Jesus’ Good News about His coming kingdom, chapter 3

Jesus’  Good News about His coming kingdom, chapter 3

To: In residence Churches of God. His 10th month, Trivet 25, 5,981. 1/10/21

Apostles’ letters are to Believers IN Jesus, a people converted from their old nature and gifted with a new nature and spiritual insight. NOTE Paul’s cautioned himself about inserting his own opinions. The apostles though the end time Jesus Spoke of was eminent. (1Cor 7:12-16; To the rest I say – ‘I, not the Lord’ – if a brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is happy to live with him, he should not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is happy to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified because of the wife, and the unbelieving wife because of her husband. Otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever wants a divorce, let it take place. In these circumstances the brother or sister is not bound. God has called you in peace. How do you know wife whether you will bring your husband to salvation? Or how do you know husband, whether you will bring your wife to salvation?)

    God knows all things in advance. A believing person may be with an unbeliever for testing. Growing in God’s grace, knowledge, and  overcoming to the end is the converted person’s goal. In verses below, Paul is speaking of circumcision of heart.

     (1Cor 7:17-19; Nevertheless, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each person, so must he live. I give this sort of direction in all the churches. Was anyone called after being circumcised? He should not try to undo his circumcision. Was anyone called who is uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and un-circumcision is nothing. Instead, keeping God’s commandments is what counts.)

     Circumcision always looked forward to God’s spiritually gifted circumcision of heart. God knows each person’s situation in advance. He may wait until a person is in a particular situation before revealing His calling. For example: to live with an unbelieving spouse could be a needed training for God’s purpose.

      Hosea is an example. (Hosea 1:2; When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, He said to him, “Go marry a prostitute who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, because Israel continually commits spiritual prostitution by turning away from the Lord.”)

    As are Christians, Israel was called to separate from the world, and be God’s peculiar people. When they failed to be obedient, God considered them to be as prostitutes. Hosea was to learn firsthand, how God felt toward His rebellious people.

     (1Cor 7:20-24; Let each one remain in that situation in life, which he was called in. Were you called as a slave? Do not worry about it. But if indeed you are able to be free, make the most of the opportunity. For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. In the same way, the one who was called as a free person is Christ’s slave. You were bought with a price. Do not become slaves of men. In whatever situation someone was called, brothers and sisters, let him remain in it with God.)

     Jesus’ point revealed through Paul is that each called individual is for God’s purpose. All Israel’s history is recorded for our learning. Some may need to learn what it’s like to serve as someone’s slave and to make the best of it. An employee may be an instrument God uses to reveal Himself. A converted spouse may be God’s tool in converting the other. When a person is in a position to be a witness for good, it is likely God’s doing. The situation in when God’s call is realized, is where one should witness. Theologians should never attempt to usurp God’s will in a Christian’s life.

    Paul set a good example, saying ‘I am saying not the Lord.’ When certain prophecies are being fulfilled, perhaps Paul’s opinion back then could be a reality.    (1Cor 7:29-31; And I say this, brothers and sisters: The time is short. So then those who have wives should be as those who have none, those with tears like those not weeping, those who rejoice like those not rejoicing, those who buy like those without possessions, those who use the world as though they were not using it to the full. For the present shape of this world is passing away.)

    Times Paul lived were similar to this latter age. It seemed to Paul then, as it now seems to many of us. Jesus’ return is soon, but not yet. God’s holy, seven annual Sabbaths reveal His gifted clue. Though close according to Matthew 24: the person; that man of sin, isn’t revealed just yet, the monetary situation Jesus describes isn’t now. However for the Elect sake God will shorten the time planned.    (Our individual calling has parallels to Israel’s.)  As Israelites were a predestined chosen people of promises, followers of Jesus are predestined by promise and heirs with Abraham. (Galatians 3:29; And, if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.) Jesus reveals the same through Peter, giving the reason for our calling.

   (1Peter 2:9-12; But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when He appears.)

     Followers of Jesus are for God’s purpose, they’re not their own. The calling is a selfless loving purpose, the payoff Eternal Life. A calling to Jesus’ faith, believe in Him as the prophets and He proclaimed Himself to be. He’s Savior, Redeemer, Mediator before God the Father, One through whom life is, the Resurrection and coming King of kings. (See John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:15-20 and Hebrews 1: to discern the totality of Jesus’ deity.)

    (Hebrews 13:7-16; Remember your leaders, who spoke God’s message to you; reflect on the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever! Do not be carried away by all sorts of strange teachings. For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not ritual meals, which have never benefited those who participated in them. We have an altar that those who serve in the tabernacle have no right to eat from. For the bodies of those animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as an offering for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore, to sanctify the people by His own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp. We must go out to Him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse He experienced. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging His name. And do not neglect to do good, and to share what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.) As always study the whole.

    Reflect on Joseph, Moses, Joshua and Jesus’ twelve apostles’ lives. Reflect on the fact that Jesus was that Rock leading Israel through Moses and why the Israelites were dispersed to unbelieving pagan nations. Jesus gives us that reason through Moses, so let’s repeat. 

    (Deut 13:3-5; You must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer, for the Lord your God will be TESTING you to see if you LOVE Him with all your mind and being. You must follow the Lord your God and revere only Him; and you must observe His commandments, obey Him, serve Him, and remain loyal to Him. As for that prophet or dreamer, he must be executed because he encouraged rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, redeeming you from that place of slavery and because he has tried to entice you from The Way the Lord your God has commanded you to go.) In this way you must purge out evil from within.)

     What a contrast to the religious confusions in this age. Each individual was enslaved to this world’s system of things before God revealed and redeemed. Those teaching error have an end result as told through Moses.

     Death ends the overcoming time each called believer has. Time in the flesh is testing and overcoming time for each believer. Be mindful, ‘many are called but few chosen in this age.’ Jesus’ words will ultimately be our judge. The last days are foreshadowed by the, seventh of seven annual Sabbaths, ‘the Last Great Day.’ Jesus ordained and kept it, ‘it’s also the eighth day and holy annual Sabbath ending the Feast of Tabernacles.’

    (John 12:47-50; If anyone hears My words and does not obey them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and does not accept My words has a judge; The WORD I have spoken will judge each at the last day. For I have not spoken from My own authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has commanded Me what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is ETERNAL LIFE. Thus the things I say, I say just as the Father has told Me.)

     A physical resurrection and an opening of the mind awaits many. Many will repent, for having lived the way that seemed right to their fleshly minds, but some will not. (Review 1Corinthians 6:9-11 and Revelations 21:5-8)

     This world’s populations rejected Jesus just as He knew they would. However people have no excuse for not believing, Jesus was sent by His Father to do His will. Jesus’ life is a historical fact, but the denominations refuse to believe IN and lovingly obey His Word. His spiritual truths are revealed to the called, and hidden from the unbelieving populations for His ultimate purpose. Review Jesus’ reason for speaking in parables.

     Jesus said to the Israelites, Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? For this reason I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. The one who falls on This Stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.

    Jesus and His Saints are going to take this world’s governments by force. When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they realized that He was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest Him, but they were afraid of the crowds, because the crowds regarded Him as a prophet. See Matt 21:42-46.

      (Some translations use “capstone” in verse 42, but Cornerstone is accurate because the imagery in Eph 2:20-22 and 1Cor 3:11 indicates the original Greek refers to a cornerstone, not a capstone.) The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone is also used in Ps 118:22-23 and the stone imagery referencing Christ, His suffering and exaltation is common in the New Testament. (See also Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1Pet 2:6-8 and Eph 2:20.) The irony, its use in Ps 118:22-23, is that Gentiles and Israelites rejected the coming King.

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