This series is my view of the legacy left us by Jesus, the Christ of God. So, please dissect my words carefully; go to Scripture and validate what I have written. Let not error or vain conceit muddy the waters of faith any more than they are.
Although we will look at all we know about Jesus as the Christ of God, born into the world of fallen man, many usurpers, false teachers and anti-Christs have now appeared. We need to alert ourselves and be prepared to fight, particularly in the short time remaining us. For this lost world is against us unto the death.
We will look closely at the birth, life, arrest, interrogation, examination by Pilate, the scourging and execution as the lamb of God sacrificed Himself. And as we proceed, I shall try to attempt to remove some of the dross that has crept in. Also, to remind us what we should never forget when we utter those words:
“Christ died for me!”
My focus is Scripture, not personal interpretation. And I think that, today, most people who study the Bible from a literal standpoint are well-aware that some things that we have come to accept may be upon very shaky ground, even in terms of literal accuracy.
IS MY FAVOURITE TRANSLATION TOTALLY ERROR-FREE?
I concede that various translations of the Bible (from antiquity), inclusive of our beloved ‘King James,’ have omissions and sometimes additions that even preceding translations did not have.
The King James is, of course, treated with great reverence within Protestantism, particularly as it distances itself from the Latin Vulgate of Rome.
That is why we must study the translations closely, particularly newer ones. Any relevant changes to text must be able to withstand the rigid test of comparison to the earliest emergent manuscripts and scrolls. Also, their transliteration from Ancient Hebrew To Aramaic, then to common Greek of the day, and finally, into the language of our mother tongues.
And no, you WON’T go to Hell if you read or prefer a translation other than the King James. There are much easier ways to get there. Some congregations have turned the King James into almost a sacrament. In my personal view, this was and is highly unwise.
I also make the point that when you attempt to translate from one language to another, you often will have great difficulty in finding a word in the new that will faithfully align with an allegedly identical word in the original language.
In terms of comparison, there may be nothing to compare with. And the use of modern punctuation doesn’t help when translating from earlier languages, wherein there was virtually a total absence of punctuation and grammar as we know and understand it.
Some words in ancient Aramaic and Hebrew simply do not appear in identical form in Greek, either classical or the patois of the ‘koine,’ (the common) Greek used by the people which was utilized as the translative medium to bring the ancient scriptures to us.
This is an excellent reference link:
Also, in the following example, I am thankful for the excellent recent research done by Joel Joseph, The Prophetic Scroll. Joel was studying/researching 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
Thessalonians 2:3 (King James Versions)
“Let no man deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come, unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.” – Edition 518: April 21st 2020. Beyond the plagues: http://www.thepropheticscroll.org/
Joel shows us that, originally, the translations included in the Bibles preceding the King James spoke NOT of a ‘falling away’ but of ‘THE DEPARTING.’
More importantly, it then must be read to understand that ‘THAT DAY’ will not come ‘UNLESS THE DEPARTURE COMES FIRST.’
Dear God – what a difference this makes not just to the translation but to our understanding of what is being said.
THAT THE DAY OF THE LORD (The Tribulation) WILL NOT COME UNLESS THE DEPARTING COMES FIRST (Beforehand).
How specifically that speaks to the Rapture. How specifically it validates our Pre-Tribulation understanding of the literal text of the Scriptures.
The original early Bibles were consistent in their translation of this verse as follows:
2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come, unless the departynge comes first….” (DEPARTYNGE is the old English for the word DEPARTING.)
Note how dramatically “departynge” changes the entire meaning. Read the top verse and then the bottom rendition of it again.
Here are the early, original old English Bibles and their use of that verse. Note the consistency:
Wycliffe Bible (1330), “departynge first”
2. Tyndale Bible (1525/26), “departynge first”
3. Coverdale Bible 1535), “departynge first”
4. Crammer Bible (1539), “departynge first”
5. Beeches Bible (1583), “departing first”
6. Beza Bible (1583), “departing first”
7. Geneva Bible (1608), “departing first”
- King James Bible (1611) “falling away.”
THE ERRORS OF ‘CHURCHIANITY’
Accepting that further study by both ancient and modern theological scholars has discovered errors in transliteration (as words from the alphabet of one language to another are made), what do we make of that called ‘Churchianity?’
Dear friends, error is one thing. However, error has two faces.
-The error was innocent, a mistake in scholarly understanding
-The error was mendacious. A deliberate attempt to alter, confuse, manipulate or perpetrate a lie.
Facing it squarely; the churches’ representative of mainstream ‘Christianity,’ both in the past and certainly today, taught and continue to teach things that simply lie at odds with Scripture itself.
And unbiased linguistic scholars of the theological have enough difficulty in translating now, without laying a further foundation of deliberate interpretative error.
A case in point being the letters of Paul which, originally, contained no punctuation whatsoever. When edited and punctuation was added (at the discretion of the editor), we have to rely on the editor’s interpretation to a large extent.
Words and sentences, though reliably translated, are then subject to different emphasis when punctuation is added.
No, folks – I’m not suggesting that innocent error (that appears to put a slightly different slant on our understanding) should make us disregard any particular translation. Rather, it should instil a sense of excitement into us as ‘the glass we see through but darkly’ becomes just a little easier to understand.
I have a thirst to gain understanding of my God. I have a thirst to ‘know’ and understand His Word.
I certainly have not attained (nor do I think it likely) that I shall ever gain full wisdom. And certainly not in this life. Except that I hold the LORD my God in awe, and certainly I do hold Him in reverent fear. Yet, I want to know and learn all that I possibly can. So I am prepared to test other assertions just so long as the work has been done by scholars who leave any set of bias they possess at the front door. They can pick any personal bias up at the back door as they leave, particularly as it might possibly relate to efforts to marry existing church doctrine to scriptural passages and text.
Case in point. Today, it’s claims that the Bible can be interpreted to show that God would approve of our efforts to be non-discriminatory by the addition of additional gender specification and the legitimacy of sexual practices strictly forbidden. We reckon we can either do better than our Maker, or else He was wrong.
Wherein is it so stated? To what verse, text, passage or Book are they referencing as their source?
Today, it’s also allowing admitted, unrepentant sinners to ascend the pulpit to teach. These are they that are so proud of their sins that they wish to shout them from the church steeple if they could.
Today, it claims that Jesus would applaud our preoccupation and focus on issues of social justice rather than the core issue of repentance.
Today, we have a prelate who also wants us to focus upon the issue of global warming of an Earth over whose ‘natural’ forces we have absolutely no control.
Hello? Hello? What translation are these people reading from? Does God not mean what He has had so clearly recorded?
To achieve divers ends, these usurpers either manipulate Scripture, read it out of context or verse pick in isolation. Sometimes, simply ignoring it to ‘sing a different’ unmelodious song that is anything but scripturally based.
Yesterday, it was the creation of a church that sold indulgences, commenced the worship of icons and the bones of the dead, claiming venerated sainthood.
Yesterday, it was a church that decided that it had the right through an apostle to rule the entire voice of Christ’s church and to speak on behalf of God.
Protestantism points the finger at Rome; and, sure, Rome has much to answer for. However, the clerical skirts of the Protestant clergy cling to much of the dogma that was not left upon the other side of the Reformation.
The sin of Anti-Semitism arises directly from allegorical misinterpretation of the Scriptures together with the claim that the Jews have no prophetic heritage left, either spiritually or in temporal terms. This includes denial of prophecy that validates God’s own plan to bring them back to their ancient homeland.
A land that, until 1948, had long ceased to exist.
Notwithstanding God’s punishment for their sin of denial was that they be driven from Israel, scripture has always been clear that God would ultimately reverse their long diaspora. However, God placed the land in Shabbat Rest, desolate and forlorn, to fulfil the hundreds of years of Shabbat Rest jubilees that had been neglected by the Jews. That, significantly, is part of their punishment.
The children of Israel were not faithful to God. For 490+ years they refused to allow their land to rest during the Sabbaticals. Because of their disobedience, God allowed the children of Israel to be taken captive to Babylon for 70 years. While they were in Babylon, the land back in Canaan enjoyed its 70 Sabbath years of rest.
Leviticus 26 provides the sanctions that God would impose upon His nation for the years that Israel did not obey the specifications of a sabbatical year.
Then the land will enjoy its Sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your Sabbaths, while you were living on it (Lev. 26:34-35).
“For the land shall be abandoned by them, and shall l make up for its Sabbaths while it is made desolate without them. They, meanwhile, shall be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes” (Lev. 26:43).
THE BIBLE-BASED TRUE CHURCH OF GOD:
To identify a truly Bible-based church today, in which a humble man of God prayerfully teaches all Scripture, is getting to be near impossible. And where such a pastor and loyal congregation exist, they now meet in fear of the ungodly invading their meeting place to deride, condemn and, if possible, convince the legal system to take proceedings against them.
THE SPIRITLESS MEETING PLACES OF CHURCHIANITY:
And as faithful, Bible-based churches vanish, we are left with what I and others now refer to as ‘Churchianity.’
You will quickly determine a place of meeting that thrives in the warm soup of ‘Churchianity’ because it is Spiritless. It is fed by the World and responds to it accordingly.
Does it nurture its flock? Yes! Feeding it a bland serving of ‘nothing in particular’ and singing an acceptable mantra from the pulpit that offends no one, of course it still thrives.
It certainly will provide fellowship, community support, a social gathering point. It will offer a form of child baptism, marry and bury you with all due solemnity.
What it won’t do (for it is not capable of offering it because of the dictates of its self-invented theological doctrine) is to feed you the strong meat of the Bible. That meat is relative to the basis of the saving grace of the Christ of God. That meat also methodically, from beginning to end, sets out the price of a lifetime of denial.
The Bible is the Red Line that God has given us to warn us of the long-prophesied end of this World as we know it. And at the same time, it establishes, through Jesus, how we can not only avoid being involved in the destruction, but changed for eternity, be gathered and removed before the destruction commences.
We speak to the 2nd destruction of the world of mankind, not by flood (which God said He would never repeat, mandating His promise in perpetuity with the sign of the Rainbow), but by fire and woes of divers types and consequences.
The hard-hearted and proud will continue in sin. They have been given over (Romans 1:28; Revelation 22:11; Revelation 16:9, 11; Psalm 106:14).
‘Churchianity’ has not the Holy Spirit, and your soul is not being sustained the way it should. You must come out of her whilst the breath of life you still exhale and the blood flows in your veins. Once passed to death, only judgment is left.
You have been a faithful parishioner all your life. You love Jesus and acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior, so what you are reading is hurtful. ‘This guy can’t be talking about my church – it’s not like that!’
As a faithful congregate (parishioner) of ‘your’ church, you will no doubt repudiate my claims and me along with it. Why would you not? You read from your Bible on Sunday and periodically attend a Bible Study Group (if ‘your’ church endorses that practice). Some will even read their Bibles at Home.
You sing the hymns with fervent passion, participate in sharing the Supper or the Eucharist ceremony of ‘transubstantiation’ taught by Catholic/Orthodox tradition confirmed within its doctrine. And you perform the rituals of your ‘faith.’ All, as you intone, with deep devotion, the repetitive prayers.
A benediction of blessing is offered, the clergy retreats, and the Service is over. Single file you exit, waiting for the chance to exchange the most friendly of pleasantries with the presiding priest or pastor (or whatever title his doctrine tells him/her to assume) and then leave.
You are, as you emerge, ‘soul refreshed,’ convinced not only of your piety but also of the ‘good works’ you are exhibiting through your attendance. And you may be a very ‘works’-focused person because you are convinced in yourself (or by church doctrine) that ‘good works’ are also a necessary prerequisite if you are to be found finally acceptable by God.
Perhaps my analogy is too unkind? Actually, I had myself in mind when I made these observations, for the analogies were drawn from some of my own personal experience.
There are many of us who have sat in such churches for many years who are, indeed, faithful Bible students. We have given of ourselves to Christ Jesus in broken repentance and tearfully offer our continued prayers and supplications. We also do go home and read our Bibles.
My barbs are not for you ‘O Faithful Ones.’ They are reserved directly and specifically for those charged with the most solemn duty of your spiritual well-being. The ones that have the great responsibility to prepare you for what now lies directly ahead. And for which most church attendees have no knowledge whatsoever.
Even if they ask about things such as the possibility of the Rapture of Christ’s sheep, all they will most likely receive is a ‘knowing smirk.’ Then, you are patiently told why this cannot be so. Further, the inference is given that, allegedly, ‘although there is an end….no one is to know when and…it’s not something you need worry your head over.’ Having heard it from the ‘horse’s mouth,’ you are suitably mollified, your fears allayed, and off you go.
Yet, what you call ‘your faith’ may well be more aligned to the denomination to which you claim allegiance (probably since you were a small child).
In examining your belief system closely, the litmus test must be, “Is your faith that sole belief you have in the saving Grace offered by Jesus, to the total exclusion of anything else?” Specifically, is it the faith that you have claimed in broken repentance as you begged for forgiveness for having previously denied Him?
A MOVABLE FEAST:
If your answered affirmatively, then ‘your faith’ in Jesus is highly transferable. You could attend and be effectively pastored at any Bible-based church that truly teaches the real meat of Scripture.
If your answer is in the negative, “No I believe that ‘my faith’ in Jesus must be tied to ‘my’ church and its teachings; otherwise, I won’t be admitted to Heaven!” then, you are a victim of ‘Churchianity.’
In the time of our Jewish-born Messiah, as He brought many back in humble submission before the throne of God, neither Rome nor Protestantism existed. And neither did they exist in the churches established by His apostles. Such doctrines came only later as the Gentile church became fully established.
As the number of new converts increased, the concept of and need for church government, solidarity and uniformity of teaching emerged and grew. Rulers became converts to the new religion and also became convinced that not only should there be uniformity, but that the church should be under central control. Ultimately, that task was undertaken by the remnant of the Roman Empire located in Byzantium (wherein Turkey lies today). When the day of the emperors was finished, the vacuum was filled by the papacy.
Conversely, in a Bible-based church, you are fed a pottage of sustaining beef broth that contains the strong ‘meat’ of the gospels of Jesus, the Christ of God. The gospels do not stand alone, because Jesus taught from original Scripture. It is original Scripture (the Old Testament/Torah of the Jews), that contains all the prophecy that speaks to the coming of Messiah and of His death. It is the prophetic, foundational-backbone that supports our faith in God.
The Old Testament is and remains the foundation rock. Upon this rock is laid the building of our faith in God, as expressed through Jesus who taught the Scriptures.
The New Testament, expressing the gospels of Jesus (His Christ and our redeemer God), sign-post the path to our journey’s end.
‘Build on the rock
and not upon the sand.
You need not fear the storm,
nor the earthquake’s shock.
You’re safe for evermore,
if you build on the ‘rock.’
In the Church of Jesus Christ (not the denominational substitutes), he who pastors the flock with loving correctness, will consistently teach the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ. He teaches That there is no other way to God but through Jesus.
He will teach you the consistent message of how best to apply that treasured gift of Grace and how to avoid the wily traps set by Satan. His chief concern and preoccupation will be your spiritual well-being.
Within that context alone, will he also minister to your temporal needs with his own ‘good works.’ The latter flowing from his faith in Jesus for ‘good works’ are established and undertaken as the spirit of Grace works within you, from the inside out. ‘Good Works’ do not, cannot, never have been able to validate the Grace that saved you. Jesus alone does that.
A DIET WITHOUT SUSTINENCE:
In the meeting places of ‘Churchianity,’ you are fed blancmange, crème-caramel and sweetmeats.
On this diet you will grow fat and effete. And in partaking of this unhealthy diet, you will not only fail to enjoy a healthy relationship with God through Jesus but, more than likely, you won’t care less.
Going through the motions will suffice – just so long as everyone else thinks you are truly devout in your worship. After all, ‘appearances are everything,’ are they not! One must certainly not lose face.
Today, as many harden their hearts, as they partake this food, instead of the sustaining food that contains the ingredient of growth (of the soul), they become almost eager recipients of messages and teachings that do not pertain to the Christ King’s message.
Specifically ignored is the present imminency of the call home by Jesus to the ‘sheep of His pasture’ prior to His swift return as King and Judge of this fallen World.
PRAY FOR THE SOULS OF THE SPIRITUALLY DEAD AND DYING:
We should humbly pray for the many who remain congregate within ‘Churchianity.’ They know not what they are being denied. And that, specifically, is true teaching and pastoring.
Does the starving child visualise a banquet? I think not. More likely, just a deep yearning and taste of something more sustaining.
Great movements have arisen that allegedly preach Christ crucified. I ask, where is His grace expressed in their splendid meeting places? They offer glory but it is self-edifying.
Huge congregations in these meeting places assemble to hear taught such things as the ‘prosperity gospel.’ Spawned out of satanic hearts, this particular heresy teaches of our ‘right’ to not only assemble worldly wealth but falsely claims that it is something applauded by God.
A few get very rich from this ‘gospel.’ I suggest it isn’t the average church member.
I could go on but will finish my preamble with a World War II quote from an unnamed source as it spoke to the rise of Adolf Hitler.
‘Europa was sick, and so, chose a sick man to lead her!’
Many still call such teachings Christianity. I apply the quote in a derogative sense to the leaders of ‘Churchianity’ and their failure to feed the sheep.
The World applauds ‘Churchianity.’
‘Churchianity’ is compliant and rarely outspoken. It increasingly strives to accommodate the world, de-emphasizing Grace through Jesus and replacing Him with ‘social justice.’
Commencing with the fight against ‘gender bias,’ it no longer actively teaches the alleged sinlessness of fornication. ‘Churchianity’ rarely, if ever, teaches that homosexual relations within the same sex is abhorred by God. ‘Gay’ (I mean sinful) clergy are admitted to flaunt their sin and respective partners. And worse, confirming it by alleging a God-blessed marriage and a host of other things that complete the picture I’ve painted.
Truly, a sick church for a sick world. Indeed, a perfect match. Alas, not one made in or sanctified by Heaven.
So, May God, through His holy spirit, guide me as I bring this series to you. Amen.
The legacy of our Savior God is His own act of offering Himself (in flesh) as the ultimate paschal lamb of sacrifice. For, after this, God neither asked for nor demanded the continued offerings made through the slaughtered bodies of animals.
Jesus, the Christ of God (who is both of the Father and the Holy Spirit), is in Himself His own legacy.
Animal Sacrifices Insufficient. Hebrews 10:1-4 (New King James Version, NKJV)
“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”
Thereby, Jesus’ legacy was a ‘once-only’ bequest that God intended would be eternal in nature. And it was created through the spilling of Jesus’ own blood within the circumstances that unfolded as He was falsely tried, then sentenced to be scourged and executed.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LEGACY:
What should believers and deniers should draw from the legacy?
It was an act the Living God ordained (of Himself) to create the ‘once-only’ means of man’s reconciliation from his fallen status. That, of course, was lost in first man, Adam, who, with first woman, sinned grievously against the specific directions given them by God as the price for their wonderful existence within His Garden.
What modern man (with foreknowledge of the process involved) would voluntarily submit himself for such an end as Jesus submitted Himself to?
The short answer administered by the World is, ‘no one in their right mind!’
Jesus, however, was absolutely complicit in what he chose to do in accordance with His Father’s will.
Though in flesh a man, Jesus was the Christ of God and equal co-sharer in the triune nature of the Godhead. And He was pure (sinless) in every respect. I remind you again that Jesus was not born fallen from grace, for He came not of Adam who had fallen.
We are so privileged that God has granted us the understanding of how and why He ordained this almost incomprehensible event.
Through completion of this reconciliation process (as we repent our own sin and call upon the name of Jesus to forgive us), God forgives us our trespasses of denial and the burden of sin that accompanies it, raising us restored through the grace won by His Son.
THE DEPTH OF LOVE AND COMPASSION THAT THE CRUCIFIXION DEMONSTRATES:
In this wonderful, awe-inspiring, act of ‘reconciliation,’ we see the Father giving all He had to give (Himself).
In Jesus, He has put out the ‘welcome mat’ to welcome ‘home’ the prodigal son.
Through this act, Jesus, the Christ of God (who is God), remains eternal. He stands at the gate, arms outstretched to welcome anyone who, of his own volition, chooses to end denial and return to the worship of God, the God-Creator and Father of man.
We speak in metaphors but only to illustrate what is actually occurring.
As we walk through that gate, Jesus (personally) removes our filthy rags, washes the dross from our souls and throws the cloak of purity over our shoulders. Shriven, we enter the holy of holies, standing before the throne of God, reconciled at last as the restored sons of God and accepted, our sin washed away forever.
Friends, do you know and understand that even the Fallen Angels that contributed to the satanic downfall of the pre-flood race of men (who are now locked in darkness) are not to receive the gift of reconciliation so lovingly offered us. They are destined for everlasting damnation. How blessed then are we.
Forgiven all, our burden lifted and left behind: no longer ‘seen’ as being to exist!
Thanks be to God!
This is what the story of the ‘prodigal son’ is truly meant to convey to us.
The broken profligate, now penniless, the fortune his father had given him long gone. All ill-spent on depravity. He has been reduced to competing for food with pigs in a pigpen.
Finally, with nowhere else to turn, he turns his face and steps towards home, hoping against hope that his father might at least spare him the crumbs that fall from his table.
Expecting nothing but the means of minimum sustenance, he approaches his father humbly, in abject poverty of spirit. But……Oh! What JOY: he is received within an embrace of love and tears of joy, bathed and a clean, rich cloak placed upon him.
We are the ‘prodigal.’ And it is our Heavenly Father who welcomes us home through the gift of grace bought for us through the accepted sacrifice of His son.
I tell you, truly, the portals of Heaven light up with the light of joy every time one such as this comes home to his Heavenly Father.
Emergent Churchianity: Part III-B Next: Who is Jesus?
Blessings. May I see you all very soon.