The Land of Israel & Judah,
The Kingdom of God, The City of Jerusalem, & Mount Zion
Section #1: The Old Testament – how it was
Section #2: The Consummation – how it will be
Section #3: The New Testament – how it is
In the New Testament – how it is
The Land of Israel & Judah
The mystery hidden from the foundation of the world has now been manifested to our enrichment! It was written and proven that, “through their fall”, meaning, the Jews, “salvation is come unto the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:11)! The onetime impoverished and God-forsaken heathen have now become, in the Gentile Church Age, the sons and daughters of God. With staggering boldness, the Jewish apostle Paul declared to the Galatians, “if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). The promise of Israelite salvation was exclusively given to Abraham’s seed, and, thus, only Abraham’s seed was the rightful inheritor of the Kingdom of God located in what was mapped-out to be The Land of Israel & Judah (see Gen. 15:1-21). This Land was fully inherited, occupied, and ruled by King David, and in subsequent generations it was lost. Generations repeated the same awful course until today, in the Gentile Church Age… the wait continues. What is so profound, though, is that we, The Gentile Church, exist as a manifestation of these promises which were given exclusively to Israel – therefore in the experience of salvation we, the Gentiles, become Israelites! Without entirety, we are partakers of the promises which will eventually save literal physical Israel. The same promises which will save physical Israel do save the Gentiles, in an inferior expression of what is to come.
Though we, The Gentile Church, are reckoned according to all the promises that God gave to literal physical Israel, the performance of the promises are for our salvation via an inferior and exclusively spiritual fulfillment of the age-old promises of God. Redeemed Gentiles are called “Abraham’s seed”, spiritually speaking (Gal. 3:29), just as they are said to be Jews inwardly, legally speaking (Rom. 2:25-29, 9:6). The Gentiles are even called “the circumcision”, truthfully speaking, over and above the apostate physical circumcision which opposed the true Messiah (Php. 3:1-3). Paul is bold to say this because he knows that, in God’s perspective, “neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:15-16). Paul is but an echo of what was prophesied by Hosea, saying,
“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” – Hosea 1:10
God hath spoken and done it, hallelujah! Therefore Paul called mere Gentiles “the Israel of God”, in Galatians 6:16, just as he called them the seed of Abraham in Galatians 3:29. This truth was not new to the Galatian Church (see Rom. 4:12, 9:6-8), but it was recently called into question by some heretical Judaizers who were infecting the Gentile Churches with the leaven of their hypocrisy. Even Peter, to whom was committed “the apostleship of the circumcision” (Gal. 2:8), wrote to the Gentiles from the location that he called, “the Church that is at Babylon” (1 Pet. 5:13). Peter was compelled to reckon the Gentile Christians as Israelites in spirit and truth, saying,
“But ye [the Gentile Christians] are a chosen Generation, a Royal Priesthood, an Holy Nation, a peculiar People; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” – 1 Peter 2:9-11 [compare with Exodus 19:5]
This is because, in Christ, the two races (the Gentiles and the Jews) have become “one new man” (Eph. 2:15). Both Peter and Paul knew the reasoning behind it all. All mysteries were disclosed and by them, preached! “For through [Christ] we both [the Jews and the Gentiles] have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore [the Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the Household of God” (Eph. 2:18-19)! All that being said, the writer of Hebrews is very bold to declare to the Christians of the Gentile Church Age, “YE ARE COME unto Mount Sion” (Heb. 12:22)! The formerly forbidden race of mankind – the Gentiles – has come unto and ascended upon the Holy Mountain of God, Mount Zion! The same Mountain which was a mystery to the unholy world of Gentile sinners for centuries! The same Mountain which is so set-apart, holy, and glorious, all who endeavored to venture upon its slopes to ascend thereto were confronted with the searching question, “Who shall ascend into The Hill of the LORD” and “Who shall dwell in Thy Holy Hill” (Ps. 24:1, 15:1)! The statement “YE ARE COME” is a present-tense reckoning in real time… but how?
“For YE ARE NOT COME unto the Mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But YE ARE COME unto Mount Sion, and UNTO The City of the Living God, The Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to The General Assembly and Church of The Firstborn, which are written in Heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” – Hebrews 12:18-24
The Christians of the Gentile Church Age (both Jews and Gentiles made Israelites indeed through Christ) are reckoned according to their spiritual position in Christ. They are depicted here, in Hebrews 12:22, as those who were presently standing upon The Mountain of Zion already, spiritually speaking, simply because they were legally there right then in Christ! They are depicted to have come (“ye are come” – Heb. 12:22), in real time, at the same place where they are depicted elsewhere to sit (“made is sit together” - Eph. 2:6). These are affirmations of a spiritual position in “heavenly places”, my reader (see Eph. 2:6). The Christians of the Gentile Church Age were called with a “heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1), empowered by “the heavenly gift” (Heb. 6:4), made possible by a Heavenly Man (John 3:31) who made an atonement for the all men via the “heavenly things” (Heb. 8:5), whereabouts, also, Christ stands as Mediator and KING (Heb. 9:23-24, Acts 2:32-36, Eph. 1:20-23). Therefore, we, the Christians of the Gentile Church Age, are citizens of this Heavenly Country called, “The Heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 11:16, 12:22, Eph. 2:19), for it is evident in our “affections” and “conversation” (Col. 3:1-3, Php. 3:20) while we abide here on earth. “Who shall ascend The Hill of the LORD” (Ps. 24:3)? Evidently the Gentiles Christians do, according to scripture. In and through the vehicle of redemption the Gentiles meet the caricature of holiness. Therefore the Gentiles, with inferiority, dwell in The Land of Israel & Judah right now (in what Hebrews 11:14-16 & 12:22 called a Heavenly Country), notwithstanding we wait for a more superior and entire fulfillment of this reality in physical actuality on earth when God turns back to the Jews according to the flesh for the consummation of salvation (see Romans 11:1-36) – a “salvation ready to be revealed in the Last Time” (1 Pet. 1:5).
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a Country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better Country, that is, an Heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a City.” – Hebrews 11:13-16
Until then – the consummation – the Gentile Christians are Abraham’s seed and inward Jews who are Heaven’s Ambassadors and New Jerusalem’s Heralds, for they are the first-fruits of Christ’s glorious beginning as KING (Rom. 8:23). The Gentiles are the New Testament spies who were appointed the duty to search the Heavenly Country of Christ’s glorious reign so that they, thereafter, return to the audiences of earth-dwellers who wait for the good report. The Gentile Christians, with the good fruit of The Promised Land borne by a staff on their backs and fruit in their hands, preach The Good News and reveal The Good Land which is, namely, the fruit of Heaven! Just as the spies of Israel were commissioned of old, the Gentile Christians report what they have seen and heard of the Heavenly Country of the Christ’s glorious ascension and enthronement!
“So they went up and searched the Land…And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between to upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs…And they returned from searching of the Land after forty days. And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the Land” – Numbers 13:21-26
Only new creatures are enabled to survey the Land and Country of the New Jerusalem. Thus only they can declare the glories which are yet to come in the New Heaven and New Earth (2 Cor. 5:17, Heb. 12:22, Gal. 4:26, Rev. 21:1-2). Therefore, my reader, if you bear in your hands the first-fruits of the Kingdom of God in Christ (James 1:18, Gal. 5:22-23), show the world! Show the world how these first-fruits which are begun in us are but the beginning of a vast and innumerable harvest which is to come! Christians must show the world how the new creation which is begun in us (2 Cor. 5:17) is but the first-fruits of the New Heaven and New Earth which is to come (Rev. 21:1-2); the regeneration begun in us (Titus 3:5) is but the first-fruits of the regeneration to come (Rom. 8:18-21, Php. 3:12-14); the adoption begun in us (Rom. 8:15) is but the first-fruits of the adoption to come (Rom. 8:23); the redemption begun in us (1 Cor. 1:30) is but the first-fruits of the redemption to come (Php. 3:14, Rom. 8:23), the Kingdom begun in us (Lk. 17:21, Col. 1:13, Eph. 2:6) is but the first-fruits of the Kingdom to come (2 Tim. 4:1, Rev. 3:21); the resurrection begun in us (Rom. 6:4) is but the first-fruits of the resurrection to come (1 Cor. 15:50); the eternal life begun in us (1 John 3:15, 5:12-13) is but the first-fruits of the eternal life to come (2 Cor. 5:1-4, 1 Tim. 6:12); the overcoming power begun in us (Eph. 2:5, 1 John 5:4) is but the first-fruits of the overcoming power to come (1 Cor. 15:54-57); the defeat of death begun in us (Rom. 8:2-6, Eph. 2:5) is but the first-fruits of the defeat of death to come (1 Cor. 15:54-57); the light begun in us (Eph. 5:8) is but the first-fruits of the light which is to come (Prov. 4:18, 2 Pet. 1:19, Rev. 21:23-25); the revelatory sight of God which is revealed now to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18, 1 Cor. 13:12, Heb. 11:27) is but the first-fruits of the revelatory sight of God which is to come (1 John 3:2); the knowing of God which is begun in us (1 John 2:4, John 17:3) is but the first-fruits of the knowing of God which is to come (1 Cor. 13:12); the conformity to the Person of Christ “as He is” right now which has begun in us (1 John 2:4-6, 4:17) is but the first-fruits of the conformity to the Person of Christ “as He is” in the glory which is to come (1 John 3:2, Rev. 2:27). Upon showing this to the world, our mission is complete. Those who are granted ears to hear will understand the Country from which we have come and to which we are going. They will then, as the prophecy foretold (Zech. 8:23), believe in the gospel and join with us in our venture! Upon seeing that the fruit is good, the Land is to be desired, the KING is matchless and inexpressible in beauty and power - the Gospel is realized and believed!
In conclusion via all the aforementioned truths: the population of people who are inhabitants of The Land of Israel & Judah are the regenerate: Jews and Gentiles by flesh who have been inwardly regenerated into Israelites in Spirit and in Truth! For this reason, Paul said to the Gentiles, “if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed” (Gal. 3:29). By the indwelling of Christ via regeneration, every race of man does become Abraham’s seed spiritually speaking, inward Jews legally speaking, and “the circumcision” truthfully speaking (Gal. 3:29, Rom. 2:25-29, 9:6, Php. 3:1-3) – therefore they are, rightly called, “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:15-16). They are, furthermore, “a chosen Generation, a Royal Priesthood, an Holy Nation, a peculiar People” (1 Pet. 2:9-11, Ex. 19:5), which means that they are “fellowcitizens with the saints” of the Old Testament and they are, now, “of the Household of God” (Eph. 2:18-19). By the 2nd birth, Christians of all fleshly races are made into natives and ambassadors of the Nation of Israel. By spiritual position, Christians have come (Heb. 12:22) to the same place which they have been made to sit (Eph. 2:6) - the Land of Israel & Judah (the Heavenly Country), the Mountain of Zion, the Heavenly Jerusalem, unto Join-Heir Thrones to rule and reign with Christ (Heb. 11:14-16, 12:22, Eph. 2:19, Rom. 8:17). All the aforementioned details of identity are true via the inner-workings of redemption which are, in summation: the regeneration (Titus 3:5), the adoption (Rom. 8:15), the Kingdom (Lk. 17:21, Col. 1:13, Eph. 2:6), the resurrection (Rom. 6:4), eternal life (1 Jn. 3:15, 5:12-13), overcoming power (Eph. 2:5, 1 Jn. 5:4), the defeat of death (Rom. 8:2-6, Eph. 2:5), the light (Eph. 5:8), the revelatory sight (2 Cor. 3:17-18, 1 Cor. 13:12, Heb. 11:27), knowing God (1 Jn. 2:4, Jn. 17:3), conformity to Christ (1 Jn. 2:4-6, 4:17). Therefore, at last! Let us understand the New Testament in perfect harmony with the Old Testament and the Consummation, in that, unconverted “strangers” and “foreigners” are forbidden entrance to the Church (Eph. 2:18-19); for, who else would dare drawn near (Heb. 10:19-23)!? And, who else even could draw near!
The Kingdom of God
Heralded from the mouth of fishermen came the words, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 10:7). Had their proclamation been mere words then society could have hushed their lunacy by a frown of disapproval, and that’s the end of it. This frown of disapproval, society gave, but the proclamation went forth to shake the very pillars upon which heathen society boasted in the pomp of false-supremacy! What the apostle Paul did later explain, all the world felt: “The Kingdom of God is not in word, but IN POWER” (1 Cor. 4:20)! All the arms of heathen society were aggravated into a frenzy of Satan’s masterful design to suppress a people, a message, and a movement, but to no avail. This KING and Kingdom which the apostles proclaimed, proved unconquerable. This is because He and it were not afar off and irrelevant, but “at hand” and “in their midst”! The heralded proclamation was proven statement of fact! This means that the populous was not fighting against a message but a Man! More specifically, an incarnated, one-time deceased, later resurrected, finally ascended, and gloriously enthroned, everlasting Man! – This is the Gospel.
All who were granted ears to hear were redeemed from this ungodly world by faith in the Gospel. All those who believed in the good news of the God-Man got possessed. God-forsaken Gentile humanity became God-indwelt (Acts 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 28:31): They staggered long in the world’s dark plight (2 Cor. 4:4), serving Satan who ruled the spiritual night (Eph. 2:2-3), never to know the God who dwells in unapproachable Light (1 Tim. 6:16)… until the word was heard sounding through the highways and byways of Gentile humanity, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” What did it mean?
The KING of the Jews became the KING of the world on the cross of Calvary. Jesus Christ did, by His own blood, purchase the uttermost parts of the world as His dominion. This was prophesied of old in the words, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession” (Ps. 2:7-8; John 17:20). What a glory! By Jesus’ death came life, and through the KING’s seeming extermination The Cornerstone was laid for the Kingdom’s building and progressive manifestation (Ps. 118:22-23, Isa. 28:16, Matt. 21:42, Mark 12:10, Lk. 10:17, Acts 4:11, Rom. 9:33, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:4-8)! This Jesus, who said, “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36), became The Ruler of the world! The heathen of the earth do object to this mystery, albeit, it is because they cannot fathom how and in what way The Kingdom of God is manifest.
#1) Kings rule a people, thus God had an earthly Throne in the midst of His people Israel.
The Messiah, “the anointed One”, does rule a people on earth even still, though it be in the Gentile Church Age. Shockingly, there exists an earthly Throne in the midst of the people Israel right now! Do you know where it is? One Gentile-Israelite Christian saw the mystery, and wrote,
“The Holy Ghost is here,
Where saints in prayer agree,
As Jesus’ parting gift is near
Each pleading company.
Not far away is He,
To be by prayer brought nigh,
But here in present majesty,
As in His courts on high.
He dwells within our
An ever welcome guest;
He reigns with absolute control,
As monarch in the breast.
Obedient to Thy will,
We wait to feel Thy power;
O Lord of life, our hopes fulfill,
And bless this hallowed hour.” – C.H. Spurgeon
In the mystery of God’s unsearchable wisdom (Rom. 11:33), the Lord said, “Behold, The Kingdom of God is within you” (Lk. 17:21). What about you, my reader? Can you see The Kingdom of God? The Lord Jesus said, “BEHOLD!” Which means, “LOOK!” Can you see it? The Lord Jesus also said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see The Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). A man cannot enter into a Kingdom which he cannot see. Truthfully, truthfully, the Lord Jesus repeated: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into The Kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
#2) Kings rule territories, thus God had a Land over which He ruled.
John the Baptist prophesied of the imminent arrival of the Messiah, by saying, “Repent yet: for The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). The Messiah Himself preached at the onset of His ministry, “Repent: for The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). The chosen and consecrated apostles, being sent to preach to the people of Israel for the first time, were commissioned, “And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 10:7). To whom were the apostles sent? They were sent to the people of Israel who were scattered all throughout The Promised Land, but upon their overwhelming rejection of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus testified, “The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matt. 21:43). Illustrating this, consider the historical account written in The Gospel of Matthew.
As the Lord Jesus was increasingly astonished at faith-less and rebellious Israel, He encountered a Gentile who had great faith. Upon this encounter, the Lord said, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the East and West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in The Kingdom of Heaven. But the children of The Kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:10-12). Shockingly, the Gentiles are foretold to be sitting down beside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in The Kingdom of God! And, furthermore, those to whom The Kingdom of God was originally promised, the Jews (here called, “the children of The Kingdom”) were cast out into the everlasting torments which did formerly belong to the heathen! When the long-awaited Messiah did finally arrive in Israel, the terms were clear. This nation-wide rejection of physical Israel was forewarned already by the prophet John the Baptist (“he shall prepare the way” – Mal. 3:1). John endeavored to prepare the people of Israel for what they did not expect, if they did not repent and bring forth fruits worthy of The Kingdom of God. It was written of John,
“But when he [John] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And THINK NOT TO SAY within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” – Matt. 3:7-10
The security of Israel’s citizenship in The Kingdom of God was illustrated by John the Baptist, saying, “the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matt. 3:7-10). This is an alarming message for physical Israel! As you can see, Israel expected to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in The Kingdom of God. John decried their presumption and pride, saying, “God is able of these stone to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matt. 3:7-10). If God is able to make stones and rocks miraculously turn into the sons and daughters of Abraham, God can turn the Gentiles into Abraham’s seed. Stones and rocks have no father or mother! They have no body and they are nobody! And yet, shockingly, these inanimate objects can become the people and lineage of Abraham to whom was promised salvation in the Messiah! No wonder, then, how God accomplished this miracle in the Gentiles.
#3) Kings rule by Law, thus God had a Government to enforce what was written.
#4) Kings invade, conquer, and defend, thus God had armies of sword-drawn men to command.
#5) Kings fight battles, thus God went out with the forces of Israel to war.
However difficult it may be for some, we must identify the numerical statements above in how they exist in the Gentile Church Age, according to the scriptures. The Kingdom of God in the Old Testament was inextricably connected to a sophisticated Government established through literal sword-to-sword combat in War. It is impossible to understand The Kingdom of God outside of these terms, thus we need to identify them in the New Testament. Therefore, my reader, consider the invisible background which contextualizes biblical and scriptural Christianity during the Gentile Church Age, and in so doing, God willing, you will understand The Kingdom of God as it is manifested right now! It was written,
“And there appeared a great wonder in Heaven; a Woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in Heaven; and behold a great red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the Dragon stood before the Woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a Man Child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her Child was caught up unto God, and to His Throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was WAR in HEAVEN: Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And the great Dragon was cast out, that Old Serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and The Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the Accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Therefore rejoice, ye Heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the Dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the Woman which brought forth the an Child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the Serpent. And the Serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the Woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the Dragon cast out of his mouth. And the Dragon was wroth with the Woman, and went to MAKE WAR with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” – Revelation 12:1-17
Jesus Christ, who fought Israelite battles and commissioned the old-time wars, who was depicted as The Captain of the Host with a sword drawn in His hand (Josh. 5:13), did, by Himself, invade the wide expanse of Satan’s Kingdom to fight for those who could not fight for themselves (Isa. 11:4, 49:2, Rom. 11:20, Isa. 65:1). Before Jesus Christ’s incarnation He predestinated the battle to wit, finally, He would accomplish human redemption. Looking down from the Sanctuary of Heaven to see earth-dwelling mankind as CAPTIVES, He came for War (1 Jn. 3:8). They were captives and slaves to sin, fast-bound behind The Gates of Hell in blind-servitude to a cruel Tyrant (Matt. 16:18, 23:15, 2 Cor. 4:3-4). Moved with jealousy and passion, Jesus descended. In unfathomable compassion God Almighty chose the incarnation (Php. 2:5-11). It was written and prophesied of Christ,
“He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil.” – 1 John 3:8
“Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, A SWORD shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” – Luke 2:34-35 (Simeon speaking to Mary)
Through a sinless life and a sacrificial mediation, Jesus trod the valley of pain and humiliation: the Man, Jesus, wrought the victory!
“He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised , and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:3-5
It was written that Jesus Christ was manifest so that, very specifically, “He might destroy the works of the Devil” (1 Jn. 3:8), and this is, in other words, “to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (1 Jn. 3:5). Jesus Christ freed Satan’s captivity and led them heaven-ward into glory (“He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men”-Eph. 4:8-10, Judges 5:12, Ps. 68:18, Rom. 5:21)! Jesus Christ opened blind eyes and turned men from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God via translation into an everlasting Kingdom (Acts 26:18, Col. 1:13). The Man, Jesus, tasted death for every man and overthrew him who had the power of death (Heb. 2:14-16, Eph. 2:2-3); Jesus did, thereby, spoil principalities and powers and retrieve the keys of death and hell (Col. 2:15, Rev. 1:18) – Jesus triumphed! After publically triumphing over Satan and the fallen angels of darkness, after treading upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy while remaining untouched and unharmed by the poison of sin (Lk. 10:18-20, 1 Jn. 3:8), He took on the same Image in ascended glory which Simeon illustrated in reference to His incarnation: “He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Rev. 1:16). Earth was the battle-ground in which Jesus stood and preached to vanquish and eradicate the works of the Devil which are sin. Heaven is the exalted position by which now, through the Christians, the fight rages onward. Jesus Christ unashamedly contested the peaceful personality of unsaved men who dwelt in friendship with the Devil’s world, and this is, moreover, the personality and image in which Christians do live and shine today! It was written,
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” – Matt. 10:34
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” – Ephesians 6:10-17
This KING did invade and conquer: He fought alone and stood alone, for condemned mankind to-atone. He descended into the earth and joined humanity as one man (Rom. 8:3, Heb. 2:17), He resurrected into a glorification so that He, not-alone-would-stand (John 17:22-24), sword in hand! My reader, do you understand this plan? Apparently here, in Ephesians 6:10-17, the Gentile Christians are commanded to gear-up for War against the same ancient foe, the Devil. The place of victory is found, “in the Lord”, the text states. This position is very specifically illustrated to us that we might understand what the Lord Jesus is doing right now in the Body of Christians in the Gentile Church Age: Christians are clad in the whole armor which pertained to Christ’s strength and might, the same armor which, evidently, wrought for Christ the victory against Satan and sin during the days of His incarnation. Therefore, this is the armor which was worn by Christ to win the battle (the armor which belongs to God, fitly called: “the whole armour of God”) – and it is given to us in Christ that we might fight in a combat against angelic beings and win! Look, my reader, Gentile Christians are commanded to put it on! “Put on the whole armour of God”, the text commanded!
At the election of each person of Gentile humanity, each one became His Temple Sanctuary (1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19); their hearts did, furthermore, become the Throne by which He rules every individual Christians body (Eph. 3:17, Rom. 5:21). Collectively, all of them have become a Christ-possessed army… therefore, corporately speaking, they exist for Jesus Christ as a Body (Col. 1:18) so that, thereby, the Lord Jesus resides as General, Captain, and KING of the Christian Church Militant. God the Father “set [Christ] at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:20-23)! He is “the Head” of redeemed Gentile humanity both individually and corporately, and, thus, they are rightly called “His Body”. To be called “the Head” means, in other words, The Master: but, mysteriously and gloriously, His Headship exists by a spiritual union which is comparable to the biological interconnectedness of living organisms on earth (Eph. 4:15-16, 1 Cor. 12:12-28, Col. 2:19, John 15:5)! Therefore, now, and henceforth, all Christians are Christ’s servants and soldiers which are clad in the whole armor of God to follow Him into battle (1 Cor. 7:22, Eph. 6:10-17, Rom. 13:11-14). The battle remains as long as sinners stand in need of salvation, and The Church joins with the Lord in the ongoing battle for souls (2 Cor. 6:1, 1 Cor. 3:9, Mk. 16:15, 2 Cor. 5:20, 2 Tim. 2:3).
The Lord Jesus invaded and spoiled the Kingdom of Satan of its captives, as many as He did choose (Jn. 17:12). Jesus did, thereby, begin a War in which all Christians are made to join the fight! He did, thereby, birth a nation of Gentile Church Israelites over which He does presently and progressively rule and govern as a King and Commander over His people – going out with them into the battle and fighting in every War! Swords are drawn to defend lords: their properties, familial inheritances, and geographic Kingdoms; only now in the New Testament, Gentile Christians have become the enforcement of Christ’s Government via sword-drawn men (Eph. 6:17)! Graciously, also, the Lord Jesus rules us by a Law,
“For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath MADE ME FREE from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:2-4
Through an impeccable monarchy, the Lord governs all of redeemed humanity by Force, Freedom, and Law: “the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2). To every penitent soul who is captive underneath the Tyrannical reign of Satan, Jesus Christ said, “sin shall not have dominion over you” (Rom. 6:14). By invasion and through regeneration, the governing force of Satan (“the law of sin” – Rom. 7:23) was overthrown. The Tyrannical Lawmaker of sin and death was attacked, its government was overthrown, and its Law reversed according to a new dominion: The Kingdom of God which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17)! The cruel and deadly rule of Satan, who had place to reign via carnality (Eph. 2:2-3), is replaced by a new government via Spirituality (Rom. 8:5-8): “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:14). We do therefore have souls to fight for, sacrifices to make, an Image of conformity to reveal, and a world to hate, hallelujah!
The place in which sin resides, Christ crucified
The flesh which killed Christ must now be mortified
The cross which Christians adore & preach kills mankind
That by way of personal execution men are finally made alive!
The sons of Adam must see their birthright as Satan’s pride
The philosophy of life that they love and follow as Satan’s lie
The way of life they choose to follow as a battle-line
Their words and deeds as combat against the Crucified!
The apostle Paul was an example-saint for all Christians (1 Tim. 1:16). He was a soldier of the cross and a sword-in-hand fighter: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). At the end of Paul’s enlistment in the army of the Lord Jesus, he said, “I fought a good fight” (2 Tim. 4:7). Paul was engaged in the battle for which Jesus Christ lived to fight and died to win! - So that Paul, in Christ, might overcome the world like his Master’s example (Rev. 3:21).
Jesus Christ’s Example
Of Courage: Jesus Christ held firm the face and demeanor of victory during his sojourning on earth. He was unwavering in fearlessness and undaunted in confidence, like Israel of old was required to be in battle against the Canaanites.
Of Moral Hatred: When standing before the enemy host of Satan’s army – the sons of Adam – he maintained a burning sense of justice to kill and spare not, to hate what God hates, to kill what God kills, to tirelessly execute judgment until all is accomplished in denial of self-gain and worldly wisdom.
In the battle for souls, Jesus Christ had the faith and moral hatred required for the battle… but so did Paul. The apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Php. 1:21); a confession that every Christian MUST MAKE! Paul waged war by the preaching of The Cross; a war to mercilessly kill the sons of Adams by the sword of the Spirit. Standing in opposition to all the world, Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). You see, my reader? The message of death and condemnation to self and sin, Paul loved, and the cross freed him from himself! Paul confessed, “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 faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20)! Paul’s life was a manifestation of the resurrected Christ which mankind thought to exterminate from memory, and as a soldier in arms he followed his Master into the War. Like Jesus Christ, Paul condemned flesh and glamorized the crucified, compelling all men to die the death which would give them life.
As every faithful Israelite of old did swear-to-it that ALL CANAANITES MUST DIE, Christians swear-to-it that ALL FLESH MUST BE CRUCIFIED! “For this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit The Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Cor. 15:50). Therefore, the saints, with “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17), fight in the battle begun by our Lord: We, The Gentiles, in “the righteousness of the Law” (Rom. 8:4), attempt the total annihilation of a race of men (the sons of Adam) which we do morally hate (Lk. 14:26, Jn. 12:25). As The Gentile Church, we love personal mortification for the inheritance of Heaven like as Israel loved a Canaanite annihilation for the possession of The Promised Land (Rom. 8:13, Col. 3:5, Gal. 2:20, 5:24). Now, typologically speaking, Heaven is our New Testament Promised Land (“The Rest”)! Heaven is our “rest” which we have yet to inherit, which, furthermore, we must fight and labor to possess, according to Hebrews 4:11. This “Rest” has been the battle of salvation in centuries past: Firstly, God’s rest is exemplified and memorialized for us as a paradise of salvation in Heb. 4:4 [Gen. 8:9]. Secondarily, Joshua’s generation was upbraided for not laying hold of the promised rest given to them in Josh 18:13 [see Deut. 3:20, 12:9-12, 25:17-19, Heb. 4:8]. Thirdly, David’s generation looked back at the fallen generations and sought to lay hold upon the same rest in their day, spoken in Ps. 95:7-11 (see Heb. 4:5). Fourthly, this rest is laid before us as an inheritance we must labor to gain and fight to win (see Heb. 4:11, 2 Cor. 5:8-11). Only the true sons and daughters of God will inherit The Kingdom of God (Gal. 4:6-7); thus, do you remember how many times the New Testament writers warned of Heaven and Hell on these terms: “the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 5:5)?
Therefore, let us understand that our BATTLE is: Heaven against Earth (Col. 3:5, Rom. 8:13, Php. 3:19, Col. 3:1-3), Light against Darkness (Rom. 13:12, Col. 1:12, Eph. 5:8, 6:12, 2 Cor. 6:14), the Spirit against the Flesh (Rom. 8:1, 4, 6, Gal. 5:16, 24-25, Jn. 1:12-13, 2 Cor. 7:1), the sons of God against the sons of Adam (Gen. 6:2, 1 Cor. 15:22, Rom. 5:12, Gal. 4:29, Rom. 8:7), the family of God against the family of Satan (1 Jn. 3:10, Matt. 10:25, 2 Cor. 6:17-18), and the twice-born against the once-born (John 3:3, 5, 1 Cor. 2:14, Eph. 2:2-3). The CODE in which we live and for which we fight is: the Holy against the Unclean and Virginity against Adultery (2 Cor. 11:2, James 4:4, Rev. 14:4). Seeing that this is our battle… what happens if we fail?
What if we fail to win the victory of total annihilation like as Israel failed to kill and dispossess all Canaanites from The Promised Land? Like Israel was snared, trapped, pricked, thorned, scourged, and cursed… can we be? Are there any promises of damnation given to the Gentile Church Army so that we, like Israel, would be turned away from following the LORD (Duet. 7:4), made to sin (Ex. 23:33), and allured into the teaching of abominable customs (Deut. 20:18)? The answers to these questions can be easily detected through the following scriptural parallels, my reader.
Mercilessness & Pitilessness unto Death
“Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him…And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.” – Duet. 13:8-9, 11
Congregation-wide Holiness & Purity
“So shalt thou put the evil way from the midst of thee.” – Deut. 13:5
“So thou shalt put the evil away from among you” – Deut. 17:7
“thou shalt put away the evil from Israel” – Duet. 17:12
“Therefore put way from among yourselves that wicked person” – 1 Cor. 5:13
“There shall not be found among you any one…
Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD Thy God”
– Deut. 18:10, 13
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate…
perfecting holiness in the fear of God”
– 2 Cor. 6:17, 7:1
In Israel, small compromises led to nationwide apostasy! A little leaven of sinners did permeate and overcome the righteousness of the saints nationwide! Israel was too proud to believe that a total annihilation of the Canaanites was necessary for their perseverance in salvation, thus they did not “utterly overthrow”, “drive out all”, “destroy all”, “utterly destroy”, saving nothing alive, and showing no mercy (Ex. 23:23-24, 31-33, Duet. 7:1-6, 16-21, 25-26, Ex. 34:11-17, Duet. 12:1-4, 29-32, Deut. 20:16-18, Num. 33:51-56, Joshua 23:1-16). All in context to commandments which pertain to Church Purity in New Testament terms, there are promises of salvation to fight for and obtain, and there are promises of damnation to avoid.
New Testament Promises of Salvation
· “14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 [see Deut. 7:1-16, 18:9-14]
· “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good word.” – 2 Tim. 3:21 [see 1 Cor. 3:16-18]
· “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2 [see John 7:16-17]
On the basis that Gentile Christians, with undaunted courage, perform the above commandments of Church Purity: they will be received by God as a congregation and assembly, as sons and daughters before a Heavenly Father (2 Cor. 6:17-18), they will be received as a vessel unto honor in God’s sight (2 Tim. 3:21), and because of the provisional favor which this reception establishes, they are enabled to understand and do what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:1-2). On the other hand, if Church purity is defied: their congregation and assembly will become an abhorrence to God like an unclean thing, and, thus, their standing as sons and daughters will be forfeited (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1), they will become abominable and unsanctified vessels which are unusable to a Holy God (2 Tim. 3:21), and, thus, consequentially, by the delusion of a God-sent deception, they will be rendered unable to discern or understand what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:1-2).
New Testament Promises of Damnation
· “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”–1Cor. 15:33 [see 2 Pet. 2:18-21]
· "And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you… Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven,that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." - 1 Corinthians 5:2, 6-8 [see Exodus 12]
· “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”- Gal. 5:9 [Matt. 16:6-12, Mark 8:15, Lk. 12:1]
· “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant… Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – 1 Cor. 10:1-12 [see Jude 3-4]
· “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” – Heb. 3:13 [see Heb. 10:24-29]
On the basis that Gentile Christians fail to perform the commandments of Church Purity listed above, they will experience the promises of damnation. By lacking a furious hatred for what God declares to be unholy, Church Purity is compromised. By pride, men inordinately cleave to the promises of salvation and deny the promises of damnation. They say in their heart, contrary to the promise of God for damnation, “My good manners cannot be corrupted” (see the contrary in 1 Cor. 15:33), “My Church and myself cannot ever be overcome by leaven” (see the contrary in 1 Cor. 5:2-8 & Gal. 5:9), “My brothers and sisters cannot ever fall” (see the contrary in 1 Cor. 10:1-12), and, finally, “My heart cannot be hardened against God nor will I ever depart from Him” (see the contrary Heb. 3:12-13). Therefore, and, inevitably, the Gentile Christians will be corrupted from good manners (1 Cor. 15:33), leavened by mixed-in sinners (1 Cor. 5:2-8), fallen like backslidden Israel (1 Cor. 10:1-12), and hardened against the God they once served and loved in the beauties of holiness (Heb. 3:12-13, 12:14-15).
According to 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, the Gospel call to holiness is a conditional command bound with promises. The call is a break of yoke! Why? The power of the Gospel establishes this purpose of God through regeneration, which is a supernatural severing from unbelievers. The break of yoke is a break of fellowship, communion, concord, and agreement, and this can be understood when a man understands the work of salvation as a transformation and separation from the world. A “divine nature” segregates fellowship, voids commonality, and establishes spiritual enmity with all unbelievers and this world (2 Peter 1:4). Reception of this Gospel is a reception of “come out from among them,” and so we become children of Abraham who did obey his Gospel, “get thee out” (Gen. 12:1, Heb. 11:8). If you receive this Gospel, a Gospel that is, in this way, a Gospel of holiness, you are received by God and He becomes your new spiritual Father, being born again His son or daughter (2 Cor. 6:18). This is the unavoidable purpose of God in the Gospel: past, present, and forever. Such an imputation of holiness as this, causes holy living! When He – the Holy Ghost – indwells unholy humanity, the indwelling is a regenerating, and this begets holy living in deed as the manifest qualities of God and Abraham’s seed.
In Israel, God emphatically warned that a tributary covenant (or agreement) with the Canaanites would be “a snare” (Ex. 34:12) BECAUSE the mixed-in-presence of the Canaanites would certainly compel Israel to sin and apostasy. The Old Testament saints who believed that they could not be snared, were snared. The Old Testament saints who believed that they could not be made to sin, were made to sin. This snare was wrought by the cohabitation of the people in bodily presence, by the nearness of proximity, and by any relational interaction or communion which would be had thereby, according to the scriptures. This very same snare is emphatically warned against in the New Testament (here in metaphorical language), saying, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6). What God said through the Spirit of Inspiration, God meant! When He said, “a little leaven leaveneth” (1 Cor. 5:6), He meant, “a little leaven leaveneth THE WHOLE LUMP”! In context and with the correct interpretation and application, this means that one sinner turns the whole Church of saints into sinners! That which was Nation-ending in the Old Testament is Church-ending in the New Testament! This was the contextual and historical situation warned against in 1st century Corinth (see 1 Corinthians Chapter 5). Therefore, we, like Old Testament Israel, must “put away from among [ourselves] that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:13)! Like Old Testament Israel, we must refuse to be “yoked” in “fellowship”, “communion”, “concord”, “part”, and “agreement” with those whom God commands separation from (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1)! Or else like Old Testament Israel, we will be infected, undone, and doomed! Oh, my reader, we DO have promises of salvation to obtain and promises of damnation to avoid, and every one of them will prove true in our lives!
As the Canaanites did “dwell in the Land” with Manassah (Judges 1:27-28), are unbelievers yoked to believers in the Church (2 Cor. 6:14)? As the Canaanites “dwelt among” Zebulun (Judges 1:30), do the unrighteous fellowship with the righteous in the Church (2 Cor. 6:14)? As the Canaanites “dwelt among” Naphtali (Judges 1:32), does darkness commune with light in the Church of God in Christ (2 Cor. 6:14)? As Israel entered into tributary agreements with the Canaanites, are we in concord with Belial, having part with infidels, in agreement with idols, even though we are the very Temple of God itself (2 Cor. 6:15-16)!? While having uncleanness in the war-camp and congregation, do we expect that God will operate in a revival and win the War against Satan and sin (Deut. 23:9-14, 2 Cor. 6:17-18)? While that which “beareth gall and wormwood” (Deut. 29:18) still exists in the New Covenant, do we think that we will persevere in Christ undefiled and un-poisoned (Heb. 12:14-15)? Of a truth, my reader, The Kingdom of God does operate in the New Testament paralleling Old Testament Israel because, evidently, Gentiles have become Israelites! In a situation of mass defection (saints turning to sinners), Moses commanded,
“slay every man his brother, and every man his companion,
and every man his neighbor” – Ex. 32:27
Those brothers and friends, no matter how dear, when they conflict with the purposes of God’s Church in the local assembly, they must be dealt with severely, my reader, as a thrusting sword against a fighting body. These are soldier-like death penalties to Church-army defectors. Our Divine-Captain, sword-in-hand (Josh. 5:13), commands that we “slay every man [our] brother” who is a defector. Every Spirit-filled saint, sword-in-hand, slays and slays – killing sin – or sin will be killing him. It is written, “Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood” (Jer. 48:10)… even so, my reader, are you cursed? If we do not follow our sword-drawn Commander into the battle, our Commander – Jesus Christ – will turn His sword upon us! If we do not slay with our God-given sword, “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Eph. 6), then Christ will slay us with His sword (Rev. 2:16)! If you run not with Him in His charge, He will turn, change direction, and run after you! Do you know Him who foretold the event, saying, “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad” (Matt. 12:30)? Do you know Him who commanded, “SMITE: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: SLAY UTTERLY old and young, both maids, and little children, and women…and BEGIN at My Sanctuary” (Ezek. 9:5-6)? Do you know Him who said, “Judgment must begin at the House of God” (1 Pet. 4:17)? Do you know Him who threatens “His people”, first of all, with judgment and vengeance (Heb. 10:30-31)? Christ, personally offended and vengeful, forewarns His regenerate people of a sword-battle in which He will FIGHT, SLAY, and KILL rebels from His army ranks – sinning saints! Oh, my reader! He said, “Repent; or else I WILL COME unto thee quickly, and will FIGHT against them with the sword of My mouth” (Rev. 2:16)! “All sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us” (Amos 9:10)! “These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges” (Rev. 2:12)! Is this your Jesus?
“And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” - Revelation 19:15
“And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” - Revelation 19:21
“But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” - Isaiah 11:4
“And He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me, and made me a polished shaft; in His quiver hath He hid Me;” - Isaiah 49:2
“And He had in his right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” – Rev. 1:16
Brethren, it is written, “slay every man his brother, and every man his companion” (Ex. 32:27), to the end that we, in the New Testament sense, disallow the House of God from becoming, by our lack of judgment (1 Cor. 5:13), “a den of thieves”, a habitation which we would be commanded to “enter not”, “go not”, “avoid it”, “pass not by”, “turn from”, and “pass away” (Prov. 4:13-16), because it remains unpurged. Walking, standing, and sitting, my reader, WHO are we? Are we those who, in a New Testament sense, “walketh not”, “nor standeth in the way”, “nor sitteth in the seat” (Psalm 1:1)? “It is written, My House shall be called the House of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matt. 21:13)! WOE to us, if we live in a generation where God has left the professing Church, the so called “House of God”, for it has become a House of Sinners. This House of Sinners is a slaughterhouse of saints! Saints who should have, like Jeremiah, “sat alone” (Jer. 15:17), but instead they assembled with the mockers. Oh! The prophetic WOE is upon us! The “strong delusion”, the generation-wide “FALLING AWAY”, alas, our Church congregants are mostly castaways! My reader, the time is now! The Church on the corner is made up of strongly deluded people who have “pleasure in unrighteousness”, who are from God, fallen away! Will these “Christian” assemblies of habitual-sinners obtain the blessed promise of God, “I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17-18)? No, my reader. God will say to them what He said of old: “When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread My courts…the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting” (Isa. 1:12-13)! In such a generation, Jeremiah said, “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of Thy hand: for Thou hast filled me with indignation” (Jer. 15:17). What about you? Will you learn to “put a difference” in those things which God commands differentiation? Will you “put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:13)? Or will you follow the abominable hypocrisy of former generations, of whom it was written, “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare My statutes, or that thou shouldest take My Covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest My words behind thee” (Ps. 50:16-17)?
The Image of Sword-Drawn-Fury, Going Forth to War
As terrifying as this image may seem (see in Josh. 5:13-15, for example), it should communicate mercy to genuine believers of the Gentile Church Age. With God’s people fixated in amazement at their sword-drawn Master, courage rises! They are empowered to sally forth and seize the promises of God as the spoilers after a War in which they did not fight! Remember the context of old, my reader: When the sword-drawn Captain went forth to war against Canaan, He drew His sword to slay until every promise was possessed by God’s people, until every force of enmity was slain under the blade of His merciless fury! The fury which compelled him to unsheathe the sword and slay, was a saving fury which won salvation for God’s people; and speaking on this wise, it was written, “Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood” (Jer. 48:10).
All of this fearful and glorious imagery exists to personalize the experience of New Covenant salvation in the richness of Old Testament history and typology. You see, the act of judgment was killing the Canaanites (because this was the judgment of God against sin –Ezek. 18:4), and what was shocking is how, historically speaking, the acts in which God destroyed and damned men (the Canaanites) - being infuriated in wrath thereto - are the very same acts by which God saves men in the New Covenant! This reveals to all men the same God existing in both Testaments, contrary to popular opinion. Because saving mercy is taught and preached in this way, the recipients of mercy are made to understand the true meaning of GRACE: by grace they are made accepted but their person is utterly unacceptable; by grace they are an object of God’s delight but their person is an object of God’s fury; by grace they are loved by God but their person is abhorrent to God; by grace they are forgiven of their sin because their person, which was the source of all sin, was uprooted, eradicated, and killed; by grace they are welcomed into Heaven because they underwent the self-annihilation of a crucifixion! Hallelujah!
The City of Jerusalem
“Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For here have we no continuing City, but we seek One to come.”– Hebrews 13:13-14
All children of God in the New Testament are citizens and children of The City of Jerusalem. The apostle Paul claimed that salvation originated from this location exclusively, in Galatians 4:21-31; behold, my reader, he called the City, “Jerusalem which now is” or “Jerusalem which is above” (Gal. 4:25, 26). All citizens of this City gain their status by birth, thus Paul affirmed them to be “born after the Spirit” (Gal. 4:29). Make no mistake about it, my reader, the apostle Paul goes so far to say that The City of Jerusalem is, furthermore, “the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26), speaking in reference to the family of God in Christ; these are no uncertain terms! Nevertheless, my reader, what does Paul mean when he calls Jerusalem, “Jerusalem which is above” (Gal. 4:26)?
This Jerusalem is not of flesh, of the earth, or of the natural man, thus it cannot be perceived by mankind in of themselves. Apart from the influence of the Spirit of God, whereby men become born again, humanity cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). It is an alien place, an otherworldly place, but not to Christians! To them, the writer of Hebrews said, “ye are come unto…the Heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22) …but how? Christians have already come to the Heavenly Jerusalem spiritually and legally speaking, but they wait for the manifestation of their Homeland to come down out of Heaven from God physically speaking (Rev. 21:1-2). Until then, Christians are foreigners on earth who are native to Heaven and abide by its customs… therefore they are strangers.
Christians are strangers on earth because GOD IS A STRANGER – He is an enemy and alien to this world, and when we walk in Him we will be “as He is” (1 Jn. 2:6). God is otherworldly because He is not of this world. Why? It is written, “The whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Contradicting this world are those twice-born Christians who were born of another world. Therefore, they are not “of the world" (1 John 2:16, 4:5). They are free from the “pollutions of the world” (2 Peter 2:20), and this is because they are “of God” (1 John 5:19), or, “of the Father” (1 John 2:16). To be a stranger is to be born from another origin than that of this world’s natives who are countrymen of carnality. They are natural men, born “of blood”, and they need to be born into a family of lineage that is “of God” (1 John 1:13), thus it is written that we are hated, otherworldly strangers, suffering in this world but ruling in “the world to come” (Mark. 10:30, Lk. 18:30, Heb. 2:5, 6:5). To be a stranger is to be a man in a foreign land, far away from what is called home. A traveler is not a treasurer. They are far away from what they call “treasure” (Matt. 6:21). All their time here on earth is but “sojourning” (1 Pet. 1:17) – “this world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue” (“This World is Not My Home”, Jim Reeves).
If you are rejected by this world, then you are worthy to be received by God (2 Thess. 1:4-5). If you can be “heard” by this world, and you “hear” them, then you cannot “hear” God or His people, comparatively as if you and they speak a different language or a foreign tongue, and everything is rendered strange. If you are ashamed of God, then He will be ashamed of you, but if you confess, live in, and preach God, then this world will be ashamed of you. Christians “desire a better country” than this world and do therefore confess the Lord, “wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Matt. 10:32-40, Heb. 11:16). To be “godly in this present world” (Titus 2:11-14) is to be anti-god against “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) – “as lights in the world” (Php 2:15) against the “rulers of the darkness of this world” (Eph. 6:12).
For this reason, if we walk in the flesh by denying the gospel call (Gal. 5:24-25, 6:14), then we become friends with the world, and also, enemies and adulterers to God (James 4:4). We must not be friends with the devil, who is “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), who also is called the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). If we make friends with him, then the devil’s spirit will work in us. Then, we are not “obedient children” of 1 Peter 1:14, but rather, we are the “disobedient children” of Ephesians 2:2. If we are friends with God, we are enemies of the devil, and if the devil’s spirit rules in this world, therefore is the world full of the chaos of carnality, while we, the anarchists against the devil’s tyranny, are those holy ones who are not “taken captive by him at his will” (2 Tim. 2:26). As for the devil’s sinful world, love it not, or else it is adultery to God (Jas. 4:4)! A stranger does therefore know no man, as chaste “virgins” (2 Cor. 11:2-4, Rev. 14:4), for we are preserved for heaven’s Bridegroom. All those that indulge in carnality rather than spirituality will die (Rom. 8:13). Strangers are those that do not – this is our “strangeness” (1 Pet. 4:1-4) – that we “abstain from fleshly lusts”, because “God is Spirit” (John 4:24) and not flesh! “No flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:29). “We are the circumcision which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Php. 3:3), the “true worshippers” of God (John 5:23).
New creatures (2 Cor. 5:17) walk in the “new man” (Col. 3:10), which is “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4) in Jesus’ living Person and “name” (Col. 3:17), therefore all such persons are strangers in a world of fallen men. New men belong to a new world, the “New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2), the “new Heaven and a new Earth” (Rev. 21:1), where dwelleth Him Who said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). God is “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY” (Rev. 4:8), His Spirit is a “Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 4:8), and those that walk in Him are “holy” (Heb. 12:48), therefore they are not strangers, but citizens and friends of “the Holy City” (Rev. 21:2), for none other “may enter in through the Gates into the City” (Rev. 22:14). “There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth” (Rev. 21:27). God is a Holy Spirit, The Stranger of this unholy world, and so are all those that live and move in Him. Therefore the world does “think it strange that” we “run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil” (1 Peter 4:4), but this is no surprise! We should “think it not strange” (1 Peter 4:12) that they are offended at our strangeness. Christian, the world is “where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is” (Rev. 2:13), but you are “made” to “sit together” with Christ (Eph. 2:6) “far above all principality and power” (Eph. 1:21), therefore you must walk according to another King’s Reigning Rule – “that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:21). If we “walk as men” (1 Cor. 3:3), then we do walk in sin, but if we “walk in Him” (Col. 2:6), then we will walk contrary to every earthly rule (Php. 3:16-21). Therefore a Christian has “a desire to depart” rather than stay on earth (Php. 1:23), because, to look to God is to look away from this world, and again, to look for the world to come “wherein dwelleth righteousness” is to look away from this world wherein dwelleth sin (2 Peter 3:13).
God is a stranger, so that the world knows Him not (1 John 3:1). If you are saved, it is because you have come to know Him who the world does not know (1 John 2:4). Oh, my reader, how many false Christians will come before the Gates of God’s eternal Kingdom and boldly declare, “Open up the doors of entrance for me!” Why? The Kingdom of God is what they sang about, stood praying unto their entire lives, and then, at last, they think that they shall arise to claim the crown of eternal life as their own. Shockingly, this interaction is prophetically recorded for us in inspired scripture.
“Strive to enter in at The Strait Gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the Master of the House is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in The Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in The Kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.” – Luke 13:24-30
Imagine it, my reader! These are earthly men pounding on Heaven’s Gates, demanding entrance into The Heavenly Land. With what contortion of face would the Lord of that Land disdain the nation from whence these people came? With what furious denouncement would He reject their person? With what arguments would He make known to them how unacceptable they are (by their race, skin color, and language, and by their familial and nationalistic alliances which are at enmity against the Lord of Heaven – Rom. 8:1-13)? With what contortion of face does a foreigner listen to the garbled tongue of another nation… even so, these men are strangers to God – and look! – He is contorted and astonished in displeasure at their boldness before His Gates. What unfounded and unacceptable boldness!? When an earthly man pounds on the Gates of The Heavenly City, Heaven’s Porters, looking down, wonder how the man is demented. With contorted faces of holy-disgust, they would say, ‘Heaven is for heaven-born men, men who walk according to the rule and Law of a heavenly citizen, but you are an earth-born earthly-man! You, oh man, are a stranger to this Holy Land! You are a foreigner to God and a native to fallen man. Don’t you know that behind these Gates, “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life”’ (Rev. 21:27). Upon hearing this the earthly man would cease from pounding upon the Gates like as it was written, “he was speechless” (Matt. 22:12). The man would stand still and wonder, being utterly aloof. He would be dumbfounded because he is unknowledgeable of the truth. What truth?
The “Language” Barrier: 1 John 4:5-6, Luke 10:16, John 6:63, 7:16-17, 8:37, 43, 47, 1 Corinthians 2:14
Heaven-Born Citizens Belong to Heaven’s Country: John 3:3, Ephesians 2:18-19, 1 Peter 2:9-11, 1 Corinthians 8:3, 1 Corinthians 3:22-23, Hebrews 11:13-16, 13:13-14
Heaven’s principles and affections cannot be comprehended by earthly men (John 1:5). Yes, therefore did Heaven’s Porters speak a different language than the earthly man; this is the reason that he could not understand. You see, spiritual words can only be understood by a spiritual man, but this man was an earthly man. To vindicate the righteousness and true holiness of God, it was written, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the Gates of the City. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:14-15). All earthly men will be irrevocably “thrust out” (Lk. 13:28) of this City & Kingdom. They will begin to shout to the Lord who dwells beyond the City Gates, saying, “Lord, Lord, open unto us” (Lk. 13:25)! But the Lord of that City will say unto them, “I know you not whence ye are” (Lk. 13:25)! This means, by interpretation, “I know not where you are from!” You see, this man was an unrecognizable person from an unrecognizable race, a place that is foreign to the Land, Country, and City of Heaven (Heb. 11:13-16, 13:13-14, Jn. 14:2-6, 1 Pet. 2:9-11, 2 Pet. 3:10-14, Rev. 2:26-28, 3:4-5, 12, 20-21). But then the earthly men will reply, “We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets” (Lk. 13:26)! Yet again, the Lord of Heaven will say, “I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity” (Lk. 13:27)! The Lord Jesus has told us before what would happen so that we might take heed. All those who expect to be crowned as a joint-heir with Christ in the New Jerusalem need to take heed to what the Lord Jesus did forewarn, saying,
“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the Name of My God, and the Name of the City of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of Heaven from my God: and I will write upon him My New Name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.” – Rev. 3:11-13
In summation of all the aforementioned scriptures, the identity of the children of The City of Jerusalem in the New Testament are: saved (Gal. 4:25-26, Heb. 12:22), persecuted (Heb. 13:13-14, 2 Thess. 1:4-5), strangers to the earth (1 Jn. 2:6, 16, 4:5, 5:19, Titus 2:11-14), lights in the world (Php. 2:15), and rulers in the world to come (Mk. 10:30, Lk. 18:30, Heb. 2:5, 6:5). In harmony with this identity, and notably, the entire lifespan of these individuals on earth is called sojourning, mere sojourning! They are sojourners! Rightly said, because these people are citizens of the Heavenly City, Jerusalem (1 Pet. 1:17, Heb. 12:22, Mk. 6:21), the place where they long to be (Ps. 137:1-9, Isa. 62:6)! You see, they “desire a better country”, “wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Matt. 10:32-40, Heb. 11:16). Let us remember! They are godly because they are born of the City of God (Ps. 48:1, 8), and sinners are worldly because they are born of the World (1 Jn. 4:5-6, 2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 6:12). New men belong to a New World, the “New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2), the “New Heaven and a New Earth” (Rev. 21:1), where dwelleth Him Who said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). Let us remember! God is “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY” (Rev. 4:8), His Spirit is a “Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 4:8), and those that walk in Him are “holy” (Heb. 12:48), therefore they are not strangers, but citizens and friends of “the Holy City” (Rev. 21:2). None other “may enter in through the Gates into the City” (Rev. 22:14)! This holy people, they are not friends of the World nor are they adulterers against God (Jas. 4:4, 2 Cor. 11:2-4, Rev. 14:4), like all the disobedient children are (Eph. 2:2). They are, rather, friends of God and enemies of the devil (Jas. 2:23), and this is their strangeness (1 Pet. 4:1-4). They are “true worshippers” of God, having died to flesh and sin (2 Cor. Jn. 5:23, Php. 3:3, Rom. 8:13, 1 Cor. 1:29). These are heaven-born men and heavenly citizens who are free from iniquity! Therefore, they are recognizable men who are welcomed into the Heavenly Gates of the Jerusalem (Lk. 13:24-30, Rev. 3:11-13). “Blessed” are these men, because they “do His commandments” (Rev. 22:14-15)! All other men are foreigners and aliens, unrecognizable to God and unwelcomed into the City of Jerusalem both now and at the Consummation, understandably so!
“The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall ROAR out of Zion, and utter His VOICE from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, My Holy Mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” – Joel 3:15-17
It was never Lawful that strangers would pass through and defile Mount Zion. According to scripture, it is a holy, sanctified, and separated Mountain (exhaustively addressed formerly). In the New Covenant, the inspired writers gave specific focus to salvation in terms of Mount Zion, saying, “Ye are come unto Mount Sion”. How can Gentile-Christians (who are strangers according to the flesh) ascend up and come unto Mount Zion? The apostle Paul declared of them, “ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the Household of God” (Eph. 2:19). By the merit of Christ’s blood the Gentiles are sanctified and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (“For though Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” – Eph. 2:18), thus they are holy. They have become a part of the populous that can answer well to the ancient question, “Who shall ascend The Hill of the LORD” (Ps. 24:3)?
“Ye are come unto Mount Sion” – Hebrews 12:22
This Mountain is argued to stand-apart from all others, as a holier and greater Mountain than Sinai; meaning that it is more unapproachable, set-apart, and guarded than Sinai (see Heb. 12:18-29). This is because Mount Zion does mount-up a greater Prophet and Mediator than Moses, for a greater Covenant than the Old Covenant: “Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant” (Heb. 12:24). In the light of these superior attributes of Zion - the Mountain of a greater Prophet and Covenant - we are warned to keep-up a greater obedience to the voice which comes from Zion. It was written, “See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from Heaven” (Heb. 12:25). When the writer of Hebrews was declaring all the superior characteristics of Mount Zion in comparison to Mount Sinai (in Hebrews 12:22-24), he was not arguing away the fact that upon Zion speaks a greater Voice from a more furious Fire than Sinai’s terrifying display which Moses quaked to behold. It was prophesied of old that “the LORD also shall ROAR out of Zion”, not out of Sinai (Joel 3:15-17). The writer of Hebrews argues that the voice out of Zion is more inescapable and more powerful that the voice which was out of Sinai; for then, only Sinai quaked, but the voice out of Zion will SHAKE THE WHOLE WORLD! All these points considered (Heb. 12:25-29), the Christians of the New Testament are instructed to abide in a certain spiritual frame before the Almighty. The writer of Hebrews postures himself into the frame, saying, “let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is A Consuming Fire” (Heb. 12:28-29)! Let it shock you, my reader, that the God of the New Testament is still A Consuming Fire! [For a more thorough study of this, see “Holy Mount Sanai”, “The Call, Mount, and Fear of the Prophet Like Unto Moses – Jesus Christ”, and “Zion is the Mountain of our Covenant”.]
“And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the Covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” – Exodus 24:8-11
The privileges of those who ascended Mount Sinai were apparent: “they saw God and did eat and drink”. What a staggering experience! But how much more is this the experience of those who have ascended up Mount Zion (Matt. 18:20, Heb. 12:22), henceforth to be exercised by the voice and power of the world to come (Heb. 6:4-5), eating and drinking in His presence and glory (Matt. 4:4, John 6:53-56, Matt. 22:1-14; Lk. 22:16-18, 30, Lk. 12:37, Lk. 14:15, Matt. 8:11, Rev. 19:9)!