TV VS SOCIAL MEDIA
Is it a time for self-defense, in the name of self-preservation?
Remember Jesus commanded us, saying,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”Matthew 5:38-45
Also, Paul told us…
“we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”Ephesians 6:12-18
That is how we fight. Not for SELF preservation, but for the purity of the message. Even if it kills us.
Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell… And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. ~Matthew 10:27-28, 38-39
The practicality of this non-violent approach can be seen in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus, in the four gospels, as well as in his Apostles, as documented in the book of Acts.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27)”. However, if we love this world, and our citenship is of this world, and our affiliation is to a political party, instead of Christ and his church, then we are of the world, and the love of the Father is not in us. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7)”. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4). Therefore, we must present our “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).” So, “do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 1:15-17).”
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:8-9
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus ChristEphesians 5:18-20
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.Psalm 1:1-3
According to historyofvaccines.org, standard development of vaccines is a multistage process, which often takes 10 to 15 years to complete. The first two stages may take 3 to 6 years of animal testing before the candidate vaccine is ever considered for testing on human subjects. However, the current candidate vaccine, which has been created for the world, began its first stages this year, and is being distributed this year – 2020. Although the vaccine has not received a suitable amount of time for testing on animals, it is now being distributed to health care workers first, and then black & indigenous people second, according to Bill and Melinda Gates.
Asked who needs vaccines after health care workers, Gates told the magazine, “in the U.S., that would be Black people next, quite honestly, and many other people of color.”Melinda Gates
The first of the human guinea pigs received the vaccine on December 14th. The nurse who, both received the vaccine, and was appointed as the, guinea pig spokes person, attempted to affirm the importance of the vaccine. However, the interview was cut short after the nurse reported feeling dizzy and fainted on camera. Later, according to USAToday.com, she stated that the vaccine had nothing to do with her fainting spell. instead, her preexisting medical condition was most-likely the cause. However, if that is the case, then it begs the question: “Why not chose a spokes-person who’s more likely to instill confidence in the rushed vaccine, as opposed to someone who is likely to not be healthy enough to stand up and answer a few questions without losing consciousness after the first thirty seconds of the interview??”
So far, the ineptitude displayed by the mainstream media and the World Health Organization has been deeply concerning. Their recklessness and folly – akin to the amateurish antics of 5th rate con artists such as Kenneth Copland and disgraced journalist, Chris Hansen. begs the question: will the vaccine be worse than the virus??
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Better yet…not at all.
The term “kingdom building” is a very popular and widely used term among believers. However, the term is not necessarily based upon the work of the church as prescribed in the New Testament. Instead, it has been used to described a plethora of religious, and even secular, works performed by believers, under the belief that the works, whatever they may be, are, in fact, works which build up the kingdom of God. The purpose of this article is to highlight the works, prescribed in the New Testament, as building the kingdom of God.
In order to identify the works of “kingdom building” the location of the kingdom of God must be identified. In other words, “Where is the kingdom”? Below, Jesus plainly identifies the “where” of the kingdom of God.
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”Luke 17:20-21
Jesus also explains this idea further when speaking about the coming of the Holy Spirit:
I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.John 14:17-17
Paul also speaks on the same topic in regards to believers’ access to God, the Father, through the Holy Spirit:
…through Him [Christ] we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.Ephesians 2:18
Paul further describes the fellowship of believers as “the household of God”, “a holy Temple in the Lord”, and “a dwelling place of God through the Spirit”, – built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets’ teachings, with the Lord Jesus as the chief cornerstone.
…you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.Ephesians 2:19-22
Therefore, the building of the Kingdom of God is the building up of believers into maturity, and unity, of the faith and equipping them for ministry work, as Paul also wrote:
And He [Christ] Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.Ephesians 4:11-16
Therefore, kingdom building should never be applied, as something that is outside of the body of believers. Instead, kingdom building is the building up of believers. The term should not be used to describe works done outside of the church, such as feeding the poor of this world, or mentoring the world’s non-believing children, apart from evangelism. Although, Paul was requested, by the Apostles in Jerusalem, to remember the poor as he proclaimed the gospel to the gentiles (Galatians 2:9-10), notice that the request was fulfilled among believers, and not poor people in general:
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.1 Corinthians 8:1-4
For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God2 Corinthians 9:12
But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.Romans 15:25-27
Also, when Jesus told the parable of the Lord judging between sheep and goats, he judged them based on there treatment of his brethren – fellow believers:
And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”Matthew 25:40
Therefore, the storing up of treasures in Heaven, has to do with one’s care for fellow believers, instead of caring for the people of the world, who are still dead in there sins; who are primarily in need of the gospel message. Peter, who was asked three times, by Jesus, if he loved him, was then commanded, by the Lord, to feed Christ’s sheep – the very thing that would result in Peter’s arrest and martyrdom.
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me (John 12:23-26 & 1 John 3:16).”John 21:15-19
Another example of kingdom building would be when Paul described building on the foundation of Christ, wherein he called believers, both Christ’s field and his building, wherein, and upon whom, he, and Apollos, both plants and builds.
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ…Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17
Therefore, the building of Christ’s kingdom is the building up of Christ’s church, into maturity, and to equip believers for ministry work. Kingdom building is church focused – not world focused. The work of God in the world is adding followers to the church through evangelism, and conforming them into Christ character.
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”John 6:28-29
Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.Colossians 1:28-29
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.Ephesians 5:1-10
So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.Acts 20:32
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.1 Peter 2:1-5
The two witnesses described in Revelation, chapter 11, are prophets, who will prophesy during the great tribulation, for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, striking the world with plagues, and famine, as they stand against the kingdom of the beast, who will bring his armies into Jerusalem, to trample the city, and kill the followers of Christ. The Apostle John describes them below:
Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. ~ Revelation 11:1-13
In order to understand who the two prophets are, it is necessary to examine the description of the two prophets.
- Two Olive Trees – Revelation 11:4 – The two olive trees can be found in two other passages in the Bible. The first is in the Old Testament, in the book of Zechariah, in chapter 4. They are described as “…the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” The second passage is listed below, wherein they are described as the nation of Israel (the cultivated olive tree) and the gentiles (the wild olive tree):
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.” ~ Romans 11:11-27
- The Two Lampstands – Lampstand are described in the New Testament as the church.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:14-16
The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. ~ Revelation 1:20
- Prophets – Revelation 11:10 – the two witnesses are called prophets. Therefore, they are the prophets of the church, just as Silas (Acts 15:32), and Agabus (Acts 11:27-28). But are they two individual prophets, or is the number “two” symbolic of two groups of people? It would have to be more than two prophet, based on Psalm chapter 79, which describes this period of persecution in Jerusalem, while showing that the amount of martyred saints in city are more than just two individuals:
O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; They have laid Jerusalem in heaps. The dead bodies of Your servants They have given as food for the birds of the heavens, The flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth. Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem, And there was no one to bury them (Revelation 11:9). ~ Psalm 79:1-3
- The Beast will have them killed – Revelation 11:7 – This is also described in Revelation 12:3-4, and Daniel 8:9-10, because the two witnesses are Christ’s messengers/angels, as described in Revelation 1:20, and Revelation 8:1-6. The angels and stars are one and the same, and a third of them will be cast to the ground and trampled during the great tribulation. And in return, a third of mankind will be killed with fire.
- The stars are the messengers/angels:
The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. ~ Revelation 1:20
When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. ~ Revelation 8:1-6
- They strike the earth with plagues:
These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. ~ Revelation 11:6
So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
First Trumpet: Vegetation Struck
The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck
Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Third Trumpet: The Waters Struck
Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter. ~ Revelation 8:6-11
- A third of the stars are thrown down to the earth, because they are the two witnesses who are killed:
And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth… ~ Revelation 12:3-4
And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. ~ Daniel 8:9-10
- And in return, a third of mankind will be killed with fire:
And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. ~ Revelation 11:5
Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed — by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. ~ Revelation 9:13-19
- The stars are the messengers/angels:
In Revelation, chapter 5, John sees in his vision of the place where God dwells, twenty-four elders around God’s throne. These elders described themselves, as stated below:
…You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth ~ Revelation 5:9-10
Therefore, they are elders of the church, both Jew and gentile, because they are from all nations. Paul described the elders of the church as gifts, given to the church by Christ, to edify believers into maturity and unity in the faith, and to prepare them for ministry work (Ephesians 4:11-16). Some of these elders are prophets. During the great tribulation, the prophets of the church, both Jew and gentile, will stand against the kingdom of the beast, and be killed, and then they will be raised from the dead when Jesus appears in the clouds immediately after the tribulation, and calls his elect to meet him in the clouds, as stated below:
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. ~ Revelation 11:7-13
The Christian concept of being born of water comes from the Bible’s passage in the gospel of John, chapter 3:
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 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?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” ~ John 3:1-8
To understand what it means to be born of water, as Jesus told Nicodemus, it is necessary to find out what the Bible has to say about water, in relation to Christians.
Paul described the water as, “the word” which cleanses the church; which would be, Scripture.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. ~ Ephesians 5:25-27
Jesus also mentioned this in the gospel of John:
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. ~ John 15:3
Paul, in Titus 3:3-6, also described the Holy Spirit as having the same effect when sinners are regenerated. He also described regeneration as being “made alive”.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) ~ Ephesians 2:1-5
Therefore, the word of God, and the Holy Spirit, work together to regenerate sinners into children of God, by cleansing the hearts from sin, and making them new creations. That is why the Apostle John described Jesus as coming by water and by blood.
This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood… ~ 1 John 5:6
Jesus came preaching the gospel of peace with God, and by shedding his blood in order to establish this peace (Ephesians 2:14-17). When those whom God draws to Christ hear the message of the gospel, they are regenerated. As Paul stated:
…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
And John stated:
…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ~ John 1:12-13
And the Apostle James stated:
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. ~ James 1:18
As the Apostle Peter stated:
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. ~ 1 Peter 1:22-25
This is the doctrine of regeneration. It is fulfillment of the promised made by God through Jeremiah.
Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. ~ Jeremiah 31:31-34
This promise is fulfilled by the preaching of the word (Romans 10:14-17), and it is performed by the living word of God, and by the power of the Holy Spirit within the hearts and minds of sinners.
Yes or No, and Why?
No. Christians are not required to keep the law of Moses, because Christ has free them from the law by nailing it with him to the cross.
…you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. ~ Colossians 2:13-14
For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. ~ Galatians 2:19-21
Christ has become the new master, in place of the law, by making a New Covenant, and therefore, abolishing the old covenant, which was not able to cleanse anyone from sin.
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. ~ Hebrew 8:7-13
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. ~ Hebrews 10:4
Does the New Covenant require Christians to keep any of the Old
Yes. That would be the law of love. For in so doing, the righteous requirement of the love is fulfilled.
…’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 22:37-40
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. ~ Romans 13:8-10
Believers are required to fulfill the righteous requirement of the law of Moses. But not through keeping the law of Moses. Instead, the law is fulfilled simply through obeying Christ – the new master – which Paul calls, walking in the Spirit, and Christ calls, abiding in him – the true vine.
Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. ~ Romans 3:31
…what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:3-5
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. ~ John 15:1-6
What about the Sabbath?
That also includes keeping the Sabbath.
…let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. ~ Colossians 2:16-17
In order to understand why Christians are not required to keep the Sabbath, it is necessary to understand the symbolic significance of the Sabbath. The origin for the word “Sabbath” is the Hebrew word “שַׁבָּת/shab·bäth’“, which means intermission. Its root word is “שָׁבַת/shä·vath’“, which means “to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implied relations”. Therefore, as it is already understood, the Sabbath has to do with rest from labor, just as God rested from his six days of work on the seventh day.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. ~ Exodus 20:8-11
And just as God rested, on the seventh day, from his labor, there remains a rest, for those who come to Christ, from their labor of law keeping.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. ~ Matthew 11:28-30
And just as God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, he also provides his chosen people with every blessing in Heaven, just as he gave them to his Son, to be holy.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love ~ Ephesians 1:3-4
And just as all of God’s work was completed on the seventh day, he also has made those who belong to his Son to be completed in him.
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. ~ Genesis 2:1-2
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. ~ Colossians 2:8-10
And just as God made man on the sixth day, and rested on the seventh day, because all of
his work was completed, he also made believers complete in his Son, the true vine, as seen in the menorah – the lampstand with seven lamps; six springing forth from the main branch (Zechariah 4:1–10, Revelation 1:20, Revelation 4:5). Christ is the true vine, from whom all the members spring forth, and are made fruitful (John 15:1-6). Therefore, by themselves, they are mere men, but through Christ, they can do all things (Philippians 4:13).
Therefore, the Sabbath day is symbolic of the work that Christ would accomplish for his people. The ceremonial law is summed up in the ten commandments’ third command – “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8).” That is why Paul said that the Sabbaths are “just a shadow of what was to come, and that its substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17)
What about the dietary laws?
That also includes the dietary laws, such as not eating meat with blood, and not eating unclean foods. This was explained by Paul, below:
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. ~ Colossians 2:16-17
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. ~ 1 Timothy 4:1-5
…whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. ~ Leviticus 17:10-11
The life of Christians comes from Jesus’ blood, which was shed for them, as the atonement for sin.
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. ~ John 6:53-57
Therefore, just as Christ fulfilled the law, he also fulfilled its Sabbath.
What purpose does the law serve?
The law was given to show mankind their sin, and their inability to live up to God’s righteous standard, for the purpose of leading mankind to Christ. As Paul stated below:
…whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. ~ Romans 3:9-19
What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:19-26
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. ~ Romans 7:7-14
Also, any teachings, and behaviors, that are contrary to the teachings of the New Covenant can be corrected with the Old Covenant law.
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. ~ 1 Timothy 1:5-11
Below is an example of how the law of Moses can be used to correct someone who is contradicting the teachings of the New Covenant:
Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:34
Therefore, it is wrong to cheat Christians to keep the law of Moses. This is why Paul wrote to the believers in Galatia, and corrected the believers in Colosse. False teachers were leading Christians astray, by telling them, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved (Acts 15:1)”, as they are now. Therefore, as Paul also warned the believers in Philippi, let the warning stand firm today:
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. ~ Philippians 3:1-11
First, what is saint?
Is a saint a person who has been given supernatural gifts from God, and has earned their place, with Him, in Heaven – according to Roman Catholic tradition? Or is a saint, someone who has been made a god by God, according to Catechism, Profession of Faith, 460?
The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature“:78 “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.”79 “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.”80 “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”81
In order to know what a saint is, it must be determined by the true source, which is Scripture. In the Old Testament, the Hebrews word for saint is קדש/Kodesh and קדוש/kä·dōshe’ It means, a sacred place, person, or thing; rarely abstract, sanctity, and is also used in reference to God. Its root word is קדש/Kaw-dash. It means, to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally). Old Testament examples of these kind of people would be priests, such as Aaron.
…they envied Moses in the camp, And Aaron the saint of the LORD ~ Psalm 106:16
Also, the righteous people who will reign with Christ on the earth:
the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. ~ Daniel 7:18
New Testament examples of saints are those who were called out of darkness into the kingdom of light, in Christ; both Jew and Gentile. Also, described as “called to be saints”.
To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 1:7
giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love; in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:12-14
you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. ~ 1 Peter 2:9-10
In other words, saints are servants of Christ. Also known as “Christians“.
The Greek word for saint is “ἅγιος/hágios/hag’-ee-os“. It means, sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated). Its root word is “ἁγνός/hagnós“, which means, venerable or sacred.
How does one become a saint?
The Apostle Paul stated plainly:
…the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ” ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” ~ Romans 10:6-13
And Jesus said…
…as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ~ John 3:14-17
Therefore, understanding what a saint is, is not a complicated matter. Instead, it is very simple. A saint is a follower of Jesus Christ, and the evidence of sainthood is a life of holiness, righteousness, and loving obedience to Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love ~ Ephesians 1:3-4
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments… ~ 1 John 5:3
The saints are also labeled as “the elect“, “the church/ekklēsia/ek-klā-sē’-ä/out-called“, and “believers“…etc. These are just some of the many labels for saints. Yet, all of the labels refer to the same group of people, which are Christians.
Also, their place in Heaven is not achieved through merit, because salvation cannot be earned. Instead, it must be acquired through faith in the mercy of God, demonstrated through the sacrifice of his Son, for the sins of the world. It is a gift – freely given by God, because of his love for mankind. As the Scripture says…
…by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. ~ Romans 3:20-26
Therefore, the followers of Christ are the saints, who will inherit the earth.
If we endure, We shall also reign with Him… ~ 2 Timothy 2:12
…You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth. ~ Revelation 5:9-10
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