The Grand Plan

Long has the age-old question been considered, how did we come to be here, why are we here, and where are we going from here. Philosophers, scientists, and theologians all have specific paradigms to offer as answers to these unknowns. This may satisfy your curiosity, but it more than likely will only confuse and frustrate you opening up more questions than you had before.

Faith or belief offers a reality based in fantasy which can be most satisfactory to many. Fantasy may be all that many people expect, but it will never be the truth. I would venture to say most people have stopped searching for answers to these unknowns, realizing they will only be subjected to more platitudes which serve only to frustrate their intellect. Personally, I know the truth can be discovered, and when discovered will be consistent and cohesive. A perception based on dishonest/false information produces a cognitive dissonance in the mind which then requires that it be supported by a logical fallacy and leading to an assumed conclusion.

The subject of this article involves reality, specifically the perceived reality involving this world. Two main points will be presented and addressed; the reality of truthfulness, and the virtual reality created by deception. I have never crossed paths with anyone who would willingly believe a lie. Yet I know that the whole world has been mastered by a very cleverly contrived deception; clever in that it offers the peoples of the world whatever they want, but the experience is all a charade. The core of this deception is faith.

By faith you can experience a vision, spiritual euphoria, or any other desired effect. By faith your god can love you unconditionally, or alternately has no love or emotion at all. By faith your god may not be a god at all, but only a super human, or even an extraterrestrial; or you may go to the extreme and believe that God does not exist. There are those who believe that it matters not whether you know the truth about God, only that you believe in ‘a’ god. Many assume that god does not care to reveal much, if anything about them self or themselves, that they choose to remain unknown, requiring only that they be worshiped in the tradition of the elders.
The reality of that which is seen and that which is unseen is also a subject of debate. If you worship a god, it is highly likely your god is unseen/invisible. Whether you believe in the existence of spiritual/invisible beings does not determine whether they actually exist or not. The truth will always cause conflict with standard belief or practice. The whole world has been successfully subdued by lies (Revelation 12:9). These doctrines of lies have created a spiritual darkness over all the earth. The truth has the spiritual quality of a very bright light which dispels this darkness and opens the spiritually blind eyes of those who truly want to see. Anyone who has ears to hear let them hear what the Spirit is saying.

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In the beginning there was darkness which covered the whole earth, then Elohim came and physically separated the light from the darkness, and they are doing the same now in a spiritual way. The substance of humankind is flesh and blood, and when we die our substance decays and becomes dust, specifically the dust of this earth. A spiritual being is immortal, and never dies; although a created spiritual being may be put to death (executed) by the Creator. A spiritual being has form but not substance, their form is that of their own choosing. Elohim is not a created being. The other spiritual beings are recognized by various names: angels, demons, extraterrestrials, messengers, watchers, spirits, were created by the Elohim (see my article titled “Elohim” www.spiritoftruthministry.net). These spiritual beings were created to perform specific tasks in the maintenance and administration of the whole creation. The subject of this paper describes an issue which came about during the activity of this operation.

The Bible is a compilation of writings, and some of these scripts are describing life from the distant past. The “Old Testament” contains the compilation of the Law and the prophets, and the Psalms. The Law was given to Moses on the top of Mt. Horeb, shortly after the “exodus” from Egypt. The Bible was never intended to be a history book, as one would expect a history book to be. The Bible contains a historical record, but only as it pertains to the kingdom of Elohim. The purpose of the Law was to inform those who had (themselves) chosen to be in the kingdom of Elohim about Elohim, the God of that kingdom. Elohim (three separate personalities-One God) wanted their kingdom to know them, love them, and worship them. They required their kingdom to learn and practice integrity and justness.

God created everything on and in the earth, and the last creative act was to bring forth the people of the earth, males and females, made in the image and likeness of the Elohim. On the sixth day of creation the Elohim made humankind with the same multiplicity incorporated into all their creation, ethnic groups/nations we see today.

Elohim did not “pre-program” the brain cells of these beings with information in order that they be able to dwell on the earth. Instead Elohim gave them the ability to learn. These beings were given a basic operating system (the autonomic and parasympathetic nervous system). They lacked the knowledge of how to read or write, do mathematical calculations, build structures, farm, keep livestock, and all that is involved in life. Elohim sent some of their created spiritual beings here to teach humankind the necessary information allowing them to thrive and prosper and “subdue the earth” (Genesis 1:28). What ultimately transpired among these “teachers” was the idea that these created beings rebelled against Elohim, and actually took over the role of Creator vis a vis the human beings that lived on the earth. Lucifer, the leader of this rebellion, deceived the nations and received their worship (see Isaiah 14:3-21 and Ezekiel 28:1-19). There are also extra-biblical accounts of the interactions of the gods and men (see the Epic of Gilgamesh, Babylonian, Assyrian, Sumerian, Olmec, African, Mayan, Aztec, Native American, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian records to name a few).

These spiritual beings co-opted the divine authority of Elohim and presented themselves as the gods of creation. You may wonder how any being, or beings, could subvert the authority of Elohim; here is how. Elohim rules with truth and justice. The subjects of their kingdom know the truth and obey Elohim. The leaders of the rebellion lied to the nations, betraying them, and instituted a system that only operates in darkness. The nations had no knowledge of Elohim, and because they trusted these teachers, those who came down from the heavens, they submitted to their authority. This situation lasted for a very long time; how long no one knows, but at the very least, many thousands of years.

Elohim had a plan which detailed the necessary requirements to accomplish restoration, the restoration of their authority over the whole world. The Elohim are not the rulers of darkness, sin, nor lies. The Elohim rule the kingdom of the holy people, a kingdom of righteousness and truthfulness. Understandably their first step in the process to restoration would be to establish a kingdom of Elohim on the earth. This would be a kingdom whose people have integrity and justness. A people who have the knowledge of truth, and live in accordance with the truth. A people who know, love, and obey the Elohim. A kingdom in the world, but not of the world. The kingdom of the Elohim is a kingdom of their sons and daughters, those who have been purchased by the blood of the Passover Lamb, born from above, as are all spiritual beings. The Mother of these born from above is the Holy Spirit. These are consecrated/sanctified by the word of Elohim, the testimony of Jesus. whose testimony is true.

Please read John 15:1-17. Here the Son of Man is teaching a very important element in His testimony. “I am the vine” and My Father is the “vine-dresser”. When this information is connected with that in Matthew 21:33-46, we see a picture of the kingdom of Elohim taking form, taking form because the kingdom of Elohim is spiritual. This spiritual kingdom is a real kingdom. Those that enter this kingdom do so through their spiritual understanding. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit of God/Elohim is saying. The words of the Spirit are understood by those who have the ability to understand (see Matthew 13:10-17). One requirement that all who desire to enter the kingdom of Elohim must have is oil, spiritual oil. Spiritual oil has two indicators as to its presence in a person; these are integrity and justness. It is interesting that these are the two qualities curiously absent in the children of Israel, a quality that the Elohim was continually looking for but never found. I am confident of this fact, if one were to ask any Israelite in any generation whether they had lived with integrity and justness they would answer in the affirmative.

The presence (or absence) of oil is the key to understanding. Integrity is the oil that allows the truth to find a home in the consciousness. The evidence which proves the presence of integrity is easily discerned. Here are the qualities proving the presence of integrity: Unimpaired condition/reasoning (soundness); Firm adherence to a code of moral values (incorruptibility); The quality or state of being complete or undivided (completeness), i.e., Honesty. I have found that on one hand people will be honest with others, all the while deceiving themselves on the other. This is a fact that most will deny. This world is in spiritual darkness. The people of earth are so accustomed to darkness that they actually believe that darkness is light. Elohim has been working to get a light to shine in this world, but those who were chosen to accomplish this refused.

Matthew 5:14-16 (JB) ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in the heavens.

Elohim chose the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel, to be their people. Elohim would teach Israel, giving them the necessary information to know what they needed to know about their Elohim; but Israel refused to learn. Instead the children of Israel chose to learn about the gods of the nations around them, and to worship them. Israel chose darkness instead of light.

The builders in Israel, those who were entrusted with the responsibility of constructing the “spiritual house”, were the priests. The great deceiver gained control of the priests and the spiritual house was a house of cards. The temple of light, they had turned into darkness.

Matthew 21:33-46 (JB) ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a wine press in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “they will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives’. Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see? I tell you then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’ When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realized he was speaking about them, but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.

Matthew 23:37-39 (JB) ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you refused! So be it! Your house will be left to you, for, I promise, you shall not see me any more until you say: Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!’

The children of Israel had squandered their birthright for the filth and stench of this world. They had rejected Elohim for the final time. By overcoming the world the Son of Man had received the right to build and rule a kingdom in the world, but not of the world. Elohim had taken personal responsibility for the building of His kingdom. No more human priests, no more earthly temple. There would no longer be a holy land, or holy city.

Daniel 7:13-14 (JB) ‘I gazed into the visions of the night. And I saw coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man. He came to the one of great age and was led into His presence. On Him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became His servants. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will His empire ever be destroyed.

Revelation 5:9-10 (NASB) And they sang a new song saying, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals’ For Thou wast slain and didst purchase for God with Thy Blood Men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; And they will reign upon the earth.”

The Stone that the builders had rejected is the cornerstone of a completely new “spiritual house”. This cornerstone was put into place by the Father, it was the beginning of a new house not its completion.

John 15:1-10 (NASB) “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away’ and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spokne to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so 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, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.

Elohim gave the Law to Moses on Mt. Horeb. This Law was to be read to the children of Israel so they could learn it. Elohim revealed themselves through the Law, allowing the children of Israel to come to know their Elohim and follow their instructions in the Law. ultimately to be holy, this was the intention of Elohim.

At present we have the Law and the Prophets, as well as the testimony of the Son of God. We have been instructed to learn His testimony, and to perform it. The great deceiver had planned a new deception, and he called this a “new covenant”. He would co-opt the testimony of Jesus, giving the believer a distorted gospel, an all inclusive message founded on the premise of unconditional love. Through this illegitimate “gospel” he would successfully forestall the development of the kingdom of Elohim on earth. The great deceiver would then assure credibility with its inclusion in the cannon of scripture, giving it the attribute of legitimacy. And so it is that the “gospel of grace”, just as the great deceiver expected, became the accepted salvation theology for protestant christian churches at the end of time.

Two Foundations

John 7:24-29 (NASB) “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house, and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.” The result was that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

This was the summation statement delivered by the Son of Man at the end of His initial testimonial, it was His statement of purpose. It may have seemed unusual to those who had heard the full length of this instruction. This man had appeared out of nowhere, teaching as though He had received authority from some unknown teacher. The writer (widely believed to be Matthew) explains that the crowd was “amazed”(astonished) at His teaching.

John 8:12-14 (NASB) Again therefore Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said to Him. “You are bearing witness of yourself; Your witness is not true (valid).” Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true; for I know where I come from, and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from, or where I am going.

John 8:31-33, 59 (NASB) Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…
Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

Imagine yourself present at the time these discussions were taking place, but with the same theological understanding you have now, more than likely you would have been among those who picked up stones. It was for this reason that the Son of God was sent by His Father to this earth. The world was full of darkness, the teaching of the theologians (priests) were doctrines of men, designed to maintain the darkness. God sent many prophets throughout the centuries, all were ignored by priest and people alike. Now the greatest of all prophets, the Son of God, was speaking to them face to face, and it made no difference; to them He was just one more fraud.

Today the testimony of the Son of God is completely ignored. It is ignored for a variety of reasons, such as; “it was only intended for the Jews”, it is “old covenant”, the “new covenant” would not take effect until after His resurrection etc. It is interesting to note that not one of these “new covenant” understandings were even suggested in His testimony, in fact, quite the opposite is true.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB) And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe (to guard) all that I commanded (to order, commanded to be done, enjoin) you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.”

The Son of God commissioned His disciples to teach exactly the instructions He had given to them. Clearly the eleven disciples understood what they were to do and what they were to teach, and to whom they were to teach it. The teaching of the Son of God was to be taken to the nations (gentiles), there was not a separate way to salvation for gentiles, and no “new covenant” designed especially for them. The Son of God has promised to be in the company of all who choose to learn His testimony, and teach it to others, even to the very end of the age. Any other teaching (gospel) that is not completely in agreement with the testimony of Jesus is a lie.

There are two kingdoms for humankind, the kingdom of darkness, and the kingdom of Light. All of humankind have been in darkness since the great deception, when the nations were deceived by the evil ones. These spiritual beings, sent here to give humankind the knowledge they required to live and thrive on the earth, ordered the nations to worship and obey them. The only true Elohim have no authority over the kingdom of darkness, they rule the kingdom of Light. Their plan is to show the way to their kingdom of Light, for the purpose of defeating the kingdom of darkness and the judgment of all who adhere to it. It is necessary for all humankind to be given notice that they are in the kingdom of darkness and must learn the way to the kingdom of Light. The way to the kingdom of Elohim was given and demonstrated by the Son of Man.

John 14:4-6 (NASB) “And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through (the ground or reason something is or is not done) Me.

John 10:1-2, 7 (NASB) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
Jesus therefore said to them again, “truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

By saying this the Son of God emphasizes the fact that it is His testimony (His voice) that describes the way to the kingdom of the Father (the sheepfold). Those who are in the kingdom of the Father but did not follow the instructions He gave are thieves and robbers. Another example of this was demonstrated in the parable of the wedding feast.

Matthew 22:11-13 (NASB) “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And he was speechless. “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

A wedding gown was required in order to enter the marriage feast. It is obvious that this person had not come through the door, but had entered some other way. The wedding garment is received when the person has learned the testimony of Jesus and performs it. Every attendee at this wedding feast is wearing an identical gown as everyone else, including the Bridegroom.

Here is the conclusion: Elohim created, and thereby owns, everything. Elohim has authority over the kingdom of Elohim, a kingdom of truth, light, integrity, and justness. Elohim does not have authority over the kingdom of lies, darkness, wickedness, and injustice. The kingdom of the world is ruled by the ruler of the world, the ancient serpent (dragon) Satan, and he has the say as to the operation of his domain. This is why good things happen to bad people, and bad things to the “good”. Elohim has clearly and publicly shown the way to enter their kingdom, but most pay no attention. Drunk with the liquor of grace, they assume that their god will excuse any error in their practice because of his unconditional love (agape). Remember that the king called the naked guest “friend”, but that did not prevent his binding him and casting him out into the outer darkness. The instructions are simply this; learn the testimony of the Son of God, and perform it. Make a promise to obey the ten commandments, and keep your promise. You will then enter the kingdom of Elohim and will receive eternal life. You must also help others to find the way, so they too may have eternal life, and live in the earth made new.

Rick Sterling

The Soul

As you read a book, listen to a speech, or watch a movie, you may not give much thought to your ability to follow the train of thought, and you may not give much thought to how your mind works within the brain to accomplish this amazing process. The ability to read text or listen to words, and to be able to follow along and understand them is a function of your conscious awareness. We are aware of our being, in this reality that is life, and our interaction is controlled and processed by our consciousness awareness. This article is a collection of words, organized in sentences and paragraphs. The words on each page enter your consciousness, or mind, through physical components, which is our body. These components are the interface with our world filled with information. In fact, this world in which we live may be able to be described by a mathematical formula. We are connected to our world by sensory receptors, including ears and eyes, which are connected by nerves to memory cells in the brain. This information is then processed in these cells and then “planted” into our memory, as a seed is planted in soil.
There are three types of memory; sensory, short-term, and long-term. Short-term memory is used to “follow” a sequence of information, such as words in a story, or information in a textbook or lecture, giving our minds the ability to sequence visual images and information, such as a movie, play, or sporting event. Short term memory allows us to follow a train of thought or plot in a play. Long-term memory is where we purposely put those things that we need for continued processing of information, and its future use. The education process is designed to use the short-term memory, in conjunction with long-term memory, to produce the desired outcome of retaining the knowledge acquired. Knowledge, applied with understanding, determines how we interact with and view the world every day of our life.
The soul, also known as the spirit, is the consciousness awareness in each person, and is the quantity and quality of information acquired throughout the course of life. The “body of flesh” was designed specifically to support the consciousness awareness and afford humanity the ability to interact with and function in this world. Humankind were created for the noble purpose of maintaining God’s creation here on earth, they were given the command to be the husbandmen of earth.

God said, ‘Let us’ make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth’. Genesis 1:26 (JB)

God fashioned from the dust of the soil a “body”. This body was specifically designed to support the consciousness, and conscious activity of each being. The physiological processes that are supported and maintained by the flesh, function to sustain the “life” of each human being. The “breath of life” is the gift that God gave to humankind that causes the ‘body-soul’ connection to exist. This “breath of life” is not an independent consciousness, or each person would have the “mind or consciousness” of God. “Life” began when God started the physiological process in the body of flesh, and humanity became consciously aware of their being. The body of flesh and the consciousness awareness, which is the soul/spirit, are NOT two separate, distinct, and unique entities. When God breathed the “breath of life” into humanity He did not place a preexisting consciousness (or “conscious spirit”) within an independently self-aware body. The body does not have a consciousness that is separate from the mind, or an inherent propensity to action that is separate from that of the soul/spirit; nor does it have a consciousness of being that is separate from the physiological processes of the physical brain cells. The body is the interface for the consciousness to function in the physical world, therefore the consciousness must learn through education and experience. The information accumulated through the learning process builds the knowledge base required to perform a chosen task or vocation.
Everything and every being made of the ground or the sea of this planet, has a body of flesh. Created beings NOT from this earth do not have a body composed of the dust. The beings created in the heavens have a body of light/energy. Light has two physical measurable properties, and exist both as a wave and as a particle; these two properties are only exhibited when measured. Spiritual beings are immortal, because that they do not have a body of flesh and blood which “wears out”. A flesh and blood body eventually wears out. When the cells are no longer capable of supporting the physiological processes that maintain the consciousness awareness and the vital physiological processes needed to maintain life, death occurs because these processes can no longer function in the cells of the body. God preserves the consciousness of the person in a state of “sleep”, or hibernation. At the end of time, when the resurrection takes place, all consciousness awareness of those who are deemed righteous in deed will be “awakened” from their sleep and given a “new body”, one which will support the life processes and consciousness awareness of each unique individual. This will be realized when the King of the kingdom of God returns to call those who have “fallen asleep” in death.
Stop for a moment and take notice of your thoughts. Note how your mind is responding to the information presented here. The conscious and/or sub-conscious response to information is conditioned by our biases or paradigms. Bias is defined as a predetermined conclusion that is the result of incomplete, misinterpreted, skewed, or false information. A strong bias will always prevent any information (whether true or false, it matters not) from ever becoming a part of functional memory or thought. Functional memory is used to determine how we view, interact with, and understand our reality.
Any being, or group of beings, that control the information for any reality, controls everything and everyone in that reality. The most difficult action for anyone to take is to clean their mind of all preconceptions; no one will ever learn the truth unless they take this action. If your knowledge is based on truth it will be verified by the testimony of truth. Nothing will be lost or put at risk by acting in self honesty. Truth allows for scrutiny and testing, because truth can afford to be fair. Truth can lose no argument, can never be exposed as error, and is never proven wrong. The one thing truth can never do is overcome the strong bias of the obstinate. The Truth has no power to disprove what someone has already chosen to believe.
There are two realities in this world, and as odd as it may sound one has always been real, and the other has not. Yet since it’s introduction into this world, this ‘unreal’ reality that is based on ‘false truth’ has continued to operate as the widely accepted and most reasoned system of understanding. The actuality of truth is real and is represented as light. The reality of that which is not truth is only virtual reality, and this reality is represented as darkness. Light and darkness cannot (and will never) find common ground in a place where both realities exist together in a state of equilibrium or balance, a twilight zone. A “consciousness awareness” operating system determines the reality that it experiences. If the functions of this operating system are are based in lies it can only operate in the darkness. The greatest deception of our human experience is to believe that our reality is truth and light when in fact it is lies and darkness. Therefore, it is possible for an individual to firmly determined in their own mind that light is darkness and darkness is light when they choose (either consciously or unconsciously) to exist in the reality based in darkness. A lie only works in the dark, it finds no success in the light.
The Truth is based in FACT, lies are based in faith. Faith is belief not supported by facts and reliable testimony. For example; “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever puts their trust in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NASV) (Italics mine). What the Son of God told Nicodemus involved trust in a testimony. The Son of God made an important point to Nicodemus; in John3:12 Jesus makes this statement, “If I told you something that you can easily check out, and you won’t believe Me, how can you believe Me about information from the heavens (which you are unable to “check out)”. Jesus stated that Nicodemus and the rest of the religious leaders refuse to believe His words, even when they can verify His words from their Law, and see that they are true. The religious leader’s problem with the message of Jesus was not the clarity of His words, it was the fact that they had a strong bias, and this strong bias prevented the truth from entering their consciousness/spirit. There appears to be a misunderstanding among many people that God rewards belief that remains anchored in Him. This is a lie. God rewards belief that is anchored in truth, because He is the truth. The scribes and members of the Sanhedrin believed that their understanding was anchored in the Law, and this is the same group who condemned the Son of God to death by misinterpreting that very Law.
There is a reality in the Bible that suggests that the Christian religious experience is based in truth. This occurred because the Great deceiver tampered with the reality of truth, supplanting it with virtual truth. Virtual truth is preference based, and those who live according to this virtual gospel prefer to stay where they are. When informed that they need to “turn off” their surreal world they refuse to acknowledge they are wrong. The world of this virtual truth is based on the concept of Sola Scriptura, that the Bible alone is the corpus of faith. When advised that it is only in a virtual reality that the Bible has no contradictions, they state quite matter-of-facty, there are no contradictions in the Bible. Those in the world of virtual truth are convinced that faith trumps facts every time, this makes it particularly difficult, even impossible, to have an intelligent discussion with them on spiritual matters. When the Son of Man returns, and He will return, He is not coming to inform those in the world they are living in darkness because He did that two thousand years ago. When the Son of Man comes again He comes to those who have awakened to the fact that they are living in a cleverly constructed virtual reality. Those who realize this then “turn off” their bias, allowing the testimony of Jesus to lead them into the reality of truth, where God dwells. The kingdom of God is light and truth, only those who have found their way out of the darkness (maintained by a virtual reality) will enter the kingdom of God.
A critical component of reliable and true information is that it gives the ability to recognize information detailing foretold events. God has given information concerning the future, and this information only operates within the framework of truth. Consider this statement given by the Son of God to John, James, and Peter on their way down the mountain where He had been transfigured in their presence:
And the disciples put this question to Him, ‘Why do the scribes say then that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True’; He replied ‘Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be; however, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognize him but treated him as they pleased… Matthew 17:9-12 (JB) (underline mine)
Consciousness awareness gives the ability to recognize a person, event, or place. The scribes and religious leaders did not recognize the promised Elijah type prophet. Why? Because their bias prevented it. The disciples realized that their Master was speaking of John the Baptist, when He said “Elijah has come already”. It is His first statement that is most interesting, “Elijah is to come and will restore all things”. Here Jesus gives information concerning a future messenger/prophet that will accomplish the plan for restoration. So it stands to reason that the future Elijah type prophet that will appear at the end of days will be just as unrecognizable to most religious leaders/scholars as was John the Baptist to the scribes and religious leaders in Israel in Jesus’ day.
All of us (human beings) begin our life reality in darkness (please see my article “Escape from Darkness”). Everyone alive today must wake up to the fact that they do not know the truth. Everyone must “turn off” their bias, then learn the truth, or they will never make it into the kingdom of God. Don’t allow bias to dictate what you will believe, or permit spiritual or academic arrogance to keep you a prisoner in the virtual reality of darkness.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul”. Matthew 16:25 (NASB)

We will all be held accountable not only for what we know, but for what we refused to know. A soul/heart that contains bias that prefers lies over truth will be lost to oblivion; it will be as if it had never been. The second death is the payment for refusing to believe and practice the truth. Don’t think for a moment that you will be rewarded for just any unshakable and immovable faith/belief. Only those who have fidelity to truth will receive eternal life.
The text in Matthew 12:37 reveals that the fruits of the righteous are righteous words; therefore, by our words we will be acquitted, or by our words we will be condemned. Our words must be the truth to be righteous. Lying words delivered with the best intentions, for the best reasons, have no redeeming qualities and no place among the righteous; lies are not the words of righteousness.
Do you value your heart/soul/consciousness awareness? Do you want to receive eternal life? If you do, then you must lay aside your bias and learn the truth. The truth is always confirmed by the Law, Prophets, and the testimony of Jesus. Any testimony, gospel, or message that is not in complete and total compliance with these three standards is to be discarded forever. Remember, the Bible does contain the words of God, but it is of itself not the Word of God from cover to cover. Compare the teachings of Paul, James, and unnamed, or pseudonymous authors in the “New Testament” and you will see that they are not in compliance with the testimony of Jesus, and changed the wording of texts quoted from the Law. Matthew, Mark, and John are the only eyewitness testimony that can be considered as valid. Luke was not an eyewitness, and his account is not in agreement with the eyewitnesses testimony. Mark was not an eyewitness, but he was an associate of Peter, who was an eyewitness. Mark’s account is consistent with the eyewitness testimony of Matthew and John.
Part II of this article will take a look at the teaching of the Son of Man concerning the education and qualification of the human consciousness (spirit/soul) to know God in fact and not in faith. It will show what He meant by His statement, “You must be born of the water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God” and , “The true worshipers will worship in spirit and truth”.

Rick Sterling

Don’t Be Fooled Again

DON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN
Sage advice and intuitive discerning lyrics are applauded for their revelations of cultural paradigms and human propensities. Lyrics like those from the mind of Pete Townsend, of “The Who”, recognizing that “change” is just the same thing dressed in different clothes. “So we get down on our knees and pray, we won’t get fooled again”. History testifies to the fact that the mistakes of the fathers, are more often than not, repeated by their children.
Like a dog that returns to its vomit, is a fool that repeats his folly. Proverbs 26:11(NASB)
The whole of humanity continues on the highway of fools. It would be irrational to say: If I had been alive in the time of Noah, I would have been on the ark. If I had been alive at the time of the exodus, I would not have grumbled, nor would I have questioned the motives of God, or worshiped the golden calf. If I had been a live at the time of the prophets, I would have listened to them and taken a stand on their behalf. If I had been alive at the time of Christ, I would have been one of His followers. I would not have abandoned Him upon His arrest. I would not have called for His crucifixion. But you were not alive then, you are alive now; now is your opportunity to do what you say you would have done.
‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who build the sepulchers of the prophets and decorate the tombs of holy men, saying, “We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our fathers’ day”. So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the sons of those who murdered the prophets! Very well then, finish off the work that your fathers began. Matthew 23:29-32(JB)
The common denominator throughout the generations of human-kind is a complete lack of knowledge of the truth about God. The ability to recognize the elements of an expected event is subject to the voracity of the current information at the time of the event. Consider this answer that the Son of God gave for the reason the scribes and Pharisees dismissed Him as the One, the expected Messiah.
And the disciples put this question to Him, ‘Why do the scribes say then that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True;’ He replied ‘Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be; however, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognize him but treated him as they pleased; and the Son of Man will suffer similarly at their hands’ The disciples understood then that He had been speaking of John the Baptist. Matthew 17:10-13(JB)
Recognition depends upon the truthfulness of the information and the ability to rightly understand it. A degree from an institution of higher learning is no guarantee your understanding is trustworthy or even accurate.
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 “Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Matthew 10:25-27(NASB)
34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:34(NASB)
27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Matthew 11:27(NASB)
These are a sample of many texts which convey the importance, the necessity, to know God; therefore it is necessary to study all the information God has been pleased to give us, that we may acquire the knowledge to know Him. God has certain requirements and expectations which are revealed by this information. God provided this information to His prophets, including the last, and greatest Prophet, His only begotten Son. All the required information we will be held accountable for, is contained in the “Law and the Prophets”, and the testimony of Jesus.
Two thousand years have passed since the Son of God delivered His testimony, how certain can we be that His testimony remains trustworthy? The testimony of Jesus, the message/teaching He gave to His twelve disciples, is one of the distinguishing features of the “last of the offspring of the woman; those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17). The testimony of Jesus is the “Eternal Gospel” (see Revelation 14:6). The testimony of Jesus is the “Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 24:14). An “eternal gospel” never changes, is never lost, it remains forever. The significance and application of this eternal gospel, this testimony of Jesus, provides the required information to pass from death into life, and to enter the kingdom of God. The gospel of the kingdom explains what we need to know, to know God.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3(NASB)
The preparation of the 144,000(Revelation 7:3, 4) comes to light in the time just prior to the great tribulation. The Son of God revealed to His disciples that this preparatory process would began in the days leading up to His return (Matthew 24:42-51). Absent from this process, is a specific “face to face” calling of the person described as the “faithful and trustworthy bond-servant”. This person is the one foretold by the Son of Man, as the “Elijah” who would accomplish the restoration (see Matthew 17:11). He, like John the Baptist, would not have a “face to face” call from God. He would learn everything from the study of the record of His eyewitness’s testimony. This person is described as “the head of the house” and has the responsibility of feeding his fellow bond-servants. This food is the testimony/words of the Son of Man, which He received from His Father; it is the seed He “planted” in His disciples. Two of His disciples, Matthew and John, wrote down the words of His testimony, and these words have been preserved by God for the appointed time lf the end.
13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. John 16:13-15(NASB)
25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding 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 said to you. John 14:25-26(NASB)
The Son of God did not leave us alone upon His return to His Father, His sent His Mother, the Holy Spirit, to not only preserve His testimony, but to teach those willing to listen to the words of His testimony. This is not Mary, I am speaking of, it is the Holy Spirit of God who is responsible for this. The Holy Spirit is described in Revelation 12 as a woman in the heavens. This woman is about to give birth; she gives birth to a male child who is caught up into the heavens and sits on God’s throne to rule the kingdom of God.
“I gazed into the visions of the night. And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a Son of Man. He came to the one of great age and was led into His presence. On Him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship (given a kingdom), and men of all peoples, nations and languages became His servants. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will His kingdom ever be destroyed. Daniel 7:13,14 (JB)
At the time of the end this same woman gives birth again, to the last of her offspring, these are those who keep the commandments of God and have/hold to the testimony of Her Son. If you really do not believe that the testimony of Jesus is reliable because of its age, then you cannot believe resolve of God. This resolve is to ultimately and finally cleanse the earth of all impurity/sin/rebellion. God will accomplish this in a lawful manner. The testimony of His Son, put into practice, is the only lawful way for this to be accomplished. This is the reason why the evil one has, is, and will continue to make the testimony of Jesus of little, to no affect. The writings of Matthew and John, as well as that of Mark, must take precedence over every other writer since the Son of Man went back into the heavens. To know the truth about God, we must learn from His students/disciples. We must listen to the words as the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. If we turn our back to the truth, we are turning our back on God, for God is truth. The testimony of Jesus is the guidebook to follow along the narrow way that leads to the kingdom of the Father. Jesus does not carry, drag, or push us; He accompanies us through the presence of His Spirit.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil; And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed; but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’ John 3:19-21(JB).
It is vital that we learn what God expects us to know concerning our salvation and to enter His kingdom. He has warned us about the believability of imposters, posers who cunningly pass themselves off as the Messiah, or an apostle or prophet; these are deemed “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. The warning we have been given should not be treated casually. There is a conviction among Christians that those who worship God, go to church, live a “good” Christian life, cannot be deceived, don’t be fooled, our only protection comes from knowing the truth. Lies are the home of all that is evil. To believe a lie is to give your assent to this world, the kingdom of darkness. God does not hold you accountable until you have heard the truth; which then enables you to make right choices.
‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false Revelation 2:2(NASB)
Confidence is good thing when we know the facts in evidence. Confidence can be lethal when we merely believe or assume, even if everyone else we know shares the same belief. Christians believe that every word, verse, chapter and book in the Bible is divinely inspired, is there evidence that would confirm this belief? The evidence I have found has demonstrated that God does not “protect” His word from alteration.
“How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie. Jeremiah 8:8(NASB)
The law of the Lord, here stated, is the first five books in the Bible. God spoke the words of the Law to Moses on Mt. Horeb. The lying pen of the scribes was their interpretation of its intent or meaning. The parable of the planting of the “wheat and tares” describes the believability of lies introduced/planted by the devil, insinuating a sense of certainty, by giving humanity what they desire, not what they need. As the parable describes, the field is the world. The good seed represents the sons of the kingdom (kingdom of God). The bad (tares) seed represent the sons of the devil. The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. Both grasses are allowed to grow until harvest, as this is when the distinctive differences will be clearly evident. The reason the tares were allowed to grow to maturity the differences would be clearly evident. Prior to harvest, some of the wheat could have been uprooted. So it appears that by allowing both to grow together until harvest, allowed the tares to protect the wheat from premature removal. You are what you eat; seed is both for planting and eating. The seed the Son of Man planted represent the words He spoke (His testimony). His disciples, by representation, ate these words and grew into plants bearing fruit; the fruit are the grains of wheat.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36 “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37(NASB)
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matthew 13:23(NASB)
This parables use of the symbols of seed and sower, help us to understand the meaning of the symbol, seed and sower, and then how the devil imitates the action of the Sower. The soil represents the world. The soil (people of the world) receive the food/seed of both who scattered seed. It is evident that the words of both are represented by seed that is sown. At the time when the wheat reaches full maturity the grains of the tares have an observable difference. The record of the words/testimony of the Son of God is contained in Matthew, Mark, and John. Luke was not a disciple of Jesus, nor an eyewitness to His ministry. Luke’s account does not agree with any eyewitness and is therefore unreliable.
If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him; only those who keep to what He taught can have the Father and the Son with them. If anyone comes to you bringing a different doctrine, your must not receive him in your house or even give him a greeting. To greet him would make you a partner in his wicked work. 2John 9-11(JB)
The standard of truth is the testimony of Jesus any teaching that differs in any way from the teaching of the Son of God, is a lie. Paul’s teaching is markedly different; by his own admission His “gospel” was different from that of the two disciples, Peter and John. He scolds the membership in Galatia, in his letter to them.
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6-10(NASB)
Compare the gospel of the kingdom, Jesus testimony He received from His Father, with the teaching of Paul, and you will see they are completely different. The “gospel of the kingdom” is the “eternal gospel” proclaimed by the first angel (see Revelation 14). Jesus taught obedience to the commandments was a requirement for anyone to receive eternal life (see Matthew 19:16-22). Paul taught salvation by faith operating through grace, not by keeping the law (Ten Commandments). In the text of the letter to the Galatians, Paul calls down a curse on the Son of God, how; because the Son of God preached a different gospel then Paul did. It is not the purpose of this article to thoroughly vet all the differences between the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of grace. Do your own research, compare the teaching/words of the Son of Man with the teaching/words of Paul, and you will see that Revelation 2:2 applies to this self-proclaimed apostle.
God expects righteousness; a righteousness that is real and not gifted. The narrow gate and the hard way is the way of the righteous. This is not because it is too hard to be righteous; righteousness is a way of living, just as sinfulness is. The difficult part is the persecution and ridicule brought upon these by the “faith/grace” group. The Ten Commandments are the covenant of love, the marriage covenant, between God and His people/kingdom. To break one of these commands is to break the marriage vow. God understands and forgives, His loving kindness is everlasting. He will not allow repeated disobedience.
There is a difference between lawful and legal, between law abiding and legalistic. Look up the difference between “common law” and “Roman civil law”. Common law is best summed up by the counsel, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Civil law is legislated and is codified by a committee of elected or nonelected officials. The Catholic Church during the dark ages is a prime example of authoritative Roman civil law.
When a person comes to the understanding of the fact that they are a sinner, and as such are dwelling in darkness, they must choose whether to remain a sinner or to become holy. If the choice is to become holy, the first step is to pray for God’s guidance and instruction. The Spirit of truth will lead us into all truth; this is how the sanctification process is accomplished. Every unrighteous element will be made known to the sinner and they must confess each sin and God will forgive that which has been confessed completely, and will grant each penitent sinner cleansing, and strengthen each one along the way to holiness and the kingdom of God.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30(NASB)
Jesus testimony contains a clear warning that all must take great care to keep from being deceived.
And Jesus answered them, ‘Take care that no one deceives you; because many will come using My name and saying, “I am the Christ”, and they will deceive many. Matthew 24:4(JB)
Not all who claim to be preaching for the cause of Christ are being truthful; only those who are proclaiming His words, the words He spoke in the presence of His chosen disciples. Many self-proclaimed apostles have come along after Christ returned to His Father; all are frauds. Only those who uphold and preach the words of the testimony of Jesus are serving Him as He instructed. Anyone who promotes and teaches a different message than the one recorded by the eyewitness disciples, are lying and blaspheming the word of God. Each individual is responsible for what they choose to accept as truth. Only those who are honest with themselves will know and recognize cleverly designed deceptive teachings.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, not figs from thistles, are they? “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “ A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20(NASB)
Here the key is offered, the key to knowing who is telling the truth regarding the source of their message, their fruit. Quite simply, the fruit of truth is true, the source of all that is true is God. God gave His Son a message for the sons of men, we need to learn the words of His testimony and plant them in our heart where they will take root, sprout and grow to maturity. The words of the Son of God are seeds of truth, they are the fruits of His testimony. The words of the great deceiver are seeds of treachery; he is the source of all that is not true. The Son of God uses the example of plants producing fruit. A grape vine will always yield grapes; a thorn bush will never yield grapes. A good tree and a bad tree, each tree bears fruit. The source of truth, represented by the good tree, is the Son of God, followed by His disciples. The source of lies, the bad tree, is the evil one, also called the enemy; he also has disciples/apostles. Someone who is not honest with themselves will say this; the fruit of both trees is good; because they are growing side by side in the same orchard. They confirm this conviction by the belief that God would never allow anything bad in this particular orchard; because he owns the orchard. This conviction is held by everyone who has determined in their own mind that every word in the bible has come from God alone. In this example the bible is the orchard, God is the good tree, and the evil one is the bad. If you are honest with yourself, take a close look at the teachings in the “New Testament” and compare all teaching included there, you will see without a doubt that the teaching of Paul differs completely from the testimony of Jesus. The only evidence offered in support of Paul are his own words and the words of his followers Luke and Apollos (who may have been the author of Hebrews).
He put another parable before them, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off….Matthew 1324-25(JB)
Then, leaving the crowds, He went to the house; and His disciples came to Him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us’. He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Nam. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil…Matthew 13:36-39(JB)
This parable concurs with my illustration above, the seeds of wheat are good; the seeds of darnel/tares are bad. The bad seed is planted after the good, and after the sower had gone away. This illustrates that the work of the devil planting the seeds of deceit after the Son of Man left the earth and returned to His Father. The seeds of darnel were scattered among the wheat, not separate from them. The angel messengers asked if they should remove the darnel, but were told to let both grow until harvest (the end of the age), because some of the wheat may be uprooted along with the darnel. At the end of the age the darnel is collected first; so it is, at the end of days, the fruit of the bad seed is piled up for destruction. It would stand to reason, that the Bible contains both good and bad seed. The words of God and the words of the enemy/devil have been allowed to “grow” together until the harvest (end of days) when the fruit of the evil one is clearly differentiated from the fruit of the Son of Man. What this means, this growing together, is those who eat the words planted by the Son of Man represent the wheat. Those who eat the words planted by the enemy are the darnel/tares. Don’t be fooled, not all words in the bible are words of life, some are words of death. All words/seeds planted prior to the testimony of the Son of Man are trustworthy, only those “planted” after He returned to His Father in the heavens are deadly.
God the Father gave His Son the words of truth, and sent Him to this world to testify to the truth about God. Since that time there has never been a need for any other prophet, messenger, or apostle with a different message, more words, clearer meaning or interpretation. All who have claimed or represented themselves as having received information which God has instructed them to give to the “church” or a certain group etc. are frauds. Only those who uphold the words, the teaching of the Son of Man are to be trusted. The Son of Man gave us all the information we need to receive eternal life, anything else is eternal death.
7 “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. John 17:7-10 and 20-21(NASB)
I believe that this prayer may have been offered on the night of His arrest. What amazes me is that even though the Son of God knew what He was about to endure for the sake of the righteous and righteousness, He was concerned about what would become of His words, those precious words of life which He gave to His disciples. And in this prayer He asks His Father to bless those who read his words that His disciples (Matthew, John, and Peter-through Mark) that His words will be preserved so that all who listen to them, at any time in the future, that they will be made one with He and the Father, just as they are one. The words of the Father, as given to us by His Son are most precious, more precious than gold, platinum, diamonds, or anything of value, for they are the words that give eternal life.
Now is the time to prove what you would have done if you had been there, at the time of the flood, at the time of the exodus, during the days of the prophets, at the time of the testimony of the Son of God. Don’t be counted among those who are fooled again.
Rick Sterling

The Kingdom of Heaven Trust

And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:17 (NASB)

 

The dragon: This is the first time the dragon symbol appears in “The Revelation”.  We are told this dragon is the “the serpent of old”, who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the inhabited earth.  He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels with him.  He is the “ruler of angels”, those who dwell in the abyss (see Revelation 9:11).

The elements/composition of this symbol reveal it’s characteristics.  The dragon represents the kingdom of the rebellious angels, those who waged war against Michael and His angels in the heavens.  The red color represents the bloodshed for which this kingdom is responsible; it is the kingdom of the dead.  The seven heads represent the council of seven demons who administer this evil empire, and their master is Lucifer, the ruler of the kingdom of the world. The ten horns represent the ten divisions/kingdoms on the earth, and under the control of this dragon/beast.

 

The Woman:  There are different opinions as to the meaning of the symbol of the woman, clothed with the light from the east (rising sun), moon under her feet, crown of twelve stars on her head.  One hypothesis is that she represents Mary, the mother of Jesus.  This is disproved by the fact that Mary died; therefore she would not be able to give birth to offspring at the end of time, as recorded in Revelation 12:17. This representation is primarily that of the Catholic Church.  The protestant Christian believers associate this symbol as the Christian Church, and the offspring are the believers, “people of faith”.  When questioned about the identity of this Woman, one zealous “believer”, who had informed me that I was completely in error in my understanding, could not explain how both the Woman and her offspring could represent the same thing i.e. the church.  He informed me that the woman was the institution (denomination), and the offspring were the membership. I asked him how the church buildings could represent the woman and the membership her offspring.  His answers kept going around in circles, and as far as he was concerned, he had proved me wrong beyond any doubt.

When it comes to interpreting symbols used in the prophecies, we must let the words of God give the explanation.  Jesus told Nicodemus that before anyone would enter the kingdom of God he must be born from above.  Being born from above is a two step process and when both steps have been completed the individual is a new being; in essence they have been born anew.  When we enter this world for the first time we enter through the doorway of our mother’s birth canal.  We develop according to the blueprint of our DNA; therefore we are flesh and blood mortals.  When we are born from above we exit the physical realm and enter the spiritual realm.  The kingdom of God is in the spiritual realm.  This process is accomplished through the following two steps, and each is a baptism.  The first baptism is through water, the second is through fire.  The water cleanses the outside and prepares the individual for the cleansing of their inside/heart.  The fire cleansing is a cleansing of the spirit; it is the removal of lies.  The kingdom of the world/darkness is built upon, sustained, and maintained through lies.  The fire cleansing is also described as sanctification/consecration.  The end result of these two baptisms is purity/righteousness/holiness.   John the Baptist’s message was this, repent and be baptized for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand.  His message included these two baptisms.

 

I baptize you in water for repentance, but the one who follows me is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to carry His sandals; He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11)(JB)

 

Everything that has the corruption of unrighteousness must be cleansed, first with water then with fire.  We are told in Genesis chapter six that the condition of humankind before the flood was evil, and that they were beyond reconciliation. Because of this the Elohim resolved to cleanse the whole earth by the waters of a great flood.  Noah was righteous; therefore it would not be just to destroy him with the wicked, unless he chose to accompany them.  The cleansing waters of the great flood were for the purpose of removing all unrighteousness from the face of the earth; more specifically, all unrighteous flesh and blood (mortals).  The rebellious angels, who were the gods of this world, would not face their final judgment until the coming of the second cleansing, which is the second death.

 

The Nephilim were on the earth at that time (and even afterwards) when the sons of God resorted to the daughters of man, and had children by them. These are the heroes of days gone by, the famous men. (Genesis 6:11)(JB)

 

The sanctuary is the sacred precinct where the sanctification process is visually described and actually accomplished.  The children of Israel had a specific mandate to restrain transgression, make an end of sin, make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy (see Daniel 9:24). It would be through the functions of the sanctuary that they were to learn how this process would be accomplished.  First, the priests had to accomplish the requirements of dedication of the Sanctuary; this required the application of the blood of a specific sacrifice.  Then they had to daily wash themselves with the water from the bronze laver (water baptism), put on linen garments (so they would not sweat) and offer the morning and evening sacrifice on the bronze altar (fire cleansing).  These two articles of furniture were in the outer court of the Sanctuary. It is the outer court of the sanctuary that is the visual demonstration of the sanctification process on earth.  In the fulfillment of this process the Son of God was first baptized with water, then He delivered the true testimony He received from His Father, then his Father put Him to death.  His sacrifice was the payment for redemption; and with His blood He purchased the holy people (saints).

All sinners are slaves of sin; they belong to the lord of sin, the evil one.  When a sinner has completed the sanctification process, this process through which they become holy in fact, they are no longer sinners, yet they still belong to the lord of this world, because the evil one has a claim of ownership upon them.  When the man and woman disobeyed their Creator’s specific command to not eat from the forbidden tree, they subjected themselves to a dept.  They were to be put to death by their God “on that very day”, but their God did not carry out His promised judgment.  This debt was paid in full by their eldest brother, Jesus the Messiah. The final judgment is the second death; this payment will be made by all who choose to remain unrighteous.  The second death is the required payment (the judgment) for all who remain sinful after the close of the time of opportunity.  God is the executioner who carries out the required second death.  This is the fire cleansing of the earth, after which there will be no corruption on the earth.  The earth will be sanctified and returned to its former glory.  There is no resurrection for those whom God has put to death.  The first death is a type of sleep, all who have died have “fallen asleep”, and they will be awakened at one of two resurrections.  The first resurrection is to awaken the righteous, the second to awaken the wicked. The dead arise from the grave to be put to death by God, this is the second death.  Satan and the evil angels who joined him in rebellion against God, are also put to death.  The second death is symbolized by the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:14).  When God put His Son to death it was for payment for the righteous, it did not purchase the ungodly.  Those who complete the requirements of righteousness are therefore purchased by the blood of the slain Lamb of God.  They are no longer slaves of sin, for they no longer sin (see Matthew 3:15 and John 8:34-36).  When the individual meets all the requirements of righteousness, they are born from above through the Holy Spirit, who is now their heavenly Mother.  The Woman described in Revelation 12 is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.  When we have been cleansed of all corruption and lies we are holy, there is no lie in our mouth (see Revelation 14:5).  When we no longer sin we are righteous in fact.  All previous sinners who have learned the truth and now practice the deeds of righteousness, are born of the Woman described in Revelation 12.  The offspring of this Woman are children of God, God the Father is their Father, God the Holy Spirit is their Mother, and God the Son is their eldest brother – they are in the family of God.  Here is a picture that I have in my mind: In this picture I see my Father; I want to show my love for Him by doing what He has asked;  my Brother the Son of God/Son of Man, is in the heavens waiting for me to accomplish what He commissioned all His disciples to accomplished before He would return to those who hold to His testimony; my Mother (the Holy Spirit) is here on earth with me, to comfort, teach, and encourage me; our Mother is saying, “Dinner is ready, finish the chores your elder Brother left for you to do, then come and eat”.  Of course, this is only a picture in my mind, but it is based upon what I have learned from the words of God. I know that God does not lie.  You have the option of participating in the process, if you are willing to commit to it.  Be honest with yourself – acknowledge that you must be cleansed from all sin, all unrighteousness, and become holy.  Our eldest brother showed us what must be done and what we must accomplish by doing it Himself (Rev. 3:21).  He told us the truth, and we must listen to Him.  He was victorious; He showed us how to be victorious.  The victorious children of God will receive the same reward their oldest Brother received; they will sit on the throne of God right beside Him.

 

Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears Me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him. Those who prove victorious I will allow to share My throne, just as I was victorious Myself and took My place with My Father on His throne. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the assemblies. (Revelation 3:20-22)(JB)

 

The offspring:  These are those who “keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus”.

Revelation 12:2,5 indicates that the firstborn of the Woman is the Son of God. When Jesus (the firstborn) had accomplished His purpose on earth in demonstrating righteousness He went to heaven to sit on the throne with His Father.  The Woman who gave Him spiritual birth (or birth into the spiritual realm), remained here on earth to continue the work of Her Son. This Woman could not be Mary ‘the mother of Jesus’, because Mary is not a ‘sign in the heavens’ – she is dead.  Jesus fulfilled the two requirements that the Law of righteousness demanded; He was born of the water (baptized), and then born of the Spirit (sanctified).  The sanctification process in which the Son of God participated was (for Him) not a cleansing from sin, because He had no sin in Him.  What the sanctification process did for Him was prove beyond doubt that He had no sin in Him.  This is demonstrated by the fact that even though His Father put Him to death as the Lamb that was slain, He rose from death (see Rev. 5:6).  The only time God puts someone (anyone) to death is to carry out a requirement of the Law (discussed previously).  If one is put to death by God but is not guilty of committing sin (innocent under the Law) they will not remain dead forever. It is for this reason the Son of God did not remain dead, but arose from the grave in which He was buried. Jesus received the penalty required by the Law of God for sin and sinner, and then being found innocent by the heavenly court He qualified to transfer His payment of the second death to those who were born into sin, but who had learned and practiced righteousness.

The easiest way to describe the action of this process is through the example and operation of a TRUST. A trust is both a legal and lawful entity that is operated by a Trustee for (in the name of) a Beneficiary, and is established by a TRUSTOR, who is often called the MAKER.  The boundaries of a TRUST are established through BY LAWS, called a COVENANT, and indicate how, for whom, and in what manner the trust is operated.

Adam and Eve were the first members of The Kingdom of the Heavens; but they disobeyed God in Eden. Then God, in His mercy, established the Kingdom of the Heavens TRUST. God established this Trust for the purpose of providing a way for His Kingdom to PASSOVER eternal death to eternal life. The by laws of this Trust with His Kingdom is via a Covenant, called the 10 Commandments (Deut. 4:13). God then placed in this Trust the payment for the penalty of death which was incurred by the original members of this Kingdom; Adam and Eve, and their spiritual descendents.  The death of the Lamb of God was the payment of the penalty for the eternal death of those in the Kingdom of the Heavens who inherited this death penalty. In this case the second death payment is placed in this trust, and will be used for all who qualify; “Those that keep the commandments of God, and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17).

The “Lambs Book of Life” is the record of all who are INSIDE this Kingdom, and qualify to be able to utilize this penalty payment.  This book is the one with seven seals (Rev. 6). These seven seals are opened as each required element of the TRUST is accomplished.  The first requirement is that there is someone of the same type of being, in this case flesh and blood human, who qualifies to receive the book from the right hand of the Father. Only the ONE who qualifies by Sanctification is able to unlock the seals and open book/scroll.  Inside this book are recorded the names of all humankind who have lived, or will live, on this earth. The trust account is accessed by all those whose names are in the book, they are the beneficiaries of the trust.  What is immediately apparent about this process is that the Son of God did not come to save sinners in their sin, which has been described by Paul as salvation through grace in accordance with faith. NO! The Son of God came to save the righteous of HIS Kingdom, so they would not be required to pay a debt they inherited; therefore they no longer owe the debt of the second death.  Those who refuse to learn and practice righteousness will pay the penalty of wickedness.  Unfortunately many who believe in God and Jesus will be put to death because they refused to listen to His words of warning.  These will refuse to accept that Jesus would put anyone to death, because this is what the have been taught. However, it is ONLY by righteous action that a person becomes righteous, not by asking for a gift of righteousness through grace, then believing with all their heart, mind, and soul, that they are safe from the second death.  You are not born from above while continuing to sin.  You are born from above after learning the way of righteousness and living by its requirements.

The Woman, the Holy Spirit, was sent to earth by Jesus to preserve the words of the testimony of Her Son.  The dragon was intent on destroying any evidence of this testimony, and would have succeeded, if not for the Holy Spirit.  We have today the testimony of three reliable witnesses to the testimony of the Son of God; Matthew, Mark, and John.  Mark may or may not have been an eyewitness, but he certainly associated with those who were eyewitnesses. It is commonly understood that Mark wrote from the testimony of the disciple Peter, in a recounting of his time spent with his Master.  Luke was never a disciple of Jesus. He does not cite the names of any of his “witnesses”, and his accounts dispute and contradict those of the eyewitness disciples.  It is my conviction that Luke and Paul were used by the dragon (Satan) in an attempt to rid the world of the true testimony of the Son of God.

The Woman fled into the “wilderness” away from the reach of the dragon (Rev. 12:6).  During this time there was no Kingdom of the Heavens on earth.  The mandate for restoration would be accomplished in an entirely different manner. Previously, the plan was for the children of Israel to learn righteousness, and become a righteous kingdom. Then their Messiah/King would come and take His seat upon the throne of David, and rule His kingdom.  All the other kingdoms would see the fruits of righteousness and come to learn how to become righteous and enter this wonderful kingdom.  All who were willing to comply with the requirements would be welcomed with open arms into the kingdom of God.  Time ran out for the children of Israel.  Their Messiah did come to them, not because they had finally learned righteousness, but because their time had run out.  The two prophecies that describe this are Daniel chapter eight and nine.  Chapter eight reveals the restarting of the services of the sanctuary on behalf of the Kingdom of the Heavens.  Chapter nine determines the final time for the children of Israel.  Final because if they fail to accomplish the requirements of righteousness they will lose their invitation/opportunity to do so (see Matthew 21:33-43).

When the 2300 evenings and mornings had passed the sanctuary in Heaven began operation on behalf of the Kingdom of the Heavens.  These were those who answered the “wedding feast” invitation; this invitation went out to all who would agree to the specific requirements listed in it. The time came, and a great many went out to meet the Bridegroom (see Matthew 25:1-5).  In their exuberance to go to heaven, they were careless in their interpretation of the scriptural material.  They believed, as do Christians today, that salvation is a gift of grace.  They had not taken the time to learn righteousness; none had been born from above – no one has been born again.  If the Bridegroom had come (at that time) He would have had to put to death all who were not righteous, and that was everyone.  The reason He was delaying His coming, and continues to delay today, is because He is waiting for His Kingdom to learn the truth.  When the truth is known, understood, and put into practice those who will be in His Kingdom will be sanctified through the operation of the Sanctuary in the heavens.  When there is a group of people on earth who are perfected in righteousness, then and only then will the Master return. This coming is not the one everyone is expecting in which ‘every eye shall see Him’. This is when He comes as a thief in the night (Rev.3:3).  All who are awake, prepared, and righteous will see Him; the rest will miss it.  This group are the servants (see Matthew 24:42-51), the faithful and sensible servant (the promised Elijah type prophet, Matthew 17:11) and his fellow servants, will welcome their Master when He returns.  At that time their Master will send them to awaken the sleeping kingdom, represented as ten bridesmaids (see Matthew 25:1-13).

The Son of God explains the sequential flow of events leading up to the appearance of the unified world, represented as a beast coming up out of the sea (see Revelation 13).  The first way-point was the assemblage of people from all over the world, who answered God’s invitation to come to the marriage feast of His Son; this is the invitation to enter His kingdom.  It is necessary to enter the Kingdom in order to attend the marriage feast.  The Law and Prophets reveal that this invitation was, in fact, the offer to the children of Israel to become the kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of the Heavens consists of two parts.  The first part is represented by the outer court, and is the preparation of the people for entrance into the Kingdom of God.  This preparation entails the removing of corruption/sin, also known as sanctification/consecration.  The expected outcome of this process is righteousness and purity.  Those who are in the process of sanctification are in the Kingdom of the Heavens.  Those who have completed this process become members of the Kingdom of God.  The children of Israel in the wilderness were the Kingdom of the Heavens, and they never attained to the consecration that was required to be the Kingdom of God.  Time ran out for them and they were no longer a kingdom at all.

The twenty-three hundred evenings and mornings prophecy (Daniel 8:14), reveals a period of time given which specifically details the sanctuary operation.  The connection with the prophecy of Daniel 9:22-25 is made by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. The seventy weeks/490 year period had almost ended; the Messiah had come and began His testimony in the middle year (Wednesday year) of the final seven year period in 30 CE.  By the end of that year the privilege of the kingdom had to be taken away from them, it would be given to another people (see Matthew 21:43).  The remaining time from the prophecy would end in 1843-44 C.E.  From 30 C.E. to 1843-44 C.E. there was no Kingdom of the Heavens on the earth.  The information upon which the coming Kingdom would be built was preserved and protected from the attacks of the dragon in the wilderness, in the years leading up to 1843-44 C.E. This preserved truth came out of the wilderness, so to speak, with the availability and accessibility of the Scriptures; the Woman had come out of the wilderness.  The ten bridesmaids took this newly acquired information and determined that there would be a prophetic fulfillment of the 2300 years in 1843-44 CE.  In their exuberance they were somewhat careless in their interpretations of the prophecies.  The Son of God had revealed to His disciples the specifics of this event (see Matthew 25:1-5).  It is interesting to note that the Son of God revealed that these people had misunderstood the prophecy and would experience a great disappointment. It is truly interesting and revealing what He calls these people, and shows that this parable is also a prophecy:

 

At that time the kingdom of the heavens will be like this… (Matthew 25:1)

 

I underlined the name He calls them, the Kingdom of the Heavens.  Remember, the Kingdom of the Heavens is a people who are in the process of sanctification/consecration.  This process requires a functioning sanctuary, with a High Priest.  The prophecy of the 2300 years reveals that at the end of this time period the sanctuary will be properly restored; but this sanctuary is in the heavens; because that is where the High Priest dwells.

The ten bridesmaids went out to meet the Bridegroom in 1844 CE, but because He was delaying His coming He did not appear as expected.  The kingdom waited, and waited, and waited, and eventually fell asleep.  This is the point where the activity of the bondservants begins (Matthew 24:42-51).

 

And the disciples put this question to Him, ‘Why do the scribes say then that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True;’ He replied ‘Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be… Matthew 17:10-11 (JB)

 

The underlined portion shows that the Son of God reveals that the coming of an Elijah type prophet is in the future.  Jesus goes on to say that Elijah has already come and they did not recognize him.  His disciples realized He was speaking of John the Baptist.  So there are two Elijah type prophets connected with the time period of the 2300 years, each appearing just prior to the end of time for the current Kingdom of the Heavens.  The end of the 2300 years prophecy was a beginning for the current Kingdom of the Heavens that is in existence today.  This shows that it is the beginning of the time of the end, right now.

 

He approached the place where I was standing; as he approached I was seized with terror, and fell prostrate. ‘Son of man,’ he said to me ‘understand this; the vision shows the time of the End’. Daniel 8:17 (JB)

 

The fact that the Bridegroom is delaying His coming is proof that He plans to return.  The next event that was prophesied to take place is the activity of the Faithful and Sensible bondservant.  This person will start his/her ministry much like John the Baptist did.  It seems that John was not given a specific message to preach. The one who told him to go and baptize only said how he would recognize the Lamb of God (see John 1:33).

The Elijah type prophet at the end of time will not be asleep with the rest of the Kingdom.  At some point he will make a discovery that will, at long last, result in the final judgment and the restoration of all things.  He will uphold the testimony of Jesus as the standard of truth, by stating that all other testimony must be in complete agreement with the Master’s testimony; that any testimony that goes beyond it is a lie.  He will “give his fellow servants their food” for it is the proper time (see Matthew 24:45).  When the time has come for the end of the delay the Master of that servant will return to His household and to see if he has complied with his mandate.  When the Master comes to His servants, the Kingdom of the Heavens is sound asleep.  The placement in the prophecy is chronological, even though it may appear at first that it is not.  The reason that the account of the bridesmaids who go out to meet the Bridegroom, follows after the account of the bondservants, is to explain why they are asleep.

The chronological sequence is as follows: The bridesmaids/kingdom take their lamps (prophecies) and determine a specific year and day for the expected return.  The year and day arrives and the Bridegroom does not come as expected. The Kingdom becomes drowsy and falls asleep. Some time after they are all sound asleep an individual awakens them (cry at midnight), and starts to work on behalf of his Master, who is the Son of God.  This Faithful and Sensible bondservant discovers that learning, living, and sharing the testimony of Jesus is the activity of a disciple of the Son of God.  This activity continues until the end of the delay (see Revelation 10:6).  The Master comes to his household and finds His servants ready.  He then sends them to awaken sleeping Kingdom (see Matthew 25:6).  Those in the kingdom who have the oil of the Holy Spirit, will receive the message given by the servants, and they will prepare for entry into the kingdom of God (they will be sanctified). Then the golden censer is cast down.

The casting down of the censer effectively ends the sanctification process conducted in the Sanctuary in the Heavens.  The sanctification process is transferred to the earth.  It is the holy people (Kingdom of God and 144,000) who conduct this process on the earth (see Revelation 19:7-8). They are the first fruits of the Kingdom of the Heavens; the first of all those that will be able to avail themselves of the Trust account set aside in the name of their King for the Kingdom of the Heavens, which will pay the penalty for that Kingdom, and move that Kingdom from eternal death to eternal life.

 

Rick Sterling

 

         

 

 

 

~HIDDEN MEANINGS ~

          As with most of my writing this article concerns construction and destruction, life and death.  Words are the “building blocks” used in the construction, and they are the “food” for our state of being.  Words of truth will build a building that will last forever.  Lying words will build a house of cards that will fall in the slightest breeze.  Words of truth give eternal life; lying words bring eternal death.  We have been given the obligation and responsibility to choose which words we will use for our house and being.

          Parables are stories that help those who dwell in the reality of the physical realm to understand reality that exists in the spiritual realm. The parable of the Sower (Matthew 13) is a good example of this.  Here following are listed the physical realm elements and their spiritual realm counterparts.  These symbols from the physical realm are representations of elements for the spiritual realm.

 

The Sower: The Son of Man (Jesus) (see the parable of the wheat and tares beginning in verse 24)

The Seed: The word of the kingdom (verse 19)

The Soil: Anyone who hears these words (verse 19)

The Environment of the Soil (edge of the path/patches of rock/in thorns/rich soil): The outcome of those who hear these words.

 

Why did Jesus not simply come right out and say clearly what He meant, instead of speaking in parables? There is an important reason that explains why Jesus spoke with Hidden Meanings, and it is to ensure that the preservation of the information that Jesus gave to His own disciples will remain fully intact down through the centuries (John 14:26, 17:8, 14, 20).  Jesus spoke in symbols that only the Wise will understand (Dan. 12:10, Matt.13:10-13). This ensures that any tampering of the testimony of Jesus by the enemy will stand out like a sore thumb to those that understand that the phrase ‘words of Jesus’ actually mean ‘His words only’ (John 18:37). The enemies of truth waste no time and spare no effort to change the meanings of the elements and symbols in the parables of Jesus to fit the necessity of their own ‘alternative understanding’ in the writings over which they have control.  Those that have written these ‘alternate understandings’ have done so in a way that is separate and distinct from the words spoken by Jesus to His eyewitness disciples in their gospels, because they think that no one will ever be observant enough to compare these dissimilar versions with the originals to see if there are differences.  Yet, in the Message to the Assembly in Ephesus (Rev.2) Jesus said that this comparison WOULD take place at the end of time, and expose the testimony of false prophets and false apostles to the light of truth. Therefore, this ensures the preservation of the truth through the testimony of the gospels and prophecies of these eyewitnesses (Matthew, Mark and John).  In addition, the mind of the Enemy believes that writing with hidden meanings will also protect his own lies from being discovered.  For example, the seer Nostradamus used quatrains to protect his words from the religious authorities of the time, the Catholic Church.  Many of his quatrains were not at all complementary of the church or its leaders.

Hiding information using codes, symbols, and numbers, is regularly employed by countries, secret societies, and cults.  The parable of the Wheat and Tares is an example of this technique, using disguised information as a preservation technique.  The tares/lies are left to grow alongside the wheat/truth so that the truth is not uprooted with lies before the time of harvest.

So, the reason for speaking with hidden meanings is to allow only those with eyes to see and ears to hear to have the ability to understand what is really being said. This keeps the true information out of the hands of those that would seek to alter it for their own purposes.

The disciples of Jesus asked their Master why He spoke to the people in parables.  He replied, “Because the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has (truth) will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not (truth), even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding” (Matthew 13:10-13).

The Evil One is the master of deception, and he has used a time tested technique that mirrors the truth, but distorts it to his advantage.  He constructs parables and prophecies that closely resemble ones spoken by the Son of Man, but in them he incorporates his own spurious gospel.  There is a vast difference between the words of the Son of Man and those of the Great Deceiver, in that the Son of Man gives you what you need to know, even if it is painful in application, but the Great Deceiver gives you what you want to believe, and makes it easy to follow.  The words of life are the ‘narrow gate and hard road’, and require repentance and cleansing from sin; the end result is true righteousness.  The words of death are the ‘wide gate and the easy way’ that leads to destruction, and require only faith/belief in the gift of salvation through the grace of ‘God’.

Consider that there are two different accounts of the parable of the Narrow gate and Wide gate, iterated in two different gospels.  These two accounts sound similar, but the outcomes are quite different.  Matthew was a disciple of the Son of Man, and wrote down what he heard his Master say.  Luke was not a disciple, and never heard any words first hand from the Son of Man?  He claims to have used witnesses in writing his gospel and Acts, but does not give any by name.  His description of events and the retelling of the teachings of Jesus reveal that his witnesses were not reliable, and more than likely were relating accounts they themselves had “heard” either second or third hand.  Because Luke was a convert of Paul he was duty bound to preserve and maintain the spurious gospel of his close friend, mentor and confidant, Paul.

 

The following accounts alternate between Luke 13:22-30 and Matthew 7:13-23, so that you will be able to note the differences.

 

(Luke) Through towns and villages He went teaching making His way to Jerusalem. Someone said to Him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, “Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.” Luke 13:22-24.

 

(Matthew) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and few there are that find it.” Matt. 7:13-14.

 

Matthew’s account describes a narrow gate and a wide road (note – there is no gate to the wide road in Luke’s account).  The difficulty is not getting through the narrow gate, but in finding it.  Luke does not describe a gate, but a door.  He does not say it is hard to find, but hard to enter.  Matthew records this as being an initial teaching of the Master, and not as an answer to a question, as in Luke.  The question presented in Luke’s account is absurd, and seems wholly out of place.

 

(Matthew) “Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns or figs from thistles? In the same way, a sound tree cannot bear bad fruit nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat you will be able to tell them by their fruits”. Matt. 7:15-20.

 

This entire passage is absent from Luke.

 

(Matthew) ‘It is not those who say to Me, “Lord, Lord”, who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of My Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness”. Matt. 7:21-23.

 

(Luke) “Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find your self knocking on the door, saying, “Lord open to us” but He will answer, “I do not know where you come from”. Then you will find yourself saying ‘We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but He will reply, “I do not know where you come from.’ Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. ‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.” Luke 13:25-30.

 

Clearly in his account Luke is promoting the salvation that Paul teaches. Paul says that prior to the cross salvation was for Jews alone (Paul teaches this, but it was not true, salvation has always been open to any and all who would agree to the requirements of it) and this dispensation ended at the resurrection.  The version of this parable in Luke would confirm that the resurrection of Jesus closed the door to the Jews, because they refused to enter (notice that Luke says the difficulty was not in finding the narrow “door”, but going through it).  It is obvious to Paul and Luke that the narrow door is the Law (Ten Commandments), which they call the ‘old covenant’.  The ‘new covenant’ of grace through the blood of the cross and of the resurrected ‘Christ’, is now the ‘way’ to enter the kingdom.  Therefore, those from east and west, north and south, enter the kingdom after the door (Law/ten commandments) has been shut and locked.  The gentiles enter by another portal, one which is wide and easy, which is the portal of grace. The only requirement to enter by this ‘wide door’ is faith in the resurrected ‘Christ’. For this to work properly they must believe that Jesus died for their personal sins, and through faith they die ‘with Him’, and now live in him.  This goes against the very words of the Son of God, as witnessed by another of His disciples, John.

 

“I tell you most solemnly; anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock . . . I am the gate. Anyone who enters through Me will be safe  . . .” John 10:1-2, 9.

 

Note that in the altered version of this parable Luke clearly limits those who are locked outside the door of the house (Kingdom of Heaven) to those who were the actual Jews living during the time of the earthly ministry of Jesus. Yet in this scenario even those from the four corners of the earth (the Gentiles) can somehow circumvent this locked door and gain entry into the Kingdom, even though the Jews can’t.  In Matthew

(Ch. 13 and 25:1-13)  those who are outside the locked door have been deceived into believing that they have been working to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-21), are not working for the Lord who is the Savior, but are in reality working for the lord of this world.  They have been deceived by a false gospel of salvation, and that is what they have been teaching.  And they have been fooled by the power of their lord, who is the lord of this world (Satan), who is the source of their power and their teachings.  These have been deceived by believing that they are working for the Son of God, when in fact they are working for the great deceiver. It would appear that they are not using a different source of reference, their resource has to be the Bible; therefore, those who are outside the shut door, have used the same book that those who are inside with the Son of God, have used.  The evidence suggests that there is information in the Bible that is the result of the successful efforts of the evil one, who has “planted” it there.  The wheat and tares are in the same field until the end of days; the end of days is the harvest.

 

Dear friends, it is important that you not be deceived.  An honest person will never deceive anyone; but a person who is honest with others may not necessarily be honest with themselves.  If you look at the teachings in Luke and Paul, and refuse to see any differences from the words of the true Teacher, as recalled and written by His students/disciples, then you are not being honest, you are deceiving yourself.  I once had a pastor explain the “perceived” differences in the gospel accounts as the personal perspectives of the writers.  He explained that if you ask three different people to describe an event that they witnessed, you would hear three different accounts.  My answer was that this does not apply here; because both Luke and Paul were NOT eyewitnesses to the teachings of the Son of God.  If you compare the actual eyewitness accounts one with the other, there are no differences in the teachings.

 

(John 14:25,26)(JB) I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.

 

Do you believe that God always tells the truth? Do you believe that God has the power and authority to preserve the truth?  If you do, then be honest with yourself.  No teaching of the Son of Man will contradict another one of His OWN teachings.  Understand that the great deceiver is skilled in the art of distorting the truth.  When truth is distorted it has the appearance of being true; but is proved false upon close and honest investigation.  The writings of Luke and Paul are not to be trusted, because they contradict the eyewitness accounts.  In the end, only those who know and obey the truth will have eternal life.

 

Rick Sterling

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judgement

by Rick Sterling

‘It is for judgment that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see and those with sight turn blind’. (John 9:39)(JB)

 

Start talking about divine judgment, and you will soon discover that no one is listening.  Most Christians have a certainty about themselves and judgment; succinctly put, there is no judgment for those who are in Christ.  This belief is based upon a salvation theology described by Paul; salvation that operates by faith, through the gift of grace.  When compared side by side, the two “gospels” (the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of grace) are quite different in function.  The gospel of the Kingdom describes the significance of obedience and required performance.  The gospel of grace is best described by the words of Paul.

 

Law involves the possibility of punishment for breaking the law-only where there is no law can that be avoided. (Romans 15)(JB)

 

Paul is clever in that he does not do away with the Law; he simply changes its role.  The Law which Paul is describing is the Ten Commandments.  These ten commands were the words of the testimony/covenant between God and His kingdom.  There is no other way to be in God’s Kingdom other than by promising to learn to keep all of the Ten Commandments.  The Son of God spoke to this very thing when He said the following words.  When asked by the rich young man about what he needed to do to have eternal life, Jesus said:

 

But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said, ‘Which?’ ‘These’ Jesus replied ‘You must not kill. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not bring false witness. Honor your father and mother, and; you must love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 19:18-21)(JB)

 

Not only does Jesus list commands from the Covenant, but He adds, “love your neighbor as yourself”.  It is important to understand that the ten commands of the Covenant is an all or nothing promise.  While it is true that Jesus did not state all ten in the above verse, it is understood that to enter life eternal you must keep every single one.  Jesus also did not condense these down to the command to “love”, God and your neighbor.  Paul states categorically that it is completely impossible for sinful flesh to keep the Law, and this is calling God a liar.

 

 

 

All the commandments I enjoin on you today you must keep and observe so that you may live and increase in numbers and enter into the land that Yahweh promised on oath to your fathers, and make it your own. (Deuteronomy 8:1)(JB)

 

Many believe that there is an old covenant, which required the children of Israel to keep the Ten Commandments; but they believe that after the resurrection of Christ a “new covenant” was instituted, a covenant of grace.  The only person that teaches that there is a new covenant of grace is Paul. Note the difference in the following texts: (Remember that Luke was not a disciple, nor did he know Jesus, nor does he site the names of any of the “witnesses” he claims to have used as the source of his information.  If these witness were present at the time these words were spoken they should have heard the same words the disciples heard, and wrote down)

 

Then He took a cup, and when He had returned thanks He gave it to them. Drink all of you from this, He said for this is My blood the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:27-28)(JB)

 

Then He took a cup and when He had returned thanks He gave it to them, ‘This is My blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. (Mark 14:23-24)(JB)

 

He did the same with the cup after supper and said, ‘this cup is the new covenant in My blood which will be poured out for you. (Luke 22:20)(JB)

 

In the same way He took the cup after supper, and said,

This cup is the new covenant in My blood. (1 Corinthians 1125)(JB)

 

The Son of God did not come to bring a new Covenant; He came to confirm the covenant, and to show that it is possible for flesh to obey its (His) commandments.  What the great deceiver has accomplished by deluding God fearing people into believing that there is a new covenant of grace is to keep these believers from entering the kingdom of God.  In preventing people from entering the Kingdom of God, He has no one with which to go to war against the ruler of this world.  It is only when God has a Kingdom of Heaven on earth filled with people who obey the commands of the Covenant,  and who hold to the testimony of His Son, will the war begin (see Revelation 12:17)

 

‘Whoever believes in Me believes not in Me but in the One who sent Me, and whoever sees Me, sees the One who sent Me. I, the light, have come into the world, so that whoever believes in Me need not stay in the dark any more. If anyone hears My words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall comdemn him, since I have come not to condemn the world, but to save the world: he who rejects Me and refuses My words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For what I have spoken does not come from Myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent Me, and I know that His commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told Me is what I speak. (John 12:44-50)(JB)

 

It is my experience that most believers are only familiar with the words of Paul.  Christians believe that the words of Jesus were specifically for the Jews and have no application for “new covenant” Christians; this is a lie.  According to the testimony of Jesus, we are all in darkness.  He came to show us the way out of the darkness into the light of truth.  Paul’s words support the darkness, and convince well meaning people that darkness is forever.  Paul says to be saved we must live by faith, and believe in that which you cannot see.  He states that by doing this God will reward your blind faith with salvation.  On the other hand, the Son of God said He came to show us the way out of the darkness, to give sight to those who are blind (spiritually).  He defined the difference between His sheep and the world:

 

I am the good shepherd; I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for My sheep. And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to My voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd. (John 10:14-16)(JB)

 

This testimony of Jesus as given to Him by His Father is clear.  The testimony of Paul that is exposed by these words (of Jesus) is a lie.  The sheep that belong to the good shepherd hear and listen to His voice ONLY.  The words of Paul are not the words of the good shepherd.  Notice also that Jesus says, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold-they will be one flock with one shepherd”.  The other sheep are the gentiles. Contrary to what Paul says, there is one flock, not two.  Paul has Christians believing that the Jews are one separate flock and the gentiles are another separate flock, each with its own unique covenant/form of salvation.  According to Jesus, Gentiles must enter the sheepfold through the same gate as do the Jews.  Salvation has never belonged to an exclusive group; it has always been open to anyone who would commit to keeping the covenant (Ten Commandments).

The judgment is in process now, the standard of this judgment are the words of the Son of God.  If you do not know what these words are you need to spend time in study of the testimony of His eye/ear witnesses.  It is the gospel of the kingdom that will be preached throughout the whole world, as a witness to all human-kind, then the end will come.  The gospel of the kingdom is the testimony of Jesus.  Don’t be weighed in the balance and found wanting.

 

Rick Sterling

Apocalypse – Part II

by Rick Sterling

 And as they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.” And His disciples asked Him saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you, that Elijah already came, and they did to him what ever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” (Matthew 17:9-14 NASB)

 

The kingdom of the heavens had succeeded in separating themselves from the kingdom of the world.  Like the children of Israel, they were in the wilderness, not a literal wilderness, but a spiritual one.  Just as was true with their counterpart, these people knew very little of the truth about God.  These advent people were “ready” to see the Bridegroom, but not ready to join Him or attend His wedding feast.  At that time they all were without a wedding garment (see Matthew 22:11-12).  The great deceiver moved swiftly to make sure that they would not recognize that they were naked (see Revelation 3:17).  The great deceiver knows how effective a false prophet, or an unwitting messenger, can be.  His success with the children of Israel proved how a well purposed deceiver can bend the religious and civil leadership to his will.  The people love their prophet, but only as long as their prophet fits their paradigm.  The Son of God was the greatest of all prophets, but even the few of those who profess to worship Him know His complete message.  His prophecies have been made into devotionals, devoid of any literal application.  It is no wonder that the Bridegroom “was delaying” His return.

 

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36)

 

Never have any words of prophecy been used more than these to abrogate the responsibility to be ready for the return of the Bridegroom.  “No one can know the day or hour!”  These words have been preached from pulpit and street corner to counter any attempt by anyone that expresses that there is a requirement to know the time in which they are living.

 

In order to understand this statement in the proper context, we must understand the process of a wedding in Israel.  After the father of the bride gave his consent and the young woman accepted the offer of marriage, the young man would go to his father’s house and prepare it for the wedding feast; he would also prepare a room where he would live with his bride.  It was only the father of the bridegroom that would tell his son when he could go and get his bride.  The son did not know the day this would take place, neither did his servants.  When the Son of God made this statement to His disciples, He did not know the day or the hour upon which He would return.  In His parting statement the Son of God uses these very words, so that His disciples, and those who read their words, will know what to expect (see John 14:1-3).

After the Son of God had risen from the tomb and returned to His Father’s house in the heavens, He began the preparation for the marriage feast.  The prophecy states that ten bridesmaids went out to meet the Bridegroom, which occurred at the end of the 2300 evenings and mornings prophecy (Dan. 8:14) in 1843-44 CE.  The number ten has been used in the context for judgment.  Noah was the tenth from Adam, ten commandments, ten northern tribes in Israel, the Israelites tested God ten times then God told Moses He would destroy them there in the wilderness and make a great nation of Moses offspring (see Numbers 14:22), and the aforementioned “seventy” as the limit of forgiveness is ten times seven.  The number of those who were expecting the return of the Bridegroom was much greater than ten; therefore it is clear that ten bridesmaids is a number indicating final judgment.  For the Bridegroom to be delay His return He would need to know the time for the wedding.  As a result, it stands to reason that the Father had not yet given the information for the time of the wedding to Jesus when He spoke the words of the prophecy recorded in Matthew 24:36.  Had the Bridegroom come in 1843-44 He would have had to destroy the whole world!

The Bridegroom is coming, but only when His bride is ready to go to the marriage feast.  In the Hasidic tradition, the bride would not be informed ahead of the time the father of the bridegroom told his son he could go get her.  It was therefore necessary for the bride to be ready to go immediately upon the arrival of her bridegroom.  She needed to be dressed in her wedding gown, with her hair and makeup in place.  As the coming of the bridegroom could be a year or more after the bridegroom went back to his father’s house, it would be necessary for the bride to have knowledge of the time when her bridegroom was leaving his house to come to get her.  The bridegroom would also want her to have this information, because if she was not ready when he knocked on her door, the wedding would be permanently canceled.  When the bridegroom was ready to leave his father’s house he would send his servants on ahead of him to notify the bridesmaids (the bride’s attendants) that he was on his way.  The bridesmaids would then go the bride’s house and help her prepare for the arrival of her bridegroom.  In the account of the ten bridesmaids the absence of a bride is apparent.  When the Bridegroom comes, it is for His bride that He is coming.

So here is the situation:  Since 1844 CE the bridesmaids have been in a “lukewarm” condition, they acknowledge the commandments of God but know little of the testimony of Jesus.  They, like the children of Israel before them, keep the seventh-day Sabbath; and having made this agreement to keep the covenant they have accepted God’s offer, His offer to be their God if they will be His people.  Like the children of Israel before them, they have never attained to the righteousness necessary to complete the requirement.

 

This is the revelation given by God to Jesus Christ so that He could tell His servants about the things which are now to take place very soon; He sent His angel to make it known to His servant John, and John has written down everything he saw and swears it is the word of God guaranteed by Jesus Christ. Happy the man who reads this prophecy, and happy those who listen to him, if they treasure all that it says, because the Time is close. (Revelation 1:1-3)(JB)

 

As the Son of God walked down from the “Mount of transfiguration” the three disciples who accompanied Him had had a question that all the disciples shared.  Apparently the scribes had spoken to them about the fact that their ignorance of prophecy was going to be their undoing. The scribes informed the disciples that they were following an imposter.  Their proof was found in the words of the prophet Malachi;

 

Remember the Law of My servant Moses to whom at Horeb I prescribed laws and customs for the whole of Israel. Know that I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before my day comes that great and terrible day. (Malachi 4:22-23)(JB)

 

The text at the beginning of this article describes the account of this dilemma.  The disciples were reluctant to ask their Master about this fact in evidence used by the scribes from this prophecy.  The scribe’s accusation seemed valid until these three disciples had this experience of witnessing the transfiguration and hearing the voice of God declaring this man to be His son, and in addition seeing Moses and Elijah speaking with Him.  When asked about this by His disciples, Jesus proclaimed as a matter of fact, that an Elijah type person was coming and would restore all things; but an Elijah type prophet had already come and the accusers (the scribes) had not recognized him.  The three disciples then knew their Master was speaking of John the Baptist.  Herein lies a lesson for all; just because the “experts” miss some prophesied event because it does not fit their understanding, they are not released from the responsibility or consequences of their actions.  The scribes did not recognize John the Baptist as the promised Elijah type prophet, because he did not fit their paradigm of expectation.  Then matters were complicated when they did not recognize their Messiah, thus validating their rejection of Him based upon a misunderstood prophetic expectation.

The Master told His three disciples that an Elijah type prophet would come, who would accomplish the restoration.  Revelation 1:1-3 (see above) also describes this person.  The book titled “The Revelation” written by John who was an eyewitness disciple of the Son of God, could just as easily been called “The Preparation of the Bride for the Bridegroom”.

It is the bride that is described at the end of the book, and she is prepared and ready, dressed in her wedding gown, with all the accessories. Therefore it is fitting that the beginning of the book describes the initiation of the process leading up to the marriage supper of the Lamb, where the marriage of the Bridegroom and His bride takes place.

Blessed/happy is he/the man who reads the words of this prophecy.  Remember earlier when I described the processes carried out which culminated in the marriage.  When the father told his son he could go get his bride, the son would tell his servants to go on ahead of him to notify the bridesmaids he was on his way.  In order to be a servant of the Son of God you must complete the qualification process.  Not only must you keep the commandments of God, but you must know and live the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 12:17).  Righteousness is required to be a bondservant of God; therefore, the Elijah type prophet MUST complete the consecration process, there must be no lie found in his mouth, or in the mouths of his fellow bondservants, they are blameless (see Revelation 14:5).  As this servant continues to learn the truth, he shares this truth with all who will listen (his fellow bondservants).  This individual is represented as having been placed over God’s household.  He is described as Faithful and Wise.

 

‘What sort of servant then is faithful and wise enough for the Master to place him over His household to give then their food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his Master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns.’ (Matthew 24:45-47)(JB)

 

This Elijah type prophet comes without signs and wonders, out of nowhere, completely unexpected.  Like John the Baptist, he will be unknown or ignored by the present day “scribes” (the religious authorities).  What is unique about his work is that he is emphasizing the authority and importance of the testimony of Jesus, over all other testimonies.  Like the disciple John, he declares that any teaching that does not keep completely within the teaching of the Son of God, is a lie and must be completely ignored (see 2 John).

Jesus gave His angel the information for preparing His the bride and the marriage supper, and it pertained to a specific time in the future.  Many religious scholars have declared Revelation to be completely symbolic, having no literal application in this world.  Others claim that it was intended for the Jews at the time of their Roman persecution.  Still others teach that it applies throughout all ages until the coming of the Messiah.  All of these understandings are incorrect, and here is why.

Revelation is a prophecy, according to the word of God in verse two and throughout the rest of the book.  God given prophecy has always had specific and literal meaning and application.  Yes, there are symbols in prophecy, which are analogies to real accounts. Yet there has never been any indication from God that a prophecy was ever relevant to anything other than a revelation of future reality.  Many pastors and religious teachers have declared the book of Revelation to be nothing more than a useful source of devotionals.  They have also surmised that it was intended for the Jews and the persecution the endured under the Romans;  this concept has been proven false due to the fact that the ‘Kingdom of God’ status has been taken away from them (Matt.21:43).  The children of Israel were no longer the house of God (see Matthew 23:37-39).  The “timeless” application of end time prophecy is refuted by the fact that those living at the end of days will experience the events of Revelation, and that the preparation of the bride takes place over a three and a half year period (time, times, and half a time)(see Daniel 12:7).

The next event of prophecy is the feeding of the fellow servants by the “faithful and wise” servant (Matt. 24:42-51).  During the time when the faithful and wise servant is feeding his fellow servants the 144,000 are being numbered.  They are being set-apart from the kingdom of the heavens for a specific use, they are the servants of the Bridegroom who will awaken the sleeping bridesmaids and prepare the wise of that group.  The 144,000 are the priests of the kingdom of God.

In the sanctuary were four articles of furniture, all made of gold;  a lamp-stand, an altar of incense, a table of the presence, and the ark of the covenant/testimony. Each article of furniture represented one element in the process which will finally accomplish the restoration described in God’s plan.  The lamp-stand represented the Kingdom of God on earth; the flames on the lamps are the light of truth which is to emanate from it.

 

‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of Men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)(JB)

 

I turned around to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of Man, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle. (Revelation 1:12-13)(JB)

 

If Revelation applies to everyone in all ages, then it really applies to no one at any time.  First and foremost, God only commands those over whom He has authority; only those who have made a promise to keep His covenant and obey the word of His testimony.  Any instructions, admonitions, or corrections from God are directed ONLY to His Kingdom.  The seven messages in Revelation chapter two and three are therefore directed to this Kingdom of the Heavens.  The seven lamp-stands also testify to this fact.  The messages to the seven assemblies are only applicable when the Kingdom of the Heavens is present.  The understanding that there was no Kingdom of the Heavens in existence on earth until the end of the twenty-three hundred evenings and mornings, shows that the application of these messages would have relevance only after the end of this time period 1843-44 CE.  The use of the lamp-stand symbol also confirms that these messages are directed specifically to the Kingdom of the Heavens.

The following is a list of the sequence of events leading up to the preparation of the Kingdom of the Heavens:  there was no Kingdom of God on earth from the time the Son of God went back to His Father’s house to make the necessary preparation for the wedding feast until the time when the Kingdom of the Heavens separated themselves from the rock quarry (Dan. 2:44-45); God preserved the truth through His presence on earth, the promised Holy Spirit;  the Woman described in Revelation 12 is this Holy Spirit, and She waited for the time foretold through the prophecy given to John – and at that time she joined those who were in the process of setting themselves apart for service to God; from the account of the ten bridesmaids (Matt. 25:1-13), we are told that when this happened only half (the five wise) brought the Holy Spirit with them (the Oil);  at that time the ten bridesmaids did not fully understand their purpose, and being under the influence and powerful deception of the prophet of the great deceiver (who will be discussed later), they slipped into a drunken slumber; there was one of this number who was not asleep, who recognized the late hour, and began to study the words of the King, as recorded by His eyewitnesses.  He shared this information with anyone who would listen, and their numbers started growing slowly and consistently (Matt. 24:42-51);  these are the priests, and when this number reaches 144,000 they will awaken the sleeping bridesmaids and lead them to the marriage feast.

 

-To be continued-

 

 

 

 

Apocalypse – A Disclosure of Knowledge, part 1

by Rick Sterling

 

My name is Yahweh, I will not yield My glory to another, nor My honor to idols. See how former revelations/declarations have come true. Fresh things I now foretell; before they appear I tell you of them. (Isaiah 42:8-9)

 

The future is hidden to human-kind; which is why there is so much interest in prophecy.  But how does one know which prophets to believe?  We must first look at the record of their exact fulfillments; the best record for a human being is about 80-88%.  Only the true prophets of God have a fulfillment percentage of 100%.  The subject of this article is not a comparison of true and false prophets and their prophecies; it is a sequential expose’ of the past, present, and future revelations from God, which He has given to His prophets/messengers.  The Son of God gave information about the distant future to His own disciples, Matthew and John; and they wrote this information in their accounts.  Matthew wrote the prophecy in his gospel, chapters 24-26, John wrote the Revelation.  Both of these writers also recorded prophetic parables in their accounts.  The Prophet Daniel wrote prophecies concerning the “end of days”, both for the people of Israel and the people of the end.

The children of Israel had been chosen to fulfill a specific mandate, which was the restoration of God’s glory to this earth (See Numbers 14:21).  There were certain requirements that must be accomplished before this could take place.  The mandate of righteousness was expressly stated through the Law (of Moses) and the Judges; and later through the prophets of God.  The account of this mandate is called the Law and the Prophets.  God’s plan was purposed to the children of Israel based upon their performance of the requirements that were detailed in the Law of Moses.  This part of the plan was ignored by Israel, mainly due to the successful efforts of the god/gods of this world.  Through deception and subterfuge, Satan and his evil host had taken the authority to rule the nations from God.  They accomplished this by deceiving the nations (Isa. 14:12-17).  The restoration of the glory of God is the restoration of His authority over the people of His creation.

 

Then Peter went up to Him and said, ‘Lord how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22).

 

There is a specific limit to forgiveness, seventy sevens.  I know that the common interpretation of these verses is that there is no limit to forgiveness, that Jesus was implying that we should forgive as many times as we are asked; but that is not specifically what He said.  If there is no limit to the number of times one should forgive someone when asked, then the mandate for righteousness is a moot point.  God has demonstrated this exact limit of forgiveness with the children of Israel.  The first time Israel reached this limit was when there had been seventy “Sabbath year violations” (see Leviticus 26; Jeremiah 29:10; Daniel 9:2).  Israel violated seventy Sabbath years; therefore they had reached their limit of forgiveness.  Daniel chapter nine contains the second, and last, opportunity for Israel.  The angel Gabriel revealed to Daniel the specific limit to accomplish the mandate given to the children of Israel, that being 70 weeks of years (see Daniel 9:24).  As Israel was nearing this limit God sent prophets to warn them about the events about to take place.  These prophets also revealed the events Israel would experience if they would only change their evil ways, ask for forgiveness (repent), and learn righteousness by making righteousness their only practice.  Sadly, most of the nation ridiculed these prophets of God, refusing to listen to their warnings.  Upon investigation it is evident that every word of these prophecies was fulfilled in detail.

Pride and arrogance always seems to trump the facts in evidence.  The evidence reveals that everything God says will take place, in a given situation, and happens just as He said it would.  The problem for human-kind is they have a distorted understanding of how God interacts with them.  The scribes and Pharisees knew that the prophets of God were right, and that their “fathers” should have listened and obeyed the words of these prophets.  Yet these same prophets had prophesied about the Messiah, the Messiah that these same scribes and Pharisees were plotting to kill.  Why would they condemn their forefathers for the same arrogance they were demonstrating?

 

‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees; you hypocrites!  You who build the sepulchres of the prophets and decorate the tombs of holy men, saying, ‘We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our fathers’ day”.  So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the sons of those who murdered the prophets! Very well then, finish off the work that your fathers began. (Matthew 23:29-32)

 

At one time or another we have all second guessed ourselves; “If I had it to do all over again I would have. . . “; this is called hindsight.  The purpose of prophecy is to give us is the ability to see what we should do before it actually happens, and is behind us; in other words, it allows us the opportunity to see the end from the present.  The evil one knows that all his well laid plans would be fully exposed if human-kind knew the end from the beginning, so he has cleverly co-opted the minds of those for whom these prophecies apply. The proof of this is found in the historical record.  The greatest stumbling block to understanding God’s prophecies are the presence of paradigms based in falsehoods.  Insight based in truth gives us the ability to know and understand these prophecies from God.

The following is a sequential revelation of the prophecies concerning the end of days.  These prophecies speak as the voice of God to the world, a world about to reach the conclusion of its final chapter.

This account starts at the end of previous prophecy.  The children of Israel had, for the last time, rejected their God, His Spirit, and their Messiah.  There were many prophecies foretelling this. Here is one;

 

The Stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. (Psalms 118:22).  Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

          “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation/people producing the fruit of it. (Matthew 21:42-43).

 

These words from God’s own Son, are woefully telling.  This pronouncement was made after the retelling of a prophecy, given in the form of a parable (see Isaiah 5:1-7 and Matthew 21:33-41).  Compare these with the prophecy in the context of a parable, describing a marriage feast (see my article “The Invitation”).  Both prophecies/parables reveal the two opportunities Israel had to fulfill their God given mandate; they failed on both occasions (Rev. 14:8).  With the second and final rejection of their Messiah/God’s Son (the heir in the parable), the privilege of accomplishing their purpose was permanently taken away from them.  It was made available to those willing to meet the requirements to be included the kingdom of God.  The parable of the “King and His invitation to the marriage feast of His Son” tells of these two rejections by those chosen to attend this wedding.  After the final rejection the invitation was then extended to people of every nation, along with the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God.  The only thing that changed concerning the plan of restoration was the people to whom this opportunity was offered.  It has always been open to anyone willing to abide by the covenant (Ten Commandments, Deut. 4:13) and obey the instructions of God.  The people originally charged with accomplishing this were the children of Israel.  This changed, and God’s word verifies this (Matt. 21:43).  The Third and FinalKingdom appears as a result of the actions of those who have made a firm commitment to the accomplishment this plan for restoration (Dan. 2:44-45). After this FinalKingdom is established a new prophet and prophecy are no longer necessary. All the information needed for the accomplishment of the plan has already been given; specifically the prophecies of Daniel chapters two, seven, eight, ten through twelve; and also in Matthew, the parables and prophecies in chapters thirteen, twenty-four through twenty-six; and the book of the Revelation.

The prophecy of Daniel chapter two is a dream vision given to king Nebuchadnezzar.  It is an over view of the kingdoms of the world to the end of days.  In the end of days, the God in the heavens will see the final accomplishment of His kingdom, when it defeats the kingdom of the world.  How does this happen?  It happens because THIS Kingdom actually learns righteousness in fact, and practices it.  It also calls those who are of the kingdom of the world to join with them in righteousness.  This righteous Kingdom sets itself apart from the world, by following the instructions given by the Son of God and His faithful bondservants.  It is said about them in Revelation 12:17, “These are they that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus”.  The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy (see Revelation 19:10).

Let us take a look at facts in evidence at the time Nebuchadnezzar had this dream vision.  God had “divorced” his wife (first Israel, and then Judah) for continued acts of adultery.  According to the Law, a divorce was only allowable for the act of adultery involving one of the parties to the marriage (see Isaiah 50:1, Jeremiah 3:8 and 31:31-32).  The first wave of exiles from Judah had arrived in Babylon; some of the royal families were given tryouts for admission into the council of advisers.  Here begins the account of one of the greatest prophets to have ever lived.  In demonstrating acts of faithfulness to his God, Daniel was given high standing in the court of Nebuchadnezzar.

In Daniel chapter two, it is recorded that king Nebuchadnezzar was thinking about the future, wondering what would become of his kingdom after he died (see Daniel 2:29).  Nebuchadnezzar knew that if he told his dream to his magicians and enchanters, sorcerers and Chaldeans, they would give him an interpretation; but it would be neither true nor valid.  Nebuchadnezzar’s dream/vision concerned the far distant future, the end of days.  It was displayed as a progression of world kingdoms that started with his own, and ended with a mixture of several kingdoms. Some of these kingdoms possessed the strength of iron, some were hard as baked clay; but like baked clay were brittle.  During the time of this mixture of kingdoms the God in the heavens would establish a kingdom that would never be destroyed, nor would it be given to another people.

The elements of this prophecy reveal the final outcome for this world.  Four great kingdoms of the world follow in consecutive order, from Babylon to Media-Persia, then Greece followed by Rome.  Near the end of days there is a mixture of kingdoms, represented by the feet of the great image.  The ten toes of the feet are the last ten kings to rule the kingdoms of the world.  The kingdom that is significantly missing from the image is that of Israel.  The stone that separates itself from the quarry (cut out without human hands) is a totally different group of people than those of any kingdom that has come before them.  Remember the statement the Son of God made to the leaders of the Jews; “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to another people who will produce the fruit of it”. (Matthew 21:43).  Please consider the evidence in this promise to the children of Israel in this statement of what was to be taken away, i.e., the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

The prophecy in Daniel 8:14 reestablishes this Kingdom of Heaven after an extended period of time, namely twenty-three hundred evenings and mornings.

 

The first replied, ‘Until two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings have gone by; then the sanctuary shall have its rights restored. (Daniel 8:14)

 

All restoration prophecy that occurs during the function of the restoration calendar is counted in day years (see rule 4 at spiritoftruthministry.net/STM).  It is also clear that this time period was not 24 hour days.  This is because the two animals, the ram and the ‘he goat’, represent the same two kingdoms as the silver and bronze, parts of the great image, in the dream/vision of Nebuchadnezzar.  Significantly, there is also an ‘end of days’ reference included.  This clearly is describing a period of time that takes two-thousand three hundred years to complete.  The restoration of the sanctuary operates on behalf of the Kingdom of the Heavens.  This prophecy was fulfilled in the year 1844 CE, when the ten bridesmaids went out to meet the Bridegroom; but the Bridegroom does not come (see Matthew 25:1-13).  Note: that the Son of God calls these “bridesmaids” the Kingdom of the Heavens.  This 1844 CE date also fits the time requirement in both the Dan. 2 and the Dan. 8:14 prophecy, as this is during the time represented by the feet of the great image.  Daniel chapter nine contains important information to support this evidence.

 

‘Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city, for putting an end to transgression, for placing the seals on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting integrity, for setting the seal on vision and on prophecy, for anointing the Holy of Holies. (Daniel 9:24)

 

Daniel showed genuine concern for his people and their holy city, for good reason.  Daniel knew there had been no real change in the character of the people since the beginning of the exile.  He treasured the prophecy given to Jeremiah concerning the length of time the exile in Babylon would last, namely seventy years.  He prayed that God would forgive His chosen people and remember the promise He gave to Jeremiah.  God told Daniel that He would definitely keep His promise to allow the exiles to go home and rebuild.  They had a predetermined length of time in which to accomplish the requirements issued in the prophecy. God revealed to Daniel that there would be four-hundred and ninety years (490), set aside out of the twenty-three hundred years (Dan. 8:14) for this purpose. This was given to “Daniel’s people” and “holy city”, specifically to accomplish the requirements for God to restore His glory to the whole world.  It was in the middle of the seventieth week that the Son of God took this Kingdom of the Heavens away from the Jews, holding it in reserve until the end of the twenty-three hundred years.

When the Messiah explained the meaning of the “Stone” prophecy to the “builders” (the scribes and religious leaders), He described the end of one stone structure and the beginning of a whole new stone structure.  The capstone/keystone is the last stone place, and when it is put in place the structure is complete.  The Messiah was represented by this final/last stone.  The builders recognized that this stone would not “fit” in their house, because they had not constructed the house according to the plans laid out by God; therefore they rejected this Capstone based upon their understanding/paradigm.

The chief cornerstone is the first stone laid in a new construction/house.  The difference in this process is obvious.  God had commissioned the children of Israel to construct a house (metaphorically), and had supplied the blueprint to follow to accomplish this.  Prompted by the great deceiver, these builders had changed the blueprints to fit their own idea of how their house should be built, which reflected their own purposes (Jer. 8:8); therefore when the Capstone arrived it would not fit.  The Capstone was not what the changed blueprint described; therefore the builders had to reject it as a fraud.  After Jesus took the Kingdom from Israel, the Capstone then became the chief cornerstone of a whole new house. There is an important point in this understanding; with the placing of the perfect Cornerstone, the rest of the stones in the building will match the perfect pattern of the first Stone.  The builder, who has the responsibility for accomplishing this, is the Father Himself.

 

John 15:1-3 ‘I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that bears no fruit He cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes to make it bear even more. You are pruned already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you. Make your home in Me, as I make mine in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in Me.

 

This testimony of Jesus confirms this change in responsibility.  The prophet Isaiah reported that God had planted the vineyard and hired others to tend the vine.  Now the vine is Jesus, and the One who bears the responsibility for maintaining it is the Father.

The instructions for the operation of the vineyard and the completion of the house have all been given, and are available for all who commit to seeing this plan through.  There is only one house, with one foundation; the foundation “Stone” is the Son of God.  There is only one vine, the Son of God; and the branches are all in Him, the true vine.  Anyone who preaches/teaches that there are two houses, or that branches can be grafted onto the vine, is a liar. Doing this is an attempt to change the blueprint for the completion of the house or the vineyard.  According to the words of Jesus there is only ONE way unto salvation; there is not one salvation for Jews and another for Gentiles.  There is only one house, which is built upon one foundation.  There is one vine with branches that are growing from it, there are not multiple vines from which to choose how to be saved.  If any branch is cut off it will never be grafted back in to the vine.  Any branch from another vine will never be grafted into the true Vine.  Branches are cutoff or pruned; no branches are ever grafted in!

It was with a mighty hand that God separated Israel from the world, when He led them out of Egypt.  At the end of days no hand separates the stone from out of the quarry.  This brings us to a prophecy recorded by Matthew that answers the questions of the disciples of Jesus about the end of the age.

As explained above, at the end of the 2300 years the sanctuary in the heavens was properly restored.  The sanctuary functions on behalf of the Kingdom of the Heavens; therefore, if there is no Kingdom of the Heavens on earth the sanctuary does not function.  From the time that the kingdom was taken away from the children of Israel to the formation of the ThirdKingdom of the Heavens, the whole world was under the authority of the ruler of this world.  The Woman (see Revelation 12) represents the Holy Spirit, which the Son of God promised to send when He returned to His Father.  Her time in the wilderness is the time before the separating out of the Kingdom of the Heavens; the final Kingdom which WILL accomplish all of the requirements for righteousness.  The truth necessary for the Kingdom of the Heavens to use in this tasking was preserved during this time, just as is stated in the prophecy of Revelation 12.  The parable/prophecy of the wheat and tares (Matt. 13:24-30) is a true statement confirming that the truth will be protected by allowing the lies (tares) to coexist in the same place (field).

How this protection of the truth was worked out is brilliant, and could only have come from the mind of God. Most “believers” maintain the understanding that the testimony of Jesus applies only to Jews, and the testimony of Saul/Paul applies only to the gentiles (and any Jew who would also believe it).  According to Paul, and these Christians, salvation for the Jews is accomplished through works of the Law, yet for gentiles salvation is a gift given according to faith through grace, and not through works of the Law (which, as was pointed out, is for the Jews).  Therefore, there are TWO forms of salvation available; one for the Jew, and one for the Gentile. It is in this way that the true testimony of Jesus was distorted by the great deceiver, thus causing a different gospel to be preached to the world, and a different building to be constructed.  The testimony of Jesus is protected from alterations simply by the fact that no ‘born again’ Christian would believe that this ‘different’ plan of salvation, that was taught by Jesus to His own disciples, applies to them; they believe that it only applies to Jews (Gal. 1:8-9).  The knowledge that the Kingdom of God has already been taken away from the Jews (which Paul did not believe) is proof that this teaching of separate plans for salvation cannot possibly be true.

Between the years 1813-1844 CE there was a great awakening among Christians.  A movement began through the efforts of William Miller, and others, that would become known as Millerites/Adventists and eventually organized as the Seventh-day Adventist church.  The main theme of their message was the return of the Bridegroom, which they believed would occur in the year 1843 CE.  That year came with high expectation, and ended with great disappointment.  A brief rejuvenation occurred because of “new light”, but ended with an even greater disappointment; the Bridegroom did not return.  Prophecy revealed this great disappointment; but although this movement was founded and built upon prophecy, this particular prophecy was never correctly understood.

 

Matthew 25:1,5 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten bridesmaids, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the Bridegroom.  Now while the Bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.

 

The first line of this text confirms the fact that this group that went out to meet the Bridegroom is the Kingdom of the Heavens.  The understanding that the

Sanctuary in Heaven functions only when there is a Kingdom of the Heavens present on earth presents with it a new understanding that we see in the fulfillment of the prophecy of the 2300 years.  This new understanding is also seen in the fulfillment of the prophecy of the ten bridesmaids; the prophecy of the delaying of the expected Bridegroom, and the bridesmaids falling asleep.  These bridesmaids were not the Bride, as they had originally thought. These bridesmaids were not taken out of the world “with a mighty hand”; no, they separated themselves from the world through their study of the prophecies in the Scriptures.  Unfortunately they have not finished their work, because they have an incomplete understanding of the truth.  The great deceiver wasted no time in taking control of this group, insuring that they would remain asleep forever.  He knows that there will be someone that will come in the “spirit and power of Elijah” just prior to the end, and the Faithful and Wise Bondservant will restore all things.  He will prepare his fellow bondservants (144,000).  They will then awaken the sleeping Kingdom of the Heavens.  Together they will prepare the bride of the Lamb, during the great tribulation.

 

To be continued

 

How to Find the Narrow Gate

‘Enter by the narrow gate since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; But it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13,14)

 

I have had many discussions on the subject of salvation, one thing puzzles me, the number of people who believe they have found, and entered, the narrow gate. When asked, most will agree that all of Christianity has found the “narrow way” and are now waiting for the return of Christ.

 

Correct information is vital for anyone who hopes to find the narrow gate.  Keep in mind that this world is enveloped in a spiritual darkness, so it is essential to find the spiritual light.  Feeling your way around in the darkness is futile, it is impossible to actually touch objects in the spiritual realm while living in the physical realm.  Information which describes how this narrow gate is found in the spiritual realm is based in the words of truth spoken by the Son of God; so first a decision must be made, which words are His and which are not.  Many believe that the Bible is the true word of God, that every word in the Bible was spoken directly to those who wrote them down.  What they refuse to see are the facts in this matter.  The Bible contains the words of God, but it is not the word of God from cover to cover.  Many will refuse to acknowledge this. They presume upon God to reward their great faith in His “holy word”.  The Law and Prophets (Old Testament) are the words of God.  God spoke to Moses at Mt.Sinai, giving him the Law (first five books).  I am sure from time to time that scribes updated information, such as place names and keeping the grammatical structure current.  One would think that God would take great care to insure that His spoken word was not changed by the scribes, who make copies of these texts through the years.

 

“How dare you say: We are wise and we possess the Law of God? But look how it has been falsified by the lying pen of the scribes! (Jeremiah 8:8)

 

 

The above text states that God is angry with the scribes who have had the audacity to change His words in the Law.  So here is the question; how does one prove the belief that God has protected the Bible from errors, or even outright lies, if He Himself is angry about how His words have been changed in the Law?  God did not give us the Bible; it is a compilation, which has been canonized by man.  God did not give the first “Bible” to His disciples.  He gave them His testimony, His own words, and then commissioned them to go and proclaim His words to the world (see Matthew 28:19-21). It is only by these words that we are able to find the small gate, and see the narrow way.

At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So He called a little child to Him and set the child in front of them. Then He said, ‘ I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4)

 

At that time Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth for hiding these things from the learned and the cleaver and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:25-27)

 

These wide and narrow roads do not exist in the physical realm; you could spend your life searching the earth for the narrow gate, and you would never find it, because it only exists in the spiritual realm.  The narrow gate and the wide way are a spiritual reality.  The only way we may interact in the spiritual realm is through our consciousness-awareness.  As we dwell and interact in the physical realm with our physical body, so to do we dwell and interact in the spiritual realm with our mind; this is why it is so important that our mind is in harmony with God, who dwells in the spiritual realm.  The evil one has mastered (overcome, deceived) the whole world by manipulating the truth in the spiritual realm, then crossing this reality over into the physical realm. He maintains this carefully crafted realism through his agents.  These agents are very important to maintaining this reality, for if at any time their cover is blown, the whole spurious reality would be in danger of being exposed for the sham that it is.  The great deceiver has mastered the art of distorting the truth; he does this by using the truth to his advantage.  For instance, consider all the similarities in the various religious practices, similarities in “holy books”, and religious “scripture”. These similarities make the truth of none effect. How does one differentiate that which is truth from that which is a lie, when these spiritual writings are so similar in their paradigms?  The great deceiver uses mediums, prophets/seers, messengers, pastors, religious academics, evangelists, teachers, and anyone he chooses to affect and maintain his fraud on humankind; and most of those he uses have no idea they are being used by him.  The evil one has deceived the whole world (Isa. 14:12-17). He has done so by keeping the world in darkness, so they are unable to see their perilous condition.  The whole world (including the Christian world) is on the wide road, and in the end will arrive at their chosen destination, eternal death.  This is not where God wants His people to end. Therefore He sent His Son into the darkness of the wide road, to tell those on this road (who dwell in darkness) how to find the narrow gate – and follow the hard road that leads to the kingdom of God and eternal life.  The road is hard because the world hates those who expose this deception, and the sham of their reality.  Those who find the narrow gate and complete the hard road will bring about the end of the world.  Those who remain on the wide road will finally reach their destination.  The Son of God not only gave us the instructions on finding the narrow gate and following the hard road, He demonstrated what we must do to accomplish this, by doing it himself; therefore, what we must do is follow Him by example.

 

‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:21)

 

The message to the assembly in Laodicea is timely and pertinent, and it is happening right now and will soon see fulfillment.  The Son of God promises a great reward to those who follow His example, who overcome in the same way He overcame. These people will be granted the same reward He received.  Those who complete all the requirements for righteousness, as demonstrated by their older Brother, will sit on the throne of God beside Him!

 

To transition from the wide road to the narrow gate requires all to become as a little child; not physically, but spiritually.  All who wish to enter by the narrow gate must confess their sin; that is, everything concerning their religious beliefs and practices, because it is this that has kept them on the wide road.  How will you find the narrow gate (remember this is spiritual not physical in nature)?

 

Jesus replied: I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God; what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit, Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above. The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’  (John 3:5-8)

 

Jesus was teaching Nicodemus how to find the narrow gate; a person must be born from above.  That which is born from below is physical, tangible, and it fades away.  That which is born from above is spiritual; its substance is knowledge, which lasts forever.  The only way to enter this realm is through your mind.  Become as a little child, spiritually – then learn from your spiritual Mother, Father, and Brother, just as you would from your physical family.

 

All who wish to enter the kingdom of God must change their present condition. It does not matter what or how you believe about your spiritual reality right now; you must completely cast it off if you wish to find the narrow gate.  Sanctify your mind with the words of the testimony of the Son of God, and when your mind is sanctified your whole body with be clothed with righteousness. If you clean the inside, the outside will become clean also; when the mind is sanctified, so too the heart.

 

So Jesus spoke to them again; I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through Me will be safe; he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture.

 

We are not what we see when we look in the mirror. What we see is a reflection of our physical self, our body.  Who we really are is found inside, and is a manifestation of our consciousness-awareness.  Consciousness-awareness is our awareness of our existence in this life-reality.  On the sixth day of creation God made physical bodies of the people of the earth, in THEIR image and after THEIR likeness.  However, these bodies were unable to think, move, and interact, until God started the physiological processes that sustain and maintain life and consciousness.  That which began these physiological processes is described as the ‘breath-of-life’ from God.  When God “breathed” the breath-of-life into the bodies of earthly human-kind, they became conscious and aware of their surroundings, and of themselves.  They were then able to use their bodies to interact with their surroundings, and with their fellow human beings.  God did not program their minds with the knowledge they would need to live with and interact with the other human beings; nor, were they programmed with the knowledge they needed to sustain themselves on this world.  God sent them teachers/shepherds/watchers (as they have been variously known as) with the purpose of teaching human-kind all of the information and knowledge they would need to live on this earth.  With the information obtained from these heavenly beings, human-kind would be able to grow crops, build cities, travel to other areas, use math, algebra, and physics, to learn about their world and the universe in which they lived.  These teachers allowed their high standing among human-kind to affect their thoughts, ultimately devising a plan to take control of this world for themselves; they made themselves the gods whom the people of earth eventually came to worship. This was the pavement that began the wide road to destruction.  This is the why there is evidence of “ancient aliens” in the ancient past.  The story goes that these heavenly beings came down to the earth to save their own planet from certain destruction, and for this they needed gold, and they found it here.  So the lie started and has been growing and expanding ever since.  The only way to put an end to this lie is for human-kind to wake-up and learn from the only true God. The only way they can do this by studying the truth that the True God has given through His prophets and messengers.  The Law and prophets is confirmed and patented through the testimony of Jesus; therefore, those who enter the narrow gate do so by learning the testimony of Jesus.  Those who are born of the Spirit of Truth have these two qualities: they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17).

 

It is now your decision, whether to remain as you are or become as little children.  The only way to find the narrow gate and take the hard way is to completely change your current spiritual condition and be born from above.

 

Rick Sterling