Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: December 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Gift of Grace: Seldom Opened & Seldom Used

For centuries Christianity has been progressively reduced to a pie in the sky kind of idea with salvation being some kind of reward for being one of the good guys. Salvation is not a reward. Salvation is a gift given “by grace” and received “through faith.” Salvation is not a pie in the sky kind of thing either. Salvation is a present reality of a new existence “in Christ” that begins the moment a sinner receives God’s gift of grace “through faith.” Eternal life is much more than life that goes on forever and never ceases. Eternal life is a new kind of life lived in a new existence called “grace” that is part of a New Creation that begins the moment we repent, understand and believe the gospel, confess Jesus to be Jehovah, call on His Name to save us, and receive Him (the Christ-life) in the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. This new existence and New Creation moves the believer into a life of unlimited potential through the release of the creative power of God through us.

For the vast majority of professing Christians who are hoping for a pie in the sky reward for being good boys and girls, they will enter into eternity with a false hope only to discover they have been deceived by false teachers and have misplaced their faith in a “another gospel, which is not another.” That is a very sad reality to which every truly “born again” believer must try to correct by proclaiming the truth of the true Gospel that alone is the “power of God unto salvation.”

Those who are truly “born again” of the Spirit of God have received God’s gift of the New Creation “in Christ.” However, they too have been deceived into thinking that their salvation gift will not be opened unto them until after they die. Therefore, they presently possess a gift they have never opened. They have a new existence in a New Creation although they have never really lived in the intended supernatural spiritual dynamic of that new existence called grace. Until we understand the spiritual dynamic of our new existence “in Christ,” the gift of salvation, that is presently our possession, will remain unopened for all of our lifetimes. Because the gift remains unopened, our new lives “in Christ” will be wasted in fulfilling the purpose for which they are intended; i.e., to win souls and make disciples in order to bring glory to God through the fruit of His Spirit.

1 Therefore being {lit., having been} justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom {Jesus Christ as our theanthropic High Priest at the right hand of the Father seated upon the Mercy Seat in Heaven} also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:1-5).

Romans 5:1-5 gives us a look inside the gift of grace that we know as salvation. As we look inside the gift, we immediately see that there are many aspects that are ours that we would never realize unless we actually open the gift. Like the child that finds a bicycle on his birthday with a big bow on it, he is not excited about just having the bicycle. He is excited about what he will be able to do with the bicycle once he takes off the bow. Most truly “born again” Christians never get excited about their salvation because they have never opened the package to see what is theirs and never study the Scriptures to find out what they can actually do with the gift that is given to them in this New Creation. Notice five gifts within the gift of salvation (uniquely the number 5 is the number of grace).

1.having been justified by faith

2. “we have peace with God”

3. “we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand”

4. “we glory in tribulations also”

5. “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us”

From these five gifts within the gift of salvation, the Apostle Paul begins to open each of these gifts going through the rest of the Epistle to the Romans. As the next 11 chapters of Romans unfold, we find gifts of grace within gifts of grace within gifts of grace. This is also true of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 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: 4 According as he hath chosen us {the Church corporately as a new priesthood} in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us {the Church corporately as a new priesthood} unto the adoption of children {placement as adult sons positionally} by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein {in His grace} he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:1-7).

God’s new priests are to be spiritual people. A spiritual person is a person filled with the Spirit of God and overflowing with the Christ-life because he is living in a right relationship with Christ (“abiding,” John 15:1-8). A person filled with the Spirit of God is a NORMAL Christian. Every Christian that is saved and not filled with the Spirit of God is an ABNORMAL or carnal Christian. Therefore, a fruitless Christian is an abnormal Christian who is not sanctified to the degree God intends him to be and not consecrated to the degree God intends him to be. It is not enough to merely control the externals, a person must be filled with the Spirit AND begin to live the Christ-life DOING what Christ commands.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship {in the New Creation of being “born again” and continuing in the supernatural enabling of the grace of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit}, created {referring to the new man that comes forth from the New Creation} in Christ Jesus unto {supernaturally enabled doing} good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them {these supernaturally enabled works of righteousness}” (Ephesians 2:4-10).

All the verbs in Ephesians verse 5 (“hath quickened,” “hath raised,” and “made us sit together”) are in the Aorist Tense, signifying something completed in the past with continuing results. These continuing results are the present and ongoing realities that are supposed to be part of the normal Spirit filled believer’s new life “in Christ.” The outcome of this supernaturally created new life in Christ is an ongoing work of creation through the Spirit filled believer in producing the fruit of “good works.” These “good works” manifest the Christ-life in the “fruit of the Spirit” and “the work of the ministry.” Again, this defines NORMAL Christianity. Anything less than this is ABNORMAL and is carnal Christianity. Paul then expands upon this context into what he says in Ephesians chapters 3 through 6. If you miss this context, you will miss the whole purpose of the next four chapters of the epistle to the Ephesians regarding the ministry of the Church and the New Priesthood of Christ. Paul uses himself as the model of God’s intent for all believer-priests in the New Covenant

1 For this cause {because we, the Church, “are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit,” Eph. 2:22} I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery {the New Creation and the supernatural enabling of the indwelling Holy Spirit}; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs {with the saved of true Israel}, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 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, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom {referring to the believer’s Spirit baptism into the “body of Christ” and “the regeneration”} we {all believers individually and corporately as the Church} have boldness and access {to God’s distribution center at His throne of grace; Heb. 4:16} with confidence by the faith {faithfulness or fidelity} of him {the resurrected/glorified theanthropic High Priest Who is Christ}. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory” (Ephesians 3:1-13).

If every believer truly lives in this new existence and spiritual dynamic that God calls “grace” (Rom. 5:2), why is it that we are not seeing the “fruit” that the early Church Age believers saw and that we see in various historical revivals of this spiritual dynamic throughout history. We do not see it because most local churches have accepted standards of holiness and separation from worldliness that are far below how the Word of God defines them. Most local churches do not see revival, and the “fruit” of that revival, because they are carnal to some degree and therefore defiled before God.

There are five commandments regarding the believer’s supernatural relationship with the Holy Spirit of God that are essential to the manifestation of the Christ-life through a believer’s life. If any one of these five commandments is broken regarding a believer’s relationship with the Holy Spirit in the least way, the believer is defiled before God and “fruit” to the glory of God cannot, and will not, be produced. Without the spiritual dynamic of the believer’s supernatural relationship with the Holy Spirit of God, “fellowship” (a working partnership in “the work of the ministry”) is never created, “abiding” (hypostatic unity) never takes place, and eternal spiritual “fruit” is never produced.

1. Be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18)

2. Grieve not the Spirit (Eph. 4:30)

3. Quench not the Spirit (I Thess. 5:19)

4. Walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16 & 25)

5. Be transformed/transfigured (Rom. 12:2)

It is through the supernatural dynamic of the believer’s yielding to the indwelling Spirit of God that these five commandments are fulfilled in the life of a believer. These five commandments are what defines walking “worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” in Ephesians 4:1 and how a believers keeps “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” as discussed in Ephesians 4:2.

1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:1-7).

Undoubtedly the gift of salvation is the giving of the Holy Spirit of God (the “breath of life”). The giving of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God is the giving of the Christ-life (I John 5:11-12). As the believer comes to open this gift, we simply find gifts within gifts with gifts to an infinite, unimaginable, and unsearchable degree. This indwelling Holy Spirit gift is the unlimited resource of the “living water” that Christ spoke of to the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4.

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:9-14).

Clearly this “gift of God” of the “living water” is referring to the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39). Paul expands upon this “gift” in Romans chapter 5.

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many {not all in that the “gift” “by grace” must be received “through faith”}. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).

The important aspect of the gift of God’s grace both in salvation and in the “river of living water” that flows from the new man of the New Creation in Christ Jesus is that God does not want us to merely receive His free gift, or even that we might open that free gift and the many gifts within each gift. God wants us to, and expects us to, use each aspect of the gift He has given and we have received in the unlimited depth of its unsearchable riches.

7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 4:7-11).

Many times I have given a book I have written to someone as a gift. My intent in giving them the book was to try to help them with a spiritual issue in their life that they were struggling with. Many times I have visited some of those people only to find the book was never opened, let alone read. They continued in the same spiritual struggle they had before I gave them the book and will most probably continue in that struggle and its outcomes for the rest of their lives. It is not enough to open God’s Book. You will actually need to read it, study it, and learn its Truths. Yet, even reading the Book will not be enough. You will also have to begin to apply those Truths, live these Truths, and incorporate them into your everyday practices of life. Even all of this is not enough if we want to see God produce fruit through our lives. Before this doing to be spiritually effective, believers will need to live these truths through the supernatural enabling of the Holy Spirit (the filling of the Spirit).


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Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist.
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Incarnation of the Theanthropic Christ

A foundational Truth of Scripture is the two natures of Jesus. He is both fully God by nature and fully man by nature. That is essentially what the word theanthropic means; in the body of Jesus was housed both the Person of God (deity) and a New and Last Adam (humanity).

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:19).

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

To deny the theanthropicity of Christ is to deny the very essence of God’s glorious purpose in the redemption of fallen mankind and the restoration of sovereignty (“dominion”) to mankind. If either the deity of Christ or His humanity is not true, than all of Christianity falls, for it is upon the reality of the theanthropicity of Christ that all of these issues depend.

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 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. 1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. 3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. 11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing” (Hebrews 4:12-5:11).

Both the High Priesthood of Christ and the priesthood of all believers “in Christ” are also dependent upon the reality of the theanthropicity of Christ. There is undoubtedly no greater expression of the grace of God and the love of God than the birth of Jehovah through the womb of a virgin woman named Mary. It is also undoubtedly true that it is an impossibility for finite man to comprehend the scope of the infinite Truth of God’s purposes in the incarnation. This is what is referred to in Hebrews 5:11 by the words “hard to be uttered.” These things are very difficult to understand. Yet, obviously God wants us to try to understand them and He wants us to try real hard. We know this because of the fact He has given us so much detail (“many things to say”) in so much Scripture from cover to cover.

We have the four gospels of Jesus Christ emphasizing the theanthropic Christ as detailed in the Scofield Reference Bible[1].

1. The Gospel of Matthew gives us the genealogy from Abraham through David to emphasize Christ’s connection and fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant and connects Him to the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant and the Palestinian Covenant as “the Branch of David” (Isaiah 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15) “the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3).

2. The Gospel of Mark emphasizes the servanthood of Christ as Jehovah’s “Servant, the Branch” (Zech. 3:8) with “Messiah’s humiliation and obedience unto death according to Isa. 52:13-15.” Therefore, Mark gives no genealogy of Christ.

3. The Gospel of Luke gives us the genealogy of Christ from the first Adam emphasizing Him as the “man who is the Branch” (Zech. 6:12-13) emphasizing the character of Christ “as Son of man. The ‘last Adam,’ the ‘second Man’ (I Cor. 15:45-47), reigning as Priest-King over the earth in the dominion given to and lost by the first Adam.”

4. The Gospel of John emphasizes the deity of Christ as “the Branch of Jehovah” (Isa. 4:2), “that is, the ‘Immanuel’ character of Christ (Isa. 7:14) to be fully manifested to restored and converted Israel after His return in divine glory (Mt. 25:31).” Since John emphasizes the deity of Christ, he includes no genealogy.

Christ was born to be a new theanthropic High Priest and to create a new theanthropic priesthood of all New Covenant believers through their indwelling by the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus was not merely born to occupy a human body, with a human soul and a human nature for thirty-three years. When He was resurrected and glorified, He was resurrected and gloried in that human body, with a human soul, and a human spirit and He will live in that glorified human body with its human soul, and human spirit for all of eternity. Although the sinless humanity of Jesus is immeasurably important to His purpose, what He came to accomplish could not have been fulfilled apart from His being truly God, for almost all prophecy speaks of the incarnation of Jehovah and therefore can only be fulfilled through the incarnation of Jehovah.

The theanthropic Christ also connects to five Covenants and defines the substance of Christ that dwells within the believer through the indwelling of the Spirit of God and is released through the believer through the filling of the Spirit of God thereby creating the theanthropic priesthood of all believers through the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).

1. The Before Time Covenant (Rev. 13:8, Titus 1:2; II Tim. 1:1 & 9)

2. The Adamic Covenant and therefore to Adam in the Protevangelum (Gen. 3:15)

3. The Abrahamic Covenant in that through the incarnation of Jehovah “shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3; the Abrahamic Covenant was actually between God the Father and His eternal Son; Gal. 3:6-18)

4. The Palestinian Covenant and the restoration of the nation of Israel at His second advent

5. The Davidic Covenant as the glorified God/man returns at the Second Advent to occupy the throne of David as Prophet, High Priest, and King of kings.

There are four major events in the life of the theanthropic Christ that were necessary in fulfilling the Law that was necessary before Christ could be acceptable to propitiate God as a perfect sacrifice for sin. Lewis Sperry Chafer[2] gives us these four fulfilled events:

“There were three appointed events in the life of a male child in Israel – circumcision at the time he was eight days old (Lev. 12:3), presentation at the time he was forty days old (Lev.12:4-7), and confirmation at twelve years of age (Ex. 34:23; 23:17) – and the male children began to be numbered at twelve years of age. In the case of the male child appointed to public service there was a recognition and consecration when the appointed service began, but not until the man was at least thirty years of age (Num. 4:3). . .

Thus the theanthropic Person entered the human family. His advent – the importance of which is knowledge-surpassing – had been anticipated throughout the sacred Scriptures by all the prophets and seers. That expectation traces Him from the Protevangelium of Genesis 3:15 to His return to the earth in glory. He is the blessing of all nations in the Abrahamic Covenant, the Shiloh of the tribe of Judah, the everlasting King on David’s throne, and the virgin-born son foreseen by Isaiah. It is the burden of each of the two major passages which predict His birth that He should be born in the Davidic line and sit on David’s throne forever (cf. Isa. 9:6-7; Luke 1:31-33). Of the two great divine purposes – one for the earth centered in Israel and one for heaven centered in the Church – Christ is the Executor and Consummator of each. As the everlasting occupant of David’s throne, the whole earth shall be filled with His glory. As the Lamb whose blood of redemption was shed and who arose from the dead, He became the First-Born among many brethren, which company He is bringing unto heaven’s glory. Now He became a son in a fivefold sense – the Son of Adam, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the Son of Mary, and the Son of God.”

This leads us to the next event in the life of the theanthropic Christ; i.e., His baptism. This event is important to every Church Age believer because it is through His baptism that the theanthropic Christ is connected and installed in His new Melchisedecan Priesthood as a new heavenly High Priest Who would offer Himself to propitiate God for “the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2). We must understand that the baptism of the theanthropic Christ was to physically signify the acceptability of His sanctification before God and His consecration to present Himself to serve God in the capacity of God’s new High Priest and God’s ONLY acceptable offering for the remission of the penalty of sin to “whosoever” calls “upon the name of the Lord” to be saved.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 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 the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:7-17).

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God (John 1:29-36)!

As we look at John 1:29-36, the believer needs to learn to think spiritually. To think spiritually is not looking at the text in some mystical way or in some metaphysical way. Thinking spiritually is seeing and understanding what is happening in the invisible spiritual realm of God’s existence. We can only comprehend the physical with our physical senses. For instance, if you would have lived at the time of the crucifixion of Christ and stood before the Cross to see Jesus die you would have a clear and accurate understanding of the historical crucifixion and the events of that day. You would be able to describe them in detail. However, it would require you to have and understand the inspired Words of God in order to in any way grasp the spiritual accomplishments of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. These spiritual accomplishments could not be visibly seen or comprehended in any way through sight, touch, taste, smell, or even your emotions. Although the physical is important in its relationship to the spiritual, we do not understand the spiritual through the physical senses.

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:9-16).

Therefore, as we look at the historical account of the physical baptism of Jesus, there must be an explanation of what happened in the invisible spiritual realm of God’s existence that also accompanied the physical account. If God had not revealed the spiritual aspects of this event somehow, we would not even know that these spiritual events took place. We do not know if everyone saw or heard what John saw when John baptized Jesus. We do know that John saw and heard some miraculous things that happened in the spiritual and, and least to him, became visible and audible to him.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up {ascended up} straightway {at once} out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened {anoigo} unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).

Since Matthew records these visible spiritual events at the baptism of Jesus, Matthew was either there and saw these spiritual revelations himself or God simply described the event to him through inspired revelation of the Words of God and Matthew recorded those Words. The Gospel of Mark uses a different word that gives a different description of what Matthew says “the heavens were opened.” The KJV translates the word Mark uses as “opened,” but it is actually a different Greek word. Mark also gives us other added details to the spiritual events surrounding the baptism of Jesus. Therefore, John Mark was either at the baptism of Jesus and personally saw these spiritual revelations or he received them by the revelation of God.

9 And it came to pass {as the fulfillment of prophecy} in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened {schizo; to divide, split, or cleave}, and the Spirit like a {similar to a} dove descending {through the opening in the heavens} upon him {while He was ascending}: 11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 12 And immediately the Spirit driveth {pluck Him out and transported} him into the wilderness. 13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him” (Mark 1:9-13).

The miraculous events that become apparent to us through the inspired Words of God are not merely intended to amaze us. These miraculous events reveal to us the merging together of the material, physical realm of humanity with the eternal, spiritual realm of God’s existence. Spiritual beings transcending into the material world has been going on since the beginning of time. Before the fall, these spiritual beings may have been visible to Adam and Eve or they may not have been. God may have been visible to Adam and Eve, or He may not have been visible. We just do not know. However, we do know that throughout history God has visibly manifested Himself in various ways to numerous people.

The transitional issue of the theanthropic Christ is that the manifestation of merging of the physical with the spiritual in transitioning to a permanent state “in Christ” as the believer transitions through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, progressive transfiguration through the filling of the Spirit, and ultimately through the glorification of the body of the believer into a new theanthropic existence in Christ. This transitioning of all believers into this new state of existence is a major aspect of the High Priesthood of Christ and of the priesthood of all believers. The believer is immediately connected to this dispensational transition that the birth of Messiah and faith in the theanthropic Christ in the “Door” (John 10:7-9) that Jesus becomes through His death, burial, and resurrection/glorification.

4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:5-14)? the sceptre of thy kingdom.

In Hebrews 1:5-14, God uses seven Old Testament Scriptures to elaborate on the Deity of Jesus Christ. These statements and corresponding verses are as follows:

1. Hebrews 1:5; “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” (quoted from Psalm 2:7)

2. Hebrews 1:5; “I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (quoted from II Samuel 7:14)

3. Hebrews 1:6; “When he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” (refers to what is said in Psalm 97:7)

4. Hebrews 1:8; “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (quoted from Psalm 45:6)

5. Hebrews 1:9; “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” (quoted from Psalm 45:7)

6. Hebrews 1:10-12; “10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (quoted from Psalm 102:25-27)

7. Hebrews 1:13; “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (quoted from Psalm 110:1)

The words “this day” in Hebrews 1:5 are from the Greek word semeron (say’-mer-on). Alford refers “this day” to the eternal generation of the Son: the day in which the Son was begotten by the Father is an everlasting to-day: there never was a yesterday or past time to Him, nor a tomorrow or future time: “Nothing there is to come, and nothing past, but an eternal NOW doth ever last.” The communication of the theanthropic essence in its fullness, involves eternal generation; for the divine essence has no beginning.

“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell” (Proverbs 30:4)?

Yet the context of Hebrews 1:4 refers to a definite point of time, namely, that of His having entered on the inheritance. Jesus “obtained a more excellent name than” the angels. Although the Son of God has been Who He is eternally (without beginning or end), Jesus obtained, by right of inheritance, a more excellent name than the angels through His incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. In doing so, He becomes the new theanthropic Federal Head of Creation, “Lord of lords and King of kings.” Therefore, this primarily refers to the “day” of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30 But God raised him from the dead: 31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. 32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Acts 13:28-33).

The third reference is Hebrews 1:6. It refers to what is said in Psalm 97:1-7; specifically verse 7. The context refers to the second coming of Messiah in glory at Armageddon.

1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. 2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. 3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. 4 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. 5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. 6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. 7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods” (Psalm 97:1-7).

These verses are written in what is referred to as the Prophetic Perfect. That means they refer to a future event as if it has already happened. The word “gods” of Psalm 97:7 is from the Hebrew word ‘elohiym (el-o-heem’). It was used to refer to beings or things that were godlike. In this context, and as the N.T. quote in Hebrews 1:6 supports, it was also a word used to refer to angels.

The fourth reference is found in Hebrews 1: 8; “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” This is quoted from Psalm 45:6.

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.”

When the verse says “the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter,” the word “right” is from the Hebrew miyshor (mee-shore’). It refers to something that is level or upright. In this context it means something that is righteous or just. That is how the inspired writer of Hebrews quotes it.

The fifth reference is found in Hebrews 1:9; “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” This is quoted from Psalm 45:7.

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

The anointing referred to here is that which was done to consecrate (prepare and dedicate) a king or priest to his office. In reference to Jesus Christ, it refers to both King and Priest. The fact is further expanded by this anointing in that God raises the office of Jesus’ Kingship and High Priesthood above that of every other king or priest that preceded Him. “Above thy fellow” is said to refer to angels by some. Although the context might support this, the more natural meaning would refer to other kings, rulers and priests within the new theanthropic existence of the glorified Church Age believers during the Kingdom Age.

The sixth reference is found in Hebrews 1:10-12; “10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” This is quoted from Psalm 102:25-27.

25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: 27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”

The word “and,” that Hebrews 1:10 starts with, is adding another testimony of Scripture to those already given regarding the superiority of the theanthropic Christ over the prophets and angels. The inspired writer of Hebrews adds the words “thou, Lord” to clarify the meaning of Psalm 102:25.

Clearly, Psalm 102:25-27 is a specific reference to Jehovah. Similarly, the epistle to the Hebrews clearly establishes Jehovah is the incarnate theanthropic Jesus. This follows the context of Hebrews 1:4-14 as it is intended to establish the exalted character, person, and position of the theanthropic Jesus Christ. There is no character, person, or position higher than that of Jehovah. It is apparent that Psalm 102:25-27 refers to Jehovah and that this was the prevailing interpretation by the Jews at the time of Christ.

The seventh reference establishing the deity of Jesus and the theanthropic Christ is found in Hebrews 1:13; “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” It is quoted from Psalm 110:1.

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1).

Jesus uses this verse to challenge the theology of the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew chapter 22.

42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions” (Matthew 22:42-46).

The Apostle Peter used this reference to refer to Jesus in his great message on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:32-36).

10 For it became him {it was suitable or fitting}, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing {ago; to lead or bring with} many sons unto glory, to make the captain {archegos; chief leader referring to His High Priestly work in both the offering of Himself as the propitiatory sacrifice to God and as the Advocate for the redeemed} of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one {in the sense of a theanthropic family in “the regeneration,” Matt. 19:28}: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren {adelphos; union of the womb}, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14 Forasmuch then as the children {who are also spiritual beings after being “born again” of the Spirit} are partakers of flesh and blood, he {the eternal Son of God Who was pure Spirit} also himself likewise took part of the same {becoming a theanthropic Being}; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them {into a new theanthropic existence} who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels {His purpose was not to create a new theanthropic existence for angels}; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:10-18).

[1] C.I. Scofield, Scofield Reference Bible, Edited by Rev. C.I. Scofield, Oxford University Press, Inc., New and Improved Edition, pages 716-717

[2] Lewsis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. 5, Christology, published by Dallas Seminary Press, Thirteenth Printing, June 1976, page 53

I. SermonAudio.com
II. SermonAudio.Com

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Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Instilling Substance Over Semblance

As we have already discussed, God initially intended for all of the children of Israel to be a kingdom of priests and to be able to come near and communicate directly with Him. Initially, the children of Israel agreed to this new arrangement that God proposed to them at Sinai.

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. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD” (Exodus 19:5-8).

God’s intent in establishing the whole nation of Israel as a “kingdom of priests,” or a sovereignty of priests, was to establish a theocracy through which He could sovereignly rule the nation of Israel through direct communication to and through the children of Israel as priests. On two different occasions Israel refused the theocratic rule of God directly through their lives as priests. The first occasion is when they asked for another mediator in Moses to speak to God for them and through which God would speak to them.

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20:18-21).

After the children of Israel rejected God’s offer to speak directly to them and through them, God established the Levitical priesthood for that purpose. The second occasion when Israel refused the theocratic rule of God was just before Samuel’s death. Although Samuel told God what the people said and then told the people God’s response to their request, “nevertheless” they demanded that Samuel make a king that would judge them like the other nations had.

4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. 10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. 11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. 18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. 19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles” (I Samuel 8:4-20).

The intent of the Theocracy was that God intended to govern His redeemed directly through His Law. When they refused, He continued to pursue this avenue of His sovereignty through the rule of Law through an appointed priesthood. When the nation of Israel added their desire for a king like of the other nations, they rejected the direct sovereignty of God over them to add another in-betweener. This was not God’s will, but He allowed it and gave them what they demanded along with the just desserts of their demand. At this point, Israel became a Theonomy.

The difference between a Theocracy and a Theonomy is the transition from God’s governance of Law over His redeemed directly through His Word and through an ordained priesthood to God’s governance of Law over a society, nation, or group of nations through an established government usually through a king, political leader, or developed organization with multilateral input. Israel evolved into a Theonomy through the progressive rejection of God’s will. God allowed this, but He wanted a more intimate and direct relationship with His people.

The restoration of the theocracy is a major aspect of God’s intended sovereign rule over His creation through the lives of His redeem. The restoration of this theocracy is also a major part of the incarnation and the coming of the Promised Messiah. It is into this context of restoration of dominion through a Theocracy with Jesus as the High Priest, and a new priesthood as His sovereignty of priests of all Church Age believers, that God would provide a new beginning at the second coming of Christ and at the beginning of the Kingdom Age.

However, before this new beginning for the restoration of the Theocracy could come into existence, Jesus needed to be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, be substitutionally crucified to bear the sins of the whole world in His body to propitiate God, to be buried, resurrected, and glorified to ascend to the right hand of the Father in Heaven. From that exalted position our new High Priest lives to mediate between the Father and believers and to examine, test, and qualify Church Age believers as His new kingdom of priests. This is the substance of Isaiah 9:1-7 in the prophetic announcement of the birth of Messiah and His ultimate reign as Prophet, High Prierst, and King. We must see this restoration of the Theocracy “in Christ” and the testing/proving/qualifying of individual believers for a new priesthood as the central purpose of the time span we know as the Church Age.

1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government {misrah = empire; referring to a Theocracy; this comes from the Hebrew word sarah, which means to prevail connecting to the power that comes from that prevailing victory} shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end {infinite or eternal}, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever {infinite or eternal}. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this {i.e., this will not be accomplished by human efforts such as Amillennialism or the political activism of Theonomic Reconstructionism}” (Isaiah 9:1-7).

When a sinner calls on the Name of the LORD Jesus to save his soul from condemnation, he is immediately and supernaturally connected to the spiritual dynamic of God’s glorious purpose detailed in Isaiah 9:1-7. This spiritual dynamic to which the all true believers are connected through the New Birth does not end with the virgin birth of the promised Messiah. Therefore, although we can celebrate the virgin birth of the Promised One, it is not His birth that opens the door to our New Birth. His death, burial, resurrection, and glorification is what makes Jesus the “door” into the New Genesis “by grace through faith.” Secondly, for the vast majority who celebrate the birth of the Messiah, most are still lost and on their way to an eternity of hopeless depair and endless torment because they have never heard or understood the gospel and responded to God’s gracious offer of redemption be repenting of sin, believing the objective facts of the gospel, confessing Jesus as JEHOVAH, calling on His Name to save them, and receiving the impartation of God-kind righteousness by receiving Christ in the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. Although they celebrate the birth of Messiah, they remain disconnected to the spiritual dynamic of the hope of salvation and their own future glorification. Many have been deceived and misplaced their faith in their own works (Morlalism and/or Ritualism) producing a false hope.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23).

There is no deception more subtle than self-deception, for when we are self-deceived we stop looking for the Truth. The greatest self-deception is to convince ourselves that we have an eternal hope without having laid the foundation for that hope in the objective facts of the gospel of Jesus Christ and without evaluationg whether or not we have made a Biblically defined responsed of faith in those objective facts.

Whatever aspect of the theocracy the local church fulfills under the headship of Christ and the priesthood of the believer, we can be confident that this aspect of the theocracy cannot be fulfilled apart from the enabling grace of God and the filling of the believer priest by the Spirit of God. The congregational polity of a local church is a theocracy and a major aspect of the moral responsibility of every person who claims to be “born again” of the Spirit of God.



Anonymous comments will not be allowed.
Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at:

Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist.
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.