Enter vs Inherit the Kingdom

Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment. Indeed, he has crossed over from death to life.  – John 5:24 Berean Study Bible

The difference between “enter” vs “inherit” the Kingdom is perhaps the most helpful teaching I have learned in my Christian walk.  It answers the question about the security of my salvation in Christ and the walk of my sanctification in Christ.  The information in this article is primary drawn from Joseph C. Dillow’s book, The Reign of the Servant Kings  although I do disagree slightly with Dillow when he applies this teaching to the parables of Jesus.  This article also addresses the difference between the “Judgement Seat of Christ” where believers appear before God to receive their degree of rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven and the “White Throne of Judgement” where unbelievers appear before God to receive their degree of their punishment in the Lake of Fire.


An Unbeliever “Enters” the Kingdom of God and becomes a Believer (one time – for all eternity!):

John 3:3-5 ” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Mark 10:15 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

John 10:9  I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 

John 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

When the word “enter” (Greek εἰσέλθῃ – Strongs 1525) is used in scripture it refers to a “one time” act of faith, the act of being “born-again” and “entering” the Kingdom of God.  Note, I am not going to quibble here about the difference between entering the Kingdom of God vs entering the Kingdom of Heaven, there are a number of verses where they are used interchangeable.  The Kingdom of God primarily has to do with the divine “inward” life of a believer and the Kingdom of Heaven has to do with God’s divine outward rule on earth as it is in Heaven.  The “Kingdom of Heaven” is also the Spiritual realm of existence that we will enjoy as believers when we leave our earthly bodies and join Jesus in Heaven.  The Kingdom of Heaven also extends to earth, during the Church Age (when believers share the gospel of Jesus Christ and abide in the Grace of Jesus Christ) and during the Millennium Age (when Christ rules with a rod of iron on earth and believers rule with Christ in their resurrected bodies!)

The only way to “enter” the Kingdom is to be saved by grace through faith in believe of Jesus Christ … you must be “born again”.  Salvation is a “one time act” of trusting in Jesus, that His work on the cross (by the shedding of His blood) Christ has paid your sin and by His perfect obedience, you are righteous before God.  Once you believe in Jesus and enter the Kingdom you can’t leave the Kingdom since it is impossible to un-believe what you once believed and it is equally impossible to un-receive the gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit, that seals your heart for all eternity.  You can no more be Spiritually un-born in heaven than you can be physical un-born on earth … it is a logical impossibility.   

Salvation is by “birth” in Christ not by “behavior” of man.

Think of it like the sperm cell when it enters the egg cell, it starts a new life at that very point and the process of life can’t be reversed or undone anymore than you can unscramble an egg.  Unfortunately, the baby body can be aborted before it is physically born but I believe the “life and soul” that is within that body goes to Heaven and decides to stay with Jesus.  All souls that God creates are eternal, it’s just a question of where that soul “decides” to spend eternity.  Abortion is not terrible for the aborted person but it is terrible for those of us on earth that miss the “gift of God” in that person who was prepared by God to bless the earth.  And of course, there is the hardship of grief and guilt of the parent that must seek forgiveness and reconciliation with God.

I’m sorry, I kind of went off on a tangent but I am trying to convey the concept that entering the Kingdom is a “one time” event that starts a process (salvation – sanctification – glorification) that can’t be undone.  You can’t be “thrown out” of the Kingdom since it is Christ who has saved you and guaranteed your entrance by grace through faith not based on your works of righteousness, which are like filthy rags … and therefore there are no works of unrighteousness that you can do that will cause you to loose your salvation.  It is Christ who seals your salvation (Ephesians 1:13) and it is Christ who will “complete” your salvation (1 Philippians 1:6).  Therefore, in Christ you have confidence that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). 

If you are trusting in your own good works for salvation, then you have never been saved … you haven’t lost salvation … you have never been saved by Jesus and sealed by the Holy Spirit.  But if John 3:16 is true, then you are trusting in the good works of Jesus Christ for your salvation and Jesus doesn’t/can’t lie about what He will do!

Jesus died for our sins (past, present and “future”) according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3) … so Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS) is a true Bible doctrine … or I like to say Once Sealed, Always Sealed … or Once in Christ, Always in Christ.  However if you claim to be saved and yet you are not concerned about living your life for Christ then you are probably not truly saved, you are probably not “born again” and you are probably not sealed by the “Holy Spirit“.  God sent His Son to save us from our SIN … our Self Indulgent Nature way of thinking, which is to think we can live a good and pleasing life apart from God.  As previously stated, when a person is “born again” the Holy Spirit “seals” the person for eternal life … you have Christ “in you” … you are “in Christ”.  From this point onward, until you physically die and are removed from your physical sin nature body or until you are caught up to Jesus in the Rapture, your thoughts and deeds that are contrary to your new Spiritual life that is in Christ “grieve” the Holy Spirit in you and remind you that you belong to Jesus. 

This is what it means to be “born again” … it means you have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  God is able to lead you, guide you, comfort you, satisfy you with His love and overflow you with His joy … so it spill over onto others.  God wants to give us the best of everything but we must realize that everything is best when it’s done His way … not according to our way of thinking.  If you are His child and continually seek to know God and follow Him, He will guide you through this wicked world so you have “rest” for your weary soul.  If you are His born again child and you continue to try to think and do things independently from God … “I did it my way” … then God disciplines those who are His (Hebrews 12:6), so they see the futility of their sin (self indulgent nature) so they will deny their sin and trust in Holy Spirit to overcome their sin. 

God wants us to “rest” in His Grace and yield to Him as He completes the good work of Salvation that He began in His born again child (Phil 1:6).  “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;” – John 10:27.   However, until someone invents a “Holy Spirit Breathalyzer” this debate about whether someone has lost their salvation or they are living in rebellion toward their Salvation or they were never saved will continue until Christ returns. 

A profession of faith (head knowledge about Christ) without a possession of faith (being born again in Christ) is not Salvation … you must be “Born Again”!

Repentance from sin (a turning away from self and sin) and Faith in Jesus Christ (a turning toward God) are two sides of the same coin … the gift of repentance and the gift of faith supplied by the gift of God’s Amazing Grace  … “all” … work together to bring the gift of Salvation (Ephesian 2:8-9).  Salvation is an unmerited “gift” of God’s Grace.  Salvation is not offered to you based on any good work you have done and it is not denied to you based on any bad work you have done.  There is no work involved to receive Salvation and there is no work involved to keep your Salvation.  Salvation means you are “at rest” in what Jesus has done to justify you before God and it means you daily “rest” in Jesus, abiding in Him, doing the good works He has prepared for you to do (Hebrews 4:10-11).

Salvation in Jesus Christ is not to be seen as a license to sin and still be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, like you are holding a “get out of jail free card”.  If you are not concerned with living a life of repentance toward sin and righteous toward Jesus Christ, then you most likely are NOT saved.  True salvation in Jesus Christ results in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which causes the believer to have an attitude of reverence towards God who created you and an attitude of gratitude towards Jesus who paid the price to redeem your from sin, so you can have an eternal relationship with God.  Salvation actually “begins” a battle within the believer between the new born again nature of God and the old and pervasive sin nature of man.  This battles is called the “sanctification process of becoming like Christ” and it continues until you are in the presence of Jesus, free from your sin nature and fully redeemed to the new nature of Christ! 

 

On the other hand, if you think you have done or said something that caused you to loose your salvation then this is a good sign that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in you.  However, a believer shouldn’t live in fear of loosing their salvation but they should live with the assurance that Jesus who saved them from the penalty of sin (justification) is able to complete the good work of saving them from the power of sin (sanctification) until the day the believer is delivered from the presence of sin in a resurrected body (glorification).  It is “our love of Christ” because of the “love that Christ has for us” that assures of our eternal life with Christ and it motives us to daily trust and obey Him!

 

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. – 1 John 4:18”

The issue of how a person is saved (Salvation) and how a person is kept saved (Sanctification) is divided into to primary camps called “Arminianism” vs “Calvinism”.   The Arminians think the “free will of man” can choose salvation in Jesus and the free of man can choose to loose their salvation.  The Calvinist think “the sovereignty of God alone” chooses those who are saved in Jesus and God alone keeps them saved.  However, I belong to the camp of “born again Christians” who think the free of man can choose Salvation in Jesus and the sovereignty of God keeps that person saved.  

      The Question
Calvinism Born Again Christian   Arminianism
Salvation Obtained by the Free Will of Man?
no
yes! yes
Salvation Kept by the Sovereignty of God?
yes yes! no

Note, choosing Salvation in Christ is not like choosing what socks to wear or choosing fish instead of chicken to eat or choosing to add sugar to your coffee.  You are not choosing to “add” Jesus to your life but you are choosing to have Jesus become Lord of your life.  “Choosing” does not accurately describe what Salvation is … choosing is only part of the way we understand Salvation.  More importantly you are “believing” Jesus is Lord of All, that He died for your sin and rose again on the third day and He can grant you forgiveness of your sin and eternal life.  And you are asking Jesus to come “into” your life … to comfort you, guide you and give you His love and you are receiving Him into your life with thanksgiving and joy! 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13  

 

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.  – Proverbs 8:17

Our “choosing” to be Saved by Jesus works in-conjunction with God’s “choosing” to reveal Himself to those who seek Him … which God desires to do and will do … to those who seek Him.   And our seeking God is not a work that we do but it is the essence of what it means to be human … “I think therefore I am – Descartes“.  Each person wrestles to understand the meaning of their life but some are not willing to acknowledge the evidence of the witness of God.  Each person is responsible for acknowledging the witness of God in creation and the witness of God in our moral conscience so man is without excuse if He rejects these two witnesses and does not seek to be reconciled to God through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 1:20).

Justification by Faith         from My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  Romans 5:10

I am not saved by believing— I simply realize I am saved by believing.  And it is not repentance that saves me— repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus.  The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause.  Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that!  I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died.  When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God.  And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done.  The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don’t know how it was accomplished.

The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus.  We can be born again solely because of the atonement of our Lord.  Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience (Corinthians 5:17-19).  The unconquerable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself.  We do not have to accomplish these things ourselves— they have been accomplished through the atonement of the Cross of Christ.  The supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle of God, and there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done— “It is finished!” (John 19:30).  


A Believer receives “reward based’ Inheritance in the Kingdom of God by doing acts of faith in Jesus Christ:

Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, – Ephesians 1:18

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10  “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.  Colossians 3:23-24

When the word “inherit” (Greek kléronomeó – Strongs 2816 and Greek kléronomia – Strongs 2817) is used in scripture, it refers to inheriting rewards or acquiring your Kingdom status/promises in your glorified body in Heaven.  This act of “inheriting” rewards can only be done by a believer of Jesus.  (Note, there is a “sonship inheritance in Heaven that is guaranteed by your salvation which I will discuss later in this article)A believer receives a “reward based inheritance” when they act in faith to do the good works of faith that God has prepared by grace for them to do.  When the believer cooperates with the Holy Spirit in doing these acts of faith he will “inherit” the character of Christ (now), advance God’s Kingdom in Heaven and on earth (now) and store up an “inheritance” of rewards in Heaven (future).  This is what it means in Matthew 6:33  To seek ye first the Kingdom of God …” .  It means that as a believer of Jesus Christ we cooperate with the Holy Spirit that dwells within us (from the one-time act of Salvation) and we seek to be transformed into the image of Christ (by the ongoing act of Sanctification) and we look for our blessed hope to be with Jesus in our resurrected body (by the future act of glorification). 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6

As we can see from Philippians 1:6, God is going to complete the good work that He began at Salvation.  God is going to burn off the “dross” of sin in the person through the Sanctification process.  If the believer cooperates with the Holy Spirit, then the believer will inherit rewards in Heaven.  If the believer doesn’t cooperate with the Holy Spirit after he is Saved then he will have a miserable time fighting the Holy Spirit, probably die an early death and have little to no reward based inheritance in Heaven but he will have his “entrance” into Heaven and his sonship based inheritance in Heaven.

When a person is saved that person receives a new Spiritual nature of Jesus Christ that desires the things of Heaven.  The Holy Spirit seals the person so he can’t lose his Salvation and the Holy Spirits dells within the person to comfort and guide the person … and also to cause him sadness from sin.  However the old sin nature continues to dwell in the person too and it continues to want the things of the world.  As a believer of Jesus Christ it is our responsibility to deny our sin nature and walk by faith in our new Spirit nature of Christ (this is the Die 2 Live theme of this web site). 

When we follow the Holy Spirit and do the good works of faith that God has prepared for us to do we store up rewards in Heaven for our inheritance.  It we are unfaithful and walk by our sin nature then we will not inherit” rewards in heaven.  Unfaithfulness on a Christian’s part causes our godly character to decline and (1) thus we come under the discipline of God as believers (not his judgment), (2) it causes the Kingdom of Heaven on earth to decline and thus the Church comes under the discipline of God (this is happening now) and (3) we loose rewards we would have otherwise gained in the Kingdom of Heaven but we do NOT loose our entrance into the Kingdom and our son-ship inheritance, which is guaranteed by our salvation in Jesus Christ. 

Come just as you are … leave just as He is!

Many people are familiar with the footprints in the sand story … the two sets of footprints in the sand represent a walk of the believer in fellowship with Jesus and the “one” set of footprints represents Jesus who alone carries the believer through a trial of suffering, when the believer didn’t have the strength press on.  This is actually, the way our walk with Jesus should look all the times … the footprints of Jesus should be indistinguishable from ours because we are so closely abiding in Him, walking in His steps.  Yet, I think that sometimes, instead of one set or two sets of footprints there is a “trench” alongside the footprints of Jesus, where Jesus has been dragging the believer along in rebellion into the Kingdom of Heaven.  For some of believers the trench is short because the believer confesses his sins and walks again (1 John 1:9) but for other hard headed believers the trench is long and deep, ending right a the gates of Heaven itself. 

Another problem that causes a Christian’s growth (sanctification) to be stunted and their rewards to be withheld is that most Christians remain on a diet of “milk”, pacified with the teaching concerning their salvation but not they are not daily reading their Bible, or being a Berean to study the scriptures for themselves!  The “meat” of God’s word is to study the scriptures to see how the promises in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New Testament … like how the 7 Jewish feasts are represented by the 7 candle Menorah and are fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.  Also, a third of the Bible is prophecy, yet many Christians don’t study it and are unaware of the signs of the time, especially today!

Another problem occurs when a Christian tries to do good works by their own power and reasoning, thinking they must do good works or they will loose their Salvation.  But as I said before, we are not to be motivated by “fear” but by “faith”.  God has prepared the good works and He provides the means for us to do them.  It’s the “joy of the Lord” that is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).  We must deny our selfish reasons and do it out of our love for God, knowing that in this way we are drawing closer to God and He will reward us for doing so. 

But perhaps the biggest problem is that most Christians are so busy building a home here on earth, doing things to bring them success and happiness in this world that they fail to see that this world is NOT their home, but their “real home” is in Heaven where Jesus is preparing a place for the believer using the material that the believer sends to Him … a life lived in trust and obedience to God’s word.

Think of the difference between enter and inherit from the standpoint of your earthly family.  When you were physically born you entered into your family on earth.  It was God’s decision and His gift to give you life … you can’t be unborn or unrelated from your family no matter how hard you try …  it is a logical impossibility.  It’s a blood connection, where the DNA of your parents is in your blood, defining your physical characteristics in the flesh.  Well, when you become a child of God, you become born into God’s family and your blood connection is through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Salvation in Christ is “your” decision to join God’s family but it is also must be made under God’s terms of surrender (repentance) and faith in Jesus Christ.  And at your new birth in Christ you receive God’s Holy Spirit in you and inherit God’s Spiritual DNA which defines your “real” identify of who God created you to be.  God becomes your Abba Father and you can’t be unrelated to your new Spiritual family of Grace in Jesus Christ .  Your physical family may disown you but once you are in the born again family of God, you can never be disowned.

Now, your earthly parents may have an inheritance they are planning to give you and the inheritance your receive might be based on your conduct and behavior toward them.  I know there are times when a family member receives “nada” when their parents die … because of something the family member did or didn’t do that was in opposition to the parent.  In a similar way your “inheritance of rewards” in the Kingdom is based on your conduct toward God after you become a member of God’s family (note, there is a “sonship inheritance” in Heaven that is guaranteed by your salvation which I will discuss later in this article).   God is not like an earthly parent who makes unfair demands on your life or who promises an inheritance but leaves nothing behind.  God is a “promise keeper”.  Therefore if you “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33)“, then your will be storing up treasures in Heaven that you will enjoy for all eternity (Matthew 6:20).

A believer is judged for the “rewards” he inherits in the Kingdom of Heaven at the Judgment Seat of Christ (also called the Bema seat) based on his good works of faith he has done in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Note, the Judgement Seat of Christ is not a judgment for entrance into the Kingdom, that was decided and guaranteed when the believer was born-again.  There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) … a believer is covered by the righteousness of Christ and is righteous to enter the Kingdom based on Christ’s righteousness.  However, a believer can loose rewards and privileges to serve Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven by not faithfully serving Him now, on earth.

My pastor says that the hardest thing to do on earth is to deny self and serve Christ, yet in Heaven serving Christ will be the most desired and joyful thing to do.  Our desires in Heaven will be turned upside down and we will no longer focus on our selfish desires and be held back by fear and sin but we will desire to serve Christ and be used by Him.  Yet, the reward of serving Christ in Heaven will be based on the faithful service that is given to Christ on earth now!  Like the poor widow who gave to the treasury at the temple two small cooper coins which represented all she had (Mark 12:41-44).   “Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all. – Mark 9:35”


An Unbeliever is “Denied Entrance” into the Kingdom of God after their death:

Luke 12:10 “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.”

John 3:16-18 “16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The only person who is “denied entry” into Heaven is the person who blasphemies the Holy Spirit, which means the person reject the gospel of grace and salvation in Jesus Christ.  Note, there is no such thing as a neutral or undecided position concerning the message of the gospel of grace and salvation in Jesus Christ.  If you are “on the fence” or waiting to make the decision to come to Christ and you die today, you will go to hell.  You will appear before the White Throne of Judgment, not to decide your guilt or innocence before God but to decide your degree of punishment in the Lake of Fire.  For we are all born an enemy of God, children of sin and followers of Satan.  We are all born with a sin nature that we inherit from Adam’s sin nature.  Therefore we are born guilty of sin, disconnected from God without the ability to please God and do His will. 

However, God in His grace covers the sin nature of the unborn and the babies and children, those who have not reached an age of accountability to understand their sin or those who are physically unable to understand sin because of a mental disability.  If people such as these die, they are granted an entrance into the Kingdom or perhaps like the angels that didn’t fall with Satan, they are given a choice after they did and they decide to stay with Jesus in Heaven.  And God covers the sin of those who have “entered” His Kingdom by grace through faith in Jesus Christ  but if you are reading this article, then you have reached the age of accountability for your sin.  God has already revealed Himself to you concerning your sin and you are without excuse if you have not accepted His offer of salvation for your sin in His Son, Jesus Christ.


A Believer may be Denied “reward based” Inheritance of the Kingdom of God but He is not denied Entry:

Galatians 5:16-26  “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”

The above scripture is written to born-again believers as a warning to not “carry out” or act upon the desires of the flesh.  I have recently updated this article to indicate that this scripture can be understood in one of two ways but this scripture is NOT a warning that you can loose your salvation. However it is a warning that you can loose rewards or it it a warning to examine yourself because you might not be saved at all!

(1) The first way to understand this scripture is that if you are a believer of Jesus Christ and you envy what someone else has (or commit any sin of the flesh) you will not “inherit rewards in the Kingdom of God.  This scripture does not teach that you will not “enter” the Kingdom if you sin as a born-again believer.  Moreover, this scripture above is saying that if the motive for what you do is to be seen as being better than someone else then your works are worthless, they will not count for rewards in heaven.  Envy is a sin and you should confess it to God and return to fellowship with God (1 John 1:9) so you can do good works that “inherit” rewards in Heaven but having thoughts of envy are not going to keep you out of God’s house, they just put you in the dog house where you can’t enjoy the fellowship of God until you confess your sin!  

(2) The other way to understand this scripture is that Paul is warning people in the church of Galatia (and all believers everywhere) that if they practice deeds of the flesh and have no remorse or conviction of their sin, then they should examine themselves to see if they have been born again and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.  The Holy Spirit of God will bring guilt on a believer if they practice sin and do not confess sin.  This guilt will nag and hound at the heart, and it can lead to sickness and even death if the sin is not confessed by the believer to the Lord (1 John 1:9).  In comparison the believer who is living a righteous life in Christ, the Holy Spirit may feel grief because of the sin and suffering that is in the world and empathy for others who are suffering from the effects of sin and those who are lost in sin.  The righteous believer will feel uplifted and rejoice in righteous living and victories of righteous done in Jesus name.

Does Galatians 2:21 teach that you can loose your salvation … NO! [youtube id=”T-4SHFmhJfs”]

Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God 17 And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

This scripture from Romans is a reminder to the believer that he is a child of God, therefore we should be willing to suffer in this world for righteousness sake taking up his own cross to identify with Christ.  Yet, Peter denied Jesus three times and Jesus didn’t reprimand Peter telling him he had lost his salvation but he did remind Peter that He was called to feed Christ’s sheep.  Peter was also greatly grieved because he denied Jesus, after bragging in his own strength that he would not abandon Jesus.  Peter was suffering in guilt and shame of his sin nature, which proves Peter was a child of God.  Peter later greatly proved his faith and love for Jesus, even dying upside down on a cross.  Those who who deny their self/sin nature daily and take up their cross serve/suffer for Christ will be glorified to a “greater” degree with Christ.  This is scripture is not meant as a threat that a Christian will not receive a glorified body in Heaven if they do not suffer for Christ to the degree that Paul or the disciples suffered but it is encouragement those who sacrifice more for Christ will receive greater glory and rewards with Christ.  As Jesus told the mother of James and John, “You will indeed drink My cup,” Jesus said. “But to sit at My right or left is not Mine to grant. These seats belong to those for whom My Father has prepared them.” – Matthew 20:23.

John makes this clear that even a “born again” person in Jesus Christ will continue to sin no matter how hard he tries to avoid it.  That is because the believer continues to have a sin nature that fights against his new Spirit nature of Christ while he walks the earth “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us – 1 John 1:8.”  Don’t be naive or ignorant about your sin and don’t wallow in your sin but stop your sin, confess your sin and try not to do it again.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).”  The important thing to remember is that you do not ride a roller coaster of uncertainty about your salvation, wondering if there is some sin in your life that is going to derail your entrance into Heaven.  Sin in your life will diminish your Christian joy on earth and your rewards in heaven but it will not keep you out of Heaven or send you to the imaginary place of purgatory that the Catholics have dreamed up.

When you sin, after you are saved, the Holy Spirit within you will convict you of your sin and this should cause you to confess your sin and repent of your sin (1 John 1:9).  If however, you profess to be a Christian but you are not concerned about sin in the world or convicted by the sin in your life, then I would be very concerned about my relationship with Jesus Christ.  The scripture is clear that once you are saved you have crossed over from “death to life” (John 5:24) but if you claim to be saved and you are not concerned about sin in your life or you approve of sin in the life of others then you are most likely NOT a saved.  For although a believer in Jesus Christ will still commit sin, a true believer of Jesus Christ will be prompted by the Holy Spirit to confess their sin and return to fellowship with God. 

Note, a person who is not concerned about sin in their life or the person who “approves” of sin has not lost their salvation but they never were saved because it is for this reason that Jesus died for us, to save us from the penalty, power and presence of sin (http://die2live.worthyofpraise.org/the-three-aspects-of-salvation/).  Moreover, a concern to be holy and humble like Jesus and a purpose to live your life for Christ by His power and grace is the sign that the Holy Spirit has sealed you for all eternity as a child of God.



A Believer receives “sonship based” Inheritance of the Kingdom of God but an unbeliever does NOT inherit sonship

1 Corinthians 6:9- 11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:7

In the above passage (1 Corinthians 6:9- 11) Paul is addressing the unrighteous, the unsaved person and he is saying they will NOT receive a “sonship” based inheritance into the Kingdom of God because they will NOT enter the Kingdom of God.  Previously in this article I have been talking about “reward based” inheritance, which are “conditionally earned” rewards given to a believer based on the faithfulness of the believer after salvation.  But there are also unconditional “sonship” inheritance “gifts” that every believer receives when they “enter” the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Ephesians 1: 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Here are some of the “sonship” gifts of a believer in three stages … color coded:   (Salvation – SanctificationGlorification)

 

(1) guaranteed entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven (John 5:24) – “opportunity” to earn Kingdom rewards (1 Corinthians 3:14) if good works of faith are done  the “potential” to enjoy Kingdom rewards/service in Heaven to reign and rule with Christ if self is denied and works of faith lead by the Holy Spirit are done (2 Corinthians 5:10)

 

(2) sealing of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) – filling of the Holy Spirit when faithful toward Godfullness of the Holy Spirit in Heaven

 

(3) Christ’s righteousness before God (Romans 8:1, Isaiah 61:10)  – ongoing forgiveness of sin when confessed (1 John 1:9)a white robe of righteousness in Heaven (Revelation 3:5, Revelation 19:14)

 

(4) Spiritual death sentenced cancelled (Colossians 2:14) – grace to preserve until death or until the rapturea resurrected body in Heaven

 

(5) reconciliation with God – fellowship with Godpresence of God and fullness of joy!

I noticed that murderer is not on the list of the unrighteous (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and some say that a murderer cannot be saved, but if that were true then they themselves would be eliminated since every man is guilty of murdering the Son of God.  Because of my sin and your sin, Jesus died.  And some Christians think that it is impossible for a “born-again” believer to murder someone and even if it is possible then that Christian should be banned from Heaven (loose their salvation) and treated as an unbeliever.  But God does not look at the outward appearance of things, He sees the true condition of the heart.  He know which children are His regardless of their sinful behavior and He knows how to discipline them and get them into Heaven, even if He has to bring them there by the rod of His discipline.


Here is how God intends for His born-again child to behave so they can inherit full rewards in the Kingdom of God and enjoy God to the fullest now!

Colossians 3:12-17 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

In addition to the guaranteed “sonship inheritance” (see above) there is a “reward based inheritance” you can “earn” by your faithfulness “after” you are saved!  The “crown” rewards will be presented to believers by Jesus at the Judgement Seat of Christ if the believer has passed the specific test of faithfulness on earth to receive the crown reward. 

Crowns of Reward for the faithful works of believers in Jesus Christ

 

The Crown of Life is for perseverance through temptation and suffering (James 1:12Revelation 2:10).

 

The Crown of Righteousness is for living pure because the believer is loves to see the appearing of Jesus (2 Timothy 4:81 John 3:3).

 

The Crown of Glory is for the willing selfless exercise of service to others “feed the flock” for the building up of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:171 Peter 5:2-4).

 

The Eternal Incorruptible Crown is for self control and discipline in running the race of faith submitted to the Spirit and not the flesh (1 Corinthians 9:252 Timothy 2:5).

 

The Crown of Rejoicing is for rejoicing with believers and for sharing the gospel to make believers of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20)

 

For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done.  – Matthew 16:27 HCSB 

I think there are also Kingdom service rewards to reign and rule with Christ that will be rewarded to those who faithfully do the works that Christ has called them to do on earth.


      In closing thought, I know it’s hard from some Christians to fathom that a born-again believer can sin in foul and perverse ways or curse God’s name or deny God’s love for them but I have heard the testimony of saved people who turned their back on Christ and committed terrible sins, only to later sense God hounding them and holding them and calling them back into His fellowship.  And I think some Christians don’t seriously look at their own sinful behavior and they judge others more severely than themselves, thinking they can tell the wheat from the tares.  But we can’t tell the wheat from the tares and Jesus told us not to pull up the tares in the Church but he would separate the wheat from the tares at the harvest, which is the end of the Age. 

Matthew 13: 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’

       This does not mean that we are to condone sin, especially in the life of the believer. God hates sin and we are to confront sin but it means that we don’t condemn or judge the motive for why a “believer” severs or doesn’t  serve God.  Each believer will have to answer to God for their walk with Christ.  Also, I am being realistic to acknowledge the ongoing battle of sin in the life of the believer and I am writing this article to give the weary believer hope, that he will not loose his salvation if he sins because God has guaranteed to complete the good work of changing a believer into the person God created that person to be.  Also, God is always knocking on the door of his born again child’s heart when that person sins, longing to forgive His child and come in and dine in sweet fellowship.  And I am giving encouragement to the believer who faithfully overcomes sin and cooperates with God’s sanctification process, that he will be rewarded by Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven.

         Do you want to be saved from the condemnation of sin and be “born again” to everlasting life with Jesus?  Repeat this prayer:   

Heavenly Father, I know my sin separates me from You.  I know that I need Your forgiveness to cover the penalty of my sin and Your righteousness in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  I now repent of my self indulgent nature (SIN) way of thinking and turn my life over to You, by faith in Your Son – Jesus, in order to become the person You created me to be before sin entered the world.  Lord Jesus, I do believe that You earned my salvation for me; through dying for my sins in Your perfect sacrifice on the cross, and through living on my behalf, a perfect life of obedience and righteousness; and that You rose from the dead on the third day, according to the scriptures, as proof that you are the Son of God who is able to grant everlasting life to whomsoever will call upon Your name.  I trust in You alone to save me, and I am willing to follow You as Lord of my life.  Thank You for granting me forgiveness and a new birth into spiritual life, united with You for eternity.  I receive the Holy Spirit that seals me, comforts me and guides me into all Truth.  I pray this in Your Name, Jesus.  Amen.

If you said this prayer, rejoice you have everlasting life in the family of God’s Grace.  Read God’s word daily to feed your new born again nature … begin with the book of John.  If you know another born again believer, share your testimony with them and email me so I can celebrate with you!

– Rogersings   email me at:   info@die2live.worthyofpraise.org

About Me

Hello Reader,

Look, we live in a fallen world and we are all fallen people … we are sinners who sin.  Everyone has sinned and has disappointed God.  We are all in need of forgiveness from God.  We all need His grace to save us and guide us through this fallen world.  I am no different.  My sins may not be the same as your sin but I am a sinner just like you but perhaps unlike you I am sinner who has been saved by Jesus.  I have been saved from the penalty of my sin by believing in Jesus.  I am trusting Jesus to plead my case for forgiveness of my sin before God based on His righteousness and His work on the cross.  And like John Newton, I can say “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”

As a young husband and father, I had a good job and what I thought was a good family life.  It was the happiest time of my life.  However, what I thought was a wonderful life wasn’t so wonderful for my wife because little by little I was focusing more and more on my job and less and less on her and my family. Then one day she said to me “I’m want a divorce”.  My wife was having an affair with a friend and I didn’t even know it.  I was shocked and devastated.  I was so out of touch with her and my kids, it was the worse thing that ever happened to me.

The real tragedy was not that I was focusing to much on my job or not enough on my wife and family. The real tragedy was that I had turned my back on God.  I wasn’t reading the Bible, I wasn’t praying, I wasn’t going to church, I wasn’t following God and worst of all I wasn’t leading my family to know God and honor Him.  God had to hit me with a 2×4 of His grace to wake me up but He finally got my attention.

This is when I started to write but I wasn’t writing about God, I was writing about my hurt feelings.  I wrote letters to try and win my wife back but that didn’t work.  I read a lot of philosophy books and wrote down the keys to happiness but that didn’t work either.  Finally, a black lady from work came to me and said, “God told me you are hurting and He can heal you”.  I didn’t know what to say.  I had seen this lady at work but had never talked to her before. I didn’t know her but she knew God and she knew God was seeking me.  She told me to read the book of John in the Bible and we could talk about it.  Well, this started my relationship with God … the best thing that ever happened to me.

But in the process of knowing God, I wrote down a lot of things that didn’t make sense to me, a lot of doubting, a lot of ignoring God, rebelling, repenting and coming back to Him.  I’m still a work in progress, all Christians are a work in progress, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, we’d be in Heaven. To think that you have to surrender “all” your desires to God, in order to gain what is truly “best” for you seems too risky, even crazy … or as I say now “praisey”.  It is like you are not able to trust yourself to know what is best for you and actually this is true … or we won’t end up in such a big mess.   This is the root of the problem, we can’t trust our judgement, it’s corrupted by sin.  We must turn from trusting our judgement, to trusting Christ’s righteousness.  The wisest man in the world, Solomon, wrote in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight (direct your path).”  My Christian friend put it this way, “The truth will set you free, but it will piss you off first”.

I am hope you have a Bible, read it and it will tell you who God is, why He created you and what He created you for.  The world makes sense when you realize this is God’s world.  It was created for His pleasure and your pleasure is only found in a relationship with God, doing His will.  Only God knows how to get you through this world and He is happy to do it, if you will call on Him for salvation (click here).  After making a mess of my life, I was glad to be forgiven of my sin, saved by God’s grace and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me to direct my steps in life.

As for me, I don’t find it easy or enjoyable dying to self and living for Christ, nor am I able to do it all the time but the Lord is good and patient and forgiving.  And even when I am unfaithful, God remains faithful and He will complete the work in me.  Phil 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

I serve in a “cross” denominational church on the coast of North Carolina, “Chapel by the Sea“.  My children are married and I am now a Poppy to three wonderful grandchildren.  The Lord is so good to me, He even found me my Maranatha wife through this web site and this very web page!   We were married a few days before the Revelation 12 sign in 2017 and we spend our time watching the signs in the world that point to the fact that Jesus is coming soon and studying God’s word.  I also like to sing and I have written some praise music that I have shared on this site.  I use the handle “Rogersings” to close my articles because it was God’s saving grace that has given me a reason to sing and His grace has overcome my “stage fright” that kept me from singing in public for the first 40 years of my life.  And the emoticon is; the cross over me, my glasses, nose and a smile.

Hey, if you get “blogged” down from all the articles, take a break and listen to the songs on this web site or have a good laugh by reading the Groaners.

roger

A servant of the Lord Jesus,  Rogersings  +8^) 

info@die2live.worthyofpraise.org

Mt Zion – Mt Moriah – Mt Calvary – Mt Eden

Mt Zion

His foundation is in the holy mountains.

The LORD loves the gates of Zion
        More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.

Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God 

 –  Psalm 87:2-3

Mt Zion is synonymous with the city of God, the city of David, the city of Jerusalem.  Zion is the “holy mountains” on earth that the Lord loves and dwells with men.  Zion means “highest point”.  Zion is the hill where David built a citadel … a refuge and fortress.  I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” – Psalm 91:2.  Zion also includes the “temple mount” area, Mt Moriah, the threshing floor that David purchased to build the Temple of God (2 Samuel 24:18-21).  Moriah means “seen by Yahweh”. 

How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” – Isaiah 52:7

Mt Zion is the place where God saw the faithfulness of Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac (Genesis 22:1-24) and it is the place where David pleaded with God for mercy to stay His hand of judgement for his disobedience and pride (1 Chronicles 21:14-18) and it is the place David purchased to built an altar to the Lord (1 Chronicles 21:18-30) and it is the place where David’s son, Solomon, build the first temple to God (2 Chronicles 3:1) and it is the place “Calvary” where the ultimate faithfulness and sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, occurred (Luke 23:33) to pay for the sins of the world, allowing those who believe in Him to enter into the Holy Place in Heaven (Hebrews 9:12).  The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the gospel good news of our Salvation (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)!

Psalm 110:1 The LORD (Yahweh – Father) says to my Lord (Adon – Jesus): “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

 

      2 The LORD (Yahweh – Father) will stretch forth Your (Adoni – Jesus) strong scepter from Zionsaying,“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”  

Remember when Jesus rebuked the Scribes as if in a riddle to them, quoting from Psalm 110 to confirm His identity as the Son of God (Luke 20:42).  “The Lord – God the Father” said to the Lord and Savior of David – “my Lord – God the Son” … come sit at my right hand.  And this is where Jesus is now, ever since He ascended into Heaven … He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven (Mark 16:19).  Jesus is in Heaven preparing a place (the New Jerusalem) for His born again children (John 14:3).  Jesus is making intercession for believers (Romans 8:34) as He waits to “rapture His Bride the Church” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) then He will bring judgement and discipline (Jacobs’ Trouble) upon the earth for 7 years (Daniel 9:27) – “The Day of the Lord”.

For the LORD has a day of vengeance, A year of recompense for the cause of Zion.  – Isaiah 34:8  

   Ask now, and see
            If a male can give birth.
            Why do I see every man
            With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth?
            And why have all faces turned pale?

    Alas! for that day is great,
            There is none like it;
            And it is the time of Jacob’s distress,
            But he will be saved from it.   – Jeremiah 30:6-7

Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near, – Joel 2:1

“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls. – Joel 2:32

After the 7 year period of Tribulation/Wrath, Jesus will return with His resurrected Saints (Revelation 19:14) from Heaven to reign and rule over the earth from Mt Zion for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:6).   And when Jesus returns to earth the remnant of Jews who have been protected during the Tribulation will recognize their Messiah “Jesus” (Zechariah 12:10) and serve Him in a new temple built on Mt Zion (Ezekiel 43:27).  ” 

Genesis 1: 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

Why are the Jews surprised that God would chose a human body to inhabit (Hebrews 10:5) since He made man in His image (Genesis 1:27)?  Today, like during the time of Jesus, many Jews are preoccupied with the thought of their coming Messiah who will rule over the earth from Mt Zion.  Unfortunately, the Jews (like most people) remain blind to the fact that Jesus is their Messiah and that Jesus must “first” rule in their heart (Colossians 3:15) before they can rule with Him!  People are looking for peace in the world but the only way to have peace in this world is to first have peace with God by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him (John 5:43).  The one who comes in his own name, as a man, boasting with promises that he can bring peace to the world is the Antichrist.  Do not be deceived, there is no peace on this earth or in Heaven apart from Jesus … that is why He told us to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)” not the  a Kingdom on this earth.  Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36). 

In other words, at this time we are to tell people how to enter the Kingdom of God by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) because Jesus is building Kingdom Citizens during the Church age … He is NOT ruling as a King over His Kingdom on earth at this time.  Satan is still the prince of this world (John 12:31), until he is cast out, thrown in the Lake of Fire at the end of the Tribulation period (Revelation 20:1-2).  Then at that time, all who have entered the Kingdom of God (Jew or Gentile) will reign and rule with Jesus from Mt Zion for 1,000 years (Revelation 2:26-27, Revelation 5:10, Revelation 19:15) Moreover, this is God’s plan for man from the very beginning, that man would multiply upon the earth, fill it and rule over it (Genesis 1:27-28).  God’s plan has not been destroyed … it has only been delayed.  After the Millennium period of 1,000 years the Lord will make a new Heaven and new Earth and the family of God’s Grace (those who have put their faith in Jesus) will fulfill God’s purpose that God had before the beginning of time (Genesis 1:28, Revelation 21:1-5)!


Even God signature letter “shin” (El Shaddai – God Almighty – peace and perfection) is clearly displayed upon Mt Zion.  Note, in the image at the top of the page the letter shin is outlined in yellow by the three valleys in Jerusalem … from left to right,  Hinnom (Gehenna), Tyropoen (Central) and Kidron (Jehoshaphat).  These valleys separate Mt Zion (to the left – west) and Mt Moriah (to the right – east).  Wow, what a awesome God we serve!  Also note, the letter shin was used as a greeting among the Jewish priest … this is where Lenard Nimoy who played the character “Spock” on Star Trek came up with the idea for a Vulcan greeting (see below for more information about Spock and the Vulcan Greeting).


Zion personified

You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:5

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame”  – 1 Peter 2:6 

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,  – Hebrews 12:22

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures (Psalm 118:22): ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? – Matthew 21:42

Daniel 2:44“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45“Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Zion is not only a physical mountain in the land of Israel but it is also “Spiritual Mountain” where the “rock” of our Salvation (Jesus) is cut out by God (not human hands) and Jesus will one day destroys man’s Kingdoms (Daniel 2:45) which is depicted by the statue of the Gentile Kingdoms in the picture (head-gold-lion-Babylon, chest-silver-bear-Medo-Persia, belly and thighs-bronze-leopard-Greece and legs-iron-beast-Rome).  The final Gentile kingdom represented by the toes of iron and clay are not clearly identified but the iron indicates it’s a revived Roman Empire with a a strong military force and “the clay” may indicate the 10 nations (like a United Nations) who are in league with the Antichrist (Revelation 17:12).  The Beast overthrows “the harlot” the one world religion (which is also the great city of commerce – Babylon) who rides the Beast.  The point is that Jesus is the rock and He destroys the kingdom of man and sets up His Millennium Kingdom (Revelation 19:15).

Jesus is this the chief cornerstone (1 Peter 2:6, Matthew 21:42) of the New Jerusalem city and believers are symbolized as “living stones” that are built upon the cornerstone of faith in Christ (1 Peter 2:5).  As Jesus explained to Peter, our confession of faith in Christ is the “rock” of our Salvation upon which we are to build our lives upon (Matthew 16:18).  I have read many commentaries about binding and loosening things on earth and I think Jesus is talking about our Spiritual walk with Him on earth … to bind means “to turn from or deny” the things that do not honor Jesus and to loose means “to embrace or allow” those things that do honor Jesus (Matthew 16:19).   

Zion is a “Spiritual place in the heart of God” consisting of those who already do believe in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and those who will believe in Jesus in the future. 

 

Zion is also like a “woman – mother” who gives birth to a believer of Jesus.

 

And Zion is like a “virgin Bride” who marries Jesus.

A believers body is also the temple of Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).  Our physical body is compared to a tent that will be destroyed but one day believers will have a Heavenly building, a resurrected body that is eternal!  (2 Corinthians 5:1).  Believers are also called the “body of Christ” on earth … Jesus is the head and we are His body with many members (1 Corinthians 12:12).     

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; – 1 Peter 2:9 

Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. – Galatians 4:19 (NLT)

Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. – Isaiah 66:8  

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. – Revelation 12:1-2

Zion is also personified as a “Spiritual” person, a woman who gives birth to children, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9) “prior” to her labor pain (Isaiah 66:8).  Some see this woman who is clothed with the sun (Revelation 12:1) as Zion who gives birth (Rapture/Resurrection) to a man child (the Church) while she is in labor (danger within and without Israel) which begins the 7 year Tribulation period (Jacob’s Trouble).  The Church is the “wild olive branches” that are grafted into the true vine of Jesus Christ, while the cultivated branches (Israel) have been temporarily broken off (Romans 11:17).  Therefore, the Church shares in the promise of Salvation that comes from the Spiritual mountain of faith that is represented by Zion.  The woman in (Revelation 12:1) also represents the believing remnant of Jews, Israel, who will flee into the wilderness and be protected during the Tribulation period (Revelation 12:6).  At the end of the Tribulation, the nation of Israel will look upon Jesus and morn for Him whom they pierced and they will be saved …. the Jews will have a Spiritual birth “after” they go through the Labor pains of the Tribulation (Zechariah 12:10).   

In contrast to the faithful woman of Zion is the whore of Babylon, the woman who rides the Beast.  She represents the One World Religion of the Beast Kingdom, called the mother of harlots (Revelation 17:5) because she commits Spiritual  adultery, allowing people to worship anything and anyone, except Jesus!

 

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. – Zechariah 9:9

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. – Matthew 23:37

Though she is beautiful and delicate, I will destroy the Daughter of Zion. – Jeremiah 4:31

The woman (Zion) gives birth to the man child (the Church) but Zion’s first born child is the daughter of Zion (the believing Jews).  It is obvious from scripture that Jesus is the king of the Jews.  It is Jesus who rode into Jerusalem on a colt on Palm Sunday (Zechariah 9:9, John 12:14) on the very day the Passover lambs were selected for sacrifice according to the Law (Exodus 12:3).  And He was observed for 5 days according to the Law and He hung on the cross as our Passover Lamb and shed His blood at the very moment the Passover lambs were being sacrificed on the temple mount.  It is Finished Indeed! (John 19:30)  And Jesus rose from the dead on the day of the First Fruits festival!  Jesus has fulfilled the Law which man is unable to do and because the Daughter of Zion does not acknowledge her Messiah which frees her from the condemnation of the Law, she is disciplined by God, as though God will destroy her but really He is bringing her to Salvation in Jesus!

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.   – Revelation 21:2 

for he (Abraham) was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. – Hebrews 11:10

Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children (those who try to keep the Law).  But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother (those who are born again by faith in Jesus Christ).​ – Galatians 4:25-26

Not only is Mt Zion personified as a Spiritual Mountain and a Woman who gives birth but the “new Jerusalem” (the place that Jesus is preparing for those who believe in Him – John 14:3) is also personified as a bride adorned for her husband (Jesus) and the new Jerusalem will come down from Heaven and rest upon earth on Mt Zion!  Paul spoke about presenting the Church as a Bride to Christ “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin”. – 2 Corinthians 11:2.  I think “all” the Saints, even the Old Testament Saints will be included in the new Jerusalem city because by faith Abraham lived as an alien in the land of promise looking to one day live in the city whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:9-10).  The Bride, the new Jerusalem, is finally complete when the age of mortal man is complete (after 7,000 years) and the Heaven and earth are redeemed … then all the “redeemed” (resurrected believers in Jesus) will come down to the new redeemed earth (Revelation 21:1) in the new Jerusalem city to live with Jesus forever!  

The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. – Isaiah 33:5

In other words, Zion is the “throne of God” on earth When God thinks about real estate … location, location, location … He is thinking of Zion!  It is no wonder that this place is desired by so many nations and has been the most sought after and fought over piece of real estate on planet earth.   This is why nations play “king of the hill” for Mt Zion, so they will be seen sitting on the throne of god, ruling over the earth.

 


Mt Eden

Ezekiel 28:13 “You (Lucifer) were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets (timbrels and pipes)
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared.

 

     14 “You (Lucifer) were the anointed cherub who covers,
            And I placed you there (Garden of Eden).
            You were on the holy mountain of God (Zion);
            You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.

 

      15 “You were blameless in your ways
             From the day you were created
             Until unrighteousness was found in you (Satan).

 

*Note, I have added the names in parenthesis (click here for the reference)

Mt Zion is especially desired by Lucifer/Satan, who once “guarded over” the garden of Eden, on the holy mountain, as the anointed cherub until unrighteousness was found in him (Ezekiel 28:15).  There is little written about when Lucifer held this position of righteous on the holy mountain (Zion), dressed like a Jewish priest with an “ephod” breastplate of 9 precious stones but when Satan shows up in the garden of Eden he has already fallen in sin and he is no more covered in his royal appearance but he has the body of a serpent and a tongue speaking lies (Genesis 3:1).  As I say, it is unclear when Satan fell from righteousness and lead 1/3 of the Angles to fall with him.  Some think Satan walked upon a “first” earth that God created in Genesis 1:1 and then God destroyed that earth because of Satan’s rebellions, which resulted in the formless and void earth described in Genesis 1:2.  This idea that there was a previously existing heaven and earth between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is called the “gap theory”.  I don’t know if this is true or not but I tend to believe the Angels in the Spiritual realm didn’t have anything to fight among themselves about until they saw a woman, the wife of Adam … “Eve”!

The Jewish priest wore a ephod breastplate of 12 stones, which represented the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel (Exodus 28:21).  The Jewish priest carried over their heart the names of the children of Israel as they interceded in prayer and made sacrifices before God for the children of Israel.  Perhaps Lucifer’s originally position was to act like a priest, praying and interceding for man.  It’s unclear why Lucifer had a breastplate of 9 stones instead of 12 stones, perhaps Lucifer’s stones represented 9 orders of Heavenly beings that he “covered” before his fall?  The KJV translation states that the body of Satan had pipes and tambourines (Ezekiel 28:13), like a musical instrument … so perhaps Lucifer lead the Heavenly Angels in praise to the Lord before he fell from this position.  Note, we have liberty in Christ to discuss and disagree on topics like this that are not essential to the doctrine of Salvation which is by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  

First Order: Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones

Second Order: Powers, Dominions, and Virtues

Third Order: Principalities, Archangels, and Angels

At the time of creation of heaven and earth all the Angels (sons of God) shouted for joy.  I think the Spiritual realm of God (His throne room) and the Spiritual beings (the Angels) were created by God “prior” to the creation account of Genesis.  I think the Spiritual realm is the third Heaven that Paul was caught up (2 Corinthians 12:2).  I think the Spiritual beings enjoyed God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) for an unknown period of time in Heaven … since there was no time (rising and setting of the Sun) prior to the creation of the physical realm – time and space.  Moreover I think the creation account in Genesis 1:1 “the heavens and the earth” is talking about the first heaven (the sky – the atmosphere of earth) and the second heaven (the cosmos – outer space of planets and stars) but not the third Heaven (God’s Spiritual realm).   I think the Angels were in agreement with the God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) during the 6 days of creation when God announced that everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) … in fact they shouted for joy (Job 28:7)! 

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  …. When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? – Job 38:4-7

My understanding of Ezekiel 28:13 is that Lucifer at one time guarded over the garden of Eden and he walked in the midst of the stones of fire … which may represent the company of other Angels.  I think it’s possible that Lucifer’s origin duty was to watch over Adam and Eve on Mt Zion in the garden of Eden and train them in righteousness.  Perhaps Lucifer’s job was to warm them NOT to eat from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil but at some point Lucifer became jealous of the love and care that God poured out on these two weak and lowly creatures, especially in comparison to his splendor and capability.  It’s hard to know what caused God’s most intelligent, talented and beautify creature, Lucifer, to fall from his position of glory as the chief praise leader for God to assume the position of number one trouble maker and abomination toward God.

Note, I discuss more about the two trees in the garden of Eden, the Tree of Life and the Knowledge of Good and Evil under the heading of Trees in the Bible (below).

But ever since the fall of Lucifer’s, his name was changed from “Light Bearer” to Satan, “the prince of the power of the air” of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience – Ephesians 2:2.  Satan “masquerades” as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) but he has no light of life, only deception that leads to death.  In fact Satan is a murderer and a liar (John 8:44).  Satan murders and lies in order to “rule” over Zion and be it’s king.  He pits nations against each other, to war against each other to be king of earth.  Satan desires to bring the rule of “peace and safety” to earth under a false gospel of “humanism”, a global New World Order and a global One World religion.  In a sense, Satan does rule in Zion when he rules in the hearts of people who believe the lie that man is good and they have not been “born again” in Christ Jesus.  But Satan’s days to rule over Zion are numbered. 

After Satan is cast out of Heaven (Revelation 12:9) and he commits the Abomination of Desolation in the temple in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), declaring himself to be god, at the mid-way point of the Tribulation, then he has only 3 1/2 years left before he is locked up for 1,000 years … only to be released for a short while and cause another brief rebellion on earth.  Finally Satan, the Fallen Angels and all those who did not want Jesus to rule over them (unbelievers) will be finally thrown into the Lake of Fire to suffer for all eternity (Revelation 20:1-3).  

This is what SIN is … it’s a Self Indulgent Nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve, a condition of Spiritual separation from God where we think we know what is best for us and we rationalize and we justify our actions to our self, to others to prove we are good before God.  Even the rich young ruler who thought he kept the law perfectly was actually trusting in his ability and riches for his daily bread, not God (Matthew 19:16–30).  Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  Jesus didn’t debate with the young ruler or expose the immoral thoughts and actions of the young ruler, as He did with the Pharisees but He made it a personal issue (follow Me) … which made the young ruler think about who he was really trusting and following.   

The Law reveals that we cannot follow God perfectly or love God perfectly … more specifically God did not create us to live a life apart from Him, trying to prove that we are worthy of our life.   Each person is born a sinner like the rich young ruler, thinking we are rich and we can rule over our life deciding for our self what is good and evil.  But the Law testifies against us and condemns everyone except Jesus who lived a perfect life before God (Matthew 5:48).  It is our Self Indulgent Nature (SIN) that tries to justify our life before God but instead we need to surrender our life to God and allow Him to rule over our life and make us rich in Christ.  That is why Jesus Christ came and died for us … He paid the penalty for our sin … He told us to loose our life and receive His life (Matthew 10:39).   If we believe in Jesus Christ we acquire His righteousness before God (2 Corinthians 5:21) and we become redeemed and reconciled to God through Him … in Christ we have eternal life!  Yet, if a person remains in a state of Spiritual separation and rebellion toward God and then when he dies his sin debt remains upon his our own head and he will face the judgement of God (Hebrews 9:27), eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire!

Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody. – Isaiah 51:3

‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’ – Revelation 2:7

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, – Revelation 21:10 

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations – Revelation 22:1-2

But for those who love God … the faithful Angels and the believers in Christ … they will live eternally with Christ in the new Heaven and earth.  God will restore the paradise lost with a new “Eden” and those who love God can drink freely from the “river of life” that flows from Mt Zion and eat freely from the “tree of life” that grows on both sides of the river!  Amen.

 


 Mt Babel

Mt Zion is God’s holy mountain which represents the place where God came down to earth (as a man), to redeem man from his own reasoning (sin) so that man can be Spiritually united with God and enter into Heaven.  Mt Babel is man’s counterfeit idea of a holy mountain, a way for man to reach up into Heaven by his own works and be accepted by God based on his own reasoning and works.  The tower of Babel was built in the land of Shinar (Genesis 11:2) but it’s not clear where it was located, other than it was “east” of where Noah’s ark landed on Mt Ararat (Genesis 8:4).  These two mountains, Mt Ararat and Mt Babel, seem to represent represent Gog/Magog (the rebellious end time army of man-iron) and end times Babylon (the rebellious end time spirit of man-clay).  The tower of Babel was located in the region of Mesopotamia, either north or south of present day Babylon in Iraq (click here).  

There is the epic story of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian leader in Mesopotamia, who fits the description of Nimrod, the architect of the first “ziggurat”, which means “to rise high”.  A ziggurat is a temple tower which resembles an Egyptian pyramid.  Note, I think all ziggurats and pyramids except the Great Pyramid of Giza were built to worship false gods of deception … Satan.  I have more information about the meaning of the Great Pyramid below in this article.  The point is all the false gods of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome like Baal, Bel, Zeus, Marduk, Isis, Osiris, Horus … etc have their origin in the story of Gilgamesh, which is a “counterfeit” story of the baby Jesus born to the virgin Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit.  In the counterfeit story the baby is Tammuz (the resurrected spirit of Nimrod) who is miraculously born to a woman, Semiramis (the widowed wife of Nimrod – Queen of Babylon) from the Heavenly seed of Nimrod, after Nimrod was killed (click here).

Nimrod is a type of Antichrist, because he inspired people to work together to make a mountain out of a mole hill … the tower of Babel.  The tower of Babel represents the gospel of humanism … if we just get together and get along we can build a utopia for man that doesn’t acknowledge our need for God.   Our very breath is in His hands, yet in defiance of God many use their breath to profane the One sustaining them!  God blessed Noah and told him to multiple and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1), just as He had told Adam and Eve after He created them (Genesis 1:28).  Noah’s family was a new start for man to multiply and call upon the name of the Lord, after the seed of Adam had been corrupted by offspring with the fallen Angels (Genesis 6:1-3).  God destroyed those on the earth by a flood, except Noah’s family of eight, to preserve the bloodline of Adam, in order to bring in the promised Messiah (Genesis 3:16). 

God ruined the plan of Nimrod by confusing the language of men and scattering the 70 nations of Noah’s seed over the face of the earth (Genesis 10:1-32).  God, from the beginning, had a plan to create nations, tribes and tongues of people and to bless them with Salvation though His Son, Jesus Christ.  At Pentecost, God reversed the curse of tongues and all the people in Jerusalem were able to hear the good news of the gospel in their native tongue from the mouth of 120 Jews as the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire on each of them (Acts 2:3).  Note, God has not abandoned His plan to have man to fill the earth and rule over it (Genesis 1:28) … this plan has only been delayed until after 7,000 years when God makes a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1) … and then those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior will fulfill God’s plan to reign and rule with Christ over the earth. 

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – Revelation 22:1-2

Note, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Humanism) is no longer present in the New “Restored” Eden on the new “resurrected” earth (knowledge puffs up but love builds up), only the tree of life (Christ) is present and it stands on either side of the river of living water that flows from the throne of God.  The leaves of the tree are a reminder that the nations are now healed, there is no division or curse upon the people because they are united in Christ.   The leaves are perhaps different colors?  It is likely that we will retain our racial identity in Heaven but we will not see it as a cause of division but of a cause of celebration for the diversity of our awesome creator God.  Also, for those who think there is no time on the New Earth, there are 12 different fruits that come forth from the tree of life, one each month!  This is the fruit of the month club you want to belong too.


Mt Salem

Hebrews 7: 1For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.

Mt Zion is also the location for the city of Salem before it was known as Jerusalem.  Salem means “peace” which is derived from “shalom” and “Jeru” is derived from Jireh which means “provide” … Jerusalem is there the place where God “provides peace with men” … “The City of Peace”.  Melchizedek, whose name means “king of righteousness,” was the priest/king of Salem and he blessed Abraham because God gave Abraham victory over 4 kings who had conquered 5 kings and captured his nephew Lot.   Abraham in return gave Melchizedek a tithe of the items gathered from the victory as a thank offering or peace offering.     

 1 Corinthians 11: 23For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Jesus, a person of no earthly linage at that time (Hebrews 7:3).  Abraham recognized Melchizedek as a priest who was Spiritually superior to himself, and Melchizedek recognized Abraham as his friend and shared in communion of wine and bread with him (Genesis 14:18-20).  And this is the same thing we do today, when we share in communion of bread and wine, we recognize that Jesus Christ is our high priest in Heaven.  Jesus gave his body and blood to pay for our sin, He was buried and rose from the grave.  By belief in Jesus we have eternal life and fellowship with God and He is our eternal friend!


Zion vs Zionism

 

The love God has for Zion and “Zionism” are not the same thing.  Zionism is a national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel.  Zionism is good, to the extend that it recognizes that God is bringing the Jews back into Israel to raise up a “remnant” of believers in the last days (Jews who will look upon the Messiah they pierced, Jesus).  Zionism is bad, to the extend that it is a movement of non-believing Jews and Gentiles to implement Noahide Laws to rule over the world from Zion in defiance of God by the false Messiah who will conqueror the world by force and trickery … i.e. the Antichrist! 

 

The signs are evident that we are living in the last days when the Church is being compromised by apostasy and it’s Godly influence is diminishing in the world … at the same time the Jews are being “built up” and their influence is increasing in the world.  God has a plan for the Church, His Bride, to be removed by the “Rapture” and then the seven year Tribulation will begin which is the time of Jacob’s trouble.  The Jews at this time are preparing a temple to welcome the Antichrist Messiah who will declare himself to be god at the midway point of the Tribulation.  God’s wrath will be poured out upon the earth for the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation period, while the remnant of Jewish believers are supernaturally hid in the wilderness. 

 

At the end of the Tribulation period, Jesus will return to earth with His resurrected “Bride” and resurrected Tribulation Saints and set up His Millennium Kingdom.  When Jesus returns the remnant of Jews will look upon Jesus who they pierced and receive Him as the true Messiah and the OT Saints will be resurrected on earth to attend the marriage supper.  Then a magnificent temple will be built in Jerusalem and Jesus and His resurrected Saints will rule and reign with Christ from MT Zion for 1,000 years over the “sheep” people who survived the Tribulation.


God signature letter “Shin” – outlined on Mt Zion!

It is amazing to look at the Zion mountain valleys in Jerusalem that trace God’s signature letter “shin” and realize this is the place where the ultimate sacrifice for the sin of man was made by Jesus Christ.  As you can see from the picture, there are also three primary mountains that are part of the city of Jerusalem, Mt Zion to the west, Mt Moriah in the middle (where the temple will be located when the Dome of the Rock is destroyed by God) and the Mt of Olives to the east.  The “walled” city of Jerusalem and the temple mount is built upon the middle mountain of Mt Moriah but these three mountains are referred to as the Zion mountains, similar to the way the Appalachian mountains consist of several mountain ranges that stretch from Georgia to Maine (click here).


Mt Calvary

The highest point of Mt Moriah is Golgotha, or Mt Calvary, where Jesus was crucified.  There is some controversy concerning the location of Golgotha … as you can see in this picture Golgotha is depicted as being “inside” the Jerusalem city wall, to the west of the temple area but it the location for Golgotha is most likely “Gordon’s Calvary” which is depicted “outside” the city wall, north of the temple,  fulfilling scripture (Hebrews 13:12).  Golgotha mean “place of the skull”, so named at that time because the Romans had excavated this area of the mountain and exposed the sheer face of the mountain, using the dirt to level the area for their Fort Antonia.  The Romans then used this elevated area of Mt Calvary like a stage so everyone would see the crucifixions from the city below and be terrified of rebelling against their rule.  

Numbers 19:  1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 “This is the statute of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect and on which a yoke has never been placed. 3‘ You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be brought outside the camp and be slaughtered in his presence.

Jesus was crucified “outside” the gate of the city, on this hill, to fulfill the type of the Red Heifer that was sacrificed outside the camp (Numbers 19:3-9), taking our place for the death we are due because of our sin nature which is selfish, legalistic and rebellious toward God.  Repentance toward sin is the “first thing” a person needs and the last thing a person wants. Repentance and Faith which grant a person Salvation are “all” a gift of grace from God (Ephesians 2:8-9) but the person “must be willing” to have Jesus be the Lord of their life (“to believe”) in order “to receive” these gifts and become a born again in Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:37).

Hebrews 13: 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

And while the Red Heifer burned … cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet material were cast it into the midst of the burning heifer (Numbers 19:3-9). Then the ashes of this burnt offering were used to make purifying water for the congregation of the sons of Israel, who shall keep it as water to remove impurity; it is purification from sin.  Isn’t it an interesting fact that there were 6 containers that held the purifying water at the Cana wedding and Jesus changed this water into wine (John 2:1-11)!  Jesus is saying, I am the purifying water.  I can change the sorrow of your sin into joy, if you will marry Me and cling to Me alone.  I also think the 6 containers speak of the number of man (created on the sixth day) and the 6,000 years for sinful man to rule.  I also see that this wedding occurs at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with his disciples gathered with Him, which reminds me of the Rapture of the Church to a wedding in Heaven at the start of the Tribulation.  After the Tribulation, the Jews will recognize Jesus as their Messiah Groom and there will be a marriage of the Lamb on earth (Revelation 19:7) and a Millennium honeymoon. 


Mt Moriah

 

Genesis 22: 1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. 5 Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

From the above passage we see that after “three days journey” Abraham and Issac and the “two young men who accompanied them” stopped when they reached Mt Moriah.  I think the three days are reference to the three days that Jesus was in the grave before He rose from the dead (Matthew 16:21)!  After the four stopped, just the two of them (the Father and the Son) went up up to the highest point to make the sacrifice.  I think the scripture is saying that all four of them stopped at the Temple Mount of Mt Moriah and and only the Father and Son when to the highest point, or Mt Golgotha to make the sacrifice.  The two other young men who waited behind represent “two witnesses”, like Moses and Elijah who were seen transfigured in glory with Jesus Christ (Matthew 17:2) and whose bodies will lay in the street of Jerusalem for 3 1/3 days and then rise in a resurrection/rapture at the mid-way point of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:7-13).

Issac carried the wood for the sacrifice, as a type of Jesus Christ who would later come and carry the cross to Calvary.  Of course, Issac, Abraham’s only begotten son, was not sacrificed but God provided the animal sacrifice just like Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together” – Genesis 22:8).  In this story, Issac represent a type of Christ, and Jesus, the only begotten son of God, who did sacrifice His life for the sin of man on Golgotha in 32 or 33 AD, the perfect lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

And Jesus did carry the wood for the sacrifice up the hill but He also had help from Simon (the father of Alexander and Rufus) from Cyrene, which is situated in modern-day Libya, on the northern coast of the African (Mark 15:21).  Simon was a Jew and may have also been a black man.  He was probably also a strong man who was up to the task of carrying the cross.  Simon didn’t even know Jesus since he had just arrived into Jerusalem for the Passover festival, yet his name means “he has heard”.  Though Simon was ordered to carry the cross by the Romans, later we see in scripture that he and his household became believers (Romans 16:13-14). 

It is a bit of a mystery why God had Simon carry the cross but the cross represents the will of the Father for our life and Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. – Matthew 16:24“.  It is not God’s will for our life that we should suffer and die on a cross to pay for our sins and it is not Gods’ will that we should try to do good works to pay for our sins but it is God’s will that we should identify with Jesus and the cross.  When we deny our self, our self indulgent nature (sin), and do the will of God for our life then we identify with Christ, we suffer with Christ as we seek to do the right thing, even as we endure the shame and persecution of the world.  In other worlds, our cross represents God’s will for our life and we “carry our cross” when we “trust and obey” God’s will for our life. 

Of course we must first be “born again” to have the Holy Spirit in us … then we can fellowship with God and know His will for our life … and then we can carry our cross.  This is the Die 2 Live theme of this web site.  “In Christ” we live a “shared life” with Jesus …  Jesus shares in our suffering as we strive to live righteously in this wicked world and we share in Christ’s suffering as we stand up for the righteousness of Christ.  In reality it is Jesus who is carrying the believer up the mountain (by Grace through faith) …  NOT to Calvary but Jesus is carrying His Bride up Mt Zion to the New Jerusalem, our eternal home!

Philippians 3:7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.


The Temple Mount

The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.  It was initially completed in 691–92 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik during the Second Fitna on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  The Dome of the Rock is an abomination toward the God of the Bible who clearly brought the promise of His redemption through His only begotten son Jesus, from the linage of Abraham through the son of promise “Issac” from his wife Sarah (the Jews), not from the first son Ishmael, born from Hagar (the Arabs – Muslims).   The religion of Islam, their prophet Muhammad and their god Allah are all demonic counterfeits of the one true God of Israel and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Note, the Second Jewish temple that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD had been significantly upgraded and expanded by the half-Jewish, half-Edumean Herod, the Roman-appointed king of Judea in 20 BC.  The disciples of Jesus pointed out the temple’s size and beauty but Jesus knew it would be destroyed because of their rejection of Him (Matthew 24:2).  The First Jewish temple was build in the 10th century BC by King Solomon (1 Kings 5-9).  It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king in 586, when most of the Jews where taken captive to Babylon.  After the fall of Babylon, the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to the Land of Israel, beginning in 538 BC and a rebuilt temple, the Second temple, was dedicated in 515 BC (I’m not sure about the accuracy of these dates).

Note, in this picture of Solomon’s temple the poles of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies are like nostrils, where God smells the sweet smelling offering from the golden altar of incense in the Holy Place (click here for more info).  In Heaven, the golden altar represents the prayers of the Saints (Revelation 8:3-4), which are a sweet smelling offering to God.  

Today, the Jews are anxious to build a Third temple, which they think will usher in the Messiah but this temple will be a place of desecration by the Antichrist at the mid-way point of Tribulation (Daniel 9:27).  The Antichrist will declare himself to be god in the temple which is the Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15).  This is similar to what Antiochus (the Greek successor of Alexander the Great) did in 168 BC when he sacrificed a pig on the altar at the temple, inciting the Maccabean Revolt. 

Actually NO temple should be built on the temple mount until “after” Jesus returns set up His Millennium Kingdom.  During the Millennium Kingdom there will be a beautiful temple built on Mt Zion (Ezekiel 40:1 – 48:35) and the nations will come to offer an animal sacrifice there as a remembrance of sin and to worship of the Lord Jesus who takes away the sin of the world (Isaiah 56:7, Zechariah 14:16).   Until Jesus returns to earth, believers are to remember Him by sharing in a communion of bread and wine, which represents His body and blood that paid for our sin (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). 

Jesus referred to His body as the temple of God that would be destroyed and raised up in 3 days! (John 2:19) and Paul said believer’s body are a temple where the Holy Spirit dwells  (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Where is Temple mount really located?  Where is the threshing floor that David bought and the place where Solomon built the first temple?  There is increasing evidence that the Dome of the Rock does NOT sit upon the Temple mount but the real location is between the City of David and the Western wall.   

Jerusalem map locations

According to Bob Cornuke the current location of the Dome of the Rock is NOT the location of the Temple mount where Solomon’s temple was built.  There is very good evidence that the temple mount that Solomon’s temple and Herod’s temple stood upon is “south” of the current Dome of the Rock, in the northern part of the city of David.  Furthermore, it is likely that the “Western Wall” is not part of the wall that enclosed the the Herod’s temple area but it is a wall that was part of the Roman “Fort Antonia” that was used during Jesus’ time.  According to Josephus the historian of 70 AD, the temple and the stone walls were torn down.  This fulfills what Jesus said,  “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down” – Matthew 24:2.

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On the other hand, Derek Walker rebukes alternate Temple locations theories and says the Dome of the Rock is the place where Solomon’s temple and Herod’s temple was located and it will be the place where the third temple of the Tribulation period is built.  He said the Roman fort would have been located north-west of the Temple mount, not on the temple mount.  Also check out this article by the Oxford Bible Church supporting the fact that the Dome of the Rock sits over the Holy of Holies (click here).

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Anyone looking for serious, factual archaeology and history on where the Temples stood, would do well starting with Dr. Leen Ritmeyer’s book, The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Among the rich illustrations and archaeological facts, the book also lists many old and outdated theories of where the Temple stood.

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Spock and the Vulcan Greeting has Jewish roots:

In his autobiography I Am Not Spock, Lenard Nimoy who is of Jewish decent wrote that he based the Vulcan greeting in Startrek on the Priestly Blessing performed by Jewish Kohanim with both hands, thumb to thumb in this same position, representing the Hebrew letter Shin (ש), which has three upward strokes similar to the position of the thumb and fingers in the gesture. The letter Shin here stands for El Shaddai, meaning “Almighty (God)”, as well as for Shekinah and Shalom. Nimoy wrote that when he was a child, his grandfather took him to an Orthodox synagogue, where he saw the blessing performed and was impressed by it.  Note, this information is provided from the Wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_salute.


The Mount of Olives

We have looked at Mt Zion, Mt Moriah, Mt Calvary and Mt Eden which is the mountain of God’s glory but to the east of this location is the location of God’s groaning.  If you want to experience the glory and wonder of God go to the temple mount at Mt Zion but if you to know the heart of God go to the Mount of Olives.  If you want to know God’s power and share in His suffering go to the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives and pray.  The name Gethsemane means “oil press” and this is where Jesus was pressed upon to do the Father’s will.  It’s also the place where Jesus gave His greatest revelation of the Father for us through the “The Sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes – Thy Will be Done” and “The Olivet Discourse – Thy Kingdom Come”.

The Mount of Olives was the favorite place of Jesus … second only to the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus in Bethany, which was also located on the Mount of Olives.  It’s the place where Jesus renewed His strength with God in the garden of Gethsemane as He prayed alone in the evening and something through the night.  The Mount of Olives is located to the east of Mt Zion, just outside the city gates of Jerusalem, separated by the Kidron Valley but just a few hundred yards outside the city.  The Mount of Olives is part of the Zion mountain range in the heart of Israel.  In Jesus time it was the place of many olive trees and the olive oil press was located in the garden of Gethsemane, at the base of the Mount of Olives. 

Note, at the overlook area on the top of the Mount of Olives (the overlook area is shown in the picture above) on Sept 26, 2019 a lamb was sacrificed and burned on an altar by a person who represented a “Gentile” from a 70 Nation Organization who have agreed to follow the 7 laws of Noah or the Noahide law.   The Jewish Sanhedrin are trying to replace the United Nations (UN) which is hostile to Israel with a 70 nation organization that operates under the covenant of 7 Noahide laws and will be friendly to Israel so that the Nations will receive a blessings from God and if possible advert the Gog/Magog war (click here).   The Jewish nation is growing in strength and importance in the world, and many orthodox Jews are showing an interest that the Nations need to recognize the God of Israel … yet the Jews are not talking about the real Messiah Jesus but they are looking for a false Messiah, the Antichrist, who will deceive the world and bring judgement upon it for 7 years! 

Jesus wants us to be joined to Him in prayer for His Kingdom to Come and His Will to be Done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Our real life is NOT defined by what we have on earth or what we do on earth but what we have committed to God and agreed with God in prayer concerning His will for our life … our real life is hid in Christ (Colossians 3:3).   Jesus told us to take up His yoke because His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:29). 

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Jesus wants to carry our burdens and give us rest but He can’t do this if we insist on carrying our burdens and trying to deal with them our way, instead of trusting His way (Proverbs 3:5-6).  Jesus doesn’t want us to remain under the condemnation of sin or under the anxiety of wondering if we will have enough food, clothing and shelter.  Jesus provides for our needs and He carries our burdens.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t suffer and feel the pressures of this word but it means Jesus suffers with us and comforts us in our suffering. 

Jesus is interceding in prayer for us pleading with us to abide in His Grace and His rest as we endure the trails upon this earth.  We groan on this earth because Jesus is groaning in Heaven (Romans 8:26).  Jesus desires for everyone to be saved from sin and be free from the power of sin in their life.  Jesus desires that everyone will know Him and everyone will know the joy of the life He has planned for them.  Jesus longs for God’s Kingdom to come to earth so His will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).  All of creation groans for redemption from sin (Romans 8:22) and Jesus longs for the groaning to cease and for those who are slaves to sin to turn to Him.  And those who do come to Him will have their tears of pain turned into shouts of joy when they have their redeemed body that is free from sin and death … an eternal life with Jesus that we can only imagine!   

So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. – John 18:6

Jesus sweated blood in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives …  this is a rare condition when under extreme duress (Luke 22:44).  The victory over sin was won in the garden when Jesus agreed to drink the cup of wrath from God for our sin (past, present and future).  For those who put their faith in Him there is no condemnation from God (Romans 8:1).  Jesus was betrayed in the garden by one of his disciples, Judas, with a kiss.  And a cohort of Roman soldiers, between 300 to 600 came to arrest Him.  Yet when Jesus claimed to be the great “I Am” these mighty soldier suddenly fell down on the backside, helplessly looking up at Him as though they had been conquered (John 18:6)!  Obviously, it was Jesus who prepared Himself for His sacrificial death and He gave Himself over willing for this purpose. 

Empty tomb with three crosses on a hill side.

Jesus’ body was placed in a garden tomb, not on the Mount of Olives but outside the city, near Golgotha (John 19:41).  The tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, Joseph and Nicodemus were members of the Sanhedrin, who were secretly followers of Jesus.  Jesus rose from the dead from this garden tomb, assuring us we too can have victory over death!  It is in the quiet garden where we discover God’s will for our life, bury our own will and are resurrected in glory with Jesus! 


Mountains in the Bible

Hebrews 12: 18 For you have not come to a mountain (Mt Sinai) that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAINIT WILL BE STONED.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

Mountains represent Spiritual governments on earth.  In Hebrews chapter 12, Mt Zion is compared to Mt Sinai where Mt Zion is the mountain of Grace that brings forgiveness of sin, blessing and eternal life while Mt Sinai is the mountain of the Law that bring condemnation of sin, fear and death.  There are also two other interesting mountain “Mt Hermon” to the north of Mt Zion and “Mt Nebo” to the east of Mt Zion.  I think it’s provocative that these four mountains form a “Cross” along the Jordan River.

 

Psalm 68:15 A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.  16 Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks? This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in; Yes, the Lord will dwell in it forever.

In the passage above (Psalm 68:15-16) the mountains of Bashan (Mt Hermon) taunt Mt Zion because they are higher in elevation that Mt Zion, yet Mt Zion is where God dwells.  The “mountains of Basha” are Mt Hermon, in the Golan heights which is in present day Lebanon and Syria.  Mt Hermon is the place of the Canaanite worship to the god Baal because to the pagan the higher the elevation the closer it was to reaching Heaven.  This is similar to the mindset of Nimrod and those who built the tower of Babel, they were trying to make a mountain in order to reach God in Heaven by their works.    

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” – Revelation 4:1

Man in his sinful nature tries to reach up to Heaven to prove himself acceptable to God but it is God who is reaching down to earth by Grace through His Son, Jesus, in order to redeem man so he can be brought up into Heaven.  And by Revelation from Jesus, John the apostle was taken into the throne room of God though a open door into Heaven, where he heard a voice that sounded like a trumpet … “Come Up Here” (Revelation 4:1).  Note, the similarities of this account where John is “caught up” to Heaven before describing the events of the Tribulation and the account of Paul concerning what will occur at the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)!   

Another picture of a doorway to Heaven was seen by Jacob in a dream at Luz, which he renamed to Bethel, the house of God (Genesis 28:10-17).  Jacob was on his way from Beersheba headed north toward Haran where his uncle Laban (the brother of Rebekah his mother) lived to take for himself a wife.  In his dream Jacob saw angels going up and down a staircase that reached from Heaven to earth, with the Lord (pre-incarnate Jesus) at the top of the ladder.  The Lord spoke to Jacob and confirmed the promise He made to Abraham and Issac, that his descendants would one day be in the land where he was resting, numerous like the dust of the earth spread out in all directions and though his descendants would all the families of the earth be blessed.   Most commentators believe Bethel is north of Jerusalem but some think Bethel is Mt Moriah, the place of the temple mount, the city of God, the gateway to Heaven!  When Jacob returns to Bethel, God blesses him and changes his name from “deceiver” to Israel (Genesis 35:10) “because you have struggled with God and with men, and you have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28).  Jacob did not win the wrestling match with God by his strength but he because He clung to God for His blessing … the promise of his inheritance … this was Jacob’s victory clinging to God’s promise (Genesis 32:26)

And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” – John 1:51.

And what does Jacob’s dream mean and why does Jesus tell his disciples that they will see this dream of Jacob’s come to fruition?   I noticed that there is a subtle difference between Jacob’s dream and Jesus promise.  Jacob sees Jesus in Heaven at the top of the staircase but Jesus tells his disciples that He is the Son of Man who has come to earth at the bottom of the staircase … and the Angels are now ascending to Heaven and descending from Heaven upon Him on earth.  The “House of God” from Heaven was on earth in the person of Jesus Christ!  The promise of the blessing to Jacob that all the families of the earth would be blessed was fulfilled in Jesus who was standing before them!

John 10: 7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Jesus is the door to Heaven (John 10:9) and the good angels come to earth and minister to man under the direction from Jesus for the purpose of bringing Salvation to men (Hebrews 1:14).  Jesus is also the door that man enters by Grace through faith in Jesus to have eternal life in Heaven.  It is my opinion that the promise that Jesus made in John 1:51 was not fulfilled at His first coming but will be fulfilled at His Second Coming, when Jesus reigns and rules upon the earth for 1,000 years.  At this time angels will come and go from heaven to earth from Mt Zion where Jesus reigns and it’s a good possibility that the Saints that reign and rule with Christ in their resurrected body can come and go from earth to Heaven too!  

Note, some commentators believe Mt Hermon was the location where Jesus was transfigured along with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1–8) but some commentator believe Jesus was transfigured at Mt Nebo!  Note, Mt Nebo is the location where Elijah was taken to Heaven by the chariots of fire and Mt Nebo is the location where Moses was taken to Heaven by God since it is said that God Himself buried Moses and no man knows his burial place (Deuteronomy 34:5-7). 

Mt Hermon was the home of the 5 nations that Israel did not conquer that were left to test Israel (Judges 3:3).  This is the land where the giant Goliath lived along with his four Nephilim relatives (2 Samuel 21:22) who were probably related to Og the king of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:11).  My Hermon is said to be the place where the “watchers”, fallen Angels gathered during the pre-flood period.  I think Mt Hermon could represent the home turf of the Antichrist in fulfillment of the Assyrian king who conquers Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:50-6).  God uses the high peaks of Mt Hermon to teach a lesson that it’s not great appearance that please God but great character.  Remember when Israel wanted a King, it was not Saul who was tall in statue that God’s blessings of leadership rested upon but David, a youth, who as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

To the east of Mt Zion is “Mt Nebo”, the place where Moses saw the promise land of Canaan but he wan’t allowed to enter into it.  Moses was not allowed into the promise land because he struck the “Rock” when he should have only spoken to it (Deuteronomy 32:51).  Remember Moses was told to strike the rock, the first time, at Horeb which is Mt Sinai (Exodus 17:6).  Jesus is the “Rock” of our Salvation and He was struck for our sins at the cross.  When Moses struck the Rock on another occasion this was like crucifying Jesus again on the cross which is an abomination … “It is finished”!  After you have been “born again”, don’t strike Jesus with words of repentance as if He needs to save you again or with works of repentance as if your need to do something to keep your Salvation but walk daily with Jesus, trusting His Grace for the good works He wants to do in you and through you (Philippians 1:6) and confess your sins to keep your conscience cleansed in fellowship with Jesus (1 John 1:9). 

And He (the Lord) buried him (Moses) in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.  Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated. – Deuteronomy 34:6-7

Moses is said to have died on Mt Nebo when he was 120 years old but he still had the vigor of life … this seems contradictory to a person’s condition before death.  And it was the Lord who buried Moses in place that no man knows about (Deuteronomy 34:5-7).  So did Moses die on earth or did God take Moses to Heaven as He did Elijah?  Why was there a dispute between the archangel Michael and Satan concerning the body of Moses (Jude 1:9)?  There are many things that are a mystery to us at this time that will be revealed to us as we approach the end times or we will known these things when we are with Jesus before the end times Tribulation begins.  Many believe the two witnesses that preach in Jerusalem for the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation are Moses and Elijah and these two witnesses will be Raptured/Resurrected at the mid-way point of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:1-13).  

Genesis 17:7-8 I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Isaiah 62:4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

Revelation 21:Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

    Psalm 121: 1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
            From where shall my help come?

         2My help comes from the LORD,
            Who made heaven and earth.

Isaiah 2:2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Revelation 17: 8“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. 9“Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits10and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 11“The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction

After the 7 years Tribulation period, there will be 1,000 year Millennium Kingdom where Jesus will rule with a rod of iron from Mt Zion.  This will complete the 7,000 years of man’s mortal existence and the “eternal”  government of God will be established from the Beautiful city, Jerusalem, which sits upon Mt Zion.  Jerusalem is the everlasting capital of the everlasting land that is given to believers for an everlasting covenant.  And when the new Heaven and new earth are restored by God, the New Jerusalem that comes down from Heaven to earth, as a bride adorned for her husband, Jesus (Revelation 21:2). 

Though the measurements of the New Jerusalem are given as a cube 2500 miles in width, length and height, it is likely that the shape will be like that of a mountain or even a pyramid.  By the way, I think the Great Giza pyramid was designed by God as a witness in stone for all generations, with the passageways declaring the Dispensations of His Grace .

Also some say that Jerusalem is the city of 7 hills (Revelation 17:9) where the woman (the false prophet) rides the beast kingdom (of the Antichrist) for the first 3 1/2 years until the woman is overthrown by the Antichrist (Revelation 17:16).  http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/map-of-jerusalem-and-its-seven-hills.htm

Here a study of how God used three mountains (Mount Ararat, Mount Sinai and Mount Zion). in three Dispensations Ages (Patriarch believers, Jewish believers and Church believers)  to teach the three timeless principles of  (Salvation, Sacrifice and Promise).   https://www.simplybible.com/f30l-magni-three-marvelous-mountains.htm

 


Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him

Our cross is the will of God for our life, just as the sin of man was the cross and will of God for Jesus to carry.  We do not carry our sin but we are to walk with Jesus and allow Him to carry our sin and sanctify our life, to make it holy.  God has prepared good works for us to do in the name of Jesus.  We are to deny our old sin nature and follow Jesus in the Holy Spirit of our new born again nature in order to do the works that God has prepared for us.  This is the “Die2Live” life that Jesus has called us to walk in until we are free from the presence of sin in, with Him in our resurrected body!.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. – Matthew 16:24

Have I have written a song about our walk with Jesus up Mt Calvary, which is leading us to the future city of God.

1. Up the hill to Calvary with Jesus and the cross

He carries things that weigh me down and only bring me loss

He reaches down to pull me up each step along the way

And burns up all my burdens in His all consuming flame

 

Chorus: 

Up the hill to Calvary, my Jesus carries me

Up the mountain, to my home in that city made of gold

 

2.  I see so many weary as we press along and climb

Your way Lord it is easy but the storms blow all the time

As I journey through this life as did the prophets old

I set my eyes upon You and that city made of gold 

 

3. For that altar on that hill David paid a price

And Solomon build a temple there and gave a sacrifice

Abraham and Issac climbed, the Father and the Son

And offered there a sacrifice “God, Thy will be Done”

 

End: 

Climb, Lord, climb Praise God, You are mine

On my way back home to that city made of gold

 


Trees in the Bible

Trees in the Bible represent a Spiritual person or a Spiritual people group.  The “Tree of Life” represents the person of Jesus Christ who gives life, both physical and eternal.  The Tree of Life represents Spiritual “revelation” from God to man that brings reconciliation between God and man, which brings life.  On the other hand the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” represents man’s reasoning, apart from a relationship with God, which brings death.  It is not knowledge that brings death, but knowledge that is pursued for the purpose of glorifying self, outside the will of God that brings death.  Knowledge that is pursued to know God, to serve God and make God known is “wisdom” … this gives God the glory and rewards the believer.  However, knowledge that is pursued to “enlighten” men to do something without God for their own glory is “humanist” … it’s building of a New World Order of the Antichrist spirit in rebellion to God.

Jesus is also identified as “the grape vine” and believers in Jesus are the branches of the true vine who are meant to bear the fruit of repentance and good works in Jesus Christ (John 15:5).  The believing Jews are the original branches of the grape vine and the Gentiles are the “wild” branches that are grafted in by grace through faith grace in Jesus Christ.  Most importantly Jesus is represented by the “Tree of Calvary“.  Jesus hung upon a wooden cross to pay for man’s sin debt and He provides a “way” to “reverse the curse” of death that began when Adam and Eve chose to eat from the forbidden fruit.  Jesus is the Tree of “new” eternal Life, He gives life to those who receive Him by grace through faith.  

The fig tree represents the nation of Israel which Jesus cursed when He found no fruit on it (Mark 11:12-25).  The mighty oak represents the life of the faithful believer, standing strong and bearing much fruit and a faithful believer is also like the cedar trees in Lebanon which represent righteousness.  The palm tree represents praise to the Lord, like a hand lifted up to Heaven and the unusually large mustard tree represents the church in the last days, puffed up in size because of apostasy teaching (leaven) and filled with both believers (wheat and sparrows) and unbelievers (tares and black birds).  People are like “fruit trees”, the believer bears the good fruit that comes from abiding by Grace through faith in Jesus but the bad tree bears the bad fruit of humanism that is burned up!  “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. – Matthew 7:17

It is not knowledge that brings death but knowledge that is pursued for the purpose outside the will of God that destroys and brings death.  It what “seems” right to man but it is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12). Satan’s continues to tempt people and deceive people with the fruit from this tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, promising that the pursuit of knowledge of the world or knowledge from secret societies or knowledge from demonic rituals can “enlighten you” so you can have the good things in this world that God seems to be withholding from you. 

And Satan can deliver success in this world and things that “seem” good … if you put your trust in the world, the flesh or the Devil.  Satan even tried to temp Jesus in this way but Jesus overcame Satan with God’s word (Matthew 4:1-11)!  Ever since Adam and Eve ate of this forbidden fruit all mankind is plagued with a fallen Self Indulgent Nature (SIN) that makes man think he can figure out what is good and what is evil on his own, without acknowledging God’s way (Isaiah 55:8-9).  This demonic teaching is found in humanism, globalism and rebuilding of the tower of Babel … the New World Order.  Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” – John 14:6.  There is no wiggle room with Jesus … you are either in Jesus’ camp as a Spiritually “born again” child of God or you remain in Satan’s camp, as a Physically born child of Adam.

Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. – Proverbs 3:18 NLT

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.    Proverbs – 3:5-6

You must first be “born again” in Jesus Christ to be spiritually re-connected to God and then God can instruct you with knowledge that is applied for the purpose that is “in the will of God” … this is called “wisdom”.  The pursue of knowledge and the application of knowledge within the will of God will be rewarded by God.  God is the giver of Light and Life, though a born again relationship with His Son Jesus Christ!  God is the giver of all things good and He is the only One who is able to purpose knowledge so it can be used for good.  Therefore man can learn to use knowledge for good, if He trusts and obeys God, or he can use knowledge for evil if he trusts his own reasoning.  

Also have you ever noticed how the “Menorah” resembles the branches of a tree?  Jesus is the “Branch” (Zechariah 3:8) and the “vine” (John 15:1).  The 7 branches of the Menorah have 22 Almond blossoms.  The Almond tree is the first tree to bud with new life in the Spring and it was Almond buds that appeared on Aaron’s staff to prove that the tribe of the Levi represented God to the Jews.  The end of each branch has a cup which shines the light of the word upon my path (Psalm 119:105) by the oil of the Holy Spirit.  The believer is also like a branch that is grafted into the true vine of Jesus Christ.  “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. – 1 John 15:5

Mold me like a Live Oak Tree   by  Rogersings   +8^)

 

Oh mighty live oak, tall and old

How lovely do your branches fold

So long and bended by the wind

Yet strong to stand and not give in

 

 

You rise in beauty from the test

And shade the folks in need of rest

In Fall you do not shed your leaves

In winter you’re still evergreen

 

 

It’s hard to stand and forgive sin

But truth and love are found in Him

So Lord come do Your work in me

And mold me like a live oak tree

The seven branches of the Menorah represent the divine number of God, His 7 days of creation, His 7,000 years for sinful man on earth, His 7 Dispensations, His 7 feasts, His 7 Spirits, His 7 Churches, His 7 angels, His 7 years of Tribulation and His 7 (seal, trumpet, bowl and thunder) judgments.  Wow, this is just another amazing piece of evidence that we have an Awesome Creator God!   [youtube id=”LufsjQqYx-U”]


Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.  – John 21:11

The number 153 has some fascinating mathematical properties and most commentators think the large number of fist has something to do with the large harvest of Church Age believers.  I found that the word “Zion” is referenced 153 in the Bible so perhaps this is an amazing way that the Lord is confirming His love for Zion which is like the net that holds all the believing Church.  


Jesus, the Example    Hebrews 12

1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 A Father’s Discipline

      4You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;

5and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;

6FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

12Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

14Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.17For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

 Contrast of Sinai and Zion

      18For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.” 21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.” 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

 The Unshaken Kingdom

      25See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” 27This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29for our God is a consuming fire.

About Die2Live

How to have the “abundant” life that Jesus spoke about … Die to Live

 

Die to Live is counter-intuitive idea, a paradox, like many of the themes and truths of the Bible.  The phrase Die to Live is not a reference to death of the physical body but to death of the “sin nature” that plagues and destroys us.  So what is this “sin nature”?  How did it get in me and how is it destroying me?  And If it is as bad as you say, how do I get rid of it?   Yes, indeed, all very good questions which I explain in more detail in this article “what is sin” but for now let’s see how scripture explains the issue in the life of a believer of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:16-17 “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

If you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ then you have made a choice to turn from your sin nature and take up your new life in Christ Jesus.  You are “born again” and have a new Spiritual life in Christ.  You believe that Jesus Christ paid your sin debt and that the Holy Spirit dwells in you to comfort and guide you in your new Christian life.  Yet, you also still have the old sin nature in you, so you must daily fight and “die” to the desires of your old sin nature so you can “live” and enjoy the new life of Christ that is in you.

Thanks to the banners at football games, almost everybody knows the good news that Jesus told us from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.“.  But what most people don’t realize is that Jesus also gave us some bad news right after that, recorded in John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”.  The bad news is that without the Son, Jesus Christ, you are unfit for eternal life with God.  In other words, you are born dead in your sin and Spiritually separated from God’s saving love.  A person who has not believed in Jesus is like a dead man walking and waiting to die both physically and Spiritually.

Jesus wants to give us an abundant life in Him but we are born children of Satan and Satan wants to keep us following him and keep us from finding and enjoying the abundant life in Jesus.  John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  The thief is Satan, he comes to keep people lost in their sin, unconcerned about their future.  Satan tells people they are “all right” and they don’t need to be concerned with their sin, or be concerned about their relationship with God or be concerned about death.  In this way Satan “steals” away the truth about their sin nature and God’s judgment that is upon them because of their sin nature.  Satan deceives man into believing he is good enough before God, thus making the gospel message of new life in Christ seem foolish and unnecessary.  

Then the thief whispers to the unbeliever “just keep on trucking, trying to do your best … that is all that God requires of you”.  But no works of ours can atone for our sin.  A life without Christ is a life that has no lasting value, it doesn’t please God and it ends in eternal death and separation from God.  Hebrews 11:16 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”.   After death, an unbeliever has no second chance to be saved but his soul waits in hell to one day be thrown into the lake of fire and be eternally tormented with Satan, his fallen angels and other unbelievers.  Hebrews 9:27  “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,”

Praise God, Jesus is the good shepherd who comes to save us from our Spiritual death sentence and gives us abundant eternal life. John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  The believer is pardoned from his Spiritual death sentence the moment he puts his trust in Jesus, believing Jesus paid for his sin death penalty by dying on the cross in his place.  The believer has assurance that God is satisfied with the payment because Jesus rose on the third day and sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.  The believer receives the gift of the abundant life in Christ that can be enjoyed today and every day, even into eternity.  Therefore, when the believer physically dies, yet he will live eternally with Jesus and receive a new resurrected, immortal body.  

Ephesians 2:5-7 “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  

And this is what it means to “believe” in Jesus … that you consider your old sinful self as good as dead and you accept a new life in Christ, with Christ’s Spirit living in you. 

I created this site to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are Spiritual dead and separated from God but more importantly I created it to give the weary and wayward Christian traveler “Spiritual meat” for his soul in order that he can press on and fight the good fight of faith.  The truth is that even though the believer has the blessed assurance of a new and eternal life in Christ, the old sin nature is still within you, trying to prevent you from enjoying the new life of Christ.  And everyone who desires to draw close to God faces a common #1 enemy … the sinful self.  In other words, there is a battle going on inside your heart and soul between your new “born again” God nature and your old sin nature.  Therefore, you must die daily to your old sin nature and natural reasoning in order to live and enjoy your new life in Christ and your supernatural reasoning … “Die 2 Live“.

The good news of the gospel is that those who believe in Jesus Christ will one day be with Jesus in a place where there is no sin.  For believers, their life on earth now is the only “hell” they will every know.  But for the unbelievers, their time on earth is the only “heaven” they will ever know.  Also, for believers there is even more good news, God is going to “reward” a believer who daily dies to self and takes up his cross and follows Jesus.  The hardest thing there is to do on earth is to be a an obedient servant to Christ, to deny self and live for Christ.  Yet in Heaven, without our sin nature, the situation will be the exact opposite and everyone in Heaven will want to serve Christ but the reward and privilege will go to those who faithfully served Him on earth.  Matthew 20:26 ‘It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,”  This is why it is so important to not grow weary in serving Christ and doing the good works that God has prepared.

In a similar sense when Jesus says in Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  Jesus is talking to believers and encouraging them to ask their Heaven Father for “good gifts” that God longs to give His children.  Jesus is not telling people to think of God like a cosmic genie who is subservient to our wants and desires for “health and wealth and happiness” but we are to think of God as the One who knows what is best for us and trust that we when we “ask, seek and knock” that God will provide the best for our “needs“.  This concept is spelled out more clearly in 1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” and in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Moreover, the greatest gifts from God aren’t physical but they are Spiritual, such as the peace of God that passes understanding and the comfort and assurance of His Love.

These articles are about what I have learned about God and my new self in Christ as I’ve walked with Jesus and fought the good fight of faith.  I don’t have any “new” revelations or teaching to offer.  I am simply restating the age old truths of God in my own words, which is especially needed during these days of deception.  The idea for creating this web site came from family and friends who encouraged me to write this information down somewhere, probably so I wouldn’t bend their ear so much.  Of course, there are so many people who have influenced my Christian walk but primarily I want to thank my pastor (Clay), for 20+ years of solid bible teaching, my close brother in Christ (Vic), the late great teacher and chart maker Clarence Larkin and my all time favorite author and Christian apologetic, David Hunt.  This web site is a work in progress, just like me.  Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  God is working in me to make into a Kingdom citizen, like Jesus.  God is primarily concerned about developing the loving, serving, sacrificing character of Christ in me and for that reason God would rather that I be miserable from fighting my sin nature and virtuous in Christ than for me to be happy in the world and selfishly lost in sin.  And even with all the thorns of sin in this life, God’s grace is sufficient and amazing.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

My prayer is that the information I have shared will draw you closer to God and bless your soul.  But like Dave Hunt always says, don’t take my word for it, be a good Berean and compare what I say against scripture.  And thanks to the format of this web site you can write your own thoughts down; agree, disagree, comment or correct my spelling. 

A servant of the Lord Jesus,  Rogersings  +8^) 

info@die2live.worthyofpraise.org

   

Salvation

It is not merely by repeating certain words that a person is saved from their sin.  And it is not how much you know about God that saves you or how much you know about yourself that saves you.  Salvation is not based on how many time you have attended church or how “good” you think you are.  No one is automatically saved, even if your father is the pastor of a church or if you were baptized and held under water for two minutes … you are not saved by affiliating or osmosis.  No man can vouch for you before God as to your worthiness for salvation, not even the Pope himself.  You must come to God on your own and by your own free will.   And it is definitely NOT by your good works that you can be saved from your sin because we have no righteousness in our self that is worthy of paying for our sin debt to God.  If we could pay for our sin debt then Jesus died in vain but the truth is that we cannot pay for our sin debt, we are Spiritually separated from God, Spiritually “dead” and unable to please God, unable to do His will, unable to meet His righteous standard and unable to even know God’s, know His love for us and His will for our life!  Jesus is the only one who lived a perfect life pleasing to God and He is the only way to be reconciled to God.

The deadly disease of sin:

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Isaiah 64:6 “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

 

The Amazing cure:

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 5:24  Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment. Indeed, he has crossed over from death to life.

 

We are “all spiritual beggars” in need of the food of eternal life and God is our loving Heavenly father who wants to give us eternal life and the best of life.  Each person has a Spiritual void inside them … it’s a desire to know their Creator and to know their significant in the world.  The problem is that we spend our time making us a Creator in our own image and finding significance by trying to impress others with our God given gifts and abilities.  God is always pouring out His amazing grace upon each person, showing each person His awesome creation and the decay (sin) that is ruining it.  God is also showing each person His righteous perfect standard and He is convicting each person that they don’t measure up to this standard.  This is why each person is “without excuse” for failing to see his need for Salvation (Roman 1:20).

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

And Salvation, grace and even the faith to believe are “all” gifts from God that He freely offers to each person.  You don’t supply any work that enables your salvation and in the same sense once you are saved you can’t do any work to undo your salvation.  God is revealing Himself to each person and He is waiting for each person to “receive” the gift of eternal life by believing in His Son, Jesus Christ.  God has done all the work, all you do is agree with God’s assessment of you … it’s as easy as ABC.

The question is “Have you accepted the free gift of eternal life?”

 

A – Admit your a sinner

B – Believe Jesus is Lord

C – Call upon His name

 

(with the mind you believe and with the heart you receive)

But you must call upon Jesus before you physically die or you will die in your sin and be eternally separated from God (Hebrew 9:27).  If you die without Jesus as your Savior you will wait in hell before you are sentenced at the White Throne of Judgement for the degree of punishment you will endure forever in the Lake of Fire!  And oddly enough each person will agree with God about their judgement, because as we stated earlier man is “without excuse” for rejecting God’s gift of Salvation (Romans 1:20).  In a sense God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, it is by a person’s own free will that they either receive the free gift of eternal life, acknowledging Jesus as Lord of their life or they reject the free gift, preferring to think they are their own god.  If you continually reject the gift of Salvation in Jesus you will harden your heart toward God and slip into a state of delusion and insanity and torment that will endure for all eternity … separated from God.

      

Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”

Matthew 18:3 “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I don’t want to a complicate the issue, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ is simple enough that a child can understand it.  That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus you must come to God with child like trust and be be “born again“.  Being born again means you are “Spiritually born” and connected to God, forever.  Jesus is waiting at the door of your heart for you to invite Him in to live forever.  That’s what it means to “believe” and be “born again” to eternal life.  

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The message of salvation by “believing in Jesus” is so simple and true, yet it is so profound that scholars have written volumes of commentary on the precious blood of Jesus that takes away the sin of the world.  God is offering His gift of eternal life to each person but you must “decide” to receive this gift.  If you do not believe in Jesus then you will “perish”, which means you will eternally be as you are now, an unsaved sinner separated from God’s love and forgiveness.  Jesus said, whoever does not believe in Him is already judged (John 3:18).  But judged for what? … SIN!   Jesus came to save you from the penalty of your sins, which is eternal death and separation from God.  Jesus came to save you from your self indulgent nature (sin) which reasons “I did it my way” instead of “I did it God’s way“. 

Look, sin is not just the immoral thoughts you have or the immoral behavior you display but sin is a “self indulgent nature” that thinks and acts separately from God’s will for your life.  You think and act separated from God’s way because you inherited a sin nature from your earthly father “Adam”.  Because Adam disobeyed God, Adam’s innocent nature was changed to a sin nature and every person that is physically born is born with a sin nature.  In other words, you are born with a sin nature that is Spiritually separated from God and therefore your natural desire is to “do it my way” without regard for doing it “God’s way“.  Man’s self indulgent nature (sin) doesn’t want to acknowledge that there is a Creator God that man is accountable too for how he lives his life.  It is not your fault you were born with a sin nature that makes you rebellious toward God but it is your fault if you do not acknowledge you have a sin nature and you do not desire to be free from it.   Repentance in Christianity means a sincere turning away, in both the mind and heart, from self to God.

Perhaps you don think there is a Creator God or you do not think that you are accountable to God for how you live your life or you think you are “good enough” to stand before God just the way you are and give an account of how you lived your life.  If this is the case then your “heart is hard toward God” and you are “in love with your self centered way of thinking” that is leading you to eternal death!  God’s grace through the Holy Spirit  is trying to reach your heart and convict you of your sin nature and your need for salvation from sin but if you continue to turn from His grace, you will harden your heart toward God and the offer of salvation through the blood shed by Jesus will seem like foolishness to you. 

Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  Mark 1:14-15

In comparison, a “repentant heart”, is one that is aware that your self indulgent nature (sin) way of thinking is the reason you make bad choices in life and sin it is the reason you face a physical and Spiritual death penalty.  You need the forgiveness of God to get a “new Spiritual heart” that is eternally “connected” to God’s love and in fellowship with His Spirit so you can choose “God’s way”.   This was the message that Jesus Himself preached after He heard that John the Baptist was taken prisoner.
“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”   2 Corinthians 7:10
with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,    Timothy 2:25
Being sorry for not doing what is right produces a “soft heart” toward God that can lead to salvation.   But there is a also worldly sorrow, where a person just regrets the bad circumstances they caused or the bad circumstance they found themselves in.  In this case they are sorry they got caught at doing wrong but they are not sorry for wrong actions.  This kind of sorry leads to a hardening of the heart towards God makes it hard for a person to hear God and be saved.  The sorrow that is “according to the will of God”, is a sorrow that leads a person to desire forgiveness from God.  When the heart is soften by the process of self examination that reveals a deficiency of person’s own goodness, then this is quiet place where the person can hear the knocking of God’s grace calling him to “repentance, faith and salvation”.  At this point he can surrender his will to God’s grace and God’s right to rule his life or he can try to continue to outrun these hounds of Heaven.

To “believe” means you accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering.  Jesus is able to grant you forgiveness with God for your sin nature and He is able to grant you a new Spiritual nature that like His and He is able to grant you “eternal life” with Him forever.  That is what it means to be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  A repentant heart is the “good soil” where the seed of life brings new life in Christ and where the seep of life can grow abundantly in the life of the new believer (Matthew 13:8). To believe in Christ is to turn toward God and to repent is to turn away from self.  Both “belief and repentance occur at the same time” during salvation but for some people a full awareness of their sinfulness “follows their belief” and for others a full awareness of their sinfulness “leads to their belief”.   

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  – John 3:5
This is what Jesus mean when He said you must be born “water” and the “Spirit”.  The water baptism at that time done by John the Baptist was for “repentance” of sin … but Jesus reminds Nicodemus that it’s not just a repentance and turning away from sin that saves a person but it is a turning toward Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit that truly saves.  Believe and Repentance are two sides of the same coin of salvation.  That is why I like to use the ABC of the gospel above “A” is admit your a sinner and “B” is to believe Jesus is Lord.  These are the two sides of the same coin of salvation, where the mind reasons the that salvation is necessary because of their sin and salvation is possible because of Jesus death and resurrection.  Finally, “C” is to call upon Jesus to receive in your heart what your mind has believed from A and B.  I am not saying salvation is a three step process that happens quickly or sequentially … on the contrary, God is working over the lifetime of each person, revealing a person’s sin nature (A) and revealing His divine nature (B).  The point is that when all three elements (A, B and C) come together, the Holy Spirit enters the believer and seals him for redemption.

To “believe” or to “repent” is NOT a work of salvation that you can take credit for but is is a response that you make to the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ.  To believe is more than just acknowledging that Jesus offers salvation from sin, it is a personal plea to Jesus to be saved from “your” sin.  And once you saved, you cannot be “unsaved”.  Salvation is a “one time” act of faith that saves you forever from your Spiritual death penalty because of sin.  You can not loose your salvation.  You cannot be Spiritual unborn any more than you can be physically unborn.  Once you believe, you are guaranteed entry into heaven and eternal life with Jesus Christ and you are joined in fellowship to all those who have bowed their heart to Jesus Christ.

Romans  8:39-39  38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Unfortunately, however, a born again Christian continues to have both a “old sin nature” and a “new Spiritual nature of Christ”, which are in conflict with one another.  Therefore you must daily “deny your old sin nature” and follow your new “Spiritual born again nature” of Christ (Luke 9:23).  This is hard to do but the good news is that when you physically die, your old sin nature dies with your body.  You soul lives on eternally without sin and better still you will one day have a “resurrected” body that will allow you to enjoy Heaven and Earth the way God intended for man … free from sin (1 Corinthians 14:42-49)!

Romans 1:21 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

If you do not think you are a sinner in need God’s forgiveness, it is perhaps because you have not reached the age of accountability before God, the age when God convicts you of your sin.  This is the case with babies and young children and those born mentally impaired in reasoning.  People like this are not able to understand they are born with a rebellious nature towards God’s and that they need salvation in Jesus Christ.  It is commonly believed that if a baby or a young child or a person born mentally impaired dies, then God has a special way of giving that person a choice of salvation (I think it is similar to the way God gave the Angles a choice to stay in Heaven or follow Satan to earth).  However, when you reach the age of accountability before God, you are “without excuse” for not acknowledging your sin (self indulgent nature) and seeking forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  Only you and God know the age when God made it clear in your conscience that you were accountable to God for your actions and for acknowledging God as the Lord of Heaven and of earth and of your life.

2 Corinthians 6:2 “For He says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 

This conviction of your sin nature and your accountability for your sin to God could have occurred when you were 6 years old or more likely after 12 years old.  It is not important when you were first convicted of thoughts or behavior that was in conflict with God’s way and it’s not important how much you have sinned or how terrible your sins are, what is important is that you acknowledge that your sin nature causes you to think and behave contrary to God’s moral standard.  Your Self Indulgent Nature (SIN) causes you to put your ways above God’s ways.  However, man’s way leads to eternal death and separation from God while Christ’s way leads to reconciliation with God and “eternal life” with God.  Your are not guaranteed tomorrow to make this decision to accept Jesus as Lord of your life … today is the day of salvation!


Here is the gospel message and salvation prayer that is included in the handout bulletin at my church:

Our Goal: To honor our Lord and King, and to carry out the Great Commission.  Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus approached them and told them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Our Prayer: To help others come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, and to follow Him as a faithful disciple. Matthew 10:39 “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”  Luke 6:40 “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”

God’s Message: There is only one way to heaven and eternal life with Him.  John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Man’s Problem: Man is unfit for heaven because of sin and he destined for eternal death and separation from God. Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God’s Desire: That all man would repent of their sin and be saved.  2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

God’s Solution: God’s sent His only begotten Son to pay the death penalty sentence for our sin, by living a life without sin and dying in our place.  2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

God’s Call:  God is always there calling for sinners to come home.  Revelation 3:20 “‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

Your Response:  Behold today is the day of salvation.  In repent faith, turn yourself over to Jesus Christ today and receive His pardon and His righteousness.  You can use this prayer to “call upon the Name of the Lord.”

Dear Lord Jesus, I know my sins have separated me from You.  I know that I need Your forgiveness to cover the penalty of my sins and Your righteousness in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  I now repent of my self indulgent nature (SIN) way of thinking and turn my life over to You, Lord Jesus.  I do believe that You earned my salvation for me; through dying for my sins in your perfect sacrifice on the cross, and through living on my behalf, a perfect life of obedience and righteousness.  I trust in you alone to save me, and I am willing to follow You as Lord of my life.  Thank You for granting me forgiveness and a new birth into spiritual life, united with You for eternity.  I pray this in Your Name, Jesus.  Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, please tell me or a fellow Christian as a way to publicly confess Christ and a way for other to rejoice with you.  It is important that you find a good Christian church, a body of believers, to serve with and grow with.  These will be your friends for eternity.


God is listening … it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or bad you fell.  God is more powerful than the hurt you caused others or the doubt you have about Him.  God is more powerful than the pain and burdens you carry.  He is able to carry them much better than you can.  


Now that you are a born again child of God, a Christian, your first work of faith is to seek out a body of Christians, a local church, to serve and grown in.  Equally important, you will want to be baptized, as your first work of faith, publicly  demonstrating the private confession of your belief in Jesus.  And that is what baptism is, a picture of your death (to your sin nature) and resurrection (new life) with Christ.  Make sure the church you attend adheres to the essential uncompromising truths that your new life in Christ rests upon.  In the essentials uncompromising unity, in the non-essentials liberty and in all things love.

Here are the essential articles of faith that are included in the handout bulletin at my church:

– We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

– We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

– We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

– We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential and that this salvation is received only through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and not as a result of good works.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life and to perform good works.

– We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost: they that are saved unto the resurrection of eternal life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of eternal damnation.

– We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.