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The ‘Story of Jesus” Part 3

Rev 5:8-, “When the Lamb had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders bowed down in front of Him. Each held a harp and a gold bowl full of incense, the prayers of the saints. They sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slaughtered. With your blood you purchased people for the God from every tribe, language, people, and nation…'”

“Jesus was, so to speak, the God’s ‘Secret Weapon’

 

“Joe, I can’t understand why you always add the definite article? Why do you say, ‘The God’? It’s confusing.”

 

“No, Frank, it’s rather the other way round. Jesus too, is a God and so is the Holy Spirit. And, God the Father is a God; the Most High God. In the original whenever reference is made concerning God the Father it is always preceded by the definite article. Greek has no indefinite article, ‘a’ or, ‘an’. Strictly speaking one should, if, in Greek, remember that if a noun does not have the definite article preceding it, it implies the indefinite article as in Joh 1:6, ‘There was a man sent from a God, a name to him John.’”

 

“That, too, is rather confusing. Which God, then, sent that man John? It does not make sense.”

 

“Notice how you changed the wording. Instead of saying, ‘a man’ you correctly said, ‘that man,’ ‘that’ having the same meaning as a definite article. Yes, at first glance it does sound confusing. If God, the Father, was the one who sent, that John, to be a witness concerning the Light (Jesus), ‘God’ would have had the definite article.”

 

“So, why was it not used?”

 

It was not inserted in the original because God, the Father, might not have been the one that sent that John to witness. It could have been God the Holy Spirit who did the inspiring. The Holy Spirit’s function is witnessing concerning Jesus. Compare this translation to that of your favourite Bible, Joh 16:7-, “However, I am telling you the truth. It is for your advantage that I am going away, because if I do not go away the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. And that one coming, He will convince the world concerning sins, of a righteousness, and of a judgment—of sins, because they do not believe unto Me; but, of a righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me moreover, of a judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. Yet many things I have to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. Yet when that One comes, the Spirit of the Truth, He will guide you unto all the truth. He will not speak from Himself, but will speak whatever He hears and will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take of that, which is Mine, and declare it to you. All things which the Father has are Mine. That is why I said, ‘He will take that which is Mine and declare it to you.’”

 

“It’s far too much to take in, in one hearing. What did strike me was, the Helper will convince one concerning sins and a righteousness. I wonder why ‘a righteousness’ and not ‘the righteousness’? Surely there is only one ‘approved’ method of being in right standing with God? Or, should I should have said, ‘In right standing with ‘the God’? Jesus said to Thomas, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father if not by reason of Me.’”

 

“Yes, Frank, there is this mystery concerning the kingdom of the God and for this reason Jesus spoke in parables that, ‘Seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.’”

 

“Joe, this sure is difficult to understand that one’s sins cannot be forgiven by reason of one not understanding.”

 

“That’s a ‘curveball’, Frank. It’s not one’s sins that can’t be forgiven but the sins of the Jews. One must not lose sight of why the God created, Eph 1:-5-, ‘Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ. He freely chose to do this’ (‘Bible Chess Game’). He anticipated Adam’s eating of the forbidden fruit hence, 1Pe 1:20, ‘Having been foreknown on one hand before a creation of a world but, on the other hand was manifest at last of the times for your sake.’ Those who by reason of Jesus believe unto a God, the one having raised Jesus from death and glorified Jesus that their faith and hope too, may be unto a God.’ Now, the Jews had their Messiah crucified.”

 

“I’m not sure if I understood what you’ve said, Joe. Aren’t the Jews the God’s chosen nation?”

 

“Yes they are. The promise to Abram was, ‘I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and by thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.’  During the time of Moses they angered God to the extent that He was about to do away with them. Moses interceded resulting in the giving of the Law with these words, ‘Obey the Law and you’ll live!’ Provision was made should they disobey. The sacrificial system was taken up in the Law too, hence forgiveness of sins. We, the Gentiles, were not at anytime given the Law and where there is no law one cannot sin.”

 

“You make it sound as if we, the Gentiles, are sinless.”

 

‘Hey, taste this one it’s d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.” ‘Where did you find it?” “Never mind where I found it; take a bite.

“The sin of the world is Adam’s eating of the forbidden fruit hence John’s writing that Jesus was not sent to judge the world but that the world might be saved by reason of his coming into the world. Therefore, the one believing concerning Jesus’ coming into the world is not judged but whosoever does not believe already has been judged for not believing. However, if someone has never heard the good news how can such a person be condemned? Jesus said, ‘So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News concerning my resurrection. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’ The question rather should be, ‘What are those, who have put their trust in Jesus, and requested baptism, saved from?’”

 

“Now you’ve confused me. Surely a born again person is saved? I’ve heard pastors preach that it is impossible for a believer to ‘fall back’. Once saved always saved quoting Joh 10:27-, ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’”

 

“Yes. Frank, you have now opened the proverbial ‘cans of worms’. And, may I add The Gospel 31:33-, (for those who erroneously believe that Jesus’ sheep will not go through the great tribulation), ‘For, then there shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor by any means shall be. And unless a Lord had cut short the days, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the elect, whom He chose, He cut short the days. Then, if someone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There!” do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will be raised up, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you in advance.

 

“’Therefore if they should say to you, “Look, He is in the desert!” do not go out; or “Look, He is in the inner rooms! (the pyramids?)” do not believe it. For as the lightning comes out from the east and flashes to the west, so shall also be the coming of the Son of the Man. For wherever the carcass (the worms) may be, there the eagles will be gathered together. But, in those days, after that tribulation, there shall be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars. And on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, as the sea and the waves roar, men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things, which are coming upon the earth, for the powers of heaven, shall be shaken. The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its radiance; and the stars of heaven shall be falling out and the powers in the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of the Man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of the Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory…”

 

“What is the link, Joe, concerning Joh 10’s, ‘no man shall pluck them out of Jesus’ hand’?”

 

In the same way you also must regard yourself as dead in relation to sin, but as alive in relation to God, because you are now no longer ‘in Adam’ but ‘clothed in Christ Jesus and a member of his Body Him being your life.

“The link is, there will be ‘the falling away’ before Jesus’ return; the ‘carcass’. The ‘falling away’ had started soon after the Ascension. Even the apostles were carried away by the idea that believers were to receive circumcision and keep the Law. Paul opposed this heresy but he, too, had to confess that he had lost the battle. He wrote Timothy that all those of Asia had turned away from him. In the beginning of his ministry, in Antioch, his followers were the first to be named Christians. This difference between a believer and a Christian still remains. The question is not, ‘Can a believer fall back?’ but, ‘is it possible for a Christian to be plucked out of the hands of Jesus or, of his Father’s hands?’”

 

“I’m afraid I missed the point, Joe. Surely a believer is a Christian?”

 

“Frank, the bottom line is, one is either still ‘clothed in Adam’ or, born again being ‘clothed in Jesus’; either of flesh (fleshly) or, of spirit (spiritual). The early church was misled, they believed one had to be circumcised and keep the Law. The problem was concerning women and in particular, girl babies. Baptism replaced circumcision and eventually sprinkling became the norm. Paul’s view was, Gal 4:31-, “Wherefore, brethren, we are not children of a handmaid, but of the freewoman. For to the freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage. Behold I Paul say unto you, that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would by law be justified; ye are fallen away from the grace. We however, in our spiritual nature, by faith, eagerly expect an impartial judgement. For by reason of Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but a firm conviction working through love. Ye were running well; who hindered you that ye should not obey the truth?”

 

“Joe, I wonder why ‘the grace’? It implies another grace.”

 

“A very good question for indeed there was another grace. Do notice the different translations of Joh 1:16. It should have read, :15-, “John witnesses concerning Him, and he cried out, saying, ‘This Man was He whom I said, “The One after me coming, before me has become, because, before me, He was.” And from out of His fullness, we all received, even, grace instead of, of grace. For the law by means of Moses was given; the grace and the truth came because of Jesus Christ.” The ‘fullness’ (everlasting life) is for everyone whilst the law only offered ‘living’ if they kept the law. That ‘living’ was only ‘a grace’; do or die kind of ‘grace’.”

“So, once one has received this ‘fullness’ is it then impossible to lose it again; be plucked out of ‘Jesus’ hands’?”

 

“Let Scripture speak for itself bearing in mind the promises God made with Israel if they obey his instruction, Deu 7:16, ‘And you shall destroy all the people which Jehovah your God shall deliver you. Your eye shall have no pity upon them; neither shall you serve their gods, for they will be a snare to you.’”

 

“That was Israel, Joe, who must we destroy? Must we destroy all the ‘heretics’?”

 

“No, Frank, that’s not what I’m suggesting; they were just an example. The fullness ‘we’ receive, Col 2:8-, ‘Beware lest anyone rob you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power, in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in whom also you were raised through the faith of the working of the God, raising Him from the dead.

 

“I’ve died to Sin and now I can belong to Jesus; ‘flesh of his flesh and bones of his bones'”

‘And you, being dead to your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses… If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth. For, you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. When Christ our Life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness (which is idolatry)…’ and the list of instructions carries on. It even includes, ‘Masters, render unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.’ If only we obeyed”

 

“Where did we go wrong, Joe?”

 

“Paul gave a similar instruction in, Eph 5:28-, ‘Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; because we are members of his body.

 

‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. Nevertheless, do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she fear her husband.’

 

“Frank, great fuss has been made concerning the matter concerning the fact that women may not teach and the ‘covering’ of their heads when praying or prophesying but little is said concerning the, ‘Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives…’”

 

“Come to think about, Joe, why the ‘Even so’?

 

“Frank, the ‘even so’ is the mystery of the gospel. A husband should love his wife as much as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.”

“Jesus made the church holy by the power of his word, and He made it pure by washing it with water. Christ did this, so that He would have a glorious and holy church, without faults or spots or wrinkles or any other flaws. In the same way, a husband should love his wife as much as he loves himself. A husband who loves his wife shows that he loves himself. The husband is responsible for the salvation of his household. What he allows any member of his household to get away with contrary to what God the Father would not allow his ‘adopted’ children would make that husband not a suitable candidate to adopt and neither the one who got away with whatever.”

 

Ain’t I lucky? I was ‘selected’ in spite of having brown eyes.

“’Adopted child’, Joe? what do you mean?”

 

“Well, God the father created because He wanted children of his own. He created angels and a third of them rebelled against Him. At least He can, at the end of the day, cast them into the lake of fire, Rev 20:10-, ‘And the Devil who deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet were. And he will be tormented day and night forever and ever. And death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.’ If a Godchild should rebel what could be done to punish a God? So adoption was the only option, Eph 1:3-, ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ; according as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.’”

 

“Joe, who will ever make it? it sure sounds like a perfect idea to make ones household a spiritual gymnasium but…”

 

“That question was asked before, Luk 18:26-, ‘And the ones who heard said, “And who can be saved?” And He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”’ The following, too, sounds impossible, ‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church.’”

 

“Yes, I’ve often thought how a man could leave his parents, for which he is responsible in their old age, and cling to his wife and become ‘one flesh’.”

 

“Frank, if one should take note, according to the original, Jesus called Himself, ‘the Son of the Man’. Paul writes, 1Co 15:39-, ‘All flesh is not the same flesh; but one kind of flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. But the glory of the heavenly is truly different, and that of the earthly different; one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.’

 

“So also the resurrection of the dead, ‘It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.’ And so it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being, the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.’ But, not the spiritual first, but the natural, afterward the spiritual. The first man out of earth, dust; the second Man the Lord out of Heaven. Such the earthy man, such also the earthy ones. And such the heavenly Man, such also the heavenly ones.

“And according as we bore the image of the earthy man, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit a kingdom of a God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.”

 

“Why, Joe, did Jesus name Himself the Son of the man?”

 

“Indeed a valid question, Frank. First, ‘the Son’, with the definite article, has reference to a particular son and in Jesus’ case it would refer to ‘the Anointed Son’ as in Isa 49:5-, ‘And now, says Jehovah who formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob again to Him, Though Israel is not gathered, yet I shall be glorious in the eyes of a Jehovah, and My God shall be My strength. And He said, ‘It is but a little thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You for a light to the nations, to be My salvation to the end of the earth…’ and, of more importance ‘the Son of the man’. Man, with the definite article, makes a difference between different ‘fleshes’, if you will. Jesus was not the ‘Son of an animal’ for obvious reasons, Rom 8:2-, ‘For the law of the Spirit of the life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of the sin and the death [do note most translators had ignored the definite article]. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh [Heb 9:13-, “For if the blood of bulls and of he-goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ (who having an eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to the God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”], the God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.’ The God sent his own Son, ‘he-goat’, the One of whom it was written [Isa 49:5-].”

 

“The insertion of the definite article sure makes a difference to the understanding.”

 

“Wow! Here, at last, is someone like me! You are part of my body, my own flesh and bones.”

“Keeping this in mind consider Eph 5:31-, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two of them shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.’ ‘The two of them shall be one flesh’ is often misunderstood. Jesus is of different ‘flesh’, the only One having a glorified body, Luk 24:39, ‘Behold my hands and my feet, that I am He! Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see Me have.’ In the same way a married couple’s children are the only people peculiar to the DNA of their parents and, for this reason, one who is still ‘in Adam’ and repents leaves ‘father and mother’ [leaves ‘flesh’ and becomes ‘spirit’] and is joined to Jesus and, ‘the two of them will be one flesh’, 1Jn 3:1-, ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope on him purifies himself, even as that One is pure.’  

 

“Frank, bear in mind that the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Truth, has come to convince concerning sins and of a righteousness. The sin is people who don’t believe unto Jesus. Jesus’ obedience, unto death on a cross, was an act worthy of ‘righteousness’. Therefore, if one believes that Jesus truly is the Ransom and is willing too, to die to sin that, too, in the sight of the God, would be deemed a righteousness, 1Jn 5:5-, ‘Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of the God? This is He who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.’ The Spirit, on earth, which witnesses is the ‘Spirit of everlasting life’ one receives coming up from ‘waters of baptism’ [we come by water only], Rom 8:15, “…you have received a Spirit of adoption by which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’”

To my Afrikaans friends, Jan and San:

Liewe Jan en San

Hier by ons het die lente begin, die vyeboom het begin bot dus weet ek die somer is naby en nie te lank van nou af nie dan sal ek my truie almal was en wegbêre totdat ‘die blare begin val’. Ek weet al wat Jesus sou gesê het toe Hy hier op aarde was en ek Johannes die Doper was dan sou Hy my geantwoord het, Ja, Johannes, jy weet wel om die tye te voorspel maar weet jy regtig waarom Ek hier op aarde is?”

Julle moet weet toe Johannes vir Jesus die eerste keer gesien het toe roep hy uit, Dáár is die Lam van God wat die sonde van die wêreld wegneem! Dit is Hy van wie ek gesê het: Ná my kom ʼn Man wat voor my geword het, want Hy was eerder as ek. En ek het Hom nie geken nie; maar dat Hy aan Israel openbaar sou word, daarom het ek gekom en in water gedoop. Ek het die Gees soos ʼn duif uit die hemel sien neerdaal, en Hy het op Hom gebly. Ek het Hom nie geken nie; maar Hy wat my gestuur het om in water te doop, Hy het aan my gesê: Op wie jy die Gees sien neerdaal en op Hom bly, dit is Hy wat in ʼn heilige Gees doop. Ek het gesien en getuig dat hierdie Een, is die Seun van die God.

Julle weet mos dat ons is almal ‘seuns van God, die Vader’ omdat Hy ons Skepper is. Maar, Jesus was die Seun. Johannes was die Doper nie net ʼn doper nie en die ander Johannes was die geliefde een nie ʼn geliefde nie maar, die geliefde. Behalwe dit, Jesus was die enigste ‘gebore Seun’ van God. Sou ʼn mens mooi daaroor nadink dan besef ʼn mens wat dit werklik beteken.

Adam en Eva was geskape, nie gebore nie en ons is almal uit Adam. Ons was ook almal ‘in Adam’ toe hy van die verbode vrug geëet het en daarom is ons almal ‘in sonde gebore’. Maar Jesus is nie ‘uit Adam’ gebore nie; Maria het net aan Jesus geboorte geskenk; net ʼn liggaam gegee en daarom het Jesus Homself die Seun van die mens genoem. Jesus was dus nie ‘geskep’ nie maar gebore; die enigste ‘gebore Seun’ van die hele skepping, tot nou toe.

Die groot ‘misverstand’ wat ingesluip het, is as gevolg van, Hand 6:7, En die woord van God het toegeneem, en die getal van die dissipels het in Jerusalem baie vermeerder, en groot menigte van priesters het gehoorsaam geword aan die geloof.” Nie net het hulle die gelowiges geleer dat as hulle, hulle nie laat besny nie hulle nie gered kan word nie maar hulle het ook verkeerdelik geglo dat daar net een God is. Om die rede het die ‘Drie-enige God’ leerstelling die ‘amptelike leerstelling’ geword ʼn paar honderd jaar na Christus en die vertalings moes derhalwe ‘aangepas’ word en om die rede word sommige mense ongelukkig as gevra word of Jesus ʼn Jood was met geboorte. Vra maar iemand daardie vraag en sien wat gebeur.

Die ‘bloedlyn’ kom deur die vader. Timoteus se ma was ʼn Jodin; sy pa ʼn Griek en ʼn Griek was nie toegelaat in ʼn Joodse sinagoge nie en daarom het Paulus Timoteus laat besny. Maria was ʼn Jodin maar dit het nie Jesus ʼn Jood gemaak nie. Die vertalers vertaal dus, verkeerdelik, dat wat in haar verwek is, is uit die Heilige Gees, Mat 1:20, want dan was die Heilige Gees Jesus se Vader en was Jesus nie ʼn Seun van die mens nie. Dan was Johannes ook verkeerd want hy skryf, Joh 1:14, En die woord het vlees geword en onder ons gewoon en ons het sy heerlikheid aanskou, ʼn heerlikheid soos van ʼn eniggeborene van sy vader in waarheid en, genade.”

Jesus het ʼn vorige bestaan gehad, Fil 2:6-, Hy, wat in die gestalte van ʼn God was, het dit geen roof geag om aan ʼn God gelyk te wees nie, maar het Homself ontledig deur die gestalte van ʼn dienskneg aan te neem en aan die mense gelyk geword,” dit word verdoesel en word Joh 1:1 ook verkeerd vertaal om te voorkom dat daar wel tenminste twee ‘Gode’ kan wees, ’Voor’ ʼn begin [van die menswording van Jesus] was die Woord, en die Woord was by die God, en die Woord was ʼn God. Hy was in die begin by die God.” Waarheid is Jesus het sy Godheid neergelê en as ʼn heilige Gees Homself in Maria se baarmoeder ‘tuisgemaak’, Johannes.

 

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