2 Corinthians 5:17-20 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Art thou the King of the Jews? That King of the Jews who has been so long expected?Messiah the Prince; art thou he? Dost thou call thyself so, and wouldest thou be thought so?
Christ answered this question with another; not for evasion, but that Pilate might consider what he did. He never took upon him any earthly power, never were any traitorous principles or practices laid to him.
Christ gave an account of the nature of his kingdom. Its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within men, set up in their hearts and consciences; its riches spiritual, its power spiritual, and its glory within. Its supports are not worldly; its weapons are spiritual; it needed not, nor used, force to maintain and advance it, nor opposed any kingdom but that of sin and Satan. Its object and design are not worldly.
When Christ said, I am the Truth, he said, in effect, I am a King. He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth; he rules by the commanding power of truth. The subjects of this kingdom are those that are of the truth.
Pilate put a good question, he said, What is truth? When we search the Scriptures, and attend the ministry of the word, it must be with this inquiry, What is truth? and with this prayer, Lead me in thy truth; into all truth. But many put this question, who have not patience to preserve in their search after truth; or not humility enough to receive it.
My kingdom … – The charge on which Jesus was arraigned was that of laying claim to the office of a king. He here substantially admits that he did claim to be a king, but not in the sense in which the Jews understood it. They charged him with attempting to set up an earthly kingdom, and of exciting sedition against Caesar. In reply to this, Jesus says that his kingdom is not of this world – that is, it is not of the same nature as earthly kingdoms. It was not originated for the same purpose, or conducted on the same plan.
He immediately adds a circumstance in which they differ. The kingdoms of the world are defended by arms; they maintain armies and engage in wars. If the kingdom of Jesus had been of this kind, he would have excited the multitudes that followed him to prepare for battle. He would have armed the hosts that attended him to Jerusalem. He would not have been alone and unarmed in the garden of Gethsemane. But though he was a king, yet his dominion was over the heart, subduing evil passions and corrupt desires, and bringing the soul to the love of peace and unity.
Not from hence – That is, not from this world.
My kingdom is not of this world; that is, I cannot deny but that I am the King of the Jews, but not in the sense they take it, not such a king as they look for in their Messiah; my kingdom is spiritual, over the hearts and minds of men, not earthly and worldly. And of this thou thyself mayest be convinced; for was there ever an earthly prince apprehended and bound for whom none of his subjects would take up arms? There is none of my disciples that takes up arms, or offereth to fight for me; which is a plain evidence, that I pretend to no kingly power in disturbance of the Roman government.
In reply to this challenge, Jesus answered—obviously assuming the fact that he was a king in a sense entirely different from that which had been maliciously suggested to Pilate—My kingdom—the kingdom that is mine—is not of this world.
Neither now nor at any future period will it derive its origin from this world.
So far as Christ is King, his royal power and state are not furnished by earthly force, or fleshly ordinances, or physical energies, or material wealth, or imperial armies. The dominion that he will wield will be one over hearts and lives; the authority of the Lord Jesus cannot be arrested or overpowered by physical force.
I just updated the page on war. I don’t know what the future holds but, if at all possible it is always good to be prepared for any situation that might arise. Today’s church organizations are not preparing our young. That’s a tragedy of great magnitude. Many esteem the teachings of popular pastors, churches or ministries above God’s word. God’s word tells us it would be so … 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
by WF White
Israel and Iran. It is August 2012 and the war drums are beating yet again. As born again Christians, what should our position be?
Once again there is a lot of talk about Israel and a possible pre-emptive attack on Iran. There was similar talk going on several years ago, when Pastor John Hagee was calling for a pre-emptive attack on Iran, back in 2007. Let us stop and think about this for a few seconds at least. When planes are dispatched into the air, and bombs are dropped, then there is a great chance that many innocent civilians will be maimed for life, or even worse, simply killed. Do you remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan? What would Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God, do in such a situation as this? Would Jesus support Israel if they eventually considered the option to attack Iran, and followed through with it? I say no. Suppose it was reversed and Iran decided to attack Israel in similar fashion, would Jesus the Messiah support the attack? I say no. Listen to what Jesus had to say about his kingdom which is spiritual in nature:
Jesus answered, MY KINGDOM is NOT of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36)
You see that Jesus the Messiah, was very concerned for souls, (and we should be too) and he knew that any soul (Jewish or Gentile) who died without Jesus Christ would die in their sins, and spend an eternity in a very real place called Hell. Jesus was never partial in his dealings with people, and he certainly did not exalt his own Jewish people to a higher place than any other group of people. He wanted them to know and believe in him, and the message was “repent and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). When Jesus spoke with Nicodemus, the Jewish ruler, he told him that it was necessary for him to be born again of the Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God. (John 3:1-8) It is sad, but the majority of Jewish people refused to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and are still outside his kingdom, and the scriptures are also very clear about that.
He came unto his own, and HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:11-12)
His own (Jewish people) did not receive his testimony, and therefore they rejected him. This is not something to be taken lightly, because the scripture tells us that those who RECEIVED Jesus, were the ones who became the sons (children) of God. That group includes any person, from any part of the world, and that also includes the people in Iran, as well as the people in Israel, and everywhere else. God loved all of those people enough, that he sent his Son to die for their sins (John 3:16-21, Romans 5:6-9, Isaiah 53:1-12) but they do have a choice as to whether they will RECEIVE Jesus for themselves. True salvation comes when a person realizes the desperate and lost condition of their own soul, and they call upon the Lord for salvation. (Romans 10:10-13)
Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for IF YE BELIEVE NOT that I AM HE, YE SHALL DIE IN YOUR SINS. (John 8:21-24)
When Jesus the Messiah spoke to his own Jewish people, he did not hold anything back, and here he tells them that that he was going to a place to which they could not come. He was talking about going back to Heaven (he was about to be killed), and he told them that if they did not believe in him (as Messiah) they would NOT be there. They would simply die in their sins and continue on into eternal darkness. At one of the CUFI (Christians United For Israel) events a few years ago U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, a religious Jewish man, compared Pastor John Hagee to Moses, and the leader of a great multitude. Senator Joseph Lieberman also referred to John Hagee as a true man of God. The only problem here is that Senator Joseph Lieberman does not belong to the group of people who have received the testimony of Jesus Christ. (John 1:11-12) Senator Joe still rejects Jesus as being the Messiah, and he has written a book co-authored by David Klinghoffer, another Jewish man who does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. In fact Senator Joe mentioned Moses in his address to the people gathered at that CUFI convention, but if he truly believed Moses, then he would have received Jesus Christ! Listen to what Jesus told the Jewish people when he walked the earth:
Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, EVEN MOSES, in WHOM YE TRUST. For had ye believed MOSES, ye would have BELIEVED ME: for HE WROTE OF ME. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:45-47)
I want you to notice something here. Senator Joe Lieberman and David Klinghoffer both reject Jesus as the Messiah, and they certainly have the freedom to make that choice, but according to the scriptures they are out of the will of the true and living God. I am still amazed that people such as Senator Lieberman are permitted to address Christians, who supposedly know that Jesus is the only way of salvation (John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12), and yet be whipped up into a frenzy, waving Jewish and American flags, when Pastor John Hagee and others call for a pre-emptive attack on Iran. I call that deception, and I call that seduction. Not only that, but the Bible tells us that those people who do not believe that Christ (Messiah) has come in the flesh, are of an anti-christ spirit! (1 John 2:18,22, 4:3, 2 John 1:7) So now we have people such as Senator Joe Lieberman, who clearly does not believe that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) come in the flesh, speaking to “Christians” and applauding the efforts of people like John Hagee, in calling for a pre-emptive attack on Iran! My bible declares the following:
BE YE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED together with UNBELIEVERS: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that BELIEVETH with an INFIDEL? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
There are countless millions who are sitting in Christian churches who have been brainwashed (seduced and deceived) into believing that the Jewish people are somehow still in covenant with the true and living God, without Jesus Christ, as if there were two different plans of salvation. But that is not what the real Jesus Christ taught at all. Jesus knew that the prophets of old spoke and testified about his coming, and he was gracious enough to tell them that:
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES; for in them YE THINK ye have ETERNAL LIFE: and they are they which TESTIFY OF ME. And YE WILL NOT COME TO ME, that ye might have LIFE. (John 5:37-40)
The scriptures in the Old Covenant (Testament) testify and speak about Jesus Christ. The Old Covenant spoke about the promises, and the New Covenant speaks about the FULFILLMENT in Jesus Christ.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these LAST DAYS spoken unto us BY HIS SON, whom he hath appointed HEIR OF ALL THINGS, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Did you catch that? God has been speaking to us by HIS SON for nearly two thousand years now. All people need to take heed to what the Son is proclaiming. If you reject the voice of the Son of God, then you reject salvation and heaven itself. There is not a postponement of God’s plan of salvation for the Jewish people. The wall of separation between Jew and Gentile has been knocked down at the cross of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-22) The time of their visitation came almost two thousand years ago, and God is still calling them, and the rest of the world to repentance and faith in him. John the Baptist called the religious Jewish people of his time serpents (snakes), and he was not at all impressed with their claims to be “children of Abraham.”
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And THINK NOT to say within yourselves, WE HAVE ABRAHAM TO OUR FATHER: for I say unto you, that GOD IS ABLE of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Matthew 3:7-10)
The bottom line in this whole thing is that the true and living God, is not going to back an attack on a country simply because it is His “Chosen People” Israel doing the attacking, or simply because “Pastor America” declares that it is God’s will to attack! I do not know what is going to happen over there in the Middle East, but I somehow get the feeling that things might get out of hand if there is an attack. I even wonder if it was the providence of God, that there was a National Emergency Test held in our own country recently. The only thing that I do know for sure, is that when a person dies without Jesus Christ, they die without the hope, mercy, and grace that God so freely offered to them. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that BELIEVETH NOT not God hath made him a LIAR; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:10-12)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is CONDEMNED ALREADY, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH OF GOD abideth on him. (John 3:36)
I saw a video news report some months ago about a family that purchased a home that was infested with snakes. It turns out that they signed off on a house that they knew had snakes on the outside, but they were unaware to the larger extent of the problem. It turns out that the snakes were living inside the walls of the whole house, and they could hear them crawling inside the walls. I listened to the heartbreaking account from the man who purchased the home with his wife, as he told the reporter that the water from the faucets tasted exactly like the smell of the snakes. Their own lawyers told them that they had little recourse because they had signed off on the snakes outside the home when they bought it. The modern day church, and it’s compromising “leaders” signed off on the snakes many decades ago, being totally unaware to the larger extent of the problem. The snakes (apostates and unbelievers) have slowly infested the whole “house of God” so to speak, to the extent that even the “water” flowing from the pulpits has the very same taste and smell, as the snakes that have infested it! Jesus the Messiah said this:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the CHILDREN OF THEM which KILLED THE PROPHETS. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. YE SERPENTS, (SNAKES)YE GENERATION OF VIPERS (SNAKES), how can ye escape THE DAMNATION OF HELL? (Matthew 23:29-33)
A soldier’s statement …
“I have been trying to justify being a soldier and finding a way to do so while still being a Christian, because that is what I wanted to do since I was a kid,”
Barnes wrote in his request for conscientious objector status in December 2006.
“But I can no longer justify spending my short time in this world participating in or supporting war. … I must try to save souls, not help take them. I fear not for my life, but for my soul.”
See also …