The Kingdom, the Seed and the Church (2)

August 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

…continuing from (1) 

 

Entering the Kingdom

In Scripture we find a number of places where Jesus spoke on entering the kingdom.  Surely, like any other physical kingdom, there is a proper way to enter the kingdom of heaven.  When I would like to emigrate from the country I was born in, there are certain procedures to follow.  Jesus spoke of a specific course of action a person needs to take in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Let us examine these conditions one by one.

1.     A person must be born again – of water and the Spirit

The phrase to be born again is synonymous with Christianity, just as the crucifixion of Jesus, the resurrection of Christ and atonement through the blood of Jesus Christ are identified with the Christian faith.

The difference, I have observed, being in Church most of my life, is that very few Christians are able to explain the expression to be born again.

Some of the explanations I have heard sound like this; “it is when you are a child of God” or “it is when you have given your life to Jesus”.  Others told me “it is when you are going to heaven” or slight variations of that tune.

 

We shall therefore look into the passage where Jesus lectured a Scribe on the need to be born again and analyse His remarks.

 

John 3:1-12 (KJV[1])

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again[2], he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind[3] bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, how can these things be?  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

  

  • Jesus is linking the kingdom of God to being born again. This is important as many Christians confuse the Kingdom of God with a literal place called heaven.
  • Jesus is not bringing the concept of hell within this context of being born again.
  • When mentioning the Kingdom, Jesus used two different phrases; see the Kingdom of God in verse 3 and then enter into the Kingdom of God in verse 5.
  • Furthermore, Jesus is comparing a spiritual concept with a natural one, namely birth.
  • He concludes with another comparison between the manner of the wind and the work of the Spirit of God.
  • Lastly, Jesus points out the fact that Nicodemus can not understand heavenly things.

The New Living Translation makes it a bit clearer to the reader.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”   “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”  Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

Jesus’ answer confused the mind of Nicodemus.  The whole concept of going again through the birth process as an adult was absurd to his thinking.  While Nicodemus and all the others of Jesus’ time could only think in the natural – according to the things they could see, hear, touch and smell – Jesus was always talking about spiritual matters – things that are not observed with the five senses but discerned by those who have the Spirit of God and are mature.

1 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NLT)[4]

But people who aren’t spiritual[5] can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

 

Hebrews 5:14 (NKJV) 

But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

Jesus used parables, metaphors and stories to convey the spiritual truths about the Kingdom of God/heaven.

 

Matthew 13:34-35 (NLT) 

Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: “I will speak to you in parables.  I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.[6]

So, in order to understand the teachings, stories and parables of Jesus, one needs to have the Spirit of God.  If what Jesus said, was inspired by God’s Spirit, surely the need to interpret must be by the same means.

In order to gain some knowledge into the concept of being born again we’ll have to analyse Mary’s conception of Jesus.  The example Jesus showed us, did not begin at his baptism by the river Jordan or when he returned from the forty days of fasting in the desert[7].  No, it started when Gabriel brought God’s word to Mary.

 

Luke 1:26-38 (NLT) 

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel[8] forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

The order of the conception was hence as follows:

  • The angel brought the message that God had chosen Mary.
  • She would conceive and give birth to a son.
  • Conception would occur after the Holy Spirit had come upon her and…
  • God’s power had overshadowed her.
  • Mary accepted the angel’s word as true and yielded herself to God’s plan.

 

Therefore, Mary’s conception[9] was the blending of the human seed of Mary and the divine seed of the Most High God[10] necessary to bring forth in one person the Son of Man[11] as well as the Son of God[12].  Consequently, Jesus displayed the characteristics of human beings; he was exhausted, fatigued and thirsty[13], He wept over a friend[14] and at times He was troubled in His heart and soul[15].  But He also unmistakably, had the qualities of one calling himself the Son of God; He had God’s nature of unconditional love and grace[16], calling God his Father which was considered blasphemy by the Scribes[17]. He performed miracles and cast out evil spirits by the Spirit of God[18], calling the Temple his Father’s house and was very upset when the people used it for their own gain[19]. But the ultimate test for Sonship he passed during his forty days of fasting in the desert[20] when Satan the prince of this world[21] tried him with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life[22]. He was not born with a sinful nature[23] but was made in the likeness of man which is born with a sinful nature.

Romans 8:3 (NIV)[24] 

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,

NLT The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

 

One of the reasons why Jesus came to earth was to bring an end to the sinful nature’s reign over man ever since Adam’s fall.  Adam sinned and therefore brought death and consequently all of mankind is now born with a sinful nature.

Genesis 2:17 (KJV) 

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof[25] thou shalt surely die.

Romans 5:12 (KJV)

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

 

Mankind needed to be reconciled with God again and Jesus, God’s Son, the firstborn from the dead[26], brought that reconciliation[27].  But He brought more than just reconciliation.  If Jesus was God’s firstborn[28] then it follows logically to have a second born, third born, fourth born and so forth.   Jesus was therefore the first man ever to have been born a human being through human birth but also having the seed, the nature, the attributes and character of the Most High God within Him.  We can say that He possessed God’s DNA[29]. Because He conquered death and is seated at God’s right hand, we now can have that same privilege – to have the divine nature and attributes of Christ within us.  But to have that nature we need His seed.  This nature of love and grace cannot be attained through works, but only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and being born again.  Therefore, we have to believe and confess with our mouths that Jesus was and is the Son of God that He died on the cross for the sins of the world and was raised by God the Father from the dead.

Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Galatians 2:16 (AMP)

Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the Law, but [only] through faith and [absolute] reliance on and adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [Therefore] even we [ourselves] have believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law [for we cannot be justified by any observance of the ritual of the Law given by Moses], because by keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified (declared righteous and put in right standing with God).

 

Just like Mary needed to believe the angel’s words, so we need to believe the word of God.  This word of salvation may come to us through a preacher, a book, the Bible or from some other source.  Whenever we believe that Word and confess it as true, the Holy Spirit will come upon us and plant the seed of Christ within our hearts.  We then become partakers of Christ’s divine nature.  We have his “spiritual DNA” placed within us.

2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

NLT By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

 

Within Christ’s seed are all of His attributes, character, power and nature[30].

1 John 3:9 (AMP[31])

No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.

I have already stated that Jesus was the first person to receive God’s seed within him.  He was born with it.  We are physically born with a sinful nature and need to be born again or born from above by the Spirit of God in order to understand the Kingdom of God – according to the Gospel of John 3:3.  When this happens – being born from above – it puts us in a different relational position with God the Father than any other person in the Old Testament.

Matthew 11:11 (NIV)

I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Let us consider another one of Jesus’ amazing and perplexing statements.  It is recorded in the Bible of anointed people doing marvelous things; acts of faith, healings, miracles and some even being taken up to heaven alive[32].  Yet no one of them had been greater than John the Baptist.  But more amazingly, all who later were born again are greater than John the Baptist.  The reason; we have His seed!  Not one person in all of the Old Testament had that privilege.  In the OT[33] the Spirit of God would come on certain people for a specific task[34].  When the Prophet, Priest or King was anointed with oil, they received His Spirit upon them to help, guide and empower them in their administrations, service and governance.  But not one of them received His seed.  Whenever the Spirit of God would depart from such a person, he was left with his own abilities of human power and wisdom.  It is clearly seen in the life of King Saul[35]

In this way God’s Spirit would enable the OT Prophet, Priest and King and this was God’s way until the coming of John the Baptist. 

Luke 16:16 (AMP)

Until John came, there were the Law and the Prophets; since then the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his own way rather than God’s way into it].

It is not through the Law of Moses, human striving or works that anyone can enter into God’s Kingdom, but only by being born again.  This is a work of God’s Spirit and therefore impossible to man and only possible to God[36].

Many today claim to be God’s children.  Most religions believe in a god, gods or a supernatural force.  This belief is in a creature or entity that has greater abilities and is of a higher nature and sphere than mankind.  The OT and NT do mention many gods [37], which were served by the pagan nations and at certain times by Israel as well (when they were disobedient and rebelled against God or were taken captive by their enemies).   However, the Most High God[38] is a very appropriate description of the God who Abram, Balaam, Israel, David, Daniel and his three friends as well as Paul served[39].  He is also the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ[40].  To become a child of the Most High God – not merely serving Him – requires His implanted seed.  Humanly this is impossible and can only be done by and through God’s Spirit.

However, the portion of Scripture in John 3 from verses 3 to 8 makes a distinction between to “see the kingdom of God” (verse 3) and to “enter the kingdom of God” (v5).  To see means to understand, to comprehend, behold, perceive or be aware of.  Therefore, having the divine seed is the beginning of the knowledge of the Son of God[41] or the kingdom of God.  But entering the kingdom requires an additional process as set out in verse five.  Looking into the Greek of John 3:5, we find no article(a, an or the)[42] with the word water or the word spirit.  It should actually read of water and spirit.  This is the figure Hendiadys by which two words are used but only one thing or idea is meant[43].  It could thus read: “Except a man is born of water, yes, spiritual water, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

The spiritual water that is spoken of we find in John 7:39.

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

This experience of washing with spiritual water is also explained in one of Paul’s letters.

Titus 3:3-7 (NIV)

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

It is an inner washing performed by the Holy Spirit.  The same Spirit, who caused the seed to be implanted in Mary, performs the identical process in our hearts and proceeds to wash us – if we ask and allow the Spirit – so that we can enter into the kingdom of Christ[44].

An OT story which typifies this NT experience is found in Exodus 12 to 14 where we read of the Israelites that were enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh.  God commanded Moses to be the deliverer and to lead the Israelites out of this oppression.  Every family had to kill a lamb, paint the blood of the lamb onto the doorposts of their houses and eat the roasted meat.  After the angel of death had passed by they took their belongings and started to move towards freedom.  However they had not travelled very far before Pharaoh realised the plan of escape and pursued with his mighty army.  This brought the Israelites to a state of fear and consternation[45].  God, however, had a plan and brought them miraculously through the Red Sea as Moses parted the Sea with his staff.  Once all of Israel had safely reached the other side, the Sea closed and the hosts of Egypt’s army drowned.  The Red Sea was the cut-off point of the past and the entrance to the new way and land God intended for Israel.  Even though Israel believed Moses’ plan of redemption and applied the blood of the lamb, the real deliverance from Pharaoh’s rulership happened at the Red Sea.

Pharaoh and Egypt represented Satan and the kingdom of darkness.  Moses was a figure of Christ and the Red Sea symbolizes water baptism.  The cloud by day and pillar of fire by night points to the guidance, protection and refining work of the Holy Spirit.  What happened nearly 3500 years ago in the lives of people God had chosen, is an example and shadow of spiritual realities to be found in Christ and our spiritual progress[46].  The significance of this specific event is mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Church in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 10:1-2 (NIV)

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

(AMP) FOR I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that our forefathers were all under and protected by the cloud [in which God’s Presence went before them], and every one of them passed safely through the [Red] Sea,  And each one of them [allowed himself also] to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea [they were thus brought under obligation to the Law, to Moses, and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God]

By following Moses through the Red Sea, the Israelites identified with him and willingly submitted themselves to his leadership.  Any Israelite that did not go after Moses would surely either be killed or taken again into captivity.  Although they had escaped the Angel of death through the blood on the doorposts, re-enslavement awaited them again should they not follow after Moses.  In the same way, we were delivered from the power of darkness, and have been translated into the kingdom of God’s Son[47].  We “escaped” (spiritual) death through the blood of Jesus and received the divine incorruptible seed[48] through the work of God’s Spirit.  We have passed from death to life as the Scriptures states[49].

This however is not enough to enter into Christ’s way of living and right standing with God.  Water baptism is an outward act to show an inner conviction of following whithersoever the Lamb goes[50]. Water baptism signifies the inner spiritual cleansing which is called the washing of rebirth or to be born of spiritual water.  It is done by faith[51] and publicly shows my dying to the old kingdom and being raised into a new kingdom.

Romans 6:3-5 (MSG)[52]

That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

Colossians 2:11-15 (MSG)

Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

  

The Apostle Peter uses another allegory when writing about water baptism.  He also calls it an inner washing – from the guilt and shame that stained our consciences when we walked according to the course of this world[53].

1 Peter 3:20b-21 (AMP)

…when God’s patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water.  And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you [from inward questionings and fears], not by the removing of outward body filth [bathing], but by [providing you with] the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and peace) before God [because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

(MSG) You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience.

 

To be continued…

 


 

 

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[1] King James Version

[2] Or from above. The Greek is ambiguous and can mean both again and from above. The same applies to verse 7.

[3] The same Greek word means both wind and spirit.

[4] New Living Translation

[5] The phrase aren’t spiritual refers to those who do not have the Spirit of God. Some translations use the word natural man instead of aren’t spiritual. The term natural man relates to the man who is governed by his environment, his natural senses and logic.

[6] Psalm 78:2

[7] Matthew 3:13-4:11; Mark 1:9-13; Luke 3:21-4:13

[8] In the Greek it reads over the house of Jacob.

[9] See also Matthew 1:19-21.

[10] In the Hebrew it is the title El Elyon. The Most High God is the possessor of heaven and earth (Genesis 14:22) and the One who divides the nations their inheritance (Deuteronomy 32:8), He is over all the earth (Psalm 83:18). Jesus is referred to as the Son of the Most High God (Mark 5:7). This title occurs 36 times in the Bible.

[11] The term son of man is used for Ezekiel, Daniel and Jesus. The difference between Jesus and the former two is when it is used of Christ it always has the Article (the). The first occurrence is found in Psalm 8: 4 and 6 referring to Jesus and his dominion over the earth.  In the NT it occurs 88 times. The Son of man has to do with the earth, authority and judgment (John 5:27).

[12] This title expresses the relation of the Son to the Father (Luke 1:35). Also, of all those who are begotten of God (3John 3:1).  It differs therefore from the relationship expressed by the Son of man.  As the Son of God, Christ is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2), and is invested with all power and is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25).

[13] John 4:6-7

[14] John 11:35

[15] John 11:33, 12:27

[16] John 1:18, 8:1-11

[17] John 5:18

[18] Matthew 12:28

[19] John 2:16

[20] Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13

[21] John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11

[22] 1John 2:15-17

[23] Luke 1:35

[24] New International Version

[25] Hebrew; dying thou shalt die. Death was first spiritual and then physical. Adam was cut off from God’s presence and daily communion due to his disobedience – this was spiritual death.  After many years physical death was the result of spiritual death.

[26] Colossians 1:18

[27] Romans 5:10; 2Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:20-21

[28] Jesus was Mary’s firstborn (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7). Jesus was also his heavenly Father’s firstborn (Romans 8:29;   Colossians 1:15).

[29] Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and some viruses. The main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information. DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints or a recipe, or a code, since it contains the instructions needed to construct other components of cells, such as proteins and RNA molecules. The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA

[30] See Philippians 2:6 (AMP) and Colossians 1:19 (AMP).

[31] Amplified Bible

[32] Genesis 5:24; 2Kings 2:1-12

[33] Old Testament

[34] Exodus 31:1-7; Numbers 11:16-17, 24-25; Judges 6:34, 14:6; 1Samuel 10:6, 16:13 etc.

[35] It is interesting to look at the life of Saul. After he was anointed as king, God’s Spirit came upon him. But his behaviour and manner changed when the Spirit of God departed from him (1Samuel 10:17-24, 11:6-8, 16:1-2). When Saul was in the presence of other prophets he  prophesied again. (1Samuel 19:22-24) 

[36] Matthew 19:26

[37] In alphabetical order:  Adramelech and Annamelech in 2Kings 17:31; Ashima in 2Kings 17:30; Ashtoreth in 1Kings 11:5, 33, 2Kings 23:13; Astarte is the Greek name for Ashtoreth; Baal in Numbers 22:41, Judges 2:13, 6:25, 1Kings 16:31-32,  Romans 11:4 etc.; Baalpeor in Numbers 25:3,5 etc.; Berith in Judges 9:46; Baalzebub in 2Kings 1:2-3,6,16, Matthew 12:24Luke 11:19; Bel and Nebo in Isaiah 46:1, Jeremiah 50:2, 51:44; Castor and Pollux in Acts 28:11; Chemosh in Judges 11:24,  1Kings 11:7,33, 2Kings 23:13 etc.; Chiun in Amos 5:26; Dagon in Judges 16:23, 1Samuel 5:2-7, 1Chronicles 10:10; Diana in Acts 19:24,27,28,34,35; Gad and Meni in Isaiah 65:11; Jupiter in Acts 14:12,13, Acts 19:35; Malcham in 1Chronicles 8:9, Zephaniah 1:5; Mercury in Acts 14:12; Merodach in Jeremiah 50:2; Milcom in 1Kings 11:5,33, 2Kings 23:13; Molech in Leviticus 18:21, 20:2-5, 1Kings 11:7, 2Kings 23:10, Jeremiah 32:35, Amos 5:26, 7:43; Nehushtan in 2Kings 18:4; Nergal in 2Kings 17:30; Nibhaz and Tartak in 2Kings 17:31; Nisroch in 2Kings 19:37, Isaiah 37:38; Remphan in Acts 7:43; Rimmon in 2Kings 5:18; Satyr in Isaiah 13:21, 34:11; Siccuth in Amos 5:26; Succoth-benoth in 2Kings 17:30; Tammuz in Ezekiel 8:14.

[38] See footnote 3 on page 14.

[39] See Genesis 14:19; Numbers 24:16; Psalm 78:56; Psalm 57:2; Daniel 3:26; Acts 16:17.

[40] Mark 5:7

[41] 2Peter 2:20-21

[42] One of a class of auxiliary words inserted before a noun or a word used as a noun, or, in some languages, prefixed or suffix to it, to limit or modify it in some way. In English;  a and an (indefinite article) and the (definite article).

[43] Bullinger, Ethelbert, W. (D.D) 1968: Figures of speech used in the Bible,  Baker Books, Michigan.

[44] Colossians 1:13-14

[45] Exodus 14

[46] Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 10:1

[47] Colossians 1:13-14

[48] 1Peter 1:18-23

[49] John 5:24; 1John 3:14

[50] Revelation 14:4

[51] Everything a Christian do is to be done by faith and not as works, traditions or under compulsion. See Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38.

[52] Message Translation

[53] Ephesians 2:1-3

About Edgar Phillips
Husband, Dad, Ordained Minister and Missionary who loves God, Pastoral & Functional Therapist, Imago Professional Facilitator, EFT practitioner.

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