Comprehend the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus
Comprehend the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus
Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes (January 8, 2019)
Biblical references from: ESV2011, AKJV, LXXE, and others if they fit better with the Grk txt
The invented religions, old and new, are a social necessity because of ignorance, a factor of rivalry, and the reason why so much blood has been spilt in the world. Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life, is above all religions.
The purpose of this study is to encourage an honest research, unaffected by human religious traditions, rescued biblical texts, and related historical accomplished facts, for a clearer understanding of the fulfilled promises of the one God given to the fathers of Israel in the flesh, and the resulting spiritual blessings for all the nations of people. This will help to highlight the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who defeated death and gave us immortality with requirements.
In seeking this truth, it is necessary to know the birth, the course, and the end of Judaism, and to comprehend through the Hebrew Scriptures its types as explained by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Similarly, we need to know the social, political and religious environment of the God-established Jewish nation that was under the dominion of the Roman kingdom, during the time of the foundation by the same God of genuine Christianity which is the fulfillment / completion of biblical Judaism.
The time of Jesus and his chosen apostles' action, and the work they have done are historical, unique and unrepeatable facts. Genuine apostles accomplished their mission, completed their work, preached to all nations, beginning with the Jews of Jerusalem and other Israelites of the dispersion, and the work of the mortal man's salvation was completed. The transition from the old one to the new one was made, the Mosaic law of types and allegories was completed, the real one came, death was defeated, the Life, Jesus, reigned, biblical Judaism completed its purpose.
The living in Jesus Christ are the blessed seed of the Lord (Isa. 65:23), the new, spiritual Israel, the people of God that listens to and is led by the Ever-living One and not by mortal mentors.
“It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me.” (John 6:45)
The prevailing expectations of the modern religious status quo are the result of accumulated misconceptions of the scriptures, because of the influence of the occult Jewish literature, the Sibylline oracles, the ancient Greek thought and the popular traditions, which deliberately or ignorantly are supported by the self-projected leaders of the "Christian" crowd.
“I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” (1 John 2:26-27)
The law and the Jews
The Jews, who were under the law, were under slavery and under a curse from which Jesus Christ redeemed them.
“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” (Gal. 3:10)
The Jews of the Galilee, who received commandments from Jesus, writers of the New Testament letters, wrote to their fellow Jews who were under the dead letter of the law but now they had become partakers of the heavenly calling, about their new heavenly high priest, "the one who was resurrected from the dead, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal Covenant," Jesus Christ. (Heb. 13:20)
“Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling,
consider (Grk txt: κατανοήσατε) comprehend Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house.” (Heb. 3:1-2)
They reminded them not to return to their old way of worship, which began with the earthly tabernacle and the "worldly sanctuary", with the poor and weak elements to which the worshipers were enslaved. Because now the ones in Christ were free to worship the one God in the true, heavenly temple where Jesus had first entered, in spirit and truth.
“Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 6:20)
“Even so we (the Jews), when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Gal. 4:3-5)
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13)
“But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage?” (Gal. 4:9)
The atonement according to the scriptures
“And he is the expiation for our sins: not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2, Anderson)
The atonement process performed by the heavenly high priest Jesus Christ was done according to the hieratic provisions of the law of the Old Testament.
“And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” (Lev. 16:34)
“Then truly the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary […] Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” (Heb. 9:1-10)
The atonement process in the earthly tabernacle, which was a copy of the true and heavenly one, was completed with the exit of the high priest from the holy of holies. When the high priest entered the sanctuary to make atonement for it, he was to wear a linen service uniform, which he then had to take off, wash his flesh with water, and dress himself in his luxurious colored garments made by byssus, which included the ephod, the robe, the fitted tunic, the turban with the U-shaped plate of pure gold upon it, the girdle, and the "breastplate of judgment", which was square and woven in a way that contained four rows, each with three precious stones, with the names of the twelve tribes of the fleshly Israel. (Exodus chapter 28)
Note: For the holy, colored garments of Aaron, which were made of byssus, see Exodus, chapter 28, verses 5, 6, 8, 15, and 39, and chapter 35, verses 23 and 25 (Darby)
The first phase of the atonement process in the Old Testament was to make atonement for the sanctuary, the tent of meeting and the altar.
“And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of witness, when he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, until he shall have come out; and he shall make atonement for himself, and for his house, and for all the congregation of the children of Israel.
And he shall come forth to the altar that is before the Lord, and he shall make atonement
upon for it; and he shall take of the blood of the calf, and of the blood of the goat, and shall put it on the horns of the altar round about.
And he shall sprinkle some of the blood upon it seven times with his finger, and shall purge it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
And he shall finish making atonement for the sanctuary and for the tabernacle of witness, and for the altar; and he shall make a cleansing for the priests, and he shall bring the living goat;
and Aaron shall lay his hands on the head of the live goat, and he shall declare over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their unrighteousness, and all their sins; and he shall lay them upon the head of the live goat, and shall send him by the hand of a ready man into the wilderness.
And the goat shall bear their unrighteousnesses upon him into a desert land; and Aaron shall send away the goat into the wilderness.
And Aaron shall enter into the tabernacle of witness, and shall put off the linen garment, which he had put on, as he entered into the holy place, and shall lay it by there.
And he shall bathe his body in water in the holy place, and shall put on his raiment (of the high priest), and shall go out and offer the whole-burnt-offering for himself and the whole-burnt-offering for the people: and shall make atonement for himself and for his house, and for the people, as for the priests.” (Lev. 16:17-24 LXXE)
This is the law of the burnt offering.
“Command Aaron and his sons, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering is to remain on the hearth on the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar must be kept burning on it.
Then the priest must put on his linen robe and must put linen leggings over his bare flesh, and he must take up the fatty ashes of the burnt offering that the fire consumed on the altar, and he must place them beside the altar. Then he must take off his clothes and put on other clothes, and he must bring the fatty ashes outside the camp to a ceremonially clean place.” (Lev. 6:9-11 NET)
The uniforms of the priests who ministered were considered holy, and none of the people were allowed to touch them. After completing their ministry, they changed their garments to come in contact with the people.
“When the priests enter the Holy Place, they shall not go out of it into the outer court without laying there the garments in which they minister, for these are holy. They shall put on other garments before they go near to that which is for the people.” (Ezek. 42:14)
The atonement pattern in the Mosaic Law prefigured the true, heavenly atonement.
The earthly Sanctuary and its Services was a Shadow of Heavenly things. When Jesus died, the purpose of the earthly sanctuary was finished. Thus invisible hands ripped the veil of the temple from top to bottom showing that God's presence would no longer be there.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:3-4)
So, the heavenly Jesus with his heavenly flesh/ body, which was an image of a sinful flesh, was sent by God to serve the people of Israel, and as a high priest to make atonement once and for all, offering himself as a sacrifice.
“But he answered and said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 15:24)
“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:28)
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb. 9:12)
And while he tasted death for every man by sacrificing himself on the cross, he rose from the dead in three days, and before entering the true, heavenly tabernacle as a heavenly high priest, he told his disciple Mary Magdalene, "do not touch me," to fulfill the written law (see Ezek. 42:14).
And after entering the true, heavenly tabernacle, offering his own immaculate, holy blood, to make eternal atonement, he then came out of the true holies wearing the garments of the glory of his father/his glory, as he had promised to his disciples, and he completed salvation for those waiting for him, according to the hieratic provisions of the Mosaic Law.
“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Truly I say to you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt. 16:27-28, 25:31)
“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time (glorious), not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Heb. 9:22-28)
“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only (fleshly Israel), but also for the sins of the whole world (Gentiles in the flesh).” (1 John 2:2)
If, supposedly, Jesus had not come out of the heavenly holies to complete the work of atonement according to the law, that would have meant that Jesus had not been a faithful high priest, hence the Jewish believers who had stopped sacrificing in the Temple, because they had abandoned the poor and weak elements of the world, had been deceived and had not been saved. Neither did the high priest Jesus appear a second time, the earthly temple was destroyed, so the issue of atonement is uncertain, and humanity is in search of a savior. But if we confess Jesus Christ as our Savior, then this means that he has completed the work of atonement and has come out of the heavenly holies.
Jesus is merciful and faithful high priest
“Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers (as far as the temptations are concerned), that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” (Heb. 2:17-18)
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:15-16)
The fleshly worshipers of the heavenly types were waiting outside of the tabernacle for their mortal priests until they performed their hieratic services.
“No one may be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel.” (Lev. 16:17)
“Now while he (Zechariah) was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.” (Luk. 1:8-10)
“And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple.” (Luk. 1:21)
Likewise, the new, spiritual Israel, which experienced the last days of the century of the Mosaic Law, was waiting for its immortal, heavenly high priest in the generation of the apostles to come out of the true, heavenly tabernacle to complete the work of redemption.
“Who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Pet. 1:5)
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30)
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23)
“For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Gal. 5:5)
“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Rom. 13:11-12)
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” (Heb. 10:25)
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:20)
“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Tit. 2:13)
The law brings about wrath
In addition to the prefiguration of the true, heavenly atonement that was completed, the law also required for its completion the execution of the written judgments for the transgressors and murderers of the sent messengers and saints of God and of this Jesus by the opposing Jews.
“Wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; […] children that can't fail to fill up the measure of your fathers iniquities. ye serpents, ye brood of vipers, how can ye escape the punishment of Gehenna? (not hell)
[Gehenna = the earthly valley of Hinnom, which was renamed as the valley of slaughter (Jer. 7:32-33). The word Gehenna appears 12 times in the New Testament and refers to a valley outside of Jerusalem, known as the valley of Hinnom. In the days of unfaithful Jewish kings, pagan rites and child sacrifices were performed there (2 Chron. 28: 1, 3; Jer. 7:31). In the days of the prophet Jeremiah it was called "the valley of corpses and ashes", while in the time of Jesus it was used as a garbage dump, in which, in addition to garbage, the Jews threw animal carcasses and corpses of criminals who were not worthy of burial. In order to destroy the garbage and all the dirt for hygiene reasons, they burned them and kept the fire lit by throwing sulfur. There the "worm (of the corpses, which feeds on them)" is the last and the fire is extinguished "(Mark 9:48, cf. Isa. 66:24). So Jesus used the word as a symbol of eternal punishment / destruction of the ungodly Jews that took place in 70 AD. and not as a reference to eternal torment of “souls”]
Wherefore I shall send you prophets, and wise men, and Scribes; you will kill some, and crucify others, many will ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city so that you maybe charg'd with all the innocent blood shed upon earth, from the blood of Abel the just, unto the blood of Zacharias, the son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. I declare unto you, all these things shall befall this generation.” (Matt. 23:29-36 Mace)
“But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” (Luk. 19:27)
Note: The wrath of the Lamb upon the opposing Jews was executed in front of Jesus, when he appeared for a second time.
“But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies (Roman multinational army), and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city (Jerusalem). Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.” (Matt. 22:7-8)
The consequences of the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple
The symbol par excellence of biblical Judaism, the Temple, was burned. The priests of the types were ceased, the offerings of animals were ceased, the washings and the baptisms were ceased, the prophecies were fulfilled, the old ones were gone, the end of all those related to the law of types came, the written judgments were fulfilled. The fleshly Israel gave its place to the spiritual Israel, the earthly Temple gave its place to the heavenly one, the fleshly worshipers were ceased. God is Spirit and has since been worshiped by true, spiritual worshipers in Christ, "in spirit and truth."
The end of the law (= completion/fulfillment of everything that concerned the law and its fleshly provisions) is Christ, unto justice to every one that believeth.
The end of everything has come / is at head
A few years before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, Peter, the genuine apostle of Jesus Christ and of Jewish origin, as well as the other Αpostles, wrote to the faithful Jews of the dispersion, “But the end of all things is at hand” (1 Pet. 4:7).
What did he say to them? What did the Jewish believers understand? Did they understand that the end of the world was coming? Did they understand that the physical stars would fall from the sky to the earth? Did they understand that the physical sky [= the firmament that divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament (Gen. 1:6-8)] and the physical earth [= the land, not the sea (Gen. 1:9-10)] would be gone, because there was an error in creation, and God decided to create them from the beginning? Of course not.
Jesus never spoke to the fleshly people of Israel about the end of the history of the world that he himself created. On the contrary, the scriptures say that Jesus is a Priest forever to intercede for sinners forever, because he achieved eternal redemption for sinners, and that the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem will never be closed so that the redeemed to enter into it forever and ever. The Testament of our Savior God Jesus is active and has no expiration date; it is not a parenthesis in the history of the world, it is eternal.
Paul wrote: “[…] not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, WHICH WAS PREACHED IN ALL CREATION UNDER HEAVEN; whereof I Paul was made a minister.” (Col. 1:23)
“Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” (Ps. 98:1-3)
So, the faithful Jews, from the twelve tribes of Israel, who knew that the gospel had already been preached to all nations (Rom. 10:18, 16:26, Col. 1:6, 23), understood that the end of the century of the law and its ritual (= earthly Temple, altar, sanctuary, priests, uniforms, vessels, sacrifices, Messianic prophecies, genealogies, circumcision, fleshly people of God) was coming. They understood that their salvation was nearer than when they believed. They understood that the coming of the savior Jesus was near, the time was near, the day was approaching. They understood that the time was near when God would repay them with comfort for their sorrows and would pay back sorrows to the opposing Jews who troubled them. (See 2 Thess. Ch. 1)
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt. 24:14)
For the time is at hand
All the letters, of the first century, spoke about the imminent coming of Jesus Christ in the generation of the first church.
“For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” (Heb. 10:37)
“Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Phil. 4:5)
“Be patient therefore, brothers, to the coming of the Lord.” (James 5:7)
“Be you also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near. Grudge not one against another, brothers, lest you be condemned: behold, the judge stands before the door.” (James 5:8-9)
“And Jesus said, I am: and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (he was speaking to the Sanhedrin).” (Mark 14:62)
“Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev. 22:7)
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28)
“For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death till he come.” (1 Cor. 11:26)
The book of Revelation
The book of Revelation sent to the Jewish faithful of the seven churches of Asia, and not to the world, shouted for his imminent coming and the destruction of Jerusalem.
“To show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass.” (1:1)
“Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, (in real time) and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (1:3)
“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown.” (3:11)
“And he said to me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.” (22:10)
Read more about the book of Revelation here.
The inaccuracies of Christian Zionism
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw near to God.” (Heb. 7:19)
The ideologically nationalistic and opposing to Christ Jesus pharisaic Judaism, and the fruit of the union of the Hellenistic with the Jewish element, shaped rabbinical Judaism, whose most exponents have preserved unaltered to this day the anti-biblical belief in the reconstruction of a third temple in the land of Jerusalem, as a fulfillment of the promise of their national god. Zionism (= Jewish nationalism), as a carrier of this erroneous nationalistic ideology, is supported by the likewise anti-biblical "Christian Zionism,” a movement that exists mainly among Evangelical fundamentalist circles and secondarily among the Baptists of the U.S.A.. This movement spreads the modern “Dispensational Theology” of the Anglican triadic clergyman John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), thereby overturning the fundamental biblical truths that "the end of the law is Christ" and that, “the Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.”’ (Heb. 7:21, Rom. 10:4)
For the spread of the anti-biblical positions of “Christian” Zionism, which probably serve geostrategic policies, churches were established worldwide, with some defining themselves as "apostolic" to add apostolic prestige and messianic character, thus forming appropriate fields for their founders to exercise spiritual power on those who do not have biblical knowledge and deliberately untaught believers, for social prominence and nepotism.
For these founders, natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, storms, tornadoes, even global economic or geopolitical rearrangements, warfare, strong political or religious personalities, moral dissolution, accidents, etc., are causes of the formation of fearful societies, which can be easily manipulated, and causes of the revival of traditional eschatological fantasies, which touch the end of the world. These hilarities, assisted by false prophets and alarmists who constantly announce the last days of the world, are repeated from generation to generation.
The arbitrary, imaginary theory of "Dispensationalism" considers Christianity as a parenthesis, and sets modern "Israel" as a regulator of the divine plan for the "end of the history of the world." For its theory to be fulfilled, the belief in a triadic god (triad = a set of three similar things) is definitely necessary, where each member of the triadic deity takes action during different periods of history, usually seven chronologically successive periods. It presupposes that the end of Christ is the law, that is, the cessation of the New Testament which replaced the Old because it was weak and pointless, and the return to the Old, -this is called a fiction- thus, blaming God as a violator.
“For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor.” (Gal. 2:18)
The two worlds
Jesus, who was the Christ of the Hebrew Scriptures (Acts 9:22) and in whom a multitude of Jews who were seeking the consolation of Israel believed (Luk. 2:25), spoke the language of the prophets and came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.
“And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7)
“Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;” (John 12:42)
As the Son of the Spirit (God is Spirit), Jesus replaced the ritual of Judaism with the true one, with the heavenly one. He was heavenly, the true God, the true temple; he gave birth to the true worshipers, abolished death, and gives immortality. He made everything new, he executed the wrath of God upon the Jewish transgressors of the law according to the terms of the Old Testament, he judged the old world, and inaugurated a new, living and true way through which we approach the one God.
Everything that has been fulfilled is not expected. Christianity is not Judaism; it has no types, it has no prophecies waiting to be fulfilled. Christianity has no shadows; it is light, it is the fulfillment of biblical Judaism.
Genuine Christianity is the New One that replaced the Old One. So, we have two worlds, the world before Christ that was subjugated to angels and world rulers of darkness, death ruled along with Hades, the man was fleshly (the old man) and unable to do the will of God, the law was a shadow of future good things and an educator in Christ until the fullness of the times. When the fullness of the time came, Christ Jesus was born. So, the time of Christ was the time of the filling of the times of the old world.
“Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” (Eph. 1:9-10)
“And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:17-18)
In the post-Christ world, we have the Resurrected Jesus Christ as our Heavenly king, to whom has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, who has the keys of Hades and death and “has annulled the one that has the power of death, that is, the devil (Heb. 2:14 Darby)”. We have the new man, the spiritual one, "which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness", who has the grace and power to do God's good will and receive immortality. The shadows of the law no longer exist, the life has been revealed, the scriptures have been fulfilled.
“Think not that I am come to make void the law or the prophets; I am not come to make void, but to fulfil.” (Matt. 5:17)
The apostolic period
“And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19)
The apostolic times were a transition period from the Old One to the New One. The apostles were instructed to carry out this transition work, so that everything that is written to be accomplished. The forty-year period from the resurrection of Jesus to the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of Judaism is characterized as an apostolic period, because it was during that period that the reputable, one-time sent apostles acted. Jesus did not send other apostles to replace them, as it used to be done with the priests, because their work was fulfilled. Since then, it has been active, and all people are now called upon to believe in it and to receive the gift of eternal life. What happened in the generation of the apostles was for the salvation of all those who believe in Christ for ever and ever.
“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:23-25)
“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7)
“To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Eph. 3:21)
The post-apostolic period
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
(1 Cor. 1:21)
From 70 AD onwards, because of the lack of apostles, no church founded by people can be counted as apostolic. The post-apostolic period was a period of religious philosophical disputes among various philosophical factions, both Jewish and Greek. Middle Platonism with its variations was at its peak, which evolved into Neo-Platonism with its own variations by Plotinus; there was also Aristotelianism, Stoicism, Epicurianism, etc., with their own variations.
The action of the apologetic philosophers -both of the Jews and of the Greeks, who recognized Christianity as the supreme philosophy and undertook the task of representing it in the gentile world, without the presence of the apostles- managed to combine Christianity with the human philosophy, the number one enemy of it.
“Beware that no man make a prey of you by means of philosophy and vain delusion, after the tradition of men, after the principles of the world, and not after Christ: for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col. 2:8-9)
Those who were proselytized to the new, religious, philosophical mixture, adopted Jewish myths of the occult Jewish literature, prophecies of Hellenism (Sibylline oracles), the theological Platonic view and the Aristotelian view, which had emerged from interactions with the theological Persian view, the Chinese view, the Egyptian view and other theological views, and all this was named "Christianity."
At a later time, the political and social conditions demanded the alliance of the now compound Christianity with the Roman power, an action which secured its protection by the sun worshiper, Caesar Constantine, who was considered as divine by the people. The politically insightful Constantine, who was scandalously proclaimed as saint and equal to the apostles by the new cosmopolitan religion of the ecumenical councils, -the "holy" fathers were rewarded for this- knowing that a common religion would unite his people, which consisted of different ethnicities and beliefs, took the compound Christianity under his protection, and proclaimed Jesus as the god of war (εν τούτω νίκα / in this sign conquer / In hoc signo vinces), thus acquiring eager people for his warfare.
The acceptance of the compound "Christianity" in the gentile world was achieved by the laws of the Roman State, which imposed the death penalty on the non-persuadable, and since then, the blood of the unbelieving idolaters has flowed abundantly in the west and in the east. Theodosius proceeded with the nationalization of the compound Christianity. This act is still in effect today in Christian states in the world.
Note: Church history informs us, that the Roman emperor Theodosius was not the first ruler who set up a Christian state. That honour traditionally goes to the church of Armenia which was founded in the 1st century AD, and in 301 AD it became the first branch of Christianity to become a state religion.
The triumph of the compound, processed Christianity
The Roman sword and the statutory violence of the proselytes, Christianized the gentiles and the heretic ones, and the compound, processed "Christianity" of the fathers triumphed. In order to be consistent with the scriptures, as they claimed, the "saints" together with Athanasius, who acted as rapporteur, made an ontological equation of the father with the son, proclaiming Jesus as co-eternal and co-equal with the Father, -thus shaping the choice of the dyadic god, which is widespread nowadays, for those who do not prefer the triadic one- in defiance of the Platonic philosophers, the Jewish Philon, Justinus and others who were enlightened by the earth, who believed that the word is a second-class god and inferior to the father, a first-born son, an archangel, etc. (Philonian Word)
The philosophical triadic doctrine is the peak of Hellenistic Christianity, which aimed for its global, violent dominance and absolute dogmatism. The new, typological, schismatic religion of the fathers, a variation of national polytheism, expects again the fulfillment of promises; it has been enforced with rivers of blood, and has violently closed all the philosophical schools of the gentiles, anathematizing mathematics, medicine, astronomy and so on. It is still today the main body of the state, religious status quo, the guardian of popular traditions and fictions, continuously reproducing new schisms.
Sadly, people who claim to have "seen the true light" and "received the holy spirit," support the enforced compound Christianity of the bloodthirsty, sun worshiper and supporter of Arianism, Constantine, and introduce the often-modified decisions of the philosophical ecumenical councils as correct, and the symbol of faith of the state "orthodoxy." They deliberately ignore that this took four centuries after Christ to complete by the fathers, who recognize Mary as "the Despotess who vanquished the power of death." Moreover, and sadly, they believe in a three-sunned god and at the same time they say that they are apostolic and that they have the gospel of Jesus Christ as their charter. These are deceptive, incompatible, and are embraced by the uneducated and the ignorant of history.
“For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14)
Other misconceptions by the offshoots of the state, compound Christianity
[Compound Christianity is the mixing of the biblical Christianity with the Greek philosophy and the Jewish myths]
A brief historical retrospect for the comprehension of the 11th chapter in Isaiah, which is quoted by the millenarians, and of the 11th chapter in Romans, which is quoted by the dispensationalists
The house of Jacob and the dispersion
The house of Jacob (12 tribes) was divided into two kingdoms, the kingdom of Israel (10 tribes) and the kingdom of Judah (2 tribes). Eventually, both houses were dispersed to the nations and became identical to them.
“And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.” (Deut. 28:64)
“For, as it is written, The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Rom. 2:24)
The return of Judah from the Babylonian captivity to the land of promise gave an extension to the Jewish nation and the Law until the coming of Jesus, the seed of the promise of life that was given to Abraham for all the nations of people. The other dispersed tribes were cut off from the metropolis of Jerusalem, they were in constant rivalry with the returned Jews, and were treated as gentiles by them. (Ezra, Nehemiah)
The term "sheep" identifies the Jews (Matt. 15:24, 10:16, Rom. 8:36, 1 Pet. 2:25, Mark 14:27, Heb. 13:20, John 21:17, etc.). They were the people of his pasture.
The sheep were scattered by God among the nations
“Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has gnawed his bones.” (Jer. 50:17)
“You have made us like sheep for slaughter and have scattered us among the nations.” (Ps. 44:11)
“O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?” (Ps. 74:1)
Jesus, as the scriptures testify, was born under the law to redeem those under the law (the Jews), so that they might receive adoption as sons. He was active in the land of promise only, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." All of Jesus' conversations were with the Jews and concerned the law, its interpretation and its fulfillment. He chose Jewish apostles, and his first disciples (the beginning) were Jews.
“And he shall lift up a standard for the nations, and he shall gather the lost ones of Israel, and he shall gather the dispersed of Juda from the four corners of the earth.” (Is. 11:12, LXXE)
“And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” (Matt. 2:6)
The first commandment to the Jewish apostles was: “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:6)
This word was given in order for the prophecy of Hosea and of other prophets to be fulfilled, who had said that God would re-gather his scattered sheep into one flock under one shepherd.
“For thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will seek out my sheep, and will visit them. As the shepherd seeks his flock, in the day when there is darkness and cloud, in the midst of the sheep that are separated: so will I seek out my sheep, and will bring them back from every place where they were scattered in the day of cloud and darkness. And I will bring them out from the Gentiles, and will gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land, and will feed them upon the mountains of Israel, and in the valleys, and in every inhabited place of the land.” (Ezek. 34:11-13 LXXE)
Jesus told to the Jews of Jerusalem
“And I have other sheep (the scattered) that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. (believers) So there will be one flock, one shepherd.» (John 10:16)
“And shalt return to the Lord thy God, and shalt hearken to his voice, according to all things which I charge thee this day, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul; then the Lord shall heal thine iniquities, (NT ) and shall pity thee, and shall again gather thee out from all the nations, among which the Lord has scattered thee. If thy dispersion be from one end of heaven to the other, thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and thence will the Lord thy God take thee.” (Deut. 30:2-4)
And through Jeremiah, he said: “For finding fault with them, he said, Behold, the days come, said the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah […] For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 8:8-13)
And through Hosea, he said: “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.” And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head. And they shall go up from the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (Hos. 1:10-11)
“And I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hos. 2:23)
This promise in Hosea was fulfilled
"James, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad." (James 1:1,18)
Peter, who had received the commandment "feed my lamps" (the house of Jacob = twelve tribes), in his letter to the Jews of the dispersion (=WHO LIVED AMONG THE GENTILES) who had received mercy, confirms the fulfillment of Hosea, chapter one.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the sojourners, dispersed through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by sanctification of the Spirit, that they might be brought to the obedience, and sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ: grace unto you and peace be multiplied […] who in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; who had not obtained mercy, but are now the objects of mercy [...] having your conduct ornamental among the Gentiles ...” (1 Pet. 1:1-2, 2:10-12 Haweis)
“For ye were going astray like sheep; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (1 Pet. 2:25, ERV)
Paul does the same: “And display his infinite goodness to such objects of mercy, as he had prepared for glory? to such as we, whom he has called, both from among the Jews, and from among the Gentiles. as he saith himself in Hosea, "I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her, beloved, which was not beloved. and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, (the Jews) ye are not my people; there shall they be called, the children of the living God."
Esaias also breaks out concerning Israel, " tho' the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant only shall be saved. for in ballancing the account, the Lord will leave a small remainder upon the land." (of Israel) and as Esaias said before, "except the God of heaven had left us a remnant, (the believers in Christ) we had been as Sodoma, and brought to the state of Gomorrha." (Rom. 9:23-29 Mace)
Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, had to gather the sheep first, and then he sent the Apostles to the Gentiles according to the flesh, the Beasts. (Acts 10:11-14)
The wolves, the lions and the serpents
The rulers, the judges, and the false prophets of Israel are identified as wolves.
“Benjamin shall shred as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” (Gen. 49:27)
“Her princes in the middle thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.” (Ezek. 22:27)
“Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.” (Zeph. 3:3)
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)
When he sent the twelve apostles to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he told them: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16)
The laborers of the first church are identified as oxen.
“For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.” (1 Cor. 9:9-10)
“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” (1 Tim. 5:17-18)
The beasts, the four-footed animals, the reptiles and the birds
The beasts, the four-footed animals, the reptiles, and the birds that God showed to Peter (Acts 11:5) identify the Gentiles in the flesh to whom Peter was sent first and who were strangers to the testaments of promise and expropriated from the state of Israel. However, those who accepted Christ became co-heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise of eternal life, and that was the mystery that was silenced for a very long time.
“For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles (in the flesh), If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me on your account. That by revelation he made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words; By which when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be joint-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel.” (Eph. 3:1-6 Webster)
“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.” (Rom. 16:25)
So, in the original, primitive church of God (the spiritual Israel, the blessed seed of the Lord), oxen (the workers of the first church), sheep and wolves (believers from the house of Israel -10 tribes- and from the house of Judah -2 tribes- who had received mercy, people and rulers), and beasts (believers from the gentiles in the flesh who had received mercy) were feeding together. This all reveals the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah and Hosea as well as the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, who was the father of faith of uncircumcision (Gentiles in the flesh) and of circumcision (Jews).
“Thus shall they inherit the land a second time, and everlasting joy shall be upon their head. For I am the Lord who love righteousness, and hate robberies of injustice; and I will give their labour to the just, and will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring in the midst of peoples: every one that sees them shall take notice of them, that they are a seed blessed of God.” (Isa. 61:7-9)
“For there shall be a new heaven and a new earth: and they shall not at all remember the former, neither shall they at all come into their mind. But they shall find in her joy and exultation; for, behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and my people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and will be glad in my people: and there shall no more be heard in her the voice of weeping, or the voice of crying [...] My chosen shall not toil in vain, neither shall they beget children to be cursed; (For those who are of the works of the law are under a curse) for they are a seed blessed of God, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, [that] before they call, I will hearken to them; while they are yet speaking, I will say, What is it? Then wolves and lambs shall feed together, and the lion shall eat chaff like the ox, and the serpent earth as bread. They shall not injure nor destroy in my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” (Isa. 65:17-25 LXXE)
“And in that day will I make a covenant for them (house of Israel + house of Judah) with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, (see Eph. 2:14) and will make them to lie down safely.
And I will betroth you to me for ever; yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies.” (Hos. 2:18-19)
Note: Testator and suitor is God himself
The promise of life was given before the Mosaic Law
“To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.” (Gal. 3:15-18)
“And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers, God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you.” (Acts 13:32-33)
The promise of life, which was given to Abraham, the father of the fleshly Jewish nation, and which made the ones in Christ heavenly citizens (spiritual Israel), required the union in Christ of the two houses of Israel (the union of the twelve tribes) and the participation of the Gentiles in the flesh (sheep + beasts) in order to be fulfilled; and, according to the scriptures, since the requirements were fulfilled, then the promise was also fulfilled.
The law, which was introduced after the promise, was unable to abolish or cancel it. The inheritance was not by the law, but by the promise, as a free gift by God; any thought of returning to the law is not true. Every nationalistic interpretation of salvation is rejected by the scriptures, every special covenant by reference to the biological origin is rejected, any other salvation plan apart from the New Testament is rejected, and every Zionist ideology is false.
“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up to the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Why the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:23-29)
The Mosaic Law was an addition to the history of the world with limited period of validity.
“Why then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” (Gal. 3:19)
The completion/end of the law, which is Christ, does not support antinomianism.
“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother.” (1 John 3:7-10)