christian. Ultimately he was saved but all his works were destroyed.

This is very important because Jesus Himself said that in the days just before His return, the actions of Christians would parallel those of Lot, with the logical result being that few will share in Christ's rewards and in ruling with Him.

1. The first step in the life of Lot is found in Genesis 13:10, 11. There was strife between Abraham's and Lot's herdsmen, and Abraham magnanimously offered Lot his choice of the land so that the herds and herdsmen might be separated. This would bring about peace which Abraham wanted because they were brethren and there should be no strife between them. Lot knew nothing of walking by faith; so in this particular instance, he chose the well-watered plain of Jordan.

A Christian can become quickly involved in worldliness when he views things with the eyes of flesh rather than through faith in the living God. Too, often today there are Christians who judge things solely by appearance; without any regard to God's estimate of them.

2. Having established the pattern of his life to live according to the principles of the world (walking by sight and not by faith), we find in Genesis 13:12 that Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. Now a citizen of the world with all his hopes and ambitions centered on worldly things, it was only logical that he should move closer to the city of Sodom, the center of the world he had chosen. He was not yet in Sodom, but he was on his way.

There are Christians today who deviate from the pattern of a walk pleasing to the Lord as they move toward the world with all its allures. Though they are not yet in it, their thoughts, plans and hopes - in fact, their whole life is beginning to be centered there.

3. It was not long after this until Lot moved into Sodom. He was not walking according to the Spirit but according to the course of this world. Living in Sodom were all of his associates and all of his children's companions. They were people who knew not God, having ambitions to soar to heights of worldly success, enjoyment and possessions. Such a life leaves little or no time for the Lord.

By way of contrast, Abraham was a pilgrim dwelling in tents. Instead of settling in Sodom, he looked for a city that had foundations whose builder and maker is God.

4. Lot then took office in Sodom (Genesis 19:1). The expression "sat in the gate of Sodom" is equal to our expression "held office and transacted business for the city." The men who sat in the gate collected taxes from those who came in. They noted the ones leaving with their cargo, and handled many other phases of the city's business.
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Title: Prophecy - Signs
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2008, 06:09:40 PM
Prophecy - Signs
As It Was In The Days Of Lot
by A. Edwin Wilson

This has its counterpart in contemporary Christians who seek office or try to place other Christians in office so that they may take over the rule of this present world. I Corinthians 4:5 tells us that this is not the day for Christians to rule the world. This is the day of the Lord's rejection by the world, and if we serve Him faithfully, it will reject us too. This is not the time for Christians to try to improve or reform the world. It is resting under the judgment of God and is moving on toward complete destruction. Dwight L. Moody expressed it in these words: "The world is a sinking ship. I am not called to save the ship. My mission is to save a few souls off the ship before it sinks." If Satan can keep churches, ministers and Christian laymen busy trying to run the world or clean it up, he is very successful in hindering the spreading of the gospel. In studying the life of the Lord you will find that He devoted all His time in calling out individuals to serve Him. He spent no time at all in reform movements.

5. Because of Lot's presence in Sodom, and because of his holding office and being a full-fledged citizen there, he lost his testimony for the Lord. In Genesis 19:14, we are told that his own sons-in-law looked upon him as one who was mentally incapacitated when he tried to tell them of the coming judgment on Sodom. We learn later in this chapter that Lot's daughters and sons-in-law perished in Sodom because they would not believe the things Lot told them.

No greater tragedy can come to a Christian than to live in such a manner that he has no testimony at all among his friends and loved ones.

6. Even though Lot had no witness or testimony and no works that survived the testing of fire, he was delivered from the city before its destruction. "Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither" (Genesis 19:22a).

In this, Lot is a blessed illustration, or type, of the rapture of the saved before the tribulation. All this is possible because salvation is by grace plus nothing. One of the most precious truths in the Word of God is the fact that Christians have not been appointed to wrath and will be delivered before a single judgment of the Great Tribulation comes upon the earth.
 
7. All of Lot's works were destroyed in the fire of Sodom. In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist says, "I indeed baptize you in water. . . He (Jesus) shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and in fire.'" "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is" (I Corinthians 3:13). Here the baptism in fire is the trying of our works. Just as all of Lot's works were destroyed by fire, even so shall all of our works be destroyed which are not done for the glory of the Lord. It is clearly seen in I Corinthians 3:15 that a man's works can be of such a nature that they shall all be burned; or they can be done for the Lord and earn crowns and rewards. Many Christians today are so busy in church work that they have no time for the Lord. Remember that church work is not necessarily synonymous with service for the Lord.

8. Though all of Lot's works were destroyed in Sodom, he himself was saved. "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (I Corinthians 3:15). There is nothing that a man can do to cause him to lose his salvation after he has been saved; but he can fail to live for the Lord to the extent that he will appear before the judgment seat of Christ without a single good work to his credit.

Let us note the summation of Lot's experience: He is a perfect illustration of a man who is saved but has no crown; a man who is saved but has no reward; a man who is saved but has no place of rulership in our Lord's kingdom; a man who is saved but is a castaway as far as service in the kingdom is concerned.

Remember, beloved, salvation is by grace and rewards are according to works; and for the duration of the Millennium, there will be a difference between faithful and unfaithful Christians in the matter of rewards and service.

TO BE CONTINUED...
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:36:14 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Remember Lot's Wife
by A. Edwin Wilson


REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE

As Jesus was talking to His disciples concerning His appearing and the catching up of the New Testament saints to meet Him in the air according to Luke 17:22-37, He said in verse 32: "Remember Lot's wife." Notice first of all and never forget that He was speaking to His disciples and to them only (verse 22). The Pharisees had demanded of the Lord (verse 20) when the Kingdom should come. His answer is given in verses 26ff:" And as it was in the days of Noah. . . Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot. . . Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" (vv. 26a, 28a, 30). To correctly understand the analogy which our Lord draws between His day and the days of Lot, you should study. . . carefully Genesis 19. Several things are apparent to which your attention is called.

1. Sodom and Gomorrah had filled their cup of iniquity, and now judgment must come. Despite all the world's progress and advancement in so-called religious activities and organizations, the cup of iniquity of this sin-cursed world will soon be full.

2. God revealed the secret of judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah to His faithful servant, - Abraham. Knowing of this soon coming judgment, Abraham became an intercessor on the behalf of the saved in those two cities. The Lord reveals His plans to His faithful servants: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). This is in order that these servants may become intercessors on behalf of the saved, prior to the second coming of Christ.

3. The wickedness of Sodom reached a climax at the house of Lot; likewise, the wickedness of this present world will reach a climax at the house of many of the saved.

4. The angels of God smote the men of Sodom who were of the spirit of antichrist. So will the angels of the Lord smite the wicked in the day of the Lord.

5. Lot spoke to his sons-in-law of the approaching judgment, but he seemed to them as one who mocked. Today when one speaks of the coming judgments of the Lord and the establishment of His kingdom, he, too, is mocked. One says, "My Lord delays His coming." Another says, "I have to go to my farm." Another says, "I must go to my place of merchandise." And yet another says, "I have just married and you will have to excuse me."

6. Even Lot was slow about leaving the doomed cities, but the angels laid hold of him, his wife and his two virgin daughters, and forcibly removed them from the city. Even so today, how few Christians are really interested in the coming of the Lord, and at the time of the rapture they will be literally taken out by force against their will.

7. Judgment did not fall on Sodom and Gomorrah until after the righteous of those cities had been removed; likewise, the judgments of the great tribulation will not fall on this world until the saints are removed.

8. Lot's wife, though delivered from the city by the angels of God, had a heart and love for the things in Sodom. She had two daughters with their husbands there; her friends and associates were there; her interest was there more than it was in the Lord; and when she turned with a longing look to gaze once again upon the cities of the plain, she was turned to a pillar of salt. Notice also in this connection that neither Lot nor his two virgin daughters wanted to go up into the mountain of which the Lord had spoken. They begged to stay in a city, even if it be a little one. They were permitted to do so, and Scripture records the depths to which they sank.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:39:28 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Remember Lot's Wife
by A. Edwin Wilson

The deliverance of Lot, his wife and two daughters is typical of the saints who are raptured. After deliverance, or after the rapture, some will still forfeit many blessings which are only for the faithful. When Jesus told His disciples to remember Lot's wife, He was holding before them the possibility of being raptured, yet falling far short of the rewards and glories of the faithful during the Millennial reign of Christ.

Lot's wife is a monument, not of a wicked lost sinner, but of faint-hearted, unfaithful, disobedient Christians whose natural affections - whose soul life - keep them from going "all out " in a life of obedience and conformity to the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Similar cases in the Scripture are: the children of Israel who turned back from Kadesh-Barnea; Orpah, who went part of the way with Naomi but turned back; the guest without the wedding garment; the servant of the Lord with one pound; the servant of the Lord with one talent; the five foolish virgins; the ones who have all their works burned. In everyone of these instances, as in the case of Lot's wife, there is definite identification with the people of God, but their walk is that of unfaithfulness and disobedience, though all of them are saved as through fire.

Hear once again the admonition of the Lord given to HIS DISCIPLES: "Remember Lot's wife!"

Luke 17:32 When our Lord told His disciples to "remember Lot's wife," He was warning them against a spirit of unwatchfulness. From the number of times our Lord admonished His disciples to watch, we know that He placed a premium on our being ready any moment for His return. The terrible experience of Lot's wife is applied by Christ not to the world but to His own people. He commanded His earthly people, Israel, to flee and His heavenly people, Christians, to watch.

The danger which Lot's wife faced was in not keeping her eye on heaven. She lost the upward look. That she was saved, I think is evident in the fact that she was delivered from Sodom and Gomorrah along with Lot and their two virgin daughters. She was obedient up to a point. God said He would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and she believed Him. God told her to flee and she fled. When God said stay not in the plain, she stayed not. She believed in the coming judgment and was anxious to escape. She had set her face toward heaven but disobeyed in one point in that she looked back. Luke 9:62: "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

The incident of Lot's wife has to do with the kingdom of the heavens and not with salvation. Moses disobeyed the Lord in one point and was not permitted to enter the Promised Land, though he was saved forevermore. The Lord had warned of the impending judgment; He had given ways and means of deliverance; He had sent His angels to deliver her; she was completely and absolutely removed from Sodom before the judgments of God began. She broke one condition of her deliverance and was brought into judgment after her deliverance from Sodom and before she reached the appointed destination. She was not an apostate for she never went back to Sodom. She was not a type of the lost for she was taken out before the judgment began. She simply was not faithful unto the end. Martin Luther said, "For her disobedience she must suffer temporary punishment. Nonetheless, she had everlasting life."

Sodom's destruction never touched her. She was not of the world; that doom was not for her. She had a judgment and punishment all of her own (the judgment seat of Christ). God has ways and knows how to punish His disobedient children without confounding them with the lost, Luke 12:47: "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."

The fact that she was turned to a pillar of salt should stimulate thoughtful study. Salt is good and unless it has lost its savor, symbolizes good throughout the Scripture. What I say unto you, I say unto all, "WATCH."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:40:54 PM
Prophecy - Signs
A Pillar Of Salt
by A. Edwin Wilson


A PILLAR OF SALT

Is there any significance in Lot's wife being changed to a pillar of salt? Every reference in the Bible I find pertaining to salt is good, except where the salt has lost its savor.

Since the beginning, salt has played an important part in the lives of people. It is a preservative, it makes food palatable, and man and beast instinctively seek it. Salt was a necessary ingredient in the Levitical sacrifices. Lev. 2:13: "And every oblation of thy meat-offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat-offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt." Among the Arabians the pledging of friendship and the confirming of compacts by eating food containing salt is still a custom.

The kingdom of Israel was covenanted to King David and his sons by a covenant of salt (II Chronicles 13:5). This was a pledge and an unconditional promise from God that the kingdom would forever remain with a descendant from David's line. Because salt is incorruptible, so were the promise and covenant. Salt symbolized an everlasting covenant, one that was enduring, incorruptible and perpetual. Salt is the opposite of leaven, which corrupts.

Lot's wife being changed to a pillar of salt would seem to teach that she lost her life but not her spirit. The pillar of salt seems to typify the covenant of grace as far as her spirit was concerned, but she would suffer temporary loss because of her sin. In Luke 17:33, "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it," we have loss of life attributed to Lot's wife by the sudden judgment of being changed to a pillar of salt. She shrank back from what seemed to be an empty prospect that was suddenly set before her and Lot. As she turned back in heart to Sodom, though she knew the city was under the wrath of God, chastisement fell upon her.

The words of the Lord declare that if anyone seeks to preserve his life for himself, he shall lose it; but if anyone will lose his life in the Lord for His sake, he shall preserve it and receive rewards.

Lot's wife typifies Christians who try to make the most of both worlds and therefore suffer loss of all their works (I Corinthians 3:15) and gain no rewards in the coming kingdom of our Lord. For that reason Jesus said to His disciples, "Remember Lot's wife."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:42:43 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The CHURCH - BODY Or Bride
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH - BODY OR BRIDE

In I Corinthians 10:11 we have the following statement relative to types: "Now all these things happened unto them for types: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."

I think the significance of this revelation is that everything which happened in the Old Testament constitutes a picture or type of some great spiritual truth in the New Testament.

Many scholars decry the study of types as being an exercise for untutored minds. Many harsh things have been said about types by purported scholars throughout the ages. Such an attitude can be assumed only by those in ignorance of much of the Word of the Lord. Everything that God does is according to a fixed plan or pattern which was established before the foundation of the world. His plans and purposes are called eternal plans and purposes. All numbers, measurements, weights, colors, materials possess spiritual significance and are used by God with that purpose in mind.
 
See for instance Hebrews 8:5 and 9:23. The tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness was an exact replica of the one in heaven, and God showed Moses a pattern or blueprint of the one in heaven that he might be able to construct the one here in the wilderness.

When God sets a pattern He makes it perfect in the beginning. He never changes it and it continues in existence all through the ages. These patterns are divine in origin and are as accurate as mathematics. When one says (as so many have) that he does not have a mind for the study of types, he is really saying he does not have a heart for types. Types, being divine in origin and spiritual in nature, are of necessity spiritually discerned. It is with the heart and not with the mind that a Christian understands and appreciates the types of Scripture.

Note for instance the typology in the following expressions: Jesus says, "I am the Door- I am the Bread." He is called the Lamb of God; He is also called our Passover. Deuteronomy 18:15-19 tells us that Moses is a type of Christ. Psalm 81:5 tells us that Joseph in Egypt was a testimony, that is, a type. The bride of Christ and the body of Christ are set forth in types, parables, illustrations throughout the whole of the Old Testament. An axiom of the study of types is that the first type used is the pattern after which all other instances are modeled. So to get an accurate beginning of the study of the bride and the body of Christ, we go to the first body and bride in the Bible, which is that of Eve as the body and bride of Adam.

God made Adam of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life. Eve was created in Adam and their name was called Adam. Because it was not good for man to be alone, God made for him an helpmate. The helpmate God had made was in man, so this helpmate must be taken out of man. God did that by putting Adam to sleep, opening up his side and taking out a rib. Out of this rib taken from the side of Adam, God made Eve to be his bride, that is, his wife.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:45:48 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The CHURCH - BODY Or Bride
by A. Edwin Wilson

The bride then was given to Adam and the two of them, Adam and Eve, through the union of their bodies became one flesh; but Adam now has TWO BODIES. He has his original body made out of the dust, minus his bride which was taken out of his body. In the very highest sense Eve is Adam's body as well as his bride, even though Adam still possesses all of his original body, less Eve, who is now his body selected out of his body.

Here is the inspired, infallible Word of God on how the bride of Adam was formed, which is also God Almighty's infallible pattern or type as to how the bride of Christ is to be formed. The bride of Christ is to be an election out of an election, or a selection out of a selection, or a resurrection from among the resurrected.

Christ received an earthly body from Mary and this earthly body is named Jesus, so that Jesus the Christ is the God-Man. The God-Man was put to sleep on Calvary, His side was opened, and from His riven side flowed blood and water. From and by the blood and water the bride of Christ is formed. The word church means "called out of." And contrary to popular opinion, the church is not called out of the world but out of the called (all of the saved). The church is a select group out of a selected group.

Matthew 22:14 states, "For many are called (the saved called out of the world), but few are called out (called out of the saved to constitute the bride of Christ)." As Eve is truly the second body of Adam, so is the church (that is, the bride) the second body of Christ. Adam had two bodies; Christ has two bodies.

II Corinthians 11:2,3; I Corinthians 7:4; I Peter 3:1-7 reveal unto us that in the relationship between the bride and groom the groom's body is not his own but his wife's, and the wife's body belongs to the husband. And in Ephesians 5:23-28 the Spirit of the Lord reveals to Paul the Apostle that the relationship between Adam and Eve as to origin and purpose constitutes the mystery of Christ and His church, that is, His bride. One cannot help but appreciate the fact that there cannot be a true bride unless her body belongs to the groom.

My thought and conviction is that Christ has two spiritual bodies. Body number one is made up of all of the Christians. Body number two is His bride, which - though taken out of His body - nonetheless is also His body. Eve as the body of Adam was a very small part of his whole body; so the church is a part of the body of Christ but a very small portion of His complete body.

The bride of Christ is selected out of the body of Christ on the basis of works emanating from faithfulness (Luke 19:11-27; I Corinthians 3:12-15). Those constituting the bride possess a double portion of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 25:1-13), and are not only hearers of the Word (saved), but are also doers (faithful workers).

Possibly the key to understanding the body and the bride of Christ is to be found in the fact that the body of Christ is composed of all of the Christians of the New Testament; whereas the bride of Christ is made up of the obedient, faithful, fruitful, sanctified Christians from among those who constitute the body. Therefore, in a real, literal, Scriptural sense, the church of Christ is both body and bride of Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:47:44 PM
Prophecy - Signs
CHRIST And HIS Bride
by A. Edwin Wilson


CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE

Adam and Eve, a Type of Christ and His Bride - the Church The sweetest relationship existing between man and woman is that of husband and wife. The sweetest relationship existing between God and man is that of husband and wife. Israel is God's wife and the church is to become the wife of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many wives in the Old Testament, who, in relationship to their husbands, typify, symbolize or illustrate some particular phase of the relationship between Christ and His bride. In this article we want to consider Eve as a type of the church - the bride of Christ.

Our conviction, born of prayer and the study of the Word, is that while the expressions bride and church can well be synonymous, they are different, though in one respect, analogous to the body. Eve as the bride of Adam typifies the church - the bride of Christ - in two respects:

First, as the bride in predestination. When God created Adam and Eve they were one person. Eve was in Adam. Their name, while two persons in one, was Adam (singular). For Adam to be socially complete, Eve had to be taken out of him and made a separate and distinct personality and then brought back to him that he might have fellowship with her. Ephesians 1:4 speaks of the church as being in Christ before the foundation of the world. In order for Jesus, then, to be socially complete, the church had to be taken out of Him and made a distinct personality and presented to Him for fellowship throughout eternity.

God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, and during this period of time opened his side and took a portion of his body, out of which He made Eve, his bride. She was the converse and counterpart of Adam - his other self. Likewise, when Christ became dead His side was opened, and there came out that part of His body which brought into existence His bride - the church. Just as Adam was incomplete without Eve, so Christ was incomplete without His bride, the church, His body the fullness of Him that fills all in all. Through Adam, Eve received all her dignity, position and blessing. Through Christ the church receives all her dignity, position and blessing. The existence of the church in the mind of God as the bride of  Christ was predestinated and fore-ordained from eternity. Eve being in Adam from the day of his creation beautifully typifies and illustrates the church in predestination.

The second fact typified by Adam and Eve is relative to the composition or constituency of the church. Everything that God does is according to pattern, by number, by weight and by measure. When He forms a plan or pattern He never changes it but goes right on through the ages working according to His own pattern which is perfect from the beginning. It has become axiomatic among students of types that the first time a type occurs, the pattern is set. But in the instances of Adam and Eve, we have far more than just a type or illustration. Here is a divine and perfect rule which is never changed. Here is infallible proof substantiated by many other Scriptures that the chosen company which will form the bride of Christ is but a small part of the body of Christ. The bride is taken out of the body and is in the highest sense the body of Christ, just as Eve is Adam's body BUT NOT ALL OF HIS BODY. Consider the proportionate relationship between one rib and the remainder of his body. When Eve was taken out of Adam's body she was called isha which means, "taken out of man," who was called ish. We have the same expression in English. She was called wo-man because she was "taken out of man."
 
First Corinthians 15:23 calls to our attention that there are several orders or companies of individuals on earth. All of the saved of the Old and New Testaments do not constitute one group. There are different groups of the saved in the Old Testament and there are several different groups of saved in the New Testament. All of the New Testament saints make up the body of Christ, but a certain group (by their own choice to suffer with Christ, to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, to maintain faithful obedience to His commands, to win certain crowns proffered by God), constitute those who will be taken out of the great body of New Testament saints and make up the bride of Christ. This follows the pattern of Eve being taken out of the body of Adam and becoming his bride.

Possibly no one misconception has resulted in such loose living or utter disregard for the commandments of the Lord than the teaching that every Christian, regardless of how he fives, is a member of the bride of Christ and will rule and reign with Him. Be instructed and know that while eternal life is a gift of the grace of God, rewards and rulership are based on fidelity to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:50:06 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Adam And Eve - CHRIST And The CHURCH
by A. Edwin Wilson


ADAM AND EVE - CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

The New Testament refers to the church as the bride of Christ, and many passages of Scripture speak of the marriage of the Lamb and the wedding feast. It is also noted that the antichrist is an imitation of Christ, and his bride is the apostate church. The Lord has emphasized in the Scripture several brides and their relationships to their husbands, and we come to appreciate the fact that each of these brides typify some particular aspect of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. We are thinking of Eve, Rebekah, Rachel, Asenath, Zipporah, Ruth and Abigail.

For this particular study we want to consider Eve in her relationship to Adam as a type of the church, and the church's relationship to Christ. In Genesis 2:18-25 and 3:1-24, we notice the following:

1. God saw it was not good for man to be alone. Of all the creatures of earth none provided the fellowship which man, in God's image and likeness, desired. We note in this connection that God's desire for fellowship led Him to create man in His own image and likeness in order that He might have fellowship, if and when man chose to commune with Him. God's love for His Son led the Father to choose a bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. (See John 17; Ephesians 1:3-5.)

2. The helpmate which God gave to Adam was made out of Adam's own bone and flesh so that they too might be of the same nature and substance and thereby be capable of having fellowship one with the other. The bride of Christ must be made out of the same substance and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, else He cannot enjoy communion with her. For that reason the church is called the ekklesia, which means "called out of." Just as Eve was taken out of the body of Adam, so the bride of Christ is taken out of the body of Christ. Many expositors go astray here. Their imagination leads them away from the Word and they teach that Eve was made out of the entire body of Adam and that he had no body for himself except Eve's body. The fact of the matter is, Eve was made out of a very small portion of Adam's body - namely, one rib, and the flesh adhering thereto. Since man normally has twelve pairs of ribs, taking one would leave twenty-three, still a part of Adam's body but not a part of Eve's. Then consider the rest of Adam's body which is not constituted a part of Eve's body; whereas, Eve is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, she is not all of his body.

Now when we come to the New Testament to study the church, the bride of Christ, we read that the church is His body (Ephesians 5:23, 30-32) - more specifically members of His body - so that it does not say that the church is the complete body of Christ but only a part of the body. The church is that part of the body of Christ which is called out and separated from the body and constitutes the body of Christ. Instead of the church being called out of the world, she is called out of the family of God. One common error in teaching is that every Christian from Pentecost to the rapture is a member of the church and constitutes the bride of Christ. The truth of the matter is, the church constitutes a very small portion of the saved between Pentecost and the rapture.

3. God put Adam to sleep before He opened his side from which came his bride, Eve. Likewise, Christ was put to sleep (died on the cross) before His side was opened, from whence came the blood which was the foundation of the church.(See Matthew 16:16-18.)

4. God told Adam to cleave unto his wife; therefore, when Eve sinned and alienated herself from God, Adam, obedient to the command of God, remained with her. In order to do so he had to take her sin upon himself. The typical teaching is that after Christ's bride, chosen before the foundation of the world, had sinned, Christ had to lay aside His glory in heaven, leave the fellowship of His Father, come to earth and take upon Himself the form of  His creature, take His bride's sin upon Himself and die for her that He might lead her back to God.As Adam and Eve continued to share fellowship, so Christ and His church will enjoy fellowship throughout the ages of eternity.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:52:09 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Isaac and Rebekah, a Type of CHRIST and HIS Bride - The CHURCH 
by A. Edwin Wilson


ISAAC AND REBEKAH, A TYPE OF CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE - THE CHURCH

Never forgetting I Corinthians 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." We now look at Abraham, Sarah, Eliezer, Isaac and Rebekah for the typology of their experiences relative to securing a bride for Isaac. Abraham is a type of God the Father; Sarah, his wife, is a type of Israel; Isaac, his son, is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ; Eliezer, his servant, is a type of the Holy Spirit; Rebekah, the bride of Isaac, is a type of the church. Genesis 22, 23, 24 and 25 give a complete story of God, Israel, Jesus Christ and the church. The offering of Isaac pictures John 3:16. The return of Isaac from the mount after three days portrays the resurrection of Christ after three days. After Abraham and Isaac returned from the mount of sacrifice, Sarah died. This prefigures the setting aside of Israel after Christ's burial and resurrection. After Sarah's death Abraham sought a bride for Isaac; after Israel was set aside God then began to take out of the Gentiles a people for His Name to be joined to a remnant of election according to grace to constitute a bride for Christ. After Isaac and Rebekah were married Abraham married Keturah; after the rapture and the marriage of the Lamb, God will restore Israel to Himself as a wife and Israel will again become the head of the nations.

Now we want to devote a little space to the work of the Spirit in calling out the bride as typified in the experience of Eliezer seeking and finding Rebekah.

1. Eliezer is not to take a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites, but from Abraham's own kinsmen. This typifies the fact that the church, a "called out people," is not called out of the world, but out of the family of God.

2. Eliezer's journey is guided and prospered by the Lord. Likewise, the Holy Spirit in seeking out the bride of Christ does so according to the will of God.

3. Providential circumstances reveal God's choice of a bride for Isaac. Likewise, providential circumstances will make possible the choice of an individual by God to become a part of that group called the bride of Christ.

4. Eliezer wastes no time in talking about himself, but talks about his master and the riches that are his to bestow upon her who is chosen to be his bride. Likewise, the Holy Spirit takes no time to speak of Himself, but staying in the background, points only and always to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the glories, honors and rewards that shall be to the ones who can qualify as the bride of Christ.

5. Rebekah's family tries to detain her. Likewise, many of the family of God try to hinder and detain other Christians from a life of obedience and separation which results in one's being chosen as a member of the bride of Christ.

6. Rebekah has to decide whether or not she wants to be the bride of Isaac. Likewise, a Christian has to decide for himself whether or not he wants to be a member of the body called the bride of Christ. Such a decision entails suffering, hardship, privation until one is sorely tempted to be satisfied to be saved by the skin of the teeth, suffering loss of all his works and receiving no rewards at all. (See I Corinthians 3:11-15.)

7. Rebekah leaves home with Eliezer to go to meet the bridegroom. Likewise, the Spirit of God calls the church to leave the earth to go yonder to meet the Lord.

8. At about the same time, Isaac leaves his tent going out in the field toward the direction from which the bride is coming. In the same way the Lord descends from heaven with a shout.

9. As Rebekah and Isaac approach each other, Rebekah puts a veil over her face. I think this typifies the truth that the identity of the bride is not revealed until the marriage of the Lamb. As there were others in Rebekah's party, so there will be others raptured besides the bride.

10. Isaac and Rebekah meet between his home and her home and then proceed to his home. The Lord Jesus Christ and the saints meet in the air between heaven and earth and then proceed into the heavens.

11. The wedding is consummated, and Isaac and Rebekah are happy. So, too, the Lord and His bride, the church, are married and happiness is the portion of both. After this Abraham remarries; and after the marriage of the Lamb, Israel is restored.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:54:30 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Isaac and Rebekah - CHRIST and The CHURCH 
by A. Edwin Wilson


ISAAC AND REBEKAH - CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

We do well to keep in mind I Corinthians 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensampIes: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."

So when we come to Genesis 24 we have something far more than a love story. We have here a picture in type of God choosing a bride for His Son, Jesus. Abraham typifies God the Father; Isaac, God the Son; Eliezer, the Holy Spirit; and Rebekah, the bride of Christ.

The detailed account of the choice and the going for and returning with the bride for Isaac can be followed in every detail if one has a heart for the study of types. I do not propose to give an exhaustive study of this passage but to point out some of the high lights that will enable the reader to launch a study of his own. Such a study will prove most profitable in considering the church as the bride of Christ.

1. Abraham was very old when he became interested in a bride for his son. This old age of Abraham typifies the old age of God, that is, the eternity of God. We know from many Scriptures that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are from eternity, and that the church was chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world. So we might say the first point in this study of the type is that the bride of Christ was in the mind of God from eternity.

2. Eliezer, the eldest servant of Abraham, typifies the Holy Spirit, the eldest servant of God the Father. He has many ministering angels to tend to lesser affairs than those committed to the Holy Spirit.

3. Abraham entered into a covenant with Eliezer that he would not take a bride for Isaac from the Canaanites (the lost) but from his own kindred (Christians). Here we learn at the very beginning that the bride of Christ is to be chosen from the family of God, not from the world. God made a covenant with the Holy Spirit to that effect.

4. Abraham sent Eliezer into a far country to get a bride for Isaac and return with her. Likewise, God the Father has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to callout a bride for Christ, and at the appointed time the Holy Spirit will bring her to meet Christ in the air.

5. Abraham did not seek a bride for Isaac until after Isaac had been placed on the altar as a burnt offering and had returned. Neither did God the Father begin to call out the church for a bride of Christ until after Christ's death, burial, resurrection and ascension.

6. Eliezer journeyed unto the city of Nahor and was supernaturally brought in touch with the family of Abraham. Likewise, members of the bride of Christ are supernaturally chosen by God and sought out by the Holy Spirit and have the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to be part of the bride.

7. Eliezer met Rebekah by a well of water. And we learn in Isaiah 12:3 that wells of water typify salvation; also, the water typifies the Word (Isaiah 55:1, 2). This brings to our attention that members of the bride of Christ are saved people who through the study of the Word become interested in the deeper things of God which will lead them into a life that qualifies one to be a member of the bride of Christ. (Not all the family of God constitute the bride of Christ.)

8. Eliezer then went with Rebekah to Laban (fleshy man) and abode there for a while. This typifies the Holy Spirit's coming into the world of the flesh and abiding for a while. That is the dispensation in which we are now living.

9. Eliezer opened his storehouse of treasure and showed to Rebekah and her family all the gifts and the glories of Isaac. Likewise, the Holy Spirit takes of the things of God the Father and God the Son and reveals them unto the Christian. Eliezer spoke not of himself, neither drew attention to himself. The Holy Spirit does not call attention to Himself, but magnifies only the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14; I Corinthians 2:9, 10).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:56:25 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Isaac and Rebekah - CHRIST and The CHURCH 
by A. Edwin Wilson

10. After Eliezer had shown Rebekah all of the gifts and glories of Isaac,he invited her to go with him to be the bride of his master. There is no force, no coercion - just a simple invitation. Rebekah had to make the choice herself as to whether or not she wanted to be the bride of Isaac. Likewise, individual Christians are invited to so live and obey the Lord that they will become a part of the bride of Christ. The Holy Spirit does not force a Christian; but having been saved by grace the Christian then must decide whether he wants to rule and reign with Christ or just be content to be a I subject in the coming kingdom.

11. After Rebekah accepted the invitation to become the bride of Isaac, Eliezer then led her on the journey toward Isaac's home. So the Holy Spirit guides, leads and directs the Christian in the things he must do if he is to be a part of the bride of Christ. See John 16:13.

12. Rebekah's family did their best to delay Rebekah's departure for a while. Even so, the world, the flesh and the devil attempt to keep a Christian from living for the Lord in a way that will earn for him crowns necessary to ruling and reigning, and also to keep the Christian from overcoming and thereby qualifying as a sovereign or a member of the bride of Christ. See Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 for studies on overcoming.

13. Eliezer then took Rebekah from her home and they moved out toward the home of Isaac. This typifies the rapture of the saints as they leave the earth and go to meet the Lord in the air.

14. At about the same time, Isaac left his home and, wandering in the field, went in the direction from which Rebekah was coming to meet him.

15. Rebekah saw him coming. This is typified in Hebrews 9:28, "Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

16. As Rebekah saw Isaac approaching, her caravan was stopped and she put on her veil. This typifies Christians putting on the wedding garment as they prepare to meet the Bridegroom. The wedding garment is made up of the righteous acts of the Christian. See Revelation 19:7,8. When Ruth, who is a type of the bride of Christ, went to meet Boaz, who is a type of Jesus Christ, she bathed herself (type of confession of sin); she anointed herself (type of extra filling of the Holy Spirit), and she put on her wedding raiment (type of the Christian's good works). See Ruth 3:3.

17. Rebekah and Isaac met somewhere between her home and his home in the eventide. This typifies Christ and the church meeting in the heavens at the close of this dispensation.

18. When Rebekah and Isaac met they went then to his home to dwell. When Christ meets His church in the air they will go to His home in the heavens, which is to be their abode.

19. The marriage of Rebekah and Isaac took place in Isaac's home, and you might say they' 'lived happily ever after." This typifies the marriage of the Lamb taking place in heaven and our Lord's joy being made complete. The point which I want to emphasize most of all in this study of types is that the bride of Isaac was taken out of the family of Abraham and not from among strangers or those who were not of his family. This has its fulfillment in the church, the bride of Christ, being called out of the family of God and in particular from those who constitute the body of Christ. I believe the Bible is at one in teaching that all Christians make up the body of Christ, but just a few are taken out of the body of Christ to form the bride. Matthew 22:14 says, "For many are called (saved), but few are called out" (to form the church, or the bride of Christ).

"Let him that hath an ear hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." And may God grant unto you to be in that number spoken of in Hebrews 6:3.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 08:58:25 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Jacob And Leah And Rachel, A Type Of CHRIST And His Bride - The CHURCH 
by A. Edwin Wilson


JACOB AND LEAH AND RACHEL, A TYPE OF CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE - THE CHURCH

Thus far in our study of types of the Church we have seen Eve, a type of the Church - the Bride of Christ - being formed out of a rib of Adam to be his helpmate and to share his dominion. So Christ fell asleep in death on the cross, and the Church, His Bride, comes from His pierced side as a result of His atonement. The Church comes from the body of Christ and is in a sense His body, BUT NOT ALL of His body.

We next saw in Rebekah how the Bride is sought and won by the Holy Spirit, and how she is guided and protected by Him throughout the journey across the desert until she is presented to Isaac. When Rebekah saw Isaac she took a veil and covered herself. Likewise, when the saints are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, the corruptible must put on incorruption and the mortal must put on immortality. Here again we see the Bride is chosen from the family of the Bridegroom.

Now we consider Rachel and Leah for whom Jacob became a bondslave and labored for many years before he could take them to his home. This typifies Christ, becoming in the form of a bondslave and as one who serveth, winning to Himself His Bride (Philippians 2:5-8 ). I want you to notice first of all that Leah and Rachel are of the same family as Jacob. They were related to him. The Church is called out of the family of God to be the Bride of Christ.

In Jacob's journeyings north he comes in contact with the daughters of Laban (who typify Israel) when the water supply is very scarce. When Jesus comes to His own He finds the presence of the Spirit and the power of the Word (both of which are symbolized by water) very scarce. As Jacob rolled away the stone from the well, so did Jesus Christ open up the wells of the Spirit and the Word that the water flowed freely.

Jacob became a shepherd of Laban's sheep. Jesus came only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jacob wanted the younger daughter only but had to take the elder daughter first. Leah, who typifies the law, must come first while Rachel, who typifies the gospel, comes second. Leah, the law, was very fruitful but Rachel, the gospel, was unfruitful. After Israel was set aside and the law superseded, the gospel of Christ became very fruitful and was preached in all the world to every creature during the generation which lived when Christ was on the earth (Romans 10:18; Colossians 1:23).

After Jacob left Haran and started toward Bethel his family was united and became one. After Christ left the earth and returned to heaven the middle wall of partition between Israel and the Gentiles was broken down and the twain became one in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Neither one type nor a combination of all types can fully typify the Lord Jesus Christ in His person, work and ministry; therefore, the Lord uses many different individuals as facets of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.)
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 09:00:03 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Jacob And And Rachel - CHRIST And The CHURCH 
by A. Edwin Wilson


JACOB AND RACHEL - CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

When Jacob left his home to go into a far country, his destination was the home of his mother's people. In Genesis 28:6 and 29:10 he was told to take a bride out from among his own brethren and not to choose one from among any others. Once again this calls our attention to the fact that the bride of Christ is to be called out from among the people of God and not from among those who have not been saved.

Jacob learned of Rachel from other herdsmen and fell in love with her before she ever heard of him or knew him. Likewise, Christ knew, loved and gave Himself for the church long before she ever heard of Him.

After Rachel met Jacob she ran and told her own family of the arrival of Jacob, which typifies the telling of the story of Christ unto the family of Christ before it was ever told to any outside of His own people. Christ came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel only. He sent the twelve to the lost sheep of the house of Israel only. Not until Peter preached the gospel in the household of Cornelius was it "also to the Greek." This experience calls to our attention that the gospel is to the Jew first.

This choosing a bride from His own people is described in Ephesians as the bride of Christ being bone of His bone, out of His body, and out of His flesh (Ephesians 5:30; Genesis 2:23).

Jacob agreed with Laban to become a servant and work for Rachel, his betrothed. Philippians 2:7, 8 shows that Christ became a servant and was obedient even unto death, and that upon the cross, in order to win His bride, the church. However, Jacob had to marry Leah first because of the custom of the Jews, and she typifies the earthly people of our Lord, and Christ's ministry of necessity was to the Jew first.

Rachel, typifying the heavenly people of God, came into relationship with Jacob after Israel's recognition by our Lord. Rachel bore two children to Jacob, Joseph and Benjamin. As Rachel was loved the most by Jacob, so were Joseph and Benjamin. Rachel, typifying the bride of Christ, brings forth the truth that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it as well as those who are brought into a saved relationship with the Lord, as symbolized by Joseph and Benjamin.

After Jacob had completed his commitment to Laban for Rachel, then Rachel left her home and went with Jacob to his. This is a beautiful symbol of the rapture of the saints, going to meet the Lord and then back to His home in the heavens where the marriage of the Lamb takes place. In a sentence, Rachel typifies the bride of Christ being won after her Lover became a servant and worked for her.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 09:03:40 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Joseph and Asenath, a Type of CHRIST and His Bride - The CHURCH
by A. Edwin Wilson

JOSEPH AND ASENATH, A TYPE OF CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE - THE CHURCH
 
Asenath typifies the Bride of Christ sharing His exaltation to the right hand of the Father during the time of His rejection by His brethren in the  flesh, Israel. In developing the typology of Asenath we must first review some of the typical teachings in the life of Joseph leading up to his taking a bride from among the Gentiles. The following points of analogy between Joseph and Christ are evident:

1. Both Joseph and Jesus were shepherds.

2. They were both beloved of their Fathers.

3. They were both hated by their brethren.

4. Both knew of their future reign over their brethren.

5. They were both sent by their Fathers to see about their brethren.

6. The death of both was plotted by their brothers.

7. They were both stripped of their glory - Christ, as described in Philippians 2:5-8, and Joseph, being stripped of his coat of many colors.

8. Both were cast into a pit in which there was no water.

9. Both were sold for the price of a slave.

10. Both became servants.

11. Both were exalted to the right hand of the ruler - Christ seated at the right hand of God the Father, Joseph at the right hand of Pharaoh.

Rejected by their brethren and exalted to the right hand of the ruler, each takes unto himself a bride of Gentile lineage. "And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets: as it is written. After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things" (Acts 15:13-17). Here is fulfilled the mystery described in Ephesians, how that God is taking some from among the Gentiles and uniting them with redeemed Jews, making out of the twain one new man.

Joseph - rejected by his brethren but exalted by Pharaoh, answering only to Pharaoh and possessing all ruling power under Pharoah - is comparable to Christ as He describes His power and authority in Matthew 28:18: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." While in this position of authority, Joseph marries a Gentile bride, Asenath. The main point of interest to note in the typology of Asenath is that she shares the glory, honor and prestige that belong to JosEphesians Though rejected by man, Joseph and his bride are exalted by the chief ruler. This typifies Christ's rejection today by the world and the subsequent rejection of the Church by the world, but the exaltation of both by the Lord God.

Another point of great interest, which needs to be emphasized today possibly as never before, is that during all of Joseph's dealings with his brothers, his wife is never present and does not enter into any of these experiences whatsoever. This is a type of supreme interest to Christians which, in connection with countless other types and Scriptures, makes us to know that the Church, the Bride of Christ, will not enter into nor have any relationship whatever with Christ's dealings with His brethren, the nation of Israel. As Asenath did not suffer with Joseph's brethren, neither will the church suffer with Israel. As Asenath was not punished with Joseph's brethren, neither will the church be punished with Israel. As Asenath was married and in a place of separation and safety from Joseph's brethren, so will the Church, the Bride of Christ, be married and in a place of safety, completely separated from Christ's brethren, Israel.

NO, THE CHURCH WILL NOT BE IN NOR HAVE ANY PART OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 09:06:06 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Moses And Zipporah, A Type Of CHRIST And HIS Bride - The CHURCH
by A. Edwin Wilson


MOSES AND ZIPPORAH, A TYPE OF CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE - THE CHURCH

 
"The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken" (Deuteronomy 18:15).

This is scriptural authority for studying closely the life of Moses as being a type of Christ. I want to call to your attention analogies between Moses and Christ with special emphasis upon Zipporah, the bride of Moses:

1. Both Moses and Jesus were born during the reign of kings who were having the male babies of Israel put to death.

2. The mothers of both Moses and Jesus appreciated the fact that their babies were different.

3. Both Moses and Jesus found refuge in Egypt.

4. Both Moses and Jesus were rejected by their brethren when they were sent to deliver the children of Israel.

5. Upon their rejection both Moses and Jesus go away into a far country.

6. While in a far country both take unto themselves a Gentile bride.

7. During the time that both minister among the Gentiles they are shepherds.

8. God sends both Moses and Jesus back the second time to deliver their brethren with the promise of their being received.

9. Moses' bride does not come back to Egypt with Moses while the plagues are on Egypt. Neither does the bride of Christ return to the earth during the time that the judgments of God are here during the Great Tribulation.

10. Moses is reunited with his bride after they leave Egypt, and Christ is reunited with His bride in the New Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon.

The particular teaching of the type of Moses and Zipporah is that in the days of Moses' rejection by his own brethren he has a Gentile bride to share his rejection, to bring comfort and joy to him. This portrays to us a fact almost forgotten during these past months - that the church is to share Christ's rejection at the hands of the world. The world has not received Jesus and the world will not receive His bride. Friendship with the world is enmity toward the Lord Jesus Christ, and whoever makes himself a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of the Lord. The bride of Joseph and the bride of Moses complement each other in that Joseph's bride shares Joseph's exaltation at the right hand of Pharaoh, revealing unto us that Christ's bride shares His exaltation at the right hand of God, the Father, in the heavenlies; but on the earth, Christ's bride suffers rejection at the hands of the world as typified by Zipporah's being separated from and not received by either the Jews or the Egyptians. As Moses continues his journeyings with the children of Israel into the wilderness, his bride goes with him to share his joys and sorrows.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 09:07:48 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Moses And Zipporah, CHRIST And The CHURCH
by A. Edwin Wilson


MOSES AND ZIPPORAH - CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

In Acts 3:22, Moses is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. At Moses' first attempt to deliver the children of Israel, they refused to accept him and he was forced to flee into a far country. Even so, at our Lord's first advent His own received Him not and He went into a far country; that is, He returned to heaven from whence He came (see Hosea 5:15).

While Moses was in this far country on the back side of the desert, he married a Gentile bride, Zipporah. While Christ is in heaven, awaiting acceptance on the part of the nation of Israel, He is taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name (see Acts 15:13-18 ). This Gentile group being chosen by our Lord is called the fullness of the Gentiles, when completed (see Romans 11:25).

Moses met Zipporah by the well, which is the symbol of the living Word. And Christ's bride comes out of those who dwell deeply in the written Word, which also corresponds to the living Word, that is, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

When Moses returned the second time to deliver the children of Israel, his bride Zipporah did not accompany him. I do not believe the Bible teaches that the bride of Christ will accompany Him when He comes to deliver the children of Israel at the time of the Great Tribulation. The ones accompanying our Lord at that time are spoken of as angels and as holy ones but never as the bride. He will tread the winepress of the wrath of God alone (see Isaiah 63:1-6).

After Moses delivered the children of Israel from Egypt he was reunited with his bride, and so will our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be reunited with His bride after He has dealt with Israel.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 09:10:43 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Boaz And Ruth, A Type Of CHRIST And HIS Bride - The CHURCH
by A. Edwin Wilson


BOAZ AND RUTH, A TYPE OF CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE - THE CHURCH

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (I Corinthians 10:11). In the light of this verse of Scripture we appreciate the fact that everything which happened in the life of Ruth or in connection with Israel is a type, and the Lord used earthly brides to typify the heavenly Bride. So let us see what we find in the analogy between Ruth as the bride of Boaz and the Church as the bride of Christ.

First of all we see her typifying a lost sinner. She is a Moabitess and as such is barred from the house of the Lord even to the tenth generation. She is fruitless, unattractive, penniless and in debt and has given her first love to another. In this connection read Ephesians 2:11-13.

Second, we see her typifying a repentant sinner. Because of the inherent character of her mother-in-law, Naomi, Ruth chooses to go with her and to let Naomi's God and Naomi's people be her God and her people. Being dissatisfied with what and where she is, she seeks a change.

In the third place we find her seeking one who can minister to her needs. Consequently she gleans in the field of Boaz, who is a near kinsman and as such can redeem her. As the near kinsman and redeemer, Boaz is a beautiful type or illustration of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Ruth gleans in this field, Boaz notices her and encourages her and she begins to ask questions which Boaz answers. This is a picture of the sinner, brought under conviction by the Holy Spirit, seeking the answers to his questions and the One Who can speak peace and forgiveness to his troubled sinful being.

In the fourth place we find Ruth as a believing sinner. She turns to Boaz; she seeks him out on the threshing floor where she finds him resting by his finished work. The lost sinner, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, turns to the Lord, receives the Lord as He, seated on the right hand of God, rests by His finished work on Calvary.

Fifth, we find her as a fruitful believing sinner. Ruth is married to Boaz and God blesses them with the birth of a son, Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David. A Christian, having believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, can become fruitful - Christ working in him His eternal purposes and blessed will. Many are the Christians whose experiences parallel that of Ruth through all of her experiences until it comes to the part of bearing fruit. The tragedy of tragedies is that so many, having believed and received eternal life, do not bring honor and glory to the Lord by becoming fruitful.

Does it matter? Assuredly - since all rewards will be based upon fruitfulness.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 09:13:11 PM
Prophecy - Signs
David And Abigail, A Type Of CHRIST And HIS Bride - The CHURCH
by A. Edwin Wilson


DAVID AND ABIGAIL, A TYPE OF CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE - THE CHURCH
 
To understand correctly and appreciate this type, one should read carefully I Samuel 25. Herein we find four different aspects of Abigail's experience typifying that of one who becomes a member of the body of Christ and then a part of the Church, His bride.
 
I. Abigail typifies a lost sinner

She is married to Nabal, whose name means "fool." The fool is one who says in his heart, "There is no God." Nabal, as such, typifies the carnal man, which is the only nature a lost sinner possesses. Abigail is kept in ignorance of David's presence and of the sacrifices which he offered. The carnal man seeks to keep the individual in ignorance concerning Christ's first advent and His sacrifice. Abigail fears the carnal man, which we also designate as "the old man," and would perish but for the warning of a servant.

II. Abigail typifies a sinner turning to the Lord

She is willing to listen to the servant as he tells of David's sacrifices, of his ten young men, and of his expected coming to where they are. She disregards completely the wisdom of the carnal man and gathers what little possessions she has and makes haste to go and meet David. When she meets David, she takes the place of a repentant sinner and falls at his feet, confessing her sins and failures.

III. Abigail typifies one who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ

In verses 32 and 33 we find that her confession is acknowledged, her sins are forgiven and she is accepted by David. Resting on the word of David, she accepts his forgiveness and goes in peace (v. 35). Conditions with her seem to become more aggravated, but she has confidence in David and rests on his word.
 
IV. Abigail typifies the sanctified believer or faithful servant of the Lord
 
In verse 37 we find that she tells Nabal, "the old man," what has happened and the state of affairs. "The old man" is smitten and gradually dies, Abigail responds to David's invitation to become his bride. And as she comes to David, she offers to be his servant and wash his feet, but David makes her queen.
 
Possibly in a more concise way, Nabal pictures the old man sold under the law; but he dies, and the new man is free under grace to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

TO BE CONTINUED...
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:13:06 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Mysteries Of The Kingdom Of The Heavens
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS

This is the beginning of a series of articles on the thirteenth chapter of Matthew. The chapter is fundamental and primary because in it is a chronological development of Christendom from the time of our Lord's first advent until His return. The Lord Himself gives the interpretation of the parables of the sower and the tares which enables us also to interpret the remaining five.

The first verse says, "The same day, went Jesus out of the house and sat by the seaside." The expression "same day" refers to a particular day, and in the light of the context, that particular day is the one in which the events of chapter twelve took place. The significant thing about the "same day" is that on that day Israel had turned her back upon the Lord, and He then turned His back upon Israel. In the closing verses of this chapter He announced a new relationship which was conditioned upon obedience rather than lineal descent. Now the first verse will be something like this, paraphrasing: "On the day that Israel went out from the Lord, Jesus went out of the house." The expression "house" in relation to Israel sometimes refers to the land of Palestine; sometimes it is the city of Jerusalem; sometimes the temple, and sometimes the children of Israel themselves. For instance, in Matthew 23:38 where the Lord says, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate," He evidently meant all four, because the desolation spread from the land to the people.

The sea in Scripture symbolizes the Gentile nations of the world. I call to your attention the dramatic action of the Lord in the speaking of the parables. In verse one Jesus gets up and goes out of the house and down to the seaside where He speaks four parables: The sower, the tares, the grain of mustard seed, and the leaven. Now in verse 36 we find that after having spoken these four parables Jesus gets up from the seaside, goes into the house and speaks the remaining three parables: the hidden treasure, the pearl, and the dragnet. His action in the light of chapters 12 and 13 gives us this setting: When Israel turned her back upon Jesus, He then turned from Israel to the Gentiles and spoke to them four parables; then, He turned from the Gentiles and went back to Israel and spoke three parables.

Why did He speak to them in parables? The word parable comes from two Greek words, para, meaning alongside, and ballo, meaning to cast or to throw; that is, to throw alongside. A parable then is a fact of common knowledge put alongside a deep spiritual truth enabling one to understand a truth hitherto not grasped. The Lord did not speak to them in parables in order to keep anyone from understanding. On the contrary, He spoke in parables in order that they might understand. He quoted from Isaiah 6:9, 10 at which time He called attention to the fact that the people themselves had hardened their hearts, deafened their ears, and blinded their eyes lest they should be converted. So the Lord spoke in parables in order that they might understand once and for all and know the truth of which He spoke.

In verse 11 of Matthew 13, Jesus calls attention to the fact that His disciples who were there with Him could understand the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens, but that the others could not. I said disciples of that day, because today there are many disciples who cannot understand the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens. And in order to understand the doctrines of the kingdom of heaven one must know that Jesus the Christ is to be a literal, visible, tangible, corporal King, ruling over a literal kingdom composed of geographical territories and literal subjects; seated at times upon a literal throne of David, located in the literal city of Jerusalem in the literal land of Palestine.

Without such a grasp of kingdom truth one is in total darkness pertaining to the kingdom teaching of the Lord. It is impossible to understand without this knowledge because in verse 19, beginning with the interpretation of the parable of the sower, we find the whole parable turns upon the attitude of a disciple toward the word of the kingdom.

"When anyone heareth the WORD OF THE KINGDOM and understandeth it not. . ." Please note that it is not the word of salvation, it is not the preaching of the gospel, it is the WORD OF THE KINGDOM: that is, the teaching pertaining to the coming of the King and the establishment of His Kingdom during which He shall rule and reign for 1,000 years.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:14:52 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Parable Of The Sower
by A. Edwin Wilson


PARABLE OF THE SOWER

In the study of the parable of the sower one must also study closely the parable of the tares and the interpretation which the Lord gave. Because these seven parables constitute one single discourse, we do not look for any discrepancies or any difference in interpretation among these parables.

"". . . a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side. . .; some fell among thorns. . .; but other fell into good ground . . ." A key in interpretation is to be found in the concluded translation of portions of verses 19, 20, 22, and 23. Instead of reading in verse 19, "This is he which received seed by the way side," it should be translated, "This is he which was sown by the way side." Verse 20 should read, "But he that was sown into stony places. . ." Verse 22 should read, "He that was sown among the thorns. . ." Verse 23 should read, "But he that was sown in the good ground. . ." The seed sown by our Lord in Matthew 13 are the children of the kingdom. In Luke's Gospel the seed is called the word of God. Though many think so, there is no conflict in these two ideas because the word cannot be sown except in redeemed men and women; that is, it takes an individual to carry, speak, or write the word. This parable of the sower is not a parable of salvation but of fruit-bearing for the kingdom. All four groups are children of the kingdom and as such, are saved. The result of the inward conflict is not loss of salvation, but unfruitfulness for the kingdom.

Notice very closely the nineteenth verse. "When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not. . ." the word of the kingdom is snatched away, and this child of the kingdom consequently bears no fruit for the kingdom.

In conferences where I have spoken on the kingdom there have been those individuals who have attended and heard but did not understand one single word about the coming kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Of course they are unfruitful and of no particular value to the kingdom. One can be saved without comprehending the kingdom of the Lord, salvation being dependent solely upon faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30, 31).

We read in the twentieth verse that the second class of the children of the kingdom hear the word, understand it and rejoice in it for awhile, but when tribulations or persecutions arise because of the word, that is, the word of the kingdom of the Lord, they are offended. Again, I have seen many people who hear messages on the second coming of Christ, become thrilled with the message and immediately go out telling people all about the Lord's return; but when some "program man" or "organization individual" ridicules him and his belief in the second coming of Christ, he immediately ceases to witness to the word of the kingdom and becomes unfruitful. I am constantly amazed as I travel over the country at the number of individuals I meet who have heard the word of the kingdom, believed it, rejoiced in it, but have become unfruitful because of a little persecution from leaders in the man-made program. Many a pastor tells me, "I believe about the kingdom just like you do, but if I preached it the denominational leaders would not let my name be considered by a large church." It is absolutely true that a little persecution because of the word of the kingdom keeps many a servant of God from declaring the whole counsel of God.

He that was sown among the thorns is the one who hears the word of the kingdom, believes it, and even propagates it. Such a person is a thorough-going premillenarian and will not have a pastor or Sunday school teacher who is not; but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches keep him so absorbed in world affairs that he does not have time to bear fruit for the kingdom.

In these first three groups we have three different types of children of the kingdom and their response to the word of the kingdom. They bear no fruit at all. Their salvation is not affected because salvation is by grace. It is simply that they do not bear any fruit and will not have any rewards in the coming kingdom.

There is the fourth group described as the ones sown on good ground. They hear the word, understand it, and bring forth fruit. They love the appearing of our Lord, talk about it, and their daily lives are governed by it. You will notice that within this group there are varying degrees of fruitfulness - some a hundred fold, some sixty, and some thirty. They are like the servants of the Lord in the parable of the pounds: Some gained ten pounds, others gained five - that is, according to their faithfulness in the service of the Lord.

In closing I want to call your attention to the chronological aspect of the parable of the sower. Our Lord being the Sower began to sow the children of the kingdom while He was here on earth. This parable marks the inception of the Christian era; however, the sowing of the children of the kingdom continues even until today.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:16:29 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Parable Of The Tares
by A. Edwin Wilson


PARABLE OF THE TARES

After the good seed had been sowed in the field and while men slept, the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. When the blade sprung up and brought forth fruit, the tares also appeared. The servants questioned the Sower about the tares, and He replied, "An enemy has done this." The servant suggested gathering up the tares, but the Sower said, Nay, lest while gathering up the tares the wheat would be rooted up with them. The Sower then said, "Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 'Gather first the tares to burn, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

The explanation of this parable by our Lord in connection with the first parable does not leave us in doubt as to the exact meaning. I want just here to graphically depict the Lord's explanation of the parables:

The Sower is the Son of man.

The field is the world.

The good seed are children of the kingdom.

The tares are the children of the devil.

The enemy that sowed the tares is the devil.

The harvest is the end of the age.

The reapers are the angels.

The fowls symbolize the wicked one.

A careful study of these representations will eliminate completely all guess-work on the interpretation of the parable.

The parable of the sower and the parable of the tares are bound together chronologically and personally. The Sower, who is the Lord Jesus Christ, goes forth sowing seed, which are the children of the kingdom. AFTER the children of the kingdom have been placed in the field, which is the world (that is, after a Christian testimony has been established that is true to the Lord Jesus Christ), Satan comes along and sows tares, which are the children of the devil, AMONG the wheat, or among the children of the kingdom.

Who are the tares? They are children of the devil. They were never children of God; neither can they become children of God. For that reason Jesus says to LEAVE THEM ALONE. All children of the devil are lost, but not all the lost are children of the devil. The tares are individuals who have heard the true gospel, understood it, but have rejected it. Having rejected the true gospel, somehow, sometime, somewhere, they hear a false gospel, the gospel of Satan, believe it, accept it, and thereby become children of the devil just as those become children of God by hearing and believing the true gospel. None is considered a tare in the true sense of the word who has not heard the true gospel and rejected it. We get that from verse 25 - the word among - the tares sowed among the wheat. They have seen and heard and rejected the testimony of Christians. You study the false cults and sects of today: Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses: Seventh Day Adventism; Mormonism; Christadelphians, and scores of others (but these are the most prominent), and you will find these facts to be true: First, their membership is made up of individuals who have come out of orthodox, evangelical churches. They have heard the true gospel and received it not; second, they all deny the Deity of Christ. That is, they look like Christians, they act like Christians, they talk like Christians; and our Lord says that it is only in the harvest time that they can be distinguished from the true Christians. The wheat brings forth golden grain but the grain of the tare is black. For that reason our Lord says to LEAVE THEM ALONE, and He Himself will supervise the separation of the wheat and the tares in the end of the age.

One of the sad spectacles of today is the exodus from within the bounds of orthodox Christianity of several hundreds of thousands a year into these false sects. Untold numbers of Jews are joining these cults every year because they think they thus become Christians without changing their attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Christianity is not failing, but those who are entrusted with the propagation of Christian truths are failing. People are received into the membership of churches today without having had a real experience of grace. Having never been saved they find no joy, no happiness, no reality in their pseudo-Christian experience, and consequently become an easy prey for Satan and his false gospel, which makes a great show of personal righteousness but knows not the righteousness of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The parable of the tares shows a concerted plan and effort on the part of Satan to hinder the spread of the true gospel, by imitations. I mean by that, Satan with his false church and false Christianity deludes and misleads earnest seekers, and thus militates against the work or our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 
What is the hope, or what is the answer to this problem? Simply this: A return on the part of true evangelicals to their God-given task of teaching the Word of God.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:18:15 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Parable Of The Mustard Seed
by A. Edwin Wilson


PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED

"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying. The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field,. Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof" (Matthew 13:31-32). The common interpretation of the parable is that the mustard seed symbolizes or represents the Gospel of Christ, and the field the world. The Gospel is placed in the world and it begins to grow until it becomes the largest of herbs. The birds are supposed to symbolize people who find safety and refuge in the branches of the tree, which is Christianity. We must learn, however, that the symbolism of the parables has been set by the Lord and He told us that the fowls of the parable (verses 4 and 19) symbolize the wicked one, or Satan. It is true, a grain of mustard seed represents the Gospel of Christ which the Lord Jesus took and sowed in the world.
 
The smallness of the seed represents the insignificance of the beginning of the Christian movement. But from that small seed - that is, from the least of beginnings - sprouted the mustard bush which grew until it became the greatest among herbs. Christianity spread very rapidly from the days of its inception. I have heard some individuals speak of the comparative lack of growth of Christianity during the days of our Lord, and refer to the fact that at the time of His ascension only 120 converts had been made; however, we know that such is not the case, for Paul mentioned in I Corinthians 15 that in the resurrection appearances, He appeared to over 500 of the brethren at one time. There were many, many followers of our Lord and Christianity really spread like the growth of a mustard bush into the largest of herbs from the least of seeds. But what is overlooked by the majority of commentators is the statement that the mustard bush, the greatest of herbs, BECAME A TREE. That is abnormal and unnatural. In the realm of nature, herbs are herbs, trees are trees, grass is grass, etc.; but in the parable of the mustard seed the Lord tells of a vegetable becoming a tree. After it became a tree the birds came and lodged in the branches.

What does a tree in Scripture symbolize? In Judges 9:8-15, trees represent nations. In Daniel 4, the tree represents a nation as a world power. In the New Testament the Lord speaks of the nation of Israel both as a fig tree and as an olive tree. In Luke 21:29, He speaks of the nation of Israel under the figure of a fig tree, and the Gentile nations, under the figure of .. All the trees." I don't believe it is open to question concerning the symbolism of a tree in Scripture. It must mean a world power.

Now when our Lord says the kingdom of heaven is like unto a mustard seed which grew into the largest of herbs and then became a tree, it is in keeping with the symbolism of the entire Scripture. Christianity started from the smallest and most insignificant of beginnings, developed into the largest of spiritual movements, and then something happened: It became a tree; that is, Christianity became a world power. On October 28, 312 A.D., Constantine the Great decreed that Christianity should be the world religion. This fiat opened the door for political and ecclesiastical intrigue, and of a truth, CHRISTIANITY BECAME A WORLD POWER OVERNIGHT.
 
Our Lord said in the parable that when a mustard bush became a tree, the birds would find lodgment in the branches; and when Christianity became a world power, the evil one found lodgment within its organization. This is the day of our Lord's rejection, and it is supposed to be the day of the church's rejection. The church is not supposed to be a world power until the Lord returns to the city of Jerusalem to rule and reign for 1,000 years; then, as consort queen, the church is to rule and reign over the world with Christ. The subtlety of Satan is no where manifest to a greater degree than in the way he misguides churches and Christians into programs of world betterment and reform instead of faithfully witnessing to the lost. Today we witness the sad spectacle of the church majoring in trying to produce the effects of the Gospel rather than preaching the Gospel and letting the effects follow as is natural and as they inevitably will. What Satan could not do by persecuting and martyring Christians and hindering the spread of the Gospel, he has accomplished in part by the placing of false Christians among true Christians. The Gospel, nevertheless, has continued to go out to the ends of the earth and Satan has resorted to the scheme of diverting the energy and effort of the church. Social and political reform, humanitarian and benevolent projects, may be worthy causes in themselves, but as such they do not in any way constitute the high calling of the church of the living God.

The effort to make the church a world power has robbed the church of its spiritual power. It was a sad day for the cause of our Lord when the mustard bush became a tree.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:21:19 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Parable Of The Leaven
by A. Edwin Wilson


PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN

"Another parable spake he unto them: The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables,' and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables,' I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 13:33-35).

Usually this parable is interpreted thus: The leaven is the gospel, the woman is the church, three measures of meal is the world, and the hiding of the leaven therein with its working continues until the whole world is saved. That would be all right except for the fact that it is all wrong. In the first place, leaven is never used in the Scripture for anything good. In Matthew 16:6-12 our Lord warns His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The disciples thought He was speaking of bread, but Jesus tells them that when He told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees He was warning them to beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. In Mark 8:15 we find a further injunction to beware of the leaven of Herod, which was the doctrine of Herod.

Now the doctrine of the Pharisees was the degeneration from true worship into ritualism and formalism, emphasizing, the letter of the law and ignoring the spirit of the law. The doctrine of the Sadducees was that of rationalism with its denial of the supernatural. The doctrine of Herod was that the government under Herod's control would be the panacea for all this world's ills. Jesus sought to turn His disciples away from its falsities and keep their attention focused on Him. In Leviticus 2:11, we have positive prohibition from God Himself of putting leaven in the meal offering.

In the next place, three measures of meal is not used of our Lord to symbolize the world. He used the field as a symbol of the world. Three is the number that has no relation to the world but is a number that pertains to God.
 
The true interpretation of the parable of the leaven follows: In the growth and development of the kingdom of heaven in its outward manifestation, which may also be called Christendom, we have a woman which symbolizes a church, but not the true church. The true church is always characterized by the expression "virgin." This woman, symbolizing the false church, takes the leaven which Jesus calls false doctrine, and hides this false doctrine in three measures of meal. Three measures of meal symbolize the truth and teaching of the Godhead, or the Trinity, with special emphasis on the Son who Himself is the wheat crushed and made into meal, or flour, if you prefer. Leaven is a putrefying agent, producing deterioration in the flour into which it is placed. Our Lord here is speaking of a degeneration which is going to take place in Christendom by the false church interjecting false doctrine into the truth of the gospel until the whole of Christendom shall be permeated with its heresies. The false doctrines introduced into Christendom thus far are in part: the denial of the inspiration of the Scriptures; the denial of the Old Testament miracles; the denial of Israel being God's chosen people; the denial of the dates of the writings of the prophets Jonah, Daniel, and parts of Isaiah; the denial of the ability of God to foretell the future; the denial of the doctrine of the Trinity; the denial of the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; the denial of His sinless life; the denial of His vicarious death on Calvary's cross; the denial of His physical resurrection and ascent into heaven; the denial of His physical presence at the right hand of God today; the denial of His physical return to sit on the literal Throne of David in the literal kingdom here on the earth for a literal period of 1,000 years; the denial of the literal destruction of the heavens and the earth to be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

The work of the leaven has been so subtle and sure that today it is difficult to find a place to worship where the leaven has not manifest itself in part at least.

As we have traced the development of the kingdom of heaven we have noted four major attempts of Satan to bring to naught the work of the Lord through its outward expression on the earth. First, Satan martyred Christians, as is expressed in the fowls snatching away the ones sown by the way side. Then he (Satan) found that the martyring of Christians did not defeat God's purpose but rather caused it to increase in its development, he turned to that shrewd movement of imitation, so aptly described in the parable of the tares. A pseudo-gospel by a pseudo-minister to pseudo-Christians producing a pseudo-church made it next to impossible to distinguish from the true. He turned next to the expediency of making the church a world power as set forth in the parable of the mustard seed, and thereby robbed the church if its true testimony because of the worldliness of the church. But true Christianity continued to spread; and so Satan used a fourth and last means in attempting to thwart the purpose of God through the preaching of the gospel by introducing false doctrines into the pulpits of the land making it next to impossible for the lost to hear the true gospel which they MUST hear before they can be saved.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:23:11 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Parable Of The Hid Treasure
by A. Edwin Wilson


PARABLE OF THE HID TREASURE

"Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field" (Matthew 13:44).

The common interpretation of this parable is that the treasure hid in the field is the gospel, and the man who is a lost soul is out hunting for salvation, and when he finds the gospel hidden in the world, he goes and sells all that he has, returns and buys the field, and becomes a Christian.

Beginning with Adam in the Garden of Eden after his fall, we find him and Eve hiding from God rather than hunting God and the forgiveness of sin. From that point straight on through the Bible, lost man is always found trying to escape any responsibility concerning his relationship to the Lord. When a lost man is saved it is because God finds him, brings conviction of sin upon him, and brings him in contact with the gospel, whereby he believes unto life everlasting. God takes the initiative in salvation. "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you" (John 15:16). "No man cometh unto the Father except the Father draw him" (John 6:44). Man does not become interested in his salvation until after the Lord draws him.
 
Again, this common interpretation of the parable is not true because there is nothing that man can sell and there is nothing that he can buy in regard to the gospel of the grace of God. How true are the words of the song, "Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me . . ." Man must come as a poor, humble, repentant supplicant, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting salvation as a free gift. ". . . BUT THE GIFT OF God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

No, this parable does not have a thing to do with the gospel of grace nor the salvation of individual souls - but rather it has to do with the nation of Israel.

Israel is the treasure hid among the nations of the world. "Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine" (Exodus 19:5). "For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure"(Psalms 135:4). These Scriptures show us that Israel is God's treasure. God's peculiar love for the choice of Israel goes back to Genesis 9:26 and Genesis 12:1-3. In Exodus 4:22 we learn of Israel's relationship to the Lord, and in Romans 11:28, we learn of God's continued love for Israel.

Because of Israel's disobedience God destroyed her cities and scattered her abroad, hiding her in the nations of the world, which is symbolized by the field. The Lord Himself says in Matthew 13:38 "... the field is the world. "

When Jesus came at His first advent, He came only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In the sending out of the twelve, the Lord sent them, only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Paul's ministry at first was only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and later it was to the Jew first and also, to the Greek. Because of Israel's refusal to accept Christ at His first advent the Lord has hidden Israel again in the field and has sold all that He has to buy the field.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself: and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:5-8 ).

Here we have the Holy Spirit's description of Christ selling all He had and purchasing the world with His own blood. Contrary to common theological concepts, God is not through with the Jew, has never been through with the Jew, and will never be through with the Jew. "] say then, Hath God cast away his people: God forbid. . . "(Romans 11:la).

Today, Israel is God's treasure hidden in His field, the world, for which the Lord sold all that He had and purchased; and when He returns, He is going to reclaim Israel from the world, restore her to her land, recommission her, and she will again in truth, even as never before, become Jehovah's witnesses.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:24:55 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Parable Of The Pearl Of Great Price
by A. Edwin Wilson


PARABLE OF THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls; Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" (Matthew 13:45, 46).

We must do the same with this parable that we have with the others, that is, explain what it does NOT mean. This is not a parable of salvation showing a man seeking to be saved and finding the one pearl of great price (commonly interpreted as salvation) and then selling all that he has and buying it.

I tried to make clear in the first article of this series that in verse 19 of this chapter we learn once and for all that the word is not the word of salvation but the word of the kingdom and that it pertains to saved people and not to lost people. In harmony with the consistent interpretation of these parables, the leading character of the parable of the pearl of great price is the Lord Jesus Christ; He is the Man in all of the parables. When our Lord did change that figure (as He did in verse 33) He made the leading character a woman. In the last three parables - the hid treasure, the pearl of great price, and the dragnet, there are three special groups of people who are going to be in the kingdom of the heavens. In verse 44 we have the first group; namely, Israel converted and restored. In verses 45 and 46 we have the second group and they are symbolized by the pearl of great price. All that is necessary in the interpretation of these parables is to remember the symbolism in them and the Word of God in the whole.

Luke 19:10 says, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. " Here we have the world-wide mission of our Lord's first advent: seeking that which He might save. In the parable of the pearl He is the Merchantman seeking that one pearl of great price. Having found it He sells all that He has and buys it. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it was not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross " (Philippians 2:5-8 ).
 
Now I want to call your attention, first of all, to the fact that the pearl is not an Old Testament stone. It was not one of the stones in the breast plate of the high priest, neither is the word pearl found in the Old Testament at all. The occurrence of the word pearl in Job 28:18 is a mistranslation. The Hebrew word should be translated crystal.

The pearl comes from the oyster which is unclean to the orthodox Jew, and for that reason the pearl has never been appreciated by the Jewish people. The pearl is a New Testament stone. Our Lord used the hid treasure to symbolize Israel; here He is using the pearl to symbolize the church. The hid treasure comes from the field, which is the world. The oyster bearing the pearl comes from the sea, which symbolizes the Gentile nations. The Jewish people looked on the Gentiles as dogs, that is, the basest of human beings. The oyster, living in the muck and mire of the sea, is one of God's refuse gatherers - "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called" (I Corinthians 1:26).

A foreign particle gets into the side of the oyster and as it protects itself, a substance is built up around this particle. Slight streaks of blood go into the forming of this covering, giving it a pink shade. As the pearl continues to form, a beautiful, lustrous stone is produced. The oyster gives its life when it is broken open and the pearl is removed. The pearl is the only stone which cannot be divided and made into two or more. It is the only stone that may be called a living stone because it grows while in the oyster. It is the only stone whose beauty is enhanced by use. I have been told that unless genuine pearls are worn they lose their luster, but that contact with human flesh restores such luster.

I am sure by now you have been able to see that the Lord chose this pearl of great price to symbolize His church. According to Acts 15:14, He, by His incarnation, made Himself of no reputation, and from His riven side flowed the blood which brought into existence the church, the one pearl of great price.

The church of the living God is an entity which cannot be divided and made into two. It is one. It is a living organism, and its beauty shines out all the more through its activity in faithfulness to the Lord. Ephesians 1:4 reveals to us that we were found before the foundation of the world, and according to Philippians 2:5-8, Jesus sold all that He had. In John 19:30 where He said. "It is finished," He calls attention to the fact that He had paid in full the price for His church - the one pearl of great price.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:27:06 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Parable Of The Dragnet
by A. Edwin Wilson


PARABLE OF THE DRAGNET

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:47-50).
 
Because of the confusion pertaining to this parable and because it is uniformly called THE GOSPEL NET, I want to establish a fundamental truth pertaining to this mystery.
 
In the first part of verse 49 it says, "So shall it be at the end of the world . . ." A better translation would be, "at the consummation of the age." Young's literal translation has it, "at the full end of the age. " The meaning is that this parable takes place just before and synchronizes with the absolute end of the age when the Lord Jesus Christ shall deliver the kingdom back to God the Father that God may be all in all. If you have noticed the chronological sequence of the parables from the sower down to the dragnet, you have seen that the parable of the dragnet takes place after Israel's recognition and recommissioning as portrayed in the hid treasure. You have also recognized the fact that the parable of the dragnet takes place after the rapture of the church as illustrated in the parable of the pearl of great price. The parable of the dragnet does not illustrate or portray the preaching of the gospel during the dispensation of grace, rather it is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Matthew 24:14. The preaching of the gospel in this dispensation is characterized by the Spirit of God as the TAKING OUT OF THE GENTILES a people for His name to be put in with the remnant of the election according to grace. The preaching of this parable of the dragnet is a preaching of the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM for a witness unto ALL THE GENTILES, and it is strictly a witness, and is to be preached to all the inhabitants of the world. As of today, the gospel has not come in contact with over two-thirds of the individuals of the earth's population, and over two-thirds of the earths inhabited portions have not yet been touched.

Now for the exposition of the parable. After God's dealings with Israel as the hid treasure and with the church as the one pearl of great price, we have the dragnet (the largest of nets or seines known to man) cast into the sea. The symbolism of Scripture is uniform, and throughout the Scripture the land pertains to Israel while the sea pertains to the Gentiles. So, in this parable, Israel on the land puts the gospel of the kingdom net into the sea, which is the Gentiles, and gathers in of every kind until it is full. This is a very comprehensive statement of the extent of the preaching of the gospel and its result. It is to be preached in the whole world, and a host innumerable is to be gathered in. When the net becomes full it is dragged to shore, the good gathered into vessels and the bad cast away. Here we have results similar to the preaching of the gospel today in Christendom. It is the same as it was the night the children of Israel left Egypt: the mixed multitude followed. With the preaching of the gospel today many unbelievers attach themselves to Christian groups. It will be no different with the preaching as described by the dragnet; there will be many interested yet unbelieving people associated with them, but they shall be separated by angels sent forth from heaven to place the true believers in one group and the false professors in another.

Our Lord has spoken of this world-wide ministry of the nation of Israel both in type and in word. We have it in type in the prophet Jonah who typifies Israel as being commissioned of God to go to the Gentiles and preach. He refused to do so and ultimately ended up in the sea, a graphic description of Israel lost in the Gentile nations of the world. In Jonah's distress and suffering he cried to God. Israel amid the persecution of the great tribulation will call upon the name of the Lord. God heard Jonah and put him back on the land. God will hear Israel and put her back in the land. Jonah once again on the land was recommissioned by God to go to the Gentile city of Nineveh. Israel back in the land will be recommissioned by God and will once again become Jehovah's witness to the Gentiles (Isaiah 43:9-12). Jonah's preaching as a recommissioned prophet resulted in the salvation of the entire city of Nineveh and its two million souls. Israel, preaching as God's recommissioned witness shall bring to salvation a host of Gentiles that cannot be numbered.

The Lord has spoken by word in Revelation 7. Immediately after the rapture of the church, typified in Revelation 4:1, 2, the four angels holding the four winds (judgments) were commanded, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" (Revelation 7:3). That is, before a single movement of the tribulation begins, God's bond slaves are to be sealed, In Revelation 7:4-8 we read that 12,000 out of each of the twelve tribes were sealed, making a total of 144,000. This is the initial group which begins the gospel of the kingdom as prophesied in Matthew 24:14. This preaching does not begin until after the rapture, In Revelation 7:9-17 God gives the result of this preaching of the gospel of the kingdom by the Jewish evangelists as typified in the Book of Jonah and described in the parable of the dragnet. As a result of this preaching, John beheld a great multitude of all nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues. When queried as to the identity of the innumerable host John said, "Sir, thou knowest," and the elder then said to John, "These are they which have come out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,"

To really understand the parable of the dragnet you must know the Book of Jonah and its symbolism, as well as the teaching of Revelation 7. Here now is the parable of the dragnet in a very few words. After the rapture of the church, Israel being recommissioned will become God's witness to the ends of the earth, and an innumerable host of Gentiles will be brought to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through this Jewish witness, Praise the Lord for the beauty and perfection of His eternal purpose concerning Israel.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:29:42 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Overcomers
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE OVERCOMERS

In the Word of the Lord, particularly in Revelation 2 and 3 and in the first epistle of John as well as the gospel of John, we have the word "overcomers" used a number of times. There seems to be some confusion and misunderstanding concerning the identity, origin and destiny of persons designated "overcomers." The simplest meaning of the term "to overcome" is "to conquer," "to win a victory" - either in a lawsuit (Romans 3:4), or in a war (Revelation 6:2), or in moral conflicts (Romans 12:21), or in a spiritual conflict (I John 2:13, 14).

The Greek noun for "overcomer" is translated "victory." See I John 5:4; Matthew 12:20; I Corinthians 15:54, 55, 57. The Greek verb "to overcome" is sometimes translated "to prevail," other times "to conquer" and at other times "to overcome." The idea inherent in this word translated "overcome" is unchanging - it always means a contest or a conflict ending in victory. The whole idea is part of the age-long battle between God and Satan in which human beings are either on the side of God or of Satan. Men's bodies and material possessions are the weapons that are used in this conflict and are therefore to be brought under the control of the Christian through the power of the Holy Spirit if he is to be an overcomer. If the Christian is overcome by the lust of the flesh, and the love of material possessions, he will lose his rewards (I Corinthians 9:24-27). The overcomer is promised great rewards for a particular victory, which will be considered later in the discussion.
 
The assertion that all believers are overcomers is so contrary to fact that one wonders that it has ever been made. If all Christians are overcomers, then it follows that no Christian can sin or backslide or do anything that would displease God. If all Christians are overcomers, then evidently there is no conflict, there is no great fight of faith, and all warnings to Christians and urgent pleadings of the Spirit for such Christians to strive for maturity and perfection in Christian growth are for naught. If all Christians are overcomers, then it is true that it doesn't make any difference how a Christian lives after he is saved. The greatest incentive that God has placed in His Word for godly living is to be found in the promises made to the overcomers.
 
Peter was overcome by fear in the house of the high priest and denied the Lord. Was he the last? Ananias and Sapphira were overcome by the love of money and pride of reputation. Were they the last? Demas forsook Paul, being in love with the present world in which he lived. Was he the last? Many  in the church at Corinth were overcome by physical lusts. Were they the last? If all Christians are overcomers, how can the love of many of them wax cold? See Matthew 24:12. If all Christians are overcomers, why are they warned against losing their crowns? See Revelation 3:11. If all Christians are overcomers, why are the just and faithful offered crowns? See I Corinthians 9:24-27; I Thessalonians 2:19; II Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; I Peter 5:4. If all Christians are overcomers, why are the unfaithful threatened with punishment and loss of rewards? See I Corinthians 3:15; Luke 12:47; 19:11-27; Revelation 16:16.

The overcomers are a separate and distinct class of Christians for whom special rewards are offered and particular honors accorded. There are and have always been faithful and unfaithful Christians - Obedient and disobedient children of the Lord - carnal and spiritual Christians - overcomers and those who are overcome. There is no conflict in an individual's life until he has been saved. After salvation has come to an individual, then the flesh strives against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, with one or the other winning the victory. See Galatians 5:17-21; Ephesians 6:10-18.

The passage of Scripture which. is used to try to prove that all Christians are overcomers is I John 5:1-5. Here we read, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God," and "whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world" (vv. 1,4). To overcome the world requires FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ FIRST OF ALL. All the world is in opposition to God and hinders true obedience. But that which is born of God overcometh the world, and it is our faith which overcomes. WHAT FAITH? It is the faith which is occupied with the Son of God and is obedient to His commands - that is the faith of the believer which overcomes the world. Who but he who has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is capable of keeping His commandments and thus overcoming the world? Overcoming is a lifelong business and being born of God starts us off, gives the right, endows us with the power - but we have the work before us day by day, and only in active obedience through faith can one overcome. He that believeth that Jesus is the Christ overcomes the world; he that believeth that Jesus is going to rule and reign - he that believes in the coming Kingdom and the possibility of our sharing it with Him if we are faithful - that is the one who overcomes the world.

According to I John 5:1-5, overcoming the world is accomplished by believing that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah - the King for a thousand years during the Millennium), and then by keeping His commandments. This can be done only through our faith. And to the victor - the overcomer - are offered great and wondrous rewards.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:31:36 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church In Ephesus
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS

In the seven epistles to the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3, we have a distinct promise in each of the seven letters to "him that overcometh." We will devote our studies in this issue to the overcomer in the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7). "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7b). It should be of great interest to note that the promises to the overcomer are addressed to individuals and not to the church as a whole. This should be accepted as conclusive evidence that all the Christian members of a church are not overcomers, but particular ones win the victory in the conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil.

To understand the overcomer in Ephesus, we must first consider what is the sin, fault or error to be overcome. This is set forth in the Lord's condemnation in Revelation 2:4: "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." They had left their first love. Originally, the church had works of faith, labor of love and patience of hope. But here, according to the second verse, manifestly they had lost their faith, love and hope. The Lord shows them the way from their sin to the experience of overcoming. According to verse 5, they were to remember from whence they had fallen; they were to repent of this sin and they were to repeat their first works. Any Christian who overcomes his loss of "first love," to him shall be granted the right to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

To eat of the tree of life and to possess eternal life are two different experiences. To possess eternal life is to have received the gift of God, according to Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," But to have the opportunity to partake of the tree of life is a reward given on the basis of good works after one is saved. In Revelation 22:2 we learn that the leaves of the tree of life are for the purpose of keeping the nations in good health. The eating of the tree of life speaks of a closer relationship to God, a closer walk, a deeper enjoyment and exceeding great reward. The innocency man lost when Adam sinned is never regained, but holiness and righteousness are imputed to man by God. We have four passages of Scripture in Proverbs which describe certain phases of the tree of life which will be the experience of the overcomer who is granted to eat of that tree.

Proverbs 3:18: "She (wisdom - Proverbs 3:13) is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that retaineth her." To be permitted to eat of the tree of life is the result of laying hold of and retaining wisdom. Whereas the overcomer already has eternal life, his apprehension and enjoyment of the Lord is very imperfect, and the acquisition of knowledge pertaining to the Lord is very laborious and difficult; but through acquiring this wisdom, one enters into an experience that results in a perfect understanding and appreciation of the Lord, and to him is granted to eat of the tree of life. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5).

Proverbs 11:30: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." To win a soul is to turn one to righteousness or right living (Daniel 12:3). This corresponds to the saving of the soul in James 5:20. Therefore, he that overcometh through the turning of many to righteousness is granted to eat of the tree of life. He has been fruitful in interesting others in desiring and striving for a place of sovereignty and service in the coming kingdom of our Lord.

Proverbs 13:12: "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: But when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." Today we live in hope; today we move in an air of expectancy. We long for tomorrow when all of our hopes will be realized. To eat of the tree of life brings the fulfillment of all desires and goals and complete fruition of all of our hopes.

Proverbs 15:4a: "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life. . ." In James 3 the tongue is described as one of our great foes, and possibly the most desperate battle in which we engage is with the tongue. To overcome the tongue and bring it into absolute subjection, so that all of our words give comfort, peace and joy, grants one the right to eat of the tree of life.

In the church at Ephesus, those who laid hold of and retained wisdom, those who turned many to righteousness and those who brought their tongues under control would be permitted to eat of the tree of life as overcomers and thus realize the fulfillment of all their hopes.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:33:18 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church In Smyrna
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA

He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death (Revelation 2:11b). What is this, the second blessing pronounced upon those who qualify as overcomers? The second death, which will have no effect upon the overcomers, is the lake of fire. Just what is the significance of the overcomers not being affected by the lake of fire? The relationship of the Christian to the fiery judgment of God, as set forth in the New Testament, begins with Matthew 3:11,12: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." In this experience of John the Baptist we have three baptisms mentioned. John baptized in water; he announced the coming of One, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would baptize in the Holy Spirit and in fire. I think many err in making the baptism in the Holy Spirit and in fire to be synonymous. Other passages of Scripture teach that the judgment seat of Christ (where the Christian's works will be brought to light and judged) is a judgment of fire or baptism in fire. I Corinthians 3:12-15 states explicitly that every man's work is going to be tried by fire. If a Christian's works are of such a nature as to be pleasing unto the Lord, the fire shall not affect them at all and the man himself shall receive rewards. But if a Christian's works are for the glory and honor of man, if they are to satisfy the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, they will be destroyed in this fiery judgment, but the man himself shall be saved so as through fire. Manifestly this speaks of the possibility of a Christian suffering from the second death, which is the fiery trial.

In Hebrews 6:8, "But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned," we learn that a Christian whose works are comparable to thorns and briers will have these works rejected, and these rejected works will be burned. In John 15:6 we learn also that a Christian's evil works, which are cut off as unfruitful branches, likewise will be cast into the fire and burned.

In the light of these Scriptures, the promise to the overcomer. . . that he shall not be hurt by the fire which is to try every man's works. . . is a recognition of the fact that works which are according to the will of God will earn the praise and rewards of God, and the individual possessing such works will not be affected or hurt by the second death, which is this fiery trial and judgment.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:36:05 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church In Pergamos
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH IN PERGAMOS

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it (Revelation 2:17b).

In the message to the church at Pergamos there were two things which our Lord condemned. First, they held the doctrine of Balaam, and second, they held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes.

The doctrine of Balaam grew out of the failure of Balaam to pronounce a curse upon the children of Israel, which curse would cause God to forsake them. At Balak's insistence Balaam continued to seek a way to cause a breach between the children of Israel and their God, and he finally came up with the idea of encouraging fellowship between the children of Israel and the Midianites. Such fellowship would result in God's withdrawing His presence and blessings from Israel, leaving them an easy prey of the Midianites.

Today the doctrine of Balaam would be described as Christians "mixing with the world." Worldliness in the church has robbed her of much of her power and testimony. Did Israel play the harlot in the days of Balaam? So does the church today. Did Israel have many lovers other than God? So does the church today. Did Israel forsake her husband and go after other lovers? So does the church today. Did Israel forsake the cistern of living water and seek out cisterns, yea, broken cisterns which could hold no water? So does the church today.

The second sin of the church at Pergamos was permitting the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes to exist, which was that of permitting a ruling class of people to rise up in the church and assume authority over the people, rather than acknowledge the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now God has promised two things to the overcomer of Pergamos - that is, the one who does not become involved with the world and the one who does not look to human leadership in the spiritual realm but unto the Lord Himself. God has promised that such an overcomer shall eat of the hidden manna and also receive a white stone on which is written a new name that no one knoweth but he who receiveth it.

Now in regard to hidden manna, when the children of Israel came out of Egypt they were given literal manna to sustain them for their wilderness journey. Today, Christians in their wilderness wanderings are given manna (the Word of God) to sustain them in their wanderings. Now the promise to the overcomer is future, and there is to be a special diet for the overcomer to strengthen and sustain him for his future experiences. Since the manna in the wilderness was literal and since feeding on the Word of the Lord also is manifested in the literal reading and assimilation of the Word, we should not think anything other than that this hidden manna of the future is a literal manna, a special diet to open the eyes of their understanding and lend strength to those who shall rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ. This hidden manna is part and parcel of the secret things which belong to the Lord.

In speaking of the hidden manna many forget that the body itself is to be raised and that our Lord ate on several occasions after He arose from the dead. We read in Revelation 22 of the fruit of the tree of life, as well as the leaves which are for the health of the nations. As the manna in the wilderness contained every vitamin, chemical and mineral necessary for the sustenance of the human body, so will this hidden manna contain everything necessary for the sustenance of the bodies with which we go into the Millennium and then into eternity.

The white stone on which is a new name is a token of blessing, honor and glory from the donor to the recipient. In Genesis 41:42-45 we learn that Pharaoh, in exalting Joseph to a place of rulership with him, not only gave him a ring but vestures of fine linen and a gold chain. Not only did Pharaoh give Joseph these gifts but he gave him a new name, Zaphnath-paaneah. All of this was made public; but to the one who is faithful and overcomes, our Lord is going to give this white stone with this new name on it - an emblem of the splendor and glory of the position to which he is elevated - with many special privileges which are in and of themselves part of heaven's secrets. The overcomer will have a new name which only he and the Lord shall know. Throughout the Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament, we have instances of God bestowing new names on His faithful. This is a mark of special favor from the Lord.

To sum this up we have the overcomer - who does not get involved with the world, neither with human dictators in the realm of the church - going to be rewarded by the Lord by being given hidden manna to strengthen and sustain him for the ages that lie ahead. He will also be given a white stone on which will be a new name. This symbolizes great splendor and glory, as well as entering into the secret things of the Lord.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:37:50 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church In Thyatira
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA

But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star (Revelation 2:25-28 ).

The promise herein addressed to the overcomers of Thyatira but extending even unto us is indeed wonderful. However, before we come to the promise we noticed that three things are required: First, that they hold fast that which they have already received until Jesus returns; second, that they maintain their fight in the conflict unto victory; and third, that they keep Christ's works unto the end - his works being works that are done under the leadership of the Holy Spirit in obedience unto His Word and partake of the nature of gold, silver, and precious stones, according to I Corinthians 3:12-15. So much church work and so-called Christian work today is done to magnify the denomination, to glorify man, or to minister to self-praise that we have this special promise to any who will labor according to the will of the Lord.

The promise to the overcomer is of a twofold nature. First, to the victor is given authority to rule and reign with Christ over the nations of the world. The Lord will share His sovereignty with all who are faithful to the end. This indeed is a prize worth winning, but it has to be won. Some contend that rewards and prizes do despite to the grace of God, but notice that grace opens to us the door whereby is granted unto us the opportunity to win rewards. Grace makes secure this privilege; grace teaches how to win rewards; grace enumerates the rewards to be won; grace gives strength and courage to persevere. Rewards themselves are by grace, BUT IT IS GRACE THAT IS USED.

While most Christians talk continuously of being saved, our Lord talked of His coming kingdom, of His power, glory, honor, dominion which shall be when He shall have established this kingdom. One cannot but be amazed at the attitude of Christians who minimize the coming kingdom and its rewards to the faithful, while our Lord magnified and talked continuously of this same kingdom which so many of His followers relegate to the unimportant.

Another aspect of the reward is that of the Morning Star. The return of our Lord has two phases. Jesus as the Son of man is likened unto the Morning Star, and also He is likened unto the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings. His appearance as the Bright and Morning Star characterizes His descent into the air where He meets His own, the dead in Christ having been raised and we who are alive, translated. He appears as the Morning Star that He may judge and reward or chastise His saints, as the case may be. He comes to the earth as the Sun of righteousness to establish His kingdom.
 
If you are interested in a clear-cut picture in concise terms of the reward offered the overcomer in the verses quoted at the beginning of this article, study at your leisure the second Psalm.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:40:14 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church In Sardis
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH IN SARDIS

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels (Revelation 3:5).

The message here to the overcomer is a twofold message: Negatively, "I will not blot out his name out of the book of life"; positively, "I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."
 
The book of life demands our attention first of all for there seem to be several books of record which the Lord maintains, and because of the fact that some erroneously believe that to blot the name out of the book of life is equivalent to the loss of salvation. In Exodus 32:32, 33 the book mentioned seems to be the same book mentioned in Psalms 139:16. I judge this to be a book in which the names of ALL are written at the time their conception takes place. If they die before reaching the age of accountability they are safe because their names are in God's book. If after reaching the age of accountability they receive the Lord as their Saviour, their names remain in the book. If they receive not the Lord as their Saviour, their names will be blotted out.

In Revelation 13:8 we have a book described as the book of life of the Lamb slain. This would be a book in which the names of the ones chosen in Christ Jesus from the foundation of the world were written, and none of these names can ever be blotted out (John 10:27-29; Ephesians 1:3-6).

The book of life mentioned in Revelation 3:5 appears to be the book containing the record of the life of each one who is saved. If they have works of gold, silver, and precious stones, their names remain in the book. If their works are of wood, hay, and stubble, their names are blotted out. As stated in Revelation 3:5, the name of the Christian who overcomes is not blotted out; whereas the name of the Christian who is overcome is blotted out of this particular book.

A careful study of II Samuel 23 will clarify this position. In this chapter we have a list of David's mighty men. The absence of certain names, as well as the presence of others, testifies to this truth. In I Samuel 22:1,2, when David had escaped to the cave of Adullam many went to be with him. Everyone in distress, everyone that was in debt, everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto David, who became their captain. This is a very apt illustration of the ones who are being gathered unto the Lord even now in the day of His rejection. David had been anointed king over Israel, but Saul still reigned. Likewise, Christ has qualified to rule and reign over the earth, but Satan still exercises sovereignty. The men with David who proved themselves and continued faithful shared honors with him in his kingdom when he came to the throne. Christians who are faithful to the Lord and continue as such will share in the sovereignty of our Lord in His coming kingdom.

Adullam means "Their testimony"; that is, this is the place where they distinguished themselves as servants of David. They followed him in his conflicts, suffering and rejection, and they had a share in his glory and peace when he was acknowledged king.

Some of David's mightiest men were blotted out of David's book of records. Joab, commander in chief of David's forces, a mighty man, a valiant solider, a great statesman, a wise counselor, was "blotted out." His heart was not right with David. He was loyal to David during the rebellion of Absalom, but he took part in the treason of Adonijah; hence, blotted out. Abishai, Joab's brother, was not blotted out (II Samuel 23:18 ). Asahel, another brother of Joab, was not blotted out (II Samuel 23:24). Nahari, the armorbearer of Joab, was not blotted out (II Samuel 23:37).

Ahithophel, David's greatest counselor (II Samuel 16:23), was blotted out because he went with Absalom in his rebellion against David; but his son Eliam was not blotted out, though his father was (II Samuel 23:34). Abiathar, a beloved friend of David, did not overcome and was blotted out. Though faithful to David during the rebellion of Absalom, he joined in the treason with Adonijah.

To rule and reign with David required faithful, sacrificial service to the end, and the same is true for those who shall rule and reign with the Lord. "If we endure with Him, we shall reign with Him." See II Timothy 2:12; Romans 8:17.

The promise to the overcomers of Revelation 3:5 is that not only shall their names remain in the book recording their faithful service, but they will be acknowledged before God the Father and His angels. These passages in Revelation 2 and 3 which treat of the overcomers make it very clear that not all Christians are overcomers. See also I Corinthians 3:12-15.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:41:54 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church In Philadelphia
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (Revelation 3:12, 13).

The overcomer here, as in the other epistles, is the true Christian that holds out faithful to the end against false doctrine, errors, evils and temptations. In a word the overcomer is one who gains the victory as a Christian over the world, the flesh and the devil.

In Ephesus the overcomer is to eat of the tree of life. In Smyrna the over. comer is given a crown of life. In Pergamos the victor eats of the hidden manna and is given a new name. In Thyatira the victor has power over the nations and rules them with a rod of iron. In Sardis the overcomer is clothed in white raiment and does not have his name blotted out of the book of life.

In Philadelphia (in the passage we are now considering) the overcomer is made a pillar in the temple of God. This temple of God manifestly is the heavenly temple and the victor in the Philadelphian period of church history is to be a permanent resident in the temple, as well as a tower of strength, which is the meaning of the word pillar. The writing upon him of the name of God and the name of the city of God is in marked contrast to the worshipers of the beast, who will carry the mark of the beast in their foreheads or on their hands, as described in Revelation 13.

The high priest in the tabernacle and temple of the Old Testament bore certain marks and wore certain descriptive stones, identifying him as "Holiness Unto The Lord." The dignity and conservation of the individual so marked is apparent. It is no small matter to be found pleasing unto the Lord and become a victor over all the temptations that assail a Christian. The Lord Jesus Christ is going to have an especial place for these overcomers in the new Jerusalem and will also write upon them His new name.

The promises given in the Word of God to the victor or the overcomer are sufficient to encourage every Christian to live a life of consecration, separation unto the Lord. The things that are in store for faithful Christians during the millennia I reign of Christ are so far above and beyond any and every thing which the world has to offer that no Christian should hesitate for a minute to submit himself completely to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

"To him that overcometh" is the climax of each of these seven epistles in Revelation 2 and 3, with the admonition that "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." To be saved and to be an overcomer are two different things entirely. Salvation - eternal life - is a gift of God. It is not, it cannot be earned. But rewards are on the basis of works - to the one who overcomes - and must be earned by the individual Christian as he meets and conquers the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil.

No good works - no crown. No Crown - no ruling and reigning with the Lord. Saved. . . yes. But no rewards.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:43:42 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church In Laodicea
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne (Revelation 3:21).

We have already learned in Revelation 2:26, 27 that the overcomer shall exercise sovereignty over the nations. Here we learn: First, that the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, receives the throne from His Father. Secondly, that the throne Jesus receives from the Father is a recompense for overcoming through His faithful suffering in the work whereunto the Father had sent Him. Thirdly, that individual Christians who overcome through faithful suffering for Christ's sake shall share this throne with Christ as a recompense or reward. (See II Timothy 2:12, Romans 8:17; James 1:12.) Fourthly, the throne on which Christ is now seated is not the same throne on which He will be seated when He shall rule and reign during the millennium.

He is now seated on the right hand of the Father's throne. During the millennium He will be seated on David's throne in Jerusalem (Hebrews 10:12; Luke 1:30-33). This throne is also called the throne of His glory (Matthew 25:31).

There will be myriads of subjects during the millennium but not so many rulers or sovereigns. All Christians, apparently, will be in the millennium, but only those Christians who overcome will have the privilege of ruling and reigning with Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:46:21 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Milk And Meat - A Key To The Study Of Scripture
by A. Edwin Wilson


MILK AND MEAT - A KEY TO THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE

Failure to distinguish between eternal life and the kingdom of the heavens has resulted in a confusion of interpretation. To the majority of commentators eternal life and the kingdom of the heavens are used synonymously. There are still others who make eternal life, membership in the church, and participation in the coming kingdom of our Lord to be one and the same. We have what might be called two major schools of interpretation: (1) The Arminian, whose philosophy is that if a Christian sins he loses or forfeits his salvation. (2) The other extreme is the Calvinist, who teaches that salvation is eternal and a believer can never be lost, and since the sins of Christians are all under the blood, God pays no attention to their sins. However, the Scripture does not uphold either view in its conclusion. The Scripture does teach "once saved always saved," but it also teaches that a Christian is accountable to God for his sins, and his sins must be judged.
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Prophecy - Signs
Here Is A Key To The Scripture
by A. Edwin Wilson


HERE IS A KEY TO THE SCRIPTURE

1. Eternal life is a free gift to any and all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ: John 1:12; 3:14-16, 36; 5:24; 6:40-47; Acts 16:30, 31; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9.

2. Participation. in the coming kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a reward for only those believers who are faithful unto the end in their services to the Lord: Matt.21:43; 22:10-14; 24:45-51; 25:1-30; Luke 12:42-48; 19:11-27; Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 2:1-4; 4:1-11; 6:1-6; 10:25-31; 12:14-17; Revelation 2:7,11,17,26-29; 3:5,12,21; 19:7-9.

To rightly divide the Word of Truth one must distinguish between the Scriptures that treat of eternal life and those that treat of the rewards to the faithful.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:49:50 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Gnosis And Epignosis
by A. Edwin Wilson


GNOSIS AND EPIGNOSIS


Knowledge and Deeper Knowledge The Spirit of God being very God Himself, can make no mistake and does everything perfectly. Therefore, when we find Him using two different words, both of which the King James Version translates "knowledge," we judge that the Spirit recognizes a difference between gnosis, which simply means "knowledge," and epignosis, which means "deeper knowledge" or "superior knowledge," since the prefix epi means "above," "beyond," "after" or "deeper." Now I want to show in this article the difference between "knowledge" and "after-knowledge."

To the unsaved person there is the possibility of getting a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ which brings salvation. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). A personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, which comes under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of God, enables one to believe that Jesus is the Christ. To so believe in the heart and confess with the mouth brings salvation (Matthew 16:16-18; John 1:12, 13; Romans 10:8-10). Such knowledge, though fundamental and absolutely essential, is nonetheless elementary and belongs to the infancy and babyhood days of the individual Christian's experience. Such Christians possessing only this gnosis (knowledge) are called by the Spirit of God "babes" who can digest only milk (I Corinthians 3:1,2; Hebrews 5:11-14).

In Ephesians 1:15-23 we have the first prayer recorded which Paul offered on behalf of the Ephesians. I think that in the Holy Spirit's recording of two of Paul's prayers in Ephesians (this one and the one in Ephesians 3:12-21) we have a most significant revelation from God which merits our closest attention and deepest study. Since the Holy Spirit indites our prayers which are in harmony with the will of God, this prayer we are now considering (which deals with epignosis) is first of all given to Paul by the Holy Spirit; secondly, it is prayed and recorded by the Apostle Paul; and thirdly, it is offered to and accepted by God. Notice that in Ephesians 1:15, 16, Paul says that since he has heard that they have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and not only are saved but have grown in grace to the extent that they "love all the saints" (Would you care to judge your growth in grace according to your love for all the brethren?), he now prays for them without ceasing. I want you to get the significance of this ere we continue. These Ephesian saints are already saved and are growing in grace, and now Paul begins to pray for them.

In verse 17 he calls attention to the fact that he is praying that God will give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the "deeper knowledge" (epignosis). Today so few people are interested in the deeper knowledge of the Word of God. They are content to be babes in Christ throughout their Christian experience; they want none of the meat of the Word; they care not for the after-knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is so much in the future for Christians, for the Lord Himself, and for the Jews and Gentiles that one cannot realize his Christian experience to the fullest extent without this after-knowledge (knowledge to be gained after one is saved).

The prayer of Paul is continued in verse 18 where he expresses the desire that the eyes of their heart might be enlightened. The heart is reckoned to be the seat of the affections, and Paul desires that the organ of the seat of their love life might be enlightened. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." "Where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also." This deepening of love on the part of Christians - which grows out of, as well as results in, the deeper knowledge of the Lord - culminates in one's loving the appearing of the Lord (II Timothy 4:6-8 ). Instead of trying to keep his converts in ignorance of things pertaining to the kingdom, instead of discouraging them of thinking upon the return of the Lord, instead of telling them that the second coming of Christ is none of their business, Paul is actually praying under the leadership of the Holy Spirit that they may come to know these things of a certainty. Paul prays very definitely that they may have three things: "That ye may know WHAT is the hope of his calling, and WHAT is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and WHAT is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe. . ."

What is the hope of His calling? We encounter three words which are frequently used together: faith, hope and love (I Corinthians 13:13). In I Thessalonians 1:3 we have "work of faith," "labor of love" and "patience of hope." In Revelation 2:2 the church in Ephesus had degenerated until they possessed only works, labor and patience. The word hope occurs many, many times throughout the New Testament and invariably has to do with the hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:23) which is the blessed hope of the Christian (Titus 2:13). The hope of the Christian is to qualify to occupy a position of rulership with Christ in His kingdom.

How many Christians have this hope? Too many Christians are hoping for a quiet death, a good job of embalming, a lovely well. attended funeral and a final resting place in a beautiful cemetery surrounded with all kinds of idols and monuments and having perpetual care, for which they save their money and for which they have paid. Not many hope to see the Lord alive. In fact, many modern missionaries, fundamental theological professors and Bible teachers try to tell us that none of the apostles nor nobody else has had any Scriptural hope of being alive when the Lord returns. But Paul here in Ephesians 1:18 is praying that after they have been saved and have started to grow, they may come into the after-knowledge of the hope of His calling - an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ in that coming day.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:53:32 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Meat In Due Season
by A. Edwin Wilson


MEAT IN DUE SEASON

And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season (Luke 12:42)?

The expression "meat in due season" has a specific reference to the Word that is to be ministered in the closing days of this age. The context of this verse reveals the fact that it has to do with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In I Corinthians, chapter 3, we learn that the doctrine of the Scripture is divided into two categories, milk for babes and meat for men. The carnal Christian can only bear the milk of the Word, whereas perfect or mature men delight in the meat of the Word.

The milk of the Word is that aspect which is apparent as a babe in Christ reads the Scripture. It is called by many the devotional characteristic of the Word. The meat of the Word is the deeper meaning, and in I Corinthians 3:12-15 we learn that the meat of the Word has to do with rewards manifested in the coming kingdom of our Lord. These rewards are given out on the basis of faithfulness in the service of the Lord.

In Hebrews 5:10-14 we learn that the meat of the Word is associated with the priesthood of Melchizedek. Melchizedek was King of righteousness and King of peace, and as such, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ when He shall return to rule and reign for a thousand years. Again we have the truth emphasized that milk is for those who know little about the Word of the Lord, for they are still babes in Christ, but strong meat (truths pertaining to the coming rule and reign of our Lord) belongs to those who are fully grown spiritually because of their having fed upon the deep things of the Lord.

In Col. 1:28 Paul gives expression to the fact that he warns and teaches every man in all wisdom, that they might be fully grown when they come to appear before the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ. In II Timothy 2:15 Paul admonishes Timothy, and it carries on to us also, to study the Word of God, that one may be able to divide aright the Word of truth. In Ephesians 1:15-17, after Paul had learned of the faith of the Ephesian saints and of their love unto all the saints. He began to pray for them without ceasing, that God, the Father of glory, would give unto them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the deeper knowledge of the things that pertain to Him.

Paul had no desire to appear in the presence of the Lord with a bunch of babes in Christ, but he longed to be able to present them all to the Lord as adults, mature in their thinking pertaining to the things of God - which maturity comes only through the study of prophecy.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:55:40 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Milk For Babes ... Meat For Men
by A. Edwin Wilson


MILK FOR BABES ... MEAT FOR MEN

The Lord uses many descriptive words and phrases to characterize His Word. It is called the Sword of the Spirit, a mirror, a hammer, water, a lamp, and many other things; but the two which I want to discuss in this particular article are the ones set forth in the title: MILK and MEAT. 'j4s newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2). "For everyone that useth milk is unskilful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe" (Hebrews 5:13). "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat" (I Corinthians 3:2a).

These Scriptures are sufficient to introduce to our thinking the fact that the Spirit of God speaks of the elementary truths for newborn Christians as milk; and there is another set of truths for mature Christians which the Lord calls the meat of the Word. Milk is an interesting food for babies. Actually, the milk upon which babies thrive and by which they begin to grow is meat which another has eaten, digested and converted into milk. That illustration can be carried into the realm of the spiritual. The milk of the Word is the meat of the Word which others have read, studied, assimilated and converted into elementary terms so an infant in the Lord can understand.

Another description of the sincere milk of the Word is that which has to do with truths pertaining to personal salvation: for instance, how to be saved, how to know you are saved, the first duties of a Christian toward the Lord, the importance of feeding on the Word and communing with the Lord in prayer, relationships one to another, and responsibilities relative to time and possessions. All such truths as these are necessary for young Christians if they are to grow. They are classed by the Lord in His Word as the sincere milk of the Word.

The Bible has much to say about the meat of the Word - about strong doctrines for individuals who have grown and matured in the Lord. In Luke 12:42, we read: "And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?" Here the Lord is speaking of His faithful servants giving meat in due season. Those who are faithful in so doing shall share in His millennial reign. Those who do not give meat in due season not only shall be chastened of the Lord but will have no place of service in His kingdom, even though saved.

First of all we want to establish the meaning of the word meat as it is used by the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Continuing in Luke 12, we note in verse 45 that the one who does not give meat in due season simply says in his heart, "My lord delayeth his coming." Here, evidently, meat has to do with the teaching concerning the imminent return of Christ. In I Corinthians 3:8, 12-15, meat is associated with the day of the manifestation of a Christian's works and rewards (or loss of rewards) at the second coming of Christ. In Hebrews 5:10, the Spirit is talking about Christ as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. In verse II, the Spirit says there are many things relative to the type of Melchizedek that He wants to say, but cannot, because these Christians can only take milk and not strong meat (verse 12). In verses 13 and 14, He emphasizes the fact that the milk is for babes and the meat for those who are full grown. In these verses in Hebrews, meat has to do with the anti type of Melchizedek - the Lord Jesus Christ. Melchizedek was priest and king at the same time. He brought gifts to Abraham, and reigned in peace, fulfilling the type of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes to rule and reign on the earth. He will come as both Priest and King and will bring His rewards with Him, "And Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be " (Revelation 22:12).

The above discussion is to establish the truth that the sincere milk of the Word is elementary and is for young Christians, while the meat is the doctrine of the coming of our Lord, His ruling and reigning on this earth and all the varied events related to it.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 10:57:49 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Milk For Babes ... Meat For Men
by A. Edwin Wilson

Now let us turn again to Luke 12:42-48. Our Lord has been speaking to the disciples about having their loins girded and their lights burning as men waiting for their Lord (verse 35). Then Peter asked the question, "Lord, is this parable for us or is it for all Christians?" Jesus then asked the question, "Who is that faithful and wise steward?" and answered His own question by saying that it is the one who gives to the household their portion of meat in due season.

Two truths appear here in connection with the giving of meat in due season. The first one is that soon after a person is saved he should be given some meat - that is, he should be taught the truth relative to the second coming of Christ. The Apostle Paul was with the church in Thessalonica three Sundays and the days intervening. During that brief time he gave them the simple gospel of salvation (I Thessalonians 1:5), and before the two weeks had expired, he had taught them practically every truth relative to the second coming of Christ and the end time. In I Thessalonians 1:9, 10, three things are said of this group of newborn Christians: 1) they turned to God from idols; 2) they served the living and true God; 3) they were waiting, or watching, for His Son from heaven.

Paul also taught the Thessalonians about the crowns they will receive for faithfulness (I Thessalonians 2:19), and he taught them about the resurrection and the order of the resurrection (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 ). Herein is the truth concerning the rapture of the saints into the presence of the Lord. In the fifth chapter of the same book he speaks of the times and the seasons - of the fact that Christians can know when the day is approaching.

In the second epistle to the Thessalonians, we find a divinely developed system of truth in chapter two about the second coming. In verse 1, Paul speaks of our being caught up to be with the Lord, which is the day of Christ. He tells of the day of the Lord - the time when the judgments of God will be in the earth. In verse 3, he speaks of the great apostasy which shall precede the rapture. In the same verse he also begins to tell of the antichrist who is going to sit in the Temple of God and be worshiped as God. In verse 8, he speaks of the conflict between the antichrist and Christ. In verse 9, he describes the great powers and signs of the antichrist. In verses 11 and 12, he tells of the strong delusion which shall be sent upon all individuals who hear the Word of Truth and will not believe. In Hebrews 5:10-6:12, there is a very stern rebuke of the Spirit of God against all Christians who have refused to study the truths of the second coming of Christ. He also tells us in Hebrews 6:4-6, that if one has once learned the truth of the second coming and then gives it up or falls away from it, refusing to teach it, that one can never be renewed to this precious truth again. He also will have forfeited forever his rewards which would have been his during the thousand-year reign of Christ.
 
Now let us return to Luke 12 for some concluding observations. In verse 42, it is the faithful servant who gives meat in due season. The due season refers to the time when it is supposed to be served, that is, as the end of this age approaches and as the coming of the Lord draws nigh, God's servants are to teach more and more about the second coming of Christ with all of its related events. This is giving meat in due season. In verse 45, the Lord says if that servant (the same one mentioned in verse 42) says in his heart, my lord delays His coming, he not only shall lose his rewards but shall experience unparalleled suffering resulting from the revelation made known at the judgment seat of Christ. It is noticed in this forty-fifth verse that the servant does not say this out loud; he doesn't preach and teach that the Lord delays His coming, but he simply says it in his heart. I have known pastors who affirmed orally before the church their belief in the truths pertaining to the second coming of Christ, but in their hearts they denied it, and their actions followed the convictions of their hearts rather than the profession of their mouths.

This servant in verse 42 (who in verse 45 has become unfaithful and mistreats and attacks the menservants and maidens who teach the truth), shall be cut in sunder and have his portion with unbelievers during the millennial reign of Christ (verse 46). This experience will have nothing to do whatever with his salvation. It is simply the chastisement that follows when he has to be judged (I Corinthians 11:32). Also notice the specific words of our Lord in Luke 12:47 concerning the punishment of this unfaithful servant. Other similar passages of Scripture are to be found in Matthew 22:1-14; 24:45-51; 25:1-13, 28-30; Luke 19:2-27; Galatians 5:17-21.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:00:35 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Salvation Of The Soul - The Whole Armour Of God
by A. Edwin Wilson


SALVATION OF THE SOUL - THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD

The day in which we are living is a day marked by renewed activity of evil spirits and great manifestations in the spirit world with the result that many people are victims of Satan and his demons. The current rise of psychiatry and psychoanalysis attest the fact that the souls of men are being beset by evil spirits. What is a Christian's recourse? What is a Christian 's protection?
 
Ephesians 6:10-18 speaks of these days and of God-given protection. We are urged to put on the whole armour of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. In verse 12 we have a description of the powers against which we are engaged. They come under the heading of five specific individuals or groups.

1) The Devil. He is a distinct personality, the arch enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ, constantly striving for world dominion. He is described in Ezekiel 28 as originally the most beautiful, the wisest and most cunning of all God's creatures. He forfeited his right to reign but has not yet relinquished his rulership. That will not be done until the Lord Jesus Christ returns and takes over the reigns of government.

2) Principalities, or despots. This is a group who stand next in authority to the supreme authority of Satan in his realm.

3) Powers, or empowers. These are a sort of superior police in whom the higher will is activated in carrying out orders.
 
4) Rulers of the darkness of this world. This is an order of vice - regents whose sphere of operation is only in the world.

5) Spiritual wickedness in the heaven lies. This is a vast array of spiritual hosts of heaven arrayed in a heavenly warfare.

No matter how diverse these orders, Paul tells us that they are all connected in one confederation which we might term "The great empire of heaven. " Realizing the force and power of this confederation, the Lord God Almighty has provided armour for those who are His children, and He has exhorted us to put on that armour. He does not put it on us - We must do it ourselves. It does not necessarily follow that because one is a Christian he is clothed in the whole armour of God, for one can be saved and not put on this armour. Such a one would readily fall victim to the wiles of Satan. Let us consider the various pieces of armour.

Gird your loins with truth (v. 14). (Note that the definite article is not used with truth - it is not the truth, which is the Word of God. We have that later.) For one to gird his loins about with truth is to gird himself with earnestness and sincerity. The leather girdle was put on first by the soldier that he might affix the other pieces of armour to it. For one to be girded with truth is for him to enter the conflict against Satan with all sincerity. How many people have at one time or another approached the Christian life with doubtful disputations and with a lack of earnestness and sincerity. They therefore cannot stand before the enemy. It is very well illustrated in the lives of Joseph and Daniel in their sincere determination to live for the Lord. This is what it means to gird your loins with truth.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:03:27 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Salvation Of The Soul - The Whole Armour Of God
by A. Edwin Wilson

Put on the breastplate of righteousness (v. 14). Confusion confounded reigns among Christians today because of the failure to distinguish between the righteousness of God which is imputed to us when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and the righteousness of the saints which is a composite of the righteous deeds of the saints (Revelation 19:8 ). This breastplate of righteousness is something that the Christian is to put on himself. Righteousness is simply right living. If one earnestly and sincerely enters a conflict with Satan, it will be manifested by his right living. Do not resort to subterfuge by asking, "How do I know what is right or wrong," because we are told in James 1:5 that the Lord will give wisdom. We have never had difficulty in distinguishing between right and wrong. Our difficulty has been in always doing what we knew to be right.

Have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (v. 15). Romans 10:15 speaks of the beauty of the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things. As there are two sandals for the normal individual, there are two aspects of the gospel of peace. We have peace with God when we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1) and are forever safe with the Lord; but we have the peace of God when we learn to trust Him completely in all things (Philippians 4:5-7).

Concerning these sandals of the preparation of the gospel of peace, it is doubtful if one is thought of as being shod with them unless he is carrying the gospel of peace to others. In Revelation 12:11 we learn that one of the ways of overcoming Satan is by the word of testimony, which definitely is telling others the story of Jesus.

Take the shield of faith (v. 16). How often the Lord rebuked His own disciples after this fashion: "a ye of little faith." The weakness of the average Christian is lack of faith. In Hebrews 12:1, we read: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." The sin which does so easily beset us is one which is common to all believers. Many people speak of this sin or that sin as being their besetting sin, but the Word speaks of THE besetting sin as pertaining to all Christians. That sin is set forth in the epistle of Hebrews as unbelief or lack of faith. The greatest hindrance to Christian testimony is lack of faith among its adherents. Someone said, "Pray for me that I may have a deeper faith"; but that will not get it, because "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). If one wants more faith, one must live more in the Word of the Lord, and then he will be able to quench the fiery darts of the Devil. On each occasion when the Lord was tempted He repelled the attack with His faith which was based on the Word of God. Christian, go back to regular, prayerful study and meditation of the Bible.

Put on the helmet of salvation (v. 17). The helmet protects the head from the attack of Satan and enables the Christian to press forward. In I Thessalonians 5:8 we read that the helmet is the hope of salvation. This is the salvation which is to be revealed at the Lord's return, and the hope which Christians possess is that of having a part in this salvation by occupying a position of rulership with Christ in the coming Kingdom. There is no doctrine in all the Word of God that has sustained, encouraged and inspired Christians to renew and redouble their efforts in the service of the Lord as the doctrine of the second coming of Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom. Satan hates that doctrine worse than any doctrine in the experience of a Christian. If Satan can encourage the Christian to give up the hope of occupying a position with Christ in the Kingdom or neglect that hope, then he has one before him who has not on the helmet of salvation.

Christian, do not for one moment relinquish your hope in the soon coming of the Lord even though it involves the loss of friends and church relationships. Jesus Christ himself put a premium on watching for the coming of the Lord.

Take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (v. 17). Notice in this connection that no provision has been made for the armour to cover the back of the Christian, signifying that he is to keep his face toward the front and there is to be no retreat. In Luke 9:62 we read, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." The only weapon of offense is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. David said, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalms 119:11).

Again, referring to a Christian's temptations, I call your attention to the fact that the only defense and offense of our Lord was to quote the Word of God. One of the greatest testimonies to the inspiration of the Scriptures is to be found in the fact that when Satan felt the power of the Word as the Lord used it against him, he tried to use that same Word against the Lord (Matthew 4:6).

Surely, the one pressing need of the majority of Christians today is to know and use the Word of the Lord. Having armed oneself with the whole armour of God, he is then to be "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18 ).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:06:22 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Holiness - God's Way
by A. Edwin Wilson


HOLINESS - GOD'S WAY

Holiness of life and walk is God's will for His children; and it is, or should be, their own desire.

God's will on this matter has been declared and revealed. "This is the will of God, even your sanctification" (I Thessalonians 4:3).

God has not left His will or the means for its accomplishment to chance or to be discovered at the end of this nineteenth century. One of God's methods for securing holiness of life is by HOPE. This hope is set on a person - Jesus Christ. "Every man that hath this hope in HIM (Christ) purifieth himself, even as HE is pure" (I John 3:3). It is part of the true foundation of real Christianity. "Ye turned to GOD from idols to serve the living and true GOD; and to wait for HIS SON from heaven" (I Thessalonians 1:9, 10). Thus looking for Christ, we are occupied with Christ, and in this manner we are "conformed to His image." "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the SPIRIT of the LORD" (II Corinthians 3:18 ). Here is no restless effort, no anxious toiling, no spiritual dissipation, no occupation with "the ordinance of men," but occupation of a heart with a heavenly character and walk-and this by secret transmutation - without effort. "And we have the prophetic word made firmer still. You do well to pay close attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dismal (squalid and dark) place, until the day breaks through (the gloom) and the Morning Star rises (comes into being) in your hearts" (II Peter 1:19, ANT). We are now in the night of this world's existence - The Light of the world was extinguished on Calvary's Cross - and the only light we have to guide our feet as we journey onward and upward is the PROPHETIC WORD. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalms 119:105). Being a lamp unto our feet, the Prophetic Word shows us how to walk; and being a light unto our path, the Prophetic Word shows us where to walk.

Man's way of holiness, which glorifies the flesh and exalts the ego, is either the negative or the positive and ignores God altogether. The negative way of holiness is by "quitting this" or "don't do that," and many spend their entire time trying to force others to quit or not to do this or that. The positive way is by "doing this and that." God's way finds man passive, with God taking the initiative and bringing to pass that which He requires of man. Man, by gazing into a mirror - the Word of God (II Corinthians 3:18 ) - particularly the Prophetic Word (II Pet.l:19) - IS BEING CHANGED into the same image of the Lord from glory to glory, even as BY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy"  (Revelation 19:10b). That of which our Lord spoke, taught, planned and instructed was the coming Kingdom and His personal reign over the earth for a thousand years (Acts 1:3). Gazing at length into and dwelling deeply in the Prophetic Word, hoping, praying, longing, waiting, watching, loving and witnessing to the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven to rule and reign, is God's appointed way of holiness for His children. "He that hath this hope in HIM, purifieth himself even as He is pure"(I John 3:3).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:09:49 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Christians For The Last Days
by A. Edwin Wilson


CHRISTIANS FOR THE LAST DAYS

In II Timothy 2, the Spirit of the Lord informs the Christian how to live for and serve the Lord in the last days. He gives a seven-fold description or seven qualities that should characterize the Christian in the days of apostasy as he awaits the coming of the Lord. 1. In verse 1, He calls the Christian a son, with the admonition to be strong in the grace of the Lord. If a Christian can always remember that he is a child of God and strive to conduct himself accordingly, he will have no difficulty in living a life pleasing to God his Father.

2. In verse 3, the Christian is likened unto a soldier; and one can almost let his imagination run riot here as he draws an analogy between a good soldier and a good Christian: (a) He enlists for the duration, (b) wears the uniform of his company, (c) allows neither family ties nor business associations to interfere with his service, (d) conducts himself in a way to honor his flag and his country, and (e) remembers that he is not his own but must be submissive to his captain.

3. In verse 5, the Christian is compared to an athlete. The expression "strive for the mastery" implies that he is a wrestler, and no wrestler wins the match unless he strives according to the rules. Often wrestlers are disqualified when they ignore the rules, and a Christian will not receive a crown unless he too lives according to the rules. One of the saddest prospects for many Christians is that they will be disqualified for a crown even though they are saved.

4. In verse 6, a Christian is likened unto a farmer and as such is reminded that much patience is required. The farmer plants and then waits and waits for the harvest. He also rejoices in and partakes of the harvest; likewise, a Christian will sow the seed, another will water, and God will give the increase; but there are days and sometimes months between the time of sowing and the time of reaping.

5. In verse 15, the Christian is called a workman. This particular workman must be a skilled artisan. As a carpenter, a tailor, or whatever type of laborer, he is to cut straight. Incompetent workmen who cannot cut straight produce a work unacceptable because it is inferior. A Christian is a workman laboring with the Word of God, and unless he rightly divides the Word he will be producing a work that will not be pleasing nor acceptable to his heavenly Father. One of the easiest ways to begin rightly dividing the Word is to remember that in the Word of God there are several divisions of the human race. One division is Jew, Gentile and Church. Be careful not to confuse the message to one with the message to one of the others. Another division is on the basis of the lost and the saved, with the saved being divided into two groups - faithful and unfaithful. Another way of rightly dividing the Word is to give heed to the teaching of the different dispensations inaugurated by the Lord. The great division in Christendom today has been caused by honest, earnest and sincere teachers who have failed to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

6. In verse 20, Christians are likened to vessels in a great house, some of gold and some of silver. Because of a life pleasing to the Lord they are vessels unto honor and glory. Other vessels in this same house are of wood and earth, but because of failure to honor and glorify the Lord in this life, they become vessels to dishonor in that great house.
 
7. In verse 24, a Christian is called a servant, "Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price," and it is the Lord who has bought us, and His we are. A servant is to be obedient, tractable, gentle, faithful and diligent. In the light of these seven characterizations, study the second chapter of II Timothy and let the Lord speak to your heart.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:12:25 PM
Prophecy - Signs
There Is A Difference
by A. Edwin Wilson


THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

Since the days of Calvin and Arminius, there has been a constant debate in regard to the standing of Christians who sin. Calvin rightly contended that salvation is by grace, and nothing can destroy the believer's relationship with the Lord. Arminius and his followers, noting many Scriptures which speak of a sinning Christian being called into a personal accounting because of his sins, err in attributing to the sinning Christian a loss of his salvation. Calvin and his followers have gone to one extreme in teaching that a Christian is not accountable for his sins because they are all under the blood, and that it makes no difference how one lives. The Arminians have gone to the other extreme and damned to hell any Christian who sins. These two current systems of theology have caused many thoughtful Christians to ask the question: Is there any difference between a God-fearing, Christ-honoring, Spirit-led Christian, and one who is carnally-minded, worldly-ambitious and self-pleasing?

Some have gone so far away from the Scripture as to contend that if an individual sins after his confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, this is evidence that he has not been saved. Such contention is not true because I Corinthians 3:12-15, Ephesians 2:8-9, and other similar passages, teach conclusively that works do not enter into salvation and that it is possible for an individual to be saved and not have a single good work to his credit.

The Word of God teaches that there is a difference between Christians. The designation in the Word of God reveals a three-fold classification of mankind: The unsaved, called the natural man, and the saved, which are divided into two groups - the spiritual and the carnal. There is no gainsaying this fact. The carnal man is a Christian dominated by his carnal life, but that he is a Christian is unequivocally set forth in I Corinthians 3:1-4. We can dig back into the Old Testament for a classic example: Abraham, representative of the spiritual Christian, and Lot, representing the carnal Christian. Were it not for the statement in II Peter 2:7, 8, we would not know by the life he lived that Lot was a saved man. He was saved, but all of his works were destroyed.

One of the most poignant truths in the Word of God is that Christians must render an account unto the Lord for the deeds done in the flesh. This is such a repulsive doctrine to many Christians that often the one proclaiming this truth loses friends. But God's truth must be proclaimed whether man receives it or not. II Corinthians 5:10, shows the place of judgment of the Christian's works and reveals the terror of the Lord against those who have been found wanting in the way of a consecrated life. By direct statement, parable, type and symbol, the Holy Spirit has set forth in the Word from Genesis to Revelation the truth that faithful Christians will be rewarded and unfaithful Christians shall suffer loss. For instance, consider briefly Luke 19:11-27. Here our Lord shows that in the days of His absence His business has been committed into the hands of His servants. When He returns, the servants shall be called before Him to render an account of their faithfulness. One is given authority over ten cities during the millennial reign; another is given authority over five cities, while the unfaithful one has no authority whatsoever during the Kingdom; however, the fact remains that he is a servant of the Lord and his salvation is secure, though there is no place of reigning which would give him honor and glory. Those who refuse to accept the Lord are brought before Him and slain in His presence. David's experience in the wilderness reveals that many of the men associated with him, because of their faithfulness to him in his exile, were given places of honor when he established his kingdom. Many others, because of their unfaithfulness, though still in his kingdom, had no place of rulership.

Our reigning with the Lord is contingent upon our suffering with Him. Read II Timothy 2:12 and Matthew 20: 20-23. You will note in the latter portion of these verses that the position in the Kingdom is up to the Father and it is on the basis of works.

In conclusion, forget not this truth: Salvation is by grace, and rewards are on the basis of works. The thousand-year reign of Christ is a period of time in which rewards to the faithful will be manifest as well as loss and suffering to the unfaithful.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:15:08 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Doers Of The Word
by A. Edwin Wilson


DOERS OF THE WORD

The book of James has long been an enigma to Bible commentators as well as teachers. Trying to reconcile justification by works, according to the epistle of James, with justification by faith, according to the epistle to the Romans, has left more than one Bible student hopelessly perplexed. Martin Luther, in seeking to emphasize justification by faith, declared the epistle of James to be "an epistle of straw" and said that it had no place in the canon of the Scripture.

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:19-22). Here we see that there is a connection between the saving of the soul and the doing of the Word. Because of a failure to distinguish between body, soul and spirit, there is utter confusion in attempts to interpret Scriptures dealing with the salvation of the soul. The,: salvation of the spirit has to do with eternal life as a gift of God. The salvation of the soul has to do with the life of a Christian from the day of his salvation until the end of the time of his responsibility (which terminates either in death or the rapture), which life results in rewards or loss of rewards - to be manifested during the coming reign of our Lord over the earth for a thousand years.

I believe the key to the book of James lies in the expressions salvation of the soul (James 1:21) and saving a soul from death (James 5:19, 20). James is expounding upon the life one lives after he is saved, and such a life is dependent upon good works if one is to receive rewards. "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16:26, 27). Paul in Romans is treating of eternal life, which is a believer's present possession by virtue of his faith apart from works. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5).

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Here in Matthew 7:21, occupying a position of sovereignty in the kingdom of the heavens (the Millennial reign of the Lord over the earth) is dependent upon doing the will of the Father after one has been saved. To call Jesus "Lord, Lord" is impossible except one has the Spirit of the Lord indwelling him (I Corinthians 12:3). Therefore, we know that the ones to whom the Lord addresses Himself in Matthew 7:21 are saved. But having eternal life does not guarantee one a place of sovereignty in the kingdom of our Lord, that being granted only to those who do the will of the Father.

James, in chapter 1, verses 21 and 22, tells us that it is not sufficient to be a hearer of the Word (have eternal life), but one must also be a doer of the Word (possess good works) if he is to save his soul, that is, if he is to save his life as a Christian and have rewards which will be manifested at the appearing of our Lord and will prevail during His reign. When one is a hearer of the Word, he becomes a Christian. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). Good works come from doing and these good works earn the doers commensurate rewards. In the light of I Corinthians 3:14, 15 we learn that it is possible for one to be saved, to be a possessor of eternal life which can never be lost, and yet have no good works to his credit.
 
Throughout the New Testament the expression salvation of the soul has to do entirely with the saving of the life of a Christian so that he will not appear before the Lord empty handed and have all his works destroyed by fire, though he himself shall have eternal life and shall never perish. "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28 ).

I believe that once an individual sees that Romans treats of the salvation of the spirit (which has to do with eternal life) and that James treats of the salvation of the soul (which has to do with Christian living and subsequent rewards), such a one will not try to reconcile the books of Romans and James as meaning the same thing but will accept the fact that they treat of different subjects entirely and there is no conflict at all.

James 1:22: "But be ye doers of the word (Christian living), and not hearers only" (Possessors of eternal life). James says not only to become a Christian through hearing the Word but to become a faithful Christian by doing the will of the Lord.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:17:40 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Spirit, Soul And Body
by A. Edwin Wilson


SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:23).

Because so many people equate spirit and soul - making man a dichotomous being, which is according to the theory of evolution, rather than a trichotomous being, according to the Scripture - I thought it well to set forth some of the teachings of the Bible pertaining to the threefold being of man.

In Genesis 1:26a the word translated God is Elohim, which is plural, and in Hebrew means three or more. In Matthew 28:19 we have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Matthew 3:13-17 we have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are ample other passages of Scripture which confirm the truth of the Trinity of the Godhead, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Since Elohim is a Trinity, for man to be created in the image and likeness of Elohim, he too must be a trinity. Since Jesus is Elohim manifest in the flesh, and since the whole Godhead dwells in Him bodily, and since He was made in the likeness of His creature (however, apart from sin), then He too must be a trinity, like man.

It is in I Thessalonians 5:23 that the Spirit of God brings out the truth of man's threefold being, spirit, soul and body; also Hebrews 4:12 distinguishes between soul and spirit. We would naturally expect spirit, soul and body in the Lord Jesus Christ to be distinguished. That is exactly what the Scripture teaches. When Jesus yielded up His spirit on Calvary's cross, His spirit went into heaven to God the Father (Luke 23:46). See also the same experience at the time of the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:59). Ecclesiastes 12:7 also tells us that the spirit returns unto God who gave it.

At the time of our Lord's death His soul went down into Paradise, which is the restful part or the place of the redeemed in Sheol (Hebrew), or Hades (Greek), which was in the lower part of the earth where our Lord and the thief on the cross went, also where Lazarus and the rich man went, the rich man being in the part of the lost, whereas Lazarus was in the part housing the saved. See Acts 2:27, where the word hell should be translated "Sheol" in the Old Testament and "Hades" in the New Testament; see also Ephesians 4:9, 10.

At the time of the resurrection and, a little later, the ascension of our Lord, it would seem that Paradise and its inhabitants were transferred from the lower regions of the earth into the third heaven. See again Ephesians 4:8-10 and then note carefully II Corinthians 12:1-4, where Paul reveals that since the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Paradise is in the third heaven.

The body of our Lord at the time of His death was placed in Joseph's tomb and there remained until the morning of the resurrection. Because His body was a sinless body it did not and could not see corruption. All other bodies, like that of Job, returned to the dust (Genesis 3:19; Job 10:9; 19:25-27; Ecclesiastes 12:7). Note also in John 11:39 that the body of Lazarus was in the process of returning to the dust.

Please note carefully from the above Scriptures that at the time of our Lord's death His spirit went to be with God the Father, His soul went into the Paradise side of Sheol or Hades, and His body went into the tomb in Joseph's garden.

I would also like to call your attention to the fact that in the temptation of our Lord, being tempted in all points like as we are, He was tempted in spirit, soul and body. In Matthew 4:1-4 He was tempted in His body to turn stones into bread to satisfy bodily hunger. In vv. 5-7 His soul was tempted to make a great display before man of His supernatural power by hurling Himself into space from the pinnacle of the temple. In vv. 8-10 He was tempted in His spirit to worship Satan rather than God.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:19:46 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Spirit, Soul And Body
by A. Edwin Wilson

Man too suffers from the threefold temptation to his spirit, soul and body. In man's spirit he is God-conscious; in his soul he is self-conscious; in his body he is sense-conscious. Man is not a simple being but a compound being of three constituent parts, spirit, soul and body; and Paul's prayer for man was that he might in his entirety be sanctified in the day of the Lord.

What is a soulish or natural man? He is one who is dominated by his soul. He is ruled by his own personal feelings, his own emotions, his own affections, his own passions, his own desires, his own likes and dislikes, his own will. Such a one is a soulish or natural man and he is unable to understand spiritual things because spiritual truths are spiritually discerned and the soulish man does not have spiritual discernment. His spirit must be born from above to have such discernment.

What is a spiritual man? A spiritual man is one who is controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, acting through the man's own spirit according to the Word of God. The spiritual man controls his own feelings, his own emotions, his own desires, his own likes and dislikes, and his own will, whereas the soulish or natural man is under the control of his emotions, desires, passions, appetites, etc. I Corinthians 2:14 expresses this truth very clearly: "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned," Here the natural man is the soulish man or the one who is under control of his soul rather than his spirit being dominated by the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 2:14 and 3:1 reveal three classes of men. First is the Natural or Soulish man - one who has not been born from above. Second, is the Carnal man - one who has been born again but is still a babe in Christ, being under the soulish impulses and not in submission to the Holy Spirit of God. Third is the Spiritual man - one who has been born from above and whose body and soul are controlled by the Holy Spirit of God working through man's spirit. The Holy Spirit of God does not present truth to our souls or bodies; that is, to our brain, reason, senses or intellect, but directly to our spirits.

Please note the following quotations from Expository Values in Thessalonians, by Dr. Harold J. Ockenga, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary, in referring to I Corinthians 2:14. "The soulish or natural man is contrasted to the spiritual man. The spirit of man holds communication with the unseen and is the seat of his God-consciousness. The soul is the seat of all affections, impulses, and is man's man-consciousness. The body links man to the material world and is the seat and instrument of his outward deeds and is the seat of his world-consciousness. Sanctification involves the whole man as is evinced by the words 'holy,' 'whole,' 'blameless.'"

Dr. A. B. Simpson in his book, The Holy Spirit, says, "The predominate characteristic of the natural or soulish man is expressed by the word 'soul,' just as the predominate characteristic of the new man in the New Testament is expressed by the word 'spirit.' The soul represents the intellectual and emotional elements that constitute man. The spirit represents the higher and the divine life which links us directly to God and enables us to know and to come into relationship with divine things."

Dr. R. C. H. Lenski in his Commentary on Hebrews says, "The soul (psuche) is the seat of the thoughts, emotions, feelings, desires, volitions and actions pertaining to our earthly and bodily existence. The spirit (pneuma) is the immaterial part of our being that was created and breathed into us by the breath of God and is therefore the real seat of all His gracious operations in regenerating and renewing us. In the unregenerate the soul (psuche) rules and the spirit (pneuma) is enslaved. In the regenerate this is reversed and the spirit (pneuma) is enthroned and the soul (psuche) is enslaved. Thus no longer are we ruled by our natural, earthly, sensual soul (psuche) but by our spiritual self (pneuma)."

Robert Govett in his Commentary on Hebrews says, "Scripture distinguishes between the three parts of man - 'spirit, soul and body.' The soul is the seat of the instincts and passions which we possess in common with animals. The spirit is the deeper and more immaterial portion with which we serve God. That animals have souls, see a correct translation of Genesis 1:20, 21, 30; Revelation 8:9; 16:3." (In these Scripture references soul is translated either "life" or "living.") The Scriptures can distinguish and separate the soul from the spirit.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:22:43 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Spirit, Soul And Body
by A. Edwin Wilson

A study of the three words, spirit, soul and body, in good lexicons will be very valuable. In the Hebrew the word for soul is nephesh, and in the King James translation is indiscriminately translated "life" and/or "soul." In the Greek the word for soul is psuche and it also in the the King James is translated indiscriminately "life" and/or "soul." In Latin the word soul comes from the word anima, or that which animates the body, and is usually translated "life." In Leviticus 17:11 we learn that the soul or the life, nephesh, is in the blood; hence the soul is that which gives life to our physical organization. This is true of animals as well.

The thought which stimulated my interest in the study of spirit, soul and body came to mind in the study of I Peter 1:9 where, in speaking of those who had already been saved spiritually, he mentions the end or a possible result of their being saved 'as the salvation of their souls, which manifestly were not saved, though their spirits had been saved. I encountered the same truth in James 1:21 where he speaks of the possibility of the salvation of the souls of those who had already been begotten from above.

Further study in the Word of God revealed to me that the moment individuals accept Christ as Saviour their spirits are born from above, they are saved eternally (see John 3:5, 14-16, also vv. 18 and 36). Romans 8:23 presents the truth that our bodies are not redeemed until the time of the resurrection and translation.

The question next arises concerning the salvation of the soul. Peter, in the first chapter of his first Epistle makes the salvation of the soul (the natural life) dependent upon faithfulness after one's spirit has been saved. James! 1:21 makes the salvation of the soul dependent upon laying aside the old I man and putting on the new man. Paul equates the salvation of the soul I with winning rewards (see I Corinthians 3:12-15). Also II Timothy 2:12, along with! Romans 8:16-17, makes the salvation of the soul depend upon suffering and I perseverance. The life that one lives after he is saved is what we might call the soul-life.

So many Christians today, while being deeply appreciative of the eternal security of the believer, vainly imagine that it makes no difference how they live. They seem to think that all Christians will rule and reign with the Lord, despite the fact that innumerable Scriptures attest the fact that positions of sovereignty in the coming kingdom of our Lord are determined by obedience, faithfulness, suffering and perseverance. The spirit is saved at the time of the new birth, the body redeemed at the time of the rapture and translation, but the salvation of the soul or the life of man is something dependent upon and determined by the individual himself as he seeks, follows and surrenders to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

To encourage Christians to live for the Lord after their salvation, the Lord has offered many rewards, including sovereignty over as many as ten cities. Despise not our Lord's offer of rewards, but strive diligently to attain to a place of honor in His coming kingdom. See Philippians 3:13, 14.

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:23).

In Hebrews 4:12 we also read, "". . . dividing asunder of soul and spirit." These verses along with others call to our attention that man is a triunity. God is a Triunity - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Man was created in the image and likeness of God, and of necessity man must be a triunity. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). Man was formed from the dust of the ground; God breathed into him the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Here again is the tripartite nature of man. In salvation, or in the study of salvation, we learn that each of these three parts of man is subject to salvation at different times and in varying aspects:

1. The salvation of the spirit. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden he died (Genesis 2:17). Since his body continued to live and his soul continued to live, it was his spirit which died; and the death of the spirit in an individual is separation from God. The Bible speaks of a person who is living and is unsaved as being dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1). When he is saved he is spoken of as having been quickened, or passing from death unto life (John 5:24; I John 3:14), Other Scriptures confirm the fact that when one believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, he receives life (John 3:15, 16, 36). The truth expressed in the above quoted Scriptures brings to our attention that the new birth which takes place the moment one believes, and the spirit of man comes to life under the begetting power of the Word of God. In the language most commonly used, man is saved, This phase of salvation is eternal, irrevocable, indestructible, and it cannot be altered under any circumstances or conditions (Romans 8:38, 39).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:26:45 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Spirit, Soul And Body
by A. Edwin Wilson

2. The salvation of the body. This does not take place at the time that the spirit is saved, but at a later date. The body has been purchased and the price was the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 6:19, 20). The down payment on this purchase has been made, but the body awaits its redemption (Ephesians 1:13, 14). While the body continues in this purchased yet unredeemed condition, there is the conflict between the flesh and the spirit (Galatians 5:17-21). This conflict is possible only in Christians. The one whose spirit is not born from above cannot do anything to please God. His very nature leads him only and always into things contrary to the will of God. "0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death"(Romans 7:24)? Here is the cry of a saved spirit in the unredeemed body calling for help and for deliverance.

When does salvation come to the body? The body is not redeemed until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:51-57). The unredeemed bodies of the Christians who have died are in the graves corrupting. These bodies must be raised and must put on incorruption. The saints who are living at the return of the Lord will be caught up and their mortal bodies will become immortal. Then and only then do we have the salvation of the body, (See Philippians 3:20, 21; I John 3:2.)

3. The salvation of the soul. The Scripture definition of soul is the English word life with all of its implications. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11). The word translated life in this verse is nephesh in the Hebrew. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach. The literal translation, therefore, is "the soul is in the blood," Jesus, then, poured out His soul for the atonement of souls (Isaiah 53:12). The soul being in the blood is at once seen to be the animating principle of the body of flesh, When a man is born from above and has the Spirit of God dwelling in him, the body then is torn betwixt and between, The soul, which is of the natural man and is in the blood, pulls man toward the world and the things of the world. At the same time the born-again spirit of man pulls him toward God and the things of God. This is the great conflict described so graphically in Galatians 5:16-26.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16:25-27). The Greek word psuche (soul) is used four times. In verse 25 it is translated life. In verse 26 it is translated soul. Either is correct, but it should be translated all four times the same way. The Lord here is speaking to His disciples (verse 21). The life, or soul, which can be saved or lost, has to do with the rewards that Jesus will bring with Him. (See verse 27.) I Peter 1:9 speaks of the salvation of the soul when Jesus returns. Matthew 16:25-27 speaks of a soul being lost when Jesus returns. Luke 12:16-21 tells of a soul being lost when Jesus returns because it had been lived for self and not for God. Incidentally, verse 21 makes it clear that the rich, young fool was saved because an unsaved person cannot be rich toward God as was possible for this wealthy farmer. I Corinthians 3:15 tells of a man losing something because his life had not been lived for the Lord. The word here, translated loss, is exactly the same word in Matthew 16:26 translated lose, that is, lose his soul.

The only conclusion to which one can come is that the loss which a man sustains in I Corinthians 3:15 and in Matthew 16:26, is the soul; that is, to lose one's soul is to lose the rewards that will be brought by our Lord when He returns. These rewards are to be for the faithful and are to be enjoyed during the Millennial reign of Christ. Therefore, the salvation of the soul is something which is dependent upon man as he labors under the power of the Spirit of God.

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (II Peter 1:10). A brother can make his calling and election sure by living in such a manner that his soul, or life, may be saved. "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). It is the salvation of the soul, or the life, that is worked out with fear and trembling.

One of the tragedies of today is the fact that because of the ignorance of the Word of God, many people will go into His presence at His appearing with born-again spirits and redeemed bodies, but lives (or souls) forfeited because they did not live for the Lord.

Again, referring to I Corinthians 3:11-15, it is stated explicitly and emphatically that a person can be saved for eternity but have no good works (his life, or soul saved) for the Lord; and this will determine his place of service and honor during the Millennial reign of Christ. After the thousand-year reign of Christ, man (body, soul and spirit) redeemed and perfected, will enjoy the Lord forever.

Now, in order to help distinguish body, soul and spirit, consider the Triunity of our Lord. At His death, His spirit went to the Father (Luke 23:46). His body was placed in the tomb (John 19:38-42). His soul went into the paradise section of hades (Luke 23:43; Acts 2:27; Psalms 16:10 - see marginal reference on hell, sheol, and hades). At the resurrection of Christ, His body, His soul and His Spirit were reunited.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:28:32 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Salvation Of The Soul
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE SALVATION OF THE SOUL

"Now the just shall live by faith, but if he draw back MY SOUL shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them that draw back unto destruction but are of them that are faithful to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews l0:38, 39).

The above is a literal translation from the original Greek, and your attention is called to some differences between it and the King James translation. The words "any man" have been introduced by the King James translators as the subject of "draw back," but the "just man" is the subject. An unbeliever cannot draw back from living for the Lord, but a saved man can. An unbeliever cannot live for self and lose his rewards, but a saved man can. An unbeliever cannot appear at the judgment seat of Christ without any works of gold, silver or precious stones; suffer loss and be saved as though by fire, but a saved person can. The drawing back to destruction is not to eternal damnation but is to the loss of the soul which is so plainly revealed in Matthew 16:24-27.

When Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour comes for His own with His rewards, those who have chosen to lose their souls, or lives, for His sake shall receive rewards, but those who have chosen to save their lives, or souls, for themselves shall lose their rewards. The Christian cannot lose his salvation, but he can lose his rewards.

The saving of the soul is something future and is conditioned upon the behaviour of the individual himself. Eternal life is the gift of God and can NEVER be lost or forfeited; but the saving of the soul is distinctly set forth in the Bible, not as a gift, but as a reward to be earned by diligence, faithfulness and obedience to His commands.

Failure to distinguish between soul and spirit has caused many to err and make shipwreck of their faith - not that they are lost, but that they may experience the tragedy of having their spirits and bodies saved but their souls lost. Are not the soul and the spirit the same? By no means. The soul is the natural life of the man - the self life. It is the sum total of the experiences which pertain to the man himself - his own separate personality. It is the life he lives daily after he is saved. He can live for the Lord or he can live for the world, the flesh and the devil. Such a life can issue in rewards or losses. "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (l Pet.1:5). "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls" (l Peter 1:9).

The salvation to be revealed in the end time is that of the soul, unto rewards. "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear" (l Peter 1:17).

The fear of the Lord is to qualify and determine our walk. Paul said, "Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord (II Corinthians 5:11) we persuade men to watch and be found faithful." (This fear is manifest at the judgment seat of Christ.)

Peter says, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshy lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation" (I Peter 2:11, 12).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:30:08 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Salvation Of The Soul
by A. Edwin Wilson

Consider the awful plight of the following unfaithful servants. (They are servants of the Lord and not lost people):

1. One whose righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20).

2. One who was at the wedding feast but had no wedding garment (Matthew 22:1-14).

3. The five who having oil in their lamps were careless and did not carry an extra supply (Matthew 25:1-13).

4. The one who appeared at the judgment seat of Christ but had done nothing for the Lord (Matthew 25:14-30).

5. That servant who knew his Master's will but did it not (Luke 12:42-48 ).

6. Those who yield to works of the flesh instead of being led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:17-21).

Do not make the common and fatal mistake of confusing the Kingdom of the Heavens, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of His dear Son, the Kingdom of Light, and similar expressions with ETERNAL LIFE, for they are different. In all but a few exceptions all these expressions refer to and mean the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ; and all the above exhortations and warnings and promises pertain to Christians who now, in this lifetime, are granted an opportunity to qualify for a place in the Kingdom by being faithful and obedient.

The force of the above warnings is taken away by preachers and teachers who apply them to a group called "professors," when they are plainly addressed to believers. We shudder to think of their responsibility at the judgment seat of Christ because they have encouraged and promoted laxity of life by teaching and encouraging Christians to disregard the multiplied warnings given by God as listed above.

"For yet a very little while indeed, the coming one will come and will not delay, but my just one by faith shall live; and if he should shrink back my soul does not delight in him. But we are not of those shrinking back into destruction; but of faith in order to a preservation of life" (the saving of the soul - King James) Hebrews 10:37-39. (Emphatic Diaglott).
 
This particular passage of Scripture speaks of the saving of the soul. We also have the same expression in I Peter 1:9; likewise James 1:21. It seems strange that it is necessary to call to a Christian's attention that spirit and soul are not the same.

In I Thessalonians 5:23 the apostle Paul prays that the saints of Thessalonica might be wholly saved; that is, their spirits, their souls and their bodies. Hebrews 4:12 describes the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit by the Word of God. The salvation of the spirit takes place immediately and for eternity the moment an individual receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour (John 3:36). This verse emphasizes that belief produces present salvation for eternity, to use the words of John Wesley himself. The body is not redeemed or saved until the resurrection and translation (Romans 8:23).

The Salvation of the soul entails rewards for a life saved or lived in obedience unto and for the honor and glory of the Lord. That a life can be lost, though spirit and body are saved, is manifested by the following Scriptures: I Corinthians 3:15, where a Christian is saved as through fire but suffers loss because his life was not lived unto the Lord; Revelation 16:15, which describes the possibility of a Christian losing his garments (wedding garments - the robe of righteousness which is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can never be lost nor taken from us) if he is not watchful in keeping his garments. Revelation 3:11 speaks of the possibility of a Christian losing his crown, and if there is no crown there can be no reigning with the Lord. Matthew 25:28 tells of the loss of the talent by the one who did not use it and therefore does not enter into the joy of the Lord as He reigns. You will note in vs. 14 of that same chapter that this one-talent servant is called "his own." In Luke 19:24 the servant of the Lord who did not use his pound forfeited the pound and therefore was not appointed to reign over any city or cities. The reigning over a city has nothing to do with salvation at all but with rewards for faithfulness.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:31:56 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Salvation Of The Soul
by A. Edwin Wilson

Looking again to our original text, Hebrews 10:37-39, we note that the one under discussion is the just one (the believer). We note also that if the just one (believer) draws back, the Lord's soul has no pleasure in him. We also note in vs. 39 that the drawing back on the part of the just one (believer) is unto destruction. Since it cannot be the destruction of the spirit and has nothing to do with the body, it has to be the soul which is under discussion in these three verses.

We note in the closing part of vs. 39 that the just one can believe (be faithful) to the saving or salvation of his soul. One cannot draw back from salvation but one can draw back from the pilgrim life and live the carnal life as described by the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 3: 1-3; that is, he continues to be a babe all his life.

The key expression of the book of Hebrews is "Let us go on to perfection"; that is, let us go on to maturity, a full grown man in Christ, not feeding continually on milk but going on to the meat of the Word - the meat of the Word in Hebrews being the truth and teaching pertaining to the kingdom and the possibility of Christians ruling and reigning with the Lord. The sincere milk of the Word has to do with the simple gospel message which is able to make one wise unto salvation; whereas the meat of the Word will enable one to qualify for a place of sovereignty in the kingdom.

Please keep in mind that in the kingdom there will be sovereigns and there will be subjects, the sovereigns being those who have won crowns, the subjects being those who are saved as though by fire.

Everywhere in Scripture that the salvation of the soul is mentioned it is referred to as a future event and is conditioned upon the life of the individual. For instance, in Matthew 16:24-27 a literal translation would be that whosoever "wills" to save his life shall lose it and whosoever "wills" to lose his life for Christ's sake shall find it. The saving of the life (soul) or the losing of the life (soul) is determined by the Christian's willing it. The word man in vs. 24 is in italics, which reveals to us that it is not in the original text and the people under discussion are named by the Holy Spirit as being His disciples; so that the word man should be left out, and if one is to be supplied it would have to be disciples: "If any disciples will come after Me..."
 
As you read this entire passage you see that the result of the loss or saving of the soul has to do with the rewards mentioned in vs. 27. The word translated life twice in vs. 25 and soul twice in vs. 26 is the same word in the Greek (psuche). Eternal life is the gift of God and can never be lost, forfeited, given up or taken from one; whereas the saving of the soul is dependent on man. The salvation of the soul comes at the end of our Christian life rather than the beginning and one of the goals of faith in Jesus is the salvation of the soul or rewards (I Peter 1:9).

In the above verse Peter writes of the "saving of the soul" to those who have already been begotten again (see vs. 3 of chapter 1). James writes in 1:21 of the saving of the souls of those who have already been begotten by the word of truth (vs. 18 of chapter 1). The new birth - being born from above - regeneration - is a past experience for all who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, whereas the saving of the life or soul, which results in rewards, is a future experience which will be determined by the issues of the judgment seat of Christ.

In Philippians 2:12 Christians are urged to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." By so doing they will guarantee unto themselves the salvation of their lives and receive rewards. In II Peter l:l0 Christians are urged to give diligence to make their calling and election sure so that they will not stumble and lose their rewards but, according to vs. 11, will have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The salvation of the life (soul) of a Christian will guarantee unto such a one a place of sovereignty, honor, glory, with crowns and rewards in the kingdom of our Lord. The loss of one's life (soul) as a Christian will not result in the banishment from the heavens but simply in making him to be a subject rather than a sovereign. For further study you might consider Luke 12:42-48 where we have the parable of the faithful and unfaithful servants of the Lord. The last word in vs. 46, unbeliever, is to be literally translated, unfaithful. Also see Luke 13:30; Luke 14:1-11.

My own personal conviction, born of study of the Word, observation and prayer, is that the most treacherous teaching of too many Bible teachers is that Christians can live any way they want to and still rule and reign with the Lord.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:34:05 PM
Prophecy - Signs
I Saw The Souls
by A. Edwin Wilson


I SAW THE SOULS

"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, 0 Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth. And white robes were given unto everyone of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled" (Revelation 6:9-11).

This expression of John, "1 saw the souls," calls our attention once again to the fact that according to the Word of God man consists of spirit, soul and body. According to Revelation 1:10; 4:2, John became in the spirit. Being transported to heaven in this spirit form he was able to see the souls of many of those beneath the altar. A careful study of the Scripture at the beginning of this article reveals a number of things relative to the soul.

1. Death does not end the existence of the soul.

2. The souls were visible.

3. The souls were conscious.

4. They remembered the past.

5. They knew the future would bring the vengeance of the Lord upon their enemies.

6. They wondered at the seeming delay of the Lord in vengeance.

7. These souls cried out to the Lord.

8. They were given counsel and encouragement by God.

9. They received and wore white robes.

10. They had tangible bodies. All this, remember, is in view of the fact that their bodies had returned to the dust and their spirits were with God the Father. It might be well here to call to mind once again that at the death of our Lord, His spirit went to be with God the Father in the heavens, His soul went down into Hades and His body went into the tomb.
 
In I Samuel 28:7-25 we have the incident of King Saul's seeking the woman that had a familiar spirit and who lived at Endor. It was his desire to contact Samuel because of the extreme difficulty in which Saul was involved. You will notice in this experience:

1. Samuel's soul came up from out of the earth (his spirit was with God the Father, and his body had gone back to the dust).

2. Samuel's soul was seen and recognized by this woman.

3. She described him as an old man covered with a mantle.

4. Saul perceived (recognized and understood) that it was Samuel.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 11:47:08 PM
Prophecy - Signs
I Saw The Souls
by A. Edwin Wilson

The conclusion to which we come is that the disembodied soul of Samuel had a form and garments corresponding to that which he had upon the earth and was recognizable by such.

Notice also Luke 16:19-31. Here in the experience of the rich man, Lazarus and Abraham, all three are manifest in their soul experience. 1. The rich man's soul has a form.

2. He can feel the flames.

3. He desires water to cool his tongue.

4. Lazarus has fingers which the rich man thinks could touch his lips with water.

5. Abraham, Lazarus and the rich man all have eyes, ears, voices, because they see, hear and speak. We conclude then that these three manifest the fact that souls are tangible, possessing form and characteristics which were theirs before death.

In II Corinthians 12:1-4 Paul is in a condition which is much better than being in prison on earth but still not comparable to the final state. Paul could see and hear the things going on in heaven and was free from the gravitational pull of the earth which holds the natural man to the earth. In II Corinthians 5:1-10 we learn:

1. While here on the earth we have a tent-house or body.

2. When we are separated from this tent-house our souls being in heaven are without adequate covering for eternity but do have a form and some sort of a covering.

3. There is a longing to not be found naked when the Lord returns, at which time we will be clothed with our heavenly house or body.

4.In between the time that we are absent from this present tent-house and the time we enter our heavenly house, our souls possess a tangible form comparable to that of Samuel, Abraham, Lazarus, the rich man and the souls underneath the altar.

The study of these particular passages of Scripture should be conclusive in establishing the fact that the soul is a definite part of the human being but distinguished from body and spirit. In I Thessalonians 5:23, Paul prays for the salvation of the spirit and the soul and the body. The Word teaches that the spirit of an individual is saved the moment he is born from above through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the body is saved at the time of the appearing of our Lord - the resurrection and translation of the saints, whereas the soul's salvation is manifested at the judgment seat of Christ.

I conclude with Paul's prayer as recorded in I Thessalonians 5:23: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

TO BE CONTINUED....
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My Note: This is a partial repeat of several like notes I've placed throughout this study. This is a complex Bible Study on many difficult portions of the Bible. There will be agreement and disagreement  on various portions, and some may not be ready for a study this complex. Again, I ask you to do the following:  1) pray before you start your study sessions that the Holy Spirit will help and guide you;  2) put everything into context - both the writing of this author and all of the Bible Scripture References;  3) go slowly, carefully, and prayerfully. This is an excellent Bible Study, regardless of some areas of disagreement. The time and effort required to complete this study will be worth it. There are many excellent examples of rightly dividing the Word of Truth in this study, even if you end up with a difference on some issues with the author. Regardless, the Primary AUTHOR we are interested in is GOD and the HOLY BIBLE - HIS WORD! With these things in mind - ENJOY!


Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:11:40 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Kings Of The Kingdom
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE KINGS OF THE KINGDOM

"And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16).

When the Lord returns to the earth in all of His power and glory to establish His reign, He will reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords. This is not just an expression of greatness and superlative degree, but is an actual statement of fact. Jesus the Christ, the King of the Jews, is also going to be King over all other kings. There are three segments of the Kingdom announced with definite rulers:

1. The national king - David, king of Israel: "But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them" (Jeremiah 30:9). ., And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it" (Ezekiel 34:23,24). ,. And David my servant shall be king over them" (Ezekiel 37:24a). And my servant David shall be their prince forever" (Ezekiel 37:25b). "Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:5).

2. The tribal kings - the twelve apostles: "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:27,28 ).

3. The municipal kings - faithful, qualified Christians: ., And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities" (Luke 19:15-18 ).

The above Scriptures set forth in no uncertain terms the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ will be the King over all kings. David will be raised up to be the king over the children of Israel. The twelve apostles will be raised up to rule, each over an individual tribe of the children of Israel; and then certain individual Christians, by virtue of their faithfulness and suffering with Christ, shall rule and reign with Him over certain cities. "No cross, no crown. No crown, no reign."

"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first" (Matthew 19:27-30).

In the passage preceding this, the rich young ruler had asked Jesus what he must do if he would have life for the coming age (that is, the millennial reign of Christ), if he would have a place of honor and glory. The Lord told him that he would have to sell all that he had and give it to the poor - not to be saved but in order to rule and reign with the Lord, salvation being simply and solely by the grace of God. The young man turned away sorrowful, because he was a man of great possessions and, like Esau, would rather have "a bird in the hand" than "two in the bush "; he would rather have present physical, material blessings than future heavenly, spiritual blessings.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:12:52 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Kings Of The Kingdom
by A. Edwin Wilson

Peter said, "Well, Lord, we have forsaken all and followed Thee, and what are we going to get?" Evidently, the subject of rewards had not been in their conversation too often.and Peter did not understand, and would appreciate the fact that a fine young man like the rich ruler would hesitate to impoverish himself now for some future unknown blessings. So the question arose in Peter's mind, as in the minds of the other disciples. I do not think Peter was peculiar to his thinking. That is one of the standards by which the world judges: What does it pay?

Our Lord introduces the subject of the regeneration, which does not have anything to do with personal regeneration, salvation or conversion. The time of regeneration is the time of the restitution of all things; that is the time of the millennial reign, the millennial glory, when our Lord Jesus Christ shall return to the earth in power and in glory and establish that fifth world kingdom. Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome were the first four, and the fifth Kingdom is to be that of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is for that kingdom that the whole creation is in great pain and travail, groaning, crying, yearning, when all things shall be made right.

Referring to the time when the Lord Jesus Christ returns in the day of the regeneration, the day of the restitution of all things, the day of His millennial glory, Jesus said' 'You apostles who have forsaken all and followed Me, shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Each of the apostles will be judging one of the twelve tribes.) Here we have introduced the subject of positions of sovereignty in the coming kingdom of our Lord.

Our Lord has spoken of four kinds of kings to be in the coming kingdom - literal kings, absolute, ruling and reigning. We have what might be termed the great international King - the King over all the other kings, the Lord over all the other lords - Jesus Christ Himself, described in Revelation 19 as the King of kings, the Lord of lords." Those expressions are not just degrees of comparison, nor simply superlatives; they are statements of fact: There are going to be many kings ruling and reigning, but Jesus the Christ will be the head King, the King over all the kings.

In Luke 1 the angel of the Lord told the Virgin Mary that of His kingdom there will be no end. Geographically, it will extend to the uttermost parts of the universe. Chronologically, there will be no end because it will be forever and forever. When Jesus the Christ came the first time, He came as God's Prophet, proclaiming the Word of God, past, present and future. It was as God's Prophet that He died, a sacrifice for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures. Forty days later He ascended on high, where He sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He ever lives to make intercession for us. Ever since His ascension into heaven nearly two thousand years ago, He has been fulfilling the office of our great High Priest. When I sin or when any Christian sins, He is our advocate, He is our attorney, He is our lawyer, pleading our case before God the Father as we are accused by Satan, the accuser of the brethren.

At His first advent the Lord Jesus Christ did not enter upon His reign as King of kings, neither is He ruling and reigning now. Satan is the god of this age, he is the prince of the powers of the darkness, he is the head of the rulers of this sin-cursed world. That is what is wrong with the world today. But one day Jesus Christ will have finished His high priestly work and will return to the earth in justice, in righteousness, in power and in glory as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He will sit upon the throne of David, which was and will again be in the city of Jerusalem - a real, literal city, a real, literal temple, a real, literal throne, with a real, literal King, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will execute justice, dispense righteousness throughout the earth; and then we will have what is termed here the regeneration, the restitution of all things, the righting of every wrong, the cleansing of all uncleanliness, the casting out of all wickedness.

In the setting up of the kingdom and the establishment of power and authority under Him, never forget that to Him belongeth the praise, the honor and the glory. For when He returns it will be as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:14:44 AM
Prophecy - Signs
David - King Of Israel
by A. Edwin Wilson


DAVID - KING OF ISRAEL

When the wise men from the East came into the city of Jerusalem they asked, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the East and are come to worship Him." He offered Himself to Israel as her King; she rejected Him and His Kingdom. Put over His head on the cross was placed by Pilate, inscribed in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

Under Him is to be another king who will be the king over the twelve tribes of Israel. Consider Jeremiah 30:9, where the Spirit of God speaks of the restoration of Israel in a future day to her land, from which she will never be removed: "But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them." In Ezekiel 34:22-24, God, speaking of the end of Israel, says, "Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.

"And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever" (Ezekiel 37:21-25). Hosea 3:4,5 describes the present position and condition of Israel: "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days."

David is their king. In all of these passages of Scripture, the Holy Spirit of God has designated specifically and in no uncertain terms that David is going to be raised from the dead to sit upon a throne. Jesus Christ, being the King of kings and Lord of lords, will also be the King over the house of Israel; but David, second in command to the Lord Jesus Christ, will have for his particular dominion the kingdom of Israel. David is the man of whom God said, "He is a man after My own heart." Saul was the people's choice for king, but David was the Lord God Almighty's choice.

In this coming kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, under Jesus Himself will be this national king, David, the king over Israel. The next group of kings will be what we shall call tribal kings, of which we read in our Scripture lesson - each one of the apostles ruling under David, who is ruling under the Lord Jesus Christ. Each one of these apostles shall be a king over a tribe of the nation of Israel.

The fourth and last class of kings are what we shall call municipal kings, ruling and reigning over municipalities. Our Lord said on one occasion to one of His servants, "I will make you ruler over ten cities." To another servant, "I will make you ruler over five cities." To another servant, "Thou shalt not rule over any city." I think one of the grossest errors of Bible teaching is that error which teaches that every Christian indiscriminately is going to have a place of sovereignty and rule and reign with our Lord, when nothing could be further from the truth. If there is anyone truth that is set forth in the Word of God, it is that to rule and reign with the Lord requires suffering for Christ's sake; to rule and reign with the Lord requires obedience on the part of the disciple; to rule and reign with the Lord is based upon our faithfulness to His commands in His service. It does not make any difference about the life of an individual as far as salvation is concerned, because that is by grace, and being by grace alone, works cannot enter in. But sovereignty and merited places of service are conditioned solely upon works, and they come as rewards.

Too long have rewards been neglected; too long have Christians been taught that all one needs to do and all that is required is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and not only will you be saved but you will have a great position of honor and glory in the coming kingdom of our Lord. All you must do to be saved IS "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." But that does not guarantee to anyone a position of sovereignty in the coming kingdom of our Lord. And we shall reign with Him if so be we suffer with Him.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:16:28 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Twelve Apostles - Twelve Kings
by A. Edwin Wilson


TWELVE APOSTLES - TWELVE KINGS

Continuing our studies of the kings of the kingdom, I call your attention to Matthew 19:27ff, where the Apostle Peter had asked the Lord what he and the rest of the disciples were going to get out of serving Him. Our Lord did not rebuke him for asking this question. He never discouraged any word about rewards. Many Christians speak disparagingly of rewards, when our Lord has offered many; and anyone who speaks slightingly of rewards and who disdains rewards does that of something which is very dear to the heart of our Lord. Not only that, but a belief in, and a hope of rewards is absolutely essential to living a dedicated life. In Hebrews 11:6 the Spirit of the Lord says, "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. "Answers to prayer at various and sundry times are conditioned upon a belief in rewards.

In discussing the establishment of authority in the coming kingdom we have already noted that Jesus the Christ is going to be the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is not now ruling as King. He is our great High Priest now, interceding with God the Father on the behalf of Christians when they sin. He does not intercede for the lost but for His own people. But to profit by the intercessory work of the Lord Jesus Christ you must first accept Him as your Saviour; then He becomes your Intercessor, enabling you to live a life pleasing unto Him, for when you sin He intercedes with the Father on your behalf.
 
The first king of authority under the Lord is David, whom God will raise up to be prince over the house of Israel, or king over the nation of Israel. I think many err in their interpretation by making David to be the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God is very specific in Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea, telling us that God is going to raise up David to be their King and Jesus Christ to be their God.

Pay strict attention to Matthew 19:28, .. And Jesus said unto them (that is, His disciples), Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

There is delegation of authority in the coming kingdom of our Lord. In our government as we know it today we have three departments of state: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. In the government of our Lord there is a fourth established, and that is the religious aspect of the government. We have separation of church and state now and that must be, because Satan is the god of this age and therefore he is qualified to rule in matters of religion.

When our forefathers established as a constitutional right or prohibition, that churches were not to exercise authority in government, that also established the right or prohibition of the government to interfere in worship. In these days of so-called civil rights movements, one must keep in mind that civil rights are not religious rights, and that no official of government has any right under God to say who can or cannot worship anywhere, any time or with any people, except that it cannot be done in phases and places of absolute control of the government. One thing that God Almighty has established in this present day is that the government's civil rights and civil authorities are under the rule and dominion of Satan; but Christian rights and privileges are under the sovereignty of Almighty God.

In the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, civil and religious rights and laws will be under one Head, because the King over all kings will be a righteous King, a just King, a holy King, a merciful King - One who doeth all things well. I am in favor of the great Society. I am in favor of the New Deal, I am in favor of the Fair Deal. But what most people forget, if they ever knew, is that the~e can be no Great Society, nor New Deal, nor Fair Deal until we have a Man at the head of such a society who is absolutely impartial, absolutely righteous and just. The only One in all of God's universe who has qualified and can qualify is the Lord Jesus Christ. So we look not for any Great Society or New Deal or Fair Deal or any such Utopia until Jesus the Christ returns as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

After the Lord has established His kingdom with Himself as the King of kings and Lord of lords, He will elevate David to be the king over the house of Israel. Next under David will come twelve kings, each one ruling and reigning over one of the twelve tribes of Israel. These twelve kings, according to the Scripture of this discussion, are to be the twelve apostles.
If you are disturbed concerning who took Judas' place, be instructed that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself came from heaven and on the road to Damascus arrested Saul of Tarsus, called him and appointed him to be an apostle in Judas' place. The other disciples would not recognize him as such and I find very few Christian preachers and teachers of the Word today who recognized him as such. But the Spirit of the Lord through the Apostle Paul gives this answer in the first verse of Galatians: "Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man)..." "It was no group of men who rolled a pair of dice to see who was going to be the apostle in my case, but I was chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ and by God Himself." I think that ought to settle once and for all Judas' successor.

These twelve apostles are going to rule and reign over twelve tribes. They will receive their authority from the Lord Jesus Christ through the first vice-regent, David. They will constitute a group of twelve kings, the apostolate, ruling over these twelve tribes.

In our concluding study of the kings of the kingdom, we will discuss municipal kings - an area in which you and I as Christians have the privilege, the opportunity and the right to qualify as kings to rule and reign with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:18:13 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Municipal Kings
by A. Edwin Wilson


MUNICIPAL KINGS

We read of municipal kings in Luke 19:11-27. There is a common error abroad among fundamental, premillennial, Bible believing Christians, namely that all Christians are going to rule and reign with the Lord, regardless of the life which they have lived. But I believe, according to the teaching of the Word of God, that some Christians are going to rule and reign over certain cities, but the majority of Christians are going to be subjects in the kingdom and they will be ruled over, rather than be rulers.
 
Consider our nation, the United States of America. I am a subject in this kingdom of the United States, but I have no sovereign power. There are men who have power - there are mayors over cities, police commissioners, United States marshals, governors; there are legislators, both in the Senate and Congress; there are members of various courts and cabinets. There are many, many individuals in the United States who have positions of authority, but I am simply a subject. The government of the United States and all governments of the world are established after some form or other of divine authority, because there is no power nor authority but that which comes from God.

Who are the Christians to rule and reign and who are the ones who will forfeit the right to rule and reign? Note Luke 19:11: "And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return." The Nobleman is the Lord Jesus Christ. "And he called his ten servants..." That is, He called ALL of the Christians - ten being the number of completion and perfection in its ordinal aspect pertaining to the earth. "...and delivered them ten pounds..." That simply means He called ALL His servants and delivered unto them ALL of His business. "...and said unto them, Occupy till I come." or, "Occupy while I am coming." He is in the process of returning and has been ever since He entered into the heavens. "But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned. . ." He is coming back. That is a certainty. "... having received the kingdom.. ." He has not yet received the kingdom; the kingdom has not yet been set up, has not been established; He is not now ruling and reigning as King. He is our great High Priest, interceding for His own. "... then he commanded those servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading." That symbolizes the judgment seat of Christ. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, everyone who names the name of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in his body, according to that which he hath done, whether it be good or evil.

"Then came the first saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities." This is a Christian who is going to reign over ten cities. That will be quite a kingdom - ten cities. Such an individual, a Christian, as described above - having been faithful in the task whereunto he was appointed and not having forfeited his birthright - becomes a king over ten cities.

There is not a Christian but who, under the power and leadership of God, by the grace of God, can qualify for a place of sovereignty in the coming kingdom of our Lord.

"The second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities." Here is one whose capacities may not have been as great as the first, one who may not have been quite as faithful, one who may have become involved with the things of the world, the flesh and the devil and therefore, failed to qualify to rule over ten cities but did qualify to rule over five cities. I would judge the same to be true of anyone whose pound gained three or two or one.

Vs. 20: "And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layest not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow." This servant typifies a Christian. Do not ever let anyone deceive you into thinking that this person is lost. It is recorded in vs. 13 that he called his ten servants. This individual is a servant of the Lord, therefore, a saved person.

In Matthew 25:14 we have the parable of the talents, which is comparable in many respects to the parable of the pounds, and here we read: "For the kingdom of the heavens is as a man travelling into a far country, who called HIS OWN SERVANTS, and delivered unto them his goods." Here it says, "". . . who called HIS OWN SERVANTS. . ." This is a double possessive. Not only were they HIS servants, they were his OWN SERVANTS. God does not delegate His authority to nor does He commission unsaved people to do His work in the spread of the gospel. The work of the Lord is committed unto the children of the Lord.

The servant with one pound is a Christian, but he is a Christian who did not do what the Lord commanded him to do. He is a Christian like so many today who do not believe in rewards; he is a Christian who said the only motive for serving the Lord should be love and therefore he did not do anything. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. And fear of disqualification, fear of forfeiture of the rights of primogeniture, fear of having no inheritance in the coming kingdom, fear of being beaten with many stripes as a servant who knew his master's will and did it not, fear of reprisal, fear of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth - all of these are experiences for Christians who have proven unfaithful in the service of our Lord. The one talent and the one pound servants of our Lord are the Christians whose works have all been burned but they themselves saved as though through fire.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:20:07 AM
Prophecy - Signs
You Can Rule And Reign
by A. Edwin Wilson


YOU CAN RULE AND REIGN

To rule and to reign with the Lord Jesus Christ is part of the rewards for faithful Christians, whereas chastisement, or to be a subject in the kingdom is the lot of the unfaithful Christians. In Matthew 19, we have been meditating upon the kings of the kingdom. The word of our Lord was brought about by a question from Peter who, hearing our Lord tell about how difficult it would be for one to enter into the kingdom of the heavens, asked, "Who then can enter into the kingdom?"

When you analyze that expression as it occurs many times in the Word of God, you should realize and appreciate the fact that it means entering into a position of sovereignty. All Christians, all lost people, even Satan and his demons - all of God's creation - are under God's sovereignty and therefore, in the kingdom of God. But the kingdom of the heavens is a much smaller area, very exclusive as well as inclusive.

When the Scripture speaks about the kings of the kingdom, about ruling and reigning, about sharing with the Lord, it is speaking about positions which those who have been faithful in this day and time may win or attain. One has the opportunity and privilege of qualifying for a place of sovereignty in the coming kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In previous articles I have set forth the Scriptural teaching that Jesus Christ Himself is to be the King over all the kings, David is to be raised up to be king over Israel, and the twelve apostles are to be kings over the twelve tribes of Israel. Various Christians will have authority over certain cities as municipal kings. In Luke 19, our Lord described Himself as a Nobleman going away into a far country to receive a kingdom for Himself and to return. But before He went He called all His servants before Him, and He delivered unto them all of His goods; that is, He turned over to them all of His business, with the command that they were to, "Occupy while I am returning."

When our Lord returns and gathers all the Christians before Him at the judgment seat of Christ, He is going to judge and reward everyone on the basis of his works. We read in I Corinthians 3:12, "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones. . ." There are indicated three types of works that are imperishable, and if a man's works are of that nature, he is going to receive a reward. Then we read of three types of works which are perishable: wood, hay, and stubble. "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
 
Herein we learn a most blessed truth, that under grace it is possible to be saved and not have a single good work to your credit. Also under grace it is possible for one to have many good works. If one ever learns to differentiate between salvation and rewards, between grace and works, then he is well on his way toward a comprehensive understanding of the Word of God, especially of kingdom truth. So far as I know, all Christians believe in good works; but the majority of them want to get works before salvation in order that they might be saved. Let me state this categorically, that if salvation were based on the works of man, there is not a single man who would be saved, because the Word of God says that there is none that doeth good, no not one. Therefore no one can be saved on the basis of works. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Works do not enter into salvation but rather, works come after or out of salvation.

We have two portions of Scriptures to which I want to call your attention concerning ruling and reigning with the Lord. Romans 8:14-17: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba (Abba is the Hebrew for Father), Father (or Pater, which is the Greek word for Father). The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him." Suffering is the prerequisite for ruling and reigning with the Lord. It is not suffering because of our stubbornness or sinfulness, but it is suffering with and for Jesus Christ.

We have the same thing stated in II Timothy 2:11,12: "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: if we are unfaithful, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." Once again, suffering is set forth as a prerequisite to reigning with the Lord.

To be saved does not qualify one to rule and reign. One must be faithful unto the Lord, one must have works of gold, silver and precious stones.

GOLD symbolizes the sovereignty, the deity of the Lord God Almighty, and the works of gold are works which are done for the sake and the honor and glory of the Lord. They are not done to receive the praise of men here on the earth, not to be honored and exalted to high positions of the church, but solely for the honor and glory of the Lord. When a Christian does something for the Lord to be seen of man, the moment he is seen of man, he has his reward then and there, so that there is no future reward.

SILVER is the coin of redemption, and works of silver are works which have to do with the redemption of man - that is, telling the story of salvation by grace, witnessing to the lost, ministering in any way whatsoever to a person that he may come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It could be praying for a lost person until such a one is saved.

PRECIOUS STONES: "Ye all are precious stones, being built up as lively stones into a living structure, a house for the Lord," Living stones, precious stones are the individuals who have come to know the Lord as their Saviour. If you have had any part, by witness or example, in anyone's coming to know the Lord, you will have a place of sovereignty in His coming kingdom.

Again, the Holy Spirit points out the fact that our Lord offers five different crowns to individual Christians. First, there is the incorruptible crown offered to those who gain control over and discipline their physical, fleshly, carnal, bodily appetites. Second, there is a crown of rejoicing to all who bring individuals to a saving knowledge of Christ. Third, there is the crown of glory to those who are faithful in the teaching of the Word. Fourth, there is a crown of righteousness to those who love the appearing of our Lord. Fifth, there is a crown of life to those who are faithful even unto dying for the sake of our Lord. If a Christian has won any of these crowns when he appears at the judgment seat of Christ, he will have earned a place of sovereignty or rulership in His coming kingdom.

In Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, in the epistles to the seven churches, our Lord calls attention to seven conditions which will prevail in the last days, and anyone who overcomes these adverse conditions and circumstances is guaranteed a place of sovereignty in His coming kingdom. The overcomers are the ones who will rule and reign with Christ. For your own profit, study carefully these two chapters concerning the overcomers as well as that which they are to overcome.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:21:52 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Ruling And Reigning In The Kingdom
by A. Edwin Wilson


RULING AND REIGNING IN THE KINGDOM

Luke 19:11-27 The parable of the pounds gives us an account of our Lord's dealings with His children according to their faithfulness during the period of His absence. In verse 22, the King James Version speaks of the wicked servant; however, the word wicked is very misleading because the majority of commentators have seized upon that word and made the servant to be a lost person. Such is not the case. This servant in the parable of the talents and kindred servants in other similar parables are comparable to the five foolish virgins who typify unprepared and unfaithful Christians. They are the ones who will forfeit their place in the coming kingdom of our Lord, though they themselves will be saved, "yet so as by fire" (I Corinthians 3:15).

Now let us consider briefly this parable of the pounds. Christ was just leaving the home of Zacchaeus where in response to the criticism of His enemies He gave utterance to His mission: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." The Lord connects His mission directly with His return to heaven and the commissioning of His servants to carry on His work. The disciples had a mistaken idea that the kingdom of God was to immediately appear; so this parable is spoken to correct the error in their thinking and to give a very clear picture of the task for Christians to perform during this dispensation. He describes Himself as a Nobleman who is to go away into a far country, receive a kingdom and then return. The kingdom was not established while Christ was here on earth, neither has it been established since His return to heaven; but when the time comes for the establishment of the kingdom, Christ will receive it from God the Father and will then return to the earth for its establishment. The Nobleman of the parable is described as having called His ten servants to Him and delivered unto them the ten pounds with the command, "Occupy till I come." A pound is a unit of monetary value, worth about $2.68 today. One must have appreciation for the significance of numbers in Scripture to understand the teaching of our Lord. Ten is the number of ordinal perfection; whereas, seven is the number of completion or perfection pertaining to spiritual things. Ten symbolizes completion as pertaining to earthly things. The significance of the ten servants is that He called ALL His servants to Him and delivered unto them all His business with the command to keep busy with His business until He returned. Now do not forget that His business was to seek and to save that which is lost.

This is a picture of the present dispensation. Christ is in heaven to receive a kingdom, and until He returns, all Christians are to be busy. The primary work of Christians is reaching the lost for the Lord Jesus Christ.

In verse 15 we learn that He is to return after He receives the kingdom. The first thing He does when He returns is to call all His servants before Him to give an account of their stewardship. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men,' but we are made manifest unto God,' and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences " (II Corinthians 5:10 , 11). All of this takes place at the judgment seat of Christ which occurs when we are caught up in the air to meet the Lord. This is where judgment begins, at the house of God (I Peter 4:17). This is the Lord judging His own people (Hebrews 10: 30, 31). No one appears before the judgment seat of Christ except Christians. God does not mix His judgments but deals with each class separately; therefore one should realize that all three servants are called to account here or else they would not appear at this same time. The first servant who reports that his pound has gained ten pounds is rewarded by being given authority or rulership over ten cities during the millennial reign of Christ. (Ruling and reigning is one of the rewards for faithful Christians.)

The second servant reports that his pound has gained five pounds. He is rewarded by being given authority and rulership over five cities.

The third servant reports that he has done nothing but keep his pound hidden in order to preserve it intact for the Lord. In effect he says: "I am saved and I know I cannot be lost; therefore I did not deem it very important to worry myself about trying to do something during Your absence," But the Lord calls him a bad servant. He is not a bad man, but as a servant of Jesus Christ he would not do what he was supposed to do.

How like so many Christians of today: saved, and know they cannot be lost but frankly admit that all they want is to get to heaven by the skin of their teeth - no rewards, no honor, no recognition from the Lord Himself. Such a statement can be attributed only to their ignorance of God's plans and purposes for Christians during the millennium.

This third servant is as truly a servant of Christ as the other two, but he has no reward or position of trust and honor during the millennium; and Jesus says to take the pound away from him and give it to the servant who has gained ten pounds.

Now note verse 27. Those who do not receive Christ as Saviour and who will not acknowledge Him to be the King of kings (that is, those who are lost and brought before Him) are slain, This is the second death - separated from the Lord forever.
 
Beloved Christians quit boasting of the fact that you are a one-pound or a one-talent Christian, remembering that such, if found unfaithful, will be in the group who will shed tears that will not be wiped away until the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ. Get busy witnessing for the Lord and win some of the rewards which our Lord Himself has so graciously proffered.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:23:45 AM
Prophecy - Signs
He Began To Smite His Fellow Servants
by A. Edwin Wilson


HE BEGAN TO SMITE HIS FELLOW SERVANTS

In Matthew 25:1 our Lord says, "The kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom." The distinguishing characteristic here is that they went forth to meet the Bridegroom; that is, they had the definite attitude of anticipation in waiting for the second coming of Christ.

In I Thessalonians 1:9 and 10 we read: "For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." Again we find the true church waiting for His Son from heaven. Our Lord placed a premium on watching and waiting for His return.

In Matthew 24:45-51 the Lord says, "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Here the faithful servant is one whom the Lord Jesus Christ has made ruler over His household to give them meat in due season, and the blessedness of this servant is dependent upon his being busy doing so when the Lord returns. In this dispensation the household of our Lord is the church, and the faithful servant who is to feed them is the minister or pastor. Our Lord requires His servant or steward to be faithful, and as a reward for his faithfulness in feeding the flock of God, He promises to make him ruler over all His goods. This is comparable to the faithful servants in the parable of the talents, where we find them made rulers over certain cities. This place of honor and rulership will find its fulfillment in the millennial reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The evil servant of verse 48 is so regarded because of his attitude toward the second coming of Christ. You will notice that he does not deny the second coming of Christ. What he does do is deny its imminency. We dare not put the millennium between us and the second coming of Christ. We dare not put the tribulation between us and the second coming of Christ. We dare not put the world evangelization of Matthew 24:14 between us and the second coming of Christ. For one to interpose a single act or event before it takes place, is to adopt the attitude of the evil servant and say, "My Lord delayeth His coming."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:25:27 AM
Prophecy - Signs
He Began To Smite His Fellow Servants
by A. Edwin Wilson

I want to call your attention to the resultant action of the unfaithful servant who adopts the attitude of a delay in the second coming of the Lord. In verse 49 we read that the evil servant begins to smite his fellow servants. To me, one of the most tragic experiences of a faithful servant of the Lord is to have to suffer the abuse of his fellow ministers because of his faithfulness to the doctrine of the coming again of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To this day I cannot understand how a person can say he is a Christian, that he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour, that he loves Him and wants to honor and glorify Him, and at the same time turns right around and says he gets sick and tired of hearing about this same Lord coming back again. I have noticed in my ministry, brief and limited though it may be, that a preacher can be an adulterer, a thief, a partaker of the things of the world, a teller of questionable stories, and be dishonest in regard to his debts, yet few if any other ministers will say anything about it. But let a man of God be faithful to the command of our Lord and cry out, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him," and then watch the other servants of the Lord begin to criticize and bemean. The unfaithful servant who says, "My Lord delayeth His coming," smites in various ways the faithful servant who says, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh."

(1) By intimating that he is mentally incapacitated and by saying there are certain degrees of mentality to which the doctrine of prophecy appeal, and that the intelligentsia are not swept off their feet by future promises of the Lord.

(2) By innuendos and insinuations and ofttimes outright falsehoods; and prevailing upon other churches not to consider him for pastor or for any other ministry.

(3) By saying he is eccentric, unbalanced, and riding a "hobby horse" of prophecy.

(4) By refusing to have any fellowship with him and discouraging other ministers from so doing.

(5) By saying he doesn't teach the Bible, if he is evangelistic; or by saying he is not evangelistic, if he is a Bible teacher.

(6) By accusing him of having departed from the historic faith of the fathers, when the fact of the matter is, it is the one who says, "My Lord delayeth His coming" who departs from the historic faith.

(7) By combining with other unfaithful servants to boycott the entire ministry of the faithful servant.

One of the most common questions in the course of my conferences is: "Why do so many apparent orthodox, evangelical ministers object to and fight the doctrine of the soon coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?" The answer is this. The program of denominational, religious conventions, associations, etc., magnifies and glorifies the efforts of man; whereas, the ministry of the faithful servant (and I mean faithful in the sense of the second coming of Christ) magnifies and glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.

Satan hates the doctrine of the second coming of Christ because when Christ returns, Satan's ministry comes to a close. I believe that if every servant of God were faithful to the proclamation of the soon coming of Christ, the denominational and corporate programs of Christendom would fail, and each church would return to its Christ-given ministry of doing what the Lord wanted it to do without looking to any other church to support it or help it in its endeavors.

You will notice also in the 49th verse that after the evil servant begins to smite his fellow servants, he also begins to eat and drink with the drunkards; that is, he begins to consort with worldlings and he maintains no line of separation between himself and that which defiles.

May I call attention to the warning issued by our Lord, that in a day of which that servant is not aware, the Lord shall come and cut him asunder and recompense unto him commensurate chastisement. I do not believe for one moment that verse 51 refers to an unsaved individual, but rather has to do, as it states in verses 45 through 51, with that servant of the Lord who has proved himself unfaithful by denying the imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:27:49 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ten Virgins
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE TEN VIRGINS

The parable of the ten virgins is right in the heart of the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24 and 25). The editor submits here some of his notes accumulated during the past few months of study in this parable.

The introductory word then gives the time element, and it is well to devote special consideration to this. Careful study of these two chapters shows a break in the continuity at Matthew 24:32. That section is introduced with the expression, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree. . ." There is no break then in the chronology until we come to Matthew 25:31. This entire portion is of the same time. It begins with this fig tree parable; and attention is called to the fact that since this is a parable, the fig tree of necessity is a type. Whenever the fig tree is used as a type, it is of Israel as a nation. In Luke 13:6-9, the Lord had sought fruit from it for three years, but because of its barrenness He commanded it to be cut down. The husbandman asked that it be let alone so it might be cultivated and given a further chance to bear fruit; and we know from the history of Israel that the Lord did not set Israel aside as a nation until 70 A.D. In Matthew 24:32,33 He tells us that when the fig tree buds and puts forth its leaves, summer is nigh. It is a historical fact that the fig tree budded on May 14, 1948, when Israel became a nation again. The time of the fulfillment of the prophecies of Matthew 24 and 25 are set by our Lord soon after Israel becomes a nation. No man knows the day nor the hour, but our Lord said it would be comparable to the days of Noah when the righteous were taken away to safety and the unrighteous were left to judgment. He said that as it was in the days of Lot, so would it be when the Son of man comes. In those days also, the righteous were taken away to safety and the wicked were left for judgment. Then too, He said in those days He would send forth His servants to give His household meat in due season and that some would do so, but others would say, "My Lord delayeth His coming." It is THEN the Lord said that the kingdom of heaven would be likened unto ten virgins. Now note the time element: Soon after Israel becomes a nation, when the righteous shall be taken away to safety and the wicked left for judgment, faithful servants will be preaching the second coming of Christ and kindred truths, but unfaithful servants will be saying that many other things must take place before the Lord returns. THEN, AT THAT TIME, the kingdom of heaven is compared to the ten virgins of Matthew 25. The continuity of this time element is not broken until Matthew 25:31 where the Greek text says, "BUT when the Son of man shall come in His glory. . ." This shows conclusively that Matthew 24:32 to Matthew 25:30 has to do with the rapture, and Matthew 25:31ff has to do with the revelation - Christ's return to earth in glory.

Now let us look at the parable of the ten virgins in the light of the fact that it has to do with the rapture of the saints. The number ten is significant in itself because it is one of the numbers of perfection of the divine order. It expresses completeness of the order under discussion, showing that nothing is lacking. Think for a moment of Noah. The tenth generation marks the completion of God's dealings with man from Adam to the flood. The Ten Commandments give expression to the completion of God's relation to Israel, showing there is no more or no less, but all is complete in these commandments. The model prayer which our Lord gave His disciples consists of ten petitions, showing that is all, no more, no less. The tithe, or tenth, of the increase shows that man's complete responsibility in material things is expressed in the tenth, no more, no less. Any more given would come under the heading of gifts and offerings. Ten gerahs (half a shekel) is the price of redemption. The ten plagues symbolized God's complete dealings with Egypt. The ten kingdoms of the antichrist set forth the completeness of his dominion. The ten pounds and ten servants of Luke 19 give expression to all the Lord's servants receiving all of His goods and being responsible during His absence for all of His business.

The ten virgins, therefore, must be recognized as symbolizing the completeness of all believers who come forth to meet the Lord at the time of the rapture. The word virgin means undefiled (Revelation 14:4; II Corinthians 11:2), and cannot be used to typify unregenerate sinners, either Jew or Gentile. The word virgin is never used to represent the unsaved. It is always used in connection with a particular New Testament group who are in a particular relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. The word virgin can never be used for Israel because she is the adulterous wife of God. The whole book of Hosea sets forth this truth in no uncertain terms. These ten virgins symbolize a group highly esteemed by the Bridegroom. They have been called to the wedding, they were all appropriately attired, and they all had their lamps burning. In Matthew 25:8, gone out is literally going out, which shows that the lamps had been burning and there had been oil in them. The ten virgins ALL went forth to meet the Bridegroom. They were all waiting for Him. They all slumbered and slept and they were all awakened. Verse 6 intimates very clearly that they all went out, or up, to meet the Lord (the rapture). The place of meeting is in the air (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 ). The only difference between the five prudent and the five foolish is that the wise ones carried a vessel of oil in addition to their lamps. The foolish, though they had oil in their lamps, they did not have the extra vessel of oil. The lamp which Christians carry is the Word of God (Psalms 119:105; II Peter 1:19). Every Christian, that is, every individual born from above has the Holy Spirit indwelling him; but the simple indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not sufficient for one to live a life of honor and glory in faithful obedience to the Lord. Christians must needs be filled again and again by the Spirit of the Lord for special service, witness and enlightenment in the Word of God. (See Acts 4:31, which shows that the disciples were filled again and again.) Further studies in the Acts will reveal that the Spirit came into all believers at Pentecost, but they needed to be filled again and again for service. Christians cannot live on past spiritual experiences. The children of Israel needed to gather manna every day. In order to satisfy their thirst, not only did the Rock have to be smitten but it also had to be spoken to. And then there came days when they themselves had to dig with their staves to get water to quench their thirst. So the Christian today has need of many infillings and empowerings by the Holy Spirit even though he is indwelt by Him.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:29:29 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ten Virgins
by A. Edwin Wilson

The difference, therefore, between the wise and the foolish virgins is simply that the wise continued to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. They made special provisions for additional infillings and empowerings of the Holy Spirit, while the foolish were content to be saved and indwelt by the Spirit, having no desire for further or deeper experiences that they might be used to bring honor and glory to the Lord. This fullness of the Spirit cannot be imparted from one Christian to another, neither can this fullness be obtained at the moment of the ,rapture. Regeneration can take place instantaneously, but many things are involved in being filled with the Holy Spirit after one has been saved.

The climax and the consummation of the parable is a much neglected truth; namely, that participation in the marriage of the Lamb, an invitation to the wedding feast, and sharing in the reign of our Lord's coming Kingdom are dependent entirely upon the life one lives after he is saved. Salvation is absolutely essential to being in the Kingdom, but it is by no means sufficient.

In verse 12 the Lord says, "I know you not." This must be considered as a relative statement because the Lord knows all things. This expression simply means, as regards this particular relationship, or in so far as having a part in the marriage and wedding feast is concerned - He does not know them.

Some believe that the ten virgins symbolize the nation of Israel during the Tribulation and that when the Lord returns some will be believers and some will not. The Scripture teaches, however, that all unbelievers will be exterminated during the Tribulation and that all who remain will be saved, but not until the Lord returns in glory (Zechariah 13:8,9). No where do we find Israel typified as going forth to meet the Bridegroom. The relationship of Christ to Israel is as their King (Matthew 2:2; 27:37). Jesus can come as the Bridegroom only for His bride; and according to the Scripture, the bride is made up of a minority group called out of the mass who are saved between Pentecost and the rapture.

Be instructed by this parable and heed the admonition of verse 13, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."

I purpose, D. V., to give a word-by-word meditation upon this parable. Whereas I hope to say a great deal, please remember there will be much more unsaid. The parable begins with the word "then," which establishes the time, and we must get this time fixed in our mind at the very beginning or we may err grievously in the interpretation.

"THEN ..." There are two outstanding time breaks in Matthew 24 and 25. The first one is introduced by the word "now" (Matthew 24:32). This one introduces the parable of the fig tree which pertains to Israel as a nation, the budding fig tree signifying Israel becoming a nation once again. This took place May 14,1948. There is no break in time until we come to Matthew 25:31. The King James Version leaves out the Greek word translated "but," thereby destroying the effect of the time break.

This verse is introduced in the Greek by the two words "hotan de," which being translated mean "but when." This is called in grammar a disjunctive conjunction, the word "but" being disjunctive in that it announces a new time, separate and distinct from that which has preceded. The word "when" is a conjunction which joins the subject matter of that which follows with that which precedes, though separate and distinct in time. A key expression to the understanding of the entire Olivet discourse is to be found in these two words "hotan de." This manifests a time of transition marking a different time period entirely from that which it follows. The word de means but...now...moreover...however. The word hotan means when.

Because of its importance I call attention to a few different translations. NAN PANIN translates it "but when"; THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT: "now when"; YOUNG'S LITERAL TRANSLATION: "and whenever"; ROTHERHAM'S EMPHASIZED BIBLE: "but whensoever"; DARBY: "but when"; the AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION: "but when"; R.C.H. LENSKI: "when however"; FARRAR FENTON: "but when"; JOHN R. BROADUS: "but when." Dr. David L. Cooper says that this hotan de is a disjunctive conjunction which throws this over against another time by way of contrast.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:31:00 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ten Virgins
by A. Edwin Wilson

In language the average layman can understand this means that Matthew 24:32 to 25:30 has to do with one appearing of the Lord, whereas Matthew  25:31-46 refers to an entirely different time and appearing. So Matthew 24:32 to 25:30 has to do with Christ's appearance in the air when He calls His own to meet Him, and Matthew 25:31-46 speaks of the time when the Lord Jesus Christ comes to the earth. That means the first period mentioned above has to do with Christians and the church, and the second appearance has to do with His revelation unto the Gentiles and also the Jews.

Notice carefully that the word "then" refers to the time that the fig tree buds and while the leaves are still tender (Matthew 24:32); also to the days like unto those of Noah; also when some of His servants will be faithful and others unfaithful (Matthew 24:45-51); also to the time of the judgment seat of Christ (Matthew 25:14-30). The time designated by the word "then" has nothing whatever to do with the Jews or the Gentiles, only the Christians and the church.

"THE KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS..." This expression simply means the reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ OVER the earth for a thousand years. This is the millennium.

BE LIKENED UNTO..." This expression means "similar to" or "comparable to."

"TEN..." The word "ten" is the number of ordinal perfection - completeness as pertaining to the earth. It implies that nothing is wanting, that the number and order are perfect, that the whole cycle is complete; therefore, it means ALL - no more, no less. "Ten servants" means all of His servants; "ten pounds" signifies all of His money; "the ten commandments" signifies all of His commandments. You will note that with the completion of numbers up to ten you have a new beginning - like 10's, 20's, 30's, hundred's, thousand's, million's, etc. If there is anyone thing the number ten means it is perfect completeness.
 
"VIRGINS..." The word "virgin" in the Bible is used to signify unmarried, clean, chaste, pure, and cannot apply to the nation of Israel at all because Israel is the adulterous wife of God who is playing the harlot with many lovers. The whole book of Hosea is a story of Israel, the adulterous wife of God. Israel is never likened unto a virgin, neither to a bride. By implication, numbers of passages of Scripture reveal the church in the relation of a virgin bride to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Bridegroom. The word "virgin" is never used in the Scripture to signify unsaved people. The Holy Spirit uses words like unto dogs, swine, goats, and harlot, to characterize the lost.

These virgins are real virgins and not just pretenders. Jesus Himself calls them virgins and they represent only the righteous, the saved, the redeemed, true believers, those who hold to the true faith. They are the pure, undefiled followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this parable is a parable concerning the virgin bride and the Bridegroom - that is, concerning Jesus Christ and Christians.
 
The expression "ten virgins" simply means all of the Christians. What our Lord is saying is that at the time of His appearing for His church, all Christians will be likened unto ten virgins. If five were lost and five were saved, He would have said the kingdom of the heavens is likened unto five harlots and five virgins, or like unto five goats and five sheep, or like unto five measures of tares and five measures of wheat, or like unto five measures of leaven and five measures of flour. But the Holy Spirit never mixes nor confuses metaphors or symbols.

That part of these virgins are saved and part lost cannot be true, because the Lord does not gather the saved and lost before Him at the same time. There is no such thing in the Scripture as a general resurrection and a general judgment in which saved and lost are gathered together for simultaneous judgment. The judgment of the saved and that of the lost are separated by at least a thousand years.

That these virgins do not represent the nation of Israel should be easily understood when one realizes that at the time of our Lord's return to the earth no Jews will be looking for the Lord, much less half of them. Again, at the time of the return of our Lord to the earth part of the Jews will not be saved and part lost, but all of the lost will have been destroyed in the persecution of the Tribulation and those remaining will constitute a remnant of election according to grace, ALL of which will be saved, not just half of them. This is the time that all Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:26). This is the time when a nation shall be born in a day (Isa. 66:8 ). That these ten virgins typify all of the Christians, both dead and living, when the Lord appears in the air for His own, should be evident to all.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:32:19 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ten Virgins
by A. Edwin Wilson

"TOOK THEIR LAMPS. . ." These lamps show the reality of their profession of faith. Each virgin had a lamp of her own. The lamp was a receptacle such as a hollow bowl or cup which held a wick and oil or pitch. ALL ten of the lamps had oil in them and they ALL burned for some time. The vessels which held the extra supply of oil were separate and distinct from the lamps.

The word "lamp" signifies manifestation, that is, holding forth the word of truth. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalms 119:105). The word of prophecy is "a light that shineth in a dark place" (II Peter 1:19). All ten virgins had lamps, all ten virgins manifested their salvation, all ten virgins revealed their possession of the Word. See Matthew 5:15, 16 for the relationship between Christians and candles or lamps. Only Christians possess lamps.

"WENT FORTH. . ." This expression signifies separation from the world. No one but a Christian can take a position of separation from the world and manifest a desire to see Jesus. It was only Christians who "turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven" (I Thessalonians 1:9). This expression "went forth" signifies the giving up of home, family, business, world, carnal desires and ambitions and a going forth to labor for the Lord while waiting for His return. This is a true picture of the early Christians - an experience absolutely impossible for an unsaved person. See Matthew 16:24ff and 19:27ff.

"TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM. . ." This shows the expectation of all ten virgins of the return of the Bridegroom. This shows their belief in the blessed hope of a soon return and again is an experience possible only to a saved person. The virgins cannot be the Jews because they have not gone, are not going and will not go forth to meet the Bridegroom. Neither can it signify lost people, for the same reason. Whereas the early Christians had a living hope in the Lord's imminent return, not all Christians today have separated themselves from the things of the world and gone forth to meet the Bridegroom. I find innumerable Christians today who know nothing of the coming of the Bridegroom for His bride nor of the marriage feast. Their knowledge has brought them to the cross and there they have stopped. So many who know the Jesus of the cross know nothing of His resurrection, much less His ascension into heaven and His return as a Bridegroom for His bride.

Notice this in regard to the virgins. All ten are described as virgins; all ten had lamps with oil, which was a manifestation of their being saved; all ten went forth in separation from the world, the flesh and the Devil; all ten went forth to meet the Bridegroom, eagerly looking for His return; all ten virgins symbolize born again, Bible believing, separated, premillennial, fundamental Christians.

"And five of them were WISE.. ." This word means "prudent" and is the same word that is used in Matthew 7:24. It carries with it the thought of knowing and understanding the ways of the Lord and conforming to His teaching, obeying His admonitions. This expression means that at the time appointed they had made all the necessary preparations according to His instructions. They had redeemed the time, they had not neglected their salvation, they had worked out their own salvation, they had added to their faith the necessary qualifications which guaranteed an abundant entrance. They recognized that whereas salvation was by grace, rewards were to be meted out on the basis of works.

"And five were FOOLISH. . ." The word translated foolish is moros, from which comes the English word "moron." It means dull, stupid, not acute, slow. It does not mean dead. They were alive but slow of heart, as the I disciples to whom the Lord spoke in Luke 24:25, when He called them "slow of heart." These five foolish virgins symbolize Christians who are interested in many other things than the Word of the Lord. They were satisfied to be saved by the skin of their teeth. They had no interest in rewards and thought it was unbecoming to a Christian to serve the Lord for rewards. Let me say this in connection with rewards. Do not despise the rewards which the Lord has seen fit to offer to faithful, obedient Christians. If Christians would be honest with themselves they would be forced to acknowledge that half the Christians are symbolized by these five imprudent ones.

The foolish took their lamps and took "NO OIL WITH THEM. . ." Verse 4 speaks of the wise taking an extra vessel with extra oil and this is the oil which the foolish did not take. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit of God. All ten of the virgins had oil in their lamps, as is explained in vs. 8, where the literal translation is "Our lamps are going out." All ten lamps had been burning from the time they went forth until the time to meet the Bridegroom.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:33:56 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ten Virgins
by A. Edwin Wilson

It is an extra portion of the Holy Spirit of God which is symbolized by the extra vessel of oil. Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his Spirit. The Old Testament saints had the Holy Spirit to come UPON them from time to time to empower them for particular tasks. They knew nothing of the INDWELLING Holy Spirit. With the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost there was made possible a double portion of the Holy Spirit for every child of God. In John 20:22 the disciples received the Holy Spirit to INDWELL them. This was promised by our Lord in John 14:16, 17. According to John 7:37-39, the INDWELLING Spirit is the portion of everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. But on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out UPON them to empower them to go forth and witness (see Acts 1:8 and 2:1-21). In Ephesians 5:18 we have the command for Christians IN whom the Holy Spirit dwells to be filled - to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to enable them to perform their duties as Christians.

Many Christians have the experience of the double portion of the Spirit of God. He INDWELLS them as a witness that they have been saved and because of obedience, faithfulness, prayerfulness, they also have the extra portion of the Holy Spirit for power. The foolish virgins typify Christians IN whom the Holy Spirit dwells but UPON whom He has not been poured out in great power. You will see in a few moments that the supplying of the extra portion of oil was something which the Christian was to do himself and not something that God was to do.

"While the BRIDEGROOM TARRIED. . ." Jesus Christ only is spoken of in the Scripture as the Bridegroom, and He is the Bridegroom of the church. So this cannot possibly refer to the Husband of Israel, who is not a bridegroom, neither is His wife a virgin. The word' 'tarried" could be a little misleading because in Hebrews 10:37 we are told that "He that shall come will come, and will not tarry," meaning that the time of His return is one of the appointed times of God and when it arrives He is returning, regardless of faithfulness or unfaithfulness of Christians. The fifth verse carries with it the idea of His not returning as soon as they had anticipated.

"THEY ALL SLUMBERED AND SLEPT. . ." That is, they all began to nod and soon fell asleep. There is no difference here between the wise and the imprudent. All of them ceased to look for His return for a while. That period of time in history is known as the Dark Ages. The Reformation was produced by a rediscovery of the truth of the Lord's return and the doctrine of justification by faith. As you read this parable closely you will see the only point of differentiation is that the foolish did not have the extra portion of oil.

"And at MIDNIGHT there was a cry made. . ." Midnight is the time between the end of the second watch and the beginning of the third watch, the third watch being devoted to preparation for His return which will take place in the fourth watch.
 
The midnight "CRY" was "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh." In history about the beginning of the nineteenth century there was a renewed emphasis upon the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. So widespread was the zeal in the soon coming of Christ that I doubt not but that it was the midnight cry and that it rang out along between the years 1800 and 1825. This rediscovery of the doctrine of the soon return of the Lord also marked the inauguration of the greatest missionary activity since the days of the apostles. For a century or better, every great evangelist, every prominent missionary, every outstanding pastor was a man whose life and ministry were characterized by a belief in the imminent return of the Lord. From about 1800 until today we have been living in the light of and in the sound of the midnight cry, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh."

"GO YE OUT TO MEET HIM. . ." Since we know that the Bridegroom is coming but we know not what day, it behooves us to be ready every day. That is the meaning of the words, "Go ye out to meet Him." How Satan delights to hinder this testimony, to keep people from looking for the Lord, because "he that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself." Satan wants neither Christian nor church watching and waiting for the Lord.

"Then ALL those virgins AROSE. . ." I do not believe this can symbolize or point to anything other than the rapture, when the dead in Christ shall arise first and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together. This arising together is to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. And it was after they all arose that the imprudent realized their lamps were going out and that they had need of some extra oil. It was then they realized that though they were saved they were not prepared to stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:35:24 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ten Virgins
by A. Edwin Wilson

They were like those of I Corinthians 3:15. They would suffer loss but they themselves would be saved. Not till then did the necessity of the extra portion of the Holy Spirit register on their consciousness; not till then did they become interested in good works; not till then did they desire rewards, and they cried out to the wise for some of their extra oil. This extra oil was something each individual had to supply for himself, which shows us again that salvation is not involved because salvation is a gift of God and no man can supply it for himself.

When the virgins arose they "TRIMMED THEIR LAMPS, , ," All of the virgins arose and all of the virgins trimmed their lamps; that is, they made preparation to render an account of the deeds done in the flesh. Such action would take place before the judgment seat of Christ. Ofttimes today I am asked if the world is getting better or worse. I reply, "Both." The wicked are growing more so day by day but there are also those comparable to the wise virgins who are making diligent efforts to be ready when the Lord returns.

"Give us of your oil, for our lamps are GOING OUT, , , " These lamps of the foolish have been burning since they took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom; that is, they have had the Holy Spirit in them since the day of their salvation, but as they approach the judgment seat of Christ they do not have the extra portion of oil which will guarantee works meriting rewards. They ask of their wise companions but they cannot comply, for this extra vessel of oil is of individual provision after one has received the indwelling Spirit.

I call your attention to the following list of names and works wherein the translation "are going out" is used: the AMPLIFIED NEW TESTAMENT, Panin's NUMERIC NEW TESTAMENT, Moffett's NEW TRANSLATION, Williams' PRIVATE TRANSLATION, Young's LITERAL TRANSLATION, Rotherham's EMPHASIZED BIBLE, Goodspeed's AMERICAN TRANSLATION, Einspruch's NEW TRANSLATION, Farrar Fenton's HOLY BIBLE IN MODERN ENGLISH, the AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION, 1901 Edition, Weymouth's NEW TESTAMENT IN MODERN ENGLISH.

"The wise answered, saying, NOT SO, lest there be not enough for us and you "," Works done by one person cannot be credited to another's account. Each one must do his own work and earn his own reward. Just as a child will not be saved because the parent is a Christian, neither will an unfaithful Christian be rewarded if his companions or friends are faithful. Each Christian individually must appear before the judgment seat of Christ for his individual judgment and rewards.

"Go ye rather to them that SELL and BUY for yourselves, , ," This reveals that the extra portion of oil is one that an individual Christian can secure for himself and it is not something that is given by the grace of God as are salvation and the indwelling Spirit. The provision to stand before the judgment seat of Christ expecting rewards is to be an individual effort on the part of each Christian. Those who make that provision are termed wise virgins. Those who do not are termed foolish virgins.

"While THEY WENT to buy, the BRIDEGROOM CAME.. ." The foolish virgins, realizing that further preparation is needed, attempt to make such provision; but ere their actions are completed the Bridegroom comes and those who are ready go in to the marriage. The judgment seat of Christ reveals the ones who are ready - that is , those who will constitute the bride of Christ - and they go in to the marriage of the Lamb as the bride of Christ. The foolish, not being prepared, are shut out of the wedding. They are comparable to the man without a wedding garment, described in Matthew 22:11-14.

"And the door was SHUT. . ." Those who are not prepared when they appear at the judgment seat of Christ will have no further opportunity of preparation but are shut out from being a member of the bride of Christ, though they themselves are saved, yet so as by fire.

The foolish virgins cry out, "LORD, LORD, OPEN TO US . . ." The expression "Lord, Lord" reveals that they are saved because I Corinthians 12:3 tells us that no one can say "Lord, Lord" except by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The same is true of those in Matthew 7:22 who do many wonderful works in the name of the Lord but they do not the works which the Lord commanded them, hence they are being shut out of the place of rewards. These are the ones who will shed many bitter tears, weep, moan and mourn because then it shall be dawning on them that they too could have been a member of the bride of Christ, earning a place of sovereignty in His coming kingdom. But instead of being a sovereign in His Kingdom, they will simply be one of many of the subjects. No amount of effort or endeavor can alter the fact that they are shut out from being a part of the bride of Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:37:08 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ten Virgins
by A. Edwin Wilson

"But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I KNOW YOU NOT.. ." This does not mean that He does not know their names, neither their works, but it means, relatively speaking, as far as the kingdom is concerned, "I do not know you "; as far as being a member of the bride of Christ is concerned, "I know you not"; as far as rewards, honors and glory are concerned, "I know you not." "I know you not" carries with it the idea that "I do not recognize nor approve of your record as a Christian." This has nothing to do with their salvation but solely with their rewards.

Paul was fearful that he might be disapproved and have no crown even though he was saved. See I Corinthians 9:27. Esau forfeited his birthright, part of which was the right to rule and reign, though he did not forfeit his sonship. See Hebrews 12:16, 17. It is one thing to be a subject in the coming kingdom of our Lord but it is an entirely different matter to be a sovereign, and only those wise virgins who have the extra portions of oil shall share in the reign of our coming Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus what Jesus is saying in this 12th verse is that as far as the millennial reign is concerned and as far as ruling and reigning in that kingdom is concerned, "I know you not."

There is no teaching quite so conducive to godless living on the part of Christians as the teaching that all Christians will rule and reign with Christ regardless of how they live. There is not one word of Scripture to warrant a disobedient, unfaithful Christian's believing that he will reign and rule with the Lord.

Bloomfield in his COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT  translates this, "I do not recognize you as belonging to this group." Knox in his NEW TRANSLATION translates it, "I do not recognize you." A. B. Simpson says that "I know you not" simply means that they are not in the circle of His intimate, personal friendship. He does not exclude them from salvation but excludes them from the place of the bride and the innermost center of His communion and love. Consider Peter, James and John, being an inner circle of Christ's disciples, whereas the other nine are shut out from many places where the three enter. Olshausen says the words "I know you not" cannot refer to eternal condemnation, for the foolish virgins are only excluded from the marriage of the Lamb and must be viewed as parallel with those described in I Corinthians 3:15, whose building is destroyed but who are not deprived of eternal happiness. The foolish virgins possess the general condition for happiness, which is faith, but lack the requisite qualification for reigning in the kingdom of heaven, which is sanctification, which in turn proceeds from faith.

All Christians who are living today should be vigilant in watching and waiting for the Lord. He may come at any time and He will come at a time when He is least expected. It is possible to be watching for the coming of the Lord and still not be prepared for the moment when He comes. One watches for the Lord by being diligent in prayer, dwelling deeply in the Word, being obedient to His commands and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

My thought concerning the parable of the ten virgins is that it is a parable to Christians, warning of the possibility of some Christians being unprepared to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, thereby forfeiting their rewards, but not their salvation.

"WATCH THEREFORE, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh. . ."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:39:30 AM
Prophecy - Signs
No Wedding Garment
by A. Edwin Wilson


NO WEDDING GARMENT

.. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless" (Matthew 22:11, 12).
 
One of the hindrances to an understanding of the Parable of the Wedding Feast is to be found in the difficulty of translating the Greek into English. I will quote from several scholars and then see what is the conclusion of the matter.

1. In Vincent's WORD STUDIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT - Vol. I, page 120, we read: "Not having (me echon). It is hardly possible to convey the subtle sense of the negative particle (me) to the English reader. A different word for 'not' (ouk) is used in the preceding verse, expressing an 'outward, objective' fact which attracted the King's notice. The man had 'not' (ouk) a wedding garment. When the King addresses the guest, he is thinking not so much of the outward token of disrespect, as of the guest's mental attitude toward the proprieties of the occasion. It is as if he had said, 'What were you thinking of, where was your respect for me and for my guests, when you allowed yourself to come hither "not" (me) having the proper garment, as you knew you ought to have?' It implies, as Dr. Morrison observes, that the man was conscious of the omission when he entered, and was intentionally guilty of the neglect. This distinction between the two negative particles rests on the law of the Greek language, according to which 'ou' and its compounds stand where something is to be denied as a matter of fact and 'me' and its compounds when something is to be denied as a matter of thought."

2. Goebel in THE PARABLES OF JESUS, page 360, says, "The point of the question is not, how he could have despised the King's festal garb and preferred his own, BUT how he could have come in without a wedding garment at all. And eiserchesthai does not mean a passive getting in, in which case the question of surprise must rather have been addressed to the servants who admitted him, but it is an active entering which the subjective negation me echon also shows. Therefore: 'Friend, how couldst thou enter here with the consciousness of not having a wedding garb?' - This silence is a confession that he has no excuse, because in fact nothing but criminal disrespect for the King led him to neglect providing himself with a suitable dress."

3. Morgan - PARABLES AND METAPHORS OF OUR LORD: "Matthew says, the King 'saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment.' Then he said, 'Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?' The little word 'not' appeared twice over, but is it not the same on those two occasions. The first word (ou) simply marks a fact; he had not it on. But when the King asked him the reason, Jesus used a slightly different word for not (me), which suggested not merely the fact that he lacked the wedding garment, but that he did so definitely, of his own thought, and will and intention. When the man came in not having a wedding garment, and the King talked to him, he said, It is not only a fact that you have not a wedding garment; you did not intend having one. Your 'not' is the 'not' of definite willing. You are determined not to have it on. Your presence in here is the supreme sign of your rebellion against the order set up, of which this marriage feast is the great symbol."

4. Robertson - WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT - Vol I, page 175; "'Not having a wedding garment. . .' There is a subtle distinction between 'me' and 'ou' like our subjective and objective notions. . . Wunsche does report a parable by a rabbi of a king who set no time for his feast and the guests arrived, some properly dressed waiting at the door; others in their working clothes did not wait but went off to work and, when the summons suddenly came, they had no time to dress properly and were made to stand and watch while the others partook of the feast."

From the above quotations of acknowledged Bible scholars, one can see that several things are in evidence as regards the wedding garment.

1. It is possible for every guest to be able to supply himself with the necessary garment. Do not make the mistake of so many teachers of the Word by confusing the garment of the righteousness of God, which is every Christian's through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, with the garment which is made up of the righteousnesses of the saints and becomes each Christian's garment according to his own righteous acts and works.

2. In Revelation 19:7, 8 one sees that this garment is to be provided by the individual himself. The rebuke of the wedding guest who had no wedding garment was because of his own willful refusal to provide the wedding garment. To appreciate such a mental attitude one has only to take notice of the many Christians today who scoff at the idea that it makes any difference how a Christian lives. There is an utter and absolute disregard of righteous living and earning of rewards on the part of too many teachers and students of the Word.

3. The absence of the wedding garment does not prevent one from being in the rapture and in the area of the kingdom of the heavens, but it does prevent one from being a part of the wedding and forces one to view the wedding and reception from an area outside the light of the festive activities, which is described by our Lord as the darkness, the outer. This means a darkness just beyond the circle of the light of the feast and has no reference whatever to hell, which is not a place of darkness because of the lights of the fires.

4. The above truths should be a stern reminder to every Christian to busy himself with doing the work which the Lord has foreordained that he should do in order that he shall appear at the marriage of the Lamb with his wedding garment.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:40:59 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Disapproved
by A. Edwin Wilson


DISAPPROVED

"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (I Corinthians 9:27).

When Paul speaks of himself as being a possible castaway, he has no reference whatever to the loss of eternal life; but in the light of the coming judgment seat of Christ, wherein rewards and crowns are given according to works, Paul does think of the possibility of his being instrumental in many people being saved and earning crowns, thereby gaining a place of sovereignty in the coming kingdom of our Lord, while he himself might be disapproved as far as rewards and crowns are concerned.

Paul never doubted his salvation for a minute and could say that nothing could separate him from the love of God which was in Christ. He could also say that he knew whom he had believed and was convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that He could keep that and guard it against that day. But he was not sure about the prize which was a reward (Philippians 3:13, 14).

That it is possible to be saved and still not be a participant in the kingdom but only an observer, is set forth very clearly in the experience of Moses. That Moses was saved is evidenced by the fact that he appeared on the mount of transfiguration with Elijah and the Lord Jesus Christ, and Moses had a faithful service of forty years in leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. He was God's chosen herald. He was God's appointed deliverer. He directed the children of Israel in the exodus from Egypt and for forty years across the desert, but was not permitted to enter into the promised land (the promised land is typical of the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ).
 
God took Moses up into a high mountain and permitted him to look over into, to see and to observe but not to enter. When Moses begged the Lord to let him go in, the Lord said, "Speak to Me no more of this matter" (Deuteronomy 3:25, 26).

I Corinthians 3:12-15 brings out very clearly that one can be saved without any good works to his credit. Not only was Moses forbidden to enter the promised land but only two men out of over 600,000 saved men who left Egypt entered the promised land. They were Joshua and Caleb. All the children of Israel who perished in the wilderness were not lost. They were under the blood and had been baptized unto Moses, but God did not permit them to enter the promised land, which lesson teaches us that though we are saved and baptized, it does not necessarily follow that we will be sovereigns in the coming kingdom. Saved, yes. But not kings unless we have overcome.

In Hebrews 12:16, 17 we read of Esau being disapproved for the inheritance, which was threefold: First, a double portion; second, to be a priest; third, to rule over the tribe. His disapproval was because of his lack of appreciation for future spiritual blessings. But that he continued as a child of his father with some minor blessing is manifested in Genesis 27:34-40.
 
Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob, was also disapproved because of sin against his father, and he too forfeited his birthright but still retained his position as a child of Jacob, and never ceased to be numbered among the children of Israel. His double portion was given to Joseph, his priesthood to Levi and his judgeship to Judah.

Because of the possibility of Christians being disapproved for a place in the coming kingdom, though they are the possessors of eternal life, the Spirit of the Lord has given us this admonition: II Corinthians 5:10-11a: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. KNOWING THEREFORE THE TERROR OF THE LORD, WE PERSUADE MEN."

There can be a "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" from our Lord. There can also be crowns, which designate one as a sovereign; and there can be municipalities over which a Christian can rule and reign. But these things, possible for every Christian, are contingent upon obedience to our Lord's commands.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:42:37 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Saved But Disinherited
by A. Edwin Wilson


SAVED BUT DISINHERITED

There seems to be in the minds of many Christians a hazy but general idea that after one has received the Lord as Saviour, it does not make any difference how he lives because all Christians are going to inherit the kingdom of heaven and share alike in Christ's coming kingdom. Nothing could be further from the truth as set forth in the Word of God. For instance, suffering for Christ's sake is a prerequisite to ruling and reigning with Him, but it is not a prerequisite to salvation (II Timothy 2:12); if a Christian lives an undisciplined personal life, he might be rejected for a place in Christ's kingdom (I Corinthians 9:27); if one's carnal nature gains the ascendancy over the spiritual nature, one can miss the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-21; Ephesians 5:3-7); failure to occupy until the Lord comes, or the misuse or failure to use the pounds or talents delivered to one may result in his having no place of service in the Lord's kingdom (Luke 19:11-27; Matthew 25:14-30).

All Christians are called the "firstborn of God," but not all Christians receive the inheritance that belongs to the firstborn. One having been born from above cannot become unborn and lose his salvation, but he can be disinherited and lose the place that would be bestowed upon him during the millennial reign of Christ. The inheritance of the firstborn is threefold: 1) The firstborn was to be the ruler of the tribe or family; 2) the firstborn was to be the priest of the tribal or family group; 3) the firstborn was to receive a double portion of the inheritance. If there were twelve sons in the family, the inheritance would be divided into thirteen portions and the firstborn would get two-thirteenths, and each of the other sons, one-thirteenth. There are two classic examples of this found in the Word of God for our enlightenment. In Genesis 49:3, we learn that Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, lost his inheritance because of sin. The tribal rulership which Reuben lost was bestowed upon Judah. The priestly office which Reuben lost was given to Levi. The double inheritance which Reuben lost was bestowed upon Joseph whose two sons Ephraim and Manasseh were adopted by Jacob. Each received a full inheritance, and thereby Joseph received the double portion through his two sons.

Esau is another firstborn who forfeited his birthright through sin. Study carefully Hebrews 12:14-17, with special attention to Esau's being disinherited as the firstborn. He was to be the tribal ruler and priest, and receive two-thirds of the inheritance, with Jacob receiving one-third. But for one morsel of meat, for one moment of fleshly satisfaction, for one carnal indulgence, he forfeited the birthright, though he did not forfeit his son-ship. We note in Genesis 27:34-40, when Isaac blessed Jacob, and Esau realized that his birthright was gone, he began to cry, to beg and to plead with Issac to repent, i.e., change his mind; but Isaac would not, could not, and did not repent; so the inheritance, despised by Esau, became Jacob's. It is noted in Genesis 27:39, 40 that Esau received some minor blessings from Jacob, and though he remained a son, he was disinherited.

It is forever true that once having been saved, an individual can never under any condition be lost; but he can lose or forfeit his birthright and enter into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ without a single good work to his credit (I Corinthians 3:15), having no rewards or a place of service in Christ's coming kingdom. For one thousand years the Lord God Almighty is going to make a difference between faithful and unfaithful Christians. That, beloved, is going to produce many tears which will not be wiped away until the close of the millennium (Revelation 21:3, 4).

But do not despair. There is hope and there is time. In I John 1:9, we read that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"; and as long as a Christian is alive he has opportunity to confess his sins, have them blotted out, and start over. But let us not be presumptuous. Let us remember that Moses, though saved and a servant of God for eighty years, was shut out of the promised land (typical of the millennial reign of Christ). God did take him to the top of Mt. Pisgah and let him look over into the promised land, even though he could not enter.
 
Now remember - salvation is by grace, but rewards are strictly on the basis of works, and the rewards for our works are to be revealed and made manifest during the thousand years in which Christ reigns here upon the earth.

Therefore, let us give heed, be diligent, be zealous, and abound in the work of the Lord, for we know not when He shall return.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:45:07 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Terror Of The Lord
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE TERROR OF THE LORD

There is a philosophy abroad in the land today which seeks to free Christians from any responsibility toward God in regard to their daily living. Instead of following the Word of God which holds Christians accountable for their deeds after they are saved, this teaching lulls them into a state of complacency by asserting that only good deeds will be brought into consideration at the judgment seat of Christ. Their argument proceeds somewhat after this fashion: The judgment seat of Christ has for its purpose the rewarding of saints, the expression of thanks on the behalf of God to all Christians and the bestowal of praise upon them for good deeds which every Christian, they say, has done. Their line of thinking is that the Greek word Bema, translated Judgment Seat, is always used as a place of reward and not of judgment. I call your attention now to every time this word bema occurs in the New Testament and let you judge for yourself as to whether judgment is involved or not.

In Matthew 27:19 it is used in connection with Pilate when he is sitting in judgment on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is from this place that Pilate issues the decree that Jesus is to be crucified. Does that sound like rewards, praise and thanks?

In Acts 12:21 Herod is seated upon his judgment seat, a place from which judgment was executed as well as rewards issued. We find him smitten by God and eaten of worms. Does that sound like rewards, praise and thanks only?

In Acts 18:12 Gallio, seated upon his judgment seat, executes justice, but in the case of Paul refuses to pass sentence; however, verse 17 tells us of one being beaten before Gallio's judgment seat. Does this sound like rewards, praise and thanks only?

In Acts 25:6, 12 Paul is brought before the judgment seat of Festus and is committed to appear before Caesar for trial and sentencing. Neither is this rewards, praise and thanks, but rather judgment.

In Romans 14:10 Christians are forbidden to stand in judgment on their brothers because all Christians must stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of themselves unto the Lord. In II Corinthians 5: 10, 11a we have a specific statement: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. . ." Here one is to give an account for his deeds whether they are good or evil. Paul, realizing the terror of the Lord as Christians appear at the judgment seat and answer for their evil deeds, seeks to persuade men that they so labor that they may be accepted of the Lord.

Colossians 3:24, 25 calls to our attention that those who please the Lord shall receive rewards, and those who have done wrong shall receive recompense commensurate with the wrong which has been done. The so-called reasoning which relieves one of any responsibility at the judgment seat of Christ is based on a mistranslation and a misinterpretation of I Corinthians 4:1-5. Here, in dealing with the stewardship of Christians, it is required that one be found faithful. In concluding the fifth verse Paul says, ". . .then shall every man have praise of God." The mistranslation is in "every man." It should be translated "each man," which refers to the steward of verse 2 who is found faithful. In I Corinthians 3:15 we are told expressly and conclusively that a man may be saved and have no good works to his credit. Such a man will not receive rewards, will not be praised, will not be thanked but rather will suffer loss though he himself shall be saved. If every man regardless of his works is to be praised and thanked by the Lord consider for a moment what it does to these passages of Scripture.

In Matthew 22:11-14, it would have the King praising and thanking the disobedient one because he appeared at the marriage without the wedding garment; but he was not so treated. In Matthew 24:45-51, it would have the Lord thanking the unfaithful servant for teaching that the Lord delayed His coming. It would have the Lord thanking the unfaithful servant for smiting his fellow servants and for eating and drinking with the drunken. It would have the Lord praising the unfaithful servant and giving him a place of rulers hip in the kingdom instead of setting him aside and putting him with the hypocrites. (A hypocrite, under law, was a constituted leader of the Jews who, instead of serving the Lord, served other interests. In the Christian era, a hypocrite is one who lives for the world, the flesh and the devil.) It would have the Lord, in Matthew 25:12, praising and thanking the foolish virgins for not bringing some extra oil along with the oil which they had in their lamps. It would have the Lord, in Matthew 25:26, thanking instead of condemning the wicked servant for not using the talent committed to him. In Luke 19:22-26, it would have the Lord thanking and praising His unfaithful servant for hiding the pound instead of using it.

The unscripturalness and folly of such reasoning are evident to any who read the above mentioned Scriptures.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:47:33 AM
Prophecy - Signs
"By The Skin Of My Teeth"
by A. Edwin Wilson


"BY THE SKIN OF MY TEETH"

This is an expression we hear so often today when rewards for faithful service, and crowns to wear during the kingdom, are mentioned. Some say, "I am not interested in rewards or crowns - just so I get to heaven by the skin of my teeth will be good enough for me."

The Holy Spirit has been pleased to given us a course of conduct or schedule of growth that will enable us to have an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of our Lord. In II Peter 1:5-11, we read, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue,' and to virtue knowledge,' and to knowledge temperance,' and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness,' and to godliness brotherly kindness,' and to brotherly kindness charity,' for if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure,' for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. "

Any discussion of rewards necessitates a re-emphasis of the fact that salvation is by grace and grace alone. One does not have to do anything to be saved; one does not have to do anything to stay saved, and one does not have to do anything to prove that he has been saved. Salvation, being by grace, is an inward work and only God knows what is within man.

But there is a definite place for faithfulness and loyalty in Christian living and service; and the result of a godly life is in rewards and crowns, positions of favor, and honor, and glory. These are to be revealed when the Lord establishes His kingdom. There should be no trouble in distinguishing between salvation and rewards if this simple thought is kept in mind: salvation is by grace, and rewards are according to works.

The second epistle of Peter is addressed to the same group as his first epistle (II Peter 3:1) - Jews who have obtained like precious faith with the apostles. This faith is obtained rather than attained. This means it is a free gift of God - not of works - all of grace, plus nothing. The exhortation is that grace and peace might be multiplied to them (1:2) and that they might become partakers of the divine nature (1:4). This is to be accomplished by a simple addition of certain attributes as one puts off the old man and puts on the new man. Beginning with verse 5, one is urged to give all diligence. The giving of diligence calls for earnest endeavor, faithful striving, and zealous yearning after the things of God.

To faith (which has been given to us) we are to add virtue. Ordinarily we think of moral purity and chastity when the word virtue is used, but the real meaning in this passage is manliness, moral courage, and determination to grow in grace and knowledge. This is wonderfully exemplified in the lives of Joseph and Daniel in their determination to live for the Lord. If one is to excel in the Christian experience, there must be a solemn and determined resolve to live for the Lord. This is virtue.

Now to virtue add knowledge. There are many who are very zealous and determined in their service for the Lord. They are very rigorous in their separation from the things that defile; but they may be likened to the Jews of whom Paul wrote in Romans 10:2, "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." There is always the question, "What is wrong with this and what is wrong with that?" They desire to do right but have not the knowledge. "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God. . ." (John 7:17). Here we learn that obedience to the Word of God is the price one must pay for increase of knowledge. One must live up to the light he now has if he hopes to receive more knowledge in the things of God. The Word of God and the will of God cannot be known apart from obedience.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:49:14 AM
Prophecy - Signs
"By The Skin Of My Teeth"
by A. Edwin Wilson

Now to knowledge add temperance. Again the common usage of the word is misleading. Ordinarily when temperance is mentioned we think of the use of intoxicating liquors. This is a very small aspect of the word. It really means self-government or self-control. The Apostle Paul speaks of this in his own personal experience: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (I Corinthians 9:27). This is also exemplified in the experience of Esau and the bowl of pottage (Genesis 25:27-34). Temperance, or self-control, applies to every realm of our human experience - not only what we drink but also what we eat, our pleasures, our labors, our relationship to our fellowman, and even our worship.

To temperance we are to add patience. Possibly a better word in this connection would be endurance. In II Timothy 2:12, Paul says if we suffer we shall also reign with Christ. The word suffer means endurance and has the meaning of exercising patience; that is, if we endure patiently we shall reign with Christ. Many times when we, through knowledge of the will of God and the exercise of self-control, find ourselves living a life different to those around us, we become impatient with them because of their way of life. But we need to exercise patience. In my own personal experience, when I become impatient with fellow-Christians, the Lord has a way of causing me to look back over my own rough and rugged path, and it enables me to be a little more patient toward them.

To patience we are to add godliness. Strictly speaking, godliness is being godlike. The world has utilized two approaches in its vain attempt to become godlike. First, the negative approach. This consists entirely of quitting this and quitting that; not doing this and not doing that. This is a different experience to putting off the old man. The second approach is positive: do this and do that; if one is saved he will do this and do that. This is also a different experience to putting on the new man. The Bible way of becoming godlike is entirely different. In II Corinthians 3:18 Paul says, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory, to glory, even as the Spirit of the Lord." We learn in this verse that one becomes godlike by gazing upon the face of the Lord. Since mortal man cannot look directly on the face of God, he must look at Him as in a mirror; that is, he will have a reflected view rather than a direct one. The mirror into which he looks and sees the face of the Lord is the Word of God. By gazing continually upon the face of the Lord we are changed into the same image. In the realm of human experience we have noticed men and their wives who have lived together for decades, and having spent so much time together they come to look alike. God's method for us to become godlike is that we spend much time gazing upon Him in His Word.

To godliness we are to add brotherly kindness, or love. As one grows in the knowledge of the Lord he learns to love other Christians. In fact, in I John 3:14, we are told that we know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. Here we have love of the brethren as an individual test of the genuineness of our Christian experience. Some are bitter and ugly toward other Christians because of a difference in belief or practice. Such should not be. As we grow we should add to brotherly love, love. This not only means that we love the brethren but our enemies as well. (See Matthew 5:43-48.)

Now if these things be in us and abound, we will be fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord.

Peter says that the Christian who does not have the above named attributes has three things wrong with him: 1) He is blind; that is, he cannot see the future blessings that are to be realized in the coming kingdom of our Lord. 2) He is nearsighted; he cannot see very far even in this lifetime, and consequently, misses most of the blessings the Lord has for him here and now. 3) He has suffered loss of memory and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins; therefore, he misses the assurance of his salvation and cannot have the peace of God in his heart.

The way to make certain our calling and election is to give diligence in adding these attributes. If we do so we shall never stumble. The word fall in verse 10 really means to stumble as we walk along the Christian pathway.

Those Christians who have been faithful and diligent in the growth and in the knowledge of the Lord, will have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of the Lord - not just by the skin of the teeth - but an entrance with the acclaim, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" - with the reward, "thou hast been faithful over a little, I will make you ruler over ten cities" - and with honor and glory: "enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

If God has blessings to offer to us in crowns and rewards, the ambition of our Christian life should be to earn them.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:50:52 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Missing The Kingdom
by A. Edwin Wilson


MISSING THE KINGDOM

Did you know it is possible for a person to be saved, have eternal life, and yet miss the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Recently we encountered one who tried to explain that after a person is saved it does not make any difference what he does, how he lives, or what sins he commits, that G9d will not call him into account because all his sins are under the blood. Holiness, obedience and faithfulness are words that have been expunged from his vocabulary and they have no part in his Christian experience.

It does make a difference how one lives. His part and place in the thousand year reign of Christ is dependent upon it. The judgment seat of Christ has been established in order to judge Christians for their good works and for their evil works. It is there that the terror of the Lord is going to be revealed against Christians who have sinned and have not confessed those sins (II Corinthians 5:10, 11).

In Galatians 5:17-21, we have a partial description of the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. Before man becomes a Christian he is, in the terms of Scripture, a natural man. He has but one nature and that is a sinful nature. He sins because he cannot help it. Being a sinful creature he must of necessity sin. After man is born from above, he receives a new nature and becomes the possessor of a dual personality; that is, he still has the old natural man and he also has the new Spiritual man. Now the conflict begins. The flesh strives against the Spirit and the Spirit strives against the flesh. Paul gives a good description of this conflict in Romans 7:15-25. One day the flesh is in the ascendancy and the next day the Spirit is uppermost; but the conflict is present. And the Word of God tells us that the conflict will continue until our bodies have been redeemed (Romans 8:22, 23). The old flesh has its appetites and one can minister to that appetite or one can starve the fleshly nature, thereby weakening it and rendering it ineffective. Our Spiritual nature has an appetite and it can be nurtured so that it will grow in grace and knowledge, or it can be starved and stifled and made powerless. No wonder the Apostle Paul cried out, "0 wretched man that I am. Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

In Galatians 5:19-21, we have a list of the works of the flesh which are possible experiences for Christians if they let the flesh gain the ascendancy. The Spirit of God tells us through Paul that all who indulge in these works of the flesh shall not inherit, or enter into, the kingdom of God. (The kingdom of God, or of heaven, or of our Lord, which a Christian inherits, is the millennial reign of Christ and is not eternal life.) Such individuals described in this passage are Christians. An unsaved person does not have this conflict.

Let us consider briefly these sins against which God warns Christians. There are seventeen in all and they are resolved into five classes. The first class are sins against the body: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. The second group are the sins of worship: idolatry and witchcraft. The third group of sins are the differences between Christians in their worship: hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions and heresies. The fourth group are sins of selfishness: envyings and murders. The fifth group are sins of excessive pleasure: drunkenness, revellings, and such like.

Let us look at these briefly: 1. Sins of the flesh. It is well to keep in mind the fact that God never warns His people against sins unless they are capable of and liable to commit such sins. When He warns His children against the sins of adultery, fornication, uncleanness and lasciviousness, it is because they are possible. David, a man after God's own heart, was guilty of adultery and murder. There are ministers who have been guilty of these sins. There are leaders in church activities, Sunday School teachers, youth workers and such like who have been guilty of these sins. Is a Christian lost because of the failure here? David said, "I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." The Lord Jesus Christ says, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." What is the penalty for a Christian who commits these sins and does not confess and forsake them? He misses the kingdom.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:52:53 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Missing The Kingdom
by A. Edwin Wilson

2. Sins of worship. Idolatry is worshiping other gods rather than the one true and living God. Christians have long been guilty of idolatry. The Lord warns against covetousness which is idolatry. There are those who make an idol out of their family, that is, put their family ahead of God. Some do the same with their business; others with their pleasures. Many, many things become idols to Christians because God is relegated to the background when the two come into conflict. The other sin of worship is witchcraft which simply is seeking by magic, necromancy, divination, or fortune telling, to gain knowledge which God has not revealed in His Word. Many pet superstitions of Christians come under the heading of witchcraft. God hates it; and in the days of the Law, on one occasion, He commanded the children of Israel to exterminate whole nations because they were given over to witchcraft.

What happens when a Christian commits these sins of idolatry or witchcraft and does not confess and forsake them? He misses the kingdom.

3. Sins in worship. (a) Hatred means to dislike or feel an aversion to; (b) variance is deviation or discrepancy in belief and practice; (c) emulation is an endeavor to equal or excel; (d) wrath means violent anger or rage; (e) strife is contention for superiority; (f) sedition is resistance to the authority of God and His Word (in civil life this is called treason); (g) heresy is a promotion of a division because of doctrinal difference. What happens to a Christian who is guilty of these and does not confess and forsake them? He misses the kingdom.

4. Sins of selfishness. (a) Envying means a disregard for another's property or possessions; (b) murder is a disregard for another's life. According to the Scripture, if one hates another he is guilty of murder.

What happens to the Christian who is guilty of these two sins and does not confess or forsake them? He misses the kingdom.

5. Sins of pleasure. (a) Drunkenness is the drinking of too much intoxicant; (b) revellings is wild, boisterous, unrestrained hilarity which marks many entertainments given by Christians; (c) and such like. This includes all kinds of worldly pleasures indulged in to an unrestrained excess.

What happens to a Christian, given over to such, who does not confess and forsake them? He misses the kingdom.

Hear ye the Word of the Lord: ". . . of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Saved? Yes. But all their works are burned and they have no place in His kingdom. After the thousand years they will enter into life everlasting; but for one thousand years God is going to make a difference between Christians who are faithful unto Him and those who are not.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:54:18 AM
Prophecy - Signs
A Castaway - Or Missing The Kingdom
by A. Edwin Wilson


A CASTAWAY - OR MISSING THE KINGDOM

In I Corinthians 9:27, the Apostle Paul speaks of keeping his body under subjection lest that when he had preached to others, he himself should be a castaway. Many have erroneously interpreted this to mean that Paul was fearful of losing his salvation; however, a study of the context makes clear the thought that Paul was not afraid of losing his salvation but of being rejected as a ruler in the coming kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The preferred translation of the word castaway in the King James Version is "disapproved" or "rejected." The same word is used in Hebrews 12:17, where Esau is rejected as the firstborn. The latter part of I Corinthians 9 and the first part of I Corinthians 10 speaks of rewards that can be won or forfeited by Christians. In I Corinthians 9:24 he likens the Christian life to a race that is run by athletes at the Olympic games. In the race, many ran but only one received first prize. Christians are engaged in a race in which all may win the prize. Paul speaks of men disciplining themselves in order to excel in running and thereby win first prize. This prize was a corruptible crown like a laurel wreath; but we as Christians are striving for a crown that is incorruptible. Therefore, Paul says, "When I run this race I do not run all over the race track, but I press straight toward the goal. Neither do I waste time shadow boxing, but I really keep my body in subjection."

Paul was not fearful of losing his salvation because he said, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (II Timothy 1:12). He also wrote the eighth chapter of Romans, which is a classic on the security of the believer. No, he had no fear whatsoever of losing his salvation, but he was afraid of losing his reward.

All rewards are for faithfulness and all crowns for loyalty. All positions of trust and honor will extend through the millennium and will be meted out to Christians on the basis of their faithfulness. (See II Corinthians 5:10; Luke 19:11-27; II Timothy 2:12.) In I Corinthians 10:1-15, the Apostle Paul draws an analogy between the children of Israel and the Christians of this dispensation. He tells us in the sixth and eleventh verses of this passage that the things which happened to the children of Israel, happened as types and that they are written particularly for our admonition. Let us now consider the example of the children of Israel in this passage: "Moreover, brethren, 1 would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,' and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat of the same spiritual meat,' and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). This description leaves no doubt whatsoever concerning the relationship between the children of Israel and God. They were all under the blood; they were all baptized unto Moses; they were all delivered from Egypt (a type of sin and the world); they were peculiarly God's own people and shared and enjoyed the blessings that accrued unto them as such. But with many of them God was not pleased and He overthrew them in the wilderness. The fact of the matter is, only two of that particular generation, Joshua and Caleb, entered into the promised land. Some erroneously think that the promised land is a type of eternal life, but it is not. All those who were overthrown in the wilderness were saved. One does well to call to mind that Moses himself did not enter the promised land. God permitted him to view it (Deuteronomy 34:1-4) but would not let him enter in. That was because of the sin Moses committed toward the end of his career. This reminds us that a man may be a faithful servant of the Lord for years, yet sin in his closing days and lose his rewards. (See Revelation 3: 11 .)

Faithfulness unto the end is part of the task of serving the Lord. We know Moses was saved because he appeared with Elijah and Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. He is also listed in the "Hall of Fame" in Hebrews 11:23ff. What then is the significance of his being barred from the promised land? Just this: The promised land is a type of the millennial reign of Christ; and the truth we want to emphasize in this particular article is, though the children of Israel were saved and had eternal life, yet because of their unbelief in the Word of God pertaining to the promised land, all but two were barred from entering into that land to enjoy its blessings.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:55:57 AM
Prophecy - Signs
A Castaway - Or Missing The Kingdom
by A. Edwin Wilson

The teaching which the Apostle Paul was emphasizing in I Corinthians 10, is that whereas a person may be saved and have life everlasting, it is still possible for him to miss the millennial reign of Christ because of disobedience, unfaithfulness, and sin; and when Paul says he keeps his body under subjection lest he be disapproved, he simply means that since he has been saved he is trying to live and serve in such a way that he will not be cast away as was Moses and the majority of the children of Israel. He wants to be approved and enter into the reign of Christ just as Joshua and Caleb entered into the promised land.

Too long Christians have been content to accept the grace of God for salvation and then, on the supposition that all Christians share alike in the coming kingdom of our Lord, give themselves over to live in the flesh. God says in His Word that He will make one a ruler over ten cities; another, a ruler over five cities; and there will be still others who will not rule over any city. In I Corinthians 3:14, 15, He says, "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

One can see from this passage that a person can be saved and have no good works to his credit, but he shall suffer loss. In I Corinthians 11:30,31, we learn that if a person waits until he is judged at the judgment seat of Christ, he must undergo chastisement at the hand of the Lord. Matthew 16:27 teaches that every man is going to be rewarded according to his works. In Hebrews 2:1-4 we see that every disobedience of a Christian is going to receive a just recompense of reward. In Matthew 3:11 we learn that the Lord Jesus Christ who baptized in the Holy Ghost, will also baptize those who have received the Holy Ghost, in fire, and their works will be manifest. This passage teaches that fruit-bearing is the condition of blessing.
 
If the Apostle Paul had occasion to be disturbed over the fact that he might be disapproved as one of the kings in the coming kingdom, how much more should he be exercised over the fact that we can be saved and yet lose all our rewards and have no part in the coming kingdom.

What then can a Christian do? Just this: Go to that secret chamber of prayer, fall on his face before the Lord and claim the promise of I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,"
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 03:58:09 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Doctrine Of Balaam
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM

"But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication" (Revelation 2:14).

As the end of this dispensation closes we learn of a religious state of affairs coming into the forefront that grossly dishonors our Lord. Jude 11: "Woe unto them for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."

1. Cain's bloodless sacrifice is the first one mentioned. When God demanded a sacrifice of blood for the atonement of sin, Cain preferred to bring a bloodless offering of the fruit of the field. The earth was under the curse of God and that which Cain brought would likewise be under a curse. Though the Lord gave him ample opportunity to take back the bloodless offering and bring a blood sacrifice, he refused to do so. God still demands atonement by blood, and that demand was satisfied at Calvary by the death of His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Today this is denied by man, and on every hand he is urged to do the best he can and hope for heaven.

2. The second deviation from the plan and purpose of God was exemplified by the error of Balaam who was prepared to compromise the principles of God for wealth and worldly position.

He was a priest who placed a price upon his services and would attempt any sort of religious exercise if the pay was sufficient. Today both the church and the minister too often place a price on the services of the servants of the Lord. Many are willing to teach and preach if it means worldly success and social attainment. Many refuse the call of God today because in many instances the remuneration seems to be very little.

3. A third characteristic of default in Christian circles is called the gainsaying of Korah.
 
He was a priest who stood in the midst of the people of God and publicly opposed the truth. Today in the highest places of Christendom there are religious and denominational leaders bold enough to stand up and oppose the fundamental Truth of the Word of God. Instead of teaching and preaching the Word of God they are teaching and preaching the wisdom of man.

You will notice in the Scripture quoted - Revelation 2:14 - that attention is called to the doctrine of Balaam rather than the error of Balaam. Few of the commentators have distinguished between the error of Balaam and the doctrine of Balaam. Therefore, the teaching pertaining to the doctrine of Balaam is practically nil.

The doctrine of Balaam was that which he taught which was contrary to the Word of God. His error was willingness to prophesy either good or bad for money. To understand the doctrine of Balaam, which was that to which God objected in the church of Pergamos, it might be well for us to review briefly the background of Balaam's doctrine.

Balak, a king of Moab, was advised that the children of Israel would soon be coming through his country. He did not want them to do so because he thought they would despoil all of his land. He knew that he could not defeat them because of the power of Jehovah, their God. He also knew that defeat could come to the children of Israel only if he could separate Israel's God from them. He conceived the idea of employing Balaam to come and curse Israel, thereby incurring the anger of God so that the defeat of Israel would be comparatively easy.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:00:55 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Doctrine Of Balaam
by A. Edwin Wilson

Balaam (of whom we know practically nothing) was perfectly willing to hire out to Balak for his ungodly scheme. However, God warned Balaam not to accept the offer of Balak, neither attempt to curse the children of Israel. However, Balak's money was so great that he was persuaded to start the journey to the country of Balak with the intention of pronouncing a curse upon Israel. In the course of his journey an angel appeared, and after the unusual experience of being warned and then hurt by his ass, he offered to return home but the angel insisted that he go on to Balak.

When he arrived in Moab, Balak took him to a mountain where seven sacrifices were offered but Balaam could only speak words of blessing upon the children of Israel. Balaam was then taken to another mountain where another seven offerings were offered on altars and again, nothing but words of blessing came out of his mouth. Balak took him to a third mountain and once again seven other sacrifices were offered, but when Balaam opened his mouth nothing but beautiful prophecies concerning the children of Israel came forth. Balak was so angered that he hastened to get rid of Balaam, who returned to his home.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, as far as most students of the Word are concerned, this is the end of Balaam. But in Numbers 25:1-3 we read: "And Israel abode in gotcha2tim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel."

Herein we learn of the children of Israel eating meat sacrificed to idols, bowing down and worshipping the gods of Moab, and committing fornication with the daughters of Moab. What happened? How could Israel sink so low? What was the occasion of her indulgence in these gross sins which so angered the Lord that twenty-four thousand of the children of Israel perished under the judgment of God?

In Numbers 31:16 we have the answer: "Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord."

In the battle against the Midianites in which Israel took all of the women captive, God had Moses save all the women alive; but there were further orders for them to kill every woman that had been involved with any of the children of Israel. These women were to be put to death because it was the counsel of Balaam - that is, the doctrine, the teaching of Balaam to the children of Israel and the women of the Moabites - that caused the children of Israel to sin so wickedly.

Balaam, having failed to curse Israel, did succeed in seducing them by the wiles of his counsel to eat meat sacrificed to idols and commit fornication. After he had counseled the children of Israel to commit these sins, the women of Moab then lured the children of Israel into sin.

The children of Israel were the covenant people of God; the children of Israel were God's chosen people; the children of Israel were called God's firstborn son. No matter what the children of Israel did, their covenant relationship could not be broken. And the DOCTRINE OF BALAAM broadly stated is that, since Israel was God's covenant people, that relationship could not be altered or changed; that is, no harm could come unto them for any sin in which they cared to indulge.

That is the doctrine in the church today so hated by our Lord - the doctrine of Balaam. As expressed in common terminology, the doctrine of Balaam is that, since salvation is by grace, and one, having become a Christian through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is eternally secure, then nothing that a Christian does can alter his relationship with the Lord.

The doctrine of Balaam is also expressed in these words - very artless and seemingly guileless but filled with tragic potential - that every Christian is going to rule and reign with the Lord, regardless of the kind of life the Christian lives.

There is no acceptance of the truth of God that some Christians will reign over ten cities and other Christians will reign over none - that some Christians will overcome and other Christians shall be overcome - that some Christians shall inherit the birthright and other Christians will forfeit their inheritance - that some Christians will enter into the joy of the Lord and other Christians will suffer weeping and gnashing of teeth. "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Revelation 3:11).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:02:23 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Salvation Of The Soul - The Whole Armour Of God
by A. Edwin Wilson

RESURRECTION

There is progression in the teaching of the Word of God relative to resurrection. Prior to the resurrection of Christ there was mention only of the resurrection OF THE DEAD. Greek: "anastaseos te nekron"; translation: "and of resurrection of dead ones" (Hebrews 6:2). This is the teaching of the kindergarten, primary but elementary.

As the Lord was coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration He charged Peter, James and John not to mention the experience till Christ had risen out from among the dead. These disciples who had heard only of the resurrection OF THE DEAD could not understand what Christ meant by the expression THE RISING FROM AMONG THE DEAD. Greek: "ek nekron anaste"; translation: "out from among the dead ones should be raised" (Mark 9:9-10).

Paul in the letter to the Philippians describes his sole-ambition, the burning desire of his heart, his magnificent obsession, and calls it "the out-resurrection from among those who have been raised from among the dead ones" (Philippians 3:11). Greek: "ek-anastasin ten ek nekron"; translation: "the out-resurrection (further selection) from among those who have been raised from among the dead ones." Paul was assured of rising from the dead in case he died; he was assured of being raised from AMONG the dead in similar circumstances; but he was not sure of a further rising or selection after being raised from among the dead, because further selection was DEPENDENT upon faithfulness, obedience, and had to be attained, earned, merited and won as a PRIZE. So Paul said, "THIS ONE THING I DO." He would do all in his power to win the prize of the out-calling from among those raised from among the dead ones and thereby rule and reign with our Lord in His coming kingdom.

Note the progression: First, all the dead will be raised. Second, the dead in Christ will be raised from among the lost dead ones before the Tribulation begins, the Old Testament saints will be raised at the end of the Great Tribulation, and the rest a:f the dead will not be raised for a thousand years. See I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Daniel 12:1-2, and Revelation 20:4-6. Third, after the resurrection of the Christians and their elevation to the judgment seat of Christ in the heavens THERE IS A FURTHER RISING OR SELECTION on the basis of works, possession of the wedding garment which will constitute one a member of the Bride of Christ, the Church, and the privilege as well as responsibility of reigning with Christ.

All Christians will be raised from among the lost dead, but only those who are further selected will receive rewards and reign with Him.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:04:03 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Resurrections
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE RESURRECTIONS

Throughout the Old Testament there is the apparent teaching of a general resurrection. The truth of several resurrections did not come to light until the experience of our Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration. In Mark 9:9, the Lord speaks of the Son of man rising from among the dead. Verse 10 reveals that the disciples did not know what He meant when He spoke of rising from among the dead. In Hebrews 6:2, the resurrection of the dead is spoken of as one of the principles of the doctrine of Christ from which they were to go on to perfection. And perfection, so far as the doctrine of the resurrection is concerned, is grasping the truth of several resurrections rather than believing in a general resurrection. Before enumerating the different resurrections, let us define the word resurrection. Webster says it is "a resumption of vigor; restoration; revival, which means to live again." Man is body, soul and spirit. When a man dies only his body dies; therefore, all that can live again or be resurrected is the body of the one who dies. In Job 14:14, the question is asked, "If a man die, shall he live again ?" Technically speaking, this means if a man ceases to have a physical existence of flesh and bones, will he in the life to come, have a physical existence of flesh and bones? That question is answered in Job 19:25-27. Job, through the Spirit of God, says that though he dies and the worms eat his body, yet in his flesh shall he see God, and he will see Him with his own physical eyes. In order for Job to do this, his body must come back from the dust and exist again in flesh and bones. The present body of man is called a natural, or soulical, body because it is animated by the soul, that is, the blood. The resurrection body of man will be a spiritual body, that is, a body of flesh and bones animated by the Holy Spirit. See Luke 24:39 where we learn that Christ's resurrection body consisted of flesh and bones animated by the Holy Spirit. He Himself was not a spirit, neither is God a spirit, though both are Spirit. I Corinthians 15:50 tells us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; but Scripture is at one in teaching that flesh and bones are to inherit the kingdom of God. Blood is corruptible and cannot enter into the kingdom of God, but the bodies of resurrected flesh and bones, given life through the Holy Spirit, will enter into the kingdom of God. The entire fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians sets forth the fundamental truth that the bodily resurrection of Christ is the foundation stone of Christianity. The truth is also given that because Christ's body of flesh and bones arose from the dead, so too shall all mankind arise from the dead in their bodies of flesh and bones. (See I Corinthians 15:20-23.) The desire to disbelieve in the physical resurrection of the dead is based upon the pagan philosophy that matter is evil. But such is not the truth, for God created matter and saw that it was good. It is the abuse of matter which produces evil.

I. The first resurrection is made up of three phases:

A. Christ, the firstfruits. I Corinthians 15:23 tells us that each man is to be raised in his own company, and that Christ is the firstfruits. According to the laws of the harvest in the Old Testament, there are three aspects: firstfruits, harvest and the gleanings. The firstfruits is plural. In Matthew 27:51-53, the graves of many were opened at the time of the rending of the veil of the Temple, but the bodies of the saints stayed in the graves three days and three nights. They did not come out until after the resurrection of Christ. Since they were restrained until after His resurrection, we can only conclude that they came forth in their resurrection bodies, never to die again. Others in both the Old and the New Testaments were raised from the dead prior to this, but they had to die again. Ephesians 4:8 says that when Christ ascended on high He led captivity captive. This could well be those saints who arose immediately after His resurrection and who ascended with Him, comprising the firstfruits. Manifestly, this is the firstfruits.

B. The main harvest has its counterpart in those who are Christ's at His appearing (I Corinthians 15:23). This group is divided into two sections as described in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. (1) The dead in Christ. (This is a new Testament experience and can therefore mean only the New Testament saints who have died in the Lord); (2) Those who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord. Both of these groups will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. This takes place at the time of the appearing of the Lord, and it precedes His return to the earth by about seven years. The expression in Christ is not an Old Testament expression at all; so this main harvest at the resurrection does not include the Old Testament saints.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:05:48 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Resurrections
by A. Edwin Wilson


C. The next in order of the resurrections is Old Testament and the great tribulation saints. Daniel 12:1 tells of the great tribulation and describes it as a time of trouble for his people Israel. (Do not try to get the church in the great tribulation because it is the time of Jacob's trouble and not Christ's bride.) In verse 2 we see that following the great tribulation there is a resurrection of Old Testament saints, or Daniel's people. The tribulation, as such, lasts for a period of approximately seven years, and the main harvest resurrection takes place when the Old Testament saints plus the tribulation saints are resurrected at the end. (See Revelation 7:14; 20:4) This is the third phase of the first resurrection, and is the fulfillment of the type called "The gleanings."

To recapitulate, the first resurrection is comprised of the firstfruits - Christ and some of the saints who arose just after He did; the harvest, which includes the dead in Christ and those who are alive at His return. This takes place about 2000 years after the firstfruits. About seven years later come the gleanings, or the resurrection of the Old Testament and the tribulation saints.

II. The second resurrection is described in Revelation 20:5, 6, 11-15. This is called the resurrection of the dead, for all who appear before the Great White Throne are dead physically, and they are dead also because of their separation from God. They are separated from God because they did not receive Christ as Saviour. This takes place at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ, and since they are already lost, the purpose of their appearing before the Great White Throne to be judged out of the record books is to determine the extent of their punishment and suffering in the lake of fire where they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (See Revelation 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8.)

"Blessed and holy is he who hath part in the first resurrection" - either among the firstfruits, the harvest or the gleanings!
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:07:13 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Three Resurrections
by A. Edwin Wilson


THREE RESURRECTIONS

In developing the doctrine of the resurrection there is a progression in the Word of God from a general teaching to specific doctrine. Of course, when I mention resurrection, I mean that which the Bible teaches - the resurrection of the physical body of one who was alive but died. Resurrection cannot apply to soul or spirit since neither dies.

The first teaching pertaining to the resurrection was what may be termed a general resurrection OF all of the dead. There seemed to be no discrimination between saved and lost. This is brought out in the conversation between Jesus and Martha in John 11:23, 24: "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." When Jesus speaks of Lazarus' resurrection, Martha expresses belief in the resurrection at the last day. Up until this time, Jesus had not introduced the teaching of selective resurrection - that is, some being raised and others left in the graves.

The teaching of a resurrection FROM AMONG the dead is introduced in the experiences on the Mount of Transfiguration. In Mark 9:9 Jesus speaks of the Son of man to be raised FROM AMONG the dead. This was so contrary to the thinking of the apostles that in verse 10 the disciples continued to discuss possible meanings of the Lord's statement "rise FROM AMONG the dead."

In Hebrews 6, as the Spirit of the Lord encourages believers to go on from drinking milk to eating of meat - to go on to full maturity in Christian growth - we read in verse 2 that they are to go on from the doctrine of the resurrection OF the dead. The only progression to be made from the doctrine of resurrection OF the dead is from the teaching of the general resurrection to selective resurrection. This selective resurrection is stated again in I Thessalonians 4:16, which states "the dead in Christ shall rise first." Those not in Christ shall not rise for a thousand years. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection" (Revelation 20:5).

There is still a further step in the progression of the teaching pertaining to resurrection. In Philippians 3:11 Paul says, "If by any means I might attain unto the OUT-resurrection FROM AMONG the dead." Here Paul uses a word for resurrection that is not used any other time in the entire Bible, just here in this one place. The immediate context of this particular resurrection truth is that Paul is saying that he knows he is going to be raised with all Christians at the time of the translation and rapture of the saints, but he is looking forward to a further separation FROM AMONG the risen saints, which he calls the OUT-resurrection. This OUT-resurrection is the prize which Paul mentions in verse 14 - a prize for which he is working and toward which he hopes he is moving - a prize dependent upon and conditioned by his faithfulness as a Christian.

Whereas many types of the Bride of Christ reveal them being chosen FROM AMONG the families of the bridegrooms, the Bride of Christ, in the antitype, is chosen OUT FROM the family of God, the Body of Christ. The very word CHURCH (which means "called out from," or "chosen out from") emphasizes the fact that she is chosen OUT FROM the family of God. Just as there are numerous scholars who refuse to move on from the truth of the general resurrection OF the dead to that of resurrection FROM AMONG the dead, so are there very few, who appreciate the truth of the resurrection FROM AMONG the dead, who have any appreciation of the OUT-resurrection FROM AMONG those who have been raised FROM AMONG the dead.

Here is the summation of the Bible doctrine of resurrection: 1. There was revealed first to the people of God that there would be a resurrection OF the dead (John 11:24). 2. Christ revealed that there would be a resurrection FROM AMONG the dead (Mark 9:9, 10; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:5). 3. The Holy Spirit revealed that there would be an OUT-resurrection FROM AMONG those who would be raised FROM AMONG the dead (Philippians 3:11).

There is for every Christian the privilege and opportunity to strive, as did the Apostle Paul, to attain to the OUT-resurrection. If you are interested, study carefully Philippians 3:7-14.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:08:40 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Importance Of The Resurrection
by A. Edwin Wilson


IMPORTANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

The Alpha and Omega of the gospel of the apostles was that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. When one must need be chosen to take the place of Judas they said, "One must be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection." On the day of Pentecost Peter, preaching to the multitude, spoke of this resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh. Peter and John were taken before the council and tried because they taught the people and preached through Jesus Christ the resurrection from the dead. When they were set free it was with great power that they gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all.

At Athens Paul preached that Jesus Himself was raised from the dead and they mocked and laughed at this teaching and preaching of the resurrection of the dead, saying, "We will hear thee again of this matter." Paul stood before the council of the Pharisees and Sadducees and said, "Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am called in question." And in that great, incomparable chapter of I Corinthians 15 Paul says, "If Christ be not risen from the dead, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is vain and ye are yet in your sins." Concerning the importance of the resurrection of the dead, read I Corinthians 15:12-19: "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."

There were those at Corinth who believed in the resurrection of Jesus but denied the ascension of His body into heaven. They denied all future resurrection. I must call to your attention once again that here Paul and the apostles and others, treating of the resurrection, do not speak, do not think, do not talk of the immortality of the soul. The soul is not mortal; the spirit is not mortal, that is, subject to death; only the body is mortal and only the body can put on immortality. God's witness is that the whole man - body, soul and spirit - shall yet be restored. You will remember that when God created Adam in the garden of Eden body, soul and spirit, Adam was to eat of the tree of life and be preserved eternally in that body, soul and spirit. That was God's original plan and purpose and that has not been changed. The redemption of God includes the body, includes the soul, and includes the spirit; and for that Paul prayed in I Thessalonians 5:23. Look at our Lord Jesus Christ when He died. He yielded His Spirit to God the Father; His body went into the mausoleum and His soul went down into Hades. In the death of the Lord Jesus Christ the three component parts - body, soul, Spirit - were separated and went into three different places. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ involved the bringing back of the Spirit, the bringing back of the soul, and the putting of them in the body and the raising of the body once from the dead. And when we talk about the resurrection, that is what we mean: body, soul, and spirit.

Here Paul is contending that if we preach that Christ rose from the dead, how can anybody say then that there is no resurrection of the dead, because if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ did not rise from the dead; and if Christ did not rise from the dead, He is still in that tomb, and that tomb is not an empty tomb. The greatest testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the empty tomb. One day I asked a brother minister (who was denying the resurrection of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ), "Where is the body of the Lord Jesus Christ?" (And my beloved friends, you who deny the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, this same question is asked you which I asked this minister, "Where is the body of the Lord Jesus Christ? Where is that body that was born of the virgin Mary, that walked the shores of Galilee; where is that body that suffered and bled, hung on Calvary's cross, died and was buried; WHERE IS THAT BODY?") After a moment's hesitation he said, "Well, I guess it went back to the dust." Imagine, Beloved, someone preaching the so-called blessed hope and telling us that our Hope has dissolved and is in the dust and that our Hope is in the grave. No wonder so many people are buying burial lots, building fallout shelters, looking for a hole in the ground. The Hope of the Christian is in the heavens, from whence we look for Him and from whence we shall see Him.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:10:09 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Importance Of The Resurrection
by A. Edwin Wilson

Continuing in I Corinthians 15:13: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ did not rise; and if Christ be not risen, then we who preach the resurrection of Christ are preaching in vain, and you who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ have believed in vain; you have wasted your time, energy and efforts; because the Word of God is that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus is the Lord and believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Weare told that unless you believe that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, and unless you believe that Jesus Christ is coming again in the flesh, you are of the spirit of anti-christ. Paul says, "If Christ did not rise from the dead, I am a false witness, I am preaching falsehoods, I am preaching lies, I am misrepresenting God's truth to you because I have testified of God that He raised up Christ from the dead."

You may wonder why the emphasis here is upon the name Christ rather than the name Jesus. It is significant that the name Christ is used here, lest someone should deny that Jesus and Christ are the same - God manifest in the flesh. It was Christ who took a body, it was Christ who died in that body, it was Christ who rose in that body, it was Christ who ascended in that body, it is Christ who is present at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us, it is Christ who is coming again - the Man Christ Jesus. Do not try to separate Jesus and Christ and make two persons because they are not two persons, they are one Person. And here in this fifteenth chapter we have the emphasis on Christ that you may know He who was God from eternity became flesh and dwelt among us . . . Christ.

If the dead do not rise from the graves, then Christ did not rise from the dead. We cannot imagine the results, the consequences, had not Christ risen from the dead! In the 17th verse Paul says that if Christ did not rise from the dead, your faith is nothing and you are still in your sins. That peace that you imagine you have because of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the result of self-hypnosis, your sins are not forgiven, you have no peace, you have no joy, you have no happiness, you have no hope, you have no prospects unless Christ rose from the dead. You are still in your sins, you are lost, doomed, damned, you are on your way out into oblivion - a land from whence there is no return, from whence there has come no word, an experience of which nobody knows anything - unless Christ be risen from the dead. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Jesus are perished, the dead in Christ shall not rise if the dead rise not, and all of your loved ones, all of my loved ones, all of the Old Testament saints, all of the New Testament saints who died in the faith are perished, gone forever, doomed, never again to be seen or known by anyone else - unless Christ rose from the dead. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, if Christ just means a little peace and a little joy, a little forgiveness and quiet of conscience in this life, if that is all there is to Christianity, then we are of all men most miserable. But the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is for eternity; and our hope, our prospect is in heaven, is in the future and is wrapped up and bound up in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." But Paul does not allow and I am not going to allow this message to come to a close on that note. Look at the first part of the next passage: "BUT NOW IS CHRIST RISEN FROM THE DEAD." It is an established, historical, documented fact that Christ arose visibly, bodily, literally, tangibly from the dead and ascended into heaven in that same way; and from thence we look for Him in that visible, bodily, literal, tangible return when He comes to claim His own.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:12:08 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Word Became Flesh
by A. Edwin Wilson


WORD BECAME FLESH

We are continuing the study of the resurrection of the body, of life beyond the grave in a physical nature. The proof of God Almighty that such is the case is in the physical, literal, visible, tangible resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. I want to write of the incarnation of the Lord, about our Lord taking unto Himself a body of flesh, blood and bones, of His presence on the earth in that body, of His ministry in that body; and then in days to come we will discuss the death of that body, the resurrection of that body, the ascension of that body, the presence of that body in heaven and the return of that body to the earth.

When the Lord Jesus Christ came in the flesh, He had a body, He received a body, He took a body that is to be His forevermore. That body was seen in heaven by Stephen; that body was seen by Paul on the road to Damascus; that body was seen by John on the Isle of Patmos, and in that body Jesus reached out and touched John with His right hand. When the Lord returns to the earth, the nation of Israel shall see Him coming in that body; and the startling thing of that revelation shall be that as He approaches earth, they shall see that their Messiah has wounds in His hands and shall cry out, "Lord, whence receivest Thou Thy wounds?" And He will reply unto them (now mind you, this is still in the future), "These are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."

Notice now John 1:10-14: "He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made (or better still, the Word became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That was necessitated by virtue of the fact that He was in the world and the world knew Him not. All of the theophanies, all of the manifestations of the Godhead in the Old Testament were in the Person of Christ.

The first mention we have of that is that He appeared in the garden of Eden unto Adam and Eve and the serpent. It was He who covered their nakedness with the coats of skins. It was this Christ, the Jehovah, who later became Jesus. . . or let us say, was revealed as Jesus the Christ. He appeared unto Abraham, accompanied by two angels: He appeared again announcing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was this Christ, Jehovah, who appeared as the mysterious man to Jacob and wrestled with him at Peniel. It was as the Angel of the Lord that Christ appeared unto Moses in the burning bush. It was this same Christ who guided the children of Israel in a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. It was this same One who appeared unto Joshua, captain of the Lord's hosts. It was this same One who appeared unto Manoah and his wife and told them of the approaching birth of Samson. It was this same One who appeared unto Isaiah, who caused him to cry out, "Woe is me." It was this same One who appeared unto Ezekiel; it was this same One who appeared unto Daniel. All of the manifestations in the Old Testament were the second Person of the Godhead. No man hath seen God the Father at any time. It is the Son who has revealed Himself. He was in the world and the world knew Him not; He came unto His own and His own received Him not, and because of that, we read that the Word became flesh. The Word became flesh.

We read in Hebrews 10:5, "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me." This body was prepared for Him that He might atone for our sins. This body was prepared for Him that in the flesh He might sit on David's throne. Acts 2:29-31: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (or 'Sheol' as the Old Testament expresses it; 'Hades' as the Greek in the New Testament expresses it; that is 'His soul was not left in Hades'), neither his flesh did see corruption.;' The Lord God Almighty promised David that He would raise Christ from the dead, that He in the flesh might sit on David's throne; and for that reason (along with other reasons), the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ did not see corruption.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:13:42 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Word Became Flesh
by A. Edwin Wilson


Again, concerning the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ, we read in Romans 9:4, 5, speaking of the brethren of Christ according to the flesh: "Who are Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever." This One born of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, of Judah, of the seed of David, of the children of Israel. . . mind you, this One born in the flesh of that lineage is Christ, God blessed forever.

In Luke 1:30, 31 we read, "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS." Now the name "Jesus" is all important and we are going to devote much time to this name "Jesus." The name "Jesus" is the name of His body of flesh; the name "Jesus" is the name of His humanity. If this One called Jesus the Christ does not have His body of flesh in heaven today, then He is not Jesus Christ, the one Mediator between God and man. If this One called Jesus is not in heaven in His body of flesh and bones, you cannot call Him Jesus, there is no Jesus. Jesus is the name of His flesh, His humanity. Christ is the name of His deity. God manifest in the flesh is Jesus Christ, other times called Christ Jesus; and there is a reason why those names are alternated, one coming first and then the other, at various and sundry times.

"Thou shalt call His name Jesus." He is never called "Jesus" as spirit or soul. The name "Jesus" belongs to and pertains only to His body of flesh. And if there is no one with this body of flesh, then there today is no Jesus. But praise God, Paul, in writing to Timothy, says there is now, today, this very moment, one Mediator between God and man, the MAN (that's His humanity) CHRIST (that's His deity) JESUS (that's His humanity again) - the Man Christ Jesus. If Jesus is not present in His body of flesh in heaven today, we have no Mediator between God and man, we have no go-between, we have no one to bridge the gap, we have no one to intercede for us, we have no salvation, we have no hope and, as Paul said, "we are of all men most miserable."

Back to Luke 1:31-33: "Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end." Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. "And the Word became flesh." There must be a voluntary, sacrificial offering; there must be the shedding of blood; and since the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, since only the sinless, matchless, perfect, pure, holy, righteous blood of One could atone for sin, God Himself must come in the flesh. God Himself must take upon Himself a body of blood and flesh, that blood must be shed as an atonement for our sin, and the manifestation of God in the flesh is in the Person of the second individual of the Godhead - the Christ become Jesus Christ. See John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh (ASV), and dwelt among us." The coming of Christ IN THE FLESH was for the purpose of atoning for our sins and of redeeming us.

We will show as we further study this particular truth that it was in the flesh that He appeared, that He was born, that He lived, that He served, that He ministered; it was in the flesh that He died; it was in the flesh that He was nailed to the cross; it was from His body of flesh that the blood flowed; it was that body of flesh that was placed in the tomb; it was that body of flesh that arose; it was that body of flesh that appeared unto the women, to the disciples and others; it was that body of flesh that the women handled; it was that body of fl~sh that ate fish and honey; it was that body of flesh which He challenged the disciples to come and handle and see that He was not a spirit; it was that body of flesh that arose, ascending on high; it was of that body of flesh of which the two men from heaven said, "This same Jesus, THIS SAME JESUS, shall come in like manner." He is coming back just like He ascended. And it is in that body of flesh that He is interceding for us. The Word became flesh, the Word is flesh, and the Word shall return in flesh.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:15:16 AM
Prophecy - Signs
From The Cross To The Tomb
by A. Edwin Wilson


FROM THE CROSS TO THE TOMB

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the central doctrine of Christianity. In the early days of the church, one of the heresies that developed concerned the humanity of our Lord. The contention was that His body was just a phantom - not a real, literal, actual body of flesh, blood and bones; therefore, His death was not real.

There are few today who deny the humanity of Jesus, but many spiritualize the facts of His life. At the present time there are many who are treating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ the same way in which the early heretics treated His death - as a figure of speech and not to be understood literally. You can imagine the astonishment with which I read in the publication of a great denomination that "Jesus is no longer in the flesh." Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote against such heresies; and now the question arises, "Who is Christ, and what is Christ?"

How can you offer salvation to a lost world in, through and by a Saviour who is nonexistent? The Christ of the Scriptures was with God from the beginning; the Christ of the Scriptures BECAME FLESH and dwelt among us; the Christ of the Scriptures died for the sins of the world; the Christ of the Scriptures was raised from the dead; the Christ of the Scriptures ascended on high; the Christ of the Scriptures is at the right hand of God the Father; and only the Christ of the Scriptures could bring the salvation of the Scriptures. I want to show you that the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead in His body of flesh and bones, ascended on high in that same body, is present in heaven in that same body, and shall return to the earth in that same body.

Consider the body which Christ received from the virgin Mary. Luke 1:35: "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." That holy thing, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ was not a created angel. Nor was He a created man; He was begotten of God from the seed of the woman, by and through the Holy Ghost. That which was begotten was not a person, but a nature...a human nature. That human nature was holy, that human nature is still holy. The Scripture calls it "that holy thing." This holiness was produced by and out of the Holy Ghost; it was produced by and out of God. It is the quality of the holiness of God; and since this human nature is of the quality of the holiness of God, it could not sin. It was holy, sinless human nature, indissolubly joined to the eternal personality of the Son of God. His human nature could not have sinned because He was very God of very God.

Now, because He had a human nature that could not sin, His body was not subject to death. We read in John 10:18, speaking of His life that He would lay down: "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself." No man could take His life from Him. He was immune to death and only when He willed it could He experience death. In Romans 6:23 we read that "the wages of sin is death." And because He had no sin, He had no wages, death was not His, death had no power over Him, death had no control over Him, and the ravages of sin and death did not manifest themselves on His holy body. Ofttimes during His lifetime they sought to take Him and to slay Him; but we read that they did not, they could not, because His hour had not yet come.

Now, let us go with Him to the cross. There we find the Lord Jesus Christ crucified, suffering beyond the comprehension of man. And as we contemplate that suffering, we remember that many volumes have been written, trying to account for His death. And that is not difficult at all. The Scriptures read simply that when His hour had come, and when that moment - decreed from before the foundation of the world in the eternal council chambers of God that He should die. . . when that moment came He turned His face toward heaven and said, "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit," and with that He yielded up His spirit. It was a voluntary death; and until He voluntarily chose to surrender His life, no one, nothing could take it from Him, because He was sinless.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:17:46 AM
Prophecy - Signs
From The Cross To The Tomb
by A. Edwin Wilson

He died sinlessly upon the cross; that is, there is no sin within Him, though all of the sin of the world was put upon Him. It was a sinless body that experienced death. Since that body was sinless, that body would not - yea, that body could not - undergo the processes of death. Had He not risen from the dead when He did but continued in the tomb until today, that body would be today as it was then, because it was a sinless body and the forces of death had no power over, in or about it. You should keep that in mind in order to understand and appreciate the fact that "a body Thou hast prepared for me."

Now, when that body had yielded up the spirit according to the will of God Almighty, we find a number of things taking place. First, we find two men coming to claim that body. In John 19:38-42, notice the preparation by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ for its burial. Nicodemus came with a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes and he, along with Joseph of Arimathea, had the linen cloth with which to wrap the body of Jesus. The best I can explain it: The application of the myrrh and aloes with the linen cloth is similar to the application of a plaster of Paris cast today. Myrrh is a kind of resinous gum and the aloes is a powdered wood; and the mixing of that gum and the powdered wood together made a sticky substance which was spread on the cloth as it was wound around the body of Jesus, similar to the plaster of Paris cast, starting at the toes and continuing up to the neck. Thus, the body of the Lord Jesus Christ was enclosed, was encased in that myrrh, aloes and linen cloth to the weight of one hundred pounds or more. This mixture of myrrh and aloes would harden and set, even as does plaster of Paris. Keep these facts in mind if you want to understand and appreciate the significance of the fact that Peter and John did not believe in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ until they saw those undisturbed graveclothes.

While Joseph and Nicodemus were preparing the body of our Lord for burial, the Lord's enemies were seeking to eliminate any possible resurrection teaching. Matthew 27:62-64: "Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first." Pilate then gave them a Roman watch, a minimum of sixty-six men, to stand guard over that tomb and see that they did not steal away the body of our Lord and claim that He had risen from the dead.

Keep these two major facts in mind as you meditate on the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. First, a body is encased in a cast of myrrh and aloes of about a hundred pounds' weight which would become hard as a rock. Second, Pilate grants them a Roman watch with a minimum of sixty-six men to guard the tomb. Will they be able to keep Him in that tomb?
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:22:30 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Graveclothes
by A. Edwin Wilson


GRAVECLOTHES

In our last meditation the Lord Jesus was in a tomb. His body, from whence He had voluntarily released His spirit Himself, was taken by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus and wrapped in linen cloth with a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes spread in and through the cloth in which it was wrapped, making a cast about His body which would harden. Not only was His body encased in that cast and laid in the tomb, but the enemies of Jesus, who believed His statements far more readily than did His disciples, had obtained from Pilate a Roman watch, which was composed of not less than sixty-six men. This guard was to be set over the tomb to see that no one would steal away the body of the Lord and then claim that He had risen from the dead.

Not only was the body encased in this cast weighing a hundred pounds or more (according to the weight of the linen cloth), not only was there a Roman guard with not less than sixty-six men, but there was also a Roman seal on the door of the sepulchre. They imagined that the body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was in the tomb to stay; and one marvels at the teachers of the Word of God today who have no concept whatsoever of the power of God as manifested in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In John 20:1-10 we read: "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and that other disciple (which was John) did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home."

When Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre she found the stone had been rolled away. She then went and told the disciples, and Peter and John left the group and ran to the tomb. John, being the faster of the two, reached the door of the sepulchre first. He had not the bold, brash nature of Peter and he paused at the door. After a few moments Peter arrived and went right on into the sepulchre, and John soon followed. When they saw the graveclothes, they believed.

Here is what happened. In Luke 24:12 we read, "Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves. . ." But the literal translation is: "lying by themselves." Then he "departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass." Now this expression "beheld the linen clothes lying by themselves" is a very singular expression. Oh, that man would give attention to the words which our Lord uses and study them and ascertain the meaning of them. Here the Word states that Peter saw the linen clothes lying by themselves. This does not mean over, apart and separate from something else, but he saw them lying of themselves; he saw them resting and maintaining the shape of the contour of the body of our Lord; he saw them being upheld of and by themselves.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:24:11 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Graveclothes
by A. Edwin Wilson

As previously explained, the cast of myrrh, aloes and linen cloth, about a hundred pounds' weight, would of necessity be several inches thick. And when Peter entered the tomb and saw the graveclothes hardened and maintaining the shape which they had when the body was in them - they had not collapsed, they had not been cut, they had not been broken, they had not been unwrapped - he believed.

In raising Lazarus from the dead, the Lord commanded some to roll away the stone from the sepulchre. God Almighty Himself rolled the stone away from the sepulchre of Jesus. Jesus had to call to Lazarus to come forth. When Lazarus came forth bound by the graveclothes, the Lord commanded those that stood by to unwrap the linen cloth from the body of Lazarus. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ it was not necessary to remove the stone from the door nor to remove the graveclothes. He passed through the cast which enclosed His body and out of the tomb without benefit of the door. His entrance into the locked room in which the disciples were waiting is conclusive evidence that in His resurrected body He could pass through walls of substance.

The linen clothes - this cast of myrrh and aloes - was lying there as it was when the body of Jesus was present. . . undisturbed, unbroken, uncut, unwrapped. . . but empty. Prior to His resurrection He was lying there encased in that cast of myrrh, aloes and linen cloth and this napkin, or cloth was placed over His face. Now, when the Lord arose and His body went out of that cast and out of that napkin, the napkin simply collapsed - it folded up in the place where it was. The Lord in His body of flesh and bones was gone. And when Peter saw the graveclothes undisturbed, when he saw the napkin had simply collapsed where it had been over the face of our Lord, he had to believe. John, seeing the boldness of Peter, entered into the tomb. As he and Peter stood there and considered the significance of the undisturbed graveclothes, of those clothes lying there - of themselves maintaining the shape of the body, and the covering of the face collapsed in folds where His head had lain - then they believed; that is, they believed that the Lord Jesus Christ had risen in His literal, physical, visible, tangible body of flesh and bones.

There is one eternal, God-blessed truth concerning that tomb on that morning - IT WAS EMPTY. The body of the Lord Jesus Christ was gone. The most startling question that can be asked any individual today concerning the Lord Jesus Christ is, "Where is His body?" Where is that body of flesh and bones of the Lord Jesus Christ? The empty tomb is God Almighty's irrefutable evidence that Jesus Christ is God Almighty's testimony to you and to me that we too one day shall live in our bodies of flesh and bones.

"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (I Corinthians 15:21.23).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:25:38 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearance Unto Mary Magdalene
by A. Edwin Wilson


APPEARANCE UNTO MARY MAGDALENE

In our last study we considered the experiences of Peter and John at the sepulchre, from whence the stone had been rolled away and in which were the undisturbed graveclothes, from whence our Lord had taken His leave. These undisturbed graveclothes resulted in Peter's and John's accepting the truth of the literal, physical, visible, bodily, tangible resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Now I want to consider the appearances of our Lord to various and sundry individuals and we will continue to study these appearances until we have concluded. There seem to have been some eleven separate and distinct appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ in His body of flesh and bones before His ascension, and six appearances of the Lord Jesus in His body of flesh and bones after He entered into heaven.

In John 20:11-18 we read: "But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they had laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her."

This Mary is the one out of whom our Lord had cast seven demons; this is the one of whom He forgave so much and it seems, therefore, He loved so much. Standing at the tomb and looking in, she sees it empty; then she sees two angels in white sitting there in the sepulchre - one sitting at the place where His head had been, the other sitting at the place where His feet had been - and she is weeping. When they ask concerning that, she inquires concerning the disposition they have made of the body of our Lord. So she turns, goes away and she sees Jesus standing there, not knowing that it is Jesus.

This name Jesus. . . I am going to have occasion to refer to it again and again. You can have no concept of Christianity, of redemption, of salvation unless you understand the significance of the name Jesus. Jesus is the name of His humanity. Jesus corresponds to the name "Son of man." Christ is the name of His deity and it corresponds to the name "Son of God." Imagine anyone saying that Jesus is no longer in the flesh! If this person is not in the flesh, then He is no longer Jesus. Jesus is the name of His humanity; and if you talk about Jesus today you are talking about someone with a body of flesh and bones because that name Jesus applies only to that which was born of the virgin Mary, and that which was born of the virgin Mary was that holy thing, that sinless body, that sinless nature of the Lord Jesus Christ which is God manifest in the flesh. And today the only Mediator between God and man is the man Christ Jesus. And if Jesus is not at the right hand of God today in His body of flesh and bones, then neither you nor I nor anyone else has any mediator, we have no go-between, we have no one to stand between us and God. But, praise God, now IS Christ risen from the dead!
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:27:47 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearance Unto Mary Magdalene
by A. Edwin Wilson

And when Mary turned and looked and saw this One, Jesus, she was looking upon a body of flesh and bones. And so this One, Jesus, so designated, says to her, "Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?" She - because of her tear-dimmed eyes, because of her unbelief in the physical, bodily, literal, tangible resurrection of the Lord  - does not know that this is her Lord and Saviour but supposes it is the gardener. And so she says, "Tell me where thou hast laid Him (meaning Jesus) and I will take Him away." And then Jesus calls out her name, "Mary." The tone of the name! How oft had she heard that name before! She would never forget that tone of voice, the love, the mercy, the compassion that was in His voice as He spoke to her. And she turns and she says, "Rabboni," which is to say, "Master." And then she grabs Him by the feet, the lower limbs, and clings to Him. The King James translation says, "Touch me not." But the literal translation is, "Stop clinging to me." The Amplified New Testament brings that out very clearly: John 20:17: "Jesus said to her, do not cling to me, do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren and tell them I am ascending to my Father and to your Father and to my God and to your God."

She actually reached out, grabbed hold of Him and held Him. He was physical, He was corporal, He was visible, He was tangible. And she had hold of His resurrected body - a body that could be seen, a body that could be handled, a body that could be felt, a body that could be held - and He says, "Stop clinging to me." He still has a mission to accomplish: He must go to heaven, He must take His blood, He must put that on the mercy seat - according to the typical teaching of the high priest who, having offered the sacrifices, must go in and put the blood on the mercy seat in the holy of holies before coming out and appearing unto the multitudes. And our Lord Jesus Christ must do that; and that He did, as evidenced by the expression in the Epistle to the Hebrews in which we are told that it was by His own blood, it was through His own blood, it was with His own blood that He entered into the holy of holies. And He tells Mary that He must do that. But she in the meantime is to go and tell all of the brethren that He has risen from the dead and that He is ascending to His Father and to their Father and to His God and their God and that He will meet them a little later at the sea of Galilee.

Here is the first appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection from the dead. It is unto Mary, the one who loved Him as few others have. Oh, my beloved friends, when you get to know Him and His love for you, and experience the forgiveness and the grace, the mercy and compassion and the love that He has for you, you too will love Him as did Mary; you too will want to grasp Him and hold Him and keep Him with you. And I praise God that when you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, when you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, He comes in the Person of His Holy Spirit to indwell you, never again to be separated from you, but to indwell you henceforth.

In summarizing, please note that the Lord Jesus Christ, having risen from the dead, Peter and John having been convinced of His resurrection simply by the undisturbed graveclothes, now appears personally and visibly and bodily and tangibly unto Mary Magdalene. And as He speaks her name and as she recognizes His voice and knows of a certainty that this is Jesus, the same One who forgave her of her sins and who died for her, she grabs Him by the feet; but He says, "Stop clinging to me." Mary Magdalene testifies that Jesus Christ arose from the dead in His body of flesh and bones by grabbing it, clasping it, holding it, and clinging unto it until He bids her desist and to go and tell His brethren that He will meet them in Galilee.

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept" (I Corinthians 15:20).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:30:08 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearance Unto The Women
by A. Edwin Wilson


APPEARANCE UNTO THE WOMEN

"And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now IS Christ risen from the dead" (l Corinthians 15:17-20).

And with the triumphant message of Christ risen from the dead, we continue our studies and meditation in the resurrection, seeking to show, the Lord helping us, from the Word of God that Jesus the Christ rose from the dead in His body of flesh and bones - a literal, visible, tangible body - and in that body ascended into heaven and in that body is present in heaven and in that body is returning again and in that body He shall continue to live throughout eternity.

Our last study told of His appearance unto Mary Magdalene, of her grabbing hold of Him and of His saying unto her, "Stop clinging to Me." Turning to Luke 23:50 - 53, we read that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body of our Lord and laid it to rest in that incasement of linen, myrrh and aloes.

Beginning with Luke 23:55 and reading through 24:11, we read: "And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not."

This expression "these words seemed unto them as idle tales" is a medical term and means that these words seemed to them as the ravings of ones who were beside themselves, who were in a delirium, screaming and crying, knowing not what they said.

In connection with this, as Peter and John go running to the tomb, these women evidently follow them back to the tomb. And we read in Matthew 28:6 - 10 the following: "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: 10, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring pis disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid; go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me."

The interesting thing in this particular instance is that after the Lord had appeared unto Mary in the garden a little while before, He now appears unto all of the other women who had been at the tomb and they recognize Him. Running to Him, they grab hold of His feet and hold Him. Now from Him there is no remonstrance about holding Him as there had been unto Mary. When He rebuked Mary, saying, "Stop clinging to Me," He gave as the reason for that the fact that He had not yet ascended unto His Father and their Father, unto His God and their God. The reason for this is manifest. When the high priest went in annually to offer sacrifices, making atonement for the sins of the children of Israel, it was not sufficient that the animal be slain. It was not enough that the blood should be caught, but the blood had to be taken and sprinkled on the mercy seat. Our Lord Jesus Christ had yielded up His spirit on the cross, having cried, "It is finished," and then turning His face toward the Father, He said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," and with that He yielded up His spirit. That moment, His spirit took its flight into the heavens into the presence of God, His soul went down into Sheol, as the Old Testament expresses it, which was the place of the dead, that place being separated by a gulf from that of the unredeemed - a gulf which could not be crossed. See Luke 16:19 - 31. His body was taken by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus and placed in the tomb.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:31:38 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearance Unto The Women
by A. Edwin Wilson

Now, the spirit of our Lord returning to heaven was not the Lord as High Priest entering into the Holy of Holies. Our Lord could not do that until body, soul and spirit were reunited and the whole Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, entered in. The apostle Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, in writing to the Thessalonians in his first epistle, chapter 5 and verse 23, says, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Some commentators contend that the minute Jesus commended His spirit into the hands of His Father, He then and there took His blood and sprinkled it on the mercy seat. Others contend that when He ascended some forty days after His death, burial and resurrection, then it was that He sprinkled His blood on the mercy seat. But there is something between these two experiences - of His meeting with Mary and then with the women - that leads me to believe that this is the time in which that was done. Because His sacrifice was not completed, the atonement was not completed until He placed His blood on the mercy seat. To delay the placing of His blood on that mercy seat until the time of His ascension is to delay the completion of His atonement until that moment.

Consider carefully. As Mary comes unto Him, she grabs Him and Jesus says unto her, "Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father and to my God and to your God." When Jesus says, "I have not yet ascended," He means that "I - spirit, soul and body, the complete Jesus Christ - have not yet ascended to my Father," which reveals unto us that He did not go as a complete being to put His blood on the altar at the moment of His death.

Now, when He appears unto the women and they grab Him by the feet and hold Him, there is no rebuke. He is now willing and ready for any and all who want to handle Him, to feel Him, to see that He is flesh and bones and not a ghost, not a spirit. He permits that to be done. I think we are driven to but one conclusion, and that is that between the time of His appearance to Mary when He forbade her to cling to Him, and the time when He appeared unto the women when He permitted it, that is the time that He ascended into the heavens and put His blood on the mercy seat.

Here in these two experiences we have His first two personal appearances. First, He appeared to Mary - she saw, touched, felt, handled His actual, literal, physical, visible body of flesh and bones. Second, a little later that same day He appeared unto a number of women, likewise permitting them to handle, to feel, to touch His body of flesh and bones. We will encounter that same experience on several occasions of our Lord's appearances unto other of His disciples when He tells them, "Handle Me, feel Me and touch Me and see that it is I, and know that I, the Lord Jesus Christ, have risen from the dead in My body of flesh and bones."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 04:59:48 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearance Unto Peter
by A. Edwin Wilson


APPEARANCE UNTO PETER

After the women had appeared at the tomb, the angel spoke unto them as recorded in Mark 16:6, 7, "". . . Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you." You will notice the admonition or glad tidings that the angel is sending through the women to Peter - a special word from the Lord to Peter that He will see him there by the sea of Galilee. We read in I Corinthians 15:3-5 the apostle Paul's description, explanation of the gospel of Christ, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen of Cephas. Here in this 15th chapter Paul gives evidence of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ by naming the ones to whom He appeared. Peter is the first. one that is here named.

In Mark 16:7 the Lord had sent a special word to Peter that He would meet him. Here in I Corinthians 15 Paul says that He appeared unto Cephas, which is the other name of Peter. Then in Luke 24:33, 34, speaking of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus after the Lord had appeared unto them, "They rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." These references make plain beyond any doubt that the Lord Himself appeared unto the apostle Peter, an individual appearance, and nothing more is recorded of that appearance than we have here. This appearance manifestly is a very private appearance and meeting between the Lord and Peter. It was of Peter that our Lord had said in John 1:42, "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jonah: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." At the first meeting of our Lord with Peter He tells him that his name is Simon, which means vacillating, unstable and shifting. He says, "I am going to change your name to Cephas," which is a rock, a solid foundation.

And our Lord changed him from Simon to Cephas, and all of these experiences were a part of the development and growth of this individual from the vacillating Simon to the solid-rock individual Cephas. He was headstrong and egotistical; and when our Lord had called attention to the fact that all of them would flee and forsake Him, Peter, with an air of braggadocio said, "No, Lord, not I; though all of them forsake Thee, yet not will I." Then it was that the Lord reminded him that before the cock would crow he would deny Him thrice. Peter sinned grievously in bragging and boasting of what he would do, in the face of what our Lord had said that he would do. Having boasted of what he would do, Peter was forced to resort to human strength to carry out that boast that he would stand with the Lord, though all others forsook Him. And when that mad rabble came to seize the Lord Jesus Christ, Peter, to carry out his boast, took his sword and tried to slay the first one that he came to; but missing the head of the individual, the sword glances off the side and cut off the ear.

Here was given to Peter a lesson that you and I need to learn. When we begin to boast and to brag about what we are going to do for the Lord, we find ourselves ultimately forced to resort to human means, plans and methods to accomplish that of which we have been boasting. And that is what Peter did. But the Lord would not accept the service of Peter which was rendered in the energy of the flesh and neither will He receive any such service from you or me. Because the Lord would not accept it, Peter was miffed and began to pout and sulk, drawing back and following the Lord from afar. It was as if he were saying, "Since you will not receive my service, nor acknowledge it, and since you do not appreciate it, I will withdraw." And he did so. He was not with the group that followed Jesus into the court and into the meeting of the Sanhedrin. He came on later and soon found himself with the enemy and warming himself by the enemy's fire. Soon he was denying with an oath that he even knew the man (Jesus). He did not call Him by His Name, but simply said, "the man." He did that which the Lord had said, he denied the Lord three times while in the presence of the Lord's enemies. The pain that came to his heart and his whole being when the Lord, passing from one court to another, looked upon him! The piercing eye of our Lord searched his innermost being and revealed his deepest thoughts. Peter now saw his deep sin and had knowledge of the fact that Jesus knew of his sin. Then the cock crowed and Peter went out and wept bitterly.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:01:32 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearance Unto Peter
by A. Edwin Wilson

Only the Lord knows the things that went through the heart of Peter in those days from the time that he denied our Lord until he ran to the tomb that morning and saw the undisturbed graveclothes and was convinced of the resurrection of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter knew not where the body was or what had become of it. The love, tenderness and compassion of the Lord is manifested in the special message to Peter, "You tell Peter." I can well imagine Peter turning to the women again and saying, "Now, what was that you said? Did the angel actually callout my name alone? Did the Lord send word by the angels and you that He would see me there?" What joy and happiness came to the heart of Peter! Our Lord would restore him to previous fellowship.

The Lord had much work for him to do. Peter was the one who made that great confession when Jesus asked him, "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" Peter said, "Some say that Thou art John the Baptist, some say Thou art Elijah, others say that Thou art that prophet, some say that You are Jeremiah." Then did Jesus pinpoint the question and make it very personal, saying, "Whom do ye say that I am?" Peter replied, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Then said Jesus, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona. Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you but My Father which is in heaven, and I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Then it was that the Lord announced to Peter that He would deliver unto him the keys of the kingdom of the heavens.

You will note that He did not say He would deliver unto him the keys of heaven. And all jokes and stories pertaining to St. Peter's being at the door of heaven and having the keys of heaven are not according to Scripture at all. It was the keys of the kingdom of the heavens that were delivered unto Peter; and he opened the kingdom of the heavens to the Jews on the day of Pentecost, to the Samaritans when he came down to Samaria where Philip had been preaching, and to the Gentiles when he went into the household of Cornelius with the glorious gospel of the grace of God.

Peter was the one who was going to do the great and mighty preaching on the day of Pentecost. Peter was the one through whom the Spirit of the Lord was going to write those remarkable epistles, I Peter and II Peter. Peter was the one who was going to be used of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. Because our Lord had a special and particular ministry for the apostle Peter, He gave this special revelation unto him. Somewhere between the time that the women made this announcement and before our Lord appeared unto the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He had appeared unto Peter. I doubt not, and I am sure that neither do you doubt but that there was that broken-hearted confession from the mouth of Peter unto the Lord Jesus Christ when they met. And what a blessed experience it is when we can claim the precious promise that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:02:58 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ascension
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE ASCENSION

Please read Luke 24:45-53 and Acts 1:1.11.

Thus read the two accounts by Luke of the ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ up into heaven in His body of flesh and bones. The value and significance of the physical, bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be found in the fact that in order to be saved one must believe that God raised Him from the dead and that He ascended into heaven, He is present in heaven and is coming again from heaven in His body of flesh and bones. See Romans 10:9; I John 4:1-3; 5:1. These articles on the resurrection appearances are for the specific purpose of giving out the glorious news of salvation by grace; and a belief in the coming and the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ in that body of flesh and bones is an essential, an integral part of the good news which, having been accepted, is life eternal to the one who receives it.

In these accounts the Lord takes the eleven disciples out to Bethany and on over to the mount and there He is speaking to them. He has appeared to them off and on during the course of the forty days between the resurrection and this moment and now He stretches out His hands over them to bless them - hands which still bear the marks of the nail wounds - and as He with outstretched arms and hands blesses them, He begins to ascend. That body of flesh and bones; that body which had walked the shores of Galilee; that body which had appeared unto them there at the sea when He greeted them early in the morning, having prepared breakfast for them; that body which came to the upper room where the ten were present, Thomas being absent; that same body which He challenged them to come and handle and feel and see that a ghost or a spirit did not have flesh and bones such as He had; that same body with which He ate fish and honey; that same body with which He appeared eight days later unto the eleven, Thomas being present; that same body which He asked, yea, commanded Thomas to come, handle, thrust his finger into the nail wound, and thrust his hand into the spear wound.

As He with outstretched hands in that body over them, around them, above them, begins to ascend, the disciples stand transfixed. They are witnessing with their own eyes a literal, physical, visible, tangible body ascending into the heavens. They watch. That body continues to ascend, going higher and higher and higher, and after awhile the Shekinah glory of the Lord God Almighty in a cloud envelopes that body. That body disappears from sight but the disciples stand, as it were, transfixed, continuing to gaze up into heaven. They had read of Enoch walking with God and disappearing into the heavens with God and his body never being found, though it was sought diligently. They had heard and read of Elijah being caught up into heaven in a whirlwind, attended by the horsemen and chariots of God, and how that Elisha had seen that body going up into heaven and of the ridicule that was heaped upon Elisha because he spoke of the actual, literal, physical ascension of Elijah into heaven. But here before their own eyes, they themselves had witnessed the ascension of a real, literal, physical body into the heavens. And they stand transfixed, gazing up into heaven.

God Almighty, looking upon them in tenderness and mercy, condescends to send from heaven two men dressed in white, and they come and stand by the disciples; and these two messengers from heaven say unto them, 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus. . ." Note the name Jesus. Not Christ, not Christ Jesus, not Jesus Christ, but Jesus, the name that belongs to His body of flesh and bones, the name that has no significance or relationship to any other name such as Christ or Lord or God unless that body of flesh and bones is considered in relationship to that other name. This same Jesus - the One who was born of the virgin Mary; the One who grew in favor with God and man; the One who appeared in the temple at the age of twelve and confounded the doctors with His questions and answers; the One who went in and out among them, ministering unto them, teaching them, associating with them; the One whom they knew, the One whom they had seen and, as John testifies later on, the One whom they had handled themselves.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:04:11 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Ascension
by A. Edwin Wilson

This same Jesus - the One who was so brutally beaten, bruised; the One who was nailed to the cross; the One who hung on that cross, suffering the excruciating pain and humiliation; this same Jesus, whose body was taken down from that cross, wrapped in myrrh and aloes and linen, a hundred pounds of it, by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus; this same Jesus that was placed in that tomb, sealed and guarded according to Pilate's instruction; this same Jesus which arose physically, literally, visibly; this same Jesus which had appeared some forty days with infallible proofs to His disciples that He had risen from the dead in that body of flesh and bones 'I. . . this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner." He is coming back just exactly as He went away. He went away in a body of flesh and bones, He is present in heaven today in that body of flesh and bones, and He is coming back in that same body just exactly like He went away into heaven in that body of flesh and bones. "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Consider the paradoxical state of so many today who deny that God Almighty in the Person of Jesus could ascend to heaven in His body of flesh and bones, and yet acclaim the feats of a Godless, Christless Russia who contends, along with our own scientists, that we shall take a man in his body of flesh and bones, put him in space, put him on the moon, put him out yonder in the stars - man claiming to be able to do that which they deny unto God Almighty. But praise God, we have the testimony of our Lord and our God that this same Jesus in His body of flesh and bones has been taken into and is present in heaven today and from those same heavens "this same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." I want to shout with the apostle Paul, "But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first-fruits of them that slept."

He that believeth that Jesus is the Christ and that God raised Him from the dead shall be saved.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:05:35 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearance To Stephen
by A. Edwin Wilson


APPEARANCE TO STEPHEN

A most pertinent question in regard to the resurrection of our Lord is this: Where is the body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? . . . that body of flesh and bones, that body which He received from the virgin Mary, the body which has the name of Jesus, that body which is designated as the Son of Man. . . where is that body? Your answer to that question reveals whether or not you are a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ or whether you belong to those who deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. In I John 4:1-3 the importance of that question is seen in the fact that whosoever denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of the spirit of Antichrist. Whosoever confesses that Jesus is come in the flesh is of God.

In II John 7 we read, "For many deceivers are entered in the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." That is not a correct translation of that verse. You can check many of your modern translations; if you have access to the Greek or if you are acquainted with a Greek professor or a minister who has studied Greek, you will find that the literal translation is that "Whosoever confesses not that Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh. . ." This was written some sixty years more or less after His resurrection and ascension into heaven. Whoever denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh and is coming (again) in the flesh is a devil and an antichrist.

Unto three different individuals our Lord and Saviour revealed Himself in His body of flesh and bones after He ascended into heaven. Many think, in connection with I Corinthians 15:50, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption," that bodies of flesh and bones cannot enter into heaven; but the Spirit of the Lord specified "flesh and blood," and not "flesh and bones." Our Lord's body was not corruptible; it was not subject to the processes of death and decay. This is true because His body was sinless. Though all our sins were put upon Him, He had no sin in Him.

In Acts 6, beginning with vs. 8 we read, "Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people." Vs. 10: "They were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel."

As they brought Stephen before the council the high priest asked him to reply to those charges. Stephen's reply in chapter 7 constitutes one of the great apologies of Scripture. And when I say "apologies," I do not mean in the sense in which we use the word apology today; but the apology as delivered by Stephen then was a defense of the position which he held and of the truths which he spoke. You will study that at your leisure and God will bless you.

Now I want to bring you in the 7th chapter to the 55th verse: "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:06:52 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearance To Stephen
by A. Edwin Wilson

That is the climax of the indictment, the charge and the defense of one of the first deacons of the church, Stephen. Standing before that Sanhedrin, that august and solemn body, he cried out with these words as he was looking steadfastly up into heaven. Being filled with the Spirit of God, seeing Jesus standing on the right hand of God, he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." He saw Jesus. The name Jesus means specifically Jehovah our Saviour. He was not called Jesus until He received His body of flesh, blood and bones from Mary; so that we know His name Jesus applies to His earthly body and is the name of His humiliation, His suffering and His sorrow. This is the name by which He was crucified. They set over His head the accusation written, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." The body which He received from Mary is to be His body throughout eternity; likewise the name Jesus will be applicable to Him, whether alone or in association with some of His other names throughout eternity. The name of Jesus is never used with adjectives. It is His name of humiliation and suffering, and adjectives are entirely out of place.

In Acts 2:36 we learn that God hath made this Jesus both Lord and Christ. And in Philippians 2:10, 11 we are told that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Christ and Lord. Stephen, looking up into heaven, saw Jesus. He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He saw that body of flesh and bones and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."

"Son of man" is the other name of His humiliation. And standing at the right hand of God, visible to Stephen through the opened heavens, was Jesus, the Son of man. He who arose from the dead in that body of flesh and bones now is in heaven in that body of flesh and bones at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us; and in that same body He will return one day to call us to meet Him in the air.

Jesus in His body of flesh and bones is risen from the dead and has been seen in heaven by Stephen, our first of three witnesses who have seen Him since He ascended into heaven.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:08:56 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearances To Paul
by A. Edwin Wilson


APPEARANCES TO PAUL

In our last article, discussing the physical appearances of our Lord after his resurrection, we called attention to His appearance unto Stephen, who saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God and cried out to the synagogue before whom he had given his defense, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."

In the 9th chapter of Acts we have the first appearance of our Lord to Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:1-6: "And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"

Here was the one at whose feet was laid the clothing of the ones who stoned Stephen. Here was one - this proud, young Pharisee - who, observing Stephen being stoned, heard Stephen say, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." I doubt if Saul of Tarsus ever forgot that moment or the angelic face of Stephen and the prayer which he prayed for him and for those who were guilty of stoning him to death. But Saul so hated this movement called "the way," this movement we call Christianity, that he had thrown into prison all the Christians he could find in Jerusalem. Then knowing of the colony of Christians over at Damascus, he obtained authority from the high priest to go to Damascus into the synagogues, where he could look around. All he could find there who were walking in "this way," who were believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, he could take, have them bound and brought back to Jerusalem to be thrown into prison and later executed.

As he was journeying along the way, drawing nigh unto Damascus, suddenly there shined round about him a light brighter than the dazzling sun reflected upon the sands at high noon. He fell to the earth, blinded by the brightness and glory of the One who was standing in front of him. This One standing in front of him spoke and said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" What a startling question! Saul knew this was some manifestation of deity, some theophany, some revelation of the Godhead. But what did this One mean by saying that Saul was persecuting Him? Saul was persecuting no one except those followers of the lowly Nazarene. And Saul replied, "Who art Thou, Lord? He knew this was One from heaven but not exactly who. And he said, "Lord, who art Thou?" And the Lord replied, "I am Jesus."

Again I call your attention to the fact that He did not say, "I am Jesus Christ." He did not say, "I am Christ Jesus." He did not say, "I am the Lord." He did not say, "I am the Prince of the house of David." He simply said, "I am Jesus." That name, the name Jesus, is the name of His physical, human body. He was standing there on the sand on the highway, in front of Saul of Tarsus. "I am Jesus." Saul of Tarsus would not have been surprised if He had said, "I am the Lord." He would not have been surprised if He had said, "I am from heaven." Saul knew that; Saul believed in God; Saul believed in the resurrection; Saul believed in angels. But when this One said, "I am Jesus," he who went out to slay remained to pray; he who went out cursing remained to be cursed; he who went out hating, casting into prison and executing, remained to be hated, thrown into prison and later on, executed.

Why the physical, the visible, the bodily revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ to Saul of Tarsus? At the meeting in the upper room the disciples, attempting to elect an apostle to take Judas' place, called attention to one of the qualifications of an apostle: "One must be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection." For one to be an apostle he must have seen the Lord Jesus Christ in His body of flesh and bones after He rose from the dead. And the Lord Jesus Christ was choosing, I think, His own apostle to take the place of Judas. In Galatians 1:1 the apostle Paul says, "Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man." He was not chosen by men; he was not chosen by any man. A group of men did not get together and elect him to succeed Judas. He was chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:11:37 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearances To Paul
by A. Edwin Wilson

In my personal work among the lost, I have encountered more than one who told me that they had not accepted the Lord as Saviour because they were' 'waiting for the light." When I inquired as to what light, they said it was the light comparable to that which was shown to Saul of Tarsus. I thank God I could tell them to cease to wait. Because no such light is coming. That revelation, that appearance, that light was vouchsafed to Saul of Tarsus because Jesus was choosing him to be an apostle, the Lord Jesus Christ had to appear unto him in His body of flesh and bones that Saul of Tarsus himself might see that body, thus fulfilling a prerequisite to apostleship.

In Galatians 1:11 we read concerning Saul of Tarsus, "I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached to me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it (by man), but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Jesus appeared unto Saul of Tarsus and taught him by word of mouth the gospel that he preached. That is the meaning and significance of the statements of Paul the apostle when he says, for instance, "This we say unto you by the word of the Lord. . ." Jesus came, no doubt, there in the Arabian desert - as Paul says in Galatians 1:17 when he speaks of his conversion: "Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia. . ." There are some two and a half years of Paul's life unaccounted for. Many are the scholars who believe those two and a half years were spent out there in the Arabian desert with the Lord Jesus Christ. And one thing we do know - that the gospel which he preached was given to him by word of mouth as Jesus taught him, an apostle, even as He had taught the other apostles.

In the third place, in Acts 22:17, 18 we read, "It came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw Him. . ." (saw Jesus in His body of flesh and bones) ". . . saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me." Paul did just that. Later on, he was arrested and thrown into prison and in Acts 23: 11 we read, "And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome."

Four times the Lord appeared unto Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul the apostle. On the road to Damascus the Lord came and stood in front of him, spoke unto him and gave him his orders, which at that time were to go into the city and wait until he would be told later on what to do. Then in the Arabian desert the Lord appeared unto Saul and taught him by word of mouth the gospel that he preached, even as He taught the other apostles. Then in the temple as Paul prayed, the Lord appeared unto him and told him to get out of there because they would not receive his testimony. And fourth, in prison in the middle of the night the Lord appeared unto him and told him, "Be of good cheer. Just as you have witnessed of Me in Jerusalem, so shall you yet bear a testimony to Me in Rome."

Saul of Tarsus - Paul the beloved apostle - saw Jesus Christ in His body of flesh and bones on at least four different occasions. No wonder he could preach as he preached! Because he believed; and he believed because he had seen. I feel sure that the success of the ministry of the apostle Paul was due in a great deal to the personal, physical, visible appearances of our Lord unto him. Also the catching up into heaven of the apostle Paul, his seeing and hearing things of which he did not speak, ministered greatly to his faithfulness.

In John 20:29 Jesus saith unto Thomas, "Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Though we have not seen our Lord in His body of flesh and bones, yet believing in the resurrection when we were saved, according to Romans 10:9, we know as certainly as did Paul that Christ did rise physically, and that ere long He shall return in the same manner. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:13:11 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearances To John On The Isle Of Patmos
by A. Edwin Wilson


APPEARANCE TO JOHN ON THE ISLE OF PATMOS

In our past two studies we presented the manifestation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in His body of flesh and bones to Stephen, also to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, to Paul in the Arabian desert, again in the temple and then in the prison. We now want to consider the revelation of the Lord unto John the revelator on the island of Patmos.
 
In Revelation 1:9-20 we have the account of the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ unto John as Jesus came to the island of Patmos on which John was located. John tells us that he was in the island of Patmos for the specific purpose of obtaining, that is, getting the Word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ which is recorded in the book of Revelation. I differ with those who imagine John to have been exiled to the Isle of Patmos. The 9th verse seems to call attention to the fact that he went out there for the specific purpose of receiving the Revelation. In vs. 10 he says (translating literally), "I became in the spirit and was projected into the Lord's day" (or, into the day of the Lord). That is the secret of the book of the Revelation. John had gone to the island of Patmos to receive this Revelation.

When the time came for him to receive the Revelation, in the Spirit he was projected into the day of the Lord. He heard a mighty voice behind him, a voice as of the sound of many waters; and this voice commanded him to write in a book the things which he would see and send the revelation to the seven churches designated. Then John turned to see who it was that was speaking to him. This One who was speaking to him was behind him. When this One appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus He appeared in front of him; but here He appeared to the rear of John and when John turned and looked he saw first of all seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks One like unto the Son of Man.

Here again we have the name of our Lord's humanity. He is the Son of Man now on the earth with John; He is yonder in heaven the Son of Man with God the Father; He is coming back one day as the Son of Man to establish His kingdom. John saw Him like unto the Son of Man. He had on the priestly robes which reached to His feet but the girdle was around the breast rather than the waist, the difference being that the priest wore the girdle around his waist but the judge wore the girdle around his breast. So the Son of Man appears here as the Judge, His office as High Priest finished.
 
John continued to describe Him as he saw Him: head and hair white like wool, as white as snow; His eyes as a flame of fire; His feet like fine brass; His voice as the sound of many waters; in His right hand seven stars and out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword. You will notice as Jesus was standing John saw the girdle about His breast; he saw His head, the hairs on His head; he saw His eyes and His feet, he heard the sound of His voice; he saw seven stars in His right hand and the sharp two-edged sword going out of His mouth. Those physical attributes could be only of One who was visible to John in His body of flesh and bones, for a spirit has not flesh and bones, a spirit would not have the head, the hair, the eyes, the mouth, feet and hands, such as this One had.

He was shining in His countenance as the sun, even as Saul of Tarsus saw on the road to Damascus. When Saul saw Him he fell prostrate in the dust, blinded. When John saw Him on the island of Patmos, he "fell at His feet as dead" and the Lord standing in front of John, laid His right hand upon him. One says, "Well, this is just a figure of speech. This body of His, His head and hair, His eyes like a flame of fire and His feet like fine brass, His voice and right hand, as well as the sword coming out of His mouth, are just figures of speech and not to be taken literally." If that were the case, then the island of Patmos is figurative, John is figurative, the whole vision is figurative and the book itself is figurative and the result would be that we would end up with nothing. Do not join those who would phantomize God Almighty, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. There is one blessed and supreme fact concerning the Revelation of God as recorded in the Bible. This is a historical and documented account given by God to man. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are real.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:14:24 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Appearances To John On The Isle Of Patmos
by A. Edwin Wilson

Here we have the historical, literal account of the Son of God as the Son of Man on the island of Patmos with John, the beloved apostle, and His right hand resting upon John. And John felt His right hand, knew that it was His right hand and described it as His right hand. And He said to John, "Fear not. I am the first and the last. I am He that liveth. I became dead. . ." (rather than was dead). "I voluntarily offered up My life; no man could take it from Me. I became dead. Now I am alive forevermore." The One who became dead is alive forevermore. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. The body of flesh and bones became dead, but that body of flesh and bones became alive forevermore. He is alive today. How we need to pray to God for childlike faith to believe the Word of God and accept it for what it is, the Word of God.

On the island of Patmos John saw Jesus; John saw the Son of Man. Jesus is the name of His humanity; Son of Man is the name of His humanity. Christ is the name of His deity. Today He is Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God. Today He is the one Mediator between God and man, The Man Christ Jesus. After Jesus ascended into heaven in His body of flesh and bones, He revealed Himself in that body unto Stephen; four different times He revealed Himself unto Paul. Now we read of the revelation of Jesus in His body of flesh and bones to John on the island of Patmos.

The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh, dying for the sin of the world, rising again and ascending on high, from whence we look for Him.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:16:12 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel's Resurrection
by A. Edwin Wilson


ISRAEL'S RESURRECTION

"Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, 0 my people: and I will bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come out of your graves. 0 my people! And I will put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I will place you in your own land: and ye shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken it and performed it, said the Lord" (Ezekiel 37:12-14).

Note here - the whole house of Israel - not the church, not Christians, not the New Testament saints - but the whole house of Israel - those Jews who died in the faith, those Jews who had not been cut off from among the people of Israel, will come out of their graves. Israel thinks of her departed loved ones as "dried up," "hope lost," "clean cut off." They think that the promises to Abraham have failed, that neither he nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor his descendants will possess the land promised to them.

But look! Their graves are to be opened. Allover the world this will be done. God will open every grave of every Old Testament saint who died in the faith and raise that Jew up from the dead. Do not phantomize this Scripture - do not try to explain it away, but read it and believe it. Look at God's promise: "open your graves; cause you to come up out of your graves; when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves." Here we have GRAVES in the plural four times, and it means resurrection from earthly graves, just as it says. The innumerable literal graves of deceased Jews or Israelites who died in the faith will be opened, for only they are reckoned to be Israel. Some expositors say that GRAVES mean the nations of the world whither the Jews have been scattered. If that is true then Matthew 27:52, 53 would have to mean, "The nations where many of the saints were living opened their doors and let the saints who lived there leave and return to Jerusalem from the nations where they lived after Christ arose from the dead and were seen by many who lived in Jerusalem." But that is not what it says. It says, "And the GRAVES were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the GRAVES after His resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared unto many."

What God has promised to Israel is the RESURRECTION of all true Israelites, and He emphasizes it four times. Remember: GRAVES, GRAVES, GRAVES, GRAVES. That means individuals, the bodies of these Jews raised - earthly bodies going back to an earthly land, even Palestine, to be fed as an earthly people and to live as an earthly people. THE JEWS ARE GOD'S EARTHLY PEOPLE, even as the New Testament saints are His heavenly people.

The New Testament saints will rise from their graves and the living will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. They will appear with Him in varying capacities, ruling or ruled, as the judgment seat of Christ will reveal, according to their works, (Luke 19:11-27). But the New Testament saints do not appear in the prophecies which concern the resurrection, regeneration and restoration of the nation of Israel, God's chosen EARTHLY NATION.

God has promised resurrected and restored Israel many things:

1. To have them dwell securely in their own land (Ezekiel 11:17-19; 28:25, 26; 34:25-28 ).

2. To cleanse them (Ezekiel 37:23; 36:24-26).

3. To give them a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26).

4. To give them a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26).

5. Cause them to walk in His statutes (Ezekiel 36:27; 37:24b).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:18:12 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Israel's Resurrection
by A. Edwin Wilson

The land from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates was given to Abraham and HIS SEED for an everlasting possession (Genesis 15:18 ). God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham and HIS SEED that the land from the Nile River (the River of Egypt) was to be an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:7-8 ). For these promises to be fulfilled, Israel must be resurrected as an EARTHLY PEOPLE and be RESTORED TO AN EARTHLY LAND for an eternal possession. God confirmed this covenant with Isaac: "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee: for unto thee and unto they seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; and I will make they seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 26:3, 4). God confirmed this covenant with Jacob: "And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 28:13, 14). Note especially Genesis 35:9-12: "And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came from Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said unto him: thy name shall not be called anymore Jacob, but Israel shall be they name: and He called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty, be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave unto Abraham and Isaac, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land."

Joseph had his brethren promise him that they would carry his bones with them when they left Egypt and returned to the land, saying, "God will surely visit you and bring you up out of this land unto the land which He sware to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob." The land was made for Israel and Israel was made for the land, and God will raise them up to possess that land as an earthly people in an earthly land. The Talmud of the Jews teaches that if a Jew dies in the Land of Israel he will be saved. If he dies out of the land he is to be buried with a wooden fork so that he may dig his way from the place of burial to the Land of Israel. If they but believed the Word of the Lord, they would know that salvation to them before Christ was by believing God (Romans 4:1-3), and that no matter where they died and were buried, God will raise their bodies up and restore them to their land for an everlasting possession along with those who will be gathered out of the nations when Jesus returns.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:19:59 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Go Ye Out To Meet Him
by A. Edwin Wilson


GO YE OUT TO MEET HIM

TWO BEARS AND FORTY-TWO CHILDREN "And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them" (II Kings 2:23, 24).

Because of the destruction of these forty-two children by the two she bears as a result of the curse pronounced by Elisha, many accuse God of inhumane injustice. The Hebrew word (nah'-ar) which here is translated little children leaves the impression that they were toddling babes who were unaccountable and irresponsible. A study of any comprehensive concordance will reveal that this Hebrew word (nah'-ar) is used of young men who have attained their majority. For instance, II Chronicles 13:7b: ". . . when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them." Here Rehoboam was called young (nah'-ar). I Kings 14:21: "... Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign. . ," This (nah'-ar) was forty-one years old. Consider Joseph in Genesis 41:12: "And there was there with us a young man (nah'-ar), an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret." And in the 46th verse of this same chapter we read that Joseph, the (nah'-ar), was thirty years old at this time.

Next consider Isaac in Genesis 22:5b: ". . . and I and the lad will go younder and worship. . ." This lad (nah'-ar) was twenty-eight years old at the time Abraham offered him as a burnt offering. The word (nah'-ar) translated little children in II Kings 2:23, 24 is never used anywhere in the Bible except of a young man or young men; and the three examples given above show three of them between the ages of twenty-eight and forty, so that the forty-two little children (that is, young men) were accountable, responsible and knew exactly what they were doing when they ridiculed and mocked Elisha, shouting after him, "Go up, thou bald head, go up, thou bald head." They were ridiculing the message of Elisha concerning the literal, physical, bodily, visible ascension of Elijah into heaven.

Increasingly today accountable and responsible so-called Christian teachers mock and ridicule the literal, physical, bodily, visible ascension, presence in heaven and return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Along with that, they fail not to mock and ridicule any and all preaching pertaining to the literal, physical, bodily, visible resurrection and translation of the Christians at the first stage of our Lord's second coming.

Let the fate of the forty-two young men who so blasphemously ridiculed Elisha and his ministry be a warning to all who do not justly appreciate the rapture of the saints.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:22:20 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Go Up, Bald Head
by A. Edwin Wilson


GO UP, BALD HEAD

II Kings 2:11-25. After Elisha had witnessed Elijah's going up into heaven in a whirlwind, attended by a chariot of fire and horses, he had a new concept of heaven, life and death. Since he had seen a man go into heaven in his body of flesh and bones, heaven became a real place to him. From then on his ministry centered around the physical, literal, bodily presence of a man - Elijah - in heaven.

Then as now, that teaching infuriated most of the hearers. So that when Elisha went into the city of Bethel there was a large group of young men who ran out to meet him, crying, "Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head." This was a most contemptuous greeting. First of all, they were challenging him to go up into heaven like he was preaching that Elijah had done. And secondly, they were calling him "bald head."

There was a despicable expression of contempt used in those days, "You are a son of a bald head." In Lev. 13:42-46 we learn that a bald head is a symptom of leprosy; and growing out of that loathsome disease and symptom came this expression. There was not anything worse or lower they could call this prophet of God whom they despised than to call him a "bald head."

Contempt for one of God's servants is always perilous - "Touch not Mine anointed." One of the tragedies of today is that fact of so many Christian workers contemptuously talk about and point out failures and shortcomings of servants of God upon whom they have sat in judgment.

In Romans 14:4 the Spirit of God in no uncertain terms says, "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?" It is generally supposed that the one who judges, that is, who condemns the servants of the Lord is a stronger believer and a better Christian than the one he condemns. But such is not the case. We read in verse 3 that it is the weak Christian who condemns the strong one and thereby thinks he is bringing the strong one down to his level or elevating himself to the strong one's height, from which the weaker one would topple him.

It is the weak Christian who condemns the strong; the strong Christian despises the weak Christian because of his weakness. The weak Christian condemns the strong Christian as if he were not a believer or, a believer sinning against God. In this the Christian who does the condemning is very much to blame - he has assumed the prerogative of GOD, who ALONE is the judge of His own servants.

Many Christians suffer today because of the weakness of their faith as manifested in spending most of their time condemning stronger Christians, who in turn suffer because they spend so much of their time despising their weaker brethren. When these young men in Bethel treated God's servant Elisha so contemptuously, God showed His disapproval by tearing some forty-two of them by means of two bears.

I believe one of the most poignant verses of Scripture in connection with the present article is James 1:26: "If any man among you seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:24:01 AM
Prophecy - Signs
A Second Chance?
by A. Edwin Wilson



A SECOND CHANCE?

Recently I encountered what appears to be a most vicious heresy being proclaimed by presumably recognized, fundamental teachers and preachers, namely, that after the rapture of the saints, all who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ prior to that moment shall have, during the time of the Tribulation, other opportunities to be saved.

One such minister stated it in this fashion: As he was giving an invitation to the lost to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and no one responded, he urged upon them the possibility of being saved after the Christians are caught out. He said to the lost who were present, "When you see friends and loved ones being caught up to be with the Lord and you realize then that you are lost, receive the Lord as your Saviour and you too shall soon be caught up to be with the Lord."

I want to state categorically that I have not been able to find a single passage of Scripture that will warrant anyone to believe that, having heard the story of salvation by grace and rejected it in this dispensation of grace, he will have an opportunity to be saved during the Tribulation. This is what is called or what constitutes a "second chance" of salvation. On the other hand, the Word of God tells us directly and explicitly that anyone who has heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in this dispensation and has rejected it can never be saved in a dispensation to come.

In II Thessalonians 2:8-12 we learn that after the rapture of the saints and the manifestation of the son of perdition - the man of sin, the Antichrist - there is absolutely no opportunity for one to be saved who has rejected Christ prior to that time. In fact, God is going to send strong delusion upon everyone who rejected Christ so that it will be impossible for them to be saved; whereas, such delusion will cause them to believe The Lie instead, that all who believed not the truth might be damned.

I have a very dear friend who is trying to train and educate a hundred and forty-four thousand Jewish evangelists to do the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom during the Tribulation. But according to the Word of God, every Jew that has heard the story of Jesus and rejected it cannot be saved during the Tribulation. The vast, innumerable host of people to be saved during the Tribulation will be from among the approximately two billion people now living who have never heard the gospel of the grace of God. Every individual, Jew or Gentile, who dies without accepting Christ as Saviour is forever damned to eternal retribution in the lake of fire.

Today is the day of salvation and if today you hear His voice, harden not your heart, for there will be no second chance for salvation for ANY who, having heard of Christ's redeeming love, refused to accept it.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:26:08 AM
Prophecy - Signs
No Split Rapture
by A. Edwin Wilson
 


NO SPLIT RAPTURE

During a recent conference tour in the west we encountered many perversions of premillennial truth. Among the most common were those which we shall refer to, for lack of better names, as the split rapture, mid-tribulation rapture, post-tribulation rapture, no literal kingdom of Christ on the earth, and the usual post-millennial and a-millennial heresies. May we say in the beginning that these heresies stem from either or both of two misconceptions:

(1) A disbelief in the literal, physical, visible, corporeal resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, and

(2) A misconception pertaining to God's plans and purposes in regard to the nation of Israel.

There are those who hold to the false teaching that Jesus did not come to establish an earthly kingdom, to rule and reign on David's throne in the city of Jerusalem for one thousand years, but say that He came to establish a spiritual kingdom only. This is because THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST ROSE PHYSICALLY FROM THE DEAD AND IS NOW PRESENT IN HEAVEN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER IN HIS BODY OF FLESH AND BONES. The Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul proves once and for all in I Corinthians 15 that if Jesus Christ did not physically, literally and in His body of flesh and bones arise from the dead, then there is nothing at all to what we refer to as Christianity and the hope of salvation. We shall not dwell at this time on these presumptuous errors because they are so foreign to the Word of God.
 
Another common heresy which is gaining in favor with those who try to obliterate the God-given distinction between Israel and the Church is that which is named at the heading of this article: the split rapture. This system teaches that when the Lord appears in the air for His own, a particular group by virtue of their consecration, separation, sanctification, etc., will be caught up to meet the Lord, and that other Christians who have grown carnal, careless and indifferent will be left behind to go through the great tribulation.

There is a slight variance from this on the part of the post-tribulationists who teach that all Christians must go through the great tribulation and then be raptured. There is one Scripture more than any other which has contributed to this misunderstanding, and that is Hebrews 9:28 where it speaks of the Lord's appearance and says, ". . . and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." The fact of the matter is, all Christians are looking for the Lord; some before the millennium; some in the middle of the tribulation; some after the millennium, and some are looking for Him to return in His body while others are expecting Him to return without His body of flesh. But the fact remains that all are looking for His return. The verse quoted above does not in itself distinguish at all between the various groups of Christians. The one passage of Scripture which sets forth the rapture more clearly than any other is I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Here we have clearly, chronologically and conclusively the order about which there can be no doubt.
 
1. The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. In this connection, we call your attention to Acts 1:11, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Note in particular that the same Jesus is coming back in the same manner in which He went to heaven. It was a physical (flesh and bones), literal, visible ascent, and the heavenly messengers said it would be the same with His return.

2. The dead in Christ shall rise first. The dead in Christ are those who departed this life by way of death and at the time of their departure believed on the Name of the only begotten Son of God. There is no place in this passage of Scripture for the raising of the unfaithful dead in Christ to go through the tribulation. There is no place in this passage of Scripture for the unfaithful Christians to remain in their graves until after the tribulation. The Scripture simply says, "the dead in Christ shall rise first," and that means that ALL the dead in Christ shall rise first.

3. Then we which are alive and remain. . . Notice in the thirteenth verse of this passage that these remarks are addressed to the brethren. The word brethren as used in the New Testament is a very inclusive term and has for its object all who have believed and shall yet believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

The Apostle Paul, the human writer of this portion, identifies himself with this group when he says, "we which are alive and remain." This passage of Scripture divides all Christians into two classes - those who have died and those who are alive.

4. The dead in Christ and all Christians who are alive at the time of the rapture shall be caught up together in one body to meet the Lord in the air.

There is absolutely no place for the false teaching which has been referred to as the split rapture.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:28:45 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church And The Tribulation
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE CHURCH AND THE TRIBULATION

A major Bible study which is confusing many today is the relationship of the Church to the Great Tribulation. This discussion resolves itself into the question, "Will the Church or any part of it go through the Great Tribulation?" I think one of the difficulties many people encounter in studying the relationship of the Church to the Great Tribulation is failure to distinguish between the Jew, Gentile and the Church, according to I Corinthians 10:32. The Jew is an earthly people with earthly blessings and earthly curses. The Gentile also is an earthly people with earthly blessings and earthly curses, whereas the Church is neither Jew nor Gentile but a new creation of God (II Corinthians 5:17). In this new creation there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Ephesians 2:14-18; Galatians 3:28 ). God's dealings with each of the three divisions of mankind seem to be separate. His laws, rules and regulations for each are different. Their origins are different, their purposes are different, and their destinies likewise are separate and distinct.

God set aside the human race as a whole and called out Abram as the forebearer of Isaac and Jacob to head a new race of people through whom He would bless the world. Because of Israel's failure, God temporarily set them aside and called out the Church, and during this dispensation His blessings flow through the Church to all mankind. Romans 11:25 specifically states that God will not again deal with Israel until the Church has been completed.

The rapture of the Church, so-called, is our Lord's appearing in the air and calling His own to meet Him up there (see I Corinthians 15:20-25 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18 ). The Church, being a heavenly people, is called into heavenly places where she will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, at which time the just recompense of reward will separate the faithful from the unfaithful Christians, manifesting a difference in rewards and positions but having no effect upon their eternal security. Christians are urged to wait for, to look for, to expect the Lord Himself and not the antichrist or the Great Tribulation, neither any other person or event. (See Romans 8:23; I Corinthians 1:7; Galatians 5:5; Philippians 3:20; I Thessalonians 1:10; Hebrews 9:28.) When the high priest went into the Holy of Holies, the children of Israel waited expectantly on the outside for the high priest. They did not look for, expect or wait for any other person or event. They simply waited for the return of the high priest. I Corinthians 10: 11 tells us that all of these things which happened to Israel are types for us. Therefore, the experience of the high priest entering into the Holy of Holies and Israel waiting typifies our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entering into the Holy of Holies as our great High Priest. Luke 12:35-37 speaks of waiting for the Lord. John 14:1-3 tells us ". . . And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Acts 1:11 tells us that the same Jesus which was taken up into heaven shall come back in exactly the same manner.

I want to call your attention now to some other types in the Old Testament which happened to Israel and are for our admonition. First, Enoch, typifying the Church, was taken up into heaven before the flood came - which plainly teaches (in the light of I Corinthians 10:11) the rapture of the Church before the Great Tribulation comes on the earth. Second, Lot and his family, typifying the Church, were forcibly removed from Sodom and Gomorrah before destruction fell. In the light of I Corinthians 10:11, the Church will be forcibly removed from the earth before the destruction of the Great Tribulation. Third, Noah and his family were safe within the ark before a drop of rain fell. Again, in the light of I Corinthians 10:11, the Church will be safe with the Lord before one judgment of the Great Tribulation affects the earth.

Fourth, all of the first-born of the children of Israel were safe before the death angel came through the land. Fifth, the spies who went into Jericho were safely removed before the city fell. Both of these latter two instances teach that God makes provision for His own before He brings judgment upon those with whom they have been associated.

In the sixth place, Joseph, who is a type of Christ (Psalms 81:5) married Asenath, who is a type of the Bride of Christ. But when Joseph revealed himself unto his brethren the second time and dealt with them harshly because of their treatment of him, his bride was not with him. Neither will the Bride of Christ be associated with Jesus as His wrath is poured out upon those who mistreated Him.

Seventh, Moses, who is a type of Christ (Deuteronomy 18:15-19), married Zipporah, who is a type of the Bride of Christ; but when Moses returned to Egypt the second time to deliver his brethren, Zipporah was not with him. She had no part whatsoever in any of Moses' dealings with Israel or the Egyptians. Neither will the Bride of Christ have any part in Christ's dealings with Israel and the Gentiles.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:31:40 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Church And The Tribulation
by A. Edwin Wilson

There are those students of the Word who want the Church to go through the Great Tribulation as a process of purification whereby they will be made fit to rule and reign with the Lord. However, the Word is very explicit in the statement that all Christians, regardless of status quo, will be raptured at the same time (I Corinthians 15:23b; I Thessalonians 4:16, 17). The judgment of the individual Christian's works will take place in the heavens at the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10; I Corinthians 3:11-15). In the next place, Scripture again is very clear in its statement that Christians are not to experience the wrath of God (I Thessalonians 5:9, 10; Revelation 3:10). In the next place, the wrath of God is reserved for earth dwellers, which is God's designation for those who remain on the earth after the rapture (see Revelation 3:10; 6:10; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:6; 17:8 ). These earth dwellers are the ones who go through the Great Tribulation, but we do not find them so designated until after the Church has been raptured.

In conclusion I want to say that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His own will usher in the blessed hope which Christians await (Titus 2:13). This hope centers around occupying a position with Christ in the coming Kingdom. There is no blessed hope for me to sit and wait for the appearance of the antichrist and his Kingdom with all the suffering that he will occasion. There is no blessed hope in my sitting and waiting for the Great Tribulation with its untold agony and indescribable horrors. The blessed hope is associated with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who will first appear in the air and call us to meet Him up there before one single blade of grass or one single leaf on a tree shall be disturbed by the wind betokening the approach of the Great Tribulation.

Rejoice, ye saints of God. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh and we who name the Name of Christ shall be delivered from this sin-cursed world before the judgments of God shall break in all their fury.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 09, 2008, 05:33:43 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Preparation Of The Bride
by A. Edwin Wilson


PREPARATION OF THE BRIDE

When the midnight cry rings out with the announcement, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him," the question arises, how can I prepare to meet the Bridegroom other than by having confessed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Meeting the Bridegroom involves preparation for the wedding, which is set forth in very descriptive terms in Naomi's advice to Ruth. In the 3rd chapter of Ruth, verse 3, Naomi tells Ruth, "Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee..." We also call to mind that Rebeka - journeying with Eliezer to the home of Isaac - on seeing Isaac approaching, alighted from her camel and put her veil over herself. Revelation 19:7, 8 also tells of preparation for the meeting of the Bridegroom, and Matthew 22:11-14 tells of what happens to the saved who are unprepared for the wedding. Let us take Naomi's advice to Ruth and consider that in a little more detail. First, Ruth is commanded to wash herself. That type is drawn from the use of the brazen laver used by the priests to cleanse themselves of the defilement accumulated on the hands and feet after they had offered the sacrifice for atonement on the brazen altar. The New Testament way of cleansing is the washing of water by the Word, which is very clearly expressed in I John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Ruth, washing herself, typifies the Christian cleansing himself of unforgiven sins. And as we who are Christians anticipate the soon coming of the Bridegroom, the first thing we are to do is to cleanse ourselves of all known sin and unrighteousness. This is done by a confession of our sins.

In the second place, Ruth, having washed, is then to anoint herself. This anointing was with oils, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. It is not sufficient to wash. One must be anointed with the perfumed oils, etc., in completion of preparation for the meeting of the Bridegroom. We who are Christians need not only the Spirit indwelling us - which we have from the time of our salvation - but we also need a special out-pouring of the Spirit of God for service and power. This we receive after we have washed. The Holy Spirit is given in power to those who obey the Lord. Such an individual has already received the indwelling Spirit when he believed (John 7:37-39). This anointing on the part of a Christian is typified by the extra vessels of oil which the wise virgins took but which the foolish virgins neglected.

In the third place, Ruth, having washed and anointed herself, is to put on her raiment; that is, her wedding garment. Again referring to Revelation 19-7, 8 and also Matthew 22:1-14, we learn that the wedding garment is made of the good deeds, righteous acts resulting from the life of obedience. There are Christians today looking for, waiting for, longing for the coming of the Lord but because of ignorance have not washed themselves, nor anointed themselves, neither have they prepared a wedding garment.

Perhaps the most pressing need of Christians is to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom by washing, anointing, and putting on the wedding garment.

TO BE CONTINUED....
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:40:10 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Word Became Flesh
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE WORD BECAME FLESH

The birth, life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is one of the best authenticated historical events the world knows. Yet when He came unto His own, His own received Him not. One of the enigmas of all time is the failure of Israel to recognize her Messiah when so many Signs or marks of identification have been given unto her by the Lord. I want in this article to present five of those signs whereby Israel was to recognize her Messiah. Note the rebuke of our Lord in Matthew 16:1-3: "The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. 0 ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" The leaders of Israel could recognize and read the signs in the sky and other natural phenomena, but they could not read the signs of the times and know that the Messiah had come.

1. The first sign to which I call your attention is stated in Genesis 49:10: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." In this portion of the prophecy pronounced by Jacob upon his son Judah, the sign revealing the presence of the Messiah, who here is called Shiloh - Prince of Peace - is that when the sceptre had departed from Judah they would know that Shiloh, the Messiah, had come. The sceptre is emblematic of rulership, authority, governmental control, execution of justice. But even more than that, the most significant aspect of the sceptre is to be found in Genesis 9:6: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." This verse of Scripture gives us the very foundation and basis of all civil government. Capital punishment is here placed in the hands of man, that is, society. Instructions relative to the execution of capital punishment are given in detail in Numbers 35:30-34.

When Jacob said that the sceptre would not depart from Judah until Shiloh had come, the meaning was that the power to execute the murderer would not be taken from Judah until Shiloh had come. When the Lord Jesus Christ appeared on the earth at His first advent, the sceptre had departed from Judah. In John 18:31 we read: "Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death." Here is knowledge of the fact that the Sanhedrin, composed of the leaders of the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, the leaders of the children of Israel, knew, realized and appreciated the fact that they no longer could execute the sentence of death upon one on whom they had passed sentence. For that reason they took Jesus to Pilate that he might execute the death sentence. Every single one of that group of Jews familiar with their writings should have believed the Word of God spoken through Jacob to Judah and known that since the sceptre had departed from Judah, Shiloh the Messiah had come. Yet they recognized Him not.

2. Second, we have what we might call the Celestial Sign. Numbers 24:17: "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." In this prophecy of Balaam concerning the coming Messiah, he calls Him a Star out of Jacob. In the New Testament Scripture the Lord Jesus Christ is called the Bright and Morning Star; and that is one of His many Names. But there appears to be a veiled prophecy of another star that was to appear - a real star in the heavens, an unusual star, a supernatural star that would announce the birth of the Star of Jacob, the Bright and Morning Star. It is a matter of historical record that at about the time of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ there appeared in the heavens such a star. The star has been described variously, and sundry accounts of its appearance have been given by the astronomers. But we learn from the second chapter of Matthew that this star first made its appearance in the East (east of Jerusalem) at the time of the birth of the Lord Jesus. The appearance of this star in the East was an announcement manifestly prearranged by the Lord God whereby the wise men would know that the King of the Jews had been born. Knowing of His birth and desirous of worshiping Him, they soon made their journey to Jerusalem, the logical place for the birth of the King of the Jews.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:42:07 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Word Became Flesh
by A. Edwin Wilson

This star did not lead them to Jerusalem. It seems to have appeared as an announcement and then disappeared. They saw the star no more until they had arrived at Jerusalem and were preparing to leave for Bethlehem. When they arrived in Jerusalem they inquired concerning the whereabouts of the King of the Jews, with the simple announcement that they had seen His star in the East and had come to worship Him. When Herod had heard from the chief priests and scribes that He was to be born in Bethlehem, he informed the wise men. "When they had heard the king, they departed; and, 10, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was" (Matthew 2:9). As they were leaving the palace, the star which they had seen in the East appeared again, giving them great joy by its appearance for they knew that their journey was being prospered by the Lord.

That this star was unique and exceptional, not belonging to the galaxy of stars, was manifested by the fact that it led the wise men from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and came to rest over the house in which the child Jesus was. All of Jewry knew of this star and should have considered it in the light of Balaam's prophecy and known that the Star of Jacob had appeared.

3. Third, we have the Chronological Sign in Daniel 9:25a: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven sevens, and threescore and two sevens. . ." This prophecy is a positive statement that from the time the decree to rebuild Jerusalem is issued until the Messiah appears will be sixty-nine sevens. The context requires that these sevens be years - making the sixty-nine sevens to be four hundred eighty-three years. Theologians have argued much as to which of three decrees which were issued was here mentioned. In one sense of the word, that is immaterial since the three decrees were close enough together that any would have approximated the date specified.

Here's what we have specifically. From the issuing of the decree by Cyrus unto the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was exactly four hundred eighty-three years. (See Martin Anstey's "Chronological Studies "; if not available, then David L. Cooper's.) Any of the leaders of Israel could have known of a certainty that the four hundred eighty-three years had passed and that the time of the Messiah's appearance was at hand.

4. In the fourth place, in Micah 5:2 we read: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Here we learn that the Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem. When the wise men from the East came unto Jerusalem seeking to locate the King of the Jews, Herod, calling the chief priests and scribes together, asked of them where Christ should be born. What a revelation! Even Herod, the unbelieving pagan king, knew that the King of the Jews was to be the Christ. The wise men did not ask for the Christ, the wise men did not identify Him; they simply asked, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" And Herod then asked where the Christ would be born. Herod, the unbelieving pagan, puts to shame innumerable Christians who do not know that the Christ is to be King of the Jews. Herod, the unbelieving pagan, puts to shame innumerable Jews who know not that their King is to be the Christ. All of these experiences, centering around the birth of this unusual child in Bethlehem, should have been enough for Israel to know her Messiah had been born.

5. In the fifth place, we learn from the prophet Isaiah: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). This prophecy is in keeping with that of Genesis 3:15 which tells us that the ultimate victor over Satan is to be "the seed of the woman." This is a peculiar expression describing the virgin birth of that individual. The Messiah is to be the Son of God, born of a virgin. Matthew 1:20-23: ". . . behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary they wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Jesus the Christ was born of a virgin.

To summarize - the sceptre had departed from Judah, the unique star had appeared, the four hundred eighty-three years had expired, an exceptional birth had taken place at Bethlehem and a virgin had given birth to a son. Despite these five phenomenal identifying marks, Israel did not recognize her Messiah. However, all of these things will be pre-eminently true of her Messiah; and when she sees Him upon His return to the earth the blindness will be lifted from her eyes and she will behold and accept Him.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:44:30 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Names Of Jesus
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE NAMES OF JESUS

The significance of names in the Scripture is apparent when one begins to study the Word of God. In Genesis 32:28, the Lord says to Jacob, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." In John 1:42, He says to Simon Peter, "Thou art Simon the son of Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone."

Jacob, meaning supplanter, is changed to Israel, which means one who has power with God. Simon means fickle, shifting and vacillating; and it is changed to Cephas which means solid and stable as a rock. You will recall that Abram's name was changed to Abraham, and Sarai's to Sarah (Genesis 17:5, 15).

These few examples should be enough to remind us that all names of Scripture are of importance because of their inherent meaning. With this in mind, we call attention to seven names of our Lord, and the meaning of each:

1. JESUS (Matthew 1:21): The word Jesus means specifically Jehovah our Saviour. He was not called Jesus until He received His body of flesh, blood and bones from Mary; so that we know this name applies to His earthly life and is the name of His humiliation, His suffering and His sorrow. This is the name by which He was crucified: "And set up over His head His accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS" (Matthew 27:37). The body which He received from Mary is to be His throughout eternity; and likewise, the name of Jesus will be applicable to Him either alone or in association with some of His other names throughout eternity. The name Jesus is never used with adjectives. There are some groups who delight in using adjectives such as dear Jesus, precious Jesus, etc., but God Almighty never uses any of these because this is the name of His humiliation and suffering, and such adjectives are entirely out of place. In Acts 2:36, we learn that God has made this Jesus both Lord and Christ; and in Philippians 2:10, 11, we are told that it is at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Christ and Lord.

2. CHRIST: The word itself means anointed and has to do with dominion, ruling and reigning. In Luke 2:26-32, we read that Christ is the One who was appointed to carry out the covenants God made with Israel, and to be a light unto the Gentiles. The Christ of the New Testament is the Messiah of the Old Testament. He came to Israel but was unrecognized, unknown and unacknowledged. Isaiah 53:1-3 tells us that He had no beauty that they should desire Him. He was rejected, crucified and ascended as the Christ. He has set aside His people Israel for awhile, but He has taken another people, Christians, and is spoken of as their Head, and they His body. They are also spoken of as being in Christ, quickened, and seated with Him; but Christians are never spoken of as being in Jesus. It was as the Christ, or as the Messiah, that God manifested Himself throughout the Old Testament from the Garden of Eden until the time of Malachi.

3. LORD: This word signifies one who owns, possesses, and has power and authority over all His own. All who are in Christ are under His Lordship whether they acknowledge it or not. Every realm of the daily walk of life is to be under His Lordship: (a) Marriage is to be in the Lord. I Corinthians 7:39 not only means that both contracting parties are to be Christians but they are to have the assurance also that it is the Lord's will for them to marry; (b) wives are to submit themselves to their own husbands as is fitting in the Lord (Colossians 3:18 ); (c) husbands are to love their wives even as the Lord loved the church (Ephesians 5:28, 29); (d) children are to obey their parents in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1); (e) servants are to obey their masters in everything as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:22, 23); (f) masters are to render justice and equity to servants in the Lord (Colossians 4:1); (g) a believer's relationship to Jesus Christ is to be in the Lord. The Lord's Supper (I Corinthians 11:26, 27-29) shows His death; and those who drink of the cup of the Lord could be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord; so that, to the believer, all things are of the Lord and unto the Lord; (h) no unbeliever can say that Jesus is Lord because this is done by the indwelling Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:3).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:45:47 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Names Of Jesus
by A. Edwin Wilson

4. JESUS CHRIST: Here is the combination of two names. With the name Jesus appearing first, you will see the order is from the humiliated, suffering, sorrowing One, to Christ the anointed and exalted One. In Philippians 1:1, Paul speaks of the servants of Jesus Christ, and to all the saints in Christ Jesus. Those two combinations of names are different because of progression in the order. A servant believes in the name of Jesus who died for him in humiliation, and Who is yet to be the exalted One.

5. CHRIST JESUS: This combination shows the descent from the anointed One down to His humiliation and shame endured on the cross. All who believe are now spoken of as being in the One Who was exalted but humiliated Himself (Philippians 2:5-8 ). Whenever you see either of these two combinations of names, note the ascent or descent in the truth expressed - from glory to humiliation, or from humiliation to glory.

6. SON OF MAN: This is the name used to emphasize the human nature of the second person of the Godhead. As Son of man, He was the second Man and also the last Adam.

7. SON OF GOD: This expression denotes His divine nature and sets forth His relationship to God the Father.
 
There are two other names used to designate our Lord which have particular significance and should not be overlooked: 1) In Matthew 1:1, He is called the SON OF DAVID, which sets forth the truth that He is the Heir, as Son of David, to all the promises made to David as well as to all the covenants pertaining to the Throne of David. (See Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29, 30; II Samuel 7:12-17.) 2) SON OF ABRAHAM sets forth the truth that Jesus Christ inherits the promises covenanted to Abraham which pertain to the land (Genesis 13:14-18; 15:18 ). Note also in this connection, Luke 1:33.

With these brief comments about the names of our Lord you will want to watch for each of His names as they appear and see the particular meaning in the context, remembering especially Romans 10:9.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:47:09 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Could Our Lord Have Sinned?
by A. Edwin Wilson


COULD OUR LORD HAVE SINNED?

Since the time of our Lord's temptation, theological schools have been divided into several camps about the teaching of the temptation of our Lord. There are those who contend that Satan is not a person, therefore the temptations were not from without - the temptation under these circumstances simply being a struggle within the bosom of our Lord between His desire to do right and His desire to do wrong. Another school of thought contends that if our Lord could not have sinned, then the temptation was not real and could serve no purpose at all. Another school contends that our Lord possessed two distinct personalities and that whereas He could not sin as the Son of God, He could have sinned as the Son of Man.

Still another school contends that, according to the Scripture, it was a spiritual, physical and psychological impossibility for Jesus to have sinned. I must concur with this last school of thought on the basis of the teaching of the Word of God. I want to dispose of the first three schools of thought and then consider the fourth.

First, Satan is real. That is to be noted in Genesis 3:14, 15; Job 1:6ff. If Satan is not a distinct personality, then personality cannot be predicated to anyone in the Scripture, including God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Satan is a real personality and the temptation of our Lord came from without. The temptation of Jesus could not have come from within because there was nothing within Him of a sinful nature to respond to the stimulus from without.

In James 1:14, 15: When an individual is tempted to sin he is drawn away of his own lust; then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. There was no lust within Jesus, neither of the world, the flesh or the devil. He had no capacity nor desire for self-indulgence in any of its many aspects, neither was there desire for the pride of life nor of the lust of the eyes. Satan in his three approaches in tempting Jesus appealed to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Since man was conceived in iniquity and brought forth in sin, he has his own lust within him. Adam, being created by God, also had the possibility of sin within him, as did the angels. But Jesus, being begotten by God the Father, had within Him no lust nor tendency or possibility to sin.

In answer to the second school of thought - that if Jesus could not have sinned, then the temptations were not real - that is like saying that if a diamond is real it cannot be tested to prove its purity; that if money is not counterfeit neither can it be tested. Jewels, precious metals, currency can be tested to prove their genuineness. A close study of the temptations of Jesus reveals that they were testings or trials of His faith and God permitted these temptations at the hands of Satan to prove once and for all that Jesus was the eternal Son of God, absolutely incapable of sin; therefore He could be our Redeemer - if He chose. . . and we praise the Lord, Jesus chose to die for the sins of the world and is our Redeemer.

The third school of thought was established by Nestorius in the fifth century. He contended that Jesus and Christ were two distinct persons. The human person of Christ could act independently of the divine person and vice versa. That is to say the human person of Jesus Christ could sin but the divine person could not. The philosophy of this school of thought falls to the ground with the teaching of Scripture in Luke 1:35: "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." This verse of Scripture reveals that that which was conceived by the virgin Mary was a "holy thing." It was not a person but a thing. So that Jesus Christ is not two persons with separate human and divine personalities. He is one person with two natures. He is God manifested in the flesh. He is the Godman, not man and God.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:48:30 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Could Our Lord Have Sinned?
by A. Edwin Wilson

In I Corinthians 15 we read that the fundamental content of the gospel is that Christ died for our sins. Christ the divine nature, as well as Jesus the human nature, died for our sins. Jesus Christ is one Person and one Person alone. The Spirit of the Lord has expressed it as plainly as can be through the Apostle Paul in I Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Christ Jesus is one man, one person, not two.

Now considering the fourth school of thought - the absolute impossibility of Jesus Christ's sinning - I want to call your attention first of all to the fact that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever (Hebrews 13:8 ). If Jesus Christ could have sinned when tempted of Satan, He could have sinned in the eternal council chambers of God before the universe came into existence, because He has always been. John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (Colossians 1:17; 2:9). "In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." If Jesus Christ could have sinned when tempted of Satan, He can still sin (Hebrews 13:8 ). He is "the same yesterday, today and for ever." Hebrews 4:15 reveals unto us that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are except that He was not tempted to sin (preferred translation). Jesus was not tempted to sin because He was very God of very God, and though He had a human nature it was impossible for God to be tempted with evil to sin (James 1:13).

Here is the tragedy of all of the teaching that Jesus could have sinned. Were it possible for Him at any time of His existence from eternity to eternity to have sinned, then it is still possible for Him to sin, and the whole scheme of redemption still hangs in the balance and will continue to do so throughout eternity because of the possibility of Jesus' sinning and rendering null and void His sacrificial death on Calvary's cross. If Jesus Christ could have sinned at any time in His entire career from eternity to eternity, then He is not the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world; neither is He God's eternal sacrifice for sin and we have no redeemer, but are putting our trust in one with a sinful nature who Himself needs a redeemer.

But thanks be to God, the Lord Jesus Christ could not have sinned and it was demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt when Satan tempted the Lord Jesus Christ and He could not be reached with any of the temptations, because there was no lust within Him to respond to the outside stimuli.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:49:42 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The Impeccable Jesus
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE IMPECCABLE JESUS

I still receive correspondence and other forms of inquiry regarding the possibility of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sinning. Perhaps these Scriptures will help those who are still in doubt concerning the fact that it was absolutely impossible for Jesus to have sinned. I John 3:9, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." This verse brings out in no uncertain terms that whosoever is born of God cannot sin. Luke 1:35, "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Matthew 1:20b, "'. . . for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." John 3:16a, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. . ."

These Scriptures show beyond any shadow of a doubt that Jesus was begotten by God of the virgin Mary. Now what is the conclusion of these Scriptures above quoted? Jesus was begotten of God, and since that which is born of God cannot sin, Jesus was absolutely, unconditionally and irrevocably impeccable. That is, He could not have sinned. Do not try to draw an analogy between Adam and Jesus in this realm, because Adam was a created being but Jesus was begotten by God the Father and no analogy can be drawn between their two natures.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:51:03 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Does Jesus Know?
by A. Edwin Wilson


DOES JESUS KNOW?

As I have been privileged to travel over the country and give messages on prophecy, especially on THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES, there have always been some who would come to me after the service and comment on the foolishness of such preaching since the BIBLE says that even Jesus does not know when He is to return. Of course, they are referring to a verse found in Mark 13:32, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Some teach that in the incarnation Christ divested Himself of His deity and was human only; others teach that He could turn on and off His deity as you and I would a water faucet.

God the Father being God could never cease for one moment to be God. God the Son being God could never for one moment cease to be God. God the Holy Spirit being God could never for one moment cease to be God. Omnipotence (all power), omniscience (all knowledge) and omnipresence (present everywhere at once) belong to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Many seem to be disturbed about God being omnipresent and still being seated on a literal throne. God the Holy Spirit is the omnipresent manifestation of the Godhead. Since Jesus Christ is God and OMNISCIENT, what does Mark 13:32 mean? The late Archbishop Trench, one of the greatest authorities on words, when lecturing to a London college, called attention to the fact that in the last part of this verse ("but the Father"), the two Greek words "ei me," translated "but" really mean "if not." Thus the Greek word "ei" equals "if" and the Greek word "me" equals "not." He called attention to the fact that any good Greek concordance would reveal the same. Archbishop Trench understood this verse to mean, "If I were Not God as well as Man, even I would not know the day nor the hour."

Mark 13:32 corrected will read thus: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son if not the Father." In other words, Jesus says that if He were not the Father He would not know. We have the same truth in John 9:33 with the same two Greek words "ei me" translated "if not" - "IF this man were NOT of God, He could do nothing."

Does Jesus know when He is to return? Of course He does, and He has always known.

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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:52:43 PM
Prophecy - Signs
He Is White
by A. Edwin Wilson


HE IS WHITE

I receive a number of inquiries concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and what He is like. One speaking recently in Africa told the natives that Jesus was black. One speaking before a Polynesian group told them that He was neither white nor black but a mixture. There have been some workers among the Indians who told the children that Jesus was red. Some among the yellow children have told them that Jesus was yellow. The same is true of the black children. Too many people today seem to think that Jesus Christ is a figment of the imagination and whatever they imagine Him to be, that is what He is.
 
An incident took place in a northern store during the week before Christmas which I thought was very revealing. The management of the store, in a desire to please all people, employed a colored Santa Claus. When the colored children were directed to him they burst into tears and ran out. To them Santa Claus was white and not black.

Does the Bible tell us anything about Jesus? In the Song of Solomon, chapter 5, vv. 9-16, we have a twelvefold description of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - the Fairest of Ten Thousand, the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley. Twelve is the number of completion or perfection pertaining to the rule of government; and since Jesus Christ is to reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords, His description is given in a twelvefold manner.

1. HE IS WHITE - showing the sinlessness of His deity - exemplifying His spotless character - He is in the world but not of it - He is impeccable - it was an absolute impossibility for Him to sin because He was and is God Almighty.

Whiteness among the races is the color which best accords the dignity of man - pure, delicate whiteness is a mark of high rank and hereditary nobility. Lam. 4:7, which records the appearance of the nobles in the streets of Jerusalem, likens their whiteness to that of the snow and of milk, and their redness to the coral. Sin is symbolized by blackness - purity and cleanliness by white. The Hebrew word translated white means illuminated by the sun. Every ray of light is white. Jesus is light - Jesus is white.

2. HE IS RUDDY - a redness with white - the oldest and most impressive emblem of the humanity which our Lord took upon Himself when He became man was the redness or ruddiness which was a likeness of Him the last Adam to the first Adam whose name meant "of the earth." Jesus Christ is very Man of very Man and very God of very God, symbolized by His white skin over His red flesh.

3. HE IS THE CHIEFEST AMONG TEN THOUSAND - He is the Standard Bearer - He is the One who goes before - He is the Commander - He is the Leader - He is the Head of the church - He is the Head of the human race. "This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:54:24 PM
Prophecy - Signs
He Is White
by A. Edwin Wilson

4. HIS HEAD IS PRECIOUS, FINE GOLD - that is refined gold - pure gold freed from all inferior metals - gold symbolizes His deity and His sovereignty as the Lord God Almighty. He was and is coexistent with God" the Father and God the Holy Spirit from eternity unto eternity.

5. HIS LOCKS ARE BUSHY, AND BLACK AS A RAVEN - bushy or curled hair indicates the headship of the individual and on the Son of Man indicates His headship over His entire creation - His bushy locks signify His youth and the prime of His young manhood - approximately thirty-three years old when He proclaimed His work on Calvary FINISHED.

BLACK - as a raven, which was an unclean bird, showing forth the solemn truth that He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that He who had no sin took our sins upon Himself that we might have life - black speaks of the darkness of the night - the blackness of the three hours He hung on the cross and cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

6. HIS EYES LIKE DOVES ' - pure, chaste and loving - it is said that the eyes of a dove dilate at the sight of its mate - the eyes symbolize the office of the Overseer - the One who has oversight of the work. The eyes signify omniscience. He guides with His eyes - Israel is the apple of His eye - His eyes are as rivers of waters - fountain of tears - Jesus wept. His eyes were washed with milk, symbolizing that He is for the youngest believer. He is described as being set by full streams, symbolizing He is also for the mature believer.

7. HIS CHEEKS ARE AS A BED OF SPICES - beautiful - fragrant - anointing oil ran down the hair of His head onto the beard and face. To smite a person on the cheek was the greatest indignity. . . they spat on His cheeks - they struck Him on the cheeks - they plucked the beard off of His cheeks. All this shame and suffering was for us.

8. HIS LIPS LIKE LILIES - pure and undefiled - gentle - the dripping of the sweet smelling myrrh typifies His suffering consummated by His death for us. Nothing but the purest words passed from His lips - His words were wholesome and fragrant - never spake man like this. He said, "Be thou cleansed - Be thou healed - Receive thy sight - Rise up and walk."

9. HIS HANDS ARE AS GOLD RINGS SET WITH BERYL - the gold ring is a symbol of Sonship . . . note the ring the prodigal son received. The gold ring is a symbol of authority - note the ring Pharaoh gave Joseph, symbolizing his authority over all Egypt. Jesus said, "All power in heaven and in earth is given unto Me" - He was and is Omnipotent. Once again I call your attention to the fact that the gold symbolizes His deity and His sovereignty - He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

10. HIS BELLY AS BRIGHT IVORY OVERLAID WITH SAPPHIRES - the whiteness of the ivory suggests the spotlessness of His humanity - His impeccability. God cannot be tempted to do evil, neither does He tempt anyone to sin and thus do evil. He said, "Which of you convicteth Me of sin? - What wrong have I done?" These are questions Jesus Christ, the everlasting God, could ask without fear.

OVERLAID WITH SAPPHIRES - the blue of heaven symbolized by the blue sapphire brought out the whiteness or the purity and sinlessness of His whole being. As a little bluing in the wash brings out the white of the garments, so does the blue of the sapphire symbolize the heavenly whiteness of His purity.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 10:55:46 PM
Prophecy - Signs
He Is White
by A. Edwin Wilson

11. HIS LEGS ARE LIKE PILLARS OF MARBLE - legs speak of His walk - marble symbolizes durability - "legs like marble" reveals the eternal and durable walk or life of Him who stepped out of eternity into space and time. His strength failed not and He turned to neither side as He went to the cross. In Him are to be found a durable and eternal peace and safety forever.

HIS COUNTENANCE IS AS LEBANON, EXCELLENT AS THE CEDARS - the majesty - dignity - excellence - fragrance - fruitfulness of the majestic pines with their tops lifted toward heaven revealed the same characteristics of Him of whom it is said, ". . . of His kingdom there shall be no end."

12. HIS MOUTH IS MOST SWEET - the fragrance of His breath reveals the sweetness of His innermost being - His joy imparted to us is unspeakable and full of glory.

YEA, HE IS ALTOGETHER LOVELY - beautiful in character - beautiful in life - saving the lost - healing the sick - raising the dead - comforting the sorrowing - teaching His disciples - blessing the little children. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him, and He is ours.

Surely the above description of our Lord is but an exposition of Exodus 15:11: "Who is like unto thee, 0 Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?"

What is Jesus like? The above from the Song of Solomon is a wonderful description of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 11:27:50 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Prophet - Priest - King
Christmas And Prophecy
by A. Edwin Wilson


PROPHET - PRIEST - KING
CHRISTMAS AND PROPHECY

In the study of Scripture pertaining to the birth of our Lord, we have accustomed ourselves to thinking of only manger scenes and childhood scenes with a devotional slant on the Scriptures; however, each one of the so-called Christmas stories is deeply prophetic. For instance, in the second chapter of Matthew we read of the wise men coming from the east to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" The literal interpretation of this is, "Where is He that is born TO BE King of the Jews?" which gives a future aspect to their announcement. The entire Book of Matthew is subsequently given over to establishing the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is King of the Jews. He presented Himself as such at His so-called Triumphal Entry. Israel rejected Him as her King and crucified Him with the inscription on the cross in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. The particular passage which we want to discuss in this article because of its prophetic aspect is Luke 1:30-33: ., And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end."

What a different concept Christians would have of our Lord and His ministry if they would but study and understand just this one passage of Scripture. Seven things are mentioned by the angel in this prophecy and at once one has to decide whether he is going to take the Word of the Lord literally or figuratively. There should be no trouble at all in taking the entire Bible literally except in those instances where it is designated by the Lord to be a parable or a figure of speech, symbol or type. Let us consider these seven phases of this prophecy and see if we can determine whether it is literal or figurative.
 
Here are the seven statements of the prophecy: (1) Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son; (2) and shalt call His name JESUS; (3) He shall be great; (4) and shall be called the Son of the Highest; (5) and the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; (6) and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; (7) and of His kingdom there shall be no end.
 
An elementary and fundamental rule of interpretation is consistency. If part of this prophecy is literal then all must be literal. If part is figurative then all must be figurative. The Lord Himself never confused them, but always distinguished the literal and the figurative interpretation.

Let us consider the first phase. Was the conception and birth of Jesus literal? We read in Matthew 1:18-25 that when Joseph realized that Mary was with child before they were married, he naturally supposed she had been untrue to him and was minded to put her away privately. The law made provision for a public stoning of those guilty of infidelity, but Joseph was a good man and was not going to make a public spectacle of the one he loved. The fact is that Mary's conception of Jesus was known to all people. One of the many tragedies of our Lord's life was that often when He was in a crowd, the Pharisees would ask the insulting question, "Who is thy father?" insinuating that He was born out of wedlock. The point is that Mary actually, literally and physically conceived and brought forth a Son. In all of the arguments presented by Satan against Christianity, we have never encountered a denial of the existence of Mary and of the fact that she gave birth to a Son named Jesus.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 11:32:32 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Prophet - Priest - King
Christmas And Prophecy
by A. Edwin Wilson

This brings us to the second point: "And shalt call His name JESUS." Renan, the French infidel, has written extensively on the life of Jesus. Josephus, in his Antiquity of the Jews, speaks of Him and some of His experiences. The point we are making is that infidels, atheists, modernists, rationalists, Mohammedans and Buddhists all acknowledge that there was actually, literally and physically a person named Jesus of Nazareth. Their denial pertains to His Deity, not to His humanity. He was called Jesus because He was to be the Saviour. God Almighty has set forth one of the most important questions facing man, "What think ye of Jesus? Whose Son is He?" To acknowledge that He is the Son of the living God means eternal life. To deny it means eternal damnation.

The third statement of the prophecy is, "He shall be great." We were interested a number of years ago in an article appearing in the AMERICAN MAGAZINE entitled "The Ten Greatest Men Who Ever Lived." The author condescended to name Jesus first. He called Him the greatest man that ever lived. Judaism, modernism, atheism, secularism, and all realms of thought are at one in saying that Jesus was great - great in His life, great in His teaching, great in His example. He is acknowledged by one and all to be great; and the prophecy that He shall be great has been literally and actually fulfilled.

The fourth statement, "He shall be called the Son of the Highest," was actually and literally fulfilled at the time of His baptism. "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and 10, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him. And 10, a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16, 17). And again on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5) we have the Lord God from heaven speaking, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him.'; Again, here is a prophecy actually, literally and audibly fulfilled. He was called by the Highest the Son of the Highest.

Generally speaking we do not encounter much opposition to these four phases of prophecy being accepted literally, but when it comes to the remaining three there is a wide divergence of interpretation; but if the first four are literal, these remaining three must also be literal. If the latter are not literal, then the former are not literal.

The fifth phase of the prophecy is, "The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father, David." Did David actually and literally have a throne upon which he sat and from whence he administered the affairs of an earthly kingdom? In II Samuel 5:5, we read: "In Hebron He reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem He reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah." Was this throne promised or prophesied to our Lord Jesus Christ? It surely was. In Acts 2:29, 30 when Peter preached on the day of Pentecost he said, "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." Has Jesus ever ascended David's throne to rule and to reign? No! Must the prophecy yet be fulfilled? Yes! Not one jot or tittle shall fail of fulfillment. Is not Christ seated on David's throne today? No! He is seated on His Father's throne at His right hand. Is not He ruling on David's throne when He reigns in our hearts? No! David's throne is not in our hearts. It was in Hebron and then Jerusalem, and it will be in Jerusalem when Jesus takes over the Throne of His father David. That will be actually and literally fulfilled when Jesus returns as the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

The sixth phase of the prophecy is, "He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever ." Many today try to interpret that as meaning the church, and Christ as reigning over the church, but Scripture never speaks of Christ as King of the church nor reigning over the church. Christ is the Head of the church, and the church is His bride - the consort Queen which shall rule and reign with Him. Is there a house of Jacob? In II Samuel 7:14-17 we have the Lord's prophecy through Nathan that He is going to make a house of David, who was a descendant of Jacob, and that over this house, designated in the Scripture as the house of Israel (Jacob's name after he met the Lord at the brook Jabok), the Seed of David, which is Jesus, should reign forever. Scripture becomes absolutely meaningless unless the Lord Jesus Christ returns and reigns over the literal house of Jacob.

The seventh and last phase of the prophecy has to do with the fact that "of His Kingdom there shall be no end." The second chapter of Daniel tells of four world-wide kingdoms that are to exist here on the earth, and these kingdoms will be destroyed and supplanted by the Kingdom of our Lord at the time of His return. His Kingdom, described as a rock cut out of a mountain without hands, grows until it fills the whole earth; and having established His reign over the earth, He shall then continue to reign over the new earth, and of this Kingdom there shall be no end.

Our Lord told us to pray, "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." The Spirit of the Lord breathed this prayer in closing the scriptures: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus," and we await the literal, physical return of our Lord and the establishment of His literal, physical Kingdom on the earth.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 11:35:08 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The King Of The Jews
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE KING OF THE JEWS

Matthew 2:1-12 The quietness of everyday life in the city of Jerusalem was suddenly broken about 1900 years ago with the appearance of some wise men from the east. It was not just their appearance, but the question they asked which disturbed the whole city. They asked, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him." These wise men knew from some God-given source that the appearance of the star in the east heralded the birth of the Messiah. The ancient fathers believed that the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers 24:17 referred definitely to the appearance of a star in time to announce the Messiah's advent. Astronomers and historians are familiar with the appearing of the star but have never been able to account for its singularity. Amos 3:7 tells us that God always reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets, and we know full well that His advent of necessity must be announced. According to the Scriptures the star simply appeared in the east, the wise men saw it, they knew that Christ had been born and they set out to Jerusalem to see Him who had been born King of the Jews. The star did not lead them to Jerusalem, neither was it visible during the intervening time. After its appearance in the east they did not see it again until it appeared in Jerusalem and led them from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.

Word of the presence and demeanor of the wise men soon reached Herod the King, and when he heard these things "he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." Herod was troubled because of the announcement that a successor to him had been born, and he immediately began to speculate upon a course of procedure to remove the heir apparent to the throne. All Jerusalem was troubled because of the uneasiness of her conscience in the presence of the announcement that the Messiah had come. The same thing results today every time a Spirit inspiring message is preached on the second coming of Christ. The fact that they may face Him soon disturbs each and every individual who is in any way out of fellowship with Him.

Herod's first step was to gather the chief priests and scribes together and demand of them where Christ should be born. It has always been an interesting thought to me that Herod, an unbeliever, recognized at once that the King of the Jews was the Christ! I say interesting, because while speaking on this subject last summer at a prominent Bible conference I had some of the religious leaders try to tell me that Christ was not the King of the Jews!

Another point of interest is that these scribes and chief priests replied immediately without having to look in the Scriptures: "... In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus is is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."

Having ascertained the place of His birth, Herod's second step was to determine the time of His birth. This he did by privately calling the wise men aside and inquiring very diligently concerning the time of the appearance of the star. Then he told them to go on to Bethlehem, find the Child, and come back and tell him, so that he too might go and worship Him. After they left the king the star which they had seen in the east appeared once more. The ninth verse shows that it did not lead them to Jerusalem - it simply appeared in the east announcing the birth of the Messiah and then it was seen no more until it appeared in Jerusalem to lead them from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Subsequent events reveal that it took them approximately two years to make the journey from their home in the east to Jerusalem. They went there because that was the capital of Jewry and surely that was where the King would be born. Little did they realize the lowly estate by which the King of kings and Lord of lords would come into the world at His first advent.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 11:36:56 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The King Of The Jews
by A. Edwin Wilson

The joy produced by the appearing of the star at Jerusalem is further evidence that it had not been visible for sometime, It led them to a house where the young Child was with Mary, His mother. The Greek word translated Child is an entirely different word to that of the Babe in Luke 2:12.

The events that followed cause us to believe that very likely the Child Jesus was about two years old when the wise men found Him in the house and fell down and worshiped Him, Their worship was manifested in the presentation of gifts. These are highly symbolic and provide a fruitful study. There was the gold which symbolized the Godly sovereignty and Kingship - a confession on the part of the wise men that this was God the King in the flesh, The incense which was offered is described in Revelation as intercessory prayers of the saints in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. It shows the faith of the wise men in confessing Christ to be their High Priest and Intercessor, The myrrh, always used in connection with the preparation of bodies for burial, bespeaks the faith of the wise men in the sacrificial death of this One for their sins. The three gifts revealed the three offices of our Lord: Myrrh, Prophet; frankincense, Priest; gold. King, This is a truth which many purported religious leaders today have not yet learned in their studies of Christ - that He WAS Prophet, IS NOW Priest, and when He comes again WILL BE King.

The wise men were then warned of God not to go to Herod, so they went home in another direction. Joseph also was warned in a dream of Herod's scheme to take the young Child's life and was told to take Him with His Mother and go down into Egypt, that the Scripture ", , , out of Egypt have I called my Son . . ." might be fulfilled, When Herod saw that he had been mocked by the wise men not returning, he slew all the children in Bethlehem that were two years old and under, The Scripture says he did this because of the time of the appearing of the star which he had learned from the wise men. This incident seems to confirm the thought that the wise men appeared somewhere around two years after the birth of Christ.

May the Lord bless you this Christmas season and grant to you insight into the Person and work of our blessed Lord - that you may see in Him your Prophet, Priest, and King.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 11:39:32 PM
Prophecy - Signs
A Child Is Born
by A. Edwin Wilson

 
A CHILD IS BORN

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6, 7).

This is a description of the coming Messiah who shall rule and reign upon the throne of David in Jerusalem for a thousand years. Not only shall the government of the nations be upon His shoulders, but the government of each individual citizen of His kingdom. There is also the possibility and the choice of His government being the rule of each individual Christian's life today. See Colossians 3:15 and Luke 6:46.

Consider also His names: (1) WONDERFUL: This means that He Himself is a miracle and that He Himself possesses miraculous and supernatural powers which belong only to the Almighty God. See Matthew 28:18.

(2) COUNSELOR: As Christ He is the Wisdom of God; therefore, He can admonish, advise, teach and instruct. See Colossians 2:3; James 1:5.

(3) THE MIGHTY GOD: As The Mighty God not only is He the source of all power but He is all powerful in and of Himself. There is no power outside, neither apart from Him whose name is The Mighty God.

(4) THE EVERLASTING FATHER: He is from eternity to eternity; all plans and purposes, for all that is, come from Him as The Everlasting Father. To me the most precious thought in this connection is that not only is our Mighty God also our Father, but He has said that, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him (Psalms 103:13). Selah. This word in the Hebrew means "Just think of that." So I want you to just think of the fact that the Almighty God is our Father. For that reason Jesus said, After this manner pray ye, "Our Father. . ."

(5) PRINCE OF PEACE: There is no peace apart from the grace of God, and, of necessity, the Lord Jesus Christ must come and manifest the grace of God in dying for the sins of the whole world. Each individual Christian can have the peace of God and peace with God by virtue of faith in His atoning sacrifice. But the world as such can never have peace until, the Prince of Peace returns, puts down every enemy and establishes His personal reign of peace.

This is the One of whom we sing and in whose name we pray when we think of the Babe in the manger.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 11:41:42 PM
Prophecy - Signs
The First Christmas Gifts
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE FIRST CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Usually the first thoughts in our minds associated with Christmas are about Christmas gifts - what to give, and wondering what will be given to us. Seldom do individuals think of the Gift of gifts.

When the wise men from the East came to Jerusalem seeking Him who was born King of the Jews, they came to worship Him. They did not find Him until the Star of the East led them from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. There in a house with His mother Mary, they found the Child Jesus and fell down and worshiped Him. Part of their worship was the presentation of gifts. Of course the Lord Jesus Christ was God's love Gift to the world, and in appreciation of this wonderful Gift from the Heavenly Father, they gave gifts to the Christ Child. The gifts which they presented were gold, frankincense and myrrh. It was not so much the intrinsic value of the gifts, neither our Lord's need of them, but it was the symbolism expressed which enhanced the meaning of these gifts. GOLD symbolizes the Deity and Sovereignty of Almighty God. FRANKINCENSE, used as a sweet savor with the sacrifices, symbolizes the priesthood and its system of sacrifices. MYRRH, which was used in the embalming of the dead, symbolizes death.

When the wise men presented the three gifts to the Child Jesus they prophesied the threefold ministry of our Lord. Taken in the chronological order of His life, when they gave Him myrrh they showed a belief in His prophetic ministry which was fulfilled in His living and teaching the Word of God while on earth. This ministry culminated in His crucifixion as an atonement for the sins of the world.

When the wise men gave to the Child Jesus frankincense, it brought to light their belief in the Priestly ministry of our Lord. He is now at the right hand of God the Father as our great High Priest, making intercession for those who have accepted Him as Saviour.

When the wise men gave the Child Jesus gold, they expressed to the whole world their conviction that this Child was Almighty God. The Sovereign God, receiving the Kingly gold, is yet to be manifest as the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. That phase of our Lord's ministry will not be fulfilled until He returns to the earth to rule and reign for one thousand years.
 
Now in a sentence - the presentation of the gifts by the wise men expressed to all creation their belief that this Child was Prophet, Priest, and King - God manifest in the flesh. And because the Lord has given Himself for us, what better gift can we give Him than to acknowledge before the whole world that He is our Prophet, Priest, and coming King? This is done by expressing a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the power of His Holy Spirit, living for His honor and glory.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 11:43:19 PM
Prophecy - Signs
Gold, Frankincense And Myrrh
by A. Edwin Wilson


GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH

When the wise men from the East found the Child Jesus, they fell down and worshiped Him. Their worship was manifested in the presentation of gifts. These are highly symbolic and provide a fruitful study. There was the gold which symbolized the Godly Sovereignty and Kingship - a confession on the part of the wise men that this was God the King in the flesh. The incense which was offered is described in Revelation as intercessory prayers of the saints in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. It shows the faith of the wise men in confessing Christ to be their High Priest and Intercessor. The myrrh, always used in connection with the preparation of bodies for burial, bespeaks the faith of the wise men in the sacrificial death of this One for their sins. The three gifts revealed the three offices of our Lord: Myrrh, Prophet; frankincense, Priest; gold, King. This is a truth which many purported religious leaders today have not yet learned in their studies of Christ - that He WAS Prophet, IS NOW Priest, and when He comes again WILL BE King.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 12:02:56 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Signs - Wonders - Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson


SIGNS - WONDERS - MIRACLES

'THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW' Christians are being upset and disturbed today by so many churches or preachers calling for a return to Pentecostal gifts. The lack of healing as a part of the ministry of the church is attributed to a loss of power through a weakening of faith. On every hand we hear contentions that if the church was right with the Lord the sick would be healed, the dead raised, and all other apostolic miracles restored. One of the passages of Scripture most commonly referred to and cited as authority for healing today is Mark 16:17, 18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

I must confess that there was a time in my own personal ministry when this particular passage and kindred passages disturbed me greatly. Faith healers used a very subtle insinuation by saying, "If the Lord has any more for me, I want it." It was some time before I appreciated the fact that all the Lord has for us is to be found in His Word, and that ones using such an expression do not know too much of the complete revelation of God as contained in the Bible. They are familiar with a few isolated texts which, when taken from their context and joined with others, might be used to establish a case for healing. I began to study in earnest all the passages of Scripture relative to healing and other apostolic miracles, and I want to give the results of my study of the particular passage in Mark 16:15-20.

As I read and reread this passage and gave time to earnest prayer for the wisdom which cometh from above, I became certain of two facts as set forth in this passage: 1) I was a believer, and 2) none of these signs followed me. One of the great times in my Christian experience was that moment when I passed beyond the realm of doubts, fears and misgivings concerning my own personal salvation. It is one thing to be saved. It is another thing to know you are saved. I reached the point at which I no longer trusted in my experience or in my feelings, but rested securely on the Word of the Lord. The Bible says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. . ." Again, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9). I knew that I had believed on the Lord; I knew that I had confessed Him with my mouth; I knew I believed God raised Him from the dead; therefore, I knew I was a believer.

But this passage of Scripture says these signs shall follow them that believe. Now mark these truths. It does not say these signs will follow him that believes and is then baptized by the Holy Ghost, or is sanctified, or has received a special blessing. This Scripture simply says these signs shall follow them that believe.

The second great truth which I discovered was that" in addition to my being a believer, THESE SIGNS DID NOT FOLLOW ME. Not only did I not cast out devils, I did not speak with new tongues, I was and still am afraid of serpents, I had no desire to drink deadly poisons, I had no desire to lay hands on the sick in an attempt to heal them. What is the conclusion of this matter? Since these signs do not follow me, does it mean that I am not a believer? Or, since I am a believer, should these signs follow me? This is the conclusion to which the Lord brought me: that these verses of Scripture do not apply to me - that I am a believer and that these signs are not supposed to follow me.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 12:04:33 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Signs - Wonders - Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson

In this connection, I want to call your attention to Mark 16:20, "And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following." Here we read that all who believed went forth and preached everywhere (see Acts 8:4), the Lord working with them and confirming the Word WITH SIGNS FOLLOWING. Here we have the experience of the Lord working with these early believers and confirming their testimony with signs. Ever since entering the ministry, I have gone here and there as I felt led of the Lord, and ministered the Word in the power of the Spirit, but God has not confirmed with these signs the Word which I have ministered. I have never carried with me serpents, nor vials of deadly poisons, nor a bottle of olive oil. I have been interested in many of these divine healers who are afraid of serpents and are afraid to drink deadly poisons but who still contend they have the power to heal. I am amazed at these so-called healers who do not attempt to raise the dead, as did the apostles and even our Lord Himself.

We have a key to this entire passage of Scripture which speaks of our Lord confirming the Word with signs following. This key is in Hebrews 2:3: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." Here we have reference to the message of salvation which was confirmed by the Lord, but the distinguishing truth of this particular verse is that the Word was confirmed (as in Mark 16:20) with signs following. It was confirmed, I say, only unto those who heard Jesus Himself who first spoke the Word. We are told (Hebrews 2:4) that the confirmation was with signs, wonders, divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, dispensed according to His own will. But again, these signs, wonders, and miracles were confirmed only unto those that heard Jesus speak. There is no Scripture which speaks of these signs, wonders, and miracles being used by our Lord to confirm the ministry of the Word by any of His servants other than those servants who heard our Lord preach the Word Himself. If you should be disturbed about the Apostle Paul, just remember that the Lord came and ministered unto him by Word of mouth the gospel which Paul preached, so that Paul also belongs to the number of those who "heard Him."

With the completion of the revelation of God and the closing of the canon of the Scripture, neither I nor any other servant has need of serpents, deadly poisons, olive oil, raising the dead, talking in tongues, or any visible confirmation for the ministry of the Word other than that ministry by the Holy Spirit. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). I go forth with the Word of the Lord, praying that it will be in the power of the Spirit, knowing full well that the Holy Spirit of God will take the Truth and bear it home to the consciences of the hearers.

"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (John 16:7-11). Here we have a most blessed truth concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He convicts the individual of his lost condition; He convicts the individual of the righteousness of God in dying for his sins; He convicts the individual of the truth of the Word of God; He gives the individual faith to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In short and in fact, the Holy Spirit confirms the preached Word today, not with signs following, but with conviction as set forth in the above quoted verses.

Now in conclusion, let me ask you two very solemn and startling questions. First, do you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Second, do these signs of Mark 16:17, 18 follow you? I think your answer to the latter will be in the negative, for I have never seen an individual yet who claimed that all of these signs followed him. Hence, the article you have just concluded - attempting to show that, whereas this passage of Scripture applied to the apostles and those who heard our Lord, they do not apply to us who learn of Him through the reading of the Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 12:06:00 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Unknown Tongues
by A. Edwin Wilson


UNKNOWN TONGUES

There is a resurgence of attempts to reactivate so-called Pentecostal gifts. Not far from where I am dictating these words are those honest and well-meaning individuals who continually try to handle rattlesnakes and copperhead snakes with immunity as evidence of the strength and depth of their faith, but they fail. There are also in our midst many who are attempting to heal people by the anointing with olive oil and the laying on of hands. Possibly the most popular, widespread attempt to prove the baptism of the Spirit is what is referred to as "speaking in unknown tongues."

I t is extremely interesting to find a doctrine established upon a false premise for which there is no Scriptural foundation at all. I refer to the word unknown. The word unknown in connection with talking in tongues occurs only in I Corinthians 14:2,4, 13, 14, 19 and 27. In each instance you will note that the word UNKNOWN is in italics. In the King James Version the printing of words in italics is a device adopted by the translators to show that the word itself does not appear in the original text but has been supplied by the translators with no authority whatsoever for so doing.

There is no such thing in all the Word of God as an unknown tongue. What is the meaning of tongue or tongues? The first time that word occurs in the New Testament is in Mark 16:17, "They shall speak with new tongues." The next time it occurs is in Acts 2:4. We see the word again in vs. 8. The English equivalent of the Greek word for tongue is glossai, which means language or the sound of words made with the tongue. In Mark 16:17 the Lord had said that "They shall speak with new languages."

In Acts 2:4 when they were filled with the Holy Spirit they began to speak in other languages. In Acts 2:8 and 11 the people were astonished in that they heard the wonderful works of God in their own language. Acts 2:9-11 tells of the different nationalities who heard the gospel spoken in their own tongues or languages. In I Corinthians 13 Paul says, "Though I speak with the languages of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal." This gift of speaking in new languages was the result of being filled with the Spirit of God; and because of Paul's experience - related in II Corinthians 12:1-4, wherein he heard the angels speak in their language - he poses the possibility of his speaking in all of the different languages of the human race and in the languages of the angels.

The word translated tongues throughout the New Testament is the word for language. There is no experience mentioned in the New Testament which has to do with the so-called unknown language, that is, a language that is not known to men or angels in some part of the universe. As the early disciples went forth with the glorious gospel of Christ before the New Testament was written and completed, God gave certain ones the gift of talking in a foreign language without the necessity of having to study and learn that language. In I Corinthians 14:22 we are told that the ability to talk in other languages was for a sign to unbelievers and it is not a sign to Christians.

We read of only three instances in which this gift was poured out upon a waiting people. In Acts, chapter 2, the Jewish apostles were given the gift of talking in foreign languages to all the foreigners who were present to show that they had received the Holy Spirit. In Acts, chapter 10, Cornelius and his household received the gift of talking in foreign languages to show unto the apostles that the Gentiles also had received the Holy Spirit. In Acts, chapter 19, the apostles of John who had been associated with Apollos also received the gift of talking in foreign languages to show that John's disciples had received the Holy Spirit.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 12:07:25 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Unknown Tongues
by A. Edwin Wilson

Another interesting thing about the talking in foreign languages is that whereas most of the proponents of this strange doctrine today are women, we do not find a single instance in the New Testament where a woman was given the gift of talking in a foreign language. In fact, in I Corinthians 14:34, women are absolutely prohibited from speaking in foreign languages in churches. (It is in I Timothy 2:11-15, where the woman is prohibited from speaking at all in any public assembly where men are present.) Continuing in I Corinthians 14:37, the Spirit of God says through the Apostle Paul that if anyone imagines himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, then let him acknowledge that the prohibition in vs. 34 is the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If the ability to talk in foreign languages is not the sign of the filling of the Holy Spirit, then what is? In Galatians 5:22, 23, we have the evidence of the infilling of the Spirit and the outflowing as a result: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

What difference does it make whether or not one seeks Pentecostal gifts? Primarily this: that when one earnestly and honestly seeks a so-called baptism by the Holy Spirit and then cannot talk in foreign languages or heal the sick or raise the dead or drink deadly poisons and play with deadly snakes with immunity, shipwreck is made of his faith. One of the most promising young ministers with whom I have ever been acquainted went astray into seeking the power to talk in foreign languages, heal the sick and raise the dead: and when he failed to do any of the above mentioned, he resigned from his church and ultimately quit the ministry. I have known laymen who sought these gifts, thinking they were for the day in which we now live; and when they failed to receive them, they turned away from the faith once delivered to the saints, disassociated themselves from the church and became most unprofitable servants and witnesses.

I will mention one very poignant verse which should set at ease any open-minded child of God. Study carefully the following verse and all of its implications: Matthew 16:4 "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 12:09:20 AM
Prophecy - Signs
No Signs, Wonders Or Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson


NO SIGNS, WONDERS OR MIRACLES

In the light of so many efforts to resuscitate Pentecostal gifts, I think it well for us to consider the dispensational aspects of signs, wonders and miracles. It is a notable fact that during the early ministry of the Apostle Paul, he raised the dead, healed the sick, was immune to poisonous snakes: whereas, in the latter part of his ministry none of these signs, wonders and miracles were evident.

In I Timothy 5:23, he advised Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach disorder, rather than perform an act of healing upon him. In I I Timothy 4:20, we are advised that Paul did not heal Trophimus but left him at Miletum sick. In Philippians 2:25.30, we read of Epaphroditus's sickness nigh unto death and, again, he was not healed by the Apostle Paul.

All three of the above instances occurred in the latter part of Paul's ministry and in particular, after the experience of Acts 28:28, which manifestly is the dispensational boundary of signs, wonders and miracles. Prior to the time of Acts 28:28, all of these signs were in evidence. After that time, they were not in evidence. The significance of that particular time period is that it was at that moment that the Lord set Israel aside and no longer was the kingdom proffered to them on the basis of national repentance, but instead God turned to the Gentiles. (This is on a national basis and not individual; the gospel was still to the individual Jew first, but also to the Greek.) As long as the offer of the kingdom was extended to the whole nation of Israel, the preaching was accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles. But when God turned to the Gentiles, these signs, wonders and miracles were no longer needed. "The Jew seeketh a sign."

Listed below, you will find the books of the New Testament in the order in which they were written relative to Acts 28:28, which event took place somewhere between the beginning of 59 A.D. and the end of 63 A.D.

The four Gospels about. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 A.D.
James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 A.D.
Jude. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 A.D.
I Thessalonians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 A.D.
II Thessalonians . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .52 A.D.
Hebrews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 A.D.
I, II, III John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 A.D.
I Corinthians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 A.D.
II Corinthians. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 A.D.
Galatians.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 A.D.
Romans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 A.D.

All of the above were written before the dispensational boundary of Acts 28:28, after which there are NO SIGNS, WONDERS AND MIRACLES.

I and II Peter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
Philippians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
Philemon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
Colossians. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
Ephesians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
I Timothy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 A.D.
Titus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 A.D.
II Timothy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68 A.D.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 12:10:55 AM
Prophecy - Signs
No Signs, Wonders Or Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson

Beginning with the fourth chapter of Revelation we again witness signs, wonders and miracles, for at this time God begins to deal with the Jew once again on a national basis. Rev. 4:1 is chronologically identified with Romans 11:25.

The order of signs, wonders and miracles, as well as spiritual gifts manifested in the lives of Christians, seems to be after this fashion: For a few years those who had the privilege of hearing Christ Himself as He ministered here on the earth in the flesh, had the signs of Mark 16:17-20 following them. Study carefully the word confirming in Mark 16:20, in connection with the same word in Hebrews 2:3, 4.

As the gospel spread and churches began to form, we have then the distribution throughout the church of spiritual ones described in I Corinthians 12. But with the crossing of the dispensational boundary of Acts 28:28, the only gifts given to the church are enumerated in Ephesians 4:11. Those are the only gifts God has placed in the church for the particular days in which we now live.

The handling of the Scripture in the above dissertation is commanded and described by the Holy Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 2:15. Augustine of Hippo said something to the effect, "Distinguish the dispensations and the Bible is easy to understand."

The primary trouble today with all these signs, wonders and miracles is to be found in the fact that people are trying to have Pentecostal experiences and gifts in a day in which we are to walk by faith and not by sight.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 12:12:37 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Signs, Wonders And Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson

 
SIGNS, WONDERS AND MIRACLES

One of the strange phenomena of today is the attempt of several evangelical groups to re-inaugurate Pentecostal gifts. There is a demand for ministers of the gospel to give evidence of their calling by use of the credentials of the kingdom. Signs, wonders and miracles, as described in the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, are so far removed from the days in which we now live that it seemed good to write a few words setting forth some Scriptures on these truths.

I call your attention first of all to Hebrews 2:4: "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will." All through the ages God has confirmed His testimony by means of these supernatural gifts. When God spoke through the prophets there were signs (Isaiah 7:11, 14). When He sent His Son, again the ministry was confirmed by signs (Matthew 11:1-5). After the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and the descent of the Holy Spirit, the message was confirmed by these signs on the part of those WHO HAD HEARD THE LORD IN PERSON. But even those who had heard the Lord did not have their witness confirmed with signs following unto the end of their personal ministries, but only to a certain documented point in history.

Let us consider first of all the meaning and significance of the words signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost.
 
1. SIGN: This manifestation is simply a sign - no more, no less. It is a sign that the witness himself is from God and it has a peculiar relationship to Israel as is revealed in the fact that every time the word miracle is found in the book of John it is the word which means a sign; and all of these signs in John were for the nation of Israel.

2. WONDER: A wonder is so called because of the effect produced on those who witnessed a mighty work. They wondered Who? Why? How? and Whence? this supernatural power.

3. MIRACLE: Rightly translated would be powers. It is used to describe the inherent power by which this mighty work had been done.

4. GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST: This is not the Holy Spirit Himself, but such gifts as He chooses to bestow upon certain individuals.

You will look in vain for these four expressions - signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost - in any of Paul's Epistles written after the time of Acts 28:28, which was approximately 63 A.D. These signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost were given to signify - to witness to Israel - that Jehovah was the God of Israel. Throughout the history of the nation of the children of Israel, Jehovah had manifested His presence and power with His messengers who had been sent in His Name. After the final rejection and the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, after the final rejection of Jehovah's great witness Paul by the chief Jews of the dispersion in Rome,there was no further need of such signs. These signs ended with those to whom they were given (those who had heard Jesus in person).
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 12:14:25 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Signs, Wonders And Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson

When God set Israel aside and turned to the Gentiles (see Acts 15:13-17 and Acts 28:28 ), these signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit were no longer in evidence. Prior to Acts 28:28 the Apostle Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake and not harmed (Acts 28:3-6). During this same period of time Paul worked many miracles (Acts 19:11, 12). Paul also raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9, 10). After Acts 28:28 - after God had set Israel aside - after the withdrawal of the offer of the kingdom to Israel on the basis of national repentance, none of the signs, wonders, miracles and divers gifts of the Holy Ghost were in evidence.

After Acts 28:28 Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletum (II Timothy 4:20). After Acts 28:28 Luke, the physician, stayed with Paul, who suffered greatly from the thorn in the flesh, which seems to have been a severe eye malady (II Timothy 4:11; Colossians 4:14, Galatians 4:13, 14; Galatians 6:11; II Corinthians 12:7). It was after Acts 28:28 that Paul was unable to minister to Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27). It was after Acts 28:28 that Paul, unable to heal Timothy, prescribed wine as a tonic (I Timothy 5:23). Prior to Acts 28:28 Paul and the other disciples had the signs of an apostle (II Corinthians 12:12), but after the time of Acts 28:28, which was approximately 63 A.D., none of these signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost were in evidence.

It was the Jews who demanded a sign and God gave them signs. The Gentiles did not require a sign, did not seek a sign and no signs have been given to them. It is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeketh for signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:4). All these signs and promised blessings await Israel's repentance. Signs are a part of the birthright of Israel. Study the signs with which Moses went to Israel. Signs do not belong to the church as such. They are not in evidence in the church after the time of Acts 28:28. If you will study carefully you will see that the Corinthian Epistles were written before Acts 28:28; likewise, the book of James was written before the time of Acts 28:28. When Israel repents of her sin and turns again to the Lord, all of these signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit will be in evidence. See Joel 2:28-31.

"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." - Isaiah 8:20.

TO BE CONTINUED.....
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:42:56 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The World And Its God
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE WORLD AND ITS GOD

The world or world system under which we live today, and have since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, is that system in which man seeks primarily the well-being of humanity (himself), This is done by seeking to achieve the best possible results by educational, economic, social and even religious advancement APART FROM GOD. Man is seeking to organize and establish the best world possible and to achieve the best possible living conditions that can be attained without God.

The spiritual leader, organizer and director of this great world system is Satan himself (Luke 4:5, 6). Herein, he declares that the Kingdoms of this world are his and that he can give them to whomsoever he wills. Satan attracted Eve and caused her to embark upon a career for PROGRESS, that is, SELF-IMPROVEMENT THROUGH THE PURSUIT AND ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE. The only thing which stood in the way of Adam and Eve's doing the will of Satan was a direct command of God to the contrary. Eve did then what man has done ever since - set himself as judge over God by questioning and then passing judgment upon the expediency of the divine command. Man presumed to criticize the Word of God. Man, by his ignoring God and His Word, has developed a very complete and great system according to his own way of thinking. This world system, with Satan as its founder and ruler, has become the god of this age. This satanic world system, accepted by Adam and Eve and by the majority of people in the world today, has the following characteristics:
 
1. This world system has its own philosophy, which is man's account of the origin, course and end of all that is. However, this philosophy changes from time to time and thereby proves its own falseness. Man does not know, nor can he know apart from God the origin, course and end of the universe or its contents.

2. This world system has developed its own science. The supernatural is eliminated completely and all that exists is rationalized; that is, explained away. Man denies the existence of God; therefore, God could not become man. However, man can become like God; therefore, man is God.

3. This world system has established its own government. Denying the existence and authority of the Lord God Almighty, man exalts himself to be the head and authoritative source of all power. Man elects himself - makes his own laws and attempts to govern self. The lowest form of government conceivable to the mind of man is a democracy wherein man assumes to be his own governor. Man will not, therefore, cannot govern himself.

4. This great world system has provided itself with "amusements." The word "muse" means "to think," and the prefix "a" negates that to which it is affixed. Thus muse (to think) becomes amuse (not to think). The multiplicity of amusements is evidence enough of the fact that man is determined not to think about his origin or goals, about God and his relationship to Him, about eternal hell and his part in that. The tragedy of tragedies is to be found in the fact that the church of the living God, which is God's institution on the earth for teaching eternal verities, has abandoned its God-given task and has gone into the amusement (nonthinking) business. The average church of today will not even permit its minister the privilege of thinking.

5. This great world system has developed and established its own religion. In this religion, the conscience of man is soothed, his fears of judgment are removed and he lives in perfect peace and harmony with the world, the flesh and the devil. In this religion, there is no hell, neither is there any heaven. Hell and heaven are but emotions of the individual and are simply an inner experience. Man has trained and educated his conscience to the point that he no longer experiences a sense of guilt when he acts contrary to the Word of God. This world system seems to have for its goal the eradication of any and every thought of God from the minds of man and the destruction and abolition of the Word of God as the authoritative Word of God.

This world system seeks to free women from the position and relationship to man established by God. This world system seeks to do away with the national and racial differences established by God. This world system seeks to abolish capital punishment which was established by God as the basis of all civil government.

The only antidote for this world system, which is gaining adherents without number, is a return to the Lord God Almighty and His Word, the Holy Bible. Isaiah 45:22: "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." Matthew 4:4: "But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:44:19 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Revelation Ignored
by A. Edwin Wilson


REVELATION IGNORED

The Book of The Revelation belongs to a small but ever increasing number of books of the Bible that are being set aside as unworthy of serious attention on the part of Bible students. Why is this especially true with the Book of Revelation? Why is it so lightly esteemed? Why is it sorely assailed as unintelligible? I think the answer to these questions is to be found in the fact that the teachings of Revelation oppose themselves to human thought.

In the first place, the Book of The Revelation deals with the supernatural - not the supernatural that belongs to the past but the supernatural that belongs to the future; and we might say in the light of the signs of the times, the immediate future. Christianity has degenerated in our country into a code of ethics, with the supernatural practically eliminated. So far as I have been able to ascertain, the majority of Christians today are SADDUCEES; that is, they believe neither in angels nor the resurrection nor the supernatural.

Secondly, the Book of The Revelation describes the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ in a manner that is unbearable to the human mind. It also reveals the nominal church and (;he world as they are before God, with the judgments of God upon them impending. Such truth is always repulsive to man, who imagines himself to be eternal and infallible.

Thirdly, the Book of The Revelation is made up in the main of a description of these horrible judgments upon the nominal church and the world at the appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These appalling threats of judgment do not commend themselves to man as worthy of any consideration on his part.

Fourthly, the Book of The Revelation contains a description of the heavenly Jerusalem, that mighty metropolis, that center of the new heavens and the new earth, built by God and not by man. Again, we find man totally disinterested on the whole in the handiwork of the Lord God.

In brief, The Revelation is discarded and ignored by the majority of Christians today because it shows up man and reveals God in their true light. Believe the promise of God in Revelation 1:3.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:45:51 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Noble Bereans
by A. Edwin Wilson


NOBLE BEREANS

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:10, 11).

Paul had just left Thessalonica where a church had been established which he called the model church (I Thessalonians 1:7, 8 ). I was a little surprised to read that the Bereans where called more noble than the Thessalonians. A close study of the 11th verse which is quoted above will reveal wherein their nobility was found.

In the first place, they rendered very candid attention to the new truths which Paul was preaching. This is an exercise that befits finite minds. Since there are realms of truth beyond all finite minds, it behooves man to be docile and tractable. Man knows so little - and even that imperfectly - that he does well to give heed when one speaks as from the Lord. These Bereans were open-minded. This is a characteristic very rare among men, for somehow or other man grows up with preconceived ideas and concepts that blind him to all that does not blend with his own ideas. Nothing is more repugnant to him than a teaching pulpit. It is nobility of the highest order to be able to listen honestly to new truths.

In the second place, these Bereans gave a proper examination to the new doctrines enunciated by Paul. They were not as most listeners - passive listeners from whom the truth would flee in a few hours. They set to work to examine the Scriptures. They examined these Scriptures independently. They were not swayed by the authority of others. They took the scrolls in their own hands, unrolled them, read, studied, meditated, sought meaning with a willingness to believe the truth. Perhaps our great failure is not searching the Scriptures for ourselves. They examined the Scriptures perseveringly, they examined the Scriptures daily. Proverbs 2:1-5 tells how one is to search the Scriptures if one is to know the will of the Lord. The Bereans yielded to the new truths. Many believed the things which were taught by the Apostle Paul. Their faith was an intelligent faith. It was the result of investigating the Scriptures. It gave them living conviction.

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you unto all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come" (John 16:13). Here we read that the Spirit will guide - not drive nor force - but guide into all truth. Three groups of people need a guide - the blind, the weak and strangers.

Those who are spiritually blind need the Spirit of the Lord to guide them into truth. Those who are weak in the faith need the Spirit of the Lord to hold and lead them into the truth. Those who are strangers to the things of God need the Spirit of the Lord to lead them into the paths of learning. Herein I believe you will find some of the things which distinguished the Bereans as being more noble than the Thessalonians.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:47:10 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Discernment
by A. Edwin Wilson


DISCERNMENT

Only those who are clean can discern the truth of the Word of the Lord. Cleanness is set forth in the Word of God as correspondence between the hoof and the mouth. Only the animals with cloven hoofs and that chewed the cud were clean. The cloven hoof speaks of the walk. The chewing of the cud speaks of mastication and digestion, which is meditation. Only as a Christian walks in righteousness and meditates upon the Word of God can he discern Its truth.


Prophecy - Signs
Except
by A. Edwin Wilson


EXCEPT

 
Three "Except's" concerning entrance into the Kingdom.

1. "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. " - John 3:5

2. "Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 18:3

3. "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:20
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:48:26 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Friends Of Mammon
by A. Edwin Wilson


FRIENDS OF MAMMON

In Luke 16:1-13, we have our Lord's parable of the unjust steward. This parable has proved an enigma to many students of the Word because of the King James translation of the 9th verse: "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." This is an incorrect translation and obscures the true meaning. The better translation is the following: "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends BY MEANS OF the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles."

The mammon of unrighteousness is nothing in the world but money. Contrary to many students of the Word, money is not the root of all evil. It is the LOVE of money which is the root of all evil. This unjust steward had squandered and dissipated his master's property for reasons other than his master's benefit. The steward was punished by being removed from office and his task given to another. The steward then began conniving with just debtors of his master by reducing their bills considerably under their true value. In this way, he made friends with many who, when he would be out of work, could take care of him. The lord or master (not Jesus) of the unjust steward commended the evil conduct of the steward in that the steward, seeing his loss of income, began to make provision for the future, though in an illegal way.

In verse 9, Jesus says to His disciples, "Make friends to yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness (money)." The mammon of unrighteousness (money) provides food, clothing, shelter, friends, position and honor while one is here on the earth. Christians who have a heavenly hope will not need food, clothing, shelter, etc., in heaven; so the Lord Jesus Christ urges the Christians to use their money here and now to gain rewards, prestige, positions of honor in the coming kingdom of our Lord. See Matthew 6:19-24 and Galatians 6:6-9.

Let us now consider the Jewish aspect of this parable, which more than likely is the fundamental basis of interpretation. This steward may well be a type of the nation of Israel into whose hands our Lord entrusted His business - the oracles of God, the Messiah and world-wide witness. Israel refused to use the blessings of the Lord for the honor and glory of the Lord, seeking only her own wealth and comfort here on the earth. Because of Israel's disobedience to the Lord, He sets her aside as His steward and delivers the responsibility to the Gentiles. Matthew 21:43: "Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

Because Israel cannot dig or work in the soil (outside of the Land she is not an agricultural people), neither can Israel beg (because of her pride and neither is it necessary); therefore, the Jews - outside of the land, set aside as God's steward - devote themselves by hook and crook to provide for the necessities and luxuries of life enumerated above, by the use of money.

Since the Lord has entrusted His goods to the Gentiles who will bring forth the fruits thereof, they are exhorted to so handle the Lord's business as to secure rewards and treasures which will benefit them in the life to come. If the Jews are shrewd enough to use the mammon of unrighteousness (money) for their benefit here on the earth, Christians in their own generation should be wise enough to use their mammon of unrighteousness (money) to earn rewards which will be enjoyed during the millennial reign of Christ.

What Jesus said to His disciples was this: Make to yourselves friends by the means of the money God has placed in your trust, so that when our Lord appears you will not be made ashamed from Him.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:49:50 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Another Gospel
by A. Edwin Wilson


ANOTHER GOSPEL

In II Corinthians 11:4, Paul calls attention to the fact that the Corinthians had been receiving another gospel concerning another Jesus than that which he had been preaching. In Gal. 1:6-9, Paul admonishes the Galatians not to believe any other gospel than that which he had preached. Because of these and similar statements, many are confused and do not understand various aspects of the gospel described by the following titles: The gospel of the kingdom; the gospel of the grace of God; Paul's gospel; the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ; and the everlasting gospel.

Some think that these are all different gospels; others think that they all refer to the same thing. The fact of the matter is, there is but one gospel. The word gospel itself means good news. There are different aspects of the gospel; that is, there are different emphases set forth in these descriptive titles mentioned above. We will consider each in the order listed.
 
1. The gospel of the kingdom of the heavens: John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness, saying, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand." (The word heaven in connection with the kingdom in Matthew is always in the plural.) In Matthew 4:17, we learn that Jesus began to preach the same gospel. In Matthew 9:35, we read the following: "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." In Mark 1:14, 15, we read that Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, announcing that "the kingdom of God is at hand; therefore, repent ye, and believe the gospel." That is, believe the good news; not the good news of salvation by grace, because that had not yet been announced, neither made possible by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. But, believe the good news of the coming kingdom.

If you will read also in this connection Matthew 10:1-10, you will learn several characteristics of the gospel of the kingdom:

First, it was addressed only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, never to the Gentiles.

Second, it required repentance and public confession on the part of Israel (see Matthew 3:1-12; Acts 2:32-41).

Third, the preachers of the gospel of the kingdom were given credentials by the Lord to establish their authority as heaven-sent ministers. These credentials were signs, wonders and miracles. Included in these were the power to heal, the ability to raise the dead, to speak in foreign languages without previous study or knowledge, to cast out demons, to handle poisonous serpents, to drink deadly poison and to cleanse lepers.

Fourth, the gospel of the kingdom was not to be preached to the Gentiles.

Fifth, this gospel of the kingdom was preached to the children of Israel as long as the kingdom of heaven was offered to the nation of Israel on the basis of national repentance.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:51:14 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Another Gospel
by A. Edwin Wilson

Sixth, the offer of the kingdom to Israel on such basis was withdrawn at the time of Acts 28:28: "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it."

Seventh, with the setting aside of Israel as a nation, God began to take out of the Gentiles a people for His Name (see Acts 15:13-18 ).

Eighth, the offer of the kingdom and the preaching again of the gospel of the kingdom with its accompanying signs, wonders and miracles cannot take place until the fulfillment of Romans 11:25; that is, it cannot take place until the rapture of the saints, after which the gospel of the kingdom will again be preached.

The preaching of the gospel of the kingdom has nothing whatever to do with the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God. And the confusion of these two gospels - with many earnest, honest, sincere Christians in this dispensation of grace trying to re-establish and perform again the signs, wonders and miracles which belong only to the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom - has made shipwreck of the faith of many Christians. The FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM IS THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

2. The gospel of the grace of God: In Acts 20:24, the Apostle Paul tells us that he testified the gospel of the grace of God. This good news is stated succinctly in I Corinthians 15:3, 4: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." This is the good news of salvation by grace. See Ephesians 2:8-10. Since Christ has already died for our sins, neither repentance nor baptism constitutes a part of this gospel, though they have their places after one has been saved. The sin question has forever been settled; it is the Son question which now remains.

In John 3:18, we learn that no one goes to hell because of his sin, neither is anyone saved because of repentance and baptism. The only reason anyone is saved is because he has received the good news that Christ has died for his sins; that is, he has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. The only reason one goes to hell is because he has not believed the good news of the grace of God; that is, he has not believed on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this connection, we do well to remember that the Gospel of John was written to tell individuals how to be saved (John 20:30,31), and not one time do the words repent or repentance occur in this Gospel.

The most amazing thing in this enlightened Christian era of Bible study and teaching is that so few Christians have any concept of the grace of God or of salvation by grace. No signs, wonders or miracles are associated with the gospel of grace. They are not necessary. The Holy Spirit of God takes the Word of God and bears it home to the heart of the individual, producing conviction of sin and revealing the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ. THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF THE GOSPEL OF GRACE IS THE SALVATION OF THE LOST.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:52:39 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Another Gospel
by A. Edwin Wilson

3. Paul's gospel: In Romans 2:16; 16:25; II Timothy 2:8, we have expression of Paul's gospel. This is not another gospel but just a different aspect of the good news. In Paul's gospel, the emphasis is upon rewards for obedient saints who have been saved by the grace of God. In the prison epistles - Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, II Timothy - Paul emphasizes the fact that whereas we are saved by grace, all rewards are meritorious, that is, based upon works.

Paul's gospel is the great mystery which was revealed to him but which had been kept secret or hidden until that time. Many erroneously believe that the mystery which was revealed to Paul was the church. But the church came into existence sometime before Paul's salvation, and we have Paul himself stating that he persecuted the church before his salvation (Gal. 1:13). THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF PAUL'S GOSPEL IS THAT IF A CHRISTIAN IS FAITHFUL, OBEDIENT AND SUFFERS WITH CHRIST, HE SHALL REIGN WITH CHRIST. OTHERWISE, SUCH A CHRISTIAN WILL STILL BE SAVED WITHOUT WORKS AND REWARDS, BUT AS THROUGH FIRE. See II Timothy 2:12; Romans 8:17; I Corinthians 3:14, 15.

4. The gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ: In II Corinthians 4:4, the King James translation, "the glorious gospel of Christ," should be translated "the gospel of the glory of Christ." THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF THIS ASPECT OF THE GOSPEL IS THE GLORY OF CHRIST WHICH IS TO BE MANIFESTED TO THE WHOLE UNIVERSE WHEN CHRIST RETURNS AND ESTABLISHES HIS KINGDOM. The majority of Christians know of the humiliation and shame of the Lord but little, if anything, of His coming glory. The significance of the scene on the Mount of Transfiguration was to give unto Peter, James and John a preview and foretaste of that coming glory. We are to pray for His coming in power and glory. We are to love His coming in power and glory. We are to talk, teach and preach of His coming in power and glory. What shame and reproach are heaped upon the Lord by individuals who constantly state that they care not whether the Lord returns.

In I Timothy 1:11, attention once again is called to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God which gospel had also been committed to Paul. We need to remember constantly the two foci of the ellipse of our Lord's ministry, which are His first advent, culminating in the cross, and His second advent, culminating in the revelation of His glory. There is no understanding the person, life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ without an understanding of these two centers of His activity. The gospel of the grace of God centers around the first, which is the cross. The gospel of the glory of Christ centers around the second, which is the throne and crown.

5. The everlasting gospel: Revelation 14:6 tells of an angel flying in the midst of the heaven, preaching the everlasting gospel. (This is not a preacher in an airplane, flying to preach the gospel of grace.) In verse 7, we see that THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IS THE SANCTIFICATION - GLORIFICATION - OF GOD BY AND IN HIS WHOLE CREATION. Since God spoke the universe into existence, man, with few exceptions, has denied the creative power of the Lord God. As the activity of this present heaven and earth draws to a close, an appointed angel flies through the heaven, preaching the everlasting gospel; that is, proclaiming the good news that, because of God's creation of the heavens, the earth, the sea and the fountains of waters, God - the Triune God - is to be worshiped.

There is but one gospel, but this one gospel has several facets or aspects. Each facet calls for the emphasis to be placed upon some particular aspect of the good news, and the aspect emphasized determines the title by which the gospel in that instance shall be labeled.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:53:57 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Disquieting And Disturbing
by A. Edwin Wilson


DISQUIETING AND DISTURBING

The Word of the Lord tells us that there are three things that disquiet the inhabitants of the earth and a fourth one which completely wrecks the household. In Proverbs 30:21-23, we read: "For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; For an odious women when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress."

Once again, I call attention to the fact that this is the Word of the Lord and did not originate with man, but is completely overlooked and even denied in most Christian circles today.

1. The first thing which disquiets and disturbs the order as established by God since sin entered into the world is for a servant to become a ruler or for a servile nation to reach a place of authority and responsibility over non-servile nations. The reason is because persons of low birth are harder on the populace when opportunity presents itself than those born in high stations of life. One has said, "A servant ruling becomes the most insolent, imperious, cruel and tyrannical of all masters." Even though elevated to the position of ruler or equal to those born in high stations, the former servant or servile people cannot rise above servile habits. The world is being disquieted today as never before because of this very reason. The whole world trembles when one of the above mentioned comes into a place of freedom in action. The whole and complete arrangement of society as established by God is shattered. Such a one seeks to indemnify himself in his present highness for his former lowliness.

2. Equally disquieting is a fool who has all he can desire. Rolling in plenty, he despises the poor and needy and considers that his possessions entitle him to respect, though he has no virtues at all. Such a one becomes arrogant, troublesome and dangerous. Very few who suddenly come into riches prove to be a blessing to mankind.

3. The odious woman. Such a one described here is one who, because of provoking hatred and repugnance, is not fit company for society. At length this very unattractive and repulsive, witch-like individual enters into a state of matrimony but, being unamiable and vindictive, completely destroys peace and happiness for friends, becoming a most disquieting influence in the world.

4. A handmaid who supplants her mistress. This is one who comes into the home as a servant but stealthily wins the husband's affections, alienating his wife and children, and becomes mistress of the home herself, thereby causing utter ruin. These four disquieting influences described by the Lord God Himself can-not happen or come to pass except for the complete denial of the existence of God and an absolute disregard for His Word.

In conclusion, I want to say that, according to the Word of God, possibly the most disquieting influence in the world today is the aspiration of the servile people to leave the position in which God placed them and usurp that belonging to others.
 
The late Dr. Scofield used to say that when we are first converted we have to change from natural to spiritual, but after being saved a while, we need another conversion to become natural again - in a different sense of course. So many of us allow ourselves to become rather stilted and unnatural in our own desire to be spiritual, we lose that sweet, gracious warmth that should characterize us as Christian men and women.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:55:17 AM
Prophecy - Signs
No Room
by A. Edwin Wilson


NO ROOM

At the time of the birth of our Lord, there was no room for Him in the affairs of men. Neither is there room for the Lord today. Love for the Lord is displaced by the care of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the pleasures of this life.


Prophecy - Signs
Babel
by A. Edwin Wilson


BABEL

Genesis 11:1-9; Daniel 3; Revelation 17. The above Scriptures tell of the tower of Babel, of the city of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar and of the mystery of Babylon under the Antichrist, and in these three experiences are three attempts of Satan to establish a universal religion. The ecumenical councils of today are part of the plan of Satan to bring into existence the mystery of Babylon described in Revelation 17.

Satan has always inspired great towers - great buildings - great schemes. These appeal to and are ministered unto by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

Satan delights in gathering great bodies, in forming great parties, in organizing great groups, in building vast temples and edifices, in establishing great institutions and in founding great denominational bodies. The key words in his plans and methods are organize and unite. He revels in compiling enormous figures and raising vast sums of money. Having done this, he then prevails upon mankind to fall down and worship all of these things and to say, "Is not this great Babylon which we have builded!"

This is the devil's idea of religion and his followers are legion. But God does not like it a bit and brought it to nought on the plains of Shinar, on the plains of Dura, and He shall bring it to nought when it is headed up in the great world church under the Anti-Christ. Our Lord said, "Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there will I be also." Do not look for the Lord in the magnitude of man's elaborate schemes and buildings. Rather, listen for the still, small voice.

"It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:56:44 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Books Of Heaven
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE BOOKS OF HEAVEN

The Word of the Lord mentions various and sundry books in relation to the names and lives of individuals both saved and lost. I want to list a number of these books with a few words about each:

1.THE BOOK OF OUR MEMBERS: "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them" (Psalm 139:16).

This seems to be the same book mentioned in Exodus 32:32 and Revelation 20:15. The full description of this book in Psalms 139:11-16 reveals that this is a book in which the name of every individual conceived is written at the moment conception takes place. This is the book out of which many names are erased. I would judge the ones to be erased would be those reaching the age of accountability and living out their appointed days without accepting Christ as their Saviour. All infants dying before the age of accountability and all who mature physically but are mentally incapacitated are safe in that their names are not erased.

2. THE BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE or OF WORDS: "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name " (Malachi 3:16).

This book contains the record of words that are spoken, which calls to mind Matthew 12:36: "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." It is also well to remember in connection with this book of words James 1:26 and 3:1-12. The importance of the tongue and giving expression to thoughts cannot be overestimated, and we should never forget that the book of remembrance is a record of our words.
 
3. THE BOOK OF DEEDS: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works " (Revelation 20:12).

Herein we learn of a book which has all of the deeds of the lost. This being the judgment of the dead at the great white throne, the dead being those who are separated from God because of unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ; the judgment is to determine the extent of their punishment in the lake of fire and brimstone. See Matthew 10:15 which reveals degrees in punishment. That there is a book of deeds for the saved is revealed in Revelation 3:5: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."

This book out of which names of Christians are blotted is not that of eternal life, because those to whom the Lord gives eternal life shall never perish (John 10:28 ), but this is equivalent to the loss of garments (personal righteousness) in Revelation 16:15. It is also comparable to the loss of crowns, as set forth in Revelation 3:11. It is the same as forfeiting the privileges of birthright as did Reuben and Esau, though they did not forfeit their sonship.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:58:25 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Books Of Heaven
by A. Edwin Wilson

4. THE BOOK OF TEARS: "Thou tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book" (Psalm 56:8 )? The truth expressed here is that the tears of God's children are kept in remembrance before the Lord. They are caught and placed in a bottle, as well as recorded in a book - tears because of our sins, tears shed on behalf of loved ones who are lost, tears shed because of failure to understand and appropriate the promises of God, any and all tears shed because of our relationship to the Lord in any aspect whatsoever. No tear that is ever shed because of the Lord or our relation to Him is forgotten by the Lord.

5. THE BOOK OF CURSES: "Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. And He said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. Then said He unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for everyone that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and everyone that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it " (Zechariah 5:1-3).

The flying roll described herein is a scroll or a book in which is inscribed the curse that goes over the face of the whole earth, in particular the curse upon those who steal and those who swear. Two manifest and very common sins of today are those of theft and swearing. Theft reveals disregard for another's property; swearing reveals disregard for the honor and glory of the Lord. The nature of the curse is not revealed but it is sufficient to know that God has pronounced a particular curse upon those two gross sins so prevalent today.

6. THE BOOK OF FUTURE EVENTS: "And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof" (Revelation 5:1, 2)? This book of seven seals is the book containing the judgments and blessings of God which take place after the rapture. In fact, from chapter 6 onward we have the revealing of future events contained in this sealed book. This is called The Revelation, which means a showing forth, a making known, a causing to understand. So important is this book that God has promised particular blessings as set forth in the following verse: Revelation 1:3: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Should you desire a blessing from the Lord, read the book of Revelation.
 
7. THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world " (Revelation 13:8 ).
 
See also Revelation 21:27. First of all, I want to call your attention to the fact that the word name in Revelation 13:8 is singular and not plural, as the King James translation has it. This reveals unto us that there is individual action and judgment according to whether or not one's name is in the Lamb's book of life. Those who dwell upon the earth (an expression describing those who remain after the rapture and who are not of the elect, either Jew or Gentile) do not have their names written in the Lamb's book of life; therefore, they are lost. The very name itself reveals that this particular book of life contains the names of those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.

Hebrews 12:23 speaks of the "church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven," and I would judge that since they are in heaven the book in which their names are written is the Lamb's book of life.

The mention of books may call to your mind the old hymn we used to sing, "Is My Name Written There?" I know my name is written in the Lamb's book of life because I have personally received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. That is a book from which no names are ever erased, because salvation is by grace through faith and not conditioned by or upon anything that I might do.

There may be other books which are mentioned by the Lord in His Word, but these are the ones which I have in mind just now.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 02:59:44 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Philosophy And Science
by A. Edwin Wilson


PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE

Since two of the gods worshiped so devoutly today are Philosophy and Science, it seemed good to give a few words from the New Testament pertaining to these two subjects.

When the New Testament was written the world was divided into two great schools of thought, the Eastern and the Western. The Eastern was of Persian, Syrian, Chaldean and Egyptian origin and was called Science, which comes from the Latin word for knowledge. The Western school of thought was of Grecian and Roman origin and was called Philosophy, or love of wisdom.

Now let us see what the Bible says about each:

1. SCIENCE: "0 Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called " (I Timothy 6:20). Here we learn from the Spirit of God through Paul that Science opposes the truth of God and Christians are to avoid it as a major enemy of Christianity.

2. PHILOSOPHY: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ " (Colossians 2:8 ). Here the Spirit of the Lord reveals that the basis of Philosophy is the traditions of man and it does not come from Christ. Therefore, since Philosophy is vain and deceitful, we are to beware of it since it spoils those who are in Christ.

How tragic that today with few exceptions modern education is based upon these two errors, Science and Philosophy, rather than upon the Word of God, which states, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom."
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 03:01:04 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Kingdom Taken From Israel
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE KINGDOM TAKEN FROM ISRAEL

"Therefore, say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof "(Matthew 21:43).

Because of Israel's rejection of Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and because of their subsequent crucifixion of Him, God withdrew from the nation of Israel the offer of the kingdom of the heavens. This included, among other things, the right and privilege of ruling over the earth from the heavens with the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Lord then extended the offer of the kingdom rule to another nation which would, and if it would, bring forth the fruits thereof.

We give the following summary of such action as given in Matthew 21:33-46:

1. The nation of Israel had failed God as stewards of the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens.

2. They slew the Son who was the Heir, with the intention of seizing the kingdom for themselves on their own conditions and not those of God.

3. The Jews were miserably destroyed in 70 A.D. by Titus and the Roman legions. Their city, Jerusalem, was burned with fire.

4. A new nation was to be appointed to be stewards of the kingdom of the heavens in the place of Israel.

5. The realization of that stewardship was to be on the condition of bearing fruit.

6. This new nation is described in I Pet. 2:9, 10. These people once were not a people of God, neither were they the recipients of God's grace. A good description of them is given in Ephesians 2:11-13.

7. Those who become prominent in the kingdom to rule and reign with the Lord are the ones who, in this age, bring forth fruit for the kingdom after they have been saved. To be saved is to be in the body of Christ. To bear fruit enables one to be taken "out of the body of Christ" and become a part of "the bride of Christ."

8. Notice a description of this new nation - THE TRUE CHURCH - in I Pet. 2:9,10:

(a) As being kin to Christ, they share His life as an elect race.

(b) As a royal priesthood, they are equipped for service to and for Christ.

(c) As a holy nation, the church reveals the kingdom of the heavens and rules with Christ in the day of His reign.

(d) As a people for God's possession, the church reveals that the victory is the Lord's.

All of the above depends entirely on the bearing of fruit for the kingdom, whereas eternal life is dependent only on the grace of God through faith. I judge, therefore, in the light of the above, that the true church is composed only of those Christians who bear fruit for our Lord, all other Christians remaining in the body of Christ.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 03:02:31 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Is God Real?
by A. Edwin Wilson


IS GOD REAL?

Many people are rebelling, and justly so, against the modern theology, "God is dead." Yet as I talk to so many fundamentalists and premillennialists, I find that while they say God is not dead, they do not believe He is real; that is, their concept of God the Father is that He is simply "a gaseous mass permeating the ether."

They seem to think it is heresy to speak of God having hands, eyes, ears, mouth, feet, heart. They even go so far as to say they do not believe He is seated on a throne or that He has a throne in the heavens. Then they end up by saying they do not believe that heaven is real, neither the tabernacle in heaven, the blueprint or pattern which was shown by God to Moses to be the model for the tabernacle in the wilderness.

I have also learned from many of them that none but the illiterate and woefully ignorant believe that God is a real Person with a real body. They quote a mistranslation from John 4:24, "God is a Spirit." But the literal translation is, "God is Spirit." They equate Spirit with phantom, not knowing that the terms spirit and body are compatible.

The same passage says that we must worship Him in spirit and we do that in our bodies. We don't have to leave our bodies, as a phantom or ghost, in order to worship God. I Corinthians 15:42-44 treats of a spiritual body, which simply means that our bodies, being flesh and bones even as was our Lord's resurrected body. will be animated by the Holy Spirit. I think that God being Spirit means that while He has a body, animation comes from the Holy Spirit.

I want to call your attention to a few passages of Scripture which tell us of God's body and what it is like. Genesis 1:26 tells us that man was created in the likeness of the image of God. An image always refers to a physical likeness visible to the eye. There was nothing wrong with man as created by God. In his physical body, he belonged to God's creation of which He said, "It was good."

In Philippians 2:5, 6, we learn that God has a form; and the word form means shape and structure which has an external appearance and is visible to the eye. Hebrews 1:3 speaks of Jesus being the express image of God's substance. Substance is composed of elements which are tangible, visible, and possess form. In John 14:8, 9, when Philip asks to see the Father, Jesus tells him that, ". . . he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." That is, "As you look upon Me here in My physical body, you know exactly how the Father looks."

Those who deny the reality of God's person say that the simple-minded, in their attempt to describe God or picture God in their minds, ascribe to God human characteristics. But I cannot find anywhere in the Bible that the human characteristics, so-called, of God were given Him by man. On the contrary, it is the Holy Spirit who speaks of God's hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, throne, etc.

God's original purpose in the creation of man was to bring into existence one like unto Himself with whom He could have fellowship and one who would do His will. Had Adam and Eve eaten of the tree of life as commanded by God, rather than the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would have been preserved or perpetuated in their literal bodies of blood, flesh and bones.

I think the desire to do away with the body of the Lord God Almighty is because of a false view that matter is evil. Such is not the case, for it was of matter that God said, "It was good." The deterioration of human bodies is the result of sin and not the cause of sin. I do not believe one can really understand the Word of God unless he knows that God, heaven, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are real.

When Moses desired to see the face of the Lord, God refused; but He did permit Moses to see His back parts after He had passed by (see Exodus 33:18-23). Also in Isaiah 6:1-7, we read about Isaiah seeing the Lord on His throne and God cleansing him of his iniquity, that he should not perish because of having seen the Lord. Since no man could see God and live, it required a special dispensation by God in the cleansing of Isaiah, that he die not because of having seen the Lord.
 
One question arises in the minds of many people: namely, if God is real and has substance, form and body, how can He be omnipresent? Answer: God is omnipresent in the Person of the Holy Spirit. See John 3:13. Here we have Jesus physically present on the earth but also present in heaven in the Spirit.

Personally, I am convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that the reason the Spirit of God magnifies the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in I Corinthians 15 as the great doctrine of Christianity is because His resurrection in a physical body establishes the fact that because He has a body, God also has a body and we, too, shall possess glorified bodies (but bodies nonetheless) throughout eternity. Selah.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 03:03:57 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Capital Punishment
by A. Edwin Wilson


CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Christianity, as a molder and determining factor in shaping the lives and thinking of the people with which it comes in contact, has fallen from the high pinnacle it once occupied. Originally, the Christian people based their deliberations and policies upon the WORD OF GOD. In the new mold, its convictions and principles are based on the philosophy of man rather than the Word of the Lord. The Christian church used to say, "Thus saith the Lord. . ." Today, it says, "Dr. So-and-So recommends. . ." For instance, God's Word says in Genesis 3:16 that man shall rule over the woman. Today, however, women occupy public office and in many instances exercise authority of rulership of the office over men. Again God's Word says in Genesis 9:25-27 concerning Ham and his descendants, that they are to be the servants of the other peoples of the earth. Today, the Christian church has committed itself to obliterating the distinction between these races and is seeking to establish a society based upon the philosophical heresy that men are created equal. It is interesting to note in this connection, however, that God never created but one man and he fell from the high estate in which he was created. Since then he has begotten sons and daughters in his fallen, sinful, iniquitous and degenerate likeness, and the only equality is that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Man is striving now to strike once again at the Word of the Lord and do away with the foundation stone of civil government. The campaign by church and state to eliminate capital punishment is just this. In Genesis 9:6, we read, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man." Here we have the very basis of all civil government, which is divine in its origin because of this foundation.

Further recognition of this truth is expressed on other occasions in the Word of God. After the flood subsided, the Ark rested on Mount Ararat and man came forth to begin a new civilization. God laid down the fundamental principle of civil government - capital punishment of the murderer. The reason for the institution of this law is to be found in the verse quoted above where man slew another man. By so doing, he destroyed that which was originally made in God's image and likeness. Such flagrant disregard for God's image and likeness is punishable only by the execution of the murderer. It is erroneous to refer to the commandment of Exodus 20:13, "Thou shalt not kill." This commandment is not a repudiation of Genesis 9:6, but rather gives another basis for the assessment of the penalty against murder, that is, capital punishment. A man under no circumstances is to kill another man, but if he does, then by man (meaning society) shall the murderer be executed. God is not unmindful of extenuating circumstances and makes ample provision for what we call justifiable homicide.

In Numbers 35:30-34, we have a description as to how the execution of the murderer is to proceed. Notice in verse 30 that the murderer is to be put to death by the mouth of witnesses, that is, eye witnesses are called before the tribunal to give testimony as to how the crime was committed. The justice of God is also manifested as stated in this same verse: A person is not to be executed on the testimony of one witness alone. It must be by the testimony of two or more witnesses of the crime. At once, we see that the execution of the indicted murderer must not be on circumstantial evidence, and this eliminates the execution of one on the testimony of only one individual who could be a perjurer. In verse 31, the Lord further describes the procedure in the trial and specified that if a person has been adjudged guilty of murder in the first degree, he shall be executed. To give him life imprisonment, to assess a fine, or to combine the two, is not the penalty to be given a murderer in lieu of execution.

Unequivocally, God has decreed that the murderer (such status being determined by trial) shall be put to death. The reason for this is to be seen in verse 33.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 03:05:07 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Capital Punishment
by A. Edwin Wilson

The reasoning of man as he seeks to eliminate capital punishment proceeds from ignorance of the Word of the Lord. Man says that God is love and since He is love He will not cause man to be put to death. The fact of the matter is that because God is a God of love, He destroyed all flesh from the face of the earth, with the exception of those saved in the Ark which Noah built. On another occasion, He destroyed Pharaoh and all his hosts by drowning them in the Red Sea. Again, He caused 185,000 to be slain in one night, and He also caused 70,000 men to die by pestilence. Careful study of the Word of God will reveal the Old Testament truth that God Almighty Himself executed literally hundreds of thousands of men and women. All of this was necessitated by the entrance of sin into the world, and that sin still continues.

Capital punishment is not limited only to the Old Testament. Let us consider the New Testament. In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira were stricken down by God in the church service. Acts 12:23 records the account of God executing Herod. In Romans 13:1-7, there is the setup of civil government and all the ramifications of its administration according to the Word of the Lord. Read this passage carefully and follow along as it is commented upon: "LET EVERY SOUL BE SUBJECT UNTO THE HIGHER POWERS." The expression higher powers does not have to do with the heavens or so-called spiritual powers but rather with the higher power of government ranging from local government in the ward to the national administration in Washington, D.C. All power, civil and spiritual, is of God. There is no power but that which originated with God; therefore, to resist the power - to refuse to execute the lawfully judged murderer - is to resist the ordinance of God, and they that do so, shall resist to their own condemnation. Rulers and officers are ministers of the Lord. In distinguishing between the office and the personal life, or qualification of the officer, it is the uniform - his symbol of authority - that determines our respect.

In verse 4, of this particular passage of Scripture, we read that the officer does not bear the sword in vain. In modern vernacular, we would say that he does not carry that pistol for nothing. The custom of the law is that if an individual is slain while resisting arrest, there is no indictment of the arresting officer simply because of the authority of the office which he occupies. He is a minister of God for justice. We are admonished, therefore, by the Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul, to be subject to these governmental authorities for conscience's sake. We are exhorted by God to pay our taxes to support them. Anyone refusing to do so is violating the laws of God. Civil government is of divine origin, and the foundation stone of civil government is capital punishment. Where there is no capital punishment, or where the law is disregarded concerning this punishment, there is a breakdown of civil government.
 
God makes clear in His Word that there is ample provision for justifiable homicide. Referring again to Numbers 35:16-23, the Lord distinguishes between murder with malice aforethought, and accidental murder. Ample provision is made for the freeing of one who accidentally or unintentionally and without malice or enmity, murders an individual.

If ever there was a need for a return to the Word of God and for a stand to be taken on its principles, today is the day. But churches, Christian leaders and Christian organizations all combine to do away with the WORD OF GOD and are seeking to establish civilization on the wisdom of man, which is foolishness in the sight of God.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 03:06:57 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Bride Of Christ
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

Possibly no area of Bible truth is so neglected as the doctrine pertaining to the church. It has been my delight for several years to study, pray and meditate upon various passages of Scripture touching upon church truth.

I have come to some very definite conclusions in regard to the church and am listing below some of these without any discussion. The primary purpose of this is to stimulate thought on the part of you, the reader:

1. The church is composed of a certain specific number of chosen ones, neither Jew nor Gentile, but Christian.

2. This group is taken out of the great body of New Testament saints and is very small in number compared to the total number of Christians.
 
3. Those making up the church, having already been saved by grace, are chosen on the basis of their works, obedience, faithfulness, perseverance and conformity to the likeness of Christ.

4. This group will be sovereigns in the coming kingdom of our Lord, rather than subjects. As the queen consort, they will rule and reign with Christ.

5. This group will have qualified by overcoming, according to Revelation, chapters 2 and 3.

6. This group will have won one or more of the proffered crowns and thereby qualified themselves to rule and reign. No crown, no rule.

7. This group will have prepared and kept their wedding garments, thereby appearing in His presence clothed as the bride.
 
8. The Body of Christ is one thing - the bride, which is the church, is something else.

9. One must be very careful to distinguish between grace and works, as well as between salvation and rewards.

10. One can be saved without any good works (I Corinthians 3:15).

11. One must possess good works in order to receive rewards (I Corinthians 3:14).

12. One cannot be a member of the true church unless a member of A church.

13. Membership in the church is not the same as being saved. There are many saved who do not belong to any church.
 
14. Exclusion from a local church involves exclusion also from the true church (Matthew 16:19; John 20-23).
 
15. Many are called (saved), but few are called out (chosen to rule and reign). Many are saved, but few of the saved make up the church.

16. There are many vessels in the GREAT HOUSE, some to honor (to rule and reign), others to dishonor (subjects in the kingdom).

17. The true church is also called the church of the first born (Hebrews 12:22-24). The church of the firstborn is composed of those Christians who do not forfeit their rights of primogeniture by disobedience or unfaithfulness. Those who forfeit their birthright are demoted from the position of firstborn and become just subjects of the kingdom.

The above are a number of thoughts which have become convictions pertaining to the doctrine of the church.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 03:08:35 AM
Prophecy - Signs
The Super-State
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE SUPER-STATE

From time immemorial, Utopia has been a dream of the peoples of the world - a state. . . a place. . . a country in which all conditions would be perfect. The Bible speaks of a thousand years of peace - the millennial reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Of late, we have heard much of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, and the Great Society. These philosophies envision a time in which all nations, peoples and races will be one world, one language, one government, one church, one people, with one ruler.

Such a dream and hope is admirable because it is based upon Scripture. But man's efforts to bring into being such a state is doomed to failure, like an inherent weakness in a child with an inherited disease. This concept is good because of the need for a centralized government; a ruler with universal authority and complete control is absolutely essential to the welfare of the nations of the world. But before such a state can exist, there must be found a competent, supreme ruler to govern.

The question arises, Where is such a man to be found? There have been world rulers before now - Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Darius, Alexander the Great, the Caesars. There have been others like Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini, who had aspirations of becoming world dictators. None of these ever succeeded in exercising complete control of any given area.

The population explosion has introduced problems so vast and complicated that no human brain can grasp them, much less master them. Each passing day, it becomes more and more evident that man is not going to be able to introduce a Super-State or the Great Society. No man appears on the horizon, capable of dealing with the situation as it now exists throughout the world. The slowness of the processes of "evolution" (?) renders it impossible for a man to evolve today to take control, and only destruction lies ahead.

The human race is not improving; instead, it is growing worse and worse, and the conditions existing in our cities today under the march of so-called civil rights reverts to the jungle and has none of the marks of civilization. The world is longing for, looking for and dreaming of a superman who will bring order out of this present chaos.

This hope for a superman is not a dream alone, because a Superman is in the offing. He not only is a Superman, He is a supernatural Man, He is the God-Man, prophesied in the Word of God, from Genesis 3:15 as the Seed of the woman who will crush the head of the serpent, on through the entire Bible. The world is longing for and looking for this Superman and He must be found; yea, He will be found.

The world will have a choice for a superman. He will be Satan's man and will be known as the anti-christ. The Lord God Almighty has a choice and His Man will be the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the sources of so much grief and sorrow in the world today is because of the conflict between these two messiahs, striving for the allegiance of men - Satan's false messiah, the anti-christ; and God's true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us that until the Lord Jesus Christ returns there will be no peace. There will be wars and rumors of wars. There will be continual conflict between the forces of unrighteousness (Satan's kingdom) and the forces of righteousness (Christ's kingdom), until those here upon the earth become so degenerate that the Lord will return in judgment, after which He will establish the Super-State which is known as the millennial reign of Christ, an actual reign of a thousand years here upon the earth.
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Title: PROPHECY - SIGNS - NICE BIBLE STUDY!
Post by: nChrist on April 12, 2008, 03:23:18 AM
Prophecy - Signs
Annual Time Periods. . . . . Of Man
by A. Edwin Wilson


ANNUAL TIME PERIODS. . . . . OF MAN

Accepting Bishop Ussher's date of the creation of Adam as being approximately 4000 B.C, we find time divided into three specific periods of years.

1. LUNAR YEAR, composed of 12 months, 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 2.8 seconds each. Roughly speaking, this is 354 days, 8 hours, 48 minutes and 34 seconds; 6000 such years from 4000 B.C. came to a close about 1821-22.

2. The Bible speaks of the PROPHETIC YEAR of 12 months of 30 days each, or 360 days; 6000 prophetic years came to a close about 1911-12.

3. SOLAR YEAR: 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45-51 seconds; 6000 of these from 4000 B.C. will come to a close about 2001-02.

There are approximately 180 years between the end of the lunar 6000 and the solar. This 180 years definitely seems to be the time of the end. Practically all modern inventions have been discovered or have come into being since the close of the 6000th lunar year. The midnight cry - rediscovery of the truths of the second coming of Christ - came to pass about 1825. The increase of knowledge in the study of prophecy has taken place since then. The development of the internal combustion engine, resulting in the automobile and airplane, mass production of automobiles, and flights into space have all come within that period of time.

We are approaching the end of the 6000 solar years, but only God the Father, and Son and Holy Spirit knoweth the day and the year.

THE END