HOME‎ > ‎

Bible Fundamentals 2019

Have the Stick of Judah and the Stick of Ephraim been Joined as Prophesied?

          The gospel of the kingdom that was preached by Jesus and his apostles two thousand years ago was a message to the world that the twelve tribe kingdom of Israel would be completely restored and ruled over by a one king forever.  The message which the angel Gabriel in (Luke 1: 31-33) spoke to Mary as he informed her of the impending birth of Jesus, verifies that very important purpose of God.  Notice:  “Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom, there shall be no end.”

         Most religious-minded students of the Bible are aware that Jesus came “preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4: 23).  Both John and Jesus, in their approach to the Jews stated “The kingdom is at hand” (Matthew 3: 2; Matthew 4: 17).

         That statement is a mystery to most Bible students, for that was over two thousand years ago and the world-wide kingdom of God as described in the scriptures still is a matter of expectation.

         The mystery vanishes as we consider Jesus’ message to those Jews in Matthew 23: 37-39.  In that message, Jesus tells those Jews, “... how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.”

         This tells us the kingdom was at hand. Jesus was offering to restore the Jews’ kingdom, but their attitude was, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19: 14).  It was known from the beginning that this would be their response (Acts 15: 18).

         Therefore, Jesus knew the restoration of their Kingdom would have to be postponed. Few Bible students associate the New Testament “kingdom of God” with the restoration of the kingdom of Israel.  How can there be any doubt whatsoever?  The angel’s message to Mary (Luke 1: 31-33); and Jesus’ answer to Peter in Matthew 19: 27-28 prove that fact beyond question.  Luke 19: 28 shows the answer to Peter’s question to be, “when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

         That will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel in Isaiah 1: 26 which reads,  “I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning.”  Likewise, as Jesus was taken to heaven from the midst of his disciples (Acts 1: 3-7), and after forty days, being taught of him of the “kingdom of God,” they asked him, “wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” 

         His answer to them did not indicate that the expectation that the kingdom would be restored was wrong.  His only answer to them was that the time of that restoration was known only to God, and that he could not answer their question as to the time.

         Likewise, Paul declared in Acts 28: 20 that “for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.” Had Paul not been preaching the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel (Acts 25: 6-7; Acts 24: 14-15; Acts 26: 6-7) the Jews would not have falsely accused Paul.  Also, if Paul’s preaching of truth did not encompass the doctrine of the restoration of Israel’s kingdom with Jesus as King, he would not have been accused by the Jews.

Is the Doctrine of the Restoration of the Ancient

Kingdom of Israel a Fundamental Truth?

         Yes, it is certainly a fundamental truth, a truth that finds no place in the teaching of apostate religions of the world.  Of over four hundred religious groups in The United States, we know of no none other than ourselves who hold that important doctrine. All others we know of reject it.  There is a group of so-called “witnesses” who no longer knock on our door, who reject that the kingdom of Israel will ever be restored

         It has long been known that they once believed in the restoration of Israel’s kingdom, apparently because Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah refer to prophecies of that fact very often.  However, it is also known that they came to believe that the forecasts of those prophecies were fulfilled in the return of the people after the Babylonian captivity as recorded in Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai and Micah.  Such an idea proves to be a serious error when we consider the following facts.

         It is a fact that only the tribes of Benjamin and Judah constituted the kingdom of Judah.  Not all twelve tribes were taken captive to Babylon.  The northern ten tribes went into captivity to Assyria over a hundred years before the Babylonian captivity, and only that two tribe kingdom returned to Israel, not all twelve tribes at all.

         In Ezekiel 37th chapter Ezekiel is shown a valley of dry bones awaiting a political resurrection.  Those bones are the whole house of Israel, not just two tribes of Israel.  In Ezekiel 37: 16, God tells Ezekiel to take in his hand one stick representing the ten tribes of Northern Israel and a second stick representing the Southern two tribes of the kingdom of Judah.  Together the two stick means 12 tribes. In verses 21-22 God sums up His meaning.  He says: “Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, to which they are gone, and I will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all, and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.”

         We have to ask: Is it proper reasoning to take a prophecy of what is to happen with twelve tribes, and proclaim it to be fulfilled by an event that involved only two tribes?  That is the sort of reasoning that leads to apostasy. 

         Every prophecy in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Haggai Micah etc., speaks of the restoration of the whole twelve tribe kingdom of Israel, not just two tribes.  One of the sticks in Ezekiel’s hand represented ten tribes; the other stick represented two tribes. This prophecy requires the restoration of twelve tribes the same as does Matthew 19: 28.  The togetherness of two tribes does not in any way relate to God’s forecast to revive the twelve tribe kingdom of Israel.

         Isaiah 61: 4-11 proclaims a wonderful future for Israel, even an everlasting covenant between God and Israel (verse 8).  Consider chapters 61 through chapter 66 and the wonderful things foretold for that restitution.  That “everlasting covenant” mentioned there and elsewhere proves not to be so everlasting, if it be true as the apostasy declares – that no covenant with them will ever be everlasting again.

         Also, the inspired Apostle Paul in Hebrews 8: 7-13 settles the matter once and for all.  More than thirty years after Jesus left the earth to go to his Father’s right hand, Paul carefully speaks of the old covenant which God had made with Israel ... and speaks further about another Covenant which God is to make with Israel in the future.

         Notice in Hebrews 8: 8, 10, God speaks first of his old covenant with Israel which no longer exists, then says:  “Behold, the days come, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel  and with the house of Judah…”  Verse 10- “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts…”

         This is all still in the future, not in the past.  Who shall we believe? Shall we believe God? Or apostates who have wandered astray?

    Finally, in Zechariah 12: 7, it is recorded, “The Lord shall save the tents of Judah first,” indicating that the salvation of all the others will follow later.   Beyond a doubt, this speaks of the fact that the rest of the tribes shall join Judah in her salvation, and that the twelve tribes of Israel will once again take their place in the land which they are to possess as an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:  8.     Wayne R. Tanner


All That are in the Graves

(John 5: 28-29) 

            Isaiah 26: 13-14 clearly declares that non-covenanted persons will never rise from the dead; and Jeremiah 51:37-39, 56-57 declare the same truth.  Also, I Thessalonians 4: 16-17 declares that it is the dead “in Christ” who are resurrected from the dead.  Importantly, the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that only baptism of believing persons constitutes being “in Christ” (Galatians 3: 26-29; Mark 16: 15).

            In spite of the above truths,  John 5: 28-29 reads that all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth, either to the resurrection of life; or to the resurrection of damnation.  Immediately, after noting the above facts, it is often believed by some that the Bible contradicts itself.  Also, practically the entire world of religion, on the basis of the phrase “all that are in the graves,” has adopted the false doctrine of universal resurrection, which supposes that everyone who has ever lived will be raised again from the dead.  What is the problem here?

            The usual terms translated “grave”, are the Hebrew “sheol” (Ecclesiastes 9: 10) in the Old Testament; and the Greek “hades” (I Corinthians 15:55). 

            However, the Greek term translated “grave” in John 5: 28 is neither “sheol” nor “hades.”  Young’s Concordance as well as Thayer’s Greek Lexicon show that the term translated “grave” at John 5: 28 is the Greek term “mnemeion.”  Both render the term to mean “memorial” or “remembrance.”  Again, Scripture clearly shows the existence of graves which will not be disturbed as Jesus descends back to the earth.

            In opposition, the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-5, explains the fact and meaning of baptism into Christ.  In Verse 5 Paul declares:  “If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”

            Therefore, all who die after a valid baptism into Christ, are said to be sleeping in a grave marked for remembrance – therefore a “mnemeion,” meaning a memorial grave marked for remembrance. This means, just as Jesus remarked, “All in a mnemeion will hear his voice and shall come forth…”  Therefore, the dead in Christ shall rise first (I Thessalonians 4: 16).  “Then we who are alive shall be caught up together…”

Truly, as Jesus remarked, “All who sleep in a memorial grave shall hear his voice and shall come forth….”

We must be aware that it is written in Psalms 78:38-39, speaking of faithless Israelites at the time of the Exodus, were as “a wind that passeth away and cometh not again.”  So it is with all unbelievers (Mark 16: 16).”                         Wayne R. Tanner                

 

                                                                                                                    

For the Hope of Israel  (1)

Acts 28:20

The entire Bible holds that Israel holds a special place in the plan and purpose of God.  Although the kingdom of Israel was brought to an end (Ezekiel 21: 25-27), Believers hold that  a bright and wonderful future awaits the nation of Israel.  Most of the religious of the religious world denies that Israel has any more to do with anything in the purpose of God.

Jesus is shown to be the seed of Abraham who is to possess forever, all the land that Abraham could see (Genesis 13: 13-14 with Galatians 3: 16). The promise to Abraham in Genesis 13: 13-14 defines the territory of God’s kingdom.

The promise f Genesis 15th and 17th Chapters concerns “seeds as of many.” Two Tribes are in the land now. As for the Ten Tribes, where are they?

The promise to David regards the government for the world-wide kingdom of God.  It is also from the throne of David (which is the throne from which Israel was originally ruled), from which the world is to be ruled in the “kingdom of God” (Zechariah 14: 9; II Samuel 7: 10-15; Acts 2: 30).  Also, in Luke 1: 26-35, as the angel from God announced to Mary that she was to bear the Son of God, the angel associated the purpose of God regarding Christ, to the throne of David and rulership over “the house of Jacob”  which is the “house of Israel.” 

Why is this so, if Israel has no further purpose in the plan of God?  This passage declares the association of the house of Israel with the eternal purpose of God in Jesus. The Temple at Jerusalem is called “the house of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56: 6-7; Isaiah 2: 2-5; Jeremiah 3: 17).

To deny the restoration of the kingdom of Israel is to deny the setting up of the kingdom of God, for Israel will be the capital of the world-wide kingdom of God (Luke 1: 32;  Jeremiah 3: 17.

Consider Acts 28: 20 and the “hope of Israel.”  Mark 16: 15-16 shows that apostles were sent to preach the gospel to every creature.  Paul joined the effort, and he would not have preached the restoration of Israel’s kingdom, had that subject not been a part of the gospel they were to preach.  Note that John came preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 3: 2).  Jesus did also: Matthew 4: 17, 23. Therefore, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of the kingdom. 

How was the kingdom “at hand” as Jesus told the Jews?  Matthew 23: 37-39 reveals how “the kingdom was at hand.”  It was being offered to them, but they did not want it from Jesus.

 Their belief was that when their Messiah came, he would restore their kingdom, and set them free from Rome.  That was the “hope of Israel.” (See also Acts 1: 3-6).  Also, in Acts 24: 14-15; 26: 22, the Apostle Paul declared that he had neither believed nor preached anything other than “the prophet that Moses has said would come.”  Apparently, since he was imprisoned because of the “hope of Israel,” he was therefore, preaching the hope of Israel, that is, the restoration of their kingdom.  

Since he believed and preached the same that was preached by the prophets and Moses, let us examine the message of the prophets of Israel regarding Israel and her purpose in God’s plan.

Since Zechariah 14: 9 declares Jesus to be the king “in that day,” how large is the area of his kingdom?  Psalm 72: 8 says, “His dominion shall be from sea to sea, from the river unto the ends of the earth”, in other words, His dominion is the whole earth. Compare Romans 4: 13.

Act 15: 15-18.  “I will return and build against the tabernacle of David, that the rest of men…” Why so, if Israel has no more to do with God’s plan? Notice also, it will happen “when He returns.

 What more did the prophets say should come?

Notice Ezek. 21: 27- “UNTIL,” and Matthew 23: 39 - “Until,” not forever.  See Zechariah 13th chapter.

Isaiah 1: 26 “I will restore thy judges as at the first.”

Isaiah 9 6-7 “The government shall be upon his shoulder…”

Jeremiah 3: 17 Jerusalem: the throne of the Lord. ALL the nations gathered to it. 

Jeremiah 31: 17, 31-35    God and Israel.

Jeremiah 33: 14-26 God and Israel.

Isaiah 2: 2-5 ; Psa. 48: 2 “All nations shall flow into the Lord's house.” “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem,” Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth.”

Isaiah 56:  6-7- A house of prayer for all people.”

Ezekiel 36th Chapter: the conquest of the nations.

Ezekiel 37th Chapter. He shall join sticks of Judah and Israel together

Ezekiel 20:  35-40 - God shall join all Israel together as one nation, one king shall be over them

Zechariah 12: 7 - He shall save tents of Judah first.

Ezekiel 38th Chapter - God gathered them back from the sword.

Jeremiah 3: 7-19 - Israel returns to be God’s wife.

Hosea 2: 14-23 - Israel returned to God who speaks tenderly to her.

Yes, Paul preached the same message as the prophets and set forth “the hope of Israel.”

The kingdom of God will cover the earth with Jerusalem as the capital of the kingdom, which shall cover the entire earth! (Jeremiah 3: 17).                             Wayne R. Tanner

For the Hope of Israel (2)

God created the earth and immediately declared His interest in a kingdom upon the earth (Genesis 1: 28).

Adam failed the test to be the ruler of the earth and all that was upon it. Thus, God began to think toward a plan B which worked toward a second Adam (Who was Christ I Corinthians 15: 45). God’s plan allowed for an early kingdom of God upon the earth.  Such a kingdom was in preparation as he made the promise to Abraham that concerned the territory of the kingdom; and a promise to King David regarding the government of the kingdom.

 After two thousand years of toleration of pagan belief and activity upon the earth, God thought to make a two-fold covenant with a man named Abraham. 

 The first portion of that covenant concerned a plan that covered eternity; it pertained to Abraham and a future descendant of Abraham named Jesus (Galatians 3: 16), who also would be the son of God. That covenant is found in Genesis 13: 14-15.  Galatians 3: 16 declares that the covenant was not to the fleshly descendants of Abraham, but to Abraham and Jesus Christ and all who would be a part of a multitudinous Christ (Galatians 3: 29).

The other consideration of the covenant concerned the fleshly descendants of Abraham and a kingdom that would begin after those descendants had been in bondage for four hundred years, after which a servant of God (Moses) would lead them freedom – and to a special Land prepared for their kingdom.

This kingdom existed upon the earth as “The Kingdom of Israel.”  Because of extreme disobedience and rebellion, God divided that kingdom into two nations and finally ended the existence of the kingdom, promising to restore that kingdom in the future, for God had promised that the kingdom would constitute an everlasting possession of the righteous (Genesis 17: 7-8). Therefore everlasting possession would be a feature of the everlasting kingdom of God.

Of the four hundred or more “religious” denominations that we view today, only one of those denominations believes and teaches the restoration of that kingdom, although God clearly foretold the restoration of the kingdom.  A couple of other denominations teach the restoration of that kingdom, but they also teach the error that after one thousand years of that kingdom, the earth is destroyed and all the righteous  are taken into heaven for eternity. That contradicts the fact that God had promised that the possession of the land on which that kingdom would be restored, would be an everlasting possession.

 Also, Proverbs 10: 30 declares to the righteous will never be removed from the earth.  Jesus himself declared in Matthew 5: 5 - Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Psalms 37: 29 says, “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.”

A number of the four hundred religious denominations claim that I Kings 8: 56 and Joshua 23: 13-14 prove that the promises made to Abraham are declared by God to have been completely, and totally fulfilled to the letter.

However, both those passages state that that which was said to have been fulfilled were promises spoken to Moses, and not to Abraham.  They concerned those things concerned the division of the land and how the nation would fare in their own land.  The promises to Abraham were clearly declared to be an everlasting possession.  Acts 7: 3-5 clearly declares that God gave Abraham no part of the land for a possession, not even the size of his foot.  Hebrews 11: 13 also assures us, that Abraham and the others “died in faith, not having received the promises, but saw them afar off (into the future).”

It is, therefore a grave error to believe and teach that those promises have been fulfilled, and do not await fulfillment shortly into our future.

Therefore, we have examined the territory involved in God’s plan for Israel, and for the everlasting kingdom of God.

However, any kingdom must also have a king ruling over the kingdom.  David was God’s favorite king over the kingdom of Israel during its first period of existence.  God made a promise to King David regarding a king for the future and throughout eternity.  We see that promise in II Samuel 7:10-17. The certainty of fulfillment is found in Psalms 89: 20-37 where God promises to honor his covenant. 

A King is referred to and promised in this passage.  What was God saying in the chapter, and who is the promised King?  In Acts 2nd chapter, the apostle Peter stood up and addressed the multitude of Israelites concerning that King and His Kingdom.

In Acts 2: 29 - 30, Peter tells us what God said in II Samuel 7: 10-37 Note: “David, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne .” 

So, Jesus, the Son of God is the king who shall sit on David’s throne forever.

The kingdom of Israel came to an end, (Ezekiel 21: 25-27) and that land laid waste for nearly 3000 years with no king on any throne.  Nearly every religious community proclaims that Israel is gone forever, and will never have a part in God’s plan and purpose again.

Is that true, or is it an error to be rejected?

QUESTION:   Was the shutdown of the kingdom of Israel a final shutdown, or was it declared to be temporary?  Notice the words of  Ezekiel 21: 27 –“I will overturn, overturn, overturn and it and it shall be no more UNTIL He come whose right it is…”

Matthew 23:38-39 – “…your house is left unto you desolate… and you shall see me no more UNTIL you shall say, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

So, we see there is an “until” involved.  It was not an eternal shutdown at all. There is a time set for “the restitution of all things spoken of by the holy prophets since the world began.”

God promises in the O.T. that His promises are fully guaranteed. Isaiah 61st chapter; Ezekiel 36th chapter and Ezekiel 37th chapter all prophesy the restoration of Israel’s kingdom and her king.

The New Testament is just as certain: Luke 1: 26- 32; Acts 1: 4-8; Acts 15: 16-17.

These truths constitute the “gospel of Jesus Christ.”  Mark 16: 15-16 Acts 28: 20: the hope of Israel is the kingdom of God which restores Israel’s kingdom as the capital of the world-wide kingdom of God (Jeremiah 3: 17; 31: 17,31-35;  33:26; Isaiah 2: 2-5, Psalms 72: 8).

I Corinthians 15: 24-28.

                                                                                                                                Wayne R. Tanner

 

The Dead Shall be Raised Incorruptible

(I Corinthians 15: 52)

               The Apostle Paul wrote, in 1Corinthans 15:52 - In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

If a person is not well informed regarding the vital subject of resurrection and judgment, to them I Corinthians 15: 52 might be understood to say that the dead rise from the grave already having put on incorruption and immortality.

               The problem with such a conclusion is that in 2 Corinthians 5: 10, the inspired Apostle Paul declares to the Ecclesia at Corinth that: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive things done in his (Christ’s) body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

               In other words, each person must “stand” (Revelation 20: 12) before the judgment seat in order to receive a reward for what we have done.

That cannot be accomplished in the grave where there is neither “work nor device ... knowledge or wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9: 10).

               Also, in Matthew 25: 31-46, the Apostle Matthew shows that after the righteous (verses 25: 34-36) are dealt with; and the rejected are dismissed, verse 46 declares: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”

               Now it is a definite truth that the judgment seat of Christ is not in the grave, but is to happen above ground – upon the earth. 

Also, Revelation 20: 12-13 clearly says that the dead “stand” before the judgment before they receive the change of nature.  It does not happen in the grave; rather, it happens after the resurrection. 

Strange to some, that is what Paul is teaching in 1 Corinthians 15: 35-55.

               Again, the term “the dead” does not always refer to persons who are without life and still sleeping in the grave.  We see for certain in Revelation 20: 12 where John writes that he saw the dead “stand” before God, and the book of remembrance (Malachi 3: 16) – and the book of life are opened (Revelation 20: 12) are opened. 

It is impossible for dead persons to stand. Therefore, John saw persons who had been dead, but had now been resurrected to life, stand before the judgment seat.  That is Paul’s meaning in I Corinthians 15: 52 where he saw those dead who were “cast out” (of the ground) as a natural, flesh and blood person in verse 42.

               Since that nature cannot enter God’s kingdom (verse 50), he shows that a further raising up to a different, acceptable nature has to occur (verses 52-54).  That is why Jesus when he returns from heaven, resurrects the dead, and changes the saints’ lowly, vile bodies to be like his own glorious body, to possess an incorruptible, immortal nature (Philippians 3: 20-21). 

With what Body do they come?

               Paul, in I Corinthians 15: 35, suggests that some will ask, “With what body do they come?” As Paul begins to address the question that some may ask he refers to the profession of farming, and the raising of grain. For well over three thousand years, Israel had been an agriculture civilization.  He knew his readers would understand his meaning.

               Paul reminds the Corinthians that that which is made alive is similar to the grain that is planted in the ground. After the stalk has developed from the seed that was planted, the old seed that was planted cannot be found, for that grain of seed has developed into the stalk that is standing.

               The expected grain that develops is not attached to the seed that was planted, but is now on the new stalk that has emerged and is above the ground.

               So it is with the natural, lowly body that emerges from the ground; the body which rises from the ground is changed to a body raised up from corruption and mortality to incorruption and immortality (I Corinthians 15: 50-54).  At that point “death is swallowed up in victory” (verse 54).

               In verse 37, Paul begins to use the principle of “sowing seed.”  That is because in those days, long before the era of modern machinery, a farmer sowed seed by having a sack of seed hanging around his neck.  He would reach into his bag, and bring out a handful of seed and cast it out of his hand onto the ground.  I witnessed my father doing that many times.

It is vital to know that God, through Isaiah 26: 19 declared, “The earth shall cast out the dead.” That was what was understood by “sowing” seed in those days of ancient agriculture.

               Again, verse 37 declares that “the body” that comes from the grave is not ‘THE BODY THAT SHALL BE,” meaning the future incorruptible, immortal body, but a body that is “corruptible” and “mortal” and which has yet to put on incorruption and immortality (verses 53-54).

               The immortalization of Jesus also was after his resurrection.  He did not come out of the tomb already in possession of his Father’s nature. This is evident from John 20: 17. Jesus evidently had the defilement of the grave still upon him as Mary rushed forward, seeking to touch him. His words to her in verse 17 are very meaningful, even if hard to understand. His words were:  “Touch me not: for I have not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and unto my God and your God.”

               Evidently, the change happened after Mary left him, for later, when he appeared to the disciple in John 20: 17, Jesus invited Thomas to touch his side and see that he really was the crucified One. Why could Mary not touch him, when Thomas was invited to do what Mary was forbidden to do? The answer is that the grave, according to the Law of Moses (Numbers 19 16), defiled a person and required the person to undergo a cleansing process. Mary would herself have been defiled if she had touched him. If Jesus had already ascended to the divine nature (2 Peter 1: 4), the defilement would have already been removed and Mary would have been able to touch him just as Thomas did.

               Also, Mark 16: 12 declares that “afterward, He appeared to them “in another form.” Therefore, scripture proves that a change of nature occurred after Mary left him, not while he was dead inside the tomb.

               Also, one might ask, to what was Jesus referring as he stated, “I have not yet ascended to my Father?”  It was a fact that Jesus did not ascend to heaven where his Father was until more than a month later.  It is recorded that Jesus was with his apostles for forty days, teaching them of things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1: 3).  He had ample time personally to tell his apostles that He would be ascending to heaven.

               Therefore, the ascent mentioned in John 20: 17 certainly was that Jesus was about to ascend to the divine nature of his Father.  That ascent made it quite “legal” for anyone to touch him, for defilement is not present in anyone that possesses the divine nature.  This being true, it is clearly shown that Jesus did not rise from the dead already in possession of the divine nature. 

Jesus is also our forerunner (Hebrews 6: 20).  Therefore, what he experienced prior to us, we shall experience as we tread the same path that he travelled.

Therefore, we must clearly understand Paul’s true statement that the dead do not come forth from the grave in possession of “the body that shall be” (Verse 37).  Paul stated in Verse 43 that the dead rise “a natural body.”  For six thousand years, men’s “natural body” has been an unclean (Job 25: 34), i.e., a mortal body (Romans 5: 12).

               The life of all men for the last six thousand years is expressed by the Greek word psuche which is translated  ”life” 40 times, and mind 3 times.  The phrase translated a “natural body” in I Corinthians 15: 42 is “soma psuchikon,” that is, “a body natural.”

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 677 says of “psuchikon: belonging to the psuche;  borrowed from Genesis 2: 7;  governed by the psuche; the principle of animal life, which men have common with the brutes; the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetite and passion as though made up of nothing but psuche.”

               A natural body is possessed by seven billion people on the earth today.  That will be the nature of the body that is “cast out” of the earth in the resurrection, which may then put on incorruption and immortality.    

Wayne R. Tanner    


 We Shall Not all Sleep

1 Corinthians 15: 51

          It is unfortunate that I Corinthians 15: 52 the text is often mistaken to mean that the dead come out of their graves incorruptible and immortal, a teaching known as Immortal Emergence.

         In believing in “immortal emergence” from the grave, a person has to deny the important, fundamental doctrine of the “judgment seat of Christ.” 

         Notice: Ecclesiastes 12: 1: “God shall bring every work into judgment.”

         Matthew 25: 31-46 shows those there will be some from every nation being judged by Christ.  In verses 34-37, Jesus addresses and accepts the approved.  Then, in verses 41-43 Jesus addresses and rejects those not approved.  Now notice that in verse 46, Jesus declares that those who are approved “go away into everlasting life,” while those who are not approved “go away into everlasting punishment.”  That does not happen as one emerges from the grave!  It happens after being examined at the judgment seat.                  2 Corinthians 5: 9: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

         Can anyone imagine the folly of believing that if we emerge from the grave already in possession of the divine nature (2 Peter 1: 4), that we, as immortals, still have to be judged in order to receive a reward for what we have done?  Away with such foolishness!  It does not happen as one awakes from the dead.               Notice carefully that in Romans 14: 10-12, verse 12 clearly says, “So, then, every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.”  

         Again, can anyone believe that if we approved and glorified coming out of the grave, that we still have to give an account of ourselves before God?  Scripture declares in Luke 20: 36 that when one is approved and rewarded, that such “are equal unto the angels.” Can it be thought that an angel has to give an account of himself to God?  Neither shall we, after obtaining the divine nature (2 Peter 1: 4). 

Therefore, what is Paul Saying?        

         It is important to consider from I Corinthians 15:35-55 that God is inspiring the Apostle Paul to compare the resurrection to eternal life to the raising and harvesting of grain.  All Israelites, long before the advent of modern machinery, knew that in the sowing of grain, a farmer simply reached into his bag and CASTS OUT the seed upon the ground as in Isaiah 26: 19, “the earth shall cast out the dead.”

         Paul uses the term “sow” very often in his reasoning on this matter of the earth “casting out” the dead in the resurrection.” 

         In verse 42, Paul says the resurrection body is CAST OUT in corruption (just as it now) then RAISED to incorruption.

         In Verse 43, Paul says it is sown (cast out) in dishonor, then (after judgment) raised in glory.  He also says it is sown (cast out) in weakness, then raised in power.  

         In verse 44, Paul declares the resurrection body is sown (cast out) “a natural body.”  The Greek phrase for “natural body” is “soma psuchekon.”  Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, on page 677, declares that “soma psuchekon” means “the principle of animal life which men have in common with the brutes” (compare Ecclesiastes 3: 17-20).

        Therefore, a natural body means a flesh and blood body as in I Corinthians 15: 50 – one that cannot inherit the kingdom of God.  Therefore, says Paul by inspiration, that a person’s nature must be raised from that “natural body” state to the incorruptible and immortal state as in verses 53-54.  The term “raised” in verse 52 is the Greek “egiero,” not anastasis as in verse 42. To stand up from a sitting position is “egiero;” to raise one’s arm to a different position is also “egiero.”

         The term “raised” in verse 52 causes some to associate the term with being “raised from the dead,” which the term “anastasis” would mean. Paul is clearly showing that since the resurrection body cannot inherit the kingdom without being changed, it must be “raised” from that natural state to that of the divine nature (2 Peter 1: 4). Verses 51-54 considered together teaches that very thing. Verses 51-52 show that it happens to those raised from the dead at the same time it happens to those who are alive and remain for it says it happens to both “in a moment in the twinkling of an eye.”

         So Paul does not say it happens to the dead as they arise, but that it happens to those who are living later on. No! It happens to both in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (I Corinthians 15: 51-52).

         Immortal Emergence is an apostate theory and must not be tolerated in the Ecclesias.  The Apostle Paul in I Thessalonians 5: 21 instructs us, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.”                                                                                       Wayne R. Tanner

Was Jesus the Angel of the Lord?

             The title question can be answered as “Yes,” for even mortals who served God throughout the history of the world have had the same words applied to them as is applied to the angels from heaven.  The Old Testament Hebrew word for angel is “Malak;” and the New Testament Greek word for angel is “Aggelos.” 

            It is a fact that in 2 Peter 2:4 , Peter refers to the evil “Korah” along with his evil followers by the term “aggelos,” since for a while,they had been helpers of God in the affairs of Israel (Numbers 16: 8-9).

However, we see from Numbers 16th chapter that Korah sought to get certain Israelites to do his own will rather than the will of God.  Peter in his epistle refers to those rebels as “angels that sinned,” and says they were cast down to “tartarus” (a deep abyss) to await the Day of Judgment. Notice Numbers 16: 32- 33: “And the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods …. They and all that appertained unto them went down into the pit, and the earth closed upon them …”

We find also that the Hebrew term for angel was applied to John the Baptist in Malachi in Malachi 3: 1; as is the Greek term aggelos in Matthew 11: 10. In both passages, the terms are translated “messenger.” Jesus was likewise a messenger of God in the greatest sense.  Therefore, Jesus was, in fact, the Malak as well as the Aggelos of God. 

However, Jesus was never the Malak or Aggelos of God sent from heaven to appear to men upon the earth during Old Testament times.

Members of the apostasy are known to teach that Jesus was the “angel of God” sent from heaven on a mission for God, as in Judges 2: 1, 4; Genesis 3: 11; 14:19.  They say that “the angel of the Lord” was none other than Jesus the Christ in every occurrence of the phrase. See footnotes (1), (2) and (3) of Scofield’s New Translation of the Bible.

 What does Scripture Say About That?

          The Apostle Paul makes several denials of the claim that Jesus was formerly one of the angels, per se.  The apostate theorists failed to notice that their doctrine was a denial of Bible truth.  They, therefore, were in ignorance of the fact that their position fell into the error which Paul foretold in II Timothy 4: 4 – that the apostates would be turning God’s truth into fables.

         Hebrews 1: 5 clearly denies the fable of Jesus formerly being an angel, when he asks the pertinent question, “To which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee and again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a son?”

         Therefore, we ask any apostate to answer Paul’s question.  To which angel did God ever say either of the two questions in Hebrews 1: 5? Paul’s point clearly is that God never said that to any angel, only to Jesus. This tells us clearly that Jesus was not formerly one of the heavenly orders of angels who encamp around the throne of God.

          Again in Hebrews 1: 13 Paul asks, “To which of the angels said he at any time, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool?”

         Certainly, if Jesus was the “Angel of the Lord” of Old Testament times, the fact that Psalms 110: 1, which speaks of Jesus, would mean that God did say to one of His angels these words, and the Apostle Paul’s point falls flat and was an absolute lie. Since God inspired the Apostle Paul to make these points, the truth is that Jesus never was one of the angels, and it is Scofield’s point that falls flat and is without truth.

 Was Jesus a part of a Trinitarian God?

         After Jesus left his disciples and ascended to his Father in heaven, the disciples did as Jesus had commanded them and traveled through the Pagan world preaching the “gospel of Jesus Christ.” The apostles knew that the Pagans they would encounter worshipped gods many and lords many (I Corinthians 8: 4-6).

         Paul, after expressing that fact, declared in verse 4, “there is no God but one,” and in verse 6 Paul declared, “But to us (the believers) there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

         It is vital to know that the word “by” in the above verse is translated from the Greek term “di” which is translated from the Greek “dia” which absolutely means “through,” as it is translated in the Emphatic Diaglott. It is “through” the work of Jesus and his sacrifice, that we can obtain salvation.  The passage, therefore declares that there is only one God by whom are all things; and one Jesus Christ through whom are all things.

         Again, this inspired Apostle expressed the seven pillars of wisdom’s house (Proverbs 9:1; Ephesians 4: 4-6), that there is only “one Lord” (Jesus: verse 3); and “One God” – verse 6).  The vital message that there is absolute agreement through the Old Testament; and the New Testament; is noted by the Apostle Paul as he calls attention to the fact that the Old Testament (Romans 15: 4) was written for our learning.

            Since that is correct, it is proven by God’s own words that the Old Testament message concerning Himself is in complete harmony with New Testament expressions. 

Notice: Deuteronomy 6: 4 – “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.”

Let it be recognized that Trinitarians are quick to point out that the term “God” in that passage is “Elohim” which is a plural, and say that it refers to a plural God. 

In this, they are in ignorance of the fact that encyclopedias published even by Trinitarians explain that “Elohim,” when referring to God, “... awakens attention to the infinite riches and the inexhaustible fullness which are contained in the one divine Being; so that if men might imagine innumerable Gods and invest them with perfections, these should all be comprised in the one Elohim….” (Fairbairin’s Imperial Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol. iii, page 23)

 Let us now hear more of God’s own testimony concerning Himself:

Isaiah 43: 11 “I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no savior.”  (Notice the singular pronouns “I” and “me.”)

            Isaiah 44: 6 “I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no God.”

            Isaiah 44: 8 “… Is there a God beside me? Yea there is no God; I know not any.” Notice again the singular pronouns. There is no plurality with the God of Israel, except regarding His plurality of attributes.

            Isaiah 44: 24 “… he that formed thee from the womb; I am the Lord that maketh all things; who stretcheth the heavens alone; who spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.”  Again, there is no plurality with God all the way through the Bible.  The only plurality that is found to be “fables” concerning Him, and concerns those who have turned away their ears from the truth and have turned unto fables, meaning “things that are not true”– Webster (2 Timothy 4: 4).

                                                                                 Wayne R. Tanner

  

Out of Zion Shall go forth the Law

... and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem

Isaiah 2: 2-4

 Conflicting plan and purpose

         The plan and purpose of the Palestinian occupation of the Middle East are not that there is to be a two-state presence in the land of Israel. The vision of the Palestinians is that there shall not be a single Israelite left in the Middle East; and that only Palestinians will continue to exist in what is now known as “The Land of Israel.” 

         All Jerusalem, the Palestinians expect, is to be the capital of the Palestinian state.

         However, the plan of Israel, backed by the United States, is that only Jews and Israelites shall be occupants of the ancient land of Israel.  That plan and purpose is vividly shown to also be the plan and purpose of the God of heaven.  The prophecies of God certainly show this to be His purpose in the Middle East.

         It will be recognized that our title above, comes from Isaiah 2: 2-4. A reading of those three verses informs us of the existence of the following conditions at the time of the fulfillment of that prophecy:

  “A mountain”  Scripture foretells of a great earthquake which forms that mountain as Jesus goes forth against the enemies of Israel. The last nine chapters of Ezekiel describe a great and high mountain around which is to be built the millennial temple.  (Ezekiel 40: 2; Zechariah 14: 10;  Matthew 4: 8 (that mountain is not yet in existence); Isaiah 66: 20; Isaiah 56: 7.

 “God’s temple, or house around the mountain”.  (Ezekiel Chapters 40-49; Isaiah 56: 5-7; John 2: 15-16;  John 14: 1)

All nations flowing into it: (Isaiah 2: 2; Isaiah 55: 7; Isaiah 4th  chapter; Zechariah 14:16-21.

  No nations left with dangerous weapons:  (Isaiah 2: 5; Micah 4: 3.

 Israel with no Enemies any Longer

         Every latter-day prophecy regarding Israel depicts the fact that every nation in The Middle East and many other locations is a hateful enemy of Israel with the desire to destroy her (Zechariah 14th chapter; Psalm 83: 2-9; Ezekiel 28: 20-26).  The events of the latter days leave Israel in complete safety with no Islamic enemies left to desire her destruction.

         Obadiah 1:18 foretells that in those latter-day attempts to terminate the nation of Israel, there is not one descendant of Esau left in existence. Throughout the history of Israel, she has been at odds with the descendants of Esau.

         Likewise, the balance of Israel’s kindred enemies is outlined by name in Psalm 83: 6-7.  These nations constitute “The Nations Round About.”

         In Psalm 83: 9-12, God decrees that of all those named nations, it is to be done to them, just what the early Israelites had done to the Midianites.

           In Numbers 31: 7, we learn that early Israel completely slew “all of the males of the nation of Midian.”  Therefore, the “Nations Round About” Israel will no longer exist.  We also are aware from Ezekiel 28: 25-26, that when God has executed His judgments of the ”Nations Round About” Israel, Israel will dwell safely and will prosper greatly.  We also learn that Russia later finds Israel in the ‘safe’ and ‘confident’ position as she makes her advance against Israel (Ezekiel 38th and 39th chapters). But the Gogian host is also utterly destroyed...

         Then one more battle will ensue before the world is forever a safe and peaceful planet toward which God has been working for six thousand years.  In that, we speak of the troops of NATO, the defense forces of Europe, which will finally move against Jesus and his saints, because they shall think he is “the anti-Christ.” 

         After those forces are utterly defeated (Daniel 2: 34-35; Revelation 17: 14), it is prophesied: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”  (Isaiah 11: 9). 

         The immediate result of the title action is that “... round about the throne there was a sea of glass (still waters, meaning a still, peaceful population) like crystal, and round about the throne were four living creatures (meaning immortal creatures) full of eyes before and behind (meaning all-seeing ones).” (Revelation 4: 6). These represent the Cherubim of Ezekiel one, and will spread and consolidate the sovereignty of the King, Jesus, as the nascent kingdom expands throughout all nations.

                                                                                     Wayne R. Tanner


Have the Promises to Abraham been fulfilled?

 Anyone who has debated that subject of the Kingdom of God with the Church of Christ has had to refute the false doctrine that teaches that the promises to Abraham were completely fulfilled in Old Testament times. Below are passages they quote in the effort to prove their claim: 

I Kings 8: 56 -  “Blessed be the Lord, who hath given rest to his people, Israel, according to all that he promised; There hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses.”

Joshua 21: 43-45 – “And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he swore to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it and dwelt in it.” … And the Lord gave them rest round about according to all that he swore unto their fathers…. There failed nothing of all the good things which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.”

As Moses was about to die, he spoke the following words to Israel: Joshua 23: 14-15 - “… NOT ONE SINGLE THING HAS FAILED OF ALL THE GOOD THINGS WHICH THE Lord your God spoke concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing has failed thereof.”

 It is vital that we take particular care to notice that every one of the above passages mention things that were said to Moses, and unto Israel; not to Abraham. When the above passages speak of promises to the “fathers,” the “fathers of the tribes” at the time of the Exodus is meant (Joshua 14: 1).  The above passage speaks only of promises God spoke to Moses concerning Israel in the land.  Not one of above passages speaks of things said to Abraham.  

We should take notice of the fact that all of the passages above speak of Israel’s inheritance in Israel “under the law.”  The inspired Apostle Paul makes the strong point in Romans 4: 13 that “the promise that he should be heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” 

 If it is true that those promises were fulfilled under the law as Israel possessed the land, then the inspired Apostle Paul was not so inspired after all. However, if we ignore apostate claims and believe the word of God, it is clear that the Apostle Paul was fully inspired. 

 We know that the writer of the Acts of the Apostles, records in Acts 7: 5: “And he gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession. and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” This proves that the eternal promises – those with lasting substance – had not been fulfilled at the time when Luke penned the Acts of the Apostles. 

Again the inspired Apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 11: 13: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers, and pilgrims in the earth.” 

Therefore, who shall we believe? Shall we believe apostate opponents of the truth; or the inspired word of God?  As for me and my house, we shall believe the pure truth of the word of the God of Israel.

                                                    Wayne R. Tanner

 

                                                                                          

 

 

 Defining the Soul

(What is it?)

The subject of the soul has suffered more violence from the world of religion than most other subjects.   II Timothy 4: 4 foretold that the Ecclesia of Christ would experience a turning away their ears from the truth and turning unto fables.  This prophecy has come to pass as we see in the apostate doctrines of world religions.

Let us peruse the account of the creation of Adam, the first man, and see if the popular idea of a separate and immortal soul is scriptural.  We believe that the idea of such a soul is one of the worst errors to be found in the world of religion.

In Genesis 2: 7 we read:“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (underlining is mine).

There is no way around the truth that what was formed of the dust “became” a living soul.  There is no indication that Adam received a “living soul.”   Adam himself became a “living soul.”

It is vital to know that the term “living soul” is a translation of the Hebrew phrase “chai nephesh.”  Adam was not the first “chai nephesh” that had been created, for, in Genesis 1: 20, we find the phrase “chai nephesh” in the statement “every living creature that moveth.”  Again, in Verse 21 we find “chai nephesh” applied to every animal that moveth; and every fowl that flies. Therefore,  scripture informs us that Adam became exactly what every other living thing had become, “a chai nephesh.”

The belief held by those in the apostate world of religious thinking, that the soul is a separate entity within the body of a man, constitutes “the doctrine of men” (Isaiah 29: 13; Matthew 15: 9), and their description of the soul of man, cannot be found in the truth of God.                                                                                                                                               

The Hebrew term “nephesh” is translated:

Soul- 428 times.

Dead - 8 times.

Mind -15 times.

Heart- 15 times, meaning the mind (Proverbs 23: 7; Exodus 23: 9; Leviticus 26: 16, etc.).

Never does the term “immortal” occur in connection with the word “soul.”

Rather, scripture clearly declares that the soul is capable of death and that the soul, in fact, does die.  Notice:

1.              Souls die:

Ezekiel 18: 4-“The soul that sinneth, it shall die” 

Psalm 78: 50, “He spared not their soul from death’  

Job 7: 15 –Job said, “So my soul chooseth strangling and death rather than life.”

James 5: 20- “… he that converts a sinner has saved a soul from death.”

Joshua 10: 28, 32, 35, 37, 39 – ‘Joshua destroyed all the souls that were therein….”

2.              Souls are born - Exodus 1: 5 - seventy souls out of Jacob’s loins.

3.              Animals have souls - Numbers 31:28 – “souls of men, of persons, of oxen; of asses and of the sheep.

a.    Jesus said in Matthew 26: 38- “My soul is exceedingly

sorrowful, even unto death’. These things happen in the mind, proving that the terms “mind” and “soul” are synonyms.

Never do the scriptures speak of a soul that cannot die.  There is one passage of Scripture, which believers in an immortal soul interpret

to mean a deathless soul, and that is Matthew 10: 28 where Jesus is

thought to have said that no one can kill the soul.

That certainly is not Jesus’ meaning, for in the same verse Jesus told his apostles, “fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body.” 

No being can destroy that which cannot be destroyed. 

The literal meaning of Jesus’ words may be understood by comparing this scripture with Luke 12: 4-5. “…be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do…  Verse 5- “But I forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell.”

The term “hell” in the above passage is “Gehenna” which speaks of the fiery “Valley of Hinnom” south of Jerusalem in which a continuous fire was kept burning for the destruction of refuse and waste [it perpetually burned because waste and trash were being continuously added as fuel – Ed].  The passage has no reference to the imaginary burning hell of apostate belief.

Now that we have seen the actual meaning of Jesus’ warning, no one has any excuse for believing that Jesus’ reference in Matthew 10: 28 had reference to an indestructible, immortal soul.  The Bible knows nothing of such an imaginary soul.

Therefore, both man and beasts, as well as fowl of the air are “chai nephesh.”  All constitute a soul.  When either beasts or men die,  Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3: 19 declares, “what befalleth man, befalleth beasts.”   And verse 20 says, all go to one place ... all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Because of these truths, Psalms 49: 20 states: “Man that is in honor, and understandeth not is like the beasts that perish.”

 We must take note of the fact that believers in the different nature of man and beasts perceive that Ecclesiastes 3: 21 is teaching their beliefs, instead of the truth that the nature of men and beasts are the same.   Notice what Solomon did say:  “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward?”  It is a challenging question only, and not a statement of divine truth.  He had just stated that both go unto one place.  Thus, he is showing the pagan belief to be just that, a false, pagan belief.     Wayne R. Tanner

 

“I Will Be Who I Will Be”      

             Exodus 3: 14, in response to Moses' question as to who was sending him to Egypt to lead Israel to freedom, God, through His angel replied: "Eyeh asher Eyeh" which, when correctly translated says, "I will be who I will be."

It is evident in Exodus 3: 12 that the Hebrew term “Eyeh” means “I will be.”  In that phrase, the one-word “Eyeh” is translated by three English words, “I will be.” 

Neither God nor His representative angel said simply the words “I am” hath sent me.     

In this one chapter we find evidence of God being identified in whomsoever He manifested Himself.

Notice verse 6 where the angel (Exodus 3: 1- 2; Acts 7; 30), said:  I am the Father of Abraham, the God of Isaac, Jacob, and the God of Jacob.”  It is a known fact that the individual who was in the burning bush was an angelic being – not the literal Father of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.

            God, who no man has seen (John 1:16), was and is the Father of those three Israeli forefathers.  But Yahveh in heaven was “in” the angel who was speaking to Moses from the fiery bush, and the angel was representing God as he spoke.

Again, in Exodus 14: 19, we are told that God’s angel was in the cloud that went before Israel.  Yet, in verse 24 it says that “God looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar and the cloud.”

 Was this a falsehood, or the truth, since it was the angel of God that was in the cloud? 

The fact is, that God was in the angel that went before Israel (Exodus 23: 20-21). 

Therefore, as the angel looked unto the Egyptians, it was true also that God looked unto the Egyptians, for God was in the angel.  For one to see the angel was to see God also, for they were both present just as in Exodus 24: 10. 

In that passage we are told that seventy Israelite elders and Moses “saw the God (Elohim) of Israel.”  Since God was “in the angel,” the angel and Yahveh himself formed a plural.  Thus they saw a plural, for God was there also, but they literally saw only the angel in whom God was manifested.

Therefore, the truth of the phrase I will be who I will be” was put into reality, for to see the angel, was to see God, for God was doing the works which the angel performed, just as in the case of God's being in Jesus and working in Jesus (John 14: 9,  10).

The same principle is seen in 2 Corinthians 5: 19 where this phrase explains, that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”  

There is an exact parallel of this concept expressed in Acts 2: 22: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you...”  

Since God was working “in Christ” to see Christ perform those miracles, we clearly see God performing those miracles for Jesus, Who confessed that of himself He “could do nothing” (John 5: 30).

         Therefore, Exodus 3: 14 was God’s promise to mankind that He would at various times, appear to the prophets, to kings, to His Son, to his Son’s disciples, and to others. 

Someday in future time He will even appear Himself personally when God will be “all in all” (I CorinthiansHe H 15: 24-28 and Revelation 21: 3-4).          Wayne R. Tanner: Posted May 10, 2019

 

Are God and Jesus Forgeries? 

            The national news recently reported that more than a hundred or more churches are closing each month because church attendance has declined nationwide.  Jesus foretold two thousand years ago (Luke 18: 8), that when he returned he would scarcely find the faith for which he and his apostles were responsible.  Likewise, the apostle Paul in I Timothy 4: 1-3 foretold that in the “latter times, some shall be depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy.”

            Who could have known this and foretold it two thousand years ago, and have it come to pass with unerring accuracy, other than someone who was more than an average person living upon the earth?  Only God through His servants could tell the future in such a manner.

            One other Person in the history of mankind has demonstrated the ability to foretell future events to come upon the earth, and have those forecasts come to pass with such unerring accuracy that they cannot deny.  That one Person is Jesus Christ the Son of the God of Israel in whom God manifested Himself  (II Corinthians 5:19).

            No so long ago, persons driving on I-35 through Milwaukee, Wisconsin, suddenly approached a large sign that read:

                                    “No one died for our sins;

                                        Jesus Christ is a myth.”                 

            If that sign holds forth an ounce of truth, then perhaps those who erected that sign can explain the fact that only God and His Son foretold future events; and not in one instance has one of those forecasts failed to come to pass exactly as was foretold many hundreds of years ago, except a few which clearly still await fulfillment.   

Several Forecasts of God Himself

            It would be very easy to begin in Genesis, examining types and shadows foretelling future conditions, but there are so many that are found in the latter portion of Old Testament times, that we will consider several of those. 

            Around 600 A.D. God delivered the rebellious kingdom of Judah into captivity to Babylon.  While Israel was there in captivity, God gave a dream to king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, which foretold the course of his and succeeding empires for the next 2600 years.  Daniel, God’s prophet, revealed to Nebuchadnezzar not only exactly the dream’s content but also what his dream had foretold.  How amazing it is that for more than 2500 years, events of the empire have followed the exact pattern laid out in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

First, God showed the king that throughout the many years of future history, exactly four empires would have control over that region.

We ask this question, as we look back over the twenty-five hundred years of that region, how many empires have maintained control over that area? Why exactly four empires have controlled it, just as was foretold in 600 B.C. How amazing is it, that three of those empires, together, (1. Babylon; 2. The Medes and Persians; 3. Greece), ruled it for six hundred years. The fourth one (Rome) was said to control the region longer than the first three empires all put together.  Rome which later developed into Europe still holds the dominion over its people and will continue until a fifth kingdom (the kingdom of God) is set up in its place. 

            Doesn’t anyone wonder why, during those twenty-five hundred years, only those four empires ever gained control?  For twenty-five hundred years, the prophecy has followed the exact pattern that the king Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream that God sent to him.  No other empire ever entered into the picture.  No man could have foretold that and brought it to pass as it actually happened.

            Three thousand years ago, in Psalm 83:1-10; and again 2400 years ago in Ezekiel 28: 25-26 and Zechariah 14: 14, God foretold that the specific, named nations “round about” Israel would band together in an attempt to destroy ”Israel’s” existence. How interesting that now, three thousand years later, in the Middle East only THESE nations are daily threatening to destroy Israel’s very existence. Where are all those nations that threaten to destroy Israel? How amazing that those very nations are all the “nations round about Israel.” 

What man knew all of this three thousand years ago, and was able to bring it to pass three thousand years later?  The answer is obvious, and only the fool says “there is no God” (Psalm 14: 1; Psalm 53: 1).

The Appearance of Israel’s Messiah

            While the two-tribe kingdom of Judah was captive in Babylon, God revealed to the Prophet Daniel how long it would be until Israel’s Messiah (the Anointed One) would appear in their midst. How does He do this?

In Daniel 9:25, God reveals to Daniel a number of weeks. Even apostate Bible students, who often deny that “a day” in Bible prophesy represent a year, agree that in this prophecy a day represent a year, for none of the time periods given saw anything happen within the number of literal days specified that would fulfill the prophecy. Such critics mention three different decrees relative to the rebuilding of Jerusalem while ignoring a fourth date in which such a decree was given. 

Counting from one of the decrees given to rebuild Jerusalem would make Jesus to have been forty-five years old as he was crucified. A second supposed date would have made him a teenager at his crucifixion.  A third one also makes him the wrong age at his crucifixion, which the scriptures reveal as thirty-three and one-half years.

            There is another one which brings us to his crucifixion at the age of thirty-three and one-half years. That one was given by the Persian king in the year 457 B.C. The seven weeks and sixty-two weeks of verse 25 amounts to 69 weeks (483 years); calculation of those years brings one to 27 A.D., the year when Jesus was baptized by John and verbally approved by the Almighty’s thunderous voice from heaven, “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3: 17) making Him “the Anointed One” (Acts 10: 38).

            What man ever lived who could have foretold exactly four hundred eighty-three years in advance the exact time when Jesus would become Israel’s Messiah? But God did! Therefore, we recognize the only Person in the universe who possesses that ability, the God of Israel.

            Finally, though there are many other instances, consider Ezekiel 21: 25-27. God grew very tired of Israel’s rebellious ways and announced to her that he was, for a considerable period, bringing her kingdom to an end.

Through three “overturnings,” God ended her kingdom. 

The first overturning was to break up the twelve kingdoms, forming two separate kingdoms.   

            The second overturning was in sending the Assyrian forces, taking the northern kingdom hostage into Assyria from which they never returned. 

Overturn number three was Babylon coming into the land around 600 B.C., taking Judah captive.  There has been no Israeli kingdom since that time until the modern day. Judah returned to her land but was always ruled by foreign kings until again dispersed.                         

            In Ezekiel 21: 27, God says Israel’s kingdom “shall be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it Him.” That was 2600 years ago, and no king has restored Israel’s throne and kingdom during all that time. 

What man knew that the kingdom would not be rebuilt for over two thousand years?  Only God knew, and he kept it from happening until these end-times, just as he announced over two thousand years ago. 

The Bible knows of literal 24 hour days, of the day-for-a-year principle, and of a thousand-year millennial day (Psalms 90: 4; 2 Peter 3: 8).  In Hosea 6: 1-3 Israel was informed that her smiting would end after two millennial days and that she would be revived in the third day.  We now are well into the third millennia day since Israel’s smiting. Her great spiritual revival is about to happen as God promised it would (Ezekiel 37:11-22; Luke 1: 32-33). 

Was Jesus Sent by the God of Israel?

            Jesus often declared that he was sent by God, his Father (John 4: 24; John 14: 10; 2 Corinthians 5: 19).  Jesus often foretold of events to come, just as his Father did.  Whatever he foretold has either come to pass, or is yet due to be fulfilled, for a few thing he foretold are yet to be fulfilled.  Let us take notice of some things he foretold, that came to pass with unerring accuracy.

            In Matthew 23: 37-39, Jesus told the Jews who rejected him, that their dwelling place was to left desolate “UNTIL” they accepted him.   

            In Luke 21: 24 Jesus declared that the Jews would fall by the edge of the sword, and led away captive into all nations and Jerusalem would be trodden down by non-Jewish people (the Gentiles) “UNTIL” the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 

See Ezekiel 21: 27 for another “UNTIL” which shows that an end to the punishment against Israel was to come to an end.

And these references are perfectly parallel with Micah 5: 1-3!

            Jerusalem was in fact trodden down by Gentiles for close to two thousand years. The Jews that were in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., when Rome surrounded and destroyed the city, were scattered into every nation under the sun. In 1517 A.D., the Ottoman Turks invaded the Middle East as foretold in Daniel 11: 40-45. The Turkish ruling house held Jerusalem until 1917 when the English army drove the Turk out of Jerusalem and out of Palestine in preparation for Israel to establish her rulership over the land once again.

Therefore, we see that the “UNTIL” mentioned by Jesus in Luke 21; 24 and Matthew 23: 39 was by special, meaningful design – and fitted into God’s forecasts quite beautifully.

            Yes, every word of the Bible can be proven not to have been written by anyone except by Him who foretold it all hundreds and thousands of years in advance, and lived much longer than any man has ever lived; and brought every prophecy to pass with unerring accuracy.     

            Soon upon this earth, those who deny the existence of God, and the facts concerning the Son of God will be removed from existence. However, the God of Israel will rule the whole Universe throughout eternity. Contrary to the self-appointed “philosophers” who paid for the false Milwaukee signage, God and his Son Jesus DO exist, and will continue to exist, and will rule the entire earth forever, and forever.            Wayne R. Tanner

Comments