Scripture Revealed

A Revelation of Jesus Christ – Revelation 1:1

Category: The Church

The Kingdom of God

Jesus of Nazareth is the central figure of Christianity. While his followers claimed that He was the Jewish Messiah, He would be put to death as a criminal. Think about that for a moment. Did Jesus fail as the Messiah?  Did He fail in His mission to usher in the Kingdom of God?

Messiah as the King

From the time that the first Roman legionnaires marched into Judea, there was tension throughout Jewish society. People prayed for God’s deliverance from the yoke of Roman rule. The Jews prayed that God would send the promised Messiah during their lifetime.

According to prophets – Messiah, or the “Anointed One”, was to serve as the King of Israel. This Messiah would arrive in Jerusalem with the very power of God. Old Testament prophets told how this “Anointed One” would conquer the enemies of Israel. God would restore the Israelites to their status as God’s chosen people. All nations would come under His rule, and His Kingdom would never end.

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Proof Texts?

Some suggest that the Bible prophesies of a “last days” regathering of the Jewish people to Israel. Various “proof texts” are cited to support this belief. In examining these “proofs”, we find that these scriptures were either already fulfilled during one of the Old Testament exiles or that they foretold of the coming promises of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus’ focus was not on a physical land, but on a spiritual existence in His people!

The 1st Return Of The Jews
The Jews were living as exiles in Egypt when Moses brought the 12 tribes back to the land of Canaan in 1445 BC.

The 2nd Return Of The Jews

The Jews were living as exiles throughout the vast Babylonian Empire which Isaiah perceived as the four corners of the world when Ezra brought only 3 tribes back to the land of Israel in 536 BC. These were the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. The other tribes were lost forever. Just prior to 70 AD, Herod destroyed the remaining tribal records, especially those of Levi, the priestly tribe.

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blood moonSigns in the Heavens

The subject of “blood moons” has certainly been in the news lately. Many well-known ministers have gone on record with predictions related to the four “blood moons”. Books have been recently published on the subject.  In fact a movie has even been made.

Most proponents of the “blood moon” lunar eclipses  claim that the four blood moons that have appeared and will soon appear in the skies over America are evidence of a future “world-shaking event.” Some tie these lunar “tetrad” events to biblical prophecies found in Ezekiel chapter 38.  Some declare that Russia and Iran will be totally destroyed during this coming Ezekiel 38 battle.

What’s a Blood Moon?

The blood moons are part of a tetrad, a set of complete and consecutive lunar eclipses that will begin on April 15 and continue at roughly six-month intervals until October 2015. According to NASA, seeing four complete lunar eclipses in a row is very rare.

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What is a “Church”

When the word church comes to mind, many think in terms of a building where believers in Jesus Christ assemble. That’s certainly part of the dictionary definition of the word church, but it’s not the complete definition. The important part of the definition is that it’s the whole body of believers in Jesus Christ. In the King James Version Bible, the English word church appears in the New Testament but not the Old Testament. This simple word church has an interesting background and far reaching meaning. The focus here is how the word church was used prior to the New Testament.

Septuagint

One unique source that will help us in our quest is a Greek translation of the Old Testament called The Septuagint (sometimes abbreviated LXX). The Septuagint was written in the 3rd century BC, in Alexandria, Egypt by a group of 72 scholars. It was widely used among Hellenistic Jews. Many Jews, spread throughout the Roman empire, were beginning to lose their Hebrew language.

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What’s a Temple?

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “temple” as “a building for religious practice”; “either of two successive national sanctuaries in ancient Jerusalem”; “a building for Mormon sacred ordinances”; “the house of worship of Reform and some Conservative Jewish congregations”; “a local lodge of any of various fraternal orders” or “a place devoted to a special purpose”.

Tabernacle in the Wilderness

In the book of Exodus, God directed Moses to build a sanctuary that He may dwell with His covenant people.

“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it”. (Exodus 25:8-9)

God instructed that worship would be in a centralized tent structure where there would be a physical manifestation of His presence.

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Seed Royal

seedFarmers Need Good Seed

To produce a good crop, every farmer or gardener knows that you need good quality seed. Appearance and tests can be used as a basis to select quality seed.  Quality seed should have the following characteristics: purity, germination, weight, and color.  Purity usually cannot be determined by looking at the seed or by a lab test. One must have absolute knowledge of the source by reading the seed tag and relying on the credibility of the seller. Testing is the only reliable means of determining the ability of the seed to germinate and the presence of disease. Visual inspection can not determine germination. Testing a good representative sample is the only way to ensure the seeds will grow.

High test weight per bushel indicates well-matured seed. Large, well filled, plump kernels produce  fast growing, healthy seedlings that may tiller more. Such seedlings can withstand early growing season stress, have more expansive root systems, compete more effectively with weeds and are better able to tolerate low levels of disease. 

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This is the third in a series of articles on the subject of “Leadership, Authority and Submission”. The first article was entitled Jesus – The Chief Shepherd. It discussed the often misapplication of 1 Samuel 15:22-23. The second article was entitled The Hebrews 13:17 Dilemma.

What do the scriptures have to say about the subjects of authority and submission? Well, Jesus had a lot to say about spiritual leadership. He said that leaders in the church should be servants. Christian leaders should not act as gentiles who “lord it over” people. A good example of this principle is found in Matthew chapter 20.

Matthew 20:25-28 (KJV) – “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.



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This is the second in a series on the subject of “Leadership, Authority and Submission”. The first article was entitled Jesus – The Chief Shepherd.  It discussed the often misapplication of 1 Samuel 15:22-23.

What do the scriptures have to say about the subjects of authority and submission? Well, Jesus had a lot to say about spiritual leadership. He said that leaders in the church should be servants. Christian leaders should not act as gentiles who “lord it over” people. A good example of this principle is found in Matthew chapter 20.

 

 

Matthew 20:25-28 (KJV) – “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

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This is the first in a series on the subject of “Leadership, Authority and Submission” in the “Church” that Jesus Christ established.

Two Different Systems of Governance

As a college student, I attended one of our nation’s federal military academies. After graduating I served on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard for twenty-two years. The military system of governance is a top-down command and control structure. Today’s military is still structured very much like that of the Roman Army that occupied Palestine during the time of Jesus. Having been part of a military governance system, I am familiar with the subject of leadership, authority and submission from a worldly perspective. Also having been a Christian for over thirty-three years I am familiar with the concept of Biblical leadership, authority and submission within the Church. What I have concluded is that the two systems are very different, or at least should be.

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Before preparing this article I had never heard of “shepherding.” What exactly is “shepherding”? What does “shepherding” have to do with the subject of authority and submission? The teachings of this movement focus upon accountability, obedience, and submission to spiritual authority. However “shepherding” equates the authority of and submission to a leader to the authority of God. The religious leader’s voice is equated with the voice of God. Those who disagree with the religious leader are seen as in rebellion to God. This movement teaches that religious leaders provide a “covering” for their congregation. Step out from under the “covering” and you expose yourself to the full attack of the devil. At least that is what is taught. The question then becomes: is this teaching supported by scripture?

This type of teaching is common in some religious circles. There is a love of invoking Old Testament (O.T.) imagery.

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