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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.


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About rrobsr

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  1. rrobsr

    Old and New Testaments

    I was keeping it simple to get the point across. You are correct. But what do you see as my conclusion and why is it wrong?
  2. rrobsr

    Old and New Testaments

    I don't make the distinction between raised and resurrected. God does. Every single word in any legal document is chosen with great care. People go to school for many years to learn the correct wording for legal documents. Why should the Bible be any different? Again, God knows the difference between raised and resurrected. Otherwise he would have made them all raised or all resurrected. Obviously he didn't. He didn't use the words haphazardly. He thinks it's important to make a distinction. So I do also. They absolutely do not mean the same thing. People can say whatever they want. Somebody might say that grace and law mean the same thing, but that certainly doesn't negate the truth that God thinks they are radically different. The only reason I put Reformed Christian is because there was no choice for just "Christian" which is actually what I consider myself to be. Didn't mean to confuse you on that. As far as OT folks being born again, we'll find out for sure at his second coming. Rev 22:20, He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The sooner the better! Do you mind if I start another thread? God bless
  3. rrobsr

    Old and New Testaments

    Hello William, I read your post and it sounds good. I don't see why it goes against anything I've said with the possible exception of this: When did the new birth become available? If it was before Christ's resurrection, then why did he have to die and be resurrected? If Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, etc. could have been born again, then why did God send his only begotten son? If not making the new birth available, then what did Jesus accomplish when on this earth? Raised is the Greek word egeiro (Strong's number G1453) Resurrection is the Greek word anastasis (Strong's number G386) I'm sorry, but I didn't just make up those two different words. It was all God's idea. If he meant to use "raise" he used "raise", not "resurrect" and visa versa. Our job as workmen of the word is to find how he used them in his word (2 Tim 2:15). I assume you know how to use a concordance. Right? Look up the words in every verse where they are used and see if you can find the difference. I have a feeling it would be better for you to do that than for me to simply tell you the difference. I thank God for your life and your hunger for God's word. It is the only thing worth living for. The more believers the better! God bless
  4. rrobsr

    Old and New Testaments

    The new birth is the new birth and the resurrection is the resurrection. Two different things. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure where we differ since I'm not exactly sure of your position. Perhaps you could tell me what the new birth is all about in your mind. There are two different resurrections in Revelations, one at the beginning of the millennial kingdom and another at the end. Both are in Revelations 20. Those are for everybody other than Christians. That is because we have been born again of incorruptible seed. Because of the new birth we have already been judged. Christians (born again) will not be resurrected. We will be raised. There is a difference. To be sure the new birth is the miracle of all miracles. I don't know all about it, but I will someday when it's all over. God bless
  5. rrobsr

    Old and New Testaments

    Regarding the new birth, I'm speaking of Romans 10:9-10, 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 1 Pet 1:23, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. Adam and Eve started with incorruptible seed but they blew it and their seed corrupted as did everybody else's who were born since that day. You can tell it's corruptible because, with one major exception, people all die at some point. The exception? Jesus and all Christians who have confessed him as their lord and believed that God raised him from the dead (Rom 10:9-10). We are born again of incorruptible seed. That's why the Bible never says we will die. Instead it speaks of us as sleeping. 1 Thess 4:13-15, 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [Greek word phthano = precede] them which are asleep. When Christ returns he will first raise up all the Christians who have fallen asleep (what is normally considered "dead"). After that the ones who are still alive will be caught up in the air. 1 Thess 4:17, Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. That is our fate. Revelations is for everybody else. We will not be judged in either the first or second resurrection in the latter part of Revelations. We don't need further judgement. We already have the righteousness of God by his mercy and grace (Rom 3:22). We have already died in Christ Jesus. Luckily he raised us up though. Col 3:3-4, 3 For ye are dead [present tense, not some day, but right now], and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. In Revelations Christ will not come for us like he will for the OT faithful. He's not coming for us but with us. Another huge difference between us and OT. Gal 2:20, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Before being born again our life force was soul life which is nothing more than breath life. In Genesis God breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul. Normally, life begins at our first breath and ends with our last breath. But we as Christians were crucified with Christ which, spiritually speaking, literately made us dead. But when Christ rose, we rose with him, never to die again. Some day you will fall asleep like you have thousands of times already on your life. The big difference will be that one day instead of waking up in the morning with a mortal body you will wake up with an immortal body. That's the hope I spoke of. Every morning I wake up excited to see if I have the new body. So far, no, but one of these days, yes! That's the hope of glory in Col 1:27. Eph 2:6, And hath [past tense] raised us [Christians] up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Again, I'm not telling you that right now you are sitting together with Christ in heavenly places. Those are God's words, not mine, and they're simple enough. God always says what he means and means what he says. It might not look like we're in heaven, but who are you going to believe? God or your own two eyes? We should by faith (believing) not by sight. 2 Cor 5:6-7, 6 Therefore we [Christians] are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) None of this was available in the OT. Not until the day of Pentecost when the new birth of incorruptible seed became available for the first time. God bless...
  6. rrobsr

    Old and New Testaments

    You are right that ultimately believing is what saves all people, OT and NT alike. God always said those in the OT had to follow the law, but he really has a soft heart and as long as they made a good effort, they would live in the new heavens and new earth. He knew that even David would break the law , but he still said David was a man after his own heart. Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Nonetheless, they will have to go through the first judgement in Revelations. They will undoubtedly be found worthy, but hey still have to stand before the judgement seat of Christ. As I pointed out, we Christians have already been judged and found righteous. Christ is the end of the law for us so there is no need for future judgement to the Christian (Rom 10:4) Nobody in the OT was born again. The ones who believed God and did their best to follow his will, will make it in the end, but they are nonetheless not born again by grace. That unbelievable privilege was reserved for those who live between the day of Pentecost and the gathering together just before Revelations begins. Here are some verses on the mystery. Now I know God speaks of other things being a mystery, but he specifically gave Paul an administration of "the mystery." Rom 16:25, Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, Easy read. The mystery was a secret. 1Cor 2:7, But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our [our glory, not OT people. This was written to the Corinthians after Christ resurrected] glory: Another easy read. The mystery was ordained before the world began. Eph 1:9-11, 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: Study on what is the dispensation of the fullness of times. Eph 3:3-4, 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) There it is again, the mystery, not a mystery. Eph 3:9, And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Easy enough. Just read what's written. The mystery was hidden in the OT. Moses didn't know about it. Eph 6:19, And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, Clearly a central theme in Ephesians is the mystery. Col 1:26-27, 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: How about that! The riches of the glory of that mystery is Christ in you! The hope of glory refers to the future when we get gathered together with the Lord in the air. (In the Bible, hope always refers to something that is not currently available but is guaranteed to be so some time in the future. We believe for things that are available today, but hope for things God said we'd get in the future.) Col 2:2, That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; How are Christians to be comforted and knit together in love? By acknowledgement of the mystery of God. How can one acknowledge something without knowing what that something is? Do you want full assurance of understanding? This verse tells you how to get it. Too many Christians walk in doubt and fear as to their standing before God. They think it heresy to be as righteous as God (Rom 3:22), but that is what the word says and that is exactly what it means. Throw your shoulders back, lift up your head and say, "I'm a born again son of God and he has made me righteous. Now get out of my way and let me move with the greatness of God's word!" I can hardly stay in my seat as I write! I want to get up and shout for joy so the whole world can hear me! Col 4:3, Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: Paul prayed that God would allow him to speak the mystery. Maybe we should do the same. William, I am happy to be here and have the chance to hold forth God's word. It never returns void, but always accomplishes God's purpose (Is 55:11). I don't take anything personal when someone disagrees. I thank God for you and for your work in providing the soapbox. God bless and love in Christ.
  7. rrobsr

    Old and New Testaments

    Thanks for your questions. You make me think about God's word and that can only be a good thing! I guess you move this thread? Or do I move it? Either way is fine. God dealt with Israel in a completely different way than he deals with Christians, most notably he expected Israel to follow the law for salvation whereas we lucky Christians are saved by grace. We are saved not by our good works, but by mercy and grace. That is a HUGE difference. It's the only way I'd have made it! During the OT there were many Jews, as well as gentiles, whom God considered righteous because their innermost heart was aligned with the law even though nobody followed it perfectly until Jesus came on the scene. Isaiah would most assuredly be one of them. He will be with God for eternity in the end, but he was not born again because the new birth was not available before the day of Pentecost. The new birth is exactly what Pentecost was all about. I am definitely saying Pentecost was in no wise foreshadowed in the OT. My original post shows several verses that speak of the mystery and Pentecost is part of that mystery. I explain that God kept the mystery secret from the very beginning of the universe. Nobody knew about it in the OT. Had he made it known, the devil would not have killed Jesus. I gave the verse for that wonderful truth. The crux of the new birth is "Christ in you." I also gave the verse for that equally wonderful truth (I suppose every verse in the Bible is a wonderful truth!). I explained that when Jesus was here there was only one Jesus for the devil to contend with. Today Christ is wherever there is a born again believer. One of the major benefits of being born again is that God has already judged us and found us to be as righteous as him (Rom 3:22). I'm not trying to tell you you are as righteous as God. But God is! The words in the verse are very easy to understand. Just read it and believe it. I'm not saying it won't go against beliefs you may currently hold, but the words are simple. You just have to decide what you believe, man's doctrine or the simplicity of God's word. I guarantee God has better ideas than man on how things aught to be! We as Christians face no more judgement. Ephesians says he chose us in him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4) We will meet the Lord in the air before the events of Revelations. Revelations begins at that time. Once again, God will deal with men as under law. No more being saved by grace. We are incredibly lucky to be born at this time as opposed to the OT. Isaiah did not have Christ in him because it wasn't available. Jesus had to die and be resurrected before that could happen. But it is certain that he, Daniel, Moses, Joshua, etc will be resurrected in the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6). Those in that resurrection will not suffer the second death (Rev 20:11-15). In other words he will live forever in the new heaven and earth just like Christians. The only difference is how we get there. I know I was pretty sparse with verses in this post. Of course the scripture are the final authority. Certainly not me! Therefore, if you are interested, I'll be more than happy to give you actual verses that I'm confident will make it all clear. I would also encourage to spend some time studying my original post. Look up all the verse references. I didn't give nearly all the verses that explain my assertion. I have little doubt that if you spend some time finding other verses that are pertinent to the subject in my original post you will see more of the true greatness of God's word than you'll find in most churches. I can lead you to some of these great truths, but you have to make it your own. Have you ever heard a sermon on the mystery? If what I say is true about the mystery, how could they have not told you about it? To me, it's mind boggling. They are supposed to teach God's word, not tradition. I know tradition differs with my assertion. To that I would only encourage you to look in the gospels to see what Jesus thought of tradition. I can tell you that he wasn't a real fan of it! God bless William and thanks for your work this forum. I'm sure God notices!
  8. rrobsr

    Old and New Testaments

    Thanks for your reply. As I said in my original post, there are other ways to divide God's time line. However, their can be little doubt that when Jesus was still here man was still under the law and the penalty of death for not following it was still in force. Until Christ rose from the dead there was no salvation. That didn't change until the day of Pentecost and the new birth became available. At that day the new birth by grace became available. Obedience to the law was required from Gen all the way through the gospel of John. It will once again be in effect in Revelations. We are incredibly fortunate to have been born during an age where believing, not law, is the yardstick of righteousness. It's about as humbling as anything can be. Surely you can see the difference. I hope so. It sure makes this life full of joy and minus fear, doubt, and worry. Do you understand the mystery spoken of in Ephesians? Without an understanding of the mystery, you will miss the incredible greatness of what Christ wrought by his death and more importantly his resurrection. The mystery is really everything. Funny though, I've never heard a sermon on the mystery. Maybe someday. God bless!
  9. rrobsr

    Cursed Ground of Genesis

    Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you [Adam & Eve] every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Adam and Eve were fed from the fruit of the trees God gave them. They never had to go grocery shopping. Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. God did all the hard work of planting a garden. God then put Adam and Eve into a ready made garden. It was a garden unlike anything that exists today. That one garden had all they would ever need for an eternity of pleasure. The word “Eden” comes from the root of the Hebrew word for means “pleasure.” We can't begin to imagine the fullness of such a way of life. Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; God did all the heavy lifting to provide them with food. God made the trees to grow. Adam and Eve simply enjoyed the fruits of God’s labour. Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. All in all, they had a pretty easy job. Remember, God made the food to grow. They never had to worry about “losing the crop.” They just kept things trimmed up a bit. Suddenly things took a turn for the worse. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. They did not believe him when he told them they would die if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. God not only told them they would die, but that they surely would die. But, instead of believing God they believed the lies of the serpent, the devil, who told Eve they would not die if they ate from that tree. In fact, he told them they would be just like God. Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. It’s the same today. People either believe God or the lies of the devil. The true greatness of any nation does not depend on politics, but whether or not the people of that nation know and believe the truth in God’s Word. Unfortunately, most look to a man, a Reagan, a Bush, A Clinton, an Obama, or a Trump. Few look to God. That explains the present sad state of America and every other nation in the world today. Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; That’s just what the ground does. It’s not God’s fault. He never meant for man to live in such an environment. Remember, He had put them in a most decidedly different environment, namely the garden of Eden. God knew a lot more about things than Adam and Eve knew. He knew what would happen if they ate from the tree and he was nice enough to tell them all about it. After all, he was their father, so why wouldn’t he have warned them. By looking up every verse in the Bible where the word “curse” is used it becomes apparent that a curse was not some spell God cast on the ground out of spite or vengeance. Instead the word is used in a predictive sense. God was just telling them what would happen. Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. God certainly didn’t trick Adam and Eve. He was completely upfront with them. When they disobeyed God, they turned their backs on God, not the other way around. God has not punished them any more than you could be said to have punished your child because he or she didn’t believe you about the heat of fire and stuck his hand into it. Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Now they had to work a lot harder. A whole lot harder. Sweat and all. Clearing, plowing, planting, harvesting, processing, storing, etc. All backbreaking work. But that’s not all. No matter how hard they worked, there would never be a guaranteed harvest. Floods, droughts, insects, and more could destroy the entire crop at any time. The very fact that there are people starving in this world says it all. In the garden of Eden nobody would have starved. All thing considered, compared to what they had in Eden, I would say that “cursed” is a most appropriate adjective to describe the new ground in which they found themselves! As far as the word itself goes, a curse is the opposite of a blessing. Israel was about to enter the promised land when God gave them some final instructions. Deut:11:26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; Deut:11:27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: Deut:11:28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. Before Adam and Eve sinned none of this would have been an issue. There were no curses in Eden, only blessings. That was God's desire. That's what he wanted for them. Adam and Eve just made the wrong choice when they believed the serpent instead of God. The cursed ground wasn't really anything God did to them. The good news: God will set everything back to "normal" in the end. Revelations, usually considered doom and gloom is arguably the best thing that God will ever do. Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. The people on that new earth will once again live in a garden of Eden. But there is a big difference between the new garden and the old one. The difference is that Adam and Eve had a major stipulation if they wanted to remain in that garden. Their stay in paradise was conditional, namely, they could be kicked out if the ate of the tree of knowledge and evil. No such stipulation will exist in the new heavens and new earth. It will be an eternal kingdom and there will be nothing any man or woman can do to change that. Guaranteed eternal bliss. That is the hope of all born again believers. Col 1:27 To whom [born again believers] God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: That's certainly something to look forward to!
  10. It is virtually certain that your Bible has the heading “The Old Testament” right before the book of Genesis and “The New Testament” just before the gospel of Matthew. Those headings were not God’s idea. When God gave his word to “holy men of God” (2 Peter 1:21) he did not tell them to write “The Old Testament” before Genesis, nor “The New Testament” right before Mathew. Those headings were not in the original God inspired word (2 Tim 3:16). They were added by man as a convenience to the reader. As good as their intentions may have been, they have actually caused no end of confusion within the Christian Church. It is certainly true that one of the grand divisions of God’s story could be The Old Testament and The New Testament. There are other, more precise, ways to divide God’s time line, but broadly speaking, old and new testament work fine. It’s not so much the division itself that is a problem,but where they are placed in your Bible. They would lead you to believe that the Gospels are part of the new testament. I propose that the Gospels should be in the old testament. Furthermore, because the book of Revelations is the last book in your Bible, you are led to believe that Revelations is also part of the new testament. I propose that Revelations should not be considered as part of the new testament, but as closing out the old testament. Revelations is the final fulfilment of all the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the old testament. When viewed as suggested, the basic old testament Bible story would be seen as follows: Genesis to Malachi: Adam and Eve in paradise. Adam and Eve rebelled and were sent out of paradise. God promised Adam and Eve that he would restore everything. God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob an everlasting kingdom. Israel enters the promised land to set up the kingdom. Israel blows it and they are led captive. They are freed, but the kingdom is in shambles. The four gospels: The redeemer comes for the first time to regain the kingdom. Israel killed the redeemer, leaving the promised kingdom still unfulfilled. Revelations: The redeemer comes again and this time sets up the promised kingdom. The above ordering makes a logical sequence of events. During this period God deals specifically with Israel under the law. The gospels should be part of the old testament because they deal with the personal presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on this earth before the new birth, the hallmark of the new testament, became available. The law, abolished in the new testament (Rom 10:4, Eph 2:15), was still in effect during his first coming. Jesus specifically said he did not not end the law when he was personally present (Matt 5:18, Luke 24:44). Furthermore, it is evident that he came, not for the gentiles, but for Israel. John 1:11, He came unto his own, and his own received him not. Jesus was an Israelite (Heb 7:14) and that is who “his own” refers to. In the gospels, he came for Israel to fulfill the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob which remained unfulfilled because of the continual disobedience of Israel (too many references to mention). He specifically said he did not come for the gentiles (Matt 15:22-28). However, the Jews were so far off the mark when the messiah finally came that they killed the king. Without a king there can be no kingdom. The old testament promises were therefore left unfulfilled. The Jew may have killed Jesus, but he was raised from the dead and ascended to be with the father. Just before that ascension he told his disciples that he would return again (Acts 1:11). That is when the events of the book of Revelations will commence. At that time he will make his second appearance and this time the kingdom will be established and the promises fulfilled. There are a couple of verses in the book of Isaiah that illustrates in a very succinct way all that has been said above. Isaiah 61:1-2, 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me [Jesus]; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; Jesus quoted a part of these verses in one of his sermons. Luke 4:16-20, 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. With astute observation, it can be seen that Jesus actually stopped short of reading the entire passage as it was written in Isaiah. That was a very good thing. Had he read one word more, your entire Bible would fall to pieces! Isaiah 61:2: To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; Luke 4:19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Why did Jesus stop short? The acceptable year of the Lord is his first coming. Since he was personally present on the earth, he could rightly say that part. However, the day of vengeance and the subsequent comfort is the subject of the book of Revelations and it was still in the future on the day that Jesus read the passage so he stopped reading right in the middle of the sentence. Talk about rightly dividing God’s word! The church of the body to which all born again believers belong (Col 1:18) is another story altogether different than that of the old testament. It is the subject of the new testament. The new testament story can be found in the book of Acts all the way through Jude. There is not a hint to be found in the old testament of the greatness of what God would accomplish in the new testament. In fact, God called it a mystery. 1Cor 2:7-8, 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Why would the devil not have killed Jesus had he known about the mystery? When Jesus was on this earth there was exactly one Jesus and therefore only one righteous person. After the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts things changed dramatically. The result of the new birth, made available for the first time on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), is that now wherever there is a born again believer there is Christ Jesus. Wherever you are, Christ is there. That must drive the devil crazy! Col 1:27, To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: What a fantastic truth! When you are born again (Rom 10:9-10) Christ dwells within you. Now, instead of just one Jesus the devil had to contend with, there are millions of Christ’s that he must contend with. No wonder the devil would not have killed Jesus if he had known the mystery! There is a comma in Isaiah 61:2 that I would like to consider at this time. Now I know that there was no punctuation in the original Hebrew or Greek texts. Nonetheless, in this case it certainly doesn’t hurt putting it in there for clarification to the modern English reader. The sense of the passage is in no way altered by adding that comma. That is not always the case, but it is indeed the case here. All the books in the new testament, Acts to Jude, are represented by that little comma in Isaiah 1:2, immediately after the words “year of the Lord.” Everything written between Acts and Jude was kept secret from the foundation of this world. It was the mystery hidden in God. Rom 16:25-26, 25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my [Paul’s] gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now [in the new testament, not the old testament] is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: That comma in Isaiah 61:2 represents the mystery which no man knew until it was revealed to the apostle Paul. Nobody in the old testament, not even Jesus, knew it would be Christ in you (Col 1:27) after the day of Pentecost, some 50 days after the all important resurrection of Jesus. That is when the period represented by that comma, the new testament, began and it will end when born again believers are caught up to meet the lord in the air prior to Christ’s second coming to this earth to finally establish the promised kingdom. 1 Thes 4:17, Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Born again believers will be spared the events of Revelations that finish off the promises God made to Israel in the old testament. 1 Thes 1:10, And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. What a wonderful promise that is! The day you were born again your fate was sealed. You need have no worry or fear of your future. There is nothing but sunshine ahead for the born again believer! If that’s not the case, word have no meaning. The words say we have been “delivered us from the wrath to come.” A very simple assertion. It’s beyond me how such a simple and beautiful message can get twisted to mean anything other than Christians are spared the future wrath outlined in the book of Revelations (Rev 6:17). The new testament, Acts to Jude, can be considered a parenthesis. As such you can get the old testament story by skipping over this parenthesis, by reading from the end of the gospel of John and going straight to the book of Revelations. The parenthesis is the mystery and was not made known until God revealed it to the apostle Paul. It began on the day of Pentecost and ends with the rapture. During this new testament period, God has placed Israel in a “holding pattern.” He will resume his dealings with Israel in the book of Revelations when he fulfills all the promises he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the old testament. As yet one final support for my proposition I would only point out that there is nothing in the book of Revelations that is not found throughout the old testament. Revelations is the fulfillment of all the promises God made in the old testament to Israel. There is certainly no shortage of verses in the old testament that speak of God’s promises to Israel. Many of the old testament prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc) read almost exactly like the book of Revelations. God says nothing in the book of Revelations that he doesn’t over and over again to Israel in the old testament. Unlike the mystery, he never kept it a secret that he would destroy the devil and set up an everlasting kingdom. In fact, that was pretty much the first thing he told Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Eden. If we have no trouble seeing Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, or Daniel as being part of the old testament, then there should be no trouble seeing the book of Revelations as also old testament. To summarize: Old testament story begins with Genesis, goes through the 4 gospels and closes out with the book of Revelations. In the old testament God deals mainly with Israel. The new testament begins with the book of Acts and ends with the book of Jude. God deals with the church of the Body, i.e. the born again Christians which were neither Jew nor Gentile (Eph 2:11-15). Now your Bible will fit together like it’s never fit before.

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