True News 4 U — Truth-Religion — 01/16/2021
We will now pick up where we left off last week on our study of The Fourth Commandment. This is part 3 of 6.
Sabbath to Sunday
NOTE: The following came from a book that I was the editor on titled “Let Yeshua ROCK Your World” written by my sister in Yeshua Murline Miles.
A well-known expert on the Sabbath is Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, a retired theology professor at Andrews University in Michigan.
Bacchiocchi earned his doctorate in Church History at the Pontifical Georgian University in Rome. At that university he not only had open access to long-forgotten historical records, he also graduated at the top of his class – summa cum laude, an honor which included a gold medal from Pope Paul VI for his class work and dissertation, “From Sabbath to Sunday: A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity.”
What he found in that investigation would probably shock most Christians who have never studied the subject, nor thought deeply about what became of the Fourth Commandment.
Bacchiocchi believes anti-Judaism caused the abandonment of the Sabbath, and pagan sun worship influenced the adoption of Sunday as there’s no Scriptural mandate to change or eliminate Sabbath-keeping, and he singles out the Catholic Church for its role in changing the day.
He says evidence of anti-Judaism is found in the writings of Christian leaders such as Ignatius, Barnabas and Justin in the second century. He notes these three “witnessed and participated in the process of separation from Judaism which led the majority of the Christians to abandon the Sabbath and adopt Sunday as the new day of worship.”
Here’s what Constantine said in his letter written in A.D. 325:
“Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd: for we have received from our Savior a different way ... Strive and pray continually that the purity of your souls may not seem in anything to be sullied by fellowship with the customs of these most wicked men ... All should unite in desiring that which sound reason appears to demand and in avoiding all participation in the perjured conduct of the Jews.”
Not surprisingly, anti-Sabbath laws followed in Rome – imposing harsh penalties for anyone who refused to work on Saturday or who deigned to worship on that day of the week.
He quotes Sylvester I, the pope from 314-337:
“If every Sunday is to be observed joyfully by the Christians on account of the resurrection, then every Sabbath on account of the burial is to be execration (loathing or cursing) of the Jews.”
Observing the Sabbath meant excommunication from the Church as of A.D. 363 and the Council of Laodicea:
“Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.”
But Bacchiocchi also reminds readers the Saturday Sabbath, despite official repression against it, never was completely abandoned.
Likewise, over the years, some prominent voices have never forgotten the Sabbath – and what became of it.
Was it, indeed, a Roman Catholic decision made after the first century and the death of the apostles? It’s hard to argue with the historical record. In fact, some Catholics revel in the role Rome played in the switch.
“The Catholic Church of its own infallible authority created Sunday a holy day to take the place of the Sabbath of the old law,” wrote the Kansas City Catholic on Feb. 9, 1893.
But it’s not just Catholics who acknowledge the Church has just plain forgotten one of Elohim’s Great Commandments – without so much as a second thought.
There is also evidence that the early disciples kept the Sabbath on the true day:
“The ancient Christians were very careful in the observation of Saturday, or the seventh day. It is plain that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the Sabbath as a festival...Athanasius likewise tells us that they held religious assemblies on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with Judaism, but to worship [Yahushua], the [Master] of the Sabbath, Epiphanius says the same.” Antiquities of the Christian Church, Vol. II, Book XX, chap. 3, Sec. 1, 66.1137, 1138
“Ambrose, the celebrated bishop of Milan, said that when he was in Milan he observed Saturday, but when in Rome observed Sunday. This gave rise to the proverb ‘When you are in Rome, do as Rome does,’ ” Heylyn, The History of the Sabbath, 1613.
Constantine later enforced keeping a Sabbath on the first day of the week, which he calls “the venerable day of the sun.” Venerable means ‘commanding respect.’
The text of Constantine’s Sunday law of 321 A.D. is:
“On the venerable day of the Sun, let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for gain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.”
Later, those who observed the Sabbath were persecuted and killed by the Catholic Church. When the Jesuit St. Francis Xavier arrived in India, he immediately requested to the pope to set up the Inquisition there.
“The Jewish wickedness” of which Xavier complained was evidently the Sabbath-keeping among those native Christians as we shall see in our next quotation. When one of these Sabbath-keeping Christians was taken by the Inquisition he was accused of having *Judaized*; which means having conformed to the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law; such as not eating pork, hare, fish without scales, of having attended the solemnization of the Sabbath. Account of the Inquisition at Goa, Dellon, p.56. London, 1815
“Of an hundred persons condemned to be burnt as Jews, there are scarcely four who profess that faith at their death; the rest exclaiming and protesting to their last gasp that they are Christians, and have been so during their whole lives” (Ibid p.64).
There’s no place like Rome
As Christianity spread through the pagan Roman Empire, it was finally given official toleration in the year 312 by Emperor Constantine, who purportedly had a vision that prompted his soldiers to fight under a “symbol of Christ,” leading to a key military victory. The emperor then restored confiscated church property and even offered public funds to churches in need.
Sunday observance received a historic boost when Constantine – himself a pagan who is said to have adopted Christianity at least nominally – established Sunday as the first day of the week in the Roman calendar and issued a mandatory order prohibiting work on that day, in honor of the sun god.
On March 7, 321, he decreed, “On the venerable day of the Sun, let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed.” Farmers were given an exception.
“The importance of the actions of Constantine cannot be overstated,” says author Richard Rives in “Too Long in the Sun.” “During his reign, pagan sun worship was blended with the worship of the Creator, and officially entitled ‘Christianity.’ ”
Before the end of the 4th century, Sunday observance prevailed over Saturday.
In 380, Emperor Theodosius made Sunday-keeping Catholic Christianity the official religion of the empire, outlawing all other faiths:
“We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics.”
Once Sunday had the imperial power of the Roman Catholic government behind it, Saturday Sabbath-keepers became less visible, though some Sabbatarian websites have documented mentions of seventh-day observers through the centuries.
For example, the Catholic Church persecuted Sabbath-keepers in the 15th century. At the Catholic Provincial Council of Bergen, Norway, in 1435, it was said:
“We are informed that some people in different districts of the kingdom, have adopted and observed Saturday-keeping.
It is severely forbidden – in holy church canon – [for] one and all to observe days excepting those which the holy pope, archbishop, or the bishops command. Saturday-keeping must under no circumstances be permitted hereafter further that the church canon commands. Therefore we counsel all the friends of God throughout all Norway who want to be obedient towards the holy church to let this evil of Saturday-keeping alone; and the rest we forbid under penalty of severe church punishment to keep Saturday holy.”
The Catholic Encyclopedia even refers to Sabbath-keeping as “the superstitious observance of Saturday,” noting it was forbidden by that council.
Most biblical scholars have little disagreement when asked what day the Bible specifically calls the Sabbath.
“The seventh day, Saturday,” says, Richard Bauckham, Professor of New Testament at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. “No other day is called the Sabbath in Old or New Covenants.” (“Anti-Judaism at root of ‘Sunday Sabbath’? 4th century church banned observing Saturday at risk of excommunication.” WorldNetDaily. Ed. Joe Knovacs. 16 Mar 2008: 347. www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=58526.)
The Disciples Kept the Sabbath 85 Times in the book of Acts
There are many Scriptures that verify the Sabbath Day being the 7th day of the week. All throughout the ‘Renewed / New Covenant,’ the first day of the week is called “The first day of the week” and the 7th day of the week is called “The Sabbath”. This fact alone should prove when the Sabbath truly is.
However, let us examine the pattern of the disciples after Yahshua’s resurrection in the book of Acts to determine what day that they attended Sabbath Services and what day they expected others to observe. We will keep a count of how many times the Sabbath is observed.
We see one example in Acts 17:1-4.
Acts 17:1-4 (NKJV), “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews (Yahudim). Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and [saying], ‘This Yahshua whom I preach to you is the Messiah.’ And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.”
Here we see that Paul went to a Sabbath service where there were both Yahudim (Jews) and Greeks. The Scripture also mentions that this was a regular custom of Paul. Was this also the custom of Yahshua the Messiah?
Luke 4:16, “And He came to Natsareth, where He had been brought up. And according to His practice, He went into the congregation on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”
So here we can see that 22 years after Yahshua’s death and resurrection the disciples were attending Sabbath Services. In no place do we see Paul or any other disciple teaching them that they should come back the next day for a ‘first day of the week’ service. But they went to three Sabbath Services where there were both Yahudim (Jews) and Greeks present. So then the doctrine that says the Yahudim (Jews) have their day (the 7th day) and the Gentiles have their day (the 1st day) is foreign to Scripture.
Some would argue that Paul was at the synagogue only because that is where he would find people to witness to...not to observe the Sabbath. But the Scripture does not say that. This is an assumption that those who refuse the simplicity of the Scriptures want to make, not one that the Scriptures support. Again, the Seventh Day is called “The Sabbath Day” in this passage.
So, let’s see where we are at now.
Seventh day - 3 | First day - 0
Another example is found in Acts 13:13-15.
Acts 13:13-15, “And having put out from Paphos, Sha’ul (Paul) and those with him came to Perge in Pamphulia. And Yoḥanan (John), having left them, returned to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). But passing through from Perge, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the congregation on the Sabbath day and sat down. And after the reading of the Torah and the Prophets, the rulers of the congregation sent to them, saying, ‘Men, brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, speak.’ ”
So here is another example where Paul and the other disciples came to the Synagogue in Perge to attend the Sabbath Service.
Seventh day - 4 | First day - 0
A little later in the chapter, after Paul shares Yahshua with them we see that the Gentiles were quite interested.
Acts 13:42, “And when the Yahudim (Jews) went out of the congregation, the gentiles begged to have these words spoken to them the next Sabbath.”
Now here is a perfect situation for Paul to tell these Gentiles “Hey just come back tomorrow, we keep the Sabbath on the first day now!” But we don’t see this written anywhere in Scripture.
Acts 13:43-44, “And when the meeting of the congregation had broken up, many of the Yahudim and of the worshipping converts followed Sha’ul (Paul) and Barnaḇah (Barnabas), who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the favour of Elohim. And on the next Sabbath almost all the city came together to hear the Word of Elohim.”
So here is the fifth time that the disciples attended a Sabbath service on the day that Yahweh sanctified at creation. Again, the Seventh Day is called “The Sabbath” in this passage.
Seventh day - 5 | First day - 0
Here is another example in Acts 16:11-13:
Acts 16:11-13, “Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrake (Samothracia), and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the principal city of that part of Makedonia (Macedonia), a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. And on the Sabbath day we went outside the city by a river, where there used to be prayer. And having sat down we were speaking to the women who met there.”
It was the custom of the Yahudim (Jews) of that day for the rabbi to shut down the synagogue if there were not at least 10 men that would show up for the Sabbath meeting. This could very well be why there were women meeting by the riverside for prayer. Nevertheless, we see that the disciples sought a place to meet for the Sabbath and they did. Again, the Seventh Day is called “The Sabbath Day” in this passage.
Seventh day - 6 | First day - 0
Here is another example in Acts 18:1-4:
Acts 18:1-4, “And after this Sha’ul (Paul) left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Yahudite (Jew) named Aqulas, born in Pontos, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla – because Claudius had commanded all the Yahudim (Jews) to leave Rome – and he came to them. And because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and was working, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he was reasoning in the congregation every Sabbath, and won over both Yahudim and Greeks.”
So, we see that Paul worked on the other days as a tentmaker...but on the Sabbath he did not work. And here again we see that both Yahudim (Jews) and Greeks are in the synagogue and on the Sabbath. Paul also is among them attending the Sabbath Services. The interesting thing about this verse is that instead of the Scripture saying that they attended only one or three Sabbath Services, it says that he was there every Sabbath persuading both Yahudim (Jews) and Greeks. Again, the Seventh Day is called “The Sabbath” in this passage so we know that we can at least count one. Let’s do that.
Seventh day - 7 | First day - 0
Now if Paul was in Corinth and was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath, if we could find out how long he stayed in Corinth then we would know how many Sabbaths he actually attended. Let’s look further.
Acts 18:5-11, “And when Sila (Silas) and Timothy came down from Makedonia (Macedonia), Sha’ul (Paul) was pressed by the Spirit, and earnestly witnessed to the Yahudim (Jews) that Yahshua is the Messiah. However, when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, ‘Your blood is upon your head, I am clean. From now on I shall go to the gentiles.’ And having left there he came to the house of a certain man named Justus, who worshipped Elohim, whose house was next to the congregation. And Crispus, the ruler of the congregation, did believe in the Master with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were immersed. And the Master spoke to Sha’ul (Paul) in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not be silent, because I am with you, and no one shall attack you to do you evil, because I have much people in this city.’ And he remained a year and six months, teaching the Word of Yahweh among them.”
A year and six months! Finally, the ruler of the synagogue was converted to Yahshua and Paul was there a year and six months! So, the Scripture says that Paul was there every Sabbath and that he was there for a year and six months. If we counted this by our present calendar that would give us 52 Sabbaths in a year plus 26 Sabbaths in the following six months which gives us a total of 78 Sabbaths! Now let’s add this to our present total:
Seventh Day - 85 | First day - 0
So, we can see that the disciples observed the Sabbath and attended a Sabbath Service 85 times in the book of Acts alone! Again, the Seventh Day is called “The Sabbath” in this passage.
Nowhere in the Renewed / New Covenant writings will you find ANYONE (including Yahshua and His Apostles), ever changing the Seventh Day Sabbath to the first day of the week…neither before nor after His Resurrection. They ALL assembled on the Seventh Day Sabbath as instructed in Yahweh’s Set-Apart (Holy) Written Word.
Since it is obvious that Yahshua, the Apostles and even the Gentiles assembled on the Sabbath and not on the first day of the week, you have to ask yourself (just like I did) “Why do I assemble on the first day of the week?” IF I am WALKING in His footsteps and desiring to be OBEDIENT to His Written Word, then shouldn’t I be DOING what He did? Shouldn’t I observe the Sabbath the same as Yahshua, the Apostles and the Gentiles?
To believe or even entertain the idea or belief that the Sabbath is ONLY for the Yahudim (Jews), without one shred of Scriptural evidence, is proof of a strong delusion. Even the Gentiles came to the assembly on the Sabbath as previously noted above in Acts 13:42.
Keeping Yahweh’s Sabbath is His “MARK” upon those who are His obedient children. That being said, whose mark is Sun-god-day? Currently, He has many disobedient children, but The Day IS coming when EVERYONE will keep His Sabbath. No exceptions! Don’t you think it would be a good thing to start keeping His Sabbath and obeying His Word before THAT DAY arrives?
Those who are obedient to keeping His Sabbaths ARE BLESSED. By “Sabbaths,” I am speaking of the weekly Sabbath as well as Yahweh’s other Appointed Times—His Feast Days.
Choose you this day whom you will serve – Yahweh wants obedient children.
If you love Him, keep His Sabbaths!
This concludes the portion of “Let Yeshua ROCK Your World” written by my sister in Yeshua Murline Miles. I encourage everyone to get her book.
These are good teachings that I have come across. Enjoy!
Should Christians Keep the Sabbath? Jim Staley (Entire Message)
We've all been told that the Sabbath is now on Sunday. But how many of us have truly tested that? Have we truly examined the basis of this belief? Or have we just blindly accepted what we have been taught over the years based on the interpretations of man's views of the scriptures that have been passed down through the generations?
Join our examination of the sabbath day in the Scriptures; the one day that was given as a sign and covenant for those who choose to follow our Heavenly Father.
The Sabbath Day - Part One 119 Ministries
This wraps up our third of six parts to the teaching on The Fourth Commandment. I hope this third part has been informative and educational.
We will dive into part four next week.
The Sabbath Day - Part Two 119 Ministries
The Sabbath Day - Part Three 119 Ministries
THE LOINS OF YOUR MIND
November 8, 2020
Psalm 119:97-104 First Peter (all 5 short chapters)
1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Yeshua Mashiyach;
1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1 Peter 1:15 But as HE which hath called you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Leviticus 11:44 For I am YHVH your ELohim: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be Holy; for I am Holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Leviticus 11:45 For I am YHVH that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your ELohim: ye shall therefore be Holy, for I am Holy.
How do we “gird up the loins of our mind”?
Recently, I was visiting with a business owner/laity preacher who told me that he does not read the entire Holy Bible but that he only reads the book of John over and over and over — nothing else — and I had flashbacks of a Montana cowboy back in the early 1970s who had just taken some LSD for the first time: He then went out to his beautiful 1959 Chevy 2 door hardtop with a tri-power 348 & 4-speed, threw it in reverse, floored it, and backed into an irrigation ditch — such that the frame was sitting on the ditch banks and the rear wheels were dangling in the ditch AND he threw it into 1st gear and floored it! The rear wheels were whirling in thin air as that poor engine was screaming its little heart out and the cowboy speed-shifted to 2nd gear and kept the engine screaming and he went through all 4 gears with the engine screaming... and that’s about where our business owner/laity preacher is with his Bible reading. WOW. Without Leviticus 11:44-45, how do we hava clue what First Peter 1:13-16 is talkin’ about? And, speaking of irrigation ditches, the purpose of the ditch is to deliver WATER for the LIFE of the field, right? In Hebrew, the language Jesus speaks according to Acts 26:14, water is MEM:
Early Hebrew Middle Hebrew
Late Hebrew Modern Hebrew
Ancient Name: Mem?, Mayim?, Mah?
Meanings: Chaos, Mighty, Blood
Psalm 119:97 MEM. O how love I Thy Law [H8154 TORAH]!
it is my meditation all the day.
[it is the girdle of my mind!]
Psalm 119:98 Thou through Thy Commandments
hast made me wiser than mine enemies:
for they [ABBA’s Commandments for LIFE] are ever with me.
Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers:
for Thy Testimonies are my meditation.
Psalm 119:100 I understand more than the ancients,
because I keep Thy Precepts.
Psalm 119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way [ditch!],
that I might keep Thy WORD.
Psalm 119:102 I have not departed from Thy Judgments:
for Thou hast taught me.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are Thy WORDs unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:104 Through Thy Precepts I get understanding:
therefore I hate every false way.
[like spinning my wheels in one single book! Ignoring HIS entire WORD!!]
1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, ...
YeHoVaH IS adding HIS blessing to the reading of HIS entire Holy Bible. Amen.
Shema (Hear & Obey) YeHoVaH's instructions for Yeshua is coming soon. Read ALL YeHoVaH'S BOOK!
RULING AND REIGNING WITH GOD
We continue this week with our look at what happened with Joseph, how the integrity of the Lord operated in him even when he was a slave, then falsely accused and thrown into prison.
I said this last week, and I will say it again! The authority of the Lord is not cheap! If we are going to operate in all that we’ve been designed and created for, our flesh is going to undergo pain, deprivation and occasional periods of what seems like torture.
The big difference between what our flesh endures and what our spirits experience is that our spirits prosper, and we grow into the level of spiritual maturity that must exist in us. We were designed from the beginning for dominion and rulership, but we know from the original Creation that there were commands and restrictions for that dominion to function and continue.
NOW! Watch what happens with Joseph.
Genesis 39:21-23: But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
There is an important principle revealed here. When we have the favor of the Lord, when we have His mercy, when we maintain our fellowship and love for the Lord in the face of every attack or accusation that comes, we can be solidly assured that the Lord will be with us, and everything we put our hands to will prosper.
Now things are going to take an interesting turn. Joseph has now been in prison for 11 years. Every prisoner in that prison is under his watch. Although he was not the official superintendent of the prison, he was the practical superintendent. Whatever any prisoner needed or desired, they came to Joseph.
Two more royal offenders are now cast into this same prison: the king’s butler (another term for his cupbearer) and the chief baker. Watch what now unfolds!
Genesis 40:1-8:And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison. And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.
Now we are going to see a new dimension of the authority of the Lord manifested in Joseph.
Genesis 40:8-19: And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you. And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.
And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler. But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
All of a sudden, Joseph realizes that his case could be brought before Pharaoh! He could actually be released from the prison.
The End, Out Of The Beginning by Brad Scott
Pharaoh is told he has been kept alive to show forth the glory of Yah. Did those words echo in the spirit of Moshe? Do they echo in our spirits today? The Hebrews had their Goshen. How do we find our Goshen today?
The Parable of the Sower and the Seed
Mark begins his record of Jesus Christ’s ministry in this fashion:
Now after John [the Baptist] was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
Though many today conclude that the essence of Christianity is the forgiveness of sins or the wonder of God’s love, a considered reading of the gospels reveals that Christ’s message centered on the Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of Heaven). His ministry began with preaching repentance and the good news of the Kingdom (Matthew 4:17, 23; 9:35; Luke 4:43; 9:11; Acts 1:3).
His forerunner, John the Baptist, preached the same basic message (Matthew 3:1-2), as did the apostles (Matthew 10:7; Luke 9:2, 60; Acts 8:12). The Kingdom theme accompanied Paul on his travels (Acts 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31) and lights up his epistles (Romans 14:17; I Corinthians 4:20; 6:9-10; 15:50; Colossians 4:11; I Thessalonians 2:12). Though Christianity comprises many principles, the essence of Christ’s message is the Kingdom of God. Grasping God’s purpose for humanity begins with comprehending the Kingdom.
A Word of Many Usages
The same Greek word for “kingdom,” basileia, is used in all these references, and its basic meaning is “dominion.” However, the Bible’s writers do not always speak of the divine Kingdom in the same way, so understanding the Kingdom of God depends on recognizing its different applications.
The Kingdom of God is also a present spiritual reality, such that those God calls in this age are figuratively translated into that Kingdom (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 1:13), even as they live out their lives in, but not of, the world. God has dominion over the church, making it a component—though not the fullness—of the Kingdom of God now.
A third usage of basileia refers to Christ Himself as the King of His Kingdom, such as when He told the Pharisees that the Kingdom of God was in their midst (see Luke 17:21).
Basileia is used in yet another, often-overlooked way that is necessary to understand a large measure of Christ’s ministry. This disregarded usage appears most clearly in the Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers (Matthew 21:33-44). At the end of the parable, Jesus says, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (verse 43; emphasis ours throughout). This refers not to the future establishment of Christ’s Kingdom on earth, but to a dominion then in existence.
The context of this parable begins in Matthew 21:23, indicating that its audience (and that of the Parable of the Two Sons in verses 28-32) was “the chief priests and the elders of the people.” Verses 45-46 show their reaction:
Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.
Even though God had not given the religious leaders the means to understand all the mysteries of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:11), they could still perceive that Jesus aimed several of His teachings directly at them.
The chapter break obscures that Jesus continued speaking to the same leaders in the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14), another parable of “the kingdom of heaven” (verse 2). The king sends out invitations to the feast in batches. The first two sets are declined, signifying the response of the physical nation of Israel. Only after the “king . . . sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city” (verse 7)—foreshadowing Jerusalem’s destruction forty years after they rejected the gospel of the Kingdom—does a third call go out, and his servants find suitable guests for the wedding.
This third group of guests represents those whom Christ later gave, not only entrance to the wedding feast, but also authority to rule. As He had earlier told Peter, a representative of the spiritual nation, “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom” (Matthew 16:19). The stewardship of the Kingdom would be transferred.
Likewise, Jesus foretold of a future time when His followers would receive greatly increased authority: “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28). Even as Jacob supplanted Esau, so God would make certain that Jacob’s descendants would likewise be supplanted (though not forgotten) because of their unfaithfulness.
The Missing Silver Coin
A woman has 10 silver coins, she loses one, then seeks, finds, repents, and finally rejoices. Yeshua said that if we had ears to hear, then we would understand.
The Real Reason They Are Silencing People | Perry Stone
Congressional Prayer to a Demon
God Is Not Mocked
Brahma Is a Demon
Government and true religion do not mix. Sooner or later demonic forces will enter the government and corrupt the "Livings Waters" of Jesus Christ.
We saw demonic forces corrupt Scripture this week in Washington. Many people have been talking about a Congressional prayer this week that ended in "Amen and a Woman." "Amen" simply means "let it be so" or "may it be so." "A Woman" is nonsensical. But this misses the main point of praying to a demon in the Congressional prayer! The prayer was directed to the Hindu demonic spirit named "Brahma."
"We ask it in the name of the
monotheistic God, Brahma,
and God known by many names
by many different faiths."
The representative giving this demonic prayer is a Methodist minister! Pray that he will understand the Gospel of Living Waters again.
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