The King’s Code

1. The King’s math

1.1. Christ = King (Luk 23:1-2)

1.2. Love = Loyalty (Joh 14:15)

1.3. Upgrade = Sacrifice (Phi 2:5-11)

1.4. Holiness = Intolerance (of sin) (2Co 7:1)

1.5. My King is King > All other Kings (gods included) (Mat 28:18).

1.6. My King’s reboot > than your best life now. (Rev 21:1-5).

1.7. Serve the King = savor the Kingdom (Phi 1:21-23)

2. The King’s inquiry

2.1. Do you serve the King? (or, I serve the King, who do you serve?) (1Jo 5:19)

2.2. Why would anyone be so stupid not to serve the King? Only the King can offer a life free from pain (Rev 21:4 versus the Atheist/religions of the world = Free from pain at death – not during life. The reality for the Atheist/religions of the world = Rev 20:15).

2.3. What happens to you if the King returns in 2046? (2Th 1:7b-10)

3. The King’s speech

3.1. The King is not your holy toilet.

3.1.1. As long as I confess my sin to King Jesus, I don’t have to worry about consequences b/c He takes care of it. He is my holy toilet. Text often used to support this kind of thinking (1Jo 1:9).

3.1.2. You continue to practice sin (thinking yourself to be immune to its eternal consequences) and you will be guilty of treating the King’s blood as an unclean thing and declared apostate by God (Heb 10:26-30; Deu 29:18-20).

3.2. The King requires more than faith alone.

3.2.1. The mantra of the modern-day church, is “nobody is perfect” (e.g., “We are a church who likes to say, ‘we are not perfect and don’t pretend be.’” – Easter postcard from a church in Centennial, CO)

3.2.2. If God expected perfection, then why did He send His Son to die for our sins?

3.2.3. Though God does not expect perfection, He does expect faithful obedience. IOW: you won’t get to heaven on just faith alone (1Jo 2:4, 3:5-10; Mat 13:41; Jam 2:24).

3.2.4. No excuses. We can be faithful (Deu 30:11-20).

3.2.5. So then, you may not be perfect, but you’d better be faithful.

3.3. To have faith in Jesus means you have pledged your complete allegiance to Jesus as the King.

3.3.1. To put faith in Christ or believe upon Christ for salvation means more than trust or mental ascent to Who He is (the Son of God/fully God/Deity, the son of David/fully man/the Messiah or King) or what He has done (lived a sinless life so as to qualify as our atoning sacrifice and rose again in the third day as proof of God’s acceptance and our justification through Him – Rom 4:25; 1Co 15:1-4) (e.g. faith as trust or mental ascent – 1Co 13:2).

3.3.2. Putting faith/believing upon Christ for salvation also means swearing our complete allegiance to Jesus as our King IOW: We are now loyal to the precepts of our King, not the preferences of people (including self).

3.3.3. Allegiance was the 1st century understanding of the term pistus translated as “faith” and the idea behind belief. It referred to more than mental ascent or trust. It implied also loyalty to that thing/person (Rom 3:3 and Mat 23:23 pistus is translated as “faithfulness” [a synonym for allegiance]).

3.3.4. Examples where translating pistus as “allegiance” makes more sense given the context (Act 24:24-25 [τῆς εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν πίστεως] = allegiance to King Jesus [v25 all about allegiance]; Tit 2:9-10 “submissive in everything, well-pleasing not argumentative, not pilfering but showing all good faith [pistus]= allegiance; Rom 1:3, 5, 16:25-26 = Paul’s gospel goal is to bring about “the obedience [pistus] of faith” – i.e. the obedience consistent with our sworn allegiance).

3.3.5. Examples from the 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus: 1) “The inhabitants of this city determined to continue in their allegiance [pistus] to the Romans (The Life 104), 2) “Bacchides troubled not himself with the oaths he had taken, but slew threescore of [the people], although, by not keeping his faith [pistus] with [them] (i.e., by failing to show allegiance to his prior oaths) he deterred the rest who had intentions to go over to him.” (Antiquities 12.396). 62% of the time [pistus] in Josephus refers to allegiance or a pledge of loyalty

3.3.6. Our faith-sworn allegiance/loyalty is viewed as a sacred and binding pledge or vow by God (1Pe 3:21 “pledge” = sacred/binding vow).

3.4. The King’s gift of grace expects reciprocation in the form of allegiance.

3.4.1. Evangelicals are famous for their insistence that our salvation is a gift of grace which means there are no obligatory strings attached. This (however) is a modern understanding of the term grace and gift.

3.4.2. In ancient times (including the time of Jesus and Paul), the ideas of gift and grace – especially when given by dignitaries, always expected reciprocation in the form of allegiance/loyalty (See, Paul & The Gift, John M.G. Barclay).

3.4.3. (e.g. Eph 2:8-10) = The gracious gift was not conditioned on prior acts (“not your own doing, not a result of works”), but does expect future performance (“good works prepared beforehand” – i.e. the Law) in return (“A gift can be unconditioned [free from prior conditions] without also being unconditional [free of expectations of some return].” – John Barclay ibid, p. 562)

3.4.4. This understanding of grace/gift is not a violation of (Rom 4:1-4).

3.5. A Christian not suffering persecution is not a disciple of the King.

3.5.1 When we swear allegiance to the King (i.e., put faith in Jesus) we also commit to suffer persecution from others as we take a stand for His unpopular gospel (Phi 1:27-29; 2Th 1:3-5; Mat 10:34 w/Luk 2:34-35; Joh 15:18-19).

3.5.2. Those who are living in faithful obedience to their former pledge of allegiance are guaranteed to be persecuted (2Ti 3:12).

3.5.3. You are therefore not a true disciple of the King if you avoid such persecution (Heb 10:35-39).

3.5.4. We should count it a good thing when we suffer for our King since this points to us being genuine Christians (Mat 5:10-11; Jam 1:2-4; e.g., of persecution – family/world condemning us for our loyalty to the King over them).

3.6. A Christian without a church is not a disciple of the King.

3.6.1. Evangelicals think it is possible to get to heaven without the earthly covenant community established by our King.

3.6.2. How does a person do that when the key for loosing was given to the church (not individuals)? (Mat 16:18-19 w/Joh 21:21-23).

3.6.3. In Scripture, baptism – where a person is loosed from their sins/saved (1Pe 3:21; Mar 16:16), is never recognized [as saving] when practiced by individuals not authorized by the church (e.g., Act 19:1-7).

3.6.4. The early church believed baptism (as well as the sacrament of the LT) to be given only to the Church and those they approved: 1) “baptism cannot profit a heretic (i.e., individual claiming to be a Christian not recognized by the Church) unto salvation, because there is no salvation outside the Church.” – Cyprian (Bishop of Carthage, 3rd cent.), 2) “Let no one do anything touching the Church, apart from the bishop. Let that celebration of the Eucharist be considered valid which is held under the bishop or anyone to whom he has committed it. Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Church. It is not permitted without authorization from the bishop either to baptize or to hold an agape (LT); but whatever he approves is also pleasing to God. Thus, everything you do will be proof against danger and valid. “– Ignatius (Bishop of Antioch, 2nd cent.)

3.6.5. If a person (therefore) claims to be saved yet was not saved in – and continues to belong to a legitimate church, then they are claiming a salvation outside that of King Jesus. (Good luck with that)

3.7. A church without the King’s authority is a church overrun by Satan.

3.7.1. (Mat 16:13-19): 1) the church has been given the authority and power of Jesus’ Kingship (13-17) “You are the Christ/King” w/ Jesus’ response (18a) “on this rock” = On this authoritative and powerful foundation of my Kingship, “I will build (establish) my church”, 2) b/c of the church’s kingly authority and power, the satanic forces that rule this world will not extend into her midst (18b) “the gates of hell” = Idiomatic reference to the jurisdiction of one’s rule. In this case, the rule of Satan; “shall not prevail against it” = Satan’s rule will not be able to overrun the church, 3) Jesus calls that kingly authority and power given to His church, the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” (18a -“I will build my church w/19a – I will give you the keys…”) = The “you” refers to the “church”, 4) what those keys/the King’s authority and power looks like is the ability to determine who receives forgiveness from God and who is no longer able – i.e. who is now apostate (19b w/Joh 21:21-23 [“Holy Spirit” = Jesus’ promised authority/power – see Mat 12:31-32] w/Mat 18:15-20 [two strikes w/witnesses] w/Tit 3:7-10 [an allusion to Mat 18:15-20]) = By the time the judgment has reached the authority of the church, that person is considered to have reached their third strike and are now no longer to be recognized as a Christian but (once more) of the world (e.g., tax-collector). They are “self-condemned” or apostate. Hence the reason we are to “have nothing more to do with them.”).

3.7.2. A church therefore w/o such authority and power (who denies they possess the ability to bind and loose) is a church where the gates of hell can prevail – i.e., they are a church overrun by Satan. In contrast church possessing the King’s authority and power is therefore the safest place on planet earth. What kind of a church do you want to attend?

3.8. A church not practicing excommunication or declaring unrepentant people apostate is a church without the King’s salvation.

3.8.1. With respect to excommunication: (1Co 5:1-7) = All forms of sexual immorality are a capital crime. Hence the reason for no further detail in relation to what the man in question has done with “his father’s wife.” Under the New Covenant capital crimes are now punished by excommunication – or by temporarily removing them from their place of salvation and protection from God w/ the hopes that this discipline will deliver them from the practice of such heinous sins, ensuring again their place on the path of salvation (v2 -“Let him who has done this be removed from among you” v5 – “you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”).

3.8.2. This however is not the only reason Paul demands such action be taken by the Corinthian church. It is also for their protection. Those covenant communities who refuse to take such disciplinary measures will be found guilty of the same sins (2Jo 1:9-11). Hence the reason Paul quotes God’s oft-repeated command to “purge the evil person from among (us)” (1Co 5:13; Deu 13:5, 17:7, 12, 21:21, 22:21, 24).

3.8.3. How (then) to respond to those who question our church’s practice of excommunication, “We practice excommunication because we want to give our people the best chance of being delivered from their sin and getting to heaven without jeopardizing the salvation of the rest of the church.” (possibly followed by) “Does your church not care about its people?”

With respect to declaring unrepentant people apostate (2Ti 2:15-21“swerved from the truth”) = Gone apostate. Hymenaeus was already excommunicated for prior blasphemy (1Ti 1:19-20). His continued actions (or refusal to repent) sealed his fate (Heb 10:26-30; Deu 29:18-20). As a result, he and his new partner, “Philetus” (as for Alexander, see 2Ti 4:14-15) were to be permanently avoided so as to stop their apostasy (in this case, their blasphemous talk) from spreading like “gangrene” and infecting (or damning) the rest of the church. Only through cleansing ourselves from such people can we remain “useful to the master” and “ready for every good work.” (As already) mentioned, those covenant communities who refuse to take such disciplinary measures (i.e., to purge the evil person from among them”) will be found guilty of the same sins (2Jo 1:9-11). IOW: they become a church no longer able to offer salvation to its members (Rev 2:4-5) “abandoned the love you had at first” = Abandoned your loyalty to the King (i.e., refusing to do what He says); “repent…if not I will come…and remove your lampstand = You ability to offer salvation (to loose people from their sins) (“lampstand” = Temple/tabernacle lampstand which was symbolic of God’s presence in the temple/tabernacle – or among Israel, for the purpose of salvation).

3.8.4. How (then) to respond to those who question our church’s practice of declaring unrepentant persons apostate, “Why would we jeopardize the salvation of those who have hope for those who no longer have any hope?”

3.9. Not welcome to the King, not welcome to us.

3.9.1. Not everyone is welcome to God and therefore worthy to receive His gospel offer. With respect to those people, we are not to waste our time (Mat 7:6, 10:1-7, 14; Luk 3:4-7).

3.9.2. More than that, to waste our time with such people will wreck our relationship with God: 1) (2Co 6:14-18) = It makes no sense to Paul (and should make no sense to us) that anyone who truly loves their King (“Christ”) would want to be “yoked,” have a “portion” in or “fellowship” with an “unbeliever” seeing that they exist in “partnership” or “accord” (i.e., loving relationship) with “Belial” (aka, Satan). If we don’t want to wreck our relationship with God, then we must “go out from their midst” and “be separate from them.” Only then will God “be (our) God and (us)…His people” (16). Notice, it is indeed conditional (17- “Therefore go out…then I will welcome you.”). Does this mean we don’t want to reach unbelievers for Christ or can’t associate w/them? No. 2) (1Co 5:9-11) = We can (and should) associate with unbelievers as the means to evangelism and seeing whether God is calling them to Himself. In respect, to false Christians (i.e., those claiming to be a “brother” or follower of our God yet living in sinful rebellion and darkness), not even association is allowed. Like the excommunicated and apostate, we are to “judge” them and “purge” them from our life since by their spiritual idolatry (in serving a false King) they are second in line to the apostate (vv12-13).

“Why would we want to wreck our relationship with God by spending time with people who hate him and are in a loving relationship with Satan, darkness and idolatry?”

The King’s Team

Nobody gets to heaven by themselves. Why? Because Christianity is a team sport. We need to be on the King’s team, the church. More than that, we need to be doing our part to see that the King’s team is a success. Here then is what you need to know about the King’s team and your place on it:

Every church member is important to the team’s success.

(1Pe 1:18-19) = The King purchased you for the team at the incredibly high price of His own blood. What does that mean? Jesus believes you are important to the team’s success (e.g. The Browns recent acquisition of Deshaun Watson for a guaranteed $230m [most guaranteed money in NFL history] = The Browns believe Watson is important to their success). Jesus would not have done given His precious blood for someone He didn’t believe could have a major impact for His team. Hence why Peters says (1:13a “prepare your minds for action”) = Get ready to make an impact for the team you were purchased at a high price to pay for – to show you are worth the price that was paid versus being a bust. Those who are a bust will be declared apostate and go to hell (Heb 10:29 “profaned the blood” = Wasted the price that was paid [Mat 5:13 – made useless]; Consider also Luk 20:35).

When King Jesus purchased the church, He promised to build a winning team.

(Mat 16:18) = The team Jesus has assembled cannot be defeated by the opposing team (“the gates of hell” [Satan and his evil forces – including this world under his control] cannot “prevail against [us]”). Why? B/C He has empowered us (you and me, the members who collectively make up the church, the King’s team) with the keys to heaven’s nuclear weapons (v19 “bind” = weapon of eternal damnation; “loose” = weapon of eternal salvation). What does Satan or the world possess that can thwart or stand against those weapons/powers? Nothing. What that means: only the church can beat the church. IOW: We beat ourselves by refusing/failing to do what it takes to win.

Winning requires that the church function as a team, and fight for their King.

“Great things are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

Jesus needed the church to complete His mission on earth. The kingdom our King established, we have been left to grow and defend (Joh 14:12-13 w/Mat 28:18-20 w/Mat 27:11, 29, 37) = BC of Jesus’ upgrade to “King of Kings” (or king of everyone versus simply, “king of the Jews”), the church would do the greater (or more expansive) work of advancing the kingdom beyond the borders of Israel. However, for the church to finish what Jesus started, requires we function as a team and fight for our King.

3.1. What it means to function as a team:

3.1.1. We stop acting like fans and get in the game.

(Luk 10:1-2) = Notice, Jesus needed the team to get the win. He needs players who will get in the game and help out (“laborers” not spectators/fans). As stated in the previous point, we are all important to the team’s success. But that means getting in the game/getting involved with what our team is currently learning or doing. Even the best player cannot benefit the team if all they do is sit on the sidelines or refuse to learn the plays (e.g. How many of you have taken the time to learn the play assigned last week? How many of you could argue persuasively for Jesus’ return in next 25yrs? What about the Marriage Covenant Gospel? How many of you could present and defend it from the Scriptures? How do you expect to make a play if you don’t learn the plays and get in the game?). Like Jesus, pastor needs the team to get the win.

3.1.2. We are fully committed to the team in our thinking, our loyalty, and gospel strategy decided by the team’s leaders/coaches.

(Phi 2:1-2 “same mind, having the same love, being in full accord”) = Fully committed thinking and loyalty to the team; (“and of one mind”) = Fully committed to the strategy called by the team’s leaders/coaches (See Phi 1:5 w/1:25-27 = I am coming back as coach. Until then, stay committed to the gospel strategy I gave you before [“your partnership in the gospel” w/me]; BTW: strategies change all the time – which means we need to change and fully commit to the new strategy decided by our coaches [versus viewing it as a flaw/failure]- See 2Co 1:12-23; e.g. In the “Man In The Arena” series [ep. 1], former NE Patriot LB Willie McGinest comments on how the team expected Drew Bledsoe to be declared the starter for SB 36 given his experience taking them to a previous SB. Coach Belichick however changed the strategy and decided to go w/the young in experienced QB, Tom Brady. What did the team do? They fully committed themselves to the coach’s decision and their new QB. Though hugely disappointed w/coach Belichick’s decision at the time, Drew Bledsoe also fully supported his coach, his team and Tom Brady who went on to beat the “greatest show on turf.”; Jeff Bezos’ view on change/change of strategy, “People who are right a lot listen a lot, and they change their mind a lot.”). Unfortunately, and embarrassingly, the world is often more committed to their coaches and teams than the church is to theirs (e.g. Judas’ betrayal of Jesus: he didn’t like the strategy of his coach – Mar 14:3-11 w/Joh 12:1-8; Consider also, this is why we are warned – Heb 12:14-15 “strive for peace” = unity; Act 20:28-30 [“will arise speaking twisted things to draw away the disciples after them” = They will act as though they are/sb captains of the team and attempt to recruit people to their team/strategy]; Rom 16:17-18; Gal 5:26 w/13-15 = The recipe for a church that never gets a win for the King: 1) everybody thinks they know better than everybody else -including their coaches [“conceited”], 2) everybody has a chip on their shoulder so can’t get along w/their team-mates [“provoking one another”], 3) everybody is jealous of everybody else so quits all the time [“envying one another”]. IOW: They are a team that bites, devours and consumes one another rather commits to one another in their thinking, loyalty and strategy).

Our coaches/pastors’ two-pronged gospel strategy that we as a team need to be committed to:

1) Covenant Life Groups (starting in May), 2) Marriage Covenant Gospel Book (pastor needs team-mates not fans. He needs team-mates to thoughtfully read and provide feedback to make sure the book is the best it can be for our King. IOW: the team working together is how we get the win – e.g. Luke Kuenning’s suggestion to add Mat 22:32 as biblical support for my argument from grammar in respect to the Adamic, Noahic and Abrahamic covenants as Marriage Covenants. Luke’s contribution may be the difference between someone being convinced or dismissing what is said). What is your commitment to seeing our team’s two-pronged strategy successfully executed – whether it be with the community groups or the book? How committed are you to the team?

“The team with the best players committed only to themselves is no match for the team with average players fully committed to their team” – Anonymous

3.1.3. We put the needs of the team above our individual needs.

(Phi 2:3-4; Joh 15:12; Luk 22:28-30) = Those who put the team first – even when things are tough, are those who go to heaven).

“No man is more important than The Team. No coach is more important than The Team. The Team, The Team, The Team.” – Bo Schembechler

3.1.4. We are willing to play whatever role is necessary – and sacrifice whatever is necessary, to guarantee the team’s success on the field.

(Phi 2:5-8) = Jesus sacrificed His high position of God to fill the necessary role of an obedient human slave to guarantee His team’s success. Paul says we are to follow His example/possess His mindset. B/C Jesus had this mindset, God upgraded His position on the team (vv9-11 = Jesus became the G.O.A.T. King because of His willingness and sacrifice

– i.e., because He proved to be the ultimate team-player; Mat 28:18). Everybody wants to be the team’s superstar. However, the only way to be the superstar is to be the best, most dedicated team player. The one who makes everyone else on the team look good (not yourself) (Mar 10:43-44). Very few ministries can be given to others in this church, because very few of our members want to do what it takes to be superstars for our King. Very few people are willing to sacrifice to make sure the ministry they are a part of is a success. This doesn’t btw require you be a leader, just – once more, a great team-mate or team player. This btw are how leaders get recognized. They are superstar team-mates/team players, people the rest of us can count on to make sure whatever ministry they are a part of, wb a success. People who are not fighting for themselves (i.e. their glory), but the glory of their King.

3.2. What it means to fight for the King = We stop making excuses or settling for mediocracy. Any time Christians make excuses for failure or serve up mediocracy in their service to the King (i.e., anything related to the church or ministry), they are not fighting for the King. Excellence is the only standard acceptable to our King. Hence why Paul prays this way for the Philippians (Phi 1:9-10). Excellence (however) is never an accident. It takes perseverance (i.e., not quitting after two weeks), meticulous planning or preparation, attention to detail, and sweating the small stuff. If you suffer at being excellent, start by asking how much of the activities in your life are planned? Most people plan only one thing: to get to their job (or church on Sunday). Everything after that is just “gas out and pass out”, which means you never have time to be excellent because your time (after work or church) is wasted. The story of your life and what they will write on your tombstone (if you do not change and start fighting for the King): “They played a mediocre game, filled with excuses and failure that accomplished little for the team or your King. There were water-boys better than them.” INSTEAD of THIS: “They fought the good fight for their King. For them, this was life: serve the King, savor His kingdom.”

CLOSING CONTEMPLATION/CHALLENGE = How successful will our Covenant Life Groups be? How successful will the book be? What part will you play to guarantee they are successful? What about the kind of team-mate you are today? What needs to change so you can be the superstar your King deserves?

The Return of the King

Though we cannot know the exact day or hour (Mat 24:36), the evidence strongly suggests that we be prepared for our King to return in approximately 25 years.

Year 6000 will mark the end of human history and the return of our King.

(2Pe 3:1-10):

1.1. We need to remember that Jesus and the apostles predicted His return (1-2).

1.2. Sinful people ignorant that God has already made good on His promise to destroy this world will laugh at our claims of the King’s return and the final destruction of this world in fiery judgment (3-7, 10).

1.3. God wants us to have some sense of when Jesus will return so as to be ready versus eternally perish (9; Mat 24:32-36 = Though [once more] we cannot know the exact day and hour, we can know when we are “near” – i.e. within 40 years, “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” = The King’s first return in 70 A.D. [~40 yrs later]).

1.4. We must not overlook the “one fact” most important to determining when our King’s final return is near [~40 yrs?]: the ancient Jewish and early Christian belief that each day of Creation represents 1,000 years of human history – or 6,000 years of human history to be immediately followed by the return of the King and eternal rest in the new heavens and earth (as represented by God’s Sabbath or seventh-day rest) (8; The main source of this belief: Non-canonical books containing ancient Jewish/Christian tradition, history and beliefs; Though never on par with Scripture itself, Jesus and the church saw these non-canonical books as important. Hence why we see them referenced in Scripture- e.g., Num 21:14; Jos 10:13; 2Sa 1:18; 1Ki 11:41; 2Chr 9:29, 12:15, 13:22; Mat 27:9-10; 2Ti 3:8; Jud 1:9, 14-15).

1.4.1. Ancient Jewish non-canonical sources:

1.4.1.1. Jewish Talmud (1st – 7th century collection of rabbinical writings meant to preserve ancient Jewish beliefs and oral tradition after the destruction of the Temple):

“Six thousand years the world will exist and for one thousand, [the seventh], it shall be desolate [no longer exist], as it is written, ‘And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Sanhedrin 97a)

“The world will exist for six thousand years: two millennia of void (i.e. without Torah) [covs: AC/NC/AbC]; Two millennia of Torah [cov: OC]; and then two millennia of the age of Moshiach (i.e. Messiah)[cov: NC].” (Tractate Avodah Zarah [9a])

1.4.1.2. The writings of 2nd century, Jewish rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus:

“Six eons for going in and coming out, for war and peace. The seventh eon is entirely Shabbat and rest for life everlasting.”

1.4.2. Early Christian non-canonical sources:

1.4.2.1. The writings of Irenaeus (Early Church Father, a disciple of Polycarp who was a direct disciple of the apostle John; 130-202 AD)

“For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years (2Pe 3:8); and in six days created things were completed; it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousandth year.”

1.4.2.2. The epistle of Barnabas[1] (75 AD; The epistle of Barnabas was considered so important to early Christianity that it was included as an addendum in the back of early bibles until the 4th century – e.g. Codex Sinaiticus [Sinai Bible])

“Give heed, children, what this means; ‘He ended in six days’ (Gen 1:2): He means this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; for the day with Him signifies a thousand years; and this He himself bears me witness, saying; “Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years” (2Pe 3:8). Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end.”

1.4.2.3. The writings of Hippolytus (Early Church Father, 170-235 AD)

“And 6,000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day on which God rested from all His works. For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the saints, when they shall reign with Christ, when He comes from heaven, for ‘a day with the Lord is as a thousand years’ (2Pe 3:8). Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled.”

Adding up the biblical record puts the current age of the world at around 5976.

2.1. 5782 is the current date of the Hebrew/Jewish Calendar (Seder Olam Rabbah) (3760 yrs from creation to Christ plus the current year of 2022).

2.2. Adjustments for discrepancies/errors in the H/JC: 1) add 165 yrs (conventional/scholarly date for the destruction of the first Temple = 586 BC[2] versus incorrect date of 421 BC), 2) add 29 yrs (430 yrs captivity clock starting when Abe is 99 yrs old [Exo 12:40-41; Gal 3:16-17] versus 400 yrs captivity clock starting when Abe is 100 yrs old/birth of Isaac [Gen 15:13]) = 5976.

The Bible confirms the 7th day of earthly rest (the Sabbath) to be symbolic of the eternal rest in the new world at the end of human history.

(Heb 4:4-11) = The Sabbath rest the author calls us to strive to enter is the eternal rest of the new world to come.

THE POINT NOT TO MISS: the Bible confirms all seven days related to Creation to be symbolic and important indicators of when this world will end and the new world will begin.

Jesus predicted He would return before the date predicted by the Jews.

(Mat 24:43-51) = Jesus’ primary/first audience are the Jews (v34 -“this generation”). Jesus’ warning is therefore first to the Jew, “The Son of Man is coming in an hour when you do not expect.” What the Jews currently expect: Messiah is not coming from another 218 yrs. They believe it is 5782, when in reality it is 5976. They believe there is more time than there really is (“My master is delayed”) which means when Jesus comes, He will surprise them like a “thief” in the night.

The church is beset with apostasy and the world filled with false prophets preaching an antinomian gospel that produces a disloyal faith just as Jesus predicted would be true when the end is near.

(Mat 24:1-8) = These are NOT the things we are to consider when determining the end of the world; (9-14) = These are the things truly indicating the end of the world.

Additional considerations/ or possible evidence?

6.1. (Ecc 1:9) = Based on the pattern of redemptive history recorded in the Bible, we serve a God whose future plans always have precedent in the past (e.g. Isa 7:14 w/Mat 1:23; Num 14:34; Mat 12:40). Why would it be any different with one of history’s most important events? Believing the end of the world to be arbitrary – or without a basis in something similar that God has already done (i.e. the days of Creation and the day of Rest), is to believe in a different god.

6.2. (Joh 18:37-38) = Christians are to be people of truth (those always in agreement w/reality versus fantasy) (Joh 18:37-38). To be people of truth now requires that we address as reality what at one time was considered fantasy/science fiction: the existence of UFOs (i.e. US Dept of Defense, Navy and Pentagon have all released statements [and some video footage from the cockpits of Navy fighter pilots] confirming 144 sightings since 2004; “Every day for at least a couple of years” – Navy fighter pilot, Ryan Graves; Navy ships have been swarmed by UFOs off the Pacific coast and caught on radar [3]). Biblical analysis (Rev 20:1-9) = UFOs may be a sign that Satan and his armies are coming out of the Abyss, an even that must take place before our King’s return. How this event possibly relates to UFOs: the demons have created bio-suits technology/vessels allowing them to escape the 4th dimension. They will soon permanently invade our space – the 3rd dimension. Hence the reason for the increase in frequency of sightings and number of vessels encountered[4]. Opinion: Satan will reveal himself and his demons as mankind’s original freedom fighters and unite the world (“deceive the nations that are on the four corners of the earth” = The entire world) against our King and what little remains of His church on earth (“surround the camp of the saints” = God’s people wb small in number). It will be the “tower of Babel” PART 2 (“Gog and Magog” = Babylon = Babel; Eze 38-39; Gen 11).

OUR EXPECTED RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE EVIDENCE

1) Stand Firm: Don’t be shaken from your position when the people, events, and beliefs of this world become even more crazy, polarized, and opposed to God/God’s Word/God’s people (Joh 15:18-16:4).

2) Stay Focused: See the next 25 years as the time to complete your given mission from Mat 25:14-30. What will you accomplish in each year for our King?

3) Sound Forth: Our witness to others should start w/what we believe about the imminent return of the King (e.g. “We believe our King/King Jesus is returning within the next 25 years to destroy His enemies and this world. In His mercy, He has sent His messengers to proclaim peace to those who will swear allegiance to Him and His church now.”). BTW: last days are the theme common to all past revivals/church growth movements (e.g. Dispensationalism’s Left Behind movement; the Big Tent Revivals/meetings). Why? b/c people are curious about the end. Hence the reason the book of Revelation remains the number one most popular book in the Bible. (Curiosity is the first/greatest key of all persuasion; convincing/building confidence thru information-sharing/education is the next).

[1] Early Church Fathers Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) and Origen (184-253 AD) attributed the epistle of Barnabas to the apostle and traveling companion of Paul mentioned in the book of Acts (Act 14:14).

[2] The 586 BC date is corroborated by several ancient documents from Babylon, Egypt, Persia, and Greece. Early Jewish historian Josephus likewise confirms this date.

[3] See “For some Navy pilots, UFO sightings were an ordinary event: ‘Every day for at least a couple years’” (washingtonpost.com); “UFOs, the Channel Islands and the Navy’s ‘drone swarm’ mystery” (thehill.com)

[4] From a military perspective, these could be viewed as test flights and the sign of coming invasion (e.g. troop/tank buildup on the border of Ukraine in November of 2021 before the invasion in March of 2022).

Meet Your King – Part 3

Jesus was the perfect man. But what kind of man (or human) was He? What things did He care about? What things did He not care about? Where or with whom did He spend His time? How did He respond or react to others? How did He come across to others? How did people view His words or the way He spoke?

Our investigation into the (human) person of Jesus has as its purpose not simply the gaining of knowledge, but more importantly, its application through imitation. We are commanded (in 1Co 15:1) to imitate our King. The reason? b/c imitation is the greatest expression of worship and adoration/love. IOW: we show our loyalty to Jesus best by our imitation of His humanity. It is in this way also that we imitate (and show loyalty) to God since, through His humanity, Jesus perfectly pictured or explained the character of God (Joh 1:18).

As a human, King Jesus:

Was careful to receive or act on anything as truth that could not be sufficiently supported in God’s court.

Didn’t care about the evil going on in government only the evil going on in the covenant community.

Had zero tolerance for sin in God’s house (Psa 45:1, 6-7 = One of the reasons God the Father has eternally installed Jesus as King over is b/c He has zero-tolerance for wickedness/sin in the kingdom).

Only fellowshipped with – or treated as family, those willing to do God’s will (Psa 45:9-11).

Caused division within families b/c of His beliefs (loyalty to God and the church family over physical family).

Never questioned God’s love for Him b/c of what He had to suffer.

Loved (i.e. was loyal to/love = loyalty) God and His people more than anything else.

Suffered for righteousness despite His feelings and fear.

Was not an accurate reflection of how He felt (Luk 22:42 w/Joh 18:1-3; Mat 16:21-27 [not how that person felt]; It’s all for the King until I don’t feel like it and then it’s “to hell w/the King”; BTW: speaking based on how we feel leads to acting on how we feel—all actions are the result of words; Gen 1:1-3; Joh 1:1-3 w/Mat 15:19 w/Jam 1:13-15; Jam 3:1-6; Hence the reason “freedom of speech” is not only the first sign of dissent from God, but a recipe for human destruction).

Understood the priority of the team (Joh 15:12-13; Mar 9:33-35 w/10:35-45; 1Co 9:14-19; Hence why 1Co 1:10; Phi 1:27 w/2:2 = We can’t win for the King unless the church operates as a team! What that looks like [according to what we just read]: Personal agendas are gone. We live [and are willing to give anything] to be aligned with the teaching/direction/strategy of the team and its leaders. It means also [as we saw] we are even willing to die/suffer for the sake of the team [e.g. Phi 2:12-18 = Paul lived for the team. Which BTW/once more – there is no win w/o the team operating as a team]. This principle [btw] is at the center of all military and team-sports training. Winning and losing are – the vast majority of the time, determined by how well the group did in operating as a team – Ecc 4:12; The secret to the early church’s global impact was not their size [they were small in numbers], but their unity/operation as a team -rogue/maverick elements were not tolerated [e.g. Act 8:14-25]; The writings of the early church fathers also reflect this. Most were written to maintain orthodoxy among all the churches; Hence why then Rom 16:17-18).

Submitted to God (or God’s Word) as the Author of morality not consensus, circumstance or the individual (Mat 19:1-6 [God trumps popular consensus: divorce for any reason is okay], 7-8 [God trumps circumstance or the individual – in this case, the spiritual leader Moses], 9-12 [another example of God trumps circumstance or the desire of the individual]; Joh 17:17; Isa 8:20; Psa 119:160; e.g. Our nation’s downward spiral w/respect to who determines morality: consensus = homosexuality as an acceptable sexual orientation [once considered deviant/perverted behavior and a form of mental illness now celebrated as good simply b/c enough people changed their opinion]; circumstance = juvenile justice system [different punishment for kids/minors was est’d in 1899 as the result of mass immigration in late 1800’s and lots of indigent kids roaming the streets and committing serious crimes. Before that time, not many kids committed serious crimes, but when they did, were treated the same as adults]; individual = gender identity).

Offended others by His knowledge and the words He used (Mat 13:53-58 = Insurrection is often the result of people being jealous of their shepherd’s knowledge – Psa 106:16 w/Mat 27:18; Mat 15:1-14 = Notice included as part of His offensive words, was the use of “colorful language” when the occasion called for it [“hypocrites”, “blind guides”; other examples – Mat 12:34 “brood of vipers”//All of these are the equivalent of our modern day swear words; when the occasion calls for such words = when less colorful words prove ineffective]; Why Jesus said hard/offensive things = B/C: 1) He refused to lie about/to people [Pro 27:6], 2) He knew that the uncomfortableness that comes with such speech is not a valid excuse or optional to getting to heaven [Mat 10:26-27, 32-33], 3) He cared more about making God happy than men knowing He could not please both and still get to heaven – Joh 4:34 [“My will is to do the will of Him who sent Me”], Joh 8:29 [“I do the things that are leasing to the Father”], Joh 10:17 [“for this reason the Father loves the Son b/c I lay down my life]; Luk 6:26 [“Woe to you if all men speak well of you, for so they did to the false prophets”], Jam 4:4 [“Anyone who is a friend of the world is not a friend of God”]; 2Ti 4:2 {‘reprove, rebuke and exhort with great patience”]; Tit 1:9-11 “silenced” = Shut their mouths thru strong reproving [proving them wrong] and rebuke).

Was not wooed away from heaven by the pleasures of this world (Mat 4:8-10 w/Heb 4:15 w/Mat 17:17 = Jesus’ complete inability to be wooed away by the pleasures of this world [or gaining the entire world] indicates just how large the disparity is between the value/quality/beauty of this world and heaven –something Jesus knew firsthand, having been there before coming to this world. The same was true for Paul. He had seen heaven [2Co 12:2] and this was his comparison – 2Co 4:17; Hence why Paul says Col 3:2 = IOW: Serve the King and savor the kingdom, spend time visualizing the world to come and using the good and beautiful things of this world as your inspiration and motivation versus spending your time worrying about NOT MISSING OUT on all the fun in this world/serving this world and savoring its rewards. Only a fool would trade Paradise for the Podunk thrills of this world).

CLOSING CONTEMPLATION: God saved us to make us imitators of our King. What we have learned therefore is to be modelled in our lives. When people see how we act or the things we are concerned about or how we speak, it should reflect our King. Two final thoughts: 1) If what we have covered is not the Jesus you know, then the Jesus [you know] is not the King 2) If who your life reminds others of is NOT King Jesus, good luck getting to heaven.

Meet Your King – Part 1

Jesus was the perfect man. But what kind of man (or human) was He? What things did He care about? What things did He not care about? Where or with whom did He spend His time? How did He respond or react to others? How did HE come across to others? How did people view His words or the way He spoke?

Our investigation into the (human) person of Jesus has as its purpose not simply the gaining of knowledge, but more importantly, its application through imitation. We are commanded (in 1Co 15:1) to imitate our King. The reason? b/c imitation is the greatest expression of worship and adoration/love. IOW: we show our loyalty to Jesus best by our imitation of His humanity. It is in this way also that we imitate (and show loyalty) to God since, through His humanity, Jesus perfectly pictured or explained to us the character of God (Joh 1:18).

As a human, King Jesus:

Was careful to receive or act on anything as truth that could not be sufficiently supported in God’s court of Law (Mat 19:16-17; Joh 8:2-11; Jam 4:11-12 w/5:9 = Our judgment of others needs to hold up in the king’s court – otherwise we are guilty of condemning the law/Lawgiver; Mat 18:15-16 = Sufficient evidence eliminates sinful presumption/assumption; Jud 1:9 = Satan judged Moses based on presumption versus sufficient evidence. When we judge/accuse others of sin based on our assumptions we are imitating Satan not Jesus; sufficient evidence: evidence that agrees with Scripture and is beyond a reasonable doubt [no other reasonable explanation can be given]).

 

Did not care about the evil going on in the government only the evil going on in the covenant community (Luk 13:1-9; Luk 20:22-25 [“Caesar” = A king by force/foreign invasion versus election/choice now requiring those conquered pay honor/”tribute”]; Mat 17:24-27 = Jesus recognized the injustice in the earthly government of His day but didn’t resist it or let it bother Him; Rom 13:1-7 [“honor” = This includes those in power we don’t approve of]; e.g. Dan 6:21; 1Pe 2:17; Luk 21:34; 1Ti 2:1-3).

 

Had zero tolerance for sin in God’s house (Joh 2:14-17; Mat 21:12-13; Rev 2:1-5 = The church’s many acts of loyalty to Jesus did not cause him to overlook those things that were sin. Tolerance of sin in any area – no matter their intolerance in others, would result in their “lampstand” being removed -i.e. they would cease to be a community where Jesus’ saving presence and power dwelt; 1Ti 3:14-15 w/: 1) heresy [1:3-5], 2) capital crime [1:18-20], 3) sovereign citizenship [2:8], 4) feminazis and female pastors [2:9-13], 5) unqualified leaders [3:1-12]).

 

Only fellowshipped with – or treated as family, those willing to do God’s will (Mar 3:31-35; What His family thought about this behavior – Mar 3:20-21; Luk 10:25-37 = We treat as family only those who keep the Law [Exo 23:5]; 2Co 6:14-18).

 

CLOSING CONTEMPLATION: How are you doing in your imitation of our King? If the answer is “no so good”, then good news! Today is the day of salvation! IOW: today is the day to repent of that and (again) make things right w/God.

Meet Your King – Part 2

Jesus was the perfect man. But what kind of man (or human) was He? What things did He care about? What things did He not care about? Where or with whom did He spend His time? How did He respond or react to others? How did He come across to others? How did people view His words or the way He spoke?

Our investigation into the (human) person of Jesus has as its purpose not simply the gaining of knowledge, but more importantly, its application through imitation. We are commanded (in 1Co 15:1) to imitate our King. The reason? b/c imitation is the greatest expression of worship and adoration/love. IOW: we show our loyalty to Jesus best by our imitation of His humanity. It is in this way also that we imitate (and show loyalty) to God since, through His humanity, Jesus perfectly pictured or explained the character of God (Joh 1:18).

As a human, King Jesus:

Was careful to receive or act on anything as truth that could not be sufficiently supported in God’s court of Law (* correction to last week*Luk 18:18-19; Joh 5:31* sufficient evidence: evidence that agrees with Scripture and is beyond a reasonable doubt [no other reasonable explanation can be given]; Psa 19:13-14; Joh 5:31).

Didn’t care about the evil going on in government only the evil going on in the covenant community (Luk 13:1-3; Christians are often duped into thinking that if the government/organization/person shares some of our values then we should attempt to work w/them or push their agenda for in so doing we can accomplish our own – especially those forms of govt or organizations or persons who have power/influence/money. Such co-belligerence is not only unnecessary to advance God’s kingdom but is explicitly forbidden by God. It makes us guilty of idolatry – e.g. ECT; Deu 7:1-6 w/2Co 6:14-7:1 = Holiness means intolerance for sinful people [govts, organizations, schools] – including those sinful people who could help us in the advance God’s kingdom b/c of what they believe/practice).

Had zero tolerance for sin in God’s house (Joh 2:14-17; Mat 21:12-13).

Only fellowshipped with – or treated as family, those willing to do God’s will (Mar 3:31-35 w/20-21).

Caused division within families b/c of His beliefs (Luk 12:49-53; Mat 10:5-14, 21 [“kick the dust off” = No more association w/those individuals. Separation must be our response when they reject Jesus’ teaching).

Never questioned God’s love for Him b/c of what He had to suffer (Joh 17:25-26 = Part of Jesus’ high priestly prayer: spoken only hours before His betrayal, torture, and crucifixion. The coming suffering in no way affected His confidence in the Father’s love. Suffering does not indicate a lack of love but the discipline of a loving Father Who understands that without such discipline/training we will not be fit for heaven. Our souls will instead become corrupted and fit for this world and hell [Jer 17:13 – their names “written in the earth” versus “written in heaven”]. Example from pottery: clay is soft and porous. Only when it is heated in the kiln does it transform into something watertight and strong. If that clay cracks in the fire, it is discarded. In the same way, we must go thru the fires of trials/training to become vessels strong enough to hold the holiness and obedience God requires to get to heaven. If we crack, we too wb discarded. The good news – we have God’s power to get thru if we will submit/accept the trial [2Co 4:7-9 = We w/stand the trials w/o breaking thru the power of God given in submission to His will during those times – v13; also 1Co 10:13]; Heb 5:7-9, 12:5-14; Hence Pro 23:12-14 = Notice both forms of discipline/training [positive and negative]. Neither can be neglected. If we do, we are leaving our children weak and vulnerable to corruption. Hence Pro 19:18)

Loved (i.e. was loyal to/love = loyalty) God and His people more than anything else (For Jesus it was all about love. But love meant loyalty; Hence Joh 5:19, 30, Luk 9:51 [Isa 50:4-7]; Joh 13:1; Phi 2:5-8 = Jesus as our example, was loyal to God and us to the point of death. This means that Christianity really is all about love. But once more love means/equals loyalty [not some emotionally charged thing that changes like the wind]; Mat 22:37-39; Joh 13:34-35, 14:15, 21, 15:12-13 [loyalty to death]; 1Jo 5:1-2; Joh 21:15-19 = Peter understood why Jesus was asking him about love: b/c of his prior lack of loyalty [i.e. his denial of Jesus – ch.18] demonstrated that he did not love Jesus [above all else]. Jesus and Peter understood love = loyalty).

Suffered for righteousness despite His feelings and fear (Luk 22:39-44; This righteous suffering includes suffering through the feelings of temptation versus giving into them – Heb 2:16-18 w/4:15; Feelings/Fear are not an excuse to give up or back out of doing the right thing [BTW: Courage is not the opposite of fear. Courage is the term we use for those who remain loyal in the face of fear]; Heb 12:1-4; 1Pe 4:1-2 = Easy way to spot someone who is living for SELF = They stop being obedient the moment such obedience causes them to suffer or puts their life in danger. You are not truly living for Jesus/heaven until you are willing to suffer and die for Jesus/heaven.).