Our Beliefs as
found in the Christian Bible:
These statement of beliefs are not intended to be "exclusive in their inherent assumption of correctness", but as a way to show what we teach and the scriptures we get our teaching from. The statements are designed to give a brief summary of each subject and are not intended to be an exhaustive in-depth study. The Scriptural references that follow each statement are by no means a complete listing of the many Scriptures that support these subjects. We do have more in-depth studies of these and many other subjects on this web site. All statements have been thoroughly researched and studied, and can be backed by scripture. It is the responsibility of the reader to check the facts of our statements if the reader seeks more than what has been handed down through the many different Churches over time. We stand firmly by the fact that these tenets here are not the interpretation of any man, but the clear statements according to scripture found in the Christian Bible.
We use the
James version of 1611 with the New King James Version. We have compared
these two versions with William
Tyndal's translation and John
and we are also researching the
to English New Testament along with the
History of the Peshitta
for a more complete understanding of scripture. You
also might want to read our study
credibility of the Bible"
Author/Webmaster of The Master's Table;
Timothy Malone Youngblood.
THE NATURE OF GOD:
The Hebrew word for God is Elohim, a plural noun inherently meaning more than one. Elohim is a holy Family of intelligent Beings composed of spirit. The God Family is eternal and all-powerful, and perfect in love, purpose, and character. The God Family is the Creator, Lawgiver, and Sustainer of all substance and life, which upholds and controls the universe. The Scriptures reveal that the God Family created mankind and shows by the plural context that there are at least two of them as these and other scriptures verify. ("After Our image and after Our likeness." Genesis 1:26) Therefore, God is the reality of the "image and likeness" from which man was created. The God Family presently consists of God the Holy Father and God the Son and these two members of the God Family have the same form, or "image and likeness," which They have given to human beings, though They are composed of spirit and one of Their purposes for the creation is to increase the God Family. According to this plan and purpose They will share Their eternal spiritual existence and Their vast creation with those human beings who will choose Jesus the Messiah the Son of God the Holy Father as their savior, and then be born again by the resurrection from death into the God Family at the return of the Messiah by inheriting Their magnificent love, glory and power as children of God throughout eternity. Those that accept Jesus as their Savior must work on their own weak human nature to overcome the down-pull of the flesh realizing that the good things of God's nature is what should be sought.
Is the Holy Spirit a person, or part of a Trinity? Our research on this subject shows that history proves that it was the Catholic religion that brought Trinitarianism into the church around the eighth century. There is not one single teaching from Jesus or the apostles of a trinity. In fact the scriptures reflect that Jesus never referred to the Holy Spirit other than the power of God and Paul never referred to the Holy Spirit as a person in the beginning of any of his letters. Tertullian (A pagan turned Catholic) was the first man who can be said to be Trinitarian since he invented the word "Trinity". He knew Greek as well as Latin, and wrote works in Greek. When he was yet a pagan (Around mid life) he accused the Catholic Church of also worshipping pagan gods as he did. Long after the Apostles were dead, Tertullian was converted to the Catholic religion around 195, and became presbyter of the Catholic church in Carthage, North Africa. Today he is referred to as the founder of Western theology (See EH Klotsche, The History of Christian Doctrine, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979, 52-53). He wrote Against Praxeas in 213 and attacked the modalist concept of God, bringing an explanation of his trinitarianism into view.
It must be noted that he began believing in only two persons of the Godhead as opposed to three but later accepted three. Tertullian, the father of Trinitarianism, wrote in his book that God was not yet Father before the time in which He begat the Son. By teaching that the Son was not eternal Tertullian in fact diminished the point of Jesus being our savior by teaching that the Son was the Word and was Wisdom. He was "born and created" of the Father, making the Father stronger, older and more noble than the Son. This is what Tertullian wrote of a "Trinity." He said that God consisted of "three persons". These three persons were the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God is "one only substance in three coherent, inseparable (Persons)" He said that the three persons were three "beings" making up one God. He said that the Father and the Son were "two different Beings" They were "distinct but not separate" He said the Son was "another." Tertullian' teachings were accepted by many although they were not biblical.
According to scripture the impregnation of the Holy Spirit from God the Holy Father as a spiritual begettal is granted freely to each believer upon repentance of sins, baptism by full immersion, and the laying on of hands. This begettal of the Holy Spirit is the earnest and assurance of the promise of eternal life through Jesus the Messiah. It is the power of God which makes each begotten child of God a partaker of the divine nature and imparts the ability to develop the love of God. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit imparts the power to each individual to live in accordance with God's will and to overcome the temptations of human nature, the world, and Satan. As the spiritually begotten believer seeks to serve and obey God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah, the Holy Spirit will lead and teach us all Truth that is contained in the Word of God and is essential for salvation. (See Trinity and The true Gospel) Scriptural References: Gen. 1:26 Eph.; 3:9-21; I John 4:8; Dan. 7:9-10; Eph. 1:3-5, 9-10; Rev. 1:14-16; Col. 1:12-27; John 4:24; Psa. 19:1-7; Psa. 8:1-6; Isa. 40:12-28; 57:15; Rom. 1:20, Rev. chap's 20 - 22. Gen. 1:2; Acts 2:38; John 14:16, 26; Rom. 8:9-14; I Cor. 2:9-10; Acts 8:15-17; 19:6; Gal. 5:22-23; II Tim. 1:6-7; Eph. 1:13-14; II Cor. 1:21-22; Isa. 55:1-3; John 7:37-39; I John 3:9-11; I John 4:4-8; II Pet. 1:1-11;
GOD THE HOLY FATHER:
God the Holy Father is the supreme, glorious, divine Spirit Being Whom is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. God the Holy Father accomplishes His will through the power of His Holy Spirit. God the Holy Father, Whom has all power and all authority, is true love and has perfect, holy character full of grace and mercy. God the Holy Father is greater than His Son Jesus the Messiah but shares all that He has with His Son. God the Holy Father sent Jesus the Messiah, His Son, to reveal the Holy Father's will, love, grace, and His magnificent plan for all mankind. God the Holy Father alone directly calls each individual to salvation, grants repentance, and imparts His Holy Spirit as a begettal, so that the individual becomes a child of God the Holy Father. God the Holy Father Himself personally loves each one He calls and is directly involved in the life of each individual, continually imparting His love, grace, mercy and blessings so that he or she can develop His loving, perfect, righteous character. The Holy Father personally hears and answers the prayers of all His begotten children. Scriptural References: I John 4:8, 16; John 6:44; John 8:16-18; John 1:1-2, 17-18; John 14:28; Eph. 3:14-19; John 16:27; Heb. 1:1-2; 2:3-9; Eph. 4:4-6; Mat. 11:27; I Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21:22
GOD THE SON; JESUS THE MESSIAH:
Prior to His human birth, the Elohim of the God Family Who became the Son eternally existed with the Elohim of the God Family Who is the Holy Father. Jesus was not the Son until He was born flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit. All things were created by God the Holy Father through the Elohim who became the Son. The Son is revealed in the Old Testament as the Lord God and Lawgiver, and in the New Testament as the Word of God. In order to become the Savior of all mankind He willingly divested Himself of His position in the God Family, giving up His majesty, glory and power, to become a fleshly human being, born of a virgin named Mary and as stated above was begotten of God the Holy Father by the power of the Holy Spirit. His full New Covenant name is Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Messiah. Jesus is His name and the Christ is His title. He is also referred to as "Immanuel" which is translated, God with us.
As a human being having the same weak human flesh as all men, He was subject to the same temptations as every human being, yet He never sinned. As the perfect Lamb of God He gave Himself to be God the Holy Father's special unique sacrifice through the crucifixion as an atonement for the sins of all mankind who would believe and accept His sacrifice. After being dead in the grave for a full three days and three nights, He was resurrected to eternal life through the power of God the Holy Father, becoming the Firstborn from among the dead. He was again invested with the full divine nature and power of the God Family He had prior to His human birth. He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Holy Father as mankind's High Priest, Advocate and Intercessor with the Holy Father, and as the Head of His church which is not a building or temple, but is the people that have been and will be called by the Holy Father. Those called must respond to the Holy Father's calling in order to receive the blessing of the gift of The Messiah which is eternal salvation. Jesus the Messiah will return to earth in the power and glory of His Father to establish the kingdom and government of God on the earth in the future. As King of kings and Lord of lords, He will rule the earth forever with His brothers and sisters, the children of God the Holy Father and will turn all things over to the Holy Father after the great white throne Judgment and establishment of the new heavens and earth. (See study on the Resurrections, and Chap. two in the book The Great Apostasy) Scriptural References: John 1:1-3; Phil. 2:6-11; Eph. 1:6-23; Heb. 2:9-14; Heb. 4:14-16; Heb. 5:7-9; Rom. 8:3, 29; Rev. 1:5, 13-16; Rev. 5:9-10; Rom. 5:8; John 3:16; John 17:1-26; I John 2:1-2; Rev. 13:8; Col. 1:14-20. Matt. 1:23.
THE NATURE OF MANKIND:
The Elohim of the God Family Who later became Jesus the Messiah personally created Adam and Eve with His own hands. He created them in the image and likeness of God, or Elohim, but a little lower than the Godhead. Human beings are made of flesh and blood and do not have inherent immortality or what can be stated as life inherent. However, God has added to the human brain a spirit essence called the "spirit of man." This spiritual dimension in the human brain imparts reasoning power and intellect, and gives human beings the capacity to think, speak, learn, write, plan, devise, create, build, control, teach, choose, worship, develop character, and to experience every emotion. God made male and female with the capacity to express intimate, personal love for each other as husband and wife, and through this physical union to create children after their own kind and produce families, clans, tribes and nations. These relationships are also God plane relationships.
Adam and Eve were created sinless but with a nature that was subject to temptation. God gave them freedom to choose between obedience and life, or disobedience and death. After they sinned by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil God sentenced them to suffer the pain and sorrow of living with a sinful nature and finally to reap the penalty of death. This penalty of death was passed on to all mankind by the physical inheritance of sinful human nature. Human nature is inherently and naturally hostile to God and is not subject to His laws and commandments. From the time of the fall of mankind in the garden the birth of all humans nature is a mixture of good and evil, and all die in Adam. We also received the conscience which tells us when we are doing right or wrong. When a person dies his or her conscious thoughts cease as does all functins such as the five senses. The body returns to the dust of the earth, and the spirit of man goes back to God. Only through God the Holy Father's gracious and merciful plan of salvation through Jesus the Messiah is it possible for a person to be redeemed and saved from this sinful nature and from death as well as the grave. God's ultimate purpose for each human being is complete reconciliation with God the Holy Father through Jesus the Messiah so that he or she may enter into the Family of God as a literal son or daughter, sharing the same eternal existence as God. This must come by way of each person's free will choice, God will not prevent us from going the way of sin even when He knows it will result in eternal death. (See What happens after Death) Scriptural References: Gen. 1:26-27; Psa. 8:3-6; Zech. 12:1; Gen. 2:7-25; 3:1-19; I Cor. 2:11; Ezk. 18:4, 20; Mark 7:21-22; Rom. 8:7-8; Heb. 2:7; Heb. 9:27; Ecc. 3:19-21; I Cor. 15:21-22, 44-56; Rev. 21:7; I John 3:1-3; Phil. 3:21;
THE HOLY BIBLE:
The Hebrew and Christian Bible consists of both the Old and New Testament and records the essential outline of history from the beginning of creation to Abraham, from Abraham to the birth of Jesus the Messiah, and from the birth of Jesus to the end of the apostolic era in approximately 100 AD. The last book titled the book of Revelation reveals major events prophesied to take place from the end of the apostolic era to the return of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. The book is frequently called by the incorrect name Book of Revelations. The actual title of the book is "The Revelation of Jesus the Christ to his servant John", as we find in the first verse. The author, who identifies himself as John, states that he received these visions on the isle of Patmos. The beginning of the vision relates to where the authority of the the information is from as recorded. "One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle", speaking with "a great voice, as of a trumpet". Then there are statements addressed to the seven churches of Asia which denote that the coming prophecies are for these seven Churches as well as to the evil people on earth. The next important part of these visions relate to the rest of the book which begins with "a door opened in heaven", and describes the end of the world which also involves the final rebellion by Satan up till Armageddon where God's defeat of Satan will be completed before the coming of the Kingdom of the Messiah for a thousand years, and the restoration of peace to the world.
Scripture in the latter part of the book of Revelation records that after the thousand years of Christ's rule are completed Satan will be loosed for a little season, and then with Satan's final army attempting to overthrow the city's of the Kingdom. God will defeat Satan for the last time and cast all evil into outer darkness never to return. After this event the current heavens and earth will be destroyed and then the second resurrection will occur to bring in the Great White Throne Judgment. After this last judgment is completed, and those who's names were not in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire, the new Heavens , Earth, and City of God will be established. Many end time prophecies recorded in the book of Revelation can also be found throughout the Old Testament. The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language and reportedly was faithfully preserved by the Massorites. History shows that those Massorites that faithfully preserved the Old Testament were the Levites who were appointed by Ezra as the official guardians of the Old Testament. The New Testament was originally written in the Aramaic and was written latter in the Latin and Greek languages and preserved through the Greek speaking church as well as the Aramaic Peshitta text.
It could be that the Received Text is more correct because there are early witnesses to its use such as Irenaeus (130-202 A.D.) pupil of Polycarp in Smyrna who was one of the Apostolic Fathers, having been a pupil of the Apostle John. There are many people who hold the Old King James Version of 1611 superior to all other English versions, but how accurate is this translation, and did the translators have all the tools and knowledge essential to do this great work? The KJV is the result of several earlier translations such as John Wycliffe (1320-84), an Oxford scholar, who was the first person to translate the Bible into English. His translation is a literal rendering of the Latin Vulgate. William Tyndale, coming at the start of a renewed interest in Greek, was the first to translate the Greek New Testament into English (1525) however William Tyndale (Or some enemy) did mis-translate some key words such as replacing the word "Stauros" in the bible and should be translated as "Stake". Our research has revealed that the true Greek word for cross is "Crux". This word "Crux" cannot be found in any of the original New Testament text at all, but the word Stauros which translates as "Stake" is found in every place where Tyndale used the word Cross. He also mis-translated the Greek word "Pascha" to "Easter" in many scriptures which is spelled "Ester" in his work and is incorrect, and I could not find the word Passover in Tyndale's New Testament work at all.
Tyndale made a major contribution to the English Bible by his translation of the Greek into English. One of the problems of Tyndale's translations however is that his English was very different than our English today. For example the scripture in Matthew 20:22 which reads in the King James Version, "But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, we are able. Now Tyndale's Version of that same scripture is Iesus answered and sayd: Ye wot not what ye axe. Are ye able to drynke of the cuppe yt I shall drynke of and to be baptised wt the baptyme that I shal be baptised with? They answered to him that we are. His version for John 3:16 was "For God so loveth the worlde, that he hath geven his only sonne, that none that beleve in him, shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe." It is possible to go back to manuscripts earlier than Wycliff, but the language is not easily recognizable. For example, the Anglo-Saxon manuscript of 995 AD renders John 3:16 as: "God lufode middan-eard swa, dat he seade his an-cennedan sunu, dat nan ne forweorde de on hine gely ac habbe dat ece lif." By this example you can see why many translations had to be revised.
We also found in our research that there are scriptures that were mistranslated because the text was not clear due to words having more than one meaning. An example is the traditional interpretation of "Eli, Eli, lemana shabakthani" in the Gospels is wrong which reads, "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" According to older text Jesus stated, ""My God, My God this is my destiny." Or I was born for this." This statement would also be more in line with Jesus' attitude towards Our Holy Father and the fact that Jesus knew it was His destiny and that His Father would never forsake Him. It is reported that if one reads the original Preface to the King James Version you will find that the translators themselves admitted there were many Hebrew and Greek words and even whole sentences they did not understand. They were in many cases forced to guess the meanings of many words. For centuries prior to 1611, Latin was the only scholarly language in Europe. The Latin Vulgate translation of Jerome, based upon a corrupt Alexandrian Text, was the "official" text of the powerful Roman Catholic Church. Protestant translators sometimes did not have access to all of the Received Greek Official Text, and being familiar with the Vulgate, they sometimes put words into their translations based upon the Latin which were never there in the original Greek or Aramaic. (If you would like to learn even more about the histroy and future of the bible see the study titled "The Credibility of the Bible") And a very good study paper The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy
THE CHURCH OF GOD:
The Spiritual Body of Christ:
The church of God is portrayed in the Bible as the spiritual body of Jesus the Messiah. God the Holy Father has appointed Jesus the Messiah as the Head of the church (Or Assembly) in all things. The true church of God is made up of all who have been called by God the Holy Father, who have accepted His Son Jesus the Messiah as personal Savior, have repented of their sins, been baptized by immersion, and who have received the Holy Spirit of God as a begettal from God the Holy Father. These individuals are spiritual brethren and members of one church--the spiritual body of Jesus the Messiah--although they may be widely scattered throughout the world and may not even be in contact with others. It is by one and the same Spirit--the Holy Spirit of God the Holy Father--that each one has been baptized into the body of Jesus the Messiah. This spiritual relationship with Jesus and God the Holy Father is the basis of all true Christian fellowship. Jesus described Himself to His disciples as "the true vine" and the Holy Father as "the husbandman." All true Christians are branches of this true Vine and must remain attached to this Vine in order to grow spiritually.
While there is only one spiritual body of Christ, its members are scattered in numerous local fellowships and individual ministries around the world. Since all members of the body of Christ have the Holy Spirit of God, God does not limit Himself to work through any single organization. Every group or ministry that is part of the true body of Christ will manifest the fruit of God's Holy Spirit, bear the name of God, and be keeping His commandments as magnified by Jesus the Messiah. The primary function of the church is to nurture the brethren of Jesus with spiritual food from God's Word so that they may grow up into the fullness of the stature of Jesus the Messiah. The church also has a commission from God to preach repentance and salvation through Jesus the Messiah in all the world, and to preach the good news of the coming kingdom and government of God in preparation for the return of Jesus the Messiah to rule on the earth. Churches ruling with the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (The Hierarchical system) is ruling against the will of God and should take His warning to heart as recorded in Rev. 2: 12-17.
The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is when a man rules over the brethren in a hierarchical system that places a man above the brethren. Let's read the very words of our Lord Jesus. "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. "And do not be called masters; for One is your Master, the Christ. "But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. "And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Matt 23:9-12. And we read in Matt 20:25-28. "But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Scriptural References: Eph. 1:22-23; John 21:15-17; Eph. 4:4-6, 11-16; Mat. 28:18-20; I Cor. 12:6-13; Acts 2:47; Mat. 24:14; Rom. 8:9, 28-29; John 15:1-8; Heb. 2:9-18; Rev. 1:12-20; Matt 23:9-12.
THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD:
The Church of God should have a ministry patterned after the instructions of Jesus the Messiah as recorded in the New Testament. Those who serve in this ministry do not exalt themselves over their brethren by exercising authority or rank, but strive to serve their brethren in humility and love. The elders of the Church of God understand that they have been called of God to spiritual service to fulfill the needs of their brethren. An elder may serve as a minister, teacher, pastor, evangelist, or in other needed capacities as God wills and directs. The function that each elder fulfills varies according to the measure of the gift of Jesus the Messiah. This calling is not and should never be directed by a man, but by Jesus the Messiah. The evidence of God's calling will be manifest by the long standing fruits of the elder. The qualifications for elders are found in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. That a man has been called by God into the ministry is evidenced by his love of God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah, the love of their truth and that he will defend the truth, and his love of the brethren and protecting them from the false teachers of this World.
An elder must maintain an attitude of true conversion and dedication to God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah. He must have a deep desire to serve the brethren of God and must have the ability to know and teach the true gospel of Jesus the Messiah. A true faithful elder will never show favor towards any one person or group in order to please. A true faithful elder will always put God first and the needs of God's people will always be his concern and he will seek out that which is down trodden and in need of help. The purpose of the ministry is to edify, protect and build up the body of Christ, and they have a responsibility to proclaim the gospel message of Jesus to unbelievers; to teach all who will listen, and to baptize in all nations as God the Holy Father calls. You might want to read our study titled...( Church Government .) This subject also includes the subject of tithing. The scripture in Matt 17:24-27 seems to show that Jesus paid tithes although this is referred to as a temple tax. The fact is that Jesus was under the Old Covenant Laws and those Laws were not made void till Jesus placed His Holy Blood on the alter in Heaven. Have you ever heard a minister state;” If you don’t pay your tithes you are robbing God?” Well this study tells the fantastic truth about it and helps people shake off the mind game and burden many churches place on them. Yes there is not one single scripture that shows the disciples received a tithe from the brethren as I show in this tithing article. http://www.masters-table.org/studies/tithes.html
Scriptural References: John 15:16; Mat. 20:20-28; Mat. 28:19-20; Matt 17:24-27 Titus 1:5-9; I Tim. 3:1-7; I Pet. 5:1-10; John 21:15-17; Mat. 24:14; Eph. 4:11-13; John 13:14-16; Heb. 13:7, 17; Luke 22:24-26; Acts 13:3, 14:23; I Tim. 5:22; II Tim. 1:6-14; II Tim. 2:1-4, 14-26; II Tim. 3:14-4:4; Jer. 23:28;
GOD'S LOVE TOWARDS US:
The love of God is revealed in that the God Family created mankind in Their image and Their likeness and gave them dominion over the entire earth, which They had bountifully created for them. God the Holy Father's profound spiritual love is fully manifested to mankind through His overall plan as revealed in the New Testament in the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus the Messiah. In His supreme love, God the Holy Father offers every human being He calls the opportunity to be born into the God Family through the resurrection from death, becoming a literal child of God the Holy Father, with the same form and spiritual composition as God the Holy Father and God the Son. God's love and reconciliation is now extended to those He is calling, and will be extended to all mankind according to His plan and will. God the Holy Father's love is manifested toward those He has called now through His grace and mercy which He daily bestows through Jesus the Messiah, His continuing intervention and blessings, and the care with which He chastens them. (See Law vs grace ) Scriptural References: Deut. 4:37; John 3:16; Rom. 5:7-8; I John 3:1; Psa. 145:8; I John 4:8-10, 16; Heb. 12:6; John 16:27; 14:21; Eph. 2:4-10;
OUR LOVE TOWARD GOD:
We love God because He first loved us. Our love for God is a result of God the Holy Father's calling through the power of the Holy Spirit, which opens our minds to understand the greatness and goodness of God's love and the sinfulness of our own nature. God the Holy Father leads us to genuine repentance and acceptance of the sacrifice and blood of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of our sins. We manifest our repentance and our faith in Jesus by being baptized in water, symbolically burying the old self into the death of Jesus the Messiah and rising to walk in newness of life with Him. Through the laying on of hands, the gift of the Holy Spirit is given to us as a spiritual begettal from God the Holy Father, imparting the love of God into our hearts. The capacity to truly love and know God comes through His Spirit within us, and no one can have this love without the Holy Spirit of God. We are individually to love God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul, all our strength and all our being. Jesus said that anyone who does not love God more than all others is not worthy of Him. Our love and our complete devotion to God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah are manifested by our willingness to live by every word of God that is still in effect in the New Covenant and to keep The Ten Commandments. (See study By their Fruits) Scriptural References: I John 4:16-19; 5:2-3; Mat. 22:37-38; Eph. 5:1-2; Rom. 5:5; I John 2:5, 15; II John 6; John 14:15-24; Gal. 5:22; Psa. 97:10; Deut. 6:5; Deut. 13:3; Mat. 10:37-38;
OUR LOVE TOWARD THE BRETHREN:
Christians are to have a special love for one another because God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah have individually called and personally love each one. As the begotten children of God, with the Holy Spirit working with us, all true Christians share a special fellowship with God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah. This fellowship is the foundation for the New Commandment which Jesus gave to His disciples to "love one another as I have loved you." This true Christian love is a sign by which all people can recognize the true followers of the true Jesus the Messiah and out savior. Scriptural References: John 13:34-35; John 15:9-10; I John 3:16-17; I John 2:6-11; 5:1-2; I John 4:19-21; II John 4-6;
Sin is the transgression of the Holy Laws and Commandments of God, whether in the letter or the spirit of the law which are still in effect in the New Covenant. Therefore, sin is lawlessness or anti-law. Sin is also a defilement of one's conscience. When a person knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin. The ultimate penalty for unrepentant sin is eternal death. Upon deep and sincere repentance toward God one's sins can be forgiven by faith in the blood and sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah for the payment of those sins through the mercy of God the Holy Father. We all have sinned and we all need to be saved. We will sin in some way throughout our life, however we MUST STRIVE to overcome the down pull of our human nature. We MUST set our mind and will on becoming like our Lord Jesus The Messiah. We MUST never look back after we have entered into this covenant, or we may become like Lot's wife and lose our crown that awaits us at the end. Never come to believe the great lie from Satan the devil that you can't lose your salvation, because Jesus our Lord stated that we could be cut off from the vine and cast into the fire. (Believe Him)
The unpardonable sin is speaking against the Holy Spirit (Or stating that the Holy Spirit is evil.) as recorded in Matt 12:32. "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. This sin cannot be forgiven because it is willful rejection of God's salvation, willful rejection of and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit of God the Holy Father, and despising the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah as an unholy thing. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin of condemning the works of God the Holy Father, accomplished through the power of His Holy Spirit, and attributing such works to Satan the devil. When a person has committed the unpardonable sin, his or her conscience is seared with a hot iron, and it's impossible to be convicted by the Holy Spirit and be led to repentance. These are those that has had their names taken out of the book of life we read of in the book of Revelation. These are also those that accept the mark of the beast rejecting God and the salvation of His son Jesus the Messiah. God's judgment for the unpardonable sin is the second death, or eternal death, from which there is no resurrection. (See Chap's. four and five in the book "The Great Apostasy") Scriptural References: I John 3:4; Rom. 7:12-14; I John 1:5-2:2; John 15: 1-6; Acts 2:38; Eph. 1:7; Eph. 1:7; 2:1-10; I John 5:17; Jas. 2:10-11; 4:12; Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 14:23; Acts 3:19; Matt. 12:31-32; Heb. 6:4-6; Gal. 1:8-9; Heb. 10:26-27; Rev. 20:14-15; Rev. 21:8;
Repentance is complete remorse and sorrow for one's sins, which are the transgressions of the laws and Commandments of God. Repentance is the first step in the sinner's reconciliation with God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah. True repentance begins when God the Holy Father opens a person's mind to understand that he or she is a sinner against God the Holy Father and that his or her own sins had a part in killing Jesus the Messiah. The graciousness of God the Holy Father leads each sinner He calls to repentance. Repentance moves each one to confess his or her sins to God the Holy Father (Not a man) and to ask forgiveness, remission and pardon for those sins through the blood of Jesus the Messiah.
True and deep heart felt repentance will produce a profound change in a person's mind and attitude called conversion which will result in a continuous desire to live by the will of God. The truly repentant person will turn from evil thoughts and ungodly practices and will seek to conform his or her life to the will of God as revealed in the Holy Bible and as he or she is led by the Holy Spirit. The repentant person will seek to understand the truth of God found in the Holy Bible and reject the false teachings and false religious practices of religions in this world including the false religion going under the Name of Christ who have become pagan because of leaving the first teachings of the Messiah and bringing in a false savior. Repentance and confession of sins is an ongoing process in a Christian's spiritual growth toward the perfection of Jesus the Messiah. (See Forgiveness / Repentance ) Scriptural References: Rom. 2:4; Acts 2:37-38; Luke 24:47; II Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:5-9; II Cor. 7:9-11; Acts 3:19; Jer. 17:5-9; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3, 5; II Tim. 2:25; Psa. 51; Acts 11:18; I John 1:6-2:2; John 6:44-45;
Upon genuine, Godly repentance and acceptance of Jesus the Messiah as personal Savior, the believer must be baptized by complete immersion in water for the remission of his or her sins. Water baptism symbolizes the death and burial of each repentant believer--a spiritual co-joining into the death of Jesus the Messiah. Through this baptismal death, the believer becomes a partaker of the crucifixion and death of Jesus the Messiah, and His blood is applied as full payment for his or her sins. Rising up out of the water is symbolic of being co-joined into the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. When the believer comes up out of the watery grave of baptism, he or she rises to newness of life. In order to become a new person, each baptized believer must be begotten with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. Without this laying on of hands and receiving the Holy Spirit the believer will only have been baptized by the baptism of John and not of Jesus. The believer is then led by the Holy Spirit to walk in loving obedience to God the Holy Father and faith in Jesus the Messiah. ( See Baptism in the study titled "The Gospel of Jesus the Messiah" ) You will find this in the study titled The Gospel of Jesus the Messiah under sub title (Why Baptism?) and another sub title (Just what is The Holy Spirit ?) Scriptural References: Acts 2:38; Mat. 3:13-16; Mat. 28:19-20; Col. 2:12; Acts 8:12-1; Rom. 6:3-13;
THE GRACE OF GOD:
Grace is the free and undeserved gift of God the Holy Father through Jesus Messiah. The grace of God is the greatest expression of God the Holy Father's love and all-encompassing mercy and grace is more than the forgiveness of sins. To be under grace means to continually be receiving God's divine love, favor, blessing, gracious care, help, goodwill, benefits, gifts and goodness. God the Holy Father is the source from which grace comes to the believer. The ONLY MEANS by which grace is granted to the believer is through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah as the perfect sacrifice of God the Holy Father. The believer enters the grace of God through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of his or her sins. God the Holy Father grants His grace to each believer upon real repentance of sins and baptism by full immersion which is the outward manifestation of repentance. Through grace the believer's sins are forgiven and the righteousness of Jesus the Messiah is imputed to him or her.
Grace establishes a new spiritual relationship between the believer and God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah. Through the unearned and unmerited gift of grace, the believer is not only chosen, called, forgiven and accepted by God the Holy Father through His Beloved Son Jesus but is also begotten with the Holy Spirit making him or her a child of God and an heir of eternal life. From this point the spiritually begotten believer begins a new life under grace which give room to grow. As the Scriptures reveal, living under grace requires the believer to live by every word of God that is still in effect with complete love and devotion to God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah. Grace does not grant one license to practice sin by ignoring or rejecting the clear Commandments of God.
Only those who keep His commandments can abide in His love and remain under His grace. Every believer who receives the grace of God has a personal obligation to God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah to forsake his or her old sinful thoughts and practices and to live a new life daily growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus the Messiah. For every believer who lives under grace Jesus the Messiah is the Redeemer and High Priest and Advocate and no man should ever place himself in that position. If the believer commits a sin Jesus intercedes to propitiate the Holy Father and to obtain His mercy and grace. The grace of God which comes through Jesus the Messiah keeps the repentant believer in a continual state of blamelessness and sinlessness. Remember that grace may be offered to all mankind, but not all will accept it. (See Law vs Grace) Scriptural References: Eph. 2:4-10, 4:7; I John 3:6-8; Rom. 5:1-11, 15-18; Rom. 3:22-25; 2:4; Gal. 2:20; Rom. 4:1-13; Psa. 103:2-4; Gal. 1:15; Gal. 5:1-4; Isa. 55:6-7; Jude 4, 21; Gen. 6:8; II Tim. 1:9; I Cor. 15:10; Rom. 11:5-6; Eph. 1:3-9; Eph. 3:1-21; I Pet. 5:10;
Justification is freely granted to the called and repentant believer by God the Holy Father through the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah. Justification takes place when the believer's sins are removed by the blood of the Messiah and he or she is put into right standing with God the Holy Father. In order to receive God's gift of justification, a person must repent toward God, believe in the sacrifice and blood of Jesus the Messiah for the remission of sins, and be baptized by immersion. The believer is then cleansed from sin and is without condemnation, placing him or her in right standing with God the Holy Father. This state of justification is called the "gift of righteousness" because the righteousness of Jesus the Messiah is freely imputed to the believer by God the Holy Father. Scriptural References: Rom. 2:13; Rom. 4:5-8, 24-25; Rom. 5:1-10, 17-21; Rom. 3:24-31; I Cor. 6:11; Rom. 8:28-30;
Faith is the knowledge of and active belief in the existence and power of the living God and His only begotten Son Jesus the Messiah. Faith is a gift from God and a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit as a begettal from God the Holy Father true believers are granted the indwelling presence of Jesus the Messiah through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the very faith of Jesus which is reliance upon Jesus' blood sacrifice alone. This faith is the actual spiritual substance of God's Holy Spirit which gives the believer the assurance and the confidence that what God has promised He will perform. The true meaning of faith the way Jesus meant it, is to "place your physical, and spiritual well-being (Health, happiness, and prosperity) into the care of Jesus the Messiah, trusting Him to give you what is good for you and all that's involved. We must become like a child in the care of their father, or mother, trusting with complete trust. The true faith of Jesus the Messiah that is imparted by God to each believer will continually be manifested by the fruits of righteousness in the believer's life. Faith is made perfect by doing the good works that God the Holy Father has ordained through Jesus the Messiah. This active and living faith is absolutely essential for salvation through grace. Without good works, faith is dead. Without faith, good works are of no value in God's sight. Good works alone cannot bring salvation and eternal life. While true faith will produce good works in the believer's life, these good works do not earn salvation. The good works that are done through faith are not the cause but the result of God's gift of salvation to the believer. Scriptural References: Heb. 11:1-6; Gal. 5:22; Gal. 2:20; 3:1-14; Eph. 2:4-10; Rom. 4:20-21; Jas. 2:14-22; I Pet. 1:1-9; Rom. 1:17; Phil. 1:6; 3:3-19; I Cor. 13:2; Titus 1:16; Rev. 14:12; Luke 7:50; Mat. 8:1-13; Jas. 5:14-15;
The Scriptures reveal that God sometimes allows sickness to come upon individuals for a special purpose. With this exception, the sickness that we suffer is the result of physical or spiritual sins. Divine healing is God's forgiveness of those sins. God the Holy Father personally intervenes when He extends healing to those who call upon Him in times of sickness or injury. This divine intervention can be directed toward anyone at any time, as God wills, because Jesus the Messiah paid the price for healing from every sickness with the stripes of scourging that He received before His crucifixion. When we are healed by God, our sins are forgiven through the stripes of the sufferings of Jesus the Messiah. The Scriptures teach that one who desires to be healed by God should call for the elders of the church to anoint him or her with oil in the name (Or to say by the authority) of Jesus the Messiah and to pray for God's healing and intervention. Trusting God in faith for healing is a personal matter between each individual and God. This trust must also include accepting His will in our lives, having the faith that He will do what is best. Scriptural References: Ex. 15:26; Psa. 103:2-3; Mat. 9:27-30; I Pet. 2:24; I Cor. 11:23-30; Mat. 8:1-17; Jas. 5:14-16; Isa. 53:4-5; Mark 16:15-18; II Cor. 12:7-10; John 9:1-11; Acts 8:15-17; Acts 19:5-6; Jas. 5:14-15; Mat. 19:13-15; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 6:6; 13:3;
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW
God is both Creator and Lawgiver. When God created mankind, He also established righteous laws that govern man's relationship with Him and with his fellowman. The laws of God draw a clear line between actions that are good and righteous in God's eyes as opposed to acts that are evil and sinful. Without God's laws there would be no sin. The Scriptures declare that "where there is no law there is no sin, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." The Biblical record of the sins of Adam and Eve and the nations that descended from them makes it clear that God's laws (The Ten Commandments) have been upon mankind from the beginning. In Old Testament times a man or woman who kept the Commandments of God, fulfilling His requirements in the letter of the law, was counted as righteous before God. This type of righteousness, which was earned by doing the works of the law, brought many physical and material blessings from God, health and prosperity, deliverance from enemies, peace and long life.
When God covenanted with Israel He proclaimed through Moses that those who kept His laws and commandments "shall live in them" because they would be spared the punishment and curses that were appointed for lawbreakers--including death by capital punishment. Although the righteousness of the law resulted in many blessings to the obedient fulfilling the letter of the law did not and could not earn eternal salvation. The promise of salvation and eternal life is God's free and undeserved gift to mankind and is offered only through faith which is reliance upon Jesus' blood sacrifice alone. It cannot be earned by fulfilling the letter of the law. The required righteousness of the letter of the law was a "schoolmaster" or tutor to reveal the sinfulness and weakness of human nature and to point to the need of a savior and for a better righteousness--the righteousness of faith that can only come through Jesus the Messiah. When we accept Him, His righteousness is imparted to the believer, and the believer should never take that lightly. (You might want to read are we still under The Law of Moses? ) Scriptural References: Gen. 3:11-13; 4:7-11; Gen. 6:5-13; 15:16; Lev. 18:5; Jer. 18:7-10; Ezk. 20:11, 13, 21; Pro. 4:4; Deut. 28:1-13; Deut. 4:1-13; 6:1-4; Gal. 3:11; Rom. 10:5; Rom. 3:9-22; 4:13-16; Rom. 2:11-13;
THE LAWS AND COMMANDMENTS OF GOD:
The laws and commandments of God as revealed in both Old and New Testaments are a holy and perfect set of principles based on the love of God. God's laws and commandments are designed to teach man how to love and worship God and how to love his neighbor. God has made known His Ten Commandments to the world from the beginning and requires all mankind to keep them as the Commandments of God define what sin is, and as scripture states "where there is no law there is no sin". No one could be counted as a sinner, or under sin, if God did not require all the people of the world to keep His Commandments under the New Covenant. The Scriptures show that God judges all nations according to their obedience or disobedience to His laws, bringing blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience or sin. Because of sin and wickedness in Noah's time, God destroyed the world with the Flood, and the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because they were sinners before God. The Ninevites were a Gentile nation not in covenant with God, but God warned them through His prophet Jonah of His impending judgment for their sins. The inhabitants of the land of Canaan were expelled because of their religious and sexual sins. The people of Israel, God's chosen nation, also sinned grievously against God and were sent into captivity. Through sin and disobedience to God's laws and commandments, all humans have become guilty before God. Generation after generation has yielded to the sinfulness of human nature and has utterly failed to meet even the minimum requirements of the letter of the law. While God has always required mankind to keep His Laws and Commandments in the letter of the law, He desires that every human being learn to worship Him in the spirit of the law.
The full spiritual intent of God's laws is that each one learn to love God with all the heart, mind, soul, being and strength; and to love one's neighbor as oneself. It is only through the gift and power of the Holy Spirit that this obedience is made possible. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, each Christian can have the laws and commandments of God written in his or her heart and mind and can learn to walk daily in the spiritual obedience that God desires and never forget that no one comes to this fully in a short time and is the reason God gives all their own room to grow. The laws and commandments of God are not contrary to grace and faith, but are truly established by faith. In this new covenant Christians have entered in with God. Law keeping is from with-in and is kept because every truly begotten child of God will come to desire to become like God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah. (See Law vs Grace) Scriptural References: Gen. 3:11-13; Gen. 6:5-13; 15:16; Lev. 18:5; Jer. 18:7-10; Ezk. 20:11, 13, 21; Pro. 4:4; Deut. 28:1-13; Deut. 4:1-13; 6:1-4; Gal. 3:11;Rom. 10:5 Rom. 3:9-22; 4:13-16; Rom. 2:11 13; Mat. 22:36-40; Psa. 19:1-7; Psa. 111:10; John 14:15-24; Psa. 119; I John 2:4-6; Mat. 4:4 Isa. 42:21; I John 3:4; Mat. 5:17-20; I John 5:2-3; II Tim. 3:16; Heb. 8:10-12; 10:16-22; Rev. 22:14; Rev. 12:17; 14:12;
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS:
The Ten Commandments, spoken by God to Israel, are the foundation of all God's laws. They have been in effect from the beginning of mankind, over 3,000 years before their pronouncement at Mt. Sinai. Their written form is the summation of the spiritual laws which function at all times, whether a person is aware of them or not. Obedience to these commandments brings blessings, and disobedience brings curses. These laws are just as active and will affect our lives as action and reaction such as gravity. If you break them, they will break you. The Ten Commandments teach us how to express love toward God and our fellowman. Scriptural References: Ex. 20:1-17; Deut. 5:6-21; Deut. 30:15-20; Mat. 19:16-22; Rom. 7:7-14; Mat. 22:36-40; I John 3:22-24; Rom. 13:8-10; II John 6-10;
THE WEEKLY SABBATH:
The weekly Sabbath is the seventh-day of the week, known today as Saturday. In the beginning, all the days were numbered except the seventh day and it was named the Sabbath. The sabbath was created by God, and He blessed and sanctified the seventh day at creation as a special day for rest and fellowship with Him. The Sabbath is a memorial of creation and was made for all mankind. It was the commanded day of weekly worship for 3,000 years before the Ten Commandments were given to Israel. The Fourth Commandment is a reminder to observe and keep holy the seventh day Sabbath. As Lord God of the Old Testament, Jesus the Messiah created the Sabbath by resting on the very first seventh day and by blessing and sanctifying it. In the New Testament, Jesus the Messiah proclaimed that He is Lord of the Sabbath day. During His ministry on earth He reaffirmed the sacredness of the Sabbath and taught its proper observance. Jesus the Messiah Himself showed by example that it is right to do good on the Sabbath day in addition to resting from one's physical labor and secular business. Jesus stated that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath meaning we are not to be a slave to the Sabbath. The apostles of Jesus the Messiah and the early New Testament church observed the Sabbath and taught Gentile Christians to observe it even after the new covenant was established. The Sabbath day has never been changed by God to another day, and man does not have the authority to do so.
The keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath is a special sign of the covenant between God and His people. Those who keep the proper day show they are willing to obey God and that they are His children. God commands that it is to be observed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. During this holy time Christians are commanded to rest from their labor and to assemble to learn of God and to remember He is our creator. Observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is essential for true fellowship with God the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah. (See Holy Sabbath) Scriptural References: Gen. 2:1-3; Mark 2:27-28; Ex. 20:8-10; Ex. 31:13-17; Isa. 58:13-14; Isa. 56:1-7; Isa. 66:23; Ezk. 20:12, 20; Lev. 23:1-3; Luke 4:4; Acts 13:42-44; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4, 11; Acts 19:8-10; Heb. 4:4-10;
THE ANNUAL FEAST AND HOLY DAYS:
The Old Testament Scriptures teach that there are seven annual feasts and holy days which were given during the Old Covenant ordained by God to be observed as special commanded convocations and these feasts and holy days do portray God's plan of salvation for mankind. As the holy days are annual Sabbath days they may fall on any day of the solar week (except Pentecost, which always falls on a Sunday). When a holy day falls on a weekly Sabbath, the special observance of the annual holy day takes precedence. God's feasts and holy days were observed from sunset to sunset and in accordance with the commands and instructions of God found in the Old Testament books Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. The first month always starts in the spring of the year and we know today that the first new moon after the spring equinox is the starting point. Just like the Sabbath day, the New Year has never been changed by God the Holy Father. The Catholics changed it to January which is mid winter and the Jews changed it to the seventh month, however just because man will think to change times and law does not make it valid in the eyes of God. Also note that the Holy days were not observed before the Old Covenant was established with the priesthood.
We find that the word month in Hebrew is chodesh (kho'-desh); from Strong's number 2318; and means "the new moon; by implication, a month: -month (-ly), new moon." and that the month always start on the "Molad" which is the time called the birth of the moon, or the "New moon" which is when the moon is not visible from the earth because the earth is in between the sun and the moon called the conjunction. A conjunction is when something lines up in association with one another. There are three days when the moon is not visible because it takes that long for the earth to move from one side to the other. The earth always moves at the same rate of speed so from the time we see the waning moon's crescent to the waxing moon's crescent we know that the middle of this time has to be the new moon. It is a fact that when dealing with anything that has a cycle, the ending "must" also be the beginning. By knowing that the earth is in-between (Or in conjunction) with the moon and the sun for three days, it stands to reason that we can count either 1 ½ days after we see the last light or we can count 1 ½ days back when we see the moon's waxing crescent to figure what would be half that time. Some teach that the new moon starts just after the waning moon in the period of the first dark part and others teach that it is the darkness prior to the waxing crescent.
Either concept goes against good division reasoning in that to do it either way simply would appropriate dark time from either month. The beginning and the end are the same time and must be divided up the same in order to come out with equal time for each. The way one can verify the starting point of the Molad is that the "full moon" will be half of the time, fifteen days later. The holy days of the first day of unleavened bread falls exactly on the "full moon" and the first day of the feast of tabernacles will be on the full moon also. If they are not according to anyone's calculations, then they did not start from the true new moon. It's just that simple. (See Postponements) The seven annual feasts and holy days are as follows:
Feast or Holy Day:
Commanded scriptural date of observance:
1) Passover, 14th day of the first month. Ex. 12:1-14;
2)Unleavened Bread, (7 days) 15th through 21st days of the first month. (The 15th & 21st are holy days.) Ex. 12:15-20;
3) Pentecost, Counted annually; fifty days are counted, beginning with the first day of the week during the Days of Unleavened Bread, The feast is observed on the fiftieth day, which always falls on the first day of the week. Lev. 23:15-17;
4) Trumpets, 1st day of the seventh month. Lev. 23:23-25;
5) Atonement, 10th day of the seventh month. Lev. 23:26-32;
6) Tabernacles, 15th - 21st days of the 7th. month. (The 15th is a holy day.) Lev. 23:33-44;
7) Last Great Day, 22nd day of the seventh month. (A holy day) Lev. 23:36;
(See God's New Covenent )
THE KINGDOM OF GOD:
The kingdom of God is the government of the Family of God. The kingdom of God currently rules the universe. Although the kingdom of God is not now ruling the earth, all those who have the Spirit of God are under the rule of God the Holy Father through the lordship of Jesus His Son. The kingdom of God will be re-instituted on the earth at the return of Jesus the Messiah as King of kings and Lord of lords. At that time, the Millennium will begin and the immortal saints as the sons of God will rule as kings and priests with Jesus the Messiah in the kingdom of God. After this thousand year rule of the Messiah God the Holy Father will bring the new Jerusalem from heaven to the new earth and the kingdom of God will rule the entire universe from the new Jerusalem for all eternity as Jesus hands all things over to the Holy Father. Scriptural References: Rev. 2:26; Dan. 2:44; Micah 4:1-4; Rev. 3:12, 21; Heb. 11:13-16; I Cor. 15:50-54; Rev. 5:10; Isa. 11:1-10; Col. 1:13; Rev. 21; Isa. 66:22-23; John 3:3-7;
The Bible reveals two distinct types of resurrection from the dead: 1) restoration to physical life as a fleshly human being, and 2) transformation to eternal life as an immortal spirit being. The Scriptures record the resurrection of individual persons to physical life at various times by the will of God. In Old Testament times, a widow's son was restored to life through the prayer of Elijah the prophet. Many were resurrected when Jesus died, and Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead is a well-known example from New Testament times. These were special acts of mercy by God that extended the physical life of the individuals. Those whom God has resurrected in this manner were not given immortality, and all again died.
Jesus the Messiah was the first to be resurrected to immortality by the power of God the Holy Father. To become a human being Jesus had divested Himself of His glory and power as the Lord God of the Old Testament. When He was resurrected, He was restored to His full glory, power and honor as a member of the Godhead. Jesus the Messiah is called the Firstborn from among the dead because He is the first of multiple millions who will be resurrected to immortality. When Jesus the Messiah returns to the earth, all true Christians that remained faithful and who have died will be raised to eternal life as immortal spirit beings. Those Christians who are alive at the return of Jesus will be changed instantaneously from flesh to spirit. This transformation to spirit is the new birth, when the saints of God--both dead and living--are truly "born again" into the Family of God. All the saints will be composed of spirit, as God is composed of spirit, and will be full members of God's divine Family. They will rule with Jesus the Messiah as kings and priests on the earth. This resurrection is described in the Bible as the first resurrection, and there is a second resurrection after the thousand year reign of Jesus. (For a more detailed study see Resurrection and Judgment) Scriptural References: I Kings 17:17-24; John 11:20-44; Mark 5:35-42; I Cor. 15:3-4, 20-23; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 2:9-10; John 5:28-29; I Cor. 15:23, 35-55; Rev. 20:4-6; Mat. 27:52-53; Rev. 20:11-12; Ezk. 37:1-14; Rev. 20:11-15; II Pet. 3:10-12; Mat. 25:41-46;
CLEAN AND UNCLEAN MEATS:
As Creator, God has provided not only plants but also animals to be food for mankind.
However, God did not create all animal flesh to be eaten by human beings. Because God desires mankind to sustain good health, He has revealed to mankind which animal flesh He specifically created to be eaten. This knowledge was made known from creation, as shown in the account of Noah and the Flood. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God clearly specifies which meats are fit for human consumption and which are not. The classification of clean or unclean is easily identifiable by the characteristics that God created in the animals. Any warm-blooded mammal which has split hooves and which chews the cud is clean to eat. All other warm-blooded animals are unclean. Of the creatures that live in the waters, only the fish with fins and scales are clean to eat; all others are unclean. Of the fowls, God forbids eating the flesh of fowls which are scavengers. All reptiles are unclean, as are all insects except locusts, grasshoppers and certain beetles. Contrary to the belief of many professing Christians, the New Testament does not nullify God's laws of clean and unclean meats. The dispute between Jesus the Messiah and the Pharisees in Mark 7 did not involve the eating of clean or unclean meats. Rather, it concerned His disciples' eating food with unwashed hands. As clearly interpreted in Acts 10, the vision that Peter saw was given to reveal that no human is to be called "common or unclean" and is not a divine authorization to change God's laws of clean and unclean meats.
The apostle Paul upheld the laws of clean and unclean meats as a requirement for Christians. He described the meats that Christians are permitted to eat as those "meats which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe [have faith in] and know the truth [the Word of God is Truth--John 17:17]" (I Tim. 4:3). Paul was clearly showing that some meats were created to be eaten and others were created not to be eaten. Paul continued, "For every creature of God [which was created to be eaten] is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified [set apart] by the Word of God [as revealed in the Scriptures] and prayer" (verse 4). Scriptural References: Lev. 11:1-31; Deut. 14:3-20; Mark 7:1-16; Acts 10:1-28; I Tim. 4:3-5; John 17:17 Isa. 66:17; Gen. 7:2; 8:20;
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Timothy Malone Youngblood.