An Exposition Of The Lord’s Supper From The Apostolic Point Of View

1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare to you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse.

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

1 Corinthians 11:20 When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

1 Corinthians 11:21 For in eating every one takes before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

1 Corinthians 11:22 What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

The Apostle Paul, to whom the Lord committed the gospel to the Gentiles, discovered some errors in the way the church in Corinth was taking the Lord’s supper. He used the passages above to express his displeasure and dismay at the way the sacred communal meal of the Church was being desecrated, before setting out to correct the wrong observance of the Lord’s supper in that church.

A lot of errors exist among the various denominations and believers today, as to the observance of the Lord’s supper. I want to use this medium to set things straight, by using the Apostolic writings to expose the erroneous practices with regards to the observance of the Lord’s Supper. I will also present the Apostolic view on this important ordinance of the Church. This exposition will focus on the origin and significance of the Lord’s supper, the elements of the supper, qualification for participation at the Lord’s table, as well as the timing and frequency of observance of the Lord’s supper.

The Lord’s supper was instituted by our Lord Jesus, on the night in which he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, while he was celebrating the Passover with his disciples. It was during that night that he took bread, broke it and gave his disciples as a symbol of his body that was to be soon broken for them. He asked them to do it in remembrance of him. He also took the cup of wine on the table and gave them to drink, as a symbol of his blood that would soon be shed for them, for the remission of sins. He also enjoined them to do it in remembrance of him.

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The Apostle Paul taught that any time believers correctly observed the Lord’s supper, they were proclaiming and remembering the Lord’s death. So, anytime we partake of the Lord’s supper, we are commemorating the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s the Lord’s supper that we are instructed to observe in remembrance of the Lord, in commemoration of his death, not Easter!

We’re enjoined to remind ourselves of his sacrificial and substitutionary death and subsequent ressurection always, not just on a particular day in a year. In fact, believers are told to partake of the Lord’s supper often, in remembrance of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.

So, the Lord’s supper was instituted on the night our Lord was betrayed, and symbolises his sacrificial death for us that gave us life.

John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

John 6:56 He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.

John 6:57 As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me.

John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever.

The bread represents his flesh which was broken for us. The wine represents his blood which was shed for us. Taken together, they signify the appropriation of his death on our behalf, and faith in his sacrificial and substitutionary death, which was a ransom for our soul. If you believe in that and place your faith in him, and him alone, you move from death to life!

Now, let’s look at the elements of the Lord’s supper, the bread and the wine. Let’s start with the examination of the bread. I’ve seen people and churches use all kinds of stuff as bread for the Lord’s supper, ranging from leavened bread, cakes and biscuits, to all kinds of pastries. Surely, people can’t just choose whatever they like as bread for the Lord’s supper? Surely, there should be a scriptural standard for the bread to be eaten at the Lord’s table? Thank God there is!

Recall that the Lord’s supper was instituted while our Lord was having the Jewish Passover feast with his apostles. During the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread that followed for the next seven days, the Jews had an injunction not to eat leavened bread or even keep leaven in their houses. Anyone who did that was to be cut off from his people!

Exodus 12:6 And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

Exodus 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

Exodus 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Exodus 12:15 Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

So, no Jew eats leavened bread during the Passover or the following seven days feast of unleavened bread. There is a reason for that. Do you know what leaven (or yeast as it’s commonly called) signifies? Leaven signifies hypocrisy and sin! Leaven or yeast makes bread or dough to rise when there’s really nothing inside it. It makes bread or dough to get puffed up! That’s pride! Leaven or yeast symbolises pride and hypocrisy.

Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, so that they stepped one on another, he began to say to his disciples first of all, Beware you of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Leaven or yeast also typifies malice and wickedness, or sin generally.

1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Like we mentioned earlier, the bread of the communion meal represents the body of Christ. There is no sin in Christ. Four times, both Herod and Pilate, after examining Jesus, admitted they couldn’t find any fault in Him. Jesus still remains the only man who was born sinless, lived sinless and died sinless!

John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me.

John 8:46 Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The Passover lamb was to be without blemish, and was to be observed for four days to ensure that it was free of any defect or blemish, as we saw in Exodus 12. The Passover lamb was a type of Christ, and of course there was no sin in Christ, as we’ve shown from Scripture. And the Passover lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread, as we showed earlier from Scripture. That’s why the bread of the communion meal, which represents the body of Christ, must be unleavened, for leaven represents sin!

I Corinthians 5: 8 says we keep the Passover (which was a type of the Lord’s supper) with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth! The elements of the Lord’s supper are symbolic, and represent deep spiritual truths and principles! So, the bread for the Lord’s supper is unleavened bread (bread without yeast)! Don’t corrupt and distort the body of Christ by representing it with leavened bread! There is no sin in Christ! It’s an abomination to use any thing other than unleavened bread as bread for the Lord’s supper! Using bread or any substance containing leaven or yeast distorts scripture and misrepresents Christ’s body as being sinful! God forbid!!

Let’s move to the wine. That’s where a lot of people are going to have the shock of their lives! We see churches and individuals using all kinds of things for the wine of the Lord’s supper, from colored carbonated drinks, to fruit juices. Let us examine the Apostolic writings to find out what the Apostles of the Lord taught about the wine to be used at the Lord’s table.

1 Corinthians 11:20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.

1 Corinthians 11:21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.

Ladies and gentlemen, some people in the Corinthian Church were getting drunk on the wine used for the Lord’s Supper, because they were gulping it excessively and selfishly, not waiting for others! Fruit juices would not get anyone drunk, however much you take it!

The wine for the Lord’s supper, as initially instituted,was the fruit of the vine, the product of the vineyard.

Matthew 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it;

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 26:29 But I say to you, I will not drink from now on of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

The fruit of the vine, as the Jews knew it, was something that had the potential to intoxicate, being alcoholic.

Genesis 9:20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.

Genesis 9:21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.

Let me zero in to the heart of the matter. The wine for the Lord’s supper is not coca cola, it’s not ribena and it’s not any non-alcoholic wine! It is the fruit of the vine which is potentially intoxicating if taken in large quantities. The wine for the Lord’s supper is alcoholic red wine, which is what the fruit of the vine is!

Somebody may want to crucify me and say, ” You mean we’re to take alcohol at the Lord’s table? But, didn’t the Bible say a Christian shouldn’t drink alcohol?” I’m not going into the argument for or against alcohol today, but just know that, except for people who took the Nazirite vow in the Old Testament, no where does the Bible condemn alcohol. What the Bible condemns is drunkenness! Do you know that, under the Mosaic Law, people were to use their yearly tithes to purchase wine and strong drink, and drink same in the presence of the Lord in the holy place in Jerusalem?

Deuteronomy 14:22 You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year.

Deuteronomy 14:23 And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herds and of your flocks; that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.

Deuteronomy 14:24 And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from you, which the LORD your God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD your God has blessed you:

Deuteronomy 14:25 Then shall you turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which the LORD your God shall choose:

Deuteronomy 14:26 And you shall bestow that money for whatever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household,

Deuteronomy 14:27 And the Levite that is within your gates; you shall not forsake him; for he has no part nor inheritance with you.

The wine is symbolic. It represents the blood of Christ which is shed for the remission of sin. The blood of Christ has power to deliver and transform and free people from sin. The alcohol in the blood of grapes or the fruit of the vine which is used for the Lord’s supper represents that power to transform.

Now, I’m not advocating for drunkenness, or even for anyone to go and start taking wine or alcohol. It’s a matter of conscience, both ours and those of other not-so-convinced believers, and is dealt with in relevant portions of scripture, which I’ll be willing to discuss with anyone who’s interested. But, don’t let’s try to be holier than God, or force scripture to speak what it does not say.

So, the wine represents the blood of Christ. And there’s power in that blood. The people in Corinth as we saw in 1 Corinthians 11 were taking the wine during the Lord’s supper in a disorderly way, some were gulping it and getting drunk (you don’t get drunk non-alcoholic wine). Paul rebuked them for their disorderliness, and instructed them to wait for one another, and take the supper in an orderly and reverential manner. People just need to take a little sip of the wine during the Lord’s supper, because it’s just a symbolic meal. The wine represents the power in the blood of Christ to transform and make one a new creature!

Having dealt with the elements of the Lord’s supper, let’s look at the qualifications for participation at the Lord’s table. Who qualifies to partake in the Lord’s supper? As usual, we shall turn to scripture for our answer.

At its inception, only the disciples of Christ took the bread and the wine at the first Lord’s supper.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Matthew 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it.

The Lord’s supper is only for believers in Christ. It is a fellowship meal that signifies communion with the Lord. You cannot commune with Christ unless you’re already his and part of his body.

1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

1 Corinthians 10:17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

1 Corinthians 10:18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

Even with Israel under the Old Covenant, no uncircumcised person was allowed to partake of the Passover, a type of the Lord’s supper. A foreigner could only take the Passover if he had been converted to the Jewish faith and had been circumcised.

Exodus 12:43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

Exodus 12:44 But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

Exodus 12:45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.

And so brethren, unbelievers who have not been circumcised in heart by the circumcision made without hands (by the Holy Spirit) are to be excluded from the Lord’s table. An unbeliever who eats the Lord’s supper eats and drinks damnation to himself or herself! Keep unbelievers away from the Lord’s table!

Also, even believers need to examine themselves carefully and ensure they’re not living in unconfessed sin, before taking the Lord’s supper! We must be free from any known sin whenever we partake of the Lord’s supper, if we are to receive the blessings at the Lord’s table and not curses!

1 Corinthians 11:27 Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

1 Corinthians 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

What does the scripture mean by “not discerning the Lord’s body”? If you don’t recognize and understand that you’re actually having a communion with the Lord, and therefore approach the Lord’s table without due reverence, you’re not discerning the Lord’s body. If you don’t understand the significance of that broken bread, you’re not discerning the Lord’s body. If you don’t understand that you’re now a part of the body, and you come with the leaven of sin in your heart to partake of the unleavened bread, you’re not discerning the Lord’s body. If you don’t recognize that it’s one bread (body), even though broken into many pieces (members) and therefore fail to appreciate the unity of the body of Christ, you’re not discerning the Lord’s body.

Those who come to the Lord’s table must come with clean hands and sanctified hearts. The Lord’s supper is a sacred fellowship meal with the Lord, and must be approached in the most reverent way possible. Eaten the right way and with the right approach, the blessings of a Lord’s supper are incalculable! If people could become weak and sickly and even die from eating the Lord’s supper unworthily, like we saw in 1 Corinthians 11, imagine what would happen if people ate it worthily! Taking the Lord’s supper worthily will bring such strength and healing and life and power to the body of Christ and all the members! It will make every participant so vibrant and so charged to take on the devil and the world, and manifest the power of God for all to see!

Now, let’s talk about the correct time to partake of the Lord’s supper. Here again, I’m going to shock a lot of people. You are forewarned! Is there a specific time of the day or night we should eat the Lord’s supper? Or can it be taken at just about any time? Answering these questions should not have been any problem if people have regard and respect for the scripture and follow apostolic teachings! The question we should rather ask is, when should supper be taken? If we can answer that question, then we should know when the Lord’s supper ought be taken! Remember what the meal is called: The Lord’s supper! It’s not the Lord’s breakfast or the Lord’s Lunch! It’s the Lord’s supper! I hope we really catch this profound revelation!

Let’s go back to the Apostolic writings to settle what should never have become an issue, if we had been following the rules of everyday language. Remember when the Passover was eaten? At night! Remember when the Lord’s supper was instituted? At night! The night when Jesus was betrayed. And if we remember that the Passover was a type of the Lord’s supper, there wouldn’t be any problem at all appreciating why it must be taken at night or in the evening, and not in the morning or afternoon, as most people erroneously do!

1 Corinthians 11:20 When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

1 Corinthians 11:21 For in eating every one takes before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

Luke 24:29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them.

Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Luke 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

Luke 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon.

Luke 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

The Acts 20:7 And on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

The Acts 20:8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

The Acts 20:9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

The Acts 20:10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.

The Acts 20:11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

It is instructive to note that the Lord’s supper, like all other suppers, was eaten only in the evening or at night, by the apostles and early church believers. It is not only contrary to common sense to eat supper in the morning or afternoon, it is absolutely unscriptural and a blatant violation of scriptural and spiritual principles which the Lord’s supper represents, to partake of the Lord’s supper during the day. It is completely unapostolic to do so. It amounts to desecrating the most sacred ordinance of the Church.

Finally, how often should the Lord’s supper be eaten? How frequently should believers come to the Lord’s table for the breaking of bread? There is no clear cut instruction as to how often we may eat of the Lord’s supper. We are only told that each time we partake of the Lord’s supper, we remember the Lord and proclaim his death.

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.

So, how often should we partake of the Lord’s supper? As often as we can do it! As often as we want to remember the Lord! You can eat the Lord’s supper daily, weekly, monthly, etc, as often as you choose! In the early church in the book of Acts, they were breaking bread daily, from house to house.

The Acts 2:46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts.

In conclusion, the Lord’s supper is one of the most sacred ordinances of the Church. However, it has been greatly corrupted in its practice, thereby robbing the Church of the great benefits of this sacred meal. Because the majority of the Church have been partaking of the meal unworthily, a lot of believers have been weak, sick, and have been dying prematurely. Only a return to the Apostolic pattern of coming to the Lord’s table will restore the Church back to power and glory.

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How Are Christians Commanded To Commemorate The Death Of The Lord Jesus Christ?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the American King James Version).

As a matter of tradition, most Christians commemorate the death of the Lord Jesus every Good Friday, the day he was believed to have been crucified (was the Lord actually killed on a Friday?). On this day every year (the exact date is determined by the orthodox church calendar), the crucifixion is remembered. Some people get so touched by the events of the crucifixion that they actually forgo eating meat on the day it’s commemorated (the change in diet is not totally vegetarian though, as fish can be freely eaten on that day). So, the crucifixion is a significant event in the Christian calendar (and it should be, as without it, there would have been no redemption for mankind). How are we to remember the Lord’s death biblically? How did the Lord himself command us to commemorate his death? We shall look at the Apostolic writings to answer these questions.

The New Testament writers devoted more time to the death of Christ than to his birth. The reason is not far-fetched. Without Christ’s death and resurrection, there would have been no salvation for lost humanity, for it was through his vicarious death for mankind that the price for our sin was paid. So, while his death couldn’t have been possible without the incarnation and his birth, the Lord’s death directly provided the ransom for the sin of mankind, and so is constantly mentioned in the New Testament.

But, how did the Lord and his apostles instruct us to commemorate the Lord’s death? How are we commanded to remember Christ’s death? Well, the first thing we’ll realise on reading the New Testament is that, the concept of Lent and Good Friday, as a period of mourning to commemorate Jesus’ death, was unknown to the New Testament writers! Easter cannot be found in the New Testament, because it wasn’t the way the apostles commemorated the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lent, Good Friday and Easter were church traditions that were introduced hundreds of years after the end of the apostolic period. So, these festivals are actually extra-biblical! What then was the apostolic way of remembering the Lord’s death? Jesus actually gave his followers definite instructions on how to remember his death, even before he died! Let’s hear his own words on this issue:

Luke 22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

Luke 22:15 And he said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

Luke 22:16 For I say to you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

Luke 22:17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

Luke 22:18 For I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The Lord Jesus instructed his apostles to remember his death through the celebration of the Lord’s supper. Jesus instituted the Lord’s supper to serve as a memorial of his death, and he expects his disciples to regularly keep his death in view by partaking in the holy communion. The apostle Paul stressed the fact that as often as we take part in the Lord’s supper, we are showing forth the Lord’s death till he returns.

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

1 Corinthians 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1 Corinthians 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.

At the inception of the church, the early Christians broke bread regularly (almost daily), as they tried to obey the Lord’s commandment to remember his death often. So, we see that remembering the Lord’s death in the early church was not just a yearly routine, but a daily reality. It was not celebrated through the observance of Lent or Good Friday, but through regular participation in the Lord’s supper. That’s how any church that seeks to follow the apostolic doctrine ought to commemorate the Lord’s death. Gathering at the Lord’s table is the way to remember the Lord’s death, and it is to be done often and regularly, as the cross of Christ which it represents should be kept in view always. We are to remember the Lord’s death always, for that is the focus of the gospel.

The Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.

The Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The Acts 2:43 And fear came on every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

The Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

The Acts 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

The Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

The Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

In conclusion, though church tradition chooses to commemorate the death of Christ yearly during the Lenten season and on Good Friday, the original apostles and the early church remembered the Lord’s death through the Lord’s supper. It was in partaking in the communion meal that Christ commanded his disciples to remember his death. Hence, the early Christians took the communion frequently, almost daily at the church’s inception, to commemorate the Lord’s death. Paul taught that as often as we partake of the Lord’s supper, we do show the Lord’s death till he returns. It’s therefore in the Lord’s supper that we are to remember the Lord’s death, not in the yearly celebrations of Lent, Good Friday or Easter, which are extra-biblical traditions of men! We should not make the word of God void by our traditions, for that would amount to worshiping God in vain!

Mark 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not your disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?

Mark 7:6 He answered and said to them, Well has Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

Mark 7:7 However, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do.

Mark 7:9 And he said to them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.

Mark 7:10 For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever curses father or mother, let him die the death:

Mark 7:11 But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatever you might be profited by me; he shall be free.

Mark 7:12 And you suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things do you.

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Did Jesus Christ Die On A Friday?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the American King James Version).

Christians the world over commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, the day he was believed to have been crucified (according to church tradition), just as it’s universally accepted he resurrected on Easter Sunday. Following church tradition then, Christ couldn’t have been in the grave for up to two full days, since the Lord died around 3:00 PM, and was buried before 6:00 PM on the same day. If Jesus was buried on Friday evening, and resurrected very early on Sunday (most likely on Saturday night, for his grave to be discovered empty early on Sunday morning), then his stay in the grave would amount to just a little over 24 hours—he would have stayed in the grave, under this scenario, just for one day and two nights at most.

Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ emphatically told his disciples he would be buried in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, the same length of time Jonah, who typified his burial and resurrection, was in the belly of the whale. Jesus equally told the Pharisees that if they destroyed the temple of his body, he’d raise it up in three days, further confirming the fact that he would spend three days in the grave before resurrecting. The apostles of the Lord, who were eye-witnesses of his death and resurrection, also testified that he rose from the dead after three days. But there are some contradictions between what Jesus and his apostles taught about the length of time he stayed in the grave, and what church tradition believes and practices on this subject. Since Jesus and his apostles, rather than church tradition, are to be believed on this issue, how then did the church get the day of Jesus’ death wrong, since he couldn’t have died on a Friday, if he truly spent three days and three nights in the grave, and had already risen very early on Sunday morning? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer this question, as well as to find the correct day of the week on which the Lord was crucified.

Jonah 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.

Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said to him, What sign show you to us, seeing that you do these things?

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

John 2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days?

John 2:21 But he spoke of the temple of his body.

John 2:22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this to them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

Matthew 17:22 And while they stayed in Galilee, Jesus said to them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:

Matthew 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

Luke 24:1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.

Luke 24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

Luke 24:5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said to them, Why seek you the living among the dead?

Luke 24:6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke to you when he was yet in Galilee,

Luke 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Luke 24:8 And they remembered his words,

Luke 24:9 And returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest.

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand;

1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached to you, unless you have believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Let’s start by reviewing the Jewish division of time in the Scriptures, as this is very important in understanding how days and nights were measured in biblical times. For the Jews in the Old Testament, the day was divided into 12 hours (from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM), and the night too was broken down into 12 hours (from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM), composed of four equal watches of three hours each. The Jewish day started from 6:00 AM and ended by 6:00 PM, while the night started by 6:00 PM and ended by 6:00 AM. Thus, the first hour of the day was 7:00 AM, while the 12th hour of the day was 6:00 PM. The 11th hour workers we read in Jesus’ parable were thus recruited around 5:00 PM, and worked for only one hour (the ancient Jews stopped all work by 6:00 PM—no one worked while it was night). Another thing to note also is that, the Jews in the Old Testament calculated each day from evening to evening. Thus, Friday started from 6:00 PM on Thursday and ended by 6:00 PM on Friday. Saturday, the regular weekly Sabbath day, traditionally started by 6:00 PM on Friday and ended by 6:00 PM on Saturday. So, for Christ to spend three days and three nights in the grave, to arise during the night of Saturday, means he must have died by Wednesday. That way, he would have spent three nights in the grave—Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night—, and he would have equally spent three days in the grave—thursday day, Friday day and Saturday day. He would then have risen by Saturday night (anytime from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM), so that by very early in the morning on Sunday (remember the day started by 6am), the grave was already empty, because he had already risen! That’s the only way the Lord could have spent three days and three nights in the grave before his resurrection, like he told his disciples, and like his disciples bore witness. His dying on Friday, as the church traditionally believes, would have made this impossible!

John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world.

John 11:10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.

Matthew 20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

Matthew 20:4 And said to them; Go you also into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

Matthew 20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

Matthew 20:6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and said to them, Why stand you here all the day idle?

Matthew 20:7 They say to him, Because no man has hired us. He said to them, Go you also into the vineyard; and whatever is right, that shall you receive.

Matthew 20:8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last to the first.

Matthew 20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the manager of the house,

Matthew 20:12 Saying, These last have worked but one hour, and you have made them equal to us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

Matthew 20:13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did not you agree with me for a penny?

Matthew 20:14 Take that your is, and go your way: I will give to this last, even as to you.

Matthew 20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye evil, because I am good?

Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

So, if Jesus died on a Wednesday and not on a Friday, how did the church miss it and get mixed up with Good Friday? How could such an obvious fact have eluded Bible scholars and theologians over the centuries? The answer is simple—rather than walking back from the definitely known resurrection day to the unknown crucifixion day, scholars had relied on the relationship of the sabbath day to the crucifixion to determine the day of its occurrence. Instead of accepting the Lord’s words literally about the number of days he would be in the grave, and walking three days back from the day of the resurrection to set the day of the Lord’s death, people decided to work presumptuously with a scripture that put the next day after his death as a sabbath day, presuming every sabbath day to be Saturday. Based on this assumption of every sabbath day being a Saturday, and since the crucifixion occured before a high sabbath, the day Jesus died was thus erroneously fixed on a Friday. Meanwhile, little thought was given to the fact that from Friday evening to Saturday night could never amount to three days and three nights!

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Mark 15:35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calls Elias.

Mark 15:36 And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.

Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom.

Mark 15:39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

Mark 15:41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him;) and many other women which came up with him to Jerusalem.

Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly to Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

Mark 15:44 And Pilate marveled if he were already dead: and calling to him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

Mark 15:45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

Mark 15:46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulcher which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone to the door of the sepulcher.

Mark 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst.

John 19:29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it on hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) sought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

John 19:32 Then came the soldiers, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs:

John 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and immediately came there out blood and water.

John 19:35 And he that saw it bore record, and his record is true: and he knows that he said true, that you might believe.

John 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

John 19:37 And again another scripture said, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

John 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, sought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

John 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

John 19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

John 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid.

John 19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulcher was near at hand.

The error in setting the day of the crucifixion of Christ arose from the assumption that every Sabbath day was a Saturday! Of course, we know that the normal weekly Sabbath day in the Old Testament was Saturday, the seventh day, the day consecrated in the law for rest from secular work and for the worship of God. However, what is easily missed when reading the Old Testament is that, apart from the weekly Sabbath which was observed invariably on Saturdays, there were other days of the week on which fixed festivals of the Jews randomly fell, and that the beginning of those festivals were to be declared special or high sabbaths, and were to be observed as days of rest, the same way as the regular weekly Sabbaths. For instance, the Passover was to be celebrated on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nissan or Habib, the first month of the Jewish calendar, which traditionally falls between March and April in our Roman calendar. This date can fall on any day of the week, depending on the year in which it occurs. Whatever the day of the week the 14th day of Nissan fell on, it was to be declared a special sabbath and to be observed as a day of rest as the regular Saturday Sabbath, the same way the 25th of December can fall on any day of the week, and whatever day it falls upon is to be declared a public holiday. This special or high sabbath is not just for the Passover feast, but for all other sacred feasts of the Jews that had fixed dates. The first and last days of such feasts were usually observed as special or high sabbaths.

Leviticus 23:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Leviticus 23:2 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Leviticus 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

Leviticus 23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons.

Leviticus 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover.

Leviticus 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread.

Leviticus 23:7 In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.

Leviticus 23:8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.

Leviticus 23:9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Leviticus 23:10 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest:

Leviticus 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

Leviticus 23:12 And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a sweet smell: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.

Leviticus 23:14 And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that you have brought an offering to your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Leviticus 23:15 And you shall count to you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:

Leviticus 23:16 Even to the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering to the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet smell to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

Leviticus 23:20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.

Leviticus 23:21 And you shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation to you: you shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

Leviticus 23:22 And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not make clean riddance of the corners of your field when you reap, neither shall you gather any gleaning of your harvest: you shall leave them to the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 23:23 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Leviticus 23:24 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

Leviticus 23:25 You shall do no servile work therein: but you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:26 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Leviticus 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:28 And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

Leviticus 23:29 For whatever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

Leviticus 23:30 And whatever soul it be that does any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

Leviticus 23:31 You shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Leviticus 23:32 It shall be to you a sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even, shall you celebrate your sabbath.

Leviticus 23:33 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Leviticus 23:34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.

Leviticus 23:36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and you shall do no servile work therein.

Leviticus 23:37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing on his day:

Leviticus 23:38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.

Leviticus 23:40 And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

Leviticus 23:41 And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

Leviticus 23:42 You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

Leviticus 23:43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 23:44 And Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

Thus, not every sabbath in the celebration of a Jewish festival was necessarily a Saturday. The beginning and last days of every Jewish festival, irrespective of the day of the week it fell on, was a sabbath, not just the regular weekly sabbath that falls on Saturday. Sabbath is not synonymous with Saturday. Sabbath simply means ‘rest‘. Any day a rest was declared for the Jews to celebrate a religious festival was called a sabbath, whatever the day of the week it fell on. Such sabbaths that fell on days other than Saturday were called special sabbaths or high sabbaths. The high sabbath in the Gospel that followed the day our Lord was crucified was therefore not the regular weekly sabbath that was observed on Saturday! It was a special or high sabbath, to mark the beginning of the feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread. Therefore, to assume the high sabbath following the crucifixion was Saturday, and then conclude the crucifixion took place on Friday, the day that normally preceded a regular sabbath, was a gross error! It was this wrong assumption that led to the adoption of Friday as the day of the crucifixion, which makes it impossible for Christ to be in the grave for three days and three nights and still resurrect on Saturday night (between 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM)! The wise thing to do, in determining the day of the crucifixion, would have been to walk back three days and three nights from Saturday night, which would give us Wednesday as the day of the Lord’s death. It’s only by dying on Wednesday by 3:00 PM, and getting buried before 6:00 PM on that day, that the Lord could spend three days (Thursday day, Friday day and Saturday day) and three nights (Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night) in the grave and rise up Saturday night (6:00 PM to 6:00 AM), for the tomb to be empty very early on Sunday morning! To fix the crucifixion on any other day would distort Scripture and present a glaring contradiction between what was prophesied and what happened. It’s no wonder then that critics of the Bible had latched onto the church’s erroneous interpretation of the crucifixion day to poke holes in the infallibility of Scripture and its divine origin. If we can’t convince sceptics and critics that Christ actually stayed for three days and three nights in the grave like he said, how can we convince them of the literal fulfilment of other things the Lord prophesied about? That’s why it’s important to get the day of the Lord’s crucifixion right, because the Scriptures cannot be broken! There are no contradictions in the Bible if rightly divided, for Scripture does not fight Scripture, though scholars may fight one another in their interpretations of Scripture.

In conclusion, the day traditionally accepted as the day of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus poses a lot of problems with respect to the number of days the Lord spent in the grave before his resurrection. If we follow the tradition of Good Friday as the day of the crucifixion, and if we agree with the Scripture that Christ had already risen early on Sunday morning, then it would mean he spent less than two full days in the grave, contradicting myriads of Scriptures, including Jesus’ own prophecies about his death, as well as eye-witness accounts of the apostles concerning his death and resurrection. Friday was erroneously assumed to be the day of the crucifixion because the day after it was a sabbath day, and it was assumed every sabbath day was a Saturday. However, what was not taken into consideration in arriving at that conclusion was that the beginning of the feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread was to be declared as a special sabbath called a high sabbath, whatever the day it fell on. Thus, not all sabbaths in the Bible fell on Saturdays, as the first and last days of most holy feasts in Israel were to be declared mandatory sabbath days of rest, whatever the days they fell on. Thus, the high sabbath that followed the crucifixion was not the regular weekly sabbath of the seventh day (Saturday), but occurred on a Thursday. The crucifixion therefore took place a day before this high sabbath (on Wednesday). Thus, Jesus died around 3:00 PM on Wednesday, and was buried before 6:00 PM on that day. He thus was able to spend three days and three nights in the grave, and rose up Saturday night, as the grave was already empty very early on Sunday morning. Therefore, we should be talking of Good Wednesday, not Good Friday! This knowledge may seem irrelevant to some people, but it goes a long way to prove there’s no discrepancy in the Bible and no contradictions in the Scriptures, once they are rightly divided. Critics who have used such apparent contradictions to attack the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible would thus be disarmed, on learning that truly, the Lord spent three days and three nights in the grave before resurrecting, as prophesied and as foreshadowed in the Old Testament. Truly, the Word of God must be accomplished exactly as spoken, for the Word of God cannot fail. Blessed be the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

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The Cross Of Christ Is The Heart And Soul Of Christianity

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

The central message of Christianity and of the gospel is the cross of Jesus Christ. Christianity rises and falls on it. It was the crux of the Apostles’ message, and the one thing they fought and died for. Jesus Christ and him crucified was the only message Paul was determined to transmit to the people he ministered to. Our justification, sanctification and glorification are all tied to this message and how we relate to it. The greatest and most damnable heresies the Apostles combated and contended against had to do with perversions of the message of the cross or its outright repudiation. Because it’s a matter of life and death and has eternal consequences with respect to the soul’s destiny, we need to understand the message of the cross clearly. Only by having a clear revelation of the cross of Christ will we be able to appreciate the sacrifice made for us at Calvary. This article intends to scripturally review the message of the cross and rally Christians back to it.

1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;

1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,

1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The preaching of the cross is the gospel message, the good news of salvation from sin and death, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the message that salvation can only be found in one place and in one person- the cross of Jesus Christ! This is the central message of the Bible. All the prophets of old pointed to it, and all the Apostles pointed back to it, as the fulfilment of God’s promise to mankind to provide a way of escape from the curse of sin and death. Christ’s life gave us a wonderful example of God’s love, holy living and righteousness. He was the perfect and sinless man, full of grace and truth. However, without his death on the cross, his life would not have been of eternal benefit to us. Without his propitiatory and substitutionary death on our behalf on the cross of Calvary, no person would have been saved, and all of Adam’s race would have ended up in hell and the lake of fire!

It was not the gracious words of Christ that purchased our salvation. It was not his inspiring and motivational speeches that ransomed our souls from death. His life and and his teachings would have made us live long and good and prosperous lives, for he was a great teacher and a great motivator and inspirer. His healing power definitely cured diseases, cast out demons and raised the dead, even though they still died again, after a full lifespan. However, without his death on the cross, we all would have died and gone to hell, in spite of the good lives his inspiring words would have enabled us to live. So, we see that his death was more important to us than his life. His death and resurrection are the basis of eternal life and Christianity.

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,

1 Corinthians 15:2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

1 Corinthians 15:4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

Right from the book of Genesis, we see the pattern of salvation clearly laid out. When Adam and Eve sinned, God shed an innocent lamb’s blood to cover their sins temporarily, while clothing them with the skin. All throughout the Old Testament, sacrificial animals were offered in place of sinful man as atonement for sin. God thus made it abundantly clear that without the shedding of blood, there can’t be any remission for sin. The penalty for sin is death, as God forewarned Adam and Eve, and every soul ever since has deserved to die, for we were all born sinners. Yet, the mercy of God has always triumphed over his judgement, providing a way of escape for sinful man, through the death of innocent substitutes. All these animal substitutes pointed to the perfect Sacrifice God would provide as a remission of sin- his only begotten Son. Those sinless and unblemished animals foreshadowed the perfect Lamb of God who would come to take away the sin of the world by the sacrifice of himself. Christ was the embodiment and fulfilment of all the sacrifices for sin in the Old Testament. Only his voluntary, substitutionary and propitiatory death could satisfy God’s righteous demands and secure mankind’s salvation.

Hebrews 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

Hebrews 9:20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”

Hebrews 9:21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Hebrews 9:23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

Hebrews 9:25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—

Hebrews 9:26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’

John 1:31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

John 1:32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.

John 1:33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

John 1:34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

John 1:35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.

John 1:36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

1 Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

1 Peter 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.

Matthew 20:26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.

Matthew 20:27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—

Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Salvation is therefore based on what happened on the cross of Christ at Calvary, and the resurrection that followed three days after. Without Calvary, there would have been no resurrection, and without the resurrection, we all would have been doomed to an eternity in hell! The sacrifice of Calvary justifies and sanctifies us, and is the basis of our glorification. Without the cross, we’re nothing but hell-bound, Satan-enslaved, sin-loving damned souls. It’s the great exchange that took place at Calvary that made the difference between dead men and living souls. On Calvary, the sinless and perfect Lamb of God, the righteous and holy one, took upon himself our sins and gave us his righteousness instead. He died in our stead, so we could have life and have it abundantly. It wasn’t motivational speaking that freed and loosed us from the bondage of sin and made us accepted before God. It wasn’t humanistic psychology that rehabilitated and cured us of the addiction to sin. You may wash and make over a pig and bedeck it with jewelries, but until the nature of a pig is taken out of it, it will remain a pig, though polished and refined. It will go back to wallowing in the mire with time. Only the cross of Christ could reach down to our very soul and transform us into new creatures, by the power of his blood and Spirit. Philosophers may consider it foolishness to think sinful man can be made righteous by just believing and placing faith in the death and resurrection of another. But, that’s the wisdom of God. He chose the foolishness of the message of the cross to save those that believe! Hallelujah!

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 12:23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.

John 12:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

John 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

John 12:26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

John 12:27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

John 12:28 Father, glorify Your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

John 12:29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

John 12:30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.

John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

John 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

John 12:33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Salvation is not about what we can do on our own to please God, for the best of our righteousness is but filthy rags before him. It’s not how much we can pray, fast, give alms or try to avoid sin. Salvation is a free gift of grace. It’s not by any works we’ve done or we can ever do. The message of salvation starts and ends with the cross of Christ. Salvation is of the Lord! He paid the price for our redemption on Calvary, without a single contribution from any man. He single-handedly ransomed our souls from death and hell on the cross. All we’re required to do is just believe what he’s already done for us, accept him as our Lord and saviour and live eternally! But, will proud man, used to working hard before earning his wages, accept such a humbling free gift? Can those of us used to boasting about our abilities and about what we can do, humbly accept the fact that it’s not about what we can do but what God has already done for us through Christ Jesus? No wonder the idea of the cross was a stumbling block to the Jews who were used to the works of the law for justification, and foolishness to the Greeks used to philosophical jangling as a way of numbing the desires of the thirsty soul. But to everyone who believes, both Jews and Greeks, the cross is the power of God unto salvation. God indeed chose salvation through the cross to humble men and remove boasting far from us. The fact that we contributed nothing to our redemption reduces our pride to zero. The fact that we have no bragging rights in salvation humbles us and shuts up all mouths before God. And when our mouths finally open, only praise and worship to the one who sits upon the throne, and to Lamb, should proceed from hearts full of praise and gratitude.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Isaiah 64:7 And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, and have consumed us because of our iniquities.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Romans 4:4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

Romans 4:5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

Romans 4:6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

Romans 4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;

Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

Romans 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

Romans 10:6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above)

Romans 10:7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Revelation 5:5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 5:7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Revelation 5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Revelation 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

Revelation 5:12 saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

The message of the cross does not glorify any man but the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished works at Calvary. Every blessing and favour we will ever get from God comes through the cross of Jesus Christ. Our glory lies in the cross, as our justification and sanctification are dependent on it. The cross crucifies and mortifies flesh, and releases upon us the Holy Spirit with his fruits and gifts. The message of the cross is unattractive to vain-glorious and self-seeking men, as it cuts off the ground from under our pride. It also reminds us of the need to carry our own crosses daily and follow the Master, as we carry on his life and sacrifice for others. The cross is an enemy to the flesh, as well as being its deathbed. Hence, carnal men hate the cross, despise it and persecute it fiercely. However, the redeemed of the Lord glory in the cross, for it’s the symbol of their salvation and glory.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Luke 9:24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

Luke 9:25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Luke 9:26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Any message that glories man or his abilities to motivate or improve himself outside of the cross of Christ is anti-Christ and satanic. Any message in the church that does not place the cross of Christ at front and center of Christianity can only be from the enemies of Christ. Any blessing that doesn’t come through the cross of Christ is devilish, for every good and perfect gift of God comes from above and reaches us through the cross of Jesus Christ. Anyone therefore who’s ashamed of the cross of Christ has neither experienced its total saving power, nor the blessings that come through it. The cross of Christ brings God and man together, and totally undoes all the effects of the fall and the curse of sin and death. Therefore, we should only glory in the cross of Christ by which the world is crucified to us and we to the world. We’re nothing outside of the cross of Christ!

Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Colossians 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

Colossians 1:22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—

Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

Philippians 3:18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Philippians 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

In conclusion, the message of the cross is the only authentic gospel message, which provides for man’s total redemption and reconciliation with God. Unfortunately, this message has been replaced in many Christian circles by humanistic psychology, motivational speaking and self-reformation programmes, as the methods of human improvement and acceptable behaviour. Only the blood of Christ can loose and free the soul of man from the bondage of sin and make us accepted in God’s sight. Only the blood of Christ can justify, sanctify and glorify the sinner (and we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory!). Any attempt at self-reformation through the works of the flesh will only produce self-righteousness, which is considered as filthy as menstrual rags before God. To be saved, sanctified and glorified, we must embrace the cross of Christ and carry it daily! It’s in the cross of Christ that we’ll ever become all that God wants us to be.

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Rivalry And Competition Among Christians And Churches Do Not Serve The Interests Of Jesus Christ!

Christianity is fragmented into hundreds of denominations involved in endless dogfights about who’s right and who’s not. The way most Christians and Christian organisations behave towards other Christians not in their groups makes one wonder whether there’s a different Lord and Master for each denomination. And so, we find groups focused on poaching members from one another, and celebrating and gloating over it as success in ministry! Thus, while some organisations and denominations grow numerically in strength (and others decrease proportionately), there occurs no net growth in the Kingdom of God. What are the implications of this inter-denominational rivalry on the health and growth of the body of Christ? Whose interest does love of denomination, rather than love of Christ and of the brethren, serve? Let’s examine these issues in the light of the Bible.

Philippians 2:19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you.

Philippians 2:20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.

Philippians 2:21 They all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel (ESV).

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul mentioned a disturbing scenario among the people associated with him in ministry: with the exception of a few people like Timothy, other ministers were more concerned about their personal interests in ministry than about the interests of Christ and his flock. A minister is supposed to be a servant engaged in the service of the Lord. He’s supposed to be serving in the Lord’s vineyard, tending it for the Lord, to the best of the abilities God has given him. The Church is God’s building, and ministers are fellow-labourers with God, in the construction of this magnificent edifice. It’s therefore most disloyal to find ministers more interested in their own agenda than that of the Lord. The Church is God’s property. Any man overseeing any portion of it is just a caretaker. For a caretaker to look out for himself more than for the owner of the property is the greatest betrayal of trust! It’s simply the height of mischievous deviousness and sleight cunningness. However, God sees and keeps records of all actions and intentions, and will reward every man according to his faithfulness in ministry.

1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

1 Corinthians 3:4 For when one says, I follow Paul, and another, I follow Apollos, are you not being merely human?

1 Corinthians 3:5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

1 Corinthians 3:7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

1 Corinthians 3:8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—

1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

1 Corinthians 3:14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

1 Corinthians 3:15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire (ESV).

Romans 14:10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

Romans 14:11 for it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Romans 14:12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God (ESV).

Most of the rivalries we see among churches stem from ministers putting their interests before those of the Lord and his people. When men are more interested in making a name for themselves than in projecting the Lord’s name and his glory, they’ll actively work to undermine the interests of Christ and the oneness of his body. Such wolves will do anything to divide the brotherhood in order to draw away men after themselves. Men who seek to make disciples for themselves, rather than for the Lord, will not hesitate to bring in damnable heresies into the church, even denying the Lord that bought them. When ministers and ministries are motivated by fame, greed, covetousness and power, their goal will be to build bigger organisations (with greater financial potentials) by all means, even if it means ‘stealing’ members from other churches. Membership may increase in such organisations, but the body of Christ doesn’t experience any increase! The Lord’s interest has not been served in such a case.

The Acts 20:18 And when they came to him, he said to them: You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia,

The Acts 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews;

The Acts 20:20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house,

The Acts 20:21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there,

The Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.

The Acts 20:24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.

The Acts 20:26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you,

The Acts 20:27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

The Acts 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

The Acts 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;

The Acts 20:30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

The Acts 20:31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.

The Acts 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

The Acts 20:33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.

The Acts 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me.

The Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The Acts 20:36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all (ESV).

James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

James 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

James 3:15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

James 3:18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (ESV).

Until every Christian sees every other Christian as a brother or a sister and members of the same body, there will be unhealthy rivalries and competitions that tend to engender strife and further polarise believers. Until ministers and churches see every other minister and church (that meet the basic qualifications to be called ‘Christian’) as fellow labourers and partners in the Gospel, poaching members from other churches will be considered church growth and expansion, even if the kingdom of God does not experience any net gain. When we see ourselves as rivals and competitors in the body of Christ, we will not be our brothers’ keeper. Instead, when we see believers from other groups in trouble or stumbling, we will gloat and rejoice and just walk pass. In fact, we might even help to quickly dispatch any such wounded soldiers, just to prove that we alone are approved of God! As it is presently, we’re no better than the Priest and the Levite in the story of the good Samaritan! As long as it’s not our members and those of our group, we hurry pass another Christian in danger and look the other way. We love only those from our group and look out only for our narrow interests!

Luke 10:25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Luke 10:26 He said to him, What is written in the Law? How do you read it?

Luke 10:27 And he answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 10:28 And he said to him, You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.

Luke 10:29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

Luke 10:30 Jesus replied, A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.

Luke 10:31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.

Luke 10:32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

Luke 10:33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.

Luke 10:34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

Luke 10:35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.

Luke 10:36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?

Luke 10:37 He said, The one who showed him mercy. And Jesus said to him, You go, and do likewise (ESV).

But, we’re commanded not to look out only for the things that concern us and our groups; we’re enjoined by the Scriptures to look out also for the things that concern other Christians. Surely, the Lord can’t be happy when some of his children who are doing well neglect and trample underfoot other less fortunate ones? If he readily leaves 99 sheep who are doing well to go after one sheep in danger, then it should be clear to us all that if one part of the body suffers the entire body suffers! When another group of Christians are rejoicing and celebrating, we should rejoice with them. When a denomination is making exploits for the Lord, all others should rejoice with it. When a Christian or a Christian group is suffering persecution or hardship, all others should rise up to support them. When Jewish Christians at Jerusalem suffered some hardship due to persecution and famine, Gentile Christians in other parts of the world rose up to make contributions to support them. That’s the Spirit of Christ in action! That’s the Christian brotherhood on display! We celebrate together and we mourn together. We’re not a bunch of rivals or competitors, but one brotherhood, though we be in different groups or denominations. We have one Lord, one faith, one hope, one Spirit, one baptism and one God! We’re one, for Christ is not divided!

Philippians 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,

Philippians 2:2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (ESV).

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (ESV).

1 Corinthians 12:18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

1 Corinthians 12:19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?

1 Corinthians 12:20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

1 Corinthians 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

1 Corinthians 12:22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

1 Corinthians 12:23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,

1 Corinthians 12:24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,

1 Corinthians 12:25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

1 Corinthians 12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together (ESV).

The Acts 11:27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

The Acts 11:28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).

The Acts 11:29 So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea.

The Acts 11:30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul (ESV).

God has gifted every member of his body some talents and some measure of faith. He alone is to decide how and where those gifts and talents are to be deployed for his glory and for the greater good of his Kingdom. The Lord may separate someone from a group or a denomination with the intent of using that person to reach other groups of people elsewhere that may not be easily reached by the parent denomination. As long as someone leaves our group to still serve in other parts of the Lord’s vineyard, we should not treat them as rivals or enemies. They are still our fellow labourers and partners in God’s Kingdom. Unless we delusionally believe the Kingdom of God starts and ends with our group, we shouldn’t hesitate to extend the right hand of fellowship to such ‘breakaway’ believers. Before we deploy all arsenals and propaganda to fight and destroy such people, let’s consider that they could be heeding God’s calling to separate themselves for the work he’s called them to do! To resist, oppose and fight them then means resisting, opposing and fighting the will of God! God doesn’t have to clear with us before calling and separating people from our group to start a new work somewhere else. The church and all the members belong to him, and he can choose to use anyone anyway it pleases him!

The Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

The Acts 13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.

The Acts 13:3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

The Acts 13:4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus (ESV).

Galatians 2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.

Galatians 2:2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.

Galatians 2:3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.

Galatians 2:4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—

Galatians 2:5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Galatians 2:6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

Galatians 2:7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised

Galatians 2:8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),

Galatians 2:9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Galatians 2:10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do (ESV).

Genuine love of the brethren precludes rivalry and bitter competitions. A kingdom-focused ministry and vision sees every other Christian as a brother/sister, and every other ministry and minister as partners. If we’re all serving the same Lord and Master and working for his glory, we shouldn’t be having all these bickerings and dogfights. The Master’s interests should override all personal interests. We’d collaborate, team up and join forces to defeat the forces of darkness and achieve the Master’s purpose and goal. The Lord’s cause will trump every other cause. We’d be glad to see other labourers in the vineyard, because we can’t do the work alone. The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. We’d be praying the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers into his harvest, rather than fighting and maligning the few other labourers available. If we’re truly seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness, we’d rejoice when a lost sheep is brought back to the fold through other ministers in other denominations, because the whole of heaven is rejoicing. We’d be glad to help and support people at the frontline fighting the Lord’s battle and winning souls, even if we don’t know them and they’re not from our denominations. We’d be glad to offer help where it’s needed, rather than compete with others in a particular area already suffused with an abundance of gifts, while other fields are lacking labourers. We’d not seek to fish from other people’s fish ponds or from already caught stocks in their freezers, because that won’t increase the Kingdom! If we’re serving the Lord’s interest and praying for the expansion of God’s Kingdom, every other ministry engaged in soul-winning becomes a partner that we should support with everything we have. Every Christian, no matter their denominational colour or stripes, becomes a brother or a sister to rally around and defend/protect in times of crises. We’d cease speaking ill of other ministers and other Christians. When we hear of scandals involving other Christians and ministers, we’d weep and mourn and never rejoice or celebrate, because there is nothing to rejoice over a fellow soldier wounded or killed in battle! It could have been us! Rivalry is a fruit of the flesh and carnality, and works against the Holy Spirit and his mission for the Church!

Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

Matthew 9:38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (ESV).

Romans 15:17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.

Romans 15:18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed,

Romans 15:19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;

Romans 15:20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation,

Romans 15:21 but as it is written, Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand (ESV).

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,

Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,

Galatians 5:21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (ESV).

Galatians 1:21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.

Galatians 1:22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.

Galatians 1:23 They only were hearing it said, He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.

Galatians 1:24 And they glorified God because of me (ESV).

Gifts and ministries in the body of Christ are designed to complement one another, and not for competion! As no part of the body is complete on its own and cannot therefore be independent or self-sufficient, no gift and no ministry can stand on its own. God intends for us to collaborate and depend on each other’s ministries for the success of the body of Christ. Members of the five-fold ministry need each other to express the complete revelation and power of God! If, rather than acknowledge our individual limitations and the need to collaborate with others, we insist on competing with one another as rivals, we’ll build up stunted organisations and ill-equipped individual believers. A church that relies only on the ministry of an apostle, a pastor, a prophet, an evangelist, or a teacher is in trouble, because such a church cannot produce believers who are balanced and grounded in all aspects of the Christian life. Rivalry will prevent a pastor from inviting a prophet to come and bless his church with his prophetic gift. It will prevent a prophet from inviting a teacher to come and ground his people in the Word. The result will be half-baked Christians only knowledgeable in the area of calling of their in-house ministers. That’s a disservice to the body of Christ! Selfish interests and rivalries will only breed malnourished Christians! There’s a reason Christ gave the five-fold ministry to the church! If one type of ministry could have done the job, there wouldn’t be any need for five different types of preaching ministries in the church!

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,

Ephesians 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Ephesians 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Ephesians 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Ephesians 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (ESV).

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Romans 12:4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,

Romans 12:5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12:6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

Romans 12:7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;

Romans 12:8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor (ESV).

1 Corinthians 12:20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

1 Corinthians 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

1 Corinthians 12:22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

1 Corinthians 12:23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,

1 Corinthians 12:24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,

1 Corinthians 12:25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

1 Corinthians 12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

1 Corinthians 12:30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (ESV).

1 Corinthians 14:26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up (ESV).

In conclusion, rivalry and competition in ministry is a work of the flesh inspired by the devil to hamper the growth, development and unity of the body of Christ. It only serves the interest of selfish and self-seeking ministers and not those of Christ or his church. The gifts and ministries in the body of Christ, like members of a human body, need to complement one another, not compete in factious rivalry. A house divided against itself cannot stand. For the body of Christ to actualise its potential and swiftly accomplish its mission, we need to reach out across denominational divides and cooperate and share gifts, experiences, resources, and other blessings of Christ. It is as we cooperate and collaborate that we will find the unity and strength to accomplish our mission in an effective and timely manner! United, we’ll stand and chase away every foe; divided, we’ll suffer unnecessary self-inflected losses to the forces of darkness. But, when we put aside our differences and stand together as one body, knitted, strengthened and nourished by what every joint and ligament supplies, we’ll be an unstoppable force and an invincible army, and a formidable battle ax in God’s hands! The gates of hell cannot prevail against such a church! May God give us such a church in Jesus’ name! Amen!

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Don’t Despise Fellow Christians From Other Denominations: We May Be In Different Divisions, But We’re In The Same Army!

The Christian faith has experienced a lot of divisions over the centuries, resulting in the formation of the hundreds of denominations we see in Christendom today. For both essential and non-essential issues of the faith, Christians have left groups they started out with, to establish new ones, sometimes under contentious and acrimonious circumstances. Some of these divisions have left deep, festering wounds in the body of Christ, which have frustrated efforts at unifying the body. Should belonging to different denominations make Christians enemies to one other? Is it possible to achieve unity of the Spirit in the body of Christ despite denominational differences? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

Ephesians 4:3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—

Ephesians 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (ESV).

There is only one Church of Jesus Christ, and it’s not any of the denominations on earth! The Church is the mystical body of Christ, made up of all born again Christians of all ages, irrespective of their denominational affiliations. Some members of the Church are currently in heaven with the Lord (the Church triumphant), while the rest are still here on earth, toiling, labouring, living and witnessing for the Lord (the Church militant). One day, all will be physically united with the Lord to ever remain together with him, throughout the eternal ages to come. That’s the promise of the Lord.

Ephesians 1:9 Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself:

Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will: (AKJV)

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also (AKJV).

So, Christ’s body (the true believers of all ages and from all denominations) is one and not divided. There may be hundreds of Christian denominations, but there’s only one body of Christ (both corporal and mystical). The sooner we realise and understand that the body of Christ is not any particular denomination or group (by whatever name it’s called), the better for us and the body of Christ! Let this truth sink in!

Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (AKJV).

Anyone who believes Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour, repents of his sins, is baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit and lives for Christ, is a child of God. By placing personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, getting baptised in his name and being filled with his Spirit, we become born again. That’s how we become members of the mystical body of Jesus Christ. That’s the most essential tenet of the Christian faith! Whatever denominations we come from, whatever group we belong to, as long as we personally place faith in Christ’s finished works on Calvary as the only basis of our salvation and redemption from the curse of sin and death, and obey the gospel, we are saved! And every other saved and sanctified child of God everywhere else is a brother/sister! We may be separated by denominations, but we’re united by the blood of Christ! We have one Lord, one Spirit, one faith, one hope, one baptism and one Father!

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (AKJV).

Galatians 3:26 For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (AKJV).

Despite the oneness of the body of Christ and the common blood and Spirit running through every genuine believer, most Christians strenuously strive to undermine the unity of the body of Christ. Most prefer to emphasise their denominational allegiance, rather than their Christianity. Most take pride in belonging to a particular denomination, rather than in belonging to Christ. Most of us glory in men of God and the organisations they’ve founded, rather than in the Lord and his Church, which is his body! What a shame! How disappointed must the Lord be with us! How grieved must the Spirit be, to see us doing all we can to help Satan in his ministry of opposing and dividing the Church of Jesus Christ!

1 Corinthians 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

1 Corinthians 3:4 For when one says, I follow Paul, and another, I follow Apollos, are you not being merely human?

1 Corinthians 3:5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

1 Corinthians 3:7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

1 Corinthians 3:8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (ESV).

1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s;

1 Corinthians 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s;

1 Corinthians 3:23 And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s (AKJV).

I appreciate the fact that there are real differences in certain beliefs among the various denominations, for which disagreement is absolutely necessary. I acknowledge that there are differences in administration, in attitudes towards certain grey areas, in how we praise and worship God, etc, that may never be reconciled. Also, there are socio-cultural differences that may make us gravitate more readily towards certain groups of people. I agree also that certain breakaways were (and still are) essential, in order to preserve certain truths of the gospel. These are all legitimate reasons to form groups and associations that allow us to express ourselves more freely in the worship of God. Just like we have people with different cultures and backgrounds aggregating to form social units and ethnic groups, it’s alright to have various focal groups in the Church. Diversity in the body of Christ can be a wonderful spice of the spiritual life!

However, what is not acceptable is to judge and condemn all those not in our cliques and denominations as not Christian enough or not Christians at all. It’s the same as looking at other human beings not belonging to our race and tribe as being less human or non-humans! That’s the spirit of heresy in the Church! It’s akin to racism in the world! You have no right to judge another believer in Christ as not being Christian enough! You have no right to judge another man’s servant as not being good enough for service. Only the Master of us all has the right to do so! Rather than judge and condemn one another for not being Christian enough because we have differences of opinion on lesser or non-essential matters of the faith, let’s strive to encourage one another to serve the Lord better! Let’s support one another as we fight the common enemy–Satan! Rather than turn on each other, let’s concentrate and focus our fire on the adversary, who is Satan the devil!

Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

Romans 14:2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

Romans 14:3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Romans 14:6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

Romans 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.

Romans 14:8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Romans 14:10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

Romans 14:11 for it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Romans 14:12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Romans 14:14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.

Romans 14:15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.

Romans 14:16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Romans 14:20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.

Romans 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

Romans 14:22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.

Romans 14:23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin (ESV).

Even during his earthly ministry, some of the Apostles of Jesus harbored this divisive denominational spirit of “us” versus “them”, in relation to other believers not in their group.They saw someone else preaching the gospel and casting out demons in Jesus’ name, and tried to stop him, simply because he was not part of their group or caucus! They even had the effrontery to tell Jesus about their selfish interest in trying to stop someone from doing the work of the Lord, simply because he didn’t belong to their denomination! How so much like many of us today! Trust Jesus to straighten them right there! He blasted that denominational spirit away with a scathing rebuke! We all need to hear and receive that rebuke of the Lord today more than ever!

St. Mark 9:38 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t one of our group.”

St. Mark 9:39 ” Don’t stop him! ” Jesus said. ” No one who performs miracles in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me.

St. Mark 9:40 Anyone who is not against us is for us (NLT).

Because of different cultural inclinations and the calling to focus on particular groups of unbelievers in the preaching of the gospel, the non-essential contents of the gospel message may be adapted to fit the cultural milieu of the target audience. It may lead to the formation of assemblies of Christians with different attitudes and opinions on the non-essential matters of the faith. This flexibility and adaptability of the non-essentials of the faith can only help to foster the spread of the gospel. Thus, some denominations may be better suited than others in reaching particular audiences or populations for the Lord. We should therefore not despise any denominational group, as long as they hold onto the central message of the cross and preach Jesus Christ and him crucified as the only means of salvation. We should rather give them the right hand of fellowship as they focus on their target population, while we focus on ours! We may not belong to the same Division, but we all belong to the same Army, the Army of the Lord! Let’s support each other to achieve the Lord’s mission, rather than engaging in counterproductive civil wars!

1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.

1 Corinthians 9:20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.

1 Corinthians 9:21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

1 Corinthians 9:23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings (ESV).

Galatians 2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.

Galatians 2:2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.

Galatians 2:3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.

Galatians 2:4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—

Galatians 2:5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Galatians 2:6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

Galatians 2:7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised

Galatians 2:8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),

Galatians 2:9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Galatians 2:10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do (ESV).

Paul and Barnabas, initially partners in ministry, separated because of differences in opinion on administrative matters. They parted ways, but continued to preach the same gospel with different partners in new groups. Despite the separation, I’m sure Paul and Barnabas never saw themselves as enemies or rivals. I’m sure they continued to relate as partners and fellow-labourers in God’s vineyard. Each may have decided it was better to be on his own, but there was no reason why they wouldn’t have continued to see eye to eye. After all, they were still preaching the same Christ as Lord and Saviour. Splitting into two units from one, Paul and Barnabas ended up covering more ground in the preaching of the gospel. Even John Mark, who was the cause of the initial dispute that led to the parting of ways between the Apostles, was later found useful by Paul in the ministry. The cause and cross of Christ should override every individual and group differences. We must all hold high the Lord’s royal banner, irrespective of our denominational inclinations!

The Acts 15:36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.

The Acts 15:37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark.

The Acts 15:38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.

The Acts 15:39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus,

The Acts 15:40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

The Acts 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches (ESV).

2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry (ESV).

Finally, when we refuse to accept other Christians who have met the basic requirements of salvation as brothers and sisters, simply because they belong to different denominations, we’re not discerning the Lord’s body. When we refuse to fellowship with other Christians because they do not belong to our denominations, we’re dividing and dishonouring the body of Christ. When we oppose and resist others who are doing the work of the Lord simply because they are not from our group, we’re resisting and opposing the Lord and the gospel. Whatever other people’s motives may be in preaching the gospel, as long as they preach Christ crucified as the only Saviour of mankind, we should rejoice and give them the right hand of fellowship!

Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.

Philippians 1:16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.

Philippians 1:17 The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.

Philippians 1:18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, (ESV).

In conclusion, denominational divisions have come to stay in Christianity, and we must learn to live with them, as imperfect as they are. Rather than love and hate one another along denominational lines, Christians should rise above denominational divides to embrace, love and fellowship with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Denominations may actually work to foster the spread of the gospel, if we stop seeing ourselves as competitors and begin to consider ourselves instead as partners in the Gospel. Each denomination is uniquely adapted and equipped to reach a particular population. Let’s recognise and discern the oneness of the body of Christ, and extend the right hand of fellowship to each other, as we unite forces to execute the Lord’s mission. We may be in different Divisions of the Church, but we’re in the same Army. We cannot afford to turn on each other in civil wars, for that would be handing Satan victory without his firing a shot! Remember, in heaven, there will be no Catholics, no Lutherans, no Baptists, no Presbyterians, no Methodists, and no Pentecostals! There will be no denominations there! Heaven will be populated by only one group of people–Children of God!

Matthew 12:25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand (ESV).

Is The Angel Of Revelation 10:7 The Final Church Age Messenger?

People in the Endtime Message Movement interpret the angel in Revelation Chapter 10 verse 7 to mean a human agent, and the final messenger to the Gentile Church Age, whose ministry is expected to lay bare all the mysteries of God. This messenger, it is believed, will explain all the mysteries of the Bible to the Church through special revelation using his prophetic gift, including the mysteries of the seven thunders in the book of Revelation. He will thus prepare the Church for the Rapture. This last Church Age messenger is also held to be the Elijah of Malachi Chapter 4:5-6, whose ministry will herald the Second Coming of Christ. We’ve already proven in a previous exposition that there is no Elijah ministry promised to the Gentile Church. We will now examine the Scriptures to unveil the identity of the angel of Revelation 10:7, showing from the Scriptures who the angel is and what is the mystery of God that should be finished at the sounding of his trumpet.

Revelation 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was on his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

Revelation 10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

Revelation 10:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

Revelation 10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

Revelation 10:5 And the angel which I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

Revelation 10:6 And swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he has declared to his servants the prophets (AKJV).

To understand who this seventh angel in verse seven is, we will have to go back a few chapters to get the complete picture. In the 8th Chapter of the book of Revelation, after the seventh seal on the seven-sealed book was broken, we see seven angels in heaven given trumpets to blow down various judgements of God upon the earth. Each of the seven trumpeting angels lined up in heaven and sounded their trumpets one after the other. With the sounding of each trumpet, various woes were released upon the earth. This is part of the great tribulation that will be experienced on earth during the reign of the anti-Christ, while the Gentile Church would have gone in the Rapture at the close of the Church Age which ended in Revelation Chapter three. From Revelation Chapter 4 until Chapter 19, the raptured Church will be in heaven. All the events happening from Revelation Chapter 4 through chapter 19 are post-rapture events occurring during the reign of the anti-Christ. The Bride of Christ will be in heaven attending the marriage supper of the Lamb during the reign of the anti-Christ. Let’s examine the Scriptures to verify these points.

Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

Revelation 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.

Revelation 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

Revelation 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunder, and lightning, and an earthquake.

Revelation 8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Revelation 8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast on the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Revelation 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

Revelation 8:9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

Revelation 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell on the third part of the rivers, and on the fountains of waters;

Revelation 8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Revelation 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

Revelation 8:13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the middle of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! (AKJV).

From the passages cited above, we see that the seven trumpeting angels are all heavenly beings tasked to unleash various portions of God’s wrath upon the inhabitants of the earth during the great tribulation. One after the other, the angels sounded their trumpets to signal the commencement of various woes on the inhabitants of the earth, each woe following one another closely. The earth will experience God’s judgment at this time in a way never seen before. This is the great tribulation. From what we’ve read so far, four angels have sounded their trumpets and four woes have been released on the inhabitants of the earth. The remaining three angels are about to sound their trumpets to release their own woes upon the earth, and we’re told the three remaining woes would be even more catastrophic than those previously released! The judgment is escalating and becoming more intense! The wrath of God will be released upon sinful and wicked men without admixture, as promised! Indeed, it’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

Revelation 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Revelation 9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts on the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Revelation 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

Revelation 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man.

Revelation 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Revelation 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like to horses prepared to battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

Revelation 9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

Revelation 9:9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

Revelation 9:10 And they had tails like to scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue has his name Apollyon.

Revelation 9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

Revelation 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

Revelation 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

Revelation 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

Revelation 9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

Revelation 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

Revelation 9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

Revelation 9:19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like to serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

Revelation 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

Revelation 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts (AKJV).

We see the fourth, fifth and sixth angels sounding their trumpets and releasing various woes upon the people on the earth at the time of the great tribulation, specifically targeting people who do not have the mark of God upon them. Men who had taken the mark of the beast will now experience terrible punishment from God. They will experience terrible sufferings, to the extent that they will seek to die, but death would flee far away from them! Yet, such people will not be able to repent and seek God’s mercy, because they had already sealed their doom by taking upon themselves the mark of the beast! Now, it remains the seventh and last of these trumpeting angels to sound his trumpet and release his own peculiar judgement upon the earth. Let’s find him out, for this is where the controversy lies!

Revelation 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was on his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

Revelation 10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

Revelation 10:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

Revelation 10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

Revelation 10:5 And the angel which I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

Revelation 10:6 And swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he has declared to his servants the prophets (AKJV).

There is a little parenthesis here, after the sounding of the sixth trumpeting angel, and before the sounding of the seventh. Another mighty Angel descends from heaven, clothed with the cloud, with a rainbow on his head, his face shining as the sun and his feet like pillars of fire. He has a little open book in his hand. This no doubt is the Angel of the Covenant, Christ himself, for he is also called the Angel of the Lord, as Jehovah’s great Messenger. He’s holding the the seven-sealed book he has unsealed. He’s standing on both the earth and the sea, laying claim to all, as both Creator and Redeemer. He roars like the Lion of the Tribe of Judah that he is, and then seven thunders utter their voices, giving out clear messages which John the scribe hurried to write down, as he was instructed to do at the beginning of the book. However, he was warned by a voice from heaven to seal up those things which the seven thunders spoke and not to write them down! So, John did not write down what the seven thunders said. Though he heard them clearly, but he was forbidden to write them down. And so, there is no record in the Scriptures of what the seven thunders said! Those who claim the last Church Age messenger is to reveal all the mysteries of God, including what the seven thunders said, are ignorant of the fact that what the seven thunders spoke are not even written down in the Bible! God forbade them to be written down. Whatever they are, they are not for us to know. God does not want us to know them and so we should not seek after them. Anything anybody says about the seven thunders is only speculation at best. it’s actually an act of disobedience to seek after what God has said should be left alone. Paul heard and saw many things when he was taken to heaven, but he was forbidden to write them down, and so he didn’t write them. Everything we need for our salvation has been written down for us in the Bible. Whatever is not contained in the Bible is not essential for salvation, and should not be pursued! The secret things belong to God and should be left alone, while the revealed things are for us to know, obey and follow. To seek after secret things that are not revealed in the written Word is to attempt to add to the Word of God, and that’s a serious offence with grave consequences! Let’s speak where God speaks, and let’s be silent where he is silent!

2 Corinthians 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

2 Corinthians 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;)

2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

2 Corinthians 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in my infirmities.

2 Corinthians 12:6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he sees me to be, or that he hears of me (AKJV).

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (AKJV).

John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

John 20:31 But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen (AKJV).

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed (AKJV).

Revelation 22:18 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book:

Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (AKJV).

Now, let’s get back to the seventh angel and the woes that are to accompany the sounding of his trumpet. The mighty Angel from heaven also made us understand that when the seventh angel would begin to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God should be finished, as he had declared to his servants the prophets. What is this mystery of God that should be finished at the sounding of the seventh angel’s trumpet? We will not speculate here, but will follow on to hear the seventh angel blow his trumpet and then see the mystery of God that should be finished, for, whatever the mystery is, it would be finished at the sounding of the seventh angel’s trumpet. Whatever it is, it’s to happen soon after the seventh trumpet is sounded, for the mighty Angel had sworn that there should not be any delay, from the sounding of the seventh trumpet to the finishing of this mystery!

Revelation 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes quickly.

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshipped God,

Revelation 11:17 Saying, We give you thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because you have taken to you your great power, and have reigned.

Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.

Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightning, and voices, and thunder, and an earthquake, and great hail (AKJV).

Now at last, after all parenthetical delays, the seventh angel finally sounds his trumpet! And immediately the seventh trumpet is sounded, we see a wonderful scene in heaven. The 24 elders sitting around the throne of God become ecstatic, fall down before the throne and begin to worship God! The mystery is finally finished! The kingdoms of this world have finally become the kingdom of our God and his Christ! The wait is over! What was revealed to all the prophets of old has finally come to pass! The Christ of God is about to establish his kingdom on earth! The kingdom of God, which was spoken of as a mystery in parables, all through the Old Testament and in the Gospels, is about to become reality, the time of its establishment having arrived! Now, that hidden mystery is about to become open reality. It’s now time to judge the wicked and reward the righteous. It’s now time for the meek to inherit the earth. The earth will now be truly the Lord’s! All usurpers are about to be judged and kicked out forever, and the saints will reign with their Lord in power and glory! Hallelujah! That is the mystery of God that would be finished at the sounding of the seventh trumpet! It is not the revelation of the Gospel mysteries or Apostolic doctrines, for those were thoroughly revealed and finished by the Apostles! The mystery of iniquity is ended, and the reign of righteousness is about to start! No wonder those elders had to fall prostrate before the throne, to worship God like never before!

Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said to him, Why speak you to them in parables?

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Matthew 13:12 For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has.

Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Matthew 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which said, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive:

Matthew 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 13:17 For truly I say to you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them.

Matthew 13:34 All these things spoke Jesus to the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke he not to them:

Matthew 13:35 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 (AKJV).

In conclusion, we’ve seen from the Scriptures that the seventh angel mentioned in Revelation 10:7 is a heavenly being, the last of the trumpeting angels tasked with pouring out God’s wrath upon the earth during the great tribulation. He is not a human being and therefore cannot be a Church Age messenger. Besides, at the time of appearing of this angel, the Church would already have been in heaven, having gone in the Rapture, which is a pre-tribulation event. Infact, after Revelation Chapter 3, the Church is not mentioned again in the book of Revelation, until the 19th Chapter, when she comes down with the Lord to rule on earth. In the same vein, the mysteries of the seven thunders (which are not written in the Scriptures and which no one knows), and the mystery of God that should be finished at the sounding of this angel’s trumpet have no benefit in terms of preparing the Church for the rapture, because the rapture would already have occurred by the time this angel appears on the scene to sound his trumpet. Furthermore, the mysteries of the Gospels were not revealed to the prophets of old, as it was a secret hid in God’s mind, and made known only to the Apostles and New Testament Prophets. Besides, the mystery of the Gospel has been thoroughly and completely revealed by the Apostles, and nothing is to be added to what they brought to us. However, the mystery that was known even to the Old Testament Prophets, and to which they looked up to, was that one day, the meek and the righteous will rule and reign in glory on earth. That is what will happen after the sounding of the seventh angel’s trumpet.

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Ephesians 3:2 If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote before in few words,

Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Ephesians 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of his power.

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God (AKJV).

Is there An Endtime Elijah Ministry Promised To The Gentile Church Before The Rapture?

Some Christian groups in the Endtime Message Movement teach that there is an Elijah-type forerunner ministry, like that of John the Baptist, promised to the Gentile Church, just before the Rapture. Like the ministry of John the Baptist, this Endtime Elijah is to prepare the way of the Lord, by restoring the Church back to the original Apostolic faith. This Prophetic ministry is to receive and reveal to the Church all the hidden mysteries of God, as well as recover all the lost Apostolic truths. Is there an Ejilah-type pre-rapture forerunner ministry promised to the Gentile Church? Is the Church to expect a man with the spirit and power of Elijah who will prepare her for the Rapture? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, said the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

Malachi 4:2 But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Malachi 4:3 And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, said the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 4:4 Remember you the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Malachi 4:6 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 (AKJV).

The passage from the Scriptures quoted above is the one often cited to back up the promise of an Elijah-type ministry for the Endtime Church. We will carefully examine this portion of the Scriptures to understand what this promise entails, the group to which the promise was made and when this Elijah is to appear. In the fifth verse of the Chapter quoted above, God promised to send back Elijah the Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Every Bible scholar understands the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” to mean the day of God’s tribulation judgement upon the world, which most scholars believe will occur after the Rapture of the Church. It is after the great tribulation that the Second Coming of Christ is expected to take place. Let’s look at Scripture to corroborate the fact that the great and dreadful day of the Lord refers to the day of God’s wrath to be poured out without admixture upon the world.

Isaiah 34:1 Come near, you nations, to hear; and listen, you people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.

Isaiah 34:2 For the indignation of the LORD is on all nations, and his fury on all their armies: he has utterly destroyed them, he has delivered them to the slaughter.

Isaiah 34:3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.

Isaiah 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falls off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

Isaiah 34:5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down on Idumea, and on the people of my curse, to judgment.

Isaiah 34:6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

Isaiah 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

Isaiah 34:8 For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.

Isaiah 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.

Isaiah 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever (AKJV).

Jeremiah 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates (AJKV).

Joel 2:1 Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near,

Joel 2:2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations (ESV).

Luke 21:20 And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near.

Luke 21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the middle of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

Luke 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Luke 21:23 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath on this people.

Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Luke 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near (AKJV).

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (AKJV).

So, we see from the Scriptures that the great and dreadful day of the Lord, or the day of vengeance of our God, refers to the great tribulation judgement of the Lord upon the nations. It will herald the Second Coming of Christ to the earth, to establish his millennial kingdom, when he will reign for a thousand years upon the earth. It is this Second Coming that will be heralded by the ministry of Elijah the Prophet. Just as the first coming of Christ was foreran by an Elijah-type ministry of John the Baptist, the Second Coming of Christ too will have such a forerunner. The purpose of John the Baptist’s ministry was to prepare Israel to receive their Messiah. It was simply a ministry of reconciliation, to reconcile the people to God and to one another, and to bring knowledge of salvation to God’s people.

Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

Luke 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,

Luke 1:15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

Luke 1:16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,

Luke 1:17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared (ESV).

Luke 1:76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

Luke 1:77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,

Luke 1:78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high

Luke 1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (ESV).

Although John the Baptist was not the Elijah of old who was taken up to heaven by a chariot of fire, he had a lot of similarities with Elijah. Both were men who lived secluded and ascetic lives; both were ruthless and fearless in combating evil and unrighteousness; and both confronted ungodly kings head-on. But, it was their zeal for God and his righteousness that stood them apart. Because of these similarities of ministry and personality types, they are said to have the same spirit. So, we see John the Baptist being described as having the spirit and power of Elijah. The Lord Jesus referred to him as Elijah, figuratively speaking, because he exhibited the same spirit and power as Elijah.

Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

Matthew 17:2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.

Matthew 17:3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

Matthew 17:4 And Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.

Matthew 17:5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.

Matthew 17:6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.

Matthew 17:7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, Rise, and have no fear.

Matthew 17:8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Matthew 17:9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.

Matthew 17:10 And the disciples asked him, Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?

Matthew 17:11 He answered, Elijah does come, and he will restore all things.

Matthew 17:12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.

Matthew 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist (ESV).

In answering the Apostles’ question about the coming of Elijah to restore all things before the coming of Christ, Jesus made it known that although Elijah had come in the form of John the Baptist, another Elijah was still being expected in the future: “..Elijah does come and he will restore all things”. By admitting an Elijah will come who will restore all things when John the Baptist had already come and had finished his ministry, Jesus made us realise that the Elijah ministry in relation to Christ’s coming was two-fold: Elijah coming to forerun the first advent and another Elijah coming to forerun the second advent. So, the first Elijah ministry (John the Baptist) and the first advent have come and gone. Now, we’re waiting for the second advent and the second Elijah ministry to herald it.

Now that we know the two advents are to be heralded by an Elijah ministry, let’s go back to the Scriptures to find out the group of people who were promised both advents, as well as the ministries to forerun them. We should pay attention to the fact that the Old Testament, especially the Law and the Prophets, were written particularly for Israel as a nation, the covenant people of God. All the promises made in those Scriptures were primarily to the Jews as a nation. The Old Testament was simply Jehovah’s Covenant with Israel, Jehovah’s chosen people and nation. It was to them that the promise of Messiah was made. It was for them primarily that both advents were intended, although the rest of humanity was to benefit through them. We’re told that Jesus came to his own- the Jews. It was only when they rejected him and his gospel that the Apostles turned to the Gentiles. Though even in the Old Testament Scriptures it was hinted that God would bring in the Gentiles into saving knowledge through the Messiah, Israel was the main focus. The Gentiles are unnatural branches grafted into God’s tree of righteousness, while Israel is the natural branch of that tree. It was to/ with their fathers that the promises and the Covenant were made. Even Jesus mentioned the fact that salvation is of the Jews. He made it clear to the Canaanite woman (a Gentile) that he was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And his ministry was specifically to the Jews, as a minister of the circumcisions (the Jews), for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to their fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). So, the promise of the first advent and the first forerunner was for the Jews, not the Gentiles. Israel was the one promised a Messiah and a forerunner, not the Gentiles!

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this (ESV).

Isaiah 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

Isaiah 40:2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

Isaiah 40:3 A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.

Isaiah 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken (ESV).

Malachi 1:1 The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

Malachi 4:4 Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

Malachi 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction (ESV).

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.

John 1:11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

John 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (ESV).

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans,

Matthew 10:6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:7 And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay (ESV).

Matthew 15:21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.

Matthew 15:22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.

Matthew 15:23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us.

Matthew 15:24 He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (ESV).

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers: (AKJV).

Romans 9:1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—

Romans 9:2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.

Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

Romans 9:4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.

Romans 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen (ESV).

Romans 11:16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Romans 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,

Romans 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.

Romans 11:19 Then you will say, Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.

Romans 11:20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.

Romans 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

Romans 11:22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.

Romans 11:23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

Romans 11:24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

Romans 11:25 Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Romans 11:26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob;

Romans 11:27 and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.

Romans 11:28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable (ESV).

The Acts 13:32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers,

The Acts 13:33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, You are my Son, today I have begotten you (ESV).

Having shown exhaustively from the Scriptures that the promises made in the Old Testament Scriptures were specifically to Israel as a nation, let’s go a step further by saying that the Church, though conceived in the mind of God before the foundation of the world, was never mentioned in the Old Testament and no promises were therefore made to it in the Old Testament. The Church came into being only after the death of Christ. The Church is a New Testament creation and has no legal status in the Old Testament. All the promises of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah, his advents and his forerunners were therefore made to Israel as a nation, and not to the Church! The promises to the Church are found in the New Testament, the Covenant it operates under, and not in the Covenant it was not a party to! Christ made the promise of the Second Advent to the Jews he ministered to, not to Gentiles! By the time the Second Advent takes place, the Rapture of the Gentile Church would have taken place! Infact, Christ will be coming back in the Second Advent with the raptured Church, to be Israel’s King, having come in the First Advent as their suffering Messiah. He will be coming back to sit upon the throne of his father David, and rule from Jerusalem as the King of the Jews. But because Israel would have been restored as head over all nations, Christ will also reign over all nations, with his headquarters at Jerusalem. He will be Israel’s King ruling over the whole world!

Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (ESV).

The Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.

The Acts 3:14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,

The Acts 3:15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

The Acts 3:16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

The Acts 3:17 And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.

The Acts 3:18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.

The Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,

The Acts 3:20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,

The Acts 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

The Acts 3:22 Moses said, The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.

The Acts 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.

The Acts 3:24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.

The Acts 3:25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

The Acts 3:26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness (ESV).

The Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?

The Acts 1:7 He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.

The Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

The Acts 1:9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

The Acts 1:10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,

The Acts 1:11 and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven (ESV).

Now, what’s the purpose of the Elijah ministry in relation to both advents of Christ? The Elijah ministry in relation to the advents is to prepare Israel to receive her Messiah and King. It is to prepare the way of the Lord. In the East, it was customary for a king to have a forerunner go ahead of him to the place he was expected to visit, to herald his coming and to prepare the people to receive him. John the Baptist did that concerning the first advent, sensitising the people to the presence of the Messiah on earth, as well as preparing them spiritually to receive him, through his baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Those who accepted John’s baptism and mended their ways, went ahead to receive the Messiah. Those who rejected John’s baptism rejected the Messiah. To accept a forerunner and his message is to accept he that sent him; to reject a forerunner and his message is to reject he that sent him.

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.

Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.

Malachi 3:4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years (ESV).

Matthew 11:7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

Matthew 11:8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

Matthew 11:9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

Matthew 11:10 This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.

Matthew 11:11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

Matthew 11:13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John,

Matthew 11:14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear (ESV).

Matthew 21:23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?

Matthew 21:24 Jesus answered them, I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.

Matthew 21:25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man? And they discussed it among themselves, saying, If we say, From heaven, he will say to us, Why then did you not believe him?

Matthew 21:26 But if we say, From man, we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.

Matthew 21:27 So they answered Jesus, We do not know. And he said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Matthew 21:28 What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, Son, go and work in the vineyard today.

Matthew 21:29 And he answered, I will not, but afterward he changed his mind and went.

Matthew 21:30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, I go, sir, but did not go.

Matthew 21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.

Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him (ESV).

John 13:20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me (ESV).

What will be the work of the second Elijah ministry with respect to the second advent? Well, it will be like that of the first forerunner- to announce to Israel that her King is coming! Israel rejected her Messiah and crucified him. They are still waiting for the Messiah to come. The second Elijah’s ministry will be to point Israel to Jesus Christ as her rejected Messiah whom she crucified, and call for national repentance and mourning, for killing their long-awaited Messiah! Just as John the Baptist pointed Jesus out and shouted, ” behold the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world”, the second Elijah will scream out to the Jews, “behold your Messiah whom you crucifed coming now as your King”! That message, vindicated by a ministry accompanied by signs and wonders, will throw the entire nation into mourning, repentance and conversion. Then ungodliness will be removed from Jacob, and a nation will be born again in one day! That ministry will be after the Church has gone in the rapture, when God will begin to deal with Israel directly again as a nation, after the parenthetical times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled.

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

Zechariah 12:11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

Zechariah 12:12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;

Zechariah 12:13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves;

Zechariah 12:14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves (ESV).

Zechariah 13:1 On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness (ESV).

Let’s summarise all we’ve been saying thus far: the promise of the ministry of Elijah with regards to Christ’s advents are two-fold, with one Elijah ministry to herald each advent. We also found that the promise of both advents and both forerunner ministries was made specifically to the Jews, and not to the Gentile Church. The spirit of Elijah has nothing to do with the Gentiles, as it’s a spirit of reformation and national restoration of Israel back to her God. Elijah was a prophet to Israel and not to the Gentiles! He doesn’t know the Gentiles and the Gentiles don’t know him either! However, Israel recognises and reveres him as a national icon, like Moses, and they are expecting the ministry of Elijah as a nation, to introduce the Messiah to them. No such promise is given to the Church and no such ministry should be expected by the Church!

John 1:19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?

John 1:20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ.

John 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? He said, I am not. Are you the Prophet? And he answered, No.

John 1:22 So they said to him, Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?

John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said.

John 1:24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)

John 1:25 They asked him, Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?

John 1:26 John answered them, I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know,

John 1:27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie (ESV).

By the way, what’s an Elijah ministry supposed to do in the Church? The Church already knows and accepts Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. The Church has the entire Apostolic message of salvation written down in the Gospels and Epistles of the Apostles. The fullness of the Gospel is completely revealed in the written Word. There are no mysteries of God again to be finished that the Apostles didn’t finish, with regards to salvation. All the Church is required to do is conform to the original Apostolic faith as revealed in the Gospels, Acts and Apostolic Epistles. We do not need any other revelation apart from what the Apostles have plainly revealed to us in the written Word. Infact, to add to what they have written or taught is to attract curses upon ourselves. The Church doesn’t need any special preparation to go in the Rapture, other than to believe the Gospel and be saved and live for Christ. Once you’re born again and you maintain your faith in Christ to the very end, you’ll be saved and you’ll go in the rapture, because you’re part of the body of Christ. No part of his body will be left here on earth when he comes for his own. He will not lose anyone in him!

The Elijah ministry for the second advent will become operational after the rapture, when God’s mercy turns again to Israel and God begins to deal with her again as his chosen nation. Then Elijah will appear with another prophet, as described in the book of Revelation, to turn the heart of Israel back to God and reveal her Messiah to her. Israel will accept Christ then as a nation and will be restored back to her glory and enter the millennial reign as the headquarters of the Messiah’s Kingdom on earth. We see Elijah’s ministry vividly depicted in the characteristics of the the ministry of one of the two witnesses to bring the Gospel to the Jews after the Rapture–calling down fire from heaven upon those who try to harm him, and shutting down heaven for three and a half years so that there won’t be any rain on earth during his ministry. This is vintage Elijah, the prophet of fire and of closing and opening heaven!

Revelation 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.

Revelation 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.

Revelation 11:5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed.

Revelation 11:6 They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.

Revelation 11:7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,

Revelation 11:8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.

Revelation 11:9 For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb,

Revelation 11:10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.

Revelation 11:11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.

Revelation 11:12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, Come up here! And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them (ESV).

In conclusion, from the Apostolic era to date, God has been raising his servants to contend for the original Apostolic faith. The Holy Spirit, working through the ministries of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, has been setting the Church back on track each time men deviate from the Apostolic truths. No singular man embodies the spirit of restoration in the Church of Christ. No singular person is an Elijah to look up to, to bring the entire Church back to the original Apostolic level. God may emphasise one truth with this servant and another with that servant, but no singular person is called to reveal all the mysteries of God to the Church, beyond what the Apostles revealed and emphasised, for they are the foundation of the Church. The only way to prepare people for the coming of the Lord is to preach the gospel and get people saved, justified and sanctified. No special Elijah ministry is promised to the Church at any time, and no such ministry is needed. There is no Elijah ministry for the Endtime Gentile Church! Therefore, any speculation about any Gentile manifesting the Elijah ministry to the Church, either in the past, present or future, is groundless and unscriptural.

A Refutal Of The Doctrine Of The Serpent Seed: The Original Sin Wasn’t Fornication; Cain Wasn’t A Son Of The Serpent; And The Bloodline Of Cain Aren’t Serpent Seeds Who Are Irredeemable!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

The doctrine of the serpent seed, as propagated by some Christian groups, teaches that the original sin in the garden of Eden was fornication between Eve and the serpent, which resulted in the birth of Cain, a seed or son of the serpent. Apart from interpreting the eating of the forbidden fruit to mean engagement in illicit sex, proponents of this doctrine make Cain a literal son of the wicked one, the devil, through the serpent. According to this doctrine, from the line of Cain arose all the wicked and evil men and women (the serpent seeds), who are irredeemable because they are literally of the devil! How does this doctrine fare in the light of the Bible? Did Eve commit fornication with the serpent as the original sin in the garden of Eden? Was Cain a son of the serpent? Are there literal and physical children of the devil who are irredeemable? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

Genesis 2:8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

Genesis 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

Genesis 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;

Genesis 3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Genesis 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

Genesis 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Let’s start this teaching by identifying what the original sin in the garden of Eden was. Scripture tells us that God planted a garden in Eden where he placed the first couple. He also caused fruit trees to spring forth from the ground of the garden, including two special trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, both located in the middle of the garden. The man and his wife, Adam and Eve, were forbidden by God to eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, with death pronounced as the penalty for disobedience. However, the serpent deceived the woman and made her eat the forbidden fruit, which she also gave to her husband. And mankind thus sinned originally and fell from grace, and death entered the human race thereby.

The question is, what was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from, which they disobediently partook of, and which led to the curse of sin and death upon the human race? Some have opined that it wasn’t a literal and physical tree, but that it was figurative of unlawful sex. Such people maintain that to eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was to have illicit sex, which Eve did, first with the serpent, and later with Adam. And so, the eating of the forbidden fruit has come to symbolise having illicit sex. Now, let’s start disproving the myth that eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was having illicit sex. We’ll do that by proving that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was as literal and physical as the tree of life. If we can prove the tree of life was literal and physical, then the tree of the knowledge of good and evil too has to be physical and literal, as both trees existed side by side in the middle of the garden.

Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—

Genesis 3:23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.

Genesis 3:24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

After eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve had their eyes opened to the knowledge of good and evil. Sin entered into them and into the human race. Now, God had to prevent them from eating of the tree of life, so that they wouldn’t continue living forever in their sinful state! The tree of life was apparently to make man live forever. Had Adam and Eve eaten of the tree of life rather than from the one forbidden, they would have lived forever in a sinless state of innocence on earth. There would have been no knowledge of sin, no sickness, no sufferings and no death in the human race. To show that the tree of life was literal and physical, God had to deploy a cherubim to protect it, as well as prevent access to it by fallen mankind. In the book of Revelation, we see the promise of the tree of life made to overcomers, and we also see the tree of life in paradise, bearing physical fruits meant for food and healing for God’s people, proving the tree of life was a literal and physical tree. Whereas sinful man was barred from partaking of its fruits in the garden of Eden, in paradise, the saints will feed on it! The tree of life is food and medicine for the saints of God!

Revelation 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Revelation 22:2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

Ezekiel 47:12 And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing (ESV).

So, we’ve seen from Scripture that the tree of life is a literal and physical tree with edible fruits, meant for the sustenance of the saints, and will be the main food of the eternal people of God in paradise. If the tree of life is a literal and physical tree with edible fruits, then the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has to be a literal and physical tree too, with equally edible fruits. It was the edible fruit from that accursed tree that Adam and Eve ate, following the serpent’s deception. The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil had the ability to make one experientially know both good and evil. It had the ability to make people also do both good and evil. That’s why every descendant of Adam and Eve has the capacity to do both good and evil. All have been corrupted by the effect of the fruit of that tree. All have sinned by Adam’s sin. Where that tree is now and what happened to it after the fall of Adam and Eve is a matter of conjecture. If the tree of life is to be found in paradise and serves to sustain the saints, maybe the tree of knowledge of good and evil could be in hell to sustain its inhabitants? Now, that’s just pure speculation. Such an accursed tree however deserves to be in such an accursed place!

Now that we’ve shown that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, like the tree of life, was a literal and physical tree with edible fruits, let’s show the implausibility of the original sin being Eve having sex with the serpent and siring Cain thereby. Exponents of this doctrine point to the fact that before the fall, the serpent was an upright creature and the closest beast to man, who could speak and reason like man. This beast was considered closer to man biologically than even the apes, and therefore could mate with man to produce offsprings. If illicit sex with the serpent was Eve’s sin, then what was Adam’s sin, since a man having sex with his wife is lawful and blessed of God? Advocates of the serpent seed doctrine teach that Adam’s sin was in not divorcing Eve and burning her, with the serpent, to death, since both had committed adultery. By accepting to sleep with his wife who had committed adultery, Adam was guilty by association! What a doctrine!

I know that it’s possible for a woman (and even a man) to have sex with an animal (a despicable act expressly forbidden by Scripture). However, the Bible was clear that Adam and Eve’s sin was in the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve ate and then gave to Adam. It was a forbidden physical fruit they ate that led to the fall, not fornication or illicit sex. Now comes the crunchy part! Was it possible for the serpent to have impregnated Eve in the unlikely event that they had sex? That’s not possible, for the simple reason that God’s commandment concerning reproduction is that every species should bring forth of its kind. It’s therefore not possible for one species to impregnate another species and make it conceive! It’s biologically impossible!

Genesis 1:24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.

Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Apart from the biological impossibility of the serpent impregnating Eve to sire Cain, the Bible is very clear as to who was the biological father of Cain. The Scripture did not leave any room for ambiguity or doubt concerning Cain’s paternity.

Genesis 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.”

The verse above is very clear as to what Cain was and who his father was! Cain was a man, not a serpent (for that was what he would have been if the serpent was his father!)! Adam had sexual relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain! Nothing can be clearer than the scripture above! Adam was the biological father of Cain, not the serpent! And Cain was a man and not a serpent!

Let’s examine another scripture that proponents of the serpent seed doctrine quote to emphasise the fact that Cain was a literal seed or son of the serpent, and the vicarious seed of the devil. That scripture is found in the first Epistle of John.

1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,

1 John 3:12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.

Cain being of the wicked one is interpreted by advocates of the serpent seed doctrine to mean Cain was physically a progeny of Satan via the serpent, making him the seed of the serpent. Of course we know that’s a gross misinterpretation of Scripture! Judas Iscariot was called a devil, but that didn’t mean he was literally sired by the devil, or that he was physically a devil! People are called children of God not because they were biologically conceived and begotten by God. It’s a spiritual relationship, via the new birth, that makes people children of God. The children of God still have their natural, biological parents, who may not even be children of God themselves! The same way, people who are children of the devil are only so spiritually, and not physically or biologically! They are children of the devil because they are not yet born again and have not experienced the new birth which makes one a child of God. If someone who is a child of the devil today repents of their sins and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, they become born again and become children of God instantly! So, there are no people on earth who are physical serpent seeds that are therefore irredeemable! It’s not God’s wish that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance, simply because God does not delight in the death of the wicked!

John 8:37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

John 8:38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

John 8:39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.

John 8:40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.

John 8:41 You do the deeds of your father.”
Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

John 8:43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

John 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

John 8:46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

John 8:47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,

1 John 3:12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.

1 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Ezekiel 33:10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.

Ezekiel 33:14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right,

Ezekiel 33:16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

Advocates of the doctrine of the serpent seed also argue that omitting Cain from Adam’s genealogy, in the Gospel of Luke, further buttresses the point that Cain wasn’t Adam’s son, otherwise he would have been included in Adam’s genealogy, being the firstborn. I want to point out here that, that’s a very flimsy argument. There are several firstborns in the Bible who forfeited their rights as firstborn by committing one grievous sin or the other, or simply by divine choice. Ishmael was Abraham’s firstborn, but he did not appear in Abraham’s genealogy in both Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels. Instead, the genealogy of Abraham to Christ was traced through Isaac, the second son. In like manner, Esau, Isaac’s firstborn, sold his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob, and lost out in the genealogy. Reuben, Jacob’s first son, also lost his right as firstborn because he committed adultery with his father’s wife and was cursed thereby. The right of firstborn went instead to Judah. In the same way, Cain lost the right of the firstborn by killing his own brother Abel. He was declared an outcast and a fugitive by God, and lost his place to his younger brother Seth.

Genesis 17:18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”

Genesis 17:19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.

Genesis 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.

Genesis 17:21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.”

Matthew 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

Matthew 1:2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.

Genesis 25:29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary.

Genesis 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

Genesis 25:31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

Genesis 25:32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”

Genesis 25:33 Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.

Genesis 25:34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Matthew 1:2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.

Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:

Genesis 49:2 “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.

Genesis 49:3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
My might and the beginning of my strength,
The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.

Genesis 49:4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it—He went up to my couch.

Matthew 1:2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.

Genesis 4:8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

Genesis 4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.

Genesis 4:11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

Genesis 4:12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”

A fallout from the doctrine of the serpent seed is that, all wicked and evil men are presumed to come from the bloodline of Cain, and are serpent seeds, while all godly people are from the “pure” bloodline of Adam through Seth. This is a dangerous and unbiblical characterisation of the origin and spread of sin in man. The Bible tells us that sin entered the world through Adam, that all inherited the sinful nature from Adam and that all men are born sinners, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is therefore no godly bloodline of men starting from Adam. Every person (with the exception of Jesus Christ, because of his immaculate conception) was born in sin and came into the world speaking lies! All men are born wicked and are estranged from the womb. We are tainted with the sin nature from conception. No man inherited any righteousness from birth; rather, all inherited sinfulness from birth! There is no pure race of men anywhere! The entire race has been impure, unholy and corrupt since Adam fell, and only an experiential life-saving knowledge of God in redemption can purify anyone and make them righteous and godly!

Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

Romans 3:11 There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.

Romans 3:12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”

Romans 3:13 “Their throat is an open tomb;
with their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”;

Romans 3:14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”

Romans 3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

Romans 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;

Romans 3:17 And the way of peace they have not known.”

Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

Romans 5:16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

Romans 5:17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

Romans 5:18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

The doctrine of the serpent seed sees the sons of God in the book of Genesis chapter six as men from the “pure bloodline of Seth”, while the daughters of men they married were from the “serpentine bloodline of Cain”. And when these two groups intermingled by marriage and mated, they brought forth the giants who were extremely evil and wicked. That’s what those that believe the doctrine of the serpent seed teach. If those sons of God were godly men, and the daughters of men ungodly women, it would mean each time a godly man marries an ungodly woman, the union should produce wicked giants! How dangerously false and unscriptural is this teaching! However, we know from Scripture that those sons of God were fallen angelic beings who left their estate and came on earth to seduce human females (daughters of men), had sexual relations with them and produced giants thereby, who perpetrated extreme violence on the earth. This corruption of the human race and the violence and wickedness it bred led to the destruction of the ante-diluvian world. Those sons of God in Genesis were not the sons of Seth, but fallen angels, for angels too are called sons of God by creation. Besides, if the bloodline of Seth produced only godly breed of men, while the line of Cain produced only wicked men, where then were all the godly men from the “pure bloodline” of Seth at the time of the flood? How come only Noah was found righteous in the sight of God? There is no pure breed or pure bloodline of men anywhere, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! Holiness and righteousness are not hereditary! The only thing that all men inherit from birth is sinfulness and wickedness! A righteous man can produce wicked and ungodly children, as we see repeatedly from the Bible! All men are sinners, and every man must find salvation and redemption in God to be considered righteous in the sight of God. Outside of a redeeming faith relationship with God, no man is righteous!

Genesis 6:1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,

Genesis 6:2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

Genesis 6:3 And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

Genesis 6:4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Genesis 6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 6:6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Genesis 6:7 So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.

Job 1:7 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.

Job 38:5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?

Job 38:6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,

Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Jude 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

1 Samuel 8:1 Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel.

1 Samuel 8:2 The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba.

1 Samuel 8:3 But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.

1 Samuel 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah,

1 Samuel 8:5 and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

To prove further that the giants did not emanate from the line of Cain, Scripture makes us understand that there were also wicked giants after the flood (the Anakims, Emims, Zamzummims, Og, Goliath, etc)! Now, only Noah (a righteous man) and his family survived the great deluge. So, which seed of the serpent did these post-deluge giants come from, seeing all the wicked men from the “serpentine line of Cain” were wiped out by the flood? Surely, no serpent seed sneaked into the ark to continue the perpetuation of this species after the flood? The fact that evil persists in the world despite the wiping out of the “serpent seeds” in the catastrophic judgment of the great flood shows that there is evil in every man and woman that sprang from Adam! All men and women from the beginning of creation came from one stock: Adam! We all share one blood and one nature, which we all inherited from Adam. No man or woman came from the serpent or any other source! After the flood, the three sons of Noah (Shem, Ham and Japheth) repopulated the earth with their wives. There is therefore no stock of serpent seeds after the flood to account for the wicked and reprobate men and women we find everywhere. There are no literal children of the serpent anywhere, but there is a sinful Adamic nature in every man and every woman, which was occasioned by the fall. It is that nature that must be regenerated by conversion, through faith in Christ Jesus, to make a man or a woman a child of God. Every unregenerated soul is a spiritual child of the devil, and all can become children of God if they so wish.

Genesis 6:4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13:32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.

Numbers 13:33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Deuteronomy 2:10 (The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim.

Deuteronomy 2:11 They were also regarded as giants, like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim.

Deuteronomy 2:20 (That was also regarded as a land of giants; giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim,

Deuteronomy 2:21 a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. But the Lord destroyed them before them, and they dispossessed them and dwelt in their place,

Deuteronomy 3:11 “For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants. Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. (Is it not in Rabbah of the people of Ammon?) Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit.

The Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,

Genesis 9:18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

Genesis 9:19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

In conclusion, we’ve shown exhaustively from the Scriptures that the original sin wasn’t Eve fornicating with the serpent in the garden of Eden. It was simply the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a literal and physical tree, with literal and physical fruits, just like the tree of life too was literal and physical. We also showed conclusively from the Scriptures that Cain was the son of Adam, and not the son or seed of the serpent. Furthermore, we proved from the Scriptures that there is no pure bloodline or breed of men anywhere on earth since the fall of Adam (the so-called sons of God); all men are born with a sinful nature and are therefore sinners from conception and birth. All men and women need redemption through God’s provided way, to be saved and to be made righteous and godly. Also, there are no natural serpent seeds among men who are irredeemable. The blood of Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice on Calvary can save all men who put their faith in it. All men can be saved if they believe and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The doctrine of the serpent seed is therefore devilish, unscriptural and heretical, and should be jettisoned by all who hold onto it.

God bless you!

The First Coming Of Christ Was To Save Men From Sin, Not To Set Up The Kingdom Of God On Earth!

(Except otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the American King James Version).

The Jews greatly misunderstood the first advent of Christ, believing his coming was to liberate them from the oppression of Rome and to set up the kingdom of God on earth. Thus, when Christ steered clear of the politics of the nation and their nationalistic fervour, the people were greatly disappointed and questioned his messiahship. Even after his resurrection, his apostles were still looking forward to the immediate restoration of the Davidic Kingdom! But, the Lord’s response to their query on this should be useful even to us today as well.

The Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

The Acts 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen:

The Acts 1:3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

The Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me.

The Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

The Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

The Acts 1:7 And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power.

The Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.

The Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

The Acts 1:10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

The Acts 1:11 Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.

It’s instructive to note how the Lord turned the apostles’ attention away from the issue of an earthly kingdom in his first advent, focusing instead on the purpose of his first coming—the salvation of men from the bondage of sin. The Jews were more concerned about their political, social and economic plight. They were tired of the tyrannical and oppressive government of Rome that had reduced them to vassals and bondmen. Their age-long hope and expectations for a Messiah then was basically political. They wanted someone to set them free politically from the oppression of Gentile subjugation and restore the glory of the Davidic Kingdom. In short, the Jews wanted a political saviour who would save the nation from its many plight, not the least, its subjugation to Rome. They wanted a divine judge, like Gideon, Barak and Jephthah of old, to deliver them from their enemies.

Luke 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs.

Luke 24:14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

Luke 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

Luke 24:16 But their eyes were held that they should not know him.

Luke 24:17 And he said to them, What manner of communications are these that you have one to another, as you walk, and are sad?

Luke 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said to him, Are you only a stranger in Jerusalem, and have not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

Luke 24:19 And he said to them, What things? And they said to him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

Luke 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Luke 24:22 Yes, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher;

Luke 24:23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

Luke 24:24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

Luke 24:25 Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Luke 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

But, Jesus knew his mission from the Father and was very clear about it. His first coming wasn’t to deliver the nation of Israel politically and set up the kingdom of God on earth. He didn’t come to uproot the oppressive Romans and upturn their rule. Jesus’ agenda wasn’t political, nor was it social or economic. His first coming was just for one purpose—to save his people from their sins! That’s what the angel that announced his birth said, and that’s why he was given the name “Jesus”, which means Saviour. For sure, he will later set up God’s kingdom on earth and rule over it. But first, he needed to recruit citizens for that kingdom. Only men and women who have been rescued from the bondage of sin will be citizens of the kingdom of heaven. So, he had to pay the price for sin and rescue as many women and men that will believe in him, to make them citizens of that kingdom first, before he will come back to set up the kingdom of God on earth.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Matthew 1:23 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.

Luke 19:1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

Luke 19:2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

Luke 19:3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

Luke 19:4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said to him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at your house.

Luke 19:6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

Luke 19:7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

Luke 19:9 And Jesus said to him, This day is salvation come to this house, as much as he also is a son of Abraham.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Thus, while the people were more interested in the immediate establishment of the kingdom of God, Jesus was more interested in recruiting citizens for that kingdom. While they were more interested in political freedom, Jesus was more interested in their spiritual freedom from sin, for that’s the only way people can become citizens of God’s kingdom! Thus, Jesus sharply refocused the attention of even his own confused apostles on his mission—it’s not their business to know when the political kingdom of God would be established on earth; their business right now, till the Lord returns to set up his kingdom on earth, is to help save men from their sins and make them citizens of that kingdom, when it’s eventually set up!

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

Matthew 28:19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be you reconciled to God.

So, the Lord made it clear to his hitherto-misguided and confused disciples what his mission was, and what their mission too should be —he didn’t come to set up a Christian political empire on earth in his first coming, and we shouldn’t waste our time trying to do that. He didn’t come to fan the embers of Christian nationalism, and we shouldn’t waste our time and resources trying to do that. Rather, Jesus came to save men and women from their sins, and that’s all we should be doing! The great commission is our only mission on earth as disciples of Jesus Christ, for that’s the only mission the Lord gave his church! Jesus is not interested in being King of any country on earth right now, for his kingdom is not of this present world system! That much the Lord said himself.

John 18:31 Then said Pilate to them, Take you him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

John 18:32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying what death he should die.

John 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him, Are you the King of the Jews?

John 18:34 Jesus answered him, Say you this thing of yourself, or did others tell it you of me?

John 18:35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you to me: what have you done?

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.

Yes, Jesus is not interested in being President of any country, or all the countries on earth, right now. Right now, he’s in heaven as high priest for mankind, to intercede for the people and save as many women and men from their sins. Right now, he’s the Captain of the Lord’s hosts, leading the charge against the hosts of darkness who have held men captive in sin, and we his foot soldiers are expected to be completely focused on this war. We’re not to entangle ourselves with the affairs of this world, so that we may please the one who has enlisted us into his army! Jesus escaped from several attempts by his misguided followers to make him a king prematurely. He still does not want to be made a king of this world system by any group of Christians and our misguided Christian nationalistic sentiments. Jesus is fine with being Saviour right now, and we should be fine with our mission to help reconcile men and women spiritually with him.

John 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Romans 8:34 Who is he that comdemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

2 Timothy 2:3 You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2:4 No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.

In conclusion, the first advent of Jesus Christ (which spans from his incarnation and birth to his return in power and glory to rule the earth in righteousness) was for the purpose of taking on human form in order to be able to pay the price for the sins of fallen humanity and reconcile us back to God. He was born to be Saviour of the world, to deliver men from their sins. Thus, he willingly offered his life at Calvary as a ransom for the remission of sins, and he is right now seated at the right hand of God, where he continues to intercede for the sins of the people, as God’s high Priest. As Saviour and Redeemer, Christ continues to work through his church right now, in the great commission, to rescue souls from the powers of darkness and translate them into his kingdom. That’s the primary focus of the Lord right now and that should be the primary focus of the church militant too, who are his ambassadors on earth. The Lord will come back to take over the kingdoms of this world, when his intercessory work is over, and he will be King of kings and Lord of lords on earth, but that will be in the second advent, not now. We’re not called to take over the political systems of the world for Christ, through Christian nationalism. We’re not called to spread Christianity through political revolutions. We’re simply called to preach the gospel to every creation, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and win souls for the coming kingdom of God. Therefore, as our Lord avoided political entanglements with the affairs of this world while here, we too, as soldiers of Christ, are to avoid such entanglements, which could derail our mission. Let us then focus squarely on the great commission and recruit and prepare citizens of the coming kingdom of Christ, for the Lord has no interest in taking over the political systems of the world right now. His kingdom is not of this world system!

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