Category Archives: End Times

Past fulfilled, future Secured.

In our first part of this study we have looked into some foundational scriptures proving that Jesus came to bring a spiritual reality rather than a physical one. It is a spiritual kingdom rather than a physical one & a spiritual people instead of a natural one.

Now I would like to start by making a statement, we can work through it via scripture as we go. 

Statement: Revelation was progressive to the disciples after Jesus ascended.

I hope you saw in our previous study how many times the Jews didn’t understand what Jesus said & represented time & again throughout the New Testament. Even His disciples missed what He said only to get the revelation of what He meant later on.

An example we miss:

Acts 1:6-8 ESV

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

We assume since Jesus taught them on the kingdom, that they would know how the kingdom really works. We assume wrong.

Since we handled many scriptures on Jesus & Paul stating that God included the Gentiles in salvation, I want to remind you that Peter(Acts 10), only by a vision God gave him, realised he could go preach the gospel to Cornelius(a Gentile)!

What was it that made Peter not realise this before he saw the vision? I mean it was said many times by Jesus that He would include the nations. 

Answer: The Jewish Culture/Laws

Acts 10:28 ESV

And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

So what is my point? We have to follow their progressive revelation trail to understand what Christ revealed to them.

We know later in Galations 3:28 Paul says “there is neither Jew or Gentile…but all are one in Christ” & this makes perfect sense with what Jesus said about including the Gentiles.

These concepts are important to understanding context in the bible. So let’s start getting to the good stuff. The kingdom is a main part of the end time’s topic. So what did Jesus say about it,

Luke 17:20-21 ESV

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed,  nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

The message Jesus gave to the disciples to preach was the message of the kingdom.

Matthew 10:7 ESV

And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

When last have you heard your pastor or someone preach and say? “The kingdom is here”

Most of the time the kingdom gets taken out of the present & put into the future or afterlife.

Is there a difference between the kingdom of God & the kingdom of heaven?

Matthew 3:

2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”[

Mark 1:
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Notes: As you can see it does get used in exactly the same way. Matthew specifically wrote to Jews whereas Mark wrote with the Gentiles in mind, this is why they use different terms here.

What the Kingdom is like.

The writer of Hebrews talks about those in the Old Testament who had faith in God. But we know when talking about OT people faith usually starts with Abraham.

Hebrews 11

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

You would think that this would refer to some physical place, right? To many of the OT people it seemed that way.

Hebrews 11

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

The chapter concludes with this.

Hebrews 11

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

So this heavenly city/country is provided for us & now they have the same.

Hebrews 12

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

This topic continues to the next chapter as these “faith heroes” are described to be a cloud that surrounds us. This is a present reality. See these verses also from chapter 12

Hebrews 12
18
For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

How amazing is this? We have come to this heavenly City! Do you know you are in the heavenly city? Paul talks about this reality as well in Ephesians.

Ephesians 2

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Go with me on a short rabbit trail from our topic.

We have to see how they missed what Jesus brought.

We have to break out of the trap of thinking like an old testament Israelite.

John 5:39-40 ESV

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,  yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

Notes: It is in Christ that we find life. This may remind us of Paul saying “the letter kills but the Spirit gives life”.

He brought fulfilment

Matthew 5:

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.

Notes: Do we know that fulfilment is better than something being abolished? If it gets destroyed or taken away, it could be brought back or rebuilt! But when something is fulfilled, it is complete. As the law speaks for itself, we won’t go into details about that in this study. The Prophets speak of what they prophesied. So what they prophesied is fulfilled by & through Jesus.

So if something is fulfilled, there is no requirement for me to fulfil it.

So why this rabbit trail? Because if Jesus says the kingdom is at hand, it means what was promised (prophesied) in the Old Testament is fulfilled in Jesus.

Jesus Transfigured

Matthew 17 

1.And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.

Notes: Peter wanted to honour Jesus, Moses (Law) & Elijah (Prophets) by building tents for them, yet God the Father interrupts Him & tells Him to listen to Jesus!

This is just to reaffirm Who we are to pay attention to & follow. Jesus! Not the law, not the prophets. Do the prophets or the law not matter anymore? No, they finally find fulfilment in Jesus! This means, when we read our Old Testament, we need to be looking for the fulfilment of Jesus there.

End of rabbit trail, back to topic

Jesus & Nicodemus

John 3:

3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born againhe cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The windblows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Notes: This is a great example of someone who was very educated in the Old Testament scripture, yet could not understand the things of the spirit. Note here are two different parts dealing with the kingdom. Seeing & entering into the kingdom. So simply said: Born again is being born of the Spirit. When the scriptures say born “again”, again in the Greek means again, from above, anew. I love that it means “above” as well since it speaks of a higher origin we are from.

Side note: Just reference John 3 here above with Col 3 here below

Col 3
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

So we know by Ephesians 2 that Paul said that we are seated in heavenly places with Christ. So it should not be too hard to set our minds on things above (since we are born there) & are seated with Christ there. These are all kingdom realities! Let’s look at it practically.

Continuing with John 3

    John 3 ESV

9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

    Interesting how the NKJV says verse 13.

13No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. – NKJV

Notes: Jesus makes it clear that He is the Man of heaven on the earth. The King James states it in a way to say “He who descended, is in heaven” yet while He stands in front of Nicodemus on the earth.

This confirms the concept we have seen of being from above, seated with Christ, being of the Spirit.

New and living way.

Hebrews 9
11
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of  Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify ourconscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Also 

23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf

Notes: The Holy Place was the closest idea the Israelites had of humans encountering heaven. Their afterlife was called Sheol or paradise, but when they spoke about where God lives, they spoke of heaven. They didn’t have the doctrines & stories we have put together today (not that our popular concepts are accurate either). As Paul states that the Holy Place & things in it were copies of the true, whereas the true was the heavenlies. This is why the Old Holy of Holies is an example of heaven to us. But now Jesus goes into heaven itself for us on our behalf.

Why would He do this? 

Hebrews 10

19 Therefore, brothers] since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

Notes: He made a way for us to enter! He did this by becoming the Way. What is opened for us? The kingdom, also called the heavens or the Father. These are used interchangeably. Also Jesus is a Priest over us, the house of God.

Prepare a place

John 14 
1“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Notes: This is a famous passage that constantly gets misused to refer to the future & afterlife. Even at funerals priests are known for saying “the last brick has been laid” indicating their recently deceased persons room/dwelling place/mansion in the Fathers house is now finished in heaven, so Jesus came to take him/her. This is how ridiculously creative we get when we try make everything literal future from symbolical language in the bible.

Much of the confusion started with the word “mansion” from the KJV bible’s translation of the rooms or dwelling place(Greek word is “monh”), because through songs & sermons the concept was cemented into people’s mind of a physical house instead of a reality Jesus spoke of.

First, Jesus says it is the Fathers house. The Fathers house is people. Not just certain or specific people only but rather a group that could consist of anyone that believes in Jesus.

Second. He goes to prepare a place for us & says He will come again. Quick question, does Jesus say this before He ascends to heaven & everyone awaits His second coming? No. Jesus says this before His death & resurrection. So He died (left) & rose again (came back).

Third, He says He comes again to take us to Himself. Did you notice, He did not say He would to take us to heaven? There is a great reason for saying it this way. Someone might say: but yes it means heaven since Jesus is in heaven, so He has to take us to heaven! Yet we already covered parts of scripture saying “we have already come to the heavenly Jerusalem” & “we are seated in heavenly places”. We are not physically in heaven, but in the spirit we stand in a different place. 

Jesus goes on to say that they know the Way, He is the Way. When they see Him they see the Father! Yet they could not understand what is spiritually meant & the realities therein.

John 14 goes on:

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Notes: Jesus refers to having unity with the Father, yet says He is going to the Father. Why would Jesus need to go to the Father? To create a space for us to enter into via the spirit so we can be where He is. 

More confirmation from John 14

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you

Notes: Jesus gives the disciples a time statement “yet a little while” the world won’t see Him but they will. We know Jesus appeared to many after He rose from the dead, so this makes sense with these statements. Jesus also confirms the unity with us, Him & the Father.

Last part from John 14

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home (Greek word “monh”) with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

When He manifested Himself after He had risen, they knew it is true what He said. But now we need to get this, His manifestation spiritually is His Spirit becoming one with ours so that we become part of the house of God where we have a room/dwelling place with Him & He with us. 

Did you know this Greek word “monh” only gets used twice in the New Testament; both places I quoted from John 14! The word doesn’t get used when referring to buildings or any physical places. The place is created in the spirit for you to unite with the Father & Son while the Holy Spirit helps us realise & grasp these realities. 

The Way to the Father is now open. So this is not an end time nor an afterlife passage.

We need to grasp kingdom realities like these if we are to understand biblical symbolic language or end time doctrines.

I hope you see through what I shared so far that these spiritual realities & the fulfilment of them have little to do with literal Jerusalem or Jews. In moving on from here biblical context will become clearer.

Heaven & Earth

This phrase “heaven and earth” gets mentioned many times throughout the bible. We quoted from Matthew 5 earlier. There is this verse & the following.

Matthew 5:
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Notes: Jesus says here that “until” heaven & earth passes away, not one bit of the law will pass away. But what does this heaven & earth mean? I mean our literal heaven & earth is still standing! Does this mean we actually still have to keep the whole law since the literal heaven & earth is still standing?

Again we come to the statement that Jesus said; He came to fulfil not just the law, but also the prophets. So what was prophesied by them must be fulfilled by or through Jesus.

So Isaiah the prophet prophesied:


Isaiah 65
17 “For behold, I create new heavens

    and a new earth,

and the former things shall not be remembered

    or come into mind.

18 But be glad and rejoice forever

    in that which I create;

for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,

    and her people to be a gladness.

19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem

    and be glad in my people;

no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping

    and the cry of distress.

20 No more shall there be in it

    an infant who lives but a few days,

    or an old man who does not fill out his days,

for the young man shall die a hundred years old,

    and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.

Notes: So this speaks of creating a new heaven & earth, by which I think it is fair to say, the old one would have passed away then since the former things would not play a part in our lives anymore. But once again this scripture gets used to refer to our future instead of Isaiah’s future & those of the Old Testament. Popularly this passage is used to describe heaven after the final return of Jesus. But the problem is that in this passage there are people still dying & sinners being around. People don’t die in heaven, neither are sinners there. The reason this is thought of as heaven in the afterlife is because people skip verse 20 & rather read these.

25 The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;

    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,

    and dust shall be the serpent’s food.

They shall not hurt or destroy

    in all my holy mountain,”

says the Lord.

The problem with this is that Paul said in Hebrews 12 that we have (past tense) come to Mount Zion (Holy Mountain) & to the heavenly Jerusalem (New).

In contrast, let us look at scripture actually talking about the afterlife. These people were debating whether there was a rising of the dead or not.

1 Cor 15:

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

Then speaking of the actual second coming of Jesus.

1 Cor 15

23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Notes: We see that Jesus is not coming back until all things are in subjection under His feet. It is God the Father who works through Jesus since they are one. But Jesus has now made a way for us to be one with them. So we have work to do on the earth as God’s ambassadors here. There is no surprise coming of Jesus. We will deal with the scriptures that lean in that direction in the next study. This following scripture deals with the physical manifestation of the kingdom unlike how Jesus answered the Pharisees: The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed.

1 Cor 15

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Notes: Paul makes it clear that when the spiritual reality of His kingdom becomes physical, it cannot stay the same, but becomes something new. He explains it with these next verses.

1 Cor 15

51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “O death, where is your victory?

    O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notes: He says he is telling a mystery! It means, this is a new revelation. This was not the way it was expected. God is going to make our spiritual reality into the physical reality. This is the spiritual reality that the Jews missed, but the apostles caught up with the revelation of the spirit as they ministered. But until the day of His coming, we can live from our spiritual reality, from the heavenly Jerusalem, as the Fathers house, in His Holy city surrounded by those who have gone before us that have been made perfect. It will not be like the Old Testament stories regarding the kingdoms & wars. It is now a kingdom that is heavenly, so we know our Source & our placement. With this we pray: Let your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. We pray this as we want to see our spiritual reality touch the world.

What creation is waiting for

Rom 8

19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Notes: Did you see that creation waits for the sons? It doesn’t say creation waits for Jesus to come back? We have this hope because of Holy Spirit that our bodies will also be transformed like we referenced earlier in 1 Cor 15. So there is a full physical manifestation coming of what we carry, but in the meantime we get to manifest what we carry in the spirit.

Rom 8

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Since we are in Rom 8 it is good to mention.

11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Notes: His kingdom, His Spirit is not just dormant or passively waiting for Jesus to return one day. We have an active Person of Holy Spirit & authority of the kingdom to exercise here on earth. 

Kingdom authority

Mat 18:

18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosedin heaven

Peter also gets the revelation that Jesus is the Christ that they have been waiting for.

Mat 16:

16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Notes: This is why He gave us the kingdom, so that we could manifest it through His Spirit in us. As He said, He gives us the keys to not permit on the earth what doesn’t look like heaven. It is just the easiest way to explain that scripture. Did you see that it says the gates of hell will not prevail against the church? Gates do not attack, they defend. So we should be offensive with the kingdom of God. More popular end time teaching today sure gives us the false idea that hell’s gates don’t just prevail, but even takes over the earth.

The Jews idea of kingdom

Mat 11:

11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence] and the violent take it by force. 

John 6:

15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Notes: It is a common mistake made by pastors using this scripture “to take the kingdom by force” as a positive spin on this verse. But even spiritually it does not make sense as we already have the kingdom. But to the Jews it meant having a physical king, so that they could rule much like Old Testament kings where God would help them as a nation & conquer the land.

Lastly I will add the words of Jesus.

John 18:

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?

End notes: We are now of His kingdom, therefore we fight with Him by our side. We are servants & sons of His kingdom now. Do you see that His kingdom here had nothing to do with being a Jew? In fact, the Jews at this stage were rejecting the kingdom Jesus brought.

Hope you enjoyed this study.

Better Covenant means a better future

Most of us have heard end time teaching in some form or another. This study is written to bring the focus back on the word of God, this I believe will help us keep our hope & faith in the One who is faithful. The foundational part to most popular end time teaching is Israel, as in the nation of Israel. I want to talk about this foundational part first, so we can approach any theory of end time teaching we hear or read from a biblical & contextual stance.

(This study deals with a biblical truth that will help us understand the scriptures better that usually gets referenced when an end time message is preached. We will not be touching on specific end time scriptures in this study yet.)

So at first let us look at what Jesus said about Israel as a nation(Jews). Keep in mind, Israel as a nation had a covenant with God, so according to them, they are Gods people. Lastly don’t forget throughout the new testament, that Jesus & also His disciples were sent first to Israel because God honoured the first covenant while it was still active.

Those who have received Him.

John 1:12-13 ESV

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Notes :

Many read this today & apply it to themselves. Obviously we who accept Jesus get to be Gods children. But we apply it without thinking of the context.

The context here is the Jews of those days. Israel of the bible times that had the covenant with God. Because John 1:11 says that “He came to His own & they did not receive Him”.

That is why it is intense that it says here “But to all who did receive him” & then also “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

It means the Israel(nation) that did not receive Him are not His children since they rejected Him. The fact they were Jews(blood) or had the law & Jewish culture( the will of the flesh nor of the will of man) did not make them right with God.

Jesus addresses the Jews(Israel nation) & told them about their sin.

Scripture comments : Below We have many verses to read from John 8, so read them slowly and take in the all around feel of these scriptures together.

John 8:

24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for nunless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man,  then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

Notes : Interesting that many believed, yet still struggled to recognize that they are slaves of sin.

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

John 8:


39
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Notes : Notice here that Jesus tells the Jews they are not Abraham’s children, because of their rejection of Him. They tell Him that they have God as their Father, yet Jesus says their father is the devil! Verse 47 He tells them that they are not of God even though they believed the opposite.

Before Abraham Was, I Am

John 8:

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me,  of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.  He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Notes : Jesus tells them how  Abraham believed Him, yet the Jews were missing that. It has always been faith that pleases God & Abraham was their example of that, but they were clinging to their heritage instead of the faith that those before them lived by.

Jesus includes other nations(Gentiles) & speaks of Israel(nation) that is thrown out.

Scripture comments:

A centurion from the Roman army encounters Jesus & asks Him to heal his servant. This centurion honours Jesus’ authority to speak a word only to heal his servant & Jesus replies.

Matthew 8:10-12 ESV

When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.  I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heavenwhile the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Notes : You realise Jesus says here that gentiles(not the sons of the kingdom) will be with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob in the kingdom of heaven! These were the heroes of the Jews because of their history & faith!

Isn’t it about the sheep? Israel only?

John 10:  14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Notes : One flock! One Shepherd!

Jesus declares a new time(hour), new in the Spirit & truth.

John 4: 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that tin Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Notes : Jesus removes the idea of physical places that Israel & the Samaritans held dear through their culture & heritage. Now worship is in spirit & truth.

Promise of Covenant made to Israel first:

Jeremiah 31:31-34                                                                                      “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”            

Notes : This is a good example of where God promised to make a new covenant with Israel & Judah. The promise is unique since He says He “was” their husband, yet the new covenant will be different. The promise gets made to Israel & Judah, because we know they were the people of God at the time, yet today we believers, are all Israel(spirit) today. There are other places in the old testament which God says the gentiles will be included as well. Like for example Hosea 2  where God talks about about making a covenant & then in verse 23 says this as well :

“I will say to Not My People, You are my people and he shall say, You are my God.”

The New Covenant :

The dynamic of how the Old Covenant was setup to how Jesus made the New Covenant is different and is missed much in today’s theology.

Hosea 11:1– When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Notes : I won’t explain too much on how the old covenant is setup since most people know. Just see here that the way it is stated in Hosea, Israel is called a son & we know the covenant was made with Israel.

Matthew 2:15– and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Notes : This speaks of Jesus as the Son & therefore is the fulfillment of that scripture. As the old testament always spoke of the shadow of the real things to come. Israel fell short as a son, so God sent His Son to make the covenant with His blood. Now we can be right with God through His Son – Jesus Christ. This is why it is so different from the first covenant, in the new covenant the terms & requirements  are fulfilled by Jesus, we partake of the covenant by receiving Jesus.

Isn’t there a church age now? Isn’t the church the Gentiles & Israel the Jews?

The first church members was & have always been Jews. Since the gospel came to them first.

Dispensationalism, which is a part of many end time teachings today, says that God put Israel on the side for a moment to start the church age.

Wasn’t the church born in the book of Acts? No, because Stephen makes it clear :

Acts 7:

37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ 38 This is the one who was in the congregation(KJV translates as “Church”, Greek is “ecclesia”) in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us.

Notes : So as Stephen lays down this message from Abraham to Christ, makes a statement to link between Israel & the church. Moses was in the church! Israel has always been the church. As it was never to separate things or something that only started later after Jesus.

Even if we try imagining them as different parts, like Jews(Israel) & Gentiles(Church), then the first church(in Acts) members would still mostly contain Jews anyway! Only in Acts 10 does Peter start to go out to the Gentiles(Cornelius). In Acts 2 the church finally gets endowed with power from Holy Spirit, so that was new to the already existing church.

Now we can also go through the parts where Paul explains things thoroughly.

Scripture Comments : Jesus faces the old natural in order to create a new way of the Spirit for us.

Galatians 4:

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Scripture Notes : The law was the terms that the Old Covenant was made upon, that is also why they were slaves of the sin, since the law empowers sin. The law could never make them sons since they would forever fall short, so Christ came to redeem & enable them to be sons.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

Galatians 4:

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

             “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;

            break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!

            For the children of the desolate one will be more

            than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but rof the free woman.

Scripture Comments : We can see the two covenants like this –

            Old Covenant = law = slave = physical Jerusalem =born flesh = Hagar = Cast Out

            New Covenant =free = from above = promise = born Spirit

Israel gets redemption from previous error.

Hebrews 9:15

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Old covenant starting to fade.

Hebrews 8:13

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Notes : It is always good to keep in mind that the old covenant was still practiced as reality by many Jews during the whole new testament. The temple was still standing in the city of Jerusalem so most rituals were still being honoured by the Jews, except for the Christian Jews of course..

Old covenant had flaws.

Hebrews 8:7-8

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Covenant of the spirit:

2 Corinthians 3:6

Who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Romans 7:6

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

How can it change?

Scripture comments : I have added these passages below, please read them slowly & take in the complete feel of the chapter(I did skip some verses though).

Romans 9:1-11, 13-33 ESV

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.'” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'” And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Notes : Paul said to the Roman church that the calling of Israel is in the gentiles as well since they are speaking of the Jews(Paul’s kinsmen according to the flesh) & their failure to accept Christ. This is the main focus of Rom 9, Israel(Jews). So the Jews were to be the vessels of God’s wrath/dishonour because of their disobedience. This is why Jesus prophesied their destruction in Mat 24 & other places as well, this was God’s wrath being poured out on them(We can talk about that more in the next study).

Gentiles & Israel – For the gifts and the calling of God are  irrevocable :

            Romans 11:1-6, 11-32

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “ Lord , they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it  is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it  is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has  come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those  who  are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be  but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember  that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they  are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they  are  beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are  irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Notes : Paul says we have all been disobedient so we can now all obtain mercy the same. So when he says gifts and callings are irrevocable, it is not to still label them as a special nation as they were in the old covenant, but to convince the gentiles that God doesn’t reject Israel totally because of their disobedience, but that as God did call them, He will still have mercy on them as He has mercy now on us. If we accept Christ, then we receive His mercy & grace, it is a spiritual thing now. Said in a simpler way, Jews have the same access to the New Covenant that we now have.

When Paul went to the Gentiles

Acts 28

23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

26

“‘Go to this people, and say,

“You will indeed hear but never understand,

    and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

27

For this people’s heart has grown dull,

    and with their ears they can barely hear,

    and their eyes they have closed;

lest they should see with their eyes

    and hear with their ears

and understand with their heart

    and turn, and I would heal them.’

28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.

Notes : This is why God makes the Gentiles also part of His Israel. They will listen! The natural Israel did not receive the gospel, even their knowledge of God in their culture did not make them receive the gospel since it is a heart issue, not a physical issue.

What does this mean for end time’s messages?

It means when we look at future events for us today, we can’t look at the nation of Israel(Jews) to determine what God wants to do. We have to walk with Jesus & the leading of His Spirit. Israel is the Church & the Church is Israel. The Gentiles are included in the promises of Israel. But when we say Israel, we cannot think of Jews anymore. It is a spiritual state. We do not replace Israel, we became one with Israel because of Jesus. The Natural Jews thought of as Israel today needs Jesus just like anyone else in order to be the spiritual Israel(the church).

Now there are some key passages that you might be wondering about or prophecies that you are expecting to happen, we will talk about those in the next study. It is as simple as that, you are the Israel(spirit) of God today, so if it is prophecies that ignores the new covenant or the price Jesus paid on the cross to make a new way for all by the Spirit, then you know that prophecy was NOT spoken/written for you, but for the nation of Israel in bible times(not today) as the old covenant that singled them out as Gods people is now gone. The Old Covenant finally was gone when the city of Jerusalem & its temple was destroyed 70AD, about 40 years after Jesus ascended.

Hope you enjoyed this study, let me know if you learned anything or caught some revelation.

Blessings
Carlo Merrick

Heart Of the Father Ministries