Revealing the Reasons for Everything (Based
on the Word of God)
by William W. Bentley, Jr.
“”Now to the King of the eons, the incorruptible, invisible, only, and wise God, be honor and glory for the eons of the eons! Amen!” quoting the Apostle Paul from 1 Timothy 1:17.
EING MINDFUL from childhood of the many blessings my Heavenly Father bestowed upon me, I resolved early in life to try and do something significant for Him. Having been taught the Christian belief at home, in school, and in a denominational church, I vowed that one day I would work to bring mankind closer to Christ’s example and thus hasten the day when the Kingdom of Heaven would be established.
Soon after I was married, my wife asked me why I belonged to the Christian Church. Pondering the question seriously, the only answer I could give was that I was born into it. This bothered me for some time, because if I planned to proclaim any Christian evangel I must be utterly convinced that it was true. Then the big question was, of all the denominations of the Christian church, which one was closest to the truth? I was reminded that on several occasions in the past, I had found myself questioning certain passages of the Bible or denominational beliefs. Why did the Presbyterians believe this, when the Baptists believed that? From whom did the Pope get his authority? What was it that caused Martin Luther to start the Protestant movement? Why do we have so many different churches?
Before I got very far in my search for the answers to these questions, we were invited to participate in a local Bible study group subsequently named “The Truth Seekers’ Class.” We would attend a one-hour meeting of the class then proceed to verify the teachings at home from our own Bible. It took over two years of such instruction to convince me that God’s spirit had led me to the real Truth. I became more and more certain of this fact as the years rolled by—twenty-seven now.
This book is the result, and I pray that it will stimulate the reader to study the Sacred Scriptures to learn all about God’s purpose from His own words.
PART A: THE SIMPLE STORY OF THE UNIVERSE
THE GRAND DRAMA (THEME)
Satanic rebellion. Mankind created, sinned,
destroyed by the Great Flood.
God designates the Hebrews as His chosen race;
they reject their Messiah.
Peter’s Jewish Apostolic Church rivaled by Paul’s Body Church of Christ.
Result: the Roman Catholic Church.
Protestant Reformation followed by denominationalism.
Christ calls the Body Church away. World chaos—then the Millennium.
Satan dispatched. Death abolished. Christ leads all to God.
The Consummation of the Universe.
PART B: SCRIPTURAL EXPLANATIONS
APOSTLES, TWELVE ° BAPTISM ° CHURCH ° DAY, THE LORD’S ° DEATH ° DISRUPTION ° EONIAN ° EVANGEL, PAULINE ° FAITH ° FREE WILL ° GOSPEL, KINGDOM ° GRACE ° HADES ° HEAVEN ° HELL ° JUSTIFICATION ° LAW, THE ° MESSENGERS ° NAMES ° PARADISE ° PARDON ° PAUL ° PRAYER ° PRAYER, LORD’S ° PREDESTINATION ° PURGATORY ° REPENTANCE ° RESURRECTION ° SABBATH, THE ° SAINT ° SALVATION ° SECRET, THE ° SIGNS, THE ° SIN ° SOUL ° SPIRITS, EVIL ° TIMES ° TRINITY ° VIVIFICATION °
PART C: SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES
The Simple Story of
ANKIND HAS BEEN imbued with a compulsion to philosophize as to the origin, purpose, and meaning of life and to theorize about what, if anything, occurs after death. Scientists, philosophers, and theologians (intellectuals) have written books numbering in the thousands on these subjects. A lay person might venture a humble opinion that, for the most part, the experts have merely made complex matters unfathomable. In contrast, perhaps simple explanations for everything, based primarily upon the Sacred Scriptures (the Word of God) would be more readily understood and accepted by ordinary people.(1)
Right now, it would be best if the readers of these words would put aside previously accepted rationalized biblical interpretations and pick up and read for themselves the plain and simple words of the Sacred Scriptures. For the uninitiated, it should be pointed out that the actual Word of God does not exist; only man’s feeble attempts to recover the scattered and often mistranslated writings of ancient scribes and prophets are available. All translations contain errors; the venerated King James version probably the most numerous. The newer versions are more accurate and easier understood; most works contain the basic truths, differing somewhat on details. Many devout students of the Sacred Scriptures have come to depend upon the truly unbiased translations rendered by the Concordant Publishing Concern.* But regardless of which version is chosen, a seeker of Truth must adopt the mind of a little child,(2) then read and assimilate the simple statements of the Sacred Scriptures, believing them to mean just what they say, making no attempts to rationalize on the “why” and “how” aspects;(3) just to be content in the knowledge that God knows exactly what He is doing.(4) If it appears to you that certain things are wrong, just bear in mind that God’s ways are not our ways, and that He is just and will eventually right every wrong.(5) You will be surprised how the truth falls out naturally.(6)
In our attempts to discern just how God wishes us to live, many things which perplex us can be readily dispelled if we bring ourselves into a better understanding and acceptance of the basic facts concerning the origin of all. The Sacred Scriptures tell us that in the beginning there was God;(7) thus He must always have been in the past(8) (as He is eternal in the future). Although mentioned a couple of times,(9) no detailed description of pre-eonian times has been given to us in the Sacred Scriptures. We are promised a clear understanding of all mysteries when we ultimately assemble around God’s throne in post-eonian times.(10) We are also told that God is a life-giving spirit,(11) a reservoir of unlimited resources, out of Whom all things are brought into existence.(12) But right now, try to think of God as a kind and loving Father(l3) dwelling throughout the Universe, ever present in every place. His wisdom and power are without limit;(14) so is His love.(15) He is perfection;(16) He hates imperfection.
Expand this thought to encompass the idea of God having a Grand Scheme (or purpose)(4) which affords Him the means for a visible demonstration of His unbounded love while at the same time serving to reflect that love and affection undiminished back to Himself. Open up your mind and consider the following outline of the Grand Scheme, together with a description of how it has been and continues to be put into operation.**
* Concordant Publishing Concern, P.O. Box 449, Almont, MI 48003 810-798-3563.
** If you were designated beforehand by God for the place of a son(17) you will be called(18) when the Holy Spirit gives you the power to believe all;(19) please, though, do not languish if you have not received this gift of faith; this important event might be delayed until your last conscious moment.
THE GRAND SCHEME
* * * * *
1. WHILE STILL ALONE, God prepared the script for the Grand Drama of the Universe—to carry out His purpose.(20)
2. God brings forth Christ,(21) Whom He designates as His son.(22)
3. Together, God the Father and Christ the Son create the Universe—the theatre wherein the Grand Drama is to be presented. Not only the stage, but the characters as well are brought into being.(23)
4. God, being spirit(24) and invisible,(25) gives Christ, Who is the Image of the Invisible God,(26) the script for the Grand Drama with the power and authority to direct all action from beginning to end.(27)
5. Christ then produces and directs the Grand Drama precisely as the script calls for, ultimately stepping into and assuming the principal role Himself.(28)
6. After the final curtain falls on the Grand Drama, Christ brings the entire production company to God’s throne,(29) where every actor is to be rewarded with a rightful place in God’s happy, eternal family.(30)
Presenting the story of the Universe as a Grand Drama is one means of bringing God’s untraceable ways(14) to a level where we human beings can get a glimpse of what the Grand Scheme is all about. As the author, God assigned every player his character, implanted every thought, directed every action, dictated every word that was to be spoken throughout the performance.(4)
Dwell on these thoughts until you realize their true significance:
1. The key to a better understanding of the Sacred Scriptures lies in accepting the fact that all is predestined(31) (God’s script for the Grand Drama of the Universe).
2. Not one single being had a voice in what part he was to play. * (32)
3. Resolve now to suppress your natural human tendency to condemn the actors who were cast in villainous parts.(33)
4. Be reminded constantly that God is Love, and Just, and rest assured that after the final curtain falls, every player will be acclaimed and rewarded by God Himself.(34)
5. Then the whole Grand Scheme will become clear and satisfy all reasonings,(10) and every creature will glorify God, the Heavenly Father.(35)
Before you get into the action of the Grand Drama, it would be well to familiarize yourself with the various names the principal characters will be known by:
God: the Supreme Being—origin of all—infinite wisdom—limitless power—boundless love—called Father by Jesus—called Jehovah, Lord of Hosts or just Lord by the Hebrews.
Christ: Anointed—Firstborn of every creature—Image of the Invisible God—God’s Son—called Jesus or Jesus Christ by early believers (before Ascension)—called Christ Jesus by Paul.
Jesus: Christ in His physical body, born of Mary—referred to as Emmanuel, Messiah, Savior, Lord—the King of the Jews.
Satan: Hebrew name for the Adversary of God—the Serpent, Eve’s Tempter.
Spirit Beings: spiritual entities—angels—messengers, some faithful, others serving the Adversary.
The Sacred Scriptures themselves describe the scenes and characters of the Grand Drama and give the dialogue spoken. It is hoped that the following brief theme of the Grand Drama will inspire readers to search the Sacred Scriptures thus enabling them to eventually perceive the “why” and the reasons for everything.(1)
As an overview, try to visualize the Father and the Son working as One to set the stage for the Grand Drama by creating the entire Universe comprised of countless galaxies in space; one such galaxy, our solar system, with an earth, our earth satellite, the moon, and a system of other planets all revolving about a huge star we call the sun. Next, they created a host of spirit beings dwelling among the celestials, their faces turned toward God, whom they recognize as the Pre-eminent Ruler over all.(36) Also, according to plan, the Creator then brought about life on the earth, both animal and vegetable. The whole Universe existed in perfect harmony and in conformance with precise universal laws** devised by the Creator to hold all in perfect equilibrium.(37)
* Did you choose your parents? Your nationality? Your race? Your birth date? Your environment? Your personality? None of us do.
** The laws of the Universe keep everything in order without further Divine attention. Any infraction of universal law has its natural consequence, which then should not be attributed to an unloving God.
Even though Adam was ignorant of the complex laws of nature, nevertheless the laws existed and the whole Universe was subject to them. A cooling down of the earth brought fractures to the earth’s crust by violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; atmospheric pressure and temperature changes caused tornadoes, hurricanes, hail storms, snow, ice, and rains. Over-exhaustion reduced man’s resistance to disease and sickness from which death often resulted. For lack of proper balance in diet and other deficiencies, the body organs aged, broke down, and brought on death. The law of supply and demand and many other similar rules govern the world’s economy so that man’s material rewards, degrees of success or failure, do not result from his moral conduct.
The only possible way to avoid the dire penalties of law-breaking is, first of all, to gain absolute knowledge of the law; and second, to observe the laws by living perfect (sinless) lives. After many thousands of years, mankind has only scratched the surface in acquiring knowledge of universal law. From the time the first (perfect) man, Adam, disbelieved God, mankind has been condemned to a physical deterioration process (age, disease, accident)—the inevitable results of man’s imperfection. If Adam had relied solely upon God (the Loving Provider) he would have been taken care of by the One having infinite wisdom. It should be a logical conclusion, then, that man’s ultimate salvation can only come from God; man cannot save himself.
Against this background, we should never ask, “Why does God allow this bad thing to happen?” Most likely, it is not an act of punishment God inflicts on us, it is the result of a breach of universal law.
Thus begins the Grand Drama — Act I.
THE GRAND DRAMA
* * * * *
“The world’s a theatre, the earth a stage,
which God and Nature do with actors fill.”
—Thomas Heywood, Apology for Actors
The Satanic rebellion. Adam and Eve created, then banished from Eden because they disbelieved their Creator. God, loathing the world’s all-consuming pursuit of sensuous pleasures, destroys all but faithful Noah and his ark.
* * * * *
HE PERFECT UNIVERSE with God at the center, surrounded by the heavenly hosts and all the galaxies, sets the stage for the opening scene. Several of the spirit beings under the leadership of Satan challenge God’s authority and rule. Here, the classical drama’s villain makes his initial entrance. This event marks the first instance of any opposition to God—a negative force opposing a positive force, an evil influence contrasted with a good influence.(38) Inasmuch as God Himself is perfect, He abhors imperfection. Herein lies the true definition of sin—anything that is offensive to God—imperfection.
God immediately banishes Satan and his followers from His presence, exiling them to dwell in the atmosphere(39) surrounding the earth. A future (eventual) reconciliation between God and this Satanic group(40) will be required to restore the original harmony. The very act of banishing Satan and his followers was responsible for an accompanying cataclysmic disruption. The necessary introduction of sin (evil) into the newly created, perfect universe brings on this violent convulsion or Disruption, a term first recorded in Mt. 25:34-35.* Whereas the earth together with its plant and animal life had previously existed in perfect order and balance, the Disruption caused everything to be turned topsy-turvy into the jumbled mess we now live upon. Is. 45:18 says the Maker did not create the earth a chaos. Gn. 1:2 correctly translated says the earth “became a chaos and vacant.” This was the Disruption. The remnant of the spirit beings (the faithful) observed this Satanic rebellion and its consequences with horror, fear, and trembling—thus calling for a future conciliatory effort to them. Watch and see how God ultimately wins their love and adoration.(42)
SUMMARY: Scene I—
Satan challenges God’s authority and is banished; cataclysmic disruption.
* Note also that when Jesus gave up the spirit on the cross, there was another violent reaction showing God’s extreme displeasure even though the event was an essential scene in the Grand Drama.(41)
* * * * *
HE NEXT SCENE opens with the five-day restoration of the disrupted earth followed by the making of the first human. Whereas the spirit beings had no physical bodies, the human body was formed from the earth’s soil and energized with the breath of life(43) and spirit, so that the combination became a living soul* which God called Adam.(45) Adam was strictly physical, his body being comprised of flesh, bone, and blood. Having been made of soil, the body functions were nourished and sustained by the intake of food, air, and water. Existing in perfect balance, the satisfaction of the five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell assured the body of the proper replenishment of all the minerals, chemicals, vitamins, etc., required to keep it perpetually rejuvenated so that it never aged. Adam was thus brought on the scene in an elegant garden which had been planted to sustain the human’s perfect (sinless) body with life-giving elements forever. But this actor, like Satan, had been created with a sense of vanity, a spirit of rebellion, a yearning to be sell-reliant.
* Note here that a soul is the result of the union between a physical body and spirit supplied by God; you don’t have a soul; you are a soul. At death your body returns to the earth from which it was formed; your spirit returns to God, who supplied it initially.(44) The soul which was you is no longer; it vanishes—goes to the Unseen (mistranslated as “Hell”). A similar phenomenon may be illustrated by an electric light bulb (the body) and the light (the soul) which emanates from it when the current (the spirit) from the power generating station (God) pulsates through the filament. Switching off the power leaves the bulb dead and the illumination (the soul) disappears (goes to the Unseen — Hell); the power (the spirit) merely rests within the reservoir from which it was originally transmitted; the bulb (body) is discarded and eventually reverts back to the basic elements from which it was made.
* * * * *
N THIS SCENE, God decided that the human should have a companion.(45) Whereas Adam had been created a bisexual human,(46) God separated the male and female reproductive function by removing an angular organ from Adam and forming another body around it; and thus was the female human brought into existence as Adam’s complement.(47) Whereas before there was only one human—Adam—now there became two humans—a man, Adam, and a woman, Eve.*
Having acquired a following of several spirit beings among the celestials, Satan now desires to expand his evil influence to include the earth and its master, the human;(49) and so Satan disguises himself as a cunning serpent.** (50)
Now God had planted a very beautiful tree right in the center of the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve would pass by it every time they walked about.(51) Everything about the tree and its fruit was perfection and irresistible to the human’s sensuous nature.(52) But God instructed Adam not to partake of the fruit of this tree and told him that to do so would bring about a process hitherto unknown to Adam, called dying, a winding down of life—ending in death.(53) Knowing how fond Adam was of his new companion, Eve, the Serpent took her to the Tree of Knowledge first, showing her the forbidden fruit; that it was so beautiful to gaze upon, had a sweet smell, smooth to touch, and if she would only bite into it, she would be captivated by its delicious flavor. Eve used the same technique with Adam after she had yielded to the Serpent’s temptation. Eve’s temptation to Adam’s sensuous nature was reinforced by his own thirst for knowledge, his desire to be independent; so he also ate the forbidden fruit.(54)
Therefore, like Satan, Adam had rebelled against his Creator, choosing to disbelieve God, thus invoking the penalty of death. Whereas Adam had been, up to this time, in perfect harmony with God, his failure to believe Him resulted in the introduction of sin (originated by Satan) into the world. Being descendants of Adam, all of us have inherited the same vain nature, a desire for free will, a thirst for self-determination, and a life devoted primarily to the satisfaction of our five senses. By the same token, our bodies, being imperfect, are by definition sinful and are condemned to death. As long as we exist in our physical bodies we are bound to conform to the laws of nature, responsive to the demands of our five senses, yet doomed to failure in our vain attempts to regain Adam’s original perfection and to thwart the dying process by our own efforts.(55) Thus is set up the conditions upon which to base mankind’s future capitulation and reconciliation to God through His grace, goodness, and love.
* From this, it should be apparent that holy matrimony reunites the male and female and they become one as they were originally created.(48)
**At this point, the serpent was something to be admired—not the despised creeping thing we now know.
* * * * *
HE FOURTH SCENE starts with God’s eviction of Adam and Eve from the perfect Garden of Eden,(56) originally prepared to sustain the human in eternal peace and happiness contingent on Adam’s total reliance upon God.(57) Now Adam and Eve are instead condemned to a life of survival in a hostile environment of danger from weather, wild beasts, insects, germs, and the unknown laws of nature.(58) By virtue of his native intelligence (gained from the Tree of Knowledge) man was able to develop and populate a large part of the earth in the years that followed Adam’s expulsion from Eden. Adam and his offspring might have repented of their renouncement of God and made sincere attempts to get back into His good graces, but people became so entangled in their day-to-day life struggles that they drifted farther and farther from God, living only to satisfy their carnal natures. The life style which resulted became so repugnant to God that He decided to eliminate all but one family of people. This family depended not only on their own prowess for survival but continued to communicate with and rely upon Him for guidance.(59) Thus, a great flood was brought upon the earth(60) and only Noah and his family were saved.(61) As before, many generations of people repopulated the earth, but instead of working to narrow the gap between God and mankind, the vast majority went from bad to worse, with only a few holding onto their faith and close relationship with God.
God segregates Jews from Gentiles and designates them as His chosen people with whom He makes a covenant. Christ assumes His role as a man, Jesus of Nazareth, but the Jews will not accept Him as their Messiah. Paul is converted but his appeal to the Jews is rejected.
* * * * *
HE SECOND ACT of the Grand Drama starts with mankind’s depravity finally becoming so great that God decides to intervene once more. Instead of annihilating the faithless people as He had done before, God adopts another course of action. From all of mankind, God singles out one man, Abram, who has maintained his faith and continues to look to God for divine guidance in all things.(62) Abram is put to the supreme test and demonstrates his unflinching faith and belief by his willingness to offer up his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.(63) God pronounces Abram a righteous man by virtue of his implicit belief and trust in Him.* As a result of this faith, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and promised him** that he would father a priest nation which would lead all of the other nations to a state of righteousness and ultimate reconciliation with God.(65)
SUMMARY: Scene 1—Generations after Noah also fell into sinful ways; God chooses one man, Abram, righteous and believing, and trusting God completely, to father a great nation—Israel.
* It is of vital importance to note that Abram’s righteousness was not declared as a result of a completed act but on his absolute faith and belief in God.(64) So far, the first man, Adam, disbelieved God and removed himself from God’s care. Next, Noah believed God and God preserved him from the great flood. Now, we have Abram, who believed God, and God declares him to be righteous.
** Watch and see how God controls and schedules future events to bring about the fulfillment of this promise.
* * * * *
HIS SCENE BEGINS with God separating mankind into two categories: (1) the descendants of the believing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, called Hebrews or Jews (circumcision saints), who maintained contact with Jehovah (their name for God); and (2) the balance of humanity, unbelieving heathen referred to as “The Nations,” or simply, Gentiles. The events which follow show conclusively that God wished to deal with mankind in different ways at different time periods. It could be said that God here originated the strategy of “dividing to conquer” because He elected to maintain direct communication with the Jews while at the same time cutting Himself off entirely from the Gentiles. The Old Testament division of the Sacred Scriptures details the events concerning Jehovah’s dealings with the Jews and how, in His infinite wisdom, He was able to fulfill His promise to Abraham—that through his seed all of the nations of the earth would be blessed.
SUMMARY: Scene 2—By separating humanity into two divisions, Jews and Gentiles, God elects to deal with them in different ways and time periods.
* * * * *
HROUGH ESPECIALLY CHOSEN MEN, Jehovah instructed the Jews in the primitive ways of surviving in a hostile world which was governed by universal laws about which mankind knew little at that time. Being a minority race and branded by their faith in Jehovah, the Jews were subjected to all manner of mistreatment by the Gentiles. Many of the Jews lost their faith in Jehovah and fell into the evil practices of the heathen nations.
Finally, after several generations of persecution, Jehovah approached the Jews through another faithful servant, Moses, with a covenant.(66) In brief, the covenant said that if the Jews would honor and keep all of God’s commandments, He would send a King to rescue them from their bondage and guide, protect, and build them up to a position of world domination. Overlooking the fact that they were mere human beings and that it was impossible for them to conform to all of the law (commandments) which would have required them to be perfect (sinless), the Jews nevertheless promised Jehovah they would keep their end of the bargain.(67) It was Jehovah’s objective to force the Jews to conclude on their own that they could not observe laws which would restore them to Adamic perfection—then they would turn to Jehovah for mercy, guidance, and ultimate victory over the other nations of the earth.
In the generations that followed, the people were at first faithful, then faithless to God; even the religious leaders fell victim to their human frailties and began to use their positions for selfish purposes to satisfy their thirst for power and riches. This was accomplished in part by their generating all kinds of mystic rituals and ceremonies designed to keep themselves between Jehovah and the people so that the priests rather than Jehovah received the honor and glory (as well as the offerings) of the worship services. In this manner, the high priests kept the masses in servitude to them and the religious hierarchy.(68) Jehovah repeatedly beseeched the Jews to stand by their part of the covenant so that He could rescue them from their persecutions and misery. Remembering that it was inevitable for all humans to inherit Adam’s imperfect (sinful) characteristics,(69) it is not hard to understand why the Jews could never measure up to the perfection which Jehovah’s laws demanded. Suffice it to say that inasmuch as the Jews failed to live up to the terms of their covenant with Jehovah, He was not bound to honor His promise to elevate them to a position of world leadership during this time period.*
SUMMARY: Scene 3—God instructs the Jews through chosen leaders, enabling them to survive, finally promising them a King to lead them from bondage if they will keep His commandments. Jewish hierarchy established.
* It should be emphasized that the covenant was between God and the Jews at a time when no communication link existed between Him and the Gentiles.
* * * * *
AVING BEEN TOLD that Jehovah had designated them as “His chosen people,”(66) the Jews assumed a haughty, superior attitude with respect to the Gentiles even though they were far outnumbered. Failing to realize their shortcomings under the law, they looked forward to the day when Jehovah would send them a wise and powerful king to organize and lead them to conquer the Gentile nations. As a matter of fact, Jehovah did promise them a king* (whom the Jews called the Messiah) to lead them to victory in overcoming the world.(71) But fulfillment of this promise was contingent upon the Jews keeping their covenant with Jehovah—to adhere strictly to the laws He had given them.
Now, Christ assumes a role in the Grand Drama by taking on a physical body in the person of Jesus of Nazareth,(72) the unrecognized Messiah.(73) Contrary to the Jews’ concept of a great military leader as their expected Messiah, Jesus presented Himself as a living example of righteousness under the law. He hoped they would reconsecrate themselves to keeping the law, thereby fulfilling their part of the covenant with God and placing all of their reliance upon the Messiah to lead them into the establishment of His world-wide Kingdom.(74) Various prophets had described this King (the Messiah) and the events which would precede and accompany His appearance in great detail.(75) It must be remembered, however, that in those days the people had to rely upon their religious leaders for guidance in such matters, as few could gain access to or read the Sacred Scriptures.(76) The Children of Israel (the Jews) had been told by the prophets of old that the corning of the Messiah would be accompanied by a demonstration of miracles, healing of blindness, lameness, and deafness; even the dead would be raised.(77) Through a declaration from God, John the Baptist was commissioned to go about the countryside heralding the Messiah’s arrival and pleading for the Jews to repent of their transgressions against the law and be cleansed through water baptism.(78) If all the Jews had heeded John’s call, the conditions favorable to the Kingdom’s establishment would have been met and the Messiah would have been seated on His throne soon afterward.(79) But the people generally disregarded the entreaty of this uneducated lay evangelist because they were misled by their corrupt, intellectual priesthood.(80) In the meantime, Jesus selected His Twelve Apostles and together they spread the good news that the Kingdom was about to be set up if only the people would repent of their sins and have them washed away by water baptism.** (81)
SUMMARY: Scene 4—Christ takes on a human form, being born Jesus of Nazareth, thus fulfilling prophecy and becoming the unrecognized Messiah.
* In this promise,(70) the “Kingdom of the Heavens” was first defined as the one that the God of the heavens would set up for His people to gain dominion over all other earthly kingdoms.
** This evangel will henceforth be characterized as the “Kingdom Gospel,” so called from the fact that Daniel prophesied that “the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom . . . It will pulverize and terminate all these kingdoms, and it shall be confirmed for the eons.”(70) This is the kingdom the Jews had long expected after David’s kingdom had declined, Israel was divided, and the people dispersed among the nations. They had prayed for a powerful, fearless Messiah and God had promised them deliverance from their subservience to the Gentile nations through various prophets.(82) The Jews knew nothing of being “saved” from “hell” or “going to heaven” after death. The capitol city of the “kingdom of the heavens” will be new Jerusalem which will be assembled in the heavens and brought down to earth.(83) Many people have been misled into thinking that the description of new Jerusalem given in Rv. 21:11-27 applies to the “heaven” where all good people go after judgment.
* * * * *
ROM ALL ACCOUNTS, it is quite apparent that the high priests recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, but would not voluntarily yield their positions of authority among the people to Him.(84) Instead, they poisoned the people’s minds with falsehoods and devised a plot to have Him executed.(85) Following the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Ascension of Christ Jesus, Peter and the Eleven Apostles continued to proclaim the Kingdom Gospel, hoping that the Jews would repent of their shameful denial of Messiah and that He would still come back to establish His Kingdom on the earth.(86) Then Saul of Tarsus, a highly respected Hebrew and cruel persecutor of Christians, was himself converted by the appearance of Christ Jesus on the road to Damascus.(87) Saul received instructions from Ananias, responded to the same Kingdom Gospel, repented, and was baptized.(88) Thereafter, Paul (the new name for Saul of Tarsus)(89) used his scholarly knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures in the strongest possible campaign to enlighten the Jews as to the true identity of Jesus.(90) He (Paul) also still expected that the Messiah would descend to earth and set up His Kingdom if only the Jews would repent and accept Him. Nevertheless, since the Hebrew nation had been blinded to the truth concerning the purpose of Messiah’s first appearance on earth, Paul, too, was unsuccessful in his appeal for the Jews to turn about and acknowledge Jesus as King. By virtue of their refusal of the Messiah,* Jehovah was now at liberty to turn His attention away from the Jews (for a time) to extend His love and saving grace to the Gentiles.
Act II comes to a close with the fulfillment of Jehovah’s promise** to “His chosen people,” not withdrawn, but merely postponed to a later time period, to allow certain other vitally important events to take place.
SUMMARY: Scene 5—Christ crucified because Jewish leaders misled the people. The Jew, Saul is converted and tries to enlighten the Jews as to Christ’s true identity. His Anointed rejected by His chosen people, God offers salvation by grace to the Gentiles.
* It is important to note that this turn of events signals the first step God took to make good His promise to Abraham—that through his seed (the Jews) all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Be reminded now that since the time the old covenant was made with the Children of Israel, God had dealt with them exclusively and was totally estranged from the Gentiles.(91) Let it be said here that the present-day Jews should not try to rationalize out of the fact that their ancestors were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus—that is a plain and simple historical fact.(92) On the other hand, those Jews were only acting out the parts God assigned to them, and He will justify them.(93) Moreover, the Gentiles should feel most kindly and indebted to the Jews, for (1) they preserved God’s Word for us,(94) and (2) only by their rejection of the Messiah were the doors to salvation opened to the Gentiles.(95)
** God never goes back on His promise—the Messiah will return—His second coming(96)—and He will lead “His chosen people” to world domination.(82) This future Kingdom is in no way related to the present-day nation of Israel.
The first Christian Church—Jewish Apostolic—established. Paul gradually matures and proclaims the new evangel to Jews and Gentiles alike, starting a second church, the Body Church of Christ. Finally, the two churches are blended into one, the Roman Catholica Church.
* * * * *
URING THE INTERVAL when the Kingdom Gospel was being proclaimed by Peter and Paul alike to the Jews only, several Gentiles(97) had heard of Jesus, His virgin birth, His miracles and acts of loving kindness, His betrayal, His disgraceful trial, His merciless execution, His resurrection and ascension, and His promise to return and set up His righteous Kingdom to rule on the basis of absolute truth and justice. Now the time came for it to be made known to the Jews that while they were “the chosen people,” God also loved the Gentiles and yearned for their love as well.(98) So Peter was given several visions from which he concluded that certain Gentiles could be included in the worship services if they would accept and abide by the same ordinances and rituals the Jewish believers observed.(98) Having its roots in Judaism, the early Christian church complied as well as it could, with the law of Moses modified by the introduction of a few new Christian traditions, i.e., water baptism,(78) foot washing,(100) and the communion service (commemorating the Lord’s death).(101) The Jews very reluctantly allowed Cornelius and a few other Gentiles to join the church* as second-class proselytes to the Kingdom Gospel.(102)
During these early days Paul’s understanding of God’s plan and purpose for the Jews and Gentiles progressed from the elementary toward a more mature stage.(103) First, it occurred to Paul that since the law of the covenants was given only to the Jews,(104) and not the Gentiles,(105) the Jewish precepts should not be binding on the Gentile proselytes.(106) In due course, God made known His desire to have the church headquartered in Jerusalem under the direction of Peter, James, and John to minister to the Jews (the Circumcision) while Paul would travel outside of Israel and minister to the Gentiles (Uncircumcision).(107)
SUMMARY: Scene 1—The Kingdom Gospel proclaimed to the Jews only by the Twelve Apostles as well as Paul. God finally reveals His plan of salvation for the Gentiles to Paul.
*The word church is the English equivalent of the Greek word ecclesia which denotes a specific group of people who rally around a common cause or belief. The early Christian ecclesia (church) was comprised mostly of converted Jews, who didn’t realize their need for redemption and reconciliation with God. They had responded to the Kingdom Gospel and their idea of “salvation” was to reign with Christ Jesus after His second coming in the Kingdom of the Heavens here on earth as Isaiah prophesized in Chapters 60-66.
* * * * *
S PAUL TRAVELS about evangelizing to the Jews first, then to the Gentiles, he is gradually brought into full maturity,(103) step by step, by Christ’s revelations as follows:
(1) Messiah’s first coming was not to set up the promised Jewish Kingdom—this would be premature and could not be done inasmuch as the Jews had not fulfilled their part of the covenant—observed the law of Moses and attained perfection (a human impossibility) and thus become reconciled to God;
(2) Then why was a child (Jesus) conceived by a virgin (Mary) through the power of the Holy Spirit (God)? Following this Immaculate (sinless) Conception, did not Jesus fulfill the law,(108) and at the end of thirty-three sinless years, was He not innocently convicted and condemned to die on the cross to bear and “take away the sin of the world?”(109) Setting up the Messianic Kingdom would have benefited the Jews, but the Gentiles would still have been on the outside—unsaved;
(3) So God, by His own act of grace, reconciled Himself to mankind apart from compliance with the law, by the sacrifice of His only begotten, sinless Son(110) So that now all of mankind (Gentile as well as Jew) could be included in His blessing.(111) This last step, first revealed to Paul, had been a secret held from the beginning and was known only to God;(12)
(4) Christ made known to Paul that certain designated people had been appointed to serve in a special capacity—that of ministering to the faithful spirit beings among the celestials.(42) This group would be comprised of believers who accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior out of faith alone(112) and would be identified as the Body Church of Christ;(113)
(5) Each individual would represent a member of Christ’s Body(114)—with the union of all members constituting the Body with Christ being the Head(115)— at the appropriate future time (known only to God);(116)
(6) Christ Jesus would appear in the air and call for the Body Church to meet Him and be taken and seated with Him in glory(117) For the Body to be complete, every individual believer, living or dead, would be called forth and equipped with a spiritual body(118) of flesh and bone, but no blood;(119)
(7) Among the celestials, the saints (believers) will present themselves to the faithful spirit beings as living evidence of God’s grace, mercy, and love.(42) The celestials will have observed how mankind, starting with Adam, had renounced God and pursued Satan’s evil ways. They know that God had the power to overcome Satan but chose instead to achieve His victory by a demonstration of His unbounded love, giving up His sinless Son to humiliation and death to atone for mankind’s sin against Him. Thus, as onlookers to God’s superabundant grace to unbelieving humanity,(120) the faithful spirit beings will also be drawn to Him out of love and adoration, rather than through the fear and trembling that bound them to Him originally.*
Paul then proclaimed this new evangel to everyone calling for the acceptance of Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior for which all (Jew and Gentile) would receive as a gift the righteousness of Christ in the sight of God. This new concept which Paul had been commissioned to declare revealed for the first time the destiny of all believers.(42)
SUMMARY: Scene 2—Paul is led into a mature understanding of God’s reconciliation to mankind (Jew and Gentile alike) by grace and acceptance of Christ as their Lord and Savior.
* What a difference is this Pauline Evangel as compared to the Kingdom Gospel! Whereas, under the Kingdom Gospel, a believer could at best look forward to an earthly millennial Kingdom, the new covenant declares that believers shall enjoy eonion life among the celestials).(121)
* * * * *
AUL TRIED HIS BEST to share this new concept with his Jewish brothers, the Christian leaders, Peter, James, and John in Jerusalem, referring to the Kingdom Gospel as a useful but only an interim stepping stone toward the more mature “salvation by grace” concept.(122) The real import of the Pauline Evangel escaped the Jewish believers entirely because of their extreme jealousy toward the Gentile believers.(123) Whereas the Kingdom Gospel had required the Jews to comply strictly with the law(124) now under the Pauline Evangel, the Gentiles would gain equal status with the Jews without requiring the Gentiles to do anything except to believe.(125) The important point was, of course, that now both Jew and Gentile Christians had a celestial destiny,(42) thereby escaping the future period of indignation here on earth.* (126)
Having its roots in Judaism, the Jerusalem (Christian) church held on to many of its Jewish traditions, believing in error that the Messiah (the Bridegroom) would soon reappear(128) to receive His Bride (the church)(129) and rule the world; they did not realize that the promise of the Kingdom was given to the faithful Hebrew nation—not to the church.(130) They could never grasp the idea that the time for this Kingdom had been postponed(95) until the Body Church(113) had been called out(117) and sent to exhibit God’s grace to the faithful spirit beings in the celestials.(42) Then the Kingdom of the Heavens would be established on the earth with Messiah as King.(131)
These two different beliefs were the underlying basis for the two Christian churches. The Apostolic Church, under the principal leadership of Peter, James, and John, preached repentance, water baptism, and the observance of the law and traditions with only a hope of being declared worthy for participation in the coming Kingdom of the Heavens. The other church, the Body Church of Christ (evangelized by Paul), declared all believers to be justified in Christ by faith without works under the law; there were no ordinances, no ceremonies or rituals, and no hierarchy, having the expectation of righteousness by faith.(112) Out of gratitude and adoration for God, the saints (believers)(132) sought to learn His ways (from the written Word—the Sacred Scriptures)(133) and tried to live in a manner pleasing to Him.(134) They realized that as human beings they would fail to achieve perfection and be sinless,(135) but were confident that He understood their human frailties and would be true to His word and overlook their transgressions,(136) declaring them justified in Christ Jesus.(137)
The Kingdom Gospel, proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus Himself, Peter, and the other Apostles,(138) did not attract large numbers of orthodox Jews, who were temporarily blinded to the reality of Jesus being God’s Son and their long-awaited Messiah. On the other hand, a considerable number of the Gentiles of Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Colosse, Philippi, Thessalonica, and Rome were quite receptive to a God of love since they had known only heathen gods who demanded cruel sacrifices from them.(139) Paul would no sooner get a church founded on the “salvation by faith” concept, however, when a team of “kingdom gospel” Jews would come along, imposing upon them various “works” requirements,(106) i.e., laws, ordinances, rituals, and ceremonies.(141) Looking into the future, Paul warned his followers to beware of various religious leaders who would come after him with all kinds of false teachings in order to establish themselves as intermediaries between the saints and Christ Jesus.(142)
Thus, over a period of several hundred years, a blending of Judaistic, Christian, and Pagan beliefs resulted in a “new” Christian church resembling that headed by the former Hebrew high priests who practiced all manner of corruption and deception(143) to promote and preserve their power and authority over the masses at the expense of truth.(144) God was depicted as a fierce ruler Who would keep records on every human being(145) and call everyone to an accounting for his deeds on Judgment Day.(146) A person’s destiny would be in doubt until his trial was concluded, (147) then he would be sentenced to an eternity in “Heaven” (a city with golden streets somewhere up in the air) or in “Hell” (a place of fire and brimstone).(148) By living a life patterned after that of the Savior (walking in His footsteps);(149) observing all of the church ordinances, rituals, and ceremonies, recognizing the church authorities and making sacrificial financial offerings to the church,(150) one had a better than average chance of being saved—resurrected, judged, and taken into heaven.(151) There was always that possibility, though, that the balance might swing toward total and everlasting punishment,(152) because no final, authoritative list of dos and don’ts was ever made available by which to pattern and evaluate one’s conduct;(153) the lists have always been subject to change with time and different church administrations.(154) Of course this “fear” religion(155) gained acceptance based on people’s ignorance and superstition, and the “Kingdom Gospel” church, headquartered at first in Jerusalem, became rich and powerful over the centuries, finally gaining world-wide religious prominence as the Roman Catholic Church.
SUMMARY: Scene 3—
Paul’s evangel was unpopular among Jewish believers, but gratefully received by Gentiles. Paul’s converts (former heathen) were soon overwhelmed by Jewish believers’ age-old relationship with God and the Kingdom Gospel. Result was the evolution of the powerful, world-wide Roman Catholic Church.
* All living unbelievers will suffer God’s wrath during the time the righteous Kingdom is being established.(127)
Martin Luther rediscovers Paul’s evangel—salvation by faith alone. Lutheran church eroded into many Protestant denominations, all reverting to the “faith and works” concept. Body Church of Christ is finally complete and is called away. World chaos subdued by Anti-Christ, defeated by Christ in battle. Satan thrown into “the abyss”; millennial “Kingdom of the Heavens” established.
* * * * *
T LAST, one student of the Sacred Scriptures (Martin Luther) rediscovers the Pauline Evangel,* which revealed God’s true character of unbounded 1ove(156) granting mankind Christ’s righteousness as a gift(157) with only one requirement—our acceptance of Christ as God’s Son, our Lord and Savior on faith alone.(112) No ordinances, rituals, ceremonies, or hierarchy;(150) only love and adoration for God, the Father, and Christ, the Son,(158) with each of our lives dedicated to spreading the “Good News.”(159) So, (once more) there were two Christian churches, the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant (Lutheran) Church.
SUMMARY: Scene 1—At last, Martin Luther rediscovers the Pauline Evangel, salvation by faith alone, breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church and re-establishing another Christian Church—the Protestant Lutheran.
* Protestant Reformation established, October 31, 1517.
* * * * *
UT EVIDENTLY it was not yet time for God to bring mankind to the mature status called for by the Pauline Evangel(160) people could not get away from their primitive, human concept of working and earning a reward;(147) they couldn’t understand God’s act of love in granting salvation to mankind as a gift.(161) They had not yet reached the stage where they could be weaned from the “milk diet” to one of solid food.(162) So while Protestantism (denominationalism) got away from the Roman Catholic Church authority and tradition for a short time, there were other religious leaders ready to supercede Martin Luther and build other hierarchies based upon the concept of heavenly rewards for the fortunate and hellfire and damnation for the unIortunate.* (147)
SUMMARY: Scene 2—Masses of people do not grasp the impact of God’s grace, respond instead to fear religions. Lutheranism results in Protestant denominationalism.
* There is a strong ecumenical movement now under way to weld the denominational groups together with the view in mind ultimately of bringing the Protestants and Roman Catholics into one Christian Church. It should be apparent that the resulting church would just embrace another conglomeration of man-made, compromised set of rules, regulations, ceremonies, titles, and lines of authority supporting the faith-and-works concept.(163)
* * * * *
TARTING WITH Paul’s proclamation of the new evangel (salvation by grace through faith alone),(125) there have been many Gentiles and Jews who have been called and accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior,(18) thus gaining membership in the Church which is the Body of Christ(113) with a destiny in the celestials.(42) The members of the Body Church of Christl(164) are saints (believers) who are to be found in all walks of life all over the world, some in the Roman Catholic Church, some in every denominational church, and many with no church affiliation whatever. They are members of the Church which is Christ’s Body, whether they realize it or not.(114) But the fact is that God has ordained only a relatively few believers to reach maturity in Christ(160) at this point in time, and these are, for the most part, unknown one to the other; for only God can look into a person’s heart and know if he is a true believer(165)—a member of the Body Church.
Right now, the faithful Jews still look for their Messiah and the promised Kingdom of the Heavens. On the other hand, members of the Body Church live in the joy and expectation of Christ’s appearance to take them away into the celestial realms.(166) The vast majority of the world’s peoples, like the first man, Adam, persist in their conviction that they can find all the answers to life through knowledge, independent of God’s will and purpose. So the drama continues with people seeking to create their own Utopia as they did years ago.(167) The world has been drifting toward this end for many years, but most notably during the twentieth century. World War I was the war “to end all wars”; the League of Nations was the organization which was going to insure man-ordained justice throughout the world so that wars would be outlawed forever. Then Hitler came along, and World War II, and now we have the United Nations. The world will not give up its determination to bring about peace and justice through the amalgamation of the world’s races, cultures, rights, and religions. A mixture of gold and copper, iron, lead, and tin results in some kind of a conglomerate material—but it is not gold. The consolidation of all peoples into a world government will not represent a population dedicated to the glorification of God and His Son, Christ Jesus. To bring all world factions together as “One World” will require several years and, as might be expected, will be accompanied by the greatest affliction, torture, and bloodshed the world has ever known. But thank God, those who have been designated by Him, called, justified, and glorified with Christ(18) should find solace in the realization that they shall be called away before the horrible events which take place on the earth in the times that follow—the Day of the Lord.(127)
SUMMARY: Scene 3—The destiny of the “Body” Church (not an organization) contrasted with the disbelieving Jews’ expectation of their Messiah to set up His Kingdom of the Heavens. Most people agnostic, work to bring about their own ideal world.
* * * * *
HE SEQUENCE of events leading up to the Day of the Lord commences when the last person so designated accepts Christ as Lord and Savior, thus completing the Body Church of Christ.(168) Then Christ will appear in the air and call all members (living as well as dead) to meet Him.(117) They shall all be changed(169) and given spiritual bodies(118) with which to be able to dwell among the celestials performing their assigned missions.(42)
SUMMARY: Scene 4—Body Church complete; Christ calls all members to meet Him in the air. Dispatched to the celestial realms.
* * * * *
ITH THE BODY CHURCH called away, what is to become of the people left on the earth—the unbelieving Jews and heathen Gentiles? Will God forget His promise?(170) No, God merely postpones the establishment of the Kingdom until the Body Church has been assembled and sent on its special mission to the celestial realms.(95)
It should not be hard to imagine the turmoil which will follow the calling away of the Body Church from the earth. People from every walk of life will disappear instantly irregardless of their activity—airline pilots, bus and car drivers, government officials, store clerks, restaurant employees, etc. Everything will be thrown into chaos. Out of this bedlam, a leader, mistaken for Christ, will appear and the various world-wide factions will be welded together. This is the Desolator or the Man of Lawlessness spoken of by Isaiah and Daniel.(171) All but a faithful few Jews will be deceived by this representative of Satan in spite of Jesus’ warning that there would be those who would come in His name.(172) Paul also begged the early Christians not to be taken in by imposters.(173) Nevertheless, when Satan’s christ has established himself as the supreme ruler and the world begins to worship him,(174) Christ Jesus will assemble His armies in heaven* and the day of God’s vengeance begins.(176)
SUMMARY: Scene 5—Chaos on earth after the Body Church called away. Order re-established by Anti-Christ. Christ assembles His armies in heaven.
* This time, every member of the Hebrew race will instantly recognize their long-awaited King as He descends from heaven with power and glory.(175)
* * * * *
HE ANTI-CHRIST, in the meantime, will have mobilized his mighty forces at Armageddon(177) for the great battle which ensues, with Christ leading His armies to a glorious Victory.(178) The resulting millennial Kingdom of the Heavens will be ruled by Christ, demanding absolute compliance with God’s righteous law as outlined in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount(179) and by His Kingdom Gospel Apostles. From this position of righteousness under the law, the converted Jews will move out into an unbelieving heathen world, executing the Great Commission given to them in Mt. 28:10-20.
SUMMARY: Scene 6—Anti-Christ mobilizes his forces at Armageddon; meets Christ, who wins a glorious victory; Satan locked up; the millennial Kingdom established on earth.
Satan loosed for a time, then dispatched by Christ. All of mankind vivified and the whole of creation led by Christ to God’s throne—the consummation of the Universe.
* * * * *
HE FIFTH AND LAST Act commences with Satan being loosed from his bonds to deceive all the nations and lead them against Christ and His followers.(180) The enemy (Satan) is finally dispatched once and for all by Christ and His righteous army.(181) The last enemy, Death, Christ abolishes(182) by decree, then all of the dead are vivified.(183) Whereupon, Christ brings the whole of Creation, the faithful celestials, Satan and his band of rebellious spirit beings, and all of mankind(184) to the Throne of the Almighty God.(185) Each of us will then reflect upon our lives on earth and be pricked in our hearts when we remember all of our sinful acts of commission and omission; against this background we cannot fail to glorify God, the Father, for His goodness and mercy—forever. Then Christ, the Son, will lead the whole production company to bow before the Father and joy and happiness reigns eternally. This is the Consummation(185) of the Universe, when God realizes His ultimate aim—to be All in All.(29)
And so shall it be
For all eternity.
QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM
MOST OF US grew up and received our learning from parents, teachers, and associates who transferred many misconceptions and misunderstandings of Scriptural terms they themselves received from their forebears. Much uncertainty and anxiety has resulted from the false conceptions that are fostered by fear-type religions. A sincere and unbiased study of the oldest manuscripts led to the publication of a uniformly consistent keyword concordance by the Concordant Publishing Concern. The following explanations were obtained by use of this Concordance as well as the companion Concordant Literal New Testament available from the same source. The truths herein presented will go far in relieving people’s fears and tensions and, at the same time magnify their respect and adoration for the all-wise and gracious Heavenly Father. The personal pronouns “we” and “us” refer to the saints comprising the Church which is the Body of Christ.
APOSTLES, TWELVE. When Jesus was ready to proclaim the Kingdom Gospel to the nation of Israel, He selected twelve average men to accompany Him.(186) None of them was particularly versed in Scripture, several being ordinary laborers.(187) For the most part, He taught them in vague terms and by use of riddles and parables.(188) They did not realize He was the Son of God, nor the Messiah, for some time; when they did, He cautioned them not to reveal His identity outside the circle.(189) Even then, they could not understand why He had to be sacrificed on the cross(190)—His role as Savior of mankind by virtue of His becoming a sin offering to God was far beyond their comprehension.(191) Likewise, His words concerning His resurrection(192) after three days in the tomb were not understood.(193) Having known Jesus personally, having eaten with Him, talked with Him, and traveled about with Him, the Twelve Apostles are looked upon by many as the most authoritative in matters relating to the true evangel.(194) Insofar as the Kingdom Gospel is concerned, they are without a doubt pre-eminent—their names will appear on the foundation walls of the holy city, Jerusalem.(195)
BAPTISM. As a condition for setting up the Kingdom of the Heavens, the Hebrews should have been faithful to the covenant they made with God to keep His commandments.(67) Try as they would, they fell short, and God was not bound to fulfill His promise to send them a King to rescue them.(95) John the Baptist came announcing the fact that if the Jews would sincerely repent of their shortcomings under the law and submit to a symbolic cleansing (water baptism),(196) the Messiah would soon make His appearance to establish His Kingdom.(197) The early converts to Christianity (a relatively few Jews and most Gentile believers), responding to the Kingdom Gospel, submitted to water baptism following repentance.(198) Today’s saints, on the other hand, are not to be judged under the law inasmuch as they are justified of their sinful natures by the actions of Jesus Christ;(112) as members of His Body we were baptized with Him.(199)
CHURCH. An English word that conveys too many meanings to different people, i.e., a religious organization with a membership list, a denomination, congregation, a building for public worship. In the Sacred Scriptures, the Greek word ecclesia is used to represent a company of people, all subscribing to a common belief; it is this Greek word for which translators have substituted the English word church. Thus, the Jews who accepted the Kingdom Gospel proclaimed by Jesus and His Apostles would be appropriately referred to as an ecclesia (church). Likewise, those Jews or Gentiles who believed the Pauline Evangel of salvation by grace also formed an ecclesia, but one different from the former. Paul taught that the earlier “primitive” church passed by(200) and likened its belief to milk—food for minors(162) as contrasted with solid food (God’s grace, justification) for mature members of the ecclesia, which is the Body of Christ.(160) Paul implores us to keep the unity of the spirit, with one body, and one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God.(201) So, at this time, there is only one church, which is Christ’s Body, and its members are the saints (believers) who were chosen by God(18) before the disruption of the world.(202) Thus, members of The Church are to be found both inside and outside of all of the world’s denominational churches.
DAY, THE LORD’S. Many people have come to think of this term to mean Sunday, the first day of the week. It actually appears thus only once in Scripture,(Rv. 1:10) and it refers to a time in the future when Christ Jesus reappears and His true identity is revealed (the Unveiling) to the Hebrews. Most other times, the term “day of the Lord” is used to signify the same time period.(203) A dedicated student of Scripture will find that the present time is labeled “Man’s day,”(204) and the period following this one the “Lord’s Day,” or more accurately, the “day of the Lord.”(205) So to use sound words, we should say Sunday when referring to the first day, and Saturday (or the Sabbath) for the seventh day of the week?(206)
DEATH. When the spirit departs from a living body, death results. In other words, death is the alternate condition from life; a body is either alive or dead. If the spirit is present in a body, it lives; if the spirit leaves a body, it dies. A person is known by the physical appearance of the body and by the personality of the soul—the product which results from the union of spirit with the body. When the spirit leaves the body, it returns to God, the source;(207) the soul disappears;(208) the body disintegrates.(209) The person (soul) doesn’t go anywhere—to Limbo, Purgatory, Paradise, Heaven, Hades, or Hell.(210) Such teachings have no basis in Scripture and were devised by men to control people’s religious thoughts. The last enemy, Death, will be abolished just before the consummation and all will be made alive.(182)
DISRUPTION. The English translation of the Greek word, kataboah; oftentimes mistranslated as “foundation.”(211) Inasmuch as the earth was “perfect” when it was created,(212) something catastrophic happened afterward because Genesis 1:2, correctly translated, says, “the earth became a chaos.” Physical evidence for the Disruption abounds in the bowels of the earth, which predates the great flood of Noah’s time by thousands of years. Many believe that the Disruption occurred when Satan was brought into existence to play his part as the Adversary of God.
EONIAN. An adjective derived from the Greek noun aiõn, which by its use in the Sacred Scriptures delineates the longest segment of time with a definite termination. Erroneously translated as: eternal, everlasting, forever, forever and ever. See Times.
EVANGEL, PAULINE. After his conversion, Paul progressed in stages from the elementary to the juvenile to adulthood in his comprehension of truth and the evangel he proclaimed.(160) He did his best to get his Jewish kinsmen to repent and be cleansed of their sins to qualify themselves to receive the Kingdom and Messiah as God had promised(213)—the Kingdom Gospel. It finally became fully apparent to Paul that (1) God had blinded his “chosen race” temporarily;(214) (2) Christ had commissioned him as the Apostle to the Nations and given them a chance for salvation.(215) Whereas the Gentiles were without God heretofore,(91) upon faith alone they were now justified and reconciled to the creator.(216) Thus, the secret that God had kept from the beginning was revealed to Paul(217) that not only was God offering the Gentile salvation by grace and faith without works of the law, but the Jew also—so that for this intervening period of time both Jew and Gentile believers(218) were justified and would be vivified and glorified with Christ(219) when He comes to take away the Ecclesia into the celestials. This is the true Pauline Evangel in its mature concept.(220) This is a different evangel than that preached by Peter which required the Gentiles to be circumcised and conform to other Jewish laws.(140) Paul taught freedom from law through Christ(221) and not to mix law and faith; we are complete in Him.(222)
FAITH. This is what God gives each one of us(223) by action of His Holy Spirit(19) if we were designated beforehand by Him to receive it(224)—the power to believe Him in everything.(225) It cannot be achieved by a lifetime of research and study.(226) Many things in the Sacred Scriptures must be accepted on faith, since oftentimes there is no evidence presented to prove the point in question.(227) Rationalization never leads to an indisputable conclusion, either.(228) Absolute faith requires neither proof nor rationalization.(229)
FREE WILL. If you stop to think about it for a minute, it will be perfectly clear that a human cannot really have the power of self-determination in a universe which was created and is being controlled by a Supreme, all-powerful, all-wise Deity; God is the only One Who can move about with absolute freedom; He makes the rules to suit His own purpose; we must conform. If we were not so bound, He would not be Supreme.
The whole idea of free will sprang from the episode of Adam and Eve being influenced by the serpent to disregard God’s warning and eat the forbidden fruit. From Adam and Eve’s standpoint, they certainly did exercise their freedom of choice, choosing to disbelieve God and believing Satan instead.
If this act is viewed as a scene in the Grand Drama of the Universe,(230) however, isn’t it clear that, to set the stage for subsequent actions, it was necessary for man to make a break with God so that later on, God could exercise His boundless love and mercifully redeem him?(231) If Adam had not yielded to Satan’s temptation, the Grand Drama could never have developed. So in this light, didn’t Adam carry out God’s will after all? Everyone not honoring God as the creator and Ruler over all is cursed by vanity.(232) We strive to live, even search for immortality through science rather than through Christ.(233) How wonderfully comforting it is to realize that we can rely totally upon Him for our well-being,(234) for He is in absolute control of all things.(235) Then in our prayers we can truly join Christ Jesus in saying, “Not my will but Thine be done.”(236)
GOSPEL, KINGDOM. After thirty years on this earth, Jesus assembled His Twelve Apostles and commenced fulfilling all prophecies concerning the Messiah.(237) The Jews, of course, were eagerly looking for a great, strong, and powerful Deliverer who would suddenly appear in a fury and lead the Jews out of their bondage to the Gentile masters.(82) But God loves all of humanity,(110) Jew and Gentile; He told Abraham that the Gentiles would be saved by the action of the Jews (the seed of Abraham).(216) So it was ordained that the Jews would not recognize their Messiah when He first appeared,(214) thus opening the door for the Gentiles to enter into a close relationship with God through Christ.(95) All of the words Jesus used in appealing to the Jews related to the conditions which would prevail, and detailed the events which would occur immediately preceding the establishment of the Kingdom;(238) He talked to them in parables and riddles(188) and depended upon their knowledge of Scripture to recognize Him from the words He spoke and the acts He performed.(76) But he did not in any way conform to the image the Jews had for their mighty King;(82) they were not expecting the Son of God, either.(239) Thus, the Kingdom Gospel proclaimed by Jesus and the Twelve was not accepted by the Hebrew people, and so the Kingdom was deferred to a future time, giving God the opportunity to reveal Himself to the Gentile nations.(95)
Did you ever stop and ask yourself, “Why, then, is the Kingdom Gospel being proclaimed today by most every Christian church with predominantly Gentile memberships?” That it was intended solely for the Jews is borne out when Jesus told His Twelve Apostles, “Into a road of the nations you should not pass forth . . . Yet be going rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Now, going, herald, saying that ‘Near is the Kingdom of the Heavens.’”(240) This will be countered by some saying that Jesus later told the disciples, “Going then, disciple all the nations.”(241) This “Great Commission” was given when the Kingdom of the Heavens was still in view and Peter used the keys Jesus gave him(242) to once more unlock the doors to the Kingdom at Pentecost when he pleaded with them to repent. While a few individual Jews did,(243) the nation of Israel rejected their Messiah once and for all, and the Kingdom was postponed until “the complement of the nations may be entering.”(95) Now when the Messiah comes the second time and the Jews accept Him, then they will go out and disciple all the other nations. But we, the saints living today, like Paul, should be heralding only Christ and Him crucified.(244)
GRACE. When mankind (through Adam) elected to disbelieve God and thereby bring about a breach with God, a situation was set up which called for a future reconciliation if the original harmonious relationship was to be established. God offered a deal to the Jews whereby He would send them a King (Messiah) to lead them from their condition of miserable slavery to a position of world domination if they would live by and keep His commandments; the Jews accepted the offer and promised to conduct themselves properly.(67) Inasmuch as strict compliance with the commandments would have required absolute perfection from imperfect humans, naturally the Jews could not comply. The Jews might have recognized their inability to keep their end of the bargain and confessed it to God, asking Him for mercy, but they were a stubborn people.(245) God used this opportunity to gather to Himself the balance of mankind (the Gentiles) who had no knowledge of Him or the commandments strictly by His own grace.(95) Thus we know that salvation is a gift from God(112)—something not earned.(246) This grace is granted all believers—Jew or Gentile—in this era of faith.(247) The power to believe is also a gift of God, so we do not have one thing to boast of in ourselves.(19) All praise and glory redounds to Him.
HADES. The place in Greek mythology where the dead reposed; the world of darkness, the spirit world, an intermediate state. The Greek word is a synonym for the Hebrew Sheol, translated Hell in the authorized Bible, unseen in the Concordant translation. Refer to the words Death and Hell.
HEAVEN. The word simply means that which is seen when you look up toward the sky. Not a place for good (saved) human beings to go after death. Scripturally, the word is used to qualify the word Kingdom—meaning that Kingdom which “the God of the Heavens” promised to establish for His people, the Jews.(70) In several instances the term “Kingdom of the Heavens” is shortened to just “Heaven.”(248) Also used to describe the location of God or the direction from which His voice(249) or His messengers came.(250)
HELL. Not a place of eternal punishment. The use of the word in Scripture sometimes refers to the Jerusalem city dump Gehenna, where trash was burned. All other times it carries the meaning of “unseen”—the condition applying to the soul when the spirit leaves a body. The place spoken of as “the lake of fire” in Rv. 20:10 is often misconstrued as “hell”; this fate applies only to the “wild beast” and “false prophet.” A similar misconception has grown up among Christendom relative to the sequence of events spoken of by the Savior in His parables concerning the Kingdom of the Heavens: When He comes to set up the Kingdom, He will judge those then living and some will be subjected to punishment and “there shall be lamentation and gnashing of teeth.”(251) But the church, which is the Body of Christ, will have already been removed from the earth(117) and seated in the celestial realms(252) far removed from this worldly judgment.(126)
JUSTIFICATION. This is a relative term used in connection with some standard—in man’s world, the law; in God’s sight, perfection. God’s law demands perfection. Since Adam elected to believe Satan rather than God, he was responsible for bringing sin (imperfection) on himself and all of mankind.(253) So that all of us are unrighteous in God’s sight.(254) God gave the Jews a law by which they were supposed to achieve righteousness(255) but which demanded perfection from imperfect human beings (an impossibility). Then God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, Who was sacrificed on the cross, thereby cleansing all believers of their sins.(256) To the Jews under law, both John the Baptist, a Jew himself, and Peter proclaimed the baptism of repentance for the pardon of sins.(257) Pardon implies guilt.(258) Justification declares one clean, guiltless, and faultless in God’s sight.(202)
LAW, THE. Early man didn’t know enough to survive in the world’s hostile environment. He learned by trial and error what he could and should not do. God maintained a channel of communication with certain individuals (Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses), and through them, gave the people guidelines to follow for their health and welfare. God also laid down procedural rules designed to keep some of the people loyal to Him.(259) Then God gave Moses the Ten commandments which formed the basis for the complex Mosaic law by which the Hebrew race was challenged to save itself by their adherence to the covenant.(260) Other regulations were devised by crooked men to gain and support their positions and authority(261) over the people.(262) The Gentiles, being alienated from God,(91) were never given any laws governing their conduct.(105)
MESSENGERS. In a religious sense, the word is given to spirit beings (angels) generally in service to God. A messenger was sent to Joseph to pacify him when he learned of Mary’s pregnancy before they were married.(263) A messenger named Gabriel was sent to Zechariah announcing the coming birth of John the Baptist.(264) There are many other instances of messengers being used for special purposes by God and Christ Jesus.(265)
NAMES. The writers and translators of the Sacred Scriptures have applied various names to the Deity and Satan to correspond to the specific act and time period being dealt with. Refer to page 7 for the names most commonly used.
PARADISE. The word is Persian, meaning a park or garden filled with fruit-bearing plants. As used in Rv. 2:7 and 22:2, it relates to the Garden of Eden by referring to the “tree of life.” Rather than indicating a place or location, it should be thought of as the blissful atmosphere which will prevail when God tabernacles with mankind in the new Jerusalem.(266) The restoration of Palestine, to be like the Garden of Eden, was prophesied by Ezekiel.(267) This is what Christ promised the one criminal on the cross, that he should live with Him (and other resurrected saints) in that paradise when He established His Kingdom.(268)
PARDON. This word infers that a person has been found guilty of some infraction of a law or ordinance and for various reasons found to be worthy of forgiveness. The evangel of the Kingdom (Kingdom Gospel), proclaimed to the Jews by John the Baptist, heralded repentance and baptism for the “pardon” of sins(269) against the covenant God made with the Israelites.(67) The word is still used by the churches today in the same sense, when we (Jew or Gentile) are not bound by any covenant, old or new.(270) The Pauline Evangel, based upon God’s grace and kindness to the church (the Body of Christ) declares the saints “justified”(121)—not pardoned. This word imparts blessings far more gracious and bountiful than pardon;(234) being justified in Christ pronounces the saints not guilty of sin—acquitted of all charges.(271)
PAUL. The Apostle Paul was chosen by the glorified Christ for a special purpose;(272) first, to influence his Jewish kinsmen to repent and accept the already risen Lord Jesus as their Messiah;(273) second, to proclaim the pardon of sins and the justification of those who would accept Christ Jesus as the Son of God and their Savior;(213) and finally, to Paul was given a secret known only to God—that the Gentiles were also to be blessed along with God’s “chosen people,” the Jews, not through obedience to laws and ordinances but upon faith alone and granted by God’s grace.(217) Many people hold Peter and some of the other apostles in higher esteem than Paul(274) by virtue of the fact that they knew Jesus in the flesh and received their instructions from Him over a three-year period.(275) But Peter’s apostleship was for Jews, while Paul’s was for Gentiles.(107) Paul’s instructions came from the risen Christ Jesus.(276)
PRAYER. There are so many misconceptions of what this word really means. It is actually a one-way conversation with God, the Heavenly Father. Throughout Paul’s writings, we are urged to approach God through prayer, acknowledging Him and thanking Him for His many blessings.(277) But we should not have to be reminded that in ourselves we do not have direct access to the Supreme Being—we are far too unworthy to engage Him in conversation. But thanks to His grace and love, we do have a channel open to us through His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus.(278)
God wants us to come to Him with our requests, which He will hear if we petition through our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Under these conditions, all that we are promised is that our hearts will be given peace and rest, whether our requests are granted or not.(279) Without knowing God’s will, we really don’t know what is best and should put all of our faith and confidence in Him.(280) All of our prayers should be ended as did Christ Jesus’, “not My will, but Thine be done.”(236)
Some will point to various quotations in the Kingdom Gospel(281) and insist that we are promised positive answers to our prayers if we have faith the size of a mustard seed.(282) The answer to this argument lies in applying the most fundamental rule for understanding any written record: To whom was the word written? Being the words of Jesus to His Jewish disciples, it is unquestionably a part of the Kingdom Gospel—declared at a time when their promised Kingdom of the Heavens was in view.(283) Subsequent events (the Hebrew nation’s refusal of their Messiah) led to the postponement of the Kingdom as well as all of the promises that were related to its establishment.(95) The so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” recorded in Mt. 6:9-13, was merely a pattern for the Jews to use in requesting God to bring their Kingdom soon. The real Lord’s prayer is given in the seventeenth chapter of John.
PRAYER, LORD’S. The seventeenth chapter of John records Christ’s (the Lord’s) prayer just before He is betrayed into the hands of the Jewish conspirators. The prayer, commonly labeled “the Lord’s Prayer,”(284) was merely a model for the Jewish disciples to use back what they were hoping that God would soon deliver them from their subservience to the Gentile nations and set up their world-dominant “Kingdom of the Heavens.”(70) The saints (believers) of today should be praying for His appearance in the air to call us away to our celestial destiny.(117)
PREDESTINATION. More accurately stated, it means the designation beforehand of certain individuals hand-picked by God(32) or specific events to take place in accordance with God’s Will.(31)The most important examples are those of us who were chosen to be sons of God;(17) saints so designated are to be called, justified, and glorified.(18)
PURGATORY. A cruel perversion of Christendom which has no Scriptural foundation whatever—supposedly a place where people are subjected to a cleansing punishment preparing them for their entrance into Heaven. The word appears nowhere in the Sacred Scriptures.
REPENTANCE. John the Baptist was commissioned by God to prepare the way among the Jewish people(285) for the arrival of the Messiah, calling upon them to repent of their transgressions against the law and to symbolically wash them away through water baptism.(269) Had the people generally responded to John’s proclamation,(283) the conditions would have been perfect(286) for the establishment of the Kingdom(70) and the Jews would have received their Messiah and been rescued from their captivity.(82) But what then would have happened to the Gentiles who were without God?(91) For today’s saints, there is no formal act of repentance required.(256) By virtue of our love and adoration for our Heavenly Father, we should recognize our weak, sinful nature and acknowledge our absolute dependence upon Christ Jesus to make us wholly acceptable to God;(231) this conviction results from being baptized in Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God.(287)
RESURRECTION. Jesus brought several people back to life after they had died.(288) The Apostles were also given powers of resurrection.(289) Subsequently, all of those who were resurrected died again. Now Jesus was brought back to life by God in a condition beyond the reach of death(290)— immortal. He had a spiritual body of flesh and bone—no blood.(291) Thus will all the saints be vivified(292) at Christ’s call from the air(117) and our bodies changed to spiritual bodies not subject to death again.(119) Not so are the dead unbelievers; they will be resurrected in their physical bodies to stand before Judgment and perhaps suffer a second death.(293) But all shall be made alive(294) when death—the last enemy—is abolished.(182)
SABBATH, THE. This word has been applied in the Sacred Scriptures to various periods (designated by sevens) of cessation from usual activity—not just the seventh day of the week, which is Saturday, not Sunday, as many people think. The early Christians met to break bread (observe communion service) on a Sabbath day(295)—not the “first day of the week” (Sunday) as the authorized version mistranslates the Greek. We are not bound to observe any rules regarding special days(296) but use every day to honor and glorify God.(297)
SAINT. Most Christians have grown up with an incorrect interpretation of this word. The word is commonly understood to refer to persons who have attained a very high and honorable position by virtue of their near-perfect conduct during their lifetime. The title is conferred by official church bodies only after exhaustive studies have been made of documentary evidence gathered to prove the person’s exemplary life. By usage in the Sacred Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testaments, the word really applies to and includes all those who recognize God as their Heavenly Father, but especially the believers in Christ Jesus.(132)
SALVATION. In Biblical times, at least, this word meant only one thing to the Jews—liberation from their bondage to the Gentile nations. They had no thoughts of a life after death in “heaven.” Historically, the Jews were first enslaved by the Egyptians, then were sent wandering in the wilderness, and were finally led to and given the “promised land.” The people did not live up to their covenant with God,(67) and drifted farther and farther from God, so that at last they fell into the hands of a succession of heathen kingdoms (Babylon, Persia, Assyria, Greece, Rome, etc.), then dispersed all around the world. Allowing the Jews to live for many generations under the false illusion of their being able to “save” themselves by keeping the old covenant, God made a new covenant with them(298) and sent them His Son—their Messiah—to set up His world-powerful Kingdom.(82) But they failed to recognize Him and rejected Him. This action opened the door for God’s loving kindness to be lavished on the other nations—the Gentiles(95)—who, upon hearing the evangel from Paul(299) (justification through faith in Christ Jesus,(216) a celestial destiny with Him at His second coming,(117) and eternal joy with God’s universal family),(30) believed all and became members of the Church which is Christ’s Body.(164)
SECRET, THE. God withholds many secrets from His creatures, for they are much better off at times not to know what the future holds. Minors in knowledge and truth must be nourished on basic foods; as they progress toward maturity, the character of the food can be changed.(162) So God reveals His truth to us as we are able to comprehend and accept it. The Jews could not recognize their Messiah at His first coming.(300) The Twelve Apostles could not understand the impact of Jesus being the Son of God,(301) His being sacrificed on the cross,(302) and His resurrection.(303) The end object and reasons behind these things were secrets,(304) revealed at appropriate times to selected individuals(305) to conform to God’s purpose for the universe.(306)
The all-important secret for all Christians today is still obscure to the vast majority by virtue of Christendom’s false doctrines which evolved over the centuries by action of the church hierarchy.(307) It was first revealed to Paul.(308) In essence, the secret revealed to Paul over a period of time (by installments)(160) can be summarized thusly: God designated certain individuals (Jew and Gentile) before the Disruption of the world(202) to be among a host of people having a special purpose and destiny.(252) As these individuals were born, they heard and responded to the Word of Truth and through faith accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior.(18) In so doing they became saints, sons of God,(17) and members of Christ’s Body (the Church).(113) All of the saints then are justified of their shortcomings through Christ Jesus (by God’s grace).(112) At Christ’s appearance in the air, the Church which is Christ’s Body (comprised of all its members—Jews and Gentiles alike) will respond to His call and rise to meet Him with changed bodies (from terrestrial to celestial).(117) It will be our mission to display God’s grace, love, and kindness before the spirit beings in the celestials, thereby gaining their adoration of the Heavenly Father.(42) Following this great event, Christ eventually returns to earth,(309) the unbelieving Jews accept Him as their Messiah,(310) they evangelize the unbelieving nations,(311) Satan is bound for 1,000 years,(312) he is loosed for a time,(180) a last battle of rebellion takes place,(181) death is abolished,(182) and Christ brings all (the terrestrial and celestial beings) to God’s throne(l85) to live in peace and joy forevermore.(313)
SIGNS, THE. The high priests of the day were constantly nagging Jesus to show them signs (miracles) proving that He was the Messiah,(314) but it was not for them to acclaim Him; rather it was for the crude man of the wilderness (John the Baptist) to recognize Him from the words of the prophets.(315) The Scriptures contain many passages dealing with the second coming of Christ when He brings His Kingdom of the Heavens to the earth;(238) but this event comes after the most important date of our lives—that of our calling to meet Him in the air.(117) Of this date, there are no signs.(116) When the last person designated by God to become a believer has in reality accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, then all conditions for His coming in the air will have been satisfied.(95) This could occur in the next instant.
SIN. An error, imperfection, less than ideal. Since God is the only absolute,(16) sin is anything displeasing to Him. The Jews were given a covenant;(66) their sins are measured against the covenant.(255) The Sacred Scriptures describe God’s attributes;(316) we should all strive to live in a way that pleases Him, like Jesus.(317) Since we are all descendants of Adam, we have inherited his sinful disposition,(253) vanity, a rebellious attitude, a desire for self-determination, and an imperfect (sinful) body which is subject to the dying process.(183) Therefore, we are all sinners(254) even though we stay in bed and do nothing. Knowing how wonderful God has been to us, it should be our aim to resist sin as strongly as possible;(318) when we yield, we should resolve to try harder not to yield again. At the same time, we should not go about conscience-stricken—knowing that God justifies our human frailties and misdeeds through our faith in Christ; our failures do not jeopardize our salvation through Him.(136)
SOUL. Commonly misunderstood to mean the same as the word spirit. A study of the various usages of the word in Scripture shows that a soul results from the combination of an organic body with spirit. Note here that a soul is the result of the union between a physical body and spirit supplied by God; you don’t have a soul; you are a soul. At death your body returns to the earth from which it was formed; your spirit returns to God, who supplied it initially.(44) The soul which was you is no longer; it vanishes and goes to the Unseen (mistranslated as “Hell”). A similar phenomenon may be illustrated by an electric light bulb (the body) and the light (the soul) which emanates from it when the current (the spirit) from the power generating station (God) pulsates through the filament. Switching off the power leaves the bulb dead, and the illumination (the soul) disappears (goes to the Unseen—Hell); the power (the spirit) merely rests within the reservoir from which it was originally transmitted; the bulb (body) is discarded and eventually reverts back to the basic elements from which it was made.
SPIRITS, EVIL. Another name for demons, Satan’s messengers or angels.(319) Modem intellectuals refuse to acknowledge the existence of spirit beings since they cannot be called before a scientific board for a demonstration of their powers. If one has been given the gift of mature understanding,(160) then it is plainly evident that the spirit beings were among the first of God’s creation.(320) Satan was created for the express purpose of defying God.(38) Evidently, he was given the jurisdiction of the air around the earth(39) as well as the authority over all kingdoms of the earth.(321) Moreover, he has followers and servants—representatives to aid in carrying out his evil works.(173) Together, Satan and his followers have a kingdom,(322) and all of them are active in the world trying to thwart God’s plan and purpose.(323) We are warned that as humans we cannot stand up to them, but need God’s shield to protect us.(40) The Scriptures are full of passages concerning evil spirits(324) who are just as busy today as they were in Biblical times.(325)
TIMES. Essentially, there are seven grand segments of all time, identifiable as follows:
1. Before the eons:(9) God was All(7)
Then Christ(23)2. First eon: Christ sets up eons(326)
Earth disrupted(211) (327) (328)
Earth restored(329)3. Second eon: Adam and Eve(330)
The Great Flood(61)4. Third eon (present): Noah’s family(331)
Christ’s revelation to Paul(217)
Body Church called away(117)
Great Tribulation/Christ’s second coming(238)5. Fourth eon (coming): The Millennium(335)6. Fifth eon: Eon of the eons(336) New heaven and earth(337)7. After the eons:(338) Consummation(185)
God all in all(29)
TRINITY. A non-scriptural word coined by theologians to create a degree of mysticism with which to intimidate lay people and keep them in servitude to the hierarchy. The Sacred Scriptures plainly identifies two distinct persons:(339) (1) God, the originator of all;(7) and (2) the Son of His love,(340) Christ, God’s creative Original.(341) God Himself refers to Christ several times as His Son,(342) the same in reverse is true: Christ refers to God as His Father many times.(343) The Holy Spirit is also mentioned in Sacred Scriptures at various times, but anyone who accepts simple word meanings literally will readily perceive that the term merely refers to the Spirit of God,(344) with which He endows those whom He wants for a special purpose—all believers (saints).(345) All attempts by the intellectuals to weld three personalities into one Trinity have merely added to the incredulity of the Christian faith among the modem generation.
VIVIFICATION. This word is used in Scripture to describe an act much more meaningful than the average person realizes. Most people understand the meaning of “resurrection” whether they believe the Biblical accounts or not, but the real impact of the word “vivification” has escaped the majority of Bible readers. When Christ comes to call the saints away, all shall be changed—the living and the dead.(117) Our mortal bodies shall be changed to spiritual bodies to fit us for our life among the celestials;(119) the dead saints then shall be “vivified”(292)—not resurrected; they will be given immortality—life beyond the power of death.(118)
The following abbreviations are used for books of the Bible referred to:
Old TestamentNew TestamentGnGenesisMtMatthew1 TiI TimothyExExodusMkMark2 Ti2 TimothyDtDeuteronomyLkLukeTiTitus1K1 KingsJnJohnPhnPhilemonJbJobAcActsHbHebrewsPsPsalmsRoRomansJaJamesEcEcclesiastes1C1 Corinthians1P1 PeterIsIsaiah2C2 Corinthians2P2 PeterJrJeremiahGaGalatians1J1 JohnEzEzekielEpEphesians2J2 JohnDnDanielPhPhilippians3J3 JohnJlJoelCoColossiansJdJudeMaMalachi1Th1 ThessaloniansRvRevelations 2Th2 Thessalonians
1. Ps 19:7, Mt 11:25-26, 1C 1:19-20, 26-29, 2:10-13, 12:3
2. Mt 18:3, Jn 3:3-8
3. Ph 2:14
4. Ep 1:11
5. Ro 2:6-10
6. 1 Ti 2:4
7. Ro 11:36
8. 1C 8:6 15:28
9. 1C 2:7 2 Ti 1:9, Ti 1:2-3
10. 1C 4:5 11. Ro 8:11, Rv 11:11
12. Ep 3:9
13. 2C 6:16-18
14. Ro 11:33
15. Ro 8:38-39
16. Mt 5:48, Lu 18:19
17. Ga 3:26, Ep 1:5
18. Ro 8:30
19. 1C 12:3, Ep 1:13, Ph 1:29
20. Ep 1:9-12 3:11 21. Jn 8:42, Rv 3:14
22. Ro 1:4
23. Jn 1:3, Co 1:15-17
24. Jn 4:24
25. 1 Ti 1:17
26. 2C 4:4, Co 1:15
27. Mt 28:18, Jn 3:35 1C 15:25-28, Hb 1:2-3, Rv 21:6 22:13
28. Jn 12:49-50, Ph 2:5-8
29. 1C 15:28
30. Ep 2:19-22, Co 1:20 31. Ac 4:27-28
32. Ro 9:17-24
33. Ro 14:10-13
34. Ro 2:6-7, 1C 4:5, 2 Ti 4:8
35. Ph 2:9-11, Co 1:20, 1P 4:11
36. 1K 22:19, Is 6:1-3
37. Co 1:17
38. 1J 3:8-9
39. Ep 2:2
40. Ep 6:10-17 41. Mt 21:51-54
42. 1C 4:9, Ep 2:4-7 3:8-12
43. Gn 2:7
44. Ec 12:7
45. Gn 2:18
46. Gn 5:2
47. Gn 2:22
48. Gn 2:24-25, Mt 19:4-6, Ep 5:31
49. Gn 1:28
50. Gn 3:1 51. Gn 2:9
52. Gn 3:6
53. Gn 2:16-17
54. Gn 3:1-6
55. Ps 89:47, Ec 1&2, Ro 1:20-22 8:20
56. Gn 3:24
57. Gn 1:29-30
58. Gn 3:17-19
59. Gn 6:5-9
60. Gn 6:17 61. Gn 7:17-24
62. Gn 12:1-3
63. Gn 22:1-18
64. Gn 15:6
65. Gn 17:1-14 22:15-18
66. Ex 19:3-6
67. Ex 24:3-8
68. Mt 23:1-7
69. Gn 8:21, Ro 5:12-13
70. Dn 2:44 71. Is 9:6-7
72. Lu 1:30-33
73. Mt 11:25-30 16:13-14
74. Mt 4:17 5:17-18 7:28-29
75. Is 7:14 9:6-7, Jr 33:14-17
76. Mt 23:1-3,13, Jn 3:10 7:14-16
77. Mt 11:4-6, Is 35:5-6 61:1
78. Lu 3:2-4
79. Mt 24:34-36 25:31-32
80. Lu 7:29-33 81. Mt 4:17,23, Mk 6:12-13, Lu 19:11, Jn 3:22-23
82. Is 11:1-12 35: 61:5-7, Ez 37:21-28, Dn 7:1-17, Jl 2:1-11
83. Rv 21:10-27
84. Mt 12:14 21:45-46 22:15 26:3-5, Mk 11:18, Jn 11:47-48
85. Mt 20:17-19 26:59-60
86. Ac 2:14-36
87. Ac 9:3-6
88. Ac 9:17-19
89. Ac 13:9
90. Ac 13:16-41 19:8-10 22:1-16 91. Ep 2:11-12
92. Lu 23:13-24 Ac 2:12-15
93. Mt 26:54, Lu 24:44-47, Ac 2:17-21 4:27-28
94. Ro 3:2
95. Mt 21:43, Lu 21:24, Ac 13:46-47 28:25-28, Ro 11:25-32
96. Jn 14:1-4
97. Ac 10:1-8
98. Ac 11:18
99. Ac 10:9-16,26-29,34-36,45-48
100. Jn 13:14-15101. Lu 22:19-20
102. Ac 13:43 15:5 16:1-4
103. 1C 13:9-10
104. Jn 7:19
105. Ro 2:14
106. Ga 2:14 5:1-6
107. Ga 2:7-10
108. Mt 5:17-18
109. Jn 1:29-30
110. Jn 3:16111. Ga 3:25-29
112. Ac 13:38-39, Ro 3:28, Ga 2:16
113. 1C 12:12-31, Ep 1:22-23
114. Ep 5:30
115. Co 1:18
116. 1Th 5:1-10
117. Ep 2:5-7, 1Th 4:16-18
118. 1C 15:35-49
119. Lu 24:39-40, 1C 15:42-53, Ph 3:20-21
120. Ro 5:15-19121. Ti 3:4-7
122. Ga 2:
123. Ac 22:21-22, Ro 10:11-15, 1Th 2:14-16, 2P 3:15-16
124. Ro 2:17-20, Ja 1:10
125. Ro 1:16-17
126. 1Th 5:9
127. Is 13:9-13, Lu 21:7-28, Rv 6:12-17
128. Mt 24:34, 1P 4:7
129. Jn 3:29, Rv 19:7
130. Dn 7:27, Lu 22:29131. Mt 24:30-31
132. Ep 1:1
133. 2Ti 3:16-17
134. Ro 6:18, 1C 10:31, Co 3:12-17
135. Ro 7:14-20
136. Ro 7:14-25
137. Ro 5:1-2
138. Mt 3:1-3 9:35, Ac 2:38-40
139. Ac 13:48 17:16
140. Ac 15:1,5, Ga 2:4, 2Ti 1:15141. Mt 23:1-24
142. Ac 20:29-31, Ro 16:17-18, 2C 11:13-14, Co 2:16-23, 1Ti 4:1-8, 2Ti 2:16, Ti 1:10-16
143. Ma 2:7-9, Mk 12:38-40, Jn 12:42-43
144. Mt 23:13, Lu 11:52, Ro 1:25
145. Jn 5:29, 1P 1:17, 2P 3:7, Rv 20:11-15
146. Mt 12:36, Ro 2:5-10
147. Mt 7:21-23 25:31-46
148. Mt 5:22 13:41-43, Rv 14:9-11 21:8
149. Mt 19:16-21, Ja 1:22-23, 1P 2:21-22, 1J 1:6-7
150. Ga 4:8-11, Co 2:16-23, 1Ti 4:1-6151. Jn 5:27-29, Ro 2:5-10, 2P 1:10-11
152. Mt 25:41-46, Mk 9:43-39
153. Mt 19:25-26
154. Mt 19:16-21
155. 1P 5:8-9, 2P 2:4-10
156. Ro 8:38-39, Ep 2:4
157. Ro 4:4-6
158. Co 3:17
159. Ro 5:1-2 15:5-7, 2Ti 4:2
160. 1C 2:6-10 13:9-10, Ep 4:13-14, Co 1:26-28161. Ro 5:8-9
162. 1C 3:1-2
163. 2Ti 4:3-4
164. 1C 12:27-28
165. Ro 8:27
166. Ro 5:1-2, 1Th 2:19-20, 2Ti 4:8
167. Gn 11:3-4, Ro 10:3
168. Ep 1:23 3:19 4:10
169. 1C 15:51-53
170. Jn 3:33, Ro 9:4 15:8, Hb 10:23171. Is 14:12, Dn 8:23-25 11:36-39
172. Mt 24:4-5
173. 2Th 2:1-12
174. Rv 13:2-8
175. Mt 24:29-31
176. Rv 19:11
177. Rv 16:14
178. Rv 19:19
179. Mt 5 thru 7
180. Rv 20:7-9181. Rv 20:9-10
182. 1C 15:26, 2Ti 1:10
183. 1C 15:22
184. Ph 2:9-11
185. 1C 15:24
186. Mt 10:2-4
187. Mt 4:18-22 9:9
188. Mt 15:15-17, Mk 4:13-14,33-34
189. Mt 16:20
190. Lu 9:44-45191. Mt 16:21-23
192. Mk 9:10
193. Lu 18:31-34
194. Lu 10:23-24
195. Rv 21:14
196. Mk 1:4-8
197. Jn 1:26-34
198. Ac 19:1-6
199. Co 2:12
200. 2C 5:16-17, Ga 6:15201. Ep 4:1-6
202. Ep 1:4
203. Ac 2:20, 1Th 5:2
204. 1C 4:3
205. Is 13:6-13
206. Ex 20:10
207. Ec 12:7
208. Ac 2:27-31
209. Gn 3:19
210. Ec 9:5211. Mt 25:34-35
212. Gn 1:1, Dt 32:4, Is 45:18
213. Ac 9:20-22 13:13-41
214. Is 6:9-10, Mt 13:10-23
215. Ac 26:15-18
216. Ga 3:8-10
218. 1C 12:12-14, Ep 2:15-22
219. Co 2:13-15
220. 1C 15221. Ac 15:10
222. Ga 5:1, Co 2:8-15
223. Ro 12:3, Ga 3:25-27, Ep 2:8-9
224. Ep 1:5, 2Th 3:2
225. 1C 2:12-13, Ep 4:7
226. 1C 3:18-23
227. 1Th 2:13
228. 1C 1:21-25
229. Hb 11:1-3
230. 1C 4:9231. Ro 5:10,19, 2C 5:18-21
232. Ro 1:21, Ep 4:17-19, 2P 2:18
233. 1C 3:18-23
234. Ep 1:3-12
235. Ro 8:28
236. Lu 22:42-43
237. Lu 18:31
238. Mt 24:4-36
239. Mk 14:61-64
240. Mt 10:5-8241. Mt 28:19-20
242. Mt 16:19
243. Ac 2:41-42
244. 1C 2:2
245. Ex 32:9, Ps 106, Ac 7:51, Ro 10:1-3
246. 2Ti 1:9
247. Ga 3:8-29
248. Mt 6:20
249. Lu 3:22
250. Mt 28:2251. Mt 13:42
252. Ep 2:6-7
253. Ro 5:12-13
254. Ro 3:23
255. Ro 2:11-13
256. Ro 3:24-26, 2C 5:21, Ga 3:13
257. Ac 5:30-32
258. Ac 13:38-39
259. Ex 12:14-20
260. Ex 20:3-17261. Jn 11:47-48
262. Mt 15:1-20 23:13-36, Lu 11:37-44
263. Mt 1:20
264. Lu 1:11-20
265. Mt 26:53 28:2, Ac 5:19-20, Rv 12:7-8
266. Rv 21:2-4
267. Ez 36:35 47:12
268. Lu 23:39-43
269. Mk 1:4
270. Ro 6:14271. Ro 8:1, 1Ti 4:8
272. Ac 9:15-16
273. Ac 20:25
274. Mt 16:18-20, Jn 21:15-18
275. Ac 1:2
276. Ga 1:11-13
277. Ep 5:19-22, Ph 4:6-7, Co 3:17, 1Th 5:17, 1Ti 2:8
278. Jn 14:6, 2C 5:18, Ep 2:18, 1Ti 2:5
279. Ph 4:6-7
280. Ro 8:26-28281. Jn 14:13-15 15:16 16:23
282. Mt 17:20 21:21
283. Mt 3:2 4:17 10:7
284. Mt 6:9-13, Lu 11:2-4
285. Lu 1:17
286. Dt 30
287. 1C 2:10-13 12:3
288. Mt 9:18-19,23-26, Lu 7:12-15, Jn 11:11-44
289. Ac 9:36-41 20:9-12
290. 1Ti 6:16291. Lu 24:39-40
292. 1C 15:20-24, Ep 2:5, Co 2:13
293. Rv 20:5-6,11-15
294. 1Ti 6:13
295. Ac 20:7
296. Ga 4:9-11, Co 2:16-17
297. 1C 10:31, 1P 4:11
298. Jr 31:31-34
299. Ep 1:13-14
300. Jn 1:10-12 12:39-40, Ac 4:8-12301. Mt 16:21, Jn 14:8-9
302. Mt 16:21-22, Lk 9:44-45, Jn 12:16
303. Lu 18:32-34, Jn 20:9-10
304. Mt 17:9
305. Jn 14:16-17 15:12-15,25-26
306. Ep 1:9-11, Co 1:26-27
307. Ac 15:5 20:29-31, 2C 11:3-6, Ga 1:6-7 2:14, Ep 4:11-14, Co 2:8-23, 1Ti 4:1-8, 2Ti 1:15 4:3-4, Ti 1:10-16
308. Ep 3:3
309. Mk 13:26, Jn 14:3
310. Mt 23:37-39, Rv 5:9-13311. Mt 28:19-20, Rv 20:4
312. Rv 20:2-3
313. 1C 15:25-28
314. Mt 12:38, Jn 4:48-54 11:47-48
315. Is 61:1, Lu 7:22-31
316. Ro 1:20
317. Jn 15:10
318. 1Th 4:1-12
319. Mt 8:16 25:41, Mk 3:22-23, Rv 12:9
320. Jb 38:4-7321. Lu 11:18
322. Lu 11:18
323. Mt 13:37-39, Mk 4:15, 2C 12:7, 1Th 2:18
324. Ac 19:12, 1C 10:20-21, 1Ti 4:1-2
325. 2C 11:14, 2Th 2:8-12, 1Ti 5:15, 1J 4:6
326. Hb 1:2-3
327. 2P 3:5-6
328. Gn 1:2
329. Gn 1:3-25
330. Gn 1:26-27331. Gn 9:1
332. Lu 1:31-33 2:6-7
333. Mt 27:35
334. Mt 28:6
335. Rv 20:1-10
336. Ep 3:21
337. 2P 3:13, Rv 21:1
338. Hb 9:26
339. Hb 1:1-4
340. Co 1:14341. Rv 3:14
342. Mt 3:17, 17:5, 2P 1:17-18
343. Mt 11:25-27, 26:39, Lu 23:46
344. Mt 1:18-20, Lu 1:35-36
345. Lu 11:13, Ro 5:5, 1Th 4:8
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