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The First Resurrection

The Bible speaks about the first resurrection and a later resurrection of all peoples, nations, and tongues to come before the Throne of Judgment to receive a recompense for those things that were done in the body while they were alive.  Whether unto righteousness and eternal life or unto death and everlasting destruction, the Bible says.

Traditional church teachings say that the first resurrection takes place in the twinkling of an eye at the sound of the last trumpet sound at the moment that Christ returns to the earth to gather his people to himself.

Some newer teachings are being presented by biblical teachers in our day saying that there are two resurrections, but who is included , and what the purpose is for those who are resurrected at that time varies from traditional thinking.  The first resurrection they say is for the Bride of Christ for the purpose of executing justice and judgment in the earth.    The Bride is a group of believers elect and chosen, prepared by the Spirit of God for this purpose and aim of judgment.  The Bride will then reside in the new Jerusalem, the city of God, that will come down out of heaven to the earth in the time of the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth.

The saved nations of all prior believers will comprise those who will dwell on the new earth in a heavenly state.  There will be no sickness, no crying, no sorrow.  The child will play safely with the viper, the lamb will lie down with the lion.

What’s coming to my mind is a partial or perhaps full body resurrection while a believer is still dwelling on the earth in their physical body.  We do read about Jesus saying that the apostle John would carry on until his return if Jesus desired.  How would the apostle John do this?  His body would have to be changed through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.  The apostle John might have ended up with a body similar to that of Jesus  after Jesus rose from the dead.  A body that would not be subject to the usual restrictions of aging, perhaps gravity, physical properties (Jesus walked through a wall), etc.  Jesus went first, the first fruits, then we follow after him.

Some thoughts as we see the world of today deteriorating quickly into perhaps an unrecoverable wickedness and evil at the time of the end.  As we read the Bible let’s look for some evidence in scripture of a Bride in Christ prepared by God to judge wickedness in the earth.

 


Forced Compromise and Confusion About Virtue is Causing Conflict and Uproar

One of the major problems in our society in the West is the definition or the understanding among people of what Virtue and Truth is.  We’ve understood this in our society in the past to mean the Biblical definition.  Under these Biblical terms as defined and taught in the Bible, the West has prospered and society in general has been ethical and law-abiding.  In my parents’ generation it was common for agreements and contracts to be honored and upheld by a handshake between the parties. It was rare for someone to verbally commit to something and not fulfill it.  Reneging would be unthinkable.   The vast majority of my parents’ generation defined themselves as being a Christian, of some sort or other.

Today we are in a situation where government, civil, and legal authorities are denouncing these past definitions and understanding in society.  These authorities are breaking all the rules of a successful past society and are compelling others to do the same. ‘ What’s worked in the past is not going to work in the future’, they say.  ‘We must progress and change, we are living in a new day and time’.

This idea of progress has been an assault on the instinct and conscience of people in the West about what is right and wrong.  The success of this idea of progress has been partly due to propaganda, partly due to changes in education, and partly due to government intervention and legal action if someone does not (at least outwardly) act and think the same way.   Virtue and Truth  are now defined by these entities as a hodgepodge of ideas and thoughts that incorporate nearly anything and everything.  This has created angst and confusion of people in society.  We have no anchor and we have no rudder in this new progressive ship so to speak.

Currently we are seeing more and more response from people regarding what has been  forced upon them over the past number of years.  People dislike political  leaders and they do not trust these leaders to make good decisions on their behalf.  Many people are now taking positions in the equal ‘truths’ of this hodgepodge of virtue.  This has created frustration, anger, division, and intolerance of other viewpoints and peoples within our society today in the West.

 

 


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The Life is in the Breath

Pete Buttigieg a democratic candidate running for president of the United States, made a public statement recently inferring that a baby is not a person apart from the mother until it takes a breath of air.  He stated that this is what the Bible says, that life is in the breath.    I believe the scripture he is referring to is Genesis 2:7 “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.”

However there is a contradiction to this in Genesis 9:4 “ you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”   Scripture does not contradict itself therefore this means that the blood and the breath do not mean the same things.

I then looked up online what the ‘breath is in the life means’.  The Got Questions web site explains the breath of life this way, “So, what is the breath of God? It is the life and power of God, given to man to animate him. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach, which means “wind, breath, air, spirit.” The life of God lives on and on; the immaterial part of man was designed to live eternally. The only question is where will we live?”

Here in their explanation Got Questions is saying the ‘breath of God’ is the spirit of a person which lives on and on.  Our physical mortal body does not live on and on.  It dies.

God breathed into Adam the ‘breath of life’ during Adam’s creation after he had formed him from the ground.  God had not yet made Eve.  Later, when Adam and Eve began to have children the physical and spiritual (breath) components made up the new child.  This took place in the womb.  The ‘breath’ was not something that happened after the child was born but is related to and is in reference to the child’s spirit.

This is what makes sense otherwise there would be a contradiction in the Word between Genesis 2 and Genesis 9 of whether the life is in the blood or in the breath.

So I think Mr. Buttigieg has his point but not in regards to when life begins for the child who is in the womb.  It is clear that the child has both a physical body and a spirit while he/she is developing within the womb.  Therefore, this child is a complete person.

A baby taking that breath of air after they are born is to make the transition by the physical lungs to functioning in a new environment of air.


The Tempting of Jesus

We read in Scripture that Jesus was tempted of the devil .  One of the temptations set before Jesus in the wilderness was to bow down to Satan so that he would receive the power and wealth of the kingdoms of the earth.  According to teaching within many churches in the West today we would say that this offer was a blessing and that we should reach out and accept it.  This is because we would be receiving what we had been asking for from God.  Riches, wealth, and power.  Instead Jesus said to Satan, ‘it is written that we must worship God alone’.  The devil made this offer, but there were conditions and strings attached.

Jesus did not accept this offer because it was circumventing what God intended for him.  Jesus was to receive the kingdoms of the earth, but it was to be had through the cross and his subsequent resurrection from the dead.   What this teaches us is that the method matters, the motive matters, and the way scripture is taught matters.  It is the difference between truth and error.

The current methods of the Positive Faith Movement are incorrect.  They are using new age and occultist methods to teach believers how to receive the blessings of God.  The  method of confessing what you want so that it will come into existence is the same method used within non-Christian spiritual movements in the West today.

There is a story told in the Bible about trying to enter the sheep pen by another way.  John 10:1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.”

Jesus is talking to the teachers of the law in the above quote from scripture. He is saying to them that you have to enter into the things of God in the right way or you are a thief and a robber.  I believe that many teachers in our day have taken the scriptures and taught them by ‘climbing’  into them in an incorrect way.   These teachers often claim either outwardly or subtly that there is no need for obedience,  sacrifice, or self-denial in the Christian life.  The scriptures teach otherwise.  We need to pay attention to the “ifs” when we read the New Testament.  “If you overcome you will receive….

1 John 2: 18, Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.  

This passage of scripture in I John is about those who left the teachings of the Apostles after they had gone out from the church at Jerusalem and began to teach and preach a message that was classified later as antichrist by the Apostle John. 

 


The Church and the Lost Witness

In a recent interview after the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas Oprah Winfrey said she feels the reason behind the latest string of violence is that people are “missing” a “core moral center.”, “Churches used to do that… It was a central place you could come to and there was a core center of values about a way of living and being in the world. Until we can return to that, however that is, in whatever form, we will continue to be lost,” Winfrey told Renee Bargh during the “Extra” interview.

This comment by Oprah Winfrey about what churches used to do for society is very telling.  It tell us that the witness and influence of the church today is either weak or non-existent.  Churches used to set a moral standard until believers were told by their church leaders that they were being legalistic if they pointed out bad behaviour.   “You cannot judge!” is the echo reverberating around in religious dogma today.  Tell that to a society that is floundering and disintegrating before our very eyes in the West.   Tell that to people who know instinctively what the Church should be, but isn’t.

Church leaders in our day think that they are doing society a favour in the West by watering down the requirement for moral standards based on Biblical teachings.  They think they are more relevant, more likeable, more approachable, and more effective with the Gospel if they release people from accountability and responsibility for their actions and inner motives.

I’m thinking about the judgment of church leaders in the Day of Judgment and the responsibility that these leaders will likely bear for their decisions and teaching in our day and time.  Perhaps direct responsibility for souls that were lost or damaged because they wanted a bigger church, a wider following, and a bigger paycheck.

 


Abraham had a vision

We read in scripture about Abraham and his journey with God.  How he saw a city whose builder and maker was God. This vision guided him and sustained him through many trials and tribulations.  This vision eventually gave him the courage to ‘sacrifice his own son Issac’, because without God’s intervention of a ram caught in the thicket, this is what Abraham would have done.

Vision forms in us today, I believe, when we read the Word and combine it with our own personal experience that we have with God.  This provides a kind of confirmation to our heart and mind.  Our faith is strengthened.  Christianity is a very personal religion.  It’s all about the individual who is then added to the church body by God.  Without vision, the people of God perish the Bible says.

When the Word is not preached or taught correctly the result is a distorted vision or a man made vision that has no power in a believer’s life.  The vision that I see church  leaders giving to believers in the West is, ‘go along to get along, you can have your carnal lusts, being healthy and wealthy is the goal, the most important thing however, is to keep adding numbers to our church’.  This vision is absolutely impotent in creating righteousness and godliness in the believer.  This vision is going to get the believer compromised, cut out of the vine, or perhaps destroyed.

 

 

 

 

 


Not Enough Vision

When we read the scriptures it is apparent that the goal of righteousness is not just a destiny of either heaven or hell.  We read in the admonition to the seven churches in the book of Revelation that they do not all receive the same reward.  The reward or recompense for the believer in these seven churches is based on their particular situation and their response to this situation.  If the believers remain faithful they have a reward.

The vision provided by churches today in the preaching of the gospel is so thin and weak that it is largely impotent in motivating the believer to sacrifice all for the kingdom of God.  In scripture the things of God are likened to a great and valuable pearl of great worth.  The preaching of the current gospel by many church leaders presents a ‘come se come sa, if you do or if you don’t is not really important…God is a loving God, you will be OK’.  The vision of what God has for those who follow after him is almost eliminated by these preachers.

I recently read about a 16 year old girl who was kidnapped by Boko Haram in Africa.  This young girl was executed because she would not deny Christ and claim Islam as her religion.  The rest of the 300 or so school girls kidnapped along with her did apparently renounce their faith, as they were released from captivity several months ago.  These school girls had been in captivity for some time.  I would imagine they endured horrendous conditions.

I trust that Christ has a special place prepared for this 16 year old girl.  The Bible says that she overcame and was faithful unto death, and that she will sit with Christ on his throne.  What about the other girls? Christ says if you deny me, I will also deny you before my Father in heaven.

There is a palpable rotten doctrine being preached today from the mouths of our church leaders in the West that is not scriptural, but rather the doctrines of men who have been overcome or have been deceived by their lust for fame, power, and money.