A Necessary Introduction to the Reader
Today in the world of Western Christianity, we find ourselves in a plight of religious debate and perplexity. Professing Christianity produces an enormous amount of information, doctrine, and denominations which incessantly trouble like the shifting winds of a rain storm. All profess to be in the truth, but the question is, “what saith the scriptures”? Unarguably, The Church ought to be a reflection of Christ, “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17), though that be far from reality in “so called” professing Christianity. The Church is to be the eye of the storm, a center column of peaceful refuge, while all around the outside a hurricane of sin hurls its destructive winds about. Is not our trouble the traditions and doctrines of men which falsely define for us obedience and sin? Sadly, traditions of men that are religiously popular often go unchallenged, yet the scripture commands us to “prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21). In Jesus’ day there were many traditions and denominations of men, yet He wasn’t a Pharisee, Sadducee, Zealot, or Herodian. All of these sects and beliefs were divided against each other, but when Jesus came in the way of righteousness they all united against Him! How did Jesus Christ respond to such contention and perplexity, and how should we respond today? The Lord Jesus responded, “it is written” (Mark 9:13), “have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God” (Matt. 22:31), “is it not written” (Mark 11:17), “have ye never read” (Mark 2:25), “ye do err, not knowing the scripture, nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29), and “it is written again” (Matt. 4:7). The 21st century Church (Body of Christ) ought to be saying and doing the same things as Jesus did in the 1st century… but are we willing to interrogate our traditions by what is written?
Most obey traditions and don’t even know why. To illustrate this let me give you an example, my reader. Make no mistake; I am a firm believer in the doctrine of the Trinity (the three distinct and unified Persons of the Godhead), but ask the average “Christian” of today why they believe in the doctrine of the Trinity and they might say, “I believe in the Trinity because I always believed it, because it was always taught”. Howbeit the Bible says, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things” (Prov. 15:28). In the aforementioned example the un-studied “Christian” was not heretical for believing in the Trinity, but the point is settled. Yes, the doctrine of the Trinity is in scripture, and it is wonderfully true, but what if it wasn’t? The point is that on major and minor subjects men don’t know why they do what they do, believe what they believe, and say what they say! Blind followers of tradition like these would have been among the number that followed the blind Pharisees as they crucified Jesus Christ, thinking to do God a service. Well, why make such a big deal out of it? Because the Lord undauntedly stated, “if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14); it was true back then and it is true today.
This book is an examination of certain traditions that pervade the “Cultural Christianity” of our day. If God permit and you are able to entertain such questions, humbly think of scripture for the following: What is a Church? What does scripture teach about Church order, ecclesiology, assembly, activity, and duty? More specifically, how are we to assemble, how often do we assemble, and when we assemble, what do we do? Further, who is to congregate, how many, and where? Are unbelievers always or ever allowed in the assembly of The Church? Are unbelievers able to participate in some or none of the sacraments and activities of The Church? These questions are addressed in scripture, and heretofore I present the conclusion and conviction of what I believe is plainly taught in God’s holy word.
Seventy times seven stories of architectural genius have been built below the upper room of the New Covenant. That is to say, preceding the New Covenant God has been revealing Himself progressively, typically, and in shadows for centuries, and all this has culminated in an exhaustive explanation of the Person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the Prophet, High Priest, Davidic King, and Sacrifice, plus innumerable other magnificent shadows of brilliance! Centuries and millenniums have prepared us to understand the full work of Jesus Christ. As it is written, “Search the scriptures; …they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39); Indeed! But, furthermore, just as biblical typology helps us understand Jesus Christ, biblical typology exists to help us understand the spiritual organism commonly called, The Church.
CHAPTER #1: Who or what is the Church? Fundamentally, the Church is a community of saved individuals. What do saved individuals have to do with separation? Well, separation is inseparable from and inherently connected to salvation, historically speaking. According to scripture, this is proven by the salvation of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Israelites in the Exodus Generation, hence wherever salvation existed a Church was established (a community of separated ones). Notably, the ancient and contemporary presentation of the Gospel itself is expressive of this inextricable bond because it does literally mean, “A Calling Out”, while the Church does literally mean, “Called-Out Ones”. This saving, separating, and Church-establishing call of God is unmistakably emphasized as a focal point of Biblical Church History, an issue so central that it is a hinge-point between damnation and salvation from generation to generation.
CHAPTER #2: Evidently, the workings of salvation and the existence of the Church were progressively revealed in scripture through the aforementioned figureheads, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Israelites of the Exodus Generation. Divine argumentation weaves these four generations together in a culmination of unprecedented detail devoted to the working of salvation in the Exodus Generation (“the Church in the Wilderness” - Acts 7:38) – scriptural detail that defines and memorializes the true essence of what the Church is in God’s sight for every generation to come. This unprecedented detail reveals to the students of Biblical Church History the reasoning behind the eternal purpose of God stated by Isaiah, who prophesied, “ALL Israel shall be saved” (Rom. 11:26, Isa. 59:20). The reason behind the purpose of God to save every living Israelite at the end of the world is, simply put, that God saved every living Israelite at the beginning. This is the essence of what a Church is in God’s sight: an assembly and people among whom every individual is gloriously saved! The pastime events of the Church from its beginning unto Abraham and, furthermore, from Abraham to the Exodus Generation, do suddenly become relevant when this essential truth of the Church is finally understood! Suddenly, I say, and strikingly! The events which took place at Mount Sinai (The Descent of God’s Immediate Presence) and the Law which was given (to regulate the people, place, and environment among which God dwells) become illuminated with profound meaning! All of these events were recorded with exhaustive detail so as to objectively define “the Church” to every generation that was to come; hence, without surprise, the Church as it existed in the Exodus Generation was repeatedly and continuously recalled in hopes that it would be revived because of what God covenanted, prophesied, and promised in relationship to the Israelite people beginning with this generation. What are the ancient criteria which was set-forth as an exemplification of the Church to be sought after from every generation thenceforth? They were a liar free and idolatry free Israelite people, dwelling in saving communion with the pre-Incarnate Christ, perfected in holiness, raptured in the love of espousals, with every individual beautified in saintliness and regenerated, collectively rejoiced over by the LORD who is the King of Glory!
CHAPTER #3: This criterion was not easily obtained or kept by the Church, hence the controversy of becoming God’s people. Such unspeakable riches were invested in the people of God, the Church, and with much difficulty! A difficulty easily discerned by “The Great Pause” and a Generation Lost… therein we can see the staggering beginning and ending of the Exodus Generation! Nevertheless, these events served their purpose. We are now enabled to understand exactly what it means for Israel to become “God’s People”, all implications disclosed (the implications of the Person of God “in the midst”). My reader, God was the central issue! And, God is the central issue! For God to be with an individual person is one thing, and for God to be in the midst of a people is another. In order to understand the happenings of Church History, we need to understand the Church first of all: namely, that God is not seeking a person, but a people. God is not seeking to be inside of individuals, merely, but among them. Hence there is a very great difference between God being within men and among men, according to scripture. What do I mean, exactly? Think of it, my reader. Every saved individual experiences God’s presence in their personal life, but for God to be especially and immediately manifest in the midst of an assembly of people meant something completely different altogether; and, without exaggeration, the difference between the two has WORLD-SHAKING IMPLICATIONS! Historical examples are very detailed to express the presence or absence of God’s Glory and all the associated implications involved. Illustrating this, God was with David individually even while He was abandoning the midst of David’s army corporately (see Psalm 60:1-12). This is because there were strict rules and conditions associated with the fulfillment of the promise that God Almighty would be in the midst of the people, the Church (Lev. 26:12, Num. 5:1-4, Deut. 23:14). God was in the midst for the operations of His glory (agricultural prosperity and wealth: Lev. 26:4-5, 10; victory on the battlefield: Lev. 26:6-8; fruitful wombs: Lev. 26:9; other blessed operations: Deut. 28:1-14), and He abandoned the midst of the Church for the departure of operating glory (Ps. 60:9-11, Deut. 23:14; the language of salvation: Deut. 20:4; the language of damnation: Deut. 1:24). Also, let us be careful to note: this Old Testament experience is indisputably relevant and strikingly parallel in the Church of the New Testament, both individually and corporately. The rules associated with the operation of God’s Glory in the Church are re-quoted and re-established word-for-word in the New Testament (for example, see the surrounding context of Matt. 18:20, Eph. 4:10-13, John 17:21-23, & Rev. 1:13, 2:1, 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1, and the like). Therefore, apparently, salvation in full volume is when the Glory of God is within and among His people, the Church. In confirmation of this peculiar situation where God’s presence was and is the central issue, the terminology and vocabulary of salvation in the Church did from thenceforth, in the Old Testament, become Salvation & Damnation in Reference to “The Face of God” who dwelt immediately in their midst.
CHAPTER #4: Salvation and damnation were described in reference to “The Face of God” and the presence of God, but there’s more. A biblically instructed understanding of the Church as it is unfolded in divine argumentation will lead the saints to one central focus: “The GLORY OF GOD Departing & Returning to “The Church”. Without mistake, this issue is brought into focus by the apostle Paul in application to the Gentile Church. Paul’s argument, set forth in 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, is unintelligible by most because they have not studied the centuries of inspired scripture which detail the reasons and righteousness for why the Glory of God can, has, and does depart and return to the Church. Again, I say, Paul argued this to be a New Testament reality just as much as it was an Old Testament reality. Where did Paul contrive his argument from, you wonder? Specifically speaking, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Hosea spoke of the Glory of God departing in the same terms quoted and applied by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1. Ezekiel Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos, and Zechariah spoke of the cessation of the legal identity of the Church as God’s sons and daughters at the departure of the Glory of God because of misconduct in matters of unholiness and uncleanness, the same terms which are quoted and applied by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1. And, finally, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Hosea, Zechariah, and Joel spoke of the restoration of the legal identity of the Church so as to prove that, when the Glory of God returns, so does the legal identity of the Church, and the reason the Glory of God does and will return is because of the perfection of holiness and cleanliness among the Church; with perfect parallelism, yet again, these are the same terms which are quoted and applied by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1. Be mindful, my reader! In the event where the Glory of God departs and then returns, what is accomplished in and among Israel, the Church? The aforementioned prophets were careful to detail the wondrous accomplishment! Very specifically, it was written: adultery is cleansed from Israel, filthiness is purged, obedience to God’s voice is restored, all sinners have been removed from the people and Land of Israel, purity is restored, there are no detestable things or abominations of any sort, no more rebels or transgressors, all Israelite filthiness, idolatry, uncleanness, iniquity, and shame is cleansed, whoredom is put away, no stranger, uncircumcised in heart, or uncircumcised in flesh do enter into the Sanctuary to defile it, a sound and biblical difference is put between the holy and unholy and the clean and unclean, and, thus, the LORD is their God and they are His Family and people. What a glory! All this being understood, the terms of “Divine Acceptance or Divine Rejection” are profoundly significant and easily discoverable. The apostle Paul quoted the relevancy of the aforementioned criteria in the terms of NT divine acceptance, God saying, “I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17), and he was quoting Moses, Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and more. Yes, and furthermore, the Lord Jesus Christ is depicted by the apostle John in resurrected and ascended glory to the end that He might communicate to the Churches of the Province of Asia whether or not they were divinely accepted or divinely rejected. Observing this, in Revelation Ch. 2 & 3, we can see a glorious continuation of the same GOD of old-time prophets, a God whose glory pursues the same objectives of salvation and Church Holiness whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament! Upon Divine Acceptance, the Glory of God returns to the Church! Are we prepared to endure the manifestation of God’s Glory in Christ among the Church? The same Christ who spoke to the backsliders of the Churches, saying, He “WILL FIGHT” (Rev. 2:16), He “WILL CAST” (Rev. 2:22), and He “WILL KILL” (Rev. 2:23)!
CHAPTER #5: These objectives of Church Purity exist because of who God is, by nature. Therefore, in whatever place God is – which is namely, the Church – there the prerogative for and performance of Church Purity do also exist because the immediate presence of God equals immediate judgments against sin. This is a reality memorialized by blood and fire as the judgments of God went forth in the Old Testament, my reader. Why? As I stated before, in order to understand the happenings of Church History, we need to understand the Church first of all: namely, that God is not seeking a person, but a people. God is not seeking to be inside of individuals, merely, but among them. And, if God is going to be among Israel by His immediate presence, then let these words sink down into your ears: God said to Israel, “there shall be NO WICKEDNESS among you” (Lev. 20:14). It is reasonable! God and sin CANNOT both be among Israel. Apparently, what happens among this people happens in the special and immediate presence of God; and, as a result of this, God demanded the eradication of all wicked persons and sinners from among the people of Israel, the Church. God’s purifying command, “put the evil away from the midst of thee”, or, “that soul shall be cut off from his people”, and the like, is demanded of the Church at least 28 times in scripture. Upon understanding the terminology consistent with these judgments of God in the Old Testament, it becomes clear that these judgments still exist in the New Testament. As a word-for-word quotation, Paul commanded the Gentile Christian Church: “put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:13). Sound familiar? Paul knew exactly what he was saying and meaning when he wrote this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For example, speaking to the Church of Ephesus, Paul said, “let it not be once named among you” (Eph. 5:3). These judgments must exist wherever a Church exists (a people called-out of the world into separation and holiness via God’s Presence), because separation is maintained and persevered among the Church through these judgments. Without this one thing – separation – the essence of the Church is lost. The Church is “The Called-Out Ones”, by definition. This means that it is a community of separated ones! Therefore, when the NT scripture uses the word, “called”, the inspired writers had in mind this central principle inherent in the very word Church, which means “the called-out ones”. And in confirmation to this, the detailed criterion attributed to this “calling” does reveal just how spiritually focused and intentional a New Testament Church Assembly was in the 1st century, according to NT scripture.
CHAPTER #6: To come to a full realization of what a Church is, as it existed in the Old and New Testaments, it becomes increasingly relevant to understand the anatomy and infrastructure of the Church as it existed via a Civilization. The existence of the Church in the Old Testament is easily proven by Acts 7:38, when she was spoken of as, “The Church in the Wilderness”, but there is no explicit NT reference to the Church, calling her, “The Church in the Civilization”. Because of this, one can be tempted to believe that perhaps there wasn’t a continuation of Church Purity and the associated judgments when the Church was in a civilization, and God still accepted it. It is true that a lot changed when the Church moved from the Wilderness to a Civilization, but the rules of Church Purity and all associated judgments therewith did not change! This is easily discernable when one comes to understand the anatomy of the Church as a Civilization. It is true that the Glory of God was no longer leading the people via a Pillar of Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night, but the Glory of God was still in the Church as a Civilization in discernable ways of equal proportion and magnitude! What is the Glory of God in the Church as a Civilization, you wonder? And how can this be comparable to the Glory of God via the Pillar of Cloud and Fire, you wonder? Shockingly, the workings of God’s Glory existed via the infrastructure of a civilization, namely, a Government, and this Government was wondrously known to be an operation of “Divinely Empowered Civil Justice”. What does this mean? Well, my reader, this was no human Government! The vision of God’s Glory for the accomplishment of Church Purity via a Government was revealed by King Solomon’s very own testimony! Accordingly, Solomon testified that no man, Household, City, or Province of the Nation of Israel was exempt from the operation of God’s Glory for the accomplishment of Church Purity! Furthermore, and with profound detail, Solomon bore witness to and detailed all the aspects of separation and holiness in their continuation through Five Themes, and therein do we see the workings of the Glory of God in unprecedented clarity and relevance. For example, Solomon testified to the ultimate, sovereign, and transcendent rule of God in Israel via the heart by spiritual judgments for the accomplishment of Church Purity as Theme #1. What a Glory!
CHAPTER #7: My reader, have you ever wondered why the Book of Proverbs is not proverbial for you and I in heathen societies and governments? Have you ever wondered where all the ultimatums of blessing and curse are in this our day? Can you imagine it, my reader! Actually living in a civilization where all the proverbs of the Book of Proverbs were so pervasively and unmistakably present in Israel that to them, shockingly, the Glory of God depicted in the proverbs was but common sense knowledge held in remembrance by all Israelites! The fact that God was KING in Israel through all the meticulous ways presented in the Book of Proverbs was, shockingly, common sense. Those things which are common among this uncommon people bear witness to the sheer magnitude of God’s Glory which was in operation. Solomon’s inspired oration of Divinely Empowered Civil Justice (contained in the Book of Proverbs) was written with divine genius as a testimony to all nations and peoples how that in Israel, “God is known” (Ps. 48:3)! The entirety of this uncommon people – a “Holy Nation” (Ex. 19:6, 1 Pet. 2:9) – was made to fear God because they were utterly encompassed and enveloped by the activity and actuality of GOD as KING. Bearing witness to this, Theme #2 reveals how the whole population of Israel came under an intense awareness of God’s imminent judgment upon any uncleanness and impurity existing in the Land of Israel, the Church. Gloriously, Solomon details the judgments of God pursuing the objectives of Church Purity to the vanquishing of unlawful sex, thievery, and covetousness, establishing a love for God, a love for the Brethren, and a bridling of the tongue. Hence, shockingly, the entire population of Israel came under “The Fear of the LORD”, and according to the Old Testament this meant salvation via the perfection of holiness.
CHAPTER #8: The perfection of holiness was achievable because Civil Justice was Effective to Save, according to Solomon. This means that when the backsliders of Israel, the Church, were engaged by the chastisements and judgments of Civil Justice, they were recovered! God’s imminent judgment against sinning saints (evildoers) was ideally accomplished through Civil Justice via the Government of Israel, according to Theme #3, and it was EFFECTIVE! Solomon told the story, my reader. For example, when fellow Israelites did backslide from the bridling of the tongue… behold, they were recovered! Not only this, but, dishonesty and slothfulness were effectually purged, thievery was forsaken by all, covetousness via oppressing the poor was disdained and avoided by all, fighting ceased to exist, and, all the while, scorners were made to fear and fools did become wise! How did it happen? The Glory of God did effectively operate the material Government of Israel for the enforcement of Civil Justice, my reader! For, after all, in Israel God was KING! Melodious sounds and worshipful utterances were heard from the windows of them that kept the Home, the same which were echoed by the city-street travelers who tended to their day’s business: “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the City of our God, in the Mountain of His Holiness” (Ps. 48:1)! Let the Gentiles marvel and wag their heads in wonder! In Israel, God was KING! But what about all the sin and wickedness which is noticeably pervasive in various generations of Israelite Church History, you wonder? There were times of apostasy, this is true… and in such times these glories were not in operation (Rom. 9:6). Nevertheless, there were select generations which did experience the glories which Solomon memorialized in the Book of Proverbs! How did “the times” change, and why? A story well told by Solomon, my reader. According to the Book of Proverbs, when there were times when civil justice was ineffective to save the backsliders of Israel, there was a backup plan.
CHAPTER #9: When Civil Juice was ineffective to save, uncleanness did spread throughout Israel like a little leaven does through a whole lump of doe (1 Cor. 5:6). According to Theme #4, this was the foremost means by which grace was replaced by God-sent delusions to the damnation of backsliding Israelites. Delusions were a mechanism of justice, my reader. Hence, even though uncleanness did spread during this time, it was temporary! God made sure that the times of apostasy were transient, just as He will make sure that the times of righteousness will endure forever! According to Solomon, God hated the means and persons through which sin did spread! Solomon called this, “Becoming an Abomination to the LORD”. God Almighty did not speak kindly about such persons, be sure of this! Therefore, according to Theme #5, in the case that Civil Justice was allowed to deteriorate into corruption because of leaven, God still RULED! In other words, God was the dead-end of all injustice in Israel, the Church, because of the prerogative and performance of Church Purity. The LORD will not allow unholiness and uncleanness to continue in and among His beloved people, the Church, though judgment tarries for a time.
CHAPTER #10: Heretofore, and in completion of Volume I, having fully established in the reader’s mind an understanding of the Church as it existed from Genesis to Abraham, Abraham to Moses, and Moses to Malachi in relationship to the New Testament Church according to the inspired writers, and, furthermore, having fully understood how the Church existed in the Wilderness and as a Civilization within the same criterion of separation and holiness according to the Glory of God, it is now necessary to address and correct popular misconceptions which appear to be in blatant contradiction to the former survey of Church History. No doubt, questions are still lingering in your mind, my reader. For instance, “Isn’t the God of the Old Testament different than the God of the New Testament?” At the thought of such a question, of course, Jesus Christ’s Perspective of Judaism is of supreme importance. Notable perplexities exist in Jesus’ most famous address, The Sermon on the Mount – a sermon which seems to refute and denounce Judaism in a way which contradicts the aforementioned singularity between the Testaments cited heretofore in Chapters 1-9 of Volume I. My reader, it’s not what it seems. If you can believe it, this seeming contradiction is easily resolved! The Lord Jesus was not against the Old Testament, nor was He reforming the 6 Moral Commandments which he quoted from the Old Testament (see #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6), despite the popular interpretations which argue otherwise. These popularized arguments are nothing more than misconceptions of Jesus Christ’s Reformation via “The Sermon on the Mount”.
CHAPTER #11: To most, the Old Testament seems shallow, unspiritual, and religious. I know. Because of this misconception, people easily identify with and immediately misunderstand what Jesus was saying in The Sermon on the Mount, as the former Chapter proves. Evidently, Biblical and Historical Judaism is easily confused with 1st century False Judaism, right? Without surprise, the Ceremonial Law is also misunderstood by most. Let’s settle it, my reader. Is the Ceremonial Law just a carnal “hopscotch” of outward, physical, and religious duties? According to scripture, were the observance of OT ceremonies void of spirituality? Fundamentally, we know that the OT and NT Covenants were and are an agreement whereby God-and-man are united in peace, right? Indeed, and this God-to-man unification is of inward regeneration, my reader! Hence to the regenerate, the Ceremonial Law is not carnal but spiritual! In reading the Old Testament, it is very clear that when the people got the attention of God, behold --- they offered sacrifices, observed washings, lived conscientious of the clean & unclean Laws, practiced the lifting up of hands during private and public exercises of prayer, humiliated themselves by the rending of garments during times of repentance and fasting, and they made use of their voices by crying aloud in prayer to God! And, in truth, are these practices strictly carnal and void of all spirituality according to scripture? The truth be told, all these ceremonial and seemingly formalistic religious activities are vitally connected to real spirituality with God and, furthermore, they serve as an irrefutable argument which proves that the Second Birth existed in the Old Testament! Seeing the logical flow of these points established by scripture changes one’s perspective of the Ceremonial Law because, in fact, it was a regulator of Church Purity whereby Israel established the Doctrine of Separation from all once-born imposters in Israel, the Church. The true and authentic observance of the Ceremonial Law necessitated spirituality, or else its observance was worthless and contemptible in the sight of God.
CHAPTER #12: The aforementioned truth concerning the Ceremonial Law may not be refreshing to you, my reader. I know. Your mind may still be troubled by many notable passages of NT scripture which describe the observance of the Law to be far from a Spirit-filled and grace-filled experience. I understand. The Book of Romans, like no other, is filled with these kind of verses – verses which appear to denounce the possibility that the Law can be a Spirit-filled and grace-filled experience. Therefore, we need to study this Book afresh and discern what True Judaism and False Judaism are according to the Book of Romans. To do so, we will need to study the progressive argument that unfolds from Chapter 2 to Chapter 10 (a commentary is provided in the following divisions: Ch. 2, Ch. 3, Ch. 4, Ch. 5, Ch. 6:1-7:14, Ch. 7:15-8:17, & Ch. 9:1-10:21). In this commentary, relevant passages from Galatians, 2 Corinthians, Hebrews, and the like are also addressed in correlation to the content from Romans. Upon reading this, the notion that Paul believes that Old Testament Judaism is a life-less and grace-less dead religion is utterly unthinkable and quite the contrary! Paul believed in The Spirituality of the Law, despite the hordes of false Jews who were life-less, grace-less, and void of the Spirit.
CHAPTER #13: To comprehend this truth more fully – The Spirituality of the Law – one must understand Old Testament righteousness and regeneration in terms of the Moral Law. The truth is, no willful sinners were allowed in Israel, the Church, because this was an ultimatum stemming from The Spirituality of the Law. Therefore, in this Chapter, a whole-hearted pursuit of God and The Spirituality of the Law are carefully defined and evidently proven according to scripture. When the Moral Law was rightly understood and held in balance with the rest of Old Testament scripture, salvation flourished. How, you wonder? Very specifically, the salvation experience of the Church, the lifestyles and relationships of Church Members, and the holy violence whereby all true Israelites were seekers after the LORD, did all exist as a result of the Moral Law in that it was a Tutor Depicting God’s Personality (see Point #1, Point #2, Point #3, & Point #4). With all of these salvific realities active in the Land of Israel, the grounds and enforcement of the Moral Law via “The Death Penalty” became key. Only then would the Moral Law function as a regulator of Church Purity, and only then will we be enabled to comprehend the Old Testament and New Testament Warnings in Perfect Alignment.
CHAPTER #14: Behold, my reader, the ancient and contemporary conquest of Church Purity! But, some of you might be thinking, “What about the Tares among the Wheat?” In plain language, this question is rendered, “Didn’t Jesus depict the Church as a mixture of saved and unsaved individuals, forbidding their separation?” Surely, there is no parable more frequently quoted and notoriously misunderstood, to the detriment of Church Purity in the New Testament! Therefore, certainly, the Lord Jesus’ parable needs to be addressed (commonly called, “The Tares Among the Wheat”). Will you suffer the word of exhortation further, my reader? This is no small task. To successfully correct this popular misconception, one must rightly discern the audience to whom Jesus preached, the unutterable mysteries which parables labored to unveil, “the Parable of Parables” as a thematic key (“The Parable of the Sower”), and the notable perplexities of parabolic words that seemingly defy the Doctrinal Rules heretofore laid forth. When all these things are understood in their due courses, the misconception is corrected. Conclusively, the Doctrinal Rule of Church Purity is not defied by the parable called, “The Tares Among the Wheat”, in the same fashion that all other Doctrinal Rules are not defied by other variations found within all other parables and the like. Hence, parabolic language must be handled with particular care to specificity, right? Doctrinal Rules are established in scripture by specific, clear, and definitive word-usage that is far different than the variety of interpretations made possible by parabolic or metaphorical language. Therefore, the interpretation of parables and biblical metaphors need to be honed by the precise declarations of truth provided elsewhere in scripture; namely, the Doctrinal Rules. The scriptural instruction in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 does serve as one primary Doctrinal Rule which forbids the popularized interpretation of the parable, “The Tares Among the Wheat”. So, if a Doctrinal Rule mandates the separation of the populations of the Church and the World in things pertaining to the Church, and, Popular Parabolic Interpretations seem to mandate the contrary by affirming that the two populations are forbidden to separate, which one is wrong? The Popular Interpretation says, in other words, “the field is the Church” …but is it? As seen in the following Appendix at length, and, proven by the interpretation of the Lord Jesus (“the field is the World” – Matt. 13:38), inseparability exists and separation is mandated on this wise: the Church is forced, as long as She is in the world, to gather with the World in its assemblies and societies for the purpose of morally neutral engagements, but the World is forbidden to gather with the Church in its assemblies, fellowship, and ministries for the purpose of morally righteous engagements (1 Cor. 5:9-13), according to Doctrinal Rules (1 Cor. 5:9-13, 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).
APPENDIX #1: My reader, do you see it? The Church is different than the World. She is different than the World in populous and purpose! Hence, even though the Church cannot remove herself from the World, the World MUST be removed from the Church! In fulfillment of this ideal, judgment flourishes! Because the Church is utterly distinct and separated from the World, She is the focal point of God’s judgment in the earth until the appointed time called, Judgment Day, at which the LORD will judge the whole World in righteousness. Pertaining to the Doctrine of Church Purity, this truth is foundational. Namely, that GOD judges the Church first of all! …now, many of you may be thinking, “God doesn’t judge the Church, He judges the World.” And by this, you mean to say, “Because the guilty are judged and the innocent go free, God saves and forgives the Church and, on the contrary, judges the World.” Proponents of this thought can cite a passage or two, like, “them that are without [outside the Church] God judgeth” (1 Cor. 5:13), but they are fundamentally misunderstanding and oversimplifying the judgments of God which are in this life and in the life to come. So what about you, my reader? What comes to your mind when you read, “them that are without God judgeth”, in comparison to Peter’s affirmation, “judgment must begin at the House of God” (1 Cor. 5:13, 1 Pet. 4:17)? A faithful and thorough study of scripture will prove that there is A 2-Stage, Populous Distinct, Chronology of Judgment accomplished by God, and in so doing God judges the Church first of all while leaving the World alone, comparatively speaking. Can you believe it? My reader, if you come to understand how profoundly different these two peoples are at an introductory level, formerly unheard scripture will speak! The precedence of this 2-Stage judgment of God on this wise is a voice so loud, unanimous, and unwavering, it thematically encompasses the entirety of The Old Testament! Nevertheless, simultaneously, there is A Diversity of Judgments existing in the Old Testament and the New Testament. This diversity is especially evident in the ministry of Jesus Christ at the 1st Advent… but, let us take careful note: this does not change the fact that what happened in the Church of the Old Testament via judgment was a biblical precedent that is uniformly fulfilled in the Church of The New Testament, despite the popular interpretation which speaks to the contrary. The contrary opinion would have everyone believe that somehow now, in the New Testament, the Church is no longer the focal point of God’s judgment in the earth. Wrong! To prove this as erroneous, I entreat the reader to follow the arguments laid-forth in scripture and expounded in this Chapter: namely, The Arbitrary Judgment of the World Prior to the 2nd Advent of Christ, General Statements of NT Qualification, Saint-to-Saint Judgment in OT & NT Parallelism, The Moral Law (“the Righteousness of the Law”) is the Definitive Ingredient, Preventative Judgment: Saint-to-Saint Judgment Prior to the Death Penalty in the OT, Preventative Judgment: Saint-to-Saint Judgment Prior to Excommunication in the NT, Saint-to-Saint Discernment & Accountability in Relationship to God & Angelic Judgment (Spiritual Judgments), Saint-to-Saint Judgment unto Excommunication in the NT – the Binding & Loosing Powers, When Saint-to-Saint Judgment is Neglected in the OT, and When Saint-to-Saint Judgment is Neglected in the NT.
CHAPTER #15: All this being said, further exploration and clarification is still needed, much more! For, the popular Doctrine and Practice of Church Purity does isolate the mandate of separatism as a requirement for Ministerial Branches of the Church and or “Church Staff”, as some call it. As a result of this erroneous isolation, purity, holiness, and separatism is practically irrelevant to the status of regular “Church Members”, as some call them. Or, while obligating Church Members to loose standards of holiness, the Church Members assemble and congregate with what the scripture would call a mixed multitude of the clean and the unclean (2 Cor. 6:17-18), the righteous and the wicked (1 Cor. 5:13), the unleavened with the leavened (1 Cor. 5:6-8), or, if you will, the wheat and the tares (Matt. 3:10-12), and the list of inordinate mixtures could go on (Ezek. 22:26, 44:23). Take note, my reader! What was and is metaphorically communicated in the aforementioned comparisons has been exhaustively set-forth as a doctrine in scripture through clear, definitive, and indisputable non-metaphorical argumentation; namely that, The Church is “A Clean Place”! So… what is “a clean place”, you wonder? Well, throughout all the differing stages of redemption found in Biblical Church History, the Church has been identified as a people known as the “assembly” and “congregation” of the LORD, and, in the widest sense, these people were born into, living within, and abiding by the rules (Lev. 10:10, 20:25, Ezek. 22:26, Lev. 7:21, Num. 19:20) of The Land of Israel & Judah, The Kingdom of God, The City of Jerusalem, and Mount Zion, and, finally, it must be noted that the focal point of this people and the reason why these places were clean, sin-separated, and holy, was because therein abides GOD via the Temple, Tabernacle, House, and Sanctuary of God. In other words, the Church is a clean people who gathered together in a clean place via an assembly or a congregation, whether in the Old Testament, the New Testament, or the Consummation. Upon hearing this, the Modern Church would rashly argue that the command, “Touch not the unclean thing”, is an Old Testament commandment which bears no relevance to the New Testament Church. My reader, the apostle of THE GENTILES wrote to the Corinthian Church, saying, “Touch not the unclean thing” (2 Cor. 6:17)! So, apparently, the question remains for us to answer: is our local Church “A Clean Place”? Upon due consideration of 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, and the like, one is forced to conclude that the Church of the New Testament is named and understood by the same titles as the Church of the Old Testament, and, if the Church of the New Testament is superior to the Church of the Old Testament inasmuch as it is the reality of the old-time shadows, parallelism exists between the two. Therefore, if the Church of the Old Testament (a shadow) was exclusive, the Church of the New Testament (the reality) is equally as exclusive. The shadow did portray the real image in its shadowing, you know! That was its purpose. Therefore, the shadow is like the real image, in reality. There is a shadow-to-reality parallelism on purpose, according to the unsearchable wisdom of God! Thus, in an attempt to comprehend the rules of Church Purity and congregation exclusivity, we need to understand the shadow-to-reality actuality of, “Touch not the unclean thing!” To prevent confusion, scripture is explicit enough to name names. By name, the peoples of the World were expelled from the Church of the Old Testament because it was “a clean place”. Hence, because the Church of the New Testament is also “a clean place”, parallel exclusivity applies.
In reference to the assemblies of the Church in the Old Testament, this meant: every individual’s name who attended the assembly was written in the Book of Life; and, this being the case, this population of people were identified as “the upright” and “the saints” (Ps. 89:7) who were assembled in separation from “the mockers” (Jer. 15:17); and to be in separation from “the mockers” meant, in principle, the assembly was exclusive to “holy” and “clean” people and, therefore, “profane” and “unclean” people were excluded (Ezek. 44:23-24).
In reference to the assemblies of the Church in the Consummation, of course, the continuation of these ideals is further confirmed: so, all the attendees of the assembly will be “holy”, “washed”, “purged” (Isa. 4:2-6), “saved” (Rom. 11:26), and “meek” (Matt. 5:5, Ps. 37:11); this being the case, all “the sinners”, “the wicked” (Ps. 104:35, Prov. 2:22, Isa. 13:9), and the “unbelieving” (Rev. 21:8) will be utterly expunged from the assembly of the Church. Seeing that this was and will be the code of assemblies in the Church via the Old Testament and the Consummation, would the assemblies of the New Testament Church be any different? Surely what was and will be, is no different than what is. The stages of redemption and expressions of the Church build and progress in unanimity from the Old Testament, the New Testament Gentile Church Age, unto the Consummation. They do not and cannot contradict one another.
Even so, in reference to the assemblies of the New Testament Church, this meant: its attendees were in the Book of Life (Heb. 12:23), free from willful sin (Heb. 10:24-27) “sprinkled”, and “washed”, (Heb. 10:19-27). This being the case with the assemblies of the Church in every age, surely we can expect the same criteria to characterize the congregations of the Church, right?
In reference to the congregations of the Church in the Old Testament, this meant: they were “the congregation[s] of God” (Neh. 13:1-3) that were bound by one supreme “ordinance” (Deut. 33:4-5, Num. 15:15) which necessitated that every individual in the congregation was holy (Num. 16:3, Lev. 19:2), “righteous” (Ps. 1:5), saintly (Ps. 89:5, 149:1), and belonging to God (Ps. 68:10, 74:2); hence, this congregated people was separated from all the accursed things and people who brought contempt upon the congregation (Josh. 7:13, Ezra 10:11-14). Therefore, all those whom God spoke of and named in various ways throughout scripture, saying, for example, “A…shall not enter into the congregation” (Deut. 23:1-8), were expelled – and this list of names included: “the adversary”, “the heathen” (Lam. 1:10), “the ungodly”, “sinners” (Ps. 1:5, Num. 15:30-31), “evil doers” (Ps. 26:5), “the dead” (Prov. 21:16), “vain persons”, “dissemblers”, and “the wicked” (Ps. 26:4-8, 12).
In reference to the congregations of the Church in the Consummation, of course, the continuation of these ideals is further confirmed: so, all the attendees of the congregation (Jer. 30:20) of the Church will be “Priests”, “Ministers” (Isa. 61:6, Rev. 20:6, Jer. 33:17-22), “Levites” (Isa. 66:21, Jer. 33:17-22), “Kings” (Rev. 5:10), and “Children of God” (Rom. 8:21).
Just as all citations have thus far proven, the attending congregants of the Church in the New Testament must harmonize with the criteria heretofore named, so that: the attendees of the congregation of the Church are Jesus’ “sanctified” “brethren” (Ps. 22:22, Heb. 2:11-12), and no one else! Hence the prayer, “Our Father” (Matt. 6:9, 1 Tim. 2:8).
CHAPTER #16: Having just examined the persons who congregated and assembled, specifically speaking, let us turn and gaze upon the locations in which the Church gathers: The Land of Israel & Judah, The Kingdom of God, The City of Jerusalem, and Mount Zion. In summary, the people of the Church in the Old Testament, the Consummation, and the New Testament were, will be, and are identifiable by the rules enforced at these various locations.
The people of the Church in the Old Testament were identifiable by the rules enforced at these locations in a strict and exclusive way, naming names.
According to Doctrinal Rule, the people who populated The Land of Israel & Judah were exclusively: “the upright”, “the perfect” (Prov. 2:21), those who put their “trust” in the LORD (Isa. 57:13), “the faithful”, “he that walketh in a perfect way” (Ps. 101:4-8), and those who were “clean” (Isa. 52:11). The people who were eradicated from the Land of Israel & Judah via the Death Penalty were: false prophets (Ezek. 13:9), rebellious Israelites (Hos. 9:3), “the wicked” (Nah. 1:5, Ps. 101:8), “the transgressors” (Prov. 2:22), “the rebels” (Ezek. 20:38-40), unconverted and forbidden “strangers” (Hos. 7:8-9, Isa. 1:7), “a froward heart”, “whoso privily slandereth his neighbor”, “him that hath an high look and a proud heart”, “he that worketh deceit”, “he that telleth lies”, “wicked doers” (Ps. 101:4-8), “the uncircumcised”, and “the unclean” (Isa. 52:1). The same rich and peculiar identity of the people is demonstrated a-new in each of the aforementioned titles or places of the Promised Land.
From a different angle of emphasis, the identity of the Church in the Old Testament is revealed by the term, The Kingdom of God, which was in fact The Land of Israel & Judah, and, as you will soon see, the people who dwelt therein were exclusive from the very beginning according to Doctrinal Rule. The Land of Israel & Judah became a settlement of the Israelite people BECAUSE God was KING: of a people, a territory, by Law, through Government, by war through battles in which God commanded and fought! The commissioning of the battle by the KING reveals the exclusivity of the Church in The Kingdom of God: “thou shalt save alive NOTHING that breatheth: but thou shalt UTTERLY destroy them”, “thou shalt consume ALL the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have NO PITY upon them… (Deut. 20:16-17, 7:16). In other words, God was saying that the native inhabitants of the Promised Land were exceedingly great sinners (Lev. 18:24-30, 20:22-27, Deut. 9:1-5), and because the Promised Land had been chosen by the KING as His Dominion, the Church, sinners had to be eradicated from the domain. There were no sinners allowed in the Church – in the places or among the people where the Church gathered before God – according to the Dominion of the KING. If Israel allowed the native inhabitants to live and, thus, they were allowed to settle within the Promised Land at the same time as the conquering Israelites, the result was a mixture of saints and sinners in the Church --- a thing which God forbade at the pain of death! The KING said, “it will surely be a snare unto [the Church]” (Ex. 23:33, 34:12, Deut. 7:16, 25, 12:30, Num. 33:55, Judges 2:3). To be “snared” meant that they would eventually “perish” on account of this inordinate mixture (Josh. 23:13, Deut. 7:4, 20:18, Ex. 23:33, Deut. 7:26). The settlement of the Israelites in the Land of Israel and Judah was, in fact, the settlement of the Church; and because this settlement would be accomplished by war to the establishment of a Kingdom, Church Purity was demanded in the language of war (Ex. 23:23-24, 31-33, Ex. 34:11-17, Num. 33:51-56, Deut. 7:1-6, 16-21, 25-26, Deut. 12:1-4, 29-32, Deut. 18:9-14, 20:16-18, Josh. 23:1-16). Even so, on the contrary, Church Impurity was expressed in the following words and the like: “Judah…could not drive out” (Judges 1:19, 21, 27-28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34). God’s warnings proved true and, indeed, the remnant of sinners who mixed in the Church did utterly destroy the Church, according to scriptures (Judges 2:1-15). Therefore this people, the Church, must be sanctified, holy, and sinner-free… or else God would forsake them (Josh. 7:11-13). All sinners, Canaanite Sinners or Israelite-turned-Canaanite Sinners must be killed and thereby expelled from the Church, The Kingdom of God (Deut. 13:8-9, 11, Deut. 13:5, 17:7, 12, 1 Cor. 5:13, Deut. 18:10, 13, 2 Cor. 6:17, 7:1, Deut. 29:18, Heb. 12:15, Hos. 7:2, 4, 7-10, 1 Cor. 5:2, 6-7, Ps. 106:34-39). The unholy and sinful chaos which ruled within once-born mankind worldwide – it was unwelcome in Israel. The passions and persons of hell were given their boundary point---stopping at the borders of Israelite settlements which encompassed the entirety of the Promised Land (Isa. 26:1-2, 60:18-19). My reader, Israel was sanctified to God as a “peculiar” and “separated” people (Ex. 19:5, Deut. 14:2, Lev. 20:24-25) above all other peoples on the face of the earth! Like the crest of earth was appointed by God and fixed with immovable fortitude before the whelming and untamable sea, the borders of Israel were appointed to withstand the untamable chaos of depravity that it would pass no further (Zech. 2:5, Isa. 4:5, 60:18-19, Psalm 48). As God “gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth” (Prov. 8:29), even so, likewise, God gave sin and sinners His decree that they should not pass into the camps, settlements, cities, or Lands of Israel – when He appointed the foundations of The Kingdom of God amidst the people of Israel (Isa. 26:1-2, 60:18-19). That which was expelled without would die if it was found within. Therefore if, in an overarching sense, the Church was known to be holiness unto the LORD according to the rules of the location, The Land of Israel & Judah, and by the rules which were consistent with the title, The Kingdom of God, then surely the more specified regions within these wider areas are holiness unto the LORD in like manner of exclusivity!
Even so, narrowing our focus of study, the Empire City of the Kingdom of God - The City of Jerusalem - was known by Doctrinal Rule in Old Testament Israel as: “the City of our God”, “the City of the Great King”, and “the City of the LORD of hosts” (Ps. 48:1, 2, 8)! And because the Presence of God was valuable to the people of Israel and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people determined to “cut off all the wicked doers from the City of the LORD” (Ps. 101:8) so as to secure the presence of God (Ps. 101:2). With all scripture heretofore considered, applied, and fulfilled, the inhabitants of The City of Jerusalem were not “the wicked doers” (Ps. 101:8), “the adversary”, or “the enemy” (Lam. 4:12). By no means! On the contrary, every citizen was a saint, every sinner they did morally hate (Deut. 23:1-8, Num. 15:30-31), and judgment was the filter of the populous who passed through the Gates (Isa. 26:8, Ps. 48:11, Zech. 8:16-19)! This City was a place in which “the heathen” would NOT come except in the case when the unholy sons of Adam broke through the boundaries which God had ordained by Law that none should trespass (Ps. 79:1, Isa. 26:1-2, 60:18-19). The walls and Gates of this City were not meant as mere barricades of defense in times of war, oh no! They were meant to be of old what they will invincibly and everlastingly become in the Consummation: The Walls and Gates of Salvation (Isa. 26:1-2, 60:18-19, Rev. 21:22-22:5, Rev. 22:11-15)!
Finally, and with all things considered, what exclusivity of Doctrinal Rule shall we expect existed in what was known in the Old Testament as, Mount Zion? Mount Zion was called the Mountain that God “loved” (Ps. 78:68), and what was so lovable about it? According to the Doctrinal Rules exhaustively covered in the Chapter, the inhabitants and visitors of Mount Zion were exclusively: speaking in the present tense of that time, “He that putteth his trust in [the LORD]” (Isa. 57:13), he that has “clean hands” and a “pure heart” who has not “lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sword deceitfully” (Ps. 23:4), He that “walketh uprightly” and “worketh righteousness” (Ps. 15:2), that “speaketh truth in his heart” and “backbiteth not with his tongue” (Ps. 15:2-3), He that does not do “evil to his neighbour” (Ps. 15:3), He who hates “a vile person” and “honoureth them that fear the LORD” (Ps. 15:4), “He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not” (Ps. 15:4), “He that putteth not out his money to usury nor taketh reward against the innocent” (Ps. 15:5), even these people, and none other, did “receive the blessing from the LORD” which was “righteousness from the God” (Ps. 24:5), which was, furthermore, the privilege to circuit Mount Zion and especially appear before God Almighty! Therefore was Zion remembered by God to be, metaphorically speaking, pure silver and un-mixed wine (Isa. 1:22). This means that The City of Jerusalem and Mount Zion was a “faithful City” which was “full of judgment” so that “righteousness lodged in it” (Isa. 1:21), before the silver became dross and the wine was mixed with water (Isa. 1:22), and after Mount Zion was defiled, God said: “I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin” (Isa. 1:25-26). This metaphorical purging and taking away was, in other words, the destruction of “the transgressors”, “the sinners”, and “they that forsake the LORD” (Isa. 1:27-28). Naming names, we know who the people of the Church at Old Testament Mount Zion were.
The people of the Church in the Consummation will be identifiable by the rules enforced at these locations in a strict and exclusive way, naming names.
According to Doctrinal Rule, the population of people who will inhabit The Land of Israel & Judah at the Consummation will be a regathered people of Israel and Judah which will become one family by regeneration (Jer. 31:1-14, Hos. 1:11, Ezek. 34:23-24, 37:11) and, thus, by conduct, they will meet the special criteria due to the title: “My people” (Jer. 31:1). Not only will the people, via regeneration, no longer “sorrow ANY MORE AT ALL” (Jer. 31:12, Rev. 21:3-5), but, also, they will never again defile themselves by idols or backslide from salvation (Ezek. 37:23). Likewise, as a consequence, the unified families of Israel will not be divided into two Kingdoms “ANY MORE at all” (Ezek. 37:22). According to the Gospel of Matthew, all of this will be made possible by “the regeneration” (Matt. 19:28) – not the regeneration of the soul, only, but the body and the rest of creation will be liberated, also, by a consummating regeneration that is yet to come (Rom. 8:18-23)! – and, because of this, there will be NO MORE rebels, transgressors, or idolaters in all the Land of Israel & Judah forevermore, and, notably, everyone in the Land will be servants of the LORD in Spirit and in Truth (Ezek. 20:37-42)! Hallelujah! Come Lord Jesus, come! Till all the ransomed Church of God are saved to sin no more!
According to Doctrinal Rule, the population of people who will be in The Kingdom of God at the Consummation (when the Lord Jesus will rule and reign forevermore) has been clearly named: it was written, “the saints possessed the Kingdom” as “joint-heirs” (Dan. 7:22, Rom. 8:17). In summation, they will be few in number like Christ said (Lk. 13:23-30), because they will not be workers of iniquity (Lk. 13:27). This means that they will be “saints” (holy ones) inwardly and outwardly (Dan. 7:18, 22, 27, Rom. 8:17), according to apostolic doctrine. This holiness or separateness means that they were the overcomers of the World (Rev. 3:21) by the power of the Cross (Gal. 6:14). Through the Cross – the power of salvific mortification (Rom. 8:1, 13, Gal. 5:24) – this company of saints lived up to the name, “holy one”, hence they will inherit the Kingdom of God (because they exhibited behavior that “becometh saints” – Eph. 5:3). Undoubtedly, therefore, all unrighteous people will be excluded from the Kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9)! Naming names, this means that all such men are strictly excluded from the Kingdom: fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, the effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners (1 Cor. 6:9-10), unclean people, filthy people, foolish talking people, jesting people, whoremongers, and the children of disobedience (Eph. 5:3-7), lascivious people, witchcraft users, hateful people, variant people, emulating people, wrathful people, argumentative people (those who practice strife and seditions), heretical people, envious people, murderers, partiers (those who practice revellings), and such like people (Gal. 5:19-21), the non-overcomers, the fearful, the unbelieving, the abominable, the sorcerers, and all liars (Rev. 21:7-8). Glory to the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the World! “For whatsoever is born of God ovecometh the World: and this is the victory that overcometh the World, even our faith” (1 John 5:4)! These are Church Members.
According to Doctrinal Rule, the population of people who will be in The City of Jerusalem at the Consummation is harmonious to how the work of redemption will consummate: it was prophesied of old, “All Israel shall be saved” (Rom. 11:26)! At this time, not one single man will be able to enter the City of Jerusalem unless he or she is saved! Explicitly, it was written, the walls of the City will be called salvation and the Gates praise (Isa. 60:18-19, 26:1-2)! This mean that within this City and Land, there will be no more sin, uncleanness, idolatry, false prophets, or unclean spirits (Zech. 13:1-2); no more unholiness of any kind and no more Canaanites (Zech. 14:20-21); no more “any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie”, but only those persons whose names “are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Rev. 21:22-22:5); only those persons who were, are, and will be the servants of the LORD (Rev. 22:3), or, “they that do His commandments”, will enter into the City of Jerusalem, because “without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:11-15). Glory be to God! Only those persons who make-up a “righteous nation which keepeth the truth” will enter into the City of Jerusalem (Isa. 26:1-2)! This is the Church.
According to Doctrinal Rule, the population of people who will be ascending or dwelling upon Mount Zion at the Consummation must be just as the Mountain itself will be --- “HOLY” (Joel. 3:15-18)! The people shall be as the place! God said, “I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory” (Isa. 46:13). What a glory! This means that “no strangers” will pass through her any more (Joel. 3:17). No unsaved man! And as a result of glorious and unspeakable judgments, “strange children” will be eradicated from the Mountain (Ps. 144:6-8, 11). The operation of these judgments will begin at the bodily appearance of the GOD-MAN, Jesus of Nazareth, who will return upon the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4, Acts 1:11-12) and ascend Mount Zion (Rev. 14:1-5) – there to fulfill all the glorious prophecies and promises of salvation in Consummation. This exclusive people, the Church, who will be allowed to ascend Mount Zion, are named in scripture: a “righteous nation which keepeth the truth” (Isa. 25:6-26:2), the people who followed the Lamb “withersoever He goeth”, the “redeemed from among men”, those who were “not defiled with women” and were “virgins” (2 Cor. 11:2-4, Jas. 4:4, Rev. 19:7-8), “the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb”, those whose mouths had “no guile” and whose persons were “without fault” before the Throne of God (Rev. 14:1-5). Thus, the question remains for the Church of the 21st century: “WHO” are we (PS. 15:1, 24:3)? “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8)! These are authentic Church Members according to scripture.
The people of the Church in the New Testament are identifiable by the rules enforced at these locations in a strict and exclusive way, naming names.
In other words, the Church of the New Testament is identified and understood according to the rules of The Land of Israel and Judah depicted in the Old Testament and the Consummation. According to Doctrinal Rule, this means that the population of people who are inhabitants of The Land of Israel & Judah in the New Testament 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), and so on. Therefore, at last! Let us understand the New Testament in perfect harmony with the Old Testament and the Consummation in the matter of Church Purity! Naming names, this means: 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, furthermore, who else could draw near! The rules of holiness in the Church do not change from shadow-to-reality-to --- the Consummation!
The Church of the New Testament is identified and understood according to the rules of The Kingdom of God depicted in the Old Testament and the Consummation. According to Doctrinal Rule, this means that the population of people who are citizens, ambassadors, inheritors, and possessors of the Kingdom of God in the New Testament are an otherworldly people, by necessity. Testifying to this, Jesus Christ said, “My Kingdom is not of this World” (John 18:36). Though the Kingdom is mysteriously invisible to most of the World, it is revealed to men on the day of their 2nd birth into its jurisdiction (Jn. 3:3, 5); thus to all born again individuals, Christ said: “BEHOLD, The Kingdom of God is within you” (Lk. 17:21)! This people of the Kingdom are fruit-bearing, repentance-keeping, believers who have become Abraham’s seed, no matter their original nationality according to the flesh (Matt. 8:10-12, 3:7-10, Gal. 3:14). For the establishment of this Kingdom, or, in other words, for the Gentiles to be born again into this blessed lineage so as to become the Church, WAR transpired (1 Jn. 3:8, Lk. 2:34-35): a conquering King took captives by force (Josh. 5:13, Matt. 16:18, 23:15, 2 Cor. 4:3-4, Eph. 4:8-10, Heb. 2:14-16, Judges 5:12, Ps. 68:18, Rom. 5:21, Col. 2:15, Rev. 1:18)! Now, at present, those were rescued by Christ do fight for, with, and in Him (Matt. 10:34, Eph. 6:10-17, Col. 1:18, 1 Cor. 7:22, Rom. 13:11-14, 1 Tim. 1:16, 2 Tim. 4:7) because the battle continues on, still yet, inasmuch as the Kingdom advances upon other souls to save. The Church Militant knows that there are yet more souls to be freed from Satan’s tyrannical laws of sin (Rom. 8:2-4, 6:14, 7:23, 14:17). With war-like preparations of heart, the Christians, in adoration of their King, adhere to the Cross which does violence to all flesh (Gal. 2:20, 5:24, 6:14)! With moral hatred, the King’s Army marches onward to kill all flesh (1 Cor. 15:50, Lk. 14:26, Jn. 12:25, Gal. 5:24)! The BATTLE rages in present-tense combat: 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 of the King’s Army lives and fights so that the Clean prevails against the Unclean and Virginity prevails against Adultery (2 Cor. 11:2, James 4:4, Rev. 14:4). Therefore, like battles of old wherein all Canaanites needed to die in the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament, all flesh must die in the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the New Testament. And, like as the climactic finality of redemption in the Consummation wherein, it was written, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 15:20), even so, now, the same rule applies in the Church of the New Testament (Rom. 8:1, 13, Gal. 5:24). This means that the Kingdom’s soldiers are employed with mercilessness and pitilessness to annihilate the flesh unto death for the establishment of Kingdom-wide or Church-wide holiness and purity (in what is called “the perfection holiness” – 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1), and, all of this, for the obtaining of the promises of salvation, or else, like of old, the Church will suffer the promises of damnation decreed by scripture as a threat to all violators of Church Purity. You see, perfect parallelism resounds!
The Church of the New Testament is identified and understood according to the rules of The City of Jerusalem depicted in the Old Testament and the Consummation. According to Doctrinal Rule, this means that the population of people who are 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 same 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). 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). Even so, 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 of the Church, 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 Jerusalem (Lk. 13:24-30, Rev. 3:11-13). “Blessed” are these men, because they “do His commandments” (Rev. 22:14-15), scripture declares! All other men are illegals, foreigners and aliens, therefore they are unrecognizable to God and unwelcomed into the City of Jerusalem; they are eradicated, excommunicated, and non-existent in the Churches of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Consummation, even so let it be!
The Church of the New Testament is identified and understood according to the rules of Mount Zion depicted in the Old Testament and the Consummation. According to Doctrinal Rule, this means that the population of people which has ascended Mount Zion in the New Testament is Gentile-Israelite by race, stranger-free by law, ingratiated by unmerited favor, and godly-fearful by nature – therefore they are a holy people (Heb. 12:22, Ps. 24:3, Joel 3:15-17, Heb. 12:18-29, 1 Pet. 1:15-16) who does hear the voice of God from the standpoint of a superior Mountain than Sinai, and they are obedient (Heb. 12:25)! And, in like manner to Sinai, they eat and drink on the Mountain while they see God and live. What a Glory! Harmoniously, the people who were and will be on Mount Zion in the Church of the Old Testament and at the Consummation do, right now, have the same identity in the Church of the New Testament.
CHAPTER#17: Having just examined the geographically larger locations and the assemblies and congregations of the populous therein, our study narrows down to The Temple, Tabernacle, House, & Sanctuary of God. The aforementioned places are the same place, but in four different stages of Old Testament redemption. For this reason, our study in this Chapter is more focused and less diverse; meaning, we will examine the rules of holiness pertaining to this location in the Old Testament, in one section, and the rules of holiness pertaining to this location in the New Testament and the Consummation, in another section, instead of using three sections like the former Chapters.
The people of the Church in the Old Testament were identifiable by the rules enforced at this location in a strict and exclusive way, naming names.
Needless to say, the assembly or congregation of people who were permitted court or building entrance to The Temple, Tabernacle, House, & Sanctuary of God in the Old Testament were HOLY unto the Lord. For this reason, the Sanctuary was exceedingly “amiable” (Ps. 84:1): a place of revelatory, eye-opening experiences where men saw God (Ps. 63:2), His ways, works, and purposes (Ps. 68:24, 77:13), and therefore all saints were compelled to look thereto for help from God (Ps. 20:2). Those individuals who entered and abode therein were blessed, chosen, and caused to approach (Ps. 65:4, Jer. 11:15) unto an otherwise unapproachable place – HOLY PLACE – where everything must be “cleansed according to the purification of the Sanctuary” (2 Chron. 30:19). Revealing the commonplace introspection that every individual underwent before entering this place, the LORD questioned: “Who then is able to stand before Me?” Even so, God made sure that all impure people were petrified to violate the purity of this place (by immediate and inescapable judgments: Job 41:10, Jer. 7:1-15, Ezek. 9:1-8). Therefore, let us understand! God’s immediate Presence was the people’s sanctification (Ex. 23:20-21, Deut. 4:7, Ex. 33:14, 16, 34:9-10). The place where God and the people met was a “Sanctuary” because of the sanctification of the people and place (Ex. 15:17, 25:8, 20:24). A Sanctuary is a “cleansed” place (Ezek. 45:18) which was ruled by “Laws of purification” (2 Chron. 30:19). Such a place as this required ministers (“them that keep the charge of the Sanctuary” -Num. 3:32), and they too, like the actual place, needed to be purified, cleansed, and sanctified. The ministers of the Sanctuary were the Levites (which included the Priests). They were the foremost class of holy persons who were, above all, called to stand before God. The Levites, who entered His “Sanctuary” (Ezek. 44:15-16), and the prophets, who stood before God’s special presence (Jer. 15:1, 19), were the shepherds and pastors of God’s people, and according to scripture they were “chosen” for this office because they were “like” God (“a chosen man” - Jer. 15:19, 49:19, 50:44, 2 Chron. 30:22). Everything done at this place were deeds done directly and immediately before God’s Face (Lev. 20:3), thus when or if a Priest or Levite sinned in this place it defiled the Sanctuary and profaned the Name of God (Lev. 20:3, 7-8). Ultimately, if the iniquity was not cleansed it must be eradicated by death (Lev. 20:14). Likewise, the Priesthood could not draw near without the associated “putting off”, “putting on”, and “washing” regulations (Lev. 6:10-11, 24, 26, Titus 3:5, Eph. 5:26, Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9-10, Rom. 13:12, 14). Concerning other ceremonial qualifications, the sons of Aaron were permanently disqualified from the priesthood if they had a “blemish” or were “blind” (Lev. 21:18, 23), and they were temporarily forbidden from priestly orders as long as they were “unclean” (Lev. 7:20, 21:17-23, 22:3, 22:9). Acts of delinquency there did defile the Temple of God and result in death (Lev. 22:3, 9, 1 Cor. 3:17). The Priests and Levites existed in part to instruct all other Israelites to put a difference between the clean and unclean, the holy and profane (Ezek. 22:26, 44:14, 2 Chron. 23:19, 30:22, Neh. 8:7-8, 8:3, Ezek. 44:23-24), because on an individual or nationwide scale of consequence, a violation there resulted in death and annihilation everywhere (Num. 3:38, 19:13, 17:12-13, 18:5, Zeph. 3:4, Jer. 23:11, Ezek. 44:7-9, 8:6, 24:21, 5:11, Lam. 1:10, 2:7, 20, 4:1, Isa. 63:18, Ps. 79:1, 74:1-8, Zech. 9:8-9, 14:20-21)! Hence the terrifying question, my reader! “LORD, WHO shall abide in Thy Tabernacle? WHO shall dwell in Thy holy hill” (Psalms 15:1)? Marvel at this, and be astonished! NO wicked persons were allowed inside the courts or walls of God’s House (Lev. 20:14)! Can you name the names, my reader? In an OT sense, that is, “no strangers” (Num. 3:38, Ezek. 44:7-9), no “Canaanite” (Zech. 14:20-21), no “oppressor” (Zech. 9:8-9), no “uncircumcised” (Ezek. 44:7-9) were allowed in God’s House! Whether “the enemy” (Ps. 74:1-8, Lam. 2:7), Israel’s “adversaries” (Isa. 63:18, Lam. 1:10), “the heathen” (Ps. 79:1, Lam. 1:10), those unclean by dead bodies (Num. 19:11, 13), or simply put – the “unclean” (2 Chron. 23:19) – all were expelled from the hallowed honor granted to redeemed humanity in that, on earth, they were enabled to stand before God’s immediate and special presence which abode in the Temple! Giving further language to the exclusivity of The Priesthood in Old Testament, these were terms of acceptance or rejection: Aaron’s sons who were “holy” (Lev. 21:7), “anointed” (Lev. 21:12), and “washed” (Ex. 30:20-21, 40:12, Lev. 16:24, 26), having “put on his linen garment” (Lev. 6:10-11) – therefore they were enabled to minister in the Sanctuary, and none else! On the contrary, if any of Aaron’s sons were defiled by dead bodies (Lev. 21:11, Num. 19:13), or otherwise, had “a blemish”, is “a blind man” (Lev. 21:18, 23), or in any regard, had “uncleanness” upon him (Lev. 7:20, 21:17-23, 22:3), they were disallowed entrance into the Sanctuary of God. Ceremonially they needed to be “purified”, “sprinkled”, and in “separation” (Num. 19:13). Under the pain of death, God warned: “Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from My Presence, I am the LORD” (Lev. 22:3). My reader, if these rules of holiness regulated the people who attended or abode at this location in the Church of the Old Testament, rules which were but shadows of future realities to come, according to scripture, should we expect the New Testament inspired writers to identify and describe Christianity in the aforementioned terms and the like? Of course!
The people of the Church in the New Testament and at the Consummation are and will be identifiable by the rules enforced at this location in a strict and exclusive way, naming names.
The Church of the New Testament and the Consummation is identified and understood according to the rules of The Temple, Tabernacle, House, and Sanctuary of God in the Old Testament. According to Doctrinal Rule, this means that the population of people who enter or abide at this location will be identified and codified with the same terms depicted in the Church of the Old Testament, with equal exclusivity. In the clean place of the New Testament Church, the sanctification of an earthly place happens whenever the sanctified people of the Church do gather together, and wherever they gather does become a sanctified place because of the presence of the Sanctifying One: Jesus Christ said, “there am I in the midst of them” (Isa. 8:14, Ezek. 11:16, Matt. 18:18-20, Heb. 10:25, Eph. 4:4-6, 1 Cor. 1:30, Php. 1:27, Acts 4:24, Matt. 6:10). Special audience with Christ in this way cannot be apprehended without the Code of the Priesthood in order and without defilement (2 Cor. 6:17-7:1, Isa. 56:7, Matt. 21:13): holy washings, holy waters, blood-sprinkling, beautiful garments, and undefiled conduct (Heb. 10:19-25, Heb. 10:22, 1 Pet. 1:2, Titus 3:5, Eph. 5:26, Isa. 52:1, Rev. 19:7, Eph. 4:26-27, 1 Cor. 3:17, Rev. 3:4). This is because, notably, an order of “Royal Priesthood” continues in the New Testament (1 Pet. 2:9-10, Heb. 7:3, 1 Pet. 2:4-5)! Therefore, the priests are required to keep the “putting on” and “putting off” regulations necessary for ministry to the King (Rom. 13:14, Gal. 3:27), which means: according to Ephesians 4:22-24, to “put off” the “old man” results in a “putting away” of: lying, anger, stealing, corrupt communication, bitterness, wrath, clamor, evil speaking, malice, and un-forgiveness (see Eph. 4:22-32); according to Ephesians 4:22-24, to “put on the new man” results in a renewal of the entire-man, in thought, word, and deed, because the new man is “created in righteousness and true holiness”, and thus the man speaks the truth, works hard, gives to the needy, and with edifying speech, is kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving (see Eph. 4:22-32); according to Colossians 3:9-10, to “put off the old man” results in putting off of: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness, and idolatry (see Col. 3:5-17); according to Colossians 3:9-10, to “put on the new man” results in a renewal of the entire-man, in thought, word, and deed, because the new man is “the image of Him that created Him”, which means that “Christ is all, and in all”, therefore the man is merciful, kind, humble, meek, longsuffering, forbearing, forgiving, charitable, peaceful, thankful, and because he is of a continual mind to meditate on wisdom in his own personal time, he zealously pursues opportunity to teach and sing to others (see Col. 3:5-17)! Let The Code of the Priesthood be understood by all! Those who are arrayed in Christ, these are Priests! And this Christ is, according to the aforementioned beauties of holiness, the Priestly Garment of Righteousness whereby NT saints find boldness to draw near, attend, and minister within the New Testament House of God! Thereby being enabled to drawn near, it is for ministry (1 Cor. 9:13, Heb. 13:10, 1 Cor. 5:7): the offering of incense (Ps. 141:2, Rev. 5:8, 8:3-4, Isa. 56:7, 1 Tim. 2:1-8, Eph. 6:18-20, Jude 1:20-21) and priestly sacrifices (individually: Rom. 12:1-2, Gal. 2:20, 1 Cor. 15:31, 1 Pet. 2:4-5, Heb. 13:15-16; corporately: Rom. 15:15-19, Php. 2:17-18, 1 Cor. 10:16-17; ceremonial qualifications: “holy”, “acceptable”, “perfect”, “without blemish”, and “sanctified”). All others who dare to draw near are forbidden, unacceptable, and unholy invaders into the NT Holy Place, a crime justly punished in the Old Testament and terrifyingly possible in the New Testament (2 Chron. 26:16-21, Num. 16:35-38, Eph. 2:18-19, Ps. 51:15-17, Prov. 15:8, Isa. 29:13, Prov. 15:29, Heb. 13:10, Prov. 28:9, Lev. 10:1-4, Num. 16:7, 26-27, 31:35, 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1). From another typological vein which is of equal significance to the holy requirements of the Priesthood, and terrifyingly serious, is the fact that Christians are likened to and have become living stones of the Temple of God in the New Testament. Speaking of this, the inspired writers boldly declared that Jesus Christ has become “the Chief Corner Stone” (Eph. 2:20) for the New Testament Sanctuary, and those persons who assemble together within this “Spiritual House” are the “Holy Priesthood”, who also are “as lively stones” “framed together” (see Eph. 2:19-22, 1 Pet. 2:4-5, Ps. 118:19-24, Isa. 8:13-22, 1 Cor. 3:9, 16-17, Heb. 3:6). As the doctrine unfolds with greater and greater significance, it is evident that the saintliness of the Priesthood is a code of equal strictness to the sanctity of the stones of the Temple.
In other words, the stones must be “chosen”, “elect”, “precious” (1 Pet. 2:4-8). By essence, this means that they must be incorruptible, glorious, powerful, spiritual, and heavenly (2 Cor. 5:17, Eph. 3:16-17, Col. 3:10, Rom. 2:7, 1 Cor. 15:42-50, Rev. 21:9-22), instead of corruptible, vile, weak, carnal, and earthly (1 Cor. 15:35-50, Php. 3:21, Rom. 7:24, 2 Cor. 5:1). This means, in other words, they are of an acceptable grade, either gold, silver, or precious stones (2 Chron. 24:14, Lam. 4:2, Mal. 3:3, Rom. 9:21, 1 Thess. 5:23), and not an unacceptable grade, which is wood, hay, stubble, or other earthly-objects (1 Cor. 3:12-15, 2 Tim. 2:19-22). If any preacher or person [stone] of the Temple of God is a defilement of wood, hay, stubble, or other earthly-objects, God warns, “him shall God DESTROY” (1 Cor. 3:17). Christians are commanded to keep the House of God without defilement through a purging of all unacceptable stones (2 Tim. 2:21). If saint-to-saint judgment fails to do the purging (2 Tim. 2:21), God brings the FIRE: a Salvific Fire. Some will survive and some will not (Prov. 17:3, Matt. 3:11, 1 Cor. 3:13-15, Num. 31:21-24, Amos 4:11, Jer. 6:28-30, 9:1-9, Isa. 41:21, 48:8-12, Ps. 66:8-15, Ezek. 22:17-22). If the defilement of the Temple pervades the whole House, God will immerse the whole House in what is called, the Baptism of Fire (Lk. 3:16-17, Mal. 3:2-3, Isa. 1:25, Ezek. 20:38, Jer. 6:28-30, Amos 9:8-10, Zech. 13:8-9). Let us understand, therefore, that God will have His House HALLOWED. God’s chosen people, which are as stones, will be a “peculiar treasure” of a holy and glorious grade, a grade representative of the Lord’s Image (1 Pet. 2:9, Ex. 19:5-6, Deut. 14:2, 26:18, Eph. 2:19), or else, my reader, He will burn, refine, melt, purify, purge, sift, fan, sever, baptize, and those who are imperishable will be thus revived.
Henceforth, with the scriptural testimony laid-forth in Chapters 15, 16, & 17 in due consideration, overwhelming evidence begs from the Church one unwavering conclusion. Masterfully, inspired scripture does testify to the doctrines of Church Holiness in every stage of progressive redemption with perfect parallelism, naming names. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches” (Rev. 2:7). Is your name on the list?
CHAPTER #18: The exhaustive proof of the aforementioned still begs further explanation. Indisputably, the New Testament Church is “A Clean Place” of clean individuals in assemblies or congregations, no matter where they gather, but multitudes will dispute with it because of opinionated misinterpretations of the fact that, “The Old Testament Ceremonial Law has been Fulfilled by Christ and Disannulled for Christians”. In reality, the formerly mentioned statements of fact are not contradictory or problematic. No. Rather, 21st century Christians are the problem. They do erroneously omit the glorious masterpiece of the New Testament by summarizing the relevance and life-application of Old Testament dynamics in one simple word: abolished. What robbery! Because, the truth be told, the Old Testament Law has been fulfilled and disannulled, but not destroyed (Matt. 5:17-19)! Meaning, it has not been made insignificant or irrelevant, but the contrary! Therefore, this Chapter is dedicated to solving what appears to be logically irreconcilable to most, a conflict easily conveyed by a simple quotation of two scriptures: “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common [or unclean]” (Acts 10:15), and, “Touch not the unclean thing” (2 Cor. 6:17). Vast quantities of scripture have been written to clarify the coexistence and harmony of these two seemingly irreconcilable commands, but our study must be “line upon line, precept upon precept” (Isa. 28:10). We must begin, first of all, with the earthly and heavenly ministry of the Messiah. Jesus of Nazareth, the Reformer of the Old Covenant and the Testator of the New, is revealed to have fulfilled the Law in its primary veins, The Moral Law and The Ceremonial Law, on earth and in heaven, in the past and at present. The Reformer’s fulfillment of the Law did allow for an abolishment of specified aspects of Old Testament Ceremonial Law, some of which directly affect the practice of the Clean and Unclean Laws in the New Testament (shadow-to-reality), therefore, with all things in due consideration, it is truthful to affirm The Disannulment of the Old Testament Clean & Unclean Laws. Also, like Chapters 15, 16, & 17 did prove, parallel codes of holiness exist in the New Testament, naming names, all the while a real disannulment and abolishment has taken place in very specific ways. Pertaining to those matters of the Law which have been disannulled, one is of foremost relevance to the practice of Church Purity in the New Testament Church. The practice of Territorial Uncleanness in geographic regions on earth, as the Law prescribes, has been disannulled. Albeit, and notwithstanding, the Church is still “A Clean Place” in its own right.
CHAPTER #19: The inspired accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry conveyed in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the thrall of 1st century religious conflict that ensued, leading to the hill of Calvary, were directly relevant to the Clean and Unclean Laws of the Old Testament as the Pharisees and 1st century Jews understood them to be (a biblical explanation). To them, it appeared that Jesus of Nazareth was a lawbreaker, and for notable reasons. 21st century Christians are insensitive to and over-simplistic about the 1st century situation, but those who understand the teachings of the Law in the Old Testament, extensively addressed in Chapter 18, will immediately recognize just how significant and profound the clash between the Jews-and-Jesus really was. With the Law rightly understood, Matthew’s Cohesive Argument that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Messiah takes LIFE! Who Jesus was, where He came from, and where He was going changes everything! Thus, Matthew detailed the unprecedented characteristics of Jesus the Christ – that He was Verified, Born, Hunted, Credentialed, & Distinct. Matthew bore witness to the situational context in which Jesus said and did the things which he did in an effort to refute the notorious slanders of these events which pervaded the Jewish society of that time. Harmoniously and gloriously, Matthew further explained what Jesus’ deeds preached: A Message, Ministry, and Person Defended and Confirmed! And, thereby, The Accolades of a Reformer during “The Time of Reformation” were preached and revealed in formerly unheard volumes of Gospel glory! Can you hear it? The Gospel Tidings have everything to do with who is clean or unclean in God’s sight, according to New Testament scripture.
CHAPTER #20: Just as 1st century Judaism was led into widespread apostasy because of blind-eyed and wrongly emphasized convictions, 21st century Christianity has suffered the same fate; albeit in 21st century Christianity the blindness and wrongly emphasized conviction has taken a polar opposite position than the 1st century. The Christians today are not zealous for unbiblical and wrongly emphasized convictions of separatism, holiness, and cleanness, they are zealous for unbiblical and wrongly emphasized convictions of unity, equality, and tolerance. Hence, the Pharisaical Christians of the 21st century have never understood the Gospel Message of Matthew. Had they understood it, they wouldn’t denounce the relevance of New Testament separatism, holiness, and cleanness. The primary deficiency which hinders understanding, is this: because the Old Testament Law of biblical Judaism isn’t understood (covered in Chapter 18), neither is Matthew’s Gospel which was written to Jews (covered in Chapter 19). Oh, there is a terrible deception underway! With horrific consequences! A craft of deceit which is unintelligible by those who are ignorant of the aforementioned truths heretofore laid-forth. These are deceptions built upon deceptions! Namely, that 1st Century Judaism and 21st Century Christianity Exist in Antithetical Trajectories of Apostasy. Despite the popular Christian opinion, Old Testament Clean & Unclean Laws are explicitly cited and applied as exemplary shadows for New Testament realities. Firstly, we must understand that Old Testament, Jewish, Clean & Unclean Laws forbade company with sinners, a biblical truth which the 1st century Pharisees attempted to propagate in the arm of the flesh and in the blindness of unbelief (exhaustively addressed in Chapter 18). Secondarily, we must understand that the New Testament Clean & Unclean Laws do forbid Christian fellowship / company with sinners (exhaustively addressed in Chapter 21). Without these truths understood in due order, 21st century Pharisaical Christianity will be rendered indiscernible; and, as a consequence, The Temple of God in the New Testament is defiled with uncleanness.
CHAPTER #21: To fully comprehend the meaning and significance of the Church, “A Clean Place”, when it is defiled with uncleanness, one must look beyond 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1. There is much more to The Doctrine of New Testament Separatism than what is contained in those six verses from 2 Corinthians. The New Testament Clean and Unclean Laws are defined for us by the inspired writers of the New Testament, dissolving all disputes. Legal terms of cleanness and uncleanness are associated with the experience salvation and damnation all throughout the books of the New Testament, my reader! This is not an isolated doctrine. This is not unclear. By the legal term, “Filthiness”, one must learn the enormity and pervasiveness of humanity’s guilt before God. By the legal terms, “Pollution & Corruption”, one must learn the activity of the dead and the dying, the proceedings of and counteraction against spiritual corruption, and the health hazards associated with a careless and unconscious touch of unclean things. By the legal terms, “Uncleanness & Defiled”, one must learn the workings of general uncleanness and inward uncleanness in relationship to unforgiven sin, the salvation experience, the prerogative of self-mortification, the spiritual activity of the once-born and backslidden, and the existence of cleanliness in the totality of our human faculties. Furthermore, the lawful terms which communicate the operation of New Testament redemption must be understood in detail: namely, Anointing Oil, Garments, Daily Sacrifices, Blood-Sprinkling, Water-Washing, Holiness, Sanctification, Consecration, Purity, Cleansing, and Purging. Then, and only then, will the secret of power be restored to the people of God to make them able ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as Duncan Campbell did boldly declare, “The secret of power is separation from all that is unclean.”