Category Archives: THE NATION ISRAEL

Are Matthew 3:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 speaking of the same Spirit baptism?

ARE MATTHEW 3:11 AND 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13 SPEAKING OF THE SAME SPIRIT BAPTISM?

by Shawn Brasseaux

No. No. No. No! Regardless of what any “scholar” may tell you, they are not the same concept!

The Scriptures say in 1 Corinthians chapter 12: “[12] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. [13] For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

Verse 13 reads as follows in the Greek Textus Receptus (the source of the King James New Testament): “Kai_gar [For] en* [by] eni [one] pneumati [Spirit] emeis [we] pantes [all] eis [into] en [one] soma [body] ebaptisthemen [are baptized], eite [whether] Ioudaioi [Jews] eite [or] Ellenes [Gentiles], eite [whether] douloi [bond] eite [or] eleutheroi [free] – kai [and] pantes [all] eis [into] en [one] pneuma [Spirit] epotisthemen [have been made to drink].”

Some theologians raise the issue that the Greek preposition “en” (“by”) at the beginning of the verse (noted by the asterisk* above) can also be rendered “with” or “in.” Whereas the King James says, “For by one Spirit…,” the alternate readings would thus be “For with one Spirit” and “For in one Spirit.” The “with” variant is particularly appealing to denominationalists because they cross-reference it to the “with” (see the asterisk* below) portion of John the Baptist’s warning in Matthew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with* [en] the Holy Ghost, and with fire:….”

It is absolutely erroneous to make Jesus Christ baptizing people with the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11) the same as the Holy Spirit baptizing people into the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Since the disparate prepositions in the English Bible cannot be used to support the idea that they are the same, theologians will then “run to the Greek” to retranslate what they assume the Bible writers meant in the original language. “By” in 1 Corinthians 12:13, they say, is wrong because it must agree with the “with” of Matthew 3:11.

One theologian has gone so far as to state that the Bible never once refers to the Holy Spirit as the Person doing the baptizing. In fact, he claimed that Matthew 3:11 says Jesus always baptizes. However, if 1 Corinthians 12:13 is left alone as it appears in the King James Bible, then the theologian is wrong, and the Holy Spirit is indeed the baptizer there!! Now we see why people are always trying to make (so-called) “helpful changes” to the Authorized Version. They are adjusting the Bible to fit their theology! Their system is the authority and the Scripture is quoted only when it supports the “pet” denominational tenet. They “correct” the Bible to agree with their preferred position. Any Bible contradictions can be written off as “mistakes” or “mistranslations.” What a shame!

Here, friends, is the tomfoolery—hiding under the guise of “scholarship” and “education”—that has led to such Bible perversions and corruptions for centuries upon centuries. These are the poor attitudes of most individuals leading our seminaries and teaching in our Bible colleges. You can find their students/graduates in myriads of pulpits and literature everywhere. They are the very people who sit on translation committees to publish the latest Bible version (and then their confusion is passed on the poor, unsuspecting readers). Even if they mean well—and hopefully they do mean well—they nevertheless are not using Divine insight when handling God’s Word. Such shoddy Bible interpretation belongs with lost people but not among Christian people!

If we ignore the dispensational distinctions in Scripture, then we cannot make sense of or fully appreciate the Bible. Its truths mean little to nothing to us if we go around “correcting” it. Whatever light it can give us is now obscured because we have thrown shadows and enigmas on it. The Spirit baptism in Matthew 3:11 and the Spirit baptism in 1 Corinthians 12:13 have nothing to do with each other. To combine them is to confuse the Church the Body of Christ with the Messianic Church found in Acts chapter 2. Our baptism by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ is forced to be the same as Israel’s baptism with the Holy Spirit in early Acts. The dispensations are mixed. Prophecy and mystery have been combined. Nothing but unanswerable confusion will result when we start attacking the Bible with “re-translations!”

Brethren, we should always be suspicious of the Bible commentator who plays the role of Bible translator. The preacher or teacher is to use the Bible as is. He can and should explain the text, but he oversteps his bounds when he adds to the Bible, subtracts from the Bible, or retranslates the Bible. The English King James Bible is correctwhether he believes it or not, whether he agrees with it or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we agree with it or not. We are known as “people of the Book” but is that title appropriate if we vilify and correct the very book we proclaim to be “the infallible, inerrant Word of God?” It does not make sense. (Of course, religious tradition never does!!)

Rather than approaching the Bible dispensationally and thus appreciating its layout, people have been trained to panic and “smooth over” any disparities in the Bible text. They are under the impression that there is only one audience in the Scripture. There can be no nation Israel and the Body of Christ. There can be no prophetic program and mystery program. There can be no Peter and Paul. There is only one group of believers of all ages. There is only one program in Scripture. Paul is an extension of Peter. God never changes His dealings with man. All the promises in the Bible belong to us. Here are the fundamental blunders, the outright lies, which have led to more Bible corruption, more denominations, and more confusion. We had better approach the Bible “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15), or we will not have a prayer in the world in comprehending it.

In closing, let us repeat ourselves. The idea that Matthew 3:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 have the same Spirit baptism is all predicated on the erroneous notion that there is only one “church” in the Book of Acts. The Messianic Church and the Church the Body of Christ are not to be confused. Matthew 3:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 have absolutely nothing to do with each other. They were not the same baptism, they are still not the same baptism, and they will never be the same baptism. It does not matter what any theologian says. Whether we agree with it or not, the King James Bible is still correct (“BY one Spirit” in 1 Corinthians 12:13). It was here long before we were born and it will be here long after we are gone. What we had better do is believe it as it is, and stop “correcting” (corrupting) it using our limited understanding.

Also see:
» Did the Church the Body of Christ begin in Acts chapter 2?
» Should “church” be changed to “called-out assembly” in Acts 7:38 in the King James Bible?
» Do we live in the “Church Age?”

Is that a UFO in Ezekiel chapter 1?

IS THAT A UFO IN EZEKIEL CHAPTER 1?

by Shawn Brasseaux

We should be careful not to read science fiction into the Bible. One case in point is the idea that “space aliens” landed on Earth in Ezekiel chapter 1 in some kind of craft or UFO (unidentified flying object). This is nothing but nonsense, empty speculations and people’s imaginations clouding the simple truths of Holy Writ. Mark well these words, friends: trouble is sure to come when people use mythology or Hollywood to interpret Scripture!

Begin reading in Ezekiel chapter 1: “[1] Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. [2] In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, [3] The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

“[4] And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. [5] Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. [6] And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. [7] And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. [8] And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. [9] Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.

“[10] As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. [11] Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. [12] And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went. [13] As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. [14] And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

“[15] Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. [16] The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. [17] When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. [18] As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four. [19] And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. [20] Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. [21] When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

“[22] And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. 23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. [24] And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings. [25] And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.

“[26] And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. [27] And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. [28] As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”

One common theme throughout the Book of Ezekiel is that God’s throne (His presence, the “Shekinah glory”) should be in Israel’s midst and yet He is gradually withdrawing from them. They have been such a sinful people, so idolatrous, that He is now leaving them to their own ways (see Hosea 5:15; cf. 2 Chronicles 36:23). Four cherubim (spirit beings similar to angels, though not exactly the same) carry His throne on an enormous wheeled platform. We can view this as a colossal chariot, carrying Divine judgment to Israel (namely, Judah, the Southern Kingdom, since the Northern Kingdom has already been judged). The LORD God’s peaceful presence should be abiding with them but they had broken His covenant of Law so they are reaping the curses of Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28.

There are three phases to God’s withdrawal from Israel and her Jerusalem Temple recorded in the Book of Ezekiel. There are also three phases of her political fall (the three times “overturn” appears in Ezekiel 21:25-27 correspond to the last three kings of Judah—Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah [see 2 Kings 24:1-7, 2 Kings 24:8-20, and 2 Kings 25:1-30]).

  • Ezekiel 10:4: “Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house [the Temple]; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’S glory.”
  • Ezekiel 10:18: “Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.”
  • Ezekiel 10:23: “And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city [Jerusalem], and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city [Mount of Olives].”

The glory of the LORD will not return to Jerusalem until the Second Coming of Christ, as predicted in Ezekiel 43:1-4 (cf. Ezekiel 21:25-27 and Luke 1:31-33).

Also see:
» Should we Bible-believers investigate and promulgate conspiracy theories?
» What does the Bible say about “ghosts?”
» Are we “doom and gloom” prophecy believers?

Is it disrespectful to call it the “Old Testament?”

IS IT DISRESPECTFUL TO CALL IT THE “OLD TESTAMENT?” IS IT REALLY “OLD” AS IN IRRELEVANT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Some take exception to calling the Law of Moses the “Old Covenant” or “Old Testament.” (Note: While “covenant” and “testament” are similar ideas, the latter accentuates the death on which such an agreement is made. See our related study linked at the end of this article.) They believe that the adjective “old” makes it seem like we are free to live however we want, that God’s laws do not apply to us anymore, that the Law of Moses is irrelevant and inapplicable. Is it disrespectful to call it the “Old Testament” or “Old Covenant?” “For what saith the Scriptures?”

Read the Prophet Jeremiah’s words beginning in chapter 31: “[31] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: [32] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: [33] But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

“[35] Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: [36] If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. [37] Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.”

Here is the well-known New Covenant, the heart of the hope of the nation Israel. Without it, they would be permanently out of God’s plan. Let us notice how merciful and gracious the LORD God is toward Israel in these most precious promises given her. Pay attention to the appellations “house of Israel” and “house of Judah.” They first appeared in Scripture in 1 Kings 12:21: “And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.”

Since King Solomon pursued heathen women and corrupted himself and the nation Israel with pagan idolatry, God initiated the second course of chastisement after his death (1 Kings 11:1-13,26-42; 1 Kings 12:1-19). Israel’s government, her “power,” was weakened (Leviticus 26:18-19). The kingdom was split between its 10 northern tribes (taking the name “Israel”) and two southern tribes (assuming the designation “Judah”).

That divided kingdom existed during the time of the Prophet Jeremiah, some 300 years later. Jeremiah preached just before and during the fifth course of chastisement—the Babylonian captivity (Leviticus 26:27-39). However, his message also focused on Israel’s hope, her eventual return to the Promised Land after being exiled in foreign (Gentile) territories. This re-gathering and restoration of Israel is found in Jeremiah chapter 31.

Going back to the passage we were reading in Jeremiah: “[31] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: [32] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:….” The Law of Moses, the contract into which Israel entered on Mount Sinai 900 years prior to Jeremiah, demanded Israel’s exclusive worship of JEHOVAH God. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Time and time and time again, they broke that covenant, disobeyed God’s Word, and came under His curse. As a wife being unfaithful to her husband, Israel ran after idols and cheated on JEHOVAH God, bringing upon herself unspeakable judgment.

Through the writer of the Book of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit commented: “But now hath he [the Lord Jesus Christ] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…” (Hebrews 8:6-8). Verse 13, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” At this point, we have two covenants—an “Old” and a “New.” The first is transitory, fleeting, passing. It was never a perpetual arrangement. Why could it not last forever? It was conditional. Why?

Turn to Exodus chapter 19 for the answer: “[1] In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. [2] For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. [3] And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; [4] Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. [5] Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [6] And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” The Old Covenant depended upon Israel’s faithfulness, her performance.

Exodus 19:3-6 identifies the problem with being under the Old Covenant. God’s Word itself is perfect, but we sinners are not. “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine” (verse 5). This “if… then” principle shows the conditional nature of the Law. It leaves open the possibility that the individual may not live up to the demands, and curses resulting instead of blessings.

Romans 3:19-20 remarks: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The Law is the means whereby we recognize sin for what it really is. Stated another way, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). The Law outlines a certain type of behavior, and we sin when we cross those boundaries. We do what it prohibits; we do not do what it commands.

The Law proves our guilt as it exposed Israel’s imperfections. Jew and Gentile alike, we all are descendants of Adam, “shapen in iniquity, and in sin did [our] mother conceive [us]” (Psalm 51:5). The nation Israel, however, did not learn the lesson of the Law. In fact, like most even now, they assumed they could “do” everything God demanded (Exodus 19:8). From the time of Moses onward, they accrued a sin debt, repeatedly breaking God’s Law Covenant. They failed to perform as JEHOVAH God ordered them, so they were severely judged (as evidenced in Jeremiah’s messages). If God is to use the nation Israel in the ages to come, He must deal with her differently. Since the Old Covenant is not advantageous, a New Covenant is required.

Read Galatians chapter 3: “[19] Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. [20] Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. [21] Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

“[22] But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. [23] But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. [24] Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

What God desires first and foremost is faith, not works. He wants us to trust His Word, the Divine revelation that shows us that we are totally helpless sinners who cannot save ourselves. We need Him to function as our Saviour. Israel did not learn that lesson. Rather than letting it be a mirror to show them their sin, they assumed the Law gave them a right standing before God. Romans 10:1-3 describes apostate Israel during the Acts period: “[1] Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. [2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. [3] For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” However, when the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is fulfilled, Israel will have finally learned the lesson of the Law.

God did not deal with Israel via a performance-based acceptance system until they wanted it. They preferred to work for the blessings instead of enjoying those blessings God would give them simply because of His grace. Many such people even now favor laboring under the Old Covenant (Mosaic Law). They ignore the grace-based acceptance system available through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork! Christ worked, He paid our sin debt in full with His shed blood, and He resurrected on the third day to give us a right standing before God. We trust Him alone, place our faith in Him exclusively, and His merits are applied to us. We are blessed, becoming God’s righteousness in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Calvary’s finished crosswork is how God will cleanse Israel of her Old Covenant sins. He will also use that blood shed as the basis for Israel’s New Covenant. Hebrews chapter 10: “[10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. [11] And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: [12] But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;… [14] For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

“[15] Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before [Jeremiah 31:33-34], [16] This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; [17] And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. [18] Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. [19] Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, [20] By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;….”

CONCLUSION

Commenting on Jeremiah 31:31, Hebrews 8:13 declares: “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Some people want to say that it is not appropriate to call it “the Old Testament” or “Old Covenant” and yet God Himself titles it that very way. It is “old” because it is no longer the method whereby God deals with Israel—whether right now in the Dispensation of Grace or even in the ages to come. The Old Covenant or Old Testament is outdated, as it was never meant to be permanent. It was added because of transgressions. It was fading, as something better was coming.

Considering Israel’s sinful past, how could her people ever have a future in the LORD God’s program? After all, they habitually broke the Old Covenant by worshipping and serving pagan gods. We must remember that, long before the Law/Mosaic Covenant (Exodus chapters 19–24), God had promised to make Israel His people via the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3). The Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional; it depends solely upon God’s performance to bless Israel.

However, sin deceived Israel and she assumed she could make herself God’s people. She wanted that legalistic system at Mount Sinai. God knew it would end in failure—Israel did not. The Jews had to learn firsthand that their works would never, ever be a substitute for God’s grace. Therefore, God let the Mosaic economy operate for over 1,500 years. It was to point them to the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Alas, when He visited them, they preferred the Law and demanded His crucifixion! They supposed they were “good enough,” without a sin problem. The Old Covenant was God putting Israel on the performance-based acceptance system. She had to perform to get the blessing and avoid the curse. If she did not obey everything God commanded, then she would not be God’s people. This was not to cancel the Abrahamic Covenant, but only to show the Abrahamic Covenant was all about grace from the very beginning and never about man’s efforts.

Romans chapter 11 describes Israel’s glorious future despite her failures: “[26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: [27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34). After our Dispensation of Grace concludes, national Israel will be saved at Christ’s Second Coming. Her sins will then be “blotted out” (Acts 3:19-21). Ezekiel 36:21-38 says JEHOVAH God will then put His Holy Spirit in the Jews and cause them to keep His laws—what they could never do by themselves! God will indeed make them His people, one united kingdom (Judah and Israel reunified).

While we are not under the Old Covenant, and yet it condemns us (Romans 3:19,20), so the New Covenant (to be made with Israel in the future) impacts us. The blood shed to ratify the New Covenant can save us, for the same blood that saves Israel saves the Church the Body of Christ (without any covenants—see Ephesians 2:11-22)!

Also see:
» What is the difference between “covenant” and “testament?”
» Are Matthew through John “Old Testament” or “New Testament” books?
» Is God chastening me? Why am I having all these problems?

How could the conception of Christ be a sign to King Ahaz if Ahaz died centuries earlier?

HOW COULD THE CONCEPTION OF CHRIST BE A SIGN TO KING AHAZ IF AHAZ DIED CENTURIES EARLIER?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Read from Isaiah chapter 7: “[10] Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, [11] Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. [12] But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. [13] And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? [14] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Bible critics form an objection based on this passage. Their argument is quite easy to follow. How could the conception of Messiah be a sign to Ahaz (something he would witness) since Ahaz died long before Isaiah 7:14 was actually fulfilled? Yes, we see a problem here too—a greater problem. They are misreading the Bible, thus misunderstanding it, and thereby misrepresenting it. It is highly significant to point out the nouns and their second-person pronouns, thus making the prophecy read smoothly and remarkably.

Verses 10 and 11: “[10] Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, [11] Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.” “Thee” in verse 11 applies to Ahaz (verse 10). God is speaking to one man here. If you are using a modern English vesion, “thee” reads “you,” thus making it impossible for you to distinguish the singular (“thee/thou/thy/thine”) and plural (“ye/you/your”) forms. Older English, a “dead language,” is superior to modern English in this regard.

Verse 12 is most noteworthy: “But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.” JEHOVAH God ordered Ahaz to ask for a sign, but Ahaz was so unbelieving that he refused! Yet, he pretended to be pious and respectable—“I will not ask for a sign and I will not challenge the Lord!” In reality, he defied the LORD’S instructions by not asking for that sign!

Read verses 13 and 14: “[13] And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? [14] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” This is a different audience than the one in verses 11-12.

Verse 13 addresses a group“ye,” or more specifically, “O house of David.” David’s royal bloodline is in view here. It is his ancestors beyond Ahaz (also a son of David). Verse 14, of course, is the virgin conception of Jesus Christ. However, the Scriptures are not saying such a miracle will occur during Ahaz’s lifetime. The Bible is stating David’s house will see the Messiah conceived. In other words, Israel’s royal family will witness Jesus Christ being born. To the Bible student, there is nothing tenuous here. Were not Mary (Jesus’ mother) and Joseph (His foster-father) present to hear His conception announced and then see His actual birth nine months later? Yes, and, most significantly, they were of David’s house (Matthew 1:1-6,16; Luke 3:23,31)!

Matthew 1:18-25: “[18] Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. [19] Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. [20] But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. [Did you notice how the angel addressed Joseph, Jesus’ legal father, as “son of David?”] [21] And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. [22] Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, [23] Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. [24] Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: [25] And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

Luke 1:26-33: “[26] And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, [27] To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. [Did you notice how Mary, Jesus’ mother, is said to be “of the house of David?”] [28] And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. [29] And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. [30] And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. [31] And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. [32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: [33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Did you see how Jesus Himself is a descendant of David in verse 32?)

CONCLUSION

King Ahaz himself did not see the virgin conception of Jesus Christ—and the Bible never said he would anyway. It was not a failed prophecy. Ahaz indeed died many years before Christ, but that made no difference whatsoever. The prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 was that the house of David (verse 13) would witness the birth of Christ. King David’s ancestors did see Messiah’s birth. Joseph and Mary, and David’s other royal ancestors alive at the time, bore record of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s magnificent “virgin conception” prophecy. There is no mistake in the Bible!

Also see:
» What is the real “Immaculate Conception?”
» How should we respond to, “If only I saw a miracle, then I would believe?”
» Did God “rape” Mary?

How can Jesus Christ be a priest if He is of the non-priestly tribe of Judah?

HOW CAN JESUS CHRIST BE A PRIEST IF HE IS OF THE NON-PRIESTLY TRIBE OF JUDAH?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Indeed, Levi is Israel’s priestly tribe, as stated in the Bible: “The priests the Levites… the priests the Levites… the priests the Levites” (Deuteronomy 17:9, 17:18, 18:1). High priest Aaron and his sons were descendants of Levi (Exodus 4:14), Levi being a son of Jacob (Genesis 29:34).

However, Jesus Christ is of the tribe of Judah. Joseph, His foster-father, comes from the following family: “Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;… And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (Matthew 1:2,16). Mary, Jesus’ mother, has this family tree: “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,… Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,…” (Luke 3:23,33-34). There is no priestly tribe here, only “Juda/Judas” (Greek forms of the Hebrew “Judah”).

The New Testament Scriptures, especially the Book of Hebrews, nevertheless claim that Jesus Christ is a Priest, yea, a High Priest (Hebrews 2:17, Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 4:14, et cetera). How can this be? Well, Hebrews already anticipated that question, and provided an answer to the discrepancy. Let us see what God Himself says about it.

We start in Hebrews chapter 7, verse 14: “[14] For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. [15] And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, [16] Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” Moses wrote about priests of the tribe of Levi, yet his five Books (Genesis through Malachi) never said one word about Israel having a priest from the tribe of Judah. You are correct in your original claim. Christ’s priesthood, however, does not depend on Judah the man any more than Levi the man. He actually takes on the priesthood of a man from whom He is not biologically descended. We will see why momentarily.

Keep reading: “[17] For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. [18] For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. [19] For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. [20] And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: [21] (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec: ) [22] By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. [23] And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: [24] But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”

Turning to Psalm 110:4, we compare: “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” Written about 1,000 years before Calvary’s cross, this is Father God speaking to Jesus Christ after His resurrection. Notice the absence of the Levitical priesthood. By Divine decree, Christ’s priesthood stems from a man by the name of Melchisedec, who was not a Jew (and who was thus neither of Levi nor of Judah). Christ did not presumptuously assume Melchisedec’s priesthood, or even naturally assume it; God Almighty supernaturally transferred it to Him!

As Hebrews just stated, the Levitical system was flawed in that its priests died because they were sinners. One priest perished and another took his place—that continued for over 1,500 years. In stark contrast, Melchisedec is described in Hebrews 7:1-3 in such a way as to show he had no predecessor or successor. As far as the Scripture is concerned, his priesthood appears briefly and then disappears just as quickly (see Genesis 14:18-24). He was born, but the Bible never provides details. He died, but the Bible never records it. He was a priest, and yet we read nothing about his ordination. There was no connection to the Mosaic Law, as it would be given over 400 years after him.

We continue in Hebrews chapter 7: “[25] Wherefore he [Jesus Christ] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. [26] For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; [27] Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. [28] For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.” This is how the chapter ends, but let us go back up to earlier verses.

“[11] If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? [12] For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. [13] For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.” The Levitical (Aaronic) priesthood had its limitations—namely, it gained more members because death claimed the earlier ones. It had a definitive beginning (with Aaron) and it had successors. However, we know nothing about Melchisedec’s origin or progeny (God’s Word is silent). There is no record of his genealogy in Scripture. He evidently died functioning as a priest, and no one followed him in his priestly duties.

Verse 3 of Hebrews chapter 7 had said, “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” Up until Psalm 110:4 (Messianic—about Jesus Christ), we were unaware of anyone following Melchisedec in his priesthood because nothing was said of him or his priesthood after Genesis chapter 14. With Hebrews chapter 7 entered into God’s Book, and with a completed Bible in hand, now we see Jesus Christ will be a priest of the order of Melchisedec. Melchisedec was a type, shadow, or preview of Christ. Christ’s priesthood is most similar to Melchisedec’s priesthood—and not at all like the Levitical or Aaronic priesthood. It involves one individual, not a group.

Melchisedec was “the priest of the most high God” (Genesis 14:18; cf. Hebrews 7:1). (“Melchizedek” is the Old Testament or Hebrew form; “Melchisedec” is the New Testament or Greek version.) This was centuries before Aaron was anointed as Israel’s first high priest in her religion of Judaism. Whoever Melchizedek was, he was not a Jew either. His priesthood is not limited to Israel (as Aaron’s was). There is nothing recorded about his birth or lineage (as Aaron’s was, as his sons’ was). We never read about Melchisedec’s death either. His ministry is not tied to the Mosaic Law or Old Covenant (as Aaron’s was). With Jesus Christ being of a priestly order separate from Aaron’s, Christ can function apart from the Old Covenant and apart from “Israel only.” Remember, God will make the New Covenant with Israel (Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:15-17). His ministry will then go beyond Israel, as Gentiles will be converted once Israel herself is saved (see Isaiah 59:21–60:3 and Zechariah 8:20-23, for example).

Even if Christ were born of the priestly tribe of Levi, He could not function as Israel’s High Priest. The Book of Hebrews makes that case repeatedly. Overall, Jesus Christ is superior to Aaron (the first of the Levitical priests), for He is of an order—Melchisedec’s priesthood—that existed prior to Aaron. In like manner, the Lord Jesus Christ is better than angels (Hebrews chapters 1–2), better than Moses (chapter 3), and so on. The Book of Hebrews, as its name implies, is God’s Spirit moving Israel away from the spiritual immaturity she has long embraced in her religion of Judaism (see Hebrews 5:11–6:3). He is bringing her to His Son, Jesus Christ, whom the components of Judaism pictured and predicted. Israel is to see Jesus Christ as Messiah, King, Redeemer, and High Priest. There is something better than the Old Covenant, someone better than Moses, something better than the earthly Tabernacle/Temple, someone better than Aaron, someone better than angels, better promises, better sacrifices, a better hope, a better testament, a better way, and so on. It all focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ!!

Also see:
» Who wrote the Book of Hebrews?
» Does Hebrews 10:25 really teach we must attend church?
» Should we “plead the blood of Jesus?”

“So shall we ever be with the Lord?”

“SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

A recurrent idea among Christians is that the Church the Body of Christ will return with the Lord Jesus Christ at His Second Coming. Various and sundry verses are offered as support. However, a careful examination of the Holy Scriptures demonstrates this to be a total misunderstanding of both the purpose of the Body and the objective of the Second Coming. (For more info, please see our related studies linked at the end of this article.)

Years ago, when this author began coming to the knowledge of the truth, better understanding the Word of God rightly divided, he struggled to make sense of the above matter. Were we returning with Christ at His Second Coming, as he had been led to believe for so many years? First Thessalonians 4:17 nagged him: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” What should we make of the phrase, “so shall we ever be with the Lord?” Will we be physically “with” the Lord Jesus when He steps onto the Mount of Olives at His Second Coming? Will we be reigning “with” Him on Earth in Israel’s Davidic kingdom? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

Like most individuals, this author assumed the “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” clause meant that we must be in close proximity to Christ at all times once we are raptured. After He takes us into Heaven in that split second of time (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), we will never again leave His side. Wherever He is, we will always be beside Him. Is that what “with the Lord” means in 1 Thessalonians 4:17? No, as this explanation is contrary to many verses in Paul’s writings (we will get to those shortly). First, we need to review the basics.

Creation consists of “heaven and earth” (Genesis 1:1). Offices govern both realms—thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, mights, and every name that is named (Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16). Satan has usurped and corrupted these offices but Father God will bring them all under His authority again through His Son Jesus Christ. In “the dispensation of the fulness of times,” our Heavenly Father shall gather all governments under one Head, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10). He has thus formed the nation Israel to be His earthly people, and the Church the Body of Christ to be His heavenly people. It is one overall kingdom, functioning in two realms, for one eternal purpose! The Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified forever—regardless of the angels and the humans who refuse to participate and accomplish it.

We the Church the Body of Christ have a heavenly destiny not an earthly destiny. Our realm of blessings and influence is the heavenly places. Observe the following:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:1: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
  • Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:….”
  • Ephesians 1:20,22-23: “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,…. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
  • Ephesians 2:6: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:….”
  • Ephesians 3:10: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,….”
  • Philippians 3:20: “For our conversation [lifestyle reflecting citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:….”
  • Colossians 1:5: “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;…..”
  • Colossians 1:16,20: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:…. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:18: “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Consider all the above verses. We are installed to serve in the heavenly places prior to the Second Coming (in perfect accordance with Revelation 12:7-12—Satan and his angels evicted from the second heaven to make room for us there). Therefore, it certainly would not be appropriate for us to use one verse (1 Thessalonians 4:17) to teach that we will come down with Christ to reign on Earth with Him. So, what of “so shall we ever be with the Lord?” In what sense are we “with” Him? Let us quickly survey verses that show us how the English (King James) Bible employs “with” in sentences.

“WITH” (AS IN CLOSE PHYSICAL PROXIMITY, EXISTING BESIDE ANOTHER, ADJACENT OR NEIGHBORING)

  • Acts 8:31: “And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”
  • Galatians 2:3: “But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:….”
  • Matthew 9:10: “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.” (A similar idea is found in Matthew 14:9 and Acts 11:3.)
  • Matthew 4:21: “And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.”
  • Acts 11:12: “And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:….”

(You may also consult Acts 20:14, 2 Timothy 4:11, John 13:18, Acts 9:7, Acts 9:19, Matthew 26:23, Mark 14:18-20, Acts 23:19, Philemon 13, and Acts 27:2.)

The above verses contain probably the most frequent definition of how we use the word “with.” Considering all that has gone before, however, there must be another sense 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is using the word. Our destiny is the heavenly places, recall.

“WITH” (ON THE SAME TEAM, JOINED IN ONE CONDITION, HAVING A SHARED PURPOSE)

  • Acts 16:34: “And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.”
  • Romans 1:12: “That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”
  • John 13:8: “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.”
  • Philippians 2:18: “For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.”
  • Luke 11:23: “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” Matthew 12:30: “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”
  • Luke 1:58: “And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.”
  • Romans 15:30: “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;….”
  • 1 Corinthians 12:26: “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”
  • Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

The idea in these verses is connecting to others around a common goal or experience—rejoicing with others, mourning with others, praying with others, trusting in God with others, and so on. Physical distance is not under consideration. We can do these things with others around the world, though they are quite far from us bodily. If we look at the Bible’s testimony as a whole, this seems to be the most probable notion being communicated by “with” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

CONCLUSION

First Thessalonians 4:17 says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” The word “with” here is not to be understood in the sense of sitting face-to-face, or side-by-side with another. Scripture also employs the term as united around a mutual action or experience. There is solidarity or camaraderie, teammates achieving one end, fellowshipping as concerning one matter.

In Revelation 3:21, the Lord Jesus says to Israel, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Certainly, Christ is not speaking of one or two thrones in which He, the Father, and all believing Jews will sit around each other. Close physical proximity is not the issue—that would be most absurd. The idea rather is one of unity in reigning (as in, shared authority or mutual power). Redeemed Israelites are extensions of His earthly authority, just as we (the Body of Christ) are extensions of His heavenly authority. For us to be “with” Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:17) is not about us returning to Earth, but rather sharing His governmental influence in creation—namely, the heavenly places—as Israel will share His influence in the offices of Earth’s government.

One passage to summarize with now is 2 Timothy 2:10-13: “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” The “reigning with him” is defined in chapter 4 and verse 18 as entering “his heavenly kingdom.” (Notice the idea of teammates throughout these verses. There is no hint of next-door neighbors but individuals associating around a joint conclusion.)

The idea in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 “with the Lord” means we are on His team, ruling and reigning with Him, but in what realm? Paul’s epistles always speak of our (Body of Christ) realm as the heavenly kingdom. In the ages to come, the Lord will be exercising governmental authority and we will be too. It is all one enormous kingdom, spanning between Heaven and Earth, all to exalt Jesus Christ the Lord of glory. Lastly, remember, we can only be so close to Him physically. Millions of believers from the last 20 centuries will be in Heaven. We cannot all be within arm’s reach of Him, and yet we will be “with Him.” Surely, something beyond physical closeness is under consideration in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

ATTENTION: We have released our new seven-hour Bible study series—“The Feasts of JEHOVAH.” These lessons are approximately 65 minutes each, totaling 7 1/2 hours. They are quite advanced, as they build on our five-lesson series “Israel’s Covenants” I taught a month ago. It is best to watch all seven videos in order, as they are progressive. May you be edified, encouraged, and enlightened! Enjoy!! Praise our Lord Jesus Christ! Click here to watch.

Also see:
» Will we return with Jesus Christ at His Second Coming?
» Who are the “saints” in 1 Thessalonians 3:13?
» Can you compare and contrast the prophetic program and the mystery program?

Why did Jesus Christ quote Deuteronomy during His temptations

WHY DID JESUS CHRIST QUOTE DEUTERONOMY DURING HIS TEMPTATIONS?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Did you ever realize that Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy during His temptations? Why was He using this Book and this Book alone? Why not appeal to something in Psalms, or Proverbs (passages frequently quoted today in difficult times)? What was so special about Deuteronomy that the Lord Jesus used its passages to ward off Satan’s antics?

Matthew chapter 4: “[1] Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. [2] And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. [3] And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. [4] But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Verse 4 is quoting Deuteronomy 8:3: “And he [the LORD] humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

Matthew chapter 4 continued: “[5] Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, [6] And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. [7] Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Verse 7 is from Deuteronomy 6:16: “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.”

Matthew chapter 4: “[8] Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; [9] And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. [10] Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Verse 10 is taken from Deuteronomy 6:13: “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.”

Matthew chapter 4, verse 11: “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

In these temptations, also recorded in Luke 4:1-13, Jesus Christ is identifying with His people, Israel’s believing remnant. Deuteronomy records Israel just as they are about to enter the Promised Land under Joshua. Likewise, Israel’s believing remnant, during Daniel’s 70th Week, will soon enter the land. They will be re-gathered into their land at Christ’s Second Coming (Matthew 24:30-31).

Hebrews chapter 4 says of temptations: “[14] Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. [15] For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. [16] Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Satan’s evil world system, as it tempted Jesus Christ before He began His earthly ministry, will test Israel’s Little Flock once our Dispensation of Grace ends with the Rapture. Since Jesus Christ quoted applicable Scripture to overcome His time of testing, they are urged to follow His ensample in their period of testing. He left them a pattern, and just as He was faithful during those challenging times, they can rely on Him to get them through their trial. As He was faithful to Father God, He can enable them to be dedicated to Him (Father). This is “the trial of [their] faith” of 1 Peter 1:7.

First John chapter 2 says to those Jewish believers in the future: “[15] Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. [17] And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. [18] Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” Verse 16 adequately summarizes all temptations—including those of Christ, Israel, and us! “The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”

John’s audience exists in Israel’s program before the Antichrist comes (verse 18). They will be alive when he does appear, and will live as he reigns. The Holy Spirit through John has provided information in 1 John so the Jews can distinguish believers and unbelievers during the end times. They will be able to tell who are God’s people, true Jews, and who are Satan’s counterfeits, unsaved Jews (see 1 John 2:21-23, 1 John 3:6-15, 1 John 4:1-4, Revelation 2:9, Revelation 3:9; cf. Matthew 13:25-30,37-50).

Also see:
» What is the “temptation” in 1 Corinthians 10:13?
» What does 1 John 1:8 mean, “We deceive ourselves?”
» How many angels will be with Jesus Christ when He returns?