BOOKS FOR FREE – Written by Jan Lilleby

BOOKS FOR FREE!

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Paul book coverNo. 1 – Paul – the Only Apostle God Sent to us Gentiles

In this little book you will learn how it was when God engaged Paul to go to us Gentiles, with the free grace gospel. You can only find his gospel to the Church in Ephesians and Colossians. These letters have no doctrine of The New Covenant to Israel, nor any Mosaic commandments or ordinances to keep. No covenant, only the free grace gift of God.

NOTE: This book can also be read directly on this site. Just click on the category where the book is presented!

God does not work healing COVERNo. 2 God Does Not Work Healing Miracles in the Church Dispensation

Did you know that promises of miracles and healings were made by Jesus, only to His Jewish New Covenant believers? Mark’s gospel 16:17, 18 has a lot of such promises, but the Church dispensation was not yet established, so those promises cannot ever have been for the Church! The Church emerged with the revelation given to Paul for us Gentiles, Eph 3:1-9. That was 30 years later than when Jesus gave His promises to His followers before ascending to heaven.

God Paul and the Gentiles COVERNo. 3 – God, Paul and the Gentiles

Learn how to distinguish between the different kind of gentiles and other believers in the Bible. This will give you a much clearer understanding of what exactly the Church is. This topic is not often taught from the pulpits!

Antichrist of the Bible COVERNo. 4 – The Anti-Christ of the Bible

There are a lot of books and websites out there, filled with the most fantastic inventive speculations on Anti-Christ. But Jan Lilleby has made a book lined up according to the Bible. Lots of References. This cruel future false Messiah coming to Israel, is in no way going to rule the entire world. That is heresy. Only the Zionist-Israel is the Place for his false reign.

Moses and elijah coming with the day of vengeance COVERNo. 5 – Moses and Elijah Coming With the Day of Vengeance

This book is exactly what a Christian need, in order to be able to get the Revelation book right! If we are not having the two witnesses in Rev 11 in focus, we will miss a lot of important points. Jan Lilleby gives you a teriffic and correct view of the Great Tribulation, and how this will influence on Israel and on the world. This tribulation will first punish the Zionist-Israel for her ungodliness, but thereafter God shall raise up the nation – the small remnant – to become His nation on Earth, sat above all other nations and with Jesus as their Messiah King.




The Body of Christ – The Church – Can Only Have
One Leader: Jesus Christ

By Jan Lilleby

Irene M. Walther contributes with a substantial

systematic overview of words, verses

and chapters as part of this article.

And comments for each of the ministries mentioned.

Very useful for students.

Therefore is it that Paul started naming Him as The HEAD of His Body, which is the church. Also called in Eph 2:15 for ‘One New Man’, also called for ‘New Creation’.

prest ved alterMy intention with this article is to show by the Bible how it is with Biblical Leadership in church. This topic may be considered as extremely challenging, both to our pride and to our often erroneous doctrine in the matter.

Acts is a book which report of what the apostles of Christ did and taught in the thirty years after Pentecost. Following that historical report of Luke, we also have the Acts-Epistles from the same time period, showing us that they taught and they offered Israel the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ. Israel was charged to repent and be baptized, and if the whole nation did so then Jesus would have come down from heaven in their time and established the promised Kingdom of God in Israel.

Only Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon are epistles written in which we cannot find any trace of or direct teaching of the New Covenant (or any covenant!) – so when it comes to leadership in church, this is formulated only in the epistles written in the errand of offering Israel (and their proselytes) that New Covenant; simple as that really.

It is from that period of time, the Acts period with its New Covenant labor trying to have Israel repent so they could get the promised kingdom, we find the teaching of the five ministry offices and the nine Sign-Gifts and miracle workings; namely 1 Cor 12-14 chapters mainly.

These ministries and the Holy Ghost empowering the servants of Christ (we often call it the Baptism with the Holy Ghost and Power) cannot be held separated. Without that Holy Ghost special power for signs, wonders and miracles, the leaderships in the assemblies in apostolic times could not operate properly.

In order to guide and pastoring the churches of those Messianic believers, they had not only the power to heal the sick or cast out demons, but they had gifts to make proper discernment among their believers. Check out Peter and the incident with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, Paul and the incident with the sorcerer at Cyprus Acts 13, not to mention Paul and the Corinthians among whom he delivered certain immoral elements over to Satan (to be plagued by disease). (Discernment: Paul, Timothy, Titus and others who positioned elders/shepherds/overseers into the leadership in the assemblies, did so by the special power of the Holy Spirit. Even if Paul told them to only use blameless brethren for such positions. We cannot do this same job, since we are in lack of such special power and mandate from Christ).

These ministries in the churches – such as elders/ pastors, teachers, evangelists as well as their definite masters in leadership, the prophets and the apostles were absolutely depending upon the Holy Spirit’s power and gifts to be able to properly lead and guide Christ’s believers in the Empire during the Acts period.

Trying to transfer these ministries into the church dispensation – whether all of them or just a few – is not Biblical.

Which brings us to Eph 4 where we find a much misinterpreted piece of Scripture, regarding apostles and prophets, as well as evangelists, pastors/elders and teachers. At first look it could seem as if the church cannot be without them, to gain continuous growth and leadership. But most serious Bible Scholars agree that these ministries mentioned in Eph 4:11-16 is past tense. It speaks of that which was, but no longer is operative. They are mentioned rather as ministries who preached Christ when it still was the New Covenant to Israel as goal. There is only one Body of Christ, the One New Man, the church, verse 4.

Since Paul in Ephesians/Colossians did not mention Elders/pastors or any other ministries as something we must uphold, it is my impression that he let Jewry be Jewry, – the Jewish tradition of Elders/pastors/shepherds in the Synagogues were not to be adopted into the church-dispensation. Israel had fallen away from God, and thus Paul let all special things from the time Israel still was under God be left alone. In church-dispensation Jews and gentiles are equals in the faith (Eph. 2:15, Col. 3:11).

Simply because of the fall of Israel in Acts 28:27 (they would not repent so the Lord could heal/restore the land to them, sending Jesus back) – spoken to Israel as a definite last word of judgment by Paul. At their fall, God suspended entirely the offer to Israel to have the Kingdom and thus also suspended the doctrine of the New Covenant. In 70 AD the Romans wiped out the nation and scattered them in the world.

The miracle-gifts and the five ministry offices were included in God’s suspension of it all. Miraculous power was given only inside the New Covenant offer by the apostles.

But if we then keep on trying to follow Paul’s teaching in 1 and 2 Tim and Titus of elders and other ministry gifts to lead the church, it gets all wrong. The pastoral epistles were written in the errand of, and in the time period when they taught the New Covenant to Israel! Elders and pastors (shepherds) simply belong to the Jewish New Covenant ordinances, and it stays there.

But from the time that Paul wrote Ephesians, followed by Colossians as well as Philemon, – we cannot find anything that takes the teaching of Elders (bishops or pastors) to lead any assembly.

The reasons have come clearer to me in the last few months as I have reflected much upon this phenomenon: For the first, Jesus is pointed out by Paul as the HEAD of His Body, the church. No other person is ever mentioned as having that same position.

For the second, Paul uses only singular tense when writing of the church, while in the Acts period under the New Covenant teaching he wrote of the churches in plural! And perhaps the strongest argument in this, is the fact that we cannot find anything from Paul in Ephesians/Colossians regarding exhortations like we see in 1 and 2 Tim and Titus: No mention of elders/pastors, no mention of how it is with an elder and his ‘blameless life’…and we are after all, talking of an entirely new dispensation, unlike the previous one. This may be Paul’s way of letting us know that we are free to arrange leadership as it seems fit in each and every individual case. No certain rules or patterns to be followed. Of course we cannot accept ‘leaders’ who displays a sinful way of living, a consumer of women, disrespectful of marital commitment and other moral issues. Eph. 5 and Col. 3 tell us how to conduct ourselves. Money-lovers and drunks and adulterers and those living/practicing as gay, and dope addicts have no place whether in the church or in heaven, say Paul.

I find it Biblical to say that the Body of Christ, the church, the One New Man, has only one real pastor/leader/elder/head/chief – and that is Jesus Christ. We already have a Pastor who is totally blameless, as a matter of fact He is sinless entirely, and He is the Lord.

But this does not forbid that any man or woman stand up and teach from the Bible in meetings. No, but we must only keep in mind that we cannot consider ourselves as any sovereign leader or pastor elected by God to this position. God has elected only one man for this leadership, and that is Christ our Lord and Savior.

Now don’t get all worked up if you happen to be an elder or a pastor. I will not try and rob you of your ministry. On the contrary, I will just try to show you from Scripture that none of us, no matter how sharp Bible expositors we may be, can regard ourselves as personally elected by Christ for a position as mentioned. To be able to fill such a unique office, any one of us would have to have the same empowering by the Holy Ghost as seen in Acts. All of them had supernatural guidance from the Spirit of God to do and say exactly what God wanted at all times of their ministries.

In Hebrews we find clearly that the Messianic church leaders/elders and all the others involved, stood accountable to God for how they led the church. They would have to answer to the Lord if they did anything seriously wrong regarding leadership-situations.

Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them, for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account. Let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you.”

prest i hvittThat verse has been misused and abused over the centuries, by power-hungry church leaders both inside as well as outside the classic denominations. Perhaps the lowest trends are the ones we find inside the heretical Word-Faith movement and the Apostolic Restoration movement, where they claim absolute authority to their pastor-office and demanding total obedience. They never took into consideration the fact that all the offices mentioned in 1 Cor 12-14 were totally dependent upon the Holy Ghost power seen with the apostolic assemblies and the apostles themselves.

That is why we must take to the proper separation between what concerned the New Covenant to Israel and proselytes (Hebr. 8-9 chapters, Jer. 31:31) in the times of the apostles, and what came after that period at the fall of Israel in Acts 28:27.

Paul was given the revelation of a well-kept Mystery, hid in God since before creation, but revealed to him as Israel fell from God: The One New Man in Christ, the separation between Jewry and the outside nations (gentiles) torn down, the Law of Moses with all the commandments and ordinances abolished.

See Eph. 2:15; 3:1-9, and Col 1:25, 26. Our salvation is now with the free grace of God, no works demanded, by faith only – and the hope was upgraded to Heaven above the Heavens (Greek: Epiuranos). During Acts period it was the Kingdom on earth as hope, but after Acts and under the new revelation given to Paul for us, it is heaven (Col 3:1-4).

Trying to transfer the conditions and ministry-types from the Acts period when the New Covenant was offered to Israel, into the church where it is free grace salvation, will never work. There are no supernatural discernment gifts or power to heal the sick or cast out demons today, for sure. Thus no pastor or elder or evangelist can expect same miraculous ministry as those in Acts period.

With these considerations in mind, I think it is better for us to be careful with having superior leaders ‘lording it over’ other believers. In lack of those power-gifts and ability to make sure discernments such as with the apostles, we better stand down. Such a role and position is only given for the Lord to hold.

I am really happy by knowing that it is Jesus Christ Who is my actual pastor, and not any self-proclaimed human (thus erring) fellow believer thinking he has a superior position above the ordinary believer.

PART II 

Chapters and Verses for this topic:
Church Officers – Shepherds, Overseers, Ministers, Elders, Evangelists, Teachers

By Irene M. Walther, Orlando, Florida, USA.

Shepard (Pastor), Word 4166

1. Mt 9:36 But, seeing the multitudes, he was moved with compassion concerning them, because they were torn and thrown down, like sheep having no shepherd.
2. Mt 25:32 And there will be gathered before him, all the nations, and he will separate them one from another, just as, the shepherd! separateth the sheep from the goats,—
3. Mt 26:31 Then, Jesus saith unto them—All ye, will find cause of stumbling in me, during this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and, the sheep of the flock, will be scattered abroad;
4. Mr 6:34 And, coming forth, he saw, a great multitude, and was moved with compassion towards them, because they were like sheep having no shepherd, and he began to be teaching them many things.
5. Mr 14:27 And Jesus saith unto them—Ye, all, will find cause of stumbling, because it is written,—I will smite the shepherd, and, the sheep, will be scattered abroad;
6. Lu 2:8 And there were, shepherds, in the same country, dwelling in the fields, and keeping the watches of the night over their flock.
7. Lu 2:15 And it came to pass, when the messengers had departed from them into heaven, that, the shepherds, began to say one to another—Let us go through forthwith as far as to Bethlehem, and see this thing which hath come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us.
8. Lu 2:18 And, all who heard, marveled concerning the things which had been told by the shepherds unto them;
9. Lu 2:20 And the shepherds returned, giving glory and singing praise unto God, over all things which they had heard and seen, according as it had been told unto them.
10. Joh 10:2 But, he that entereth through the door, is, shepherd, of the sheep:
11. Joh 10:11a I, am the good shepherd:
12. Joh 10:11b The good shepherd, his life, layeth down, for the sheep.
13. Joh 10:12 The hireling, even because he is no shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, vieweth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth,—and, the wolf, seizeth them and scattereth,—
14. Joh 10:14 I, am the good shepherd, and know my own, and, my own, know me,—
15. Joh 10:16 And, other sheep, have I, which are not of this fold: those also, I must needs bring, and, unto my voice, will they hearken, and there shall come to be, One flock, One shepherd.
16. Eph 4:11 And, he, gave—some, indeed, to be apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, shepherds and teachers,—
17. Heb 13:20 But, the God of peace, He that led up from among the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, with the blood of an age-abiding covenant,—our Lord Jesus,
18. 1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray, but have now turned back unto the shepherd and overseer of your souls.

Of the 18 occurrences of the word “shepherd” 12 also include the word “sheep” or “flock”. The six that do not include “sheep” or “flock” are numbers 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, and 16. Numbers 7, 8, and 9 are the Jewish shepherds who were abiding in the fields when the angels announced the birth of Jesus. They obviously still had flocks of sheep. The sheep are implied in numbers 11 and 14 because Christ is the good shepherd. His sheep are mentioned in the rest of John 10:11 in number 12, and in John 10:15, the verse immediately following number 14, Christ said that He lays down His life for His sheep. That only leaves number 16 that doesn’t mention the sheep. We will look at this verse later in this section.

In numbers 11 and 14, Christ refers to Himself as the “good shepherd”; the “sheep” are Israel. The sheep are Israel also in numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, and 18. (The sheep are implied in numbers 11 and 14). The nations are the sheep in number 2.

Twelve of the references to the “shepherd” are to Christ Himself: 2, 3, 5, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18.

To summarize:

• 12 of 18 verses contain sheep; 3 of 18 are the shepherds with flocks; 2 imply sheep – 17 total
• Israel are the sheep in 11 verses; literal physical sheep in 4, nations in 1 and other flock in 1 – 17 total
• Christ is the shepherd in 12 verses

That leaves number 16, Ephesians 4:11. How are we to understand “shepherd” in this verse? Let’s examine the passage to answer that question.

Ephesian 4:7 To each one of you, however, hath favor been given, according to the measure of the free-gift of the Christ;

8 Wherefore he saith—Ascending on high, he took captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

9 Now this, He ascended; what is it,—save—that he also descended into the under parts of the earth?

10 He that descended, he, it is who also ascended over-above all the heavens, that he might fill all things;

11 And, he, gave—some, indeed, to be apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, shepherds and teachers,—

12 With a view to the fitting of the saints for the work of ministering, for an up building of the body of the Christ;

13 Until we all advance—into the oneness of the faith, and the personal knowledge of the Son of God, into a man of full-growth, into the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ;

These gifts were given by the ascended Christ – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Were these gifts to continue? The verb “gave” is in the aorist tense. The aorist tense is the PAST tense with NO continuing effects. Therefore the gift of shepherd and the others were given prior to the writing of Ephesians and not in the present or future. These gifts did not continue.

The shepherds in the other 17 references also are all in the past and do not continue today.

Overseer (Bishop), Word 1985

1. Ac 20:28 Be taking heed unto yourselves, and unto all the little flock in which the Holy Spirit hath set, you, as overseers,—to be shepherding the assembly of God which he hath acquired through means of the blood of his own.
2. Php 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ,—unto all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with overseers and ministers:—
3. 1Ti 3:2 It is needful, then, for, the overseer, to be irreproachable, a husband, of one wife, sober, of sound mind, orderly, hospitable, apt in teaching,
4. Tit 1:7 For it is needful that the overseer be—unaccusable, as God’s steward, not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, not ready to wound, not seeking gain by base means,
5. 1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray, but have now turned back unto the shepherd and overseer of your souls.

Numbers 1 and 5 are written to Jewish assemblies during the Acts period. Notice the references to shepherd and sheep in these two verses.

How about the other three occurrences? These Pauline epistles were written during the Acts period and refer to the same church office that the first and last do., in the Jewish assemblies.

The office of Overseer is not listed in Ephesians nor in Colossians. The office of Overseer is a past one and not in operation today.

Ministers (Deacons, Servants), Word 1249

1. Mt 20:26 Not so, is it, among you,—but, whosoever shall desire, among you, to become, great, shall be, your minister;
2. Mt 22:13 Then, the king said unto the ministers, Binding him feet and hands, cast him forth into the darkness, outside: There, shall be wafting and gnashing of teeth.
3. Mt 23:11 And, the greatest of you, shall be to you, a minister;
4. Mr 9:35 And, taking a seat, he addressed the twelve, and saith unto them—If anyone willeth to be, first, he shall be, least of all, and, minister of all.
5. Mr 10:43 But, not so, it is, among you. But, whosoever desireth to become, great, among you, shall be, your minister,
6. Joh 2:5 His mother saith unto them who are ministering—Whatsoever he may say to you, do!
7. Joh 2:9 And, when the master of the feast had tasted the water, now made, wine, and knew not whence it was,—though, they who were ministering, knew, even they who had drawn out the water, the master accosteth the bridegroom,
8. Joh 12:26 If, with me, anyone be ministering, with me, let him be following; and, where, I, am, there, my minister also, shall be. If anyone, with me, be ministering, the Father, will honour him.
9. Ro 13:4 For, God’s minister, is he unto thee for that which is good. But, if, that which is evil, thou be doing, be afraid! For, not in vain, the sword he beareth; for, God’s minister, he is,—an avenger, unto anger, to him who practiseth what is evil.
10. Ro 15:8 For I affirm Christ to have become a minister of circumcision in behalf of the truth of God,—to confirm the promises of the fathers,
11. Ro 16:1 And I commend to you Phoebe our sister,—being a minister also of the assembly which is in Cenchreae;
12. 1Co 3:5 What then is Apollos? and, what is Paul? ministers through whom ye believed, and, each, as the Lord, gave to him.
13. 2Co 3:6 Who also hath made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant—not of letter, but of spirit, for, the letter, killeth, whereas, the Spirit, maketh alive.
14. 2Co 6:4 But, in everything, commending ourselves as God’s ministers,—in much endurance, in tribulations, in necessities, in straits,
15. 2Co 11:15a No great thing, therefore, if, his ministers also, are transfiguring themselves
16. 2Co 11:15b as ministers of righteousness!—whose end, shall be according to their works.
17. 2Co 11:23 Ministers of Christ, are they? As one deranged I am talking, I, above measure!—in toils, superabundantly, in prisons, superabundantly, in stripes, to excess, in deaths, oft,—
18. Ga 2:17 Now, if in seeking to be declared righteous in Christ we, ourselves also, were found sinners,—is Christ, therefore, a minister, of sin? Far be it!
19. Eph 3:7 Of which I was made a minister, according to the free-gift of the favour of God which was given unto me, according to the energy of his power:
20. Eph 6:21 In order, however, that, ye also, may know the things which relate to me—what I am accomplishing,—all things, shall Tychicus make known unto you, he the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord,
21. Php 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ,—unto all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with overseers and ministers:—
22. Col 1:7 Even as ye learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant, who is faithful in our behalf, as a minister of the Christ,
23. Col 1:23 If, at least, ye are abiding still in the faith, founded and firm, and not to be moved away from the hope of the glad-message which ye have heard, which hath been proclaimed in all creation which is under heaven,—of which, I Paul, have become minister.
24. Col 1:25 Of which, I, have become minister—according to the administration of God which hath been given unto me to you-ward, to fill up the word of God,
25. Col 4:7 All the things which relate unto myself, shall Tychicus make known unto you—the beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord,
26. 1Th 3:2 And sent Timothy—our brother, and God’s minister in the glad-message of the Christ—that he might confirm and console you over your faith,
27. 1Ti 3:8 Ministers, in the same way,—dignified, not double-tongued, not, to much wine, given, not greedy of base gain,
28. 1Ti 3:12 Let, ministers, be husbands of, one wife, over children, presiding, well, and over their own houses;
29. 1Ti 4:6 These things, submitting to the brethren, thou shall be, a noble, minister of Christ Jesus, nourishing thyself with the words of the faith, and of the noble teaching which thou hast closely studied.

Word 1249 is defined by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance as “diakonos, dee-ak’-on-os, Probably from diakō (obsolete, to run on errands; compare G1377); an attendant, that is, (generally) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specifically a Christian teacher and pastor (technically a deacon or deaconess): – deacon, minister, servant.

A minister then is a servant. Christ, Paul, those who served in teaching the Word, those who did menial tasks in the church, and even Satan’s servants were all ministers. The word applies as much to what a person does to minister/serve others as to a specific office in the church.

While the office of Minister is no longer a special gift, believers do still serve one another.

Elder, Word 4245

1. Mt 15:2 Wherefore do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands, when they eat bread!
2. Mt 16:21 From that time, began Jesus Christ to be pointing out to his disciples that he must needs, into Jerusalem, go away, and, many things, suffer, from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain,—and on, the third day, arise.
3. Mt 21:23 And, when he, entered, the temple, the Chief-priests and the Elders of the people, came unto him as he was teaching, saying, By what authority, these things, art thou doing? and, who, to thee, gave, this authority?
4. Mt 26:3 Then, were gathered together, the High-priests and the Elders of the people, into the court of the High-priest who was called Caiaphas;
5. Mt 26:47 And, while, yet, he was speaking, lo! Judas, one of the twelve, came, and, with him, a large multitude, with swords and clubs, from the High-priests and Elders of the people.
6. Mt 26:57 And, they who secured Jesus, led him away unto Caiaphas the High-priest, where the Scribes and the Elders gathered themselves together.
7. Mt 26:59 Now, the High-priests and all the High-council, were seeking false-witness against Jesus, that they might, put him to death; (word 4245 is not in all manuscripts; Rotherham doesn’t include it)
8. Mt 27:1 Now, when morning came, all the High-priests and Elders of the people took, counsel, against Jesus, so as to put him to death:
9. Mt 27:3 Then, Judas who had delivered him up, seeing that he was condemned, being smitten with remorse, returned the thirty pieces of silver unto the High-priests and Elders,
10. Mt 27:12 And, while he was being accused by the High-priests and Elders, he answered nothing.
11. Mt 27:20 But, the High-priests and the elders, persuaded the multitudes, that they should claim Barabbas, but, Jesus, should, destroy.
12. Mt 27:41 Likewise, the High-priests, also, mocking, with the Scribes and Elders, were saying: Others, he saved,—Himself, he cannot save:
13. Mt 28:12 and, being gathered together with the Elders and taking counsel, sufficient pieces of silver, gave they unto the soldiers,—
14. Mr 7:3 For, the Pharisees, and all the Jews, unless with care they wash their hands, eat not, holding fast the tradition of the elders;
15. Mr 7:5 and so the Pharisees and the Scribes, question, him—For what cause do thy disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but, with defiled hands, eat bread?
16. Mr 8:31 And he began to be teaching them—The Son of Man, must needs suffer many things, and be rejected by the Elders and the High-priests and the Scribes,—and be slain; and, after three days, arise.
17. Mr 11:27 And they come again into Jerusalem. And, as he is walking in the temple, the High-priests and the Scribes and the Elders come unto him,
18. Mr 14:43 And, straightway, while yet he is speaking, Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, cometh near, and, with him, a multitude, with swords and clubs, from the High-priests and the Scribes and the Elders.
19. Mr 14:53 And they led away Jesus unto the High-priest; and all the High-priests and the Elders and the Scribes gather together.
20. Mr 15:1 And, straightway, early, when they had made, a council, the High-priest, with the Elders, and Scribes, and all the High-council, binding Jesus, led him away, and delivered him up unto Pilate.
21. Lu 7:3 But, hearing about Jesus, he sent forth unto him elders of the Jews, requesting him that he would come and bring his servant safely through.
22. Lu 9:22 saying—The Son of Man must needs suffer, many things, and be rejected by the Elders and High priests and Scribes, and be slain,—and, on the third day, arise.
23. Lu 15:25 But his elder son was in a field; and, as, in coming, he drew near unto the house, he heard music and dancing,—
24. Lu 20:1 And it came to pass, on one of the days, as he was teaching the people in the temple, and telling the good tidings, that the High-priests and the Scribes, with the Elders, came upon him,—
25. Lu 22:52 And Jesus said unto the High-priests, and Captains of the temple, and Elders, who had come against him—As against a robber, have ye come out, with swords and clubs?
26. Joh 8:9 And, they who heard, began to go out, one by one, beginning from the elders,—and he was left, alone; the woman also, being, in the midst.
27. Ac 2:17 And it shall be, in the last days saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and, your young men, visions shall see and, your elders, in dreams shall dream,—
28. Ac 4:5 And it came to pass, upon the morrow, that there were gathered together of them, the rulers and the elders and the scribes, in Jerusalem;
29. Ac 4:8 Then Peter, filled with Holy Spirit, said unto them—Ye rulers of the people, and elders!
30. Ac 4:23 But, when they had been let go, they came unto their own friends, and told as many things as, unto them, the High-priests and Elders, had said.
31. Ac 6:12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes; and, coming upon him, they caught him away, and led him into the high-council.
32. Ac 11:30 Which thing they also did, sending it unto the Elders, through the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
33. Ac 14:23 Moreover, appointing unto them by vote, in each assembly, elders, praying with fastings, they commended them unto the Lord on whom they had believed.
34. Ac 15:2 And, when Paul and Barnabas had had no little dissension and discussion with them, it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and certain others from among them should go up unto the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem concerning this question,
35. Ac 15:4 And, having arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Assembly and the Apostles and the Elders; and they recounted all things God had done with them.
36. Ac 15:6 And the Apostles and Elders were gathered together to see about this matter.
37. Ac 15:22 Then, seemed it good unto the Apostles and the Elders with the whole Assembly to send chosen men from among them unto Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas,—even Judas who is called Barsabbas, and Silas, men taking a lead among the brethren:
38. Ac 15:23 writing through their hand—The Apostles and the Elder Brethren, unto the brethren throughout Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, who are from among the nations, wish joy!
39. Ac 16:4 And, as they passed through the cities, they were delivering unto them, for observance, the decrees which had been decided upon by the Apostles and Elders who were in Jerusalem.
40. Ac 20:17 But, from Miletus, he sent unto Ephesus, and called for the elders of the assembly.
41. Ac 21:18 And, on the next day, Paul went in with us unto James, and, all the elders, were present.
42. Ac 23:14 And they went unto the High-priests and Elders, and said—With a curse have we bound ourselves, to taste, nothing, until we have slain Paul.
43. Ac 24:1 And, after five days, came down the High-priest Ananias, with certain Elders and a certain orator Tertullus, and they informed the governor against Paul.
44. Ac 25:15 concerning whom, when I happened to be in Jerusalem, the High-priests and the Elders of the Jews laid information, claiming against him a condemnation:
45. 1Ti 5:1 An elderly man, do not thou reprimand, but beseech him, as though he were thy father,—younger men, as brothers,
46. 1Ti 5:2 Elderly women, as mothers, younger women, as sisters, in all chastity.
47. 1Ti 5:17 Let, the well presiding elders, of double honour, be accounted worthy, especially they who toil in discourse and teaching;
48. 1Ti 5:19 Against an elder, entertain not, an accusation, except at, the mouth of two, or three, witnesses;
49. Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that, the things remaining undone, thou mightest completely set in order, and mightest establish, in every city, elders, as, I, with thee arranged:—
50. Heb 11:2 For, thereby, well-attested were the ancients.
51. Jas 5:14 Sick, is any among you? Let him call unto him the elders of the assembly, and let them pray for him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; —
52. 1Pe 5:1 Elders, therefore, among you, I exhort—I who am their co-elder (word 4850, only use) and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, who also, in the glory about to be revealed, have, a share; —
53. 1Pe 5:5 In like manner, ye younger men—submit yourselves unto elders; -All, however, one towards another, gird on humility; because, God, against the haughty, arrayeth himself, whereas, unto the lowly, he giveth favour.
54. 2Jo 1:1 The Elder, unto an elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not, I, alone, but all those also who understand the truth,—
55. 3Jo 1:1 The elder, unto Gaius the beloved, whom, I, love in truth.
56. Re 4:4 And, round about the throne, were four and twenty thrones; and, upon the thrones, four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and, upon their heads, were crowns of gold.
57. Re 4:10 the four and twenty elders will fall down before him that sitteth upon the throne, and do homage unto him that liveth unto the ages of ages,—and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying—
58. Re 5:5 And, one of the elders, saith unto me—Do not weep! Lo! the lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath overcome, to open the scroll and the seven seals thereof.
59. Re 5:6 And I saw, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb, standing, showing that it had been slain,—having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
60. Re 5:8 And, when he took the scroll, the four living creatures, and the four-and-twenty elders, fell down before the Lamb, having, each one, a harp, and bowls of gold full of incense,—which are the prayers of the saints;
61. Re 5:11 And I saw, and heard a voice of many messengers, round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders,—and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands—
62. Re 5:14 And the four living creatures continued saying—Amen! And, the elders, fell down and did homage.
63. Re 7:11 And, all the messengers, were standing round about the throne and the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and rendered homage unto God,
64. Re 7:13 And one of the elders began, saying unto me—These who are arrayed in white robes, who are they? and whence came they?
65. Re 11:16 And, the twenty-four elders who, before God, do sit upon their thrones, fell down upon their faces, and rendered homage unto God,
66. Re 14:3 And they sing as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And, no one, was able to learn the song, save the hundred and forty-four thousand, who had been redeemed from the earth.
67. Re 19:4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures, fell down, and did homage unto God, who sitteth upon the throne, saying—Amen! Hallelujah!

Strikingly, elder is a very Jewish word. The uses break down as follows:

Jewish leaders in Israel 33
Church leaders Acts period (earthly kingdom) 15
24 elders in Revelation (Israel’s tribulation) 12
Older people 6
Older Son 1

Of the 67 occurrences, Paul only used the word five (5) times. Two of those uses were for elderly people, a man and a woman. The other three (3) uses are those serving the leadership function of elder in the Acts period church. Let’s look closer at the 15 references to the “elders” who were church leaders during the Acts period.

1. Ac 11:30 Which thing they also did, sending it unto the Elders, through the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
2. Ac 14:23 Moreover, appointing unto them by vote, in each assembly, elders, praying with fastings, they commended them unto the Lord on whom they had believed.
3. Ac 15:2 And, when Paul and Barnabas had had no little dissension and discussion with them, it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and certain others from among them should go up unto the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem concerning this question,
4. Ac 15:4 And, having arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Assembly and the Apostles and the Elders; and they recounted all things God had done with them.
5. Ac 15:6 And the Apostles and Elders were gathered together to see about this matter.
6. Ac 15:22 Then, seemed it good unto the Apostles and the Elders with the whole Assembly to send chosen men from among them unto Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas,—even Judas who is called Barsabbas, and Silas, men taking a lead among the brethren:
7. Ac 15:23 writing through their hand—The Apostles and the Elder Brethren, unto the brethren throughout Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, who are from among the nations, wish joy!
8. Ac 16:4 And, as they passed through the cities, they were delivering unto them, for observance, the decrees which had been decided upon by the Apostles and Elders who were in Jerusalem.
9. Ac 20:17 But, from Miletus, he sent unto Ephesus, and called for the elders of the assembly.
10. Ac 21:18 And, on the next day, Paul went in with us unto James, and, all the elders, were present.
11. 1Ti 5:17 Let, the well presiding elders, of double honor, be accounted worthy, especially they who toil in discourse and teaching;
12. 1Ti 5:19 Against an elder, entertain not, an accusation, except at, the mouth of two, or three, witnesses;
13. Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that, the things remaining undone, thou mightest completely set in order, and mightest establish, in every city, elders, as, I, with thee arranged:—
14. Jas 5:14 Sick, is any among you? Let him call unto him the elders of the assembly, and let them pray for him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; —
15. 1Pe 5:1 Elders, therefore, among you, I exhort—I who am their co-elder (word 4850, only use) and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, who also, in the glory about to be revealed, have, a share; —

Numbers 2, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 are elders in local churches (assemblies); seven in all. The other eight verses refer to the elders of the Jerusalem church who were the main leaders and unto whom the other churches and even Paul himself submitted.

Now let’s take a closer look at the seven verses of elders in local assemblies.

1. Ac 14:23 Moreover, appointing unto them by vote, in each assembly, elders, praying with fastings, they commended them unto the Lord on whom they had believed.
2. Ac 20:17 But, from Miletus, he sent unto Ephesus, and called for the elders of the assembly.
3. 1Ti 5:17 Let, the well presiding elders, of double honour, be accounted worthy, especially they who toil in discourse and teaching;
4. 1Ti 5:19 Against an elder, entertain not, an accusation, except at, the mouth of two, or three, witnesses;
5. Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that, the things remaining undone, thou mightest completely set in order, and mightest establish, in every city, elders, as, I, with thee arranged:—
6. Jas 5:14 Sick, is any among you? Let him call unto him the elders of the assembly, and let them pray for him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; —
7. 1Pe 5:1 Elders, therefore, among you, I exhort—I who am their co-elder (word 4850, only use) and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, who also, in the glory about to be revealed, have, a share; —

The following structure shows the relation of these seven verses to each other:

A1 a) Ac 14:23 appointing unto them by vote, in each assembly, elders, praying
b) Ac 20:17 he sent unto Ephesus, and called for the elders of the assembly.
c) 1Ti 5:17 well presiding elders, double honour, who toil in discourse & teaching
B1 | 1Ti 5:19 Against an elder, entertain not, an accusation, except at, the mouth of
2 or 3 witnesses;
A2 a) Tit 1:5 left I thee in Crete, that, mightest establish, in every city, elders
b) Jas 5:14 Sick, is any among you? Let him call unto him the elders of the assembly
c) 1Pe 5:1 Elders, among you, I exhort and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ

Let’s examine the corresponding members to determine if the elders in 1 Timothy and Titus are of the same type as the elders in the Acts, James, and 1 Peter verses.

The B member states that two or three witnesses are needed to entertain an accusation against an elder. “Two or three witnesses” is a requirement from the Mosaic Law that is also stated in other New Testament verses.

1. Mt 18:16 But, if he do not hearken, take with thee, yet one or two, that, at the mouth of two witnesses or three, every declaration, maybe established;
2. 2Co 13:1 This third time, am I coming unto you:—at the mouth of two witnesses, or three, shall every matter be established.
3. 1Ti 5:19 Against an elder, entertain not, an accusation, except at, the mouth of two, or three, witnesses;
4. Heb 10:28 Any one having set aside a law of Moses, apart from compassions, upon the testimony of two or three witnesses, dieth:
5. These are quotes from Deuteronomy 17:6, the fourth one, and 19:15, the other three.

Deuteronomy 17: 6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is to die, be put to death,—he shall not be put to death at the mouth of one witness. Quoted in number 4.

19: 15 One witness, shall not rise up, against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, with regard to any sin that he may commit,—at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, must a matter be establish. Quoted in Numbers 1, 2, and 3.

This clearly ties the role of elder in 1 Timothy to the Jewish law and to the church of the Acts period.

Also Timothy was definitely part of Paul’s Acts period ministry.

Ac 16:1 1 And he came even unto Derbe, and unto Lystra; and lo! a certain disciple, was there, by name Timothy, son of a believing Jewish woman, but whose father was a Greek,—

Ac 17:14 Howbeit, then, immediately, the brethren sent away, Paul, to be journeying as far as unto the sea; and both Silas and Timothy stayed behind, there.

Ac 17:15 But, they who were conducting Paul, brought him as far as Athens, and, receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timothy, that with, all possible speed, they would come unto him, they departed.

Ac 18:5 When, however, both Silas and Timothy had come down from Macedonia, Paul began to be urged on in the word, bearing full witness unto the Jews that, Jesus, was, the Christ.

Ac 19:22 And, sending off into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself, held on awhile in Asia.

Ac 20:4 Now there were accompanying him, Sopater, son of Pyrrhus a Beroean; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe and Timothy; and, of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

In the A a) members, elders are to be appointed/established in the local assemblies. The first, Acts 14:23, is Paul appointing elders in the churches that he established during his missionary journey. The second A a) is Titus appointing elders in Crete.

When did Titus appoint these elders, during the period of the book of Acts or later after the end of the Acts? Titus is never mentioned in the book of Acts, neither is any trip of Paul to Crete. However, Titus is mentioned in Paul’s Acts period epistles 13 times and once each in 2 Timothy and Titus.

1. 2Co 2:13 I had no relief in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother; but, taking my leave of them, I came away into Macedonia.
2. 2Co 7:6 But, he who encourageth them that are brought low, encouraged us,—even God,—by the presence of Titus.
3. 2Co 7:13 For this cause, have we received encouragement. In addition to our encouragement, however, much more abundantly, have we rejoiced over the joy of Titus,—that his spirit hath received refreshment from you all,
4. 2Co 7:14 That, if in anything—unto him—in your behalf—I have boasted, I have not been put to shame; but, as, all things, in truth, we told you, so, even our boasting before Titus, turned out to be, truth.
5. 2Co 8:6 To the end we should exhort Titus, in order that, according as he before made a beginning, so, he should also complete unto you this favour also.
6. 2Co 8:16 Thanks, however, unto God!—who is putting the same earnestness in your behalf in the heart of Titus,
7. 2Co 8:23 Whether as regardeth Titus, he is a partner of mine, and, towards you, a fellow-worker. or our brethren, apostles of assemblies, and Christ’s glory.
8. 2Co 12:18a I exhorted Titus, and sent with him the brother,—
9. 2Co 12:18b Did, Titus, overreach you? Was it not, in the same spirit, we walked? Was it not, in the same steps?
10. Ga 2:1 After that, fourteen years later, I, again, went up unto Jerusalem, with Barnabas, taking with me Titus also;
11. Ga 2:3 But, not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised; —
12. 2Ti 4:10 For, Demas, hath forsaken me, having loved the present age, and hath journeyed unto Thessalonica; Crescens unto Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia:
13. Tit 1:4 Unto Titus, my true child according to a common faith,—favour and peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.

Titus is already mentioned in the book of Galatians, which many think was the first epistle that Paul wrote. Therefore he was very early involved in Paul’s ministry and his missionary journeys.

In the A b) members, Paul called for the Acts period Ephesian elders, and James also advised Acts period believers who were sick to call for the elders of the church for healing.

In the A c) members, we have the elders of 1 Timothy corresponding to the elders of 1 Peter. Please notice that these elders in 1 Timothy are the same ones as the ones two verses later, against whom an accusation was not to be received except by the mouth of two or three witnesses according to the Mosaic Law.

It is clearly seen that the elders of 1 Timothy and Titus are of the same type as in Acts, James, and 1 Peter. These elders ministered during the Acts period and the earthly kingdom program. Furthermore, there is no mention of elders in Ephesians and Colossians.

Elder is another office that is no longer valid today in the body of Christ

Evangelists Word 2099

1. Ac 21:8 and, on the morrow departing, we came to Caesarea, and, entering into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was of the seven, we abode with him.
2. Eph 4:11 And, he, gave—some, indeed, to be apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, shepherds and teachers,—
3. 2Ti 4:5 But, thou,—be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do, the work, of an evangelist, thy ministry, completely fulfill;

Two men are given the title of evangelist: Philip and Timothy. Other evangelists were appointed by the ascended Lord in the past. That gift is no longer given by the Lord.

Teachers Word 1320

1. Mt 8:19 And a certain scribe, coming near, said unto him,—Teacher; I will follow thee, whithersoever Thou goest.
2. Mt 9:11 And, the Pharisees, observing it, began to say unto his disciples,—Wherefore, with tax-collectors and sinners, doth your Teacher eat?
3. Mt 10:24 A, disciple, is not above, the teacher, nor, a servant, above, his lord:
4. Mt 10:25 Sufficient for the disciple, that he become, as his teacher, and, the servant, as, his lord. If, the master of the house, Beelzebul, they called, how much more, the men of his house!
5. Mt 12:38 Then, answered him, certain of the Scribes and Pharisees, saying, Teacher! we desire of thee, a sign, to behold.
6. Mt 17:24 And, when they came into Capernaum, they who, the half shekel, were receiving, came near unto Peter, and said, Your teacher, doth he not pay the half shekel?
7. Mt 19:16 And lo! one coming near unto him, said, Teacher! what good thing shall I do, that I may have life age-abiding?
8. Mt 22:16 And they sent forth to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Teacher! we know that, true, thou art, and, the way of God, in truth, dost teach, and it concerneth thee not about anyone,—for thou lookest not unto the face of men:
9. Mt 22:24 saying—Teacher! Moses, said, If any man die not having children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
10. Mt 22:36 Teacher! which commandment, is greatest in the law?
11. Mt 26:18 And, he, said—Go your way into the city, unto such-a-one, and say to him, The teacher, saith, My season, is, near, with thee, will I keep the passover, with my disciples.
12. Mr 4:38 And he was in the stern, on the cushion, sleeping. And they arouse him, and say unto him, Teacher! carest thou not that we perish?
13. Mr 5:35 While yet he is speaking, they come from the synagogue-ruler’s, saying—Thy daughter, is dead! Why, further, annoy the teacher?
14. Mr 9:17 And one out of the multitude answered him—Teacher! I brought my son unto thee, having a dumb spirit;
15. Mr 9:38 John said unto him—Teacher! we saw someone, in thy name, casting out demons,—and we forbade him, because he was not following with us.
16. Mr 10:17 And, as he was going forth into a road, one, running, and kneeling before him, was questioning him—Good Teacher! what shall I do that, life age—abiding, I may inherit?
17. Mr 10:20 And, he, said unto him—Teacher! all these things, have I kept, from my youth.
18. Mr 10:35 And there come near unto him, James and John, the two sons of Zebedee,—saying unto him—Teacher! we desire, that, whatsoever we shall ask thee, thou wilt do for us.
19. Mr 12:14 And, coming, they say unto him—Teacher! we know that, true, thou art, and it concerneth thee not about anyone,—for thou lookest not unto the face of men; but, in truth, the way of God, dost teach:—Is it allowable to give tax unto Caesar, or not? Should we give, or should we not give?
20. Mr 12:19 Teacher! Moses, wrote for us, that—If one’s brother die, and leave behind a wife, and leave no child, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
21. Mr 12:32 The Scribe said unto him—Well, Teacher! in truth, hast thou said—He is, One, and there is none other, than he;
22. Mr 13:1 And, as he was going forth out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him—Teacher! see what manner of stones, and what manner of buildings!
23. Mr 14:14 and, wheresoever he shall enter, say ye unto the householder—The teacher, saith, Where is my lodging, where, the passover, with my disciples, I may eat?
24. Lu 2:46 And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting amidst the teachers,—both hearkening unto them, and questioning them.
25. Lu 3:12 And there came, even tax-collectors, to be immersed; and they said unto him—Teacher! what, shall we, do?
26. Lu 6:40a A disciple is not above the teacher;
27. Lu 6:40b but, when trained, every one shall be as his teacher.
28. Lu 7:40 And, making answer, Jesus said unto him—Simon! I have, unto thee, something to say. He, then—Teacher, speak!—saith he.
29. Lu 8:49 While yet he is speaking, there cometh one from the synagogue ruler’s, saying—Thy daughter, is dead: No further, be troubling the teacher.
30. Lu 9:38 And lo! a man from the multitude, uttered a cry, saying—Teacher! I beg of thee, to look upon my son, because, my only begotten, he is.
31. Lu 10:25 And lo! a certain lawyer, arose, putting him to the test, saying—Teacher! by doing what, shall I inherit, life age-abiding?
32. Lu 11:45 And, making answer, one of the Lawyers saith unto him, Teacher! these things, saying, us also, dost thou insult!
33. Lu 12:13 And one from amongst the multitude said unto him—Teacher! bid my brother divide with me the inheritance.
34. Lu 18:18 And a certain, ruler, questioned him, saying—Good Teacher! by doing what, shall I inherit life age-abiding?
35. Lu 19:39 And, certain of the Pharisees from the multitude, said unto him—Teacher! rebuke thy disciples.
36. Lu 20:21 And they questioned him, saying—Teacher! we know that, rightly, thou speakest and teachest, and respectest no person, but, in truth, the way of God, dost teach:
37. Lu 20:28 saying—Teacher! Moses, wrote for us, If one’s brother die, having a wife, and, he, be, childless, that his brother shall take the wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
38. Lu 20:39 And certain of the Scribes, answering, said—Teacher! Well, hast thou spoken.
39. Lu 21:7 And they questioned him, saying—Teacher! when, therefore, will these things be? And, what the sign, when these things shall be about to come to pass?
40. Lu 22:11 And ye shall say unto the master of the house—The teacher saith unto thee, where is the lodging, where, the passover, with my disciples, I may eat?
41. Joh 1:38 But Jesus, turning, and looking at them following, saith unto them—What seek ye? And, they, said unto him—Rabbi! which meaneth, when translated, Teacher, Where abidest thou?
42. Joh 3:2 The same, came unto him, by night, and said unto him—Rabbi! we know that, from God, thou hast come, a teacher; for, no one, can be doing, these signs, which, thou, art doing, except, God, be with him.
43. Joh 3:10 Jesus answered, and said unto him—Art, thou, the teacher of Israel, and, these things, knowest not?
44. Joh 8:4 they say unto him—Teacher! this woman, hath been caught in the very act of committing adultery!
45. Joh 11:28 And this saying, she went away, and called Mary her sister, secretly, saying—The teacher, is present, and calleth thee.
46. Joh 13:13 Ye, call me, The Teacher, and, The Lord,—and, well, say, for I am.
47. Joh 13:14 If then, I, have washed your feet,—I The Lord, and, The Teacher, ye also, ought to wash, one another’s, feet;
48. Joh 20:16 Jesus saith unto her—Mary! She, turning saith unto him, in Hebrew—Rabboni! which meaneth, Teacher.
49. Ac 13:1 Now there were in Antioch, distributed through the existing assembly,—prophets and teachers: both Barnabas and Symeon who was called Niger, and Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen also, Herod the tetrarch’s foster-brother, and Saul.
50. Ro 2:20 A trainer of the simple, a teacher of babes, having the forming of knowledge and truth in the law,—
51. 1Co 12:28 And God hath, indeed, set, certain, in the assembly,—first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that mighty works, then gifts of healings, helps, guidings, kinds of tongues.
52. 1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all mighty works?
53. Eph 4:11 And, he, gave—some, indeed, to be apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, shepherds and teachers,—
54. 1Ti 2:7 Unto which, I, have been appointed proclaimer and apostle—Truth I speak, I utter no falsehood—a teacher of nations, in faith and truth.
55. 2Ti 1:11 Whereunto, I, have been appointed herald and apostle and teacher;
56. 2Ti 4:3 For there will be a season—when, the healthful teaching, they will not endure, but, according to their own covetings, will, unto themselves, heap up teachers, because they have an itching ear,
57. Heb 5:12 For, even when ye ought to be teachers, by reason of the time, again, have ye, need, that one be teaching, you, what are the first principles of the oracles of God, and have become such as have, need, of milk, not, of strong food;
58. Jas 3:1 Not, many teachers, become ye, my brethren, knowing that, a severer sentence, shall ye receive;

The Word “teacher” is used 42 times of Christ, 2 times of Paul, and 14 times of others. Paul used the word 7 times, broken down as:

Paul 2
Gifts to Believers 3
Others 2

• In his Acts period epistles, he used it 2 times for gifts from God to believers, both in 1 Corinthians 12.
• In the pastoral epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy, he called himself a teacher, once in each book.
• He used it of Jewish and false teachers 2 times, once in Romans and once in 2 Timothy.

The final usage is in Ephesians where the teachers were a gift from the past, prior to the writing of the book of Ephesians.

Conclusion

All six of these gifts are no longer special gifts given to men for the church. Shepherds, Overseers, Ministers, Elders, Evangelists, and Teachers are no longer special gifts. However, men do still serve and teach each other; but they do NOT AS A GIFT BESTOWED ON THEM FROM CHRIST.




Paul – The Only Apostle God Sent to Us Gentiles

Cover book Paul

INTRODUCTION

Over the years I have written 20 books in Pdf and Word formats – most of which is in Norwegian. And here is my latest work, now in English. I decided to give it away freely.

It is not really about the person Paul, even if that would have been a great topic.

This little book is about how to rightly divide the Word of Truth and have the Bible made understandable and systematized regarding which doctrine and teachings that belongs to the Church dispensation.

Studying Paul in this regard – as he was the ONLY apostle sent to us Gentiles, will reveal many Biblical truths and thus make us able to distinguish between what God promised the Jews and Israel and what He later promised the Church.

This book will help us understand the fact that the dispensation of the Grace of God did not start with the earthly ministry of our Lord, His crucifixion and resurrection or at Pentecost in Acts 2.

The dispensation with the ‘One New Man’ the Church, also called ‘The Body of Christ’ – emerged out of the fresh new revelation given Paul for us as we find the fall of Israel in 62 AD, as we read Acts 28:25-28. However, Paul of course points back 30 years – to the cross – for we are by faith now baptized into the death of Christ and thus also raised with Him. This baptism takes place as we first come to faith in Christ, and is performed by God and the Holy Ghost.

The epistle to the Ephesians was a result of God first having revealed to Paul His mystery, as described in Eph. 3:1-9 and Col. 1:25, 26 – a secret group of believers chosen in Christ before He created the World – now no longer kept secret.

Peter or any other apostles had no idea of that mystery kept hidden in God. Paul was alone with this knowledge and only he became the messenger through which God arranged and organized the Church dispensation.

C H A P T E R  T I T L E S

1. The time with Jesus and His disciples was not for Gentiles
2. Book of Acts is exclusively about the New Covenant to Israel
3. The fall of Israel became the prelude to the dispensation of the church
4. The dispensation of the church came shortly after Israel fell from God
5. The New Covenant aborted when Israel fell, shall be offered to them again
6. Error in the Bible translations results in much misinterpretation
7. The hope of the church is up in heaven with Christ
8. Proper editing of the New Testament
9. Concluding baptism, Holy Communion, the ministerial gifts, the miracle and sign gifts,

and unbiblical ecumenical error
10. A short look at Paul’s life and ministry
11. The church fathers and their heretic Bible interpretations
12. The church dispensation ends when Elijah appears from heaven

 

CHAPTER 1

THE TIME WITH JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES
WAS NOT FOR GENTILES.

The teachings of Jesus to the Jews who heard Him, and Gentiles who tried to get His attention like the heathen woman, were told the following:

“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Matt. 15:24.

Firmly He told His disciples, when He was about to send them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God for Israel – before His crucifixion:

“…go nowhere among the Gentiles and do not go into any town of the Samaritans…6: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Matt. 10:5, 6.

To the multitude of both followers as well as opponents He said of Himself:

“And you must not be called masters (rabbis), for you have only one Master, the Christ (Messiah).” Matt. 23:10.

Later in the apostolic history we find Paul supporting this:

“For I tell you that Christ (the Messiah) became a servant and a minister to the circumcised (the Jews, Israel) in order to show God’s truthfulness and honesty by confirming the promises to our fathers.” Rom. 15:8.

The exception Jesus made for the centurion and his sick servant by miraculously healing him has its own simple explanation:

The Roman officer had made for himself a good reputation among the Jews at Capernaum. Putting it simple, he had blessed Abraham’s children and thus fulfilled God’s Word about Him blessing anyone who blessed Abraham. God was obliged to bless this centurion.

Notice that this intelligent and well educated centurion did not come before the Lord himself, but he had some Jewish Elders sent before Him. Why? They testified of the centurion’s humble and faithful behavior among them; he had built them a Synagogue, and thus Jesus knew very well that He would have to meet this Gentile centurion’s needs and bless him by healing his ill servant. Luke 7:2-10.

This particular promise of blessing those who first bless Abraham and his heirs, is out of effect in the dispensation of the Church: Israel has been cut off from God and has no contact with Him whatsoever. God can bless only those who believe on Christ – regardless of Jews or Gentiles (Col. 3:11). Israel today is only considered a nation among other nations, equal to us Gentiles. The wall of partition was taken down when this dispensation was organized by Paul. Eph. 2:14, 15.

Israel is now under the Mosaic national curse found in Deut. 28 – in which the coming horrible ‘Great Tribulation’ is the climax of it. This will occur after God first ends the present dispensation by sending the real Elijah of the Bible to smite them.

The heathen woman in Matt. 15 was accepted – finally – by Jesus for her persistent faith and because she was also used by Jesus as a ‘slap in the face’ towards the Pharisees. They taught the heresy of Gentiles being just common hounds, worthy of no welfare, but to eat the crumbs falling from the mighty table of the Jews. She had no particular blessing of Abraham’s children to show fourth like the centurion. She only had her desperation and faith.

In the four Gospels, Acts and all epistles written in Acts period, Gentiles could only become proselytes whether they were in the Mosaic faith or in the Messianic faith under the apostles. They were always considered secondary.
Jesus, in other words, did not act in His own random empathy or antipathy – whichever kind of mood He was in at the times He met heathens and their needs. He acted always perfectly and righteously as the Word of God – He actually was and still is the Word of God in person!

He came to fulfill the law and the prophets; he came to confirm the promises given to the fathers just like Paul wrote in Rom. 15:8. They had two kinds of promises given them. One was the promise of the land for which they are supposed to become a blessing to the entire world in the millennia, and then they have the promise of the Kingdom itself, a millennial reign with Messiah Jesus on the throne.

These ‘twin promises’ is based upon four covenants or pacts with God Jehova. The promise and pact with Abraham (which was included into the Law, says Paul), then it was the Sinai covenant the Law of Moses with all its ordinances and then the Davidic pact of setting Messiah on David’s throne in Zion. And finally we have the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus for Israel and proselytes. This latter was the ministry of the apostles as we find it in Book of Acts.

This New Covenant was turned down by Israel as we see their fall in Acts 28:25-28, but the covenant shall be once again offered to Israel, and then it is through the Great Tribulation – of which Ezek. 36 is speaking. As we there learn that Israel will finally accept Christ after first having been punished by God for their profaning of the name of Christ through history since their dispersion in 70 AD. (Ref. Ezek. 36:23 in particular).

The words of Jesus in Matt. 15:24 of being sent ONLY to Israel’s house, has its base in Jer. 31:31:

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”

Jesus prophesied of this covenant to once again be offered and preached to Israel in the Great Tribulation – He knew very well that they would fall as a nation, even after the 30 years of Book of Acts. Matt. 24:14:

“And this good news (Gospel) of THE KINGDOM will be preached throughout the whole land (not World) as a testimony to all the nations (Jews from all the nations, ref. Acts 2:5), and then will come the end (end of tribulation).”

When Jesus stood fourth in 29 AD He came to establish the foundation for this New Covenant prophesied by Jeremiah and later by Ezekiel. Notice that Paul in Hebr. 8:6-10 has Jer. 31 as basis, and not Ezek. 36. This because Jer. 31 was pertaining to the times of Jesus and the apostles, while Ezek.36 is pertaining to and pointing past the destruction in 70 AD – and to the end-time with the Great Tribulation.

In Jer. 31 it is ‘The house of Israel and the house of Judah’ – but in Ezek. 36 it is just said ‘The house of Israel’. Why? Because in the latter we find Israel united again as one nation, and not like it was before in old times when there was the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. See Rev. 7 and 14 as we learn of the new establishing of the tribal system. Israel will be ‘Together again’ collected from the entire world after the tribulation when Jesus sits on His throne.

In the New Covenant to Israel, one of the blessings are that the Holy Spirit is promised to them, which shall work and drive the Jews into keeping the Law of God – it will actually be written into their hearts and minds. This was fulfilled in a limited way at Pentecost in 32 AD, Acts 2 and kept on its effect throughout Acts; resulting that the Messianic believers in those times were capable of fully keeping God’s Law, just as Paul wrote in Rom. 3:31 and 8:4, 27. The Spirit made the believers keep the Law by His supernatural power.

But once we get to Paul in Eph. 2:15 we find that the Law is abolished! There is no Law for us to keep. This is very important to notice! Many Christians are confused to believe that we must have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, because we are not to keep the Law but have the Grace of God. And so we read in Jer. 31 and Ezek. 36 as well as Hebr. 8 and 9 – that the Holy Spirit was given the believers to actually keep the Law in a perfect way.

We, the Church in Christ, Gentiles in majority – have never had the Law…and Eph. 2:12 says straight forward that we were shut out of all things pertaining to Israel’s blessings.

Rom. 2:14, 15 are clear: Gentiles had not the Law; and it also says that we had another law, the law of our conscience in that we were ourselves a law. Thus we had salvation even if we were shut out from all things regarding Israel. We were not lost, but we had a salvation which was not together with Israel. But the few proselytes they were saved together with Israel.

That promise of the Kingdom of God for Israel made up Peter’s as well as the eleven’s entire message in Acts 1-12 chapters. And these twelve ministered inside Israel’s boundaries only. The typical ministry of Peter as one who was called and sent out to preach to the circumcised only, implied firmly that it meant that Peter only ministered inside Israel’s boundaries. Gal. 2:7, 8.

Some says he went to Babylon, some says he went actually all the way to Britain. But no sure Word of God says so. We cannot trust in Catholic rumors and legends. Peter in his first epistle (5:13), greeted from the assembly at Babylon – but this was the nick-name for the Christ-rejecting Jerusalem, the city which had crucified Jesus. A nick-name which Peter had learned from reading Revelation Book (Rev. 17:5 + +).

Peter’s Pentecost speech, and his speech in Acts 3 a few months later, pointed to that promise of the Kingdom of God in Israel; and with Messiah on the throne of David.

“For the promise is to and for you…(Jews)” Acts 2:39.

And we have Paul in Galatia in 43 AD, Acts 13:32:

“So now we are bringing you the good news (the Gospel) that what God promised to our forefathers.”

The first time we find this promise of a kingdom is in Ex. 19:5, 6:

“Now therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all peoples; for all the earth is Mine. 6: And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.”

But as we learn from Hebr. 8, the first covenant was defected and with faults, in that nobody managed to keep it with all its commandments and ordinances. The first covenant was thus given them to be a schoolmaster to point the way to Christ. The Law of Moses was meant to make the sin unbearable to Israel and thus acknowledge their need of a mediator, one who could take their sin upon Himself, Christ, and deliver them.

Knowing this, we also can see that we – the Church dispensation in which Gentile and Jew are sat equally in the faith and no more segregation – are not receivers of the New Covenant, for the Church is a New Creation and not Israel.

After the fall of the nation, its privileges have ceased as well as the New Covenant offered them has been suspended entirely.

The covenants were only offered Israel in their position of having been sat above all nations in supremacy of becoming (in the millennia) royal priests of God. Gentiles in that arrangement can only become proselytes.

Hebr. 9:15 says straight forwardly that only such believers who first had lived under the Law of Moses could lawfully be taken under the New Covenant – which of course excludes any Gentile from that covenant blessing.
“Christ is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of a new agreement (covenant) so that those who are called (Israel) and offered it may receive the fulfillment of the PROMISED everlasting inheritance (Greek: aion time – the Kingdom) – since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from transgressions committed under the (old) first agreement (Law).”

We Gentiles were neither under the first covenant, the Law, nor the New Covenant. One have to have been under the Law of Moses before one could receive the blessings of the New Covenant, says Scripture!

So already now this early in the book we find that Gentiles as such, were not included in the ministry of Jesus and His apostles in the Gospels. Neither were we in Acts, other than the possibility to become proselytes in a very limited contingent, like displayed in Acts – first Peter and the few gentiles in Acts 10, and later on Paul with his Greek which only could be proselytes in the Messianic assembly if FIRST an unbelieving Jew had been cut off. Rom. 11:11 etc. The two types of proselytism shown in Book of Acts had nothing to do with us Gentiles as free believers at all. Such ones could only be held as secondary to Jews, and had no inheritance with Christ like we have now in the Grace – but their inheritance was the one given with Israel. Big difference.

The whole business with Jesus and His apostles in the Gospels and in the Book of Acts was concerning the promised kingdom of God on earth. This era had nothing to do with our hope of salvation, the heaven up above the heavens.

It was an internal private affair between God and Christ dealing with Israel, and no regular Gentile had any insight or ‘business’ going into that sphere. We were shut out of it – we were on the outside of that ‘Wall of partition’.

CHAPTER 2

BOOK OF ACTS IS EXCLUSIVELY
ABOUT THE NEW COVENANT
TO ISRAEL.

It can be seen clearly in everything which Acts testifies of: It was a time when the New Covenant was the doctrinal basis and the Kingdom of God on earth was their hope of salvation. That Kingdom promised will be the realization of the promise given Abraham of the land – remember! But when or where can we ever find any promise given the Church, of any land to inherit?

Heaven as hope – like we learn from Ephesians – was not the hope spoken of during Acts. It was Kingdom only. This fact is indisputable!

Luke, by referring to several of the speeches made in Acts, let us learn what exactly was taught and practiced regarding faith-doctrine and their hope. I already made a few quotes from those speeches, like for instance Acts 2:39 with Peter and Acts 13:32 with Paul – which in both cases we see that they both pointed to the promise of the kingdom. And we know now, that our hope is not the kingdom, but it is heaven where Christ now resides with God. In Greek: Epiouranos.

Acts reveals no free Grace Gospel for us Gentiles whatsoever in which we are placed equally with the Jews regarding spiritual status. No, we are shown as proselytes only. The wall of partition was up during all the timeline of the Gospels and Acts (Matt. 21:33). So that Jews had the greater standing with God, it was ‘Jews first, then Greek’, Rom. 1:16.

We see this also when reading of the Apostolic Conference at Jerusalem in Acts 15. It was a ‘Them’ (the Gentiles) and ‘Us’ (the Jews).

The Jews discussed what to do with us Gentiles! The wall of partition in real practical life.

“Therefore it is my opinion that we (Jews) should not put obstacles in the way of and annoy and disturb those of the Gentiles (proselytes) who turn to God.”Acts 15:19.

Then we were given the food ordinances of Lev. 17 to keep, and the commandment of not committing adultery. Which by the way crashes entirely with what God revealed to Paul later in Eph. 2:15 of the Law abolished, and Col. 2:16 of dismissing the food ordinances as well as Sabbath, New Moon and feast days.

We learn then that Acts-doctrine is not the same as Grace Doctrine revealed through Paul in Ephesians and Colossians. That is because in Acts it was the New Covenant which also had much of the Law in it (!) – While in the epistles written after Acts (after Israel fell from God) we find no Law, no New Covenant, no works for salvation. Only faith alone in Christ to make us righteous from sin (not from the Law) – like Eph. 2:8.

Peter addressed only the national Israel in the speeches referred to, except the one held in Cornelius’ house in Acts 10.

Acts 10:36, 37: “You know the contents of the message HE SENT TO ISRAEL”

Acts 10:42: “And He charged us to preach to THE (JEWISH) PEOPLE.”

Acts 2:14: “You Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem..”

Acts 2:22: “You men of Israel….”

Acts 2:36: “Therefore let the whole HOUSE OF ISRAEL (Jer. 31:31)…”

Acts 3:12: “You men of Israel…”

Acts 11:1: (It is 8-9 years after Pentecost) “Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea HEARD WITH ASTONISHMENT that the Gentiles also had received and accepted the Word of God…”

This implies to us that they had not earlier been under the preaching of the message of the apostles. Which again, refute the bad translation of Matt. 28 and the ‘Great Commission’ – proving to us that ‘All the nations’ was not Peter and the eleven’s mission. They went only to Israel inside its boundaries. ‘All the nations’ were in the sense, ‘Jews from all the nations’ – those seen in Acts 2:5.

Gal. 2:7, 8 is clear on this: “…I (Paul) had been entrusted the Gospel to the uncircumcised as Peter had been entrusted to proclaim the Gospel to the circumcised….”

Peter never went to Gentiles on regular basis. Only Paul got that ministry. So, the ‘Great Commission’ is badly translated indeed.

The apostles at Jerusalem and also those in Judea were shocked and astonished by the event in Cornelius’ house say the Bible. How could they have been shocked by seeing Gentiles receiving the Word of God, if they already knew that they should go to Gentiles in accordance with the so-called ‘Great Commission’? Good point, don’t you think?

Acts opens with Jesus working a 40 days seminar for the disciples right after His resurrection. Acts 1:3 – “…talking to them about the things of the Kingdom of God (on earth, the millennia).”

There can be no doubt that it concerned what the prophets had called the reestablishing of Israel and restoring the throne of David with Messiah on that throne.

Acts 1:6 testifies of this: “…they asked Him: Lord, is this the time (verse 5, the Holy Ghost coming) when you will REESTABLISH THE KINGDOM AND RESTORE IT TO ISRAEL?”

Jesus answered them not to speculate wildly on the time aspect of His coming. But He did not deny the truth within that question from His disciples. In other words, there shall be a reestablishing of Israel and a restoring of the Davidic throne in Zion – as promised by the prophets.

Moving on to 54 AD with Paul in Ephesus in Acts 19:8 we still find, now 22 years later than in Acts 1:3 – THE KINGDOM OF GOD as the message and hope for Israel!

“And he went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, persuading and arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God.”

Jumping up to the very last verse in Acts, verse 31 of Acts 28 – it is still the Kingdom of God as message and hope:
“Preaching to them the kingdom of God….”

Let it be noted that just before, Paul had put forth God’s ultimatum for the Jews to accept Christ to have Jesus come from heaven to establish the Kingdom, seen in verses 25-28. A warning of the fact that God would cut them off and no longer keep them as His nation above all other nations on earth. So that what we read in verse 31, is Paul trying to make the most of it, in awaiting the Lord’s decision on when He would cut them off.

And He certainly did cut them off! For we learn in the next Scripture after Acts, the epistle to the Ephesians, that he no longer makes mention of the New Covenant doctrine or the Kingdom as hope of salvation. Paul introduces us to heaven up above the heavens for the first time in Biblical time line.

Acts has nothing of the free Grace Gospel as was revealed to Paul in Ephesians and Colossians. It contains only historical and doctrinal pieces of information and quotes, to let us know how it was with Israel before God cut them off for their persistent denial of Christ.

The same can be said of Book of Acts, as Moses spoke of the Book of the Law:

“Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God that it may be there FOR A WITNESS AGAINST YOU.” Deut. 31:26.

CHAPTER 3

THE FALL OF ISRAEL BECAME THE
PRELUDE TO THE DISPENSATION
OF THE CHURCH.

For us to be able to fully comprehend how it was that God arranged and organized the new kind of believers in Christ, after the fall of Israel in Acts 28:25-28, we have to turn our attention to Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.
Paul was the ONLY apostle God sent to us Gentiles – in the sense: He was the one who God entrusted with that revelation, and Paul of course made his colleagues Titus, Timothy and many others help him distribute the new Gospel.

And in the times past since Paul ministered, no new generations of ‘Apostles and prophets’ has been sent to the world. Paul was the last and the final one.

Those sects and movements which propagate such beliefs of yet an era with apostles are heretical. God did not educate or call other men for apostolic ministry in the times of the apostles. Their number was frozen – we can count only thirteen apostles totally since Paul was the last of them.

And there exists no Biblical writings telling us of an increasing number of apostles during Acts period. So there you are. The Charismatic nonsense of ‘God sending new apostles and prophets’ in our day, is entirely false and finds no support in the Word of God.

Pentecostal camp hold Acts 2 as the birthday of the Church, as the Holy Ghost came upon the 120 believers gathered in the Upper Room at Pentecost. They also support the view that Israel fell from God as they crucified Christ.

None of those beliefs are true.

Luke 23:34 tells us that Jesus prayed for His executioners that God should forgive them, for they did not know what they were doing. God answered that prayer – and as a result we find that Israel had the Lord’s apostles sent to them, for continuously offering them the Kingdom of God and so giving the nation a good second chance for repentance so Jesus could return from heaven in their life time.

This is what the 30 years of Acts history testifies of.

However, Israel turned the offer down as seen in Acts 28:25-28 – especially verse 27: They would not repent so God could heal the nation.

Those 30 years were prophesied by Jesus twice; in Luke 13 with the parable of the fruitless fig tree (Israel) and in Matt. 22:7 the parable of the Kings Servants.

The fig tree was to be cut down, for the Lord found no fruit on it, and He could not allow this tree (Israel) to take up the soil to no avail. But the gardener pleaded for one more year (this was the 30 years of Acts) to fertilize it and cultivate the soil (the preaching of the apostles) and see if fruit would come. Well it did not, and the tree was cut down by the Roman axe in 70 AD.

Likewise, Matt. 22:7 and the King’s servants, who got themselves persecuted and killed, for which the King got angry and sent His army against these murderers and killed them, and burnt down their city, Jerusalem. This happened in 70 AD.

Had Israel been considered by God to have fallen from Him already at the crucifixion, we would never have read of Israel being given a second chance to receive Christ, as it was with the sending out of the apostles from Pentecost. God would have sent judgment upon them right away.

Israel was God’s elect nation throughout the entire time with the Gospels and the Acts period. And as such, God could not have any parallel assembly to Israel, for Israel had monopoly in the right and true faith. God was ISRAEL’S GOD – and not God of all the other nations. Israel was sat above all the nations.

Twice we find Paul telling us that Israel, in the time line of Acts, was not fallen from God.

The first writing saying so, is 2 Thess. 2:3 regarding his mention of Jesus coming from heaven (Greek: parousia) – he says the following pertaining to an expected fall of Israel:

“Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day (the parousia) will not come except the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness (anti-Christ) is revealed, who is the son of doom.”

Paul knew at the time he wrote this – having also read the Book of Revelation – that Israel would surely fall away from God. But it had not yet happened. Thus he explains to the bewildered Thessalonians that the day of the Lord had not yet come. For the anti-Christ had not yet been ‘revealed’ – this false Messiah had not yet appeared to the Jews, so it was impossible that Jesus had come from heaven.

Before He could come to establish His Kingdom in Israel, two things will have to happen first; Israel had to fall away from God, and then anti-Christ would appear to act as a false Messiah to seduce Israel and destroy them.
The apostasy, the falling away from God, took place in Acts 28:25-28 in that the Jews at Rome would not receive Jesus as Messiah offered to them by Paul.

So Paul had to give them God’s ultimatum and quoted the stern words from Isaiah 6 of their shut eyes and deaf ears and their unbelief.

Now almost 2000 years have passed since the fall of Israel, and the only thing remaining with regards to 2 Thess. 2 is the coming of the false Messiah, anti-Christ. The epistle was written in 55-56 AD says scholars.
But we see his platform being still rigged so he can come with his seduction of the Jews: The Zionist-state of the illicit and Christ-rejecting Israel established in 1948 as we know.

Most denominations have interpreted 2 Thess. 2 as a prediction of a great end-time apostasy in Christendom, which is entirely wrong. Paul spoke of the expected fall of Israel!

The second writing in which Paul tells the believers of Israel as a nation which not yet had fallen from God, is the epistle to the Romans. And most Bible students remember his well-known words from Rom. 11:17 and Gentiles grafted into the Jewish olive tree. Romans was written in 58 AD says a majority of scholars.

In this regard Paul says – in verse 11: “So I ask, have they (Israel) stumbled so as to fall (the entire nation)? By no means! But through their false step and transgression (by individual Jews) salvation has come to the proselytes (Gentiles), so as to arouse Israel and so to make them jealous (unto repentance).”

What he says is, that Israel as a nation had not yet fallen from God, even if individual unbelieving Jews had been cut off by their unbelief, making vacant place for proselytes to take their place. So, Israel was still a nation of God, sat above all other nations in the year of 58 AD, shortly before Paul took off for Rome and the Appeal Court of Nero.

Even as late as in spring 60 AD when Paul met the first time with the leaders of the eleven Synagogues in Rome, we still find Israel as God’s elect nation, and not yet fallen.

“This is the reason therefore why I have begged to see you and to talk with you, since it is because of the Hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” Acts 28:20.

So you see, this expected and long anticipated fall of Israel, because of the Revelation book issued by John in about 45-47 AD (he was released from Patmos when Caligula died in the winter of 41 AD and Claudius became Emperor), did not occur until we come to Paul’s final ‘farewell words’ in Acts 28:25-28….and even two years later we find him at Rome, pounding on the Jewish door awaiting the sad time when God would say ‘stop’!

The abrupt ending of Book of Acts while still most of the apostles were alive, became a signal in itself: Israel is no longer offered the kingdom of God, and the mission has been called off, Israel sat aside (for later on to be scattered) and will have to face the soon coming penalty of being destroyed by (Matt. 22:7) the angry King’s army and have its grand city Jerusalem burnt down!

The words of Ezek. 36:19 were to be fulfilled:

“And I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries (Notice plural, which means that the prophecy was not of Babylon, but the world otherwise); according to their conduct and their (evil) deeds I judged and punished them.”

Words fully in accordance with the warnings of Jesus, Peter, John and Paul.

Israel’s destruction was ‘crowned’ with the fulfillment of the prophesy of Moses in Deut. 28:68 – testified by General Josephus in his story of the Jewish War:

“And the Lord shall bring you into Egypt again with ships by the way of which I said to you, You shall never see it again. And there you shall be sold to your enemies as bondmen and bondwomen, but no man shall buy you.”

This same prophesy was later confirmed by Hosea – see Hos. 8:13. And it happened in 70-71 AD when as a result of this the slave market in Alexandria was collapsing, and the Romans had to turn them loose again. All men from the age of seventeen were sent to Egypt on ships, only a few thousand of them ended in Rome as prisoners of war and to be cast into the Gladiator arenas and a painful death.

CHAPTER 4

THE DISPENSATION OF THE CHURCH CAME
SHORTLY AFTER ISRAEL FELL FROM GOD.

Even if we find the destruction of Israel in 70 AD (in September 10) one must conclude that their actual fall from God happened at the confrontation between God’s apostle Paul and the Jewish leaders in Rome in 62 AD at the latest.

The Word of God allows for a time marginal between the verdict and the execution and realization of the verdict given. Just as we see in the justice systems of the World. Only, in the case of Israel we find no Appeal margin. The verdict had fallen from the Supreme Court of God Almighty!

It was this year that Paul wrote the epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, as a direct result of God’s revelation of the mystery to Paul.

In the Ephesians we find for the first time an entirely new hope of salvation not revealed in earlier times: The Epiouranos salvation, Greek for ‘Heaven above the heavens’.

Even if this kind of salvation has ‘existed’ in God before it was revealed to mankind – it had in times past not been offered to any man. No longer is it the earthly Kingdom of God which is the believer’s great hope – no, it was now an entirely new kind of hope, heaven where Christ resides in glory and power.

“Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come. 22: And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church, 23: Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all.” Eph. 1:21-23.

“Because of the hope laid up for you in HEAVEN. Of this you heard in the past in the message of the truth of the Gospel, 6: Which has come to you. Indeed, in the whole world (whole Empire, not the globe)is bearing fruit and still is growing, even as it has done among yourselves ever since the day you first heard and came to know and understand the grace of God in truth.” Col. 1:5, 6.

May blessing be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm!” Eph. 1:3.

These are but a few selected quotes and highlights of Paul’s enthusiastic efforts in describing this fantastic new hope of heaven. But one thing is certain: Never has such a high hope and high calling been presented to mankind at any time.

It is this particular ‘Christ image’ we are told to believe and to follow. Paul’s Christ; He Who first called His own people, the Jews, but gave up on them after over 30 years of trying to offer them the Kingdom of God on earth because they first rejected Him. And after that final rejection in Acts 28:25-28 Jesus turned to us Gentiles and offered us, not the Kingdom of God, but heaven up above the heavens, where Christ now sits at the Father’s right hand in His might and power.

The formal explanation of that revelation of a mystery hid in God can be found in Eph. 3:1-9 and Col. 1:25, 26;  we are an elect number of individuals as well as a particular group of believers – just as explained in Eph. 1:4:

“Even as He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy”.

Let us read the ‘Arch Explanation’ of the Mystery revealed to Paul for us:

Eph. 3:1-9: “For this reason I, Paul, am the prisoner of Jesus the Christ for the sake and on behalf of you Gentiles – 2: Assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was entrusted to me for your benefit, 3: that the mystery (secret) was made known to me and I was allowed to comprehend it by direct revelation, as I already (see my quotes above) briefly wrote you. 4: When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. 5: This mystery WAS NEVER DISCLOSED TO HUMAN BEINGS IN PAST GENERATIONS as it has NOW (62 AD, Paul in Rome) been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6: That the Gentiles are now (unlike before, when they only could be proselytes) to be fellow heirs, members of the same body and joint partakers in the same divine promise in Christ through the glad tidings. 7: Of this (Gospel, not earlier revealed to mankind) I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s free grace which was bestowed on me by the exercise of His power. 8: To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was granted and graciously entrusted: to proclaim to the Gentiles the (Gospel of) unending riches of Christ. 9: Also to enlighten all men and make plain to them what is the plan of the mystery kept hidden through the ages and concealed until now in God Who created all things by Christ Jesus.”

Col. 1:25, 26 is backing up this great new Pauline revelation, given for the new dispensation, the church, the Body of Christ:

“In it (the church dispensation) I became a minister in accordance with the divine stewardship which was entrusted to me for you, to make the Word of God fully known (in other translations: Fulfill, conclude the Word of God). 26: The mystery of which was hidden for ages and generations, but is now revealed to His holy people.”

It is important to note especially the time of the revelation Paul was given for this new grace dispensation: It was ‘NOW’ – that is, this revelation was triggering Paul into writing Ephesians and Colossians, and have the message distributed around in the Empire. The ‘NOW’ in Ephesians and Colossians, was 62 AD – the same year in which we find the fall of Israel.

This secret mystery and revelation was kept hidden in God Himself the entire timeline of Old Testament as well as almost the entire New Testament, until God in 62 AD revealed it to Paul when he sat imprisoned in Rome, as the fall of Israel became a fact. Out of this we find the new dispensation of the church and the free grace salvation with heaven as the new hope, emerged and was preached throughout the Roman Empire.

The church is thus NOT replacing Israel – but rather, we are operating with our kind of Gospel in lack of Israel. Their absence is the reason for our presence.

Israel failed to accept their calling as a nation for God in a millennial Kingdom promised; so God turned then to the whole world and offered us His unmerited grace by faith in Christ. Not for a Kingdom, but for heaven up above!

The church can be found present in the world only as long as Israel is not taken back to God as His elect nation above all other nations.

Almost 2000 years have passed since the church dispensation was organized by Paul. But this is soon to end, as one day God shall call up for Himself Israel by sending Elijah from heaven to first punish and smite them for their long resistance of Christ, and for having profaned His name among the gentile people which they have lived among all these centuries (Ezek. 36).

Notice again that in the era with the four Gospels and the Book of Acts – 29 AD to 62 AD – Jesus described a segregation, a fence, a wall of partition was standing between Gentiles and Jews as in Matt. 23:33 and Mark 12:1.

But once we get to Paul’s new revelation, the dispensation of the church in Eph. 2:14, 15 this very same wall was taken down. Jews and Gentiles are now equal in the faith. Col. 3:11 declares to us in fact that we are all considered as the nations – including Israel. There is no Jews, no Greek, no nothing….

This group of believers which the Law and it’s ordinances was given to, Israel, as soon as they had fallen from God there was no longer any relevance in preaching New Covenant to them. God sat aside the Kingdom offered to them.

This Kingdom of God in Israel shall be offered to them again, but it will be done in the Great Tribulation to come. Matt. 24:14.

Today – as we have still the dispensation of the church, the ‘One New Man’ in Christ, there are no ‘Jews first, then Greek’ – for the Jews lost their elevated status with God in the same instance as they fell from Him in 62 AD in Acts 28:25-28.

CHAPTER 5

THE NEW COVENANT, ABORTED WHEN ISRAEL
FELL, SHALL BE OFFERED TO THEM AGAIN.

God will, as I mentioned above, re-open His offer to the Jews to have the promised Kingdom of God on earth in the end-times. This means of course He will re-open the offer to them of the New Covenant for Jews and proselytes.

To learn of this coming event we have to turn to the prophesies in Ezek. 36 – as well as others.

To start off this period to call up Israel again as His nation segregated and sat above all nations, He shall send Elijah and also Moses – seen as the two witnesses in Rev. 11. Elijah shall appear to Israel in the land before the day of the Lord – that is, before the Great Tribulation. (More of this in this book’s last chapter).

The two will see to it that the tribal system will be set up according to Rev. 7.

Ref. to Mal. 4 and Matt. 17:11 – which in the latter we find that Elijah ‘does come and will get EVERYTHING RESTORED AND READY.” It is also interesting to learn that Malachi 4 mention Moses and the Law in the same breath as Elijah! And Matt. 17 has established precedence for these two prophets to operate together as a team. (See also my article “The End-Time Destruction of Israel and Jerusalem Foretold by Moses” in this website, under ‘Bible Prophesy’).

Compare Matt. 17:11 with Acts 1:6 – the disciples asking Jesus about the restoring and reestablishing of Israel, a question Jesus did not deny the truth of, which means: The Kingdom will be coming one day, and the restoration shall take place.

To be able to get Israel restored before God properly, He sends His two special ‘Generals of War’ Moses together with Elijah to smite and punish and in doing this – enforcing Israel to accept Jesus or else…..

This time it is not the ‘..acceptable year of the Lord’ in Is. 61:2a; this time it is ‘the day of vengeance of our God’, in Is. 61:2b. This is fully in line with Scripture, particularly that of Ezek. 36, which actually speaks of vengeance as the motif for punishing and smiting Israel in the end-times.

In Revelation book, we find these plagues and punishments described mainly in the Seven Sevens: Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets and Seven Bowls, plus the three Birth Pangs, starting in Rev. 6 and on.
These Seven Sevens are fully in line with, and even exceeds Rev. in that Moses said that there would come upon them incredible unimaginable plagues and horrors, of which none was written in the Book of the Law. When reading Rev. 11, we find that the two witnesses were given an extremely high level of war-power – for it says sternly and in a judgmental way:

“These witnesses have POWER TO SHUT UP THE SKY, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying (3 ½ year); and they also HAVE POWER TO TURN THE WATERS (in Israel) INTO BLOOD and to smite and scourge THE EARTH (land of Israel only) WITH ALL MANNER OF PLAGUES AS OFTEN AS THEY CHOOSE.” Rev. 11:6.

Moses’ prophesy of plagues, which not even was written in his Book of the Law (see Deut. 28:61 – followed contextually by verse 62 of their reduction to but a small remnant; same as Zech. 13:8 says) are covered by these words from John in Rev. 11:6, as well as the peculiar words in verse 5, of fire consuming the enemies, who attacks the witnesses obviously:
“And if anyone (it implies that there will actually be those who attack them) attempts to injure them, FIRE POURS FROM THEIR MOUTH AND CONSUME THEIR ENEMIES: if anyone should attempt to harm them, thus he is doomed to be slain.”

What Scripture as a whole is saying in these passages, is: Beware Israel! Be sure to repent when Elijah and Moses appear in the land of Zionist-Israel, you ungodly lot, profaners of Christ, for if you do not obey this time, you will be utterly destroyed in the greatest destruction ever to come upon you in all your history!

God sends the two witnesses to start the Great Tribulation, and to ‘administrate’ it during the first half of the seven year period of the tribulation. In Mid-Trib we find the two getting themselves killed by anti-Christ, ref. Rev. 11:7-9.

To be able to grasp the truth of what really is going to take place in the Great Tribulation, and not the least WHY – we have to read Ezek. 36 – for in the chapter we have it all.

Ezek. 36 speak of the revenge coming from Christ because the Jews in their dispersion since 70 AD have used the centuries to profane and scoffing Jesus – which we have overwhelming proof of in their Babylonian Talmud scriptures. The written Pharisaic doctrine, which in the time of Jesus and the apostles only existed as mutual doctrine, came about in 500 AD the scholars says.

Ezekiel had this foreknowledge about the Israeli future and their restoration through the Great Tribulation.
And he also saw how God would establish the New Covenant and give them the Holy Ghost so they would be empowered to keep the Law.

Let’s see what Ezek. 36 says.

And before reading, be aware of Ezekiel’s ministry. He was one of the priests in the tournament-system of the Temple of God. But God had him sent super-naturally over to Babylon to reprove the Jews in their exile. He was sent there in a ‘God’s UFO’ manned by His angels (Ezek. 1).

When the prophet speaks of Israel’s coming tribulation and cleansing, he opens with what happened in 70 AD – and we shall notice that while he was sent but to one particular nation, Babylon, in his ministry, he turns over into plural tense when speaking about the end-time tribulation: Referring to what the Jews had been doing among the nations, and not the nation. Very important! In other words, Ezek. 36 has no connection with the prophesies concerning Babylon late 500 BC.

Esek. 36:19, 22-27:

“And I scattered them among the NATIONS (plural), and they were dispersed through the countries; according to their conduct (see Luke 13 and Matt. 22:7) and their deeds I judged and punished them. 22: Therefore say to the house of Israel (to whom is this command addressed? Answer: The two witnesses in Rev. 11. They shall repeat this prophesy of punishments), thus says the Lord God: I do not do this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which YOU HAVE PROFANED AMONG THE NATIONS TO WHICH YOU WENT. 23: And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name (Christ Jesus!) and separate it for its holy purpose from all that defiles it – My name, which has been profaned among them – and the nations will know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord when I shall be set apart by you and My holiness vindicated in you before their (the Gentile nations) eyes and yours (Israel). 24: For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all the countries AND BRING YOU INTO YOUR OWN LAND.(Here we see for the first time how Israel will be lawfully theirs, after first being smitten by the Lord. The gathering spoken of here, is the same as Matt. 24:31and 2 Thess.2:1). 25: Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you (the Word of Christ preached by Christ), and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness; and from all your idols will I cleanse you. 26: (Here comes the New Covenant’s Holy Ghost infilling again) A new heart will I give you and a NEW SPIRIT (Holy Ghost) will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27: And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall heed My ordinances and do them.”

I recommend to you to read for yourself the rest of the chapter.

So, we see here that it is only when Jesus arrives Israel from heaven, that the nation can inherit the land lawfully. Their establishing of a nation in Palestine in 1948 through the UN-mandate was not a move from God, but of Satan. Through that move Satan created his anti-Christ scheme by having an entire nation working against Christ, and opening up for a false messiah-type, the one we find is called Antichrist in the Bible.

When learning from Ezek. 36 that the scattered Jews profaned the name of Jesus Christ from ‘Day One’ (verse 20) – and continuously up through the centuries without pause – then we also learn that the claims set forth by the Christian Zionists are false. They are propagating a Zionist-Israel which is already taken back by God, and their national project since 1948 thus being a result of God’s blessing upon the nation. No, says Ezekiel, the wrath of God has rested upon them all of the time since 70 AD, for they have profaned Jesus’ name continually since then. For which a final judgment is coming upon them in the Great Tribulation. There is not one chance that God in this time span from 70 AD until now, of Israel having been taken back as a nation under God’s blessing.

Christian-Zionism is a move of the devil and of men; it is not of the Lord. It is another matter though, that God foresaw this land-theft and the anti-Christ plans.

But foreseeing is not the same as acknowledging what He foresaw. Understand?

Ezekiel 36:32 gives us a blunt word of the Lords disliking over the entire behavior of Israel in their days of being Christ-rejecters – even if He now sees that they are once again a nation for Him:

“Not for your sake (Israel) do I do this, says the Lord God; let that be known to you. BE ASHAMED AND CONFOUNDED FOR YOUR WICKED WAYS, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL.”

It is as if the Lord says to them: Don’t you ever try doing this again! No more!!

I believe that the same Lord, Christ Jesus, in Whom we believe and love, has great antipathy with Christian-Zionism anywhere. Or how would you have reacted if you found that those who called themselves your friend, and loved you, went about in companionship with those who said they hate you?

Because that is the case with Christian-Zionists: The say they love Jesus, they love Israel and so on. But what they are doing is to support and encourage the Lord’s worst thinkable enemies on earth, those who have been profaning His name all over the world continuously since 70 AD! Those who have a Babylonian Talmud scripture in which Jesus is defamed and profaned as a son of a whore, Miriam (Mary), as she had intercourse with a Roman centurion; and Jesus is said to be suffering the torment of hell boiling in hot excrement.

When a Christian has no proper knowledge in the Word of God rightly divided, he will most often find himself turning the whole Bible upside down.

In the days of the Millennial Kingdom in Israel to come, the wall of partition between Jews and regular Gentiles will be back up again. It will be a ‘Them’ and an ‘Us’, like we see in Zech. 8:23:

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men out of all languages of the nations shall take hold of the robe (a priests robe) of him who is a Jew, saying, Let us go with you for we have heard THAT GOD IS WITH YOU.”

CHAPTER 6

ERROR IN THE BIBLE TRANSLATIONS
RESULTS IN MUCH MISINTERPRETATION.

This topic is much too vast to be fully taught in this little book of mine. It would have to be written volumes to exhort believers in all the errors of our Bible translations. If you feel capable, please go on with such a project!
I shall try to deal with a few of these. Those which I consider important to be able to read and understand the Bible rightly divided.

We must learn also to know that in the post-apostolic time, there existed no group or singular persons that was ‘Anointed of God’ (as it was with Peter and Paul) to write His Word.

The committees has been sat up and governed by regular Christian believers of various degrees of knowledge and education. But that is all. And that is why it is each and every Christian believer’s duty – if he has capacity and knowledge – to speak his mind correcting errors. Our apostle Paul, through the role-model of Titus and Timothy (for our sake) exhorts us to act and preach with corrections, reproving false doctrine, as well as strengthening and consoling the saints of our day.

I will try to deal with the following words from Greek, and the doubtful way these words have been translated.

1. COSMOS, meaning all that is created, the universe, earth, nations and civilizations etc

2. AION, meaning timespan, era, periodical ages – for instance the coming millennial era for Israel

3. ECCLESIA, meaning the called out ones – groups which are gathered for a given cause whether secular or Christian

4. EVANGELION, means a glad tiding or good news, whether secular or Christian.

My experience is of course mostly influenced by the Norwegian translations, but I also have some knowledge in the English ones – perhaps enough to at least deal with these four words in particular.

THE COSMOS WORD.

This often occurs and causes error regarding which area, place, land, or whether global or local, in many Bible verses where for instance the Lord is quoted as He sent His apostles to preach, or when reading prophesy of certain things to happen at a certain land or place, like in the Revelation.

Let us look at Acts 1:8 for a starter:

“….and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.”

This is the favorite verse often added to the Great Commission, Matt. 28:19, 20.

The ends (bounds) of the COSMOS – should in this case read: To the whole land of Israel – to its uttermost boundaries. Everywhere in Israel: Jerusalem first, then all of Judea and don’t forget Samaria…..

If we follow Jesus’ intentions right, in that He first speak of two Roman Provinces, Judea with its city Jerusalem and Samaria, – but do not mention all the other small provinces in the land, which were: Galilee, Decapolis, Idumea, Nabataea, Ituraea, Traconitis and Perea, and probably also Phoenicia where Jesus healed the heathen woman’s daughter (Matt. 15:24) in the village Tyre by the sea. Jesus simply made it shortly and efficient instead of listing up all those small Provinces. He was very aware of that His disciples knew exactly what He meant. But Biblically illiterate Gentile Christians like us have much strife in knowing all this. The disciples knew that the preaching of the Kingdom of God was only for the land of Israel within its natural borders, and not outside in the Gentile nations/Provinces.

The Book of Acts bear testimony to that truth – and Peter when explaining his message to the gentiles in Cornelius’ house said of their mission: ‘He charged us to go preach to the Jewish people…” (Acts 10:42) – and before that, Peter had already told Cornelius’ assembly, ‘You know the contents of the message which He sent to Israel (not outside, to Gentiles)…” (v. 36).

In Hebrew we learn that cosmos has a cousin, Ge – as in geography – meaning soil, land, ground, place, etc. – dependent of the context entirely.

Matthew was written in Hebrew. When reading of Jesus speaking of the waste dung in southern part of Jerusalem, called Gahanna, the Hebrew word Ge was used to tell that this was a ‘place’ on earth, which was in Jerusalem, and the rest of the name ‘Hanna’ was the actual name. We could call it ‘The Hanna Place’ or as in Norwegian Bibles ‘Hinnoms Dal’ which means the valley of Hinnom (or Hanna). This little valley is today named Wadi-er-Rababi, and in Old Testament times the place was used for idolatry and sacrifice rituals to the god Moloch (at the time of Manassas). In the days of Jesus the place was a perpetually burning dung of all kinds of waste, and He used this ill smelling and smoke-filled place to warn the Jews that they would risk being cast down there if the nation did not receive Him as their Messiah. And so it also happened, when Rome massacred Jerusalem in 70 AD and cast a great number of dead bodies on the dung, which burnt. Peter warned of the same massacre in Acts 3:23 – pointing back to Moses in Deut. 18:15-19.

What a blunder it is to just let every common man interpret the passage in Acts 1:8 and Matt. 28:19, 20 – without putting an understandable specific verbal ‘Road Map’ in there, so the poor readers can read –“You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the borders of the land of Israel cosmos.”

Peter did not lie when he spoke to the little flock in Cornelius’ house telling them that the message they had been commissioned to preach, was a message SENT TO ISRAEL, and that they had been commanded to go and preach it TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE IN THE LAND – for Peter had no idea of God allowing them to have fellowship with Gentiles. They were totally shocked and astonished, says Acts 11:1.

Now, dear fellow believers, don’t you rather think that if the translating Boards and Committees were chosen and anointed by God or/and the Holy Ghost, such blunt and obvious faults would never occur? I do. So, obviously those Committees will have to face reproving and exhortation like this, and more. They are believers in Christ like you and I, but that is not the same as having been specially anointed or chosen by God for such a task. No, it is but an ordinary flock of various scholars and ministers and laymen trying to do their best. That is all. It was obviously not enough! We have to shape up things.

For we will have to admit that there is a grave difference between ‘going out into all the world’ – and just ‘going out in all of Israel’, don’t we?

Often it occurs to me that such an entity as these translation committees can be likened with a Clockmaker. They are skilled in the craft of making that complicated clockwork which turns around the arms of the clock disc. And yet – it seems to me that these skilled craftsmen are not able to read the time on the clock disc, which is the whole idea of making a clock in the first place!

Let’s have a look upon how things can go askew when cosmos is translated in error in Revelation, chapter 6:15, 16 –

“Then the kings of the earth and their noblemen and their magnates and their military chiefs and the wealthy and the strong and slave or free hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16: And they called to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.”

The kings of the earth?

In this case, luckily so, Scripture explains Scripture…even if it should not have been like that. But as we find Jesus stumbling His painful way up Via Dolorosa for His crucifixion – He answers back to the crowd of weeping women, Luke 23:28, 30 – telling them and proving to you and I that these scared people of Rev. 6 calling to the mountains to fall upon them to hide them, were the future Israelis in the Great Tribulation –
“..daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29: For behold, THE DAYS ARE COMING during which they will say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the breasts that have never nursed! 30: Then they will begin to say to the MOUNTAINS, FALL ON US! AND TO THE HILLS, COVER US!”

Jesus told them: 1. Weep for yourselves. This was the present generation which was destroyed by the war in 70 AD. 2. Weep for your children. These were the descendants of the Jews, which will eventually be punished as God sends the Great Tribulation against Zionist-Israel, and which I quoted from Rev. 6:15, 16 when the horror reaches its climax.

These kings and noblemen in Rev. 6 are the Jewish leaders in the government ruled by Antichrist – and most probably the ‘Kings’ (Governors I believe) are each one leader of a false new tribal-system in Israel, sectioning up the land in small provinces, just like it was after Joshua took Canaan and later on had the tribes owning their piece of land. These end-time ‘Kings’ in Revelation are found in Rev. 17:7 as the ‘Ten horns’ and in verse 12 the angel tells John that these horns are actually men, kings (governors, rulers) together with the beast, Antichrist.

These kings and also their servants (slaves?) and many people in Israel will head for the hills to hide them, and the caves for shelter – for the wrath of the Lamb of God, Christ just before His coming; and He will punish them with fire and judgments of great horror. See 2 Thess. 1:6-10.

It is a grave difference between ‘Kings of the earth’ and the real actual scenery when we learn that these are only rulers in Israel, in the Great Tribulation.

Norway is sectioned into 20 Counties (we call them Fylke). One of the larger counties is the Hedmark Fylke, north of Oslo. That county is slightly bigger than Israel today. The event told of these kings and noblemen trying to find shelter for the fire and judgment coming from Christ in His second advent, is but a local phenomenon compared to the smallness of Israel. And this local occurrence is blown up into gigantic proportions – the entire world, and kings and royalty on the entire globe will head for the hills and desperately seek shelter in caves and in mountains for the Great Tribulation!

Such a way of reading the Bible is totally ‘Bananas’.

It is of utmost importance that we learn to read the Bible in proper contexts and also manage to remove erroneous translations of particular words and expressions, like I have told you here.

And to pursue this topic, cosmos being used to translate as ‘All the world’ – we take a brief look on Rev. 13:3 and 8: (speaking of the Beast, Antichrist)

“…and the whole earth went after the beast in amazement and admiration.”

8: And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage….”

It is certainly not the whole population on earth who will follow the beast, Antichrist. It is Israel only, and they shall believe that he is their long awaited Messiah king, prophesied in the Bible.

And I could keep on and on like this showing to you how the Bible is very defected regarding proper translations of many passages. Cosmos in Greek should have been translated ‘the land, Israel’ – and the same is a fact when reading Matt. 5:5 the Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth!”

No they will not! Jesus spoke of the ‘Promised Land’ – Israel – the earlier Canaan given them by the promises all the way back to Abraham in Gen. 12 and 15. Israel was promised to inherit the land, which is the ground Israel now occupies in the Middle-East. And this shall be extended somewhat, according to prophesy.

Every time you read such words and passages, you have to ask yourself, Is it global, national or local/domestic? COSMOS can be all of these – but the context is the key to understanding what the Bible is speaking of.

THE AION WORD (in Hebrew it is Olam).

In that we know that all Gospels and also Acts deals only with the hope of salvation which was the Kingdom of God on earth, the millennial reign of Christ, then we will also be aware of the fact that when Jesus spoke of ‘Eternity’ or ‘Eternal life’ or ‘Everlasting life’ – His speech was the Olam (in the Hebrew Matthew) and Aion in all Greek writings.

In other words, when Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of heaven to come – He only spoke of ‘Aion life’ – that is ‘Life in the Millennial Kingdom lasting for one thousand years’. In Jewish culture and religion there never existed any such ‘Unending time’ as we often mean when we speak of salvation. They taught only of the ages in which God had promised them blessings through the prophets.

Dan. 2:44 is likewise translated in error:

“And in the days of these kings (see Rev. 17:12) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people (than Daniel’s, the Jews); but it shall break and crush and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever.”

No it shall not! It shall stand for the prophesied number of years which is one thousand years – which falls in with the time in which we find God locking up the devil, Satan, in the Abyss jail (Rev.20:1-3). The devil has to be jailed in order to keep the entire earth free of wars and other evils in the days of Christ’s reign as king in Jerusalem.

In this coming kingdom it will be, in the matter of punishment for sin, those who eventually dies at an age of 100 years, die as a young person (Is. 65:20).

Man’s lifetime will be like the tree, says Isaiah 65:22 – thus anticipating a millennia just like many of the early Bible people before the time of the flood.

It is about this type of aion life – the millennial blessings for Israel –that Paul wrote 1 Cor. 15 as well as 1 Thess. 4. God shall resurrect and rapture the Jewish tribulation saints into an Aion life, a life with Christ on earth for one thousand years. Understand?

We do not find any hope of the heaven up there with Christ, before we come to Paul writing the epistle to the Ephesians in 62 AD. Corinthians and Thessalonians were written about 53 AD and 54-55 AD. God had at that time still going His prophetic program for Israel’s salvation in the New Covenant, having the apostles preaching the Kingdom to Israel.

In Eph. 1-3 chapters we are introduced to – not Aion life – but Epiouranos life; a life in ‘Heaven up above the heavens’. Nobody had ever heard of this salvation before Paul was let in on God’s hidden mystery, His well-kept secret of us chosen in Christ before the creation of the world.

After the fall of Israel seen in Acts 28:25-28, God could no longer offer the Jews the New Covenant deal including the promised Messianic kingdom. He sat aside the entire kingdom-program, and instead He chose to reveal His secret to Paul, of a group of believers in Christ chosen to sit with Christ in heaven.

The three first chapters of Ephesians deals with this all-new doctrine of salvation by faith. From that time up to our day, there has been no Kingdom of God on earth offered to anyone, be it Jews or Gentiles. The program was suspended in its entirety. It shall be brought back again (Matt. 24:14).

Only after God revealed His secret to Paul of this new salvation after the fall of Israel in 62 AD, is it right to think of the ‘Eternal life’ in this context as literally so. It is never-ending and has no pause or stop or anything. It is actually without end. But the saints living under the first era of the apostles, had the Kingdom of God on earth offered to them, and that was an era to last for only one thousand years. This is a fact.

THE ECCLESIA WORD.

In both the Norwegian as well as the English translations this Greek word is translated ‘Church’ or ‘Churches’ or ‘Assembly’ – with very few exceptions.

So thus we know that Ecclesia are used both secular as well as in Christian assemblies/churches. Even where it could better have been translated ‘Synagogue’ – many translations are still saying ‘Church’.

The huge multitude gathered as a raging mob in the outdoor theatre in Ephesus (Acts 19) was 20 000 people, and yet the word for this non-Christian assembly of people going against Paul, is Ecclesia.

The assembly at Antioch in Syria is likewise Ecclesia (Acts 13).

I read a remark made by another Bible scholar who said it like this:

“If one used the Greek word ‘Ecclesia’ the way many translators are doing, we could end up as a matter of fact with calling the infamous and feared ‘Die Geheime Staatspolizei’ (Gestapo) of Hitler, for ‘The Church’.”

I have to agree on that. The way many just throws this word around them, is reckless and nonchalant.

Our translators should learn the noble art of directing their translations better; calling an assembly of Jews, like those at Antioch, for ‘Synagogue’ and even the assemblies of Paul and of Peter in the early days could perhaps better be called Synagogues and not Church. Even if there were proselytes present.

Only since the fall of Israel in Acts 28:25-28 in 62 AD, did God drop away the wall of partition between them, and made Jew and Gentile into ‘One New Man’ in the faith. Then they could call such assemblies for Church.
I could – just to be diplomatic – suggest that the Acts-assemblies could be called ‘Messianic Church’ and thus indicate that we read about a Jewish assembly with its proselytes, and not the actual Church like it became since Paul got the new revelation from Christ about the ‘One New Man’ and Jew and Gentile sat on equal level in the faith.

Well, this issue I managed to keep in short. But I think I have made my point.

Ask yourself whenever you read the word ‘Church’ in the New Testament, if this is a Messianic assembly, or a segregated Jewish Synagogue, or the Church of the free grace believers given heaven up above as their hope.

THE EVANGELION WORD

This is most often translated ‘Gospel’ even if it is actually meaning ‘Good news’ or if you wish, ‘Glad Tidings’.

It is used both in secular and in Christian vocabulary.

This word cannot stand alone, but it need to be added the contextual links so that we may clearly understand that we are talking of the Gospel of the Kingdom (as it were in Acts period 32 to 62 AD) or the Grace Gospel (as it became after Paul got revealed to him the mystery, from 62 AD and up to our day).

Here is an example of the word evangelion translated, in same manner, and still – these are two different Gospels:

Acts. 13:32: “So now we are bringing you the Gospel of what God promised to our forefathers.”

Eph. 3:8: “…to proclaim to the Gentiles the Gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ.”

The one in Acts 13:32 was the New Covenant to Israel and proselytes, the Gospel OF WHAT GOD PROMISED TO OUR FOREFATHERS. What promise? The promise of a Kingdom in which Messiah should reign and the men of Israel should minister as God’s Royal priesthood. See Ex. 19:5, 6.

This was the Kingdom-Gospel and not our Grace Gospel.

But the one in Eph. 3:8 is our Grace Gospel – based on the unsearchable riches of Christ: This Gospel and this salvation cannot be found (searched) in any Scripture, before Paul heralded it by writing Ephesians and Colossians. It had previously been hid in God, not spoken to anyone and had been so from before the creation of the world.

Luckily we find that in these two passages, the translators have done their job, and told us WHAT Gospel it means. We can distinguish between the two –in that one was beforehand promised the forefathers of Israel, and could therefore not be a Gospel connected to what God had kept secret within Himself.

The other, the unsearchable riches of Christ – was a Gospel not earlier revealed to anyone, because it had been and still is, unsearchable what the Scriptures are concerned. Not until Paul was in Rome in 62 AD, was this Gospel revealed for the first time since before the creation of the world.

The latter has a different hope than that given Israel: Heaven above the heavens. While the first had only the hope (for Israel) of a Kingdom of God on earth for one thousand years. Not bad, but it faints compared to the Gospel we have been given, it promises us heaven where Christ now resides with God His Father.

Reading also Eph. 2:12 of the exclusion and shutting-out of us Gentiles from the PROMISE, and from the COVENANTS of Israel, makes it impossible that we ever could be partakers of the promise first given to the forefathers of Israel. The promise and the covenants referred to in Eph. 2:12 are the promise of the millennial kingdom for Israel with their Messiah, and the covenants referred to are of course the Mosaic Law as well as the New Covenant to Israel, the better pact, and only offered to those who first had made transgressions under the Mosaic Law, says Paul in Hebr. 9:15.

The Kingdom-Gospel was based upon the promise: The New Covenant in the blood of Jesus for Israel. This was preached the 30 some years as reported in Acts.

But the Grace-Gospel given Paul for us, had its start from the moment Paul was given the said revelation of the mystery (Eph. 3:1-9; Col. 1:25, 26) – and can be offered to the world only as long as God is not dealing with Israel as a nation for Him. They fell from God in Acts 28:25-28 as I wrote above – and thus He suspended and ended the Kingdom-Gospel and the New Covenant. These things will not be re-introduced to Israel before God has ended the dispensation of the Church. In Matt. 24:14 we find the re-opening of the offer to Israel of the Kingdom and the New Covenant. It will be offered them by the two witnesses in Rev. 11.

So, again – same principle as with the three other Greek words we have looked upon, we have to ask ourselves WHICH GOSPEL, when we read New Testament Scripture.

CHAPTER 7

THE HOPE OF THE CHURCH IS
UP IN HEAVEN WITH CHRIST.

When God had excluded Israel from His covenants as we learn of their fall in Acts 28:25-28, we came to a boundary.

It is all very clear when we compare what doctrine there was preached before the fall of Israel, with that after their fall.

When Israel – like in the time line with Book of Acts – was God’s elect nation above all other nations, and Gentile believers had to become proselytes under the arrangement given Paul for them, many Messianic Churches were established in the Empire. Reading Acts, we learn that there was a particularly great number of proselytes with the Messianic Jews at Corinth, Ephesus, and for not to mention throughout Galatia. Think of the mentioned great number at Ephesus (Acts 19) – plus the flying start granted Paul in Galatia in Acts 13-14. The report of the latter is positive reading:

“And when the (Gentile) proselytes heard this, they rejoiced and glorified the word of God; and as many as were destined to eternal (aion) life believed. 49: And so the Word of the Lord scattered and spread throughout the whole region.” Acts 13:48, 49.

Paul, later writing to the Romans, said of his Churches, in which there was Jews and proselytes together, and called his assemblies ‘the churches of the proselytes (Gentiles)’ – even if they were a mixed flock. This, because the contingent of proselytes grew to certain proportions many places (Rom. 16:4).

The writings to these assemblies by Paul is called for ‘Acts-epistles’ for the simple reason that those epistles were written in the time period that Acts reports from, and thus the epistles were always New Covenant doctrine to Israel and proselytes. All the other writers in the same time period wrote with same contents in them – the New Covenant doctrine to Israel.

The time line was from 43 AD as we read of Paul and Barnabas going to Galatia in Acts 13, up until we find Paul in Rome in 62 AD pounding on the partially closed door of Jewry, Acts 28:31; nineteen years in ministry as a ‘Servant of a New Covenant to Israel’ (2 Cor. 3:6).

In Gal. 6:16 we find Paul calling such believers for ‘Israel of God’.

I can assure you all that the ‘Israel of God’ by no means is the Church of the ‘One New Man’ in Eph. 2:15! I hope you comprehend this properly.

In Matt. 24:30, 31; 1 Thess. 4:14-18 and 1 Cor. 15 it is first pointed out by Jesus, then Paul, how God by the parousia of Christ (His second advent) shall gather all the Messianic believers on earth and rapture them up in clouds into the air – and then He will fly them (the angels are doing this) to Israel together with those He first resurrected – and they will find themselves as members of the established Kingdom of God on earth serving under Christ for one thousand years.

The apostolic assemblies inside Israel (Peter’s domain) and those in the Empire outside of Israel (Paul’s domain) expected to enter the Kingdom on earth as soon as Israel could be considered as fully repented and baptized.

Peter wrote of this hope: “Who are being guarded by God’s power through your faith till you fully inherit that final salvation that is ready to be revealed for you in the last time.” 1 Pet. 1:5.

But all of this was called off because of the severe fall of Israel when Paul sat jailed in Rome. The New Covenant with its hope of the Kingdom on earth for Jews and proselytes was entirely suspended, no question about that!

The existing believers everywhere, whether those under Peter or those under Paul, were automatically taken in under the new revealed dispensation given to Paul for us: They were granted the new hope of the Epiouranos salvation (Heaven up above the heavens).

The epistles to Ephesians and Colossians are re-educational by nature, and Paul relates to what he had taught them when preaching the Kingdom and the New Covenant to them, but now pointing to the ‘Mystery’ revealed, the new dispensation of the Grace of God (Eph. 3:1-9; Col. 1:25, 26).

In Col. 3:1-4 Paul is charging the grace-believers everywhere to set their minds and thoughts on heaven up above, and no longer think of the Kingdom he had preached to them earlier.

“And set your minds and keep them set on what is above, not on the things that are on the earth.” (v. 2).

Compare this with Matt. 5:5 and Jesus promising Israel’s believers to ‘Inherit the land’ – and we will have to admit that these are two different doctrines. Paul’s is for the heaven up above the heavens, but Jesus spoke of the Kingdom in Israel at His second advent.

From the point of the epistle to the Ephesians we no longer find Paul speaking in plural tense when mentioning the Church. It is from then on only in singular, ‘The Body of Christ’, the ‘One New Man’, ‘The Church which is His Body’ and so on; always singular tense. This is how God sees us, the Body of Christ. We are one Church, destined for heaven up above. Even if we can gather in groups and fellowships worldwide, we are still considered being ‘One Body’ (Eph. 4:4).

This can only mean one thing only: God sees us as already gathered with Christ in heaven, once and for all, and all which is left to achieve is to physically experience that which is our position with Christ. It is our hope.

In Col. 3:11 Paul teaches us that Jews and Gentiles is no longer an issue – for in this dispensation all believers are equal and Christ is therefore all in all. Jews in the faith are now only considered as one among all the other nations, and not above other nations. They fell from that position, remember.

Col. 2:19: “…holding fast to the Head (Christ), from Whom the entire BODY, supplied and knit together by means of its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.”

Col. 3:15: “And let the peace from Christ rule in your hearts to which as ONE BODY you were also called. And be thankful.”

Added to these, we receive the arch-typical exhortations in Eph. 5 and Col. 3 to stay away from sinful living and any mischief of this world.

The Church dispensation has a calling which says we were chosen in Christ BEFORE the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) – and was in God’s mind and thoughts/plans already in existence in the eternal perspective, outside of all forms of time-lines. ‘In Christ’ is an extremely huge factor, which frees us from all things pertaining to earthly/carnal life. We are heaven-bound!

An entirely different matter is the fact that we wake up every morning and find ourselves still on earth, having to go to job and whatever task we have got upon us. Still, we are definitely heaven-bound.

In questions of life and of death, we, the Body of Christ, the ‘One New Man’ has mainly Paul as our teacher. Yes, I know that we can read many universal and inter-dispensational truths in the Bible, but we put a decisive priority on reading Paul’s epistles before anything else. His epistles to us are: Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon (teaching us the mind of Christ).

Only in these three epistles can be found the hope of heaven, however bear in mind that Philemon is an example of how we are supposed to act with other believers, which is with compassion and meekness, as Paul acted in the case of the escaped slave Onesimus. He even took on him the expenses caused by his escape from Philemon. He had brought away stolen goods from his master’s house. And Paul still managed to have Onesimus sent back to Philemon – hoping that he no longer would look upon him as a slave, but rather a dear member of his family, for Christ’s sake. If any epistle in the New Testament was written for us to take to our tears, this is the one. What we see here, is the mind/heart of Christ! Just think of all the bad things which Christ has forgiven us!

CHAPTER 8

PROPER EDITING OF
THE NEW TESTAMENT.

There can be several ways of editing and arranging the contents of N.T. Scriptures.

For the first, we shall remember that the title The New Testament is derived from the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus (Luke 22:20). Given to us Gentiles? No, given to ‘Israel’s House and the house of Judah’, Jer. 31:31; Hebr. 8:6-10. We Gentiles were shut out of the covenants, and the promise (Eph. 2:12).

It is a false doctrine indeed to say that this New Covenant or ‘Testament’ ever was given the Church dispensation.

If we should re-edit N.T. Scripture today, I will suggest that we keep all the epistles/books already there, but extract Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon from it.

These epistles I will recommend under the heading “The Dispensation of the Free Grace of God to Jew and Gentile alike”.

And in the foreword/Introduction I would enlighten the reader by telling of this dispensation and its differences compared to the N.T. Scriptures.

But what would it take to have the committees actually do this editing – and would it demand an outright spiritual earthquake to get their serious attention?

The New Testament title will have to be changed to “The New Testament to Israel” or something like that. The title should at all costs mirror the fact that the New Covenant was ONLY for Israel, and not the Church of the One New Man.

How on God’s green earth has Christendom at large managed silencing to death the writings of E.W. Bullinger, a renowned Oxford scholar and early Acts-28 proponent, or his immediate followers Sir Robert Anderson, Charles Welch, Stuart Allen and many others? What are their arguments for this disrespect of such renowned Bible scholars? Anyone out there who knows the answer to this arrogance?

Even the Old Testament could have been improved in that the title ‘The Old Testament’ really does not begin before we come to Ex.19:2 when God shows Himself to the people, descending on Mt. Horeb in smoke and lightning and thunder with a sound of trumpets. But until one of the committees start to react to such exhortations – we have to make this editing for ourselves in our minds, and read the Bible as if it has been edited this way!

CHAPTER 9

CONCLUDING BAPTISM, HOLY COMMUNION,
THE MINISTERIAL GIFTS, THE MIRACLE
AND SIGN GIFTS AND UNBIBLICAL
ECUMENICAL ERROR.

We have made some short conclusions already – but in this chapter I intend to through the ‘Highlights’ regarding doctrinal practicing in Christianity in general.

There are different ways of practice among the denominations, but I think it can be useful still to check out the practices known to most of us.

BAPTISM

Whenever this word comes up, most Christians think ‘Water baptism’ – which is right. But with the Pentecostals a baptism with or in the Holy Ghost is included. And the role model for such a baptism is found with the 120 believers in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

The Statskirken in Norway, which is the official Lutheran Religion in Norway, believes in and practice baptism of little infants. Just as with the Catholic churches around. There are disputes within Christendom in this regard. So, today we find that there are a number of various baptisms in Christendom.

But Paul made a pretty simple and blunt doctrinal statement on baptism, cutting off all discussion: There is but ONE baptism.

“There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Eph. 4:5.

This statement from Paul in 62 AD, shortly after all preaching of the Kingdom of God on earth to the Jews and proselytes had been called off, totally crashes with the fact that in the years from 29 AD until 62 AD, there was at least four types of baptisms practiced.

These were:

The ministry of John the Baptist’s practicing of water baptism to prepare the Jewish people for the earthly ministry of Jesus. Such baptism had its origin from Lev. 16:4 when God ordained Aaron for his High Priest ministry, and if he would not obey this ordinance (entering the Holy Presence of God without baptism), he would have to face a swift death! Aaron’s two sons were a blunt example of such judgment falling, even if it was an incident in which they had carried unholy fire into the Holy Presence of God (Lev. 10:1, 2). John baptized Jews so they could become the royal priesthood prophesied in Ex. 19:5, 6. It was for Jews only! The whole people shall become Christ’s priesthood in the millennial Kingdom.

Then came, from the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, the water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, often called ‘The Apostolic Baptism’ – which was practiced throughout Acts.

Then, but closely following water baptism (except for those in Cornelius’ house, Acts 10 and those at Pentecost) there was the baptism with or in the Holy Ghost – which brought about special power upon the apostles and their assemblies. Sign gifts are seen in Acts following this power-experience.

And finally came the ONE baptism which is the baptism that goes for us today, the baptism into the death of Christ, also called ‘The circumcision of Christ, not made with hands’, Col. 2:11.

This baptism was also in effect in Acts period – but they had the two other baptisms as well: The water rite and the Holy Ghost in power for signs.

The baptism into the death and burial of Christ is taught in Col. 2:11, 12 – and verse 12 goes:

“…you were buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him THROUGH FAITH in the working of God (God is the one Who performs this baptism, not man) when He raised Him up from the dead.”

It is important to notice that Col. 2:11, 12 are the one and the same thing: The circumcision of Christ which is not made with hands, is the same as that ONE baptism into the death of Christ – which is ‘the working of God through faith’. In other words Paul says that the ONE baptism of Eph. 4:5 is a baptism that takes place invisibly and only in a spiritual form, in the same instance as a human being comes to faith in Christ the first time.

This fact rules out any other baptisms, whether with water or Holy Ghost.

It is because of this ONE baptism that Paul says in Col. 2:20:

“If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world?”
Bottom line: In the dispensation of the Church which is His body, the ‘One New Man’ (Eph. 2:15) there are but one baptism, as described to you above according to Paul. And this baptism is done by God once and for all in the same moment as a person believes on Christ.

HOLY COMMUNION

The memorial rite of Holy Communion is very arch-typical for the New Covenant to Israel, since the Lord at the last supper said He should give His blood as sacrifice for Israel’s sins – and He called it the New Covenant in My blood.

He commanded His believers (Messianic Israel) to keep such a memorial until He came back from heaven, just as Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 11:24 –“..do this to call Me to remembrance.”

This memorial sharing of the symbolic bread and wine – the body and the blood of Jesus given for Israel, was so important with God that if the participants used the Holy Communion to dine and stuffing themselves, they were punished by God’s intervention. He caused sickness and death upon them if they did not repent! 1 Cor. 11:29-34.

Christians reading these passages in 1 Cor. 11 go anxious and fear that they have done something wrong having participated in Holy Communion, since they had gotten sick shortly thereafter. They think that God is now punishing them according to 1 Cor. 11:29-34. But there is no way that God has this ordinance within this dispensation of the free unmerited Grace of God. That ordinance ceased in the same moment as Israel fell from God in Acts 28:25-28 – and God therefore suspended His New Covenant preaching to them.

It is now literally the age of the GRACE of God – which means: God is not in this dispensation making any judgmental punishments of any sort.

God did not send the hurricane Katrina to destroy a sinful New Orleans, or any which disaster you can think of. God is at full rest in regard to any such action.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Holy Communion has been added an occult factor, like some ‘White Magic’ – in that the priests during the rite says of the bread (medallion) ‘This is the body of Christ’ and of the wine ‘This is the blood of Christ’ – and use the Holy Communion as if it contained magic powers.

But I have personally overheard Pentecostal evangelists say in meetings: “The bread in Holy Communion represent Christ’s body, the body upon which we are healed by His stripes. So when you take the bread, expect God to heal you!” This is just as wrong as the magical rite performed by the Catholic priests!

Bottom line: Holy Communion was a rite only to be kept by Jews and proselytes in the Acts period, when the New Covenant and the Kingdom of God on earth was offered Israel. It all ended when Israel fell from God in 62 AD.

SIGN GIFTS AND MIRACLES

The sign gifts which Paul taught to the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 12 – 14, where given by The Holy Ghost exclusively to the Messianic Church and their proselytes in the time described in the Book of Acts. No more, no less. It was given the ‘Israel of God’ (Gal. 6:16) to be equipped with the power for special signs and healings to convince the unbelieving Jews that the apostles spoke from Him.

Even if we find that these gifts (9 gifts) were evenly spread in the assemblies under the apostles, it is evident in Acts that it was the apostles who mainly had this mandate. The average Christian Jew or proselyte could not cast out demons or raise the dead or perform extraordinary signs.

Check out Acts 2:43; 4:10; 5:12; 5:15-16; 19:11-17; 28:5-9; raising of the dead Eutychus in Acts 20:9-12, or before that, Tabitha raised from the dead by Peter in Acts 9:36-41. The apostles always had a clear lead on things super-natural of which the Book of Acts is very consistent.

Acts mention by name only three men who had the power to cast out demons, they were Peter, Paul and Philip.
Paul defended himself boldly against the attacks coming from false lying ‘apostles’ who hung in the tracks of him and tried to steal glory,

“Indeed, the signs that indicate a genuine apostle were performed among you fully and most patiently in miracles and wonders and mighty works.” 2 Cor. 12:12.

The named signs and miracles belonged to Israel’s Messianic apostles sent to Israel to offer them the Kingdom of God on earth. Not only Peter and Paul, but all of them had this mandate, however it seems to me that Peter and Paul stuck out of the flock as their undisputed leaders.

By no means was it like the impression that the Word-Faith movement and Charismatics are implying, that ‘the whole church is working miracles and healings’.

Signs and wonders and incredible mighty manifestations were nothing new in Israel. Since the time of Moses, miracles seem to be a constant mandate with Israel’s prophets.

Remember the jar in Zarephat, miraculous food supply which was endless during the time of Elijah’s fight against king Ahab of Israel and his wife, Jezebel. And he also raised the dead son of the widow. Elisha was the one who was nearest Jesus in regard to how he worked many miracles. Elisha’s healing of the sick general Na’aman; the curing of the poisoned stewpot, and raising the dead boy of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4. Israel has had miracles throughout their entire history! But whenever a period of siege and wars because of Israel’s disobedience, miracles could be held back from them.

In Psalm 74:9 we find Asaph lamenting over the lack of Israel’s miracle signs:

“We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, neither does any among us know for how long (how long the siege would last).”

The signs and miracles belonged to Israel, and these followed the prophets in ministry, just like the signs in Acts followed the apostles.

Mark 16:17, 18: “And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; 18: They will pick up serpents; and even if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.”

These gifts were given because of the unbelieving Israel as a sign to them. To illustrate that truth, Paul used an example by the speaking in tongues:

“It is written in the Law, By men of strange language and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people (Israel), and not even then will they listen to Me, says the Lord.” 1 Cor. 14: 21; Is.28:11, 12.

But as I already have written above repeatedly, all these signs and miracles were called off at the fall of Israel in Acts 28:25-28. It was only in operation during the 30 some years of Acts period to testify to Israel of the truthfulness of God and His apostles to Israel. It belonged only under the New Covenant offered to Israel. And we, the Church and the body of Christ, have no covenant with God. We have free and unmerited grace; which is not a pact, but a gift of salvation by faith! No need of any covenant agreement, (Eph. 2:8).

The sign gifts were never directed at us Gentiles, but only to Israel.

At the fall of Israel, these gifts and signs were no longer called for, because the group of believers which should see these things, was set aside and God revealed a whole new dispensation to Paul, the dispensation of the Grace of God (Eph. 3:1-9).

By two particular occasions in the Bible, we find that we Gentiles actually react notoriously wrong in confrontation with the miracles of God. We go into adoration of the messengers instead of God who worked the said miracles. The first example found is the incident with Paul and Barnabas at Lustra healing the lame man, Acts 14:8-13, and the Zeus priests came out to sacrifice oxen and incense for they thought that Hermes (Greek god) had taken the shape of a human being, Paul, and Zeus was Barnabas. And they had to rip their robes to show the crowd that they were only human beings. All this, in spite of the fact that Paul had preached Jesus to the flock. Mentioning Jesus to such Gentiles (and the Jews there too) had no significant effect, other than they fell on their knees before the messengers in adoration….and forgot about Jesus, thinking they had before them the known idols they had sacrificed animals to all their adult life. Think about it.

The other was the incident at Malta after the shipwrecking. The inhabitants thought that Paul was being punished by the gods, as they saw the snake which had bitten him in the hand. But when they noticed that no harm had come to Paul, they thought perhaps he was one of their gods! This is same hedonistic behavior as with those at Lustra in Galatian province. We Gentiles have a hang to go adore the messengers instead of praising God.

Pentecostals and Charismatics are in particular looking past the fact that God had these miracle-gifts suspended at the fall of Israel in Acts 28:25-28 in 62 AD.

For they believe that such things is given for the church of our day; more so with the Pentecostal camp than seen with the Evangelicals and Lutherans.

Pentecostals has made their own private universe of miracles and signs which are not at all realistic and true.
Bottom line: All sign gifts and miracles as seen in Acts period are entirely suspended and ceased working. Only in the time seen in Acts, when God offered Israel His Kingdom on earth and the New Covenant, such things were operating.

THE MINISTERIAL OFFICES

As we now know regarding baptism, Holy Communion, sign gifts, as well as the ordinance in the Messianic Church of confession of sins, that these things never was intended for the church dispensation – it made a great difference not the least regarding the five-fold offices taught by Paul to the Acts saints.

He taught these offices: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, Bible teachers and pastors/elders (1 Cor. 12:28-31). 1 Tim. 3 is detailed on the pastor’s office, as it was in Acts period of the New Covenant to Israel and proselytes. But in 2 Tim. we find most of this high standard and integrity laid upon an elder/pastor even if we in 2 Tim. have come over into the church dispensation. (1 Tim. Was for the Acts saints only).

The five-fold ministry offices ceased entirely as is operated in the time of New Covenant to Israel.

The office of the apostle and that of the prophet were set aside together with Israel because they fell from God, and there no longer was a demand or task to go to Israel offering the Kingdom anymore.

However, the remaining ones, evangelist, teacher and elders/pastors, are the ones we have in this church dispensation – but notice that these three offices are not of the same power/standards as those during Acts-period. For the simple reason that we no longer have the baptism of the Holy Ghost for a super-powered ministry including signs, wonders and healings. Our ministers are volunteers, taking this upon themselves. No one is elected specially by God, in the same sense we see with the apostles.

In Acts-period, even deacons could perform great miracles, like Stephen did before they stoned him. And evangelists could do the same, even cast out demons, like Philip. And elders/pastors obviously experienced the same power as we learn from Paul’s description and ‘attestation’ given Messianic Churches in Galatia:

“Then does He Who supply you with His marvelous Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you….” Gal. 3:5.

All these Holy Ghost miracles and manifestations ceased entirely as we find Israel’s fall in 62 AD as Paul confronted them (Acts 28:25-28).

The Bible says clearly – and that is why I titled this book like I did – that Paul was the only apostle sent to us Gentiles. This is literally so – there has not since the time of Paul been sent any other apostles or any new generation of a perpetual string of apostles and prophets through the history of the church dispensation. To God it was all-sufficient to send us Paul!

So, regarding leadership in the local church, we no longer have any of the ministries/gifts seen in 1 Cor 12-14. They existed only under the New Covenant offer to Israel, brought them by the apostles. Today we only have volunteers acting as teachers/administrators/ministers – in a natural human effort. No special ‘Apostolic Anointing’ like we find in the Messianic church era. Our qualifications, other than faith in Christ, are those which each one of us possesses according to our education/training/experience.

Since I am most often operating as a Bible teacher, through this website, this is the ‘ministry’ which takes up maybe as much as 80% of my time. But not in the same sense as we see with the Acts Church. This dispensation of the free grace of God have nothing comparable to those in the Acts-period.

But at times I have been asked to come have a Bible Seminar. I cannot say that I have been so much of an evangelist or run campaigns like that. But who knows? It may come. I don’t know. But I am very confident with teaching people the Bible rightly divided.

Again I say: None of these three ministries have any such demonstrative super-natural Holy Ghost miracle power as seen in Acts period. I have explained to you why so.

In our dispensation we learn that the Holy Ghost is given us in a manner of being our seal (ticket) to the hope of heaven, and secondly the Holy Ghost is also our security and guarantee of our inheritance in heaven with Christ (Eph. 1:13, 14).

In the times of the New Covenant preaching to Israel, when sign gifts and the five-fold ministries were in operation, Paul exhorted them like this:

“What then brethren? When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a tongue, or an interpretation of it, – let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all. 27: If some speak in a tongue, let the number be limited to two or at the most three, and each one taking his turn, and let one interpret.” 1 Cor. 14:26, 27.

But as we come over into the new dispensation, of the ‘One New Man’ – the Church which is His body, things have changed:

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled with the Spirit. 19: Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices and instruments and making melody with all your heart to the Lord. 20: At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. 21: Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Eph. 5:18-21.

In the latter passage of exhortation, Paul has no longer any doctrine for how to operate with sign gifts; simply because in Ephesians we are over into a new dispensation – and no longer in the dispensation of the Law and the New Covenant to Israel. We are into the full unmerited Grace of God by faith alone.

THE HERESY OF ECUMENISM

Ecumenism paralyzes the right Biblical division in doctrinal consistency!

And ecumenism paves the road for heresy of all kinds. I want to include this important exhortation in this book. We are living in times of great religious confusion, and Paul our apostle, never gave in to such powers which would try to make the Gospel and the morals in it to a small and unimportant matter.

The Bible itself shows us that this issue is not to be treated in a nonchalant manner.

From 1977 to late 80’s I worked with the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International of Norway. An evangelization-organization started by a business man in California, Demos Shakarian. His ‘vision’ was to have all Christians regardless of denomination, to stand together and hold meetings in neutral localities such as hotels and restaurants, where Christian business men could give their testimony of Jesus and His salvation. It sounds nice, doesn’t it?

But this work depended upon our willingness to drop several important doctrinal issues, in order to stand together in our shared cause.

I see now that this was all wrong. This was and still is – opposing the Paul’s word of preaching only the grace gospel. We are told to reprove and warn of heresy at all times, by the role-models seen with Titus and Timothy, in spite of the fact that the Pastoral Epistles were written to the Jewish New Covenant believers, and not to us. Such warnings are always inter-dispensational.

It is a more Biblical practice to stand firmly against all kinds of heresy anywhere. Paul spoke of parties among Corinthians, as a positive phenomenon – giving people ability to choose the RIGHT SIDE. This truth is universal and goes for all times and ages.

When I and people like me go warning against heresy, such ecumenical believers will shout back at me: “But we are commanded by Christ to love all Christians! Differences in doctrine must not keep us from loving and keep fellowship with all Christians!”

I cannot find any such doctrine whatsoever in the Bible.

What I do find is Paul’s strict and true words:

Eph. 4:25: “Therefore rejecting ALL FALSITY and being done now with it, let everyone express THE TRUTH with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.”

Eph. 5:13: “But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light.”

2 Tim. 2:25: “He must CORRECT HIS OPPONENTS with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know THE TRUTH .”

2 Tim. 4: 2-4: “Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. And convince them, REBUKING AND CORRECTING, WARNING AND URGING, and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. 3: For the time is coming when people will not tolerate sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching, they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold. 4: And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.”

Now, tell me, all of you who want so much to love every Christian and keep fellowship with him doctrinally, how on God’s green earth are we going to be faithful to the Bible as we have it from Paul our apostle, and hold the Word of Truth up so people can believe on Jesus Christ?

Ecumenism will not allow you to be faithful to the Word of God; they will rather want to be scratched in their itching ears with false ‘comforting doctrine’ after their liking. Paul said that these negative trends would come over us in the end-times.

I have already several times mentioned the heretic Pentecostal movement, as well as the Word-Faith movement, the Kansas Prophets etc. But I will always keep warning against all such false movements, because we are told to do so by the Word of God. Christian Zionism is also a belief I go against.

He never said He would send His angels to reprove and warn Christianity. This serious task is reserved for us normal believers in Christ.

If we are to really follow the line of duty which Paul has set forth for us, here it is:

Reproving and correcting to make people respect the faith (Eph. 5:13).

CHAPTER 10

A SHORT LOOK AT PAUL’S LIFE AND MINISTRY

“Why are you persecuting Me, Saul?” was the very first words Gamaliel’s disciple, Saul from Tarsus, heard when he was met by Jesus in the powerful vision which fell over him by the Damascus road. And got his sinister errand stopped, as he was on his way to cast into jail the Lord’s disciples at Damascus, in the year of 35-36 AD.

Luke chose to use the Roman pronouncing of his name, which was Paul. Like Paul’s name in original Hebrew was Shaoul, but ended up as Paul – so was Peter’s Simon turned into Cephas (the rock) which in Greek became Petro, or Peter in English.

In this short look upon Paul’s life and ministry as we know from the New Testament, it will not be so many references to Bible verses or passages. You will have to look these up for yourself, thus perhaps refreshing your knowledge in the Scriptures.

This book does not really deal with Paul as a person, but rather as the minister of God as it pleased Him to send him to us Gentiles.

This book is about the Biblical revelation which God gave to us through Paul’s ministry.

Nevertheless I would like us to just refresh our knowledge in this great apostel’s ministry and whereabouts. It could help some of the readers into a wider view of how God let His Gospel reach out to us.

The more formal and doctrinal passages of Paul are already dealt with in the previous chapters. And which has to do with this present dispensation – which by the way – is closing in on its conclusion.

We may have somewhere around slightly over half a century left, if we are considering the ‘Hosea clock’ (Hos. 6:2). This clockwork in the form of Hosea’s prophesy of Israel being revived after two days (two millennia) leaves us with around 2070 AD for the Lord’s second advent, since I consider Israel’s death as a nation, to have occurred when the Romans destroyed them in 70 AD.

(To you who might object to my idea of the ‘Hosea clock’, know this: There is no record in the O.T. Scriptures whether Hosea or others, that the ‘Two days’ was just two calendar days, and not two millennia. If this ‘clock’ was just two ordinary days, then I expect Hosea to tell us about these two days, since he said that God would ‘Revive’ Israel! Understand? In other words, we have no other choice than to understand his prophesy as one talking of Israel dead for two millennia, and then brought back as a nation to Him).

Paul was a student with the Pharisee, Gamaliel, who was the headmaster in the educational system of the Sanhedrin in the time of early Acts. This headmaster is displayed in the Word of God with a positive attestation – he had a good portion of wisdom. He spoke up against the persecution of Peter and the apostles in the early period of Acts. Gamaliel warned the Sanhedrin of the risk of fighting against God. The Bible says that Gamaliel was held in high regard with the Jewish people. Let me quote to you what Gamaliel said:

“But a certain Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, highly esteemed by all the (Jewish) people, standing up, ordered that the apostles be taken outside for a little while. 35: Then he addressed the council, saying, Men of Israel, take care in regard to what you propose to do concerning these men. 36: For before our time there arose Theudas, asserting himself to be a person of importance, with whom a number of men allied themselves, about 400; but he was killed and all who had listened to and adhered to him were scattered and brought to nothing. 37: And after this one rose up Judas the Galilean, during the time of the census, and drew away a popular following after him; he also perished and all his adherents were scattered. 38: Now in the present case let me say to you, stand off from these men and let them alone. For if this doctrine or purpose or undertaking or movement is of human origin, it will fail; 39: But if it is God, you will not be able to stop or overthrow or destroy them; you might even be found fighting against God!” Acts 5:34-39.

They listened to Gamaliel and let the apostles go.

When we thus has this background ‘research’ before we come to the young inexperienced Saul, we notice at once that he was not only young, but he was foolish! He – without knowing it – was a ‘daredevil’ in that he acted against the wisdom and wise judgment shown in his teacher Gamaliel. He acted quite contrary to that which Gamaliel spoke to the Sanhedrin, and raised instead a furious persecution against the Messianic assembly at Jerusalem and Judea, and then turning his anger against those which were in Damascus.

The whole turmoil seemed to have been triggered by the strong ministry of the deacon Stephen, as we learn that he had miracle sign gifts and performed great and astonishing miracles among the people.

And some unbelieving men made a conspiracy to stop Stephen, and they started slandering him with false accusations, that he had spoken against God and Moses. The conspiracy was driven forth mainly by a group from the synagogue of the Freedmen and their sympathizers.

But Stephen threw their accusations (which also was dumb hypocrisy) back into their faces, by giving them a lecture of their own Jewish history starting with Abraham’s calling and ending with their own foolish actions – accusing them of always resisting the Holy Ghost and not obeying the Law of Moses.

Stephen’s rebuking and reproving these evil-minded Jews was of such a character that it was only ‘topped’ by Jesus Himself as we read Matt. 23! Oh, I would really have favored seeing a DVD-recording of this meeting, wouldn’t you also (well, except for the stoning)? Stephen’s speech and powerful defense should be read every Sabbath in every Jewish Synagogue worldwide!

It all ends by Stephen getting stoned to death outside the walls of Jerusalem.

It is here we meet Paul for the first time in Scripture. Notice: He is OUTSIDE the wall, participating in an illegal killing of a man of God. And it was only 3-4 years since the Jews had killed their Messiah Jesus.

But the good Lord revenged this murder as well as the murder of James and other saints in Acts period, by in the year of 70 AD sending ….quote, the King’s armies to kill these murderers and to set fire to their city (Jerusalem), as in the parable of the King’s Servants in Matt. 22:7 etc.

The Bible is not saying that Paul started this turmoil, but it clearly comes to light that he increased it all and turned up the heat substantially – as we read of his furious actions, described by Luke as follows:

“But Saul shamefully treated and laid waste the church continuously; and entering house after house, he dragged out men and women and committed them to prison.”

Paul got the High Priest to hand him letters of authorization to arrest the Jesus-believers that may be found – searching the synagogues at Damascus.

He wanted to take these eventual prisoners back to Jerusalem for conviction and punishment, eventually to their deaths. Remember, Acts report of a Saul who was… drawing his breath hard from threatening and murderous desire against the disciples of the Lord.

But we read: “Now as he travelled on, he came near to Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him, and he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting.”

Paul must have been totally knocked out and his head in a ‘dizzy-spell’ – and to top it off, he could no longer see! He must have been stricken with fear and shivering. Would the Lord kill him now, to punish him for persecuting them? Paul must have been frightened to death, so to speak. I am sure. Well, I would have been!
He had to be led by hand into Damascus, and he was blind for three full days.

He refused to drink and eat out of the fear for the Lord. Thereafter we find that the Lord reveals Himself to another disciple, Ananias, asking him to go see Paul who stayed in the house of Judas, and Paul was then in prayer.

A lesson can be learned out of this, spiritually speaking, – for what was Paul doing when he could NOT see (it is not often we think of Paul as one who could not see; on the contrary, we think of him as one who really saw…more than most others!) ? Paul PRAYED. He may even have been praying for hours and hours. Hoping for the Lord to grant him mercy and give him back his eye sight. And the answer to his prayers came swiftly….
“Ananias, ask at the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus called Saul, for behold, he is praying – and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias enter and lays his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”

Then we also get to know how Paul really had scared the wits off those disciples in Damascus as well as in Jerusalem:

“Lord, I have heard many people tell about this man, especially how much evil and what great suffering he has brought on Your saints at Jerusalem.”

The Lord’s answer to Ananias is the first clue given as to what Jesus had chosen Paul to do:

“Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles (proselytes) and kings and the descendants of Israel. For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake.”

Then Ananias arrived and laid his hands on Paul giving him his sight back. Luke tells us that Paul was immediately filled with the Holy Ghost, and shortly thereafter was baptized in water, entirely in the New Covenant fashion and fully in line with the Kingdom teaching and practicing of the apostles.

Paul started at once to preach in the synagogues – teaching of Jesus as Israel’s Messiah, and people were astonished by seeing this persecutor now instead preaching the same message which he shortly before stood against!

Many of the disciples – naturally – were still scared of the man – which is understandable, but a little by little their skepticism fainted and he was taken into the warmth, and was acquainted with Peter and the others. On his way into full acceptance, he managed in several occasions to stop the mouths of the various Jewish groups he opposed.

Notice a little detail in this scenario: While Peter in his time was chosen, Jesus chose a common fisherman, one of the ‘Working class’ if I dare say so.

But notice carefully what happened when He elected and called Paul: He chose an educated Pharisee, a man of great knowledge and perhaps just as much personal crave for a career in the upper class spheres in Israel! Okay, I know that you know, that Paul earlier in his teenager years and on, took on his father’s craft of making tents of goat hides. But Paul left that craft obviously, and headed for a full career as a scholar and Pharisee. But later on, he got a renewed use of his old craft, as the believing couple escaping Rome, came to assist him in ministry at Corinth – Aquila and Priscilla.

And – this is why I mentioned Gamaliel so early – no wonder then that Jesus may have felt right to choose a man from Gamaliel’s class. Paul had at least been in relatively good hands, thinking of wisdom and knowledge in general. Isn’t it interesting how things are knit together, even in Scripture? And by the way, where do you think Paul learned his sharp intelligent use of Rhetoric’s?

Yes, you guessed right! It was with Gamaliel and his equally sharp brain and sense of detail with words and how to run disputes and debates. No wonder that Peter had to admit, that in the writings of Paul, there were things which are difficult to understand or comprehend.

It did not take long before Paul now became the persecuted one, as in Damascus, and the disciples had to save him by helping him over the walls so he could flee to Jerusalem, at night.

He was met with great skepticism at his arrival in Jerusalem, but Barnabas took care of him well. And introduced him to the apostles – as he recollected to them what Paul had told him of the event with his conversion and his immediate preaching to the Jews.

Paul’s courage and boldness took on greater proportions as he went on preaching, but to avoid dangerous calamities at Jerusalem they persuaded him into going back home to Tarsus for a while. They probably saved Paul’s life doing this. The Greek Jews planned to kill him.

After this, Luke wrote: “So the church throughout the whole of Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was edified and walking in the respect and reverential fear of the Lord and in the consolation and exhortation of the Holy Spirit, continued to increase and was multiplied.”

Then Luke leaves Paul out of it for a while. We do not learn what happened at Tarsus; it probably had no concern for the story of Acts. Even if Luke did not go to Tarsus with Paul, it would have been an easy thing to have Paul telling of his stay there once they were back together again.

We are introduced to Paul again in connection to Barnabas and his ministry in holding ‘revival meetings’ at Antioch, Syria. Luke wrote of this:

“For he was (Barnabas) a good man, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit. And a large company was added to the Lord. Barnabas went on (from Antioch) to Tarsus to hunt for Saul.”

And so we learn that the two, Barnabas and his fellow co-worker Paul, stayed for one year at Antioch teaching and preaching a large number of people. And Luke makes his well-known remark that it was in Antioch where the disciples first were called Christians, which was taken from the rumors among the people – of them being so Christ-like – they had miracles and signs and this was noticed, thus calling them ‘Like-the-Christ’ who worked His miracles when on earth.

We find the prophet Agabus arriving Antioch and he prophesied of a great famine to come upon the Empire; and it happened as the prophet had said, after Claudius had become Emperor, winter of 41 AD, after Caligula was killed. But Paul and Barnabas were asked to take on the task of sending a relief to the assemblies in Judea, after they collected money for this purpose from the church at Antioch.

Paul was not the sort of ‘puffed-up-apostle’ like those false apostles you find within Charismatic movements today, who can only stand in a pulpit, talking nonsense! No, he and Barnabas was the real thing, God’s personally elected apostles/servants to bring the Kingdom Gospel to Jews and proselytes. And they were only happy to assist in the needs of the poor and afflicted.

From Acts 13 and on, we find that Luke now makes Paul and his co-workers the ‘Stars-of-the-Show’, if you don’t mind me saying so. We never hear anymore of Peter – except for his encounter at Jerusalem Acts 15, for whatever the reason. But I guess the reason was that Peter only had a commission to go within Israel’s land to the Jews, but Paul had a mandate to go to Jews and proselytes abroad; Paul mentioning this in Gal. 2.

Like Peter at Pentecost and on, so it was with Paul as well: Pointing to the PROMISE of the Kingdom of God on earth, a promise which was given their fathers. Paul in Acts 13:32 sounds strikingly similar to Peter at Pentecost, pointing to Israel’s promise and covenant.

But the words of Jesus as He called Paul, of Paul having to take on a lot of suffering and trouble for Jesus’ sake, kicked in already from ‘Day One’ in ministry in Galatia 43 AD, where the Jews went into a rage over Paul’s message of the Kingdom and Jesus as Messiah. The Jews were upset and angry as they observed the huge crowd gathering in the synagogue on the Sabbath.

The report Luke gave regarding this event in Galatian province, is pretty good:

“And when the Gentiles (proselytes) heard this, they rejoiced and glorified the Word of God (to them); and as many as were destined to eternal life (Greek: Aion age, the millennia) believed. And so the Word of the Lord scattered and spread throughout the whole region.”

These things repeated themselves more or less throughout the entire ministry of Paul for the rest of the Book of Acts. Persecution from angry and jealous Jews as the same Jews had to watch Paul getting well along with the converted happy proselytes who participated in the synagogues everywhere Jews had a seat in town. Paul – literally spoken – turned over to where the proselytes (Greek) sat in the rear of the synagogues, and speaking over the heads of the angry Jews, and thus used the proselytes present as a form of crowbar to have the Jews repent to Christ. Only Paul had such a technique in ministry.

To learn more on this important (Gentile) subject, please check out my little book called ‘God, Paul and the Gentiles’ – which is a jewel of a booklet regarding help to distinguish between the different types of Gentiles in N.T. times! It is free to be downloaded.

Following Paul on his several journeys in the Empire, we notice that he went always to the synagogues – and on the Sabbath of course – for Acts was a time when Jews kept Sabbath, for sure. Paul even made two Nazirite-wows like only Jews in the time of the Law as well as in the time of the New Covenant offered to them, could make. In this time of the Book of Acts Paul always went to ‘Jews first, then Greek’. The Jewish nation was still sat above all other nations.

Paul went to all the densely populated places and cities in the Empire where Jews lived and had their synagogues. Like Antioch and Ephesus, the latter which had a population of about 200 000 inhabitants then. Corinth was slightly smaller, but they had a large synagogue there, which you can still see the ruins of today. I was there in 1980 with some friends, and noticed how large that synagogue really was. I also recall that we read the stone-plaque in the middle of the market place, of the Roman inscriptions regarding the Governor (proconsul) Gallio Flores, who was ruling for Rome in 50-52 AD. Luke mentions Gallio trying to stop the rage against the believers at Corinth. But Gallio refused to make any judgment in the case of Paul versus the Jews. He drove them away from his judgment seat (which was at that market place, called a ‘Bema Seat’). It is from that Roman inscription, that we know that Paul must have been there between the years of 50 AD and no later than the year of 52 AD. And his epistles to the Corinthians were written shortly thereafter, probably 53 AD.

In Corinth there was not given us any ‘Miracle report’ – Paul working great miracles like he did when he later arrived at Ephesus. But Paul himself took care of that in his second epistle to them, talking of the signs and wonders and miracles God had worked among them – for those miracles were the very signs of his apostleship, thus warning them against false apostles in the region. Paul stayed close to three years at Corinth, just as he would do later on at Ephesus.

The signs and wonders of the Kingdom preaching to Jews and proselytes, followed him constantly in all the provinces he came; Galatia, Philippi in Macedonia, Corinth in Achaia, Ephesus in Asia, and Thessalonica; and also Malta and finally Rome.

The trouble which should put Paul in chains, started at Jerusalem in 58 AD as he arrived in time to participate in the Feast of the Weeks, Pentecost. He had been warned of this trouble to come, by the Holy Ghost.

He could have been killed by the angry Jewish lynching mob there at the Temple Mount. But the Roman Cohort, present in the city, took him into custody and so his life was spared. From there the journey went to Rome via jailing in Caesarea for finally to stand before the emperor Nero with his Appeal Court. He spent near four years in chains and custody.

Several times over, Paul had heard (and seen) from Christ in visions to strengthen him in his dramatic ministry. In Jerusalem shortly after he was taken into custody, Jesus appeared to Paul saying:

“Take courage, Paul, for as you have borne faithful witness concerning Me at Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

Notice into all of this please, that Paul was steered via Jerusalem first, in his ministry to witness to Jews and proselytes for the Kingdom of God on earth. This was an example of how God can speak twice to His chosen people, the Jews, to give them a last chance of repentance in a certain matter. This time it was all about the Kingdom for Israel with Jesus on the throne. But we read of the furious mob in the city wanting to kill Paul, like they once had killed Jesus, and shortly thereafter God let Paul be sent on his way to the ultimate ‘Place of no return’ for the Jews to get their Kingdom, which was Rome in which there were eleven synagogues at that time.

At Rome there lived a considerable number of Jews, and they had eleven large synagogues there and their own Sanhedrin council, like they had in Jerusalem. So it seems clear to me that Jesus sent Paul there for a final last talk with Israel on a national level. Rome was the only place not yet charged by Paul to answer before God and make a choice of Yes or No in regard to accepting Christ as Messiah.

Rome became the city in which God bade Israel farewell – as they refused to listen (in full numbers repenting) to Paul’s message the two years he spent there. And so we find the grave fall of Israel!

The well-known words in Acts 28:28 fell as a judgment upon them and the entire Jewry:

“So let it be understood by you then that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen.” (As opposed to Jewry, which would not!)

These last few words of Paul, which also was the last word spoken to Israel from God – have been fulfilled during the centuries past. Some experts are saying that we Christians are almost one billion believers in the world. We Gentiles (but there are also a small contingent of Jews) are considered to be notoriously Christ-accepters, Christ-believers, but unfortunately Jewry are considered the opposite.

In the three so-called freedom-years 63-66 AD, he spent much time together with Titus in ministry, mostly on the island of Crete – preaching to them the fresh new Grace Gospel of Christ like it was revealed to him, explained in Ephesians and Colossians. He called it ‘The Gospel of the Unsearchable Riches of Christ’. A Gospel that cannot be found or researched through O.T. Scripture.

Paul was jailed in 67 AD in a raid headed by Nero’s police guards, blamed for having participated in the arson of Rome 64 AD. He was decapitated in jail right outside the city late spring 67 AD, historians say.

But Paul managed to write the three epistles which deals with our hope of salvation: The hope of epiouranos, the heaven up above the heavens, where Christ now resides with His Father. These are Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. The latter has no faith-doctrine though.

He was the one and only apostle whom God sent out to us Gentiles.

CHAPTER 11

THE CHURCH FATHERS AND THEIR
HERETIC BIBLE INTERPRETATIONS.

(Much of this chapter I am using excerpts and quotes from
Stuart Allen’s excellent booklet “The Early Centuries and the Truth”)

It was the so-called ‘Church fathers’ which handed down to Christianity its inherited and faulty way of interpreting the Bible.

The Bible was not edited like one book, but from 70 AD until 400 AD the different apostolic epistles were interpreted and wrote about of a number of church fathers in the post-apostolic era.

The most well-known names were Clement of Rome 92 AD, Papias 60-150 AD, Ignatius 70-115 AD, Tatian 110-172 AD, Tertullian 160-222 AD, Origen 186-253 AD, and Justinian the Martyr 100-165 AD.

It was early second century that a Bible Canon started to take shape. No such book was needed in the times of the apostles. The apostles taught the Scriptures in a perfect manner. Not before 400 AD could we find the New Testament edited as a collection like the one we have now. In the Eastern Roman Empire this was made ready in 367 AD, like it was proclaimed in the ninth Easter Letter from Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria. In the Western Roman Empire a similar conclusion was made of the New Testament at Carthage in 397 AD.

But from the times with the apostolic church fathers, only one or two Gospels were publicly known, plus Paul’s epistles, however they had doubts about the Epistle to the Hebrews. But the issue here is: Did they understand Paul’s teaching, whose writings are the key to the truths of this dispensation? What took place really, after Paul’s martyrdom?

It seems as if – the ministry of Timothy in spite of it – there are no clear understanding on the church father’s part after Timothy was gone.

The earliest teachings we can find after the apostles and Timothy were gone, are Didache, or as some calls it, ‘Teaching of the Twelve Apostles’, and a scripture called ‘Sheperd of Hermas’.

Didache claims to have been handed down by the twelve apostles named in the Gospels, whereof Paul is not mentioned. The Didache-scripture was discovered in a Greek manuscript in Constantinople (Istanbul now) in 1873, and printed and sold by Bryennius in 1883. A very late discovery and it has its doctrine based upon the Great Commission in Matt. 28. And this scripture became the early doctrinal basis for the church. It is dated early second century.

One can only conclude: Didache is like entering a totally different world than the one revealed to us by Paul. The following quotes will show us how this scripture fails entirely to teach the Grace Gospel of Paul.

“Do not keep stretching out your hands to receive, and drawing them back when it comes to returning. If through your hands you have earned a ransom for your sins, you shall not hesitate to give it.” (4:6, 7).

I shudder when thinking that these words were taught by the early post-apostolic church, which became later on the Roman Catholic Church! Salvation by works?

“See that no one leads you astray from this way of the Teaching, for he teaches you without God. For if you can bear the whole yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect, but if you cannot, do what you can.” (6:2).

“Your fasts must not be on the same days as the hypocrites, for they fast on Monday and Thursday, but you must fast on Wednesday and Friday.” (8:1)

“So you shall take the first-fruits of the produce of the wine-press and the threshing floor and of cattle and sheep, and give the first-fruits to the prophets, for they are your high priests.” (13:3).

The whole Didache is a full-blown heresy and a non-Christian doctrine! It is as far away from Paul’s grace teaching as it can possibly get. Compare this false doctrine with what Paul wrote in Eph. 2:6-8.

If we then go to the first letter of Clement (bishop at Rome 88-97 AD), we can read a few selected quotes. Scholars hold the letter to have been written about 90-95 AD. Clement tried to correct bad attitudes in the church at Corinth.

“Let our children share in Christian instruction, let them learn what power humility has with God, what pure love can do with God, how good and great His fear is, and how it saves those who lives in holiness with pure mind. For He is the searcher of thoughts and desires, His breath is in us and when He pleases, He will take it away. ( 1 Clement 21:8).

“Let us clothe ourselves with harmony, in humility and self-control, keeping ourselves from all gossip and slander, and be justified by deeds, not by words.” (30:3).

Clement could not come farther away from Paul’s Gospel. Getting saved by works….deeds?

Ignatius, bishop at Antioch, lived early in the second century and he was condemned to death and taken to Rome to be thrown to the lions in the Coliseum. Eusebius wrote that he was martyred there in 107-108 AD.

One of his heretical teachings was that he taught of the bishop’s office as the superior of all – and which could not be opposed.

Ignatius wrote letters to Philadelphia, Smyrna, Tralles, Magnesia and Ephesus, and my quotes are from some of those:

“So it is clear we must look upon the bishop as the Lord Himself…” (Eph. 4:1).

“I exhort you, be zealous to do everything in godly harmony, with the bishop presiding in the place of God.” (Eph. 6:1).

“When you subordinate yourselves to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, you appear to me to be living not in the human way, but after the manner of Jesus Christ..”. (Trall. 2:1).

Ignatius should only have known that he, writing such heresy, had planted the first seed upon which and from which the Roman Catholic Church would emerge…with all its political power and intrigues not the least because of the extreme power which was granted the Papal seat. A Papal seat which was …presiding in the place of God.

Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, (69-155 AD) admitted that he had not quite understood Paul, when he wrote to the Philippians half a century after Paul’s death:

“For neither I, nor anyone else like me, can follow the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, who, when he was among you, face to face with the men of that time, carefully and steadfastly uttered his teaching about truth…” (Phil. 3:2).

Many more examples of the church father’s teachings/heresies and untruths could be quoted, and Stuart Allen has done this in the said booklet. But I shall have to let this be it for now. However, shortly, I will just mention that the Shepherd of Hermas is maybe the worst of them all…in which we can read of nonsense like visits from angels, and that he claimed to be a prophet; his scripture is mainly dealing with an apocalyptic future event, etc. One can only conclude that the entire scripture of this confused person is total heresy.

We find that the church fathers had not at all comprehended any of the essentials in Paul’s Grace Gospel revelation as we find in Ephesians and Colossians.

Their writings are dominated by the influence of the New Covenant offered to Israel and the Kingdom teaching of Peter and the eleven, plus a lot of fantasy and fictional imagination.

No wonder then that today we find the Pope and his organization as one which hold Peter as their first leader – only adding Paul more secondary and not so important. The Popes have always pointed to Peter and that they have been his successors.

Not only the Roman Catholic Church discriminates against Paul, but almost all other church-systems in Christianity do the same error. They have in no manner proved to the world that they have understood Paul’s importance of being the ONE AND ONLY apostle sent to us Gentiles! What a blunder. What a shame.

Many fragments of attitudes, liturgics and general understanding of the four gospels as it is with the Catholics, has survived inside Lutheran churches in spite of the reformation of Luther and Melanchthon.

It seems clear to me that Luther did not understand the revealed Mystery given to Paul for us. When he reformed the Catholic churches in Germany, by pointing to ‘Righteousness by faith’ – he had the epistles to the Romans and the Galatians in mind. In which we only find ‘Righteousness from the Law of Moses’ – and not the righteousness from sin, like we find in Ephesians and Colossians. Luther could not just see that we Gentiles have never been under the Law of Moses. (Rom. 2:14).

Luther, unfortunately, did not comprehend the historical fact that Peter and the eleven, as well as Paul in Acts, worked with and for Israel only. It was all a very private concern and a private setting between God and Israel, from which we Gentiles were shut out. Only proselytes in controlled numbers were allowed in the Messianic Jewish faith!

Let me end this chapter by quoting some of Stuart Allen’s conclusion at the end of his booklet (page 32):

“In summing up the teaching of the Apostolic Fathers, what do we find? One is surprised and even shocked to discover that none of them had a clear conception of the gospel of grace Divinely delivered to the Apostle Paul and ministered by him. Rom. 11:6, never really gripped them: ‘And if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace…”

CHAPTER 12

THE CHURCH DISPENSATION ENDS
WHEN ELIJAH APPEARS FROM HEAVEN.

When studying Elijah’s ministry as prophet in Israel in ancient times, comparing this with the great task awaiting him in the end-time Israel and the Great Tribulation there, we find many similarities.

As a matter of fact we can find that Elijah, together with Moses (Rev. 11) not only shall be on earth in the Great Tribulation, but the two are the ‘Generals of War’ (as I mentioned in an earlier chapter in my book) sent by God to smite Israel with the Egyptian plagues and horrors once described by Moses in Deut. 28 (curse) – and later detailed in Revelation. Elijah is coming shortly before the day of the Lord, and he shall purge and cleanse Israel through a series of extreme punishments and signs in the company of Moses. Malachi 4 mentions Moses and Elijah in the same breath.

Jesus said in Matt. 17:11: “Elijah does come and will get everything restored and ready (for Jesus’ Second Advent).”
In those three little words restored and ready lays the whole Great Tribulation.

Elijah is not coming to restore the world, but only Israel. And the Great Tribulation is the tool to make them ready for God. We shall have a rather brief look at some of the ‘High Lights’ so to speak. Just a little glimpse of what this will look like in the real world. It is not a full exposition of the topic. Some of this will seem pretty weird and scary to some of you, and to others this will be well-known material. But what do you think your reaction would have been, if you had been present when God let loose His gigantic judgment upon Egypt when Moses told Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go? Right! So here we go….

Some gullible and ignorant believers today think that the Great Tribulation is just appearing/starting out of thin air, by itself or by some mad politicians or despots going about with their mad ideas. But there will be no such thing…the Great Tribulation will be triggered off by the mighty and anointed genuine prophets of God, Elijah and Moses.

The tribulation will start with these witnesses proclaiming the harsh punishments coming upon Israel, and will be referring to Ezek. 36…saying to Israel: (Probably saying this in Knesset) …..

“The Lord Christ Jesus will now vindicate the holiness of His great name and separate it for its holy purpose from all that defiles it – His name, Jesus, which has been profaned among the nations, which you – Israel – have profaned among them – and the nations during the tribulation now coming upon you, will know, understand and realize that He, Christ Jesus, when He shall be set apart by you and His holiness vindicated in you before their eyes and yours.” (v.23).

And one of the first signs of punishment cast upon Israel would immediately be made effective: The two prophets will shut up heaven for rain! (Rev. 11:6). There will be no rain in Israel for the 3 ½ years given them to prophesy punishments, says the Bible.

The 1260 days of the two witnesses, in Rev. 11:3 – makes out the first half of the 7-year tribulation. And when anti-Christ kills the witnesses, the Gentiles will have those days ruling Jerusalem as the final half is clocked off, mentioned as the 42 months. How do we know? By reading Rev. 11:14 where it says, as the prophets are killed – there has only been fulfilled two of the three Birth Pangs by this. And still one Birth Pang remains – in other words: When the 1260 days of these two witnesses ends, it is not the end of the tribulation, but it has come half-way through it. Understand?

The third Birth Pang is heard as we read Rev. 18:16, 19 when God let Babylon the harlot, Jerusalem, have the judgment due, and Jerusalem shall burn for the last time in history! Verse 24 testifies for certain that the Babylon harlot, Jerusalem, also is the great city, in which it was found blood after prophets and the saints and of all who have been killed (for their faith in God) in the land. And right after this Third Birth Pang, we are told in Rev. 19:11 that Jesus is coming in His Second Advent. And I have so proved to you that the 1260 days of the two witnesses are the first half of a 7-year tribulation for Israel.

Rev. 11 telling of the two witnesses is essential to be able to understand the Great Tribulation.

The tribulation will not come just because Revelation says so – but it will physically and spiritually be ‘administered’ by Moses and Elijah, as they are prophesying one punishment following another!

In the same manner as we read of Moses when he confronted Pharaoh again and again, telling him of new and terrible plagues to hit Egypt. And even after their deaths, that which they prophesied will continue to happen, and Israel shall be whipped and scorned for their hatred against Christ – and so ultimately be forced to get on their knees calling up His name for salvation.
These plagues are the signs Jesus warned Israel of in Luke 21:25, 26 – and for which the people in Israel (not in the world elsewhere) shall…I quote:

“..swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the nation; for the very powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.”
Amplified Bible is correctly translated – because people will be fearfully looking for the prophesied plague, and seeks shelter! Now you can better understand how the Great Tribulation will affect the frightened Zionist-Israel in the tribulation. This is for real!

The two prophets will go in details when warning them of God’s next plague to hit on Israel, because the nation will not take heed to their preaching of Jesus as Messiah.

Like Pharaoh of old, when opposing Moses, the Israeli leaders will stand against the two prophets. For which a new round of horrors is cast upon the disobedient nation. If we read Revelation, we will see that after certain terrible plagues, the Jewish people go on blaspheming God! (Rev. 16:9, 11).

Neither of the two will end the tribulation, but it will be Jesus Himself coming down to stop the horrors and establish the millennial Kingdom (Matt. 24:21, 22).

When God starts up or ends something of great importance and significance to Israel, He always reveals His hidden council to His prophets (Am. 3:7).

It pleased God to use His prophet and apostle Paul to proclaim judgment against Israel for their hard resistance to Christ in his time as we see in Acts 28:25-28. It didn’t just happen out of thin air. God had an elected servant telling Israel His decision.

Now that God wants to take up His prophetic program with Israel, soon, He starts the whole series of events by sending His elected servants for this purpose, Moses and Elijah. And God will not do one little thing, unless His prophets FIRST tells the Israeli leadership what is coming upon them, why it is coming, and in same breath – tell them all to repent to Jesus Christ!

I have met Acts-28 believers who are so incredibly ignorant and unaware of the reality of the Great Tribulation in Israel that I am still astonished over such lack of knowledge or interest in the topic.

I have argued and disputed…long term…with Acts-28 believers over Babylon the Great Harlot in Rev. 17-18…but they cannot for their bare lives understand anything of these simple facts.

I am not saying they lack wisdom/intelligence or understanding as such, but many today are very hooked up into their own closed ‘Universe’ and will not allow any outsiders to help them out with a fuller understanding. Some thinks Revelation is talking of an Iraqi ‘Babylon’ – but Rev. 17 and 18 says it is Israel, represented by Jerusalem and its seven hills, who is the Mystery Babylon, and which shall be burnt with fire (just as once happened in 70 AD) and the city is sat in direct connection to merchant marine vessels which brings her the riches of this world (Haifa is port for this) – and we know Babylon-Iraq has no such ports. Jerusalem is several times called ‘The Great City’ – the place in which the blood of God’s servants and Jesus’ witnesses were spilled! It can only apply to Jerusalem folks. It’s that simple. I once checked the distance between Haifa (now a huge container port) and Jerusalem, and if making a straight line, I came close to 150 kilometers. And we know that Jerusalem has an altitude of about 800 meters, which leaves us the possibility to be able to see the smoke from a burning city, even as the sailors will see it like we read in Rev. 18:10, 17-19 – and the reference in verse 17 is to the Mediterranean Ocean, not the Persian Gulf or any other seashores.

It will not be possible to see, from the shores of the Mediterranean, if Bagdad or even a supposed imaginary new ‘Babylon’ city on the dessert plains of Iraq was at fire. Absolutely not! So the scenery displayed to us in Rev. 18, has the geographic stage-setting frozen to what I said of Haifa – where those sailors will stand wailing and lamenting over Jerusalem burning, the Mystery Babylon harlot in the end-times. Rev. 18 definitely tracks the wealth and vast riches pouring into the Babylon harlot, Jerusalem, from an extensive merchant marine as the main freight carriers. And so it shall be…you just wait and see.
And all these horrors seen in the Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets and Seven Bowls (from Rev. 6 and on) plus the three Birth Pangs, are all prophesied forth by the administrative power given the two prophets, Elijah and Moses.

I – sorry to say – often find among Acts-28 camp that the fall of Israel is ‘Painted White’ – thus not actually saying what really took place. Let me explain:

When Israel fell in Acts 28:25-28 for not wanting (ultimately and finally) to repent to Christ, God sent upon them a number of punishments, one worse than the other:

First He let Israel reap what they recently had sowed, they had sowed rebellion, murder, unbelief and so God allowed for them to spend four hard years (66-70 AD) in rebellion and uproar against Roman rule, and Rome answered by sending their tough armies to quench the rebellion.

This was prophesied by Moses as a part of the curse in Deut. 28:48-57 in which we find the Roman army as the ‘Yoke of Iron’ – we recall from Daniel 2:33 and the vision of the king, that the iron-feet of the image pointed to a future kingdom, now known as Rome. This yoke caused great starvation in the sieged Jerusalem, and they cooked their little babies to save themselves from death. Josephus witnesses about this horror in his books of ‘The Jewish War’.
Furthermore, the same Jewish historian witnessed also another fulfillment of prophesy, as he saw thousands and thousands of men from age of 17 being sent by ships to Alexandria, Egypt, to be sold as slaves; and many women as well. But no one would buy, for the market was inflated totally and collapsed! See Deut. 28:68.

Sent back to Egypt as slaves, sounds not to me as merely a ‘setting aside’ like Acts-28 camp often says. No, it was an outright annulling and reversing of the whole nation, back into same hopeless status as when God took them out by Moses and Aaron: Slaves with NO LAND. Also Hosea prophesied of the same in Hos. 8:13.

Israel was not just ‘Sat aside’ – they were totally obliterated into a non-existence as a nation. Returned back to where they came from. It’s a fact.

The fact that their fall from God in 62 AD, followed by their destruction in 70 AD is connected by Paul with the coming of anti-Christ shows us that there has not been any change of status for Israel since that time (2 Thess. 2:3).

It is in the time span between their fall in 62 AD and the coming of anti-Christ in the end-time, where we find the present dispensation of the church, the Body of Christ. We shall be appearing with Christ in heaven right before God sends Elijah and Moses to smite Israel. And already today we have a scene being built, the illegal (from God’s point of view) state of Israel, which will be more than willing to wish welcome this false messiah to come.

Anti-Christ is the outcome, the product of the fall of Israel as a nation and of their rejection of Christ in times past and present. And this evil personality will be the very climax in the Great Tribulation, as he starts executing Jews who will not bow to him as their God.

Christian-Zionists have a much distorted mind concerning Jesus praying for His executioners as He hung on the cross. They teach the world that since Jesus asked God to forgive the Jews, then all Jews are now (automatically) forgiven, and so God has established them therefore in the land.

But they are blind to the fact that the entire Book of Acts, shows us the apostles asking Israel to REPENT so God then, after their repentance, could send back Jesus to bless the nation!
In other words: The prayer of Jesus on the cross, bought the nation 30 years of repentance-time to get right with their God. But it ended with a disaster, God said goodbye, and sent them into destruction because of their Christ rejection.

The attacking Roman armies in 66-70 AD, was a fulfillment of Jesus’ parable of the King’s Servants in Matt. 22:7, as well as it was of His parable of the fruitless fig tree in Luke 13 (I repeat what I said in Chapter 3). In Matt. 22, the Kings army should burn down Jerusalem and kill those murderers who had recently killed the Kings servants, the apostles. And Luke 13, the tree was given ‘One more year’ to try to see if fruit would come. The gardeners were the apostles. But 30 years (the ‘one year’ in the parable) of trying to cultivate the dry soil around that fig tree was in vain. And the Roman axe came and chopped it down in 70 AD. Jesus said of this parable and its tree, Israel: It cannot take up the soil, depleting it. This is the same as saying to Israel: Israel! You cannot stay in the land as long as you will not believe on your Messiah Jesus!

The Roman Empire was not anti-Semitic, they were only one of several world powers through history, which happened to be used by God to punish and keep at bay His disobedient adulterous nation. They had no agenda of killing or exterminating Jews. They took action only after the Jews in 66 AD raised a rebellion against Rome, and their destiny was set: Destruction.

The coming of Elijah – as God also in the same instance will end the dispensation of the church – is an action taken by Christ for the purpose of first punishing them for their profaning of His name among the nations in history since 70 AD; secondly, He will pay them back for all their iniquity and spiritual adultery in history and their murders – since way back to Abel’s death.

Revelation 17-18 speaks of a revenge for the spilled blood of martyrs, the witnesses of Jesus and prophets of God. For which God burns the harlot, by giving such ideas into the ten Kings and anti-Christ (Rev. 17:17, 18).

Third, God will by such action against the Zionist-Israel set awe in all the nations so they will understand that He is real, and all atheism will get a final blow and cease to exist. Ezek. 36:23 once again, ‘…and the nations will know, understand and realize that I (Christ) am the Lord, when I shall be set apart by you and My holiness vindicated in you before their eyes and yours.’

The prime ministers and presidents and royalty around the world will sit shivering in front of the TV-screens, in awe over the Lord Jesus Christ’s judgment upon Israel! Ezekiel prophesied that they will know and understand, that it is an action of the Lord Jesus, by His prophets sent to punish Israel and purge them from sin.

And fourth: The establishing of the millennial Kingdom in Israel with Jesus as ruler in Jerusalem’s new temple (prophesied in Ezek. 46).

When studying Elijah in O.T. Scripture, it is easy to see how his signs and miracle-powers then are in full compliance with what we read in Rev. 11 of the two prophets; fire, no rain, perpetual food supply. And of Moses we learn same thing: The signs displayed before Pharaoh Ramses II, such as hail stones, extreme lightening, water made to blood, Egyptian super-natural darkness etc. are found within the plagues described in the Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets and Seven Bowls. Also plagues/diseases not written in the Book of Law (said Moses) should come to torment Israel in the tribulation. I find that the locust-monsters of Rev. 9:3-11 (from outer space) certainly are one of those kinds of ‘Egyptian diseases’ not written in the Law. But God had it written in the Revelation. These monsters will sting the anti-Christ followers in Israel with an incredibly cruel pain for five months, and people will try to kill themselves, but death shall flee from them.

We may speculate in how the two prophets will enter our world. Could it be that He allows for a magnificent and perhaps shocking entré, by sending them in His UFO – the ‘Chariot of Fire’ like the UFO which beamed up Elijah in ancient times?
Or will it please the Lord just to let them pop up right outside the entrance to Knesset?

Well – speculate – it is alright. But they will come for sure, one way or another. And Israel will experience a retaliation-raid against them for all the evil deeds they ever have committed in history, and particularly the evil way which they have profaned the name of Christ Jesus among us Gentile nations during the centuries past!

Elijah will most probably enter by the same words as he threw at Ahab in 1 Kings 17:1:

“As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years but according to My word.”
Notice also “before Whom I stand” – which is the same John wrote of the prophets in Rev. 11:4 – ‘Which stand before the Lord of the earth (should read, Land).”

If anyone tries to harm them, fire will fall on their enemies and consume them!

The tribulation is thus proven to be the very climax in what Moses once called the curse in Deut. 28. Israel chose the curse by not choosing Jesus. And so we find that Moses was the first prophet to foretell of a Great Tribulation, and other prophets have followed. Jesus, Peter, John and Paul spoke of the tribulation; coming upon Israel, and not the world. Moses said:

“And you shall be left few in number, whereas you had been as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.” Deut. 28:62. Also in line with Zech. 13:8.

The world was not charged to ‘Choose Christ’ or else…., but Israel was.

So I sincerely hope this little book has cleared much of the reader’s uncertainty or puzzles, and helped him to the right understanding of the word of Truth.




The Epistle to Titus:
New Covenant to Israel is the Doctrine

By Jan Lilleby

We notice already in Paul’s greeting in Tit 1:1, 2 that his teaching is based upon the type of ministry he had when it was written, namely the New Covenant to Israel, the promise given their forefathers. We read:

“Paul, a bond servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to stimulate and promote the faith of God’s chosen ones and to lead them on to accurate discernment and recognition of and acquaintance with the Truth which belongs to and harmonizes with and tends to godliness. 2: in the hope of eternal life (Greek: Aion, the millennial hope), which the ever truthful God Who cannot deceive promised before the world or the ages of time began.” (Amplified Bible).

Who was the chosen ones throughout the entire Old Testament from Abraham in Deut 12, if not Israel? So Paul tells Titus here that his ministry was to lead Israel on to the faith accordingly, in hope of the millennial kingdom on earth. Also pointing to the promise. It was still ‘Jews first, then Greek’ (Rom 1:16).

If now Paul confessed to Titus that his ministry was to lead Israel into faith in Christ, it was but one doctrine at that time in history: The New Covenant to Israel in the blood of Jesus (Hebr 8-9; Jer 31:31-34).

Based upon what God had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Confirmed to Moses at Sinai Ex 19:5, 6.

This was the very same ‘Gospel reference’ as Paul and Barnabas preached in Galatia in 43 AD, Acts 13:32:

“So now we are bringing you the Gospel that what God promised to our forefathers.”

Anyhow, I have to say that much of what I have written of 2 Tim can also be said of the Titus epistle – in that Paul’s exhortations and warnings against false teaching etc. has its full validity in a general sense, since the Word of God must in all dispensations be defended and held in high regard, thus going against false gospel-preaching and ecumenism.

The Gospel doctrine must be kept pure and unaltered and not allowing this to be compromised. This is not God’s job, but it is our job as believers to defend the ONE FAITH of Eph 4:5.

This, in spite of the obvious lack of apostles and prophets in our dispensation.

In Tit 2:14 we meet the demand of the believer’s faith to be openly demonstrated through works, a commandment that originates from Moses onward, and which was adopted into the New Covenant – only with the difference that in case a believer fell in sin, he could come to the elders and confess it (see James 5:13-16) – and then his sin would not be able to hinder his eventual illness to be healed by God by the laying on of hands.

There is no doubt that Paul wrote of Israel in the following passage:

“Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people eager and enthusiastic about beneficial deeds.”

Compare this with the Grace Doctrine of no deeds/works in Eph 2:8, 9:

“For it is by free grace that you are saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God. 9: NOT BECAUSE OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.”

The thing with the Jews – having to show forth their faith through deeds/works, has followed them at all times. It came already as God called Abram, later Abraham, and even more so when Moses received the covenant at Sinai. Works are arch-typical to classical Jewry.

Tit 3:4-7 could at first sight look like a controversy to this, but not if we take a closer look:

“But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man appeared, 5: He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth and renewing of the Holy spirit, 6: which He poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ, our Savior. 7: That we might be justified by His grace, and that we might become heirs of eternal life (Greek: Aion, millennial life) according to our hope.”

But no sooner that Paul wrote this, – that the works themselves had no saving-power – he re-gains the idea of and the importance of the ordinance of showing forth good deeds/works, as in verse 8:

“..to honorable occupations and to doing good…”.

The reference above in verses 4-7 is not the free grace as we now have it – but it was the New Covenant to Israel. If we read through all the Acts-epistles, we will meet this type of grace again and again, the grace that justified the believing Jew from the Law of Moses. But we, the church of the ‘One New Man’ are not justified from the Law, but from the sin inherited from Adam.

In these few verses we also find the baptism by the Holy Spirit as for instance demonstrated at Pentecost in Acts 2, and later we find this baptism granted them through the laying on of hands by the apostles. And their spiritual status was not as with us – ‘A New Creation’ – but they had what Jesus called ‘New Birth’. These are not the same. Adam and Eve were created, but their children were born. Angels are not born; they were created each and every one of them.

And the dispensation of the free grace of God, has in it that the believers are considered not born again, but as a group we are the New Creation. You see the difference?

The conclusion will therefore have to be – all things considered – that the epistle to Titus does not belong under the church dispensation, but was written to Titus in the era when Paul was ministering to Israel in the Empire by preaching the New Covenant to Israel and proselytes. The promise given to the Jewish forefathers (Acts 13:32).

It seems now to me that only three epistles remain ‘Church epistles’, Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon. The Mystery revealed is mentioned only in the two first and not in Philemon. But Philemon represents to us an example of how we are supposed to act between believers, by kindness and forgiveness. Even if it is so that the entire Bible can be held as Scripture from which we can draw edification, if we only know which Scripture is written to the present dispensation.

For instance in the question of eternity and ‘Heaven and Hell’ – we cannot allow ourselves to dwell only in the New Testament, let alone the three church epistles. We have to check out the Old Testament also – and as a sum of these we find that there is absolutely no ‘Hell’ for the unbeliever in the meaning of ‘Eternal torment in fire’. Just as much, we find that the Old Testament displays the nature and mind of God Almighty, His power to create and maintain His creation, and so on and so forth. It gives us a solid background for evaluating our own spiritual status and whereabouts and to appreciate our wonderful standing with God in Christ.

The time aspect of the epistle to Titus will then have to be before the end of Acts, and not after. Also in this matter my thanks will go to Irene M. Walther for her fine research which she shared with me. It made clear to me how this time aspect must have ran its course as it happened.

The time in which Titus must be placed, is the unspecified part of Paul’s travels, not made known through the pen of Luke. Namely Paul’s travel up to Illyricum, mentioned in Rom 15:19. It has to have happened before Paul went onboard the ship to start his journey to Jerusalem in about 58-59 AD. And it is worth mentioning that we cannot find Titus mentioned in the Acts.

Acts 27: 7, 8 tells of Paul entering the harbor of Fair Havens nearby Lasea at Crete on his journey to Rome as prisoner, due to harsh winds, and they barely rounded Cape Salmone because of it. But he could not do any form of ministry at that time, for he was in chains.

His journey to Illyricum and finally to Crete with Titus, must have been two, maybe three years earlier.
Illyricum was a nation just North-West of Macedonia, nearby Dalmatia in the upper Adriatic Sea region. We know for sure that Titus went to Dalmatia for a while, and Paul definitely travelled to and through Macedonia (Acts 20:1, 2).

It is my personal opinion that this unspecified non-descript journey to Crete with Titus, via Illyricum, may have lasted 6 months to one year, and I think we can place the event in 57 AD more or less. I think this is credible. Titus is definitely an Acts epistle, no question about that.

I agree much with Irene M. Walther, in that it may seem like this travel to Illyricum may not have been any great concern to the Lord, so it is not in the Acts. Neither is the travel to Crete for evangelization…but that event is taken care of by the epistle to Titus.




2 Tim is an Epistle Written in Light
of the New Covenant to Israel

By Jan Lilleby

In spite of 2 Tim being an Acts epistle, I will continue in regarding Paul’s exhortations there especially when he warns of false teachers/false doctrine; this because such warnings are absolutely inter-dispensational. It is obvious, isn’t it? We can by no means escape the responsibility in going forward with the one true faith, the one true gospel – thus we must resist any attempt to ecumenism.

I can only say (and I guess many other believers suffer from this at times) that I had gotten into a habitual thinking, in that most scholars hold to 2 Tim as a farewell epistle as the apostle was heading for his execution under Nero. But this is not so. Many translations are into grave error regarding such a concept. I’ll come to this shortly.

The main contents of the epistle shows us that it was written with the New Covenant to Israel in mind, in which the Kingdom of God on earth was included as their hope of salvation. (Check also Irene M. Walther’s article here in my site, as she goes through the same topic, but with many detailed references and quotes).

In the Norwegian translation of 1988 (Norsk Bibel), 2 Tim 4:6 speaking of Paul as a person anticipating his execution, the word ‘bortgang’ is used. This is ONLY used in Norwegian language when a soon expected death is in view, for instance an execution, or if a man is on his death-bed to die from illness. But in English Bibles we find the word ‘departure’ (a word-sign which we see inside all airports) – and also ‘release’. The latter used for instance when an inmate is released from Sing-Sing after doing time there. These words in English are far better than the blunt ‘bortgang’ in Norwegian, which can only mean a forthcoming death.

2 Tim 4:6 also has another key word, saying “..For jeg blir alt ofret..” in Norwegian (I am already sacrificed, in English) – and it could very well point to a forthcoming Death.

But in English we find the two Words ‘poured out’ – which rather points us to the image of a drink offer. Not a slaughtered sacrifice, but only a drink offer. Such a drink offer points to Paul as a servant poured out for the ministry under God’s New Covenant to Israel. His whole life was an offer before God and before Israel. He would be such an offer whether in jail or not.

2 Tim 4:13 say a lot, because here we find Paul making arrangements for his immediate future existence. Arrangements he would not have cared for should he head for an execution:

“When you come, bring the cloak (winter coat!) that I left in Troas with Carpus, also the books, especially the parchments (Torah).”

Now, does this sound like a man who has no future life/ministry on earth? Of course not. You would not be asking for your winter coat if you expected to die shortly. You will have no use for a coat like that ‘in heaven’ if you catch my drift.

In Roman jailing-and executional practice it always went down real quick. If the sentence was death by the sword, then he was taken to the Executioner right away, no time for appeal and expensive super-lawyers…like often seen in the TV-series of our time. His head would be rolling only a few minutes after the sentence was read. Brutal and very effective. I am glad that I am not a ‘customer’ of Roman justice!

Need I remind us of the Salome intrigue and the beheading of John the Baptist? (Matt 14:1-11).

Or of the brutal (sometimes merciful to a wounded Gladiator) custom of the Emperor turning his thumb down in the Roman Arenas with its violent Gladiator tournaments? If the emperor wanted the Gladiator to live, he turned his thumb up, but if he was to die by the sword, the thumb went down. Most often it went down.

It is still very important for us to keep separated those epistles written to Israel and their proselytes, from those written to our dispensation with the ‘One New Man’ (Eph 2:15). The church has nothing to do with the promises given solely to Israel, the Kingdom on earth with Christ as their King.

I would like to go through a few good examples which go to show us that 2 Tim really is an Acts epistle, and that it has no connection with the promise of heaven up above, but only the promise given the forefathers of Jewry.

The entire traditional idea of Paul heading for his execution, after he wrote 2 Tim, is without proof in the Bible.

There has been the tradition of Paul arrested shortly after the fire in Rome in 64 AD, but this is only a human legend and not a sure Scripture. We cannot and must not rely on human legends and anticipations picked up outside of the Bible canon. No one knows for sure when and how Paul died, no one. We are forced to let that issue remain unanswered. But we can say that he was not beheaded shortly after 2 Tim. This is for sure.

PAUL AND THE PROMISE TO THE FOREFATHERS

Already in 2 Tim 1:3 we learn that Paul pointed to the forefathers of Israel:

“I thank God Whom I worship with a pure conscience, in the spirit of my fathers, when without ceasing I remember you night and day in my prayers.”

See also verse 1 saying “..according to the promise of life..”.

The clear reference here is that which God PROMISED PAUL’S FOREFATHERS: The Kingdom of God on earth, with Christ on the royal throne.

This was the very same reference that Paul also pointed to early in his ministry to Israel in the Empire, in the year 43 AD, we read from Acts 13:32:

“So now we are bringing you the Gospel that what God promised to our forefathers..”.

Ergo, Paul had not yet gotten the revelation of the Mystery church dispensation referred to in Eph 3:1-9. He was still doing his sacrificial ministry to Jews and proselytes only.

PAUL MAKING DOCTRINAL UNITY WITH
THE LORD’S EARTHLY MINISTRY

2 Tim 1:8 is pretty disarming for those who would oppose my ideas here:

“Do not blush or be ashamed then, to testify to and for our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for His sake, but take your share of the suffering of the Gospel in the power of God.”

Here the Norwegian 1988 translation is better, and truer: “..skam deg derfor ikke ved vår Herres vitnesbyrd, eller ved meg, hans fange…”

Translated directly, it says: “Be not ashamed of our Lord’s testimony (the doctrine Jesus preached in His time of ministry) or of me, His prisoner…”.

In other words, Paul held forth the New Covenant to Israel, – the testimony of Christ. A covenant including the Kingdom on earth at the Lord’s Second Advent.

PAUL EXPECTED THE IMMINENT RETURN OF JESUS

Paul’s reference to a future expected day and event as seen in 2 Tim 1:12 is a passage which only applies to the Second Advent:

“..which I has committed to Him until that day.”

And even describing his rulership together with Jesus after His coming:

2 Tim 2:12: “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him, we shall also live with Him.”

This is entirely in line with Christ’s doctrine from His earthly ministry, when He promised His disciples rulership together with Him on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt 19:28). But we, the church according to the revealed Mystery of Eph 1-3 chapters are not to be seated on ruler thrones with Jesus in Jerusalem; we are seated together with Him and in Him, in the heaven up above the heavens – epiouranos (Eph 2:6-8; Col 3:1-4).

JUDGING THE LIVING AND THE DEAD,
AND BY HIS COMING AND HIS KINGDOM

This is a good passage. It points solely to the parousia-coming – the Lord’s Second Advent to rule as King in Jerusalem. It is the millennial kingdom promised by Moses and the prophets.

2 Tim 4:1: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His coming and His kingdom…”

He is coming down to earth for His kingdom. It is not the kingdom up there in heaven, for sure.

Furthermore, but shortly, all the exhortations found in chapter 3 and 4 regarding a coming apostasy and decadence, has to do not with the church but with the turmoil within the Great Tribulation for Israel. Paul has more of that in 2 Thess 2.

HOW ABOUT THE WELL KNOWN ISSUE
OF RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH?

Let me quickly answer this right on: We shall maintain the very same principle of right division, in spite of 2 Tim 2:15 as written originally to Israel and proselytes.

Why?

You already know the answer to that. Because of the fact that this is a principle of God and is so during any dispensation!

When Paul wrote this, the Jewish assemblies with their proselytes had to make right division between the old Law of Moses and the New Covenant. The Law called by Paul in Hebr 8-9 as a doctrine which was defected. Hebr 8:7 says:

“For if that first covenant (Law of Moses) had been without defect, there would have been no room for another one, or an attempt to institute another one.”

And yet, the old Law of Moses was not taken off the roster at that time, but it was combined together with the New Covenant – and the latter had the high priority. (See also Rom. 3:31)

But they would have to learn to make right division still. The New Covenant was different in several ways.
The only persons on earth in history not having to make right division, were Adam and Eve. They had the Lord Himself as companion and teacher and shepherd, and no doctrines to separate. And yet, they fell in sin.

I will encourage all Acts-28 believers in seeing that the faith doctrine for the church dispensation is found in Ephesians and Colossians only, supported maybe by Philemon as we learn how to be compassionate and forgiving, like Paul.

See also my fresh article on Titus epistle as an Acts epistle….




2 Timothy – Acts or Post Acts?

By Irene M. Walther, FL, USA

 Was 2 Timothy written during the Acts period or after the close of the Acts period?  The table below lists words and phrases that indicate the book was written either during the Acts period or post Acts.  All Scriptures are from Rotherham Emphasized Bible unless otherwise noted.

Chapter 1

 

Acts Period Post Acts?
Chapter 1  
V3 Grateful, am I, unto God,—unto whom I am rendering divine service from my progenitors (ancestors)

Note:  Jewish religion

V15 that all they who are in Asia have turned away from me,—of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

Note:  These two are named zero other times in the New and Old Testaments.  We do not know their time period.  It may have been during the Acts period.

V5 unfeigned faith in thee,—such, as dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice

Note:  Jewish religion

 
V6 I put thee in remembrance, to be stirring up God’s gift of favour, which is in thee through means of the laying on of my hands;

Note:  Laying on of hands to impart gifts of the holy spirit was done during the Acts period, and that gift was still in operation when 2 Timothy was written.

 
V9 the peculiar purpose and favour—which was given to us in Christ Jesus before age-during (αιωνιων, Strong’s word 166)  times, (word 5550)

See below

 
V10 But hath now been made manifest through means of the forthshining (word 2015) of our Saviour Christ Jesus

See below

 
V14  the holy spirit which dwells in you

Note:  This phrase “the spirit” dwelling in you” is used three times.  The other two usages are in Romans.

Ro 8:11a  If, moreover, the Spirit of him that raised Jesus from among the dead dwelleth in you,

Ro 8:11b  he that raised from among the dead Christ Jesus, shall make alive [[even]] your death-doomed bodies, through means of his indwelling Spirit within you.

 
V16-17 Onesiphorus ofttimes, hath refreshed me, in Rome, he diligently sought out and found me,

Note:  Paul was a prisoner in Rome for two whole years in his own hired house (Acts 28:30-31).  This is the only time recorded in Scriptures that Paul was in Rome.

 

 

Verse 9, Words 5550 (Times) and 166 (Age-during) Together

 

  1. Ro 16:25 Now, unto him who hath power to establish you, according to my glad-message even the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of a sacred secret, in age-past times kept silent,
  2. 2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to the peculiar purpose and favour which was given to us in Christ Jesus before age-during times,
  3. Tit 1:2 In hope of life age-abiding (word 166); which God, who cannot lie, promised before age-during times,

Word 166 is translated as “age-abiding” except for these three usages with the word “time”.  It is derived from word 165, “age”.  In only these three verses are “age-abiding” and “time” put together and the 2 Timothy and Titus verses are the only ones where “age-abiding’ and “before” are used together.

The “before” has to do with time and not before the founding of the world which belongs to the church which is His body as stated in Ephesians 1:4.  “According as he made choice of us, in him, before the founding of a world, that we might be holy and blameless in his presence; in love.”

Verse 10, Word 2015 Forthshining

  1. 2Th 2:8 And, then, shall be revealed the lawless one,—whom, the Lord Jesus, will slay with the Spirit of his mouth, and paralyse with the forthshining of his Presence:
  2. 1Ti 6:14 That thou keep the commandment without spot, free from reproach, until the forthshining of our Lord Jesus Christ
  3. 2Ti 1:10 But hath now been made manifest through means of the forthshining of our Saviour Christ Jesus, Who, indeed, hath abolished death, and hath thrown light upon life and incorruptibility, through means of the glad-message:
  4. 2Ti 4:1 I adjure thee before God, and Christ Jesus Who is about to be judging living and dead, both as to his forthshining and his kingdom,
  5. 2Ti 4:8 Henceforth, lieth by for me the crown, of righteousness, which the Lord will render unto me in that, day, The righteous judge, Ye, not alone unto me, but unto all them also who have loved his forthshining.
  6. Tit 2:13 Prepared to welcome the happy hope and forthshining of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Christ Jesus,

The first occurrence of word 2015 is in 2 Thessalonians 2:8.  It clearly teaches that the forthshining will be at Christ’s second coming to earth at the end of the tribulation period when He destroys the lawless one, the Anti-Christ.  That is future.  Verses 4, 5, and 6 are also in the future tense.  Christ will judge the living and the dead in the future, Paul will be awarded the crown of righteousness in the future, and the forthshining of the glory of God is also future.

In numbers 2 and 3, the verbs are in the aorist tense.  In number 2, the verb is aorist, active, infinitive.  The action is simply occurring-indefinite, punctiliar.  It is an infinitive, that is, a verbal noun.  Timothy is charged to continue to keep the commandments for an undetermined time until the forthshining of the Lord.  The forthshining here is also in the future.

That leaves 2 Timothy 1:10, the verse under study.  What has now been made manifest by the forthshining of Christ Jesus?  The context answers that question:

8  Be not thou, therefore, put to shame—with regard to the witness of our Lord, nor with regard to me his prisoner; but suffer hardship together with the glad-message according to the power of God,—

9  Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to the peculiar purpose and favour—which was given to us in Christ Jesus before age-during times,

10  But hath now been made manifest through means of the forthshining of our Saviour Christ Jesus,—Who, indeed, hath abolished death, and hath thrown light upon life and incorruptibility, through means of the glad-Message:

God’s calling, purpose, and favour, which were in the past, were manifested by the forthshining of Christ Jesus at His first coming to Earth.

Forthshining is used of both Christ’s first and second comings to Earth.

At His first coming, He manifested what were God’s purpose and favour.

At His second coming, He will

  • Slay the lawless one (the Antichrist)
  • Judge the living and the dead
  • Award the crown of righteousness

Timothy was charged to keep God’s commandments until the forthshining, and Titus was told to welcome the forthshining of the glory of God.

Chapter 2

 

Acts Period Post Acts?
Chapter 2  
V5 any man, contend even in the games, he is not crowned, unless, lawfully, he contend;

Note:  He is striving for the masteries, competing in the games as in 1 Corinthians 9:25  But, every man who striveth in the games, in all things, useth self-control; -they, indeed, then, that a corruptible crown, they may receive; but, we, an incorruptible!

 
V8 Jesus Christ—raised from among the dead, of the seed of David,—according to my joyful message:

Note:  The only other use of the term “seed of David” is in Romans 1:3, an Acts period epistle.

2  Which he promised beforehand, through his prophets, in holy scriptures—

3  Concerning his Son,—who came to be of the seed of David, according to flesh,

4  Who was distinguished as the Son of God—by power, according to a Holy Spirit, through means of a resurrection of the dead,—Jesus Christ our Lord;

 
V17  Hymenaeus and Philetus

Note:  1. Hymenaeus is also mentioned in

1 Tim 1:20:  Of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may be taught by discipline not to be defaming.

Delivering a person to satan is only stated one other time

1Co 5:5  To deliver such a one as this, unto Satan, for the destruction of the flesh,—that, the spirit, may be saved in the day of the Lord.  This was during the Acts period.

2. This is the only mention of Philetus.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Acts Period Post Acts?
Chapter 3  
V1 But, of this, be taking note—that, in last days, there will set in perilous seasons;

See below

 
V8 Moreover, like as, Jannes and Jambres, withstood Moses, so, these men also, withstand the truth,—men utterly corrupted in their mind, disapproved concerning their faith;

Note:  These two are Old Testament people.

 
V15 And that, from a babe, those sacred letters, thou hast known which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through the faith which is in Christ Jesus:

Note:  Old Testament

 

 

Verse 1, Words 2078 (Last) and 2250 (Days)

 

  1. Joh 6:39 And, this, is the will of him that sent me, That, of all that which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
  2. Joh 6:40 For, this, is the will of my Father, That, every one that vieweth the Son, and believeth on him, should have life age-abiding, and, I, should raise him up, at the last day.
  3. Joh 6:44 No one, can come unto me, except, the Father who sent me, draw him, and, I, will raise him up, in the last day.
  4. Joh 6:54 He that feedeth upon my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath life age-abiding, and, I, will raise him up at the last day;
  5. Joh 7:37 Now, on the last the great day of the feast, Jesus was standing, and he cried aloud, saying If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink:
  6. Joh 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise, in the resurrection, in the last day.
  7. Joh 12:48 He that setteth me aside, and receiveth not my sayings, hath that which is to judge him: The word that I spake, that, will judge him, in the last day.
  8. Ac 2:17 And it shall be, in the last days saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and, your young men, visions shall see and, your elders, in dreams shall dream,
  9. 2Ti 3:1 But, of this, be taking note that, in last days, there will set in perilous seasons;
  10. Heb 1:2 At the end of these days, He hath spoken unto us in his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, through whom also he hath made the ages;
  11. Jas 5:3 Your gold and silver, have rusted away, and, their rust, shall be, witness against you, and shall eat your flesh, as fire! Ye have laid up treasure in days of extremity:
  12. 2Pe 3:3 Of this, first, taking note that there will come, in the last of the days, with scoffing, scoffers, after their own covetings, going on,

 

In all of the uses except for John 7:37 and Hebrews 1:2, last days refer to a specific time period before the Lord returns and at His return.  John 7:37 is the last day of the feast.  Hebrews 2:1, the last days refer to the days of Christ’s earthly ministry.

Chapter 4

 

Acts Period Post Acts?
Chapter 4  
V1 Christ Jesus to judge at His forthshining and His kingdom.

See “Forthshining” above

V7 The noble contest, have I contested, the race, have I finished, the faith, have I kept:

See below

V6a Paul is being poured out as a drink-offering.

See below

 

V10Demas, hath forsaken me, having loved the present age, and hath journeyed unto Thessalonica;

Note:  Col 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, salute you.

2Ti 4:10 For, Demas, hath forsaken me, having loved the present age, and hath journeyed unto Thessalonica; Crescens unto Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia:

Phm 1:24 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke,—my fellow-workers.

These are the only three references to Demas in the New Testament.

In Colossians 4:14, Demas was still with Paul and had not forsaken him.  That seems to place 2 Timothy as written later than Colossians.

However, there are two possible explanations:

1.      Demas did return to Paul at a later date and again ministered with Paul OR

2.      There was more than one person named Demas in Paul’s ministry.

V6b The season of Paul’s release is at hand.

See below

V12 “and, Tychicus, have I sent unto Ephesus.”

Note:  Eph 6:21 In order, however, that, ye also, may know the things which relate to me—what I am accomplishing,—all things, shall Tychicus make known unto you, he the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord,

Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus.

1.      Travel was slow.  Ephesians was written AFTER Paul sent Tychicus in 2 Timothy and while he was still on his journey.

2.      OR It is possible that Paul sent Tychicus to the Ephesians more than one time.

V8 The crown of righteousness is laid up for loving Christ’s forthshining.

See above  chapter 1for Forthshining

See below for crown of righteousness

 

 

Verse 6, Poured Out As a Drink Offering

 

“Poured out as a drink offering” or “offered as a libation” in the Apostolic Bible Polyglot is understood by some believers to refer to Paul’s imminent martyrdom.  Is that what the term actually means?  The Greek word 4689 is only used one other time in the New Testament, in Philippians, and is used twenty times in the LXX.  Below are all the occurrences of word 4689, from the Apostolic Bible Polyglot.

 

  1. Gen_35:14 AndG2532 Jacob set upG2476 G* a monument1 inG1722 theG3588 placeG5117 in whichG3739 [2spokeG2980 3withG3326 4himG1473 G3588 1God] —G2316 [2monumentG4739.1 1a stone].G3035 AndG2532 he offeredG4689 uponG1909 itG1473 a libation,G4700.2 andG2532 he pouredG2022 uponG1909 itG1473 olive oil.G1637
  2. Exo_25:29 AndG2532 you shall makeG4160 G3588 its saucers,G5165 G1473 andG2532 theG3588 incense pans,1 andG2532 theG3588 libation bowls,G4700.1 andG2532 theG3588 cups,G2939.1 inG1722 whichG3739 you shall offer a libationG4689 inG1722 them;G1473 [2goldG5553 1of pure]G2513 you shall makeG4160 them.G1473
  3. Exo_30:9 AndG2532 you shall not offerG3756 G399 uponG1909 itG1473 [2incenseG2368 1another].G2087 A yield offering ,2 andG2532 a sacrifice offering ,G2378 andG2532 a libation offering G4700.2 you shall not offerG3756 G4689 uponG1909 it.G1473
  4. Exo_37:16 AndG2532 he madeG4160 theG3588 utensilsG4632 for theG3588 table,G5132 bothG3588 G5037 its saucers,G5165 G1473 andG2532 theG3588 incense pans,1 andG2532 theG3588 cups,G2939.1 andG2532 theG3588 libation bowlsG4700.1 inG1722 whichG3739 the priest will offer libationsG4689 inG1722 them,G1473 [2goldG5553 1 made of pure].G2513
  5. Num_4:7 AndG2532 uponG1909 theG3588 table,G5132 the oneG3588 being situated for the loaves ,G4295 they shall putG1911 uponG1909 itG1473 a garmentG2440 entirely of purple,1 andG2532 theG3588 saucers,G5165 andG2532 theG3588 incense pans,G2367.1 andG2532 theG3588 cups,G2939.1 andG2532 theG3588 libation bowlsG4700.1 inG1722 whichG3739 you offer a libation;G4689 andG2532 theG3588 [2bread loavesG740 G3588 1continualG1275 4uponG1909 5itG1473 3shall be].G1510.8.6
  6. Num_28:7 AndG2532 its libation —2 G1473 theG3588 fourth part G5067 of theG3588 hinG1511 to theG3588 [2lambG286 G3588 1one].G1520 InG1722 theG3588 holy place G39 you shall offerG4689 a libation offering G4700.2 of liquorG4608 to the lord .G2962
  7. 2Sa_23:16 AndG2532 [4tore upG1284 1theG3588 2threeG5140 3mighty ones]G1415 theG3588 campG3925 of theG3588 Philistines,G246 andG2532 they drew2 waterG5204 fromG1537 theG3588 well,G2978.1 of the oneG3588 inG1722 Beth-lehem,G* of the oneG3588 byG1722 theG3588 gate.G4439 AndG2532 they took of it ,G2983 andG2532 cameG3854 toG4314 David.G* AndG2532 he did notG3756 wantG2309 to drinkG4095 it,G1473 andG2532 he offered it a libationG4689 G1473 to theG3588 lord .G2962
  8. 2Ki_16:13 AndG2532 he offeredG399 G3588 his whole burnt-offering,1 G1473 andG2532 G3588 his sacrifice offering ;G2378 G1473 andG2532 G3588 [2of his libation offering G4700.2 G1473 1he offered a libation]G4689 to it;G1473 andG2532 he pouredG4377.2 uponG1909 itG1473 theG3588 bloodG129 G3588 [2peace offerings G1516 1of his] —G1473 uponG1909 theG3588 altar,G2379
  9. 1Ch_11:18 AndG2532 [3tore upG1284 1theG3588 2three]G5140 theG3588 campG3925 of theG3588 Philistines,G246 andG2532 they drew2 waterG5204 fromG1537 theG3588 wellG2978.1 of G3588 Beth-lehem,G* whichG3739 wasG1510.7.3 atG1722 theG3588 gate,G4439 andG2532 they took it,G2983 andG2532 cameG2064 toG4314 David.G* AndG2532 [2did notG3756 3wantG2309 1David]G* G3588 to drinkG4095 it.G1473 AndG2532 he gave it as a libationG4689 G1473 to theG3588 lord ,G2962
  10. Jer_7:18 G3588 Their sonsG5207 G1473 collect togetherG4816 wood,G3586 andG2532 G3588 their fathersG3962 G1473 kindleG2545 a fire,G4442 andG2532 G3588 their womenG1135 G1473 knead1 doughG4712.5 G3588 to makeG4160 cakesG5490.1 to theG3588 militaryG4756 of theG3588 heaven;G3772 andG2532 they offeredG4689 libationsG4700.2 to strange gods,G2316 G245 thatG2443 they should provoke me to anger.G3949 G1473
  11. Jer_19:13 AndG2532 theG3588 housesG3624 of Jerusalem,G* andG2532 theG3588 housesG3624 of the kingsG935 of JudahG* will be8.6 asG2531 G3588 a placeG5117 G3588 having fallen into ruinG1276.3 because ofG575 theG3588 uncleannessesG167 inG1722 allG3956 theG3588 housesG3614 inG1722 whichG3739 they burned incenseG2370 uponG1909 theG3588 roofsG1430 to allG3956 theG3588 militaryG4756 of theG3588 heaven,G3772 andG2532 offeredG4689 libationsG4700.2 to strange gods.G2316 G245
  12. Jer_32:29 AndG2532 [3shall comeG2240 1theG3588 2Chaldeans]G* waging warG4170 againstG1909 G3588 this city;G4172 G3778 andG2532 they shall burnG2545 G3588 this cityG4172 G3778 byG1722 fire,G4442 andG2532 shall incinerateG2618 theG3588 housesG3614 in whichG3739 they burned incenseG2370 uponG1909 G3588 their roofsG1430 G1473 G3588 to Baal,G* andG2532 offeredG4689 libations2 to other gods,G2316 G2087 toG4314 G3588 greatly embitterG3893 me.G1473
  13. Jer_44:17 ForG3754 in doingG4160 we will doG4160 allG3956 theG3588 matterG3056 whichG3739 shall come forthG1831 out ofG1537 G3588 our mouthG4750 G1473 to burn incenseG2370 to theG3588 queenG938 G3588 of heaven,G3772 andG2532 to offerG4689 to herG1473 libations,2 asG2505 we didG4160 ourselves,G1473 andG2532 G3588 our fathers,G3962 G1473 andG2532 G3588 our kings,G935 G1473 andG2532 G3588 our rulersG758 G1473 inG1722 the citiesG4172 of Judah,G* andG2532 outsideG1855 Jerusalem.G* AndG2532 we were filledG4130 of bread loaves,G740 andG2532 we wereG1096 better off ,G5543 andG2532 [3bad things G2556 1we did notG3756 2see].G1492
  14. Jer_44:18 AndG2532 asG5613 we stoppedG1257 burning incenseG2370 to theG3588 queenG938 of theG3588 heaven,G3772 andG2532 offering a libationG4689 to herG1473 of a libation,2 [2were 4made lessG1639.2 G3956 3allG3956 1we],G1473 andG2532 byG1722 broadswordG4501 andG2532 byG1722 famineG3042 we failed.G1587
  15. Jer_44:19a AndG2532 seeing thatG3754 weG1473 burned incenseG2370 to theG3588 queenG938 G3588 of heaven,G3772 andG2532 offeredG4689 to herG1473 libations,2 did weG3361 withoutG427 G3588 our husbandsG435 G1473 makeG4160 to herG1473 cakes,G5490.1
  16. Jer_44:19b andG2532 offerG4689 libations2 to her?G1473
  17. Jer_44:25 ThusG3779 saidG2036 the lord G2962 G3588 GodG2316 of Israel,G* YouG1473 andG2532 G3588 your womenG1135 [2 with G3588 3your mouthG4750 G1473 1spoke],G2980 andG2532 G3588 [2by your handsG5495 G1473 1fulfilled],G4137 saying,G3004 In offering,G4160 we shall offerG4160 G3588 our acknowledgment offerings G3671 G1473 whichG3739 we acknowledged,G3670 to burn incenseG2370 to theG3588 queenG938 G3588 of heaven,G3772 andG2532 to offerG4689 to herG1473G4700.2 In adheringG1696 you adhered toG1696 G3588 your acknowledgment offerings ,G3671 G1473 andG2532 the offeringsG4160 which you offered.G4160
  18. Eze_20:28 AndG2532 I brought themG1521 G1473 intoG1519 theG3588 landG1093 whichG3739 I lifted upG142 G3588 my handG5495 G1473 G3588 to giveG1325 itG1473 to them.G1473 AndG2532 they beheldG1492 everyG3956 [2hillG1015 1high],G5308 andG2532 everyG3956 [2treeG3586 1shady].1 AndG2532 they sacrificedG2380 thereG1563 to G3588 their gods.G2316 G1473 AndG2532 they arrangedG5021 thereG1563 the wrathG3709 of theG3588 gift offerings .G1435 AndG2532 they arrangedG5021 thereG1563 a scentG3744 of their pleasant aroma offering .G2175 G1473 AndG2532 they offered a libationG4689 thereG1563 of their libation offerings .G4700.2 G1473
  19. Dan_2:46 ThenG5119 G3588 kingG935 NebuchadnezzarG* fellG4098 uponG1909 his face,G4383 andG2532 G3588 did obeisance to Daniel,G* G4352 andG2532 [4of a gift offering 2 5andG2532 6of a pleasant aroma offering G2175 1saidG2036 2to offer a libationG4689 3to him].G1473
  20. Hos_9:4 They offered not a libationG3756 G4689 to theG3588 lord G2962 of wine,G3631 andG2532 were notG3756 delicious1 to him;G1473 G3588 their sacrificesG2378 G1473 were asG5613 breadG740 of mourningG3997 to them;G1473 allG3956 the onesG3588 eatingG2068 themG1473 shall be defiled.G3392 ForG1360 their bread loavesG740 G1473 G3588 for their livesG5590 G1473 shall notG3756 enterG1525 intoG1519 theG3588 houseG3624 of the lord .G2962
  21. Php_2:17 ButG235 even ifG1499 I am offered as a libationG4689 uponG1909 theG3588 sacrificeG2378 andG2532 ministrationG3009 of theG3588 beliefG4102 G1473 of yours,G1473 I rejoice,G5463 andG2532 I rejoice along withG4796 allG3956G1473
  22. 2Ti_4:6 For IG1473 G1063 alreadyG2235 am offered as a libation,G4689 andG2532 theG3588 timeG2540 G3588 of myG1699 separationG359 stands by.G2186

 

Number 1 is Jacob pouring out olive oil as an offering, a libation, to the Lord.  Numbers 2-5 refer to the offering of libations in the tabernacle. Numbers 7 to 9 are Israelites offering libations to the Lord.

Number 10 through 18 are libation offerings to idols as a form of worship.  In number 19, King Nebuchadnezzar offered a libation to Daniel.  In the last Old Testament usage, the Israelites did not offer libations to the Lord.

In the two New Testament uses, Paul states that he is being offered as a libation, that is, his life was being poured out in his ministry.

None of these libations involved Death.

Verse 6, Paul’s Time of Release

“Release”, word 359 is only used this one time in the New Testament and was not used at all in the LXX.  Here is the definition:

ἀνάλυσις, analusis

Thayer Definition:

1) an unloosing (as of things woven)

2) a dissolving (into separate parts)

3) departure

3a) a metaphor drawn from loosing from moorings preparatory to setting sail

Part of Speech:  noun

Word 359 is derived from word 360.

ἀναλύω, analuō

Thayer Definition:

1) to unloose, undo again

2) to depart, break up, to depart from life, to return

Part of Speech:  verb

Word 360 is used twice in the New Testament.

  1. Luk 12:36 And, ye yourselves, like unto men awaiting their own lord, once he may break up out of the marriage-feast,—that, when he cometh and knocketh, straightway, they may open unto him.
  2. Php 1:23 I am held in constraint, however, by reason of the two,—having, the coveting, to be released, and to be with, Christ, for it were far better!

To translate the noun in 2 Timothy 4:6 the same as the verb, the verse would read: “For I already am being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my release stands by.”

Per the context of 2 Timothy 4, Paul expected to soon be released from the prison where he was incarcerated.  In the following verses, he told Timothy to come speedily and to bring his cloak and the scrolls and parchments.  These are not the request of a man expecting to be executed soon.

2Ti 4:9  Give diligence to come unto me speedily,

2Ti 4:13  The cloak that I left in Troas, with Carpus, when thou comest, bring; and the scrolls, especially, the parchments.

“For, I, already, am being poured out as a drink-offering, and, the season of my release, is at   hand,”— is an accurate translation.  Paul was pouring out his life in ministry as an offering to the Lord and expected to be soon released from prison.

Verse 7, Race or Course, Word 1408

Below are the three uses of word 1408 from Young’s Literal Translation.

  1. Ac 13:25 and as John was fulfilling the course, he said, Whom me do ye suppose to be? I am not he, but, lo, he doth come after me, of whom I am not worthy to loose the sandal of his feet.
  2. Ac 20:24 but I make account of none of these, neither do I count my life precious to myself, so that I finish my course with joy, and the ministration that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify fully the good news of the grace of God.
  3. 2Ti 4:7 the good strife I have striven, the course I have finished, the faith I have kept,

In Acts, Paul’s desire was to finish his course.  In 2 Timothy, he stated that yes he had completed it.  John the Baptist also had a course that he fulfilled.

This verse states that Paul finished the course that he was in during the Acts period, the course of the earthly kingdom.  Paul never stated that he was in a course in any of his other epistles and definitely NOT in Ephesians and Colossians.

The course Paul finished was the one of the EARTHLY, Israeli kingdom, just as John the Baptist finished his earthly, Israeli kingdom.  “Course” is never used in reference to the church which is His body.

Verse 8, Crown of Righteousness

This is the only verse that uses this term.  They are Greek words 4735, crown, and 1343, righteousness.

Crown, Word 4735

  1. Mt 27:29 and, plaiting a crown out of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand,—and, kneeling before him, began to mock him, saying—Joy to thee, King of the Jews!
  2. Mr 15:17 and they array him in purple, and set upon him, when they have plaited it; a crown of thorns,—
  3. Joh 19:2 And, the soldiers, plaiting a crown out of thorns, placed it upon his head, and, a purple robe, cast they about him;
  4. Joh 19:5 Jesus, therefore, came forth outside, wearing the thorn crown, and the purple mantle. And he saith unto them—Lo! the Man!
  5. 1Co 9:25 But, every man who striveth in the games, in all things, useth self-control; -they, indeed, then, that a corruptible crown, they may receive; but, we, an incorruptible!
  6. Php 4:1 So then, my brethren, beloved and longed for, my joy and crown,—thus, stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
  7. 1Th 2:19 For what shall be our hope, or joy, or crown of boasting? Shall not even, ye, before our Lord Jesus, in his Presence?
  8. 2Ti 4:8 Henceforth, lieth by for me—the crown, of righteousness, which the Lord will render unto me in that, day,—The righteous judge,—Ye, not alone unto me, but unto all them also who have loved his forthshining.
  9. Jas 1:12 Happy the man who endureth temptation! Because, becoming approved, he shall receive the crown of life—which he hath promised unto them that love him.
  10. 1Pe 5:4 And, when the Chief Shepherd is manifested, ye shall bear away, the unfading crown of glory.
  11. Re 2:10 Do not fear the things which thou art about to suffer. Lo! the adversary is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried, and may have tribulation ten days. Become thou faithful until death, and I will give thee the crown of life.
  12. Re 3:11 I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that, no one, take thy crown.
  13. Re 4:4 and, round about the throne, were four and twenty thrones; and, upon the thrones, four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and, upon their heads, were crowns of gold.
  14. Re 4:10 the four and twenty elders will fall down before him that sitteth upon the throne, and do homage unto him that liveth unto the ages of ages,—and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying—
  15. Re 6:2 And I saw, and lo! a white horse,—and he that was sitting thereon holding a bow; and there was given unto him a crown, and he went forth conquering, and that he might conquer.
  16. Re 9:7 And, the likenesses of the locusts, were like unto horses prepared for battle; and, upon their heads, as it were crowns, like unto gold, and, their faces, were as the faces of men,
  17. Re 12:1 And, a great sign, appeared in heaven: a woman arrayed with the sun, and, the moon, beneath her feet, and, upon her head, a crown of twelve stars;
  18. Re 14:14 And I saw, and lo! a white cloud, and, upon the cloud, one sitting like unto a son of man, having, upon his head, a crown of gold, and, in his hand, a sharp sickle.

The first four verses are the crown of thorns placed on the Lord’s head.  Numbers 5 through 12 are crowns awarded to believers for faithful service.  Numbers 13 and 14 are the twenty four elders casting their crowns before God.  Numbers 15 and 16 are crowns worn by enemies during the tribulation.  Number 17 is the crown on Israel, and number 18 is the crown on the Lord at His second coming.

These crowns are all associated with Israel.

C o n c l u s i o n

 

Words and phrases used that show that this epistle, 2 Timothy, was written during the Acts period of the earthly Kingdom.

  1. Paul was rendering divine services from his ancestors, the Jewish religion.
  2. Timothy has unfeigned faith as did his mother and grandmother, in the Jewish religion.
  3. Timothy had the gift of God by the laying on of Paul’s hands.
  4. God’s purpose and favor were before age-during times.
  5. The forthshining of Christ Jesus, both His first and His second comings.
  6. Holy spirit dwelt in Timothy.
  7. Paul was a prisoner in Rome for two years, Acts 28:30-31, when he wrote this epistle.
  8. Paul was contending in the games.
  9. Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from among the dead.
  10. Hymenaeus was delivered to satan for the destruction of his flesh.
  11. Paul wrote about the last days.
  12. Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, part of Israel’s history.
  13. Timothy knew the Scriptures since he was a babe, the Old Testament.
  14. Paul was being poured out as a drink offering.
  15. It was the time Paul’s release from prison.
  16. Paul will receive the crown of righteousness at Christ’s forthshining.

Words and phrases that possibly show the epistle was written post Acts.

  1. All in Asia had turned away from Paul, of whom are Phygelus and Germogenes. The time period of this is unknown and, therefore, cannot be a proof that 2 Timothy is post Acts.
  2. Paul had finished his course (race). This is the same course as he was racing in Acts, the course of the earthly kingdom.
  3. Demas had forsaken Paul. Since Demas was still with Paul in Colossians, 1. he may have returned to Paul or 2. the Demas in Colossians is a different person than the one in 2 Timothy.
  4. Paul sent Tychicus to the Ephesus per both epistles.  Two possibilities 1. Ephesians was written after 2 Timothy while Tychicus was on his journey or 2. Paul may have sent Tychicus to Ephesus more than one time.

Sixteen strong words and phrases prove the Acts period characteristic of 2 Timothy.  The four possible words or phrases that would place it post Acts are not conclusive.

2 Timothy was written during the two whole years in Rome when Paul lived in his own hired house.  The following facts support that conclusion:

  1. The two years of Acts 28:30-31 are the only time that Scriptures record that Paul was in Rome.
  2. In chapter 1, verses 16 and 17, Onesiphorus diligently found Paul in Rome and refreshed him.
  3. Chapter 4 verse 20 states “Erastus, remained in Corinth; but, Trophimus, I left at Miletus, sick”. The only two references to Miletus are in Acts chapter 20.  Paul stopped there on his journey to Jerusalem.

One more point needs to be made to show that 2 Timothy is an Acts period, earthly kingdom epistle.  What was Paul preaching during the two whole years in Rome in Acts 28:30-31?

30  And he abode two whole years in his own hired house, and made welcome all who were coming in unto him,—

31  proclaiming the kingdom of God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, with all freedom of speech, without hindrance.

Paul was proclaiming the kingdom of God and the Lord Jesus Christ during those two years. What was the kingdom of God?

The term kingdom is used eight times in the book of Acts

  1. Ac 1:3 Unto whom he also presented himself alive, after he had suffered, by many sure tokens, throughout forty days making himself visible unto them, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God.
  2. Ac 1:6 They, therefore, having come together, began to question him, saying—Lord! art thou at this time duly establishing the kingdom unto Israel?
  3. Ac 8:12 But, when they believed Philip telling the good news concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they proceeded to be immersed, both men and women.
  4. Ac 14:22 confirming the souls of the disciples, beseeching them to abide in the faith, and declaring that, through many tribulations, must we enter into the kingdom of God.
  5. Ac 19:8 And, entering into the synagogue, he was speaking boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the kingdom of God.
  6. Ac 20:25 And, now, lo! I, know that, no more, shall ye see my face,—ye all, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom.
  7. Ac 28:23 And, having arranged with him a day, there came unto him, to the lodging, a larger number (Jewish leaders); unto whom he proceeded to expound, bearing full witness as to the kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses, and from the prophets,—from morning till evening.
  8. Ac 28:31 proclaiming the kingdom of God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, with all freedom of speech, without hindrance.

The kingdom was

  • Of Israel
  • Taught in the synagogues
  • Proclaimed to the Jewish leaders
  • Taught from the law and the prophets

The kingdom of God in verse 31 is the same kingdom of God as in the other seven uses in Acts.  Paul continued to teach the same earthly, Israeli kingdom until the close of the book of Acts.  During those two years, he penned 2 Timothy, which was also an earthly kingdom epistle.




Only Israel’s Messianic Believers In the Times of the Apostles
Were Offered to Accept the New Covenant

 

 

This Offer Was Suspended When Israel Fell.

 

It happens every now and then that I receive e-mails where believers oppose the Bible’s doctrine about Israel as the sole addressee of the New Covenant offered by the apostles.

Such believers are captured by their habits (habitual thinking) under the doctrinal rules held by their denomination, thus not allowing new and better knowledge to come through to them. This is regretful, isn’t it?

The thought of and the idea of the Christian church having that New Covenant deal with Christ, is an old and twisted concept derived from the so-called early Church Fathers. Their failing doctrinal views of the Bible led Christianity into a state of confusion, in that nobody made the right separation between what God had promised Israel in Scripture, and what He later on promised the Church as Paul got on with his ministry. He was given to introduce a whole new dispensation, as described for us in Eph 3:1-9, the dispensation of the Grace of God.

When Paul ministered by offering Israel in the Empire the New Covenant (Acts 13 – 28) in the years 43 AD to 62 AD, he had taught the Jews and their proselytes about the covenant and the soon (imminent) return of Christ to establish the promised Kingdom in Israel to them. He did not go to the raw unconverted gentile, but turned only to the Greek proselytes who were present in the Synagogues everywhere he went. Knowing of course that only Israel was the rightful addressee.

But as Paul started to teach from the time that the Church dispensation began, we non-Jews (gentiles) at that time were considered only as proselytes at the most, but as a general group of people we gentiles were entirely shut out of all things pertaining to Israel (Eph 2:12).

We find Romans 9 as a trend setting chapter when discussing the New Covenant and to whom it belonged. There are no doubts whatsoever: The New Covenant, like the Old Sinai Covenant (Law), as well as the intermediate prophetic Davidic Covenant – all belonged to Israel. Let us read:

Verse 4: “For they are Israelites, AND TO THEM BELONG God’s adoption (as a nation) and the glorious Presence (Shekinah). With them were the special COVENANTS made, to them was the LAW (the Old Covenant) given. To them (the temple) worship was revealed and (God’s own) promises announced.”
Verse 5: “TO THEM BELONG the patriarchs, and as far as His natural descent was concerned, from them is the Christ, Who is exalted and supreme over all, God, blessed forever! Amen.”

As a contrast we find gentiles are such people that DO NOT HAVE SUCH BELONGINGS:
Rom 2:14: “…Gentiles, who have not the Law…”

And in Paul’s explanation to the confused Zeus/Hermes worshippers at Lystra in Acts 14:16 we hear the following truths about our Gentile status:

“In generations past He permitted all the nations (those outside of Israel) to walk in their own ways” – in other words: They did not walk in the ways of the Lord, like Israel did.

So while God had elected and segregated and made Himself a holy nation, Israel, and also revealed His glory in many ways and given them the Law of Moses and covenants, thus finally and recently sent them His Messiah, Jesus Christ – we Gentiles on the outside of all of these blessings, were given to walk – not in the ways of the Lord – but in our own ways. We were shut out of it, just like Paul wrote in Eph 2:12. We had, as Gentiles, our own ‘Law’: Our conscience – which would either free us or judge us, depending upon good or bad conscience (Rom 2:14-16). In other words, we Gentiles ‘..walking in our own ways’ was not the same as being unsaved! This is important to know! We were ourselves a law, says Paul, for good or for bad. Read that passage to yourself please.

The well-known fact that Paul took in proselytes in cases where Jews refused to accept Christ, does not alter the fact that Gentiles in general were shut out entirely. Having a few, or more than just a few proselytes, was not the same as if God should have cancelled the ongoing segregation between the Gentiles and the Jews. We must learn to read the Bible properly and avoid misunderstanding and bad guesswork. These proselytes were submitted to the ordinances found in Lev 17 (see Acts 15 also) and were spared of any circumcision like the previous proselytes had undergone before the time of Christ.

Thus – on the one hand we find therefore Israel, to which the covenants and the promises belonged, and on the other hand we had the Gentiles at that time, such people ‘who had not the Law’ – and had not any of the other things given to Israel. We were given to walk in our own ways.

In an incident I had with a Norwegian Pentecostal believer (he had read several of my articles and books), he opposed me and meant that Eph 3:6 as Paul speak of the inheritance and the promise in Christ, was the same as being given the New Covenant.

But Eph 3:6 is not about the New Covenant, but about the promise given us in Christ, of the salvation in heaven with Him. We are promised to be appearing with Christ in glory in heaven when the time is up. (See also Col 3:1-4).

The church at Ephesus was made up of Gentile believers and of Jewish believers. The passage seems to address the Jewish contingent there, using such terms as ‘promise’ and ‘inheritance’ etc. Paul is simply cancelling the proselyte-status for us Gentiles, telling both them and the Jews there that now all believers are going to inherit with Christ directly in heaven.

But in times before that, when Paul ministered to Jews with the New Covenant, Gentiles could only inherit with Israel, and not Christ directly.

No covenantal agreement is mentioned or anticipated.

Rom 9:4 – “To them belong….the covenants”.

If the New Covenant agreement should at any time had been transferred over to the Church (a congregation in which Jews and Gentiles now are all equal, Eph 2:15) – then Paul would have told us straight forward, and with thorough explanation. No such explanation is found in the New Testament.

Secondly, I like to remind us of that the covenant to Israel was not only made for signs, wonders and miracles, and Holy Ghost baptism (Mark 16 etc.) – it was a covenant that also implied as a deed: The promise of the land, because if there should be established a Kingdom, they would need a land! Like already promised to the Hebrews at Sinai in Ex 19:5-7 – a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation for God. The covenants cannot be torn loose from the promises. It has to be all of it or nothing. This means that the New Covenant does not include heaven up above, but only the earthly millennial Kingdom in Israel. Of which the Church of Christ has no share or no promises. We have promise to come to heaven (Greek: Epiuranos, heaven up above the heavens) where Christ now sit at His Father’s side (Eph 1:20-23).

Dan 2:44 explicitly tells that only Israel can own and live in the land and the millennial Kingdom. The millennia will be given to no other people than the restored future Israel after the Great Tribulation is over.
Jer 31:31 of the New Covenant given only to Israel’s house and the house of Judah cannot be altered by some vague uncertain human guesswork. Paul confirms in Heb 8 and 9 chapters that it is the Jer 31:31 passages which prophesied of that new covenant to Israel.

But we, the Church (or Body) of Christ, have a free gift, salvation by faith alone and no works (Eph 2:8).
This gift needs no assistance from an imaginary ‘Covenant’ to bring about our salvation!